“Black Joan of the Dolphin” (Experimental Fiction — Deep Total 1st Person)

July 2, 2016 in Hampton Y Court, Historical Fiction, The Tudor Thomases by Beth von Staats

Artwork by Susan Santiago

Artwork by Susan Santiago


“In the midst of life we are in death, earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust, in sure and certain hope of the Resurrection.”

~~~ Thomas Cranmer, The Book of Common Prayer


Joan Cranmer: For weeks now, I languish in this pitiful chamber. The walls, I do swear, they are closing me in. The window wide ajar, no air comes of it. My back aching, my belly bulging, my legs swollen, my lungs pushed small, the summer heat stifling, my nightgown glued to me with sweat, no comfort eases me. Bored, I yearn for company, yearn for Thomas, yearn for his lessons. I am desperate to learn to read, learn the scriptures, learn all the Greek scholars, learn of Erasmus, Aristotle, all the things rummaging in his mind — anything, just anything to pass the time. Day by day, the room gets smaller, the air staler, the bed harder, the candles dimmer… closing me in, closing me in, closing me in tight. Wide awake, unable to settle myself, distracted by his snoring, again I can’t sleep. All I want to do is sleep, Lord. I beg for respite. Can’t You just grant me that? I try to rise from bed to at least catch a breeze by the window, but it’s no use. For the last fortnight, Thomas has helped me in and out of our bed, and up from my favorite soft chair. God, please, I beg you. Bring this babe to us soon.

I look at my husband, and I’m angry. He did this to me. Yes, he calls himself a religious scholar, but he did this to me. What kind of man does this to a woman? Thomas, that’s who. How dare he sleep while I am so pitiful? Look at him, so peaceful, deep in dreams of God knows what, snoring like a sleeping sow. How dare he? How dare he? I look again, and guilt suddenly consumes me. Thomas is a good man, a gentle man. My God he is beautiful, just beautiful. I fill with love for him, this Godly man who will never be a priest. No longer the clergy’s, no longer the pilgrims’, no longer even God’s, he is mine, and I need not share him.  I nudge his shoulder. “Thomas?” I nudge him a little harder, and yet once again. “Thomas?!” Heavens is the man deaf?  ”THOMAS?!!…  THOMAS?!!”

Thomas Cranmer: Startled, stunned, I awaken, sit up straight, groggy, a tad dazed. Oh my… oh my… I shake the sleep out of my head. It must be time. ”Joan, shall I rush for the midwife?” My wife, she has been with child since the birth of Eve from Adam’s rib. It must be time.

Joan Cranmer: Men are daft. Soothingly, as I see his panic, I say simply. “No, not yet. Just help me out of bed, love.”

Thomas Cranmer: Joan woke me from the dead to help her out of bed? Even the birds sleep soundly. Why can’t she? “Yes, Joan. Of course, dear woman.” I rise, stagger to her side of things, and help her to sit up, move her body gently over the side, and raise her gently upward. Oh my, as my wife stands, I look to her belly. It’s huge and dropped low, so low I believe the babe will drop from it right now, on to the straw, just like that. Now what is that sound? What? I look down, my eyes wide as the moon is full. The ocean’s currents lay on the floor before me.

Joan Cranmer: “Thomas, I think I just passed the babe’s water.” I look to him and smile. “Do rise the midwife. I think it’s time.”


Thomas Cranmer: All was planned since I was a babe in the cradle. As the second son, there would be no inherited title. As the second son, there would be no worldly goods passed from one generation to the next. As the second son, there would be no advantageously arranged marriage. So, as the second son, I would enter the clergy. Ordained from the womb, I knew my role in life. I accepted it. I welcomed it. I cherished it. I embraced it. At Cambridge twelve terms, I finally mastered it, finally was awarded a fellowship, finally grown in my knowledge and studies to begin doctoral work. Once completed, my family’s hopes, prayers and expectations — and my destiny — would be fulfilled, ordination into the priesthood. I was on my way. I could taste it. I could smell it. As I read the scriptures, Erasmus and Aristotle, I could see. I could touch it. Why am I here with all these rowdy men and barmaids at the Dolphin Inn then? Why do I nervously sit at a back table with the owner drinking stale ale? And why am I a lowly ostler shoveling horse dung, you ask? Well, my world changed on the flip of a crown. On cool autumn day I met her, the exquisitely blonde Joan Black — and now, here through the day and night, then day and now night again, I sit in stunned silence, frozen in fear.

Henry Black: A rowdy night, the revelers carry on, ale pouring freely, the barmaids entertaining the menfolk.  The singing, the merriment, the noise bounce off the large wooden ceiling beams, and bounce back along the long wooden tables, ring stained from reveler’s past. New straw Thomas needs toss upon the flooring, I note as I pick off a few pesky fleas.  Farthings fill the coffers, though, so ’tis a good night for mine taxes and tithes.  I look to poor Thomas, and he worries so. In truth, so do I. My wife long dead from child bed, this is taking too long, much too long. Lord God, I pray, don’t take my daughter, too.

“Thomas? Thomas? Have some more ale, lad. It will take the edge off.”

I motion over the men’s favorite wench, and as she pours the ale, her breasts spill before us.  I force a wide smile and nod. “Thomas, all will be fine lad. ‘Tis a first babe, so long we wait.”

