The Trial of King Richard the Third Part 1/5
The fight against injustice was a prominent theme in Josephine Tey's works, none more so than in The Daughter of Time in which Inspector Grant, laid up in hospital with an injured spine, investigates the mystery of the disappearance of the princes in the tower, supposedly murdered by their wicked Uncle, King Richard III,  the monstrous crouchback of Tudor myth and Shakespearean literature.

It is a remarkable novel, ranked Number 1 Best Crime Novel of all Time by the British based Crime Writers' Association and Number 4 by the Mystery Writers of America.  It is probable that The Richard III Society would not have been formed without the influence of The Daughter of Time,  and much scholarly debate has been done since in an effort to present a more balanced account of the life and times of the last of the Plantaganet kings.

Introduced by His Royal Highness, Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester a modern trial by jury was presented at the Old Bailey on the afternoon and evening of 21st February, 1984, almost 500 years after the death of the last of the Plantagenet Kings, King Richard III, on Bosworth Field, the last of the English monarchs to die in battle.  It was introduced as follows:

"The charge is that King Richard III did, in or about the month of august, 1483, in the Tower of London, murder Prince Edward, Prince of Wales, and Prince Richard, Duke of York.

King Richard III stands indicted at the bar of history. In this unique work the members of the jury have been invited to deliver their verdict on a matter whch has been the subject of fierce controversy and dispute for over 500 years: whether or not King Richard III was responsible for the alleged murder of the two young princes. He himself was killed on the battlefield of Bosworth in 1485 and so is beyond the power and jurisdiction of this or any other human court. The task of the jury is, therefore, to pass historical judgement upon him. Their verdict will stimulate rather than terminate the controversy that has surrounded the deaths of the princes.

Presiding over the case is Lord Elwyn-Jones, the former Lord Chancellor, and he is ably supported by two of Britain's leading criminal Queen's Counsels.

A fascinating trial which presents evidence which offers the viewer the opportunity to join the jury in weighing the evidence and reaching his or her own verdict before discovering that of the television jury."
The Trial of King Richard the Third Part 2/5
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The Trial of King Richard the Third Part 3/5
The Trial of King Richard the Third Part 4/5
The Trial of King Richard the Third Part 5/5 Verdict (final)
         JOSEPHINE TEY
  A VERY PRIVATE PERSON
The Search for King Richard III - The Archaelogical Dig
'We'll miss you, you know,' she said,  '... we've grown used to having you here.  We've even got used to that.'  And she moved an elbow in the direction of the portrait.

   A thought stirred in him.

   'Will you do something for me?' he asked.

   'Of course.  Anything I can do.'

   'Will you take that photograph to the window and look at it in a good light as long as it takes to count a pulse?'

   'Yes, of course, if you want me to.  But why?'

   'Never mind why.  You just do it to please me.  I'll time you.'

   She took up the portrait and moved into the light of the window.

   He watched the second-hand of his watch.

   He gave her forty five seconds and then said:

   'Well?'  And as there was no immediate answer he said again:  'Well?'

   'Funny,' she said.  'When you look at it for a little it's really quite a nice face, isn't it?'


(extract from Josephine Tey:  The Daughter of Time.)


    
In 1485 King Richard III arranged for the remains of King Henry VI to be transferred from Chertsey Abbey to the more regal St. George's Chapel, Windsor. In turn, would you please now help King Richard, who was the last King of the House of York and the last of the Plantagenet Dynasty, to be re-interred in the more appropriate surrounds of York Minster.
Not all the water in the rough rude sea
Can wash the balm off from an anointed king.


        (Shakespeare:  King Richard II
         Act 3, Scene II)
Boar and Banner - excellent site about King Richard III
Richard III v Henry VII - Naughty or Nice?
Excellent article about which king had most to gain by the death of the two princes.
Return to top of page
Petition to bring Richard III back to Yorkshire

Join the fight to bring Richard III back to Yorkshire by liking this excellent page on Facebook.
Matt's History Blog.
Great Site edited by the author, Matt Lewis.
WHICH ONE WOULD YOU CHOOSE FOR THE FINAL BURIAL PLACE OF KING RICHARD III,  AN ANOINTED KING OF ENGLAND?
TOMB IN WESTMINSTER ABBEY OF THE USURPER, HENRY TUDOR - LATER KNOWN AS KING HENRY VII 
INTERIOR OF YORK MINSTER - A PLACE FIT FOR THE BURIAL PLACE OF KING RICHARD III - THE LAST OF THE 14 PLANTAGENET KINGS WHO RULED ENGLAND FOR THREE CENTURIES - THE LONGEST REIGNING DYNASTY IN ENGLISH HISTORY.
LEICESTER
Text of the full Judicial Review by the Honourable Mr. Justice Haddon Cave on 15th August, 2013.
LOOKING FOR RICHARD PROJECT
A STATEMENT BY DAVID AND WENDY JOHNSON

