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Why? Lifting the veil: wakey wake key ~
It’s time to awaken from the larval dream. It’s time to emerge from the chrysalis and metamorphose. It’s time to step out of the plastic straitjacket and remove the blindfold tightly tied around body and mind by insecure family, indoctrinating schooling and insincere relationships. It’s time to decide who you really are, what you’re truly here for – and why.

It’s time to ask, “what’s ‘work’, what’s a ‘job’, what’s freedom, and what in hell is everyone doing – and why?” It’s time to stop making non-existent illusory money and garnering disinterested social approval by giving your time and energy to speed the destruction of Planet Earth’s biosphere – time to live a real life in a real living world instead of running a rat race through a pseudo civilisation of loathsome architect-designed concrete toilets in a pointless maze of toxic termite towers.

Yes, yes, you’ve heard it all before and you already know what’s going on. You don’t need to be told. You know what you need to do. You already know how you really could be living, thanks very much. You’ll get around to it in your own sweet time, when you’ve paid off your debts, when your family’s grown up, when you get some free time to pause and change tack, when you retire, when you win the lottery. When you’re good and ready.

Sure, buddy. Sure sis. You’ll get around to doing the right thing when you’re dead – in your next incarnation on a planet you’ve helped to thoroughly degrade and ruin – when you’re reborn in Bangladesh or Mongolia or sub-Saharan Africa, instead of in a better, blessed place where you can actually be free and make a difference, like here and now.

It’s time to find ways to share what remains of our beautiful planet with honour and without guilt. It’s time to decide whether to live a life of truth and beauty or die for a lie you know to be false. You’ve already chosen; your actions and ‘lifestyle’ are your choice, and the time has come to reassess your decisions and remake your destiny.

It’s time to realise why you’ve given yourself such an incredibly rare and privileged life that you actually have the space, mentality and leisure time to sit back and read this little diatribe. Now is the time and you are the person on the spot. You’re the one we need to save the world – now, at this critical juncture betwixt future and past. Living for life or dying for death? Choose. Now.

The system is set up to make you think you’re either on the high road to material success or sliding down a slippery slope to a loser’s failure; yet it’s designed to ensure you fail in the end. ‘Society’ is set up to ensure anything you build or create is taken from you, bit by bit, clod by clod, and stolen from any you choose to bequeath it to. Putrescent obsolescence is built into everything you’re sold and all that you’re told.

In modern all-consuming societies you’re taxed more highly than any ancient feudal serf, and even when you buy something outright you’ve just begun paying for it with the only thing you can ever really own – your time. The time of your life is taxed and stolen by those you vote for on behalf of remote controllers who think they ‘own’ the world. There are plenty of alternatives to their manipulated systems, but they’re all carefully concealed from you.

Most humans base their entire lives – plans, hopes, fears, dreams and strategies – on outdated assumptions programmed into them by brainwashed timeservers. They smother their kids in regimental uniforms and don’t care enough to notice how playtime becomes muted, how minds are restrained and freedom retrained into uniform mindlessness. They follow in the footsteps of torpid dolts and wonder why a regimented life is boringly doleful. Trained to subservience by millennia of feuding feudalists, humankind can only approach absolute truths (and long term survival) by roundabout routes that invariably lead people further astray.

Schooling isn’t education. It’s a system where open minds are successfully closed and everything not forbidden is compulsory. ‘Modern’ schooling ensures that cheats always prosper and that bullies and liars always prevail in the ‘real’ outside world of business and finance. Today’s educational establishments are dopey money factories designed to extort obedient volunteer slaves. No intelligent independent minds are found in them; none can survive there.

Schools, colleges and universities are quagmires of brainwashing, cultural imperialism and mindless training for destructive jobs that will soon cease to exist – training yards designed to serve the momentary needs of industries owned and run by short sighted paranoid sociopaths. They’re the birthplace of hierarchy and corruption. You know it’s true. Any real learning achieved is incidental. Scores and scoring a cushy job where you can lord it over others are everything. Learning and knowledge are secondary, sacrificial goals.

The system is thoroughly rigged by and for the worst elements to make sure that only most egregious people rise to the top of the dung heap and prosper. Only the worst control freaks and insecure jerks with killer ‘instincts’ claw their way to the summit. You know it’s true. There’s no ‘survival of the fittest’ (or even of the most adaptable) involved. Societies aren’t interested in change and evolution, but in security, status and stasis. And sooner or later stasis always means extinction, not survival.

But you can be different. So can your children. Deny the unloving death of blind conformity and confirm a free loving life with every action. Be what you always wanted to be, ’ere it harm none. If you’re well intentioned and wise the multiverse will provide. Choose. Now.

People are bigger than their straightjackets. You have the power to remove any blindfold and widen your vision whenever you choose. You have the ability to concentrate, meditate, cogitate and liberate. Only you can do it. Only you can free yourself, heal yourself, grow and learn. No-one can do it for you and anyone who says they can is a liar you need to avoid. And you have to do these things or die blind, lonely and incomplete before your time.

