Because history is fun and love is worth working for

Author: Rue Allyn Page 1 of 7

Pirates Terrorize British Mariners Again

Dear Readers,

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Numerous sources report to The Teatime Tattler of dangerous criminals roaming the once peaceful waters of the Caribbean Sea. Piracy was at its height nearly one hundred years ago. However, a resurgence of this foul trade has occurred giving rise to murderous characters such as Jean LaFitte, Robert Cofresi, and the infamous Irish Red. Why? Why is the Royal Navy not doing more to protect British Citizens.

One lady wrote of her recent travels/travails to a relative. “I was in fear for my life when the captain of our merchantman surrendered his vessel to this scurrilous pirate with little more than two shots fired—and those by the pirate ship. In our captain’s defense, he had very little in the way of armament. Attempting to battle with the criminal crew could well have sunk our little ship. I must thank God that the pirates took only our valuables and the cargo, leaving us with our lives and the clothing on our backs. The kindness of the residents of Jamaica—when we at last made that harbor—is unparalleled in my experience. Nonetheless, I pray that I never encounter another pirate as long as I live.”

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

A second voyager wrote The Tattler directly. “Because I witnessed a filthy pirate crew murdering any innocent who opposed them, II cannot state this warning strongly enough. DO NOT travel to the Caribbean or any of the British West Indies. Not until the Royal Navy is no longer battling the former colonies and is recovered from losses taken in defeating Napoleon.

We must pray that the treaty negotiations beginning in Ghent conclude swiftly and successfully, so that Royal Naval vessels can once again hunt down and erase the scourge of piracy from the sea.

A note from Rue Allyn. Friends, this week’s Tattler article is based on research done for “Wait for Me,” my contribution to The Bluestocking Belles’ next box set, Storm & Shelter, debuting on April 13 2021. I was so fascinated by what my research uncovered that I decided to continue the adventures of Brandon and Esme from “Wait for Me” and expand their story into a full length novel tentatively titled The Pirate Duchess. You’ll be hearing more about Brandon and Esme in the weeks leading up to release day. For now, if you are interested in more about Storm & Shelter follow these links: Excerpts Pre-Order.

*Other than the cover art for Storm & Shelter, all images in this post are from Wikipedia articles about Pirates and Treaty of Ghent.

National Scandal

Dear Editor,

I wish to alert your readership to a scandalous situation occurring in Wiltshire as I write. The London to Bristol road—much used by our military during the hostilities—has suffered a great degree of damage from the demands for rapid delivery of armaments and troops from the West of England to the Capitol and beyond.

Stock image from Tattler files

I cannot describe the number of serious accidents that have occurred with increasing frequency. From personal experience, I can relate that ruts as deep as ditches wander the road in all directions, causing all sorts of mayhem. I myself was so badly tossed about when traveling to my cousin in Chippenham that I was unable to walk for a week after arriving. My daughter-in-law suffered the deep embarrassment and pain of being forced to deliver my grandchild at the side of the road, when driving conditions became so terrible as to make forward progress impossible. Our local newspapers are filled with tales of businesses and even schools that are forced to close because of the poor condition of the road.

Now I have learned that a dastardly plot is afoot to prevent the much needed repairs. Several months ago, when the Corsican Monster was finally defeated, a proposal was made in Parliament to spend monies no longer needed for war on improving the roads between London and Bristol. These turnpikes have needed improvement since before the turn of the century. However, any monies available for such necessary improvements was diverted to our military efforts in more than ten years of war with France.

The MP for Wiltshire has made a valiant effort to see success for the proposal to allot national funding to aid the various turnpike trusts with direly needed improvements. Most of these trusts are as impoverished as the general citizenry of Wiltshire. Else I am certain that improvements would have been made promptly.

However, I digress, despite all the efforts of our MP to see that right is done, the proposed allotment has been diverted to fund another canal. Another canal is not needed. This diversion is simply an attempt by coal companies and barge owners to line their pockets at the expense of the good citizens of Wiltshire.

Worse yet is the financial speculation that the government has allowed for what are clearly spurious canal companies. I have it on good authority that Lord L W. and Earl F—among many others—are deeply involved in speculative investments in the canal companies. No doubt in an attempt to repair the fortunes they each lost to gambling and extravagance.

This cannot be allowed to continue. I urge you, sir, and your entire readership to protest most vociferously to Parliament against allotment of funds for mere speculation when British citizens are suffering.

Most Respectfully Yours

Lady R. N.

Dear fans of The Teatime Tattler, I wrote this fictional letter as I began research for a new novel involving a lady engineer and the man she comes to love. I am still in the midst of drafting The Pirate Duchess, so this new book is a year or so in the future, but I enjoy sharing the possibilities inspired by research. The images and factual information that this letter is based on come from Wikipedia and Shutterstock. Thank you very much for reading,

Quaint American Custom Has Religious Foundation

Dear Readers,

One of our correspondents, Mrs. B-W, has been visiting relatives in the city of Boston in the former colonies. She sends us this fascinating tidbit about a local tradition.

Dear Mr. Clemens,

I have very much enjoyed my visit with my American cousins. Boston is a lovely and propsperous town with a cultured society such as I never would have expected. We’ve had no end of balls, routs, salons, concerts and informative lectures. Politics is much discussed, and Bostonians do not hesitate to express their opinions and argue when they differ. Such contention did not prepare me for the custom of Thanksgiving Day. A day that celebrates the good fortune and blessings bestowed by God upon the former colonies.

