Calendar

Aug
17
Sat
Society Excursion – Southwell Minster and Corby Glen Church
Aug 17 all-day

 

 

An opportunity to join in with the annual Cambridgeshire Historic Churches Trust led excursion to a great church, which benefits from the expert commentary and guidance of Revd. Lynne Broughton. Lunchtime opportunity to explore Southwell.

 

On the way back we will visit the church at Corby Glen where we will have the opportunity for a cup of tea there. 

 

 

 

 

 

Further information see separate booking form and information sheet, to access please click on [BOOKING FORM]

Book by Saturday 1st June. Please note early deadline

 

Sep
13
Fri
Society Excursion -Wingfield College and Eye Church
Sep 13 all-day

This will be a coach excursion, joint with Cambridge Association for Local History (CALH) and Cambridge Antiquarian Society (CAS), visiting Eye Church and Wingfield College (house and church).

SS. Peter and Paul Eye is one of those astonishing late medieval churches that seems to have everything: one of the finest rood screens in the region, a fan vault in the tower, a wealth of monuments, a sanctuary by Ninian Comper, a recently restored organ. We shall arrive shortly after their regular Friday service and be able to join for coffee. After looking round we are free to explore the market town, perhaps mount the castle motte, and find lunch in one of several eateries.

At 1:30pm we reassemble for the short trip onward to Wingfield College. The Palladian lines of this private house conceal a medieval manor, remodelled as a charity college by Sir John Wingfield in 1362, ‘a maze of medieval woodwork, every inch of which is intriguing’ (Jenkins). The visit includes the parish church, where Sir John is buried, but whose glory is the fabulous tombs of the de la Pole Dukes of Suffolk, and concludes with tea and cake.

Leave Huntingdon Bus Station 9:30am,: depart Wingfield 4:40pm, return c6:30pm.This is a joint excursion with Cambridgeshire Association for Local History. Early booking is strongly recommended. 

Other pick up points (indicate clearly on the form): Somersham (Dews) 8:55am, St Ives (Houghton Road) 9:15am, Hartford (Longstaff Way) 9:25am, Godmanchester (Bridge Place Car Park) 9:35am, Cambridge (Milton Park and Ride) 10:15am.

The cost will be approximately £34 per head. Book by Saturday 31 August, Maximum 40 people.

 

Oct
9
Wed
Society Talk – Churches and Chapels – the Past, Present and Future @ Huntingdon Methodist Church
Oct 9 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Michael Dudley will talk about the growth of chapels and churches in the local area and how the church landscape has changed over the centuries.

Throughout the country there are today more places of worship than clergy to conduct weekly services in them. Church attendance and communicants has declined significantly and our churches are now in a position where the cost of upkeep and maintenance is being bourn by fewer folk. Sadly, a great number of our churches, a lot of them listed buildings, are beginning to fall into decay; not helped by the thoughtless actions of some thieves stealing the lead of the roof resulting in enormous cost of damage to the fabric of the buildings. 

Many of the older churches are fine architectural edifices that should be preserved regardless of declining finances. We have seen charitable organisations such as The Churches Preservation Trust, The National Trust and Heritage England, formed to stem the tide of decay and dereliction of our architectural heritage, helping to restore and preserve these old estates and building for everyone to enjoy. So, what is to become of our churches and chapels? Will more be sold off to become desirable homes for the few?

Come along to hear Michael Dudley’s talk and get to know what can be done.

 

Nov
12
Tue
Society Talk – Opium Eating in the Fens in the 19th Century @ Huntingdon Methodist Church
Nov 12 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Opium Eating in the Fens – Talk by Dr Eric Somerville

In the 19th Century opium was commonly used as a remedy for a large number of common ailments. It is hard to believe that it was possible to walk into a chemist shop and buy without a prescription cocaine and laudanum. Opium preparations, (‘little white powder’) were freely sold in towns and markets and in the countryside by travelling ‘hawksters’. Taking opium became as popular as alcohol. Surprisingly, opium was also used as a ‘quieten’  tincture for children.

