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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

•  Events

•  Guest of Honour

•  Guide to events

•  Leicester road closures

•  Society Buffet

•  Sutton Cheney events

•  Holy Cross Priory

•  Concert for a king

•  Panel discussion

•  Literary discussion

•  Commemoration in York

•  Market Bosworth Events

richardiii coat of arms


Reburial week: 22-27 March 2015

Read our diary @ reburial week.

Orders of Service

Leicester Cathedral have advised us that the Orders of Service for the services of Compline, Reburial and Reveal are available at £12.50 plus P&P. If you would like to receive a set please order via their online shop. A set will then be posted to you.

15 March: The coffining of the mortal remains of King Richard III

King Richard III was coffined at the University of Leicester in a former chapel on Sunday 15 March 2015 at 12 noon.

There were twenty official witnesses to the event, including three clerics from the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church. A list of those present was signed by each individual; a copy will be presented to the Richard III Society on 22 March and will be published on our website.

A welcome address from the Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Leicester, Professor Kevin Schürer, included a statement confirming that the University had completed its scientific research and analysis of the bones; there was also an assurance that King Richard's remains would not be disinterred in the future. He also stated that all the samples taken from the King's remains for scientific testing had been collected and would be placed in the coffin. The materials used in the coffin were sourced from across the United Kingdom, and were all naturally-based to avoid the danger of any contamination of the remains.

The coffin is English oak with a lead lining and the base is covered with a piece of unbleached linen. It was made by Michael Ibsen, a carpenter and collateral descendant of King Richard, whose DNA was used in the identification of the King's remains.

Beforehand King Richard's bones had been laid out anatomically on a table covered with a murray coloured cloth. They were also placed in the coffin anatomically, with wool fleece placed around the bones to hold them in position. The smaller ones were picked up individually and placed in eight unbleached linen bags made by children from Leicester's King Richard III Infants School.

The scientific samples taken from the bones, stored in glass tubes and sealed with cork were then placed into the ninth bag. When all the bones had been transferred to the coffin sheets of thick wool wadding were paced over the bones and fleece. A rosary was put into the final bag and this was placed in the coffin. The rosary, donated by Dr John Ashdown-Hill, had been blessed a few weeks earlier at Clare Priory in Suffolk.

Further sheets of wadding were added and finally another piece of embroidered unbleached linen was placed over the wadding and this was carefully tucked down. The lead lid cover was then soldered into place and coffin's lid laid and fixed.

The coffining was held in silence, with reverence and due dignity providing those present the opportunity to offer their thoughts and prayers privately in silence.

University of Leicester announcement.

King Richard's embroidered linen

embroidery was sewn in white unbleached thread, which stands out in contrast against the ecru of the Irish linen cloth

Elizabeth Nokes embroidering the unbleached linen
Elizabeth Nokes embroidering the unbleached linen.
When King Richard was coffined at the University of Leicester on 15 March the final item to be laid in the lead-lined coffin was a piece of unbleached linen embroidered by former Society secretary and current London branch secretary Elizabeth Nokes.

Elizabeth embroidered boars, roses and consecration crosses: white boars for the 'blanc sanglier', the badge of Richard III; white roses for his House of York, and the crosses because he was an anointed Christian king. The embroidery was sewn in white unbleached thread, which stands out in contrast against the ecru Irish linen.

The Society is immensely proud of Elizabeth's contribution to the reburial of King Richard.

Reburial Week Events

• King Richard's last journey
• Service of Compline — Leicester Cathedral 6pm (invitation only)
• Hospitality Suite (members only) 10:30am - 5pm
• Society Buffet — St Nicholas Circle 12:30pm & 4:30pm (ticket holders only)
• Holy Cross Priory — Leicester 5pm (invitation only)
• Memorial Service — Leicester Cathedral 7pm (Richard III Society members, by invitation only)
• Hospitality Suite (members only) 10:30am - 5pm
• Concert for a King — Holy Cross, Leicester 8:30pm (free, but must book)
• Hospitality Suite (members only) 10:30am - 5pm
• Visitor Centre private viewing — Leicester pm
• Richard & His Times: panel discussion, talk and workshops — Leicester 1:30pm - 5pm
• Literary discussion — Leicester 6:30pm - 8pm
• Service of Reburial — Leicester Cathedral 11:30 am (invitation only)
• The Most Famous Prince of Blessed Memory — York Guildhall 2:00pm (free but must book)
• Solemn Choral Evensong — York Minster 5:15pm
• Middleham Requiem — St James the Greater, Leicester 7pm (arrival by 6pm—ticket holders only)
• Hospitality Suite (members only) 10:30am - 5pm
• Service of Reveal of the Tomb — Leicester Cathedral 12:00 noon (invitation only)

