Wednesday, May 20, 2015

More on the St. John Saga: Strangers

For records checked and progress made at the 2014 SLIG, see my posts for January 13-17, 2014. Strangers. A simple word. During the time that the St. Johns [Dutch or Welsh] arrived in London, Strangers were foreigners. Today we would call them aliens. The Strangers had settled in London and nearby cities and towns in search of work. The majority were Dutch or Walloons, Protestants escaping Catholic rule in the "Low Countries." Others were from the German States, France, Italy, Scotland and Ireland.

The question was, as it pertained to my research, would the Welsh have been considered Strangers?

Wales was annexed by England under the Laws in Wales Acts of 1535-1542, also called the Acts of Union. Therefore, someone born in Wales around 1580 would be considered an English citizen. Cheistopher St. John was born in Wales between 1580 and 1585. That should have resolved the question, right?

Wrong! The argument was that the St. Johns were heavily tied to their Norman heritage. Christopher would have considered himself a Norman rather than a Welshman or Englishman, thus allying himself with the Strangers.

Unfortunately, none of the sources I was able to access gave a clear-cut definition of Strangers. I leave it to the reader to judge whether Christopher St. John, if a Welshman, could have been considered a stranger.

A final note: One of the consultants with whom I had previously worked asked me about my project. His conclusion was that no self-respecting Welshman would have been caught attending the Dutch Reformed Church!

(coming up Christopher the Dutchman vs. Christopher the Welshman)

No comments:

Post a Comment