A PETITION has been launched by York Dungeon, which hopes to clear Richard III’s name in the mystery of the so-called ‘Princes in the Tower’.

The Yorkist King has been the subject of a controversial historical debate - whether he did indeed murder his nephews to claim the throne.

York Dungeon has now set up a petition on the Parliament website asking for the excavation of the alleged remains of Edward V and Richard of Shrewsbury from Westminster Abbey.

A genetic descendant of the princes has been found, meaning DNA matching could be achieved. If a DNA test on the remains did not match the modern samples it would mean the remains were not the two princes and the accusation against Richard would remain unproven. The Dungeon is also petitioning to excavate the remains to determine if any foul play was involved in their deaths.

The petition went live on Saturday ahead of the launch of York Dungeon’s summer show, Richard III – Hero or Villain? on Saturday, July 28.

In the attraction, visitors will experience York in a time under the Yorkist King’s rule, when Richard’s throne was contested by a little known Lancastrian exile, Henry Tudor.

York Dungeon marketing executive, Simon Alnaimi said: “We want the public to decide for themselves what kind of a man Richard III was.

“But at the same time, we wanted to do a bit of digging ourselves, which is why we thought of the petition.

“As far as we’re aware, no-one has ever rallied the public together in order to challenge the Abbey on excavating the remains.

“In the interest of historic accuracy, and for the sake of Richard, we think it’s high time that justice be served to our Yorkist King, especially after missing out on being buried in York Minster.”

The York Dungeon is hoping to get the 100,000 signatures needed for the issue to be debated in Parliament, and hopefully for history to be made.

Historian Philippa Langley, who led the search for Richard III’s remains beneath a car park in Leicester in 2012, was in York on Saturday ahead the launch of the attraction’s new show on the king.

She said: “What I am here to do is bring the historical Richard III to the York Dungeon because what is important for me is the York Dungeon is great for families and for children, and it’s horrible histories-style show and it’s all about getting children in particular fascinated with history but then discovering more about the historical Richard III. So this is what I’m bringing to the York Dungeon for them, I’m giving the contemporary source material about Richard III from his own lifetime.

“I helped a little bit with the scripts so they can get the people questioning the old traditional stories and the Shakespearean legend.

“I think the traditional view is that he was a tyrant and a murderer but the other view based on the contemporary source material from Richard’s own lifetime is that he was very far from that. He was loyal, brave, pious and just.”