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Thursday Dec 01, 2022

Angelina of Glastonbury: the Headman’s Axe

[End Chapter] Mom stated: “I do not know what happened, but I do recognize he is executed with drink.” And she brought I recall, ‘there are worse things than killing men,’ and I asked: what? And mother said: “Being killed, or loving something nice, and doing nothing approximately it, yet understanding you may have.” Carta Ramalan 4D

Mom had checked out me–in a way she in no way had earlier than–I didn’t recognise again then what it intended, now I do I suppose–she appeared to me–to be at that given second, likened to a symbol of the historical and eternal snake–and I realized among folks who can, must, do, for people who cannot, or will no longer, suffer in any other case, for ever and ever.

Then we both regarded to be loose; I didn’t apprehend however I knew with the aid of that look, someday I’d apprehend.

In the boat I saw her look at me with that inscrutable appearance, searching at me.

I was young lower back then, strong, a difficult frame for a boy of my age, like my father. Richard, my brother become a ting greater discernible, he didn’t lack braveness, and he turned into simply uncertain of it he had any, or so that is how I perceived it. At that point, my mom had changed little, in a decade, still slim from what each person inside the metropolis stated of her.

The soldier who was killed, he had an implacable pointed head, with savagely chopped hair, and crazed eyes; he did realize what befell, he just died. I recognise my mom isn’t always secure whilst in that day-dreaming mode of hers, so records has informed me so. She became like a loaded cross-bow, with a hair-trigger. She informed me: “He become a drunkard, and it was too late for him to stop what he had set his mind to do; a drunkard reaches a factor wherein it is too past due for him to forestall, he may additionally consider he’ll, but revel in has taught me he’s going to not (they each had reached this stage and conclusion), and that’s what I figured trigger me, and I did what you stated I’d had achieved.”

Advance: it turned into a time earlier than Beowulf changed into written but after Sherborn Abbey in Dorset Roman e-book of Catholic prayer become written. With a inexperienced and black waxed seal attached to a vellum strip at the lowest a constitution changed into written (A.D. 1215)–King John enthroned now conserving his scepter.

It was written this 12 months of 1215 with gall-based totally ink. It turned into called the Magna Charta, perhaps the primary of its kind, a ‘Charter of Liberties,’ many copies have been made, and one despatched to Glastonbury, badly damaged via fireplace, yet it turned into displayed within the village nonetheless, to the populace; among them, Angelina and her husband, recognized a decade before because the Green Knight.

The eloquence of these ancient sentences, the the Aristocracy and idealism, they expressed warmed the hearts of Glastonbury, specially Angelina’s, pronouncing:

“No unfastened guy will be taken or imprisoned or disadvantaged or outlawed or exiled or in any way ruined…”

Need I say more–

it turned into revered because the founding stone of current freedom, and in time across the world would apprehend this; and to Angelina now with sons and two daughters, appeared this as a romantic and formative piece of British regulation.

This become also the time while the Crusades have been part of the material of the day, and lots talk of it in the village of Glastonbury; for that count, all of Europe. It was a time when Jerusalem had been conquered with the aid of the Muslim leader, Saladin–in truth, it changed into a bloody battle, for all three faiths, that appeared upon Jerusalem as sacred floor.

It became the time period St. Francis of Assisi formed an order of monks; when Pope Innocent III, was in Rome, an ablest pope indeed.
And permit it not be stated too loud, King John of England and Pope Innocent quarreled like attacking Grendel’s.

If we had been to head beyond Europe at this precise time in records we’d see Genghis Khan seize Peking, and ruin through the Great Wall of China, and conquer along with his Mongols all in sight, much like the Vikings of their technology.

And although Angelina was an amazing mom and spouse, she stored abreast of contemporary events, as they drifted into Glastonbury, as nicely she ought to. For the most component, her little township become quiet, and their little business, sedate.

–But these were trying instances for King John, to mention the least; and it might simplest worsen. He could die a year later, in A.D. 1216, after the lack of the French dominions, along together with his disputes with Rome, his over taxation of the nobility, which would show to have a hand in the civil struggle–I reiterate: finishing up in John’s death.

To be frank, Angelina, preferred King Richard I, more than John, who were captured at some stage in the Crusading; even idea England scarcely saw him for ten-years, the volume of his reign of England; she noticed him likened to King Arthur, of times past.

Chapter One

The Baron’s of struggle

(A.D. 1215, John meets in Runnymede, is of the same opinion to the declarations set down inside the Magna Carta)

In the coronary heart of Glastonbury, Summerset England, if one is to look up, from the village, almost at any point they may see the Great Tor, it’s far a artifical mound, and on its summit is an abbey (now best a tower remains, burnt down years in the past).

It turned into this year King John got here seeking out soldiers to recruit to combat his warfare with the Baron’s of England, who had gotten support shape France, mainly, Prince Louis (who could on twelve months’s time capture the Tower of London; A.D. 1216; however of direction I am jumping in advance of our story, for we’re still in 1215).

