St. Peter’s Basilica – Vatican City
Over a week ago LSP had a blog post that reminded me that love of God is measured by our personal purity. No unclean thing can dwell in the presence of God. The litmus test for this is, of course, the example set by Jesus Christ. How are we like him?
To the extent that we are filthy shows the extent to which we’ve departed from the love of THE God, our Eternal Father, and his only begotten Son. It also shows that we worship another god and it should be a source of concern as we reflect.
Do you lift up the poor and afflicted? Are YOU the good Samaritan, giving aid to the one who was set upon on the road to Jericho? “In as much as you have done it unto the least of these, my brethren, you have done it unto me.”
There are a number of examples for us to measure ourselves against – good examples and bad ones.
Are we in a monkey trap? In order to trap a monkey, you construct a small cage and chain it to a rock that can’t be moved. There is a hole in the cage big enough for a monkey to slip its hand into. Inside there is a cage there is a large nut that the monkey wants. The monkey grabs the nut in its fist and tries to remove it from the cage but he can’t, so there he sits, waiting for the hunter to take him.
The trick is to have the courage to let go of the nut and free yourself. You can’t serve God and mammon.
And that’s the sermonette.
If you’re reading this, it’s been a year since the last nationally rigged election in the USA.
In Heaven, there is no Beer
So goes the song.
Beer is the most popular alcoholic drink in the United Kingdom. It might be a surprise to some readers to know that this beverage was only introduced to England in the latter half of the fourteenth century and that it arrived thanks to Dutch immigrants.
The story of beer in medieval England is told by Milan Pajic in his recent article “‘Ale for an Englishman is a natural drink’: the Dutch and the origins of beer brewing in late medieval England.” Pajic was able to find new evidence to show that beer was being drunk in southeastern England as early as the 1350s, decades earlier than previous research has suggested.
Ale was the most popular drink in England throughout the Middle Ages, having been brewed for centuries and consumed regularly by adults and children. Until near the end of the medieval period, the brewing of ale was a widespread activity, often done by women. Meanwhile, beer was brewed in northern and eastern continental Europe, and during the fourteenth century was becoming widespread in the Low Countries.
Pajic explains that beer was introduced to England by Dutch immigrants. The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries would see more and more people coming across the English Channel to settle in London and other towns, especially in the southeastern part of the country. England’s Immigrants Database records that were over 64,000 immigrants living in England between 1330 and 1550, with the Low Countries being one of the main areas of origin.
When these Dutch immigrants came to England, their thirst for beer did not subside, and they were soon importing barrels of the beverage for themselves and to sell to others in the immigrant community. Pajic was able to find scattered references to beer by the 1350s, spotting them in various civic and court records. For example, in 1358, Margaret fan Outraght claimed in a lawsuit that she left six barrels of beer left at the house of Mace fan Rotterdame in Great Yarmouth, but they had gone missing.
There were also records of shipments of beer coming from the Low Countries arriving in ports such as London, Great Yarmouth, and Hull. During the latter half of the fourteenth century, the amount of beer being imported into England was growing rapidly. Pajic was able to find a consignment of 432 barrels of beer that went to Newcastle from Arnemuiden in the year 1380.
He also notes that by the last quarter of the fourteenth century even native-born English people could be found selling beer. One of the reasons for the growing taste for beer in England was that English soldiers fighting in the Hundred Years’ War had experienced the drink while on the continent, and were eager to have more of it.
Until near the end of the fourteenth century, we know that people were drinking beer in England, but that all of this beverage was being exported from the Low Countries. The Dutch, in fact, were becoming major suppliers of beer in Europe, with hundreds of breweries exporting their products. However, Pajic explains that a new change was occurring:
The first evidence of someone brewing beer comes from 1398–9. Peter Woutersone, Ducheman, was fined for buying ‘wheat in the market in order to produce beer, to the great damage of the same market’. The very wording of the fine suggests that the authorities were not keen on allowing beer to be brewed. This is the earliest official evidence found so far of beer production in England, that is, slightly earlier than the previous studies have suggested.
We can soon see more evidence of Dutch men and women coming to England to work as beer brewers – for example, sets of local records from the fifteenth century show that you could find six beer brewers in Great Yarmouth and 12 in Colchester. In the country’s capital, several beer brewers were admitted into the city’s brewers guild. Overall England’s Immigrants Database finds that there were 117 individuals whose occupation was stated as beer brewer who came to England between 1350 and 1490, most of them from the Low Countries. Pajic notes that this number rises to 333 if we also include people who most likely were brewers based on their last name. Pavic believes that many of the brewers decided to come to England because they saw opportunities to serve the local market and bypass the overseas trade.