'The Best Burglar in the County':
the story of Joan Wake and the
Northamptonshire Record Society

Neil Lyon

Date: cancelled Saturday, 18 June 2022 cancelled

Venue: University of Northampton

Joan Wake (1884-1974) is one of the most remarkable women Northamptonshire has ever produced. Single-handedly she saved Delapré Abbey from demolition in the 1950s and devoted many years of her life to saving our county's historic documents. This talk tells the story of what motivated her to found our Society in 1920, and what she achieved during her 43 years as its Honorary Secretary.

Neil Lyon is Northamptonshire born and bred. After studying History and Politics at the University of Durham he practised for many years as a solicitor in Northampton and Milton Keynes before embarking on a second career in the country house sector. A member of the Council of the Record Society, he has an MA in The Study of the Country House from the University of Leicester, and has been the honorary archivist at Wellingborough School since 1982.

Please email us for more details of the lecture.


What makes a good Abbot?

Prof. Edmund King

Autumn 2022

Venue: TBC

Professor Edmund King will shed new light on life at Peterborough Abbey before the Reformation, drawing on his extensive research across the decades, as well as the Society’s forthcoming 2022 volume on The Peterborough Chronicles.


Celebrating the Record Society’s 100th Birthday

Autumn 2022

Venue: TBC

The Society will be marking its foundation back in December 1920 with a Party for members, and an exhibition dedicated to its remarkable founder, Joan Wake. Further details to follow.