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.
This is just a short piece before the Centre’s blog has a fortnight’s break for the summer. Consequently, I thought I would bring you up-to-date with things, including the fact that all the information for Tudors and Stuarts History Weekend 2019 has now gone to Matthew Crockatt, the Faculty’s web designer and organiser, and to Ruth Duckworth at Canterbury Christ Church’s box office, who handles the booking part of the web site. In addition, Finance has received the initial budget and although they are extremely busy with the financial year end, hopefully in the next few weeks the Centre will receive the relevant finance codes to ensure matters are set up properly. Among the many speakers who are due to come on Saturday 13 or Sunday 14 April are Dr Clive Holmes (Why Oliver Cromwell didn’t persecute witches), Dr Amy Blakeway (The downfall of Mary, Queen of Scots), Dr David Starkey (Henry VII’s Chamber), and Dr Miranda Kaufmann (Black Tudors). As at previous History Weekends, the idea is to generate a surplus which goes to support postgraduates researching Kent’s history through the Ian Coulson Memorial Postgraduate Award fund.
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.
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.
I thought I would start by mentioning the upcoming lecture by Paul Bennett, the Centre’s Visiting Professor, where he will give an insight into his work as an archaeologist in Canterbury and far-flung places such as Libya and Iraq. Do come along if you are interested, the lecture is free and will take place at 7pm on Tuesday 12 December in Old Sessions House, Canterbury Christ Church.
Before I get to Dr Martin Watts and his presence at the Whitstable Harbour Day yesterday, I thought I would just mention events in Northamptonshire.
Before I come on to the report on the Medieval Pageant, especially the Centre’s contribution in the Greyfriars Garden as part of the Family Trail, I thought I would offer a round-up on news, events involving people from the Centre coming up soon, and its programme of events for the early autumn.
Returning to the maritime theme of a couple of weeks ago for both the late medieval and early modern periods, I thought I would showcase four representations of ships this week because Dr Martin Watts is working on the ‘Maritime Whitstable’ project and I’m intending to start writing an article of Kentish fishing and fishermen very shortly.
I called in at the Box Office in Augustine House this week to leave more leaflets for the Early Medieval Kent conference – Ruth Duckworth had run out there, and also to deliver leaflets for the Nightingale Lecture ‘Wartime Farm Revisited’ that will be given by Professor John Martin. Ruth checked the booking for the conference for me and these are climbing nicely, so we shall have a good audience on Saturday 10 September, although there is still plenty of space for more people.
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.