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Old Bushmills Irish Whiskey and the Sins of Our Fathers

King James the 1st of Great Britain has granted a license to distill and bottle Irish whiskey to Sir Thomas Phillips. Sir Thomas will use the waters from a tributary of the Bush River and thus the name Bushmills Distillery will become the name although no record of the name appears at this time. Any number of such licenses were granted to various members of the English and Scot-Irish community during these years in order promote competent people into critical industries for efficiency and quality purposes, but there are other purposes, unsaid but obvious: Out with the old bosses and in with the new bosses... the King's bosses, that is. The Old Bushmills Distillery will remain in operation into the modern day. [1] [2]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The modern label on the whiskey bottle boasts: "Original Grant to Distil 1608" and that is true enough. I'm not sure how many bottles were distilled though. Sir Thomas Phillips had some problems negotiating his land rights, fishing rights and tithes. It was clear how tenuous his hold was over his lands. Although it was not said, it looked like he was being used by the King as a moving target to flush out anyone resentful over the recent confiscation of Irish tribal lands ... uh... I mean... the efficient redistribution of the productive resources of Great Britain. This was the Ulster Plantation coming into being around 1606 and resentments between Irish Catholics and Ulster-Scot Protestants are often dated from this time. However, please don't blame the Bushmills Distillery of today for what happened back then. Our present generation has enough answer for without having to answer for what our fathers did yesterday or 400 years of yesterdays... for good or for bad. [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

The Only 'Nada' they Found was in the word 'Canada'

Quebec City is founded this year by the French explorer Samuel de Champlain. He was encouraged by the trappers and local French land holders to establish a trading post along the Saint Lawrence River. The site he selects will become Quebec City. (The word 'quebec' is an Indian word meaning "where the river narrows".) Samuel has ambitious plans and will establish Fort Saint-Louis at what will one day be called the Upper Town. Despite the fort, the trading post will be poorly defended against a concerted assault. They will manage to defend the city, but lose control to British forces. Many people in Quebec will retain their allegiance to France when Canada becomes a British dominion (meaning an independently controlled part of the British Empire.) Quebec will remain a formidable political and cultural center within Canada into the modern day. [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Samuel de Champlain used the name 'le Canada' to refer to the region. Very likely the name Canada comes from kanata, the Indian word meaning settlement or land. So what is this "soupa de merdia de toro" about the Spanish word 'nada' in name 'Canada'? There is a theory that the Spaniards marked their survey maps of the area with the words "acá nada" which translates as "here nothing" but actually means, "No gold found here." This theory sounds suspiciously like a put down so I'm discounting it. New France extended from Québec, Canada down the Mississippi River to New Orleans. President Thomas Jefferson used taxpayer money to buy much of that land from France for a little over a quarter million in today's dollars. That was called "The Louisiana Purchase," and while it was probably unconstitutional for Jefferson to do it, it must have looked like a good deal for both sides. (It was.) The 13 states of the United States needed room to expand. French territories were in the way of that expansion which meant an eventual war. Since Napoleon needed cash and he couldn't hold the territory, it made more sense to sell it outright rather than wait for the USA to just take it. [14]

The Check is in the Mail... and in the Netherlands *

The Dutch Republic uses the first recognizable checks this year called "drawn notes". The actual term "check" won't be used until 1706. The idea of using a financial instrument to facilitate international transactions has been around since the 1st century, but because of the ongoing war in the Netherlands, people with a ton of money (meaning a lot of heavy coins) are trying to protect that money. They have deposited their coins with "cashiers" who protect those deposits for a reasonable fee. The fee is a percentage of the money being held so there is competition to attract biggest depositors by offering better services. Some cashiers are allowing clients to write a note to draw cash from a client's account. The client writes a note directing the cashier to pay a certain amount to the payee listed on the note. These drawn notes are used locally instead of internationally, and are the beginning of a modern checking system. [15]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
A check need not be a piece of paper. I saw a man write out a "check" on the back of a closet door. Naturally, his bank charged an extra processing fee but they honored the "door" check. You can create your own money using third-party checks. Banks discourage this practice but if I write out a check to you to pay my debt, you can sign that check over to a 3rd party to pay your own debt. If you do so, you are using my check like money. As long as each 3rd party accepts my check as reliable payment, my check can be passed back-and-forth all around town like real money. I'd like to say that banks don't want you to do this because they don't like the competition but in fact, they trying to reduce fraud. Some banks still allow 3rd party checks, though. My bank allowed me to do it last week! [16]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1608, Wikipedia.

