The Weekly Visit to Carisbrooke Castle

Dorothy Davies “The Weekly Visit to Carisbrooke Castle” a fictional review.
 
 
The Weekly Visit to Carisbrooke Castle
 
 
 
It be Wednesday and my Lord, Sir John Oglander, will as always be visiting His Majesty King Charles who is interred in Carisbrooke Castle, more’s the pity and shame of it. I wonder sometimes how this country does live with itself, knowing its crowned King is held prisoner in a small castle miles from his palace in London. I know I cannot say my heart is at peace with it all, so tell me, how can the Lord Protector sleep well in his bed at night?
 
            It is something to be grateful for that His Majesty is here on the island, for we would be hard put to visit and offer friendship if he were not close by, but saying that, we have said oftentimes we would go without the pleasure of speaking with him if he were free to pursue his claim, his rightful God-given claim, to the throne of England.
 
            On Wednesdays Nunwell House do go into a tizzy and a dither of cleaning and polishing of boots, harness and weapons, so that when we ride up to the great castle gate we look what we are, His Majesty’s loyal and devoted servants, one an aristocrat and one his squire. We must not look like the peasantry, that would not go down well either with the Keeper of the castle or His Majesty himself, even though he does insist my Lord’s visit be worth a fortune in gold and gems to him, he being desperate lonely and heartsore at all that is going on. And so our very best clothes are brushed and pressed, our boots polished to a gleaming finish and our weapons glittering in the sunshine, if there be any.
 
            The cook bakes fresh cakes and sweetbreads for His Majesty every week, seasoned with her tears, for she is a sympathizer and cares not who knows it. Sir John searches the Nunwell library for something to take for His Majesty to read, for all in the castle library has long since been read and forgotten. That is, if His Majesty can read for all the thoughts that must be spinning in his head at this time, the head they say he will lose to the axe if he should fail the trial they be planning for him.
 
            For all that the king made bad choices of his advisors, anyone could see that the great duke of Buckingham was not a good or sensible person to have around for one, he is still the king of England and none can argue with that. Nor should they.
 
            Many lost their lives in this terrible war waged over our country, those who took sides, brother against brother, father against son, cannot be the same again, no matter what anyone says about reconciliation. There is no such word in a civil war. We at Nunwell are Royalists to our very bones and will remain so! Should I overhear one word against our anointed king then they will be out on their ear in the cold, so they will, and I know a good deal of the island feels the same way.
 
            Tis time we were gone. Our horses are groomed, our harness shines, our clothes look good but our hearts are heavy. This day it is sunshine, I trust we will find His Majesty out on the bowling green, enjoying the brightness as best he can. Can you enjoy life when every day could be one day nearer to your death? I say this in my most secret heart, I fear he will not triumph in the trial to come, I fear that the court will be rigged against him. I fear that those who side with the Protector, for the sake of their own skins, will ensure that His Majesty loses no matter what argument he puts forward.
 
            Unfair, I say but cannot say it aloud. The Protector’s spies are everywhere and who knows who is in their pay? At a time when coin is hard to come by…
 
            Brading to Carisbrooke is not a long journey but when my lord is so downcast and miserable at the prospect of the future, and we ride without a word being spoken, it can seem a long way.
 
            For all that, the castle is in sight, from a distance it is a most awe-inspiring place, with the soaring towers of the Woodville Gate dominating the wall surrounding the castle itself. Beyond lies the green land of this most loved of islands.
 
            We are there now, my lord is ready to meet with this most loved of kings.
            God send that we may do this for a very long time to come.
           

 

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