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Archive for the ‘Robert Bloomfield’ Category

Famous Men and Women of Suffolk No 7 in a Series

In Henry Crabb Robinson, John Constable, Louise Rame, Matthew Hopkins, Ouida, Robert Bloomfield, Thomas Gainsborough, William Alabaster on November 25, 2005 at 7:56 pm

In previous posts I have mentioned some of the famous men and women of Suffolk including

No 6 Henry Crabb Robinson – Diarist- Born in Bury St Edmunds
No 5 Thomas Gainsborough – Landscape and Portrait Artist – Born in Sudbury
No 4 Matthew Hopkins – Witchfinder General – Born in Ipswich
No 3 Louise Rame – Ouida – Author – Born in Bury St Edmunds
No 2 Robert Bloomfield – Poet- Born in Bury St Edmunds
No 1 John Constable – Romantic Landscape Artist – Born in East Bergholt

No 7 – William Alabaster 1567 – 1640 I mention because he was born in Hadleigh which is of course the venue for this Sundays 10 mile race.

His claim to fame was that he wrote Roxana, a Senecan tragedy in Latin. He is known for his theological works, including De bestia Apocalypsis (Delft, 1621) and Ecce sponsus venit (1633) and a Lexicon Pentaglotton (1637).

He was created Doctor of Divinity at Cambridge by royal command of King James the !st in 1614.

His personal sonnets included

“My friends, whose kindness doth their judgments blind”

My friends, whose kindness doth their judgments blind,
Know you, say they, the dangers where you run,
Which zeal hides from you, but compassion
Tells us? You feel the blow, the smart we find.
I know it well, and as I call to mind,
This is the bill: dearness, affection,
Friends, fortune, pleasure, fame, hope, life undone,
Want, prison, torment, death, shame–what behind?
Is then my sense transel’mented to steel,
That neither this, nor that, nor all, can feel,
Nor can it bend my mind, which theirs doth break?
Not so, nor so; for I am not insensate,
But feel a double grief that for Christ’s sake
I have no more to spend, nor have spent that

I understand some of the sonnets from Alabaster have been covered by Vaughan Williams though I have never heard them myself. Anyone familiar with his works?

If you are running on Sunday in Hadleigh spare a thought for him.

26th July -Great Men and Women of Suffolk No 2 in a Series.

In Honnington, Robert Bloomfield on July 26, 2005 at 7:41 pm

Robert Bloomfield 1776 – 1823 He was born in Honnington, Suffolk. His father was a poor tailor. His mother, a teacher at the village school, taught him to read and write and at 11 he went to work on his Uncle’s farm at Sapiston. He proved to be too frail for this, so at 15 he went to join his brothers in London to learn the trade of shoemaker. In his spare time he was inspired to write about the Suffolk countryside. He composed The Farmer’s Boy while making shoes, remembering the lines in his head until he could write them down. Initially it was refused by several publishers but was eventually published by Vernor and Hood in 1800. The work was very popular selling 26,000 copies within two years.

He followed up his success with Rural Tales (1802), Good Tidings (1804) Wild Flowers (1806) and The Banks of the Wye (1811). His success was shortlived and in died in poverty.

The Farmers Boy

On Giles, and such as Giles, the labour falls
To strew the frequent load where hunger calls.
On driving gales sharp hail indignant flies,
And sleet, more irksome still, assails his eyes:
Snow clogs his feet; or if no snow is seen,
The field with all its juicy store to screen,
Deep goes the frost, till every root is found
A rolling mass of ice upon the ground.

His love of Honington came out in this poem

My heart was roused, and Fancy on the wing
Thus heard the language of enchanting spring
“Come to thy native groves and fruitful fields!
Thou knowest the fragrance that the wild flower yields
Inhale the breeze that bends the purple bud
And play along the margin of the wood”

Honington is better known as an RAF base and since 1937 has seen a range of planes fly from here including Wellingtons,Dakotas, Canberra Bombers, Valiants,Victors,Buccaneers and Tornardoes.