Epilogue – December 1646

Its been a long time since I have had time to write in this diary. But I must explain how grateful I am to the brave time adventurers.

The cannon helped us stay in the castle for another whole month when we thought everything was over. After four months, however, we were defeated by Cromwell’s forces, the numbers of cannons and men were just too high for us, however I will be eternally grateful for the help of my young friends who helped change the course of history

June 1646

To appease my desire to visit somewhere more scarier we decided to visit Colonel Salesbury (AKA Old Blue Stockings) who is holding a siege at Denbigh Castle! Tesni was a bit worried that this was a dangerous thing to do but I managed to convince her that we could escape at any time in our time machine! We landed in the courtyard and, wow, what a noise! The castle was in the middle of being bombarded by cannons from the outside.

At that point I wasn’t so sure that we had made a good decision in going there! We walked cautiously up some steps where we were once again grabbed unceremoniously by some soldiers and dragged to the dungeons for questioning! Are you spies? One soldier barked at us, who do you work for? shouted another, eyeing our clothes suspiciously. We tell them our story and I think they were so battle weary from all the bombardment from the Cromwellians that they did not question us too much but to stop them pointing their swords at us I promised that we could get them another cannon.

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26 June 1646

Canon

Today we were on the battlements when I heard a commotion in the west tower. As I turn I see my young friends hoisting up a cannon of the finest workmanship! I could hardly believe my eyes but how grateful I am to them!

Cromwell’s men may have a greater strength in number and firepower. But we have our faith and loyalty to the King. I truly believe this cannon will help us defeat Cromwell.

25 June 1646

Thing are getting really tough! Our water and food supply is getting fairly low so everything is rationed which is a shame as a good square meal might help raise my soldiers spirits. But this afternoon things took a very strange turn, a turn, I hope, for the better!

I was just worrying about how we were going to defend against the bombardment today. Our firing capabilities are very limited. What I really needed was a cannon to start bombarding those numbskulls down there! When suddenly there was a flash of lightening.

My first thought was our enemy had developed new weapons, but to my astonishment two young people came up the stairs of the west tower! How on earth did they get into the castle? There must be a secret passage I didn’t know about. (note to self; check out secret passages).

captured by old blue stockingWell, we took them to the dungeons to question. They tell me they are from the future! I thought I’d heard it all before but this devilry? I do not know? They tell me if I set them free they will be able to get me another cannon. How can this be? We are so desperate my confidants and advisors tell me we have nothing to loose other than free them and see if their magic works.

16 June 1646

seige of denbigh castle

We are three months into a siege at Denbigh Castle against Cromwelian attack. They’ve been pounding my castle walls with cannons for days now. Well let them carry on if they like, we won’t give up! This English castle has stood for 400 years and after my repairs it will stand for 400 more!

I finished repairing Denbigh Castle a while ago for our Majesty King Charles I. We are in the midst of the civil war to stop Oliver Cromwell taking power from the King and giving to the ordinary people. They call it democracy! Pah! Ridiculous idea!

Anyway, the castle will play a key part in our campaign to stop those sniveling parliamentarians taking over. I invited King Charles over last autumn to see my handy work. He was long over due a visit to Wales. And to be honest with you I needed to have words with him about his strategy. I treated him to 2 hours of my famous plain speaking.

I maybe an old man now but I’ve been around and know a thing or two. As a young man I lived an exciting life on the open sea. But when I returned from my travels I found my family estates run down and in debt. Since then I have worked hard for thirty years to bring it back to the grandeur of my ancestors.

I absolutely refuse to give up the fruits of my labour to those low down Parliamentarians!

March 1588

Something I’ve always wanted to visit was the Spanish armada but I think Tesni had been messing about with the dials because when I tried to key in the time sequence we ended up in a much different place. Tesni pretended she didn’t know what had gone wrong but I knew the armada was the last place she wanted to go. Too dangerous, she would say. That’s why I wanna go! I would tell her but, never mind.

Where were we then? Tesni explained that we seemed to have landed in St Asaph, 1588. Hang on, I said, isn’t this the year Bishop William Morgan first translated the bible into Welsh. Suddenly I had forgotten about the Spanish war ships. We just had to meet this historic Welshman!

After wandering around the town for a while we found ourselves outside a library. Just then we noticed that Seren the cat was rubbing herself against our ankles. We figured that she must have sneaked into the time Machine again! She is a naughty cat! Off she ran ahead of us through a crack in the Library door. We followed her through the big wooden doors and into the library’s quiet interior.

