Wednesday, June 15, 2011

17th-Century English History Roundup

James Weeks, "Diggers for victory: 17th-century radicals inspire choral music," Guardian, June 9, 2011

As we wallow in our 21st-century mires of recession, environmental destruction and gluttonous children of a selfish and profoundly unequal society we seem to have no serious intention of reforming, it's salutary to read these bracing words from a distant, more hopeful time. In 1649, as parliament consolidated its triumph in the civil war and Charles I mounted the scaffold, Gerrard Winstanley and his band of True Levellers climbed St George's Hill, near Weybridge in Surrey, and began digging to cultivate the earth for food.>>>

"Nameberry: 12 best virtue names," Kansas City Star, June 13, 2011

In the 17th century, for some of the most puritanical of the Puritans, even biblical and saints' names were not pure enough to bestow on their children, and so they turned instead to words that embodied the Christian virtues. These ranged from extreme phrases like Sorry-for-sin and Search-the-Scriptures (which, understandably, never came into general use) to simpler virtue names like Silence and Salvation.>>>

Antoinette Kelly, "English aristocracy consumed the skulls of Irish killed in battle," Irish Central, May 26, 2011

The skulls of Irish who lost their lives during 16th and 17th century battles were ground up and consumed by the English aristocracy, as it was believed they could cure illnesses and heal wounds.

The claim is made in a new book "Mummies, Cannibals and Vampires", by the British academic Dr Richard Sugg, who is a lecturer at Durham University.>>>

George Webster, "Real 'pirate of the Caribbean' was funded by London elite," CNN World, May 25, 2011

Forget peg-legs, parrots and eye-patches -- the real pirates of the Caribbean were much more complicated.

According to an eye-opening new exhibition near the bank of London's river Thames, a number of Britain's most notorious buccaneers colluded with high-profile politicians and businessmen during the "golden age" of piracy in the 17th century.>>>

Franklin W. Knight, "The fading allure of revolution in the Caribbean," Jamaica Observer, June 8, 2011

WITH all the political agitation throughout the Arab World, there is resurgence in the use of the word revolution to describe the aspirations of the restless ones. But with few exceptions such as Venezuela, Ecuador and Cuba, revolution hardly emerges in the political discourse in the Americas. That is a pity, especially among Caribbean folk. After all, the Caribbean constitutes the region par excellence for revolutionary change. . . .

By the end of the 17th century, the word had passed into all the European vernacular languages. The English parliament used the phrase, "Glorious Revolution" to describe its overthrow of the Catholic King, James II, in 1688 and his replacement by the Dutch Protestant, William III of Orange-Nassau and his English queen, Mary II of England. But monarchical replacement hardly constitutes revolutionary change. This so-called "Glorious Revolution" was more a coup d'état than any profound change, so Jamaicans need not worry about replacing their monarchy with a republic.>>>

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