A horse, a horse…

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Richard III

Although it is said that Richard III never uttered the words given to him by Shakespeare, horses will be needed next weekend as re-enactors celebrate the 528th anniversary of the Battle of Bosworth Field in Leicestershire. To be held at the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre, events take place on both Saturday and Sunday when you can watch not only the re-enactors clad in armour but cannon being fired as well.

The interest in Richard III since his positive identification earlier this year could make this a popular weekend attraction. In fact, in death as in life, controversy and disagreement attends the man. Firstly there is argument about where he should be re-buried: York as the family descendants wish or Leicester where he has lain for over 500 years although in the cathedral, not the car park where he was found. The car park is now the possible location of a £3 million museum which will be created around one of our more interesting Kings.

But there is another body that has been found in the car park. Sealed in a lead lined coffin, and thus having a more stately funeral than the hurriedly created one for Richard, this person has yet to be identified. It does make you wonder what else lies in this car park?

Now a manuscript has come to light which goes to auction on August 21st at Mullocks in Ludlow that covers some of the events of the Wars of the Roses which ended with the death of Richard. Written in a Tudor hand, it has been suggested that this may have been the basis of Shakespeare’s interpretation for it talks of Richard having one shoulder higher than the other and a look about him that accords more with that of Shakespeare. Will this manuscript be bought to become one of the new museum’s exhibits showing how Shakespeare re-wrote history to please the Tudors? If that’s what happened.

Given all this interest, I fail to see how the Battle of Bosworth Field re-enactment can’t be a big crowd-puller. And the same will apply when the museum opens because I cannot imagine the controversy about Richard III will go away quietly!

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