Game of Allies: WWII Arctic Convoys to Russia

Charlotte Milne author photoRelevant History welcomes Charlotte Milne, a naval daughter who grew up in the Scottish Borders. She worked for the Scottish National Trust, Makerere University in Uganda, and for an American software house. Although writing ‘stories’ since schooldays, she published her first novel, Dolphin Days, in 2017. Come In From the Cold (summer 2019 release), set in Scotland, tells the story of a WW2 naval officer on Russian convoys, through three generations, solving a seventy-year old murder mystery on the way. Charlotte is a keen genealogist and involved in various community-based organisations. To learn more about her and her books, visit her web site, and follow her on Facebook and Goodreads.


Arms for Russia posterIn World War 2, Roosevelt and Churchill desperately needed to prevent Russia from allying with Germany. If it did so, they knew the western allies would lose the war. In return for Russia’s alliance with the West, Stalin demanded vast amounts of food and arms for his starving and ill-equipped people. Germany and its allies blocked the land routes, so the only way to get supplies to Russia was by sea. The only ports available were within the Arctic Circle—Murmansk and Archangel—with all of Hitler’s sea and air power under orders to prevent them from reaching Russia.

How did Britain and the US get supplies to Russia?
Loch EweMerchant ships gathered in a deep-water anchorage in the west of Scotland called Loch Ewe. Protected by escorts of heavily-armed allied warships, they joined up with other merchant ships in Iceland, and headed, nervously, towards Russia’s only two northern open-water ports.

On the way, the Luftwaffe, based in occupied Norway, would bomb the ships from the air, U-boat submarines lurking beneath the White Sea would attack with torpedoes, and their fast and mighty warships could outgun the Western allies.

We think these days that communication is so simple! Hard to remember that there was no internet, no satellites, and radar was a new technology. Radio silence was kept, to obscure the convoy’s position. Ship to ship communication was by visual signal only.

The weather was a worse enemy. In summer there was 24-hour daylight—enemy aircraft, ships and submarines worked round the clock too. Summer convoys became so dangerous they had to be discontinued. In winter there was 24-hour darkness, the sea froze and the ice sheet grew rapidly from north to south. This meant that convoys had to sail much further south and were then squeezed between the ice and the land mass to the south. Much easier for the Germans to find and attack them.

HMS Sheffield convoyWinter storms were indescribable. The winter water temperature often dropped to minus 2 degrees Celsius, air temperature down to minus 22 degrees Celsius, without taking wind into account. Waves were often 40 to 50 feet high, visibility was nil in driving snow and spray, ships came near the vertical both going up and coming down the waves, they crashed and bounced and wallowed and capsized. Capsizing was one of the greatest dangers due to the weight of ice which accumulated above decks from the water flooding the superstructure of ships. Ice accumulated on guns, turrets and shells; masts, rigging, funnels, pipes and guard rails; on containers, aircraft, tanks and munitions stacked on decks, the decks themselves were like ice rinks, doors sealed themselves, ropes, anchors, fenders became as hard as iron and as immoveable. Clothes were inadequate—no ski jackets or cold weather gear as we know it. Crews had to spend hours on deck, tossed about like dolls, chipping at the ice and throwing it overboard, just so that the ship would not turn turtle. Fuel and oil coagulated in the low temperatures. Unimaginable conditions. Unimaginably brave men.

The convoys drained the British war effort. Every escorting warship was a ship which could have been fighting elsewhere on the warfront. Churchill became extremely unpopular for supplying Russia.

In total, 104 Allied merchant ships and 18 warships were sunk on the Arctic convoys. 829 merchant mariners and 1,944 navy personnel were killed. Killed by guns, torpedoes, sinking, drowning, fire, hypothermia, inhalation of oil and Russian hospitals.

What happened when ships arrived in Russia?
Both Archangel in the White Sea and Murmansk in the Kola Inlet were very basic fishing ports. Wooden quays, virtually no lifting gear, wooden sheds, no hotels or shops of any kind. The officials were deeply suspicious of the capitalists bringing ships and goods into their country. These ports were so far from central government that orders seldom got to them. There was no infrastructure or telephones, and in winter, they were totally isolated. Murmansk was very close to German airfields in Norway, and many ships were bombed lying alongside. Ships companies were not allowed ashore—there was nothing to go ashore for! They were not allowed to use their own boats, even to visit their own ships. Russian guards were posted at every gangplank, bureaucracy was rampant and corrupt, and few Russians were able to speak English or could read or write.

Goods were mainly unloaded by hand by what appeared to be slave labour—serfs—and seldom found their way to the right destination, food supplies for the starving citizens often lying rotting on the quays. Tanks, guns, crated aircraft, munitions—no-one seemed to know who or where they were destined for, nor did anyone seem to care. Many sailors arrived with terrible injuries after German attacks, but the ‘hospital’ was so basic, with no hygiene, facilities or medications, that many died needlessly in ghastly conditions. Western medical supplies were turned away. Many of the RAF planes which should have been protecting Murmansk and attacking German airfields were grounded, but the spare parts brought on the convoys were not allowed to be delivered and were impounded or stolen along with vast amounts of vital war supplies.

The bureaucracy surrounding every movement of every man and every ship, every container and every item transported was such that sometimes it took weeks or months to offload vital supplies for the Russian front line, trapping the escorts in port. Ships were prevented from refuelling, or taking on water or food supplies, their crews virtually starving, despite bringing hundreds of tons of foodstuffs into the country. Stalin might have been an official ally, but for the Arctic convoys, Russia certainly didn’t behave like one.

The story of the Road to Russia and the sacrifice and bravery of those seamen remained almost unknown under The Official Secrets Act. Until 1999 there was no memorial, and no medal was awarded until 2013.


Come in from the Cold book coverA big thanks to Charlotte Milne! She’ll give away one £5 Amazon gift card to a reader in the UK who contributes a comment on my blog this week as well as one $5 Amazon gift card to a reader in the United States or Canada who contributes a comment. I’ll choose the two winners from among those who comment by Friday at 6 p.m. ET.


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Skulduggery at the Horse Track: the Trodmore Hunt Scam

Renee Dahlia author photoRenée Dahlia is an unabashed romance reader who loves feisty women and strong, clever men. Her books reflect this, with a side-note of dark humour. Renée has a science degree in physics. When not distracted by the characters fighting for attention in her brain, she works in the horse racing industry doing data analysis and writing magazine articles. When she isn’t reading or writing, Renée wrangles a partner, four children, and volunteers on the local cricket club committee as well as for Romance Writers Australia. To learn more about her and her books, visit her web site, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


In my Victorian-set historical romance, The Heart of a Bluestocking, a horse racing mystery threatens to pull apart the heroine’s family. This mystery is based on a real horse racing scandal that has never been solved. I did take some artistic licence and set my fictional scam in 1888 to suit my story. The real Trodmore Hunt scam occurred in 1898 in England, in the weeks leading up to the August bank holiday. The selection of this date is significant because it was the busiest weekend of racing in England, so the scammers could cover their tracks quietly.

The scam unfolds
Over a two week period leading up to the August bank holiday, the Clerk of the Course at Trodmore Hunt Club wrote to The Sportsman and The Sporting Life newspapers, firstly informing them on the meeting, following it up with early nominations, and later with the printed race cards. The quality of these communications was so precisely like the usual letters from racing clubs that the newspapers didn’t question their validity and published the race meeting details. The Sportsman couldn’t commit a journalist to cover the race day, as they were busy with the nearby Newton Abbot meeting, but noted that if one of the stewards would be obliged to send the result, that would be appreciated.

The Derby Pets the Winner by James PollardEnter “Mr Martin.” He agreed to cover the event for The Sportsman for the fee of one guinea, with full results wired at the end of the meeting. As this day was one of the few public holidays in 1898, it was a huge day for the races, and very busy with bookies. The bookies did a roaring trade on Trodmore, bigger than expected for a minor meeting but not completely unexpected for a holiday. The evening papers published the results from the major meetings held that day but didn’t publish the Trodmore results until the next day.

Side Note: The telegraph first came into use in 1837, and by 1845, the Electric Telegraph Company had formed and the technology was about to take off. Australia became connected to the world in October 1872, and the telegraph across the Pacific was finally completed in 1902 to encircle the whole world. Therefore, by 1898, the idea that race results could be sent quickly to newspapers was old news!

Mr Martin wrote an effusive letter about the success of the meeting. The Trodmore results were published in The Sportsman. Most bookmakers paid out on the results, and Mr Martin walked away with the cash.

How the scam was detected
The other major racing paper, The Sporting Life, didn’t print the results, and a few wily bookies asked them to confirm the odds, refusing to pay out until such time. Mr Martin contacted The Sporting Life as the journalist who had represented The Sportsman at the meeting and agreed to write an article for The Sporting Life. However, he couldn’t send it through until the following afternoon. With the bookies furiously wanting to confirm the results, The Sporting Life decided to copy the results from The Sportsman to save time. The printer, perhaps tired or hungover, erroneously made a typo, putting Reaper as having won at 5/2 when The Sportsman had printed his price at 5/1.

Now the bookies were really paying attention. Which newspaper was right? And where was Trodmore anyway?

The Sportsman’s editor telegraphed Mr Martin and received no response. The addresses on the original letters were traced through the postal system, and it was quickly discovered that no place called Trodmore existed. The matter was handed over to police, and The Sportsman printed a retraction notice. The scam pulled thousands of pounds from bookies, and the perpetrator was never caught. The person posing as Mr Martin will forever be a mystery, although one theory is that he was a journalist with a strong racing background, as the scam required a solid working knowledge of how newspapers accepted race cards from minor meetings.

The Trodmore Hunt Scam was a simple scam, but for characters who have no knowledge of horse racing, it creates tension as they try to understand racing and the scam and save their families from the consequences. In The Heart of a Bluestocking, there are some alterations to the scam to keep the reader guessing, and most importantly, the characters solve the crime and fall in love.


The Heart of a Bluestocking book coverA big thanks to Renée Dahlia!


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How a Mayor and a Bishop Heroically Saved a Jewish Population During WWII

Chrissie Parker author photoRelevant History welcomes historical fiction author Chrissie Parker, who writes for the Zakynthos Informer and has written for other publications including The Bristolian, The Huffington Post, Ancient Egypt and The Artist Unleashed. Among the Olive Groves won a Historical Fiction Award in 2016. In 2013 her poem “Maisie” was performed at Bath International Literary Festival’s event “100 poems by 100 women.” Chrissie’s love of history and travel is the inspiration for her books. She has completed two Egyptology courses and an Archaeology course with Exeter University. She is currently working on a follow-up to Among the Olive Groves and a co-authored history book about Zakynthos. To learn more about her and her books, visit her web site, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram, and Pinterest.


Germans arriving in ZakynthosWhen mainland Greece was invaded in 1941 during World War II, life for the Greek population was hard. Initially they were under Italian rule, part of the Axis powers. On 9 September 1943, the small Greek island of Zakynthos, situated in the Ionian Sea, fell under German rule. Despite the hardship of war, Zakynthos would leave Greece with a lasting tale of extreme bravery.

Terms of occupation
In December 1943 German Commandant Berenz, who was in charge of the German Guards on Zakynthos, met with the mayor of the island, Loukas Karrer. Berenz demanded a full list of Jewish residents living on Zakynthos, with threats of punishment if the request wasn’t granted. Mayor Karrer tried to explain that Zakynthos’s Jewish residents were peaceful people who meant no harm to anyone, but an angry Berenz insisted and threatened Mayor Karrer, telling him that he had seventy-two hours to present a list of all Jewish island residents to him.

Mayor Karrer and Bishop ChrysostomosMayor Karrer shared his concerns with the island’s bishop, Chrysostomos, who months before had been a prisoner of the Germans and not long released back to the island. The Bishop visited Berenz who confirmed the request. Berenz also told Chrysostomos that the Jewish population was to be arrested. It’s said that in his shock the Bishop responded that the Jewish residents of Zakynthos were “obedient, good subjects of Greece, who were hard-working and peace loving. They were non-dangerous citizens of Zakynthos who were part of his flock.” The two men argued with weapon and staff drawn and in the end required an intervention by a German Captain, Alfredo Litt. Captain Litt explained to Chrysostomos that they had orders, and the Bishop couldn’t refuse them. After much discussion, Litt and Chrysostomos agreed to meet a few days later to discuss the issue further.

