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Nos 571 to 580
Charles Avison
Lives of the Saints
Roman Empire (Byzantine Era) (330 - 1453)
A Battle of Wills
Two strong and determined men refused to back down.
Based on ‘A Book of Golden Deeds’ by Charlotte Yonge
(1823-1901)

WHEN the Emperor came to the Sunday service that week (he was staying in Milan), Bishop Ambrose refused to let him in.

Theodosius reminded him that King David was a murderer and an adulterer, yet still attended the Temple in Jerusalem. 'If you have sinned like him’ replied Ambrose, ‘repent like him’.

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No. 571
George Frideric Handel
Stuart Era
King James I (1603-1625) to King Charles I (1625-1649)
The Tale of Beggar’s Bridge
The proof of Thomas Ferres’s rags-to-riches tale is quite literally written in stone, but popular lore adds some tantalising and romantic detail.

A GRACEFUL bridge over the Esk at Glaisdale bears the date 1619, and the initials T.F., for Thomas Ferres, Mayor of Hull. Thomas amassed a fortune plying the east coast as master of a trading-ship called the Francis, which he poured into housing, education and apprenticeships for the poor.

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No. 572
Lives of the Saints
Anglo-Saxon Britain (410-1066)
Cuthbert and the Miracle of the Wind
The young monk taught some hard-hearted pagans a lesson they’d never forget.
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)

THE monks of Tynemouth ventured out into the sea in five little boats, so they could pilot some ships, laden with building materials for the monastery, into the river.

At that moment, a sharp wind whipped up, and drove the helpless monks out into the North Sea, like so many seabirds bobbing up and down on the swell.

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No. 573
Sir William Sterndale Bennett
Lives of the Saints
St Cuthbert and the Otters
An inquisitive monk spied on a guest’s night-time walks.
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)

IT was Cuthbert’s habit to walk alone down to the seashore after dark. Intrigued, one of the monks followed him at a discreet distance, hoping to see what it was that Cuthbert did at dead of night.

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No. 574
George Frideric Handel
Lives of the Saints
St Wilfrid and the Angel of Light
St Wilfrid finds comfort during his tussle with the King of Northumbria
Based on an account by Stephen of Ripon
(early 8th century)

AFTER the King of Northumbria, Ecgfrith, expelled Wilfrid from his place as Bishop of York in 678, Wilfrid went to Rome, and brought back with him a letter of support from the Pope. However, the letter only made the King more angry. He had his sheriff, Osfrith, lock Wilfrid in a deep dungeon where little daylight came, ordering for good measure that no lamps be lit there by night.

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No. 575
Sir William Walton
Stuart Era
King Charles I (1625-1649)
An Agent of the Crown
Rascally republican Thomas Blood was usually to be found in any conspiracy against the King, but even when he stole the Crown Jewels the King never seemed to mind...

AFTER the restoration of King Charles II in 1660, one of Oliver Cromwell’s old lieutenants, Thomas Blood, was living in Dublin.

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No. 576
Lives of the Saints
St Wilfrid and the Sheriff’s Wife
St Wilfrid brings healing to the wife of his own gaoler.
Based on an account by Stephen of Ripon
(early 8th century)

THE King’s sheriff, Osfrith, was a married man. One day, his wife suddenly fell ill. First, she experienced a growing stiffness, which in time became a complete numbness in all her limbs. The sheriff found her cold to the touch, and flecks of foam appeared round her mouth.

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No. 577
Felix Mendelssohn
Lives of the Saints
St Nicholas of the Cats
A very unusual monastery with some very unusual protectors.
Based on a
Byzantine Tradition

THE monastery of St Nicholas of the Cats was founded on Cyprus by St Helen, mother of Emperor Constantine the Great, in the 4th century.

But the site on the Akrotiri peninsula was infested with venomous snakes, so much so that the local residents began to leave.

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No. 578
Elias Parish Alvars
Lives of the Saints
Roman Empire (Byzantine Era) (330 - 1453)
The Keeper of the Gate
A widow cast her precious icon into the sea rather than see it dishonoured by government agents, but that wasn’t the end of the story.
Based on a
Byzantine Tradition

A WEALTHY widow from Nicaea near Constantinople kept an icon of Mary, a criminal offence at the time. Rather than see it harmed again - a soldier’s sword had already left a scar on its cheek - she set it afloat on the Aegean Sea.

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No. 579
William Herschel
Discovery and Invention
Edmond Halley
Edmond Halley will forever be associated with the comet named after him, but his greatest achievement was getting Sir Isaac Newton to publish ‘Principia Mathematica’.

AT nineteen, Edmond Halley was assistant to John Flamsteed, the Astronomer Royal at the Greenwich Observatory, and at twenty-two he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, in recognition of his work mapping constellations and observing weather patterns on the island of St Helena in the south Atlantic.

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No. 580
Polywords (183)
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Latest: Weir
Added on Sunday January 14th, 2018
Doublets (34)
Turn one word into another, changing just one letter each time.
Latest: Stardust
Quickwords (46)
A mini-crossword of everyday vocabulary and general knowledge.
Triplets (23)
Find one common letter that will turn three words into three new ones.
Latest: Triplet No. 23
Guess these words letter by letter – before the cats are gone!
See how ingenious you can be in combining three randomly chosen words in one sentence.
Compose sentences showing the difference in meaning, grammar or usage between these words.
Practise your basic arithmetic, from multiplation tables to percentages.
Latest: Target Number
Take command of English grammar and composition with these traditional exercises.
Latest: Letters Game
A word search game with a dash of strategy.
From our Archive
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)
The colourful Foreign Secretary humbly accepted a lesson in manners from a local tradesman.
By Robert Louis Stevenson
(1850-1894)
An enduringly popular, bitter-sweet poem by the author of ‘Treasure Island’.
By Frederick Douglass
(1818-1895)
British statesmen were among those who inspired the career of one of America’s greatest men, Frederick Douglass.
Pope Agatho reached out to the English church to help him make his case at an important Council in the Imperial capital.
By Cynewulf
(8th century)
Cynewulf reflects on the mystery of the appearance of the angel Gabriel to Mary.

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History (406)
Polywords (183)
Georgian Era (112)
Fiction (84)
Quickwords (46)
Doublets (34)
Triplets (23)
Railways (23)
Stuart Era (17)
Tudor Era (11)
Adam Smith (10)
Polyword ‘Mouse’
Make as many words as you can with the letters below. All your words must be at least four letters long, and must also include the highlighted letter. What’s the nine-letter word?

SEE how many words you can make using the letters below. All your words must be at least 4 letters long, and must include the letter (change).

We found commonly used words, plus one 9-letter word. Can you do better?

Use each letter only once. But if there are e.g. two As, you can used them both.

Don’t count proper nouns such as April, Zeus, or Newcastle (pretty much anything that has to be spelled with a capital letter at the start), or acronyms like HMRC.

Don’t just add -S for plurals or third person singular verbs, e.g. CAT → CATS or SPEAK → SPEAKS.

More Word Games
A word search game with a dash of strategy.
Guess these words letter by letter – before the cats are gone!
Do you know ‘conclusive evidence’ (5 letters), and ‘perceptive realisation’ (6 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with COAL and finish with FIRE.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.