Friday, 8 August 2008


The royal court was a fading memory for Elizabeth Grey. She and John had begun married life as strangers, but with the openness of youth their friendship had developed quickly and grown into a deep rooted mutual love.

Elizabeth's mother had married one of the servants after her first husband, the Duke of Bedford, died. To marry so far beneath one's station was such an affront to society that a severe fine was inflicted. But marrying for love resulted in a home full of love in Elizabeth's formative years, and that happy experience was being recapitulated now that Elizabeth was building her own home. John's upbringing had been similar: his mother was the heir of the Ferrers Baronetcy of Groby and had married a mere knight, a disparity not so great as to merit a fine yet sufficient to ensure that love was the foundation in his home.

The habits of piety inculcated by King Henry in his household were another beneficial influence upon the young couple. The godliness of the family was destined to reach its zenith in the short life of Lady Jane Grey many years later.

Then there was the wonderful estate, particularly Bradgate. John and Elizabeth spent many blissful hours exploring its diverse beauties together. Sometimes they would follow the river Lin as it bubbled along gently, at others they would strike out amongst the trees, or trek through the bracken. On a clear day they would climb the hill and look out over the ever flattening landscape to the east and the undulating terrain to the west. The deer grazed peacefully while the birds sang. Nothing could be more conducive to harmony.

As John and Elizabeth matured into adulthood, so inevitably the older generation passed on and all too soon John's father died. John determined to use the inheritance to build a new home in the middle of Bradgate. With great joy and excitement Elizabeth helped to draw up the plans. Each of her two little sons would have his own room, and no doubt further additions to the family were anticipated and taken into account. Contemplating the furnishings that would be required was another source of pleasure. With her beloved John, Elizabeth could not be happier if she was the Queen of England.

John's new status brought greater responsibilities, though. A message was received from Queen Margaret that she was assembling the Lancastrian forces to deliver the King, and requesting that Sir John Grey lend his support. The men of the estate who were fit for active service were gathered together, equipped and led to the south by Sir John.

At length, one of Sir John's men returned with the news that the Queen's army had won a great victory at St Albans, and that the King had been liberated. Then came the question he dreaded, but knew must come, What of Sir John? The loyal retainer opened his mouth to speak, but no sound would come out. Instead, floods of tears ran from his eyes, and Elizabeth began weeping as she had never wept before.

Next Chapter

No comments: