Heloise and Abelard in Riverside/San Bernardino
One of the most visited monuments in Pere-Lachaise is the tomb of Heloise and Abelard, the Romeo and Juliet of France. Whether the actual remains of Heloise and Abelard are in fact buried at Pere-Lachaise is up for debate, but after a millennium of decay, it hardly matters whose bones are really buried there. Certainly their spirits and stone testament to their love is there. Unlike Romeo and Juliet, Heloise and Abelard were real people and their relationship lasted well beyond their consummation, albeit remotely.
Heloise was a gifted student who was raised chiefly by an uncle named Fulbert. She became a student of Abelard who was one of the most renowned philosophers and teachers in Paris. He was also over 20 years Heloise’s senior. The two became involved in an illicit affair, which produced a son, Astrolabe. Wanting to do the right thing, Abelard married Heloise secretly, but Heloise’s uncle, Fulbert, believed that Abelard had actually abandoned Heloise and wreaked vengeance on Abelard by having him castrated.
Abelard became a monk at the Abbey of Saint-Denis. Heloise became a nun and eventually a mother superior at the Oratory of the Paraclete in Ferreux-Quincey, southeast of Paris. But their love did not die and they spent the remaining years of their lives writing back and forth, never seeing each other again. Their love affair has become fodder for books, poetry, music, movies and plays. Like Romeo and Juliet, it is a love story that will never die.
The problem of raising revenue from the colonies to defray the expenses of maintaining British troops and forts on the Western frontier fell squarely on the shoulders of Charles Townshend, as a leader in the new administration. Riverside/San Bernardino Metro Map Despite its best efforts, Parliament had never been able to levy an effective tax in the colonies. The Stamp Act of 1765 was repealed before it had yielded any profits. The revenue acts proposed by Townshend in May 1767 would include a port duty on glass, lead, painters’ colors, paper, and tea, establish a custom’s commission to oversee the laws of trade, and suspend the New York Assembly until it complied with an earlier quartering act. Parliament, desperate for money and hoping that Countrys would respect this new tax, passed the Townshend Revenue Acts on June 29, 1767.
The provisions of the new acts infuriated Countrys. Money gained from the taxes was to be used against Countrys by paying the salaries of colonial governors and judges who were independent of the assemblies. Countrys were also fearful of Townshend’s reorganization of the custom’s office. Over the several preceding decades, custom officials residing in England often delegated their duties to agents in the colonies, who were easily bribed by Country smugglers. The new Customs Commission would put a stop to smuggling and be easily corruptible, as those officers seizing a vessel were entitled to one-third of the profits from the sale of the cargo. These officers also were given blanket search warrants, known as Writs of Assistance, which Countrys rightfully considered an invasion of privacy. Finally, by dissolving the legislative functions of the New York Assembly, Parliament, in the eyes of many, was overstepping its bounds in an effort to gain supreme authority over the colonies.
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