Today as I returned to my Hobson (Hopson) research, I ran across a note I scribbled to myself months ago–to search for info on Thomas Hobson. Not that my line in Old Virginia leads back to Thomas of Cambridge but merely as a matter of curiosity. After all, poet John Milton satirized Thomas multiple times in ‘mock epitaphs’!
Actually, my interest in Thomas and his Choice may have something to do with my constant blogging on Politics through the excellent lens of Astrology and the recent Inauguration of Donald Trump for my eye was caught by Thomas Hobson‘s innovative business model which inspired the label “Hobson’s Choice” to be coined after his demise. For US presidential elections are known for that ‘lesser of two evils’ feeling most voters have when facing two candicates who, no matter the ‘new boss’ victor, will only continue implementing the same Big Picture agenda as the president before. Of course, this makes a mockery of our often-touted ‘peaceful passing of the baton’ phenomenon since our two choices are really only one choice thanks to shadowy enablers who always back both sides of any issue or election, the better to control outcomes. To me this resembles a Hobson’s Choice–“this one or none,” aka, take it or leave it (aka, stay home, don’t bother voting at all).
During the lifetime of Thomas Hobson the phrase refers to his livery stable where he rented horses and where the fastest, most popular of them needed to rest between trips so the ‘next horse in line’ only was offered to a customer for rent, or the customer could choose to walk instead. or find other arrangements.
And yet, Thomas’ reputation as a miser is undeserved and if you’re curious (and/or have Hobson ancestry of your own!) you may wish to read about him on his Wikipedia page, his portrait included:
Thomas Hobson where you’ll find that he purchased the Anglesey Priory in 1625 and turned it into a country house called Anglesey Abbey which now belongs to Britain’s National Trust. Located 5 1/2 miles north of Cambridge in Lode, here’s a view–take it or leave it!
Anglesey Abbey, viewed from the south; 21 October 2006; 13:18:21; own work James.stringer; file licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported