By the Sword Divided (1983)

 

 

 

 

Director:     Henry Herbert.

Starring:     Sharon Maughan (Anne Lacey Fletcher),  Andrew MacLachlan (Nathaniel Cropper),  Lucy Aston (Lady Lucinda Ferrar),  Tim Bentinck (Tom Lacey),  Rob Edwards (John Fletcher),  Eileen Way (Minty),  Rosalie Crutchley (Goodwife Margaret),  Johanna Myers (Hannah Jackman),  Janet Lees-Price (Emma Bowen),  Claire Davenport (Mrs. Dumfry),  Peter Guinness (Dick Skinner),  Edward Peel (Walter Jackman),  Simon Butteriss (Hugh Brandon),  Judy Buxton (Susan Protheroe),  Debbie Goodman (Rachel),  Bert Parnaby (Sir Austin Fletcher),  Simon Dutton (Will Saltmarsh),  Julian Glover (Sir Martin Lacey).

in the English Civil War the Lacey family supports King Charles I and the related by marriage Fletcher family supports Oliver Cromwell (BBC series)

 

Spoiler Warning:  below is a summary of the entire film. 

Episode I.  Gather Ye Rosebuds.

Part I.  Fletcher's Arrival.

May 1640.  Anne Lacey is going to marry John Fletcher.  She has a sister named Lucinda and a brother named Tom.  Her father is Sir Martin Lacey.  Guests have arrived and Anne childes her dad and Mr. Crawford to go bid them welcome.  The three guests are Sir Austin Fletcher (father of John Fletcher), John Fletcher and Master Mabbutt.   Sir Austin Fletcher is a wealthy London merchant.  Sir Martin greets them and apologizes for the delay.  John stays behind to see Anne, while Sir Martin speaks with Sir Austin and Master Mabbutt.  The men talk about the upcoming marriage. 

Father asks Anne if she loves this John Fletcher?  The answer is yes.  Dad is going to miss Anne, so she tells him that he should take another wife.   And she will only be in nearby Swindford.  She goes down to see John and asks him if her father approves of her? 

The two future fathers negotiate about the marriage and money.  Sir Martin says that the jointure specified by Sir Austin is very generous, but the dowry of 800 English pounds exceed their expectations. The Lacey family is at present in straitened circumstances.  The bargain a bit and the final agreement is 1,000 English pounds, but Sir Austin will invest the money into his own firm and let Sir Martin share in the profits from the invested money.  Sir Martin feels a bit under siege because he is also planning a wedding for Lucinda. 

Indigo Jones is building a big house for Sir Austin.  He says he will stand for Parliament if England ever gets a Parliament again.  King Charles I has suspended the parliament.  Sir Austin wishes to be a gentleman like Sir Martin. 

Tom Lacey is a soldier and he returns from war in the company of the local blacksmith's son Will Saltmarsh.  They stop at the Saltmarsh business first.  Will learns that his brother was in the stocks recently for being drunk in public.  Lucinda is going to be wed to the Earl of Warmouth.  Some believe that the Laceys will rise in the world with the two wedding of the daughters.  But Lucinda says the Lord is a stranger to her. 

 

Part II.  Beloved Son. 

Tom and Will arrive at the Lacey castle.  Tom's sisters are very happy to see their brother, as is Goodwife Margaret.  Anne talks to Tom about her marriage.  She asks if Tom has anything against her to be husband.  Tom just says that John Fletcher was always more of a book worm than the boys Tom ran with.  Later John speaks with Anne about the wedding.  He doesn't really want a big wedding.  He wishes four less pomp and ceremony.  News comes in that the Earl of Warmouth will be coming to see Lucinda, but Lucinda has run away.  Anne is upset saying the Lucinda is going to ruin her wedding. 

Sir Martin has to make an excuse to turn the Earl of Warmouth around.  He has his aide tell the Earl when he arrives to proceed no farther because there is sickness in the house.  Someone on the kitchen staff got the pox.  The Earl says he will visit at another time. 

Tom finds Lucinda among to tombs of their ancestors.  She says that she believers the servant Hannah betrayed her hiding place.  Tom tells her not to blame Hannah.  Lucinda protests to Tom that she does not love the Earl of Warmouth.  She says she only first met him at a masked ball.  She doesn't really want to be the Countess of Warmouth.  Tom sympathizes with their father on this matter and Lucinda tells Tom that he is no friend of her if he is just going to talk like father. 

Lucinda returns to her bedroom, but complaining of feeling ill. Goodwife Margaret calls her a selfish little devil. 

 

Part III.  The Wedding. 

The wedding of Ann Lacey to John Fletcher is finished.  They have a big wedding reception.  At night everyone accompanies the couple to the bedroom. 

Tom asks his father for leniency for Lucinda, but dad asks him if he is defending Lucinda's conduct?  Tom demurs.  Dad proceeds to spank his daughter.  After he finished, she asks:  "Am I pardoned father?"  He says yes.  Then, she asks does this mean she doesn't have to marry.  He tells her yes, she need not marry.  Lucinda cries with relief. 

 

Episode II. This War without an Enemy.

Part I.  New Ideas. 

Summer 1641.  Sir Martin tells his son that he has been riding his horse again. He says he and his friends are going around like a bunch of drunken Irishmen.  Tom and Cropper have a turnip in their hands and talks about growing it.  But Sir Martin is opposed to this.  Tom says he and his father don't do well running in double harness.  Maybe that's true, but Sir Martin still says no to turnips. 

Anne comes home from riding.  Father tells her that the country is going to the dogs.  Nevertheless, he is happy to see Anne.  She wants to go to London with him.  Sir Martin has to see the Exchequer.  Dad tells daughter that the plague is in London.  In London John and Austin Fletcher are conferring with Mr. Prim and others. 

Dad tells Anne that killing Lord Stratford was the wrong this to do.  Anne says:  "It was necessary for liberty."  Her father says that the king's opponent do not fight so much against the king but for profit, for money.  They have companies abroad and they want the king to use his fleet to protect their far flung firms.  But, says Sir Martin, they can push the King too hard. Sir Martin changes the subject to tell Anne that he misses her about the place.  Anne tells her father once again to take a wife.  He suggests that he take Mistress Hobart or Peg Welton. 

The English French Queen is having her portrait painted by Van Dyke.  Tom Lacey is there and speaks with Lady Sarah.  She invites him to her apartment as she did in the past.  Lucinda listens to the music played by a young man named Hugh.  He says that he sings plain love songs.  Lucinda asks him if he is in love and Hugh tells her he loves Lucinda's sister Anne.

Tom asks Lady Sarah if the King is as bad as they say?  She says he is slow and somewhat sullen and is convinced that God himself has set him up to rule English.  There is , however, a problem since the Irish papists are in rebellion.  As many as 3,000 protestant settler were set to the sword in Ireland.  We need an army, Mr. Pym.  We must vote the money for it, but the Parliament itself will run the army. 

 

Part II.  Behead the Queen!

The Queen and her evil counselor, the Ambassador of Spain, William are up to no good.  A plotter named William Strode suggests that they impeach the Queen:  "Off with her head!"  But one of the men object:  This would force the King to war and are we ready for such a war?  Another man says the Papists seek to make the Protestant sslaves of the accursed ruler of Rome.   Mr. Pym says that the news of the Papists' plot is spread all about the city.  

Anne knocks on the door.  She says she would like a word in private with Mr.. Pym.  He comes out and sees his cousin Lucy.  She gives him a note.  Pym takes it into the meeting and says the following men are accused of treason and they are all seated in this room:  Denzil Holles, Sir Arthur Hazelring, John Pym, John Hamden and William Strode.  These men are traitors because they seek to deprive the King of this rightful power.  The "traitors" ask Sir Austin to arranged a barge for them.  He agrees. 

Lady Sutton asks Tom what is going on?  The King has fled already and there is great confusion everywhere. Tom tells her that the King went into the chamber and moved to the speaker's chair.  He told his audience that treason has no privilege.  But then the King learns that the birds (the conspirators) have flown the coop.  Tom says the King had an expression of bitter anger on his face.  Lady Sutton blames Lucy Carlyle for a lot of the trouble.  Tom mentions that he is sure that the King has lost London.  Lady Sutton says she is going with the Queen to Holland and the King is heading north. 

