“Thy master is bought and sold “.The Richard III reburial debate an overview with links

richard third

It was sad news for the North this week as it was officially declared that Leicester is to be the burial place of King Richard III bones.A judicial review found “There was no public law grounds for the court to interfere “in the plans for Richard III interment.
a legal summary is here
Its possible for an appeal to be made and also for other private legal action to be taken.
There has been criticism of the case but this is founded on the mistaken idea that this is just about two cities wanting the bones of a dead king or a group of fanatics obsessed with Richard or that it was purely at the instigation of the Plantagenet alliance.
In reality support for burial in Yorkshire or elsewhere than Leicester was widespread, international and spanned all groups of people.A list of the famous who supported the cause shows exactly how wide ranging
The list included numerous MPs, numerous eminent academics, sportsmen such as Geoff boycott and Olympic athletes, several sirs, including Sir Derek Jacobi, Sir Bernard Ingram, Dame Judi Dench,
Judi Dench
, Edward Fox, actors such as Brian Blessed and Steve Coogan
steve_coogan_a_p ,
and a wide ranging diverse groups of others, such as Mike Loads
and Julian Fellows
The Facebook group “petition to Bring Richard back to Yorkshire was responsible for gaining the attention and support of academics ,actors ,writers and many others and continues its campaign to achieve a lasting and honourable resting place for Richard III lord of the North ,it can be found here
Likewise support for a burial in York and strong feeling that Leicester was inappropriate was global
The support for Leicester was by contrast quite localised or based on a finders keepers, why does it matter? attitude. Even Leicester itself seems to be aware that Richard’s home is in the North as they have recently (very graciously I felt) offered to use York stone for his Tomb.
The support base for reburial in York while significant is only part of the story and motivation for the appeals and campaigns. There are greater issues involved such as how human remains ought to be treated and how much time passes before the wishes of the deceased are ignored, what are the rights of relative and friends and when do those rights no longer matter.
The battle over the burial place of Richard the third is about more than two rival cities or the place that a single man’s bones will lie.
The issue is much wider and includes concerns about how it’s acceptable to treat human bones or remains.
riii photo bones
The campaign gained a great deal of support due to concern over how Richards bones will be treated and if they will be interred at all, these are human bones, this person was a living breathing person.
The university made a promise to those funding the dig that the bones would be treated with dignity and respect.
riii joe applyby
image source http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leicestershire-26790933
and kept in a respectful manner and interred promptly with due dignity. None of this occurred, the bones were at first displayed with a certain reserve
but then any attempt to respect the original undertaking was ignored, further tests were carried out and more work done on the bones.
The university made clear it wanted to keep them indefinitely for further study and place them on public display, for which there was some support in the town but mostly outrage, to the credit of its townsfolk, who were also instrumental in pushing for Richard to have a proper tomb.
Due to this huge outcry and the plan was dropped at least publicly. It’s likely there has been some display of the bones to academics or specialists to produce some of the university’s recent research. This research which has only recently been completed and would even without the review had created the delay in burial.

The university is still pushing for burial in an ossuary (box) so that they can be easily disinterred when the university wants to study them.
However the bones by the university’s own admission have been kept in very lax conditions even for archaeological specimens and in an appalling manner for human remains which seriously calls into doubt their fitness to have custody of them. The King’s remains have spent at least some of their time in a cardboard box under a broken kettle.
Lin Foxall

stated on BBC radio
We had this problem of ‘what do you do with a dead king – you don’t find them every day’– and of course what he was was a nice long box, full of bones, that’s how you store a skeletons and where you put them, so for a while he lived in my office: under a dead kettle.” -Quote from Lin Foxhall, head of archaeology at Leicester university.
Interview given BBc radio 4pm 28/10/2013
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03f92q9 (for a BBC headline quote of the relevant comment check the page of petition to bring Richard back to Yorkshire for the same date).
The University recently denied this making the following statement
“Mr Buckley insisted the royal remains were being treated appropriately.
“Richard’s remains are in a secure location at the University of Leicester – this is a lot better than under a Victorian outhouse under council tarmac,” he said.

“We cannot rewrite history and give him some kind of medieval lying in state. He was killed in battle and the new king of England, Henry VII, decided where and how he should be buried.

