Coffee House

Richard III: a ceremony fit for a king?

19 September 2012

10:20 AM

19 September 2012

10:20 AM

Chris Skidmore, Conservative MP and historian, explains the plans already in place for the burial of Richard III.

I, here, whom the earth encloses under ostentatious marble,

Was justly called Richard the Third.

I was Protector of my country, an uncle ruling on behalf of his nephew.

I held the British kingdoms in trust, although they were disunited.

Then for just sixty days less two,

And two summers, I held my sceptres.

Fighting bravely in war, deserted by the English,

I succumbed to you, King Henry VII.

But you yourself, piteously, at your expense, thus honoured my bones

And caused a former king to be revered with the honour of a king

When in twice five years less four

Three hundred five-year periods of our salvation had passed.

And eleven days before the Kalends of September

I surrendered to the red rose the power it desired.

Whoever you are, pray for my offences,

That my punishment may be lessened by your prayers.

So read the inscription on Richard III’s tomb, constructed ten years after the king’s death, when in September 1495, Henry VII eventually decided to give some thought the dead king’s grave, ordering that James Keyley be paid £10 1s for making ‘King Richard’s tomb’. Even in the grave, it seems, Richard would continue to cause controversy, with the payment for the alabaster monument becoming the subject of a lawsuit between two stonemasons. With the possible rediscovery of the king’s body beneath a car park at Leicester, subject to DNA testing that will take up to twelve weeks, it seems that controversy has once more been reignited.

Richard had been killed at the Battle of Bosworth, the last king to be killed on an English battlefield. After being urged to flee following the desertion of some of his followers and the collapse of his vanguard, instead the king chose to make one final desperate charge, aimed at Henry Tudor’s standard. Far from Shakespeare’s fictional portrayal of the king attempting to trade his kingdom for a horse, near contemporary sources tell a different story. According to Polydore Vergil, one of the early historians of the battle, ‘Richard could (as they say) have found safety for himself in flight. For when those who were round him saw the troops wielding their arms languidly and lazily, and others secretly leaving the battle, they suspected treachery and urged him to flee’. Believing it was obvious that ‘the battle had manifestly turned against him, they procured a fast horse’ for the Richard. ‘But Richard, who knew that the people were hostile to him, cast aside all hope for the future that would come after this, and is said to have replied that on that day he would make an end either of wars or of his life, such was the great boldness and great force of spirit in him’. ‘God forbid I yield one step’ he is reported to have told one of his commanders, ‘This day I will die as a king or win’.

In the end, after being swept from the battle by the sudden entrance of Sir William Stanley’s forces into the battle, Richard ‘ended his days iniquitously and filthily in the dirt and the mire’ apparently being struck dead by a Welsh halberd. Even once Richard had been killed, the rain of blows upon his battered body continued as his crown was ‘hewyd’ from his head ‘with dowtfull dents’ with one source describing how Richard’s head was battered to the point that his basinet was driven into his head, ‘until his brains came out with blood’. According to one chronicler,  ‘many other insults were heaped on it, and, not very humanely, a halter was thrown around the neck’; ‘stripped of all he was wearing’ Richard’s body was placed on the back of a horse and brought to Leicester ‘with his head and arms hanging down on one side of the horse and his legs on the other, a wretched sight indeed, but very worthy of the man’s life’. Henry ordered that Richard’s body should be placed on public display for two days in Leicester, ‘for all men to wonder upon’.  When Richard’s body was cut down, Henry chose to have the Yorkist king ‘irreverently buried’ without any funeral ceremony in the choir of the Franciscan Friars Minor in Leicester.

[Alt-Text]


Richard’s tomb did not survive the Dissolution of the Monasteries, which brought an end to his final resting place at Grey Friars. John Speed, in his History of Great Britian, published in 1611, stated that at the suppression of Grey Friars’ monastery, Richard’s tomb was ‘pulled down and utterly defaced, since when he grave overgrown with nettles and weeds is very obscure and not to be found.’ The father of Sir Christopher Wren wrote how after the dissolution ‘the place of his burial happened to fall into the bounds of a citizen’s garden, which being after purchased by Mr. Robert Herrick was by him covered with a handsome stone pillar, three foot high, with this inscription, ‘Here lies the body of Richard III, some time King of England.’ This he showed me walking in his garden, Anno 1612.’

