Society X

the Great Universe

Category: Shakespeare

Falstaff of Brentford

by 5ocietyx

John-Lowin

The Three Pigeons was once a bustling tavern that used to grace the south-west corner of the Brentford Market Place. In its heyday in the 17th and 18th century, when Brentford was a busy market and resort town, it was a coaching inn, which could stable up to one hundred horses. It sadly closed in 1916.

There is an etching of The Three Pigeons done in 1848 which gives some idea of the Inn.

Fortunately for us, its reputation for entertainment has been captured and preserved in many references to it in literature. I have been uncovering a few, which build a picture of a lively and attractive place and a source of material for writers.

But first let me introduce a great Shakespearean actor who was the landlord of The Three Pigeons, John Lowin, and appropriately enough his great role was Falstaff.

John Lowin was an actor who became the innkeeper of The Three Pigeons Inn, and died there in 1659. With Shakespeare, he was a member of the King’s Men theatre company, well remembered for his Falstaff role. An article on “Falstaffs, Past and Present” in the New York Times (1894):

“The original Falstaff is said to have been John Heminges, but Davies in his “Dramatic Miscellanies” disputes this, and gives the honour to William Lowin. Lowin played the part for forty years, until the Long Parliament made the giving of “stage plays and interludes” a crime. Then Lowin opened a public house at Brentford, called The Three Pigeons, and here he had as a companion Joseph Taylor, said to have beeen the original Hamlet. Lowin and Taylor led a precarious life, only brightened now and then by a few members of royalty and several commoners, who apprecaites the drama, and patronised The Three Pigeons to hear Lowin and Taylor recite Falstaff and Hamlet.”

In “Shakespeare and the Modern Stage with Other Essays” (1907) Sidney Lee refers to Lowin and Taylor’s time at Brentford:

Of the twenty-five actors who are enumerated in a preliminary page of the great First Folio, as filling in Shakespeare’s lifetime chief roles in his plays, few survived him long. All of them came in personal contact with him; several of them constantly appeared with him on the stage from early days.

The two who were longest lived, John Lowin and Joseph Taylor, came at length to bear a great weight of years. They were both Shakespeare’s juniors, Lowin by twelve years, and Taylor by twenty; but both established their reputation before middle age. Lowin at twenty-seven took part with Shakespeare in the first representation of Ben Jonson’s “Sejanus” in 1603. He was an early, if not the first, interpreter of the character of Falstaff. Taylor as understudy to the great actor Burbage, a very close ally of Shakespeare, seems to have achieved some success in the part of Hamlet, and to have been applauded in the role of Iago, while the dramatist yet lived. When the dramatist died in 1616, Lowin was forty, and Taylor over thirty.

Subsequently, as their senior colleagues one by one passed from the world, these two actors assumed first rank in their company, and before the ruin in which the Civil War involved all theatrical enterprise, they were acknowledged to stand at the head of their profession. Taylor lived through the Commonwealth, and Lowin far into the reign of Charles the Second, ultimately reaching his eighty-third year. Their last days were passed in indigence, and Lowin when an octogenarian was reduced to keeping the inn of the Three Pigeons, at Brentford.”

I have not found any evidence for Shakespeare having visited the Three Pigeons, but it would be magical if Shakespeare had thought up the character of the Old Woman of Brentford in The Merry Wives of Windsor, from a visit to the Three Pigeons!

Source:
http://www.brentforddockresidents.co.uk/artthreepigeons.php

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The Golden Boy of Pye Corner

by 5ocietyx

Golden Boy of Pye Corner

The Golden Boy of Pye Corner is a small monument located on the corner of Giltspur Street and Cock Lane in Smithfield, London. It was erected where the Great Fire of London (1666) stopped and it bears the following inscription:

This Boy is in Memory Put up for the late FIRE of LONDON Occasion’d by the Sin of Gluttony.

The statue was originally built into the front of a public house called The Fortune of War which used to occupy this site but was demolished in 1910.

Hidden London picks up the story..

“Pye Corner was the name given in those days to the junction of Cock Lane and Giltspur Street and it may have originated from an inn sign depicting a magpie.

Giltspur Street was first recorded with this name in the mid-​​16th century. It seems likely to derive from the earlier presence of spurriers, whose wares were in demand for the medieval jousting tournaments held at Smithfield and Cheapside. Gilt spurs were also buckled to a man’s heels as part of the ceremony of making him a knight.

Cock Lane had a far less reputable history. First recorded around 1200, its name probably signified a lane where fighting cocks were reared and/​or sold. In the late Middle Ages Cock Lane was the only place north of the Thames where brothels – or ‘stews’ – were legally sanctioned. William Langland’s Vision of Piers Plowman (late 14th century) contains a reference to one “Clarisse of Cokkes lone” [sic]. In Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 2, Falstaff is accused of continually going to Pye Corner “to buy a saddle” – probably an oblique reference to his patronage of the brothels.”

golden-boy-pye-corner

Sources:
http://hidden-london.com/the-guide/golden-boy-of-pye-corner/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Boy_of_Pye_Corner

Victor Hugo, Churchill, Lenin, Jefferson, Shakespeare and the cathedral of kitsch

by 5ocietyx

Cao Dai

Cao Dai

Deep in the Vinh Tuong District in Southern Vietnam is to be found perhaps the most colourful cathedral in the world.

