Monthly Archives: July 2016

Glorying in football

While memories of Euro 2016 start to fade away, the memory of one past English footballing triumph still remains fresh. For on this day in 1966, England won football’s World Cup for the first time since the tournament had begun in 1930. Captained by Bobby Moore, who was described by manager Alf Ramsey as the “spirit and heartbeat” of the squad, England defeated their opponents, West Germany, 4-2. They played in front of a crowd of over 93,000 spectators at Wembley Stadium, London, including the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, and a much larger TV audience. The then unconventional attacking formation adopted by the team earned them the name of the “wingless wonders”. But the match is particularly remembered for Geoff Hurst’s third goal in the final moments of extra time, making him the first player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final.

Bobby Moore holding the Jules Rimet trophy.

Bobby Moore holding the Jules Rimet trophy.

Football has been a part of the sporting landscape of student life at the University since around the turn of the twentieth century. Activities in the early days of the University’s Football Club were on a modest and local scale. Home matches were mainly played at the Shirley Ground: “the great events” as the 1904/5 Students’ Handbook notes, “the intercollegiate matches when we play Winchester and Reading…”  The emphasis of the Football Club of 1900s was on “healthy recreation and vigorous exercise for men students” rather than on sporting prowess. And while it had no problem in attracting sufficient members to field at least two men’s teams, it was less successful in attracting spectators for matches.  “The lack of support which both teams have met with from their fellow students in the past has been deplorable.  It is to be hoped that all Freshmen will feel it their duty to turn out to every match that is played this session, and cheer their College to victory.”  [1905/5 Students’ Handbook]

First football team, c.1900 [Univ Photo Collection LF 781]

First football team, c.1900 [Univ Photo Collection LF 781]

Today the world of college football is a very different one, both in terms of character and organisation. There exist both men’s and women’s teams that compete in the British Universities and Colleges Sport South East Conference as well as competitions overseas. The BUCS football programme has become one of the largest that the organisation runs, with over 450 men’s and 150 women’s teams across 100 leagues. Both the men’s and women’s teams have enjoyed a certain success in the competition with the men’s team topping the Western 2A championship in 2015/16 and the women’s team triumphing in the Women’s 2A Western Conference in 2008/9, after being runners up in 2006/7 and 2007/8.

And so we wish everyone who holds football dear continued enjoyment in “the beautiful game”.

For further information on the men’s team go to:
https://www.facebook.com/Southampton-University-Football-Club-146781968689990/

For the women’s team try:
https://www.facebook.com/SULFC1/

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The Cope Handbills

The Cope Handbills are a wonderfully rich collection of over three hundred items, over two large volumes, of political flyers, public notices, newspaper reports and other printed ephemera produced predominantly in Southampton. They cover a sixty year period, from the last quarter of the eighteenth century into the early years of the nineteenth.

Beginning with a newspaper report of November 1776 from the Hampshire Chronicle, relating the victory of King George III’s troops at New York, the items continue through to the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars until the passage of the Great Reform Act of 1832, with a smaller number of items from the later years of the nineteenth century also.

The Handbills form part of the wider Cope Collection cared for by the Special Collections team at the Hartley Library. The Rev Sir William Cope (1811-92), twelfth Baronet, of Bramshill, Hampshire served in the Rifle Brigade before purchasing his discharge in 1839 to become ordained as a priest. He was a minor canon of Westminster Abbey from 1842 until 1852 and chaplain of Westminster Hospital from 1843 to 1851. In 1851 he succeeded to the baronetcy, and at Bramshill developed an interest in the local area, writing on matters of local interest, e.g. A Glossary of Hampshire Words and Phrases (1883) and establishing his ‘Hampshire Collection’. Cope died in 1892, having bequeathed the collection to the Hartley Institution, a forerunner of the University of Southampton. The handbills shine a light onto the momentous political and social developments of a world that was changing rapidly for Southampton’s inhabitants, bringing out the contrasting worldviews which informed the intellectual debates and shaped the larger developments that defined the era.

