Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is a problem with the nerves that carry information to and from the brain and spinal cord. This can produce pain, loss of sensation, and an inability to control muscles.
“Peripheral” means nerves further out from the center of the body, distant from the brain and spinal cord.

“Neuro” means nerves.

“Pathy” means abnormal.

Causes
One set of peripheral nerves relay information from your central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) to muscles and other organs. A second set relays information from your skin, joints, and other organs back to your brain.

Peripheral neuropathy occurs when these nerves don’t work properly, resulting in pain, loss of sensation, inability to control muscles, and other possible problems.

In some cases, the failure of nerves that control blood vessels, intestines, and other organs results in abnormal blood pressure, digestion problems, and loss of other basic body processes. Peripheral neuropathy may involve damage to a single nerve or nerve group (mononeuropathy) or may affect multiple nerves (polyneuropathy).

There are numerous reasons for nerves to malfunction. In many cases, no cause can be identified. Damage to nerves can result from:
Diseases that run in families (hereditary disorders) such as:
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
Friedreich’s ataxia
Diseases that affect the whole body (systemic or metabolic disorders) such as:
Diabetes (diabetic neuropathy)
Dietary deficiencies (especially vitamin B-12)
Excessive alcohol use (alcoholic neuropathy)
Uremia (from kidney failure)
Cancer
Infections or inflammation, including:
AIDS
Hepatitis
Colorado tick fever
Diphtheria
Guillain-Barre syndrome
HIV infection without development of AIDS
Leprosy
Lyme disease
Polyarteritis nodosa
Rheumatoid arthritis
Sarcoidosis
Sjogren syndrome
Syphilis
Systemic lupus erythematosus
Amyloidosis
Exposure to poisonous substances such as:
Sniffing glue or other toxic compounds
Nitrous oxide
Industrial chemicals — especially solvents
Heavy metals (lead, arsenic, mercury, etc.)
Neuropathy secondary to drugs (many drugs, including some used for chemotherapy, can cause neuropathy)
Miscellaneous causes
Compression of a nerve by casts, splints, braces, crutches, or other devices
Decreased oxygen and blood flow (ischemia)
Direct injury of the nerve either by hitting the nerve
Prolonged exposure to cold temperature
Prolonged pressure on the nerve (such as a long surgery or lengthy illness)
Peripheral neuropathy is very common. Because there are numerous types and causes of neuropathy and scientists don’t always agree on the same definition of neuropathy, the exact incidence cannot be determined precisely.

Some people have a hereditary predisposition for neuropathy.

Symptoms
The symptoms depend on which type of nerve is affected. The three main types of nerves are:
Those that carry sensations (sensory)
Those that control muscles (motor)
Those that carry information to organs and glands (autonomic)
Neuropathy can affect any one or a combination of all three types of nerves. Symptoms also depend on whether the condition affects the whole body or just one nerve (as from an injury).

Longer nerves are more easily injured than shorter ones, so it is common for you to have worst symptoms in the legs and feet than in the hands and arms.

SENSATION CHANGES
Damage to sensory fibers results in changes in sensation, burning sensations, nerve pain, tingling or numbness, or an inability to determine joint position, which causes incoordination.

For many neuropathies, sensation changes often begin in the feet and progress toward the center of the body with involvement of other areas as the condition worsens. Diabetes is a common cause for sensory neuropathy.

MOVEMENT DIFFICULTIES
Damage to the motor fibers interferes with muscle control and can cause weakness, loss of muscle bulk, and loss of dexterity. Sometimes, cramps are a sign of motor nerve involvement.

Other muscle-related symptoms include:
Difficulty breathing or swallowing
Difficulty or inability to move a part of the body (paralysis)
Falling (from legs buckling or tripping over toes)
Lack of dexterity (such as being unable to button a shirt)
Lack of muscle control
Loss of muscle tissue (muscle atrophy)
Muscle twitching or cramping
AUTONOMIC SYMPTOMS
The autonomic nerves control involuntary or semi-voluntary functions, such as control of internal organs and blood pressure. Damage to autonomic nerves can cause:
Abdominal bloating
Blurred vision
Constipation
Decreased ability to sweat
Diarrhea
Difficulty beginning to urinate (urinary hesitancy)
Dizziness that occurs when standing up or fainting associated with a fall in blood pressure
Feeling full after eating a small amount (early satiety)
Feeling of incomplete bladder emptying
Heat intolerance with exertion
Male impotence
Nausea or vomiting after meals
Unintentional weight loss (more than 5% of body weight)
Urinary incontinence
Exams and Tests
A detailed history will be needed to determine the cause of the neuropathy. A neurological exam may reveal problems with movement, sensation, or organ function. Changes in reflexes and muscle bulk may also be present.

Blood tests may be done to screen for medical conditions such as diabetes and vitamin deficiencies.

Tests that reveal neuropathy may include:
EMG (a recording of electrical activity in muscles)
Nerve conduction tests
Nerve biopsy
Tests for neuropathy are guided by the suspected cause of the disorder, as suggested by the history, symptoms, and pattern of symptom development. They may include various blood tests, x-rays, scans, or other tests and procedures.

Treatment
Treatmet involves:
Identifying and treating any underlying medical problem (such as diabetes) or removing the cause (such as alcohol)
Controlling symptoms
Curing the disorder, if possible
Helping the patient gain maximum independence and self-care ability
Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and orthopedic interventions may be recommended. For example, exercises and retraining may be used to increase muscle strength and control. Wheelchairs, braces, and splints may improve mobility or the ability to use an affected arm or leg.

Safety is an important consideration for people with neuropathy. Lack of muscle control and reduced sensation increase the risk of falls and other injuries. The person may not notice a potential source of injury because he or she can’t feel it. For example, one may not notice if water in a bathtub is too hot. For this reason, people with decreased sensation should check their feet or other affected areas frequently for bruises, open skin areas, or other injuries, which may go unnoticed and become severely infected. Often, a podiatrist can determine if special orthotic devices are needed.

Safety measures for people experiencing difficulty with movement may include:
Installing railings
Removing obstacles on floors such as loose rugs
Safety measures for people having difficulty with sensation include:
Adequate lighting (including night lights)
Testing water temperature before bathing
Use of protective shoes (no open toes, no high heels)
Shoes should be checked often for grit or rough spots that may cause injury to the feet.

Persons with neuropathy (especially those with polyneuropathy or mononeuropathy multiplex) are prone to new nerve injury at pressure points such as knees and elbows. They should avoid prolonged pressure on these areas from leaning on the elbows, crossing the knees, or assuming similar positions.

Prescription pain medications may be needed to control nerve pain. Anticonvulsants (phenytoin, carbamazepine, gabapentin, and pregabalin), tricyclic antidepressants (duloxetine), or other medications may be used to reduce the stabbing pains. Use the lowest dose possible to avoid side effects.

Adjusting position, using frames to keep bedclothes off tender body parts, or other measures may also be helpful to reduce pain.

The symptoms of autonomic changes may be difficult to treat or respond poorly to treatment.

Use of elastic stockings and sleeping with the head elevated may help treat low blood pressure that occurs when standing up (postural hypotension). Fludrocortisone or similar medications may also be helpful.

Medications that increase gastric motility (such as metoclopramide), eating small frequent meals, sleeping with the head elevated, or other measures may help.

Manual expression of urine (pressing over the bladder with the hands), intermittent catheterization, or medications such as bethanechol may be necessary for those with bladder dysfunction.

Impotence, diarrhea, constipation or other symptoms are treated as appropriate.

Support Groups
Additional information can be obtained from the Neuropathy Association – http://www.neuropathy.org
Outlook (Prognosis)
The outcome greatly depends on the cause of the neuropathy. In cases where a medical condition can be identified and treated, the outlook may be excellent. However, in severe neuropathy, nerve damage can be permanent, even if the cause is treated appropriately.

For most hereditary neuropathies, there is no cure. Some of these conditions are harmless, while others progress more rapidly and may lead to permanent, severe complications.

Possible Complications
The inability to feel or notice injuries can lead to infection or structural damage. Changes include poor healing, loss of tissue mass, tissue erosions, scarring, and deformity. Other complications include:
Decreased self esteem
Difficulty breathing
Difficulty swallowing
Irregular heart rhythms ( arrhythmias)
Need for amputation
Partial or complete loss of movement or control of movement
Partial or complete loss of sensation
Relationship problems related to impotence
Recurrent or unnoticed injury to any part of the body
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your health care provider if symptoms of peripheral neuropathy are present. In all cases, early diagnosis and treatment increases the possibility that symptoms can be controlled.

Nerve pain, such as that caused by peripheral neuropathy, can be difficult to control. If pain is severe, contact a pain specialist may be able to suggest different approaches.

Emergency symptoms include irregular or rapid heartbeats, difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, and fainting.

Prevention
If a prolonged procedure or immobility is expected, appropriate measures (such as padding vulnerable areas) can be taken beforehand to reduce the risk of nerve problems.

Persons with a hereditary predisposition for neuropathy need to be especially careful to limit alcohol and manage other medical problems closely.

All people can reduce the risk of neuropathy by following a balanced diet, drinking alcohol in moderation, and maintaining good control of diabetes and other medical problems, if present.

Alternative Names
Peripheral neuritis; Neuropathy – peripheral; Neuritis – peripheral

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British Monarchy Richard III

BRITISH MONARCHY

RICHARD III
(Courtesy Monarchy and Wikipedia )

Richard III (2 October 1452 – 22 August 1485) was King of England from 1483 until his death. He was the last king from the House of York, and his defeat at the Battle of Bosworth marked the culmination of the Wars of the Roses and the end of the Plantagenet dynasty. After the death of his brother King Edward IV, Richard briefly governed as regent for Edward’s son King Edward V with the title of Lord Protector, but he placed Edward and his brother Richard in the Tower (see Princes in the Tower) and seized the throne for himself, being crowned on 6 July 1483.

Two large-scale rebellions rose against Richard. The first, in 1483, was led by staunch opponents of Edward IV and, most notably, Richard’s own ‘kingmaker’, Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham. The revolt collapsed and Buckingham was executed at Salisbury, near the Bull’s Head Inn. However, in 1485, another rebellion arose against Richard, headed by Henry Tudor, 2nd Earl of Richmond (later King Henry VII) and his uncle Jasper. The rebels landed troops and Richard fell in the Battle of Bosworth Field, then known as Redemore or Dadlington Field, as the last Plantagenet king and the last English king to die in battle.

Childhood

Richard was born at Fotheringhay Castle, the eighth and youngest, and fourth surviving, son of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York (who had been a strong claimant to the throne of King Henry VI) and Cecily Neville. Richard spent much of his childhood at Middleham Castle in Wensleydale, under the tutelage of his cousin Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick (known to history as “The Kingmaker” because of his strong influence on the course of the Wars of the Roses).

At the time of the death of his father and older brother Edmund at the Battle of Wakefield, Richard, who was still a boy, was taken into the care of Warwick. While Richard was at Warwick’s estate, he developed a close friendship with Francis Lovell, a friendship that would remain strong for the rest of his life. Another child in the household was Warwick’s daughter Anne Neville, whom Richard would later marry.

Reign of Edward IV

During the reign of his brother, King Edward IV, Richard demonstrated his loyalty and skill as a military commander. He was rewarded with large estates in northern England, awarded the title Duke of Gloucester and appointed as Governor of the North, becoming the richest and most powerful noble in England and a loyal aide to Edward IV. In contrast, the other surviving brother, George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence, was executed by Edward for treason.

Richard controlled the north of England until Edward IV’s death.There and especially in the city of York, he was regarded with much love and affection. In 1482 Richard recaptured Berwick-upon-Tweed from the Scots, and his administration was regarded as fair and just, endowing universities and making grants to the church.

Accession to the Throne

On the death of Edward IV, on 9 April 1483, the late King’s sons (Richard’s young nephews), King Edward V, aged 12, and Richard of Shrewsbury, 1st Duke of York, aged 9, were next in the order of succession. Richard, however, had the king’s guardian, Anthony Woodville, 2nd Earl Rivers (brother of Elizabeth Woodville, Edward IV’s Queen Consort) and other advisors arrested and taken to Pontefract Castle, where they were later executed, allegedly for planning to assassinate Edward V. He then took Edward and his younger brother to the Tower of London.

