It’s my family’s fault that Scotland and England are tied together in a partnership that millions are upset about right now. If not for the dear woman who bravely did what she did, then Scotland would be independent today and have its own rule of law without the rule of Westminster over them. Yes, I know that it is an astounding claim to make but it is true. My gran told me the story but not until now at nearly 4am on 31st March, 2015 on the doorstep of national elections have I realised the import and courage of a single woman. I really need to find that little green A5 hardcover book my gran wrote. All these stories she heard handed down trough her grandparents to her and this is one of them. I shall name the lass Marie. It’s probably Anne or something more primordial prior to Queen Victoria because the story is older than even that monarch.
The Tale of the Golden Pocket Watch
Please remember that this story is based upon facts I have not yet researched. There may be inconsistencies that need clarification and dates and names that are confused, but it is nonetheless true. It is not a story available on the Internet prior to me telling it. If it does exist, I’ve net yet heard or read anything about it so therefore you will be able to learn the truth for yourself.
I’ve already told you about the mystery of the stolen Victoria Cross. We know where that medal is. In this tale, we don’t know where the stolen item went or even who has it or worst scenario: it has been destroyed or hidden in a treasure hoard somewhere that will not be found. I dearly hope that the provenance I provide here will one day meet with the fate of that golden pocket watch… the one that went missing from all living knowledge and memory in my family. I may be the last living member who knows this story and it must be told. Geez, I talk too much!
It was a torrid time. It was aDangerous time. The entire country was on high alert looking for this one man. There was a huge reward on his head if he was discovered and turned over to the right people. They would kill him. No beating about the bush, he was a dead man running. I don’t know what he was running for or why they wanted him, but he was on the run. A wealthy man upon whom the history of the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st century politics of what would one day be called Great Britain rested. Not just the Welsh, but the English and the Scots and the Irish too.
Fleeing from Edinburgh, I presume, on horseback, by cart, on foot and by boat. This is the making of the great nation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, Northern Ireland and her colonies. Thus, one man whom had been chosen to change the fate of centuries of Status Quo beyond easy redemption. He did not know this nor would he ever know it, but I do. It dawned upon me with great shock and horror what Marie has done all those hundreds of years ago in the south west near Cornwall or somewhere like that. Devonshire even…
Marie was a quiet woman who lived alone. She was an ordinary woman whom loved the idea of royalty and riches but was really just a simple lass. I believe her husband had died not too long before and that the estate she lived upon was his. That brings up an interesting question as to how she managed to remain a widow for so very long a time and keep the property. I must investigate that. Maybe she sold it and lived as a tenant in the cottage on the edge of the farm. A little thatched cottage made homely and warm in the silence of the chill autumnal air. It may have been any season, but I choose autumn or fall as the Americans would later call it. America hadn’t even been discovered at this juncture. The old world was The Whole World and the earth was Flat. Everyone knew that. Even the church said it was flat.
The same church that employed rather devious men to hunt witches: Salem had it easy. This church was all about power, superstition and evil skulduggery. The authority was given to a single man to represent God almighty on earth. I don’t know which man gave this man that authority but it certainly was not God Himself! Sometime about 325 years after Christ vanished in a blinding flash of light into heaven, some bloody idiot decided to decree that Saint Peter, who was a rabbit (that’s a whole different story right there!), would be the founding father for the special church that is named Holy Roman Catholic Church today. They even modified the bible to include their name in it so that the more literate plebs would… remember the pleb gate story? Hah! I have a good one too… yes, the semi-leterate plebs would believe what the written word meant. Of course you have to believe every word that is written on the Internet today because it ties up with other stories on the Internet that get edited to match each other which means they must be true, aren’t they?
It was all Greek to them. Even those who could read. Some clever dick decided to learn Latin and made reading the bible nigh impossible by translating it into Latin. The fools. Damn fools. So much history was list in that translation and so many errors introduced. We don’t even know if they destroyed the good original copies of the ancient texts. How did they come to posess those texts in the first place? Have you ever thought of that before? 400 years after Christ and the Catholic Church already had original text of the first bibles. No codex’. Codices? Ffs. Sidetracked again! So much in my head that wants to go walkies around the world.
Yes. 325 A.D. the church was founded. That is where it began. The church. Back to the time of Jesus Christ. Look at that! My story goes back to the time of Christ! Who can say that of their family history? Oh, almost every single European… not so important now. Miniscule importance except for Marie… why did she do that?
Whatever happened to her prized gold pocket watch that that man gave her, I wonder. Where in the world is it today? It was a treasured family heirloom for many, many years. It passed from each generation into the hands of the next for about 4 or 5 generations and then it faded out of knowledge and was lost from legend into myth in the mists of time. If it exists today it will be worth a fortune with this provenance.
