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Poetry D Jour by Beryl McMullen coming December, 2010


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Author Topic: In the beginning was the word.  (Read 954 times)
Kandor
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« on: August 02, 2013, 04:29:45 PM »

In 1825 John Robinson married Francis Heathcote,
From this union came my great, great Grandfather Thomas Robinson.
Born in 1832, he was baptised in Kedleston, Derbyshire.
 

29 years later he is registered as living in Slade lane, Gravelly Hill, Birmingham,
He had been previously working as a Farm labourer but had obviously left the fields for industrial work.
Thomas married Louisa and were the parents of my great Grandfather John Robinson, he also married a woman called Louisa and they in turn were the parents of Samuel, my Grandfather.
My great Grandfather died in 1892, 3 years after the birth of Samuel, he was 37.
At the time of his death, he was living in Goodrick St, Aston, at his Mother in laws house, Ann Smart.


Why Thomas Robinson left the Derbyshire village of Mugginton in the 1850's I will never know.
I can make an educated guess though, not being the eldest son, the best he could look forward to was a life of back breaking work as a 'favoured' farmhand,
by favoured, I mean he was family, that is of course assuming his older brother John was as close to him as I am to my brothers.
It was John who had inherited the Farm, the stock and the family home.
Another reason for him leaving might have been he'd had enough of the farm life and gone to seek his fortune in the big city.
Either way if he'd done anything different I wouldn't be here to be writing this.


And on a beautiful English morning 185 years after Thomas was born, I climbed into my car and drove the 38 miles to the little village that he came from.
You would think it had changed...but no, no it hadn't.
The church Thomas would have prayed in is still there, bowed by breezes and etched by the sun of a thousand summers.
Right by the main entrance to the church stands a Yew tree. a plaque says it is at least 1400 years old, that tree stood growing in the sunlight during the so called dark ages,
It stood witness to the Danes and the Saxons, it was old when William the conquerer took over our land, it stood strong when William Wallace allegedly cried out his last words of 'Freedom' by then it had already endured over 600 unforgiving English winters.
And it was from Yew trees such as this one that the English Long bow was cut and formed to destroy the French at Crecy and Agincourt.

The headstones are mostly worn now, eroded beyond reading and smoothed by the rains of a hundred thousand days.
I saw a few familiar names like the Johnstons and on one badly worn headstone I could faintly make out an 'R' and an 'O'..was it a Robinson? I don't know..
I don't know.

It is a wonderful place, the quinntessential English village we all dream about, I'm glad a least some of my family grew up in a beautiful part of England, heaven knows, for the next 200 years we saw no evidence of beauty.

So here is is, the Robinson family home, this is where we came from...could I go back? no, my roots were from this stunningly quaint village...but my heart? no matter have far I go, no matter how deep you cut..
It will forever proclaim..
'Nechells'
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