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To the Tower


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Tower of London

A large castle with numerous famous towers that once formed the very attraction of the city of London and still does not go by unnoticed. The walls are 15 feet thick and nearly stands nearly 100 feet high in some places. Built by William the Conquerer and expanded by his descendants, the grounds include a chapel, a great hall and the Royal menagerie. The focal point is the White Tower or the keep proper, that officially still is a residence of the King although he prefers Whitehall Palace.

Many stories are attached to the Tower, not a few of them ending in mysteries and the supernatural. Like all of London the Tower has its shares of ghosts and apperations. It only builds on the buildings gruesome reputation.

Under Charles II this is the political prison of choice, with Tower Hill close by serving as a place of execution. Men were drawn and quartered. Ladies more modestly burned at the stake. The Constable of the Tower held great responsibility as did the Warden.

Riding up to it, one is greeted by massive gates which are guarded by the Kings Guards on either side. They wear the original blue red costume of the guard and are not known for their humor, being sharply trained to protect the Royal Family.

Currently, the Tower houses a few royal prisoners, the Office of Ordnance and the Crown Jewels.


With the restoration of Charles II in 1660, the Tower has been open to the paying public allowing them to marvel at new displays of animals and the Crown Jewels to celebrate the power and splendour of the restored English monarchy.


It was no prison coach that transported Davina to the Tower.  It was a plain coach painted black that conveyed the former Queen's lady to imprisonment.  Ordinarily a noble was trusted to report voluntarily to the Tower.  In this case, however, the Northern Secretary had determined it was best to let all see the lady arrested and guarded, as a traitor might.  It was a message to those who had sought to involve her in a royal conspiracy.

She had been left alone with her maid in the coach while the yeomen rode behind.  Upon arrival, two more yeoman greeted the coach and lowered the step before opening the door to allow the lady to alight.

"Lord Northampton is waiting to see you Miss Wellsley."  They escorted her inside the Tower, sending Poppy to the room her mistress would occupy.  The office of the Constable of the Tower  was a luxurious one, adorned with bits of weapons and armor of old.  James Compton was a pleasant looking man in his 50s.  He was the Earl of Northampton, an old cavalier that had sided with Charles I against Cromwell.  He was in the autumn of his life but wore the mantle of chivalry in his demeanor.  He was dressed in black velvet with gold trim, a white craat sparkled with a sapphire in the candlelight.

"Welcome to the Tower Mistress Wellsley," he greeted the young lady gallantly with a nod.  "I am to look after you for your stay.  May I offer you mulled wine?"

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Her own thoughts had been quickly done away with as it was made clear that she would not go back to the palace but instead a coach would see her directly to The Tower.

She sat still with Poppy beside her as the coach lurched and bumped its way the curtain drawn back a bit to allow the 'outside' to be seen and the air to move freely for she was sure once there that would be at thing much wanted. She had no opportunity to change and so she arrived with her silk dress rumpled and crushed but she had been told that Poppy was allowed to come and go and would return to their rooms at Whitehall. She had quietly instructed the other on what must be done - all her personal things were too be packed up - she had told her where a pouch of coins was hid and she was to use it to bribe whoever needed it to see that her things were not gone thru by eager hands. Her clothing trunks were to be filled with the most practical of her gowns as well as warmer items - she had no knowledge naturally of what she would actually need but that would soon be apparent.

Arrived and helped down she was taken to where Lord Northampton waited for her.

She curtsied respectfully and nodded her head to his offer.

"That is most kind of you. I did not expect such a nicety. You must forgive my appearance ... I did not have the opportunity to be more suitable."

She looked about the room slowly wondering just how much different her place would be. She did not imagine that a 'cell' would be her resting place for she was a Peers daughter and sister but other than that .... She recalled how she had come to see Lord Hardwick but that had been on the roof top and never inside.

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"Please have a seat."  Compton motioned to a chair.  "I am James Compton, Earl of Northampton and Constable of the Tower.  There is always room for nicety with a lady," her jailor assured her.  "At least in the company of a gentleman."

"I assume this is your first visit?  You will be assigned a room in the tower, for you and a maid.  Your maid will be free to come and go.  You will have no bars on your door and you will be free to exercise in the yard.  You will be watched at all times.  Should you attempt to escape, I will find it necessary to confine you to a cell.  Your room will be meager to what you have experienced in the palace, but it will be worlds better than a dank cell."  It was the only warning he need give.

"The food we have here is plain I fear.  Your maid or visitors are free to bring you food or whatever you might require, such as parchment and quill for letters.  Do you have question?"

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She took the offered chair on legs suddenly weak. The Reality was now hitting and there was no hiding from it.

She gave a small smile at his gallantry glad for it. Listened as everything was laid out and described. She sipped the wine and then quietly asked

"Might I be allowed to have some small personal things - my embroidery frame, a travel writing case .... blankets? A few changes of clothing?" 

"Visitors? I thought, well, that I was to be censured away?"

"I shall be grateful indeed for such My Lord Northampton."

"How long am I to be .... here?"

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"Yes,"  he replied.  "You may have whatever personal items and clothing you require."  He confirmed too that "you may have visitors.  In fact, your brother has been notified of your imprisonment and I should think that he ill be calling on you soon."  He was her nearest male relative.  "The Tower is not like a prison for commoners.  W rely upon your honor to abide by the rules and to not violate the law."

In answer to her query he replied "you are to be held here until His or Her Majesty inform me otherwise.  I am told that you assisted treasonous behavior.  That is a serious charge."  He paused to judge her response.

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She nodded her dark head glad that her wants were to be accepted and not denied.

Logically she was no common prisoner and so would not be lodged as one but this was something that she had no true knowledge of - her only times here had been to the Zoo and once to George - so her mind ran with all kinds of things.

"Baintree?" She queried back. "Yes. I am afraid that will not go well."

"Are you? Told that I mean. It was never said directly, at least to me, what the wording would be."

"Treasonous ..... I was foolish in thinking that I could deal with something and so pursued it on my own without backing .... but NEVER with intent to Harm."

She went silent then as she remember Buckingham's words. He had not advised her as to what she must do or say once here in this place but knew that twas better to say nothing more for now. No doubt everything would be communicated back as well. She had no idea what to expect and so she must resign herself to waiting thinking of just how she was to continue on this 'new' course.

Best to just focus on getting herself as comfortable as was possible - she would send Poppy out once she was in the place reserved - back to Whitehall to collect what was needed immediately for them both.

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As she commented on the likely encounter with her brother, Compton nodded sympathetically.  "I expect that you are correct."

As Davina tried to put context around the charges likely leveled against her, the Constable waived his hand as if trying to correct a misunderstanding.  "I am not your judge.  It will be the King that decides your fate ultimately I expect."

Realizing that the rules had been conveyed and understood, the Constable declared "you must be very tired and should get some rest."  He looked behind her at a yeoman standing nearby. "This guard will see you to your room."

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