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 cathedral plans approved

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Thibault

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PostSubject: Re: cathedral plans approved   Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:46 am

Somehow I don't think Richard would have wanted to lie amongst the Tudors.
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Constantia

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PostSubject: Re: cathedral plans approved   Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:41 am

Thibault wrote:
Somehow I don't think Richard would have wanted to lie amongst the Tudors.

Then again, no Tudors were buried in Westminster when he made his will. Personally, I think he would have preferred Windsor, along with Edward IV. When he had Henry VI reburied there, he left another spot unoccupied, perhaps reserving it for himself (and his second wife, assuming that the negotiations succeeded). See Henry VI by Bertram Percy Wolffe
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ElizabethP

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PostSubject: Re: cathedral plans approved   Mon Apr 07, 2014 6:55 pm

At any rate, it wasn't Leicester!
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whitehound
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PostSubject: Re: cathedral plans approved   Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:34 am

I see what Colyngbourne is driving at but I too can't see them reorganising the cathedral to showcase Richard, and then removing the tomb. If there's anything of the temporary marker about that tomb, it's more likely that it would be replaced at a later date with something more elaborate.

I like it because it's a proper bit of sculpture, it's a significant artwork rather than a bog-standard gravestone. But I too don't like the fact that there's nothing on the tomb itself to describe Richard, just because I want people thousands of years from now to know who he was, and there's a risk that the floor-tiles will be lost and the tomb become nameless. I hope they'll include a ceramic plaque inside the coffin (or chest or whatever) so he is never lost again.

I was originally in favour of York, because it would be so nice for Richard to go home again, but I came to prefer Leicester because York Misnter, precisely because it is one of our greatest architectural treasures, cannot just do what Leicester Cathedral is doing and re-shape itself to showcase Richard's tomb. Also because the people of Leicester need the tourist income much more than York does, and since Richard was so concerned for the poor I think that would probably be the most important factor for him, if he were in a position to choose. I think he would be delighted to know he could still do something for the poor of his kingdom and still be working and effective, 500+ years after his death.
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whitehound
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PostSubject: Re: cathedral plans approved   Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:50 am

I also don't have a problem with Leicester Uni having continued access to his bones, although I don't like the fact that they were so blasé about taking whole teeth instead of just samples. Every bit of research adds to Richard's fame and keeps him in the public eye, and as tests are refined they become more sensitive and need smaller and smaller samples. If every scientific test ever devised were to be performed on Richard's bones from now until they crumble away from being 20,000 years old, they would still probably only use up an area of bone as big as the palm of your hand. For each test, a lentil's-worth.

Richard came from an age when examining bones and wanting to disturb them and touch them and pay money to see them was what you did to saints, so he would hardly find it offensive. And it's hypocritical of us f we object to people wanting to learn more about Richard from his bones, while we want to learn more about Richard by examining the bones of those children in the urn, who are still somebody's poor dead kids even if not the ones it says on the label.
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Constantia

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PostSubject: Re: cathedral plans approved   Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:11 am

whitehound wrote:
I like it because it's a proper bit of sculpture, it's a significant artwork rather than a bog-standard gravestone.  But I too don't like the fact that there's nothing on the tomb itself to describe Richard, just because I want people thousands of years from now to know who he was, and there's a risk that the floor-tiles will be lost and the tomb become nameless.  I hope they'll include a ceramic plaque inside the coffin (or chest or whatever) so he is never lost again.

They're including a crown inside the tomb. I doubt that anyone finding it would mistake him for a commoner. John Ashdown-Hill writes about and includes photos it here.

I don't like the tomb myself. It looks like a shoebox to me.
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whitehound
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PostSubject: Re: cathedral plans approved   Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:11 am

The last I heard, they weren't going to put the crown inside the tomb, just use it as part of the funeral ceremony - which is disappointing. Though I do like the design for the crown.

