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The Richard III Society

Promoting research into the life and times of Richard III since 1924

Patron: HRH The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO

Search Team

Philippa Langley

Richard Buckley

Dr John Ashdown-Hill

Annette Carson

Dominic Sewell

Dr Tobias Capwell

Dr Turi King

Dr Julian Boon

Professor Mark Lansdale

Mathew Morris

Robert C Woosnam-Savage

Phil Stone

Looking for Richard

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Philippa Langley

Philippa Langley
Philippa Langley
Philippa is a screenwriter with a passion to tell stories that challenge our perception of established truths. Currently writing a film script about the real Richard III, she inaugurated the quest for King Richard's lost grave as part of her ongoing research into history's most controversial monarch. Her project marked the first-ever search for the grave of an anointed King of England, and was made into an acclaimed TV documentary by Darlow Smithson Productions for Channel 4. From the start Philippa was nominated by the Duke of Gloucester, patron of the Richard III Society, as his point of contact for the search and reburial project, which will culminate in a fitting re-interment ceremony and memorial for King Richard in an honoured place in Leicester Cathedral. She is now looking to secure a development deal for her film script that tells the real story of King Richard III. Philippa is the secretary of the Scottish Branch of the Richard III Society.

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Richard Buckley

Richard Buckley
Richard Buckley
Richard, from the University of Leicester, was the lead archaeologist on the Greyfriars project. He graduated from the University of Durham in 1979 and became a Field Officer with Leicestershire Archaeological Unit in 1980, gaining considerable fieldwork and post-excavation experience and co-directing a major multi-period urban excavation in Leicester in 1988-9. In 1995 he was co-founder of University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS) and specialises in urban sites and historic buildings. Most recently, he was consultant and project manager for the £4 million Highcross Leicester project, involving excavation of the three largest archaeological sites in the City so far. His publications include Leicester Town Defences, Leicester Castle Hall, Leicester Abbey and his most recent, Visions of Ancient Leicester. Richard has also published numerous reports within LAHS, a journal which he edited between 1991 and 2003.

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Dr John Ashdown-Hill

Dr John Ashdown-Hill
Dr John Ashdown-Hill
John is an historian and author. He also discovered the mtDNA sequence of King Richard III. John has published four books on medieval history, and numerous historical research articles. Most contained new evidence or new interpretations. A fifth book is currently being completed and is due out early next year. Originally a linguist by training, for many years John taught languages in the UK and abroad. Most recently he has been working at a university in Turkey. The Richard III archaeological project in Leicester was partly inspired by original research relating to King Richard III's burial published in his book The Last Days of Richard III, and also by his remarkable discovery of King Richard's mtDNA sequence.

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Annette Carson

Annette Carson
Annette Carson
Annette Carson is a writer with a preference for history and biography. She is also an award-winning copywriter in the fields of PR and advertising. Her initial area of study was music, which she abandoned in favour of a writing career. She has sold over 40,000 non-fiction books on subjects including aviation and music, and has contributed to Encyclopaedia Britannica. Her lifelong interest in Richard III has involved continual reading and research, and in 2008 she published Richard III: The Maligned King (The History Press), an unconventional examination of his reign which questions the assumptions and certainties of traditional historians: "It's my belief we simply don't know as much as we're led to think we know about Richard III and his period," she explains, "and an open mind serves us better than one that runs along well-worn paths."

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Dominic Sewell

Dominic Sewell
Dominic Sewell
Dominic Sewell is one of the country's leading historical horse trainers whose skills are often called upon by film and TV companies. He is also a foremost equitation expert in the art of mediaeval horsemanship. Dominic is a champion jouster and has taken the role of Richard III at re-enactments of the Battle of Bosworth. Along with Dr Toby Capwell, Dominic is also a founding member of the Order of the Crescent and competes in jousting competitions across Europe and the USA. With his considerable practical experience in mediaeval combat, Dominic is one of a small team of experts who have tested the skills of King Richard III on the battlefield to see if he really was Shakespeare's deformed monster with hunched back and withered arm. His conclusion is that, as documented in many historic texts, Richard was a skilled and experienced battlefield commander who fought hand-to-hand in many engagements, and was physically capable of fighting from horseback while wearing armour.

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Dr Tobias Capwell

Dr Tobias Capwell
Dr Tobias Capwell
Toby is one of the world's leading authorities on mediaeval and Renaissance weapons and armour, with special emphasis on armour in England during the 15th century. Curator of Arms and Armour at the Wallace Collection in London, he has published numerous books and articles on many areas of the subject, including The Noble Art of the Sword: Fashion and Fencing in Renaissance Europe 1520-1630 (2012), Masterpieces of European Arms and Armour in the Wallace Collection (2011) and The Real Fighting Stuff: Arms and Armour at Glasgow Museums (2006). He also appears regularly on radio and television; he has most recently been seen presenting Metalworks: The Knight's Tale on BBC4 (2012). A practitioner as well as a scholar, Toby has helped found the modern competitive jousting community, and participates in major international jousts and tournaments all over the world.

