Sunday, 30 September 2012

Bishop William Ullathorne, OSB

'From Cabin-Boy to Archbishop' - William Bernard Ullathorne

William Ullathorne was born at Pocklington, Yorkshire, on 7 May 1806, the son of William and Hannah Ullathorne.   His father claimed descent from St Thomas More, and his mother (née Longstaff) was a cousin of the explorer Sir John Franklin.

He joined his father's merchant's business at the age of 12, but wanted to go to sea and, at the age of 15, signed on as an apprentice.  He made several voyages in the Baltic and Mediterranean, but had a religious experience while attending Mass at Memel.  He joined the Benedictines at Downside, near Bath, in 1823, and made his profession as a monk on 5 Apr 1825, taking the name Bernard in religion.

Ullathorne was ordained priest on 24 Sep 1831 and volunteered to serve the Australian Mission.  He was immediately appointed vicar-general, the bishop having jurisdiction over Australia being resident in Mauritius.  He successfully petitioned the Pope to establish, in 1834, a local hierarchy.  The first Bishop of Sydney was John Bede Polding, Ullathorne's old director of studies at Downside.  Ullathorne had much experience of the Catholic underclass in the colony - preparing for execution those sentenced to death following an armed uprising in 1834, and traveling to the notorious penal settlement on Norfolk Island.  He returned to Europe, acting as Polding's agent in London and Rome, and was a vocal witness before the Parliamentary Commission on Transportation in 1837.  In the same year he published The Horrors of Transportation Briefly Unfolded to the People.  He permanently left Australia in 1840.  He had declined a bishopric five times during his service in Australia.

He took up a parish in Coventry where, in 1846, he was appointed titular bishop of Hetalonia and Vicar Apostolic of the Western District, taking up residence in Bristol.  On the restoration of the English hierarchy in Sep 1850 he was appointed first Bishop of Birmingham (with jurisdiction over Staffordshire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire).  John Henry Newman preached at his enthronement.  The financial situation of the new diocese was so bad that Ullathorne was once committed to gaol for debt.  Nethertheless, during his 38 year tenure 67 new churches, 32 convents and nearly 200 mission schools were built.
The First Vatican Council

Ullathorne was the first choice for the vacant Archdiocese of Westminster in 1865, but eventually Henry Edward Manning was appointed.  He attended the First Vatican Council, 1869-1870, where he joined the majority of English bishops in supporting papal infallibility, though with reservations (which caused some friction with Manning).

In 1888 he retired and received the personal title of Archbishop of Cabasa.  He died on the feast of St Benedict, 21 Mar 1889, and his monument is in the crypt of his cathedral in Birmingham, St Chad's.  He is buried at St Dominic's Convent, Stone, Staffordshire.

Ullathorne remained a forthright Yorkshireman throughout his life.  Asked (as one is) on his deathbed to renounce the devil, he responded:

'The Devil's an ass!'

Saturday, 29 September 2012

All the Pretty Lions...

File:Ignatius of Antioch 2.jpgWhile preparing tomorrow's Dead Bishop post I came across this picture on a blog.

Apparently it shows the martyrdom of St Ignatius of Antioch, who was eaten (you've guessed it) by lions.  Now I knew that there was a St Ignatius of Antioch and that he was a Father of the Church.  I suppose I might even have known that he was a martyr. What I didn't know was that he was fed to the lions in the Colosseum and that his letters were written from captivity:
From Syria even to Rome I fight with wild beasts, by land and sea, by night and by day, being bound amidst ten leopards, even a company of soldiers, who only grow worse when they are kindly treated. — Ignatius to the Romans, 5.

Until today, if you'd showed me a picture of a bishop with a a lion, I would have taken it to be St Jerome.  His association with a lion is a lot more tenuous, owing more to the fable of Androcles and the Lion than anything else and seems to originate with the Legenda Aurea.  There you go - I've learnt something today.

File:Colantonio 003.jpg
St Jerome's Lion is much friendlier

This Week's Interesting Obits

Eileen Beasley (d. 12 Aug 2012)  Welsh Language campaigner - 'the Rosa Parks of Wales' 
Independent 29 Sep 2012

Charlie Daley (d. 27 Jun 2012).  Survivor of the Wormhout massacre.

