Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Sir Steven Ferguson’s departure from London could hardly be described as dignified, as soon as the council of Nobles had broken up the Dukes and Lords scattered in every direction seeking allies or waiting for escorts from Lord Castlemaines troops, Sir Ferguson didn’t wait and he decided that talking could be done later, he wanted to be away now so he quietly escaped from the chambers through a side entrance. At first he made good progress, but then as luck would have it someone thought he looked like a noble and started yelling and screaming.
That initiated a scramble through the side alleys and lanes of London, he was finally trapped by a gang of street urchins who immediately set upon him, flaying him with all manner of sticks, fists, feet and clubs. He was only saved by the diligence of a Castlemaine Dragoon patrol, they picked him up and once he told them who he was he was taken on horseback to his townhouse.
His staff were horrified when their master crashed through the front door, bleeding, bruised and clothes in tatters.
They immediately set about cleaning him up and giving him new clothes, all the while he was yelling and screaming at his guard commander to prepare for leaving London.
It had only taken an hour since his arrival back at the townhouse and he was mounting his horse with the guard around him. He told the staff to remain and lock the townhouse assuring everyone they would be safe, that when things calmed down they could all return to Romney.
He had instructed his guard commander to ensure they were not stopped by anyone, so once the gates of the residence were opened the Duchy of Romney dragoons drew swords and moved out into the streets of London. The departure from London of Sir Ferguson from that point on only at best be described as a cavalry charge.
His escort set upon the crowds on the streets crushing and slashing as they swept through them, even Sir Ferguson set upon them with his own sword, the path he took out of London could be traced by the trail of dead and broken bodies.
The crowd once realising that it was the Duchy of Romney troops that had attacked them, stampeded back to official Duchy of Romney residence and despite the Dragoons from Lord Castlemaine that had been posted there to protect the house and staff, they attacked both the residence and the dragoons, within 30 minutes 4 Dragoons were dead and the remainder scattered, the residence was in flames and the staff were all killed in the frenzied onslaught of the maddened crowd.
The crowd then went on a rampage through London seeking official residences to attack, even the Chambers of Nobles was attacked early in the morning over 250 people were killed by Castlemaine troops protecting that building alone, but 70 Castlemaine troops were killed unsuccessfully defending it.
The Chambers like much of London was in flames by daybreak, some weeks later investigations determined that the frenzied attack had been started by Sir Fergusons troops attacking people on the streets as he fled London. By daybreak over a dozen official residences were in flames, it had been estimated that over 700 people died and Castlemaines army lost 200 men.
In the minds of the people it had created a sense of empowerment and revenge; it was also a fertile breeding ground for radical Jacobin that were to plague London and indeed England for the next few years.
Once Sir Ferguson left London and the chaos his rampaging Cavalrymen had left behind they slowed their progress and once more assumed a more dignified and military look, all of them including Sir Ferguson were exhilarated by the violence and bloodletting they had inflicted on the peasants of that sinkhole of a city.
Sir Fergusons party were somewhat alarmed when they saw a large body of Lyndhurst troops, both infantry and cavalry heading towards London, both parties passed sneering at each other; the Lyndhurst troops somewhat puzzled by the blood and dirt covering the horses of the Romney Cavalry.
It was then in the mind of Sir Ferguson that a plan was created, a plan for revenge against the Anders and against all those other royal swine back in London.
He quickly estimated that at least half the Lyndhurst troops were in or moving into London, which meant that Lyndhurst County was seriously weakened and that this new boy king was vulnerable in Sir Leopold’s estate at New Park.
He quickly turned to his escort commander ordering him to quicken the pace; he had to get back to his Duchy and fast.
On arriving back in his home Sir Ferguson summoned his army commanders and an old family friend Sir Henry Blakedale. Sir Blakedale was better known as Captain Blakedale, the dignity of a knighthood was only relevant within the Duchy of Romney as those fools back in the Noble council chambers had not thought promoting another pirate to the Knighthood was appropriate.
When all the commanders finally arrived Sir Ferguson set about describing his plan, it was simple he told them, all they had to do was sneak about 100 men into Lyndhurst over the next week. The 100 men were to be the pick of the Romney army and of Sir Blakedale’s men, who to a man were pirates, murders and thieves and were often used by Sir Ferguson on special “operations”. They were to secretly surround the estate and in a surprise attack overwhelm the guard in Sir Leopold’s residence which was estimated at 50 men, all before the garrison nearby could become alerted, that garrison could contain up to 500 men so speed was of vital importance, they were to capture the boy king and bring him back to Romney, if they couldn’t take him alive, they were to bring back his head as he would need evidence to show those gentlemen Lords that the King was no more.
New Park Estate
The Romney army would be prepared on the Lyndhurst/Romney border to make diversionary attacks as well as to meet the raiders and escort them back out of Lyndhurst.
Sir Ferguson realised that it would mean war, but that excited rather than intimidated him. It would force those fools back in London into acting, once the King was dead or taken, this pointless revolt against the Nobles would be squashed and the prize for doing that would be Sir Ferguson becoming Lord Ferguson of the Romney/Lyndhurst Duchy.
If he failed it really didn’t matter because England would be at war and victory would be achieved by the most ruthless rather than fawning pious Lords who hoped to avoid bloodshed but equally expected to keep their positions of wealth and power.
Sir Ferguson knew, he was prepared to go to any lengths to achieve his goals, and whether a boy king had to die, or a nation flung into civil war was of no relevance to him; the means were definitely worthy of the end.
Within a week of Sir Ferguson leaving London, unknown to those Lords and Knights throughout England, the motives and moves of one small insignificant Knight in southern England was to plunge them all into civil war.
The setup for the raid on New Park estate.