I pause, and he looks at me, nods politely and says nothing, drinking the ale down in one long swig. There be thoughts, though, filling that head of his. There always be. That lad always be thinking, always be reading, always be writing on his books, all over the pages yet. I told Thomas once, “Don’t be doing that. How can you sell the thing once done?” He looked at me odd-like and said, “I never sell my books. They are part of me, like an arm, like a leg, like my heart, like my soul.” For a smart young man, he sure be daft.

“Thomas, pray tell me what is on your mind, lad? Let it out before it spills out your ears, before it spills out and asunder like Pandora’s Box.”

Thomas Cranmer: Should I tell him? There are no priests to confess to, and this man is gentle spirited and forgiving, so maybe so. I swallow hard. “When I became a father, I thought it would be to celebrate the Eucharist, hear confessions, counsel the downtrodden, christen infants, marry lovers and bury the dead. I misunderstood God’s will all these many years. He wants me to marry a wife, father children, raise them well. How could I not know? I am unprepared. I studied not for this.”

Henry Black: I laugh. “There be many Godly men who are not priests, Thomas. Look no farther than our glorious king. His Majesty is godly, a husband, and now a father. God will soon give us an heir by the Spanish queen, and a new king will carry on his glorious reign. What say you?” Smiling I chide before he can answer, “You be smart, but God needs to show you His will, as you are stubborn like the goats in the barn — and He did.”

Thomas Cranmer: I smile. This man humors me so. “All I know is scriptures. The church welcomes not a married man.”

Henry Black: I see now. The lad worries of livelihood. Reassuring I reply, “You tutor the school boys, and I will tutor you, Thomas. Look around lad. Once God calls me, all this be yours and Joan’s. I willed it.”

Thomas Cranmer: Christendom just lifted from my shoulders. “Thank you, good man.” We smile and rise our goblets in toast.

Oh my God in heaven, a crashing shriek cuts through the loud reveling and festivities, cuts straight to my very core. A woman’s voice cries out pathetically, “Noooooooooooooooo, nooooooooooo God!”

No man can stop me, though several try. I run up to the stairs, and head straight to our chambers. Oh Lord, the women are crying. I try to open the door, and it’s bolted, locked tight. I start banging on in, again, again. “Let me in! Damn it, let me in!” I begin slamming the side of my body against the door to try and force it, beginning to crack the threshold. As I try once again, knowing success is one jarring jolt away, Joan’s father and three other men, God knows who, I care not, hold me back.

He says gently, “Not yet, Thomas. Not yet.”

I look to him, tears streaming, both of us. I say meekly, “No baby cries, but women do.”

I drop down to the floor, huddled, waiting, Joan’s father beside me, helpless. God, please don’t foresake us, not now.

As I sit quietly, waiting… waiting… waiting, hoping, praying, my mind is filled with her, my whole body and soul consumed by her. “Yes, Lord, I fell fast. I fell hard. I’m in deep. Joan’s blonde hair flows long and glistens in the sunlight. Her blue, then green, then blue and green as one eyes look deep, straight through to my soul. Her lilting voice, accented from the south, soothes the demons within me. Her soft skin brushed up against me arouses every sense in my being, every feeling deep within. Yes, Lord, it’s helpless. It’s hopeless. She owns me. Your will? She must be. My will? She is. Yes, I confess as virgin as Christ’s mother, we learned together, exploring each other, molding one to the other, fading in to each other. Where Joan ends and I begin, I do not know. God, You did bless us before the parish priest did, my seed growing and the babe quickening within Joan’s belly as we said our vows. I am released from my fellowship. My doctoral studies are terminated. I’m disgraced by my family. Please, the penance is paid. It matters not, really. I will tend the inn’s horses, shovel their stable muck, tutor the town’s school boys, and die without a farthing to be with her. God please, I am happy to shovel the muck. I need crowns not. I need Cambridge not. I need ordination not. I need indulgences not. I just need her, nothing else, nothing ever.”

The door opens. I look up inquisitively. I venture, “My Joan?” Tears falling, the midwife shakes her head. Joan’s father, his voice cracking, asks, “The babe?” Her head looks to the floor, the answer clear. My heart stops beating. I can’t breathe. Joan’s father helps me rise, and we enter. I want to see, pray to see, afraid to see what I know in my heart now is God’s will. I look with dread and yet wonder. My Joan, my beloved agape, she lays peacefully as if sleeping, in her arms a babe, so tiny. It’s quiet, so quiet it’s deafening, only the sound of the women’s tears, my tears, my internal rage, my swirling thoughts of joining them in leaving this world, filling the room. I look on not knowing what to do. I want to jump into bed with them, hold them, love them. Is that proper? Would God frown? I do not know. At Cambridge, they never taught me. The scriptures, they do not say.

“Thomas…. Thomas,” I hear the midwife call me. “Sit down here, good man.”

I sit in a chair close beside the bed. I watch as she carefully picks up the baby, swaddled in a blanket Joan lovingly sewn.

“A girl Thomas. Look, she is pretty.”

Trembling, I ask the unthinkable. “Can I hold her? Please? I just want to hold her.”

She hands me the babe, my daughter, and I cradle her gently. I open the blanket, and she looks so perfect. She can’t be dead. I poke her gently once, and yes she is. I gaze up and see them leaving, the women, the midwife, and Joan’s father, who with graceful nobility nods and quietly closes the chamber door. Here with my family, with my thoughts, with my tears, with my God, I am but alone.

