Richard III’s Remains to be Buried at Leicester Cathedral

Oct29,2012 #Richard III

A BBC News report has confirmed that if DNA testing reveals that the remains found in the Grefriars dig are those of Richard III then they will be re-interred at Leicester Cathedral.

See Richard III dig: Leicester Cathedral burial confirmed for more information.

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24 thoughts on “Richard III’s Remains to be Buried at Leicester Cathedral”
  1. I think it is fitting that if the tests confirm that the bones are King Richard III, and I believe that they will (too much of a coincidence), that as he has been in Leicester for so many hundred years, there he should be reburied. Worksop Priory had been mentioned as the centre of his former kingdom (and it is not that far from me, but then nor is Leicester really), York Minster would also have been fitting as there are those who state that is where he had wished to be buried.

    It is my view that Richard was nowhere near as black as the Tudors painted him, indeed in the land of the White Rose, from whence my ancestors hailed (I may be a tad biased), he was greatly loved and respected. I highly recommend a visit to his stronghold in Middleham, a very atmospheric ruin.

    As a practising Catholic I will pray for the repose of the soul of King Richard. I may even attend the service if I am free.

    1. I agree Jane I don’t think Richard was as bad as he was painted by the Tudors or history there after, a bit like Anne really, and Henry himself to a certain degree. At least with modern day more indepth reseach the truth about a lot of these people who have been depicted as ‘Baddies’ is being changed.
      I used to live near Worksop too, I was born in Retford….

  2. I would imagine there will still be some further negotiations on the resting place of the remains; I can’t see Yorkshire giving in so easily.

    The form of funeral service will be a bone of contention too, if the reburial of Anne Mowbray nearly 50 years ago is anything to go by. Anne had been married to Richard’s nephew, the younger of the Princes in the Tower. She was 5 and her husband 4 when the Duke of Gloucester (later King Richard III) escorted her to her wedding. Her remains were found in 1964, and the nature of her funeral service became one of the (many) controversial issues surrounding the little girl’s remains. (See ‘Anne Mowbray, the High and Excellent Princess’, at

  3. The Church Of England are prepared in certain circumstances to allow funerals according to the Roman rite, which was what prevailed at the time of Richard’s death of course.

    1. The rite that would have been in use in the time of Richard III is the Sarum Rite of the Catholic Church. This was also the Rite used to bury the remains of the crew of the Mary Rose

  4. I hate to put a downer on the subject of King Richards remains, but should they not leave him? I know (if it is him) that he is not buried in a place that is befitting a king, but then this can bring back the aged old argument that should we re-bury Anne Boleyn or Katherine Howard from the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula? It has got me thinking. At first I was all for Westminster Abbey, but then Richard had a stronger footing up North. I can understand Leicester, but why not York Minster?

    Just makes me wonder of we can raise up and rebury someone of royal blood, who will be next?

    Many Thanks


    1. I think in cases like this, where there is a strong possibility that a king’s remains would be found, the exhumation is justified, after all, the site is a car park now, but building work at a future date could destroy the bones. Richard’s little niece-by-marriage I mentioned in my post above, was unexpectedly found on a building site in 1964, two miles from where she had been buried originally in Westminster Abbey. It was only because the bulldozer operator spotted a hole in the wall he was about to knock down that her remains were not smashed to kingdom come.

      I am with Rachel on the subject of disturbing royal remains in general. I am not a particularly religious person but I do believe the dead should be left alone. I hope there will not be a clamour now to exhume the remains of the children believed in some quarters to be of the Princes in the Tower. Like Rachel says, where would it all end? In my own opinion, curiosity about events that happened nearly half a millennium ago is not sufficient reason to disturb the dignity of the dead, no matter how well-meaning. Let them rest in peace.

  5. I’m still curious about the female skeleton that was found close by also, I suppose she would have been someone of importance to have been buried there…

  6. I will be very surprised if the bones don’t belong to Richard III. Wherever he is laid to rest, at least he will be given the respect and decency of a Christian burial. Poor guy. He’s been so maligned over the years, like Jane I don’t think he was anywhere near as awful as the Tudors said he was.

