Letter from Latvia no4

Good morning. The sun shines on a world of rural bliss as the gentle butterfly ,yellow and gold, flutters across my face and and the sound of bees in rose blooms open and scented is music in my ears. 78f not a breath of breeze the garden carries me further in to this image of peace to start weeding.

My summer house roof, that bane of my life over last three years . is finally in use .An English folly with a purpose . Soon will stain glass the leaded rear window. Paint the walls and set the scene for summerhouse use. Seats table and chandelier from the high spire that is the roof . So long since I made the design set the base of this small build in heavy timber beams. Trouble was dear reader here in Latvia none can bend metal to sloped shapes. I therefore had to change it to a pyramid and in week it was done .We cant always have exactly what we wish for and it did not ruin the outcome really. If I had acted on this I may have avoided the time it took to effect. Still I may suffer from perfection I admit.

The delicious solitude of plants and trees drives and fountains is becoming reality and a world on its own. Love that makes this place a best retreat fills my plans to carry it on into the fields and make a garden worthy of England far off from another land. A corner of the great rested in this design to be a world of Bertie Wooster perhaps even the ghosts of Edwardian ladies parasol and white lace will roam its paths. Wander in its rooms and join the peacock in is splendor in a gardens made by man for God to bless.

We are the creatures of experience one saws the works of other gardeners ,the rooms and hedges of Hidcote the Welsh tall hats of Nora Lindsay .The dream of Vita Sackville West and Harold Nicholson. The great expanse of Lancelot Brown and gasped at its total overall beauty. The days before wars when money was not the hold back of today they carved England into one great garden in the many that make the patchwork blanket of England work . Here can only do my best not to copy but to praise the past and see tomorrow in the buds that form i see on my walk around. Jobs still to do but when is a gardens finished .It can never be so and there is the dilemma of the subject . We change and gardens change and time goes by it even makes its own mind up. My designs of hardcore will not change but plants will dictate and will look better some area around the room.. Cuttings grown increase stock and so more room is required as nothing remains stagnant in a garden.

We find we reach the question of why are we so very interested in building garden. Is it a world we can rule over. Is it latent desire to find heaven . Is it to be back in the world of our ancestors ? For me I have loved gardens since I first opened my eyes on arrival on earth. My passion led to my father making me a wheel barrow and tools to assist him in art of garden keeping. I was perhaps 6 at the time and had pestered just to have my own part of garden. Here planted annuals from packets bought for me by kind relatives . It was awake up call at 12 seeing Hidcote gardens on a Sunday ride out. It is best described as the dream of its creator Major Lawrence Mayfield Johnston . England in 1900 was far different place that today. It gave him a world of his own and i saw it with open eyes myself. Strong and true it was my world also . Then all the gardens in this world i visited as it was all the mattered in a holiday to me. Hate of sand and fun as the call a holiday. I crossed the Sahara on a camel with the Arab into Algeria just to see Eljem a Roman ruin that once had gardens and town life in the desert. Algiers and its old walled gardens . I have seen the great Cardinals gardens in Rome and traveled to Persia in search of a water fall garden called hanging gardens that are not in the place we are told of. Built miles and a country away they did exist . I think it led to this my gardens to use as canvas to paint in flowers a living image of the world of peace and interests.

For me its time to go weeding again as one thing is for sure gentle rains of last night may de the trick for all plants but weeds grow even faster. Soon a stone water fall will be a job once have saved enough stones in my pile. Fences to past up and wire off this month too. Hedges then can expand without Bambi the deer and her family using my garden as a salad bar . Build a garden and watch just how many want part of it . It is a costly job today Johnston built ten acres of garden far cheaper than my 5 acres cost. But it was 1898-1920. We live in a very different world today unfortunately so. Budgets exist and slower is progress.

It shall be done as it nears the end and start of the beginning of growth. Old man time will do the rest .Mother nature his aid.

Many thanks to my readers and love from me, Sir Kevin.

copyright Kevin James Parr Bt 2021 July

Titled ; A Helping Hand

‘OH! bother it. Cant find it in this undergrowth dear. Do you need it for school ?”

“Daddy it was moms and she trusted it with me. I want it back “

; Indeed you do. .Are you sure you lost the necklace here and why in fact did you wear to go to school in. “

” Daddy all my friends wanted to see it.Girls do that you know. “

;” Not a sign of it. Been right trough the weeds and plants. Mothers garden in this state terrifies me . No time to do any work on it .Im needed at work in half an hour. Look are you ready?’

‘ In in my uniform daddy of course Im ready.’

‘ Right Ill walk you to the bus stop dear.”

” And moms necklace?”

“Have another look tonight.”

‘ In the dark when you come home ?”

” Yes ,yes flash light .Yes that will be easier.Now let us sort you out and on your way to school dear.”

” Oh! how I miss mommy she always knew what to do.”

“You and me both Alice. She was my world .Now lets trot or you will miss school today.”

It was much later at the office that Harry Portland sat at his desk as a trader. His seat of power at risk his knack of working in shares was that moment taking a tumble. Truth was his mind was drifting and if he could not break out of the dive out of reality he faced doom. He world died when his wife Amanda passed on aged just 34 of a massive stroke .One moment making dinner next slumped over and on the kitchen floor before he could jump out of this chair. Six months ago he was that man in the picture to his bosses a real super star. Now he was nose diving towards unemployment as deal after deal failed .Melted away like soft snow on a warm pavement, before his eyes.

He was warned the red light still did not flash in his mind and by 6pm he was on his way home with a week wage and a reverence from his boss after a goodbye handshake. For Harry it could only get worse and it had too.

“Eat your green Alice .Things are not as I would like and eating good food may be not long term.I will think my way back up .So help us both dear will you eat the greens they will build you up. “

‘ Daddy your sad .Is it Mommy on your mind.”

‘ Yes dear as I know she is in your mind too. ”

‘ My friends laughed as I had promised to show them my necklace .”

:The necklace .Come Ill find the flash light in my shed. ”

: Ill come to as im far better at finding things than you are now Daddy”

Hour later and no batteries in torch he was becoming upset and irritable . When vexed he shouted at his daughter and she ran crying to her bedroom locking the door behind her .

He sat down with a flop on the workbench top and puzzled his way out of a mess build up against him. He could shoot himself and end the misery of life in London without Amanda .No job .A daughter who was slipping away from him. .He slid back into the kitchen took down the wooden box and removed his old army revolver. He was fumbling for the ammunition box when suddenly the door bell rang.

