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What is the real story of the Lion of Gripsholm Castle?

What is the real story of the Lion of Gripsholm Castle?

In 2011, one of the popular stories over the Internet was a history of The Lion of Gripsholm Castle. The Swedish language version of the linked blog entry was the one responsible for spreading this story.

The most detailed description of the Lion's story comes from the Mental Floss website article:

King Frederik I of Sweden was given gifts from the Bey of Algiers in 1731. These included a lion, another wildcat, three hyenas, and a freed slave who became the animals' keeper. The creatures lived out their lives at Djurgården, the Royal Game Park.

Quite a few years after the lion died, some of its remains were sent to a taxidermist to be mounted. All that was left was the pelt and some bones. The taxidermist was not at all familiar with this animal called a lion. So he did the best he could with what he had. (… )

King Frederik's lion is on display to this day at Gripsholm Castle, a former royal residence and now a museum in Mariefred, Södermanland, Sweden.

I don't care what was the reason that poor lion looks like that, as I doubt there can be any verifiable answer. I'm much more intrigued with the origin of the gift.

Unfortunately I couldn't find any valuable sources for this story on the Internet, even the official website of the Museum at Gripsholm Castle doesn't write about it.

But when I've tried to investigate it a bit, it turned out that there was no such person as Bey of Algiers (or bejen av Alger, as in the original Swedish text).

In 1731, Algieria was known as the Regency of Algiers, a territory of Ottoman Empire. According to Wikipedia, the official title of its ruler was Dey, who nominated three beys, governors of provinces, which were called beyliks:

The realm of the dey of Alger was divided into three provinces (Constantine, Titteri and Mascara), each of which was administered by a bey (باي) whom he appointed.

I'll just clarify that the province name for Mascara was Couchant, while Mascara was one of three towns from which beys governed in different years, with Mascara being the right one for 1731, moved there by Mustapha bou Chelagram (Mustafa al Masrafi) from Mazouna in 1710 and later in 1792 to Oran.

This way Frederik I could receive the gift from at least 4 different persons. I can suppose such a gift for an European king would come from the most important of them. But even that it's not clear. According to English language Wikipedia list, the dey in 1731 was Abdy Pasha. However French language list claims that Abdy Pasha (Kurd Abdi) was replaced by Ibrahim III in 1731, not 1732. So even in this situation, there are at least 2 and up to 5 candidates.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find any English and French language Internet materials related to any of them.

This way I wonder, who exactly made that gift to Frederik I of Sweden, on what opportunity and why? From what I know, there weren't any important contacts between Regency of Algiers and Sweden in 18th century, but my knowledge on this subject is narrow.

During the 18th and beginning of 19th centuries the Deys of Algiers made a series of treaties with European seafaring nations. Each of the European states would deliver yearly “gifts” in order to secure free passage of their ships. Otherwise, the corsairs of the North African states would capture whatever they could of ships: seize the cargoes and ships, and sell the crews and passengers as slaves. Sweden made treaties with Algiers in 1729, with Tunis in 1736 and with Morocco in 1763. The treaty in question with Sweden (signed in 1729) involved the following gifts to the Dey of Algiers: For the Dey of Algiers:

  • One ring set with diamonds, value one thousand rigsdaler.
  • One repeating clockwork to stand on a table, silver inlaid, on which the end of the perpendiculum was set a diamond, and on top of the clock some pictures of silver as ornament.
  • One repeating gold clock with chain, engraved, on the hand between every hour a small diamond was set.
  • A doglock, inlaid.
  • A pair of pistols, gold inlaid.
  • 4 gold and silver brocades for 4 Turkish dresses, every piece 8 Dutch ells long, all together 32 ells.
  • 100 Dutch ell fine cloth, red as well as green.
  • 4 fine Dutch linen.
  • 6 cases of Capillar Syrup, and also wet and dry Confectionery.

For the Dey's ministers, under which the admiral is included:

  • 11 small pocket watches, each worth 60 ducats, among them were 2 somewhat richer ornamented.
  • 11 silver watches.
  • 11 gold and silver brocades for as many Turkish dresses, all 8 Dutch ell long, of different sorts, among which some were common.
  • 2 pairs of pistols, silver inlaid.
  • 200 Dutch ell fine cloth, mostly red.
  • 6 chests containing capillary syrup, wet and dry confectionary.

