Friday, April 11, 2008

Speaking of . . .

. . . Sir Leonard Halliday, this is a painting (author unknown, at least to me). His family crest is in the upper left corner.

I am not herald enough to blazon accurately, but I think this arms is blazoned as:

Sable, three helmets visored or in profile argent, within a bordure or

The translation, I believe, is: on a black shield with a gold border, three silver helmets with the gold visors closed, viewed in profile.

This blogger . . .

. . . who happens to be a much better wordsmith than I, reminded me of a strange branch on our family tree. Only one of several strange branches, that is.

My 9th great-grandfather, Sir Leonard Halliday, was Lord Mayor of London in the year 1605, during the reign of James I.

1605 was also the year of the "Gunpowder Plot." Few Americans know much about this plot beyond the connection to the movie "V for Vendetta," and I doubt they made the connection to the November 5 premiere. For some reason, however, I have never forgotten this little poem from when I was a child. I suspect my grandmother or aunt taught it to me:

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.

I know there's another verse or two, but I don't remember, remember them. Is that failure treasonous?