Richard III - 2nd October 1452 - 22nd August 1485
Who decides if somebody is to be admired or is brave enough to be called a hero?
Who decides if someone is so contemptuous that he should be called a villain?
We only have the writings of men of learning who may or may not have witnessed events in the past, but whose version and personal views of these events have left their mark on our perception of our English kings. Some are described as able kings, just kings, tall and handsome, a man worthy of the title hero. Then there are the kings that are incapable, unreasonable and treacherous and their physical descriptions are usually ugly, dark, short, a hunchback! It seems to me that, nearly always, kings in the villainous category are preceded by kings in the hero category. King John followed Richard I, Edward II followed Edward I, Richard III followed Edward IV, the list goes on. Our modern kings fared no better Edward VII followed Victoria and Edward VIII followed George V. Apart from the last two Edwards, the image of these men that history had placed in my young head was not unlike The Hooded Claw, a evil caped villain who plotted his victims downfall.
In 1485 the action I witnessed was REAL A real BATTLE, real lives!
The images below were taken in 2012 and tell Richards Story.
What was a shock to me was the last moments in the life of Richard III. The re-enactment of the kings death was based on the evidence of written accounts in the two years after his death, and the results of the 4th February makes it all the more poignant for me, and hopefully my photographs go some way in giving us a glimpse of how Richard III ended his days.
Five hundred and twenty eight years later Richards remains are found with his wrists tied, his body buried in a grave that was too small for him at Grey Friars in Leicester.
I have followed Richards story for a long time, read many books about him and I can truly say that the past six months has been both sad and thought provoking.
When Dr Jo Appleby read out her findings and we saw for the first time the bound skeletal remains I knew that we were looking at the body of Richard III, and I am not ashamed to say that I did have a tear in eye.