Less than a week after archaeologists determined that the bones found buried underneath a parking lot belonged to King Richard III two English cities are in dispute over which the remains belong to.
A team of scientists found Richard’s bones in the city of Leicester, located in the English midlands. He was killed in 1485 during the Battle of Bosworth, the culmination of a three decades-long war between the descendants of Henry VI hoping to gain their own seat at the throne. Richard III served as king for nearly 40 years and his reign was later adapted in William Shakespeare’s famous play, “Richard III.”
According to The New York Times, officials in the city of York - located barely 100 miles away from Leicester - have also laid claim to Richard’s bones. Representatives for each municipality have already attracted thousands of signatures for online petitions hoping for historical centers.
York politicians have alleged that the former king spent most of his life in the area, found in the northern region of England.
Skeptics have noted that both cities would reap great financial rewards from any tourist destination built within their limits. Leicester seems to be more likely to win the dispute because the city was Richard’s final resting place, but York’s portrayal of Leicester as little more than a temporary home of the king may not be entirely inaccurate.
A recent study of Richard’s notes and letters, as reported by Live Science, determined his dialect reflected the accent used by Englishmen who lived in the West Midlands during the 1400s.
There’s also been the contention over the kind of king Richard III really was. While some researchers have said Richard funded relief efforts for the poor, in Shakespeare’s production he’s written as a tyrannical anti-hero responsible for the deaths of his family members. Others have said the real Richard imprisoned, and eventually killed, his own children in the notorious Tower of London.
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