View Full Version : After Enoch Powell

Tuesday, June 17th, 2003, 11:28 PM
I did some research and found this.

In Daniel, Chapter 7, it says that in 1914 Jesus returns and he rules the world with his new kingdom -- Great Britain.

"And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed."


The "English" are fighting for the Jew...

Monday, September 22nd, 2003, 12:20 PM
After Enoch

Enoch Powell held Wolverhampton South West for 24 years and made his 'rivers of blood' speech there. Now local Tories have chosen their election candidate - and she's Asian. Sandip Verma talks to Esther Addley

Monday September 22, 2003
The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk)

It's Sandip Verma's first "big one", says Caroline, the woman from the Conservative party press office - she means interview - and the new Tory candidate for Wolverhampton South West is very carefully lipsticked for the occasion. She's in a smart pink tweed suit, the jacket of which she has discarded due to the unseasonal heat of the afternoon, but as she follows the photographer outside she opts, on balance, to put it back on over her cream silk blouse. "Adds a bit of colour," she throws back over her shoulder. Then she giggles. "No pun intended!" Verma's ethnicity is a self-conscious joking matter because, as she well knows, it's the thing that has bagged her headlines over the past week. Last Friday, the 44-year-old was selected by the Conservative Association in Wolverhampton South West as its candidate for the next general election. It was not her skin colour that was of remark, however, so much as the place that selected her. This was the constituency represented for 24 years by Enoch Powell, and it was in a 1968 speech to local Conservatives that Powell envisaged mayhem "in 15 or 20 years", including rivers bubbling with blood and other catastrophes, if laws were passed protecting non-whites from discrimination. Verma, in other words, finds herself the poster girl for Britain's multicultural success story, and a walking two-fingers to the more inglorious sections of her party's past.

Verma, known as Sandy to her family, is from Leicester, where for three years she and her husband have run a business providing domiciliary care to elderly and disabled people in the community. Their major clients are Leicester city council; she's done well, in other words, out of privatisation of local government services, something that seems satisfyingly Tory. Before that, for more than two decades, they owned a firm manufacturing high-fashion goods. Her family "were Tory voters during the 70s", she says, though she didn't join the party until four years ago "when I knew that once I joined I could be actively involved". She hasn't even dipped her toe in local politics. "I've come straight to the national league, as I call it, simply because I made a very clear decision that at the age of 40 I was going to come in actively to politics. Prior to that I needed to make sure my businesses were set. I needed to make sure my children were able to manage. So those were my priorities."

Her parents moved from Amritsar in the Punjab to Leicester when she was a baby. And theirs is the story that everyone who emigrates in the hope of a better life must dream of: economic success, social integration and, a solitary generation later, entry into the political elite. But Verma seems oddly resistant to talking about it. "My grandfather came here in the 30s. My mother and father and myself came here just before my first birthday in 1960. My grandfather was a widower so my mother and my mother's sister were educated in India. We're from a business family throughout. What else?"

As well-off Asians in the well-off Asian town of Leicester, we might assume their story hasn't been the same as every immigrant to the UK (we have to assume it, since Verma neatly sidesteps the question). She shows the same hesitancy, in fact, in discussing anything touching on racial politics. What's the ethnic mix of her prospective constituency, for instance? She looks pointedly blank. "In that... ?" Well, is it overwhelmingly white? Are there significant minority populations? "It's got a significant Asian population there. Overall it is a white constituency. But it is a genuinely harmonious place. People enjoy each other's cultures."

She must have anticipated the attention she would attract as an Asian woman in the constituency of the man who made that speech? "Look. I know of the speech. But, you know, can I just take you 30-odd years later, to where we are now? Just look at how wonderfully diverse Britain is, and how we're able to celebrate an Asian woman standing in Wolverhampton South West, as the candidate for the Conservative party."

But doesn't she find it almost insulting to be described, as her party chairman did, as "a candidate for our times", as if an Asian woman would not have been acceptable in another age? She sighs extravagantly. "I think the world has moved on, Esther."

She seems to want to underplay Wolverhampton's racist past, I say. Doesn't that actually diminish the achievement of which she is rightly proud? "Look. It was an uncomfortable speech. But there are so many things that [were raised by] Mr Powell, issues that were appropriate then, like housing, the NHS, they are all appropriate now. So, I'm not going to harp on about one particular speech, because I think that I want to focus on what we're going to be doing in the future. But also" - she smiles her big smile - "we mustn't forget, [Powell] had a great love of India. He greatly enjoyed his time in India. He learnt his appreciation of architecture from India. So it wasn't totally a one-sided thing. He had... OK, he had an issue about the numbers of immigrants coming to the country, and it was an issue at that time, for him. And we have got an issue now about the numbers of asylum-seekers coming now, and it's an issue we have got to address. You know."

Ah yes, asylum. It is Verma who raises the subject and, when asked in more detail about the concerns of her prospective constituents, while she does namecheck the NHS and the transport system and "lowering the standards of GCSEs so more kids can get through," it is the one she returns to with the greatest enthusiasm. "Look. When you have got places where there is high unemployment, where you can't get on to a doctor's waiting list because the lists are full, the infrastructure isn't there to actually take on the extra thousands of people who are actually entering into the city. And whether it is a true perception or an exaggerated perception, at the end of the day if your grandmother needs an operation or to see a doctor, and can't because there's a whole group of other people waiting who haven't actually lived in the city or contributed to the city or done anything for the city, it causes a bit of unrest."

She will be charged with pulling up the drawbridge behind her, won't she? "If they are coming as asylum-seekers they have got to be genuine, they have got to be fleeing something. We need to keep the clear distinction, so that those who are genuinely claiming asylum can have their claims processed quickly and get on with settling down in this country, and those who are here to be economic migrants go through the proper procedures. And if they can offer something, fine, and if they can't, well... "

We have to finish. She has another interview and the jacket goes back on. As we rise to leave, Caroline chips in. "Just another thing you might be interested in knowing, Esther. He spoke fluent Urdu as well." Who did? "Enoch Powell."

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/race/story/0,11374,1047073,00.html

Friday, October 31st, 2003, 08:59 PM
A sample of writings by the brilliant Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689-1762) who besides her literary work was instrumental in the eradication of smallpox from England

When Lady Mary was twenty years old she translated the Enchiridion of Epictetus, which she sent to Bishop Burnet her warm friend and adviser, for his inspection. It was accompanied by a charming letter in which she speaks of the translation as the work of one week of her solitude. She deprecates the low tone of culture among women and adds:

"We are permitted no books but such as tend to the weakening and effeminating of the mind. Our natural defects are every way indulged and it is looked upon as in a degree criminal to improve our reason or fancy we have any. We are taught to place all our art in adorning our outward forms and permitted without reproach to carry that custom even to extravagancy, while our minds are entirely neglected and by disuse of reflections, filled with nothing but the trifling objects our eyes are daily entertained with."

The article is from the April 1862 issue of North American Review pg 289-309

http://cdl.library.cornell.edu/cgi-bin/moa/pageviewer?root=%2Fmoa%2Fnora%2Fnora0094 %2F&tif=00298.TIF&cite=http%3A%2F%2Fcdl.library.cornell.ed u%2Fcgi-bin%2Fmoa%2Fmoa-cgi%3Fnotisid%3DABQ7578-0094-49&coll=moa&frames=1&view=50

To turn the page simply click "next page" at upper right hand corner of screen.

Saturday, November 8th, 2003, 11:01 AM

Will Britain convert to Islam?

November 02, 2003

Could Islam one day become the established church of Britain? Might English women adopt the headscarves and enveloping robes of their Asian sisters, as the call to prayer rises and falls across the slate roofs of rainswept industrial cities?

The idea is not as impossible, as bizarre or distant as you might think. An astonishing Channel 4 programme last week - The Last White Kids -- showed two English children who live in an entirely Muslim district becoming enthusiastic attenders at the local mosque, wrapping themselves in Islamic draperies and learning the Koran.

Amie Gallagher, nine, and her sister Ashlene, 12, are all-too-typical children of modern Britain in some ways, daughters of a single-parent household where the father is absent.

In Islam they seem to have found something that would otherwise be missing from their lives. At the mosque there is authority, certainty, even disciplined education in the Arabic language and the Koran.

This has happened because the Gallaghers are the only white family in a suburb otherwise completely dominated by Asian Muslims.

If they move away, as they may well do, then perhaps the two girls' attachment to the mosque will fail. Their brother, Jake, has not followed them down the Muslim path and has instead become even more defiantly English than he might otherwise have done.

But this strange little story contains a warning for Britain as a whole, as it careers ever more rapidly down the path of permissiveness which began so gently in the Sixties and now slopes ever more steeply downwards towards sexual chaos, drunkenness, family breakdown and the epidemic use of stupefying drugs.

Sooner or later, as in every other era of human history, there will be a revulsion against this licence, a desire to stop the waste, cruelty and misery which these things bring, especially to children.

Where will that revulsion come from? In the 18th and 19th Centuries it came from Christianity and the mighty but forgotten Temperance movements which reacted against the squalor and misery of Hogarth's Gin Lane, and whose effects we still just feel.

But Christianity shows little sign of doing the job a second time. Its leaders are more concerned about foreign conflict than about domestic misery, and more interested in the sexual tastes of bishops than in trying to regulate the confused sex lives of Britain's young.

The Christian churches have all but disappeared from the lives of the British people. The chapels of Wales are gaunt ruins, the great Roman Catholic churches of the industrial North West are often empty and derelict, the Anglicans scuttle about in their hallowed, lovely buildings like mice amid ancient ruins, rarely even beginning to fill spaces designed for multitudes.

The choirs and the bells gradually fall silent, the hymns are no longer sung and one by one the doors are locked and places which in some cases have seen worship for centuries become bare museums of a dead faith.

Few listen to what these churches say. They have become exclusive clubs, whose members celebrate bizarre rituals which are baffling to outsiders.

The Christian message is a difficult and complicated one, which if not learned in childhood is hard for adults to understand. The Christian ceremonies, viewed coldly by an outsider unschooled in 2,000 years of tradition, are positively peculiar. Why would anyone eat God?

When Christianity was part of our culture and its beliefs were handed down in homes and schools, its familiarity kept it strong. Everyone knew Bible stories, hymns and prayers. Now it is at least as alien to many young people as Islam, if not more so because it does not seem to be interested in them.

But Islam is interested in them. And Islam is growing. More and more British cities have seen the domes and minarets of smart, prominently positioned new mosques rising in their neighbourhoods.

A large and imposing Islamic centre is now nearing completion in Oxford, one of Christian England's holiest places. Imagine what would happen if Anglicans sought to build a Christian centre in Qom, Isfahan, Najaf or anywhere on the soil of Saudi Arabia, and wonder what Muslim leaders think of Christian feebleness on such matters.

Thanks to the immigration of recent decades, Britain has a young, energetic and swelling Muslim population which is increasingly assertive about its faith.

Official Islam may disapprove of such things but there have even been signs of the Muslim intolerance towards Christianity that is a nasty feature of so many Islamic societies.

In the Bradford suburb of Girlington, not far from where the Gallaghers live in Manningham, Asian youths tried to set fire to an Anglican church. Soon afterwards, a Brownie pack leader was attacked in a nearby street by young men who snarled 'Christian bitch' at her.

An isolated and meaningless incident? You might hope so, but it would be unwise to be sure.

If you travel to these areas, you get the sense that Islam, one of the great forces of history, long ago defeated by the armies and navies of a mighty Christian Europe, is once again feeling its strength and finding that it has been able to penetrate what were once the most impregnable fortresses of its great rival.

Islam's appeal, wherever it has triumphed, has been in its simplicity. It requires submission to some basic, straightforward rules which are easily kept, and in return it offers that most wonderful and rare commodity, peace of mind. To modern Westerners, its attitude towards women seems incredibly backward and even hateful.

But as the reactions of Ashlene and Amie Gallagher show, its discipline, safety and certainties have an appeal for girls lost in the churning seas of permissiveness, whose own families have been weakened by the crumbling of the two-parent family, the absence of fathers and the impermanence of husbands, if there are husbands in the first place rather than boyfriends and ' babyfathers'.

And in most societies it is the women who sustain religions in the home and among children. In a country in the grip of unbelief, those with strong, clear convictions and an uncluttered message have a great advantage over those who offer nothing but choices to the perplexed and cannot seem to make up their minds about anything.

So if eventually Britain begins to sicken of strong lager, pools of vomit, Bacardi Breezers, bouncers looming on every High Street, the battlefields in the streets of many towns on Friday and Saturday nights, ecstasy tablets, cocaine, football-worship, pregnant 12-year-olds, morning-after pills and all that goes with them, is it possible that puritan Islam will be the cause that benefits?

If bureaucratic police and feeble justice continue to fail to suppress crime and disorder, will the savage but simple remedies of Sharia law begin to appeal to the British poor, who are already weary of seeing dishonesty triumph everywhere and lawless violence go unchecked?

Might Islam become respectable among the politically correct middle classes, in a way that Christianity never really can, because Christianity is always associated in this country with the conservative, imperial past?

You will already find plenty of bright young Muslims in our universities, many of whom are impressive and diligent students, and their influence is bound to increase as they move into the professions.

The idea of an Islamic Britain may seem highly unlikely now, amid what still seems to be more or less a Western, Christian society. We are used to thinking of Islam as a religion of backward regions, and of backward people.

But we should remember that Muslim armies came within inches of taking Vienna in 1683 and were only driven from Spain in 1492. In those days it was the Islamic world that was making the great scientific advances which we now assume are ours by right.

And is it any more unlikely than the things which have happened here in the past 40 years, during which a country of peaceful, self-restrained, lawful and rather prudish men and women has been transformed into the land of sex and swearing on TV, ladettes, semi-legal cannabis and armed police?

If we don't respect our own customs and religion, we may end up, as Ashlene and Amie Gallagher have done, respecting someone else's. Don't be surprised.

Saturday, November 8th, 2003, 04:36 PM
Yes the dead hand of stone-worshipping backwardness is descending on Britain, with 8 million Mohammedans already there in the 'official ' census records and around 3,000 to 4,000 20 to 30 year old single male muslim 'asylum seekers' wh0 illegally invade through the Channel Tunnel from France each week.

In return for tearing up their third-world passport they are allowed 'Asylum', a free home provided by the British taxpayer, and the right never ever to have to work again as the British taxpayer picks up the social services tab.

After a few paperwork formalities they are given 'British nationality' and a EU passport that allows them the right to import theirfamilies andependents - and it is amazing how many' dependents' there are once one has a passport.

Due the Muslim practice of 'arranged marriage' any females born to 'British-Muslims' have a very high cash value. Their daughters can be sold to the highest overseas bidder in an arranged nmarriage - the groom then has the right to settle in Britain, claim a passport, bring in his dependents....
Muslims have turned a British passport into a commercial mechanism for importing, more denizens of the Third World into the EU.

British nationality has become a worthless piece of crap due to this abuse by Third World invaders.

The rot goes on:-

In many parts of Britain no white faces are seen any more.
The whites are forced to act as 'tax slaves' to pay ever higher taxes to import more and more 'Labour party Voters, otherwise known as asylum seekers.

This pack of cards will soon collapse - Britain is running out of taxpayers to fund the unsustainable shambles of colonisation 'by asylum'.


Sunday, November 9th, 2003, 05:00 AM
I largely agree with you about the abuse of liberal British immigration laws by many people from the third world. I am just wondering about the truely misguided, archaic and ignorant Victorian description of Muslims as "Mohammedans" and "stone-worshippers". Muslims worship neither. Surely you know that.The cubical stucture (the "Kaabah") in Mecca is not the object of worship, only a focal point for orienting Muslims throughout the world to the city of Mecca. No one really believes that Islam is anything but passionately monotheistic. If your only source on Islam is the antiquated orientalist Thomas Carlyle or Gibbon then you might be excused but you know... with the internet and the free availablity of good information these days there really is no excuse. Furthermore you live in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and I know you know better than that.

Sunday, November 9th, 2003, 07:33 AM
Have you read Hitchens' [the author of the posted article] book 'The Abolition of Britain'; it's a good read, if a little over-wrought.

Notice in the article above Hitchens [who is a quarter Jew] seems to be implying that given liberalism's devastating affect on British culture, it might not be such a bad thing if Britain DID go Muslim.

At least Muslims believe in the family, and are against all those liberal values which are destroying Britain.
Of course, Hitchens would rather a return to the standards of Victorianism; but as that is unlikely, at least Islam has some moral strength.
That I believe is his sub-text.

Monday, November 10th, 2003, 12:15 PM
While reading the Qur'an it occured to me that I already believed in everything being said. I always believed there could be no other valid purpose in life than to be a servant of God, since all else is impermanent but God is forever. It always occured to me that life itself is nothing more than a test for some higher goal, and that all the good and bad in this world, the pleasures and temptations we find are part of this test of the spirit. I saw the same truth in the Qur'an as in true early Christianity before it had been mixed with Roman paganism for the "benefit" of Gentiles. Prophet Mohammed (:saw) was predicted in the Bible, (Mohammed in the Bible can be found here (http://www.al-sunnah.com/muhammad_in_the_bible.htm)) so Christians should believe in him. Jesus implored people to worship one God and talked to God, so he could not be "part" of God himself. Simple enough.

“And Jesus answered him. The first of all commandments is hear, 0 Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord” (Mark 12:29)

Most people are in Europe and America are Christians because their parents were, and grandparents and so on. Like in the Qur'an, "I found my ancestors worshipping this way..." (this is likewise probably true for the Middle East, and hence we have so many people and governments with a false understanding of Islam). If people really understand their faith beyond that level of 'tradition' and are happy with it, good for them. But some people aren't, and the more they scrutinize modern Christianity the less sense it makes. Western people are driven by logic rather than emotions, and therein lies the appeal of Islam.

Persecution of Christians is not tolerated in Islam, and you cannot force anyone into Islam (submission to God). If you did, it would be fake and not from their heart, which is indeed the point of it all.

"There is no compulsion in religion, for the right way is clearly from the wrong way. Whoever therefore rejects the forces of evil and believes in God, he has taken hold of a support most unfailing, which shall never give way, for God is All Hearing and Knowing" Qur'an 2:256

It's just accepted that some people are not going to believe in God no matter what, so just just leave them alone. This is true for both Christianity and Islam, (i.e. "Allah is the best to judge.." / "Judge not, lest ye be judged..."). If people do these things they are acting contrary to their faith, just like Christian abortion bombers are acting contrary to their faith, armed Buddhist soldiers are acting contrary to their faith, etc. If I judged Christianity solely by the so-called Christians I've known or seen on TV, I would say it's a religion of hypocritical a**holes! Yet I've read the Bible, taken classes on it and know better than to judge like that. But this is what the majority of Christians do with Islam- they don't go to the REAL source (i.e. Qur'an) but depend on outsiders (such as the Jewish media), repressive regimes (i.e. Saudi Arabia, Iran) and violent, despicable people (i.e. terrorists) to show them the worst possible picture.

Detractors of Christianity and Islam on racialist websites and forums say both "encourage racemixing," which is total BS. Nowhere in either the Bible or Qur'an is racemixing encouraged. Although it does occur, part of the beauty of our God-given free will is our right to choose to associate with whatever race we want. Most people will choose their own race.

You can search the Qur'an here (http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/reference/searchquran.html).
You can search the Bible in several different languages here (http://www.gospelcom.net/bible).

And here (http://www.beconvinced.com/RELIGION/CHVSIS.htm) is a comparative look at Christian and Muslim beliefs.

Sunday, November 16th, 2003, 03:37 PM

'Shoot-to-kill' demand by US

Martin Bright, home affairs editor
Sunday November 16, 2003
The Observer

Home Secretary David Blunkett has refused to grant diplomatic immunity to armed American special agents and snipers travelling to Britain as part of President Bush's entourage this week.
In the case of the accidental shooting of a protester, the Americans in Bush's protection squad will face justice in a British court as would any other visitor, the Home Office has confirmed.

The issue of immunity is one of a series of extraordinary US demands turned down by Ministers and Downing Street during preparations for the Bush visit.

These included the closure of the Tube network, the use of US air force planes and helicopters and the shipping in of battlefield weaponry to use against rioters.

In return, the British authorities agreed numerous concessions, including the creation of a 'sterile zone' around the President with a series of road closures in central London and a security cordon keeping the public away from his cavalcade.

The White House initially demanded the closure of all Tube lines under parts of London to be visited during the trip. But British officials dismissed the idea that a suicide bomber could kill the President by blowing up a Tube train. Ministers are also believed to have dismissed suggestions that a 'sterile zone' around the President should be policed entirely by American special agents and military.

Demands for the US air force to patrol above London with fighter aircraft and Black Hawk helicopters have also been turned down.

The President's protection force will be armed - as Tony Blair's is when he travels abroad - and around 250 secret service agents will fly in with Bush, but operational control will remain with the Metropolitan Police.

