Leading historian says Richard III's bones should be given a proper burial

First published in News
Last updated

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.

Comments (11)

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2:41pm Fri 10 Jan 14

Jess Jephcott says...

He was laid to rest with dignity. Then a bunch of charlies came along and dug him up and stored his remains in some back room in a university in Leicester. What could be less dignified? My suggestion would be for those who dug him up to be put on trial for treason and then the king's remains to be buried without delay in a place suggested by the royal family. Talking of charlies, why not ask Prince Charles for his view?
He was laid to rest with dignity. Then a bunch of charlies came along and dug him up and stored his remains in some back room in a university in Leicester. What could be less dignified? My suggestion would be for those who dug him up to be put on trial for treason and then the king's remains to be buried without delay in a place suggested by the royal family. Talking of charlies, why not ask Prince Charles for his view? Jess Jephcott
  • Score: -13

4:03pm Fri 10 Jan 14

Linda Gosling says...

IS this new crown as well as the white enamel one mentioned in August last year or a new one instead of...one more and we will be looking at the Magi.
IS this new crown as well as the white enamel one mentioned in August last year or a new one instead of...one more and we will be looking at the Magi. Linda Gosling
  • Score: 0

5:20pm Fri 10 Jan 14

CarolJFW says...

Good to see that this article has been reinstated on the website. I was very concerned to see that it had been removed, and hear that this was under pressure from Leicester University for alleged 'inaccuracies'. I see that their denial that King Richard's remains have been stored in a cardboard box in the history department has been added and that they say the investigations are still ongoing. There has been a great deal of contradiction coming from the university over some months. I have heard at least one member of the history department state that the remains had been in a cardboard box on her desk - thankfully it seems that has changed at least, but why hadn't Dr Ashdown-Hill, a leading member of the original Looking For Richard team who fought to have the dig take place despite the university's scepticism, and was responsible for the genealogical research that allowed Richard's identity to be confirmed, been kept up to date? Probably because he has effectively been sidelined by the university since the initial announcements as they seek to ensure everything remains 'inhouse' in Leicester. Oh, and sorry Jess Jephcott, I don't agree that being placed in a too-short grave, possibly with no shroud and with his hands tied, constitutes being laid to rest with dignity.
Good to see that this article has been reinstated on the website. I was very concerned to see that it had been removed, and hear that this was under pressure from Leicester University for alleged 'inaccuracies'. I see that their denial that King Richard's remains have been stored in a cardboard box in the history department has been added and that they say the investigations are still ongoing. There has been a great deal of contradiction coming from the university over some months. I have heard at least one member of the history department state that the remains had been in a cardboard box on her desk - thankfully it seems that has changed at least, but why hadn't Dr Ashdown-Hill, a leading member of the original Looking For Richard team who fought to have the dig take place despite the university's scepticism, and was responsible for the genealogical research that allowed Richard's identity to be confirmed, been kept up to date? Probably because he has effectively been sidelined by the university since the initial announcements as they seek to ensure everything remains 'inhouse' in Leicester. Oh, and sorry Jess Jephcott, I don't agree that being placed in a too-short grave, possibly with no shroud and with his hands tied, constitutes being laid to rest with dignity. CarolJFW
  • Score: 3

1:22am Sat 11 Jan 14

Boris says...

Dr Ashdown-Hill seems a gentle and charming person, so why would academics at a rival university want to quarrel with him?
Any human being deserves to be buried or cremated with dignity, even a king. Richard Crookback has been waiting for over 500 years, so a delay of another few months or years is surely unimportant.
Jess suggests that descendants of the house of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha should decide on Richard's final resting place. They are unrelated to the house of York so their opinion is no more relevant than Jess's or mine.
Dr Ashdown-Hill seems a gentle and charming person, so why would academics at a rival university want to quarrel with him? Any human being deserves to be buried or cremated with dignity, even a king. Richard Crookback has been waiting for over 500 years, so a delay of another few months or years is surely unimportant. Jess suggests that descendants of the house of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha should decide on Richard's final resting place. They are unrelated to the house of York so their opinion is no more relevant than Jess's or mine. Boris
  • Score: -2

12:04pm Sat 11 Jan 14

Checkout says...

