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Our New Season

Our first meeting of the 23-24 season was well attended and it was good to welcome some new members.

Our Chairman, Brian Forshaw gave us a very interesting talk about the Slingsby Family who came to England with William the Conqueror and played a large part in our local and national history for over for over 900 years. It was interesting to learn that the family seat, Scriven Hall was demolished after a disastrous fire in 1954 leaving only the entrance gates to ‘The Coach House’ which in 1966 was converted into a normal house and is now known as Scriven Hall. Part of the estate was sold to Winifred Jacob Smith, who on her death left 30 acres of land forming Jacob Smith Park.

The Slingsby history was certainly not dull, and it is well worth looking at the Slingsby Chapel in our Parish Church of St John the Baptist. Here you will find very interesting statues such as that of the rather rakish Sir William Slingsby, Commissary of the Fleet, who died in 1638. He would have looked after all the stores and provisions for the navy.

A much more recent effigy is that of Sir Charles Slingsby, the 10th Baronet, who died in a ferryboat accident on the river Ure in 1869 while hunting near Newby Hall.
Then there was Sir Henry Slingsby the first Baronet who was imprisoned at Hull for his religion when he refused to swear an oath of loyalty to Parliament and Church of England after the civil war. He was executed on Tower Hill in 1658.

Our next meeting is on Tuesday 7 November featuring a talk by our own Rob Snow entitled “Two Queens Bad Press” – A look at the reputation of Mary Tudor and Margaret of Anjou. Rob, who taught A level history at King James’s School intends to focus on Margaret of Anjou this year and next year Mary Tudor. He would like to examine her bad press as one of the She Wolves of France and explain why she got this reputation and to see if this view is justified.

The Knaresborough Town Museum are holding a Community Archaeology Festival on the weekends of 28-29 October and 4-5 November from 10.00 am to 4.30 pm in The Centre on Chapel Street (COGS) Knaresborough. Entry is free and you will see the results of their archaeology research in Birkham Woods and an important medieval site on Abbey Road.