28 NOVEMBER 1499

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis   in Events in History

Edward, Earl of Warwick, son of George Duke of Clarence and Isabel Neville, is beheaded on Tower Green.  He was the last legitimate male of the House of Plantagenet.




   Posted by: Lawrence Osborn   in Uncategorized

Welcome to the NSW branch of the Richard III society web site.

Richard III (2 October 1452 – 22 August 1485) was King of England from 1483 until his death in 1485, at the age of 32, in the Battle of Bosworth Field. He was the last king of the House of York and the last of the Plantagenet dynasty. His defeat at Bosworth Field, the last decisive battle of the Wars of the Roses, marked the end of the Middle Ages in England. Following the discoveries of Richard’s remains in 2012 it was decided that they should be reburied at Leicester Cathedral despite feelings in some quarters that he should have been reburied in Yorkshire. His remains were carried in procession to the cathedral on 22 March 2015, and reburied on 26 March 2015.

New members are welcome please contact us for details.


Act of Accord

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis   in Events in History

Act of Accord

Richard, Duke of York (stained glass at St Laurence, Ludlow, © Worcestershire Branch, Richard III Society)

Act of Accord

After unsuccessfully claiming his right to the crown in parliament on 10 October 1460, Richard, duke of York, had to accept the Act of Accord on 25 October 1460, which stipulated that he would be the heir to the throne after King Henry VI’s death, instead of the king’s son, Edward of Lancaster.

His claim was that while on his father’s side he was descended from Edward III’s fourth son, on his mother’s side he was descended from Edward III’s son.  The Lancastrian Kings including Henry VI, however, were descendents of the third son of Edward III.

While the Duke of York’s claim ultimately failed, it was the basis for his son Edward IV to succeed to the crown.

More on the Act of Accord here.

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Chairpersons Report October 2015 AGM

   Posted by: Lawrence Osborn   in Uncategorized

Chairperson’s Report October 2015

The Richardian Year 2014-2015 has proved a very exciting one for all members of the New South Wales branch of the Richard III Society Publicity concerning the discovery and the reburial has resulted not only in a boost to our membership but also greatly increased interest from many people outside the Society.

Several of our members were able to travel to Leiceister to participate in the celebrations to mark Richard III’s reburial in and around the city. Our Treasurer, Judy Howard, was fortunate enough to be selected to the Compline Service in the Cathedral when Richard’s remains were brought from Bosworth to lie in state. As close to this time as possible on 21st March many of our Sydney Richardians were able to commemorate Richard’s life and his achievements in a beautiful moving service at the Anglican Church of St James at King Street where in August we remember those who died with Richard at the Battle of Bosworth.

Upon their return from the United Kingdom, Dorothea Preis, Judy Howard and David Johnson presented a fascinating review of their time in Leiceister. During the discussion which followed, other members added their contributions which proved very enjoyable.
Particular thanks must go to our members who show such positive support to our hard-working committee but friendship to each other which ensures the smooth and enjoyable running of the Society. Our venue so centrally located at the Sydney Mechanics School of Arts with its proximity to public transport has proved very convenient to most people to access some even coming from as far as Brisbane and Armidale.

Throughout the year, members have been encouraged to learn more about Richard III and the world in which he lived. This has been capably encouraged not only by the very excellent Website presided over by Dorothea Preis but also with an array of wonderful guest speakers all of whom are experts in their particular fields. They have entertained us, inspired us to follow up their talks with research of our own and enriched our knowledge of Richard and his world. All talks have been presented in a well researched and scholarly manner, each subject being lavishly illustrated.
Wendy Schmit the President of the New South Wales Embroiderers Guild brought many beautiful examples of embroidery styles some of which have been practised since Medieval Times.
Almis Simans who has written a number of books about his extensive walks in the English countryside was able to illustrate his talk using contour maps and photos of physical features of the countryside where Richard would have ridden explaining the myths and legends associated with the land.
Maggie Patton, a well known curator from the State Library of New South Wales drew on the wonderful collection of delicately coloured maps held in the library to illustrate the “MappaMundi” how people in the fifteenth century would have perceived the wider world.

Another of our members the former parliamentarian, Chris Puplick, a self-styled medievalist, presented a lecture on the Garter Knights of Richard III
Margaret Rogerson an Associate Professor from Sydney University presented a wonderfully illustrated talk on the Medieval PlayCycle of York even supplying us with notes and references to study further.
We are very proud of the enjoyment our very own authors, Isolde Martyn with her medieval romances and Felicity Pulman who specialises in adult fiction have brought to us and the book reading public.