The increasing power of the state is evident in the notices on the new income tax, first introduced in 1799 (amidst ferocious opposition from some quarters), by Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger as a temporary measure to fund the war with France; the Income Tax was the first tax in British history to be levied directly on people’s earnings. The War with France itself features prominently in the hand bills, with impassioned polemics both in favor of (Item 66, Vol. 1) and in opposition to (Item 60, Vol. 1) the prosecution of the war:

Item 66 (Vol. 1) – A call to arms supporting the war with France

Item 66 (Vol. 1) – A call to arms supporting the war with France

Inside the volumes we find numerous campaign flyers which reveal the maneuverings and diatribes of local politicians on issues ranging from Catholic emancipation to slavery; these underscore how politics was becoming an increasingly visible concern for Sotonians. At the beginning of the era the political life of the town was largely dominated by the Corporation of Southampton, which vacillated between Tory and Whig influences and had the power to sway general elections and send MPs of its choosing to Westminster. MPs were usually country gentlemen from neighbouring counties and of recent commercial or professional success. It was also common, from the 1740s onwards, for MPs to hold West Indian connections or property; slavery becoming a burning issue for some Sotonians in the early 19th century. A petition favouring moderate reform of the slaves’ conditions to prepare them for ultimate emancipation was signed by 1,353 residents of Southampton and presented to Parliament in 1828. A few years earlier in January 1824 a petition to Parliament was requisitioned by William Chamberlayne MP, calling for the abolition of slavery altogether. It was widely supported in nonconformist circles but was strongly opposed by some Anglicans:

Item 77 (Vol. 2) – Anti-slavery polemic

Item 77 (Vol. 2) – Anti-slavery polemic

But the handbills also allow us a glimpse into the more mundane realities of the everyday cultural lives of Sotonians. Alongside the items covering the more serious political and social issues of the day we find flyers for a range of entertainments including fencing demonstrations, scientific and educational lectures, musical performances and exhibitions of a ‘celebrated Irish Giant’ and a lady only thirty inches in stature of ‘lively wit and agreeable conversation’. We also see commercial advertisements for all manner of goods and services from fashionable dresses and hats to book-sales, lotteries, coach travel services to London and Bristol as well as dubious medicinal cures and treatments, including some for electrical therapy and ‘earth-bathing’:

Item 172 (Vol. 1) – Advertisement for a public demonstration of ‘earth-bathing’ by Doctor Graham

Item 172 (Vol. 1) – Advertisement for a public demonstration of ‘earth-bathing’ by Doctor Graham

Intermixed with all these items we find: satirical cartoons; religious and moral tracts; notices of local voluntary militias and military procedures and rules; the bulletins of various reading, archery and dining clubs and public notices proscribing fireworks, rioting and the disruption of church services, as well as notices on everything from public improvements to bank robberies and poor relief.

Taken together, the handbills allow us to build a picture of how the lives of Sotonians changed between 1770 and 1830. By the time of the Great Reform Act of 1832, which was celebrated in Southampton by a festival (Item 141 – Vol. 1) and which had been championed by the Whig faction in Parliament, the era of social and political reform had truly come of age. In 1835 the Whigs also passed the Municipal Reform Act; this broke the power of many town corporations, including Southampton’s, which were deemed undemocratic, inept and unresponsive to the needs of the rapidly changing urban communities they served. Southampton’s corporation, whilst not as dire as those of other English towns, was nonetheless found by the government’s commission of enquiry to be inadequate: “…it is evident that the whole power of the Corporation is in the hands of a few persons…”[1] The Radical William Lankester, although admitting no malpractice on the part of the Southampton Corporation, did complain that the Corporation was apathetic towards improvement, citing a lack of the following: “a new jail should have been built, or a hospital endowed, or schools established, or an efficient police set up, or marshes and ditches drained.”[2]

The decline of the town corporation’s influence was concomitant with the rise of movements and new organisations in Southampton which sought to improve and reform almost everything before them. We see this very clearly in the items establishing new gas lighting for the town (Item 138, Vol. 1); new educational initiatives to improve the lot of the poor in the rapidly expanding suburb of St. Mary’s (Item 143, Vol. 1) and local petitions for the reform of capital punishment (Item 130, Vol. 1).

