STANDISH OF DUXBURY
Helen Moorwood 2013
1.3. Another letter from HM, ‘Ood ah thowt?’ or ‘Everything connects’
N.B.This has also been copied from the Duxbury Family History Site and included here as a report on the subsequent steps in my research, four years on from the previous letter. Again, a few silent corrections. It appears there on 1. Another letter from Helen Moorwood: 'Ood ah thowt?' or 'Everything connects'.
Sauerlach, Bavaria, Germany, March, 2002
Dear Duxbury ‘cousins’,
Four years ago I had a letter of enquiry from Peter and my reply has since appeared on this web site, with the comment that this triggered Peter’s interest and led to his magnificent offerings on all matters concerning Duxbury, whether the family or places with this name. I feel humble and flattered at the same time that I might have triggered this, but am most of all delighted that so many Duxbury ‘cousins’ seem to have benefited in the meantime in one way or another - mainly via Peter’s extensive lists and information.
‘Ood ah thowt’ that the early Duxbury research would have led to the discovery of the ancestry and much of the biography of SHAKESPEARE! I have put him in capitals with an exclamation mark not only as he deserves it because of his Works, but also as an expression of my astonishment that Grandma Duxbury ultimately led me to the Bard in Lancashire (Sweet Swan of Darwen? The Bard of Ribble?). You might find yourself saying, ‘Eeh, ood ah thowt’ on several occasions, as I often did during all my early double-blinkings and imagining how some of my older dialect-speaking relatives would have responded if they were still with us. For any uninitiated non-Lancastrians reading this, it is a ‘phonetic’ rendering of a Lancashire dialect phrase meaning ‘Who would ever have thought that?’ or ‘What a surprise’. Gradually the number of surprises reduced as everything connected and a story fell into place that finally made sense.
Several Duxbury ‘cousins'’ (including Peter, of course) have helped me enormously along the way with moral and other support, have been kept up to date and have shared my excitement and frustrations while moving towards a publishable version (please read my Duxbury Acknowledgements as an inadequate, but at least a public ‘thank you’). Peter and I thought a few more ‘cousins’ might like to join in the fun via his website and ahead of book publications, as probably the one group of people in the world who would be most interested.
One very excited ‘cousin’ recently was Susan in California, whose Lancashire ancestors passed down the tradition that they were ‘connected to Sir Walter Raleigh, no idea how, but somehow’. Together we have thrashed this one out and will report asap, as it’s another part of the ‘Duxbury to Shakespeare’ story and, incidentally, the first Duxbury family tradition from Elizabethan or Jacobean times I have come across. (Are there any more out there?) Another ‘cousin’ Geoff in Bristol recently quipped, after praise for an excellent piece of writing, “Well, I am related to Shakespeare.” (Good on you, Geoff, but keep this as a joke.) Ray Aspden has constantly kept me on an even keel with regular reports about Shakespeare in Stratford and many wise comments about documentary evidence. I make no claims for any direct connection between Duxbury and Shakespeare other than what follows, which reveals some of the story of how one thing led to another, and everything connected.
Future books are still imprisoned in my computer (sorry, but inevitable, given the sheer mass of documentary details examined since my ‘other letter’), but recently, after much double-blinking and head-scratching in the early stages and sweat and tears over many years assembling all the details, I reached a point where I finally felt sufficiently on top of all the massive amount of documentary material to be able to produce many conclusions about Shakespeare and other related and connected individuals and matters, with absolute confidence that I was right and could defend my conclusions against any potential challenge from any side. Such confidence in being right does not happen often in life (not in mine, for sure), but in this case I really am sure, and some time in the future you will be able to read every last documentary detail and reference as to why I am so sure.
‘Helen’s story: Duxbury to Shakespeare’started life in the summer of 2001 as the ‘Preface’ to my Shakespeare book, which had became a huge monster, almost with a life of its own, and the ‘Preface’ became another monster. After many struggles I managed to tame it and this letter and linked pages are one result. I have attempted to give a brief summary of my journey from Duxbury to Shakespeare in Main conclusions and brief up-date on Duxbury-Shakespeare research over the past four years.[This link is still there, but it needed an update, and so appears, in edited form, in the next file. 2013] Conclusions about my Shakespeare findings then appear as an Interview via FAQs. [Ditto. Still there, but the updated version appears now in a folder within this folder. 2013] I have, of course, interviewed myself here, but promise that most questions have been asked by someone (many of them many times and some readers will recognise their own questions). I have also included questions that I have asked myself many times, which no one else has yet got around to asking. If there are any more questions, send them in, and sooner or later Peter and I will assemble a list of New FAQs. [Ditto again. This duly appeared and an updated version follows on from those named above. 2013]