Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Friday, 7 May 2021

Conflict in the Channel

Yesterday a friend sent me this piece from his Twitter feed:

A member of the Jersey Militia reenactment group was seen firing on the French boats with a musket from Elizabeth Castle this morning. It's after the flotilla of French fishermen who blockaded Jersey's main harbour returned to open water. itv.com/news/channel/2
Embedded video

My initial reaction was to wonder if the Prime Minister thinks (sic) that Jersey could be his Falkland Islands moment .... so convenient on an election day....

However, and especially as I see that there is talk of French fisherman attempting to blockade Calais, my thoughts flew back to times in which I feel more comfortable. 

Now is not this action in respect of the electricity supply from the current French regime - one cannot call it a government as France has not had a lawful one since July 1830 - and from its protesting fisherfolk a threat to Her Majesty’s Duchy of Normandy? Are the froggies planning a rerun of their unsuccessful attempt 240 years ago as set out in Battle of Jersey

It must be galling for them that what they failed to do on their doorstep the Germans managed to do as well as clobbering them in 1940. Of course one does not want to rub sea salt into fresh wounds .... much.

I however am not a specialist in the eighteenth century. No, my thoughts reach further back, to the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Are not these French actions a provocation that invites a response, a robust response, to liberate the mainland of the Duchy of Normandy, and, while we are about it, the County of Pontieu and the town and Pale of Calais, from alien rule from Paris?

Anchor one of our new aircraft carriers in the Bay of the Seine, seize Harfleur, have a re-run of 1415 and 1417, and 1944 ...., wipe out the shame of Formigny and the loss of Calais....

We could encourage ( if they need it ) the Bretons to restore their independence as a sovereign Grand Duchy and then look to liberating Acquitaine and avenging Châtillon.

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