Authors: Michael Jecks
Michael Jecks gave up a career in the computer industry to concentrate on writing and the study of medieval history. A regular speaker at library and literary events, he is a past Chairman of the Crime Writers’ Association. He lives with his wife, children and dogs on northern Dartmoor.
Also by Michael Jecks
The Last Templar
The Merchant’s Partner
A Moorland Hanging
The Crediton Killings
The Abbot’s Gibbet
The Leper’s Return
Squire Throwleigh’s Heir
Belladonna at Belstone
The Traitor of St Giles
The Boy Bishop’s Glovemaker
The Tournament of Blood
The Sticklepath Strangler
The Devil’s Acolyte
The Mad Monk of Gidleigh
The Templar’s Penance
The Outlaws of Ennor
The Tolls of Death
The Chapel of Bones
The Butcher of St Peter’s
A Friar’s Bloodfeud
The Death Ship of Dartmouth
The Malice of Unnatural Death
Dispensation of Death
The Templar, the Queen and Her Lover
The Prophecy of Death
The King of Thieves
The Bishop Must Die
First published in Great Britain by Simon & Schuster UK Ltd, 2011
A CBS COMPANY
Copyright © Michael Jecks, 2011
This book is copyright under the Berne Convention.
No reproduction without permission.
® and © 1997 Simon & Schuster Inc. All rights reserved.
The right of Michael Jecks to be identified as author of this
work has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and
78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988.
Simon & Schuster UK Ltd
222 Gray’s Inn Road
London WC1X 8HB
Simon & Schuster Australia
A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
Hardback ISBN 978-1-84737-902-3
Trade Paperback ISBN 978-0-85720-111-9
eBook ISBN: 978-1-84737-903-0
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either
a product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance
to actual people living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
Typeset by Hewer Text UK Ltd, Edinburgh
Printed and bound in Great Britain by CPI Mackays, Chatham ME5 8TD
This book is for the Marvellous Marvins
with thanks for Fnob Cheese!
felons who claimed sanctuary in a church were sometimes offered the chance to abjure the realm i.e. accepting voluntary exile in preference to being executed. They must confess to their crime, after which their property was all forfeit, even if subsequently they were pardoned or shown to be innocent.
a ferocious hunting dog, built like a greyhound but much larger.
the bread of poorer folk, used especially for making trenchers, was made from flour which was not so carefully sieved and prepared as white flour.
underclothes consisting of linen or loose woollen material that was full in the bottom and reached sometimes to the calves. The waist was often curled over and over to form a sort of belt, sometimes with strings to tie it up.
a channel running along the length of a sword blade, sometimes called a ‘blood gutter’, it was intended to reduce the weight of the blade without weakening it.
a staff held with hands apart over the middle so that roughly half the staff was between the hands. As a weapon, it could be used to jab with either end, or to block another fighter’s weapon with the mass of the centre.
in medieval England the King could call on men of a certain age to serve in his levy. The word army came from
central gulley or gutter in a medieval street.
a primitive, eel-like fish that was prized as a delicacy in medieval times. Henry I was said to have died from ‘a surfeit of lampreys’.
mixture of rye and wheat, used for breadmaking.
special, creamy white bread made with the highest grade of flour, from which much of the bran (but not wheatgerm) had been removed by sieving through cloth.
Peine Forte et Dure
torture in England was illegal before the 1300s, but if an accused man refused to plead, he could be forced to lie on the floor, shackled to rings, and to have weights set upon his chest until he complied. Many died, unable to breathe (another ‘natural’ death for a prisoner).
drink made from fermenting pears – similar to cider, but sweeter.
a running dog, like a greyhound but smaller than an
bands of men who looted and robbed at will when King Edward II left London.
general purpose horse of a good size, used by men-at-arms for a warhorse, or a packhorse.
workers who cleansed a town’s streets of faeces and rubbish.
a baggage horse.
the official responsible for the law in the King’s forest.
Sir Baldwin de Furnshill
Keeper of the King’s Peace, known for his astute investigation of crimes.
Jeanne de Furnshill
wife to Sir Baldwin.
Baldwin’s servant and chief man-at-arms.
Once a bailiff on Dartmoor, now a local farmer and freeman, Simon has been associated with the new government because of his hatred of the Despenser regime.
‘Meg’ is Simon’s wife.
Simon and Meg’s daughter.
Sir Richard de Welles
friend to Simon and Baldwin, Coroner to the Hundred of Lifton.
Sir Ralph of Evesham
a knight loyal to the old King.
vicar of St Peter’s, Willersey.
a farmer in Willersey.
wife of Ham.
daughter to Ham and Agatha.
family of Florentine bankers who helped fund the King of England, based in Florence, but with a house in London.
Manuele di Bardi
the oldest of the brothers and head of the Bardi family in London.
Benedetto di Bardi
second-in-command of the bank.
Matteo di Bardi
youngest brother of the family.
Sebastian & Francisco
two merchants from the House of Bardi.
Dolwyn of Guildford
bodyguard; supporter of Edward II.
Alured the Cooper
a law officer.
Camp of Sir Edward of Caernarfon
Sir Edward of Caernarfon
once King Edward II of England, he has been forced to abdicate the realm and pass it on to his son.
John of Shulton
a man-at-arms from the Despenser estates.
Paul of Bircheston
John’s best friend; also a Despenser vassal.
Harry le Cur
one of the men-at-arms who had been besieged at Caerphilly.
another member of the Caerphilly garrison.
an instigator of the plots to rescue the former King.
Frere Thomas Dunheved
brother of Stephen, and a Dominican Friar, Thomas had been a confidential agent for King Edward II and remained intensely loyal to him.
a monk at the Augustinian Priory of Llantony-next-Gloucester.
William atte Hull
nephew to Brother Michael.
Sir Edmund Gascelin
ally to the Dunheveds and involved in their plots.
Donald, Earl of Mar
a Scottish earl who was intensely loyal to Sir Edward of Caernarfon and involved in many plots to release him.
Camp of King Edward III
King Edward III
the young son of Edward of Caernarfon, he rules only with the approval and consent of Sir Roger Mortimer, his Regent. Also known as the Duke of Aquitaine.
Sir Roger Mortimer
for many years Sir Roger was King Edward II’s favourite general, but now he is Edward of Caernarfon’s most hated enemy.
Earl Henry of Lancaster
one of the most powerful noblemen in England, who inherited his title when his brother Thomas was executed by Edward II for rebellion.
Sir Jevan de Bromfield
a knight in the service of Henry, Earl of Lancaster at Kenilworth.
Lord Thomas de Berkeley
son-in-law to Sir Roger Mortimer.
Sir John Maltravers
a close friend to Lord Thomas.
chief guard of Edward of Caernarfon.
porter at the gate of Kenilworth Castle.