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Mercers' Lectures 2022-23

We are delighted to be able to share our Mercers' Lectures Programme for the 2022-23 season. This year we have a diverse range of speakers covering history, broadcasting, e-commerce, musical theatre, human flight and the English language. Please see details of the line up below. 

The Mercers’ Lectures are named in recognition of the links between Dauntsey’s and the Mercers’ Company, which go back to Mercer founder Alderman William Dauntesey, Master of the Worshipful Company of Mercers, who founded the School in West Lavington in 1542.

The Lecture Series runs annually. Everyone is welcome and entry is free, but you are required to reserve your seat online and bring confirmation of booking to the event.  All lectures start at 19.30 and will be held in the Memorial Hall.

We very much hope to welcome you to Dauntsey's for one or more of these lectures. 

Autumn Term 2022

David Olusoga
Wednesday 28 September 2022

David Olusoga is a British-Nigerian historian, broadcaster filmmaker and award-winning author. His most recent TV series include Empire, Black & British: A Forgotten History, The World’s War, four seasons of A House Through Time, and the BAFTA winning, Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners.

His books include The World’s War, The Kaiser’s Holocaust: Germany’s Forgotten Genocide, and Colonial Roots of Nazism and Civilizations: Encounters and the Cult of Progress. At last year’s British Book Awards, David’s book Black and British: A Short, Essential History won the Children's Illustrated and Non-Fiction book of the year.


Zoe Bayliss Wong
Wednesday 12 October 2022

With a decade of e-commerce and fashion retail experience behind her, Zoe Bayliss Wong is a finance and operations specialist within high-growth businesses. She writes regularly for Forbes and supports a number of organisations seeking to develop young entrepreneurs.

Zoe was a Director at Depop, the cult social shopping app with over 25 million users, where her mission was to empower the next generation of entrepreneurs and prove that commercial business can also be a force for good.

Depop was ranked as Britain’s 11th fastest growing private tech company and raised over $80 million in funding, landing Zoe a place on Forbes Magazine’s “30 Under 30” list.


Rev Richard Coles
Wednesday 16 November 2022

Reverend Richard Coles was one half of 1980s band The Communards before becoming a Church of England vicar, broadcaster, and best-selling author.

Until his retirement in 2022, Richard was a parish priest and has been a co-presenter on BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live since 2011. Often described as Britain’s most famous vicar, he was the inspiration for the main character in the BBC comedy, Rev.

Richard has the unique position of being the world’s only vicar to have had a No.1 hit record with The Communards biggest-selling single of 1986, Don't Leave Me This Way.



Spring Term 2023

Colin Ingram
Tuesday 17 January 2023

Olivier Award winning producer Colin Ingram has worked with some of the world’s leading directors, designers, producers, and writers, and his latest production, Back to the Future- The Musical won Best Musical at the 2022 Olivier Awards.

Colin co-founded InTheatre Productions and lead produces the new production of Grease staring Jason Donovan and Peter Andre, he acts as global producer on Ghost the Musical, was executive producer of Billy Elliot- The Musical , and lead produced Breakfast at Tiffany’s on Broadway.

Colin has worked for the Old Vic, for Cameron Mackintosh and Disney Theatrical Productions, and is the proud founder of the Edinburgh University Footlights. 



Susie Dent
Postponed until further notice

Lexicographer and etymologist, Susie Dent, is the resident word expert on Channel 4’s Countdown. She is a mainstay of the show’s dictionary corner, with her famous etymological trivia and impeccable command of the English language.

Susie comments frequently on TV and radio and has contributed to discussions on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, Today, Word of Mouth, and Saturday Live, as well as BBC Breakfast and Sky News.

Susie also writes for several daily newspapers, answers queries about words and phrases in her weekly columns in the Radio Times and The Week Junior, and she has authored several books, including her latest, An Emotional Dictionary.



Richard Browning
Wednesday 8 March 2023

Richard is Founder and Chief Test Pilot of Gravity Industries which designs, builds, and flies Jet Suits, pioneering a new era of human flight. The company was founded in 2017 to challenge the perceived boundaries in human aviation and to inspire others to ask, “What if?”.

Prior to founding Gravity, Richard was a Royal Marines reservist and an Oil Trader. During his career with BP, he discovered and implemented major new technologies, winning the BP Group Innovation Award.

Over the last five years Gravity has delivered over 200 events and exercises, seen by millions across 35 counties, and has established rapidly growing businesses spanning sectors from military and medical, to industrial mobility and entertainment.