Richard III, Leicester and THAT tomb…

In the eyes of some commentators, Richard III can’t do right for doing wrong. His achievements as Duke of Gloucester or king are minimised or outright denied, his faults magnified, the actions of others – like Edward IV’s executions of Henry VI and George of Clarence – incorrectly attributed to him; and all because he sought to save himself, his family and his country from the potential disaster of a Woodville-dominated minority, possibly by ordering the elimination of his brother’s male heirs.

Ironically, under the circumstances, in the eyes of some people who desperately wanted him to be reburied in York, now Leicester can’t do right for doing wrong. This thriving mercantile city with its stunning Roman archaeology, rich history, handsome civic architecture, fine parks and well-regarded university has been derided as a dump; its mayor and councillors, (naturally and responsibly concerned with promoting their city’s interests and economic well-being) as scheming, venal and corrupt; and its substantial former parish church, now the Cathedral, as an unfit resting place for the last Plantagenet king.

Recently, the Cathedral has been the target of some vicious criticism because it has allowed, and will continue to allow, vintage fairs to be held there. To some this is utterly disgusting, bespeaking lack of respect, honour and dignity. To me it’s a pragmatic response to the Church’s desperate need, in our increasingly secular society, to broaden its appeal, get people in through the door and generate much-needed funds for the upkeep of its historic buildings. And it’s not exactly a new idea; I recall from childhood that local churches often hosted whist drives, coffee mornings, concerts, jumble sales, exhibitions, you name it – surely it’s just the logical extension of the Church’s traditional place as the social as well as spiritual hub of a community. Maybe God would rather have visitors in His house for whatever reason than not have them at all – especially if they’re helping to keep a roof on the place – and I dare say that in future, a lot of the people who attend fairs at Leicester Cathedral will go and visit King Richard’s tomb while they’re at it. Who knows, they might even absorb some Christian vibes at the same time.

Leicester’s wider proposals for events around the re-interment proper have also generated howls of dismay and protest. The plan for his remains to be carried from Bosworth and its neighbouring villages and back into the city across Bow Bridge, echoing King Richard’s last journey, are deemed by some to be humiliating and insulting. Well sure, that’s how it was in 1485; but in 2015 he will travel with ceremony and pomp, with full media coverage and thousands of people (including me, I hope) turning out to honour him and watch him pass. This seems to me like an effective way of expunging the horror of his posthumous treatment by Henry Tudor, rather than repeating it. And as for the day of open-air pageants, parades, music and street entertainment currently under discussion to mark the end of the ceremonies – I’m looking forward to it, because this IS a joyous occasion. King Richard is no longer lost. He will have a visible, world-famous tomb, and is all set to become Britain’s most-visited monarch. Hah! What a smack in the eye for haters like Michael Hicks! What a well-deserved, long-overdue upsurge of interest in Wars of the Roses history! Plus the nature of the event makes it accessible to the great numbers of people who have followed this story with deep interest and will wish to be involved in some way – yup, it makes me want to dance in the streets (because we won’t all fit in the Cathedral).

Finally, as for that tomb with its deeply-incised cross, described by some as looking like a lump of cheese or a forgotten parcel – I admit, at first I didn’t like it much myself. Although I didn’t hate it, either; like a lot of modern sculpture its simplicity is deceptive, and there’s more technical skill involved in precision-cutting those lines than some folk perhaps appreciate. But now that the full concept has been revealed, I actually prefer it to the design originally floated by the Richard III Society – because it will be flooded with light, transforming a rather dull design into something unique, special and nicely befitting this unique and special king. Yes, the lighting will be arranged to illuminate the cross, incorporating the dynamism of photons into the very fabric of the tomb; a glowing symbol of Richard III’s own faith, reflecting the form of life-in-death he has achieved as a global mega-star. Wow! This is such a cool idea – I’m very excited by it, and can’t wait to see how it will be achieved.

So some of the bitter nay-sayers will never visit dreadful Leicester? As far as I’m concerned they’ll be missing a treat. I can’t remember the last time I was so excited about an impending historical event – roll on Spring 2015!