In February 2009 Philippa Langley launched the Looking for Richard Project. As close
friends and fellow Ricardians we joined forces with Philippa to become the project's
founding members, working behind the scenes on documentation and guidance. Our principal objective was to recover King Richard's remains and reinter them with the honour and dignity so brutally denied in 1485 following the battle of Bosworth. We now wish to correct a number of important misconceptions about the project and make clear why we are now actively supporting the campaign to inter King Richard's mortal remains in York Minster.

There is a general perception that no one from York was involved in the search for Richard III and that the city only became interested when discovery and identification took place.
This is completely false. We have lived and worked in York since 2003 and have been
involved in the project on a day-to-day basis from the very beginning. In addition the
campaign is based on the firm conviction that Richard planned to be buried in the Minster and is not a promotional exercise on behalf of the city.

The initial decision to bury Richard in Leicester was based on what appeared to be two incontrovertible factors. First, archaeological protocol required exhumed remains to be re-interred in the nearest consecrated ground (i.e. Leicester Cathedral), and second, the landowner, Leicester City Council, granted Philippa Langley permission to search for Richard on the condition that he would be buried in the cathedral. There did not appear to be a legal or practical alternative to Leicester Cathedral.

When Richard was discovered events began to develop in a quite unexpected and alarming fashion. As holders of the exhumation licence the University of Leicester quickly replaced the council as lead agency in Leicester and we became progressively more frustrated and disenchanted.

Public Display
Once Richard's remains were identified the university sought to exploit their publicity value by proposing to put them on public display. Not only was this contrary to our agreements with the authorities in Leicester, it also breached the terms of the Ministry of Justice exhumation licence. The licence clearly stated that before reburial the remains shall `be kept safely, privately and decently by the University of Leicester Archaeological Services'.
On Wednesday 13 February 2013 the Leicester Mercury reported:
The University of Leicester has not ruled out the possibility that the remains of
Richard III will be put on public display.

However the university's proposals were met with a hail of opposition from Leicester
Cathedral, the Richard III Society, Philippa Langley, and the people of Leicester. The
Mercury report continued:
A spokeswoman for Leicester Cathedral said it was up to the university, but the
church would not take part in any public showings.
She said: "Scientists may have a reason for seeing them, but that is different from
public display in the cathedral."

Dr Phil Stone, chairman of the Richard III Society, and Philippa Langley wrote to the
university in the strongest terms. A Leicester Mercury online poll revealed that 69% of
respondents were opposed to public display. Such was the scale of revulsion that the proposal was quietly dropped. Nevertheless we were deeply concerned and Philippa took immediate legal steps to prevent a repetition of this distasteful episode.

Client and Custodian
Our concern to protect the remains from unwarranted public display had been enshrined in an agreement drawn up on 1 June 2011 between Philippa, as Client, and University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS) as contractor. The `Written Scheme of Investigation for
Archaeological Investigation' (WSI) confirmed Philippa's status as Client in the project and established her as Custodian of Richard's remains. Clause 5.7 of the WSI stated that:

"Any human remains which are positively identified as those of Richard III will, after
specialist DNA, osteological and archaeological recording, be transferred to the
custody of the Client and/or the Client's representatives for reburial."

Clause 5.7 also stipulated that the Client (i.e. Philippa Langley) would then place the remains in a carefully selected place of Catholic sanctity where a cycle of continual prayer and worship would spiritually prepare the remains for re-interment.

However, it soon became clear that the University of Leicester had no intention of honouring Clause 5.7. They argued it was not a signed agreement, simply a project management tool, and were therefore not required to transfer Richard's remains to Philippa's care. During the course of the dig the WSI had in fact functioned as a working agreement. When human remains were first discovered Philippa permitted ULAS to amend Clause 4.3.7 of the WSI to provide strictly controlled filming and photographic evidence for the archaeological record.
This is an important point. If the WSI were not a binding agreement why did ULAS seek Philippa's permission to alter its terms? In any case Philippa has a signed agreement with Leicester City Council (12 August 2011) in which the council's Strategic Director and the council's city archaeologist approved the WSI. To our great sadness this situation remains unresolved.

