THE dispute over the
burial of the remains of Richard III, recently uncovered in a car
park in Leicester, has become so heated that the Dean of York, the
Very Revd Vivienne Faull, has received hate mail.
The MP for York Central,
Hugh Bayley, told fellow MPs that Dean Faull has received such
"extreme" correspondence that she has referred it to the Minster's
own police force.
At a debate at
Westminster Hall, on Tuesday of last week, on the reburial of the
King's remains, Mr Bayley said: "I would say to everybody: calm
down. Let's all respect the memory of a former king of our country.
Let's discuss where his remains should be put to rest in a
dignified and sober way. We don't want to reignite the Wars of the
York Minster confirmed
that the Dean had received some "abusive" letters, which had been
passed to the Minster's police force.
The MP for York Outer, Julian Sturdy, told MPs that
the discussion over the reburial had descended into a "finders
A petition calling for
the return of Richard's remains to York has been signed by more
than 25,000 people; another petition, calling for him to remain in
Leicester, has been signed by more than 7000; and a further
petition is calling for him to be given a Roman Catholic
The licence granted by
the Ministry of Justice to the University of Leicester - which
carried out the original dig that uncovered the remains - specified
that the remains should be reinterred in the nearest consecrated
site, Leicester Cathedral, which is 100 yards from the car park
where the remains were found.
The MP for Gainsborough,
in Lincolnshire, Edward Leigh, has also urged that there "be some
aspect of Catholicism to represent his life's work" in the memorial
Other bids to house the
remains of the King have also inspired e-petitions, including at
Westminster Abbey, Gloucester Cathedral, and the RC cathedrals of
Northampton and Arundel, among others. And a resident of Wingfield,
Suffolk, where Richard's niece, Elizabeth of York, is buried, has
suggested that the remains should go there.
But Leicester Cathedral
appeared confident that it would emerge as the keeper of the King's
remains. It published its plans last week for the burial,
suggesting that a simple slab would cover the grave.
The architect's brief
states: "The Cathedral Chapter wish to create a place of simple
dignity for Richard that sits within a wider scheme, enabling
visitors to appreciate the place of the cathedral in the life of
the diocese, and the character of Christian belief, life, and
"They will be reluctant
to site a large memorial in the cathedral which would assume
disproportionate significance in a modest building, and cannot
easily be located in any position in which it would not restrict
the capacity of the building on major occasions.
"While the remains of an
English king are of historical significance - and experience from
the royal visit for the Diamond Jubilee demonstrated how people are
attracted to the mystery of royalty - it should not be forgotten
that Richard demonstrated both the honourable and dishonourable
characteristics of human beings."
The ledger stone would be
inset in the floor, near the high altar.
The Richard III Society has called for a larger, more
traditional tomb to be erected.