Yawn, care about it then pay for it. Please don't expect the tax payer to subsidise meaningless forelock tugging gestures.
Yawn, care about it then pay for it. Please don't expect the tax payer to subsidise meaningless forelock tugging gestures. Checkout
  • Score: -6

3:38pm Sat 11 Jan 14

Jess Jephcott says...

My ignorance is legendary.
My ignorance is legendary. Jess Jephcott
  • Score: 1

3:41pm Sun 12 Jan 14

Mail Member 4 Colchester says...

Jess Jephcott wrote:
He was laid to rest with dignity. Then a bunch of charlies came along and dug him up and stored his remains in some back room in a university in Leicester. What could be less dignified? My suggestion would be for those who dug him up to be put on trial for treason and then the king's remains to be buried without delay in a place suggested by the royal family. Talking of charlies, why not ask Prince Charles for his view?
Yeah, quite right Jess, his undiscovered for 500 years remains were eventually found under a car park in Leicester. Us staunch patriots obviously see this as a very fitting resting place for a former king of England, and it's disgraceful he didn't remain under a succession of Nissan Micras, Ford Kas, and Vauxhall Astras. But no, those that moved his body won't be tried for treason. It's bloody political correctness gone mad, is what it is.
[quote][p][bold]Jess Jephcott[/bold] wrote: He was laid to rest with dignity. Then a bunch of charlies came along and dug him up and stored his remains in some back room in a university in Leicester. What could be less dignified? My suggestion would be for those who dug him up to be put on trial for treason and then the king's remains to be buried without delay in a place suggested by the royal family. Talking of charlies, why not ask Prince Charles for his view?[/p][/quote]Yeah, quite right Jess, his undiscovered for 500 years remains were eventually found under a car park in Leicester. Us staunch patriots obviously see this as a very fitting resting place for a former king of England, and it's disgraceful he didn't remain under a succession of Nissan Micras, Ford Kas, and Vauxhall Astras. But no, those that moved his body won't be tried for treason. It's bloody political correctness gone mad, is what it is. Mail Member 4 Colchester
  • Score: -1

3:45pm Sun 12 Jan 14

Mail Member 4 Colchester says...

Boris wrote:
Dr Ashdown-Hill seems a gentle and charming person, so why would academics at a rival university want to quarrel with him?
Any human being deserves to be buried or cremated with dignity, even a king. Richard Crookback has been waiting for over 500 years, so a delay of another few months or years is surely unimportant.
Jess suggests that descendants of the house of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha should decide on Richard's final resting place. They are unrelated to the house of York so their opinion is no more relevant than Jess's or mine.
I'd say you and Jess have far more right to comment than the current Royals, at least you're both English. Bloody foreigners, coming over here and scrounging benefits at the tax payers' expense, it's bloody political correctness gone mad, is what it is.
[quote][p][bold]Boris[/bold] wrote: Dr Ashdown-Hill seems a gentle and charming person, so why would academics at a rival university want to quarrel with him? Any human being deserves to be buried or cremated with dignity, even a king. Richard Crookback has been waiting for over 500 years, so a delay of another few months or years is surely unimportant. Jess suggests that descendants of the house of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha should decide on Richard's final resting place. They are unrelated to the house of York so their opinion is no more relevant than Jess's or mine.[/p][/quote]I'd say you and Jess have far more right to comment than the current Royals, at least you're both English. Bloody foreigners, coming over here and scrounging benefits at the tax payers' expense, it's bloody political correctness gone mad, is what it is. Mail Member 4 Colchester
  • Score: 0

7:06pm Sun 12 Jan 14

Jess Jephcott says...