On 22 June 1483, outside St Paul’s Cathedral, a statement was read out on behalf of Richard declaring for the first time that he was taking the throne for himself on the grounds that Edward IV’s marriage had been illegitimate and that, in consequence, the true heir to the throne was Richard and not Edward V. This proclamation was then supported by a bill passed by Parliament on the evidence of a bishop who testified to having married Edward to Lady Eleanor Butler, who was still living when Edward married Elizabeth Woodville.

On 6 July 1483, Richard was crowned at Westminster Abbey.

Although Richard III is popularly supposed to have killed Edward V and his brother, there is some controversy among historians about the actual circumstances of the boys’ deaths: see Princes in the Tower for full coverage, and possible reasons for the support for Richard’s accession.

Death at the Battle of Bosworth

On 22 August 1485, Richard met the Lancastrian forces of Henry Tudor at the Battle of Bosworth Field. He was astride his white courser.Richard’s host outnumbered Henry’s almost two to one. During the battle Richard was abandoned by Lord Thomas Stanley, 1st Earl of Derby, Sir William Stanley, and Henry Percy, 4th Earl of Northumberland. The switching of sides by the Stanleys severely depleted the strength of Richard’s army and had a material effect on the outcome of the battle. Also the death of John Howard, Duke of Norfolk, his close companion, appeared to have had a demoralising effect on Richard and his men. Accounts note that Richard fought bravely and ably during the battle, unhorsing Sir John Cheney, a well-known champion, killing Henry’s standard bearer William Brandon and nearly reaching Henry himself before being finally surrounded and killed. Tradition holds that his final words were “treason, treason, treason, treason, treason”.

Richard’s naked body was then paraded through the streets before being buried at Greyfriars Church, Leicester. According to one tradition, during the Dissolution of the Monasteries his body was thrown into the nearby River Soar, although other evidence suggests that this may not be the case and that his burial site may currently be under a car park in Leicester. There is currently a memorial plaque on the site of the Cathedral where he may have once been buried.

According to another tradition, Richard consulted a seer in the town of Leicester before the battle and the seer foretold that “where your spur should strike on the ride into battle, your head shall be broken on the return.” On the ride into battle his spur struck the bridge stone of the Bow Bridge; legend has it that, as his corpse was being carried from the battle over the back of a horse, his head struck the same stone and was broken open.

Henry Tudor succeeded Richard to become Henry VII, and cemented the succession by marrying the Yorkist heiress, Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV.

Succession

Following the decisive Yorkist victory over the Lancastrians at the Battle of Tewkesbury, Richard had married the younger daughter of the Earl of Warwick, Anne Neville on 12 July 1472. Anne’s first husband had been Edward of Westminster (d 1471), son of Henry VI.

Richard and Anne had one son, Edward Plantagenet (also known as Edward of Middleham, 1473 – 9 April 1484), who died not long after being created Prince of Wales. Richard also had a number of illegitimate children, including John of Gloucester and a daughter named Katharine who married William Herbert, 2nd Earl of Pembroke. It has been thought that their mother may have been one Katherine Haute, who is mentioned in household records. Both of these children survived Richard. Neither apparently left any descendants. The mysterious Richard Plantagenet (Richard of Eastwell) is also a possible offspring of Richard III as is Richard the Master- Builder.

At the time of his last stand against the Lancastrians, Richard was a widower without a legitimate son. After his son’s death, he had initially named his nephew, Edward, Earl of Warwick, Clarence’s young son and the nephew of Queen Anne Neville, as his heir. After Anne’s death, however, Richard named as his heir another nephew, John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln, the son of his older sister Elizabeth.

Legacy

Richard’s death at Bosworth resulted in the end of the Plantagenet dynasty, which had ruled England since the succession of Henry II in 1154. The last male Plantagenet, Edward, Earl of Warwick (son of Richard III’s brother Clarence) was executed by Henry VII in 1499.

Richard’s Council of the North greatly improved conditions for northern England, as commoners of that region were formerly without any substantial economic activity independent of London. Its descendant position was Secretary of State for the Northern Department.

Controversy and reputation

Much that was previously considered ‘fact’ about Richard III has been rejected by modern historians. For example, Richard was represented by Tudor writers as being physically deformed, which was regarded as evidence of an evil character. However, the withered arm, limp and crooked back of legend are nowadays believed to be fabrications, possibly originating from the questionable history attributed to Thomas More, which made a deep impression upon William Shakespeare, and was long taken as the authoritative history of events. The accusations against his moral character have proven more resistant to refutation than the slanders against his physical looks.

The Richard III Society was established in the 20th century and has gathered considerable research material about his life and reign. Its aim is summed up by its Patron, the present Richard, Duke of Gloucester:

“… the purpose and indeed the strength of the Richard III Society derive from the belief that the truth is more powerful than lies – a faith that even after all these centuries the truth is important. It is proof of our sense of civilised values that something as esoteric and as fragile as reputation is worth campaigning for.”

The American Branch of the Richard III Society carries out its own review of all the suspects in the case of Richard III, in the on-line library “Whodunit?”.

The Society of Friends of King Richard III was also set up in the 20th century in order to rehabilitate Richard and to honour his memory. The society is based in the city of York, where following his death in 1485 it was proclaimed, that “King Richard, late reigning mercifully over us, was…. piteously slain and murdered, to the great heaviness of this city”.

Richard III was found not guilty in a mock trial presided over by three Justices of the United States Supreme Court in 1997. Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Associate Justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Stephen G. Breyer, in a 3-0 decision, ruled that the prosecution had not met the burden of proof that “it was more likely than not” that the Princes in the Tower had been murdered; that the bones found in 1674 in the Tower were those of the Princes; and that Richard III had ordered or was complicitous in their deaths.

Horace Walpole, Josephine Tey and Valerie Anand are among writers who have argued strongly that King Richard was innocent of the death of the Princes. Sharon Kay Penman, in her historical novel The Sunne in Splendour, also portrays Richard III as a just and honest ruler and attributes the death of the Little Princes to the Duke of Buckingham.

E. Falconer-Douglas.

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Great British Monarchs Richard 111

Great British Monarchs

King Richard 111

(Credits to Monarchy and
Wikipedia.)


Richard III (2 October 1452 – 22 August 1485) was King of England from 1483 until his death. He was the last king from the House of York, and his defeat at the Battle of Bosworth marked the culmination of the Wars of the Roses and the end of the Plantagenet dynasty. After the death of his brother King Edward IV, Richard briefly governed as regent for Edward’s son King Edward V with the title of Lord Protector, but he placed Edward and his brother Richard in the Tower (see Princes in the Tower) and seized the throne for himself, being crowned on 6 July 1483.

Two large-scale rebellions rose against Richard. The first, in 1483, was led by staunch opponents of Edward IV and, most notably, Richard’s own ‘kingmaker’, Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham. The revolt collapsed and Buckingham was executed at Salisbury, near the Bull’s Head Inn. However, in 1485, another rebellion arose against Richard, headed by Henry Tudor, 2nd Earl of Richmond (later King Henry VII) and his uncle Jasper. The rebels landed troops and Richard fell in the Battle of Bosworth Field, then known as Redemore or Dadlington Field, as the last Plantagenet king and the last English king to die in battle.

Childhood

Richard was born at Fotheringhay Castle, the eighth and youngest, and fourth surviving, son of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York (who had been a strong claimant to the throne of King Henry VI) and Cecily Neville. Richard spent much of his childhood at Middleham Castle in Wensleydale, under the tutelage of his cousin Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick (known to history as “The Kingmaker” because of his strong influence on the course of the Wars of the Roses).

At the time of the death of his father and older brother Edmund at the Battle of Wakefield, Richard, who was still a boy, was taken into the care of Warwick. While Richard was at Warwick’s estate, he developed a close friendship with Francis Lovell, a friendship that would remain strong for the rest of his life. Another child in the household was Warwick’s daughter Anne Neville, whom Richard would later marry.

Reign of Edward IV

During the reign of his brother, King Edward IV, Richard demonstrated his loyalty and skill as a military commander. He was rewarded with large estates in northern England, awarded the title Duke of Gloucester and appointed as Governor of the North, becoming the richest and most powerful noble in England and a loyal aide to Edward IV. In contrast, the other surviving brother, George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence, was executed by Edward for treason.

Richard controlled the north of England until Edward IV’s death.There and especially in the city of York, he was regarded with much love and affection. In 1482 Richard recaptured Berwick-upon-Tweed from the Scots, and his administration was regarded as fair and just, endowing universities and making grants to the church.

Accession to the Throne

On the death of Edward IV, on 9 April 1483, the late King’s sons (Richard’s young nephews), King Edward V, aged 12, and Richard of Shrewsbury, 1st Duke of York, aged 9, were next in the order of succession. Richard, however, had the king’s guardian, Anthony Woodville, 2nd Earl Rivers (brother of Elizabeth Woodville, Edward IV’s Queen Consort) and other advisors arrested and taken to Pontefract Castle, where they were later executed, allegedly for planning to assassinate Edward V. He then took Edward and his younger brother to the Tower of London.

On 22 June 1483, outside St Paul’s Cathedral, a statement was read out on behalf of Richard declaring for the first time that he was taking the throne for himself on the grounds that Edward IV’s marriage had been illegitimate and that, in consequence, the true heir to the throne was Richard and not Edward V. This proclamation was then supported by a bill passed by Parliament on the evidence of a bishop who testified to having married Edward to Lady Eleanor Butler, who was still living when Edward married Elizabeth Woodville.

On 6 July 1483, Richard was crowned at Westminster Abbey.

Although Richard III is popularly supposed to have killed Edward V and his brother, there is some controversy among historians about the actual circumstances of the boys’ deaths: see Princes in the Tower for full coverage, and possible reasons for the support for Richard’s accession.

Death at the Battle of Bosworth

On 22 August 1485, Richard met the Lancastrian forces of Henry Tudor at the Battle of Bosworth Field. He was astride his white courser.Richard’s host outnumbered Henry’s almost two to one. During the battle Richard was abandoned by Lord Thomas Stanley, 1st Earl of Derby, Sir William Stanley, and Henry Percy, 4th Earl of Northumberland. The switching of sides by the Stanleys severely depleted the strength of Richard’s army and had a material effect on the outcome of the battle. Also the death of John Howard, Duke of Norfolk, his close companion, appeared to have had a demoralising effect on Richard and his men. Accounts note that Richard fought bravely and ably during the battle, unhorsing Sir John Cheney, a well-known champion, killing Henry’s standard bearer William Brandon and nearly reaching Henry himself before being finally surrounded and killed. Tradition holds that his final words were “treason, treason, treason, treason, treason”.

Richard’s naked body was then paraded through the streets before being buried at Greyfriars Church, Leicester. According to one tradition, during the Dissolution of the Monasteries his body was thrown into the nearby River Soar, although other evidence suggests that this may not be the case and that his burial site may currently be under a car park in Leicester. There is currently a memorial plaque on the site of the Cathedral where he may have once been buried.

According to another tradition, Richard consulted a seer in the town of Leicester before the battle and the seer foretold that “where your spur should strike on the ride into battle, your head shall be broken on the return.” On the ride into battle his spur struck the bridge stone of the Bow Bridge; legend has it that, as his corpse was being carried from the battle over the back of a horse, his head struck the same stone and was broken open

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Doc Martin

A Soliloquy for Doc Martin
(or Doctor Ellingham)

I have watched Doc Martin on a loop for months after buying the box set, all five episodes. I hear you asking, why? The answer is simple, I tire of all the bloodshed, violence and emotional turmoil of most programmes and Doc Martin (or Ellingham) has become an escape. I love the scenery, the concept of village life, the occasional drama laced with smiling comedy. I also liked the cameo roles created for so many very fine actors, so much so that it has become a continuing game of delight to spot the actor in other roles.
​The regular supporting actors play a large part in the enjoyment and credibility of the series as a whole; they enhance and add much to the appeal of the programme. It is my personal opinion that the series could not have survived without such characters as Bert (Ian McNeice), Al (Joe Absolom) and Pauline (Katherine Parkinson) they all played their parts perfectly. As does Mrs. Tishell (Selina Cadell). What a fine actor she is. The scene involving the removal of her cervical collar was an insight into just how fine an actress she really is.
Losing Aunt Joan (Stephanie Cole) was sad, but inevitable. She is an actress of such ability that she lifts the ratings of any show lucky enough to have her. Sadly for us we watched her age as the show progressed. Her replacement in the fifth series, Ruth Ellingham (Eileen Atkins) was genius casting. Such a pity she couldn’t have been introduced earlier in the series.