Dr Eric Somerville is coming to speak to us about “Opium-eating in the Fens in the Nineteenth Century”.  It’s interesting to learn that fenland folk didn’t smoke opium, they consumed it, and did so in quantities, to the extent that it has been calculated that half of imported opium went there.  Dr Somerville has made an extensive study of the subject and since he’s a retired Wisbech G.P. expect some reflections on drug use today.

Admission free to Society Members, guests are welcome and we ask for a small £3 donation for the evening.

Parking: Building work has now started at the church and there is only Disabled Parking there, so please allow a few minutes more to park in Malthouse Close or Ingram Street car parks.

Jan
8
Wed
Society Talk – Cromwell’s First Campaign, 1643 @ Huntingdon Methodist Church
Jan 8 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Stuart Orme, the Curator of the Cromwell Museum will talk to us about Oliver Cromwell’s first campaigns in 1643 at Huntingdon, Peterborough, Crowland and the Battle of Gainsborough on 28th July. Cromwell went from a small landowner MP to a significant General and a force to be reckoned with in Parliament.  Cromwell was first elected to Parliament in 1628 but by 1631 he was in financial difficulty and was forced to sell his land. He returned to Parliament in 1640 but by 1642 armed conflict had begun between Charles 1 and Parliament. It was in 1642 that Cromwell’s career as a military leader began. He distinguished himself in battle at Edgehill in 1642 and again in the East in 42 and 43. By 1644 he had risen to the rank of Lieutenant General. 

Stuart Orme will look at the early career of Cromwell and his meteoric rise to the highest ranks of the New Model Army.

Visitors are welcome and are invited to donate £3 to defray costs.

Feb
12
Wed
Society Talk – John Howland of Fenstanton, The Mayflower and the Great Migration @ Huntingdon Methodist Church
Feb 12 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Adrian Moss will talk about John Howland of Fenstanton. He was born in 1599, the son of Henry and Margaret Howland. In 1620 he sailed on the Mayflower as an indentured man servant of Governor John Carver to settle in Plymouth in the ‘New World’. John’s voyage was not without drama. During a storm he fell overboard and it was only through luck that he was able to grab hold of a trailing rope and was eventually rescued. In later years he became personal secretary to the Governor and was instrumental in the making of a treaty with the local native American tribe, Sachem Massasoit.

 

John married Elizabeth Tilley in about 1624 and they had 10 children. John died in 1672/3 at Rocky Nook, Plymouth USA. But, that’s not where the story of John Howland ends, for his many decedents, including Theodore Roosevelt, George Bush and George W. Bush held the highest office in the USA.

Today there is a thriving John Howland Society (https://pilgrimjohnhowlandsociety.org/Society)  founded in 1897 that catalogues the story of this amazing man and his decedents.

Mar
11
Wed
Society Talk – History and Collections of the Spalding Gentlemen’s Society @ Huntingdon Methodist Church
Mar 11 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

SPALDING GENTLEMEN’S SOCIETY

Founded in 1710 The Spalding Gentlemen’s Society, is one of the oldest learned societies in the UK and is reputably the earliest provincial association for the encouragement of antiquarianism. Founded by Maurice Johnson (1688-1755), the Society began with a series of informal meetings of a few local gentlemen at a coffee house in the Abbey Yard, Spalding. Initially a ‘Society of Gentlemen, for the supporting of mutual benevolence and their improvement in the liberal sciences and in polite learning’, it was a male preserve for over 300 years. Although in 1971 five notable female local historians were created Fellows of the Society in acknowledgement of their work, they were still not conferred as members. It wasn’t until 2006 that a historic vote was taken to admit women as members of the Society. The first woman joined as a member in 2007. The Duke of Buccleuch have been the patrons of the Society since 1732 and the current 10th Duke of Buccleuch, Richard Montague Douglas Scott is the present Patron.