Finally at the close of the treaty, the navy officer, signing the same, would promise the Algerian government the following ammunition:

  • 40 iron cannon of 24, 18 and 12 pounds.
  • 8000 cannon balls in sorts for 24-, 18- and 12-pounders.
  • 900 barrels gun powder each at 100 pounds.
  • 8 cables rope: 4 18 inches and 4 12 inches thick, all 100 fathoms long.
  • 50 Riga mast trees.
  • 800 doglock barrels.
  • 800 cutlasses.

In return for these costly gifts Sweden received one freed slave, two live lions, three hyenas, and a wild cat. Source: Wandel, C.F. Danmark og Barbareskerne 1746-1845, Copenhagen 1919

One of the lions is apparently the one still preserved at Gripsholm.

Christina, Queen of Sweden

Christina (Swedish: Kristina 18 December 1626 – 19 April 1689), a member of the House of Vasa, was Queen of Sweden from 1632 until her abdication in 1654. [note 1] She succeeded her father Gustavus Adolphus upon his death at the Battle of Lützen, but began ruling the Swedish Empire when she reached the age of 18. [7]

Christina argued for peace in the Thirty Years' War and received indemnity. The Peace of Westphalia allowed her also to establish an academy or university when and wherever she wanted. [8] The Swedish queen is remembered as one of the most learned women of the 17th century. [9] She was fond of books, manuscripts, paintings, and sculptures. With her interest in religion, philosophy, mathematics and alchemy, she attracted many scientists to Stockholm, wanting the city to become the "Athens of the North". She caused a scandal when she decided not to marry, [10] and in 1654 when she abdicated her throne and converted to Catholicism.

Christina's financial extravagance brought the state to the verge of bankruptcy, and the financial difficulties caused public unrest after ten years of ruling. At the age of 28, the "Minerva of the North" relinquished the throne to her cousin and moved to Rome. [11] Pope Alexander VII described Christina as "a queen without a realm, a Christian without faith, and a woman without shame." [10] Notwithstanding, she played a leading part in the theatrical and musical community and protected many Baroque artists, composers, and musicians.

Being the guest of five consecutive popes, [12] and a symbol of the Counter Reformation, she is one of the few women buried in the Vatican grotto. Her unconventional lifestyle and masculine dressing have been featured in countless novels, plays, operas, and film. In all the biographies about Christina, her gender and cultural identity play an important role. [13]

The Conjuring 2 (2016)

The Conjuring 2 true story reveals that according to the mother, Peggy Hodgson, the haunting of her Enfield home began on the evening of August 30, 1977. It was on that night that her daughter Janet told her that her brothers' beds were wobbling. The next evening, Mrs. Hodgson heard a loud noise from upstairs. She entered her children's bedroom and saw a chest of drawers moving. She tried to stop the heavy oak chest as it moved toward the door, concluding that an invisible force was trying to trap them in the room.

"It started in a back bedroom, the chest of drawers moved, and you could hear shuffling," recalled the real Janet Hodgson many years later in a Channel 4 Enfield Poltergeist documentary. Thinking that it was Janet and her siblings making the noise, she said that her mother told them to go to sleep. "We told her what was going on, and she came to see it for herself. She saw the chest of drawers moving. When she tried to push it back, she couldn't." -Daily Mail Online

Did they hear a strange knocking coming from the walls?

Did dozens of crosses turn upside down?

No. In fact-checking The Conjuring 2 by comparing it to the real Enfield Poltergeist case, we found no evidence that crosses turned upside down on the walls of the Hodgson home. In fact, the upside down cross has not traditionally been a symbol of evil. It is the Cross of St. Peter, who was crucified upside down because he felt that he was not worthy to be crucified in the same way as Jesus.

Did the mother, Peggy, go to the neighbor's house for help?

Yes. While exploring The Conjuring 2 true story, we learned that single mother Peggy Hodgson took the family next door and pleaded for help. The neighbors, Vic and Peggy Nottingham, offered to go into the home to investigate. "I went in there and I couldn't make out these noises &mdash there was a knocking on the wall, in the bedroom, on the ceiling," said Vic. "I was beginning to get a bit frightened." -Daily Mail Online

Did Janet Hodgson really levitate?

