While preparing my thoughts on the 374th Anniversary of the Battle of Turnham Green….
This was as close as the Royalists ever got to London. Hastily improvised militia bands were sent out to meet the forces of the King and Prince Rupert and checked his advance at… Turnham Green – now the name of a Zone 2 tube station – but then a field a few miles west of anything anybody called London.
John Milton seems to have expected monarchist hoards to run rampage through the city and wrote the following sonnet, which we’re meant to sort of imagine pinned to his front door.
Captain or Colonel, or Knight in Arms,
Whose chance on these defenceless dores may sease,
If ever deed of honour did thee please,
Guard them, and him within protect from harms,
He can requite thee, for he knows the charms
That call Fame on such gentle acts as these,
And he can spred thy Name o’re Lands and Seas,
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