Lucinda rides toward her family's castle.  She runs into a man on horseback by the name of Rupert.  He tells her that he just came from prison in Austria.  He was a prisoner of war there having been captured in battle.  He says he has now come to see Tom Lacey.  Lucinda finally realizes that she is speaking to the royal Prince Rupert, nephew of the King.  She apologizes for not knowing who he was, but he tells her not to think anything about it.  He compliments Lucinda by saying she has a sparkle about her like her brother has. 

Sir Martin Lacey talks with Sir Austin and says that he is for kingship, but knows that Sir Austin sides with the Parliamentarians.  Sir Austin says he does deal with the Parliamentarians, but only for the sake of his son.  For him personally, they are a little too radical.  They both agree that the King and Mr. Pym are two very hard, arrogant and unyielding men.  Tom comes in to tell his father he has a royal visitor.  It's Prince Rupert of the Rhine.  Sir Martin rushes out to tell the Prince that he and his family are greatly honored by his presence at Arnescote.   

Rupert tells him that the King is organizing his army in Nottingham and Rupert will join his uncle there.  He will help his uncle raise the army and wants Tom Lacey to be with him.  After talking with the prince, Sir Martin tells Cropper to go to Mr. Pike and tell him to proceed to Swinford and bring half the match, powder and bullets stored in the armory there back to their castle for storage. 

The supplies are brought to the Lacey castle.  In the kitchen the servants are starting to fear that war might be coming.  They want to know what's all this talk about war for?  Will believes there will be a civil war.  And now they have enough powder here in the castle to blow up the castle twice over. 

 

Part III.  Shooting Lessons.

Will teaches the members of the Lacey family and their key servants how to use the wheelock pistol.  He demonstrates how to load it and then fires the weapon at a target.  Then he has Sir Martin come up and shoot it.  He hits the target in the head area. 

Prince Rupert tells Tom if they would give him 4,000 horse he would give England back to the King in a week.  And then every spike in London town would boast a rebel's head.  

Cropper fires the pistol and misses the target.  Lucinda wants to fire next.  Prince Rupert arrives and offers her assistance.  When she fires the weapon she hits the target right in the heart area.  Rupert says Lucinda would make a fine soldier.  Lucinda says:  "I wish I were a man." 

Sir Martins hosts a council of the rich lords around the area.  Sir Austin is in attendance.  The King has asked the wealthy men to form troops and companies and come to the King's aid.  Mr. Ayres objects to this and says some very harsh things about the King and his lack of leadership abilities.  John Fletcher speaks up and expresses his interest in gathering troops, but not for the King.  He wants to raise troops to fight for the Parliamentarians.  It seems the group is split down the middle between the two factions.   Mr. Ayres refers to Prince Rupert as a Papist.  The Prince is in the balcony and he objects to the claim that he is a Papist.  Seeing that the Prince is upset, Mr. Ayres apologizes for the harshness of his remarks.  Martin speaks up and says that they are all guests under his roof and he acknowledges the division.  He only says:  "So be it."  He goes on to say let us pray to the God of Peace to bring a quick end to this war without an enemy. 

A traveling salesman with a fondness for the Parliamentarians sells some of his goods to the kitchen help, while talking of war.  The head cook says that this house is loyal (to the King) and the man, named Tinker, says he thought the place had a stink of popery.   Will gets so mad that he throws Tinker out.  The servants are upset that it will be a war between Englishmen and Englishmen.  

Prince Rupert and Tom make ready to leave.  Lucinda comes out and gives the Prince a red rose "in loyalty, sir."  As the two men leave she says:  "Sweet Prince, may God preserve you and you too brother Tom." 

 

Episode III.  The Sound of Drums.

Part I.  Sad Return. 

Anne returns to her childhood home with her servant Emma.  She has come to gather up her belongings still left in the castle.  Her father is talking with Cropper about the war.  Goodwife Margaret comes in to see Anne, but is very cold toward her.  Anne is offended.  Anne tells her that her father-in-law Sir Austin has gone to visit his properties in the Americas.  Goodwife Margaret starts to mellow a bit, but then Anne is cold to her.  Margaret now complains of having her feelings hurt.  Anne says Margaret treated her as a stranger when they came together.  Margaret says she was upset about Anne fighting against the King and her own family.  She adds that these are dreadful times.  Anne agrees that this is a tragedy.  Lucinda arrives.  Anne tells her that she has to get back to Swinford before nightfall. 

Lucinda shows Anne the flag that she and Goodwife Margaret designed and sewed.  She calls it the Cornet of Lacey's Troop.  Anne tells her sister that she does not want to know the details for there is no glory in war.  Lucinda disagrees for she herself would like to fight.  Anne says war is no place for "puny girls".  Cropper would also like to participate in the war, but Sir Martin tells him his job is to stay behind as the faithful steward.  Cropper suggests to Sir Martin that he should invite the "neutral" Squire Capel to the castle and put some pressure on him to provide some support for the King. 

Anne goes to say goodbye to her father.  She tells him that it seems that she is already her father's enemy rather than his child.  Sir Martin expresses his regrets that they are divided by the sword.  Anne tells him not to talk about this anymore.  She urges her father to let them part in friendship and love. She calls him "dearest father", they hug and she leaves. 

Tom Lacey drills his troops with a mock cavalry charge.  Squire Capel comes for a visit with Sir Martin.  He tells his neighbor that he has no spare horses and he needs all the men he has "and that's an end to it."  Sir Martin says that the King might appropriate some of Capel's precious gold and silver, but there is a way he could make sure his riches will not be sequestered.  If he gives Lacey's troops some of his horses and men that could buy Capel some security from having his property sequestered.  Squire Capel is won over and will provide men and horses now. 

Matthew Saltmarsh, Will's brother, is going to be going to war with Lacey's troops, but he doesn't like that he was ordered to join.  Before leaving for the war soldier Dick Skinner teases the women in the kitchen about the war, saying there may be some raping involved.  The women just laugh at him. 

 

Part II.  Night Visit.

At night Lucinda pays a visit to the troops.  She talks with Peter Crane who will take the unit's flag into battle.  Lucinda asks Peter if he is afraid.  He says yes, but it's mostly over the dread of killing his fellow countrymen.  He says:  "It seems there's a great wrong in this."  Lucinda says she will pray for Peter tonight and her thoughts will be with him tomorrow. 

The next morning the men of Lacey's troop prepare to move out.  They have their orders.  They are to join Prince Rupert at Edge Hill. Lucinda watches the troop leave. 

Lucinda is at home knitting.  She is about to nod off when there is a heavy banging on the door.  Lucinda gets her pistol.  Cropper arrives.  A servant goes to the door.  She returns to say that it is some vagrants, some poor people.  Cropper talks with the woman who says that she and her mother are relatives of the Laceys.    How are they related?  Through her father, the only brother of Lady Lacey.  Her name is Susan Protheroe.  Her mother is the aunt of Lucinda and she herself is Lucinda's cousin.  Cropper goes out to check on the aunt and finds that she has the pox and is near death.  Cropper says they can't stay at the castle itself.  He will put them up elsewhere. 

The aunt dies.  The old lady of the house Minty says that the aunt had the black plague.  She must be buried before dawn.  Minty says she will clean up the young daughter by giving her a good soaking. She tells Susan to remove her clothes.  Semi-nude in the tub Susan uses soap to make sure she is as clean as can be. 

The next morning they hold a burial ceremony over the grave of the aunt.  The sound of cannon can be heard from the nearby battle.  Susan's old clothes are burned.  Sir Martin's horse Hector returns to the castle without Sir Martin.  The horse has blood on it, but it is human blood. 

 

Part III.  Cousin Susan.

Susan thanks Lucinda for the dress.  She says it is the most beautiful thing she's ever had to wear.  Lucinda says the cannon have stopped now.  Susan continues her tale of woe.  She says she suffered terrible times since her father died.  Her mother worked her like a slave.  She asks Lucinda if she can stay at the castle and promises that she will work very hard. 

Soldier Edward Ferrar comes in followed by a bloody Sir Martin laying on a stretcher.  Edward explains that Sir Martin was hit on the very first charge.  He goes on to say that on the battlefield there was a lot of confusion and great slaughter.  Lucinda notices that Edward himself has been wounded.  He says it is nothing.  Sir Martin's thigh bone is shattered.  He tells his daughter that his leg has no feeling.  Lucinda has him drink one of Minty's foul potions. 