He listened to it for a time; stunned as if in a trance, he eventually arrived at the front door and when opened again on the world there stood a man with a suit case .”Good evening Sir my name is Ponderby. Im here to take the job offered. “

Harold stood amazed and open mouthed.

“Close the mouth fish may jump in sir. Now shall we progress to the inner of your abode it is rather damp on the doorstep sir.:

‘I never had an advert for a butler did I.”

” No sir you did not and I am not a butler.Shall I make tea.Oh! my Lord what a mess in here. Look you sit down here put your feet up and rest . “

It was morning when he woke in bed .He puzzled hard to focus was it all a dream.He wandered down to Saturday morning and was stunned in his tracks to witness a tidy sparkling house and on the table lay his wifes neclace.

“Good morning Sir .Slept well.So important . Tea sir in the morning room.This way sir.’

He followed like a lamb to mothers milk. Then seeing how the lounge looked so lovely tears ran down his cheeks.’ look old chap I cant pay you a penny I lost my job. “

” Ponsonby my name sir. Never mind allow me to work here and all will fall into place. Your wifes necklace I discovered in the garden rose bush. So all is well for your daughter now can show her friend Mary Paxton . Tea sir. “

“Ponsonby just how did you know that?”

” It is my job to know sir. Cake .its Bakewell tart your favourite I made it last night for you sir. “

With a smile he handed over a side plate bearing a good sized chunk of cake .”Now your daughter is up sir just make her bacon and egg. Same for you sir is it?”

Ponsonby we have nothing in the fridge. Need to shop I fear.”

‘ Have it all sorted this morning sir .”

Harry stood up to take the empty plate to the sinkside. He was again open mouthed in sheer shock as all cupboards and shelves over spilled with food stuffs in cans pack and fridge opened to month or more supplies.

; I owe you all of this man what am I going to do Ponsonby?”

“Do sir. Well ! right now sit down and enjoy breakfast then ring this number on your phone.”He with that handed him a small business card bearing the name of a unknown man.

‘ Who am I ringing please ?”

‘ It relates to a job offer sir.He will know all about your problems .Never fear all is in hand. Ar! Young and lovely miss Alice here is your place and bacon and egg for you my dear. ”

” Daddy who is this man in our house.”

” Oh! its Ponsonby .He did find your mothers necklace dear.”

‘ Amazing and thank you so much .But why are you here may I ask?”

‘ Here breakfast enjoy. You will know all soon enough Alice”

He rang to number on the card soon after breakfast and came back in to his kitchen to find all dishes had been washed and dried and replaced in store.

Just then Ponsonby appeared with his coat on .”I am off to the city sir. Have any requirements for me to fetch here .?”

“I have not a penny having paid the rates on phone . Your man wants to see me at 2pm in The Savoy Hotel lounge .I mean to say could he not have seen me in his office?”

‘ I would say it matters not sir .Just go and he will buy coffee for you. I dare say he needs a star such as you sir so would not concern yourself further. Just relax sit back and keep your ears open is my advice sir. Must dash tat tar . “

At dinner that evening Ponsonby had prepared it and vanished .

” Is it chicken Dad?”

“Alice i did not make it. Just try it hey .Be a good girl .You may even like it. “

He pushed his fork into the pastry case and offered the forkfull to his mouth .

His eyes opened wide his taste buds danced a jig and he looked at Alice who was the same. Not a word was said during the meal until Ponsonby appeared in the kitchen as they finished.

“Icecream pavola anyone”

” How do you do it Ponsonby .Your a marvel. Food was beyond words .I have a job on more cash than before.”

‘ Yes Sir you do and start at 9am in morning sharp. With your new wage may I suggest you employ a cook and cleaner I know needs a good home. “

‘Ponsonby yes but will that mean your leaving us.”

‘ Yes sir my work is done. I have enjoyed being of service again . All your problems now may go, one hopes. “

‘ Your packed ready to go. ”

‘ No Sir These cases are yours .You see your wife sent them sir. “

Ponsonby melted away like morning mist never to be see again.

Inside the cases a gallery of photographs that had long been lost .In this six photos of his wife as girl and six as a woman in love. Her bed gown warm as if she had just stepped out of it he held to his cheek as tears ran down his cheeks .Alice stood frozen her face unsure .The voice said .Im here with you fear not life but live it to the full Alice. Darling husband ill wait for you pine for me not Im here with both of you.

He looked at Alice who was smiling and as he turned there she was as she had been in life smiling back melting into the curtains and gone. Alice ran to his arms as the sat on the floor saying nothing.Peace had come down on them for first time since she left them. He pinched himself hard to see if it was dream .Her sweet perfume filled the room and he knew she was there .Alice smiled through the tears and life returned back to happy days . Who Ponsonby was he never found out. On reflection he knew it all had helped so much it amazed him. He became top man in his job and was known as a gifted fair advisor in shares.He kept his word and hired a lady Friday to run his home. Alice loved her and all went so well after that.

Sometimes when at night he wakes that scent she wore he detects and up he gets to look for Amanda he know is not faraway.Though he is only dreaming. The reality of life soon returns and he sighs . Stretches and gets on with the day Who Ponsonby was he ponders .Then smiles as the penny drops.

Yours in gratitude for your readership and loyal selves. Sir Kevin thanks you all.

Kevin James Parr Bt Copyright 4th June 2021

Letter on touchy subject .

It is without doubt a tricky subject on my mind and related to excuses in the life of Prince Harry.

It must be said it is how I see the problems from vastly a stand outside of the close private matter of a wayward Prince.

A man who is still a child in some ways. His talk with Black Activist Ophra Winfree in America shocked the nation and lies openly told by both he and his wife to the interviewer passed back and forth willingly.

The case of marriage before Westminster Abbey never happened . It was designed to shock and it hit the mark. It insulted many people involved in that marriage set up. Because Megan agreed to marry and said so is not a legal marriage but in her mind it was and she made it up to look as if so.

All the lovely British ladies Harry knew and he married outside of his own domain. To blame his own father was not just unkind it was dangerous to Prince Charles reputation and harks back to death of Dianna . Harry talked of bullying by his own loyal helpful family which to me is unforgivable . It is almost repeat full circle of his more famous uncle in 1938 who married a twice married German helper and possible Nazi Spy .

In King Edwards case in the marriage with Mrs Simpson it soon cooled off and he was alone as she cavorted with younger men on the dance floors of best hotels. She may have had six lovers in the years she left him to his whiskey and he hated her for it. . Lost his Throne, haunted him until he died.

