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Breakspear, The English Pope A virtual talk by our Renter Warden

Tuesday 7th November 2023

Start: 6.30pm | Finish: 8.00pm

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Last year our Renter Warden Adrian Waddingham CBE published a Book entitled BREAKSPEAR The English Pope, this year Adrian has kindly agreed to give Guild members an insight into his book and the life of Adrian IV: the only English pope in the history of the Church.
Overlooked for centuries, Nicholas Breakspear’s achievements outshone those of his contemporary, the martyr Thomas Becket. Born in poverty and probably illegitimate, Breakspear rose to become the only Englishman to ascend the throne of Saint Peter, ruling over the papal states as Adrian IV.
His life is not a tale of liturgy or sermons, and there are more cannons than canons, as Breakspear faced fighting in Scandinavia and the Second Crusade in Spain. He was immediately thrust into conflicts upon his election as pope in 1154.
First, he had to overcome the rebellious republicans of Rome before defending his Church against armed threats from the Norman King William of Sicily, the Byzantine Emperor Comnenus and finally the German King Frederick Barbarossa, intent on restoring the former glories of the Holy Roman Empire.
Breakspear saved his Church from German domination, but his legacy is contested. There was a papal schism on his death and many blame him for allowing Henry II’s subjugation of Ireland in 1171.

Join us for this fascinating talk: you will be sent a Zoom link soon after we receive your booking and a reminder closer to the event. 
If you choose to make a donation, please do so to the usual Guild account no later than 27th October with reference ‘Pope charity’.  Any funds received will be transferred to the Guild charity after that date.

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Our Members


Annual Banquet at Guildhall

"A veritable tour de force; stunning atmosphere, seriously impressive food and a funny judge..what’s not to like!
Well done everyone" - Mrs J.D.

"A triumph" - Mr A.W."

"..a brilliant evening at Guildhall last night. The event was spectacular and we, our guests and everyone around us enjoyed it tremendously. A great highlight of a fantastic year" - Mr J.H.

"A magnificent evening was had by all" - Mr K.B.

"It really was the most wonderful and unforgettable evening " - Mrs K.J.

"It was a great privilege to be present of Friday evening on such a splendid occasion.  What a truly stunning and memorable evening. The organisation, the pageantry and the attention to detail was remarkable. A and I enjoyed it all enormously" - C H.C.

Master's Final Dinner at Fishmongers' Hall
"Just a line to say how much we enjoyed the dinner last night, super seat thank you! Please convey our thanks to the Master for a wonderful evening, superb food and company and thank him for all his events over the past year, we have had great times.
We now look forward to the next year, different venues and events." - Mr P.B.

Reception and Supper at Grocers' Hall
"My guests and I really really enjoyed the Ceremony and the dinner at Grocers’ Hall last evening, I am still on a high with sheer pleasure, you, everyone there so kind and welcoming". Mrs A R

"It was good to meet you at last and on such an excellent evening in one of the nicest Livery Halls in the City.  Thank you for making it such a special evening for M and me.   It was so well organised and enjoyable.   The food was first class and the company good as well". Mr D B

RNLI Demonstration and Supper at the Little Ship Club
"Thank you SO much for arranging a most enjoyable evening. Once again, I was able to catch up on friends and make new acquantainces - all thanks to you for the excellent place settings.  The weather was kind to us, the food was amazing and everybody around our table was very happy with the service and the meal."  Ms V H

"Following the interesting demonstration Guild Members and their guests retired back inside the Little Ship Club for a stunning two-course supper with some excellent wine and tremendous companionship discussing the RNLI’s great work being achieved on the tidal Thames.​" Mr D K


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