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Veritas, 31st of December [Arrives on the 1st]


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Veritas, 31st of December

The Truth Shall Set You Free


From Windsor

What shock has gone through our court with the death of Her Majesty, God Save Her Soul. This only days after an attack upon the Duke of York and His Majesty was prevented, just as rumours predicted in London. Rioters have been clamouring there is a plot against the King all along. Shall we ever feel safe again? Rumours hold that the Queen died of poison. Did the Life Guards have word of the possibility? In the days leading up to this drama all carriages entering Windsor Castle were sought, under much protest of the Lords and Ladies. At some point the gates were closed, sealing the perimeter. Lord Blackheath terrorized the Visitor's Apartments by running around fully armed and securing the floor, going head to head with Lord Mulgrave, himself not inexperienced in His Majesty's army.With some difficulty Major Langdon restored order, he himself frequently seen in competition with the violent Blackheath. Yet all this did not prevent calamity. Arrests have been made and it is said that executions shall be swift.


Speculation throughout Windsor for the piece of the shroud of Turin has gone missing. Wicked tongues say that Whiggish rebels have a hand in that. The relic was send to our country as a gift from Savoy. Investigations as to the whereabouts of the shroud piece are currently under way.


Speculation has been rife that Her Majesty foresaw her own death in the shape of a white wolf, heralding the downfall of all the Stuarts. Perish the thought. His Majesty ordered a hunt on the beast that had been sighted near Windsor. True heroes at Court, ladies do pay attention! It was Lord Alyth and the Viscount Mountjoy who bested the animal in a blood curling fight that nearly cost them their lives. All this while His Majesty could not even be told of his wife's death, being within an inch of his own life, down with a terrible imbalance of the humours, with the royal physicians at a loss what to try next, all though they did spread the scent of rosemary as a precaution through His Majesty's apartment.


Huddled in the Castle the Peers of the realm had to decide upon the fate of nation, with the Duke of York taking his brother's place as temporary regent. How to deal with the rabble in the streets of London, that spread unrest and chaos through the land? The hotheaded Duke of Monmouth, with a fierce looking Blackheath at his side, and Lord Carrington on the other, suggested that the Duke ride down the the countryside to London to deal with the situation. Mountjoy and Killington preached caution, to which Carrington agreed for there is yet hope the King will rise from his sickbed soon enough. Amidst all the eloquent oratory it was noted that several of the gentlemen present, sneaking into the St. George's Chapel, were no peers of the realm at all but mere sons and heirs, curiosity driving them to attend. They should not think to find such indulgence in London!


Christmas was off to such a good start with a Ball in Windsor on its Eve. Having married his mistress, the ever lovely Catriona Parham. to the recently raised Scottish Adam MacGregor, Earl of Alyth that morning in a private service, His Majesty called for the marriage of the Viscount Mountjoy to the Margravina. One wonders how long this husband will last her? Perhaps this concern is what motivated the viscount's cousin Alice de Courtnay to stand up and make a scene. Rumours have it that Lord Alyth had a hand in making sure no official objections were raised. Such grave thoughts did not stop the brave master Thomas Hamilton to ask for the hand in marriage of lady Darlene, sister to the Earl of Chesterford. Their wedding is to be later this week.


Wedding Bells or Murder Most Foul? What will be theme of Windsor Christmas? It is whispered the Butcher of Breda slaughtered the son of the Bey of Tunis in the early morning of the 24th during a duel, causing great upset with the King, though no doubt cheered on by many who had misgivings about the dark Turk.


Ah, but back to the ball, were fainting was the latest thing amongst ladies. The Earl of Basildon was among the men having to carry away his wife from the dancefloor. One blames the close proximity of people in a small ballroom for causing the overheating in the middle of winter. The gifted dancer mrs. Dawes danced with the Earl of Basildon, which was a very pretty sight with whom His Grace the Duke of York appeared very taken. Basildon was later seen with the Duchess of Portsmouth, which seems a very close association. Together with his loyalty to York one wonders if perhaps this is a closet Catholic. Newly wed Lady Alyth was seen with Lord Blackheath, who also recently wed with his lady. Baron Brynfield danced with Mignonette la Rovere who was recalled home the next day. The Viscount Malfort danced with Lady Atherstone, while Lady Blackheath danced with His Grace the Duke of Buckingham, who later in turn danced with Lady Atherstone in a merry go round. Mistress Frances Liddell was seen with Lt. George Churchill. Lord Langdon danced with court beauty Mistress Julia FitzRichards and Her Highness Lady Mary, his dress uniform providing sparkle. He later withdrew to spread Christmas cheer under the troops. A gesture repeated the very next day by Lord Blackheath. Perhaps the troops were too drunk to pay attention to the safety of Her Majesty. In Hens Toes they were seen far in their cups, cheering along the story of the gory death of the Turk.


The Baroness Lismore cleverly carried her mistletoe in her hairdo and must have scored many a kiss. Quite the setter of trends she also recently introduced the ribbon many ladies wear around their throat. Speaking of which, stories have reached our ears that a certain red-haired regular at court, Heather O’Roake, Countess of Atherstone has been buying up rubies as if they are going out of fashion. Is another fashion coup underway we wonder?


The coup of the evening was Sabrina Rowle who danced with His Grace the Duke of Monmouth and His Majesty the King. His Majesty declared the dancing to an end just after midnight to prevent further calamity and off they went to the Mountjoy wedding, while the Baron of Brynfield took a lady of his acquaintance on a midnight coachride with endorsement of His Majesty who provided his own coach, no doubt to debauch the poor young thing.


