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)”
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)”
My apologies for having posted so few articles since my April research trip to the UK last year. It certainly hasn’t been for lack of material! Following my talks at the Société Jersiaise during that trip, I was asked to contribute an article to the Société’s “Annual Bulletin” for 2018. This was a genuine honor, as I’ve never known of an academic society so committed to maintaining and developing a cultural, scientific and historic heritage as effectively as the Société Jersiaise does for Jersey. It was also a significant time commitment, and wound up leading me down new avenues of research–and some really interesting discoveries!
I was just told that the Castle Pines Connection (a local monthly paper) is featuring a fabulous story about the Quest – on its front page!
I just love a dramatic breakthrough. And a month before my recent trip to the UK, the Quest for the Lost Lord Keeper had a couple of them – so it seemed high time to throw a “coming out” party for the Quest!
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…
nWe’ve been on the ground in England for a few days now. Although I wanted to spend a few minutes writing a quick report before now, this is the first chance we’ve had. I’m exhausted, but it’s been a great trip so far. To be sure, I’ve had a couple of disappointments, but also some major wins!
I’ve done about all I can to be ready. It’s been four months of steady preparation, with the last month feeling a lot like a cattle drive! I have requested several dozen 400-year-old documents for viewing in five different archives, have planned stops at around a dozen historic sites (including 4 churches), have arranged around a dozen appointments, will be giving three presentations and have arranged three happy hours / mixers. Now, it’s time to finish packing, relax, and settle into the reality that not everything is going to go my way.
But there are some very interesting possibilities twinkling on the other side of that long plane ride! This seems like a good time to go on the record with a few predictions that just might work out…
This is going to be a very big year for “the Quest”! There has been a breakthrough – a dramatic one – which I will be writing about once I am back from my trip to the UK. I always knew there would be a “right time” to start taking this story public, and I’ve decided that time is now. While I am in the UK, I will be giving two talks in Jersey, and will also be presenting my research into the historic “Trial of Strafford” painting at Westminster in London. Finally, a week after I return home, I will present the U.S. debut of the “Quest for the Lost Lord Keeper” at the beautiful Cherokee Castle in Sedalia.
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…