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March 28 1588

I was having a very frustrated afternoon in my library and suffering from a severe bout of writers block. I thought my Greek language skills would suffice but unfortunately I am lacking in quite a few words. As I looked around for inspiration I realize what a mess my study is there are scraps of paper everywhere! I began to wonder if it was time tidy up before my housekeeper comes back when I was suddenly aware of purring in my ear and I was surprised to see a black and white cat sitting on the back of my chair.Writers block!

Then I hear some scuffling in the corridor and some giggling and two heads appear around the side of the door. Much to my surprise.it was a boy and a girl wearing really rather strange attire. I wondered whether to be cross but I was quite glad of the diversion as the afternoon was not going very well at all.

I asked them what they were doing in my house and they said they had arrived from another time they explained how their grandfather had invented this contraption which could take them to any year they wished! Imagine they came to see me how flattering!

The young lady Tesni mentioned that even though this was the year of the Spanish armada they had wanted to arrive somewhere safer. Her young friend Cai looked a bit disgruntled but Tesni went on to explain that they had been studying my work on the bible in their history lessons! Imagine that people still know of me in the future, how incredible this encounter I can hardly believe it.

They said that they were hungry and needed some money to buy some food and lodging as the contraption in which they travelled needed some more fuel and they would have to wait for morning to sort out the problem. They asked me if I needed anything and I suddenly remembered my difficulties with greek! I explained that I had been set back in my translation work and a dictionary would make my work so much quicker. Would there be such a thing as a Greek-Welsh dictionary in the future? They though they might be. I agreed to give them some money now to help pay for their needs today and some more later if they could return with a dictionary. They seemed fairly confident that they would be able to do so.

new greek welsh dictionaryBy the following week I had given up hope of ever seeing my strange visitors again when I heard a familiar giggling and here they were again holding aloft a dictionary oh how happy I was and how relieved I would be able to continue with my work!

February 1570

Another malfunction on the dial and we landed in the middle of the countryside.

We noticed a grand house built of bricks nearby which, by the look of it, belonged to someone very important. We decided to take a closer look. We had a peek through one of the windows and saw lots of children running around a room playing and screaming and fighting. It looks like a party, said Tesni, except they don’t seem to be having much fun! She had a point! The younger ones looked irritable and some were crying. In the middle of all this sat a very harassed looking woman. Her black dress seemed to fit her mood as restless children pulled her arm, tugged her skirt and ruffled her head dress.

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15 February 1570

babysitting!

What a day I had today! My head was throbbing as I tried to entertain the little ones. Nurse was in bed sick with toothache. The older ones were very good and interested in the story I was reading. But it was too complicated to hold the attention of the other ones. They were pulling my arm wanting me to play with them but how tired I was! It has rained for days and they are so fed up of being inside.

Then something close to a miracle happened. A girl and a boy arrived close to my Richard’s age. In their arms they had boxes of toys. Things like this just do not happen! The told me the most marvelous story about their time traveling. I am not sure I believe all this magic but so relieved was I to have the children entertained (why question a good thing?)toys!

They told how they had come to this year 1570 whilst trying to get to the Spanish armada and their time traveling vessel had veered off course. They decided to take a look around whilst they were here. Walking passed our house they saw my family and me through the window. They decided they felt sorry for the children and went back to the future to visit their neighbour who owned an antique shop. Mrs Owain was a little old lady who knew a thing or too about old things, She had taken them to an auction where they bought the two boxes filled with old toys.

My family are so happy and my headache has completely gone!

October 1520

Tesni has been studying a little bit about holy wells in school and I remember my mum showing me a book called Sacred Places which mentioned these wells in Denbighshire and on one Sunday in the summer we visited one in Llanrhaeadr-yng-Nghinmeirch

We had Sunday lunch in the pub near by then went for a walk behind the Church of St. Dyfnog. It was a magical place but long forgotten. Ivy and moss had taken over where people would have once sat and talked, living out their lives hundreds of years ago like all the customers in the noisy pub we had just left. It would be great to see what this would have been like in its heyday.

When back in the time machine we set the dial to c1520 and held on tight! The machine landed us in some thorn bushes. Ouch, ouch, OOOUUCH!!!, we tried to keep our voices down as we clambered out of the machine because we could hear voices nearby. Just ahead of us we saw a motley selection of people queuing to bathe in a much cleaner looking well than I remember from our trip back in our own time and there wasn’t half as much moss. We noticed some of the people looking very ill indeed. Many had walking sticks and crude looking crutches made from thick branches and twine. Some invalids were even being carried by other people, possibly friends or relatives. These people must have believed the well could cure them because, from their accents, I could tell they had come from far and wide to visit this holy place.

