Southwark tales

While we were in London for the day we visited Southwark cathedral, having passed by many times without going in.

Rather like Chaucer’s pilgrims in The Canterbury Tales, we tend to start out from an inn rather than a church.

In the cathedral choir is a memorial to Shakespeare’s brother and fellow actor, Edmond, who is buried somewhere in the cathedral, allegedly. As a great fan of the Bard and one, moreover, who believes he wrote the plays attributed to him, I confess I did not know he had a brother.

But I like the thought of Ed Shakespeare treading the boards at The Rose, playing third spear-bearer from the left while his exalted brother nabbed all the best parts.

Meanwhile, we were amused by a wall plaque commemorating former chief cashier of the Bank of England, Abraham Newland (1747-1807). His signature would have been on the bank notes.

Usually you read: “Here lie the remains of...” etc. But in the exceptional case of a chief cashier, it reads: “In the Bishop’s vault are deposited the remains of Abraham Newland...”

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