Tuesday, January 5, 2016

History: The Year is 1702

I've uploaded year 1702 to the TSP Wiki...


Here are some one liners...

The First English Daily Newspaper is Born -- It's all the international news fit to print without opinion... on one page. I talk about censorship and Benjamin Franklin.

Yo, Ho, Ho! Anne Bonny the Pirate is Born... in Jail! -- Anne is a bastard child born in jail because her mother has been accused of stealing the spoons! She will grow up to be a handful and run off with a pirate... two pirates and then three.

The King is Dead. Long Live Queen Anne's War -- King William the 3rd falls off his horse. Queen Anne is the younger sister of the deceased Queen Mary so she qualifies. (Her step brother does not.) She expands William's policy of containing France by declaring war on Spain and extends the war to the American colonies.

The First English Daily Newspaper is Born

On Wednesday, March 11, 1702 (under the Julian calendar), the first issue of The Daily Courant is published by Elizabeth Mallet, a bookseller and printer. (FYI, the word "courant" in this context means "up to date" or "up to speed".) It is a single page containing international news on the front and advertisements on the back. The publisher promises not to lead the reader, trusting that the average Englishman is intelligent enough to come to his own conclusions given the facts at hand. The newspaper will soon be sold to another publisher and he will run it until 1735 when he will upset King George the 2nd and the newspaper will suddenly find itself absorbed into The Daily Gazetteer. Benjamin Franklin is not yet born, but The New-England Courant will be established in 1721 by his older brother, James. Benjamin Franklin will apprentice to his brother and write letters to the editor under the pen name of "Mrs. Silence Dogood" which will lead to his brother's month-long imprisonment and Benjamin Franklin's sudden abandonment of his apprenticeship. [1] [2] [3] [4]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Freedom of the press in those days was a dream as yet unrealized and the truth was no defense against libel. Even now in Great Britain the truth is not a defense, but it helps. The truth barely saved The Wall Street Journal Europe when it was sued by a Saudi billionaire after it reported that Saudi bank accounts were being monitored after the 9-11 attacks on the United States. (Explicative deleted) In the United States, the plaintiff must prove that the media reported untruths with malice and with full knowledge of the facts. In Great Britain, the media must prove that the news story was actually newsworthy and within the bounds of responsible journalism. That is a much tougher standard to meet. Given some of the worthless, so-called news reporting I've seen, I am tempted, but as bad as a free press can be, censorship is worse. George Washington called the news media "infamous scribblers" but he still read the newspapers. [5] [6] [7] [8]

Yo, Ho, Ho! Anne Bonny the Pirate is Born... in Jail!

Anne Bonny is born to an Irish attorney, William McCormac, and his house maid, Mary, while Mary is in jail for stealing the spoons. Mary found herself in jail because William's wife became suspicious of the maid and switched beds with her. In the dark of night her husband showed up in Mary's room and by all accounts he was vigorous in his affections... much to the chagrin of his wife. Thereafter, Mary reported that the spoons were missing and after a search, they were discovered in Mary's "hope" chest. Her boyfriend had put them there. (William is furious that Mary would cheat on him!) So that is how Mary the Maid finds herself in jail giving birth to her daughter, Anne. In years to come, William will take Mary and Anne to Carolina. As Anne grows she will become the object of affection for young men and those young men will be beaten to a pulp by Anne. That is... until she falls in love with the pirate James Bonny and marries him. She will soon dump him for the pirate "Calico Jack" Rackham and together with the pirate Mary Read, they will steal the sloop William. Anne will be in and out of prison until she is seen no more... perhaps lost somewhere in Jamaica, or ransomed by her father and married off to an unsuspecting Virginian. No one really knows. [9] [10]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
FYI, it was Rackham who came up with the skull and crossbones flag for pirates. Anne Bonny was Rackham's lover but Mary Read loved Rackham too. (What a man!) Nevertheless, Mary Read was pregnant by another fellow. Rackham was hanged for piracy but Anne and Mary pleaded for a reprieve from execution because they were with child. This was called "pleading the belly". English law allowed for this sort of reprieve and such women often received a pardon. The assumption was that their crimes were due to the direction of their husband to whom they were sworn to obey. Thus the man would often bear the punishment for whatever crimes his wife was committing. (In some ways, modern courts still assume that a woman is misled into a life of crime, but that attitude is changing as women take responsibility for their own actions... except regarding sex. Then women are helpless dupes of craven men bent to their own perverted goals.) Anne gained her reprieve and nothing more is heard of her. Mary Read caught a fever while in prison and died before she was released. [11] [12] [13] [14]

The King is Dead. Long Live Queen Anne's War

King William the 3rd of England (and the Prince of Orange in the Netherlands) has fallen from his horse as it stumbles and he breaks his collar bone. It is set and all seems well, but after beating off several fevers he struggles with pneumonia and passes on in peace... leaving a really big hole in the succession. Luckily, his wife, Queen Mary (now deceased), has a younger sister, Lady Anne. Lady Anne is the daughter of King James the 2nd, the Catholic King who had been chased out of England. Anne is Anglican so she qualifies to take the throne. King William had a policy of containing the King of France so Queen Anne continues that policy. In addition, she extends that war to Spain in defense of Holland and to weaken France. (At this point, England and Holland are one and Holland has been dominated by Spain.) This war will extend into the American colonies and be called Queen Anne's War. Compared to previous wars, very few people will die, but this war will drag on until 1713 and include several Indian tribes, some siding with the French, some with the Spanish and some with England. [15] [16]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Most historians praise Queen Anne, but she wasn't a great monarch. She was a great Englishwoman. She dominated her husband, Prince George of Denmark, which was probably a good thing from a political perspective, but others seemed to dominate her... particularly her friends. Queen Anne's War was expensive, and even though England managed to take Madrid, the war became unpopular. Queen Anne had gout which forced her to be carried or pushed in a wheelchair wherever she went. She was fat and crabby, but I find it difficult to ping her for that. Her disabilities must have been difficult to manage. She had given birth to numerous children, none of which lived to maturity. Historians suggest that her medical problems caused problems with her pregnancies but exactly what her medical issue was remains an educated guess. Oddly enough, she believed that the touch of a monarch could cure disease. She could not cure herself though and she became the last English monarch to practice the ancient rite of curing her subjects by touch. [17]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1702, Wikipedia.

No comments:

Post a Comment