Battle and District
                 Historical Society


 

 

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Latest : Battle Town Index added to the Archive

 

HISTORY NEWSLETTER OCTOBER 2021

 

Forthcoming Talks

The next talk is on an unusual day and at an unusual time:

Wednesday 13 October 2021 6pm : George III by Andrew Roberts by Zoom

Andrew Roberts FRSL, FRHistS, is a leading English historian and journalist and a Visiting Professor at King’s College, London. His latest work is a biography of George III: the life and reign of Britain’s most misunderstood monarch and is currently being serialised as BBC Radio 4’s “Book of the Week”. Our talk is in the middle of launch week hence the unusual time and day. Andrew Roberts is well known internationally for his 2009 non-fiction work ‘The Storm of War’ which covers historical factors of WWII such as Hitler’s rise to power and the organisation of Nazi Germany. His 2018 biography of Winston Churchill also received spectacular reviews.

The Committee is working hard towards a return to in-person talks.

Battle Museum

The Museum has decided to close until the end of the season. Volunteer anxieties about Covid infection rates given the confined space; ventilation issues; and disruption from the Almonry works continuing into October are among the reasons. We look forward to seeing you again in 2022, when the dedicated volunteers are bound to show you something you’ve not noticed before.

Browsing in Battle

Battle Characters through the ages (£10 rrp) by George Kiloh for the BDHS is available in Rother Books and on the BDHS website. George tells the story of 60 extraordinary individuals from all walks of life in Battle and District. An ideal stocking filler. Given the petrol situation, please check with Ian Cawley at Rother Books on 01424 834756 before travelling.

Online book sales on the BDHS website

Since the establishment of the new BDHS website earlier this year, a small team has been investigating whether it would be possible to offer BDHS books for sale on-line. We are now pleased to announce the launch of this service from 4th October 2021. The website itself has been set up securely and a secure payment gateway, enabling the Society to accept on-line payments in a variety of currencies by debit/credit card via PayPal, has been established. A PayPal account is not needed to make payments by card. Members will be able to receive a 25% discount on the book’s cover price. We will aim to dispatch books by post within 5 working days from receipt of the order for a standard postal charge of £2.85 per order.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions about the new service please contact us on:
sales@battlehistorysociety.com

Online Archive Update – October 2021

Exciting news! We now have a great new resource available online. The original Battle Town Index, identified by advisers from the National Archives as potentially the most important item in our archive, was recorded on a series of Index cards. Members of our Society started the Index with the aim of recording information on the use and occupants of all the buildings in the town centre. Information, gleaned mainly from trade and other directories, was recorded up to the early 1990s. The online version of the Index has been edited so that beyond 1940 only information on businesses and a few private individuals reasonably assumed now dead have been included in the online version. This complies with the recommendations of the National Archives on publication of material which is covered by the Data Protection Act. It still, however, provides a wealth of information and is found in our online archive as a series of searchable .pdf files. Go to our archive page The Battle & District Historical Society Archives http://bdhsarchives.com and search for Battle Town Index to see the available .pdf files. When you have downloaded the file you can find the search function by clicking on the magnifying glass symbol and entering your search term.

History in the News

Saudi camel carvings: Archaeologists have concluded from tool marks and weathering that carvings of camels and horses found in Saudi Arabia in 2018 are much older than previously thought, dating from the sixth millennium BCE, thousands of years before Stonehenge. At the time what is now Saudi would have been a savannah – like grassland populated with lakes and trees.

Crusader diets: Israeli scientists investigating conflicts in the 12 century Middle East have discovered that Crusaders ate lamb, pork and cheese ( nowadays a “ketone” diet ) while the Muslims ate carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables.

Human presence in North America: Professor Matthew Bennett of Bournemouth University has discovered fossils of human footprints by a lake in New Mexico , thus putting back the date of human habitation of the American continent by some 6000 years to roughly 21,000 BCE, in the late glacial period.

Other history articles in the press: If any member spots an interesting history article, just email us a scan of it to bdhs66@yahoo.co.uk and we’ll feature an edited version of it in the next Newsletter.

