News from Essex Hundred



The First Reality Show in Essex
A new book by David Dunford
The author of Full Circle

            Buffalo Bill was one of the most famous men in the world and for five days in the early 1900s he could be found walking the streets of Essex. He wasn’t alone.  He’d brought with him the most extraordinary show ever seen.  Hundreds of people and animals performed in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West. This was no circus — the cowboys were real cowboys; the Indians real Indians and the cavalry had been real soldiers.
They portrayed real events in American history in which many of them had actually taken part.  It was the world’s first reality show and Buffalo Bill brought it to the county a hundred years before ‘The Only Way is Essex’ turned the idea into a global phenomenon.  This book tells the story of Buffalo Bill, the Wild West and what happened when they visited Southend, Colchester, Chelmsford, Ilford and Leyton.


Coming soon from Essex Hundred Publications


The First Reality Show in Essex

 For further details watch this space and  check our
@EssexHundred twitter feed or follow
Essex Hundred Publications on


Gunpowder – Remember

A quick guide
The Essex connections

The plot was an assassination attempt against King James I by a group of English Catholics led by Robert Catesby with a plan to blow up the House of Lords during the State Opening of Parliament on 5th November 1605.

The plotters allegedly hatched their plan in Barking, just north of the present A13 at Eastbury Manor House.

However the plot was discovered and a search was made of the basement of the House of Lords.

36 barrels of gun powder were discovered; enough to destroy the House completely, killing all those within.

Hiding in the basement, desperately looking to make his escape, was one Guy (Guido) Fawkes who was immediately arrested. The plotting in Barking remains to be proved but what is certain is that all the plotters were all rounded up and either killed during arrest or hung, drawn and quartered after trial and conviction.

But there is more!

The well-known rhyme associated with November 5th,

is credited with being inspired by Lancelot Andrewes (born 1555) in Allhallows , Barking.

Lancelot Andrewes moved to  Raweth in Essex where he lived at a 13th century moated farmhouse called Chichester Manor House which today is the Chichester Hotel.

Later he was appointed Dean of Westminster and then served at the coronation of James I before becoming Bishop of Chichester and later Ely and then Winchester. In 1604 King James I authorized the First Westminster Company, under the directorship of Lancelot Andrewes, to begin a new translation of the Bible into English. The King James’ Bible quickly became, and remains the standard for English speaking Protestants and has had a profound influence on English literature.

On the anniversary of the foiling of the ‘Gunpowder Plot’
Andrewes was asked to prepare a sermon celebrating the King’s, and Parliament’s delivery. The sermon now known as The Gunpowder Plot Sermon became an annual event. In it Andrewes called for a lasting celebration of the King’s deliverance. The sermon was the inspiration for, and foundation of, the celebrations of Guy Fawkes Day on November 5th which have continued to this day.

St Nicholas Rawreth

More detail on the Essex Gunpowder plot connections can be found in:-

London’s Metropolitan Essex available from bookshops or online.

BBC1’s new three part serial GUNPOWDER (with Kit Harington of Game of Thrones fame) begins Saturday October 21st and concludes Saturday 4th November.

Barking was in the county of Essex until 1965.

See our video short REMEMBER

Full screen and audio recommended


Another Late Monument

Stratford Martyrs
Another late monument

Another late monument courtesy of the Victorians, put up over 300 years
after the event.  On 27th June 1556 eleven men and two women were burned at the stake at a spot by St John the Baptist Church in Stratford Broadway formerly in the Essex county borough of West Ham.

This event is just one of the chapters in London’s Metropolitan
Essex, now available from bookshops or online.

Late Monuments

The monument to the Royalist commanders Sir Charles Lucas and Sir George Lisle in the grounds of Colchester Castle.

The two men were executed on that spot following the siege of Colchester in 1648 by the parliamentary forces of Oliver Cromwell.


However the monument was erected 250 later during the Victorian era.

For more on the siege of Colchester, a copy of

Available from book shops on earth or dealers in cyberspace.

FULL CIRCLE Now available

Now available

Full Circle

The Rise, Fall and Rise of Horse Racing in Chelmsford

David Dunford

          Step back 200 years and the most eagerly awaited highlight of the social calendar was the local horse race meeting.   They were so popular that nearly a dozen towns and villages in Essex held them and they drew thousands of spectators.  However the most successful of these were Chelmsford Races held on Galleywood Common just three miles from the town centre.

The races had an attraction for everyone across the great social divide — not just the racing itself but also the many social events that went on in conjunction with it.  Horse racing in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries was very different to the sport we know today.  Organised gambling was unknown and betting was largely confined to the upper classes.

The history of Chelmsford races might have ended in the dark days of the 1930s had it not been for a local entrepreneur, John Holmes.    In 1997 he bought the old Essex Showground at Great Leighs, five miles to the north of Chelmsford.  A £30 million all-weather track was built and marked the return of racing to Chelmsford for the first time in more than 70 years.   Sadly, the venture faltered and the course went into administration in 2009. However a syndicate headed by Fred Done rode to the rescue. In 2015 Chelmsford City Racecourse held more than 50 meetings.  It also began hosting other events such as concerts, comedy and murder mystery nights – social events that echo those associated with horse racing in Chelmsford 200 years ago.

Full Circle is brought to life by former BBC editor and presenter David Dunford and packed with over 100 period and contemporary images. An absolute must for readers of local and social history.


ISBN 9780993108358 RRP £12.99 available through the usual trade outlets

Essex Hundred Publications