The official blog of Historical Fiction author, Mary Anne Yarde, and home to The Coffee Pot Book Club. Come and join Mary Anne on the hunt for everything historical, as well as mythological. Oh, and let's not forget the odd book or two! Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy...
What does Neville Audley, Blanche Heriot, and St Peter’s Church bell have in common? By Mary Anne Yarde #WarOfTheRoses #Folklore #Legends
What does Neville Audley,
Blanche Heriot, and St Peter’s Church bell have in common?
By Mary Anne Yarde.
years England had been in turmoil as a bloody civil war raged across the
kingdom. Families were torn apart, and neighbours were pitted against each
other. You were either for the House of Lancaster or the House of York.
favoured the brave, or so it was said...
Audley wasn't sure if that was true. All he knew was that he wanted to go home
and see the woman he loved, Blanche Heriot, just one more time. Once he had
seen her, he would flee to the Continent and wait for King Henry to rally his
forces. He could not stay in England, for that usurper, Edward of York, had
claimed the throne for the second time and Audley now had a price on his head.
almost made it home, but then disaster struck. Yorkist soldiers apprehended him
at Chertsey. But Audley did not go down without a fight, he killed one man and
a dog, before fleeing to Chertsey Abbey in the hope of seeking sanctuary.
never made it.
once again, he was sentenced to die at the sounding of the curfew bell. And may
God have mercy on his soul.
was beside herself with grief, but Audley had a plan. He had once spared a York
knight's life, and in gratitude, this York knight had given him a token of
appreciation...a ring. If the owner of that ring could be found, then maybe,
just maybe, he can return the favour.
Evenden, a mutual friend of both Audley and Blanche, agreed to go to London
with all haste. Time was of the essence. The reprieve had to come before that
marched on, and Audley knew that his dear friend would not make it back in
time. As he was led towards the scaffold, he resigned himself to the fact that
he would die to the sound of St Peter's church bell.
rope was placed around his neck, and he closed his eyes briefly, seeking courage.
When he opened them again, he searched for his beloved in the small crowd that
had gathered, but she was not there.
wait was agonisingly long, and the spectators began to look at each other.
Something wasn't right. Surely the bell should have rung by now?
it over with," Audley cried, for although he did not want to die, the wait
was more than he could bear.
Reprieve!" a man shouted as he pushed his way through the crowd. "A
reprieve from the King."
sighed with relief as the executioner removed the rope from around his neck.
Statue of Blanche Heriot in Chertsey
where is Blanche?" Audley asked as he stumbled down from the scaffolds. He
had been given a second chance. And he was going to make the most of it. He
would marry his beloved at the first opportunity.
one has seen her, my Lord," was the reply he received.
will find her," Evenden reassured.
are one lucky man," another replied. "God must have been looking out
for you. For the bell should have rung by now." And they all watched as a
detachment of soldiers headed to St Peter's Church.
of curiosity, Neville and Evenden followed.
there they found Blanche, in the belfry tower, hanging on to the clapper of the
bell for all her life was worth...
Mary Anne Yarde
Mary Anne Yarde is the multi award-winning author of the International Bestselling Series — The Du Lac Chronicles. Set a generation after the fall of King Arthur, The Du Lac Chronicles takes you on a journey through Dark Age Briton and Brittany, where you will meet new friends and terrifying foes. Based on legends and historical fact, The Du Lac Chronicles is a series not to be missed.
Born in Bath, England, Mary Anne Yarde grew up in the southwest of England, surrounded and influenced by centuries of history and mythology. Glastonbury — the fabled Isle of Avalon — was a mere fifteen-minute drive from her home, and tales of King Arthur and his knights were part of her childhood.
Mary loves to hear from readers, you can always find her here! You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook