Updated: Apr 14, 2022
Who (or what) was Gogmagog?
You may well ask.
Well I shall tell you, for Gogmagog features in a little tale of Cornwall and Cornovia.
Legend has it (and who doesn't love a legend) that Gog Magog (or Gogmagog - actually I prefer Gogmagog as it sort of runs of the tongue a bit better - you try! ... ). Anway, Gogmamog was the last of the great Giants and he inhabited the west of Albion (basically England- ish, I think it may have included Wales as well, but then the Welsh would say that ...) In any event, Gogmagog met a terrible end at the hands of the mighty and brave warrior Corineus who, rather unceremoniously, chucked him over a cliff somewhere near Totnes in Devon. What they were doing near Totnes is anyone's guess.
Anyhoo! .... the importance of this little tale is that Brutus, who was Corineus's companion (and possibly boss) was so pleased with Corineus for finally ridding the country of giants (who wouldn't be) that he gave him a piece of land and it was thereafter named Corineus. That piece of land called Corineus over time became known to be Cornovia and then eventually, you guessed it, Cornwall! So you see, the story of Gogmagog and his demise is very much part of the roots and deep dwellings of Cornish history - and we all love a bit of history. Well, actually I do. In fact, remind me to do a blog about 'Digging Up Britain' at some point. I'm a late discoverer - it's great! Back to my story ....
There happens to be a certain Chough, (which is the national bird of Cornwall for those that don't know) who, when he was but a Choughling, which is a highly regarded ornathological term for a young chough, (anything up to a teenage chough), and had fairly recently hatched with his brothers and sisters from their twiggy nest high up on the cliffs above Kynance Cove in the far, far west of Cornwall , had one day embarked upon a 'play fight' with a younger (and lighter) brother and quite by accident hurled his younger (and lighter) brother from the cliff edge. This would have most certainly led to a gory and untimely death on the rocks below had not the younger (and lighter) brother only just the Tuesday beforehand learned to fly! and he miraculously escaped hurtling to danger by swooping out of harm's way like a fighter jet practicing in Snowdonia. The unintentional and considerably relieved victor of the battle was thereupon immediately and forever thereafter named and known by his parents as ‘Corineus‘. (It happened that both parents were exceptionally well read and could recite most of Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of Britain (1136)). Anyway, after this dramatic event Corineus went on to do great things and was knighted for bravery shortly after his 2nd birthday and and is now known as Syr Corineus of Kynance (or Syr. C. for short). (If one were to maybe (over) analyse the path of his young life as it transpired, it might be quite easy (and you could be forgiven) for making the assumption that the heavy burden of guilt that the young Chough shoulders had to bear after hurling his sibling to a potentially untimely death, was probably responsible for the young Corineus joining the army and proving himself.
In any case, we think he's quite the legend and we were understandably thrilled when he agreed to sit for a portrait! He has since admitted that he regrets having been in a bit of a hurry and not having the foresight to wear more suitable footwear - in his defence, (he says) he had popped in on his way for a morning walk across a rather wet and boggy moor.
We happen to like his red boots nonetheless.
Thanks for reading.
12th day of April
(for the observant amongst you, we flipped the picture so Emily the Artist's name is now in gobbledegook) - bottom rh)