Susan comes in and says hello to Sir Martin, but Lucinda quickly sends her away for the moment.  Sir Martin says that Susan is Henry's daughter.  He adds:  "I hope she's better than her parents.  Your mother and I could never abide them." 

Tom returns home.  He says that the King refused to listen to Prince Rupert's plan to march right on London.  Tom says that they may win a battle, but lose the war.  Prince Rupert is now pursuing Lord Essex and the King and the army are headed for Oxford.  Tom visits his father.  He tells his dad that the troops did well.  One man is dead and one man is lost, but they were both Capel's men.  Nearly half of the men on both sides of the battle were casualties (5,000 in all).  Tom says you could hear the wounded moaning and crying out for help.  He summarizes by saying: the best of the young men of England have perished. 

Tom would like to leave some men at the Lacey castle, but as of now they don't even have enough men to constitute an army.  He has to recruit more men to establish an army.  Tom tells Lucinda, however, that he is leaving Will behind.  He says Will will certainly frighten off those Roundheads.  Lucinda says that God is on their side and He will protect them from the Roundheads if they come.  Will tells her that they will come all right "and when they come let's pray that they only plunder lightly."

 

Episode IV.  A Silver Moon. 

 

Part I.  Royal Treasure.

July 1643.  Lady Welton comes to see Sir Martin.  She has come to giver her donations to the king.  Susan comes in and Cropper walks over to tell her to get out.  Lady Welton tries to kiss Sir Martin but he backs away from her.  After she leaves he calls her an idle, shrew woman. 

Sir Martin tells Cropper to bring Will to him.  While waiting for Will Sir Martin says that everything goes to the king, even those things from Lucinda and others.  Martin even takes Cropper's chain of office from around his neck.  Lucinda knocks on the door.  She tells her father that Will will deliver the goods to Oxford.  But she begs her father to let her go with Will.  She says she will go as a young cavalier.  Lucinda gets into the clothes of Hugh Brandon. 

Rev. Butterworth visits with Sir Martin to tell him that a Roundhead troop is headed their way.  Sir Martin says this is not news.  Butterworth begs Sir Martin for some protection for his church.  But the castle has no extra men.  Cropper will have to stop the ladies from walking down to the church.  They will have to worship here in the castle with the reverend. 

Will and Lucinda go out via a secret passageway after Sir Martin tells her to obey Will in all things and to lie low during daylight.  Lucinda tells Will to call her Luke.  They come out of the passage and into the crypt area.  Goodwife Margaret is very short with Cropper for letting Lucinda go, but Cropper says he was against the idea from the first.

Susan goes to speak with Sir Martin.  She asks him what is the reason for his wakefulness?  She also comments that Lucinda is no longer in the house.  His daughter told Susan that she is going to tease a lover.  Sir Martin hopes that his daughter was just joking about that. 

Will and Lucinda come to a bridge guarded by Roundheads.  Will says he will create a diversion so Lucinda can get over the bridge with the horses.  But as he proceeds to the bridge a Roundhead comes from behind Lucinda and captures her.  Will sneaks up behind the Roundhead and stabs him to death.  Now Will creates his diversion.  The men fire their weapons at him and Lucinda runs the horses over the bridge successfully.  Will finds Lucinda later. 

More Roundheads approach.  Will takes off with the horses, but for some reason Lucinda can't get on her horse.  The Roundheads pull their weapons on "Luke".  Lucinda is very cool and she pretends to be a Parliamentarian, but they don't believe her.  Then she tells them that her mission is to see John Fletcher.  The guys think they will be rewarded for bringing this boy in, so they take him to John Fletcher. 

 

Part II.  Sisters' Reunion.

John Fletcher and Lucinda go in to see Anne.  Anne does not recognize Lucinda, until her husband asks her can't she recognize her own sister?  Lucinda says she was going to go see Tom at Oxford, but had to tell the two Roundheads she was going to see John Fletcher.  The two sisters fight about the war.  Lucinda says she can't believe her sister turned against the family so.  Then she asks Anne to guess what her mission is?  Anne guesses that she is bringing the silver to Oxford.  Anne says no, she is bringing a troop back to father to protect the castle and its occupants.  John says he will take Lucinda part of the way to Oxford as far as he dares.  They leave together. 

Will reaches Tom and tells him the silver is safe, but he lost Lucinda along the way.   Tom is shocked and mad at Will.  Will says he did save her skin twice.  A message comes for Tom.  Lucinda is safe and only five miles away. 

John Fletcher tells Lucinda that they must stay out of sight.  Lucinda tells him that she is grateful for what he is doing for her.  John talks about the war.  He says Waller has been defeated on the Downs.  And the Queen has arrived in Oxford with 3,000 infantry.  They go to wait for Tom in a local tavern.  Lucinda says the King's men have arrived and she takes John upstairs to stay out of their way.  The soldiers come upstairs and ask what hornet's nest is this?  They call John a scum of a rebel.  John says that Luke is Captain Lacey's brother.  The men are not sure they believe this.  Luke asks the officer who he is.  He says he is an officer of Lord Digby's troop.  He tells some of his men to question John Fletcher, which means try to beat information out of him. 

 

Part III.  Testing Luke

The officer named Harry calls Luke boy and puts him through some tests.  The first is a drink test.  Can Luke chug-a-lug an entire beer down?  The officer does, but Luke only drinks about three-quarters of his.  Now the officer challenges Luke to a fencing competition.  Luke doesn't want to fence but Harry forces Luke to fight.  Luke is so much more limber than Harry that she runs circles around the officer.  He really gets angry because he says Luke is trying to make him look like a fool.  Tom arrives in the nick of time to save his "brother's" skin.  He shouts:  "Stop it!" 

Lucinda tells him to get up the stairs and save John Fletcher.  Tom goes up quickly and stops the beating of the prisoner.  John asks Tom who were those savages?  Lucinda tells her brother that John risked everything to bring her to him (Tom).  John says the tide of war has turned against the Parliamentarians.  Tom says yes, the Royalists routed the Parliamentarian's command.  Hank comes upstairs and asks if Luke is truly his brother?  Tom asks him in return:  "Have you no divisions in your family?" 

Tom and Luke say goodbye to John.  Then Tom takes Luke with him to report to headquarters.  Now Luke returns to being Lucinda dressed in fine women's clothing.  Prince Rupert has heard about her exploits and he says:  "By heavens, she'll see the King at once."  Lucinda goes in to see the King.  He gives her a medal hung around her neck in gratitude for special service in the field.  The King tells her that she is the first lady he has honored this way.  Lucinda uses the opportunity to plead her case for a small troop for her father.  She pleads as bit too much and the King has to tell her  that he can't spare men to defend every house and castle in England.  Tom is upset with her when she comes out from the interview.  He says:  "You turned your back on the King."  Lucinda apologizes, but tells her brother that she was angry and that at home they are defenseless.  She also tells Tom that she is not so sure she supports the King's side anymore.  Lucinda is mad about the way officer Harry treated her and now at headquarters she sees all these men dressed in elegant attire having a good time while men are dying.  Tom tries to assure they do fight now and then themselves. 

Lucinda wants Tom to ride with her back home, but Tom says he can't.  Instead, he gives her Will and a letter of safe passage. 

At home Sir Martin is very happy to see his daughter again.  She tells her father that the silver is delivered. 

 

Episode V.  The Edge of the Sword.

Part I.  Unhappy Husband. 

June 1644.  Roundheads see a mileage stone saying it is two miles to Swinford.  In Swinford John Fletcher is with Anne.  The news is that Parliament demands more troops for the cause.  There is a knock on the door.  It is Captain Hannibal Marsh of the Roundheads.  He says he will be here for four weeks and he will be recruiting men to become soldiers.  He adds that he and his men will go to Arnescote.  Some say the silver there is already gone, but Captain Marsh says he believes the silver is still at Arnescote. 

Captain Marsh says that John Fletcher will go to Arnescote and find the silver there.  John says he is willing to go and he will show no softness there.  Ten men will go with John.  The Captain urges John to be stern with the Laceys: to show them the edge of the sword.  He also urges John to listen to Corporal Veazey, who has a lot of experience. 

Sir Martin at Arnescote says that there is nobody to defend the castle.  If anyone should attack, they are completely helpless. 

Will berates his brother Matt for his miserable, cowardly performance with the Royalist forces.  As they argue, John Fletcher and the Roundheads arrive. 

