17 July 2020

The Third Marquis of Bute

As one does, I have been browsing through Sir David Hunter Blair's Memoire of Lord Bute ... the massively wealthy ivereightriggerwarning Victorian convert to Catholicism. Bute seems to have been unusual in more ways than one.

He supported Home Rule for Scotland; how much more civilised the history of the Three Kingdoms might have been in the twentieth century if Scotland and Ireland had indeed enjoyed such a status.

He spoke very well of the Maharajah of Baroda. Baroda was later to secure notoriety by his behaviour at the 1911 Durbar. British officials expected the "Native Princes" to turn up all frantically competing with each other in such matters as exotic garments and massive jewels ("Natives" are like that, y'know). They were expected to bow deeply three times to the "King Emperor" and then to retire without turning their backs on The Imperial Presence. Baroda arrived with the minimum of bling and nodded only once before turning his back and strolling away with a smile (he later explained that he had "missed the rehearsal"!). A man after my own heart ... does anybody ever want to Play the Game if given the alternative of being a Loose Cannon? Bute once met Baroda at a party and observed later how much better was his English than that of a British royal duke who was also present (poor imbecile sex-obsessed Clarence, possibly?); and how very much better were his manners. Baroda was an early member of the  Congress Party.

And Bute, Rector of St Andrews University, provided a lecturer for women medical students after a male lecturer refused to lecture to Anatomy classes which included women.

And he worked hard to found a Jewish college at St Andrews. Yes; I said Jewish.

I find something not totally unattractive, in retrospect, about the days when Catholics and Jews shouldered together the burden of the nasty prejudices of the nasty British cultural imagination. In the 1890s, a monster demonstration was held in a Clacton chapel to call for the expulsion of Jews and Catholics; happily, the God of Mount Sinai, God of the Seven Hills, decided it would be drole to burn the building down. The mob was, at bottom, quite right. Both Jews and Catholics had ... and surely must have ... an ultimate loyalty which transcends the Nation State of a Henry Tudor or an Adolf Hitler. The old notices "No Jews No Catholics" did express a horrible bigotry but it was a bigotry which discerned the glimmerings of a truth. Perhaps Catholics in this country lost something during the Basil Hume years when it seemed so important and so comfortable to be accepted as part of mainstream British society and culture. That state and that society by which they were so anxious to be tolerated is now in full view as the soft-fascist state which sponsors mass Abortion, dogmatically imposes 'gender' disorders, and even suspends the administration of the Sacraments.

Don't you think it would be awf'ly jolly if we snitched a page or two or three out of the Jewish book and composed an "International Definition of Anti-Catholicism", which Party Leaders and Universities would be expected to enforce?

Cats ... ... Pigeons ... ...


Keith Crocker said...

On Catholics and Jews. I remember well in the1950’s in the RAF, whilst training , for the weekly parade, Catholic’s and Jews were dismissed and ordered to the perimeters of the parade ground, when
the Padre said his prayer. We then rejoined the parade.....we did this for 3 years. Little did we know that Vat2 was just around the corner and we could soon all be buddies again. Keith Crocker

Atticus said...

I can heartily recommend the memoirs of Hunter-Blair himself - aka Abbot Oswald of Fort Augustus and Dunfermline. Start with his first volume, A Medley of Memories: Fifty years' Recollection of a Benedictine Monk. You won't regret it.