"The People's Charter developed and published by the London Working Men's Association on 6 May 1838 represented an attempt to change the political system of Britain". Rob Cumming looks at the state of play in Wiltshire ahead of the 'Chartist Riot' in Devizes, taking into the Chartist goals in the region and how their goals were viewed across the country and in government.
The Feast of the Not So Innocents: A Christmas Story
In a tale of Christmas anarchy, John Chandler follows the aftermath of a fatal altercation between a vicar, and one of the canon's servants in the house of choristers. The article considers the changes made to how different sections of the church interact, as well as how disputes are settled when things get out of control.
Reconstructing the Parish in South Western England: the 1650 Church Survey
The ecclesiastical legislation of the early 1640s is justly famous. In the space of a few short years the ancient apparatus of the episcopal Church was replaced with a Presbyterian equivalent. Bishops were removed from the Lords, whilst the Book of Common Prayer was replaced with the Directory for Public Worship. Having abolished the episcopal hierarchy, the parliamentarian state was left in possession of land, tithes and impropriate rectories across the country. Following the execution of the king in 1649, the new Republic appointed trustees to carry out a survey of the state of the church. In this article, Alex Craven provides an insight into the local parish and the relationship between the Church and State through the evidence of the Church survey.
Wood-taking and customary practice: William Hunt’s Justices Notebook, 1744-49
'The surviving notebooks of eighteenth century magistrates can be used by historians to investigate the extent to which customary culture was constrained and regulated by law. Wood-gathering may have been essential to the economy of the rural poor, but it remained theft in the eyes of the law. Carl Griffin opens the notebook of William Hunt of West Lavington in Wiltshire and finds that it was a crime that kept the magistrate peculiarly busy'.
In this article, Brian Edwards follow the heritage timeline of Avebury, as well as incorporate the efforts of the heritage authorities to cash in and further popularise the history of Stonehenge and the surrounding area. The timeline stems from John Aubrey introducing Charles II to Avebury in 1663, to the impact that the Five Mile Act had on the surrounding environment.
Historians of Mere – Part I
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.