David Thistlethwaite


I’m retired. I am interested in most scientific topics but food production, farming and feeding an increasing population are especially relevant.

Location Scotland


  • I enjoyed the course but agree with some co- learners that the third week would have been better as a stand alone course.
    It is certain from the interesting components of the first two weeks that York has many more hidden jewels to explore.

  • Apart from Rowntree charitable trusts has any other organisation investigated slavery and associated behaviours by the company? If so it would be interesting to compare findings.

  • Oh dear! It’s not that the course has lost its way, it’s that I remember most of these adverts!

  • While I accept that portraying the characters as black represents racial stereotyping it is so common in cartoons to portray images, irrespective of colour, of children with disproportionately large heads, heads and short legs. These are features of a younger child and are used to make the character seem cute and often sassy . These portrayals may be ageist...

  • I think the article offers incomplete evidence to make a judgement on Rowntrees. Where is the evidence for coerced labour?
    Where is the evidence from the African workers themselves?
    To offer a view from such one sided evidence would run the risk of a one sided response.

  • Interesting references. However do any of them relate specifically to how Rowntrees treated their workers and it would be good to learn how African workers considered their working conditions and remuneration.

  • As a none historian and one coming late to reading history I think there a great deal of, and increasing, literature concerning colonial exploitation . It is timely and educational.

  • To learn more about the history of empire we come to courses like this, from books, radio and tv programmes novels etc. These resources may well trigger relevant thoughts, comments and discussions in certain social situations such as when we see appropriate photographs of coffee growers in Costa. What is unrealistic is Dr de Groot’s implied suggestion that we,...

  • In the UK I think that the Joseph Rowntree charitable trusts are at least as important as the chocolate products the company manufactures.

  • I actually think of those families in and around Dentdale who were instrumental in the founding of the Quaker Movement.

  • My ancestors hailed from Dentdale and were of Quaker stock. Certainly there was some intermarriage with Rowntrees and, I think, Frys. Funny, I don’t have a sweet tooth!

  • Very interesting. Only one Thistlethwaite, so must have been a law abiding lot or clever! The case was heard in the Consitory Court in Richmond in 1580 and concerned wardship/ guardianship for John, son of Marmaduke ( deceased) by siblings James and Janet. Outcome unknown.

  • No knowledge at all.

  • Margaret’s decisions led to her death and that of her unborn child. I don’t know enough of the Catholic faith to know whether that meant that the child’s soul would be permanently damned. If this is the case then should she not have followed her family’s advice and told the court of her pregnancy and postponed her own death?

  • Difficult in that fines were expensive but also there would have been societal pressures which would cause social exclusion and affect business and work.
    Many Catholics and non- conformists would simply pretend to conform and go ‘underground’.

  • Only that she was a faithful Catholic and, I think , executed for her beliefs.

  • Ever the North South decide - nothing changes!

  • The Pilgrimage of Grace was effective in that it made the government listen but in terms of action on their demands not at all.
    The Pilgrimage, supported as it was by a third of the country, and the most distant part at that, would be considered a threat to any government.

  • The Pilgrimage was a peaceful rebellion by poor people anxious for what they considered their religious rights and the social support which the monasteries offered. Although centred on York it involved much of the north of England.

  • I’m interested in The Pilgrimage of Grace having read about it both in novels and a recent history of the northern people of England.

  • There is a reference to Warton, the nearest village mentioned to my own birthplace. John Cauchon emigrated there from France and was the Parson of Warton.

  • Yorkshire and wool go together. I thought wool production and trade with the Low Countries would have been relevant to York.

  • I imagine that most aliens were traders eg in wool, mercenaries or diplomats. It will be interesting to see.

  • York from Roman times was well known in Europe with strong trade links and religious links with Rome. It had been the capital of two nations- Northumbria and Viking Danegeld. I opted for 5%

  • Four escapees in four hundred years sounds like successful imprisonment or a remarkable degree of acceptance on the part of the nuns.

