D'ye Kill John Peel

I recently called at the grave of John Peel, the subject of the famous tune and hunting song D'ye ken John Peel. It is found in the grounds of the attractive Caldbeck Parish Church, though it is not clear why the fellow became so famous at a time when hunting was common and most gentlefolk proficient therein. He was a fairly unpleasant sounding character on a personal level, and I dare say the foxes thought even less of him. He was known to go hunting not far from Salem Chapel, alighting the train at Chatburn. The Hark to Bounty inn at Slaidburn may refer to his hunting exploits, like other Lancashire pubs.

The man who hunted so famously the foxes of Lancashire, Yorkshire and Cumberland was himself hunted down. Death stalks each one of us, and afore long, it goes for the kill, we being too tired to fight off its final blow. Peel now lies a mouldering in the ground, his sporting days over. Worldlings flee death as though they can evade its inevitable victory. We Christians long for it, for our Saviour defeated it:

"The Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know…that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor's stead, the Stone Table would crack and Death itself would start working backward."

-Aslan, The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, 1950.