But I digress. As much as I admire Martin Clunes as an actor I’m afraid he’s got carried away by the role he was playing. Just how much of this was due to misdirection or unfortunate writing I don’t know. We all loved him as the grumpy, irascible and slightly vulnerable new doctor out of his comfort zone in the first few episodes, but this behaviour has progressed to an almost intolerable level.
The show was so successful that I wonder if this progressive irritability, that we all found amusing in the beginning, has become a matter of ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’? If this is the case then I must speak up, if only to support a wonderful series.

It is not acceptable for a doctor to slam a door in a child’s face and totally show no remorse. It is not acceptable for a man, any man or adult to barge between two elderly people snarling at them to ‘move it!’ As sad as it is to say, the character’s temper has escalated to maniacal levels and this does not make for comfortable viewing.

Surely all is not lost. There is material to explore, the hidden side of Doc Martin, of which we have had glimpses so cleverly disclosed; his unspoken sympathy and understanding of the girl being bullied because of her small bust, the agoraphobic policeman, the gamekeeper living with mental illness and trauma. I was appalled by his attitude over the demise of Mrs. Pratt. This was neither humour nor drama. Of course there is still room for his arrogance, his superior manner, even him behaving like a control freak, which in series five escalated to an intolerable level, so much so that it lost its credibility.

Perhaps we should consider that the greatness and durability of all iconic series are usually due to the stability of their supporting actors: “Only Fools and Horses,” “Last of the Summer Wine, “Men Behaving Badly” to name a few. Supporting actors simply do not abruptly disappear, they are written out with great care. Few viewers were fooled by the taking off of Al (Joe Absolom) to Africa? We were left wondering is the actor himself was ill, or is he walked out for some reason. It was a breath of relief when he came back. Elaine Denham (Lucy Punch) she disappeared mid- series to be replaced by Pauline Lamb (Katherine Parkinson) which was a fine piece of casting. None the less, this was not acceptable. Then we had PC Mark Mylow (Stewart Wright) who after fourteen episodes suddenly disappeared to become a plumber, the excuse for this explained in two, throw- away lines of dialogue by his excellent replacement, PC Penhale (John Marques.)

I fear I have been harsh in my criticism, simply because I love the series and would be sad to see it destroy itself. If there is to be a sixth series as reported by Martin Clunes in a recent television interview, then some of these points should be taken into consideration. I hope there is another series, but its success must rely on its producers and writers.

Eileen Falconer-Douglas.

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Location:Lanarkshire

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The Writer’s Blackboard


An Introduction to Writing
For
The New Writer

(Writing Prose Fiction)

Where to start is always the first question. My answer is always the same:
‘First understand the basics.’

The Oxford Concise Dictionary briefly defines the novel as: “A fictitious prose narrative of book length.”

Fiction involves imaginary characters and incidents, although some fictitious novels are drawn from real lives and events, often described as fiction based on fact. Here a small word of caution is warranted. What we write may very well be dressed up as fiction, however, if the characters and places bear too close a resemblance to actual people, living or dead, there is a grave risk of legal action being taken. Publishers are very aware of this and will reject work that runs the risk of involving them in costly lawsuits.
Publishing houses usually have a legal department that guards against such prosecutions; because the onus is not only on the author; it also involves the publishing house. So, if you envisage this as a way of producing libellous material and escaping the consequences, think again. Labelling work as ‘fictitious’ will not save you from prosecution from those you have maligned, or even from executors who manage the estate of deceased persons.

All writers, to some extent or other, pull on personal experience and this is by no means a new concept. Charles Dickens based his book, David Copperfield (1843) on the experiences of his childhood and although it tackles serious social issues, it still maintains its integrity as an absorbing read of prose fiction.
Dickens made determined efforts to challenge social and legal deprivation without sacrificing the main principles of prose fiction; that of entertaining his readers with fine a story. His book, The Adventures of Nicholas Nickelby; flew very close to the wind however. He set out to shock, and did exactly that ~ even by the standards of the modern reader. He openly disclosed the dreadful privation of so called boarding schools that existed in Yorkshire along with the neglect of educational standards in England. His portrayal of the infamous Mr. Squeers was laid claim to by several ‘schoolmasters’ as being modelled on themselves, one of whom consulted authorities in law as to grounds for an action for libel.

We should understand that everything we write is constructed to some degree or other from stored memory or an accumulation of experiences, fears, pain, emotions, dreams, and nightmares, also, places, sights, and scenes. Every fleeting observation, albeit sometimes subconsciously, is stored in that most wonderful of all organs, the brain.

There are stories that in our wildest dreams we could not imaging happening in real life, but in book form we are happy to extend our imagination, to enjoy for instance such books as the fictitious and highly imaginative works of authors like J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, or Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, or even Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; all of which are conceived in the imagination from subconsciously stored memory and experience.

All fiction is written in prose and this does not preclude epic poems. There are many to draw example from, but the finest of these are the Homeric poems, the Odyssey and the Iliad, two such works that in total; consists some 25,000 lines of verse. Prose fiction as well as epic poetry has great flexibility and allows the writer to explore by endowing the imagination with the power to direct, construct and control.

One of the things we have to decide on is what ‘voice’ we intend using, keeping in mind that we cannot change ‘voice’ midway through a manuscript. What we start with must be the same throughout the entire work.

Writing in the first person simply means using the (‘I,’ ‘me,’ ‘we,’). What this means is that the voice telling the story is the central character, sharing confidences, confiding to the reader on a one to one basis. Everything is seen through the eyes of the main character. But while the main character can observe and comment on other characters, what it cannot do is ‘feel’ the emotions or share the thoughts of other characters, apart from in dialogue (‘I said’ ‘he said’).

Emotions observed by the main character is therefore directing to the reader; such things as love, hate, joy, disappointment, and grief, are witnessed rather than felt.

A great many writers have adopted the first person approach and were in no way restricted by it. Charles Dickens mainly wrote in the first person creating a bond with the reader by using the main character as the monitor. Daphne du Maurier did the same in her novel Rebecca, a book that is in my opinion, the most touching and thought provoking of all of her novels. She began her first paragraph with her now classic opening line: ‘Last night I dreamt I went to Manderly again.’ Du Maurier was in effect talking, confiding to the reader through her main character. Writing in the first person takes skill, all too often new writer’s tend to forget it’s the character talking and starts injecting a little too much of themselves which tends to be out of character with the central theme.

The third person voice uses the (‘he,’ ‘her,’ ‘they’) and is writing from the narrator rather than the main character’s viewpoint, in other words the narrator tells the story. Writing in the third person offers more choice and is enormously flexible, characters and situations can be observed by other characters within the script, or through the eyes of the narrative voice. Speaking in general there are two main kinds of narrative. But first we must clear up a popular misconception. The narrative voice is ‘not,’ the voice of the writer/author. The narrative voice is a part of the story, an overall ‘teller’ of the tale. A general observer, if you like, that has privy knowledge to everything going on.

The narrative voice has several important functions, such as taking care of description, keeping the reader informed, but mostly it is a tool to help move the story along. It can also describe situations that would not sound plausible in dialogue. But as useful as it is, care should be taken to keep some kind of balance between dialogue and narrative, perhaps even consider a ratio of something like 60-40. That is 60% narrative to 40% dialogue for a reasonably fast paced story.

The other narrative voice is ‘omniscient’ narrative and this has a different roll to play. Unlike general narrative it has the attraction of being more introspect. It allows the reader access into the thoughts, observations and emotions of different characters in the book, not just the central character. As a useful exercise try reading a book and see if you can distinguish between the narrative voice and the omniscient narrative voice, like a well made toupee you shouldn’t be able to see the join. A short example of the omniscient voice from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice: Elizabeth Bennet is embarrassed by her mother, Mrs. Bennet’s, forthright but veiled comments meant to chastise Mr. Darcy:
“Darcy only smiled; and the general pause which ensued made Elizabeth tremble lest her mother should be exposing herself again. She longed to speak, but could think of nothing to say.”
Here we have something of what Elizabeth is ‘feeling’ and ‘observing’. She observes Darcy, “Darcy only smiled.” She feels, “she longed to speak, but could think of nothing to say.” So we have a first class insight into the character herself, and the extent of her embarrassment.

Dialogue, is something entirely different, it is direct conversation between characters. To allay confusion as to who is speaking to whom the layout is very important. Each new dialogue is represented by a new line and is enclosed between parentheses. In the case of just two people talking there is not always the need to name them every time. Initially identified, the characters are made plain by the use of a new line:

“Did you put the cat out?” John asked.
Eileen smiled. “No, it’s your turn,” she reminded him.

Further naming of these two characters is not thereafter strictly necessary although in long conversational dialogue it is as well to remind the reader with the odd direction. In some cases no addition response is necessary except in places where the writer feels some expression should be added. Repetition however should be avoided. The eternal ‘he said,’ ‘she said,’ can make the writing stilted. There may also be some kind of narrative between dialogue, and where the narrative clearly indicates which character is speaking there is no need for a new line.

Whether choosing a double parenthesis or a single to enclose your dialogue is entirely up to you, but whichever you choose should be uniform throughout the entire script, using the alternative choice for quotes. Italic print should be reserves for book titles and not for emphasis.

​ Whatever category or genre you choose to write in the object is to produce a realistic and believable story, whether it comes under the general heading of, myth, gothic, crime, science fiction, or a family saga. The label “Realist” in both literature and art simply means the representation of things in a way that is accurate and true to life. Therefore, however unrealistic the story, the writer must believe in what he/she is writing. The writer must make it possible for readers to be happy to extend their imagination, to incorporate and enjoy the wildest of fantasies.

​Dialect is a form of language that is peculiar to a specific region or social group, most regions have a dialect of some kind, the problem being that they differ from region to region and this leads to confusion when trying to use a particular accent. The question that often crops up is how to incorporate this into writing, making it true to the region as well as being readable and understandable to a wider readership.
Writing in a regionalized language peculiar to a specific region or social group is really just a matter of stabilizing a correct balance. It is not for anyone to dictate what form of writing you should adopt, so do let us make that very clear.
There are however, things to consider. One is the market, ask yourself if what you are writing will be easily read and understood by a wide readership, or if it will be directed to a select few. If the latter is the case then this will inevitably affect its marketability and will probably only be considered for publication by a small press who specialise in small printing jobs.

There are ways round the problem that should not betray the principles of the writer or plot. You might consider that when a character is using a particular accent, whether it is a Northern, Cockney, Welsh, Scottish, or Irish dialect then for simplicity it is better to keep the dialect in dialogue, reserving the narrative for grammatical English. As I have said one of the main problems is that dialects differ from area to area so it is perhaps more circumspect to just give a ‘flavour’ of the dialect. Spend some time studying the speech patterns and idiosyncrasies of speech in whatever dialect you choose, and use these sparingly.

An excellent example is the way, Ellis Peters; in her Brother Cadfael Chronicles’ handles the problem. She demonstrates beautifully the transition of mediaeval dialogue into readable prose fiction we can all enjoy. The general plots are set in mediaeval times in and around the Shropshire and Welsh borders yet her stories are perfectly acceptable, being easy to read and understand without losing any of the substance of mediaeval times and the areas in which they are set. Her narrative voice is in grammatical English and by the use of just a few small colloquialisms and the naming of authentic household items and clothing dotted throughout the script she has found a perfect balance.

Another question often asked is how far can we, or should we go when using explicit expletives? Again, there is really no answer that doesn’t smack of reproach. Suffice it to say that I know of no publishers who advocate a rigid censorship, so perhaps it’s just a matter of taste. We could consider however how few of our best authors found the need to write page after page of expletives to express them selves. Again, that is not to suggest that a harsh expletive here and there doesn’t have its uses when the occasion warrants. Writing in character, it would hardly be credible for a tough workman to whack his thumb with a hammer and exclaim, “Oh, suffering crumps!” It would be far more realistic for him to stay in character with a few well-chosen profanities. The problem does arise however when page after page are filled with unnecessary expletives. They no longer become a useful and expressive tool because they lose their shock value, so the means rather defeats the purpose.

