Ann Fanshawe: A Memoir of Love

Once upon a time, there was a woman in the 17th Century who loved her husband very, very much. Her name was Ann Fanshawe. Come join me at the English Historical Fiction Authors Blog today when I share with you the writings of Ann Fanshawe and her enduring love for her husband Richard. Click here to read more…

The Execution of Charles I

Today is the anniversary of the execution of King Charles I. I have ambivalent thoughts about this. To a degree, I feel some sentimentality, though this is fuelled by the romance of Alexandre Dumas’s novel Twenty Years After when two of the musketeers, Athos and Aramis, were sent to rescue the King. It was my first introduction to the English Civil War, and the scene made a lasting impression on me—blood dripping between the gaps in the scaffold, landing on Athos who had been moments away from spiriting the King away. But that was fiction. On one hand, Charles I was stubborn…

Finding the Fugitive King a Ship (Finale)

Up until now, our fugitive King, Charles Stuart, has hidden in a tree, fought off a deranged miller, crouched in a priest’s hole, sparred with a Republican smith, and ridden past a sea of enemy dragoons, all while picking up lessons on the speech and comportment of a country fellow. He’s had a busy time of it, but now we get to the final stretch. Our King must find a ship. After Charles had left the Nortons of Abbotsleigh, he arrived at Trent, the home of a close acquaintance, Colonel Frank Wyndham, who set to work to find him a…

Finding the Fugitive King (Part 3): Damsel saves the day

  By the time Charles Stuart left Moseley Old Hall on September 9, 1651, Parliament had circulated a £1000 reward for his capture. This was no mean sum. To put this in perspective, a labourer made an average of £9 per year*, and it would have taken him over 110 years to earn the value of the reward. In today’s dollars, based on the average UK farmer’s salary** of £24,500 the reward would be approximately £545,000. The stakes were definitely high. Our old friend Thomas Whitgreave recommended the services of Colonel John Lane of Bentley Hall to Charles. The Colonel had…