The man fled! The roundheads were gaining on him and now everyone knew he was running! He couldn’t trust a soul because his life was forfeit if they caught him. On the blessed heart of the Virgin Mary, he had to get away! Travelling by night he had removed himself from battles many leagues distant into territories that had not yet heard of his escape and flight. The authorities who thought they were authorities were just self-styed murderers after his blood. They let rally wanted his head on a stake to parade through the streets of London and then impale on a spike at the portcullis of the Tower of London. He would not allow that to happen. Never! Oh, the fear! He was so very nearly caught a few days before because the traitorous farmer wanted the reward from the men with iron helmets. He really had to flee with his special advisor and companion.
I seem to remember something about him being dressed as a woman, as a disguise when he arrived at Marie’s home. Wigs were so common and in vogue that knowing whether a woman was actually a woman was really hard to discover in a polite manner and the men dressed like Robin of Loxley: men in tights. How peculiar. The partisans and the partials. The puritans really wen to town in those days and destroyed even the religious monuments and buildings like the modern Islamic State of Iraq and Syria are doing at this time in 2015. Holy cow. Religious extremism is not new! The British were doing it before the Muslims! And we have the cheek to call them terrorists! Our puritans were exactly the same kind of her endows bastards as the modern jihadis are. The killed folk in the name of God. The God who so lobed the world he sent his son to die for us that we might not perish but have everlasting life… if we wanted it. Jesus! We were bastards, weren’t we? Damn ed puritans were causing a huge shift in global politics and even changed the course of events that would never change anyway. They tried to stop this mystery man from escaping and failed.
Marie invited the man and his lady companion into the warmth of her humble abode and set down a bit of food. Some bread and a bit of rabbit stew. It was the first bit of hot food the had eaten in many days and it was well received. After their supper they settled down to have a chat about the state of the country and how the hunt was going for the escapee. Marie knew that the roundheads wee looking for somebody important but she had sympathy for the man. He was a good man and the parliamentarians had no business trying to kill him. This news really encouraged crown prince Charles to reveal his true identity. Yes, he was the Bonnie Prince Charlie. So fond was Marie of the royals that she hid him in her house for a few hours while she went to fix a boat for him as he requested. He had explained that he needed to get to France beyond the reach of the roundheads. Who the hell decided to call them roundheads anyway? While Marie was away the prince rested fitfully on her bed. His royal escorts kept weary watch out in the darkness. Eventually Marie returned. She had fixed a ride on her friendly baker’s boat (I’m making up the baker bit, but it sounds good). It was a rowing boat that could secret them away over the channel but they had to hurry… shh! What was that? The whispers were almost imperceptible to each other as they all snuck out. Marie quickly chased the prince to an old oak Tree and hid him in its branches high above the ground then ran quietly and quickly to her house. As she walked in there was a gang of impetuous men demanding to know where her husband was! He is dead! They knew she had had visitors but who had told these clowns! Fuck!
There was no evidence that anyone except her had been in the house and even her bed was unmade because somebody had been sleeping in it. It was obvious. She was alone. The grumpy men left her after many impolite questions and threats of violence. One had the cheek to proposition her against her will but the captain ordered them all out. There was nobody here and time was short. The Scottish prince was to be found fast. Or heads would roll…
The Power of One. Marie had changed history for England, Wales, Scotland,France and Ireland in a few hours on her own. The letter F. Now the game was afoot. She rushed over to the oak Tree after the men had been gone a long time and called the Bonny Prince out of the tree. They made their way down to the shore and just before the light of early dawn, they handed her a gift from the prince: a solid gold pocket watch of finest design and encrusted with a few gems as a farewell gift for her assistance and fortitude. The gracious royal embarked on his journey to France and they never met again. Marie treasured her gift for the rest of her life. She passed it on to her children who delivered the watch to their children and so on for 4 or 5 generations then it is believed that some thieving bastard stole it from their posessions. Highwaymen were common in those days so until that particular watch is recovered, we may never know it’s full history and that is if it even exists anymore. So much gold was melted down form old gold and heirlooms between 2006 and 2015 that it may have been destroyed by some unsuspecting ignoramus. Or maybe the legend of its heritage survives in some family history somewhere else that an odd pocket watch that once belonged to King Charles is in their collection…
It would take the wealth of an aristocratic Lord to discover the truth. I don’t know much about English history, but I do know that marie existed and the she helped the Scottish prince escape certain death. That same prince later raised an entire army and invaded England two or three years later and took the throne of England as was his royal right and bound the future of Scotland with the history of England for many hundreds of years to come. That is how my ancestor made Scotland subject to the rule of Westminster today. In a little over a month’s time we vote for the next prime minister, and the fact that the gold pocket watch is still missing really irritates me. The Power of One.