Beggars Bush: A Perambulation through the Disciplines of History, Geography, Archaeology, Literature, Philology, Natural History, Botany, Biography & Beggary

St Thomas in the Vale (St Catherine), Jamaica Beggars Bush c.1830

The Jamaica Almanac 1840 records Edward Wright as owning 95 acres at Beggars Bush in the parish. There a number of ironic names recorded in the Almanac. The name does not appear in Higman B.W. & Hudson, B.J. Jamaican Place Names.

Because an earlier date cannot be proved I cannot say that this was another “frontier” site, such as County Offaly, Ireland, Charles River, Virginia or Albany, Cape Province. However, it has all the characteristics of such sites, being on the edge of the expansion of what would become the British Empire, marginal, dangerous and subject to attempts to plant settlers on unproductive land. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: April 10th, 2011 | Filed under: Places | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

James Harrington (& Matthew Wren) The Prerogative of Popular Government 1658

Harrington & Wren were political economists, and as economists they necessarily disagreed. The first use is in Wren’s work criticising Harrington’s Oceana, from which Harrington quotes at length in order to refute it. Wren suggests that Harrington plans for an agrarian economy would leave “a commonwealth of cottagers” at “the beggars bush”. He is clearly not referring to an actual place, but to a state of poverty and powerlessness. Harrington clearly recognises the phrase and expects his readers to understand it, as he quotes it back in his response.  Both usages show the wide distribution of the phrase. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: April 10th, 2011 | Filed under: Writers | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »