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The Little Ice Age and a Spartan Existence *

The number of hurricanes in the Atlantic jumps to 11 with 5 in August, 4 in September, and the other two may have been a continuation of other storms. Given that many of the reports consist of the loss of a ship rather than a satellite picture, one can only make an educated guess as to how bad they are. Damage is easier to measure when they make landfall even though it is hard on the residents. The Little Ice Age has increased the number and severity of the storms during this period. The number of people who have died from these storms has massed into the hundreds of thousands in the last few years. And that is not counting deaths due to famine and disease during this period. Sand tossed up by severe winds have buried entire towns, and destroyed farmland for miles inland, never to be restored to its former fertility. The temperature is only one-half to a full-degree lower than modern temperatures on average, but averages hide a lot of variability that kill crops and people. [1] [2] [3]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
It is counter-intuitive that a drop in temperature causes an increase in storms. When we had a number of hurricanes in a row, the Global Warming hand-wringers warned that this was just the beginning of many super-storms. Yet it was followed by several years of a placid Atlantic. The evidence no longer matters. Only correct dogma matters. It is group-think on par with religion, but at least religion has the promise of Heaven. In ancient times a great leader came to the Greek city of Sparta who gave the citizens strict rules that saved them from their personal excesses. They gave up their money, their love and their children. Sparta became disciplined and a great power for a time. Now there is nothing left of Sparta but worn stones and dust. We are headed for a Spartan existence in more ways than one.

From Father to Son Since 1591

Budweiser and Beretta have stood the test of time but now a construction company in Great Britain joins the ranks of businesses that will survive into the modern day. John Durtnell gets married this year and lists his occupation as 'carpenter'. He and his brother, Brian, have teamed up to build what are called Wealden houses or "forest houses". One of their first projects is a house for their elderly father. The house has had several names down the centuries such as Poundsbridge Manor but most people call it "The Picture House" probably because it looks so interesting that it is regularly sketched by artists. John and Brian are craftsmen, passing down their skills from generation to generation. In the 7th generation, sometime after 1766, Richard Durtnell will turn that craft into something recognizable as a modern business. In the 9th generation, another Richard will formalize a partnership between himself and his sons. He will give the construction company it's modern name: "R. Durtnell & Sons". [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
There are VERY few companies in Great Britain who can make a claim to be older, but documenting claims that far back is difficult. "The Picture House" still exists today. It is a visually interesting house made of oak. The house was hit by a bomb during World War 2, so the Durtnell company returned to restore the house after the war. Last year I had a contractor repair my kitchen but he lost interest and disappeared. He was sub-contractor to a larger company so the work eventually came to a conclusion (such as it is). They all seemed like nice guys, but they never actually got the job done in the way they said they would ... as if they forgot what they had promised the day before. I suppose it's an old story. Hundreds of years old.

The Price of Revenge

The name "Revenge" has been given to many ships in the British Navy. The galleon HMS Revenge was commissioned in 1577. It led the attack against the Spanish Armada and chased the Armada until it rounded Ireland. In the years that followed it ran normal patrols, attempting to interdict Spanish shipping. When the Revenge came into port for maintenance, the Spanish fleet caught them flat-footed. Nevertheless, the officers and crew fought their ship well over several days until it became clear they should either surrender or scuttle the ship. Although the captain wanted to scuttle, the officers wanted to surrender so the Revenge became the only ship under Queen Elizabeth the 1st to surrender to Spain. [9] [10]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Capturing the HMS Revenge did the Spaniards no good. The battle caused so much damage to the Revenge that the ship sank with the entire Spanish prize crew of 200 men. For the Spaniards, the prize was hardly worth the price paid in blood and the honoring of the parole of the British officers. A 'parole' is a personal agreement between combatants to discontinue the battle in exchange for some consideration. In this example, the surrender of the ship without further loss of life seemed reasonable to the officers of the Revenge. Since the ship sank, the Brits got the best of the deal.

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1591, Wikipedia.

See Also


* The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
  1. List of Atlantic hurricanes before 1600 - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 9 June 2015.
  2. Storminess Of The Little Ice Age. ClimateChangeDispatch.com (07 February 2014). Retrieved on 12 June 2015. “(quoting Brian Fagan, in 'The Little Ice Age') ...throughout Europe, the years 1560-1600 were cooler and stormier, with late wine harvests and considerably stronger winds than those of the 20th Century. Storm activity increased by 85% in the second half of the 16th Century and the incidence of severe storms rose by 400%.”
  3. Andrew B. Appleby (April 1980). Epidemics and Famine in the Little Ice Age. The Journal of Interdisciplinary History. 10. The MIT Press. pp. 643-663. http://www.jstor.org/stable/203063. 
  4. R. Durtnell & Sons - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 9 June 2015. “R. Durtnell & Sons is an English building company established in 1591 that has been continuously in the same family in Brasted, in the English county of Kent since that time. The first building it constructed, Poundsbridge Manor (also called The Picture House), was completed in 1593, and it was the same firm that restored the house following bomb damage in World War II.”
  5. The first recorded house, built by John Dartnall and his brother Brian, was an oak-framed property called Poundsbridge Manor.. durtnell.co.uk (2014). Retrieved on 10 June 2015. “The first recorded mention of building, as opposed to property, in the family - and hence the year from which Durtnell dates its existence - is 22 July 1591, when John Dartnall married Ann Hearst, registering his profession as 'carpenter', synonymous with 'builder' at a time when most houses were of timber-framed construction.”
  6. Business tips from UK's oldest family firms. BBC News (2015). Retrieved on 10 June 2015. “The tenth and eleventh generations of the Hoare family run the bank today and the company says the secret to their longevity is adhering to their core values and ethos - 'to treat others as we would wish to be treated'.”
  7. Britain's oldest builder R Durtnell and Sons from Brasted, near Westerham, appears in BBC Four documentary Hidden Histories. kentonline.co.uk (29 January 2014). Retrieved on 10 June 2015. “The oldest of these which still survives is Poundsbridge Manor, just outside Penshurst, built in 1593.”
  8. R. Durtnell & Sons - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 10 June 2015. “The oak timber-framed house Poundsbridge Manor, nicknamed 'The Picture House', was built in 1593 by John and Brian Durtnall for their father William, Rector of Penshurst from 1563 to 1596. Originally, it was called 'Durtnolls' and it has an inscription '1593 WD ETA 69'. WD are the initials of William Durtnell and the letter D, looking like an inverted Q, is the Gothic form of the letter.”
  9. English ship Revenge (1577) - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 9 June 2015. “Revenge came to her end in a glorious but bizarre episode that has become a legend. In order to impede a Spanish naval recovery after the Armada, Sir John Hawkins proposed a blockade of the supply of treasure being acquired from the Spanish Empire in America by a constant naval patrol designed to intercept Spanish ships. Revenge, was on such a patrol in the summer of 1591 under the command of Sir Richard Grenville.”
  10. HMS Revenge (1577) Spanish Ships Fleet Ship English Sir Battle. economicexpert.com (2015). Retrieved on 12 June 2015. “After an assurance of proper conduct, and having held off dozens of Spanish ships, the Revenge at last surrendered, becoming the only English ship to be captured by the Spaniards in that Elizabethan conflict. The injured Captain Grenville died of wounds two days later aboard the Spanish flagship.”

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