Some of our members, particularly Kevin Herbert and Julia Redlich contribute to the general community by giving talks about Richardian subjects to groups such as National Seniors, University of the Third Age and various Probus Clubs. Maureen Gray continues to make her delightful white rose jewellery which members enjoy wearing . Sadly, our former committee member Johanna Visser passed away during the year. Several members were able to attend her funneral in the Southern Highlands where Kevin Herbert and Janice Ratter presented eulogies. Our bouquet of splendid white roses was much appreciated by her daughter.

Our hard working committee has earned our sincere gratitude. Rachel Allerton continues as Secretary while Christine Field has taken over as Treasurer from Judy Howard who is now more fully engaged in tertiary studies.
Dorothea Preis has handed over her role as Webmaster to Timothy and Lawrence Osborn. Unfortunately Dorothea’s excellent magazine Chronicles of the White Rose will probably not continue for the time being. We thank Dorothea most sincerely for the very hard work which she has undertaken for the Society for several years and wish her well for her committee work for the Society in England.
Thanks to Lesley McCawley ably assisted by her husband Doug for editing our newsletter Affinity.
Lynne Foley has kindly offered to continue as membership and sales officer.
Jacqueline Turner hands over her chairpersonship to Joan Hansen who also presides over afternoon tea.
We are most grateful to these people who keep our Society running so smoothly contributing their time and effort in such a selfless way and look forward to another worthwhile year.

Judith Hughes,
Chairperson and
programs organiser,
10 October 2015


13 OCTOBER 1453

   Posted by: Kevin Herbert   in Events in History

Birth of Edward of Lancaster, only son of King Henry VI of England and Margaret of Anjou, at Westminster.  He was the Lancastrian Prince of Wales.  He was baptised on 14 October by William Waynflete, Bishop of Winchester.

On 13 December 1470 he was married to Anne Neville, who was 14 at the time, as part of an agreement between his mother, Margaret of Anjou, and Anne’s father, Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick (“The Kingmaker”) to return Henry VI to the throne.    Edward fell at the Battle of Tewkesbury on 4 May 1471.

The picture shows the Palace of Westminster, how it supposedly looked in the 16th century.

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The 2015 Annual General Meeting of the NSW Branch

   Posted by: Leslie McCawley   in Branch News, Meetings, News

The 10 October 2015 Annual General Meeting

of the NSW Branch of the Richard III Society

The Annual General Meeting of the NSW Branch of the Richard III Society was held on Saturday, 10 October 2015, at the Sydney Mechanics’ Institute. Chair Judith welcomed all members and visitors. Concern was expressed for members who have been facing illness and injury recently, with the sincere hope for their successful treatment, full recovery, and swift return to our meetings. Kevin was back after a year’s absence, and it was wonderful to see him looking well.

Judith gave a summary of our busy Ricardian year with the excitement of the reinterment ceremonies for Richard III in Leicester, the lineup of excellent speakers we were privileged to hear, the annual service, at St James Anglican Church to commemorate the Battle of Bosworth and remember Richard’s life and reign. Thanks were expressed on behalf of the branch members, for the hard work by the committee members throughout the year; the committee members then officially stepped down. Special thanks and a round of applause went to Dorothea for her 8 years’ service as a very active and dedicated webmaster and publications officer who attracted many international readers to our website.

Carole then facilitated the annual elections for the 2015-2016 committee positions. A number of officers returned unopposed to their roles, including Judith as Chair, Rachel as Secretary, Lynne as Sales Officer, Leslie as Affinity Newsletter Editor, and Joan as the afternoon tea lady. Newly elected committee members included Tim and Lawrence as webmasters, and Christine as Treasurer, with Joan expanding her duties to include Deputy Chair.

Our featured speaker was Mr Christopher Puplick AM, a long-time member of the NSW branch and a keen medievalist. His topic was “The Garter Knights of Richard III”, these being the various men that Richard selected for the honour of being made knights of the garter, that ancient order of chivalry. Hopefully a transcript of this interesting presentation will be posted on the website soon.

After the raffle was drawn, members enjoyed a lovely afternoon tea provided by Joan. The next meeting will be on Saturday, 12 December 2015. Our guest speaker will be Judith Mee, speaking on the topic of “Spoken and written English in Richard III’s time”. There will also be a Bring & Buy table, with proceeds going to the branch. It will be a good opportunity to recycle books and other items of interest. Please be prepared to take home anything that does not sell, however, as there is no provision for storage on site.

