History Podcasts

Death by Design, Peter Beale

Death by Design, Peter Beale

Death by Design, Peter Beale

Death by Design, Peter Beale

Fate of British Tank Crews in World War II

This is a fascinating book for those with a serious interest in armoured warfare and the development of British tanks prior to and during World War 2. It is filled with superb photographs and organisational charts and comparison tables. It highlights the shocking state of British tank design and production for most of World War 2, which is hard to understand considering Britain had some of the best tanks in the world after the First World War. The author, a former tank crew man, offers an excellent insight and a warning that a government should prepare well for war even in peace. This is well written but a serious and complex subject concentrating on technical details and design rather than tactics.

Author: Peter Beale
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 224
Publisher: Sutton Publishing
Year: 1998



EastEnders

EastEnders is a British soap opera created by Julia Smith and Tony Holland which has been broadcast on BBC One since 1985. Set in Albert Square in the East End of London in the fictional borough of Walford, the programme follows the stories of local residents and their families as they go about their daily lives. Initially there were two 30-minute episodes per week, later increasing to three, but since 2001, episodes have been broadcast on every weekday except Wednesday (outside of special occasions). The three-month suspension of production in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, led to broadcasts of the show being reduced to two 30-minute episodes per week, and eventually, the show going on a transmission break. Restrictions to filming resulted in the programme returning to transmission, with four 20-minute episodes per week resuming on 7 September 2020.

Within eight months of the show's original launch, it had reached the number one spot in BARB's TV ratings and has consistently remained among the top rated series in Britain. In 2013, the average audience share for an episode was around 30 per cent. [2] Today, EastEnders remains a significant programme in terms of the BBC's success and audience share. It has also been important in the history of British television drama, tackling many subjects that are considered to be controversial or taboo in British culture, and portraying a social life previously unseen on UK mainstream television. [3]

As of September 2019 [update] , EastEnders has won ten BAFTA Awards and the Inside Soap Award for Best Soap for 14 years running (from 1997 to 2012), [4] as well as twelve National Television Awards for Most Popular Serial Drama [5] and 11 awards for Best British Soap at The British Soap Awards. It has also won 13 TV Quick and TV Choice Awards for Best Soap, six TRIC Awards for Soap of The Year, four Royal Television Society Awards for Best Continuing Drama and has been inducted into the Rose d'Or Hall of Fame. [6]


Death by Design, Peter Beale - History

Now to the answer: there are many more verses than just the above two that mention confession. Certainly, there are a number of Old Testament verses about confession and the forgiveness of sins being mediator through a priest or a priest-like figure. But Protestants will argue that the whole point of the New Testament is to end the priest-system of mediation, so those verses alone will only get us so far.

But there are plenty of other New Testament verses that discuss confession—a total of at least 14, according this exhaustive listing. (This estimate excludes the OT verses on that list.)

But counting verses, as we noted before, isn’t such a meaningful exercise. So let’s look at the quality of the evidence.

The example of Christ

The foundation for the Catholic view is the example of Christ Himself.

Now, the critic may step in and object that when Christ forgave sins in the gospels it is in virtue of His Humanity. There’s just one problem with this view: in several instances, it’s Jesus’ humanity that is emphasized.

Take Matthew 6, where Jesus forgives the sins of the paralytic. The Pharisees regard Him as a blasphemer because they thought this was only something God could do. Jesus responds by then healing the paralytic. Notice what he says beforehand:

“But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic, “Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.”

Jesus here refers to Himself not as the ‘Son of God’ but as the ‘Son of Man,’ a term that highlighted His humanity. (Mark 2 and Luke 5, which also record the story, have the same terminology.)

Now perhaps such evidence may not be persuasive to skeptics. Jesus was fully human and fully divine, so conceivably one could argue that the power to forgive sins was limited to Him because He was God Incarnate. But this just does not make sense of the above verse. (True, Jesus’ preferred term of self-reference is ‘Son of Man,’ but the question still remains why the term ‘Son of God,’ which is uttered by others in the gospels, does not appear here.) Such an argument also woefully understates the radicalism of the Incarnation.

There really is a clash of two worldviews here. The Catholic one holds that the Incarnation extended outwards in space and time—through Mary, the sacraments, the formal priesthood, and the very existence of the visible Church itself. For Protestants on the other hand, particularly evangelicals and others in the Reformed tradition, the Incarnation is an event confined to history.

The power to forgive sins is extended to the apostles

So now the question becomes, in the context of confession, is there reason to believe that, through Christ, other man were granted authority to forgive sins?

This is exactly what John 20:23 says. It’s evident in the second clause, in which the apostles are given leeway to not only ‘forgive’ but ‘retain’ sins. (Significantly, the language is similar to the ‘binding and loosing’ authority granted to Peter in Matthew 18:18.)

Elsewhere in the New Testament, it’s clear the apostles exercise this special authority to forgive.

In 2 Corinthians 2:10 St. Paul states, “For indeed what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for you in the presence of Christ.” One translation also reads in the ‘sight’ of Christ. In fact, the Greek word translated as presence is prosōpon (pronounced: pro’-sō-pon), which is the term for person, which is how many versions translate it. And it’s not just the Catholic Douay-Rheims version that does that, but also many Protestant versions. (Such as the King James Bible.)

