Jacki Kellum

Juxtapositions: Read My Mind

Month: August 2017 (page 1 of 2)

My Garden Has Pumpkin Power!

Two years ago, I snapped this idyllic photograph of my garden’s waterfall.

Here is that same spot today.

My fireball hardy hibiscus is still standing, but nature has completely camouflaged the waterfall beneath it.

Three years ago, I allowed a pumpkin to decompose in the back of my garden, and two years ago, one pumpkin plant volunteered to grow from that old pumpkin’s decomposition. This year, my garden is oozing with volunteer pumpkin plants. They are twining up and around everything in my back yard

Some of the plants are blossoming.

And some of the blossoms have yielded baby pumpkins.

My grape arbor is covered with vines, but the birds eat the grapes before I can turn them into wine.

The birds don’t bother the poke berries. They are smart and know that poke berries are poisonous. I know that poke is a weed, and it is worthless, but I love to watch it grow. I love to watch all of my garden grow. This time of year, I simply allow my garden to do its own thing. It never fails to delight me.

©Jacki Kellum August 22, 2017

“Come into the garden, Maud, For the black bat, night, has flown,
Come into the garden, Maud, I am here at the gate alone; Maud
And the woodbine spices are wafted abroad,
And the musk of the rose is blown.
For a breeze of morning moves, And the planet of Love is on high,
Beginning to faint in the light that she loves On a bed of daffodil sky.” – Tennyson

Ooze

A Word about Disappointment and Disillusionment – The Word “Eclipse” Is A Fine One to Add to Your Box of Words

Today. parts of the USA will have a front row seat to watch a Solar Eclipse. It has been 38 years since America’s last opportunity to see the shadows that are caused when the moon moves between the earth and the sun, thereby blocking the sun’s light. Like most of America, I failed to buy the proper glasses to watch the spectacle that will unfold across the sky, but I find myself thinking about what a fine word “eclipse” is, and I find myself pondering over some of the eclipses that I have experienced in life.

If my marriage had not failed, I would have celebrated my 45th wedding anniversary on August 19. Probably because I never remarried, on August 19, I found myself inclined to write something about the fact that still married or not, that was a special day for me. Society would not have divorced people mentioning their wedding  anniversaries, but whether I am supposed to mention it or not, August 19 still marks  the day that I entered a marriage that lasted 18 years and from which three children were  born. Frankly, I am suspicious of  a society that would suggest that people who were once married should one day walk away from two decades of life and not look back, but hey, I am not the societal norm, and quite honestly, I am glad that I am not so very compartmentalized or detached from my emotions that I could elect to block out 18 years. I would prefer to experience pain occasionally than to never feel at all.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t long for an opportunity to relive my actual marriage.  I did not have a great marriage, but I will always be saddened by all of the damage  that my divorce caused. When I was a child, girls were raised to believe that their most golden, shining accomplishment would be that of marrying and raising a happy family. Two people marry and like the way that the sun and earth are positioned in the sky, the stage is set.. Like the moon, disappointment lurches between the couple, and the shadows fall. The opportunity for a happy marriage–for a stable family–is eclipsed by disillusionment.

“Eclipse”–what a fine word it is. My divorce has not been my only disappointment. I am afraid that I have experienced far too many disappointments, and today, the day of the 2017 Solar Eclipse, I am reminded of a fine song to match the occasion:

©Jacki Kellum August 21, 2017

 

Total Eclipse of the Heart
Bonnie Tyler

Turnaround, every now and then I get a little bit lonely
And you’re never coming round
Turnaround, every now and then I get a little bit tired
Of listening to the sound of my tears
Turnaround, every now and then I get a little bit nervous
That the best of all the years have gone by
Turnaround, every now and then I get a little bit terrified

Lurch

 

My Family Owned British Estates with Secret Chambers to Hide Catholic Priests – How Medieval England’s Religious Persecution Affected My Family

Allow me to preface all of this by saying that during my childhood, the Whitaker side of my family [who married a Dunscomb, also of England] were fire and brimstone Southern Baptists. I remember when Kennedy was elelcted president. We Southern Baptists thought that civilization had come to an end. Imagine my surprise to learn that some of my earliest ancestors owned British estates with large houses that had secret hiding places to hide Catholic Priests.

The Holme – The Whitaker Ancestral Estate in Burnley, Lancashire, England

Richard Whitaker was knighted in 1327 by King Edward III. He owned a 40-room estate called The Holme. The Whitaker family owned The Holme from 1431-1959. Holme Hall [as well as other of the Whitaker estates] is mentioned in the book Secret Chambers and Hiding Places.

Image result for Secret Chambers and Hiding Places

‘It was originally a 40-room manor house…and as the seat of the Whitaker family from the 15th century. The first Whitaker to arrive at The Holme was believed to be Richard de Whitacre, who arrived in Cliviger in 1340 from “High Whiteacre” at Padliham. … Originally built of wood, the center and eastern wing were rebuilt by 1603. The west remaned of wood until 1717 and had one or more private closets for the concealment of priests, the family have continued as recusants until the end of Elizabeth’s reign, if not later.” More Here

SECRET CHAMBERS AND HIDING-PLACES

CHAPTER I

A GREAT DEVISER OF “PRIEST’S HOLES”

“During the deadly feuds which existed in the Middle Ages, when no man was secure from spies and traitors even within the walls of his own house, it is no matter of wonder that the castles and mansions of the powerful and wealthy were usually provided with some precaution in the event of a sudden surprise—viz. a secret means of concealment or escape that could be used at a moment’s notice; but the majority of secret chambers and hiding-places in our ancient buildings owe their origin to religious persecution, particularly during the reign of Elizabeth, when the most stringent laws and oppressive burdens were inflicted upon all persons who professed the tenets of the Church of Rome.

“In the first years of the virgin Queen’s reign all who clung to the older forms of the Catholic faith were mercifully connived at, so long as they solemnised their own religious rites within their private dwelling-houses; but after the Roman Catholic rising in the north and numerous other Popish plots, the utmost severity of the law was enforced, particularly against seminarists, whose chief object was, as was generally believed, to stir up their disciples in England against the Protestant Queen. An Act was passed prohibiting a member of the Church of Rome from celebrating the rites of his religion on pain of forfeiture for the first offence, a year’s imprisonment for the second, and imprisonment for life for the third.[1] All those who refused to take the Oath of Supremacy were called “recusants” and were guilty of high treason. A law was also enacted which provided that if any Papist should convert a Protestant to the Church of Rome, both should suffer death, as for high treason.

“[Footnote 1: In December, 1591, a priest was hanged before the door of a house in Gray’s Inn Fields for having there said Mass the month previously.]

“The sanguinary laws against seminary priests and “recusants” were enforced with the greatest severity after the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot. These were revived for a period in Charles II.’s reign, when Oates’s plot worked up a fanatical hatred against all professors of the ancient faith. In the mansions of the old Roman Catholic families we often find an apartment in a secluded part of the house or garret in the roof named “the chapel,” where religious rites could be performed with the utmost privacy, and close handy was usually an artfully contrived hiding-place, not only for the officiating priest to slip into in case of emergency, but also where the vestments, sacred vessels, and altar furniture could be put away at a moment’s notice.” Read More Here

Tonight, I was watching Father Brown Mysteries. Season 2, Episode 1 is about the secret chambers in British estates. That reminded me of the my own family and their secret chambers.