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53 thoughts on “Richard III, Leicester and THAT tomb…

  1. Well I have never been to Leicester although I have visited York. I can’t quite believe that the very touristy city of York would not have held any big events had they been the chosen burial place. I loved York but I’m sure that Leicester is equally interesting and that all the events planned will be respectful as befits a kings burial but I don’t think that a little celebration is out of place. It sounds very much a case of sour grapes to me.

  2. Helen I must admit I didn’t like the tomb but I shall try to adopt your positive attitude I have every intention of visiting Richard’s tomb next year and leaving some White roses in rememberance of him.

  3. An excellent post, Helen. I do hope it is shared across all the sites devoted to Richard, particularly those which seem to decry every single thing and every single person connected, however remotely with the City of Leicester, the University of Leicester and the Cathedral.

  4. thanks, all. yes, York would surely have made a big deal out of it – as indeed would any place he was buried. how could they not? this has been national/international news since 2012… the re-interment could hardly take place as a small, private affair with no public interest or involvement.

    • York would provide an appropriate service – the international acclaim would provide the big deal you refer to, and spectacle would be a non issue.

      • As York have not commented, nor put forward any ideas or suggestions for a proposed service (quite rightly given the legal decision) I cannot see how you can make that statement. You may hope that is what they would do, you might assume that is what they might do, but you cannot know that is what they would do.

  5. “This thriving mercantile city with its stunning Roman archaeology, rich history, handsome civic architecture, fine parks and well-regarded university”
    Are you living in a parallel universe?
    Really getting tired of the apologists – not for Leicester – but for the behaviour and actions of what used to be called the “City Fathers” – that Cabal, for that is what it is, that have denied history, obvious actions and wishes of this King.
    Twisted history helps no one, especially the coming generations who will have another layer of lies added to the story of King Richard III. A burial in Leicester adds to the deliberate confusion of those lies, and for what? A short term boost to Leicester’s economy.
    I am at a loss to understand why anyone with any knowledge of this Kings life and the symbolism of his real connections to the North, with the affect and influence that should still be having on the whole country today, would want to be associated with this farce of an Alton Towers run Theme Tomb being perpetrated in the good city of Leicester.

    • Dave, why don’t you save your bile for the Leicester Cabal etc site – you can play there to your heart’s content.

      • Jasmine. Yes Dave does say it as it is on the ‘Cabal’ site. It is a pity things had to end up this way but for most of us who feel really bad that Leicester could not at least have consulted with us over this wonderful discovery, then at the end of the day we are left to try and put out the truth over what really happened. You may want to say we are telling lies but we are not. Everything that has occurred can be traced back through documents, e-mails, discussions, terrible propaganda, and not one person in the whole ‘cabal’ has EVER come out and said anything which could even be seen as attempting to appease those of us who, after many years research, reading etc and who know the facts regarding Richard and his life and times have now had to accept the unthinkable. Neither the Mayor, the Archaeologists, nor the Churchmen seem to know much about this man. They have merely done a quick google search to find out what parts of Richard’s story suit them, and their bloody mindedness to make sure Leicester reap the rewards of what, after all was a discovery brought about not by their University, but by the hard work and dogged persistence of others (not associated with Leicester) to find the King. And further, the King would still be lying beneath the feted car park if the people who instigated the dig had not been informed by the Council etc that they would not be allowed to dig unless Richard if found, was buried in Leicester. Why can you people not understand how deep the feeling goes with us. Is it because you never really bothered that much about Richard before he was found? Or; do I misconstrue the situation here, and really you have spent over 30 plus years like me and those others who actually feel some responsibility and care for this man, without I stress, being anything like the ‘fans’ we have been portrayed as, which really does take the biscuit. All we wanted was to do the right thing and most of us would never have dreamed things would have ended up with our two counties being forever stamped with the accolade of nothing more than a 21st century technical war. I am afraid only time will tell and we must watch whilst history is consigned to an electronic light. Will it still be shining brightly after another 500 plus years, as have the tombs in York, Westminster, Windsor, Gloucester, Canterbury, Lincoln, Peterborough etc etc etc??????

