Looking For Richard




The LOOKING FOR RICHARD (LFR) project was inspired by the conviction that Richard III’s grave was NOT irretrievably lost, and that the widely believed story of his remains being maliciously destroyed was, like so much else about this king, an invention.


The LFR's plan to mount an active search for Richard’s grave was founded in February 2009 at the Cramond Inn, Edinburgh, by Philippa Langley, during the course of a study day on Richard III led by John Ashdown-Hill.


The ethos of LFR was not merely to retrieve Richard III’s remains, but to accord them the respect and human dignity which the king had been denied when he was killed fighting ‘manfully in the thickest press of his enemies’ at Bosworth Field.


This commitment to respect and dignity was the core principle underpinning LFR’s approved proposals for …


* the least possible time to be spent on identification of Richard’s remains

* his immediate transfer to an appropriate place of sanctity and rest to await reburial

* a royal reburial comprising an initial private service reflecting the religious custom of his time, followed by a later public service of celebration

* the provision of an elegant, freestanding tomb honouring his status as an anointed King of England, featuring heraldry approved by the College of Arms together with references and imagery personal to the deceased.

© Looking For Richard Project 2014


Richard III was first and foremost a human being, and an individual who has living relatives today. He was also a member of the royal family, and as the anointed King of England he was a former Head of State. The ethos of the Looking For Richard project was to search for, recover, and rebury his mortal remains with the honour, dignity and respect so conspicuously denied following his death at the battle of Bosworth. At the very outset of the project these principles were enshrined in the Reburial Document and welcomed by Leicester City Council and the Ministry of Justice. Respect was the project’s keystone from the start. The Reburial Document stated ‘As these are the remains of an anointed king the utmost respect must be maintained during the interval between discovery and reburial’ and ‘Due reverence must be observed at all times and any form of disturbance avoided as a matter of priority.’ And particular emphasis was placed on the requirement that ‘Following positive identification, and until reburial can take place, the remains should be cared for in a quiet, safe, holy place.’ These principles were subsequently incorporated into an agreement between Philippa Langley and University of Leicester Archaeological Services and endorsed by a further agreement between Philippa Langley and Leicester City Council. It was upon this agreed agenda of respect and dignity that the archaeological search for the lost grave of Richard III began on 25 August 2012. 

                                                                                   © Looking For Richard Project 2014