Oddly enough, another of my ancestors, Reverend William Whitaker was a noted protestant:

Reverend William Whitaker and Susan Whitaker

Birthdate: December 1547 (48)
Birthplace: Holme, Burnley, Lancaster Co., United Kingdom
Death: December 4, 1595 (47)
Holme, Lancaster, England, United Kingdom
Place of Burial: Trinity College,Cambridge,England
Immediate Family:
Son of Richard Thomas Whitaker and Elizabeth Whitaker

Master of St. John’s College, Cambridge University, MASTER OF ST JOHN, CAMBRIDGE, Theologian and Academic, Master of St. Johns College Cambridge
Reverend William Whitaker was vehemently Protestant and against the Catholic Church, and he wrote an important document that supported a study of the scriptures. His ancestors were recusants and had supported the Catholic Church and are believed to have hidden Catholic priests in closets at the Holme. “His [William’s] work, Disputatio de Sacra Scriptura contra hujus temporis papistas, inprimis Robertum Bellarminum, or Disputations on Holy Scripture, remains one of the premier volumes on the doctrine of Scripture, often under-appreciated, little read, but standing like a titan amongst the volumes of the English Reformed Churchman. One of the premier issues that divided and still divides informed Protestants from Roman Catholics is the question of the place of Scripture. Reformed Churchmmen like Whittaker, then like now, declared that the Scriptures alone are the rule of faith and practice whereas Roman Catholics assert co-equal veneration and co-authoritative roles between Scripture, traditions held by the Church and other unwritten issues. This debate is not new. William Whitaker forcefully and brilliantly championed the Protestant, Reformed and Anglican position in 1588. ” Wikipedia

A Robert Whitaker was one of Reverend William Whitaker’s descendants and is also one of my ancestors. He married Margaret Lisle Whitaker. An interesting fact is that Margaret’s parents were both killed because of their protestant beliefs.  Margaret’s father was instrumental in ousting King Charles and when Charles II reclaimed the throne, he fled to Switzerland where he was murdered. Margaret’s mother was the last lady in England to be beheaded. She was executed because she had harbored protestants.

Margaret Whitaker [Daughter of Sir Sir John Lisle (Descendant of King Edward III) and  Alice Beconsawe Lisle (1617 – 1685)

[Note: Alice Beconsawe Lisle was sympathetic with the religious dissenters. Her husband Sir John Lisle was an ant-Royalist who played a part in the de-throning of King Charles. Because Alice harbored fugitives of the  Monmouth Rebellion at the Battle of Sedgemoor, she was beheaded. She was the last female to be beheaded in England. Dame Alice was a daughter of Sir White Beconshaw of Moyles Court at Ellingham in Hampshire and his wife Edith Bond, daughter and co-heiress of William Bond of Blackmanston in Steeple, Dorset. She had a younger sister, Elizabeth, who married Sir Thomas Tipping of Wheatfield Park in Stoke Talmage in Oxfordshire. Alice became the second wife of Sir John Lisle (1610 – 11 August 1664), and bore him seven children.[1] Lisle was an English lawyer and politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1640 and 1659. He supported the Parliamentarian cause in the English Civil War and was one of the regicides of King Charles I of England.[3] Fearing for his life after the Restoration he fled to Switzerland, but was assassinated by an agent of the crown in Lausanne in 1664.” Wikipedia]

“He [John Lisle] advocated violent measures on the king’s removal to the north, and obtained some of the plunder arising from the sale of the crown property. To the fund opened on 9 April 1642 for the “speedy reducing of the rebels” in Ireland, Lisle contributed _600. In December 1647, when the king was confined in the Isle of Wight, Lisle was selected as one of the commissioners to carry to him the four bills which were to divest him of all sovereignty. He spoke in the House of Commons on 28 Sept 1648 in favor of rescinding the recent vote, that no one proposition in regard to the personal treaty with the king should be binding if the treaty broke off upon another; and again, some days later, urged a discontinuance of the negotiation with Charles. He took a prominent part in the king’s trial. He was appointed on 8 Feb 1648/9 one of the commissioners of the great seal, and was placed on the council of state. He was a violent anti-royalist, and active promoter of the King’s trial, and drafted the sentence. He was present in Westminster Hall, 27 Jan 1648/9, when the sentence was pronounced, though he did not sign the death-warrant.[3]” More Here 

John Lisle’s Estate was at Northcourt Manor and Westcourt

Northcourt

Sunken Rose Garden at Northcourt

Northcourt Kitchen Garden Gate

Northcourt Garden

Northcourt Countryside

Northcourt Garden Building

The above image is of Westcourt

 The Regicide’s Widow tells Alice Lisle’s story:

“Rebellion, persecution and injustice in Restoration England are the themes of this colourful and passionate book about the last woman to be beheaded in England. Lady Alice Lisle was the last remaining link with the hated regicides, the men who signed Charles I’s death warrant, and when she gave shelter to a clergyman who had been involved in the popular uprising known as Monmouth’s Rebellion, Judge Jeffreys, the ‘Hanging Judge’, showed no mercy. “The Regicide’s Widow” recreates a disturbing period of British history through the characters of Lady Alice Lisle and Judge Jeffreys, a period when fairness, justice and truth were cast aside in the interests of political power and conformity. It is a truly Machiavellian story of statecraft, with government and judiciary involved in a ruthless display of might. In the end this display worked against them, for while it did not lead to direct revolt, the effects were so harsh and memories so vivid that the people of the West were among the most energetic supporters of the Glorious Revolution which three years after the Bloody Assize brought James’ rule to an end.” Amazon

“By about 1660 after the King Charles II had been restored to the throne, John was forced to flee to Switzerland in fear of his life. Alice was left behind in England, pregnant with their youngest daughter Anne.  About this time, all of John’s holdings were seized by the crown, with the majority going to James, the king’s brother and to John Lisle’s younger brother William who remained a royalist.  Thank goodness Moyles Court belonged to Alice, but her fortunes had definitely declined.  She still had seven unmarried children to raise….

“In 1664 when Alice was 47, her husband was assassinated in Switzerland, shot in the back by an Irish royalist.  She was left an outcast from family as well as society, and ridiculed for her religion.  According to the excellent and well researched book titled “The Regicide’s Widow”: “Moyles Court became one of the many refuges of these Nonconformist nomads [displaced ministers], and Alice Lisle undoubtedly risked prosecution for those she sheltered.”  There was a reported gathering of 200 Presbyterians there in 1669.

“So how did Alice end up sheltering the rebel John Hicks and get convicted of treason? Alice knew of Hicks as a nonconformist minister, most recently from Portsmouth.  Through a succession of restrictive laws and political maneuvering, the religious bigotry in England increased through the 1670s and 80s.  The mood and whim of those in power seemed to oscillate between leniency and oppressive persecution. I’m sure that Hicks wasn’t the only minister who was relentlessly targeted, tracked and fined for preaching to gatherings of nonconformists.  But the timing and location was such that on 24 Jun 1685,  Hicks was on hand to join rebel forces of the crown contender James Scott, Duke of Monmouth.  He probably hoped that he would receive better treatment and liberties under a different monarch.   The next day Hicks committed the treasonable offense of trying to persuade Monmouth’s English prisoners of war  to change their allegiance.

Their cause was short lived, for the rebel forces were quickly defeated by James II’s troops, with many rebels fleeing.  After a concentrated manhunt, Monmouth and his chiefs were captured and beheaded, although some of his rebels remained at large.  This is when Hicks and his companions Nelthorp and Dunne sought shelter at Moyles Court.  Their arrival was betrayed by their guide, and Alice was arrested as well as the fugitives and jailed at Salisbury pending trial.

PictureGrave of Alice (Beconshawe) Lisle in Ellingham, Hampshire

circuit-preacher-1800's

I am fortunate that one of my great aunts researched my family’s genealogical record. Her grandfather was a Southern Baptist preacher.

Rev. Milton John Whitaker (1832-1908)

Whitaker, Milton John (Rev.) 1832-1908

My Dunscomb ancestors were Quakers and one of them was killed at the Isle of Wight. His wife brought their sons to America and joined the Quakers in Philadelphia. I find it interesting that after a lifetime in the South, I have managed to live my final years near Philadelphia.

I am not sure why it matters who our ancestors are, but somehow, I do care. I am posting this information for any of my family who are interested in our heritage. I am also posting this information for other Whitakers who are seeking some of the research that I have discovered. The Internet has vastly changed the nature of genealogical research. Researchers must be careful, but if they are cautious, they can find tomes of information about their families by simply searching through Google. I am thankful to my great aunt who helped me begin my research, and I am also thankful to my distant relatives who have helped me reconnect with my family’s story.