Simultaneous with this new drive for social and political reform, which transformed the intellectual and moral landscape of the country, we see the continuing rise of commerce, industry and the new forms of transportation which were rapidly altering the physical landscape of the town. This is reflected in handbills concerning everything from the trade in wine and ales (Item 2 Vol. 2), the malpractice of butchers at Lymington (Item 25, Vol. 1) to plans for a new canal linking Southampton to Salisbury (Item 22, Vol. 1) and the jubilant newspaper reports on the arrival in Southampton of Queen Victoria via the new railway in 1843 (Item 108, Vol. 2).

The individual handbills are listed in PDF files which can be downloaded from the Cope Collection LibGuide at:
http://library.soton.ac.uk/c.php?g=131329&p=3368707

Sources

[1] A History of Southampton 1700-1914, Vol. 1: An Oligarchy in Decline by A. Temple Patterson, Southampton University Press, 1966, pp. 176-77

[2] Ibid.

The Spanish Civil War

The Spanish Civil War began on 17 July 1936 when rebel Nationalists led a military uprising against the Popular Front government, a coalition of left wing parties which had been elected earlier in the year.

The Popular Front aimed to continue the reforms which had begun with the establishment of the Spanish Second Republic in 1931. With the ambitious agenda of eliminating deeply-rooted social inequalities, the republican programme encompassed land and education reform, improved rights for women, restructuring the army, and granting autonomy to Catalonia and the Basque Country.

Photograph of a tiled wall in Guernica showing Picasso’s painting, originally produced in response to the bombing of the town during the Spanish Civil War

Photograph of a tiled wall in Guernica showing Picasso’s painting, originally produced in response to the bombing of the town during the Spanish Civil War

Threatened by these far-reaching changes, diverse political groups rallied together in the so called ‘two Spains’, determined to annihilate each other. The government was supported by workers, a large number of the educated middle class, militant anarchists and communists. In contrast, the Nationalists were supported by landowners, conservative elements in the clergy and military, and the fascist Falange. While government forces successfully quelled the uprising in most regions, the Nationalists continued to control parts of North West and South West Spain, naming General Francisco Franco the head of state.

Britain was among the 27 countries to sign a Non-Intervention Agreement. Despite this, hundreds of Britons, many of them communists, went to fight against the fascists in Spain. In a letter from Professor Dan Pedro to Professor H.Brian Griffiths, Department of Mathematics, University of Southampton, dated 15 Jun 1981, he mentions David Hadden Guest, a former student of the University who was killed fighting in the war:

‘We heard that he was leaving us, and when I enquired whether it was an educational venture, he replied, with a mysterious little smile: “Yes! I suppose that you could say it was educational!” Only when I heard that he was killed fighting against Franco did I understand this remark.’ [MS88/11]

With Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy helping the Nationalists, Communist Russia the Republicans, and Chamberlain’s Britain leading a policy of appeasement amongst Western democratic nations, the war was to last three bloody years. In this bitter conflict, there was a third Spain, which did not want to take up arms, but to live in peace. War, hunger, revolution, counter-revolution, denunciations, persecution, summary trials and executions, and mass repression often resulted in the disintegration of family and community life, desolating a country and forcing thousands of its people into exile.

On 26 April 1937, General Franco, with the support of the German Condor Legion, attacked Guernica and Durango, one of the first bombings of a civilian population in Europe. In April/May 1937, the Basque government and the National Joint Committee for Spanish Relief, co-ordinating relief in the UK, organised an evacuation of children from the north front of the war zone. No public funds were made available for the expedition, nor for the care of the children in the UK. Their maintenance was provided for entirely by private funds and those raised by voluntary groups and organisations.

The Habana with children on board [MS 404 A4164/7/1/1]

The Habana with children on board [MS 404 A4164/7/1/1]

Approximately 4,000 children, known as the niños vascos, came to Southampton in May 1937 by boat from Santurce, the port of Bilbao, fleeing the conflict. They were part of a movement which saw more than 30,000 children leave the war zone, dispersed to countries across Europe and overseas.

