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Authors: Michael Jecks

30 - King's Gold

 
 

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

The Oath

 

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
1st Floor
222 Gray’s Inn Road
London WC1X 8HB

www.simonandschuster.co.uk

www.michaeljecks.co.uk

Simon & Schuster Australia
Sydney

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!

CONTENTS

Glossary

Cast of Characters

Author’s Note

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Five

Chapter Twenty-Six

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Chapter Thirty

Chapter Thirty-One

Chapter Thirty-Two

Chapter Thirty-Three

Chapter Thirty-Four

Chapter Thirty-Five

Chapter Thirty-Six

Chapter Thirty-Seven

Chapter Thirty-Eight

Chapter Thirty-Nine

Chapter Forty

Chapter Forty-One

Chapter Forty-Two

Chapter Forty-Three

Chapter Forty-Four

Chapter Forty-Five

Chapter Forty-Six

Chapter Forty-Seven

Chapter Forty-Eight

Chapter Forty-Nine

Chapter Fifty

Chapter Fifty-One

Chapter Fifty-Two

Chapter Fifty-Three

Chapter Fifty-Four

Chapter Fifty-Five

Chapter Fifty-Six

Chapter Fifty-Seven

 
GLOSSARY

Abjure

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.

Alaunt

a ferocious hunting dog, built like a greyhound but much larger.

Black bread

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.

Braies

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.

Fuller

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.

Half-staff

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.

Host

in medieval England the King could call on men of a certain age to serve in his levy. The word army came from
armée
, a French term that would not come into common use in English until the Hundred Years War.

Kennel

central gulley or gutter in a medieval street.

Lampreys

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’.

Maslin

mixture of rye and wheat, used for breadmaking.

Niddicock

fool, idiot.

Pandemaigne

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).

Perry

drink made from fermenting pears – similar to cider, but sweeter.

Quarter-staff

(see
Half-staff
) the manner of holding a staff with one quarter of the stave between the hands, both hands nearer one tip, leaving three-quarters of the weapon pointing at the enemy like a lance.

Rache

a running dog, like a greyhound but smaller than an
Alaunt
.

Rifflers

bands of men who looted and robbed at will when King Edward II left London.

Rounsey

general purpose horse of a good size, used by men-at-arms for a warhorse, or a packhorse.

Scavengers

workers who cleansed a town’s streets of faeces and rubbish.

Sumpter

a baggage horse.

Verderer

the official responsible for the law in the King’s forest.

 
CAST OF CHARACTERS

Sir Baldwin de Furnshill

Keeper of the King’s Peace, known for his astute investigation of crimes.

Jeanne de Furnshill

wife to Sir Baldwin.

Edgar

Baldwin’s servant and chief man-at-arms.

Simon Puttock

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.

Margaret Puttock

‘Meg’ is Simon’s wife.

Edith

Simon and Meg’s daughter.

Hugh

Simon’s servant.

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.

Willersey

Father Luke

vicar of St Peter’s, Willersey.

Ham

a farmer in Willersey.

Agatha

wife of Ham.

Jen

daughter to Ham and Agatha.

London

Bardi

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.

Senchet Garcie

another member of the Caerphilly garrison.

Stephen Dunheved

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.

Brother Michael

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.

Gilbert

chief guard of Edward of Caernarfon.

Squire Bernard

porter at the gate of Kenilworth Castle.

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