In The Conjuring 2 movie, Peggy's daughter Janet (Madison Wolfe) rises high in the air and finds herself pinned against the ceiling. This is a complete exaggeration of what allegedly happened in real life during the Enfield haunting. Photographs of the real Janet Hodgson "levitating" only show her a short distance above her bed (see below). This, coupled with the way her body is positioned in the air, has led many people to believe that she simply jumped from her bed. The questionable photos were taken by Daily Mirror photographer Graham Morris after the family contacted the press (it should be noted that the Daily Mirror is a UK tabloid newspaper whose stories have often proven less than credible). "The levitation was scary," recalled Janet, "because you didn't know where you were going to land."

Supporting the family's claims were two witnesses, a baker and a lollipop lady, who were passing by outside and claimed to have seen Janet hovering above her bed as they looked through an upstairs window. "The lady saw me spinning around and banging against the window," recalls Janet. "I thought I might actually break the window and go through it." -Daily Mail Online

Did demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren really investigate the Enfield Poltergeist case?

Yes, but to a far lesser degree than portrayed in the movie, which is somewhat misleadingly billed as being "based on the true case files of the Warrens." Paranormal researchers Ed and Lorraine Warren briefly investigated the Enfield Poltergeist in the summer of 1978 and were just two of the many investigators to visit the Hodgson's North London home on Green Street. Most articles about the Enfield Poltergeist case don't even mention the Warrens, leading one to conclude that their role in the case was significantly dramatized for The Conjuring 2. In fact, Guy Lyon Playfair, one of the original paranormal investigators on the Enfield Poltergeist case, came forward prior to the movie's release and said that the Warrens had showed up "uninvited" and only stayed for a day. He also said that Ed Warren told him he could make him a lot of money off the case (Darkness Radio).

Ed Warren touched on the case and its skeptics in Gerald Brittle's book The Demonologist, stating, ". inhuman spirit phenomena were in progress. Now, you couldn't record the dangerous, threatening atmosphere inside that little house. But you could film the levitations, teleportations, and dematerialisations of people and objects that were happening there - not to mention the many hundreds of hours of tape recordings made of these spirit voices speaking out loud in the rooms." As the case became widely viewed as a hoax, some saw it as proof that the Warrens themselves were frauds.

Was 11-year-old Janet Hodgson really possessed by a dead man named Bill Wilkins?

While fact-checking The Conjuring 2, we discovered that this part of the movie was to some degree inspired by audio tapes of the real Janet Hodgson. In the recordings, she can be heard conveying a message via an eerie voice, which is supposedly that of Bill Wilkins, a man who had died in the living room of the house several years earlier. "Just before I died, I went blind," said the voice, "and then I had a hemorrhage and I fell asleep and I died in the chair in the corner downstairs."

An interview with Janet Hodgson at the time suggests that the idea of talking in a possessed voice may have been encouraged and planted in Janet's mind by paranormal investigator Maurice Grosse. When asked when the voices started, Janet said that one night Maurice Grosse told them, "All we need now is the voices to talk." Almost immediately following this suggestion, they did (the voices had mainly growled, barked and made similar noises prior to this).

"I felt used by a force that nobody understands," the real Janet Hodgson told the UK's Channel 4 years later. "I really don't like to think about it too much. I'm not sure the poltergeist was truly 'evil'. It was almost as if it wanted to be part of our family. It didn't want to hurt us. It had died there and wanted to be at rest. The only way it could communicate was through me and my sister." -Daily Mail Online

Did the man who allegedly possessed Janet die in the downstairs living room years earlier?

Yes. In exploring the Enfield haunting, we learned that Bill Wilkins' son Terry confirmed that he had died in a manner similar to what Janet described when she was possessed (Wilkins had passed away in an armchair downstairs after suffering a brain hemorrhage). -Daily Mail Online

Did the paranormal activity begin after they played with a Ouija board?

How many children did the real Peggy Hodgson have?

In researching the Enfield Poltergeist true story, we learned that, like in The Conjuring 2 movie (available to watch here), the real Peggy Hodgson was a single mother with four children: Margaret, 12, Janet, 11, Johnny, 10, and Billy, 7.

Were Janet and her siblings bullied at school?

Yes, and according to Janet, the other kids called her "Ghost Girl" and put crane flies down her back. Her brother was tormented in similar ways. -Daily Mail Online

Did furniture really move?

Perhaps the most credible claim of furniture moving in the Hodgson home at 284 Green Street involved a policewoman, WPC Carolyn Heeps (pictured below), who signed an affidavit to the effect that she had witnessed an armchair levitate approximately half an inch and move close to four feet across the floor. In all, there were more than 30 witnesses to similar strange incidents in the home. In addition to furniture moving, they had supposedly witnessed objects flying around, cold breezes, physical assaults, pools of water appearing on the floor, graffiti, and perhaps most incredibly, matches spontaneously igniting. -Daily Mail Online

Did the police do anything to help?

