London… Once a Breath Away from Extinction

This article regards the surprising trajectory of London–one of the world’s great cities, and an international treasure that once suffered a calamitous decline, and spent many decades as an abandoned ruin.

With apologies for being offline for so long, this is the first of four articles that all grew out of what I expected to be a single, quick article about our visit to the “Crown and Treaty” in the outer London town of Uxbridge. Built in the 1500’s as an elaborate private home, this fascinating building still stands, and was the home of the 1645 Uxbridge Treaty Negotiations. In what has become the usual fashion for me, more thoughtful reading of accounts about the negotiations and Sir Richard Lane’s role brought me to details that struck me as unexpected and intriguing–off-topic “threads” hanging from the edges of the story. Such are the entrances of “rabbit holes” from which I have dragged more surprising insights than I’d ever have thought possible. This particular one is about the surprising trajectory of London–one of the world’s great cities, and an international treasure that once suffered a calamitous decline, and spent many decades as an abandoned ruin.

Continue reading “London… Once a Breath Away from Extinction”

A Man of Spotless Integrity: The Life and Legacy of the Lost Lord Keeper of the King’s Great Seal (Part I of III)

Foreword: This is the full article submitted for publication in the 2018 Annual Bulletin of the Société Jersisiase. This version includes significant additional content which could not appear in that publication, and benefits from the excellent editorial refinements of the editors at the Société Jersisiase. In this format, footnotes appear the end of the sections in which their references occur. 

Continue reading “A Man of Spotless Integrity: The Life and Legacy of the Lost Lord Keeper of the King’s Great Seal (Part I of III)”

A Man of Spotless Integrity: The Life and Legacy of the Lost Lord Keeper of the King’s Great Seal (Part II of III)

In this second part of the article submitted for publication in the 2018 Annual Bulletin of the Société Jersiaise, Richard Lane rises quickly in the king’s service amid dire circumstances in the wartime capitol of Oxford.

Continue reading “A Man of Spotless Integrity: The Life and Legacy of the Lost Lord Keeper of the King’s Great Seal (Part II of III)”

A Man of Spotless Integrity: The Life and Legacy of the Lost Lord Keeper of the King’s Great Seal (Part III of III)

This conclusion of the article submitted for publication in the 2018 Annual Bulletin of the Société Jersisiase chronicles the last few weeks of Richard Lane’s life in the Elizabeth Castle, and his dramatic 1650 burial in St Helier, Jersey.

Continue reading “A Man of Spotless Integrity: The Life and Legacy of the Lost Lord Keeper of the King’s Great Seal (Part III of III)”

Westminster Palace: Analysis of the 1844 Trial of Strafford Painting (Conclusion)

Welcome to the final (and best) chapter of the “Trial of Strafford” analysis!  We have reached the core of this historic drama–the Parliament’s 1641 prosecution team versus Lord Strafford’s muzzled and thinly tolerated counsel for the defense. We have come to the reason I became involved in the story of this painting in the first place: the possibility that Thomas Woolnoth (the artist who created this historic 1844 painting):  1) knew about Richard Lane’s role in the trial, 2) had access to Richard Lane’s (now lost) 1645 portrait, and 3) deliberately included him in the cast of historical portraitures depicted within this dramatic painting.

Continue reading “Westminster Palace: Analysis of the 1844 Trial of Strafford Painting (Conclusion)”

Westminster Palace: Analysis of the 1844 Trial of Strafford Painting (Part 1)

My apologies if I seemed to have gone “offline” for a few weeks. It’s taken quite a bit of sorting to be sure nothing got lost from the trip to the UK. I also took time for a badly needed camping and mountain biking trip to Moab (which in turn cost me a bit more time to heal from a crash I had on one of those truly fabulous trails)!

I’ve been keen to share the presentation I gave at Westminster, but struggled mightily to get it into a single article. Having failed that, this will be the first of three in which I will take you through the analysis I shared with the Office of the Curator of the Parliamentary Art Collection last month. This analysis regards the “Trial of Strafford” painting that hangs in the House of Lords side of the parliamentary complex at Westminster, London. Continue reading “Westminster Palace: Analysis of the 1844 Trial of Strafford Painting (Part 1)”

Final Day in London…

We could have used another week on this trip, but I don’t know where I’d have gotten the energy for it! We were down to our last full day in London (Friday) and then it was back to the colonies the next.  As the sun came up, it was hard to see how any day could hope to compete with the day before – but this day was a fighter!  It started with a “before hours” escorted visit to inspect and photograph the massive Norris Monument (normally not approachable by the public) in Westminster Abbey. This was followed by a tour of Richard Lane’s boyhood school, the Westminster School, which is still in business.  Then, we were off to the National Archives in Kew to spend the afternoon going through a long list of documents I’d reserved for viewing. Among these were three original letters to and from Richard Lane in exile during the last few months of his life…

Continue reading “Final Day in London…”