England Expects …

It was two hundred and fifteen years ago today that  Admiral Lord Nelson defeated the combined French and Spanish fleets off Trafalgar. This is one of those victories that in the modern age we seem to think was pre-ordained. It wasn’t. I’m told that it is barely celebrated in England, that’s very silly. This is a victory that did as much to make the world we live in as Salamis, Lepanto, or the Armada.  That’s sad. I can only attribute that to too many of our people coming to believe that our influence on the world has been an evil one. That is not only wrong, and perhaps evil in itself, but diametrically opposed to the truth.

Sir Walter Raleigh, in A Discourse of the Invention of Ships, Anchors, Compass, &c., said this:

For whosoever commands the sea commands the trade; whosoever commands the trade of the world commands the riches of the world, and consequently the world itself.

This was also quoted by Fleet Admiral Nimitz, on his retirement. It was true for the Elizabethans, it was true in Nelson’s time, it is true now, it will always be true. But the Anglo-Saxon powers have always been more interested in trade than pure control of the world and its people. Alfred Thayer McMahon, in The Influence of Sea Power upon History, says this with regard to the British fleet:  “Those distant, storm-tossed ships, never seen by the Grande Armee, were all that stood between it and world domination.” And that is so. Our francophile president, Thomas Jefferson wrote that if Napoleon took possession of Louisiana and attempted to move an army there, “on that day we shall have to marry ourselves to the British fleet and nation”. Nor was he kidding, control of New Orleans would have (and had under the Spanish) stifled the growth of not only the Old Southwest, but also the Old Northwest, it was simply something that America could not allow, and survive.

Nor did it end there. We haven’t forgotten that during our Civil War, the French attempted to impose a Hapsburg emperor on Mexico, or that it was only thwarted in 1865, when fifty thousand battle-hardened Union troops assembled in Texas, leading to the French Foreign Legion’s most famous defeat. But we also recognize that one of the reasons that we developed as we did is that the Royal Navy was the guarantor of the Monroe Doctrine. That allowed the new world to develop at its own speed and in its own way.

We should also mention that the end of chattel slavery in the west was primarily done by the Royal Navy, which encouraged industriousness amongst its people by paying prize money for captured slavers, and the return of their cargos. Slavery ended with the deaths of a half-million white Americans, but they and the Royal Navy were both following the precepts first proposed around the time of the Revolution–in East Anglia.

Nor do I think there is any question that India, is far better off today than it was in the days before the Raj. Gandhi himself once said that his nonviolent tactics would not have worked against a less moral people than the British, and in fact, Dr. Martin Luther King said the same thing about the civil rights struggle here.

And so we come to the twentieth century, to 1941 specifically. Off Newfoundland, two convoys of warships met. One carried the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill on HMS Prince of Wales. the other carried the President of the United States, Franklin Roosevelt, on the USS Augusta. This is the time when the guard of the English speaking peoples changed from England to America. Fittingly it happened during Church Parade on the Prince of Wales. Churchill said this about it:

The prime minister reported that no one who attended would forget “that sunlit morning on the crowded quarterdeck—the symbol of the Union Jack and the Stars and Stripes draped side by side on the pulpit,” and “the close-packed ranks of British and American sailors, completely intermingled, sharing the same books and joining fervently in the prayers and hymns familiar to both.” Churchill had chosen the hymns—“For Those In Peril On the Sea;” “Onward, Christian Soldiers,” and “O God, Our Help in Ages Past.” He said later, “Every word seemed to stir the heart. It was a great hour to live. Nearly half of those who sang were soon to die.” HMSPrince of Wales was sunk by Japanese aircraft off Malaya on December 10, 1941.

Here was mapped the grand strategy that would allow the cousins, for that, is what we were, and are, to free the world from the menace of Nazi Germany, and Imperial Japan. But here’s the point: On that day in 1941, only seventy-nine years ago, if you were free to speak your mind, you spoke English as your native language. All the rest of the world owes their very freedom to those distant storm-tossed ships, that won one of the world’s greatest victories, for England, and for the world.

And so, for two hundred and fourteen years now, the Royal Navy has drunk one toast in silence, and all free peoples should join them.

I give you, Gentlemen (and Ladies):

“The immortal memory,

of Nelson and those who fell with him”

 

It’s true now, as it has always been, We sleep safe in our beds because of rough men (and now women) who are prepared to do violence on our behalf.

In 1492, Columbus Sailed the Ocean Blue

Arms of the Portuguese Prince Henry, the Navig...

