Morton’s fork

This was the first one I came across that had an element of history in it.  Let me begin by explaining Morton’s fork.  Sir John Morton was a churchman who lived in the fifteenth century.  He served under four kings and managed to make himself useful to all.  His last king was Henry VII, who has come down to us with a reputation for parsimony and greed.  Morton was his Archbishop of Canterbury and also became a cardinal – a truly godly man (a bit of irony there).  When it came to squeezing taxes out of the people Morton developed this ruthless strategy: If the subject is seen to live frugally, tell him because he is clearly a money saver of great ability, he can afford to give generously to the King. If, however, the subject lives a life of great extravagance, tell him he, too, can afford to give largely, the proof of his opulence being evident in his expenditure.  In other words, you poor suckers can’t win, so shut up and pay up.

Which brings me to the prompt.Morton’s Fork//

If you had to choose between being able to write a blog (but not read others’) and being able to read others’ blogs (but not write your own), which would you pick? Why?

Easy enough to answer, which is why I spun it out with the foregoing.  I would choose to read others’ blogs and not write my own.  The reason is that when I am writing my own blogs I already know what it is I’m writing about and the only thing I get out of it is (maybe) a few plaudits.  When I read the blogs of others what I get is entertainment, information and sometimes a giggle.  I hardly ever laugh at my own jokes.

The kingmaker

I have to disagree with your contention that Edward IV was the king in the term ‘kingmaker’.  In 1461, it was Edward who had the military victories, the charisma and the right blood in his veins, without which there never would have been a king named Edward IV.  Warwick, on the other hand, had the experience and the political acumen to be able to stage the ascent of his young cousin. They were a team and unbeatable.  The Lancastrians had nothing to offer against them.

Then after Warwick’s rebellion, as you say, Edward was driven into exile.  Warwick pulled Henry VI out of captivity, dusted him off and presented him to the people as their king – again.  In my opinion that’s what made him the ‘kingmaker’.  He may have been instrumental in putting Edward on the throne and keeping him there in the first years, but it must be admitted that Edward was very active in his own interests.  Whereas Henry, in 1470, did nothing to help himself.  But for his thrusting Henry back onto the throne he never would have earned that appellation.

Incidentally, it occurred to me that during his first rebellion, Warwick was probably the only man in history to hold two kings captive at the same time.  He could as easily be called ‘kingbreaker’.

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