John asks about the silver and Sir Martin asks him:  "What silver, John?"  The Roundheads start searching the house.  As they ransack the house, Sir Martin tells his people to keep their tempers.  Their days of quiet are certainly over. 

The Corporal goes into the Lacey kitchen and starts giving orders to the women there.  He meets some unexpected defiance from the feisty women.  Corporal Veazey has to retreat amidst all their grumbling and complaining.  The Corporal turns to something easier:  torturing Cropper.  John Fletcher comes in and stops the torture.  He demands that they release Mr. Cropper.  Cropper tells John that there is no silver in the castle.  John apologizes to Cropper for the treatment he received saying he never expected this from the soldiers.  Mr. Cropper tells him:  "You are a simpleton."  Corporal Veazey defends himself saying he was acting quite properly within the rules.  During the dispute Hannibal Marsh comes in to put a stop to it.  He says to Veazey:  "You have been naughty, corporal."   

John has to tell the Captain that he has found no silver.  Marsh is disappointed and says he thinks that John was not thorough enough and too easy in his search.  He tells his men to bring all the household together in the Great Hall.  The Captain tells Fletcher:  "You are a weak vessel, Mr. Fletcher.  I dismiss you from this duty."  He tells him to go immediately back to Swinford. 

 

Part II.  Big Question. 

Everyone belonging to Arnescote is gathered in the Great Hall.  Captain Marsh says he will address the servants first.  He says that "Our cause is your cause."  And he wants to know where is the silver?He tells the corporal to cleanse the place and start at the church. 

Captain Marsh is told that a lady wants to see him.  It is cousin Susan.  She tells the captain that she will see to it that all their wants are satisfied as long as she can have free run of the place.  Marsh asks her why is she doing this?  She says she is a poor relation to the Laceys and is treated so.  According to her, she is treated  worse than a servant.  So the captain gives her the freedom of the house.  But he still wants the corporal to watch Susan.   

 

Part III.  Church Destruction. 

Rev. Butterworth tries to hide his church valuables from the Roundheads, but the corporal stops him before he can do this.  Corporal Veazey tells his men to smash the altar, smash the blasphemous carvings and break the stained-glass windows.  They do so. 

Matt Saltmarsh is brought in to see Captain Marsh.  He is accused of being a spy for the Royalists.  Matt denies this.  He says they forced him to be part of Lacey's troop, but he failed totally as a soldier.  Captain Marsh says that he thinks Matt is one of them.  Matt says he doesn't identify with either side.  Marsh says he wants him, but only as a free man.  He tells his soldiers to let the boy go free. 

Susan comes into the bedroom of Captain Marsh.  He asks her to sit down.  He tells her she is exactly what he needs  --  an hour of some soft company.  Susan says that she is at his mercy.  But the Captain says that she is free to go or stay.  Susan stays. 

The tale of Susan spreads throughout the house.  It is said that Susan asked to see Captain Marsh.  She has even been in his bed.  This makes Lucinda furious.  She says she wishes Susan had died of the pox like her mother. 

Walter Jackman hands Will pistols and a rapier through a barred window.  Will goes in to tell Sir Martin that the Arnescote troop is back and Master Tom is with them.  They will attack at daylight.  The Laceys must play their part to make the attack work. 

In the morning the attack begins.  A small group of men kill one of the sentries.  Will and Hugh Brandon kill two of the Roundheads.  Tom rides into the castle.  He rushes in and confronts Captain Marsh.  Tom is getting the better of Marsh, until Marsh takes out his pistol and knocks Tom over the head with it.  Tom goes down.  Marsh is wounded, but he gets on his horse and leaves.  There are quite a few dead Roundheads, including the corporal, left behind. 

Now the family turns its attention to cousin Susan.  Her hands have been placed in the stocks.  She begs that her hands be released.  Susan speaks of "my poor hands".  Tom says that Susan betrayed them.  She was in bed with Captain Marsh.  Susan says the captain ravished her most cruelly.  Tom answers back that there was no need for any ravishment to have her.  He continues his rant against his cousin, until his father tells him to release his cousin.  He tells Lucinda to work her long and hard and Lucinda is very willing to do that. 

Tom speaks to his father of the defeat of their forces at the Battle of Marston Moor.  He says the men were cut to pieces and now the army is badly hurt.  The King has been forced back onto Oxford.  Tom says the castle will be one of the outer garrisons that will protect the king at Oxford.  Dad says that's the reason why he came back to Arnescote and not to see his father.  But, he adds, never mind, it's still good to have his son back. 

The Lacey flag is raised over the castle along with the red flag of defiance just below it. 

 

Episode VI.  Outrageous Fortune.  Summer 1645. 

Part I.  Reinforcements.

At Ramscote they are improving the defenses.  They have as a defensive tool a pole with iron bars stuck in it at one end, to impale horse and rider.  It is called Swedish feathers because it was first used by Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus in the Low Countries.  A horseman approaches.   It is Dick Skinner.  With him is a young wench.  All the men drop their work and go to meet Skinner. 

Tom tells his father that once the defensive work is done, he must go back to Prince Rupert above Leicester. 

Dick says he found the girl along the way home.  She was more death than alive.  Her name is Mollie O' Flanagan. The soldiers killed both her father and her husband.  Everyone thought that Skinner had been killed in battle.  Skinner talks about Swinford.  He says it's full of Royalist deserters, drunken, rioting cutthroats setting fire to Puritan houses.  Tom, concerned for Anne's welfare, tells his father that he will go check on Anne. 

Goodwife Margaret tells Sir Martin that Susan is too delicate for the laundry.  She has fits of fainting.  Goodwife Margaret says that the woman knows how to sew , so she should be made a seamstress and work in the sewing room.  They can use the new Irish lass in the laundry room.  Sir Martin gives his okay.  He tells Tom to go tell his cousin the news.  Tom does so.  He also says that she will sit at the table with the family again.  Susan says:  "Now we can become cousins."  Tom is still not happy with Susan. 

Rachel works in the laundry room.  She is Dick Skinner's girl and she doesn't want Mollie messing with her man.  When Mollie starts working in the laundry, Rachel starts harassing her.  Rachel calls Mollie some names and Mollie starts fighting with her.  Rachel turns the tide, but Mollie bites her.  She then sticks Rachel's head in the water of the big tub.  Finally, she throws Rachel into the tub and then jumps in after her to keep hitting her.  Dick hears all the screaming and runs to see what is going on.  He immediately puts a stop to the fighting and scolds the women.  Mollie tells him that Rachel called her a "Papist whore". 

Cropper arrives and says he is in charge of the laundry room  and he will decide the punishment.  He order that Rachel receive a spanking.  And as for Mollie, she will be no more trouble or she will be let go and it is not a good time for an Irish Catholic girl to be roaming the area at this time. 

Lucinda is hard-hearted against her sister Anne.  He father reproaches her for her attitude. Lucinda says she has seen some hard things done lately.  She insists that Anne got what she deserved.  Speaking of the war, she says they need some great battle they can win decisively and end this war. 

Tom and Will come into John Fletcher's house which is being used as a tavern and a whore house.  Tom asks Anne's servant Emma where is her mistress.  She is up in her room.  Tom tells Will to tell the men they are trespassing on private property and they have to leave. 

 

Part II.  Duel for Anne. 

Tom goes up to Anne's room and opens the door.  He sees a man laying on Anne's bed and Anne on the bed in her night clothes.  He asks who the strange man is.  The fellow says he is Captain Jeffrey Black in service to the King.   Tom introduces himself and says he is also in the service of the King.  He then orders Black to leave the house at once.  Black says he will not and:  "Lady or no, she is mine, so away with you."  Tom says, since there is no other way, they will have to fight for her.  He gives Black a rapier and they fight.  Tom stabs Black in the belly and he goes down.  Turning his back on Black to check on his sister, Black gets up to stab Tom, but Tom sticks him in the belly again.  Black will never get up again. 

Will comes in to say that the place is now clear.  Tom tells Emma to pack up their things.  He then goes upstairs.  Anne thanks him for his defense of her, but she shows him the pistol she has and says her brother saved her the trouble of shooting Captain Black.  Tom tells his sister to get dressed.  They are taking her back to Arnescote.  Anne refuses to go back to her childhood home.  Emma, however, definitely wants to go after the trouble she has seen.  Tom has to pick his sister up forcefully as she tells him:  "I will never forgive you for this Tom." 

