Victorian Schools League Tables: The Public School Record 1886-1900

By Andy Carter, PhD Researcher, Manchester Metropolitan University

One of the unfortunate side-effects of the Covid epidemic of the last two years has been the sporadic closure of archives during local and national lockdowns. I have been exceptionally fortunate in that a high percentage of the source material I have needed has been digitised and made available online. The British Newspaper Archive has proved an invaluable resource during the pandemic. In particular, it allowed me to undertake the research which underpins my recent History of Education article, ‘‘No true or just test of merit’: ‘The Public School Record’ 1886-1900.

The Public School Record (PSR) was a series of annual reports which, at the end of the 19th century, presented a range of statistics which might be used to assess the relative performance of various public, proprietary and grammar schools. As such, it was a forerunner of the school ‘league tables’ that have been a familiar feature of English education since the 1992 Education (Schools) Act and, like the modern tables, was a source of much controversy and debate, as teachers, journalists, politicians and parents discussed which methods and measures could, or should, be included. Much of this debate took place in the letters pages of the newspapers in the weeks leading up to and following the publication of the PSR each year, providing an easily accessible insight into how this way of looking at school performance was seen at the time.

The origins of the PSR were in January 1886, when Orlando Martyn wrote to the Pall Mall Gazette, reporting the results of 28 recent scholarships awarded at Oxford colleges. The point Martyn was trying to make was that the most prestigious public schools were not necessarily the most effective at winning open scholarships to universities. Defenders of these schools, including the headmaster of Rossall, Herbert Jones, wrote dismissing Martyn’s claims as simplistic and inaccurate, but one correspondent, Oxford undergraduate Harold Spender, took the time to compile a table of every scholarship won to Oxford over an entire academic year. This became the basis for the first edition of the PSR and Spender embarked on a successful journalistic career as a result.

The Pall Mall Gazette at that time was a Liberal leaning newspaper under the editorship of the crusading journalist W.T. Stead. The PSR seems to have been taken under the wing of his assistant editor, Edward Tyas Cook, along with the newly recruited Spender. Cook and Spender were to produce the PSR as a feature of the Pall Mall Gazette until 1893 when they moved to the Westminster Gazette. In 1896, Cook and his team moved again, this time to The Daily News, and once again the PSR went with them, remaining a feature until Cook was fired for his support of the Boer War.

During its fifteen-year lifespan, the PSR underwent multiple changes, with elements dropping in and out. The table of Oxbridge scholarships remained the main feature, but this was not necessarily a good measure of effectiveness given that only a tiny proportion of boys were capable of competing for such scholarships and that figures for some public schools were skewed by the large numbers of closed scholarships they had at their disposal. To counter this, other tables were produced which measured the numbers of boys achieving School Certificate passes or passing the entrance examinations for the Army and Navy. Reflecting the importance of sport in public schools, the reports eventually included extensive reports of the athletic records of each school as well.

Each change to the PSR was accompanied by voluminous correspondence as the pros and cons of different measures of success were debated by the interested parties. The result of this an incredibly rich vein of material, which not only gives us fifteen years of statistical data charting the performance of two hundred or so of the country’s leading schools, but also provides us with the responses and reactions to this data from headmasters and universities. My article gives a brief overview of the history of the PSR and its social and political impact, but such is the depth of material available that ample opportunity for further research remains.

Winchester College Scholars, 1896

What did the Georgians do in their gardens?

By Helen Brown, PhD Researcher

The Georgian period produced some of the most famous and well-loved gardens in England and the design style was exported to properties across the world. Detailed analysis of garden design, style development, and the lives of famous designers has been the focus of garden historians for decades. However, most narratives end when the designer, his foremen and labourers finished their initial building projects and little direct attention has been paid to how people used and experienced the gardens. Many design histories might briefly mention walking or sports, but it is rare for a whole study to focus on these activities and the relationship between the space and its visitors. Kate Feluś’ Secret Life of the Georgian Garden (2016) is a great example of a work that explores the wide range of uses of gardens and the conditions required to perform them.

What did Georgians actually do with the gardens that they spent a significant amount of money and labour on? This question forms the basis of the third chapter of my thesis about the production and consumption of country house gardens beyond their designs. So far, I have looked at expenditure on building and maintaining gardens as well as the people that worked there and the wider professional networks of designers and suppliers.

