We have been asked to get ourselves into groups of around 4 or 5 to create a multimedia product that explores some aspect of the King Richard III story in an innovative way to try to entice visitors to the Centre. Target audience for this project;
Year 5 junior school students
Mature, inquisitive international audience
UK ‘A’-Level History students
Mid teens (14-18 yrs)
I started off by watching The King in the car park and The King laid to rest to generate idea’s and see what captured my attention the most. The history surrounding this is very controversial and a lot of people still argue about it and are very passionate about it 500 years on. King Richard III was killed in battle and it was believed he was then paraded naked on horse back to show that he was dead, where people stabbed and fired arrows at his corpse.
King Richard III was not born to be king, his brother was, but his brother died in battle and the throne was passed down to King Richard’s nephews, whom he was protector of. This is where the proper gander started. It is not clear what happened to the nephews, there is a lot of speculation surrounding it, some say King Richard III was a good fair king, well-regarded and admired for his chivalry, a loyal brother who also doted on his wife and sons, a born solider who commanded in battle by age 25. However, it is also rumoured that the Tudor invented the nasty myth about King Richard killing his nephews, whom had disappeared and became King 3 months after his brother’s death, which benefited Henry who was now on the throne. This then started the ruin of the Yorkshire born’s reputation, which was fuelled 100 years later when Shakespeare wrote about him.
Philliper Langley helps run the King Richard III society and believes he is a good king. She researched his possible burial location and raised over 10k in 2 weeks, by donations, to dig in Leicester’s social services car park for his bones. They started off by looking for church floors or walls but instead they found bones on day 1! right underneath the letter “R” which was painted on the floor in the car park. Philliper had said when she first arrived and saw the “R” that she felt something and that she was convinced they had found where he was buried. However, it was only day 1 and the chances of finding King Richard III so soon was very unlikely. They continued the dig and carefully recovered the bones, with the minor mishap of a pickaxe to the skull. The bones were scanned in 3D, had DNA tests done and were carbon dated. The bones endured 3 months of testing, everyone wanted to be sure. The CT scan was used to get a better look at the bones to see if they were any deformities and to help figure out what weapons were used to kill him in the battle of Bosworth.
The Tudor tampered with King Richard III’s perception to help Henry who was on the throne. They narrowed his eyes in paintings, along with making his fingers look pointy to give them the look of claws and gave him a very visible hunch back. They did this because during that time it was believed to have such look was a strike by god and seen as punishment, ergo making the rumours more believable. This is where the importance of the CT scan’s finding became important in trying to distinguish which rumours where correct or false. Yes he did have a hunch back but not an obvious one as shown in his paintings and that was rumoured. He had a slight higher shoulder and it wouldn’t have been seen when he was clothed or in armour and wouldn’t have effected him in any way. It was also shown in the CT scan that he had a sword slice in his skull from where a sword must have taken his helmet off in battle, dagger wounds to his body all over and that the fatal blow was a massive hole to his skull.
The carbon dating showed the bones to be in the age area that they were hoping for and slowly all the evidence started to point towards the bones actually being them of King Richard III. After 3 months of tests it was confirmed by DNA from a 17th descendant generation. King Richard III who died at the age of 32 in the battle of Bosworth had finally been found and has now been properly laid to rest 500 years on.
During all of these tests the skull was sent away to be reconstructed in both 3D and clay to give King Richard III a true appearance. After all the tampering with his portrait’s it is amazing that modern-day technology can right a wrong. This is what King Richard III looked like.
YorkMix (2013) Richard III heads for York (well, a model of the king). Available at: http://www.yorkmix.com/things-to-do/whats-on-york-richard-iii-head-yorkshire-museum/ (Accessed: 31 October 2015).
So what grabbed my attention? The nephews!!! what happened?! Philliper Langley is now concentrating her efforts on discovering the truth of the twins in the tower to clear King Richard’s name and I think that is a great place to start for this project. It is an ongoing project for Philliper and one that should be advertised and to keep this very historic investigation fresh.
What is the problem? The lack of interest in the 4 target audiences.
Now I need to figure out what the target audience is, who to work with and what the multi media product is!!!
Featured image reference; Hampton, J. (2015) DNA shows descendants with ties to king Richard III. Available at: http://hamptonroads.com/2015/04/dna-shows-descendants-ties-king-richard-iii (Accessed: 31 October 2015).