‘Nasty’ comments posted on Richard III blog

Vanessa Roe: University blog describes her as a “looney-tune”

Vanessa Roe: University blog describes her as a “looney-tune”

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by

A SENIOR member of staff at the University of Leicester has written anonymous blog posts attacking the opposing York campaigners in the fight over Richard III’s reburial.

Mike Simpson, the university’s senior web communications officer, has been revealed as the author of the blog Leicester Loves Richard, which attacks a leading York campaigner.

Vanessa Roe, 16th great-niece of the king, a spokeswoman for the Plantagenet Alliance, has been branded a “looney-tune”, “stark staring bonkers” and “absolutely bats**t insane” on Mr Simpson’s blog.

The site states its aims as “correcting the misinformation about Richard III”. It is published anonymously by an author claiming to be part of the team which found and identified the king’s body. In a posting from September 23, Ms Roe is attacked for a website she runs called Ghost Sightings of Richard III.

Ms Roe has spoken out against what she calls the “nasty” and “vitriolic” comments.

“I am angry because this is a personal attack. It’s gone over the line, and he is a public servant working in the university.”

Even though the blog is written in a personal capacity, Ms Roe says she believes it reflects badly on Mr Simpson’s employers and will damage the Leicester campaign.

“It’s very childish and cowardly. You don’t expect somebody in a high position to behave like that. Dirty tricks are not the way to win a war,” Ms Roe said.

“I would like the university to know who they are employing and I would like Mr Simpson to make a public apology.”

Although Mr Simpson has admitted writing the post, he said the blog is written in his own time and has no connection to his work. He said Ms Roe had made no attempt to contact him about any inaccuracies.

In a written statement, the University of Leicester said they did not support the views expressed but would not take action over their employees’ activities outside work.

The statement said: “The University – or anyone else for that matter – has no control over freedom of expression within the law by individuals in their personal capacity. This also applies to any websites – pro-York or pro- Leicester – as well as comments posted on newspaper websites.

“If the individual is an employee, as claimed, the University can only intervene if the individual is engaged on working on the site during working hours or using work resources.”

Comments (21)

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7:48am Thu 26 Sep 13

inthesticks says...

She obviously doesn`t read the comments on YP site then.....
She obviously doesn`t read the comments on YP site then..... inthesticks
  • Score: 19

7:51am Thu 26 Sep 13

nearlyman says...

I dont think it really is his body. There seems to be an awful lot of money vested in this 'positive' identification.. .......This box of bones is apperently to make a visitor centre in Leicester worth £4M to the local economy.......No other fact in the story has changed !
I dont think it really is his body. There seems to be an awful lot of money vested in this 'positive' identification.. .......This box of bones is apperently to make a visitor centre in Leicester worth £4M to the local economy.......No other fact in the story has changed ! nearlyman
  • Score: -20

8:36am Thu 26 Sep 13

Bad magic says...

How on earth is a university employee a "public servant"?
How on earth is a university employee a "public servant"? Bad magic
  • Score: 28

11:17am Thu 26 Sep 13

sezzer says...

I think it's wise to let the independent panel of experts make a decision. This is now beyond a joke. There should be no need for poisonous personal attacks on either "side". This has all occurred because the consultation regarding the site of R111's re-interment didn't happen when it should have. Now there is this mud-slinging, unedifying situation - most unpleasant. Can't we just bury him with a RC service in simple dignity at Middleham, where he lived longer than anywhere else and spent his happy years?
I think it's wise to let the independent panel of experts make a decision. This is now beyond a joke. There should be no need for poisonous personal attacks on either "side". This has all occurred because the consultation regarding the site of R111's re-interment didn't happen when it should have. Now there is this mud-slinging, unedifying situation - most unpleasant. Can't we just bury him with a RC service in simple dignity at Middleham, where he lived longer than anywhere else and spent his happy years? sezzer
  • Score: 27

12:58pm Thu 26 Sep 13

Blancsanglier says...

