Richard III skeletal remains found in Leicester Grey Friars area (precise burial place map location, overlay kmz)

Yorkist king Richard III grew up at Middleham....
Yorkist king Richard III grew up at Middleham. “Middleham Castle”. . . Retrieved 2007-10-24 . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A team of British medieval archaeologists from University of Leicester goaded by a member of the Richard III Society has uncovered the skeletal remains of Richard III, the last Plantagenet king of England, who was killed at Bosworth and buried in the Grey Friars church in Leicester.

The announcement is extraordinary since the king was buried surreptitiously and the church that served as his resting place was destroyed in the 16th century. The finding was validated by DNA analysis of one of his direct descendants (a Canadian carpenter). According to Dr. Gunn, cited by the BBC, the resting place was determined by King Henry VII, Richard’s vanquisher:

“After the battle of Bosworth Henry VII didn’t want anyone claiming that they were Richard III and had survived the battle.

Richard’s body was taken to Leicester, slung naked over the back of a horse, and publicly displayed so people could see he was dead.

But there was the problem of how and where to bury him – what seems likely is that they wanted to avoid anything that would generate a posthumous cult.

There was a tradition in medieval England that people who were political victims then became popular saints. They wouldn’t have wanted to bury him in York, where he was very popular.

Greyfriars was convenient and safe. Henry VII put steps in action for a tomb to be built, and the inscription was to be ambivalent, and in some ways rude about Richard III, talking about his nephews and indicating that he wasn’t a very good king. There is evidence that people talked about him being buried there.”

Richard III burial overlay image and tomb location

Richard III skull in situ. credit: University of Leicester
Richard III skull in situ. credit: University of Leicester

The precise spot of the trench in which Richard’s skeleton was found  can be seen on this map, depicting the parking lot of Grey Friars Social Services office, in Leicester, UK overlaid with a map of old Leicester.

New: What Richard III would’ve sounded like

The Google Street View below identifies the last known spot where Richard III went down in the heat of the battle at Bosworth.


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Sorin Adam Matei

Sorin Adam Matei - Professor of Communication at Purdue University - studies the relationship between information technology and social groups. He published papers and articles in Journal of Communication, Communication Research, Information Society, and Foreign Policy. He is the author or co-editor of several books. The most recent is Structural differentation in social media. He also co-edited Ethical Reasoning in Big Data,Transparency in social media and Roles, Trust, and Reputation in Social Media Knowledge Markets: Theory and Methods (Computational Social Sciences) , all three the product of the NSF funded KredibleNet project. Dr. Matei's teaching portfolio includes online interaction, and online community analytics and development classes. His teaching makes use of a number of software platforms he has codeveloped, such as Visible Effort . Dr. Matei is also known for his media work. He is a former BBC World Service journalist whose contributions have been published in Esquire and several leading Romanian newspapers. In Romania, he is known for his books Boierii Mintii (The Mind Boyars), Idolii forului (Idols of the forum), and Idei de schimb (Spare ideas).

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