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21 October 1520

I did not sleep a wink so excited was I by my good fortune and I spent most of my prayers that evening thanking God for this miracle.

the new stained glass window designThey returned but quietly this time, I was glad as I did not want to alarm the pilgrims who were bathing in the well, and held aloft a scroll of the design nearly 4ft high! Oh it exceeded my expectations, the colours glowed in the afternoon sun. I could not thank them enough and couldn’t wait to deliver the scroll to the craftsman I had in mind in Ruthin he would have quite a job indeed,

I will never forget my young visitors and often wonder whether they were angels sent from above to help me.

18th October 1520

What a strange and wonderful day today! As I was strolling around the church grounds pondering the construction of our window, I heard a strange rustling in the trees and saw the most amazing shiny red object on wheels. At first I was frightened and thought it the devil’s work but the next moment I heard a cheeky voice say ‘Hello’ There was a boy and a girl in the most unusual colorful clothes.

Robert Jones meets Cai and TesniThey asked me why I was looking so deep in thought. I explained to them I could not find a designer for the window. They said they may be able to help me. I must tell you I was skeptical, they were but children! But I took them back to my home and gave them some food.

While they were eating they began to explain where they were from. They said they were from the future! I was dumbfounded but as I listened I had no choice than to believe them, how else could I explain their attire and the shiny machine and noise?

They told me they would be able to help me find a designer if I wrote down what I imagined the window should look like. That was easy as I had thought of nothing else for weeks it had to be the finest glass window in Wales, and I wanted it to depict the Tree of Jesse. They looked puzzled so I explained that the Tree of Jesse is a picture of Jesus Christ’s ancestors all the way back to Jesse. Again they look puzzled but when I explained that Jesse was the father of David who killed the giant Goliath their eyes lit up and they nodded happily. I carried on with my description:

At the bottom Jesse would lie asleep in his garden and then from him would spring a tree with many branches to depict a family tree of Christ’s kingly ancestors with King David holding his harp in the middle.

The children seemed quite excited, whispering to each other and pointing over at the church. They said they would return the following day and meet me by the well!

12 October 1520

Our holy well has been very popular this year, I think word of mouth has spread and pilgrims are travelling from as far as Pembrokeshire to cure ‘scabs and the itch’ but some have said it cures smallpox and even dumbness and deafness.Holy well

Because of the grateful pilgrims our donation box became so heavy. When we counted it I was amazed by how much we had collected. We will now be able to furnish the church with the stained glass window I had dreamed of. A design of astounding beauty as would befit a depiction of the crucifixion of Our Lord.

The only problem is I don’t know who could design such a window. I have heard of people in England and France who may be able but I am without means to travel to them or get in contact.

July 1450

Because we go to Ruthin quite often we thought it would be pretty cool to see what the place was like over six hundred years ago! I saw a newspaper article a while back about Nant Clwyd House in the chronicle that said it had been restored to its former medieval glory with a European grant. But we wanted to see for ourselves, you know, the real Mc Coy, so we hopped into the time machine and dialed the year 1475 into the navi-computer.

A whoosh of smoke and a stream of stars and all of a sudden we found ourselves in a field just behind the town square. The first thing we noticed was how overwhelmingly noisy it was, and the smell, uurgh!!!, rotten fruit and veg mixed with steaming farm animal dung. Was this the right place? Ruthin then was a completely different place to the one I visited back in the future. Never the less, Tesni and I decided to hang out on the square for a bit.

It seemed, by all the people shouting and jostling about the square, that it was market day. Suddenly, from out of the chaos, we saw a chicken running as fast as its busy feet could carry it; between the shoppers legs and across the market place. A flustered young girl was hot on its heels and without stopping to think I ran after to help her catch the runaway poultry. After a quick rush I managed to get close enough to dive on the chicken (with a bit of a rugby tackle manoeuvre that I had seen in the six nations) and proudly presented it to the girl.

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02 July 1450

What a palava today! The pigs ate all our soap. We couldn’t tell the Lady of the house as we’d get into deep trouble. The man who sells the soap only comes around once a month. We are in a dilemma, I could face the sack if the laundry is not ready in time, I really need this job because my family is relying on the money.

We were just wondering where else we could get some even contemplating making some from the fat of the pigs who got us into this mess in the first place! Suddenly Nia returns from the town square with an excited red face. She’d met these two young people.