“The intention is for the studying of the remains to be of a limited time and for the interment to be final. He will not be put on a tray to be pulled out whenever someone asks.”
It is hoped that the remains are indeed now being kept in more appropriate conditions. Being stored with broken kitchen appliances is poor treatment for any artefact let alone human bones, it does not create good conditions for preservation or prevent contamination, it’s poor practice and for supporters of York interment shows perfectly the university’s disrespectful attitude. A paragraph from a document which lays down museum’s guidlines shows the university at variance with proper practice
2.5 De-accessioning
Claims for the return or reburial of human remains are considered in part 3. Any institution wishing to de-accession human remains in other circumstances must be pro-active in trying to establish whether any genealogical or cultural descendants exist who might wish to make a claim for return or reburial.
Many human remains, for example those disinterred as a result of rescue archaeology, are removed on the authority of a Department for Constitutional Affairs licence or Church of England faculty. The method of ultimate disposal, after study, should have been stated clearly on the licence or faculty, and burial (or, occasionally, cremation) or retention of the remains will be included as a condition of the licence or faculty.
Through consultation with the relevant statutory and religious authorities, reburial or respectful storage in designated, marked, sites may satisfy the requirements of the law and religious or civil tradition and need not remove the remains altogether from the purview of scientific study in the future.
Where no mode of disposal is specified, the remains must be disposed of safely and respectfully in a sealed container. The Human Tissue Act 2004 also deals with these matters. In the case of burials from Christian contexts in England the CofE/EH 2005 guidance should be used.
The full guidelines can be downloaded as a PDF here
The document is called
Guidance for the care of Human Remains in Museums.
The university has never shown particular care over the bones, it damaged them significantly with a mattock while excavating. This was captured in the channel 4 documentary and readily admitted to and later confirmed by Dr Appleby in interviews.
richard iii skull
Yet something else that has been ignored since, but increased support for a burial outside of Leicester, the clumsy excavation damage to leg bone, possibly by a JCB or mattock and more especially the Skull caused outrage online amongst many and not just so called Yorkists.

This does not inspire people with confidence in a dignified burial if left in control of the city and university. As a human being and a King Richard deserves a burial and should not have his bones publicly displayed or interred in such a way as to facilitate disinterment whenever the university want to do more tests.
Also at variance with correct practice was the disregard for Richards wishes
Despite earlier widespread claims that Richards wishes were unknown.
The letters content was made public just days after the judicial review result but it is inconceivable that the academic community did not know about its contents previously ,creating distrust of Leicester university
Another issue is King Richard’s right to a Roman Catholic burial in line with his beliefs and his right to be buried on Roman Catholic consecrated ground and in an manner that would honour his beliefs.
The Cathedral in Leicester is post reformation so the ground would not be considered sanctified and originally there was no intention of providing any Roman Catholic input, it has taken an e-petition for some backtracking on the issue but plans are still not inline with the correct manner of burial. Richard despite later being covered by a car park had been buried in Catholic sanctified ground, he has now been removed from that. Though this seems an abstract concept its something of importance to many.
(I realise that its been suggested that Leicester cathedral is in fact pre reformation as there was originally a church on the site but the then St Martins suffered widespread destruction during the reformation ,the current church does not occupy the same space and claiming that one bit of ground is the same as the other would logically mean that Richard III bones were just as well interred under the nearby car park.
http://leicestercathedral.org/about-us/history-of-leicester-cathedral/ for the pro pre reformation case
The official Church of England guide which details the extensive restricting and expansion is here
Likewise the cathedral has backtracked on its promise to provide a fitting tomb, it had promised a table tomb like many medieval tombs, so certain was this decision that money was raised by Richard’s supporters for the expenses of the tomb’s construction and its design had been discussed in enough detail for the media to provide images alongside their reports.
richard iii RS tomb
However the cathedral changed its mind and said there would only be a slab in the floor which would be more or less similar to the memorial slab present at the moment.
Claiming it wanted something modest
“The bones of Richard III should be reburied under a modest slab in the floor of Leicester Cathedral, “a place of dignified simplicity” rather than a grandiose modern reinvention of a medieval tomb, the cathedral authorities have decided – in a move that will do nothing to resolve the debate over where and how the king should finally be buried”
source Guardian newspaper march 2014)(
RIII current tomb
This plan was again changed to a more modern very plain raised tomb,
riii  new tomb
which it seems didn’t meet with the church buildings and fabrics authority’s approval and due to widespread criticism the Cathedral promised a different more fitting version .This new version is for the most part identical to the old version except for the removal of the Rose and addition of a black plinth
“Dean Monteith said: “This is a tomb which reflects the era in which it is designed, as well as the solemn purpose for which it is commissioned. ”
The updated version which is an answer to those concerns is here
new tomb
Even the Cathedral itself agrees that this tomb is widely regarded as inappropriate
It’s been very interesting reading the reactions to this final design, with the earlier idea of the rose inscribed on the floor replaced by a plinth in dark marble with the royal coat of arms emblazoned on it in pieta dura (‘hard rock’!). Some – predictably – remain opposed, often forcibly, and there’s no shortage of disparaging descriptions coming from that quarter (‘cheese slicer’ is one of the more whimsical), including some well-organised lobbying from the four quarters of the globe (including Tasmania). But there’s also been some encouragingly positive discussion in other places, as people engage with how we’ve described what we’re doing, and found themselves coming to appreciate it more and more. I can recommend the Facebook group King Richard in Leicester – which describes itself as ‘a friendly place for interesting discussions’. It is – both of those things, that is. And nothing to do with us here at the Cathedral.
.A brief summary of the tomb issue as it unfolded can be found here.
Tomb issues raised concerns about later treatment of the gravesite. The cathedral hosts vintage fairs /flea markets in the actual sacred space ,the church is cleared for stalls.
leic 2

