Current SIAH news
SIAH meetings winter 2021-2022
Elmswell lectures are held at Blackbourne Hall, Blackbourne Rd, IP30 9UH. Council will meet after the lectures on 13 November, 8 January, and 12 March.
Wed 06 October 2021 at 1000 online. Mark Bailey Suffolk and the medieval Gough map.
Sat 30 October 2021 at 1400 online. Timothy Easton The significant timber-framed buildings of Debenham.
Timothy Easton moved to Debenham 49 years ago. Over the next 7 years and with the help of Mike Finch, a building’s draftsman, they surveyed and drew up many of the central inns, houses and specialist buildings in this former market town. A ground-breaking exhibition was mounted in 1979 and this talk illustrates some of the collected material showing many surprising public buildings around the market place. Timothy Easton is an artist and architectural historian.
Sat 13 November 2021 at 1400 at Elmswell: Andrew Peachey, Memento mori - remembering the Roman dead and a new perspective on the early settlement at Great Whelnetham.
Recent excavations have revealed a major boundary and a cemetery adjacent to a former river channel that provides a new glimpse at the occupants of the village. But history can be stranger than fiction, and the cemetery contained a very high proportion of decapitated and deviant burials that suggests activity may have been far from domestic and ‘normal’.
Wed 01 December 2021 at 1000 online: Dr Natasha Harlow, Archaeological evidence for the Boudican rebellion and the responses of the British peoples of East Anglia to the Roman conquest.
Sat 11 December 2021 1400 online: John Parker, Parson, polymath and correspondent: the life and letters of John Stevens Henslow.
John Henslow (1796-1861), a many-talented and much-esteemed Cambridge Professor, uprooted his family in 1839 to reside in the rural parish of Hitcham near Stowmarket. The course of his multifaceted life will be followed here through Henslow's own correspondence, now freely available on line as part of the Epsilon website of Cambridge University Library.
Sat 08 January 2022 1400 online: Edward Martin: Great Bricett Priory and Hall
Sat 22 January 2022 at 1400 online. Harvey Osborne, Swing and the contentious tithe in Suffolk (1830)
This discussion will highlight the impact and direction of the Swing riots in Suffolk and south Norfolk during the latter months of 1830. It will highlight previous attempts to explain the spatial and temporal characteristics of ‘the last labourers revolt’ in East Anglia before drawing attention to the way in which the tithe system and tithing customs possibly had a particular influence on the character and timing of the riots in these areas.
Dr Harvey Osborne is currently History lead at the University of Suffolk. His primary research interests have been in nineteenth century rural society and he has published extensively on poaching and the game laws.
Wed 02 February 2022 at 1000 online. Dr John Greenacre, University of Suffolk The Second World War and Suffolk's Coastal Communities
From the end of May 1940 the coastal communities of Suffolk found themselves on the front line of the Second World War. The relatively short distance to occupied Europe turned the county's towns and villages into easy targets for the German Luftwaffe. The threat of invasion or enemy raids turned beaches, cliffs and seafronts into heavily fortified military zones. The physical and procedural restrictions placed on the local population limited day to day activity and impinged on economic activity which, for some coastal communities lasted almost the entire war.
Sat 12 February 2022 1400 online: Susan Kilby, Bending the rules: trespass in medieval Lakenheath.
Trespass cases in later medieval manorial court rolls cover a wide variety of misdemeanours - from trampled crops to slander, and more besides Analysis of trespassing committed in one medieval community reveals underlying social and economic drivers for these petty acts, allowing us a glimpse into the mentalities of a small group of Lakenheath's residents.
Sat 12 March 2022 1400 online: Leonie Seliger, Long Melford's lords and ladies in stained glass - a fight against mould and fungus.
All Saints Church in Long Melford is rightly famous not only for its architecture, but also for the important collection of spectacular 15th century stained glass, now in the north aisle. The talk will give close access to some of the hidden treasures in the windows, reveal the production methods of the medieval glaziers, and illustrate how modern science is helping to combat the severe deterioration of the glass.
Sat 25 March at 1400 online. Dr Nicholas Amor, The putting out system of production in the medieval textile industry.
We are sad to report that Dr David Dymond, one of our vice-presidents and a giant among the county’s local historians, passed away on 20 August 2021 and will be sorely missed by his many good friends within the SIAH.
Mark Bailey, president of the SIAH, has contributed the following obituary.
David Dymond, native of Devon, President of the Suffolk Records Society and long-time member,officer and Vice President of the Institute, died on 20August in Suffolk, his adopted county. He is, in death as in life, Suffolk’s greatest modern local historian. Indeed, as a Vice-President of the British Association for Local History, David has also been an influential national figure within the wide and fertile field of local history.
David is well-known and exceptionally well-regarded within his adopted county for his teaching to hundreds of adult education classes over five decades. For each new course at a different Suffolk venue he would dig deep into the county record office to generate new resources from that locality, in order to heighten the relevance to and interest of his audience. Then he would proceed to pitch the material adroitly, and steer an uncluttered pathway through both narratives and explanations. He conveyed a passion, excitement and infectious enthusiasm, which brought history to life and spawned various local research groups that outlived his courses and went on to produce some excellent research: his book on the industrial town of Lavenham with Alec Betterton is perhaps the finest example. His teaching ability and his own scholarship also inspired countless individual scholars, some of whom acknowledged their great debt in the Festschrift presented to the great man in the summer of 2020.
David taught and wrote about an extraordinarily wide range of topics across a long chronological span. His prodigious output continued even during the final 12 months of his life when he produced articles for both The Local Historian and our own Proceedings.Often he drew upon material and ideas stimulated by his Suffolk classes. His articles on the camping close (an early form of contact sport), and on the workings of the glebe, in international, peer-reviewed, journals are classic examples, and masterpieces of the local historian’s craft. Together with his good friend Edward Martin, he conceived the idea of an Historical Atlas of Suffolk, which proved so successful that it sold out almost immediately, quickly went into a revised, second, edition, and inspired many other counties to produce their own. Throughout his life, David’s core academic interest lay in ecclesiastical history, represented by his magisterial edition of the register of Thetford priory (he often strayed over the county border) and in Suffolk by books on the spoil of Long Melford church (with Clive Paine) and the business of the early-modern parish.
The latter was David’s last book (2018), and encapsulated his many qualities. It began life as another group study (of Mendlesham), but incorporated material accumulated over the years from various other Suffolk parishes and classes. His own preface to the volume was characteristically humble, apologizing to the reader (unnecessarily) for the health problems that had prevented him from accessing the latest academic literature at major libraries. The book contained a foreword from Diarmaid MacCulloch, one of the greatest British historians, who described David as ‘the acknowledged authority over more than half a century’ on the subject of churchwarden accounts. There is no higher professional praise.
David is survived by Mary and their three children.This delightful, kindly, unassuming and generous man has made an immense contribution to the study of local history generally, and to Suffolk history in particular.
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