• For details of all the Cathedral services and the full programme of events organised by the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre, De Montfort University, Leicester City Council and the University of Leicester visit the King Richard in Leicester website.

• This page is updated as often as we are sent new information of events, so please scroll down to read it all.

Countess of Wessex to attend the Reburial Service

Sophie, Countess of Wessex

HRH The Countess of Wessex will join TRH The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester at the Reburial Service at Leicester Cathedral on Thursday 26 March.

King Richard has his own App!

The BBC have just launched a BBC Richard III Whatsapp service. Follow this link to find out how to receive texts, photos and video updates in the month of King Richard's reburial.

Channel 4 Announces programmes for this week

Richard III: The Return of the King — evening Sunday 22 March

This programme will capture the climax of the procession of the King's mortal remains back to the site of his death at Bosworth battlefield through the streets of Leicester and the service that marks the king's reception into Leicester Cathedral, where a a sermon will be given by the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols. Channel 4 will also be assembling leading historians, actors, politicians, collateral descendants of King Richard and key participants in his rediscovery. The programm will explore who Richard really was and what his place in English history should now be.

Richard III: The Burial of the King — morning Thursday 26 March

Live coverage of the reburial service, attended by members of the Royal Family, as King Richard is formally reinterred at the east end of the Cathedral. Guests and key players in the King's story will join Jon Snow in the studio before and after the service. There will also be a series of short films that will offer glimpses of the preparations for this unique event and explore the debates surrounding it.

Richard III: The King Laid to Rest — evening Thursday 26 March

The final programme of the day will show highlights of the morning's reburial service. There will also be live coverage of the last moment of intimate ceremonial, in which those who led the campaign to find Richard and his collateral descendants gather to bid the King a final farewell.

Visit Leicester & Leicestershire Guide 2015

The special King Richard III Reburial Issue has now been published and is available from key attractions in the city. A downloadable copy is also available. There will be a limited number of copies available at the Society's Hospitality Suite at the Guildhall.

Bosworth Battlefield Event on 22 March. Tickets sold out

All 2,000 tickets for this event have now been sold. For other events during the reburial period please visit the web site.

The Middleham Requiem: Patron is guest of honour

HRH Duke of Gloucester

HRH The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO will be the Society's guest of honour at the performance The Middleham Requiem at St James the Greater, Leicester on Thursday 26 March.

The Reburial of King Richard III, a guide to the events and Medieval Leicester

The Society's guide to the reburial of King Richard III in Leicester will be sent to all members world-wide with the March Bulletin. In the meantime you can preview the guide now.

We appreciate that some overseas members planning to visit Leicester may not receive their copy of the guide before departing for the UK, in which case copies can be picked up from the Society's Hospitality Suite on Monday morning and from the Society's reception desk for the buffet at the Holiday Inn.

Road closure information

On 23 February Leicestershire County Council announced information about the road closures on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 March together with details of the reburial cortege on the 22nd. For details read the attached leaflet, and see the Leicester map for the cortege route through the city centre.

Society Buffet and performance of The Middleham Requiem

Church of St James The Greater, LeicesterThere are a number of places still available at both these Society events, details can be found in our letter of 17 November 2014 circulated to all members. The buffet at the Holiday Inn, St Nicholas Circle, has two servings: the first at 12.30p.m. and the second at 4.30 p.m. on Monday 23 March, and costs £21 per person. The Middleham Requiem will be performed at the church St James the Greater at 7 p.m. on Thursday 26 March. Tickets cost £15, £25 and £35. Please contact the Society Secretaries at 23 Ash Rise, Halstead, Essex CO9 1RD, or by e-mail by 28 February 2015.

