Shakespeare at War.

Shakespear

I have to confess the title is a bit deceptive. When I refer to Shakespeare I am not talking about the famous bard William Shakespeare but rather HMS Shakespeare, an S-class submarine built for the Royal Navy during WWII.

BLUEPRINT

During her service in the Mediterranean, she sank the Italian sailing vessels Sant’ Anna M. and Adelina. On September 7,1943 she sank the Italian submarine Velella off the coast near Salerno.There were no survivors.

vallela

Later on during the war HMS Shakespeare was transferred to  to the Far East, she sank the Japanese merchant cargo ship Unryu Maru.

Shakespeare

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Sources

Reddit

Encyclopaedia of British Submarines.

 

Black Monday- April 13 1360

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You often hear the term ‘the coldest winter,or hottest summer on record etc’ but the oldest ongoing instrumental record of temperature in the world is the Central England Temperature record, started in 1659.

Although I am not disputing the climate change, the fact is there have been climate changes  or freak weather events ever since the world has existed.

On Easter Monday, 13th April 1360, a freak hail storm broke over English troops as they were preparing for battle with the French during the Hundred Years’ War. So brutal was the storm that over 1,000 men and 6,000 horses lost their lives that night. Convinced it was a sign from God, King Edward rushed to pursue peace with the French, marking the end of the first phase of the Hundred Years’ War.

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In April 1360, Edward’s forces burned the Paris suburbs and began to move toward Chartres. While they were camped outside the town, a sudden storm materialized. Lightning struck, killing several people, and hailstones began pelting the soldiers, scattering the horses. One described it as “a foul day, full of myst and hayle, so that men dyed on horseback .” Two of the English leaders were killed and panic set in among the troops, who had no shelter from the storm.

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French friar Jean de Venette credited the apocalyptic storm as the result of the English looting of the French countryside during the observant week of Lent.

On May 8, 1360, three weeks later, the Treaty of Brétigny was signed, marking the end of the first phase of the Hundred Years’ War.

The legacy was mentioned in Shakespearean work:

“It was not for nothing that my nose fell a- bleeding on Black Monday last, at six o’clock i’ the morning.” —Shakespeare: Merchant of Venice, ii. 5.

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Shakespeare’s Hamnet

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Before you all start writing to me about the obvious error in the title, let me assure you it’s not an error, neither is it one of his plays.

William Shakespeare had 3 children, 2 daughters Susanna and Judith  and one son called Hamnet.

Susanna was born in May 1583, six months after the wedding of her parents Anne Hathaway and William Shakespeare. The baptism of Susanna Shakespeare took place in Stratford Parish Church on May 26th 1583. Two years later in 1585 Anne and William’s twins, Hamnet and Judith Shakespeare, were born. The baptism of Hamnet and Judith Shakespeare took place in Stratford Parish Church on February 2nd 1585.The twins were named after two very close friends of William and Anne, the baker Hamnet Sadler and his wife, Judith. 

Little is known about the life of William Shakespeare’s son Hamnet. He was raised in his grandfather’s house predominantly by his mother Anne as his father’s work in Theatre was based in London. There are no records that show that Hamnet Shakespeare ever attended a school although it was customary for a boy from Hamnet’s background to have had an education. Neither of Hamnet’s sisters had an education and neither of them were able to read or write. There were constant outbreaks of the  Bubonic Plague, otherwise known as the Black Death or the Black Plague, during Elizabethan times and in 1596 Hamnet contracted the deadly disease and died at the age of eleven.Shakespeare’s son Hamnet was buried in Stratford on August 11, 1596.

HamnetDeath

Scholars have long speculated about the influence – if any – of Hamnet’s death upon William Shakespeare’s writing. Unlike his contemporary Ben Jonson, who wrote a lengthy piece on the death of his own son, Shakespeare, if he wrote anything in response, did so more subtly. At the time his son died, Shakespeare was writing primarily comedies, and that writing continued until a few years after Hamnet’s death, when his major tragedies were written. It is possible that his tragedies gained depth from his experience.

Many scholars argue that the pain of losing a beloved son is echoed most strongly in the words of Constance in the history play, King John:

CONSTANCE

Grief fills the room up of my absent child,
Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me,
Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words,
Remembers me of all his gracious parts,
Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form.
Then, have I reason to be fond of grief?
Fare you well: had you such a loss as I,
I could give better comfort than you do.
I will not keep this form upon my head,
When there is such disorder in my wit.
O Lord! my boy, my Arthur, my fair son!
My life, my joy, my food, my all the world!

(King John, Act III, Scene 4)

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I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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