So Paul is really saying that he is acting in the person of Christ in forgiving sins—which is quite an extraordinary biblical affirmation of the terminology the Catholic Church continues to use today to describe the role of priests in the sacraments of confession and the Eucharist.

Later, in 2 Corinthians 5:18 Paul states that God “has reconciled us to himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation.” ‘Reconciliation,’ of course, is the familiar post-Vatican II term for confession. Here again, Paul presents his role as more of a hierarchical one. The picture is developed a bit further in the following verses:

God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting their trespasses against them and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. So we are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake He made him to be sin who did not know sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (verses 19:21).

In isolation, the second verse, where we read about the ‘message of reconciliation’ might seem to support one Protestant critique of the Catholic position: that the apostles merely proclaimed the forgiveness of sins, rather than actually forgave them. But this does not comport as well with the context, which clearly indicates that just as God acted through Christ, so now Christ is acting through the apostles.

There are two additional New Testament verses that concern the practice of confession.

One, 1 Timothy 6:12, states, “Compete well for the faith. Lay hold of eternal life, to which you were called when you made the noble confession in the presence of many witnesses.” This is obviously describing a public act. Now, it is true that in the context, ‘confession’ could refer to confessing faith in Christ. But remember this also would have had to have been accompanied by an initial confession of sins. This interpretation is supported by the preceding verses, which emphasize sins to avoid (as this site notes).

Note here that the Greek word for witness is martys, from which we derive our word martyr. So we can infer that Timothy’s act of confession was done in the presence of authority figures within his local Church community—even not in the sense of ‘martyrs’ who died for their faith.

Another key verse is Acts 19:18, “Many of those who had become believers came forward and openly acknowledged their former practices.” Again, the phrase ‘openly acknowledged’ is easy to overlook. Fortunately many other translations use the key word ‘confession.’ And again, the word appears in at least one Catholic version and several Protestant versions. (Examples include the Douay Rheims version and the King James Bible.)

Now Acts 19:18 does not directly involve an apostle or ‘witnesses’ but what it does describe is the practice of public confession and penance that was more the norm earlier in the history of the Church and that—significantly—is the basis for the contemporary practice of one-on-one confession in the Church.

And don’t forget that confession of sins was also a central element of John the Baptist’s ministry, as Matthew 3:6, for example, indicates.

Clearly, there is more evidence that at first meets the eye for the sacrament of confession. The record of the New Testament strongly indicates that confession was a public act committed in the presence of authority figures. In the case of the apostles we know explicitly that they actually forgave sins.

But could men after the apostles forgive sins too?

But there is one trump card Protestant critiques wield in response to all this: Well, they say, this was an extraordinary time in the history of the Church in which the apostles did many extraordinary things. But such things—like the forgiveness of sins—did not continue after the apostles.

This often-made claim is erroneous for several reasons.

In the first place, it contradicts the often-expressed biblical legalism of many Protestants, especially among evangelicals and fundamentalists. The basic idea of legalism is that only what is explicitly permitted in the Bible should be adopted in the Church today. But if the Bible is our sole source of guidance, then wouldn’t we be compelled to continue the tradition of confession as described in the New Testament?

Plus, it’s clear the ministry of the apostles was meant to continue. That’s why Peter convened the remaining 11 apostles to appoint a 12th in Acts 1. And it’s why Paul counts as an apostle even though he came even later in the timeline and never met Christ during His earthly ministry.

(As Paul puts it so beautifully in 1 Corinthians 15:8, in describing his encounter with the resurrected Christ, “And last of all, he was seen also by me, as by one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God” (Douay-Rheims).)

There are two additional arguments from reason as well.

First, why was this extraordinary period necessary in the first century or so in which Christ lived but not after? The burden of proof is on those making the claim.

It is true that this period does correspond with the writing of the New Testament. So yes, one could argue that there was a special outpouring of the Spirit during this time. But this leads to the second point: Christians did not, as one priest puts it, suddenly stop sinning after the death of the last apostle. Where were those who had obtained forgiveness from the apostles supposed to seek relief afterwards?

We started out with two verses commonly seen as supportive of the sacrament of confession. A closer examination of Scripture has yielded a body of evidence that is compelling both in its quantity and quality.

In the process, we have ascertained two very important, indisputable facts. First, a particular man in history—that is Jesus Christ—had the power to forgive sins. Of course, this man was also fully divine. But He exercised His power of forgiveness in His humanity and he even extended it to other men. The question remained as to whether the men to whom this privilege was delegated, in turn, passed it down to others. Both reason and faith in the authority of Scriptures point toward a positive answer.

Of course, we Catholics also have the weight of tradition along with the enduring teaching authority of the Church. The Scriptural evidence not only underscores the truth of this teaching but ought to deepen our desire for confession by showing how deeply it is rooted it the life of Christ and the early Church.


