Saturday, 13 June 2009

The Mayflower

On the 6 September 1620, a sailing ship left England heading for the East coast of America. It was the start of a gruelling 66-day voyage for the 102 passengers and crew on board. The ship was to become one of the most famous vessels in both English and American history, the Mayflower. About half the passengers were a small party of religious separatists better known as the Pilgrims. The original intention was to sail to the mouth of the Hudson river, near present day New York City, at the northern edge of England's Virginia colony. It was an eventful journey marked by disease, which claimed two lives. As winter approached, bad weather forced the ship off course finally dropping anchor at Provincetown Harbour, inside the hook tip of Cape Cod, on 11 November. It was not until 21 March 1621, all surviving passengers, who had inhabited the ship during the winter, moved ashore. Whilst living on board the passengers suffered an outbreak of a contagious disease, described as a mixture of scurvy, pneumonia and tuberculosis. On 5 April, the Mayflower, a privately commissioned vessel, returned to England. Two years later, in 1623, a year after the death of captain Christopher Jones, the Mayflower was most likely dismantled for scrap in Rotherhithe, London.
The Mayflower has a famous place in American history as a symbol of early European colonization of the future United States. The Pilgrims left England at a time when their religion was being oppressed by both the English Church and the government and they went in search of a place where they could practice their religion freely. Americans whose roots are traceable back to New England often believe themselves to be descendants from Mayflower passengers.
The main record of the voyage of the Mayflower and the disposition of the Plymouth Colony comes from William Bradford who was a guiding force and later the governor of the colony. The settlers after initially setting anchor, explored the snow covered areas and discovered an empty Native American village. The curious settlers dug up some artificially-made mounds, some of which stored corn while others were burial sites. They stole the corn and looted the graves, sparking friction with the locals. They then moved down the coast looting and stealing native stores as they went, before finally relocating at Plymouth. These were the earliest permanent European settlers in New England

Blankney Pictures

Blankney Golf Club
Entrance to Club House and Bar
(Click on image to enlarge)

Prince Philip, Duke Of Edinburgh

Earlier this week the Duke of Edinburgh celebrated his 88th birthday. On his birthday, which was Wednesday, 10th June, he carried out five public engagements. For most people that would have been more than enough for one day, but he then accompanied the Queen to catch the Royal Train overnight to Dorset. In all he undertook more than 350 official engagements last year At the age of 88 Prince Philip still enjoys walking, shooting and carriage driving.

The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (Philippos of Greece and Denmark) was born on 10 June 1921, he has been the husband of the Queen since 20 November 1947, and her consort since 6 February 1952. Originally a member of the Danish-German House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg, but renounced these titles shortly before his marriage and adopted the surname of his maternal grandparents, to become known as Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten. He became the realms longest serving consort on 19 April 2009, amassing 57 years and 71 days and thereby becoming consort for longer than Queen Charlotte, consort of King George III. In addition to his royal duties, the the Duke of Edinburgh is also the patron of many organisations, including The Duke of Edinburgh's Award. A great environmentalist he has published and spoken widely for half a century on this subject.

Philip was born on the island of Corfu, the only son and fifth child of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg. Philip was first educated in France before being sent to the United Kingdom to attend Cheam School. During the next three years all his sisters married German noblemen and moved to Germany, his mother was placed in an asylum after being diagnosed as schizophrenic and his father moved to a small flat in Monte Carlo. Philip was then sent to Schule Schloss Salem in Germany. With the rise of Nazism in Germany, Salem's Jewish founder, Kurt Hahn, founded a new school, in Gordonstoun, Scotland. After two terms at Salem Philip moved to Gordonstoun.

After leaving Gordonstoun in 1939, Philip joined the Royal Navy, graduating the next year from the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, as the top cadet on his course. In a distinguished naval career, he became one of the youngest first lieutenants in the Royal Navy, in 1942, at the age of 21. He was present in Tokyo Bay when the instrument of Japanese surrender was signed. He gave up his naval career to take up his duties as Consort to the Queen.

In 1956, the Duke founded the Duke of Edinburgh's Award with Kurt Hahn, in order to give young people "a sense of responsibility to themselves and their communities." There has been no better example of this than the Duke of Edinburgh himself.

Every Girl Should Have One!

Now! Who would like a mirror like that?

Ever Wondered Why?

Why there isn't mouse flavoured cat food?


Who tastes dog food when it has

'a new and improved flavour?


Why Noah didn't swat those two mosquitoes?


Why they sterilize the needle for lethal injections?


Mother Goose

(Click on image to enlarge)

Who Am I? - Friday's Answer

Answer to yesterday's
Who Am I? puzzle:
Graham Norton
Well done if you answered correctly!