Creating a plan
The Bishop left and swiftly met with Mayor Karrer, island priests, and rabbis. The group began to plan how to save the island’s Jewish population. Fake documents of religion and citizenship were created and given to all 275 Jews that called Zakynthos their home, and each of them became Christians. Despite this, the seventy-two hours deadline was still in place, and the mayor had to provide a list of Jewish residents to Berenz. Even though they were now “Christians,” the Jewish population was far from safe. Some fearful families left their homes, escaping to the mountains, hiding out where they could. It is rumoured that some even chose island caves as a safe haven.

Bishop Chrysostomos met with Alfredo Litt again and passed him the list reportedly saying, “Here are your Jews”. On the list were two names written both in German and Greek, “Mayor Loukas Karrer and Bishop Chrysostomos”. No one really knows why, but for some reason, despite threats of violence from Berenz, Litt assured Chrysostomos that there would be an “exception for the Jews of Zakynthos,” and Litt would speak further with Nazi High Command.

Heading to safety
After days of hearing nothing, Bishop Chrysostomos wrote a personal appeal to Hitler begging that he not arrest the Jews of Zakynthos. Litt retaliated furiously, announcing that every Zakynthian Jew would be rounded up. Full of fear, remaining Jewish families, assisted by the resistance, left their homes and belongings and hid across Zakynthos, ending up in farmhouses, monasteries and cellars.

Shortly after, Litt was seen leaving the island and was swiftly replaced by another German officer. A command was issued to deport all Jews living on Zakynthos. The following day, the Mayor and Bishop explained to the new German officer that there were no Jews on Zakynthos. Their own lives were now threatened. That night Mayor Karrer fled Zakynthos by boat, seeking refuge on another island, and wasn’t seen until after Greece was liberated. Bishop Chrysostomos was lucky to keep his life, and it wasn’t long before the allies liberated Greece.

Both courageous men lived through the war and into liberation. It was reported that Alfredo Litt was killed not long after leaving Zakynthos. The entire Jewish population of Zakynthos lived the remainder of the war safely in hiding and went on to normal lives post-war, either moving to Athens or Israel.

Memorial to Karrer and ChrysostomosA lasting memorial to both Mayor Karrer and Bishop Chrysostomos stands on the original site of the Zakynthian Jewish Synagogue, destroyed in the Great Ionian Earthquake of 1953. This important memorial marks the incredible heroism of both men, and the story of their bravery lives on in the hearts and minds of the Zakynthian people.


Among the Olive Groves book coverA big thanks to Chrissie Parker! She’ll give away an electronic copy of Among the Olive Groves to three people who contribute a comment on my blog this week. I’ll choose the winners from among those who comment by Friday at 6 p.m. ET. Delivery is available worldwide, in all electronic versions except PDF.


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Virginia Minor: Forgotten Suffragist

Nicole Evelina author photoRelevant History welcomes Nicole Evelina, a historical fiction, non-fiction, and women’s fiction author whose six books have won more than thirty awards, including three Book of the Year designations. The TV/movie option for her book Madame Presidentess was recently acquired by Fortitude International. Her fiction tells the stories of strong women from history and today, with a focus on biographical historical fiction, while her non-fiction focuses on women’s history, especially sharing the stories of unknown or little-known figures. She is currently working on a biography of Virginia Minor. To learn more about her and her books, visit her web site, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram, and Pinterest.


When we think about the suffrage movement, a handful of “greats” come to mind, the leaders who shaped and changed the movement: Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, Carrie Chapman Catt. But each state had their standouts, women without whom state ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment may never have happened.

Virginia MinorIn Missouri, one such leader was Virginia Minor, who worked closely with her husband, Francis, to fight for women’s rights during her forty-year residency in St. Louis. Her involvement in the suffrage movement came in the uncertain years after the Civil War ended, when women like herself, who had tasted the power of political action and influence in supporting the war effort, faced a return to their traditional domestic lives. This unease, coupled with the tragic death of her only child, meant Virginia needed an outlet.

Instead of wasting away, Virginia channeled her rage and pain into fighting for women’s rights in Missouri. On 8 May 1867, she and four other women founded the Woman Suffrage Association of Missouri, the world’s first organization dedicated solely to women’s suffrage. (It pre-dates the National Woman’s Suffrage Association, NWSA, founded by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and the American Women’s Suffrage Association, founded by Lucy Stone, by two years.) Virginia served as the organization’s first president and spent the next two years petitioning the state legislature in favor of woman suffrage.

The New Departure
In October 1869, the NWSA convention in St. Louis, Virginia first made the argument that would change the suffrage movement and later be dubbed the “New Departure” because it was so different from anything the suffrage movement had seen to date. Citing the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution, ratified only months before, she argued that women already had the right to vote, saying, “I believe the Constitution of the United States gives me every right and privilege to which every other citizen is entitled; for while the Constitution gives the States the right to regulate suffrage, it nowhere gives them power to prevent it.”

The passage of the Fourteenth Amendment in question states:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Virginia’s argument, which would later be taken up by Victoria Woodhull during her presidential campaign, as well as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony when they addressed Congress, stated that the use of the word “persons,” rather than “males” is what allowed female suffrage. She and her husband printed pamphlets to this effect which were circulated throughout the United States. Susan B. Anthony even reprinted her argument in her newspaper, The Revolution.

Seeking to practice what she preached, Minor put her theory to the test on 15 October 1872, when she tried to register to vote. But the election registrar, Reese Happersett, would not allow it because she was female. In response, Minor, with her husband as her representative (married women could not yet sue in Missouri courts; that right would come in 1889 with the Married Woman’s Act), sued.

On 3 February 1873, arguments were heard in writing at the Old Courthouse in St. Louis without a trial or jury. The trial court ruled against the Minors, so the case was brought before the Missouri Supreme Court, who heard the case and ruled against the Minors.

Not ready to give up, Minor and her husband appealed to the United States Supreme Court, which gave the case the legal name, Minor v Happersett. Francis Minor gave an impassioned argument that denial of suffrage happened all the time, but that because national citizenship superseded state citizenship, women should be allowed to vote under the Fourteenth Amendment, regardless of what their local state laws said. He pointed to history, particularly to the example of the women of New Jersey, who had the right to vote from 1787 to 1807, to shore up his argument.

