Friday, 26 November 2010

Cinema Code of Conduct: About Time Too

GK Chesterton (hurrah!) said that morality is like art: it's knowing where to draw the line.

Quite so GKC. And were it that we learnt that lesson the modern world might not be in such a mess.

It might seem pedantic to some, but I am a great believer (in the footsteps of St David) that if we do the small things well, the big things will follow, thus it was that I was awaiting the cinematic 'Code of Conduct' put together by Radio 5's Messrs Kermode and Mayo.

Having suffered the rustle of a plastic bag umpteen times through one film by a couple sat behind me, who turned out to be in their 40s or 50s; through the piercing light of mobile phones being checked in my peripheral vision; to people explaining the film/plot to young attendees throughout the duration; even down to having a bare pair of cheesy feet placed on the back of the seat next to mine (honestly! in a Swansea cinema)... enough was enough.

So cinema-goers of the world unite - you have nothing to lose but umpteen distractions to the cinematic treat you have shelled out your hard-earned for.

Maybe a return to acceptable standards in the cinema, coupled with an acceptance of behaviour that is conducive to the Common Good might see the rebirth (or a re-embracing) of civilised, Christian standards in more spheres of life, viz that we should do unto others as we would wish done to ourselves.

Let's make the cinema a battleground for acceptable standards, norms and behaviour.

I know GKC would approve.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Hurley's Bar, near Kinsale

"The Hurley's" of Ballinspittle, Co Cork.
Doing a search for Hurleys in Kinsale I came across a Hurley's Bar in listings for Kinsale, though in fact it's in a village just outside called Ballinspittle.

A link to the official site of the Bar is now in the side bar under the Irish sites grouping.

But I also found this blog on Bugbitten which has lots of photos from the bar, including this one of the Hurley's (I don't know if that means the staff of the bar, or the family that run it...).

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Back and (almost) Fighting Fit

Thanks to all friends and family for messages and cards received during my recent stay in hospital (hence the quiet period on my blog).

I am still recuperating, but normal service should be resumed shortly.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

St Pabo and the Welshmen of Northern "England"

Just a quick post this one (yes, OK, you needn't relish in the fact!).

I found this simply sumptuous post on the blog "Reluctant Sinner" and it ties in well with what I wrote previously about the Kingdom of Strathclyde being Welsh.

It further highlights the Welsh heritage of Cumbria, Lancashire etc. and how the Welsh kept Christianity flourishing after the Romans left in the 5th Century.

It is ironic that as the Pope was sending St Augustine to Kent, so Christianity was in turn taken to Ireland by the Welsh (most significantly St Patrick) and Ireland's Monasticism in turn spread to Scotland, the Picts and the Northern English.

Anyway, enjoy this article, it is sublime. Look out for all the Welsh names connected to St Pabo, both in Wales itself and his own lands in what is now England.

A Reluctant Sinner on St Pabo

The Dark Orange Vans that Heralded a New Dawn

Hurley vans and employees at Bridgend
I was at a hospital today in Swansea, meeting some of the surgical team who will be cutting, trimming, fixing and generally re-arranging my innards in the very near future, and what a wonderful breed of people those health care professionals are!

Truly the Hippocratic Oath is a wonderful thing.

On my way down some stairs a dark orange colour caught my eye in the bottom corner of a window, and straight away one word sprang to my lips: HURLEY!

Sure enough on peering at the window there it was, emblazoned across the distinctive orange coloured van, the name Hurley.

The years fell away, a strange mist filled the air and eerie stringed music filtered in (sorry - too many cheesy Hollywood films) and I was propelled back to a scene in High School, circa 1984 and there, trudging betwixt one lesson and the next, cutting across a patch of badly worn grass called 'the Cabbage Patch' (the teachers tried to stop pupils cutting across it from time to time, but the weight of sheer numbers usually made them give up after a week's diligence and effort) were many pupils.

There I was in turn, a studious teenage student, clutching my learnéd tomes, eager to reach the next valuable intake of knowledge and wisdom, busily straightening my tie whilst engaging in some playful badinage with my peers, when what should chug cheerily into view from the nearby school gates but a dark orange van with bold white letters spelling out the name: HURLEY.

