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Saturday, July 11, 2020 9:02:55 AM
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Dunmow Flitch Trial
Saturday, July 11, 2020 8:57:45 AM
THE HISTORY OF THE DUNMOW FLITCH TRIALS
A common claim of the origin of the Dunmow Flitch dates back to 1104 and the Augustinian Priory of Little Dunmow, founded by Lady Juga Baynard. Lord of the Manor Reginald Fitzwalter and his wife dressed themselves as humble folk and begged blessing of the Prior a year and a day after marriage.
The Prior, impressed by their devotion bestowed upon them a Flitch of Bacon. Upon revealing his true identity, Fitzwalter gave his land to the Priory on the condition a Flitch should be awarded to any couple who could claim they were similarly devoted.
By the 14th century, the Dunmow Flitch Trials had achieved far-reaching notoriety. The author William Langland, who lived on the Welsh borders, mentions it in his 1362 book 'The Vision of Piers Plowman' in a manner that implies general knowledge of the custom among his readers.
Chaucer, writing less than half a century later, alludes to the Dunmow Flitch Trials in "The Wife of Bath's Tale" and again does not see the need to explain them to his readers.
However, is it not until 1445 that the winners of the Flitch were officially recorded. The earliest record we have of a successful claimant to the Dunmow Flitch is Richard Wright who travelled from Norwich to try his marital harmony and take home the bacon. The win is recorded in documents from the Priory of Little Dunmow still held by the British Museum.
After the monasteries were swept aside by King Henry VIII, the awarding of the Flitch was taken over by the Lord of the Manor. In 1701, the local paper records our Judge's professional predecessor Thomas Bridge and others taking part in the Trials and spending the evening dancing and playing cards in the Saracen's Head.
In 1751, the Shakeshafts of Weathersfield were successful in claiming the Flitch, recorded in the well-known print by William Ogborne.
It was in 1832 that Josiah Vine, a retired cheesemonger from Reading, and his wife tried to claim the Flitch. The Steward of Little Dunmow, George Wade, another professional predecessor of our Judge, refused their request to hold a trial and is reported as saying that he regarded the Trials as being 'an idle custom bringing people of indifferent character into the neighbourhood'. It was at this stage that the Trials were transferred from Little Dunmow to Great Dunmow.
Over the following years, the custom lapsed. The pointed stones upon which the couples knelt were carried away and the carved oak carrying chair is preserved in Little Dunmow Priory.
Victorian novelist Harrison Ainsworth is credited with reviving the Trials as an entirely civic event, separate from Church and Lords of the Manor. In 1855, following the publication of his popular novel 'The Custom of Dunmow', in which Ainsworth recounts the attempts by Little Dunmow's Flitch of Bacon publican to win the Flitch by marrying a succession of wives in an attempt to find the perfect one, the Trials were once again staged in Great Dunmow.
Since then, the trials have been held regularly and since the end of WWII, every 4 years in a leap year. Not because of historic precedent, but because such intervals suit the situation nicely and give the organisers time to recover and build up strength to organize the next event!
The modern Trials take the form of a court presided over by a Judge, with Counsel representing the claimants and Opposing Counsel representing the donors of the Flitch of Bacon, together with a Jury of 6 maidens and 6 bachelors, a Clerk of the Court to record the proceedings and an Usher to maintain order.
The court is held in a marquee erected on Talberds Ley especially for the occasion and couples (claimants) married for at least a year and a day come from far and wide to try and claim the Flitch. It is not a competition between the couples. All the couples could be successful in their claim, which is vigorously defended by Counsel employed on behalf of the donors of the bacon, whose job is to test their evidence and to try and persuade the jury not to grant them the Flitch.
Successful couples are then carried shoulder-high by bearers (humble folk) in the ancient Flitch Chair to the Market Place, where they take the oath (similar to pre-Reformation marriage vows) kneeling on pointed stones. Unsuccessful couples have to walk behind the empty chair to the Market Place, consoled with a prize of gammon.
The original custom of awarding a Flitch to those who can prove marital harmony is not unique to Dunmow. There are references from across Europe of similar customs now long abandoned. However, the town is unique in continuing to reward marital harmony with a Flitch of Bacon well into the 21st century.
With each Trial comes amusement, entertainment, renewed community spirit and another piece of history in a beautiful and prosperous town.
an honest mistake
Saturday, July 11, 2020 8:49:08 AM
Definition of honest mistake. : something that anyone could be wrong about Don't worry about it. It was an honest mistake.
www.merriam-webster.com › dictionary › honest mistake
Friendships begin with liking or gratitude — roots that can be pulled up.
