A Tudor age revisited by teacher

A RETIRED Felixstowe college teacher has documented an age in Suffolk where the county was one of the wealthiest in England.Dr Gordon Blackwood, of Old Felixstowe, delves in to the Tudor and Stuart periods in his recently published book illustrating areas such as witch-hunting, the Restoration and the many colourful characters living at the time.

A RETIRED Felixstowe college teacher has documented an age in Suffolk where the county was one of the wealthiest in England.

Dr Gordon Blackwood, of Old Felixstowe, delves in to the Tudor and Stuart periods in his recently published book illustrating areas such as witch-hunting, the Restoration and the many colourful characters living at the time.

The comprehensive book is billed as useful for academics interested in the historical age but also accessible to the general reader due to the many illustrations, maps and anecdotes of the notorious characters living during the 16th and 17th centuries.

The retired teacher, who lives with his wife, Felicity, in Knights Close, said that he decided to write the book after researching a base for it when he was giving lectures on the subject.


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He decided to start turning those notes in to a book in 1994 and it was published in December last year.

Dr Blackwood, who would not reveal his age, said the book would have been published much earlier but the publishers at the last minute asked for all the maps and illustrations to be added.

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From the civil wars to the Glorious Revolution the book details the historical events and how it related to Suffolk and the nation as a whole. In it some of the colourful characters mentioned are Samuel Ward, also known as silver-tongue Ward because of the puritan's persuasive speech.

The Ipswich town preacher's most famous sermon was one on drunkenness, where he claimed that 'the wine of Drunkards is the wine of Sodom and Gomorrah' two biblical cities destroyed by God due to the discovery of the inhabitants' wickedness.

One of Felixstowe's examples of the period's architecture, which Dr Blackwood pointed out, was the church of St Peter and St Paul, in Church Road, which has sections dating back to the 1300s.

Dr Blackwood retired from his position as the head of history at Felixstowe College in 1986 after 12 years there. His educated background includes a degree from Bristol University and two further degrees including a doctorate from Oxford University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and Tudor and Stuart Suffolk is his second book as he was also the author of a specialised account of The Lancashire Gentry and the Great Rebellion, 1640-60. He has also had many articles published in historical journals.

But although Dr Blackwood enjoyed the last seven years writing his most recent book, he said he was taking time out to relax and did not think he would write another book in the near future.

Published by Carnegie, Tudor and Stuart Suffolk is priced at £25. ISBN 1-85936-078-5.

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