Debate over burial of Richard's remains reaches Parliament

THE battle over the burial site of King Richard III will hot up tomorrow (Tuesday, March 12), when pleas for two different sites in the region are made.

Hugh Bayley, the York Central MP, will stage a Commons debate to make the case for the monarch's 500-year-old skeleton to be reinterred in York.

The Labour MP will urge ministers – who have cleared the way for reburial at Leicester Cathedral, next year - to instead set up an expert panel to decide the controversy.

And he will quote the opinion of some leading archaeologists that the decision should not be made by the University of Leicester, simply because it exhumed the body.

But Helen Goodman, the Bishop Auckland MP, is urging the government to consider Barnard Castle, in her constituency, where Richard III “lived happily for many years”.

The future king is known to have lived in Barnard Castle after becoming its owner in 1474 and is described as a great benefactor to the church.

As Duke of Gloucester, he carried out extensive alterations and a white boar - Richard III's emblem - is still carved above a window in the west wall of the inner bailey.

Ms Goodman said: “My constituents have been raising with me questions about the legality of what is happening at the moment about this.

“I would like to press the case for burying Richard III in Barnard Castle, where he lived happily for many years and where his insignia, the white boar, can still be seen engraved.”

Meanwhile, Mr Bayley said the advice he had received – including from an archaeologist sitting on the advisory panel on burials – was that the identity of the bones was a “game changer”.

Instead of the remains being those of an unknown commoner, they belonged to a former king – which made reburial the responsibility of the government.

Mr Bayley said: “It shouldn’t be up to academics at Leicester University – however brilliant – to decide where a king is buried.

“Now the identity of the remains is known, it’s for the government to decide when and how, as well as where, reburial takes place. An advisory panel should consider all claims.

“My own view is that there is still a sense of loss in the north of England about Richard’s death and the outcome of the War of the Roses – and he should be reburied in York.”

Nine of Richard III's descendants have said they believed the king, the last monarch of the House of York, would have wanted to be buried in the city.

King Richard grew up at Middleham Castle, visited York several times during his 26-month reign and also funded part of the city's medieval gated walls.

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Comments (6)

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5:20pm Mon 11 Mar 13

jeremy0 says...

There should be no debate about it YORK is the only place for this Son of the county to be to be resting.
There should be no debate about it YORK is the only place for this Son of the county to be to be resting. jeremy0

8:22pm Mon 11 Mar 13

RedCyanNat says...

Couldn't agree more: Jeremy0! He was from the house of York loved the people of York, they loved him, he lived there, adopted the area and had his family live there, no debate!
Couldn't agree more: Jeremy0! He was from the house of York loved the people of York, they loved him, he lived there, adopted the area and had his family live there, no debate! RedCyanNat

6:39am Tue 12 Mar 13

Better bishop says...

I think Richard should be buried in York. What planet is helen goodman on?
I think Richard should be buried in York. What planet is helen goodman on? Better bishop

12:38pm Tue 12 Mar 13

Little owl says...

Why not cremate the remains and sprinkle them in all 3 places.

How can anyone, hundreds of years after his death, possibly know his wishes as to where he wanted to be laid to rest. Maybes, just maybes, he was where he wanted to be buried, all those years ago it might have been a very peaceful part of the world that was befitting for the burial of a king. One thing I do know, it would'nt have been a car park.
Why not cremate the remains and sprinkle them in all 3 places. How can anyone, hundreds of years after his death, possibly know his wishes as to where he wanted to be laid to rest. Maybes, just maybes, he was where he wanted to be buried, all those years ago it might have been a very peaceful part of the world that was befitting for the burial of a king. One thing I do know, it would'nt have been a car park. Little owl

2:02pm Thu 14 Mar 13

argo2013 says...

Little owl, People can know about where he would have liked to be buried ,because he wrote about it in his lifetime, and he clearly stated his preference for being buried in York.He was buried in Leicester because thats were his killers dumped his body with his hands still bound together,not very befitting for the rightful king.
Little owl, People can know about where he would have liked to be buried ,because he wrote about it in his lifetime, and he clearly stated his preference for being buried in York.He was buried in Leicester because thats were his killers dumped his body with his hands still bound together,not very befitting for the rightful king. argo2013

8:52pm Thu 14 Mar 13

Voice-of-reality says...

The traditional, historic, case is that the leader slain in battle is buried near at hand - therefore Leicester. Richard, though a son of York spent more time elsewhere. Further, York needs no further 'pulls' for visitor attractions. Let him continue 'to rest' where he is.
The traditional, historic, case is that the leader slain in battle is buried near at hand - therefore Leicester. Richard, though a son of York spent more time elsewhere. Further, York needs no further 'pulls' for visitor attractions. Let him continue 'to rest' where he is. Voice-of-reality

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