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.
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 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 1960s and served on the Executive Committee from 1965 to 2001. She was Librarian from 1970 to 2001 and now acts as Library Liaison Officer, reporting to the Executive through the Joint Secretaries.
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 is the chairman of the American Branch of 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: 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.
Society Secretaries: Susan and David Wells
Sue and Dave were elected to the committee in 2008 and became Secretaries in 2009. They manage the Society's archive and act as liaison between the EC and E-Mediacy who manage the Society's store which houses the majority of our books and some merchandise.
Treasurer: Sarah Jury
Sarah joined the Executive Committee in September 2014 and was formally elected to the Committee in October 2014.
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.
Executive Committee: Sharon Lock
Sharon was elected to the Executive Committee in October 2015, and was appointed Communications Manager in January 2016.
Executive Committee: Marian Mitchell
Marian was elected to the Committee in October 2005 and chairs the Society's Visits Committee.
Executive Committee: Richard Smith
Richard was elected to the Executive Committee in October 2015 and is leading the Society's Education initiative. He has been chairman of the Leicestershire Branch for many years.
Executive 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.
Executive Committee: Richard Van Allen
Richard was elected to the Committee in 2004 and is responsible for customer relations.
Executive 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.
Executive 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.
Executive 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.
Executive 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.
Ex-officio members of the Executive Committee are:
Jacqui Emerson who is the Branch & Group Liaison Officer.
John Saunders who chairs the Bulletin Editorial Committee.