      • Well, Hutton, I can understand the disappointment felt by a lot of people who favour York for Richard’s reburial at the decision of the court that the licence should stand and his reburial will take place in Leicester. But have you really read what appears on the Cabal site? The constant denigration of all things Leicester (or Fester as it is often referred to) the wild and unfounded allegations against a whole range of people and Leicester organisation and the recent thread alleging corruption against one of the High Court Judges because he carried out his ceremonial duties associated with the opening of the local Court Sessions in the East Midlands.

        There is a difference between expressing disappointment and talking about evidence or the lack of it regarding Richard’s own wishes, and making wild and frequently libelous statements about people who are only doing their job. The sentiments expressed by many of its contributors do not do any favours for the pro-York, or rather Anywhere but Leicester people.

    • Parallel universe? No – I write as someone who lived for 3 very happy years in Leicester. Sure, it’s got bad bits like any place, but I thought it was a wonderful city. As a former archaeologist and local authority museums officer, I just don’t buy the ‘cabal’ thing – all I see are a group of people doing their jobs to the best of their abilities and following standard procedures for excavations where human remains are found. As for ‘twisting history’, well – I don’t believe we have absolute proof that Richard III intended to be buried in York, and have been very irked by the spin and misconceptions freely aired ever since his discovery – eg that he was a Yorkshireman, that Leicester city knew exactly where he was and built toilets over him as a deliberate insult etc etc etc.. The twisting does work both ways! And I’m afraid I just can’t help being happy that he’s been found and I’ll have somewhere to go and pay my respects. Looking forward to seeing the Visitor centre, too.

      • Helen we get the point you are happy with the decision to rebury King Richard in Leicester. However, not everyone accepts this – and they are not necessarily the majority.
        The fundamental issue here is that this King was for the greater part of his adult life a man of the North. A successful Ruler and Lord of the North, loyal to his brother the King. He probably expected this situation to continue for most of his life. Then the situation changed dramatically, his brother died unexpectedly, probably murdered. He made considered decisions, we don’t know why exactly because the Tudors wrote the next chapter.
        If your country, Queen and Government recognised and acknowledged the historic merit of this man now that his remains have been located and gave him a proper fitting royal burial it would be a wonderful gesture to all humanity and fairness. Yes it might be a political risk to so favour a King so maligned, but it would give your country a great deal of respect worldwide.
        It would be the British thing to do for Gods sake!
        Not to do so consigns RlllR to possible future saint status.

  6. Helen, I could not agree with you more! This is something to celebrate, and I for one, with be celebrating the fact that Richard has been found. This should be a joyful time for all Ricardians and, as you say, a resurge in interest in the Wars of the Roses.
    I shall be among the crowds in Leicester on the day Richard is laid to rest and I shall be thankful that we all have a chance to pay our respects to a man who was lost to us.Loyaulte Me Lie.:)

      • Well I will be the one looking for Jasmine with a sandwich, just to make the picnic complete.

      • Ah, Jane, I see, you are referring to an earlier post. Perhaps it would be a better idea for you to bring some damper instead………but I guess you won’t be in Leicester for the reburial.

  7. I am sorry Helen – I have tried very hard to like this tomb and I have tried very hard to ignore the double dealings and ignored agreements promised by Leicester but all I can still see in front of me is Mr Traynor’s remark ‘’we will milk this for all of it’s worth’’ and Mayor Soulsby’s constant talk of money and tourists. Their tacky cake and badge are a disgrace as is the remarks that Richard had ‘tenuous links with Yorkshire’’.

    • Like it or not, tourism is an important element of any area’s economy. York, for example, exploits all its local history as much as possible in order to attract tourists. The idea that only Leicester is interested in tourism while York is not is not really feasible. When Richard’s identity was confirmed, there was a TV interview with some York/Yorkshire MPs who were discussing how the reburial of Richard in York would increase that area’s attraction for tourists. So to pretend that York/Yorkshire have no interest in potential tourism from the reburial of Richard is not realistic.

