History seminars at the IHR

Locality & Region

This seminar welcomes all those who are interested in the relationship between local and national history and who wish to share ideas, viewpoints and work in progress. It seeks to make an original contribution to local and regional history by drawing upon the long-established national resources of the VCH and co-operating with participants from universities, record offices, local history societies and heritage organisations, as well as with those engaged in independent research.

Convenors: Professor Richard Hoyle (VCH, IHR), Adam Chapman (VCH, IHR), Matthew Bristow (VCH, IHR), Dr Christopher Currie (IHR), Dr Gill Draper (University of Kent), Dr Alan Thacker (IHR)

If you would like to join our e-mailing list, please contact rebecca.read@sas.ac.uk.

Time:  alternate Tuesdays at 17:15

Venue:  Room N304, 3rd floor, IHR, North block, Senate House

Some podcasts from this Seminar are available online

Spring Term 2016
DateSeminar details
12 January A disorderly alehouse at Mill End in Rickmansworth (Herts)

Heather Falvey

Heather Falvey completed her doctorate at Warwick in 2007, entitled ‘Custom, Resistance and Politics: Local Experiences of Improvement in Early Modern England’, she has since published extensively on this topic and is currently editorial assistant with the Economic History Review.

In June 1588 twenty-seven men signed or marked a petition complaining about disorderly alehouses in Rickmansworth in general and about the alehouse of Richard Heyward at Mill End in particular. In the light of the recent scholarship on alehouse sociability, this paper seeks to identify the opponents of Heyward’s alehouse and to ascertain whether their complaint was driven by religious, i.e. ‘puritan’, conviction, or whether the objectors were members of the middling sort of the community who simply objected to the poorer sort frequenting alehouses. In addition, links can be suggested between the Sabbatarian tract published in 1572 by Humfrey Roberts, vicar

26 January 'Stranger than fiction'? Alien accommodation and Dutch architectural influence in sixteenth-and seventeenth-century Sandwich

Alison Charles

Alison trained as a Building Surveyor prior to working in the heritage sector. She is based at the University of Kent where she is currently completing her doctorate on the ‘Dutch houses’ of east Kent. Her research interests include vernacular building in England and the Low Countries, and the history of the Flemish and Walloon communities in England.

This session presents results of archival work which confirm the unlikely nature of previously suggested links between the influx of Dutch-speaking immigrants and the subsequent spread of a local ‘Netherlandish’ building style. The challenge of mapping the presence of ‘strangers’ and ‘strange-looking’ buildings given minimal documentary, visual and cartographical records will also be discussed.

9 February Such obscene language and practices, as no woman ought to witness: vice and moral reform in eighteenth-century St Clement Danes

Francis Calvert Boorman

Francis has a PhD from the IHR and has been helping to write the forthcoming VCH short about St Clement Danes.
This paper will examine ‘lewd and disorderly behaviour’ in the Westminster parish of St Clement Danes during the long eighteenth century, and the repeated efforts made by local people to suppress vice in its various forms. From the reformation of manners movements beginning in the late seventeenth century, through the mid-century bawdy house riots, to the Vice Society of the early nineteenth century, this paper will seek to explain why both moral reform and its targets persistently co-existed in this area of London.

23 February Contrasting communities: open and closed parishes revisited

Dr Kate Tiller

Kate is Chair of the Oxfordshire VCH Trust. Her academic fields are British social and local history, with particular interests in English rural change post-1760 and in religion and community in Britain since 1730. She is currently working on a third edition of ‘English Local History: an Introduction.’

8 March A disappearing landscape: the heathlands of the Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire borders 1750-1914

Dr Alan Crosby

Alan is, among many other things, editor of The Local Historian, the quarterly journal of the British Association for Local History.

Between the late 18th and mid-20th centuries a unique and highly distinctive landscape, covering 100,000 acres and only 25 miles from London, almost completely disappeared. The heaths and commons of West Surrey, North Hampshire and East Berkshire fell victim to enclosure, urbanisation, the land hunger of the military, the building of great institutions, and the natural process of woodland encroachment. Hardly a voice was raised in protest – indeed, most commentators welcomed the transformation. This extraordinary story explains how one of the poorest parts of Georgian England now has some of the most expensive real estate on the planet.

Summer Term 2016
DateSeminar details
26 April Forms of democracy in rural England, 1550-1800, and their enemies

Professor Richard Hoyle (IHR)

Richard is the Director and Executive Editor of the VCH

10 May TBA

24 May TBA

7 June TBA

21 June TBA