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.
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.
For the Christmas and New Year fortnight I’ll take the opportunity to play Janus and look back over the past year before turning to the exciting new projects and events for 2018. However, in the meantime here is another of the Advent ‘Picture this …’ offerings: https://www.canterbury-cathedral.org/heritage/archives/picture-this/remarkable-rather-than-mediocre/
Having spent the last few days at the Fifteenth Century conference, I thought I would focus on that this week and leave Professor Paul Bennett’s (Director of Canterbury Archaeological Trust) lecture at the 68th International Sachsenymposion, which will take place tonight, until next week’s blog.
Having had a number of meetings this week about prospective Centre events for 2018, I thought I would just mention them before reporting on the last of the Kent History postgraduate seminars for this academic year.
This time next week the Tudors and Stuarts Weekend will be just about to start, which means there will be quite a lot to do next week – all those things that can only be done just beforehand – consequently this may be the last post until after it is all over.
So what is there to look forward to from the Centre in the first half of 2017? The flagship event will be the ‘Tudors and Stuarts History Weekend’ between Friday 31 March and Sunday 2 April, which primarily will take place in Old Sessions House, part of the University’s Canterbury campus.
Moving to mid-August and it remains a quiet time in the academic year before the ‘A’ level results appear and universities endeavour to attract even more students through ‘clearing’.
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.
As a medievalist, I’m very interested in memory, memorials and commemoration (as readers of this blog may have gathered from previous posts!), but even though there are in many ways major cultural differences between the Middle Ages and today, such ideas are still very important. Consequently, I’m going to tell you about two acts of commemoration that are significant from my perspective this week.