He was not really a nice man as he said of his young brother who suffered much with a life changing matter only know today as Autism .When he died Edward said he would not attend his brother funeral as he was an animal and a total reject. Compassion he had none and so none gave him any either.

Harry is running on same lines in many ways as we see him seeking medical mind help. Many children loose both parents and survive well .Harry was 12 when Dianna died in Paris living a life well away from her sons. She had found independence and Harry took it badly I do not doubt. Then army life batters all that out of a man makes him stronger fitter and more willing to survive . Yet here we are today with Prince Harry admitting he needs help as Megan insists he needs help.

Trouble is with actresses one never can tell when they are acting and he married well below his own rank so it is unsurprising he learns to take her view. If this view also take in the hatred of Harrys family in London it show well what life must be like with his new wife.

To ridicule The Queen and her departed loving husband and their eldest son Prince Charles, Harry own father, as Harry says all against him and made his life horrid is not him but her at work . The effect on him is akin to the Uncle and Mrs Simpson .All said she worked in the sex industry and that hooked King Edward right into her web. But I think it was same thing as Harry had a desire to be ruled by a woman far stronger and able to rule him.

Harry is back as a child not through the loss of his ,mother, so much, it is deeper he is being sucked in to Megans way of life. She gets what she wants with Harry for sure.

Sad waste of a man . War hero and all that now mommies boy in mid life . He needs to pull himself up by his Army boot straps and get back to Royal duties if he has the guts to know his own mind, that is.?

Other wise he is dog meat and best forgotten with his wife and America . Pretend they never happened and get on with life as we know it . Cant salvage a rotted machine cost too high and admit it Harrys gone too . The Nazi uniform should have warned us all what was to follow .For him it was fun to us he is a joke not a man to count on lack of moral loyalty and false tales of woo. He never saw it like that until Megan illustrated her version to her ever willing doting fool.

So is it all Megans fault? Partly yes it is and wrong part too. Harry fell under her spell and will end similar to his uncle David, King Edward ,who abdicated for a woman. such is the power that woman wields over weak males who cant see a life any other way .Replacement mother really. Sex and cozy life under strong instruction carefully placed .Not for me Harry nor for any other ex army survivor . Treat them well keep them in pig and and keep all else to yourself and all will be well. Never let the right hand tell the left what you decide to do. Never be weak never show any that you dont know the answer just find it fast and be strong in command, gentle in your ways and rule as King in own house.Wisdom is made through experience and mistakes but dont dwell on mistake try until its not a mistake. Live is for learning . Not stagnating . Love is the one thing I cannot buy so never insult her with how great you are show her how to come to you as partner. Wife who constantly decries you do not respect you . Or is just a bitch one made the wrong choice in that case. Where are you in this Prince Of England? iD say you know the answer now. Royal life is the envy of the world I was King England would not tolerate such treachery but as i am just a normal man without such power I can, and will, speak my mind . He is letting the side down making England look silly and blaming all ,but himself ,for his problems.

My thoughts dear reader hope it sits well with you.If not perhaps look at the case again. Harry is public property and your opinion must count. Yours Sir Kevin.

Copyright Kevin Parr Bt 2021

Sun stones and navigation

In the 1960s a British trading ship wreck off the coast of Scotland gave us a large crystal slab of rock found in Captains cabin. Ship was 17th Century and so did this crystal guide ships in fog and low cloud across the oceans?

How. Well we have only guess as seaman ship was lost when steam replaced sail. The crystal bent light in beams and the sun could be traced by leaning to stone crystal in angle to where they thought sun was in sky . May have taken a time but once located a course could be made even in low cloud and fog .

If so the craft came from the Vikings and called sunstone but not one has been found of that time. Only in their tales and sagas of travel do they often mention Sunstone in navigation. Always mysterious until now. Historians cannot agree that sun stones ever existed only drama in saga but how did the Viking long boats sail all over the world with no fog and mist navigation?

The crystals come from Iceland which must be another logical clue . Some have tried and found 92% accurate by trail and error. Known as Iceland stone it can work as a way to find the sun by rings.

Vikings used all ways to navigate as master seamen. By following whale migration .By stars in sky .By sun and by education in wave structures they reached America 500 years before Vespucci or Columbus. Settlement has been found in todays Maryland named after our Queen who was half sister to Elizabeth Tudor.

Nova Scotia too walls exist to show that at some time in 6th century Vikings landed and built shelter in what they called Vinland or land of wild grape land .Could relate to Maryland more I suspect.

In Hereford cathedral is the treasure sea map of time of Leif Ericson Viking prime minster and sailor explorer. Its called Mappa Mundi and show America,Russia and even further south near New Zealand . They had gone all around the oceans and sea rivers and inlets on raids and although they were feared they settled as any other farming survivor in all fertile parts of our globe. We can trace back and find we all may have 3% of Viking DNA or more. A strong bloodline and an inventive race. In north of England they still speak almost Viking language . A man called Jack Cragg who once I knew was a Yorkshire man living in hills in Cumbria .He was more Viking than I have ever seen a man be in talk. Hard at times to understand his talk yet it was mixed with English. Words I traced back to Norway and Vikings . Farmers up in the Penine hills, the very backbone of old England, many speak like old Jack.

Until we find a Viking long boat wreck intact as much as possible we just cant say what the Viking sunstone was. Mentioned in tales of great seaman ship but what was it really? Mystery to all and Crystals from Iceland may just have been what they meant by Sunstone to locate the sun in foggy sea mist.

By taking a DNA test one may be surprised to see who you really are .i did and 87% British isles 3 Percent Norway 6 % Gaul 2% Italian and 12% English rest unknown.What it tells me is Im English Briton with Norse and French and English modern. With Roman on top .So likely was an ancient Briton taken by Vikings of married into them. Rome marched in and again mingled the bloods but like old Hobdenious in the poem by Kipling I am a Briton of the clay . I was happy with the two DNA tests that almost matched exact.

Vikings ended up serving the Vatican guard and giving armies to the Pope . Harold Hadrada who died at battle on York 1066 was King of Vikings and a Pretorial guard of Bazantine Church of Christian belief. He had been told by Pope to back the attack for takeover of King Harold Of Englands claim to the throne of dead King Edward Confessor. Man who gave us Westminster Abbey. The attack by William the bastard of Normandy was Viking also and so a two way attack would finish King Harold and really Harold Hardarda was caught with his pants down at York surprised defense at rest on riverside in sun . We know that his intel told him that another attack was launched at Hastings some 400 miles down the country. On foot after battle no rest his army arrived on time and met head on the Norman Viking army of King William. He still may have won but William had brought heavy war horses and now sent in cavalry to break the bowmans and spear carriers line .Result, the end for Harold. His broken bones sword and axe cut show he was butchered by Williams Knights . The bone found in the church show also he was allowed a burial in holy ground.

