Tag Archives: Jeremiah Brandreth

Simon Wilson, Nottingham Poet

Day 191

Just listening to Susie Dent and Gyles Brandreth doing a podcast. The 21st Century isn’t all bad, I suppose. That probably means nothing to overseas readers, so I have added links.

I was pondering the blog in bed this morning, in the gap between dawn and getting up. At this time of year that’s quite a gap. It has moved from being about our group on the farm to being a general blog to being a dull diary of a man who is pottering about on the downward journey into dementia. Sadly, I couldn’t raise the energy to be concerned, so that’s how it’s going to stay for now. I sometimes feel a stirring of ambition, wanting to blog about writing or collecting but I find if I lie don and have a nice cup of tea the feeling usually goes.

Gyles Brandreth once claimed to be from the family of Jeremiah Brandreth, leader of the Pentrich Rebellion, but this has been withdrawn, though it does still appear in the Wikipedia entry. It is often claimed that Brandreth and his co-conspirators were the last men to be beheaded for treason in the UK. This isn’t true as Thistlewood and the Cato Street Conspirators were beheaded in 1820, three years after Brandreth.

They were dead by the time they were beheaded, having been hanged first. The beheading was the last vestige of the old punishment of hanging, drawing and quartering, which was thought to be too barbaric by that time. Because mutilating a corpse after death is so much more civilised, isn’t it?

What seems to be the case is that Brandreth and his two companions were the last men to be beheaded by axe. Thistlewood was beheaded with a knife, which broke, so the executioner borrowed the carving knife from the dining room of the prison governor to finish the job with the other four.

I find the civil disorder of the 1780s through to the early 20th Century to be a fascinating subject, though I suspect I am one of only a small number who do.

Anyway, those are my thoughts this Sunday morning.

The picture is me, as I could have looked if I had pursued a career in the academic sphere.



Rumblings of Rural Rebellion

When Adam delved and Eve span, who was then the gentleman?

John Ball (c 1338 – 15 July 1381)

We came to work today under protest as we had planned to have a day away. Julia needs more pottery so a call on the factory shops of Stoke on Trent is in the pipeline. It’s not as good as it used to be (though I’m not quite as good as I used to be either) but we normally find some decent stuff and I’m also looking for a few bits to photograph pies on. Did I mention I have a new food blog and am shamelessly plugging it in the pursuit of more traffic?

As Number One son is now working in Leeds and Number Two son is due back at Sheffield next week we should be safe buying new crockery. You would not believe how many plates they can chip compared to the amount of washing up they do.

As so many times before, despite desperately wanting us on Wednesday, The Farmer, who does not pay us for this time, is off doing other jobs come Friday and we are totally forgotten.

We are currently being battered by the wind (just look at the swinging ice cream sign). I really don’t like wind. I can take cold or wet, but wind is so wearing. It was always noticeable when I used to frequent outdoor antique markets, that wind kept people away more effectively than rain.

The men in Sheds, having mended the old industrial toaster from the cafe, are making toasted teacakes and spreading them with the plum jam Julia made on Wednesday. She meant to do it on Tuesday but we ended up with no power. It’s very good. We sat around eating it and fermenting rebellion.

Someone came for two of the Polish crosses, though they don’t seem to understand my point that at this age I’m not prepared to guarantee they are pullets. If I was prepared to guarantee this I would want a lot more money for them. That’s how it goes. However, as The farmer has told her we will sort two out for her I had to do my best and grit my teeth.

We used to volunteer around the farm because there was an element of give and take in the relationship. Over the years, without us really noticing (a bit like the Boiling Frog) it has become more of a master servant relationship and my radical leanings are coming to the fore.

The example of local lads Robin Hood and Jeremiah Brandreth is never far from my mind, though it didn’t exactly end well for either of them.