TH2022 Ep10 Hanseatic League

Season 2022 – Talk 10 – The Hanseatic League

In The Hanseatic League Richard Thomas tells us the amazing story of this operation which controlled much of the trade between northern European countries from the late 13th to the late 17th Century.

Click a thumbnail below to view the image gallery that accompanies the talk.

Introduction:

The Northern Crusades lead to the Germans settling in and controlling the southern Baltic in the second half of the 12th Century. At this time the Holy Roman Empire is very powerful.

England, Denmark and Sweden are developing as ‘nation states’ at the same time.

Trade is badly affected in the mid 14th Century because the Black Death kills 30% of the population in northern Europe.

The Renaissance begins in Italy and spreads, because of the trading relationships, across Europe. This is a period where the Arts and Sciences flourish. From 1440 ideas circulate even faster because printing is born and paper becomes important.

It is a time of great exploration as Columbus discovers the ‘New World’ and Vasco da Gama reaches India.

The Holy Roman Empire is powerful but it has to contend with Martin Luther and free thinking.

Lubeck:

Known as the ‘Queen of the Hansa’ because Lubeck is the heart of the whole trading organisation. In 1226 it becomes a free imperial city under the Holy Roman Empire. This base for merchants develops the trade in Baltic herring and salt.

Other cities join with Lubeck through alliances and German merchants spread to Russia, England and Poland.

London:

The city becomes a major clearing house, or Kontor, when the Hansa is granted trading privileges in 1266. These exempt the Hansa from duties and taxes. The ‘Steelyard‘, their London base, is established in 1282. It is a walled enclave of about 1.3 acres with all the buildings they need for their activities. Their warehouses are on the edge of the Thames.

Nothing of the original Steelyard exists today because it burns to the ground in the Great Fire of London in 1666. Canon Street station is above the site and a nightclub, called the Steelyard, is in the railway arches under the station.

Decline:

From the 16th Century the Hansa started to decline because of many factors. These include the Ottomans taking Constantinople, the herring stocks moving from the Baltic to the North Sea and the growth of stronger ‘nation states’ wanting their own trade agreements.

Listen to the podcast and hear Richard Thomas tell the full story of this great trading organisation.

About this podcast:

This is an edited recording of a talk given to the Farnham u3a World History  Group. It is not possible to use many of the images in the original talk for copyright reasons.

The Farnham u3a site is here.

You can also listen using Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Castbox , Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify, Stitcher and Vurbl and others.

AKM Music licenses Media Magazine for use as the theme music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham u3a World History Group 2018 – 2023

TH2022 Ep09 Inclosure

Season 2022 – Talk 09 – Inclosure

Inclosure – or in today’s spelling Enclosure – is a talk where Gillian Devine tells us about the effects of Inclosure on society. She takes the example of the Inclosure of parts of the Manor of Farnham.

What does ‘Inclosure’ mean?

Inclosure is the process where land that had previously been open to anyone became private property. It includes fencing the land, using walls and hedges to create private estates.

The ‘peasants’ farmed strips of land for centuries, Inclosure collects these together and removes the ‘peasants’ from the land.

The Board of Agriculture:

In the 1790s the Board of Agriculture sends surveyors out across the country to survey the wasteland, or common land. When they survey Frensham they do not see it as a place where you can make a living through cultivation because their report states that it is sandy soil with loamy spots.

Act of Parliament:

Inclosure requires an act of Parliament. For many years Inclosure proposals from across the country are bundled up in annual Inclosure Parliamentary business.

The owners of one third of the land proposed for enclosure are required before a proposal can be made.

Some of the land proposed  can be sold to cover the costs of the process, because of this 800m acres are offered for sale at an auction in Farnham.

The National Trust:

We are lucky that much of the land covered by the Farnham Inclosure is now owned by the National Trust and we can walk across Frensham Common and Ponds, and the Devils Punchbowl at Hindhead. Of course these commons are not common land because the National Trust owns them.

Listen to the podcast and hear Gillian Devine tell the full story the effect on the inhabitants of the Farnham Manor.

About this podcast:

This is an edited recording of a talk given to the Farnham u3a World History  Group. It is not possible to use many of the images in the original talk for copyright reasons.

The Farnham u3a site is here.

You can also listen using Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Castbox , Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify, Stitcher and Vurbl and others.

AKM Music licenses Media Magazine for use as the theme music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham u3a World History Group 2018 – 2022

TH2022 Ep08 Farnham in the Civil War

Season 2022 – Talk 08 – Farnham in the Civil War

In Farnham in the Civil War Pam Taylor tells why Farnham was of significant importance during the first English Civil War.

Click a thumbnail below to view the image gallery that accompanies the talk.

At the crossing of two major roads:

The first of the roads is the North / South route running from Southampton to London via Bagshot and crossing the river at Staines.

The other is the East / West North Downs Trackway running from the Kent coast to the Wiltshire downlands via Winchester.

Because it is at the junction of two roads Farnham is a good place to station troops.

A wealthy town:

Farnham had grown wealthy on the wool trade but by the mid-1620s this trade was in decline. Because of this some were turning to growing hops and others becoming corn merchants.

Farnham Castle:

Parts of the castle are nearly 900 years old and, at the time of the Civil War, were already 500 years old!

In 1138 Henry of Blois, the Bishop of Winchester, founds the castle. For many centuries it is a residence for the Bishops of Winchester. In medieval times the diocese of Winchester is the richest in England.

In November 1642 Sir John Denham and a Royalist force take control of the castle. On 1st December a Parliamentarian force under Sir William Waller storms and takes the castle. The castle was well provisioned with 300 sheep, 100 oxen and other food along with arms and ammunition which Waller takes as well as the castle.