What caused the Enfield Poltergeist events to quiet down?

The real Janet Hodgson believes that it was a priest's 1978 visit to the family's Enfield home in North London that caused the haunting to calm down (not the Warrens), though the occurrences did not end completely. Peggy still heard noises in the house from time to time, and Janet's younger brother Billy, who lived there until his mother passed, remarked that you always felt like you were being watched. -Daily Mail Online

Is it possible that the whole thing was a hoax?

Yes. Two experts from the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) caught the children bending spoons themselves. They also found it strange why no one was allowed in the room when Janet was talking in her possessed voice, which was supposedly that of Bill Wilkins (among others). Janet herself admitted that some of the Enfield haunting events were fabricated. In 1980, she told ITV News, "Oh yeah, once or twice (we faked things), just to see if Mr. Grosse and Mr. Playfair would catch us. They always did." In an article that was published in the year before the release of The Conjuring 2, Janet said that roughly two percent of the paranormal activity in their Green Street home had been faked. -Daily Mail Online

During a Margaret and Janet Hodgson interview that aired as part of a TV special in 1980, Janet is asked how it feels to be haunted by a poltergeist. "It's not haunted," Janet replies smiling. Her sister smiles in astonishment, as if Janet just gave up a secret, and whispers, "Shut up!" through muted giggles. Janet later said she didn't feel that the poltergeist was evil, meaning that the house wasn't necessarily "haunted."

Like the Enfield Poltergeist story, a slew of similar accounts emerged in the years following the 1973 release of The Exorcist. Some argue that the film gave birth to a culture of paranormal hoaxes carried out by those seeking money and fame. Others believe that the William Friedkin film allowed impressionable minds to become easily influenced by its demonic plot. In any case, similar alleged true stories emerged, such as the ones chronicled in The Amityville Horror, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, the original Conjuring, and its spin-off Annabelle.

What happened to the Hodgson family after the paranormal activity subsided?

How does the real Janet Hodgson feel about the movie?

Do any of the families who've lived in the home since believe that it's haunted?

After the real Peggy Hodgson passed away, Clare Bennett and her four sons moved into the Enfield home. Like Janet's younger brother Billy, Clare claimed that she always felt as if someone was watching her. During the night, her children would get woken up by voices coming from downstairs. She then learned about the Enfield Poltergeist that had supposedly haunted the home. The final straw came when her son Shaka, 15, woke up and saw a man enter his room. They moved out the next day after being in the house for only two months. -Daily Mail Online

Expand your knowledge of the Enfield Poltergeist true story by watching the Janet Hodgson interviews below. Also, listen to the recording that those involved claim is the Enfield Poltergeist's voice.

Archaeologists weigh in

The archaeologists that Live Science talked to thought that many of the remains the team found likely date to the Middle Ages. The underwater remains seem to consist of "Medieval castle walls and probably an Urartian site," said Geoffrey Summers, an archaeological research associate at the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute. The remains have been "known for a long time" from survey reports, Summers said.

Summers looked at a high-resolution image of the lion drawing, saying he thinks it looks more medieval than something from the Urartian kingdom.

Kemalettin Köroğlu, an archaeology professor at Marmara Üniversitesi, agreed that much of the underwater remains are actually medieval. He noted that some of the images show masonry between the ashlar wall stones (which are a type of stone that is square cut). "The walls [seem] medieval or late antique period rather than Urartu. Urartian never used any material between ashlar wall stones to connect each other," Köroğlu said.

It's possible that some of the 3,000-year-old Urartian remains seen in the photos were actually reused by castle builders during the Middle Ages, said Paul Zimansky, a history professor at Stony Brook University in New York. He also said that he needs to conduct more research.

Treasures: How to get a head.

Taxidermy was The Blue Planet of Victorian times. In the days before television, it was as close as most people could get to exotic birds and beasts. If the earliest attempts were a bit hit-and-miss, it was often because European taxidermists, presented with a dead animal, had no notion of what a live one looked like. The worst results produced what was known as naive taxidermy. The most famous example is the Lion of Gripsholm Castle in Sweden. With googly crossed eyes and lolling tongue, it looks nothing like a real lion. It was stuffed, in the 18th century, by someone who had clearly never seen one. By the 19th century, taxidermy had developed into an art form. It was used to preserve and display hunting trophies but also taken seriously by naturalists and used as an educational tool. Dublin's 'Dead Zoo', the Natural History Museum, which opened to the public in 1857, is a wonderful example of how taxidermy was used to inform and entertain the public. Most taxidermy, though, ended up in rich people's houses.

