Richard the Third of England dug up.

This story has fascinated me.

The last Plantagenet king was rumored to be buried in a certain village in England. In recent years, people concluded that the probable burial site was underneath what is now a parking lot. They did some digging, and they find bones.

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Through reconstruction, they guess that Richard looked like this: sort of a grim Quaker Oats man, dressed a style a couple centuries early.

The confirm for this all came from a man in Canada, whose mother was a 16th generation maternal-line descendent of Richard III’s sister. (All the woman’s ancestors in the line were women). The man’s DNA matched some of what they got from Richard’s skeletal remains.

Follow up articles on this find are focusing on what we really do know about Richard III’s reign in England. Since he was, well, bumped off, most of what was said about the man was that he was a villain. Most of the saying was done by the Tudors, who did the deed. Of course, Shakespeare got his pen in there for a whack.

If you look at history, you see that the kings and lords of Europe were thugs. Mobsters of a sort. The don with the most power got the title and got to set the rules. Life was tough for the thugs of 500 years ago, though maybe not as bad as for the bottom of the citizenry. The guys at the top got to eat the good food, but always had to looking behind their back at what the rival thug was up to.

In that light, it’s maybe no surprise that Richard ended up buried under a parking lot somewhere, for 500 years.

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