~~~~~~~~~~ Fade To Black ~~~~~~~~~~

Someday we’ll all be gone;
But lullabies go on and on;
They never die;
That’s how you and I will be.
~~~ Billy Joel ~~~


Meet Susan Santiago and see her beautiful art. She is amazing. The Art of Susan Santiago

Note: Very little is known of Thomas Cranmer’s two marriages, particularly his first. All that is known is that Cranmer married a woman named Joan, surname stated at his heresy trial to be either Black or Brown, between 1515 and 1519. Ralph Morice, Cranmer’s devoted secretary and biographer, details that they were married “within one year” and that Joan died, along with their baby, in child bed. Due to an association undefined with the Dolphin Inn, and the short length of marriage, Roman Catholic detractors labeled Cranmer “an ostler” (a person who takes care of horses stabled at an inn), and scornfully referred to his wife as “Black Joan of the Dolphin”, inferring she was pregnant before marriage.

Boston Strong!

April 20, 2015 in Beth von Staats (REVELATION), Hampton Y Court, Historical Fiction, The Tudor Thomases by Beth von Staats

St. Botolph Church, Boston, Lincolnshire

St. Botolph Church, Boston, Lincolnshire



Lord in heaven, life be damn good. Dear old Henry Wykes sure did take care of me, first hiring me to manage his lucrative clothing mercantile, then offering me up his pretty and hot-blooded widowed daughter in marriage – all in exchange for bailing his arse out of a tangled and convoluted legal mess. Not a bad trade, I’d say – lots of profit to be made in that arrangement, with the luck of side benefits from a wild and randy bed warmer to boot. With plenty of crowns in my pocket, a new home neighboring Austin Friars, and a pretty little wench filled with child, even my low-born seed donor is impressed. Hey Walter, I met the Pope and bribed His Holiness with sweet meats. What do you think of that? It be too late old man, there be no crowns going to Putney or your sorry shriveled cod piece. Want to wail me now, you drunken bastard?

Tonight be time for a party, and the gentlemen from Boston’s Guild of St. Mary traveled ‘plenty to join me and my good friend James Edwards, and my Bess and his Alice in celebrating our fine success, the guild’s finances now secure in perpetuity with farthings flowing from the pockets of those gullible fools who drop their coin in exchange for a ticket straight to heaven. Hey, what be the problem? Everyone wins in this deal of indulgences. The priests of the Guild Chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary get their cut of the bounty, the Boston St. Mary’s Guild theirs, and the fools in line leave with the peace of mind their mothers avoid the wrath of purgatory. Need some more gaudy idols for St. Botolph’s, Your Grace? No worries, you are all set now good man. Boston strong!


The Guild Chapel of the Virgin Mary. Papal Bulls secured in 1517 by Thomas Cromwell insured indulgences flowed in "perpetuity".

The Guild Chapel of the Virgin Mary, St. Botolph’s Church, Boston. Papal Bulls secured in 1517 by Thomas Cromwell insured indulgences flowed in “perpetuity”, well at least until his Parliamentary interventions during the Henrican Reformation outlawed the practice.


A tad drunk from all the ale and mead pouring in abundance, a sorry jolly bunch we are. Poor Bess, heavy with my seed, she banters on with our guests and directs the servants. She’ll make a good mother, my pretty little lady will, but she needs to stop chiding me. My God in heaven that woman can preach, correcting my words to the King’s English each time I speak like the Putney cur I am. Bless her on her mission, Lord. God knows I need the lessons. As I pat my bonny wife’s bottom as she passes, good old Henry Wykes gives a corrective glare, his smile wide. “Thomas, you are incorrigible, lad. Do tell us all about your exploits with James Edwards and our friends here from the Boston Guild. Why Bess and Alice say it was quite the adventure.”

Before I can get out a damn word, laughing heartily James blurts to Master Wykes, “Oh my lord, oh my lord… It certainly was, good man. In spite of the God awful journey, we did have fun a’plenty!” James looks over at my Elizabeth, who suddenly is paying apt attention. “Dear Bess, your husband is a wily one, he is. We did get those Bulls signed, thanks be to his cunning ways. Thomas, please… do tell, man.”

