Friday, 23 May 2014

At last! Judgement on burial of Richard III

The High Court has reached a decision on the final resting place of Richard III.  It has been decided he should have a 'dignified burial' in Leicester Cathedral.   The Justice Secretary blasted  the 'Plantagenet Alliance' for wasting public money.  The Alliance had wanted Richard re-buried in York Minster.  I totally agree with the judgement - including the remark about wasting public money! 

To begin with, Leicester University had funded part of the search for Richard's remains.  They always intended to re-bury Richard in Leicester - with dignity and honour.  As far as I know, York didn't pay anything towards the search, and didn't voice an opinion on what would happen if the remains were found.  It was only after the discovery that the debate began.

Richard himself never intended to be buried in York.  He was preparing a tomb in St George's Chapel, Windsor, alongside his brother Edward IV.  His Queen, Anne Neville, was buried in Westminster Abbey - clearly Richard had no plans for a joint tomb, and today her burial place is marked with a simple plaque. 

With the Battle of Bosworth actually taking place in Leicester, surely Richard and Henry Tudor would have expected to be buried in Leicester, whichever one of them fell in battle.  Margaret of Anjou's son, Edward of Lancaster, fell at Tewkesbury, and is buried in the Abbey there.  Edward II is said to have died at Berkley Castle, and was buried in nearby Gloucester, and the same for Prince Arthur, who died at Ludlow and was buried in nearby Worcester Cathedral.

Most importantly - Richard was actually given a Christian burial and a tomb in Leicester - why remove remains that have lain in Leicester for 500 years, over some romanticised notion that Richard 'belongs' in York.

I find it somewhat ironic that all this fuss has been made, when the bones of Edward V and his brother Richard of York, were shown scant respect by Richard and buried in a chest under a staircase in the White Tower.  Though if Thomas More is to be believed, a priest was summoned to say prayers, and their resting place may have been a temporary measure.  Thankfully, after the bones were discovered, they were re-buried in Westminster Abbey.

If the remains of Piers Gaveston are ever found, I wonder where he would be re-buried............


Kasia Ogrodnik said...

Although I'm a Yorksist, I too have found the whole fuss utterly unnecessary. The dead should rest in peace. I'm sure Richard himself would have smiled had he known there would be a court case over his dead body :-) The whole situation remids me of Henry the Young King's body and its posthumous adventures.

Anerje said...

Hi Kasia, yes I was reading about the Young King's remains on your blog. The people of Leicester have various monuments to Richard III - let him rest in peace there, whatever one thinks of him.

Kathryn Warner said...

I totally agree with the judgement and with what you've said here. I'm so glad the Plantagenet Alliance were blasted for wasting taxpayers' money. Absolutely ridiculous, the whole thing. There are so many over the top posts about this on Facebook, photos of Richard III's reconstructed head with the word 'Betrayed!' written across it, and endless emotive comments on how Leicester (the whole city and everyone in it, apparently) should feel 'ashamed'.

Gabriele C. said...

They should bury him in Lancaster, that would piss everyone off. *grin*

Seriously, I think Leicester is the best solition, too. Old people don't take it well to be sent off to another place, and after 500 years Richard surely feels at home in Leicester.

Anerje said...

OMG Kathryn - that's awful! I wonder how many of these people have been to Leicester and seen the monuments to Richard there, including a statue. In contrast, the Richard III museum in York is dire! Nothing there really except a dodgy wax model and Richard's story in pictures! This case has cost the taxpayer £85,000! What a waste!

Gabriele - maybe they will get their Leicester/Lancaster mixed up - who knows LOL!