Greetings from Coronaville – Again
Hawai’i Pacific Review
Though COVID-19 has played havoc with life for the past several months, there has been some good news. An excerpt from Mayflower Chronicles: The Tale of Two Cultures was printed in a recent edition of the Hawai’i Pacific Review. I’ve reposted it below for your convenience. The excerpt tells of William Brewster’s journey from Scrooby Manor to Cambridge University. He was probably around fourteen when he began his studies there. That is where he first heard ideas about separating from the Established Church of England.
Scrooby Manor in England
I was recently introduced to Michael Oakenfull in York, England. He’s done a rendering of what Scrooby Manor might have looked like in the 1500s and early 1600s when the Brewster family lived there. William served as the Bailiff and Postmaster at the Manor until he resigned and went into exile in Holland. Michael has these available for $35 each plus $9 shipping. The print measures approximately 12 x 17 inches (A3). You can contact him at Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to order your own copy of it.
Library Lecture About Mary Brewster
I gave a lecture for the Tewksbury Library June 24 about the Mayflower story through the life of William’s wife, Mary Brewster. Here’s the link for the lecture: Tewksbury Library. This photo is Mary’s great x 9 granddaughter, Emma Jeanette Brewster Ross, also my great grandmother. I image Mary Brewster may have looked like this.
In spite of COVID-19, the book is still scheduled for release this fall – but now we’re looking at an October 12 release date – Columbus Day. This seems rather appropriate given the subject of the book and the current national conversation about how we preserve and teach our history. Sign up for the “Please Notify Me” list at email@example.com. Pre-order links will be available very soon. Until then, mask up and stay safe. You only have one life to live; don’t sacrifice it to a virus.
by Kathryn Haueisen (from Mayflower Chronicles: The Tale of Two Cultures)
William rode on alone for another half hour until he spotted a house at the edge of a forest. Smoke rising from the stone chimney gave him hope this might be where he and Good Fortune could rest for the night. A dog barking announced his approach. William stayed mounted as the barking spaniel ran circles around them. Good Fortune moved back and forth and side to side to dodge the dog. Mercifully, the horse didn’t rear up.
An elderly man approached, calling the dog back. Amazingly, it obeyed. The loud barking subsided to low growls. An old woman appeared and stood behind her husband, resting on a walking stick.
William tipped his hat. “Good evening. I have traveled far this day. My horse needs water. We could both use somewhere to rest the night. Might my horse and I rest in your barn until morning? I need nothing more than water for my horse and a place to rest. I have provisions enough for myself. The horse would be happy to graze a while in that field.”
Both the man and woman looked him over from the tips of his boots to his now bare head. “Where have you come from, and where do you go?” asked the man.
“I hail from Scrooby, Scrooby Manor, on the North Road,” he said, pointing the direction he had just traveled.
“Cambridge is my destination. I must be there day after tomorrow.”
“Cambridge!” exclaimed the woman. “Can you prove it?”
“I can if I dismount.” William swung his right leg up over Good Fortune’s hindquarters, slid to the ground, and nearly collapsed after so many hours of riding. He reached into one of the leather pouches slung over the horse’s rump to pull out his acceptance letter from Peterhouse.
The farmer looked at it briefly and passed it to his wife, who quickly returned it back to William. He suspected neither could read since they barely looked at it. The farmer said, “You seem honest. And young. And strong. Answer my question correctly, and you may join us for supper. That is, if you’ll help with the firewood. You’re welcome to sleep by our fire for the night. Your horse can have some hay. But first, tell me this, be you Catholic or Protestant?”
William felt sweat forming under his arms. If he answered wrong, he wondered if he’d have time to mount and ride away before they came at him with the pitchfork leaning against the house. He took in a deep breath and answered truthfully.
“Sir, as you may know, our manor has frequently been the resting place for priests and bishops in service of the Holy Established Church of England. My father is trusted with both the sacred and royal mail. Would he be allowed such an important duty if we were not Protestant?”
“Well, then you are welcome here. There’s the wood to chop before supper.” The man pointed to a large pile of logs behind William. By the time he chopped his way through the stack, his arms and back ached. Supper was simple but plentiful. He thanked his hosts and made a bed for himself against the wall, next to the fire. Before settling in, he added several of the logs he’d chopped barely two hours earlier. William rested with his back tucked into the corner, where the stone fireplace met the wood wall. As this was his preferred position, he dozed off sitting up, barely an hour after the sun went down.
Until next time,