A s it happens some of it does very well at auction. On February 4, a display case of The Pheasants of the World sold at Victor Mee Auctions, Cloverhill, Co Cavan, for €8,000. It was a large, beautifully composed tableaux of 14 birds, each positioned in a realistic way. Although they came from different counties and would never have been seen together in real life, the ensemble looked like a three-dimensional page from an ornithology book. It was the work of the Leadbeater studio in London. This family firm was founded by the famous taxidermist and ornithologist, Benjamin Leadbeater (1760 to 1837).

Both his son and grandson were taxidermists and both called John. The younger emigrated to Australia where he became the Museum of Victoria's first resident taxidermist in 1858. The director of the museum was so impressed by Leadbeater's work that he had two species of bird and a possum named after him. The case sold at Victor Mee Auctions also includes a second hand-written label for Lady Henry Somerset, and is believed to have come from Sandringham House in England where a similar taxidermy case of hens and turkeys is on display in the trophy room.

Both these, and the pheasants, are classified as Galliformes (heavy ground-feeding birds).

It's not clear how and when the case travelled to Ireland but it was once owned by the Eighth Marquis of Waterford, who kept it at Curraghamore House. The marquis was famous for playing polo, and also for having ancestors that died in dramatic ways. His forebear, the Sixth Marquis, survived being mauled by a lion only to drown on his own estate. The sale also included two other pieces of taxidermy: a baboon mounted on a display stand, which sold for €1,000 and a zebra head (€1,600). Victor Mee, auctioneer, sees this as part of a general revival of interest in an art form that the 20th century found hard to stomach.

Not everyone wants dead animals in their living room. Some people find it disgusting others find it sad. But time, and a greater understanding of historical context, has helped people to overcome their squeamishness, and a growing number of informed collectors are prepared to spend money on high quality taxidermy.

"People seem to be very au fait with taxidermy now," says Mee. "There was a time when they didn't like it, but tastes have changed." Not all taxidermy sells for high prices. "There are good pieces of taxidermy and there are bad ones. These were terribly well done, by a good taxidermist, and the condition was good. They'd been well minded, not eaten by dust mites, and kept away from the light." Birds, especially, lose their colour when exposed to sunlight and survive better in a glass case than in open air.

Mostly, it's easy to make an educated guess whether a piece of taxidermy will perform well at auction or not. An exquisitely mounted case of birds will be valuable a moth-eaten fox will not. But, every now and then, there are surprises. In 2013, an African colobus monkey, mounted on a branch in a glass case, sold at Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers, Castlecomer, for €3,000. It had been estimated between €220 and €350. "We found it in a house in South Dublin," says George Fonsie Mealy.

Just as the work of a famous artist will outsell a similar painting by an unknown, the label of a well-known taxidermist will add value to a piece. The monkey was the work of the London-based taxidermist Roland Ward (1848-1912). "He was like the Louis Vuitton of taxidermy," Fonsie Mealy explains.

Without refrigeration, bringing a specimen back from a hot climate was no mean feat, but taxidermy was big business in the 19th century. Specimens were sold to naturalists, museums, and collectors. In 1874 William Jamrach, a London-based dealer in natural history, advertised in Tasmania for four "striped wolves" (thylacines) and 12 "devils". The perils of transporting them back to London were overcome by putting them in a cask and pickling them in brine. The last known thylacine died in Hobart Zoo, Australia in 1936. Now, the remains of the animal as preserved by taxidermists are a valuable source of visual and genetic information about the extinct species.

The True Story Behind Lion: How Lost Child Saroo Brierley Found His Birth Mother More Than 20 Years Later

Every year, Saroo Brierley celebrates his birthday on May 22. But that wasn’t the day he was born. It was the day he was found.

As a 5-year-old boy growing up in rural India, Brierley would often join his older brother as they scrounged for coins and food on trains to help their impoverished mother and siblings. One day in 1986, Brierley fell asleep inside an empty train stationed a few stops away from their hometown while waiting for his brother to fetch him. When he awoke hours later, he was hundreds of miles away, careening on an out-of-service train eventually headed for Calcutta.

