Towards the end of The Princes in the Tower Alison Weir, writing in the early 1990s, describes Richard’s burial and the subsequent fate – as was supposed – of his bones. It is interesting to note that The Great Chronicle seems to describe the circumstances of the burial quite accurately. However, it comes as a bit of a jolt to read how readily Alison Weir has accepted as fact what we now know not to be the case:
“Two days later, says the Great Chronicle, Richard III was ‘indifferently buried’ in an unmarked grave in the choir of the Collegiate Church of St Mary, by the charity of the friars and without, says Vergil, ‘any pomp or solemn funeral’. In 1496 Henry VII paid £10.1s, a paltry sum, for a coloured marble tomb and alabaster effigy to be placed above his rival’s grave. This bore a Latin inscription proclaiming that Richard had come to the throne by betraying the trust placed in him as Protector during his nephew’s reign.
“During the Reformation of the 1530s the monastery of the Franciscan friars was dissolved and the church despoiled. Richard’s tomb was destroyed and his bones disinterred and thrown into the River Soar. They were either lost or recovered and reburied at Bow Bridge: the evidence is conflicting. Richard’s coffin is said to have been used as a horse trough in Leicester but had been broken up by 1758 and its pieces used to build the cellar steps in the White Horse Inn. Some ruined walls and foundations are all that is left of the monastery; a car park now occupies most of its site.”