English is the richest language in the world and should be used with regard for it’s worth. There is no situation, no emotion or description that cannot be painted in words, so it is up to the writer to choose how best to use them.

Eileen Falconer-Douglas

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Famous British Monarchs. Charles I

King Charles I

Credits to:
Monarchy and Wikipedia

Charles I, (19 November 1600 – 30 January 1649) was King of England, Scotland and Ireland from March 27, 1625 until his execution. Charles famously engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England. He was an advocate of the Divine Right of Kings, and many subjects of England feared that he was attempting to gain absolute power. Many of his actions, particularly the levying of taxes without Parliament’s consent, caused widespread opposition.

Religious conflicts permeated Charles’s reign. He married a Catholic princess, Henrietta Maria of France, over the objections of Parliament and public opinion. He further allied himself with controversial religious figures, including the ecclesiastic Richard Montagu and William Laud, whom Charles appointed Archbishop of Canterbury. Many of Charles’s subjects felt this brought the Church of England too close to Roman Catholicism. Charles’s later attempts to force religious reforms upon Scotland led to the Bishops’ Wars that weakened England’s government and helped precipitate his downfall.

His last years were marked by the English Civil War, in which he was opposed by the forces of Parliament, which challenged his attempts to augment his own power, and by Puritans, who were hostile to his religious policies and supposed Catholic sympathies. Charles was defeated in the First Civil War (1642 – 1645), after which Parliament expected him to accept demands for a constitutional monarchy. He instead remained defiant by attempting to forge an alliance with Scotland and escaping to the Isle of Wight. This provoked a Second Civil War (1648 – 1649) and a second defeat for Charles, who was subsequently captured, tried, convicted, and executed for high treason. The monarchy was then abolished and a republic called the Commonwealth of England, also referred to as the Cromwellian Interregnum, was declared. Charles’s son, Charles II, became King after the restoration of the monarchy in 1660.

Early life

The second son of James VI, King of Scots and Anne of Denmark and Norway, Charles was born at Dunfermline Palace, Fife, on November 19, 1600, and, until the age of three, was unable to walk or talk. His paternal grandmother was Mary, Queen of Scots, who had been beheaded by Elizabeth I of England on February 8, 1587.

When Elizabeth died in March 1603 and James VI of Scotland became King of England as James I, Charles was originally left in Scotland in the care of nurses and servants because it was feared that the journey would damage his fragile health. He did make the journey in July 1604 and was subsequently placed under the charge of Alletta (Hogenhove) Carey, the Dutch-born wife of courtier Sir Robert Carey, who taught him how to walk and talk and insisted that he wear boots made of Spanish leather and brass to help strengthen his weak ankles. When Charles was an adult he was 5 feet 3 inches (162 cm) tall.

Charles was not as well-regarded as his elder brother, Henry, Prince of Wales; Charles himself adored Henry and tried to emulate him. In 1603, Charles was created Duke of Albany, with the subsidiary titles Marquess of Ormond, Earl of Ross and Lord Ardmannoch the sixth, in Scotland. Two years later, Charles was created Duke of York, as was then customary in the case of the Sovereign’s second son.

When his elder brother died at the age of 18 of typhoid in 1612, two weeks before Charles’s 12th birthday, Charles became heir apparent (and the eldest living son of the Sovereign, thus automatically gaining several titles including Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay) and was subsequently created the Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester in November 1616. His sister Elizabeth married Frederick V, Elector Palatine in 1613 and moved to Heidelberg.

The new Prince of Wales was greatly influenced by his father’s favourite, George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham. The two of them travelled incognito to Spain in 1623 to reach agreement on the long-pending Spanish Match between Charles and Infanta Maria Anna of Spain, the daughter of King Philip III of Spain. The trip ended badly, however, as the Spanish demanded that Charles convert to Roman Catholicism and remain in Spain for a year after the wedding as a sort of hostage to ensure England’s compliance with all the terms of the treaty. Charles was outraged, and upon their return in October, he and Buckingham demanded that James I declare war on Spain.

With the encouragement of his Protestant advisers, James summoned Parliament so that he could request subsidies for a war effort. James also requested that Parliament sanction the marriage between the Prince of Wales and Princess Henrietta Maria of France, whom Charles met in Paris whilst en route to Spain. It was a good match since she was a sister of Louis XIII (their father, Henry IV, had died during her childhood). Parliament agreed to the marriage, but was extremely critical of the prior attempt to arrange a marital alliance with Spain. James was growing senile and as a result was finding it extremely difficult to control Parliament—the same problem would later haunt Charles during his reign. During the last year of James’ reign, actual power was held not by him but by Charles and the Duke of Buckingham.

Both Charles and James were advocates of the Divine Right of Kings, but James listened to the views of his subjects and favoured compromise and consensus. Charles I was shy and diffident, but also self-righteous, stubborn, opinionated, determined and confrontational. Charles believed he had no need to compromise or even explain his rules and that he was only answerable to God. He famously said: “Kings are not bound to give an account of their actions but to God alone,” “I mean to show what I should speak in actions.” Those actions were open to misinterpretation, and there were fears as early as 1626 that he was a potential tyrant.

Early reign

On 11 May 1625 Charles was married by proxy to Henrietta Maria of France, nine years his junior. In his first Parliament, which he opened in May, many members were opposed to his marriage to Henrietta Maria, a Roman Catholic, fearing that Charles would lift restrictions on Roman Catholics and undermine the official establishment of Protestantism. Although he stated to Parliament that he would not relax restrictions relating to recusants, he promised to do exactly that in a secret marriage treaty with Louis XIII. The couple were married in person on 13 June 1625, in Canterbury. Charles was crowned on 2 February 1626 at Westminster Abbey, but without his wife at his side due to the controversy. Charles and Henrietta had seven children, with three sons and three daughters surviving infancy.

Distrust of Charles’s religious policies increased with his support of a controversial ecclesiastic, Richard Montagu. In a pamphlet, Montagu had argued against the teachings of John Calvin, thereby bringing himself into disrepute amongst the Puritans. After a Puritan member of the House of Commons, John Pym, attacked Montagu’s pamphlet during debate, Montagu requested the king’s aid in another pamphlet entitled “Appello Caesarem” (Latin “I appeal to Caesar”, a reference to an appeal against Jewish persecution made by Saint Paul the Apostle). Charles made the cleric one of his royal chaplains, increasing many Puritans’ suspicions as to where Charles would lead the Church.

Charles’s primary concern during his early reign was foreign policy. The Thirty Years’ War, originally confined to Bohemia, was spiralling out of control into a wider war between Protestants and Catholics in Europe. In 1620, Frederick V, Elector Palatine, the husband of Charles’s sister Elizabeth, had lost his hereditary lands in the Palatinate to the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II. Having agreed to help his brother-in-law regain the Palatinate, Charles declared war on Spain, hoping to force the Catholic Spanish King Philip IV to intercede with the Emperor on Frederick’s behalf.

Parliament preferred an inexpensive naval attack on Spanish colonies in the New World, hoping that the capture of the Spanish treasure fleets could finance the war. Charles, however, preferred more aggressive (and more expensive) action on the Continent. Parliament only voted to grant a subsidy of £140,000; an insufficient sum for Charles. Moreover, the House of Commons limited its authorization for royal collection of tonnage and poundage (two varieties of customs duties) to a period of one year, although previous sovereigns since 1414 had been granted the right for life. In this manner, Parliament could keep a check on expenditures by forcing Charles to seek the renewal of the grant each year. Charles’s allies in the House of Lords, led by the Duke of Buckingham, refused to pass the bill. Although no Parliamentary authority for the levy of tonnage and poundage was obtained, Charles continued to collect the duties anyway.

The war with Spain went badly, largely due to Buckingham’s incompetent leadership. Despite Parliament’s protests, however, Charles refused to dismiss him, dismissing Parliament instead. He then provoked further unrest by trying to raise money for the war through a “forced loan” — a tax levied without Parliamentary consent. Although partially successful in collecting the tax, Charles let the money dribble away in yet another military fiasco led by Buckingham. Summoned again in 1628, Parliament adopted a Petition of Right, calling upon the King to acknowledge that he could not levy taxes without Parliament’s consent, impose martial law on civilians, imprison them without due process, or quarter troops in their homes. Charles assented to the petition, though he continued to claim the right to collect customs duties without authorization from Parliament. Then, on 23 August 1628, Buckingham was assassinated. Although the death of Buckingham effectively ended the war and eliminated his leadership as an issue, it did not end the conflicts between Charles and Parliament over taxation and religious matters.

Personal rule

In January 1629, Charles opened the second session of the Parliament, which had been prorogued in June 1628, with a moderate speech on the tonnage and poundage issue. Members of the House of Commons began to voice their opposition in light of the Rolle case. Rolle was an MP whose goods were confiscated when he failed to pay tonnage and poundage. Many MPs viewed the confiscation as a breach of the Petition of Right, arguing that the petition’s freedom-from-arrest privilege extended to goods. When Charles ordered a parliamentary adjournment in March, members held the Speaker, John Finch, down in his chair whilst three resolutions against Charles were read aloud. The last of these resolutions declared that anyone who paid tonnage or poundage not authorised by Parliament would “be reputed a betrayer of the liberties of England, and an enemy to the same”. Though the resolution was not formally passed, many members declared their approval. The fact that a number of MPs had to be detained in Parliament is relevant in understanding that there was no universal opposition towards the King. Nevertheless, the provocation was too much for Charles, who dissolved parliament the same day. Immediately, he made peace with France and Spain. The following eleven years, during which Charles ruled without a Parliament, have been known as both the Eleven Years Tyranny or simply as the Personal Rule. (Ruling without Parliament, though an exceptional exercise of the royal prerogative, was supported by precedent. By the middle of the 17th century, opinion had shifted, and many held the Personal Rule to be an illegitimate exercise of arbitrary, absolute power.)

Economic problems

Even after making peace, Charles still had to acquire funds in order to maintain his treasury. To raise revenue without reconvening Parliament, Charles first resurrected an all-but-forgotten law called the “Distraint of Knighthood,” promulgated in 1279, which required anyone who earned £40 or more each year to present himself at the King’s coronation to join the royal army as a knight. Relying on this outdated statute, Charles fined all individuals who had failed to attend his coronation in 1626.

Later, Charles reintroduced an obsolete feudal tax known as ship money, which proved even more unpopular. Under statutes of Edward I and Edward III, collection of ship money had been authorized only during wars. Charles, however, sought to collect the tax during peacetime. Although the first writ levying ship money, issued in 1634, did not provoke much immediate opposition, the second and third writs, issued in 1635 and 1636, aroused strong opposition, as it was now clear that the ancient prohibition on collecting ship money during peacetime had been swept away. Many attempted to resist payment, but the royal courts declared that the tax was within the King’s prerogative. The collection of ship money during peacetime was a major cause of concern among the ruling class.

Personal Rule ended after the attempted enforcement of the Anglican and increasingly Arminian styled prayer book under Laud that precipitated a rebellion in Scotland in 1640.

Religious conflicts

Charles wished to move the Church of England away from Calvinism in a more traditional and sacramental direction. This goal was shared by his main political adviser, Archbishop William Laud. Laud was appointed by Charles as the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1633, and started a series of unpopular reforms in an attempt to impose order and authority on the church. Laud attempted to ensure religious uniformity by dismissing non-conformist clergymen and closing Puritan organizations. This was actively hostile to the Reformed tendencies of many of his English and Scottish subjects. His policy was obnoxious to Calvinist theology, and insisted that the Church of England’s liturgy be celebrated using the form prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer. Laud was also an advocate of Arminian theology, a view whose emphasis on the ability to reject salvation was viewed as heretical and virtually “Catholic” by strict Calvinists.

To punish those who refused to accept his reforms, Laud used the two most feared and most arbitrary courts in the land, the Court of High Commission and the Court of Star Chamber. The former could compel individuals to provide self-incriminating testimony, whilst the latter could inflict any punishment whatsoever (including torture), with the sole exception of death.

