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09-09-2011, 17:09   #1
Bannasidhe
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Pass the Popcorn moments in History

On the Real History vs Political/ Sociology History Sub Forum I referred to John Knox's Anti-Female Ruler polemic The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women (1558) ( available at:
http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualNLs/firblast.htm) and mentioned how when he later came to look for a pension from Elizabeth I she - having read passages such as
Quote:
I am assured that God has revealed to some in this our age, that it is more than a monster in nature that a woman shall reign and have empire above man. And yet, with us all there is such silence, as if God therewith were nothing offended. I know the natural man, enemy to God, shall find many causes why no such doctrine ought to be published in these our dangerous days: first, for that it may seem to tend to sedition; secondarily, it shall be dangerous, not only to the writer or publisher, but also to all such as shall read the writings, or favour this truth spoken; and last, it shall not amend the chief offenders, partly because it shall never come to their ears, and partly because they will not be admonished in such cases.
was less than amused. Her grilling of Knox on the issue and his squirming attempts to explain he didn't mean HER have always greatly amused me.

Elizabeth, who was in her own view (and the view of those who fancied keeping their heads) The Prince chosen by God himself, was all cold outraged dignity giving Knox the 'benefit' of her Humanist education in logic and rhetoric. Knox all fire and brimstone secure in his 'true adherent to Scripture' megalomania suddenly found himself being interrogated by a furious women (with Absolute Power), a woman he firmly believed owed him a pension... clean underpants time!

So this got me thinking - what moments in History would people love to pop back to in the Tardis, grab a deckchair and a bucket of popcorn and sit back and enjoy the show?

Apart from Elizabeth I Vs John Knox, I would love to see the assassination of William The Silent - Prince of Orange- by Balthasar Gérard in 1584. Or at least the version of it I heard recounted by the Great Ken Nicholls many years ago (FYI - for the majority of Early Modern Irish historians If Ken says it happened. It happened! When questioned by the unwary he reels off from memory the MS sources he found the info in - the rest of us get popcorn and watch that show too ).

So, as Ken told it - Balthasar Gérard was a French Adventurer who talked big and had attached himself to supporters of Phillip II of Spain. He swaggered around regaling people with tales of the daring-do deeds he would perform for his Catholic Majesty if only fate would give him the chance. Eventually, people got fed up of Gérard's talking-talking so he decided to try and claim the reward of 25,000 crowns offered by Spain to the assassin of William.

Gérard set off for the Netherlands in 1581, but didn't manage to get close to William until 1584. On the 10th of July, as William was descending the stairs after dinner Gérard shot him.

At this point the official histories note only that Gérard was captured and brutally tortured before being executed. For Nicholls - the tale of Gérard's capture is the best part of the story and, in my view, a definite popcorn moment.

Gérard had a cunning plan which consisted of shooting William and legging it away across the gardens to the canal. He correctly reasoned that as there was quite a high wall separating the grounds from the canal the area would be lightly guarded. Gerard had every faith in his ability to quickly scale the wall...there was, however, one teeny little drawback with the plan. But fear not, good reader, for Gérard had come up with a clever solution.

The problem?

Gérard couldn't swim.

The solution?

Greased leather inflatable waterwings made from bladders.

Yes. Waterwings.

So Gérard takes off like a scaled cat in his finest 'Blackadder' stylee - codpiece, hose, thigh high boots with a lovely heel and spurs, ruffs bouncing as he ran pursued by very, very angry guards baring very, very sharp things indeed intent on sticking them in him.

It was at this point the fatal flaw in Gérard's cunning plan and clever solution to the teeny problem manifested itself. He couldn't very well have pre-inflated his bladdery waterwings as this would be bound to cause comment while he nonchalantly lingered waiting for William.

This left Gérard no option but to inflate on the go.

So there is our brave assassin going hell for leather across the lawn in his thigh high boots trying desperately to inflate a pair of water wings - which, to give him credit he managed to do.

Sadly, valves had yet to be invented so for his cunning plan to suceed, Gerard need to hold the blow holes closed until such time as he could stop running and tie them shut.

