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Showing posts from July, 2017

Raleigh 400 letter to Journal

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This portrait of Sir Walter Raleigh in All Saints' Church East Budleigh is a copy of the work by Frederico Zuccaro (1542-1609) now in the National Portrait Gallery

The following letter was published in the Exmouth Journal on 20 July 2017: 
Next year is the 400th anniversary of the death of Sir Walter Raleigh. At Fairlynch Museum we are working with organisations as diverse as Sherborne Castle – built by Raleigh in 1594 – and East Budleigh with Bicton Parish Council. Sir Walter was tried and executed – most lawyers today agree that he was the victim of a miscarriage of justice – on 29 October 1618.
Fairlynch is a small independent volunteer-run museum in Budleigh which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The town was made famous by the Pre-Raphaelite artist Sir John Everett Millais in 1870 when he used it as a setting for his painting ‘The Boyhood of Raleigh’. The picture, on loan from Tate Britain, was exhibited at Fairlynch in 1969 and in 2000, and we now have a special …

Raleigh among the Rhododendrons

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OK, I now know that the bloke in the hat with the droopy Mexican moustache and the baggy red pants is telling young Walter Raleigh and his half-brother Humphrey Gilbert that one day they'll cross the oceans and discover fabulous kingdoms and untold riches. 

But when as a seven-year-old in my Gloucestershire village school I saw this copy of Sir John Everett Millais' 1870 painting - thousands must have been produced in the hope of inspiring kids to go out and rule the British Empire - I think I probably saw that outstretched arm as giving me a message of hope. 

'One day you'll be free,' it told me. 'Over the wall, out of the building, away on that sky-blue sea, no more stupid times tables and dreary recorder practice. And uniforms? Forget it. Nobody wears them in Eldorado. Playground bullying is unheard of. Never again will you be thrown in the nettles. There are worlds out there that you can only dream about.' 

It was also in Gloucestershire that I discovered …