The Yorkshire Branch is the oldest branch in the Society founded in 1960 at the time of the 500th anniversary of the battles of Wakefield and Towton. It was formed by members of the recently reformed Richard III Society living in the three Ridings who decided to organise some activities in the county Richard had known and loved.
The first chairman was RJA Bunnett. When he retired the new chairman was David Murgatroyd of Baildon who with Mary Saxton as secretary established the Branch on a sure footing. Under David’s leadership the thrice yearly Branch magazine Blanc Sanglier was begun and the first medieval banquet was held.
About twenty five years age another tradition was begun the Spring Lecture. The lecture is now named in honour of our third Chairman Arthur Cockerill and held at a date in April. The Branch library was begun at the same time. It contains an extensive collection of books, papers and archive material for the use of members and is named the Dorothy Appleyard Library after the branch’s longest serving Committee member and first librarian. Over the year it has been extended with many bequests from members.
In recent years the Branch has been in the safe hands as Chairman of Arthur Cockerill and John Audsley and Moira Habberjam as Secretary. When John retired he was succeeded by Ralph Taylor who had been an active member of the Committee for several years. We were all greatly saddened by Ralph’s early death less than a year later. The new Committee was formed under the leadership of Angela Moreton the branch’s first female Chairman. We intend to continue the task of continuing the fight to promote a better understanding of England’s most maligned King and the times he lived in. It is our aim to keep our members fully informed of all matters Ricardian and arranging a programme of events members will enjoy.
Our web site contains a section on Historical sites in our area. This includes Castles, Abbeys, Churches, Fortified Manor Houses and Battle sites. Many of these sites have a connection with Richard and he would have known them well.
Yorkshire is of course a vast county. We no longer have groups in various areas but use York, the centre of the county, as a base. We also arrange events in various areas suitable to our interests where possible. All our events, excepting the Annual Dinner, are daytime events and take place between early spring and autumn. The only winter event is the Wakefield Commemoration. All these event dates are on our events page.
We are justly proud of our county, and hope through this site to introduce those who visit the site to the county we call Gods Own County, or in the words of Shakespeare “this other Eden, demi Paradise”, the country we, and Richard, call home, Yorkshire.