Tag Archives: King Richard III

Facts and Opinions that matter this week

CCM Tackaberry skates worn by Jean Béliveau when he scored his 500th goal, on February 11, 1971. These are at the lac aux Castors Pavilion, Mount Royal, Quebec, Canada. Photo by Simon Pierre Barrette via Wikipedia, Creative Commons

READ: Thank you, Jean Béliveau. Photo of the skates Béliveau wore for his 500th goal by Simon Pierre Barrette via Wikipedia, Creative Commons

Facts and Opinions this week features two elegant pieces about people who mattered in the worlds of sports and music: E. Kaye Fulton’s tribute to “glorious gentleman” Jean Béliveau (open), and Brian Brennan’s Brief Encounter with conductor Mario Bernardi, who veered off the beaten path (subscription).

From the academy, don’t miss the essay by economist Warwick Smith, who won a New Philosopher award for The perils of the last human: flaws in modern economics. Our fate is not determined, even by the economy, Smith insists: “The fact that our economic system is a social construct means that we have made a choice, even if an unconscious one, and that we can remake that choice.”

Also from the academy comes a call by John Wright to repair the shattered democracy in some Western countries,  Ideal democracy hears both whispers and shouts.

Rod Mickleburgh marked World AIDS Day with a profile of Julio Montanter, a global leader in the war on HIV/AIDS, and Michael Sasges looked into the history of one of the most popular pieces of season music and the man, John Mason Neale, who popularized O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.

Canadians of a certain age, and people in dozens of countries helped by her work, will remember humanitarian Lotta Hitschmanova, (AKA the “Atomic Mosquito”), profiled on on the 125th anniversary of her birth by Joyce Thierry Llewellyn.

Azerbaijan's Kelaghavi headscarfs are key to Azerbaijan culture. Photo by Retlaw Snellac, Creative Commons

Kelaghavi headscarfs are key to Azerbaijan culture. Photo by Retlaw Snellac, Creative Commons

In reports, we offer a photographic sample  of the cultural ‘intangibles’ UNESCO deems world-class treasures; a crime/science piece about how the cold case of the English King Richard III was solved 529 years after his killing; and a global report on transparency and corruption, in which it seems Nothing is rotten in Denmark.

Facts and Opinions columnists this week turned their attention to the far east and the United States.  Jonathan Manthorpe  nods at Shakespeare with Uneasy lies the head that wears Thailand’s Crown (paywall), and Tom Regan writes on the incendiary issue of police killings, Why the United States is perilous for young men.

We continue our ongoing work on energy and climate change issues, with upcoming stories on a pipeline protest on a British Columbia mountain, a video, and the third in Jim McNiven’s THOUGHTLINES series on oil price changes. Meantime, read Chris Wood’s column From Lima to Burnaby: the ‘Glocal’ Response to Climate (subscription), and drop  by our photo gallery, Pipeline Protest on Burnaby Mountain.

Finally, in case you missed them earlier:

Recent columns include On being a feminist by Tom Regan; Ferguson’s Damned Details, by Deborah Jones; and Jonathan Manthorpe on Zimbabwe, today – The Rise of “Gucci Grace,” Zimbabwe’s “First Shopper — and in Manthorpe’s own past, One man’s thrust for survival in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe.

Electric ink and aromapoetry  feature in Andrew Prescott’s science/arts piece about the much discussed “death of the book;” while Michael Sasges unearthed a research report that casts doubt on the effectiveness of bombing ISIS into submission, reported in  
Verbatim: Bombing to lose; air attacks bolster insurgents.

In arts, fans of the TV series Homeland will appreciate a piece about Carrie Mathison, and mental illness on TV, by Meron Wondemaghen, and an appreciation by Susan Fast: Michael Jackson: Posthuman.  Marguerite Johnson writes on grim fairy tales in Reader beware: the nasty new edition of the Brothers Grimm.

Ursula K. Le Guin’s call to action is worth a second look: F&O’s page includes the transcript and video of the American author’s attack on “ignorance and greed,” and demand for respect for artists in a perilous world in need of writers who “see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being.”

READ: Richard III – case closed, 529 years later. Skeleton of Richard III. University of Leicester photo

READ: Richard III – case closed, 529 years later. Skeleton of Richard III. University of Leicester photo

 

 

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Richard III – case closed, 529 years later

Remains of English King Richard III, whose remains were found under a car park in 2012. Photo courtesy of the University of Leicester

Remains of English King Richard III, whose remains were found under a car park in 2012. Photo courtesy of the University of Leicester

 

December 2, 2014

A cold case more than five centuries old was closed this month, by researchers who announced they’d identified the remains of England’s King Richard III — with 99.999 per cent certainty.

