On examination, Richard's skull presented a number of wounds, two of which were massive. The first wound examined is consistent with a halberd or something similar being used. The second was a jagged hole where a bladed weapon had been thrust right through the bone, resulting in an indention opposite this wound, showing that the blade had penetrated into the kings head to a depth of 10.5cm.
Both injuries would have ended the kings life, but which came first?
What doe's history tell us?
Of course, we can never know who stuck that last blow, but one intriguing piece of evidence points to the fact that
Rhys ap Thomas may have been Richard's nemesis.
And very proud he was of it too!
Made out of Welsh oak, only the three valance's are considered to be from the original bed, it is one of the side valances that may prove that the Rhys ap Thomas legend is true and that this treacherous Welshman did indeed strike the fatal blow against Richard III. A scene carved into the wood, depicts two mounted knights facing one another, between them stands a soldier with a halberd, it is this soldier that is thought to be Rhys Ap Thomas.
The bed is dated to about 1505, the same time that Henry VII appointed the Welshman to his privy council and made him a Knight of the Garter.
There's no better way of boasting how you climbed the ladder of success, never mind that you let the victor of
Bosworth walk all over you, than carving your greatest achievement on your most prized possession.
Rhys ap Thomas is said to have been "a man of integrity and honour " and that of course is a matter of opinion.