The lawlessness of the Court of Star Chamber under Charles far exceeded that under any of his predecessors. Under Charles’s reign, defendants were regularly hauled before the Court without indictment, due process of the law, or right to confront witnesses, and their testimonies were routinely extracted by the Court through torture.

The first years of the Personal Rule were marked by peace in England, to some extent due to tighter central control. Several individuals opposed Charles’s taxes and Laud’s policies. For example, in 1634, the ship Griffin left for America carrying religious dissidents, such as the Puritan minister Anne Hutchinson. However, the overall trend of the early Personal Rule period is one of peace. When, however, Charles attempted to impose his religious policies in Scotland he faced numerous difficulties. The King ordered the use of a new Prayer Book modelled on the English Book of Common Prayer, which, although supported by the Scottish Bishops, was resisted by many Presbyterian Scots, who saw the new Prayer Book as a vehicle for introducing Anglicanism to Scotland. When the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland abolished Episcopalian government (that is, governance of the Church by bishops) in 1638, replacing it with Presbyterian government (that is, governance by elders and deacons), Charles sought to put down what he saw as a rebellion against his authority.

In 1639, when the First Bishops’ War broke out, Charles sought to collect taxes from his subjects, who refused to yield any further. Charles’s war ended in a humiliating truce in June of the same year. In the Pacification of Berwick, Charles agreed to grant his Scottish subjects civil and ecclesiastical freedoms.

Charles’s military failure in the First Bishops’ War in turn caused a financial and military crisis for Charles, which caused the end of Personal Rule. Due to his financial weakness, Charles was forced to call Parliament into session by 1640 in an attempt to raise funds. While the ruling class grievances with the changes to government and finance during the Personal Rule period were a contributing factor in the Scottish Rebellion, the key issue of religion was the main reason that forced Charles to confront the ruling class in Parliament for the first time in eleven years. In essence, it was Charles’s and Laud’s confrontational religious modifications that ended what the Whig historians refer to as “The Eleven Years of Tyranny”.

The “Short” and “Long” Parliaments

Disputes regarding the interpretation of the peace treaty between Charles and the Church of Scotland led to further conflict. To subdue the Scots, Charles needed more money; therefore, he took the fateful step of recalling Parliament in April 1640. Although Charles offered to repeal ship money, and the House of Commons agreed to allow Charles to raise the funds for war, an impasse was reached when Parliament demanded the discussion of various abuses of power during the Personal Rule. As both sides refused to give ground on this matter, Parliament was dissolved in May 1640, less than a month after it assembled; thus, the Parliament became known as the “Short Parliament.”

In the meantime, Charles attempted to defeat the Scots, but failed miserably. The humiliating Treaty of Ripon, signed after the end of the Second Bishops’ War in October 1640, required the King to pay the expenses of the Scottish army he had just fought. Charles took the unusual step of summoning the magnum concilium, the ancient council of all the Peers of the Realm, who were considered the King’s hereditary counsellors. The magnum concilium had not been summoned for centuries. On the advice of the peers, Charles summoned another Parliament, which, in contrast with its predecessor, became known as the Long Parliament.

The Long Parliament assembled in November 1640 under the leadership of John Pym, and proved just as difficult for Charles as the Short Parliament. Although the members of the House of Commons thought of themselves as conservatives defending the King, Church and Parliamentary government against innovations in religion and the tyranny of Charles’s advisors, Charles viewed many of them as dangerous rebels trying to undermine his rule.

To prevent the King from dissolving it at will, Parliament passed the Triennial Act, to which the Royal Assent was granted in February 1641. The Act required that Parliament was to be summoned at least once every three years, and that when the King failed to issue proper summons, the members could assemble on their own. In May, he assented to an even more far-reaching Act, which provided that Parliament could not be dissolved without its own consent. Charles was forced into one concession after another. He agreed to bills of attainder authorising the executions of Thomas Wentworth and William Laud. Ship money, fines in destraint of knighthood and forced loans were declared unlawful, and the hated Courts of Star Chamber and High Commission were abolished. Although he made several important concessions, Charles improved his own military position by securing the favour of the Scots. He finally agreed to the official establishment of Presbyterianism; in return, he was able to enlist considerable anti-parliamentary support.

In November 1641, the House of Commons passed the Grand Remonstrance, a long list of grievances against actions by Charles’ ministers that were asserted to be abuses of royal power Charles had committed since the beginning of his reign. The tension was heightened when the Irish rebelled against Protestant English rule and rumours of Charles’s complicity reached Parliament. An army was required to put down the rebellion but many members of the House of Commons feared that Charles might later use it against Parliament itself. The Militia Bill was intended to wrest control of the army from the King, but Charles refused to agree to it. However, Parliament decreed The Protestation as an attempt to lessen the conflict.

When rumours reached Charles that Parliament intended to impeach his Catholic Queen, Henrietta Maria, he took drastic action. It was possibly Henrietta who persuaded him to arrest the five members of the House of Commons who were perceived to be the most troublesome on charges of high treason, but the MPs had already slipped away by the time Charles arrived. Charles entered the House of Commons with an armed force on 4 January 1642, but found that his opponents had already escaped, with exception to Oliver Cromwell who had not fled the house of commons, but avoided arrest. He asked the Speaker, William Lenthall, where the MPs had fled, and Lenthall famously replied, “May it please your Majesty, I have neither eyes to see nor tongue to speak in this place but as the House is pleased to direct me, whose servant I am here.” This move was politically disastrous for Charles. It caused acute embarrassment for the monarch and essentially triggered the total breakdown of government in England. Afterwards, Charles could no longer feel safe in London and he began travelling north to raise an army against Parliament; the Queen, at the same time, went abroad to raise money to pay for it.

English Civil War

The English Civil War had not yet started, but both sides began to arm. Following futile negotiations, Charles raised the royal standard (an anachronistic medieval gesture) in Nottingham on 22 August 1642. He then set up his court at Oxford, when his government controlled roughly the north and west of England, Parliament remaining in control of London and the south and east. Charles raised an army using the archaic method of the Commission of Array. The Civil War started on 26 October 1642 with the inconclusive Battle of Edgehill and continued indecisively through 1643 and 1644, until the Battle of Naseby tipped the military balance decisively in favour of Parliament. There followed a great number of defeats for the Royalists, and then the Siege of Oxford, from which Charles escaped in April 1646. He put himself into the hands of the Scottish Presbyterian army at Newark, and was taken to nearby Southwell while his “hosts” decided what to do with him. The Presbyterians finally arrived at an agreement with Parliament and delivered Charles to them in 1647. He was imprisoned at Holdenby House in Northamptonshire, until cornet George Joyce took him by force to Newmarket in the name of the New Model Army. At this time, mutual suspicion had developed between the New Model Army and Parliament, and Charles was eager to exploit it.

He was then transferred first to Oatlands and then to Hampton Court, where more involved but fruitless negotiations took place. He was persuaded that it would be in his best interests to escape — perhaps abroad, perhaps to France, or perhaps to the custody of Colonel Robert Hammond, Parliamentary Governor of the Isle of Wight. He decided on the last course, believing Hammond to be sympathetic, and fled on 11 November. Hammond, however, was opposed to Charles, whom he confined in Carisbrooke Castle.

From Carisbrooke, Charles continued to try to bargain with the various parties, eventually coming to terms with the Scottish Presbyterians that he would allow the establishment of Presbyterianism in England as well as Scotland for a trial period. The Royalists rose in July 1648 igniting the Second Civil War, and as agreed with Charles the Scots invaded England. Most of the uprisings in England were put down by forces loyal to Parliament after little more than skirmishes, but uprisings in Kent, Essex and Cumberland, the rebellion in Wales and the Scottish invasion involved the fighting of pitched battles and prolonged sieges. But with the defeat of the Scots at the Battle of Preston, the Royalists lost any chance of winning the war.

Trial

Charles was moved to Hurst Castle at the end of 1648, and there after to Windsor Castle. In January 1649, in response to Charles’s defiance of Parliament even after defeat, and his encouraging the second Civil War while in captivity, the House of Commons passed an Act of Parliament creating a court for Charles’s trial. After the first Civil War, the parliamentarians accepted the premise that the King, although wrong, had been able to justify his fight, and that he would still be entitled to limited powers as King under a new constitutional settlement. It was now felt that by provoking the second Civil War even while defeated and in captivity, Charles showed himself incorrigible, dishonourable, and responsible for unjustifiable bloodshed.

The idea of trying a king was a novel one; previous monarchs had been deposed, but had never been brought to trial as monarchs. The High Court of Justice established by the Act consisted of 135 Commissioners but only about half of that number ever sat in judgement (all firm Parliamentarians); the prosecution was led by Solicitor General John Cooke.

His trial on charges of high treason and “other high crimes” began on 20 January 1649, but Charles refused to enter a plea, claiming that no court had jurisdiction over a monarch. He believed that his own authority to rule had been given to him by God and by the traditions and laws of England when he was crowned and anointed, and that the power wielded by those trying him was simply that which grew out of a barrel of gunpowder. In fact, when urged to enter a plea, he stated his objection with the words: “I would know by what power I am called hither, by what lawful authority…?” The court, by contrast, proposed an interpretation of the law that legitimized the trial. Over a period of a week, when Charles was asked to plead three times, he refused. It was then normal practice to take a refusal to plead as [pro confess]: an admission of guilt, which meant that the prosecution could not call witnesses to its case. However, the trial did hear witnesses. Fifty-nine of the Commissioners signed Charles’s death warrant, possibly at the Red Lion Inn in Stathern, Leicestershire on 29 January 1649.

When Cooke began to read the indictment, Charles I tried to stop him using the poke of his cane. The ornate silver tip of the cane fell off and Cooke refused to pick it up. After a long pause, King Charles I stooped to retrieve it. This is considered an important moment that may symbolize the divine monarch bowed before the human law.

After the ruling, he was led from St. James’s Palace, where he was confined, to the Palace of Whitehall, where an execution scaffold had been erected in front of the Banqueting House.

Execution

Charles was beheaded on Tuesday 30 January 1649, though at the time the new year did not occur until March, so his death is often recorded as occurring in the year 1648. At the execution it is reputed that he wore two cotton shirts as to prevent the cold weather causing any noticeable shivers that the crowd could have mistaken for fear or weakness. He put his head on the block after saying a prayer and signalled the executioner when he was ready; he was then beheaded with one clean stroke. His last words were, “We shall go from a corruptible to an incorruptible Crown, where no disturbance can be.”

Philip Henry records that moments after the execution, a moan was heard from the assembled crowd, some of whom then dipped their handkerchiefs in his blood, thus starting the cult of the Martyr King. However, no other eyewitness source, including Samuel Pepys, records this. Henry’s account was written during the Restoration, some 12 years after the event though Henry was 19 when the King was executed and he and his family were Royalist propaganda writers.

The executioner was masked, and there is some debate over his identity. It is known that the Commissioners approached Richard Brandon, the common Hangman of London, but that he refused, and contemporary sources do not generally identify him as the King’s headsman. Ellis’s Historical Inquiries, however, names him as the executioner, contending that he stated so before dying. It is possible he relented and agreed to undertake the commission, but there are others who have been identified. An Irishman named Gunning is widely believed to have beheaded Charles, and a plaque naming him as the executioner is on show in the Kings Head pub in Galway, Ireland. William Hewlett was convicted of regicide after the Restoration. In 1661, two people identified as “Dayborne and Bickerstaffe” were arrested but then discharged. Henry Walker, a revolutionary journalist, or his brother William, were suspected but never charged. Various local legends around England name local worthies. An examination performed in 1813 at Windsor suggests that the execution was done by an experienced headsman.

It was common practice for the head of a traitor to be held up and exhibited to the crowd with the words “Behold the head of a traitor!”; although Charles’s head was exhibited, the words were not used. In an unprecedented gesture, one of the revolutionary leaders, Oliver Cromwell, allowed the King’s head to be sewn back on his body so the family could pay its respects. Charles was buried in private and at night on 7 February 1649, in the Henry VIII vault inside St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. The royal retainers Sir Thomas Herbert, Capt. Anthony Mildmay, Sir Henry Firebrace, William Levett Esq. and Abraham Dowcett (sometimes spelled Dowsett) conveyed the King’s body to Windsor. The King’s son, King Charles II, later planned an elaborate royal mausoleum, but it was never built.