I know the blocky tomb is a bit stark, but at least it's not ordinary. The RIII Soc's proposition, while it did have all the necessary information and references, was very ordinary imo - and if there was one thing Richard wasn't, it was ordinary.
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PostSubject: Re: cathedral plans approved   Thu Apr 10, 2014 5:48 pm

Colyngbourne, where did the reference to the white rose not being known before the 17th C come from?  I've just noticed that one of the photographs in the catalogue from the Richard III exhibition which was held in London in (iirc) the late '70s is of an enamel and jewel pendant in the form of a double-layered white rose - i.e. like the heraldic Tudor rose, except with all-white petals - which is labelled "White Rose of York (Basel Hist. Mus.) Early 16th century copy from lost original given to Charles the Bold by Edward IV 1468-75."

Has this pendant somehow been discredited as fake, making it feasible that the white rose emblem only dates from the 17th C - or did the people who said the white rose emblem only dated from the 17th C somehow overlook this example in a foreign museum which, supposedly, replicates one which came straight from the hand of the first Yorkist king, and which in any case is itself early 16th C?

Also, of course, the fact that the Tudors picked a pied red and white rose to signify that they had unified the two houses means that the idea of a white rose standing for the Yorkists must be at least as old as the Tudor rose, whether or not the York party ever actually wore white roses as badges.

You know, I somehow missed that exhibition, even though I was living in London during the university holidays and could eaily have gone to it.  I am eternally grateful that I *didn't* go, because if I had I would almost certainly not have bothered to buy the catalogue, thinking that after all I'd seen it - but that catalogue is absolutely stuffed with goodies, many of them, like this one, things which weren't actually in the exhibition.
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Coney

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PostSubject: Re: cathedral plans approved   Sat Apr 12, 2014 7:37 am

The place where anyone was buried was governed by Canon Law. If there was a 'will' then that took precedence. If none was found then in a place where the deceased, by suggestion, wished to be buried as evidenced by any other 'legal' document. If none then where he lived or where there was a family tomb. Finally in such place decided by the parish priest of the deceased. Henry VII by burying Richard in Leicester was in defiance of the laws of the Catholic Church. His remains have now been disinterred and as he died a Catholic in communion with Rome he should now be reinterred according to Canon Law. Better late than never.
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PostSubject: Re: cathedral plans approved   Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:03 am

Well - Henry probably wasn't really fully in control of the situation or in a position to arrange a king's funeral immediately after Bosworth, and it was probably hot, so burying him in Leicester was sensible. He could have moved him to somewhere more formal at a later date - but by then he would have realised there was still considerable support for Richard, especially in the north, so I suppose he wouldn't have wanted to risk creating a shrine.

Anyway a lot of soldiers seem to have ended up buried near their battlefield - or not buried at all.
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ElizabethP

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PostSubject: Re: cathedral plans approved   Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:31 am

But rarely kings. Also Henry was a known cheapskate. He wouldn't have paid for much if he didn't have to.
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PostSubject: Re: cathedral plans approved   Sat Apr 12, 2014 9:09 am

Well - Henry paid ten pounds and one shilling for Richard's tomb, which - depending on which measure of comparative worth you use - translates as anything between six and a half thousand pounds and nearly three million in today's money. It wasn't a huge amount to spend on a king's tomb but it wasn't dirt cheap either.

I read somewhere years ago that H7 gave orders for his own tomb to be done on the cheap - the expression used was something like "with all royal and proper magnificence but no outrageous superfluity" - but of course H8 disobeyed him. Which raises the question of whether he gave his father a lavish funeral to honour him, or to annoy him. The psychology is interesting: there was a mention on a history programme a few nights ago of H8 presenting himself as King Arthur, by taking over the supposed Round Table and decorating it with a portrait of Arthur which looked like himself - but was it really the Dark Ages Arthur he was trying to replace, or his own sainted brother?

