From: Angela Hardman, Aislaby, Pickering.
HAVING been fascinated by the history of Richard III for many years, I read with interest your magazine article (Yorkshire Post, December 8).
However, it does seem sad that economic reasons are the main ones cited for the reburial of the remains, should they indeed prove to be those of King Richard.
This is a monarch who was killed in battle through betrayal and then (if the chroniclers are to be believed) mutilated before burial.
Subsequent years have seen his reputation blackened, for a crime for which his guilt is unproven.
Now, his remains will be poked and prodded by specialists who will be able to tell us exactly what he looked like, what he ate and how he walked – possibly even what his last meal was – it seems to me that turning him into a tourist attraction is adding insult to injury.
It would perhaps have been better to leave him where he was, and I am beginning to hope it is not Richard III that they have found. However, if it is, to re-inter him in York Minster might finally allow him some dignity.
Here are the reasons why.
1) Richard certainly seems to have wanted to foster a “special relationship” with York, visiting regularly and looking out for their interests when required, so it must have been important to him.
2) He had massive plans for the Minster, so even if he wasn’t planning a burial there, he must have held it in high regard.
3) He visited York to see the Mystery Plays and to have his son invested as Prince of Wales – happy memories compared to those of Leicester – he was there when Buckingham rebelled and to fight Henry Tudor.
4) He would recognise York Minster, as it is Medieval – Leicester cathedral is Victorian.
5) As a King, he would expect a magnificent resting place – York Minster dominates its surroundings, but Leicester Cathedral is small and hidden by other buildings.
6) He personally supervised the transfer of his father’s bones from where he was buried after he died in the battle of Wakefield, to the family tomb – so maybe he himself would rather not be buried where he fell in battle.
7) York city leaders recorded their sorrow at his death in a very public way at a dangerous time, and were slow to accept Tudor rule, so he must have been held in high regard by the city.
The words they used would make a perfect epitaph for his grave.
As well as the Richard III Foundation petition, there is an official Government one.
The Government will debate this if it achieves 100,000 signatures (a tall order and so far 386 have signed) – so please Yorkshire, get signing and let’s get our King home.