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More than 15,000 Sign Petition for Richard III to Return to York


3:17pm 8th February 2013

More than 15,000 people have signed the petition for the remains of King Richard III to be returned to his home in York.

Minster FM announced it was joining the campaign for Richard III to come home this morning.

Since then we've been contacted by listeners in e-mails and tweets who feel the same way,

Kate Hall e-mailed us:

"York Minster should be the natural resting place of Richard III.
After the battle of Bosworth, the city of York were brave enough to write in their records " This day was our good King Richard piteously slain and murdered to the great heaviness of this city"  If they could risk annoying the victor, Henry VII with this statement, surely now York Minster should be fighting for ' This son of York ' to be buried there."

Amanda Estall also e-mailed us:

"Just a few lines to say how truly shocked and horrified I feel to hear that York Minster does not want Richard III.  I really hope the Dean has a change of heart, as Richard loved York greatly, and the people of York, and Yorkshire as a whole, loved him too, and alway's remained loyal to him and his memory.
Although we should all be grateful to Leicester for all that has been achieved, I strongly feel Richard should be returned to the place he called home, and where, given the chance, he would have chosen to be buried."

The City of York Council's campaign to honour the living wishes of England’s last Yorkist king is growing momentum with significant support expressed by some of the monarch’s descendants, civic leaders, cross-party politicians, and leading academics and historians.

Council leaders from all parties in Yorkshire and Humberside and the north east are voicing their support including Cllr Bill Dixon leader of Darlington, Cllr Tim Fox leader of Scarborough and Cllr Linda Cowling leader of Ryedale.

Pupils at Headlands Primary School in the city are going to write to the Queen as part of a Richard III project, while Millthorpe Secondary School students are debating the subject which they too will build into a project.

Cllr James Alexander, Leader of City of York Council said: “Support for Richard III as a man and monarch as evidenced by signatures on the petition (via www.bringbackrichard.co.uk) and voiced to us, is as deeply and widely felt now, as in his lifetime.

“A number of his descendants have appealed to us to uphold their ancestor’s known living wishes to be buried in York where the king was establishing a chantry of 100 priests. By the time of his death in 1485, six altars were already in place in the Minster where prayers for his and his family’s souls were said.

“As there is no precedent for this an extraordinary situation, we have a duty to represent the voice of local people and have submitted appropriate representation to be considered by the respective authorities.”

Among the support received by City of York Council is:

"Regardless of the license granted to the partnership of Leicester City Council and Leicester University (which was applied for without due consultation with family descendants and the wider public), York and the county of Yorkshire was, and remains, the physical and spiritual home of King Richard III. The burial of his exhumed remains should therefore be without question at York Minster which was, in life, his own wish"
Stephen Nicolay
(16th great grandson of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York - King Richard III being my 15th great uncle) 

“Imagine this was a member of your family. Where would you want them to go? Where they wanted to go or the town they were taken to after they were killed, where they were stripped bare and put on public display?
“We repatriate those who give their lives in battle, so why is this any different? We don't leave them a few miles from where they fell: they are brought home. Richard III deserves this, as does anyone. It is a matter of justice.”

Charles Brunner
Descendant of Richard III's sister, Anne of York, and his brother Edward IV, patron of the Richard III Foundation. 

“Richard III was an adopted Yorkshireman and regarded Yorkshire as his political and family home. The available evidence suggests that he wanted to be buried not in the Midlands or the South, but at York Minster. In Richard’s own time, royal remains were often exhumed and moved significant distances for more dignified reburial. Richard’s own preferences, and good historical precedent, therefore dictate that England’s last Yorkist king should be interred in the fittingly magnificent surroundings of York Minster.”
Mark Ormrod
Professor of Medieval History
University of York

“York was Richard's city, the people of York loved him, and Richard loved York, you only have to look in York City Archives to see how much he was loved. For a city to put these words in writing was a very brave thing to do. Please let him come back to York and Yorkshire."
Sandra Wadley
Society of Friends of King Richard III

“The evidence is overwhelming that Richard wanted to be buried at York Minster. There is no evidence that he desired to be buried anywhere else.

"Richard's son Edward (1473-84) was created Prince of Wales in York Minster in Sept.1483. At this time, Richard met the Dean and Chapter to discuss the building of a chantry (where prayers are said for the souls of the dead) involving 100 priests. Six altars of this chantry were already in place by the time of Richard's death in 1485. It is difficult to find an explanation for these plans had Richard wanted to be buried anywhere other than York Minster.”
Mike Bennett
Founder of the Richard III Museum

“As the last Yorkist King of England and the last King to die in battle, Richard III is hugely important to the heritage of our historic city of York. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that King Richard wished to be buried in York and particularly in the Minster.

“The people of York and indeed Yorkshire are extremely grateful for the excellent work carried out by the archaeologists and the University of Leicester. We merely want the options for King Richard’s final resting place to be properly considered and I will do all I can to ensure that they are.”
Julian Sturdy MP
York Outer

“I would like to add my personal support to your campaign to have Richard of York buried at the Minster.”
Cllr Linda Cowling
Leader of Ryedale Council

“The remains of Richard III, last king of the York dynasty, should be buried at York Minster. It is the only fitting place for the burial of the king, amongst his own.”
Cllr Mark Crane
Leader of Selby District Council

“We believe that the remains of Richard III should be returned to Yorkshire, his childhood and spiritual home. He has been described as the country’s only northern king and we think it would be appropriate for him to rest in peace in the north.”
Gary Verity
Chief Executive
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