When I was Secretary to the Local History Group, many moons ago, I wrote an article every month compressing what the speaker had said and illustrating it with pictures from my books. No computer in those days, just a word processor. I always ended with a Did You Know? piece. This blog is about a nursery rhyme - as you know these are so often based on Real Life.
Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross,
To see a fine lady upon a white horse;
With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,
She shall have music wherever she goes.
The icy man in the photo above is Sir Ranulph Fiennes (you say 'Fines' for his surname) who has just announced he's taking an expedition to Antarctica to walk across the continent in the winter. And we worry about a few inches of snow...
And this is the Fine Lady of the nursery rhyme - or is she, as was suggested in a BBC programme, 'Heirs and Graces' in October 1990, really a Fiennes lady?
Celia Fiennes was born in 1662, just as Charles the Second was settling into his kingdom again after the Civil War and the beheading of his father. Celia's father had been an officer in Cromwell's army, so a Parliamentarian. She was not a sit-at-home gentry lady - she rode through all the counties of England accompanied by two servants (which must have caused a stir!). This last piece of information has come from a site - www.visionofBritain.org.uk which details some of her journeys. I must read the chapter on Bucks!
Celia's home was Broughton Castle, a few miles from Banbury and, in the Civil War, was a Parliamentarian house, unlike Compton Wynyates a few miles along the road, which was a Royalist house. The photo is taken from a site advertising it as a film location - Shakespeare in Love being one such. I brought my mum here on one of our Sunday afternoon drive abouts (before 1978), long before it was used as a film location. It's still the Fiennes family home.
None of the photos are 'mine', they're all taken from Google Images.