Programme of events for 2018

Lectures, unless otherwise stated, are held at the Nottingham Mechanics, 3 North Sherwood Street, NOTTINGHAM NG1 4EZ at 2.30 pm. This venue is fully accessible and has facilities for disabled people. A bookstall is available from 2.00 pm.

Saturday 13 January
The Norah Witham Lecture, Valerie Wood,
‘Vote 100: Centenary of the Representation of the People Act 1918’

This talk will explore the impact of the act which enfranchised women from the age of 30 and men from the age of 21 and afforded women the right to stand for election to local city councils and National government. In the period immediately following, many women sought representation on local councils in Nottinghamshire from 1918 onwards, yet the first Parliamentary seat was not won until 1945 in when Florence Paton was elected in Rushcliffe. In the city of Nottingham, it was only in 2010 that the first woman MP was elected. However, this is but one aspect of the post suffrage story and the talk will look more closely at the events during the inter- war period from a provincial aspect. What happened, for example, to the Liberal women who were so prominent in the fight for suffrage in Nottinghamshire but failed to form an identity for themselves after the vote was achieved? Also, we consider how women themselves felt about the vote and how feminist causes changed post 1918 and 1928 when women were fully enfranchised. In the conclusion there will be a discussion of why it is important to commemorate the centenary.

Saturday 10 February,
Lecture, Michael Jones,
‘The White Book of Southwell’

The White Book of Southwell is the principal surviving collection of the medieval deeds of Southwell Minster, deriving its name from its white vellum cover. Mainly compiled between c. 1350 and 1460, it records, chiefly in Latin, 620 individual documents from c. 1100 onwards. These range widely from papal bulls and royal charters, privileges granted by many Archbishops of York to the Chapter at Southwell, individual canons (or prebendaries) and the parishes where the Minster held lands or exercised pastoral care. The majority date from c. 1200-1460 and concern properties which the Chapter administered through its courts, for which some rare proceedings are preserved.

Because of their variety, the White Book is important not simply for ecclesiastical history but for broader social and economic trends either side of the Black Death. It provides, besides much on the careers of individual clergy, vivid material on many medieval Nottinghamshire families both important and obscure. It also furnishes a remarkable amount of little-studied linguistic data including strong evidence of earlier Anglo-Scandinavian influences on Nottinghamshire. Known to every generation of Nottinghamshire historians since the days of Dr Thoroton, publication will make this important source readily accessible for the first time to a wide audience.

Saturday 10 March
Myles Thoroton Hildyard Lecture, Dr David Crook,
‘The First Siege of Newark, 1218’

In the second half of his reign, King John (1199-1216) was heavily dependent on the administrative and military support of aliens from his former continental dominions, conquered by the French king Philip II in 1204, and from Flanders. Some of the most prominent were involved in local government, among them Philip Marc, Sheriff of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire from 1208 onwards. During the French invasion of 1216-17 in support of the English barons who rebelled against John and his young successor Henry III, they held many of the important royal and episcopal castles, which they tried to retain after the end of the war in 1217. The Bishop of Lincoln’s castle at Newark was held by Robert de Gaugy, a Flemish lieutenant of Marc, who refused to return it to the bishop. An army to besiege it was assembled at Stamford in July 1218, and the names of those summoned to serve are known. The army marched to Newark and the castle was surrendered by Gaugy after a siege of eight days, about which information is given by chronicles and royal letters. It was important as the first of several such sieges to take place between 1218 and 1225, when the last castle held by an alien was surrendered to the king.

Saturday 24 March
Nottinghamshire Local History Association
, Day School

See for details

Saturday 14 April
Thoroton Research Group, Led by John Wilson

Meet in the Board Room at Nottingham Mechanics at 10:30 am

Saturday 28 April
Spring Meeting & AGM*

Calverton Village Hall at 2:00 pm

Tuesday 15 May
Excursion, Broughton Castle and Earl’s Barton Church
Led by Alan Langton

Thursday 14 June
Excursion, Barton-on-Humber and Thornton Abbey
Led by Alan Langton

Thursday 12 July
Excursion, Marston Hall, Stragglethorpe Church and Brant Broughton Church
Led by Penny Messenger and Margaret Trueman

Marston Hall was originally a fourteenth century manor house, and has been lived in by members of the Thorold family throughout its history. Over the years it has been enlarged, altered and extended, although during the Civil War the family were staunch Royalists, and Oliver Cromwell ordered the Hall to be destroyed by fire. Today it is a pleasant manor house with interesting architecture, furnishings and paintings, and it has retained the feel of being a comfortable family home. Toilets are available, and on our arrival we will have coffee and be shown around by Mr John Thorold, the present owner.

We journey to the Red Lion public house at Caythorpe nearby for a buffet lunch, followed by a visit to Saint Helen's Church Brant Broughton, famous for its Gothic architecture and restoration by G.F. Bodley in the 19th century. We are also to visit an old Quaker Meeting House in the village, where we have a cup of tea, and hear about its history and famous visitors (including Prince Charles and Barack Obama). Our final visit on the return journey is to the tiny Saint Michael's church at Stragglethorpe, where we shall see a Saxon west wall, a Norman font, original box pews, and a two-decker pulpit.

Thursday 13 September
Excursion, Middleton Hall and Stoke Golding Church
Led by Alan Langton

Middleton Hall near Tamworth has a history spanning over 900 years. The manor was held by the Freville family until 1418, when the heiress Margaret de Freville married Sir Hugh Willoughby of Wollaton Hall. In 1575 Queen Elizabeth stayed for a week. Over the years the hall has been home to a Norman magnate, an arctic explorer, and two significant naturalists. To pay for death duties in 1924 both the Middleton and Wollaton estates were sold in the 1920s. Middleton Hall was left derelict until volunteers founded the Middleton Hall Trust in 1980 to restore the Hall.

We shall have coffee on arrival, followed by a guided tour of the restored buildings and grounds. Lunch is then being provided for us before we travel to the Church of Saint Margaret of Antioch in Stoke Golding, where we have a talk and tour arranged. Pevsner describes the church as 'one of the most beautiful churches in Leicestershire'. The Grade 1 listed building is in Decorated Gothic style. Much extension and rebuilding were done in the medieval period. Of particular interest is an incised slab dated 1275, two piscinas, remnants of fourteenth century wall paintings, a font dated 1330, and a parish chest dated 1636. There should be some time for us to have a look at the village and enjoy a cup of tea before we journey back to Nottingham.

Saturday 29 September
Thoroton Research Group, Led by John Wilson

Meet in the Board Room at Nottingham Mechanics at 10:30 am

Saturday 13 October
Nottinghamshire History Lecture, Amy Calladine, University of Nottingham
'Performing Penance in Early Modern Nottinghamshire: The Evidence of the Archdeaconry'

Tuesday 16 October
Keith Train Lecture In association with Nottingham Civic Society, Speaker Dr Richard Gaunt, University of Nottingham
‘Nottingham: City of Rebels’

Venue: Nottingham Mechanics, Sherwood Street, at 7:30 pm

Saturday 20 October
Nottinghamshire Local History Association, Day School
See for details

Saturday 3 November
Annual Luncheon *, Nottingham Council House

Saturday 10 November
Maurice Barley Lecture, Prof John Beckett, University of Nottingham
‘The Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month: What happened next in Nottinghamshire?’

Saturday 8 December
Neville Hoskins Lecture, David Hoskins IEng MICE
‘Telford’s Legacy: 200 years of Civil Engineering in Nottinghamshire’


Further details of events marked * will be announced in the Newsletter and on the website.