A smile spread across my face as I pointed this marvel out to my friends and acquaintances. My empire was spreading. My world was complete. I felt like an ancient king being carried to a regal engagement in my plush sedan chair.

And ever since that fateful day, I have always felt a warm glow and a sense of well-being whenever I have seen those self-same Hurley vans at locations right across South Wales.

F P Hurley & Sons Ltd

Monday, 8 November 2010

Viv Huzzey's Oldham RLFC Record 1900 - 1903

Today's Oldham Roughyeds home shirt
VIV (H.V.P.) HUZZEY played for Oldham between 1900 and 1903. In 'official' matches he played a total of 40 times in the first team, mainly as a winger. Remarkably, he scored 22 tries in those 40 games at a time when tries were more difficult to come by than they are in the modern game. He also kicked 23 goals for a total of 112 points (a try in those days being worth only 3 pts).

His season-by-season record was as follows: 1900-01, played 22 (13 right wing, 5 right centre, 4 left wing), 10 tries, 10 goals; 1901-02, played 16 (9 right wing, 4 left wing, 2 stand-off, 1 right centre), 12 tries, 13 goals; 1902-3, played 2 (both at full back).

In addition to those 40 'official' appearances he also played in several friendly games in the 1900-01 season. There were six of these games and we have no record of how the teams lined up but we do know that Viv scored in at least three of them as follows: 3 tries away at Halifax in a 12-a-side friendly; 3 tries against Halifax in a 12-a-side friendly at home; and two tries against a local team, Werneth, in a match in which the Oldham team was billed as "Huzzey's team".

He also played in some unofficial games in the 1901-02 season, scoring two tries and two goals against South Shields; four goals against St Helens; and one goal against Hull. These figures were not included in his 'official' tries and goals records.

Henry Vivian Pugh Huzzey, to give him his full name, played on the wing for the Welsh RU side five times and also represented Wales at baseball before signing for Oldham in 1900.

In 1900-01 Oldham were Lancashire champions, finishing top of the Lancashire Senior Competition with 22 wins and a draw from 26 games. They finished with 45 points -- one more than second placed Swinton in a tight finish.

On Jan 12, 1901 Viv played right wing for Oldham when 23,000 turned up at Watersheddings to watch the top of the table clash with Swinton. During the match Jim Valentine, the Swinton captain, protested that spectators had spilled on to the pitch and as a result the referee missed a Swinton try. As Swinton won 7-5 they didn't press the matter, but Oldham did and the match was replayed in late February resulting in a 3-3 draw which ultimately cost Swinton the championship.

In the same year Oldham reached the semi-final of the Challenge Cup but lost 9-2 to the eventual winners Batley, at Huddersfield. Viv played on the left wing in that semi-final and kicked the Oldham goal.

In the same season he scored a hat-trick of tries from the right wing against Rochdale Hornets in a 33-5 win at the Athletic Grounds, Rochdale.

In 1901-02 the top seven clubs from Yorkshire and the top seven from Lancashire formed a new 14-club division, and the South East Lancashire League was introduced to maintain local derbies. Oldham finished 9th in the new Northern Rugby League and 5th out of 6 in the new SE Lancs League

Viv's try scoring in this season included a hat-trick against in a 29-2 home win against Brighouse on October 5, 1901 when he played right wing in the following team: Thomas; Huzzey, S Lees, Civil, Williams; Lawton, A Lees; Bonser, Wilkinson, Frater, Vowles, Topham, Ferguson, Ellis, Telfer.

R L Thomas and Joe Ferguson were legends of the Oldham club, Thomas playing 363 times between 1897 and 1909 and Ferguson chalking up an astonishing 627 appearances --- a record --- between 1899 and 1923.


Many thanks to Oldham RLFC's Media Manager, Roger Halstead for supplying this information and to Rachael Marsters, their Commercial Manager, for responding to my email requests.

For more info on Oldham Roughyeds RLFC (as they are now called) visit their site.

It's interesting to note that my grandfather, Vivian Huzzey, HVP (Viv) Huzzey's eldest child, was born in 1900, the very year he joined Oldham RLFC. Born on the 18th June, one imagines the wee bairn Viv (who I knew of course as an old man full of sea-faring tales), travelling up to Oldham as a babe in arms and later as a toddler.

