The Bard Grants Immortality

Time for another interesting tale from family history! It is generally agreed that the words and works of Shakespeare are immortal. Of his many plays, Macbeth placed 2nd in a “greatest works” compilation this past year, the 400th anniversary of his death. Let us turn briefly to Act 1 Scene 3, featuring those eerie witches (which, sadly, was cut from the Michael Fassbender movie of the play):


frieze-macbeth

ACT I SCENE III

A heath near Forres.
Thunder. Enter the three Witches.

First Witch: Where hast thou been, sister?

Second Witch: Killing swine.

Third Witch: Sister, where thou?

First Witch: A sailor’s wife had chestnuts in her lap,
And munch’d, and munch’d, and munch’d:–
‘Give me,’ quoth I:
‘Aroint thee, witch!’ the rump-fed ronyon cries.
Her husband’s to Aleppo gone, master o’ the Tiger:
But in a sieve I’ll thither sail,
And, like a rat without a tail,
I’ll do, I’ll do, and I’ll do.

Macbeth witches folio pages


Her husband’s to Aleppo gone, master o’ the Tiger:

Once again, the Eldreds appear to have their fingers in everything. Remember John Eldred, the one I wrote about earlier? Yeah, he should really be known as the John The Citadel of Aleppo from AtlasTours.netEldred. I’m fairly certain I’ll be writing at least one more post about him. Anyway, I suppose it would be too much to ask he be “the master o’ the Tiger“, but he did, in fact, sail to Aleppo via the Tiger in 1583. Returning 5 years later, his share of the profits amounted to £10,000 ($3,768,013.87 USD in 2017), or a little over 1/4 the total profit of the journey.

Important to this discussion, though, is the fact he kept a journal of his travels, part of which was published in Richard Hakluyt’s Principal Navigations . . . of the English Nation, which itself was published in 16 volumes between 1589 and 1600. Macbeth is thought to have been first performed in 1606, making it both possible and plausible that my ancestors’ travels and diary inspired Shakespeare.

My colleagues in the English department will be jealous.

English Muffin

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