Guild of Freemen in the 18th century

Dr Ian Harris gives a talk entitled “What did the Guild know? Politics and information in later C18th Berwick” on Thursday 27 November 2022 at 7.00pm.  It is given online via Zoom, organised by Northumberland Archives.  Register in advance for a free place on the Northumberland Archives page at Eventbrite.

“Berwick-upon-Tweed is England’s most northerly town. How did the Guild – its ruling body until 1835 – know what was afoot in London, the seat of power, during an era when physical distances were in real terms much greater than they are now? Could it learn enough to address Crown and Parliament? If so, how did it acquire its information? and how did it use this knowledge? This paper answers these questions for a period when the Guild’s capacities to get at the facts and to interact with other bodies changed rapidly and positively.”

Ian Harris was born in North Yorkshire and belongs to a family from County Durham and Tyneside. His research into eighteenth-century topics has carried him as far West as California and as far East as Paris. But he first visited Berwick at the age of five and has been coming back ever since. He lectures at the University of Leicester, and has at various times been a visiting fellow at All Souls College, Oxford and Yale University.

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