Thursday, May 01, 2008

Mine Hoste of Mare Mount and his maypole

Today according to Australian Eastern Standard Time when this item was posted
1626 New World: 'Pagan Pilgrim' Thomas Morton (1590? - 1647), royalist rake, a trader and lawyer, raised the Maypole with Native American allies.

Fed up with Puritan restrictions on life and liberty, Morton (calling himself "mine Hoste of Mare Mount") and a Captain Wollaston had set up near the Plymouth Colony a fur-trading post in 1624 which they named "Mare Mount" – Mount by the Sea. Their Puritan neighbours saw through his pun and its suggestion of a rejection of Puritan values (for it was a place of revelry), and sneeringly called it "Merrymount".

When Morton set up a Maypole, with a poem attached and the whole shaft topped with antlers, all hell broke loose at the Plymouth colony nearby. Miles Standish's Pilgrim stormtroopers invaded the free settlement, John Endicott chopped down the proud Maypole, scattered Merrymount's inhabitants, destroyed its houses and renamed the place Mount Dagon ...

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