News Release - Issued by York Museums Trust
A new exhibition at the Yorkshire Museum, York
Opens March 27
The myths and distorted truths that have shaped modern perceptions of Richard III will be compared to the historical facts, in a new exhibition at the Yorkshire Museum, York.
Richard III: Man and Myth will use the museum’s nationally significant collections and loans from across Yorkshire to consider the life, times and legacy of the much maligned monarch.
The exhibition will open following the reburial Richard at Leicester Cathedral on March 26.
Natalie McCaul, curator of archaeology, said: “King Richard III’s reign only lasted three years but he has probably received more attention than any other British monarch. A number of accounts written after Richard’s death portrayed him as a tyrannical murderer. Yet for many, especially in Yorkshire, the image of a fair, benevolent figure, much maligned, endures.
“In this new exhibition we will look at the perception of him today and whether much of this is based on facts or myth. Using treasures from our own collections and loans from across the county, we hope people will come and form their own opinions on Richard, his relationship with York and his short reign as king.”
Loans for the exhibition include:
• A skeleton from the Battle of Towton in 1461, which led to the crowning of Richard III’s brother, Edward IV, as the first Yorkist King.
• Details of a feast in 1448, on loan from the Merchant Adventurers Hall which would have been similar to that which was eaten when Richard was a guest of York. The list of supplies needed included six dozen sparrows, six pigs, seven lots of animal feet, more than 21 gallons of wine and four dozen and four gallons of ale.
• Shakespeare’s first folio, which includes his play Richard III, on loan from Brotherton Library.
• Loaned documents from City of York Council Archives revealing fascinating information about Richard’s relationship with York, such as the first gift the city gave to Richard, when he was only 16 years old, a list of his friends and allies, how the city prepared for his visit and how they reacted to his death.
• Weaponry from the period on loan from York Castle Museum.
The Yorkshire Museum objects on show include the Middleham Jewel, a gilded spur, the Ryther Hoard (817 medieval coins, many of which were struck in York), and a number of boar badges worn by supporters of the king.
There will also be a display depicting the feast, with tableware from the period and taxidermy from the natural history collections.
The exhibition is part of the city of York’s programme of events to mark the re-interment of Richard III.
The events on Thursday March 26 are:
• A Solemn Choral Evensong will be held at York Minster to commemorate King Richard III at York Minster, starting at 5.15pm. All are welcome at this act of worship which will be the only service of commemoration at the Minster.
• Following the service at 6:20pm, from the Minster’s South Door, a procession led by the civic party and senior clergy will walk across the Piazza, along Stonegate to St Helen’s Square and end outside the Mansion House. The public is invited to line the route to pay their respects to the King.
• From the Mansion House steps, The Right Honourable The Lord Mayor of York Councillor Ian Gillies will address the procession which will disperse. Full Council in the Guildhall will begin at the later time of 7pm.
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