Image via Wikipedia

Another Columbus Day has come. And again we celebrate the (re)discovery of the New World. And look what has been erected on that discovery! If you didn’t know; Columbus was a student of Prince Henry the Navigator’s school.

Those students made almost all of the voyages of discovery from the Iberian Peninsula. By the way, Prince Henry of  Portugal was the Grandson of John of Gaunt, time-honored Lancaster. The English always make it into these stories of the sea, don’t they?

So we know that Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492. But why? His crews were afraid of starving or falling off the edge of the world. His ships were ridiculously small. What exactly was the point? Nobody in Portugal had even heard of Brazil, nor were they all that enthused about an overseas empire. So, why?

Trade, that’s why. Everybody knew where India and China were (at least all the cool cats that knew the world was round). They had since Marco Polo made that remarkable trip, if not before. They liked the silk and other good things that came from China. But there was a problem.

You see there were pirates in the Mediterranean, then one had to get through the totalitarian Ottoman Empire, the Safavid Persians, and various and sundry other Islamic States. If you remember Spain had just managed to reconquer Spain from the Moslems and just plain didn’t want anything to do with them. So they decided to take a shortcut and sail west to go east. Yeah, their calculations were off a bit about the size of the world, but that’s why.

Now let’s think about this a little, Spain went way out of its way to avoid the clowns and founded both the New World and New Spain in the process: and got themselves into a shooting war with England that would eventually cost them their world power status. See A Cloud Smaller Than a Fist.

A few hundred years later, the United States won its Independence from Great Britain. The United States’ very first war was a regime change in Tripoli. There are still Islamic pirates, they still hold slaves and all in all they are still living in the 7th Century. And still today, Iran threatens war on Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United States. Some things never change.

Only now with their oil wealth, instead of modernizing and improving their people’s lives and such, they seem intent on conquering the world and seem to believe the world will use its modernity to help

They have found some fellow travelers, who had best hope they lose because they aren’t going to enjoy winning for long. Ask the survivors of the Kingdom of the Visigoths in about 1000 AD.

So there you have it. The cause of Columbus sailing the Ocean Blue.

In Other News:

  • General Robert Edward Lee, the commander of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, dies peacefully at his home in Lexington, Virginia. He was 63 years old.

Lee was born to Henry Lee (Light Horse Harry) and Ann Carter Lee at Stratford Hall, Virginia, in 1807. His father served in the American Revolution under George Washington and was later a governor of Virginia. Robert Lee attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and graduated second in his class in 1829. He did not earn a single demerit during his four years at the academy. Afterward, Lee embarked on a military career, eventually fighting in the Mexican War (1846-48) and later serving as the superintendent of West Point.

  • On the morning of October 12, 1915, the 49-year-old British nurse Edith Cavell was executed by a German firing squad in Brussels, Belgium.

Before World War I began in 1914, Cavell served for a number of years as the matron of a nurse’s training school in Brussels. After the city was captured and occupied by the Germans in the first month of the war, Cavell chose to remain at her post, tending to German soldiers and Belgians alike. In August 1915, German authorities arrested her and accused her of helping British and French prisoners-of-war, as well as Belgians hoping to serve with the Allied armies, to escape Belgium for neutral Holland. As I wrote on the centenary of her execution, here, there was no doubt at all of her guilt. And you can watch (no sound BTW) the procession for her state funeral at Norwich Cathedral in 1919 here.

  • On this day in 1776, British Generals Henry Clinton and William Howe lead a force of 4,000 troops aboard some 90 flat-boats up New York’s East River toward Throg’s Neck, a peninsula in Westchester County, in an effort to encircle General George Washington and the Patriot force stationed at Harlem Heights.

This was the largest British amphibious attack before Normandy.

After hearing of the British landing at Throg’s Neck, Washington ordered a contingent of troops from the Pennsylvania regiment to destroy the bridge leading from the peninsula to the Westchester mainland. The destruction of the bridge stranded Clinton and his men at Throg’s Neck for six days before they were loaded back onto their vessels and continued up the East River toward Pell Point.

  • On this day in 1946, Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell, the man who commanded the U.S. and Chinese Nationalist resistance to Japanese incursions into China and Burma, dies today at age 63.

All courtesy of This Day In History.

Sunday Funnies; Land of Hope and Glory

Yes, a bit of cultural appropriation from the cousins, but I think if they read through to the end, they will happily forgive me.

By the way, from Second City Cop, this is an actual photo of the block where the mayor of Chicago, pictured above (I’m sorry) lives.

