The Company of Adventures

The talk by Peter Daldorph on Thursday the 9th of March was a snapshot of a wealth of information found in records of the Cambridgeshire archives. His talk focused on information and letters between the London Company of Adventurers and their early work to drain some of the watery fens in and around the Erith, Welney and Whittlesey in Cambridgeshire as well as Swaffham in Norfolk. 

The Adventurers were a group of wealthy London merchants and businessmen

“The Company was formed in London in about 1551 by  Richard Chancellor, Sebastian Cabot and Sir Hugh Willoughby.  Some 240 adventurers (investors) purchased shares at £25 each and a royal charter was prepared for their company under King Edward in 1553, making Sebastian Cabot its Governor, however, the King died before the charter could receive the Seal.”  Tribute Wikipedia.

In 1651 the Adventurers funded an early Fen drainage project and the work took place between 1651 and 1652. It was carried out by Scottish prisoners of war (the English Civil War) but the Local Fen folk were strongly opposed to the work as drainage of the Fens disrupted and destroyed their way of life so Fenmen known as the Fen Tigers tried to sabotage the drainage efforts. The archive records contain the details of the work carried out and the resistance of the Fen folk to stop it. 

To read more about Peters delving into these ancient archives go to – Here you will find a fascinating project describing some of the incidents that happened during that period of the Fenland drainage history

Peter Daldorph

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