Richard III faces final battle in London court

March 13, 2014

The final battle of British king Richard III, who died at war in 1485, began Thursday at London's High Court, which must decide where his remains will be laid to rest.

Distant relatives and supporters of the infamous ruler, whose body was found under a in Leicester, central England, in 2012, are fighting for his remains to be buried in York Minster, the city that gave its name to Richard's royal house.

The Plantagenet Alliance claim it was the wish "of the last medieval king of England" that he be interred in the historic northern England city.

But the archaeologists who made the astonishing discovery contest that his battle-scarred body should remain in Leicester, at the city's cathedral.

The scientists from the University of Leicester are backed by the Ministry of Justice and the local council, which hopes the monarch will help draw tourists to the central England city.

However, the king's supporter's club is prepared to call a truce if the three judges rule that Justice Secretary Chris Grayling sets up a wide-ranging public consultation exercise.

A third option would be to bury the king in London's Westminster Abbey.

Gerard Clarke, the Alliance's lawyer, on Thursday told the court that Queen Elizabeth II had remained "silent" on the issue.

This can be partly explained by the toxic legacy left by Richard, the Queen's 14th great-granduncle.

He reigned for only two years, but is remembered as a treacherous usurper and bloody tyrant, as immortalised by William Shakespeare.

The regal remains were discovered in August 2012 during the construction of a municipal car park.

DNA and battle wounds proved it was Richard, who was buried without ceremony after being killed at the Battle of Bosworth.

His death brought an end to the War of the Roses, the civil war between the families of Lancaster and York named after their respective heraldic symbols of the red and the white rose.

The hearing continues on Friday, much to the distaste of university representative Anya Proops, who called for an end to the "undignified squabble" over the remains.

Explore further: UK lawmakers line up to host Richard III's tomb

Related Stories

UK lawmakers line up to host Richard III's tomb

October 25, 2012

(AP)—British lawmakers are sparring over what may be left of Richard III. No one is certain yet that remains dug up last month at a Leicester parking lot are those of the monarch immortalized by William Shakespeare for ...

Skull found in Britain 'could be King Richard III'

February 4, 2013

British archaeologists hunting for the lost remains of King Richard III have revealed the first image of a battle-scarred skull found at a car park ahead of what they said would be a "major announcement" about their findings.

Recommended for you

Earliest evidence of reproduction in a complex organism

August 3, 2015

Researchers led by the University of Cambridge have found the earliest example of reproduction in a complex organism. Their new study has found that some organisms known as rangeomorphs, which lived 565 million years ago, ...

Model shows how surge in wealth inequality may be reversed

July 30, 2015

(Phys.org)—For many Americans, the single biggest problem facing the country is the growing wealth inequality. Based on income tax data, wealth inequality in the US has steadily increased since the mid-1980s, with the top ...

French teen finds 560,000 year-old tooth (Update)

July 28, 2015

A 16-year-old French volunteer archaeologist has found an adult tooth dating back around 560,000 years in southwestern France, in what researchers hailed as a "major discovery" Tuesday.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Shakescene21
not rated yet Mar 13, 2014
This article doesn't mention the most important scientific issue in this case: the so-called "Plantagenet Alliance" is trying to prevent scientists from reconstructing Richard's nuclear DNA. This is probably the last opportunity to obtain the true Plantagenet DNA, which could answer a number of historical questions with scientific evidence.

The Plantagenet Alliance claims that this would violate Richard's privacy and/or diminish his dignity, but the scientific and historic value of this information is far greater than these exaggerated concerns.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.