The London Poacher

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Valentine Poetry from the Cotswold Explorer

St. Valentine kneeling in supplication – 1677 by David Teniers III

There is nothing more delightful than a great poetry reading to warm ones heart on a cold winter night fireside.  Today is one of the coldest Valentine’s days on record, thus, nothing could be better than listening to the resonant voice of Robin Shuckbrugh, The Cotswold Explorer  , read classic love poetry to set the mood for a cozy evening with that special person.

Mr. Shuckbrugh is the presenter and one of the three creative minds behind the Youtube channel The Costwold Explorer, a most entertaining documentary series that brings the Cotswold area of the UK to life.

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Glimpses from the Chase

From Fores’s Sporting Notes and Sketches, A Quarterly Magazine Descriptive of British, Indian, Colonial, and  Foreign Sport with Thirty Two Full Page Illustrations Volume 10 1893, London; Mssrs. Fores Piccadilly W. 1893, All Rights Reserved.

GLIMPSES OF THE CHASE,
Ireland a Hundred Years Ago.
By ‘Triviator.’

FOX-HUNTING has, like Racing, Shooting, and even Dancing, had its phases and fashions ever since it became a National sport, and we may be pretty sure that though we of the guild and fraternity of fin desiecle fox-hunters make it our boast that as the ‘ heirs of all the ages ‘ we have brought the royal sport to the acme of perfection, every contemporary phase was the best adapted to the manners, customs, and requirements of the period ; and that, grotesque and absurd as some of the practices of our forbears appear to us now, many of our improvements and requirements and sublimations of sport would afford them in turn many a hearty laugh. After all, if sport be the desideratum, whatever makes for that end in the opinion of its votaries, must be deemed successful, and if real war—of which, according to Somerville and his pupil John Jorrocks, Fox-hunting is the image—was a comparatively innocuous affair in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries, when contrasted with the deadly issues of modern scientific slaughter, it attained its aim as effectually as the present system, though more slowly and tentatively. Continue reading Glimpses from the Chase

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The First Pineapple Grown in England

Charles II of England being presented with the first pineapple grown in England by royal gardener, John Rose.

Click here to read an excellent article on the history of pineapple growing in the UK.

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On Bernini’s Bust of a Stewart King

 As reported in the The Colac Herald on Friday July 17, 1903 Pg. 8 under Art Appreciation as a reprint from the Westminster Gazette

ART APPRECIATION IN THE COMMONS.

The appreciation of art as well as of history which is entertained by the average member of the House of Commons was effectively gauged by the titter which greeted the suggestion that some thing specially derogatory to the statue of Mr Bright had been done by its being “shoved into a corner” near the bust of the Lord Protector Oliver. Mr Bruce Joy would scarcely claim to be a Bernini, and that great Italian sculptor, if he could revisit the glimpses of the moon, would assuredly be impressed by the vicissitudes of his portrait bust of two successive rulers of this country, Charles I and Oliver Cromwell. Concerning the former, a singular story used to be told, to the effect that Van Dyck, having drawn the Stuart King in profile, three quarters and full face, sent the result to Rome for Bernini to make a therefrom.

Complaint being subsequently heard that the sculptor was unduly long over the work, he replied that he had engaged himself on it several times. but something in the features always shocked him as indicating that the  person represented was destined to a violent end.  This portent was renewed when the bust at last arrived in England, as, while the King and his courtiers were examining it in the Royal garden, a hawk flew over their heads with a wounded partridge in its claws, some of the blood from which fell upon the bust’s neck, whence it was not removed; and when it was ultimately placed in the Palace of White hall, the edifice was destroyed by fire. Happily, the Bernini bust of Cromwell—one of the finest portrait busts the nation possesses—has been preserved; and no gibe can lessen either the beauty of the work or the significance of its being permanently placed within the palace of Westminster. Westminster Gazette

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The Mayfair Set

The Clermont Club – 44 Berkley Square




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Fell and Moor Terrier Club circa later 1990s

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The Kalmar War


The Kalmar War

From The Historian’s History of the World (In 25 Volumes) by Henry Smith William L.L.D. – Vol. XVI.(Scandinavia) Pg. 308-310

The northern part of the Scandinavian peninsula, as already noticed, had been peopled from the remotest times by nomadic tribes called Finns or Cwenas by the Norwegians and Lapps by the Swedes, from which their territory derived the name of Lapland. These aboriginal inhabitants retained their primitive manners, language, and religion, unaffected by the progress of Christianity in the North. No definite boundary separated the adjacent kingdoms of Sweden and Norway from the dreary wilderness occupied by their less civilised neighbours who subsisted by hunting and fishing. The progress of conquest had gradually pressed them nearer to the borders of the arctic circle, but still even under the Union of Kalmar their territorial limits remained undefined. Continue reading The Kalmar War

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Fox Control with Jack Russell Terriers in Scotland

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A Method for Hand Painting Old Ceramic Floor Tiles – A New Orleans Themed Half Bath under Staircase

Ripping up and replacing a tiled floor is a daunting and expensive task, especially should one live in a fully furnished house full of antique furniture.  An alternative is to hand paint the tiles which can save thousands of dollars in furniture removal, storage expenses and labor costs.  Let’s not forget the the noise and dust created by using pry bars to rip up old tiles.  By hand painting tiles, small sections of a floor may be redecorated by shifting furniture from one area of a room to another.

