The 20th issue of Sarum Chronicle is a special bumper edition much of which was produced in lockdown. We visit the annual music festivals of 18th century Salisbury, learn of the history of the Farrant Singers, discover why the statue of the eminent Victorian Sidney Herbert was consigned to Victoria Park, and are updated about the ongoing restoration of both St Thomas’s Church and its organ.
People always play a central role: The history of Salisbury’s High Street Post Office is written by a member of the Harding family. An early 19th century resident was the artist David Charles Read, while two centuries before, the controversial MP Henry Sherfield returned to live in Salisbury. A more famous politician, Thomas Cromwell, received his first appointment to public office as the city’s Town Clerk. The lives and trading activities of 15th century merchants are examined, and we learn of the travels of Bishop John Wordsworth through delightful postcards sent to his children. In 19th century Laverstock the elusive James Abbott aspired to establish a university, while John Hillier, ‘a man of colour’, worked for 30 years in the local asylum.
Other articles continue to demonstrate the rich variety of local history. Salisbury’s Blackfriars operated for hundreds of years in the city. Water meadows were an important feature of life in Fisherton. The gibbet on Harnham Hill reflected the brutality of Georgian Wiltshire, while legal procedures in the Court of Common Pleas in the 15th century reveal insights into the lives and work of ordinary people. Reviews of new books and an index to issues 16-20 complete the contents of this superbly illustrated 2020 issue of Sarum