During the course of the following year the Nationalists continued to gain territory. By April 1938 they reached the Mediterranean and succeeding in splitting the republic in two. This resulted in 250,000 Republican soldiers, together with a comparable number of civilians, fleeing into France. In March 1939 the Republican government was forced into exile. As the remaining Republican forces surrendered, Madrid finally fell to the Nationalists on 28 March. The aftermath of the war saw the establishment of a dictatorship led by General Franco that lasted almost until his death in 1975.

The Special Collections holds archives for the Basque Children of ‘37 Association UK (MS 404), together with small collections relating to Basque child refugees (MS 370) that have come from individuals. Further details on the collection can be found on our website at:
http://www.southampton.ac.uk/archives/resources/basquecollections.page

There are also a series of interviews of the niños vascos conducted as part of an oral history project undertaken by the University of Southampton:
http://www.southampton.ac.uk/archives/projects/losninos.page

Next year commemorations will be taking place to mark the 80th anniversary of the arrival of the niños in the UK. Further information can be found on the website of the Basque Children of ‘37 Association UK:
http://www.basquechildren.org/

Evelyn Ashley in America

As it is the Fourth of July we have decided to take a look at Evelyn Ashley’s tour of the United States from 1858 to 1859…

(Anthony) Evelyn Melbourne Ashley (1836–1907) was the fourth son of Anthony Ashley Cooper, seventh earl of Shaftesbury (1801–1885), and his wife, Emily (1810–1872). He was born in London on 24 July 1836 and was later educated at Harrow School and Trinity College, Cambridge. After his graduation in 1858, he became private secretary to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, then in his first term as prime minister. After the defeat of the government in the same year, Ashley toured the United States and Canada from June 1858 to [May] 1859 with Lord Frederick Cavendish and Lord Richard Grosvenor.

Portrait of Evelyn Ashely [Broadlands Archives MB2/H1]

Portrait of Evelyn Ashely [Broadlands Archives MB2/H1]

Among his papers, which now form part of the Broadlands archives, are a range of items relating to his travels in the United States. These include correspondence (BR61 and BR62), photographs (MB2/H1), a series of notebooks and journals (BR68), and three notebooks containing a lecture given by Ashley reflecting on his time in North America (BR60/6/3).

Black and white engraving of a scene entitled ‘Philadelphia’ from a letter from Evelyn Ashley to his sister Lady Victoria Ashley, 1 February 1859 [Broadlands Archives BR60/1/7]

Black and white engraving of a scene entitled ‘Philadelphia’ from a letter from Evelyn Ashley to his sister Lady Victoria Ashley, 1 February 1859 [Broadlands Archives BR60/1/7]

During his travels he visited many of the major American cities, including New York, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore, New Orleans, and Washington. The above engraving of Philadelphia is from a letter written to his sister Lady Victoria Ashley, on 1 February 1859, of which he writes:

I beg leave by means of the engraving above to introduce you to the city of ‘Brotherly Love’ and if by ‘brethren’ is also meant ‘cousins’, transatlantic or others, it assuredly deserves its name for I was received into a family and lived with them a whole week, besides being most hospitably entertained everywhere… In other respects also this city deserves its name for in charitable and philanthropic institutions it is prominent. The large building with columns is the Girard College – Stephen Girard was an eccentric old French bachelor who by unremitting industry made a prodigious fortune and when dying about 30 years ago left the whole of it to found and maintain this institution where 300 orphans and boys are brought up and educated in a course of five years residence the whole entirely gratuitous and it is a noble institution and he has buried himself in the centre of the building surrounded by proofs of his not having lived and laboured in vain… [Broadlands Archives BR60/1/7]

 While he describes Baltimore as a ‘cheery bright city’, he views Washington as a ‘most curious rambling place’, writing:

Tell Papa that I presented my letter of introduction which he gave me to the President and that I dine on Friday in consequence at the White House where once a week takes place one of these large political gatherings called by the natives ‘steamboat dinners’, as the size and miscellaneous character of the guests is only parallelled by the meals on the Mississippi Steamers… [Broadlands Archives BR60/1/7]

New Orleans, 1858 [Broadlands Archives MB2/H1]

New Orleans, 1858 [Broadlands Archives MB2/H1]

