A decade ago, screenwriter Philippa Langley, a member of England’s Richard III Society, approached the Leicester (Eng.) City Council to ask them if she could have permission to, uh, dig up a parking lot that was currently being used by one of the city’s social services offices.
Langley, an avid Richard III stan, had been researching the king for a script she was working on, and after repeatedly visiting that parking lot, she was increasingly convinced that the pavement was covering whatever was left of the king’s final resting place.
After being offed by Henry Tudor’s men at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, Richard’s body was taken to Leicester (“like a hogge or a calfe, the head and armes hangyng on the one side of the horse and the legs on the other side,” according to one account at the time) and buried at Greyfriars Church. The church — and the marble tomb that was built for King Dick the Third — were both destroyed sometime in the 16th century.
Fast-forward several hundred years, and Langley’s research into Greyfriars, Richard III, and several previous archeological excavations convinced her that the king’s unaccounted-for skeleton could be underneath a thin layer of asphalt in the city center.
The City Council gave their OK, and on August 25, 2012 — the first day of the dig — archeologists discovered a pair of leg bones in a trench they’d dug out of the parking lot. A full skeleton was carefully unearthed and, the following February, experts from the University of Leicester confirmed that the bones belonged to Richard III.
The bones’ DNA was compared to a sample taken from Michael Ibsen, a Canadian-born cabinet-maker who was a descendant of Richard’s sister, Anne; he was later asked to make the coffin that Richard’s bones were placed in before the king was re-buried inside Leicester Cathedral. The parking lot has since been declared a national monument, and the trench where the bones were discovered has been preserved inside the King Richard III Visitor Centre.
Take that, Henry VII. Nobody gave a shit about your bones.
Play today’s Mystery Video Fun Club and you’ll find a question about Dick the Third…plus a ’90s procedural, a Bible translation, and a plus-sized retailer. Figure out what the answers all have in common and you’ll be well on your way to a swag box!
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