©Jacki Kellum August 20, 2017

 

When Words Fail, Music and Poetry Connect

Writing is difficult, and one of its greatest challenges stems from the fact that words, which are mere strings of letters, are clumsy in their attempts to convey emotion.  Writers arrange letters together in formats that have become standardized symbols for something else. For instance, the letters “a-p-p-l-e” are recognized as symbolic of a red fruit that grows on trees and is usually harvested in fall. If a writer adds other words, he might foster emotions about the red fruit or he might remind the reader of the fruit’s tartness, its, crunchiness, and its juiciness. If the writer is able to carefully juxtapose other letters around the word “apple,” the reader may leap toward memories of a grandmother and the rolling of homemade pie crust, and of warm, cinnamon desserts topped with vanilla ice cream. Yet, by merely spelling the word “a-p-p-l-e,” a writer is telling his readers very little. A writer must add more strings of letters and a bit of polish to the letters before hopefully, the letters can begin to mean. Music, on the other hand, has a more direct impact than simple strings of words.

The ancient Tao Te Ching says that as soon as we begin to verbalize a feeling, the emotion vanishes. In other words, the ancient Asians recognized that there is a vein of emotion within us that defies being conveyed through words.

Chapter 1 – Tao Te Ching

The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named is not the eternal name
The nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth
The named is the mother of myriad things 

Some believe that music has the power to connect in ways that words often fail.

Music is the shorthand of emotion. – Leo Tolstoy

Image result for jacki kellum language of the birds

I believe that music, for humans, is like the language of the birds.

 

In Ancient Greece, music was believed to have an almost magical power of communication.

Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. – Plato

A couple of days ago, I wrote about the movie Out of Africa. I have seen that movie several times before, and the music of that movie helps make it monumental. As I watched the movie again this past Thursday, I entered the Out of Africa experience as soon as I heard the music. The music of Out of Africa had become a type of shorthand link into my mind. The music could communicate to me in a way that words could not, and that is why I prefer excellent movies to reading. A well-made movie employs several passages into the spirit.

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote about the inadequacy of words. He said that a child who feels about what is around him understands better than the scientist who tries to capsulize life into words. Emerson adds that poetry, unlike logical words, does have a music-like power to connect:

Science was false by being unpoetical. It assumed to explain a reptile or mollusk, and isolated it…. The metaphysician, the poet, only sees each animal form as an inevitable step in the path of the creating mind. The Indian, the hunter, the boy with his pets, have sweeter knowledge of these than the savant. …The poet knows the missing link by the joy it gives. The poet gives us the eminent experiences only,–a god stepping from peak to peak, nor planting his foot but on a mountain.

. . .

Poetry is the perpetual endeavor to express the spirit of the thing, to pass the brute body and search the life and reason which causes it to exist….It is a presence of mind that gives a miraculous command of all means of uttering the thought and feeling of the moment.

. . .

Imagination.–Whilst common sense looks at things or visible Nature as real and final facts, poetry, or the imagination which dictates it, is a second sight, looking through these, and using them as types or words for thoughts which they signify.

. . .

A poet comes who lifts the veil; gives them glimpses of the laws of the universe….

The solid men complain that the idealist leaves out the fundamental facts; the poet complains that the solid men leave out the sky.

Read More Here

Autumn scene. Fall. Trees and leaves in sun light

Ralph Waldo Emerson sought to explain through words how poetry communicates the essence of life that is beyond words:

No definition of poetry is adequate unless it be poetry itself. The most accurate analysis by the rarest wisdom is yet insufficient, and the poet will instantly prove it false by setting aside its requisitions. It is indeed all that we do not know. The poet does not need to see how meadows are something else than earth, grass, and water, but how they are thus much. He does not need discover that potato blows are as beautiful as violets, as the farmer thinks, but only how good potato blows are. The poem is drawn out from under the feet of the poet, his whole weight has rested on this ground. It has a logic more severe than the logician’s.  You might as well think to go in pursuit of the rainbow, and embrace it on the next hill, as to embrace the whole of poetry even in thought. – Emerson

Jacki Kellum Garden

I have a beautiful garden, and I often say that I am a nature watcher, but that is not the absolute truth. I do more than simply watch nature. Nature entrances me. I like to lose myself in nature. I like to become one with nature.  Nature communicates the primordial to me in ways that words hardly ever do.

“I find peace where the sun kissed leaves dance in the melody of the cool breeze that floats through the air.” ― Saim Cheeda

At times, I also connect with music and/or poetry  in that primordial way. The power of poetry is not that of its words, because words themselves are weak vessels. The power of poetry lies within its ability to capture and distill life itself.

©Jack Kellum August 20, 2017

Trance

The Magic of Nursery Rhymes – Learn to Dance by the Light of the Moon

Image result for vintage hey diddle diddle

No doubt, the cow that jumped over the moon has inspired many a poet, artist, illustrator, and just plain visionary and/or liver of life. Because it is so very common, we might tend to overlook the importance of a simple rhyme like Hey, Diddle, Diddle, but allow me to remind you how very, very important simple nursery rhymes actually are:

Hey, diddle, diddle,
BY MOTHER GOOSE

Hey, diddle, diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon;
The little dog laughed
To see such sport,
And the dish ran away with the spoon.

Hey Diddle Diddle | Hey Diddle Diddle" nursery rhyme drawing:

Consider all of the fantastic things going on in those few lines. A pet animal has become so very real that he can play a musical instrument, and not only that, he is playing a song that makes folks want to dance. Life is being lived at the max: it is over the moon–heavenly–and common household items have become human. They have gotten married, and have run away for a life of bliss.

Life just does not get any better than what is described in Hey Diddle Diddle. I have spent my entire life, trying to get over that cow’s moon. Haven’t you?

Let’s give the cat, the fiddle, the cow, and the moon credit: They taught us how to dream.

I grew up reciting nursery rhymes, and I am quite sure that today, I still have a nursery-rhyme-mind. I think in cadences, and invariably, when I write a picture book manuscript, I do so in rhyme. The magic of childhood has been captured in nursery rhymes and by wonderful illustrators like Clara M. Burd who died 17 years before I was born in 1950.

I grew up chanting about Mistress Mary and her garden filled with cockle shells and cowslips all in a row, and to this day, I slave in my garden, trying to create a fairy tale escape for myself.

Jacki Kellum Garden Read Why Everyone Needs A Secret Garden Here at jackikellum.com

I grew up believing that Daddy had gone a hunting for a bunting to wrap me up and protect me in, and perhaps there is something wrong with that kind of fantasy, but I seriously doubt it. I believe that children need to be wrapped and swaddled and cuddled and protected. I believe that they need to learn to find magic and wonder while they can.

[Love Life and Life Will Love You Back by Margaret Tarrant who was still illustrating when I was born in 1950.]

I believe that children need to learn to love life. Certainly, as a child matures, life will find ways to come around and turn all of that magic on its head, but I believe that the child grounded in the wonder-world of nursery rhymes will have an arsenal to fight the evil that will surely come his way.

Image result for vintage humpty dumpty

Even as a child, I realized that things could go wrong. After all, Humpty Dumpty fell from his wall. A bit of reality is not bad, but I see no reason to turn children into cynics. As they become adults, they will have plenty of disappointment and set-backs. Eventually, fighting cynicism becomes difficult for most of us. Childhood is a time for picking rosebuds and for filling one’s well with optimism. It is a time for banking happiness and a time for preparing and for establishing attitudes that will hopefully carry us through the hard task of living.

Owl & Pussy-cat

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note. …

They took some honey, and plenty of money—what more could anyone want? Honey and money–the sweet stuff of life and PLENTY of money–enough money to pay the bills: that is more than enough for me, and that has become my mantra–Please, God, continue to provide me with what has become enough for me, and help me to Dance by the Light of Your Moon.

“Dear pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?” Said the Piggy, “I will.”
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

From Owl and the Pussy-Cat by Edward Lear

They danced by the light of the moon– That is what I want to do. I want to Dance by the Light of the Moon, and because of God’s grace, I do.

silver-sheets

On Silver Sheets, I Sail
by Jacki Kellum

Just before I open my eyes
I float along the misty skies.

I reach, I feel the soft, white hair
and fairy wings that flutter there.

I listen, I hear the slumber song,
The angel band that plays along

My dreams are in my pillow-pail.
On silver sheets, I sail.

©Jacki Kellum  July 4, 2017

©Jacki Kellum August 1, 2017

Recite

Happy 81st Birthday, Robert Redford-A Tribute to Out of Africa

Image result for out of africa Today, several stars aligned themselves perfectly. I lead a book and movie club at my local library, and today was the day for Out of Africa. I’ll write more about the book later, but here’s a quick tip: Read the book Out of Africa. You will feel as though you have stepped out into the Serengetti or into the land and life around any of the  Kenya that existed 100 years ago. Out of Africa is a splendid book about a remarkable lady Karen Von Blixen or Isac Dinesen, and I have nothing but good things to say about the book.