The Americans had also wanted to travel with a piece of military hardware called a 'mini-gun', which usually forms part of the mobile armoury in the presidential cavalcade. It is fired from a tank and can kill dozens of people. One manufacturer's description reads: 'Due to the small calibre of the round, the mini-gun can be used practically anywhere. This is especially helpful during peacekeeping deployments.'

Ministers have made clear to Washington that the firepower of the mini-gun will not be available during the state visit to Britain. In return, the Government has agreed to close off much of Whitehall during the visit - the usual practice in Britain is to use police outriders to close roads as the cavalcade passes to cause minimal disruption to traffic.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: 'Negotiations between here and the US have been perfectly amicable. If there have been requests, they have not posed any problems.'

An internal memo sent to Cabinet Office staff and leaked to the press this weekend urged staff to work from home if at possible during the presidential visit. Serious disruption would be caused by 'the President Bush vehicle entourage requesting cleared secured vehicle routes around London and the security cordons creating a sterile zone around him'.

Meanwhile, negotiations are continuing between police and demonstrators about the route of the march. Representatives of the Stop the War Coalition will meet police at Scotland Yard tomorrow to discuss whether protesters will be able to march through Parliament Square and Whitehall. Spokesman Andrew Burgin said he hoped for 'a good old-fashioned British compromise'.

Saturday, November 22nd, 2003, 06:41 PM
Joe 1 asks "Surely you know that.The cubical stucture (the "Kaabah") in Mecca is not the object of worship, only a focal point for orienting M***s throughout the world to the city of Mecca".

Yes everyone knows that kaabah means cube. But do you know why the cube was erected?. Let me tell you"

The Cube was erected to cover the sacred black chondritic carbonaceous meteoorite known as the 'Black Rock'. The pre-Islamic Goddess of the Black Rock that was worshipped there, is Al'lat the female Goddess of the Underworld.


Do you knowwhatyouare really praying to?............... Its certainly not a box Joe1. It is something far more ancient and sinister.


Using a meteorite as a 'focal point' conflicts with 'western logic' and theconcept of Common Sense.

Does anyone who has not been brainwashed by fundamentalism disagree?

Friday, January 2nd, 2004, 05:25 AM

'Jana Regina'

On Monday 10 July 1553, the new queen, Jane Grey, was taken in full state from Syon to Westminster (this journey was along the Thames in barges.) They dined at the Dudley home, Durham House, and then journeyed by barge again to the Tower of London. It was an ancient custom that all new sovereigns must come to the Tower and take possession of it at the beginning of their reigns. Jane and her various attendants arrived at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. There was an eyewitness account by a Genoese merchant named Baptista Spinola. He was standing with a group of spectators outside the main Tower gates, waiting to catch a glimpse of this new queen. He wrote:

She is very short and thin, but prettily shaped and graceful. She has small features and a well-made nose, the mouth flexible and the lips red. The eyebrows are arched and darker than her hair, which is nearly red. Her eyes are sparkling and reddish brown in color.
Her complexion was good, unmarked by the pox, but freckled; she had sharp white teeth and a lovely smile. Because she was so short, she wore chopines; these were shoes with a special cork sole designed to make her appear taller. Her gown was made of green velvet stamped with gold (the colors undoubtedly flattered her red hair.) Her husband Guildford, Spinola wrote, was 'a very tall strong boy with light hair' and clothed in white and silver velvet. He 'paid her [Jane] much attention.'


Lady Jane Grey was the eldest child of Lord Henry and Lady Frances Grey, the duke and duchess of Suffolk. She was a viable heir to the English throne because of her maternal grandmother, Princess Mary Tudor. After the death of her first husband, King Louis XII of France in 1515, Mary secretly wed her true love, Charles Brandon. Brandon was her brother Henry VIII's best friend; the king's friendship and Brandon's service to the Crown led to his creation as duke of Suffolk in 1514. He and Mary had a son, Henry, who died as teenager. Their next eldest child was a daughter, Frances. Under the terms of the Third Act of Succession (1544) and Henry VIII's last will and testament (1547), the Suffolk line would inherit the throne after Henry VIII's children died childless. In other words, the throne would pass to Henry's son Edward; if Edward died childless, it passed to Henry's eldest daughter Mary; if she died childless, it passed to Henry's youngest daughter Elizabeth. If Elizabeth died childless, the throne passed to Lady Frances. This plan completely disregarded the children of Henry's elder sister Margaret, the former queen of Scots. Henry did not care for Margaret and, more importantly, did not want the English throne in Scottish hands.

So it was through Princess Mary that Jane Grey was bequeathed her deadly heritage. Still, no one in the 1540s expected the Suffolk line to rule. After all, Henry VIII had left three heirs and it was unlikely all three would die childless. Of course, we know that this did occur and the Tudor dynasty died with Elizabeth I in 1603. It was only in 1552, with Edward VI's health rapidly failing, that people realized there would be a succession crisis. According to parliament and Henry VIII's will, Mary was Edward's heir - but she was Catholic, in her late thirties, and never robust. More importantly, Edward was a devout Protestant and did not want Roman Catholicism restored in England. Urged on by self-interested advisors, he removed Mary from the succession on the grounds of her illegitimacy (she was declared so by parliament in 1532.) But if he removed Mary, he also had to remove Elizabeth even though she was a Protestant; Elizabeth had also been declared a bastard by parliament in 1536. In his Device for the Succession, written in his own hand, Edward wrote that they were both "illegitimate and not lawfully begotten."

Edward's course of action removed the succession from the heirs of Henry VIII and gave it to the heirs of Henry's younger sister, Mary. This was a tumultuous course for many reasons. For example, the king of France, Henry II, was raising Mary Stuart, Margaret Tudor's granddaughter; he planned to marry this ten-year-old queen of Scots to his son and heir, Francois. By all the accepted laws of primogeniture, she had a better claim to the English throne than her Suffolk cousins. In fact, most European Catholics believed Mary's claim better than her Tudor cousins, Mary and Elizabeth, since both were illegitimate by acts of constitutional and canon law. However, Mary of Scotland was in France - not England; also, the Suffolks were Protestant and she was not. Edward VI never considered leaving her the throne.

The above paragraph illustrates the complexity of blood ties within the Tudor family. And since Mary Tudor was half-Spanish and thus cousin to the Holy Roman Emperor, the succession crisis interested most of the major powers of Europe - France, the Hapsburg Empire, Italy (the pope hoped to bring England back to his authority), and the Protestant princes of Germany. When Edward VI died in 1553, all of these nations waited to see who would triumph. Mary.... Elizabeth.... Mary of Scotland.... Jane Grey.... Which would become queen?

Also, Europe waited to see how England would welcome a queen as their sole ruler. All of the possible candidates for the throne were women, an unprecedented occurrence. The only woman to attempt to rule England as her father's sole heir had been Matilda in the 12th century; she had been forced out of the country by popular revolt and a male cousin named Stephen of Blois became king. Now it seemed the English had no choice but to accept a woman ruler.

And because of the secret marriage of Mary Tudor and Charles Brandon, the first woman to rule England in her own right would be Jane Grey.


Early Life and Education

'I will tell you a truth which perchance ye will marvel at. One of the greatest benefits that God ever gave me is that he sent me so sharp and severe parents and so gentle a schoolmaster. For when I am in the presence of Father or Mother, whether I speak, keep silence, sit, stand or go, eat, drink, be merry or sad, be sewing, playing, dancing, or doing anything else, I must do it as it were in such weight, measure and number, even so perfectly as God made the world; or else I am so sharply taunted, so cruelly threatened, yea presently sometimes with pinches, nips and bobs and other ways (which I will not name for the honour I bear them), so without measure misordered, that I think myself in hell, till time comes that I must go to Mr Aylmer, who teacheth me so gently, so pleasantly, with such fair allurements to learning, that I think all the time nothing while I am with him. And when I am called from him, I fall on weeping because whatsoever I do else but learning is full of grief, trouble, fear and wholly misliking to me.' Lady Jane Grey to Roger Ascham, 1550
Jane Grey was not close to her parents. Henry Grey was the marquess of Dorset; he became the duke of Suffolk in 1551. He married Mary Tudor and Charles Brandon's eldest daughter Frances when she was sixteen. At the time, Grey was a ward of Brandon's. He was also an appropriate match for a Princess's daughter. The Grey family had an ancient and impressive lineage, originally receiving lands from Richard the Lionheart. Later, they rose to prominence under Edward IV; he had married Elizabeth Woodville, the widow of Sir John Grey and mother of his two sons. When she became queen, she tirelessly promoted the interests of the Grey family. In fact, her eldest Grey son, Thomas, was created marquess of Dorset during Edward IV's reign. His son, also called Thomas, was a companion to Charles Brandon - soldiering with him in France in 1513 and journeying there a year later to celebrate Princess Mary Tudor's wedding to the French king. In 1530, Thomas Grey died and Brandon became his son's guardian. The marriage between Frances and the heir, Henry Grey, was a satisfactory way to join two noble families together.
Their marriage was celebrated at Suffolk Place in London. Mary Tudor died some months later. Charles Brandon remarried, this time to an heiress called Catherine Willoughby. She bore him two sons (his son with Mary Tudor had recently died). When Brandon passed away in 1545, he and Catherine's eldest son, called Henry after his late half-brother, became duke of Suffolk. He and his younger brother died of the dreaded sweating sickness a few years later. This left the dukedom of Suffolk vacant until 1551, when Edward VI would award it to Henry Grey.

As mentioned, Henry VIII had left the throne to his children and, if they died without issue, "to the heirs of the body of the lady Frances our niece, eldest daughter to our late sister the French Queen lawfully begotten...." This meant that the Grey children (by this time Frances and Henry had 3 daughters - Jane born in 1537, Catherine born in 1540, and Mary born in 1545) had enhanced social status. In 1547, when the will was read, no one seriously expected them to gain more. Edward was small and blond, like his long-dead uncle Arthur, lacking Henry VIII's robust athleticism and good health. But he was expected to live, marry, and provide heirs. Therefore, any immediate interest in the Grey children centered on how Edward would favor them. Understandably, it was thought that he might marry the eldest, his cousin Jane. They were the same age, both precocious, very serious, and fervently Protestant.

Jane had been raised, with her two sisters, at Bradgate. This was the principal family home on the edge of Charnwood Forest. It was a beautiful and luxurious estate, suited to the Grey's semi-regal status. Lady Frances was very conscious of her royal heritage and, as she grew older, became quite like her uncle Henry. She and her husband were well-known for their love of riding, hunting, hawking and gambling. They were not, however, the most interested of parents. In this, they resembled their aristocratic contemporaries. They provided very well for their three daughters. While Frances and Henry spent time in London, their daughters remained at Bradgate, in the hands of capable servants. Jane's nurse was a woman called Mrs Ellen and would remain with her until Jane's execution; her first tutor was probably the house chaplain, Dr Harding. The first ten years of Jane's life, from her birth in October 1537 (the exact date is not known) to her residence in Katharine Parr's household in 1547, are not documented. It is likely she received the typical upper-class girl's education - its primary emphasis would be on instilling good manners and the 'feminine' virtues of obedience and docility. She undoubtedly learned needlework and was taught dancing and how to play some musical instruments. But neither of her parents were scholars and no one in the sixteenth century expected women to be well-educated. She may have visited London, accompanying her parents to Dorset Place in Westminster; she may have met her royal cousins. No one knows. But in March 1547, Lady Jane Grey finally emerges into the historical landscape. It was then that she entered the household of the dowager queen Katharine Parr, Henry VIII's sixth and last wife.

Katharine had retired from court upon Edward VI's accession, though she remained close to London. Her dower manor, Chelsea, was in the suburbs. It was a comfortable brick home with modern amenities. Here, Katharine planned to live with the man she had longed to marry before Henry laid claim to her, Thomas Seymour, Edward VI's uncle. She also brought with her the 13 year old Princess Elizabeth. Katharine Parr was justly celebrated for her warm and open nature; she was a good stepmother to all of Henry's children, particularly the youngest two. A few weeks after Katharine and Elizabeth settled at Chelsea, Jane Grey came to join them. She was sent to acquire polish and learn social graces, a common practice for daughters of the nobility.

Jane acquired much more than social skills at Katharine's household. For the first time in her young life, she was truly happy. Katharine was a devout Protestant and the most intellectual of Henry's queens. Her home was the center of the Protestant 'New Learning'; there was instruction and frequent debates. Jane, quiet and studious by nature, thrived. And though her parents were Protestant, it was at Katharine Parr's that she became devoutly committed to the faith. The Greys, after all, had become Protestants like many nobles - because it was a matter of political necessity. At Katharine's, Jane became a Protestant because she truly believed in its tenets. This serious and intense study of faith would remain with her throughout her short life.

During Edward VI's reign, the Lord Protector was Edward Seymour, duke of Somerset. Katharine Parr had married his younger brother, Sir Thomas Seymour. Thomas was very ambitious and angered that his brother had so much authority while he had to be content with a baronetcy, a seat on the Privy Council, and the office of Lord Admiral. Thomas and Katharine Parr had planned to marry years before but Henry's sudden interest in the twice-widowed heiress delayed their plans. Within months of his death, however, they were wed in a secret ceremony; the exact date is not known but it was probably April 1547. Their whirlwind courtship offended some but Edward VI gave them his blessing. Some people remarked that the new Lord Admiral would have preferred marrying Princess Elizabeth, such was his ambition. He certainly lacked the evangelical zeal of his new wife, always remembering important business when it was time for prayers. He possessed great charm, particularly with women and children; and his desire to advance his own career led to some indiscreet behavior - notably bursting into Princess Elizabeth's bedroom in the early morning, still in his bedclothes, to tickle her awake. This was dangerous play for an ambitious man and a thirteen-year-old heiress to the throne.

At any rate, Thomas had wed the dowager queen and she loved him passionately. Meanwhile, other supporters of his brother Edward, the Lord Protector, were also rewarded for their loyalty. John Dudley, for example, became earl of Warwick. Meanwhile, Thomas was also becoming interested in the other young heiress who lived with his wife - Lady Jane Grey. When news of Henry VIII's will came out, he wasted no time in becoming friends with the Greys. He sent his most trusted friend and servant, John Harington, to talk to Jane's father, Henry Grey. Harington was to use 'all the persuasions he could' to gain Jane Grey's wardship and marriage rights. Later, Harington would say he never promised anything explicitly but Henry Grey remembered a guarantee that Jane would marry King Edward. On this basis, Grey sold his daughter to Seymour for the sum of £2000. Seymour paid a few hundred immediately, promising to pay the rest in installments.

In other words, Thomas Seymour was hedging his bets - if Edward VI died unexpectedly (as Tudor boys often did), he could arrange something with the Princess Elizabeth. If Edward lived, he could gain influence by marrying his ward, Jane Grey, to the king. Jane, of course, was oblivious to Seymour's plans. She remained in Katharine Parr's household, moving from Chelsea, to Hanworth in Middlesex, or Seymour Place in London. Her sensitive and eager mind, long starved for affection and knowledge, was finally engaged on a course of study - Latin, Greek and modern languages as well as religious instruction. As relations between the Seymour brothers deteriorated for a variety of reasons, Katharine Parr became pregnant. About halfway through the pregnancy, she happened upon a very unpleasant sight - her husband and stepdaughter, Princess Elizabeth, locked in a passionate embrace. Katharine's reaction was a testament to her good character. She successfully averted an ugly scandal; a few weeks later, Elizabeth and her household staff were sent to Cheshunt on a visit to old family friends. She parted from Katharine with real affection and sadness; Elizabeth undoubtedly felt embarrassed and guilty.

Jane Grey remained with Katharine. There is no evidence she was ever particularly close to Elizabeth; the gulf between nine and thirteen is great. Though they lived in the same homes for over a year, there are no surviving letters or reminisces. Perhaps Jane was grateful for Elizabeth's departure; the princess was described as proud and disdainful, not good company for a shy child. On 13 June 1548 Jane accompanied Katharine and Thomas to their Gloucestershire estate, Sudeley Castle. On 30 August Katharine gave birth to a baby daughter, Mary; within a week, the dowager queen was dead, buried in the chapel at Sudeley. She was yet another victim of puerperal fever. Jane Grey, small for her age, freckled and with red hair, acted as chief mourner.

Meanwhile, her parents were becoming restless. More than a year had passed since Seymour purchased their daughter's wardship. In that time, no match had been made with Edward VI. Also, they wondered if it would be better to marry Jane to the Lord Protector's son. They wrote to Thomas Seymour, consoling him on the loss of his wife and remarking that, since Katharine was dead, her household would be dispersed - therefore, Jane should be sent home; Seymour was not to be outfoxed. He wrote that his own mother was coming to Sudeley, to take charge of Katharine's household (none of which would be dispersed); she would be 'as dear unto Jane as though she were her own daughter.' He did let Jane go home briefly in September. It was undoubtedly an unpleasant journey for the young girl. However, Seymour was able to regain her parents' favor. He stressed his determination to wed her to Edward (the greatest prize) and agreed to pay another £500 on his bond. The Greys were chronically short of cash and wanted this grand marriage. Jane returned to the Seymour household.

But the noose was tightening around Thomas Seymour's neck. He had been boasting about his intent to destroy his overbearing brother and he had encouraged gossip that he would marry Princess Elizabeth. This gossip was perhaps the most damaging, particularly to the eyes of the young king. Was Seymour attempting to seize the throne? John Dudley, earl of Warwick, had long waited for the opportunity to destroy the Seymour brothers. He wanted to be Lord Protector himself and was quite prepared to turn on his old friend, Edward Seymour. He used the arrogant and ambitious Thomas to destroy them both. On 17 January 1549, Thomas Seymour was arrested at Seymour Place in London. Jane Grey was immediately brought home by her alarmed parents. Because Parliament was in session, it was decided that Thomas would not have a trial - instead a bill of attainder was drawn up and passed through both houses in early March. All that was needed was for the Lord Protector to sign the bill. For about a week, Edward Seymour did nothing. He was understandably hesitant to execute his brother. Seizing his chance, Dudley urged the council to appeal to the king - flattering his authority, they asked for him to sign the bill so they could proceed without further troubling the Protector. Edward cared little for either of his uncles (the Protector kept him short of pocket money and assigned him cold-hearted tutors.) He signed the bill. On 20 March 1549, Thomas Seymour was executed on Tower Hill.

Meanwhile, Dudley moved to take control of the government. The year 1549 was marked by discontent - rising prices, high unemployment, bad harvests; also, people resented the radical religious changes passed since Henry VIII's death. There were two serious revolts, in the West Country and Norfolk, both of which alarmed the land-owning gentry. Seymour had once been popular with the common people but his execution of his own brother struck many as cold-blooded and evil. Dudley had counted on this reaction. He also counted on the support of the gentry; he was a capable soldier and put down the rebellion in the West Country. This pleased the landowners and the king. Also, it allowed Dudley to gather a well-armed and experienced group of soldiers about him. On 10 October, he and his supporters captured the fleeing Edward Seymour at Windsor Castle. He was arrested and taken under guard to the Tower. Dudley became one of the six prime attendants on the King but - very intelligently - did not take the title of Lord Protector.

Dudley was on the list of sixteen executors Henry VIII had appointed in his will. In 1543 he had been appointed Lord High Admiral, a post he relinquished reluctantly to the unqualified Thomas Seymour; in 1549, he regained that title. He was also a family man with several sons. But Dudley had learned from his dealings with Henry VIII; he knew to treat Edward not as one of his own sons but as a king. He flattered the king, allowed him greater access to money, more physical freedom. Luckily for Dudley, his coup coincided with Edward's own physical maturity. He became a sportsman, which Dudley encouraged, and began to travel a bit outside of London.

His cousin Jane was not so fortunate. She had returned to a home devoid of affection which also included physical abuse normal in the sixteenth-century (smacks, pinches, and the like). The Greys were discovering that their daughter had matured into a thoughtful, intelligent, and self-righteously pious young woman. She openly disapproved of their lack of piety, their devotion to material gain and social advancement, as well as their gambling. They were happy to hire a tutor, John Aylmer, to continue her education - and take her off their hands. Aylmer was a friend of Roger Ascham, the former tutor of Princess Elizabeth. On a visit to Aylmer, Ascham met Jane Grey; she impressed him greatly. He preserved their meeting in his educational treatise, The Schoolmaster.

Were the Greys really such terrible parents? There is no doubt that Jane and her parents were not affectionate to one another. Yet this was normal in an age which expected children to be dutiful and obedient and that discipline built character. In fairness to them, Jane was openly critical of their pleasure-loving lifestyle. She encouraged the chaplain to deliver sermons against gambling, told visitors that she found her parents foolish and irritating, and she was very self-righteous. What parent would enjoy the company of such a devout thirteen-year-old? At home, Jane met John ab Ulmer, a Swiss Protestant and student of Henry Bullinger, chief pastor of the Protestant church in Zurich. They were both friends of Aylmer and Ascham. The four men corresponded about the education of this most pious young girl. There are many surviving letters - Jane thanking Bullinger for sending a copy of his treatise on Christian Perfection - and some reveal her as more than a pious Protestant martyr. In one, Aylmer is concerned that she is taking too much of an interest in music and her appearance. He was distressed - but what good news for the student of Jane's life! She is human, after all.

Of course, the European reformers were hopeful that Edward VI would marry this most proper cousin. Their union would make England a most blessed Protestant realm. But Jane turned fourteen and was still not betrothed to anyone while Edward was in serious talks to wed the French princess Elisabeth.

Meanwhile, Charles Brandon's two sons with Catherine Willoughby had died. This meant that their half-sister Frances Grey was sole surviving heir to the Brandon estates. On 4 October 1551, the title of duke of Suffolk was given to her husband in right of his wife. And on 11 October, just a week later, Dudley was made duke of Northumberland; two years of Edward's favor had sufficiently emboldened him to petition the king. He was the first man to receive a ducal title who had no ties of marriage or blood to the reigning royal family.

For Jane Grey, that week in 1551 was to have terrible consequences.

The political situation in England during Edward's reign is fully explored in the Edward VI pages. Suffice to say, the duke of Northumberland, John Dudley, had replaced Edward Seymour as the true power behind the throne. In spring 1552, his young master fell ill. No one was especially concerned; Edward VI had been ill before and recovered well enough. But this time he did not fully recover. It seemed as if his physical resemblance to the long-dead Prince Arthur went beyond their fair coloring and delicate physique - they were both consumptive as well.

This naturally terrified the Protestant lords who had prospered during his six-year reign. The Princesses Mary and Elizabeth were rarely seen at the king's court, Mary in particular. She could no longer persuade herself that Edward was simply a misguided Protestant pawn. He had, like Henry before him, ordered her to change her religion; he was king and expected obedience. He was closer to Elizabeth (only 4 years older than him) and she was suitably Protestant. But she, too, was rarely at court. His Grey family, however, was increasingly present.

When Mary of Guise, mother of Mary queen of Scots and regent of Scotland, visited England in November 1551, Mary and Elizabeth were not invited. But Frances and Henry Grey were there, bringing their fourteen-year-old daughter Jane. Mary of Guise's two-day visit to Hampton Court was Jane's official debut on the English political scene. In early February, Jane contracted an unspecified illness. It was serious enough to warrant mention from Aylmer (in a letter to Ascham.) After her recovery, Jane's parents persuaded her to devote less time to study and more to social concerns. Of course, an educated and pious daughter was an asset but they also wanted a daughter who could attract a king in marriage.

On 2 April 1552, Edward became ill with the measles. As mentioned, he recovered somewhat - enough to attend St George's Day services at Westminster Abbey. He also jousted, played on the tennis courts, and went hunting. And on 27 June, he began his most extensive progress through the south and west of his kingdom. The king enjoyed himself (he had never traveled so far outside London) but the pace was exhausting; combined with the illness in April and his strenuous athletics, it wore him down. Passer-by thought he was ill; he was pale, losing weight, and lost his appetite. He returned to Windsor in mid-September. By then, the tuberculosis which killed him had begun in earnest. By Christmas 1552, his condition was obvious. The holiday celebrations were unusually festive, perhaps to take notice from the king's health. Princess Mary came to visit in February but his illness prevented their meeting for three days. Still, the king's illness meant an increased respect for Mary, his heir under Henry VIII's will.

The exact nature and course of Edward's illness is discussed at the Edward VI page. It was tuberculosis, or consumption as it was then called. On 11 April 1553, Edward moved his household to his favorite residence, Greenwich Palace. He had managed to open parliament in March but those who hadn't seen him since the holidays were shocked at his appearance; he was terribly thin and, oddly, his left shoulder seemed higher than his right. It was obvious Edward was suffering terribly. Northumberland, his closest advisor, was torn - he talked of retiring from political life but this was a passing dream. He had made too many enemies - particularly the Catholic nobles and churchmen who would rally around Mary. In truth, if Mary succeeded, the best Dudley could hope for was complete financial and political ruin. More than likely, he would lose his head. He could, of course, attempt to marry Princess Elizabeth to his one remaining unmarried son, Guildford. Why didn't he? It certainly seems less convoluted than attempting to place Jane Grey on the throne. The truth was that Elizabeth Tudor, nearly twenty years old, had seasoned political acumen - she would never be Dudley's pawn. Dudley knew her well enough to guess as much. Therefore, only Jane Grey (fourth in line, after her mother Frances) remained. She would be amenable enough, the duke thought.

Certainly Frances and Henry were happy enough to encourage Dudley. With Edward dying, there was no possibility of Jane marrying him. They may have been put off by Dudley's ambition; he first attempted to marry Guildford to Eleanor Brandon's only child, Margaret Clifford (Eleanor was Frances's younger sister.) But, swayed by the prospect of wealth and power, they agreed to marry Jane to Guildford. In late April or early May, the betrothal was announced. Jane had protested the union but was persuaded by 'the urgency of her mother and the violence of her father'; in other words, persuaded by verbal and physical abuse.

Many have argued that Jane protested because she didn't like Guildford. That is unlikely. He was handsome enough (like most of the Dudley men), fair-haired and about her age. He was arrogant and spoilt; his mother openly favored him. But he had no other documented flaws. When considered against other men of the age, he was a good match. Jane's reservations centered on his father. She disliked and feared Dudley, as most people did. But the duke had a weapon against Jane which he would wield effectively - religion. She was a devout and committed Protestant. She didn't want Mary as queen any more than he did. And, unlike Dudley, Jane's desire was based on real principle, not simple greed.

So on 25 May 1553, Jane married Guildford at the Dudley's London residence, Durham House. It was one of the great homes of Tudor England; her sister Catherine was also married that day, to the earl of Pembroke's heir. Orders, signed by the king, had been sent to the Master of the Wardrobe so that the grandest clothing and jewels could be used. Edward was supposed to attend but was far too ill. He did not watch as his cousin marched down the aisle, richly appareled in cloth of gold and silver, her red hair braided with pearls.

For many, Jane and Guildford's marriage marks the beginning of the attempt to change the line of succession. In reality, Edward VI had been pondering the problem for months. Ever since he became ill, he had wondered how to prevent his Catholic sister from becoming queen. His reasoning was purely religious. Edward was a devout Protestant; he wanted his nation, for its own sake, to remain Protestant. Just as Mary believed Catholicism was the path to righteousness, Edward believed in Protestantism. He was king, charge by God with responsibility for his people's religious welfare. It was a sacred duty. For the sake of his immortal soul, Mary had to be prevented from leading England on the path to damnation. This necessity overcame all else. What was Henry VIII's will when compared to divine retribution?

So in late 1552/early 1553, he first began his Device for the Succession. At first he left the throne to Lady Frances Grey and her male heirs, then to Jane Grey and her male heirs. But it was evident that Frances Grey would have no more children and none of her daughters would bear children in time. So he made a change - simple and explosive - he left the throne to 'the Lady Jane and her heirs male.'

It was the beginning of the end for Jane Grey.

'Jane the Quene'
Edward's Device for the Succession was eventually issued with the title Letters Patent for the Limitation of the Crown. It disinherited Mary and Elizabeth because they were 'illegitimate and not lawfully begotten.' Furthermore, they were only half-sisters of the king, not entitled to succeed him, and might marry foreign husbands who would 'tend to the utter subversion of the commonwealth of this our realm.' But Edward's device would have no legal validity as long as Henry VIII's 1544 Act of Succession was still acknowledged by parliament. But there was no time to wipe that law from the statute book. Instead, Dudley planned to gain support from government and then carry out a coup so quickly that its legality would not matter.

To gain government support, he spent June 1553 persuading the Privy Council, judiciary, and various churchmen to endorse Edward's device. The Lord Chief Justice, Sir Edward Montague, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, were uneasy; but Dudley was desperate and called them traitors. Furthermore, the king ordered them to obey. So the Letters Patent for the Limitation of the Crown was endorsed with the Great Seal on 21 June. It was recognized by the Lord Chancellor, the Privy Councilors, twenty-two peers of the realm, the Lord Mayor of London, various aldermen and sheriffs, the secretaries of state (including William Cecil, Elizabeth I's great statesman), and various judges and churchmen. King Edward VI did not live long after this triumph. After months of agony, he died in the early evening of Thursday 6 July.

Jane Grey, meanwhile, had been married to Guildford Dudley for almost six weeks. She disliked her in-laws more than she disliked her parents so, immediately after the marriage, returned to Suffolk Place at Westminster. From there, she moved to her parents' new residence in London, a former Carthusian monastery they were converting into a grand home. Dudley's wife, the duchess of Northumberland and Jane's mother-in-law, was not happy with this arrangement. She informed the Greys that Edward VI was dying and Jane had been made heir to his throne; she must hold herself in readiness (in other words, come to the Dudley home.) Jane later said this was the first she knew of the king's impending death. She didn't believe the duchess and told her as much; she accused the Dudleys of lying so they could steal her away from her parents. The duchess accused the Greys of deliberating keeping Guildford and Jane apart. Such petty conflict indicated rougher waters ahead for all involved.

In the end, there was no reason Jane should not be with her husband. She went to the Dudley's residence, Durham House, and possibly consummated her marriage. But, after only a few days, she became ill and accused the Dudleys of poisoning her. The charge was ludicrous (she was the key to their political salvation) and showed a surprising lack of logic on Jane's part. But the Dudleys were concerned with her physical and mental state. They sent her to Chelsea, Catherine Parr's former home where Jane had been so happy. It was there that, on Sunday 9 July, Dudley's eldest daughter, Mary Sidney, came to visit her; they were to leave Chelsea and go to Syon House, a former convent on the Thames which Dudley controlled.

At this point, it is right to question Jane's true knowledge of Dudley's plans. Remember, even if she knew Dudley intended to make her queen, there was nothing she could do to prevent it. She was not stupid; the charge of poisoning was probably a result of nervousness and hysteria. She knew her own lineage. She knew that she was fourth in line for the English throne, after Mary, Elizabeth and her own mother Frances. She also knew that, for some reason, the Dudleys and her parents were desperate to marry her to Guildford as quickly as possible. She also watched her sister wed into another influential noble family on the same day. Something was afoot and she undoubtedly suspected Dudley's plan. In the end, her awareness of the plot was undoubtedly a greater strain than ignorance. After all, she could do nothing to escape her family or in-laws. She was, quite literally, trapped.

When she arrived at Syon House with Mary Sidney, she found her parents, in-laws, and a variety of distinguished nobles - the earls of Arundel, Huntington, and Pembroke, and the marquess of Northampton. They greeted her very pleasantly and then knelt before her in reverence. Jane was naturally embarrassed. Dudley, in his capacity as President of the Council, then announced Edward's death. The young king had led a 'virtuous life' and always cared for his kingdom - cared enough to disinherit his unworthy sisters and appointed his cousin Jane as his successor.

Jane was stunned. She may have suspected as much but the actual moment of declaration was too much for her. She muttered that she was 'insufficient' for the task. The Lords of the Council then took a solemn oath to shed their blood in defense of her claim. Jane murmured a quick prayer - if it was God's will that she be queen, then she would trust in God to help her govern England for His glory.

Her reaction was not what those gathered expected. She was not openly thrilled, excited, or even pleased. She made no stirring speech to raise their spirits - she simply uttered a prayer to God. Did Jane want to be queen? That is a much-debated question, impossible to answer. But whatever her desire, she was queen and - for nine long days - ruled England.

'Jana Regina'
On Monday 10 July 1553, the new queen, Jane Grey, was taken in full state from Syon to Westminster (this journey was along the Thames in barges.) They dined at the Dudley home, Durham House, and then journeyed by barge again to the Tower of London. It was an ancient custom that all new sovereigns must come tot the Tower and take possession of it at the beginning of their reigns. Jane and her various attendants arrived at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. There was an eyewitness account by a Genoese merchant named Baptista Spinola. He was standing with a group of spectators outside the main Tower gates, waiting to catch a glimpse of this new queen. He wrote:

She is very short and thin, but prettily shaped and graceful. She has small features and a well-made nose, the mouth flexible and the lips red. The eyebrows are arched and darker than her hair, which is nearly red. Her eyes are sparkling and reddish brown in color.
Her complexion was good, unmarked by the pox, but freckled; she had sharp white teeth and a lovely smile. Because she was so short, she wore chopines; these were shoes with a special cork sole designed to make her appear taller. Her gown was made of green velvet stamped with gold (the colors undoubtedly flattered her red hair.) Her husband Guildford, Spinola wrote, was 'a very tall strong boy with light hair' and clothed in white and silver velvet. He 'paid her [Jane] much attention.'
Once in the Tower, Jane was installed in the royal apartments (now destroyed.) There, another rift occurred between her and the Dudleys, much more serious than the first. Jane was visited by the Lord Treasurer, the Marquess of Winchester, who brought a selection of the royal jewels for her to try on. Among them was the crown. Jane would later stress that she never asked for the crown - it was brought to her. Winchester asked her to check if it fitted properly. Jane would not. She had played at being queen for nearly twenty-four hours but this, the most sacred symbol of the monarchy, was another reminder of the danger - and importance - of her role. If she put it on, there was no turning back. This was how she viewed it. So she hesitated, would not take it from Winchester. He didn't recognize her uneasiness. He told her to take it, remarking that another would be made to crown her husband king.

It was then Jane realized the extent of Dudley's duplicity. He had manipulated Edward, knowing the devout Protestant king wanted the throne to go to his equally devout cousin Jane; but, all along, Dudley simply wanted his own son crowned king. None of the lords cared whether England was a righteous nation; no one cared about Edward's will. Instead, her royal blood was to be used to maintain Dudley's control of England, to make his family into royalty. She was outraged and angry. And Jane was a Tudor herself, as proud of her royal background as she had a right to be. The Dudleys, that arrogant, pretentious family, had no right to exploit her. She told those assembled that she would gladly make Guildford a duke, but he would never be king.

Guildford was present for this declaration. He rushed out and fetched his mother. The duchess, no admirer of Jane's anyway, joined her son in an attack - Jane was an unnatural wife and behaved like a child; in the end, Jane did not give in. The duchess said Guildford would be leaving with her for Syon House. When they had left, Jane called in the earls of Arundel and Pembroke. They were ordered to prevent Guildford from leaving. Jane did not like her husband - she probably pitied him for he was a pawn as well - but they had to stay together. He was the consort to the monarch and could not act like a spoiled child.

Later, Jane would tell Mary I's officers this story, adding, 'I was compelled to act as a woman who is obliged to live on good terms with her husband; nevertheless I was not only deluded by the duke and the Council, but maltreated by my husband and his mother.' The battle, however, had been domestic. Jane would soon have much greater problems to confront. For, later that evening, the Sheriff of London and various heralds and trumpeters, marched to the Cross in Cheapside to proclaim Jane queen. The announcement was met with silence.

For Jane's father-in-law, the architect of the plan to make her queen, her accession had gone smoothly. He controlled London - with the Tower and armory, the treasury, and navy - and no councilors offered resistance. Jane's only rival for the crown was Mary Tudor, thirty-seven, often ill, with no organized support or wealth. Her situation was so dire that her champion, the Emperor Charles V, urged his ambassador to be friendly with Dudley; he wanted the duke's promise to protect Mary. Every observer considered the throne won by Dudley. But none of these learned men considered the feelings of ordinary Englishmen. And they, unlike their aristocratic lords, would not gain wealth of prestige by supporting Jane or Mary. So their support was based solely on ideas of right and wrong - to them, it was wrong for Jane to be queen and right for Mary to be queen. It was that simple. (Click here to read an eyewitness account of Jane's coronation.)

Dudley understood popular opinion. He also recognized the limits of his support - after all, most of the nobles would not stand by him if things turned ugly. But he believed that a quick coup, eliminating all opposition, was the key to success. So he had to get hold of Mary and Elizabeth. Mary, the daughter of Katharine of Aragon, was much-loved by the English people. They had always been sympathetic to her mother's plight; most believed Mary was legitimate, that Katharine had been forced aside by the king's lust and Anne Boleyn's ambition. Did Mary understand the importance of this support? She had been receiving regular letters from Dudley about her brother's condition. They were accurate for Dudley wanted to remain in her good graces as long as possible. In early July, he sent summons for Mary to come to Edward's deathbed. She set out from Hunsdon (an old palace in Hertfordshire) but had not traveled far before a message reached her - the summons was a trap. Mary, oddly for her, acted decisively and immediately turned back. With half a dozen attendants, she went to Kenninghall in East Anglia. She had friends there and, if need be, would be near the coast and safety in the Spanish Netherlands.

When he realized she had fled, Dudley sent his son Robert after her. But they couldn't capture her and, on 9 July, he was forced to act without her in his power. The Bishop of London, Nicholas Ridley, preached at St Paul's Cross, calling Mary and Elizabeth bastards, and specifically singling out Mary as a papist who would destroy the true religion and make England the pawn of foreign powers. The next day, of course, Jane was proclaimed queen. But it was on that day that the Council received a letter from Mary. It expressed her surprise that they hadn't announced her brother's death to her, his heir; furthermore, they were commanded to proclaim her queen in London. They responded by reminding her of her illegitimacy and inability to inherit 'the Crown Imperial of this realm'; she must demonstrate her obedience to the 'Sovereign Lady Queen Jane' and turn herself over to the authorities. It was hardly reassuring for Mary. Also, her old allies, the Spanish envoys, were not responding to her desperate pleas for help.

Jane spent little time with her lords during her nine days as queen. She sent an order to the Master of the Wardrobe for twenty yards of velvet, twenty-five ells of fine Holland linen cloth, thirty-three ells of coarser material for lining; she also collected the royal jewels, a motley assortment of fish-shaped toothpicks and Henry VIII's shaving materials. This reveals an important fact about Jane's nine-day reign. She made no explicit political statements; she was Dudley's puppet. He was the one who met with the council, he was the one who wanted to capture Mary Tudor; he was the one tried to shore up their perilous situation. When they fell from power, Jane never protested or attempted another coup. One can imagine that she felt relieved to be simply Lady Jane Grey again.

Dudley spent the nine days attempting to strengthen their position. It was imperative to capture Mary; when that failed, he needed to at least track her movements. If he could reach her potential supporters first, there was a chance he could sway them to his side. Dudley undoubtedly feared that (like his father during Henry VIII's reign), he would be the sacrificial lamb of Edward's unsuccessful government. But he worked well under pressure, leaving Jane to fight domestic battles with her husband and mother-in-law.

Elizabeth, meanwhile, remained in the country. She was no admirer of her half-sister Mary but knew that if Jane Grey was recognized as queen, her own claim to the crown was forfeit. So she chose the safest course - she remained quiet, neither supporting nor rejecting Jane. Like all of England and most of Europe, she was watching and waiting. It became evident on 11 July, just a day after her coronation, that Jane's hold on England was flimsy at best. Dudley had prepared a letter for circulation to all the sheriffs and lieutenants in England; it announced Jane's succession and ordered them to resist any appeal from Mary. But Dudley knew the issue would not be settled so easily. It would be decided on the field of battle. He was an experienced soldier and determined to succeed. So he ordered a muster on 12 July at Tothill Fields, offering 10 pence a day as pay (a very high rate.) Dudley intended to put Jane's father, Henry Grey, in charge of this army and remain in London himself. He realized that most of his hold on the council was based on personal intimidation.

But the queen would not hear of it. When told that her father was going to battle, Jane burst into tears and begged the council to let him remain at home, 'in her company.' The councilors were already preparing to make Dudley a scapegoat for their treason. Since the queen was so distraught, they argued, it would be better for Dudley to command the army. After all, he was a great soldier, renowned for his defeat of the rebels in East Anglia (that triumph had begun his rise to power.) It was up to Dudley, the councilors said, 'to remedy the matter.' And Dudley had no choice but to leave. 'Since ye think it good, I and mine will go, not doubting of your fidelity to the Queen's majesty which I leave in your custody.'

Dudley did doubt their fidelity and he had every reason to doubt it. But he couldn't turn back now. On 13 July he had his personal armor delivered and appointed a retinue to meet him at Durham Place. Afterwards, he addressed the councilors for the last time. They were to send reinforcements to meet him at Newmarket, he said, for he and his companions would need much support. They were leaving their wives and children behind, trusting in the loyalty of the council. And, Dudley warned, if any man thought to betray him or the queen, their punishment would be eternal. Remember, Dudley said, the oath you took 'to this virtuous lady the Queen's highness, who by your and our enticement is rather of force placed therein than by her own seeking and request.' The assembled lords assured him of their loyalty; one of them said, 'If we should shrink from you as one that were culpable, which of us can excuse himself as guiltless? Therefore herein your doubt is too far cast.' Dudley's final words? 'I pray God it be so,' he said and left for battle. It was not an auspicious beginning.

