As the entire group of us each made our own tries to calm down and take in what had happened, I supposed that I fared the worst in that task? There was so much overtaking me at once that I knew not where to begin in settling myself! My entire being was changing, my mind was flooding with new and old thoughts? It was as if something had lit far within the deepest reaches of my memories and I was assaulted with images that I did not understand. I was puzzled, disturbed beyond imagination. I stood there looking at this group of people wondering in fear if I could or should truly trust any of them?
I happened to glance over at Bradley Pittens, whom I barely knew anything of. I was quite suddenly alarmed at an image, a memory? It flashed in front of me, then faded as quickly away… I hesitated a moment then reached out and lightly touched Bradley’s arm. The image and the memory came to me immediately! I gasped a breath of shock and glared at him. My fingers burned where they touched him and he must also have felt it? He backed away from me and stood apart with a look that told me he knew what I had just felt and remembered?
My emotions were unsteady to say the least right then and I vented my frustrations out on him, “You! How could this be! I know you, I know who you are! But, you should not be here?! Where have you been all of this time?” My mind reeled at the vision, the memory of him as a young boy, and myself the same age? It had been before the time slips began. This was the first clear memory I had of that early time in my life.
My parents had placed me in the care of Lady Margaret Beaufort, who was a distant relative of ours. She was of great standing then, being a senior Lady of Waiting to the Queen, Elizabeth Woodville York. There were many who believed she might be traitorous to the throne as it was her constant goal to place her own son, Henry Tudor upon the throne? Of course, I as a young child knew little of this. I only knew that I was to do as I was told and follow her instructions without questions.
On this particular day, she had dressed me in my finest, admonished me to be of my best behavior and manners, and do exactly as she told me. She had brought me to that castle where the Queen was residing at the time with her children. We waited for a private audience with the Queen, during which time Lady Margaret pinched my arm and reminded me once more of my duty this day. Lady Margaret and the Queen had a much hushed privated discussion together. Then the high bishop entered with documents that he placed upon a table near us. He spoke to the Queen, too quietly for me to overhear? After some waiting, Young Prince Edward was escorted into the room. He received much the same admonishments from his Mother, the Queen, that I had received from Margaret. We were stood in front of the table together with Margaret and Elizabeth on either side of us and the bishop on the other side of the table staring down at us.
The Bishop began reading the documents and asking us questions, which the women controlled our answers to with swift pinches! I might have been young, but I quickly percieved and understood what was taking place? This was a bethrothal agreement, a contract which would gaurantee our marriage at some point in the future when we would be of an age to be wed! Even as a very small child, I knew how serious this was. I was in great fear at first and thought to resist. For some reason, I knew this was a strange way of conducting this? Another painful pinch guided me to agree with what ever was put before me.
It took Edward a bit longer to realize what was going on? Once he did, he was no more in favor of it than I, and much more adament about it! I suppose that was due to his being raised as heir to the throne and much used to voicing himself and having his way? He was misbehving greatly, and his Mother was enraged.
At some point during the proceedings, I had calmed down and accepted my fate. Whilst he was still throwing a bit of a fit, I remembered feeling irate and insulted by his unwillingness? He had no cause to not want me! I was a finely raised girl of high standing, I knew my worth. I had been trained it well, I had been raised for this moment and now he had nerve to imply that I should not be good enough for him by his actions?! I also knew that he was behaving badly and as such, embarrassing us both. At that point, I reached my foot out beneath the table, gave him a firm kick to the shin and stomped upon his foot! I did not care if he was a future King, he would cause me shame! I stood there smugly and smiled prettily while he winced and finally settled into his agreements of the situation.
Eventually, we signed our names to the documents as did the Queen and Lady Margaret, who was my official guardian at the time. After another hushed conversation between the adults, Edward was escorted out of the hall. The Queen handed Margaret one of the scrolls and then she took me away to her home. I was told to speak of this to no one for now lest I wanted to take a chance on damaging or destroying my future and that of so many others who would depend on this agreement! I never breathed a word to anyone of it. It made little difference, for it was shortly afterwards that the York dynasty crumbled and Edward disappeared into the mists of history along with his brother Richard! It was also when I was swept away to France and a new life.