    • Yes, I can appreciate that – and saying that Richard III’s links with Yorkshire were ‘tenuous’ is demonstrably untrue. However, having worked in local authorities and heritage for so many years, I know where the mayor and councillors are coming from. Their hand-rubbing may be tactless, but heck – they’re politicians not historians, and their priorities are very different. I can’t blame them for it – I dare say I’d be feeling the same mixture of giddy relief if I was in their position, and looking at my city suddenly gaining an internationally-famous asset for raising its profile and resources.

  8. The only tenuous links are to Leicester – as in 5 visits over 9 days – as opposed to the majority of his life spent in Yorkshire. You imply he wasn’t a Yorkshireman? His Father was from Yorkshire (which in another century would have made him eligible to play cricket for the county) his mother was from the North East, his son was born in Yorkshire, he was brought up and educated in Yorkshire the number of titles and offices he held in Yorkshire you would need an entire blog just to list never mind explain or describe. This is a Son of York (being born of a Yorkshire family in their property in Northants was a simple accident of birth – not his identity – which is why he was sent to Warwick at Middleham to be educated).

    The tourist benefit to York would be as short lived as it will be in Leicester – that isn’t what this is about – it is about where he wanted to be buried – you say there is no evidence – The Bishop of Leicester has written he “can understand why he (an historian) might be led to believe he wanted to be buried in York” and that was before the re-discovery of the letter from Richard III to the Duchy of Lancaster telling them to get the 100 priests paid he had employed for the biggest chantry he or any other King had ever endowed anywhere in Britain, possibly Europe, at York Minster to pray for his soul and that of his family. That’s medieval King speak for “that’s where I’m going to be buried” as the usurper Henry Tydder did when he endowed his chantry at Westminster – guess where that little murderer is buried.

    No – to say there is no evidence that he wanted to be buried at York is to ignore the layers of evidence available – as opposed to the evidence he wanted to be buried in Leicester as in zero, nothing, nada, zilch. Also as Conn Iggulden said “Leicester is the last place Richard III would have wanted to be buried”.

    I said it isn’t about tourism – if it was, at least for York, they would have been making the fight more obvious. It definitely is for Leicester – that is the driving force, not doing the right thing, not doing what He wanted, not recognising the massive historic significance for everyone from the current establishment through to the millions effected by the North South divide that burying him back home in York would have.

    This isn’t a “Oh how pleasant to have somewhere to visit, have you seen the nice job they’ve done of redecorating the parish church” No this is much more important than that – it is a one off never to be repeated opportunity to right an ancient wrong.

    If you believe yourself to be an historian you should believe that History is one continuous line connecting everyone past, present and future – if this was your son, brother, father, uncle, husband that had been lost in battle, mutilated, abused and humiliated post mortem, dragged through the streets of an enemy city, put on display “hardly recognisable as human” and then dumped in a foreshortened grave, hidden from his supporters and not returned home… when he was re-discovered would you want him leaving in that place or brought home for proper burial where he wanted to be?

    If you think the University, Cathedral and Council aren’t a Cabal (“we and our local partners” as Reverend Pete called them) you are walking around with your eyes shut – they have run a slick co-ordinated PR, and political campaign – they have twisted every knob and button to get what they wanted – and they are the only ones twisting history to make it sound like he belongs there.

    Stop sucking up and smell the coffee.

    • I don’t imply he wasn’t a Yorkshireman – I say it quite clearly. While not disputing his strong links and special affinity with the county, he was nonetheless born in the Midlands and raised in various York residences all round the country until joining Warwick’s household, aged 12, for four years; thereafter largely at court/caught up in Warwick’s rebellion; didn’t start developing his dominance in the north until 1472; largely occupied in London and the Midlands during his time as king; so the greater part of his life was actually spent elsewhere.

      I don’t say there is ‘no evidence’ that he wanted to be buried in York, I say I don’t believe that we have absolute proof (ie, that the document you cite constitutes absolute proof) – and will not so believe unless and until something turns up making his intentions more explicit.