You’re a psychic immortal who gets precisely what you created. Only when people develop the inner divining and dowsing facilities latently inherent in all conscious beings are they able to discern truth from lies –able to actually tell the truth. You can only be free when you drop all that cultural conditioning and learn to open your inner sight. You can only decide what’s what, what to do and why when you have genuine personal insight.

Welcome to the new Aeon, a time when dangerous old myths can finally be laid to rest and healthier new legends allowed to arise from the ashes of yesterday’s ignorance.

One easy way to learn the truth is to ask two simple questions; ‘Why?’, and ‘Who Profits?’ Keep these liberating queries in mind as you progress onward…

Here’s a handy list of dangerous myths we need to lay to rest (and drive stakes through the hearts of. Repeatedly).

‘What did you do to save the world, daddy/mummy?’

Lie #1: The planet will soak up any mess humans make.

It won’t – not in any timeframe recognisable by you. We’ll all be dead before the planet is repaired and reforested unless WE go out and clean up our messes, stop the destruction of living treasures, replant entire continents of forests and weed and nourish them for generations, starting yesterday. Most brain-deprived, depraved ‘leaders’ seem to think the planet merely needs to be repaved. Don’t fall for their bandaid ‘solutions’. Opt out of death-dealing ‘civilisation’ and help start fresh societies in the green living world beyond the walls.

1b: Trees are a renewable resource. Forests will grow back if we cut them down.

They won’t. They haven’t. When the soil has washed away, the seed stock is gone and rainfall has disappeared (because forests make most of our rain, and store most of our fresh water) you’ve killed all the most interesting, nourishing and beneficial plants and animals and inherit a desert of sand, clay and rocks. It takes centuries for trees to be large enough, with large enough hollows, to support viable animal populations – including humans. Forests without animals are scrubby denuded death zones bereft of nutrients.

Idiots are still cutting down trees for money when there are better, cleaner, cheaper and totally renewable solutions for everything provided by natural forests – for everything except clean water, food and air! Somewhere near you, now, today, a forest is being felled. Help anyone who’s trying to stop them. Now.

Without global forests you’ll have no water fit to drink, no air fit to breathe and no crops to eat. The truth isn’t ‘out there’ – it’s obvious to any who actually look with unblinkered eyes.

Lie #2: Burning toxic fuels with lethal exhausts isn’t dangerous to the ecosystem or to people, and we need to keep doing it to fuel a prosperous civilisation.

It is. We don’t. If you don’t know about better technologies that are already available your head is in the sand with the in dust ‘realists’, looking for another oilfield or coal seam to vampirise. Some advanced nations are already totally fuelled by clean renewable energy. Literally hundreds of patents for new energy technologies are literally suppressed and stolen by ‘intelligence’ and ‘the military’ on behalf of ruthless killer corporations every year. Clean, free energy systems have been available for over a century and repeatedly eliminated, along with their investors (see ). One name should suffice to explain much; Nikola Tesla.

The truth isn’t ‘out there’ – it’s being actively suppressed all around you. Why? The answer is a nested series of onion skins; the Russian dolls of money, control and power wrapped round an inner core of ultimate terrified insecurity.

2b: Human-made global warming is a lie spread by some unnameable group to control our lives and make us poorer.

It isn’t. The fossil fuel power mongers have lied to you so successfully that many or most people have been convinced ecologists have some vested interest in misleading them – instead of the profiteering planet killers who make gazillions from mining and selling you toxic and unnecessary products. CO2 IS a ‘greenhouse gas’, whose levels have dictated global temperatures for billions of years.

Whether we inject enough heat into the biosphere to forestall an impending cyclic ice age or simply create a global desert, every industry that injects carbon dioxide into the biosphere is doing so as a byproduct of pumping far more deadly chemicals into your body all the time, in the interests of meaningless profit. Anyone who tells you otherwise is simply lying or ignorant.

Any time someone tells you that carbon dioxide isn’t a greenhouse gas or that manmade global warming is a lie, challenge them for some data – any real facts – and you won’t get any that aren’t constructs of half-truths, misdirecting distractions and outright lies. Humans ARE heating the planet with toxic emissions regardless of what industry shills and conspiratorial ignoramuses tell you (see ).

Time for an inconvenient and little-appreciated fact: when climate scientists tell you there will be, say, a five degree Celsius rise in global temperature they’re talking about global averages – including sea temperatures, which will hardly rise at all. A ‘five degree average rise’ means a TEN DEGREE rise – or more – on the land (outside the tropics) – where you and everything that makes it possible for you to survive actually lives. Forget drowning cities and sinking islands – all that will be left is desert and dust if we allow our ‘leaders’ to keep taking bribes from blindly competitive in dust ‘realists’.

There is no truth on the side of profiteering corporations, surprisingly enough – and the only ‘invested interest’ environmentalists have is the wish to survive and thrive. Have you heard of the Precautionary Principle? If you haven’t, google it. The truth isn’t ‘out there’, it’s simple: stop using toxic products fuelled by toxic fuels that make profits for toxic monopolies run by toxic people.

