THAT MAN OF BLOOD WIK_Charles-I_by-Daniel-Mytens_1631 KING OF ENGLAND


devil's tavern

It’s no easy task to write A CHAPTER in the imagined life of your 12 x removed Great Grandparents! Yet it is my exquisite obsession, my job to tell this story to my grand-children, students, and general readers.

The English Civil War (1642-49) was not something I learned in my English education between 5 to 14 yrs or 1967-77 in Birmingham. My husband didn’t learn about it during the 1950’s in Leeds.

Was Westminster afraid we would turn against the Status Quo, become rebel rousers?No our History lessons were like a scratched, repeating record of the War of the Roses and Henry’s Tudor wives.


So I’ve been learning at home via the wifi internet  of this amazing period which was the beginnings of the British Commonwealth Parliament, the cornerstone of our system of Government today.

By this generosity of shared knowledge in the global village I can see and hear my New Model Army lovers who bear witness to the King’s head being chopped off by Parliament,  and M.P. Oliver Cromwell becomes Lord Protector of the British Isles.

In fact they were the first REDCOATS, the initiative of Cromwell and Fairfax to create a professional national Army. I aim to bring my cross-dressing Tom-boy Gran out of the closet of obscurity. Somehow they survived the onslaught of Cromwell leading them to victory in Ireland, Scotland and finally the battle of Worcester where my Mother lives!

To flesh out my 17th century ancestral characters I trawl through the academic research, go back to virtual Sunday School to read their favoured Geneva Bible, imagine so many Pub-crawls and Church pilgrimages of East London in a constant background of Wars.

Like an Olympian I needed a Coach…  It was opportune to see on facebook, the James Patterson Masterclass for Writers for an affordable $90.00. The number one author said I needed an OUTLINE – but first a plot in 2-3 sentences:

12 Generations ago, close to 400 years my Great Grandparents Clark had an intriguing entry in a London Baptism register for July 1655. The new parents were “Souldiers” in Cromwell’s New Model Army. 

It wasn’t long before a ballad was sung about the wife who cross-dressed to be a man and be revealed as the “Famous Woman Drummer”. How did this happen? Wasn’t it a hanging offence? 

My Great Grandmother 12 generations past.

THOU SHALT NOT KILL said the God of Abraham, but DEATH and DYING, AND BRUTAL MURDER WAS ALL AROUND. EVERYWHERE THE CHILD WALKED WITH OR WITHOUT HER MOTHER there was usually heads of traitors atop pikes at the different Gates around the city of London walls, and Bridge.

The twin girls’ mother, would introduce herself to strangers as Goody Thomasine Cannaday , wife of a Wapping Mariner, going on to explain how clever he was with his hands. It had only taken a morning to build the twins a push-cart so they could all get out of the house, see the sights of London.

Dutifully she would never fail to inform her three year old twin daughters under the gruesome faces of men, this is what happens to you if you’re caught murdering and pillaging and raping and spying, and rebelling.

If you stay out of trouble from God and King life wouldn’t be so bad living in the best city and country of the world. It was a bit alarming when she saw how her borough was changing day by day.

The Tower Hamlets was semi-rural, so the family could walk around the corner and find a milk dairy, and horses being shoed, fishing boats traffic and the increasing wonder of sailing ships bringing in cargo from foreign and newly discovered countries.

Blessed to be born, Praise the Lord! and they would all laugh, and she would shed a tear. Thomasine had it on good authority – her Father, Thomas Bond a Victualler of Gracechurch Street would send a message when their Royal Majesties Charles 1  and retinue had planned to Parade the regular route between the White Tower and Whitehall.

Crowds of thousands would witness pomp and tragedy along the way to the Tower gates.

Roaming animals were part of the throng of daily Life on a diet of unwanted scraps of butchered flesh and gristle. There was no waste left when dogs cleaned up body bits and pieces of  an unforgivable noble whose head was severed by the axe man at Tower Hill.

Thomasine senior was doing her motherly duty showing the raw facts of Life in it’s Judgemental element. The girl’s mother would counteract this dark side with the experience of watching the magnificence of a Royal entourage. It was always a spectacle, from the glorious white horses with shiny reins to the splendid military uniforms flash with feathers.

Even her mother’s delight failed to quell the moans about her  husband, HUGH when he was off sailing the ocean, fearful of him finding somebody he liked to fuck better than she.

Her daughter  also named Thomasine  reminded her of how she complained when there was no ship and he took on jobs as a Roper, and they saw each other every day she was not entirely happy. Thomasine the younger had worked out why she was unhappy with most things – it was her baby’s dying. Her mother’s desire to bear sons, and the loss of her favourite daughter, Tabitha, twin to Thomasine, her beautiful, graceful sister who should have lived instead of her.