It is the Cao Đài temple in Tay Ninh and is the place of worship of the Cao Đài, a modern syncretistic, monotheistic religion, officially established in the city of Tây Ninh, southern Vietnam in 1926.

On the Cao Đài’s official website they state what they are all about

The noble effort of CaoDai is to unite all of humanity through a common vision of the Supreme Being, whatever our minor differences, in order to promote peace and understanding throughout the world. CaoDai does not seek to create a gray world, where all religions are exactly the same, only to create a more tolerant world, where all can see each other as sisters and brothers from a common divine source reaching out to a common divine destiny realizing peace within and without.

CaoDai is a universal faith with the principle that all religions have one same divine origin, which is God, or Allah, or the Tao, or the Nothingness, one same ethic based on LOVE and JUSTICE, and are just different manifestations of one same TRUTH.

This would seem to explain the reason behind their eclectic mixture of western figures and communist leaders they have adopted as their patron saints including Winston Churchill, Vladimir Lenin, Thomas Jefferson, William Shakespeare and Victor Hugo to name a few.

Cao means “high” and Đài means “dais” (as in a platform or altar raised above the surrounding level to give prominence to the person on it). Figuratively, it means that highest spiritual place where God reigns.

It is interesting to note that the word for God in Italian is Dio, in French it is Dieu, in Spanish it is Dios and in Latin it is Deus.

Cao Dai

Cao Dai

Cao Dai

Cao Dai

Cao Dai

Cao Dai

Cao Dai

Cao Dai

Cao Dai

Cao Dai

Cao Dai

Cao Dai

 

Inside the heart of Sagittarius the Hunter

by 5ocietyx

Statue of Ariel and Prospero, Broadcasting House

by 5ocietyx

Ariel and Prospero, Broadcasting House

Ariel and Prospero by dog lover Eric Gill

Eric Gill created the ‘Ariel and Prospero’ statue that adorns the entrance to Broadcasting House as well as ‘Ariel piping to the children’ and ‘Ariel between Wisdom and Gaiety’.

After Broadcasting House was opened and the statues were installed, concern was voiced about the size of the sprite’s genitalia. A question was tabled in the House of Commons, but the popular story, that Gill was ordered to modify the statue, is not substantiated. 1

Supposedly a deeply religious man who followed the Roman Catholic faith (go figure) according to his biographer, Fiona MacCarthy, Gill’s personal diaries described how he sexually abused his own children, had an incestuous relationship with his sister and performed sexual acts on his dog. 2

Whilst Television Centre appears to be a paedophile’s playground, an incestuous, child abusing, bestiality practitioner was commissioned to decorate Broadcasting House. Savile must have walked through those doors and thought to himself ‘I’ve arrived’.

Ariel between Wisdom and Gaiety

Ariel between Wisdom and Gaiety. Subtle Pied Piper allusions.

Piping to the children, Eric Gill

Piping to the children, Eric Gill

More than just allusions – in your face deviancy by self confessed child abuser.

Broadcasting House, artwork by Eric Gill

Broadcasting House, artwork by Eric Gill

Eric-Gill

Eric Gill working on Ariel and Prospero statue, Broadcasting House

Related Posts
The Tempest: Prospero, Ariel, Gill and the BBC…and Anonymous

1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/historyofthebbc/collections/bbc_collection/collection_archive_art.shtml
2
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Gill

 

The Sufi Basis of The Taming of The Shrew

by 5ocietyx

Sufi dancers

Most Baconians are familiar with the symbolism of Shake-speare as Pallas Athena the Spear Shaker, but the name has another, more concealed meaning. In Syria, where the cult originated, Kidhr is equated with St. George (who is the patron saint of England).

According to Idries Shah, The Order of The Garter in England (whose patron saint is St. George) derived from the Sufi Khidr Order. Sufis have sometimes rendered Shakespeare in perfectly correct and acceptable Persian as Sheikh-Peer, “The Ancient Sage.” William Shakespeare, and Miguel Cervantes, both of whom Bacon utilized as his masks, are recorded as dying on the birthday of St. George. In the Anatomy of Melancholy, when referring to “that omniscious, only wise fraternity of the Rosie Cross” Bacon names their head as “Elias Artifex, their Theophrastian master” and then describes him as “the renewer of all arts and sciences, reformer of the world, and now living.” Since, the Great Instauration, (the renewal of all arts and sciences), was Bacon’s work, the implication is that Bacon himself was head of the Rosicrucian Fraternity, and that Bacon was Elias who was Kidhr, The Green One, the supernatural figure who is the hidden guide, and patron of the Sufi Orders.

http://www.sirbacon.org/mshrew.htm

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