Richard III should be reburied under Leicester council’s car park

5 February 2013

2:00 PM

5 February 2013

2:00 PM

Anyone who watched last night’s Channel 4 Documentary Richard III: The King Under the Car Park will need no reminding that members of the Richard III Society tend to be delusional fantasists rather than serious historians. Although we should doubtless be grateful to the Society for funding the dig that discovered the monarch’s bones, that very fact tends to slant the coverage of Richard’s resurrection.

There has been much talk about ‘re-writing history’ and countering ‘Tudor propaganda’; but the inconvenient truth (for Ricardians) is that the late king’s spine was indeed twisted by scoliosis and one of his shoulders was noticeably higher than the other. Those particular pieces of Tudor and Shakespearian “spin” were no more than the plain truth. So it is with the rest of Richard’s ‘black legend’. As far as serious historians are concerned, the case against Richard has long been closed. Or, to put it in topical terms, if Richard is innocent of the charges against him, then so is Chris Huhne.

Rising in the dock of History to hear the accusations against him, Richard III would be on his feet for a very long time. The murder of his two nephews, the Princes in the Tower of London, would, of course, head the charge sheet. But what about the even more brutal killing – committed in the same grim fortress twelve years before, and carried out by Richard’s own hands – the murder of the saintly and mentally fragile Henry VI, England’s rightful anointed king?

Or the elimination earlier in 1483 of William, Lord Hastings, the very man who had helped to engineer the coup which brought Richard to the throne? Hastings, accused of treason at a meeting of Richard’s new council, was dragged kicking and screaming his innocence to be decapitated on a rough wooden builder’s block after the psychopathic king had sworn to have his victim’s head off before he had eaten his lunch. Or the cold-blooded execution in Salisbury market place of his own chief henchman and former partner in crime, Henry Stafford, the 2nd Duke of Buckingham, who, perceiving Richard’s truly evil nature when it was too late, had finally turned to rebel against him? Or Richard’s seizure of Lord Rivers and Sir Richard Grey (respectively uncle and half-brother of the little princes), arrested in their beds after being entertained to dinner at Richard’s table and lulled into drunken sleep at the Rose and Crown Inn in Stony Stratford, before being sent north to Richard’s Yorkshire heartland to be quietly murdered.

Richard III had a long list of crimes to answer for before his own subjects, appalled by his tyranny, rebelled after just two years of his rule and welcomed the unknown Welshman Henry Tudor in his place. They helped Henry to defeat Richard’s army at the Battle of Bosworth in August 1485, killed the king before he could flee, and dragged his torn and battered body to the nearby town of Leicester.


Why, since the discovery of what has now been positively identified as Richard’s skeleton in the ruins of the Franciscan Abbey of Greyfriars under a Leicester council car park, has there been such an avalanche of praise heaped on this awful little man? The lauding of wicked Richard has come not only from the usual suspects in his starry-eyed fan club, but from serious historians who really should know better. Chris Skidmore, a Tory MP and Tudor historian who has written a new book about Bosworth, even tabled a Commons Motion calling on the government to ‘arrange a full state funeral for the long dead monarch, and for his remains to be interred appropriately’.

The Richard III Society may huff and puff, but almost all serious modern historians – including Richard’s most recent biographers Professor Michael Hicks and Desmond Seward, and the respected historian Alison Weir – have come to the same conclusion: contemporary evidence rather than “Tudor propaganda” leaves little room for doubt that he is guilty of the crimes for which posterity (and Shakespeare) have traditionally condemned him. To pretend otherwise, as so many Ricardians do, is sentimental fantasy.

For the murder of Henry VI, stabbed and/or bludgeoned as he knelt in prayer in his cell in the Tower’s Wakefield tower, contemporary chronicler John Warkworth is specific: King Henry, he says was ‘put to death between eleven and twelve o clock… by the Duke of Gloucester (Richard’s title before he usurped the throne).’ The Burgundian diplomat Philppe de Commines, unlike Warkworth a sympathiser with Richard’s Yorkist house, agreed. Richard, he says, ‘killed poor King Henry with his own hand, or else caused him to be killed in his presence’. John Morton, bishop of Ely, wrote that Richard ‘slew King Henry with his own hand as men constantly say.’ Richard’s crime was widely known and his name reviled in his lifetime, long before any Tudor propagandists got spinning.

