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Having heard previous talks by Andy Thomas there was a full house of members present on this occasion.  Andy once again succeeded in giving his audience another story with a detailed and interesting survey of past years in England from 54 BC to a future vision of life in the world.

Beginning with the invasion of the Romans, “freedom” remains high on the list of wants for everyone.  The Romans were followed by the Vikings and then the Normans, each with their own view on changing laws and taxing the population.  Rule by kings continued until the 1600s followed by power being passed to Parliament.  Disruption by events such as the Black Death, rebellion by Wat Taylor, the Slave Trade and the Suffragettes all lead to the demand for more power and taxes.

By the 1800s the growth of Industries engendered a review of the situation, which was carried out by Pitt and other members of Parliament – all of which required more taxes.  The last century has seen enormous growth in taxation to pay for increased social services etc.  In recent decades legislation aimed at improving national security and regulating the conduct of financial services etc has resulted in a gradual curtailment of freedom.

Andy concluded with a few thoughts on changes yet to come following Brexit and other changes in world order.

The talk was accompanied by a panoply of slides which illustrated the theme of freedom through the two millennia.


Jean White lead an enthusiastic vote of thanks to Andy for yet another first-class performance.

Text by Marjorie Semmens                                                             Photos courtesy of Andy Thomas



The Story of English Freedom

The Battle of Lewes 1264

The English Civil Wars

Charles I

Oliver Cromwell

Thomas Paine

The Suffragettes

George Orwell

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