This is the last mention of Richard’s grave, until last week’s discovery of a skeleton, supposedly with a curvature of the spine, with an arrowhead lodged in its back and wounds to the skull consistent with the king’s brutal end. The issue now remains, if the bones are those of the Yorkist king, what should be done with them, and how should ‘Richard’ be re-buried? As an anointed king, should he therefore be granted a state funeral, and if so, where might his remains be interred? (Already the debate has begun to rage between Leicester , York or Westminster Abbey, where Richard’s wife Anne Neville is buried). There are noteworthy precedents abroad, most recently the reburial of Tsar Nicholas II in 1998, yet in Britain there are thorny issues that need to be addressed. Since the Act of Settlement in 1701, should a Catholic monarch be granted such an honour, and if so, what form would the funeral rites take? In a parliamentary motion, I have suggested that Richard be buried ‘appropriately’, yet evidently there is room for discussion.

It seems that this discussion may already be academic: apparently a ‘Reburial Document’ has been prepared by the organisers of the excavation in case Richard was found, outlining a quiet and strictly private reburial using a requiem mass, followed by a later ‘Service of Celebration’ which would be open to the public. Nevertheless, it throws up the question of how a joint funeral ceremony should be conducted, something which I intend to pursue with the Church Commissioner, Sir Tony Baldry MP.

Richard, who took his book of Hours to the battlefield with him and whose chantry foundations demonstrate his commitment to the cult of sainthood, was clearly a devout Catholic; what licence then, should be made for the king’s own beliefs, without compromising the Anglican settlement? Perhaps the closest example available is the case of St Edward the Martyr, whose remains were unearthed in 1931, yet took until 1984, when after lengthy negotiations, his bones, having been stored in a cutlery box in a bank vault in Woking, were finally buried by the Russian Orthodox Church in Exile at a site owned by the St Edward Brotherhood, on the agreement that the saint’s feast days were observed— itself testament to the problems that reburials can cause.

As for a state funeral, an honour bestowed upon anointed kings and queens, four Prime Ministers, Nelson and Darwin, the option remains an interesting one to debate; what is certain, that if the bones turn out to be Richard, we should mark a remarkable, often bloody and controversial chapter in our nation’s history, with a ceremony fit for a king.

Chris Skidmore MP’s book, Bosworth: The Rise of the Tudors (Weidenfeld and Nicholson) will be published in June 2013.

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.


Show comments
  • BanditQueen

    Richard III and his wife Anne Neville got poor deals with burials. Although they have some memorials by the Society they have never officially been buried and given the memorial that they deserved. Richard was an able ruler and he was well thought of in the north of England. He has strong ties to Yorkshire and the north and he should be buried in the North or in Westminster or Windsor with other royal kings. His wife should be re-interred at his side. He may have had the prayers and the services at the time he was buried as did his beloved Anne, but they were not given due respect. Anne was denied a memorial until 1960 and poor Richard never had one at all, but was given one by the society later on. If the body found under the car park in Leicester on the site of the old Greyfriars friary is that of Richard Plantagenet and it looks as if it may be, then he has to be properly re-buried with due reference and a Catholic Mass. Let us not forget that he was a devout Roman Catholic King and please do not give him a bland Protestant service. He does not need a full state funeral; a quiet mass with local people and some members of the royal family will do, with a local Catholic bishop. His wife should be moved to lie at his side, and a proper tomb or memorial put at the site. I favour York Minister, or Westminster, at the side of his beloved Anne.

  • Dr Crackles

    The usurper Richard at least had strong connections to Edward III through both the Dukes of Clarence and York. Henry Tudor was but from the bastard line of Swynford and Gaunt. It seems a bit of useful propaganda to link Henry Tudor to the House of Lancaster. The legitimacy of our Royal Family has surely been questionnable since Richard II?

