history

Sir John Perrot: two faces of a ruffian

December 15, 2018 0 Comments
Sir John Perrot: two faces of a ruffian

One of the images included in Wales in 100 objects is a small oil painting by an unknown artist, now in Haverfordwest Town Museum, of the Elizabethan magnate Sir John Perrot.  I chose this particular portrait, painted long after Perrot’s death, because it shows its subject as a jaunty, stylish and dashing character, whereas in […]

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Indexing Gilbert White

November 10, 2018 0 Comments
Indexing Gilbert White

Selborne, Hampshire. Why we’ve never been there before I don’t know. The village isn’t far from Winchester, familiar enough territory. It’s a bit off the beaten track, though a busy B road passes through the village, channelling noise and people through the narrow main street that would have been quiet in the mid-eighteenth century, when […]

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In Bunhill Fields

November 3, 2018 3 Comments
In Bunhill Fields

This week we paid a visit to a place that’s been on my wish list for many years: Bunhill Fields. Some might think it a perverse pilgrimage, because Bunhill Fields isn’t not a rural glade or open park, but an old burial ground – the origin of ‘Bunhill’ is thought to be ‘bone hill’ – […]

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The Monmouthshire and Caerleon Antiquarian Association

October 13, 2018 2 Comments
The Monmouthshire and Caerleon Antiquarian Association

1   Origins and foundations The first local archaeological society in Wales, the Caerleon Antiquarian Association, was founded on 28th October 1847.  It owed its existence largely to the efforts of one man, John Edward Lee (1). Born in Hull in 1808, Lee worked from the age of sixteen in his uncles’ shipping office, but […]

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Mr Deas

October 6, 2018 3 Comments
Mr Deas

Another birthday, and I’m celebrating by throwing out yet more paper hoarded over the years. This time it includes a dark red ring-file containing notes and essays from my first-year university course in Classics. They’re written in handwriting it’s still quite easy to make out. (By contrast, my handwriting today, disabled by decades of keyboard […]

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In search of 100 objects

September 30, 2018 0 Comments
In search of 100 objects

September 2018 has turned out to be a month of personal endings. Three weeks ago, after five and a half years of sporadic legwork, we finished the last mile of the Wales Coast Path. This week saw the publication of two books I’ve been working on for what seems almost as long, Wales in 100 […]

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What the bishop said to the queen

September 4, 2018 1 Comment
What the bishop said to the queen

I suspect most people visit Llangathen, in the Tywi valley, to see the wonderful restored gardens at Aberglasne (Aberglasney in its Anglicised form). But the village has other things to offer: a surprisingly bright and roomy neo-Tudor ‘Temperance Hall’, and the large church of St Cathen. (The village used to be more populous than it […]

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Lloyd George a’r bachgen yn y llun

August 26, 2018 0 Comments
Lloyd George a’r bachgen yn y llun

Cricieth, 1890: David Lloyd George, cyfreithiwr a gwleidydd, 27 mlwydd oed, a John Thomas, ffotograffydd, 52 mlwydd oed. Lloyd George: Ydych chi’n siŵr am y lle hwn, Mr Thomas? John Thomas: Dewis perffaith, dywedwn i, Mr Lloyd George. LlG: David, plîs, Mr Thomas.  Dim angen ichi fod yn ffurfiol.  Dyn y werin bobl ydw i, […]

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Ar enwau lleoedd

June 22, 2018 0 Comments
Ar enwau lleoedd

Y profiad a adawodd yr argraff fwya arna i yn ystod yr wythnos ddiwethaf oedd gwylio ffilm fer, fel rhan o raglen deledu Wales Live, oedd yn dangos y digrifwr Tudur Owen yn cerdded ar draws bae ar Ynys Môn – fel mae’n digwydd, bae yr ymwelais i ag e’n ddiweddar iawn.  Nid y cerdded […]

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The Powysland Club: its origin and early development

May 13, 2018 0 Comments
The Powysland Club: its origin and early development

1   Foundation The first county archaeological society in Wales was the Caerleon Antiquarian Association, founded in 1847 and renamed the Monmouthshire and Caerleon Antiquarian Association in 1857. It was twenty years before a second local archaeological society in Wales was founded, in 1867.  The gap is puzzling, especially when one considers that this period […]

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