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Leading historian says Richard III's bones should be given a proper burial
Updated 1:55pm Friday 10th January 2014 in News
A HISTORIAN who was instrumental in the discovery of Richard III’s remains has called for him to be laid to rest with dignity.
Dr John Ashdown-Hill’s research was vital in confirming bones found under a Leicester car park belonged to the infamous medieval monarch.
However, since the exhumation in 2012, debate has raged as to where the bones should be buried.
It was originally planned the king would be entombed in Leicester Cathedral.
However, the Plantagenet Alliance, Richard III's closest relatives, want him buried in York and have won a judicial review of the decision.
Meanwhile, Dr Ashdown- Hill, of Lawford, said the bones were still in Leicester University’s history department.
The Looking for Richard project, for which he is the leader of genealogical research, had won agreement the university would only hold the bones until scientific research had been completed.
Medieval expert Dr Ashdown- Hill said: “I understand that has now been done and I would like him taken from the university and put in some prayerful environment.
"I think that is what Richard would have expected.’’
The bones were due to lie at Mount St Bernard Abbey, a community of Cistercian monks, inLeicestershire.
Dr Ashdown-Hill said: “They were happy to have him there to lie in a coffin in a chapel until arrangements for reburial were in place, but it has not happened.
“I don’t have a firm opinion on where he should be buried – Leicester, York, Westminster or Windsor. I am more bothered as to how it is handled.
“I believe he should also be buried in a tomb, as royalty would have been, and not just under slabs. I think it would be nice, after 500 years, including years under tarmac in a car park, if he had a different experience.’’
Leicester University has denied the bones were in a box in the history department and said the bones were stored in a secure and controlled environment.
A spokesman added research into the bones was still ongoing.
* Dr Ashdown-Hill is paying for a crown to be made to lie on Richard’s coffin. He has commissioned a jeweller, aspecialist inmedieval reproductions, to make the crown of brass, gilded with gold and decorated with garnets and sapphires.
It would be similar to that Richard would have worn when he was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.
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