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Did Richard III undergo painful treatment for spine?

Portrait of King Richard III Credit: University of Leicester

King Richard the Third, whose bones were discovered in a car park in Leicester, could have undergone painful medical treatments for his spinal curvature, according to research from a University of Leicester researcher.

In the late medieval period, one of the cures for spinal curvature, or scoliosis, was "traction". Traction worked on the same principle on which “the Rack” worked as an instrument of torture.

The patient would be tied under the armpits and round the legs. The ropes were then pulled at either end, often on a wooden roller, to stretch the patient’s spine.

Richard III would certainly have been able to afford this expensive medical care – and his physicians would have been well aware of the standard “traction” methods for treating the condition.


Midlands hospitals ready to take on patients from Leeds

Surgeons in theatre
Surgeons in theatre Credit: PA

Birmingham Children's Hospital and Glenfield Hospital in Leicester say they are ready to take on patients from Leeds General Infirmary.

Children's congenital heart surgery service has been suspended at the Yorkshire hospital whilst an internal review is carried out by the Care Quality Commission.

It's after data suggested a death rate twice the national average.

Giles Peak is the Head of Children's Heart Surgery at Glenfield Hospital. He has confirmed to ITV News Central that the hospital is ready to take on patients that need surgery.

He is awaiting a decision to be made in Leeds as to where the patients need to go.

A spokesperson for Birmingham Children's Hospital said they were also ready to take on patients in urgent cases, should the need arise.

For more on this read ITV News.


York MP: Let independent committee decide Richard III reburial

The final resting place of King Richard III should be decided by an independent committee, the MP for York Central has claimed.

The remains of the monarch were discovered in a car park in Leicester last year.

He is due be re-interred at Leicester Cathedral next year despite campaigns to bring him to York.

King Richard III did a lot for York and the North of England and during his life made arrangements to be buried here. He was not well treated in Leicester after his death and I think his soul would rest in peace back in York.

It is dreadful that some people are still fighting the War of the Roses. We should seek reconciliation, wherever Richard is reburied. I want the Government to set up an independent committee to decide how, where and when the reburial takes place, and to involve both cities and people from both North and South.

– Hugh Bayley MP (Labour, York Central)



The face of Richard III officially unveiled to the world's media

After centuries of speculation, the face of King Richard III has been unveiled

A reconstruction of the head of King Richard III has been unveiled to the world's media in London following yesterday's announcement that his skeleton had been found under a Leicester car park.

The model was built using a CT scan taken of the king's skull by the archaeological dig.

The unveiling is being held at The Society of Antiquaries in London.

Read about the discovery of the King of England in a Leicester Car Park here.


Richard III Twitter jokes


Richard III not the last Englishman to take ages getting out of a multi-storey car park.


Richard III: How researchers know it is him

  • The skeleton had suffered severe trauma to the skull and had metal arrow in its back
  • It had a curved spine, consistent with accounts of Richard III's appearance
  • The remains were found in the area where the king was recorded to have been buried after his death at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.
  • DNA taken from the skeleton has been analysed and compared with that of Michael Ibsen, a descendant of Richard III's family.
  • Radiocarbon tests and genealogical studies have taken place

First full picture of 'Richard III' skeleton

The University of Leicester releases an image of the first full picture of the skeleton believed to be Richard III.
The University of Leicester releases an image of the first full picture of the skeleton believed to be Richard III. Credit: University of Leicester

The University of Leicester has released an image of the first full picture of the uncovered skeleton thought to be Richard III, ahead a news conference this morning to confirm whether or not the remains belong to the late king.

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