Troubador Somerset: A Troubled Century

Released: 28/04/2021

ISBN: 9781838594084

Format: Paperback

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Somerset: A Troubled Century

1600 to 1699


More than a chronology of events this volume looks at the lives, morals and beliefs of people and how they were affected by events that were largely out of their control.

Rather than re hash the old stories about the main characters, there are portraits of the forgotten figures from that era, both heroes and villains. People like Peter Easton one of the most successful pirates of that or any other age, Lawrence Chislett, the unsung hero of the first siege of Taunton.

John Sheppard, the renegade royalist who had to return to the small settlement of Kilton, in post-Civil war Somerset, and live among those whose lives he had made a misery Otherwise unremarkable people are featured, like Thomas Sesse, whose act of Christian charity spectacularly back fired on him. Then there was the mass hysteria at the “discovery of a Hellish knot of witches”, in East Somerset in the 1660's

Eye witness accounts are used throughout from a wealth of original documents to try and recreate the sounds sights and experience of not only a county, and a country in a state of turmoil.

Two favourable reviews,
:"heartily recommended" on a burnt ship blogspot. Whilst Exmoor magazine stated ;"Here you will find fascinating portraits of forgotten figures, both heroes and villains."

'A Troubled Century ' is heartily recommended. The author has a great knowledge of Somerset, has done some serious research, and the book is well footnoted. Some published local history work is anecdote driven, even gossipy, or just swamped with obscure details. This book demonstrates what can be achieved in this field, being both very informative, readable and useful for anyone with an interest in 17th century history.

The authors which seem to have inspired this writer are Diane Purkiss ( particularly 'The English Civil War -A People's History') and the works of David Underdown. So there is an emphasis on looking at every day local life and in trying to determine the mentality of the time. As the title suggests, the author writes about the upheaval of civil war, rebellion, religious division, breakdown in law and order. But also the flood of 1607 due to the rise of the Bristol Channel , the witch trials of 1657, the extraordinary life of the pirate Peter Easton. Certainly a book that I will keep hold of as a reference work.

by Michael Bully

Allan Bunyan

After a lifetime spent working in construction, finally found a use for an A level in history!

With family

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