This is a piece we wrote last year for Ross Wittenham‘s fantastic blog, History Mine – please go and check it out for gems such as Anne Boleyn is my Spirit Animal and Night at the (British) Museum: fact and fantasy!
‘Just because you have a slick job in the city today doesn’t mean you would’ve been a high flyer a few centuries ago. Maybe you did get lucky and were a man at court, but it’s more likely that you drew the short straw and were either a farmer, chimney sweep, leather tanner, plague burier or, god forbid, a leech collector.
But what if we did a Blazin’ Squad and ‘flip reversed’ it; have you ever wondered what the giants of history would be doing if they stepped into our 21st century world? Let’s take a look…
Ever wondered what Oliver Cromwell would be doing today?
He’s a man you love to hate or hate to love; the marmite of the English Civil War, and as such he would no doubt take on a similar role in society today. Cromwell was always a man of government before his military career took off, and as such this talented statesman would return to the field he knew best. But with a Cambridge education Cromwell is no fool. After you’ve been posthumously hanged by disgruntled monarchists you would be quite content to retire to a job in the shadows as the nation’s tax man.
Ever wondered what Pocahontas would be doing today?
Pocahontas managed to build relations between the tribal nations and colonial settlement in Virginia through her sympathies to Englishman John Smith. During her captivity she was forced to embrace other cultures and was even presented to English society as an example of the civilized ‘savage’ in hopes of stimulating investment in the Jamestown settlement – she must have been one brave and courageous woman! For a native tribeswoman to hold such sympathies towards foreigners settling on your land is quite remarkable, and therefore, there is no doubt Pocahontas would continue to maintain international peace as an ambassador of the United Nations.
Ever wondered what Catherine Parr would be doing today?
As the last surviving wife of Henry VIII, there is no doubt this woman recognised when it was time to act and when it was time to just shut up! She certainly knew what it took to not make a hat trick out of Henry’s penchant for headless wives. During her time on the throne Catherine demonstrated her intelligence, influence and skill for diplomacy by initiating the Third Succession Act and being appointed as Regent when Henry was on a military campaign in France. She even managed to find time to publish books, becoming the first queen ever to do so!
With a First Lady’s passion for charity and wellbeing, in a country strong on religion, there is no doubt this role would have suited Catherine to a T!
And finally, what would Lucrezia Borgia be up to…
Even though she knew her own mind, there is no doubt Lucrezia was used as a pawn in the Borgia game to keep hold of the Popery. Being exposed to such a corrupt world the first time round would make Lucrezia want to break free of her ties and do whatever she wanted. The only people to figuratively ‘get away with murder’ these days are celebrities, and as a real beauty Lucrezia would have definitely followed suit. Nobody does it better than a certain twerk-happy pop princess!’