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.

Just Who is the Custodian of King Richard III’s Bones?


John Ashdown-Hill, Annette Carson, Philippa Langley

John Ashdown-Hill, Annette Carson, Philippa Langley

Where are the bones of King Richard III? They are most certainly not in a box in the history department of the University of Leicester. So adamant is the University that the bones are no longer in a cardboard box that they recently complained to the Colchester Gazette, leading to the removal from the paper’s website of an entire interview with Dr. John Ashdown-Hill, genealogical researcher, historian and a founding member of the Looking for Richard team, in which Dr. Ashdown-Hill discussed his wishes for Richard to be moved to a “prayerful environment”. The university also objected to his understanding that scientific research has actually been completed on Richard III’s remains.  Considering the Plantagenet Alliance has been bearing the brunt of the blame for the delay in King Richard’s burial, perhaps the university would be happy to share the responsibility now, if they indeed have not yet completed their research. The remains have been at the university since they were exhumed in August of 2012. Whether they are in a cardboard box in an office or in a “controlled environment” is a moot point. Almost a year after the remains were identified as King Richard III they are still not in a sanctified place of rest.

Read the whole article here