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12 OCTOBER 1492

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis   in Events in History

12 OCTOBER 1492

Statue of Christopher Columbus (D. Preis)

12 OCTOBER 1492

Replica of the Santa Maria (D. Preis)

Christopher Columbus arrives in America, or more exactly one of the islands in the Bahamas.  A group of three ships, the Santa Maria, the Pinta and the Niña, left Spain on 3 August.  They first sailed to the Canary Islands.  From there the journey across the Atlantic took 5 weeks.

In October 1977, I visited a replica of the Santa Maria, the largest of  the three ships, in Barcelona – and was amazed how small it was.  In the photo on the right you can see Columbus pointing the way over my head.

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12 OCTOBER 1459

   Posted by: Julia Redlich   in Events in History

Ludford Bridge (© Mr M Evison and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence)

Battle of Ludford Bridge/Ludlow, Shropshire, won by the Lancastrians.

Warwick’s re-inforcements from the garrison of Calais under Andrew Trollope defected to the Lancastrians.  The Yorkist leaders fled, York and Rutland to Ireland, and Edward, Earl of March (York’s eldest son), Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury, and his son Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, to Calais.  After the battle Cecily, Duchess of York, and her three youngest children George, Margaret and Richard, were taken prisoner by the Lancastrians and placed into the care of Cecily’s older sister Anne, Duchess of Buckingham.

A short description of the various battles of the Wars of the Roses can be found on the website of the Richard III Society.

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A good-bye and a welcome

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis   in Branch News, News

A good-bye and a welcome – a personal note

After eight years as webmaster of the NSW Branch of the Richard III Society, I have decided it was time to let others have a go.  Therefore I did not stand again for the post at our AGM yesterday.

These eight years were a very interesting and rewarding time and I will remember them with a lot of pleasure.  I would like to thank all who contributed for their time and effort, the regulars like Julia, Leslie and Kevin, but also all the others.

However, now it is time for me to move on to other projects and to let go of my “baby”.  Of course, my interest in medieval history and my involvement with the Richard III Society remains.

We all welcome Rachel and Lawrence to the position of webmasters.  This blog will be in good hands. We are wishing them all success and lots of fun.


Visiting the St Ives Medieval Faire

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis   in News

Visiting the St Ives Medieval Faire, 19 and 20 September 2015

This post is by Tamar Lawson, who attended the recent St Ives Medieval Faire.

The ground is muddy, covered with straw (probably to mop up some of the excess water), the rain is lightly falling and there is a faint smell of manure and food cooking on an open fire. This is what meets us as we enter the medieval village via the castle gates.  Before entering the gates we find a village market selling everything required for period dress including jewellery, hat, cloaks and gowns, as well as non-medieval hot food & beverages. Also there is stage that has been erected for the performance of courtly entertainment including music, circus acts and a variety of dances.

The medieval village is divided into three eras, the Templar Camp, the Early Village and the 14th century village. Each camp within each village is set up and run by a direct medieval re-enactment group. Many of the camps are sent up to replicate a specific year and people group or occupation. Reenactors are by nature enthusiasts of the subject they’re replicating and are highly knowledgeable on their area of interest but are also just as enthusiastic to share their knowledge to anyone who’s interested.  Throughout the day there are also scheduled village talks conducted by reenactors including medieval cosmetics, medieval surgery and Byzantine urinalysis.

As the faire is meant to represent a working castle there is also a medieval marketplace, a village green, main arena and tavern. The main arena is where the jousting, birds of prey demonstration, Viking battle and knights tournament took place.  The jousting was presented with the sort of fan-fare that would have been attributed to historical jousting when it became spectator sport. I suspect medieval jousting would have been an all-day event, particularly if the horses were as unco-operative as was one of the rider’s horses, after two rounds it balked.

Aside from jousting, which is only reserved for the nobility (or in this case, professionals), there were other demonstrations where men could show off their prowess.  Out on the trebuchet field there was a Kingdom of Heaven tournament, the archery demonstration and a musket and pike drill.

Aside from the re-enactments, weapons being fired and the live animals, the biggest drawcard for faire-goers is the opportunity to dress in costume for a day. It is important to lending authenticity to an event such as this to set aside a portion of the festivities to a best-dressed competition. The male and female winners are given a faire flag and entry into the VIP tent, which provides the best view of the jousting.

The best way to experience the faire is to immerse yourself in the festivities. Even if you don’t get to come in costume, get involved in activities by learning to make cloth buttons or finger-loop cord braiding. Talk to a reenactor; ask them about their camp and their area of research.