Dudley did not trust the lords so he sent his cousin Henry Dudley on a secret mission to France that day, promising Calais and Ireland in exchange for immediate military assistance. He did not tell the lords of this; nor did they tell him they were meeting secretly with the Imperial ambassadors. A report arrived that Buckinghamshire had declared Mary to be queen but Mary herself was still unsure. She retreated from Kenninghall to Framlingham Castle, nearer the coast. She sent an urgent message to the Imperial envoys; if her cousin Charles V did not help her, she was doomed. In the midst of this confusion and treachery, Dudley had assembled an army of three thousand. Early on Friday, the 14th of July, he left Durham Place for Cambridge. The villagers he passed were silent, staring at the side of the road - 'The people press to see us, but not one sayeth God speed us.'

As Dudley marched on, his situation became more perilous. Norwich, one of the wealthiest towns in England, declared Mary queen, as did Colchester, Devon, and Oxfordshire. Dudley had sent six royal ships to the port near Framlingham to cut off Mary's possible escape; the ships deserted Dudley and, with crews and heavy guns, proclaimed Mary queen. Meanwhile, the loyal towns were sending money, men, and supplies. The ordinary Englishman, ordered by his lord to fight in Dudley's army, refused to go. Dudley's own army was - understandably - racked with dissension; no one wanted to be on the losing side. Once the news had reached London that the ships had deserted Dudley, the councilors decided to save themselves. They attempted to leave the Tower, where they had been stationed since Dudley's departure. On the 16th of July, at about 7 o'clock in the evening, the main gates of the Tower were locked; they keys were delivered to Jane. Jane suspected one of the lords (possibly Winchester, the lord treasurer) of trying to leave the city.

Meanwhile, she was continuing her rule - sending out letters signed 'Jane the Quene' which instructed her loyal subjects to suppress Mary's rebellion. But she must have realized the futility of it all. She was just a teenage girl, inexperienced and frightened. It was simply a question of waiting for the end. On the 18th of July, most of her councilors had left the Tower on the pretext of visiting the French ambassador. In reality, they were planning a visit to the Imperial embassy. Once there, they assured Charles V's envoys that they had always been loyal to Mary; they had been kept prisoner by Dudley, forced to declare Jane queen. But now they were free and determined to proclaim Mary queen of England. They did so around 5 o'clock in the evening, on Thursday, the 19th of July. London erupted into a joyous celebration. The foreign ambassadors were astonished, with the French envoy writing: 'The atmosphere of this country and the nature of its people are so changeable that I am compelled to make my despatches correspondingly wavering and contradictory.' They all agreed it owed more to Providence than anything else.

Jane was terribly frightened. She had long fought with her parents but, upon becoming Dudley's pawn, had sought support from them, particularly her father. He came to Jane as she ate supper that night and told her she was deposed. Together, they took down the cloth of estate from above her head. He ordered his men to leave their weapons and then went to Tower Hill. Those near him heard him mutter, 'I am but one man.' He proclaimed Mary queen and then left for his London residence. Jane was left alone in the Tower. Lady Throckmorton, one of her ladies-in-waiting, returned to the Tower for her duties but could not find Jane. She asked for the queen's whereabouts and was told that the Lady Jane was now a prisoner, detained elsewhere in the Tower.

Jane was in the deputy lieutenant's house, awaiting her fate. The indignities began. Her belongings were sorted through, all her money confiscated; within the day, she was accused of stealing valuables from the royal wardrobe. Mary was riding to London, now accepted as queen. Dudley was arrested by his former ally, the earl of Arundel. His entire family was taken to the Tower; as they were marched through the streets, the crowd pelted them with filth and insults. Even the Imperial envoy called it 'dreadful' and 'a strange mutation.' For Dudley's fall from power had been rapid, extraordinarily so - the nine days' progress from ruler to traitor was a confusing mix of treachery, rumor, and disgrace.

Mary did release Dudley's wife from the Tower, almost immediately; the duchess hurried to the queen to beg for her family's release. Mary ordered her from the city. Her cousin Frances, however, was more fortunate. She had a private audience with the queen. Within days, Henry Grey (who had been arrested at his London home and sent to the Tower on the 28th) was released. On 3 August, Mary made her state entry into London. As she rode past cheering crowds, clad in purple velvet and rich jewels, Jane Grey waited in prison, along with her husband and father-in-law.

What would be their fate? All Europe pondered this, even as Jane prepared to plead her case.


'I pray you despatch me quickly'
Jane Grey possessed the committed idealism of a religious fanatic and the events following her brief reign allowed her a place in history as a Protestant martyr. Her cousin Mary never questioned her passionate Catholicism; Jane did question her own Protestantism but the quest for spiritual meaning only reinforced her already strong convictions. Had she remained queen, there is every possibility she would have persecuted Catholics with the same energy Mary persecuted Protestants (thus earning the nickname 'Bloody Mary.') Instead, Jane's fate was to be executed and later celebrated as a Protestant martyr, the greatest sacrificial lamb of Mary's misguided policies. The truth is, of course, more complex. Mary did not execute Jane because of their religious differences. Rather, she was motivated by political necessity and her own desire to marry and reinstate the Catholic church in England.

Immediately after her accession, Mary had imprisoned Jane in the Tower of London. The former queen was well-treated but undoubtedly frightened. She probably expected imminent execution for she had long since realized the severity of her crime. Since it became clear no one would intercede for her, she wrote to Mary herself. Only an Italian translation of the letter exists. In it, Jane described events since her marriage to Guildford Dudley. She was wrong for accepting the crown - she freely admitted this; but she had relied on the advice of others. She knew the queen's 'goodness and clemency'; Mary must realize that 'I might have taken upon me that of which I was not worthy, yet no one can ever say either that I sought it.... or that I was pleased with it.' Mary believed her cousin, an honest, plain-spoken child, for all her heretical ways. (Click here to read Jane's letter to Mary.)

Mary was in the midst of arranging her marriage to Philip of Spain, the son and heir of Charles V. It was the culmination of a decades-old dream. She had spent the last few years in the countryside, surrounded by a Catholic household and sympathetic nobles. Thus, she never realized the extent of Protestantism in the vital areas of London and its surrounding countryside. Mary assumed all of England wanted to return to the early 1520s, the years before Henry VIII had decided to abandon her beloved mother and break with the church of Rome. Mary assumed that the popular support which had taken the throne from Jane indicated support not simply for her rule - but for Catholic rule in general. In this misguided view, she was initially supported by her most trusted political advisor - a Spaniard named Simon Renard, the newly arrived Imperial ambassador.

Charles V had instructed Renard to guide Mary through the crucial first months of her reign. At first, signs were good - Mary attended Mass with her privy councilors but, on 12 August 1553, told her council that she would not 'compel or constrain other men's consciences.' She hoped her subjects would open their hearts to the truth and, shortly thereafter, return to the religion she supported. Renard was also instructed to urge moderate punishment upon those who had supported Jane. Charles did not want his cousin to be too cruel; that would hurt her reputation. He needn't have worried. Mary was, in fact, too lenient for Renard. 'As to Jane of Suffolk, whom they tried to make Queen, she [Mary] could not be induced to consent that she should die.' Mary firmly believed her cousin was innocent of any intrigue; Jane had never intended to be queen, but had been the unwilling dupe of Dudley. She could not put this innocent young woman to death.

Renard admitted that Jane was 'morally' innocent but, nevertheless, she had worn the crown of England. In times of trouble, those nine days may be used as a precedent for deposing Mary and restoring Jane. Mary was commended for her trusting nature but she must remember that kindness could be destroyed by duplicity. Renard was somewhat mollified when, on 18 August, Dudley was sentenced to die. He was convicted along with his eldest son and William Parr, marquess of Northampton. The following day a group of lesser nobles were convicted. Dudley's execution was set for Monday 21 August but, at the last minute, Dudley announced he wanted to reconciled to the Catholic faith. Did he hope to avert his own death, appealing to Mary's religion? Or did he genuinely wish to convert? Whatever the case, his execution was delayed for one day while he made his peace with God. At 9 o'clock the next morning, he was escorted - with his son and Parr - to St Peter ad Vincula, the church within the Tower of London grounds. There, he attended mass and, upon receiving the sacrament, Dudley addressed the crowd:

My masters, I let you all to understand that I do most faithfully believe this is the very right and true way, out of the which true religion you and I have been seduced these sixteen years past, by the false and erroneous preaching of the new preachers.... And I do believe the holy sacrament here most assuredly to be our Saviour and Redeemer Jesus Christ and this I pray you all to testify and pray for me.
He died the next morning, before a great crowd of spectators. He repeated his speech at the mass; it had a great effect on the crowd.
By this point, Jane Grey knew she was safe from imminent death. She was still in the Tower but treated with increasing respect. A week after Dudley's execution, Rowland Lea (an official of the royal mint who lived in the Tower and was the author of the Chronicle of Queen Jane) ate with her. She had a staff of four (two attendant ladies, Mrs Tilney and Mrs Jacob, one manservant, and her nurse and lifelong companion, Mrs Ellen.) The government paid them each 20 shillings a week; Jane was allowed a generous allowance of 90 shillings a week. She was allowed books and spent most of her time reading and studying. When she wished it, she walked in the Queen's garden. She no longer had to deal with her parents or her in-laws, undoubtedly a welcome relief. The gentleman gaoler, called Partridge, and his wife were kind and respectful. Lea recorded Jane's comments on Dudley:

'Woe worth him! he hath brought me and our stock in most miserable calamity and misery by his exceeding ambition. But for the answering that he hoped for life by his turning, though other men be of that opinion, I utterly am not; for what man is there living, I pray you, although he had been innocent, that would hope of life in that case; being in the field against the Queen in person as general, and after his taking so hated and evil spoken of by the commons? and at his coming into prison so wondered at [reviled] as the like was never heard by any man's time. Who was judge that he should hope for pardon, whose life was odious to all men? But what will ye more? Like as his life was wicked and full of dissimulation, so was his end thereafter. I pray God, I, nor no friend of mine, die so. Should I, who am young and in my few years, forsake my faith for the love of life? Nay, God forbid! Much more he should not, whose fatal course, although he had lived his just number of years, could not have long continued. But life was sweet, it appeared; so he might have lived, you will say, he did not care how. Indeed the reason is good; for he that would have lived in chains to have had his life, by like would leave no other mean [un]attempted. But God be merciful to us, for he sayeth, Whoso denieth him before me, he will not know him in his Father's Kingdom.'
Jane's intense religious convictions and her hatred of Dudley are evident in this passage. She further demonstrated her religious intolerance when writing to Dr Harding, a former chaplain at her parents' home of Bradgate and her first tutor. Harding had joined other Protestant chaplains in renouncing his reformed faith and becoming Catholic once again. Jane was completely disgusted and appalled by his cowardice:
'I cannot but marvel at thee and lament thy case, who seemed sometime to be the lively member of Christ, but now the deformed imp of the devil; sometime the beautiful temple of God, but now the stinking and filthy kennel of Satan; sometime the unspotted spouse of Christ, but now the unshamefaced paramour of Antichrist; sometime my faithful brother, but now a stranger and apostate; sometime a stout Christian soldier, but now a cowardly runaway. Yea, when I consider these things, I cannot but speak to thee, and cry out upon thee, thou seed of Satan.
Oh wretched and unhappy man, what art thou but dust and ashes? And wilt thou resist thy Maker that fashioned thee and framed thee? ....Wilt thou refuse the true God, and worship the invention of man, the golden calf, the whore of Babylon, the Romish religion, the abominable idol, the most wicked mass?'
Such rhetoric reveals insight into Jane's character. She was pious, devout, and kind - but she was also self-righteous and intolerant. She and Mary were more alike than many realized. Both were plain-spoken, transparently honest, and passionately believed their religion was the sole path to salvation.
While Mary prepared for her coronation, Jane remained in the Tower. The Dudley brothers were now allowed to exercise on the roof of their prison, Beauchamp Tower, though there is no evidence that Jane and Guildford saw one another. Mary did not speak of her imprisoned cousin. Her time was taken up with her coronation and impending marriage, as well as the conflict her marriage was causing. Most Englishmen did not want Mary to wed a Spaniard, for the same reasons Edward VI had excluded her from the succession - she was past middle-aged and would probably bear no children. Therefore, she would leave the throne to a Catholic husband and England would become yet another state of the Imperial empire. But as the weeks passed, Mary's leniency began to be questioned. So Mary gave in to pressure and ordered Jane and the four Dudley sons to stand trial; the order had been prepared in mid-September but Mary did not allow the trial to take place until two months later.

As they were led out of the Tower to be arraigned at Guildhall, the executioner walked before them. He carried an axe, as was the custom. Jane dressed soberly for the occasion, as befitted a proper young lady of the reformed church. She was clad all in black; she wore a black cloth gown, black cape trimmed with velvet, and a black French hood trimmed with velvet. At her girdle hung a prayer book also bound in black velvet. She held a book of prayers open in her hands as she walked behind Guildford. She was attended by her two ladies, Mrs Tilney and Mrs Jacob. The proceedings were a mere formality. Jane and the four Dudleys pled guilty to the charge of high treason. Sentence was passed against them; the men would be hung, drawn, and quartered and Jane would be burnt or beheaded at the Queen's pleasure. They returned to the Tower, this time with the edge of the axe turned towards them. In this way, spectators knew they were condemned.

But the passing of the sentence was simply a formality. As Renard reported in his subsequent dispatches, 'It is believed that Jane will not die' and, a week later, 'As for Jane, I am told her life is safe.' Meanwhile, her parents had left the reformed church. Henry Grey was forced to pay a 20000 pd fine but given a general pardon. He returned to court. His wife was Queen Mary's favorite lady and their two daughters, Catherine and Mary, were her ladies-in-waiting. In fact, Frances Grey was shown great favor at court, even gaining precedence over Princess Elizabeth. Most observers believed Jane would soon be pardoned and released, free to join her family at court. The rehabilitation of the Greys seemed complete.

However, Mary's fervent desire to wed Philip of Spain was soon to have tragic consequences for the sixteen-year-old Jane Grey.

'So perish all the Queen's enemies'
The complexities of Mary Tudor's decision to marry the twenty-six widower, Philip of Spain, are discussed at her website. They can be outlined briefly here. Mary - and most of her contemporaries - believed she must marry; she needed a husband for support and guidance. No woman had ruled England in her own right before. Most Englishmen wanted Mary to wed the great-grandson of Edward IV, Edward Courtenay. He was the last of the Plantagenets, young, good-looking, and charming; his high birth led him to spend most of his youth in prison. Mary was kind to him. She released him from the Tower and restored he and his mother to favor. She remembered that Edward's parents had supported her mother during the great divorce. But she also made it clear she would not marry him. For Mary, whose life had possessed little happiness and peace after her adolescence, had always turned to her mother's family for advice and support. And she continued to do so when she became queen. Certainly Philip of Spain, heir to the Hapsburg empire, was the most sought-after prince in Europe. But he was also the grandson of her aunt, which meant a great deal to the sentimental Mary Tudor.

Still, she did not immediately plan to marry him. She was deeply religious and had spent the past twenty years essentially alone and unloved. She was naturally fearful of marriage. She asked Renard - was Philip too young for her? would she be able to satisfy him for she was ignorant of 'that which was called love' ? In short, she was a deeply devout and chaste maiden and he was a twenty-six-year-old widower. Would he be happy with her? Renard assured her that Philip was delighted to wed Mary. And, he added, they would have children together, providing England with a Catholic succession. Mary replied that she had never considered marriage until God had raised her to the throne but - now that she was queen - she would lead her subjects down the path of righteousness. With the might of the Holy Roman Empire behind her, her faith would be triumphant. So she agreed to marry Philip in late October 1553; their engagement was made official.

She was faced with a hostile reaction. Both her subjects and the king of France made their anger known. Many Englishmen believed Charles V wanted to drag England into war against France, another costly and ineffectual enterprise. In truth, Charles really wanted control of that vital sea route between Spain and the Netherlands; he needed to control the English coast in order for his trade route to operate at its maximum profitability. But England has always been an insular nation. With Protestant propagandists and the French ambassador spreading all sorts of rumors (from Spanish invasions to immediate wars), the people were in an uproar. Furthermore, Mary's councilors were an ineffectual bunch and their policies were roundly criticized. It seemed that, just months into her reign, Mary was steadily falling from favor.

On 2 January 1554, Charles V's envoys arrived to iron out the details of the marriage contract. To secure his valuable trade route, Charles was prepared to be generous. In fact, he included every provision possible to stifle English fears. But it was no use. The people didn't want the marriage. Soon enough, word reached London of uprisings in the countryside - Carew in Devonshire, Wyatt in Kent, Crofts in Wales.... The councilors were alarmed. And then word reached them that Henry Grey, the duke of Suffolk, had disappeared from his country home, Sheen. They had planned the uprising for March when Philip was due to arrive but Courtenay, timid after years in the Tower, betrayed them. So the conspirators were forced into action. Carew could not raise his force without Courtenay's help so he fled to France and Crofts plans fell through. But, by the end of January, Wyatt had taken Rochester and the royal ships at the Medway. The duke of Norfolk left with a force from London but many men deserted. Wyatt was encouraged and pressed on to London. For two days, the fate of the Spanish marriage hung in the balance. Londoners were undecided; Mary decided to sway the balance. She went to Guildhall and made a rousing speech exhorting the Londoners to support her. She did so against the advice of her council for they feared for her safety. They needn't have worried. When Wyatt reached London, he found the bridge closed to him.

Mary had refused to let the Tower guns be turned on the traitors. She feared the innocent citizens of Southwark would be harmed if they were fired. The rebels eventually surrendered but Mary had learned a valuable lesson - she discovered the depth of her subjects' hatred of the Spanish marriage. But it did not cause her to change her plans. She was bewildered and angry but also hurt. She had shown mercy and forgiveness and was rewarded by rebellion. She was now particularly susceptible to Renard's advice. Renard immediately questioned Mary's safety as well as Philip's - would the prince be safe when rebellions were occurring throughout the nation? The queen was exhorted to ensure his safety. She must do this by punishing the rebels so none would dare rebel again.

Renard's advice was supported by Mary's council. Inevitably, all her advisors urged Mary to execute Jane Grey. Wyatt had been supported by the vanished Henry Grey. When he had disappeared from Sheen, he had gone to raise an army against the Spanish marriage. But he gained little support. Grey owed his life to Mary's kindness and he responded by seeking to overthrow her. His intent was to lead men of the midland shires and join Wyatt near London. His actual course fell far short of this goal - he fled from one county to another until he reached his manor of Astley. He apparently hid in a tree trunk or under some hay; accounts vary. He was promptly arrested by the earl of Huntingdon. Later, rumors spread that he had proclaimed Jane queen during his ride through the midlands. This was untrue but it didn't matter. Jane had once been queen and, as Mary's advisors put it, she would be the figurehead of any Protestant plot. Once again, she was morally innocent but she was still dangerous. She had to die. To this, Renard added that Philip could not arrive until the Protestant threat had been destroyed. All the opposition to her marriage had simply made the obstinate Mary more determined to marry Philip. So the suspended sentence on Jane was revoked and she was condemned to die immediately.

The date of the execution was set for Friday 9 February 1554. Mary, who so hated executing her cousin, tried one last time to save her soul. She sent John Feckenham, dean of St Paul's, to Jane. He was given a few days to sway Jane to the Catholic faith. Jane, long deprived of intellectual company and theological debate, was polite. But she rebutted each of Feckenham's arguments with her own. Perhaps she relished this last chance to elucidate her precious faith. After hours of argument, she remained Protestant. But she had also come to like Feckenham very much. So she accepted his offer to accompany her to the scaffold and she promised to 'pray God in the bowels of his mercy to send you his Holy Spirit; for he hath given you his great gift of utterance, if it pleased him also to open the eyes of your heart.'

Feckenham's work had delayed the executions until Monday 12 February. Meanwhile, Jane was also preparing to die with as much grace and dignity she could summon. She chose her dress, composed her speech, and appointed the two members of her household who would accompany her and dispose of her body. She sent a letter to her sister Catherine and one to her father (brought to the Tower on 10 February.) The latter included a remonstration that his actions had hastened her death. But she did not write to her mother nor did Frances attempt to visit her or her husband. There exists a story that Guildford asked to see Jane before they died and that Mary granted his request. Jane, however, refused to see him, waiting until they met 'in a better place.' But there is no evidence the story is true. In fact, Jane and her husband showed no interest in seeing one another while in the Tower.

Jane did watch her husband's execution. He was taken from Beauchamp Tower at 10 o'clock in the morning and led to the execution area on Tower Hill. Jane stood by her window and watched as he went to his death. Guildford died with great courage and dignity and, when the cart rolled past carrying his corpse, Jane muttered his name and a comment about 'the bitterness of death.' Perhaps she realized that he had been a victim, too. In any case, she saw his blood-splattered body, thrown atop equally stained straw, driven to St Peter-ad-Vincula; his head was wrapped in a cloth beside the body.

