This week we have added 87,226 new pages to The Archive. We are delighted to welcome four new titles to our ever-growing collection, including an extensive run of Worcestershire publication the Evesham Standard & West Midland Observer, two Northern Ireland titles (the Protestant Watchman & Lurgan Gazette and the Ulster Examiner & Northern Star), as well as pages from West Sussex publication the Crawley News.
Evesham in Worcestershire was the site of a thirteenth century battle between the crown and rebel factions of the aristocracy. On 4th August 1265 the forces of Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester and leader of the rebelling barons faced those of Prince Edward, later King Edward I, son of King Henry III. This was the second battle of the Second Barons’ War. De Montfort faced an army twice the size of his own, after having been abandoned by important allies, and was killed during the course of the battle, where Prince Edward regained control for the crown.
The Evesham Standard & West Midland Observer gives a fascinating insight into this relationship between the town and the historical battle, and demonstrates how titles in our Archive can aid with such historic research.
A search for the Battle of Evesham in the Evesham Standard & West Midland Observer reveals how the town has been strongly influenced by the battle which occurred many hundreds of years ago. This is manifested in the town’s folklore, with reports of a possible haunting in 1937, where a workman feared that a ghostly form of a victim of the Battle of Evesham was following in his wake, as well as the physical evidence that the battle left behind.
Some possible physical evidence was surfaced in 1958 when the Evesham Historical Society were digging at Evesham Abbey. Four skeletons were found at the depth of about seven feet. ‘Damage to one skull suggests that these were casualties in the Battle of Evesham.’
Not only this, the town’s twentieth century war memorial sits near a grassy mound in the churchyard, which is thought to be the resting place of men killed in the Battle of Evesham from nearby Willersey. The paper notes the moving juxtaposition between commemorations of modern warfare, next to the victims of an ancient battle.
Furthermore, using the Evesham Standard & West Midland Observer it is possible to learn more about the battle itself. In 1920 a Mr Alfred Hayes gave a talk to the Birmingham Archaeological Society entitled ‘How Strategy Won the Battle,’ in which he claimed that the Battle of Evesham was the first battle to be won by prioritising strategy over tactics.
In 1953 the Battle of Evesham was further remembered in a historical pageant. The event was attended by 800 people, but storms interrupted proceedings: ‘Twice during the evening heavy rainstorms drove spectators to cover under trees, and it was very cold.’ A brave audience was treated to the scene of ‘Simon de Montfort before the Battle of Evesham.’ Directed by and starring Philip Beck, who got the ‘utmost from a desperate situation,’ the scene was ‘well supported by members of the Operatic and Dramatic Society.’
|Evesham Standard & West Midland Observer||1888-1892, 1894-1899, 1904-1951, 1953-1959|
|Protestant Watchman and Lurgan Gazette||1861-1867|
|Ulster Examiner and Northern Star||1868-1881|
|Crawley News||1992-1993, 1995, 1997|
This week we have updated nine of our existing titles.
You can learn more about each of the titles we add to every week by clicking on their names. On each paper’s title page, you can read a FREE sample issue, learn more about our current holdings, and our plans for digitisation.
|Staines & Ashford News||1996, 1998|
|Harrow Leader||1994, 1997|
|Hayes & Harlington Gazette||1994, 1997|
|Mansfield & Sutton Recorder||1985-1987, 1993, 1995|
|Hammersmith & Shepherds Bush Gazette||1989|
|Reading Evening Post||1970|
|Harrow Observer||1970-1973, 1975|