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Rare silver badge to stay in York
A RARE silver badge worn by followers of Richard III has been bought by the Yorkshire Museum thanks to the generosity of local organisations and the general public.
The silver gilt livery badge, which is thought to date back to 1483 is in the form of a boar, a symbol of Richard III, and was found by a metal detectorist in 2010 near Stillingfleet.
It is one of only a relatively small number ever found and because it is silver-gilt it would have once belonged to someone of high status.
An appeal by the museum hoped to raise the £2,000 needed to buy the badge, but significantly more money was donated, allowing the museum to now conserve, research and display the badge in ways which previously would not have been possible.
The funds to purchase the badge were raised through local public donations. The Richard III Society also pledged £2,000 which will be used to professionally clean the badge, carry out further research and to create a display.
The news comes as archaeologists working on a dig in Leicester announced the discovery of human remains yesterday, and the bones are widely believed to be those of Richard III, who grew up at Middleham Castle and was a regular visitor to York.
Richard III had planned to have been buried at York Minster, but is thought to have been buried in Leicester after his defeat at the Battle of Bosworth by Henry Tudor in 1485.
Natalie McCaul, assistant curator of archaeology, said: “It is very exciting to hear the developments regarding the possible burial site of Richard III. There is a long way to go in proving the bones found do actually belong to him and a lot of tests will need to be carried out before anyone knows for sure. But we will be eager to learn of the outcome in what could be one of the most important discoveries in recent times.
“Whatever the outcome, this discovery has once again raised the profile of one of our most fascinating monarchs who has such a strong association with North Yorkshire, which can only be a good thing.”
Richard III, who ruled for two years between 1483 and 1485, was very popular in the city both before and after he was king. On his death the council made a special entry in the House Book lamenting his passing and remembering how many good things he had done for York.
York looked to Richard to help it at a time of economic decline, and actively championed him. The city sent troops to support his cause, including 80 dispatched to support him after Henry Tudor’s invasion.
Richard Taylor, from the University of Leicester, said: “What we have uncovered is truly remarkable and today we will be announcing to the world that the search for King Richard III has taken a dramatic new turn.”
He said “DNA testing will take between eight and 12 weeks and the remains are already being analysed as we speak”.
The last known record of the grave came from Christopher Wren Senior, who recorded his visit to local Grey Friars church, where he found a pillar inscribed with the words “Here lies the body of Richard III sometime King of England”.
In light of the discovery, the three week dig may be extended, following additional finds, including the Franciscan Friary which contained the church Grey Friars.
· Richard Plantagenet was born on October 2, the youngest son of Richard, Duke of York.
· Richard III was the last King of the House of York.
· His ascension to the throne has always been contentious, with theories that he had a hand in the murder of his 12-year old nephew King Edward the Fifth.
· He was a strong supporter of the north of England in Parliament.
· Richard was involved in several battles between the Houses of York and Lancaster.
· The last King to be killed in battle, at the Battle of Bosworth, which brought about an end to the War of the Roses.