Crabchurch Talks- John Milton poem on Sir Henry Vane , Sidney Keyes on 'Dunbar 1650'

Crabchurch Conspiracy  History  Talk 12th May 2018 

 Crabchurch Flyer courtesy of Semi Vine  

                           The 'Crabchurch Conspiracy' history talk, re-scheduled from the main Crabchurch weekend of 2nd-4th March 2018 due to the inclement weather, took place in Weymouth  on Saturday 12th May 2018. It was an excellent evening indeed.

An interview appeared on this blog last year with Dorset historian Mark Vine about The Crabchurch Conspiracy . It's encouraging to see how Mark Vine's original book about the failed Royalist  attack on Weymouth in 1645 has inspired an annual event that involves historians, re-enactors, the Celtic Rock group 'The Dolmen', and more.

Dorset novelist Kit Berry, Professor Ronald Hutton, and comedian Bishop Bray gave informative and enjoyable talks. Now feel  inspired to start reading Kit Berry's  'Stonewylde' series and look forward to her novel set in Portland during 1645. Ronald Hutton offered a fascinating insi…

Black Friday 1745 - New Play

Interview with Matthew C. Widdowson of Jacobite Productions 

It was a pleasure indeed to hear the live streaming on 'Soundcloud' of Matthew Widdowson's new play 'Black Friday 1745' :  On 6th December 1745, at Exeter House, Derby, the Jacobite rebels held a Council of War which was to have major consequences to the history of Britain and beyond. Bonnie Prince Charlie had landed in Scotland to claim the throne in the name of his father James. His army,  with a high proportion of  Highlanders amongst the 6,000 or so soldiers, had been  extremely successful.

The rebels had  even reached Derby, and were deciding whether or not to head for Northampton, then London, to take the throne. Two Hanoverian armies were trying to catch up with them, of around 10,000 men each. New recruits to the Jacobites were in short supply, reflecting English and Welsh indifference ( in fact only three men joined at Derby). They could head south and aim for London, but risk being cut off by th…

Poltava -Lord Byron -'Mezappa'

Poetry relating to the Battle of Poltava 1709

Charles XII of Sweden and Ivan Mazepa after The Battle of Poltav- Gustav Cederstrom Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons 

This is the first post about poetry connected to the Battle of Poltava 1709, starting with Byron’s 1819 poem ‘Mazeppa’ (sic)  , named after the Ukrainian Cossack leader Ivan Mazepa ( 1639- 1709 ).
               “Twas after dread Poltova’s day                 When fortune left the Royal Swede,                 Around a slaughter’d army lay                 No more to combat and to bleed                 The power and the glory of the war                  Faithless as their vain votaries men                  Had pass’d to the triumphant Czar                  And Moscow’s walls were safe again. “

In 1700 Peter the Great declared war on Sweden. Czar Peter was rather keen to get his 'window on The Baltic, to build a
European styled city, commission a navy, to have ports that
weren't going to be ice bound for large parts of…

Micah Clarke

' Micah Clarke '  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle novel  about the  Monmouth Rebellion from 1889.

H.M.Brock  illustration 1903 edition 

I am very grateful to the 'ECW  & Stuart era Fiction' Facebook group  for directing me to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's novel  'Micah Clarke- His Statement As Made To His Three Grandchildren Joseph, Gervais, and Rueben During The Hard Winter of 1734'.

The images are taken from the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia website and their use is much appreciated

''Micah Clarke' is a fictionalised account of a young veteran of the doomed 1685 West Country rebellion led by the Duke of Monmouth against (Roman Catholic) James II ascending the throne of upon the death of Charles II.

Micah Clarke, born in Havant, remains in the district and heads west, which offers more scope for adventure, as he joins the rebellion when it is well underway. It's a strictly boys tale, women do not feature apart …

Andrew Marvell ' Horatian Ode' -written 1650

Andrew Marvell 'Horation Ode  upon Cromwell's Return from Ireland '

                     Returning to Andrew Marvell ( 31st March 1621- 16th August 1678), thought that would be helpful to look at 'An Horation Ode upon Cromwell's Return from Ireland' , written in 1650, but can find no record of it ever being published until after the poet's death.

                                           Picture of Andrew Marvell courtesy Wikipedia

                    There are many fascinating aspects to this poem. The use of Rome as a major political and cultural reference point during the Commonwealth for one. Moreover, Cromwell's Irish campaign from 15th August 1649- 26th May 1650 evokes such fierce reactions. In fact upon his return, Cromwell was just about to invade Scotland, which led to a final break between Cromwell and Sir Thomas Fairfax.

 But what is most striking is the poem's portrayal of Cromwell as some dynamic force of nature, somehow above moral an…