Later  in the war the Castle is made ‘indefensible’.

The garrison:

Troops are garrisoned in Farnham and they take part in a number of military actions in the such as the three assaults on Basing House and the Battle of Cheriton.

Listen to the podcast and hear Pam Taylor tell the full story of these actions and the effect of the war on the townsfolk of Farnham.

About this podcast:

This is an edited recording of a talk given to the Farnham u3a World History  Group. It is not possible to use many of the images in the original talk for copyright reasons.

The Farnham u3a site is here.

You can also listen using Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Castbox , Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify, Stitcher and Vurbl and others.

AKM Music licenses Media Magazine for use as the theme music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham u3a World History Group 2018 – 2022

TH2022 Ep07 The Real American Indians

Season 2022 – Talk 07 – The Real American Indians

In The Real American Indians Alan Bridgman tells us how the Native Americans were persecuted and driven from their lands because of the greed of the white settlers in the 19th century.

Click a thumbnail below to view the image gallery that accompanies the talk.

Black Kettle of the Cheyenne:

A prominent leader of the southern Cheyenne during the American Indian Wars. He’s a pragmatist, believing that U.S. military power and the number of immigrants are overwhelming. In 1861 he  surrenders to the commander of Fort Lyon under the highly unfavourable Treaty of Fort Wise. He believes that he can gain protection for his people.

Black Kettle also visits Washington where he receives a large American flag from President Abraham Lincoln.

He is remembered as a peacemaker who accepts treaties with the government in order to protect his people. On November 27, 1868, he attempts to escape from the Battle of Washita River with his wife, and is shot and killed by soldiers of the 7th Cavalry.

Red Cloud of the Oglala Sioux:

From 1868 to 1909 he’s one of the most important leaders of the Oglala Lakota. He’s also one of the most capable Native American opponents facing the United States Army in the western territories, defeating the United States during Red Cloud’s War. The largest action of the war is the Fetterman Fight and because 81 US soldiers die it is the worst military defeat for US Army on the Great Plains until the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

The Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868), results in Red Cloud leading his people  to reservation life. He dies on the Pine Ridge Reservation in 1909 aged 87. In old age he says ‘They made us many promises, more than I can remember. But they kept but one – They promised to take our land … and they took it’.

Nicaagat of the White River Utes:

As a boy he is an orphan, because of this a Mormon family buys him. He goes to school with white children and attends church with the family.

After a few years he runs away after a threat to whip him. He travels to Colorado and joins the White River Utes and marries a young woman from the tribe. Nicaagat becomes a leader to the younger men and scouts for General George Crook during the Sioux Wars of 1876 and 1877.

He warns Major Thomas Tipton Thornburgh that crossing the Milk Creek onto the White River Ute reservation would be seen as an invasion and an act of war. The army enters the reservation and a shooter from Nicaagat’s band shoots and kills Thornburgh.

The US forces:

Whilst many in the US forces treat the Native Americans cruelly there are exceptions, such as General George Crook, who speaks on behalf of the Ponca tribe in the case Standing Bear v Crook. In this case the judge asserts that Standing Bear has some of the rights of US Citizens.

Listen to the podcast and hear the full story from Alan Bridgman.

About this podcast:

This is an edited recording of a talk given to the Farnham u3a World History  Group.

The Farnham u3a site is here.

You can also listen using Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Castbox , Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify, Stitcher and Vurbl and others.

AKM Music licenses Media Magazine for use as the theme music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham u3a World History Group 2018 – 2022

TH2022 Ep04 Six Inventors

Season 2022 – Talk 04 – Six Inventors

In Six Inventors, six members of the Farnham u3a World History Group tell us the stories of six amazing people.

Click a thumbnail below to view the image gallery that accompanies the talk.

Jethro Tull:

Lorna Thomas tells us the fascinating story of Jethro Tull, an English agriculturist. He is born in 1674 in Berkshire.

Jethro trains as a lawyer although he never practices. He is famed for his work during the 18th century British Agricultural Revolution because he perfects a horse-drawn seed drill in 1701. This drill economically sows seeds in neat rows. Later he develops a horse-drawn hoe. These are adopted by many landowners and help to improve agricultural yields.

Mary Elizabeth Anderson:

Next time you are in a car on a wet day you’ll thank Mary Elizabeth Anderson because she invented the windscreen wiper. The story is fascinating and Margaret Denyer tells us about the problems she encounters trying to get someone to buy her idea.

Dame Sarah Gilbert:

Gillian Devine brings us up to date telling us about Dame Sarah Gilbert who leads the team that has developed the Oxford-Astra Zeneca Covid 19 vaccine.

We hear about how development started from work being carried out on malaria vaccines and learn about the accelerated programme to get approval for the vaccine.

Joseph Bramah:

Adrian Martin tells us about this ‘serial’ inventor who is born in April 1748 near Barnsley. We hear about his brilliance is in finding solutions to problems.

He gains patents for a wide range of different applications such as toilets, locks, beer pumps and hydraulic equipment.

Bartolomeo Cristofori:

Jacky Protheroe tells us the story of the inventor of the piano. Cristofori, born in Padua in May 1665, joins Prince Ferdinando de Medici’s team in 1688 where he takes care of the prince’s many musical instruments. Ferdinando loves, and is a patron of, music.

He also works on innovations for musical instruments and develops the first pianos. One of his first pianos is in the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

Charles Goodyear:

Jo Watson tells us about this American self taught chemist and manufacturing engineer. He is fascinated by rubber and after much trial and error develops a process to make vulcanized rubber.

Sadly he is not a good businessman and he doesn’t receive the income that you would expect and he and his family suffer many years of poverty.

The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company is named after him although there has never been any family connection.

Listen to the podcast and hear the full story about these six inventors.

Please note:

This podcast is recording from a talk given over the internet.

About this podcast:

This is an edited recording of a talk given to the Farnham u3a World History  Group.

The Farnham u3a site is here.

You can also listen using Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Castbox , Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify, Stitcher and Vurbl and others.

AKM Music licenses Media Magazine for use as the theme music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham u3a World History Group 2018 – 2022

TH2022 Ep03 No one expects…

Season 2022 – Talk 03 – No one expects…

In the talk  No one expects… the story of three Bishops, Peter Duffy tells us about how the English Protestant Reformation affected the lives of three Bishops.

Click a thumbnail below to view the image gallery that accompanies the talk.

Henry VIII:

Henry grows tired of Catherine of Aragon who, after nearly 24 years of marriage, has only borne a daughter, Mary. He wants his marriage to be annulled.

The Pope refuses to annul the marriage. This leads stress! Thomas Cranmer becomes involved, as does Reginald Pole. Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, supports Henry and rules the marriage null and void. This has the effect of making Mary illegitimate.

The split with Rome leads to the formation of the Church of England.

Reginald Pole, who is a distant relative of Henry as well as being a senior Catholic Bishop, does not agree that the annulment is valid.

Edward VI:

Few religious reforms happened during the reign of Henry, however his son, Edward allows Cranmer to make major reforms. These reforms strengthen the Protestant cause and weaken the Catholic one.

Cranmer compiles the first two editions of the Book of Common Prayer, a complete liturgy for the English Church. Several Continental reformers assist him in changing the doctrine in areas such as the Eucharistclerical celibacy, the role of images in places of worship, and the veneration of saints.

Unfortunately for Cranmer, Edward’s reign is short because he dies of tuberculosis.

Mary I:

Cranmer is still Archbishop when Mary ascends the throne. He is on borrowed time because she believes he made her illegitimate. She is a Catholic and intends to bring England back to the Catholic Church.

She marries Philip of Spain and Pole returns to England as Papal Legate. Pole becomes Archbishop of Canterbury in place of Cranmer.

Cranmer is put on trial for treason in 1553 and found guilty. He is also tried for heresy and moved to Oxford where he is burnt at the stake on 21 March 1556.

Pope Paul IV:

The Pope dislikes Catholic Humanism such as promoted by Pole. He recalls him to Rome but Mary refuses to send him. He becomes ill and dies only 12 hours after Mary on 17 November 1558.

Bartolomé de Carranza:

Our final Bishop acts as confessor to Mary, becomes Archbishop of Toledo and Primate of Spain. After two years the Inquisition imprison him for heresy.

Listen to the podcast and hear Peter tell the full story about the three Bishops.

Please note:

This podcast is recording from the internet.

About this podcast:

This is an edited recording of a talk given to the Farnham u3a World History  Group.

The Farnham u3a site is here.

You can also listen using Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Castbox , Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify, Stitcher and Vurbl and others.

AKM Music licenses Media Magazine for use as the theme music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham u3a World History Group 2018 – 2022

TH2022 Ep02 Samuel Pepys

Season 2022 – Talk 02 – Samuel Pepys

In the talk  Samuel Pepys Judith Edge tells about one of her heroes, a man who lived through many perils in his 70 years.

Click a thumbnail below to view the image gallery that accompanies the talk.

Perilous times:

Judith tells us about the perils that stood waiting for people in the 17th Century. In the case of Samuel Pepys there are more perils than for an ordinary person.

Childhood:

Childbirth is very dangerous in the 1630s as many mothers die giving birth or soon after. A child that survives birth may not have a long life. Pepys has 10 brothers and sisters but only three live to adulthood.

Civil War:

This is the time of the English Civil War. London is for the ‘Parliamentarians’ (Roundheads) and so fortifications are built around the city. Today few people know about them or where they are.

Illness:

For many years Pepys suffers great pain from bladder stones. This is a time when surgery is extremely dangerous. There are no anaesthetics, its before people understand the need to sterilise surgical implements, before the detailed medical knowledge and care that exists today.

To undergo a major operation means that one is in great pain and desperate because there is a great risk of a painful death. Luckily Pepys survives the operation.

Pestilence:

At this time the poor live crowded together and there is basic, at best, sanitation and because of this London is overrun with rats. In 1665 the rats bring the plague. There are regular plague outbreaks but this one is much worse than usual. Even though there is the plague, Pepys reports that this is one of the best years of her life!

The Great Fire of London:

Much of our knowledge of the Great Fire in 1666 comes from Pepys diary. He is at the heart of the action taken to stop the fire.

He is rowed down the Thames to warn the King of the danger. Later he arranges for sailors to help with the demolition of buildings to create fire breaks.

His home is safe!

Politics and plots:

In the 16th and 17th Centuries people in public life often have enemies and, because Pepys is so tolerant of others, he falls foul of the ‘Exclusionists’. They want to rid England of the chance of a Roman Catholic King and a return to Catholicism. The Earl of Shaftesbury and Titus Oates are amongst the plotters.

Prison:

A dangerous place for both evil deeds and sickness. In 1679 Pepys spends some months in the Tower of London because of trumped up charges.

Listen to the podcast and hear Judith tell the full story.

Please note:

This podcast is a recording of a talk given remotely over the internet.

