Veritas temporis filia Truth is the Daughter of Time
It has been Shakespeare’s dramatic genius which has served to perpetuate the portrait of King Richard III as the consummate monster – schemer, usurper and murderer of children. And for centuries, this fantasy of theatre has been accepted as fact.
What has been proven is that, during his reign, Richard extended the scope of trial by jury, passed laws to prohibit the intimidation of juries and established the first system of bail for prisoners awaiting trial, while prohibiting the seizure of their property before they had been found guilty by due process of law. He was a patron of music and architecture, and a competent, respected soldier.
The Richard III Society does not serve to make a martyr of a long-dead king. Rather, the mandate of the Society is to winnow kernels of truth from the chaff of rumour and hearsay, to find a reliable foundation of history upon which to build our understanding of our past, present and future.
About the Society…
The Richard III Society was founded in England in 1924 as the Fellowship of the White Boar (the badge of Richard III), by S. Saxon Barton FSA (Scot), a Liverpool surgeon. With the advent of the Second World War, its activities declined, but it was reconstituted in 1956. The name was changed to the Richard III Society in 1959. 2016 was the 60th anniversary of the re-founding of the Society, and the 50th anniversary year of the founding of the Canadian Branch.
Tudor “histories” have left an almost indelible image of Richard as a physically deformed tyrant, who usurped the English throne from his own nephew, Edward V; later having the youth and his younger brother murdered to secure his position. None of this is substantiated by reliable, first-hand evidence. Ricardian scholarship has critically examined a wealth of contemporary source material, and successfully challenged centuries of misconceptions and propaganda.
The Society is open to all, scholar and amateur alike, who have an interest in medieval history and the controversy that surrounds this last Yorkist king. There are currently over 4,000 members worldwide, who keep abreast of current research through the Society’s journal, The Ricardian. The Canadian branch, formed in 1966, has over 70 members across the country who keep in contact through the RIII newsletter, and also enjoy access to the Buyers Library, with over 200 books, articles, video and audio tapes.
Members in the Toronto area meet regularly for friendly debates and to present short papers on the life and times of Richard III. The highlight of the year is the Annual General Meeting celebrated on or near Richard’s birthday in early October.
During the Covid-19 pandemic we have been meeting online via Zoom, which allows members from across the country to participate. We expect to continue this as things re-open.
Loyaulte me lie – Loyalty Binds Me