Wednesday, 14 May 2014
Richard III ...Eight Weeks and Counting
I wonder how many of us who have become saddened and disappointed by the way Richard's journey has descended into squabbling, back biting and side taking, have now become anxious and concerned during the long wait for a decision over his re internment from the review board. If we are not careful apathy and/or boredom will set in.
An article published this morning asks just that question.
"Is all the legal wrangling the kind of thing that risks turning the public off?
Leicester local historian Richard Gill believes it might.
"I have no doubt the people of Leicester want to keep him here," he says. "I'm not sure they are that interested in the arguments."
And in York, already a city famed for its historical sites, do people really care if Richard III is buried there?
A BBC survey of people in the two cities suggested the dominant feeling was apathy.
A York resident said....
"I think it's all a row about nothing, York has enough history on offer. We don't need him here and - let's face it - he has been dead an awful long time. I think only a few people are actually that interested."
Am I tired of waiting yes, am I less enthusiastic...certainly not!
For many reasons I believe that Richard III should be re interred in Leicester Cathedral, but saying that I do respect the views of others, I see their point and understand their reasoning but among them there are those who complain of two things, the 'exploitation by traders', their words not mine, and the time its taken to re inter Richard's remains.
What is wrong with a town using such a find to their advantage, the money which is made will benefit the community and the local people. What saddens me is all the nasty comments aimed at Leicester about this over the last year, if Richard was found else where wouldn't that city have done the same? Of course it would, and regarding the delay in re internment, whose fault is that? Certainly not the people of Leicester or its University or the members of it archaeological team, who by the way, seem to have become the proverbial whipping boy! The thing is, if it had all gone to plan, Richard III would have been laid to rest by now.
What happens if the review doe's not go Leicester's way, then what do we do? I don't think for one minute it will be straight forward, York, Fotheringhay, Middleham and Westminster or heaven help us, the fifteen or so 'family members' will try to claim him !! .........I'll see you all in court.
I wrote the above blog yesterday and received comments exactly as I expected, those in favour of Richard's re internment at Leicester and those for his re-internment at York and also a couple on Leicester cashing in on the find such as:
"York!!! Why bury him where the Tudor killed him? This says it all, it is what He wanted:|
"Although entitled to be buried at Westminster Abbey alongside other kings and queens of England, he announced his intention to be buried at York, and in 1483 set in motion plans for a new chantry chapel at York Minster."
" I think it is pathetic to say that "York doesn't need him here because we already have enough history". It sounds like there would be more interest if they weren't already making money. I believe that Richard should be buried where HE wanted to be. Using his presence for money making purposes shouldn't even be a factor."
Richards re internment continues to be a very emotive subject! Sadly, in a number of surveys that have been taken in the twenty one months following his discovery in Leicester, on the whole the general public were not particularly interested. You will be surprised, even here in the country of Richards birth, many people only know of him through the Princes in the Tower affair, many people have actually said to me "Who is Richard III?" The sad fact is, the quote from the person from York who said "he has been dead an awful long time" is another view widely held and that too maybe a reason many are not interested, on the odd occasion I wonder why, I have to remind myself that not everyone is as passionate about the life and times of Richard III as me.
I have learnt much of Richards kingship and his religious beliefs over the years but what I/we do not know is where he wished to be buried, sadly he never left documents to this effect, if he had we may not be in the situation we are today. I am lucky enough live central to many of the places that Richard held dear and have family and friends who live in those communities, and also a number whose living is earned though 'history'. People in our towns and cities have to make a living, after all England as a whole earns millions from its history and many more millions from its tourism industry. Its ridiculous to think that communities shouldn't make any money from its past. Sadly England has lost many of its indigenous industries, so internal trade and tourism is important to us, of course it is not its mainstay but it is a vital part of our economy, therefore I have no qualms about paying to support our people and our heritage, and after King Richard III is re interred I will gladly come home with a bottle of wine and a fridge magnet with his image on it in support of whatever community he is laid to rest in.