On 29 March, the Supreme Court refuted the argument, upholding the right of individual states to define who could vote within them, stating in a unanimous decision “that the Constitution of the United States does not confer the right of suffrage upon any one” rather that right belongs to the states. It ignored the fact that although women were citizens under the law, they didn’t have the same rights, and effectively ended the hope of a national judicial decision in women’s favor.

Persevering to the end
Though Minor’s court case failed, it gave great publicity to the cause of women’s suffrage, and Virginia kept fighting for what she believed in. She testified before the United States Senate committee on woman’s suffrage in 1889 and held the position of honorary vice president of the Interstate Woman Suffrage Convention in 1892.

When Virginia died in St. Louis two years later, she was buried at Bellefontaine Cemetery. Because she believed the clergy were against equal rights for women, her funeral was held without any clergy members, a final thumb of her nose at the patriarchy.

In a break with tradition that said a person’s final will and testament should be kept private, Virginia’s will was published in the St. Louis newspapers because it contained two unusual bequests. Virginia left $500 apiece to her two single nieces, with the condition that if they should ever marry, the married niece should surrender her half of the inheritance to the niece who remained single. Another $1,000 was bequeathed to Susan B. Anthony “in gratitude for the many thousands she has expended for woman,” to help ensure the fight for women’s suffrage could continue on beyond Virginia’s lifetime.


Madame Presidentess book coverA big thanks to Nicole Evelina! She’ll give away an electronic copy of Madame Presidentess, historical fiction about Victoria Woodhull (nominated in 1872 as the first woman candidate for the United States presidency and a contemporary of Virginia Minor who likely knew her) to one person who contributes a comment on my blog this week. I’ll choose the winner from among those who comment by Friday at 6 p.m. ET. Delivery is available worldwide.


Did you like what you read? Learn about downloads, discounts, and special offers from Relevant History authors and Suzanne Adair. Subscribe to Suzanne’s free newsletter.

The Hidden History of Ireland’s Magdalene Asylums

Emma Rose Millar author photoRelevant History welcomes Emma Rose Millar, who writes historical fiction and children’s picture books. She won the Legend category of the Chaucer Awards for Historical Fiction with Five Guns Blazing in 2014. Her novella The Women Friends: Selina, based on the work of Gustav Klimt and co-written with author Miriam Drori, was published in 2016 by Crooked Cat Books and was shortlisted for the Goethe Award for Late Historical Fiction. Her third novel, Delirium, a Victorian ghost story published by Crooked Cat Books, was shortlisted for the Chanticleer Paranormal Book Awards in 2017. Emma’s historical poems for children are published by The Emma Press. To learn more about her and her books, follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.


Inside Magdalen laundry c1925Worked to the bone, starved, beaten, and abused: this was the fate of some 30,000 women whose care was entrusted to nuns in Ireland’s Magdalene Asylums, also known as Magdalene Laundries. These institutions were set up during the eighteenth-century to house prostitutes—so-called “fallen women”—but quickly became places of unknown cruelty and hardship, where any women and girls as young as nine, branded as “undesirable” by the Church, could be incarcerated. For over two hundred years, unmarried mothers, women deemed “promiscuous,” or those who defied their husbands or fathers could find themselves locked up in one of the asylums. Others had learning difficulties or had been the victims of rape or sexual assault. Some were sent there simply for being “too pretty.” Once there, they were starved, beaten, and forced into backbreaking work in the asylum laundries. Babies were usually taken away from their mothers and offered up for adoption.

Although these institutions were run by the Church, they were also widely supported by the Irish government. In addition to the women and girls being sent there by their families, there were also those who came from psychiatric units and prisons. The government channeled money into the asylums in exchange for housing the women and laundry services, which were provided by the inmates there.

During the twentieth century, rumours circulated about the abuses taking place in Ireland’s Magdalene Asylums, but those survivors who did speak about their experiences there were often shamed or ignored. The public did not believe that institutions run by the Church would allow or endorse such ill treatment of the women and children under their protection. Many survivors would not disclose details of what went on in the laundries, and therefore details are scant.

Gloucester Street Laundry closed in 1996It was not until the discovery of a mass grave at Our Lady of Charity Convent in Dublin that the media became involved and printed articles questioning goings-on at the asylums. One hundred and fifty-five bodies were found in the grave, but only seventy-five death certificates had been issued. The nuns claimed there had been an administrative error, but there was a public outcry, and ultimately the United Nations called for a public enquiry. Suddenly, women began perusing cases for violations against Human Rights and making disclosures about the abuse they had suffered.

Survivors’ stories
Marina Gambold, was placed in a laundry by her local priest. She described being forced to eat off the floor after breaking a cup and getting locked outside in the cold for a minor transgression. She was made to work for ten hours a day and fed bread and dripping.

Mary Smith was placed in the Sundays Well Laundry in Cork after being raped. Nuns there told her they would look after her in case she became pregnant. Once incarcerated, her hair was cut off and she was stripped of her identity. She was forced to work in silence and to sleep in the cold. Mary does not remember how long she spent in the laundry due to the abuse she suffered.

One survivor known only as Bridget recounted being taken by the nuns to see a lady who was dying in agony. Bridget was just sixteen when the nuns said to her, “Do you see this? She has never done anything and she is suffering in agony for your sins.”

Another woman who had survived the same laundry in Cork said she was forced to spend all night in a room with a corpse. She described nuns humiliating girls who had wet the bed by wrapping their wet sheets around them and making them kneel on the dormitory floor with a sign on their back saying. “Dirty, filthy, lazy girl.”

Public outcry and enquiry
Partly due to the outcry which followed the discovery of the mass grave, the last Magdalene Asylum closed its doors in 1996. Of the forty women discovered there, most were elderly or had learning disabilities, nine had no known living relatives; all decided to stay with the nuns.

While religious institutions remained silent, a long public campaign ensued, resulting in the publication of the McAleese report, which detailed the abuse of ten thousand women in Magdalene Asylums between 1922 and 1996. The Irish government finally issued a formal apology in 2013 and set up a fund for survivors.

The Irish prime minister, Enda Kenny, spoke in front of a packed parliament and apologised for what he called “a national shame.”

I on behalf of the state, the government and our citizens deeply regret and apologise unreservedly to all those women for the hurt that was done to them, and for any stigma they suffered, as a result of the time they spent in a Magdalene Laundry. For ninety years Ireland subjected these women, and their experience, to a profound indifference. By any standards it was a cruel and pitiless Ireland, distinctly lacking in mercy. We swapped our public scruples for a solid public apparatus.