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Dr Turi King

Dr Turi King
Dr Turi King
Turi is a geneticist at the University of Leicester with a background in Archaeology and Anthropology from Cambridge University. Her work has centred around the link between surnames and genetics, as well as work on the forensic aspects thereof, genetic genealogy, genetic ancestry and assessing the genetic legacy of the Vikings in the north of England. Turi will be working with Paul Brotherton overseeing the DNA retrieval and sequencing from any skeletal material found at the Greyfriars site. Turi has appeared in Michael Wood's Story of England and Great British Story, and in ITV's Britain's Secret Treasures, and has carried out DNA testing for the BBC. Turi is from Vancouver, Canada.

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Dr Julian Boon

Dr Julian Boon
Dr Julian Boon
Julian is a Chartered Forensic Psychologist at the University of Leicester with a life-long interest in personality and how and why it develops differently in different people. He is interested in what causes people to be so different as Mother Theresa of Calcutta and the child murderer Myra Hindley of the Moors. With this interest in the origins of loves of self-actualisation and destruction he has been involved in a professional profiling capacity in assisting Police forces around the world for over twenty years. He is senior lecturer in forensic psychology at the University of Leicester and teaches at both undergraduate level and post-graduate levels. Julian's technique in offender profiling was used in the television series Wire in the Blood and he also took part in the TV factual series, The Real Cracker. Julian will be using his Personality Profiling technique for the very first time on King Richard III in order to help the team discover whether King Richard was the psychopath of Shakespeare and the Tudor tradition.

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Professor Mark Lansdale

Professor Mark Lansdale
Professor Mark Lansdale
Mark is a leading psychologist and Head of the School of Psychology at the University of Leicester. Mark read Natural Sciences at Trinity College Cambridge; specialising in experimental psychology. After spending time there as a research student and doctoral research fellow, he worked for ITT researching into how the environment in which we work dictates the way we think. This led in the 1990s to a controversial idea that messy desks might actually be highly effective for certain types of workers because it is well-adapted to the way our minds work. This was followed by spells at Loughborough and Nottingham Trent Universities before becoming Head of Leicester's School of Psychology in 2008. Current research continues in the area of how people think and remember as a function of their environment. This has led to research interested in historical figures in unusual circumstances – such as Monarchs, and generals in world wars – to see how much psychologists can inform historical analysis.

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Mathew Morris

Mathew Morris
Mathew Morris
Mathew, the site supervisor, graduated from the University of Leicester with a BA in Archaeology, and an MA in Landscape Studies. Since graduating he has worked for several units and museums in Cambridgeshire, excavating a wide range of rural and urban archaeology ranging from the prehistoric to medieval period. Since 2004 he has worked for ULAS where he has participated in a series of major urban excavations in Leicester, including the Highcross Leicester Project, as well as other projects across the East Midlands. In 2010 he completed the report for the excavations ULAS carried out beneath De Montfort University's new Business and Law Building and in 2011 he co-authored Visions of Ancient Leicester. His interests include urban archaeology, and Roman and medieval archaeology.

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Robert C Woosnam-Savage AMA

Robert C Woosnam-Savage AMA
Robert C Woosnam-Savage AMA
Robert has been Curator of European Edged Weapons at the Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds, since 2001. He was Curator of European Arms and Armour at Glasgow Museums (1983-97) curating the exhibition 'Bonnie Prince Charlie: Fact and Fiction' (1995-6). He has published on many subjects ranging from the arms and armour of Uccello's paintings to the Welsh Castles of Edward I. His interest in battlefield and conflict archaeology has led to his involvement with recent work Towton (1461) and Culloden (1746) and he was heavily involved with the Culloden Battlefield Memorial Project (2004-8). Most recently he identified a sword hilt fragment which helped confirm and locate the site of the battle of Bosworth (1485). His recent publications include a chapter in Culloden: The history and archaeology of the last clan battle (2009) and he has contributed to The Oxford Encyclopedia of Medieval Warfare and Military Technology (2010). In 2010 was elected to the Executive Board of the International Committee for Museums (ICOMAM). He is currently completing a book on medieval arms and armour at war as well as contributing to a work on medieval weapons and wounds.

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Phil Stone

Phil Stone
Phil Stone
Phil joined the Richard III Society in 1976 and over the years has become involved in many areas. For twenty years, he was chairman of the London Branch and became a member of the Executive Committee in 1995 following his appointment as the Society's Fotheringhay Coordinator in 1994. He became chairman of the Society in 2002. Phil has worked closely with Philippa Langley over the last two years supporting her work on the Greyfriars project. Phil frequently lectures on behalf of the Society to both Ricardian and non-Ricardian audiences and has been a frequent contributor to the Society's in-house magazine, the Ricardian Bulletin. Phil is now semi-retired, working as a radiologist for the Medway NHS Trust. He also has a life-long interest in ancient Egypt. He lives in north Kent with his wife Beth, who is also closely involved in the Society.

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