It was now Jane's turn to face death. She wore the same black outfit she had worn at her trial. She carried her prayer book in her hands; she was escorted by Sir John Brydges, the lieutenant of the Tower. Her nurse, Mrs Ellen, and her attendant, Mrs Tylney, also accompanied her. They both cried but Jane was calm and composed. She had, after all, watched her scaffold being erected near the White Tower; her rooms provided an excellent view of its construction. Since she was a princess of royal blood, her execution was private. Only a small crowd had been invited.

At the steps of the scaffold, he greeted Feckenham: 'God grant you all your desires and accept my own hearty thanks for all your attention to me. Although indeed, those attentions have tried me more than death can now terrify me.' She then ascended the steps and addressed the crowd. She admitted she had committed treason when she accepted the crown but 'I do wash my hands in innocency, before God and the face of you, good Christian people this day.' She wrung her hands and asked that they witness her death, and affirm that she died a good Christian. She ended with yet another indication of her strong Protestant faith; she said, 'And now, good people, while I am alive, I pray you to assist me with your prayers.' Protestants, unlike Catholics, did not believe in prayers for the dead. She then knelt and asked Feckenham, 'Shall I say this psalm?' She read the fifty-first psalm in English and he followed her in Latin.

After the prayer, she told Feckenham, 'God I beseech Him abundantly reward you for your kindness to me.' She then rose to her feet and completed her final duties. She handed her gloves and handkerchief to her attendant, Mrs Tylney and her prayer-book to the lieutenant's brother, Thomas Brydges. She then began to untie her gown; as was the tradition, the executioner stepped forward. It was the custom that the victim's outer garments became the executioner's property. Perhaps Jane did not know this; or perhaps she was simply terrified as that masked figure came toward her. She stepped back and 'desired him to leave her alone.' Her attendants completed the unlacing. They then gave her a handkerchief to tie over her eyes. Next, the executioner knelt before her and begged her forgiveness. This, too, was a custom and one Jane had expected. She gave her forgiveness 'most willingly.'

Now there was nothing to do but end it all. The executioner asked her to stand upon the straw. Perhaps she saw the actual block for the first time. Her composure faltered for just a brief moment. She whispered, 'I pray you despatch me quickly,' and began to kneel. She hesitated and asked, 'Will you take it off before I lay me down?', referring to the blindfold. The executioner replied, 'No, madame' and so she tied the handkerchief around her eyes. She then knelt but, blindfolded, could not find the block. Her arms flailed about for several moments and she cried out, 'What shall I do? Where is it?' Those standing on the scaffold were hesitant - should they help her? A member of the crowd climbed the scaffold and helped her. He guided her hands to the block. She lowered her head and stretched forth her body; her last words were, 'Lord into thy hands I commend my spirit.' The executioner swung his axe and severed her head. Blood splattered across the scaffold and many of the witnesses. The executioner then lifted her head and said, 'So perish all the Queen's enemies. Behold, the head of a traitor.' It was the end of Lady Jane Grey.


Permission had to be granted for her burial at St Peter-ad-Vincula since the church had recently become Catholic again. Feckenham was forced to go to court for the permission. So Jane's body lay exposed and unattended for nearly four hours, spread obscenely across the blood-soaked straw. The French ambassador reported seeing it there hours after the execution. Her attendants kept watch, though they were not allowed to cover the corpse. Finally, Feckenham returned and Jane's body was laid to rest between the bodies of two other headless queens - Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard. During the reign of her Protestant cousin, Queen Elizabeth I, Jane was celebrated as a martyr to her faith and she remains one of the most famous queens of England.

Wednesday, January 21st, 2004, 02:37 AM

T. E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia)
Soldier and Author

1888 - 1935

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the
dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity:
but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act
their dream with open eyes, to make it possible.
—T. E. Lawrence from "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom"

by Jeremy Wilson

Thomas Edward Lawrence, known to his family as Ned, was born in Wales in 1888. He was the second of five illegitimate sons of Sir Thomas Chapman, an Anglo-Irish baronet, and Sarah Junner, who had previously been employed in the Chapman household as governess to Thomas's four legitimate daughters. Having eloped together, Thomas and Sarah adopted the name 'Lawrence.'

By 1896 they had settled in Oxford, where they lived together as husband and wife. Their sons attended the City of Oxford High School for Boys. From there, Ned won a Meyricke Exhibition to study history at Jesus College, Oxford. In 1910 he gained First Class Honours in his final examinations, in part through a notable thesis on Crusader Castles. Research for this had included a lengthy walking tour in Palestine and Syria.

He had been fascinated by archaeology since childhood. After graduation he worked from 1910 to 1914 as an assistant at the British Museum's excavation of the Hittite city of Carchemish, on the River Euphrates. There, his responsibilities included photography, pottery, and managing the locally recruited workforce. His success in the latter role was to prove very valuable later. At Carchemish he learned how to motivate Arab villagers and, unlike Englishmen working in the British Empire, he did so with no help from military discipline or colonial authority.


War, 1914 - 16

After war broke out, Lawrence spent a brief period in the Geographical Section of the General Staff in London. He was then posted to the Military Intelligence Department in Cairo where he became, among other things, an expert on Arab nationalist movements in the Turkish provinces that now comprise Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, and the Hedjaz region of Saudi Arabia.

In October 1916, he was sent on a fact-finding mission to the Hedjaz, where Sherif Hussein of Mecca had rebelled against Turkish imperial rule. The quality of his reports and his empathy with Arab leaders led to a long-term role as a British liaison officer in the Arab Revolt, serving with the forces led by the Emir Feisal, one of Hussein's four sons.


The Hedjaz campaigns

In the early stages of the Revolt, British and French military advisers urged the Arabs to capture the Turkish stronghold at Medina and to cut definitively the Hedjaz Railway which was the Turkish supply-line running south from Damascus to the Hedjaz.

To this end, and with help from the Royal Navy, in the spring of 1917 Emir Feisal's main force moved northwards up the Red Sea coast from Yenbo to Wejh. Once there, it posed a serious threat to Turkish lines of communication.

Soon afterwards, Allied intelligence learned that the Turks were planning an imminent withdrawal from Medina. While this would delight Hussein, British headquarters in Cairo feared that these Turkish forces would be transferred to the Palestine front, where they would be an additional obstacle to a British advance. Cairo therefore urgently requested that the Arabs should prevent the Turks leaving Medina.

In response, Lawrence developed a new strategy. The Arabs would allow the Hedjaz railway to keep working, but only just. Frequent guerrilla raids would inflict unpredictable minor damage at remote points along the railway, halting traffic for a few days at a time. As a result, withdrawal from Medina would be virtually impossible, and large numbers of Turkish soldiers and repair workers would be deployed along the line in order to defend it and keep it running. This strategy was put into effect and from that time on the Turkish force in Medina was impotent. It survived only because it was able to feed itself from local produce.


The capture of Akaba

By mid-1917 the situation in the Hedjaz was satisfactory, but Lawrence and Feisal wished to extend the revolt northwards to Damascus and beyond. To do that, Arab raiding parties would need freedom of movement, which was impossible in the settled agricultural regions of Palestine and Lebanon. Any northern operations would have to be based further inland, in the deserts to the east.

This proposal faced a crucial problem: how could such forces be supplied? There was no practical supply route to this region from the nearest territory in British hands. Yet, as Lawrence knew, there was an obvious route if it could be secured. This was the track leading inland from Akaba at the northern end of the Red Sea. Akaba and its mountainous hinterland were in Turkish hands, but could they be captured?

Lawrence had visited Akaba before the war, and knew from his intelligence work in Cairo that the Turks had built heavy defences in the narrow pass leading inland up the Wadi Itm. Thus while Akaba itself could easily be captured from the sea, Wadi Itm was virtually impregnable. Without Wadi Itm, Akaba itself would be worthless. Lawrence therefore devised a scheme, using local knowledge and tribesmen, to make a wide circuit inland through the desert. His small party would raise a force locally, and take the Wadi Itm defences by approaching them from the rear.

This remarkable exploit was accomplished, and by 6 July 1917 the Arabs held not only Akaba but the vital mountain passes. The British Headquarters in Egypt was astonished four days later when Lawrence, who had travelled by camel across the Sinai Peninsula, arrived in Cairo to request urgent supplies.


The Syrian campaigns

From that point on, Lawrence became the key link between General Allenby, the new Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, and Feisal's army. As the revolt extended, Lawrence's role became increasingly important.

Allenby planned to advance northwards, but the crucial Turkish supply-line was the Hedjaz railway and its branch into Palestine. The railway was so deep inside Turkish-held territory that it was a difficult objective for Allenby to attack. However, it would be vulnerable to a mobile force operating from the interior. Lawrence promised that the Arab army would cut the line at the crucial moment. Morevoer, in the final stage the local people would revolt, hampering a Turkish retreat. After a series of delays and mishaps, mainly on the British side, this was in essence what took place in September 1918. When Allenby finally advanced, the Turks found that their communications had been cut and their retreating forces were harassed on all sides by armed tribesmen. As a result, their forces were swept back in near-total disarray.

Lawrence's account of the Arab revolt in Seven Pillars of Wisdom is borne out by British military documents now available. They show that his personal influence between July 1917 and September 1918 was, if anything, understated in the book.


Diplomacy, 1919 - 22

After the capture of Damascus, Lawrence hurried back to England in order to promote the cause of Arab independence, in which he had come to believe passionately. He served in the British Delegation at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, working closely with the Emir Feisal.

While the British Government had been well aware of his achievement, at the end of the war he was almost unknown to the general public. This changed in 1919 when an American journalist, Lowell Thomas, arrived in London. Thomas, who had briefly visited Akaba during the Revolt, had been encouraged by Lawrence to write of the Arabs' fight for freedom. Now, he had assembled lavish a 'travelogue' which included lecture, slides, film, music, and dancing.

His romantic account of the Bible-land victories was a huge success in a country which was numbed by the horrors of European trench warfare. Lawrence quickly became a popular hero, and found that this gave added weight to his political campaign. This was the only period in his life when he actively sought publicity, giving interviews willingly in order to advance the Arab case.

However, the idea of Arab independence was anathema to French imperialists, who were determined to rule Syria, while the British Government of India had similar ambitions in Iraq. Despite passionate lobbying Woodrow Wilson, the ailing American President, turned his back on the affair. Syria, Palestine and Mesopotamia (Iraq) were duly allocated to France and Britain as mandated territories - colonies in all but name.

Exhausted and bitterly disappointed, Lawrence returned to England. He lived partly at Oxford, where he had been awarded a research fellowship of All Souls College, and partly in attic rooms lent to him by a friend at 14 Barton Street, in London. He had begun work on Seven Pillars of Wisdom while still in Paris, but his draft and working notes were stolen in the autumn of 1919. During 1920 he re-wrote the book from memory, and then began correcting it against all the sources he could find.

By the end of 1920, attempts to impose a British colonial administration in Iraq had provoked open rebellion. As a result, the British Government was having to spend huge sums on repression. Winston Churchill was appointed to the Colonial Office to find a solution. He persuaded Lawrence, who had been campaigning against Government policy in the press, to join him as adviser. Lawrence was instrumental in the accession of the Emir Feisal to the throne of Iraq, and in the foundation of the Kingdom of Trans-Jordan (later Jordan). Although still under British tutelage, both countries thereafter enjoyed a much greater degree of self-government. By the summer of 1922 Lawrence felt that, as far as it lay within Britain's power, Churchill had achieved an honourable settlement.

The Ottoman Empire 1807-1923


Service in the ranks, 1922 - 1935

By then, Lawrence had drifted into a perilous state of mind. The exertions and horrors of the wartime campaign had been followed by three wearisome years of politics, and then the strain of writing a thousand-page book which he hoped would rank with Moby Dick and The Brothers Karamazov. Fearing for his sanity, he resigned from the Colonial Office and sought refuge in the ranks of the RAF where he gave his name as 'John Hume Ross'. After four months he was discovered by the press and discharged. By then, however, he was convinced that life in the ranks was his only course. With the help of a highly-placed friends he re-enlisted almost immediately in the Tank Corps as 'Thomas Edward Shaw'. He served until mid-1925 at Bovington Camp in Dorset, during which time he found and rented a nearby cottage called Clouds Hill.

After the end of 1923, his free time and much of his energy was taken up revising Seven Pillars of Wisdom for a subscription edition. He had long dreamed of setting up a private press and he now employed two printers, supervising every detail of the production. He spent so lavishly on colour portraits and other embellishments that by December 1926, when the book was finally completed, it had cost about £90 a copy. This was three times the subscription price. In order to repay his bank loan, he had to sanction general publication of an abridgement of Seven Pillars called Revolt in the Desert.

Half way through this work, Lawrence had succeeded in transferring back from the Tank Corps to the RAF. At the end of 1926 he accepted a posting to India, in order to be beyond the reach of journalists when Revolt in the Desert was published. Both Revolt in the Desert and Seven Pillars were hugely acclaimed, and Lawrence's bank loan was quickly paid off. He might have become wealthy, but he had made over all surplus royalties from the abridgement to a charity.

Encouraged by this literary success, during 1927 and 1928 Lawrence wrote another book, The Mint, based on notes he had made during his first RAF enlistment. It is an unsparing yet brilliantly observed portrait of the initial training given to Air Force recruits. In chapter after chapter, he distilled into a few words mundane events that he had witnessed again and again. Like One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, it belongs to the genre of books written by intellectuals who find themselves, for one reason or another, in prison.

The Mint passed such harsh judgement on the RAF regime that publication would have damaged the reputation of the service Lawrence had come to love. He therefore stipulated that it should not be appear before 1950.

After finishing The Mint, he accepted a commission to translate Homer's Odyssey. He did not complete it until 1932. Before then, at the end of 1928, he had been forced to return to England by fictitious press rumours about espionage activities in India.

He was posted to a flying-boat unit at Plymouth, where he was to become passionately committed to a new cause. At the beginning of 1931 he witnessed a flying-boat crash, quite close to the shore. The old-fashioned rescue launch was so slow to reach the scene that lives were lost needlessly. As it happened, he had recently refurbished an American motor-launch built to a much faster planing-hull design. From then on he and his Commanding Officer (a long-standing personal friend) campaigned for the adoption by the RAF of planing-hull launches. Lawrence became deeply involved in the development of these craft, spending his last Air Force years working in boatyards in civilian clothes. As a direct consequence of these efforts, by the outbreak of World War II in 1939 the RAF was equipped with a fleet of high-speed launches. These were to save many thousands of lives.

Lawrence did not live to see that. In March 1935 his twelve-year term of enlistment came to an end. He retired to Clouds Hill, planning to start a private press and produce a small edition of The Mint. In May, while riding his motor-cycle on a local errand, he swerved to avoid two cyclists and was thrown from his machine. He suffered severe head injuries and died some days later, having never regained consciousness.


Wednesday, February 4th, 2004, 12:27 AM
Two articles taken from the May and July 1859 issues of Rambler magazine written by John Henry Newman

"The Norman knight recognized no earthly standard, no earthly recompense; his end might be fanciful and eccentric, but it was ideal; it might be honour, glory, the noble, the sublime.."

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Wednesday, February 11th, 2004, 05:05 AM
Hey gladstone!

Thanks for the articles! Very interesting.

Mac Seafraidh
Friday, January 7th, 2005, 06:33 AM
Ex-Dutch minister defends Vlaams Belang party

6 January 2005

AMSTERDAM — Hilbrand Nawijn, who was the first immigration minister in the Netherlands between July 2002 and May 2003, is to address a meeting of the Belgian extreme right party Vlaams Belang.

He denied the Vlaams Belang — described as a "fascist party" by the Belgian Foreign Minister Karel de Gucht in December — is racist.

The Vlaams Belang was created last month when its predecessor, the Vlaams Blok, was outlawed by the Belgian Supreme Court for being racist. The new party has pledged to continue the Blok's xenophobic policy on immigration and will still fight for the independence of Flanders, the mainly Dutch-speaking area of Belgium.

Nawijn met Vlaams http://rms.admeta.com/public/vtexpose.asp?sitebanner_id=13789&slump=1105085507870 http://rms.admeta.com/public/vtexpose.asp?sitebanner_id=13789Belang leader Filip Dewinter at a debate in Rotterdam in December and accepted Dewinter's invitation to address the Belgian party's New Year's meeting on 26 January. Nawijn described the ban on the Vlaams Bloc as a "scandal".

The former Dutch minister will tell the meeting about immigration and integration policies in the Netherlands in light of the assassination of filmmaker Theo van Gogh in November. Nawijn will not, he said, comment on the situation in Belgium as he does not know enough about it.

Belgian Foreign Minister Karel de Gucht took a totally opposite view about the Vlaams Belang in mid-December. "It is a party run by fascists. (Vlaams Belang leader) Filip Dewinter is a fascist. We have to face the reality," said De Gucht on Belgian television on 12 December.

Vlaams Belang is growing in popularity. De Gucht has said he is ready to debate with it, but not negotiate with it or accept it as a coalition partner.

Speaking to reporters this week following the announcement of his plans to address the gathering on 26 January, Nawijn refuted the suggestion he could be "contaminated" by his connection to Vlaams Belang.

"Vlaams Belang is not a racist party. Far worst things have been said in the Netherlands," he said. "I want nothing to do with racism, but you have to be able to talk to a democratic party."

Nawijn said he had addressed meetings of many other parties, including the Socialist Party. "Therefore it is not strange that I speak to a party that is much more along my line [of thinking]," he said.

The Vlaams Belang campaigns for assimilation of immigrants, Nawijn said, "and this is something I am also in favour of".

Nawijn is an MP for the LPF faction in the Dutch Parliament. The faction operates independently from the LPF party, which was founded by populist and anti-immigration campaigner Pim Fortuyn.

Fortuyn was assassinated on 6 May 2002, nine days before his party came second in a general election. The LPF entered a short-lived coalition government and Nawijn got the job of tightening the country's immigration policy.

Infighting within the LPF collapsed the government after 87 days, and continuing internal wrangles in 2004 led to the parliamentary faction breaking away from the LPF.