Kenny’s speech was followed by a standing ovation for him and the twenty Magdalene survivors who were present in the public gallery.

Many religious groups that ran the asylums refused to contribute to the fund and have turned away researchers looking for more information. Several groups including Justice for Magdalenes and the National Women’s Council of Ireland are still campaigning for a public memorial for survivors and for compensation for children born to inmates of the asylums.


Delirium book coverA big thanks to Emma Rose Millar! She’ll give away a paperback copy of Delirium to someone who contributes a comment on my blog this week. I’ll choose the winner from among those who comment by Friday at 6 p.m. ET. Delivery is available in the U.K. only.


Did you like what you read? Learn about downloads, discounts, and special offers from Relevant History authors and Suzanne Adair. Subscribe to Suzanne’s free newsletter.

The Great Northern Railway, Blackfeet, and German Artists of Glacier National Park

Karen Wills author photoHappy New Year! Relevant History welcomes Karen Wills, who lives near Glacier National Park. She writes historical, often frontier, novels. She’s practiced law, representing plaintiffs in Civil Rights cases. She’s taught English classes at college and secondary public school levels, including on South Dakota’s Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation and in the Inupiaq village of Wales, Alaska. She’s encountered both grizzly and polar bears and still believes we need wild creatures and wilderness. Her novels include the self-published archaeological thriller Remarkable Silence and traditionally published River with No Bridge. All Too Human will be released in 2019. To learn more about her and her books, visit her web site, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.


I fell in love with Glacier National Park as a three-year-old in Glacier Park Lodge, a magnificent alpine structure built by the Great Northern Railway. My family attended the hotel’s evening program featuring Blackfeet tribal members dancing to drums and traditional singing.

The biggest man, wearing full regalia including a feather headdress, stepped out of the circle and beckoned me to join in the dance. Mom nodded. I slipped my hand in his. I still remember our shadows cast against the wall, mysterious silhouettes bending and rising, bending and rising.

The full history of the place that became Glacier National Park is a narrative of loss, discovery, and calculated enticements. The “Indian Wars” lurched to their painful close in the last decades of the 19th century. The romance of the Old West, the freedom of unfenced plains, the hunting of vast buffalo herds, and the culture of the Northern Plains tribes nearly vanished under soul-deadening destruction. Transitioning to reservation life, Blackfeet and others endured starvation, illness, and the forcible removal of their children to boarding schools. The government banned sacred ceremonies such as the Sun Dance.

But while Natives endured hardship, legendary names and images of the lost American West lived on the world over. European children read enthralling stories from James Fenimore Cooper to German author Karl May’s popular Wild West tales. Three of these avid readers, John Fery, Winold Reiss, and Julius Seyler, later journeyed to Montana to paint the mountains, waters, wildlife, and people in and near Glacier National Park.

“See America First”
Louis W. Hill, son of James J. Hill, founder of the Great Northern Railway, lobbied for the establishment of Glacier National Park. In 1910, President Taft signed legislation that made Hill’s dream a reality. Hill loved the Park, hunted and fished in it, and as an amateur artist, painted its mountains. President of the Great Northern, he found ways to promote the ‘Crown Jewel of the Continent’ and attract tourists to the ‘American Alps.’ He built hotels and chalets that combined being rustic with architecture and décor reminiscent of Swiss hotels. He invited Blackfeet from their nearby reservation to meet trains, and set up their lodges, their tepees, on the grounds of Glacier Park Lodge. He also hired and bought the work of artists whose depictions would entice easterners to “See America First.”

Three of Hill’s German and Austrian artists’ serious works as well as the advertising art of two of them are still sought after for color, quality, and collectors’ unending fascination with vanished, unspoiled wilderness. In his book Art Across America, William Gerdts wrote, “Railway stations and hotels served in a real sense as the first ‘art galleries’ in the West, at a time before traditional art institutions were envisioned in the region.”

John Fery
John Fery paintingFery, born Johann Nepomuck Levy in Strasswatchen, Austria, on 25 March 1859, moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1883, changing his name to John Fery. An outdoorsman, he frequently left his family in Milwaukee to go west to paint. Hill noticed his work and hired him for the “See America First” campaign. Prolific, Fery created big mountainous scenes for the Great Northern that hung in Glacier National Park hotels, Great Northern depots, and ticket agent offices. Fery produced about fourteen huge landscapes per month.

Finally, Hill told him to paint his illustration-like works in the St. Paul, Minnesota, studio that the Great Northern provided him. It seemed an interest in portraits of Blackfeet and scenes including them had arisen. Hill wanted artists who could fill the demand. He called the Blackfeet his “Glacier Park Indians.”

Julius Seyler
Julius Seyler paintingJulius Seyler was born in Munich, Germany, in 1873. He studied art but also became a competitive ice skater. He achieved fame for both his impressionist art and prowess at speed skating before he came to America.

He, too, felt a fascination with the American West, especially the Blackfeet of the Northern Plains. He’d married an American from St. Paul who had a family connection to Louis Hill. The men met and Seyler soon found himself traveling west with Hill in the tycoon’s private rail car, headed toward Glacier Park and the Blackfeet reservation.

Seyler fell under the spell of the Rockies and the Blackfeet. He painted them, struggled to learn all he could about and from them—and the tribe adopted him. While he never worked for the Great Northern, he sold art to the company. Hill’s home in St. Paul had private showings of Seyler’s work, paintings that memorialized the vanished frontier.

Still a German citizen of fighting age when WWI broke out, Seyler fell out of favor with American art buyers including Hill. Unable to return to Germany, Seyler and his wife farmed in Wisconsin until the War’s end, when they returned to Germany.

Winold Reiss
Winold ReissOur third artist, Winold Reiss, was born in Karlsrhuh, Germany, in the Black Forest region, in 1888. He sailed to America in 1913 eager to paint Indians, eventually finding his way to Glacier National Park. While Julius Seyler painted iconic Native American types, Reiss focused in detail on Blackfeet individuals, their features and clothing. His realism appealed to Hill. Reiss’s work, starting in 1933, appeared on calendars and even menus for the Great Northern Railway.

