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1. ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
8th February 1601
The Essex Rebellion is crushed
Robert Devereux, the 2nd Earl of Essex, was a favourite of the ageing Queen Elizabeth I, who gave him various honours and favours, culminating in his appointment as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. Unfortunately he proved cowardly and incompetent, squandering funds, and making peace with Irish rebels instead of crushing them. He then returned to England of his own initiative without permission.
He was consequently disgraced and deprived of all his offices, and so faced political and financial ruin. The Earl's London residence, Essex House, became a focal point for people who were upset with Elizabeth’s government. On Tuesday, February 3, 1601, five of the conspiracy leaders met at Drury House, the lodging of the Earl of Southampton. Hoping to avoid suspicion, Devereux himself was not present. The group discussed Devereux’s proposals for seizing the court, the tower and the city. Their goal was to force the Queen to change the leaders in her government, particularly Robert Cecil, even if this attempt meant causing harm to the Queen’s people.
Three days later, some of Devereux’s followers went to the Globe Theatre to ask the Lord Chamberlain's Men to stage a special performance of Richard II with the deposition scene included. The company was hesitant to perform such a controversial play, but eventually agreed once they were promised a payment of 40 shillings "more than their ordinary". On February 7, the council summoned Devereux to appear before them, but he refused. He had lost his chance to take the court by surprise, so he fell back on his scheme to rouse the city of London in his favour with the claim that Elizabeth’s government had planned to murder him and had sold out England to Spain.
Essex and his followers hastily planned the rising. At about 10am the next morning (February 8) Lord Keeper Thomas Egerton and three others came to Essex in the name of the Queen. Devereux captured the four messengers and kept them hostage while he and his followers (about 200 people) made their way to the city. Meanwhile, Robert Cecil sent a warning to the mayor and the heralds denouncing Devereux as a traitor. Once the word traitor was used, many of Devereux's followers disappeared, and none of the citizens joined him as he had expected. Devereux's position was desperate, and he decided to return to Essex House. When he got there, he found the hostages gone. The Queen’s men, under Lord High Admiral The Earl of Nottingham, besieged the house. By that evening, after burning incriminating evidence, Devereux surrendered. Devereux, the Earl of Southampton and the other remaining followers were placed under arrest.
Less than two weeks after the aborted rebellion, Essex and Southampton were tried for treason. The trial lasted only a day, and the guilty verdict was a foregone conclusion. Though Devereux had burnt incriminating evidence to save his followers prior to his arrest, he was convinced by Reverend Abdy Ashton to purge his soul of guilt: in turn Devereux confessed everyone who was involved including his sister Penelope on whom he put a great deal of the blame, although no action was taken against her.
On February 25, 1601, Devereux was beheaded in the confines of the Tower. Southampton, however, survived the Tower, to be freed upon the accession of James VI of Scotland as James I of England. Sir Christopher Blount, Sir Gelli Meyrick, Sir Henry Cuffe, Sir John Davis, and Sir Charles Danvers all stood trial for high treason on 5 March 1601 and were all found guilty. Davies was allowed to leave, but the other four were executed. There were no large-scale executions, however; and the other members of the conspiracy were simply fined.
2. TODAY IN MY LIFE
Paperwork for Son
Twitter Followers = 2,074 (up 2)
Non-followed eliminated = 0
Unfollowers eliminated = 0
New Followers followed back = 2
Spammers not followed back = 0
3. TODAY'S SELF-OBSERVATION
I have learned that to prevent fear and resentment paralysing your life, one must completely embrace uncertainty and risk, abandon all notions of safety and live solely for the moment, to seize the day. I have also found the Discipline of Acceptance absolutely crucial to wellbeing, freeing up your focus to concentrate on the things you can actually change.
I have found a recent strength in become firmly determinist/fatalist. Since I believe existence is a movie not a video game, my consciousness may as well just relax and enjoy it and let my subconscious run the show, letting it take whatever path it takes. I am consequently liberated from anxiety and I have life's greatest prize - peace of mind.
Knowing that all things pass, I am very content to have experienced all the good things life can offer, and this gratitude comes in major part from having also had the experience of NOT having them!
4. TODAY'S QUESTION FOR YOU
What brings perpetual peace of mind?
5. TODAY'S WEATHER IN BRADFORD
Moon: New Moon
Air Pressure: 972 millibars and rising
6. TODAY'S ONELINER
Boy, they sure don't make time machines like they will anymore. :D
7. NOW THAT'S FUNNY!
Melindah Hill on inappropriate relationships and other good gags
Pluto is the only known dwarf planet with an atmosphere.
9. ZEN WISDOM
Relative happiness is happiness that depends on things outside ourselves, such as affluence or social standing. While the happiness such things bring us is certainly real, it shatters easily when external conditions alter. Absolute happiness, on the other hand, is something we must find within. It means establishing a state of life in which we are never defeated by difficulties, and where just being alive is a source of great joy.