Saturday, July 11, 2020 7:37:56 AM
It all depends on the people involved. Most friendships grow over time from one stage to another, until two people become closer and closer. ... Some relationships may start out as acquaintances and stay there for a long time before they move to the friendship stage.17 nov. 2019
John Quincy Adams (1767)
Saturday, July 11, 2020 7:17:25 AM
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
― John Quincy Adams
John Quincy Adams (1767)
Saturday, July 11, 2020 7:15:03 AM
ohn Quincy Adams was born the son of John, who later became the second President of the United States, and Abigail Adams on July 11, 1767 in Braintree, Massachusetts. He was educated principally by his parents during his adolescence and later at private schools in Paris while accompanying his father on diplomatic missions in Europe. He also attended the University of Lieden while in Europe. He furthered his formal education at Harvard University on his return to the United States in 1785 graduating in 1787, then studied law under Theophilus Parsons in Newbury, Massachusetts. On completing his studies with Mr. Parsons he began to practice law in Boston in 1790.
Adams had several articles published in the Boston newspapers defending President George Washington's policies. President Washington recognized the value of Adams as an ally and appointed him minister to the Netherlands from 1794 to 1797. In 1797 Adams was appointed as minister to Berlin where he remained until 1801. While on a mission to England Adams married Louisa Catherine Johnson, the daughter of the U.S. consul at London.
After the election of Thomas Jefferson to the Presidency in 1801, President John Adams relieved his son from the Berlin ministerial position. John Quincy Adams returned to Boston and resumed his law practice. He sought a more active political role in U.S. affairs and was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1803. He also served as a professor at Harvard University from 1806 - 1809. On the election of President Madison, Adams was appointed minister to Russia where he remained from 1809 - 1814. Adams was called to peace negotiations during the war of 1812 and was subsequently assigned to serve as U.S. minister to England. He was recalled to the U.S. by President James Madison to become Secretary of State.
Adams went on to run for the Presidency in 1824 and won the election as a result of the last minute support of an opposing candidate, Henry Clay. He was a minority party president with little political backing and had a rather uneventful presidency. He was soundly defeated in the election campaign of 1828.
In 1830, Adams was elected to Congress as the representative of the 12th District in Massachusetts. He was outspoken about nationalism and abolition of slavery. He attempted to introduce amendments to the Constitution in 1839 which would prevent any person born in the U.S. from being born a slave. He additionally became involved as a proponent for the Amistad Africans in writings of late 1839 forward. He eventually joined the team defending the Africans and helped win their freedom in arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court.
He remained in Congress until 1848, when he was stricken on the floor of the House of Representatives and died.
Skylab Returns to Earth (1979)
Saturday, July 11, 2020 6:54:57 AM
The first manned Skylab mission came two years after the Soviet Union launched Salyut 1, the world's first space station, into orbit around the earth. ... On July 11, 1979, Skylab made a spectacular return to earth, breaking up in the atmosphere and showering burning debris over the Indian Ocean and Australia.
www.history.com › this-day-in-history
The Coordinating Conjunction "For"
Saturday, July 11, 2020 6:28:18 AM
Coordinating conjunctions: so, and, but, or, yet, for, nor
Conjunctions are words which connect sentences or groups of words. Some learners know them as connectors or joining words.
One type of conjunction is the coordinating conjunction, which gives equal importance to the words or sentences that it connects.
There are seven coordinating conjunctions: but, or, so, and, yet, for, nor.
I like coffee, but my wife prefers tea.
Would you prefer coffee or tea?
I’ve drunk six cups of coffee today, so I’ve got a headache.
I take milk and sugar in my tea.
He’s seventy-two, yet he still swims, runs and plays football regularly.
She must have been very hungry, for she ate everything immediately.
Switzerland is not in the European Union, nor is it a member of NATO.
Saturday, July 11, 2020 5:45:05 AM
Say (something) abruptly, especially as an aside or interruption.
"She interjected the odd question here and there"
Saturday, July 11, 2020 5:01:20 AM
Yuan Chonghuan was a famed patriot and military commander of the Ming Dynasty who battled the Manchus in Liaoning. Outside the city wall of Beijing, he defeated the Manchurian "Eight Banners" which numbered around 100,000 men, but failed to destroy the Manchu army. Despite the fact that Yuan prevented the Manchus from even reaching the city wall, Yuan was heavily criticized when he arrived in Beijing, and some eunuchs even accused Yuan of collaborating with the enemy.
The Chongzhen Emperor ordered Yuan's arrest during an audience with the Emperor on 13 January 1630. Despite little evidence, he was accused of collusion with the enemy and condemned to death by "slow slicing" at Ganshiqiao in Beijing. When Yuan was asked for last words before his execution, he produced the poem: "A life's work always ends up in vain; half of my career seems to be in dreams. I do not worry about lacking brave warriors after my death, for my loyal spirit will continue to guard Liaodong". Imperial records show he took half a day to die.
It was said that upon hearing of his apparent "betrayal", many Beijing residents hated him so much that they rushed to buy his body parts so they could eat them. He was left there after the torture, shouting for half a day before stopping. His head, the only recognizable part after the torture, was taken outside the Inner City Wall by a city guard, whose surname is She, and buried in Huashi near Guangqumen.
home, James (, and don't spare the horses)
Friday, July 10, 2020 12:02:02 PM
Home, James (and don't spare the horses)!
Used as a humorous way of exhorting the driver of a vehicle to drive home quickly.
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