A Cambridge University museum has successfully raised more than a quarter of a million pounds to buy a collection of previously unseen photo negatives of Captain Scott’s doomed South Pole expedition, the Telegraph reports. A mystery owner gave Cambridge University until March 25 to raise £275,000 to buy the photo negatives before they were put up for auction, which would almost certainly have seen them snapped up by a foreign bidder. But The Polar Museum at Cambridge’s Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI) has now raised the funds to keep the 113 images, which were taken towards the end of 1911 just weeks before Captain Scott’s final Terra Nova Expedition to the South Pole ran into disaster.
Leicester skeleton is Richard III, says History Extra poll result
Some 85 per cent of History Extra readers believe that the skeleton discovered underneath a Leicester car park in 2012 is that of former king, Richard III. In a poll asking ‘Do you think the skeleton found in the Leicester car park is really Richard III?’, a majority voted ‘yes’. Five per cent said ‘no’, while nine per cent answered ‘Don’t know’. The poll followed an exclusive interview with BBC History Magazine in which Michael Hicks, head of history at the University of Winchester, and Martin Biddle, archaeologist and director of the Winchester Research Unit, raised doubts about the identity of the individual found in the former site of the Grey Friars priory.
Germany returns looted 18th-century Guardi painting to Poland
An 18th-century painting looted by the Nazis for Adolf Hitler’s ‘Fuehrer Museum’ has been handed back to Poland, AP reports. In a move Germany hopes will revive thorny talks over a vast trove of historical documents that Berlin wants to recover from Poland, the painting – ‘Palace Stairs’, by Venetian artist Francesco Guardi – was taken from the National Museum in Warsaw in 1939, shortly after Germany invaded Poland. The small painting depicts noblemen talking at the grand stairs of Venice’s Doge Palace.
Henry VIII “had seventh wife”, claims historian
He is one of the best-known kings in British history, famed for his six wives. But it has now emerged that Henry VIII may have wed a seventh woman. In an article published anonymously in the journal Tudor Matrimonial Studies, a historian has revealed that the former king married Anne Mourgan in 1538 – less than a year after the death of Jane Seymour. Fearful of public opinion, the pair married in secret. [This, of course, was our April Fools’ Day prank!]
Unseen First World War Siegfried Sassoon poem to be offered at auction
A signed manuscript poem by eminent wartime poet Siegfried Sassoon is to go on sale this month. The unseen original version of The Dug Out, written in pencil in August 1918 and later overwritten in ink, will be sold together with three photographs of Sassoon, two of which are signed. Sassoon enlisted as a trooper in the Sussex yeomanry, and in 1915 was commissioned in the Royal Welch Fusiliers and posted to France. Decorated for bravery on the Western Front, Sassoon’s poetry often describes the horror of war in vivid detail. an