Authorised Docterds
Lie #3: We’re repeatedly informed that ‘education is liberation’. It isn’t. Learning is liberation; education swiftly becomes rote indoctrination. The most dangerous, authoritarian ignoramuses are those who stayed in school the longest. No-one with a doctorate is entirely sane. No-one who demands money in exchange for healing the sick, protecting another’s rights and freedom, repairing the ecosystem or providing education can be trusted; they know nothing of truth and are part of the problem, not the solution. Anyone who profits from another’s misery, toil or terror is actually, functionally, a heartless sociopath.

In ‘advanced’ notions today, more people die from medical errors than from any other cause. Only a few years ago docterds ensured that just about everyone in ‘developed’ notions had organs removed from their bodies ‘just in case’ something went wrong. Every child was expected to have their tonsils and adenoids (lymph glands), appendix and wisdom teeth ‘removed’, just in case their docterd couldn’t afford a flashier car or another mistress. And many an operation led to another, to correct the mistakes made in the first. It was all bullshit and almost everyone fell for it, because, like priests and lawyers, docterds claim a false monopoly on access to life and death and rule only by terror. See’s-slaves-the-e…

Today fluoridation, toxic vaccines, poisonous drugs and a host of other techniques bestow slow death and perpetual dissolution on the incredibly patient (trusting, ignorant and terrified) patient.
See and

Your health and mind are in your hands. Sawbones/surgeons can occasionally be handy in real emergencies but best avoided at all other times. Once in a while you may damage yourself so much you need some repairs, but the only actual healing is done by you, your self, your body. The placebo effect – whereby if you believe something will heal you it will, regardless of whether it has any active ingredients or not – is estimated by reputable sources as being around forty percent – that’s 40%! This means that almost half of all cures are widely accepted as being basically magical –consciousness-driven – in nature. The other sixty percent are as well.

Time for some Truths
Cui Bono? Who Profits? Who is it good for?

Truth #1: Who profits? No-one who doesn’t have another planet or two readily available profits from old style industrial societies. Yet there will always be some deluded power monger willing to kill millions – to wreck an entire planet and civilisation – so that they can have a flashier car or another mansion complex surrounded by bodyguards and electric fences.

There are always those who’ve been so successfully brainwashed they’ll actually believe that Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, the Messiah, a Redeemer, a big bearded genocidal racist asshole in the sky, his fallen foes or his mythical toady son are real – and these naïfs make fine prey for patriarchal paedophilic proselytising pederast priests. Who but the most ignorant innocents fall for such superstitious claptrap? Who but an insecure control freak with delusions of grandeur would want to interpose themselves as a middleman between you and your divine psychic heritage?

Anyone who tells you the Divine is only available through some frock wearing po-faced priest, or from some Bronze Age tome cobbled together by merciless barbaric dictators, or through some graven image or guru or savant, is lying. All who ‘worship’ some odd bod god or other fetish are simply trained to doff the forelock, kneel, bow, scrape and be subservient to a dead or deadly psychopathic control freak. Watch out, little girls! Bums to the wall, boys!

Christinanity, Islime and Moronism – to name a few – are nothing more than some of the more recent pernicious death cults focused on lies of pies in the skies at the expense of happy, healthy lives in the only real place – here and now. All other ‘great religions’ are as bad or worse. Religion is a region with a li(e) in it. But they make gigantic tax-free profits! Cui bono?

The truth is always simple. The only beliefs that are true are those that spread life, light, health and diversity – the hallmarks of true survival and wisdom. Everything else is deceptive bullshit.

If you really want to learn how to access the godhead that is the birthright and crown of all beings, all you have to do is listen to the endless programs running through the rat wheel of your mind – and transcend them. Everyone can do it if they try, but the younger and fresher you start deprogramming yourself and tuning into ‘higher’ or ‘deeper’ consciousness the better. See and if you want to learn how.

Enlightenment will always be available to any true seeker with an open mind and compassionate heart. Guides are always available if you simply search, but accept no substitute for self-gained awareness – and anyone who demands money in exchange for spreading the light of universal awareness is not a person you want anything to do with.

The Lore of the Land

Truth #2: There is no government. There is no law. There are no companies or corporations. Money does not exist. They are fables, illusions, widely accepted truisms – but they aren’t things. They don’t actually exist, except as agreements between people. They have no inherent power. They are clever pernicious illusions.

If you take a closer look you’ll discover that none of your country’s laws has a basis in any fact. In fact, you’ll find that your nation is also merely a notion, a fable agreed to by a sectional segment of some of the people; not all, or even necessarily most, but merely those who profit the most from the fable.

No ‘higher power’ or external ‘divine plan’ or government controls your life. No dog, no master. Thou art god(dess). All human-made laws are simply constructs and contracts, and none are writ in stone. The only real inherent law is the lore or karma and dharma – the ‘golden rule’: Do unto others as you’d be done by. It’s the only law and lore that works, and needs no intercessor or interpreter, no priest, monk, scholar or savant to preserve or transmit through the ages. It’s free for all, forever.

