Wednesday, 23 June 2021

AT last week’s lunch meeting, Stephen Quant, husband of the club’s speakers’ secretary, stepped in at short notice to give one of his historical talks.

He has spoken to the club on several occasions before and his presentations are always entertaining as well as being informative.

He began with the background to the publication of the Domesday Book in 1086 by giving a brief overview of how William the Conqueror invaded England in 1066.

After defeating Harold at Hastings, William was rebuffed at Southwark later in October and then turned left along the south of the Thames until crossing it at Wallingford, finally becoming victorious at Berkhamstead and crowned King in December.

Willliam I ordered the production of the Domesday Book so that he could see where he could raise the money to keep his army.

Henley is not mentioned in the book. The first reference was apparently in 1204 and it became a borough as late as 1568.

However, there are entries for Bolney, Harpsden, Badgemore and Lashbrook as well as Remenham (in Berkshire).

Caversham (then in Oxfordshire) was also mentioned and appeared to have assets of £20, which compared very favourably with some of the neighbouring villages in South Oxfordshire.

Proposing the vote of thanks, John Luker commented that Stephen’s historical talks were moving forward and becoming ever more entertaining as time went on.

Members heard that the club’s annual charity bingo evening held at Henley town hall on Friday, November 18 had been a great success once again.

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