Gunpowder treason and plot: raging against the mellow light | Laudable Practice

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“And why? their communing is not for peace : but they imagine deceitful words against them that are quiet in the land” – Ps.35:20.

Source: Gunpowder treason and plot: raging against the mellow light

Remember, remember!
The fifth of November,
The Gunpowder treason and plot;
I know of no reason
Why Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!

But what is the significance of this day? As “Historic UK” puts it, “A group of Roman Catholic nobles and gentlemen led by Robert Catesby conspired to essentially end Protestant rule with perhaps the biggest ‘bang’ in history. Their plan was to blow up the King, Queen, church leaders, assorted nobles and both Houses of Parliament with 36 barrels of gunpowder strategically placed in the cellars beneath the Palace of Westminster.”

One of the conspirators, Guy (“Guido”) Fawkes, “was arrested in the early hours of the morning of November 5th 1605, in a cellar under the House of Lords, next to the 36 kegs of gunpowder, with a box of matches in his pocket and a guilty expression on his face!” Ever since, “the burning of the Guy” – an effigy of Fawkes (even though the conspirators were actually hanged, drawn, and quartered) – and celebratory fireworks have been a feature of the day in Merrie Olde England!

But the significance goes deeper:

“‘Mellow light.’ It is the phrase Eamon Duffy uses to describes ‘the church of George Herbert.’ Herbert was ordained in 1629, early in the reign of Charles I. He was, in other words, ordained into a Church profoundly shaped by James VI/I, in which the influence of Jacobean Anglicanism was pronounced. The ‘mellow light,’ then, of Herbert’s Church was Jacobean light.

‘It was in the Jacobean Church that, in the words of Diarmaid MacCulloch, ‘the obscure and slightly controversial figure of Hooker was being transformed into an iconic … authority.’ It was in the Jacobean Church that the sermons of Lancelot Andrewes were heard. And so, as T.S. Eliot put it:

“‘The intellectual achievement and the prose style of Hooker and Andrewes came to complete the structure of the English Church … the achievement of Hooker and Andrewes was to make the English Church more worthy of intellectual assent.’

“The Jacobean Church was also the arena for the sermons of John Donne, demonstrating a native piety at once rational and deeply heart-felt, learned and popular, catholic and reformed, by which – as Donne stated in one of his sermons – ‘papistry was driven out, and puritanism kept out’…

“It was this ‘mellow light’ which the Gunpowder conspirators sought to extinguish.”

God be thanked, they were not successful!

 

By royal disappointment: Meghan and Harry’s behaviour is undermining the monarchy | The Spectator

What must the Queen think of the younger royals’ actions?

Source: By royal disappointment: Meghan and Harry’s behaviour is undermining the monarchy | The Spectator

“Yet there is a feeling that, while the Queen deserves our respect, certain other members of her family should try harder. Much harder. There is a turbulence in the air, a contagion of bad behaviour that taints the good deeds and hard work of other royals, causing understandable resentment. These miscreants could do worse than follow the example of the Queen; this force of nature in pastel separates who has never put a foot wrong nor allowed selfish needs or creature comforts to impede her sense of duty.”

This excellent if sobering essay on the sense of duty and propriety of Her Majesty The Queen, as contrasted against the behavior of certain other members of the Royal Family, devotes – as its title would indicate – a fair amount of its space to pointing out the foibles of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, a.k.a. Prince Harry and the former Meghan Markle. As well it should. Continue reading “By royal disappointment: Meghan and Harry’s behaviour is undermining the monarchy | The Spectator”

Queen tells aides of her ‘disappointment in the current political class’ | Daily Mail Online

The Queen (pictured in Scotland last week) has voiced her frustration with today's politicians and their 'inability to govern correctly', it has been claimed

The Queen (pictured in Scotland last week) has voiced her frustration with today’s politicians and their ‘inability to govern correctly,’ it has been claimed.