    • History Lover

      Henry Bolingbroke claimed the throne (illegally as it happened) through his mother Blanche of Lancaster daughter of Henry Duke of Lancaster. His father, John of Gaunt’s illegitimate children by Katherine Swynford, the Beauforts, were declared legitimate by Henry but specifically barred from ever inheriting the throne. Henry Tydder had no claim to the throne.

      • lm945

        Which is why Henry put conquest ahead of blood line in his claim to the throne.

        • Raimo Kangasniemi

          If blood instead of sword could have decided who was the rightful king, the history of England from 1399 until 1485 would have been very different.

          But sword that can make even the most royal blood to bleed to the ground was needed to end that extended contest for the kingship.

      • Raimo Kangasniemi

        How on earth would have a descent from Edmund Crouchback’s branch of the Plantagenets have played any role in Henry IV’s legitimization of his coup?

        The contest over the Lancaster lands was the reason why Henry IV went against Richard II, but it was him being the senior male line heir to Edward III after Richard II which made it possible for him to claim the throne too.

    • Raimo Kangasniemi

      Henry VII had a fully legitimate lineage going back to Henry II through his grandmother Catherine of Valois, who was descended from Henry II’s daughter Eleanor.

      That’s the only line of descent I can think of, but probably there are a lot of more if one just bothers to go through the genealogies of the so-called “noble” aristocratic families of Europe.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stephen-Lark/100002907384115 Stephen Lark

      Edward IV’s sons were illegitimate through their father’s bigamy. Edward of Warwick was disbarred through his father’s attainder. Richard was simply his father’s heir. Apart from this, you have some very good points.

  • Wendy Ahl

    Whether Richard was innocent or guilty of the killing of his nephews is beside the point – as a crowned and anointed king of England he is entitled to a state funeral so he should receive one. After all, Edward IV got one and he had his own brother the Duke of Clarence killed. Richard may not have been a saint but he was no worse a sinner than many other kings of England. If Richard doesn’t get a state funeral then at the very least he should get a decent burial, maybe in Westminster Abbey or perhaps even in Leicester Cathedral, after all the city has looked after his bones for more than 500 years.

  • http://twitter.com/smallwhitebear1 thesmallwhitebear

    State funerals should be the preserve of modern peoples, to laud their modern renowned dead.
    State funerals are costly businesses. State funerals are not IMO for burying the dead of days gone by. Certainly not for those whose peers or “subjects” (as in this case) felt they did not deserve honour, or for those whose exploits and deeds are long forgotten.
    I would use the remains for scientific research, let the facial reconstruction people loose on the skull, let the medical folk see what they can come up, let archaeologists pore over the bones. Then, like other similar remains of the period let them go on display in a museum, let them moulder in a museum’s vaults for posterity or bury them in a suitable place. NO need for pomp and ceremony here.

    • http://www.facebook.com/victoria.johns.18 Victoria Johns

      What a foolish statement.

  • Daniel Maris

    Where does that inscription come from? It doesn’t sound authentic to me.

    As for a “Catholic” burial, the Church of England claims to be the Catholic Church. We can never know whether Richard III would have approved of the reforms to the C of E. Perhaps he would have.

    • History Lover

      It is possible that he would have Daniel, in Jeremy Potter’s well researched book ” Good King Richard” he suggests that Richard was pragmatic and as there was a movement on the continent of Europe towards Protestantism so who knows what he would have done if he had lived.

  • d121

    A debate about whether King Richard being a devout Catholic should be buried in Wesminster Abbey is a bit silly given that there was no other kind of king in England until Henry the 8th broke away from the Catholic church. Also, as scholars of King Richard will tell you. Contrary to Shakespeare’s mythical portrayal of Richard 3rd, he was an exceptional king, considerate and reconciliatory to a fault. Who did his best to bring the wars of the roses to an end by diplomacy, unlike his brutal Tudor follower who ended wars by killing the opposition.

