Æthelflæd 1100

2018 marks the 1100th anniversary of the death at Tamworth of Æthelflæd ‘ruler of the Mercians’. The first-born child of King Alfred, Æthelflæd is a rare example of female rulership in English history, all the rarer in her case since she was succeeded by her daughter, Ælfwynn, an unmarried woman of 30. A collaboration has been established amongst local groups, including Tamworth Borough Council, Tamworth Museum, Tamworth’ Civic Society and the St Editha’s church, to join with History departments at the Universities of Chester, Keele and Manchester to plan a series of events and publications in 2018. The first planning meeting was held at Keele University this morning.

‘Alfled le Sage’ (Æthelflæd the wise) looks on as some of the planning group examine some of Tamworth’s medieval court rolls which are held in the archives at Keele University. A web site http://www.aethelflaed.org has been created and will serve as a gateway for some of the events and celebrations planned for 2018.

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Higden Society at Keele

Professor Graeme White of the University of Chester spoke on Cheshire’s own version of Magna Carta issued by its Earl in 1215  at the April 2016 meeting of the Ranulf Higden Society at Keele.  Professor White spoke a good deal about Cheshire’s ‘separateness’ whilst also being within the kingdom of England, before dealing with the text of the charter itself. One discussion dealt with the phrase in the charter which recorded Ranulf III as having taken the cross before the issue of the charter, a phrase which later seemed to have defined the limit of legal memory in a claim made by Vale Royal Abbey.

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After lunch Dr Anthony Mansfield, one of the Department’s recent postgraduates spoke on ‘Colluding against the kingdom: The inheritances of the North-Sea Aristocracies between the tenth and twelfth centuries.’