God had visited the plague on their house, taken the most important thing a woman could give her husband, a son. And she did, but then the Lord took them away? Why would HE do this to her?  It was hard to suppress her tears.

Mummy can be a cry-baby, he had said one day when she was taking a piss outside. The Rector at St. Dunstans suggested prayers but Thomasine had a better idea. She would be healed by the King.


They met in a different Tavern each week, sometimes twice, bring the kids to share stories, sing ballads and support each others grievances and oft times, grief.

Bills of Mortality

THOU SHALT NOT STEAL was the next COMMANDMENT, but at the Stepney Parish Sunday school Thomasine and her twin sister Tabitha said they knew Godly people who stole stuff all the time.

My ancestors are recorded in the registers of St. Dunstan Stepney East in the 1600’s. Puritan Preacher William Greenhill was the preacher aswell as active with the Independent Meeting House, non-conformist and attracted people like Oliver Cromwell.

Stepney Meeting House was an independent church in Stepney, East London, founded in 1644 by Henry Barton and his wife, William Parker, John Odinsell, William Greenhill, and John Pococke, in the presence …Wikipedia

It was true said Rev. Burroughs, but if they were not caught, hung by the Law, or transported as white slaves to the NEW WORLD, there was no escaping the real torment of HELL.

God of course in the body of Jesus Christ our Saviour on the Cross would see into the SOUL of the person and forgive them for what they did.



THOMASINE Cannaday is TWELVE, yet her father allows her to dons the clothes of her dead brother to dig the fortifications commissioned by Parliament to protect the Tower Hamlets against the King.

On 7th March 1643 the people of Stepney Parish pray to God to protect them against the crazy, stubborn, selfish, Stuart King, Charles 1st who is threatening his subjects a bloody attack by his Cavalliers coming from the Royal base at Oxford.

During this great anxiety and shock, Thomasine is made aware of her destiny. John Clark appears by her side and their souls fate become intertwined. God is Love.

Forts 1642

My journey writing is a long journey, with many diversions, like today  I’ve been cleaning out the pantry because a mouse died in it…pong, leaving its shit everywhere..I think about the filthy hovels and slum tenements which my ancestors survive, and those who don’t.

I clean and disinfect then find a wonderful article about early modern vermin! It’s not the mouse shit the people are so concerned about, but the competition for their scarce food! The Details are important. It is the real truth revealed, physical, political, spiritual.

My 17th century Tom-boy is part of my inner-life, has been for at least 3 years now. I see her like in a movie at the end of Gun Alley opposite Wapping Wall with her Mother, Thomasine (popular Christian name in East London).

I’m hooked in to imagining and re-creating their working-class drama because it has all the topics I love and my Nan didn’t – Religion and Politics!

When she was a child Tom would go down to EXECUTION DOCK to see the Pirate hanging over the river. If the tide was out she’d sit under the body, thinking.

The neighbourhood was always out in force, for the Parade – cheering as the High Court Admiralty Marshall approached on a beautiful, majestic horse along the narrow street front of the River Thames. He held a tall silver oar, symbol of the Sea where crimes were committed by the prisoner – a pirate – made to stand aboard a cart.

There were hisses, and boos, and mad cheers.  Old rubbish was flung at him for a laugh. Dogs barked. Tom studied it all; to from the hooves to the tail to the Pirate standing proud as he can before he is hung by a short rope.

Mongrel dogs take part, wagging tails, sniffing bystanders, scrounging for edible scraps. Vermin rats and mice were part of the scenery, and they were hard to catch too.

Wappinglink to all about Fortifying London
Wapping Warehouses, 17th century view.


Peace Middle East


during 2015, grand-parenting boy dogs, boy grand-sons and more on the way.

I haven’t had much success being employed by mainstream employers in my life, but the foundation of a Love of Learning was provided to me, which empowered me and be pro-active in parenting.

Such a joy to be a Grand-mother now and conscious of passing on what tools of Love and Knowledge to them to fulfil their potential and contribute to the wider society.

The Gonski Report on a way to meet the Education reforms for the present and future so all children have a fair go at finding opportunities – A consensus emerged before the last election that this was the best path forward, the best investment a country could make.

The Liberal-National Party lied to get into power. They don’t want to spend so much money on a decent education on kids with disabilities, from low to middle incomes….their kids will be all right, so like the selfish, despicable wilful ignorance of Climate Change policy, Australia has devolved; Commonwealth coffers of money prop carbon polluters, and people like them who will luxuriate in a Super-retirement class.

The evidence, the analysis, the history of political evasion can be gained from independent and other sources. I read and listen widely thanks to the gifts of Science and the publicly funded CSIRO, ABC, WWW.

Conclusion: A positive, 21st century enlightened education must be hoped for, must be campaigned for and voted on by the majority.

Peace on Earth, Good will to all boys and girls and may we all be productive with respect for Mother Nature. Merry be 2016.