This yr for Angelina might be a maximum attempting yr, surely it’s going to consume eighteen-months, and the relaxation of this story must be extracted from her diary.

(Diary of Angelina)

“King John came with many soldiers into Glastonbury these days. He knew of my husband’s recognition, of his fighting inside the Crusades, anybody knew of route, and he requested my husband, in my opinion asked him: too kindly be a part of his army in opposition to the rich-barons of England, who had been looking to dethrone him. Evidently, he did not desire to head consistent with the Magna Carta, the very one he signed. He even quoted the man he so hated, the Pope, who had decreed John did now not, or become now not sure via this decree, and now it’s far of path records. Thus, John took my husband–as if he was a criminal–and tied him to a rope, held by means of one of the infantrymen on horseback.

“He tried to explain to the King, I was with baby, and he’d be part of his military proper after the kid changed into born, but might no longer be of plenty use, being long gone, and thinking about his spouse and baby. The king took this as an insult, and there has been no more to say. He begged the king to permit him live; I had never seen my husband in the sort of distraught form.

“It changed into a sad day certainly, for I knew that they had take him to London, possibly the Tower, and torture him. But let me tell you what I did, and possibly it turned into stupid, I ran to my husband, instructed him I’d locate him, anywhere he became, and the soldier kicked me, kicked me proper in my stomach, I had tears, I tried no longer to cry, to show them, but I couldn’t, my belly harm a lot, I changed into on the floor holding my stomach, I think it changed into…How sad a knight can do any such element, King John’s knights are like him; and my grandfather used to say: ‘…Deliver a canine a new call and you don’t need to dangle him.’ I want King Richard become here, he had the name earlier than John took the coolest call after his demise. Now he thinks he’s untouchable.

“As I laid there within the dirt by way of our little save, I watched the king dragging my husband out of the town as he grabbed numerous capacity young men to end up infantrymen in his military (the civil war became started out and Angelina knew this became a small a part of it, but resistance breeds resistance, and her thoughts shifted again to King Arthur, her hero of heroes, and King Richard the Lion Heart: and what laid dormant in her heart changed into wakened: a touch lion with large teeth.)”

Chapter Two

Tower of London

It become a shame for Angelina’s husband, he being a knight, being dragged out of Glastonbury like a thief, a dishonor certainly. For in many cases knights have been appointed as sheriffs and representatives of the people in shires in parliament.

Angelina had felt helpless, and now she had misplaced her baby a maximum horrid time for her, as she places it in her diary:

“It has been three months now, since I misplaced my child; and my husband is somewhere in the Tower of London, so I’ve been told by Prince Louis, who has sent phrase to me in this matter.

“I recognise now the Tames runs along facet of the Tower, I’ve by no means been in London so it is all new for me, but this map is a good one, the Prince despatched me, even though over a hundred years old, but he has modified it to the way it seemed fifteen-years ago, I doubt thinks have changed that a lot in those years.

“There appears to be some of towers in this map: allow me describe it: an atypical looking rectangular larger at one nook than the alternative, and there I see the River, it is going through the Bell Tower, and internal this extraordinary square is the Outer word, and to the returned of the main tower is the Inner word, and there are three towers, one called the dresser tower; internal this atypical square is the primary location they name the Tower of London, and it has 3 towers to it also, a torture chamber. I have to make it to the Bell Tower: I suppose. And there may be gateway also. Map reading isn’t always my specialty, so I hope I do not get this wrong, however I must now expand a plan.”

Chapter Three

The Tower, Wolf and Axe

“I need to get my husband out of the tower before he is tortured to demise. I’m certain King John will not stay though any other yr of his insanity, to rule England like a tyrant, like a slave camp, however that facilitates me little, should I anticipate his demise, it will now not come soon sufficient to keep my husband. I even have long past over the map 100 times now.”

She went down the Thames River, it become darkish, and it was the start of wither; the air become chilled, a wind nearly freezing, you may see your breath. She could see the Tower now: her wolf via her side within the boat, her two sons, Phillip, the elder, and Richard, the more youthful (11 and twelve). She had her plan, her gold and silver to bribe, and hoping it might be enough to get thru the gateway, and escorted to the Bell Tower: she had bought the whole lot she should, commercial enterprise, house, the whole lot: and had fourteen gold portions, and numerous silver cash: she turned into penniless, if this didn’t paintings, then it become positive loss of life.

They had docked the boat, walked up to the gateway front:

(Diary) “With my gold in hand I bribed the primary protect’s to allow me in and strive to speak with the authorities to see my husband, if simplest for a minute. And they saw no harm in it, and figured I’d get became back before I were given to the Bell Tower anyway, so that they had nothing to lose. Phillip became with me, and my wolf (she had the vintage wolf for fifteen years now, it became one she had bought and, well one nowadays it came lower back to right here after it had run off somewhere; most of the wolfs enamel have been lacking but he had a mean growl, was faithful, and nonetheless had several teeth in region, if want for some thing teeth are used for), was already through the Bell Tower waiting, and Richard was in the boat, guarding it.

