This week I want to start with an event that took place at Smithfield just over 640 years ago because it was great that BBC Radio Kent had noticed that yesterday (15 June) marked the violent death of Wat Tyler, one of the iconic leaders of the Great Rising, or what the Victorians called the Peasants’ Revolt.
This week has seen a whole raft of meetings rather than events, but I thought I would mention that Dr Andrew Richardson will be giving the joint FCAT and Centre talk on Thursday 13 May at 7pm using Zoom. It is open to people beyond the Friends of Canterbury Archaeological Trust using: https://zoom.us/j/99561251187?pwd=Rkc1Zkh5Z1pQVnV3cVk5Z0RFVnlJZz09 and if you enjoy it, please consider becoming a Friend of the Trust. Here is the link to the Trust’s website: https://www.canterburytrust.co.uk/
I thought I would start this week by saying that I really like the display in the CCCU Bookshop front window for Marc Morris’ new book due out on 20 May For as well as Marc’s very striking cover for his The Anglo-Saxons. A History of the Beginnings of England, Craig also has a couple of artefacts as part of the display that shout out ‘Anglo-Saxon’.
I thought I would begin with some great news. Dean Irwin is now Dr Dean Irwin. Very many congratulations Dean, that is brilliant for medieval Jewish studies. Secondly, although Janet Clayton is not yet back home, she is making good progress recovering from her fall at Scadbury. All the Kent History Postgraduates again send their very best wishes, as do those from the Centre – we hope you are able to return home soon and make a full recovery!
Before I get to trailing the third Lunch Time Lecture that next week will be given by Dr Lily Hawker-Yates, I thought I would pass on the fantastic news that Boydell is very happy with the Maritime Kent through the Ages essay collection and it is now about to move to the typesetting stage, the proofs arriving back with us after that for indexing etc. Thus, a major source of celebration and relief, and I am envisaging a joint Centre and Kent Archaeological Society (as the largest sponsor) conference in the autumn.
This week I thought I would start with a collaboration between the Centre and MEMS at Kent as part of their new online initiative. Led by the Kent team comprising a Taught MA student and four PhD students (one has just completed), this new website will provide information about freely available online resources arranged thematically in the fields of medieval and early modern studies; with a forum so that researchers can raise questions, seek assistance or notify others about newly discovered resources. This exciting development ‘Unchaining the library’ was launched this week and is already receiving rave reviews. If you want to check it out, please go to: https://www.memslib.co.uk/
This week I thought I would take my cue from the events of last weekend and the idea of significant anniversaries – the international remembrance of VE Day 75 years ago and a local remembrance of Sir Roger Manwood’s foundation of his almshouses in Canterbury 450 years ago. Of course, the ceremonies and other events planned for both of these either didn’t happen at all, especially in the case of Manwood’s almshouses, or were very different than first planned, the VE Day commemoration of those who had come through WWII , but even more those who hadn’t. However, the actual focus of this blog is neither of these, and hopefully I’ll be able to report on the Manwood event next year, nor is it Becket 2020, which seems to becoming Becket 2020/21, although Becket might be said to have a walk-on part.
This week is more of a brief note in that Professor Louise Wilkinson has been very busy writing the report on History’s impact work over the last few years, including the activities of the Centre, as well as getting matters organised for the new undergraduates, while Dr Diane Heath has also been busy working on her ‘Medieval Animals’ application. She has also been getting ready for the Canterbury Education Day where the Centre is one of the places involved. The initiative is organised by The Canterbury Tales, and St Augustine’s Abbey is another of the venues where activities take place.
Last week the blog was exceptionally long so this week it will be shorter and will comprise a brief report on the lecture given by Jon Iveson (head of Dover Museum) on Dover’s 16th and 17th-century defences, which is a joint event organised by the Centre and the Friends of Canterbury Archaeological Trust.
To a degree this follows on from last time in that again there is a maritime theme to this short blog. Firstly, although I wasn’t able to attend this year, I have a brief report from Dr Martin Watts about Whitstable Harbour Day, which took place last Saturday. As an ex-merchant seaman, Martin is keen to promote all things nautical and, as he says, it was another excellent day.