Contents

A pamphlet published in 1885, entitled The Beale Papers, is the source of this story. The treasure was said to have been obtained by an American named Thomas J. Beale in the early 1800s, from a mine to the north of Nuevo México (New Mexico), at that time in the Spanish province of Santa Fe de Nuevo México (an area that today would most likely be part of Colorado). According to the pamphlet, Beale was the leader of a group of 30 gentlemen adventurers from Virginia who stumbled upon the rich mine of gold and silver while hunting buffalo. They spent 18 months mining thousands of pounds of precious metals, which they then charged Beale with transporting to Virginia and burying in a secure location. After Beale made multiple trips to stock the hiding place, he then encrypted three messages: the location, a description of the treasure, and the names of its owners and their relatives. The treasure location is traditionally linked to Montvale in Bedford County, Virginia.

Beale placed the ciphertexts and some other papers in an iron box. In 1822 he entrusted the box to a Lynchburg innkeeper named Robert Morriss. Beale told Morriss not to open the box unless he or one of his men failed to return from their journey within 10 years. Sending a letter from St. Louis a few months later, Beale promised Morriss that a friend in St. Louis would mail the key to the cryptograms, however, it never arrived. It was not until 1845 that Morriss opened the box. Inside he found two plaintext letters from Beale, and several pages of ciphertext separated into Papers "1", "2", and "3". Morriss had no luck in solving the ciphers, and decades later left the box and its contents to an unnamed friend.

The friend, then using an edition of the United States Declaration of Independence as the key for a modified book cipher, successfully deciphered the second ciphertext which gave a description of the buried treasure. Unable to solve the other two ciphertexts, the friend ultimately made the letters and ciphertexts public in a pamphlet entitled The Beale Papers, which was published by yet another friend, James B. Ward, in 1885.

Ward is thus not "the friend". Ward himself is almost untraceable in local records except that a man with that name owned the home in which a Sarah Morriss, identified as the spouse of Robert Morriss, died at age 77, in 1863. [5] He also is recorded as becoming a Master Mason in 1863. [1]

Beale's second cryptogram (the deciphered one)

I have deposited in the county of Bedford, about 4 miles from Buford's, in an excavation or vault, six feet below the surface of the ground, the following articles, belonging jointly to the parties whose names are given in number three, herewith:

The first deposit consisted of ten hundred and fourteen pounds of gold, and thirty-eight hundred and twelve pounds of silver, deposited Nov. eighteen nineteen. The second was made Dec. eighteen twenty-one, and consisted of nineteen hundred and seven pounds of gold, and twelve hundred and eighty-eight of silver also jewels, obtained in St. Louis in exchange to save transportation, and valued at thirteen thousand dollars.

The above is securely packed in iron pots, with iron covers. The vault is roughly lined with stone, and the vessels rest on solid stone, and are covered with others. Paper number one describes the exact locality of the vault, so that no difficulty will be had in finding it.

The second cipher can be decrypted fairly easily using a modified copy of the United States Declaration of Independence, but some editing is necessary. To decrypt it, one finds the word corresponding to the number (e.g., the first number is 115, and the 115th word in the Declaration of Independence is "instituted"), and takes the first letter of that word (in the case of the example, "I").

Beale used a version of United States Declaration of Independence slightly different from the original, and made mistakes in numbering it. To extract the hidden message, the following 5 modifications must be applied to the original text:

  • after word 154 ("institute") and before word 157 ("laying") one word must be added. The pamphlet handles this by inserting "a" before "new government". [6]
  • after word 240 ("invariably") and before word 246 ("design") one word must be removed. The pamphlet's numbering has eleven words between the labels for 240 and 250. [7]
  • after word 467 ("houses") and before word 495 ("be") ten words must be removed. The pamphlet has two labels for 480. [7]
  • after word 630 ("eat") and before word 654 ("to") one word must be removed. The pamphlet's numbering has eleven words between the labels for 630 and 640. [7]
  • after word 677 ("foreign") and before word 819 ("valuable") one word must be removed. The pamphlet's numbering has eleven words between the labels for 670 and 680. [7]
  • The first letter of the 811th word of the modified text ("fundamentally") is always used by Beale as a "y"
  • The first letter of the 1005th word of the modified text ("have") is always used by Beale as an "x"

Finally, in the decoded text there are five errors, probably due to wrong transcription of the original paper:

  • 84 (should be 85) 63 43 131 29 . consistcd ("consisted")
  • 53 (should be 54) 20 125 371 38 . rhousand ("thousand")
  • . 108 (should be 10 8) 220 106 353 105 . itron ("in iron")
  • . 84 (should be 85) 575 1005 150 200 . thc ("the")
  • . 96 (should be 95) 405 41 600 136 . varlt ("vault")

Value Edit

The treasure's total weight is about 3 tons as described in inventory of the second cryptogram. This includes approximately 35,052 troy oz gold, 61,200 troy oz silver (worth about US$42 m and US$1 m, respectively, in January 2017 [8] ) and jewels worth around US$220,000 in 2017.

There has been considerable debate over whether the remaining two ciphertexts are real or hoaxes. An early researcher, Carl Hammer of Sperry UNIVAC, [9] used supercomputers of the late 1960s to analyze the ciphers and found that while the ciphers were poorly encoded, the two undeciphered ones did not show the patterns one would expect of randomly chosen numbers and probably encoded an intelligible text. [10] Other questions remain about the authenticity of the pamphlet's account. In the words of one researcher "To me, the pamphlet story has all the earmarks of a fake . . . [There was] no evidence save the word of the unknown author of the pamphlet that he ever had the papers." [11]

The pamphlet's background story has several implausibilities, and is based almost entirely on circumstantial evidence and hearsay.

  • Later cryptographers have claimed that the two remaining ciphertexts have statistical characteristics which suggest that they are not actually encryptions of an English plaintext. [12][13] Alphabetical sequences such as abcdefghiijklmmnohpp are both non-random, as indicated by Carl Hammer, [10] and not words in English.
  • Others have also questioned why Beale would have bothered writing three different ciphertexts (with at least two keys, if not ciphers) for what is essentially a single message in the first place, [14] particularly if he wanted to ensure that the next of kin received their share (as it is, with the treasure described, there is no incentive to decode the third cipher). [10] used by the author of the pamphlet (the uses of punctuation, relative clauses, infinitives, conjunctives, and so on) has detected significant correlations between it and the writing style of Beale's letters, including the plaintext of the second cipher, suggesting that they may have been written by the same person. [1]
  • The letters also contain several English words, such as "improvise", not otherwise recorded before the 1820s in English [15] but used from French from 1786 in the New Orleans area, [16] and stampede (Spanish) "an uproar". [17] Beale's "stampeding" apparently first appears in print in the English Language in 1832 [18] but was used from 1786–1823 in New Orleans in French and Spanish. [1]
  • The second message, describing the treasure, has been deciphered, but the others have not, suggesting a deliberate ploy to encourage interest in deciphering the other two texts, only to discover that they are hoaxes. In addition, the original sale price of the pamphlet, 50 cents, was a high price for the time (adjusted for inflation, it is equivalent to $14.4 today [19] ), and the author writes that he expects "a wide circulation".
  • The third cipher appears to be too short to list thirty individuals' next of kin. [10]
  • If the modified Declaration of Independence is used as a key for the first cipher, it yields alphabetical sequences such as abcdefghiijklmmnohpp[20] and others. According to the American Cryptogram Association, the chances of such sequences appearing multiple times in the one ciphertext by chance are less than one in a hundred million million. [20] Although it is conceivable that the first cipher was intended as a proof of concept letting decoders know that they were "on the right track" for one or more of the subsequent ciphers, such a proof would be redundant, as the success of the key with respect to the second document would provide the same evidence on its own.
  • Robert Morriss, as represented in the pamphlet, says he was running the Washington Hotel in 1820. Yet contemporary records show he did not start in that position until at least 1823. [21]

There have been many attempts to break the remaining cipher(s). Most attempts have tried other historical texts as keys (e.g., Magna Carta, various books of the Bible, the U.S. Constitution, and the Virginia Royal Charter), assuming the ciphertexts were produced with some book cipher, but none have been recognized as successful to date. Breaking the cipher(s) may depend on random chance (as, for instance, stumbling upon a book key if the two remaining ciphertexts are actually book ciphers) so far, even the most skilled cryptanalysts who have attempted them have been defeated. Of course, Beale could have used a document that he had written himself for either or both of the remaining keys or either a document of his own or randomly selected characters for the third source, in either case rendering any further attempts to crack the codes useless.

Existence of Thomas J. Beale Edit

A survey of U.S. Census records in 1810 shows two persons named Thomas Beale, in Connecticut and New Hampshire. However, the population schedules from the 1810 U.S. Census are completely missing for seven states, one territory, the District of Columbia, and 18 of the counties of Virginia. [22] The 1820 U.S. Census has two persons named Thomas Beale, Captain Thomas Beale of the battle of New Orleans 1815 in Louisiana originally from Virginia Botetourt County – Fincastle area 12 miles from Bedford County and one in Tennessee, and a Thomas K. Beale in Virginia, but the population schedules are completely missing for three states and one territory.

Before 1850 the U.S. Census recorded the names of only the heads of households others in the household were only counted. Beale, if he existed, may have been living in someone else's household. [23]

In addition, a man named "Thomas Beall" appears in the customer lists of St. Louis Post Department in 1820. According to the pamphlet, Beale sent a letter from St. Louis in 1822. [20]

Additionally, a Cheyenne legend exists about gold and silver being taken from the West and buried in mountains in the East, dating from roughly 1820. [20]

Poe's alleged authorship Edit

Edgar Allan Poe has been suggested as the pamphlet's real author because he had an interest in cryptography. It was well known he placed notices of his abilities in the Philadelphia paper Alexander's Weekly (Express) Messenger, inviting submissions of ciphers which he proceeded to solve. [24] In 1843 he used a cryptogram as plot device in his short story "The Gold-Bug". From 1820, he was also living in Richmond, Virginia at the time of Beale's alleged encounters with Morriss. In February 1826 Poe enrolled as a student at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. [25] But with mounting debts, Poe left for Boston in April 1827. [26]

