God’s Kingdom Awaits (King Henry VIII, June 28,1491 to January 28,1547)

January 28, 2014 in Beth von Staats (REVELATION), Tudor Y Writer's Group by Beth von Staats

King Henry VIII (June 29, 1491 to January 28, 1547)

King Henry VIII (June 29, 1491 to January 28, 1547)

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It is time for the Lord to act; they have frustrated Your law.  ~~~ Psalm 119:126

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26 January 1547

“Denny broke the news to His Majesty today, Your Grace. The King’s suffering nears its end. We feared to wait for you, for even traveling from Lambeth may lead to His Majesty passing from this world unknowing, unable to make peace with his God.”

I look to Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford, his words said with gentle softness, and nod. Sir William Paget rests his hand on my shoulder as I speak. “Sir Anthony is a blessing to His Majesty, his task noble. O Lord do strengthen him in these dark days, I pray.”

Sir Anthony Denny

Sir Anthony Denny

Sir Anthony Denny, how can ever we thank his noble service? The loving care he provides His Majesty is saintly, though an evangelical he is in truth. Master of the Stool to a dying monarch, though an honored title, is thankless indeed, no earthly reward sufficient. This man’s services to the realm are as taxing as any warrior, as any a ghastly vocation in all Christendom. Not many would abide it if the truth was known. Who could blame? His Majesty’s wounds ooze pitifully I am told, the stench bending to spew many a man. Though riches and property are Denny’s earthly rewards, God will reward him further still. Yes, we are justified by the Lord by our faith alone, but there must be God’s cherished love for the likes of this. After a quiet moment of reflection for His Majesty’s  trusted servant, I startle slightly, Sir William Paget, my closest layman ally since dearest Cromwell, my Earl of Essex died, breaking the blaring silence.

“Your Grace, my Lord of Hertford and I know you pain more than any man. We see it plain. You look exhausted from prayer, obviously not taking time for nourishment or to direct your privy servant to shave your growing stubble. Even thus, we must speak plain and plan for dear Prince Edward’s ascendancy to kingship.”

His Majesty no longer able to chide me, I shall never shave again — a clean face the vestments of clergy governed by the Antichrist. Do I admit my stubble is of my choice? No, let the tongues wag later. I look up and swallow hard. “Though the task heartbreaking, yes we must. Do carry on, good man.”

My Lord of Hereford readies to speak, and I rise my hand to halt him. I desire first to hear from dearest Paget, a man with no blood between my beloved Godson and the crown. He begins to falter, stumbling on his words. “Master Secretary, speak what you must. You are among the trusted few you can.”

“Your Grace, the Council His Majesty has commanded… It is doomed to failure I fear. We must find a way around it.”

The poor man seems relieved to finally speak his peace. I’ll allay him further. “Yes, you state the obvious, dear man. Per His Majesty’s expressed commands, no man must ever resign the council, no man ever relieved of duty, no matter the travesty. This shall lead to chaos I fear, one man against another, turmoil and manipulations rather than good judgement ruling this very realm.”

I look to both men who are nodding in agreement. I venture on. “Here is our chance gentlemen, our chance we long awaited to rid this realm of idols, relics, the very Eucharist itself. This must not be delayed by the indecisiveness that ruling by council would bring. Souls are in the balance.”

Both men are stunned cold, Paget’s mouth hung open wide. My trusted secretary Ralph Morice instead smiles knowingly.

“Hear! Hear! You changed your stance on the Eucharist, Your Grace? Since when did you reach this revelation?” asks my Lord of Hertford.

I am determined these men finally know my mind, but the particulars need not be so clear. Bishop Ridley, my beloved personal chaplain and I decided finally upon it. That be that. “Dearest Cromwell, may he rest with the peace of what is to come, did teach me, and these be his very words. ‘There be no need for reformist martyrs, Your Grace. Wait for the opportunity, then seize it. Until then, keep your thoughts and ambitions close.’ He spoke truth, because here I still stand despite the great efforts of myne enemies, now much to accomplish for God’s glory, for the glory of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Sir William Paget

Sir William Paget

Both men smile broadly, my words most welcome indeed. My Lord of Hertford tries to speak once more. I again raise my hand to stifle him, then placing my finger before my lips to make my point. “Master Secretary what are your recommendations then?”

