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The House Of Plantagenet were the principal cause of the "Wars Of The Roses", in which Richard distinguished himself.) On Edward's death, he seized the throne from Edward's son (called Edward V, though he was never actually crowned), declaring him and his younger brother Richard of York bastards. (Traditionally, Richard had his nephews murdered in the Tower of London; this has been much disputed since at least late Tudor times.) A rebellion led by Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, arose, and Richard was killed fighting for his kingdom at Bosworth Field. Richard's traditional reputation was largely formed by Sir Thomas More's History of king Richard the thirde, which (possibly based on the reminiscences of John Morton, Bishop of Ely) depicts Gloucester as a hunch-backed, withered-armed Machiavellian villain. More's account formed the basis for William Shakespeare's Richard III, which has probably been the most influential account of Richard's life and character — despite its obvious historical shortcomings — and has indeed tended to color perceptions of the entire Late Mediaeval period. Nevertheless, Richard's rehabilitation started fairly early. In the reign of James I (i.e., after the death of the last of the Tudors), the antiquarian Sir George Buck discovered the suppressed Titulus Regius that set forth the Parliamentary explanation for Richard's assumption of the throne and claimed he had seen a letter (now lost, if it ever existed at all) from Edward V's sister, Elizabeth of York, which established the friendly relations between them, and wrote his History of King Richard III in an attempt to moderate the king's negative image. Unfortunately, Buck died insane, and his history was published only after his death, by his grandson (1646). Nevertheless, the concept of a Richard slandered by Henry Tudor (considered by most a man of few scruples) gained a strong following, and has influenced historians, either positively or negatively, ever since. The fate of the Princes was never certainly established. The last sighting of the boys alive seems to have been around July, 1483, shortly before Richard's coronation. Stories of their death varied wildly: some said they had been poisoned, others drowned, others stabbed — but the most accepted version was that attested by Thomas More, that the princes had been smothered and buried secretly under a staircase in the Tower. Bones found there in 1674 under a staircase (as More had said, though he also said he had heard that Richard had had them disinterred and buried elsewhere) were declared to be theirs by the then king, Charles II. The identification is by no means certain; the bones were last examined in 1934, and it was determined at that time that not all of them were even human. Their age, sex, and date of burial have been disputed (though most experts agree they are pre-pubertal); there has even been some speculation that they're the remains of ceremonial sacrifices from Roman times. The dean and chapter of Westminster Abbey, where the bones are inurned, have refused to allow further testing, as has Queen Elizabeth II, who will not allow DNA analysis of the remains or of available remains of any known relatives of the Princes. Popular depictions of Richard since Shakespeare's plays have generally veered back and forth from an evil depiction (Richard may be considered the patron saint of the Historical Villain Upgrade) to a revisionist version in which Richard, though appearing a somewhat cynical Deadpan Snarker, is nevertheless a fundamentally decent human being — often the only decent human being in what is otherwise a Deadly Decadent Court. He is often portrayed as a creepy old man when he died at only 33. He was also a Warrior Prince and the best warrior in England second only to his brother the king. Richard's remains were unearthed in 2012 and, using DNA from two descendants of his sister, identified as his in 2013. Whether the popular view of this divisive king will change (and if so, how) is anyone's guess at this point. The remains show signs of scoliosis (a curved spine) - which would have given him uneven shoulders but not a hunchback - but there's no signs of the other deformities claimed by Tudor propagandists. Not to be confused with the current Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, Queen Elizabeth II's first cousin, who is (so far as we know) not planning to usurp the throne. He is, however, a patron of the Richard III Society UK.Richard, Duke of Gloucester (1452 - 1485), from 1483 King Richard III, was the sixth son of Richard, 3rd Duke of York, and brother of King Edward IV of England, who had seized the throne from the reigning king, Henry VI. (The complicated relationships of the various branches of
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