Not a photoshop

These might be, but I wouldn’t bet much.

Notice that, unlike California, RMS Titanic had electric lights

Doesn’t everyone do it this way

Do not set the flux capacitor to 2020

This sucks

Now for our cousins who, like us, lament that XiNN East has decided to remove the lyrics from the best part of “Last Night of the Proms”. Enjoy with us

By the way, this gentleman is 90 this week.

Our friend Alys sent this to us the other day, so I think she likes this version. I certainly do.

I’m going to toss an extra in here since it was originally written to tweak the noses of the powers that be

What a glorious version of “My Country is of Thee!”  🙂

 

And, of course

The View from England

On the 3rd of November this year, the US will hold what I believe to be the most important presidential election of our time. Over the last decade or so, times have indeed been-a-changing but not for the better. The left have picked up their pace, with more infringements on our civil liberties, further laws to divide our communities, and a vociferous hatred of the people and values that built our great countries – the United States and Britain. Over the last few months, we have seen our countries face lockdowns, which our leaders claim are to stop a virus, which is only affecting certain sections of our societies, and the people are constantly being forced fed a diet of fear spread predictably through a mainstream media directing their truths and backed up by a political class whose only aim is to take more power.

Throughout this period, we have seen the rise of the far left, in the Marxist group Black Lives Matter, which cares as much for black lives as the Democrats care for the future of their country, and the terrorist organisation, Antifa. Both groups’ aims are to cause chaos throughout the country, spreading fear within communities which they look to divide while tearing down the history, culture, and values of both countries and all the while making ridiculous demands like defunding the police, something which would enable the chaos to continue and spread. At any other time, both organisations would be ignored but they have the support of Democrats, in the States, and the left in our country which, unfortunately, includes our government, formerly known as the Conservative Party. It is a wretched state of affairs in both our countries and I’m hopeful that the cultural counter-revolution, wherever that may come from, starts sooner rather than later. Do I see the re-election of Trump as a way to move that on in the States? Sadly, no. Despite Trump being in charge, the horrific events we’ve seen in the last few months have been allowed to continue and the president has been able to do little about it. Whether that’s because it’s an election year and he’s reluctant to get involved or because Democrats have the mandate over their states, I don’t know. What I do know is that it’s pivotal for Trump to be elected, certainly from our perspective.

First off, because of Brexit. Biden was Obama’s vice president during his 2 terms in office and as we know, Obama stated that the UK would be at the back of the queue for any trade deals. If Biden was elected, I’d expect this message to remain. If anything, he would probably urge Britain to rethink its membership with the EU and with our useless leaders, we’d probably find ourselves pulled back in, despite the democratic mandate given by our people in 2016. Trump, on the other hand, values this country but he’s a businessman, at the end of the day, and he’ll negotiate hard for a deal that works for his country over any other. That’s good because at least we’ll get the opportunity to negotiate rather than being in a position where we’re shunted to the outer edges while being redirected back to Brussels. Biden might be favoured by our elite but many of our people won’t be too happy at seeing him in power, especially with Kamala Harris at his side. They won’t work for the interests of the American people at large and they certainly will do us no favours.

Secondly, because it’s important that a conservative remains in charge of the US. It’s also important that when the opportunity arises to re-elect governors, that chance is taken by the people of the US. The states that are seeing the most turmoil – rises in crime and unemployment – are Democrat-run states and I do hope the people suffering in those places recognise that their leaders have done nothing to help them, only exacerbate the issues. Electing conservatives will be a huge boon for the people who have watched the chaos ensue and businesses destroyed while their leaders have sat on their hands and done nothing.

Proper conservative leaders are few and far between across the world and with the globalists and quangos, like the UN, keen to alter the way we operate globally, it’s important that there is a pushback on many of their plans. Trump is not influenced by these bodies and has already removed his country from some of these groups, which act against the interests of not only the American people but many other countries too.

After watching, for the last few years, a government in this country abandon its conservative values and slide to the left, favouring positive discrimination and identity politics, which installed hate crime in our legislation and has allowed common purpose to take over our institutions, it makes me envious to see President Donald J Trump sit in the White House. I wish we had someone like him here. Someone who doesn’t pander to the left or thuggish organisations or to the media but someone with the balls to stand for his values.

You are in a very fortunate position and I hope that we will see, on the 4th of November, President Trump ready to take his place as your head of state for a further 4 years.

The UK Report

In the Salisbury Review, Peter Mullen has some comments about the UK education establishment, they’re worth our time on either side of the pond.