“Despite His Majesty’s expressed commands, this realm must have a Lord Protector. I know his mind. The king fears the power of one man may undermine the ascendancy of a child, lest we forget the poor sons of King Edward, fourth of that name.”

Both Hertford and I nod in agreement, as he speaks truth. I motion Paget continue.

“His Majesty is wise to think such, but I see no other way. The boy is but nine years old. Governance cannot be frozen nine long years by the inevitable debates and posturing of several men who lack like mind while we wait for Prince Edward to mature from child to king. I urge the realm be ruled by a Lord Protector, with a supporting Privy Council, the very men His Majesty trusts as he made known.”

Before Herford can speak, I cut him off. The idea put forth must not be viewed as his, as to do so may later unravel his very credibility. Does Hertford not know why I stifled him thus far? “His Majesty is wise, but I do agree with you, dear man.”

I look to Hertford once more and inquire with all earnestness. “My Lord of Hertford, of all the men in this realm, you are most suited to be Lord Protector. You share the very blood of our beloved Prince soon king. You adhere to the true religion, and you are wise of governance.”

He smiles broadly, but I am not done. “Before I thrust my wholehearted support, do tell me what your goals as Lord Protector would be?”

He squirms just a little, good. I am Archbishop of Canterbury, duty bound to His Majesty still. If I sway from the king’s intentions once God takes him home, I must be sure all be in the best interests of Prince Edward, who I then owe my full allegiance and submission, as is God’s Holy Word in the Book of Solomon.

“Your Grace, myne foremost goal and obligation is to raise Prince Edward to be our Empire’s first great Protestant King, of course. You may select his religious scholars, while I will attend to his worldly education. He is a bright child, with much potential to be the grandest king in all Europe, in all the world. I desire most to bring England to the true religion, while also growing our wealth and knowledge among the people. We must also prepare for any wars upon our shores. Alas, I believe we owe to the poorest in the realm, the wretched souls. They suffer much.”

Ah, the man speaks true, though I knew he would. “And what would you need from me and the clergy, my Lord?”

“The liturgy for the Church of England, stated common in all religious houses throughout this glorious realm, ever church, every abbey, all clergy sermonizing same. O Lord make it so.”, says Lord Hereford with all conviction.

Paget and I smile broadly. Dearest Cromwell held great hope for this young man, not without just cause I do see. I ask my dearest secretary, Ralph Morice, whose gracious silence holds my utmost trust, to pour us all some wine. With His Majesty on his death bed, this be no time for toasts. I merely sip upon the claret, and speak most humbly. “You have my support, dear man. My Lord, all you ask I will do most diligently. God is my witness.”

Hertford leans over, placing his hand gently upon my arm. “And what then do you need from me, Your Grace? If the council agrees, and I become Lord Protector of this realm as you suggest, what may I do to ease your way as head of the clergy?” he asks in devout sincerity.

I pause. This must not go unsaid. My promise is my solemn oath, our vows God’s truth. I try and speak casually, as if what I state next is as mundane as discussing abbey finance. I breathe in deep, blow the breath out and begin. “I do confess I already wrote to my wife Margarete in Nuremburg and stated my desire she prepare to come home to me, along with my daughter. Both I pine pitifully for since the Six Articles became His Majesty’s truth.”

I stunned Hertford and Paget again, catching both completely off their guard. Hertford’s eyes grow wide, while Paget nervously smiles. What skips through their minds is known but to them and God. I sigh, and dear Ralph Morice motions I be out with it. “All I ask for me and for the clergy of this realm is that my family finally be allowed to live our lives openly, as example to the world of God’s scriptural truth, and as the greatest desire of myne  heart.”

Ralph Morice smiles approvingly. My confidences he holds close, bless his soul. My Lord of Hertford shakes his head disbelievingly and clears his throat as we all await a response to my simple request of basic dignity.

“Of course, Your Grace. Celibacy is of pagan thought, not God’s. It has no place in England’s clergy. We shall build a truly evangelical realm, together.”

The weight lifts off my shoulders, carried these many years. “Thank you, my Lord,” I say with the sincerity of a small child who trusts all and knows no evil.

Hertford rubs his fingers through his beard and adds, “I had no idea Your Grace, none. You kept your secret close indeed. My spies had no word of it.”

