English Soldiers defeated by french troops:

I regret to inform Your Majesty of our miserable defeat in Scotland.The bishops do demand Your Majesty's removal. Defiance afoot in every quarter.


It's hard to understand this phrase for several reasons.

First, it's missing its verb because it's written in an abbreviated style for efficiency. It's a short message meant to quickly communicate information without including anything extra or unnecessary. The writer assumes that the reader will understand that the verb is 'is', so they don't bother to write it.

Defiance is afoot in every quarter

Secondly, the words and style are archaic. It's written in English from the 18th or early 19th century. 'Afoot' means 'going on' or 'happening'. A 'quarter' is a geographic area, like a district or neighborhood. 'Every quarter' means 'everywhere' or 'all over the place'. 'Your majesty's removal' in this case is referring to the army leaving the country, because the army represents the King or Queen. The word 'defiance' is not uncommon in modern English but wouldn't normally be used in this context. Here it means political resistance or rebellion.

So the message is saying that the army has been defeated and people everywhere are expressing political resistance to the sovereign, so the bishops want the army to go home.


There are rebellions all over the country.

afoot - in the process of development, under way: something out of the ordinary was afoot

quarter - a person or group of people or an area in which people live: Concern has been expressed in many quarters.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .