Cherish Watton




MPhil student in Modern British History at Churchill College, Cambridge.

Research Topic:

Women's Land Army

Research Interests:

Women's history, British social history, public and popular history

About Me:

I'm currently an MPhil student in Modern British History at Churchill College, Cambridge. My research looks at scrapbooks kept by politicians and their families in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century. I run, a website on the work of the British Women’s Land Army during World War One and Two. I am developing the website so it becomes the national online hub for information on the Land Girls and Lumber Jills – sharing original documents, magazines, photos and videos.


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Shirley Summerskill 0

A spotlight on Dr Shirley Summerskill

Dr Shirley Catherine Wynne Summerskill, Labour politician for Halifax (1964–1983), was born on the 9th September 1931 to Edith Summerskill MP and Dr E Jeffrey Samuel. Before her entrance into Westminster in October 1964 (succeeding Conservative Maurice Macmillan MP in Halifax) Summerskill worked as a General Practitioner, which was reflected...

Edith Summerskill Pathe Video Screenshot 0

Mrs, Dr, MP: Pathé Close-Up of Dr Edith Summerskill

  British Pathé has a wealth of videos which provide a window into the history of modern Britain. For the Research Challenge, as part of the MPhil in Modern British History MPhil here at Cambridge, our course directors invited us to select a video from this archive and historicise it....

Book stack at Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge. Source: Cherish Watton 0

Advice for History Freshers: from me to you…

Many of you reading this blog post will be arriving at university for the first time and about to embark on your first steps to becoming a historian. The first few weeks of university are filled with a wealth of freshers’ activities before term gets going and you have that...

Francesco Orilia, “Cuccagna arch of bread, cheese, and sucking pigs, made in honor of Duke Antonio Alvarez di Toledo, Viceroy of Naples, on the Feast of Saint John the Baptist, 23 June 1629” (1630) Source: 0

Food Arches and Early Modern Court Festivals

Court festivals allowed courts to distinguish themselves. They functioned as a ‘ritual performance of omnipotence’, extending the court’s power to a wider audience.  Through ceremony and spectacle, festivals enacted power structures  through theatrical performances. Such performances depended on the deferential presence of courtiers, alongside the wider masses, who gave legitimacy...


History and mystery: The Face of Jane Austen

A few weekends ago I visited Bath. Naturally, as an admirer of Jane Austen, I went to the Jane Austen Centre. With the bicentenary of her death approaching, this was an exciting experience for me and my patient friend who came around with me – and, might I add, thoroughly...


An exciting egg

Material culture enables historians to consider critically how courts engaged with diverse audiences. The court existed in multiple forms: as a familial home, social space, and political construct. Rulers were often less concerned with propaganda and more with their ‘fama’, namely their long-term glory and reputation, as opposed to outright...

Extract from Ximenez Inventory Source: 0

Early Modern Inventories and Identities

Usually undertaken following the death of a family member, inventories record the immovable goods within a household, as part of the transmission of property. Historians have used early modern inventories to pursue several angles of research in relation to domestic interiors, focusing on the changing nature of decorations, the use...

scandal-headline 0

Homosexual desire in nineteenth-century British politics

Sex scandals are not a new occurrence for the political elite.  Though ‘homosexual’ had not emerged as social category until the late-nineteenth century, homosexual sex scandals challenged the heteronormative masculinity of the British government during the nineteenth century. British politics prided itself on close homosocial bonds between politicians, whether in...

Magic 0

Public history: can we capture where the magic happens?

Universities are increasingly held accountable for the research they undertake, justifying the use of public funds. However, it is just as important for individual scholars, such as those in History, to consider the impact of our work. Can we be more creative in reflecting on our own contributions? And can...


HTTP Turns 2: Making HTTP Great Again

Yesterday our blog turned two! If it was a child, it would be asking “Why?” all the time; be able to walk, run, and jump with both feet; and, most importantly, climb furniture (instead, we have Muz for that). Last year, we were still learning how to crawl. As a...