“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 19 (PG-13): Alliances and Betrothals, March 27, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #724)
[An Original Fan Fiction adaptation of the characters from the BBC’s Robin Hood;& a Sequel to “Sir Guy’s Dilemma” (Book 2) by Gratiana Lovelace] (All Rights Reserved; No copyright infringement intended) [(1) story logo, top right]
[From time to time, I will illustrate my story with my dream cast of: Richard Armitage as Sir Guy of Gisborne, Clive Standen as Lord Archer of Locksley, Emma Watson as Lady Roseanna Gisborne, Tommy Bastow as the young Seth Gisborne, Lucy Griffiths as the spectre of Lady Marian, James McAvoy as Lord George Middleton, Toby Stephens as Prince John, Dakota Fanning as Lady Caroline Havorford, Chris Hemsworth as Sir Roderick Merton, Tamsin Egerton as Lady Rebecca Oxbridge, Lee Ross as Sir Jasper, and Sir Derek Jacobi as Fr. Bale, etc.]
Author’s Mature Content Note: “Sir Guy’s Atonement” is a story of romance and intrigue set amidst Medieval times. As such there will be some passages in this story involving heartfelt love scenes (S) and some passages involving highly dramatic moments (D), or foul language (L). I will label the maturity rating of those chapters accordingly. Otherwise, the general rating for this story is PG or PG-13 due to some mature situations and topics. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide, then please do not read the chapters with those labels. This is my disclaimer.
Nota Bene: And though I refer to some historical timelines, events, and personages, I reconfigure them somewhat for this storyline–and they should not be taken as literal historical fact. The citation links are provided for you to find out what really happened historically.
Author’s Recap from the previous installment: Sir Guy Baron of Gisborne’s, Baronial investiture was sober and dignified as befits such a ceremony. And the celebration after was quite merry. But there are still many unknowns with regard to extended family alliances and betrothals.
“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 19 (PG-13): Alliances and Betrothals
The days leading up to Sir Guy Baron of Gisborne’s investiture as a Baron at the investiture ceremony in Leicester Cathedral had been merry and filled with tournaments and games. There are indeed several young knights from good families in attendance who try to impress the sweet and pretty eleven year old Lady Caroline Havorford [(2) right] in the hope that they might press their suit and win her hand in betrothal–and her handsome 10,000 pound dowry upon their marriage in four or five years time.
And Lady Caroline’s father, the now fifty five year old Lord Edward Havorford, has finally arrived back in Leicester from his extended travels–sadly having missed Sir Guy Baron of Gisborne’s’s elevation to Baron–but eager to see his daughter Lady Mary Middleton’s newest baby he is quickly informed of, and then to assess if his other daughter Lady Caroline has met anyone she likes since last he saw her.
Naturally, this knowledge of competitors for Lady Carolyn’s hand rankles the ten and a half year old Seth Gisborne who feels that his true admiration and nascent love for the 6 months older Lady Caroline is pure and sincere–unlike the others who are only interested in her dowry. But Lady Caroline still has eyes only for Sir Roderick Merton–for his gallant rescue of Seth and his six year old sister Lady Helen from toppling off the keep tower. And Lady Caroline shyly gazes at Sir Roderick through the fluttering eyelashes of her bowed head.
However the tall and muscular and handsome and affable Sir Roderick Merton [(3) right] has been moved from the children’s dining table to a head table extended to accommodate both he and Lord Havorford. What with Prince John learning of Sir Roderick’s role in uncovering the plot against Prince John–and the possibility of matching Rebecca Lady Leicester to him for a dowry tax, if her husband Lord John is dead or if he can be legally declared so–Prince John looks more favorably upon Sir Roderick. But as yet, Lady Caroline has not been made aware of Sir Roderick being spoken for. Nor is Sir Roderick aware of the very young Lady Caroline’s admiration of him since etiquette demands that everyone guard and shield their true feelings–and she does so quite convincingly.
And then there is Lord Havorford, whose daughter Lady Caroline is of interest to Prince John’s cousin Roseanna Lady Gisborne–Sir Guy’s baroness. So Prince John anticipates a dowry tax for Lady Caroline’s betrothal to Seth Gisborne if Havorford agrees, if not an betrothal tax as well. The waiving of the betrothal tax for the match being Sir Guy Baron of Gisborne’s agreed upon reward for saving Prince John’s life.
