The voices of York have a say too

Published in Letters by

LEICESTER’S claim to the remains of King Richard III seems to be based on little more than ‘finders keepers’, and it is tragic Leicester should be aided and abetted in its cause by the Dean of York, who has made the most bizarre pronouncement that the Plantagenet King should be reinterred in the 20th century cathedral in Leicester.

The Dean’s allegiance to her former stomping ground is regrettable in that it dismisses millions of pounds in tourism revenue which would accrue to York Minster and to the city of York from additional visitors. I would hope that a better decision will be sought by The Dean and Chapter that works in our interests and theirs.

Moreover, it denies the monarch’s own wishes, and those of his descendents. Let me ask, if a visitor to York were to be found tomorrow, brutally dispatched in one of our car parks, would anyone in their right mind insist the victim’s body should remain in the city? We would wish him to be repatriated as soon as is reasonably possible, and so it should be with the remains of Richard III.

Coun Dave Taylor, Former Heritage Champion for the City of York.

 

• HOW short-sighted of the Dean and Chapter of York Minster to say that they do not want Richard III’s remains buried in the Minster. A burial in York would have helped to put right all the wrongs done to this much-maligned king. He was loved in York and was a ‘good lord’ to its citizens. York was the only city brave enough to express sorrow at his death.

It is historical practice to move kings and queens to a place more fitting to their status. In support of a burial in York the council’s chief executive, Kirsten England, has written to the Queen, the Lord Mayor and Council have contacted the Ministry of Justice, our MPs have shown their support, but York Minster says no, Leicester can have him. Would Richard have wanted to be buried in Leicester?

An increase in tourism is not the reason why 14,000 people (to date) have signed a petition for a burial in York but it undoubtedly would have been the result. If the Dean and Chapter can afford to throw away such an opportunity then perhaps all those who spend their time fund-raising for the Minster should think again about how they spend their time.

Verna Campbell, Fulford Park, Fulford, York.

 

• THE state of his spine and the manner and place of burial of King Richard III ends a controversy which has been going on since his death. The York City Minute Book of 1491 records in extraordinary detail the appearance before the Mayor’s Court of the men involved in a near-fracas in the house of a city official.

A certain John Payntor is quoted as saying to the schoolmaster of St Leonard’s Hospital that the Earl of Northumberland died a traitor to the king (the Earl had refrained from committing his troops at Bosworth until he had gauged the winning side). Payntor denied this remark, but stated that the schoolmaster had asserted that King Richard “was an ypocrate a crochebake and beried in a dike like a dogge”.

Whereupon Payntor accused the schoolmaster of lying “for the Kynges good grace hath beried hym like a noble Gentilman”. Witnesses to the occasion include various chaplains and the Prior of Bolton in Craven. The Prior in a letter denied the remarks and said Paynter was “besy of language… we supposed he was distempide awther with aill or wyn”. The city fathers refrained from pressing the matter and bound over both men over to keep the peace.

It would seem from many entries in the council minutes that York’s “moost famous prince of blissed memory” was revered and admired for the quality of his administration, so much so that Henry VII’s representative “durst not for fere of deth come thrugh the Citie” to proclaim him. The intended foundation of his chantry for 100 priests demonstrates his intention to remain for ever in the city and in the north where he had spent most of his life.

Rita Freedman, (Retired York City Archivist), Egton Grange, Whitby.

 

• I WISH to express my dismay at the attitude displayed by the York Chapter over the reinterment of Richard III at York Minster. To support the position assumed by Leicester Council and University is as despicable as it is disloyal to people of their community.

Notwithstanding the Ministry of Justice’s early involvement, how can it be correct for his remains to be retained in Leicester? There is considerable strength of feeling about this in York and across Yorkshire. This is another illustration of the Church of England’s lack of touch on the feelings and opinions of the community it allegedly serves.

Is this another manifestation of the prejudice and bigotry so recently shown by the Church towards women and homosexuals because Richard was Catholic?

The arbitrary nature by which the Chapter have washed their hands of this matter only serves to strengthen the ‘don’t care’ attitude shown about community issues by the Church.

Yorkshire people are not known for taking things lying down and this will only increase the gap between the Church and the community.

The campaign for Richard’s remains to return to York continues to grow. The Chapter and the Church are going to have serious egg on their faces if they do not reconsider their position.

Jonathan CD Pridmore, York.

 

• WHO are the people, the generally unknown members of the Chapter of York Minster, who have made a decision among themselves to decline the remains of King Richard III?

This surely is an issue that merits being mulled over by the Archbishop of York and the new Archbishop of Canterbury.

What a blessing, however, that the House of Lancaster is staying out of it.

One wonders what the Bard would have had to say.

Ron Willis, First Avenue, Mt Lawley, Western Australia.

 

• THE identification of the remains of Richard Plantagenet was a triumph of scientific archaeology, but is of slight importance historically.

Had Richard won the battle of Bosworth, it would have changed little. His character, either good or bad, is of no greater significance. All he represented, the political ideas and assumptions of his age, have happily passed into oblivion.

Of course, story-book history has its place.

I look forward to these old bones being reburied in York attended by all the pomp and flummery customarily associated with such public occasions.

It is, after all, the stuff of tourism, York’s last viable and sustaining industry But let’s be serious for a moment: he was only a king.

William Dixon Smith, Welland Rise, Acomb, York.

Comments (3)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:47pm Tue 12 Feb 13

/kev/null says...

Just wanted to say you all look really classy fighting over a corpse.
Just wanted to say you all look really classy fighting over a corpse. /kev/null
  • Score: 0

10:28pm Tue 12 Feb 13

NoMorePlease says...