Gerard van As, the leader of the parliamentary faction, said "only good" would come from Nawijn's decision to seek dialogue with the Vlaams Belang. Van As said communication rather than demonisation was the best approach, because the latter approach led to Fortuyn's murder.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

http://www.expatica.com/source/site_article.asp?subchannel_id=19&story_id=15476&name=Ex-Dutch+minister+defends+Vlaams+Belang+par ty (http://www.expatica.com/source/site_article.asp?subchannel_id=19&story_id=15476&name=Ex-Dutch+minister+defends+Vlaams+Belang+par ty)+

Tuesday, July 19th, 2005, 02:52 PM
Poetry, Regeneration,
and D.H. Lawrence

by Kenneth Rexroth

At the very beginning Lawrence belonged to a different order of being from the literary writers of his day. In 1912 he said: “I worship Christ, I worship Jehovah, I worship Pan, I worship Aphrodite. But I do not worship hands nailed and running with blood upon a cross, nor licentiousness, nor lust. I want them all, all the gods. They are all God. But I must serve in real love. If I take my whole passionate, spiritual and physical love to the woman who in turn loves me, that is how I serve God. And my hymn and my game of joy is my work. All of which I read in . . .”
Do you know what he read all that in? It makes you wince. He thought he found that in Georgian Poetry, 1911-1912! In Lascelles Abercrombie, Wilfred Gibson, John Drinkwater, Rupert Brooke, John Masefield, Walter de la Mare, Gordon Bottomley! What a good man Lawrence must have been. It is easy to understand how painful it was for him to learn what evil really was. It is easy to understand why the learning killed him, slowly and terribly. But he never gave up. He was always hunting for comradeship — in the most unlikely places — Michael Arlen, Peter Warlock, Murry, Mabel Dodge. He never stopped trusting people and hoping. And he went on writing exactly the gospel he announced in 1912, right to the end.
Lawrence thought he was a Georgian, at first. There are people who will tell you that his early poetry was typical Georgian countryside poetry — Musings in the Hedgerows, by the Well Dressed Dormouse. It is true that early poems like “The Wild Common,” “Cherry Robbers,” and the others, bear a certain resemblance to the best Georgian verse. They are rhymed verse in the English language on “subjects taken from nature.” Some of the Georgians had a favorite literary convention. They were anti-literary. Lawrence was the real thing. His “hard” rhymes, for instance, “quick-kick,” “rushes-pushes,” “sheepdip-soft lip,” “gudgeon-run on.” I don’t imagine that when Lawrence came to “soft lip” he remembered that bees had always sipped at soft lips and that, as a representative of a new tendency, it was up to him to do something about it. I think his mind just moved in regions not covered by the standard associations of standard British rhyme patterns. At the end of his life he was still talking about the old sheep dip, with its steep soft lip of turf, in the village where he was born. Why, once he even rhymed “wind” and “thinned,” in the most unaware manner imaginable. That is something that, to the best of my knowledge, has never been done before or since in the British Isles.
The hard metric, contorted and distorted and generally banged around, doesn’t sound made up, either. Compulsion neurotics like Hopkins and querulous old gentlemen like Bridges made quite an art of metrical eccentricity. You turned an iamb into a trochee here, and an anapest into a hard spondee there, and pretty soon you got something that sounded difficult and tortured and intense. I think Lawrence was simply very sensitive to quantity and to the cadenced pulses of verse. In the back of his head was a stock of sundry standard English verse patterns. He started humming a poem, hu hu hum, hum hum, hu hu hum hu, adjusted it as best might be to the remembered accentual patterns, and let it go at that. I don’t think he was unconscious of the new qualities which emerged, but I don’t think he went about it deliberately, either.
This verse is supposed to be like Hardy’s. It is. But there is always something a little synthetic about Hardy’s rugged verse. The smooth ones seem more natural, somehow. The full dress, Matthew Arnold sort of sonnet to Leslie Stephen is probably Hardy’s best poem. It is a very great poem, but Arnold learned the trick of talking like a highly idealized Anglican archbishop and passed it on to Hardy. That is something nobody could imagine Lawrence ever learning; he just wasn’t that kind of an animal.
Hardy could say to himself: “Today I am going to be a Wiltshire yeoman, sitting on a fallen rock at Stonehenge, writing a poem to my girl on a piece of wrapping paper with the gnawed stub of a pencil,” and he could make it very convincing. But Lawrence really was the educated son of a coal miner, sitting under a tree that had once been part of Sherwood Forest, in a village that was rapidly becoming part of a world-wide, disemboweled hell, writing hard, painful poems, to girls who carefully had been taught the art of unlove. It was all real. Love really was a mystery at the navel of the earth, like Stonehenge. The miner really was in contact with a monstrous, seething mystery, the black sun in the earth. There is a vatic quality in Lawrence that is only in Hardy rarely, in a few poems, and in great myths like Two on a Tower.
Something breaks out of the Pre-Raphaelite landscape of “Cherry Robbers.” That poem isn’t like a Victorian imitation of medieval illumination at all. It is more like one of those crude Coptic illuminations, with the Christian content just a faint glaze over the black, bloody “Babylonian turbulence” of the Gnostic mystery. I don’t know the date of the “Hymn to Priapus,” it seems to lie somewhere between his mother’s death and his flight with Frieda, but it is one of the Hardy kind of poems, and it is one of Lawrence’s best. It resembles Hardy’s “Night of the Dance.” But there is a difference. Hardy is so anxious to be common that he just avoids being commonplace. Lawrence is common, he doesn’t have to try. He is coming home from a party, through the winter fields, thinking of his dead mother, of the girl he has just had in the barn, of his troubled love life, and suddenly Orion leans down out of the black heaven and touches him on the thigh, and the hair of his head stands up.
Hardy was a major poet. Lawrence was a minor prophet. Like Blake and Yeats, his is the greater tradition. If Hardy ever had a girl in the hay, tipsy on cider, on the night of Boxing Day, he kept quiet about it. He may have thought that it had something to do with “the stream of his life in the darkness deathward set,” but he never let on, except indirectly.
Good as they are, there is an incompleteness about the early poems. They are the best poetry written in England at that time, but they are poems of hunger and frustration. Lawrence was looking for completion. He found it later, of course, in Frieda, but he hadn’t found it then. The girl he called Miriam wrote a decent, conscientious contribution to his biography. She makes it only too obvious that what he was looking for was not to be found in her. And so the Miriam poems are tortured, and defeated, and lost, as though Lawrence didn’t know where he was, which was literally true.
Between Miriam and Frieda lies a body of even more intense and troubled poems. Those to his mother, the dialect poems, and the poems to Helen are in this group. The “mother” poems are among his best. They are invaluable as direct perspectives on an extraordinary experience.
From one point of view Lawrence is the last of a special tradition that begins with St. Augustine and passes through Pascal and Baudelaire amongst others, to end finally in himself. There is no convincing evidence for Freud’s theory that the Oedipus Complex dates back to some extremely ancient crime in the history of primitive man. Least of all is there any Oedipus Complex in the Oedipus myth or plays. There is ample evidence that Western European civilization is specifically the culture of the Oedipus Complex. Before Augustine there was nothing really like it. There were forerunners and prototypes and intimations, but there wasn’t the real thing. The Confessions introduce a new sickness of the human mind, the most horrible pandemic, and the most lethal, ever to afflict man. Augustine did what silly literary boys in our day boast of doing. He invented a new derangement. If you make an intense effort to clear your mind and then read Baudelaire and Catullus together, the contrast, the new thing in Baudelaire, makes you shudder. Baudelaire is struggling in a losing battle with a ghost more powerful than armies, more relentless than death. I think it is this demon which has provided the new thing in Western Man, the insane dynamic which has driven him across the earth to burn and slaughter, loot and rape.
I believe Lawrence laid that ghost, exorcised that demon, once for all, by an act of absolute spiritual transvaluation. “Piano,” “Silence,” “The Bride,” and the other poems of that period, should be read with the tenth chapter of the ninth book of the Confessions. It is the beginning and the end. Augustine was a saint. There are acts of salvation by which man can raise himself to heaven, but, say the Japanese, a devil is substituted in his place. Lawrence drove out the devil, and the man stepped back. Or, as the Hindus say, with an act of absolute devotion from the worshiper, the goddess changes her aspect from maleficent to benign.
It is not only that Lawrence opened the gates of personal salvation for himself in the “mother” poems. He did it in a special way, in the only way possible, by an intense realization of total reality, and by the assumption of total responsibility for the reality and for the realization. Other people have tried parts of this process, but only the whole thing works. This shows itself in these poems, in their very technique. There, for the first time, he is in full possession of his faculties. He proceeds only on the basis of the completely real, the completely motivated, step by step along the ladder of Blake’s “minute particulars.” Ivor Richards’s Practical Criticism contains a symposium of his students on Lawrence’s “Piano.” It makes one of the best introductions to Lawrence’s poetry ever written. And one of the qualities of his verse that is revealed there most clearly is the uncanny, “surreal” accuracy of perception and evaluation. Objectivism is a hollow word beside this complete precision and purposiveness.
From this time on Lawrence never lost contact with the important thing, the totality in the particular, the responsibility of vision. Harassed by sickness and betrayal, he may have faltered in fulfilling that most difficult of all the injunctions of Christ, to suffer fools gladly. He may have got out of contact with certain kinds of men at certain times. He may have become cross and irritable and sick. But he never lost sight of what really mattered: the blue vein arching over the naked foot, the voices of the fathers singing at the charivari, blending in the winter night, Lady Chatterley putting flowers in Mellors’s pubic hair.
The “Helen” poems are strange. (See “A Winter’s Tale,” “Return,” “Kisses in the Train,” “Under the Oak,” “Passing Visit to Helen,” “Release,” and “Seven Seals.”) They all have a weird, dark atmosphere shot through with spurts of flame, a setting which remained a basic symbolic situation with Lawrence. It is the atmosphere of the pre-War I novel, young troubled love in gas-lit London — draughty, dark, and flaring, and full of mysterious movement. Probably the girl’s name was not Helen. Lawrence thought of her as dim, larger than life, a demi-goddess, moving through the smoke of a burning city. For certain Gnostics Helen was the name of the incarnate “female principle,” the power of the will, the sheath of the sword, the sacred whore who taught men love. Helen seems to have been the midwife of Lawrence’s manhood. At the end, something like her returns in the Persephone of “Bavarian Gentians.” Rebirth. No one leaves adolescence cleanly without a foretaste of death.
Ezra Pound said that the dialect poems were the best thing Lawrence ever wrote. This is just frivolous eccentricity. But they are fine poems, and in them another figure of the myth is carefully drawn. They are poems about Lawrence’s father, the coal miner who emerges nightly from the earth with the foliage of the carboniferous jungles on his white body. Lawrence’s little dark men, his Gypsies, and Indians, and Hungarians, and Mexicans, and all the rest, are not dark by race, but dark with coal dust. The shadow of forests immeasurably older than man has stained their skins. Augustine was never at peace until he found his father again in the pure mental absolute of Plotinus. Lawrence found his father again in the real man, whose feet went down into the earth. In certain poems where he speaks as a fictional woman, the erotic intensity is embarrassing to those of us who still live in the twilight of the Oedipus Complex. What had been evil in the father image becomes a virtue, the source of the will; deeply behind the mother image lies the germ of action, the motile flagellate traveling up the dark hot tube, seeking immortality.
The boy watching the miners rise and descend in the yawning maw of the earth in Nottinghamshire grows into the man of forty watching the Indians pass in and out of a lodge where an old man is interminably chanting — there is a sense of strangeness, but no estrangement. There is no effort to violate the mystery of paternity because it is known in the blood. Lawrence knew by a sort of sensual perception that every cell of his body bore the marks of the striped Joseph’s coat of the paternal sperm.
All this world of the early poems, and of the novels, The White Peacock, The Trespasser, the first draft of Sons and Lovers, is an unborn world, a cave, a womb, obscure and confused. The figures have a mythic vagueness about them. The sensual reality seems to be always struggling beneath an inhibiting surface of flesh, struggling to escape into another realm of meaning. So many of the images are drawn from birth, escape, confinement, struggle. Critics have found much of their Freudianism in the work of this period. Had they been better read they would have found Jung above all else, and certainly Rank. Lawrence had yet to read Freud or Jung and may never have heard of Rank.
Some shockingly ill-informed things have been written about Lawrence’s relation to psychoanalysis. In the first place, he was not a Freudian. He seems to have read little Freud, not to have understood him any too well, and to have disliked him heartily. In the winter of 1918-19 he read Jung, apparently for the first time, in English. Presumably this was The Psychology of the Unconscious. Jung was very much in the air in those days, as he is again. There was probably a great deal of amateur talk about his ideas among Lawrence’s friends. But Lawrence does not seem to have had much more to go on, and The Psychology of the Unconscious is only the beginning of the system later elaborated by Jung. Nor did he ever become intimate with any of Jung’s students. Later Mabel Dodge tried to bring the two together by correspondence. The story goes that Jung ignored her letters because they were written in pencil. So much for that.
Lawrence wrote quite a bit on psychoanalysis. There are the two books, Psychoanalysis and the Unconscious, a somewhat sketchy popularization of some of Jung’s basic concepts, and Fantasia of the Unconscious, of which more in a moment. And then there are the reviews of Trigant Burrow’s book, and miscellaneous remarks scattered through correspondence and reviews. This is all of the greatest importance to the understanding of Lawrence.
Fantasia of the Unconscious is an extraordinary book. It is foully written, unquestionably Lawrence’s worst writing, but it is certainly a landmark in the history of psychoanalysis. It is an attempt to combine the empirical neurology of Kundalini Yoga with his own interpretation of Jung’s psychology and with a theory of sexuality which may be either his own or derived from popular, occultist expositions of certain Gnostic sects and rumors of the practices of Shakti-Yoga. When it appeared, it must have seemed like pure fantasy of the Lost Atlantis variety. Jung’s Secret of the Golden Flower, and his studies of “spiritual alchemy” lay in the future. The “psychology of the autonomic system” was unheard of. It is all there, in Lawrence’s inspired guesses. The white race is going mad, but it is the autonomic nervous system which is out of kilter; what goes on in the head is secondary — and the autonomic nervous system is, as a whole, the organ of communion.
To return to the poems. There is a hallucinatory quality in the images of the poems which precede Frieda which it is interesting to compare with the induced hallucination of H.D. The conflict in H.D. is hidden in herself. It is still there to this day, although her latest prose work has been the journal of a Freudian analysis. Her images are purified of conflict; then the intensity which has been distilled from the sublimation of conflict is applied from the outside. (“Your poetry is not pure, eternal, sublimated,” she told Lawrence.) What results is a puzzling hallucination of fact, a contentless mood which seems to reflect something tremendously important but whose mystery always retreats before analysis.
Lawrence’s early poems are poems of conflict. The images are always polarized. Antagonisms struggle through the texture. But the struggle is real. The antagonisms are struggling toward the light. The conflict yields to insight, if not to analysis. It is like the propaedeutic symbolism of the dream, as contrasted to the trackless labyrinths of falsification which form the patterns of most waking lives. The hallucination is real, the vision of the interior, personal oracle. Its utterance has meaning, more meaning than ordinary waking reality because the subjective is seen in the objective, emerging from it, the dream from the reality — not dislocated or applied from outside the context.
The poems of Look! We Have Come Through fall into three groups. First there are the structurally more conventional pieces like “Moonrise,” which sounds a little like Masefield’s sonnets though it is incomparably finer, and the “Hymn to Priapus,” and the others — they are all probably earlier and have already been discussed. Second, there are the poems of the Rhine Journey, “December Night,” “New Year’s Eve,” “Coming Awake,” “History”; erotic epigrams, intense as Meleager, more wise than Paul the Silentiary. Lawrence was still a young man, and had many great poems to write — but put these beside the few poets who have survived from that day, Sturge Moore, Monro, De La Mare . . . they look like pygmies. Only Yeats stands up against Lawrence. And last, there are the Whitmanic free verse manifestoes, “explaining” marriage to a people who had forgotten what it was.
With Frieda the sleeper wakes, the man walks free, the “child” of the alchemists is born. Reality is totally valued, and passes beyond the possibility of hallucination. The clarity of purposively realized objectivity is the most supernatural of all visions. Bad poetry always suffers from the same defects: synthetic hallucination and artifice. Invention is not poetry. Invention is defense, the projection of pseudopods out of the ego to ward off the “other.” Poetry is vision, the pure act of sensual communion and contemplation.
That is why the poems of Lawrence and Frieda on their Rhine Journey are such great poetry. That is why they are also the greatest imagist poems ever written. Reality streams through the body of Frieda, through everything she touches, every place she steps, valued absolutely, totally, beyond time and place, in the minute particular. The swinging of her breasts as she stoops in the bath, the roses, the deer, the harvesters, the hissing of the glacier water in the steep river — everything stands out lit by a light not of this earth and at the same time completely of this earth, the light of the Holy Sacrament of Marriage, whose source is the wedded body of the bride.
The accuracy of Lawrence’s observation haunts the mind permanently. I have never stood beside a glacier river, at just that relative elevation, and just that pitch, with just that depth of swift water moving over a cobbled bed, without hearing again the specific hiss of Lawrence’s Isar. These poems may not be sublimated (whatever YMCA evasion that may refer to), but they are certainly pure and eternal.
Again, it is fruitful to compare the Rhine Journey poems with the only other poems of our time which resemble them much, Ford Madox Ford’s Buckshee. Ford was writing about something very akin to what Lawrence was, about an aspect of marriage. But he was writing about its impossibility, about how life had bled away its possibility from both him and his girl, and how they had taken, in middle age and in the long Mediterranean drouth, the next best thing — intense erotic friendship. And about how, every once in a while, marriage comes and looks in at the window. The contrast with Lawrence and Frieda, sinking into the twilight in the fuming marsh by the Isar, “where the snake disposes,” is pathetic past words.
Ford’s “L’Oubli—Temps de Secheresse” and Lawrence’s “River Roses” and “Quite Forsaken” are things of a kind and the best of their kind, but like the north and south poles, there is all the difference in the world between them. There is more communion in Frieda’s temporary absence than in the closest possible kiss “under the catalpa tree, where the strange birds, driven north by the drouth, cry with their human voices.” “Singular birds, with their portentous, singular flight and human voices,” says Ford. This is the Persephone of “Bavarian Gentians” and the Orphic birds which flutter around the dying who are withdrawing themselves, corpuscle by corpuscle, from communion. Lawrence would come there one day, with the dark blue flowers on the medicine table and Frieda sleeping in a chair beside him, but he was on the other side of the universe then — the early summer of 1912, in the Isartal, the snow leaving the mountains.
After the Rhine Journey come the poems of struggle for a living adjustment. The ceremonial glory of the sacrament passes from the forefront of consciousness, and the period of adjustment to the background of life begins. Every detail of life must be transformed by marriage. This means creative conflict on the most important level.
Sacramental communion is bound by time. Mass does not last forever. Eventually the communicant must leave the altar and digest the wafer, the Body and Blood must enter his own flesh as it moves through the world and struggles with the devil. The problem lies in the sympathetic nervous system, says Lawrence. And it is not easy for two members of a deranged race, in the twentieth century, to learn again how to make those webs mesh as they should.
Some of these poems are, in a sense, Frieda’s — records of her own interior conquest. It is amazing how much they accomplished, these two. Today, revisiting this battlefield between love and hate that is so carefully mapped in certain of the poems, it is like Gettysburg, a sleepy, pastoral landscape dotted with monuments and graves. Only maimed women and frightened men are Suffragettes anymore. Hedda Gabler is dead, or lurking in the suburbs. We should be grateful to Frieda. It was she who gave the dragon its death blow, and the Animus no longer prowls the polls and bedrooms, seeking whom it may devour.
The Whitmanic poems seem to owe a good deal to Children of Adam and Calamus. They look like Whitman on the page. But if read aloud with any sort of ear, they don’t sound much like him. Whitman flourished in the oratorical context of nineteenth-century America. He isn’t rhetorical in the invidious sense; that is, there is nothing covert or coercive about him. He says what he means, but he says it in the language of that lost art of elocution so popular in his day. There is little of this in Lawrence. At this period his long-lined free verse is derived almost entirely from the poetry of the Bible, the Psalms, the song of Deborah, the song of Hezekiah, of Moses, the Benedicte, the Magnificat, the Nunc Dimitus. All the devices of Hebrew poetry are there, and in addition the peculiar, very civilized, self-conscious, “sympathetic” poetry of St. Luke — those poems which have made his the “women’s Gospel,” and which all good Englishmen must learn in childhood as part of the Morning and Evening Prayer of the Church.
In the volume Look! We Have Come Through Lawrence was just beginning to learn to write free verse. I don’t think some of the poems are completely successful. They are diffuse and long-winded. He tries to say too much, and all at the same pitch of intensity; there are no crises, no points of reference. On the whole the most successful is “New Heaven and Earth.” It may not be a perfect object of art but it is a profound exhortation.
Beyond Holy Matrimony lies the newly valued world of birds, beasts, and flowers — a sacramentalized, objective world. “Look, we have come through” — to a transformed world, with a glory around it everywhere like ground lightning. The poems of Birds, Beasts, and Flowers have the same supernatural luster that shines through the figures of men and animals and things, busy being part of a new redeemed world, as they are found carved around the mandala of the Blessed Virgin above some cathedral door or on some rose window.
Birds, Beasts, and Flowers is the mature Lawrence, in complete control of his medium, or completely controlled by his demon. He never has any trouble. He can say exactly what he wants to say. Except for the death poems, he would never write better. (And too, after this, he would never be well again.) He seems to have lived in a state of total realization — the will and its power, positive and negative, at maximum charge, and all the universe streaming between them glowing and transformed. The work of art grows in that electric field, is a “function” of it. It is the act of devotion in the worshiper that forces the god to occupy the statue. It is the act of devotion in the sculptor that forces the god to occupy the stone which the artist then pares to his invisible limbs, tailors like cloth. It is never theology in the first; it is never aesthetics or any teachable craft in the second. The craft is the vision and the vision is the craft.
Good cadenced verse is the most difficult of all to write. Any falsity, any pose, any corruption, any ineptitude, any vulgarity, shows up immediately. In this it is like abstract painting. A painting by Mondrian may look impersonal enough to be reduced to code and sent by telegraph. Maybe. But it offers no refuge, no garment, no mask, no ambush, for the person. The painter must stand there, naked, as Adam under the eye of God. Only very great or very trivial personalities dare expose themselves so.
Think of a few typical writers of cadenced verse: Whitman, Sandburg, Wallace Gould, F.M. Ford, F.S. Flint, Aldington, Lola Ridge, and James Oppenheim. (H.D.’s verse is primarily a counterpointing of accentual and quantitative rhythms in patterns of Greek derivation. Pound’s verse is Latin in reference, and usually quantitative.) How the faults stand out! Every little weakness is revealed with glaring cruelty. Whitman’s tiresome posturing, Sandburg’s mawkishness, Aldington's erotic sentimentality, the overreaching ambition of Lola Ridge and Oppenheim — what a lot of sore thumbs standing out! Yet in many ways these are good poets, and Whitman is a very great one.
Gould, Flint, and Ford were never dishonest, never overreached themselves, did their best to say what they meant and no more, never bargained with art. “The sentimentalist,” said Daedalus, “is he who would enjoy, without incurring the immense debtorship for a thing done.” They are not prophets, but they are good poets because they rendered a strict accounting with their own souls.
Sentimentality is spiritual realization on the installment plan. Socially viable patterns, like conventional verse, are a sort of underwriting or amortization of the weaknesses of the individual. This is the kernel of sense in the hollow snobbery of Valéry. The sonnet and quatrain are like the national debt, devices for postponing the day of reckoning indefinitely. All artistic conventions are a method of spiritual deficit-financing. If they were abandoned, the entire credit structure of Poets, Ltd., would be thrown into hopeless confusion. It is just as well that the professors have led the young, in my lifetime, away from free verse to something that can be taught. No one could be taught to be Lawrence, but in a world where the led lead the leaders, those who might pretend to do so are sure to be confidence men.
Lawrence’s free verse in Birds, Beasts, and Flowers is among the small best ever written. It can be analyzed, but the paradigms produced by the analysis are worthless. It cannot be explained away, demonstrated in a mathematical sense. Neither, certainly, can any other great poetry; but at least a convincing illusion can be created, and the young can be provided with something to practice. A poem like “Bat” or the “Lion of St. Mark” moves with a stately, gripping sonority through the most complex symphonic evolutions. The music is a pattern of vibration caught from the resonant tone of Lawrence himself. The concerto is not on the page, little spots with flags and tails on a stave, but the living thing, evolving from the flesh of the virtuoso. It is like Gregorian chant or Hindu music, one thing when sung at Solesmes, or in the ruins of Konarak, another when “rendered” by the Progressive Choral Group or at a concert of the Vedanta Society of Los Angeles.
Again, the faults of Birds, Beasts, and Flowers are the excess of virtue. Like anyone who knows he has something intensely important to say, Lawrence found it hard to keep from being long-winded. I think a good deal of his over-expansiveness and repetition is due to his methods of composition.
Some poets meditate in stillness and inactivity, as far away as possible from the creative act. We know that Baudelaire and T.S. Eliot, by their own testimony, spent long periods of time quiescent, inert as artists, turning over and over the substance of vision within themselves. Sometimes, as in Baudelaire, this process is extremely painful, a true desert of the soul. Months went by in which the paper and pen were red hot, it was impossible for him to read, his whole personality seemed engulfed in a burning neurasthenia. And then there would come a period of peace, and slowly growing exaltation, and finally the creative act, almost somnambulistic in its completion. Actual composition by this sort of personality tends to be rare, and usually as perfect as talent permits.
Lawrence meditated pen in hand. His contemplation was always active, flowing out in a continuous stream of creativity which he seemed to have been able to open practically every day. He seldom reversed himself, seldom went back to rework the same manuscript. Instead, he would lay aside a work that dissatisfied him and rewrite it all from the beginning. In his poetry he would move about a theme, enveloping it in constantly growing spheres of significance. It is the old antithesis: centrifugal versus centripetal, Parmenides versus Heraclitus. He kept several manuscript books of his verse, and whenever he wanted to publish a collection he would go through them and pick out a poem here and there, the ones he considered had best handled their themes. Behind each poem was usually a group of others devoted to the same material. His selection was always personal, and sometimes it was not very “artistic.” Nettles, for instance, is a selection of what are, by any standard, the poorer poems of the collections of epigrams printed in Last Poems.
There are those who think these epigrams, the ones in Pansies, and those in Last Poems, aren’t art. This opinion is the product of a singular provincialism. It is true that, due to the reasons just mentioned, they aren’t all successful, but they belong to a tradition, are members of a species, which has produced some of the greatest poetry. Epigram or maxim, Martial or La Rochefoucauld, the foundations of this tradition are far more stable than those of the neo-metaphysical poetry produced, with seven ambiguities carefully inserted in every line, by unhappy dons between the wars.
Any bright young man can be taught to be artful. It is impossible to teach taste, but you can teach most anybody caution. It is always the lesser artists who are artful, they must learn their trade by rote. They must be careful never to make a false step, never to speak out of a carefully synthesized character. The greater poetry is nobly disheveled. At least it never shows the scars of taking care. “Would he had blotted a thousand lines,” said Ben Jonson of Shakespeare. Which thousand? Lawrence was always mislaying those manuscript books of poetry and writing around the world for them, just as Cézanne left his paintings in the fields. Not for any stupid reason — that they were not Perfect Works of Art — but simply because he forgot.
Eliot (who does not write that way), writing of Pound’s epigrams, points out that the major poet, unlike the minor, is always writing about everything imaginable, and so is in good form for the great poem when it comes. Practice makes perfect, and those who wait for the perfect poem before putting pen to paper may wait mute forever. I suppose it is the absolutism which swept over popular taste in the wake of Cubism that has encouraged the ignorant to expect a canzone of Dante’s in each issue of their favorite little magazine, a School of Athens in every WPA mural. This is just greediness, like children who want it to be Christmas every day. And it produces an empty, pretentious, greedy art. Meanwhile, Pound’s “Les Millwin,” and Lawrence’s “Willy Wet-Legs,” quietly pre-empt immortality, a state of being only rarely grandiose.
As far as I know the poems in the novel The Plumed Serpent have never been printed separately. This book is one of the most important (he thought it the most important) Lawrence ever wrote. It has brought forth all sorts of pointless debate. People are always saying: “Well, I have lived in Mexico for years and it simply isn’t like that.” Lawrence was not an idiot. He knew it wasn’t. And in the first chapter he gave a very accurate and pitiful picture of the “real” Mexico — sterile, subcolonial, brutal, with the old gods gone, and the church gone, and the revolution a swindle, and nothing left but a squalid imitation of Ashtabula, Ohio. And he knew the other side too, the pasty frigid nymphomaniacs, the deranged women of Europe and America, who consider themselves disciples of Lawrence and prowl the earth seeking Dark Gods to take to bed. He wrote a story which should have destroyed them forever — “None of That.” It should be read with The Plumed Serpent.
Every year there is less, but in Lawrence’s day there was still something, of the primeval Mexico — at the great feast in Oaxaca, in the life of the peasants in the remote villages, in the Indian communities in the back country. Lawrence did not make any very definite contact with the ancient Mexico but he could see and sense it, and he was fresh from a much less-touched primitive world — that of the Navaho and Pueblo Indians of the Southwest. His materials were not as abundant as they might have been but they were enough to build a book of ritual, of the possible that would never be, of potentialities that would never emerge. It is a book of ceremonial prophecy, but prophecy uttered in the foreknowledge that it would never be fulfilled.
The reawakening of mystery, the revival of the old Aztec religion, the political “Indianism” — even if it all came true, one knows it would be a fraud, a politician’s device, as Indianism is in Latin America today. Lawrence knew that, of course, and so the book is dogged with tragedy. One constantly expects the characters to go out in a blazing Götterdämmerung in some dispute with the police, like a gangster movie. They don’t, but maybe it would have been better if they had, for eventually they tire; they seem to become secretly aware that all this gorgeous parading around in primitive millinery, this Mystery, and Fire, and Blood, and Darkness, has been thought up. There is something Western European, British Museum, about it. The protagonist, Kate, submits to her lover’s insistent Mystery, but rather out of ennui and loathing of Europe than out of any conviction, and one feels that the book could have no sequel, or only a sequel of disintegration, like Women in Love.
Still, in the middle of the book, before the fervor dies out, Lawrence wrote as nearly as he could what he believed should be. If the religion of Cipriano and Ramon is taken as an other-worldly system of values, it is profound and true, and, due to the freshness of its symbols, tremendously exciting. Also, it differs very little from any other religion that has maintained its contacts with its sources. Ramon and Cipriano short-circuit themselves where Christianity was short-circuited by Constantine, in the desire to have both worlds, to found a political, religion — a Church. That, if any, is the “message” of the book.
The mystery survives in the poems, just as the sacraments survived Constantine. They are not the greatest poems Lawrence ever wrote, but they are among the most explicit. This is Lawrence’s religion. Wherever he found it he is now in complete possession of a kind of orthodoxy, the orthodoxy of the heterodox — the symbolic world of the Gnostics, the Occultists, Tantrism, Jung. In a sense they are failures, these poems, in the way that the Indian songs published by the United States Bureau of Ethnology are not failures. But, again, that is the message of the book. Finally you discover that you cannot make up paganism. What you make up is a cult. There is nothing primitive about Gnosticism, anymore than there is anything primitive about Theosophy. It is the creation of over-civilized Hellenistic intellectuals. Tantrism too grew up in India, in Buddhism and Hinduism, when civilization was exhausting itself. Jung comes, with Lawrence, at the end of the career of Western European Man. Lawrence, after all, was a contemporary of Niels Bohr and Picasso. And so his poems are mystical poems — and the Aztecs were not mystics, they were just Aztecs. This doesn’t invalidate the poems. They have very little to do with ancient or modern Mexico, but they do express, very well, the personal religion of D.H. Lawrence. They may be full of “occult lore,” but behind the machinery is an intense, direct, personal, mystical apprehension of reality.
In the last hours Lawrence seems to have lived in a state of suspended animation, removed from the earth, floating, transfigured by the onset of death. Poems like “Andraitix,” “Pomegranate Flowers,” have an abstracted, disinterested intensity, as though they were written by a being from another planet. Others are short mystical apothegms. There is no millinery anymore, no occultism; they differ only in their modern idiom from any and all of the great mystics. And finally there are the two death poems, “Bavarian Gentians” and “The Ship of Death.” Each was written over several times. There exists a variant which can be taken as a final, or pre-final, version of “Bavarian Gentians,” but both are clusters of poems rather than finished products.
“The Ship of Death” material alone would make a small book of meditations, a contemporary Holy Dying. It is curious to think that once such a book would have been a favorite gift for the hopelessly ill. Today people die in hospitals, badgered by nurses, stupefied with barbiturates. This is not an age in which a “good death” is a desired end of life.
All men have to die, and one would think a sane man would want to take that fact into account, at least a little. But our whole civilization is a conspiracy to pretend that it isn’t going to happen — and this, in an age when death has become more horrible, more senseless, less at the will of the individual than ever before. Modern man is terribly afraid of sex, of pain, of evil, of death. Today childbirth, the ultimate orgiastic experience, has been reduced to a meaningless dream; dentists insist on injecting Novocain before they clean your teeth; the agonies of life have retreated to the source of life. Men and women torture each other to death in the bedroom, just as the dying dinosaurs gnawed each other as they copulated in the chilling marshes. Anything but the facts of life. Today you can take a doctor’s degree in medicine or engineering and never learn how to have intercourse with a woman or repair a car. Human self-alienation, Marx called it. He said that was all that was really wrong with capitalism. “Let us live and lie reclined” in a jet-propelled, streamlined, air-cooled, lucite incubator. When we show signs of waking, another cocktail instead of the Wine of God. When we try to break out, flagellation instead of Holy Matrimony, psychoanalysis instead of Penance. When the machinery runs down, morphine for Extreme Unction.
In a world where death had become a nasty, pervasive secret like defecation or masturbation, Lawrence reinstated it in all its grandeur — the oldest and most powerful of the gods. “The Ship of Death” poems have an exaltation, a nobility, a steadiness, an insouciance, which is not only not of this time but is rare in any time. It doesn’t matter who: Jeremy Taylor, the Orphic Hymns, the ancient Egyptians — nobody said it better. And there is one aspect of the “Ship of Death” which is unique. Lawrence did not try to mislead himself with false promises, imaginary guarantees. Death is the absolute, unbreakable mystery. Communion and oblivion, sex and death, the mystery can be revealed — but it can be revealed only as totally inexplicable. Lawrence never succumbed to the temptation to try to do more. He succeeded in what he did do.

