Hydra Books Opening Audio

Hydra books opened with a talk by Ian Bone on Saturday. Around 70 people turned up to listen to the talk and smell the still wet paint. Also, on Scouse Sunday Steve Higginson gave a talk about the 1911 dockers strike in Liverpool and Sheila Coleman from the Hillsborough Justice Campaign gave an update on the parliamentary debate, the Hillsborough Panel and the BBC's freedom of information request. Below you can find audio of all of these talks. Ian Bone - 1919 – Year of Revolution' Maria […]

Seven Stars, Slavery and Freedom!

The frontispiece from Clarksons essay.
The Seven Stars pub in St Thomas Lane (next to the Fleece and Firkin) is without doubt a remarkable pub. It has survived the Blitz, post and pre war planners, new roads (such as Victoria Street) and all of the brewery ‘re-organisations’ and changes in fashion. It even lost the community that surrounded it, but it’s still there, a beacon on our past. The reason its survival is so important is due to one man, Thomas Clarkson, and if it wasn’t for Bristol Civic Society nobody would have been aware […]

A Celebration of St. Wulfstan

In between the howling gales, we had a day of calm which coincided with a spur of the moment event; 'A Celebration of St Wulfstan', on his saints day, the 19th of January. After a brief rendition of his life was published in last months magazine, a number of people got together to try and celebrate the great man's life, in the actual church in which he served, as a contribution to Abolition 200 year. Several people had stated that we ought to do something, and contact was made through the […]

Some Thoughts And Observations On Bristol Radical History Group’s Summer Party

Reclaim the Hill!: A celebration of the radical history of Brandon Hill and Stop the College Green Dispersal Order Despite the vagaries of the English summer of 2007, a small but feisty mob of radical historians, skate boarders and cider drinkers gathered on Brandon Hill in Clifton on August 19th. We were both celebrating the 175th anniversary of the invasion of the Great Reform Dinner and protesting against the dispersal order served on Bristol citizens this summer. What is the connection? […]

The Seven Stars Pub & Thomas Clarkson

Thomas Clarkson.
A Transcript taken from a document found behind the bar at The Seven Stars Pub. It was an inn in the latter half of the Seventeenth Century, for in the Reign of Charles the Second, Richard Pope, Linen Draper, one of the sons of William Pope, merchant, granted to the feoffoes of Saint Thomas a yearly rent of 30/-d. out of the tenement called “The Starrs then in the possession of Michael Jaine, victualler, in accordance with his father’s will.” IT is interesting from its connection with the slave […]

James Nayler’s Ride into Bristol : October 1656

James Nayler From Bristol Past and Present Vol III by J. F. Nicholls and John Taylor 1882.
350 years ago this month a small group of men and women approached the gates of Bristol, singing hosannas before a man on a horse. They appeared to be imitating Christ's entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. The man was James Nayler (1617-1660), a leader of the upstart Quaker movement and onetime member of Cromwell's New Model Army. The Puritan authorities were outraged. Nayler was seized and charged with blasphemy. Sent to London where he was the subject of a full Parliamentary debate for ten […]

1831 And All That …

This article was written for Mute Magazine. One of the objectives of Bristol Radical History week was to re-examine some of the momentous events of Bristol’s history that have been often dismissed by historians as ‘chaos’ or ‘inexplicable’. The process of this examination by academics, local historians and interested punters during the week exposed some of the key problems of historical analysis. Precision Strikes The three days of rioting that occurred in October 1831 in Bristol were certainly […]

The 1831 Uprising – Part 3: The Aftermath

BWHW 2006 Colour Poster - 1831
Taken from Bristol Past and Present by J. F. Nicholls and John Taylor, published in 1882 Major Beckwith, in his evidence, stated that the mayor and magistrates seemed stupefied with terror, and that he asked for one of them to accompany his troops on horseback; all but Alderman Camplin said they could not ride, and he said he had not been on horseback for eighteen years. The major then demanded and received a written authority from them to act. The following is a list of the leading members of […]

The 1831 Uprising – Part 2: The Uprising

The 1831 Uprising - Part 2: The Uprising Taken from Bristol Past and Present by J. F. Nicholls and John Taylor, published in 1882 On Saturday, October 29th, the civic force appointed as a guard for the recorder, marched out, about ten o'clock in the morning, by way of Bristol bridge and Temple street, as far as the city boundary at the “Blue Bowl” tavern, Totterdown, to await his coming. They mustered about 300, and included the sheriff's officers, regular constables, and special constables; the […]