King Richard lll found in Leicester - Updated
last updated on: 4th Feb 2013
Today at Leicester University, in front of 150 journalists and 50 TV cameras from around the world, the results of the tests on human remains found ’over the road’ from the Cathedral were revealed to be those of King Richard lll. A wealth of scientific investigation has taken place since August 2012 included radiocarbon dating, radiological evidence, bone and archaeological analysis, and DNA testing has confirmed the bones to be those of the last Plantagenet king. The DNA was particularly clear, an almost perfect match being found with two proven living descendants.
There was an immediate request for the mortal remains to be re-interred in Leicester Cathedral, as per the license issued by the Ministry of Justice which allowed for the exhumation to take place.
The partners who have been involved in the investigation have all been most enthusiastic in their hopes of keeping Richard lll close to where he has lain for the last 500 years, and the University, the City Council and the Richard lll Society are all thrilled that this is the plan.
Responding, Canon David Monteith from the Cathedral said:
“On behalf of the Bishop and Acting Dean of Leicester I want to say how very thrilled we are to be part of this amazing day. We are delighted with today’s news. We at the Cathedral and Diocese share in the pride of serving such a great city as ours which still has the capacity to reveal such incredible stories. We applaud the skill, expertise and excellence of Leicester University which have led to this announcement.
Today at St Paul’s Cathedral, Justin Welby is confirmed as the next Archbishop of Canterbury and so Bishop Tim Stevens, the Bishop of Leicester is very sad not to be able to be here with us all. This has been a partnership from the start with the City Council, the University and the Richard III Society and we have been very pleased to co-operate with all the parties involved. I can confirm that the Cathedral have now received letters from both the City Council and Leicester University to further enact the requirements of the Licence which led to the exhumation of these human remains.
Following the best archaeological, human remains are interred as near to their site of discovery as possible and the licence from the Ministry of Justice specifically names Leicester’s Cathedral.
King Richard’s remains found sanctuary at Greyfriars Friary situated within the parish of St Martin Leicester. And so that same parish church which has become Leicester Cathedral, following the request of the City Mayor and the Vice Chancellor will now begin to make preparation to provide him lasting and dignified sanctuary. We already host a beautiful memorial ledger stone to King Richard in the chancel and we will now plan for his final resting place.
This find has been the subject of historical and scientific research but these are the mortal remains of a person, an anointed Christian king who shared the faith proclaimed by the Cathedral. This Christian faith promises redemption and hope in the transforming power of love to bring victory out of defeat and new life even in the face of death.
The Cathedral in Leicester increasingly gathers all the faiths of this city and provides a focus for the whole community. As an illustration of this, last year we welcomed her Majesty the Queen to the Cathedral as she visited this city. We begin this year with the news that we are to make ready to welcome another monarch.
The Cathedral is open all day, every day. We’d be delighted to welcome you and introduce you to our Cathedral.
This is a momentous day for our city and nation. We will now formally begin preparations and plans at Leicester Cathedral for an interment. Meanwhile we will be praying that through God’s love, King Richard III with all the departed may rest in peace and rise in glory”.