June 1645.  Tom brings Anne home.  Tom tells his father that Leicester it taken with much booty.  And Parliament has raised the siege of Oxford and moved north.  The forces of the King will meet at Daventry and then go north to attack the Roundheads.  Cromwell has built his New Model Army. 

Sir Martin tells Goodwife Margaret that they will have to tame this daughter of his.  Goodwife Margaret greets Anne and Emma.  She welcomes them to the house.  Anne asks her a hostile question:  "Are you to be my jailer?"  Anne goes to see her father.  She sees him limping with the help of a cane and says she had no idea that father was as hurt as he is.  She goes on to say that Tom had no right to bring her here.  Dad says Tom had every right.  He says that which she carries in her womb will be his grandchild.  Anne asks her father if she is to be kept a prisoner here?  He replies that they are all prisoners here, but she will have the run of the castle.  He says he regrets to say that in a civil war, hate is the only winner.  He also tells Anne that outside the castle walls anarchy reigns.  "So I am to be content with my lot?" asks Anne.  She tells dad that in this kidnapping, she is both prisoner and hostage for dad knows that the Roundheads will not attack the castle as long as they know that it contains a hostage of the family of a member of Parliament. 

 

Part III.  Susan's Gossip. 

Susan comes in to speak with Anne.  She has brought her shawl and now gives it to Anne since Anne left hers behind.  Susan says they are both prisoners here.  Anne says Susan is surely treated well here.  Susan says that she has been in thumb screws over a misunderstanding.  She says that Colonel Marsh took her against her will!  Susan goes on to tell Anne that she sympathizes with the Parliamentary side.  Lucinda suddenly passes through, but she refuses to say anything to Anne.  She just takes the dogs outside with her.  This upsets Anne. 

Back in her room, Anne tells Goodwife Margaret that she will now stay in her room and avoid the rude behavior of her sister.  Margaret says okay.  After Margaret leaves, Anne cries. 

Lord Ferrar comes in to tell Sir Martin that at the bloody battle at Naseby the main army of the King was decisively defeated.  Cromwell and his Ironsides broke their right flank.  Rupert had to rescue the King.  And now the King seeks shelter in Sir Martin's house.  He goes on to say that the King's baggage train is lost and all the servants.  There will only be eight coming to stay in the castle with, obviously, no servants. 

At dinner in the castle the King is very, very quiet.  Lucinda tells Goodwife Margaret that she is going to go down to tell the King that he has only himself to blame if the Roundheads descend on the castle and take him prisoner.  After all, he broke his promise to her to send the castle a small force to protect it.    Margaret tells Lucinda that she will find her head on the executioner's block if she speaks this way to the King. 

The King excuses himself to go to his room.  The King passes by Lucinda but neither one say anything. 

Lord Ferrar tells Sir Martin that the King is very despondent because with the loss of the baggage he also lost his private correspondence and secret communications with various leaders around the European world.  Tomorrow they will go west to hold Bristol against the rebels.  The King will have the Welsh and Irish recruited to repair the disasters of this day. 

The King sends for Lucinda.  He holds out his right hand to her and she kisses it.  About her face, he says:  "such pretty innocence."  He goes on to say that it has been two long years since Lucinda earned that medal she now wears around her neck.  He says that he himself has been set low.  Lucinda says:  "I am as loyal as I ever was, sir."  The King says the battle loss was his fault.  He should have listened to Rupert's military advice. 

Reflective, the King says that his family is his greatest solace.  But tonight he thinks himself the loneliest man in England.  His family is spread all over the place now.  To Lucinda, he says:  "Now leave me, child."  Lucinda leaves.

 

Episode VII.  A Sea of Dangers.  September 1645.

Part I.  Security Fears. 

Tom and will arrive home.  Tom is astounded the men are playing football and the gate is wide open.  He tells his father that this is not holiday time.  He suggests that they send out patrols and look for possible problems.  Dad asks why should they since nothing is happening, except that Anne is having her baby. 

Major Lacey gives the order that everybody be brought into the castle and bring their livestock with them.  Dad tells his son that they have had no news for weeks.  He wants to know what has been going on.  Tom tells him that Prince Rupert surrendered Bristol three days ago.  They had 1,500 men and a plague in the city against 12,000 men and their great siege guns.  The King called the Prince a coward and he has publicly revoked his commission.  Sir Martin says:  "What a sad chapter."  He wonders if it is all over for the King.  Tom tells him no, that the King holds many towns including Newark, Chester, Oxford and York.  Susan is eaves dropping on their conversation. 

Tom goes on to say the King is heading west to raise a new army in Wales and from the soldiers coming back from fighting in Ireland.   No, "The King is not beat yet, not by a long shot."  Sir Martin says then he will now turn his worry to Anne and her child.  When Sir Martin leaves, Susan goes in to speak with Tom.  She welcomes him home.  Susan tells him she will do anything for the defense of the castle.  All he has to do is command her. 

Anne gives birth to a baby boy.  She thanks Goodwife Margaret for helping her with the birth. 

The Roundheads take a close look at the castle.  Colonel Marsh is there.  He tells his men that they have to be careful because Mrs. John Fletcher is in the castle.  Fletcher is now a member of Parliament.  Colonel Marsh says he will send John Fletcher in to see to his wife. 

Tom is aware that the castle lacks food and powder.  They also have no reserves and no ordinance.  They are shut in by at least a company of the enemy.  They are going to have to send someone to Oxford to ask for relief.  They send Hugh Brandon.   Hugh dresses as a maid and has to run past the troops so as not to be accosted by them. 

John Fletcher arrives at the castle for his wife Anne.  Anne kisses her father and thanks him for his hospitality.  She also says goodbye to Goodwife Margaret.  Sir Martin says goodbye to his grandson.  Anne doesn't say goodbye to Lucinda because she has literarily turned her back on Anne.    She says goodbye to Tom and Susan and leaves. 

Colonel Marsh interrogates Anne.  John tells the Colonel that he is no more a soldier, but a member of Parliament again.  Marsh asks Anne if she was taken by force from her home?  Her brother Tom took her away against her will.  She complains that the goodly citizens that were to protect her and her family ran away when the Parliamentarian ruffians descended on their home.  Colonel Marsh says these ruffians will be dealt with.  

Now Marsh asks Anne to tell him everything she knows about Arnescote castle and the people there.  Anne tells him:  "Would you have me betray my own family?"  She also says that she doesn't know anything because she was kept in her room almost the entire time she was there.  So the Colonel calls in her servant Emma.

 

Part II.  Emma Tells All.

Emma Bowen comes in to tell what she knows about Arnescote.  Anne objects:  "Don't harry my servant."  Marsh continues.  He learns there are twenty-one soldiers at the castle.  There is little meat, but plenty of corn.  She tells Marsh where the grain store is and the ammunition.  Marsh says if the castle resists, utter ruin will await the people and the castle. 

Sir Martin has no intention of giving up without a fight.  At night three bombs are thrown and they blow up the ammunition dump and the grain store.  Sir Martin know that someone gave their enemy information on Arnescote.  He says:  "Treachery!"  Lucinda says that Susan did it.  She adds that Susan should be killed.  Dad, however, says there is no certain truth that Susan was the one who talked.  Then Lucinda turns to lay the blame on her sister Anne.  She says shame to her sister.  Much to everyone's surprise a group of Roundhead reinforcements and guns arrive for the enemy. 

But not long after this, reinforcements arrive from Oxford.  Hugh Brandon leads the men through the gates of Arnescote.  The newcomers have brought food, as well as soldiers.  Lord Edward Ferrar arrives. 

 

Part III.  Edward Returns.

Ferrar goes to see Lucinda.  He asks her what she is doing and she says she is writing a history of the siege of Armscote.  Included in this is the story of the Ferrar family.  Edward is surprised about the great knowledge she has of his family.  She speaks of their one time engagement.  Edward says that was a long five years ago and it has been long forgotten.  He does say, however, it did seem strange and not like Sir Martin.  Lucinda tells Edward that it it was all her doing.  The story about a pox being in the castle was just a sham.  Edward asks if she thought so badly of him that she had to resort to this lie.  Lucinda says that she really didn't know him.  She loved no man. 

Edward says he lost his heart to a girl of fifteen.  Lucinda asks his forgiveness and he says he will forgive her if she will marry him.  Lucinda says:  "Of course, I'll marry you.  I love you."  Lucinda and Edward go tell Sir Martin.  He pretends to be upset, saying  "I'm already over-burdened."   The young couple are upset until he reveals that he is teasing them. He gives them his blessing.  Tom arrives to hear the news and he hugs the two of them.   Lucinda says they will wed tomorrow. 

