I was chatting but yesterday with a most erudite historian who happened to mention “Rupert of the Rhine.”
“Rupert of the Rhine?” says I, intrigued by the name.
Rupert of the Rhine, it transpires, was the cousin of Charles the Second, but when I looked him up on the internet, I must confess that I rapidly developed a man-crush.
THIS DUDE WAS AWESOME!
Not only was he a 6 foot 4 Adonis, but there was nothing this chappy couldn’t do. If he wasn’t winning battles on land and sea he was mastering the artistic techniques of mezzotints while inventing ingenious mechanical devices and advanced mathematical theorems. General, naval legend and scion of the restoration he epitomized the Renaissance Man in his sheer virtuosity of talent. (he was rather good at tennis too!)
He was maligned by the puritans (naturally) who were obviously jealous.
This was the paragraph that cemented my man-crush.
“Rupert faced numerous accusations of witchcraft, either personally or by proxy through his large white hunting poodle, Boye, who accompanied Rupert everywhere from 1642 up until the dog’s death at Marston Moor and was widely suspected of being a witch’s familiar. There were numerous accounts of Boye’s abilities; some suggested that he was the Devil in disguise, come to help Rupert. Boye was able, apparently, to find hidden treasure, possessed invulnerability to attack, could catch bullets fired at Rupert in his mouth, and could prophesy as well as the 16th century soothsayer, Mother Shipton. Similar stories from the period relate to Rupert’s Pet Monkey”
How could one not be a little in love with a gallant and brilliant Cavalier rushing into battle with his trusty hunting poodle at his side (not to mention the monkey)?
He was survived by a daughter whom he unimaginatively named “Ruperta” but who cares about her!
Anyway, while I am unlikely to set the world ablaze with my brilliance as Rupert of the Rhine once did, I can at least finish the spreadsheet I am working on and move onto the budget papers.
(For once the photos are not my own as Rupert was unavailable to sit on account of his dying in 1682.)