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The Richard III Society - Western Australia Branch

by Helen Hardegen

Richard III, the last monarch of the Plantagenet dynasty, was killed in the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. In spite of the shortness of his reign (he ruled barely more than two years), this enigmatic king has long been a source of fascination in many countries and in many walks of life.

This ongoing fascination is illustrated clearly by the existence of the Richard III Society, a worldwide organisation which works to foster interest in the study of Richard III and in the period of English history between the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Renaissance.

As an organization, the Richard III Society has around 4,000 members worldwide, but who would expect there to be such a lively branch in Western Australia?

Although we are few in number, our branch, which was created in 1986, covers one of the largest land areas in the world. We have regular monthly meetings and social gatherings every year. Branch meetings usually feature a talk from a member or a guest. Subjects covered previously include "Castles in Wales", "Medieval Marriage", "The Crusades", "The Battle of Bosworth", "Development of Printing" and a quiz afternoon titled "Sale of the 15th Century".

White Boar


Social gatherings include medieval banquets at least once a year, including the option to dress up in medieval finery. Last year we took to the open skies and picnicked in splendid sunshine. Authentic recipes were sampled and a range of medieval games provided our entertainment.

Members have access to a range of books, audio, and video tapes that makes up the Branch's library. Over the past 15 years, we have accumulated a wonderful collection of literature pertaining to Richard III and more generally the history of Britain in the 15th Century.

The only requirement from members (other than membership fees) is a sense of enjoyment of all things historical. A liking for Richard III and a suspicion that he is not as black as Shakespeare painted him is helpful, but not absolutely necessary. We have been known to have fun attempting to convert non-believers.

We particularly love to meet others interested in medieval history and hope to hear from anyone planning to visit Western Australia.

More information about the Western Australia branch of the Richard III Society is available at our website or contact us by email - helenhardegen@iinet.net.au.

Medieval Costume


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