Laying Richard III To Rest
The exciting discovery yesterday that the skeleton found in Leicester is indeed that of Richard III creates an interesting problem – what should happen to the skeleton next? Towns are vying to be the final resting place of the bones, but does London have a good case?
Of course some are saying that Richard should return to the Leicester car park where he was found, having been buried once before. Perhaps with a suitable memorial. It would make it one of the most interesting car parks in the country, perhaps on a par with car park in St Albans where the Wars of the Roses first broke out. A more formal reburial in Leicester Cathedral might be fitting for a King, but would you want to be buried in a town where you were defeated. Perhaps York might be a more appropriate place for a Yorkist King? A strange compromise has been suggested by John Mann MP for Worksop, which is halfway between Leicester and York.
A good number, but by no means all English monarchs have been buried in Westminster Abbey, and the honour being extended to Richard III might please his fans. However with the most impressive part of the Abbey being built at the command of Richard’s enemy Henry VII, perhaps it too isn’t ideal.
Crosby Hall – originally built in Bishopsgate in 1466 it was Richard Duke of Gloucester’s home in London. Some of the building still survives, though now in Cheyne Walk where it was re-erected in 1910.
Ely Place – the site of the Bishop of Ely’s palace is mentioned in Shakespeare’s Richard III
Baynard Castle – originally a Norman Castle, Richard is offered the crown of England here by Stafford, Duke of Buckingham. It is now marked by an ugly BT building called Baynard House
The College of Arms – nearby to Baynard Castle the college was set up by Richard III in 1484. It is still the leading heraldic authority in the country
The Tower of London – what actually happened to the Princes in the Tower is too contentious to get into here. However Richard III was the key beneficiary of the princes deaths in this Royal Palace
Of course our view of Richard III is coloured by his treatment by Shakespeare, who was writing long after Richard’s death. For an insight into the world of Shakespeare why not go on one of our regular Shakespeare walks. Next one is Shakespeare in the City which discusses the College of Arms, and our guides will gladly talk Richard III with you