By Patricia Treble - Tuesday, February 5, 2013 - 0 Comments
Josephine Tey’s 1951 detective novel ignited a fascination for the ‘poisonous bunch-back’d toad’
So it was him after all. It was always likely that the bones of a man unearthed last September from beneath a parking lot in the English Midlands city of Leicester would be those of King Richard III. The most notorious monarch in English history—thanks to Shakespeare’s excoriating portrait of him as the man who murdered his young nephews and seized the throne—died at nearby Bosworth Field in 1485, the last English king to be killed in battle. The man under the concrete was found, more or less, where tradition said he would be. His skull was cleaved by something like an axe and there was a barbed arrowhead between two vertebrae; as well, he had severe scoliosis—just like Shakespeare’s “poisonous bunch-back’d toad.” On Feb. 4, archaeologists announced the promising indicators had been confirmed by DNA comparison with Michael Ibsen, the Canadian-born descendant of Richard’s sister, Anne of York. The bones belonged to Richard III.