Talks and debates
Colchester's Avatars: the historical figures on Colchester's Town Hall
One Thursday a Month
All 7 - 8.30pm, Auditorium
A series of monthly public lectures by eminent local historians organised by John Gillies, Professor in Literature at the University of Essex Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies.
Who are the historical figures memorialised in stone on Colchester's Town Hall, why are they there, and what is their relevance to Colchester today?
This series of talks continues once a month until May with the following subjects and speakers:
The Building and the Figures, speakers: James Bettley & Andrew Phillips, Thursday 24 January
Thomas Audley & Samuel Harsnett, James Raven & John Gillies, Thursday 21 February
Clinging to the façade of the Town Hall are two tenacious Tudor and Stuart statesmen: Thomas, Lord Audley and Samuel Harsnett. Audley was chancellor to Henry VIII, and Harsnett a high-ranking cleric who became Archbishop of York. Each has inspired strong and mixed responses from contemporaries - including Shakespeare - and historians alike.
Edward the Elder and St Helena, Andrew Phillips, Thursday 21 March - SOLD OUT
Edward the Elder drove out a Danish Viking Army which had garrisoned Colchester in the 10th century. He repaired the walls and rebuilt the town, establishing it once more as a significant English settlement. An important early Christian icon, St Helena was historically the patron saint of Colchester. Her modern resurrection was due to her statue atop the town hall tower. But how relevant is she today?
Boudicca & Eudo Dapifer, Philip Crummy, Thursday 18 April - SOLD OUT
Boudicca appears twice in our Town Hall: in stone and glass. Her revolt began with burning Colchester to the ground and slaughtering its inhabitants. Dig a hole in the right place in Colchester and you can practically touch the event. Eudo Dapifer was put in charge of Colchester by William the Conqueror to secure the north-east part of Essex. He left us the largest Norman keep ever built, but to do it he flattened most of what survived of Roman Colchester bar its town wall.
William Gilberd, David Tilley, Peter Noakes & Ken Rickwood, Thursday 16 May
To historians, Gilberd is a complex figure standing between the medieval and modern world. To scientists, De Magnete (1600) is the first work in Western science to base reasoning on experiment. We illustrate Gilberd's importance by discussing some of his experiments and the extraordinary deductions he made from them.
All talks cost £5; £3 concessions, free to members.
SPECIAL OFFER: Book all five talks for £20. To book call 01206 577 067 or email email@example.com