Thursday, 27 October 2011

Queen Elizabeth's motto is now my motto

When I come upon something in my reading that fills my mind for days and sticks there until I act upon it,  I note it in my little leather "black notebook".

One such sentence jumped out of Alison Weir's fine book "Elizabeth the Queen". The concept will not rest until I follow it up, possibly by writing to a householder in Enfield to ask if I can see his or her fireplace, to take a photo to put online.

Apparently, one of Queen Elizabeth 1st royal palaces was situated in the centre of modern Enfield. It was where she spent part of her childhood, writing Latin translations. She often returned as an adult, possibly considering Enfield Palace with its childhood memories of precocious learning, a kind of personal sanctuary.

Enfield's "Palace Gardens Shopping Centre" now stands where the Palace was. Nothing remains of it, except part of the hunting park, by the river, and a Tudor fireplace in a private house in Gentleman's Row, which was clearly salvaged from the Palace.

This Tudor fireplace is carved with what must have been Elizabeth's secret motto since she expresses this same thought in other ways, frequently, in her recorded sayings:

Sola Salus Servire Deo; Sunt Cetera Fraudes

In English this is:

Our only security is to serve God; aught (everything) else is vanity.

This idea is is built on any number of Scriptural texts and on the five "Solas" of the Reformation.

But what a perfect message for our present age, our politicians and for our own lives. I am making it my official if borrowed motto, today.

Here is a picture of another of Queen Elizabeth's favourite palaces

1 comment:

  1. What a good idea. 'Put not your trust in princes...' I wonder if that is somewhere behind the motto too? Enfield Town is 4 miles from us by car and Henry's Hunting Lodge which Elizabeth may also have used is about a mile away in Epping Forest.
    As ever, I always enjoy reading your posts.