Great Debate Cancelled

It is with regret that we must inform you that tonight’s regional heat of The Great Debate has had to be cancelled, owing to the late withdrawal of all but one of the contestants. The Association is making alternative arrangements for the remaining participant, but in the meantime, we look forward to seeing you at our next scheduled meeting in December.

By historicalassociationnorthamptonbranch

Great Debate Heat

The Northampton Branch will again host a heat of The Great Debate at The University of Northampton. Students will compete for a place at the final held at Parliament. This year, they will be debating  ‘Was the 1918 extension of the franchise the most significant moment in British democratic history?’ More details can be found here 

The debate will take place at 6.30pm on Tuesday 7 November. We encourage members to join us in support of the debaters!

By historicalassociationnorthamptonbranch

Notice of AGM/November meetings

There will be a joint meeting with the Northamptonshire Archaeological Society on Thursday 10 November from approx. 7.20pm (meeting will follow the NAS AGM). Paul Blinkhorn (Time Team) will be providing a lecture on ‘People and Pots in Medieval Northamptonshire’ at the Humphrey Rooms.

The Northampton Branch Annual General Meeting will take place on Thursday 24 November at 6pm. The meeting will be held at Park Campus, The University of Northampton, NN2 7AL.

Following the AGM the Regional Heat of the Great Debate will take place from 6.30pm. A number of students from local schools will compete for a place at the final in London in March 2017. Students aged 16-19 will discuss ‘How did the First World War affect me and my community?’


By historicalassociationnorthamptonbranch

First meeting of 2016/17: Sir Robert Peel and Ireland

The Branch’s first meeting of the 2016/17 programme will be held next Tuesday 18 October 2016 at Magdalen College School, Brackley. Dr Richard Gaunt will be giving a lecture on “Sir Robert Peel and Ireland”. The meeting will start at 3.30pm.

By historicalassociationnorthamptonbranch

April Lecture: The Life of Charles Bradlaugh

The next lecture will be given by Liam Howley on the life of Charles Bradlaugh, from his youth in the East End to M.P for Northampton. Bradlaugh was a giant of his age, but has sadly been largely forgotten by history. His many causes such as atheism, republicanism, and birth control gave him many enemies in a strict Victorian age. His biggest battle was to serve as Northampton’s M.P – barred for his atheism, but backed by the local people. His statue serves as a reminder of his place in the history of the town. Liam Howley represents the Charles Bradlaugh Society

The lecture will be at the University of Northampton on Thursday 21 April.

By historicalassociationnorthamptonbranch

17 March Meeting Cancelled

Unfortunately the meeting at Bishops Stopford School, Kettering tomorrow has been cancelled. The next meeting will take place at Northampton Univeristy in April. See the programme page for details.

By historicalassociationnorthamptonbranch

November and December Meetings

The November lecture took place at Brooke Weston School, Corby, the first HA meeting at the School. Dr Tracey Sowerby (Pembroke College, University of Oxford) was speaker, and the subject ‘England’s Break with Rome’. Dr Sowerby discussed why the break occurred, how it occurred and the consequences, in the context of both religious change and Henry’s own ‘foul pleasure’. The talk was well received by the audience, and generated much discussion from the students of Brooke Weston School.

In December, the Branch AGM was followed by a lecture from the HA’s own William Walford. This was a highly illustrated talk on ‘The Battle of Naseby and its Historical Importance’. Mr Walford discussed the history of the village, events of the battle and its wider significance in the Civil War.

The next lecture will take place at Northampton College, where Dr Ron Mendel will speak on Protest Movements in Late 20th Century USA. See the programme for further details.

By historicalassociationnorthamptonbranch

March Meeting: Race and Ethnicity in the Post-Civil Rights Era, 1965-2015

Our March meeting takes place on Thursday 12th at Bishop Stopford School, Kettering. Dr Ron Mendel, Senior Lecturer in American History at the University of Northampton, will be speaking on the subject of “Race and Ethnicity in the Post-Civil Rights Era, 1965-2015”. Dr Mendel’s talk will examine the changes and continuities in U.S. politics, economics and education over the last 50 years.

The meeting will be held in the Octagon Building adjacent to the main car park, beginning at 7.30 p.m. For details of how to reach the site, please see the school’s website (

By historicalassociationnorthamptonbranch

February Meeting: Opposing the First World War in Northampton

Our first meeting of 2015 will take place this Thursday (12th) at 7.30 p.m. at the University of Northampton’s Park Campus, when our speaker will be our own member John Buckell on the subject ‘Opposing the First World War in Northampton’. Please see below for further details. John has been researching the impact of the war on Northampton for some time and in 2012 he published Sacrifice, Service & Survival: Weston Favell in the First World War. The meeting will be held in Holdenby Lecture Theatre 2, upstairs in the main building.

Opposing The First World War in Northampton
by John Buckell

Much of the recent commemorative events of World War One have focused, rightly, on those who fought, or who served the war effort in other ways. However, a minority of men and women opposed the war, some from the outset, and their arguments and actions had a significant and lasting influence. The story of the anti-war movement in Northampton presents a useful microcosm of the wider movement. Not only were important anti-war organisations – No Conscription Fellowship, Women’s International League and Women’s Peace Crusade – represented in the town, but one of Northampton’s MPs became an outspoken member of the Union of Democratic Control, which advocated a negotiated peace. In addition, Northampton’s Independent Labour Party branch, which included local Quakers, actively campaigned against the war, and men of widely varying political and religious views registered as conscientious objectors. Records for all of the above exist in local and national newspaper archives, minutes of Northampton Trades Council and, almost uniquely, in the records of Northamptonshire Appeals Tribunal. My talk will concentrate on significant individuals in Northampton who were representative of different strands in the local peace movement, and raise the question of how far their aims were realisable.

By historicalassociationnorthamptonbranch