My work in progress, Garden in the Sky, has one character inspired by the German/Austrian artists of Glacier. They and other artists, as William Farr wrote “…chose to make the Old West last as long as they could.” Perhaps that’s what we authors of frontier novels like my River with No Bridge and soon-to-be-released All Too Human attempt as well.

o Farr, William E. Julius Seyler and the Blackfeet: An Impressionist at Glacier National Park, Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2009.
o Peterson, Larry Len. The Call of the Mountains: The Artists of Glacier National Park. Tucson, Arizona: Settlers West Galleries, 2002.
o Saar, Meghan: Glacier’s Great Artists (


River with No Bridge book coverA big thanks to Karen Wills! She’ll give away a hardback copy of River with No Bridge to two people who contribute a comment on my blog this week. I’ll choose the winner from among those who comment by Friday at 6 p.m. ET. Delivery is available in the U.S. only.


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Myth and Treachery in the Wild West

Mike Orenduff author photoRelevant History welcomes Mike Orenduff, who grew up so close to the Rio Grande that he could Frisbee a tortilla into Mexico from his backyard. While at the University of New Mexico, he worked as a volunteer teacher at a nearby pueblo. He eventually served as president of New Mexico State University. His books were described by the Baltimore Sun as “deliciously delightful.” Among Mike’s many accolades are the Lefty Award for best humorous mystery. His latest book, The Pot Thief Who Studied Edward Abbey, received a starred review in Publishers Weekly and, he hopes, will bring him a second Lefty Award. To learn more about him and his books, visit his page on his publisher’s site.


Although my Pot Thief books are not historical fiction, they each include an historical thread based on the person who is in the title. For example, the working title for the sixth book in my series, The Pot Thief Who Studied Billy the Kid, was originally The Pot Thief Who Studied Lew Wallace. I had selected Lew Wallace because the centennial of New Mexico (where my books are set) was coming up, and he was New Mexico’s Territorial Governor from 1878 to 1881, during which time he published Ben-Hur. I was fascinated that someone in New Mexico during its Wild West days was at the same time writing the book that eventually became the blockbuster movie starring Charlton Heston.

According to the publisher’s introduction, Wallace said in his memoir that he wrote the final scenes by lantern light after returning from a clandestine meeting with Henry McCarty, also known as Henry Antrim and as William H. Bonney.

But best known as Billy the Kid.

Governor and gunslinger meet secretly
Lew WallaceI wondered why Wallace met with Billy the Kid. So I did some research. On our next book signing tour in New Mexico, my wife and I detoured to the quaint village of Lincoln, New Mexico and had breakfast at The Wortley Hotel, actual motto: “No Guests Gunned Down in Over 100 Years.” Lincoln was the county seat of the county by the same name. It was the largest county in the Country until other counties were carved out of it. Carrizozo became the county seat, and Lincoln faded into obscurity. The historical buildings were taken over by the state as a museum. Because Lincoln had the courthouse, jail, sheriff’s office and saloons in its heyday, it was also the place where many episodes of the Lincoln County War played out, including Billy the Kid’s most famous jail break.

I asked our waiter about it. Because Lincoln is now more a museum than a town, everyone there is a tourist guide either formally or informally. He pointed across the street.

“Billy was over there wearing shackles and waiting to be hanged. He had been double crossed by Lew Wallace. Billy had met with Wallace and pledged to give himself up and help clear up some unsolved murders if Wallace would grant him immunity. Wallace agreed. But when Billy turned himself in, he was locked up, and they started planning his hanging.”

I walked across to the courthouse museum and a letter Billy sent to Wallace on March 4, 1881:

To Gov. Lew Wallace
Dear Sir
I wrote you a little note the day before yesterday but have received no answer. I expect you have forgotten what you promised me, but I have not and I think you had ought to have come and seen me as I requested you to. I have done everything that I promised you I would and you have done nothing that you promised me.
I think when you think the matter over, you will come down and see me, and I can then explain everything to you.
Judge Leonard passed through here on his way east in January and promised to come and see me on his way back, but he did not fulfill his promise. It looks to me like I am getting left in the cold. I am not treated right by Sherman. He lets Every Stranger that comes to see me through Curiosity in to see me, but will not let a Single one of my friends in, not even an Attorney.
I guess they mean to send me up without giving me any Show but they will have a nice time doing it. I am not entirely without friends.
I shall expect to see you some time today.
Patiently Waiting, I am truly Yours Respectfully.
Wm. H. Bonney

I was struck by the simple prose of this young man who had only two years of formal schooling. In my opinion, both his writing and his behavior were more forthright than Lew Wallace.

An outlaw keeps his word
Billy the KidFurther research revealed why Billy the Kid was in Jail. Something I had wondered about because he was the most feared gunman in the West. He was fast on the draw, a deadly accurate shot, and had nerves of steel. Plus he had a lot of friends who would protect him. I don’t think there was a lawman alive who could’ve captured him. Turns out no one did. He turned himself in because of Wallace’s promise of immunity.

After learning that, I couldn’t put Lew Wallace in the title. I discovered that most of the residents of Lincoln County back then considered Billy the Kid a hero. That was especially true of the Hispanics. A gang led by Lawrence Murphy, a racketeer who ran the only store in the county and protected his monopoly with hired guns, ran Lincoln county like a fiefdom. All business transaction went though Murphy. He controlled the sheriff and the court. One resident was quoted as saying, “They intimidated, oppressed, and crushed people who were obliged to deal with them.”

Then powerful Texas cattleman John Chisum brought a large herd up from Texas, creating competition for Murphy. Murphy’s lawyer, a man of principle named McSween, was fed up with Murphy’s crooked ways and went to work for Chisum. Billy the Kid also quit the Murphy gang and went over to Chisum. The Chisum camp was strengthened when an eccentric Englishman named John Tunstall bought a ranch in the area and allied himself with Chisum. In addition to ranching, Tunstall set up a mercantile store in competition with Murphy. The locals abandoned Murphy’s store because Tunstall offered decent prices and fair dealings. The Murphy gang killed Tunstall. When Billy found Tunstall’s mutilated body, he vowed to kill every man involved with the murder.

So I put Billy the Kid in the title. And my publisher likes the new title because they said Billy the Kid in the title would attract attention.