I also have a great admiration for Karen Blixen herself, and I hope to write much more about her later, but since it is Robert Redford’s birthday today, I want to say a few things about the movie version of Out of Africa, about Meryl Streep’s brilliant portrayal of Karen Blixen, and about Robert Redford’s depiction of Denys Fench Hatton.

Image result for out of africa meryl streep

Out of Africa Movie Quote — “Karen Blixen: If I know a song of Africa, of the giraffe and the African new moon lying on her back, of the plows in the fields and the sweaty faces of the coffee pickers, does Africa know a song of me? Will the air over the plain quiver with a color that I have had on, or the children invent a game in which my name is, or the full moon throw a shadow over the gravel of the drive that was like me, or will the eagles of the Ngong Hills look out for me?”

Allow me to begin by saying that although the movie Out of Africa has the same name as one of Karen Blixen’s books, the movie is only loosely based on that one book. The movie Out of Africa won seven academy awards, and one of those awards was for best screenplay. In my opinion, a great screenplay is a collation of information. Karen Blixen’s book Out of Africa is a memoir. It is a record of the Africa that Blixen knew and loved. The movie Out of Africa is a tribute to Karen Blixen and to the courageous way that she handled the suffering and loss in her life. If Blixen had portrayed herself as gallantly as the movie did, we would think that she was an egotistical narcissist. Although the movie does reflect an understanding of Blixen’s memoir and an empathy with her love of Africa, it is not told in Blixen’s exact words.  The movie is based on biographical accounts of Karen Blixen and on her other books, too. The movie is a loose but well-crafted synthesis of several sources.

Image result for out of africa meryl streep

In the movie Out of Africa, Blixen’s love affair with Fench Hatton is of utmost importance. In the book, Blixen’s love life is emphasized far less.

Before I went to book club this morning, I wrote a post about the ways that being alone and being lonely are two separate things. Today’s WordPress prompt has to do with being solitary, and remaining solitary is vital to the Fench Hatton that Redford creates in the movie:

Image result for out of africa meryl streep

Karen Blixen: When you go away… you don’t always go on safari, do you? Just want to be away.
Denys: It’s not meant to hurt you.
Karen Blixen: It does.
Denys: I’m with you because I choose to be with you. I don’t want to live someone else’s idea of how to live. Don’t ask me to do that. I don’t want to find out one day that I’m at the end of someone else’s life.

Image result for out of africa meryl streep

Karen Blixen: It’s an odd feeling, farewell. There is such envy in it. Men go off to be tested, for courage. And if we’re tested at all, it’s for patience, for doing without, for how well we can endure loneliness.

Image result for out of africa meryl streep

In the movie Out of Africa, Meryl Streep brilliantly portrays the courageous, bigger-than-life nature of a lady who essentially took on British Colonial Africa alone–and she did it at a time when ladies weren’t supposed to have the kind of stuff to endure such a test. Even though Karen Blixen lost everything in Africa, Meryl Streep portrays Blixen as having ultiamtely earned the respect and the admiration of the women, men, and native peoples that she eventually left there. In my opinion, Meryl Streep is never grander than she is in Out of Africa, and in similar fashion, I feel that Robert Redford’s greatest performance is in the same movie. I am not sure that Dennis Fench Hatton was the character that Robert Redford portrayed, but Redford’s performance was flawless. In the movie Out of Africa, Dennis Fench Hatton is noble but not perfect.

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Karen Blixen: He even took the gramophone on safari. Three rifles, supplies for a month, and Mozart.

Fench Hatton loved literature, good stories, and music. He was intriguing, but he had difficulty sharing himself:

Berkeley Cole about Fench Hatton: He likes giving gifts… but not at Christmas.

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Although she would have considered Fench Hatton the love of her life, Karen Blixen is portrayed as never having the satisfaction of Fench Hatton’s absolute devotion. Fench Hatton needed freedom. He needed aloneness. He didn’t want to be needed or to be relied upon. At almost the end of the movie, Meryl Streep accepts the fact that she is leaving Africa without the kind of relationship that she had wanted with Fench Hatton, but in the movie, Fench Hatton has to admit that Blixen would be taking more of him than he had wanted:

Denys: You’ve ruined it for me, you know.
Karen Blixen: Ruined what?
Denys: Being alone.

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When it would seem that things could not have gotten worse for Karen Blixen, they did, and Fench Hatton was killed in an airplane accident.

A day before she was to leave the Africa that she loved, Blixen admitted at Fench Hatton’s graveside:

“So take back the soul of Denys Finch-Hatton. He brought us joy, we loved him well. But…he was not ours. He was not mine.”

The Karen Blixen and Denys Fench Hatton of the movie Out of Africa are epic. I cannot imagine that any two actors could have portrayed these two people better than Meryl Streep and Robert Redford did. A movie like Out of Africa is literature, and Redford and Streep are largely responsible for this movie’s success.

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As long as I live, I never shall forget Out of Africa.

Karen Blixen: [Voiceover] I had a farm in Africa at the foot of the Ngong Hills.

©Jacki Kellum August 18, 2017

Solitary

 

 

Being Alone Is Not the Same Thing as Being Lonely

Last January, I was waiting for the arrival of an impending snowstorm, and I wrote about the things that I would do while I was snowbound. Unlike some, being isolated and alone doesn’t bother me. Over the years, I have learned to enjoy being alone, and when I finally reached that place in life, I became free–free of the fear of being alone.

When I am alone, I think better, and when I am alone, I can separate my preferences from what the world seems to wish that I would prefer. When no one else is around, I can pace myself by my own, unique clock. I can sleep when I am tired, and when I am refreshed, I can awaken. When the muse visits, I can write, and when I feel inspired, I can paint. When I am alone, there is no need to schedule my moods around anyone else, and I have no need to try to guess what the other wants from me. I only have the need to discover what it is that I truly want from myself. The next challenge is to pursue that goal–alone.

I am a big nature watcher. When the weather permits, I grow a massive garden, and I often sit in my garden–just watching my flowers bloom. I love to walk in the mountains and feel the expansiveness that is there. I love listening to the rain, and I love to watch it snow. If I were with anyone else, none of that would be the same. Chatter would drown the sound of the raindrops, and the language of the birds. If someone else were in the same room with me, I would not sit for hours at a time and stare out the window. I would not have the same enjoyment of watching the snow’s dance that quietly and gently alters the world, one flake at a time. When someone else is involved in moments like these, we feel the need to interact with the other person. When that occurs, we no longer are part of the moment that we are watching unfold. We lose our opportunities for mindfulness.

We are living in a culture that seems to pay lip homage to mindfulness, but many do not realize that being alone is the key to mindfulness. Mindfulness is not a state that you can share. When a person is fully mindful, he is absolutely within himself–he is at his own absolute core. You cannot have it both ways. You cannot be a participant in a group–not even in a small group of two–and become totally mindful. Mindfulness is about being alone.

l realized long ago that society is suspicious of people who opt to be alone. Mindful or not, the solitary people are classified as the cat ladies and the toothless crones who grow herbs and live in dark cottages on the fringes of the forest. The world view is that those alone should be pitied. Popular opinion is that the alone are isolated because no one wants them. They are the rejected.

That may be true, but the good news is that rejected or not, the alone do not have to be lonely. Being alone and being lonely are not the same thing. The lonely person is still invested in the myth that other people are the key to his or her happiness. When that is the case, the isolated are saddened by aloneness. Being alone doesn’t make me sad.

Consider this: Very rarely do married couples die at the same time. When one person from a couple dies, the other is still left alone. Aloneness will inevitably become part of  almost everyone’s existence. I advise people to begin cultivating their aloneness long before that happens.

It might seem that I am advising everyone to dump their partners and to immediately jump back into the life of being single, but I am not. I actually abhor divorce, and I rarely advocate it. In fact, I would love to find a truly compatible mate; yet, I would hope that I could be in a union that allows spaces for each united person to have quality moments alone.