They talk to Rev. Butterworth.  He is not sure of the legalities, but Sir Martin says that he is the law here and the wedding will be tomorrow.  Lucinda insists that the wedding will take place in their own church.  Butterworth says the church is a mess now.  Lucinda just tells him that if he won't marry them, then she will have her Dad in his role as governor marry them. Tom will be the groomsman.  Her father gives Lucinda her mother's ring. 

The Puritans watch as the wedding party marches out of the gate and goes down to the church.  Someone tells a soldier to fetch the captain!  Meanwhile, the gunners fill a canister with a lot of shards and place it down the barrel of a cannon.   Captain Leckie arrives and says that they do not shoot brides on their wedding day.  But they do pull a joke on them.  When the wedding party is returning to the fort, they remove the canister from the cannon, but light the powder.  The cannon goes off with a roar.  The pastor hits the dirt, while the others with him are just shocked.  They soon realize that no one is hurt.  The Parliamentarians have a good laugh. 

The wedding reception is held in the great hall.  While the reception goes on a cannon shot with the equivalent of grape shot hits one of the windows of the great hall and knocks it out.  The glass falls onto the floor of the great hall.  Tom is now convinced that they have to get one of the enemy's cannons. 

 

 

Episode VIII.  Ring of Fire.  September, 1645. 

Part I.  Defending Arnescote. 

Tom takes a group of his men out to steal a cannon from the enemy.  They sneak up on the gunners and get the jump on them, but the men tell them they are the King's men who are now prisoners of war of the Parliamentarians.  They have the prisoners help them spike the cannon and help push and pull one cannon up to Arnescote.  As a diversion they burn the blacksmith shop.  When they get the cannon up and through the gate, they turn it around and point it at the Parliamentarians who are now in full pursuit.  They fire the cannon containing the equivalent of grape shot and it knocks down most of the Roundheads.  The others quickly retreat. 

The blacksmith is told that they will built him a better blacksmith shop once the enemy is gone.  The blacksmith is not as worried about the fate of his shop, as he is worried about the fact that their younger son serves the King as a Roundhead.  Their boy is out there fighting against them. 

More Roundheads arrive with Colonel Marsh and with them are some much larger siege cannons.  Colonel Marsh sets up his plan.  They will attack that side of the fort with a trench.  They will first take the trench.  Meanwhile, Captain Leckie is to redeem himself by taking a group of men and attaching a gate-destroying mechanism to the gates of the castle. This will blow open the gates.  Then the men will be able to run into the castle. 

The men in the castle know that their enemy outnumbers them by 4 to 1.  Susan listens to the defensive plans for the castle.  She then goes to Rev. Butterworth and asks him for his help.  She says she is afraid because the Roundheads have such huge cannon.  They will all be killed.  She says that she and the reverend are innocents in this struggle.  She asks:  "Why should we be slaughtered?"  She has the reverend so scared and worried that he gladly does what she says.   She asks him if he still has the key to the gate for the exit to the church?  He does.  She tells him that the key is their salvation.  In the dark, they will get away, pretending to be brother and sister.  Susan tells him to be ready to go at midnight. 

Cropper sees the two talking together and is very suspicious of Susan.  At midnight the two do go out the gate, but men are there waiting for them.  They kill the reverend.  Dick Skinner tells the men to take the whore to the cellar and place her in chains.

A runner comes with a message from Col. Marsh asking them to avoid more bloodshed and surrender.  In his reply, Sir Martin says:  "Yours is a crooked demand."  They will not surrender.  

 

Part II.  Roundheads Attack. 

Colonel Marsh comes up with his men.  He shouts:  "Sound the advance!"   A shot from the great mortar destroys the cannon captured by the King's men earlier and also destroys the crew.  The trench is captured.  Then Captain Leckie and his men manage with some losses to put up the bomb mechanism on the gate.  The Captain lights the mechanism and it blows a big breach through the door.  Now the Roundheads rush the gate.  Tom has to order all his surviving men back to the house.  The Roundheads pour through the gate. 

 

Part III.  Call to Surrender.

The King's men rush back to the door to the great hall.  Colonel Marsh and his men come almost right up to them.  There is only a little bit of ground between the two forces.  Colonel Marsh calls out to Sir Martin to surrender.  Sir Martin responds:  "Surrender?  That's a rebel word.  I never heard it."

The fight begins.  Many men are killed on both sides.  While Colonel Marsh sword fights with Sir Martin, Sir Martin starts to get the better of the Parliamentarian, but then another Roundhead stabs Sir Martin to death with his sword.   The fight goes out of the King's men when they see Sir Martin fall.  Tom has them retreat into the great hall.  They close the door behind them.  Lacey now tells Edward to get ready to go out through the secret passage and find his way to the King himself and ask him for assistance. 

Tom has to negotiate with Marsh.  He tells his enemy that he prays that he will show compassion to the survivors.  Marsh says Tom will not dictate terms of surrender to him.  Edward goes out the secret way, but promises Lucinda that he will come back to her.  Lucinda cries. 

Harsh words are exchanged between Roundhead soldiers and the people in the castle and confrontations narrowly avoided.  Will's brother, however, does not want to avoid confrontation. He wants to kill his brother.  The two fight.  Will does well, but his brother gains the edge over him.  He would probably have killed Will if his fellow Roundheads had not stopped him.  The father of the two boys curses his Roundhead son.  The young man rejects his family and tells his parents:  "You both have rotten, stinking hearts."  He leaves. 

Edward looks back at Arnescote and sees the enemy taking down the King's flag.  Lucinda sees some Roundheads stabbing the paintings of her Lacey relatives and tells the men not to damage the portraits.  The man doing the stabbing tears off some of Lucinda's outer clothes to intimidate her, but he has no intention of raping her.  The enemy learns that Edward Farrar is missing. 

Colonel Marsh is told that there has been some looting in the house, but he only says:  "Why not?"  Susan wants to see Colonel Marsh. She comes in and says:  "What a blessing to see you again."  Colonel Marsh tells his men to escort Susan to his room and make sure all her wishes are cared for. 

As a Papist, Mollie O'Flanagan is one of the dozen or so that are executed by firing squad. 

Lucinda and Tom come to see their father laid out.  Captain Leckie tells Tom to come with him.

 

Episode IX.  Ashes to Ashes.  September 1645. 

Part II.  Last Prospects.

Sir Martin lays in his casket.  The staff comes to see him and Minty starts causing a row over the killing of the lord of the manor.  Colonel Marsh has his men push the staff back into another room and then orders his men to close the casket.  Tom drapes a flag over it.  He then puts his father's sword and hat on the casket.  Colonel Marsh has his men start to take the casket out, but Tom substitutes his own men as the casket bearers.  Because of all the commotion, very few people are allowed at the funeral. 

Reverend Skirt is to lead the funeral, but both Tom and Lucinda both object to him.  Tom demands and gets the right to conduct the service himself and with only his people in the room.  The Parliamentarians go outside the church.  While the service proceeds, Anne and John Fletcher arrive.  At the end of the service Tom vows to his father that he will avenge him and restore Arnescote to its rightful status. 

Colonel Marsh tells Tom that he will now come with him.  Tom first stops to says something to Anne and John.  He is angry and is tough on his sister and her husband.  Tom then leaves.  Lucinda tells Anne she is not welcome here.  Lucinda leaves.  Anne says:  "Silly girl.  He was my father too." 

Sir Tom is put on a wagon for transport.  Cropper tells him that he has secured all the house records.  They are in a safe place.    Tom is worried that the castle will be sold above their heads. 

Anne asks Colonel Marsh if he saw her father fall and did he suffer?  Marsh says his death was sudden and he would have known nothing.  Now she asks to see Goodwife Margaret.  Marsh allows it.  When Goodwife Margaret arrives Anne tells her to take that scowl off her face.  She saw enough of it when she was a child.  Anne also reminds Margaret that it is not she who is responsible for the death of her father.  Margaret says that the house belongs to Thomas Lacey.  Anne says he has forfeited the house by fighting for the King and against Parliament.   Parliament will own the house for now. 

