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Thursday 25 July 2002, 9.02 am - 9.30 am.
Melvyn Bragg follows his long historical exploration of the Routes of English with Voices of the Powerless, in which he explores the lives of the ordinary working men and women of Britain at six critical moments across the last 1,000 years.

The extracts of documents that may be read on this page are:
William Maldon, Protestant activist.
Robert Wardall, resisted Mary Tudor's Catholic counter-reformation.
William Dowsing, Parliamentary Commissioner,1644 .
Earlier description of Ufford church.

William Maldon
"The said poor men brought the New Testament of Jesus Christ, and on Sundays did sit reading in lower end of the church, and many would flock about them to hear their reading. Then I came among the said readers, to hear their reading of that glad and sweet tidings of the gospel."

"Then my father seeing this, that I listened unto them every Sunday, then came he and sought me among them, and brought me away from the hearing of them and would have me to say the Lattin mattins with him, the which grieved me very much. Then I could not be in rest. Then thought I, I will learn to read English, and then will I have the New Testament and read there on myself."

"My father cometh up with the haulter, and my mother entreated him to let me alone, but in no ways he would be entreated, but put the haulter about my neck."
v "Yet the great part of these inordinate rich stiffnecked Citizens will not have in their houses that word of our souls, nor suffer their servantes to have it. O Lord God, how blind be these Citizens, which take so great care to provide for the dead, which thing is not commanded them, nor availeth the dead, no more than the pissings of a wren helpeth to cause the sea to flow at an extreme ebb."

Robert Wardall
"Being a man living in the fear of God and for the testimony of his conscience being also hunted by force of the law, was constrained to avoid his house and got into a crayer [ a ship - from the French 'craire' ] with an honest man, serving as a sailor, a faculty not before of him frequented, nor he a man nimble for that trade, because God had given him an impediment by reason of a stumped foot, unfit to climb to top and yard, yet it so pleased God to enable him with his strength, that he was strong and lusty to do good service, as they can well witness that were of his company. "

William Dowsing extracts from his notes for the parish church of Ufford in Suffolk.
Jan 27th 1644
"We brake down 30 superstitious pictures and gave directions to take down 37 more; and four cherubims to be taken down of wood, and the chancel levelled. [ There was a picture of Christ on the cross and God the Father about it: and left 37 superstitious pictures to be taken down; and took up 6 superstitious inscriptions in brass]."
Aug 1644
"In the chancel, we brake down an angel; and 12 cherubims on the roof of the chancel; And we brake down the organ cases, and gave them to the poor and the rayles likewise we gave the poor."

Description of Ufford church
A description of the church written earlier in the seventeenth century - not by Dowsing - explains why the churchwardens were so nervous about allowing Dowsing in.
"This is the most neatly polished little church (that I have looked into) within this diocese. The roof whereof and other parts of the Quire, being curiously engraven with sundry kindes of workes of pictures, all burnished with gold. The organ case, whereupon these words 'Soli Deo Honor et Gloria' are carved and gilt over, is garnished and adorned in most costly manner. The Font and the cover of the same, is without compare, being of a great height, cut and gloriously depicted with many Imageries consistent to the representation of the Sacrament fo Baptisme, as also with the arms of the Ufford, Earles of Suffolk, whose principale habitation was in this towne."
Listen Live
Audio Help
l - Castles and Cruelty - extracts on programme page.
2 - The Peasants' Revolt - extracts on programme page.
-3 - The Reformation - extracts on programme page
4 - The Plantation of Ulster - extracts on programme page
5 - The English Civil War and the Siege of Chester - - extracts on programme page
Listen to Melvyn Bragg talk about Voices of the Powerless
Listen to Simon Elmes, executive producer, give an unigue insight into the programme.
Listen to the signature music
Go to - Homepage.
Go to Prog l - Castles and Cruelty
Go to Prog 1 - Biography of Orderic Vitalis
Go to Prog 2 - The Peasants' Revolt
Go to Prog 3 - The Reformation
Go to Prog 3 - The Reformation - Key Events
Go to Prog 4 - The Plantation of Ireland in the Counties of Armagh and Tyrone.
Go to Prog 5 - The English Civil War and the Siege of Chester
Read The Sources
Go to Prog 1 - Castles and Cruelty
Go to Prog 2 - The Peasants' Revolt
Go to Prog 3 - the Reformation
Go to Prog 4 - the Plantation of Ulster
Go to Prog 5 - The English Civil War and the Siege of Chester

In Our Time
Thursday 9.00-9.45am, rpt 9.30-10.00pm. Melvyn Bragg explores the history of ideas. Listen again online or download the latest programme as an mp3 file.
This Sceptred Isle
Melvyn Bragg
Melvyn Bragg presents In Our Time for BBC Radio 4, a series where he and his guests discuss the "Big Ideas" of cultural or scientific significance.

He also presented The Routes of English, his millennial series celebrating 1,000 years of the English language.

Melvyn Bragg was born in 1939 in Wigton, Cumbria - where many of his books are set. He won a scholarship to Oxford to read history, and in 1961 he gained a coveted traineeship with the BBC.

He has presented a number of television series including: Read All about It, Two Thousand Years, and Who's Afraid of the Ten Commandments? and createdThe South Bank Show.

Melvyn presented Start the Week between 1988 and 1998. In his 1998 series On Giant's Shoulders he interviewed scientists about their eminent predecessors.

As well as presenting for Radio 4, he is Controller of Arts for London Weekend Television. In 1998 he was made a life peer. He's written 17 novels, the latest of which, The Soldier's Return, won the WH Smith Literary Award.

Melvyn Bragg was made a Life Peer in 1998 and he took the title of Baron Bragg of Wigton in the County of Cumbria.

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