  7. At worst, the DNA results could be inconclusive, but won’t prove it’s not him. After so many generations there could be all kind of ‘slip ups’ in the family tree, and the circumstantial evidence that the bones are Richard is strong.

  8. I do so hope the remains are proven to be those of Richard the third.

    I have always had a soft spot for Richard and don’t truly believe that he murdered his nephews (although he may have turned a blind eye to the killings).

  9. The reason that I believe Richard should not be left where he was found, is as stated by other posters. Where the bones were found is a car park and further development could mean them being destroyed. A comparison can be made with the situation where the bones of the last Tsar of all the Russias and his family were brought up from a mineshaft and given Christian burial in the cathedrall in St Petersburg. Where the remains are not in a fit and proper place, they should be reburied. This even happens with the remains of ordinary folks when a graveyard is redeveloped – I live near the Derwent Valley dams in Derbyshire and before the valley could be flooded, a whole graveyard had to be “moved”.

    The situation is not the same for either the little Princes or even our beloved Anne and the other Tudor victims, as they are already buried on consecrated ground, so there is no cause for them to be disturbed.

    1. I think that what Jane says is very sensible – if someone is already interred in a viable church or cemetery, leave them be, but if they are not, re-inter them elsewhere.

      There is an interesting parallel with Richard’s near contemporary Cesare Borgia. After his death at Viana in 1507, he was buried in the local church but his remains were ejected thirty years later by a pious bishop who was horrified that such a wicked man had a tomb in a church in his diocese. He ordered that the remains be buried under the church path, where they remained until 1945. After being kept for some time in the local archives, the bones were eventually reburied in the church in 2007 on the orders of the Archbishop of Pamplona, who said that whatever Cesare had done in life, he deserved to be forgiven after death.

      The same could be said of Richard. Did he murder his nephews? Very probably. But it was a brutal age and like Cesare (another ruthless man), he died prematurely with a host of enemies anxious to highlight his worst characteristics and deeds and ignore positive aspects.

  10. I’m sorry that it will be Leicester and not York Minster. York was always loyal to Richard and the official city records include a statement that he had been slain in battle “to the great heaviness of this city”. If he indeed expressed a preference to be buried there, it would have been so apt.

  11. As far as the bones of the princes is concerned, it has never truly been confirmed it is them or that they were murdered. It is quite possible they died of disease. No trauma is mentioned on the skeletons.

  12. That could be true, maybe they weren’t murdered, in the Tower anyway, as Henry said no one knows for sure if those bones are of the young Princes, so if these bones that have been dug up are Richard’s. let’s hope they DNA the supposed Princes bones to find would seem daft not to.

  13. Richard III should be reburied in York Minster. He was a Yorkist king and had spent most of his life in the north of England where he was seen as a just and hard-working administrator.
    It is unlikely that we will ever know whether or not he ordered the murder of the princes in the tower, but he was a crowned king of England, as was, for example, Henry VIII, who was certainly responsible for the deaths of many innocent people, including his wife Anne Boleyn.

  14. I am certain Richard was not the monster he was portrayed. It doesn’t match at all with what is known of his record, motto, or even his marriage, . It would have made absolutely no sense for him to have murdered his nephews but it made a great deal of sense for Henry VII to do so. He has Elizabeth of York legitimized to marry her but he couldn’t afford to have two legitimate claimants to the throne around whom people might rally. Henry was very quick to dispatch any claimants.
    It is my opinion, since he voiced a preference, he should be buried in York and he should be given a Catholic funeral. No matter what people think he may have done, he was a crowned king of England and deserves a State burial in the religion and place of his choosing.

  15. Was the tower more a royal residence pretty much, instead of a prison? At least in that era? If it was, and there were a lot of people there at any given time, it may have been difficult to put two murdered (or dead, at any rate, from what-ever reason) children there.
    I have said it once and I will say it again. This King has been in this spot for over 500 years, & he was kind of dumped there unceremoniously….correct? They did not even have enough consideration or respect to unbind his hands. And all of the after-death inflicted wounds. He should not have to rest for eternity in such a place. If he is re-interred in York, he may finally be at peace.

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