22 AUGUST 1485

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis   in Events in History

Remember before God

Richard III

King of England

and those who fell at Bosworth Field

having kept faith.

22 August 1485

Loyaulte me lie.

(Text:  Richard III memorial plaque in the Church of St James, Sutton Cheney

Illustration on the left:  King Richard III,  © Andrew Jamieson, http://www.jamiesongallery.com/

On the right:  The Church of St James, Sutton Cheney, where the Richard III Society commemorates King Richard III in its annual memorial service in August. It is said that Richard III heard his last Mass at this church.)

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Results from further research on Richard III’s remains

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis   in Greyfriars Dig, News

On 16 August 2014,  a new peer-reviewed article was published by the Journal of Archaeological Science detailing the information gathered by multi-isotope analysis of the remains of Richard III. This type of research reveals the diet and geographical movements of the analysed person. The results were also part of the new documentary, which was screened in the UK on 17 August, but as I have not been able to watch the programme, and all I have is hearsay, I won’t comment on it. Fortunately the research article is available without geographically restrictions.

The research shows that he was born and spent his early childhood in Northamptonshire. We know that he was born in Fotheringhay in Northamptonshire. He then moved to a more westerly area and we know that he spent time in Ludlow in the Welsh Marches. Later he returned to eastern England, where he spent the majority of his later life. In short, the scientific evidence supports and confirms what had been pieced together from historical records about Richard’s geographical movements.

Much more interesting was what the analysis revealed about Richard’s diet. It confirmed an aristocratic lifestyle with a diet high in meat and fish (some of which were from the sea). However, at the age of approx. five it shows that for a while his diet concentrated more on grains, which as the dates show coincides with the time he spent at Ludlow.

During the last years of his life, ie. when he was king, his diet became even more privileged with a higher proportion of terrestrial foods (freshwater fish and wild fowl). These, like game, were very expensive and only available to the very rich.

The analysis also shows that the composition what he drank changed during his later years, more wine than beer. We have to remember that wine and beer were much more commonly drunk during that period than today. Obviously coffee and the commercially manufactured cool drinks of today were not yet available to people living then and the state of their drinking water made other alternatives a healthier option.

The scientists conclude that it is likely that these changes reflect the records we have of Richard’s lavish coronation feast (but they tell us for the first time what Richard actually ate) and that it is likely that he was wined and dined during his royal progress.

It seems that Richard would have enjoyed the wines and beers which have been named after him, and presumably would not have said No to a slice of “his” cheese either.

More on the research can be found in the article from the Journal of Archaeological Science and on Mike Pitts’ blog, which concentrates on the evidence, unlike some more sensationalist interpretations in the media.

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Queens Consort of England

   Posted by: Rachel Allerton   in News

Matilda of FlandersInterested in the Queens Consort of England?  Then you might like to find out that I will be presenting a course on this topic at WEA Sydney on 22 November 2014.

Following is a short description of the course:

A queen consort is the wife of a crowned king, but often royal alliances dictate they become much more than that. Queens were expected to produce heirs, strengthen dynastic ties and sometimes rule in the king’s absence. Occasionally they wielded great power and influence over the court. This course will examine the lives of five royal wives and their turbulent reigns.

The course will feature Matilda of Flanders, Isabelle of Angouleme, Eleanor of Provence, Henrietta Maria of France and Caroline of Brunswick.  Though not specifically Ricardian, it would be great to be able to welcome some of our members and friends.

To find out more and how to enrol, click here.


18 AUGUST 1487

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis   in Events in History

Malaga surrenders to the Christian forces of Isabella of Castile and Fernando de Aragon.  Malaga was at that time part of the Emirate of Granada, which eventually fell in 1492.

A century earlier the Moroccan traveler Ibn Battuta had described Malaga as “one of the largest and most beautiful towns of Andalusia [uniting] the conveniences of both sea and land, and is abundantly supplied with foodstuffs and fruits” [quoted in Wikipedia ‘Malaga’].

(Photograph of the Patio de los Naranjos in the Alcazaba, Malaga, by D Preis)



17 AUGUST 1473

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis   in Events in History

Birth of Richard of Shrewsbury, second son and sixth child of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, at Shrewsbury.