God Bless Denis Donovan - and His Hurley Stick!

Denis Donovan began life in Cork, Ireland and ended up in Australia after moving there in 1958.

Here he is pictured with his Hurley stick which he took all the way to Australia.

In his own words:

"My hurley stick is used in the Irish game of hurling. It is made of wood and is similar to a hockey stick. I brought the stick with me as a reminder of playing sport in Ireland."
The hurley stick is a great sporting and cultural icon to many Irishmen and people of Irish descent.

Denis's Irish grandfather - like mine! - had been in the British Army (remember that this was pre-partition, pre-1916/1921 and Ireland was officially still part of the UK).

To read more of Denis's story go to Belongings - Denis Donovan.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Viv Huzzey in Action for Oldham RLFC

The DVD on which Viv Huzzey may feature
I found an interesting blog article (link below) which mentions Viv Huzzey playing for Oldham RLFC in 1901 (having quit Welsh rugby union in September 1900 after being ignored for the post of Welsh team captain).
Oldham v Swinton (12 January 1901) 5-7 [Match void, replay 3-3] 
Oldham: Thomas; Davies (t), S. Lees (g), Fletcher, Huzzey; Lawton, A. Lees; Foster, Wormald, Wilkinson, Telfer, Moffat, Bonsor, Broome, Ellis 
Swinton: Chorley; Lewis, Messer (t), R. Valentine (2g), Hampson; Davies, Morgan; Harris, Pomfret, Jones, Preston, J Valentine, Vigors, Berry, Pollitt

This is one of three rugby league matches featuring on the DVD Mitchell and Kenyon Edwardian Sports.

As the Rugby Reloaded blog says:
The highlights of the nine Northern Union matches on the DVD - all played between 1901 and 1903 - show us rugby league mid-way between rugby union rules and the move to 13-a-side and the play-the-ball in 1906. 
So it seems that Viv Huzzey moved codes when the codes were very much as Catholicism and Orthodoxy circa 11th Century, i.e. breaking apart, slowly drifting, becoming 'politicised' with a small p, and gradually the rules of both would drift from each other whilst retaining the same overall beliefs (as both codes would score tries and both faiths would believe in transubstantiation).

In an earlier post we saw how rugby union in 1905 still had scrums of anything from one player per team, and this looks very much like rugby league restarts today (sorry I do not know any of the terms let alone rules of rugby league past or present).

Again from Rugby Reloaded:

The line-out had already been abolished in 1897 and in the same year the scoring system had been changed so that tries (three points) were now worth more than goals (all two points). In contrast, union goals were worth three points, as were tries, and drop goals scored four points.
Being Welsh of Irish descent of course Rugby Union is very much akin to Catholicism, in that it is the true way and we do pray that our 'seperated brethren' will see the light and return to the One True Fold (of Rome, and Rugby Union).

I have ordered the Edwardian Sports DVD (commentary by Adrian Chiles!) and if there is footage of Viv Huzzey - as I hope there will be - I will upload it to YouTube and post a link here... Time will tell.

A still from the Edwardian Sports DVD
The DVD itself is something of a heroic story as detailed by the site Movie Mail:
In 1994, during demolition work, 800 rolls of nitrate film were found in sealed barrels in the basement of a shop in Blackburn. They turned out to be one of the most exciting finds of early film ever made, with the rolls featuring the work of the Mitchell & Kenyon film company, active between 1897-1913. Remarkably, the films were in an excellent state of preservation. Consequently, because the images we see now from them are mostly so clean and scratch free, and provide such a clear view of Edwardian life, they give the amazing sensation of turning a picturebook past into a living present. Two new collections from the Mitchell & Kenyon archive are now on DVD, Edwardian Sports and Ireland.
Interestingly as Cork circa 1901 is featured on the 'Irish' film, there is an infinitesimally small chance that a Hurley family member from Cork County could be on the sister DVD to the one I hope my famous Huzzey relative is.

Rugby Reloaded
Edwardian Sports DVD reviewed

Wales v. All Blacks 1905 - A Famous Sporting Victory

Researching sites and looking for images of my great grandfather, famous rugby player Viv Huzzey, I came across this site: rugbyrelics

The page in question deals with the All Blacks tour of 1905.

