Loyal to the Truth
King Richard III
No monarch in history has been so maligned and slandered as Richard III, the last Plantagenet King of England. Although he was king for only a short time, Richard continued the benevolent rule of his elder brother, Edward IV, and, indeed, proved himself one of England’s most enlightened and far-sighted rulers, with progressive ideas on government and religion.
But, following his defeat and death at the Battle of Bosworth on August 22, 1485, the victorious Tudors began a process of re-writing history to destroy Richard’s reputation – a process that reached its zenith with the Shakespeare play “The Tragedy of Richard III”, first performed in the 1590s.
There is a Tudor myth that defames Richard III, but it is propaganda to satisfy the human need to vilify perceived enemies, a trait that has been with us for as long as words existed.
The victor always defines the struggle and the person of the loser, and it is the victor’s version that survives and is incorporated into later works by authors who have little ability to know the truth.
King Richard III is one of England's most controversial historical figures often associated with his quest to seize the throne of England. The prime sources of defamation of Richard are superstitious fiction, although this was not understood by some for centuries. The vilification may be absurd, such as two years in the womb, magically withered arms, and the murder of innocent babies, but it is repeated ad nauseam. It may take the form of ghosts passionately listing the wrongs of an evil king, regardless of their own dwelling in hell. Or it can take on a more sinister nature, such as what happened to Edward V, a query that moderns cannot positively answer.
By blaming Richard for everything, Tudor escaped blame for anything for two hundred years, until people were at last free to pose questions. Although it is obvious that Tudor had overwhelming motivation to spread malicious gossip and to smear a dead man, some cannot let go of even the most outrageous slurs.
Why do supposedly erudite historians continue to print the absurd? Why assume a partisan and dishonest lawyer, or a superb dramatist, knew history or even cared about writing it? Should moderns insist that Hollywood be a controlling source for history books, or that the gossip magazines must reflect truth?
By now, when novitiates scan the database, there is nothing to separate fact from fiction, and flamboyant fiction sells better than cold history. It is far easier to write nonsense than to spend a lifetime trying to discover new and true sources. But time partially has exonerated Richard, for once he was dead, each Tudor went right on murdering Yorkists to insure their own succession.
To hide the truth, the Tudor mythology grew relentlessly, the work of several men who shamelessly enlarged and enhanced it. It was always defamation, sometimes presented as drama, sometimes as serious history, but always propaganda.
It is our aspiration to strip away the propaganda and present Richard III as he once was - not a villain, not a saint, but a man of his times.
With its corporate office in the United States, the Foundation has branches in the United Kingdom and Australia. The Foundation seeks to challenge the popular view of King Richard III by demonstrating through rigorous scholarship that the facts of Richard’s life and reign are in stark contrast to the Shakespearian caricature.
The Foundation further seeks to advance research into all aspects of English history during the period in which Richard lived, and the conflict known to history as the “Wars of the Roses”.
The Foundation’s honorary patrons include British actor Robert Hardy, CBE, FSA, and the distinguished historian, Prof. Anne Curry, F.R.Hist.S.
"I am a Ricardian, if that means that I wholly reject Tudor propaganda against him, and firmly believe he was true to his motto "Loyaulte me Lie", and that he, apart from being a first rate fighting man, shouldered all the responsibilities that fell on him both as Gloucester, and as King. His death was a tragedy, a sacrifice to end the civil wars," stated Honorary Patron Robert Hardy.
The Foundation sponsors a variety of academic events, publications, scholarships and grants into the "Ricardian" period. The patrons of the Foundation communicate with like-minded people who share an interest in the Wars of the Roses, and in particular King Richard III.
We are a body of volunteers who give unselfishly of our time making best use of their specific and individual talents. The Foundation sponsors a variety of academic events and publications, and provides grants for research into the “Ricardian” period.
The Richard III Foundation Scholarship for Medieval Studies is awarded annually, with a focus on supporting doctoral students. Our distinguished panel includes Professors Ralph A. Griffths, Joel Rosenthal and Anthony Goodman, David Baldwin and Sean Cunningham. Our past recipients include David Santiuste, author of "Edward IV and the Wars of the Roses", Lucy Rhymer and Professor Jackson Armstrong, now both teaching at major universities; Jennifer Ledfors, now a researcher at Royal Holloway, University of London; and Carolyn Donohue, who is now teaching at the University of York.
The John Davey Research Grant for Medieval Studies was established to assist local historians and independent scholars with their research costs. Our panel is headed by Susan A. Mahoney and includes Dr. Mhairi Macleod, author G. Peter Algar, historian and CEO/President, Joe Ann Ricca and Jim Goodwin. The grant is available to aid the study of a topic that is relevant to the late Fifteenth Century especially the Yorkist period of 1450-1485, and especially on the reign of King Richard III.
The Richard III Foundation has been conducting annual conferences in the UK since 2002. The annual conferences features speeches and presentations by some of the foremost authorities on late-medieval English history.
The Foundation supports and sponsors a wide range of other educational projects, as well as local heritage and battlefield preservation societies. We are proud of our affiliation with the Bosworth Battlefield Centre, the Battlefield Trust, English Heritage, the Northampton Battlefield, Beaufort Companie, the Towton Battlefield Society, the Tewkesbury Battlefield Society and others.
Membership of the Foundation is open to anyone with an interest in Richard III and the Wars of the Roses. For more details, we may be contacted as follows:
In the UK and other European countries contact: Ms. Dorothy Davies, UK Executive Assistant, Half Moon House, 32 Church Lane, Ryde, Isle of Wight, P033 2NB, England or contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the US, contact us at "The Richard III Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 524, Irvington, Virginia 22480-0524 or email us at Richard3Foundation@yahoo.com.
For all media inquiries
In the UK and European countries contact: Mr. Andy Smith, Public Relations Director (UK), The Richard III Foundation, 24 Floral Court, Ashtead, Surrey KT21 2JL or via phone at 07737 271676
In the US and Canada contact: Mrs. Molly Aleavey, 17596 E. Prentice Circle, Centennial, Colorado 80015, USA
P.O. Box 524, Irvington, Virginia 22480-0524
General Information: Richard3Foundation@yahoo.com
Media Information: or via phone at 07737 271676 (UK, Europe and Australia), email@example.com (United States and Canada)
Scholarship and Research: R3FoundationScholarship@yahoo.com