|Richard Whittington, courtesy of Wikipedia.org (Creative Commons)|
Start, stutter, stall ….. STOP!
And herein lies the problem. I left you on the B5009, claiming that my Dacia Sandero was taking its Cool occupants from Queen’s Head to Chirk. I left you on a wave of excitement, as you thought I was about to take you for a Cool perspective viewing of a world-famous aqueduct. Well, with a view to pacifying my about-to-be-very-disgruntled audience, here is the view:
‘Chirk aqueduct & viaduct’ by Peter Craine
As Peter Craine himself states: ‘You can never have too many pictures of a dog on an aqueduct, next to a viaduct.’ So this is not really a problem as such, and I’m sure that the dog is, or was, very friendly. But, to my knowledge, this dog is not one of my ancestors (correct me, if you must, cousin Darwin!) and, more to the point, this dog is not me! Neither is my name Peter Craine. By now, you are very likely thinking that I am a cheat – that I’ve never actually been anywhere beyond the borders of my current abode in Suffolk.
You are right.
And you are wrong.
I am posting Peter Craine’s photograph on a pre-emptive basis. That is to say that: Here is the view that I will undoubtedly see when my Dacia Sandero decides to take me to my ultimate destination. But, in the meantime, l am slave to the whims of the aforesaid Dacia.
My Dacia stutters and stumbles around a bend on the B5009, and I’m thinking about Chirk, when …..
‘Why are we stopping, Mum? Is this Chirk?’
‘Er … not exactly. But I’m just popping out to take a quick look at this splendid invitation to the high life! You coming? No? Okay, won’t be a minute! Back in a jiffy!’
And with that, I leap out of my prison, and take off on a run ….
I can’t believe this place – it’s the stuff of fairytales. My fairytale. Jay Cool’s fairytale. It was built here on this spot, around this bend, just for me. It’s mine. All mine.
But I’m thwarted by a safety barrier. My horse will just have to jump it!
|‘Lacy in Red Dress’ courtesy of deviantart.com|
I get the hint and sludge back to my duties. But .. the Dacia’s empty. My prisoners have escaped. I get back on my fine stallion (or perhaps it’s a mare?) and prepare for the hunt. My hunting grounds are pretty cool. I am the Lady of … Lady of ….
Oh yes, if the information board is anything to go by, then it seems that we are in Whittington.
|‘William the Conqueror’ courtesy of Wikipedia.org (Creative Commons)|
William the Conqueror, by 28th Great Grandfather, stole lots of land from the Saxons and granted it to his family and friends in true Cool style. Roger de Montgomery, a loyal follower, and my step-fourth-great-grandfather-of-my-twenty-third Great Grandfather, proceeded to build a motte and bailey castle at Whittington.
Payn Peverel, it is speculated, adopted the illegitimate son of William the Conqueror, who became known as William Peverel (half-brother of one my Great-Something-Uncles!) William Peverel gifted Whittington Castle to his niece, Melette (who may or may not have been his blood relative!) . Regardless, then Melette married Guarin de Metz Warine, and they had a son – Fulk I Fitz Warine.
Now, this Fulk I was none other than my 24th Great Grandfather. He had a son, Fulk II Fitz Warine, my 23rd Great Grandfather.
|Arms of Fitz Warine, courtesy of Wikipedia.com (Creative Commons)|
Rather coincidentally, Fulk II Fitz Warine, went to live with another of my 23rd Great Grandfathers – Sir Josce de Dynan. Sir Josce taught Fulk II how to be a Knight. Fulk II returned the favour by defending Sir Josce in a tiff Sir Josce had with a neighbour, Sir Gilbert de Lacy (of Ludlow Castle). Fulk II was suitably rewarded by a marriage to Sir Josce’s daughter, Hawyse de Dynan (my 23rd Great Grandmother). Fulk II was the best of friends with my 25th Great Grandfather, King Henry II.
Fulk II and Hawyse produced a son – Fulk III Fitz Warine (my 22nd Great Grandfather).
Fulk III was raised in court, alongside Henry II’s son, Prince John. This was not a happy union of personalities. But, the story of Fulk III and Prince John can wait awhile. The real point is that Fulk III went on to marry Maud le Vavasour, wealthy widow of Lancastrian baron, Theobold Walter – making Maud my 22nd Great Grandmother.
Fulk III and Maud, after a few misadventures, ended up by reasserting their claim to Whittinghton Castle.
And at the end of this very long short summary of my ancestral connections. Here I am, Jay Cool – ready to put my arthritic foot back in the door.
But the door’s shut. A wedding is taking place and the couple seem to believe that they’ve paid for the right to keep tourists out of their camera shots. Everywhere I try to place my foot, I am barred. And, when I sneak around, to find a back route through the front door, I am greeted with this:
I get the message. Fulk III’s efforts to reclaim his castle for his descendants were all in vain. No-one knows who I am. I am just one of many. And there are so many of the many, that no-ones bothered to find out who all Fulk’s descendants are. No ‘Heir Hunters’ are looking out for us, or even just for me. What does it take around here to get noticed. A day in the stocks perhaps?
I’m out. Back to the Dacia. And the Sprogs? My lost Sprogs? Did you find them? I hear you ask. Well, no. No, I didn’t find them because, if truth be told, I got a little distracted again – distracted by the spirits. But, it’s no matter. The Sprogs have returned, complete with Hubby. Angry faces glare at me from the steamed-up windows of my Dacia.
‘Mum, we’ve been looking for you everywhere! Where have you been? Dad wants to get to Chirk before midnight! Come on! Get in!’
I feel the weight of a boot up my backside (1).
Start, stutter, stall …..
I take one last look back at …
Time to move on.
P.S. In case you are wondering how on Earth, Payn Peverel, came to own a castle built by Roger de Montgomery, then I haven’t got the foggiest clue! So, if you are wiser than myself (highly likely), please write a message in response to my blog post. Any hints appreciated!
Copyright of text and photographs owned by Jay Cool, June 2018
(1) ‘Cousin Dick?’ refers to the legendary Dick Whittington. Dick had no known direct descendants but, like myself, he boasts the Fulk Fitz Warines in his family tree. Indeed, this son of a blacksmith from Newnes (near Ellesmere) married Alice Fitz Warine; henceforth, I claim Dick as a true Cool cousin! And no (unless it was ginger), I am not related to Dick’s rat-catcher!
Sources: Image of Princess in Red Dress, labelled Creative Commons, from deviantart.com
‘The A-Z of Curious Shropshire: Strange Stories of Mysteries, Crimes and Eccentrics’ by John Shipley (The History Press, 2017)
‘Shropshire Legends & People’ by Tim Carrington (Shropshire Promotions, undated)