But the findings opened deeper mysteries, and a social conundrum that could only have been conjured by molecular science. The male lineage of man known as King Richard does not match with Britain’s royals, they said, raising the possibility of a cuckold in the pasts of the Plantagenet and Tudor clans, and even of Britain’s current royal family. 

The scientists began studying DNA from a skeleton found in 2012 under a car park on the historical site of Greyfriars Abbey in Leicester, England, where Richard III was killed in 1485 in the Battle of Bosworth.

The researchers said they made the match by comparing mitochondrial DNA from the bones to female-line relatives of the king, Michael Ibsen and Wendy Duldig. 

But they found the male line of descent broken “at one or more point in the line between Richard III and living male-line relatives descended from Henry Somerset, 5thDuke of Beaufort,” they reported in the science journal Nature Communications (paywall). 

The research was performed by geneticist Dr Turi King and history professor Kevin Schürer, both with the University of Leicester.

“While the Y-chromosomal markers differ, the mitochondrial genome shows a genetic match between the skeleton and the maternal line relatives,” they reported, adding that the chance of “a false-paternity event is fairly high after so many generations.”

The finding solves one of the biggest royal mysteries in British history. As the researchers noted in their report,

Richard III is one of the most famous and controversial English kings. His ascension to the throne in 1483, following the death of his brother, Edward IV, has been seen as contentious, involving, as it did, discrediting the legitimacy of Edward’s marriage and therefore the claim of both of Edward’s sons to the throne. Later, as yet unproven accusations arose that Richard had his two nephews murdered to solidify his own claim. Richard’s death two years later on August 22nd 1485 at the Battle of Bosworth marked the end of the Plantagenet dynasty, which had ruled for over 300 years, and the beginning of the Tudor period. Richard III was the last English king to be killed in battle, he became one of Shakespeare’s most notorious villains, and is one of the few English monarchs whose precise resting place was lost: the mystery surrounding the fate of his remains persisting to the present day.

Historical records report that after Richard III was killed on the battlefield, age 32, his remains were brought back to Leicester and buried in the medieval church of the Grey Friars. The friary was dissolved in 1538 under the orders of King Henry VIII, with most of the buildings being torn down in the following years. Approximately 125 years later, a rumour arose that Richard III’s remains had been disinterred during the dissolution of the monasteries and thrown into the river Soar in Leicester. However, it had long been thought that this rumour was unsubstantiated and it was therefore expected that the grave of Richard III should still lie within any remains of the Grey Friars church. While historical records and the subsequent analysis thereof have long indicated the approximate location of the Grey Friars friary, and its likely situation in relation to the modern urban landscape of Leicester, the exact site of Richard III’s grave had been lost in the 527 years since his death.

“We may have solved one historical puzzle, but in so doing, we opened up a whole new one,” Schurer told BBC News

— Deborah Jones

 

 

016 Richard III_University of Leicester.jpg017 Richard III_University of Leicester.jpg015 Richard III_University of Leicester.jpg013 Richard III_University of Leicester.jpg018 Richard III portrait Image Credit _ © Society of Antiquaries of London.jpg001 Dr Turi King_Professor Kevin Schürer_University of Leicester.jpg008 Wendy Duldig_Michael Ibsen_University of Leicester.jpg

 

Further reading:

Identification of the remains of King Richard III: Nature Communications, December 2, 2014
Richard III’s DNA throws up infidelity surprise: BBC News
Wikipedia page for King Richard III

 

Copyright Bead Shop Media 2014

 

Facts and Opinions is an online journal of select and first-rate reporting and analysis, in words and images: a boutique for slow journalism, without borders. Independent, non-partisan and employee-owned, F&O performs journalism for citizens, funded entirely by readers. We do not carry advertising or solicit donations from foundations or causes.

Subscribe by email to our free FRONTLINES, a blog announcing new works, and the odd small tale. Look for evidence-based reporting in DISPATCHES; commentary, analysis and creative non-fiction in THINK; and image galleries in PHOTO-ESSAYS. Some of our original works are behind a paywall, available with a $1 site day pass, or with a subscription from $2.95/month – $19.95/year. If you value journalism, please help sustain us.

 

 

 

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