The coffin carrying the remnants of 15th century English king Richard III, initially discovered in 2012, stopped today for a brief moment at the site of his death in the Battle of Bosworth Bay about 520 years.
The procession entered the city of Leicester on Sunday morning with crowds of hundreds assisting it throughout the road. It first stopped at Fenn Lane Farm, which historians believed to be closest to the location of his demise. The cortege was saluted with cannon fire while stopped there.
It then stopped at the University of Leicester, where a short ceremony took place in which archaeologists, researchers and even descendants of Richard’s Plantagenet dynasty taking part. One of the Plantagenet descendants in attendance, Canadian carpenter Michael Ibsen, made the coffin carrying the king’s remains out of English oak.
Richards’s remains were discovered during an archeological excavation in September 2012 on the site of an old Greyfriar church, currently a parking lot in Leicester. The University of Leicester confirmed in February 2013 that analysis of wounds and radiocarbon dating proved the veracity of the remains.
The cortege has stopped at Leicester Cathedral, where the coffin will be open to the public until Wednesday night. The king will be reinterred on Thursday after a religious service will be performed.
Richard III ascended to the throne after usurping the throne from 12 year old Edward V, son of the first Yorkist King of England and Richard’s brother Edward IV. Richard was nominated as Lord Protector under Edward’s will after his death, but he ended up taking the throne for himself in 1483 after nullifying his nephew’s claim, while many historians believe he was also responsible for the disappearance of the latter.
His reign as king lasted for just two years, with his most notable achievement being the suppression of a series of rebellions started by nobles loyal to the former king. Richard III faced challenges for the throne from the rival Lancaster house, culminating with the Battle of Bosworth Bay, in which his forces were defeated by those of Henry Tudor despite having numerical superiority, while he was slain in battle. This marked the end of the Wars of the Roses and of the rule of the Plantagenet dynasty over England.
Image Source: BBC