So that is the Centre’s fourth History Weekend which is done for another year and shortly we will start in earnest on Medieval Canterbury Weekend 2020. This will be the weekend of Friday 3 to Sunday 5 April with an exciting ‘taster’ lecture the previous Friday evening (27 March). More on this anon but now I want to concentrate on Tudors and Stuarts 2019.
Before I get to news of events next week, including the William Somner conference on Saturday 23 March, and a report on the Kent History Postgraduates meeting, I have a stop-press announcement to make regarding Tudors and Stuarts 2019. Unfortunately, Dr Clive Holmes has had to withdraw due to ill health. Thus, he will not be able to give his lecture on Oliver Cromwell and witches, but I am exceeding fortunate and grateful that Dr Rebecca Warren from the University of Kent and an expert on the period, has generously agreed to step into the breach. She will cover the same topic but from her own angle and her lecture will be entitled: ‘Protector or Persecutor? Witches, the Devil and Oliver Cromwell’. Obviously, everyone at the Centre wishes Clive a speedy and full recovery.
Now that it is just a week away, I thought I would highlight Paul Bennett’s annual Frank Jenkins Memorial Lecture on Saturday 23 February at 6pm in Old Sessions House. As Visiting Professor in the Centre and Director of Canterbury Archaeological Trust, it is always excellent to hear about the work of the Trust, and this year I expect two of the key sites will be in Canterbury: Slatters Hotel and Canterbury Cathedral. This event is another joint enterprise involving the Centre, the Friends of Canterbury Archaeological Trust and the Canterbury Historical and Archaeological Society. All welcome to attend, so please come along.
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.
After another very successful History Weekend, I would first like to thank all the great speakers (see below), but equally the brilliant audiences we had at all 27 events from ‘Saturn’s Fury’ puppet show in Waterstones on Friday morning to Dr Michael Jones’ talk on the Black Prince and Professor Carenza Lewis’ lecture on new discoveries about the impact of the Black Death that were the last parallel events on Sunday afternoon. Without YOU the audience the Weekend would be meaningless, and your enthusiasm, engagement and searching questions covering the wide range of topics on offer was wonderful from the organisers’ perspective – THANK YOU!
This week I want to bring you a report on the first Faversham History Fair that I attended last Saturday, which was organised by the Faversham Society, because it gave me a chance to meet old friends and make new acquaintances, as well as sharing some ideas about medieval religion and the painted pillar in the town’s parish church. However, before I get to that this is just to let know that both the “Campfire Tales with a Canterbury Twist” and Saturn’s guest appearance at Canterbury Waterstones have been finalised: http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/arts-and-humanities/school-of-humanities/medieval-canterbury-weekend/medieval-canterbury-weekend-2018/chaucers-tales.aspx while Saturn’s event is free (see below).
As in 2016, probably the high point this year for the Centre was the History Weekend in early April, which in 2017 featured the Tudors and Stuarts and was a joint venture with the Canterbury Cathedral Archives and Library.
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/
One lot of exciting news is that Canterbury Archaeological Trust archaeologists have uncovered the burial of Abbot John of Wheathampstead at St Alban’s Cathedral (one of the most important monasteries in the Middle Ages). For a report, see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-42255514
Next week will bring the first Chatham Historic Dockyard conference at which Dr Martin Watts (CCCU lecturer and member of the Centre) will be speaking on ‘Chatham Dockyard at the heart of industry and sea power’, and I’ll hope to have some information about this event from Martin after next Friday.