We wanted to give you something special to peruse whilst you hoist your whiskeys and mugs of green beer. Us Zouch editors are forever suckers for vintage, and so, in the name of nostalgia I present to you this quick exploration of St.Patrick’s Day:
Who was St.Patrick?
According to legend, Saint Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to the pre-Christian Irish people. In the 7th century he was named the patron saint of Ireland, so there’s been a bunch of great religious art created in his image, like the stained glass image to the left.
According to Wikipedia:
“The leprechauns spend all their time busily making shoes, and store away all their coins in a hidden pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.”
Doesn’t the bit about them being shoemakers recall a different fairy tale altogether? Many cultures seem to have similar stories about diminutive mythological humanoids with magic powers, like elves, fairies, or the Icelandic Huldufólk. All of this begs the question: Could leprechauns be real!?
Above is a pretty slick 1798 cartoon by James Gillray, a British caricaturist we’ve seen on Zouch before. The subject being lampooned is Henry Grattan, and the phrase “Erin Go Bragh!” means “Ireland Forever!”
Grattan was a strong opponent to the idea of Union with Britain. He helped stage the massive rebellion of 1798, in which the Irish forces were massacred by the British. But God bless those stubborn bastards! For this event cemented in the Irish character a strong sense of independence, which is part of the reason Irish sons and daughters the world over celebrate St.Paddy’s Day so heartily today.
Sláinte! Erin Go Bragh!
P.S. There’s been a rumour circulating about Mr.Zouch since the 19th century. Some say he wasn’t the noble son of a British millitary commander as he claimed to be, and that he’d obtained his status via the use of forged documents! As the story goes, Zouch is in fact the bastard son of an Irish peasant-woman and a British soldier who went missing during the Irish Rebellion. According to one version of the tale, his mother was a potatoe farmer who seduced the solidier by serving him a healthy dose of strong Cork Dry Gin!