Archive for Steward

London Towne, September

Posted in Event Journal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 10, 2017 by creweofthearchangel

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Length of black, silk ribbon was stretched slowly across the desktop finally coming to rest upon an open bible.

Weary eyes closed against the strain of reading. Another sleepless night, another morning arriving all too early. And more funerals.

War was a miserable thing. He was still struggling to find the glory in it. He understood the need to fight, to protect those he loved, his way of life, but he could not understand the hullabaloo, the young men who hurried to pick up a musket or sword and rush headlong into…

“Hell on earth.”

“What was that, Sir?” The Irishman asked from the next room over. Ears already damaged from too much gunfire were still recovering from the din of yesterday’s battle.14492572_10154681974923825_9013517838455022855_n

Sterling glanced up, gaze darting to the sunlight that streamed through the seams between the wall boards.

A good caulking would solve all that..

But ye are not on board the ‘Angel…this place is only yours to rent…

“War, Fionn,” Sterling muttered a moment later. He realized, too late, that the steward would not hear him a second time and the question would need repeating again. He leaned back in his chair after pushing it away from the desk. Long legs unfolded before him as good eye finally noticed the holes in the new silk stockings he wore.

She would be angry. Those were the last thing she gave ye. Ye should have worn a different, older pair…

Fingers splayed as open palm slammed down upon the desk. The noise startled the steward, his head soon poking around the edge of the doorway.
“I am sorry…”

“T’is not ye Fionn. Not ye at all!” Sterling shouted, his words dripping with frustration. Leaning down, a finger dug into one hole of the wounded silk, making it worse.

“I can fix those, sir, if ye have a mind not to pillage em further,” Fionn said.

“Does not matter,” came the doleful reply.

Nothing matters now.

“Right, sir.” The steward turned about then shifted just enough to look back at his captain. “I shall have your black coat brushed and ready. A wee bit longer, sir.”

An eternity for those that still remained.

Good eye roamed once more about the room. After the battle they had made sail for the closest harbour. Londontowne. Archangel’s new home. And his.

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Sterling had agreed to rent a small tenement there, months ago, as14522914_10210957121987746_5963692726279877397_n soon as his marriage had begun to deteriorate. He still could not bear to return to the plantation. Too many memories he was unwilling to confront and now with more dead to bury, life as it had once been, slipped completely away.

Thomas, the bitter child, would see to the property and the horses. Sarah and Sean had promised to look in on things often. Fingers reached for his spectacles before he sunk down further into the chair and dared to draw Sean’s latest letter to him. His throat tightened as he read the legal papers enclosed. So difficult to digest but he swallowed all of it.

His attention was diverted as the steward appeared once more in the doorway. Black coat, furnished with weepers was held out, ready for him to slip into.

“Give me a moment…please.” Words were choked. Hand shook as he reached for quill and ink and he signed where needed. He had severed all other contact, as requested. This was all that remained. Papers were folded, secured inside a fresh sheet, sealed and addressed before he stood.

“See that you find a rider to take these to Virginia. Tell him to make all necessary haste.”

Documents were turned over to Fionn’s keeping before body passed into the cold embrace of the mourning coat.

“Are you certain, sir?”

“What else can I do?”

No more words were exchanged. Slow step brought him to collect the bible from his desk before he left the tenement. Good eye, momentarily blinded by the sun, blinked as he adjusted to the brightness. Gaze directed to the garden, overgrown and unkempt, but promising.

Madame Lasseter will be pleased with it. Someday….soon. The babe will have hours to explore and help his mother there. Ye see, life continues… there is always hope.

Suddenly he turned back into the house and plucked the papers from Fionn’s grasp. They were returned to wait upon his desk.

Perhaps ye can send them tomorrow…but not now. Not today.

“Later,” he said as he stepped past the steward.

He straightened to his full height, shoulders squaring for the tasks ahead. He could see Adam Cyphers hurrying across the green to join him. Without a sound the two fell into step together and made their way to bury the dead. After, they would all begin again.

Copyright 2017 C.A.Salone
Photos by J. Geiger; S. Mickle; M. Fink; A. Cyphers; M. Fleckenstein
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Historic London Town & Gardens
“London Town was founded in 1683 as Anne Arundel County’s seat. Its heyday lasted approximately 100 years, but the town soon dissipated thanks to change in trade routes. The only remaining historic structure on site was the William Brown House. Built in c.1760 as an upscale tavern, the William Brown House became the county’s almshouse from 1828 – 1965. Today it is the centerpiece of the historic area, which also includes a reconstructed Carpenter’s Shop and Lord Mayor’s Tenement with kitchen garden, ropewalk, and an 18th century tobacco barn. Learn more about the history of the site in the Discover London Town exhibit in the Visitor Center.” ~ Historic London Town & Garden

farewell

Lord Mayor’s Tenement and Kitchen Garden
Reconstructed on its archaeological footprint, the Lord Mayor’s Tenement would have been rented to London Town’s lower-class workers. Adjacent to the building is a kitchen garden demonstrating different foods colonists would have grown for subsistence. Visit Historic London Town’s events page for our next hearth cooking demonstrations in the Lord Mayor’s Tenement.”~Historic London Town & Garden

Beaufort Pirate Invasion 8-10 August

Posted in Event Journal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 17, 2013 by creweofthearchangel

To Mistress Murin McDonough
The Selkie’s Hyde
Hampton Roads
Virginia
11 August

My dearest Cousyn Murin,

Once again I hope that this Missive finds you well. The Merriweather Lads are in good Health. Captain has been under the Care of the Doctor but is feeling nearly himself now. I myself am at this writing in a weakened State as ill Spirits attack but, with God’s Grace and not the Doctors prescribed “Pine Tears” I will recover quickly.