This essay originally appeared as the Introduction to D.H. Lawrence’s Selected Poems (New Directions, 1947; Viking, 1959). It was reprinted in Bird in the Bush (New Directions, 1959) and in World Outside the Window: Selected Essays of Kenneth Rexroth (New Direction, 1987)

Tuesday, November 8th, 2005, 02:26 PM
Don Lawrence
-- Comic-book artist who brought the Trigan empire and Captain Marvel to life --

Paul Gravett

Wednesday January 21, 2004

Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/news/obituary/0,12723,1127460,00.html)

The artist Don Lawrence, who has died aged 75, toiled for more than two decades in anonymity - and for meagre payment - in British adventure comics, most famously painting two colour pages each week of The Rise And Fall Of The Trigan Empire from 1965 to 1976. But he found recognition and reward in Europe, illustrating the 23 albums of the science-fiction series Storm, which has sold more than 2m copies worldwide, most recently in translation in Poland and Indonesia. Born in East Sheen, London, the youngest of three children, Lawrence went to St Paul's school, Hammersmith, where he took refuge from academic studies by immersing himself in drawing. Evacuated during the war, he completed his schooling in Crawthorn, Berkshire. In 1949, after two years' army service, he studied art for four years at the Borough Polytechnic, where he much preferred figurative art to the vogue for abstract expressionism.

Comics had not occurred to him as a career path until a visiting lecturer spurred him to try breaking into the field. Leading publishers Amalgamated Press rejected his samples in 1954, but when Lawrence approached entrepreneur Mick Anglo's Gower Studios, he was hired on the spot to join a band of freelancers supplying publishers with cheap, ready packages of comic-book stories.
An Anglo client, L Miller & Son, enjoyed healthy sales with their black-and-white reprints of New York publisher Fawcett's superheroes Captain Marvel, Captain Marvel Junior and The Marvel Family. (These American comic books were banned as imports to help Britain's postwar recovery.)
In 1953, when DC Comics finally won a protracted lawsuit claiming plagiarism of Superman, Fawcett had no choice but to cancel the titles. Rather than drop their British editions, Miller engaged Anglo the following year to create virtual lookalikes, and Lawrence contributed greatly to the success of Marvelman, Young Marvelman and The Marvelman Family, arguably the first British superheroes.
Paid only £1 per completed page, Lawrence quickly learned to simplify his rendering to achieve the cartoon look of Marvelman, and could turn out up to 10 pages a week. In a less minimalist style, he also drew cowboys Daniel Boone, Wyatt Earp and Davy Crockett. In 1958, he left Anglo for better rates elsewhere. He developed his meticulous linework and clear story-telling on Billy The Kid and Pony Express, and his ink washes gave an added realism to his strip version of the television series Wells Fargo.
During the early 1960s, reflecting Hollywood's taste for action movies set in ancient times, Lawrence branched out into rugged, historical sagas, featuring a former British slave character, Olac the Gladiator, for Tiger, as well as the axe-wielding heir Karl the Viking, and the Saxon strongman Maroc the Mighty, written by Michael Moorcock, both for Lion.

On the basis of these, he was commissioned to paint a comic story (written by Mike Butterworth), to be printed in full-colour photogravure for the new weekly Ranger in 1965. With its sweeping vistas, battles, and vivid heroes and villains, The Trigan Empire (written by Mike Butterworth) chronicled the blond warrior Trigo's rise to power on the planet Elekton. Continuing weekly in the children's educational part-work, Look And Learn, for 11 years, Lawrence illuminated 950 hyper-realistic pages of this blend of Roman-style epic and science fiction fantasy.
While maintaining this demanding output, he still found time to draw The Adventures Of Tarzan, Gerry Anderson's puppet series Fireball XL5 (for TV Century 21) and Thunderbirds Are Go (for the Daily Mail), as well as the titillating Carrie for Mayfair magazine.

Unlike other publishing spheres, British comics paid their artists only once for their work, and they received nothing for reprints, translations or other rights. When IPC refused to raise his page rate, or pay royalties, for the numerous foreign Trigan Empire collections, Lawrence resigned. That same afternoon, Dutch publishers Oberon offered him the contract he wanted, and he never looked back.
For their weekly Eppo in 1977, Lawrence and writer Philip Dunn created a variation on Flash Gordon entitled Storm. Later, Dutch writer Martin Lodewijk contributed stories and became the regular scripter.
Lawrence could now take the time he needed to craft, in gouache and watercolour, the most imaginative compositions of his career, and to collaborate with Lodewijk in developing each book. Only a handful of Storm stories have appeared in English, although this year the Don Lawrence Collection in Holland will begin issuing limited editions of the series and the complete Trigan Empire.

Failing health and eyesight reduced Lawrence's output in his final years, but he continued to work on new Storm albums. Acclaimed across Europe, appointed a knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau in the Netherlands, yet little known in his homeland, he stands as an exemplar in the remarkable British tradition of fully painted adventure comics.

He is survived by his first wife Julia Wilson and their five children, and his second wife Elizabeth Clunies-Ross.

· Donald Southam Lawrence, artist, born November 17 1928; died December 29 2003

Tuesday, November 8th, 2005, 02:36 PM
- Official Don Lawrence Fan Club:
http://www.donlawrence.co.uk/ (http://www.donlawrence.co.uk/)

- A German site with bibliography and plenty of galleries:
http://www.stefan-schaetz.de/ (http://www.stefan-schaetz.de/)

- Tribute site with bibliography, synoposes of all Storm stories plus an
extensive gallery concentrating on Roodhaar/Ember:
http://jump.to/boomboom/storm.html (http://jump.to/boomboom/storm.html)

- Gallery with original prints and unplublished drawings:
http://home.tiscali.nl/osinga/ (http://home.tiscali.nl/osinga/)

- Gallery of cover art from the Storm series:
http://www.imageraptor.com/tannat/dlawrence1.htm (http://www.imageraptor.com/tannat/dlawrence1.htm)

Tuesday, December 6th, 2005, 05:53 PM
Police in Belgium and France launched a series of raids in November 30 against a suspected terrorist network after a Belgian-born convert to Islam blew herself up in Baghdad, becoming Europe's first woman suicide bomber.

More than 200 officers arrested 15 suspects in four cities three weeks after the 38-year-old woman, who converted to Islam after marrying a Moroccan Islamist radical, earned her grisly place in history.
According to De Standaard, Belgium's main Flemish newspaper, the woman attempted to target a US military convoy south of Baghdad on November 9. A US official told the paper that she was the only person who died, but other media reports spoke of five or six deaths.

One Belgian official gave the woman's first name as Murielle and said she lived in Brussels and that her parents were from a middle-class district of Charleroi. A Belgian passport was found on her body with papers showing that she had entered Iraq via Turkey. She had apparently entered the country by car with her husband. He died in Iraq in a separate incident.
After the woman's nationality was confirmed by Belgium's security service, the Sûreté de l'Etat, police in Paris arrested a 27-year-old Tunisian man who is believed to have known the woman's husband. The man, who moved to France several months ago, was arrested in the suburb of Seine-Saint-Denis, one of the sadly famous French "banlieus".

Tuesday, December 6th, 2005, 08:13 PM
Can you include a link to the original story? :)

Tuesday, December 6th, 2005, 08:34 PM
Can you include a link to the original story? :)
Here you are:


Thursday, December 8th, 2005, 02:40 AM
A pic of the girl:


Saturday, December 10th, 2005, 10:04 AM
It's not only about keeping daughters safe from Islam, but about protecting all our women.

Friday, September 22nd, 2006, 10:22 PM
The elder son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has called on Pope Benedict XVI to convert to Islam immediately, dismissing last week's apology from the pontiff for offending Muslims.

More... (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fanonym.t o%2F%3Fhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.news24.com%2FNew s24%2FWorld%2FNews%2F0%2C%2C2-10-1462_2000964%2C00.html)

Friday, September 22nd, 2006, 11:02 PM
Yes,I can just hear it now.

Is the Pope Catholic?
Nah, not anymore.

Friday, September 22nd, 2006, 11:20 PM
Yes,I can just hear it now.

Is the pope Catholic?
Nah, not anymore.

:rotfl:lol OMG - That one is good :thumbup

I... I mean... This is... I just don't get it. The pope should convert to islam??? That's nonsense!

Friday, September 22nd, 2006, 11:26 PM
I would pack my shit and find a rural north norwegian fjord to live in because the rest of the world would never be the same again. WW3 or something crazy would happen.

Saturday, September 23rd, 2006, 12:19 AM
Now if the catholics were anything like the muslims they would be killing clerics and burning mosques due to that comment.

Wednesday, November 15th, 2006, 09:27 AM
Growing Forests Could Combat Climate Change
Published 14.11.2006, 09.35

An international team of environmental scientists, led by researchers from the University of Helsinki, says that the world may have turned a corner in the battle against deforestation. The team was surprised to discover that forests are actually gaining ground in some of the world's most tree-covered countries, including industrial powerhouses China and India.

The researchers, led by Pekka Kauppi from the University of Helsinki, developed new techniques to study the condition of forests. The team takes note of the forest's surface area, the capacity for tree growth, biomass and carbon dioxide levels.

The team says that forest biomass has increased in about half of the world’s 50 most forest covered countries in the past 15 years. The researchers are hopeful that expanding forests will provide relief against climate change.

The study did reaffirm the stunning rate of deforestation in poor countries such as Brazil and Indonesia, whose economies depend on timber. Forests in Africa are also under attack, as poor communities clear trees for firewood and slash-and-burn farming.

The research was published in the journal PNAS.

