The History Woman's Blog

Murder in Lausanne: The Death of an English Regicide in Exile

Posted in Early Modern, History, Politics, Religion, Republicanism, Seventeenth Century by thehistorywoman on September 5, 2020
Saint_François_IMG_4837_C19th

The Reformed Church of St François in Lausanne in the 19th century.

On Thursday, 11 August 1664 the Englishman John Lisle was shot dead in bright daylight on his way to church in Lausanne. His killers had been observing his moves. They knew his daily habits.

When Lisle went on that fateful day to hear the morning sermon at the Church of St François, several men were hiding nearby. One of them had been waiting for Lisle at a barber’s shop, and then, following him into the churchyard ‘drew a carabine from under his cloak, and shot him into the back.’ After the deed, the men escaped on horseback towards the town of Morges, allegedly shouting ‘vive le roi’.

The suspects in Lisle’s murder were Irish royalists who carried out the deed as agents of the English Crown, though it remains contested how many assassins there were and who of them fired the deadly shot.

The events that led to Lisle’s death had taken their beginning in January 1649 when after the Second Civil War a High Court of Justice tried the English King Charles I for treason and had him executed. As a commissioner of the High Court, Lisle had been a leading regicide who helped to draw up Charles’s death sentence, even though he did not sign the King’s death warrant.

Lisle continued to hold public office during the Commonwealth and Interregnum period. However, when the Stuart monarchy was restored in May 1660, the tables turned. Some of the regicides were tried and executed by the new government. Others went underground or escaped abroad to the American colonies or to the European continent. (more…)

Shakespeare, Chaucer and Joyce: A Conference on Medieval and Early Modern Authorship

Posted in Conferences, Early Modern, literature by thehistorywoman on July 3, 2010

If it has never occurred to you that Chaucer might have influenced Joyce as much as Homer then you should read more medieval literature – or listen to Helen Cooper (Cambridge). Even though Joyce decided to name his Ulysses after Homer’s classical Odyssey, Cooper argues, his true ‘poetic father’ in the English language was Chaucer, and the Canterbury Tales served as a model for the chapters in Ulysses, each of which is based on a different character or location, using different language and style.

I must say I have learnt quite a few new things over the past few days in Geneva, where the Second Biennial Conference of the Swiss Association of Medieval and Early Modern English Studies (Samemes) shed new light on aspects of ‘Medieval and Early Modern Authorship’. Colin Burrow (Oxford), for instance, called into question the notion of an emergent ‘individual authorship’ in the early modern period and emphasised the collaborative nature of early modern textual production. In particular, authors worked closely with the editors and printers of their works and thus were close collaborators with the press rather than detached artists.

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