Edward of Windsor

I have written before (twice) about the tombs inside SS. Giovanni e Paolo in Venice, but on our visit a few weeks ago, Him Indoors pointed out something we had missed on many previous occasions – on the wall of the Chapel of the Crucifix is the tomb of an individual called ‘Edward of Windsor’, who died in 1574.

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Not So Much a Blog Post …

More a sales pitch, to be honest. Long-time readers may remember that I usually have a stall at Mill Road Winter Fair in Cambridge in aid of the wonderful charity EdUKaid. This year, for the second year running, it has had to be cancelled, but a smaller event is being held on Petersfield and Donkey’s Common, this Saturday, 6 November, from 10 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. I will be in the trusty Red Gazebo on Donkey’s Common, selling hedgehogs and Christmas decorations, and would really love to see you there!

Very many thanks, Caroline

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Dawson Turner

I have just discovered, down the side of the metaphorical sofa, another large piece in the fascinating jigsaw of who knew whom in the Victorian artistic and scientific community. Dawson Turner (1775–18580 was a Great Yarmouth man, his father being a local merchant and banker, and after a local education, he went up in 1792 to Pembroke College, Cambridge (it may have helped that his Uncle Joseph was Master at the time). It appears that, like Darwin after him, he was destined for the church, but in fact he left without graduating in 1794, shortly before the death of his father. (In spite of this, he styled himself ‘A.M.’ on the title page of his first book.) In 1796, he entered the family bank (Gurney and Turner) in Yarmouth, and in the same year he married Mary Palgrave, whose family came from Coltishall, Norfolk. 

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Plant of the Month: September 2021

At this time of year, the colchicums are at their best, spreading out (usually under trees) in Cambridge University Botanic Garden in an apparently effortless, though brief, display. Come to think of it, I am not sure if I have ever knowingly seen a colchicum leaf? Once the flowers have done their autumn thing, the plants go dormant until the leaves grow up the following spring, by which time they are not very noticeable among the other burgeoning greenery.

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Titian in the Malverns

We recently had a very few days in Worcestershire, Herefordshire and a tiny bit of Shropshire, a lovely wallow in nostalgia for me, and a bit of a revelation of the counties’ beauty for Him Indoors. (A further revelation was that when the iPad map failed (having us still approaching the A14 north of Cambridge while we were in fact lost below Northampton), a 1996 road map of Britain was not a helpful substitute.) There was sunshine, warmth, and beautiful landscapes, houses, gardens and castles, all just as I was expecting and hoping – but also the completely unexpected sight of a purported Titian in the church of St Michael and All Angels, Ledbury.

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Plant of the Month: August 2021

When I was at school, a sign that autumn (and therefore the end of the holidays) was on its way was that buddleia started flowering – i.e. the end of August to early September. These days, it seems to start flowering in early July, and all the flowers at the side of the rail tracks to London (to which I have gadded twice in the last fortnight) are already starting to wither and brown. Is my memory at fault, or is this another manifestation of global warming?

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An Instance of Polyonymy

Jan Gossart, Jan Gossaert van Mabuse, Jan Gossaert van Mauberge, Jan Gossart van Mabuse, Jan Gossart van Mauberge, Joannes Malbodius, Jan Mabuse – and indeed Jennyn van Hennegouwe – are all names of the same painter (born c. 1478, died 1 October 1532), though Jan Gossaert and Jan Mabuse are possibly the most famous ones. (It was only quite recently that I found out that these two are indeed the same person.) ‘Jan Gossart’ seems to be the most used these days, on the ground that he was Flemish and Gossaert is a Dutch spelling – whatever those two ‘nationalities’ meant at the beginning of the sixteenth century – but in fact he spoke French, so ‘Jean’?

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Plant of the Month: July 2021

It’s ages (November 2020, to be precise) since I did one of these, and I’m not sure whether to blame lockdown apathy or too much to do in the garden, but I got my mojo back (never quite sure what that means …) a bit when I came across this spectacular bed of that well-known spelling-trap, Eschscholzia californica, on my way round to collect the dry cleaning.

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The Duke of Argyll’s Tea Tree

In a recent stroll around the Systematic Beds in the Botanic Gardens, I was intrigued to spot this label:

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Mr Kick and Mr Frankcom

Mary Capel (1630–1715, also spelled Capell), was the daughter of Arthur Capel, first Baron Capel of Hadham, Herts. (1604–49). He was already, by inheritance, a very rich man, but by his marriage in 1627 to Elizabeth Morrison, heiress of Cassiobury, he became one of the wealthiest people in Britain.

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