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York Minster Says King Richard III Should be Buried in Leicester

york minster

2:06pm 7th February 2013
(Updated 4:23pm 7th February 2013)

York Minster has said it feels King Richard III should be buried at Leicester Cathedral.

In a statement it said:

The Chapter of York understands the strong feeling of some people in York and Yorkshire that Richard III is significant to the history of the County and that therefore his body ought to be returned. York Minster itself has a window in his memory and many reminders of Richard's place in our story.

However, the recent verification of the identity of his remains follows a significant period in which Leicester and Leicestershire gained a sense of Richard belonging there, at least in death. It was Leicester Franciscans who gave him burial, and the cathedral has a major memorial to his memory at its heart. When the possibility of an excavation of the Greyfriars site began, it was agreed from the start that any remains found would be reinterred in Leicester. When the archaeologists found an intact body the Ministry of Justice licence was drawn up in those terms and explicitly named Leicester Cathedral. Since the news of the finding last year local people, like the people of York, have expressed a very strong wish that Richard, who has been with them since 1485, should stay in their keeping.

The Chapter supports the terms of the Ministry of Justice licence and the wish of Chapter of Leicester that Richard should be reinterred in Leicester Cathedral. The Chapter of York commends Richard to Leicester's care and to the cathedral community's prayers.

But the City of York council says it's campaign for Richard to come back to York will continue.

Cllr James Alexander, leader of City of York Council said:

“Whilst we acknowledge the sensitivities and delicacy of this matter, we have a duty to reflect the voice of the people of York, King Richard III’s descendants and academic opinion.

“As a council we have sent written representation to the Crown and the Ministry of Justice and we await their response.

“Whatever the outcome we would want a lasting memorial to this last Yorkist monarch in his spiritual home.”

Kersten England, Chief Executive of City of York Council said:

“We very much hope to forge a closer relationship with Leicester City Council. I’ve talked to the Chief Executive about the future, which I hope will lead to developing the legacy of rediscovering Richard, sharing the learning around the excavation and analysis of his remains and how this can bring two great cathedral cities together.”

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