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May 21, 2022 @ 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
  • For Writers
  • Workshop

Re-Writing the Archive Workshop

Dr Poppy Corbett and Dr Herbert Eiden
Re-Writing the Archive 3x2


Essex Record Office, Wharf Road
Chelmsford, Essex CM2 6YT United Kingdom

This creative writing workshop at the Essex Record Office led by the playwright Dr Poppy Corbett, and historian Dr Herbert Eiden will use manorial court rolls to explore the lives of people caught up in the ‘Peasants Revolt’ of 1381.


Venue: Essex Record Office, Wharf Road, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 6YT

Date and time: Saturday 21st May, 10.00am – 1.00pm

Tickets: Pay What You Can, suggested donation £5

Box Office: Book tickets via our eventbrite page


Dr Poppy Corbett

Poppy Corbett Photo by Amit and Naroop-min

Dr Poppy Corbett is a playwright, originally from the South West, now living in London. She has developed a special interest in writing plays that draw on historical archives and political material.

Last year she was the playwright attached to ‘The People of 1381’ project, writing a play, The Time of the Rumour, based on the archival material.

In 2019 she was a Research Associate in Creative Writing at the University of Bristol, and collaborated with a historian and a poet on a creative project about nineteenth-century French witchcraft. A play based on material from the project, The Well, was recently performed in Milton Keynes at MK Gallery as part of Taking The Stage festival.

She’s also worked with academics at the University of York on an archival project about the history of York Theatre Royal, and wrote a play as part of this project, The Shoe That Flew.

Poppy is currently Lecturer in Creative Writing (Theatre Script) at Newcastle University, and also tutors students at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

Photo of Poppy Corbett by Amit and Naroop


Dr Herbert Eiden

Herbert EidenDr Herbert Eiden is a Research Associate working on an AHRC-funded project, ‘The People of 1381’, a comprehensive re-examination of the Peasants’ Revolt.

Herbert’s main interests are medieval and early modern social and economic history. After studying history, philosophy and politics at Trier (Germany) and Stirling, he wrote a PhD on the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381 which was published in 1995 (in German).

Some of his findings on the revolt in Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk have been presented to English speaking audiences in articles published in History 83 (1998), in the English Historical Review 114 (1999), in a Festschrift for Stuart Jenks (2008) and in a conference volume on The Fighting Essex Soldier(2017).

Before joining the VCH Essex Herbert worked as a Research Assistant in Germany in projects on the history of money (1250-1750), the history of witchcraft (1550-1700), and the history of international trade fairs (1250-1550).




An example of archive material


Miniature from Jean de Wavrin, Recueil des Croniques et Anchiennes Istories de la Grant Bretaigne, à present nommé Engleterre, showing, right, rebels entering London in 1381; left, the slaying of Sir Robert Salle by rebels at Norwich; and centre background, the killing of Wat Tyler before the King at Smithfield. The carrying of banners with St George’s cross was a distinctive action of the 1381 rebels from Bridgwater to Derbyshire. This manuscript was made at Bruges between 1471 and 1490.

Bibliothèque Nationale de France, MS français 78, f. 96r. Public domain image from https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b6000255b.image



Essex Record Office and Explore Essex logos



Essex Record Office
Wharf Road
Chelmsford, Essex CM2 6YT United Kingdom
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We can accommodate up to six wheel chair users in the lecture theatre.

There are three car parking spaces for users with disabilities at the front of the building. These cannot be booked in advance and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The public car parks near to the ERO will also have some spaces for users with disabilities. For more information about these car parks, see our Visit us page.

Hearing induction loops
There are hearing induction loops at both the reception desk and at the Searchroom counter on the first floor, where you sign in.

There is a lift up to the Searchroom on the first floor. The lift has been fitted with an audio commentary which announces when the doors are closing and when it arrives at the first floor.

There are wheelchair-accessible toilets on the ground floor, near reception.

If you have any additional requirements, please email [email protected] to discuss them.

Latest information about accessibility at Essex Record Office can be found at essexrecordoffice.co.uk.