Designing a Memorial for a Historic Figure (and his Wife)

This quest really began when I wondered what it would be like to visit the grave of the author of the ancient book I’d recently purchased at a Denver antique book store. At first, I doubted there would be any discoverable record of him at all.  And initially, there wasn’t. My searches returned a sea of flotsam references to this or that person named “Richard Lane” over the centuries, or someone simply named “Richard”  who lived on a “lane” somewhere!  But when I began combining his name with words from the title of his 1657 book, I finally encountered articles that introduced me to the man. What I could read of him was intriguing, though.  I found myself repeatedly choosing to look into  “one more thing”  before setting it aside and going on with my life…

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Breaking News! I Have Proven the True Identity of King Charles II’s Groom Named “Richard Lane”!

In the first article on the career of Richard Lane’s son, we led up to King Charles II’s invasion of England to restore his throne, and how his new Groom, Richard Lane (the younger), likely joined him in Scotland around the time of his coronation there in January 1651.  Of course, the throne the young king really had his eye on was that of England.  And the Scottish army now under his command was his means to that end…

Continue reading “Breaking News! I Have Proven the True Identity of King Charles II’s Groom Named “Richard Lane”!”

Passing of the Torch: The Service of Richard Lane the Younger to the King

My research into Richard Lane’s son has been far more successful than I dared hope.  What was to have been one article has become four, revealing a fascinating story of survival, drama and ultimate vindication of his exiled father, Sir Richard Lane. Continue reading “Passing of the Torch: The Service of Richard Lane the Younger to the King”

Kudos to the Magic of the Interlibrary Loan Program!

I really wanted to understand more about the 1600s Jersey diarist, Jean Chevalier.  His journal (a legacy gift to his own familial descendants) has become an unmatched window into his times.  It is also the crown jewel of the Société Jersiaise, and the only credible historical document to tell of Sir Richard Lane’s fate while in exile with King Charles II during the English Civil War.  But who was Jean Chevalier? How credible were his observations?  I finally found a book that promised to tell me…

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Update on the Trial of Strafford Painting

“Proving” is an ambitious word.  How do you “prove” that a mid-1800’s painter depicting an important historical scene was aware of and attempting to portray specific actors and their inter-relationships in a drama that was already more than 200 years old at the moment he first stood before his empty canvas? Clearly, Thomas Woolnoth went to pains to realistically portray the principals of the scene in “The Trial of Strafford”, but was he aware of Richard Lane and his  role? How much research did he do? How can we assert that he would have been aware of historical research that was being done in his own time?  Without  corroborating evidence, such assertions must be considered a hypothesis – one based on raw speculation…but, I think we can do better! Continue reading “Update on the Trial of Strafford Painting”

A discovery! The UK Parliament’s circa 1844 painting “The Trial of Strafford”…

The grounds of history around Sir Richard Lane are simply full of rabbit holes!  While doing some research into the 1641 Trial of the Earl of Strafford – an event that included the day the historical biographer Lord John Campbell called “the most memorable day in the life of Richard Lane” – I came across a wonderful painting of that trial in the UK parliament’s art collection. What makes it so wonderful is that the painter had endeavored to accurately portray all of the primary actors in the drama of that trial…

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Why am I pursuing this Quest?

“Considering Sir Richard Lane’s spotless integrity, and his uniform adherence to his principles, – notwithstanding his comparative obscurity and his poverty, he is more to be honoured than many of his predecessors  and successors who have left behind them a brilliant reputation, and ample possessions and high dignities to their posterity”   — Lord John Campbell (1848 “Lives of the Lord Chancellors”, Vol 2)

Why is this quest so important to you? This is a question I have been asked quite often – and given the investment of time, energy and some money it has taken, its a fair question!

In the beginning, it was simple curiosity.  I bought the “Lane’s Reports” book because it was so fascinatingly old.  I wanted to find out what else there might be to know about it, beyond its age and the quill margin notes it contained. What could it tell me about the world it came from?  Whose hands had held it long before even the earliest family I have known even existed? Or, for that matter, before most of this country existed?

Continue reading “Why am I pursuing this Quest?”