‘R’ Marked the Place by Colin Whiterod
‘My kingdom for a horse’, cried Richard III
He called in pain, in vain for no one heard.
Moments later, he was dead
A halberd blow to the back of his head.
He fought manfully to the very end
Hacked and abused he could not fend,
His body dragged from Bosworth Field
His naked frame 10 scars revealed.
Defeated monarch in unmarked grave
His scoliosed skeleton concave.
A victim of medieval war
Decomposing through his every pore.
We move on – seventeen generations passed
A car park overhead: no questions asked.
In five hundred years, a discovery made
In Leicester, with an archaeologist’s spade.
A near unbelievable, remarkable thing,
The human remains of a Plantagenet king.
‘Bottled spider, foul hunch-back’s toad’ as Shakespeare said
Or has history for centuries this man misread ?
Kind and good or murderous brute
Insufficient evidence, it remains in dispute,
But this anointed king deserves some peace
A respectful burial and a final release.
Quest for a King by Adrienne Connor
Long after the battle had ended,
And the wounds had bled themselves dry,
A skeleton was found in a car park
With a motto of "Loyaulte me Lie".
No tomb of white alabaster
Or effigy picked out in gold,
But a crown tossed aside in a thorn bush
For Dickon was bought and sold.
Defiled, desecrated and naked
Through Leicester the body was led
To a makeshift grave at Greyfriars
The last Plantagenet was dead.
When the Priory crumbled to ruin
Tarmac and stone covered the spot
And the flesh of that poor broken body
Was quietly left there to rot.
But the years couldn't silence the rumours
Of murder, incest and worse –
A hunchback, a cripple, a monster;
Immortalised in Shakespeare's verse.
Was he really the evil uncle?
There were many who didn't agree,
So they searched till they found his body
And the truth for the world to see.
Now all the realm will pay homage
In a cathedral fit for the best
Loyal brother, wise ruler, King Richard!
At last we will lay you to rest.