Weekend 524.2 (seditious persons…covetous rule…singular lucre)

Quotes from The Brothers York: An English Tragedy by Thomas Penn:

“He [Edward IV] was comfortable enough to schedule in a diversionary loop, a pilgrimage through East Anglia to the great north Norfolk shrine of Walsingham, during which he would recruit additional armed forces for his norther operation.”

“The area was a hotbed of support for the pro-Lancastrian Percy family, whose heir, the twenty-one-year-old Henry Percy, was securely in the wardship of William Herbert away in south Wales: the insurgents wanted him restored as earl of Northumberland in place of the man who had supplanted him, John Neville. Late May, some fifteen thousand strong, they reached the gates of York before Neville and his men materialized. There, after a ‘long fight’, Robin of Holderness was captured and beheaded.”

“While Cook himself was still in custody, Edward ordered Rivers and Fogge to break into his property and seize his moveable assets in order to pay off the debt: a common, if harsh, practice that their men interpreted liberally, turning Cook’s London townhouse upside-down, drinking his cellar dry and carting off large quantities of cloth, £700 in plate and jewels, and a series of exquisite, jewel-encrusted tapestries depicting the Siege of Jerusalem.”

“Late that October, in a small chamber in Westminster Palace, Henry Percy swore an oath of allegiance to Edward, witnessed by a small knot of royal councillors including William Hastings and the archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Bourchier. In return, Percy was given his liberty. His release was seismic. Percy, everybody now knew, was to be restored to his earldom of Northumberland – with inevitable consequences for those who had profited from it: Warwick, Clarence and the earldom’s current incumbent, John Neville.”

“Though the carnage of Towton was now a decade ago, it lingered in the memory and everybody knew somebody who had died there; mostly on the Lancastrian side, fighting for Henry Percy, earl of Northumberland.”

Weekend 523.1

“Judica me, Deus, discerne causam meum de gente non sancta.” Psalm 42

Quotes from The Brothers York: An English Tragedy by Thomas Penn:

“Meanwhile, shortly before sunset on Thursday 18 July, a rider had arrived in Canterbury from the north with urgent news for Edward, there with Elizabeth on pilgrimage to the tomb of St Thomas Becket.”

“The English, he wrote, were great observers of protocol, always ready to genuflect to power and authority. But ‘no matter how they bend the knee’, he concluded, ‘they are not to be trusted.'”

“There were pressing reasons why he needed to do so, chief among them the fact that the Medici relied heavily on exports of English wool to fill the convoy of galleys that docked each year at Southampton.”

“Progressing through Kent, taking in the elegance of Canterbury Cathedral and the richness of Thomas Becket’s gold, gem-encrusted shrine, the saint’s hair shirt hanging above it, Rozmital and his party started to acquaint themselves with English customs, including a beverage drunk by the common people, which, one of the party noted, was called ‘Al’selpir’ (though he didn’t apparently realize that he was being offered a choice: ‘ale’ or ‘beer’).

“Noting Edward’s freshly minted currency, ‘nobles and other good coins’ changing hands, they quickly formed the conclusion that London – a ‘powerful’ city, they appraised, with its face turned outward towards the world and ‘rich in gold and silver’ – was England.”

Adolf Hitler or Justin Trudeau?

“The small, fringe minority of people who are on their way to Ottawa, who are holding unacceptable views that they are expressing, do not represent the views of Canadians who have been there for each other, who know that following the science and stepping up to protect each other is the best way to continue to ensure our freedoms, our rights, our values as a country.” — Justin Trudeau

(1) Justin Trudeau RESPONDS to Trucker Convoy (YouTube)

In manifestos and the darkly allusive language of prophecy…

“Across the country, people struggling to make a living — from the propertied gentry to smallholders and labourers — were sick of a ruling class that had become a byword for venality and corruption: frittering away taxpayers’ money; incapable of dealing with the slow collapse in public order; indifferent to even the most modest proposals for reform; ineffective and disunited in every respect — except, apparently, when it came to preserving their own vested interests.”

(1) Fraudsters cash in as Dems shovel out billions and billions in COVID relief (NY Post)

“At times, the centre seemed unable to hold. Politicians urging unity and moderation watched aghast as factions tore at each other, all restraint set aside. This was a landscape littered by murders and executions enacted through fearful self-defence and hungry ambition, and justified with the merest skim of legal process. Speaking the language of populism and clamouring for reform, squabbling elites raised private armies and manipulated widespread public discontent to their own advantage, sparking insurgency and revolt against a battered political establishment. The system of hereditary monarchy itself seemed to teeter on the brink.”

(2) Pelosi Skeptical Of Need To Ban Trading Stock In Congress: It’s About ‘Trusting Our Members’ (HUFFPOST)

Quotes are from The Brothers York by Thomas Penn

Weekend 510.2 (Wreck & Redemption)

I was in Plymouth last weekend and saw the place where the Sea Venture set sail from in 1609. It was supposed to bring relief supplies, etc. to the settlers in Jamestown but was damaged during a hurricane and run aground off the coast of Bermuda. The Sea Venture was helmed by the Admiral of the Company, Sir George Somers, and it was his decision during the storm to drive the ship onto the reefs in order to prevent its foundering. All of the passengers aboard the Sea Venture survived. His Admiralty Sir George Somers later died on the island and his heart was buried in St. George. There is a memorial in Somers Garden commemorating his life.

There is a plaque in Plymouth commemorating the 350th anniversary of the wreck in 1959 and in Bermuda there is a cross celebrating the 400th anniversary of the founding of Bermuda (The Somers Isles).

