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A York MP Calls for King Richard III to be Buried in York

Richard III 060313

7:28am 8th March 2013

York Central MP Hugh Bayley raised the issue of the reburial of King Richard III in Parliament in a question to the Church Estates Commissioner, Sir Tony Baldry. Mr Bayley asked him whether he would meet with representatives from York and Leicester to discuss King Richard’s burial.

Sir Tony pointed out that Mr Bayley had secured an Adjournment Debate to discuss Richard III’s reburial and the licence issued by the Ministry of Justice. This debate will take place next week on Tuesday 12 March. Mr Bayley will make the case that the Government should reconsider where King Richard should be laid to rest.  He will be supported in the debate by Julian Sturdy, the MP for York Outer.


“Hugh Bayley (York Central) (Lab): If he will meet representatives from York and Leicester, including the deans of the cathedrals and hon. Members from both cities to discuss arrangements for the reburial of King Richard III.

The Second Church Estates Commissioner (Sir Tony Baldry): The legal position is clear. The Ministry of Justice has granted a licence to the University of Leicester, which means that it is responsible for keeping the remains of King Richard III and for their reburial. It is intended that they will be reburied in Leicester cathedral.

Hugh Bayley: In October, when we last discussed this matter, which was before it had been established that the remains were those of King Richard, the hon. Gentleman said:

“Once those tests are concluded, the nature, place and marking of any reinterment will need seriously to be considered”

I said at the time that those were wise words and that it would be wrong to bicker in this Chamber about the burial place. Does the hon. Gentleman agree that the matter should now be considered by experts, taking account of the wishes that King Richard expressed during his life and the views of clergy who do not have a vested interest, people from York and Leicester and all other interested parties, so that a decision can be made?

Mr Speaker: I think that the hon. Gentleman needs an Adjournment debate so that he can develop his thoughts fully. He cannot speak to Richard III about it, I am afraid, but he may be able to address the House.

Sir Tony Baldry: The hon. Gentleman has an Adjournment debate on this issue on Tuesday, and I suggest that he put those issues to Ministry of Justice Ministers then. As for the Church, we believe that in a situation such as this the remains should be reburied in the nearest possible church, which, as it happens, is Leicester cathedral.”

Hugh Bayley MP says:

“When the licence was issued by the Ministry of Justice and the archaeologists began their excavation they did not know they would find the last Plantagenet King of England. The licence refers to ‘persons unknown’. Now we know the bones are those of King Richard III the Government should reconsider where his body is to reburied. I congratulate the University of Leicester for finding Richard and they are responsible for keeping the remains safe but people who have an interest - including King Richard’s family, the cities of York and Leicester, the Church of England as well as the archaeologists - should all be involved in deciding where he should be finally laid to rest.”

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