Smart Talks

“Smart Talks” at the Lord Leycester Hospital, Brethren’s Kitchen

Welcome to Smart Talks – a series of Talks by learned academics, non-academics, and smart people in the five-hundred year old, Brethren’s Kitchen!

Food is prepared by Nick Doherty of Ni Cuisine. The bar is help yourself and stocks red/white wine and beers. All of

this for the cost of £22 per person per evening – a portion of which will go to the conservation projects at the Lord Leycester. (If you come to all Smart Talks we will give you the twelfth event free! Just keep your receipts.)

The talks will always be held on the third Thursday of the month at 7 PM. So…..same time, same place just a different topic, different month. Here are the schedule talks presented over the next few months:


15 Nov   – The Verdict is YoursGraham Sutherland –a murder trial at Warwick Assizes in the 1780s. It was the culmination of a Georgian scandal which had begun in Bath and moved to just outside Rugby. The defendant, John Donnellan was the illegitimate son of an Irish lord who eloped with a potential heiress and came back to live with them at Boughton Hall near Rugby. His brother-in-law died in suspicious circumstances and Donnellan was charged with his murder. The audience is asked to act as the jury and see if they agree with the verdict then and maybe reach a different verdict today.

Dec  –  Christmas Break no talk


17 Jan “From the Pillory to the Prison Cell” – Ginny Davis, a barrister turned writer and performer for theatre and a regular speaker to WIs, U3A and other community groups.

A lighthearted, fascinating history of criminal punishment from the 16th to the 21st century. The following and many more questions will be answered. What was a “common scold” and how was she punished? Why were first time felons branded in open court?

When and why did transportation to North America end? What replaced it?

Why were there cries of “hats off” at public executions? What is the difference between the long and short drop method of hanging? Where do the terms “toe the line” and “money for old rope” originate? Why are prison officers called “screws”?

21 Feb  2019 The Battle of Evesham 1255, Alan Bailey. Was it a big family “fall out” or the beginning of Democracy?  The presentation explores the context of the Battle, the main players, the fragility of loyalty to the king or one’s peers and the beginnings of power sharing through a Parliament.

21 March 2019, ‘Old Mettle’, Stephen Wass. BEd (Hons) MA (Leicester). MCIfA

William Castle, nick-named ‘Old Mettle’, was a remarkable character in early nineteenth-century Banbury. Notable for being the fool for a number of teams of morris dancers he was also a match-seller, grave-digger, child-carer, crook, beggar and professional idiot. As someone who lived on the margins of society it is unusual to have so many good sources

Please go to our website for updates on speakers and topics by month.

You can pay at the venue or call 01926 491422 or email and book your place.

01926 491422
7 pm
Admission – £22 including food and drink!