The Friends of Markenfield put on four Events each year – one musical event in the summer followed by two lecture events later in the year, plus The Friends’ AGM.
All are welcome to attend the events (but only members may attend the AGM). Over the past few years, The Friends have put on a number of highly entertaining, as well as highly educational, events.
This year, the AGM began proceedings with the entertainment being provided by Lord Norwich – the President of The Friends, who spoke eloquently and entertainingly on the subject of Sicily. The Great Hall was packed to capacity with Members of The Friends who thoroughly enjoyed The Friends’ President’s spirited lecture on the subject closest to his heart.
Next came An Evening with the Harp & David Watkins – a superb sell-out evening where yet another sell-out audience fell under the spell of a musical master. A review of the evening can be seen on The Friends’ News page.
Then came a truly fascinating lecture by Prof Robert Bartlett – Mediaeval Historian and Lecturer – on Saints and Martyrs. A rapt audience learned an awful lot of new things…
"The head of St John the Baptist surfaced at regular intervals in different places, and bits of St Nicholas moved around from church to shrine across Europe."
Still to come is a talk and book signing by Linda Porter on her book Crown of Thistles: the fatal inheritance of Mary Queen of Scots.
Very little has been written about the background to the intense rivalry between Elizabeth I and her cousin Mary Queen of Scots, Tudor against Stewart. It is the story of cultured courts, tribal hatreds and violent deaths. It is also the story of intense religious devotion and of many ready to die rather than accept the new, protestant order. When Mary was moved from imprisonment at Bolton Castle to Tutbury in early 1569, she stopped overnight near Ripon. But where was secure enough? The Markenfield family were passionately Catholic and about to lead a bloody attempt to overthrow Elizabeth in favour of Mary. Did she stay here?