“But let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.” – Kahlil Gibran

I propose that every couple find spaces within their union–spaces that allow each person to celebrate himself, as an individual. Only from somewhere within one’s own, individual being, can a person’s find true contentment. We must learn to love aloneness–that is the harbor within our own spirits. Aloneness is the place that we learn to cradle ourselves. It is the pillow where we will finally rest our heads.

©Jacki Kellum August 18, 2017

Solitary

Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Huddled Masses Yearning to be Free

In the little town that is next to my little town, there is a small, unassuming car wash business that flies a magnificent American flag.

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Quite often, I have passed the business, and the dancing of the flag has caught my eye. Everything about the fag’s pageantry defies the norm. To be perfectly honest, the flag is too big for its location, but the banner’s odd placement somehow adds to its display. One might say that the flag is a big fish in a little pond, but it is a fish that is not defined by the size of its pond. When the wind is right, the car wash’s American flag flips and flutters as brilliantly as any in the land. Something about this scenario gives me hope.

I have no idea how big the car wash’s American flag actually is, but I’d guess that it is at least 30′ or 40′ wide. If the flag were taken down from its pole, it would probably stretch across the wall of a large auditorium or a gymnasium, and it would still be impressive, but without the action of the wind, the spectacle would not be the same. American flags need to be free. They need to unfettered, and untangled, and they also need the air that ripples past them. Allowed the freedom, the wind, and the opportunity, the stars and bars can unfurl  ceremoniously and the fanfare can begin. But if any of these ingredients is missing, the flag will not fly.

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For many years, America was plagued by the fact that some people enslaved others. It took a while, but America launched several initiatives to try to help the people who had been victimized by slavery. Technically speaking, the slaves were freed shortly after the Civil War, but in many cases, they were not unfettered. For many, many years, lack of education and birth station prevented most of the slaves from achieving, but those who had been enslaved were also victims of emotional bondage.

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In the South, Jim Crow laws continued long after slavery had actually ended, and in all of the land, those who had been enslaved were demoralized.  A demoralized human being is like a flag without the wind. Other former slaves believed that they had the right to flourish, but because they believed themselves unworthy, they still did not thrive. Saying that a person is free and helping a person to prosper are two different things.

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Something about the Trump administration rings of Jim Crow to me. At one time, the French gave the American people the Statue of Liberty, and we proudly displayed the words:

““Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” – Emma Lazarus

Something is rotten in America now. We no longer have a golden door. We don’t even have a lamp. That makes me sad. I challenge everyone to watch the video that I found. It is a montage of vintage photos cascading along the words and music of Neil Diamond’s Coming to America. Even if you are skeptical, allow yourself to watch the video and then ask yourself: “Is America Still the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave?”

Everywhere around the world
They’re coming to America
Every time that flag’s unfurled
They’re coming to America
Got a dream to take them there
They’re coming to America – Neil Diamond Song

©Jacki Kellum August 17, 2017
Unfurl

My Whitaker Family Tree from England

[Note: The earliest part of this genealogy is disputed. It seems to me that the facts become more certain by about 1300, with the birth of Sir Richard de Whitacre. Wikipedia lists his great grandfather as Thomas, and the following lineage does not show Richard’s great grandfather to be Thomas.Thomas Whitaker was born in the 1400’s. Perhaps the Wikipedia article should call Thomas Sir Richard’s great great grandson. If anyone can shed light on what I have shared, please contact me.  You will also note that the name Whitaker is spelled in many different ways.]

Johias Whitaker and Mrs. Johias Whitaker

Birthdate: 1042 (24)
Birthplace: Generation, England
Death: 1066 (24) Battle of Hastings, Hastings, East Sussex, England

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“Johias Whitacre (1042-1066) died while fighting at the Battle of Hastings on the side of King Harold. Nevertheless, this family was allowed to keep their lands in Warwickshire and continued to rise to prominence throughout the Medieval period.: Wikipedia

Immediate Family:
Husband of Mrs. Johias Whitaker
Father of Edwinus Whitaker

Edwinus Whitaker and Mrs. Edwinus Whitaker

Birthdate: 1050 (37)
Birthplace: Generation, England
Death: 1087 (37)
England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:
Son of Johias Whitaker and Mrs. Johias Whitaker
Husband of Mrs. Edwinus Whitaker
Father of Sir Simon Whitaker, Sir

Sir Simon Whitaker, Sir and Mrs. Simon Whitacer

Birthdate: 1080 (55)
Birthplace: England, United Kingdom
Death: 1135 (55)
England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:
Son of Edwinus Whitaker and Mrs. Edwinus Whitaker
Husband of Mrs. Simon Whitacer
Father of Alanus Whitaker

Alanus Whitaker and Mrs. Alanus Whitacer

Birthdate: circa 1133 (94)
Birthplace: Generation, England
Death: 1227 (90-98)
Generation, England
Immediate Family:
Son of Sir Simon Whitaker, Sir and Mrs. Simon Whitacer
Husband of Mrs. Alanus Whitacer
Father of Sir Jordan Whitaker

Sir Jordan Whitaker and Phillipa Astleymil

Also Known As: “Quitacre”
Birthdate: circa 1200 (75)
Birthplace: England
Death: circa 1275 (67-83)
England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:
Son of Alanus Whitaker and Mrs. Alanus Whitacer
Husband of Phillipa Astleymil
Father of Sir John Whitaker

Simonstone [Symonstone] Hall – Home of Sir John Whitaker, Sr.

Grounds of Simonstone Hall

Sir John Whitaker, Sr. and Donia De Whitaker

Also Known As: “Quitacre”
Birthdate: 1240 (38)
Birthplace: Padiham, Lancashire, England
Death: 1278 (38)
Symonstone Hall, Lancashire, England
Immediate Family:
Son of Sir Jordan Whitaker and Phillipa Astleymil
Husband of Donia De Whitaker
Father of Roger De Whitaker and Sir John Whitaker

Sir John de Whitacre and Amice de Marmion Whitaker

Also Known As: “Quitacre” and de Whitacre
Birthdate: circa 1275 (55)
Death: circa 1330 (47-63)
Immediate Family:
Son of Sir John Whitaker and Donia De Whitaker
Husband of Amice Whitaker
Father of Richard Simon Whitaker, Sir John de Whitacre – Confirmer of the Magna Carta

Amice or Alice de Marmion was an Heiress

Name: Amice (Alice) MARMION 1
Sex: F
Birth: ABT 1303 in Glascote, Tamworth, Warwickshire, England

Father: Robert MARMION , of Glascote, Sir b: ABT 1263 in Tamworth Castle, Warwickshire, England
Mother: Isabel FITZRALPH , Heiress of Glascote b: ABT 1273 in Glascote, Tamworth, Warwickshire, England

Marriage 1 John de WHITACRE b: ABT 1300 in Nether Whitacre, Meriden, Warwickshire, England

Sir Richard de Whitacre (circa 1300-1375) was the Lord of the Manors of Nether Whitacre, Over Whitacre, Elmdon, and Freasley.

Image result for Whitacre Hall Gatehouse at Whiteacre Hall

“Whitacre Hall, ¾ mile north-east of the church, is an L-shaped house facing south, of which the south block was rebuilt in the 18th century: the back wing is probably of the 17th century and has very heavy chamfered ceiling-beams. The walls are rough-casted. The chief interest is the large square moated area, which is of medieval origin and was evidently constructed for defensive purposes. The moat is stonelined on the inner faces, and at each angle except the north-eastern is a square shell-tower of red sandstone with open sides towards the internal area. Each wall, including the two short sides overlooking the length of the moat, is pierced by a loop. Spanning the south arm on solid foundations (not arched) is a small Elizabethan gate house, large enough to admit a small vehicle, built of red brick and having an outer curvilinear gable-head. The entrance, in a square recess on the outer face, is round-headed and has the original nail-studded gate hung with plain strap-hinges. In it is a wicket door hung with large ornamental winghinges, nearly of cock’s head type, one original and one copy. The inner gable-head is of timber-framing with a moulded cambered bressummer or tie-beam facially carved with running foliage. The framing has two quatrefoils in squares and other patterns, a fleur de lis, acorns, and a rose-sprig, with plaster infilling. The side-walls have upper and lower loops overlooking the moat and have moulded wall-plates. Outside the moat are timber-framed farm-buildings.” Read More Here

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Nether Whiteacre Hallughton Hall

“Over Whitacre is a hamlet in the North Warwickshire district of the county of Warwickshire in England. The population of the village at the 2011 census was 411.[1]

It is one of ‘The Whitacres’ – Over Whitacre, Nether Whitacre and Whitacre Heath, although Whitacre Heath is actually the heath of Nether Whitacre and not a separate parish.