The Arts Society Rother Valley (ASRV)

The ASRV still has talks on cultural topics during the rest of its season until April 2022. Topics include: the lute in Old Master paintings; Frederick the Great; the Baroque; the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II; medieval gold and enamel work; and the impact of Handel on 300 years of British culture. Please first check the ASRV website https://www.theartssocietyrothervalley.org.uk or talk with Jenny Fairfax on 01424 421344.

 

Adrian and Sarah Hall

 

Online Archive Update – September 2021

Exciting news! We now have a great new resource available online. The original Battle Town Index, identified by advisers from the National Archives as potentially the most important item in our archive, was recorded on a series of Index cards. Members of our Society started the Index with the aim of recording information on the use and occupants of all the buildings in the town centre. Information, gleaned mainly from trade and other directories, was recorded up to the early 1990s. The online version of the Index has been edited so that beyond 1940 only information on businesses and a few private individuals reasonably assumed now dead have been included in the online version. This complies with the recommendations of the National Archives on publication of material which is covered by the Data Protection Act. It still, however, provides a wealth of information and is found in our online archive as a series of searchable .pdf files. Go to our archive page The Battle & District Historical Society Archives http://bdhsarchives.com and search for Battle Town Index to see the available .pdf files. When you have downloaded the file you can find the search function by clicking on the magnifying glass symbol and entering your search term.

Website news

The British Library is going to archive our website in the UK Web Archive and to make it publicly available via that route. The UK Web Archive was established in 2004 to capture and archive websites from the UK domain and across the web, responding to the challenge of a digital black hole in the nations memory. It contains specially selected websites that represent different aspects of UK heritage on the web, as well as important global events. We work closely with leading international institutions to collect and permanently preserve the web, and the open UK Web Archive can be seen at http://www.webarchive.org.uk/.
Also an on-line version of the BDHS Journal for 2019 has been added – see Previous BDHS Journals

Meet our new President

Our new President, Professor David Bates, gave his inaugural lecture entitled ‘Writing a Biography of William the Conqueror’ at a very well attended meeting on 16 January. His presentation was well received and afterwards David had the opportunity to meet many members of the Society and be photographed with all members of the BDHS Committee. He also gave another lecture – by Zoom on 15th October. This was about ‘New thoughts on the Bayeux Tapestry’.

Meeting with the new Dean of Battle

The new Dean of Battle, the Very Reverend Lee Duckett, together with his wife Ange, has been presented with some books from BDHS members Keith Foord and Tina Greene, which are concerned with the Church and the Battle Tapestry, currently on display there. BDHS hopes to develop some mutually beneficial projects based on the church’s archives and the use of the church environmental space for exhibitions etc..


The Dark Ages’ greatest Christmas relics were at Battle Abbey

The Guardian and other media have reported that a medieval manuscript listing Battle Abbey’s relics has been analysed and transcribed for the first time by English Heritage historian Michael Carter. It reveals that the relics were the most prestigious given to any abbey, more significant even than those at Westminster Abbey.

A report on this can be found at https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2019/dec/18/a-bit-of-manger-st-nicholass-bone-the-dark-ages-greatest-christmas-relics.Michael Carter’s paper can also be found in full using this reference: Carter, M: The Relics of Battle Abbey: A Fifteenth-Century Inventory at The Huntington Library, San Marino The Journal of Medieval Monastic Studies 8 (2019)

Video: The Battle of Hastings. No – the Battle of Battle!!

BDHS Members Michael Hodge, Alan Judd and Peter Greene, working in close cooperation with Natasha Williams of English Heritage, have produced a video explaining where the Battle of Hastings actually took place and why we have a town called Battle. The video has been released by Mirador Television and can be found via Youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDe8uyKXL9Y

Amazing find by BDHS

In the process of changing over BDHS archivists Gina Doherty and David Sawyer unexpectedly turned up an old small parchment that appeared to originate from Abbot Richard Tovey of Battle Abbey in 1493. Christopher Whittick of ESRO confirmed its authenticity This is a ‘pass’ entitling the carrier to travel freely in England and quoting the old charter rights of the abbey. Gina has produced an excellent summary of this find which can be read in Section A3.4 of Collectanea.  BDHS has also given a facsimile copy to Battle Abbey for future display.

L-R: Neil Clephane-Cameron, Keith Foord, George Kiloh, Gina Doherty, Natasha Williams (English Heritage) handing the parchment to Christopher Whittick (Vide-President of BDHS). Picture Peter Greene







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