Monday, August 18, 2014

Richard III 'drank a bottle a day'

A study of the teeth and bones of Richard III show the king drank up to a bottle of wine a day in the last years of his life.

The research by the British Geological Survey and University of Leicester revealed he also ate exotic meat including swan, crane, heron and egret.

Samples were taken from a femur, rib and tooth after his remains were unearthed in Leicester in 2012.

His diet was 'far richer' than other high-ranking people of the time.

'A lot of wine'

'We know he was banqueting a lot more, there was a lot of wine indicated at those banquets and tying all that together with the bone chemistry it looks like this feasting had quite an impact on his body in the last few years of his life,' University of Leicester geochemist Angela Lamb said.

'Richard's diet when he was king was far richer than that of other equivalent high status individuals in the late medieval period.'

The paper said analysis of the king's bones and teeth showed his drinking habits changed significantly around the time he became king in 1483.

It concluded during the last three years of his life he consumed about a bottle of wine a day.

The research also suggested he had moved out of eastern England by the age of seven, and lived further west - possibly in the Welsh Marches.

A re-interment service for the king will take place at Leicester Cathedral on 26 March next year following a week of events in Leicestershire.

Richard III, who reigned from 1483, was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in August 1485, but his grave was lost when the surrounding church was demolished.

Who was Richard III?

  • Richard was born in 1452 at Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire

  • His coronation took place in Westminster Abbey in 1483

  • Richard had one of the shortest reigns in British history - 26 months

  • He was the last English king to die in battle, killed at Bosworth in 1485