However, research and facts debunk Poe's authorship. He died in 1849 well before The Beale Papers were first published in 1885. The pamphlet also mentions the American Civil War that started in 1861. William Poundstone, an American author and skeptic, had stylometric analysis performed on the pamphlet for his 1983 book Biggest Secrets, and found that Poe's prose is significantly different from the grammatical structure used by the author who wrote The Beale Papers. [27]

Despite the Beale Papers' unproven veracity, treasure hunters have not been deterred from trying to find the vault. The "information" that there is buried treasure in Bedford County has stimulated many expeditions with shovels, and other implements of discovery, looking for likely spots. For more than a hundred years, people have been arrested for trespassing and unauthorized digging some of them in groups as in the case of people from Pennsylvania in the 1990s. [20]

Several digs were completed at the top of Porter's Mountain, one in late 1980s with the land owner's permission as long as any treasure found was split 50/50. However, the treasure hunters only found Civil War artifacts. As the value of these artifacts paid for time and equipment rental, the expedition broke even. [20]

The story has been the subject of multiple television documentaries, such as the UK's Mysteries series, a segment in the seventh special of Unsolved Mysteries and the 2011 Declaration of Independence episode of the History Channel TV show Brad Meltzer's Decoded. There are also several books, and considerable Internet activity. In 2014, the National Geographic TV show The Numbers Game referred to the Beale ciphers as one of the strongest passwords ever created. In 2015 the UKTV series Myth Hunters (also known as Raiders of the Lost Past) devoted one of its season 3 episodes to the topic. [28] Also in 2015, the Josh Gates series Expedition Unknown visited Bedford to investigate the Beale Ciphers and search for the treasure.

Simon Singh's 1999 book The Code Book explains the Beale cipher mystery in one of its chapters. [20]

In 2010, an award-winning animated short film was made concerning the ciphers called The Thomas Beale Cipher. [29]


Peter the Wild Boy's condition revealed 200 years after his death

The condition that affected Peter the Wild Boy, a feral child found abandoned in a German forest and kept as a pet at the courts of George I and II, has been identified more than 200 years after his death.

Peter's charming smile, seen in his portrait painted in the 1720s by William Kent on the king's grand staircase at Kensington Palace, was the vital clue.

Lucy Worsley, the historian at Historic Royal Palaces who has been researching Peter's strange life, suspected from contemporary accounts that he was autistic.

She showed the portrait and gave the description of his physical characteristics and odd habits to Phil Beale, professor of genetics at the Institute of Child Health.

Beale ran the symptoms through his database of chromosomal disorders, and came up with a diagnosis of Pitt-Hopkins syndrome, which was identified in 1978, centuries after Peter's death.

Its most distinctive effect is clearly shown in Peter's portrait, his curvy Cupid's bow lips.

Other Pitt-Hopkins symptoms shared by Peter included short stature, coarse hair – the portrait shows him with a thick, curly mop – drooping eyelids and thick lips.

He was also said to have two fingers fused together, which may have been clubbed fingers, also sometimes a symptom.

His mental development would also have been affected. Together his symptoms explain to Worsley – who will discuss the discovery on the BBC Radio 4 Making History programme on Tuesday – how he ended up alone and naked in a forest.

"Certainly this was enough to explain why he was abandoned by his family, and once captured in the forest like a wild animal, why he was thrown into the local house of correction with the vagrants and thieves," said Worsley.

"He was actually quite lucky that King George I heard about him, and summoned him to court, even though there he was treated like a performing dog rather than a damaged little boy."

Worsley uncovered Peter's history while researching the courtiers and royal servants who appear in Kent's wall painting at Kensington Palace for her book Courtiers, published last year. The last piece of the puzzle has been solved now.

Worsley says she has been fascinated by Peter, who capered like Shakespeare's Puck in the solemn and etiquette stifled court. The servants had difficulty persuading him to walk instead of scuttling about on hands and knees, to sleep in a bed and to wear his green suit and red socks – he was terrified when he first saw a man taking off stockings, believing he was peeling off his skin.

George I gave Peter to his daughter-in-law Caroline, who was interested in science and philosophy, at a time when debate was raging about nature versus nurture, rational intelligence and the soul. He lived on at court when she became Queen.

Although he was treated kindly by his guardian, the Scottish doctor John Arbuthnot – by his side in the painting – he never learned to speak more than his name, and he wore a brass collar like a slave or a dog so he could be restored to his "owners" if he wandered off.

When he first came to England he was a media sensation in Georgian London, the subject of newspaper articles, poems and ballads – often satirising the extravagance and tortuous etiquette of the court. One mockingly described him as "The Most Wonderful Wonder that ever appeared to the Wonder of the British Nation".

When Jonathan Swift – suspected as co-author of the wonder pamphlet – was called to meet Caroline, he commented that since she was interested in a wild German boy, she also wanted to meet a wild Irish cleric.