And Seth will have a little bit of help in pressing his suit to Lady Caroline from yet another quarter. At his sister Lady Roseanna’s urging–knowing that they also wish to extend a betrothal proposal for Lady Caroline to Seth–Lord George as Lady Caroline’s brother-in-law and de facto guardian in the absence of her father, had appointed Seth Gisborne as Lady Caroline’s chaperone for the post Baronial investiture feast last night. So Seth was never far from Lady Caroline’s side, as he is also today. Though Seth realizes that lacking in his full height–and him being not even a squire yet–the young knights, even those only four years his senior, have the advantage over him with regard to fascinating Lady Caroline.
As they sit side by side at the next morning’s breaking of their fast the next day, Wednesday, April 3, 1199, at the family children’s table, Seth and Lady Caroline are the picture of courteous companionship as they marshall the Gisborne-Middleton-Locksley-Oxbridge children. And yet, while the little ones are happily eating–with linen bibs in place so that they will not soil their nice daytime attire with food stains–Seth and Lady Caroline have leave to speak privately.
Seth: “I am, My Lady.” Seth smiles shyly [(4) right]. “My Papa is a good and honorable man. I strive to be worthy to be called his son as I begin my studies for the knighthood.”
Lady Caroline: “Will that training take you away from home?” She asks sweetly. For she is to remain with her sister Lady Mary and brother-in-law Lord George at Middleton Hall to help tend to her new niece for the next three months.
Seth: “Initially, no. I will train with my Papa’s garrison. But if Lord Oxbridge returns soon, then I might train and live here at Gordon Castle with my cousins, Lady Leicester, Lord Graham and Lady Rachel.”
Lord Graham: “I will like you staying with us, Seth. You may have the room next to mine, there is a secret door so we may play together longer at night when we are not tired yet. Hhhh!” Little Lord Graham yawns. It is only about 8 o’clock in the morning, but yesterday with the investiture–and his role carrying Sir Guy’s coronet on a pillow–with a feast after, was a very full day for the three year old. And he needs his morning nap already.
Seth: “A secret passageway, you say Lord Graham?” Seth’s imagination is sparked. Forgetting all notion of paying attention to Lady Caroline, Seth asks Lord Graham. “Are there many such secret passageways in the castle?”
Lord Graham: “Yes.” He nods his head, then bites on his pastry roll using his fingers made sticky from the sugary icing on the pastry–which he then wipes upon his linen bib. “I know the passages between the family bedrooms, but Mama has not shown me all of them yet.”
Lady Caroline: “Do you play hide and seek in them?” She asks interestedly as she reenters the conversation.
Lord Graham: “No. Mama does not want my little sister Lady Rachel to get lost if she wanders into a secret passageway. They are only for state business, Mama says.”
Seth and Lady Caroline exchange curious looks. Seth wonders why Lady Leicester would have need to show her son–the heir apparent to the Earl of Leicester–secret passage ways? And for state business?
Seth: “Well, that sounds quite appropriate. As elder brother, Lord Graham, it is your duty to watch over Lady Rachel–as it is my duty to watch over my younger brother and sisters, Lady Helen, Louis, and Lady Sarah.” Seth smiles at his siblings–hinting at his bravery of saving his sister Lady Helen from falling–and they smile back at him.
Lady Helen: “Yes, Graham …” Lady Helen Gisborne is only 6 years old, so she eschews her cousin the 3 year old Lord Graham’s title when speaking to him. “… Seth saved me from falling.” She turns to her brother, Seth, and smiles sincerely. “Thank you also, Seth!”
Seth: “My pleasure, Helen.” Seth smiles even broader. And Lady Caroline nods and smiles to him. Progress, thinks Seth!
After noticing the seemingly pleasant exchanges between his daughter Lady Mary and Seth Gisborne, Lord Havorford leans over to Lady Roseanna Baroness of Gisborne as they sit at the head table.