He holds up a goblet and all the Boston Guild mates follow. “To Crom, the Pope’s most beloved confectioner.” All present jovially reply, “To Crom!” James drinks the ale down quick and declares, “Now this be good, I do promise.”

I look around, and everyone stays all quiet, looking at me as I be King Harry himself. “Eh good men, you will not hear this from that God awful new book of More’s or in the writings of Erasmus. In my Utopia, the Pope trades indulgences for indulgences, and he be quite fat.” We all laugh.

My Elizabeth, she gives me the eye and chides merrily, “Thomas… you be going straight to hell speaking of His Holy Father so. Do go on, but respectfully, dear husband.”

I glare over at my wife and mouth her a kiss. “Look around, love. This be all for you and that babe that be baking.” She smiles wide, and waves her finger at me in jest. I take a long swig of ale, and go on. “Well, it went like this. I ventured on to Boston, lovely city that, and met with these fine guild men. The papal bulls for their sale of trips to heaven near expired, much income was soon to falter. So we hatched a good plan, we did. Eh, gentlemen?”

They hold up their goblets. “Hear! Hear!”, one adding, “Crom did… not we, Crom did!… And it be a grand one!”

“A grand one, eh? Grander than the swindling he did to get me out of my legal entanglements?” asks Henry Wykys.

“Hell yes! Hell yes!” the man declares merrily, laughing and spewing his brew.

We laugh mighty, the ale flowing. I pause and look about the room. All eyes, though most bloodshot from the ale and mead, are all on me still. “Listen, we all decides we’ll send me and some of these fine guild members to Rome, seek an audience with His Holy Father, and get the bulls signed that way. So, bold as brass we went our way. Dumb dolts we be. We traveled far at many a crown’s expense to learn His Holy Father holds court like the Holy Roman Emperor himself. There be no audience for the likes of us, as we’d die waiting, many a Lord and Ambassador ahead. Alas! We thought all was for naught.”

“For naught? When with Crom, nothing is for naught. We wasted not a farthing,” James Edwards chimes in.

“Oh be still, James, you dog,” I chide. “Well, like the dolts we be, we wait two long days in line, finally nearly to the front. Then, we be told, in Latin yet, “Sorry, good Englishmen, His Holy Father is going on a hunting trip in the morn. You be out of luck this day and several on hence. Oh, damn it. This was not goin’ well for sure. Then I conjured, let us then go to this hunt of his, wait there where they be no line. So off we went.”

“Crom, you forgot to mention how you bribed one of the Cardinals many a crown for the locale of that hunt!” There he goes again. James will be the death of me.

We all laugh heartily, and I retort, “Well thank you so very much, you scoundrel. My dear wife will be lecturing me plenty now.” She waves her finger at me again, teasingly, me once more forgiven. “Yes, I bribed a Cardinal. I’ll say many a ‘Hail Mary’ later.” I pause and drink more ale as all have a hearty laugh at my expense.

“Thanks be to God, four of these fine guild men sing in the abbey choir, so I offered, do sing for the Pope. Maybe we shall get his attention, and as seeing he be fat, we shall bring this jolly man’s sweet meats along.” I snicker, for every man has his price. “His Holy Father be rich in crowns, so we done bribed him with confections. With him gushing with the Holy Spirit these blessed voices did raise, and with sugary snacks a’plenty, His Holy Father signed off fast on the Boston Guild of St. Mary’s Bulls, just like that, not reading a word.” Now everyone be rolling with hearty laughter and good cheer.

“Dear Thomas, did the Pope bless you? Lay hands on your head and pray for your eternal soul? I pray so, God knows you need it,” Henry Wykys joyfully chides. We all laugh again. Bess, her father be a fine man, bless his soul.

I smile wide as the moon and say in all seriousness so dearest old Wkyes knows I speak truth, “Dearest father, yes he done did. The Pope said, in proper Latin, of course, ‘You be no doubting Thomas, dear man. Go in peace and spread to all in England the true religion. And, many indulgences go to you if you name your first born for one of the great Bishops of Rome.”

I look to my wife, and as if on cue, she speaks. “I desired to name the babe Henry after my father and His Grace, but just for you Thomas, I will be first to indulge.” She rubs her belly gently, and says with a wide smile, “Gregory”.