Tomb v Slab
The project's early planning stage involved the design of a tomb. Philippa believed our
respective academic and artistic skills meant we were an ideal design team. In August 2011 (a full year before the archaeology began) we informally presented our initial design to the Dean of Leicester Cathedral. We were warned that it would have to be considered along with others (the Church of England has detailed and lengthy procedures) and it was by no means certain to be accepted. Nevertheless, the discussion proceeded along the lines that if Richard was
discovered and positively identified he would be honoured with a tomb and our design would enter the process as a candidate. But when Leicester Cathedral published its `Brief for Architects' in March 2013 it was clear that the situation had changed. The cathedral was now arguing for a slab instead of a tomb. Our design, endorsed by the Richard III Society and welcomed by the Leicester Mercury, would not be considered in its present form. The Brief stated that:

"The preference of Chapter, following informal consultation with the CFCE (Cathedral
Fabric Commission for England), is to mark the place of burial with a ledger stone
[and that] it is unlikely that a large table top tomb of effigy would be acceptable to the
Chapter or CFCE."

It seemed that our tomb was deemed unsuitable even before the design and consultation process got underway. With Philippa fighting for a tomb behind the scenes, the good readers of the Leicester Mercury once again came to our rescue. An online poll (12 March 2013) revealed that a staggering 91% of respondents believed Richard III should be honoured with a tomb. In the face of overwhelming public opposition the cathedral backed down and has recently announced that a variety of tomb designs are under consideration. While none of these are our design it is a great victory for Philippa and the people of Leicester. If King Richard is buried in Leicester Cathedral he will be laid to rest beneath a tomb.

Accessible for Future Study
However, far more disturbing news was beginning to emerge. We learned that at the first meeting of the Fabric Group on 8 May 2013 (one of three groups formed by Leicester Cathedral to facilitate the interment process) a document was circulated requiring the Fabric Group to:
Ensure the remains are conserved for posterity and accessible for future study.
Once again we were deeply alarmed, particularly as this appeared to contravene accepted procedure. Annexe S8 (reinterment: technical aspects) of the Guidance for best practice for
treatment of human remains excavated from Christian burial grounds in England (English Heritage and The Church of England 2005), states on page 50, paragraph 294, that `Prior to reinterment', and following the completion of testing and research, `the curatorial requirement to preserve the long-term scientific potential of a collection is removed'. We were confronted by the appalling prospect of Richard being dug up at some point in the future. It was all too clear why the University of Leicester refused to honour Philippa Langley's status as custodian under clause 5.7 of the WSI. They have their own plans, preparing Richard for burial so as to allow future analysis, which would be impossible if the remains were transferred (under Philippa Langley's custody) to the peace and sanctity of a spiritual environment. More recently Leicester Cathedral has come under pressure from the Cathedral's Fabric Commission for England to adopt conservation practice as they prepare Richard's remains for reburial. Sadly it is our understanding that the university and cathedral are still proceeding towards interment on this basis.

Judicial Review
So when the Plantagenet Alliance applied for judicial review to challenge the decision to bury Richard in Leicester we decided to support them. It appeared that there was, after all, a legal alternative to Leicester We had always believed Richard III wished to be laid to rest in York Minster, and we were familiar with the historical evidence that had convinced a number of eminent historians of this. We were originally content to inter Richard in Leicester because there did not appear to be another option. However, a judicial review offered a complete re-examination of the whole issue. If the exhumation licence could be set aside then there was a chance of resurrecting Philippa's status as Client and Custodian. Richard would no longer be viewed as
a scientific specimen and we could begin the spiritual journey to interment that had formed such an important part of our original plans.

We were heartened when, on 16 August 2013, Mr Justice Haddon-Cave granted the
Plantagenet Alliance's application on all grounds. We hope the judge's recommendation of an independent advisory panel to settle the question of where Richard is buried will be agreed as soon as possible.

As Justice Haddon-Cave proposed that public opinion should be considered, we are urging everyone who believes King Richard III wished to be buried in York Minster to sign the e-petition before it closes on 24 September 2013.

