Wednesday, 13 March 2013

King Richard lll - Skeletons in the cupboard

The sensational archaeological find in a Leicester car park, which unearthed the bones of Richard III has sparked an Almighty row about where the remains should be interred.  There are three locations in the running: London’s Westminster Abbey - the parochial home of the Monarchy, York Minster - the ancestral burial place of the Dukes of York (Richard iii was also the Duke of York) and finally Leicester – famous for its car parks!

My post on the day they confirmed the bones were Royal:

York Minster

Legally the University of Leicester, which discovered and exhumed the remains have the responsibility, as holder of the licence, to decide where King Richard III remains are finally laid to rest.  Interestingly the Dean of York the Very Rev Vivienne Faull, has unilaterally and weirdly decided to support Leicester’s case and this has created an up-roar of biblical proportions.  The unwise Dean has received a number of threatening letters and emails and these toxic messages are now being investigated the Police.   There is also more civilised support from 25,000 people of York who signed a petition and the 9 living descendants of Richard all of whom insist that the crooked bones of the ‘Tyrant King’ should be laid to rest in York.
Leicester Car Park
Hugh Bayley, the Labour MP for York Central said , “I would say to everybody - calm down. Let's all respect the memory of a former king of our country.  “Let's discuss where his remains should be put to rest in a dignified and sober way. We don't want to reignite the Wars of the Roses.”  However, Jeremy Wright of Leicester University said the decision was up to the University.  He added “It is also right I think to point out that the default position of the Church of England... which is that the remains should be interred at the nearest Christian church and that of course is in this case indeed Leicester Cathedral.”

So why should the Dean go out on a limb against this well organised opposition in York, particularly as the Minster, for which she is responsible, would benefit financial from the additional tourist trade the Kings bones would bring. The answer is in her recent history, before becoming the Dean of York Minster Dean Faull was the Dean of Leicester, and it has been suggested by opponents that she is bias because of her previous links to Leicester Cathedral.  Perhaps and more interestingly maybe she has left some skeletons in the cupboard from her time in Leicester and needs to call in a favour!

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