Again, to give him credit, Gérard's faith in his climbing ability proved well founded as by the time the Dutch guards got to the wall, Gérard had somehow - while pinching the waterwing blowholes closed! - managed to attain the summit. Possibly sheer terror of sharp things helped. Gérard sat atop the wall busy tying his bladder wings blowhole in apparent safety from the Guards who couldn't quite reach him. Freedom just a short doggy paddle away then riches! Mega bucks!

Then, as Gérard launched himself from the wall, a lucky jab from a halberd punctured a waterwing.

He was quickly fished out of the canal - half drowned.


Poor Balthaser Gérard suffered a horrendous death.

Last edited by Bannasidhe; 09-09-2011 at 19:37.
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09-09-2011, 23:01   #2
 
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Well I've always fancied a front seat in Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin in May 1487 for the 'coronation' of Lambert Simnel as Edward VI, King of England. And the party that the FitzGeralds threw for him would have been worth a drop in. Those FitzGerald celebrations...

[But I would have slipped quietly away though before the party really got going with the invasion of England - the Tudor Henry VII was not going to be a pushover.]

Last edited by MarchDub; 09-09-2011 at 23:05.
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10-09-2011, 12:11   #3
 
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I was looking for something awe inspiring and came up with about the Worst Royal Wedding Ever.

Chas & Di had nothing on these two.

Fat,vain, ugly and tactless and that was just the groom. Add smelly to describe the bride. He was deeply in debt and she had money.

The wedding was a hoot.


Quote:

The Prince of Wales arrived for the wedding very drunk. He was obviously reluctant to proceed with the ceremony. His father actually urged him to finish the ceremony at one point. The Prince looked not at all at his bride but frequently at his mistress, the 42-year-old Lady Jersey, the wife of the 60-year-old fourth Earl of Jersey, George Bussy Villiers.
After the ceremony, the King and Queen held a drawing-room for the couple in the Queen's apartment in St. James Palace. Caroline seemed pleased and chatty. The Prince was silent and morose until near the end of the evening when he recovered his composure enough to become "very civil and gracious".

The couple honeymooned at the Marine Pavilion in Brighton. The Prince of Wales became so drunk that he spent his wedding night passed out on the floor in front of the bedroom fireplace. He finally awakened early in the morning and performed his conjugal duties, which resulted in a daughter nine months later.



http://www.georgianindex.net/princew...s_wedding.html
And there is more



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2010 Jane Austen Awards »
The Strange Marriage of the Prince Regent and Princess Caroline of Brunswick

May 23, 2010 by Vic

The Prince Regent – “Prinny” – made no secret of his reluctance to marry Princess Caroline of Brunswick. Some years before he had secretly married Mrs. Maria Fitzherbert, a Catholic widow and the woman he loved. But according to the Royal Marriage Act their union was illegal. Princess Caroline, the daughter of Prinny’s eldest aunt AND a Protestant, was considered a more suitable consort by King George III. This proposed union with his cousin went much against the Prince’s wishes, and when he met the 27-year-old German Princess in 1795, he turned to Lord Malmesbury and said, “Harris, I am not well. Pray, get me a glass of brandy.”

The Prince of Wales had acquiesced to his father’s wishes only to clear his debts, which totaled £630,000 pounds, a staggering sum for that era, and for an increase in his yearly allowance. Although Prinny’s first impression of Caroline was unfavorable, she was thought to be quite pretty in her youth. The Prince, who was soft and fat, made an equally distasteful first impression on the Princess, and thus the couple, both spoiled and eccentric (to put it mildly) were off to a bad start. During the ceremony Prinny continually looked at his mistress, Lady Jersey, instead of his wife, and at one point the King had to persuade the Prince to finish the ceremony.
The marriage ceremony proceeded as arranged, attended by his well pleased father, on the evening of 8th April, 1795 at the Chapel Royal at St. James’ Palace. The bride wore a elaborate dress of silver tissue and lace and a velvet robe lined with ermine. The distraught bridegroom spent his wedding night lying on the bedroom floor by the fireplace in a drunken stupor.
Prinny and his German bride (Image from the Georgian Index)