Both Ralph Morice and I then smile broadly, releasing the tension thick in the midst of us. I motion to Morice. “Besides my trusted secretary, only dearest Cromwell knew, and he took the secret of my wife and daughter with him to the scaffold.”

I offer with a nervous laugh in all good humor and chide, “The Lord Privy Seal’s spies be much better than yours, my Lord.”

Sir Edward Seymour, then Earl of Hertford

Sir Edward Seymour, then Earl of Hertford

The King’s Secretary, always astute and thorough, chimes in to break the moment of my humble confessions. Mayhaps he desires the subject closed, awkward that it be. Paget, yes he is wise. Let’s do move on, O Lord I pray.

“Your Grace…. My Lord, we must not forget the dog in the Tower. What do we do with Norfolk if His Majesty is called home to the Lord before the execution? His Majesty is fading, and the deed is not set for two days hence,” states Paget.

I allow my Lord of Hertford to speak his peace. If he is going to be Lord Protector, let him start now. Norfolk, both he and Gardiner, along with Bonner and their lot did upend my dearest Cromwell, and nearly me but for the grace of His Majesty’s heart, his warnings and his signet ring gifted to save me. I wish the toad dead. God forgive me.

“I pray His Majesty lives so his commands unfold, but if God calls him home, I do think we move cautiously. Blood on the hands of new governance will not sit well with the people of this realm. Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, will languish in The Tower until he shrivels and rots on to death. To kill him outright may spurn insurgency. We need that not.”

My disappointment is obvious, but I say nothing.

“I am sorry, Your Grace. Revenge must not be our priority. The time is not right. With any luck, Norfolk will give us just cause later, once we secure the trust of Parliament and the people.”

I nod approvingly. “Yes, no decision best be made in anger. My resentment and desire for revenge I will atone. I shall seek God’s loving forgiveness this night in my prayers.”

I look to these three fine men, one the King’s trusted secretary, another mine, and God willing of council agreement, yet another my beloved Prince Edward’s, soon king, steadfast protector and say simply, “God’s will be done.”

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Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury

Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury

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In the midst of life, we are in death… Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts; shut not thy merciful ears to our prayer; but spare us, Lord most holy… Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; in sure and certain hope of the Resurrection to eternal life, through our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall change our vile body, that it may be like unto his glorious body.  ~~~ Thomas Cranmer, The Book of Common Prayer

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28 January 1547

“Your Grace, Praise the Lord you are here. His Majesty is fading quickly. Though he speaks not, he lives still.”

I place my hand gently on the arm of Sir Anthony Denny. The man looks racked, as if languishing in Tower many a year, tortured without end. “Go take rest, good man. God knows you need it.”

He drops his eyes to the floor. “His Majesty asked for you, Your Grace, near his last words. He desires your presence when he slips on to God.”

My beloved Sir Anthony, without his intercession along with mine trusted secretary, I would surely had been devoured by the wolves long by now. I tap his shoulder. “Look at me, good man.”

As he raises up his gaze, I say simply, “The King and I weathered many a trial and tribulation together. I need no words to know his heart.”

Denny attempts a faint smile, and I gaze through to his soul. “This be God’s will, aye God’s will, dear man. From all evil, from all sin, from all tribulation, the good Lord will surely deliver him. Have faith, and His Majesty will too.”

I sigh as I pat his arm gently. “Now let me go do what must be done.” 

He nods and motions toward the door. I find my courage with God’s loving grace and quietly enter. The rank stench of His Majesty’s wounds hits me like the blunt end of a lance in a joust. I seek quickly a piss pot, spewing forth all within. My innards not satisfied, dry heaves overcome my every being.

“Your Grace… Your Grace…,” I hear through my misery.

Finally, I look up and one of His Majesty’s tormenting doctors begins helping me to my feet, whilst another washes my face and stubble with a wet cloth.

“Rub this pungent poultice under your nose, Your Grace. It will help what ails you by masking the odors.”

I gladly comply and trade one putrid scent for another, but it be bearable, thank the Lord. A tad weak at the knees still, I look around. Six men gaze upon me as if I am Jesus Himself. I venture, “Is there any more you can do to ease the king’s suffering?”

They sway their heads to and fro, looking down as if ashamed of their incompetence. I wave them off dismissively. “Then go, please. No more is needed for now. God be with you.”

One of the doctors offers, “I wish to stay and attend to you, Your Grace. This room sickens the strongest of men.”