Sharp tactics by a Pope again lost us one of our best Kings in history and turned native British into serfdom . As Chesterton said we are the people of England who have not spoken yet. When we finally do it will be British fury for the first time in centuries if ever before did happen.

The back Postern gate was left open and we told the Governments not to drive a tunnel to France and make us so open to invasion .NO no they assured us then in came vast armies of enemy from ISA .We can hold our own on top but from inside we can be taken over as Vikings did to Saxon so can todays none English plan against us. What is among the refugee is Isa Islamic fighters. Made men and women hell bent on trouble . We had it from the IRA now do we face it from the Islamic armed mindless cruelly induced people mind taught to hate and blame us for everything .Perhaps history should tell us to be aware and on guard. I bet someplace in this a Vatican plan exists deep down in the relics of riches and sexual scandal.

When tests had been completed using calcite crystal it was found to be within just i percent out in over all accurate readings. Therefore logic tells us this Crystall was used before Vikings even had compasses .Starts at night and sun by day kept then on course and if foggy mist hung down all day the simple fact is rings of the sun show in the crystal and even no sun it can be located in these magnetic rings the sun spreads out across the globe and reflect in crystal face. Conclusive evidence i think but time will tell if we find a wreck of a longboat and a crystal in it .Not many such vessels have been found but the few that have come to light badly decomposed no sign of anything we can call a sunstone has ever been discovered .Time will tell but my bet is on calcite Crystal from Iceland .

Yours Sir Kevin.

Copyright Kevin Parr Bt 2021, June

The man of oak story

The dark musty scent of wet leather .The dry coat of powder .The lost road to freedom and the forest broken like ship masts in the wake of a storm . He could wait no longer the morning yellow and bright had loomed over the lintel. He woke, moist and itchy, desperate for warmth as the waste land on sourced earth announced the fall of dust on his head.

The room once had looked homely but after cannon had boomed and in came the roof not a trace of humanity remained.

He rose from the floor and stretched the weary bones of his frame skywards to the bluest of sky seen in patches above his head. Holes in the blasted shot roof allowed almost a full view of the heavens above him.

The battlefield was filled with blood run into mud and only the dead played the part of stone. Waterloo was won and Napoleon had been captured in Paris and sold to the British by the hands of the restored Kings subjects. Once so loyal now his captors.

Emile Valoise in his dirty mud stained moist denim army blues looked at himself in the water barrel, reflection as some one else he had not seen in years. His face grey and unshaven his head bandaged with his dead friends shirt to stop the blood and keep out infection. It was hard dry now and felt like a rat on his head. The sun was trying hard to shine and Emile searched for food of any sort. He found none in the house .

He had escaped the fate of so many others left in death broken and torn on the field. He had run for his life a mile into this fallen brick built lodge. Once a grand gate house to a manor of the rich. Now a forest of broken trees and dead birds.

Suddenly he heard a voice and crouched at the window to see a French Grenadier rifle at his head.

Name rank and number,the voice demanded.

Emile Valoise Sargent 4th infantry French army under General Salte. Payroll number 56455579 Valoise Private.

‘ Private eh! What happened to Sargent Valoise? Cried the Grenadier lowering his weapon.”

“Acting Sargent .Rest of the men dead. And you ?

“Anton, Private, Grenadiers under Salte. You and I are the left overs. Road blocked by British .Not a hope of escape .Best remain until we may find a way out of here at night. “

” In shook I with head wound stumbled into here. Must have passed out and woke about five minutes before you appeared . “

‘ The battle finished us off .Which of us that remained rounded up like so many cattle by the Prussians who galloped on the the field at the end to assist the British in a clean up of us all. Shock .Man I tell you we did our best and look at what it is now. Two sorry survivors feared for our lives in this mud bowl called Belgium. “

Emile smiled sardonically,’Rain at least has stopped. ” but Anton looked around him to see a door in the broken wall and did not listen. His mind now on treasure . He advanced sword in hand and pulled back the bricks and rubble to see the framed doorway in tact.

Soon the pair found them selves in a room . The dust having settled displayed a fine laid out table of silver dinner service dressed deeply in cobwebs.

The men amazed drew near and with passion growing seized the silver plater of goods. Dragging it to the edge of the oak table a cloth of red satin came with it like a wedding dress tail it followed behind.

The road to Brussels had been blocked and now only a patrol sought escaped French soldiers at gates on city. All other roads had guards too. It was then that the silver landed on the stone flagged floor crashing like sword fight and pistol blast.

Anton took up a silver salt boat all ornately dressed in rose buds and leaves al silver up to the curved roll of the handle. A lid which under it lay a salt knife and hammer to help crush the hard rock salt. He was just slipping it down his shirt when a voice boomed out from the dark corner came a man the size on an oxen .His hands 15inch across. With haunted black eye he took in the thief and lifted him up in air and spun his so well that the silver item fell back into the woners hand. He now hurled Anton across the table .He hit the wall so hard it broke his neck . Emile ran to inspect but his associate was dead .He looked up at the giant and asked if he had any mercy for Napoleons soldier .

Under his arms the dead Anton and the struggling Emile were handed over to the British lines that same hour . Colonel Grant looked happy to see the great ox of a man . The shook hands and the giant moved away as the prisoners led away by troops and that would be an end to the tale if not for that fact Grant wrote of his Belgic Giant who had fought so well for him that day and had vanished home to find it hit by cannon . British army had to build it back as it was .. It was all the thanks this giant of a man desired .Who he was .No one ever knew

Yours always Sir Kevin and thank you all for following my work. It means so much to me.

Copyright Kevin James Parr Bt 2o21 June

Scottish Mist.

It was late afternoon on Thursday 12th . 1847 The Earl was dead. His doctors gathered in long silence and dark frock coats huddled in conversation. The youngest stood motionless against the wainscot wall near the open door to his uncles bed chamber. The preacher now blessed the body and all in silence marched past the one time war hero at Waterloo.

Soon the carriage dressed in black cloth drawn by a pair of the Earls best hunters taught long since to double as coach horses stood stock still muscles twitching under the shine of well groomed Geldings .Well matched in all ways they waited in silence as the coffin of their beloved master was loaded inside and a cavalcade of hooves joined the slow procession down to the chapel on the very edge of the estate.

