Amid all the hullabaloo about the body of Richard III being discovered underneath a parking lot, an important issue has been ignored: what did he sound like? Fortunately, Dr Philip Shaw of the University of Leicester provides a sort of answer in a university press release (passed on to me by the excellent AJP):
In a University of Leicester podcast interview, Dr Philip Shaw from the School of English discusses how Richard III may have sounded in his own lifetime. [...]
Dr Shaw [...] said: “I found that Richard III’s spellings are relatively consistent, and in many ways reflect the same educated spelling practices employed by his secretaries. However, he also differs from the practice of his secretaries occasionally, and such quirks may provide clues to how he spoke.
“Like today, there were various dialects (with different features of accent and grammar) around the country. Unlike today, individuals were more likely to spell words in ways that reflected their local dialect. Therefore, by looking at Richard’s writing, I was able to pinpoint spellings that may provide some clues to his accent.
It’s a fun listen.