Although he was repelled by his wife, George eventually did his duty and brought himself to consummate the marriage and the Princess of Wales gave birth to a daughter and heir to the throne, Princess Charlotte, on 7th January, 1796.” - English monarchs
Although not entirely unattractive, Princess Caroline was neither graceful nor elegant, nor did she behave in a regal fashion. Her “clumsy deportment and jerky movements made one MP liken her to a “Fanny Royds” (a weighted Dutch doll with red cheeks that jumps up to standing position)” - Historicizing Romantic Sexuality. Her German manners and demeanor never quite came up to English royal expectations or their level of “sophistication.” Lady Jersey, the Prince’s mistress at the time, was cruel enough to wear a pair of pearl bracelets in front of Caroline that the Prince had originally presented to his bride as a wedding gift. He then took the jewelry back and gave the bracelets to Lady Jersey. The cartoon in the first image, which is sympathetic towards Caroline’s marital situation, shows Lady Jersey as an old hag welcoming a virginal Caroline to England.
Caroline, Princess of Wales (Image from LIFE)

In her youth Caroline could look quite presentable. A contemporary described her as being
… above the middle height, extremely spread for her age, her bosom full but finely shaped, her shoulders large, and her whole person voluptuous, but of a nature to become soon spoiled; and without much care and exercise she will shortly lose all beauty in fat and clumsiness. Her skin is white but not a transparent white. There is little or no shade in her face, but her features are very fine. Their expression like that of her general demeanour is noble. Her feet are rather small, and her hands and arms are finely moulded She has a hesitation in her speech amounting almost to a stammer … - Memoirs of the Court of England During the Regency (1811-1820)
Observers did agree on several aspects about Caroline: her manners could be coarse and gruff, and her taste in dress was atrocious. Mary Berry described the princess in her journal: ”Such an over-dressed, bare-bosomed, painted eye-browed figure one never saw”. She flouted convention, ”even if this meant exposing her decidedly lustful nature”; this rebellious streak, accompanied by her “outlandish ways and bizarre dress sense” combined to give Caroline an eccentricity not becoming in a female member of the British court, let alone its royal family.” – Elizabeth Fay, Historicizing Romantic Sexuality. As Caroline aged, her penchant for wearing virginal gowns made her look ridiculous and she became a target for satirists, as in the image below.
Caroline tended to dress too youthfully for her age and often cut a ridiculous figure in public.

Caroline, who flaunted her unconventional and ribald tastes, surrounded herself with people of questionable morality.
The Princess evidently preferred gay company, a certain sprinkling of intelligence with a good flow of animal spirits being the ordinary passports to her society. No questions appear to have been asked of either sex; it is therefore not surprising that several of the favoured circle were celebrated more or less for their independence of moral obligations.” - Memoirs of the Court of England During the Regency (1811-1820)
The Duke of Buckingham and Chandos observed of her childhood: “Her faults have evidently never been checked nor her virtues fostered.” The Princess remained capricious and lewd all her life, and her risque conversations kept her attendants in daily dread of her impetuous pronouncements.
Portrait of Caroline by Thomas Lawrence

Caroline was - in her husband’s eyes – expendable. He thought her an unfit wife and mother and permitted her to see her daughter Princess Charlotte only once a week. Prinny’s reluctance to live with his wife and daughter, his politics, and his profligate ways made him unpopular with the public. Princess Caroline made the most of this situation, publicly playing the role of victim, even though by contemporary accounts she did not demonstrate much affection for her daughter. The Queen’s Matrimonial Ladder, published in 1820, demonstrates how sympathetic many were to her plight as the Prince Regent’s ostracized wife. Jane Austen famously wrote: ”Poor woman, I shall support her as long as I can, because she is a Woman and because I hate her Husband.”
Sartiric Cartoon: Princess Caroline shows up at the King's Theatre during the performance of Don Giovanni, reminding the Prince that he is married

