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David Starkey delivers ‘first Brexit’ Foundation Lecture

The latest Stamford Endowed Schools’ Foundation Lecture, delivered by renowned historian Dr David Starkey, enthralled a full house of nearly 400 people in the Oswald Elliott Hall. Dr Starkey gave an insightful talk on Henry VIII and the Reformation, or ‘the first Brexit’, where he shared his knowledge of Henry VIII’s reign and his insights as a leading commentator. He spoke about Henry VIII always being in our consciousness due to his powerful appearance and commented on him inventing the idea of British uniqueness. Parallels were drawn between the break from the Church and the current Brexit negotiations with the EU and the balance of power between the two sides.

Dr Starkey provided a fresh outlook on how to formulate an argument and suggested that students move away from trying to summarise an essay in the first paragraph. He stated: ‘If you’re going to give all the information in the first paragraph then there is no need to read past it.’ The flow of Dr Starkey’s lecture and his ability to join the dots between Tudor history and modern-day politics was fascinating and hopefully the audience left the lecture debating how March 2019 will shape the next 500 years of British history.