March Meeting

Peter Daldorph

Our March meeting will take place this coming Thursday evening (9th March) at 7.30 pm, at St Andrew’s United Reformed Church, Ledbury Road, Netherton, Peterborough PE3 9RF. We’re delighted to welcome Peter Daldorph, with “The Proceedings of the Adventurers: a new exploration of the archive (particularly related to Peterborough)”.

The engineering works that transformed the Fens in the 1650s, managed by the Company of Adventurers, relied on the hard work of labourers who dug the drains and built the banks, a workforce that included an army of English labourers as well as Scottish and Dutch prisoners of war. In the autumn of 1651, following the defeat of Scottish soldiers on the battlefields of Worcester and Dunbar, hundreds of survivors were brought to Cambridgeshire, followed by the transfer of 500 Dutch naval prisoners of war after their defeat at the Battle of Goodwin Sands in 1653. The prisoners suffered brutal marches, and were corralled in unsanitary prisoner-of-war camps and separated from their families and homeland without hope of return under the threat of death should any attempt be made to escape. The story of the English labourers is likewise full of complexity and conflict and many riots occurred when they were not paid. Through his transcription work of The Adventurers Minute Books, Peter brings this fascinating period of the history of our area to life.

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