      And I’m sucking up to no-one. I have no earthly reason to do so – I’m not connected in any way with anything that has happened, or will happen, in Leicester. But I think I smelt enough coffee during twenty-five years working in heritage and academia to have a realistic appreciation of the pressures and preoccupations affecting other members of those professions. If you wish to see a ‘cabal’ engaged in a massive dirty conspiracy, that’s your prerogative – just as it’s mine to say that my own experience of archaeology, local authorities and heritage was a good deal more prosaic and I have nothing to complain of, or be surprised about, in the way matters were handled. Even the early plans for the Visitor Centre: having embarked on the process, with the possibility of finding a long-lost site of great historical significance even if no human remains (let alone those of Richard III) were found, Leicester City Council would naturally wish to capitalise on public interest by displaying finds from the excavation. Certainly I’d have still wanted to see an exhibition of site plans, building materials, small finds, information etc about the dig and the Greyfriars church irrespective of whether or not the king’s remains were discovered.

      Whatever, at the end of the day, although tens of thousands of people in this country cared enough about where Richard III should be reburied to sign a petition (I was among them, and signed the York one for selfish personal reasons), tens of millions didn’t. Tens of millions care even less about the minutiae of who said what to whom, when, and what it’s all supposed to mean – so whilst I appreciate that you care very deeply about it, I can’t share your sense of outrage. I’ll just be going to Leicester next year with my white rose, my boar badge, and a heart full of thanksgiving.

      • “largely occupied in London and the Midlands during his time as king; so the greater part of his life was actually spent elsewhere.”
        So you haven’t read his itinerary as King either.
        He was in Middleham earlier than 12.
        The excavation and plans for a visitors site were completely predicated on the finding of R3 and for no other reason – The mayor made that clear to both Philipa Langley and LU – on statements made by both.
        The statement made by David and Wendy Johnson made it clear that the LFR were lied to by LU – even if that was a lie of omission (which it wasn’t) – and if they had known a York burial was an option – that is what they would have demanded.
        You don’t compare his links to Yorkshire to those non existent links to Leicester – absolute proof of his wishes will eventually surface – and even if it doesn’t the burial decision should have been made on the balance of evidence of his wishes in which case Leicester wouldn’t even had been considered – it would have been a straight choice between York and Westminster.
        As far as spending time in the Midlands – if you tried looking at his itinerary you would note that yes, of course he was in London as King – as for the time spent in the Midlands it is obvious he was on business and passing through – he spent more time in Nottingham because that is the southern most point of his personal lands and power base (and southern point of the See of York Minster was then – is now) but it was a couple of days here one or two there – then a month and a half back home with his family in Yorkshire.
        As for saying he isn’t a Yorkshireman – don’t be ridiculous The Yorkshire and England Cricket Captain that won the Ashes – and proud Yorkshireman to boot Michael Vaughan was born in Manchester.

      • helen Richard was not born in the Midlands he was born in Fotherighay Castle in Northampton and probably spent the first five years of his life there

      • What? Even by the standards of daft debate around this, claiming that Northamptonshire isn’t in the Midlands is head-scratchingly bizarre.

        Richard III. Born in the East Midlands. Spent much of his childhood in the East Midlands, Spent much of his reign in the East Midlands. Gathered his army in the East Midlands. Defended his throne in the East Midlands. Died in the East Midlands. Buried in the East Midlands. Exhumed in the East Midlands. Set for reinterment in the East Midlands. A good local lad.

  9. Another excellent blog, Helen. The ridiculous posturing and paranoia of the tiny handful of folk who populate that ‘Cabal’ site is always good for a laugh. Like all conspiracy theorists, they simply ignore everything that doesn’t fit in with their dogma. A Leicester reinterment was supported by the Government, the Church of England and the Palace, as we saw in the JR judgment, but that can’t be squared with the idea of a Leicester Cabal. I must say, it’s pretty impressive that this ‘Cabal’ is able to apparently influence the Government, the Judiciary, the Church of England and even HM The Queen. That’s one powerful city council! I wonder how long it will be before they start claiming it’s all being organised by alien lizards.

    The celebrations and ceremonies in Leicester next year are going to be absolutely awesome and a once-in-a-lifetime event. It will be for history buffs what the Olympics were for sports fans. The people carping on about this are those who actually hate Richard III because he’s no longer their own personal Richard III.

