Reburying Richard


Richard III's last journey

The Leicester Cathedral Quarter Partnership Board has published a provisional timetable for the reburial of Richard III’s remains in March next year. Here is what it adds up to. We really haven’t seen anything like this before!

Sunday March 22 2015

[1] 12.00 Hearse departs from University of Leicester, to [2] Fenn Lane Farm (reputed site of Richard’s death)

Thence to churches at [3] Dadlington (where battle-dead are said to be buried) and [4] Sutton Cheney (where Richard is said to have taken Mass on the eve of Bosworth)

14.00 Short ceremony at [5] Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre led by the Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Revd Tim Stevens

Cortege returns to Leicester via [6] Market Bosworth, [7] Newbold Verdon and [8] Desford

16.00 Arrive in Leicester at [9] Bow Bridge, for greeting by City Mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby, and Lord Mayor, Councillor John Thomas

17.45 Journey to [10] Leicester Cathedral completed in horse-drawn hearse, to be met by Dean of Leicester, the Very Revd David Monteith. Archaeologist Richard Buckley hands a copy of the Ministry of Justice exhumation licence to the Dean, and responsibility for the King passes from the university to the church

18.00 The coffin is carried into the cathedral for evening worship (Compline), with a sermon from the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols.

Monday 23 to Wednesday 25

The mortal remains of King Richard III lie in repose in Leicester Cathedral. The public are invited to pray and pay their respects during daylight hours.

Monday 23

Cardinal Nichols celebrates Mass for the repose of the soul (a “Requiem Mass”) for Richard III in Holy Cross Church, the Catholic parish church and Dominican priory in Leicester city centre. The Choir from St Barnabas’ Cathedral, the Cathedral of the Diocese of Nottingham, will sing at this Mass, which will be open to the public.

Thursday 26

The mortal remains of Richard III are re-interred in Leicester Cathedral, in the presence of an invited congregation and the Most Rt Revd Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, senior clergy, other Christian denominations and representatives of the World Faiths.

Friday 27

People from across Leicester and the county of Leicestershire are invited to gather in the cathedral to see the tomb revealed and celebrate the future.

In and out of Leicester, passing significant places such as the Newarke, where Richard's body is said to have been laid out for two days before burial at Greyfriars
In and out of Leicester, passing significant places such as the Newarke, where Richard’s body is said to have been laid out for two days before burial at Greyfriars

6 thoughts on “Reburying Richard

  1. I had been wondering what route the cortege might take. Fenn Lane farm is clearly highly relevant, as is Dadlington church, and the battlefield visitor centre is probably the site of Richard’s camp. However, Sutton Cheney church has surely been discredited as the site of Richard’s pre-battle mass. And what relevance does Market Bosworth have beyond, misleadingly, lending its name to the battle. As for Desford, no relevance to Richard’s journey whatsoever that I can see. I appreciate that the Fenn Lane Roman route to Leicester is no longer in existence, but a somewhat more authentic route could have been devised.

    1. The process defines its own authenticity. The sheer beauty of this is the way it mixes up history, medieval tradition – parts of the church services, at least – myth, modern fabrications such as Ashdown Hill’s mock-medieval crown (which it seems will be part of the cathedral ceremony), contemporary thinking such as the tomb design, the theology and the very appropriate acknowledgment of World Faiths, and on and on, all in the rich landscape of Leicestershire and its county city and as the culmination of just a few years of discovery and endless arguments. It’s so much more than a burial. Those points I numbered on the top map must already be on the way to becoming Ricardian stations with plaques. I love it!

  2. I feel all alone in thinking he should be respectfully reburied where he was before, with a simple plaque marking the spot.

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