What’s happening in historical Battle

Michael Faraday by Thomas Phillips
Michael Faraday by Thomas Phillips

Battle and District Historical Society

The Society’s last talk of the season is on ‘Faraday and his influence’ by Professor Frank James at 7.30 pm on Thursday 20 July in the Wynne Room, Battle Memorial Hall. Did you know that “Mad Jack” Fuller sponsored Faraday’s Professorship in chemistry? Come along and find out more. All welcome; non-members £4 on the door. To join the Society, contact the Membership Secretary by emailing bdhs66@yahoo.co.uk or come along on the night. The new season starts in September – watch this space.

Battle Museum

Don’t forget that there will be some Family Fun Days on Tuesdays in August – Roy Calthorpe will be helping young people decorate tiles. If you are at a loose end, why not come along?

New in the Museum shop is an abridged version of David and Barbara Martin’s book on the architecture of ‘Battle Town’, retailing at £15.

It is not too late in the season to volunteer to be a guide at the Museum or to help behind the scenes. No experience is necessary and training is given. Volunteering gives you a chance to meet new people, learn new skills as well as utilising skills you already have, in supporting the Museum tell the story of Battle through the ages. If you are interested in finding out more about opportunities to join our friendly team, please contact Margaret Emeleus on 01424 772058.

Did you know?

It was on 28 July 1540 that Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, was beheaded on Tower Hill on the orders of Henry VIII. He was accused of supporting Protestants accused of heresy and of plotting to marry the King’s daughter, the future Mary I. The real reasons were probably Henry’s displeasure at being married to Anne of Cleves, a match that Cromwell had promoted, and the gradual slide towards Protestantism, which gave his enemies, notably the Duke of Norfolk, the chance to bring about his downfall.

It was Cromwell, of course, who orchestrated the dissolution of the monasteries and in that role, brought about significant changes to Battle. Battle Abbey was granted to Sir Anthony Browne – he was a good friend of the King but it no doubt did not harm that the Commissioner sent to dissolve the Abbey was his father-in-law!

And on a totally different topic, King Harold’s burial place is again in the news. Two amateur historians are seeking permission to conduct a Ground Penetrating Radar survey of four tombs under St Michael’s Church in Bishop’s Stortford. The manor was listed in the Domesday Book as belonging to Edith Swan-neck, Harold’s common law wife and the theory is that she had Harold and his brothers buried there. The team is appealing for funds and professional archaeological support to support their bid for a ‘faculty’ ie permission from the Church, to go ahead.