Lord Havorford: “My Lady and Lord Gisborne, am I to understand that you wish me to entertain a match between your son Seth and my daughter Lady Mary?” This is a new betrothal prospect for his daughter that had not occurred to Lord Havorford.
Lady Roseanna Baroness of Gisborne: “Just so. Is it not, my husband?”
Sir Guy Baron of Gisborne: “Indeed. Our children get on well together. And we would be agreeable to cementing the growing bond between our two families by forming an alliance via their marriage in five years time when Seth will be sixteen.”
Lord Havorford: “Ah me! Is not sixteen a trifle young for a boy to assume the mantle of husband? I had so much maturing to do at that age. I cannot even imagine taking on the role of husband and protector.”
Sir Guy Baron of Gisborne as a new baron–and protective father–stands up for his son. And Guy Baron of Gisborne is wearing his favorite black leather jacket [(5) right]–which always gives him a feeling of confident advantage.
Sir Guy Baron of Gisborne: “It is true that some men are too young for responsibility at that age. But I myself was leading a garrison and training other men when I was sixteen.” And he thinks, bedding everything in a skirt. He coughs at the randy memory. “Kkkhh!” it is one reason why he wants his son Seth to settle down while a young man–so that his needs do not overwhelm his common sense.
Lady Roseanna Baroness of Gisborne: Patting her husband’s back caringly, she asks him. “Are you alright, Guy? Might you prefer a sip of water to the wine?”
Sir Guy Baron of Gisborne: “Ah! My thanks, My Love. But I am well. It was a temporary constriction of my throat that has now abated.” He smiles and takes a sip of wine. He is so glad that those days of youthful mayhem are behind him.
Having listened in to that side of the table’s conversation–since Lord Archer and Lady Saline, and Lady Rebecca and Sir Roderick are boringly (to him) speaking of children–Prince John interjects to Lord Havorford.
Prince John: “Good god, Havorford! Your daughter could do no better than Seth Gisborne–who will one day be a knight and in a future year inherit his father’s barony and lands.” Prince John thinks that maybe he can tease a betrothal tax out of Lord Havorford–as long as Sir Guy Baron Gisborne is none the wiser.
Lady Roseanna Baroness of Gisborne smiles, for not all of the Gisborne-Middleton estate lands are required to go to Seth upon her husband’s death, hopefully many years from now. Little Louis and their girls Lady Helen Lady Sarah, and baby Lady Diana will also have dowries and a portion of the Oxbridge inheritance mingled within those lands–as well as, any future children she and her husband have sharing in their estate. And both she and her husband Sir Guy Baron of Gisborne are quite pleased and Prince John speaking of their son Seth in such favorable terms.
Sir Guy Baron of Gisborne: “Thank you my Prince.” He says in a studiedly even tone–glad that his son Seth is spoken well of, yet blanching at the mention of his own demise related to his son’s inheritance. Though looking much younger, Sir Guy Baron Gisborne at forty five is only ten years younger than the not having aged well Lord Havorford. And he states a bit pridefully. “Afterall Lord Havorford, a person’s age is not the sole determining factor regarding their maturity–nor is it an indication of their state of vigor.”
Lord Havorford smiles pleasantly at sir Guy Baron of Gisborne, then returns to eating his meal. Nothing need be decided now while their children are yet so young.
Prince John finally turns his attention to the other half of the head table, observing Rebecca Lady Leicester and Sir Roderick. Of course, they behave with decorum whilst in company, as they are now. But Prince John senses a deep and a deepening connection between the two. It is in the way that Rebecca Lady Leicester demurely keeps her head bowed so as not to look directly into Sir Roderick’s eyes. And then there is the almost perpetually shy smile upon Sir Roderick’s face when Lady Leicester is near him. Currently Lord Archer and Sir Roderick seem to be discussing Nottingham.
Lord Archer: “Oh you should see the result of my brother Sir Guy Baron of Gisborne’s bold redesign of Nottingham Castle and lands fortifications! We could withstand a siege from the North for weeks if necessary!” He boasts.
Sir Roderick: “I would be very interested in viewing the improvements. Perhaps on my way to my estate in Staffordshire, I could detour and pause a day in Nottingham.”
