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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

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The Governance of the Richard III Society

How it is run

HRH Duke of Gloucester
Society Patron
HRH The Duke of Gloucester
The Society is an unincorporated body bound by a constitution and managed by an Executive Committee elected annually at the AGM, which takes place each year close to the 2nd of October. Also elected annually at the AGM are the Society's President and Vice Presidents. The holders of these offices are members of the Society who have given exceptional service to the Society over many years and although these rôles do not attract specific responsibilities, some of the holders still provide invaluable service to the Society.

The Society is also very proud to have royal patronage, which was granted over a quarter of a century ago, and it is particularly poignant that the Patron bears the same first name and ducal title as Richard III – HRH Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester.

The Society has members all over the world, and certain geographical areas, such as North America and Australasia, are semi-autonomous. However, the whole is in the charge of the Executive which is based in the UK. Reporting to this Committee (hereinafter called the Executive) are a number of standing committees and occasional working parties. Linked to all of these are the Branches and Groups which provide activities for members at a more 'grass roots' level, and which also report to the Executive. The Executive Committee is the principal governing body of the Society, and according to the Constitution, it may have 15 elected members and a further six co-opted as required.

Other activities undertaken by members of the Executive include liaison with the village of Fotheringhay and its church, with its very strong Ricardian connections; trustees of the Richard III & Yorkist History Trust, the charity arm of the society; and with the Ricardian Churches Restoration Fund (RCRF), which raises money to assist the five churches known to have been connected with Richard III.


Executive Committee

At the head of the Executive is the Chairman. As well as chairing meetings, he also plays an active role in many ways, especially as a member of several standing committees. Alongside him, there are a Secretary and a Treasurer. The former acts as a central point of liaison between the Society, the Executive, the membership and the outside world, whilst the rôle of the Treasurer is that which might be found in any similar society - he advises on fiscal matters and keeps the books.

In no particular order, the other members of the Executive Committee, which include formal and less formal roles, are:

  • The Deputy Chairman who covers for the Chairman if he is unable to attend meetings or events;
  • The Editor of The Ricardian who is responsible for the learned journal of the Society, published once a year and, on which the Society's academic record is founded;
  • The Research Officer whose purpose is to liaise with the academic community, oversee the various projects of a research nature, administer the Society's bursaries, organize conferences, etc, and who facilitates members' own research;
  • There is an ex-officio member who chairs the Bulletin Editorial Committee and is the first point of contact for the magazine;
  • The Membership Officer who is responsible for handling membership enquiries and applications, maintaining the Society's database of members, collecting and administering subscriptions and all other aspects related to the membership function;
  • Another officer maintains an archive of press cuttings; and
  • The Business Manager looks after the publication and distribution of the Society's journals.


Standing committees and Working parties

The standing committees and working parties that report to the Executive are:

  • The Research Committee which is a group of academics and other interested parties who meet under the chairmanship of the Research Officer and whose rôle is to encourage research in Richard III and the later Middle Ages, to encourage the development of research groups within the Society and to develop the research programme of the Society.
  • The Visits Committee is a group which organises all the Society's official visits. The Committee's remit has now been extended to cover the annual commemorative events of Bosworth and Fotheringhay
  • The Ways and Means Sub-Committee serves to review Society projects, to assess their feasibility and possible cost implications. It is an advisory body and reports back to the Executive which then makes decision based on the W&M report.
  • The Education Working Party has been re-constituted to examine how the Society can assist Schools in the awareness of King Richard III and the Wars of the Roses in the pre-Tudor period.
  • The Bulletin Editorial Committee produces the Bulletin, the quarterly magazine of the Society. This publication is the key tool for communicating with the membership and, as well as updating them on all Society activities, provides a forum for discussion, news of related medieval topics and is a publication to which less experienced historians can contribute articles.
  • The Constitution and Governance Working Party which has been formed to review the Society's Constitution and Governance.



There are several volunteers who are not Executive Committee members but who manage key areas of the Society's activities. These are:

  • Library Coordinator (leading a team of four librarians);
  • Web Content Manager;
  • Advertising Officer; and
  • Facebook team.

In addition to the above there are many other members of the Society who generously donate their time to support the full range of services to the wider membership and the Executive would like to take this opportunity of acknowledging their important contribution. They are active in the fields of research, publications, visits, sales, fund raising and event administration.

This may seem like a lot of bureaucracy for a Society of this size, but it has proved necessary, and its justification may be seen in what the Society has achieved – and what it is continuing to achieve – under its stated aims of promoting awareness of the life and times of Richard III.


Elected Officers

The elected officers at present are:

President: Peter Hammond
Peter joined the Society in the 1960s and served on the Executive Committee from 1970 until 2001. He was research officer for the same period. Peter chairs the Ways and Means Sub-Committee.

Vice President: Carolyn Hammond
Carolyn has been a member of the Society since the 1960's and served on the Executive Committee from 1965 to 2001.  She was Librarian from 1970 to 2001 and now acts as Library Coordinator, reporting to the Executive through the Secretary.

Vice President: John Audsley
John is a long-standing member of the Yorkshire Branch, where he served as chairman for many years.

Vice President: Kitty Bristow
Kitty has been chairperson of the London and Home Counties Branch and is an energetic fund raiser for the Society.

Vice President: Jonathan Hayes
Jonathan has been an active member of the US Branch for many years.

Vice President: Rob Smith
Rob is chairman/secretary of the New Zealand Branch.

Vice President: Elizabeth Nokes
Elizabeth is a former editor of the Bulletin and was secretary of the Society for many years.

Dr Phil StoneChairman: Phil Stone
Phil was Chairman of the London and Home Counties Branch from 1981 until he relinquished the post on his appointment as Chairman in 2002. He was elected to the Committee in 1995.

David WellsDeputy Chair: Dave Wells
Dave served as Secretary of the Society along with his wife Sue from 2009 to 2017. He stood down from the Committee in 2017 and was re-elected in 2018. He is currently chair of the Constitution Working Party. He was elected Deputy Chair for 2018/19.

Sue OllierSociety Secretary: Sue Ollier
Sue joined the committee in April 2018, taking over from Sue Wells as Secretary.

Sarah JuryTreasurer: Sarah Jury
Sarah joined the Executive Committee in September 2014 and was formally elected to the Committee as Treasurer in October 2014. Sarah stepped down in 2018, and was co-opted back onto the Committee until a new Treasurer is appointed.

Marlene Arnese
Executive Committee: Marlene Arnese
Marlene was elected to the Executive Committee in September 2017.

Amanda Geary
Executive Committee: Amanda Geary
Amanda was co-opted to the Executive Committee in 2016 to assist with the running of the Society's social media accounts. She was elected to the EC in September 2017, and is the Society's Communications Manager .

Sally HenshawExecutive Committee: Sally Henshaw
Sally was elected to the Executive Committee in October 2016. She has been the secretary of the Leicestershire branch for thirty years. In October 2017 she took over as Branch and Group Liaison Officer.

Gretel Jones
Executive Committee: Gretel Jones
Gretel was elected to the Executive Committee in October 2014 having been seconded in December 2013. Gretal has taken over the role of Secretary to the Richard III & Yorkist History Trust.

Joanna laynesmithExecutive Committee: Joanna Laynesmith
Joanna was co-opted onto the Executive Committee in September 2016 as Research Officer. She co-ordinates the work of the Society's Research Committee.

Jeanette Melbourn
Executive Committee: Jeanette Melbourne
Jeanette was elected to the Executive Committee in September 2017. She is the Society's Events Co-ordinator.

Richard SmithExecutive Committee: Richard Smith
Richard was elected to the Executive Committee in October 2015 and is the Society's Education Officer. He has been Chairman of the Leicestershire Branch for many years.

Anne SuttonExecutive Committee: Anne Sutton
Anne has served on the Committee since the 1970s and was appointed editor of The Ricardian in 1977. The publication of the Festschrift edition of the journal in 2003 marked her 25 years as editor.

Sue WellsExecutive Committee: Sue Wells
Sue was elected to the committee in 2008 and became joint Secretary with her husband, Dave, in 2009. She stepped down from the role of Secretary in 2018, and now has responsibility for Membership and Sales Liaison.

Geoffrey WheelerExecutive Committee: Geoffrey Wheeler
Geoffrey is the longest-serving member of the Committee and was elected in 1969. He is the Audio-Visual Librarian and maintains the Society's archive of press material relating to Richard III.

Stephen YorkExecutive Committee: Stephen York
Stephen has served as an ex-officio member of the Executive Committee and in October 2014 was elected to the EC. He is the Society's Business Manager.

Ex-officio members

Ex-officio members of the Executive Committee are:

John Saunders
John Saunders who chairs the Bulletin Editorial Committee.