York Minster gets hate mail over Richard III’s last resting place
HATE mail has been sent to the Dean of York and York Minster since they said they did not want to receive the remains of Richard III.
The cathedral’s representatives said last month that the bones of the last Yorkist king should be buried in Leicester, where they were found during an archaeological dig by the city’s university.
A Minster spokesman said yesterday: “York Minster has received a number of letters about Richard III, and a small number of these have been abusive.
“These have been passed to the Minster Police and they continue to monitor the situation closely.”
It is understood some letters have been sent to the Dean of York, the Very Rev Vivienne Faull, and York Central MP Hugh Bayley said he too had received such mail.
Meanwhile, a Government minister is to broker a summit meeting between York and Leicester in an attempt to resolve the row over the king’s remains.
Campaigners for Richard’s remains to be buried in York, who have compiled a 24,000-name petition, say it is what the monarch wanted. They are backed by his living descendants.
In the Commons yesterday, Justice Minister Jeremy Wright said he believed the University of Leicester should make the decision, but he would make arrangements for a meeting between representatives from there and York.
York Central MP Hugh Bayley said: “As the remains are those of a former head of state, the state should decide where and how they are reinterred – it should not be delegated to the University of Leicester.
“York believes it has a strong case, so does Leicester, so an independent committee should be set up to look at the views of all interested parties and advise the Government on what the burial arrangements should be.”
City of York Council chief executive Kersten England will form a York delegation to meet Leicester counterparts.
She said she hoped it would “take forward how we can best celebrate and commemorate Richard III”. Mr Bayley said if the meeting did not reach an agreement he would again call for the Government to decide Richard’s final resting place.
The York Central MP said he had received some “angry and abusive” letters.
But he said: “I have no time for that – we are talking about a king of England’s last resting place and we need a respectful conversation.”
York Outer MP Julian Sturdy told the debate the decision seemed to have been conducted “in a sort of finders-keepers agreement” and “hashed out behind closed doors”.
He said: “Perhaps what is even more frustrating is that Richard III’s own wishes seem not to have been consulted.”
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