The gardens at Audley End were laid out by Lancelot “Capability” Brown in the 1760s after decades of decline. This was a large improvement project that ran both over budget and beyond the original deadline. Other areas of the garden were remodelled over the next 50 years or so, but the overall structure of the garden remains recognisable as Brown’s landscape design. The layout includes vast swathes of lawn, a ha-ha, a widened river to imitate a lake, and a number of garden buildings.

Audley End from the west, photo taken by Helen Brown

The most common activity done by Georgian visitors and residents of Audley End was simply to move around the space and take in the various views. This could be done on foot, on horseback or in a carriage. All three were popular garden activities for the leisured class in England, either in their own gardens or the gardens of others. Carriages offered a faster and raised experience of the garden and wider parkland and required much less effort for the individual. However not all areas of the gardens were accessible by carriage. At Audley End, the Elysian Garden has narrower winding paths that takes the walker over features such as the Tea Bridge and Cascade.

William Tomkins, Audley End, The Tea House Bridge and Audley End, View from the Tea House Bridge, c. 1780-1790, courtesy of English Heritage

Garden buildings such as the Tea Bridge and Turkish Tent depicted in Tomkins’ paintings were ideal places to take refreshment, rest and socialise in small groups. Other areas of the garden facilitated grand celebrations and large gatherings of people. Cricket at Audley End was often a great spectacle in the 1840s, played on the lawn between the house and the river. Large crowds came together to watch the Audley End XI play Cambridge University, Marylebone C.C. and other local sides. Luncheons for 80-90 guests were laid out for invited guests and many more spectators from the neighbourhood came out in support of their team.

The nature of being out of doors means any activity was weather dependent. In August 1845, the cricket was played on a “fine day without a single shower”, but three years later “violent showers of rain” drove the players into their tents and the spectators into the house. But the gardens were not only explored and used in the summer months. One snowy day in February 1844, Lord Braybrooke walked out with his friend and diarist Joseph Romilly and two sisters to visit two sheltered sites, the aviary and the conservatories. The gardens at Audley End were enjoyed all year round.

Watercolour of a cricket match at Audley End, likely by Louisa Ann Neville, c. 1840, courtesy of English Heritage

History, historians, and the French presidential elections

by Chris Millington

French wartime propaganda poster for the Vichy regime. Wikimedia Commons.

As France heads toward its presidential election in April, the country’s history is once again a stake in the political culture wars.  Eric Zemmour, a far-right journalist and author, is standing as a candidate.  Zemmour has gained notoriety for condemning an ‘anti-French’ reading of the nation’s history and challenging the supposed anti-national political correctness of historians.  In return, historians have attacked Zemmour’s selective and highly tendentious, not to say dishonest, reading of the past.

Notably, Zemmour has claimed that France’s wartime government – popularly known as the Vichy regime – protected French Jews while it sacrificed foreign Jews to the Nazi occupier.  This claim has a long history.  Vichy’s apologists sought to rehabilitate the regime in the immediate post-war years through the idea that Marshal Philippe Pétain had shielded the French from the worst of German excesses.  Historians have comprehensively disproved this claim.  Nonetheless, during an interview with radio station Europe 1 in September 2021, Zemmour contended that, ‘Vichy protected French Jews and handed over foreign Jews’.

In February 2022, a group of historians made a public intervention in the controversy.  The fifty-eight page pamphlet, Zemmour contre l’histoire (Zemmour against history), published by Gallimard, brought together specialists of twentieth century France to combat the far-right polemicist’s ‘falsifications and political manipulations of the past’.  They took aim at nineteen of Zemmour’s claims about the French past, from the time of Clovis to the trials of former collaborators during the 1990s.  Each section begins with a quotation from Zemmour, followed by a counterargument from the historians demonstrating the inaccuracies or downright falseness of the presidential candidate’s contention. 

Priced under four Euros and published in black-and-white with none of the frills of an academic or popular title, in content and form this is a historical corrective to Zemmour’s ultranationalist ignorance and a non-partisan political intervention.  The historians accept that interpretations of the past can change.  They reject, however, the wilful distortion of historical facts to suit political agendas.

It is difficult to imagine historians in Britain taking such a public stand against a political candidate.  It is true that at the time of the Brexit referendum in 2016, a number of historians divided into the Remainer ‘Historians for Britain in Europe’ and the Leaver ‘Historians for Britain’.  Their interventions, however, were limited to online fora, opinion pieces, and letters to national newspapers. 