“The panic set in,” Brierley tells PEOPLE of waking up to find himself hungry, locked inside and hurtling toward an unknown destination. “I was crying for my mom and my brother and my sister.”

Bierley would spend several terrifying weeks surviving on the streets of Calcutta before eventually being placed in an orphanage and adopted by an Australian couple. He𠆝 go on to chronicle the ordeal in his memoir A Long Journey Home — and his story is now the subject of the new film Lion, starring Dev Patel as Brierley and Nicole Kidman as his adoptive mom, Sue.

Even more astonishing, Brierley’s journey would take him full circle: More than two decades after he was torn from his Indian family, Brierley would reunite with his birth mother following a painstaking search for a hometown he barely remembered, using Google Earth.

Now 35, Brierley, who lives in Hobart, Tasmania, with his adoptive parents, can still remember that pivotal day in his Indian hometown before his life was forever derailed — from its 𠇍usty smell” to “the screeching of brakes, the people shouting and the pitter-patter of feet.”

Being unprooted to Calcutta, however, plunged him into chaos. He subsisted by eating discarded food and drinking from faucets. At one point, he fled from a gang who abducted street children. “There’s no salvation at all,” he says. “The only thing you could do is just try and survive a day at a time.”

For a while, Brierley was taken in by a local teenager and his family, before he was brought to authorities and processed at a precinct on May 22, 1987 — the day they designated as his birthday in official papers. Young Brierley, a Hindi speaker who didn’t understand Calcutta’s Bengali dialect, didn’t even know the day he was born.

His adoption by Sue and John Brierley provided salvation for the lost child. “Saroo’s arrival was a kind of birth into our family,” Sue tells PEOPLE of first meeting their son at an airport in Tasmania. “It was just a fantastic moment, filled with love and joy.” They handed him some chocolates, a book and a stuffed koala toy. Brierley later named it Koala Dundee.

“It didn’t take us long to realize he had come from a good family,” John says, “with love around him.”

Gorgeous. Defiant. Looks great in a skirt.

But enough about Mel Gibson – let’s talk about Sophie’s Marceau’s character in Braveheart, the beautiful French princess who is also Edward Longshank’s daughter-in-law. In the film she has an affair with Mel and then gets pregnant to him, breaking the royal English line.

Sophie Marceau in Braveheart (20th Century Fox)

It is a tale of adventure, romance and terrible butchery – with English and Scottish history being mutilated beyond recognition.

But who was the REAL Isabella of France?

She was born in 1295, so she was ten years old and still living in France when Mel Gibson – William Wallace – was executed, so she certainly never met him, or have an adulterous affair with him.

The facts of her life are far more spectacular.

Isabella in fact succeeded where Wallace didn’t she raised an army, invaded England and deposed Longshank’s son, Edward II, and ruled as regent for four years.

So why doesn’t history remember her as Braveheart?

Isabella’s father was Philip IV of France – Phillip the Fair.

Yes, she was beautiful, but she was royal, and raised to be more than Mel Gibson’s love interest.

She was highly intelligent and had great diplomatic skill.

At 12 she was married to Longshank’s son, Edward II, as part of a political alliance.

But Edward soon became notable for his lack of aptitude for kingship – as well as his lack of interest in women.

That doesn’t make him the bad guy in the story either – but for a bright and politically astute woman, it was a terrible match.

Roll the clock forward fifteen years …

Isabella is starved of affection and has been sidelined in the political arena by her husband’s “favourites”. Were men like Piers Gaveston and Hugh Despenser the Younger just his advisers – or were they more than that?

Whatever the truth, by the time she was thirty, she faced a stark choice retire to the country and spend the rest of her life with her needlework – or rebel.

She chose: Freedom!

When I went to school in England, I was told the last person to invade England was William the Conqueror in 1066. This was actually not true.

In 1326 Isabella and her lover, Roger Mortimer, raised a mercenary army in the Low Countries – by marrying her oldest son off to a the daughter of the Count of Hainaut.

As invasions go, it wasn’t quite D-Day.

The fleet got lost and landed miles from where she and Mortimer had planned.

Not that it mattered by then, her husband Edward was so deeply unpopular that the barons of England welcomed her and Mortimer with open arms and the invasion became more of a bloodless coup.

She named herself Queen Regent and she and Mortimer assumed the rule of England – and not once did she have to wear a kilt and paint herself blue.

Four years later Mortimer was himself deposed by Isabella’s own son and she was retired to Castle Rising in Norfolk and lived on for many years in considerable style, until her death in 1358.