Miller O'Windy wrote:
This is not a 'war' Vanessa. It is a ludicrous farce driven by delusional and self-righteous obsessives like yourself. You do not speak for York any more than you speak for your long-dead king, who had no descendants and who never expressed any wish to be buried in York, no matter how often you repeat your falsehoods. And perhaps you should look at some of the vile comments posted on the 'Petition to Bring Richard III back to Yorkshire' Facebook page before passing judgement on others.
You knew Richard then did you? You KNOW he never expressed a wish to be buried in York? So the huge Chantry Chapel he commenced building in York Minster, with 100 priests was just a whim? And yes, before you start typing, we know he funded chantries in other places but this was by far the biggest and reading what survives of Richard's documents, letters etc it all indicates that that is what he would have hoped for. Thanks to Tudor, most documents have been destroyed either wilfully or when his son destroyed religious houses in the Dissolution of the Monasteries. I doubt very much he would have wanted to be buried in Leicester, a place he hardly ever stayed at and when he did it was because he was passing through on his way to somewhere else.
Off course Richard has descendants, not direct descendants but close relative's descendants.
I can assure you that any 'vile comments' on the Petition page will be in response to ones made to them by hysterical posters who have nothing better to do than trawl Facebook etc looking for any mention of York/King Richard and then start yapping like rabid dogs.
I am not delusional, nor a self righteous obsessive but I have read medieval history for many, many years especially about King Richard lll and have come to the conclusion - as has everyone else who has actually RESEARCHED this King - that York is the only place he should be laid to rest. Certainly not the in the place that has shown him absolutely no respect in 1485 and again in 2013.
[quote][p][bold]Miller O'Windy[/bold] wrote: This is not a 'war' Vanessa. It is a ludicrous farce driven by delusional and self-righteous obsessives like yourself. You do not speak for York any more than you speak for your long-dead king, who had no descendants and who never expressed any wish to be buried in York, no matter how often you repeat your falsehoods. And perhaps you should look at some of the vile comments posted on the 'Petition to Bring Richard III back to Yorkshire' Facebook page before passing judgement on others.[/p][/quote]You knew Richard then did you? You KNOW he never expressed a wish to be buried in York? So the huge Chantry Chapel he commenced building in York Minster, with 100 priests was just a whim? And yes, before you start typing, we know he funded chantries in other places but this was by far the biggest and reading what survives of Richard's documents, letters etc it all indicates that that is what he would have hoped for. Thanks to Tudor, most documents have been destroyed either wilfully or when his son destroyed religious houses in the Dissolution of the Monasteries. I doubt very much he would have wanted to be buried in Leicester, a place he hardly ever stayed at and when he did it was because he was passing through on his way to somewhere else. Off course Richard has descendants, not direct descendants but close relative's descendants. I can assure you that any 'vile comments' on the Petition page will be in response to ones made to them by hysterical posters who have nothing better to do than trawl Facebook etc looking for any mention of York/King Richard and then start yapping like rabid dogs. I am not delusional, nor a self righteous obsessive but I have read medieval history for many, many years especially about King Richard lll and have come to the conclusion - as has everyone else who has actually RESEARCHED this King - that York is the only place he should be laid to rest. Certainly not the in the place that has shown him absolutely no respect in 1485 and again in 2013. Blancsanglier
  • Score: 16

12:59pm Thu 26 Sep 13

the original Homer says...

I'm surprised that the University believe they have no control over what their employees say and do outside of work.
This man is employed by them as a "Senior web communications officer", and outside of work he uses his web communication skills to mount personal attacks.
The University stepping aside from any action will come across to many as condoning his actions. This could easily backfire on the University.
I understand their point about it maybe not being illegal, but I think they ought to be looking at this in the context of what the role they employ him in.
I'm surprised that the University believe they have no control over what their employees say and do outside of work. This man is employed by them as a "Senior web communications officer", and outside of work he uses his web communication skills to mount personal attacks. The University stepping aside from any action will come across to many as condoning his actions. This could easily backfire on the University. I understand their point about it maybe not being illegal, but I think they ought to be looking at this in the context of what the role they employ him in. the original Homer
  • Score: 26

5:46pm Thu 26 Sep 13

Caecilius says...

Quite ironic, really, considering we're talking about the man who (lacking access to the internet) arranged for it to be broadcast to the public outside St Paul's Cathedral that his late brother's marriage was invalid and his children therefore illegitimate. You might say that Richard set the precedent himself.

