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.