Leicestershire Tales

Speaker: Kathy Chalk

16 November 2021

After completing the formal business of the AGM at our November meeting,
we rewarded ourselves with entertainment from the Leicestershire Guild of Storytelling, in the person of Kathy Chalk.  The Guild has been collecting and re-telling local stories for over 25 years.  Some of them are unique to Leicestershire and Rutland, while others are local versions of tales that are known around the world, from collections such as The One Thousand and One Nights.

Kathy first told us about the rector of Ratby, who fell out with the local squire over a matter of conscience and came to a soggy reckoning in Groby Pool.

Next, she recounted the history of our own Hugh Latimer, who progressed from being the son of a Thurcaston farmer to become a famous preacher and Bishop of Worcester.  However, he ended his days being burned at the stake in Oxford under the reforms of the Catholic queen Mary Tudor.

On a lighter note, there was Jack, who travelled from London to visit Leicester market and tried to take advantage – in more ways than one – of local girl Bella.  However, he got more than he bargained for when he returned a year later!  This story achieved national fame by being circulated in print as one of the “broadside ballads”.

Kathy’s final tale was of Dan Hugh: a monk in one of Leicester’s friaries, who was murdered three times in the same night and a pike was eventually hanged for the crime.  To find out why, you’ll have to seek out the Guild’s book Leicestershire & Rutland Folk Tales, which includes this story and many more.