Tuesday, June 16, 2015

History: The Year is 1592

I've uploaded year 1592 to the TSP Wiki...


Here are some one liners...

The Bonnie Earl of Moray and Signing a Blank Form -- George Gordon saves the life of King James and is rewarded with another challenge... kill the Earl of Moray... and don't sign any blank documents.

The Japanese Invasion of Korea, Round 1 -- The Korean turtle ship will be a introduced as the first ironclad as the Japanese invade Korea and China.

The Mother of All Heists and the Difficulty of Doing the Right Thing -- The English capture a massive spice and treasure ship but before the Queen can take her cut, the sailors walk off with the loot.

The Bonnie Earl of Moray and Signing a Blank Form

George Gordon has a mixed history. He has signed on to Presbyterian principles and earlier saved King James the 1st of Scotland from the clutches of a pro-Catholic rebellion. Naturally, the King pardons George of his past misdeeds and makes him the 1st Marquess of Huntly. (That position is slightly above an Earl but below a Duke.) Unfortunately, he can't leave the intrigues alone and gets himself involved in a minor war in which is stabs to death the Scottish Earl of Moray and sets fire to his castle. No one is sure of all the details, but everyone knows who did it. Out of this murder will come a song that will be sung into the modern day... the Bonnie Earl of Moray. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Over the years George Gordon jumped from Protestant to Catholic and back again. When he died he professed his faith as a Catholic, but if he was always a Catholic, why did he save King James who was a Protestant? George was caught in treason when he signed two blank letters that were given over to Spanish agents, apparently to be used for nefarious purposes by the King of Spain. The letters were intercepted but King James refused to punish him. I don't know why George Gordon signed his name to blank letters. I don't sign blank forms even when my wife tells me it is OK to do so. I love my wife but she is not perfect, so I read every form carefully, no matter how many times she sighs.

The Japanese Invasion of Korea, Round 1

Over the years the Koreans have been plagued by a rag-tag group of coastal raiders called "Japanese pirates." These pirates are of multiple ethnicities including Korean pirates living at the edges of society. These pirates don't have designs on mainland territory, but the newly unified government of Japan DOES have territorial ambitions and in the initial invasion, Korea loses its capital city of Hanseong (present day Seoul). The Koreans have a secret weapon, though. The turtle ship is an improvement on an old design using iron plates set up as a canopy over top of the ship and enclosing it. The ship looks like a large turtle with oars used to propel it. Cannon balls tend to glance off the iron canopy and the plates are embedded with spikes to repel boarders. The turtle ship is considered the world's first ironclad. [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The custom in Japanese sea battles is to bring a ship alongside an opposing ship, hook on and have the marines jump the gap to hack and slash their way to victory. The turtle ship is not a perfect defense against boarders but it gives the Koreans some definite advantages based on how the Japanese conducts war. China will support Korea and eventually push the Japanese into the south of the Korean peninsula. Peace talks will break down and Round 2 of the Japanese Invasion will begin. FYI: Those who play the Age of Empire video game series will recognize the turtle ship as a valuable weapon for game play. In the real world the Koreans had less luck with it, although the turtle ship was worth the effort.

The Mother of All Heists and the Difficulty of Doing the Right Thing

During this period, Portugal is a province of Spain so in the war between England and Spain, the English have been attacking the Portuguese spice trade. This year the super-ship "Madre de Deus" (meaning the "Mother of God") is captured by the English navy and brought into the port of Dartmouth as a prize. In the letter of mark from Queen Elizabeth the 1st, she is to get a percentage of the cargo of any ship captured from Spain or Portugal, but before she can collect, the English sailors walk off with the VAST majority of the cargo. She sends Sir Walter Raleigh to protect her interests but by the time he arrives, 72 percent of the ship's cargo is gone, gone, gone. [14] [15]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
FYI... the ship's hold was MASSIVE and it was FULL! I can imagine what the sailors were saying to themselves, "The Queen will never miss this little bit." The value of the original cargo was estimated at half a million pounds sterling, which was half the annual budget of Great Britain at the time. I don't know why the English sailors looted that ship so thoroughly. Maybe it was compensation for the risks they took since half the sailors on average would die on such a voyage, but smaller ships had made the same journey without such looting at the end. It must have been the utter size of that single treasure and watching man after man succumbing to temptation. The most difficult thing in the world is doing the right thing when everyone around you is doing it wrong... even your own friends. [16] [17]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1592, Wikipedia.

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