The Abingdon Blog

The Abingdon Blog is a photo record of events and places in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, started on January 1st 2006.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Mieneke Cox

Mieneke Cox wrote many books on the history of Abingdon over the last thirty years, and for many of us - we read it first thanks to her.

The Story of Abingdon - part one - takes us from pre history to 1186 A.D.

At the end of the book she says "In 1186 when the monastery and Abingdon's growing industries attracted new inhabitants, the town was already old. The pattern was set for the future in which we, the successors of those who trod Abingdon's streets before us, are responsible for cherishing our precious heritage."

In "Medieval Abingdon - the story of Abingdon part two" - she says "Abingdon has such a rich medieval history that it has been difficult to fit it into a small, easy-to-read book..."

In her books, she is often a story teller - retelling the stories she told children when working as Curator of Abingdon Borough Museum from 1970 until 1980. But there are other times when she relates the smaller telling details discovered through her researches as an archivist and historian of the town... Take for example The Abbey Gardener's Accounts 1388/89 "He sold whatever he could - an old fence, firewood, fish, herbage, wine, grapes, fish, vines, cider,apples, pears, nuts, an ash-tree at one shilling."

The story continues in an exciting part three - Peace and War - which takes in the Civil War where Abingdon was a garrison Town... and then beyond in subsequent books, . Mieneke Cox acknowledged she was indebted to the research of predecessors like Arthur E Preston, and Agnes C Baker etc. , and many helpers ...

She died on Tuesday 22nd December, a day before her 81st birthday, and will be greatly missed, particularly at The Abingdon Area Archaeological and Historical Society where she was an active member.

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