On this day in history : 2nd October 1452 – The birth, at Fotheringhay Castle, Northamptonshire, of King Richard III – the last King of the House of York and the last of the Plantagenets….

Late 16th Century portrait of Richard III – Public domain

Richard was the twelfth of thirteen children – his older brother was to become King Edward IV – to whom Richard remained loyal until Edward’s death in 1483 – unlike their middle brother, George, who plotted against Edward….

However, Richard was not without controversy himself…. Upon Edward’s death his 12-year-old son succeeded him to the throne…. Richard was named as Lord Protector and the young Edward and his brother were taken to live within the palace at the Tower of London – which was then a royal residence….

In the June of 1483 the marriage of the two young princes’ parents was declared illegal and therefore invalid – which made the boys illegitimate…. This meant young Edward was no longer the rightful heir to the throne and instead it passed to his uncle and protector, Richard….

Earliest surviving portrait of Richard III C1520 – Public domain

Richard wasted no time in securing his position as King, he was quickly crowned on the 26th of June…. Shortly after, the two princes disappeared, never to be seen again…. Many believe Richard had them murdered….

Richard himself was killed at Bosworth Field on the 23rd of August 1485 – he was the last English King to die in battle…. Henry Tudor succeeded him, as King Henry VII….

An 18th Century illustration of the death of Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field – Thomas Pennant – Public domain

Richard’s body was taken to a monastery in Leicester and buried beneath a fine alabaster tomb…. But after King Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries the Franciscan friary disappeared and along with it all traces of Richard’s tomb….

In September 2012 archaeologists discovered a skeleton under a car park in Leicester and it was believed to be the remains of Richard….

The skeleton as it was discovered – Photo credit : Richard Buckley, Mathew Morris, Jo Appleby, Turi King, Dierdre O’Sullivan, Lin Foxhall – CC BY SA 4.0

Using DNA and bone analysis, radio carbon dating and radiological evidence this was indeed proven…. King Richard III was finally reinterred at Leicester Cathedral in March 2015….

Tomb of Richard III – Photo credit : Isananni CC BY SA 3.0

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