Thrilled to see so many here, and I must record that the March meeting was cancelled due to Snow! What a strange Spring this is.
I have extracted the relevant pages of the 1939 Registration for the village, available on the Find My Past website, subscription required. This was recorded to issue ration books for WW2.
Geoff, a volunteer at South West Heritage Trust, formerly the Devon Record Office, has been collating Theatre records and the Papers of Lord Sidmouth more detail here from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viscount_Sidmouth
Geoff also mentioned the wonderful archive of the photographer James Ravilious, amounting to some 78 thousand photos of Devon, its landscape and the working people on their farms and in the villages.
David shared with us his research into the Transi Tomb:
Fenton’s Transi is likely to have been carved from an emaciated live model, possibly a male prostitute and not a cadaver
If we are right in the assumption that our transi is that of the last William Malherbe (b1446- d1493) what influence could a Bishop of Winchester have had on the choice of a Malherbe tomb? Up to the time shortly before William Malherbe’s death the Bishop of Winchester was Peter Courtenay (1486-1492/3) who, prior to that was Bishop of Exeter from 1478 to1486/7. If the Malherbe’s moved in high circles there could have been a chance they were known to each other and that Peter Courtenay, the Bishop of Exeter and subsequently the Bishop of Winchester had that influence and recommended a Southwark sculptor. Both the Malherbe and the Courtenay families stemmed from Brittany, France being the country where transi tombs were the vogue.
I have been told that monuments such as ours would have been carved before the death on the person commemorated, in which case it would have been in the period that Peter Courtenay was Bishop of Winchester.
This can only be conjecture but despite that, an interesting twist on who our transi may commemorate.
Where does Southwark fit into the story?
though they were regularly flaunted, it fell to the Bishops of Winchester, as Lord of the Manor, through his bailiff, steward or constables to administer and enforce the 1161 regulations at his Court Leet (a manorial court). Most offences were punishable by a fine, another source of revenue for the Bishops.
Jenny is working with a film director on a production relating to the events of the Battle of Fenny Bridges, 1549. This was followed by a discussion on what happened to the bodies after the battle. There is thought to be a plague pit under thr north vestry of Ottery St Marcy Church, perhaps they were burnt? Interesting discussion. The victims of the Woodbury squirmish were buried on site, so what happened to the Fenny bodies?
Rosemary’s Sewing group are to make five wounds battle banner for the film.
Brenda has been looking at the 1918 Flu epidemics, a ww1 military encampment brought it to Europe, then Scotland and down through the country. East Devon may have eased it congested lungs. The high mortality did not seem to have raised the burial numbers in Feniton 1918. The virus killed more than 50 million people, three times the number that fell in the Great War. Bovril was in short supply for the patients due to shortage of jars, it was advertised as something to make you influenza proof!
Alan has been reading a book written by Asa Briggs, a Social History of England detailing crops and husbandry. A very strong history of social, economic and political life in the British Isles.
George and his family, with Jenny’s skills in producing booklets, has set out his biography, also he went to the Ottery Heritage meeting about a ship sunk in Poole harbour.
Val told us about the postcards from her relative while in France during WW1
Hugh has been researching the heat wave suffered on 30 Sept 1892, the Ref. was suffering from the heat.
It was so good to see you all after the winter hiatus. Thank you all for a lovely evening.