Return to T&T online index page

Leave a comment

Tower and Town, March 2015

  (view the full edition)

The Statues Of Marlborough

The King Is Coming

The Statutes of Marlborough

“COMING!” The frantic yell from the Jester echoed up the flight of stairs, the sound amplified by the thick stone walls that framed this chaotic picture. It was just one of the many panicked conversations that had taken place in the last hour since the sudden announcement that Parliament was to be held in Marlborough Castle the next day.

The gentle hustle and bustle of the castle had been usurped by panic. Everybody had their assigned tasks and even the guards (who normally spent their day at the gates quietly dozing) were fiercely alert and ready to grapple with any stranger that attempted to enter without authorisation. From the West turret of the castle, you could see the motte being dressed for purpose. The magnificent oak trees winced as they were reduced to jesters by serfs who draped their branches with patriotic flags.

Elsewhere, the picturesque garden, normally organised in neat rows of flowers and herbs, was pandemonium. There were scullery maids vying for the herbs that their dish required; pageboys who fought over flowers with the brightest colours; and the court poet roaming around with his quill. On his face, you could see the worry etched as he desperately sought inspiration for the approaching banquet.

Meanwhile, in the heart of the castle, a heated argument was taking place between the rugged gamekeeper and the overweight Cook: and neither was backing down:

“Arthur swore that LAST time, he liked the pheasants,” the gamekeeper said forcefully, stabbing his finger dramatically.

“Well Mary was saying that he likes pigs, and SHE was Eleanor’s attending maid at the wedding” the Cook yelled.

“You cannot serve him pork! There’s word that an important statute is being signed; and last time you cooked pork-”

“Are YOU insulting my cooking?!” shrieked the Cook indignantly.

After much discussion, the gamekeeper finally gave in. As day slipped into night the castle was still very much awake - and for good reason. The next day would mark the passing of the Statutes of Marlborough: one of the most iconic moments in this little town’s history.

Anna Pembroke

Return to T&T online index page

Leave a comment