Feb 04, 2013

By Scott Walker

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Scientists in England have confirmed the remains of England’s King Richard III. But it took help from a Canadian family to do it.

University of Leicester researchers say it is “beyond reasonable doubt” that a battle-scarred skeleton unearthed last year is the king, who died at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. It was the final major battle of the War of the Roses between Richard’s House of York and the Tudors’ House of Lancaster.

The research including matching DNA from the skeleton to a sample taken from Michael Ibsen of London, Ontario. He is a direct descendant of Richard’s eldest sister, Anne of York.

The last English monarch to die in battle, Richard was depicted in Shakespeare’s play as a hunchbacked usurper who left a trail of bodies — including those of his two princely nephews, murdered in the Tower of London — on his way to the throne.

Many historians say that villainous image is unfair, a case of the victorious Tudors demonizing their enemy. Author Sharon Kay Penman presented a much more sympathetic portrait in her novel, The Sunne in Splendour.


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