Unlock the Past Cruises

A morning with Richard III - NZ Family History Fair Launch

Event Information

  • 31 Jul 2013 10:00am - 12:00pm
  • Whare Wananga, Level 2 Central City Library, Lorne Street
  • Auckland
  • New Zealand
Other Information
  • Cost: Free

A morning with Richard III 

A portrait of Richard III from the Sir George Grey Special Collections. When: Wednesday 31 July, 10am - 12pm
Where: Central City Library, Whare Wānanga,
Level 2
Cost: Free
Booking: To secure your place, please contact the Central Auckland Research Centre on 09 307 7771, or complete our online booking form.

Auckland Libraries and the NZ Society of Genealogists launch New Zealand's Family History Fair with this unmissable talk about the discovery of one of the most infamous royal graves in history by Dr Jo Appleby from the University of Leicester and Ancestry AU’s Brad Argent.

In August 2012, the University of Leicester in collaboration with the Richard III Society and Leicester City Council, began one of the most ambitious archaeological projects ever attempted: a search for the lost grave of King Richard III.

The last English king to die in battle, Richard was buried five centuries ago with little pomp in the church of the Grey Friars, all physical trace of which had previously been lost.

Incredibly, the excavation uncovered not only the friary - preserved underneath a council car park - but also a battle-scarred skeleton with spinal curvature. On 4 February 2013, after a battery of scientific tests, the University announced to the world's press that these were the remains of Richard III.

Michelle Patient, President of the NZ Society of Genealogists, introduces Dr Jo Appleby (University of Leicester, sponsored by the British Council), who will speak about her experience as the lead osteo-archaeologist on the Richard III project, including the experience of unearthing the former king's skeleton, as well as some of the more scientific techniques employed once the body was unearthed.

Dr Appleby and Brad Argent (Ancestry AU) will speak about how the use of family history research was used to confirm the identity of the skeleton as Richard III by linking it to modern-day relatives through descendents of the king's sister.


  Proudly presented by


Ancestry.com.au logo.

NZ Society of Genealogists logo.

Family History Fair logo.


Speaker bios

Jo Appleby studied Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge, before completing an MA in Osteoarchaeology at Southampton in 2003. She returned to Cambridge for her PhD, after which Jo worked for the Cambridge Archaeological Unit. From 2008-2011 she held a Research Fellowship at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, researching the changing funerary practices of the East Anglian Bronze Age. As well as her continued interest in the Eurasian Bronze Age, she is the osteologist for two projects further afield in Cape Verde and Mauritius. She joined the teaching staff of the School of Archaeology & Ancient History as Lecturer in Bioarchaeology from January 2012.

Brad Argent is the Content and Public Relations Director at Ancestry AU (Australia and New Zealand).


Family History Month launch day - 31 July

This event is part of the launch day for Family History Month at Auckland Libraries. Find out about other events taking place on 31 July by clicking on the links below:

Pictured above: A portrait of what Richard III was thought to have looked like, taken from The tragedy of King Richard the Third : with the landing of the Earl of Richmond and the Battle of Bosworth Field / [Shakespeare ; edited by W.E. Henley], from Edinburgh Folio Volume VI Section 23, Henry Shaw Collection from Sir George Grey Special Collection, Auckland Libraries.