The hamlet appears in the Domesday Book so it was already established in the Saxon period. However, objects belonging to much earlier Neolithic and Bronze Age times have been found in the soil. Whitacre was spelt then as ‘Witecore’ which means white field.” Wikipedia

“His [Sir Richard’s] principal seat was at Whitacre Hall, a Medieval fortified manor house in Nether Whitacre.

His family, being of Anglo-Saxon descent, were of the very few who were allowed to keep their lands after the Norman Conquest. In fact, his ancestor Johias Whitacre (1042-1066) died while fighting at the Battle of Hastings on the side of King Harold. Nevertheless, this family was allowed to keep their lands in Warwickshire and continued to rise to prominence throughout the Medieval period.

Sir Richard was knighted by King Edward III in 1327. He fought in the King’s personal retinue during the English victories at Calais and Crecy during the Hundred Years’ War. For this, it is believed that he received lands in Padiham, Lancashire, where his descendants would eventually move to, settling at The Holme. He was a vassal of the Baron Tamworth, then in the Marmion family of which his mother was a part, who were lords of Tamworth Castle where Sir Richard is known to have fulfilled many of his Knight-services.”

The Holme – The Whitaker Ancestral Estate in Burnley, Lancashire, England

“In 1431, reference was made to Thomas Whitaker of The Holme. ‘It was originally a 40-room manor house…and as the seat of the Whitaker family from the 15th century. The first Whitaker to arrive at The Holme was believed to be Richard de Whitacre, who arrived in Cliviger in 1340 from “High Whiteacre” at Padliham. … Originally built of wood, the center and eastern wing were rebuilt by 1603. The west remaned of wood until 1717 and had one or more private closets for the concealment of priests, the family have continued as recusants until the end of Elizabeth’s reign, if not later.” More Here

“In Burkes’ General Armory occurs the reference to the Whitakers of the Holme, Lancaster County, one of the oldest families with the longest line of proved descent and assumed to be the progenitors of most all by that name. This family is derived from Richard Whitaker of Holme, Esquire, living in 1543, the great grandson of Thomas Whitaker of Holme, A.D. 1431.”

“A number of Whittaker families, dating their ancestry from the sixteenth century, are identified in Burkes’ publications. The most distinguished of the name was the celebrated divine, the Reverend William Whittaker, professor of Divinity at Cambridge University, whose library was so famousthat is was purchased after his death by Queen Elizabeth I.” More Here

 

The Whitaker family owned The Holme from 1431-1959. Holme Hall is mentioned in the book Secret Chambers and Hiding Places

 

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SECRET CHAMBERS AND HIDING-PLACES

CHAPTER I

A GREAT DEVISER OF “PRIEST’S HOLES”

“During the deadly feuds which existed in the Middle Ages, when no man was secure from spies and traitors even within the walls of his own house, it is no matter of wonder that the castles and mansions of the powerful and wealthy were usually provided with some precaution in the event of a sudden surprise—viz. a secret means of concealment or escape that could be used at a moment’s notice; but the majority of secret chambers and hiding-places in our ancient buildings owe their origin to religious persecution, particularly during the reign of Elizabeth, when the most stringent laws and oppressive burdens were inflicted upon all persons who professed the tenets of the Church of Rome.

“In the first years of the virgin Queen’s reign all who clung to the older forms of the Catholic faith were mercifully connived at, so long as they solemnised their own religious rites within their private dwelling-houses; but after the Roman Catholic rising in the north and numerous other Popish plots, the utmost severity of the law was enforced, particularly against seminarists, whose chief object was, as was generally believed, to stir up their disciples in England against the Protestant Queen. An Act was passed prohibiting a member of the Church of Rome from celebrating the rites of his religion on pain of forfeiture for the first offence, a year’s imprisonment for the second, and imprisonment for life for the third.[1] All those who refused to take the Oath of Supremacy were called “recusants” and were guilty of high treason. A law was also enacted which provided that if any Papist should convert a Protestant to the Church of Rome, both should suffer death, as for high treason.

“[Footnote 1: In December, 1591, a priest was hanged before the door of a house in Gray’s Inn Fields for having there said Mass the month previously.]

“The sanguinary laws against seminary priests and “recusants” were enforced with the greatest severity after the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot. These were revived for a period in Charles II.’s reign, when Oates’s plot worked up a fanatical hatred against all professors of the ancient faith. In the mansions of the old Roman Catholic families we often find an apartment in a secluded part of the house or garret in the roof named “the chapel,” where religious rites could be performed with the utmost privacy, and close handy was usually an artfully contrived hiding-place, not only for the officiating priest to slip into in case of emergency, but also where the vestments, sacred vessels, and altar furniture could be put away at a moment’s notice.” Read More Here

Richard Simon Whitaker and Joan Cult

Also Known As: “Quitacre”
Birthdate: circa 1300 (75)
Birthplace: Symonstone Hall, Lancashire, England
Death: circa 1375 (67-83)
Symonstone Hall, Lancashire, England
Immediate Family:
Son of Sir John Whitaker and Amice Whitaker
Husband of Joan Cult
Father of Richard Whitaker

Richard Whitaker and Margaret Wallingscott

Also Known As: “Witacre”, “Whitaker”
Birthdate: 1380 (54)
Birthplace: Lancashire, UK
Death: 1434 (54)
Symonston Hall, Lancashire, England
Immediate Family:
Son of Richard Simon Whitaker, Sir; Richard Whitaker and Cornwallis
Husband of Margaret Wallingscott
Father of Thomas Whitaker; Humprey Whitaker and Cornwallis Whitaker

Thomas Whitaker and N.N.N.N.

Birthdate: 1405 (43)
Birthplace: Cliviger, Lancashire, UK
Death: 1448 (43)
Burnley, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:
Son of  Richard Whitaker Margaret Wallingscott
Husband of N.N. N.N.
Father of  Robert Whitaker

Robert Whitaker and N. N. Whitaker

Birthdate: 1432 (99)
Birthplace: Holme, North Yorkshire, UK
Death: 1531 (99)
Burnley, Lancashire, UK
Immediate Family:
Son of Thomas Whitaker and N.N. N.N.
Husband of N.N. Whitaker
Father of Thomas Cromwell Whitaker

Thomas Cromell Whitaker and Joanna Whitaker

Birthdate: circa 1458 (71)
Birthplace: Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, UK
Death: 1529 (67-75)
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, UK
Immediate Family:
Son of Robert Whitaker and N.N. Whitaker
Husband of Joanna whitaker
Father of John Whitaker and Richard Whitaker

Richard Whitaker and N. N. Willascotts

Birthdate: circa 1475 (70)
Birthplace: Holme, Lancashire, UK
Death: 1545 (66-74)
Burnley, Lancashire, England
Immediate Family:
Son of Thomas Cromwell Whitaker and Joanna Whitaker
Husband of N.N. Willascotts

“A branch of the family lived at Holme, near Burnley, and descended from Richard, who settled there in the fourteenth century. Thomas Whitaker, of Holme, was living in 1431, and was followed by Robert, and then his son Thomas, who spelt his name Quitacre. Two generations later Thomas Whitaker, born in 1504, married Elizabeth Nowell, whose brother was Alexander Nowell, Dean of St. Paul’s. Their third son was William, who became Doctor of Divinity and Master of St. John’s College, Cambridge. William’s eldest brother Robert inherited Holme, and was succeeded by his son Thomas.” More Here

Richard Thomas Whitaker and Elizabeth Nowell Whitaker

Birthdate: September 22, 1504
Birthplace: Burnley (The Holme), Lancashire, England
Death: August 22, 1588 (83)
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, UK
Immediate Family:
Son of Richard Whitaker and N.N. Willascotts
Husband of Elizabeth Whitaker

