THERE is some right gobbledegook being published in letters about King Richard III.
Firstly it is claimed that Leicester had misplaced him when in fact his remains were uncovered by virtually the first scoop of the digger. Secondly, it is claimed that his descendants wish his remains to be buried in York, yet he doesn’t have any.
Thirdly it is claimed that York and Yorkshire want him back. Well it may be true of York but what little history I know says that the north supported the House of Lancaster and the bulk of the Yorkist army came from the west country.
I went to school in Pontefract and to the best of my knowledge that town is still part of the Duchy of Lancaster (as are parts of East Yorkshire).
As for the remains, I don’t care where they end up. No excuse on earth justifies the desecration of his grave. In the vernacular it should have remained his “final resting place”.
That such a desecration can be performed at somebody’s whim is unspeakable. It is no better than the indignities inflicted on Richard at his demise.
K Barnes, NorthView, Catterton, Tadcaster.
• RICHARD III was never Duke of York. The title was introduced in the fourteenth century for Edmund of Langley, son of Edward III.
Richard III’s father was Duke of York; the title was given to Prince Richard, second son of Edward IV, after his birth in 1475. Richard III acquired the title Duke of Gloucester after his brother became Edward IV in 1461. Richard III was not “a member of the Church of England in communion with the Bishop of Rome”, as one letter writer believes.
In the late-fifteenth century, England was a Catholic country, with Catholic Europe, owing its religious allegiance to the Pope. The concept of the Church of England and the separation of church and state was not mooted until Henry VIII had trouble trying to divorce Katherine of Aragon, and was not enshrined in law until Elizabeth I’s reign.
Richard III was well respected, the only one involved with the treaty of Picquigny in 1475 who refused a bribe from the French monarch.
Nor should his success in ruling the north be underestimated. York had been a staunch supporter of the Lancastrian monarchy.
Between 1471 and 1483 that mindset was overturned to the extent that Henry Tudor was afraid to visit York and escaped an assassination attempt while staying in the city at Christmas in 1486.
Richard preferred straight-talking northerners. He had no time for the hypocrisy and machinations of the court.
Anne Woodward, Upper Newborough Street, York.
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