PLATE # 46

[To view larger plate image - click on picture]

In this image we see the following for consideration:

What the image on plate 46 represents is BABYLON, as in the TOWER OF BABEL. Since the artist was a Roman Catholic who is telling the story, the Babylon here would be the mystery Babylon of which the book of Revelation refers. The artist-story teller wants us to know that this mystery Babylon should be destroyed, or will be destroyed by fire. Since most of the plate images deal with the church and the popes, it is they who represent this Babylon.

This book is telling about past events, not events to occur 400-600 years into the future from the time these images were done.
TOWER TAROT CARD: Tarot playing cards first entered Europe in the late 14th century [the 1300's - possibly within 100 years of the Clifford's Tower massacre] with the Mamelukes of Persia. The 'tower' card featuring a burning tower [one card out of 78 cards in the set] has just been hit by lightning and is all aflame. The top of the tower is crumbling and falling to the ground beneath. In some decks, two figures fall from the top of the tower, in others people themselves are on the ground in flames or are themselves hit by the lightning. Sometimes they are simply onlookers to the fire.The Tower (XVI) is the sixteenth trump or Major Arcana card in most traditional Tarot decks. It is used in game playing as well as in divination.
A trump is a card which is elevated above its rightful rank.
Possibly this card was chosen to represent the massacre of 1190 at York, England.
The remnants of Clifford's Tower, where the massacre at York England in the year 1190 CE took place. The site of Clifford's Tower, the keep of York's medieval castle, still bears witness to the most horrifying event in the history of English Jewry. On the night of March 16, 1190, the feast of Shabbat ha-Gadol, the small Jewish community of York was gathered together for protection inside the tower. Rather than perish at the hands of the violent mob that awaited them outside, many of the Jews took their own lives; others died in the flames they had lit and those who finally surrendered were massacred and murdered. Understandably, this appalling event has become the most notorious example of antisemitism in medieval England. Yet, it was by no means an isolated incident, but rather the culmination of a tide of violent feeling which swept the country in the early part of 1190.
Source: Medieval History

A burning castle tower is also used in Heraldry, especially in Dublin, Ireland. The castle of Dublin first appears in the 13th century seal of the city. On the seal, Dublin is clearly under siege, from the central tower two sentries sound the alarm, while on each flanking tower stands an archer with a cross-bow. It may depict the readiness of the citizens, not an actual siege. Later, the single tower was replaced by three different castles, the small figures were replaced by flames from the towers. In modern times, the fire is said to indicate the zeal of the citizens in defense of the city.