About this podcast:

This is an edited recording of a talk given to the Farnham u3a World History  Group.

The Farnham u3a site is here.

You can also listen using Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Castbox , Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify, Stitcher and Vurbl and others.

AKM Music licenses Media Magazine for use as the theme music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham u3a World History Group 2018 – 2022

Tea – The Cup that Cheers TH2022 Ep 01

Season 2022 – Talk 01 – Tea – The Cup that Cheers

In the talk  Tea – The Cup that Cheers Richard Thomas takes us through the political economy of tea over the last few hundred years.

Click a thumbnail below to view the image gallery that accompanies the talk.

Types of tea:

We hear that tea first came from China. Apparently there is a record of the date when it was first identified. As Richard says, this is so accurate as to be unbelievable.

Indian tea becomes popular in the 19th Century. Ceylon also starts to produce tea when Thomas Lipton invests heavily in the crop.

More recently Kenya becomes a major tea producer.

Samuel Pepys:

Pepys is a committed tea drinker even though, in 1660, it is taxed at twice the rate of coffee. He writes ‘no person enjoyed with more relish the infusion of that fragrant leaf’.

It also has Royal patronage because Catherine de Braganza marries Charles II in 1662 and becomes England’s first tea drinking Queen.

Medical benefits:

It is initially sold as a medicine. Apparently it ‘clears obstructions’, ‘good for colds’, ‘helps headaches’ and ‘strengthens the memory’! It is also suggested that it slows cognitive decline. It’s a wonder cure!

John Wesley:

For many years Wesley is a fervent tea drinker. In 1746 he gives up tea because it is ‘harmful to health, wasteful and sinful’. He saves £50 a year because he is no longer buying the highly taxed product.

After 14 years he starts drinking it again because doctors advise him to and he has a large Wedgwood teapot made.

On the other hand…..

William Cobbett, a famed son of Farnham, claims that it is ‘a destroyer of health’, an ‘enfeebler of the frame’,  ‘an engenderer of effeminacy’, ‘a debaucher of youth’  and ‘a maker of misery in old age’. He argues that beer is more nutritious and cheaper!

Listen to the podcast and hear Richard tell the full story.

Please note:

This podcast is a recording of a talk given remotely over the internet.

About this podcast:

This is an edited recording of a talk given to the Farnham u3a World History  Group.

The Farnham u3a site is here.

You can also listen using Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Castbox , Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify, Stitcher and Vurbl and others.

AKM Music licenses Media Magazine for use as the theme music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham u3a World History Group 2018 – 2022

King Arthur – Fact or Myth? TH2021 Ep 20

Season 2021 – Talk 20 – King Arthur – Fact or Myth?

In the talk  King Arthur – Fact or Myth? David Simpson analyses the case for King Arthur, his legend and also the evidence against him.

Click a thumbnail below to view the image gallery that accompanies the talk.

Battles against the Saxon invaders:

King Arthur was a legendary Celtic Briton who, according to legend, led the Celtic Britons in battles against the Saxon invaders in the late 5th and early 6th centuries.

The departure of the Romans left a power vacuum and a (probably) unprepared population. In this period there are many battles to contain the Saxon invasion. To this day there are questions as as to the exact locations of these battles because the early historians omitted the details.

Historia Regia Britanniae:

The popularity of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s twelfth century work Historia Regum Britanniae did much to develop interest in the legend of Arthur. There are also earlier Welsh and Breton tales and poems where Arthur appears as a great warrior. He defends Britain from both human and supernatural enemies. Others state that he is a a magical figure of folklore.

Geoffrey completed the Historia in 1138 but how much was adapted from earlier sources and how much was invented by Geoffrey is unknown.

In latter years Geoffrey’s version has often served as a starting point for later stories. These talk of Arthur as a king of Britain who defeats the Saxons. Geoffrey’s Historia gives us Arthur’s father, Uther Pendragon, Merlin, Guinevere – Arthur’s wife, Excalibur, Tintagel, his final battle and  final rest in Avalon.

The facts:

The Anglo Saxons did suffer reversals in their invasion of Britain between 500 and 550. There were many battles during these years and the Battle of Badon Hill is believed to have been a decisive factor in stalling the Saxon advances. But as to where it took place and when it was is, as David describes, a matter of conjecture!

Listen to the podcast and hear David tell the full story of his research and also his heartfelt hope about Arthur.

Please note:

This podcast is a recording of a talk given remotely over the internet. In places the speech quality is variable, however I have tried to ensure that it can be understood all the way through.

About this podcast:

This is an edited recording of a talk given to the Farnham u3a World History and Medieval History Groups.

The Farnham u3a site is here.

You can also listen using Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Castbox , Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify, Stitcher and Vurbl and others.

AKM Music licenses Media Magazine for use as the theme music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham u3a World History and Medieval History Groups 2018 – 2022

Countess Markievicz and Lady Astor TH2021 Ep 18

Season 2021 – Talk 18 – Countess Markievicz and Lady Astor

In the talk  Countess Markievicz and Lady Astor Jo Watson tells us about these two women. They came from wealthy backgrounds, married into the nobility, became Members of Parliament but in other respects were very different.

Click a thumbnail below to view the image gallery that accompanies the talk.

Constance Markievicz:

Constance Gore-Booth was born in Buckingham Gate in London in 1868. Her father is an Anglo-Irish landowner who, during the famine of 1879/80, provides free food for his tenants in County Sligo. This inspires Constance and her younger sister Eva.

In 1892 she enrols at the Slade School of Art where she becomes politically active. She joins the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies. Later she moves to Paris and joins the Académie Julian where she meets her future husband. Casimir Markievicz is an artist from a wealthy Polish family living in present day Ukraine.