 Reverend William Whitaker and Susan Whitaker

Birthdate: December 1547 (48)
Birthplace: Holme, Burnley, Lancaster Co., United Kingdom
Death: December 4, 1595 (47)
Holme, Lancaster, England, United Kingdom
Place of Burial: Trinity College,Cambridge,England
Immediate Family:
Son of Richard Thomas Whitaker and Elizabeth Whitaker

Master of St. John’s College, Cambridge University, MASTER OF ST JOHN, CAMBRIDGE, Theologian and Academic, Master of St. Johns College Cambridge

Reverend William Whitaker was vehemently Protestant and against the Catholic Church, and he wrote an important document that supported a study of the scriptures. His ancestors were recusants and had supported the Catholic Church and are believed to have hidden Catholic priests in closets at the Holme. “His [William’s] work, Disputatio de Sacra Scriptura contra hujus temporis papistas, inprimis Robertum Bellarminum, or Disputations on Holy Scripture, remains one of the premier volumes on the doctrine of Scripture, often under-appreciated, little read, but standing like a titan amongst the volumes of the English Reformed Churchman. One of the premier issues that divided and still divides informed Protestants from Roman Catholics is the question of the place of Scripture. Reformed Churchmmen like Whittaker, then like now, declared that the Scriptures alone are the rule of faith and practice whereas Roman Catholics assert co-equal veneration and co-authoritative roles between Scripture, traditions held by the Church and other unwritten issues. This debate is not new. William Whitaker forcefully and brilliantly championed the Protestant, Reformed and Anglican position in 1588. ” Wikipedia

William Whitaker and Mary Whitaker

Birthdate: 1580 (58)
Birthplace: Holm, Yorkshire, England
Death: 1638 (57)
Holme, Huntingdonshire, England
Immediate Family:
Son of Rev. William Whitaker and Susan Whitaker
Husband of Mary Whitaker
Father of Robert Whitaker, I

Robert Whitaker owned Simonstone Hall

Robert Sr. Whitaker, I [His grandson immigrated to America] and

Birth:    circa 1604

Padiham, , Lancashire, England

Robert Whitaker, I
Birthdate: 1604 (84)
Birthplace: Symondstone, [Simonstone] Padiham, England
Death: March 5, 1688 (84)
Dovecoatgil Parish, Yorkshire, England
Immediate Family:
Son of William Whitaker and Mary Whitaker

Robert Whitaker, Il and Margaret

Birth:    March 29, 1637

North Yorkshire, England

Death: February 6, 1741 (103)

Grindletown, York, England

Immediate Family:

Son of Robert Sr. Whitaker

Husband of Margaret Whitaker [Daughter of Sir Sir John Lisle (Descendant of King Edward III) and  Alice Beconsawe Lisle (1617 – 1685)

[Note: Alice Beconsawe Lisle was sympathetic with the religious dissenters. Her husband Sir John Lisle was an ant-Royalist who played a part in the de-throning of King Charles. Because Alice harbored fugitives of the  Monmouth Rebellion at the Battle of Sedgemoor, she was beheaded. She was the last female to be beheaded in England. Dame Alice was a daughter of Sir White Beconshaw of Moyles Court at Ellingham in Hampshire and his wife Edith Bond, daughter and co-heiress of William Bond of Blackmanston in Steeple, Dorset. She had a younger sister, Elizabeth, who married Sir Thomas Tipping of Wheatfield Park in Stoke Talmage in Oxfordshire. Alice became the second wife of Sir John Lisle (1610 – 11 August 1664), and bore him seven children.[1] Lisle was an English lawyer and politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1640 and 1659. He supported the Parliamentarian cause in the English Civil War and was one of the regicides of King Charles I of England.[3] Fearing for his life after the Restoration he fled to Switzerland, but was assassinated by an agent of the crown in Lausanne in 1664.” Wikipedia]

“He [John Lisle] advocated violent measures on the king’s removal to the north, and obtained some of the plunder arising from the sale of the crown property. To the fund opened on 9 April 1642 for the “speedy reducing of the rebels” in Ireland, Lisle contributed _600. In December 1647, when the king was confined in the Isle of Wight, Lisle was selected as one of the commissioners to carry to him the four bills which were to divest him of all sovereignty. He spoke in the House of Commons on 28 Sept 1648 in favor of rescinding the recent vote, that no one proposition in regard to the personal treaty with the king should be binding if the treaty broke off upon another; and again, some days later, urged a discontinuance of the negotiation with Charles. He took a prominent part in the king’s trial. He was appointed on 8 Feb 1648/9 one of the commissioners of the great seal, and was placed on the council of state. He was a violent anti-royalist, and active promoter of the King’s trial, and drafted the sentence. He was present in Westminster Hall, 27 Jan 1648/9, when the sentence was pronounced, though he did not sign the death-warrant.[3]” More Here

John Lisle’s Estate was at Northcourt Manor and Westcourt

Northcourt

Sunken Rose Garden at Northcourt

Northcourt Kitchen Garden Gate

Northcourt Garden

Northcourt Countryside

Northcourt Garden Building

The above image is of Westcourt

 The Regicide’s Widow tells Alice Lisle’s story:

“Rebellion, persecution and injustice in Restoration England are the themes of this colourful and passionate book about the last woman to be beheaded in England. Lady Alice Lisle was the last remaining link with the hated regicides, the men who signed Charles I’s death warrant, and when she gave shelter to a clergyman who had been involved in the popular uprising known as Monmouth’s Rebellion, Judge Jeffreys, the ‘Hanging Judge’, showed no mercy. “The Regicide’s Widow” recreates a disturbing period of British history through the characters of Lady Alice Lisle and Judge Jeffreys, a period when fairness, justice and truth were cast aside in the interests of political power and conformity. It is a truly Machiavellian story of statecraft, with government and judiciary involved in a ruthless display of might. In the end this display worked against them, for while it did not lead to direct revolt, the effects were so harsh and memories so vivid that the people of the West were among the most energetic supporters of the Glorious Revolution which three years after the Bloody Assize brought James’ rule to an end.” Amazon

“By about 1660 after the King Charles II had been restored to the throne, John was forced to flee to Switzerland in fear of his life. Alice was left behind in England, pregnant with their youngest daughter Anne.  About this time, all of John’s holdings were seized by the crown, with the majority going to James, the king’s brother and to John Lisle’s younger brother William who remained a royalist.  Thank goodness Moyles Court belonged to Alice, but her fortunes had definitely declined.  She still had seven unmarried children to raise….

“In 1664 when Alice was 47, her husband was assassinated in Switzerland, shot in the back by an Irish royalist.  She was left an outcast from family as well as society, and ridiculed for her religion.  According to the excellent and well researched book titled “The Regicide’s Widow”: “Moyles Court became one of the many refuges of these Nonconformist nomads [displaced ministers], and Alice Lisle undoubtedly risked prosecution for those she sheltered.”  There was a reported gathering of 200 Presbyterians there in 1669.

“So how did Alice end up sheltering the rebel John Hicks and get convicted of treason? Alice knew of Hicks as a nonconformist minister, most recently from Portsmouth.  Through a succession of restrictive laws and political maneuvering, the religious bigotry in England increased through the 1670s and 80s.  The mood and whim of those in power seemed to oscillate between leniency and oppressive persecution. I’m sure that Hicks wasn’t the only minister who was relentlessly targeted, tracked and fined for preaching to gatherings of nonconformists.  But the timing and location was such that on 24 Jun 1685,  Hicks was on hand to join rebel forces of the crown contender James Scott, Duke of Monmouth.  He probably hoped that he would receive better treatment and liberties under a different monarch.   The next day Hicks committed the treasonable offense of trying to persuade Monmouth’s English prisoners of war  to change their allegiance.

Their cause was short lived, for the rebel forces were quickly defeated by James II’s troops, with many rebels fleeing.  After a concentrated manhunt, Monmouth and his chiefs were captured and beheaded, although some of his rebels remained at large.  This is when Hicks and his companions Nelthorp and Dunne sought shelter at Moyles Court.  Their arrival was betrayed by their guide, and Alice was arrested as well as the fugitives and jailed at Salisbury pending trial.