    • Vulture

      Scholars of KIng Richard will NOT tell you that – though members of the RIII Society might. Your portrait of a benign Richard III ‘considerate and reconciliatory to a fault’ is utterly laughable. Go ask his victims: Henry VI, Lord Rivers, Grey, and his erstwhile chums William Hastings and the Duke of Buckingham, and his nephews Edward V and Richard, Duke of York for starters. OH, sorry : you can’t ask them because ‘Good king Richard’ had them all murdered. Well, I spose that is ‘reconciliation’ of a sort.

      • Harold Angryperson

        History is written by the victors…

      • History Lover

        I am sorry to say Vulture but since Shakespeare wrote his drama a lot of genuine research has been done. Scholars will tell you that Henry VI was killed on the orders of Edward IV. There is evidence to suppose that Lord Rivers was in a plot to murder Edward IV and rule the country for his nephew Edward V.There is lots of evidence to support this if only you chose to read it. It is evident that Lord Stanley and his wife Margaret Beaufort were plotting with John Morton, Archbishop Rotheram, the Duke of Buckingham and possibly Lord Hastings to “release” the Princes from the Tower in July 1483.I say “release” because they were not imprisoned as in those days the Tower was where Kings lived before their coronation. Margaret Beaufort obviously wouldn’t want the Princes to survive as she was intent on putting her son on the throne.However, he didn’t have a claim to the throne and when Bishop Stillington told Richard and the Council that Edward IV had been married to Lady Eleanor Talbot before he married Elizabeth Woodville, that, added to the fact that Edward and Elizabeth’s marriage was clandestine, made the Princes illegitimate under Canon Law at the time.

        I suggest you read Annette Carson’s book “The Maligned King” which tells the truth ( as far as we can know) because it is based purely on evidence that she researched not on the opinions of an excellent dramatist but useless historian called Shakespeare.

        • Vulture

          Oh, dear Oh dear.. another Richard III Society dingbat. IT seems that everyone was ‘plotting’ against pooor old Dickie which is why he bumped them all off ( the same excuse was advanced by Stalin). I suppose the little Princes were all in on the plot too. Ditto William Hastings.
          Just read the contemporary chroniclers ( no, not the evil Tudor propagandists, the ones writing in Dickie’s lifetime) like Dominic Mancini, and Polydore Vergil and the Croyland Chronicle if you
          want a true estimation of Richard III and how his character was esteemed by his contemporaries.
          As for your aspesions on my lack of Historical knowledge, I hold a First in History from the best University in the world ( no, the other place) so please stop the abuse and read the facts that you appear unable to face.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stephen-Lark/100002907384115 Stephen Lark

            You have subjected people to a lot of ignorant abuse in the teeth (and I may return to that) of the evidence. It is highly unlikely that Richard killed his illegitimate nephews as he had less motive than others and no motive at all to kill them in secret. In fact I have seen no real evidence that anyone murdered them.
            Now go back to some history – unless the “Ladybird book of Kings and Queens (1)” is beyond your level.

          • History Lover

            Those are the facts Vulture and you have been reading to much traditional stuff. I thought that although Polydore Vergil lived during Richard’s lifetime that he was H Tydder’s chronicler and Dominic Mancini was an Italian Cleric who could not speak any English.

      • http://www.facebook.com/victoria.johns.18 Victoria Johns

        There is no proof he killed the Princes, and the others were a consequence of the brutal times.

      • http://twitter.com/justvictoriaa_ justvictoria♡

        No real proof of the death of his nephews, sorry. As well as that, you have to imagine that this is the War of the Roses, the other kings and cousins and most men living in them times had a fair share in doing the dirty work for the ‘right of the country’. Old Dicky III was just no different.

