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On Canto Talk, we will be taking with military history expert extraordinaire Barry Jacobsen about England’s real “Game of Thrones”, the War of the Roses. The show will be Thursday, March. 21st at 7 pm PST/9pm CT/10 pm EST – click HERE FOR PODCAST LINK.
There is a fun video that discusses the “War of the Roses”
The basis for this interest is the recent identification of King Richard III’s remains, which were located under a parking lot.
Rigorous scientific investigations confirmed the strong circumstantial evidence that the skeleton found at the site of the Grey Friars church in Leicester was indeed that of King Richard III.
University of Leicester researchers have revealed a wealth of evidence — including DNA analysis, radiocarbon dating and skeletal examination — proving the identity of the skeleton.
University of Leicester archaeologists co-director Richard Buckley, the lead archaeologist on the Search for Richard III, said: “It is the academic conclusion of the University of Leicester that the individual exhumed at Grey Friars in August 2012 is indeed King Richard III, the last Plantagenet King of England.
“It has been an honour and privilege for all of us to be at the centre of an academic project that has had such phenomenal global interest and mass public appeal. Rarely have the conclusions of academic research been so eagerly awaited.”
University of Leicester geneticist Dr Turi King confirmed that DNA from the skeleton matches that of two of Richard III’s family descendants — Canadian-born furniture maker Michael Ibsen and a second person who wishes to remain anonymous.
Dr King, of the University’s Department of Genetics, said: “The DNA sequence obtained from the Grey Friars skeletal remains was compared with the two maternal line relatives of Richard III. We were very excited to find that there is a DNA match between the maternal DNA from the family of Richard the Third and the skeletal remains we found at the Grey Friars dig.”
Skeletal analysis carried out by University of Leicester osteoarchaeologist Dr Jo Appleby showed that the individual was male and in his late 20s to late 30s. Richard III was 32 when he was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.
The individual had a slender physique and severe scoliosis — a curvature of the spine — possibly with one shoulder visibly higher than the other. This is consistent with descriptions of Richard III’s appearance from the time.
Trauma to the skeleton indicates the individual died after one of two significant wounds to the back of the skull — possibly caused by a sword and a halberd.
This is consistent with contemporary accounts of Richard being killed after receiving a blow to the back of his head.
The skeleton also showed a number of non-fatal injuries to the head, rib and pelvis — believed to have been caused by a wound through the right buttock — which may have been caused by ‘humiliation injuries’ after death.
Dr Appleby’s analysis is backed up by radiological evidence carried out by University of Leicester forensic pathologists and forensic engineering experts.
Dr Appleby, of the University’s School of Archaeology and Ancient History, said: “The skeleton has a number of unusual features: its 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. Taken as a whole, the skeletal evidence provides a highly convincing case for identification as Richard III.”
The War of the Roses was fairly brutal:
The Wars of the Roses refers to a long, repetitive, and destructive civil war, based on a struggle for the English crown by the members of two distinct factions in the English royal family (called the Plantaganets, who had ruled for over two hundred years). Strictly speaking, the Wars of the Roses applies only to the latter half of this conflict, but it is commonly used to describe the entire internecine fight.
The war had its origins in a quarrel between Richard II and his cousin, Henry Bolingbroke, as a result of which Richard II was murdered and Henry became Henry IV. Richard’s murder brought about civil war, which continued until Henry IV’s son ascended the throne as Henry V and restored a short interval of glorious military victory in France and peace at home.
Upon Henry V’s early death, the wars of succession resumed. Henry’s son, Henry VI, who led the branch of the family called the Lancastrians (the party of the Red Rose) was challenged by the Yorkist branch of the family (the party of the White Rose). Success in the war alternated for a number of years, until the Yorkists prevailed, and Edward IV came to the throne. Upon the death of Edward, his brother Richard became King Richard III.
The Lancastrian cause meanwhile was taken up by a distant relative of the royal family, Henry Tudor (whose claim was based upon the marriage of his grandfather, Owen Tudor, to Henry V’s widow). He invaded England and defeated the Yorkist forces at the Battle of Bosworth Field (in 1485), thus ending the dynasty of the Plantaganets and initiating the Tudor royal family (as Henry VII). Henry VII was the father of Henry VIII and therefore the grandfather of Queen Elizabeth.
Although the procedure may be seriously misleading, the Battle of Bosworth Field is often used as a convenient date to mark the start of the Renaissance in England, inasmuch as it initiates the first distinctly Renaissance royal family in England, the Tudors, who take over from the famous medieval royal family, the Plantaganets.
The dynamics will be familiar to those who love the TV series, though it lacks the ghouls and the dragons.