Spotlight on...medieval history
Posted on 28 June 2017

Today the spotlight is on medieval and early modern history where students have had some interesting experiences.

History is a well respected academic subject and is accepted by all higher education establishments as a suitable qualification for a wide variety of degree courses. The skills learnt are useful for a variety of careers including law and local government, as well as museum and archive work.  

This month our students have been to the National Archives in London to attend their ‘Tracking the Tudors’ event. The workshops included seeing original documents associated with the Reformation in England under Henry VIII and the brief reign of his first daughter Mary (1553-1558). Some of the documents are so precious, they are presented in rooms covered by CCTV and a designated security guard.

They saw an original copy of the Act of Supremacy (1534) which separated England from Rome, the original wedding contract agreed between Mary and Philip II of Spain and letters regarding moving crucifixes found in Kent prior to the Reformation.

In the afternoon, a lecture on Westminster Abbey and the Tudors was followed by an engaging talk on the life and career of Thomas Cromwell, given by his most recent biographer Dr Tracy Borman. One student commented, “The trip gave a real insight into history beyond the classroom through the handling of original documents and using them in a productive way. The speakers were very engaging - the talk on Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell especially interested me.”

As well as this, students were also treated to a visit from Professor Helen Parish, Head of History at the University of Reading. Helen’s talk covered how historians have interpreted witch hunts in early modern Europe. Dr Parish gave a sound overview of the historiography and controversy that surrounds this topic and the ways in which students could address this in their coursework essays. 

If you think this subject would interest you and you would like to learn more about the History courses we offer please click here.