Tuesday, 7 April 2015
King Richard III (Part the First)
As a nerdy teenager, I was absolutely crazy nuts about English history. One of my favourite areas of interest was the Wars of the Roses, the medieval power struggle for the throne of England between the Houses of Lancaster and York. In Grade 9, I actually participated in a school debate about whether Richard III was in fact the evil child-murdering hunchback that Shakespeare and history later portrayed him to be. I argued the "no" side in defence of King Richard.
So for the past three years I have avidly followed all the news reports about the 2012 discovery of Richard III's body which had been hastily dumped in an unmarked grave following his defeat at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. As the centuries passed, the location of his forgotten grave became a parking lot in our modern times.
It was fascinating how archaeologists verified the skeleton's identity, not just by the severe scoliosis of the spine, but by a DNA sample taken from a distant Canadian nephew descendant, Michael Ibsen (pictured below). I thought it was very touching that Michael, a carpenter by trade, personally handcrafted the wooden oak and yew coffin in which King Richard was recently reburied.
Tomorrow: King Richard III (Part the Second)