Interestingly the scrum back then could involve any number of players:

“A Scrummage, which can only take place in the field of play, is formed by one or more players from each side closing round the ball when it is on the ground, or by their closing up in readiness to allow the ball to be put on the ground between them”. 

The All Blacks beat all comers, until they played the Welsh!

Again the site says:

The critics suggested the ‘colonial’ team would struggle against the West countrymen but the All Blacks thumped Devon by 55 points to 4, Cornwall were next, then Bristol, Northampton & Leicester, in their first five matches the All Blacks scored 197 points with just 4 against. News soon spread of this fantastic team, the qualities of the All Black scrum, the fitness of the players and the role of the forwards, who unprecedented at the time even joined in passing movements with the backs. They blazed a trail through England, Scotland & Ireland, defeating clubs, counties and countries alike !     

I had heard before that this game was the first at which the Welsh national anthem was sung, and what a fixture of Welsh matches it has been ever since then. The report at the time said:

The 16th December arrived, special trains had been laid on for spectators from afar, queues formed at the gates and once opened around 11.00 am the ground quickly filled, at 1.30 pm the gates were closed. Those inside sang and joked while the unfortunate locked out looked for trees to climb and other vantage points. At 2.20 pm the All Blacks took to the field followed a little later by the Welsh team, the crowd roar was almost deafening as Nicholls led his men onto the Park. The All Blacks performed their customary haka then unusually the Welsh team started to sing the national anthem, this was soon picked up by the crowd and soon the whole stadium reverberated to the sounds of ‘Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau’. 

The more attentive of you will have picked out the name Nicholls in that report. Nicholls was the Welsh captain who had partnered my great grandfather Viv Huzzey on the wing. Huzzey was the vice-captain who quit to play rugby league when he was passed over for the captaincy.

If history had gone differently it could have been Viv Huzzey leading the Welshmen out to their famous victory against the All Blacks... History is such a fickle mistress!

The Times newspaper of the day (pictured above) had a report on the match:

Wales is the only portion of the United Kingdom in which Rugby Union football is the national game (as it is in New Zealand), and it would be a kind of poetic justice if the victorious progress of the New Zealand team were checked at Cardiff to-day. But, to judge by the indifferent exhibition of the Welsh three-quarters on the Rectory Field last week, the defeat of the visitors is an unthinkable contingency. 

Isn't it interesting how little times (or The Times!) have changed? After all, rugby is still the national game of Wales, and the media can still call games wrong... I would say the Welsh can still stop the All Blacks in their tracks, but that may just be wishful thinking.

I can't help but think though that when Wales stood and faced the All Blacks and refused to turn and/or walk away whilst and after they performed their Haka, they were repeating the national pride and determination which saw the Welshmen first burst into a rousing rendition of Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau.

This is a translation of Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau for all my English, American and other relatives, friends and visitors:

The old land of my fathers is dear to me,
Land of poets and singers, famous men of renown;
Her brave warriors, very splendid patriots,
For freedom shed their blood.
Nation, Nation, I am faithful to my Nation.
While the sea [is] a wall to the pure, most loved land,
O may the old language [sc. Cymraeg] endure.
Old mountainous Wales, paradise of the bard,
Every valley, every cliff, to me is beautiful.
Through patriotic feeling, so charming is the murmur
Of her brooks, rivers, to me.

If the enemy oppresses my land under his foot,
The old language of the Welsh is as alive as ever.
The muse is not hindered by the hideous hand of treason,
Nor [is] the melodious harp of my country.

And here is that anthem (be prepared to brush back a manly tear - especially the ladies!). The Welsh national anthem really is the best in the world:

One interesting aspect of the match is the number of All Blacks players with Scottish and Irish names. They also had - unbeknown to most if not all - a secret Welshman on their team, one Billy Wallace.

As I discovered recently, the name Wallace means 'Welshman' in Scots, following the fall of the Welsh Kingdom of Strathclyde, overrun by the Scots who themselves originated in Irish-Ulster, the Royal Family of Strathclyde (and their entourage etc.) moved to Wales, but many Welshmen must have stayed and in the mix that was original Pictish in the Highlands and Islands, Norse settlers of Orkney, Caithness, Sutherland, the Irish-Scots of the South West and now the Central Belt - in what became the land we now know as Scotland.

