Monday, December 3, 2012

Roger Williams Code is Cracked!

Paul Harvey tells us about it here.

So I guess Leo Strauss was right about dissidents needing to send esoteric messages.


jimmiraybob said...

Anything about the world ending on December 21?

JMS said...

Thanks Jon for the post/link. Very intriguing. I can't wait to read about the contents of these coded messages.

In his recent book about Roger Williams, John Barry noted (p. 23) that Williams first came to Sir Edward Coke's attention at age thirteen taking shorthand (which was taught to the better students in London's grammar schools since 1588 according to Barry).

After graduating from Cambridge, Williams could not get a church post due to Archbishop Laud's crackdown. So, wealthy Puritans, like the Mashams in Essex, hired family chaplains. Coke, Masham and Masham's father-in-law (Barrington) were connected via their legal practices and their parliamentary politics.

Here's a possible connection with the newly "cracked" code. Barry notes that Williams "quickly took over a key if minor role" as a letter-carrier between these men who were "worried that their letters 'should come to other hands'." (p. 74) They trusted Williams who "became their messenger and carried not only their letters but his own reports - back and forth between London and Essex."

All of this is happening under the suspicious eye of Laud. Perhaps this was the impetus for Williams to devise a secret code "for his own reports."