Richard III letter fetches £35,000 at auction

Letter signed by Richard III
Image caption The document, signed R. Gloucestre, is thought to date back to about 1473

A rare letter signed by Richard III has sold for almost £35,000 at auction in Los Angeles.

The document, thought to date back to between 1473 and 1477, was written when Richard was the Duke of Gloucester. It had been valued at up to £80,000.

It shows him intervening in a land dispute between Ralph Neville, 2nd Earl of Westmorland and some of his tenants.

Earlier this year, skeletal remains found beneath a car park in Leicester were confirmed as the king's.

Auctioneers Nate D. Sanders, said the letter, which is signed R. Gloucestre, was "one of less than a dozen such documents signed with the others now residing in public institutions".

The identity of the buyer is not yet known. There were 13 bids for the letter, which sold for $52,417 (£34,516).

Burial dispute

Richard was killed at the battle of Bosworth in 1485 and was hurriedly buried in the church of the Greyfriars, which was subsequently lost during redevelopment.

The last Plantagenet king's remains are due to be reburied in Leicester cathedral in May 2014.

However, the Plantagenet Alliance, which includes 15 of Richard III's relatives, want the skeleton to be laid to rest in York Minster and are seeking a judicial review.

Richard III grew up in Yorkshire and had strong-connections to the city of York.

More than 8,000 people have signed an online petition in favour of keeping the king's remains in Leicester, but over 26,000 have signed up to support re-interring his remains in York.

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