~~~~~~~~~~ Fade To Black ~~~~~~~~~~


Rest in Peace

 We will never forget. 


LU LINGZI, age 23






Beyond Earthly Bonds

June 28, 2013 in Hampton Y Court, Poetry by ADMIN: Royal Squire


When Henry Percy his betrothed, the sweet, and much belov’d Anne Boleyn

Did meet, a passion bound their souls and hearts and so set them aflame to meld as one

To beat a marvellous majestic heated rhythm, that as so often hearts of lovers do

Who seek whatever precious little time is left or yet is still allowed, as high above them

Angels beat their gentle wings so soft about to conjure up with loves eternal power

Great sweet glorious perfumed clouds that silent swirl and eddy about their

Sainted feet to carry both away in such a state, so blissful and ecstatic, soaring high o’er

Village and street far away from all their daily deathly fears and earthly woes.


When Sir Henry Percy, with his own belov’d Queen Anne Boleyn did meet,

Beyond the stars at heaven’s gate, their love it was, at last complete.




© Andy Cooke 27/06/2013

Bienvenida Al Mundo María (Hampton Y Corte)

June 19, 2013 in Hall of Crowns (Mercy Rivera), Hampton Y Court, Historical Fiction, News, Spanish Language Diary Entries by Mercy Rivera


El corazón de una madre esta siempre lleno del regocijo de poder traer vida al mundo; pero también, en muchas ocasiones, se sufre el dolor de ver las cenizas de lo que debió ser fruto vivo del vientre.

De nuevo me siento bendecida, vienen a mi los dolores que anuncian la llegada de un nuevo ser.  Una vez mas intento darle un príncipe a este reino; un príncipe que haga a mi rey feliz, y llene mi vida de alegría, de orgullo, de paz y realización.

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Pero tengo miedo, y si sucede lo mismo que las otras veces? De solo imaginar que tomaré entre mis brazos un cuerpo frio, se me quiebra el alma.  Aun recuerdo la primera vez… esa vez cuando di a luz a una hermosa niña; esa pequeña princesa mía que nació dormida…y nunca despertó; es un dolor que no se puede describir con palabras.  No hubo tiempo de bendecirla, ni siquiera de nombrarla.  En mi mente sigue vivo el rostro de Enrique, el dolor en su mirada era como sentir mil puñaladas en mi corazón; pero aun con eso, me apoyó, de dio todo su amor, y continuamos intentando.

Pérdidas continuaron en mi lecho materno; hasta que un día; fui bendecida con un hermoso príncipe.  Nació fuerte, su llanto daba señales de bravura, y tenía los ojos de su padre.  En cuanto pude ponerme de pie fui a la Capilla a besar los pies de La Santa Madre de Cristo; por fin había logrado mi propósito, mi sueño y el sueño de mi rey se había hecho realidad.  Recuerdo aun la alegría en todo el reino; me sentía tan amada, tan respetada y agradecida de la vida y de Dios.  España, mi amada tierra me enviaba sus palabras de bendición y respeto.  Pero la alegría de Enrique era mi mayor premio, cuando me miraba, la intensidad de su amor era plena, completa; era yo en esos días la mujer más feliz del mundo.


Pero bien dicen… que la felicidad extrema es siempre efímera. Cincuenta días pasaron, y mi príncipe enfermó extrañamente; día y noche velé por él; no podía comer, no podía dormir, estuve junto a él como cualquier madre; olvidé mis protocolos como reina; solo era yo, Catalina la madre, que oraba sin descanso por la vida de su hijo. Cuatro días mas, y ya podía ver que mi pequeño ángel se estaba rindiendo; apenas lloraba, y comenzaba a ver con hastío la vida.  Lloraba desesperado cada vez que mis doctores le ponían las manos encima; ya no soportaba las medicinas; y yo ya no toleraba verlo sufrir.  Ordené que abandonaran mis aposentos; lo tomé en mis brazos, y lo arrullé por horas; quería de durmiera y recibiera la muerte en descanso y no en agonía; bendije su alma, le hablé de mi amor; le canté en la lengua de su padre, también en la mía.  Al amanecer del día cincuenta y seis… el príncipe de Inglaterra, dejó de existir.

Mi alma se llenó de luto;  mi rey estaba destrozado, y el reino en total silencio.  Todos comenzaron a verme con ojos inquisidores; ya sentían que era mi culpa;  para ellos no era suficiente mi dolor.  La Reina de Inglaterra había fallado, una vez más su promesa de un heredero quedó en el olvido… eran los murmullos a mis espaldas.


Seguía perdiendo batallas; mis noches con el rey ya no eran noches de amor; cuando venía a mí lo hacía para cumplir sus obligaciones como Enrique el Rey, no como Enrique el esposo.  El amor está muriendo, lo se; ahora solo le ruego a Dios que este bebé nazca sano, que sea un varón fuerte y sagaz como su padre; que sea un niño capaz de devolverme el amor de su padre y de sanar todas las heridas que llevo dentro.

Mientras uso todas mis fuerzas para traer al mundo a este nuevo ser que aun se niega a abandonar mi vientre… rezo a la Santa Madre María por su bendición, a los Ángeles por la protección de mi bebé y a todos los Santos para que su vida perdure y reine después de su padre.  Miro a las comadronas y a mis damas; no veo preocupación en sus miradas; siento que todo va bien; ruego a Dios que todo el dolor que siento sea para bien, pido que yo absorba todo mal que este siguiendo a mi bebé; y le pido a Dios que de ser necesario, tome mi vida en lugar de la de mi criatura.

Un último esfuerzo…y escucho el llanto de mi hijo… Por Dios que sea varón… Pero al mirar el rostro de mis damas, de nuevo veo decepción.  ¿Es débil, esta muriendo? Fue lo primero que pregunté, pero mi respuesta fue un sonoro silencio.  Ordeno a mi fiel María de Salinas que me entregue a mi criatura, si había de morir, quería que lo hiciera en mis brazos como lo hizo su hermano.  María pone en mis brazos al bebé mas hermoso que han visto mis ojos… la observo, y entonces encuentro la razón para el desanimo de todos en la habitación. Mi bebé no estaba en peligro de muerte… es una niña, mas no el varón que el reino anhelaba. Sonrío entre lágrimas, en cierto modo yo también me siento desanimada, mi sueño se cumplió a medias… no es un varón, pero si es una niña hermosa y saludable… fuerte, llena de vida, puedo verlo en el brillo de sus ojos.  Doy la orden a todos de salir de mis aposentos; quiero estar a solas con mi hija.  Todos se van, y es cuando me siento libre para ser una madre normal.