The Irish are being wild this season. The usually so modest mistress Agnes Kyteler, who entrances so many at court with her lovely singing voice, was causing a scene with the French party after kissing the Earl of Middlesex under the mistletoe. She was also seen with the Conte di Ravenna who, it turns out is shouldering the cost for an event later this week. Does her brother, the Baron of Kyteler know what his little sister is up to while he struggles to find her a husband? Lady Atherstone has been seen a few times in the company of Buckingham, while her Irish doctor Liam O'Roarke practically threw a fit at the Christmas Banquette, then suddenly disappeared from Windsor just shortly before the Queen's death.



The Frost Fair on the Thames opened on Christmas was a sight to behold. Bonfires everywhere. Boots were sparkling wonders are sold. Buttered Ale, Roasted Meat, pies. Everything that is so much part of Christmas. Some nobles were seen holding a snowball fight with some of the local kids to much merriment. A boat race on the ice, in which Mistress Frances Liddell and Lord Alexander Everhart partook, nearly went wrong, but no major injuries were maintained.


The Society of Appreciation of Ladies Ankles, said to have been inspired by the Earl of Basildon during one of the late night drinking bouts of the Merry Gang, was seeking performers for the play Merry Wives of Windsor as an entertainment during the Christmas Banquette, a task that Lady Darlene took to hand as the assistant of master Killigrew. Much acclaimed was the satirical and entirely improvised poetic prologue of a young and upcoming lady.. mistress Julia. His Majesty seemed less pleased with the short presentation of the Duchess of Cleveland. The performance of the Countess Sunderland's Herrick was met with polite applause. Mistress Frances took a scene from Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, cleverly employing a ring of the King which he had to retrieve. Lady Arabella Churchill hit the hall with some witty impersonation of Lord Breckland, who responded with an improvised poem of his own. This sadly caused the performance of Mistress Agnes to be overlooked. The charming sisters of Lord Alyth came next. Siana MacGregor had a lovely little folk song from the Scottish Highlands while Amelia MacGregor had a poem in Gaelic. The sister of Lady Alyth, Fiona MacBain, in many ways her sisters twin except by age, quoted Helena's soliloquy. The performance of Benedict from Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing by Lady Atherstone ended her in Sir Sedley's lap. Mrs. Dawes took the role of Romeo vs the kilted Lord Alyth as Julia which brought many laughs. Mistress Sarah Jennings enacted a portion from the final act of Moliere's Don Juan as the last in the row, using dr Liam O'Roarke as a prop. Finally the King announced the cast as follows: Falstaff - Lady Alyth, Fenton - Mistress Julia, Ford - Mistress Gwynn, Mistress Ford - Mrs. Dawes, Page - Lady Atherstone, Mistress Page - Lady Arabella, Anne Page - Mistress Frances . It is now said the play will see its performance in Spring.


A st. Stephan's Feast was held in the presence of Prince Rupert, hosted by Mistress Margery Pendarves, whom our readers shall remember as the girl over whom a duel was fought in May. Lord and Lady Blackheath are said to have attended as well. One wonders what military feats were discussed over dinner.


The Windsor Baths remain ever popular. Among the gentle people seen frequenting the establishments regularly are the Baroness Lismore, mrs Dawes, the Countess Atherstone, Mistress Francess Liddell, Lord Fownhope, Master Babbington, the Earl of Breckland and Lord Blackheath. For sure this is a place of debauchery. It is said that the Lords and Ladies run naked through the snow laughing merrily, and naught gainsay them!


What surprise the troopers at the gate must have felt when they were confronted with the very irate Earl of Rochester demanding entrance to Windsor Castle, after having been all but declared dead. Once more he rises from the grave. Still said to be gravely ill, the Earl has apparently been restored in His Majesty's graces on account of the Christmas spirit. Rumours persist a redheaded lady of quality stayed in his rooms. Was she caught out by the Earl? We can only wonder.


Some new arrivals at court and they bring whispers and memories with them from the very libertine court of His Majesty. Lady Claire Albright is none other than the daughter of that noted beauty. Lady Henrietta Reardon, who later had to quickly marry Viscount John Albright, Lord Theberton to avoid the scandal that was the result of her very loose morals. And speaking of morals the delectable Jane Mary Digby, has finally resurfaced on the London scene. We wonder if time spent in the company of Catholics will have tamed the young lady’s wandering eye and seductive wiles. Merry Widow Lady Caladonia shall probably send the tongues wagging soon enough. It is said that the Duke of Lauderdale might be looking for a new mistress. More innocent arrivals yet to be seduced include the precocious child Lilian Cooper and ex soldier and newly wed Master Martin Walker, notably without wife who is no doubt pining away in London.



From London:

London these days is a dark and dismal places. Good citizens hide in their houses while the rabble holds the streets, no longer in their coffeehouses they now show their ugly faces in the street clamouring for such things as an act of seclusion from the throne of any Catholics. Among them the preacher Evan Richards, and names that are fast gaining recognition in all households in the Kingdom. Israel Tonge and Titus Oates. Do their claims that the mysterious murder of the well loved Edmund Goodberry heralded attacks directly upon the King hold any truth?


Lord Richard Anderson, grandson of the Earl of Whittington, was seen trying to calm the mob, handing out bread and wine to add to good Christmas spirit. Donations from various sources followed this initiative. Master Doolittle showed his generosity, as did the families Lloyd and Boyle. Praise the Lord that some keep their wits about them.


Admiral Newbury is leading an investigation into the embezzlement of Navy funds and the recent series of shipwrecks. Was it just the foul weather or should the ships have been better maintained?

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