It has been an interesting and busy week, and before I get to the William Somner conference on Saturday, I thought I would just mention that it was great to see the new Juxon Room at Eastbridge Hospital. They have certainly transformed a rather dark room into a light space that means the roof timbers are beautifully exposed to be admired at last. The other exciting feature is the glass floor panels that allow you to see the bridge timbers and the river below. See the photo below.
Faversham’s history – attracting a growing audience.
On Wednesday evening, the Canterbury Christ Church University bookshop hosted the launch of Michael Jones’ new book on the Black Prince, but before I give a short report on that event, I just want to mention a conference that took place in Chartham last Saturday.
This week has finally seen my return to preparing an article on businesswomen in fifteenth-century Canterbury that I haven’t really had a chance to work on since late last year. So it has been a case first of trying to pick-up where I left off and rethink myself back into the subject. However having worked out the rolling five-year average for all the ‘intrantes’: those below the freemen who were permitted to reside and trade in the city and compared it to the number of businesswomen similarly living and working independently, it is interesting to note that in the 1480s, in particular, these numbers do not follow the same pattern and the figures for women pick up in this decade whereas the total figures are the lowest for the whole century. I’m still working out what this may mean in terms of how these businesswomen were viewed by the authorities, not least because this broadly coincides with the incidence in the city’s courts of those classed as a ‘femme sole’ (a married woman who was legally seen as responsible for her commercial activities). Demonstrating once again the importance of the city’s medieval records, and these are still held at Canterbury Cathedral Archives and Library.