Monday 16th September
Raby Estates

In 1998 Alec Ryrie, Professor of the History of Christianity at Durham University, stumbled upon a mysterious manuscript in the Public Records Office. The discovery was so intriguing that Alec was pulled towards researching the strange and previously unknown story of Gregory Wisdom – physician, magician, and swindler! One of the victims of this consummate conman was Henry Neville, 5th Earl of Westmorland of Raby Castle  (1525-1564),  a man often overlooked in Raby’s traditional history but who, like the man that duped him, lived a shady life that was sometimes weirder than any fiction.

In this entertaining talk which casts a new light on the seedier side of Tudor England, Alec will guide us like a detective not through Henry’s ancestral home at Raby Castle, but through the crooked gaming houses and brothels that he frequented in London. During this remarkable story of a 16th century criminal underworld we will discover plotting murder by witchcraft, conjuring spirits to find buried treasure, a stolen coat embroidered with pure silver, and a desperate Henry Neville whose rash plots leave him under the shadow of the hangman.

Copies of Alec’s book, The Sorcerer’s Tale, will be available at this event for purchase and signing.

Raby Castle Henry Neville 5th Earl Tomb
Raby Castle Professor Alec Ryrie: Faith and Fraud in Tudor England
Raby Castle Henry Neville Family Tree

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