See Also


* The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
  1. Old Bushmills Distillery - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 9 July 2015. “All of the whiskey bottled under the Bushmills whiskey brand is produced at the Bushmills Distillery. A licence to distill in the area was granted to Sir Thomas Phillips in 1608 by King James I, and the 1608 date is printed on the labels of the Bushmills brand whiskey. It uses water drawn from Saint Columb's Rill which is a tributary of the River Bush.”
  2. Wars and Conflicts - Plantation of Ulster. BBC History (2014). Retrieved on 9 July 2015. “King James I believed that colonising Ulster would quell rebellion and win over the 'rude and barbarous Irish' to 'civility' and Protestantism.”
  3. Flight of the Earls - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 9 July 2015. “King James issued 'A Proclamation touching the Earles of Tyrone and Tyrconnell' on 15 November 1607, describing their action as treasonous, and therefore preparing the ground for the eventual forfeiture of their lands and titles.[3] No reply was made to the proclamation.”
  4. Plantation of Ulster. HouseofNames.com (2015). Retrieved on 9 July 2015. “During the reign of King James I, these massive territories were transferred to some English, but mostly Scottish settlers. These settlers were called Undertakers and Planters, hence the term Plantation of Ulster.”
  5. An Historical Account of the plantation in Ulster at the Commencement of the Seventeenth Century: 1608-1620. Google Books. M'Caw, Stevenson & Orr (1877). Retrieved on 9 July 2015.
  6. Plantation of Ulster - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 9 July 2015. “The Plantation of Ulster was the organised colonisation (plantation) of Ulster – a province of Ireland – by people from Great Britain during the reign of King James I. Most of the colonists came from Scotland and England. Small private plantation by wealthy landowners began in 1606, while the official plantation began in 1609. An estimated half a million acres (2,000 km) spanning counties Tyrconnell, Tyrone, Fermanagh, Cavan, Coleraine and Armagh, was confiscated from Gaelic chiefs, most of whom had fled Ireland in the 1607 Flight of the Earls.”
  7. Ulster Scots people - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 9 July 2015. “The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots: Ulstèr-Scotch; Irish: Albanaigh Uladh or Uladh-Albanaigh) are an ethnic group in Ireland, found mostly in the Ulster region and to a lesser extent in the rest of Ireland. Their ancestors were mostly Protestant Lowland Scottish people, many being from the 'Border Reivers' culture.[citation needed] These people migrated to Ireland in large numbers both as a result of the government-sanctioned Plantation of Ulster, a planned process of colonisation which took place under the auspices of James VI of Scotland and James I of England on land confiscated from members of the Gaelic nobility of Ireland who fled Ulster and as part of a larger migration or unofficial settlement.”
  8. Quebec City: History - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 9 July 2015. “Quebec was founded by Samuel de Champlain, a French explorer and diplomat on 3 July 1608, and at the site of a long abandoned St. Lawrence Iroquoian settlement called Stadacona. Champlain, also called 'The Father of New France', served as its administrator for the rest of his life.”
  9. Name of Canada - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 9 July 2015. “One theory suggested that the name originated when Spanish or Portuguese explorers, having explored the northern part of the continent and unable to find gold and silver, wrote acá nada, or cá nada, ('nothing here') on that part of their maps.”
  10. History of Quebec City - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 12 July 2015. “Jacques Cartier, a French explorer, was the first European to ascend the St. Lawrence Gulf, claiming 'le Canada' for France (and the coming addition of a newly founded 'l'Acadie' – known today as the Province of Nova Scotia) to create a dominion known as 'New France'. Jacques Cartier and his crew spent a harsh winter near Stadacona during his second voyage in 1535. The word 'Kebec' is an Algonquin word meaning 'where the river narrows.”
  11. Canadian Social Trends: City of Québec 1608-2008: 400 years of censuses. Statistics Canada (Government Site) (August 2008). Retrieved on 12 July 2015.
  12. Québec, a New French Colony (1608–1755). Ville de Québec (2015). Retrieved on 12 July 2015.
  13. Samuel de Champlain - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 12 July 2015. “Samuel de Champlain (born Samuel Champlain; on or before August 13, 1574 – December 25, 1635), 'The Father of New France', was a French navigator, cartographer, draughtsman, soldier, explorer, geographer, ethnologist, diplomat, and chronicler. He founded New France and Quebec City on July 3, 1608. He is important to Canadian history because he made the first accurate map of the coast and he helped establish the settlements.”
  14. The History of the Louisiana Purchase. geography.about.com (2015). Retrieved on 20 July 2015. “On April 30, 1803 the nation of France sold 828,000 square miles (2,144,510 square km) of land west of the Mississippi River to the young United States of America in a treaty commonly known as the Louisiana Purchase. President Thomas Jefferson, in one of his greatest achievements, more than doubled the size of the United States at a time when the young nation's population growth was beginning to quicken.”
  15. Cheque - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 20 July 2015. “In the early 1500s in the Dutch Republic, to protect large accumulations of cash, people began depositing their money with 'cashiers'. These cashiers held the money for a fee. Competition drove cashiers to offer additional services including paying money to any person bearing a written order from a depositor to do so. They kept the note as proof of payment.”
  16. Alex Shrugged notes: I give the impression that I knew the man writing the "door" check. In fact I saw it on the TV news, so I did "see" it.

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