Although the greatest popular movement in Georgian Britain was probably that formed around military volunteering during the wars against Revolutionary and Napoleonic France, historians have written comparatively little on the subject and even when an attempt has been made the maritime volunteers have hardly ever commanded more than a few vague paragraphs. This is unfortunate as an examination of pay lists in the Public Record Office, letters in the Bristol Record Office and the columns of contemporary local newspapers have revealed a useful amount of information. John Penny investigates this shadowy corps, put in place to protect the Severn Estuary against possible French naval incursions.
Steve Poole recounts his experience working with a Bristol-based company, Available Light, put a six-week series together for HTV under a working title of The History Trail. Rather than preparing a script and offering its viewers an ‘expert’ whose authoritative voice sets the agenda, the team went in and asked people who lived there what they wanted them to investigate.
By Brian Edwards, Issue 6, Autumn/Winter, pp.5-7. In 1999, an interwar film of Avebury surfaced, which includes unique footage of Alexander Keiller’s attempt to reconstruct the great Neolithic complex during the 1930s. The film came to light following a co-operation between Avebury residents to produce an exhibition of Avebury in old photographs as part of the village Millennium celebrations. This article covers the discovery of this film, which supports Brian… Continue reading Avebury Film Discovery
In 1821, John Horwood was charged with the murder of Eliza Balsam. The sentence followed an Act of Parliament which required the body of those convicted of murder be dissected and anatomised following the death sentence. In this article, John Lyes uncovers the curious and gruesome story of John Horwood’s body.
‘Bristol Record Office could not really be described as a mythical bird but its existence definitely seems to be a cyclical one; and whilst, thankfully, it could not strictly be said to rise from the ashes as each new cycle begins, its latest incarnation has certainly risen from a huge amount of dust and rubble to become the fabulous bird it now is.’ Richard Burley offers a brief history of record keeping in Bristol, right up to the newly refurbished record office in in time for the new millennium.
As we entered the new Millennium, historians reflected on the main events which shaped our lives. One of these achievements has been that women in Britain obtained the vote. Many books have been written and various debates undertaken regarding Emmeline Pankhurst's suffrage movement, the W omen's Social and Political Union (WSPU). However, there were many women who fought for this cause who have had little or no acknowledgement over the years. Pearl Jebb writes a short piece as a tribute to a Suffragette who seems to have been forgotten.
Any historian attempting to investigate the events of World War Two in their area will undoubtedly have need to delve into the vast collection of military and civil defence files held at the Public Record Office at Kew. Although the majority of these are typewritten and fairly easy to decipher, one problem will quickly become apparent, as any attempt to plot the map references quoted in the documents on to current Ordnance Survey sheets will prove fruitless. In this article, John Penny provides solution to the thorny problems of location and time often encountered when using World War Two military and civil defence documents.
During the late nineteenth century a quiet revolution was going on in the teaching of agriculture. Growing foreign competition along with economic depression in the agricultural sector, and the increasing demands of an urban population for more standard, high quality food products, all contributed to the development of a more scientific approach to farming. Agricultural societies, prominent individuals from the fanning world, and latterly the state, came to see the promotion of better education as a way of helping a struggling agricultural sector. In this article, Janet Tall provides just one example of an educational movement which was sweeping across the country, and the impact it had on rural Somerset.