Before I come to ‘Maritime Kent though the Ages’ this weekend and the great array of speakers, I thought I would very briefly mention that I attended two of the sessions last Saturday of the University of Kent’s Medieval and Early Modern Studies Summer Festival that featured six speakers from Canterbury Christ Church University.
Before I come on to two saints, one at Dover and Chichester and the other at Folkestone, I thought I would bring you some breaking news about the Tudors and Stuarts History Weekend 2019, as well as advance notice of the Medieval Canterbury Weekend 2020. Over recent weeks I have been working on the 2019 History Weekend programme and even though it is not yet complete, I thought I would mention that in the last day or so I have had several confirmations. Among the speakers who will be coming to Canterbury are Professor Glenn Richardson (speaking on Cardinal Wolsey) and Dr David Starkey (on Henry VII’s financial policies); and for the Stuarts – Professor Maria Hayward (on perfume at the royal court) and Dr Clive Holmes (on Cromwell and witchcraft). Then in 2020 we will be welcoming for the first time the Revd Dr Rowan Williams and Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch, but much more on this nearer the time.
In some ways a great deal has happened this week and in other ways very little, a sort of treading water time before various decisions are made and implemented. On a positive note it is now two weeks to the Maritime Kent through the Ages conference and some of the final arrangements are being put in place for Richard Holdsworth’s keynote lecture on Friday 22 June: ‘Kent, the Royal Navy and the Defence of Britain’ at 7pm [wine reception from 6.30pm]. All welcome, booking not required.
Some encouraging news, it seems likely that we will receive the necessary funding to be able to produce the 2nd phase of the ‘Medieval Faversham’ exhibition. Consequently, Dr Diane Heath is checking what we would like to add to the items we didn’t produce last time when the funds ran out. These will include about three more exhibition boards, such as Faversham Abbey’s ‘Book of the Dead’. We also hope to have several more pop-up banners that have the added advantage of being flexible regarding where they are displayed, two life-size figures of King Stephen and Queen Matilda, and items for the ‘Young Medievalists’ corner. All being well, the exhibition will open early July, but as soon as I know more I’ll let you know.
Before I report on the first phase of the ‘Medieval Faversham’ exhibition that has been installed in the Town Council’s new Heritage Hub, I want to mention the Centre’s conference (jointly with Maritime Museums Greenwich and Kent Archaeological Society) on ‘Maritime Kent through the Ages’ that is now just a month away. On Friday 22 June after the wine reception [no need to book just come along that evening – wine reception from 6.30pm], Richard Holdsworth will give a free, open lecture on ‘Kent, the Royal Navy and the defence of Britain’. Then on the Saturday we have a great group of speakers who will explore four themes: ‘coastal topography and the environment; ‘coastal communities’; ‘trade and industry’, and ‘defending the coast’, looking at different periods of Kentish history. For more details and information about tickets for the Saturday, please check out the website: https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/maritime-kent
Last Saturday was the Kent History Federation’s 1-day conference hosted at Canterbury Christ Church by the Centre for Kent History and Heritage. To avoid clashing with the Medieval Canterbury Weekend 2018 that took place last month, the conference focused on ‘Tudor and Stuart Canterbury’ and brought together academics from Canterbury Christ Church and the University of Kent.
I appreciate that being Sunday, the ‘Tudor and Stuart Canterbury’ conference took place yesterday, but for that report I’m afraid you are going to have to wait until later in the week because I have yet to report on two events that took place last Thursday and since then preparations for the conference have taken up all my time. The two events were the staff-postgraduate History seminar where the paper was given by Dr Suzanne Coley, and the Friends of Canterbury Archaeological Trust [FCAT] lecture on the ‘Finding Eanswythe’ project (just to add to the abundance of riches, Professor Alexandra Walsham was speaking at the Canterbury Historical Association meeting on Thursday too).
Things continue to be busy and it is now just over a week to the Kent History Federation 1-day conference hosted by the Centre at Canterbury Christ Church on ‘Tudor and Stuart Canterbury’. This conference on Saturday 12 May will feature speakers on the early modern city from both the University of Kent (specifically from MEMS) and CCCU, and this bringing together of academics from Canterbury’s two universities is a great example of cross-institutional co-operation. Moreover, as well as a series of lectures in the morning, there is a range of tours in the city that feature this exciting period in Canterbury’s history. If this sounds interesting, please check out the Centre’s ‘Future Events’ page at: http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/arts-and-humanities/events/arts-and-humanities/ckhh/tudor-and-stuart-canterbury-conference.aspx
Regarding the work of the Centre, firstly I want to congratulate Dr Diane Heath on the submission of the Gender and Medieval Studies volume on Gender: Places, Spaces and Thresholds to the publisher last weekend. Diane and her fellow editors have done a truly splendid job in record time and they deserve much applause and the deep-felt thanks of the various contributors, including two from Canterbury Christ Church: Dr Leonie Hicks has written the Afterword and I have contributed an article, as has Diane. If all goes well, it will be out in the autumn this year.
Before I get down to the news this week, and even though I don’t yet have the final figures, I thought I would update you on what I think the Medieval Canterbury Weekend 2018 has raised for the Ian Coulson Memorial Postgraduate Award fund. As I reported in February, we at the Centre had intended to use the Michael Wood lecture in October 2018 to raise £2,000 for Canterbury Archaeological Trust after the disastrous break-ins to the Trust’s artefact stores. This lecture will now come under CCCU’s Open Lecture series, so instead we have decided to give £2,000 from the proceeds of the Weekend to the Trust, with the remainder of the surplus after costs going to the Ian Coulson Award fund. In round figures, I think this means about £8,000 to the Award fund, which I think is excellent and is due to you, our audiences, being prepared to come to Canterbury to listen to history talks and to be guided around many of the city’s wonderful medieval buildings. Furthermore, I said I would let you know when Matthew Crockatt had set up the ‘legacy’ site for the History Weekends, including the twitter feeds, well he has done a great job and everything is available: http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/arts-and-humanities/research-kent-history-and-archaeology/history-weekends/history-weekends.aspx so please do check this out.