This lecture is about an extraordinary set of English shipbuilding accounts dating from the 1290s, when the ports of London, Southampton, Ipswich, York, Newcastle and other places constructed eight war galleys for King Edward I. These accounts are the earliest-known significant English shipbuilding records, but they also have a wider historical importance, offering a unique 'snapshot' of late 13th-century England. The lecture will consider the maritime aspects of the project, but will also show what the material has to tell us about the nature of working life for 'ordinary' people, from shipwrights and blacksmiths to the women employed to clear the shipbuilding sites of wood chips. The City of London built two of the biggest galleys, so 'The Year of the Galleys' will have an added interest for Gresham audiences.
The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website:gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and-events/1295-the-year-of-the-galleys
Gresham College has been giving free public lectures since 1597. This tradition continues today with all of our five or so public lectures a week being made available for free download from our website. There are currently over 1,500 lectures free to access or download from the website.