PictureGrave of Alice (Beconshawe) Lisle in Ellingham, Hampshire

Alice was accused of treason.  Her  6 hour trial at Winchester Castle 27 Aug 1685 under the presiding “Hanging Judge” Jeffreys was considered a grave injustice.  Not only did the judge prosecute from the bench and enforce unfair procedural changes, but he also bullied the jury into declaring a guilty verdict in spite of their doubts.  Although she probably was guilty of knowingly sheltering fugitives, this was not properly proven in court, so she was unjustly sentenced.  She was the first of many casualties of Judge Jeffrey’s “Bloody Assizes”. Read More Here
Image result for moyles court
Moyles Court

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Joshua Whitaker, Sr. [Immigrated to America] and Jane

Birth:    December 22, 1675

London, Middlesex, England

Death: September 26, 1719 (43)

Lexington, Rowan County, Province of North Carolina

William Whitaker [also immigrated to America] and Elizabeth

Place of Burial: Jersey Baptist Church Cemetery, Davidson County, North Carolina, United States

Birth:    February 10, 1701

Grindleton, Yorkshire, England

Death: 1789 (87)

Rowan County, North Carolina, United States

Immediate Family:

Son of Joshua Whitaker, Sr. and Jane Whitaker’

Husband of Elizabeth Whitaker

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Mark Whitaker – Born in the USA and Tabitha Ann Whitaker

Kennett Square, Chester, Pennsylvania, United States

Death: March 2, 1780 (50-58)

Lincoln, Tennessee, United States

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John “Peg-Leg Whitaker and Martha Whitaker

Place of Burial:   Mulberry Cemetary, Tennessee, United States

Birth:    1760

Rowen, North Carolina, United States

Death: June 13, 1837 (77)

Mulberry, Lincoln, Tennessee, United States

Immediate Family:

Son of Mark Whitaker and Tabitha Ann Whitaker

Husband of Martha Whitaker

“John Whitaker sometimes Whitacre was believed to have been an indentured servant arriving in Virginia around the year 1690 who then moved onto Maryland and acquired land known as Whitaker’s Ridge in the vicinity of Baltimore. “ Here

Daniel Whitaker and Nancy Whitaker

Birth:    1795

Woodford, Kentucky, United States

Death: 1882 (87)

Obion, Tennessee, United States

Immediate Family:

Son of John Whitaker and Martha Whitaker

Husband of Nancy Whitaker

circuit-preacher-1800's
My Family’s Ancestor Revernd Milton J. Whitaker Was a Baptist Circuit Preacher

Milton James Whitaker and Sara Elizabeth Godsey Whitaker

Birth:    September 18, 1832

Mulberry, Lincoln, Tennessee, United States

Death: March 3, 1908 (75)

Clarkton, Dunklin, Missouri, United States

Immediate Family:

Son of Daniel Whitaker and Nancy Whitaker

Husband of  Sarah Elizabeth Godsey Whitaker

Father of Emma Lee Whitaker; Nancy D. Whitaker; Coldonia Olive “Callie” Whitaker; Elizabeth Almeda Capshaw; Rev. Robert N. Whitaker; Eliza Cordelia Whitaker; Lena Whitaker; Katie Ruth Whitaker; John Milton Whitaker; Ellen Whitaker and Sarah Drucilla Whitaker

Mayme Lena Whitaker Dunscomb and Kenley Liddell Dunscomb

Birth:   January 1, 1879

Tennessee, United States

Death: September 4, 1963 (84)

Clarkton, Dunklin, Missouri, United States

Immediate Family:

Daughter of Rev. Milton J. Whitaker and Sarah Elizabeth Godsey Whitaker

Mother of William Elmer Dunscomb [my grandfather] and others

William Elmer Dunscomb and Henrietta James Dunscomb

William Elmer Dunscomb was born in 1898, to Kenley Liddell Dunscomb and Lena Mayme Dunscomb.
William had 6 siblings: Norman Edgar Dunscomb, Reuben Thomas Dunscomb and 4 other siblings.
William married Henretta Dunscomb on month day 1920, at age 22 at marriage place, Kentucky.
Henrietta passed away in 1936, at age 38.

Father of Laura Mae Dunscomb [Baker], Imogene Dunscomb Boyd, and William Dunscomb

Laura Mae Dunscomb Baker and H.A. [Henry Albert or Hank] Baker

 

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I continue to exclaim about this, but my family traveled miles and miles, suffering hardship after hardship to travel from England to Clarkton, Missouri. That journey fascinates me.

My Kitchen Is Almost Complete: Story of a Miracle

America has become a jiffy society. We are accustomed to instant everything. I am surviving a seemingly never-ending kitchen makeover that defies the American norm. It has been anything but quick. In fact, I have essentially had no kitchen for three years–the period that my remodel has required–but it does seem that the project is nearing completion.

Last week, my crew installed my cabinets and yesterday, they installed my marble countertop.

Yesterday, I ordered the old Chicago brick for the backsplash and to run behind my stove.

 Old Chicago Brick

I hope to enclose the range and hood within bricks, sort of like this:

I hope that I have a sink and dishwasher installed next week and the moulding the following week. The new tile floor and brick backspash will follow and Voila! I’ll have a functional kitchen.

Allow me to preface my story by admitting that I brought this long wait without a kitchen on myself. Almost three years ago, I ripped out the wall that divided 2 small, 10′ x 10’ rooms that had been built to serve as my house’s kitchen and my dining room. Both of the diminutive areas were dark and constrictive. I always felt that I could hardly breathe in them, and while a table for 6 would fit in the dining room, it was not large enough for 6 people to sit in the chairs. Neither the kitchen nor the dining room were adequate.

bluekitchen1On top of it all, my kitchen floors and counters were an obnoxious color of blue, and the flooring was a cheap, roll vinyl.

A couple of times, I considered selling my house and I briefly listed it both times. People would walk through the front door and about 15 feet through a nice living room, which has old hardwood floors. Their faces would seem calm and perhaps even pleased until they reached the kitchen. Once would-be-buyers saw my blue kitchen, their expressions would sour and within minutes, they were out the door and off to look at someone else’s house. I realized that a kitchen re-do was eminent. With sledge hammer in hand, I myself knocked down the wall between the old kitchen and dining room, but I had no idea how I would ever afford to replace what I had destroyed.

Not realizing how long the process would be, I donated my appliances to Goodwill, and for a full year, I had no stove or kitchen sink. I cooked with a crock pot, a microwave, and an electric skillet. Finally, I bought a few cabinets, and I had my old sink installed in my family room/bar. My first handyman was a loser–He was more of a doper and crook than anything else, and he caused more problems than he corrected. In fact, I wrote a poem about him.

A Limerick for My Contractor
by Jacki Kellum
I hired me a contractor who
Preferred the white the powder and flew
Clear out the door.
My money! You boar!
My house is still far from half-through.

After that guy fled, my project was paralyzed for more than two years. During that time, I have been forced to look at my half-down wall that looks like giant rats have been eating it, and after I yanked up the blue linoleum, I have been forced to see the scabby-looking sub-floor.

It all became depressing to me. I had almost given up on my kitchen project, but just before I did so, things began turning around for me. A series of miracles began falling on me. A wonderful family gave  me a complete kitchen that is gorgeous. It comes with a magnificent commercial range and hood, cabinets, and a marble countertop. In this case, one man’s trash is more than any treasure that I could have imagined.

I have even found a builder that I can barely afford, but I know that I can trust him. He has completely rewired and re-plumbed my kitchen, and we are beginning the final stages of my kitchen re-do. I am a Christian, but I rarely talk about my religion. Yet, I do believe in miracles.

My kitchen is a miracle.

Another friend gave me the garden window, and yet another dear friend has fronted me enough money to finally finish this project.

The wall between the breakfast nook and the kitchen is down, and we’ll finish that project next

I am planning a series of parties to celebrate with my friends. At Halloween, I am hosting a campfire and storytelling party. We will roast hot dogs and everyone is invited to tell their favorite Halloween story. At Thanksgiving, I am truly giving thanks for my new kitchen. I am cooking an old-fashioned Southern Thanksgiving dinner-Southern cornbread dressing, dumplings, fried corn, fresh green beans and bacon, squash, pumpkin soup, fresh cranberry sauce, and pies galore. Everyone is invited.

©Jacki Kellum August 13, 2017

Jiffy

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