December 2015 | Banbury Museum

December 2015

Distinguished medievalist coming to speak

Banbury Historical Society has a very distinguished medievalist coming to speak on December 10th.  

Chris Dyer, Professor Emeritus of Local and Regional History at Leicester university, will be talking about A Cotswold wool merchant at the end of the middle ages:  John Heritage.   We all know about the Cotswold wool trade, but little is known about how exactly it was conducted.  Chris Dyer came across the account book of a woolman of Moreton-in-Marsh, and this reveals all sorts of information about the details of wool buying from local owners of sheep, and the selling on to the London merchants.  We learn a lot about local society and business practices taking place round and about and in a lot of places which will be familiar to many local people.

Please see this flyer for information about the lecture.

Professor Chris Dyer comes from Warwickshire and did his degree at Birmingham.  He has held posts at Edinburgh, Birmingham and most recently was the head of the Centre for English Local History at Leicester.  He is the author of many books and articles on the social, economic and landscape history of the middle ages, for example Standards of Living in the Middle Ages and Making a Living in the Middle Ages.  He has been president of the Society for Medieval Archaeology and the Agricultural History Society.  He is also an entertaining and engaging speaker – not to be missed.

The society will be holding a Christmas Book Fair on Thursday December 10th, when we shall be offering many publications of interest and appeal to Banburians and the inhabitants of Banburyshire.

The fair provides an opportunity to buy some of the Banbury Historical Society’s most recent publications, including the lavishly illustrated Banbury Past, (an excellent Christmas present),  the richly-detailed diaries of William Cotton Risley, nineteenth century vicar of Deddington, three fascinating memoirs of Victorian Banburyshire, and the alphabetical digest of Rusher’s Directories, which includes a DVD of all the directories from 1832 until 1906 and is an essential source for anyone investigating ancestors who lived in Banbury. 

The fair also celebrates the achievements of publishing historians who are members of the Society whose works include studies of Banbury Spencer Football Club, Newbottle and Charlton, Icons of Northamptonshire, Victorian Nonconformity and the Industrial Revolution.  Chris Dyer will have copies of his most recent book about John Heritage too.

On Thursday January 14 Dr. Susan Walker FSA will be talking about Food for the gods: recent excavations at Steane, near Brackley.  In 2013 trial excavations took place at Steane, where a small bronze head of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius was found in 1976. The dig revealed two large late Roman pewter platters, one covering the other, with traces of food still preserved on them. In this talk Susan Walker explores the implications of this and other finds for the understanding of Steane, and assesses the significance of the pewter platters for the history of decorative art in late Roman Britain. 

Susan Walker recently retired from the Sackler Keepership of Antiquities at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, and was a visiting scholar at the Getty Museum, Los Angeles in early 2015. She is now an Honorary Curator of the Ashmolean and Emerita Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford. Best known for her work on the archaeology and art of the Roman Mediterranean region, Susan Walker has returned to work on Roman Britain in recent years.

Non-members are welcome to attend these lectures, and I hope you will be able to pass the information on to your various members.

Deborah Hayter