Thursday, December 09, 2004

The History of Shingles: Part I

Aha! Today, whilst having a stroll to acquaint myself better with the island, I came across the village library (two bookcases in Mr Crompton's shed). Within, between a row of Terry Pratchett novels and a stack of old Reader's Digests, I managed to lay my hands on a photocopied pamphlet produced by the local historical society. It provides some useful background knowledge, and Mr Crompton very kindly let me have it for free as he was so happy to see someone using his paltry excuse for a library.

Here's an extract:

"SHINGLES: A Brief History

Compiled by Mitchum Bosch, Mayor of Shingles and President of Shingles Historical Society

Chapter I – The Foundation of Shingles

Many people, viewing this island's elegant pebbled shoreline for the first time, are heard to exclaim 'So that is how the island gets its name!' From its shingle beaches, they realise, and not from the disfiguring skin disease they had dreaded when they first heard the name. Relief washes over them just as the River Crouch washes over the pebbles.

Regrettably they are wrong, however, for Shingles was founded as, and named after, a leper colony.

The history of Shingles can be traced back to the tenth century, in the time of the Anglo-Saxons. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle of 983, the lepers of mid-Essex were driven on to the island by the Saxon magnate Eadric 'Streona' (the 'Acquisitor'), who wanted to take their existing colony, in Dunmow, as his own estate:

"983 – The lepers of mid-Essex driven on to an island by Eadric Streona, who wanted to take their existing colony in Dunmow as his own estate. Wulfstan came for tea, then went to get hair done. Also famine and Viking invasion – v. bad."

Eadric continued his good deeds by repeatedly betraying his king, Aethelred 'the Unready', to the invading Vikings. (It is worth mentioning that Aethelred's nickname is really an unfair corruption of the Anglo-Saxon word unraed, which actually means 'ill-prepared'.) Eadric then swore loyalty to the victorious Danish king Cnut, who had him executed immediately."

I also received an email from Les today:

"Tournament briefly delayed. Will keep you up to date. Stay on the island for now. Just stay there. Stay."

2 Comments:

Blogger Tom said...

Hi. Made it at last to the Awkward Pause (the Shingles of the blogging community). A little slow on the uptake there.

3:44 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude Shingles would suck soooo bad. With my luck I would get a really bad case of Shingles and would be one of the pictures you see on google images.

5:10 am  

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