Whilst Mere is mentioned in the various diaries of early travellers, these entries give us little which is reliable by modem standards. In the years 1659-70 Joan Aubrey, the Stuart antiquarian of Kington St. Michael in the north of the county, conceived the idea of a Topographical history of Wiltshire, never completed, the text of which was deposited in the Bodlian Library. It was finally published, with a commentary by the Rev J.E.Jackson, by the Wiltshire Archaeological & Natural History Society in 1862. In this paper, MF Tighe hopes to provide a guide to the historiography of Mere, as well as pointers to future study.
This article by Sarah Whittingham covers a unique archive of architectural drawings and correspondence that was acquired by the University of Bristol. The correspondence relates to the practice of the University architect Sir George Oatley; the University already held several drawings by Oatley and his partners, but this material transformed the collection.
Five hundred years ago, Bristol was the second or third largest town in England ( only London, York, and possibly Norwich outstripped it in wealth and population), but was finding it difficult to maintain this position in the face of increasingly difficult economic conditions. Bristol shared in the problems besetting many of its rivals: population growth was held back by recurrent epidemics, with the result that levels of trade and demand for manufactured goods remained low, while the shortage of tenants meant that houses fell empty and soon decayed; the increasing competition from rural clothiers hit the urban textile industry, and the town's elite showed growing reluctance to volunteer for burdensome and costly civic office. Peter Fleming offers an insight to life in Bristol in the last decade of the fifteenth century.
This report from the Wiltshire Monthly Intelligencer covers some of Michael Marshman's work on oral history. Marshman’s work took the form of a series of reminiscence sessions entitled 'Do You Remember?'. Whereas with a history talk one turns up, assesses the audience, adjusts a set talk accordingly, delivers it and answers questions, these reminiscence sessions sought to draw memories from local people, producing some very interesting and unique material.
During the eighteenth-century, Britain was the hub of the international market in iron. Although the British Isles could boast a well-established domestic iron industry, native ironmasters were unable to meet the rapidly growing demand for iron in the major metalworking districts of the Midlands and the north. As a result, large quantities of bar iron had to be imported from the Baltic to meet the shortfall. Much of this iron, destined for the West Midlands, was shipped through Bristol. In this article, Chris Evans looks at Bristol’s iron trade through the business records of Graffin Prankard, a Bristol merchant who played an important role in this commerce in the first half of the eighteenth century.