John Fletcher goes to see Cropper.  He asks him to give him the deeds to Arnescoate so that he may save the place.  The house belongs to Parliament.  But Cropper will not cooperate with John and he has to go away empty-handed.  The staff think ups ways to hinder the operations at Arnescote.  They wish to resist the new order. 

Will goes to see Tom and the prisoner is very glad to see him.  Will says that Arnescote is slowly coming back.  He gives Tom the actual deeds to Arnescote.  Tom asks Will if he could stay in Swinford and be his assistant, but Will says he promised his father to help him rebuild the blacksmith shop. 

Captain Leckie comes in to see Colonel Marsh.  He says that the men have not been paid and they are exhausted.  Marsh is a bit exasperated because there is little he can do about the pay situation.  He asks Susan if there is mutiny in the wind?  Susan is not much help.  Marsh finally says that when the estate is sequestered, then the soldiers will have their money.  Captain Leckie leaves.

Marsh tells Susan that he is glad that he has her for company.  She kisses him.  He says that Tom will probably be executed.  Susan gives him a morning broth that proves to be inedible.  Marsh is furious.  Minty hears about it and laughs and laughs.  Susan tells Cropper and Margaret that they must tell her who prepared the soup.  If they don't tell, then Susan will have to just select a staff member for punishment.   Copper and Goodwife Margaret are very sassy to Susan and she leaves.

Lucinda, who has not had a letter from husband Edward since he left, says that she will go for an army to save Arnescote.  But no one on the staff seems to want to go with her.  Talking to the servants she learns that Hannah thinks she and Jackman are in love, so she doesn't want to leave now.  Hugh Brandon won't go wither her either.  He would rather stay with the devil he knows.  Lucinda leaves by herself past the drunken soldiers.

 

Part II.  Prisoner of War. 

John Fletcher goes to see Tom.  He tells his brother-in-law that Prince Rupert will return to Holland.  He adds:  "The war is over, Tom."  Tom is not so sure.  John asks Tom for the deeds to the land and castle.  Toms gives them to him.  Lucinda arrives to see Tom.  Tom wonders how she was able to get to him, with no difficulty but John tells him that it was he who arranged a letter of transit for Lucinda.  John leaves.  Tom tells Lucinda to go and see Anne and make up with her.  Lucinda does so, but is still not happy with Anne.  At nighttime Lucinda asks Emma if she is happy working for Anne and John.  Emma says she is.  Anne comes in to talk with Lucinda.  Lucinda says that Anne does not treat her like the married woman she is, but rather like a child.  

Anne and Lucinda talk with Tom at the meeting to assess the value of Arnescote.  The meeting will also determine the future of the estate.  Cropper testifies before the committee.  He delivers the account books from 1640 forward.   

 

Part III.  Tom's Fate.

Captain Leckie tells Col. Marsh that the soldiers are owed 219 English pounds, but there is still little that Marsh can do.  Tom Lacey takes the stand before the committee.  The chairman calls him a delinquent and a traitor to his country.  Tom asks:  "You seek to frighten me, Sir Henry?"  The chairman says no.  The cost for Arnescote is 1,000 English pounds a year.  Of course, the debt on the estate must be calculated.  And Tom must take the Covenant.  Tom replies:  "I should rather burn in hellfire."   So Chairman Henry says that half of the estate will go to Parliament and the other half can be paid by someone other than a Lacey and their descendants.  Tom remains defiant until the end. 

A messenger comes for Col. Marsh.  Marsh reads the message and then reads it out loud to the committee.  He says that Lt. Gen. Cromwell has said that the castle at Arnescote is to be burned within twenty-four hours so that not a trace of it remains for inhabitation.  

The staff at Arnescote are trying to save as much as possible of the stuff in the castle.  Cropper asks two of the soldiers to help him remove the Lacey coat of arms.  Minty has decided to stay in the castle to die with it. 

John Fletcher rides up to Arnescote and tells Marsh that the castle is his.  And he does have proof of ownership.  Marsh says that Fletcher is too late.  The men are so angry about not being paid that they cannot be stopped from burning the house down.  Fletcher asks him the sum of money involved.  300 pounds.  John says that it can be arranged by 6 p.m..  Marsh wants more assurance and Fletcher tells him:  "Yes, you will have it." 

Anne goes to speak with Tom.  She tells him that he can yet be saved.  He says, sure, but at the cost of everything he believes in.  Anne tells him that his king was the tyrant in this dispute.  Tom says then Anne would have him and his side in chains?  Anne asks him what does he expect them to do?  She adds that they used to be able to disagree and yet still remain friends. 

Tom finally becomes more flexible.  He tells his sister to take her husband and restore Arnescote and build their future without him.  He adds that he would like them to build something in honor of their father.   He says that Anne is the victorious Lacey and that's all there is to say about that.   Anne tells him she will do what he wishes and then adds that she loves Tom.  She leaves crying. 

 

Episode X.  Not Peace but a Sword.  June 1647.

Part I.  New Owners. 

Anne, Lucinda, Emma, the baby and John Fletcher return to Arnescote.  Cropper greets them.  Inside the great hall Goodwife Margaret greets Anne saying that she is happy to see her.  John says with the war ended they must thank their servants for their invaluable cooperation in saving Arnescote.  Colonel Marsh greets the new owners.  He also brings news that the King is being moved to a place of greater security by the will of the Parliament.  He is being taken under guard to Hampton Court.  

Mistress Anne wants her privacy and Colonel. Marsh assures her that he and his officers will live in the south apartments.  The only time they need see any of his men will be when they come to the kitchen for food. 

Susan comes in.  She explains that she acted as hostess to Arnescote, since she was the only one of the family there.  Susan now says to Anne that the place is hers.  Colonel Marsh suggests that Susan stay in the south apartments.  Susan likes the idea.  The Fletchers invite Col. Marsh to dinner. 

Will's brother, Sam Saltmarsh, has become one of the Levelers.  In the old church he speaks to soldiers about the Levelers.  These people strive for equality of all men on earth.  Their badge is a green arm band.  They believe that Parliament must cease to belong to the rich, but must be elected by all the people in the land.  A lookout warns the soldiers that someone is coming.  It is Sam's father, the blacksmith.  Father does not speak to his son and the men ask dad to treat his son as his son.  Dad, however, says that Sam is Cain because he has shed his brother's blood.  He also says:  "God rot Cromwell!"  And the men can hang them for it, he says.  The men just laugh at him. 

The jailer tells Tom that there will be no bribery.  He does take money for his comforts, but if Tom tries to escape he will report it.  Will is also there with Tom.  Tom tells him that he must get out of jail.  He asks Will to be a spy for him checking on the connection of various family members to Colonel Marsh. 

Colonel Marsh tells the Fletchers at dinner that he wishes Tom Lacey good fortune.  Lucinda speaks not a word.  John Fletcher asks him if he has any troubles in his regiment.  What type of troubles?  Rebellion, mutiny, Levelers.  Marsh says it has not effected his regiment as of yet.  He tells Fletcher that the lord of the manor wants to disband the army without giving the soldiers their overdue pay.  He warns John that he must pay his arrears. 

Fletcher says what he fears the most is the army marching on London.  Marsh says that maybe they both have said too much already and he is retiring for the night.  Anne walks him out.  She tells the Colonel that she will not have Susan in her house.  Anne refers to Susan as a "turncoat trollop".  She will do anything to keep Susan out of her home.  This includes the possibility of writing to Cromwell himself or to get her husband to speak before Parliament about certain immoralities that took place under her Arnescote roof when she was gone from there. 

There is trouble in the regiment.  The men won't take up their arms.  And the soldier who are Levelers are wearing their green armbands.  One soldier reports to Marsh that it's mutiny.  A negotiating unit of the men come to talk with the Colonel.  Sam Saltmarsh and Hind are the agents of the rank and file.  Ensign Salisbury is the agent for the officers.  Their biggest question is when will they be paid?  Marsh sympathizes with the men and says the soldiers must march on Parliament to get their money.   But now he gets tough on the men in front of him.  He tells them to remove those green armbands.  Many do, but not Saltmarsh, Hind and Wallace.  Marsh tells the trio that they will be tried for their lives.  The trial will be  in the great hall.    

 

Part II.  Mutiny!