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/38772


David and Wendy Johnson
York
September 2013
--------------
Dr David Johnson, a freelance historian, and Wendy Johnson, who specialises in portraits of people and animals and has been fascinated by Richard III since childhood, live and work in York. They are long standing members of the Richard III Society and founder members of the Looking For Richard Project.
Superb medieval history site with a focus on castles.  Highly recommended.
Interesting article about John Ashdown-Hill whose work on Richard's ancestry enabled a DNA match to be made and the body of King Richard III identified beyond reasonable doubt.
Virtual Tour of York Minster
In the early days of September 1483, the City of York must have been alive with excitement over the planned festivities in honor of the visit of the new king Richard, his queen, Anne & his son, Edward. Speeches and pageants were planned, including a performance of a city favorite, the Creed play, in the common hall. Records of the city of York are said to list contributions by every member of the council, some of them the equivalent of a year’s salary for ordinary citizens. The city was to be hung with arras and tapestries. From the wardrobe accounts, the king himself sent for a rich variety of dresses, robes of state, processional banners, heraldic insignia & other trappings for man and horse to be brought to York for the celebrations. These were described by the chronicler Hall (although the date given appears, from other sources, to be an error): 

“He came to the city of York, where the citizens received him with great pomp and triumph, according to the qualities of their education and quantity of their substance and ability, and made divers days, plays and pageants in token of joy and solace. Wherefore King Richard magnified and applauded of the north nation, and also to shew himself apparently before them in habit royal with sceptre in hand and diadem on his head, made proclamation that all persons should resort to York on the day of the Ascension of our Lord, where all men
should behold and see him and his queen and prince in their high estates and degrees, and also for their good wills should receive many thanks, large benefits, and munificent rewards. At the day appointed the whole clergy assembled in copes richly revested, and so with a reverent ceremony went about the city in procession, after whom followed the King with his crown and sceptre, apparelled in his circot robe royal, accompanied with no small number of the nobility of his realm; after whom marched in order Queen Anne, his wife, likewise crowned, leading on her left hand prince Edward, her son, having on his head a demy crown appointed for the degree of a prince. The King was had in that triumph in such honour, and the common people of the north so rejoiced that they extolled and praised him far above the stars."

These celebrations culminated in the investiture of Richard’s son, Edward, as Prince of Wales, in the cathedral at York, which design was then a modern marvel. The Minster has been described by a 21st century visitor as “stunning, and spacious, and light – an overwhelming amount of light from all the windows. That, plus the light York stone, plus the architecture makes it uplifting....” It is easy to believe that the preamble to the instrument creating Richard’s son Prince of Wales was either directly inspired by the cathedral, or chosen in harmony with its atmosphere:

"Such is the clarity and charity of the great solar light that, when it pours out
whatever it has of light and splendour on the other heavenly bodies, the sun does not therefore shine the less, nor does it suffer any diminution of its strength and beauty. It is pleasant to see how the great sun, like a king seated in the midst of his nobles, together with the major and minor stars, each with their ordained light adorn the whole celestial court. Moved by this example and seeing the vocation to which we are called by God's favour, namely that we have to govern and be at the head of all the mortals of this kingdom, we turned the gaze of our inner eye to the immensity of this most noble state and its members, and took care above all that in these great responsibilities that press upon us those whom we need to bear part of them will not in any way be found to be lacking." 

[Translation from Latin by
Sutton & Visser-Fuchs, Richard III’s Books (1998)]

While it is unlikely that Richard wrote this passage himself, he undoubtedly had final
approval. Taken together with his plans to endow a college of 100 priests at York, it is
clear that York Minster held great significance for Richard.

There is no doubt in my mind that York Minster is a fitting final resting place for this
king of England, described in 1962 by Professor H G Hanbury as “a singularly thoughtful
and enlightened legislator, who brought to his task a profound knowledge of the nature of
contemporary problems, and an enthusiastic determination to solve them in the best
possible way, in the interests of every class of his subjects.”