Lord Archer: “That would be splendid! So you are not to return to London with Prince John after all?” Lord Archer has also noticed the seeming preference of Sir Roderick for the lovely Lady Rebecca’s company.
Sir Roderick: “Prince John has kindly granted me leave to tend to my estates. And … well … and he has named me protector of Lady Leicester and her children–until her husband returns, of course.”
Lord Archer: “Of course.” Lord Archer narrows his eyes, then he leans toward Sir Roderick. “And if Lord Oxbridge is no more?”
Sir Roderick: “Then I hope to be of aid and comfort to her and the children in their grief.”
Lord Archer: Smiling wryly, Lord Archer nods. “Well put!”
Lady Rebecca: “Lord Archer, for my children’s sake, I must wish for my husband’s safe return.” She gives the required and expected response.
Sir Roderick winces, even knowing this. For his heart cannot envision life without his Lady Becca.
Prince John: Interjecting, Prince John says blasely. “Yes yes, so you have said. Most commendable, Lady Leicester. You are a credit to your husband and family. Yet, you must not sacrifice yourself and your children’s future for the memory of a man to whom you were barely married to for a year and a half before he followed my brother to the Holy Land on a crusade.” Prince John rolls his eyes sneeringly.
Lady Rebecca looks shocked at Prince John’s remarks.
Lady Rebecca: “How do you mean, sir?” Not Sire, not Prince, but sir.
Prince John: His voice softening, Prince John clarifies. “I only mean to say that your children need a father. And you remaining without a husband means that they are deprived of one.”
Lady Saline: Bold as brass as usual, Lady Saline bristles at Prince John’s further presumptuous statements. “Lady Leicester has done no such thing as depriving her children of a father. He left voluntarilay. If anything, she has gifted her children with memories of their father. And what would you know what children need, My Prince? Have you sired any? Let alone taken responsibility for them?”
Lord Archer: His face ashen in horror–however much he despises Prince John–Lord Archer whines at his wife for speaking so boldly. “Saline!”
Prince John: “My Lady, I have not been blessed with children, yet. However were I to be blessed in the future, you can be certain that I will provide for them.” He says tartly.
Lady Saline: “Oh?” Lord Archer is nearly apoplectic with a red face and stilled breath due to his wife. His brother Sir Guy Baron of Gisborne watches his brother worriedly from the opposite end of the table, him not knowing the nature of their conversation.
Prince John: “Madam, both your husband and my cousin Seth have benefitted by my boons of legitimacy decrees–and thus, your children directly benefit. Does not that prove my devotion to family–or, extended family, in your case?” He asks petulantly. After being threatened with assassination, Prince John would hope that his extended family would be more considerate of him. But then, Prince John does not always behave so charitably toward others.
Lady Saline: “Hmm!” She tosses off, somewhat chastened.
No one in the Gisborne-Middleton-Oxbridge-Locksley extended family feels like eating any more food–they were done anyway–and everyone rises from their tables. The children gravitate toward their parents–with Seth once again offering his arm to Lady Caroline who smiles at him pleasantly and takes his arm. His sister Lady Helen notices and makes a beeline for her Mother. And then some innocent questions provoke some embarrassed reactions.
Lady Helen: “Mama?”
Lady Roseanna Baroness of Gisborne: “Yes, my dearest.” She smiles and caresses her daughter’s cheeks.
Lady Helen: “If Lady Caroline marries Seth, will she become my sister, too?” Seth had asked a similar question of Lord George about Lady Mary when he was five.
Lady Caroline’s eyes widen at such a bold question. And her face blushes as she lowers her eyes demurely. The adults smile at her knowingly. Lord Havorford waits and observes his daughter’s reactions. However Seth is appalled.
Seth: “Helen! You have no right to say such a thing!” Seth jerks his head to look at Lady Caroline. “My abject apologies my lady. She is only six.” Seth tries to bluff.
Lady Roseanna Baroness of Gisborne: “Helen, Dear, one does not discuss such things unless a formal betrothal has been contracted.”
Lady Helen: “But Mama, Seth is being nice to Lady Caroline. And she seems to like it. And I would like her to be my sister.” All is simple and straightforward to a six year old.
