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Richard III

A team of specialists have discovered the body of Richard III - and a Leeds historian is piecing together just what happened to the man who gave battle in vain.

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Royal Armouries curator begins piecing together Richard III's death

A Royal Armouries expert has begun piecing together what happened to the Yorkist King Richard III in the moments leading up to his death.

Royal Armouries curator Bob Woosnam-Savage formed part of an expert team that confirmed the identity of the "skeleton in the car park" as those of England's last king to fall in battle - Richard III.

"Richard was described as leading a mounted charge against Henry Tudor in an attempt to kill him. Cutting down Tudor's standard bearer, Sir William Brandon, there is the possibility Richard's momentum was stalled by marshy ground, a feature confirmed by the recent archaeology of the Bosworth battlefield. His horse stuck, or slain, Richard, fully armoured, continues fighting manfully on foot, maybe only a few feet away from his intended target, Henry Tudor.

"**His armour, successfully protecting him up to this time, probably began to fail under ferocious attack. There is no evidence to say how long this sustained attack lasted but at some point it would appear that his helmet was forcibly removed (possibly cut or ripped away).

It is perhaps from these moments that the skeleton appears to begin to provide some glimpses of a possible scenario, regarding the dying moments of Richard III.

"At this time, Richard immediately receives more blows; a number of individual wounds from bladed weapons to the head, particularly to the top and rear of the skull, indicate a sustained and repeated attack on an unprotected head.

"However the skeleton bears other wounds which, if it were that of Richard, can only be explained as having been delivered after any armour was removed from the body. These 'insult injuries' might have included the small stab wound to the face; a stab in the back from behind, and perhaps most tellingly of all, a stab wound to the buttocks. **

– Bob Woosnam-Savage, Royal Armouries Curator

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