Thursday 7th December 2017 @ 7pm

Elizabethan Name Calling In Devon

An illustrated talk by historian Dr Todd Gray

Name calling in Elizabethan Devon was more about behaviour and less about (as in modern times) body parts. For the first time, a range of original documents have been examined to show how Devonians deployed a range of words and terms to ridicule, mock and demean their friends, family and neighbours. These slander cases reveal social attitudes and provide details about everyday life that would otherwise not be known and offer a fascinating insight into Devon five centuries ago.  Low intelligence, dishonesty, witchcraft, disease and most of all, illicit sex, were at the heart of how people in Devon were insulted. Men were treated differently than women, those in authority had particular scorn, and physical insults were commonly deployed. There were even regional and local words such as mazed, ninnycock nippy and cucumber. The material in this lecture is unlike that for any other subject and is not for those easily offended by colourful language.

Born in New England, Dr Todd Gray gained his Doctorate in History in 1989 from the University of Exeter where he is an Honorary Research Fellow. He has written more than fifty books on the history of Devon and Cornwall and has devoted much of his working career to the study of Devon’s history, writing more extensively on Devon’s past than any other historian. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and is actively involved in many local history groups. Todd was awarded an MBE in the 2014 Queen's New Years Honours list as retiring Chairman of the Friends of Devon's Archives and for services to Devon's heritage.

Booking is advisable and places will b allocated on a first come, first served basis.  Tickets are £5 and available in advance from the DRA office.  To reserve a ticket please call Abi on 01548 830832 or email