Yorkshire Museum

Previous Exhibition – Richard III: Man & Myth

Please note this exhibition has now closed.

27 March 2015 – 31 January 2016

The myths and distorted truths that have shaped modern perceptions of Richard III were compared to the historical facts in this exhibition, which opened on 26 March 2015 following the reburial Richard at Leicester Cathedral.

The exhibition included the museum’s nationally significant collections as well as loans from across Yorkshire to consider the life, times and legacy of the much maligned monarch. Loans for the exhibition included:

  • 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 the 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.
  • Weaponery from the period on loan from York Castle Museum.

The Yorkshire Museum objects on show included 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 was also a display depicting the feast, with tableware from the period and taxidermy from the museum’s natural history collections.

The exhibition formed part of the city of York’s programme of events to mark the re-interment of Richard III.

A free Richard III walking tour can be downloaded here, which will guide you around York to discover what life was like during the king’s reign.