Thursday, February 21, 2013

Battle of Britain

Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of my genealogy blog! I am celebrating by reposting my first story. 

Thomas Wilson, author of A Christian Dictionarie

Thomas Wilson was the minister at St. George the Martyr Church in Canterbury from 1586 to 1622.  He was also a prebendary* of Canterbury Cathedral. He was buried in his parish on the 25th of January 1621-22. He was the first to attempt to compile a dictionary of the Bible in English. The first edition appeared in 1612 and a second in 1616. Other editions were published after his death. He also published other works including Commentarie upon the most divine Epistle to the Romans  and Christ's Farewell to Jerusalem. 

In attempting to find information about the church, I discovered an interesting but sad story. The church was destroyed during a bombing raid that devastated much of downtown Canterbury in World War II. All that remains is one tower. On the night of May 31st/June 1st, 1942 Canterbury was targeted as part of the so-called "Baedeker Raids."** This attack was likely a reprisal for an R.A.F. bomber raid on Cologne the night of May 30th. About one fifth of the City of Canterbury was destroyed that night as about 100 bombs and 6,000 incendiaries were dropped in two and a half hours. Fire damaged many properties because the majority of buildings were made of timber. Forty-three people died, forty were seriously injured and forty-one had less serious injuries. Follow-up attacks came on June 3rd and June 7th but these were not as destructive as the June 1st attack. 

The church had a long history. There is evidence of a church on the site from 1100 A.D. It had been enlarged, most recently in 1879 when another local church was closed and the two congregations merged. 

Quotes about Thomas Wilson:
Robert Cushman (a member of the Pilgrim group in Leiden) - "a very excellent preacher in Canterbury, who was both a lover of goodnesse and good men." 

Historian Peter Clark - "probably the most distinguished preacher in early Jacobean Kent [who preached] themes from middle-of-the-road Calvinism." 

*prebendary - an honor granted to senior priest in the Anglican Church usually awarded for long and dedicated service to the diocese. 
** Baedeker was the publisher of an English travel guide book reportedly used by the Germans to choose their non-military targets. They looked for cities with at least three stars for historical significance. 

10th Great-Grandfather
Rev. Thomas Wilson & Christian Ower
Theophilus Wilson & Elizabeth
Seaborn Wilson & David Fiske
Anna Fiske & Timothy Carter
Benjamin Carter & Sarah Stone
Timothy Carter & Sarah Walker
Timothy Carter & Frances Freeland
Elias M. Carter & Rebecca Williamson
Augustus M. Carter & Mary Frances Stanley
Edward M. Carter & Fannie May Capen
T. Richard Carter & F. Lyndell Cotton

1 comment:

  1. Blogiversary wishes from one of your fans on the other side of the world. I look forward to following your geneajourney this year.