William Shakespeare purportedly used the account of the Sea Venture as inspiration for The Tempest.

Limestone Archive
Bermuda on Flickr
Bermuda Posts

Weekend 495.0 (Now is thus)

(1) The Battle of Towton

(1a) The Towton Ring (British Museum)

(2) “Now is the winter of our discontent” – Richard III by William Shakespeare

(2a) King Richard III had the ‘Princes in the Tower’ murdered, historian finds (Live Science)

(3) A quote from The Stripping of the Altars by Eamon Duffy:

“Under both the Angevin kings and their Plantagenet successors the cult of the saints often had a political dimension. The victims of political struggles might become martyrs, and popular devotion to such “saints” might be the vehicle for criticism or resistance to the political status quo. A number of fifteenth century English cults had a strong political dimension, like the anti-Lancastrian cult of Archbishop Scrope of York, executed for treason by Henry IV, or the anti-Yorkist cult of Henry VI. Scrope quickly became the focus of a popular cult openly hostile to the monarchy – it was part of the cult legend that Henry IV had been stricken with leprosy as an immediate consequence of Scrope’s martyrdom. Henry VI’s miracula include very overt political miracles, like the healing of a little girl afflicted with the “King’s evil”, whose parents had refused to bring her to be “touched” by the “usurper”, Richard III. Henry VII attempted to mobilize the cult of Henry VI in support of his own dynasty, building a magnificent chapel at Westminster Abbey to house Henry VI’s relics, and promoting his cause at Rome. The process foundered in the late 1520s, but “good King Harry” would almost certainly have been canonized had not bad King Harry’s matrimonial affairs strained and eventually broken ties with Rome.”

(4) A Lament for Our Lady’s Shrine at Walsingham: A lament for a Catholic place of pilgrimage devastated by Henry VIII, this simple ballad delivers a powerful sense of grief (The Guardian)

Dover via Canterbury

The White Cliffs of DoverAt Dover Cliffs
Scarce hear the surge that has for ages beat,
Sure many a lonely wanderer has stood;
And whilst the lifted murmur met his ear,
And o’er the distant billows the still eve
Sailed slow, has thought of all his heart must leave

― William Lisle Bowles¹

Take a walk at the White Cliffs of Dover (Map from the National Trust)

Note: My Flickr album is organized sequentially.

Dover as a tourist destination is a little like the Poconos circa 1980 something. It’s heyday has long past and there are placards everywhere promising redevelopment. It doesn’t have the shopping of Brighton or the history and dining of Bristol. It’s a port city you pass through. Who knows though what places like Dover (and the Poconos) will like be post-pandemic as the cost/inconvenience of international travel changes domestic tourism.

As a gateway to the Cliffs of Dover the city is fine (even IF the relationship seemed badly neglected). My first afternoon was spent ambling around the town centre (getting my bearings) and probing the approach to the infamous cliffs. I’m not a typical traveler and don’t depend on guide books or countless hours of research on the internet. My trips are usually centered around an event (e.g. football match) or a place and the rest is just freeform exploration and discovery. The absence of an agenda makes it very easy to whittle the hours away at a coffee shop.

Ambition
The eastern approach to the cliffs via the Athol Terrace/Coast Path was kind-of-maybe-sort-of-closed because of falling rocks (chalk in this case) so I found an alternative route via Castle Hill Road. The site of Dover Castle from any vista is impressive but dominates the horizon as you make the climb up Castle Hill Road. My adventure for the day unfortunately ended at Upper Road due to overambition². On my way back to the hotel I took a picture of St. Martin’s Guesthouse because of its promise of ‘tea and coffee making facilities’ (plus it’s the surname of the pastor at my church).

Miracle of the Feet
It was a fast start on Sunday morning after my feet (and legs) had a couple of hours to rest. My approach to the park (national trust) was via Upper Road. There’s a church on the route that was damaged in WWII and is now preserved as a Grade II listed building. I stopped for a photograph on the top of Connaught Road and a sign post for Burgoyne Fort (for Bear). There was NO sidewalk/trail/path on Upper Road but it was SO early that cars only passed sporadically.

I finally made it to the visitor centre and my first vista of the White Cliffs of Dover! I had NO idea HOW big the park was so my decision to “call it quits” the day before was just lucky. On Saturday night, whilst subjecting my feet to a recovery regimen that was some Mr. Miyagi style stuff, studied a map of the park. The walk to the lighthouse is about 50 minutes, BUT I stopped to explore every nook and cranny SO it was well north of that number. My return trip included a descent into Fan Bay (feets of strength™) before climbing down to sea level to explore the ribs of a wreck on Langdon Beach.

I left the park via the aforementioned eastern approach (the one with the signs about falling chalk). This route gives you a nice birds eye view of the port and takes you under the A2. I’m not a very good writer because this post omits the absolute majesty of this amazing space but if you’ve ever wanted to live in a Turner painting visit the White Cliffs of Dover. I think English skies are so beautiful because all that chalk acts like a filter when it’s picked up by the breeze.

IMPORTANT: There are few times when my feet and legs have been so tired/sore so IF you plan on traversing from sea level to lighthouse to bays and holes (the latter is inappropriate) wear something more durable than Vans (and bring sunscreen).

¹Sonnet: At Dover Cliffs, July 20th 1787 by William Lisle Bowles (poetry.com)
²Overamition in my case is a combination of NO food, a very early start, and poor footwear