The real Law is no mystery and has no officers. It needs no prophets, liars/lawyers, judges or arbitrators. As above, so below. You are part of a giant hologram, where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and every part contains the whole. In a holographic universe where everyone shares the same consciousness, anything you do to or for anyone else is something you do to or for your self.

Don’t kid yourself that ‘good deeds for others will reap rewards’. Of course they will. But anything you do for your children, family or strangers you’re actually doing for yourself. Caring about your family more than anyone else is perfectly understandable on a mechanical, biological and genetic level – but it’s also the basis for the worst traits of humankind. Racism, genocide, slavery and most forms of discrimination are outgrowths of such ‘love’, which is actually selfish at its root. Everyone is your family.

In fact, everyone is you, and you are everyone, for thou art god(dess), recreating the manifest world from instant to moment at a level beyond and behind linguistic thought.

Abundance and Scarcity: It’s Falseconomy, Stupid!

Truth #3: Money doesn’t exist. It’s a global pyramid scam whereby only the first ones in get to the top of the pyramid – everyone else loses. We have the ability to provide everyone on the planet with enough food, water and shelter – but we don’t appear to have enough of an entirely imaginary commodity to do it with. Something is very wrong.

The ‘science’ of economics is bullshit, as any true scientist can tell you. Arbitrary rules are continually altered and no ‘economist’ can make accurate predictions based on ‘economics’. It’s just another scam to make you think ‘authorities’ know what they’re doing and can be trusted to look after your best interests. Lol.

Money is simply invented. It’s created at the flick of a keyboard. It’s all made up; simply invented by (in)vested interests with ‘interest’. When the illusion is so arranged as to make it appear the ‘economy’ is circling the drain you go down the tubes – but the banksters, monarchs and in dust realists who own actual, tangible things don’t, as we all ought to recognise. This happens regularly and repeatedly. I won’t go on – see and never take out a loan. Don’t use banks. There are plenty of alternatives.

Become as self-sufficient and live as sustainably as possible.

People are told they must pay money to inhabit a patch of the planet, and because they’ve been trained to accept a vast raft of lies by feudal societies run by hideous robber barons surrounded by gunmen they simply accept it.

People are told they must go to school and work every day to provide enough food, water, shelter and entertainment for themselves and their families. It’s a lie. That only has to happen because we’ve allowed industrious robber barons and banksters to steal everything and arrange it that way when we have a wide choice of much better possibilities. Now, at the dawn of the Third Millennium, the new industrious revolution has begun and advancing automation, nanotech and new processed like 3d printing mean that the jig is up. Full ‘employment’ is no longer possible or desirable. Now we have to provide shelter, food, water, transport and other necessities to everyone, even the rich, for free – because now, at last, we can!

If you work at any job that isn’t actively healing the planet you’re almost certainly actively destroying it. If you go into debt you’re destroying it. If you flush a toilet into a river or ocean, if you use fossil fuelled transport to and from work or to power your home (and nuclear fuels are fossil fuels, too) you’re destroying it. If you aren’t growing at least some of your own food and medicine you’re destroying it. If you leave your kids in some regimented school (or even a childcare centre) to be mindlessly raised to do and be the same as you were brainwashed into, you’re destroying it – and them.

If you’re trapped on a treadmill with no easy way out but to simply jump off and take your chances – JUMP OFF.

You’ll be so glad you did!

Competitiveness = Death Dealers

Truth #4: The ‘killer instinct’ is no instinct – it’s a result of training. Bullies and psychopaths are made, not born – and they can be unmade if you catch, restrain and retrain them early enough. Without bullying children don’t learn hate, fear and fight. Without bullies children don’t learn to be subservient. Bullies must be separated from other kids until they can be trusted among them. The same is true for adults.

The only reason to have a gun is to murder. They’re made for no other reason. They’re the coward’s long distance death dealing weapon of choice. Only people terrified of their neighbours own guns – and that, of course, terrifies their neighbours. Violence begets violence and weapons beget weapons. They’re feedback loops. Weapon ownership is always an arms race, the stupid doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction writ small for small minded loony hoons, terrified cowards and immature halfwits who like to menace others. Anyone who wants a gun – like anyone who wants a presidency – is precisely the person you don’t want to trust with one.

Allowing gun ownership in human society is just a form of collective lunacy. No popguns will save you from a modern army – or government swat team. They’ll just get you killed more quickly and assuredly. That’s the real lesson of modern history, for anyone who cares to look; don’t fall for the lies of weapon profiteers. In modern conflicts the survivors are those who successfully avoid the fighting. Save your money and save a life; you can’t have peace with a gun in your hand and it’s almost certain that no-one will aim one at you if you don’t. War or peace; you can’t serve two masters. Choose. Now.

