Calendar

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.

Nov
11
Wed
Society Lecture (Zoom) – Liz Davies, Curator of the St Neots Museum Magic and Folk Medicine in Huntingdonshire @ Zoom Meeting
Nov 11 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm

Wednesday 11th November – Liz Davies, Curator of the St Neots Museum ‘Magic and Folk Medicine in Huntingdonshire’

What sort of alternative medicines did people use before the introduction of the National Health Service in 1948? And what sort of medicines and charms were available from local folk healers? This illustrated talk will include the extraordinary story of the St Neots antique dealer, herbal medicine maker and road sweeper, Alfred ‘Doc’ Rowlett.

 

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.

Jan
6
Wed
Society Lecture (Zoom): The Census: Behind the Doors in 19th Century Godmanchester – Dr Ken Sneath @ Zoom Meeting Room
Jan 6 @ 7:30 pm – 9:45 pm

Dr Ken Sneath, former Assistant Director of Studies, Peterhouse, Cambridge. The Census: Behind the Doors in 19th Century Godmanchester

Members will know that Ken’s cores research has been on pre-Industrial England. Here he ventures into more recent times but is in familiar topographical territory to bring us some of the fruits of his work on the 1851 and 1891 censuses in particular. Expect some of your preconceptions about life in Godmanchester during this period to be challenged.

Please note this is a week earlier than we would usually meet in order to avoid a clash with the Cromwell lectures.

Details of how to access the Zoom Meeting Room will be sent to all members a week prior to the meeting.

The lecture is open to all non members. If you wish to attend the online lecture please contact David Smith by email at info@huntslhs.org.uk and he will send you the Zoom link details. 

Feb
10
Wed
Society Lecture (Zoom) – The David Parr House: an extraordinary Cambridge Home, Tamsin Wimhurst @ Zoom Meeting Room
Feb 10 @ 7:30 pm – 9:45 pm

The David Parr House: An extraordinary Cambridge Home: Tamsin Wimhurst

Tamsin has had a career in museums and education, but achieved fame for her work in enabling the preservation and restoration of the David Parr House, the managing charity of which she is founder and Trustee. She will tell us the story of how she discovered this remarkable house hiding in the back streets of Cambridge, uncovered its story as the home of a decorator artist for some of the best known designers of his day. Tamsin achieved her aim of opening the house up to the public so that many more can enjoy its unique atmosphere. For more information about the house see the website David Parr House

Details of how to access the Zoom Meeting Room will be sent to all members a week prior to the meeting.

The lecture is open to all non members. If you wish to attend the online lecture please contact David Smith by email at info@huntslhs.org.uk and he will send you the Zoom link details. 

 

Mar
10
Wed
Society Lecture (Zoom) – Lessons of the Ermine Street Excavation: Reassessing Medieval Huntingdon, Chris Thatcher @ Zoom Meeting Room
Mar 10 @ 7:30 pm – 9:45 pm

Lessons of the Ermine Street Excavation: Reassessing Medieval Huntingdon

Chris Thatcher, Project Officer, Oxford Archaeology East, who came to talk to the Society in 2013 when the Ermine Street dig had just finished, returns to give us the results of post-excavation work and put it in context of our understanding of medieval Huntingdon.

 

Details of how to access the Zoom Meeting Room will be sent to all members a week prior to the meeting.

The lecture is open to all non members. If you wish to attend the online lecture please contact David Smith by email at info@huntslhs.org.uk and he will send you the Zoom link details.