Did You Know? You Cannot Escape the Past!

Rishav Dasgupta Hello there! How’s your day going? Quite well, thank you! Nice cardigan you got there! Merci, mon ami! You’re on your way to play some badminton, are you? Yes, would you like to join me? The blurb of conversation above may seem like an ordinary one to you, but it is laden with history. Often, I hear of people who want to leave history and historical significance behind in order to cruise into the future, but in my opinion, this is simply impossible. Many a time, the past tells us of follies we should not commit. James Brudenell, the 7th Earl of Cardigan was at Hambledon Manor in Buckinghamshire. Being the son of a nobleman of the realm, he knew his duties when it came to battle. Hence, when the Crimean War came around, Lord Cardigan immediately signed up to fight. His most important battle was the Battle of Balaclava, where the British won, although at a great cost. When Lord Cardigan returned home, he was hailed as a hero. His famous wool vestment was replicated and called the “cardigan” in his honour. However, reports of major losses on the British side started flooding into London, and the Earl soon fell out of favour for misrepresenting the battle’s losses. Similarly, Captain Henry Charles FitzRoy Somerset, 8th Duke of Beaufort was born into the aristocratic Beaufort family. He was born in Badminton House, their family seat, and spent much of his time there. One day, a colonial officer from India showed him a game named Poona. It was named after a city in western India and involved a shuttlecock and a racquet. The Duke was enamored and started playing the game frequently. Soon lords, ladies and gentlemen from all over the country started playing it. And they referred to it by the name of the house it originated from- Badminton. Therefore, we see, some of our beloved every day habits are rooted in history. But you may ask– what good does it do me to know about it? Next time you slip on a cardigan in haste early in the morning, think about the responsibility that lies on you and think of the people who depend on you. When you next play badminton, think of how you can enrich the lives of people around you. Don’t be like the 7th Earl of Cardigan, be like the 8th Duke of Beaufort.]]>