All free societies have a fine time without weaponised populations perpetually living under a Sword of Damocles. The US, for instance, is not a free society but a corporatocracy that’s had its freedoms surgically removed since neoconmen ensured King George II stole the (p)residency. Freedom is free. How could it be otherwise? If you have to do something to defend or promote ‘freedom’, it isn’t freedom and you aren’t free. The contrary view is oxymoronic absurdity.

Flags are just coloured rags used to blindfold sacrificial lambs and enshroud their mangled bodies. Wars are always fought to enrich a few cowardly, spiteful old dorks and their trophy girlfriends hiding in some castle or penthouse. There is no honour involved in killing – it’s simply the worst form of working for The Man.

The only people who profit from wars and weapons are weapon makers, ammunition merchants, oil barons and the politicians they coerce and bribe. No-one who kills for a wage is anything but a (poorly) paid killer. This includes virtually all soldiers – not just mercenaries – and everyone who makes a profit from raising, hunting or killing animals for food.

You may have fallen for the bullshit that humans need to eat corpses to be healthy. The opposite is true. No-one (regardless of blood type or haplogroup) needs meat to survive. It’s a choice, a habit, an appetite – an addiction, nothing more.

Cattle and ‘meat animals’ are condemned to lives of pain and torture. They’re castrated, poisoned, fed garbage, corralled into cages, beaten, shocked and terrified into submission (rather like modern domesticated primates). If you saw what happens to animals before they end up in your mouth you wouldn’t touch the poisons collected at the top of the food chain and pump them through your bloodstream. Most young kids vomit the first time they’re fed eggs or meat. Ever wonder why?

Before you accept the lie that ‘vegetarians kill too – everything kills to survive’, consider that eating the fruits, vegetables and seeds of plants doesn’t kill any plant. The plant lives on, and reproduces. Just on more lie told by profiteers; one more unexamined false assumption.

If you choose to create endless unnecessary suffering by slaughtering innocent, terrified animals you deserve all that’s coming to you. Remember that ‘karma’ thing? Choose. Now.

The Road to Hell is Paved with False Assumptions

When we’re kids we all ask, “Why?” Some kids mean, “Why does it work like that?” Others are asking, “Why on Earth would people do something so stupid?”

Bereft of imagination, in dust ‘realists’ force everyone to inhabit their bland, artless, heartless concrete toilets – blocky headstones designed by award winning wannabes and built by money-mastered so called craftsmen. Chintzy malls and ugly mausoleums masquerading as a civilisation. We can do much, much better.

Everything we’ve built has foundations of clay. All our sciences, beliefs and political systems are based on antiquated false assumptions; on lies, to be absolutely clear. Truth is always in here, within, waiting to be recognised by a freshly awakening mind. It isn’t going anywhere – unlike the outmoded scams perpetuated by a dying breed of conmen and the pernicious women hiding behind their thrones.

You’d think they’d know by now – you can service two mistresses but you can’t serve two masters! Life or Mammoney: Choose! Now!

It’s beyond the scope of this little entreaty to cover all these bases in detail – but they’re all explored in more (and more) depth at this website: become one of the New Illuminati by perusing truths and subscribing via one of the many ways available @

– Welcome to the New Millennium and have a great New Aeon
R. Ayana

For more by R, Ayana see
– See ‘Older Posts’ at the end of each section


The Roads in 18th century Bristol by John Latimer
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John Latimer was a Tynesider, yet he gave Bristolians a better understanding of their city’s past than anyone who was ever born here.

It’s doubtful whether any popular local history book could have been written without his astonishing research. Latimer was born in 1824 and worked as a journalist in Newcastle, where he also produced a history book on the area.

He then moved to Bristol in 1858, as editor of the Bristol Mercury, a position he held for 25 years. But his real life work was the production of his famous Annals. The Annals were published in three volumes, covering the day-by-day history of Bristol from the seventeenth century onwards. For some reason, the nineteenth century volume was published in the 1880s, which meant a fourth volume was required to take the story up to 1900.

The great pleasure of Latimer’s Annals is the untypical mixture of dry council records, tedious debates and the usual Victorian respect for the wealthy with a sardonic sense of humour and a dash of venom, a combination which betrays the author’s newspaper origins. His verdicts on pompous councillors, brutal magistrates and hypocritical MPs are a joy, as are his hatchet jobs on Isambard Kingdom Brunel and the dreadful way the City Corporation treated the inventor of tarmac. However, wading through Latimer can be a chore, thanks to a very quirky index system, which turns inquiries into a game of guesswork.

His habit of recording everything chronologically can also be intensely irritating — to follow a long story like the setting up of the Great Western Railway or the history of the docks means referring to dozens of separate pages, reams apart from one another. But these are minor quibbles compared to the amazing depth of detail, the quirky sidelights, the anecdotes and the sheer wealth of information to be found in Latimer.

The real problem though is finding a copy. The Victorian originals fetch antique prices, and even the 1970 reprint is rapidly heading toward the £100 mark, if you can even find one. It is really very sad, for if any book on Bristol deserved to be kept in print permanently it is Latimer’s, a truly wonderful book that is as rewarding to read for the sheer pleasure, as it is for research.