Peter long outlived his royal patrons, and after Caroline's death in 1737 was sent to live on a farm in Hertfordshire owned by a retired courtier, where he lived into his 70s on a pension of £35 a year. He was buried in the churchyard of St Mary's at Northchurch near Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire. His simple gravestone reads: "Peter the Wild Boy 1785".

Worsley said: "He was a famous figure in Georgian times and he hasn't been forgotten today, people still lay flowers on his grave.

"It's hugely satisfying to winkle another secret out of the painting, which I've been obsessed with for some years now."


About The Author

Peter Beale served as a troop leader in the 9th Royal Tank Regiment in Normandy and the north-west Europe campaign in 1944-45, during which he was wounded twice. After demobilisation he obtained a degree in electrical engineering at University College, London. He emigrated to Australia in 1956, where he worked as a management consultant. Peter Beale has written three books on tanks in World War II: Tank Tracks, Death by Design, and The Great Mistake. His wife Shirley has assisted with the research for all of these titles as well as this latest release. Peter and his wife, Shirley, live in Valentine, NSW.


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MacArthur, J. 2003. Comprehending creation. In Think biblically! Recovering a Christian worldview, ed. J. MacArthur, R. L. Mayhue and J. A. Hughes, pp. 55–84. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books.

MacArthur, J. 2009. The Source of All Wisdom. Answers 4, no. 2:86–87.

Mayhue, R. L. 2003. Cultivating a biblical mind-set. In Think biblically! Recovering a Christian worldview. ed. J. MacArthur, R. L. Mayhue and J. A. Hughes, pp. 37–53. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books.

Minton, R. 2008. Apostolic witness to Genesis creation and the Flood. In Coming to grips with Genesis: Biblical authority and the age of the earth, ed. T. Mortenson and T. H. Ury, pp. 347–371. Green Forest, Arkansas: Master Books.

Mortenson, T. 2008. Jesus’ view of the age of the earth. In Coming to grips with Genesis: Biblical authority and the age of the earth, ed. T. Mortenson and T. H. Ury, pp. 315–346. Green Forest, Arkansas: Master Books.

Rana, F. and H. Ross. 2005. Who was Adam? A creation model approach to the origin of man. Colorado Springs, Colorado: NavPress.

Schaeffer, F. A. 1972. Genesis in space and time. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press. Repr. in The Complete Works of Francis A. Schaeffer: A Christian Worldview, vol. 2, 2nd ed. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1985.

Seifrid, M. A. 2007. Romans. In Commentary on the New Testament use of the Old Testament, ed. G. K. Beale and D. A. Carson, pp. 607–694. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic.

Scott, J. W. 2009a. The inspiration and interpretation of God’s word, with special reference to Peter Enns, part I: Inspiration and its implications. Westminster Theological Journal 71, no. 1:129–183.

Scott, J. W. 2009b. The Inspiration and interpretation of God’s word, with special reference to Peter Enns, part II: The interpretation of representative passages. Westminster Theological Journal 71, no. 2:247–279.

Vardiman, L., A. A. Snelling, and E. F. Chaffin, eds. 2000. Radioisotopes and the age of the earth: A young-earth creationist research initiative. El Cajon, California: Institute for Creation Research.

Vardiman, L., A. A. Snelling, and E. F. Chaffin, eds. 2005. Radioisotopes and the age of the earth: A young-earth creationist research initiative Vol. 2: Results of a young-earth creationist research initiative. El Cajon, California: Institute for Creation Research.

Waltke, B. K. 2009a. Interaction with Peter Enns. Westminster Theological Journal 71, no. 1:115–128.

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In Russia, nobody's laughing at Iannucci's The Death of Stalin

The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw gave The Death of Stalin a five-star review, but to many Russians it threatens to reopen heated debates about Stalin’s role as the centenary of the October Revolution approaches. Photograph: PR

The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw gave The Death of Stalin a five-star review, but to many Russians it threatens to reopen heated debates about Stalin’s role as the centenary of the October Revolution approaches. Photograph: PR

Last modified on Mon 27 Nov 2017 15.26 GMT

In Britain, early reviews of Armando Iannucci’s dark satire on the aftermath of Joseph Stalin’s death have been glowing. In Russia, nobody is laughing.

The Death of Stalin, which chronicles the Kremlin infighting in the aftermath of the Soviet leader’s death in 1953, stars Steve Buscemi as Nikita Khrushchev, who eventually succeeds Stalin, and Simon Russell-Beale as Lavrentiy Beria, Stalin’s odious secret police chief. Beria is referred to as a “sneaky little shit” in one scene featured in the trailer by Georgy Zhukov, the commander of Soviet troops in the second world war, played in the film by Jason Isaacs, representative of the jokey tone of the film.

The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw said The Death of Stalin was the film of the year and gave it five stars. Many in Russia are less amused, however, as the film threatens to reopen heated Russian debates about the role of Stalin as the centenary of the October Revolution that brought the Bolsheviks to power approaches.

“The death of any person is not a subject for comedy, and even more so the death of a head of state and a great leader,” said Nikolai Starikov, a politician who leads a fringe nationalist party and has written a series of bestselling books on Russian history, including one glorifying Stalin. “He was the leader of a state that was an ally of Great Britain during the war. Could you imagine the Russians making a film mocking the death of a British king?”

