Cowboy On The Yorkshire Trail.
It is often said there are more acres in Yorkshire than letters in the Bible.
(I am better qualified in Yorkshire’s acres than the Bible’s letters.)
The largest English county with a rich diversity of terrain, people and culture.
That Yorkshire attitude… Down to earth, often stubborn… Or argumentative.
Welcoming of strangers.
Tolerant and with fortitude.
Above all… Fiercely independent!
That Yorkshire Attitude!
No matter where in the world you meet; Ask “Where are you from?” and the first answer will be Yorkshire! This is true. People from other counties may say England or even British but not Yorkshire people. It is instinctive; county ranks higher than nation to us. Being British is similar to saying we are European; both are somewhat contrary or additional to who we really are. They represent an alliance or allegiance with people who are somewhat foreign to our way of thinking. To some this may seem bigoted and arrogant, particularly when coupled with our northern habit or being economical in speech:- But it is not.
The Heartland of The North.
In Celtic times Yorkshire was the established territory of the Brigantes Tribe that controlled Northern England. Aldborough in North Yorkshire being the site of their capital. Nearby Boroughbridge came to prominence in Norman times. Under Roman rule York (Eboracum) was named as joint capital of Roman Britain. The Romans left and the Celtic tribes divided and ruled. The Danish Vikings established a kingdom here. They called it the Kingdom of Jórvík. The Norman Conquest and the Battle of Hastings heralded Yorkshire darkest times. With the Harrowing of the North by an enraged William the north of England was laid to waste in one of the first recorded acts of pure genocide. Yorkshire suffered the brunt of this fury when thousands were slain. The entire region was burned and the soil poisoned for years to come with salt resulting in the surviving population facing starvation. During the civil war the Yorkists stood their ground as royalists; York was besieged… the Round-headed Parliamentarians finally famously quelled the county at the Battle of Marston Moor.
The Wars of The Roses.
Here we have a great confusion that needs explanation. Put aside modern (particularly sporting usage,) the Wars of the Roses had nothing to do with the counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire. The Royal Plantagenet House (or family) had two factions The House of York (White Rose) and The House of Lancaster (Red Rose.) The House of Lancaster was actually based in… (wait for it!)… York! The House of Lancaster controlled and was based in London. The Wars of the Roses is perhaps best considered as a feud between the Northern aristocracy and the South. The defeat of the Yorkist Richard III at Bosworth Field ended both the feud and the Plantagenet Line; Henry Tudor married Elizabeth of York and the white and red roses combined to form the Tudor Rose.
A County of Contrasts.
Travel across Yorkshire and you’ll find a patchwork of heritage and history. People and communities that are a product of that diversity. There are areas specific to all types of farming and horticulture. National Parks and World Heritage locations. You’ll find areas marked by heavy industry of all types; steel, mining or textiles. Many are now in decline but they created what we see today. From Fishing on the coast to Farming in the uplands. Forestry in the Fells and Finance in Leeds. There is literature and leisure; theater and cricket. Roast beef or Yorkshire Tea with jam on scones. It is a county that doesn’t take itself too seriously but takes life very serious indeed. It works hard and plays with a similar passion. There is plenty for all and all are welcome. God’s Own? I do not know…
But it has acres a plenty.
“Independence For Yorkshire!”
We hear it called for… every now and then. It is a cry that gains little support. Yorkshire doesn’t need independence to be granted. It has always been independent and always will.