The arrest and killing of Richard’s other prominent victims – Hastings, Buckingham, Rivers and Grey – were carried out brazenly as open acts of terror to scare his subjects into submission in the aftermath of the coup that brought him the throne in Spring 1483. But Richard was canny enough to know that the rubbing out of the two little Princes, Edward V and his brother Richard, Duke of York, the frail final obstacles that stood in the way of his grasping total power, would be a murder too far even in an age inured to the terrible bloodletting of the Wars of the Roses. He ensured, therefore, that the smothering of the two boys in their Tower bedsheets was carried out in secret by his own Keeper of Horse, Sir James Tyrell, and two hired thugs, Miles Forest and John Dighton.

Although the fullest details of the double murder do indeed come from a Tudor writer – Sir Thomas More, Richard’s earliest biographer, who got his information from those who were at the Tower at the time – the literally killer fact ignored by the Richardian revisionists, is that More’s description of where the boys’ bodies were buried – under a heap of stones beneath the White Tower – exactly fits the actual discovery of their skeletons in the reign of Charles II. Charles certainly believed that the skeletons were those of his ancestors, and he gave them a fitting regal burial in Westminster Abbey. The skeletons were exhumed and examined in the 1930s after a Ricardian campaign and were found – surprise, surprise – to be those of two boys of the same ages as the Princes when they disappeared in September 1483.

A modern lawyer, addressing the Court of History in Richard’s defence, would make modish excuses for his client’s behaviour. For Richard suffered a dysfunctional childhood and youth. His father, two of his brothers and his guardian, Warwick the Kingmaker, all died violently in the Wars of the Roses. No wonder Richard’s characteristic tic – seen at his own coronation – was playing with his dagger, drawing it in and out of its sheath, while casting suspicious glances all around him. No wonder, too, that his many enemies spread absurd stories that he had been born with teeth and hair down to his shoulders, or that he had only to breathe on a flower for its petals to wither. The crooked product of twisted times, Richard would never be “normal”.

The Leicester bones have finally been identified, so where should Richard’s mortal remains be reburied? Leicester looks likely to claim the king for its own cathedral. Westminster Abbey, resting place of the princes, has also been suggested. Surely it would be sacrilege to bury this killer in any Holy place. Even stowing him in the Yorkist heartland, in York Minster or the castles of Middleham and Sheriff Hutton, would be showing him too much respect. Like his fellow tyrant Adolf Hitler, whose bunker, by strange coincidence, now lies under a Berlin car park, the best resting place for Richard would surely be a dishonoured tomb underneath the very same car park where he has lain these past five centuries. He deserves no better.

Nigel Jones’s Tower: an epic history of the Tower of London is published by Hutchinson/Windmill. He will lead ‘Winter of Discontent’ a tour of Ricardian sites in Yorkshire, the Midlands and London between August 20-23 2013.

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Show comments
  • GMV8

    What is up with you people? All kings of the day did their crimes in public, as they believed they were unassailable. Richard has never had proven links with any crime, why should he be any different? What he does have proven links with, is passing laws still in existence, and that he was a strong and courageous fighter putting his own life on the line for his beliefs, unlike the Tudor kings who hid behind others. These qualities don’t suggest someone who would commit so many crimes. Why do you want to believe so many Tudor fabrications, some of which are proven untrue?

  • Bandit Queen

    To all those who want a state funeral I say pay for it yourselves! To the idiots who want him buried in York I say prove that this is what he wanted and then explain why York does not want him. His wife’s tomb was lost a long time ago. Yes she was put in Westminster and a plaque marks the place close to where she was buried but her bones have vanished! As Richard did not make any will nor did he ever make a wish to be bureid in York; we cannot know what he wanted. He spent more time in Leicester and the Midlands than York. His parents are buried in the East Midlands and he was born here. He was also laid to rest in the Greyfriars and has been here for 500 years. His is now the property of the University of Leicester the same as any other artifact dug up or bones found and they are licensed to bury him back in the community that his body now belongs to. The law states as much. A tomb has been started and the work has made good progress at the Cathedral. It is here that he should be buried and here he will be buried; and the service will have Catholic elements to it. He is not a dog to be thrown away: Richard was a human being and yes he was ruthless but there is no evidence that he killed his nephews. He did kill the Greys and Hastings and he paid the price at Bosworth. But it is not for any man or woman to judge his immortal soul: that went to a Higher Judge long ago. He still deserves a resting place. Leicester is the only appropriate place for him to rest in peace.