Perhaps the most rewarding aspect of hand painting ceramic tiles is the limitless range of possibilities in recreating historical designs or creating your own original designs. Continue reading A Method for Hand Painting Old Ceramic Floor Tiles — A New Orleans Themed Half Bath under Staircase

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The Stuart Kings and King James I & VI to Charles II

Armorial tablet of the Stewarts - Falkland Palace Fife, Scotland.

Armorial tablet of the Stewarts – Falkland Palace Fife, Scotland.

Continue reading The Stuart Kings and King James I & VI to Charles II

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Bulgarian Fox Hunting

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Stoke Park – Granted by King Charles I

From Wikipedia:

Stoke Park – the original house

Stoke park was the first English country house to display a Palladian plan: a central house with balancing pavilions linked by colonnades or screen walls. Palladio was the 16th-century Italian architect on whose work the design was based. The Paladian style became a standard type of country house construction in 18th century England under Lord Burlington. However, 80 years earlier Stoke Park in Northamptonshire was the first example, believed to have been constructed by Inigo Jones. The house ca.1700 is pictured in Colen Campbell’s (sic) Vitruvius Britannicus (meaning British Architect).

Charles I granted the park and Manor House to Sir Francis Crane, director and founder of the Mortlake Tapestry Works established on the estate of John Dee, the mathematician, at Mortlake, in 1619, later the site of the Queen’s Head pub. Crane was made Secretary to Charles I when he was Prince of Wales and was knighted in 1617. With grants of land, money and high prices charged for tapestries, Crane became very wealthy. He was granted ca.400 acres of Stoke Bruerne in 1629.

Crane brought the design of the house from Italy and had assistance from Inigo Jones to build it.

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Suir Vale Harriers Hunt Clonmore Jan 2020

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Christmas Pudding with Dickens

Traditional British Christmas Pudding Recipe by Pen Vogler from the Charles Dickens Museum

Ingredients

  • 85 grams all purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 170 grams Beef Suet
  • 140 grams brown sugar
  • tsp. mixed spice, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, &c
  • 170 grams bread crumbs
  • 170 grams raisins
  • 170 grams currants
  • 55 grams cut mixed peel
  • Gram to Cup conversion tables.

Method

Mix together well, add 1 medium grated apple, mix again, beat three eggs plus 140ml brandy, add to dry mixture, stir together well.

Grease pudding basin with butter, cut a small piece of grease proof paper to cover bottom, pack in pudding, cover with parchment another round of grease proof paper, cover with large squares grease proof paper and tin foil, tie up tightly with string and make string handle to prevent water from invading pudding.   Set on saucer in large covered pan, water half way up pudding basin and boil for 3 ½ hours.

To learn more about Mrs. Vogler and her cooking adventures, click here.

Click here to purchase a copy of Christmas with Dickens by Pen Vogler.

 

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A Day of Foxhunting in Maryland

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Country House Christmas Pudding

Country House Christmas Pudding

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Christian Bros Brandy
  • ½ cup Myer’s Dark Rum
  • ½ cup  Jim Beam Whiskey
  • 1 cup currants
  • 1 cup sultana raisins
  • 1 cup pitted prunes finely chopped
  •  1 med. apple peeled and grated
  • ½ cup chopped dried apricots
  • ½ cup candied orange peel finely chopped
  • 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs (freshly baked bread is best)
  • 1 cup Crisco vegetable shortening(freeze and grate)
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup black strap molasses
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • grated zest of 1 orange plus juice
  • 3 large eggs

Method

  1. Soak all fruit in Brandy for a week.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine brandied fruit with remaining ingredients, add cup of dark rum.
  3. Mold and steam for 3 ½ hours.
  4. Remove pudding, poke holes in top with fork, pour over Jim Beam Whiskey, cover tightly in parchment paper and foil, serve when ready. Will last up to six months in refrigeration.
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Gallileo’s 1611 Sunspot Drawings Sequenced

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Sir Joshua Reynolds – Notes from Rome

Titian – Charles V

The Leda, in the Colonna palace, by Correggio, is dead-coloured white and black, with ultramarine in the shadow ; and over that is scumbled, thinly and smooth, a warmer tint,—I believe caput mortuum.  The lights are mellow ; the shadows blueish, but mellow.  The picture is painted on  panel, in a broad and large manner, but finished like enamel : the shadows harmonize, and are lost in the ground. Continue reading Sir Joshua Reynolds — Notes from Rome

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Books Condemned to be Burnt

BOOKS CONDEMNED
TO BE BURNT.

By

JAMES ANSON FARRER,

decoration

LONDON

ELLIOT STOCK, 62, PATERNOSTER ROW

1892

———-

WHEN did books first come to be burnt in England by the common hangman, and what was the last book to be so treated? This is the sort of question that occurs to a rational curiosity, but it is just this sort of question to which it is often most difficult to find an answer. Historians are generally too engrossed with the details of battles, all as drearily similar to one another as scenes of murder and rapine must of necessity be, to spare a glance for the far brighter and more instructive field of the mutations or of the progress of manners. The following work is an attempt to supply the deficiency on this particular subject. Continue reading Books Condemned to be Burnt

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Limerick Harrier’s Meet at Bulgaden 2018

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Feeding the Hounds at Chateau Cheverny

Photo by Greg O’Beirne

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All our knowledge has its origins in our perceptions.

— Leonardo Da Vinci