Zemmour contre l’histoire reflects a public standing enjoyed by French academics in contrast to the more limited public roles of their British counterparts.  It speaks, too, to the extent to which France has confronted the difficult episodes of its past, however incomplete this process remains.  Meanwhile, recent controversies in Britain over the so-called culture wars attest to the lamentable reluctance of a nation to come to terms with the darker aspects of its history.  Perhaps we could learn a thing or two from the French.  

The Appropriation and Weaponisation of the Crusades in the Modern Era

By Dr Jason T. Roche

International Journal of Military History and Historiography: Special Issue, Appropriation and Weaponisation of the Crusades in the Modern Era, guest editor, Jason T. Roche, Volume 41, Issue 2 (2021)

The special issue brings together the work of the Northern Network for the Study of the Crusades and the interests of the History Research Centre’s War, Conflict and Society research group. It seeks a better understanding of the processes of appropriation and weaponisation of the medieval holy wars known as crusades by state actors and would-be state actors in the modern era.

The notion that the act of crusading is a live and potent issue is hard to ignore.  The introductory article proposes the hypothesis, which informed my decision making and editorial work during the compilation of the special issue, that appropriations and weaponisations of the crusades in the modern era rely on culturally embedded master narratives of the past that are often thought to encompass public or cultural memories. Crucially, medievalism (the re-workings and reinventions of the European Middle Ages in post-medieval contexts and constructs), communicated through metonyms, metaphors, symbols and motifs frequently acts as a placeholder instead of the master narratives themselves. That people – from militant Islamist fundamentalists to white, far-right extremists and from George W. Bush through to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan – can appeal to master narratives of the crusades via mutable medievalism, which embodies zero-sum, Manichaean-type “clash of civilisations” scenarios, helps explain the continued appeal of the crusades to those who seek to weaponise them.

The crusading present is therefore complex and multifaceted, but it has precedents. In this special issue, Graham Cross first explores the meaning of the “crusading imagery” attached to American soldiers in 1917 and their “righteous crusade” against German tyranny for the cause of world democracy during the First World War. He spotlights the “protean nature” of a “crusading metaphor” shaped in a dialogue between the state and vernacular culture during the following decades that evoked memories of the American Civil War, the European scramble for empire during the colonial era and the language of righteous progressive reformers in the early twentieth century. Importantly, he then traces the alterable nature of the crusading metaphor in American political discourse during the eras of the Great Depression, the New Deal and the Second World War.

Sam Edwards picks up the discussion and likewise notes the shifting nature of “crusading” metaphors. He examines how General Dwight D. Eisenhower and others framed “D-Day” in 1944 as a “Great Crusade” against “the darkness and evil of Nazi rule.” Sam traces the subsequent employment of Eisenhower’s narrative framing, in commemorations and other expressions of cultural memory of D-Day, through to George W. Bush’s press conference outside the White House on 16 September 2001 and his infamous “this crusade, this war on terrorism, is gonna [sic] take a while” quip.

Mercedes Penalba-Sotorrio examines the adoption of a “crusading rhetoric” by the leaders and supporters of the Nationalist rebel army during the Spanish Civil War. She explains how and why the rebels projected their roles as the defenders of Catholicism in Spain, against what was considered to be an international Bolshevik threat to western civilisation in the 1930s. By building on an existing “mythologised national past”, the Francoist regime had forged a master narrative of a new “Spanish Crusade” against the “anti-Spain” other by 1939.

I examine the mutable nature of a “crusader master narrative” in the fourth contribution. Here we see how proponents of “crusading” narratives and medievalism, both captured, stored and presented in the form of emotive metonyms, can employ cultural memories of the crusades against, rather than in support of supposed crusaders. I establish that between 2014 and 2017, the Islamic State militant Islamist group manipulated and combined a culturally embedded awareness of the crusading past with a heady, potent mixture of classical and radical apocalyptic in a brand-new attempt to portray modern so-called “crusaders” and their “crusade” against the group as integral to Islamic sacred history. The group foresaw Armageddon, the ultimate zero-sum conflict between good and evil.

Characters who imagine themselves as players in an invented, perpetual “clash of civilisations” are currently shaping crusader master narratives and moulding cultural memories of the crusades. One hopes this special issue contributes to a better understanding of the ways this has happened in the modern era.

Professor Thomas Cauvin – Rethinking Authority in Public History: Citizens as Historians?