Starikov said the film was an “unfriendly act by the British intellectual class” and said it was very clear that the film was part of an “anti-Russian information war” aimed at discrediting the figure of Stalin.

A spokeswoman for Russia’s culture ministry said she could not comment on whether the film might be banned in Russia, as no application for a licence had yet been made. A representative of Volga Films, the Russian distributor of The Death of Stalin, confirmed that the company had yet to submit an official request to the culture ministry for a licence for the film, saying this would take place after the UK premiere on 20 October. She said any public commentary about a potential ban was “simply speculation”.

It is clear, however, that the prospect of the film being screened is already causing uproar among nationalists.

The pro-Kremlin newspaper Vzglyad recommended the film should not be screened in Russia, calling it “a nasty sendup by outsiders who know nothing of our history”. Pavel Pozhigailo, an adviser to Russia’s culture ministry, said the film was a “planned provocation” aimed at angering Communists in Russia and had the potential to “incite hatred”.

In the centenary year of the two revolutions, the official Kremlin narrative of Russian history avoids criticism of leaders and instead focuses on “Russian greatness”, whether under the tsars, the Soviets or President Vladimir Putin. The relentless focus on this has led to popular anger that the Kremlin itself sometimes finds hard to control. Matilda, an upcoming film featuring an affair between the last tsar, Nicholas II, and a ballerina, has led to protests and threats to attack cinemas which show it.

Iannucci, who has satirised the US political system with Veep and the British system with The Thick of It, might find that Russians are a more sensitive target.

“Modern Russia is very neurotic about its past – much more neurotic than the Soviet Union ever was,” said Roman Volobuev, a Russian film-maker. “In the USSR we had comedies about World War II and the October Revolution. Now, suddenly, it’s too sacred, ‘the wounds are too fresh’ and so on. Period films have to be either fuzzy and nostalgic, or gung-ho heroic.”


Contents

“ ” If the Old Testament had been marketed as a horror story — like a Stephen King novel — we might think differently about it. We applaud King's talent (if not the actions of his characters). Those who read his belief-suspending books can appreciate the literary value of that genre. We wink as we wince. We could make allowances for the crude (or even camp ) writing style of the Old Testament authors if we thought their aim was to entertain by shocking. But the real horror story — the one that made Nietzsche say he needed to put on gloves before reading it — is that those writers were not pretending. And neither were the readers. Today, anyone who takes the Old Testament seriously — and does not wink or wince at the gratuitous splattering of blood — is a troubled person.

The God of the Old Testament had a very simple approach to education and law. In Genesisى:1, God asked that Noah and his kin be "be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth." Frenzied reproduction was certainly a good idea when trying to avoid extinction at the hands of an angry God, who saw death as a suitable chastisement for even the most trivial of offences.

The passage suggests that a mob were interested in homosexual rape in respect of the angels. Lot - the only example of a good man in the city - offered them his virgin daughters instead, but the mob were not interested.

Perspectives [ edit ]

Since large numbers of people often end up as meaningless statistics, consider the rough guide below:

  • 20 million - In the global flood this figure is just over the maximum estimated human population before agriculture. Approximately the current population of Australia. It would take about a decade for this many Americans to die of natural causes. Actually, absolute terms aren't useful for this one as it was near-enough 100% of the population - imagine 7.5 billion people being killed should God decide to pull this one again.
  • 185,000 - Assyrian soldiers killed while sleeping. This is greater than the entire multi-national coalition force at the peak of the Iraq War - so imagine losing that entire force in their sleep in one night. By comparison, the bloodiest battle (on a single day) in modern history would be the first day of the Battle of the Somme, where 20,000 BEF troops were killed. 185,000 is also the equivalent of 9/11 every single day for two months. It is slightly higher than the largest ever attendances at Talladega or Daytona motor racing tracks. Α]
  • 70,000 - Assorted Israelites, incidentally the same number of people who claimed to be Jedi in the 2001 Australian census. This is approximately the athletics capacity of Wembley Stadium, or towards the upper end of casualty estimates for the atomic bombing of Nagasaki (39,000-80,000) Β] .
  • 50,070 - Assuming the higher figure, this is not far off the capacity of Yankee Stadium. Sports stadiums are useful comparisons because they're areas where we have photographs of that many people in close proximity and you can see how many it represents.
  • 24,000 - Slightly higher than the capacity of Madison Square Garden for pro wrestling.

Of course, many of these numbers do pale next to what humans do to each other, and what the planet itself has thrown at us, but it is really the motives (or lack of) that should be truly shocking. When one takes into consideration all killing committed for God and in his name (up until the present 2021), the tally increase would be much, much higher. He gives free will, but apparently, it is just a trap.

But, remember. God loves you!


‘The Tragedy of King Richard the Second’: Theater Review

Simon Russell Beale stars in a radical and topical modern-dress production of Shakespeare’s history play 'The Tragedy of King Richard the Second,' directed by Joe Hill-Gibbins.