Ireland:

They settle in Dublin in 1903 and move in artistic and literary circles. She is one of a group who found the United Arts Club in 1905.

In 1908 Constance becomes involved in Irish nationalist politics and joins Sinn Féin and Inghinidhe na hÉireann (the Daughters of Ireland). The same year sees her getting involved in the Manchester North West by-election where she organises opposition to the election of Winston Churchill.

In 1913 Casimir moves back to Ukraine and never again lives in Ireland. They correspond and he is with her when she dies in 1927.

Jo tells us about her role in the Easter Rising, her spells in prison, her election to Parliament and being a Cabinet Minister in the Dáil.

Nancy Astor:

She was an American born British politician and the first woman to take her seat in the House of Commons. Nancy married her first husband in America, they separated and then divorced and she moved to England.

She marries Waldorf Astor who became Member of Parliament. When he becomes a Peer he has to resign his seat and she is selected to stand in his place. She wins his seat in 1919 and serves as Member for Plymouth Sutton until 1945.

Listen to the podcast and hear Jo tell the full story of the two fascinating women.

Please note:

This podcast is a recording of a talk given in the Farnham Maltings during Covid restrictions. These required open windows and doors and so there is some noise on the recording from other activities that took place at the same time.

About this podcast:

This podcast is an edited recording of a talk first given to the Farnham u3a World History Group.

The Farnham u3a site is here.

You can also listen using Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Castbox , Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify, Stitcher and Vurbl and others.

AKM Music licenses Media Magazine for use as the theme music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham u3a World History Group 2018 – 2022

Changing lives of women TH2021 Ep17

Season 2021 – Talk 17 – The Changing lives of women

In  The Changing lives of women Margaret Denyer tells us how the role of women has evolved in British society over the last few centuries.

Click a thumbnail below to view the image gallery that accompanies the talk.

Status:

For many centuries the role of women depended on their status. Those who were part of wealthy families led a life of comfort but were usually denied a role outside their family. Those without wealth worked – on the land, in factories, in service etc.

Education:

For a very long time education was reserved for males. The daughters of wealthy families would be taught reading, writing and needlework along with the skills needed to run a house whereas boys could enjoy boarding school, university and then a profession.

Property:

Until the Married Women’s Property Act in 1882 it was very difficult for a married woman to control property. The Act meant that a wife could hold her wages and investments separate from those of the husband.

Equality:

It is only in recent years that women have received equality in the UK, and much of this is due to legislation. The same is not true in many other countries.

Listen to the podcast and hear Margaret tell the full story.

Please note:

This podcast is a recording of a talk given in the Farnham Maltings during Covid restrictions. These required open windows and doors and so there is some noise on the recording from other activities.

About this podcast:

This podcast is an edited recording of a talk first given to the Farnham u3a World History Group.

The Farnham u3a site is here.

You can also listen using Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Castbox , Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify, Stitcher and Vurbl and others.

AKM Music licenses Media Magazine for use as the theme music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham u3a World History Group 2018 – 2022

Highland Clearances TH 2021 Ep 16

Season 2021 – Talk 16 – The Highland Clearances

In  The Highland Clearances Sue Willson uses literature as the basis for her talk. The sources range from the visit to the Western Isles by Dr Johnson and James Boswell in 1775 to modern literature.

Click a thumbnail below to view the image gallery that accompanies the talk.

Why literature?

Modern novelists have to carry out a great deal of research before they write a book and so, although the people may be fictional, key events will be fact.

The Clearances:

The Highland Clearances refers to the eviction of many tenant farmers in the Scottish Highlands and islands in the period between 1750 to 1860. They took place in two main phases:

The first resulted from the wish to improve agriculture because landlords needed to increase their income because of their debts. This involved the enclosure of the fields and the creation of larger scale farms thus generating much higher rents.

Displaced tenants were expected to be employed in industries such as fishing, quarrying or the kelp industry.

The second phase involved the emigration of people from the crofting communities created in the first phase because of famine and the collapse of the industries that they relied on. ‘Assisted passages’ were common giving the tenants who were selected for this little choice but to emigrate.

The authors:
  • George Mackay Brown (17 October 1921 – 13 April 1996) was a Scottish poet, author and dramatist and is one of the great Scottish poets of the 20th century. Find out more here.
  • Madeleine Bunting (born March 1964) was an associate editor and columnist at The Guardian and is a regular broadcaster for the BBC.  Love Of Country: A Hebridean Journey, published in 2016, explores the relationship between England and Scotland through a series of journeys through the Hebrides. Find out more here.
  • Alistair MacLeod (July 20, 1936 – April 20, 2014) was a Canadian novelist, short story writer and academic. His 1999 novel, No Great Mischief, tells the story of the MacDonald clan from 1779, when they left Scotland, to more recent times. Find out more here.
  • Adam Nicolson, 5th Baron Carnock, (born 12 September 1957) is an English author who has written about history, landscape, great literature and the sea. His book Sea Room is about uninhabited islands in the Hebrides. Find out more here.
  • In A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland (1775) Samuel Johnson describes his 83 day journey to Scotland in the late summer and autumn of 1773. He was accompanied by James Boswell. Find out more here.
  • Graeme Macrae Burnet (born 1967) is a Scottish writer, born in Kilmarnock. There are family ties to the northwest Highlands on his mother’s side of the family. Find out more here.
  • Andrew Miller (born 29 April 1960) is an English novelist born in Bristol. Find out more about his book Now We Shall Be Entirely Free here.
  • Alice Munro (born 10 July 1931) is a Canadian writer who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2013. Find out more here.

