This is the proposed programme for 2020-2021 season. Covid-19 restrictions will determine if and when we can resume our talks in person. In the meantime we will be using Zoom to run these lectures. We will send out to the membership the link for these lectures.
Richard Summers and Martyn Taylor, ‘The Abbey of St Edmund Heritage Partnership’
Martyn Taylor and Richard Summers will give an illustrated talk about the work of the Abbey of St Edmund Heritage Partnership. They already have a well-established patois and some attractive photographs of the abbey. But the work of the Heritage Partnership is now moving quickly under cover of the pandemic lock-down to look at options for the future, so who know what they will have to tell us in October?
John Saunders, ‘People who by their protests or good works made a difference to the town’
The town’s character is stained by those who lusted for power, control and wealth, causing religious and political unrest and bloodshed. Over time this has been outweighed by those who through their good works have put Bury on the map and made it such a desirable place for residents and visitors. This talk recognises those who, for good or bad, made a difference and explores the reasons for their actions.
Mike Petty MBE, ‘Samuel Pickwick’s Cambridge Scrapbook 1838’
When Mike Petty started a 750-week serialisation of a fictitious Scrapbook of Dickensian Cambridge he knew he could draw on the unique collection of books, newspapers and illustrations that he had rescued from obscurity. So what was really happening in Cambridge in 1838 and how could his discoveries be applied to Bury? Mike’s work as librarian of the Cambridgeshire Collection was recognised with various awards including an honorary degree from Cambridge University. Since then he has published in print and on line. For fifty years he has spoken to groups across the region – this may be one of the last.
Terry O’Donoghue, Honourable Elizabeth Countess of Bristol (neé Elizabeth Felton), Founding of a Dynasty
Elizabeth Felton later Countess of Bristol by marriage to John Hervey the 1st Earl of Bristol, was a professional courtier and ultimately Lady of the bedchamber to Queen Caroline – the true political power behind the reign of George 2nd.
Her private life and marriage to John Hervey, her position at the heart of court life, and her constant striving to advance her children’s interests at court, provides a great insight into Georgian society and attitudes amongst the ‘better sort’. Nothing about her life was mundane.
The talk also seeks to highlight the fact that her life and attitude left its mark on the lives and actions of subsequent generations of the Hervey family. A much underrated lady.
Rebecca Pinner, ‘Arrows, Wolves and Wuffings: Medieval Images of St Edmund East Anglian Churches’
Images of St Edmund, erstwhile king of East Anglia, survive in considerable numbers in the counties which were once the heartland of his medieval cult. This talk will explore their location, date and media and consider what the variety of ways in which Edmund is depicted suggest about what kind of saint people thought he was and wanted him to be.
Annual General Meeting followed by
Jo Sear, ‘Trade and commerce in late medieval Newmarket’
Jo is co-editing a volume for the Suffolk Records Society on the manorial rolls of medieval Newmarket, building on the excellent work previously undertaken by the late Reverend Peter May. In this presentation she will use her research to explore the reasons for the development of Newmarket in the fifteenth century, with particular reference to some of the merchants who traded in the town including some from Bury St Edmunds.