Earlier in the Month the Captain received Word that there were Spanish Pirates in the Area of the North Carolina Colony harassing the Citizens of the Town of Beaufort. I know that ye are well aware of Captain Sterling’s opinion of Criminals who ride the Waves so it will come as no surprise that we have made haste to that Towne to lend Assistance in any way we might.

On Wednesday, the seventh of August, we approached the Shore Town of Beaufort with English Colors flying high. We anchored the Archangel then rowed to Shore. The Captain his Sons, Sean and Joshua Merriweather and I were first to Land. The locals appeared cautious as we approached but once Captain Sterling offered to help protect the Town against the invading Spanish we were greeted heartily and all manner of People from the Towne offered to help us.

We quickly brought Camp Gear and one Great Gun (always Gabriel is with us) ashore and set up the beginnings of a small Encampment near the Town’s Gaol with the Captains Tent and a smaller one for the Midshipmen. We also made use of what was left of an old Spritsail to create a Lean-to to Lodge Sailors at night and under which we might find additional Shade throughout the day. The Moisture in the air was great and our Clothes were soaked through by the effort put forth!

Amongst those in the first Shore Party was a newly recruited young Sailor Mitchell O’Sionnach. Happy am I that the wise Captain has found himself yet another skilled Irish Lad! Sterling made good use of him in assisting with the set-up of the Encampment and running Errands. I must say that the Lad O’Sionnach is a hard Worker eager to learn and help when he can and has already proven himself an asset to the Crewe. Grateful were we that the Locals offered to ease our Burden by offering a Hand in set-up for it made our Work go quickly.

Once settled we found an Establishment willing to serve us at a late Hour and had a meager Meal. Watches were set and we slept as peacefully as we could throughout the hot Night.

Thursday Morning came far too quickly in the hot Weather for my liking. Shortly thereafter Master Gunner Lasseter and his Indentured Servant Josephine Leguard were brought ashore and the Encampment grew by one Tent. The Officers met with the town’s folk as O’Sionnach, Josephine and I continued to set up the Encampment, filling the Cisterns with fresh Water, gathering Wood for Fire and tending to the needs of the Camp.

Captain asked that we also erect a small Wedge Tent for Master Blacksmith Cyphers. Master Cyphers, usually quite happy to string up his Hammock, had this past week, fallen when the Ship pitched unexpectantly and injured his Knee. The Doctor has prescribed that he stay off of it, a Prescription that Master Cyphers is quite unaccustomed to following. He has, however, suffered through the Horror of being waited on and may actually be allowing himself to enjoy the fact that the Crewe does indeed care for his well being and comfort.

Doctor Geiger and the Heathen Pilot Blackhorse brought Provision of Food to the Encampment. The Doctor is insistant that we eat a variety of fresh Foods, Fruits and Vegetables when available so he had the Heathen take him about the Area to see what might be found. Beaufort is a small and thinly inhabited Town. Outside the Towne there are still some native Peoples, having Blackhorse with him proved to be an asset in trading for the Crewe Nutritional needs. Tis a good change from Hardtack and Fish Stew. Doctor Geiger was also able to acquire a few Leaches in his search stating that they will not likely live long at Sea but he is glad to have them when he can. I watched him use one to help O’Sionnach with his ill Humors, rather interesting that was.doc and leeche tup

Once Camp was set the Captain ordered that one more small Tent be set up for the Ships paying Passenger Princess Jülide and her Child “Kitty” be brought to the Encampment feeling that she would be safer there. He also gave orders that the Laundress Mae Harrington be brought into Camp. I believe that he prefers her where we might keep watch over her given her questionable mental stability. Quite frankly, if I could, I would avoid her all together but my Work requires that I interact with her almost daily. I would rather reattach a Button on my own before I would ask her to do so. It is best to tread lightly with that one since the Accident.

The Encampment remained quiet all Evening with everyone going about their own activities. The Evening turned to night, watches were once again set and all were abed early.

On Friday, the ninth Day of August we were up and about our work early as usual. The Officers met with the local Constabulary to discuss how we might help against the Invasions by the Spaniards. Many of the Towns Inhabitants came to visit our Encampment and found interest in Camp Activities so we shared what Knowledge of Weapons and Tactics, and Navigation. The doctor was able to impart some Wisdom to those who showed interest in his Skills. The Children found the Heathen’s Tales highly fascinating. The Laundress also made a few extra Pence washing Laundry for a few of the Sailors in Port. Josephine was able to find some of the Ingredients for her Apothecary Stores and even had some of the Children in the Towne assist in the making of some Concoction.