Although this portrait depicts Henry VIII's deathbed, in actuality he died instead holding the hand of Archbishop Cranmer.

Although this portrait depicts Henry VIII’s deathbed, in actuality he died instead holding the hand of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer.

I say softly, thankful for his kindness, “His Majesty and I must be alone, but you may wait just outside, good man. I will gratefully call upon you if need be.”

I smile as he nods and the doctors retreat, and then turn to His Majesty. My heart fills with both love and mourning at the sight of the great man, God’s king on earth. Grotesquely swollen, liquid leaching from every pore, my stomach readies to spew once more, but the Lord lovingly intervenes and I settle.  A comfortable chair placed beside the king’s majestic bed for my benefit, I sit upon it and then rest my hand upon one of his, my fingers resting upon the very signet ring that once saved myne very life. “I am here, Majesty. It be mine honor  you beckoned I come.”

I feel him hold on to my hand, though weakly, with purpose. His Majesty, he knows I am with him. Praise be to God. If he knows I am here, surely he knows God is too. Surely he will trust in the Lord in his last moments. His Majesty’s soul will be saved with my help, and with a grateful heart my last service will be done onto him.

Though His Majesty did once make me promise in a small moment of weakness after Queen Jane passed over to the Lord, there will be no last rites, no extreme unction. We are brought to the Lord by our faith and faith alone.  For the last fortnight, I dwelt, worried, and prayed most earnestly. Do I follow His Majesty’s expressed wishes? Do I keep my promises to him? In the morning light of conscience last night, God gave me His answer. Yes, we are brought forth to the Lord by our faith and faith alone. This is God’s truth, and no man can overrule Him, not even my noble Majesty to whom all else I submitted, even at the expense of myne own values and conscience, his word always supreme.

Overcome with emotion, tears well. I am unashamed. His Majesty saw my tears before, the last time when first meeting after dear Cromwell breathed his last, brought forth to the Lord by his faith and the ax. Few words were spoken. The letter already written and sent, he knew my heart. “Your Grace, what is done I had to do. From this day forth, I rule the council. I trust no man but you, no man.” From that day on, I lived in fear I would lose that trust and tread with the caution of a man hunted, my faith and truth kept close to save my very skin to await what now lays ahead — a new day, a new dawn, a Protestant England.

I venture carefully, speaking softly as a church mouse. We are alone with God, but are we really? “Majesty, as scripture says in the Book of John, ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.’ Do you trust in our Lord God?”

Silence blares as loud as canon fire. No sign tells me. “Please Lord, let him hear me. Let His Majesty answer, Lord. I beseech you.”

I try once more. “Majesty, with all your heart and soul, do you trust in our Lord God, all faith in him?”

God and His Majesty answer my prayers. The King squeezes my hand, weakly yes, but his answer clear. Relief washes over me. His Majesty’s soul is saved through the strength of his faith by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. God be praised.

“Do pray with me Majesty if you can. Thoughts be words, and whether old Greek, Latin, German or English, whether Tyndale, Erasmus, Luther or the Bishop of Rome, all say the same from God’s Holy Word. ‘For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them’.”

Henry VIII Coat of Arms

Henry VIII Coat of Arms.

I find my courage once more. No papal prayers will come from my mouth. No Roman Catholic leanings will taint His Majesty in his journey to the Lord. I look to the holy oil, chalice, wine, bread and rosaries left on the night table for my use. No, there is no need for them. There will be no penance, no anointing, and O Lord I praise you, no final Eucharist. I stand, bending so I may still hold His Majesty’s hand and pray simply. That is all one needs, nothing more.

“Almighty God, look on this your servant, Henry, Eighth of this name, King of England, Wales, Ireland and France, Defender of the Faith, lying in great weakness, and comfort him with the promise of life everlasting, given in the resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

I look down upon His Majesty, emotions rising to the surface. Still weak at the knees and stomach churning from the stench of this dreadful place, I bend down further still and kiss his hand and then the signet ring that binds us. I whisper, “I will submit humbly to and serve with all earnestness and love my dear beloved Edward, Prince of Wales, your longed for and blessed begotten heir as I ever did you, Majesty. That is my solemn promise and vow.”

