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Jonathan Sumption OBE QC considers the issue of government secrecy throughout English history in his lecture to the Friends of The National Archives. He discusses the evolution of freedom of information, from Roman times to present-day press leaks, and debates whether disclosed documents may become less meaningful if officials and ministers ensure their views are not recorded in writing.
We all go shopping, albeit with varying degrees of enthusiasm, and many of us have also worked in shops. It was the same for our ancestors, and although the records may not always be easy to find, they are out there if you know where to look. There is also a wealth of background material to show us what our ancestors' shopping and shopkeeping experience was like.