The Afternoon brought an Attack by Spanish Pirates who were defeated before coming ashore. The Archangel sent Word from the Ship with Custis Makemie and Shaughnessy Barnidge to the Captain and the two Men then remained with us on shore, gladly lending a Hand as needed. Aye, two more Irishmen, the Captain attracts good Folk! The Towne was in celebration after turning away the Spanish once again. The Princess was asked to Dance. I know that the Captain was not pleased by this. Her dance, shameful by some standards. Please say nothing to the Captain for I would not disgrace him by admitting that such beauty and grace is indeed pleasing to watch.

Later that evening much of the town, still in Celebration, gathered for a Meal and some Entertainment. Many of the Ships in Port offered up someone to sing or play. I was asked by the Captain to sing “Over the Hills and Faraway” as part of the entertainment. I was not in my best Voice due to a soreness in my throat but I believe that I managed well enough. Would that you were there for your Voice has always been more pleasing than mine dear Cousyn.

Saturday followed Friday, as it is want to do, and I found myself having to defend the Captains Breakfast from little miss Kitty who came in with wooden Sword drawn. I was forced to draw the largest wooden Spoon I could find do fight her off! The Lass brightens even the darkest Day. She is a sweet one with a Smile that lights up the Camp, fair of Face like her Mother. Not once on the Voyage have I seen or heard her complain or misbehave.

The Day once again grew hot quickly. The Lass, Kitty, was able to keep cool in the Laundress’s wash Tub, would that I too would fit! The Crewe’s Work on shore was nearly done and the Captain’s Things set in order when the Call went up from the town that Spanish were once more making way to attack. The Master Gunner called for me to man the great Guns that had been brought ashore along with Blackhorse, Joseph, and the Doctor, who ran the Powder so that he could be on the Field and available if any injuries needed tending. One small Vessel with only three or four rowdy Spaniards came forward and were easily thwarted with a few shots across her Bow and a few local Women throwing rotten Fruit at them. We scoffed at the Attack but did not lay off the watch for a larger Ship had been reported earlier. Sure as the Sun will rise, the larger Ship sailed into our range and the true Battle began. Great Guns ringing on both sides. A few of the Pirates manage to make it to Shore. The Casualties on both sides were few but the Doctor’s Services were indeed needed. With our aid the local Militia and towns folk were able not only to save the Town but also captured two of the Pirates to bring into town for a Trial.

I myself was charged with keeping the prisoners in line. We made good use of the Gaol and the towns folk were able to come “pay their respects” to the pirates who awaited trial. I tell you there was no love there and the Gaoler was able to make a few shillings for himself.

With the governor out of town it fell to Captain Sterling to officiate at the trial. The first Lad, one Thomas Smyth, brought before the good Captain claimed to have been pressed into service claimed to be an apprentice to a “felter”. The boy swore to sign on to the Archangel at least until he was able to earn passage back to his homeland so the Captain released him into the custody of the Master at Arms. As to the second prisoner I am sad to report the man, Lochlainn Tiarnach, also from our beloved Ireland was defiant through it all. He, being Irish, I had hoped to would find some remorse in him but there was none. He had no defense just defiance. The crowd began to call for him to be hanged . The Captain passed sentence, death. Tierney’s last drink, which Captain Sterling granted him, was used not to quench his thirst but to spew on the Captain! He looked at me as if I were the traitor not he. I can not say that this surprises me given the history between the English and the Irish but attacking innocent Townsfolk, no matter who he serves, makes him a criminal. Finally the Captain could stand it no longer and the crate that held him above the crowds for all to see was kicked from beneath him. The life choked out of him slowly. Dearest Cousyn, I will never become accustomed to watching someone hanged. Never.

The Evening allowed some Time to relax and the Captain and his Boys, along with Kitty played nine pin. The Locals once again, fed us as they celebrated the Engagement of two of their own. The Feast gave those who call the Archangel home another chance to socialize. The Captain even extended his Table and invited all to join in the Meal.

The Weatherglass rose so all was made ready for the impending Storm. As is often the case, these Instruments of prognostication are not always easily read and what was to be a Storm was but a short period of Rainfall that barely dampened the Canvas and did not dampen the Spirits of the Crewe and Guests at all. Thus the Celebration continued until Midnight

Sunday brought new Orders from Captain Sterling. The Towne now in the Hands of its Citizens and the Spanish defeated, the Encampment was packed and loaded once again onto the Archangel. We bad farewell to the Town of Beaufort and weighed Anchor at about two Hours past noon.

It is my hope that the Captain will be making for Hampton soon and then to his Plantation, Migdal-El, not far from there in Virginia. If that be the case then I am sure he will take Time to visit ye at the Hyde while in Hampton. I then shall ask leave of him to visit with ye, for it has been far too long since I have taken the Time to enjoy yer Company.

Your humble Servant & devot’d Cousyn,
James Fionntan Murtaugh

Copyright September 2013/M. Fleckenstein
Special Thanks to Diane Shultz & Jason Goldsmith for the use of their photographs