    Did you read the recent exchange in Parliament at Justice Minister’s questions when Hugh Bailey MP made himself look very foolish by banging on about Richard III and his spurious ‘connections’ to Yorkshire. Simon Hughes MP put him down pretty flatly: “King Richard III was the King of all England and did not just have particular interests in certain parts of the country.” That’s what the extremists can’t accept. But they are just a tiny handful of folk; as far as the rest of the country is concerned, it’s all done now and we’re just waiting for the big week next spring.

    • You really don’t get it at all M Simpson. “Spurious Connections” ?! Are you burbling while someone translates and writes this rubbish down for you? I only ask because you can’t be capable of reading if you haven’t seen the documentary evidence of Richard IIIs dedication to the North.

      This isn’t a small group of people who can see how sick this charade is in Leicester – it is tens of thousands around the World and growing by the day.

      He would never have wished to be buried in Leicester – you know this – your tiny group of anti Richard Leicester enthusiasts have said as much. But that doesn’t matter to you does it.

      No heartless or lacking in imagination or with no sense or understanding of history and it’s ongoing impact – take your pick the Cabal and their supporters fit some if not all of those descriptions.

      • Does anyone else think the York lot sound a lot like a jealous ex-girlfriend who can’t accept that it’s over? “He was dedicated to me! He loved me! And I loved him!” Sure, whatever, but you do realise he had another dozen girlfriends before, during and after your time together? “No, it was just me he loved! What we had was special.”

        Let me slightly revise my previous comment. It’s not that Richard didn’t have any connections to Yorkshire – granted, he did live there for a few years before he was King – it’s that he has many, many strong connections to lots of other places. And those are the girlfriends that the Yorkshire ranters won’t acknowledge.

      • Would you like a list of all the places he visited, endowed, held court in, sat as head of the Council of the North? Have you read his itinerary as King? If you had you would notice how a) the vast majority of his life was spent in Yorkshire followed by London followed by a dozen or so places which he was fond of owned properties and lands in – more or less everything in fact from the Trent to the Tyne all of them with more links to Richard III than Leicester.
        But you carry in making up your jibes.

  10. Aaaand then he became King and pretty much ignored the place, apart from one trip for his son’s investiture. Didn’t go anywhere near Yorkshire for the last 12 months of his reign. Prefered to stay in Nottingham because the Midlands was the home of Yorkist support and he didn’t want to spend any more time in the North surrounded by Lancastrians.

    Leicester doesn’t have to have any links to Richard III (though it was an important town to him as he twice mustered his army there). The question has never been ‘Which place has the closest links to Richard?’ except in the minds of money-grabbing Yorkies desperate to top up their faltering, tourist-based economy. He’s being reinterred where he was originally buried. Which is the moral, legal, ethical, Christian thing to do.

    None of this will persuade you and your obsessive, deluded friends. And we don’t care. We’re going to celebrate Richard in Leicester, the town that cheered him on his way to Bosworth, the town that mourned him when he was brought back, the town that kept his remains safe and his memory alive throughout the centuries. And the rest of the UK, and the rest of the world will be joining in. What a great time we’re going to have.

    • So you haven’t read his recorded itinerary then – you were ignorant when you ran your own blog and you still are now the Uni told you to stop bringing them into disrepute.

      Here’s a hint – after he became King and had his coronation at Westminster guess which place – other than London he spent most (recorded and archived in the British Library) time in? Come on – you can say it – begins with YOR and ends in SHIRE.

      • The fact is that at the request of the PA, there was a judicial review into whether or not the licence had been issued correctly. The judges considered the case and made their decision – the licences had been issued correctly. Richard will be reburied in Leicester next spring.

        The number of times Richard visited Leicester, or how long he lived in Yorkshire, or whether or not he visited York X number of times during his reign had no relevance to the case which was entirely about the licence.

