Twenty-two scholars and non-academics from around the world participated in the successful launch of our online exhibition Exploring the Hispanic-Anglosphere, part of a series of events that took place at the National Trust Tyntesfield last Saturday (23rd June) to continue our conversation with the public, this time by sharing some of the latest findings of our international research project ‘The Hispanic-Anglosphere: transnational networks, global communities (late 18th-20th centuries)’.
Throughout the day, visitors had the chance to take a ‘Hispanic itinerary’ of the neo-gothic Victorian mansion of Tyntesfield (plan available HERE free to download) in many cases discovering that its founder William Gibbs, was born in Madrid and that his family made much of its fortune by trading products from the global Hispanic world through the company Antony Gibbs & Sons. Joining us during all the events was a direct descendant of the founder of that firm and current administrator of The Gibbs Family Tree, Michael (Mike) Gibbs and his wife Juliet (in the photo, counting from the right, third on top row and first in bottom row, respectively)
The Hispanic itinerary and to an extent also the online exhibition served as a pilot experience for an even more ambitious exhibition planed to take place in-situ next year and aimed at drawing wider attention to items in the Tyntesfield collection that most vividly illustrate the presence and activities of the Gibbs’s family in the Hispanic-Anglosphere.
During an open meeting at the Sawmill, Sarah Merriman, General Manager Bristol Portfolio National Trust expressed great satisfaction in the NT’s involvement in the project and the estate’s curator and member of the Hispanic-Anglosphere network Susan Hayward gave an introductory talk about the life and times of William Gibbs. Our project’s Principal Investigator, Dr Graciela Iglesias-Rogers outlined a few milestones achieved by the network since its launch only nine months ago just as a brief prelude to a guided tour of the online exhibition – a tour which benefited from the expert intervention of five of the authors of the panels currently in display, a few who had travelled from as far as Chile, Ireland and Spain to be present in the room and thus ready to provide many additional insights.
Wide-ranging discussions followed late into a sunny, mildly warm afternoon along with some tasting of tortas de aceite hand-made in Seville and the judicious pouring of sangria and cold shots of Manzanilla sherry.
A series of events on Saturday 23rd June, including the launch of an online exhibition, have been organized at the National Trust Tyntesfield to update the public on the latest findings of our project. ‘The Hispanic-Anglosphere: transnational networks, global communities (late 18th-20th centuries’ is bringing together historians in the British Isles, continental Europe, the Americas and Russia to develop a new critical conceptual framework – the ‘Hispanic-Anglosphere’ – to study individuals, networks and communities that made of the British Isles a crucial hub for the global Hispanic world and a bridge between Spanish Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas at a period marked by natural disasters, the dislocation of global polities, nation-state building and the rise of nationalism (late 18th to early 20th centuries).
Few people know, for example, that the founder of the neo-gothic Victorian mansion and parkland of Tyntesfield, William Gibbs, was born in Madrid and that his family made much of its fortune through trading Spanish wine and Peruvian guano. Throughout Saturday 23rd June, visitors will have the chance to take a ‘Hispanic itinerary’ of the house, currently managed by the National Trust, as part of a pilot experience aimed at drawing wider attention to items within its collection (the largest of the National Trust) that most vividly illustrate the enduring entanglement of the Gibbs family with the global Hispanic world.
At 3:30 pm, the project will hold an open public meeting (at the Sawmill) to launch the online exhibition ‘Exploring the Hispanic-Anglosphere’ which has been prepared to provide through text, images and sound a small sample of the full extent of the contribution made by those who from any point of the British were closely engaged with the global Hispanic world, regardless of their birth, religion or political allegiance (often branded as ‘Hispanophiles’) as well as of those who came from the Hispanic world to the British Isles as visitors, exiles and/or migrants. The meeting will give the public the opportunity to learn more while also helping to shape future expert research with questions and suggestions.
To celebrate the occasion, those attending the open meeting at the Sawmill will be offered a little taste of Hispanic food (ex. a torta de aceite and a small shot of sherry or sangria, depending on the weather).
Free tickets for the open meeting on Saturday 23rd June can be booked here or call 01275 461 900. Visits to the house are only free for NT members.
Two bright, talented and young members have joined our ranks to assist in the organization of the upcoming workshop of the Hispanic-Anglosphere project in Winchester and the National Trust Tyntesfield (22-24 June).
Adam Nour Nour El-Din Hafez (left in the photo) and Victoria Masters (right) were selected among dozens of candidates to the Winchester Research Apprenticeship Programme (WRAP). This is a scheme for University of Winchester undergraduate students that provides opportunities to work on ‘live’ research projects alongside academics.
Adam is currently in the Final year of a BA degree in History while Victoria (‘Tori’) is a 2nd year student in Psychology. They will also be assisting in populating pages in this website and in publicising the launch of an online exhibition (due to take place during the workshop) by liaising with local and international organisations and through the responsible and targeted use of social media.
They are most welcome! Bienvenidos!
