Explosive History…

We’ve told a little bit of the story around the wood we use for our new shaving brush and bowl: in particular, how they're hand turned in timber from a tree planted in 1710 on the Boughton estate in the Midlands. But the deeper we dig into the history of the estate, the more fascinating it gets. Here are a few facts about the estate where your shaving bowl and brush started life...

The spot where the tree came down overlooks some of the lakes

The spot where the tree came down overlooks some of the lakes


Your Bowl and Brush Belong in a Museum


The Second Duke of Montague was in charge of building the Boughton estate as it is today. It was under his direction that the horse chestnut we’re using was first planted, shortly after his Grand Tour (aristocratic Stuart inter-railing) and marriage.

As well as planting our brilliant tree, which came down naturally last winter, he also began the tradition of holding national collections of British art and artifacts at Montague House in London. You may have heard of Montague House by its new name – since 1759 it’s been called the British Museum.

 
Nigel bringing out some of our timber

Nigel bringing out some of our timber

 
 

Guy Fawkes Night Started at Boughton

 

The great-grandfather of our friend the Second Duke was the First Baron Montagu of Boughton. As well as nearly getting into rather a lot of trouble for being Catholic in a Protestant country, he was famous for being the chap who started Fireworks Night in England.

For our friends outside of England, Bonfire Night (aka Fireworks Night and Guy Fawkes Night... keep up...) happens on the 5th of November every year and involves Brits lighting big fires, setting off fireworks, drinking too much mulled wine and using 4 century old treason as an excuse to celebrate. After all it's awfully cold and Christmas is ages away...

Back to Edward Mantagu - shortly after the gunpowder plot was found out he introduced an act to Parliament that started our tradition of annual commeration of a failed plan to murder the king. Bonfire night had already been going a century when our tree was planted. Imagine that...

Rushton Triangular Lodge - the brilliant English Heritage ticket sales office lady here pointed us towards most of these facts... cudos to her!

Rushton Triangular Lodge - the brilliant English Heritage ticket sales office lady here pointed us towards most of these facts... cudos to her!

 

Reasons to be Less Miserable

 

Finally, a bit of slightly more modern history. Boughton House, it transpires, was the location of some of the filming for Les Miserables. Eddie Redmayne's character, Marius Pontmercy, calls Boughton his home - which sort of makes sense as the hosue was originally built to resemble the palace at Versailles.

Interestingly our timber pre-dates the French revolution by a lifetime - not that it's a competition. But if it was, our timber would win. Regardless, this gives me a compelling reason to re-watch Les Mis – I’m particularly interested in whether our old horse chestnut features…

 

Our bowl and brush, on the right, are available now for pre-order.

Our bowl and brush, on the right, are available now for pre-order.


Visit the Kickstarter for more information about the history of the bowl and brush. If you’ve any more history of the area you’d like to share, please get in touch!

Thomas ClipperComment