  • Suzy Wallace

    The late King’s spine was not ‘twisted’ with scoliosis, it was laterally curved – not the same thing. Whilst scoliosis does present itself in one shoulder being higher than the other, due to compensatory factors, the ‘hunchback’ which was attributed to Richard is incorrect as that is a symptom of kyphosis, not scoliosis.

  • Adrian Harris

    I’m glad someone has finally spoken commonsense and the truth. As a fan of history and a ‘Yorkist’ I’ve always viewed Richard as a traitor to his country and his house as all evidence indicates his guilt so ably demonstrated in the above article. Lord Hastings always struck me as a loyal and honest man trying to do the right thing for his friends children and betrayed by a man he had every right to trust. The programme also irritated me, it was amazing to see Richard found and the reconstruction of his head was stunning, but that Ricardian appologist and her pet ‘historian’ really were appalling, even the dig looked botched a pickaxe through the skull! (possibly deserved but hardly brilliant archeology) Time Team archeologists must have been fuming I’m sure I could here Phil Harding screamimg from the West Country. Having said that I still feel that Richard should be laid to rest next to his wife, in Westminster Abbey and not some token cathedral to which he had no real link, at the end of the day he was of the royal family even if he did betray it. If Mary I can be buried in the Abbey why not Richard he should feel right at home.

  • filthykafur

    I thoroughky agree with the writer (despite so many here that disagree) this man was a murderer (at least), and should be reburied in the car park with perhaps a garden area to commemorate it on the spot with a plaque and small service attended by the Queen. A state funeral will cost a fortune, and I dont think this is appropropriate in the austere time we live.

  • Mrs Lynne Cunliffe

    “Mene mene tekel parsin” ,Mr Jones ,Very poor scholarship ,very poor research ,very poor presentation ,you have been awarded a fail ,if you would like a detailed report on the factual errors I would be happy to provide them (from non Ricardian sources)

  • Roger Hudson

    The Richard III find got me to watch the Ian McKellen film again, sublime film art if ridiculous history.

  • Erik Anderson

    The author of this dribble could learn some history and not rely upon tudorist ficton writing produced almost 100 years after Richards death. The truth is that we do not know what happened ot the two boys in the tower. They were seen during Richards raign of 22 months and after that never seen again. Many actually accused Henry Tudor of ordering them killed because they had a better claim. What we do know is that that Parliment made Richard king before they went missing the did so after allowing 12 year old Edward to be king for 3 months, We know that they were discribed as “simple”, a term often used to discribe the develimentally disabled.

    Now on the eleged killing of his brother, Edward died a slow illness, likely Pneumonia and typhoid after more then a year of poor health. He died on his deathbed with his friend a lords in attendance. Richard, his younger brother who risked his life several time restoring Edward to the throne (Henry VI having taken the thrown from him) rode to be there. He is also accused of killing the mad deposed king Henry VI, we know from accounts written at the time ( Wakefield’s Chronicle) that Henry VI died May 23rd while Richard was well known to have been away on a campaign. for months before and after. So much for the idea that Richard killed those two.

    Now I like to ask people, now does a hunchback get into armor? He doesn’t. Remember historic fact, Richard was leading armies, as a knight, mounted in armor, since he was 16. Richard lead a knights horse charge right at Henry Tudors banner and came with in a hammers blow of killing Henry Tudor, screaming Trator at him. If Tudors banner bearer Sir William Brandon had not gotten in Richards way and William Stanley had not switched sides Henry would have died that day.

    Now lets talk about Henry Tudor. One he is a decendent of double basterdy, so if the usurper did not have an army he would never have been considered for the Crown. He was an exiled Welsh nobleman with apoor claim through the Lancastrian line (from Mad King Heny VI). His support was so shakey he could not kill Richards declared heir outright. Henry Tudor never set foot on a battle field again after Bosworth (having earned the name pisspants). The next major battle of the War of the Roses at Stoke Field, he hid in a church tower in case he lost. During the rest of his riegn of king he never came within 10 miles of the battles. When Henry took the Crown there were many Dukes, Counts, Earls and lords; by then of his rein he had wiped out all but one of the dukes families, all vicounts, most of the earls and a quarter of the lords (this includes their families). What makes this worst is that he was related to most of these people, some he knew since childhood and he had them killed on largy trumped up charges. A side note… that last Duke, his grand daughter killed him off. So by the end of the tudor reign a mear 100 years they wiped out most of the royal line that they had to send to Scotland and later to Flanders to get a new king. What a failure.