3 March 2022, 5-6.30pm, Lecture Theatre 7, Geoffrey Manton Building, Manchester Metropolitan University

Based on the Public History as new Citizen Science of the Past project, this presentation explores the concept of (shared) authority in public history. Driven by participation, public history invites us to reconsider how authority and expertise are defined and constructed. Through examples of projects currently undertaken in Luxembourg, the presentation will discuss to what extent citizen science can offer models of participation that can be applied to the whole field of public history.

Thomas Cauvin is Associate Professor of Public History at the University of Luxembourg (Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History – C2DH). He is a FNR-ATTRACT Fellow and leads the Public History as the New Citizen Science of the Past (PHACS) project.

Cauvin has been the President of the International Federation for Public History since 2018. He received his PhD at the European University Institute (Florence, Italy, 2012) and worked for several years in the United States at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (2013-2017) and Colorado State University (2017-2020). He is the author of Public History. A Textbook of Practice (Routledge, May 2016) and several articles and book chapters on public history.

For further information please contact Professor Catherine Fletcher – or Haseeb Khan –

Becoming a popular history writer: Post PhD (Part 2)

By Owen Rees

By 2020 I had my PhD, two pop history books and an academic book under review. I had produced research articles, edited chapters, organised conferences, and had begun preparation for an edited volume. I wanted to create a public history project, one that was mine, but that I could share with others. So, with the support of Ancient World Magazine, I established the fact-checking website Bad Ancient, which is steadily growing an amazing network of contributors from undergraduate students up to full Professors. Most contributors are approached by me, looking for relevant experts to answer queries, but some have also offered unsolicited help. In that case, their name goes on a spreadsheet and they get sent relevant queries to answer if they wish.

That project is going from strength to strength, but there were questions about my own writing career: should I return to the publishers and magazines that had always supported me, or should I try and take the next step. The next step for this meant bigger publishers, but bigger publishers do not accept unsolicited proposals. I needed a literary agent.

For over a year, I sent dozens and dozens of submissions to a host of agents who specialised in, or were explicitly asking for, history writers. One replied in the negative, none of the others replied at all. At a loss of what to do, I reached out to someone who had successfully made this transition, MCPHH’s own Prof. Catherine Fletcher. We spoke about the book market, the publishing market, indeed the history market. What seems to be selling, what is not selling. What makes for an interesting topic vs what makes for an interesting read. I drafted a full book proposal, roughly 10,000 words long, and Prof. Fletcher put me in touch with the agency that represents her. A foot in the door, no question, but there alone I stood waiting for judgement. After a year of back and forth, edits, re-edits, and at one point a complete change of topic and focus, the agency was happy with the pitch. Now they agreed to sign me, and to submit the proposal to a variety of publishing houses. If you are simply looking to do some popular history writing on the side as a hobby, I do not recommend going through this final process!

So, the book idea sold, and The Far Edges of the Known World will be out in autumn 2024. This moment was a long time in the making, with little guidance available for someone wanting to begin writing popular history. I made mistakes, learned the hard way, and established some guidelines I follow to this day:

  • I do not write for free. If I do write for free, it must be for the development of my portfolio/personal brand/career.
  • Due to point number one, I learned to chase invoices with gusto. The trick is to be assertive in what is rightfully yours – I cannot leave a plumber unpaid, so why should a writer be treated differently?
  • Build your network. The network I crafted is what got me my first book contract and to this day allows the Bad Ancient website to function.
  • To create a network: be nice, follow up by email, be reliable, ask for what you want/need, and offer help whenever you can.
  • I work in 5-year plans (yes, yes, I know, I hate me too!). What do you actually want to achieve, and what does that look like? Break that up into steps, what do you need to do first – what next – then what? Say no to work that do not help achieve this plan (if you need to, of course).
  • A PhD in history does not make you a writer – writing for the public is a very different style to academic prose.
  • Historical credibility is paramount. Poetic license exists for scene setting and filling in gaps, but the evidence must be at the heart of it all.
  • It is better to be a good writer that can be trusted, than an excellent one who cannot.
  • Spot an opportunity and grasp it without hesitation or apology.

Professor Catherine Fletcher Inaugural Lecture – A foul and pestilent discovery: Handguns as a new technology in early modern Europe

27 April 2022, 5.30 – 7pm, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester School of Art, Benzie Building

Register for tickets here.