leic fair
photocredit (http://minimummouse.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/2011-festivals-fairs-and-fun.html)
The frequency and continuance of which was confirmed by the Cathedral staff as reported by a local newspaper.
“Claire Recorden, from Leicester Cathedral’s marketing team, said: “The LouLou Vintage Fair is held in Leicester Cathedral three times a year. The next one will take place on November 30.”
Read more: http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/Visitors-bag-bargains-vintage-fair/story-19808459-detail/story.html#ixzz32lRhW7vf

Read more at http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/Visitors-bag-bargains-vintage-fair/story-19808459-detail/story.html#FMO2ySqwtgTZ80JJ.99
One writer commented
“I was disgusted to read of the UK’s biggest vintage fair being held in Leicester Cathedral”
Read more: http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/Cathedral-market/story-18232955-detail/story.html#ixzz32lQVoR7j
and futher comment can be found here

Read more at http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/Cathedral-market/story-18232955-detail/story.html#dYDToc74oP7Uwdqs.99
Its possibly this and other events which made the cathedral reluctant to provide a proper tomb
again from their own publicly released statement
“According to the design brief: “They will be reluctant to site a large memorial in the cathedral which would assume disproportionate significance in a modest building and cannot easily be located in any position in which it would not restrict the capacity of the building on major occasions.”
leic fair
“It is unlikely that a large table top tomb or effigy would be acceptable to the chapter or the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England (CFCE),” it says.”

Update now the re interment of Richard in Leicester is complete the final design can be confirmed by the photographs of recent events

Tomb leicester-richard-_3246746k

There have been no fixed and approved designs made public for any further memorial except for ongoing discussions about a memorial window, the design for this window has been produced and made public but there is as yet no funding, the window features
“a battle scene and a man’s body on the back of a horse being led through the streets. They are said to be generic images suggestive of Richard’s story.”

Read more: http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/King-Richard-III-commemorative-window-designs/story-20609405-detail/story.html#ixzz32lKxYZ7
Read more at http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/King-Richard-III-commemorative-window-designs/story-20609405-detail/story.html#LmhPblrArR5VZVx6.99 funding has not been found and permission from the buildingsd commission is still pending.
and is unlikely to be as attractive as the window at Cardiff castle.
A further immediate concern was the clearly stated intention of the cathedral staff to focus on Richard’s sins and alleged sins in their funeral oration thus further blackening his name. A selection of quotes from Cathedral staff show at the very least ambivalence.


“What has this to do with Richard? He won’t have beloved artefacts in his ossuary. Well one thing he wasn’t was a saint!
or in defence of their approach to Richard’s burial
“The phrase we repeatedly use to describe our approach is Dignity and Honour. And that’s not because it’s a slogan. We really mean it. The Dignity we all owe each other as human beings, made in the image of God. And the Honour a nation ought to show to its former King – however divided we may be as to his personal qualities, or the nature of his reign”
contrast that with their initial statement
“it should not be forgotten that Richard demonstrated both the honourable and dishonourable characteristics of human beings.