  • http://www.facebook.com/amergin.selby Amergin Selby

    It is possible to interpret the line ” A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse’ in two ways. One as an offer of a bargain, offering to give his kingdom for a horse. Or it can be read as ‘I am losing my kingdom for the want of a horse’.
    I am a Richard man myself and consider him ill served by history. Shakespeare’s play is wonderful drama but one must remember he was writing for a Tudor queen and it was barely true history being based on Thomas Moore’s writings who was, himself writing for a Tudor king.
    The question of his proper burial is an irrelevance to me, personally, as long as history remembers the man aright.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.evans.33886 Jonathan Evans

      Richard wants a horse to better carry on fighting. It’s immediately followed by him rejecting Catesby’s invitation to flee: “Slave, I have set my life upon a cast / And I will stand the hazard of the die.” It’s also a summation of what the kingdom he schemed so incessantly for is really worth – just one good horse. Oddly enough, I wouldn’t actually accuse More of being a propagandist. His history was never finished and never published. In fact, I wouldn’t even call it primarily a history. It’s riddled with errors (some of which are so glaring that you wonder if they’re deliberate), highly theatrical inventions, and vague allusions to gossip. It’s better viewed as a humanist tract or satire, possibly for private circulation among friends.

    • lm945

      Shakespeare’s play is wonderful drama? You’ve got to be kidding.

      Richard’s proposal to Anne is “Yes, I killed your beloved husband. And, yes, I murdered your father-in-law, the king. But twas your beauty drove me to it. Marry me.” And she says yes?
      Shakespeare may have been the greatest writer that ever lived, but he was writing Tudor propaganda for a Tudor queen. Malign grandpa and he risked losing his head.
      “Was ever woman is this humor woo’d? Was ever woman in this humor won?”

      Even Shakespeare couldn’t make it work.

  • In2minds

    Ceremony for Richard III, will G4S be involved?

  • Augustus

    The fortunes of the House of York were founded on the fact that their royal descent was arguably better than that of the reigning House of Lancaster. For while York could claim descent from the second son of Edward III, Henry VI could trace his only from Edward’s third son, John of Gaunt. Therefore, King Henry owed his crown more to the successful usurpation of his grandfather, Henry Bolingbroke, than to the legitimate laws of inheritance. As to King Richard III’s villainy: By all accounts he was an excellent administrator, especially in the North, being popular, hard-working and brave. And most of the major events in his reign have be reconstucted from unreliable Lancastrian or Tudor sources whose bias was self-evident.

    • Vulture

      Arguably better perhaps, but no member of that House challenged the Lancastrian line’s right to the throne in the reigns of Henry IV and Henry V.
      When Richard, Duke of York did so by laying his hand on the cushion of the throne he was met with an embarrassed silence – so deep was the respect and loyalty for the anointed king – even a mad (if saintly) king like Henry VI.

      Richard III certainly had his friends in the north – but apart from his proven record as a killer, what can you say of a man who waited until his own brother was dead before proclaiming him a bastard and his own ( still living mother) as an adulteress?

      And if you think Dickie was such a great guy, how come as Chris Skidmore writes, his own men would not fight for him at Bosworth, and victory went to an outnumbered bunch of French mercenaries and Welshmen? It’s because Old Crookie was a psychopathic tyrant, that’s why. Everything else is Ricardian bullshit put out by those afraid to face the unpleasant facts about their hero.

      • Augustus

        It’s not a question of taking sides for ‘a great guy’, but simply a matter of debate. As I said, it’s self-evident that the Tudors were particularly susceptible to the propagandists portrayal of Richard as an inhuman tyrant,
        and made him a hunchback, treachorous and cruel. The irony is that, in these imanginative efforts to blacken his name, it was they who most effectively ensured his lasting fame as possibly the most controversial King
        in English history.

      • History Lover

        What utter rubbish you ought to read a bit more. The Stanleys were known for not entering a battle until it was known who would win, or not even turning up at all. Stanley had a grudge against Richard when Richard caught him up to no good on the Welsh Borders. Also Stanley was married to Margaret Beaufort, the usurping Tydder’s mother. Vulture you really need to do a bit more research before you start spouting on a subject you obviously know nothing about. The thing about Richard 111 is that you have to tell the whole story not rely on Tydder’s propaganda.