The company had seen the noble buried in the family plot and now sat dinning in the dead mans house. Traditional feast of fare and table fit for kings laid out by the servants worried over remaining in service.

It was two days later that Mister Raymond Morris opened his case and produced the will in front of the assembled relatives in the front lounge room of the house.

Over all all of them had benefited rather well but the house lands and estates with income of 4000 pounds a year fell to young John the only son left that war had not claimed.

Morris made it clear that the bulk of his Uncles funds over 2 million pounds will come to John ,the new Earl on his marriage only.

John at age 19 had nothing further than the glass of Port in front of him and marriage a distant shore.

His uncle wanted him to have sons to pass down for ever the old Scottish castle and estates. Morris hammered this message into Johns mind but as quick silver it melted away in his brain. He was down from Oxford reading law and had no intent to scurry off to marry any one .

Besides 4000 a year paid his bills and kept up the house . He desired only another glass of tawny Port and Stilton and he was bound for that train back to the city of Dreaming Spires.

Morris made an exit and on way to town in the trap with Lord John he hinted at a way out of the way to millions . John smiled but cash did not motivate him and he had loved the old Blue as uncle. Nothing more was said the rest of way.

Back in his rooms he paid 4pence to his loyal fag and so ventured back into his rooms and piles of books. In less than an hour his mind had left the day and into the future he read. Exam was in less than a month and he needed to gain ground to take the Barr test if all went well.

Back in Scotland the Trust took care of employment and three lost jobs . All kitchen staff as one master to dine for as long as exams lasted in his final term wages lost some one had to go. Cook and pot washer left only in kitchens. Butler informed the House maids that brass still needed polish and silver too. Fires blacked and leaded each morning by maids, and coals whitewashed by the garden staff. Brought to kitchen rear door at 7am daily .

Slowly the manor went on as it had since the first Lord had occupied the seat. Early on the milk arrived the Cook helpless as only the staff to feed. No big dinners and exciting parties to watch the dancing from top gallery door .

Finery and gentility a miss and no sign of it returned as Lord John as a silent saint who dared not speak back to a dog .Cook said openly he cannot run an estate like this he is a monk really not a man like the Earl was.

“Times are changing Cook. Lord John is young he will come around as a court fighter I think.”

She looked hard at the aged Butler having little to do. He saw that eye and he vanished as Cook was someone not to vex. The day was dry and velvet in her summer outfit. The gardens look at their best and from a distance, in the thickets of the last rose border a cold clear eye was observing all it had to see. No one saw the figure of a darkened figure as life went on in progression before it. Then no one was allowed to see behind the thin veil that shields the dead from life .

Dawn was breaking over Oxford Camera and the yellow stone of Cotswolds that it was built of shone in the first rays of June sunshine . Lord John opened his windows on the the grass lawns if Quad and sipped the tea brought in for him . It was 8am and results had arrived in the assembled hall. He was able only to hope as he raced down the six steps from his floor.

He waited with baited breath and beating heart as he opened his mail. It read so well he cried in passion and ran full tilt back to his rooms to pack for home. He was now a Solicitor and the world opened for him. Joy of joy as he marched in from the pony trap ride from station. Butler took his cases and followed him in.

“Sir if you had used the telephone we could have lined up outside to meet you in old custom of duty sir.”

John looked around him,smiling. “Yes but you see I passed with flying colours man so forgive me it was last thing on my mind.Will not happen again .i know how you love tradition Morley. A glass of whiskey and one for your good self whom has been vexed. “

‘ I say sir how very generous of you Ill drink it in my room. “

‘ You can drink it with me cant you it is a toast. ”

‘ Er! Not done in polite circles.”


” Morley my good man it is my wish and from today I do not drink alone. Its mine wish .Cary on.”

‘Of course my Lord. ”

John made a few changes in the place over the first three weeks . He personally took it upon himself to bring back the three who had been pushed out without warning and without months pay.

Cook looked over the running of kitchens and was busy over the roast tin when he marched in. “Cook .Sit down. here a glass of Port each I think and none of this cant drink when me.”

Cook amazed said nothing this was not that youth of old she could see.

‘ Now Helen you have served my family for 40 years . Are you happy carrying on. “

My Lord I have no place to go .Please dont send me away sir”She cried

‘Not a chance of it. Your my cook now. Enjoy that odd drink together dear your part of the family. ”

‘ Sir i do not know what to say?”

“Say nothing then. Just popped in to ask if Thursday is fine as i am planning a small party .just say 100 people for dancing and dinning later . No problem is it.?

A party a real party Oh! no sir it perfect a real kitchen again. “

It is inviting all the Trust and to say how I intend to run my estates myself. “

‘ Yes sir . Game of lamb .”

Leave that to you Helen. ”

On reaching the lounge Morley awaited. ‘YES ”

” Sir a ;lady rang to say she agrees and told me to inform you as she knew how busy you could be. ” Morley look sideways at the vanishing figure of his employer but John smiled broadly and relaxed in his easy chair to read the news sheets. ”

The castle busied with life as preparations bustled along all corridors below stairs.

The party night arrived and all sat dinning with mixed conversations. The faces of each trust member puzzled the 100 dinners and all upstairs servants mouths gasped when suddenly Lord John stood up to make a speech.

“I may address the subject of my quest . You see dear Trust it is now I need my inheritance to run my estates and I wish. I think I have a happy ship and my place is set . I am working day by day as lawyer from office on first floor and I need an office it town to buy and start my practice. Time is ripe to act upon this. There for I know that many of you will be glad to go back to your way of life and not have the trouble of meeting and chasing money interests on my behalf I will be doing all that myself from today .So it is my grateful thanks to you all for your kept promise to my beloved dead uncle and for working in my interest. Thank you all. ”

He sat down and five stood up. He looked stern and impartial at them.

‘ Lord John this hardly can be as certain mention of a marriage is in the will and before that we will not allow access to your funds .im sorry but its clear and in print “

” I see that you are sorry but so am I .May I introduce you to my intended .Dear please stand up and let then see you. “

All looked at each other until eventually a young and very beautiful girl stood up

.

“My name is Lady Mary Sackville Ward. Lord John Douglas is my intended husband and has been for over two years so. This is not my first visit here . I thank you to observe my engagement ring .We marry on 12th of MAY just two weeks from now . Over to you dear John. ” She sat down softly as the shocked guests remained on feet.

‘Sit down please will you all. .Morley please tell cook we are ready for the puddling.It is my own delight so enjoy. “

The kitchens now buzzed with the news and one of the richest families in England marrying into Douglas clan made big news in the London Press.

