Fake news comes to Campden C17 style

Man on horse

One of the many fascinating aspects of this project is how many experts we can call upon in the town to help us understand everyday life in C17 Campden. Last month Graham Howard gave the research group a fascinating talk about C17 pamphlets: Radical cultural change in the lifetime of Campden House 1612-45.

Graham Howard showed how illustrated pamphlets were used to inform, and more importantly influence, our Campdonians’ opinion of the monarchy and political power brokers of the time. He pointed out that many of the woodcut images were re-used, and so we needed to be careful not to assign too much importance to a particular picture – unless its provenance could be assured. We really do need to check the Dovers Games woodcut!

Speaker demonstrating image on screen
Images and news in 17C

Graham also explained that pamphlets really got going after the rule of law and therefore censorship broke down. Rather like the social media of today, images were used to promote or discredit leading figures of the Civil War whilst the propaganda itself was often a script to entertain in the local pub.

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