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Came across a picture I took a while back in 2017 during a trip in Portugal, thought I had to share.

For some reason, the Swedish, Danish, Norwegians, and Finnish have their lions put their tongue out.

mom : no we have lions at home

Lion on the right looks like a toddler when you tell them to smile.

Sounds like a bodyworks exhibit minus the getting shot part

It looks like a candid shot of their reactions to his mistress walking in.

These lions look like half the people on any show that would be on Bravo.

I had no idea what you were referring to (i live in France), so i looked up a 2 min YT video about that show and i think it might have killed my last 2 brain cells .

I also think the lions look half BAKED lol

“What? Of course I’ve seen lions. What do you mean?”

Some taxidermist, probably.

when you pet them they feel like a bag of sand

Not probably, exactly. Often these were exotic animals that only explorers (generally the ones that shot them) would come across in their natural form. So when brought to a taxidermist they would be disfigured and then there would be room for misinterpretation. Since nobody else knew better it would pass, but now with internet, phones, etc. we can easily call bs on this.

10 rare Scottish coins that tell the story of Scotland’s monarchs

Nobles, lions, unicorns, ryals, testoons, merks, dollars, bawbees, groats and placks can be found in the collection at the Hunterian, which was amassed by a trio of committed numismatists including the eponymous Dr William Hunter as well as William Cuthbert and Lord Stewartby. The collection featured in the display, Scotland’s Own Coinage, comprises a spectacular variety of gold, silver and base metal coinage and takes in six centuries of the most turbulent and dramatic periods of Scottish history.

David I Penny

David I Penny (obv) © The Hunterian, University of Glasgow 2017.

Minted over 850 years ago during the reign of David I, this silver penny is the earliest example of a Scottish coin in the display. It was struck in Roxburgh in the Scottish Borders in around 1150 towards the end of David’s reign. A protégé of Henry I, David was the Prince of the Cumbrians and later King of the Scots from 1124 – 1153. As king he oversaw a period of governmental reforms and the introduction of feudalism to Scotland.

Alexander III Penny

Alexander III Penny © The Hunterian, University of Glasgow 2017.

More mints existed in Scotland during Alexander III’s reign than any other period – testament to the Scottish King who ascended to the throne aged just seven in 1249. After 36 years on the throne he died in 1286 after a fall from his horse on the way to Fife to visit his new queen Yolande De Dreux who he had married the previous year to try and secure an heir. This rare silver penny was struck in Glasgow between 1250 and 1280.

David II Noble

David II Noble © The Hunterian, University of Glasgow 2017.

This is probably the rarest of all Scottish coins. Minted in gold in Edinburgh in about 1357, nobles were struck in payment for the release of David II from English captivity. Despite a turbulent reign which included a defeat by the English at the Battle of Neville’s Cross in 1346 followed by eleven years held in comfortable custody in England his reign is said to have left the Scottish Monarchy and the country’s finances in a good state of prosperity and strength. This noble is one of only four known in the world. It also marks the first appearance of the lion rampant on a Scottish coin.

Robert III Lion

Robert III Lion © The Hunterian, University of Glasgow 2017.

This gold lion features the earliest depiction of St Andrew on a Scottish coin. It was struck in Edinburgh between 1390 and 140 during the reign of Robert III who ascended to the Scottish throne aged 53 in 1390. History however has not been kind to Robert III who’s reign is often characterised as a period of weak leadership and instability riven with disputes between the crown and the lords.

James III Groat

James III Groat © The Hunterian, University of Glasgow 2017.

This silver James III groat, struck in Edinburgh between 1484 and 1488, shows a unique ‘renaissance’ portrait, with a modern design flair not seen on the coins of any other Scottish monarch. The reign of James III has however been recorded as one of the most unpopular in Scottish history – not least for his attempts to seek an alliance with England – and he was defeated and killed in 1488 at the Battle of Sauchieburn by an army led by disaffected nobles.

Mary Queen of Scots Thirty-Shilling Piece

Mary Queen of Scots Thirty-Shilling Piece (obv) © The Hunterian, University of Glasgow 2017.

One of Scotland’s best-known and tragic figures, Mary’s coinages were the first to feature portraits of a female monarch. This beautiful gold thirty-shilling piece was struck in Edinburgh in 1555 in the middle of a reign, which ended when she was forced to abdicate following an uprising in 1567. Mary’s eventual demise came after the Catholic queen was found guilty of plotting to assassinate her cousin, the Protestant Queen Elizabeth I of England, in 1586. She was beheaded in 1587.

