Richard III, the last Plantagenet King of England, suffered from roundworms according to research conducted by Dr. Piers Mitchell of the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge that was published in the journal The Lancet on Sept. 3, 2013.
Microscopic examination of the remains of Richard III indicated that a roundworm infection because dead roundworm eggs were found in the region of the pelvis where the intestines would have been in life but no roundworm eggs were found elsewhere in the former King’s remains.
No signs of tapeworms were found in the skeleton that was discovered by archaeologists at the University of Leicester early in 2012 and verified to be the remains of Richard III by DNA testing.
The researchers claim the lack of tapeworms is an indication that any meat Richard III ate was probably well cooked. Roundworms were a common condition during the time of Richard II and still persist as one of the most common of human ailments. Poor sanitation and poor hygiene cause roundworm infections.
The intention of the research is not to deposit yet another bit of calumny upon the much argued and often misinterpreted actions and life of Richard II according to the researchers but to produce as complete a picture of the man in death as is possible.