“Thus, I had the whole lot in place, however I knew something could cross incorrect, doesn’t it constantly, and in that case, I would have to resort to some other plan, however to be sincere, I had no different one. But my son tells me I created one quickly. Anyhow, we walked slowly down the Great Hall, quietly pat the Royal Residence, up excessive to the Gallery stage. I think they were walking me round in circles, because the Bell Tower turned into outside on the alternative quit of the Inner Ward. I become paying each guard a chunk of gold, everyone desired to be bribed. Then one defend pointed to the Bell Tower, pronouncing: ‘…That is the Bell Tower, that your husband is in, save, if he is still alive, he changed into tortured pretty horrific.’

“I had given him my ultimate silver coin and now I became standing under the Bell Tower steps, and huge fat vintage protect came down, the antique man knew what I wanted, however I had no coins left, and I informed him so. He was 1/2 drunk, slobbering allover the young defend next to me, and my son, and myself.

“I hoped the young shield, who became kind enough to prevent the charade again in the main tower, could convince his comrade I had paid dearly to get to these steps, however he become silent.

“I ought to see the door, it turned into slightly opened, this guy must had been kicking my husband, and his shoes become bloody. ‘How a lot silver do you have got left,’ he asked me, bluntly, this vintage solider who may want to hardly ever stand, his liquor had gotten the excellent of him. ‘I even have none left,’ I advised him, none whatsoever. And he did not like that one bit.

“Then with the pressure of a endure, I felt like a twig in his grip, he pulled me over to him, thrust his hand down my to my breast and had his satisfaction with me for that second. I was taken with the aid of marvel, and when he pulled out his hand….”

[Phillip] That is all my mother can do not forget, so I will have to fill in the areas. When he pulled his hand out, of the higher a part of my moms gown, she become froze, I had noticed–possibly with terror, or perhaps with anger, I don’t know.

When we had handed the torture room at the main tower, I recall my mom picking up something, an axe, I didn’t see plenty, and I turned into horrified to see the person at the rack being stretched out of his joints. But the Headsman’s block awl become there after I first visible it, and I noticed my mom touching it, and after I appeared aback to see how sharp it become, it turned into gone. Again I should say, that man on the rack, whose limbs have been being pulled to god-knows were, blocked all different things out of my mind, however here is what followed, what I don’t forget:

When the huge and heavy soldier pulled his hand out of my moms robe, out came the awl, she had hidden it below her cloths, for that reason his hand dropped like a mug of ale at the floor; then off came his head, his eyes nonetheless in shock looking at his hand, now his head was at collapsing frame, and subsequent searching right into a hollow space referred to as a neck, he even blinked his eyes, could not consider he became headless. Funny, how long you may live neck-much less.

The younger soldier changed into in shock, he changed into frozen to wherein he stood, stone-still just like the Pillars of Hercules.

I think, now that I appearance again, it turned into most suitable for this to take location, especially within the tower place, for is it no longer the vicinity of executions. Mom certainly took the plan B, into motion, the plan she didn’t have until the guards attempted to scare her by way of bringing her round in circles, and by way of the torture room.

Aye, sure, the younger soldier changed into nonetheless in surprise, piss jogging down his leg onto the ground.

Chapter Four


All my mom had on turned into a robe, and there has been motive for this: coiled round her changed into a rope, in which she had tucked in that headsman’s awl, and so carefully and rapidly, pulled it out to shop the day. She had delivered a tunic and left it inside the boat, I wasn’t positive why, she never said, but now I knew. We had been within the Bell Tower, father changed into on the floor, weak, and overwhelmed quite terrible, but once he saw mom, he got up, then said,

“Angelina! Angelina! …Is it clearly you.”

And they kissed.

With no adue (or time to waste), she undressed, and unwound the rope round her frame, and tied it to a bare inside the window: the bars had been separated extensive enough that we did no longer have to dig out, thank goodness.

As we climbed down the rope, mother’s wolf was faithfully ready, but we also saw that young guard now walking around, out the gateway to us, he had gotten his composure back. When he had stuck as much as us, however twenty ft in front of mother, the antique wolf, with 1/2 its tooth long past, jumped like a hawk onto that soldier, and mauled his face up awful, a teeth imprint right here and there: he’ll never again I worry, discover favor with younger maidens.

Next we had all run to the boat, and Richard quick driven us all out into the river. More guards were now strolling out of the gate entrance, and mother’s wolf jumped into the boat as we have been now clear of the financial institution.

[Diary Entry: Phillip] King John is dead, and my the has back to Glastonbury, after hiding within the Abbey at the Tor. Mom stopped writing inside the Diary on this depend, so I took it upon myself to fill inside the areas of time. King Henry III came into electricity, which was in October of 1216. He could out live my father and die in 1272, which was years ago.

Now I am antique, and Edward I, will out live me. But who cares, allow him be a crowned crusader, like my Great Grandfather. Mom might have lived him although, he’s kind of a warrior, like dad turned into, and Arthur, and King Richard. The wolf died in 1217, she had her adventures with mom I suppose. That’s all I were given to say.

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