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Will be held via ZOOM,  

          7.30 pm Tuesday  16th April 2024 by  Professor Mark Stoyle

                            The Prayer Book Rebellion of 1549

This talk tells the story of the Western Rising of 1549 - the so-called 'Prayer Book Rebellion'- which saw thousands of ordinary people in Devon and Cornwall rising up against the protestantizing religious reforms of the boy-king Edward VI.  The talk will draw on new evidence to explore both the causes and the course of the rebellion.  It will also consider the terrible consequences which ensued when the protestors were eventually crushed by a powerful royal army, and will argue that the rising was the most catastrophic event to occur in Devon and Cornwall between the Black Death and the Civil War.

Mark Stoyle grew up in rural mid-Devon, and after leaving school worked for a time as a field archaeologist in Exeter.  He is currently Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Southampton, and has particular research interests in the British crisis of the 1640's; in witchcraft; in urban society; and in Tudor rebellions.  He has written many monographs and scholarly articles and his latest book - A Murderous Midsummer:  The Western Rising of 1549-was published by Yale University  Press in August 2022.  He is also one of the co-investigators on the major AHRC-funded research project, 'Conflict, Welfare and Memory: Maimed Soldiers and War Widows of the English Civil Wars'. Mark has served on the Council of the Royal Historical Society, on the advisory board of the Victoria County History and on the editorial advisory panel of BBC History Magazine.  He has also appeared on many radio and TV programmes.


Please sign up for our newsletters to keep you up to date on all future online talks using the link.

The Harberton and Harbertonford History Society encourages the study of the local history of Harberton Parish and the surrounding County.


There are approximately 5 meetings with speakers each year and at least one field excursion.  Meetings take place in Harberton or Harbertonford on alternative dates, or via Zoom sessions  - details of which can be found in the Programme.


Members of the Society have gathered information on the past history of the villages, personalities and the Parish including the preparation of historic walks around both Harberton and Harbertonford.  The Society is making collections of photographs and some artefacts and have embarked on an oral history project to build an archive of first hand histories in both villages.


Subjects covered in previous meetings have included:-

        The History of Harbertonford Mill                  Pilotage on the River Dart    

        The Construction of the Avon Dam                Victorian Crime in Totnes

        Tuckenhay Paper Mill                                     Church Houses in Devon

        Vagrants and Travellers in 17 Century Harberton

        The Trist Family of Harberton


Field Trips have included visits to:

        Finch's Foundry at Sticklepath

        Grimspound and Bellever Neolithic Sites, both accompanied by an

             Archaeologist from Dartmoor National Park


Membership is open to anybody interested in local history and is £12 per year with talks free to Members.  Non members are welcome to meetings at the cost of £3 per meeting.


The Society is keen to receive photographs/articles/family records for the archives which can also be added to our website.

Please contact our secretary Jill Powell  -


We are affilliated to   The Devon History Society - see links page



          Derek Robinson       in Harbertonford       01803 732442

          Stanley Oldfield       in Harberton             01803 864654


Harberton Ch
Harbertonford ch

Harberton & Harbertonford 

History Society

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