Herbert Lom (d. 27 Sep 2012).  Actor.
Daily Telegraph 28 Sep 2012
Guardian 28 Sep 2012 
Independent 28 Sep 2012


Princess Ragnhild of Norway(d. 16 Sep 2012).
Daily Telegraph 23 Sep 2012

Friday, 28 September 2012

Curiosity Update #2: Riverbed find

Curiosity science team member Sanjeev Gupta explains how rounded pebbles spotted by the rover are convincing evidence of an ancient streambed on Mars.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Books and Stuff...

What I've been reading this week...

I finished reading A Watery Grave. The mystery was a little thin, but I liked the setting and owe it to Joan to make the effort, so - as I had it on my shelf - I've jumped right into the next Wiki Coffin story, Shark Island.

I also started another book edited by another old Marhster, Capt Peter Hore.  It's Seapower Ashore: 200 Years of Royal Navy Operations on Land.  The intro went into the difference between a Mahanitte concept of seapower and the Corbettian view, but I'm hoping that the individual chapters will be a little lighter!  And so far, so good.  With contributions from people like Tom Pocock, Colin White and Andrew Lambert, it should be good stuff.

What I've bought this week...

James B Johnson The Alternate-Day Diet.  Actually, we ordered this almost six weeks ago  through a retailer using Amazon, after watching a very interesting docco on the telly by Michael Mosely.  The first copy went missing in the post, so we've had to wangle a second.  Michael Mosely (whose journalism we trust) was very positive about the technique, and the Amazon review were good.  We'll see.

...and downloaded for the Kindle

Journey to the Heart of Luna (Space: 1889 & Beyond Series, Book 1) by Andy Frankham-Allen- £1.98.

I've always liked the concept of Space 1889 but, not being a wargamer, never had the chance to delve into it.  I don't know if it'll stand up to my demanding standards when reading guff sci fi, but at two quid it'll provide an afternoon's entertainment or head to the delete bin.  I hoping for something like a mix of Robert Heinlein's juveniles and HG Wells' lighter works.

Not being an aficionado, I don't know whether it's considered Steampunk or whether VSF (Victorian Science Fiction) is a genre of it's own.  I stand to be corrected, but I suspect VSF consists of men in their forties with beards and beer-bellies (like me), whereas Steampunk is for dystopian vampires and girlies (in bustles).

How can you not like this sort of thing?

In fact, I'm very tempted to buy one of these steam tanks kits and have a bash at it.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught

Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn

Prince Arthur William Patrick Albert was born in London on 1 May 1850,  the seventh child and third son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.  He was apparently Victoria's favourite.  In 1877 he was created Duke of Connaught and Strathearn and Earl of Sussex.

Military Career

He entered the Royal Military College, Woolwich, in 1866 and started his career as a lieutenant in the Royal Engineers. He spent a year with his regiment in Montreal, and served on the Red River expedition of 1870.  In 1871 he was promoted captain in the Rifle Brigade, lieutenant-colonel in 1876 and major-general in  1880.  After serving with the during the Egypt campaign of 1882 in command of the Brigade of Guards (he was at Tell-el-Kebir and was Governor of Cairo), he served in India (Commander-in-Chief Bombay, 1886-1890), Ireland, the Mediterranean and South Africa.  In 1902 he was appointed field marshal and Inspector-General of the Forces.

Governor-General of Canada

Prince Arthur was appointed Governor-General of Canada in 1911, the first member of the royal family to hold the office.  His tenure was dominated by the First World War and the massive contribution the country made to the war effort.

Princes Patricia of Connaught
He was active in auxiliary war services and charities and conducted hospital visits, while the Duchess of Connaught worked for the Red Cross and other organizations to support the war cause. She was also Colonel-in-Chief of the Duchess of Connaught's Own Irish Canadian Rangers battalion, one of the regiments in the Canadian Expeditionary Force.  She also acquired a knitting machine and made socks for the troops.

Their daughter, Princess Patricia, lent her name and support to the raising of a new Canadian army regiment -- Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry.  As the regiment's Colonel-in-Chief, she played an active role in the regiment until her death in 1974.

Connaught's tenure as  Governor-General came to an end in 1916.  The Prime Minister, Robert Borden, gave a mixed review of him, considering that he over-stepped his constitional role, having 'laboured under the handicap of his position as a member of the Royal Family and never realised his limitations as Governor General.'  He was succeeded by an experience politician, the Duke of Devonshire.