Source: Queen tells aides of her ‘disappointment in the current political class’ | Daily Mail Online

“The Queen has voiced her frustration with today’s politicians and their ‘inability to govern correctly’, it has been claimed. The 93-year-old monarch remains scrupulously neutral in public but is said to have told aides of her ‘disappointment in the current political class’. She made the comments in 2016 but her feelings have only intensified since then amid endless political turmoil over Brexit, sources told The Sunday Times. ‘[Her Majesty] expressed her exasperation and frustration about the quality of our political leadership, and that frustration will only have grown,’ one said. Royal aides were said to be surprised by her tone, describing the Queen as ‘really dismayed’ by the state of UK politics.”

At last, a real conservative in the cabinet | Alexander Boot

Conservative Party politician Jacob Rees-Mogg has issued a strict style guide to his office staff.

The new Leader of the Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg has reconfirmed his conservative credentials by issuing a short style manual to his staff.

Source: At last, a real conservative in the cabinet – Alexander Boot

There is finally some good news out of Britain, or at least what many of us on the conservative / traditionalist side of the sociopolitical aisle hope will prove to be good news: Boris Johnson having won the Conservative (Tory) party election, he has subsequently been appointed her 14th Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury and asked to form a government by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.

He is generally expected to do what former PM Theresa May was unable or unwilling to do, namely make good on Brexit, and generally help to reverse the Leftward slide of Britain in recent years (decades). While there are limits to what one man can do, whether his name is Johnson or Trump, there does seem to be justification for guarded optimism!

One thing he does seem to be doing already, and that is shaking up – indeed, dramatically reshaping – the Cabinet, and one of those appointments is particularly interesting: he has appointed well-known conservative voice in Britain, and (until his appointment) chairman of the conservative and Eurosceptic European Research Group, Jacob Rees-Mogg as Leader of the House of Commons and Lord President of the (Privy) Council.

The two posts give Rees-Mogg a fair amount of influence – although most of it behind the scenes, in terms of procedure, organization, and administration, areas in which Rees-Mogg is known to specialize. He himself notes,

“The prime minister kindly offered me a very interesting job to do, one that is something that I’m very interested in because parliamentary procedure and practice is something I’ve spent a lot of time on.”

Rees-Mogg (who has acquired the tongue-in-cheek nickname of the “Honorable member for the 18th century”) is a true conservative, and not just politically: one of his first actions in his new post as Leader of the House of Commons was to issue a memorandum to his staff – indeed, a short “manual of style,” as the linked article points out:

“Mr Rees-Mogg wishes to expunge from office communications hackneyed words and phrases, illiterate punctuation, inappropriate forms of address and sloppy writing in general.

The author, Alexander Boot, goes on to comment, Continue reading “At last, a real conservative in the cabinet | Alexander Boot”

Her Majesty is in Scotland for Royal Week

From The British Royalist Society (links added):

Her Majesty The Queen attended the Ceremony of the Keys at Holyroodhouse today.

She is symbolically offered the keys to the city by the Lord Provost and tradition dictates that the Queen then returns them, entrusting their safekeeping to Edinburgh’s elected officials.

The Queen will be residing in Scotland for Royal Week, which kicks off with a garden party at Holyroodhouse Palace.

There’s a movement to turn Hong Kong back into a British colony

A campaigner carries a former colonial Hong Kong flag during a Hong Kong-UK reunification demonstration outside the British Consulate in Hong Kong on July 1, 2016, the 19th anniversary of Hong Kong's handover to Chinese sovereignty from British rule.

These Hong Kongers aren’t clamoring for freer elections. Nor are they demanding outright independence. They want to transform Hong Kong back into British territory — and proclaim Queen Elizabeth II as their head of state.

Source: There’s a movement to turn Hong Kong back into a British colony

There is a movement – small, so far, but with big ambitions – that wants to “transform Hong Kong back into a British territory — and proclaim Queen Elizabeth II as their head of state”:

“’Many Hong Kongers love Her Majesty very much!’ says Alice Lai, the leading face of the campaign. ‘Even now, we still call Her Majesty ‘The Boss.’'”

“Even in Hong Kong’s more rebellious circles, this idea will sound far-fetched. The city’s pro-democracy camps are mostly fixated on less radical goals, such as loosening Beijing’s grip on Hong Kong’s leadership.

“But the Hong Kong-United Kingdom Reunification Campaign, while extremely small, is quite serious.”

