The full story of how Richard III was found




‘FINDING RICHARD III: The Official Account’ by Research Team

Their task was to locate a lost grave in an obliterated church. The ‘Looking For Richard’ team of historians and researchers spent many years amassing evidence. Now for the first time they reveal the full story of how that evidence took them to a car park in Leicester.

Reports of the dig and DNA fingerprinting were shown world-wide and won awards.

But the years of prior detective work have never before been recognised.

Latin texts, mediaeval priories, old maps, long-lost memorials, misleading tales of grave desecration  ... not a Dan Brown novel, but a sober account of how painstaking studies of historical records achieved the goal of finding Richard III.

Informed by Dr John Ashdown-Hill’s sound knowledge of the Franciscans (Greyfriars) and their architecture, together with his discovery of Richard III’s mtDNA, the LOOKING FOR RICHARD PROJECT launched by Philippa Langley rested on solid foundations. It rested equally on her own exhaustive research into the Greyfriars site, and her indomitable determination to see it through.

Other members made up a team that until now kept a low profile, combining to facilitate, raise the money (the search cost some £40,000), and cultivate an ethos that laid emphasis on respect for a king who fell defending crown and country. Historian Dr David Johnson and his artist wife, Wendy Johnson, proposed a tomb design that won approval from the Richard III Society, whose members overwhelmingly financed the search.

Edited with the sure touch of writer and author Annette Carson, this publication reveals how scholarship and research into 500 years of history underpinned an enterprise of which the world saw only the triumphant end result.


Finding Richard III: The Official Account of Research by the Retrieval and Reburial Project

A.J. Carson (Ed.), J. Ashdown-Hill, D. Johnson, W. Johnson & P.J. Langley

Published by Imprimis Imprimatur

ISBN 978-0-9576840-2-7 Price £8.50

96 pages; 22 figs, maps, diagrams; 7 appendices including 22 pages of original documents and papers; bibliography; index; preface by Dr C.C. Thornton, FSA, FRHistS

For more information please contact John Ashdown-Hill via the Contact Form.

Record of latest meeting in Leicester

Yesterday (Monday 23 June), John attended an important meeting in Leicester. The following agreed statement is the official record of that meeting.

"A meeting took place today (Monday 23rd June) at the request of the Richard III Society and the Looking for Richard Project, with members of the King Richard III Reinterment Project Team. The meeting was constructive and conducted in a spirit of mutual goodwill, co-operation and reconciliation. The Reinterment Project Team undertook to look in further detail at a number of the points raised and to respond back in due course".

Reaction to the Reburial Plans for Richard III

Burying Richard III

How do you solve the problem of reburying a medieval King in the 21stCentury? On 16th June 2014, the Diocese of Leicester attempted to answer that question when they revealed the plans for their re-internment of King Richard III.

The Diocese released details of the coffin, tomb and setting of the burial in the cathedral.

But controversy still rages about whether the cathedral’s plans truly befit the King whom Philippa Langley of the Richard III Society dubbed as “the last warrior King.”

Read more:


Revised Tomb for Richard III

Much digital ink has already been spilled on the plans for the burial of the remains of England's King Richard III, discovered under a car park in Leicester in August of 2012. From the location of the re-interment to the rite and creed of the ritual itself, nearly every detail has courted controversy from some quarter. The present proposed burial site, Leicester Cathedral, has been approved by a high court ruling, which supporters of a more traditional location at York (including some distant relatives of the king) have indicated they will not challenge. One should note that Leicester Cathedral was not raised to its present status until 1927, and the impetus for the Leicester reburial ultimately comes from the university who dug the king up and local officials.

Read more:

"Finding Richard III: The Official Account"

LFR members have been busy over the past few months compiling an academic style publication in booklet form which will be the official, authentic account of all the research, preparations and negotiations involved in mounting the search for Richard III’s grave.

It cites sources dating back to the 15th century, as well as research by the team and its predecessors going back to 1975 which informed our understanding of where his body lay, and prompted us to make the effort of trying to find him. It will include diagrams, maps, and 22 pages of original documents and papers published for the very first time.

Due to be published in a few weeks – please look out for notice of publication date.