And sorry, Blancsanglier, but you didn't know Richard either. There's not a shred of evidence that he ever expressed a wish to be buried in York, which is why you can only back up your claim by saying that you've read fragments of his correspondence which, in your opinion, "INDICATE that this is what he WOULD have hoped for". In other words, by definition, they don't say that he did. No, Richard doesn't have any descendants. Descendants of people who were related to him are not his, however much they might like to think so and however much the term 'collateral descendant' is bandied about. I am a relative but not a descendant of my 4x great aunt, who died childless in 1839. I am a descendant of her nephew (though mentioning nephews in the context of Richard III might be considered in poor taste.....).
Quite ironic, really, considering we're talking about the man who (lacking access to the internet) arranged for it to be broadcast to the public outside St Paul's Cathedral that his late brother's marriage was invalid and his children therefore illegitimate. You might say that Richard set the precedent himself. And sorry, Blancsanglier, but you didn't know Richard either. There's not a shred of evidence that he ever expressed a wish to be buried in York, which is why you can only back up your claim by saying that you've read fragments of his correspondence which, in your opinion, "INDICATE that this is what he WOULD have hoped for". In other words, by definition, they don't say that he did. No, Richard doesn't have any descendants. Descendants of people who were related to him are not his, however much they might like to think so and however much the term 'collateral descendant' is bandied about. I am a relative but not a descendant of my 4x great aunt, who died childless in 1839. I am a descendant of her nephew (though mentioning nephews in the context of Richard III might be considered in poor taste.....). Caecilius
  • Score: -1

6:12pm Thu 26 Sep 13

kareng8 says...

A new e-petition has been created to return the Richard III to Yorkshire for burial in York Minster. Please sign and share, thank you.

https://submissions.
epetitions.direct.go
v.uk/petitions/55196
A new e-petition has been created to return the Richard III to Yorkshire for burial in York Minster. Please sign and share, thank you. https://submissions. epetitions.direct.go v.uk/petitions/55196 kareng8
  • Score: 1

6:31pm Thu 26 Sep 13

Silver says...

Pretty sure he probably didn't think about where he'd be buried anyway. After all wasn't it part of the belief system then that he would be in Heaven so wouldn't have really cared
Pretty sure he probably didn't think about where he'd be buried anyway. After all wasn't it part of the belief system then that he would be in Heaven so wouldn't have really cared Silver
  • Score: 2

7:11pm Thu 26 Sep 13

Blancsanglier says...

Silver wrote:
Pretty sure he probably didn't think about where he'd be buried anyway. After all wasn't it part of the belief system then that he would be in Heaven so wouldn't have really cared
Even common soldiers made a will before a battle, either verbally or got someone to write it down so it stands to common sense that a King of England would make a will. It was obviously not only about his burial but his goods and chattels too.
[quote][p][bold]Silver[/bold] wrote: Pretty sure he probably didn't think about where he'd be buried anyway. After all wasn't it part of the belief system then that he would be in Heaven so wouldn't have really cared[/p][/quote]Even common soldiers made a will before a battle, either verbally or got someone to write it down [I can supply a link if required] so it stands to common sense that a King of England would make a will. It was obviously not only about his burial but his goods and chattels too. Blancsanglier
  • Score: 4

9:09pm Thu 26 Sep 13

kareng8 says...

I am really quite shocked by the vitriol aimed at Richard III. No person, man, woman or child would like to rest for all eternity near the place where they were cruelly slain. On Becoming King, Richard moved Henry VI's remains from Chertsey Abbey to Windsor, he also started the task of making sure the fallen at Towton received proper burial, these things obviously mattered to him, and we should accord him the same respect.

Richard III was loved and respected in the North, his death was marked in the city records ' "King Richard late mercifully reigning upon us was, through great treason......… piteously slain and murdered, to the great heaviness of this city”. He referred in letters to visits to York as a 'homecoming' and had his son invested as Prince of Wales in the City.

It's a pity more don't care about our history.
I am really quite shocked by the vitriol aimed at Richard III. No person, man, woman or child would like to rest for all eternity near the place where they were cruelly slain. On Becoming King, Richard moved Henry VI's remains from Chertsey Abbey to Windsor, he also started the task of making sure the fallen at Towton received proper burial, these things obviously mattered to him, and we should accord him the same respect. Richard III was loved and respected in the North, his death was marked in the city records ' "King Richard late mercifully reigning upon us was, through great treason......… piteously slain and murdered, to the great heaviness of this city”. He referred in letters to visits to York as a 'homecoming' and had his son invested as Prince of Wales in the City. It's a pity more don't care about our history. kareng8
  • Score: 12

9:32pm Thu 26 Sep 13

velvetdixie says...

