A York MP has appealed for calm in the debate over where the remains of King Richard III should be buried after the Dean of York had to refer hate mail to the police.
Hugh Bayley MP says the Government needs to appoint an independent panel to rule on where the remains should be re-interred.
The debate appeared good-natured at first but, according to Mr Bayley, it has now taken a more sinister turn after the Dean of York, the Very Rev Vivienne Faull, until recently the Dean of Leicester, received such abusive letters she had to pass them to the police.
I received many letters and emails from members of the public about this, supporting burial in York.
Most are thoughtful and well argued and based on scientific facts but some are frankly inflammatory and talking yesterday to the Dean of York, some that she has received at the minster are so extreme that she has referred the correspondence to the police.
I would say to everybody: calm down. Let's all respect the memory of a former king of our country. Let's discuss where his remains should be put to rest in a dignified and sober way. We don't want to reignite the Wars of the Roses.
– Hugh Bayley MP, York Central
Nine of the monarch's descendants have called on the Government to return the remains of the king to York for a "formal and ceremonial" burial, while a petition calling for his remains to be transferred to the northern city has been signed by more than 23,000 people.
Mr Bayley said:
The decision should be taken on independent national advice and not delegated to archaeologists from Leicester who clearly support the Leicester cause. They would find it outrageous if the decision was delegated to people from York. We need the decision to be taken nationally, in the national interest by people who are independent of the vested interests of either York or Leicester.
He is due be re-interred at Leicester Cathedral next year despite campaigns to bring him to York.
King Richard III did a lot for York and the North of England and during his life made arrangements to be buried here. He was not well treated in Leicester after his death and I think his soul would rest in peace back in York.
It is dreadful that some people are still fighting the War of the Roses. We should seek reconciliation, wherever Richard is reburied. I want the Government to set up an independent committee to decide how, where and when the reburial takes place, and to involve both cities and people from both North and South.
The MP for Skipton and Ripon is supporting calls for the remains of King Richard III to be returned and re-interred in North Yorkshire.
Julian Smith claims that before his death in 1485 Richard of York said he wanted to be buried at York Minster.
It has been repeated through the centuries that his wish was to be buried in York and, now his remains have been discovered, his wish should be granted.
– Julian Smith MP, Con Skipton and Ripon
Mr Smith continued: “No-one wants another war over this. We should thank Leicester for discovering his remains but they should now be returned to North Yorkshire for the proper burial he deserves in the place he wanted to be remembered.
“I will now be writing to the University of Leicester and Ministry of Justice, who granted the licence for the exhumation, to make this case.”
Experts at the Royal Armouries in Leeds have revealed the sort of weapons which may have been used to kill Richard III.
Archaeologists in the midlands yesterday confirmed they had discovered the body of the last king of the House of York. Now a Leeds historian is piecing together just what happened to the man who gave battle in vain.