    • Roger Hudson

      If you look at the plastic corsets used to mitigate scoliosis it looks like body armour, still letting someone play football or ride a horse.

  • Davey J

    I don’t understand why people here seem to prefer Henry VII – his heavy taxes decimated the economy. Surely Spectator readers find that a distasteful legacy?

    • Erik Anderson

      because of Shakespeare, Elizabeth, because Richard was a Catholic or because the midlands didn’t like losing ward for hundreds of years. take your pick.

      • Davey J

        Poor Richard, he just needed a good PR man.

    • Roger Hudson

      Taxes paying for foreign wars, as usual.

  • Adrian

    We can’t truly be sure how guilty he was. Sure, he probably killed Henry VI. But Edward III was probably complicit in his father Edward II’s murder, and he is doing fine historically. Let’s also remember that Edward II was a terrible king who is being rehabilitated in modern historical analysis. Or let’s take the other example of Richard II. The “saintly” Henry VI also had a murderer-king in his family tree. His grandfather, Henry IV killed the previous, rightful king Richard II. Even Henry IV does not rest in the same ignominy as Richard III. I say let him be berried in Westminster Abbey like the other kings. England has had plenty of murderer-kings. Modern England started with the overthrow of a king and his death at the battle of Hastings. Richard was no different from William I, Edward III, Henry IV, or Henry VII. Let him rest with the kings!

    • Erik Anderson

      As commented above HenryVI (the mad kling) died 23rd of May 1471 while Richard had been away from London on a campaign. There are many contemparary accounts. It also makes not sense for Richard to kill him, Henry’s son was already dead, his wife Margaret of Anjou captured for ransom, along with most of the Lancasters line dead or driven off to exile, at the Battle of Tewkesbury, 4 May 1471.

      • FabioPBarbieri

        That is exactly why he could now be killed safely.

  • Don Smith

    Did he get a parking ticket? I would have done.

  • Ann

    Sorry, not buying this. The author sounds every bit as nutty and biased as Richard’s groupies. I’m sure Nigel’s tour of Ricardian sites this August will be SUPER fun (insert eyeroll here).

  • Ninth Legion

    Nice, erudite piece by Nigel Jones, and a pleasant change from all the beefed-up hype and navel-gazing nonsense issuing from most of the press. Re-burying beneath the car-park is the best idea I’ve heard yet. Can’t see it happening somehow, but thank god not everyone is overawed!!

  • Fergus Pickering

    Lots of kings were killers. Back in those days most of them were. Don’t be so prim and prper. He was a king. He deserves the sort of burial kings get. And he spoke some very good verse.

    • Don Smith

      Yes most kings were killers and cruel b***ards. Throw these bones into a river.
      Move on; it’s cost a fortune already; I suppose these bone seekers have to justify their existence.

      • Erik Anderson

        the expense was paid for by the finders, idiot.

        • Don Smith

          Idiot! I think not – *Someone* was wasting their money. King or Queens we can well do without. Had headed North he just may not have from fallen from his horse. Do you know that this jerk was riddled with syphilis? Those ***** did not publish the full details.
          PS: The finder was a bulldozer operator; in the singular. All
          those boffins…What a waste.

  • Gladys Stocking

    “All he said was, ‘That piece of halibut was good enough for Jehovah.’ “

  • Daviejohn

    Nice article, enlightened me with some unknown (to me that is) facts, might even have a read of his book.

    • Erik Anderson

      You may not want to, its rubbish.

      • Daviejohn

        Thank you for that, the reviews seem to back you up. 🙂

  • Roland Fleming

    Nasty man. Of course, the saintly Tudors hardly did anything bad to anybody:

  • SirMontyThreepwood

    Richard was no less wicked than sons of Saddam Hussein. There is more than a little similarity in the ways those late Medieval kings came to power during the Wars of the Roses and the current barbarous dictators of the Middle East. Coups, murders, unbridled violence lie and lay at the heart of all such regimes.

