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Let us talk about the Cinque Ports

The Cinque Ports are a confederation of towns along the Southeast coast of England, mostly in Sussex and Kent. As an official body, they pre-date the Norman Conquest and are mentioned in the Domesday Book (though not by name) and (by name) in the Magna Carta. It’s super old is what I’m saying.

Their original purpose was to provide ships to the king – between them they were to provide X number of ships for X days in service to the crown every year. They bill themselves the Cradle of the Royal Navy.

Everyone from the Corded Ware People to William the Conquerer to Napoleon to Hitler has tried to enter Britain from this area closest to the continent, so it makes sense to keep it on a warlike footing.

The original Cinque Ports (West to East) were Hastings, New Romney, Hythe, Dover and Sandwich. In the Twelfth Century, they wanted to add the towns of Winchelsea and Rye, but that would really mess up the name. So those two aren’t called Ports, they’re called Ancient Towns, sometimes spelled Antient. It’s that way on some of the signposts. Which is very cool.

Then the Ports and Ancient Towns wanted to include some of their neighboring towns, so those became Limbs or Members. At its biggest, there 40 towns in the whole organisation. Today there are 14 towns in the Confederation of Cinque Ports, and we don’t actually live in one.

By the way, it’s pronounced SINK, not SANK as the French would have it, because screw the French is why.


Comment from Armybrat
Time: May 2, 2023, 3:10 pm

Apparently Eric Clapton is no longer among us. I didn’t see that anybody had him in the dead pool.

Comment from Drew458
Time: May 2, 2023, 4:18 pm

Too bad they didn’t have six town. I’m sure that being one of the original sextports would have been good for business. And the limerick folks would have had lots of fun with it too.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 2, 2023, 4:26 pm

Where did you see that, Armybrat? Twitter doesn’t have it yet, and they’re usually first.

Comment from BJM
Time: May 2, 2023, 4:56 pm

I love how the English create an entity then find ways to enlarge the scope without changing the name. It does create some interesting signage, and perplexes the beejesus of out of Muricans…a side bennie…cuz we like all the unusual place names and history shit.

Comment from BJM
Time: May 2, 2023, 5:03 pm

The socials are reporting that Celine Dion has passed…but nothing on her socials… I hope so the poor woman was dying by the inches…she really packed a charmed life into her 55 years.

Comment from BJM
Time: May 2, 2023, 5:11 pm

To make it perfectly clear, I cannot find an official announcement so I’m going for it..I picked her in the Dead Pool.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 2, 2023, 5:36 pm

Gordon Lightfoot died yesterday. Now I have the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald stuck in my head. Well, just the part about the “big lake they call Gitchee Gumee.”

Comment from BJM
Time: May 2, 2023, 5:51 pm


Oh noes…so many favorites…he sure could spin a tale..or cast a spell.

Just like an old time movie
‘Bout a ghost from a wishing well
In a castle dark or a fortress strong…

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 2, 2023, 6:10 pm

Still not seeing Clapton or Dion on the Twitters.

I bought myself a blue check for the month of May to see what it’s like, but it hasn’t appeared yet. I’m going to look really stupid if it doesn’t turn up inside a month.

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: May 3, 2023, 12:42 am

Anyone else heard the joke “Greatest hits” of Gordon Lightfoot playing “Stairway to Heaven” but substituting the lyrics with “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”.

It works nicely for the first verse.

“Sink” doesn’t sound like something you want to associate with the Royal Rent-a-fleet, no?

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