      • http://www.facebook.com/victoria.johns.18 Victoria Johns

        It was all down to Stanley, read the history.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stephen-Lark/100002907384115 Stephen Lark

        “No member of that house challenged the Lancastrian line ……. under Henry IV and Henry V” – except Edmund Mortimer (R3’s great uncle) and Richard of Cambridge (grandfather).
        Now go away and read about the Southampton Plot ……………

  • monty61

    Looks like Grant Shapps!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.evans.33886 Jonathan Evans

    Herrick’s Garden was contructed over the remains of Grey Friars. The whole point is the body never moved. The burial site was quite specific – the choir of the church. The luck (although “luck” is not an entirely appropriate term given the use of map overlay and ground penetrating radar) was in finding this so quickly. I think the lead archaeologist commented that it was such a long shot that they’d either find everything or absolutely nothing (i.e. the maps were wrong, or the remains had been destroyed by subsequent building work – the destruction of the feet and the fact that if Victorians had built foundations 30cms deeper everything would have been lost is testament to what a close call it was). As for Richard’s “serial killer” career, that’s a very dodgy reading of history that doesn’t seem to have advanced much from More’s satire.

    • Vulture

      Not at all. NO serious modern historian who has written abt Richard ( eg. MIchael Hicks, Alison Weir and Desmond Seward) believes in his innocence. Far from Tudor or More’s ‘propaganda’ accusations of Richard’s serial killer career were flying thick and fast in his lifetime ( Mancini for example).
      And its also highly suspicious that the Leicester people had the reburial arrangements ready befotre they deven ‘found Richard’
      I don’t suppose you would have a personal interest in this excavation by any chance, Jonathan would you?

      • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.evans.33886 Jonathan Evans

        You think Weir and Seward are serious historians?! Hicks, I’ll grant you, although he has his eccentricities. And, no – no ” personal interest”, as you so suggestively phrase it, unless you count a first degree in history and an MA in Shakespeare, which combines things rather nicely.

        • Vulture

          Certainly I do regard Weir and Seward as serious historians. OK, they are both friends of mine, so I’m biased. But both had first class educations, both demonstrate a mastery of the sources, and both have investigated the subject in some depth, as have I. But perhaps you are one of those bitter academics who hate those who can write well and who therefore feel a sad need to denigrate those historians whose books sell and who people actually want to read.

          But you don’t have to be a first class historian to know that RIchard III is guilty as charged. Forget More, forget Warkworth, forget Mancini even – Just look at his ‘previous’. The Richard III Society are simply loons.

          • Nicholas

            Surely you can disagree without the need for this presumptive abuse. “Perhaps you are one of those bitter academics who hate those who can write well”? Come on. There is really no need for that and Mr Evans’ original comment does not justify it.

          • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.evans.33886 Jonathan Evans

            I’m not a bitter academic and have no interest in working in that field. I’m glad Weir and Seward are friends of yours and I’m sure they’re lovely people. But I’m afraid I, quite objectively, don’t rate Weir at all as a historian (which, I’m sure, with her popular success will bother her not one bit!). As for Seward, I think ‘England’s Black Legend’ is poor history. I do, though, agree very much with his view of Henry V, who deserves to be categorised as one of England’s monster kings, and think as a stylist he’s exceptionally gifted. As to Richard’s guilt or innocence, I don’t have unequivocal views either way and the white rose prince is as ridiculous a concept as the evil machiavel.

            • Vulture

              @Jonathan: Thank you for your civilised and temperate response – and I apologise for my suggestion that you might be an embittered academic for which I was rightly upbraided by Nicholas. As you sound like a serious scholar I am glad to hear that you don’t believe in the innocence of Richard III as so many uninformed people do. AS I say, no reasonable person, examining the available evidence, could come to any other conclusion than that the man was an unpleasant murderous little tyrant whose own crimes brought him down.

              Henry VII was of course also a murdering tyrant, but a successful one, whereas Richard destroyed – quite literally – his own House.

        • Vulture

          Certainly I do regard Weir and Seward as serious historians. OK, they are both friends of mine, so I’m biased. But both had first class educations, both demonstrate a mastery of the sources, and both have investigated the subject in some depth, as have I. But perhaps you are one of those bitter academics who hate those who can write well and who therefore feel a sad need to denigrate those historians whose books sell and who people actually want to read.

