Editorial: Is now the summer of our disinterment?

 

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It is hard not to get carried away. After all, if the Battle of Bosworth took place in a nondescript field in Upton, and the church of Greyfriars where slain King Richard was buried is under a council office car park in Leicester, then might not the skeleton found there in all likelihood be Britain's favourite villainous royal?

And then we learn, thanks to the University of Leicester's Richard Taylor, who led the dig, that the bones carry both signs of battle wounds and also of Richard's "rudely stamped" deformities. With so much encouragement, it is no wonder that the topic was even briefly trending on Twitter yesterday.

It is time, though, for a note of caution. Given that Greyfriars was part of a centuries-old Franciscan friary, Richard is unlikely to be the only man ever buried there. We can only hope that DNA testing proves the remains to be his. But the chances must be very slim indeed.

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