James IV of Scotland died in battle a few years after Richard, btw, and didn't get a proper burial at all - his head ended up being taken as a souvenir, and is still missing afaik.
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whitehound
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PostSubject: Re: cathedral plans approved   Sat Apr 12, 2014 5:47 pm

Actually, thinking about this, that money spent on Richard's tomb was *just for the tomb*, wasn't it - it didn't have to pay for a parade and vestments and so on. So it's really quite a lot of money - and it must have been a pretty snazzy tomb, at least up to elaborate-Victorian-mausoleum standards. It's a pity it was lost. I do wonder whether it was that which wasa thrown into the river, and whether chunks of it might still be in there.
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Wednesday
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PostSubject: Re: cathedral plans approved   Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:49 pm

whitehound wrote:
Actually, thinking about this, that money spent on Richard's tomb was *just for the tomb*, wasn't it - it didn't have to pay for a parade and vestments and so on.  So it's really quite a lot of money - and it must have been a pretty snazzy tomb, at least up to elaborate-Victorian-mausoleum standards.  It's a pity it was lost.  I do wonder whether it was that which wasa thrown into the river, and whether chunks of it might still be in there.

If I remember correctly, Henry's giving Richard a tomb in the first place was because he had to backtrack a bit.

He declared Richard wasn't the rightful king and that he, Henry, was "saving" England by coming to usurp claim the throne. (As Kendall pointed out, what exactly Henry was saving England from was never made clear.) So Henry heaped infamy on Richard by way of propping up Henry's claim...and he wasn't much interested in remembering his predecessor until....

The "pretenders" started coming out of the woodwork. Then it behooved Henry to say, "Well, that Richard fellow wasn't such a bad chap after all, and he was actually an anointed king, and pretenders shouldn't go around stumping for rebellions to replace anointed kings -- LIKE I AM NOW! -- so mebbe I'd better give that Richard fellow a monument of some sort so that people know I did not tamper with history (not like these pretenders I've got coming at me right and left are trying to do...::whine:Smile and it's certainly verry, verry wrong to try and usurp an anointed king's throne...and so that people know this Lambert fellow and Perkin fellow are only impertinent upstarts, maybe I'd better get a monument in place asking people to pray for this Richard fellow before any more pretending usurpers target me, hmm?

So Henry remembered to remember Richard as a political ploy. Not because he wanted to or had any regard for him personally.

I think the only reason we know how much it cost was because the sculptor lodged an, "I want to be paid" document with....someone or other?

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whitehound
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PostSubject: Re: cathedral plans approved   Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:36 pm

I think the point was not "You shouldn't rise against an anointed king" - after all, *he* had - but "Richard held the throne by right, so even if one of these pretenders turns out really to be one of the missing boys, it's irrelevant because he doesn't have a claim to the throne" - without going into specifics which might embarrass his wife.

But it's also possible he had genuinely come to feel differently about Richard. At the outset he would probably have known nothing about Richard except that he was Edward IV's brother - and Edward had been pretty terrible. Edward had employed Tiptoft, who was a licensed serial killer. He may or may not have had Henry VI murdered but there were certainly reasons to suspect that he had. He executed his own brother. He tried to get his hands on Henry Tudor when he was in exile, and murder him too. So of course Henry and his mother would initially see Richard as Edward Redux and as a threat to them.

Plus, if Henry was raised to be culturally Welsh he would likely assume Richard was a usurper, because he wouldn't understand that to Richard it really *mattered* whether the boys' parents had been properly married or not. In Welsh law you were legitimate if your father acknowledged you, so as far as Welsh law was concerned Edward V was the legitimate king, bigamy or no bigamy.

So initially, Henry may well really have believed that Richard was a villain. But later, he married a girl who had been very fond of Richard. And then, we're told that Margaret Beaufort hired one of Richard's loyal servants, Ralph Bigod, that Bigod would tolerate no insults to Richard and that MB made sure he didn't get into trouble for this, and liked to listen to his stories about Richard, so it's perfectly possible that both she and her son gradually came to appreciate the man they had supplanted.

