Saxons, Martyrs And Darwin

During last week’s Council meeting Chris Black spoke about a heritage booklet that the council is producing. The aim is to foster interest in our local history and to encourage visitors. Chris supported the idea and made three suggestions:

  • That the Saxon burial site under Asda should be mentioned. (This attracted the rather subtle joke from Terry Cutmore that he was glad we did not have eco-warriors at the Asda site “because he wouldn’t want to see some ugly structures put up there”)
  • Early Saxon Necklace found at the Park School Site

  • That the Martyrs Memorial in Rayleigh High Street should be included. What’s more, that the council should do something to commemorate the centenary of the memorial’s unveiling on September 8th this year.

    (For those new to Rayleigh, the Martyr’s Memorial commemorates four protestants who were burned to death in the 1550s, during the reign of Queen Mary. One of them, Thomas Causton was burned in Rayleigh High Street itself early in 1555 . Apparently so great was the popular feeling against this that he was led to his place of death bound in a cart in case a rescue attempt was made.

    The memorial itself was unveiled on September 23rd 1908 by the local MP Rowland Whitehead -incidentally Rayleigh’s only ever Liberal MP – in front of a crowd of 2000 people. )

  • Memorial

  • That the booklet should also include something about HMS Beagle, the ship that Charles Darwin sailed on before he composed his theory of evolution. The remains of the Beagle lie in our district, in the river near Paglesham. Chris also suggested that the council should put something on it’s website about it every Darwin Day on February 12th
  • No vote was taken, but hopefully these points will be included.

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