It was a love match .Mary had meet John In Oxford two years before hand and both knew that fate had acted in their meeting. He decided to make her his just four days after exams and she said she would ask her parents for permission. That phone call was all Lord John was waiting for that day at home.

They married In the Estate family chapel and honey mooned in Venice. 1900 came about and saw them with grown up family and a happy ending at last

In the early morning mist of late October Lord john walked to the stables .He looked up and saw in the door way a man he knew so well. It was The dead and buried Earl who smiled at him and vanished so fast Jon thought it Scottish mist and doubted he was able to comment on it. Inside the loose box his sons mare had foaled . He leaned over the top rail and looked as his son looked up. ‘ Who was that old chap father ?”

‘ who”

‘ Said you ran well his home and walked out to the door. Funny sort of chap “

‘ really he spoke to you Henry. Dad I would not say he did if he had not now would I “

Lord John smiled knowingly and said no more.

One hopes you reader liked it. Yours Sir Kevin

I admit much of this story is true changing all real details the core is fact ending as happened .

Copyright Kevin Parr Bt 2021.

Past has power over us.

We today think the past is gone and for those whos passion is perhaps not on history we can be forgiven, only as its education, so why will it matter today.

Fair enough but what you fail to see that past and the future are forever linked. I will try giving examples of this fact know to me.

In the year 1213 a very concerned King John was being threatened by war as the French had Vatican permit to invade England. The Vatican was an enemy to us long before King Henry V111 dissolved the power of Rome over us. The Vatican sent Spains navy in 1588 to murder our Queen and enslave the British. All that happened was Spain lost and it bankrupted Spanish King.

King John contacted the Pope and asked for Vatican to protect Britain .John signed the papers and so passed over control of his throne to Vatican. A Papal Bull was written and posted to all nations hands off England the message. John had wriggled well out of danger but it cannot just stop there.

Even though King Henry cut Vatican off and stopped the taxation flowing out of Britain to Rome it did not stop this paper Bull of 1213 being made null and void.

King John had very bad press but few mistakes did he make in reality. Yes he had a temper such as his own father suffered. Angivin to the last John did not fall to his Barons as history records. In fact he spent nearly a full 12 months writing what we call Magna Carter . Great Charter in English. Liberatum in truth. He researched it well and told his court he would sign it if they did handing some power over to his Barons and Earls. Hence the arranged meeting at Runnymeade but 4 miles from Windsor Castle Royal residence . Token of justice was designed to impress his peoples.

So what happened to this 1213 record? Vatican owns the original and more of it is unknown by times today. In one of two ways it still could help us or destroy us . Master copy paper not in British records office .Not in Royal documents open to inspection by historians. Well! in truth ,open to public but then who ever bothers to be armed with fact and read old papers? I do ,then it is my interest.

Any power over Britain is not a good thing to boast off. Vatican and Mafia walk hand in hand so do we worry . Perhaps the answer is yes. The Vatican is a power house built in back of the poor. History records the evil that goes of and many Italian children have vanished outside of its gates . Read Italian news papers of the chidrens bones found in Vatican drains. Child sex is wide spread in its folds

What happened in 1213 was in the past but it affects us today in 2021 almost the same . A Royal document alone is mighty but linked to Vatican could be dynamite in wrong hands .

As Britain has forgotten it Vatican have stored it the matter still is when will it come back to haunt us. Then a clever lawyer may deduct protection today may help us out of danger in act of defense. It could also bring back the Church of Rome in England on the down side.

Politics are not my job only facts I deal in .Once checked am I opening a Pandora box or hoping for definite split with Vatican. I do not like having links to such a place but then who am I to preach.

Short blog today as life goes on in the gardens now summer has reintroduced herself and work is to commence.

G-d be with us all. Hope it was of interest .Thank you my readers love you all.

Copyright Kevin Parr Bt 2021.

Multum in Parvo

After so many comments on my last blog takes me further into garden design history in this blog I hope it helps the garden lover in all of us.

We have talked of Vita and Major Lawrence Johnston as garden builders. Here I give you the main reliable start of Arts and Craft Movement in garden build all over England.

It is why so many gardens exist in UK . We first look at the books read by gardeners in the 1880s. Thomas Hayton Mawson 1861-1933, who made a business of a nursery in Bownness Windermere Cumbria but who designed many gardens in the world .In 1892 he published a book entitled “The Formal Garden in England.”

It was perhaps the greatest influence of all of them. Gardens sprang into being all over England.

We also must add a church architect called J.D. Seddings 1838-1881 who gave us many good ideas of garden use.

Then the real champion of Arts and Craft must be William Morris .A wallpaper designer and garden enthusiast. Morris was famous in all sorts of design for the interior but gardens to him where rooms outside.

Arts and crafts is a style that suits me even now. It is clean cut using local materials stone brick and it stood against the then modern run of the mill factory made items of full production. The layout was simple using hedges and spaces and vista work .It could be classical or modern for its day. House designed and built for arts and craft garden makers to buy are perhaps the most beautiful ever built using the ideal plan of light and gentle bright rooms.

Morris was a leader in this and many followed him read him and studied reading books or Mawson who was the real influence on Vita and Lawrence Johnston. Along with many others large or mid sized garden s all work in this style.

Johnston even had a tall gate made to set in front of the sinking red sun with the sunset shining orange red through its frame lights up the way down the avenue of tall hedges boxing that light in .The result is terrific to witness and shows what can be done with an idea. He did much that same at his French house at Seire de Madone at Val du Gorio outside town of Menton France. Hidcote he left to National Trust and it was the first gardens they accepted to retain. It made its designer owner happy as Hidcote will live forever after his demise. All garden builders must think this way or would we want the work of building a garden large. I think in the end Johnston was a man who really offered his work to G-d.

As did the craftsmen of our middle ages think the same or we would not have so many master pieces of architecture as we have now.

Prince Charles went on about good architecture and less concrete buildings without a soul. He was mocked by the architects but he was right all the time. Best buildings are the work of craftsman and that should be treasured and loved by the public as own heritage. To make the land productive is a pure thought. For a gardener who makes to blades of corn out of one must be seen as a blessing on all of us.

The back breaking art of design build is not for everyone perhaps but what is made once the work finishes is a garden. The planting up in fresh turned manured borders is the thrill after work is over . It is not easy ever but the real enthusiast will not flinch or dither .From a plan in head or set down many times and perfected on paper the work commences. Today it is a one man with some help job .Then in 1880 Edwardian England the rich who built gardens brought in teams of men and horse to do the job. The modern garden plan is similar to that but loosing none of its ideas and adding many more through power of electricity and such we build our way through it all.

