Wednesday 13 September 2023

LAHS Dissertation Prize Awards 2023

LAHS is pleased to announce three winners of the Coronation Dissertation Prize of 2023.

Melton Mowbray Church View

Jon Walsh has been awarded the prize for BA Archaeology dissertation.
Lynn Marriott has been awarded the prize for BA History dissertation.
Denise Greany has been awarded the prize for the MA History dissertation.

There were two runners up. Emery Clayton for BA History and Charlotte Middleton for MA History.

Congratulations to everyone involved.

BA Archaeology 

The winner of the prize for BA Archaeology is Jon Walsh, for his dissertation on ‘The clay tobacco pipes of Bradgate House, Leicestershire. Social dynamics, trade, and consumption patterns in an elite household’, written at the University of Leicester.

This study involved an analysis of tobacco clay pipes recovered from excavations at Bradgate House, Leicestershire. The research is put into wider context by a comparative analysis of an assemblage from Mountsorrel, Leicestershire, and other published studies from the wider region. The principal aim of the project was to investigate what the data reveals about social relationships, trade, and consumption behaviours within a post-medieval elite household in the English Midlands. This study demonstrates that tobacco pipe smoking was a prevalent activity at the house and stables in the 17th century and suggests why, in contrast to other urban and rural areas it had disappeared almost completely at the house by the early 18th century. It shows that the house was a busy and vibrant social, domestic, and working environment during the 17th century and that local, national, and international trade and social interaction were taking place. It also provides evidence to demonstrate the elite status of Bradgate House and its links with other elite individuals and households in continental Europe.

B.A. History

The winner of the prize for B.A. History is Lynn Marriott, for her dissertation on ‘Local Responses to the Reformations – A Case Study of Melton Mowbray’, written at Nottingham Trent University.

This study investigates how the churchwardens in the small market town of Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire responded to the religious changes imposed during the reigns of Protestant Edward VI (1547-1553), how they guided the community back to Catholicism under Mary I (1553-1558) and then steered the church through the terms of Elizabeth I’s (1558-1603) religious injunctions and acts in the first few years of her reign. By using the surviving churchwardens’ accounts for the period 1546 to circa 1563 (after which there is a break of two years in the existing documentation), as well as surviving Town Estate documentation, it is possible to compare the changes undertaken by the churchwardens in Melton Mowbray with those undertaken by churchwardens in other comparable-sized towns, to discern whether Melton Mowbray reacted in similar or different ways to other places. This study adds detail on a Leicestershire community to our knowledge of the local impact of the English Reformations.

M.A. History 

The winner of the prize for M.A. History is Denise Greany, for ‘” We did not go”; Domestic Sociability in an early Nineteenth Century Provincial Town’, for the University of Leicester.

The dissertation is a close study of the diary of a lower middle-class woman in Lutterworth. It traces the operation of female visit culture from the roads around the town, through the urban spaces of local public culture and into the parlours, kitchens, and sick rooms of female activity. In doing so it suggests that the domestic realm was more expansive, productive and heterosocial than other studies have suggested, characterised by widespread female mobility and agency. Early nineteenth-century women are often described as existing within a separate, domestic sphere. A cult of domesticity is said to have dominated female sociable lives, removing them from productive labour and the sites of commercial public leisure, and reframing them instead as regulators of private havens. There are few accounts of provincial female sociability in the early nineteenth century. Those accounts that do exist, centre the experiences of elite, urban or literary women. This dissertation suggests that care for the sick provided as significant a motivation, location, and routine for provincial female sociable lives as courtship, religious observance, and commercial activity.