I was having a bit of a joke - or so I thought. I confess that I dad not realised that he had been tied up and effectively put unceremoniously in a grave. But what seems strange is that they could have done that in a ditch. Why choose the sanctity of a church and then interr him in such an uncaring way? But, the bottom line of this is, he was a past king of England and he should be re-interred without delay in a grave befitting a monarch. As to Checkout's response, why don't you do us all a favour and clear off to some socialist republic of your choosing? God save the Queen!
I was having a bit of a joke - or so I thought. I confess that I dad not realised that he had been tied up and effectively put unceremoniously in a grave. But what seems strange is that they could have done that in a ditch. Why choose the sanctity of a church and then interr him in such an uncaring way? But, the bottom line of this is, he was a past king of England and he should be re-interred without delay in a grave befitting a monarch. As to Checkout's response, why don't you do us all a favour and clear off to some socialist republic of your choosing? God save the Queen! Jess Jephcott
  • Score: -3

11:48am Mon 13 Jan 14

Checkout says...

"As to Checkout's response, why don't you do us all a favour and clear off to some socialist republic of your choosing? God save the Queen!"
Quite simple Dear Jess, I live in a socialist construct called England, and I'm already living the dream or nightmare.
This king lost a battle and his enemies treated him as winners often do in such circumstances, even today. This is yet another attempt to re-write history by a vociferous minority.
If they care about it so much, raise the money to have him re-interred as fits his supposed status. What's it got to do with the Queen?
"As to Checkout's response, why don't you do us all a favour and clear off to some socialist republic of your choosing? God save the Queen!" Quite simple Dear Jess, I live in a socialist construct called England, and I'm already living the dream or nightmare. This king lost a battle and his enemies treated him as winners often do in such circumstances, even today. This is yet another attempt to re-write history by a vociferous minority. If they care about it so much, raise the money to have him re-interred as fits his supposed status. What's it got to do with the Queen? Checkout
  • Score: 3

12:37pm Mon 13 Jan 14

Mail Member 4 Colchester says...

Jess Jephcott wrote:
I was having a bit of a joke - or so I thought. I confess that I dad not realised that he had been tied up and effectively put unceremoniously in a grave. But what seems strange is that they could have done that in a ditch. Why choose the sanctity of a church and then interr him in such an uncaring way? But, the bottom line of this is, he was a past king of England and he should be re-interred without delay in a grave befitting a monarch. As to Checkout's response, why don't you do us all a favour and clear off to some socialist republic of your choosing? God save the Queen!
As you do on all sorts of subjects - like benefits, or Palestine - you have again chose to shoot your mouth on something you know nothing whatsoever about, and it's great to see! So what the fact is Richard III was never formally buried, as I always say you can prove anything with facts, so what does that actually prove?

Ignorance is bliss after all, imagine how dangerous it would be for democracy if public opinion wasn't driven by rumour, gossip, and media hysteria? Now that really would be political correctness gone mad. No, this story gave the perfect opportunity for our cause of anti-intellectualism to kick one of its favourite targets, people working in these pointless universities. Keep it up, Jess, you are a legend after all.
[quote][p][bold]Jess Jephcott[/bold] wrote: I was having a bit of a joke - or so I thought. I confess that I dad not realised that he had been tied up and effectively put unceremoniously in a grave. But what seems strange is that they could have done that in a ditch. Why choose the sanctity of a church and then interr him in such an uncaring way? But, the bottom line of this is, he was a past king of England and he should be re-interred without delay in a grave befitting a monarch. As to Checkout's response, why don't you do us all a favour and clear off to some socialist republic of your choosing? God save the Queen![/p][/quote]As you do on all sorts of subjects - like benefits, or Palestine - you have again chose to shoot your mouth on something you know nothing whatsoever about, and it's great to see! So what the fact is Richard III was never formally buried, as I always say you can prove anything with facts, so what does that actually prove? Ignorance is bliss after all, imagine how dangerous it would be for democracy if public opinion wasn't driven by rumour, gossip, and media hysteria? Now that really would be political correctness gone mad. No, this story gave the perfect opportunity for our cause of anti-intellectualism to kick one of its favourite targets, people working in these pointless universities. Keep it up, Jess, you are a legend after all. Mail Member 4 Colchester
  • Score: -2

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