Listen to the podcast and hear Sue tell the full story.

Please note:

This podcast is a recording of a talk given in the Farnham Maltings during Covid restrictions. These required open windows and doors and so there is some noise on the recording from other activities.

About this podcast:

This podcast is an edited recording of a talk first given to the Farnham u3a World History Group.

The Farnham u3a site is here.

You can also listen using Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Castbox , Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify, Stitcher and Vurbl and others.

AKM Music licenses Media Magazine for use as the theme music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham u3a World History Group 2018 – 2022

Food for Thought TH 2021 Ep 15

Season 2021 – Talk 15 – Food for Thought

In  Food for Thought Andrew Cole tells us about diet through the ages and dispels many myths.

There is no image gallery available with this talk.

Medieval times:

Many believe that the peasant population has a poor diet at this time. Andrew agrees that the diet may have been boring but argues that people had enough to eat.

At this time many poor people keep pigs which can live in a forest and can look after themselves. Agricultural peasants tend to keep cows, so have dairy produce such as buttermilk, cheese, or curds and whey in their diet.

People of all types eat pottage, a thick soup with meat, vegetables, or bran.   Bread is a staple for all classes, although the quality and price varies depending on the type of grain.

The wealthy eat far better as their estates provide freshly killed meat, river fish, fresh fruit and vegetables. Although for many centuries people believe that fruit and vegetables need to be cooked.

Tudor times:

Cooked vegetables are often onions and cabbage, but in the late Tudor period, new foods from the Americas start to be eaten. These include tomatoes, potatoes and peppers.

The poor eat whatever meat they can find. Rabbits, ‘game’ birds, chicken and fish, whilst the rich eat more costly varieties of meat. Herbs are grown to flavour dishes.

All classes eat bread as their main source carbohydrates.  The quality varies, the cheapest is a mixture of rye and wheat. The middle classes eat wholemeal  whilst the wealthy eat bread made of white wheat flour.

Pies:

Pies are popular through the ages, they are convenient and can be eaten without plates and cutlery. They often contain good nutrition and are an early convenience food.

Listen to the podcast and hear Andrew tell the full story with thoughts about some of today’s supposedly healthy diets..

Please note:

This podcast is a recording of a talk given in the Farnham Maltings during Covid restrictions. These required open windows and doors and so there is some noise on the recording from other activities.

About this podcast:

This podcast is an edited recording of a talk first given to the Farnham u3a World History Group.

The Farnham u3a site is here.

You can also listen using Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Castbox , Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify, Stitcher and Vurbl and others.

AKM Music licenses Media Magazine for use as the theme music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham u3a World History Group 2018 – 2022

Ruskin TH 2021 Ep 14

Season 2021 – Talk 14 – John Ruskin

In his talk about John Ruskin Alan Freeland tells us the story of the life of this English writer, philosopher, art critic and polymath who lived in the Victorian era.

Click a thumbnail below to view the image gallery that accompanies the talk.

Early life:

Ruskin’s parents are first cousins and he is an only child. His father imports sherry and wine and is a founding partner and business manager of Ruskin, Telford and Domecq. Ruskin’s mother is the daughter of a publican in Croydon and first joins the household as companion to Ruskin’s grandmother.

He is born on 8 February 1819 in London. His father and mother shape his childhood with their contrasting, and ambitious, influences.

His father helps develop his Romanticism and they share a passion for the works of ByronShakespeare and Walter Scott whereas his mother is an evangelical Christian and teaches young John to read the Bible. He commits large portions to memory and the language, imagery and parables have a profound and lasting effect on his writing.

Ruskin’s childhood is spent near Camberwell and has few friends of his own age possibly because he is educated at home. 

Travel:

Childhood travel exerts a great influence on Ruskin and helps form his taste. He sometimes accompanies his father on visits to clients at their country houses, which exposes him to English landscapes, architecture and paintings.

In 1835 he visits Venice for the first time which he calls that ‘Paradise of cities’. It provides the subject and symbolism of much of his later work.

These tours give Ruskin the opportunity to observe and record his impressions of nature. He writes elegant poetry and his early notebooks and sketchbooks are full of visually sophisticated and technically accomplished drawings.

Fame and influence:

As his influence grows he reaches a stage where he can affect the success of an artist and, because of this, he has a major disagreement with Whistler which results in a Court case.

Listen to the podcast and hear Alan tell the full story with readings of Ruskin’s work by Lorna Thomas and Charles Stuart.

Please note:

This podcast is a recording of a talk given  on Zoom and there are occasion sound ‘glitches’.

About this podcast:

This podcast is an edited recording of a talk first given to the Farnham u3a World History Group.

The Farnham u3a site is found here.

You can also listen using Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Castbox , Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify, Stitcher and Vurbl and others.

AKM Music licenses Media Magazine for use as the theme music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham u3a World History Group 2018 – 2022

Songhai Empire – TH2021 Ep13

Season 2021 – Talk 13 – The Songhai Empire

In The Songhai Empire David Simpson tells us the story of the greatest Empire on the African continent.

Click a thumbnail below to view the image gallery that accompanies the talk.

Where was it?

The empire dominates to the west of Sudan in the 15th and 16th century. The largest Empire in Africa at its peak. The name is derived from its leading ethnic group and ruling elite, the Songhai.

The state came into existence in the 11th Century centred on its capital, Gao. By the 13th Century Gao grows through trading and attracts the interest of the Mali empire which then conquers Gao towards the end of the century.

