The University of Leicester has strongly rejected claims made by a freelance researcher that it has “airbrushed” his crucial contribution out of its account of the discovery of Richard III’s remains.
Historian John Ashdown-Hill, a member of the Richard III Society, told Times Higher Education that in 2004 he had traced a living relative of the last Plantagenet king and, at his own expense, had sequenced and published her mitochondrial DNA in 2007.
The university used mitochondrial DNA from the same woman’s son to help confirm that remains found under a Leicester car park last year were those of Richard III. The announcement, made in February, received worldwide media attention.
Dr Ashdown-Hill said he was also instrumental in establishing the likely location of the king’s remains, and said the university had initially become involved in searching the site when its commercial archaeology arm was contracted by the Richard III Society.