Home Science & Technology Richard III death injuries revealed after forensic analysis

Richard III death injuries revealed after forensic analysis


According to new scientific research, Richard III was most likely to have been killed by two blows to the head and one to his pelvis.

The English king was killed at the Battle of Bosworth on August 22, 1485.

Forensic teams at the University of Leicester have now revealed Richard III suffered 11 injuries before his death, three of which may have been fatal.

Modern techniques were used on his 500-year-old skeleton to determine his injuries and the medieval weapons used.

His remains were found under a car park in Leicester in 2012.

The results of forensic analysis, published in The Lancet, have now shown he sustained nine wounds to the skull and two to the postcranial skeleton.

Researchers said three of these “had the potential to cause death quickly”.

Forensic teams at the University of Leicester have now revealed Richard III suffered 11 injuries before his death, three of which may have been fatal

Forensic teams at the University of Leicester have now revealed Richard III suffered 11 injuries before his death, three of which may have been fatal

Sarah Hainsworth, study author and professor of materials engineering, said: “Richard’s injuries represent a sustained attack or an attack by several assailants with weapons from the later medieval period.

“Wounds to the skull suggest he was not wearing a helmet, and the absence of defensive wounds on his arms and hands indicate he was still armored at the time of his death.”

Investigators said they believed the postcranial injuries, including one to the pelvis, might have been inflicted after Richard’s death, as his armor would have protected him had he been alive.

Guy Rutty, from the East Midlands pathology unit, said the two fatal injuries to the skull were likely to have been caused by a sword, a staff weapon such as halberd or bill, or the tip of an edged weapon.

He said: “Richard’s head injuries are consistent with some near-contemporary accounts of the battle, which suggest Richard abandoned his horse after it became stuck in a mire and was killed while fighting his enemies.”

King Richard’s skeleton is due to be reinterred at Leicester Cathedral in March.

Richard III was born in 1452 at Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire. His coronation took place in Westminster Abbey in 1483.

He had one of the shortest reigns in British history – 26 months.

Richard III was the last English king to die in battle, killed at Bosworth in 1485.

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James is a professor in Science. His writing skills brought him to BelleNews. He enjoys writing articles for the Science and Technology category. James often finds himself reading about the latest gadgets as the topic is very appealing to him. He likes reading and listening to classical music.