No main roads were built in Britain from the end of the Roman occupation until the era of the Turnpike Trusts in the 18th century

The exclusive monopolies which the trading community, in a short-sighted and erroneous view of its true interests, sought to establish for its own profit, do not appear more reasonable when one considers the difficulties which then exists in travelling from place to place, and the consequent immobility of the poorer classes of Englishmen. An account
book of the Gore family, of Flax Bourton, shows that a public coach, one of the earliest known, was running between Bristol and London in 1663.

The journey occupied three days in summer, and probably four or five in winter.

Soon after 1700, "flying" coaches, in the summer months only, made the journey in two days by starting at two o’clock in the morning. No greater speed was attempted for upwards of half a century, for in 1764, the Bristol flying machine, setting of at the same hour, did not reach London until the night of the following day.

There were then three of those vehicles weekly, and they were the only coaches on the road. As they carried no more than six passengers each, the aggregate conveyed in the summer half-year, supposing them to have been always full, did not exceed the number often transported in an ordinary railway train. A few additional persons of the poorer class were conveyed by wagons, one of which, with a load of two tons, required seven or eight draught horses; while the maximum distance covered in a day was twenty miles. In many districts the rate of travelling was somewhat slower.

Bristolians were thus in 1700 practically as far from the county towns of Somerset and Gloucestershire as they now are from Paris, and as far from Edinburgh as they are now from California. And the perils to life and property were certainly greater on the short journeys than they now are on the long ones.

As robbers swarmed on every highway, travellers armed themselves on setting out as if they were going to battle, and a blunderbuss was as indispensable to a coachman as his whip.

Taking all these facts into account, one cannot be amazed at the stay-at-home propensities of Bristolians. But why should they have dreaded greater restlessness on the part of their neighbours, whose movements were restrained by the same causes ?

The state of the highroads, even in the richest parts of the kingdom, cannot be fully realised at the present day. Their extreme narrowness is brought to light by an Act of 1691, which required local surveyors to make highways between market towns "eight foot wide at the least," the minimum breadth for causeways for horses" being fixed at " three foot."

Narrowness, however, was not their worst fault. Nothing was more common than for a coach to stick fast in its journey, and for a dozen horses or oxen to be called in for its rescue.

The writer of " A Step to the Bath," published in 1700, stated that a portion of the London road between Marlborough and Chippenham was got over in winter by the coaches at the rate of two miles in three hours. The risk of breakdowns on all the highways may be inferred from the fact that a box of wheelwright’s tools was carried by every coach. In 1702, when Queen Anne visited Bristol, the chief road from Bath was in so found dangerous a condition
that the royal carriages had to make a detour to Kingswood by way of Newton St. Loe.

A few months later, when the Queen’s husband travelled from Windsor to Petworth, one of his attendants recorded that "the last nine miles of the way cost us six hours to conquer them," nearly every carriage in the procession being overturned at least twice. The road from Bristol to Brislington was frequently represented to the Common Council as dangerous to life. It was only seven feet wide at Temple Gate, and on one occasion Sir Abraham Elton narrowly escaped drowning near Totterdown, through his carriage encountering a coach at a point where two vehicles could not pass each other.

Other instances of the difficulty of locomotion will be given in the course of these annals.

Previous to this time the road from Bristol to Kingsweston and Shirehampton was extremely narrow and inconvenient, having been originally designed only for horse traffic.

By a subscription amongst the neighbouring landowners, the present road was laid out in the autumn of 1704, and the Corporation, " to encourage so good and useful a work," contributed £20. The new road passed close to Stoke and Elingsweston Houses, so that visitors might alight at the doors of those mansions. Some years later, at the expense of the respective owners, the highway was slightly diverted, and assumed its present lines.

The Gloucester Journal of April 27th, 1724, announced that the coaches to Bristol and Bath had begun to " fly " on the 22nd of that month, and would continue for the season to perform the journey " in one day (God permitting).” The return journey from Bath via Bristol occupied two days, and the above rate of speed southwards was found too great in the following summer, when passengers for Bath had to spend the night in Bristol, an arrangement which continued until 1763, and probably later. It does not appear that any coach travelled between Gloucester and this city during the winter months, when the traffic was abandoned to the wagons, occupying two days in the transit.

The London Evening Post of May 23rd, 1724, announced that the flying, or two days’ coaches from London to Bristol, and also the three days’ coaches to the same destination, started from " the Sarazen’s Head, Friday Street, the Flyers every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and the others every Monday and Thursday."

The two days’ coaches ran only during the summer half year, and the slower vehicles appear to have occupied four days in their journeys during the winter months. Even though their progress was so deliberate, a contemporary writer complains that the passengers " after being brought into their inns by torchlight, when it is too late to get a supper, are forced so early into their coach next morning that they can get no breakfast."