Among Richard’s manifold actions demonstrating concern for the well-being of his
people in life and death may be cited:

• In 1477 Richard mentioned Thomas Par, John Milewater, Christopher Wursley,
Thomas Huddleston, John Harper and all other gentlemen and yeomen servants
slain in his service at the Battles of Barnet & Tewkesbury (no other nobleman of
the era is known to have done this)
• Richard’s title to the throne was approved by parliament; he endorsed
parliament’s right to vote taxes to the king
• Richard was the first king to take the coronation oath in English; his laws were
the first to be published in English
• As king, Richard codified the rules of conduct for the King’s Council in the
North, based on the previous practice of his household council; these included a
requirement that if a matter before the council involved a member of that council,
that member should remove himself from the debate unless summoned to testify;
this Council survived for 150 years, until it was no longer needed
• Richard repeatedly stressed that the king’s justice was the same as his laws; and is
thought to have established an early version of the Court of Requests improving
access for poor people
• Richard’s single parliament enacted several judicial reforms, including the
establishment of bail for suspected felons, protecting them from imprisonment &
seizure of their possessions before trial
• Richard’s parliament also enacted laws for the protection of native manufacturers
against foreign competition; books & printing were specifically exempted from
restrictions against import
• As King, Richard caused to be reburied the dead of the battle of Towton (fought
in 1461, when he was 9 years old) referring to them as “the people of this
kingdom in a plentiful multitude ...taken away from human affairs and their
bodies ... notoriously left on the field ... thoroughly outside the ecclesiastical
burial-place.
The Fabric Rolls of Yorkminster.
King Richard III's Chantry and the Reaction to his Death by the people of York.
Excellent article about King Richard III's reinterment at York Minster
7:00pm Monday 6th January 2014
By Wendy Brading
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 is the leader of genealogical research and the historical adviser for the Looking for Richard project.
His research proved vital in confirming beyond doubt the bones found under a car park in Leicester 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, who are distant relatives of Richard III, want him buried in York and have won a judicial review into the decision.
In the meantime, Dr Ashdown-Hill, who lives in Lawford, said the bones were still in a box in an office in the university's history department.
The Looking for Richard project had won agreement the university would only hold on to the bones until the scientific research had been completed.
Medieval expert Dr Ashdown-Hill said: "I understand that has now been done and I would like him taken away 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 in Leicestershire.
Dr Ashdown-Hill continued: "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 of where he should be buried - Leicester or York or 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 has a different experience."
Dr Ashdown-Hill is also paying for a crown to be made which can lie on Richard's coffin.
He has commissioned a jeweller, who is a specialist in medieval reproductions, to make the crown which will be made of brass, gilded with gold and decorated with garnets and sapphires.
It will be an open crown in the style of the one he would have worn over his armour at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.
The jewels will be set on enamelled white roses like those featured on the crown of Richard’s sister, Margaret of York, Duchess of Burgundy.
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Excellent article by Olga Hughes about the Looking for Richard Project, January 2014
STATEMENTS OF SUPPORT
“King Richard III was a terrific King.  He was deeply attached to York and should be returned to York and buried in York Minster.  That is where he wanted to be buried”.
 Brian Blessed
“I gladly give the York Campaign my full support that the bones of King Richard III be returned to York for re-burial.  This would seem to me to be entirely propitious and sensitive in understanding of what most probably were his wishes.  
Yours sincerely - Edward Fox OBE."
“I firmly support the petition to bring Richard III Back to Yorkshire and inter him in York Minster”.  
Sir Derek Jacobi CBE
“..he was the last Yorkist King of England and he had a strong affiliation to the county and it was his wish to be buried there. Regards and best wishes with your campaign” 
Geoffrey Boycott OBE
Dame Judi Dench has asked me to thank you for your message and to say that she would be very pleased to add her name to your petition to have Richard III’s remains buried at York Minster. 
Sue Jennings PA to Dame Judi Dench
Website of Dr. John Ashdown-Hill whose work on genetics and DNA was instrumental in the identification of the body of King Richard III.  The Timeline page is particularly interesting, demonstrating that Dr. Ashdown-Hill and Phillipa Langley were deeply involved in the Looking for Richard Project many years before Leicester University had anything to do with it.
Leicester University's 'tasteful' tribute to King Richard III, the last Plantagenet ruler and anointed Warrior King of England on the anniversary of his 561st birthday on October 2nd, 2013.
 "Richard III lived most of his adult life in the north, he was essentially 'king' of the north in a time of limited communications. He also had begun to build a chancel in York which he intended would house his own tomb. Since he ruled from York and he wanted to be buried in York, how can anyone question that Richard belongs in York?"
Julian Alexander Kitchener-Fellowes, Baron Fellowes of West Stafford DL known professionally as Julian Fellowes.
The LOOKING FOR RICHARD PROJECT (LFR) was responsible for the rediscovery of the remains of King Richard III on 25th August 2012.
Excellent article setting out, in the clearest possible terms, why a York re-interment is preferable to one at Leicester
Richard the Third - the Unburied King.
Another excellent article by Olga Hughes about the ethics surrounding the proposed ongoing testing of King Richard III's remains at Leicester University.
Petition to end testing on the body of King Richard III
“..make sure he is delivered to his rightful place of burial. When I was at RADA the first part I played in public was Richard III.  I am fully behind your campaign.” 
actor Duncan Preston.
           Dickon’s Dream

The rain blows straight, across the moor,
A mirror to my soul.
Below I see the towers of home,
My banner at the pole.

