Listen to what English king Richard III sounded like, in a recreation by University of Leicester


The last king of the House of York and also the last of the Plantagenet dynasty, Richard III’s demise at the climactic Battle of Bosworth Field usually marks the end of ‘Middle Ages’ in England. And yet, even after his death, the young English monarch had continued to baffle historians, with his remains eluding scholars and researchers for over five centuries. And it was momentously in 2012 when University of Leicester identified the skeleton inside a city council car park – the site of Greyfriars Priory Church (the final resting place of Richard III that was dissolved in 1538 AD). Coincidentally, the remains of the king were found almost directly underneath a roughly painted ‘R’ on the bitumen, which basically marked a reserved spot inside the car park since the 2000s.

Now in the past few years, much has been said and visualized when it comes to Richard III’s appearance, with a comprehensive reconstruction project headed by Professor Caroline Wilkinson (showcased in the featured image). And additionally, research at the University of Leicester had also dealt with the presumed accent in which the English king would have talked during his lifetime.

As the university page makes it clear –

Research at the University of Leicester can even give us a clue as to what Richard sounded like. Dr Philip Shaw, Lecturer in English Language and Old English in our School of English, has studied two letters written by Richard when he was Duke of Gloucester. In this podcast, you can hear Dr Shaw read these letters using the approximate pronunciation and accent that we believe Richard would have used. Interestingly, the language and spelling betrays no sign of a northern dialect, being closer to what we now consider a West Midlands accent.

Interestingly enough, back in March 26th, 2015, the remains of the English monarch were ceremoniously re-interred by the authorities at Leicester Cathedral. And to mark one year anniversary of this symbolic deed, experts from the University of Leicester had created a navigable interactive menu that allows one to browse through a fully rotatable computer model of the king’s remains as they were found in 2012. This precise 3D reconstruction was made with the help of an advanced photogrammetry software, along with actual photographs that were taken during the excavation project. The navigable part is made accessible via the 3D sharing platform Sketchfab.

King Richard III’s grave
by Archaeological Services (ULAS)
on Sketchfab

Source: University of Leicester

5 Comments on "Listen to what English king Richard III sounded like, in a recreation by University of Leicester"

  1. Can we have the text?

  2. Lupegarrou Narren | January 28, 2017 at 4:32 am |

    Try it with a Schwäbische accent on the words (my Regional dialect) (Old Alemannisch) at that time widespread throughout SW Germany-Austria-France-Belgium and remember, at that time, the ‘Elite’ would have been influenced by French (again, Alemannish/Normannisch dialect) English not becomming the ‘Court’ language until Henry VIII, just as French was spoken in Russia at the Royal Court until the last Czar. 😉

  3. TruthHurts2013 | January 27, 2017 at 3:27 pm |

    Sounds like Anglo-Saxon.

  4. I cannot figure out how you got American lol

  5. Sounds American to me.

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