19 October 2017
“A Soldier of the Rough Wooing” by Arran Paul Johnston
Arran is a battlefield historian and historical consultant with a particular interest in historic battlefields and warfare. He has worked with many organisations including the NMS and the BBC and has published three books with a fourth in publication. He lives in Dunbar with his wife and daughter.
In this month’s talk he will take us back to the dramatic political and military events of the 16th Century.
As usual, we meet at The Abbey Church Halls, Abbey Park Place, Dunfermline, at 7:30 pm on the third Thursday of the month. We look forward to welcoming visitors and members to the second meeting of the session.
Prof. Sarah Pedersen of Robert Gordon’s University, Aberdeen, gave a fascinating talk on the history of the Suffragette movement in Scotland. She covered the development of the movement from the constitutional Suffragist organisation of Millicent Fawcett through the more militant Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), otherwise known as the Suffragettes, lead by Emmeline Pankhurst and, in Scotland, Teresa Billington-Grieg and Helen Fraser. Prof. Pedersen presented a very lively coverage of Suffragette activities in Dunfermline and across Scotland including the demonstrations, interventions in elections and the incidents of violence against property. She covered the whole period until the suspension of the campaign on the outbreak of the First World War and the partial success after the war, when voting rights were granted to some women over 30. Full emancipation was not achieved until 1928.
The topic inspired some of our members to turn out in appropriate dress, featuring the Suffragette colours of Green, White and Violet, or Give Women the Vote.
Sarah is Professor of Communication and Media at Robert Gordon’s University, Aberdeen. Her research interests are focused on women’s engagement with media, whether that is contemporary digital media, or historical newspaper archives. Her research on the suffragettes in Scotland is based around analysis of local newspaper archives and this summer Palgrave Macmillan published her book ‘The Scottish Suffragettes and the Press’.
Anyone inspired to learn more on this fascinating topic, following Sarah’s excellent presentation, can do so at www.scottishsuffragettes.co.uk
At our April 2017 meeting, Dr. Morna Fleming presented a fascinating talk on “Robert Henryson’s Morall Fabillis”. She gave us an excellent introduction to this major work by the 15th Century Dunfermline poet, which stimulated many questions from the audience. She finished by giving us a couple of book recommendations and some website links “for further exploration”, which I’ve listed here.
- The Testament of Cresseid & Seven Fables, translated by Seamus Heaney (Faber, 2008)
- Among His Personal Effects, by Craig McDonald
- The Robert Henryson Society website at
- The original Glasgow University Robert Henryson site at
- this site includes a modernised edition of the Thirteen Moral Fables by R.W. Smith.
- A dramatised reading of the Testament of Cresseid by Colin Donalti and Morna Fleming at
Our next meeting is the 2016/17 AGM. It will take place on Thursday 18th May, at 7:30 pm in the Abbey Church Hall, Abbey Park Place, Dunfermline, and will be followed by “Thirty Years of Fife Constabulary” by George Beattie.
George is an old friend of the society and contributes regularly to our web-site. He is also a good friend and former colleague of George Robertson, so is an ideal guest speaker for this month, as it will be George’s final meeting as Chairman. His talk will, I’m sure, be very entertaining as well as informative.
We meet in the Abbey Church Hall, Abbey Park Place, Dunfermline, at 7:30 pm, on the third Thursday of each month, from September to May. The December meeting is a Christmas celebration for members only, but visitors are very welcome at all other meetings. There is a charge of £2 for visitors.
Find us on this sketch map.