Do not miss reading the detailed post by Susan Hayward on The Hispanic-Anglosphere at the National Trust Tyntesfield in the Resources area of our website. She is the curator of the magnificent estate established in the nineteenth century by the entrepreneurial Gibbs family near Bristol. Within 540 acres of woodland, parklands and formal gardens, it has at its heart an awe-inspiring neo-gothic country house with rich Hispanic content and influence on its interiors and furnishings that, she aptly observes, often comes as a surprise to visitors.
The public will have the chance to learn more about Tyntesfield’s Hispanic roots during a series of events on Saturday 23rd June. More details will be made available here and through the NT Tyntesfield events webpages – put the date already firmly in your agenda!
It may come as a surprise to many, but the Channel island of Jersey has a veritable treasure-trove of evidence linking the British Isles with the global Hispanic world throughout centuries. In the Resources page of our website, Trude Foster explains why and offers a quick expert guide to the records available in the Jersey Archive, which include some intriguing personal letters, migration documents, wills and much more. Many of these records have been digitalised and can be consulted fully online.
If you are curious, visit the Resources page for a great way of starting the New Year!
Through our research, we aim to reveal the full extent of the contribution made by people in the British Isles (Irish, English, Scottish, Welsh, etc.) who in times of enormous disruption were closely engaged with the global Hispanic world, regardless of their birth, religion or political allegiance, as well as of those who came from the Hispanic world to the British Isles as visitors, exiles and/or migrants.
In this special time of the year, we want to give all visitors a glimpse of the event that marked the start of the activities of our project when Dr Ana Carpintero Fernández, historian and Lecturer in Guitar Studies (Conservatorio Profesional de Música, Zaragoza, Spain) played in an original Fabricatore guitar dating back to 1819 a number of extracts from little-known guitar compositions published in the British Isles by two Spanish composers, including one dedicated to the Scottish Fourth Earl of Fife, a British volunteer in the Spanish Army during the Peninsular War and friend of the South American liberator José de San Martin.
Above are just a few seconds from a piece played at the Sawmill, the auditorium of National Trust Tyntesfield, the country house established by Madrid-born William Gibbs in 1843. More information on this particular piece and much more will be made freely available through this site in upcoming months. In the meantime, just click the arrow and enjoy!
A través de nuestra investigación, nos proponemos revelar la completa extención de la contribución realizada por personas de las Islas Británicas (irlandeses, ingleses, escoceses, galeses, etc) que en tiempos de enormes alteraciones estuvieron fuertemente involucrados con el mundo hispánico global, dejando de lado su lugar de nacimiento, religión o lealtad política, así como por aquellos que vinieron del mundo hispánico a las Islas Británicas ya sea como visitantes, exiliados y/o inmigrantes.
En este especial momento del año, queremos darles a los visitantes de estas páginas un pequeño vistazo del evento que marcó el comienzo de las actividades de nuestro proyecto, cuando la doctora Dr Ana Carpintero Fernández, historiadora y profesora de estudios de guitarra (Conservatorio Profesional de Música, Zaragoza, España) tocó en una guitarra Fabricatore original de 1819 varios extractos de poco conocidas composiciones para guitarra publicadas en las Islas Británicas por dos compositores españoles, incluída una dedicada al escocés 4to Conde de Fife, un voluntario británico en el ejército español durante las guerras napoleónicas y amigo del libertador sudamericano José de San Martín.
El vídeo ofrece segundos de una obra interpretada en el auditorio Sawmill de National Trust Tyntesfield, la casa de campo establecida en 1843 por William Gibbs, originalmente oriundo de Madrid. Más información sobre esta pieza musical en particular y mucho más se pondrá al alcance del público libremente a través de este sitio en meses venideros. Mientras tanto, simplemente hagan click en la flecha y disfruten!
(Video kindly filmed by / Vídeo amablemente filmado por: Dominic Roberts)
An interesting question was posed during the presentation of our project at the Latin American History Seminar of the University of Oxford convened by our colleague Prof Eduardo Posada-Carbó : ‘Why are we focusing our research on the late 18th to early 20th century and not in the early modern era?’
The meeting was well attended both in terms of quantity and quality of people – a mix of early career and veteran scholars, including Prof Alan Knight and Sir John Elliott – resulting thus in a positive, engaging and far-reaching discussion.
The emerging answer was that, while it is true that there were sporadic cases of interaction between the Hispanic and Anglo worlds earlier in history (the example of the first English translation of Don Quixote in the 17th century was mentioned), these contacts tended to take place at the highest level of the educated elites whereas from the late 18th century we can find an ever increasing number of contacts and entanglements in all sort of activities and levels of society. Interestingly, these interactions took place amid, and to an extent despite, enormous political, economic, cultural and technological disruptions.
The growing number of names being listed in the Individuals page of this website as well as the thematic material appearing under Networks and Communities within a few weeks since the launch of the project are substantiating this view.
We should, however, remain in dialogue with early modern historians who may draw conclusions differing from our own as also, indeed, with late 20th century historians – and shall we dare to say those who consider themselves present-day historians – who may perhaps at some stage also want to bring forward a case for embracing the Hispanic-Anglosphere as a useful conceptual framework for research.
(Photos kindly taken by Juan Ignacio Neves)