There are still places available for our private viewing of the King Richard III Visitor Centre on the afternoon of Wednesday 25 March. For booking information see our letter 17 November or page 6 of the Society's guide.

Sutton Cheney events

Sutton CheneyThere will be a candlelit Holy Communion service on the evening of Saturday 21 March at 7.30 pm. The service will be along the lines of the annual service in August held for members but will include communion. There will be two Men-at-arms in attendance. During the week there will be a white rose floral tribute in the church which will be open during daylight hours as usual.

Holy Cross Priory, Leicester: 23 March

Holy Cross InteriorThis much publicised service at Holy Cross Priory will now take place at 5.00 p.m. when Cardinal Vincent Nichols will celebrate Mass. However, it will now be necessary to book places and there will be a public ballot. If you wish to attend please send your name, address, parish and diocese by email before 25 February. For further details visit their website.

Concert for a King: 24 March at Holy Cross Priory Church

Holy Cross exteriorThe Concert for a King, music from the time of Richard III, will be performed at the Holy Cross Priory Church at 8.30 pm on Tuesday 24 March by the music choral ensemble Aitone. This programme of early music will include music that King Richard may have heard and is being presented in honour of his memory.

Aitone is based in the east Midlands town of Long Eaton, and was formed in the autumn of 2005 with the goal of exposing new audiences to Early Music. Although a relatively recent collaboration, the members have a wealth of singing experience between them, both in early music and other repertoires. They are a mixed a capella group singing a range of music from the 11th to the 18th centuries, including Anglo-Saxon chant, West Gallery psalmody, medieval English discant and Renaissance music. The members of Aitone include: Sarah Bamlett, Raymond Bray, Erica Coleman, Rob Durk, Emma Franklin, Adrian Griffiths, Heather Howe. The event producer is Sonia Tower of the Society's American Branch.

The event is free but places need to be booked. Donations to the Leicester Cathedral Richard III Appeal are welcomed.

Writing About Richard and His Times: Free panel discussion, talk and workshops

25 March, Leicester Adult Education College

Shakespeare portrayed Richard III as the archetypal villain king. Others have portrayed him as the much maligned monarch. What are the facts and how have they been presented? Take part in lively and informative discussions and workshops with authoritative writers and academics during the historic week of Richard's reburial.

The Historical Novel Society in conjunction with Leicester Libraries is hosting a conference: Writing About Richard and His Times. 1:30 pm. to 5 pm. at Leicester Adult Education College, 2 Wellington Street. Panel, talk and workshops with Alison Weir, renowned author of many factual and fiction books on the period; Joanna Hickson, broadcaster, author of Red Rose, White Rose and writer on the genesis of Tudor England; Toby Clements, author of Kingmaker and writer on the Wars of the Roses; and Jenny Barden, Tudor era author and creative writing tutor.

Although this event coincides with our own private King Richard III Visitor Centre viewing, members are free to drop in and out of the conference during the afternoon. The venues are only about 300 metre apart.

This is a free event but please register in advance however much of the conference you are attending, or telephone Mark Evans +44 (0) 1550 740 139

Literary Discussion at Leicester Central Library: 25 March

Following the above event, Leicester Libraries and the Historical Novel Society will host a lively discussion at Leicester Central Library: Richard III in Fact and Fiction - Who should we believe? 6.30 to 8 p.m.

Chaired by Society chairman, Dr Phil Stone, the panellists are David Baldwin, adviser to the Richard III Visitor Centre; Peter Hammond, historian, author of Richard III and the Bosworth Campaign, broadcaster and historical novelist Joanna Hickson, and Toby Clements.

