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Taking the King's Shilling

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185998.  Thu Jun 28, 2007 8:52 am Reply with quote

Sorry, but that one seems to have been created by Snopes as a spoof. Here is their original article, and here is their explanation that it was all a great big load of poo after all.

Drat. Too slow.

Last edited by 96aelw on Thu Jun 28, 2007 8:55 am; edited 1 time in total

185999.  Thu Jun 28, 2007 8:54 am Reply with quote

samivel wrote:
Here is the Wiki article on the nursery rhyme. Seems that the pirate theory is a joke from Snopes's Lost Legends section. Still, it is quite an ingenious one.

nuts .. and thats pretty much as I'd heard it too .. the heading of "a pocket full of WRY" seems to give the game away .. ;(

must stop listening to (should that be believing) people in pubs .. *SIGH* ..


199464.  Sun Aug 12, 2007 12:02 pm Reply with quote

Sorry to bring this thread up again. Not about the shilling but a story of a Navy press gang that might interest a few people.
From "The Pride of Poole 1688 - 1851" by Derek Beamish, John Dockerill and John Hillier:

The most notorious episode in the activities of the press gang in Poole came in 1794 when Benjamin Lester's brig "Maria", commanded by Captain Randall was hailed by the press gang's tender as she was about to enter Poole Harbour. On board were some fifty fishermen returning from Newfoundland and it appears that they refused to allow the ship to stop at the press gang's command. At this, the press gang opened fire on the "Maria", killing the pilot and two others, and wounding five other men. A mob quickly gathered on the quay and were only prevented from lynching the officers of the press gang by the Magistrates backed up by some of the troops stationed in the town. The two lieutenants and midshipman of the press gang were arrested and the Coroner's juries found cases of wilful murder against them. It was intended that they should be tried in the town, but in view of the great ferment their deed had aroused in Poole, the Admiralty intervened and undertook to discipline the three men.

Their source being contemporary documents from the collection of the Poole Corporation. They also mention instances where the Magistrates would stall press gangs to allow able bodied seamen to go into hiding. This at least paints a picture of at least some press gangs being fairly ruthless in their task. One might question whether the press gangs played fair when others were using underhanded methods to stop them.

519146.  Mon Mar 09, 2009 12:33 pm Reply with quote

I know that this is an old topic but I thought that this might be of interest. I have deciphered a will today of an ancestor that is dated 29 November 1573. To a cousin, among various other bequests, he has bequeathed him his shilling glasses. I didn't know what 'shilling glasses' were so I googled them and found this forum. So this term goes back quote a long way.

519680.  Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:11 am Reply with quote

'Woolworths 3d & 6d Store' used to sell reading glasses for 6d, and the counter had a test card so that you could test yourself.
I suspect that the 'shilling glasses' were more upmarket, and came from Boots the Chemist.


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