Swirling through my mind come memories of our kinship though both trying times and glory, submission to his will often at the expense of my own, sometimes even at the expense of God’s. Tears of both mourning and relief flow freely. My heart bleeds, yet finally rests with the knowledge that what comes next is God’s will. I wipe my eyes with the sleeve of my vestments and compose myself before saying what I must. Alas, there be no point to fighting death any longer. God waits patiently. His Majesty’s suffering long now many years, his faith is professed, his salvation assured. I say simply, as mayhaps he just needs a prod, “Now be the time to let go, Majesty. God’s kingdom awaits.”

~~~~~ Fade to Black ~~~~

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King Henry VIII Tudor Dynasty

King Henry VIII

Lusty Youth Should Us Ensue

Lusty Youth should us ensue,
His merry heart shall sure all rue.
For whatsoever they do him tell
It is not for him, we know it well.

For they would have him his liberty refrain,
And all merry company for to disdain.
But I will not do whatsoever they say,
But follow his mind in all that we may.

How should Youth himself best use
But all disdainers for to refuse?
Youth has as chief assurance
Honest mirth with virtue’s pastance.

For in them consists great honour,
Though that disdainers would therein put error.
For they do sue to get them grace,
All only riches to purchase.

With good order, counsel, and equity,
Good Lord grant us our mansion to be.
For without their good guidance
Youth should fall in great mischance.

For Youth is frail and prompt to do
As well vices as virtues to ensue.
Wherefore by these he must be guided,
And virtue’s pastance must be therein used.

Now unto God this prayer we make,
That this rude play may well betake
And that we may our faults amend
And bliss obtain at our last end.
Amen.

~~ King Henry VIII ~~

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This lasting gift to the world from King Henry VIII is Pastime with Good Company, also known as The King’s Ballad (The Kynges Balade). It is an English folk song written by King Henry VIII in the first years of the 16th century, shortly after being crowned. It is performed by Gryphon.

King Henry VIII’s lasting poetry gift to world above Lusty Youth Should Us Ensue was penned at some point between 1510 and 1515.

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Lord, Grant Me Peace… (Wars of the Roses)

September 16, 2013 in Beth von Staats (REVELATION), Historical Fiction, Wars of the Roses by Beth von Staats

King Henry V

King Henry V

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“Of France and England, did this king succeed;
Whose state so many had the managing.
That they lost France and made his England bleed.”

~~~~ William Shakespeare, Henry V ~~~~

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My father, King Henry, fifth of his name, near conqueror of all of France, commander of the sea, warrior, diplomat, statesman, and ruler of a united nation, was the grandest king among all the kings of Christendom. While he reigned, there was peace within the realm. While he reigned, England was the jewel in the crown of Europe. While he reigned, crops were plentiful, the treasury grew abundantly, and the arts flourished. While he reigned, the Lords were obedient, loyal to him above all. I heard all the stories. They have been pounded into my head since a babe. “This would never happen while he reigned,” I hear them whisper. No, of course not, my father was God personified on earth.

Respite, I need thee respite. My Clarendon hunting lodge, though more humble than a palace, more humble than a castle, always soothed my soul. Quiet, peaceful, free of the stresses of the boulders laying hard and heavy upon my shoulders, Clarendon cleared my mind, relieved the weight of all the world that threatens to always smother me. God, so why not now? Why not now? All I seek is peace before I head on to Dorset. All I seek is quiet before I deal with the Lord’s most recent grievances. All I seek is escape from the failures of my life, escape from the shame of defeat, escape from the factions and infighting among the Lords and my subjects, some loyal to me, most not. Margaret, my beloved queen, bless her please God I pray. She in truth is the rightful King of England. She in truth is the strength upon the throne.  I am merely a scholar, a devout man of worship, a gentle man of the quill, a patron of the arts. God, you know me, all of me, the good and the bad. Why am I not a monk? Why am I not of your clergy, a servant of His Holy Father?  Worship is my calling, my greatest desire. Oh yes, this just can’t be. I am the only son of King Henry, fifth of his name.

King Henry VI

King Henry VI

They say the war with France has gone near 100 years now — near 100 years, battles fought, battles lost, battles won. Near 100 years, English kings maintained a stronghold, never French upon our shores. Near 100 years, we fought with glory, the war all but won when God called him home. Heir apparent to the thrown of France, he married the daughter of King Charles, inched his way across his land of fortune. The grand warrior king, he nearly won it all. God, is his seed really in me, Henry, fifth of his name? A quandary, yes a right quandary I dare say. I think not. I know not. I must be a bastard child unbeknownst, a changling. A failure of a king I am, losing all the monarchs of England gained through sweat and tears of their subjects these near 100 years, only Calais hanging on. The fool of Christendom, I rule not. The fool of Christendom, I lead not. The fool of Christendom, I heal the divides of my ever battling Lords and subjects not. I am but a pygmy king, a pretender.

As I sit by the hearth, wine full in my goblet, I watch the flames roar. Satan, there he is in the fire, urging me on. “Die, you bastard pretender, die. That’s what you want. Do it!”

I know Satan’s trickery. Yes, death comes easy to a man like me, good to no one. The seed is within her. The deed is done. Why stay now? “Die, you bastard pretender. Your realm is best without you.”

My mind spins with Satan’s words, his urging tempting me to do the deed. I am best gone. I am best invisible. The grandest sin is to follow Satan’s call. I shall go to hell. I shall rage in the fire, licking at my feet for all eternity. “Be gone, Satan, I command you!”

I am a Godly man, a pious man. Thou shalt not kill, even me. I take a long drink from the goblet, the wine warming the edge off my thoughts. I close my eyes, and rest my weary mind. Quiet and peaceful at last, the boulders lift, floating off me. My humors align, my soul is at rest. I think through scripture. It be surely a sin to kill the body, but is it sinful to kill the soul? Is it a sin to still be living, but dead? Gone, but still here?  No, I think not. I begin to pray in earnest, my mind and all within me intent on shutting down.

“Lord, grant me peace and release my soul. Lord, grant me peace and release my soul. Lord, grant me peace release my soul. Lord, grant me peace and release my soul. Lord, grant me peace…”

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

The Fifth Son

September 6, 2012 in Beth von Staats (REVELATION), Elizabethan Court, Historical Fiction by Beth von Staats

I pause to reflect before I scratch the worst of news to my father onto parchment. My father, yes he is a mad man. As I settle here in Lynn, my forces depleting with men deserting in favor of the Princess Mary, who now proclaims herself Queen of England, I resign myself to the inevitable. Jane Dudley, imposed wife of my drunkard brother Guilford, will lose the crown thrust so unwillingly upon her head, and the heretic will reign. I look out at my depleted forces, now scurrying to Farmlingham Castle where Mary presides, disgusted. With no backbone to dispute it, I did my power hungry father’s bidding, leading men to arrest the true heir to the throne. What was I thinking? Did I really believe Northumberland could reign as king through the puppets of Jane and Guilford? Yes, I suppose I did. My father, he is a force in his own right — a brave knight, a master of manipulation, a demigod, I do swear. I thought no one could upend him, especially the sickly virgin old maid daughter of a forsaken Spanish queen. Though my father and brothers do not yet know it, we are all dead men, following my grandfather to the block. Even Princess Elizabeth, also usurped in this folly, will be unable to save us. And even if she could, why should she? After all, we betrayed her – betrayed her birthright, her friendship, her trust.

Until this very day, I was a blessed man. Fifth son of a Duke, favor and prestige is not supposed to follow me, but God looked kindly upon me anyway. Raised among royalty, educated by the masters, friends with the boy king and his beautiful Protestant sister, I wanted for nothing. When not in study, falconing, hunting, and riding horse filled my days. With no heritance coming and right poor future prospects, I lived like a prince, the rightly proud son of a Duke that was soon Lord Protector and king in all but name. Then I was matched to Amy Robsart, daughter of a knight in Syderstone, with no brothers, heiress of his Norfolk lands and estate. Our wedding grand, even King Edward and Princess Elizabeth attended. Love matters not. The marriage match is envious, and I am glad to have it. At 20 years old, I am a member of the Privy Council, member of the House of Commons, and knight with lands in Norfolk, Northamptonshire and Leicestershire – a great fortune bestowed to a 5th son, a great fortune bestowed to any son.

