Matthew Parker was the chaplain to Anne Boleyn, the mother of Elizabeth I, and it was to his spiritual care that she entrusted her daughter just before her execution for high treason and adultery in 1536. Known as a moderate man he survived the reign of Mary I and the persecution of Protestants, to be made Elizabeth's Archbishop of Canterbury in 1559.
Lambeth Palace, the official London residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, stands on the south bank of the River Thames, a short distance from Westminster Palace. It has been owned by the archbishopric since around 1200.
Joseph was the husband of Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ. Jesus was, according to the New Testament, born of a virgin birth, and Joseph was chosen by God as a suitable husband for the mother of the Christ.
The Speaker of the House of Commons is the presiding officer of the House of Commons of the British Parliament and the holder of the post is elected by his or her fellow MPs. The history of the office dates back to the 14th century during the reign of Edward III. Although the office, historically, was associated with serving the crown, as parliament evolved into its modern form it became more associated with the government. The Speaker, while retaining his office as an elected Member of Parliament with the associated constituency duties, also acts as an impartial and non-party political officer.
The Speaker also performs other duties, such as at the State Opening of Parliament when he or she addresses the Crown on behalf of the House of Commons. On this occasion the Speaker traditionally wears the ceremonial gown of black silk damask trimmed with gold, although on normal sitting days of the House, he or she wears a black gown similar to that of a barrister. Nowadays, the Speaker does not wear the full ceremonial dress. When Speaker, Betty Boothroyd decided not to wear the wig and Michael Martin chose not to don the buckled shoes, knee breeches and silk stockings. John Bercow, the present Speaker, has chosen not to wear traditional ceremonial dress at all, instead choosing to wear a lounge suit.
The Lord High Chancellor is also an ancient position within the British government. Dating as far back as the 11th century and the Norman Conquest, the post is an extremely senior one and is second only to the Lord High Steward. The holder is appointed by the reigning sovereign, acting upon advice from the Prime Minister. The Chancellor is also responsible for the running of the courts. The present Lord Chancellor is Kenneth Clarke.
William Shakespeare's play Richard II , portraying the misrule of Richard II, has been largely responsible for colouring modern attitudes to Richard's reign, but most historians do believe that he cannot be excused for his own downfall. He cultivated a court where he, as king, was elevated above other mortals, in contrast to that of his predecessor, his grandfather Edward III whose court was fraternal and military in outlook. Richard's court had, in addition to himself, art and culture at its centre. Above all, he believed firmly in the royal prerogative, keeping all power to himself while remaining jealous and suspicious of his nobles. This proved unacceptable, leading them to support Henry Bolingbroke in favour of what they saw as a tyrannical king.
His actions and attitudes led to the revolt against his rule that resulted in the English Civil War. Defeated after the First Civil War (1642-1645), Charles remained defiant of both people and parliament, resulting in the Second Civil War (1648-1649). Defeated again, this time Charles was tried for, and found guilty of, high treason, leading to his execution on 30 January 1649. Following the deposition of Charles I, the monarchy itself was abolished in favour of rule by republican government under the Commonwealth of England with Oliver Cromwell as Lord Protector. Although Charles's son became Charles II, he did not reign until the restoration of the monarchy in 1660. Charles I was canonised as Saint Charles Stuart and King Charles the Martyr by the Church of England.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears, a favourite children's story, describes how a little girl named Goldilocks comes across a house. Finding no-one at home she tastes the three bowls of porridge left on the table. One is too hot, one is too cold but the third is just right. Goldilocks eats the porridge, much to the dismay of the occupants of the house when they return home. These turn out to be three bears. Goldilocks has eaten baby bear's porridge. There are various versions, differing slightly, but the outcome is OK as Goldilocks gets away.
The story was first recorded in the 19th century by Robert Southey in narrative form and by George Nicol in verse. Both told the story of three bears and an old woman who wanders into their house. The bears were also bachelors. By the early 20th century, the old woman had changed into a little girl, 'Goldilocks' and the bachelor bears into Mummy, Daddy and Baby Bear.