But I am lost, in time removed,
No longer of this place.
And even here, among my kin,
My memory’s disgraced.

Now when I lived, I fought the fight,
Whatever it might cost.
Mayhap it’s time to fight again,
Before all hope is lost.

The rain-swept moor has stood the time,
Can I not do the same?
Tis time to rally all who seek,
To help me clear my name.

So on brave friends, the fight’s renewed,
May we just turn the tide.
But care and caution are our call,
And truth will be our guide. 

            
                           John Davey
 © Frances Quinn
Richard Third Society Yorkshire Branch
 "Yours is the most persuasive argument I have read for the interment of Richard III's remains in York.

 I am happy for you to give your campaign my support and for you to make public use of my commitment"..

Sir Bernard Ingham.

'I am totally in support of your inclinations over the burial of Richard III., and have frequently offered my thoughts to anyone who would listen, including in a letter to the Queen. That was after I had a long talk with the present Richard of Gloucester, some weeks ago, who told me that Richard III's widow [sic] is buried in Westminster Abbey and that there is a place beside her for the King; he also said the final decision was with the Queen.
My thought is that Westminster would be fine, and touching too that he might lie beside his wife, but really I agree with your thoughts and lucid reasoning on behalf of York Minster, in which it seems to me he himself intended to lie. All your arguments are to me totally valid.
In any case Leicester is wholly inappropriate. A chance he was buried there, hugger mugger, and their motive I believe is purely commercial.'
Robert Hardy, CBE FSA
Interior of Leicester Cathedral - burial place of King Richard III, Lord of the North and the last of the Plantagenets.
Blog by Annette Carson, author of Richard III - The Maligned King and member of the 'Looking for Richard Project' on how Leicester University have sidelined the work of Phillipa Langley, Dr. John Ashdown-Hill and herself at the new Richard III Visitor Centre, appropriating their work and using it as their own.
LETTER FROM PHILLIPA LANGLEY OF THE LOOKING FOR RICHARD PROJECT - 28th July, 2014
Dear Ricardians
I thought that all those who supported the project to find Richard III would like to have their personal advance copy of the letter I’ve sent to the September Bulletin magazine.
Please see attached and below.
Very best wishes
Philippa [Langley] 

.....................................................................................................................................

Dear Editor

A word about the Leicester Visitor Centre.

In July 2013 I was invited by the owners, Leicester City Council, to write the story of the Looking For Richard Project for display within the new Richard III Visitor Centre. This would include a personal diary of the dig itself, plus an important prior section under the LFR banner, located within the ‘pre-dig’ space, explaining exactly how the 2012 dig came about. All was approved and agreed with the Council on 23 May 2014.

It was with some dismay that I then discovered my agreed text had been rewritten, post deadline, without my knowledge or consent, by a member of the management at the University of Leicester; a person who had no direct part in the 2012 dig project.

I feel I need to bring this to the attention of all Ricardians, because those of you who visit the Centre will no longer be able to see my acknowledgement of your crucial role in making Richard’s discovery possible. It was your funding that allowed me to give instructions for the remains in Trench One, which proved to be those of the king, to be exhumed despite the scepticism of the archaeologists.

My original text:
‘I tell Richard [Buckley] I want them to be excavated nevertheless. There is very little money in the budget, but I have £800 remaining from the Ricardian International Appeal which helped to fund the dig. Richard says this will cover it.’
University replacement text which you will now see:
‘I tell Richard I want them to be excavated nevertheless. Richard says he isn’t digging up any burials until he knows for certain about their “context”, that is how they relate to the layout of the church.’

Representatives of the Richard III Society and the Looking For Richard Project (including Dr John Ashdown-Hill) held a meeting with the Council on 23 June 2014 as a last-ditch attempt to reinstate my text. There had been a series of such meetings and discussions subsequent to the abandonment of Annette Carson’s initial draft text for the Centre, commissioned last August. Persons unknown had rewritten Richard’s story, and Annette, Phil Stone, Wendy Moorhen and I had done our best to secure a more accurate and balanced depiction. Now I had to deal with the rewriting of my own story, both here and elsewhere.

