The Richard III Society – worldwide and in New South Wales

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis   in

The Richard III Society is a worldwide organisation.  The worldwide membership is symbolised by our Coat of Arms in which the White Boar rests his hoof on a globe.

It was originally founded in 1924 under the name ‘The Fellowship of the White Rose’. It was refounded in 1956 on a wider membership basis and formally changed its name to ‘The Richard III Society’ in 1959.

The Society is an incorporated body bound by a constitution and managed by an executive committee elected at the AGM, which takes place each October.

HRH The Duke of Gloucester, KG, GCVO, has been the Society’s Patron since 1980.

You can find links to the Richard III Society and its various branches on our Links page.

Our Mission:

In the belief that many features of the traditional accounts of the character and career of Richard III are neither supported by sufficient evidence nor reasonably tenable, the Society aims to promote, in every possible way, research into the life and times of Richard III, and to secure a reassessment of the material relating to this period, and of the role of this monarch in English history.

The Richard III Society has five branches in Australasia:

•    New South Wales (also taking care of Queensland)
•    New Zealand
•    South Australia
•    Victoria
•    Western Australia.

Let me introduce you to the Sydney New South Wales Branch of the Society.  Our members are drawn from all over New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, as well as several members from Queensland.  We have regular contact with branches in the other States as well as in New Zealand and in Britain and America.

The NSW Branch was founded in 1981 and we celebrated our Silver Jubilee in 2006 – first with a champagne toast at our summer picnic in the Botanical Gardens and then with a special Coronation Lunch in July.

Originally members met in each other’s homes; but as the membership grew, the Branch met at a restaurant in the City, until further increase made that venue too small as well.  Over the years we have moved from venue to venue – but always with great talks and sharing of Ricardian research. At present our six meetings per year are held at the Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney.

Our speakers come from among the membership as well as guest speakers.  Once a year, we have ‘Scrabble Talks’.  At the beginning of each year members pull a Scrabble tile from a poach and research a fifteen minute talk on a topic beginning with that letter.

We also attend social activities celebrating Ricardian events

The Upcoming Events page as well as our Affinity newsletter keep members up to date with Branch activities and other information.

In 2010 the NSW Branch started an initiative of talks to the general public, which has proved to be very popular.  Organisations include National Seniors, U3A and Probus, topics include so far The Princes in the Tower, Medieval Pottery, The Mystery of the Princes in the Tower, Richard III: The Maligned King, Richard III, the Posthumous Hunchback, Royal Bastards.

If you would like to invite us to speak to your organisation, please contact us at info@richardiii-nsw.org.au.

It may seem surprising that a long-dead king and his times are studied with such enthusiasm in a country that he did not even know existed by members who do not necessarily have any roots in his country of which he was king.

We all share an interest in righting the wrongs done to a long-dead person and a sense of outrage that lies should be regarded as truth.   The Richard III Society as a whole as well as our branch has members from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds, which can only add a broader spectrum to our common interest.

The abundance of badges bearing Richard’s White Boar insignia and white roses of the House of York in various forms that are worn at our meetings proves that wherever Ricardians find themselves, loyalty binds them.

You are interested in medieval history, especially of the later Middle Ages?  You like to discuss your field of interest with other interested people?

The majority of us are interested amateurs, all you need to bring is interest, no expertise is required.

If this sounds like you, why not join the Richard III Society?  Find out more on membership here.