“Opportunities for prayer and reflection should focus on themes of sin and redemption, justice and peace, as reflected in our history and our present.”

The cathedral’s Richard related material is here
Though in fairness to the cathedral they did publish an entire page on Richard’s many achievements
However its approach has often fallen short of the “dignity and honour” it claims to have as its guiding principle. Its also made little if any attempt to read Richards own words and contempory reports .It claims
“What are we wanting to do, when we reinter the remains of a long-dead monarch? Not mourn him, surely? No-one living knew him, and at this distance in time it seems to me no-one can possibly know who he ‘really’ was or what he was ‘really’ like. The best that we can manage is speculation.
Yes this is not true any Christian reading another Christians thoughts or seeing their public statements can see exactly what they are thinking and their motivation ad its very clear Richard was extremely devote.
Also logically if you can never know anything about people long dead,,how exactly do Authors and Historians and the University of Leicester’s staff make any kind of credible living and why are there’s thousands of reputable universities across the globe running History courses .
The cathedrals perceived monetary attitude has attracted the criticism of many not just those favouring York Burial but even the decidedly secular Private eye commented.
Nooks and Corners column in Private Eye, No.1351, 18-31 October
“it is odd that so much passion has been engendered about which Anglican church should house the body of a medieval Catholic monarch who was scarcely a national hero or founding father. As far as the Dean and Chapter was concerned, what mattered was ‘the possibility of the cathedral and its surroundings becoming a tourist attraction,’”
“for all their ideas about dragging the cathedral into the 21st century, the Dean and Chapter are behaving like their superstitious medieval forbears, for every pre-Reformation cathedral needed a prominent shrine to rake in money from the pilgrims”.
I am indebted to the site below for the Private Eye reference
(The site is not pro York and is an interesting read)
Yet despite being certain to benefit from the presence of Richard’s bones the cathedral has been unwilling to spend money on a fitting service and interment,the budget is small as admitted by the Cathedral on their Fb page
The aspirational budget for this is £2.5 million – a rather small sum in comparison to other major public occasions.
Aspirational means the amount is dependent almost entirely on donations
The word ‘aspirational’ means we can only do it all like this if we raise the money, of course. But then, we’ve never pretended otherwise. And we’re quietly confident that we will.
This is slightly disingenuous as just a few paragraphs below he makes the very public statement that
Monteith, the Dean of Leicester Cathedral, has explained the considerable efforts and expenditure invested by the Cathedral in order to create a lasting burial place “as befits an anointed King”. We agree that it is time for Richard III to be given a dignified reburial, and finally laid to rest
The one certain honour to be accorded Richard at his burial will be from Dr John Ashdown-Hill who has commissioned a magnificent crown.
(photo credit Dr John Ashedown-Hill
funeral crown Dr JA hill
Dr John Ashdown-Hill was responsible for much of the research and impetus behind discovering the body but has been largely ignored perhaps due to modesty but also due to the the policy of downplaying the key role of academics not connected to the university.
Likewise there are concerns for Richard’s long term reputation, the tourism industry now starting up around Richard will inevitably focus on the now academically discredited view of him as a murderer, usurper and monster as portrayed by Shakespeare. The illustrations to the Richard iii exhibition at Bosworth battlefield for instance are not particularly flattering to Richard.
bosworth riii
In York he has always been respected and remembered with affection, though tiny due to its funding by donations and legacy, York has always had a museum to his memory which presented a positive view of him.
Furthermore with regard to interment, it seems most likely Richard intended to be buried in Yorkshire, he founded chantry chapels and the largest was in York, these were usually created in places intended to be the site of burial.
There is no record of one in Leicester. Richard was so attached to the North and York that he made an extended visit there shorty after becoming king and favoured the city and the north throughout his reign.
This was something that probably cost him valuable and essential support at court and was almost certainly a contributing factor to his death and defeat.
There is still strong deeply felt outrage in the north over Richard’s treatment in Leicester. His body was striped and abused,
“The team found 10 wounds to his body in total, including a “humiliation” stab wound to his right buttock and several to his trunk that were likely inflicted after his death; there was also evidence that his hands had been bound.
humilation wound rib
(damage rib from a post mortem stab wound)


Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-battle-over-richard-iiis-bonesand-his-reputation-14232878/#8T8rkGrqzSJDu0Qf.99

buttock wound
This indignity probably occurred while his body was being taken back to Leicester as its recorded his body was strung naked, trussed over a horse. He was then laid out naked and dirty and bloodied to be viewed, while it was normal to put dead monarchs on display doing so naked and dishonoured was not.
The friars obviously tried very hard to give him a decent burial as far as they were able, it is thought king Richard was probably buried with some rites and in hallowed ground but they had no way to give him a decent service, the grave used was too small and there was no shroud even which is almost unbelievable for a Christian burial even plague victims in mass graves are usually shown to have been in a shroud. Leicester made no effort to find his bones, the only major interest was from outside funded excavations, including the one which discovered his remains.

