O’Byrne’s corpse was butchered and for months the head and quarters hung on pike staffs on the wall over Dublin Castle drawbridge. Several months later the pickled head was presented to the council secretary at London by an English adventurer, who was disappointed to find that the head-silver due on O’Byrne* had already been paid in Ireland. The queen was angered that, “the head of such a base Robin Hood was brought solemnly into England“.
Read enough Irish history and you gain a grudging respect for Queen Elizabeth I. She’s always delivering withering remarks and savage putdowns to people giving her bad news.
In 1603, Elizabeth had seemed a foolish old woman, as men looked expectantly to a Stuart king. By 1630, when Stuart kings had proved rather a disappointment, she had become the paragon of all princely virtues.
Christopher Haigh,The Golden Age of Queen Elizabeth I—Myth or Reality? Awake! magazine, 2010, 1/10 pp. 19-22.
At this remove, who can say if Elizabeth was a foolish old woman or one of history’s canniest power players, but I’m team power player. She managed to survive rebellions, armadas, assassination attempts, plagues, you name it!
Just surviving as a queen is tough.
The (current) Queen did not seem that into the wedding. The Crown may have fooled us into thinking the Queen is more woke than she is.
* was reading about O’Byrne after seeing convo on Tom Ricks’ twitter about the origin of “firebrand”
We here at The Hely Times are shameless about catering to our readers. We’ve discovered that pictures depicting beheadings are among our most popular subjects. So, today, a review of one of the great themes in Western Art, John the Baptist’s head on a charger. NOTE: some other day we’ll do actual action-shot beheadings of John the Baptist. Today, we’re just dealing with the paintings that include the charger as well.
Caravaggio did it twice. There’s the National Gallery, London:
And the Palacio Real, Madrid:
Met has a good one by Aelbert Bouts:
MFA has one by Bernardo Luini:
Lucas Cranach the Elder, now hanging in the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest: