A winter of
over Richard

From: Rev PN Hayward, Allonby, Maryport, Cumbria.

I SEE that the Richard III Society membership has prospered since the discovery of the king’s mortal remains.

So sentimentality has won the day, and history has been whitewashed. Of the 23 monarchs since Richard only the unsatisfactory Charles I (beheaded in 1649) has joined him in dying violently. A wrong emphasis has exalted Charles to martyrdom. Even churches were later dedicated to him. The late Princess of Wales is a modern example of violent death stirring an outburst of strong public emotions.

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Shakespeare never changed the basic facts of history, and there was no reason at all why he should have blackened Richard unjustifiably, in his play The life and death of King Richard III.

The War of the Roses had ended with the Yorkist victories at Barnet and Tewkesbury in 1471 and the Bosworth postscript in 1485. Richard left no effective support behind him, and he had been followed by five Tudor monarchs, with the long and important reigns of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.

When the play was written in 1592, no-one still alive could remember him. He was simply a historical figure, like the other 10 kings of England mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays.

Richard was a classic case of a powerful man with a chip on his shoulder – physically and metaphorically!

The only one of a big family of healthy brothers to be disadvantaged, he bore a universal grudge throughout his short life. He bravely compensated by becoming a brilliant soldier. Shakespeare testifies to this in the opening speech of the play.

From: Coun Andrew Carter (Conservative), Civic Hall, Leeds.

I READ with great interest, as I am sure did many of your readers, Malcolm Barker’s excellent article about King Richard III (Yorkshire Post, February 16).

I cannot agree, however, with the final sentence of the article, in which he states, in relationship to Leicester, that it looks like a case of ‘finders keepers’.

As someone who has signed the online petition for the return of the remains of King Richard III, to be buried, with honour in York Minster, I would urge your readers to join this online campaign.

From: Michael O’Dowd, Kent Road, Harrogate.

I READ (Yorkshire Post, February 15) that Bridlington Priory is anxious to faithfully re-enact the visit of Henry V after his victory at Agincourt. I note one error in that the service is to be conducted by Archbishop John Sentamu.

To be a faithful re-enactment the service would need to be that of the King’s Catholic faith – a service in Latin of the rite prior to the Council of Trent.

In that respect one would also ask if King Richard III is to be permitted to be re-buried according to the rites of his faith and not that of monarchs far in his future?

From: Mr CM Sunderland, Low Row, Swaledale, North Yorkshire.

IT would appear that Richard’s final resting place is not to be in Yorkshire and I notice that on the proposed design for his tomb all the roses, presumably Yorkshire roses, have been placed upside down.

The Yorkshire Rose, like the good people of Yorkshire, is well-balanced, so it sits on a point.

Or perhaps it was designed by a Lancastrian who has placed the roses it the manner of that county to remind us that Richard was defeated by the House of Lancaster!

From: Michael Iveson, Summerbridge, Harrogate.

WHY all the ballyhoo surrounding the final resting place for the supposed remains 
of King Richard III? If he really was responsible for the murder of the Princes in the Tower, then he was clearly not a very nice person and his resting place should reflect that fact. How about a car park in Leicester?

Packets limit smuggling

From: Michael Ridgway, Ghyll Wood, Ilkley.

YOUR story headlined “Cigarette Smuggling Plot Failed at Port” (Yorkshire Post, February 9), regarding East Yorkshire ports, highlighted the major revenue losses being experienced in the country as a result of this type of criminal activity.

Recent HMRC figures put this and other illicit tobacco trading activities at over £3bn per annum, the equivalent of some £8m per day.

The recent government and EU proposals to simplify the graphical design, construction and introduction of plain packaging can only lead 
to increases in this type of activity.

The packaging industry in Yorkshire and the UK plays 
an important role in combating the copying tobacco products 
by introducing advanced complexity into the 
specification and many 
aspects of the production processes in addition to just the printing.

The introduction of plain simplified packaging will lead to increased smuggling, counterfeiting and be a 
bonus to the criminal gangs behind this illegal trade 
and through the unregulated distribution channels 
introduce tobacco products to the vulnerable and the 
young who need protection 
and education relating to stating the smoking habit.

Potholes are sign of neglect

From: Andrew Mercer, Oxford Road, Guiseley.

FOLLOWING Tom Richmond’s recent column on the complacency of Leeds 
Council over gritting, when 
is the authority going to get to grips with potholes – another 
area of responsibility that continues to be neglected?