A hundred years later the Mali empire disintegrates and the Songhai gain control.

Expansion:

Sonni Ali rules the Empire between 1464 and 1492. It sounds as though he was not a pleasant person, indeed a tyrant!

He is a military strategist and has success in his conquests and takes Timbuktu in 1468 and the trading city of Dejenne in 1473 after a seven year siege.

His son only rules from 1492 to 1493 as he is overthrown by Askia Mohammad.

Askia Mohammad – known as Askia the Great:

He is one of Sonni’s generals. He takes power and institutes political and economic reforms across the empire.

When he dies there are coups and plots amongst his descendants leading to a decline in the empire.

Listen to the podcast and hear David tell the full story.

Please note:

This podcast is a recording of a talk given at the Farnham Maltings and, because of the acoustics in the room, there is a slight echo.

About this podcast:

This podcast is an edited recording of a talk first given to the Farnham u3a World History Group.

The Farnham u3a site is found here.

You can also listen using Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Castbox , Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify, Stitcher and Vurbl and others.

AKM Music licenses Media Magazine for use as the theme music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham u3a World History Group 2018 – 2022

History of Farnham Park TH2021 Ep12

Season 2021 – Talk 12 – The History of Farnham Park

In The History of Farnham Park Pam Taylor tells us the story of the Park, or more correctly Parks, over the centuries.

Click a thumbnail below to view the image gallery that accompanies the talk.

Farnham Castle:

The Park surrounds the site of Farnham Castle. Henry of Blois, the Bishop of Winchester, founds the castle in 1138. He is the brother of King Stephen. The castle is a favoured residence of the Bishops of Winchester for many centuries.

The castle remains a substantial fortress until it is ‘slighted’ during the English Civil War.

The See of Winchester:

The Diocese of Winchester stretches from the Isle of Wight to the south bank of the Thames at Southwark for many centuries. It is an extremely wealthy Diocese through out the middle ages and the Bishops wield a great deal of power.

The development of the Park:

More truthfully this is the story of two parks. The Old Park has largely disappeared and it is the 320 acre New Park that we see today.

The parks were developed to provide food for the table of the Bishop and to provide sport for visitors. There have been many famous visitors over the centuries.

Some of the Bishops had trouble with poachers when times were hard!

Listen to the podcast to hear Pam tell the full story.

Please note:

This podcast is a recording of a talk given on Zoom and, in places, there are a few extraneous noises and sound glitches.

About this podcast:

This podcast is an edited recording of a talk first given to the Farnham u3a World History Group.

The Farnham u3a site is found here.

You can also listen using Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Castbox , Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify, Stitcher and Vurbl and others.

AKM Music licenses Media Magazine for use as the theme music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham u3a World History Group 2018 – 2022

Six characters from history TH2021 Ep11

Season 2021 – Talk 11 – Six Characters from History – the Burning House Debate

In Six Characters from History – the Burning House Debate six speakers  put the case for our historical characters. Please decide which one deserves to be saved.

Click a thumbnail below to view the image gallery that accompanies the talk.

Sir Alexander Fleming:

Margaret Denyer tells us the story of Sir Alexander Fleming. We learn how he discovered penicillin in 1928. The importance of penicillin is described as the ‘single greatest victory ever achieved over disease’. Because of this he shares the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1945.

Field Marshall Douglas Haig – Earl Haig:

Haig commands the British Expeditionary Force in France from late 1915 until the end of the war. 

He has a favourable reputation during the immediate post-war years. It becomes tarnished in the 1960s because of the number of casualties in the World War 1 battles. 

Niccolo Machiavelli:

An Italian diplomat, author, philosopher and historian who lived from 1469 to 1527. In 1513 he writes the political treatise The Prince. It is not published until 1532.

He is a senior official in the Florentine Republic for many years. Secretary to the Second Chancery of the Republic of Florence from 1498 to 1512, when the Medici were out of power. Also a writer of comedies, carnival songs, and poetry.

Machiavelli often evokes thoughts of unscrupulous acts of the sort he wrote about in The Prince. He claims that his experience and reading history shows him that politicians have always used deception, treachery and crime. Whether the work is about his experience or a manual for tyrants is for you to decide.

Richard III

Lorna Thomas puts the case for Richard who dies at Bosworth and is buried under a car park in Leicester. Admittedly at the time it is the Grey Friars Priory.

Queen Victoria:

We hear the case for the Queen who becomes the Empress of India. She is the mother of nine children. Many of her children marry into the Royal Houses of Europe.

Donald Trump:

Donald rounds off our sextet of characters from history. Richard Thomas tells us about Donald Trump’s successes as president, in this short talk, because of his success in foreign affairs.

Listen to the podcast to hear our six speakers give their light-hearted talks.

Please note:

This podcast is a recording of a talk on Zoom and, in places, there are a few extraneous noises and sound glitches.

About this podcast:

This podcast is an edited recording of a talk first given to the Farnham u3a World History Group.

The Farnham u3a site is found here.

You can also listen using Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Castbox , Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify, Stitcher and Vurbl and others.

AKM Music licenses Media Magazine for use as the theme music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham u3a World History Group 2018 – 2022

Wellington’s Campaign in Portugal TH2021 10

Season 2021 – Talk 10 – Wellington’s Campaign in Portugal and the Lines at Torres Vedras

In Wellington’s Campaign in Portugal and the Lines at Torres Vedras Peter Duffy takes us back to the Peninsular War.

Click a thumbnail below to view the image gallery that accompanies the talk.