I as a hobby designed a few gardens for others on paper plans at weekends after work. It paid not that well all the time as people are hard to please but it gave me the will to find the land and build my own my way.

Good gardens besides the plantings must have height to give climbing plants a place, Tellis gazebo and arched walk . It must have places to sit and relax . Benches near lily and rose bush in the main drive a rose bower and mermaid pool fountain. Avenues to stroll down and interest around each corner to make you walk to the next room. Mine is a folly in centre with three lanes off it .vistas and benches and statues of Rome. The hidden rooms,some are linked to stroll through each one see the flowers and mixes of colours . Come to a hedge and find the way out is a challenge. Once discovered leads you into a rose tunnel dwon to a tall gate and into another lane of hydrangier and yarrow mixed with green path between 12 foot wide. This takes you down to the Dial garden room .A resting place of soothing plant colours and a bench to sit and see borrowed vista of far off fields and wooded hill. A window looks out through the hedges .

From here into the pool water fall garden from that into the wild flower meadow and back to the main gates . a gentle passage takes half hour .A good look at each work may take you two days as always some change by natures plan.

If Vita sat and looked at her gardens as I know she did her mind gave her the answers as my mind relates to this way of expanding the dream of invention and perfection thus may come.For a gardener is never fully happy with the way they have gone. Always another plant to go in there and change that into this and move that over here ,now thats better,for now.

Dont know why we are such but all gardeners have to create I have found none of us are still for long .Some have to build and move on from greatness to try another design in another garden as with Major Lawrence Johnston did in France .Vita bless her built rooms to satisfy her longing to find the best plan she could build. She achieved this in spade fulls so did Johnston in between army wars and service to England he planted hedges and left for France to fight in South Africa Boar war .He returned to see his hedges grown and went on to design the gardens until called up to fight First World war. He survived but was so damaged it changed his life. He went on to build at slower pace on on Englands best gardens . He was born In France became a nationalized English man and died in France building his new gardens.

What then is it in our human state that forces us to build gardens. This is the question that haunts me. One that no real answer explains it. Is it man wishing to get back to Eden and G-d. Is it more simplistic we are hunter gathers and forest is our historic home. We cleared the trees to plant food. Gardens in fact we had then.

Gertrude Jeakle came later but till in that arts and craft design club .Her work can be seen all over Britain with partner in business Edmund Lutchens who went on to build Government buildings in design and parctise in Colonial India.

Could it just be we are timid animals in older age and around us want walls for total privacy. A world of our own sort of ideal. Some lovely colours some gentle water sounds on hot days .A pleasant view to see. Or is it part of all this and more? We could simply say we love plants but that in its self cannot be the whole reason we can grow in pots a garden if that was all it is. Something perhaps to leave you with to have a think as to why you love gardens .More so who you are and why want to build and own one is the deep down question.

If we look at great Italian gardens built by Cardinals bustling to impress to win the race to be Pope we loose all faith in gardening as it is not a competition to my mind.

To have a garden built to your exact designs is a to me a greater thing than owning a new Jaguar Sports car in life. So what is it that makes us tick us garden worthies. Because it is painting in flowers .It is art and skill and woodwork and metal work and machines. It is planing it is watching seeds grow to be planted out as part of me. It is hobby that takes up all of my time building it. It never ends really as always the eye sees improvement. To sit and take this picture in is perhaps pride in my art. Then we are told pride is a sin. So is gardening a prayer ,yes it is .And there it is my answer to myself at long last .

The Garden.

Hail to thee,blithe spirit !Bird thou never wert, That from heaven,or near it,Pourest they full heart In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.

The lady Vita Sackville West set her sail to a forsaken estate in the lovely county of Kent. Her husband a dipolmat and author Harold Nicholson too had a part to play in his wifes adventure.

Born at Knole House,the largest home in the world, she the elder lost her inheritance owing to law .Her younger brother took the titles and the property and so left his sister Vita with nothing but a small allowance.

Determined to survive they bought Sissinghurst a fallen down ruin with one feature tower belonging to the old estate that was no longer in existence.

It took courage to effect that house and gardens and Vita shone brightly as her art was performed. Her famous moonlight white garden is a real artists design. She poured her self,her very soul into the build of that garden. It has been copied all over the world by lesser mortals. Her genius shown only in the original.

On saying this I must be fair as one knows she made at least two visits to the already established gardens of Hidcote by creator owner Major Lawrence Johnston.

Vita took many ideas from him and his work. Hedged rooms and vista drives were not Vitas ideas at all. Much of older gardens are echoed in her design. What they accomplished was amazing and Sissinghurst deserves the awards it has in visitor figures as a top set of gardens I so agree.It was laid out as she wanted it and her magic began to be seen.

Hidcote is perhaps a greater set of gardens in some ways but then its creator as true art design master had the money where it was easier to do what comes in to ones head. Vita eventually had poems published and income was made to expand her ideals . She loved plants .Roses and Iris her favorites Id say. Her husband the classical straight drives and statues to Vitas soft borders and gay abandon of an almost cottage style garden maker formed her style.

When she had a gazebo built and draped that rose rambler Mulliganii spread over it something happened and she saw it as it happened. The green turns to white and a white garden any time looks good but see Vitas white garden in the moonlight to know what a gal she was. I was lucky to see it in full swing.

Never so sure of her self she meet Virginia Wolfe as a writer far greater than herself and she went to see her to learn .They had an affair that lasted until Wolfe drown herself, her mind in upset stammer. Poor Vita was so broken but Harold seemed to settle her mind down over time. He must have loved her well to accept that he came second in her life.

What a gardener is must be what Vita was .Determination to succeed was her drive .Art was her gift and imagination all gardeners must be born with to achieve not just a garden but a masterpiece. A sort of living painting of another more peaceful, delightful world. An escape from many things a mind can hold .

I listened to her read from her poem entitled The Land. Her velvet smooth but carved out words in that ruler of old world truth hit me as my great aunts had done with something in a woman I admire. That English inner strength and forthright moral courage that must be seen as almost powerful though never severe . Her voice is a thing no longer heard in todays world.In this I point not to her alone but to her sex of femine knowing and ability to be heard. In this Vita had the passion of a writer along with the land she loved called England.

It was in the 1950s I first heard her speak and I just had to listen it was that kind of voice that offered education to a young lad, wet behind the ears, and a garden lover from birth. Desperate to gain a single fact .Delight in words and learn of plant names all filled a boys willing mind.