Pennant, the well-known antiquary, states in one of his works that in March, 1739, the coach from Chester to London, drawn by six good horses (helped by two extra ones where there were six), was six days on a journey of 190 miles. " We were constantly out two hours before day, and late at night."

The only mode of travelling available to the poor at this period was by stage wagons, progressing at the rate of about twenty miles a day. No early advertisement of a Bristol wagon having been found, the following is extracted from the Whitehall Evening Post of April 24th, 1725 :—” For the benefit of the distressed. In a few days (if God permits) will set out for the Bath, a large commodious waggon, which will conveniently hold 36 persons. Such weak persons as are willing to take the advantage of this conveyance are desired speedily to send in their names to Robert Knight, waggoner, at the Three Crowns in Arlington Street."

This explanation of the undoubted fact that the Bristolians of 1700 never dreamt of travelling merely for recreation or amusement. A large majority of the citizens lived and died without having lost sight for even half a dozen times of their familiar church towers.

A coach undertaking to perform the journey between Bristol and Salisbury in one day, during the summer season only, started for the first time on the 26th March, 1730.

An enterprising Bath innkeeper started, in May 1783, a "new machine, on steel springs," for the accommodation of travellers to and from Bristol. Each journey occupied three hours, and the fare was half a crown.

In consequence of the narrowness of the roadway through the city gate near Needless Bridge, by which the traffic from the Stone Bridge to Broadmead was much impeded, the Council, in August, 1765, ordered the demolition of the gate and the widening of the thoroughfare.

If travelling was slow during the eighteenth century, it was at least comparatively cheap. An advertisement in the Bristol Journal of the 13th February, 1773, intimates that a post chaise and pair of horses to Bath or Sodbury could be hired for 9 shillings, or to Wells, 11 shillings. These charges were about fifty per cent, higher than had been usual a few years earlier. In 1760 the price to Wells was half a guinea, and the average rate on level roads was then sixpence a mile in summer. The ordinary rate of travelling by post chaises was thirty miles per day.

1775 A carrier named Somerton surprised the city in October by announcing that his "flying wagons," carrying passengers and goods to London three times a week, would thence- forth accomplish the journey in forty-eight hours. Large bets were laid that the conditions would not be fulfilled, and there was much astonishment when Somerton carried out his pledge.

Owing to the severe distress which prevailed amongst the poor at this time, highway robberies were extremely frequent. One evening during the autumn, the Birmingham coach was stopped within a hundred yards of Stoke’s Croft by two footpads armed with blunderbusses, who robbed the passengers of about £5.

The carriage of Mr. and Mrs. Trevelyan was attacked in Park Street, probably by the same thieves, and the inmates were stripped of their money and a gold watch. Highwaymen swarmed on all the great roads.

A man eventually identified as John Caldwell, who kept the Ship tavern in Milk Street, and a companion robber named Edward Boulter, were so successful in their daring raids as to become for a time the terror of the western counties. Boulter had been previously sentenced to death for a robbery, but pardoned on condition of entering the army. He soon deserted from his regiment, and concealed himself in the cellar of Caldwells house, from whence he and his host, after having stolen two valuable horses near the city, sallied at intervals to prey upon travellers. Several marauding excursions, extending from Cheshire to Dorsetshire, were successful, and the plunder thus acquired was concealed in a deep hole made in Caldwell’s cellar. Early in 1778 they were arrested in Birmingham, whilst trying to convert some of their spoil into cash, and were sent to London for identification.

Boulter, however, escaped from Clerkenwell prison, and had the audacity to return to Bristol, where he was soon after recaptured. At the summer assizes at Winchester, the two men were convicted of a robbery in Hampshire, for which they were executed at Winchester. Owing to confessions made by them before death, the police authorities in Bristol made a descent upon the Milk Street tavern, still occupied by Caldwell’s wife.

The hiding place must have been difficult to find, for the "sundry expenses" of the search, paid by the Corporation, amounted to £4. At length the hoard was brought to light, and several persons recovered their stolen watches and jewellery.

The Toll Roads

The establishment of turnpike tolls, with a view to improve the wretched roads of the country, came into favour during the reign of George I. According to the ancient law of the realm, every farmer paying £80 rent was required to give the service of a wagon and team for six days yearly, to work on the roads in his parish, and the poorest country labourer or artisan was under the same obligation as regarded his own labour. These provisions, however, were often evaded, and in many districts were inadequate, and with the increase of coaching the state of the roads fell from bad to worse. In 1726, when a report was made to the Council that the roads leading to the city were "extremely ruinous", a vote of £100 was made for their repair. But it was seen that more effectual measures were necessary, and a petition was presented to Parliament in the following session praying for power to erect turnpike gates.

Evidence was given before a committee of the Commons as to the urgency of the case.

It was deposed that all the roads near the city were dangerous to passengers, and that part of the London road, and several of the highways near Sodbury and Wotton-under-Edge, were not wide enough to allow two horses, going in opposite directions, to pass each other.

