North West Early Modern Seminar held at HopeWednesday 2 December 2015
The Department of History and Politics hosted the North West Early Modern Seminar where a series of papers and presentations on current research projects were discussed.
Dr John Appleby from the Department of History and Politics, Liverpool Hope University, explored the ways in which the notorious pirate John Callice was able to benefit from networks of assistance and lack of action by local authorities, and the problems posed by this form of organised crime for the Elizabethan government.
Dr Appleby drew attention to the fascinating image of the redeemed pirate, at times both useful to Callice and acceptable to ministers seeking to draw on his considerable knowledge.
Meanwhile, Dr Jenni Hyde, who recently achieved her PhD at the University of Manchester, discussed the use by mid-Tudor ballad composers of simple, memorable tunes in familiar musical forms, which could be reworded to suit a particular topical issue. She demonstrated her point by leading her audience in song.
The range of subjects that were addressed in both surviving manuscript and print collections were explored, along with balladeers’ use of ambiguous words. Dr Hyde also looked at the potential consequences, in the context of the Henrician treason legislation, of being willing to explain them to an audience.
Senior lecturer in early modern history Dr Fiona Pogson said: “We also enjoyed three research-in-progress papers beginning with Dr Nicholas Seager from the University of Keele. Dr Seager discussed his current work editing the surviving correspondence of Daniel Defoe and explained the range of subject matter, and the associated editorial challenges.
Elsewhere, Michael Smith explored an aspect of doctoral research he is undertaking at the University of Manchester on late seventeenth and early eighteenth-century Protestantism. His paper focused on the motives of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge in circulating work by the non-conformist theologian, Jean Le Clerc.
Dr James Mawdesley, Liverpool Hope University, closed the proceedings by exploring the significance of the probable links between Richard Mather of Boston and clergy in Bury, in the establishment of Presbyterianism in Lancashire in the 1640s.
The next meeting of the Seminar will be hosted by Manchester Metropolitan University in the spring term; details will be posted shortly @ https://northwestseminar.wordpress.com.