With Princess Mary, or should I say Queen Mary, rallying support far and wide, disaster lies on the horizon. My father will fall hard, and like the deck of cards beneath him, we all will follow. Yet, he knows not. While I watch events unfold around me, the Duke of Northumberland is spinning his web, pushing his agenda, pressuring that poor girl Jane to do his bidding, to rule as he would if the crown were his. As my father struts with his chest puffed full of the power of the moment, along with Henry Grey and Thomas Cranmer who abet him, the petite virgin waif all discounted, all shunned, all mocked, all ignored, all disdained, all denied for these many years, prepares to be England’s first ruling Queen. Norfolk, that bastard, will rejoice as she reunites this blessed realm with the Bishop of Rome. Spain, that heathen land, will rejoice as she reunites with her blood relatives against all English pride. God, I pray you protect and hold this blessed land in your loving hands, and may You see your way to ultimately lay St. Edward’s crown on the woman most able and willing to reign true to you, my beloved Elizabeth.

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The Frog is Dead….

May 23, 2012 in Beth von Staats (REVELATION), Historical Fiction by ADMIN: Royal Squire


Boston Tea Party December 13, 1773

FIVE MONTHS LATER…

The state of affairs here in Boston is intolerable. George III has closed the port, all commerce halted, all goods needed to feed and clothe our populace beyond our reach. Does the bastard intend to starve us into submission? Force us to bend a knee to his tyranny? Compel us to follow his rules and laws with no Parliamentary representation? I abhorred the actions of my fellow Bostonians back in December, but now I am not so sure that resorting to barbarism may be indeed needed to quell the malady that ails us. Maybe Sam and John are right. They push for change through violence; I push for change through governance… the establishment of democracy through constitutional law. Perhaps the answer lies somewhere midstream, as Abigail suggests. Her love and wisdom tempers me… calms me, humbles me. Thank God, otherwise most would find me intolerable as already some do. This night I venture to the Green Dragon Tavern to meet up with my cousin and friend to discuss our concerns of the day and prepare for our representation at the Continental Congress that will commence in Philadelphia soon. As I arrive, I find them already in earnest conversation at a table near the bar.

Samuel Adams: I see my cousin and wave him over.  “John, do join us. Listen here to Hancock. He is going on about the port closure and ramifications to us all.”

John Hancock: “Here John, let me pour you some ale… and listen. I learned this day Parliament is demanding we pay the East Indian Tea Company restitution for all the tea dumped in the harbor to free the port for commerce, until which point they will bleed us dry. First, they want to restrict the goods we can buy, then tax us on those restricted goods, then punish us when we rightfully protest such tyrannies. They wish to bring Boston to our knees by starving us. They will not succeed. Damn the Brits.”

John Adams: I am irate at hearing this, and add indignantly, “Listen, I have word that Parliament also has passed a law chastising the people of Massachusetts, also requiring residents of the Massachusetts colony to house British soldiers in our very homes, with additional powers to seize our barns and businesses for the same purpose. Gentlemen, when we arrive in Philadelphia, we must convince the representatives from the other colonies that the tyranny extended towards one colony is a tyranny towards them all. If we do not succeed, Massachusetts will stand alone, and Britain will make an example of us most pitifully.”

Samuel Adams: I hold up my ale stern in toast. “Hear hear… and may the bastard King George go the way of the old French King, dead… dead… I wish the bastard dead!”

John Hancock: I laugh heartily at Sam and wonder how these two men are from the same blood, Sam so animated and friendly, John so serious and blunt. I jokingly say, “Sam, be careful when wishing for the King’s undoing. Many a British subject has been hanged, drawn and quartered for wishing a monarch harm. Keep in mind, from King to Cromwell and then from King to Cromwell again, t’is was illegal activity to even THINK a thing, let alone say a thing.” I hold up my ale stern in toast. “Hear, Hear! I toast the death of the French King Frog XV and toast the unthinking Brits! May they rot in hell… tar and feather them all, I do say!” All patrons respond, “Hear hear!”

John Adams: As always, I need to reign these two in, calm them down, so they listen to reason. “Enough of the tar and feather talk, and who cares right now about the old dead frog king? We must focus men, focus. We must plan our strategy, and plan it well… plan how we convince the Southern slave owners to join our cause, the Tories, and the New York delegation that will fight us every step of the way. This is our chance gentleman. We must passionately state our case, unite these colonies, and insist we declare our independence from British tyranny once and for all. No middle ground, men or Massachusetts will whither on the vine, our Puritan forefathers ashamed of what they willed us.”

 

~~~~~~~~~~ FADE TO BLACK ~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

 

 

 

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