    I watched the Channel Four programme the other night and my interest in the discovery was tempered by revulsion at the antics of the self indulgent, Riccardian groupie, mooning about, weeping and wrapped up in her quasi religious belief that Richard was a wronged figure. The look of horror on her face when the forensic osteologist pointed out the curved spine, was wonderful to behold.

    • Erik Anderson

      Hate to break it to you, but most of the “riccardian”‘s know of the find and have seen pictures of the bones for almost a year. I discount your tale for the fiction it is.

  • Daniel Maris

    Well said Nigel. Since when have we glorified child murderers?

    Unless and until history exonerates him of the crime (and there seems no prospect of that), I would say bury him in the equivalent of a pauper’s grave.

    • GMV8

      Brilliant – guilty before proven innocent (or guilty for that matter).

  • The_greyhound

    Excellent piece Nigel.

    Some years ago I went to Bosworth Field (the place then thought to be the battle site) on 22nd August. Coach loads of ladies of a certain age were arriving. One or two shouted abuse at me (I was wearing a red rose, but that hardly excuses rudeness). I couldn’t help thinking that if they hadn’t been there, they would have been at home writing strangely overheated letters to convicted murderers.

    There’s something uncomfortably intense about the way the poor daft creatures brood over their own personal psychopath. Well there was, until the the physical reality obtruded. Certainly I don’t think I have seen anyone look as crestfallen as the poor woman from the Richard III Society when she saw the reconstruction of Richard’s skull the other night on TV. Although dressed and coloured to look like the well-known portrait, there was no doubt that this face strongly resembled that of a malevolent weasel, and she was obviously trying quite hard not to cry with disappointment.

    • Erik Anderson

      It’s not called “Bosworth Field”, there never was a “Bosworth Field”, there is a place called ‘Richards Field’ today, near where they think the battle field was and its a small park with a plaque and thicket. The parking lot for it can barely hold 6 cars.

      Really if you are going to make up tales, best actually get the basic facts right.

      • The_greyhound

        Oh dear, you appear to be badly nettled.

        As I have already noted, the Richard III crew are more than a bit odd, as witness your own postings.Sometime, when you have a moment, you could give us your famous vindication of the Emperor Nero, based on his achievements as a violinist.

        In due course they will have to rebury the bones, and what more appropriate place than a municipal car park? The Richard III Society could attend in their ceremonial red noses, and perhaps favour the spectators with a chorus of the Ying Tong song.

      • conrad fabisch

        are you daft?

    • conrad fabisch

      You are a clown nothing more hah!

  • johnu

    If Richard had won I’m sure he would be immortalised today as the great heroic king who defeated the evil murderous traitor Henry Tudor. And there would be a henry Tudor society trying to restore his reputation, he wasn’t ‘all bad’. That is just the way history works, it is the victors who write it

    • The_greyhound

      No. Richard of Gloucester had shown himself from the very outset as a particularly cruel man, unusually so even in a period of brutal civil war. Henry on the other hand was an extremely thoughtful and sometimes surprisingly merciful man – given the brutal manners of the age. Because Richard was so unpredictable, unstable and violent, many of the Yorkist party went over to Henry’s side. Henry did everything he could to end the civil war and rebuild a secure monarchy. Each deserved their reputation – and because of that Richard’s allies abandoned him and Henry triumphed.

  • Simeon Howell

    One thing I’m glad about here is that you acknowledge Henry Tudor as a Welshman. Which he certainly was. Something starkey fails to recognize. And as a Welshman myself that does annoy me, the Tudor dynasy was Welsh Tewdwr to be precise….. Agree with you about Rich the 3rd though best kept under the car park.

    • The_greyhound

      One quarter Welsh : his mother was an English princess, and his father’s mother a French princess, the widow of King Henry V. He barely knew Wales, and his enthusiasm for his Welshness didn’t long survive his arrival in London.

      • Erik Anderson

        Yeah his grand son is the one who annexed all of Wales into england, ending any independence and clearing out the landsmen.

        • The_greyhound

          Grand son? You mean James V? Or the Earl of Lincoln perhaps?
          Your mastery of the period really is astonishing.

          • FabioPBarbieri

            Not to defend Erik Anderson, but the destroyer of Wales was Henry VIII , and its suspicious jailer was Elizabeth. Maybe he meant “his fat son”.

