Over the years, the Richard III Society of Canada has made several donations to Ricardian-related causes.
Church of St Mary and All Saints – Fotheringhay, Northamptonshire (Made 2015)
The Church of St Mary and All Saints in Fotheringhay has a special place in the hearts of Ricardians as Richard III’s parents are interred there, as well as his paternal grandfather and older brother. Richard himself was born at nearby Fotheringhay Castle. Every year, white roses are laid at the church by members of the Richard III Society on his birthday. In 2015, an appeal was launched to restore this Grade I listed building, which means it is considered to be of national importance. In addition to using part of David Yuill’s bequest, fellow Canadian Ricardians also generously donated funds to the Church of St Mary and All Saints.
White Rose Roof Boss – St. George’s Chapel, Windsor (Made 2014)
Looking for Richard Project – Leicester (Made 2012)
In July 2012, just weeks before work was set to begin on an archaeological dig in Leicester, seeking the resting place of Richard III, the organizers encountered a sudden and unforeseen financial shortfall. An appeal was sent by Philippa Langley to all branches of the Richard III Society and the Canadian branch pledged funds from the David Yuill bequest. Unfortunately, due to the tight turnaround (five working days), we did not have a chance to ask our members if they would like to pool their donations with ours, however, several Canadian members did send money independently. The archaeological dig in Leicester was a momentous success and we Canadians were proud to contribute.
Church of St Mary and St Alkelda – Middleham, North Yorkshire (Made 2012)
In 2012, the Church of St Mary and St Alkelda in Middleham, North Yorkshire, required extensive repair work. The church was formerly the Collegiate Church of Richard III. In 1477, Richard had the church elevated to the status of a college and it retained its collegiate constitution for about 350 years. Today, the church is a Grade I listed building, which means it is considered to be of national importance. In addition to using part of David Yuill’s bequest, fellow Canadian Ricardians also generously donated funds to the Church of St Mary and St Alkelda.
Richard III: Discovered and Uncovered
July 7, 2022
Sheilah O’Connor, Membership and Corresponding Secretary of the Canadian Branch & Susan Troxell, chair of the American Branch, were speakers at the Stratford Festival in the July 7th Meighen Forum panel, titled “Richard III: Discovered & Uncovered”.
The Stratford Festival is celebrating the opening of its new Tom Patterson Theatre with a production of Richard III. The play was also the first to be performed when the Festival opened in 1953. This Meighen Forum event was the first held in the Lazaridis Hall, part of the Tom Patterson building.
Sheilah & Susan were accompanied by Randall Martin formerly of the University of New Brunswick, who spoke about the play and what was happening in the world as Shakespeare wrote it, particularly concerns about Elizabeth I’s age and lack of an heir. David Prosser, former Literary and Editorial Director at Stratford, served as moderator.
Sheilah spoke first, covering the Society, what was inaccurate about the play (many things!) and finally, some information about the real Richard III.
Susan discussed the work behind finding the remains of Richard III and some of the things learned from his DNA.
There was a brief panel discussion then a few thoughtful questions from the audience including asking why Richard didn’t make any sort of statement about the princes and what happened to his feet.
Audience members expressed disappointment that the event had not been recorded for Stratfest@Home – Stratford’s digital subscription service.
After the talk, the speakers had time to chat with those present, answering some of the questions that had not been asked, due to time constraints.
A table by the door held Society brochures and selected publications which were eagerly snapped up by people wanting to know more. Although the Canadian Branch has had a fruitful collaboration with the Festival in the past, this was the first time we had been invited to speak. Long may this continue!
White_Rose_Roof_Boss – St. George’s Chapel, Windsor
The Canadian Branch is very proud to have adopted a roof boss in St. George’s Chapel, Windsor this year, donating the funds necessary for its cleaning and conservation. Identified as “NN3.8 White Rose of York”, this boss is located in the northwest end of the chapel, in the Nave, as indicated on the floor plan.
From the accompanying literature (Courtesy of St. George’s Chapel):
The white rose of York and the red rose of Lancaster are well known from historical accounts of the Wars of the Roses, but their origins as royal badges are uncertain. There is evidence that the Yorkists had adopted a rose by at least 1436. Roger Mortimer, Earl of March, a founder knight of the Order of the Garter, had a white rose assigned to him in Writhe’s Garter Armorial and it is likely that Edward IV adopted the white rose as a royal badge in acknowledgement of his descent to the throne through the Mortimer family. A pedigree roll of Edward IV dating from 1461 now held in the British Library (BL Add Ms. 18268A) indicates that the rose emblem had descended to the House of York from the Mortimers, although its colour was not specified. However, on another contemporary pedigree Edward IV’s rose is shown as white and there is evidence that he bore a white rose on his banner in 1471. The white rose was employed as a badge by later Yorkist leaders and roses appeared on the coinage of Edward IV, Edward V and Richard III.
..The white rose is also found without adornment as a roof boss, to represent Elizabeth of York….This white rose roof boss, situated on the north side of the Nave, forms part of the Nave vaulting constructed between about 1503 and 1506. The device symbolises Elizabeth of York, who married Henry VII in 1486 and was crowned Queen Consort in November 1487. According to contemporary accounts, the white rose was much in evidence at her coronation and during the remainder of her lifetime.
Several members of the House of York are interred in the chapel, including Edward IV and his wife Elizabeth, as well as several of their children. St. George’s Chapel continues to play a role in the royal family today, holding the wedding of the Duke of Sussex to Meghan Markle in 2018 and is the burial place of Elizabeth II & Prince Philip.
(March 2014 updated 2022)