Lady Caroline: Finding her voice, Lady Caroline adds. “I do like Seth–and all of you, Lady Helen. I thank you for the honor you do me in considering me to be a worthy bridal choice for Seth someday–as well as being your sister.” Lady Caroline replies to a smiling Lady Helen, Lady Caroline not realizing that she really is a bridal choice for Seth.
Seth: “Nay, My Lady. It is I who am honored to be considered as your future husband.”
Seth lifts Lady Caroline’s hand to his lips and kisses it as he has seen his Papa do with his Mama hundreds of times. But of course, they are a love match, and Sir Guy Baron of Gisborne’s kisses linger–as does Seth’s kiss to Lady Caroline now. Sir Guy Baron of Gisborne smiles–seeing his son seeming to mature before his very eyes. Lady Caroline’s eyes widen at the realization that they are speaking in partial truths.
Lady Caroline: “Oh!” She utters in shock, but she does not pull away from him.
Lord Havorford: Lady Caroline’s father soothingly consoles her in a soft deep voice. “Caroline, Dear, nothing is settled. Your Mama and I are only beginning to narrow the choices for your betrothal husband. And as with your sister Mary Lady Middleton, your wishes will be taken into consideration–with regard the final choice for your future husband.” He smiles at her kindly. Of course with Lady Mary, she was originally betrothed to Lord Archer–and Lady Saline to Lord George–but they switched partners and are all happily wedded.
Prince John: Rolling his as at the underlying subterfuge, Prince John whines. “Well, family, someone please inform me when a betrothal announcement is to be made. Because technically, as Prince Regent, I must approve intended noble marriages–before they take place.”
They had all forgotten about that aspect of noble marriages–royal approval being required. And they exchange looks with each other of both concern and amusement. Sir Guy Baron of Gisborne had already initially proffered the possibility of a betrothal between his son Seth Gisborne and Lady Caroline Havorford to the Prince Regent, Prince John. And of course, Lady Roseanna Baroness of Gisborne will collect some spiders in a jar to set loose upon her cousin Prince John if he mucks up this betrothal for Seth.
And then disturbingly, there is a commotion as an unknown person in royal messenger attire briskly enters the Great Banquet Hall of Gordon Castle followed by his retinue of guards. The royal messenger looks slightly haggard and has obviously had little sleep by virtue of his bloodshot eyes and tired expression. All are intrigued by this newcomer to their midst. Bowing, the royal messenger then kneels down before the Prince Regent, Prince John. The room is abuzz, wondering what this is about.
And they will find out soon enough. The dark cloud has come to England’s shores.
To be continued with Chapter 20
“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 19 References, March 27, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #724)
1) Story Logo for Sir Guy’s Atonement” is a composite of:
a) Sir Guy portrayed by Richard Armitage found at richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/Episodefive/slides/5_086.jpg (crop-hair-manip-hi-res); and
b) The spectre image of Lady Marian is that of Lucy Griffiths who portrayed Lady Marian in the BBC series Robin Hood from2006-2009 and was found at Hamilton Hodell Talent Management at http://www.hamiltonhodell.co.uk/cv/client_lucy-griffiths_id_100044.htm; image found at
2) Lady Caroline Haverford age 11 image is that of Dakota Fanning and was found at http://images.moviefanatic.com/iu/t_full/v1364991191/fantastic-fanning.jpg
3) Sir Roderick Merton (crop) is Chris Hemsworth in a still with Natalie Portman from Thor the Dark World that was found at http://mrpopat.in/admin/upload/wallpaper/201310301383113308920383985.jpg
4) Seth at 10 years image iin the Gordon Castle Library s a manip of:
a) actor Tommy Bastow’s head, the young actor who later portrayed the young Sir Guy in the BBC’s Robinhood, series 3, “Bad Blood” (2009) was found at http://www.listal.com/viewimage/2338634; for more about this actor, visit http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2921012/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1; and
b) A daytime tunic found at http://pixgood.com/medieval-fashion-men.html
5) Sir Guy image (as portrayed by Richard Armitage) entranced, image from the BBC’s Robin Hood, series 3 was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/Episodethirteen/slides/13_064.html
“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Previous Ch. 18 Blog Link with embedded illustrations (Post#722)