Clare's political comments (again)

Clare's comments aways seem fresh and topical whenever I read them... here are two, both of which are not too well known.

"I fear these tory radicals these out of place patriots (or parrots) who are so loud in their [complaints] against the present ministry       [They] only want to make paddles of the people to sail into their harbours of old sinecures    & then to be again themselves      they will be as silent of suffering people and all such alusions - as an old maid of her age or an old borough monger of common honesty"

"The wigs & torys may be better classified perhaps by the terms of outs & ins    for be they wigs or torys in those situations    the outs are always vociverators of “liberty” “cruelty of taxation” & “good of the people”    while the ins are inflexible tyrants & determined supporters of all that is oppressing & annoying to the people   & benefitting to themselves & their connections"

Likely written in the mid-1820s.

Not the 2021 Festival... BUT

Not the 2021 Festival

Some idea of what some of us be doing on the 9th and 10th July @ Helpston


There being no John Clare Society Festival this year, a few of us will still be meeting to honour the great man this year at Helpston.  Not ‘official’ of course, but I wanted to attract everyone’s attention!  Anyone who would like to join us will be very welcome indeed, for any of the days.


Friday 9th

Helpston 2021. Folk I guess will be travelling on the 9th or 10th so several of us thought it might be good to start to gather in the Bluebell, after 7pm on the 9th for a convivial chat over a drink. It has already been announced that there will be the usual ‘Folk Evening’ at the Bluebell that evening, always a treat.

Saturday 10th

We will be meeting at 10:00am – 10:15am at Butter Cross in the centre of Helpston.  From there we will walk across the road to St. Botolph’s Church and Clare’s grave.  New Rector Gary (a Clare fan of course) is conducting a ‘Clare BCP Service' at 11am.  Only 30 places available however.


After which can either have a bite at the BBell and then stroll around the village, OR...go by car to St. Andrew’s Church, Northborough (via Maxey) and Patty’s grave (and other members of the family) – and finally to St. Benedict’s Church, Glinton and Mary’s grave.  Be armed with something of Clare’s poems/prose to read by each graveside. We do not intend to lay wreaths just honour each individual in our own way.


I am informed that the Cottage will be open for drinks (according to their website).


That evening we will certainly will return to the Bluebell for dinner as many of us have in earlier years.


Well... something like that anyway.  I’ll being a few books for those wishing to catch up with the Chapbook series and would be happy to give a talk, or conduct the walk, if required!  Very open to suggestions.


Roger R.