My apologies to friends on the other side of the Atlantic, but believe it or not other things have happened in the world on 4th July, apart from the celebration of a terrorist uprising in the American colonies….
My ancestor’s diary for July 4, 1799 shows that Richard nearly choked to death on a piece of bread and butter which stuck in his throat ‘while drinking coffee in the afternoon’.
I wouldn’t mind betting that for a brief moment a thought flashed through his mind of young Nancy, his niece. She too had a hot drink in a cup – in her case milk. She was only seven years old and had gone up to bed on her own with her cup of milk and a crust of bread. Dipping the bread in the milk she inadvertently picked up the skin, scolding hot, which had formed on the surface of the milk. As she swallowed the bread, she choked. By the time her parents rushed upstairs, Nancy was dead.
So, just for a change, instead of celebrating Independence in some far off place, I will give thanks for the Providence which spared Richard to live another day. I think it is important to keep these things in perspective….
Oh alright, just one bit of memorabilia of those events a few centuries back – a picture of the statue of Our Dear King George III being unceremoniously pulled down off his plinth, New York, July 4th 1776.