Lots of different issues in this week’s events, including 3 items which illustrate changing attitudes to morality:
28thMay 1554 highlights the problems of priests in that period in the 16thCentury when England switched from Catholic to Protestant, to Catholic, and back to Protestant. Should a priest stay married and give up his post, or to retain his occupation and give up his wife? The repercussions of the Reformation were massive, and indeed still being felt in 1912 (see 30thMay 1912 entry) in the need to make separate provision for Catholics.
William Wilberforce (1stJune 1787) was concerned, well before the era of Victorian morality, to encourage virtue by punishing small transgressions. His aim seems honourable today (to reduce judicial deaths) – but his proposed solution (criminalising swearing) seems overly harsh to modern minds, I think.
On 3rdJune, we see an instance of charitable giving by a member of the Church enriching himself by corrupt practices. Hero or villain? You decide.
Several regular issues appear this week – lives lost at sea, crime, transport changes, and the impact of war (WW1, WW2, Boer War, Civil War, the Pilgrimage of Grace) on our area. There are mentions of local notables – the Wilsons of Tranby Croft, the Rev Barnes-Lawrence, Ann Watson, the Yorkshire Giant, Snowden Dunhill, the Hildyards. All famous for different reasons, of course, and remind us that we are all individuals, and the past is full of fascinating characters.
Photo shows – a representation of Rev Barnes-Lawrence with a Bempton climmer.