Was Billy Wallace, a Welshman from Strathclyde many generations removed merely following his genetic code?

Was he, like Arsenal's Welsh goalkeeper Dan Lewis, who let in an arguably "soft" goal to let Cardiff City win the FA Cup in 1927, a Welsh fifth columnist in the midst of the enemy camp! ;-)

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Henry Vivian Pugh Huzzey: Welsh Rugby's Would-be Captain

My maternal grandparents were from the Huzzey family.

I found this info from someone else's family tree online:

Henry Vivian Huzzey was born on 24 Jul 1876. He married Edith Mary Evans. Henry was employed as Rugby Footballer.
Edith Mary Evans [Parents] was born in 1878. She died on 29 Jan 1952. She married Henry Vivian Huzzey.
They had the following children:

M i Vivian Huzzey

F ii Winifred Huzzey

M iii Child 3 Huzzey

M iv Child 4 Huzzey

M v Child 5 Huzzey
Vivian Huzzey (Child one) is my maternal grandfather, born in 1900, making Henry Vivian Huzzey and Edith Mary Evans my maternal great-grand parents.

Wikipedia gives my great grandfather's full name as Henry Vivian Pugh Huzzey, but he is best known as Viv Huzzey and being one of Welsh rugby's best wingers.

You can read his full Wikipedia page here.

What's clear is that Viv Huzzey was one of the few people to play both international rugby and baseball, as well as being one of the earliest players to 'cross codes' to move from Cardiff rugby union to Oldham rugby league.

It seems that this was down to 'internal politics' and Viv Huzzey (surely the Shane Williams of his day) being deliberately overlooked for the job of Welsh captain, when everyone assumed the job was going to be his.

In fact, although he only gained 5 caps for Wales, limited because he changed codes, he remains in the Top 100 try-scorers of Welsh Rugby, as listed at the WRU Top 100 Try Scorers page having scored 4 tries in those 5 games.

Interestingly, on 02/04/1898 playing against England he scored one try (worth 3 points) and one drop goal (worth 4 points). How times - and the value of tries and drop goals! - have changed.

He is also listed as playing in position "2" while he was a winger.

The book that most of the information on Wikipedia seems to come from is Prince Gwyn: Gwyn Nicholls and the First Golden Era of Welsh Rugby by rugby correspondent and journalist David Parry-Jones.

Interestingly the match against England in the 1899 Four Nations championship, at which Viv Huzzey scored two tries, was played at Swansea. A full breakdown of that season's Four Nations is on this Wikipedia page.

I have one query concerning my great grandfather and that is why he refused to go on the British Lions tour to Australia in 1899. According to an account on the Official British & Irish Lions site for the Tour to Australia in 2013:

In the end, the final place was filled by Scottish international Alf Bucher, after failed approaches were made to recruit fellow Scot James Couper and Welsh wing Viv Huzzey.
Perhaps as they weren't professional players they had to miss out on months of work and could it have been that Viv Huzzey simply could not afford that?

The same site says that only 9 of the 21 tour team of 1899 had played international rugby, so it seems likely that Viv Huzzey wasn't the only one who could spare the time (months!) or cope financially in regard to the tour.

His wing partner at Cardiff and Wales E. G. Nicholls (Gwyn Nicholls) did go on the tour.

Viv Huzzey was a hero of Welsh rugby, and he was my great grandfather.

Now I may be wrong, my memory is world-renowned for being like a sieve, but I recall being told some years ago that my great grandfather owned pubs in Cardiff. If that is true I will try and dig out more info.

Viv Huzzey's WRU Page
ESPN stats page

P.S. On Welsh Rugby and Baseball. I found a Cognitive Edge blog entry with this which sums up the situation well:

OK, a trivia question for you: how many people have been capped by Wales at both Rugby and Baseball? Just to help you out the first was Henry Vivian Pugh Huzzey born in 1876 and the most recent Mark Ring, first baseball cap in 1984. For those who don't know Cardiff and Newport in Wales along with Liverpool in England are the main centres for baseball in the UK. There are differences however, a point being scored for every base making a a British home run four and teams (like cricket) are eleven in number and there are two innings. As you would expect the main international match of the year is between England and Wales and was won in 2008 by Wales (the last English win was 1995).

