Palm Oil and Elephant Tusks: The Merchant Kings of Bristol

'Over the years of the slave trade Bristol's merchants learned the best combination of 'sortings' to facilitate their business in the West Indies. It was an eclectic, international collection of trade goods containing, for instance Maldive cowries, Manchester cottons, Birmingham guns, Swedish iron bars, Bristol copper and glassware, West Indian rum, Virginian tobacco and South Gloucestershire felt hats. The goods were used as customs duties and homage for the coastal kings, 'dash' payments for African middlemen, and barter for slaves'.

The Bristol General Election of 1830

The General Election which followed the death of King George IV in June 1830 is generally remembered in Bristol as a contest between the two Whig candidates over slavery. There were, however, two other candidates. One of them scored the greatest political triumph of his career; the other mustered barely two dozen votes. John Stevens tells the story of these Bristol electorates and their political campaigns.

Topographical Prints and the Image of Bristol: 1995-1860

From the time when urbanisation was first recognised as a radical and permanent phenomenon, debates and questions surrounding the physical, political, and social consequences of urban and industrial development accompanied every topographical modification; urban migration, expansion, and the industrialisation of the landscape became the object of popular scrutiny. Throughout the 19th century, commentators continued to compile both historic and prophetic accounts of rapidly evolving conurbations in an attempt to comprehend the future of these sites and their implications for the British nation and empire. In this article, Katy Layton Jones examines some of the ways in which engraved images of Bristol produced during the first half of the 19th century were informed by, and in turn informed, changing attitudes to that city and to urbanisation in general.

Early Records of the Church Court in Bristol

The Consistory Court was established in Bristol following the creation of the bishopric and diocese in 1542. Previously the Bristol parishes north of the river Avon had been part of the diocese of Worcester, while the parishes south of the river were in the diocese of Bath and Wells. In this article, Joseph Bettey explores a neglected source for local history and genealogy in Bristol and the surrounding area: the records of the Church or Consistory Court. Proceedings of the court, including statements by witnesses, were recorded in detail, and 45 Cause Books survive starting in 1545, as well as numerous bundles of Cause Papers from 1600.Ecclesiastical jurisdiction dealt with many aspects of daily life, including disputes over wills, marriage and inheritance, offences such as heresy, immorality, drunkenness and slander, failure to attend church and misdemeanours of the clergy.

Little Wales beyond the Severn? The Welsh in Early Tudor Bristol

'There is a considerable Welsh presence in contemporary Bristol. Welsh accents are often to be heard in the city's streets, and that presence has doubtless grown since the building of the two Severn bridges. This is by no means a modern phenomenon, however, and in this article, Peter Fleming explores the experiences of the Welsh in Bristol during the reign of the Welsh king of England, Henry VII'.

St Thomas’ Church, Bristol: From Medieval Splendour to Classical elegance

'There were 18 parish churches crowded in and around the walls of medieval Bristol. Churchwardens' accounts and other sources show that these churches continued to be well-maintained throughout the 16th and 17th centuries , in spite of the destruction of many furnishings of great beauty and value during all the upheavals of the Reformation'. Joseph Bettey looks at the maintenance of parish churches in the Bristol area, and how congregations approached physical alterations to the skin of the building.

Extract from the Diary of Sarah Champion Fox / Introduction to the Diary of Sarah Champion Fox

This is an extract from the diaries of Bristol Quaker Sarah Champion Fox published by the Bristol Record Society edited by Madge Dresser. Dresser provides an analysis of the extract. It provides context from the life Sarah Champion Fox, and discusses her role in the history of women. In addition, she also gives an insight into the mindset of Bristol's female icons, placing her in an important period of the city's history.