A NANA’S WISH: It’s a wonderful world for you if we piss off Tony Abbott Govt. flat earthers and have policies more likely to give you a decent future.





Max Ernst 1962 Violet Sonne

Max Ernst 1962
Violet Sonne

Changing pictures around the walls of home, reflections of us, licks of fresh lilac paint in our boudoir, tongue & groove, I find at pinterest a favourite passion of husband, the artist Max Ernst.


Max Ernst in Venice
Attirement of the Bride 1940

Follow Julie McNeill’s board MAX 4 ROY on Pinterest.

Aussies say, You Beauty, and that was us travelling beautiful bits of Europe in 2010 – memories shared together, and knees forever damaged on cobble-stone roads.

Recovery with feet up on Queenslander verandah, I pin pictures of paintings by Australian painter Fred Williams. Thanks to Roy, his passion became mine.

Fred Williams

Fred Williams

Our dual Nationality of English city born/Australian cured is happy to be home this start of Spring 2015, golden wattle-lined roads.

Fred Williams, black wattle

<a href=”http:// Follow Julie’s board FRED WILLIAMS AUSTRALIAN ARTIST on Pinterest.//” target=”_blank”>Fred’s Australia

THE BLACK COUNTRY/ Write to Federal MPs about refugee policy

Australian Refugee Policy has been part of my hole in the soulful travail.  How can MP’s be so cruel? It’s the 21st century:refugee

I spent my first 14 years in Birmingham, England, a multi-cultural society: Catholic Irish neighbours, Indian, Cypriot, West Indian/Jamaica, German, Pakistani and all of the Commonwealth melting pot.

26 Exeter Rd Selly Oak

Ready for school 1972 Sophie and I with twin sisters.

My first shocks of racism were from my own parents who were unconcerned by putting down the lazy Irish or blackies. More horrifying was hearing Wolverhampton Conservative MP Enoch Powell in Dudley, what is called the ‘rivers of blood’ speech. 1969. I was 6, listening to diatribe, not knowing the word, RACISM.

Ironically, this man was speaking from what is colloquially called THE BLACK COUNTRY.  As a kid I thought that was where Black People came from…but it was where my Nail Making/Coal Mining ancestors worked for a pittance for hundreds of years, amid pollution during the Industrial Revolution.

Named after Oliver Cromwell for being tough and hard.

Nail maker tool, named after Oliver Cromwell for being tough and hard.

When the industries died some moved to Sheffield for the steel, or to Carnegie’s Steel works in America. My sisters and I descended from those who went walked and caught a tram to the new manufacturing suburb of  Selly Oak a few miles down the Roman road circa 1900.

Ariel Cycle Co Dale Rd Selly Oak c 1899

Ariel Cycle Co
Dale Rd Selly Oak c 1899

Family migration is all about work opportunities, a future for your kids. Governments and Churches have policies to encourage babies, and ‘growth’ and ‘productivity’.

The Tory establishment has a habit of suppressing how money is to be made and how inherited wealth has been gained. The Conservative forces don’t want children knowing the facts of dispossession and white slavery of their own people which made Empires.

Why do Politicians persuade the working-classes to hate “the other”. It’s called DIVIDE & CONQUER.

MP Wolverhampton - Conservative Party UK

MP Wolverhampton – Conservative Party UK

Mandela on poverty

Now I live in the Land of Oz , my Celtic Summerland, Down-Under, but I didn’t learn about THE WHITE AUSTRALIA POLICY which was the first law of the 1901 Federation.

Lajamanu 1989

1989. Lajamanu. Norther Territory puppet show tour. Learning about Skin Names in Walpiri tradition.


Racist  ideology and stealing/occupying Land for generational wealth is nothing new, (ask the God of Abraham). Enacting any Means to any End at all times throughout history (of course is in the interests of the few or 1% at the top of the hierarchy.

The threat to social democracy now is withdrawal of  funding to all the services for those who are disadvantaged. Services which were lobbied for from the beginning of the 20th century are the first to go. The Conquerers break the Spirit of a population so they won’t march to Parliament.

My husband and I (originally from Leeds) came over in our teens to the ‘Lucky Country’. Strangely, we both had thought we would go back to Britain if there was a Revolution!

In the 1890’s new manufacturers of Birmingham had complained about the lack of literacy in their workers, so Capital and Government built a free primary and secondary education for all – but that didn’t include a University of Birmingham trajectory for the kids who grew up there.  

Few of us plebians knew what a University even was. It was never considered. The Birmingham University Clock told me the time from my bedroom window.

When Margaret Thatcher broke the effectiveness of Unionism, exploitation steadily grew; a rise in insecure work, uncertain hours and wages. The jobs of Cleaners are contracted out and will often go to illegal migrants.

