Lincolnshire Day 2013
I am now here in Lincolnshire, England, stopping with my brother (for the last three years or so I have been living mainly in Brazil, since I met and married my Brasiliera wife) and October 1st 2013 has been a lovely sunny day, perhaps much as it was on Sunday October 1st 1536.
October 1st is now known as Lincolnshire Day here and the reason is that the Lincolnshire Uprising started on this very day 477 years ago. A namesake of mine – Nicholas Melton, a shoemaker in the town of Louth – and his friends, confiscated the keys to the great Church of Saint James in the town, from the churchwardens, because they did not trust them to protect the community’s silverware from the commissioners of Henry VIII’s chancellor, Thomas, Baron Cromwell.
Events quickly escalated during that week and by Thursday 5th October, something like 20,000 men from around the County were marching to Lincoln, (whose cathedral, at that time, by the way, was the tallest building in the world with its spires on top of the three towers – taller than the pyramids in Egypt )
Cromwell had been steadily closing down religious houses during the year – at least 50 closed in Lincolnshire, another 50 in Yorkshire and many more around the country. And he was, thus, performing a serious “land-grab” for his boss, King Henry VIII. Cromwell, also recently appointer Vicar-General of the ‘new’ English church, had also amalgamated about a dozen Saint’s Days into just one day, to be celebrated on October 1st. So, pretty-well everybody was upset about the loss of Holy Days and, therefore Holidays, from their normal working year.
Nicholas Melton, who was, by his actions, standing up to one of the most tyrannical Kings in English history became known around the country as Captain Cobbler (For information, Henry VIII is “credited” (sic) with at least 50,000 and maybe as many as 70,000 executions in his reign). It was a brave, or perhaps foolhardy, act but it was very popular in the North of England particularly and I am sure he would have a justified sense of pride that this act had been recognised almost 500 years later by the epithet “Lincolnshire Day”.
Having written a hefty debut novel telling Nicholas Melton’s story in the context of the story of his times, I thought it would be very appropriate to launch my novel on this very day. So that is what I have been doing today, in the only place I could possibly do it. I have been doing a book-signing in Louth itself – even though I have had to fly all the way from Brazil to do it. It has been a fabulous day and I met a great many people in Louth who are very familiar with the story, since it is part of the tradition of their home town.
And, what made the fabulous day perfect was that the very first person to buy one of my books was someone who may well be a descendent of Nicholas Melton himself. She shares my surname, but we have never met before and as far as I know we are not related (at least in the last four generations) and I did not know she existed until this morning – absolutely extraordinary.
Her father is, apparently well-known in the town as a painter (of houses, not landscapes!) and she told me that her great-great-grandfather was a cobbler in Louth, so I would lay a fairly heavy bet, if I was a betting man, that she is descended from the famous Captain Cobbler himself.
My novel is now readily available online in paper form, both hard and soft covers (530 pages) and it is also available as an e-book. In order to make sure the story is easily available to everyone I have deliberately priced the e-book at the staggeringly low figure of $2.99 or about $2 in English money – far less than the cost of a médium sized cappuccino these days. So there is nothing to stop you getting the e-book and enjoying the story of Captain Cobbler: the Lincolnshire Uprising 1536. Let me know what you think of it.
And if you want to read my website or catch up on my blog, the following links apply:-
Happy Lincolnshire Day 2013.