View Full Version : Historical Scenario

10-21-2009, 03:12 AM
This is some background for a story I'll be writing...eventually. I just want to make sure the basic background is devoid of truly big gaps so I can then proceed with other parts of the process.

Two families, a town and a manor house. Plus a legend.

Thornby-on-Beck is a market town in North Yorkshire. Nearby was an Abbey abandoned during the reign of Henry VIII. A few generations later the lands were given to successful knight in the service of James I. His name was Sir William Anderwick. One thing he did was build a manor house around the remnants of the old Abbey's chapel. Many stones used in the construction were reddish in hue and hence gave the manor its name: Redstone.

Fast forward a few decades. War between Cavaliers and Roundheads has broken out. Looks like Parliament is winning and the royalist Anderwicks hightale it for France. One of them, however, stays. He is Peter, a stubborn and difficult but clever scion of the line. He functions more-or-less as squire, much to the locals' displeasure because he's trouble. He gets sick, very sick, and no one is too unhappy about that. Then, he gets better very suddenly. But now he's worse--drinking way too much, picking fights, etc. He goes hunting a lot with a huge hunting hound. People start whispering he might have sold his soul to the devil, especially after master and hound vanish one day. The hound is spotted on the moors now and then, but Peter Anderwick's body is never found. Redstone is more-or-less deserted.

Until the Restoration, when eventually the family comes to reclaim the place and spend a few buckets of cash fixing up the place.

One hundred years later, a large Beast starts killing sheep and people. Witnesses say it looks like a huge wolf. People try and hunt it down, but in the end the thing just stops showing up anywhere. Legend says the Beast is Peter Anderwick, now a demon of some kind and denied final rest.

A few generations later, the Anderwick family and its fortunes have dwindled. Enter a naval Captain who has made his fortune with prize money during the Napoleonic Wars. He weds the squire's only daughter and settles his father-in-law's debts. In turn, he and his children inherit everything. They are the new Squires of Thornby-on-Beck and the lands surrounding.

But the hundredth anniversary of the Beast's appearance is approaching, the two hundredth since Peter Anderwick's presumed-death. While many dismiss this as nothing but superstition, others take it seriously and are afraid.

Any holes or obvious flaws? Something I need to consider? Or re-consider? Thanks in advance!

10-21-2009, 03:44 PM
>Many stones used in the construction were reddish in hue and hence gave the manor its name: Redstone

There's a lot of sandstone used in construction in those parts, either a reddish or yelowish hue depending on local conditions.

This means that the building wouldn't stand out from the crowd as they'd all be constructed of the same material so it'd be unlikely to be called Redstone.

The whole thing reminds me a lot of 'Hound of the Baskervilles' though.

10-21-2009, 08:14 PM
Thank you.

Yeah, I'm aware of the parallels to the Sherlock Holmes tale, but if the full context it is quite different (although a couple of details will probably end up changed anyway).

Your point about sandstone is a good one. Methinks I'll simply change the name of the manor, since it really isn't at all important.

10-21-2009, 10:03 PM
If the Anderwicks backed the wrong side in the Civil War it is likely their estate would have been awarded to a supporter of the Parliamentarians, who would have been booted out at the Restoration

10-21-2009, 10:52 PM
My only question is why doesn't Parliament bother Peter? He stayed behind and was left alone by the enemy that the rest of his family fled?

Other than that, I'm totally intrigued and don't see any obvious holes.

I seriously want to read this story! Perfect time of year too =)

10-22-2009, 07:39 AM
Methinks I'm going to have it that Peter pretends to be a Roundhead sympathizer (not an uncommon thing for a family to do, i.e. try and straddle both sides of a civil war). More, I think it is a better legend if he's accused of witchcraft and hanged.

Mike Martyn
10-22-2009, 09:11 PM
The only problem for me is that you say that the Abbey was "abandoned" at the time of Henry VIII. Henry the VIII dissolved the monasteries in part to promote the new protestant faith and as a cash grab. The land certainly wouldn't have sat vacant. Henry would have given it to one of his followers .

For what it's worth a lot of the Royalists went to the colonies in North America. My family were Royalist suppporters back then and left England around that time to settle in what is now New York state.

Also, Samuel Peyps (sp?) the great diarist kept a diary from around the time of the restoration. If you want to add some colour to your tale, you might want to take a look at those diaries.

10-22-2009, 09:24 PM
Good point. Odds are then the manor house is older and at some time the Anderwicks were given those lands. A small detail but a good one. Thanks!

10-22-2009, 10:36 PM
Lots of estates changed hands after the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 when Henry VII came to the throne.

10-23-2009, 01:05 PM
you do know that North Yorkshire is a modern term? It would have been Yorkshire in the 17thC.

10-23-2009, 08:40 PM
Thanks for point such out, although it isn't really germane. I was thinking of the area as "Northern Yorkshire" and the story is set in 1850. But again, thank you.

10-23-2009, 10:56 PM
Weather! The north of Yorkshire can have the most diabolical weather!

I've recently read and watched the Hound of the Baskervilles and I think the only thing in common with it is the Beast. The Baskerville legend came about for quite a different reason. Large beasties are part of legend - in my part of the world there is Black Shuck see here: http://norfolkcoast.co.uk/myths/ml_blackshuck.htm

You might find the work of Frank Meadow Sutcliffe 1853-1941of use. http://www.sutcliffe-gallery.co.uk/gallery.html

The story sounds very interesting.

10-23-2009, 11:00 PM
Thanks for the link! So nice to be able to "see" things more clearly!

Keep in mind this story is a long time in the future. But I have hopes!

10-23-2009, 11:03 PM
You are welcome!