When I first heard of the event, my cousin expressed surprise that I did not know of it and gave me some of the writings from my ancestor, one William Bradford of Plymouth Plantation. I found these texts informative not just of the celebration, but of an American cultural element no usually seen by English visitors. Mr. Bradford describes the inciting events for this Thanksgiving celebration as follows. words follow:

They began now to gather in the small harvest they had, and to fit up their houses and dwellings against winter, being all well recovered in health and strength and had all things in good plenty. For as some were thus employed in affairs abroad, others were exercised in fishing, about cod and bass and other fish, of which they took good store, of which every family had their portion. All the summer there was no want; and now began to come in store of fowl, as winter approached, of which this place did abound when they can be used (but afterward decreased by degrees). And besides waterfowl, there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc. Besides, they had about a peck a meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to the proportion. Which made many afterward write so largely of their plenty here to their friends in England, which were not feigned but true reports.[27]

And afterward the Lord sent them such seasonable showers, with the interchange of fair warm weather as, through His blessing, caused a fruitful and liberal harvest, to their no small comfort and rejoicing. For which mercy, in time convenient, they also set apart a day of thanksgiving … By this time harvest was come, and instead of famine now God gave them plenty … for which they blessed God. And the effect of their particular planting was well seen, for all had … pretty well … so as any general want or famine had not been amongst them since to this day.[35]

It would seem to me, Mr. Clemens and dear readers that such a celebration is well worthy of emulation. I hope to have more historical items of interest to pass along in the future.

Respectfully,

Mrs. B-W

Does Scandal Taint one of Britain’s Great Families?

Dearest Father,

I write in the hope that you will understand and forgive me for refusing to wed the barbaric Scot you’ve chosen for me. Not even loyalty to you, my king and country, is enough to make me willing to sacrifice my person and my honor. You will have to find another way to compel this Baron MacKai, who is one of the rudest men in creation, to cooperate in your plot with King Edward to overthrow the Scottish monarch. By the time you receive this I will be on my way to a convent where my skills as a horse trainer will be appreciated and useful. I grieves me that I will probably never see you or my brothers again in this life.

With all my love,

Jessamyn

Dear Readers,

This missive was found amongst some obscure parchments by an anonymous researcher who currently assists with cataloguing antique manuscripts at Oxford’s Bodleian Library. The research became intrigued by the defiant tone of the message and has tracked down the source using clues from the missive itself. You—indeed much of the ton—will be interested to learn that the author of this note did not as she states in the letter end up in the convent. She did in fact wed Baron Raeb MacKai in the year 1295. How that came about is a story as yet unlearned. Although marriage lines obtained from Scotland prove that the author is a Lady from an English DuG. family of high renown and influence. One cannot but wonder what other secrets might be revealed were the Earl DuG to permit investigation of that distinguished family’s records. Sadly, such permission is unlikely to be given, as the Earl is among the highest of sticklers for propriety. We wait eagerly to discover if he or his relatives might find this revelatory missive a bit embarrassing. Could the family be hiding a taint of rebelliousness amongst its women? That might explain the current peccadillo’s of Lady J DuG. More on her recent adventures in a future issue of the Teatime Tattler.

Blurb for Knight Defender: Sent alone to Scotland to wed a wild scot and serve the needs of her father and her king, Lady Jessamyn plots to escape the marriage and make the life she wants. In Scotland she finds not the wild boorish monster she imagined but a Knight Defender who would claim her heart, if she will only give up her dreams. — Baron Raeb MacKai is done allowing himself and everyone he loves to live in poverty and despair. His betrothal to a wealthy English heiress will solve a decade of problems. He will do everything necessary to defend his home and his country, but can he defend his heart?

About the Author: When not writing, or enjoying her warm sunny home with her spouse of more than four decades Rue Allyn, Rue travels the world and surfs the internet in search of background material and inspiration for her next heart melting romance. She loves to hear from readers, and you may contact her at Rue@RueAllyn.com.  She can’t wait to hear from you.

Napoleon Is Not Britain’s Worst Enemy

Dateline: European Battlefront, Fall 1809

Dear Readers,

I beg of you indulge this poor author for deviating from the Tattler’s normal publication of humorous and tittilating information. A desparate situation has arisen with in our armies on the continent, which is like to win The Corsican’s victories for him.

How could that possibly be when British Forces are the best equipped, best trained in the world? In a word, FEVER. This month sees campaigns at both Guadiana in Spain and Walcheren in the Netherlands where our armies are decimated, not by powder and shot, but by insidious fever that strikes without warning.

Casualties number in the thousands with countless more of our brave lads unable to stand and fight. Medical staff are over worked and supplies to fight this invisible enemy are small.

 A Mrs. C., whose son serves in the Royal Fusiliers received word from him of dire conditions.

“[N]o ventilation, twenty men sick in the room, of whom about eighteen died. In this place there were [sic] one door, and one chimney, but no windows. Relapse again; deaf as a post; shirt unchanged and sticking to my sore back; ears running stinking matter; a man lying close on my right hand with both his legs mortified nearly to the knees, and dying. A little sympathy would have soothed, but sympathy there was none.”*

We know well that our women, Ladies or otherwise, cannot go to war personally. However, you can send support. Medical and cleaning supplies (see the list on page seven) are desparately needed. Letters of encouragement, sympathy and hope are needed to give our soldiers the will to continue, to fight to regain their health for confrontations on the battlefield.

Do not allow this sickness to win Napoleon’s war for him. Act Now! Organize, cooperate with churches and charities to send all possible aid to Britain’s only defense against the Coriscan’s aim to conquer England. With your help we can rise victorious over all enemies.

The Tattler is interested in news of your efforts and promises complete discretion to any who wish to share their efforts and contributions to aid our Military.

*This quote was copied from an article by Andrew Bamford.

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