A foul and pestilent discovery: Handguns as a new technology in early modern Europe

Guns are often described as one of the quintessentially modern technologies. Yet remarkably little is known about their impact on European societies in the first century of their development. Drawing on research in multiple Italian archives, Catherine Fletcher explores the ways that sixteenth-century states attempted to exploit firearms’ military potential, while at the same time regulating their use in the interest of maintaining public order. She investigates the range of contemporary attitudes towards firearms, from literary hostility to civic pride to gun users’ pleasure in shooting. Many of the concerns raised by early critics of guns still have resonance in debates on arms control today.

Catherine Fletcher is Professor of History at Manchester Metropolitan University and head of the Manchester Centre for Public History & Heritage.

Alongside academic work on the history of diplomacy, she is the author of several books bringing sixteenth-century history to broad audiences including Our Man in Rome: Henry VIII and his Italian Ambassador (Bodley Head, 2012), The Black Prince of Florence: The Spectacular Life and Treacherous World of Alessandro de’ Medici (Bodley Head, 2016) and The Beauty and the Terror: An Alternative History of the Italian Renaissance (Bodley Head, 2020). Her work has been featured internationally on TV and radio in programmes ranging from BBC2’s A Fresh Guide to Florence to hit podcast Your Dead To Me, to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Art Show.

Catherine’s current research focuses on the early history of firearms in Italy and beyond: she has chapters on this topic forthcoming in the Bloomsbury Cultural History of Technology (ed. Raffaele Pisano) and in Working in the Shadows of War in Renaissance Europe (Amsterdam University Press, ed. Stephen Bowd, Sarah Cockram and John Gagné).

Professor Fletcher’s respondent will be Professor Peter Wilson

Peter H. Wilson lives in England and is the Chichele Professor of the History of War at the University of Oxford, a Fellow of All Souls College, and Principal Investigator of a research project on the ‘European Fiscal-Military System 1530-1870’ funded by the European Research Council (2018-25). Previously, he held posts at the universities of Hull, Newcastle, and Sunderland, as well as visiting positions at the University of Münster, Germany, and at High Point University, North Carolina USA. He the President of the Society for the History of War and works on the history of German-speaking Europe, and the history of war between 1500 and 1900.

His books include Europe’s Tragedy: A History of the Thirty Years War (2009) which has also appeared in German, Polish and Spanish. His books include The Holy Roman Empire: A Thousand Years of Europe’s History (2016), and Europe’s Tragedy: A History of the Thirty Years War (2009) which won the Society for Military History’s Distinguished Book Award. His work has been translated into Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Macedonian, Polish, and Spanish. His latest book, Blood and Iron: A Military History of the German-speaking Peoples since 1500, will be published in October 2022.

Professor Steve Decent, Provost & Deputy Vice Chancellor, will introduce Professor Fletcher

Becoming a popular history writer: Pre-PhD (Part 1)

By Owen Rees

I started out as a popular history writer in 2009, while studying for my MA. With only a BA degree to trade on, I discarded the big history magazines (BBC, History Today, Smithsonian) as the least likely to accept a pitch from me, and created a spreadsheet of small or niche magazines that paid for contributions. It could be small amounts (£100 an article) or it could be per word (12p a word was my highest rate), but they had to pay. As my wife continues to tell me: if you don’t value your time and work, why would anyone else?

Your ideas have to be topical, fresh, interesting, and with a good narrative at its core. But it is not just the idea you are selling. Ultimately what you are trying to sell is yourself – the ‘author brand’. Articles and books are sold on an idea, so the editor needs to trust that you can deliver. I always submitted my articles early and never interfered with the editor’s job unless their changes created an error. I always responded to queries as quickly as possible. Once they knew I could be relied on, I got more commissions.

Writing for small, niche history magazines secured my first book contracts. In 2013 a commissioning editor at Pen & Sword emailed to ask if I would be interested in writing a book for them following a recommendation from colleagues at Ancient Warfare Magazine. This publisher accepts unsolicited proposals (you can just send them in and cross your fingers), but they were trying to grow their ancient warfare section. History publishing is a small world, so networking is an important aspect that is too often neglected. I did not fit in the conventional history networks (academia, Oxbridge graduate, etc), so I worked on creating my own and this was the first time it paid dividends.