Banned from the social gatherings at the Prince’s lodgings and at Carlton House, Caroline established a rival court at Kensington Palace and Blackheath. The strange marriage between this eccentric couple provided an endless source for gossip, for Caroline’s indiscretions (as well as Prinny’s) were public knowledge:


http://janeaustensworld.wordpress.co...-of-brunswick/


George and Caroline were the antithesis of his parents , his mother Queen Charlotte had black ancestry and his father never had a mistress

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontl...yalfamily.html


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10-09-2011, 12:36   #4
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Seamus Darby's goal for Offaly in the 1982 All Ireland final !!!!!! ( And I'm not an Offaly man )

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11-09-2011, 09:36   #5
 
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Jayne Mansfield in Trallee, and I know its not long ago but I wish I'd been there

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11-09-2011, 09:55   #6
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I would love to have seen the actions and reaction to the Connaught rangers mutiny in India during the war of independence. As a moment in time an isolated incident like that is interesting in the nationalistic feeling that stories from home can create. So when soldiers who hail from Ireland but are enforcing British rule in india hear stories from home, it hits something within them. There is something stirring about that.

To witness moments where historical figures get their comeuppance would also make for interesting viewing. I was looking at stuff to do with Napoleon in his Russian campaign and think that the moment when he actually realised that he needed to get out of Russian territory would be interesting. How does a great general do this? Without being to simplistic (I hope), he has gathered a powerful force together, forged forward to Moscow and then for various reasons he must retreat. Popcorn and an explanation please Mr. Bonaparte!
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11-09-2011, 10:16   #7
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Popcorn moments

I would perch my deck chair on an isolated beach somewhere in Wicklow, probably about 225 AD and pass the popcorn as Maximus and his two legions set ashore to tame the wild Irish.
And if the weather held up, I would hang around for another couple of hundred years to see Patrick and Palladius' reception committee from the locals.

If there was a steady cam available, I would follow the rebels on their way to Castlecomer from Vinegar Hill. By crikey, could those boys could move.
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12-09-2011, 12:23   #8
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I'd love to be there when the first humans got out of their boats and set foot in Ireland around 8,000 BC.
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12-09-2011, 12:33   #9
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Originally Posted by HellsAngel View Post
I'd love to be there when the first humans got out of their boats and set foot in Ireland around 8,000 BC.
I'd quite like to see the first Irish farmers trying to get the pigs/sheep/cattle into the currach and sail/row them across the Irish sea.
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12-09-2011, 13:55   #10
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When the first longships appeared on the horizon - that would give me time to leg it into the trees.
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12-09-2011, 14:03   #11
 
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I would have liked to have been in Geneva in 1816 with Percy Bysshe Shelley and Byron when Mary Shelley created Frankenstein.

I also would have liked to have seen Martin Luther write The Ninety-Five Theses.
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12-09-2011, 14:04   #12
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Originally Posted by slowburner View Post
When the first longships appeared on the horizon - that would give me time to leg it into the trees.
and make sure you have clean underpants .

I'd like to see the look on Strongbow's face when he did his Butch and Sundance dash for death in a blaze of glory only to discover Ruadhri Ua Conchobhair and the lads had gone swimming. I imagine Ruadhri's face was quite a picture too...
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12-09-2011, 14:05   #13
 
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When the first longships appeared on the horizon - that would give me time to leg it into the trees.
I have you already chalked down as Slowburner An Colloborator -you would have welcomed the romans
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12-09-2011, 14:08   #14
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I also would have liked to have seen Martin Luther write The Ninety-Five Theses.
Or the time he had that chat with Satan...

I often wonder, given how many times he repeats himself, who reckons he was trying to get to 100 but after pulling an all-nighter (with no coffee) he just said 'aw feck it! 95 will do!'
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12-09-2011, 14:13   #15
 
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Or I wouldn't have minded being in the car driving into Stormont that was being snowballed by Ian Paisley in 1967. Inside was TK Whitaker and Jack Lynch, Paisley was shouting 'No Pope here!'. Lynch turned to Whitaker and said ' Which of us does he think is the Pope?'.
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