A witness swore that one of his horses had been suffocated in the mud, and another that his team had been saved from a slough only by being pulled out by ropes.

The road to Bath from Temple Gate to Totterdown was still only seven feet wide. The Bill received the Royal assent in April, 1727.

It enacted that the members of Parliament for Bristol, Gloucestershire, and Somerset, the justices of the two shires, the members of the Corporation, and a great number of the local gentry should be appointed trustees for the reparation of the roads, with power to levy tolls. Wagons, etc., with six horses or oxen were to pay 1 shilling,, with four 8d., with two 4d.,and with one 2d, ; a pack horse 1d., if with coals 4d ; there were also tolls for cattle and sheep.

The limits of the trust extended from about ten to twelve miles on the chief roads out of Bristol, and the tolls were to continue for twenty-one years only. In accordance with the terms of the Act, turnpike gates were set up in order that tolls might be first collected on the 26th June. But the trustees forgot that they would have to reckon with the lawless mining population of Kingswood, roused to wrath by the charge imposed on the horses and donkeys which brought coal into the city.

The Ungovernable Kingswood Colliers

The colliers assembled in great numbers and pulled down all the gates, burning some, and throwing one barrier into the River Avon. The mayor’s letter to the Government, dated the 28th, and detailing the proceedings, is amongst the State Papers.

His worship wrote : — " They are a set of ungovernable people, regardless of consequences. They extort money of people as they pass along the road, and treat them very rudely unless they give them some. They have passed through this city with clubs and staves in a noisy manner, but committed no violence here. I am persuaded, had any
opposition been made, the consequences would have been fatal."

Some of the gates were again erected, only to be demolished in a few hours, and the colliers would let no coal to enter the city. The price of fuel, ordinarily sold at 1s. a horseload, having risen to 2s. 3d., the Council, on the 28th, ordered off messengers to " Swazey, (Swansea), to buy coal on account of the Chamber " for the use of the citizens, which turned out a somewhat costly procedure, for the Kingswood men returned to work, and the Welsh coal, when it arrived, had to be sold at a loss of £215, exclusive of £40. worth of wine sent to the Customs Collector at " Swanzy " for his services. The turnpike trustees, supposing the disturbances at an end, had the toll-gates reconstructed; but the colliers again rose, and burnt the gate " near Durdham Down." Further outrages were prevented by a body of soldiers, who captured four of the rioters, and the gate was restored.

But on the night after the troops had embarked for Ireland, all the gates were again demolished by men disguised in women’s clothes and wearing high-crowned hats.

To complete the joy of the mischief makers, the four men committed to prison had to be released. Parliament having omitted to impose any penalty upon assailants of turnpikes.

After vainly struggling to perform their functions, the trustees asked for further legislative powers in 1730, stating that through their inability to borrow money, the roads remained wholly unimproved. It was hoped that by allowing animals carrying coal to pass toll free, no further difficulty would be encountered, but the remission had little effect.

In the State Papers is a letter from Sir W. Codrington to the Duke of Newcastle, dated July 14th, 1731, stating that the house of Mr. Blathwaite, of Dyrham, who had made himself obnoxious by attempting to defend the turnpikes, had been attacked by 400 colliers, who threatened to demolish it. The writer rode to the spot with twenty of his tenants and servants, but he was forced to release four of the rioters previously captured, and to give the rest a hogshead of ale, before they would depart. Nearly all the gates were then down.

The following is highly significant : — " I am afraid, my lord, these wretches would never have been so impudent if they had not been prompted by men of some fortune and figure; and we have been informed that two or three bailiffs, as we call them, to some gentlemen, were seen to be drinking with the colliers the evening before they were at Mr. Blath waiters."A week later, in a letter dated from Bristol, Sir William reports that " the insolence of the rioters are greater than ever, they having cut down some of the gates even at noon day, and are now collecting money of travellers where the gates stood.

The remaining part of the inhabited turnpike house at Yate was burnt down last night."

Troops were sent to Bristol, but inspired no terror amongst the rioters, who continued to defy the law. The destructive spirit of the Kingswood men was singularly manifested in the following year, when a large body marched to Chippenham, and demolished the turnpike gate at Ford, near that town (London Journal Sept. 23rd). Two years later, June, 1734, every gate between Bristol and Gloucester was destroyed by armed bands. In August, 1735, Sir William Codrington informed the Duke of Newcastle that the colliers still held the roads, sometimes extorting 60 shillings, in a single day, and that if the Government would not render more help, "God knows how it may end"

He added that a bailiff named Prichet, at Westerleigh, was "at the bottom of the whole affair.

"To complete the chaos, the rural trustees quarrelled with those representing Bristol; and Oldmixon, writing in 1738, asserted that " the roads, as bad as most in England, remain unrepaired to this day".

Four years later, Ralph Allen, of Bath, in giving evidence on behalf of a local turnpike Bill, deposed that the Bristol Acts were still inoperative, "by reason the colliers have pulled down, and do constantly pull down, the turnpikes."

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