      • I agree – the licence was issued “correctly” and I believe the PA were mis advised to take action on the basis of the validity of the licence itself.
        But, and it’s a big but, Justice Haddon Cave allowed the case to go to Review because the PA did have a genuine complaint.
        The licence ordered the University to reinter by August this year – and gave it three choices – the third choice allowed then to arrange reinterment at York or Westminster or anywhere else “appropriate” this had to be part of the conditions in case the remains did turn out to be Richard III; and here is the “but” BUT a deal had already been extracted on the burial place BEFORE the licence was even applied for – that is why the PA had a case not because there was no consultation but because there was never any chance of consultation – a behind closed doors dirty underhand deal.
        That is why no one who knows the facts behind this Saga is letting it go.
        Sorry if that is inconvenient.

      • It is not a question of whether or not it is ‘inconvenient’ in the eyes of some. Mr Justice Haddon Cave obviously believed it was worth testing the PA’s case. The case was duly tested and the PA lost.
        If you read the JR judgement, you will see that the reburial place of Richard III was intended, right from the beginning to be Leicester Cathedral and not any of the other ‘choices’ you mention. The judgement also had quite a bit to say about the concept of ‘consultation’ and the nature of what was proposed by the PA. This too was rejected as being impossible to carry out.
        The PA is not appealing against the decision. What is left? An appeal to the Pope perhaps?

      • I have read the Judgement in detail Jasmine – and many of the reports in legal journals from around the World that, without one exception, were slightly surprised to diplomatically shocked at the amount of irrelevant information the reasoning was padded with.

        This is not some simple case governed by written in stone statutes – not even a normal test case – this is a still ongoing debate. You are right the JR was about reviewing if the MoJ had issued the licence correctly – it was also about if LU had a duty to consult – the latter and the deliberate “in” then trying to get “out” of being a defendant tactic of LCC muddied the waters – the deliberate delays by both the MoJ and LCC allowed stupid amounts to be spent or committed to by the Cabal (“with undue haste” also mentioned in the reasoning) before the legal process was over, putting pressure on the panel and astonishment in very leaned circles.

        There will be no appeal through the courts – yet – how can there be? any further legal action would have to be from a different perspective with new evidence (or more ancient evidence uncovered).

        What will happen is evidence will continue to surface and the real story of both Richard III and his continuing imprisonment in Leicester will spread wider and wider. The already long list of famous and knowledgeable people (not the local football team and faintly ridiculous rock band as in the case of Leicester’s high profile endorsements) who support his wish to be buried in Yorkshire will grow – and despite the removal of the Yorkshire Rose from the latest IKEA tomb design – no one visiting that place will be in any doubt that he should not be there.

        It is what is known as a poisoned chalice.

      • I think you are dreaming, Dave Atkin. Like many people, you have fallen into the trap of allowing ‘inferred assumptions’ to change into concrete facts. As you are perfectly aware, there is no record surviving of Richard’s own burial wishes. As for the chantry in York Minster – see the will of Earl Rivers who mentions four chantries that he had put in place, yet his burial wishes related to somewhere else entirely. There is no absolute link between a chantry and a burial place – only an assumption made by people more than 500 years after the event. It is perfectly possible that that assumption is wrong – we have no evidence either way.
        The letter that was recently found by Chris Skidmore was touted in the press as proving Richard’s intention to be buried in York. Reading the letter soon shows that ‘headline’ to be totally wrong. The letter is about ensuring that priests are paid to offer prayers for Richard and his family. Nothing about a burial at all……..Offering prayers for a patron and his/her family is the function of a chantry chapel. So no surprise there, then.

    • very frustrated that the site keeps putting my replies to posts in the wrong places. So: M Simpson – next spring I’ll buy you a pint in The Magazine (if it’s still there)! Dave – I’ve read the itinerary and it looks more like King Richard spent more time in the Midlands and Lincolnshire than Yorkshire – except for the investiture visit in 1483, and two months of progress in 1484.

      • Dave, I DID read the itinerary, so I don’t understand what you’re talking about. The version I have shows that he didn’t arrive in Yorkshire until late August 1483, stayed through to 8th October and didn’t return until late May 1484, whereupon he was on progress around the region/in Durham until late July – then didn’t return to Yorkshire for the rest of his reign. And we’ll clearly have to differ on his ‘Yorkshireman-ness’ – just as I would call Michael Vaughn a Mancunian and myself a Lincolnshire Yellow-belly, even though I’ve lived in Yorkshire more than half my life and am married to an undisputable Yorkshireman. As to allegations about who might have lied directly or by omission to whom, who said what, what they really meant etc etc – having assumed from the outset that he would be reburied in Leicester in accordance with normal archaeological practice, at this stage I find it all pretty irrelevant.

      • It seems the Cabal have left this blog – presumably because they have run out of arguments……..

      • The Leicester Cabal ran out of arguments a long time ago it’s just regurgitation of the same spin – they know he doesn’t belong there but are to ignorant to even hang their heads in shame.

  11. Quite, Jasmine – Richard III also founded a collegiate church at Middleham for a dean, six chaplains, four clerks, a clerk sacristan and six choristers charged with offering perpetual masses for his family’s souls. Not the same scale as his York foundation, of course – but York was the northern capital and obvious place for his biggest demonstration of devotion to the Church.

    • Richard lll spent a very large portion of his life devoting himself to loyalty to his brother King Edward and to the administration of the north, where he was effective and appreciated. His unexpected time as King of England covered around 2 years, ending with his death at 32. Against all odds, he died courageously and nobly – an achievement unacknowledged by history. The recovery of his remains offers an opportunity to rectify and honour not just Richard, but the foundation of our worldwide heritage and humanity. Although Richard was just a man, a royal burial would be most appropriate.

      • yes, Jane – I thought a royal burial in Westminster Abbey with so many other monarchs WOULD have been nice – but I never realistically held out any hope for it.

  12. Jasmine – I wholeheartedly agree with your comment posted early this morning. Excessive criticism often rebounds on the critic and generates sympathy for their target(s); and, (apart from the misinformation pumped into the public domain), it was why the York campaign lost my support and I started rooting for Leicester. I consider some of the individuals under attack to be professional colleagues, even personal friends – people I know to be decent, well-intentioned and striving to do their best under circumstances which soon became extraordinarily difficult. I was appalled to see them so hatefully traduced, their names and reputations dragged through the mud, and their motives impugned – to such extent that I felt obliged to contact the Richard III Society to dissociate myself, lest anyone there thought (by virtue of my Yorkshire address and local branch membership) that I was in any way involved or in agreement with the awful things being said. It’s all such a shame when we have so much be grateful for…

    • Exactly, Helen. I am afraid that if the general public read some of the more extreme views, it will confirm the generally accepted view that most supporters of Richard III are a sandwich short of a picnic.

      If anyone had ever said to me that the discovery of Richard’s remains and the opportunity the discovery offers for him to be reburied with honour would turn out to be such a divisive issue, I would not have believed it.

    • Does a royal burial have to be one in Westminster? Or can it take place elsewhere. It appears that Rllls proposed burial in Leicester is not a royal burial as it is not being paid for by the Crown/government. This is forcing Leicester to appeal to the public for money, arrange a four day funeral parade and carnival and hold regular jumble sales around his tomb. One wonders about the security of the burial site let alone the appropriateness of the whole sorry situation.

      • The public are invited to donate – it is up to them – there is no obligation. Some people are pleased to be able to make a contribution. Any why shouldn’t they? The 4 days of events you refer to have nothing to do with raising funds. They are a celebration following the reburial, which itself is a solemn occasion. Neither are there proposed jumble sales around Richard’s tomb to raise money for the reburial. For a start, the place where Richard’s tomb will be located is a special chapel behind the High Altar – not the sort of place to ‘….hold jumble sales….’ If you research the matter, you will find that many Cathedrals and churches in the UK hold events within their church buildings. They are a way of involving the community with the life of the church.

        Not everyone shares your view that it is a ‘sorry situation’.

  13. Perhaps your suggestion Jasmine of an appeal to the Pope has some merit. He should at least be invited to the burial service.

    • I suspect he has more important matters to deal with such as world poverty. However, I am sure an invitation will go to the highest ranking English Roman Catholic prelate.

      • The Bishop of Nottingham indicated very early on his willingness to participate in whatever way was was appropriate.

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