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Research in Focus

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Christmas under the puritans

Dr Fiona McCall is a Senior Lecturer in early modern history, teaching a third-year module on the British Civil Wars, the first-year Beliefs, Communities and Conflicts module and a second year option, Underworlds. Her research investigates traditionalist resistance to puritan values in English parish churches during the 1640s and 1650s, and in this post, updated […]

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The Dragon Gun: secrets of a local South-East Asian treasure

On 29 November 2023 we were pleased to welcome Thomas Davies, Assistant Curator of Artillery at the Royal Armouries: Fort Nelson, to the University of Portsmouth as part of our History Research Group Seminar series. Thomas presented his paper on the Dragon Gun, the iconic cannon housed at Royal Armouries: Fort Nelson on Portsdown Hill.  […]

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Disorderly baptisms in mid-seventeenth century England

Baptism is as a rite of central importance within the Christian religion. Deriving from the Gospels, it was one of only two of the original seven Catholic sacraments retained by English Protestants.  In late-sixteenth and seventeenth century England, with high birth rates, and everyone required to attend church by law, it was a very familiar […]

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The challenges faced by Catholics under Queen Elizabeth I

  UoP History’s Katy Gibbons has recently published a chapter in volume 1 of the Oxford History of British and Irish Catholicism. This major multivolume work seeks to explore the complex and contested stories and experiences of Catholic communities in Britain and Ireland across 5 centuries, and to bring together aspects of their stories that […]

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Accidental dismemberment on the railways

Our own Dr Mike Esbester is co-lead of the Railway Work, Life & Death project at the National Railway Museum.  This post from the project, written by co-lead Karen Baker, looks at the work of one of the project’s placement students, Connor Scott, who used the dataset to interrogate just how dangerous it was to […]

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