During his travels in Illinois he visited Chicago and was witness to one of the famous Lincoln–Douglas debates of 1858. He describes the scene as follows:

We attended one gathering; it was remarkable. A rough platform had been raise in the middle of a wood, all around were farmers’ carts and gigs; the horses unyoked and browsing at a distance. These had come from far to hear and judge for themselves of the merits of the rival candidates. Every bough of each overhanging tree had its occupant […] I took my seat at the back of the raised structure by the side of an American friend of mine, who introduced me to one of the champions as he stepped up to the cleared space in front, leaving the procession at the head of which he had arrived. That friend was General McClellan, since that time G[eneral] in Chief of the American Army; that champion was Abraham Lincoln, then a small unknown prairie farmer, now President of the U.S. [Broadlands Archives BR60/6/3]

On the nature of the debate he observes:

The politics of America are very elaborate and it was wonderful to see how all the points were caught. But they do not cheer like we do, but howl their approbation. It was like a pack of hounds waiting for their quarry to be thrown to them to devour in the shape of a telling hit or smart repartee. [Broadlands Archives BR60/6/3]

However, his view of Lincoln is somewhat less favourable:

Tall and lank with a suit of black cloth very grey from dust, a slouched hat and large awkward feet and hands he did not come up to my idea of a “leader of men”. [Broadlands Archives BR60/6/3]

Evelyn Ashley’s guide in the States [Broadlands Archives MB2/H1]

Evelyn Ashley’s guide in the States [Broadlands Archives MB2/H1]

In October 1858 his party struck out towards the prairies and plains of the North West, travelling through Minnesota and modern day North Dakota. In a letter to his brother Anthony, dated 2 October [1858], Ashley writes from Crow Wing, Minnesota, an Indian trading post, which he describes as ‘the last outpost of civilization in the North West of the American possessions…’ [Broadlands Archives BR60/1/2/4]. While there he meets with the Chippewa Indians and discusses their ongoing conflict with the Sioux. He also provides a description of his party, their supplies and the intended route: travelling first to Pembina and then on to Fort Garry at the Red River settlement of Selkirk, before joining an expedition on the plains to hunt buffalo.

Of the journey to the frontier Ashley writes:

The want of good water was now and then felt, but generally we camped by the side of a well flowing stream. The novelty, the delight of life in the wilds is indescribably fascinating to those who have lived in a settled country. The independence, the excitement of when and where to camp, the new animals, the boisterous health, all these concomitants of a journey to regions yet untamed by man compensate amply for any provisions which are incident to the mode of life. The very small matter of waking up and looking full into the stars above while your companions lie unconscious around you induces in the mind of the novice a succession of most pleasurable emotions. The slight danger of Indians, slight then but from last accounts anything but slight now, increases the zest with which the preparations for each night are completed and stirs up the imagination to people the darkness with fancies. [Broadlands Archives BR60/6/3]

Despite rumours in the newspapers of Ashley’s demise at the hand of the Sioux, the party returned safely from their excursion to the frontier in December 1858. They arrived in Cincinnati in time for New Year’s Day and continued their tour of the States for several more months.

‘President Lincoln delivering his inaugural address in front of the capital at Washington’, Illustrated London News, March 1861 [quarto per A]

‘President Lincoln delivering his inaugural address in front of the capital at Washington’, Illustrated London News, March 1861 [quarto per A]

In June 1859 Palmerston was return to office with Ashley recommencing his role as the Prime Minister’s private secretary, a position he held until Palmerston’s death in 1865. During this time Palmerston oversaw the British response to the American Civil War. Around 1864, while giving a lecture on his American tour, Ashley outlined his own views on the war, which he believed would soon come to an end. Reflecting on the situation he writes:

The Americans have great qualities some inherited from us, some all their own. They are brave, energetic and warm hearted with a real desire for improvement and progress for its own sake. I thanks heaven also that, tho at the 11th hour they have vindicated their love of freedom. I feared for one moment that the sacred flame was flickering which had been handed to them by their ancestors, the great principle for which their forefathers fought and died. [Broadlands Archives BR60/6/3]

As celebrations take place across the United States, we would like to take the opportunity to wish everyone a very Happy Fourth of July!