May 04

Join Mark Steeds at Bristol’s Walking Festival 2015

Calling all literary/history fans who like a bit of a walk.

 BristolWalkFestival2105Bristol Walk Fest 2015 | Bristol City Council

Long John Silver Trust historian Mark Steeds is a signed up member of Bristol’s exciting Walking Festival and is conducting two tours around Bristol’s historic heart on Thursday 7th and Thursday 28th May.

The walks are entitled “Bristol’s Treasure Island Influences” and are numbers 32 and 156 in the festival programme.

Starting at Bristol’s bombed out Temple Church just off of Victoria Street, we’ll start off with brewer’s tales, from the Knights Templar to Sir John Hawkins, lead sponsor of Woodes Rogers’ great 1708 circumnavigation that rescued the prototype of Robinson Crusoe and originated a host of other key episodes of Britain’s history.

We’ll wander past the Cornubia and Seven Stars (the pub that helped change the world), the Exploration statue, the former Talbot Hotel and Bristol Bridge, the site of St Peter’s Hospital to talk about Dr Thomas Dover, the ruins of the old castle keep where Defoe met maroon Alexander Selkirk, Southey’s birthplace in Wine Street and then the Rummer, home of Coleridge’s first publication.

Back to Bristol Bridge and on to Welsh Back and the Llandoger Trow, talk about Smollett and Swift of Humphrey Clinker and Gulliver’s Travels fame respectively, and on up King Street to the Merchant Venturers Alsmhouses that gave birth to William Williams’ Journal of Llewellin Penrose – seaman, the origins of the pirate treasure map in literature, cross Queen’s Square, past Rogers’ house to the Hole-in-the-Wall to finish on Blackbeard and Robert Louis Stevenson’s immortal Treasure Island – phew!

The walk starts at 11.30am on the 7th and 2.30pm on the 28th – duration 2 to 3 hours, cost free. Please email mark@beaufortarms.com to book a place, although it’s not essential

 

Dec 02

Bristol Local History Bookfair 2014

Looking for a unique book to give this Christmas? Want some background on the books available? Then please come along to Bristol Record Office this Saturday – you won’t be disappointed ….

Bristol Local History Bookfair 2014
Saturday 6 December 2014 at Bristol Records Office.

‘B’ Bond Warehouse (via Create Centre)
Smeaton Road
Bristol
BS1 6XN

Free entry.

10am-1pm
Family history advice from the Bristol & Avon Family History Society

1.30pm – Bristol: the City at War, 1914-1918 (Eugene Byrne, co-author of ‘Bravo Bristol!’)
As a major British city and port, Bristol played a key role in the First World War. Join Eugene for stories of Bristolians on the battlefield, on the Home Front and in the war at sea.

2.30pm – Unmarked Graves: the Eastville Workhouse Project (Dr Di Parkin, Bristol Radical History Group)
Between 1855 and 1895, over 3,000 paupers were buried in unmarked graves near Eastville Workhouse on Fishponds Road. Di Parkin will present a project to uncover the names of the people buried there.

3.30pm – Bristol’s Treasure Island Influences (Mark Steeds, Long John Silver Trust)
Hear from Mark about the pirates and privateers that inspired Robert Louis Stevenson to set parts of his classic book in the city.

Sep 24

Feedback from a recent talk by Mark Steeds from the Long John Silver Trust

Here’s some feedback from a recent talk the Long John Silver Trust conducted with the Port of Bristol Authority Retired Employees Association: –

‘Just a few lines to thank you such an entertaining afternoon last Tuesday (17/09/13). As you could tell, your talk on Pirates and the Long John Silver Trust was much enjoyed by everyone.

We do hope your plans for the Maritime and Literary Trail are successful – I didn’t realise how many authors in the past have had some connection with Bristol.

I was asked by many of our Members to arrange another visit from you… to see if something can be arranged for 2014.

Mrs Ann Tilley – Secretary’

Many thanks Ann, we’ll be doing our best to make the arrangement.

During the talk I mentioned Bristolian author William Williams, whose book The Journal of Llewlin Penrose – Seaman contains literature’s first ever encrypted pirate treasure map and here it is: –

Copy of Penrose treasure map

This image is care of Bristol’s Central Library and if you would like to see the whole book, that’s where you’ll find a copy, amongst their priceless collections.

Genuine Privateer (some say Pirate) Captain William Kidd used a treasure map way back in the 1690’s but it didn’t appear in print until William’s book in 1815. Williams lived out his last days in the Merchant Venturers’ Almshouses in historic King Street, Bristol.

William’s map was then famously ‘borrowed’, first by Edgar Allen Poe in The Gold Bug and then by Robert Louis Stevenson in Treasure Island.

You can read all about it in the Trust’s book Pirates and Privateers Out of Bristol – please go to our shop to get a copy.