Friday, June 17, 2005

Ireland's Farmer in White

Eccentrics operate in all shapes and sizes . . . and attires. In the latter category was one Robert Cook, a farmer in Cappoquin, County Waterford, at the turn of the 17th Century. Cook was in his 80s when he died in 1726, and no one was surprised at his instruction that he be wrapped for burial in a white cloth.

You see, Cook had lived his entire life dressed in white. Everything from his dress coats to his underwear -- even his hats -- had to be white. He insisted on “linen and other vegetatives for raiment.”

Cook was a vegetarian who not only refused to eat animal flesh but refused to kill animals, even farm predators. When a fox was caught raiding his chicken yard, Cook “punished” it with a stern lecture.

Such an individual surely deserved a nickname, and his neighbors obliged. “Linen Cook,” they called him.


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