The start of the war:

The Peninsular War begins when France and Spain invade Portugal in 1807. In 1808 the French occupy Spain – their previous ally! Napoleon deposes the Spanish King and replaces him with his brother, Joseph Bonaparte.

The Convention of Cintra:

The British win a victory but the senior British Generals allow the French to return to France and re-join their army. The senior British Generals are never used again. Sir Arthur Wellesley, at that time a junior General, returns to Portugal.

Moore at Corunna:

At the time the British army is not nearly as successful as it becomes in later years. Lieutenant General John Moore becomes the senior British General in the Peninsular campaign. He repulses the French army of Marshal Soult at Corunna. The British army evacuates without Moore because he dies in the battle.

The Lines at Torres Vedras:

Wellington orders that defensive lines are built at Torres Vedras. His plan is to defeat the French here although if that does not work they can cover an evacuation.

Listen to the podcast to hear Peter tell the full story!

Please note:

This podcast is a recording of a talk on Zoom and, in places, there are a few extraneous noises and sound glitches.

For Copyright reasons it is not possible to publish illustrations from the original talk. I use alternatives where they exist.

About this podcast:

This podcast is an edited recording of a talk first given to the Farnham u3a World History Group.

The Farnham u3a site is found here.

This podcast is also available through Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Castbox , Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify, Stitcher and Vurbl and others.

AKM Music licenses Media Magazine for use as the theme music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham u3a World History Group 2018 – 2022

The History of Language TH2021 09

Season 2021 – Talk 09 – The History of Language

In The History of Language Alan Freeland explains how language developed – verbally, with the use of icons and drawings, and through the written word.

Click a thumbnail below to view the image gallery that accompanies the talk.

What is language?

A good question! The word is complicated to define and different people define it in different ways.

We believe that humans have used spoken language for at least 150,000 years. What about animals? They communicate but is it language?

Writing:

The first written forms can be traced to around 10,000 years ago. From that time knowledge can be preserved, passed down through the generations. The acquisition of knowledge gets easier.

Writing can be in any direction. You can write from left to right. Or you can write from right to left. You can also write the first line is from left to right and the second from right to left. Very ergonomic as you minimise wrist and pen movement!

Language evolves, all the time:

The evolution is mainly in the hands of children and young adults. They’re the ones developing new words to describe things.

Timeline for the development of Latin script:
  • 8500 BCE – Simple object counting tokens.
  • 3500 BCE – Clay envelopes and complex tokens depicting different types of objects.
  • 3330 BCE – Earliest writing. Hieroglyphs of Mesopotamia and Egypt.
  • 2500 BCE – Mesopotamia and Syria adopt cuneiform script.
  • 1600 BCE – Canaanites develop earliest proto-alphabet.
  •  1300 BCE – Phoenician alphabet.
  •   800 BCE – First Greek inscriptions.

Listen to the podcast to hear Alan explain everything as he tells the full story!

Please note:

This podcast is a recording of a talk on Zoom and, in places, there are a few extraneous noises and sound glitches.

For Copyright reasons it is not possible to publish illustrations from the original talk. I use alternatives where they exist.

About this podcast:

This podcast is an edited recording of a talk first given to the Farnham u3a World History Group.

The Farnham u3a site is found here.

This podcast is also available through Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Castbox , Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify, Stitcher and Vurbl and others.

AKM Music licenses Media Magazine for use as the theme music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham u3a World History Group 2018 – 2022

The Mounties TH 2021 08

Season 2021 – Talk 08 – The Mounties

In The Mounties Richard Thomas tells us about the history of the North West Mounted Police, their people, their legends and their myths. We learn of their important role in bringing law and order to Canada’s North West.

Click a thumbnail below to view the image gallery that accompanies the talk.

A ‘frontier force’ for the North West:

The Dominion of Canada is created in 1867. The majority of the population lives in the east of the country. The north west is an inhospitable territory with a few trappers and native Canadians.

The Hudson Bay Company is important as they buy the furs from the trappers and export them because they are the main business operation.

John A MacDonald, the first premier of Canada, forms the North West Mounted Police in 1873.

What are they?

They are an armed, mounted, para-military force. They control the native Canadians, traders and settlers over the vast Prairies. In the beginning they are a very small force!

They oversee the ‘porous’ border with the United States and their attitude towards the native populations is very different from that shown south of the border.

Their history includes:

  • The Great Trek of 1874 where 275 Mounties travel 800 miles to investigate killings. They take all their supplies and set up Fort McLeod and Fort Walsh.

Part of the contingent continue to Fort Whoop-Up to suppress the whiskey trade coming in from the northern US. When the Mounties find illegal whiskey they destroy it.

  • They achieve a working relationship with the plains ‘Indians’ and there is respect on both sides.

One of the fugitives is Chief Sitting Bull.

  • They look after may government activities when the settlers arrive in the 1880s.
A whiskey recipe:

‘A quart of whiskey, a pound of chewing tobacco, a handful of red pepper, one bottle of Jamaica ginger, a quart of molasses and a dash of red ink’.

Very healthy …….!

Listen to the podcast to hear Richard tell the story!

Please note:

This podcast is a recording of a talk on Zoom and, in places, there are a few extraneous noises and sound glitches.

For Copyright reasons it is not possible to publish all the illustrations from the original talk. I use alternatives where they exist.

About this podcast:

This podcast is an edited recording of a talk first given to the Farnham u3a World History Group.

The Farnham u3a site is found here.

This podcast is also available through Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Castbox , Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify, Stitcher and Vurbl and others.

AKM Music licenses Media Magazine for use as the theme music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham u3a World History Group 2018 – 2022