Bienvenida al mundo María; si, María… en honor a la Santa Madre, a la que tanto rogué por la bendición de tenerte.  Mi hermosa princesa, se que tu padre ha de amarte mucho, así como te amo yo.  Tienes que vivir María, por favor no me abandones como lo hicieron tus hermanos que ahora son ángeles en el cielo. Vive… vive para llenar mi alma de luz, para que puedas cumplir con tu destino; porque eres muy especial, naciste para ser reina, y se que reina serás. Mi cielo, mi hermosa María.

De pronto la puerta se abre, veo a su majestad entrar… su caminar es lento, su mirada vacía. No hay regocijo en su semblante; se que esta decepcionado, pero no imaginé ver en él tanta tristeza.

“No desesperes mi señor; we are young still, and by God’s blessing, boys will follow”.

Enrique solo me da una breve sonrisa, me hace una reverencia, y sale de la habitación con la misma melancolía con la que entró.  A solas de nuevo con mi hermosa María, me doy cuenta de que mi matrimonio se tambalea; no debería sentirse así, es una niña hermosa, fuerte y llena de vida, se que va a prosperar… es una clara señal de que nada está perdido, soy capaz de darle hijos sanos, María es la prueba.  Cierro mis ojos, y elevo una plegaria en silencio.

Gentil Madre, Fuente de Amor y Misericordia, Salva a esta hermosa niña, a mi hija, de todo mal y toda desventura, bendícela con salud, honor, sabiduría, bondad y generosidad; haz de ella un ejemplo vivo de la Fe Católica; muéstrale siempre la luz de tu amor, que defienda siempre sus ideas, que siga siempre la voz de su corazón. Y que un día, brille en este palacio como Reina y Señora; que una naciones y que sea feliz, inmensamente feliz.


Bienvenida al mundo María, hermosa princesa mía.




June 13, 2013 in Hampton Y Court, Poetry by ADMIN: Royal Squire

floral pics


Those heady summer days turn’d to evening

And the skylark sings sweet lullaby o’er head

As lovers you and I did naught but walk

Hand in hand, innocent so o’er sweet camomile

A’ tween soft white scented roses;

Those were the sweetest days of all.

Still, warm English summer, Hever nights

When where we went but no one

Knew and no one saw but the

Late night shrew and silent owl.

They need not make promise nor vow

Our secret ne’er to tell; though as still their

Silence they did keep, about us all the while

As we two lovers lay entwined to sleep

‘Twas set before we could not know, that tragedie

Was yet to call and make us weep.


Thomas Cromwell, Y Court

Thomas Cromwell, Y Court


(c) Andy Cooke 12/06/2013

Amor Vincit Omnia

June 10, 2013 in Hampton Y Court, Poetry by ADMIN: Royal Squire

@queenanneboleyn ~~ Marisa

@queenanneboleyn ~~ Marisa


Still, even now I see you

As last we were, before

Our Fateful parting.

Your rich dark hair fallen

Idly across your olive breasts

Wild eyes that once were

Pitch black upon the telling

Of our sorrowed parting

Then a sad and chestnut brown

As you gazed upon me

Naked from our lovers bed

Still warm; still remembered

Nights of passion are to be

No more, now you are

To be my Queen

When once you were my World.


(c) Andy Cooke



The Last Great Paladin

June 5, 2013 in Hampton Y Court, Poetry by ADMIN: Royal Squire


The Last Great Paladin of Charlemagne

Rode out to battle at Roncesvalle

His armour was forged of finest steel

In roaring flame and shone

His great plume flowed

And through the helm

Cold eyes surveyed the battle lines.


Some dark foreboding took him then

And smashed the heart of stone

Recalling when those nights before

He’d lain with her and yearned for peace,

Her lithesome body and gentle face

Her delicate upturned breast

The whiteness of her, fresh as snow,

Turned a furious passionate hue

As they rode each other for all their worth.


The Last Great Paladin of Charlemagne

Rode into battle at Roncesvalle;

The lance that took him was her love

Reached out to touch his heart

And as he lay to dying there

Snow white clouds formed above

The flesh of her breast

He dared to kiss.


(c) Andy Cooke

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