Monday, April 11, 2011
Today is the letter J.
The definition of Jackanapes is: monkey, ape; an impudent or conceited fellow.
In the 1400s jackanapes was a slang term for a monkey. Monkeys were brought to England as pets at that time. They were kept on a collar and chain. Jackanapes is a word associated with a powerful man in the British government.
Born in England in 1396, William de la Pole, 1st Duke of Suffolk, was nicknamed Jack Napes for two reasons. His coat of arms had a collar and chain on it and he was, in the eyes of nobles, an upstart because he was a nouveau riche who had risen from the middle class to become a noble. His nickname was an insult.
He was Lord Chamberlain, Lord High Admiral and then made Duke of Suffolk. He fought Joan of Arc and was defeated by her. He was suspected of being involved in the murder of the good Duke of Gloucester. He was held responsible for England's defeats in the late stages of the 100 Year War. He was impeached by the Commons, thrown in the Tower and sentenced to five years banishment. But he was later caught and beheaded by the Duke of Exeter in 1450.
His life story is a warning to us all.
1. Never let a woman beat you in war. (You look like a wuss)
2. Try not to murder anyone. (self explanatory)
3. Don't try to rise above your station in life. (People will hate you)
4. Stay out of politics. (People will really hate you)
4. If you are banished - stay away. (You could lose your head)