Report February 2016

Report on monthly talk on Friday 19th Feb 2016
Members and visitors at the Kineton and District Local History Group’s meeting last Friday were royally entertained and informed by archaeologist Richard Buckley as he described the famous discovery of Richard III in a Leicester city municipal car park.
Richard Buckley is the Director of Leicester University Archaeological Services, which undertook the excavation at the instigation of several enthusiastic individuals and groups, who raised the money and carried out background research. The story is well known as a result of the spectacular success of what was reckoned by archaeologists to be a highly speculative part of the investigation, aimed more realistically at finding evidence for the medieval friary in which Richard’s remains were allegedly unceremoniously buried. Dr Buckley gave us the sort of insights which only somebody on the spot and involved in the digging could give. We had the story “from the horse’s mouth”, even his first words (unprintable) when shown the distorted skeleton revealed in almost the first scrape in the first trial trench.
We heard how Leicester developed from Roman beginnings to become a thriving medieval town, with a number of religious houses around it, including the Grey Friars where the King was finally interred. Richard’s progress on the day before the battle of Bosworth included a stay at the White Boar (the King’s crest), which rapidly changed its name to the Blue Boar following the triumph of Henry Tudor. We heard and saw how the spinal deformity and the wounds on the bones matched contemporary descriptions of his death, and subsequent mutilation. Scientific dating and the detailed DNA trail confirmed the identification. Following his reburial in Leicester Cathedral last April perhaps it is no coincidence that since then Leicester City Football Club fortunes have transformed to take them to the top of the table. Even the name of their owners – King Power International – now seems prophetic.
Following a short question session Vice Chairman Roger Gaunt gave the vote of thanks for an informative, entertaining and well illustrated talk, then members and visitors from as far afield as Rugby and Staffordshire adjourned for convivial teas, coffees and biscuits. On Friday 11th March the Group has its AGM and supper at at the Kineton Village Hall at 7.30, at which Stephen Wass promises to give us a seasonal entertainment.
DF 22.02.2016