The coffining of the mortal remains of King Richard III
On Sunday 15 March, 2015 the coffining of the mortal remains of King Richard III took place in preparation for reinterment at Leicester Cathedral on 26 March.
The private occasion took place in the Council Room – formerly a Chapel - of the University of Leicester. It was witnessed by a small number of representatives from the University and other key organisations, including the Cathedral, the City Council, the County Council, the Richard III Society, members of the University chaplaincy, an independent witness and relatives of King Richard III who donated their DNA as part of the identification process.
Following the completion of the University’s extensive programme of scientific analysis, the reinterment of all the mortal remains of Richard III, including samples, is considered to be a final act and there are no plans to reopen the tomb in the future.
In order to pack the bones into the lead-lined coffin, natural materials sourced from the British Isles which would have existed in the medieval period were used. A combination of washed natural woollen fleece, wadding and unbleached linen were used for the layers of packing. Linen bags, made by the pupils of the Richard III infant’s school in Leicester, were used for wrapping small bones and scientific samples.
The bones were laid out as if articulated in the lead inner casket. A rosary was placed in the coffin and the final layer was a piece of Irish linen embroidered by Miss Elizabeth Nokes of the Richard III Society. Once the lead inner casket was sealed, Michael Ibsen, a descendant of Richard III’s elder sister, Anne of York, fixed the lid of the outer coffin in position, which he made, of English oak, in his workshop.