          But you don’t have to be a first class historian to know that RIchard III is guilty as charged. Forget More, forget Warkworth, forget Mancini even – Just look at his ‘previous’. The Richard III Society are simply loons.

        • http://www.facebook.com/victoria.johns.18 Victoria Johns

          Not a Weir fan myself, she writes a if she knows all the facts, when clearly she doesn’t.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stephen-Lark/100002907384115 Stephen Lark

          “Vulture” is clearly a BONE_HEADED believer in fairy tales. Weir is to history what Henry VIII was to rhythmic gymnatics.

      • History Lover

        Oh Vulture how typical, Hicks, Weir and Seward. I might have known. You only have read the first few pages of their books to know that they have never done any serious research.

  • http://www.facebook.com/StatsWalker David Walker

    As Westminster Abbey is a Royal Peculiar outside the jurisdiction of the Bishop of London, it is open to the Queen to authorise a funeral according to the rights of the English Church appropriate to the era of Richard’s death.

  • Vulture

    Am I alone in finding that there’s something deeply suspicious about Richard’s miraculous resurrection?
    If Richard’s body was in Robert Herrick’s garden in 1611 how come the skeleton that supposedly is his was back in the Greyfriars abbey in 2012? ( I am assuming that the bones will be ‘miraculously’ declared to be Richard’s after the DNA ‘tests’.)
    And how come that the trenches dug on spec across the Abbey foundations miraculously hit the right spot and the right bones within the few days allotted to the dig?
    These are deep waters, Watson, and I suspect that the trail leads to a council’s PR department desperately trying to drum up interest in the most boring city in England.
    As for ‘Richard’s reburial, well if you want to ‘honour’ a serial killing child murderer who slew two other kings ( Henry VI and Edward V) in cold blood along with his two best mates ( Hastings and Buckingham) and a [pair of envoys he had just entertained for supper ( Rivers and Grey) then you are welcome. Shakespeare may have been wrong about Bosworth, but he was right about Richard – he was a murdering little usurping crook-backed bastard and the Richard III Society are a bunch of sentimental fantasists.

    • http://www.facebook.com/amergin.selby Amergin Selby

      Wow! A real live conspiracy idiot. I have always wanted to meet one.Do your eyes actually bulge as I have been warned? Of course you are prepared to explain and justify in the context of the times all your accusations.

      • Vulture

        I think that you will find the conspiracy theorists are those like yourself who believe that Richard was a saintly and much-maligned figure whose appalling reputation is all down to those evil Tudor propagandists.

        You’ll be telling us next that Dale Cregan is a much misunderstood man and a good lad at heart.

        The sentimentalists obviously have the upper hand on this site, but among real historians no-one believes in the innocence of Richard III.

        • KP

          Have been reading the ‘discussion’ between Vulture and Mr Evans with interest. There will always be strong views, from those interested in the period, regarding the so called ‘great debate’. Was Richard a black King guilty of numerous murders or was he a maligned white King with good intentions. We are likely to never know the truth. The Richard given to us by traditional historians over centuries is based on Shakespeare, More, Mancini etc. The problem is that they have painted Richard as so completely black that he becomes a caricature of evil. No one seriously believes that he was in his mothers womb for 2 years and was born with teeth and hair to his shoulders! In taking this version of events so far they discredit what truth there may have ever been in their ‘histories’. In the same way, there have been too many revisionists who have portrayed a whiter than white Richard who, in a similar way, is also unbelievable. The truth is somewhere inbetween. But we may never know the true Richard.
          Does he deserve a state funeral in Westminster? Definately, YES. If he doesn’t qualify because he used his position to kill off opposition then, by the same logic, quite a few of the current occupants of royal resting places similarly don’t deserve to be where they are!

          • Reconstruct

            It is indeed tempting (as a Yorkshireman) to believe that Richard was unjustly maligned. Tempting partly because of the lack of real evidence for the alleged murders. But temptation dies when you read about his property transactions during his time in the North – I think ‘brutal disregard for others’ and ‘the full force of the law, and then some’ apply. Not a nice guy, I’m afraid.

