A poem based on the traditional ballads of the Master of Whittington Castle, Shropshire.
I have been really enjoying reading a number of pamphlets which I picked up recently from ‘Bristol Radical History Group‘ who seem to do a lot of great work down in the south west.
This one on Anglo-Saxon Democracy is of particular interest, although there are many others which I will write up at some point soon.
These few paragraphs are good food for thought, the italics in the last paragraph are mine:
The Rise of the Church
If the major cause of the retreat of Anglo-Saxon democracy is the increasing use of charters to create bookland beyond the control of the local courts and thus the local community then it also has to be accepted that the use of charters to gain rights and privileges at the expense of the local populace was first introduced by the Roman Catholic church and all of the charters of pre-Conquest England were denrived from the form of the private charter of the later Roman empire.
In the late 7th century, the English church began to centralise and introduce a hierarchy of ecclesiastical authority that matched that of Rome which since the 4th century had created an organisation that had a bureaucracy based on the Roman army.
This was a level of organisation considerably more structured and bureaucratic than the secular English kingdom had managed. The missionaries from continental Europe who converted the English south of the Humber also brought with them their own views about the nature of political authority. Increasingly ideology from the Late Roman Empire and its early medieval successors under the Franks influenced how royal government was practiced in England.
The Anglo-Saxon view of a king as being chosen by the witan and whose most important duty was to maintain the peace and to ensure the security of the people was becoming replaced by the Frankish view of kings being chosen by God to protect the Christian faith and convert the pagan.
A History Of Community Asset Ownership
By Steve Wyler
When my friend Sophie first told me about this book she said ‘Someone has written a book of the show!’
This is a brilliant overview of the last thousand years and what it lacks in a catchy title, it makes up for in compelling prose.
The book can be downloaded free from here as a pdf – http://locality.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/A-History-of-Community-Asset-Ownership_small.pdf or ordered from Locality – http://locality.org.uk/contact/
Owning The Earth
By Andro Linklater
I’m only a little way into this book but am already enjoying it thoroughly. Highly readable and informative.
It brings a global perspective to the story and compares what happened in England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland with other European countries and those further afield.
I will update when I’ve finished it.
The definitive book on land both past and present, although it has sadly not been updated since the 80’s.
It gets a bit heavy going in places but the first third, which is a history from Roman times to the present, is totally gripping and a must read for anyone interesting in land and land rights.
I had to take quite a few breaks whilst reading it as sections of it made me really angry and/or sad.
A leading Marxist historian, book written in 1938. Recommended reading by Roy Palmer.
A.L. Morton’s wikipedia page – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._L._Morton
An absolutely riveting, disturbing and fascinating read which turned my world view of history on its head.
Here are the books which Hazel Perry brought along to the workshops localising the show for Peterborough…
Free Thinkers and Troublemakers: Fenland Dissenters / Harry Jones / Published by the Wisbech Society & Preservation Trust / ISBN 0951922076
Peterborough: A Story of City and Country, People and Places / (Peterborough City Council, published by Pitkin) / ISBN 1-84165-050-1
From Punt to Plough: A History of the Fens / Rex Sly / The History Press / ISBN 978-0-7509-3398-8
Peterborough (Britain In Photographs) / Lisa Sargood / Budding Books / ISB 1-84015-247-8
Peterborough Through Time (A Second Selection) / June and Vernon Bull / ISBN 978-1-84868-990-9
The Lost Fens / England’s Greatest Ecological Disaster / Ian D Rotherham / ISBN 978-0-7524-8699-4
Peterborough / HF Tebbs / ISBN 0900891300