by Dr Melchior Williams (Co-Author of ‘The Blackwood Crusade’)
In the 15th Century, Blackwood is plagued by faeries, as everyone who lives there knows. Everyone except the Lord of Blackwood, that is, who refuses to believe there is such a thing.
Looking back through the archives, there are hundreds of petitions from the villagers to the Lord of Blackwood (via his Castellan), begging him do something to make their village a safer place. The Castellan does not even pass many of them on. We can read from this that he knows very well what his master would say if he presented them. The gravity of the matters mentioned in the petitions varies and, indeed, some could be attributed to vivid imaginations at work. Other, like the tragic case of the Crumb family in 1413 are harder to dismiss.
I will be sharing some of the appeals with you here (edited for the modern reader). You can make up your own mind.
Petition presented to Thomas the Castellan by Farley Fletcher:
Mr Fletcher demands the lord do something about the faeries of the Black Wood who have spooked his horse so it refuses to go past the northern Toll Tree, preventing Mr Fletcher from taking his produce to market. Consequently, he is two weeks behind paying his taxes.
(The Lord of Blackwood was informed of this petition and Mr Fletcher was told to borrow his neighbour’s horse for the trip to market, and ordered to pay double taxes next month.)
Painting by John Anster Fitzgerald
from ‘The Blackwood Crusade’ by Jo Danilo: OUT SOON