A talk by author Alison Weir will follow at 8 p.m. with a Q&A session, ending with a book signing. The literary discussion is a free event but you do need to register in advance or telephone Leicester Libraries +44 (0)116 299 5401

Commemorations in York: 26 March

York MinsterThe only service of commemoration in York Minster will take place at 5.15 p.m. and will be a Solemn Choral Evensong. All are welcome. Following the service there will be a procession at 6.20 p.m. which will start from the Minster's South Door and be led by the civic party and senior clergy. It will walk across the Piazza along Stonegate to St Helen's Square and end outside the Mansion House. The public is invited to line the route to pay their respects to the king. From the Mansion House steps The Lord Mayor of York, Councillor Ian Gillies, will address the procession which will then disperse. Full Council in the Guildhall will begin at the later time of 7 p.m.

In the City of York's press release, The Very Revd Vivienne Faull, Dean of York Minster, said: 'On the evening of the Reburial of King Richard III it is right that the people of York and Yorkshire will have the opportunity to gather in the Minster to pray and to remember the death of the King at the battle of Bosworth in 1485. The service of Choral Evensong will include a prayer composed for the service by the Dean of Leicester. I am glad the cathedrals of both York and Leicester will take the opportunity of the Reburial to give thanks for the peace of our realm and to pray for reconciliation for those who are caught up in conflict in our own day'.

Professor Mark Ormrod, Dean of Arts and Humanities at the University of York, and Trustee of the Richard III & Yorkist History Trust said: 'The York events on 26 March will allow people from all walks of life to show their respect for the Reburial at Leicester and to affirm the deep historical engagement of York and the North with the memory of Richard III.'

A special Ricardian commemoration organised by campaigners for a York burial will be held at York's medieval guildhall on Thursday 26 March at 2.00pm. The Most Famous Prince Of Blessed Memory is a celebration of Richard III's close connections with York and Yorkshire in prayers, readings and music. Although admission is free, please email for tickets.

A service, organised, by the Yorkshire Branch, will take place on 25 June at Holy Trinity Church, York to commemorate King Richard. Society members only.

Events in Market Bosworth

Market Bosworth twon squareKing Richard's cortege will stop at the town square of Market Bosworth on 22nd March for a short ceremony.

This small Leicestershire town will be decorated with specially designed and crafted bunting and pennants in honour of the event. Sir John Savile's Household will form the guard of honour at the ceremony. There will be a special peal of bells during the day as well as medieval games, demonstrations and activities in the town square and parish field between 10am and 5pm, and a performance of the community choir.

Cafes, shops and restaurants will be open all day and there are plans for a craft fair and stalls in the country park. There will also be a Farmer's Market in the Market Place.

Chris Skidmore, MP, author of several books on Richard lll, will be giving a talk in the parish hall on the last days of Richard lll at 11.30 am (admission by ticket).

During the week there will be these special events:

  • 23 March:  Richard Buckley talk at the Dixie Grammar School.
  • 25 March:  Service of Compline at St Peter's Parish Church.
  • 26 March:  Richard III film at the Dixie Grammar School.
  • 28 March:  Medieval dinner at Bosworth Hall Hotel.

Details of parking in Market Bosworth and other useful information to follow.

Travel to Bosworth Battlefield from Leicester city centre

If you wish to visit the Battlefield Centre during the reburial week, this is now possible by public transport and shuttlebus. The Arriva 153 bus , leaving from St Margaret's Bus Station, Leicester, travels to Market Bosworth and the timetable is available for the Monday through Friday and Saturday services.

The Battlefield Centre have now organised a shuttle bus to run from Market Bosworth to the Battlefield Centre from Monday 23 March to Saturday 28 March inclusive. This will be an hourly service from the Market Place in Market Bosworth to the Battlefield Centre.


Market Bosworth, Market Place 10:35 11:35 12:35 13:35 14:35 15:35 16:35
Bosworth Battlefield HC 10:50 11:50 12:50 13:50 14:50 15:50 16:50


Bosworth Battlefield HC 11:05 12:05 13:05 14:05 15:05 16:05 17:05
Market Bosworth, Market Place 11:20 12:20 13:20 14:20 15:20 16:20 17:20

On Monday 23 March to Wednesday 25 March, there will be an additional shuttle service from the Centre leaving at 18:45. This will allow visitors to attend the late afternoon talks (booking required) which begin at 17:30 for approximately one hour, catch the last shuttle and be back in Market Bosworth for their Arriva 153 bus leaving the Market Place at 19.15.