As someone who played both baseball and rugby for school teams I can concur that Cardiff is certainly one of the centres for baseball in the UK. I wonder if there is some kind of "Irish" connection, as it seems strange that Cardiff/Newport and Liverpool are baseball hotspots, areas with quite a lot of Irish influence - or am I clutching at straws?

A Tale of Two Lovelaces - Lord Hurley & the Governer of New York

In an earlier post, about the town of Hurley in New York state mention was made that it was founded by a Baron Hurley.

On searching for further info on the good (?) Baron, I found this little snippet:

Which reads:

May 21. Dy'd Robert. Harley, Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, Baron Hurley of Wigmore, Knight of the most noble Order of the Garter, one of the Governors of the Charter-House, &c. in the 64th Year of his Age. He was descended from a Family of great Antiquity and Note in the County of Salop at the Time of the Conquest. He was Member of Parliament for New- Radnor, and Speaker of the House of Commons, in thetwo last Parliaments of King William, and in the First of Queen Anne. In December, 1701, he was chosen Arbitrator for uniting the two India Companies; and in 1702, Queen Anne appointed him one of the Commissioners for treating of an Union with Scotland. He was also a Member for New-Radnor, in the second Parliament of »he said Queen, who, in 1704, admitted him a Member of her Privy Council, and made him Principal Secretary of State. In 1706, her Majestv appointed him one of the Commissioners for treating of a further Union with Scotland ; and in 1708, he was mude Cttfios Rotulorum of the Shire of Radnor; in 1710, her Majestv made him one of the Commissioners of the Treasury, one of her Cabinet-Council, and Chancellor, and Under-Treafurer of the Exchequer. On the 8th •f March, 1710-u, a Frenchman, who went by the Name •f Marquess de Guifcard, attempted his Life by slabbing him at the Council-Board, with a Penknife. In May following, the Queen created him a Peer of Great Jfritmin, by the Name, Style, and Title abovemention'd ; and on the 29th of that Month, constituted him Lord High Treasurer of Great Britain. On the 26th of October, 1712, he was elected Knight Companion of the most noble Order of the Garter, install'd in August following at Windsor, and the fame Year was chosen Governor of the South-Sea Company, of which he had been the chief Founder or Regulator: About the same Time he was also chosen one of Governors of the CharterJfouse. Soon after King George's Accession to the Throne, he was impeach'd by the House of Commons of High Treason, and other High Crimes and Misdemeanors, and thereupon was sent to the Tower, where he continu'd about 3 Years, when being brought to Tryal by his Peers, he was acquitted of that Impeachment. During the Time he was Prime Minister, he was easy and disengag'd in private Conversation, with such a Weight of Affairs upon his Shoulders. He was a Man of great Learning, and as great a Favourer and Protector of it. Intrepid by Nature, as well as by the Consciousness of his own Integrity, and would have chosen rather to fall by an Impeachment, than to be sav'd by an Act of Grace : Sagacious to view into the . remotest Consequences of Things, by which all Difficulties fled before him. He was a courteous Neighbour, ft. firm and affectionate Friend, and a kind, generous, and placable Enemy, sacrificing his just Resentments not only to publick Good, but to common Intercession and Acknowledgement. He was a Despiscr ofMotey, and what is yet most rare, an uncorrupt Minister of State. He was twice marry'd : His first Wife was E'hmbeth, Daughter of Thomas Foley of Whitley-Court in the County ot Worcester, Esq; Sister to Thomas first Lord Fo'ey, by whom he had Issue one Son and two Daughters, Edward ' Lord Hurley, by whom he was succeeded in Honour and Estate. Elizabeth, who marry'd the Marquess of Carmarthen, Son of Peregrine Osborn, Duke of Leeds, but dy'd in 1713 ; and Abigail, his second Daughter, marry'd to George Hay, Lord Duplin, asterwards Earl of Kincul in Scotland. His second Wife was Sarah, Daughter of Thomas M'ddleton, Esq; Son of Sir K»&k Middleton, Bart, by whom he never had Issue.

