Changing The World??

Gerrard Mercator

Gerrard Mercator

In March 1512, on the plains of Flanders, Belgium, perhaps better known more recently to us as the scene of the tragic battles of the Somme and Passchedale in the Great War of 1914-18, Henrietta and Glibert Kemer were blessed with the birth of their 7th child,a son called Gerrard.

Times were hard for the peasant family, the population was soaring, space and land limited, a new term had emerged to describe their class, ‘Robbotten’ meaning a slave, laborer, a sweat…

a Robot…

Gerrard’s life was by no means easy, he survived wars, famine, plague and at one time imprisonment by the inquisition.

Yet the 16th century is known as ‘the age of discovery’. Gerard grew up with tales of daring voyages to new and abundant lands. The existence of a 4th continent promising riches beyond belief was common knowledge.

The recent invention of the printing press made possible broad sheets. Printed accounts, with woodcut drawings for the illiterate, about voyages of, among others, Christoper Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci.

These broadsheets were circulated along the thriving trade conduits of the rivers in Flanders.Trade and thus information came from all over the known world…