    • Erik Anderson

      He was part Welsh, he is a decendent of the Beaufort bastards from John of Gaunt. His grand father Henry Owens from the Anglesy Ilse, likely did not father him though.

  • Stacey

    Pity he thinks all R3 members ever believed Richard was innocent.

  • Neil Ashley

    Bury him in York Minster according to his own wishes or next to his wife in Westminster Abbey but with Catholic rites he would have known. Richard III was a monarch of his time and no worse than many others; Henry VIII springs to mind.

    • Adrian

      I think that’s quite impossible. I agree with you that he should be buried in the Catholic rite, but let’s not rush to anything. He was already berried so it would be stupid to perform another funeral. He will be re-interred.
      Besides, the Anglicans don’t want to allow a Catholic ceremony in their cathedrals.

      • Neil Ashley

        Then what about the annual Katherine of Aragon memorial mass in Peterborough Cathedral then?

    • Bob339

      What a mawkishly sentimental idea. Get a life.

      • Neil Ashley

        No just fulfilling the wishes of a usurped King. My life is fine; thank you for asking Bob339.

  • MikeF

    I believe the consensus even before discovery of the body in Leicester was that Richard III indeed had some sort of deformity that caused him to have a lopsided appearance. But he patently was not the grotesque ‘hunchback’ of Shakespeare’s play, since he was able to ride a horse and fight in battle – but then Shakespeare’s ‘history’ plays are dramatic reinventions of the past not drama-documantaries. Even the portrait of Richard that you will find in the National Portrait Gallery in London – which was apparently altered in Tudor times – shows him upright though with one shoulder noticeably but not absurdly higher than the other. The discovery of his remains actually tells us little more than was known already – that he had a noticeable but not crippling impediment, that he was hacked to death on the battlefield, that his body was abused afterwards and that he was buried with little ceremony, frankly just dumped, but at least in a church. As for his character and crimes – the truth is unknowable.

    • Colonel Mustard

      I was unconvinced by the explanation that his helmet had probably fallen off during the melee. I think from the head injuries that it was more likely he was overpowered, disarmed, forced to his knees, his head and face exposed and then killed.

      • rugby god

        with a candlestick in the study?
        *innocent face*

        • Colonel Mustard

          He was wearing a gold circlet “crown” on his helmet. That, the combination of head wounds and the absence of other pre-mortem wounds suggests the helmet was removed before he was killed. That suggests that he might have been overpowered and was killed as a prisoner there and then, perhaps on Henry’s orders. The base of the skull wound was very much like an attempted decapitation.

          *serious face*

          • Erik Anderson

            decapitation was not used int hose times unless you were going to hang the head. We know from accounts they dragged his naked body around the country side to prove he was killed and to show their arnger at him. Remember Richard nearly won and his forces killed a large number of the largely Welsh and mercenary forces.

      • Erik Anderson

        Its quite likely, keep in mind Henery Tudor was no knight and not known for chivalrous behaviour. Its more likely that someone killed him in the melee as he was attacking Henry’s banner and body guards.

    • Suzy Wallace

      Blimey, someone who has actually got the facts right – well done!

  • Sprogglechops

    Got some doubts about the mtDNA results.They trumpeted that two maternal descendants of Richard III’s sister (Anne of York) shared mtDNA with him. What they didn’t say was how common those DNA sequences are in the general population. Without that info, the DNA evidence is meaningless.

    • Erik Anderson

      Its in a paper soon to be published, they waited until they had a peer review to even anounce the results. Those of us following this have known of the bodies for more then a year.

  • Wessex Man

    Nevertheless he was a King of England and should be given a State Funeral at York.

    • mikewaller

      Rubbish! I think York wonderful, but it already has more than its fair share of historical goodies, including the excellent National Railway Museum which has sucked in kit from all over. Instead of feeling sore, residents of York should view Leicester’s getting the body as long overdue war reparations for the appalling bloodshed “their” king caused in the East Midlands. After all, had he been any good, Henry Tudor would not have got a look-in. Indeed, if they don’t back-off, they might find Leicester asking for more!

  • LB

    Lets bury Huhne, and the convicted MPs, as well as those who avoided going to court by paying back their stolen money with Richard.

    • rugby god

      buried alive per chance?