Richard III has been a figure of controversy since his death in 1485. Henry Tudor who had no claim to the throne, and ignored a law that barred the Beaufort line from the throne tried to hide his deficiency by vilifying his murdered predecessor. Lies that Richard never faced in person were spread about him.
Now after over 500 years his skeleton has been found and a new controversy has started. The American Richard III Society has created a tomb at great expense which has been rejected by Leicester University which opted for a slab.
The American Society thinks a slab is not good enough for the king we have all supported. Leicester Cathedral votes for a slab. Thus Richard, a man of justice and mercy, continues to be the center of controversy.
York wanted his skeleton. He was of the House of York and spent much time there.
Nottingham put in a claim. Richard spent more time in Nottingham during his reign there than in Westminster. He made the castle more comfortable and elegant. But the time he was in Nottingham was spent waiting for Henry Tudor’s invasion.
Wherever Tudor landed, Richard could meet him faster from Nottingham. It was there that he and Anne Neville, his wife, learned of the death of their beloved only son. He called it his “castle of care,” meaning pain.
The slab now in Leicester Cathedral is fit for a king. It is a large slab of black marble with Richard’s name and dates in deeply cut gold lettering. It is beautiful, elegant and people unfamiliar with his story believe he is buried there.
Let’s put Richard to rest at last with both the American and the English Richard III Societies agreeing to put his bones not under a slab but under THE slab which is already in Leicester Cathedral and already a monument to him.
Dale Summers has traveled extensively in England. She holds a Master’s Degree in British history, has taught British history on the college level and writes book reviews on British-related topics.