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The August NSW Branch Meeting

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

David MeeThe August meeting of the NSW Branch of the Richard III Society was held on Saturday, 9 August 2014, at the Sydney Mechanics’ Institute. Chair Judith welcomed all members and guests. Leslie introduced the guest speaker, David Mee, who presented a fascinating look at the years between 1485 and 1520 in order to put into cultural and historical context the development of the coinage of the day. David has been a serious coin collector for over 20 years, and has European coins from Ireland to the Latin East, as he called it, defined as ‘wherever the crusaders went’. His many slides showed the artistry of the coin makers, and reflected the changing styles over the decades from frontal images of the symbolic head of the monarch, to the classic profile first used by Henry VII and soon copied by other rulers, as well. The coins minted during the reign of Richard III had a mintmark of a boar, the Duke of Gloucester’s symbol. There was a lively question and answer following the talk, as David was able to shed light on the more arcane aspects of the topic.

There were no committee reports presented but one important item of business was the announcement that the membership fees would not be increased for the coming year, and that all renewals are due before the next meeting in October. Renewal forms will be posted soon and all cheques are to be sent to the Secretary. Please note that even if you are not renewing your membership it is requested that you inform the Secretary in writing as a courtesy, if possible.

Business also included the discussion of the re-interment of Richard at Leicester Cathedral in March 2015. The events will be spread over a week, 22 to 28 March. After three days of lying in state for the public to pay their respects, Richard will be reburied with a formal Church of England service on 26 March. A special service for Society members will be held at the Cathedral on Monday, 23 March (more information can be found on the website of the Richard III Society). It is expected that several of our members will attend the ceremonies.

The New Zealand Richard III Society will be holding the biennial Australasian Convention over their long weekend of 23 -25 October 2015, and organisers were hoping to get an idea of how many members and friends might be making the journey to join them from Australia but it was too soon to tell.

Our member Isolde Martyn is having a book launch of her latest production, The Golden Widows, about Elizabeth Woodville and Katherine Hastings, on 21 August at Abbeys Bookstore on York Street, Sydney, 6pm for 6:30pm speeches and formal program. All members are invited.

The not-to-be-missed St Ives Medieval Fair will be held over the weekend of 20 and 21 September 2014, with a great line-up of family-friendly activities and attractions, including world-class jousters from Europe competing against the Australian contenders.

The Bosworth Service scheduled for the 24 August 2014 will be held at St Mary’s Anglican Church on Birrell Street in Waverley at 10am, with lunch at Arthur’s Pizza in Bondi Junction for interested members and friends afterwards. St Mary’s is a fine old sandstone church with lovely stained glass windows and gardens, and the Minister Rev Peter Clark and his congregation have always been very welcoming.

The Bring and Buy Table was a success, with many interesting items contributed to the branch for fundraising, and many pleased buyers, as well. The raffle was also drawn, then all broke for afternoon tea. The NSW Branch Annual General Meeting will be held on Saturday, 11 October 2014, featuring this year’s ‘Scrabble Speakers’, members Dorothea, Maggie, and Rachel speaking on various gripping Ricardian topics

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14 AUGUST 1479

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis   in Events in History

Birth of Catherine of York, ninth child and sixth daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, at Eltham Palace, Greenwich.  Married to William Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon.  After his death on 9 May 1511 she took a voluntary vow of chastitity.  Died on 15 November 1527 at Tiverton Castle, Devon.

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14 AUGUST 1473

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis   in Events in History

Birth of Margaret, daughter of George, duke of Clarence, and Isabel Neville, at Farley Castle near Bath.  She married in November 1487 Sir Richard Pole, an important member of the regime of Henry VII.

Source: ODNB on Margaret Pole

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Additional information for the Bosworth Service

   Posted by: Kevin Herbert   in Branch News, News

travel-trip-bus-clip-art_423386Kevin informed us of the following options of catching buses to St Mary the Virgin, Waverley:

a) Bus 361 leaving Bondi Junction Interchange at 9.28 a.m.


b) Bus 360 leaving Bondi Junction Interchange at 9.41 a.m.

The same buses – 361 and 360 – can be caught from the opposite side of road (adjacent to Waverley College) to return to Bondi Junction Oxford Street Mall, where Arthur’s Pizza is located at 139 Oxford Street, Bondi Junction (next to Commonwealth Bank).

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Bosworth Commemoration Service

   Posted by: Judith Hughes   in Branch News, News

bosworth service 3 smlMembers and Friends of Richard III NSW Branch are invited to the annual service commemorating the death of Richard III and many of his followers at the Battle of Bosworth, on 22nd August, 1483

at St Mary the Virgin Anglican Church
240 Birrell St

at 10 am, to be followed by morning tea with the congregation.

The preacher will be the Rev Dr Michael Spence, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Sydney, and the chairperson of the NSW Branch will read a lesson.

Parking is available in front of the church, in the grounds or behind the hall.

Any members who would like lunch can meet at Arthur’s Pizza, Bondi Junction, afterwards.

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