What happened was she was taking a chicken over to a neighbour and tripped over a bucket. The chicken got loose and ran down the road. A few of us were giggling behind our hands imagining Nia running after the chicken! Well anyway, the boy helped her catch the chicken and they got talking. In the course of their conversation she told him about the problem we had had with the greedy pigs that morning but then she suddenly realised the time and had to dash off to take the chicken to Mrs Dillena Llwyd before dinner.

As she was telling the story two heads appeared over the wall. It was the two children. What a strange pair they were! They said they’d been thinking about the missing soap and that they were sure they had a solution to our problem. Well, I can tell you now, I’m a bit suspicious of quacks and charlatans so I questioned them further. They then started mumbling about an iron horse and a place called a super market or some such nonsense. At this point Nia elbowed me in the ribs and told them how grateful we were etc etc. She was right to of course we really had no choice!

They told us to count to ten and close our eyes. You’d never believe what happened next! When we opened our eyes they were standing there with some sweet smelling bars of soap.

How did they do it? I didn’t have time to ask too many questions. We all set to scrubbing and squeezing and hanging out to dry, the two children helped out for a while. Eventually they seemed to tire so Nia sent them to the kitchen to get a hot game pie she had prepared that morning, then off they went.

How marvelous this soap is! Its much better than soap we usually have which is made of ash and animal fat. It makes the clothes so clean and fresh smelling. Master John and Mistress Holland will be pleased.

September 1400

Tesni decided maybe it is best not to mess with history and gives up on going back to Dinas Bran so I finally got my own way! We arrived in September 1400. Just when Owain Glyndwr was rallying his troops ready for battle with Lord Grey of Ruthin. It was so exciting!

We pushed our way up to the front to get a better view and cheered as loudly as we could! We impressed Owain with our enthusiasm so much that he said we should be his mascots. He even allowed us to carry the flag which would lead them into battle as long as we promise to disappear before things get really dangerous!

Owain Glyndwr

28th September 1400

off to war

I declared myself Prince of Wales on Sept 16th 1400. A date that, I’ll bet, will change the course of history! We will force the English out of Wales.

At the moment I am collecting support for my attack on the thieving Lord Grey of Ruthin. After hearing word of my campaign, many supporters have arrived. Hundreds of people have returned to Wales from England where they worked or studied. We will all meet tomorrow on my mound.

Among all the men two small children have turned up and they are full of enthusiasm for my campaign! They are funny looking creatures and they wear the strangest clothes! The beg me to let them take part. They have no idea of the danger they are in but I agree to let them carry my flag for the first leg of the march as long as they promise to disappear a few miles before we meet Grey.

The plan is to kidnap Grey, I think a ransome for his release of 10 000 Marks, thats £6,600 in today’s money – Ed and destroy his army. We will attack Ruthin and burn it to the ground! It is market day tomorrow and people will be off their guard. Ha! That will show those English idiots.

15 September 1400

I cannot believe the language used by that scoundral so called King Henry. How dare he tell me to go back to my uncivilized mole hill and be thankful I still have my head. I have been treated badly by the ill-bred deceitful King Henry IV.Prince of Wales

My so called English neighbours think they can take over round here after all I’ve done for them! These loutish English have pushed me too far!

I am a princely descendant of the Kings of Wales. My military strategy and bravery in battle is second to none. These English dogs better watch out. Tomorrow I declare my self Prince of Wales!

01 September 1400

Lord Grey of Ruthin that underhand scoundrel has stolen some of my lands! This is astounding behaviour! Who does he think he is? We have put up with the English settlers for more than 100 years. We have allowed them to become rich from our beautiful lands and this is how they treat us!

Well, I will not rise to his level of petty squabbling. We’ll see what Parliament in London and King Henry IV have to say about this. He has behaved in a thoroughly criminal manner. I feel sure that my friends in the court and Parliament will put that Lord Grey in his place and return my land back to me.

August 1370

After hearing about what happened at Dinas Brans Tesni wanted to get back and warn Gruffudd ap Madoc of the English army’s maneuvers. Although I saw where she was coming from I was still dying to visit the 1400 to see my hero Owain Glyndwr. You can’t change history! I told her. But all those lives gone to waste, we can help them, she argued, we were both getting cross by this point but neither of us would back down.

We ended up fighting near the time machine and Tesni pushed me over and my head hit the centuary-dial. The last thing I noticed before the time machine started up was the year 1370 displayed on the dashboard screen.

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