James VI Thistle Merk

James VI Thistle Merk © The Hunterian, University of Glasgow 2017.

One of the most famous symbols of Scotland, the thistle first appeared on Scottish coins in 1471. This thistle merk, struck in Edinburgh in 1602, offers one of the best illustrations of the national flower on a coin. It was made during the reign James VI, son of Mary Queen of Scots. The Scottish king also ascended to the English crown in 1603 when Elizabeth I died, and his long and eventful reign saw him authorise the translation of the Bible (the King James Bible) and was witness to the Ulster Plantation, the colonization of America and the Gunpowder Plot.

James VI Twenty-Pound Piece

James VI Twenty-Pound Piece © The Hunterian, University of Glasgow 2017.

The ten coinages of James VI offer some of the most distinctive portraits of all Scottish coins. This twenty-pound piece, struck in gold at the Edinburgh Mint in 1575, is the largest coin ever produced by a Scottish monarch. It was struck when the king was nine years old and barely seven years into his 57-year reign.

James VI Hat Piece

James VI Hat Piece © The Hunterian, University of Glasgow 2017.

This is probably the most unusual portrait of any Scottish monarch on a coin, depicting James VI in a fashionable tall hat instead of regal attire. Another unique feature is that the hat piece is the only Scottish coin to feature a Hebrew word – ‘Jehovah’ in the clouds on the reverse. This example was minted in Edinburgh in 1592 during a time of relative peace and accord in the Scottish kingdom.

William II/III Pistole

William II/III Pistole © The Hunterian, University of Glasgow 2017.

The pistole and half pistole were the last Scottish gold coins. This pistole was struck in Edinburgh in 1701, using gold dust brought back from Africa by the ‘Darién Company’, during Scotland’s aborted attempt to establish a trading colony called Caledonia on the Isthmus of Panama on the Gulf of Darién. It marks the second full year of William of Orange who was King of England, Ireland, and Scotland from 1689 until his death in 1702. William was known as William III in England, he was the second William to be King of Scotland (the other being the medieval firebrand William the Lion who reigned as King of the Scots between 1165 and 1214.) so was known to the Scots as William II.

Scotland’s Own Coinage is on now at the Hunterian Museum, Glasgow. Admission is free.


The Hunterian

Glasgow, Strathclyde

The Hunterian at the University of Glasgow is one of the world's leading university museums. Founded in 1807, it is Scotland's oldest public museum and one of Scotland’s most important cultural assets. Its collections have been Recognised as a Collection of National Significance. Built on the founding bequest of pioneering&hellip


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1. Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

Al Pacino has played many criminal masterminds over the course of his career, but John Wojtowicz isn&rsquot one of them. On a scorching 1972 summer day, the Vietnam War veteran made a clumsy attempt to rob a Brooklyn bank, only to be penned in with hostages for a 14-hour standoff. Sidney Lumet&rsquos Dog Day Afternoon depicts the agonizing time spent inside the bank, during which Wojtowicz agonized over his actions and unexpectedly bonded with some of his captives. Among our pool of 10 historians and 10 TIME staffers, everyone who had seen the film ranked it either “great” or “fantastic”&mdashand, points out historian Annette Gordon-Reed, Pacino’s “explosive performance” also created a bit of history, in the form of the 1970s catchphrase “Attica! Attica!&rdquo

After the film&rsquos release, Wojtowicz complained in a letter written from prison that the film was only &ldquo30% true,&rdquo although he also called Pacino&rsquos depiction of himself &ldquoflawless.&rdquo However, some reporters have cast skepticism on Wojtowicz&rsquos version of events, saying that his stated motive&mdashto pay for a gender-reassignment surgery for his lover Liz Eden&mdashwas a cover for a mafia plot. Whether or not the movie was accurate, Wojtowicz is right about one thing: Pacino is undeniably fantastic, imbuing the character with pathos and pent-up frantic energy. The film would make Wojtowicz a folk hero to many&mdashand actually did help fund Eden&rsquos real-life surgery. &mdash Andrew R. Chow

Correction, Nov. 20.

The original version of this story misstated Solomon Northup’s last name in three instances. It is Northup, not Northrup.

Watch the video: The Lion of Gripsholm Castle: Or Adventures in 18th Century Taxidermy (January 2022).