Saturday, July 27, 2013

What's in a name?

Well, "the event" has now happened and the little mite has been given a name and a future.  I suppose it will be King George V11th eventually;  a King Louis would generate visions of gilded chairs, palaces and mistresses and send David Starkey into orbit and King Alexander is perhaps a little too new for us to find acceptable. I'm not a Royalist, or anti-Royalist for that matter, but what I do feel is that for a significant period the public, and especially the media, ought to set the whole issue aside now and let those surrounding the "new arrival" enjoy what in any family is a blessing and emotional roller coaster combined. Does it really matter how many names the baby has and all the rest of it? Well, I guess formality demands that the dictates of succession are sorted out and names agreed upon. As for the rest, then leave it be for a while. The most inane question I heard asked by the media was " when do you think the baby will be told it's a Royal".........when it can understand the question would be the immediate reaction I suspect.

But let's get back to names! I have to admit to a slightly guilty secret.  I suspect it's the closest thing to anything "Establishment" that I'll ever achieve. My second name is "SQUIRE"......note second name please!
I have to admit that I have no intimate knowledge of armour, horses or horses tack and that my chivalrous affiliations are non-existent, as is my ability to carry jousting poles. As a child I actually lived in a village with a Squire,  Squire Micklethwaite of Ardsley, a village to the east of Barnsley. He was a bit eccentric and zoomed around in a big car whose name I'd never heard of. I then actually met another one some thirty years later, who lived in Slaidburn in the Forest of Bowland and had something to do with the Milk Marketing Board at the time, or something similar. What their forebears had done in order to earn such accolades and titles is lost in history, but the presence of proper Squires nowadays is becoming less obvious to say the least.  Except in Yorkshire, as you might well imagine!!!

Squire was my father's only Christian name....given, not earned you might say. It's actually a traditional Yorkshire name as opposed to anything to do with rank or positioning with one's Knight. I have on occasion looked around for some unsuspecting titled local for whom I could ensure a parking space was available near the baskets at the local supermarket or whom I could ensure arrival at Masonic meetings was timely, thereby ensuring my own moniker held value. But no, such opportunities have been denied. And I have to admit it's declaration has too often resulted in paroxysms of laughter, as opposed to any benefits arising directly to myself!! And so I am a Squire in name only, which perhaps puts the name game into some form of context.  Perhaps on this occasion I can be excused when I sign off as,

Squire John.

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