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Richard III Prayer Book to come to Leicester for Reinterment

The personal prayer book of Richard III will be in Leicester during the kings re-interment in March.



Pukaar News got an exclusive look at the decorated manuscript known as the Book of Hours which has been preserved at Lambeth Palace for the last 400 years.


The medieval prayer book gave Richard ways to pray each day and was used by him everyday.


The book was written around 1420 in the city of London, but was not owned by Richard until 1483 when he became King until his death in 1485 at the Battle of Bosworth.  Richard had it with him in his tent on the eve of the Battle where he became the last English king to die in combat, which brought an end to the Wars of the Roses.  After the battle, the book was retrieved by troops of the victorious new king, Henry VII who returned it to Richard’s mother, Cecily Neville.


Janet Atkinson, the senior conservator at Lambeth Palace Library said, “there are prayers added for Richard after he took ownership of it, the most famous is probably, the Richard III prayer, in which he prays for victory over his enemies and reconciliation, I think it shows he was quite a devout person”


The book will be on display in Leicester Cathedral for three months as part of the events surrounding the reburial of the last Plantagenet king of England, who was killed in battle over 500 years ago.


David Monteith, Dean of Leicester spoke about the plans for the book at the reburial, “his remains will be reunited with his prayer book, it will travel with him to his place of reinternment”


“we also hope it will be available in Leicester, probably in one of the museums, free of charge for people to come and see it themselves, usually its locked away in Lambeth Palace library and not available to the public, but as part of our ongoing work of education and engagement we hope that the book of hours will be digitalised and be available for people for further study”