Recent archaeological excavations in Kent by the University of Leicester have pinpointed the probable landing point for Caesar’s invasion of Britain. No full study on this important historical event has taken place in the last 100 years and it was widely thought amongst academics that both of Caesar’s incursions into Britain had been regarded as ‘failures’ in the Roman world ‘ With new evidence, it appears this may not have been the case, and they were perhaps seen as great advances for Rome in that the armies passed beyond the ‘known world’. (Britons and the Irish were the ‘people behind the North Wind.)
What is also becoming clear is that the Romans and Britons may not all have been outright enemies. There is evidence that treaties were made with local British petty kings and chieftains in Caesar’s time, and these led to the quick capitulation of southern England in the later Claudian invasion. Recent archaeology has shown that a number of tribes were already trading with the Mediterranean world and were quite welcoming of the Roman armies.
The Romans’ own propaganda has perhaps delayed some of the study into the interaction between the Romans and native Britons. In their records they speak of people wearing nothing but animal hides and ‘knowing not the use of raiment’ and yet we know from archaeology that people have woven clothes in Britain since the later Neolithic. No mention is made of the trade we also know happened (lots of fine imported wine and pottery!), and the Druids had a hatchet job done on them (quite literally at Anglesey.)
It seems important to remember that records, even if kept with some accuracy, will reflect the bias of the writers, and may have been used as propoaganda tools–here to convince that the Druids needed to be eradicated and that the Britons needed to be ‘civilised’ (ie Romanised and under Roman control.)
Richard’s gone to Galway! Lucky man. No wonder he’s smiling. Well, it’s The ‘Richard III Discovered’ Exhibition that’s gone, but he’s there in spirit, I’m sure.
Between 19 – 24 June this year, Professor Turi King gave a Special Plenary Lecture in Dubrovnik, Republic of Croatia at the 10th International Society for Applied Biological Sciences (ISABS) Conference in Dubrovnik, Republic of Croatia. Her subject was ‘Richard III: the resolution of a 500 year old cold case’, and provided an insight into the ground-breaking discovery of the mortal remains.
Dr Turi King knows her stuff, so I’m sure the talk was very well received.
I suppose it was only a matter of time before ‘they’ made a link between Richard and Jack the Ripper. Nay, I jest! The articles below concern a search for the grave of one of the Ripper’s victim. And who is searching? Why, the same experts/scientists who found Richard. (Or should I say ‘helped to find’ Richard?) Writer Patricia Cornwell is funding the exercise.
Leicester Cathedral and its project supporters (angels?) have done something wonderful and generous: they have digitized Richard III’s “Book of Hours” and posted it on the cathedral’s website.
What’s so wonderful and generous about that?
A Live Science article announced the digitization. Go thou and devour the beautiful tome Richard used (perhaps both before and after he was king), the Book of Hours he left behind in his tent before the Battle of Bosworth. Margaret Beaufort ended up with the book, as her husband ended up with the tent’s tapestries. Beaufort subsequently gave Richard’s book away.
Pages are missing from it — removed perhaps after the Reformation, as prayers to saints were involved. It is a miracle the book survived at all. It is a second miracle that the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Richard III Society, and the University of Leicester financially supported this project. A third miracle is that Richard’s personal prayer-book is now available to the world.
Car parks have become Aladdin’s caves for archaeology and things as wonderful as the remains of Richard III. Coventry’s lost history is now coming to light. Be patient with the Coventry Telegraph site, I found it as much a pain for ads and slowness as the Leicester Mercury!
Back in 2013, Dr Philip Shaw of Leicester University gave a demonstration of how Richard might have spoken, putting into the spoken word two of Richard’s personal letters. He concluded that from Richard’s spelling, he would have sounded as if he came from the West Midlands – Dudley, Birmingham, Ludlow, or thereabouts.
This sample of Dr Shaw’s “Richard” is in circulation again (which I know courtesy of Jenny Mcfie – thank you, Jenny), so maybe those who have not heard it before would like to hear it now:-
Listening to him is very strange indeed. Today’s royalty and aristocrats all sound the same. Juicy fruit from the same superior plum tree. But back then it seems they were identifiable by the place they came from. As we all were and mostly still are. Richard spent a lot of his childhood in Ludlow Castle, hence the Ludlow-area accent. So, did Edward and George sound like that too? But what did Henry VII sound like? Any lingering Welsh from his first fourteen years? And what of Anne Neville, Elizabeth Woodville and Margaret Beaufort? Fascinating thoughts. I’d love to know what Warwick the Kingmaker had to say for himself.
One last thought about Richard. As he spent most of his adult life in the north, did he end up with a Yorkshire accent? We will never know, of course.
Go back further and they all sounded French anyway.
Where’s that danged time machine when we need it?
All credit for the nitty-gritty scientific work done by this time, but never let it be forgotten that the vital original groundwork was done by others, such as Philippa Langley and John Ashdown-Hill.
The above article is very interesting, although the picture that went with it is of Richard’s remains. I know this still upsets many, so I have changed it for one of my own pictures.
The text doesn’t only concern Richard, although it does to a great extent. Differing views expressed, of course, and certain people not mentioned at all, but if all that is ignored, it is very informative.