Like Monty Don I can say I have visited many gardens 100s of them all over this being my take of a arched tunnel deer proof passage unto another garden room.

Europe and Vita garden still holds my heart. Sissinghurst has not the grandour of Tivilli or The gardens at Versailes nor the coves of Alsatia and the India gardens of Tajmahal .But in its simple glory it is a pallet of an artist from deep down in her soul. It is real and living. All else as lovely as it is is really not alive in quite the same way. Just thought I had to say all this no matter what. Vita was the survivor in the end. Her work serves for ever as long as England shall live to remind of us who she was .Now that is power my friends .To leave this world with a message and a gift her soul may rest in peace. Or is she still wandering around her plot .Observing the many 1000s of interested mortals .Who knows?

Hidcote was part of her plan to build in her style as new garden owner Vita had to see what all where up to before ever starting on her ruin lands and home.

From the bathing pool she took her round hedge lawn idea from.


But we all do this in our dreams and thoughts hopes and desires .Only some of us make it work in the end. For Vita her own idea over shadows all .Here her white garden was her most iconic idea.

The White garden Sissinghurst castle Kent England. Complete the work of Lady Vita Sackville West . Must be seen and scent remembered as no photo does it full justice. Vita came to call it her moonlight garden .The white shades of flowers in bloom on a soft warm summer night of a full moon and clear sky tell of the tales of Omar Kyam and the mind travels back in time on an English dream of scented linen whites and magic in the air we breath .It has been copied all over this world .Iconic power to influence the gardener in us all. Then not one can capture the simple magic this garden weaves .

Vita died as she lived trowel in hand and plants in her mind. March 9th 1892 ,June 2nd 1962.

Thank you all for your support .Sir Kevin. G-d bless us all.

Copyright Kevin Parr Bt 2021

Hero on a stolen horse

The wind was a gust of magic over the sweet warmth of a scented night. He lay outstretched in the King of Englands stables in his native France. The hay so warm ,his mistress fair in his arms . The snort of a brood mare with her foal warmed young Claude that someone was near by and he melted away as the groom walked to see the mare was happy to spend a night in a loose box with her charge.

It was next morning as he saddled the Prince of Englands horse. Proud Charles had escaped the claws of Puritan England .Cromwell had missed him in his search to find the youth . Here in France with his retinue of followers in the house of Versailles he had nothing but charity to live on. Claude had risen form nothing to be a footman in the service of Royal England in form of Charles himself.

The Royal had promised all that when he was King he would pay all debts with English gold. Claude was his loyal servant but he had not been paid since starting service with the English Prince Charles. Like so many others he heard only promises and illusions of great grand measure passed as nothing but hunger and cast down eyes. The glory of working for Royal Charles was all it was. Some had indeed seen the light and vanished into the night. Claude had grown up in the coastal Norman town of Domfront . His mother poor his father a miller but able to feed her family any way they could . This promise of riches drove him on as nothing else seemed on the cards just then. Domfront was either fish or barter. A small coast town not known for gentility or honesty

Claude had promised his mother to send home what he could from his wages but Claude soon found Royal Charles had no money at all only debts and his name got him by in life in the French court of his relative King Louis .

Mrs Duval had brought her son Claude up as a kind nature child who loved horses and farm work at the local employment needed from time to time .He also had a charm and a roving eye for the ladies.

Cromwell had died .The news filled the palace halls .The English had heard it too. Charles now wrote to the English Ambassador to see what could be a plan.It was 1659 two weeks after Cromwells death and eventually Prince Charles was heard and by 1660 he was crowned King in Westminster Abbey with all pomp and circumstance .His dead father had been executed in 1649 as a traitor and young King Charles 11 was careful not to follow suit.

Johnny Wilmot wrote ,Here lies a great and noble King whos promise none relied upon .He never did a foolish thing nor ever did a wise one.

It was said in the Kings company but Charles laughed at the truth that Wilmot had spoken.

Meanwhile Claude was constantly at the Kings door demanding his back pay .Charles sent many messages but never saw a soul he owned before becoming King .

Claude had no cash to go home to France he had sailed with the English back to London hoping for his job back as horse master. But all he got in London was a head cold . Pushed from pillar to post he sat hungry and still he hoped for pay from the King. Like so many he was cast aside and forgotten by Charles.

Claude had no choice his English was not that great his French accent strong. His fate was to steal a horse and escape .He held up a coach that was easy money and he was gracious and gentle in his robbery that his name was to carry back to King and council. From then he dressed in the finest fashions and booted he road armed with a small gang of musical soldiers . He played a flagulet a sort of modern day recorder very well indeed and he took it with him every place. They robbed many places around the Capital roads.

Duval with his polished French accent and gentlemany advance made him so admired by the ladies that his fame raced on before him. He was said to have been good looking smart and able with a passion for good horses and fast rides.

He is said to have stopped a carriage and on seeing a beautiful lady seated ,he,asked her husband if he may dance once with his wife. He aided her down on to the heath in the moonlight and even in ridding boots danced so lightly to the music played by this fellow robbers that the fair lady on return to her seat kissed Duval so lovingly that he spared her husbands purse and asked just for the price of music to be paid . One gold coin was handed over and Duval bowed and rode off at a gallop .

This story of truth raced all around the nation and Duval was made famous for his gentle ways and graceful manors. He had tried ahrd to see the King he had served but that old adage never rely on a Princes promise came back to haunt him now.

As all highway robbers Duval liked to spend his ill gotten gains in the Hole in the Wall tavern in London . One evening he was so drunk that the tip off by the bar man brought in the army who arrested him. He was executed at Tyburn and buried in Covent Garden chapel central isles in London.

Before the funeral he was laid out in the Tangiers Tavern by his friends who had somehow stolen or paid for his remains ,for those interested to see. Some 4000 ladies filed past his body in tears.It went on daily until a judge had to stop the never ending show of sorrow.

Duval became the Robin Hood of his day and is held in memory even today if the women by coach load who pay to be near his grave today are anything to go by.

In 1970s working in London I decided to visit The Hole in the wall in Chandos street. I saw before me a dark room full of Blackjack leather tankards and chair bench and tables of the period that nothing has changed since that fateful evening in January when Claude Duval was dragged to his death out of its doorway . Claude Duval 1643-1670. On his grave stone is an inscription that helps to sum up this man. “Here lies Du Val :Reader,if male thou art,look to thy purse;if female ,to thy heart .”

Thank you for reading. Yours always Sir Kevin.

Copyright Kevin Parr Bt 2021