By the following year, 2014, my proposal for one book had, at the editor’s request, become two. I signed a double book deal for Great Battles of the Classical Greek World, and Great Naval Battles of the Ancient Greek World. Money was a major concern during this period, I had a young family and no secure employment. There was an advance paid, half on signing and half on submission. The amounts were small in the grand scheme of things, but money was such that I could not afford to turn it down. But time was also a problem. My wife was working, so I was a stay-at-home dad for long periods, in between jobs in retail, offices, and a rather enjoyable stint as a gardener in a dementia care home. I wrote most of the first book with a baby on my shoulder and baby-sick on my shirt. In 2015, life as it stood was not really viable so I applied for a PhD at Manchester Metropolitan and also won a scholarship, which would equate to the most amount of money I had ever earned in a year.

Balancing PhD work, wider commitments at the university to aid the CV building, teaching, family life, and pop history writing, was no easy feat. But I came up with a system, a system my poor third year students are probably sick of me talking about. To put it simply, I work in threes: three projects on the go at any one time. One is in the finishing stages (proofing, editing, etc), another is in the writing stage, and the final one is in the research stage. I never research about what it is I am writing at the time. I never write chapters for the work I am editing, and so on. At the moment, I have two in the finishing stage (academic publishing is slow!), my trade book that I am writing, and I am researching the next academic research project/book.

This also helped when it came to time management, especially with two young children. I refused to work weekends; my family deserved some time with me! So, I learned to exploit the time I had available in the week. If I had an hour between coming home from a lecture and doing the school run, I would read an article or chapter for the researching project. If I had a morning free, I would work on the edits for a finishing project. If I had a full workday(!) I would write. If I had a mental block, I’d put down one project and pick up another. If nothing works, it’s time to go over the edits or do some proof reading.

Stay tuned for part two, this week!

MCPHH Blog Archive

We have had all sorts of contributions to the MCPHH Blog over the last few years, and they have all been archived here. If you have a wide interest in public history, and find yourself with a few hours on your hands, this is the perfect place! Enjoy the array of pieces below.

Perceptions of Madness – Sarah K. Hitchen

Eating Together in the 16th and 17th Centuries: Early Modern Commensality – Anna Fielding

Discovering William Edward Armytage Axon (1846-1913), ‘One of the Busiest Men in Manchester’ – Lucy Evans

Street Museums and Museum Streets: Researching museum history – Bill Longshaw

FutureLearn: Our role, access to knowledge and public history – Matt Crabtree, Emily Webb

Freethinkers, Chartists and Radicals; political continuity over three generations of nineteenth-century Norvicians – Dominic Barron-Carter

The People’s River: adapting community projects and uncovering hidden histories during lockdown – Charlie Booth

The British Muslim Heritage Centre, ‘ancient’-style furniture and a royal bed – Dr Peter Lindfield

The Crusade of King Conrad III of Germany: Warfare and Diplomacy in Byzantium, Anatolia and Outremer, 1146-1148 (Book Release)- Dr Jason Roche

The Emergence of Bicycling and Automobility in Britain (Book Release) – Dr Craig Horner

The Beauty and the Terror: An Alternative History of the Italian Renaissance – Sunday Times history books of 2020 – Professor Catherine Fletcher

Richard Lysons, Were You There? Popular Music at Manchester’s Free Trade Hall – 1951-1996: Book Review – Dave Russell

British popular responses to the First World War: a different perspective – Cyril Pearce

Olive Claydon: Pioneer Doctor for Women in Manchester – Dorothy Bintley

‘A Genteel Residence’: Merchants’ Homes in Early-Nineteenth Century Manchester – Thomas McGrath

Looking for Mrs Skinner and finding Mrs Hayes: A lockdown detective story – Dr Ali Ronan

Liverpudlian Muslims in Victorian Britain: A Forgotten Past – Haseeb Khan

Manchester Histories Digifest 2020: Disabled People’s Rights and Histories: An Update – Manchester Histories Digifest Team

Fifth Pan-African Congress 75th Anniversary Celebrations, 15-18th October 2020 – Professor Ola Uduku, Dr Marie Molloy, Dr Shirin Hirsch

Forgotten Stories: Poorly Manchester and Salford Children sent to Switzerland for ‘Health Holidays’ in the 1940s – Professor Melanie Tebbutt

The Boys and the Lake District Holocaust Project – Hayley Shaw

Wellbeing and heritage research in times of closure – Amy Luck and Dr Faye Sawyer

New Online: Thomas Barritt of Manchester – Dr Peter Lindfield

New Exhibition: Russia’s Second Patriotic War in posters, photographs and postcards – Dr Catherine Danks

