Talks & Courses
Tuesday 20th March
Our Dynamic Sun
26 October: ‘A lost cause? Elizabeth I, the ‘Essex Rebellion’ and the question of the Stuart succession’ – Dr Janet Dickinson, Historian and Lecturer at Oxford University
In a career spanning more than fifty years, Sir Joseph Banks (1743–1820) became one of the most influential figures in European science.
This day symposium will explore similarities in the origins, artistic involvement and philanthropic purpose of two eighteenth-century charitable hospitals with strong ties to maritime Britain: the Foundling Hospital, the first children’s charity in Britain, founded in 1730s by Captain Thomas Coram, a shipwright in the American colonies, and the Greenwich Royal Hospital for Seamen, established by royal charter in 1694 and from 1712 incorporated a school for the orphans of sailors.
WRNS100: A Journey into the Archive
Celebrate 100 years of the Women’s Royal Naval Service in this joint event with the Old Royal Naval College.
Chart the long history of the Thames through poetry: from the idealised Elizabethan river of Spenser, via the hopeful and despairing responses of Romantics and Victorians, through the early twentieth-century vistas of Eliot and Lawrence, right up to the remarkable sequence composed for the Millennium Bridge. The epilogue, perhaps inevitably, will be that most poignant tribute by a Londoner to his river, 'Waterloo Sunset' by Ray Davies and the Kinks.
This lecture by Ryan Harris, a senior underwater archaeologist at Parks Canada and scientific lead for the study of the lost ships of the 1845 Sir John Franklin Expedition, will present on the most recent scientific findings from archaeological evidence gathered since 2014. Painstaking investigation of these two extremely well preserved wrecks is shedding light on the final days of the doomed expedition, while revealing subtile aspects of shipboard life among the imperilled crew, and the detailed manner in which the two discovery ships were outfitted for Arctic Service.
Throughout the nineteenth century the British public frequently ‘got lost’ in the Frozen North. Leading explorers were the celebrity figures of their day and they went to great lengths to convince their audiences of the merits of polar exploration, capturing public fascinations, to persuade governments to finance ambitious proposals, and to bolster support for the Royal Navy. In theatres, in art, in verse and song, the achievements of explorers were promoted, celebrated, and manipulated, whilst explorers themselves became the subject of huge attention.