The trial of the trio begins.  Leveler literature was found among Corporal Saltmarsh's belongings.  Marsh says the offense they are trying is that where a regiment refused to parade.  Corporal Saltmarsh will speak for himself and the other two men.  And he is going to try to make it about social equalization.  He says:  If I do not have equal rights, than what have we fought for?  Marsh sentences the men to death, but only one man must hang.  The one will be decided by dice.  After the trial is over, Marsh says the regiment is to march in forty-eight hours to join the army.  The rendezvous point is Newport-Pagnal. 

Jackman comes to John Fletcher to tell him that he is the care taker for the grounds of Arnescotes.  People are coming onto the grounds and are taking game.  These people are mostly motivated by hunger.  He says he will not cudgel someone who has no food.  Jackman adds that John would be right to dismiss him from his position.  John just tells Jackman that he is a good Christian man and he does not want to lose him. 

John tells Colonel Marsh that Tom Lacey is to be sent to the Tower of London without delay.  He asks Marsh for a cavalry escort, but Marsh tells him that he will have to ask for an escort in Baneberry.  He will be able to get one in three days. 

Corporal Saltmarsh loses the toss of the dice.  Wallace and Hide are drummed out of the army.  Saltmarsh, because of his bravery, will not be hanged, but shot.  Sam will not wear a blindfold and does not want to be tied to the pole.  He rejects a minister and says his own prayer to God.  Then the Corporal is shot dead by the firing squad. 

Lucinda is so unhappy.  Hugh Brandon tries to get her to cheer up, but she says she has good reason to be upset.  She is living with Anne, her brother Tom is to be executed and her husband has written her nothing from France. 

 

Part III.  Shocking News. 

Susan comes to Colonel Marsh and says she must speak with him.  She complains that she has not seen him for two days and two nights.  Marsh tells her that he and his men are leaving tomorrow.  Susan asks him to take her with him as his wife.  Marsh says:  "My dear, I have a wife and three delightful children."    Susan is absolutely shocked.  She calls him a deceiver and accuses him of just wanting to cast her off.  Susan continues with the labels "seducer" and "viper". 

John Fletcher watches the last of the Roundheads leave Arnescote.  He is happy they are gone.  But Anne is not happy.  She is worried about her brother.  Anne says that her brother asked her to help him escape.  This worries her husband and he tells her she is to stay in her room until Tom is safely on his way with the escort.  Anne asks:  "I may not say goodbye?"  John says that he and his friends will save Tom.  Anne says: "If you can." 

Edward Ferrar comes to visit Will Saltmarsh in the blacksmith shop.  He asks Will to bring Lucinda to him at the shop.  Edward says he has plans for Lacey's escape.  Will goes to the castle.  He brings Lucinda back with him and husband and wife are very glad to see each other.  They go into the other room to be alone to lay on the hay together. 

Tom is deliberately getting his jailer drunk.  Someone knocks on the door of the room.  The jailer gets up to see who it is and Tom knocks him out.  He then strangles him to death. Only then does he open the door to Will.  Edward speaks with Tom and tells him that the Queen and the Prince of Wales have send him to prepare for another rising for the King.  His job is to rally groups of gentlemen to ready themselves for battle.  Tom will have the job of preparing plans of action.  After some hesitation, Tom says that he is with Edward whatever the odds. 

Lucinda tells Tom to come back safe and bring her hubby with him.  Tom tells his younger sister that she is the last true Lacey at Arnescote.   Tom and Edward head out.  Lucinda returns to Arnescote. 

 

 

Good mini-series.  The first couple of episodes were somewhat slow, but the story picks up the pace.  At first it is hard to remember everybody's name, but after awhile this probably mostly disappears and you are dealing with familiar characters.  The political divisions within the Lacey family give the mini-series a special twist that make the series worth watching.  In all these British mini-series it is a bit hard sometimes to understand what the characters are saying, at least for an American.  And there are no subtitles to help one understand the dialogue.  But my wife and I got through it okay and both enjoyed it. 

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D. 

 


Historical Background:

 

First Civil War (1642-1646). 

1642 (early January)  --  King Charles leaves the London area.

Both sides have about 15,000 men. 

1642 (June 9)  --  Parliamentarians vote to raise an army of 10,000 volunteers with Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex as commander.

1642 (August 22)  --  Charles moves to Nottingham.  He has only 2,000 cavalry and a small number of infantry.  But they start gathering troops.    He moves southwest to Stafford, then Shrewsbury and then Wellington. 

1642 (two weeks later after the King raised his standard at Nottingham)  --  Essex took his army north to Northampton.  Along the way he is joined by a detachment of Cambridgeshire cavalry raised and commanded by Oliver Cromwell). 

1642 (middle of September)  --   Essex now has 21,000 infantry and 4,200 cavalry and dragoons.

1642 (September 14)  --  Essex moves to Coventry and then to the north of the Cotswolds.  He is now between the Royalists and London. 

1642 (September 23)  --  first major skirmish of the Civil War  --  a cavalry troop under Prince Rupert (nephew of Charles I) defeated a Parliamentary cavalry detachment under Colonel John Brown in the Battle of Powick Bridge (closes to Worcester). 

1642 (October 12)  --  the Royal army leaves Shrewsbury.  They move southeast which forces Essex to move to intercept them.

1642 (October 23)  --  Battle of Edge Hill.  The battle is inconclusive. 

1642 (November 13)  --  Battle of Turnham Green.   It is a stand-off.  Charles has to retreat to Oxford. 

1643  (June 30)  --  Battle of Adsalton Moor.  Royalists win and gain control of most of Yorkshire in northeast England. 

1643 (March 19)  --  Battle of Hopton Heath.  Inconclusive.  Royalist commander the Earl of Northampton killed. 

1643 (July 5)  --  Battle of Lansdowne.  Royalists force the Parliamentarians under Sir William Waller to retreat. 

1643 (July 13)  --  crushing victory for the Royalists over the Parliamentarians under Sir William Waller. 

1643  --  city of Bristol occupied by Royalists after they overran Royal Fort. 

1643 (July 20)  --  Parliamentarians captured Gainsborough in Lincolnshire. 

1643 (August 3 to September 5)  --  Essex's army forces the king to raise the siege of Gloucester.  Turning point of the war. 

1643 (September 20)  --  Parliamentarian army wins the First Battle of Newbury and march triumphantly to London. 

1643 (October 11)  --  Parliamentarians win the Battle of Winceby giving them control of Lincoln. 

Charles negotiates ceasefire in Ireland to free up English troops to fight the Parliamentarians. 

1644 (July 2)  --  Battle of Marston Moor.  Parliamentarian victory gains York and the north of England.   

1644 (July 28)  --  Parliamentarian defeat at the second Battle of Lostwithiel in Cornwall.  Setback in southwest England.

1644 (October 27)  --  Second Battle of Newbury.  Another setback for Parliamentarians. 

1644 (December 9)  --  passage of Self-denying Ordinance which allowed the formation of the New Model Army under Sir Thomas Fairfax.  Cromwell was second in command.   

1645 (June 14)  --  the key Battle of Naseby.  Parliamentarians destroy the main army of Charles I.

1645 (July 10)  --  Battle of Langport.  Parliamentarians finish the job of effectively destroying Charles' armies.

1646 (May)  --  Charles takes shelter with a Scottish army at Southwell in Nottinghamshire. End of the First English Civil War.

 

Second Civil War (1647-1648).

1647 (December 28)  --  Charles I grants Scotland more concessions to get their backing.  This leads to the Second Civil War.

1648 (May)  --  Battle of St Fagans.  Colonel Thomas Horton defeats the Parliamentarians who went over to the Royalist side. 

1648 (summer)  --  Royalist uprisings in England and a Scottish invasion.

1648 (June 24)  --  Battle of Maidstone.  Fairfax defeats a Royalist uprising in Kent.

1648 (July 11)  --  rebel leaders surrender to Cromwell after two-month siege of Pembroke. 

1648  --  Fairfax moves northward on Essex in southeast England.  He drives Royalists under Sir Charles Lucas into Colchester.  Has to settle in for a siege. 

1648 (August 17-19)  --  Battle of Preston.  Cromwell engages the Scots and wins a victory.  Marks the end of the Second Civil War. 

1648 (December)  --  the Parliamentarian army marches on Parliament and in the "Pride's Purge" arrests 45 Members of Parliament and keep 146 out of the chamber. A Rump Parliament of only 75 members set up a High Court of Justice for the trial of Charles I for treason.  The king is found guilty. 

1649 (January 30)  --  Charles I is beheaded in front of the Banqueting House of the Palace of Whitehall. 

 

 

 

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