The university’s own publicity pack shows the substantial financial contribution made towards the dig by sources
University of Leicester announce the costs of the Richard III project

The search was instigated by Philippa Langley of the Richard III Society. The University led the dig and the scientific analysis. The funding for the project is shown below and we thank all the funders.

Funder Excavation & Post Excavation Total % Contribution
of Leicester* £19,935 £94,115 £114,050 80.0%

(My note,the university’s expenditure was for the most part post excavation, that is to say once the bones of Richard III had been found. Previous to that their expenditure was £19,000 only £1000 more than the contribution of the RIII society making their initial percentage closer to that of the Richard III society. Their actual contribution was in fact lower than the society as they have included in their contribution £1300 donated to them by the public to finance the excavation see the university’s own text at base of the figures)

Richard III
Society £18,083 £18,083 12.7%

Leicester Shire
Promotions £5,000 £5,000 3.5%
Leicester City
Council £5,000 £5,000 3.5%

Leicester Adult
Schools £500 £500 0.4%

Total £48,518 £94,115 £142,633

*University funding includes £4,970 committed to under-write LCC which was later paid by LCC. The University’s funding includes £1,300 in public donations to finance the work.
The money raised by Leicester’s citizens and donated to the university makes clear some of the citizens feel a genuine interest and affection for king Richard especially as this is a city that is not doing well during the current economic climate and provided by people who would reap no rewards. However the council and university showed very little interest in him their contributions being a mere £5000.
see footnote for further table)
While much has been made of Richard’s connection to Leicester there is no actual historical link beyond his night spent prior to the battle and the time his corpse was displayed there. The statue that has been a focus of the city’s efforts to show their affection for Richard was provided by donations from the Richard III society and has been vandalised repeatedly (hence the need for it to be restored).
Statements from Leicester have been almost entirely focused on what Richard can do for the town.

City councillor Ross Willmott said: “The discovery of Richard III is wonderful news, yet there remains something of a mystery about what happened to Wolsey, who rivalled Henry VIII in wealth and power and was one of the most significant political figures of the era.

“Arguably, he is far more influential than Richard III. To discover his remains would help tell the story of another historic figure linked to the city.”
By contrast York has stressed that it wanted the return of its King, its campaign slogans being “Bring him Home, those campaigning using the plural of Richards motto Loyaultie me Lie, Loyalty Binds us. The talk was always of returning Richard to his home. To be fair York would not significantly benefit from Richard’s burial there and already have a thriving tourist industry. Leicester by contrast saw a huge influx of visitors and in the midst of a recession it must have been like manna from heaven for the town.
In contrast to Leicester the desire to have Richard returned to York for burial was from the bottom up. Local people were so insistent that Richard be buried in the area that the minister who had at first refused to consider burial there did a small u-turn
The statement that York minister didn’t want Richard came from fairly recently arrived Dean, previously Dean of Leicester, and it was felt she had acted outside her authority in making the statement despite an attempt to backpedal.
<Dean Faull, who until her appointment at York last summer was the Dean of Leicester, has maintained a “neutral” stance over the issue. /
This was unfortunately the occasion of the only blot on the campaign for York burial, though condemned by all those campaigning for York burial and in no way indicative of the tone of the campaign it does seem the Dean received abusive mail. Not, however as was claimed, death threats. The official statement by the minister is here as is a link to the story
“York Minster Spokesman • 11 hours ago −”news emerging this week that death threats have been made to the Dean of York” is inaccurate. The official statement reads:
“York Minster has received a number of letters about Richard III, a small number of these have been abusive. These have been passed to the Minster Police, and they continue to monitor the situation closely.”
York Minster has declined to reveal any more details about either the content or the origin of the letters.’
The nature of the abusive mail was never revealed and could have amounted to no more than the angry outbursts of people feeling they had been betrayed. There was never a suggestion that any threatened violence. It also makes clear that MOST letters merely expressed strong feelings
In the north Richard is remembered with love, respect and affection and especially in Yorkshire. For many he is remembered as Good King Richard, his short reign was the only brief time when the north was treated with favour. He was in his lifetime loved and respected deeply. He spent much of his life in the North and especially in Middleham
(photo credite English Heritage)
It’s clear Richard was in turn fond of York, calling his return there a homecoming. He favoured the North and York. He chose York for the investiture of his son as Prince of Wales in a ceremony and celebration so lavish that later historians have mistaken it for a second coronation. For the original accounts and a summary please check here. The writer’s interpretation of the request to provide rich cloth has been challenged by a wider study showing that Richard wanted to promote the North
It is also now clear Richard would have wanted a York Burial
An unfavourable but concise account of Richard reign recounts the story and events
It has been claimed York let Richard down at Bosworth, in fact one of its great lords died at Richard’s side and this was despite being warned Richard had been betrayed (the header to the post is based on a note that is said to have been placed on the lord’s tent warning him the cause was already lost and not to fight. York often sent forces and funds to him and only delays outside their control caused their failure to send more troops to Bosworth. It made a brave statement of support for Richard when news of his defeat and death reached the city on the day after the Battle of Bosworth,
king Richard late mercifully reigning upon us was thrugh grete treason of the duc of Northfolk [sic] and many other that turned ayenst hyme, with many other lordes and nobilles of this north parties was piteously slane murdred to the grete hevynesse of this citie …’