            • http://www.facebook.com/victoria.johns.18 Victoria Johns

              How many medieval kings do you know are the salt of the earth? Think before you engage your brain.

              • Raimo Kangasniemi

                If you look at this thread more closely, you would notice that there are people writing in this who, it seems, would probably be ready to canonize most past English rulers, if not for otherwise, then out of submissive respect for the institution of English monarchy.

            • KP

              @ Reconstruct: Agreed. My point is that guilty to one crime doesn’t necessarily make him guilty to all the crimes laid at his feet. As I said before, he’s neither white nor black. The real Richard lies somewhere in the middle. Most of his transactions in the North were positive and benefitted the common people. That’s why he didn’t have the overwhelming support of the aristocracy when he became King. He made decisions that pissed off the lords, especially Percy and Stanley. This bit him back at Bosworth. But the issue here is whether he deserves a state funeral. If the answer is no because he has been less than white, then many current occupants of royal resting places should be exhumed and buried under a car park. As ‘History Lover’ points out, the Tudors are front runners. Many tend to overlook that Henry VII was responsible for the murder of his own ‘prince in the tower’, Edward, Earl of Warwick, amongst others. And this murder is on record!! Richard was an anointed King, he deserves to be buried with the respect and dignity given to other royal burials. The Russians got it right with the remains of the last Csar and his family – full state funeral, wherever he’s laid to rest!

            • KP

              @ Reconstruct: Agreed. My point is that guilty to one crime doesn’t necessarily make him guilty to all the crimes laid at his feet. As I said before, he’s neither white nor black. The real Richard lies somewhere in the middle. Most of his transactions in the North were positive and benefitted the common people. That’s why he didn’t have the overwhelming support of the aristocracy when he became King. He made decisions that pissed off the lords, especially Percy and Stanley. This bit him back at Bosworth. But the issue here is whether he deserves a state funeral. If the answer is no because he has been less than white, then many current occupants of royal resting places should be exhumed and buried under a car park. As ‘History Lover’ points out, the Tudors are front runners. Many tend to overlook that Henry VII was responsible for the murder of his own ‘prince in the tower’, Edward, Earl of Warwick, amongst others. And this murder is on record!! Richard was an anointed King, he deserves to be buried with the respect and dignity given to other royal burials. The Russians got it right with the remains of the last Csar and his family – full state funeral, wherever he’s laid to rest!

          • History Lover

            Particularly the Tydders

    • http://www.facebook.com/amergin.selby Amergin Selby

      Wow! A real live conspiracy idiot. I have always wanted to meet one.Do your eyes actually bulge as I have been warned? Of course you are prepared to explain and justify in the context of the times all your accusations.

    • http://twitter.com/astropoet astropoet

      Calm down dear, was someone you didn’t like as a child called Richard or something?

    • History Lover

      I can assure you Philippa Langley, John Ashdown Hill and Annette Carson would never be involved in what you are describing. I would like to know what evidence you have for all the “crimes” that you accuse Richard of committing. As far as I am aware there is no evidence.

    • http://www.facebook.com/victoria.johns.18 Victoria Johns

      Someone else who clearly doesn’t know what they are talking about.

    • Tree

      Tis the season to be trolly fa la la la laaaaaaaaa la la la laaaaaaaaaaaaa!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stephen-Lark/100002907384115 Stephen Lark

      In a word: yes – you are alone with your own fantasies.

  • Robert Taggart

    King Richard III should have a full state funeral, at Westminster Abbey, in accordance with Catholicism.
    It surely cannot be beyond the wit of the establishment to make an exception to the rules ? This be OUR history – not theirs.
    Besides, if they were to sell tickets to the ‘show’ – this atheist republican would apply for one !

  • Adrian Drummond

    Surely if Richard III (as an anointed King) has a right to a state funeral, then that right should be honored?

  • Adrian Drummond

    Surely if Richard III (as an anointed King) has a right to a state funeral, then that right should be honored?

Close
Can't find your Web ID? Click here