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The penultimate stop - and an act of kindness

November 18, 2015


On 17 or 18 November Eleanor moved the 8 miles from Laxton to Marnham.  Marnham was one of the seats of the Chaworth family.  One of their more notable members, Patrick, had been amongst the roster of Edward's executors when he nearly died on crusade.  His heiress's lands - including this property - were now in Eleanor's hands following his death in 1283.  It may even be that one of the more minor scions of the family, Eleanor's former chaplain Payn de Chaworth, was in residence to welcome her.

William Stevenson, the antiquarian who uncovered some of Eleanor's final journey in an article written in 1899 walked the route and described how it apppeared then:

"Marnham and the passing shadow of its old-time great ferry, the boats of which now lie rotting on the river bank, is a point of interest. The manor house of the high town, the old house of the knightly Chaworths, was destroyed about 1794, and a farmhouse now occupies its site. The low town, or church town, with its flood banks and its miles of low meadows by the side of the river Trent, are not without interest, .... Beyond the river is a green lane lined by tall aspen trees...." (the article is at: http://www.nottshistory.org.uk/articles/tts/tts1899/eleanor1.htm )

Touchingly while so unwell herself, Eleanor could still spare a thought for others who were ill.  Her wardrobe book for 18 November records her sending a pomegranate (a rare and expensive fruit in those days) to Henry de Bello Monte (Henry Belmont?) who had been left behind ill at Laxton.

And Eleanor's vibrant interests did not desert her either.  The same day her illustrator Godfrey was reimbursed for various requirements for producing "the Queen's books": vermilion, glue, and gold leaf, all of which he had bought on a shopping spree in Lincoln.




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