Tag Archives: nonsense

Before Edward Gorey –The Edward Lear Limerick Book

Before Edward Gorey –The Edward Lear Limerick Book




Author’s Note–I love Edward Gorey always have. He might be a tad more macabre than Edward Lear but the writing of limericks and the devil were associated back in the day so he isn’t far off from Gorey. This book was my Grandfather’s and I have cherished it through the years. He made me recite limericks as a child as he said it would improve my King’s  English. I have no idea if that idea succeeded.:)



The “Letters of Edward Lear,” author of the “ Book of Nonsense” which have just appeared in a handsome volume edited by Lady Strachey, and published by Mr. Fisher Unwin, would not have been produced at a more appropriate moment.


For Lear is generally recognised as the inventor of the limerick and the year 1907 is likely to be remembered in history forever as the Limerick year. There may be people here and there who have not tried their skill in these enterprises.


Photo- Linda Seccaspina


Such curious people may he found in the land, just as there are folk who have, not seen a railway train or the sea. But for months the writing of Limericks and the learning of Diabolo have absorbed the attention of a great and a free people. The competition between the two has been fierce. No man and no woman is likely to excel at both, for each demands an undivided devotion, and will bear no rival near the throne. Who invented Diabolo I know not, though I know there are some who have been baffled by the game who claim that it is named after its inventor, and that it was demised by the Evil One himself.


But in regard to the Limerick, I think it is generally conceded that Edward Lear, the artist, was the first to introduce this form of versification to the public. In one important point, however, the Limerick has changed since its day. That what is turning women grey and men bald is the attempt to make up a line to rhyme with the first two lines, and thus the last word is of importance as constituting the rhyme.



Photo- Linda Seccaspina

Lear, however, was in the habit of ending the first line and the last with the same word. I will give-one of his verses just as a sample : There was a young lady of Clare Who was sadly pursued by a bear ; When she found she was tired, She abruptly expired, That unfortunate lady of Clare. But we should remember that Lear began the style, he created the mode, he was the pioneer, and while later bards may have produced more effective verse they have done so by improving on his model.


And what sort of a man was this same Edward Lear ? It seems to me that these letters reveal him all the more effectively because it is so obvious that they were not written for publication. Letters that are written in order to be published, or these written when the author has a shrewd suspicion that one day they will appear in print, may gain something in the way of literary polish, but they lose much in charm.



Photo- Linda Seccaspina

Edward Lear had a way of prattling on paper, talking about his struggles and his prospects, his art which he loved, and that want of pence which from time to time ‘ exed him as it has vexed other public men. He was singularly fortunate in forming friendship with men and women in the high places both of society and of, politics, and yet he was no means torn in the purple himself.


He was the youngest of twenty-one children, and according to his account he was only fifteen years old when he learned to draw for bread and cheese, but only did uncommon queer shop sketches—selling them for varying prices from ninepence to four shillings ; coloring prints, screens, fans ; awhile making morbid drawings for hospitals and certain doctors of physic.



Photo- Linda Seccaspina–Great Aunt Alice from the UK


When only nineteen years old, he was engaged as a draughtsman at the Zoological Gardens, and his fine work in producing a collection of coloured drawings of parrots and other birds attracted the attention of Lord Derby, who had formed a magnificent affection of animals and birds at Knowsley and had resolved to produce an illustrated volume illustrating that collection.





The volume was privately printed In 1856, is now the extremely rare and valuable Knowsley Menagerie and was left in the hands cf Edward Lear. That was the tide in his affairs which, taken at the flood, led on to fortune or something  like it or he was associated with Knowsley for twelve or thirteen years.

S. L . Hughes in Canadian Courier 1900




Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)



Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory of the Coming of the Prince of Wales School

Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory of the Coming of the Prince of Wales School



Carleton Place Fact–1878 – A separate High School of stone construction was built on High Street called the Prince of Wales School.  During the course of bitter and widespread disputes and litigation, based on a division of business and real estate interests between the north and south halves of the town, the new school, though much needed remained unused for nearly five years. Photo from Comments About a Picture–Prince of Wales School (Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum)

img - 2019-12-05T094704.322.jpeg

Ottawa Daily Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
23 Oct 1879, Thu  •  Page 1




When the Prince of Wales High School in Carleton Place was to be built a huge argument arose in town to where it should be situated. The “southsiders” wanted it on the north side of the river and of course the other side “the northerners” couldn’t see that side of the question. Finally, it was taken to a vote. Like recent municipal disagreements, they decided to take it to a vote and it was strictly open voting. In the end everyone knew how the other one voted–well you know how this is going to end up already.

It seems that each side thought of everything in order to win. *One side even brought in former residents to vote, whose legal qualifications to say the least, were very doubtful. Actually at that time there were more folks living on the South side than the North side. However, many of the South side voted for the North only for the ‘sensible reason’ that a lot of the building material had already been placed on High Street.

The day after the election a group of “Southerners” were discussing the result in front of Napoleon Paul Lavalee’s Hotel when along came Jasper Holland on his way from the Post Office with his newspapers in hand.

Jasper lived near the station on Miguel Street and was one of the chaps who thought he had the good sense to vote “North”. As he passed the hotel the gang hanging outside began to get unruly and they chastised the passerby for voting the way he did. Jimmie Gemmil who ran the grocery store where Mrs. Mulvey was once located began to get real testy with Jasper and said “the traitor” was not the worth the spit on the ground and it was nothing but treachery.

A fight broke out between the two but the others quickly separated the fight once  Napoleon “Paul” Lavallee the hotel owner poked his head out the door. Jasper was quickly declared the winner and with a defiant look he asked if there was anyone else that wanted to argue. Receiving no reply Jasper picked up his “Family Herald” and “Weekly Star” and strode off  in the direction of home.


He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;
His truth is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

princ (3).jpg

Photo from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum Carleton Place Canadian newspaper files.


img (62)

March 28th 1973-Ottawa Journal




*Carleton- Place School Question.  January 1 1879-Almonte Gazette

Judge Senkler’s Decision Perth, 14 Dec, 1878


Bell vs Greig — This is an investigation (held under R.S.O cap. 204 S. 61) of  complaint respecting the mode of conducting the election of the deft, as a Public School Trustee for the Village of Carleton Place. The Election was held 18 Nov. 1878

“If a Trustee of any School Corporation is convicted of a felony or misdemeanour, or absent himself from the meetings of the Board for three consecutive months, without being authorized by resolution entered upon its minutes, or ceases to be a resident within the school municipality for which he is a Trustee such Trustee shall ipso facto vacate his seat and the remaining Trustees shall declare his seat vacant and order a new election.”

In this case the affidavits established that Wm. Bredin, who had been regularly elected trustee in January 1877, ceased to be a resident of the school municipality in April last, and immediately before leaving notified his fellow Trustees that he resigned, and of his intention to leave.

On the 5th last, being the day for the regular monthly meeting of the School Board, said Bredin and one Wm. Weir (who stands in the same position as Bredin) returned to the school municipality temporarily, and these two men, together with the other ten trustees  met, and certain proceedings were adopted or attempted to be so, which culminated in the appointment of two chairmen and two secretaries, and in a resolution (with others) being declared passed by one chairman that the Board of Education declared the seats or Wm. Weir and Wm Bredin vacant, and ordered the chairman, Mr. McArthur, to forthwith give the necessary notice and call a meeting of the rate payers to elect two Trustees in their places.The first point to be decided is, were the seats of Weir and Bredin vacant before the Nov. last.

By clause 38, absence from meetings for three consecutive months without being authorized by resolution entered on the minutes ipso facto vacates the seat. The resolution declared by Mr.McArthur may have been voted for by all the qualified Trustees, but the affidavits do not show so. The ten other than Bredin and Weir were allowed to vote at that meeting without opposition upon that resolution; only four voted ( I don’t count the votes of Bredin and Weir; they were clearly bad, as that resolution most be the act of the remaining Trustees) as. abstained from voting.

Their silence cannot be deemed acquiescence, as they allege they did not hear the motion. If the ten trustees have preserved their seats, a resolution voted on by less than the majority cannot considered carried in the absence of sent by the balance or enough to make a majority.  In this view the election must fall to the ground, unless the Relator has debarred himself from complaining. All that is shown is that he did not protest or object, and that he held up bis hand on a show of hands being called for. No ease cited gods the length of showing that want of protest or objection is acquiescence.

I cannot see that participating in an unnecessary step can he considered as acquiescence in the election. I shall, therefore, set aside the election of James Greig, and order a new. election. The time and place will be fixed in the formal order to be drawn up. As to the coats, I have no sympathy whatever with the Relator in this matter. His affidavit leaves impression that the motion to appoint him chairman preceded that to appoint Mr. McArthur chairman, the fact being that the motion to appoint Mr. McArthur chairman was actually voted on by the whole 12 present before the other resolution was even moved.

Then he used the expression: “I and the  five trustees who acted with me.” It is clear that the five trusties referred to actually voted at the election complained of. The vote polled was a very large one, and the majority for Mr. Greig considerable. It should have been submitted to the Relator who as aware of all the proceedings, and he took no steps to protest or object. I therefore give no coats to the Relator .

W . S. Senkler Co. Judge.


Related reading

The Riot on Edmund Street –Schools in Carleton Place

The Donneybrooks of Carleton Place-Number 3

Comments About a Picture–Prince of Wales School

And the Walls Came Tumbling Down-Prince of Wales School High Street

Just Beat It! Carnival Riot in Carleton Place at Riverside Park

And the Walls Came Tumbling Down-Prince of Wales School High Street

Before and After in Carleton Place — Be True to your School

What Will 50 Cents Get You at the Prince of Wales School?



Photo of the Prince of Wales School in Carleton Place sent in by Kim Martin Elder/ Margaret Martin CLICK on photo to enlarge it