A solution certain to equally please* all factions:

Hire the U.S. team that disposed of the corpse of Osama and let them do their thing. Presto; problem solved forever.


* Their pleasure - or lack thereof - would be the very same for all sides. But "equal" is good, no?
A solution certain to equally please* all factions: Hire the U.S. team that disposed of the corpse of Osama and let them do their thing. Presto; problem solved forever. * Their pleasure - or lack thereof - would be the very same for all sides. But "equal" is good, no? velvetdixie
  • Score: -10

9:35pm Thu 26 Sep 13

aitch11 says...

Am I the only person that couldn't care less where they bury him?
Am I the only person that couldn't care less where they bury him? aitch11
  • Score: -8

10:55am Fri 27 Sep 13

PinzaC55 says...

aitch11 wrote:
Am I the only person that couldn't care less where they bury him?
No. Its a skeleton which may be the skeleton of a long dead king. I couldn't care less about kings or skeletons or where they are buried.
And I have a feeling that if they did bury it in York it would cost a fortune paid from my council tax as well as affording an opportunity for the council to quaff champagne at my expense.
[quote][p][bold]aitch11[/bold] wrote: Am I the only person that couldn't care less where they bury him?[/p][/quote]No. Its a skeleton which may be the skeleton of a long dead king. I couldn't care less about kings or skeletons or where they are buried. And I have a feeling that if they did bury it in York it would cost a fortune paid from my council tax as well as affording an opportunity for the council to quaff champagne at my expense. PinzaC55
  • Score: -7

11:03am Fri 27 Sep 13

Ranillon says...

Put quite simply there is no definitive evidence as to where Richard wished to be buried (as much as the Pro-York faction may like to think). If we are left to make educated guesses as to what he "may have wanted" then I'd argue he would have wished to be buried in Westminster Abbey next to his wife. Since that will never happen I don't see how burying him in Leicester is so inappropriate. Not only has his body been there for the last 500 years anyway, it was (the University of) Leicester which spent the time and money to find, recover, and verify his mortal remains. Now that they are ready to spend further time and (a good bit of) money to give him a tomb center stage in Leicester Cathedral it's hard to dispute they have the better claim.

In fact, this pro-York campaign is coming dangerously close to being in poor taste, sort of like a child so resentful of the attention a sibling is receiving they want to step in and steal it. Unless some startling discovery is made clearly proving that Richard really did want to be buried in York I urge the pro-York faction to gracefully bow out of this dispute before they embarrass themselves.
Put quite simply there is no definitive evidence as to where Richard wished to be buried (as much as the Pro-York faction may like to think). If we are left to make educated guesses as to what he "may have wanted" then I'd argue he would have wished to be buried in Westminster Abbey next to his wife. Since that will never happen I don't see how burying him in Leicester is so inappropriate. Not only has his body been there for the last 500 years anyway, it was (the University of) Leicester which spent the time and money to find, recover, and verify his mortal remains. Now that they are ready to spend further time and (a good bit of) money to give him a tomb center stage in Leicester Cathedral it's hard to dispute they have the better claim. In fact, this pro-York campaign is coming dangerously close to being in poor taste, sort of like a child so resentful of the attention a sibling is receiving they want to step in and steal it. Unless some startling discovery is made clearly proving that Richard really did want to be buried in York I urge the pro-York faction to gracefully bow out of this dispute before they embarrass themselves. Ranillon
  • Score: 0

2:56pm Fri 27 Sep 13

again says...

So it IS all about money then?
So it IS all about money then? again
  • Score: 2

2:57pm Fri 27 Sep 13

again says...

Anyway what was the point of digging him up if you are just going to bury him again in much the same place?
Anyway what was the point of digging him up if you are just going to bury him again in much the same place? again
  • Score: 6

7:08pm Fri 27 Sep 13

Ranillon says...

again wrote:
Anyway what was the point of digging him up if you are just going to bury him again in much the same place?
ANYONE deserves to be found and put in a proper grave, even a king of England, if at all possible. Even unknown peasants, if found at some dig site/construction site get to be respectfully reburied. The difference is that as a former King of England Richard will get a fine tomb, but since he's an important (and quite famous) part of English history that makes perfect sense.
[quote][p][bold]again[/bold] wrote: Anyway what was the point of digging him up if you are just going to bury him again in much the same place?[/p][/quote]ANYONE deserves to be found and put in a proper grave, even a king of England, if at all possible. Even unknown peasants, if found at some dig site/construction site get to be respectfully reburied. The difference is that as a former King of England Richard will get a fine tomb, but since he's an important (and quite famous) part of English history that makes perfect sense. Ranillon
  • Score: 4

