Richard the Third has finally been laid to rest. At least what’s left of him, anyway.
To those of you who might not be quite familiar with the character, he was the “My kingdom for a horse!” guy in the Shakespearean play which bears his name. He was largely depicted as a nasty no-good who had his own nephews murdered to secure his claim to the English throne.
At least most think he had them murdered. He invited them to the Tower of London (which is not a tower, by the way) in 1483 and they were never seen again. So he either had them killed or it’s the longest game of hide-and-seek the world has ever seen.
He was the last British monarch to die on the battlefield. Later monarchs weren’t nearly as dumb and kept well away from the battlefield.
His eventual undoing and subsequent killing paved the way for another no-good to ascend to the British throne namely Henry VII, who was the father of the infamous Henry VIII. Henry the VIII is the one who was married six times. He was twice divorced and had two of his six wives beheaded, all while completing the split with the Catholic Church at the time. Needless to say, he’s not in the Vatican’s Hall of Fame.
Richard III’s skeleton had been discovered unceremoniously buried under a parking lot. British police immediately undertook an investigation and rounded up suspects and persons of interest. I wish them luck since his murder happened more than 500 years ago. Still, the law’s the law and it was, then as now, illegal to assassinate the king, so someone must be brought to justice.
The real quarreling soon began over who would get to bury the skeleton. Two communities laid claim to the skeleton and made no bones about it. Millions of tourist dollars were at stake, so it promised to be some fight. Souvenir-making companies were churning out thousands of trinkets like key chains, refrigerator magnets and “My brother went to see the remains of Richard III and all I got was this lousy T-shirt” clothing.
Richard also had scoliosis (curvature of the spine) and his skeleton bears this out. So you can see how early detection and treatment were just as important then as they are now. I guess you can say he was the original Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Some people wanted to rehabilitate his character in light of the discovery. They wanted to “bury the hatchet,” so to speak, just as one of his attackers did into the back of his skull as evidenced by the nasty trauma to his surviving remnants. He died in 1485 and is considered by many to be the last of the medieval kings. You might say he put the “evil” in medieval.
Last, archaeologists were able to figure that he lost his last battle because he was a coward. When they finally found and unearthed his skeleton, it didn’t have any guts.
Congratulations to this week’s winner, Frank Klunk. He correctly guessed that “P. + N. = T. on a C. B.” was “Positive + Negative = Terminals on a Car Battery.” The word “positive” was listed in last week’s column.
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