Filed under history of language

A Bishop’s Pardon

A Bishop’s Pardon

The Treasury at Chichester Cathedral is full of fascinating items, but I love this one: A pardon for an early bishop, though it makes no mention of what he had done. This is from the information provided: Papal pardon to Godfrey, 2nd bishop of Chichester (1088, consecrated in January and died in September) found in … Continue reading

Censorship in Charleston 1787

Censorship in Charleston 1787

In Shakespeare’s time, travelling players were considered akin to rogues and vagabonds so needed the protection and patronage of a noble to survive. In 1727 England passed the Chamberlain’s Act requiring theatres to be licensed to perform plays, to prevent the vicious satires against prime minister Robert Walpole. Life for travelling players was also hard … Continue reading

Lessons from History – Transatlantic Problems

The problems of Brexit and the impending US Presidential elections seem to be tearing the UK and USA apart. As is so often the case, these problems are nothing new – England suffered 2 centuries of discord following the Reformation, when church power collapsed, plunging the country into a time of ignorance, mismanagement and the … Continue reading

Second Person Pronouns

Atlas Obscura is a great source of obscure information, though often flawed by lack of research, but here’s an article that got me thinking. For all its history and variety, English has no plural form of the second person pronoun. Unlike other European languages, it also has no polite/informal forms. AO find the latter … Continue reading

A New Word for an Old Problem

I tried to do some printing the other day, but my printer flashed up Error Code B200 and told me to contact my supplier. Too lazy to hunt out my sales documents, I instead googled the term. It seems Error Code B200 means a lot of things. It can be that the ink has run … Continue reading

Vicar Getting Down with the Common People

This gem comes from the Belfast Commercial Chronicle of 1808.It is unclear where the event happened, but I’m sure the locals slept happily through it. The past truly is another country. PULPIT ELOQUENCE – A preacher to a rustic congregation, professed to adapt his language to the meanest capacity. After naming his text, “O Israel, … Continue reading

How Old and Ugly Were Witches?

I have always worried at the bad images we have of witches, especially those who were punished for their ‘crimes’. The image of an ugly, isolated old woman just doesn’t seem to fit many of the cases, in particular the famous Pendle witches. The old hags seem more cartoon characters. Many pamphlets and ballads were … Continue reading