8:22pm Fri 27 Sep 13

NoMorePlease says...

kareng8 wrote:
A new e-petition has been created to return the Richard III to Yorkshire for burial in York Minster. Please sign and share, thank you. https://submissions. epetitions.direct.go v.uk/petitions/55196
You are not serious? How childish and pathetic you people really are.
[quote][p][bold]kareng8[/bold] wrote: A new e-petition has been created to return the Richard III to Yorkshire for burial in York Minster. Please sign and share, thank you. https://submissions. epetitions.direct.go v.uk/petitions/55196[/p][/quote]You are not serious? How childish and pathetic you people really are. NoMorePlease
  • Score: -3

8:59pm Fri 27 Sep 13

Silver says...

Blancsanglier wrote:
Silver wrote:
Pretty sure he probably didn't think about where he'd be buried anyway. After all wasn't it part of the belief system then that he would be in Heaven so wouldn't have really cared
Even common soldiers made a will before a battle, either verbally or got someone to write it down so it stands to common sense that a King of England would make a will. It was obviously not only about his burial but his goods and chattels too.
And if it was to be found it'd settle this. But no there hasn't been one so maybe he didn't. After all perhaps he thought it was a foregone conclusion he was going to win?
[quote][p][bold]Blancsanglier[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Silver[/bold] wrote: Pretty sure he probably didn't think about where he'd be buried anyway. After all wasn't it part of the belief system then that he would be in Heaven so wouldn't have really cared[/p][/quote]Even common soldiers made a will before a battle, either verbally or got someone to write it down [I can supply a link if required] so it stands to common sense that a King of England would make a will. It was obviously not only about his burial but his goods and chattels too.[/p][/quote]And if it was to be found it'd settle this. But no there hasn't been one so maybe he didn't. After all perhaps he thought it was a foregone conclusion he was going to win? Silver
  • Score: 1

10:56am Thu 17 Oct 13

cazanne says...

Ranillon wrote:
Put quite simply there is no definitive evidence as to where Richard wished to be buried (as much as the Pro-York faction may like to think). If we are left to make educated guesses as to what he "may have wanted" then I'd argue he would have wished to be buried in Westminster Abbey next to his wife. Since that will never happen I don't see how burying him in Leicester is so inappropriate. Not only has his body been there for the last 500 years anyway, it was (the University of) Leicester which spent the time and money to find, recover, and verify his mortal remains. Now that they are ready to spend further time and (a good bit of) money to give him a tomb center stage in Leicester Cathedral it's hard to dispute they have the better claim. In fact, this pro-York campaign is coming dangerously close to being in poor taste, sort of like a child so resentful of the attention a sibling is receiving they want to step in and steal it. Unless some startling discovery is made clearly proving that Richard really did want to be buried in York I urge the pro-York faction to gracefully bow out of this dispute before they embarrass themselves.
At last some common sense!
I only hope that when the decision goes in Leicester's favour that the PA will eventually stop being an embarrassment to the fine city of York and its residents.
[quote][p][bold]Ranillon[/bold] wrote: Put quite simply there is no definitive evidence as to where Richard wished to be buried (as much as the Pro-York faction may like to think). If we are left to make educated guesses as to what he "may have wanted" then I'd argue he would have wished to be buried in Westminster Abbey next to his wife. Since that will never happen I don't see how burying him in Leicester is so inappropriate. Not only has his body been there for the last 500 years anyway, it was (the University of) Leicester which spent the time and money to find, recover, and verify his mortal remains. Now that they are ready to spend further time and (a good bit of) money to give him a tomb center stage in Leicester Cathedral it's hard to dispute they have the better claim. In fact, this pro-York campaign is coming dangerously close to being in poor taste, sort of like a child so resentful of the attention a sibling is receiving they want to step in and steal it. Unless some startling discovery is made clearly proving that Richard really did want to be buried in York I urge the pro-York faction to gracefully bow out of this dispute before they embarrass themselves.[/p][/quote]At last some common sense! I only hope that when the decision goes in Leicester's favour that the PA will eventually stop being an embarrassment to the fine city of York and its residents. cazanne
  • Score: 0

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