Lectures and Talks

Programme 2016 - 2017

All meetings are held in Campden Town Hall on the third Thursday in the month and begin at 7.30pm.

Everyday Life and Accidental Death in 16th Century Gloucestershire - Professor Stephen Gunn, Merton College, Oxford.

Thursday 15th September

Having a job in the 16th century was a dangerous business, with nearly half of accidental deaths happening at work. Stephen Gunn's study documents the various gory ways in which workers met their end whilst driving carts, felling trees or working in mills. It found that even in Tudor England people adopted health and safety measures to make their jobs safer, although they didn’t always work as planned.

As part of a research project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, University of Oxford historian Professor Steven Gunn has been scouring 16th century coroners' reports and researching accidental deaths in Tudor England. Professor Gunn estimates there are some 9,000 accidental deaths in the 16th century to investigate, all stored in The National Archives in Kew.

Stephen Gunn teaches British and European History between 1330 and 1700.  His research interests are in the political, social, cultural and military history of England and its continental neighbours from the mid-fifteenth to the later sixteenth century. 

Magna Carta: Tyranny, Treachery and Liberty  - Derek Taylor

Thursday 20th October

Magna Carta’s birth is shrouded in myth. It is often mistakenly thought to have given us such valued institutions as democracy and trial by jury. It didn’t, but it is rightly regarded as a beacon of freedom and justice. Why?  Was King John really a murderous tyrant or was he just doing what he had to, faced with a bunch of thuggish, self-serving aristocrats?

As a TV correspondent Derek Taylor reported from Northern Ireland, Rome, the Middle East and the United States, where he was based in Washington D.C.  As ITN’s first Middle East correspondent, he covered five wars, and spent seven months in Iran during the Islamic revolution.  He went on to work for the BBC before becoming Chief Executive of the world’s biggest TV news agency.

He now lives with his wife Maggie in the Cotswolds where he pursues his twin passions of history and writing.

The uses of DNA in Family History Research - Sue Honoré, Oxfordshire Family History Society

Thursday 17th November

Sue comes from a background as a research consultant in both industrial and educational fields. She is the editor of the Oxfordshire Family History Journal and co-administrator of the Oxfordshire DNA project. She will be helping us to understand DNA research and how it works, together with the advantages it offers for family history.

The Single Gloucester Project and Local Folk Carols and Wassails - Gwilym and Carol Davies

Thursday 1st December

Gloucestershire has a rich history of folk music and song including The Holly and the Ivy and The Gloucestershire Wassail. A number of these songs were published in collections by Ralph Vaughan Williams in the early C20th, but there are hundreds more Gloucestershire songs that lie forgotten and unpublished.  Gloucestershire Traditions is publishing all of the known songs and tunes from the county on an easily accessible website.   Anybody interested in family history will also be interested as the person from whom each song was collected has been researched.  So one of your ancestors may be represented with a song that was sung in your family a hundred years ago.

Despite his Welsh name and ancestry, Gwilym Davies is a Hampshire man who has been resident in Gloucestershire since the 1970s. He is an experienced singer of traditional songs and, with his wife Carol, has been tracking down and recording traditional singers for more than 30 years. Most of his English songs come from the south and south-west of England, and he also sings a number of songs from his collecting trips to the USA. 

The Howse that was so Fayre – discovering Campden House and Gardens - Mary Gray

Thursday 19th January 2017

The Vikings in Gloucestershire - Tony Roberts, Archaeoscan

Thursday 16th February

For the Record: developments in Gloucestershire Archives - Heather Forbes, Gloucestershire County Archivist

Thursday 16th March

AGM, followed by The Griffiths Family at Bedfont House - Bedfont House Research Group

Thursday 20th April