For far too long our wonderful young people have been the victims of scandalous prejudice on the part of the educational establishment which inexplicably favours students who are intelligent, knowledgeable and industrious. This reactionary policy constantly discriminates against those of our wonderful young people who are ignorant, idle and thick. I have been gathering first-hand testimonies from some of these casualties: those vulnerable oiks and morons who, through no fault of their own, are being denied the opportunity to spend three years hanging around getting innocently pissed and stoned as a prelude to their achieving a pretty piece of parchment and years of debt. […]

But the rot starts even before our wonderful young people even leave school where they are obliged to do maths. Orion was hopping mad because he had been awarded a D. “So I mean like absolutely I said 7+ 5 = 41. An’ d’you know what they sed? They sed it’s 12. Well, it’s like it might be 12 for some people but uvvers cum from a community wot ‘as a different culture like and they ‘as their own like ideas dunt they?”

Orion’s teacher shared his disappointment: “The rigid system is class-based, sexist and racist. Underprivileged and vulnerable wonderful young people are being denied self-expression and their human right to say that 7 + 5 = whatever they say it is in their community and ethnic group. Cultural relativism. Know what I mean?” […]

Clotho was sitting next to her friend Vyella straight out of the RE [Religous Education, admin] exam: “It was horrible and my sister Ammonia was like well I’m gone, Clotho. I mean Ammonia’s a neo-vegan Zoroastrian with only slight cannibalistic tendencies. Then we got all this about God saying there’s stuff we shouldn’t do, commandments and that. Why is God so judgemental? And so up Himself with this like no other gods but me. Has He never like heard of diversity? He’s probably a She anyway. So Sexist. Incredible

STOP PRESS The Education Secretary has been put in detention.

Do read it all. If he hasn’t he certainly should have been. I was chatting recently with a friend who is the CEO of an English Educational Trust. She tells me that Boris’s girlfriend needs to get a grip on him. She says the phrase she and her colleagues are using “Omnishambles”. Not a very good look for a first world country. Meanwhile, the Universities are trying to make some sense of it all, and not have to lay people off. Omnishambles, indeed!

But then thanks to our teacher’s unions, we are not doing all that much better.

This is more of a coming attraction than an actual report, but Spiked Online UK has done an interview with Joseph Bottum the author of An Anxious Age: The Post-Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of America. It too speaks of both our countries and is fascinating. But it will take an article of its own, perhaps more than one to clarify what he seems to be saying to me. A hint is in his use of the word ‘Elect’ instead of ‘Elite’. I think he makes a fair amount of sense.

Assandun

dsc00985

How about something completely different. A battle for control of England from almost the end of the Viking Age – no, not Hastings but 50 years earlier when Cnut defeated Edmund Ironside. It’s an interesting story from 2016. Neo

Another battle that we should take notice of, this one before the Battle of Hastings that made the phrase “1066 and all that” so famous. This one was exactly 1000 years ago today. Amazing thing is that for the participants it was likely just as important as Hastings.

This is the battle where Cnut, King of Denmark, about whom an old Norse poem says this:

Skjöldungr, vannt und skildi
skœru verk, inn sterki,
(fekk blóðtrani bráðir
brúnar) Assatúnum.

Strong Skjöldungr, you performed a feat of battle under the shield; the blood-crane [raven/eagle] received dark morsels at Ashingdon.

There are some wonderful takeaways here, Skjöldungr refers to Cnut’s heritage, his ancestors were the legendary Skjöldung dynasty – the Scyldings of Beowulf. And the blood-crane here might refer to the legendary Raven banner of Denmark, which is mentioned in the Encomium Emmae Reginae, which says this.

Now they had a banner of wonderfully strange nature, which though I believe that it may be incredible to the reader, yet since it is true, I will introduce the matter into my true history. For while it was woven of the plainest and whitest silk, and the representation of no figure was inserted into it, in time of war a raven was always seen as if embroidered on it, in the hour of its owners’ victory opening its beak, flapping its wings, and restive on its feet, but very subdued and drooping with its whole body when they were defeated.

Now that’s a banner fit for a warrior race! It must be said though that the Encomium is quite unreliable. And besides, I think the author might protest a bit too much.

On the other side was Edmund Ironside, son of Æthelred the Unready (actually, I think Unraed, which means “without counsel”) but both seem to be true, he had died in April 1016, and Edmund his son succeeded him, finally uniting (most) of the English.

via A Clerk of Oxford: The Battle of Assandun: Three Sources

And so these were the sides that met at Assandun, the Danes (and likely some of the English as well) against the English under the leadership of another legendary captain Edmund Ironside.