Football, Plans and Public History: Art of Ayresome and taking the archives to the wider world – Dr Tosh Warwick

New Generation Thinkers in conversation – Professor Catherine Fletcher and Dr Seren Griffiths

The Stone Age for School Kids: The Bryn Celli Ddu Minecraft Experience – Dr Ben Edwards

Public Archaeology in Lockdown – Dr Seren Griffiths

Life Goes On – the North West Film Archive’s Response to the COVID19 Lockdown – collection development, and access – Marion Hewitt and Nick Gladden

The Earliest History of the World – Dr Rosamund Oates

Manchester shops: reflecting on the present and the past – Professor Jon Stobart

Manchester Histories Festival goes Digi – Karen Shannon

Celebrating VE Day in the midst of the Covid-19 Pandemic – Dr Sam Edwards

Translating Family Stories: Europe’s Ducal Families in Focus – Dr Jonathan Spangler

Reworking Research in the Lockdown – Professor Catherine Fletcher

Luck in the Lockdown! Researching early women doctors in Manchester: Blog 1. Dr. Elsie Brown Hey b 1883. d. c. 1978 – Dr Ali Ronan

Women in Manchester’s 1960s beat scene – Lauren Jones

Leibniz University of Hannover Blog – Dr Nick Piercey

Women’s History Month – Dr Marie Molloy

Munich Air Disaster: Dennis Viollet – Vince Hunt

Women and the Vote: The Representation of the People Act 1918 – Dr Jo Smith

The Bayeux Tapestry – Dr Kathryn Hurlock

MCPHH Past Lectures, Projects and Exhibitions


Professor Thomas Cauvin – Rethinking Authority in Public History: Citizens as Historians? – 3 March

Professor Natan Meir, Sam Johnson Memorial Lecture 2021: Drafting the Undesirables: Jewish Conscription to the Imperial Russian Military under Nicholas I – 15 December 2021

Disability History Month 2021

Heritage Open Days: The Richard Roberts Archive – September 2021

Thomas Ferriar – Mancunian South American Liberator: a bi-centennial commemoration – 17 July 2021

Dr Michael Nevell, Digging up Manchester: Industrial Archaeology & Heritage in the Shock City – 2 June 2021

Corinne Fowler, Colonial Countryside, Heritage Research and the Culture War – 5 May 2021

Robert Mills’ LGBT History Month lecture: ‘Recognising Wilgefortis’ – 24 February 2021

Mongol and Seljuk Conversion to Islam and the Steppe Ideology – 11 February 2021

‘Half-victims’? Jewish ‘Mischlinge’ in the Third Reich, 1933-1945 – Dr Jean Marc Dreyfus, 3 December 2020

Covid-19 in Historical Perpsective: an ‘in conversation’ series – November 2020

Classical Association Lectures – November 2020

‘Island Exile in Colonial Australia’ – Dr Katy Roscoe, 9 December 2020

As Seen on Screen: Period dramas, ‘accuracy’ & the historical adviser – Dr Hannah Grieg Public Lecture, 11 November 2020, 5.30pm

75th Anniversary Pan African Congress Talk by Dr Ray Costello, 15th October 2020, 5.30pm

MCPHH and RSHC host Public History in Lockdown Zoom Workshop – September 2020

Stonewall 50 Years On: Gay Liberation and Lesbian Feminism in its European Context – December 2019

The Nineteenth-Century Motorist in the North West – September 2019

‘Therapy and well-being through heritage fieldwork?’

Women and Slavery: Agency and Constraint in the Slaveholding South – January 2019

Projects and Exhibitions

Heritage and Wellbeing Evaluation
Heritage and Wellbeing: Creating Healthier Societies Through Heritage
Virtual Heritage and Wellbeing
Heritage and Wellbeing Guidelines

Manchester – Leningrad/St Petersburg City Partnership: An Exhibition

Leibniz University of Hannover Blog – October 2019

The Stone Age for School Kids: the Bryn Celli Ddu Minecraft Experience

Manchester in 100 Shops: Exhibition – February – May 2019

Can Digging Make You Happy?

Being Young on the Home Front: Young People in North West England during World War One

The Women’s Peace Crusade

House and home: physical and emotional comfort in the country house, England and Sweden c.1680-1820

Passions of Youth: The Leisure Lives of Working-Class Young Men in Manchester

Granadaland: Histories and Memories of Granada TV in the North West of England, 1954-1990

Creating Our Future Histories: AHRC Skills Training Programme