The Pot Thief Who Studied Edward Abbey book coverA big thanks to Mike Orenduff. He’ll give away a paperback copy of The Pot Thief Who Studied Billy the Kid or The Pot Thief Who Studied Edward Abbey (winner’s choice) to up to ten people who contribute a comment on my blog this week. I’ll choose the winners from among those who comment by Friday at 6 p.m. ET. Delivery is available worldwide.


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What’s the Buzz? History of the Electromechanical Vibrator

Ashley Sweeney author photoRelevant History welcomes Ashley Sweeney, a graduate of Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts. She spends her time equally between the Pacific Northwest and Desert Southwest. Her debut novel, Eliza Waite, is a winner of the 2017 Nancy Pearl Book Award and a finalist for four other literary awards. To learn more about her and her books, visit her web site, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.


Was that an electric light pole in the 1898 photo of Skagway, Alaska? No, it couldn’t be. But after digging through Skagway history, yes, in fact, Skagway was electrified before much of the continental U.S. I squealed with delight! This fact would make it possible for, well, you’ll see.

In my debut novel, Eliza Waite, Eliza’s unlikely friend, Skagway brothel owner Pearly Brown, exposes Eliza to the electromechanical vibrator during the heyday of the Klondike Gold Rush in 1898.

“There’s something I’ve been meaning to talk to you about,” Eliza says to Pearly. “I want you to show me how to use your vibration machine.”

Even 150 years ago, scientists and physicians were slow to recognize that women could experience sexual pleasure; it was commonly believed that women were “fulfilled” solely by coitus with a partner. When women lined up in droves for treatments for the symptoms of “female hysteria”—a term used in the 19th century for women who suffered from anxiety, irritability, or emotional outbursts—doctors were quick to remedy the ailment. Using their hands to massage female genitalia, doctors made a lucrative business bringing women to “paroxysm,” which they believed relieved pressure that had built up in a woman’s womb (we now know it was likely sexual frustration). Women, including Eliza, made weekly appointments with their doctors for “the cure.”

Cramped hands, sore wrists, and backaches led a British physician, J. Mortimer Granville, to patent a “percusser,” later known as the “electromechanical vibrator,” in the late 1880s. Because this new invention allowed physicians to bring women to fulfillment quickly and easily, doctors across Britain and America could now treat even more women in their burgeoning clienteles.

Ad for Sears vibratorsWith the advent of electricity in American homes over the next two decades, popular ladies magazines—and even the Sears & Roebuck catalogue—advertised “personal massagers” for home use. Now women could order electric irons, sewing machines, teakettles, toasters—and personal massagers—from the pages of mainstream media.

Vibrators fell out of the public eye in the 1920s when pornographic films depicted vibrator use as scandalous. It was not until the 1970s that vibrators made a come back, thanks to the women’s rights movement. But it’s nearly impossible to find a vibrator without visiting an adult sex shop or ordering online. Surely it’s not taboo anymore? Or is it?

It’s my hope—especially in the light of the #MeToo movement—that many issues raised in the novel can be discussed openly and dealt with in the open arena instead of behind closed doors: domestic abuse, abandonment, grief, economic inequality, sexism, and sexuality.

Eliza—and Pearly—would be glad of it.


Eliza Waite book coverA big thanks to Ashley Sweeney! She’ll give away a trade paperback copy of Eliza Waite to someone who contributes a comment on my blog this week. I’ll choose the winner from among those who comment by Friday at 6 p.m. ET. Delivery is available in the U.S. and Canada only.

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Refugees Then and Now

Barbara Ridley author photoRelevant History welcomes Barbara Ridley, who was born in England but has lived in California for over 35 years. After a successful career as a nurse practitioner, which included publication of academic articles in peer-reviewed journals, she is now focused on creative writing. Her debut novel, When It’s Over, (She Writes Press, 2017), set in Europe during WWII, was a finalist in six awards, including the 2018 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards, the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, and the American Fiction Award. Her work has also appeared in Writers Workshop Review, Ars Medica, The Copperfield Review, Blood and Thunder and Stoneboat, among other places. To learn more about her and her books, visit her web site, and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


My novel When It’s Over is based on my mother’s story; she was a refugee from the Holocaust during WWII. After her death, I got the idea of writing something to preserve the memory of her experience but quickly realized there were too many gaps in my knowledge to write it as memoir. So I decided to write a novel, which gave me the freedom to make up whatever I didn’t know.

Internment of Aliens book coverBut I wanted it to be historically accurate, so I did a ton of research. Early in that process, I came upon a book on my parents’ bookshelves—this was after they had both died, but before we had cleared out the house and their hundreds of books. It was a small 1940’s style Penguin paperback called The Internment of Aliens by F. Lafitte. I was astonished to learn that thousands of Germans, Austrians, and Italians were interned in England in 1940, as “enemy aliens.”

Having lived in California for 35+ years, I was familiar with the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII, but I had no idea a similar large-scale internment took place in England. This occurred after the fall of France and the other nations of Western Europe, when the threat of imminent German invasion was real. But the practice of internment was very controversial, and Lafitte’s book, written at the time, was a polemical critique of the policy. Arrests were indiscriminate; confirmed Nazi sympathizers were interned along with Jews or Communists who had fled for their lives and reached Britain as refugees. Most of the internees were detained in camps for the duration of the war, or shipped overseas to Canada or Australia. In one tragic, wartime twist of fate, hundreds perished when their ship, the Arandora Star, was torpedoed off the coast of Ireland by a German U-boat in July 1940.

My novel opens with a scene in which the protagonist, Lena, a young Czech Jewish woman (who is based on my mother), is trapped in Paris just before the Nazis overran France, unable to obtain an entry visa for Britain. Some readers have expressed surprise that she had that difficulty. I guess it’s because in hindsight, we know that people needed to flee, and that terrible things happened to those who stayed behind. My mother and all her friends had family members who eventually perished in Nazi gas chambers. So there seems to be an assumption that all good people reached out to help Jewish refugees.

But my mother and her friends did not find it easy to reach safety. They escaped in different ways, mostly illegal, or through clever manipulation of legal methods. They smuggled across borders, fabricated stories, forged domestic worker sponsorships, overstayed visitor visas. Once they reached England, they were not always easily accepted; they faced suspicion and animosity towards foreigners, or internment—when they had the most to lose in the event of a Nazi invasion.

