Richard III heads for York (well, a model of the king)

2 May 2013 @ 10.50 am
| Entertainment
He’s coming home, he’s coming home. Well. a model of a bit of him, anyway. Photograph: The Richard III Society

The king’s head is heading for York. A model head and face of King Richard III, made famous after the discovery of his body was revealed earlier this year, will go on show at the Yorkshire Museum this summer.

Made from detailed scans of King’s Richard’s skull, the replica head will take pride of place in a new display looking at what is really known about the last Yorkist king.

It is part of York’’s city-wide programme of events marking the importance of Richard III to the city. The head will be on show from July 19 until October, arriving after being displayed in Leicester where the remains were discovered.

Andrew Morrison, head curator at York Museums Trust, is delighted to bring Tricky Dickie’s head home. “The discovery of his bones in Leicester has ignited a lot of interest in Richard III and his connections to the city,” he said.

“We will use the head as a centre piece to a new display looking at what we really know about the king – separating the facts from the fiction which so often surrounds him.””

King Richard’s reconstructed head, commissioned by the Richard III Society, was created by the forensic art team of the University of Dundee based on pin-point details from a CT scan of the king’s skull by Leicester Royal Infirmary.

This followed the discovery of his remains beneath the Greyfriars car park in August 2012 by a team of archaeologists from the University of Leicester.

The head will go on display in the Yorkshire Museum’’s medieval gallery, which also shows some of the museum’’s objects connected to the king. These include the Middleham Jewel, which was found at Middleham Castle, Richard’’s childhood home, and a silver boar badge which would have been worn by a loyal supporter of the king.

The reconstructed head is coming to York as part of a city-wide partnership to research and celebrate the Yorkist King. The City of York Council, York Minster, the University of York, York Museums Trust, the Richard III Society and the king’s descendants have all been working together to develop a lively programme of special events which will help reveal what life was really like in Yorkshire during the time of King Richard III. 
More details will be announced shortly.

The Yorkshire Museum will run a number of summer events connected to Richard III, including hands on activities, a display of Richard III related books in the museum library and an actor dressed as the King during the summer holidays.


King Richard III and York

1483AD – 1485AD

One of England’’s most infamous monarchs, Richard III (1452-1485) had close connections to York and Yorkshire, having spent much of his youth living at Middleham Castle. Richard courted the goodwill of both the council and the Minster clergy. On the day of his coronation, the mayor and alderman rode to Middleham to present wine and food to Richard’’s son Edward.

King Richard visited York several times during his short reign, and stayed for three weeks in 1483. He was met by the mayor and alderman, and was sprinkled with holy water at the entrance to the Minster.

Presents worth £450 were given to him. Richard’s son Edward was crowned Price of Wales at the Archbishop’s Palace behind the Minster.

York looked to Richard to help it at a time of economic decline, and actively championed his short reign. The city sent troops to support his cause, including 80 dispatched to support him after Henry Tudor’s invasion. They were too late and the Tudor era had begun.

“‘King Richard, late mercifully reigning over us, was through great treason… piteously slain and murdered, to the great heaviness of this city,’” reported the mayor’s serjeant of the mace a day after Richard’’s death at the Battle of Bosworth on August 22, 1485.

Source: The York Museums Trust