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Great British Monarchs ~ Henry III

Great British Monarchs.
Henry III

{Credits to Monarchy & Wikipedia}

Henry III (1 October 1207 – 16 November 1272) was the son and successor of John “Lackland” as King of England, reigning for fifty-six years from 1216 to his death. His contemporaries knew him as Henry of Winchester. He was the first child king in England since the reign of Ethelred the Unready. Despite his long reign, his personal accomplishments were slim and he was a political and military failure. England, however, prospered during his century and his greatest monument is Westminster, which he made the seat of his government and where he expanded the abbey as a shrine to Edward the Confessor.

He assumed the crown under the regency of the popular William Marshal, but the England he inherited had undergone several drastic changes in the reign of his father. He spent much of his reign fighting the barons over the Magna Carta and the royal rights, and was eventually forced to call the first “parliament” in 1264. He was also unsuccessful on the Continent, where he endeavoured to re-establish English control over Normandy, Anjou, and Aquitaine.

Coronation

Henry III was born in 1207 at Winchester Castle. He was the son of King John and Isabella of Angoulême. After his father’s death in 1216, Henry, who was nine at the time, was hastily crowned in Gloucester Cathedral; he was the first child monarch since the Norman invasion of England in 1066. The coronation was a simple affair, attended by only a handful of noblemen and three bishops. None of his father’s executors was present, and in the absence of a crown a simple golden band was placed on the young boy’s head, not by the Archbishop of Canterbury (who was at this time supporting Prince Louis of France, the newly-proclaimed king of England) but rather by the Bishop of Gloucester. In 1220, a second coronation was ordered by Pope Honorius III who did not consider that the first had been carried out in accordance with church rites. This occurred on 17 May 1220 in Westminster Abbey.

Under John’s rule, the barons had supported an invasion by Prince Louis because they disliked the way that John had ruled the country. However, they quickly saw that the young prince was a safer option. Henry’s regents immediately declared their intention to rule by Magna Carta, which they proceeded to do during Henry’s minority. Magna Carta was reissued in 1217 as a sign of goodwill to the barons and the country was ruled by regents until 1227.

Attitudes and beliefs during his reign

As Henry reached maturity he was keen to restore royal authority, looking towards the autocratic model of the French monarchy. Henry married Eleanor of Provence and he promoted many of his French relatives to higher positions of power and wealth. For instance, one Poitevin, Peter des Riveaux, held the offices of Treasurer of the Household, Keeper of the King’s Wardrobe, Lord Privy Seal, and the sheriffdoms of twenty-one English counties simultaneously. Henry’s tendency to govern for long periods with no publicly-appointed ministers who could be held accountable for their actions and decisions did not make matters any easier. Many English barons came to see his method of governing as foreign.

Henry was much taken with the cult of the Anglo-Saxon saint king Edward the Confessor who had been canonised in 1161. Told that St Edward dressed austerely, Henry took to doing the same and wearing only the simplest of robes. He had a mural of the saint painted in his bedchamber for inspiration before and after sleep and even named his eldest son Edward. Henry designated Westminster, where St Edward had founded the abbey, as the fixed seat of power in England and Westminster Hall duly became the greatest ceremonial space of the kingdom, where the council of nobles also met. Henry appointed French architects from Rheims to renovate Westminster Abbey in the Gothic style. Work began, at great expense, in 1245. The centrepiece of Henry’s renovated abbey was to be a shrine to Edward the Confessor. It was finished in 1269 and the saint’s relics were then installed.

Henry was known for his anti-Jewish decrees, such as a decree compelling them to wear a special “badge of shame” in the form of the Two Tablets. Henry was extremely pious and his journeys were often delayed by his insistence on hearing Mass several times a day. He took so long to arrive on a visit to the French court that his brother-in-law, King Louis IX of France, banned priests from Henry’s route. On one occasion, as related by Roger of Wendover, when King Henry met with papal prelates, he said, “If (the prelates) knew how much I, in my reverence of God, am afraid of them and how unwilling I am to offend them, they would trample on me as on an old and worn-out shoe.”

Criticisms

Henry’s advancement of foreign favourites, notably his wife’s Savoyard uncles and his own Lusignan half-siblings, was unpopular with his subjects and barons. He was also extravagant and avaricious; when his first child, Prince Edward, was born, Henry demanded that Londoners bring him rich gifts to celebrate. He even sent back gifts that did not please him. Matthew Paris reports that some said, “God gave us this child, but the king sells him to us.”

Wars and rebellions

In 1244, when the Scots threatened to invade England, King Henry III visited York Castle and ordered it rebuilt in stone. The work commenced in 1245, and took some 20 to 25 years to complete. The builders crowned the existing moat with a stone keep, known as the King’s Tower.

Henry’s reign came to be marked by civil strife as the English barons, led by Simon de Montfort, demanded more say in the running of the kingdom. French-born de Montfort had originally been one of the foreign upstarts so loathed by many as Henry’s foreign councillors; after Henry, on an anger outbrust, accused Simon of seducing his sister and forcing him to give her to Simon to avoid an scandal, when confronted by the Barons about the secret marriage between the two that Henry had allowed to happen, a feud developed between the two. Their relationship reached a crisis in the 1250s when de Montfort was brought up on spurious charges for actions he took as lieutenant of Gascony, the last remaining Plantagenet land across the English Channel. He was acquitted by the Peers of the realm, much to the King’s displeasure.

Henry also became embroiled in funding a war in Sicily on behalf of the Pope in return for a title for his second son Edmund, a state of affairs that made many barons fearful that Henry was following in the footsteps of his father, King John, and needed to be kept in check, too. De Montfort became leader of those who wanted to reassert Magna Carta and force the king to surrender more power to the baronial council. In 1258, seven leading barons forced Henry to agree to the Provisions of Oxford, which effectively abolished the absolutist Anglo-Norman monarchy, giving power to a council of fifteen barons to deal with the business of government and providing for a thrice-yearly meeting of parliament to monitor their performance. Henry was forced to take part in the swearing of a collective oath to the Provisions of Oxford.

In the following years, those supporting de Montfort and those supporting the king grew more and more polarised. Henry obtained a papal bull in 1262 exempting him from his oath and both sides began to raise armies. The Royalists were led by Prince Edward, Henry’s eldest son. Civil war, known as the Second Barons’ War, followed.

The charismatic de Montfort and his forces had captured most of southeastern England by 1263, and at the Battle of Lewes on 14 May 1264, Henry was defeated and taken prisoner by de Montfort’s army. While Henry was reduced to being a figurehead king, de Montfort broadened representation to include each county of England and many important towns—that is, to groups beyond the nobility. Henry and Edward continued under house arrest. The short period that followed was the closest England was to come to complete abolition of the monarchy until the Commonwealth period of 1649–1660 and many of the barons who had initially supported de Montfort began to suspect that he had gone too far with his reforming zeal.

But only fifteen months later Prince Edward had escaped captivity (having been freed by his cousin Roger Mortimer) to lead the royalists into battle again and he turned the tables on de Montfort at the Battle of Evesham in 1265. Following this victory savage retribution was exacted on the rebels.

Death

Henry’s reign ended when he died in 1272, after which he was succeeded by his son, Edward I. His body was laid, temporarily, in the tomb of Edward the Confessor while his own sarcophagus was constructed in Westminster Abbey.

Appearance

According to Nicholas Trevet, Henry was a thickset man of medium height with a narrow forehead and a drooping left eyelid (inherited by his son, Edward I).

Marriage and children

Married on 14 January 1236, Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury, Kent, to Eleanor of Provence, with at least five children born:

Edward I (b. 17 January 1239 – d. 8 July 1307)
Margaret (b. 29 September 1240 – d. 26 February 1275), married King Alexander III of Scotland
Beatrice (b. 25 June 1242 – d. 24 March 1275), married to John II, Duke of Brittany
Edmund (16 January 1245 – d. 5 June 1296)
Katharine (b. 25 November 1253 – d. 3 May 1257), deafness was discovered at age 2.
There is reason to doubt the existence of several attributed children of Henry and Eleanor.

Richard (b. after 1247 – d. before 1256),
John (b. after 1250 – d. before 1256), and
Henry (b. after 1253 – d. young)
Are known only from a 14th century addition made to a manuscript of Flores historiarum, and are nowhere contemporaneously recorded.

William (b. and d. ca. 1258) is an error for the nephew of Henry’s half-brother, William de Valence.
Another daughter, Matilda, is found only in the Hayles abbey chronicle, alongside such other fictitious children as a son named William for King John, and a bastard son named John for King Edward I. Matilda’s existence is doubtful, at best. For further details, see Margaret Howell, The Children of King Henry III and Eleanor of Provence (1992).

Personal details

His Royal Motto was qui non dat quod habet non accipit ille quod optat (He who does not give what he has, does not receive what he wants).
His favourite wine was made with the Loire Valley red wine grape Pineau d’Aunis which Henry first introduced to England in the thirteenth century.
He built a Royal Palace in the town of Cippenham, Slough, Berkshire named “Cippenham Moat”.
In 1266, Henry III of England granted the Lübeck and Hamburg Hansa a charter for operations in England, which contributed to the emergence of the Hanseatic League.

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Understanding You’re Dog’s Needs

Essential Health Care and Management.



It is essential to consider the expense of keeping a new puppy before buying. Also the time and care involved. If you don’t have the time, don’t buy a puppy. It’s for the entirety of the dogs life, not just for Christmas!

Understanding some of the problems associated with your dog’s welfare does help. For instance, many owners have become too complacent about the dreaded Parvovirus. Let us explain exactly what this virus is.
PARVOVIRUS
Or Parvo for short, is a small, persistent and very hardy virus. Two forms of canine parvovirus are recognised.
CANINE PARVOVIRUS MYOCARDITIS: this form of parvovirus is now becoming rare as most breeding bitches will have some antibody to the infection, either through previous exposure to the disease or through vaccination.
INTESTINAL CANINE PARVOVIRUS:
This is the most common form of parvovirus. It affects dogs from four weeks of age right into old age, but most severely in their first year, when the disease can be rapid and fatal. the signs of this form of the disease are depression, severe and protracted vomiting, abdominal pain, refusal of food and water, very profuse diarrhoea, often with a considerable blood content.
Parvovirus is usually rapid in resolution: if the dog is to survive it will be noticeably better within four to five days of the start of the symptoms. Yet again, early vaccination and yearly boosters are the surest means of prevention. Be warned: when parvovirus is suspected, not only should the dog be kept in isolation from other dogs, but all members of the household should avoid contact with other dogs, because the virus can be carried on clothing and shoes. This disease takes a heavy toll on young puppies and elderly dogs.

Nobody wants to be a scaremonger, but do keep your new puppy restricted to the house and immediate garden area. There is plenty of time to start socialising the puppy after it is fully covered by it’s injections.
For the first twelve to thirteen weeks there is plenty of socialising between new owner and family to be done at home before venturing abroad. Puppy can become familiar with that roaring noisy monster that vaccums the floor, the rattle of pots and pans, the banging of doors, raised and unfamiliar voices, the television. There is also his territory to explore, the garden to suss out, next door’s cat, birds and noisy lawnmowers.
Added all this to the vital lessons to be learned and become familiar with and realise what a busy little puppy he will be. His own name, small commands like NO! Stay! Bed!
Then there are the different tones of voice that show praise and disapproval. Remembering that the voice is a vital tool. It can show affection, soothe, comfort, and last but not least, disapproval! Take a leaf from his Mother’s book, never hit him, or rub his little nose in an accidental puddle, he has forgotten he did, two minutes after he did it. An admonishing growl from the throat, perhaps a gentle shake of the scruff of his neck accompanied by a growl when particularly naughty, if only to warn puppy against doing something dangerous. Have him learn early on that you are the leader of the pack, not him. But that you are so much more. You are his protector, his security, the hand that feeds.
Most of all, keep it uppermost in your mind that your dog’s greatest aim will always be to gain your approval, he will want to please you. There are no bad dogs, only foolish owners.