York city archives, Minutes of the council of York,indeed a lord who was believed to have betrayed Richard at Bosworth was later publicly lynched.
Likewise the Legal proceedings have been blamed for the delay burying Richard and yet the University is primarily at fault as it has until recently insisted it keep the remains for study
The University likewise is being challenged as to its right to be “custodian of the bones due to its refusal to honour an agreement with Ms Langley
As a footnote to this story
The university is also under fire for refusing to give due credit to the academics who did most of the research for the grave site and raised the funds for the dig
This has never been a wars of the roses, many people have been balanced in their views on the opposing towns, many can see why it city’s people would want Richard and accept they are interested in him, however there is certainly strong feeling about the way the authorities in Leicester and the University have behaved. There is also very strong feeling that Richard should not rest in the place of his defeat and humiliation, that Richard as lord of the north, is a fallen warrior king who deserves to rest with his own.
Supporters of York with a few exceptions bear no ill will to Leicester’s towns people, argument focuses on not current residents but on history and a sense of loyalty to and desire for justice for King Richard

footnote the teams finding on the humiliation wounds
“The team from the University of Leicester said that the body displayed 10 wounds, 8 of them in the skull and some likely to have caused death, possibly by a blow from a halberd, a kind of medieval weapon with an ax-like head on a long pole. Other wounds seem to have been inflicted after his death to humiliate the monarch after his armor was stripped away and he was paraded naked over the back of a horse, the researchers said.”
detailed account of the various legal challenges, on testing on the remains and other related issue can be found here
The universitys own excavation report is here
The official review of March 2014 is printed in full here
Statements between the cathedral and university are here
For a readily accessible viehttp://www.amazon.co.uk/Richard-III-Contemporary-Chronicles-Letters/dp/1781553130w of Richard by contemporary sources there is an excellent book
or an online collection ,though shorter can be viewed here
For Leicesters investigation on the mixed York support for Leicester.
Interviews on reaction to the review results can be found here
Notes on treatment of human bones for comparison with the university practices ,This is an independent scholarly article. It also explains why there was opposition to further testing ,production of moulds for reconstruction etc as most of the process involved risks to the skeleton
Re dean of York Ministers employment record

York Minster

November 2012 – Present (1 year 7 months)

Dean of Leicester

Leicester Cathedral

2000 – 2012 (12 years)

Also Chair of the Association of English Cathedrals
Dean of York from Dec 2012

Canon Pastor and Vice Provost

Coventry Cathedral
A good overview of opinion about Richard III in Leicester can be found here
heres a brief selection that is fairly representative of the opinions most commonly expressed

The extensive works around Leicester Cathedral have been going on now for a considerable time and must already have cost millions, just to enhance a burial place for a king with an extremely dubious reputation.

I, for one, would like to know who is paying for all this?

