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Thursday, March 5, 2020

A rose is a rose is a rose ! ~ ever heard of 'Wars of the Roses'

In schools – we read only about British history and Mughal invaders ruling us.  In between we were taught that India was not a Nation ruled by a single ruler and it was torn-rife between many rulers.  We read something of Chera, Chozha, Pandya, Pallava, Chalukya dynasties and the wars between them.  Many of the educated youth are under the perception that a single monolithic ruler of Great Britain united us and provided us technology and riches – why is it that we miss the point that British slaved us and took away all the natural wealth away !! – and was United Kingdom as united and war-free ?

We followed and learnt of England by following Cricket – Boycott – Yorkshire .. .. .. Yorkshire County Cricket Club have reported record profits in their latest financial results on the back of hosting an Ashes test and ICC Cricket World Cup games at Emerald Headingley. The club reported earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of goodwill (EBITDA) of £6.45m for 2019, an increase from £515,000 on the previous year. . The England Test captain Joe Root  has told the club that he would ideally like to play five Championship games between the conclusion of that tour and the three-match series against West Indies in June. But director of cricket Martyn Moxon stressed that Yorkshire are taking nothing for granted until Root and the England management have discussed the issue.   To many among a younger generation of cricket lovers he is fondly known for his no-nonsense TV and radio commentaries, and catalogue of typically-Yorkshire pithy put-downs such as 'my grandmother could have caught that in her pinny'.

But to aficionados of the sport over a certain age, Geoff Boycott  first and foremost a stubborn and prolific opening batsman who is rarely far from his next controversy. The 78-year-old, who has been awarded a knighthood in former Prime Minister Theresa May's resignation honours along with Andrew Strauss, opened the batting for England and his native county throughout the 1960s, 1970s and into the early 1980s. But it is more than his record-breaking 48,426 first-class runs that has earned him a reputation to extend far beyond his chosen sport, deep into the public consciousness.After a career which brought 108 Test caps between 1964 and 1982, he has transported his pithy opinions behind the microphone - chiefly for the BBC and Channel 5 - to unpick the efforts of subsequent generations. As a cricketer, Boycott was notoriously risk-averse - he was dropped by England for slow scoring after making a career-best 246 not out against India on his home ground at Leeds in 1967 - but as commentator and summariser, he is the opposite.

Too much of Cricket and perhaps we have to move away to some history and war ..

The Temple Church is a Royal peculiar church in the City of London located between Fleet Street and the River Thames, built by the Knights Templar as their English headquarters. It was consecrated in 1185 by Patriarch Heraclius of Jerusalem. It was heavily damaged by German bombing during World War II and has since been greatly restored and rebuilt. The area around the Temple Church is known as the Temple.  In 1540 the church became the property of The Crown once again when King Henry VIII abolished the Knights Hospitaller in England and confiscated their property. Henry provided a priest for the church under the former title "Master of the Temple".  Shakespeare was familiar with the site and the church and garden feature in his play Henry VI, part 1 as the setting for the fictional scene of the plucking of two roses of York and Lancaster and the start of the Wars of the Roses.

Ever heard of ‘polemology’ -  the multi-disciplinary study of war. The word derives from Ancient Greek: pólemos, lit. 'war, battle') + "-logy".  A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war between organized groups within the same state or country. The aim of one side may be to take control of the country or a region, to achieve independence for a region or to change government policies – the subject matter of this post that England had so many of the civil wars !

The Wars of the Roses were a series of English civil wars for control of the throne of England fought between supporters of two rival cadet branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the House of Lancaster, represented by a red rose, and the House of York, represented by a white rose. Eventually, the wars eliminated the male lines of both families. The conflict lasted through many sporadic episodes between 1455 and 1487, but there was related fighting before and after this period between the parties. The power struggle ignited around social and financial troubles following the Hundred Years' War.

A new phase of the wars broke out in 1469 after the Earl of Warwick, the most powerful noble in the country, withdrew his support for Edward and threw it behind the Lancastrian cause. Fortunes changed many times as the Yorkist and Lancastrian forces exchanged victories.  In what sounds similar to many history novels, in 1485, Richard III was killed and his forces defeated at Bosworth Field, Henry assumed the throne as Henry VII and married Elizabeth of York, the eldest daughter and heir of Edward IV, thereby uniting the two claims.

The name "Wars of the Roses" refers to the heraldic badges associated with two rival branches of the same royal house, the White Rose of York and the Red Rose of Lancaster. Wars of the Roses came into common use in the 19th century after the publication in 1829 of Anne of Geierstein by Sir Walter Scott.  In  William Shakespeare's play Henry VI, set in the gardens of the Temple Church,  a number of noblemen and a lawyer pick red or white roses to show their loyalty to the Lancastrian or Yorkist faction respectively. The Yorkist faction used the symbol of the white rose from early in the conflict, but the Lancastrian red rose was introduced only after the victory of Henry Tudor at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.

Interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
4th Mar 2020.

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