After Canada

Prince Arthur continued to carry out duties as a minor royal he withdrew from public duties in 1928.  He was a freemason, being Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England, 1901-1939.  He was president of the Boy Scouts Association.  He died at his home, Bagshot Park, on 16 Jan 1942, aged 91 years and 8 months.  He was succeeded by his grandson Alastair who died in shady circumstances the following year - the title becoming extinct.


On 13 Mar 1879 Connaught married, Princess Lousie Margaret of Prussia, daughter of Prince Frederick Karl of Prussia (who is said to have beaten her mother so hard for giving birth to a daughter as to permanently deafen her).  The Duchess died of influenza at Clarence House on 14 Mar 1917.  She was the first member of the royal family to be cremated, and was interred at Frogmore.

They had three children: Princess Margaret (1882-1920),  Prince Arthur (1883-1938), and Princess Patricia (1886-1974).

Princess Margaret married Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden in 1905, becoming Crown Princess in 1907 when his father acceded to the throne.  Gustaf succeeded his father in 1950, but Margaret had died in 1920.  Her grandchildren include King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Queen Margrethe of Denmark and Queen (consort) Anne-Marie of Greece.

Prince Arthur served as an army officer in the Boer War and First World War, reaching the rank of major-general.  He married his cousin, Princess Alexandra, Duchess of Fife, in 1913.  He was Governor-General of South Africa, 1920-1924, and died in 1938.

Princess Patricia married Capt (later Adm Sir) Alexander Ramsey, son of the Earl of Dalhousie, and an aide-de-camp of her fathers' in 1919.  She relinquished her royal titles

The Orders and Medals

From the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography:-
The duke had received every order which it had been in the power of his mother to bestow, and had received further decorations from Edward VII and George V, and from many foreign powers. He presided over many organizations, including the Royal Society of Arts, the Boy Scouts' Association, and the united lodge of freemasons, and was colonel of three, and colonel-in-chief of nineteen, army regiments.
Order of the Garter  Knight Companion (KG), 31 May 1867

Order of the Thistle Knight Companion (KT), 24 May 1869

Order of St Patrick Knight Companion (KP), 30 March 1869

Order of the Bath
  • Companion, Military Division (CB), 17 November 1882
  • Knight Commander, Military Division (KCB), 8 July 1890
  • Knight Grand Cross, Military Division (GCB), 21 May 1898
 Served as Great Master of the Order from 26 February 1901 to his death in 1942

Order of the Star of India Extra Knight Grand Commander (GCSI), 1 January 1877

Order of St Michael and St George Knight Grand Cross (GCMG), 16 April 1870

Order of the Indian Empire Extra Knight Grand Commander (GCIE), 21 June 1887

Royal Victorian Order
Order of the British Empire
  • Knight Grand Cross (GBE), 4 June 1917
Venerable Order of St John
  • Knight of Justice (KStJ), before 1896
  • Bailiff Grand Cross (GCStJ), 12 June 1926
Bailiff of Egle from 1894 and Grand Prior of the Order from 23 June 1910 to 1939.

Campaign medals

Canadian General Service Medal with clasp for Fenian Raid 1870
Egypt Medal with clasp for Battle of Tel el-Kebir 1882

Long service medals

Volunteer Officers' Decoration (VD), 1892
Territorial Decoration (TD), 1934

Foreign Orders and Awards 

1865 Grand Cordon, the Order of Glory (Nishan al-Iftikhar) (Tunis)
1867 Imperial Order of the Osmans (Nishan-i-Osmanieh), 1st class in brilliants (Turkey)
1872 Knight, the Order of the Black Eagle (Prussia)
1873 Grand Cross, the Order of the Red Eagle (Prussia)
1873 Grand Cross, the Order of Leopold (mil) (Belgium)
1873 Grand Cross, the Royal Hungarian Order of St Stephen (Hungary)
1873 Knight, the Royal Order of the Seraphim (Sweden)
1873 Knight, the Order of the Elephant (Denmark)
1876 Grand Cross with Collar, the Most Distinguished Order of Carlos III (Spain)
1878 Knight Grand Cross, the Order of the Netherlands Lion (Netherlands)
1879 Grand Cross, the Order of the Redeemer (Greece)
1882 The Order 'Pour le Merite' (Prussia)
1882 The Imperial Order of Nobility (Nishan-i-Majidieh), 2nd class (Turkey)
Grand Cross, the Order of Military Merit (Spain)
1890 Grand Cordon, the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum (Japan)
1897 Grand Cross, the Order of Danilo (Montenegro)
1898 Grand Cordon, the Order of the Legion of Honour (French Republic)
Knight, the Supreme Order of the Annunziata (Italy)
Knight Grand Cross, the Order of SS Maurice & Lazarus (Italy)
1902 Knight, the Order of the Golden Fleece (Spain)
Commander Grand Cross, the Royal Order of the Sword (Sweden)
1905 Knight, the Order of Charles XII (Sweden)
1906 Knight, the House Order of Fidelity (Baden)
1906 Grand Cross with Collar, the Order of St Olav (Norway)
1917    Knight Grand Cross, the Military Order of Savoy (Italy)
Grand Cross, the Order of the Star of Ethiopia
Grand Cross, the Order of the Crown (Rumania)
Grand Cross, the Order of St Charles (Monaco)

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Friday, 21 September 2012

Books and stuff...

What I've been reading...

I finally finished reading Court of the Air.  An odd one, this - I think I preferred the concept to the execution.  It's probably my fault for putting it down for too long in the middle, but to me it seemed like two books joined together.  I've got his next book on my shelf (thanks to an Amazon 1p deal) and I think I'll give that a go before dismissing Hunt altogether.

And so back to A Watery Grave. I knew it was a mistake have two books on the go at once.

What I've bought this week...

Nothing, which is the way it should be!  The observant among you will notice that I've been buying more than I read, which isn't a sustainable state of affairs.  Not that I'm a believer in 'one in, one out' like some people I know...

And downloaded for the Kindle...

Bennet Burleigh, Khartoum Campaign, 1898 or the Re-Conquest of the Soudan - free.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

They just Arrrgh!

Pirates from the Junior General Webpage

Royals in Medals #3 - Anne, Princess Royal (and family)

The Princess Royal in the uniform of the Master of Trinity House, June 2012

Princess Anne (full name Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise) was born on 15 August 1950 at Clarence House, London.  She is the second child and only daughter of Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.  She was educated privately and at school in Kent.  She showed an early interest in equine pursuits and is renowned as a horsewoman - she won gold and silver medals in three-day eventing and competed at the Montreal Olympics in 1976.  It was through these interests that she met her first husband, Capt Mark Philips, and the tradition is carried on by he daughter, Zara (who competed in the London Olympics.

Another interest, apparently originating from childhood holidays in the Western Isles is pharology, the study of lighthouses.  She is Master of Trinity House and Patron of the Northern Lighthouse Board - the official bodies which maintain and govern lighthouses in the UK.
21st Birthday Portrait, 1971

Princess Anne is one of the busiest members of the Royal Family, being the patron of over 200 organisations, and she carries out about 500 royal engagements and public appearances per year.  She is particularly active in Scotland.  She is known for her no-nonsense approach and disdain for anything touching on celebrity.  The former is perhaps best exemplified by her response to gunman who had just shot her driver and bodyguard and told to get out of her car during a kidnap attempt - 'Not bloody likely!'

In June 1987, Princess Anne was given the style 'Princess Royal', the seventh holder of the title reserved for the eldest daughter of the monarch.

Honorary Military Appointments

Anne's most prominent (most photographed) honorary appointments are her naval roles and as Colonel of the Blues and Royals (also known as Gold Stick) - in the latter appointment she attends many state occasions, including Trooping of the Colour.

HRH The Princess Royal
In the uniform of Colonel of the Blues and Royals
United Kingdom
Colonel-in-Chief of the King's Royal Hussars
Colonel-in-Chief of the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment
Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Corps of Signals
Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Logistic Corps
Colonel-in-Chief the Royal Army Veterinary Corps
Colonel of the Blues and Royals
Royal Colonel of the Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland
Royal Colonel of the 52nd Lowland Regiment, 6th Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland
Royal Honorary Colonel of the University of London OTC
Commandant-in-Chief of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (Princess Royal's Volunteer Corps)
Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Lyneham
Honorary Air Commodore of the University of London Air Squadron
Admiral and Chief Commandant for Women in the Royal Navy
Commodore-in-Chief of HM Naval Base Portsmouth


Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Australian Corps of Signals
Colonel-in-Chief of the Grey and Simcoe Foresters
Colonel-in-Chief of the 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise's)
Colonel-in-Chief of the Communications and Electronics Branch
Colonel-in-Chief of the Canadian Forces Medical Service
Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Regina Rifles
Colonel-in-Chief of Royal Newfoundland Regiment  