This prodigious Society is able to count as its members some notable figures; Sir Isaac Newon, Sir Hans Sloane, Alexander Pope, Dr William Stukeley, Sir Edward Bellamy, Sir G. Gilbert Scott, Lord Tennyson, Lord Curzon of Kedleston and Lord Peckover of Wisbech.

The Society’s home is a Grade II listed building on Broad Street in Spalding, purpose built to house the Society’s collections. The Society, has an extensive archive of manuscripts, drawings, maps and prints dating from the 13th century to the present day. Also amongst its most treasured possessions are the Society’s minutes of meetings, account books, lecture notes and collections of correspondence. Important manuscripts from Crowland Abbey and Spalding Priory are preserved in the collection.

The Society also has an extensive museum collection that, with the exception of the Ashmolean, is the oldest in the Kingdom. On display are a rare specimen of Jas Christopher le Bon’s tapestry ‘A head of Christ’, a fine astrolabe dated at 1565, a map of 1732 Spalding by John Grundy.

The Society has a large active membership today and holds regular public lectures from September to March on cultural, scientific and antiquarian subjects.

To find out more about this fascinating and ancient Society, come and listen to the talk by Tom Grimes, the current President of the Spalding Gentlemen’s Society, and join us later in the summer on our visit to the Society in Spalding.

You can access the Society’s webpage at https://www.sgsoc.org

May
20
Wed
CANCELLED – President’s Lecture and Presentation of Goodliff Awards 2020 @ Huntingdon Town Hall
May 20 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the lecture and presentation of the Goodliff Awards for 2020 have been postponed and will be rescheduled for later in the year.

The Society’s President, Dr David Starkey will talk about ‘The Uses of History’ and present the Goodliff Awards for 2020.

More details to follow shortly

Jul
8
Wed
CANCELLED -Palace House Newmarket – Dr Steven Parissien @ Huntingdon Town Hall
Jul 8 @ 7:00 pm – Jul 9 @ 9:15 pm

Dr Steven Parissien will talk about the Palace House, Newmarket. More details about the talk will be provided shortly

This will be a ticketed event, joint with the Huntingdonshire History Festival

Sep
16
Wed
Society AGM and Lecture (ZOOM) – ‘Mrs Cromwell’s Cookbook: Food, Dining and Politics in the 17th Century’ @ ZOOM Meeting
Sep 16 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm

Autumn Lectures by Zoom

 In view of the uncertainty caused by the pandemic and necessity of social distancing, we have decided to cancel normal meetings for the rest of 2020, with the possible exception of the Christmas Social on 4th December, about which a decision will be taken in October.  Ongoing we are also looking at what we do in Spring 2021. We shall however be providing from within our own committee’s members, in September, October and November, talks via Zoom.  If you haven’t experienced this before, it is very easy to sign up to.  You can choose to be visible to others if you have a camera on whatever appliance you are using (laptop/tablet/smartphone).   If you do have an email address but have never told us of it, now’s the time to make amends and do so.

As usual, all meetings commence at 7.30 p.m.

Wednesday 16th September Annual General Meeting.

This year we shall keep our business meeting to the necessary minimum.  A separate agenda is being sent with this newsletter. We continue to welcome new blood on the committee, so if you are interested in joining us, just get someone to nominate you. 

It will be followed by a talk:

Stuart Orme, Curator of the Cromwell Museum: ‘Mrs Cromwell’s Cookbook: Food, Dining and Politics in the 17th Century’

In 1664 The Court and Kitchen of Elizabeth, commonly called Joan Cromwell was published, purporting to be the cookery book of Oliver Cromwell’s wife as a piece of Royalist propaganda. Stuart’s talk looks at this curious publication and what it tells us about politics, fenland food and 17th-century dining, as well as the Cromwell family.

A new edition of the book will be published later his year, thanks to a Goodliff Award from the Society.

As usual these talks are open to non-members, who should email David Smith, info@huntslhs.org.uk requesting the link a few days before.