Eileen Falconer-Douglas
(Bonnerhill Dachshunds)

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Buying a New Puppy

From the book:
The Contemporary Dachshund
By Eileen Falconer~Douglas.


A Puppy for Christmas? I Don’t Think So!

There are of course those very nice people up the road who own a very nice bitch and intend breeding a litter from her, just the once; under the misapprehension that all female dogs should experience motherhood. This is total balderdash.
You may strike luck here and undoubtedly such a purchase will be easier on your pocket. But what you will not get is experienced back-up. with the best will in the world, these very nice people may have taken their darling to a top-flight dog at public stud. Unfortunately as often happens through lack of experience and knowledge of their breed, faults may be doubled up.
The resulting puppy may inherit some of the finer points from his sire, but this does not mean that in it’s turn your puppy will pass these qualities onto its own progeny. At best, your pet breeders, however well-intentioned, are gambling on long odds.
Most reputable breeders are show enthusiasts who choose their stock with an eye to improving the breed. In most cases these breeders have spent years developing a particular line and are justifiably proud of the offspring that carry their affix.
You can meet these people at most KC registered dog shows. All areas have their share of open shows, while championship and breed shows are usually within a reasonable driving distance. At these shows you will see large and small, strutting their stuff. It’s a good start for helping to choosing which breed suits your circumstances best.
WHEN TO BUY:
No puppy should be considered until it is at least eight weeks old, in some cases, older. Eight to twelve weeks is a critical period in the life of any puppy. No longer dependent on the dam for food, cleaning and warmth, the puppy is now free to form new attachments.
It naturally takes to exploring places beyond the whelping area. Life becomes a series of exciting games, such as nipping mother and litter-mates, and chewing and tasting all manner of things from chair legs to carpets. The pup also starts the instinctive game of asserting itself in the pecking order, which inevitably leads to minor squabbles with its peers. This does not mean it is aggressive, all dogs are programmed to do this. It therefore follows that the sooner the puppy is settled into its new environment with it’s new owner and family, the better.
WHICH TO BUY:
The puppy to consider favourably is not always the largest, although size is a good indication of the quality of the litter. Uniformity is certainly to be smiled upon, because ideally, the puppies should all look like peas from the same pod. Unfortunately this is not always an ideal world and it’s almost inevitable that there will be a ‘big boy’ and a ‘little lad’. All things being equal it may be better to opt for the averaged sized puppy.
What is important is ‘temperament’. There are long running debates on whether genetics or good management are responsible for the development of a good temperament. I maintain both are important. Research has shown that shyness can be genetic, as can aggression. On the other hand, however fine the genealogy, a socially deprived puppy is at a distinct disadvantage and can develop into a nervous and fearful animal through no fault of its own.
The early weeks are so important. Stroking, talking, handling and general encouragement are vital. The most critical period in a puppies life is from three weeks onward, when it is less dependent on its mother and more reliant on human beings. The puppy that scrambles out if it’s box and eagerly rushes to meet you, wagging it’s tail for attention is almost always the most socially adaptable.
Unfortunately not all puppies are exposed to the same early human contact, some may need more time to adjust. From puppies born and raised in outside kennels you must not expect too much too soon. Such puppies have been unused to general household noises, smells and general environment. It’s a new world, one that must be investigated slowly.
Overall the puppy must be clean, and you must not listen to excuses about temporary ailments. The nose must be free from any discharge and the coat must me clean and in no way scurvy. The eyes should be clear, alert and bright: again, no discharge. The puppy must be clean smelling, with no indications of diarrhoea, and there must be no urine staining. The general feel of the puppy is a good indication. It must feel heavy for its size and nicely rounded. The ribs must not be prominent, and it’s underbelly should not me ‘pot-bellied’ when it walks.
If possible make an appointment to see the puppy between feeds. Request to be present when it’s fed, to be assured it has a normal greedy appetite. Check the puppies ears, they must be clean and without any black tar-like substances. Have a sniff, they should be sweet smelling.
Look around you, be sure none of the other dogs on the premises is coughing, and disregard any excuses of allergies, sore throats or splinters from sticks or bones. Be very very wary of breeders who attempt to hand you a puppy on the doorstep, so to speak.
Ask to see the set-up. Watch carefully for the level of compatibility between the breeder and other dogs. If you have any doubts but are still interested in buying ask for a signed certificate by a veterinary surgeon assuring you the puppy and it’s companions are in good health,
NEVER buy a puppy because you feel sorry for it, hard as this may sound. Hopefully your new friend and companion will be with you for many years. A sick or disabled animals is the responsibility of the breeder, such animals can be a constant source of worry and expense = they can also break your heart.

Eileen Falconer-Douglas

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Great British Monarchs – James II

Great British Monarchs.
James II
(Credits to Monarchy and Wikipedia)

James II of England and Ireland, James VII of Scotland (14 October 1633 – 16 September 1701) was King of England, King of Scots, and King of Ireland from 6 February 1685. He was the last Catholic monarch to reign over the Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Many members of Parliament were unhappy with James’ belief in absolute monarchy and opposed his religious policies, leading a group of them to depose him in the Glorious Revolution. The Parliament of England deemed James to have abdicated on 11 December 1688. The Parliament of Scotland on 11 April 1689 declared him to have forfeited the throne. He was replaced not by his Catholic son, James Francis Edward, but by Mary II and William III. William and Mary became joint rulers in 1689. Mary was the eldest daughter of James and a Protestant. William was both his nephew and son-in-law. James II made one serious attempt to recover his crowns, when he landed in Ireland in 1689. But, after the defeat of the Jacobite forces by the Williamite forces at the Battle of the Boyne in the summer of 1690, James returned to France. He lived out the rest of his life under the protection of his cousin and ally, King Louis XIV.

James is best known for his belief in absolute monarchy and his attempts to create religious liberty for his subjects. Both of these went against the wishes of the English Parliament and of most of his subjects. Parliament, opposed to the growth of absolutism that was occurring in other European countries, as well as to the loss of legal supremacy for the Church of England, saw their opposition as a way to preserve what they regarded as traditional English liberties. This tension made James’s three-year reign a struggle for supremacy between the English Parliament and the Crown, resulting in his ouster, the passage of the English Bill of Rights, and the Hanoverian succession.

Birth and early life

James, the second surviving son of Charles I and Henrietta Maria of France, was born at St. James’s Palace in London on 14 October 1633. Later that same year, James was baptized by William Laud, the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury. James was educated by tutors, along with his brother, the future King Charles II, and the two sons of the Duke of Buckingham, George and Francis Villiers. At the age of three, James was appointed Lord High Admiral; the position was initially honorary, but would become a substantive office after the Restoration, when James was an adult.

Civil War

James was invested with the Order of the Garter in 1642, and created Duke of York on 22 January 1644. As the King’s disputes with the English Parliament grew into the English Civil War James stayed in Oxford, a Royalist stronghold. When the city surrendered after the siege of Oxford in 1646, Parliamentary leaders ordered the Duke of York to be confined in St. James’s Palace. In 1648, he escaped from the Palace and from there he went to The Hague in disguise. When Charles I was executed by the rebels in 1649, monarchists proclaimed James’s older brother, Charles, as King Charles II. Charles II was recognized by the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of Ireland, and was crowned King of Scots at Scone, in Scotland in 1651. Although he was proclaimed King at Jersey, Charles was unable to secure the crown of England, and consequently fled to France and exile.

Exile in France

Like his brother, James sought refuge in France, serving in the French army under Turenne against the Fronde, and later against their Spanish allies. In the French army, James had his first true experience of battle where, according to one observer, he “ventures himself and chargeth gallantly where anything is to be done”. In 1656, when his brother, Charles, entered into an alliance with Spain—an enemy of France—James was expelled from France and forced to leave Turenne’s army. James quarrelled with his brother over the diplomatic choice of Spain over France. Exiled and poor, there was little that either Charles or James could do about the larger diplomatic situation, and James ultimately travelled to Bruges and (along with his younger brother, Henry) joined the Spanish army under Louis, Prince of Condé, fighting against his former French comrades at the Battle of the Dunes. During his term of service in the Spanish army, James became friendly with two Irish Catholic brothers in the Royalist entourage, Peter and Richard Talbot, and began to be somewhat estranged from his brother’s Anglican advisers. In 1659, the French and Spanish made peace. James, doubtful of his brother’s chances of regaining the throne, considered taking a Spanish offer to be an admiral in their navy. Ultimately, he declined the position; by the next year the situation in England had sufficiently changed, and Charles II was proclaimed King.

Restoration

Marriage

After Oliver Cromwell’s death in 1658 and the subsequent collapse of the Commonwealth in 1660, Charles II was restored to the English throne. Although James was the heir-presumptive, it seemed unlikely that he would inherit the crown, as Charles was still a young man capable of fathering children. Upon his brother’s restoration, James was created Duke of Albany in Scotland, to go along with his English title, Duke of York. Upon his return to England, James produced an immediate controversy by announcing his engagement to Anne Hyde, the daughter of Charles’s chief minister, Edward Hyde. In 1659, while attempting to seduce her, James promised he would marry Anne. Anne became pregnant in 1660, but following the Restoration and James’s return to power, no one at the royal court expected a prince to marry a commoner, no matter what he had pledged beforehand. Although nearly everyone, including Anne’s father, urged the two not to marry, they did so. The couple was married secretly, then went through an official marriage ceremony on 3 September 1660, in London. Their first child, Charles, was born less than two months later, but died in infancy, as did five further sons and daughters. Only two daughters survived: Mary (born 30 April 1662) and Anne (born 6 February 1665). Samuel Pepys wrote that James was fond of his children and his role as a father, writing that he played with them “like an ordinary father”, a contrast to the distant parenting common to royals at the time. James’s wife was devoted to him and influenced many of his decisions. Even so, he kept a variety of mistresses, including Arabella Churchill and Catherine Sedley, and was reputed to be “the most unguarded ogler of his time.” Anne Hyde died in 1671.

Military and political offices

After the Restoration, James was confirmed as Lord High Admiral, an office that carried with it the subsidiary appointments of Governor of Portsmouth and Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports. James commanded the Royal Navy during the Second (1665–1667) and Third Anglo-Dutch Wars (1672–1674). Following the raid on the Medway in 1667, James oversaw the survey and re-fortification of the southern coast. The office of Lord High Admiral, combined with his revenue from post office and wine tariffs (granted him by Charles upon his restoration) gave James a sufficient salary to keep a sizeable court household.

Following its capture by the English in 1664, the Dutch territory of New Netherland was named the Province of New York in James’s honour. After the founding, the duke gave the colony to proprieters, George Carteret and John Lord Berkeley. Fort Orange, 240 kilometres (150 miles) north on the Hudson River, was renamed Albany after James’s Scottish title. In 1683, he became the governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company, but did not take an active role in its governance. James also headed the Royal African Company, which participated in the slave trade.

Conversion to Catholicism

James’s time in France had exposed him to the beliefs and ceremonies of Catholicism; he and his wife, Anne, became drawn to that faith. James took Eucharist in the Roman Catholic Church in 1668 or 1669, although his conversion was kept secret for some time and he continued to attend Anglican services until 1676. In spite of his conversion, James continued to associate primarily with Anglicans, including John Churchill and George Legge, as well as French Protestants, such as Louis de Duras, the Earl of Feversham.

Growing fears of Catholic influence at court led the English Parliament to introduce a new Test Act in 1673. Under this Act, all civil and military officials were required to take an oath (in which they were required not only to disavow the doctrine of transubstantiation, but also denounce certain practices of the Catholic Church as “superstitious and idolatrous”) and to receive the Eucharist under the auspices of the Church of England. James refused to perform both actions, instead choosing to relinquish the post of Lord High Admiral. His conversion to Catholicism was thereby made public.

Charles II opposed the conversion, ordering that James’s daughters, Mary and Anne, be raised as Protestants. Nevertheless, he allowed James to marry the Catholic Mary of Modena, a fifteen-year-old Italian princess. James and Mary were married by proxy in a Catholic ceremony on 20 September 1673. On 21 November, Mary arrived in England and Nathaniel Crew, Bishop of Oxford, performed a brief Anglican service that did little more than recognise the Catholic marriage. Many of the English, distrustful of Catholicism, regarded the new Duchess of York as an agent of the Pope.

