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Turmoil in the Tower (April 1678)


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The Earl of Northampton was not a young man.  James Compton had fought in the Civil War and was a fervent royalist.  He had been rewarded with one of the most important positions in England, the Constable of the Tower.

"I am telling you milord, that the lady is in communication with Catholic plotters," revealed the Captain of the Guard following his assessment of the situation.  "What is the evidence of this?  I have been told that the lady is no plotter.  She has not the disposition for it," the Earl replied.

"The guards report an entry into the Tower through the river side.  There was a rope found there and pools of water discovered on the parapet.  It was someone up to no good to be sure and there was no attempt on the Crown Jewels, so it must have been to visit a prisoner.  When I questioned Miss Wellsley about the rope, she let slip that she is not close to the river wall.  How did she know that it was the river wall unless she had conspiracy with the intruder?"

"Did she have an answer?" the Constable asked as he reached for his glass of wine to slake his thirst.  "Only protestations of innocence milord.  She is a Catholic and she has hidden former conspiracies as I understand it."  The older man pushed back in his chair.  "Most troubling.  Have her watched carefully.  I shall report on this to His Grace."

The Captain took his leave as the Constable stared into the flames of the nearby fireplace.  Did they have an actual traitor in their midst?  There would be ways to discover that.


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