New Jerusalem is one of the names throughout the books of the Bible for a city modelled on the city of Jerusalem that is, or will be, the residence of the saints. In the Book of Revelations it is: The Tabernacle of God; Holy City; City of God; Celestial City and City of God. In other books it is: Zion; Jerusalem Above and Shining City on a Hill. It is variously interpreted as a celestial city, a physical city or a spiritual dwelling place, while some Christians believe it refers to the Church.
The story of Samson is told in the Biblical Book of Judges (chapters 13-16). He is granted supernatural strength by God to defeat the enemies of God. He performs several feats such as wrestling a lion and slaying a whole army of enemies with only the jawbone of an ass. He falls in love with a woman named Delilah who, after being bribed by the Philistines, tricks him into having his hair cut, thus losing his strength. Blinded and delivered into the hands of his enemies, the Philistines, who indulge in idolatry, he is eventually led into the Temple of Dagon on a day of sacrifice, as an exhibit of the superiority of that god over Samson's. His hair having grown long once more, Samson summons the help of God and pulls the Temple of Dagon down, killing both himself and many of his enemies.
The term 'Clintonesque' refers to a scandal involving a member of the White House Staff, Monica Lewinsky and Clinton's subsequent impeachment for perjury and obstruction of justice in connection with the scandal. Under oath, Clinton denied having had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky, as he did in a nationally televised interview on 26 January 1998. The story was taken up in a huge way by the media and Lewinsky spent some weeks in hiding as a result. Later that same year, Clinton, when faced with evidence that he did have a sexual relationship with Lewinsky, denied perjury because, when asked, the present tense 'is' was used and at the time of being asked, he was not in a relationship with her. Also, the legal definition of oral sex was not covered by the word sex per se and that the definition did not include acts performed on him, as opposed to by him. Lewinsky testified that Clinton was not merely a passive partner. Both were called to give evidence before a grand jury.
Bill Clinton's statement on his testimony before the Grand Jury, 17th August 1998 in which he makes a public apology, admitting that while his initial replies were "legally accurate", he did not "volunteer information".
Francis Drake, knighted by Elizabeth in 1581, English hero and El Draque the Pirate to Spaniards, led an extraordinary life, including being the first person to circumnavigate the world between 1577 to 1580. He is also famous for his part in the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 when he was second in command to Charles Howard and Elizabeth I herself, of the English fleet. Privateer, slaver, sea-captain and pirate are all apt descriptions of this man who achieved fame in his lifetime and beyond. A favourite of Elizabeth, she also turned a blind eye to his less than honourable exploits, particularly when he brought back revenue for her coffers.
He died of dysentry after an unsuccessful attack on San Juan in Puerto Rico in January 1596.
Sir Francis Walsingham was Elizabeth's Principal Secretary from 1573 until 1590 and has gone down in history as her 'spymaster', although intelligence gathering was only one of his functions as a trusted courtier close to the Queen.
He did establish an intelligence network that stretched across Europe and right into the heart of Spanish military strategies, and he did foil the various conspiracies to overthrow Elizabeth, including one involving Mary, Queen of Scots that he used to secure her execution. But as one of Elizabeth's trusted courtiers he worked on various foreign and domestic affairs of state, as well as being one of the first politicians to have the vision to see England's potential as a maritime power.
Educated at Kings College, Oxford, like other prominent Protestants, he fled to Europe upon Mary's succession, returning on Elizabeth's. Through the offices of William Cecil, Elizabeth's Chief Advisor, he became MP first for Banbury in 1559, then for Lyme Regis in 1563. He was knighted in 1557 and was used as her ambassador by Elizabeth and died in 1590, not as wealthy as might have been expected for one whom the Queen rewarded for his services.
Sir Francis Walsingham was a powerful and intriguing character and has been portrayed many times, sometimes sympathetically, sometimes not. In this clip from Elizabeth Geoffrey Rush plays a ruthless Walsingham, ready, and able, to kill when necessary.