I can remember at our favourite Indian restaurant at the top of ‘the village’ the waiter said how he was paying his passage to Selly Oak by working there. The Daily Mirror would have front page pictures of van loads of squashed Indians being smuggled into Britain in the early 1970’s.

As I reaped the dividend of being the last of the 10pound poms, (thanks to the cold head screw and tool making skills of my step-father’s Black Country heritage), the Sex Pistols summed it up in song, “No Future” and the likes of Thatcher left me with a sense of relief at my escape from Britain.

My mother’s message after working all day in a grimy factory was “I’m not working like a “Navvy” said my mother, for a slave’s wage!” She said she’d quit one job in the afternoon and went around the corner and got another one! Those were the days…but there would be the best wages she’d ever had in her life in South Clayton of Melbourne in 1979.

the chosen ones

St. John’s Orphanage endorsed free labour for the 11+ girls including Mum, to send out to isolated farms for domestic.(The Sisters of Mercy pocketed any money which was given). 1950

The only issue today is there are no lands to colonise to dump the dispossessed. The Slave trade has other names today, but there are the top 1percent who manage to take all the credit by strength of character for their Palaces and Grand Designs!

Oliver Cromwell's conscience is clean when clearing out the Irish Catholics for the Protestant elites.

Oliver Cromwell’s conscience is clean when clearing out the Irish Catholics for the Protestant elites.

Australia is spending buckets of money for a so-called Regional Solution to asylum seekers who come by boat, from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Myanmar etc

Trade deals are being struck to send migrant workers in to replace Australian labourers under award-negotiated wages.

The numbers of people who have established themselves in Australia over 200 years are now afraid of the desperate, ragged millions who have had to flee their homelands because of war and persecution.

I believe it is the racist culture which has the upper-hand of Refugee policy today. If they were white Christians coming in a boat from Indonesia there would be a hand-out, and up, wouldn’t there? They would find a room in the Inn?

Pre-Raphelite paintings at the Birmingham Gallery.

“The Last of England” 1864 heading to Australia. Pre-Raphelite paintings at the Birmingham Gallery.



Labor and the Coalition are both going to turn back refugee boats.

By doing so, they will (incidentally) be committing the crime of people smuggling, contrary to section 73 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code. But who cares if we engage in criminal offences in order to close our doors to refugees?

The trouble is that a lot of MPs simply do not understand what they are going along with.  I urge you to write to Federal MPs to see how much they actually know.  If they don’t answer, you can assume they don’t know.  They probably will not answer.

Here is a discussion about the letter-writing experience of a very dedicated person from Niddrie.  It is really useful to get this sort of information, so please let me know how you…

View original post 680 more words

‘My whole time is given to the service of my fellow citizens’ – the first women elected to Birmingham City Council

The double-edged sword of the world wide web of instant knowledge sharing is a Diversional Stimulus – I started off looking for information on daggers and swords relevant to the character in my novel set during the English Republic, and found myself learning about women in local politics where I grew up in Selly Oak Birmingham!
I am going to save this, and come back again another day. I hope I live a long time to write and research these stories of our commoners development.

The Iron Room

As we look towards International Women’s Day and the forthcoming national and local elections, it seemed a timely moment to revisit the Library’s wonderful, but surprisingly little-used, collection of election literature for evidence of the first women elected to the City Council. Although limited parliamentary suffrage was not granted to women until 1918, they had been able to vote and stand for election in local political contests for some time as members of School Boards, Poor Law Guardians and local councillors.

Birmingham Municipal Elections Literature, 1909 - 1911.  Municipal Election 1911, Edgbaston Ward, Mrs Ellen F Pinsent and two other Unionist Candidates.  [LFF35.2] Birmingham Municipal Elections Literature, 1909 – 1911. Municipal Election 1911, Edgbaston Ward, Mrs Ellen F Pinsent and two other Unionist Candidates.
[LFF35.2] In 1911 two women were elected to serve on Birmingham City Council for the first time. Before this, a few women had served on City Council committees as co-opted, unelected members, particularly committees concerned with education, and the health and welfare of women and children. This had…

View original post 1,191 more words


Excuse me for feeling a failure, mixed feelings about signing on to Disability Support Pension for a psychiatric condition which limits the chance of being given a job and staying in job.

Assessment for DSP takes longer, so I have been put on the lower New Start – suddenly I feel like it was back in 1982, but thankfully I have my own roof over my head now instead of having rental stress.

To show how it was back then for me, and how it is still like this for lots of Australians despite the passage of years, link to my political blog: WELFARE FOR THE COMMON YOUTH

alternatively we could cheer up with some SATIRE on a very miserable topic of how we treat asylum seekers and refugees in Australia.

Want a job that pays good money? Join the immigration department! | First Dog on the Moon | Comment is free | The Guardian.

Crikey dog