From Samaria to Samara

On this day in 1883 John RICHARDSON, a Filey cab proprietor, faced the magistrates at Bridlington Petty Sessions, charged with being drunk while in charge of a horse and carriage. He was found guilty and had to pay a £1 fine and 14s. and 4d. costs (about £150 in today’s money). He faced further punishment, and possibly ridicule, by being described in a local newspaper as “a drunken Jehu”. The reporter who compared an ordinary citizen of Victorian England with a murdering King of Israel may have thought himself smart. Some things don’t change. There ‘s no shortage of foolish scribes defiling broadsheets and tabloids these days. (Read any Novichok story in the sick legacy media – and check out Richie Allen if you haven’t already.)

Edward Henry Corbould 1815-1905, Private Collection © Christie’s Images

CORBOULD imagined Jehu’s arrival in Jezreel, drunk on the power bestowed upon him by the God of Abraham. He is pointing at Jezebel. She doesn’t look too concerned but within a few minutes, she would be dog food.

When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it. And she painted her eyes and adorned her head and looked out of the window.

And as Jehu entered the gate, she said, “Is it peace, you Zimri, murderer of your master?

And he lifted up his face to the window, and said, “Who is on my side? Who?” Two or three eunchs looked out at him.

He said, “Throw her down.” So they threw her down. And some of her blood spattered on the wall and on the horses, and they trampled on her.

Then he went in and ate and drank. And he said, “See now this cursed woman and bury her, for she is a king’s daughter.”

But when they went to bury her, they found no more of her than the skull and the feet and the palms of her hands.

When they came back and told him, he said, “This is the word of the LORD, which he spoke by his servant Elijah the Tishbite. In the territory of Jezreel the dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel, and the corpse of Jezebel shall be as dung on the face of the field in the territory of Jezreel, so that no one can say, This is Jezebel.

2 Kings 9: 30-37 Global Study Bible ESV

Moving on, Jehu and his soldiers journeyed to Samaria where they indulged in a frenzy of head chopping, “wiping out Baal from Israel”.

And the LORD said to Jehu, “Because you have done well in carrying out what is right in my eyes, and have done to the house of Ahab according to all that is in my heart, your sons of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.”

2 Kings 10: 30

For a contemporary imagined account of Jehu’s bloody long reign go to Ed Suominen’s Shitty Little Blog.

I have made a start on putting John and his nearest and dearest on FamilySearch Tree but there is a lot of duplicate merging to be done. There are difficulties, too, with his first marriage and the presence in his household at various times of four illegitimate children, none of them his. In 1901, aged 74, he was living in Flixton on Parish Relief. Ten years later his second wife Mary is widowed, “in receipt of relief; does a little sewing”. Two Filey born John Richardsons of about the same age died in the “noughties”; I’m not sure when our poor cabman departed this life. I hope he snuck out through the narrow gate.

Corbould is on FamilySearch Tree. Jehu is there too but sketchily, with unreliable dates.

Over in Samara: England 2, Sweden nil. “Drinkin’ all your Vodka…”

(A note on the Corbould painting. I haven’t had time to request permission to post the image here. If the copyright holder objects to my use of it I hope they will contact me. I’ll take it down immediately.)