New Zealand

Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal New Zealand Corps of Signals
Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal New Zealand Army Nursing Corps

Commemorating the 75th anniversary of the sinking of HMS
Hood, 2016

Orders, Decorations and Medals

Order of the Garter
Royal Knight, 23 Apr 1994

Order of the Thistle
Extra Knight, 2000

Royal Victorian Order
Dame Grand Cross (GCVO), 15 Aug 1974
Grand Master of the Order from 2007

Most Venerable Order of St John
Dame of Justice (DStJ), 1971
Dame Grand Cross (GCStJ), 1998

Badge of a Companion of the Queen's Service Order (obverse, man's)
Queen's Service Order
Extra companion (QSO), 1990

Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II

Commemorative Medals

Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal, 1953

File:Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal ribbon.png  Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal 1977
Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal ribbon.png  Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal 2002
QEII Diamond Jubilee Medal ribbon.png  Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal 2012

SCM ribbon.png  Commemorative Medal for the Centennial of Saskatchewan 2005

Long Service Awards

CD-ribbon.png  Canadian Forces Decoration (CD), with two clasps, 1982

Service Medal of the Order of St John, with (?two) gilt bars.

Foreign Awards



Captain Mark Phillips

Mark Phillips was born on 22 September 1948, the son of Major Peter William Garside Phillips and Anne Patricia Phillips (née Tiarks).  After Marlborough, he passed out from the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, in 1969 and was commissioned into the Queen's Dragoon Guards.  He was promoted Captain in 1975 and resigned from the army in 1978.

He met Princess Anne at the Munich Olympics, where he was a member of the three-day event team (winning a Gold Medal).  They married on 13 November 1973 at Westminster Abbey.  He turned down the offer of a peerage (an earldom was probably on offer).  The couple had two children, separated in 1989 and divorced in April 1992.

Prince Charles and Prince Andrew are reputed to have given Philips the nickname 'Foggy' - because he was wet and thick.

Orders, Decorations and Medals


Royal Victorian Order
Commander (CVO), 1974

Commemorative Medals
File:Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal ribbon.png  Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal 1977

 Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence


After being appointed CB, but while still a MVO
Timothy Hamilton Laurence was born on 1 March 1955, son of Cdr Guy Stewart Laurence, RN, and Barbara Alison Laurence (née Symons).

He entered the Royal Navy in 1973, attending the University of Durham on a naval scholarship.  He had several sea-going appointment (including a spell as navigating officer of HMY Britannia)  before being appointed equerry to the Queen in 1986 and command of the frigate Boxer in 1989.  He has held several staff appointment in the MoD, including Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff (2004-2007)  and  Chief Executive of Defence Estates (207-2010).   He retired from the Navy in 2010 in the rank of Vice-Admiral.

He and Princess Anne were married at Crathie Kirk, near Balmoral, on 12 December 1992.

As a board member of the CWGC he has taken a prominent role in ceremonies commemorating the centenary of the First World War.

Orders, Decorations and Medals


Royal Victorian Order
Member (MVO), 1989
Knight Commander (KCVO), 2011

Order of the Bath
Companion, military division, (CB), June 2007

Campaign Medals 

General Service Medal 1962 BAR.svg  General Service Medal (1962-2007), 1 clasp (Northern Ireland) with Mention in Dispatches for his actions in command of HMS Cygnet on anti gun-running patrol, 1982

Commemorative Medals

Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal ribbon.png  Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, 2002
QEII Diamond Jubilee Medal ribbon.png  Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, 2012

Foreign Awards 

Order of the Star of Melanesia.png   Companion of the Order of the Star of Melanesia (CSM), 2005
Laurence was the first recipient of the award - on the occasion that Princess Anne became the first recipient of the Order of the Logohu.

Sir Timothy Laurence was presented with his CB at the same investiture as Zara Phillips was given her MBE


Anne had two children by Mark Phillips: Peter (b. 1977) and Zara (b. 1981).  As female-line grandchildren of the Sovereign, they children were never eligible for the style 'Royal Highness' or the title 'Prince/Princess' under the terms of George V's letters patent of 1917.  They have been granted no other title.

However, Zara Phillips was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2007 New Year's Honours List for her services to equestrianism.  She was a member of the medal-winning team at the London Olympics.
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