I don't suppose they would have felt guilty about causing his death even so, because in those days seizing other people's countries just because you could was regarded as legitimate, but they might have felt the way the more sensitive white settlers would have felt about some noble Indian chief they had felled because he got in their way.
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khafara

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PostSubject: Re: cathedral plans approved   Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:19 am

Going back to the tomb proposal, scuttlebutt I have heard is that a) the deans of both and Leicester are still wedded to the Richard-was-a-monster belief and thus b) Leicester deliberately went with an ugly design that would be easily undone in a few years once a critical mass of local parishioners complained yet at the same time lwaving intact the other renovation work the church fathers and mothers wanted done.

That, I suspect, is why the idea of a small chapel alongside the church never took off, evn though it IMO would be the mist sensible way to handle a Leicester burial.
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PostSubject: Re: cathedral plans approved   Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:57 am

I have to say I don't believe a word of it. Where have you heard this? Was the source in a position to know this? Are they personally acquainted with the team at Leicester Cathedral?

It would be ridiculous to invest millions in what, if nothing else, will give the cathedral world-wide renown and tourist cachet, and then plan to get rid of it. And personally I think the design for the tomb is beautiful - so almost certainly whoever chose it thought it was beautiful too - although I have reservations about its durability and about the precise design of the rose, which is stylised to the point that people may not realise what it is.

I too would have liked a separate chapel outside but it would have raised technical problems and been very expensive, as well as being more vulnerable to vandalism and metal thieves (metal thieves are a *major* problem in the UK). The land available is very small. Leicester Cathedral has two patches of land at the back each about the size of a suburban garden, but one has graves on it. That leaves just the one patch where a chapel could be built.

Any chapel built on it would be right up against the side of the cathedral - there's nowhere else it could go - and so it would either have to be only 4ft tall, or be recessed into a deep hole, or cover nearly a quarter of the cathedral's windows. Even if the chapel was open to the side of the cathedral, so that light could still get in *through* the chapel, that would then mean destroying a row of excellent historic stained-glass windows.

Reworking part of the interior is actually a very good solution. I know I suggested an outside chapel myself, originally (sunk into a deep hole, with drainage channels so it didn't turn into a pond), but that was because I didn't think they would be prepared to do the interior re-building and re-purposing which they are in fact doing.
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khafara

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PostSubject: Re: cathedral plans approved   Thu Apr 17, 2014 5:40 pm

The idea apparently, from what I've heard, is that the tomb itself is the cheapest part of the whole shebang and could easily be yanked, leaving the rest of the work intact. Granted, this may be extreme paranoia on the part of a few factions, but when you consider the rather underhanded actions of many of the players, paranoia might be understandable.

This is true especially the University of Leicester, which dug up Baldwin's obscure '80s writings in order to "prove" that he and not J A-H "pinpointed" the site of Richard's grave (except that Baldwin was considerably farther from the mark than was J A-H), and apparently tried to make the Looking for Richard team leave out all the footage that didn't make ULeics look good, such as Dr. Appleby's mattock busting open Richard's skull and the various ULAS members who were willing to go on record (and be recorded) as saying that they never thought they'd find the choir, much less Richard.
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PostSubject: Re: cathedral plans approved   Thu Apr 17, 2014 5:52 pm

That suggests that they may not be happy with the design and might want to replace it when they have more money, rather than that they wished to eliminate Richard's tomb as such.

Even if they disposed of the table tomb, it wouldn't really matter much. A plain slab in the floor in the middle of the central aisle would be far too little, but a slab in a floor surrounded by roses and boars, in its own little side-chapel with windows and plaques celebrating Richard's life, with a statue in his honour and that whopping-great in-your-face steel thing close by outside and a museum in his honour on the other side of the road, would still be pretty good.
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khafara

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PostSubject: Re: cathedral plans approved   Tue May 06, 2014 10:54 am


Excellent article in the Yorkshire Post on a famous author joining the fight to have Richard buried in Yorkshire:

http://m.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/main-topics/general-news/author-gervase-phinn-joins-richard-iii-campaign-1-6598631
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