Will anything practical come of this? Tough to say! They have a rough row to hoe, and that uphill: as the article points out, such a move on the part of Britain “would nuke relations with China, a key trading partner, and baffle heads of state around the world.” But it also points out that “Wishing for an independent Hong Kong isn’t so rare. A recent poll shows that one in six Hong Kongers shares that unlikely dream.”

It also notes that the agreement that handed Hong Kong back to China in 1997 came with “some major caveats. Both sides agreed that Hong Kong would enjoy a ‘high degree of autonomy,’ including a legal system with some basis in British common law.”

But as part of China’s overall flexing of muscles in recent years, they have been reneging on that promise, and “Reunification campaigners claim Beijing’s meddling is now so severe that it has actually voided the terms of the British handover.” Indeed, the article noted that “The former British foreign secretary has already declared that China breached the joint declaration.”

Still, I am not going to hold my breath, waiting for the UK to reassert its sovereignty over Hong Kong! But I have to admit, I’d love to see it…

[Note: The linked article was written in 2016. I do not know the current status of the Reunification Campaign. If I find out, I will update this post!]

 

66th Anniversary of the Coronation of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II

Image may contain: 5 people, people standing and wedding

👑 On this day in 1953, Her Majesty The Queen’s coronation was held at Westminster Abbey.

Source: The British Royalist Society, which writes:

“The Queen was the 39th sovereign to be crowned in the Abbey and the sixth Queen to be crowned there in her own right. The service used for the Queen’s coronation descends directly from King Edgar’s in 973.

“The Sovereign’s procession was made up of 250 people including Church leaders, Commonwealth Prime Ministers, members of the Royal Household, civil and military leaders and the Yeoman of the Guard.

“Her Majesty’s accession to the throne also set history in and of itself. Queen Mary (the Queen’s grandmother) was the first grandmother to see two Sovereigns ascend and Prince Charles was the first child to witness his mother’s coronation as Sovereign. Princess Anne did not attend the ceremony as she was considered to be too young. On a side note, Princess Marie Louise (Queen Victoria’s granddaughter) witnessed four coronations, including that of Elizabeth II.

“129 nations and territories were represented at the coronation with a whopping 8,200 guests were in attendance.

“Read more about the coronation and its importance here.”

[The Anglophilic Anglican notes that the above-linked short essay on the Coronation is quite fascinating and helpful in understanding the significance of this ceremony.]

None of them look terribly happy about it, in this picture – but considering that Her Majesty had come to the crown unexpectedly due to the premature death of her father, King George VI, that is perhaps to be expected.

Nota Bene: I am not certain of the identity of the prelate to the right of Her Majesty; but she was crowned by the Most Reverend and Right Honorable Geoffrey Francis Fisher, then Archbishop of Canterbury. Aside from the Coronation of Her Majesty, he is perhaps most famous for his assertion that

“We [meaning the Church of England, and by extension Anglicans in general] have no doctrine of our own — we only possess the Catholic doctrine of the Catholic Church enshrined in the Catholic creeds, and those creeds we hold without addition or diminution. We stand firm on that rock.”

The one to the far left, I am quite confident, is then-Bishop of Durham Arthur Michael Ramsey, who became the 100th Archbishop of Canterbury (1961 – 1974), following Fischer: one of the greatest – arguably, the greatest of the 20th century – occupants of that Primatial See. He was known as a gifted theologian, educator, and advocate of Christian unity, and the writer of many books, perhaps most notably his first: The Gospel and the Catholic Church.

Ironically and somewhat amusingly, Fisher – who had been Ramsey’s headmaster at Repton, and known him basically all his life – is said to have counseled Prime Minister Harold Macmillan against selecting Ramsey for approval by Her Majesty as Archbishop of Canterbury, commenting that

“Doctor Ramsey is a theologian, a scholar and a man of prayer. Therefore, he is entirely unsuitable as Archbishop of Canterbury.”

Macmillan reportedly responded,

“Thank you, your Grace, for your kind advice. You may have been Doctor Ramsey’s headmaster, but you were not mine.”

Ramsey was duly selected.