"The Dean’s allegiance to her former stomping ground is regrettable in that it dismisses millions of pounds in tourism revenue which would accrue to York Minster and to the city of York from additional visitors."

In other words - money

"If the Dean and Chapter can afford to throw away such an opportunity then perhaps all those who spend their time fund-raising for the Minster "

In other words - money

It makes you sick
"The Dean’s allegiance to her former stomping ground is regrettable in that it dismisses millions of pounds in tourism revenue which would accrue to York Minster and to the city of York from additional visitors." In other words - money "If the Dean and Chapter can afford to throw away such an opportunity then perhaps all those who spend their time fund-raising for the Minster " In other words - money It makes you sick NoMorePlease
  • Score: 0

11:24pm Tue 12 Feb 13

TOSH99 says...

Richard lll Foundation started a petition in August 2012 for Richard to be buried in York if anything was found. It was all over the news and radio stations in York. There was even a petItion. MP's from all over York were written to, emailed including the ones coming out now to have Richard buried in York. What did the MP's in York do in August 2012. NOTHING. This is what happened in August 2012 before the proposed dig?
The York MP's knew that there was a one in million chance of finding any remains, and they could not risk the cost. Do you think that Leicester City Council Tax payers would be happy to meet the cost of a team coming from York to dig a Leicester City Council Car Park up, take the remains and benifit from the tourist trade. No and I would not be happy. York could not afford the gamble and this was a huge gamble. SO THE MP's AND YORK COUNCIL DID NOTHING
So who has paid for this dig? Yes Money was donated from around the world. Just over £10,000. did this cover all the expences for the dig, DNA and carbon tests, the use of the Leicester Royal Infirmary, digging the car park and putting it back, the salaries of the staff, all the Leicester City Council staff that could no longer use the car park need to park somewhere else. So they may have paid to park in the multi storey which is not free. Who has paid for this? All other expences, The Leicester City Council Tax payer? York has not contributed anything.
If nothing was found, Leicester would have been a laughing stock and so would The University of Leicester.
Just say that York did find some money to send a team over to dig up Leicester City Council Car Park and they found nothing. The cost of failure would have been in the news and heads would have rolled especially as people are currently losing their jobs. As I said before York could not afford to gamble and this was a huge gamble.
So the University of Leicester applied for the Licence and got it, therefore The University of Leicester holds the Licence of where Richard 3rd is buried. All this has been signed and completed publicly. This was not done in secret, York knew that Leicester was looking for the remains of Richard 3rd and where he would be buried if anything was found. The MP's in York knew when the Licence was applied for and that this was going on and what did they do? NOTHING, THEY WERE SILENT AND SO WERE YORK COUNCIL.
Now remains have been found and identified, Leicester City Council using the Leicester City Council Tax money have now spent 1 million on a new building, this will increase because it needs work doing to it to bring it upto standard for tourists.
York has suddenly woke up and want the remains. Leicester has done the hard work, spent the money taken all the risks, taken a chance which has paid off against the odds and now York wants a piece.
York kept quite, didn't say a word and did nothing. York was late sending troops to Bosworth in 1485 to assist Richard 3rd and Richard paid with his life. York are late again.”
Richard lll Foundation started a petition in August 2012 for Richard to be buried in York if anything was found. It was all over the news and radio stations in York. There was even a petItion. MP's from all over York were written to, emailed including the ones coming out now to have Richard buried in York. What did the MP's in York do in August 2012. NOTHING. This is what happened in August 2012 before the proposed dig? The York MP's knew that there was a one in million chance of finding any remains, and they could not risk the cost. Do you think that Leicester City Council Tax payers would be happy to meet the cost of a team coming from York to dig a Leicester City Council Car Park up, take the remains and benifit from the tourist trade. No and I would not be happy. York could not afford the gamble and this was a huge gamble. SO THE MP's AND YORK COUNCIL DID NOTHING So who has paid for this dig? Yes Money was donated from around the world. Just over £10,000. did this cover all the expences for the dig, DNA and carbon tests, the use of the Leicester Royal Infirmary, digging the car park and putting it back, the salaries of the staff, all the Leicester City Council staff that could no longer use the car park need to park somewhere else. So they may have paid to park in the multi storey which is not free. Who has paid for this? All other expences, The Leicester City Council Tax payer? York has not contributed anything. If nothing was found, Leicester would have been a laughing stock and so would The University of Leicester. Just say that York did find some money to send a team over to dig up Leicester City Council Car Park and they found nothing. The cost of failure would have been in the news and heads would have rolled especially as people are currently losing their jobs. As I said before York could not afford to gamble and this was a huge gamble. So the University of Leicester applied for the Licence and got it, therefore The University of Leicester holds the Licence of where Richard 3rd is buried. All this has been signed and completed publicly. This was not done in secret, York knew that Leicester was looking for the remains of Richard 3rd and where he would be buried if anything was found. The MP's in York knew when the Licence was applied for and that this was going on and what did they do? NOTHING, THEY WERE SILENT AND SO WERE YORK COUNCIL. Now remains have been found and identified, Leicester City Council using the Leicester City Council Tax money have now spent 1 million on a new building, this will increase because it needs work doing to it to bring it upto standard for tourists. York has suddenly woke up and want the remains. Leicester has done the hard work, spent the money taken all the risks, taken a chance which has paid off against the odds and now York wants a piece. York kept quite, didn't say a word and did nothing. York was late sending troops to Bosworth in 1485 to assist Richard 3rd and Richard paid with his life. York are late again.” TOSH99
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree