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Old January 4th, 2013, 06:33 PM   #91

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Quick comment on Rous. Here is his sketch of Richard and Anne Neville from 1485. Contemporary again and bears little resemblence to his physical description of Richard under the new Tudor regime. No sign of any deformity :
Are you sure? Anne's right shoulder looks distinctly higher than her left.

Nice picture. The one I've seen was illuminated.

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Old January 4th, 2013, 06:42 PM   #92

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A fuller quote seems to be "three fingers taller than myself, but a little thinner and not so thick set, also much more lean; he had delicate arms and legs, also a great heart." Von Poppelau seems to be the only neutral period observer. I'd dearly love to see a full account of the time von Poppelau spent in England.



The only eyewitness account besides von Poppelau appears to have been Rous, whose tale varies greatly depending on who is king.
Just to say I have been following your posts and have found them to be well sourced and stimulating. Your point about von Poppelau and neutrality is more than fair. A diary is personal and usually not for publication as opposed to a chronicle with its inbuilt bias. I have never seen a source pre 1485 which describes Richard as being a crookback. This is why I am suspicious of the dig. Not that I distrust the professionalism of the Leicester Archaeological team but I feel it has been driven by the Richard III Society, the Channel Four Documentary producers and Leicester City Council. My own feeling is that the DNA and carbon processing will come up with no definitive evidence one way or another. No information about the findings should have been released until the process had been fully exhausted. It is unprofessional to say the least and leaves the impression that this is Richard's skeleton end of story. We will see.
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Old January 4th, 2013, 08:03 PM   #93

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Your point about von Poppelau and neutrality is more than fair. A diary is personal and usually not for publication as opposed to a chronicle with its inbuilt bias. I have never seen a source pre 1485 which describes Richard as being a crookback.
As I noted, Rous and More can't even agree on which shoulder was higher. The problem is even a heavily slanted work can contain elements that are true or based on truth. And that is most of what history provides us - works written with an agenda. Even Paul Murray Kendall though there was a grain of truth in the claims that one of Richard's shoulders was higher than the other, though that does not mean he was correct.

That said, there are some things that sources do seem to agree on.

"King Richard at the first brunt killyd certaine, overthrew Henryes standerd, together with William Brandon the standerd bearer, and matched also with John Cheney a man of much fortytude, far exceeding the common sort, who encountered him as he cam, but the king with great force drove him to the ground, making way with weapon on every side". - John Rous

"For in the thick of the fight, and not in the act of flight, King Richard fell in the field, struck by many mortal wounds, as a bold and most valiant prince". - Croyland Chronicle

"King Richard alone was killed fighting manfully in the thickest press of his enemies". - Polydore Vergil

I feel the burial location under the choir and the injuries to the body are points in favor of the body being Ricard III with the scoliosis proving nothing one way or the other. I do wonder if we know where Nicholas von Poppelau is buried. Comparison of his body with that of the body found at Greyfriars could provide additional circumstantial evidence one way or the other.
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Old January 4th, 2013, 09:11 PM   #94
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A
I feel the burial location under the choir and the injuries to the body are points in favor of the body being Ricard III with the scoliosis proving nothing one way or the other. I do wonder if we know where Nicholas von Poppelau is buried. Comparison of his body with that of the body found at Greyfriars could provide additional circumstantial evidence one way or the other.
I don't understand why finding Nicholas von Poppelau's body provides any circumstantial evidence about the remains found in Greyfriars.

Please explain.
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Old January 4th, 2013, 11:14 PM   #95

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Just to note - nothing you or anyone lese has said has refuted anything that I have said.
Absolutely, I was just putting in my own opinion having had some experience of scoliosis, that's why I was wondering about the University statement and whether they actually said 'severe'. Although severe itself can have many degrees of course.
I guess your comment about von Poppelau's body is because in his description he compares Richard to himself yes?
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Old January 5th, 2013, 03:36 AM   #96
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Contemporary account of Richard's appearance from 1484 :

"...three fingers taller than myself...also much more lean; he had delicate arms and legs, also a great heart..." - Nicholas von Poppelau, Diary,1484

No mention of deformity and the witness is clearly not part of the Tudor tradition. Now had Richard been deformed one might think von Poppelau might have mentioned it. Can we please stick to the primary source evidence and discuss the contemporary accounts? Is that not what credible historians are supposed to do? Shakespeare and Thomas More were dramatists and not historians. Neither of them had met Richard so it follows from a historical perspective that an eye witness account should be given more weight. Yes!
Von Ranke, applause re "primary sources"!

I agree that the Poppelau account is the best we have, and I wish I could believe it word by word. But I have an issue with the "3 fingers taller than myself".
If we assume that Richard was rather short, it would make von Poppelau even shorter. As it seems Poppelau was considered an extremely strong (and well-muscled?) man, I struggle to get that together. Though of course he could have been very short and very strong. Or, Richard wasn't particularly short.

Further, the comment is a translation from the original German document, which obviously was lost. So I cannot help to wonder if there might not have been something lost in translation, and he had said that he himself was 3 fingers taller than the king? Though, it's all "may be, could be, perhaps". Gah.

Taken together, this spoils the word-by-word truth of this very valuable account. Please prove me wrong.

Being German, I've once tried to track down information about von Poppelau, but to succeed it would take more time and dedication than I have. So I hope, somebody, somewhere will do the research, and give us a book about it.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 05:37 AM   #97

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I guess your comment about von Poppelau's body is because in his description he compares Richard to himself yes?
Correct. If the body found at Greyfriar's is about "three fingers taller", that would be a bit of circumstantial evidence supporting the idea it it Richard.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 06:12 AM   #98

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If we assume that Richard was rather short, it would make von Poppelau even shorter. As it seems Poppelau was considered an extremely strong (and well-muscled?) man, I struggle to get that together. Though of course he could have been very short and very strong. Or, Richard wasn't particularly short.
It is possible to be short and extremely strong. When I went to college, a male student was about 5'4", and according to the people who fitted him for a role in "Comedy of Errors", had a 52" chest. I just know that in pickup games of basketball, running into him was like running into a brick wall.

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Being German, I've once tried to track down information about von Poppelau, but to succeed it would take more time and dedication than I have.
I've found a couple things in German about von Popplau - here, here, and here. If this is correct, von Popplau seems to have been translated correctly.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 09:13 AM   #99

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It is possible to be short and extremely strong. When I went to college, a male student was about 5'4", and according to the people who fitted him for a role in "Comedy of Errors", had a 52" chest. I just know that in pickup games of basketball, running into him was like running into a brick wall.



I've found a couple things in German about von Popplau - here, here, and here. If this is correct, von Popplau seems to have been translated correctly.
Thank you fiver, for your time and trouble in getting those links.
It seems that they have the wrong skeleton in Leicester, if they have indeed found a skeleton. We only have their say so and no proof or evidence.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 09:23 AM   #100
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It is possible to be short and extremely strong. When I went to college, a male student was about 5'4", and according to the people who fitted him for a role in "Comedy of Errors", had a 52" chest. I just know that in pickup games of basketball, running into him was like running into a brick wall.


I've found a couple things in German about von Popplau - here, here, and here. If this is correct, von Popplau seems to have been translated correctly.

Thank you for the links, Fiver. That's a lot of teasers. I wouldn't rely on the newspaper article, even if it is a quality paper. In particular since they called the portrait "contemporary", when it is not.

Following some of the clues I remember that I had searched for a copy of the book by Piotr Radzikowski as mentioned here twice.
I think I'll try to get hold of a copy of this review article:
‘ “He Hardly Touched His Food, But Talked With Me All The Time”: What Niclas Von Popplau Really Wrote About Richard III’
Livia Visser-Fuchs

A translation and discussion of the German text of Popplau's meeting with Richard III from Reisebeschreibung Niclas von Popplau, Ritte,; Burtig von Breslau, edited by Piotr Radzikowski, 1998, Krakow.

Further I came across this very interesting article by Livia Visser-Fuchs.
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