HRH The Duke of Gloucester
KG GCVOThe 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.
The Society is currently transitioning from unincorporated Society, run by an Executive Committee, to a Company (limited by guarantee) run by a Board. At the head of the Executive/Board 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.
In no particular order, the other members of the Executive Committee, which include formal and less formal roles, are:
The standing committees and working parties that report to the Executive are:
There are several volunteers who are not Executive Committee members but who manage key areas of the Society's activities. These are:
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.
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: Kitty Bristow
Kitty has been chairperson of the London and Home Counties Branch and is an energetic fund raiser for the Society.
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.
Chairman: Matthew Lewis
Matt is an author and historian whose work focusses on the Wars of the Roses and Richard III. A member of the Society since 2011, he was elected as Chair in 2021.
Treasurer: John Whiting
John was co-opted onto the Executive Committee in February 2019 as Treasurer designate.
Society Secretary: Sue Ollier
Sue joined the committee in April 2018, taking over from Sue Wells as Secretary.
Marlene has a background in management consulting and law, and is currently working on an MA in Medieval History at King’s College, London.
Norma has been an active member of the Society for 20 years and is currently Secretary for the Yorkshire Branch, treasurer for the Penrith and North Lakes Group and events co-ordinator for Scottish Branch.
Communications Manager: Amanda Geary
Amanda was the Society's Communications Manager from 2017-2020 and was re-appointed to the role in 2021. She was instrumental in the Society's response to the proposed building on Bosworth Battlefield and, as a result, received the Battlefield Trust Award in 2019 for outstanding personal contribution.
PR and Media Officer: Philippa Langley
Philippa is a writer/producer who led the Looking for Richard Project in 2012 and is currently leading the Missing Princes Project. A member of the Society since 1998, Philippa founded the Scottish Branch in 1999 and was its Secretary for 15 years (for which she received Honorary President status in recognition).
Chair of the Ricardian Bulletin Committee: Wendy Moorhen
Wendy joined the Society in 1987 and was Deputy Chair from 2012-2015. Wendy has also variously served as Research Officer (2001-2008) and Editor of the Ricardian Bulletin (2006-2008) and was also instrumental in organising the Society's events programme for the king's reinterment in 2015. She was appointed Chair of the Bulletin Committee in 2021.
Editor - The Ricardian: 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.
Christopher is currently studying for a PhD at Lancaster University, researching Furness Abbey in the 15th century. He is Chair of the South Cumbria Branch and works as a tour guide at Lancaster Castle. Christopher also translated and transcribed the Honour of Pontefract Accounts for the Missing Princes Project.
Audio-Visual Librarian: 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.
Business Manager: 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.