Categories for 2021
SLHA News ...
News 2021
Lectures and Conferences

Expand All | Collapse All

Charles Seely
Lincolnís Forgotten Victorian Entrepreneur

Mark Acton, Chairman of the SLHA Local History Team, gave an on-line presentation about this nineteenth-century Lincoln businessman and politician on 14 July.
Charles Seely was born in 1803, the son of a Lincoln baker. He began a milling business in his home town before becoming a mine owner in Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire and owning a share in one of Lincolnís major agricultural engineering companies. With the wealth created from these businesses he bought up land on the Isle of Wight and, at his death, was the largest landowner on the island.
Seely was an MP for Lincoln for almost a quarter of a century, taking a particular interest in Admiralty expenditure. He began a political dynasty which continues to this day.

July 2021

The Battle of Winceby, 1643 ...
... and the making of Oliver Cromwell

On 21 July 2021, Dr Jonathan Fitzgibbons, Senior Lecturer at the University of Lincoln, gave an on-line lecture about this famous English Civil War battle, on which hinged, it could be argued, the fate of Britainís future.
The battle took place in the open countryside at Winceby, near Horncastle, on 11 October 1643. (Because no detailed archaeological investigation has taken place, the exact site is uncertain.)
Dr Fitzgibbons explained that, not only did Winceby mark an important turning point in the English Civil War, but it also came close to witnessing the death of a man who went on to become one of the most infamous characters in British history: Oliver Cromwell.
He also examined the impact of the battle on local memory and folklore from the seventeenth century down to the present day.
Illustration: Oliver Cromwell in his prime

July 2021

Keeping our Feet Dry
A short history of Anglo-Dutch land drainage through engineering

An on-line talk about land drainage was given by Roger Backhouse, a retired engineer living in York, on Wednesday 9 June; there were about 50 who tuned in.
Scoop-wheel pumps powered by windmills were followed successively by steam, diesel and electric power which operated increasingly sophisticated mechanical pumps, each development allowing land to be drained more quickly and effectively.
The technology of draining in Holland and English fens has followed parallel lines; the Dutch were early pioneers but later innovations by English engineers were transferred to Holland.
There are notable Dutch drainage museums near Rotterdam and Haarlem, while in this country the small but historically significant Lincolnshire drainage museum at Dogdyke is well worth a visit.
Photo: Building at Cruquius, Holland, which houses the huge drainage engine for draining the adjacent polder and enabling a large area of land below sea level to be reclaimed.

June 2021

Charter of the Forest
Historic document held in Lincoln

Erik Grigg, Lecturer in History at Bishop Grosseteste University, gave an illustrated on-line talk on 28 April about Charters of the Forest, one copy of which, dating from 1217, is held at Lincoln Castle.
Royal Forests were protected areas in the early Middle Ages under the control of the Crown. At one time these forests, which embraced woodland, moorland and also open uncultivated areas, along with the associated chases, covered 25% of England.
Forests were the natural habitats for game animals and birds, and hunting was an important activity, but the woodland areas were also a significant resource for everyone, not only as a source of timber but as valuable grazing and pannage for swine and sheep.
The Charters of the Forest, which became codified in parallel with the Magna Carta, reduced the size of forest areas and eased the restrictions on their use by the general population.
Some of the principles - and even some of the functions - set out in the charters remained in place until the late 20th century. Many of the todayís National Parks and AONBs have developed from the original Royal Forests.

April 2021

Time Travel for the Armchair Archaeologist
A Visit to Toynton, Lincs in 1614

On 14 April members joined an on-line exploration led by Jenne Pape. She demonstrated how our knowledge and understanding of a community can be expanded without leaving the comfort of the armchair at home.
Jenne offered a time travellerís visit to Toynton All Saints and St Peter in 1614.  It was a critical time both in Lincolnshire and on the national scene, but what was going on in a rural place like Toynton? The exploration of free online resources demonstrates just how much can be readily discovered.
Photograph: The eighteenth-century church of Toynton All Saints (which encases some of the earlier medieval structure).


April 2021

Britons & Anglo-Saxons
Light on the Dark Ages

Caitlin Green has recently revised her book Britons and Anglo-Saxons: Lincolnshire AD 400-650, published by SLHA in 2012. The new edition was published in 2020.

Dr Green surveyed the new evidence and new ideas that have expanded or modified her earlier publication in an on-line talk arranged by SLHA on Wednesday 10 March. The audience for the talk exceeded 60.

Lincolnshire Ė especially the northern part of the present county Ė was at the heart of cultural and political changes in the period after the Romans departed and before the Anglo-Saxon society was established.

A great many artefacts point to the continuation of the crafts and skills associated with the Roman period. The etymology of several Lincolnshire place names reflect important trading, political or military activities in the fifth, sixth and seventh centuries.

Illustration: A 'hybrid' domestic jar from Greetwell Villa, Lincoln, showing Roman technology with Anglo-Saxon form

March 2021