  • Two reasons. They recognised the validity of her case or if she didn’t fit in well with the close community they were pleased to help her leave.

  • York had already had experience of being a capital city for two nations- Northumbria and the region of the Danegeld. So there will be a lot of history prior to the Middle Ages.

  • Immigrants and their experiences will be interesting.

  • I’m a retired Lancastrian but do recognise that good things go on over the border too! York,I’m sure, will be be a case in point.

  • York is pivotal to the history of Northern England and its people. I am looking forward to learning more about it.

  • As a Northerner myself I realise the importance of York from the kingdom of Northumbria to the present time and am looking forward to adding to my understanding of its trajectory through history.

  • The point is that these stories are for children who can accept the impossible. Children who are animistic, who live in the world of imaginary friends. Who take to bed and talk to animals which are far more dangerous than wolves.

  • Fairy stories don’t pose problems of believability for most young children - they are animistic and believe in magic and talk to their teddy bears ( far more dangerous creatures than wolves!!).

  • We should remember that these are stories for very young children not adolescents. It is for the adults reading them to translate the warnings and if considered appropriate describe them to the child in an age appropriate way. For most parents they simply want a good story to read. So the questions asked cannot have a single answer.

  • We should remember that this is a fairytale and while enjoyable bears no resemblance to reality. So I don’t see that asking ‘real’ questions adds to insights into the story. Our questions are better directed to the magic world in which the story is clearly set.

  • The pleasure gained from reading stories for young children is that they are often written at two levels- for the child and the adult reader. The Mistermen series is a good example. Looked at in this way Perrault was able to tell a story to the child and at the same time get the moral message to the parent as a tool for the child’s upbringing.

  • Is not the fact that repetition is fundamental to a child’s language and memory development the main reason that it is a must in young children’s literature. Of course it brightens up a story too.

  • While Perrault’s re-writing of these stories and adding a moral is a laudable attempt to protect children, it is interesting to learn that in fact they were folk-tales and hence may have been better known to rural parents than the urban elite. The question of strangers is a difficult one. In life children and young people have to learn whom they can trust and...

  • I don’t think running after butterflies, gathering conkers is only in the experience of middle class children. As a farm boy my mother taught us the names of wild flowers, Thomas Hardy’s families had holidays and poverty stricken John Clare was steeped in the essence of the natural world.

  • I remember at school reading an historical novel entitled‘The Cloister and the Hearth’ . The author, Charles Reade, describing the travels of a young artist, conjures up beautifully the peril and fears of travelling through the forests of 15th century Europe.
    Coming back to today, Edward Wilson, famous American biologist, reports a study in one of his books,...

  • Charles Perrault answers my previous question - both were devoured, but my granddaughter is quite sure only gran was eaten and LRRH’s screams saved her - we’ll see.

  • I remember LRRH commenting on certain of ‘grandma’s’ facial features but I can’t remember if LRRH was rescued alongside gran before or after she became a second vulpine lunch - my excuse is advanced years and many gory stories along the way!

  • There may be different versions in different languages, times and editions. Or wishful thinking!

  • Stories, which were told or read to me, usually by my mother, of animals or humans, frequently children. The stories could be happy or dark. The ‘hero/ine was often in a scary situation but always came out on top. The story and it’s outcome engendered a moral which was, in early stories the authors’ raisin d’etre. Later fairy tales were more likely simply to...

  • The course sounds interesting and I have grandchildren!

  • See previous comment.

  • Clara Thompson’s oral history was brilliant, told in a matter of fact way which was evocative and real. It said as much in a few minutes as any written history could.

  • Germany is in a period of economic strength and wishes to increase this by establishing an empire. The British navy stands in the way but is stretched by worldwide commitments. It has no North Sea base and this coupled with a perception of a weak army indicates that the quickest way for Germany to achieve it’s aim is by invasion.

  • My mothers beloved brother died in France in WW1. This was never forgotten and in respect to the love and memory a subsequent son born to the family was given the same first name.