And so, as The Clerk of Oxford tells us, from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle:

[The [Danish] raiding-army turned back up into Essex, and went towards Mercia, and destroyed all that they overtook. Then when the king [Edmund] heard that the army was inland, he gathered all the English nation for the fifth time and travelled behind them, and overtook them in Essex at the hill which is called Assandun, and there they fought a hard battle together. Then Eadric the ealdorman did as he had so often done before, and first began the flight with the Magonsæte, and so betrayed his king and lord and all the English nation. There Cnut had the victory, and won for himself the whole nation of the English. There Bishop Eadnoth was killed, and Abbot Wulfsige, and Ealdorman Ælfric, and Ealdorman Godwine, and Ulfkytel of East Anglia, and Æthelweard, the son of Ealdorman Ælfwine, and all the best of the English nation.]

England had a new king, a Dane, in whose train was a young Dane by the name of Godwine, who would go far, and whose son Harold Godwineson would become the last Anglo-Saxon King of England, killed at Hastings.

But before that would come to pass, Edmund, who had retained Wessex in the settlement after Assundun, died a few months later, and Cnut became King of all England. In a few years, he would dedicate a minster at Assundun in Essex, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle tells us:

[In this year the king and Earl Thorkell went to Assandun, with Archbishop Wulfstan and other bishops, and also abbots and many monks, and consecrated the church at Assandun.]

And the Clerk explains:

The people named in this entry indicate the importance of this church to the new Danish regime. Wulfstan is the great archbishop of York, whom we last encountered in 1014 railing against the disloyalty of English people who collaborated with the Danes; he had by this time had quite a change of heart, and become one of Cnut’s chief advisers and law-makers. (A lot can happen in six years!) Wulfstan presided at the consecration of the church at Assandun, and one of his surviving sermons, ‘On the Dedication of a Church’, may well have been preached on this occasion. The other person named by the Chronicle is Earl Thorkell, who was remembered as the hero of Assandun, and whom Cnut had recently made Earl of East Anglia. Any event which could bring these two men together must have been pretty extraordinary. We can also populate the Chronicle‘s crowd with various people likely to have been there, standing beside Cnut, Thorkell and Wulfstan: Cnut’s new wife Emma, Earl Godwine (and his new Danish wife, Gytha?), Æthelnoth (soon to be made Archbishop of Canterbury), the Norwegian earl Eiríkr, newly appointed earl of Northumbria, and more. The church was entrusted to Stigand, a priest probably of Anglo-Danish origin, who though very much a winner after the Danish Conquest was very much a loser after the Norman Conquest. With hindsight, there are many tantalising connections and ironies to be drawn out from this disparate collection of people – English, Danish, Norwegian and Norman – who were between them to shape England’s fate throughout the eleventh century: the following year Thorkell would be outlawed, three years later Wulfstan would be dead, and fifty years later the young priest Stigand would be Archbishop of Canterbury, crowning the upstart Godwine’s son King of England.

There are (at least) two choices for this church, this is one of them:

hadstock-church

Again quoting from The Clerk of Oxford

All that said, let me show you what I saw at Ashdon. If Ashdon is Assandun, Cnut’s minster would be this church, St Botolph’s, which is actually in the nearby village of Hadstock. Why not Ashdon itself? I’ll quote the guidebook: “While it is just possible that evidence for an Anglo-Saxon building is encapsulated in Ashdon church, there is nothing to suggest a structure of minster-proportions; hence historians have turned to Hadstock where a large and imposing Anglo-Saxon church cannot fail to command attention. There is no doubt that it was a minster, and of the period in question; it stands on the same ‘Hill of the Ash Trees’ as Ashdon.”

The core of the present church is late Anglo-Saxon, and thus plausibly of the date of Cnut’s minster. It’s worth noting that St Botolph, the dedicatee of the church, was one of the saints in whom Cnut took an interest; Cnut was responsible for the translation of Botolph’s relics to Bury St Edmunds, where he founded a church on the anniversary of the Battle of Assandun in the 1030s. There’s some suggestion there was a shrine to Botolph here, not just a dedication – the archaeologists talk about traces of an empty Saxon grave in the fabric of the south side of the church.

All in all, quite an important anniversary, which would likely be more important still if St. Edward the Confessor hadn’t died childless only 50 years later. Such are the ways of history.

[More, and more pictures, today from The Clerk of Oxford. Yay!

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