DNA tests on the skeleton discovered under a car park in Leicester in the UK last autumn show that the remains are indeed those of Richard III – arguably the most reviled king in English history. Richard III was hacked to death in 1485 at the Battle of Bosworth, having only been on the throne for two years. The man who won the battle went on to become Henry VII. The discovery was made on the site of a Franciscan Friary.
Jo Appleby, an osteologist on the team, told a press conference: “The skeleton has a number of unusual features, the slender build, the scoliosis and the battle related trauma. All of these are highly consistent with the information that we have about Richard III in life and about the circumstances of his death. In addition, this individual was a man around the age of 32.
“Taken as a whole, the skeletal evidence provides a highly convincing case for identification as Richard III. We said that this may represent a slice from a bladed weapon. Our work has now shown that this is indeed the case. We cannot say for certain what weapon caused this injury, but it is consistent with being something similar to a halberd,” Appleby added.
Researchers from York University found that the skeleton showed signs of spinal abnormalities, believed to be severe scoliosis, a form of spinal curvature which would have made the right shoulder substantially higher than the left one, in tune with contemporary accounts. But the identity of the remains was confirmed when a DNA match was found with Michael Ibsen, a Canadian-born carpenter who is believed to be a direct descendant of Richard III’s sister, Anne of York.
The only remaining question is where RIchard III should be finally laid to rest.