Radio News, YLE24 Source (http://www.yle.fi/news/id47208.html).

The whole research can be viewed as a PDF file over here (http://www.pnas.org/cgi/reprint/103/46/17574?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&fulltext=pekka+kauppi&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&resourcetype=HWCIT).

Sunday, January 28th, 2007, 12:23 AM
By Mike Baker
Education correspondent, BBC News

When my elder daughter spent a term in junior high school in the USA she was required to learn, by heart, the names of all the American presidents.

Her class also started to memorise the names of all the individual states.

It seemed that, wherever you came from, you were expected to learn the core facts of mainstream American history.

By contrast, in her 13 years in school in Britain she never learned the chronology of the British kings and queens. Equally, I'm not sure that she could locate on the map of the British Isles many of the counties of England, never mind Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

I don't write this to embarrass her (I'm sure she is past being embarrassed by her dad) but to make a point about this week's report into the teaching of British identity through the citizenship curriculum.

What should we be taught if we are to gain a better understanding of British identity?

Judging by the responses to our own Have Your Say section, many of you have strong opinions on this.

Social cohesion

Let us return, for a moment, to this week's report on Diversity and Citizenship, commissioned by the government from the former head teacher Sir Keith Ajegbo.

There had been an expectation that it would be about how schools could do more to teach ethnic minority children about British culture and values.

It was, after all, commissioned amid concerns about social cohesion after the London bombings and the race riots in the north of England.

Britain was puzzling over how a few young Muslim men, born and educated in Britain, could feel so alienated that they wanted to blow up their fellow British citizens.

Yet the way the report was presented this week, it seemed to be far more about white, particularly working class pupils, who, the report said, felt "disenfranchised" and who had "negative perceptions" of British identities.

The report's conclusion was that as much effort needed to be put into providing "diversity education" to white pupils as to ethnic minority groups.

Somehow it seemed to slide between teaching about "Britishness" and about teaching "mutual understanding and respect".

'The lens of history'

It was hard to tell whether this was about the teaching of citizenship or history.

Indeed, at a news conference, Sir Keith Ajegbo said British identity should be "studied through the lens of history".

Don't they need to know more about their own white, English inheritance?
So he recommended that pupils should be taught about key historical topics: the Commonwealth, the legacy of Empire, slavery, equal rights legislation and devolution.

While these subjects are important to understanding why Britain is a multicultural society, it is less clear how they will make white pupils feel any less "disenfranchised".

Don't they need to know more about their own white, English inheritance?

The report's aims were confusing. Was it recommending that all children, whatever their background, should understand their identity through a study of British history?

Or was it about tackling racism and understanding that modern Britain is a multicultural society?

If it was the latter, then it makes sense to understand the legacy of Empire, slavery, the Commonwealth and immigration.

Family trees

But if it was the former, then where is the secondary school history that relates to the great majority of the population, and in particular the English, white, working class pupils to whom the report refers?

Their cultural inheritance lies in English history. It lies in society-shaping themes such as the 17th Century revolution and civil war, the agrarian and industrial revolutions, urbanisation, the agricultural depression, industrialisation, the rise of the trade unions, universal suffrage and the growth of the welfare state.

Among adults there is a strong desire to know about their own particular family's past. There has been a phenomenal growth of interest in genealogy.

For the great majority of the white pupils that family history will include ancestors who, until the mid 19th Century, were agricultural labourers living in the shires.

After 1851, when for the first time a majority of Britons lived in the towns, it is more likely that our ancestors worked in textile factories, iron and steel plants, on the railways, as small shopkeepers and tradesmen or in the vast army of Victorian clerks.

Yet how much of the history curriculum covers these core parts of our social history? Not much, it seems.

Pupils are far more likely to study the Weimar Republic, the Russian Revolution, or the politics (but not social history) of the Tudors.

My children have certainly learned far more in school about Hitler, Stalin and Henry VIII than about how our society was shaped by the agricultural depression or the phenomenal growth of English cities in the 19th Century.

Yet their ancestors were generations of Somerset agricultural labourers whom poverty drove off the land and into cities in the late 1800s.

That is a familiar inheritance for many, probably most, of us.

The study of a narrow period in depth is, of course, invaluable for developing important skills such as source analysis.

But the history curriculum in English schools seems to have sacrificed a sense of the narrative history of the "common people".

No wonder, then, that so many feel confused about their identity.

If we really want to reawaken a greater sense of British identity, then it is time to bring back more British history

For many adults, that loss of identity is being tackled through genealogy. It can give us a strong sense of identity with a particular parish or town and with the agricultural way of life that was the norm for generations of our ancestors until as recently as 150 years ago.

Schools could learn much from this and, indeed, the Ajegbo report recommends a national week of events devoted to investigation of pupils' roots.

The BBC family history series 'Who do you think you are?' has done far more to raise issues of identity and cultural inheritance than any of the ludicrously overblown debate about a certain Channel 4 programme which - unlike just about every other journalist, it seems - I have vowed not to mention.

If we really want to reawaken a greater sense of British identity, then it is time to bring back more British history, not just about the great and the good, but about the ordinary people.

Yes, of course, we need to remind ourselves that immigration has always been a factor of British culture, from the Normans and the Huguenots to the Jews, West Indians and Ugandan Asians.

But let us not allow political correctness to blot out the story of the ordinary lives in British history.

British identity is certainly bolstered by an understanding of the multi-cultural origins of our society, but it is fundamentally underpinned by a clear sense of the social history of the British Isles.


Atol Aglæca
Tuesday, September 25th, 2007, 07:11 PM
British history should be rewritten to make it "more inclusive", says Trevor Phillips, the head of the new human rights and equality commission.

He said Muslims were also part of the national story and "sometimes we have to go back into the tapestry and insert some threads that were lost".

He quoted the example of the Spanish Armada, which was held up by the Turks at the request of Queen Elizabeth I.

"It was the Turks who saved us," Mr Phillips told a Labour fringe meeting.

Mr Phillips said he had also been persuaded of the need for a written constitution, saying the UK needed to be "more explicit in our understanding about how we treat each other".

He said population changes and immigration were happening at unprecedented rate and there was "no going back"...


Tuesday, September 25th, 2007, 07:26 PM
A lot of BS coming out of the mouth of a multiculturalist. I wish he would explain how the Turks held up the Armada. I thought it was the English navy & the weather that saved England.

This is Trevor Phillips for those who aren't aware of his background. Obviously he must feel excluded from the actual history of England. Putting someone like this in charge of a commission responsible for human rights & equality (in a White nation) is akin to making a Mexican responsible for enforcing immigration laws in the US. Which btw, was the situation in the US until about a week ago.

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007, 08:19 PM
"It was the Turks who saved us," Mr Phillips told a Labour fringe meeting.Trevor Phillips can never be English and he should not speak of "us". In 1588, Spaniards, Turks and Englishmen had one thing in common: They felt nothing but contempt towards Phillips's savage ancestors who were eating human flesh and drinking blood from skulls.

The paradox of this "inclusive history" is that Britons are indoctrinated to thank the Turks for their role in the battle whereas Spaniards are supposed to forget this aspect of history.

A lot of BS coming out of the mouth of a multiculturalist. I wish he would explain how the Turks held up the Armada. I thought it was the English navy & the weather that saved England.
The story is in the website of the Commission of Racial Equality. Half-truths and anti-racist spin.


It is true though that the Ottoman Empire was a major naval power in the Mediterranean in the 16th century and it at least in theory had a capability to tie a part of the Spanish fleet. I am not familiar enough with the historical details to know whether the Ottomans did so.

Anyway, Phillips's argument is a silly non sequitur. Even if the Ottoman Sultan happened to help Britons over 400 years ago does it follow that the rabble of Muslim countries should flood Britain?

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007, 09:52 PM
"If we don't like history the way it is, let's rewrite it." Nice sentiment, really... :rolleyes:

Alizon Device
Tuesday, September 25th, 2007, 10:13 PM
Maybe the rewriting of the British history books will result in a higher profile of the tactics of Bomber Command during the last months of World War II.
Maybe it will highlight the fact that Britain was led for most of that war by a pretty sick man, suffering from chronic depression and a binge-drinking disorder.

But it probably won't.

If negroes are so equal to the native British then why do we need any legislation to force employers to employ them, to force decent, average working class people to respect them?
It's all wrong. It's a classic case of 'the Emperor's New Clothes'.
If we are told often enough that these migrants are on our niveau then we might actually start to believe this fantasy.

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007, 02:52 AM
This is a complete crock of shit and a slap in the face to the British people and the country. How does this man "know" more history than native Brits? It just baffles me and angers me that multi-culturalists are ALWAYS trying to find ways to incorporate other ethnics into the cultures of homogenous and proud peoples, as if they had some "big role" in the creation and stability of the European cultures.

Friday, September 28th, 2007, 01:04 AM
The story is in the website of the Commission of Racial Equality. Half-truths and anti-racist spin.


It is true though that the Ottoman Empire was a major naval power in the Mediterranean in the 16th century and it at least in theory had a capability to tie a part of the Spanish fleet. I am not familiar enough with the historical details to know whether the Ottomans did so.

Anyway, Phillips's argument is a silly non sequitur. Even if the Ottoman Sultan happened to help Britons over 400 years ago does it follow that the rabble of Muslim countries should flood Britain?

The Ottoman Empire took a fatal blow from the Spanish in 1571.

http://www.answers.com/topic/battle-of-lepanto (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.answ ers.com%2Ftopic%2Fbattle-of-lepanto)

If negroes are so equal to the native British then why do we need any legislation to force employers to employ them, to force decent, average working class people to respect them?
It's all wrong. It's a classic case of 'the Emperor's New Clothes'.
If we are told often enough that these migrants are on our niveau then we might actually start to believe this fantasy.


Negroes and all nonwhites are not indigenous to white homelands. They are not part of the race, their heritages, culture and achievements that is Britain, England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, no matter how they try to delude and deceive their kind into believing such flights of fantasy.

Negroes and other nonwhites in the past, were here as the property of white slave owners, nothing more. The fact that some may have been allowed to stay on and breed, does not confer any claims to these islands any more than finishing up in China as the property of Chinese slave owners would make them Chinese or confer upon them any rights, whatsoever, to Chinese territory, heritage, culture and history.

Thursday, November 8th, 2007, 04:50 PM
Tories battle over 'Enoch Powell endorsement'

David Cameron last night faced the prospect of an embarrassing battle with local Tory activists over the removal of a Conservative candidate who backed Enoch Powell’s views on immigration.
# Simon Heffer: When will Tories admit that Enoch was right? (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2007/11/07/do0701.xml)
# Enoch Powells Rivers of Blood speech (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2007/11/06/nosplit/do0607.xml)
# Telegraph.co.uk/politics (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics)

Conservative Central Office ruled this week that Nigel Hastilow should be removed as prospective parliamentary candidate for Halesowen and Rowley Regis in Birmingham.

Nigel Hastilow

The move came after Mr Hastilow said in a newspaper column that Mr Powell had been right in his 1968 speech warning against the social tension that could be caused by mass immigration, an address that came to be known as the “Rivers of Blood” speech.

Mr Hastilow was summoned to a meeting with Caroline Spelman, the Tory chair, on Sunday, after which he "chose to resign" as a candidate.

Enoch Powell

But last night, it emerged that local Conservatives in the constituency may attempt to reject his resignation, keeping him on as their official candidate.

Grassroots Tories were said to have been incensed at the way Mr Hastilow had been treated, and prepared to try to keep him on in protest at Mr Cameron’s repositioning of the Conservative Party.

On his blog, Mr Hastilow claims Ms Spelman effectively forced him to resign, and that he has received widespread support over his remarks.

“What has kept me going, though, and gratified me is the enormous number of messages of support I have received from the constituency, the Black Country, Britain and, indeed, from around the world,” he says.

Mary Docker, the chair of the association, last night refused to say if Mr Hastilow had been formally removed as the official Conservative candidate.

"We have an executive meeting on Monday. A statement will be made after that," she said, refusing to comment further or answer questions about Mr Hastilow’s status.

But a Conservative Central Office spokesman last night insisted that the matter was closed and that Mr Hastilow was no longer the party’s candidate in Halesowen and Rowley Regis.

"He volunteered his resignation. One would expect the association to accept it," the spokesman said.

Full feature

Saturday, May 31st, 2008, 09:00 AM
Quite a lot of information in this article so you have to read all of it. The point which stood out to me, is how the BNP are becoming more respectable and shedding the loutish image. And that they are on the verge of controlling a city council, a place where 95% of the population is white.


WALK through the streets of Stoke-on-Trent and you will see it is no hotbed of racial tension.

There are no police cars stationed on street corners keeping rival factions apart. Nor are there any signs that riots could break out at any moment.

Yet the far-right British National Party enjoyed spectacular success in the recent local elections, boosting its presence on Stoke City Council from six councillors to nine – and making it the second largest party.

Local activists fear the BNP could control Stoke City Council within three years.

Suddenly the “unacceptable face” of British politics is wearing a smile in a city where locals have little to smile about.

So why is the BNP on the rise here? That smug smile is part of the answer – the BNP is smartening up its act.

Councillor Alby Walker, BNP group leader on the council, runs a small joinery business in the city. His wife Ellie, also a BNP councillor, is a school governor.

group leader and former Stoke MEP who lost his council seat on May 1, said of his BNP rivals: “They are not the mythical 25st men with body piercings and tattoos. They wear suits, they look tidy.”

And yet, behind the smiles, the anti-immigrant agenda is unchanged.

There are sinister suggestions of BNP supporters ingratiating themselves with white locals before spreading malicious false rumours about their non-white neighbours.

BNP-linked internet forums are still filled with appalling racism.

The BNP councillors have shown a willingness to work hard and listen to the complaints of constituents who felt let down by the failures of the local Labour-led council.

Cllr Walker claims his BNP colleagues are “community champions”.

They have benefited, too, from the area’s special problems.

Thirty years ago the Potteries was a thriving industrial area with more than 50,000 people working in local pits or potteries, or in engineering.

Now just 6,000 do so – and the city of 250,000 has one of the lowest proportions of people in employment in Britain.

There are problems of regeneration with particular issues over the closure of care homes, demolition of streets of run-down Victorian terraced homes, closures of old schools to make way for newly built ones, and the building of mosques.

The BNP carefully stayed within the law when campaigning here and insist they issue no racist literature.

Yet they were happy to suggest Stoke’s decline from a flourishing industrial centre to depressed area is down to immigration.

One election campaign, put out on leaflets in the Hanley area and online through YouTube, showed a montage of pottery kilns, smiling white housewives and a church tower, with the caption, “Hanley 70 years ago”. A second montage alongside showed silhouettes of mosques and a photograph of women in niqabs – one giving a V-sign – with the caption, “Is this what you want for our city centre?”

The BNP is now trying to turn a neighbourhood planning row, which tragically turned to violence, into a racial flashpoint.

After Muslim elder Habib Khan was last week convicted of the manslaughter of BNP activist neighbour Keith Brown, they tried to turn Mr Brown – a pal of BNP leader Nick Griffin – into a “white martyr”.

Local BNP councillor Michael Coleman this week suggested that if Mr Brown had stabbed his Asian neighbour it would have been treated as a race-hate crime and Brown would have been convicted of murder. He urged: “We advise anyone who gets angry – get involved with the BNP.” But the court heard Mr Khan had suffered years of abuse from his neighbour who had convictions for “extreme violence”.

The BNP has pandered to concerns of residents on the overcrowded, mainly white estates they represent by suggesting priority for council housing is being given to immigrants.

But the council gives priority to new tenants with local connections.

The BNP has also led protests against the building of a new mosque in the Shelton area.

Far from being swamped with immigrants, more than 96 per cent of the residents in Stoke-on-Trent were born in the UK. Nearly 95 per cent are white.

Mick Temple, professor of politics and journalism at Stafford University, said the BNP’s ongoing success in Stoke – in 2002 they almost succeeded in getting a candidate elected as mayor – were down to the party listening, as well as the failings of the city council.

This week it was told by a special commission to reform its “severely damaged” political system.

He said of the recent election results: “It was a protest vote. They have been helped by the manslaughter of the BNP activist.

“They have played on people’s fears since 9/11. There are obviously problems but we are not talking race riots here.”

Saturday, May 31st, 2008, 02:03 PM
Well can't say I am entirely surprised - but it is amazing isn't it! I am of the opinion that if the BNP leadership can moderate to such an extent that the dire circumstances of our plight will themselves demand a dialogue with rightist Tories and others - including folk from UKIP, who aren't making it! A Coalescence of like minds! Articulate people will naturally command respect in conditions which otherwise look pretty awful. But its not too bad there -- so there is probably also the fear factor - they wouldn't like to go the way of those down the road! SouthEast London is quite Rightist these days --- I am sure that they see what is happening further north in the City.

what do you think of the general tone of this report - it seemed to veer from critical with a touch sneering - to one of almost understanding and accceptance .....

A good find - their party HQ will be very pleased at this publicity , I bet! And why not - its free!

Saturday, May 31st, 2008, 02:35 PM
Well can't say I am entirely surprised - but it is amazing isn't it! I am of the opinion that if the BNP leadership can moderate to such an extent that the dire circumstances of our plight will themselves demand a dialogue with rightist Tories and others - including folk from UKIP, who aren't making it! A Coalescence of like minds! Articulate people will naturally command respect in conditions which otherwise look pretty awful. But its not too bad there -- so there is probably also the fear factor - they wouldn't like to go the way of those down the road! SouthEast London is quite Rightist these days --- I am sure that they see what is happening further north in the City.

what do you think of the general tone of this report - it seemed to veer from critical with a touch sneering - to one of almost understanding and accceptance .....

A good find - their party HQ will be very pleased at this publicity , I bet! And why not - its free!

Having attended quite a few meetings I can assure you that the BNP are not the skinhead knuckledraggers they are portrayed to be - though many of their supporters and members are working class (taxi drivers, tradesmen, etc).

A few things stood out for me:

BNP-linked internet forums are still filled with appalling racism.

The BNP are continually linked with SF and similar forums, mainly by the left. It is one of the few ways the modern party can be associated with neo-nazism and is often used to sully the party´s image.

And yet, behind the smiles, the anti-immigrant agenda is unchanged.

Statements like this are brilliant, whilst many journalists see an ´anti-immigrant agenda´ as a bad thing, most people would believe the contrary.

This week it was told by a special commission to reform its “severely damaged” political system.

It appears as though the mainstream parties are willing to actually change the political system in a bid to prevent the BNP from gaining power.

Saturday, May 31st, 2008, 04:09 PM
Local BNP councillor Michael Coleman this week suggested that if Mr Brown had stabbed his Asian neighbour it would have been treated as a race-hate crime and Brown would have been convicted of murder. He urged: “We advise anyone who gets angry – get involved with the BNP.” But the court heard Mr Khan had suffered years of abuse from his neighbour who had convictions for “extreme violence”.

Oh, so that justifies stabbing him, then?

That is what makes me angry with people. They will say one reason is justifiable for one person, but not the other.

Sunday, June 1st, 2008, 10:51 AM
A great post. This mustbe part of the general trend towards this party in particular - others having fallen away to a significant extent. The comparisons of relative alternative party strengths across London is a good example of what is happening. The Greens did well - but can not be in the same position as before since the Red mayor - a friend for the most part! - has been ousted. So , not only a Tory big gain and shift --- but a seat for the BNP . Quite a breakthrough. But this news out of Stoke and the Potteries is a largely 'white' result - and not from an area suffering from massive immigration..... if I can still put it like that.:rolleyes:

see too :


Friday, November 13th, 2009, 07:04 AM
SA minister defends shoot-to-kill

Mr Mbalula said innocent people would inevitably get hurt
South Africa's deputy police minister has stood by his force's tough, shoot-to-kill policy, days after a three-year-old boy was shot dead by officers.

Fikile Mbalula said it was inevitable that innocent people would get caught in crossfire.

And referring to what he called "incorrigible criminals", he urged the police to "shoot the bastards".

The boy was killed on Saturday as police hunted a murder suspect, sparking a national outcry.

"Yes. Shoot the bastards. Hard-nut to crack, incorrigible criminals," Mr Mbalula said. More:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8357482.stm (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8357482.stm)

Friday, November 13th, 2009, 01:40 PM
The law should be changed, not only for the police but for the ordinary citizen. If you shoot and kill an "innocent" armed to the teeth robber, you will be charged with murder and arrested. If you are lucky enough not to be raped by a bunch of sub human HIV positive specimens, the nightmare awaits you. A normal citizen has to prove that you acted in self defence, and if the basterd did not fire at you....jail time awaits. The best way to bring down crime is to bring back the death penalty. An eye for an eye. SA is the most dangerous country in the world, more people die here every day, than on the battlefields in the middle east. Strange that the US do not bother and try to save us from evil dictators.....sorry I forgot, we have no oil to fuel their war machines.