Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Nelson, French bread and other odds and sods

In days of yore the King of England ordered his court to make love in front of him. The order was "Fornicate Under Command (of the)King....that is how French Connection UK came about.

The Kings of old would send out riders to gather up information and gossip from the four corners of the Kingdom, North-East-West-South.
That's how the word NEWS came to be!

Napoleon ordered his chefs and cooks on his campaigns to make a bread that would last longer than normal bread as food for his troops. They came up with a dough mixed with pig fat, baked and wrapped in a grease muslin (used for wrapping musket balls). Then they made them long and thin, so each man could stuff them down their long boots or carried in a quiver on their back packs. That is the origin of the French loaf!

Nelson often had a small cannon facing inwards filled with grape shot, in order to quell mutinous ratings that were out of control. This was called a 'needle gun' due to its firing pin.
Hence the saying...."Give 'em the needle"

Nelson cleaned up the stinking city of Bristol...and "Ship shape and Bristol fashion", was coined. Tired of his 'Jack Tars' constantly rolling up their 'leggings' when sloshing the decks and leaving unsightly creases, he ordered them to permanently iron in, seven creases evenly spaced horizontally across both legs and when rolling up their 'trousers' they did so one crease at a time, so the 'creased' trouser was now part of a sailor's dress on duty.

Ship of the line, meant every ship sailed one behind the other. Nelson proved this tactic time and again, sailing straight through the enemy's fleets enabling the broadside to be more effective...often he waited for the roll of the ship to 'skiff' the broadside so the cannons balls bounced off the water striking the enemy deep in the belly of the ship. Cruel but effective as splinters would disable the enemy's gunners. Nelson never lost a battle.

Milliners in the 19th century when 'forming' the shape of hats, held the shape with a strong spirit based glue. Working in confined spaces for long hours the glue had hallucinatory effects on many 'hat makers'....Hence 'Mad as a Hatter'

 When Lieutenant William Bligh was finally exonerated by an Admiralty Enquiry for his 'blame' for the Mutiny on the Bounty ....he was given another ship called the Pandora in order to hunt down the mutineers that had made new homes on uncharted or isolated islands. Rounding up a few dozen of the mutineers, some two years later he was sailing close to the Great Barrier Reef off Australia's coast, when the Pandora ran aground and sank. Only the top deck remained above water. When rescue came from a passing ship the only ones alive were the prisoners and a few of his crew and Bligh himself. The only room on the ship to imprison the mutineers was in a makeshift 'BOX' built on the deck. Every prisoner was saved. However, passengers below decks and livestock all perished.
Later at the trial of the mutineers...this was referred to as 'Pandora's Box.' Most of the crew were found not guilty due to the exceptionally harsh conditions imposed by Bligh.

The most bloodiest battle on US homeland was Gettysburg during the American Civil War.
Fought over three days during July 1863. Casualties on both sides was in excess 40,000 killed or wounded, eight times the casualties sustained at Waterloo. 

One thousand five hundred horses lay dead. Four hundred drummer boys were killed. Nine women died in battle and one woman was killed as a stray bullet hit her in the head as she baked bread. The only civilian, her house was in between two battle lines!


The most easily solvable mystery in history has never been solved!
The Mystery treasure of Oak Island's Money Pit.

Why? After two long centuries of searching for the treasure of Oak Island and countless millions of dollars wasted didn't any one think that whoever buried it, went back and retrieved it for themselves?
Who buried the treasure? ...It could only have been Britain's Royal Engineers. They skilfully buried the huge amount of money needed to finance the payroll for The Battle of Independence of 1795. Yet this simple problem of not why the pits were constructed, but where is the treasure now, which if it has gone, then either someone else found it or the R.Es  went back themselves. Hundreds of companies went broke in the process of financing excavations


  1. What a great post. I do love etymology :)

  2. Little long but really not irritated post it is. I like your blog very much.