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February 2018: Land of the Prince Bishops

County Durham is not perhaps well-known as a tourist destination, that very fact surely making it worth visiting, but it does enjoy a wealth of ...More
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Nicholas Breakspear

The only English-born Pope, Adrian IV, born Nicholas Breakspear, died 850 years ago this week. Hes our hero of the week not for any religious reason, but for his achievement in actually getting the top job - the previous six popes had all been Italian by birth, non-Italian popes then as until recently very rare beasts. He was of humble birth too, in contrast to most pontiffs. He rose rapidly in the church hierarchy on merit rather than as was more usual through nepotism. And though he lived outside England most of his life his death has something rather English about it supposedly choking while drinking a glass of wine.

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Brit Quote:
Necessity dispenseth with decorum. - Thomas Carlyle
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On this day:
Last Invasion of Mainland Britain - 1797, Dolly the Sheep Cloned - 1997, Securitas Depot Robbery - Britains largest - 2006
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