Public Lectures


Autumn Series 2017

Grosvenor Museum, Grosvenor Street, Chester.  Wednesdays, 1.00 - 2.00 pm

£3.00 per lecture (pay at the door) or pay in advance for the full series (£6.00)

Hosted by the University of Chester, Department of History & Archaeology

11 October 2017 - Dr Michael Huggins

Irish Presbyterians and the Union: a pre-history, 1791-1829

Irish unionism is once more in the news, in particular the politics of the Democratic Unionist Party, which has its origins in Ian Paisley's brand of Presbyterian militancy.  This lecture considers the development of Presbyterianism in Ireland and, specifically, its remarkable transformation in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries from a liberal and nationalist political force into a conservative and unionist one. The lecture explains the diverse intellectual background of Irish Presbyterianism, its place in the political turbulence of the 1790s and the victory of uncompromisingly conservative forces in the second 'subscription controversy' of the 1820s.

18 October 2017 - Dr Clare Hickman

'They work and breathe the fresh air amidst surroundings they themselves largely help to shape': The open-air school, its gardens and child health in early twentieth century Britain

In 1945, Jane Whitney visited the Cropwood Open-air School in Blackwell, Worcestershire, and described how 'the sleep-time garden might be the envy of princes, with its fountain in the midst of a green lawn, so that the children took their naps amid the soothing, somnolent plash of falling water'. This evocative description of a princely garden gives an indication of the attention and importance given to gardens associated with such institutions in the early decades of the twentieth-century. This talk will focus on the open-air schools near Birmingham created in the inter-war period, the role of the Cadbury family and the use of gardens for health and education. These concerns will also be explored in relation to broader issues and practices in relation to diseases such as tuberculosis, poor urban living conditions and the idealisation of the rural landscape.

25 October 2017- Dr Donna Jackson

A Better Future for the World: Ethiopia, Somalia and the establishment of the United Nations

The countries of the Horn of Africa played an important role in the history of the United Nations. With the new international organisation seeking to establish credibility following the demise of its predecessor, the League of Nations, both the 'Ethiopian Analogy' and the disposition of the Italian colonies of Somalia and Eritrea following the Second World War would provide crucial in the early years of the fledgling body.