Alice Thornton Week at Durham Cathedral, 18-21 October 2023: tickets now on sale

Tickets for our 'Alice Thornton Week' events at Durham Cathedral are now on sale. Please buy early to avoid disappointment!

Wednesday 18th October, 7.30pm, Prior's Hall. Public lecture by Cordelia Beattie: 'Alice Thornton (1626-1707) and her Rediscovered Manuscripts'

A woman with shoulder length brown hair looks at an old book on a book stand in the library
Cordelia Beattie with one of Thornton's Books, Durham Cathedral Library.

In 2018-19, Cordelia Beattie located two missing manuscripts written by seventeenth-century Yorkshire woman, Alice Wandesford Thornton. One manuscript was in private hands and the other had been gifted to Durham Cathedral in the 1960s but had not been identified as a Thornton book. In this talk, Beattie will discuss why Thornton wrote four accounts of her life, her connection with Durham and how two of her manuscripts ended up in the Cathedral library.

Tickets for Cordelia Beattie's talk can be bought here. (This event has now passed.)

Thursday 19th and Friday 20th October, 7.30pm, Prior's Hall. One-woman play: The Remarkable Deliverances of Alice Thornton

A woman in a white nightgown sitting on a chair, performing a play
Debbie Cannon performing 'The Remarkable Deliverances of Alice Thornton'. Photo by Jane Hobson

Yorkshire, 1668. Mrs Alice Thornton – widow, mother, and daughter of the late Lord Deputy of Ireland - finds herself the subject of a most dreadful scandal. Tonight, she begs your presence at a defence of her life, including twenty miraculous deliverances from death.

Written and performed by Debbie Cannon (Green Knight, winner of the Female Actor Award at Buxton Fringe 2018), directed by Flavia D’Avila of Fronteiras Theatre Lab, and developed as part of the Alice Thornton's Books Project. Both performances will be followed by a Q&A session with key participants.

Tickets for the play can be bought here. (This event has now passed.)

Thursday 19th and Saturday 21st October, 1pm and 2.15pm, Refectory Library. Treasures of Durham Cathedral Library

An old library with a long wooden table and reading stands
The Old Refectory Library, Durham Cathedral.

An opportunity to visit Durham Cathedral’s beautiful seventeenth-century Refectory Library – not usually open to visitors – to view some of the collection linked to Dean Thomas Comber (1645-99), who helped set up this library, and his mother-in-law, Alice Thornton (1626-1707), who wrote four books recording her life during the British Civil Wars. Amongst the items on display will be two of Alice Thornton’s small, handwritten books which have only recently been located.

Tickets for the Library Treasures session can be bought here. (This event has now passed.)

Saturday 21st October, 7.30pm, Prior's Hall. Public lecture by Suzanne Trill: 'Alice Thornton’s Books: God’s Seventeenth-Century Handmaid'

The title page of an old handwritten book
Book of Remembrances, title page. Photo by Derek Beattie

In this lecture, Suzanne Trill will explore why being ‘God’s Handmaid’ was a positive thing for Alice Thornton and discuss what her manuscripts reveal about women's roles within the Church of England during the seventeenth century. Thornton's faith, specifically formulated within the liturgical practices of the Church of England in the 1630s and 1640s, framed her understanding of the events of her life.

Tickets for Suzanne Trill's talk can be bought here. (This event has now passed.)

If you book for all four events, the Cathedral are offering a discount.

Citing this web page:

Joanne Edge. 'Alice Thornton Week at Durham Cathedral, 18-21 October 2023: tickets now on sale'. Alice Thornton's Books. Accessed .