Members at our 2007 BBQ

Cardiff
Naturalists' Society


Cymdeithas Naturiaethwr
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Henry Royston Loyn M.A., D.LITT., F.S.A. (1922-2000) 97th President


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H.R. Loyn was professor of medieval history at University College, Cardiff, from 1969 to 1977 during which time he served as President of the society. We do not have an obituary for him as he left the area to move to london in in 1977 and therefore moved away from active membership and any form of regular communication with us.

There is a detailed obituary of him in the Guardian of October 27th 2000 from which some excerpts: -

Henry had enjoyed happy schooldays at Cardiff high school - which gave him a lasting accomplishment as a chess player - but his life was changed by the onset of tuberculosis. Excluded from war service on medical grounds, he found himself among the reduced cohort of undergraduates studying at Cardiff, where he gained an English degree, and then, in 1946, a first in history

In 1946, he was appointed to an assistant lectureship in Cardiff's history department, then under the benign leadership of Professor William Rees. There, he shouldered a formidable teaching load and rose steadily to become professor in 1969.

Henry was to surprise his friends in 1977 by accepting the vacant chair of medieval history at Westfield College. At that time, he was in the midst of an outstandingly successful term as president of the Historical Association (1976-9), but the London base gave him wider opportunities to serve the academic world - including on the British Academy council and project committees, as president of the Society of Medieval Archaeology and as vice-president of both the Royal Historical Society and the Society of Antiquaries.

he was a prolific author and His Wikipedia page lists 40 publications from 1953 to an article published after his death in 2007

In the Transactions we have records of two lectures that he gave to the society, given that he was a specialist in Anglo-Saxon history, his choice of these two topics seems appropriate

  1. 1966 - The Bayeux Tapestry
  2. 1974 - Mottes and Ringworks; the Early Norman Castles (Presidential Address)

I have located a copy of a video placed on-line by Imperial Colledge London in which he "Looks at the events of 1066 in their European as well as in their English context. Analyses the strengths and weaknesses of both sides and looks at the personalities of the two leaders involved - William of Normandy and Harold Godwinson. Describes the Battle of Hastings and the consequent consolidation of Norman power. Concludes by considering the implications of the conquest for England and the English." This is a greay way to see a former president in action.



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