Exclusion Crisis

In 1677, James reluctantly consented to his daughter Mary’s marriage to the Protestant William of Orange (who was also James’ nephew). James acquiesced after his brother Charles and William had agreed upon the marriage. Despite the Protestant marriage, fears of a potential Catholic monarch persisted, intensified by the failure of Charles II and his wife, Catherine of Braganza, to produce any children. A defrocked Anglican clergyman, Titus Oates, spoke of a “Popish Plot” to kill Charles and put the Duke of York on the throne. The fabricated plot caused a wave of anti-Catholic hysteria to sweep across the nation.

In England, the Earl of Shaftesbury, a former government minister and now a leading opponent of Catholicism, attempted to have James excluded from the line of succession. Some members of Parliament even proposed that the crown go to Charles’ illegitimate son, James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth. In 1679, with the Exclusion Bill in danger of passing, Charles II dissolved Parliament. Two further Parliaments were elected in 1680 and 1681, but were dissolved for the same reason. The Exclusion Crisis contributed to the development of the English two-party system: the Whigs were those who supported the Bill, while the Tories were those who opposed it. Ultimately, the succession was not altered, but James was convinced to withdraw from all policy-making bodies and to accept a lesser role in his brother’s government.

On the orders of the King, James left England for Brussels. In 1680, he was appointed Lord High Commissioner of Scotland and took up residence at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh in order to suppress an uprising and oversee royal government. James returned to England for a time when Charles was stricken ill and appeared to be near death. The hysteria of the accusations eventually faded, but James’s relations with many in the English Parliament, including the Earl of Danby, a former ally, were forever strained and a solid segment turned against him.

Return to favour

In 1683, a plot was uncovered to assassinate Charles and James and spark a republican revolution to re-establish a government of the Cromwellian style. This conspiracy, known as the Rye House Plot, backfired upon its conspirators and provoked a wave of sympathy for the King and James. Several notable Whigs, including the Earl of Essex and the King’s illegitimate son, the Duke of Monmouth, were implicated. Monmouth initially confessed to complicity in the plot, implicating fellow-plotters, but later recanted. Essex committed suicide and Monmouth, along with several others, was obliged to flee into Continental exile. Charles reacted to the plot by increasing repression of Whigs and dissenters. Taking advantage of James’s rebounding popularity, Charles invited him back onto the privy council in 1684. While some in English Parliament remained wary of the possibility of a Catholic king, the threat of excluding James from the throne had passed.

Reign

Ascension to the throne

Charles died in 1685 after converting to Catholicism on his deathbed. Having no legitimate children, Charles was succeeded by his brother James, who reigned in England and Ireland as James II, and in Scotland as James VII. There was no initial opposition to his succession, and there were widespread reports of public rejoicing at the orderly succession. James wanted to proceed quickly to the coronation, and was crowned at Westminster Abbey on 23 April 1685. The new Parliament that assembled in May 1685 was initially favourable to James, and the new King sent word that even most of the former exclusionists would be forgiven if they acquiesced to his rule. Most of Charles’s officers continued in office, the exceptions being the promotion of James’s brothers-in-law, the Earls of Clarendon and Rochester, and the demotion of Halifax. Parliament granted James a generous life income, including all of the proceeds of tonnage and poundage and the customs duties. James worked harder as king than his brother had, but was less willing to compromise when his advisers disagreed.

Two rebellions

Soon after becoming king, James faced a rebellion in southern England led by his nephew, the Duke of Monmouth, and another rebellion in Scotland led by Archibald Campbell, the Earl of Argyll. Argyll and Monmouth both began their expeditions from Holland, where James’ nephew and son-in-law, William of Orange, had neglected to detain them or put a stop to their recruitment efforts. Argyll sailed to Scotland and, on arriving there, raised recruits mainly from amongst his own clan, the Campbells. The rebellion was quickly crushed, and Argyll himself was captured at Inchinnan on 18 June 1685. Having arrived with fewer than 300 men and unable to convince many more to flock to his standard, Argyll never posed a credible threat to James. He was executed on 30 June in Edinburgh.

Argyll’s rebellion was coordinated with Monmouth’s, but the latter was more dangerous to James. Monmouth proclaimed himself King at Lyme Regis on 11 June. He attempted to raise recruits but was unable to gather enough rebels to defeat even James’s small standing army. Monmouth attacked the King’s forces at night, in an attempt at surprise, but was defeated at the Battle of Sedgemoor. The King’s forces, led by Feversham and Churchill, quickly dispersed the ill-prepared rebels. Monmouth himself was captured and executed at the Tower of London on 15 July. The King’s judges—most notably, George Jeffreys—condemned many of the rebels to transportation and indentured servitude in the West Indies in a series of trials that came to be known as the Bloody Assizes. Some 250 of the rebels were executed. While both rebellions were defeated easily enough, the effect on James was to harden his resolve against his enemies and to increase his suspicion of the Dutch.

Absolutism and religious liberty

To protect himself from further rebellions, James sought safety in an enlarged standing army. This alarmed his subjects, not only because of the trouble soldiers caused in the towns, but because it was against the English tradition to keep a professional army in peacetime. Even more alarming to Parliament was James’s use of his dispensing power to allow Roman Catholics to command several regiments without having to take the oath mandated by the Test Act. When even the previously supportive Parliament objected to these measures, James ordered Parliament prorogued in November 1685, never to meet again in his reign.

Religious tension grew from 1686. James allowed Roman Catholics to occupy the highest offices of the Kingdoms, and received at his court the papal nuncio, Ferdinando d’Adda, the first representative from Rome to London since the reign of Mary I. James’s Jesuit confessor, Edward Petre, was a particular object of Protestant ire. When the King’s Secretary of State, the Earl of Sunderland, began replacing office-holders at court with Catholic favourites, James began to lose the confidence of many of his Anglican supporters. Sunderland’s purge of office-holders even extended to the King’s Anglican brothers-in-law and their supporters.

In 1687, James issued the Declaration of Indulgence, also known as the Declaration for Liberty of Conscience, in which he used his suspending power to negate the effect of laws punishing Catholics and Protestant dissenters. James ordered the Declaration read from the pulpits of every Anglican church, further alienating the Anglican bishops against the Catholic governor of their church. While the Declaration elicited some thanks from Catholics and dissenters, it left the Established Church, the traditional ally of the monarchy, in the difficult position of being forced to erode its own privileges. James provoked further opposition by attempting to reduce the Anglican monopoly on education. At the University of Oxford, James offended Anglicans by allowing Catholics to hold important positions in Christ Church and University College, two of Oxford’s largest colleges. He also attempted to force the Protestant Fellows of Magdalen College to elect Anthony Farmer, a man of generally ill repute who was believed to be secretly Catholic, as their president when the Protestant incumbent died, a violation of the Fellows’ right to elect a candidate of their own choosing.

Glorious Revolution

In April 1688, James re-issued the Declaration of Indulgence, subsequently ordering Anglican clergymen to read it in their churches. When the Archbishop of Canterbury William Sancroft and six other bishops (known as the Seven Bishops) submitted a petition requesting the reconsideration of the King’s religious policies, they were arrested and tried for seditious libel. Public alarm increased when Queen Mary gave birth to a Catholic son and heir, James Francis Edward on 10 June of that year. When James’s only possible successors were his two Protestant daughters, moderate Anglicans could see his pro-Catholic policies as a temporary aberration; the Prince’s birth opened the possibility of a permanent Catholic dynasty, and led such men to reconsider their patience. Threatened by a Catholic dynasty, several influential Protestants claimed the child was “suppositious”. They had already entered into negotiations with William, Prince of Orange, when it became known the Queen was pregnant, and the birth of James’s son reinforced their convictions.

On 30 June 1688, a group of Protestant nobles, later known as the Immortal Seven, invited the Prince of Orange to come to England with an army. By September, it had become clear that William sought to invade. Believing that his own army would be adequate, James refused the assistance of Louis XIV, fearing that the English would oppose French intervention. When William arrived on 5 November 1688, many Protestant officers, including Churchill, defected and joined William, as did James’s own daughter, Princess Anne. James lost his nerve, and declined to attack the invading army, despite his own numerical superiority. On 11 December, James attempted to flee to France, first throwing the Great Seal of the Realm into the River Thames. James was captured in Kent; later, he was released and placed under Dutch protective guard. Having no desire to make James a martyr, the Prince of Orange let him escape on 23 December. James was received by his cousin and ally, Louis XIV, who offered him a palace and a pension.

William convened a Convention Parliament to decide how to handle James’s flight. While the Parliament refused to depose him, they declared that James, having fled to France and dropped the Great Seal into the Thames, had effectively abdicated the throne, and that the throne had thereby become vacant. To fill this vacancy, James’s daughter Mary was declared Queen; she was to rule jointly with her husband William, who would be King. The Parliament of Scotland on 11 April 1689, declared him to have forfeited the throne (due to the Scottish Parliament upholding of the belief in Divine Right of Kings, abdication was not a valid option). The English Parliament passed a Bill of Rights that charged James II with abusing his power; amongst other things, it criticised the suspension of the Test Acts, the prosecution of the Seven Bishops for merely petitioning the crown, the establishment of a standing army and the imposition of cruel punishments. The Bill also stipulated that no Catholic would henceforth be permitted to ascend to the English throne, nor could any English monarch marry a Catholic.

Later years

War in Ireland

With the assistance of French troops, James landed in Ireland in March 1689. The Irish Parliament did not follow the example of the English Parliament; it declared that James remained King and passed a massive bill of attainder against those who had rebelled against him. At James’s urging, the Irish Parliament passed an Act for Liberty of Conscience that granted religious freedom to all Catholics and Protestants in Ireland. James worked to build an army in Ireland, but was ultimately defeated at the Battle of the Boyne on 1 July 1690 when William arrived, personally leading an army to defeat James and reassert English control. James fled to France once more, departing from Kinsale, never to return to any of his former kingdoms. Because he deserted his Irish supporters, James became known in Ireland as Séamus an Chaca or ‘James the be-shitten’.

Return to exile

In France, James was allowed to live in the royal château of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. James’ wife and some of his supporters fled with him, including the Earl of Melfort; most, but not all, were Catholic. In 1692, James’ last child, Louisa Maria Teresa, was born. Some supporters in England attempted to restore James to the throne by assassinating William III in 1696, but the plot failed and the backlash made James’ cause less popular. Louis XIV’s offer to have James elected King of Poland in the same year was rejected, for James feared that acceptance of the Polish crown might (in the minds of the English people) render him incapable of being King of England. After Louis concluded peace with William in 1697, he ceased to offer much in the way of assistance to James.

During his last years, James lived as an austere penitent. He died of a brain hemorrhage on 16 September 1701 at Saint-Germain-en-Laye. His body was laid to rest in a coffin at the Chapel of Saint Edmund in the Church of the English Benedictines in the Rue St. Jacques, Paris. In 1734, the Archbishop of Paris heard evidence to support James’ canonization, but nothing came of it. During the French Revolution, James’s tomb was raided and his remains scattered.

Succession

James’ younger daughter Anne succeeded to the throne when William III died in 1702. The Act of Settlement provided that, if the line of succession established in the Bill of Rights were to be extinguished, then the crown would go to a German cousin, Sophia, Electress of Hanover, and to her Protestant heirs. Thus, when Anne died in 1714 (fewer than two months after the death of Sophia), the crown was inherited by George I, Sophia’s son, the Elector of Hanover and Anne’s second cousin.

James’ son James Francis Edward was recognised as King at his father’s death by Louis XIV of France and James’ remaining supporters (later known as Jacobites) as “James III and VIII.” He led a rising in Scotland in 1715 shortly after George I’s accession, but was defeated. Jacobites rose again in 1745 led by Charles Edward Stuart, James II’s grandson, and were again defeated. Since then, no serious attempt to restore the Stuart heir has been made. Charles’s claims passed to his younger brother Henry Benedict Stuart, the Dean of the College of Cardinals of the Catholic Church. Henry was the last of James II’s legitimate descendants, and no relative has publicly acknowledged the Jacobite claim since then

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