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Royal Armouries Museum

The death of Richard III

Thursday afternoon lecture
24th January - 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Photo: © Colin Brooks, courtesy of University of Leicester

Bob Savage gives an insight into his work examining the skeleton of Richard III and identifying the weapons that killed the “king in the car park”.

In September 2012, a skeleton was discovered during an archaeological dig in a Leicester council car park. Part of the project’s remit was to seek out any remains of the last Plantagenet king Richard III, who had been buried in August 1485 following his death at the battle of Bosworth. The skeleton bore signs of both scoliosis and the trauma of battle. In February 2013 it was publicly announced that the skeleton was that of Richard III. After nearly 530 years, the remains of the last king of England to die in battle had been successfully identified.

The University of Leicester’s ‘Search for Richard III’ Archaeological Team selected Bob as the project’s weapons expert, and is one of a handful of experts to have physically examined the remains. He was employed to help find and examine weapon trauma on the skeleton and attempt to identify the various weapons that may have made them. As a result, using both historical and archaeological evidence, we can now create a potential sequence of events that lets us discover the possible last moments and death of Richard III.


Bob Woosnam-Savage – Curator of Armour & European Edged Weapons




45 minutes


Parental discretion advised, contains some material unsuitable for children under 14 years of age.


Robert Woosnam-Savage is the author of Arms and Armour of Late Medieval Europe, which is available to buy from our shop.