The promised long-term pay-off in terms of tourist revenue can only be a guess at best – and my guess is that initial interest will dwindle quite quickly.

The cost to retail businesses in that area during this expensive revamp must be dire because of its continued inaccessibility to cars.

When it is finished, it will become yet another Soulsby-inspired pedestrianised area which will exclude the disabled from parking close by, as applies to much of the city centre already.

John Yates, Glenfield.

On the pro Richard side

“So glad that the High Court has upheld the licence, properly applied for and granted, allowing this tragic and much-maligned young king to be given a dignified reinterment in Leicester Cathedral.

As a Blue Badge Guide, I have been leading Richard III guided walks for 20 years.

He was always an important part of Leicester’s history. Now at last he can stay here, as he has, just yards away, for more than five centuries.

Colin Crosby, Leicester.

Read more: http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/Glad-Richard-s-staying-city/story-21146431-detail/story.html#CkcZYXMEP3ApVUdI.99#ixzz32y6mROk2

Read more at http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/Glad-Richard-s-staying-city/story-21146431-detail/story.html#wHyj80Z9yiwusWHP.99

Read more: http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/Glad-Richard-s-staying-city/story-21146431-detail/story.html#CkcZYXMEP3ApVUdI.99#ixzz32y5otUO4

Read more at http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/Glad-Richard-s-staying-city/story-21146431-detail/story.html#wHyj80Z9yiwusWHP.99
excavation details
dig figuress

ricjard signature
leicester costs dig
I am deeply indebted to the following for information and links which helped with creating this post
Kim Harding BAhons
Draj Hibbard,BA hons,MD
Patrica Rice Jones
David Atkin

Foot note.

Sadly King Richards re interment fulfilled all the worst prophecies of   those who felt Leicester was only interested in its tourism benefits and that it would be penny pinching and undignified.A strange mix of cheap modern practicalities and flashy medieval  display to make the tourists happy.What little dignified input existed was from Richards distant relations or other Richardians


It was touching that Richards descendent had made the coffin and its  well made simplicity probably reflects the limited resources made available  to him by Leicester but at least  its been made lovingly ,by hand ,by someone emotionally tied to Richard .Likewise the linen covering is beautifuly worked and made with loving care ,Very movingly Veterans stood vigil at  the warrior kings coffin,something I am sure Richard would have been deeply moved by


But for the rest it  has been  sad to see the lack of effort ,the use of the easiest cheapest methods and exploitation of the reburial to promote elements of Leicester Quite independently of pro York  views  its clear the world can also now see why Leicester wanted King Richard.



About hathawaysofhaworth

I am a Historian and author living in the north
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8 Responses to “Thy master is bought and sold “.The Richard III reburial debate an overview with links

  1. Thank you for your informed concern on this. It shows what a secular age we live in – and how universities have lost the way. (If they ever had it!). Keep up the brilliant work.

  2. Doris Lewis says:

    Many congratulations on this page. I’ve only just come across it. Very best wishes to you. (I have a RIII page in Facebook, “Richard III Must Be Returned To York.”)

  3. Deb says:

    What a fascinating read, and so well put, thank you. I am still rather puzzled as to why presumably intelligent, and well educated judges were fooled into thinking that Leicester WOULD give Richard the burial he deserved. As for the oft repeated words of ” dignity, honour and respect ” by the spokespeople of Leicester’s ( now ) interested parties, I haven’t seen much evidence of that thus far. These people are treating a once King of England like a commodity, a money spinner – in stark contrast to those who have hoped and prayed for Richard to be returned to his beloved and adopted ” homeland ” , hi love for which has been documented. They / ” we ” wished to give a wronged King the right treatment after over half a century of propaganda and muddied facts. Leicester have side-lined those who REALLY found Richard, so even if ” finders keepers ” should be applied to the remains of an anointed King, which is debatable anyway, the Leicester principal players did not even believe they WOULD find him, and the discovery was down to the insistence and efforts of the Looking For Richard team, but that fact hasn’t been allowed to get in the way of Leicester claiming to have found him !. Also, reducing it down to the level of the Leicester lot, if anybody ” owns ” Richard it surely must be the LFR team – without them he would still be under that car park. Poor Richard, betrayed yet again.

  4. Jane Parlour says:

    Thankyou so much for posting this and providing all the links to your source material. Thoroughly
    researched and beautifully written.

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