Who’s Who ‘E’

Edwin King of Northumbria c585-633, married Ethelburga : a Christian and sister of the Kentish King .  Edwin was baptised by Paulinus 627 who he made Bishop of York. Became most powerful monarch in England but defeated and killed by Penda and Caedwallon of Wales 12 October 633 Feast Day 12 October  

Eliot T.S. OM Poet and Critic 1888-1965 born in St Louis, Missouri brought up by a commercially successful Unitarian Bostonian family, educated at Harvard, the Sorbonne and Merton College, Oxford (1914-1915). Taught in Highgate School and worked for Lloyds Bank. Married in 1915 and again after his first wife’s death, who suffered from mental illness (1947) in 1957.  Wrote for various literary publications eg, The Egotist, the Athenaeum, edited the Criterion until he joined the board of Faber and Faber in 1925. Although his earliest poem, The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock, reflected an early agnosticism and later despair in The Waste Land and The Hollow Man  published just after  WWI he moved towards a more assured Anglo Catholic faith in 1927  by the time of later poems such as  Ash Wednesday( 1930)and the Four Quartet ( 1936-1942). His poetry was characterised by an extreme form of compression, using allusions and the juxtaposition of contrasting ideas and suggestion. Influenced by the mystics eg St John of the Cross and that ‘reality’   is found in mystical apprehension. He also wrote lighter works such as Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats turned into the musical Cats by Andrew Lloyd Weber, plays such as The Rock and Murder in the Cathedral and prose works like The Idea of a Christian Society (1939).

Elizabeth, I Queen 1558- 1603, daughter of Henry VIII and Ann Boleyn.Arguably the most influential monarch in English history. Established the Church of England as a via media having the inner core of a Protestant Church in the 39 Articles but some Catholic ceremonies and orders in the conduct of worship and church structure.  Under her leadership, England saw off the Catholic and Spanish threat in the defeat of the Armada in 1588, and provided for a Protestant succession.  Excommunicated by Pope Pius V she resisted Jesuits and Calvinists. Highly intelligent and aware of the mystery of monarchy, she led England into a golden age of culture, with Shakespeare. Her decisions turned England away from Europe to overseas. 

Elizabeth II, Queen of The United Kingdom born April 21 1926 Head of the Commonwealth, Supreme Governor of the Church of England Acceded to the throne in 1952, crowned 1953. She married Prince Philip, Prince of Greece and Denmark, in 1947; now a marriage of over seventy years. The Queen is the longest reigning British monarch. Her reign has been notable for many features: huge social change, the ending of the British Empire through granting independence to former colonies, creating the Commonwealth and Britain’s entering and leaving the European Union. In 1992 The Queen suffered her annus horribilis with three of her children divorcing or separating and a fire in Windsor Castle in 1992.  Especial triumphs have been her state visit to Ireland in 2011- bringing a real measure of hope and reconciliation to England’s relationship to Ireland, her address to the nation following the death of Princess Diana in 1997 and another during the Coronavirus pandemic.  A model of gracious commitment to her role as Queen, she has undertaken countless foreign tours, welcomed many heads of state to Britain and taken part in innumerable events with acuity and good humour. Shining through this, and about which she has spoken often in her Christmas broadcasts, is her own Christian faith, underpinning and guiding her devotion to the role of Sovereign for nearly seventy years.

Equiano Olaudah, Abolitionist 1745-1797 Originally from Benin, present day Nigeria, he was originally enslaved in the Caribbean but bought his freedom in 1766, and came to London in 1768. He joined the movement for the Abolition of Slavery with first-hand experience. He began a group composed of Africans living inBritain. He published his very influential autobiography called The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Equiano Olaudah. It went through nine editions. He married an Englishwoman, Susannah Cullen and had two children. He supported the London Missionary Society and their work in West Africa and helped the black poor in London, some of whom had been freed by the British in the US following the War of Independence.  Some of these were re-patriated to Freetown Sierra Leone.  He was a leading and influential figure in Georgian London.         

Ethelreda Saint (d679) Founder of the double monastery of Ely and Princess, daughter of Anna king of the East Angles. Pursued life of prayer after becoming a widow, withdrew to Ely. 673 founded the double monastery. Later became a Cathedral city.  Feast Day June 23