Posts Tagged ‘New Zealand’


Dr Jo Appleby – NZ Lecture Tour

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in Greyfriars Dig, News, News from Other Branches

This report of a talk by Dr Jo Appleby during her recent visit to New Zealand was sent to us by the Australasian Vice-President of the Richard III Society Rob Smith.  We thank Rob for making this available to us and we thank Shayne for her photographs.

Dr Jo Appleby – NZ Lecture Tour

Dr Jo Appleby, the Leicester University osteo-archaeologist who uncovered Richard’s remains has just concluded a brief lecture tour in NZ sponsored by The British Arts Council.

On 6th August, 14 NZ Ricardians and partners travelled to Palmerston North, 130km north of Wellington, to hear Jo talk on the Leicester dig. Held at Massey University, the lecture room, designed for 250, was crammed full with every seat, aisle and floor space taken up; well over 300 attendees were enthralled with her brilliantly presented, well-illustrated and witty talk.Luckily, most of the Ricardian contingent managed to snare front row seating.

The Ricardian contingent (Photograph:  Shayne Parkes)

Jo gave a brief introduction covering the dynastic struggle leading to Richard taking the throne. She explained how he came to be buried at Greyfriars’ Priory after Bosworth and went on to explain that Leicester University had been commissioned by the Richard III Society to undertake the search for and identification of Richard’s remains. She spoke to various photos of the process, and being her specialty, the close examination of the skeleton and the various wounds inflicted on Richard at Bosworth. The search for a DNA match was covered, with John Ashdown-Hill being credited with identifying the Ibsen descent from Anne of York.

Rob Smith thanking Dr Jo Appleby (Photograph:  Shayne Parkes)

Society Vice President and NZ Branch Secretary, Rob Smith, thanked Jo, on behalf of the Society for her talk and her contribution to the project. She in turn publicly thanked the Society for the opportunity “for without the Richard III Society I would not be in NZ!”

A thoroughly entertaining talk, well worth the trip.

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   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in News

Thank you, Karen!

We know from our New Zealand friends that the interest in Richard III and his times is very much alive in their beautiful country.  However, there also seems to be a link between my favourite wine, Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region on New Zealand’s South island.  I just read an article explaining this link.

Vineyard in the Marlborough region of New Zealand (photo by Dorothea Preis)

The largest river in the Marlborough region was named Clarence River in the mid-19th century.  It was thought that it referred to Queen Victoria’s uncle and predecessor, William IV, who had been Duke of Clarence before his coronation.

This accepted version has been discredited by George Holmes, who has investigated many place names and had about 95 spellings on maps changed to reflect his findings.

He suggests that the river had been named after a much earlier Duke of Clarence, one that we all know very well:  Richard’s brother George.  One hint was a tributary, Gloster River, which is named after none other than Richard himself, who before his coronation was Duke of Gloucester.  Mr Holmes intends to petition the New Zealand Geographic Board to correct the spelling of this river to reflect the family relationship.  Another hint was a stream near the mouth of the Clarence River, the George Stream.

The article may create the impression that the names were made up by Shakespeare for his infamous play, but of course we know he used real people and made up a story about them (not very different from many present day movies and TV dramas).  Shakespeare’s drama is referred to in the name of another stream, Murderers Stream, and a nearby hill, Warder, which might originally have been Mt Warden, named after the warden in the Tower of London, where George was imprisoned before his execution.  However, there does not seem to be any reference to George’s supposed execution method, no Malmsey Stream or Mt. Malmsey.

It is thought that the Clarence River was named by Sir Frederick Weld, who established a sheep station with business partner Sir Charles Clifford in the 1840s.  He had also named Lake Tennyson after his favourite poet.

Whether the inspiration came from Shakespeare or the real people behind his misrepresentation, I’ll remember this the next time we have some Sauvignon Blanc and lift my glass to George, Duke of Clarence, and of course to Richard, too.

You can find the article about the Clarence River here:

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