The Kingdom Was Lost

January 14, 2021


I’ve never been interested in English history beyond our own revolutionary war and an exploration of the horrors the English inflicted on the Irish. So I didn’t anticipate writing more than the one post on the Mother Goose nursery rhymes. But then there was a second. And then I found this. It is chillingly reflective of where we are as a nation right now.

The history behind this social commentary and political satire takes us back 1513 and the Anglo-French war that marked the effective end of Catholic Europe’s influence on England’s internal politics. Henry VIII had decided to invade France, largely for personal glory. His intention was to create a realm, church, and empire subject only to him.

Anticipating a long siege because of the rainy weather and being aware of the propaganda effect, he lodged his officers in colorful tents and had built for himself an impressive and luxurious pavilion. 

When weather permitted, English troops attacked with an artillery force that threw the French advance into a state of chaos. Woefully unprepared, the French calvary galloped away with such speed that the battle became known as the Battle of the Spurs. However it wasn’t the defeat as much as the story Henry promulgated about his victory that changed the tide of events. As the propaganda of his new role as a formidable power spread and took hold, European countries quickly adopted a laissez-faire attitude and hands-off policy regarding England. Just as the French had fled from the battlefield, other European countries fled from any notion of confrontation, cowed by the idea of themselves also being defeated by the English. And so, one by one, the dominoes fell. 

Did it all really begin with the want of a horseshoe nail? We’ll never know. But whatever the chain of events, the chain of for-the-want-ofs, for France the kingdom lost was their national pride. For the Roman Catholic Church, the kingdom lost was England.

And now. In this time in our nation. We are watching how the dominoes are falling and wondering which kingdoms will be lost. I have hope that our nation will survive in tact with our founding and guiding principles of equality and justice. I also have a strong sense that we must mind the nails.

Judith –