Archaeologists pinpoint Battle of Bosworth: My Kingdom For A…Aw Fuck It

It’s a deliciously good day for history my little nerdlings. On Friday archeologists finally came out and announced they have confirmed the much disputed spot of the Battle of Bosworth.

You may remember this particular battle from Shakespeare’s Richard the III, it was the last time an English king died in battle. After Richard’s death Henry Tudor was crowned Henry VII and the war of the Roses was officially ended.

Archeologists discovered the site after years of careful survey with metal detectors, cataloging artifacts, and narrowing down on the very spot they believed Richard perished.

From the article at the UK Guardian:

One of the crucial finds, the largest of the cannonballs nicknamed “the holy grapefruit” by the archaeologists, was found just behind one of Oliver’s barns. Another key discovery was a silver boar no bigger than a thumbnail, battered but still snarling in rage after 500 years. It was found on the edge of a field still called Fen Hole, which in medieval times was a marsh that played a crucial role in the battle, protecting the flank of Henry Tudor’s much smaller army. The marsh was drained centuries ago, but Oliver said it still gets boggy in very wet summers.

After a charge in which Richard came within almost a sword’s reach of Henry, he lost his horse in the marsh, a moment immortalised in the despairing cry Shakespeare bestowed upon him: “A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!”

“The fact that this little boar is Richard’s personal emblem, and made in silver gilt, means that it can only have been given to one of the closest members of his retinue. The man who wore this would have fought and died at Richard’s side,” Foard said.

“If you were to ask me what was the one find I would dream of making, which would really nail the site, it would be Richard’s boar emblem on the edge of a marsh.”

Other finds include a gold ring twisted like a pretzel, and an inch of gilded sword mount from a weapon of such high status that it can only have belonged to one of the aristocrats who led the battle forces.”

Overall an excellent find for historians and history nerds alike.

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~ by K. Ritcheson on February 22, 2010.

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