Was it a King in the Car Park?

Interesting developments in the story of the discovery of the bones that were identified as those of Richard III.  Rival academics have cast doubt on the identification.  In an interview with BBC History Magazine, two Winchester archaeologists argue that it is impossible to say with confidence that the bones are those of the 15th-century king.  The Leicester academics who discovered the bones tell us that forthcoming papers will answer their critics.  Challenging the conclusions drawn from evidence is all part of proper academic debate.

Where does this leave the debate over where the bones shall be buried?  A judicial review of the decision that Leicester Cathedral should be the resting place took place earlier this month, and we await the court’s judgment.

And how much does this really matter?  For me, the evidence of the king’s actions are more important than relics, although it cannot be denied that the tomb of Richard III would attract valuable tourism – as the tomb of Edward II did in Gloucester in the Middle Ages.  Recently doubts have been raised about the identity of the person buried there.

For more on the death of Edward II, see Ian Mortimer’s note.

About these ads

One thought on “Was it a King in the Car Park?

  1. The judgment in the judicial review came out today (23 May 2014). The Plantagenet Alliance’s claim was dismissed, so the bones of Richard III look likely to be reburied in Leicester Cathedral. It has already been announced that Channel 4 will be the ‘official broadcast partner’ for the event.

    The judgment can be read here: http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/judgments/the-queen-on-the-application-of-plantagenet-alliance-ltd-v-secretary-of-state-for-justice-and-others/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s