We proposed the following compromise:
‘I tell Richard I want them to be excavated nevertheless and I have the money to pay for it from the Ricardian International Appeal.’
With the University’s management represented among the Visitor Centre’s trustees, I am told the likelihood of these corrections being allowed is very slim, although the Centre is open to comments by visitors. Their text now makes no sense with the unfolding dig narrative, suggesting that the king’s remains were authorised for exhumation following discovery of the choir. They were not. They were authorised before the location of the choir was established. Why the University needs to suppress the role of Ricardians and their funding I have been unable to discover. No explanation has been forthcoming. Perhaps we are an inconvenient truth.

I must also report that the visual display of John Ashdown-Hill’s ground-breaking discovery in 2004 of the king’s DNA has been removed from the ‘pre-dig’ section where it was to have been visually represented under the banner of The Looking For Richard Project. Instead, genealogical lines are now displayed as part of the University’s area. The original proposal had been to include John’s discovery of the genealogical line to Joy Ibsen together with a photograph of Joy and her original letter to John from 2004 confirming her agreement for a DNA test. The genealogical line John discovered is now within the University’s section. As for the photo of Joy and her original letter, these have, at present, been excluded.

The University’s changes are subtle and may not seem significant. However, there will be many whose knowledge will leave them wondering at this representation of the contributions made by Ricardians. We have spent several months doing what we can, and I can only apologise that our best endeavours have failed to correct the record now displayed in the Visitor Centre.

Philippa Langley
Looking For Richard Project
YORK MINSTER
Do you want to pray for Richard III?
Here is a prayer which he requested should be said for him after his death (in his statutes for the Collegiate Church at Middleham).
If the Latin is too difficult for you, you can say it in English.

"Deus, cui proprium est miseréri semper et parcere: súscipe deprecatiónem nostram; ut nos, et omnes fámulos tuos, quos delictórum catena constringit, miserátio tuæ pietátis clementer absolvat.
Propiciare animæ famuli tui Ricardi."


"O God, whose nature and property is ever to have mercy and to forgive: receive our humble petitions; and though we be tied and bound by the chain of our sins, yet let the pity of your great mercy loose us.
Be merciful to the soul of your servant, Richard."
For the full text of 'The Office for the Dead' please go to the following link:

Office for the Dead

For those who would like to pray for Richard III in full.
Richard's Personal Prayer in his Treasured Book of Hours

[release me] from the affliction, temptation, grief, sickness, necessity and danger in which I stand, and give me counsel … deign to free me from every tribulation, sorrow and trouble in which I am placed and from all the plots of my enemies … deign to assuage, turn aside, destroy and bring to nothing the hatred they bear towards me. I ask you, most gentle Lord Jesus Christ, to keep me, thy servant King Richard, and defend me from all evil … and from all peril past, present and to come … and deign always to deliver and help me.

AMEN.

The Fellowship of King Richard III:  King of England, Lord of the North.
Revealing The Real Richard III
The Looking for Richard Team have set up a program which seeks to dispel many of the myths surrounding King Richard III.  With a focus on modern technology and their individual expertise they are undertaking a range of documentary and scientific investigations in an effort to reveal the real man and to destroy the Tudor Myth once and for all.
Quote from The Daughter of Time.  Written in 1951, long before the internet,  even more true now than ever.


"It's an odd thing, but when you tell someone the true facts of a mythical tale, they are indignant not with the teller but with you.

They don't WANT to have their ideas upset.  It rouses some vague uneasiness in them, I think, and they resent it.  So they reject it and refuse to think about it.  If they were merely indifferent it would be natural and understandable.  But it is much stronger than that, much more positive. They are annoyed. 

Very odd, isn't it?"


      Josephine Tey
Derelict hay cart which Leicester used for the reinterment of King Richard III and which they had the nerve to call 'a gun-carriage'.
Derelict hay-cart tarted up with a lick of blue paint and bearing the coffin in which the body of King Richard III was reinterred.  But where is the Royal Standard?
Richard III's Loyal Supporters, an international society focusing wholly on King Richard III, ensuring that he is honoured appropriately and promoting a more balanced view of the last Plantagenet King of England.