Demetrios Matheou

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Richard II&rsquos standing as one of Shakespeare&rsquos most incisive dissections of power is fueled &mdash you could say rocket-propelled &mdash by this lean, pacy, visceral and hugely engaging production, in which the delusional folly of the king is matched by the antic disarray of his nobles, ringing alarm bells with anyone in the audience who despairs at the U.K.’s current, Brexit-marred political landscape.

The Almeida has had considerable success with Shakespeare of late, including Ralph Fiennes’ Richard III and Andrew Scott&rsquos singular Hamlet. The theater has now, somewhat miraculously, enticed one of Britain&rsquos finest stage actors, Simon Russell Beale, to play Richard II, in between London and New York stints of The Lehmann Trilogy.

But more instrumental to the tone of the evening than Beale&rsquos casting (as an older than usual king) is the director. With his Measure for Measure at The Young Vic in 2015, an astonishing production that including inflatable sex dolls, hip-hop, live video feeds and projected animations, Joe Hill-Gibbins presented himself as a director unafraid to push the Bard into uncharted waters. He&rsquos also unafraid to cut.

The use of this play&rsquos original title, The Tragedy of King Richard the Second, is the mildest of Hill-Gibbins&rsquo largely winning affectations. Coming in at a mere 100 minutes, during which time the entire cast remains onstage &mdash some playing multiple characters &mdash it&rsquos an exhilaratingly different adaptation.

The action takes place on a bare stage, whose high walls are comprised of bolted grey panels, the ceiling a sort of inverted light box. It could equally be a padded cell or a prison yard, designer Ultz offering the starkest and least regal setting the play may have had. Actors wear contemporary casual clothes, Beale&rsquos king dressed in black jeans and t-shirt, the latter accentuating his girth. Rather than the preening clothes horse often portrayed, here&rsquos a man whose complacent belief in God-given power isn&rsquot reflected in physical vanity.

Beale is the only castmember not to wear gloves &mdash including gardening gloves, no less, which come to feature prominently as the political maneuvering of the king, his usurper Bolingbroke (Leo Bill) and the equally self-serving nobles becomes hysterical. The only other props are clearly marked buckets containing water, soil and “blood.”

It starts quietly, with Richard&rsquos normally much later speech in which he bemoans being &ldquounking&rsquod by Bolingbroke,” before returning to the sequence of arrogantly made misjudgments &mdash banishment, land theft, unnecessary wars &mdash that have brought him down.

There will be other moments of introspection and reflection, as Richard&rsquos passage from a reckless sense of superiority to abject humiliation and despair (&ldquoI wasted time, and now doth time waste me&rdquo) is lent pathos by Beale&rsquos typically flesh-and-blood, beautifully spoken performance his king may be unable to communicate with the common people, but the actor has no such problems communing with the audience. Joseph Mydell&rsquos Gaunt is also quietly spoken, plangent, his despair at personal and national loss leading him to slip silently into death in Richard&rsquos arms.

But for the most part, this is performed at breakneck speed, noisily (Peter Rice&rsquos sound design either had a bad night, or is simply ill-judged) and edited to scenes and speeches that move the primary action forward, namely the transfer of power the Duchess of Gloucester is one character conspicuous by her absence.

It&rsquos highly physical, not least in the movement of the uniformly good ensemble in and out and around the fringes of the action, often clustering conspiratorially in a corner or scampering out of the way of the protagonists. The buckets frequently come into play: Bolingbroke throwing fake blood at two of Richard&rsquos yes men, to signify their execution Richard showered in soil and water by tormenting gardeners and quickly turning into a muddy mess &mdash much as his own garden, the kingdom.

And those gloves are brought to good use in a raucous sequence in which one &ldquogage&rdquo after another is dropped in challenge by the squabbling nobles, as Bill&rsquos increasingly overawed Bolingbroke struggles to control duplicitous and self-serving men who simply can’t decide where their allegiance should lie.

The chaos and the muddy, bloody mess on stage match the politicking of Bolingbroke&rsquos ultimately guilt-ridden ascent to the throne. And it&rsquos this, rather than Richard&rsquos fall, which resonates most strongly in the here and now, particularly alongside the U.K. parliament&rsquos recent descent into disrepute. How Hill-Gibbins must be rubbing his hands with glee as Gaunt declares, &ldquoThat England, that was wont to conquer others, Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.”

The play&rsquos transformation into almost rollicking satire does come at a price &mdash with too little pause, Richard&rsquos tragedy is less keenly felt, as are some of the characterizations and the poetry. Nevertheless, this is a radical and dynamic take on an ever-more apposite play.

The Tragedy of King Richard the Second will be broadcast live to cinemas in the U.K. and internationally Jan. 15, in partnership with National Theatre Live.

Venue: Almeida Theatre, London
Cast: Simon Russell-Beale, Leo Bill, Martins Imhangbe, Natalie Klamer, John Mackay, Joseph Mydell, Saskia Reeves, Robin Weaver
Director: Joe Hill-Gibbins
Playwright: William Shakespeare
Designer: Ultz
Lighting designer: James Farncombe
Sound designer: Peter Rice
Presented by Almeida Theatre


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