The United States
The response from other nations was not much better. In July 1938 at the Evian Conference, delegates from 32 nations, including the United States, expressed sympathy for the Jews in Germany and Austria but made one excuse after another for not taking any refugees, in spite of calls to “act promptly.” In the United States, a 1939 Gallup poll revealed 83% of Americans were opposed to the admission of more Jewish refugees. A bill to admit 20,000 German Jewish children into the U.S. failed, with the argument: “Ugly children will soon grow up to be ugly adults.”

The St Louis refugee shipAnd then there was the tragic tale of the ship the St. Louis. In May 1939, 900 Jews left Germany for Cuba with the understanding that they would ultimately be admitted to the United States. In Cuba, only 29 were allowed to disembark. The ship then spent 35 days off the Eastern U.S. coast waiting to be accepted, before giving up and returning to Europe. Most of those on board perished in the Holocaust.

The lessons for today
Today, Europe is experiencing the largest refugee crisis since the Second World War, and we have all seen images of children drowned on a beach or sitting shell-shocked in an ambulance. Desperate people are fleeing wars or persecution in Syria, Eritrea, and Afghanistan. Closer to home in the U.S., thousands are fleeing unimaginable violence in Central America—the area with the highest murder rate in the world—and risking the dangerous journey to cross into the United States. And climate change, with its extremes of drought and floods, threatens the livelihood of millions of people throughout the developed world. This is projected to unleash further waves of migration over the coming decade.

Perhaps today’s conflicts seem complex, with no easy solutions. The numbers of people seeking refuge seem overwhelming, and perhaps the antagonism and fears exploited by populist politicians seem understandable on some level. But the situation today is not that different from the 1930’s. Desperate people will always look for ways to flee to safer ground. Higher walls and militarized borders will not stop them. The only reason a mother puts her child in a rickety boat, or hands him to a “coyote” heading for the desert, is if it seems safer than staying put.

The answer is not to harden our hearts and put up barriers. We have a moral obligation to help and support refugees. And to put our resources into addressing the underlying problems: aggressive diplomatic efforts to stop ethnic cleansing, end military support for dictatorships, and a robust “Marshall-type” plan to combat global inequality and climate change, to make the world safe for everyone.


A big thanks to Barbara Ridley. She’ll give away a paperback copy of When It’s Over to someone who contributes a comment on my blog this week. I’ll choose the winner from among those who comment by Friday at 6 p.m. ET. Delivery is available in the U.S. only.


Did you like what you read? Learn about downloads, discounts, and special offers from Relevant History authors and Suzanne Adair. Subscribe to Suzanne’s free newsletter.


Carola Dunn author photoRelevant History welcomes Carola Dunn, who was born and raised in England. After university, she set off round the world. She made it to Fiji before returning to the U.S. to get married. She started writing in 1979, and her first book, a Regency, came out in 1981. Although she has lived in America for fifty years, presently in Oregon, almost all her sixty-plus books—36 Regencies and 27 historical (1920s and 1970ish) mysteries—are set in England. She has one son, two grandchildren, and a dog. To learn more about her and her books, visit her web site, and follow her on Facebook.


If you grew up in England a few decades ago and went to a county primary school, chances are that you sang “The Song of the Western Men,” sometimes known as the Cornish national anthem:

A good sword and a trusty hand!
A merry heart and true!
King James’s men shall understand
What Cornish lads can do!

When I learnt it in the 1950s, it was regarded as a folk song. In fact it has a pedigree, having been written in 1824 by the eccentric parson, poet, and prankster R. S. Hawker, Vicar of Morwenstow, at the age of twenty. Originally published anonymously, the song was praised by the like of Scott and Macauley.

Though he based it on a 17th century Cornish folk ballad, Hawker lifted only the first three lines of the second stanza of the original.

And have they fixed the where and when?
And shall Trelawny die?
Here’s twenty thousand Cornish men
Will know the reason why!

Bishop TrelawnyThe song is sometimes known as “Trelawny”, referring to Sir Jonathan Trelawny, Bishop of Bristol, Exeter, and Winchester. In 1687, he was one of seven bishops who petitioned against James II’s Declaration of Indulgence towards Catholics. The king, afraid of demonstrations against his policy, imprisoned them in the Tower, which naturally led to demonstrations in their favour, especially in Cornwall, ancestral home of the Trelawny family.

Out spake their Captain brave and bold:
A merry wight was he:
‘If London Tower were Michael’s hold,
We’d set Trelawny free!

Alas, the anonymous Captain had no force to lead. Cornish regiments had fought valiantly in the Civil War, in the Royalist cause. They had taken several towns in Devon and Somerset and had lost many of their leaders as well as troops. The regiments had not been rebuilt during the Commonwealth. Raising another force to march on London, take the Tower, and free Trelawny was out of the question. So much for…

‘We’ll cross the Tamar, land to land:
The Severn is no stay:
With “one and all,” and hand in hand;
And who shall bid us nay?

Sir John First BaronetOne of those Royalist leaders was Bishop Trelawny’s grandfather, Sir John, the first baronet. In promoting the cause of Charles I, he fell foul of Parliament and was imprisoned in the Tower. The king waited till the end of the parliamentary session and promptly had him released.

‘And when we come to London Wall,
A pleasant sight to view,
Come forth! come forth! ye cowards all:
Here’s men as good as you.

The old ballad appropriated by Hawker almost certainly referred to Sir John, not his grandson. He was imprisoned for only three weeks and had no need of rescue. The twenty thousand Cornishmen may be a misapplied reference to those troops he later raised to fight with the Royalists in the Civil War.

‘Trelawny he’s in keep and hold;
Trelawny he may die:
But here’s twenty thousand Cornish bold
Will know the reason why!’

Ah well, it’s a pleasing myth and a rousing song. And until I started to research it, I believed every word.


A big thanks to Carola Dunn. To someone who contributes a comment on my blog this week, Carola will give away an autographed paperback copy of one of her “Daisy Dalrymple” or “Cornish” mysteries that’s currently unavailable in print in the U.S.—winner’s choice of title. I’ll choose the winner from among those who comment by Friday at 6 p.m. ET. Delivery is available in the U.S. only.


Did you like what you read? Learn about downloads, discounts, and special offers from Relevant History authors and Suzanne Adair. Subscribe to Suzanne’s free newsletter.