25th November 2015
Writing: Patrick Merchant (Year 12)
Editing: Matthew Dagnall (Year 11)
As with every year, this event drew schools from all across the country to the Camden Centre in London, where DCGS students among many other schools were lucky enough to attend a series of engaging lectures focused on the Tudor era. The speakers included renowned historians such as Professor John Morrill, Dr John Guy and Dr David Starkey, allowing us to tap into an incredible wealth of knowledge that spanned across several centuries and greatly enhanced our understanding of the period.
The day started with an intriguing analysis of Cardinal Wolsey’s influence on Henry VIII’s reign, bringing important questions to light regarding the power of the monarchy and offering an insight into the political web of Henry’s court as seen through the eyes of a true expert. Professor John Morrill then examined the King’s own religious views in a fascinating talk on The Reformation, using a thorough investigation that led many of us to question the way we tackle the subject entirely.
The afternoon placed a greater focus on Mary Tudor’s reign and the difficulties she faced as the first female monarch, a subject which was entirely new to most of Year 12. Then, Dr David Starkey offered a fresh perspective on this topic, emphasising the importance of legacy and the convoluted nature of succession within the dynasty. For me, this was the highlight of the day and was complimented by the opportunity to question all of the speakers, which yielded some impressive responses. The conference was an extremely valuable and enriching experience and I thank the History team for organising this.