Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Days Out With The Dead | Knole House, Sevenoaks

Clare McMurtrie, 2015

Clare McMurtrie, 2015

Clare McMurtrie, 2015

Clare McMurtrie, 2015

Clare McMurtrie, 2015

A couple of weeks ago we went on a day trip to explore Knole House, some parts of which date back to the 15th century. Knole is set within 1,000 acres of stunning parkland - Knole Park. The effect is that of a national park in the deepest countryside, not the grounds of a house just miles outside of London. 

Despite being battered by strong winds and cold weather, Knole proved a winner. My personal highlight was the perfectly preserved bedroom that was designed and fitted out for a visit by King James I. He never stayed in it! This place is magical and transports you to the time of Wolf Hall and Henry VIII - a truly memorable day out with the dead!

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Sunday, 29 March 2015

The Reverend Andrew Amos, 1863-1931, Footballer and Vicar

Andrew Amos; bottom, third from the right 

Andrew Amos was born in St Stephen's Vicarage on the New Kent Road, to the Vicar of St Stephen's and his wife. He went to Charterhouse school, studied for a Bachelors degree at Clare College, Cambridge, and took an MA in 1891 (having "connections", the admissions procedure was slightly different for him than it is now). Not only was my three times great-uncle part of the Church of England clergy (ordained Deacon of the Diocese of Durham in 1887, and Priest-in-Charge of the Clare College Mission in Rotherhithe, London 1889-98), but he also played "soccer"! He played for Corinthian Eleven and was part of the amateur England Eleven. He was also political, a member of the Labour party. His wife, Susan Amos (nee Connolly), was also an elected Labour Councillor in 1922. Andrew Amos died on the 2nd October 1931 at Guy's Hospital, London.

The insightful inscription on his tombstone says:
Andrew Amos Priest
Passed over 2nd October 1931
"I have fought the fine fight
I have kept the faith."

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Unexplored Riches in Medical History | Behind-The-Scenes at The Children's Society

Some behind-the-scenes snapshots of the Unexplored Riches in Medical History project at The Children's Society Records and Archive Centre. These photographs represent some of the 30,000 children's case files that are being catalogued and indexed. Many include telegrams, medical reports, personal letters and application forms from the late 19th and early 20th Century.

Watch this short film to find out more about The Children's Society archive:

Thursday, 19 February 2015

First Night of the Tragical History of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark | A Shakespearean Diary Imagined

This is an extract from a creative writing piece, written for the FutureLearn online course 'Shakespeare's Hamlet':

June 1603 

Last night I did see a play called The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. It is by that playwright William Shakespeare. I went to see it at the Globe theatre by the Thames with sister Mary and Master Forte. The Lord Chamberlains Men did quite a job – I have never seen a play like it! We ate oranges and hazelnuts as the performance went on quite late, but I had to stop eating when the scenes were dark and frightening. We did see a ghost and it was quite like seeing it right there in front of you, haunting your night! There mention of purgatory and heaven and I do think Mr Shakespeare was quite brave in saying that as I’m quite sure our dear Queen does not share those sentiments with her sister. Richard Burbage played Hamlet and was quite the handsome prince. I do like Shakespeare's plays - he made Denmark a dark place unlike Mr. Kyd could.

To find out more about FutureLearn and upcoming online courses visit: