Kingston’s Scorpio Effigy

 
 
This month’s journey around the Kingston Zodiac traverses the Scorpio Effigy of West London’s ancient star temple at a particularly interesting time when pirates are in the news. With a gargantuan Saudi supertanker only recently seized by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden, we are perhaps seeing a Middle Eastern re-run of the days when great British warships like the Amphitrite, immortalized in the old English sea shanty ‘Rounding the Horn’, played a key role in the protection of British merchant ships engaged in the Transatlantic Trade. 
 
In the centre of the Kingstonian Scorpion stands the South West London suburb of Merton, where the ancient church not only has links with Nelson’s mistress Lady Hamilton, but also with Captain Cook’s widow. Scorpions are renowned for their longevity, in spite of their deadly sting, so it is perhaps significant that Mrs. Cook not only survived the great Pacific explorer himself but also their six children into the bargain. Perhaps then, this Scorpion is female, like the great historical Royal patron of all good English pirates herself, Elizabeth I; whose active encouragement of acts of piracy by the likes of Sir Walter Raleigh ultimately laid the foundation for future British supremacy on the High Seas…..So who’s going to be next? Is it going to be the Somalis, or is there some South East Asian rival out there in the offing? ‘Come all you Warlock Seamen….’ as the late Bob Copper used to say.
 
 
   
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About tartantombraider

A lineal descendant of Captain Robert Ferguson (1719-1799) the older brother of the great Scottish Enlightenment Philosopher and historian Adam Ferguson (1723-1816); the friend of Hume, Gibbon and Adam Smith. Also related to the great feminist author and playwright Rachel Ferguson. Have written extensively on a vast range of subjects, published in print as book author and in various journals and magazines into the bargain. Early work as an underground film maker on the early Goa Trance and radical anti-CJB political scene in the 1990s has since become more refined and ambitious and I am now a regular contributor to such high profile events as the Portobello Film Festival Annual Film Maker's Convention.....:
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