King Richard III’s links to Pontefract – including a son – have inspired a local campaign to see his remains brought home to Yorkshire.
Mum-of-four Lisa Ward started a Facebook campaign and has collected more than 900 signatures via an e-petition, to see the king reburied in his ancestral home of York.
His remains, which were lost for 500 years after he was killed in the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, were unearthed among the ruins of a lost medieval church, discovered underneath a car park in Leicester in 2012.
The discovery sparked a battle between Leicestershire and Yorkshire over his final resting place, which the king’s descendents say should be in his ancestral home of York.
Known as the Plantagnet Alliance, they took their battle with the Ministry of Justice, Leicester University and Leicester City Council to the High Court in London for a judicial review hearing earlier this month.
They argue that there should have been a public consultation on where the remains are re-interred and that the wishes of the king’s descendents should be taken into account.
But the opposition insist the remains have been dealt with in line with standard archaeological practice.
Ms Ward, of Churchfield Lane, Castleford, decided to join the fight because of an interest in King Richard III’s story, which stemmed from her school days at Park High School, which later became Pontefract New College.
The 41-year-old said: “Pontefract Castle used to be one of his main residences and it is firmly believed that he fathered an illegitimate son in Pontefract, too.
“It’s only right that he should be brought back to Yorkshire. The support for my campaign has come from all over the world and I really do think it can make a difference.”
Ms Ward has organised marches in York, as well as fundraisers to help cover the cost of the Plantagnet Alliance’s legal fees.
The results of the judicial review are expected to be known in a few weeks.
Ms Ward’s petition can be signed at epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/55196 and the campaign can be followed via www.facebook.com/PetitionToBringRichardIIIBackToYorkshire