This would undoubtedly seem a different Baron Hurley to the Francis Lovelace, Baron Hurley of Ireland mentioned in the Hurley, NY posting.

Francis Lovelace or Robert Harley? Will the real Baron Hurley arise?

The plot thickens though, on researching Francis Lovelace it seems that a Richard Lovelace built a mansion at Hurley, Berkshire, which I touched on in another post, so we have almost come in full circle and it seems this could be a link between Hurley in Berks, and Hurley in NY state via the Lovelaces (though distinctly separate families!).

Sadly it seems Richard Lovelace built his mansion on the ruins of Hurley monastery (with some monastic rooms making up part of the mansion) and went on expedition against the Spaniards.

To quote the Royal Berkshire History web-site:

The Priory’s Infimary, to the east, was built upon by Ladye Place, the home of the Lovelaces from 1545. It was named after the Virgin Mary to whom the priory had been dedicated. Richard Lovelace sailed with Sir Francis Drake and greatly improved his house with his share of the Spanish booty. He was created Lord Lovelace of Hurley in 1627, and his monument can be seen in the church.

It seems Lovelace (Lord Hurley's) mansion cellars were used to plot against James II in favour of the foreign usurper William III (the hated King Billy), so Hurley became a centre of Hanovarian conspiring.

The link below ends the chapter on the Lovelace family by stating:
The Lovelace family was ennobled by Charles I., who in the third year of
his reign, created Richard Lovelace, Baron Hurley, which title became
extinct in 1736.
 Francis Lovelace - the namesake of Hurley, NY - on the other hand, was made Governor of the province of New York from 1668 to 1672.

An entry on his page on Wikipedia, states:

Francis Lovelace, Governor of New York
Early genealogists confused Francis with an identically named son of Richard, 1st Lord Lovelace of Hurley, due to a pamphlet issued at the time of his appointment mistakenly asserting that he was the brother of the said Richard. The confusion has also spread to more modern historians.
So we must be careful not to confuse the two Lovelace families, as the home page oh Hurley, NY appears to have done.

Was Francis Lovelace Baron of Ireland (a supporter of Charles II) as well as governor of New York? Or was Hurley, NY named after the ennobled Lovelaces (supporters of William III) whose manorial home was in Hurley, Berks. and the Americans have become confused between the two Lovelace families?

If I find out more I will return to this... and of course I'd be hapy to hear from anyone who could shed some light on this.

Lovelace, Baron Hurley (see 'CURIOUS PARTICULARS RELATING TO HURLEY, IN BERKSHIRE' the fourth article down), written in 1908.
Notable People of Berkshire

A Company, 9 Para Batallion, 6th Airborne Division, 1944

The above picture is of 9 Para's A Company, which we believe is the Company in which Private Daniel Roderick Hurley served and died.

At the front of the picture is Para dog Glenn (see previous post).

If any veterans or family members can identify Private Hurley in the above photo, please do contact me.

Any internet casual visitors, please say a prayer for the repose of his soul.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

John Keats to Cardiff City (Enjoy it While it Lasts)

I have to admit that when I was in school I always thought John Keats was 'a bit of a weirdo' to put it bluntly.

Anyone who can't enjoy something beautiful because it will (soon) be over has to question his sanity. If I see/hear a nightingale sing, it reminds me how wonderful creation is, regardless of what "we" try to do to it, often in the name of progress. I don't sigh and mope because the nightingale is going to fly away like Mr. Keats would.

I guess this is what comes of supporting Cardiff City over the years. The good times are usually followed (very swiftly) by the bad times, a perfect pastiche on life itself, even down to the strange characters who come long for a while only to be replaced by others along the way.

It can be twee to say to those mourning the loss of a loved one that the good times will follow, or that 'time will heal.' Let alone to be like Keats and warn picnicking families of their ultimate demise!

Nevertheless I have to warn friends and relatives that the sight of Cardiff City sitting atop the Championship may yet be followed by leaner times. But let's enjoy the good times while they last, and ignore the worldview of Keats and his ilk.