For many years the Friends provided financial assistance to academic
historians from all over the world (but in practice often America) who
were carrying out original research mainly based on documents in the
Essex Record Office.
In 2003 it was decided to concentrate on providing financial assistance
for suitable research students who are registered members of the
University of Essex at Colchester. We set up an annual bursary worth
£500 for one research student recommended by the staff of the
history department there, who was basing his or her thesis on Essex
archives. One of the conditions of being granted the Friends'
Fellowship is that the author agrees to provide a copy of the thesis
for the Essex Record Office library, and agrees to write an article on
some aspect of the thesis for the Essex Journal, of which the Friends
is a joint sponsor.
The first winner of the new Friends' Fellowship was Heonsook Kim, a
student from Korea, who was later awarded her doctorate for a thesis
called 'Charitable Organisations in Colchester 1800-1870'. She used the
money to employ a specialist proof reader of her thesis before it was
submitted. Since then, other winners have included Bronwen Cook, who
received a doctorate for her thesis on the maritime trade of the Port
of Maldon from 1565-1702, she used the money for photocopying and
travel expenses; and Ruth Costello who has now received her MA in Local
and Regional History, she used her fellowship award to pay for
travelling expenses and photocopying as some of the records she needed
for her research are in the National Archives at Kew. In 2008 Amanda
Wilkinson was awarded the Fellowship. She is currently
studying for a PhD in History at The University of Essex. The subject
of her thesis will be The Working Women of the Essex Silk Mills. Their
enumeration in the nineteenth century censuses and the social and
cultural implications of a working wife and mother. The award will
enable Amanda to cover travel costs to access archives both in
Chelmsford and the Courtauld papers in Cambridge, and help to cover
general research expenses.
We look forward to hearing about Amanda's research in future
issues of the Friends' Newsletter and on the research pages of this
In 2010 it was decided to award the fellowship between two
students who are both working towards an MA in Cultural and Social
History. Abigail Dale is working on the history of the Colchester
Garrison in the nineteenth century, in relation to its interaction with
gender and sexuality, for example involving prostitution. Margarita
Stylianou is researching women and work between 1825-1914, especially
among female weavers at Courtauld’s silk factory in Halstead.
We look forward to hearing about the research undertaken by
our Fellowship students in future issues of the Friends’ Newsletter and
on the research pages of this website.
Fellowship Award 2011
Picture caption: Geraldine
Wilden, Treasurer and Vice-Chairman, presenting 2011 Fellowship
bursaries to Lisa Gardner and Mike Garland.
The 2011 Fellowship Award will be shared between Lisa Gardner
Garland, both MA students at the University of Essex. Lisa is
researching family, work and community along the Blackwater Estuary,
focusing mainly on the oyster trade 1550-1750. Mike Garland is
researching the history of Morris dancing in Essex and Suffolk, in
particular the development of the Thaxted Morris tradition.