Time Travel to the Time of Good Old King Henry : Meeting Henry by Mr Alfred N.Muggins
Alfred and his wife found themselves suddenly on the side of a muddy road, in a forest! They did not know where, but they knew they were wearing Tudor clothes, he a minor lord or something, and she a fitting wife, looking lovely in her orange dress.
There was noise coming down the road. The birds sang and fluttered in the rich nature of the place, and the cries of men issuing orders and horses could be heard.
“Where are we?” cried Mrs Muggins.
“I don’t know,” said Muggins, “but our costumes are for sure quite Tudor aren’t they? Either we’re in a fancy dress competition, or is it a dream?” They could remember having watched ‘The Tudors’ glossy drama about the reign of Good Old King Henry just the night before, sitting on their soft settee and almost going to sleep, but the plot would not let them, it was so riveting, and they had watched and watched until they could not tell what was a dream and what was the TV programme.
At one point Mrs Muggins had said, “Wouldn’t it be lovely to go back to that time and wear lovely dresses like that?”
“Yes, I should like to see the Court of Henry VIII myself, and meet the characters of the history for real,” Muggins remembered hearing himself saying.
“Well it seems that’s what might have happened,” exclaimed Alfred Muggins. “We’ve gone back to the time of Henry VIII, as we both wished!” Both of them felt some fear and trepidation at what they had let themselves in for.
“You shouldn’t have wished for that!” said Mrs Muggins angrily, blaming it all on her husband. “This could be dangerous.”
“I couldn’t help myself,” admitted Alfred, suddenly not feeling quite so ‘Great’! “But you must have wanted it too, otherwise we would not have time travelled!” said Alfred, quite intuitively. “Go on, admit it. You were quite keen to meet the King late last night, and wear some of these dresses!”
“It’s got to be your fault Alfred,” argued Mrs Muggins, blushing. “You’re always talking about your best friend Auld Henry, and slipping back in time to visit him and his wives.”
“Well I didn’t think it was going to turn out to be true, did I?” explained Alfred.
“Well it’s too late now. They’re coming!” whispered his wife. She could horses coming round the bend, between the grand green leaved trees, and a carriage. Footmen accompanied to either side, and behind further wagons bearing supplies or whatever they would bring with them. Neither Alfred nor his wife had any doubt that this must be the King and his party, although they knew not where they were.
“In for a penny, in for a pound,” muttered Alfred, true to his own form of being able to find a phrase for every situation he found himself in, even if it wasn’t the most relevant one.
On his horse, in the centre of the riders was a Kingly figure, who Alfred felt could not fail to be the Man himself, the famous King, who he had felt he knew so well last night, but in this new day he could not feel that he knew well at all. Well he was fairly tall, handsome yes, and imposing in confidence and demeanor, a King amongst men.
Alfred, straining his critical eye, judged that this was still a young King, perhaps in his early thirties, handsome, flashy and bearded, and a warrior in his bearing, before he was made old before his time by his jousting accident and his sore leg. Alfred dared to hope this was the King relatively in his prime before disappointments turned him angry and mean, probably before he finally discovered he would never be able to conquer France or hold onto any significant portion of it, and before he lost his love for his Queen Catherine of Aragon, or had he already taken Anne Boleyn to be his wife yet, and begun the downward spiral in his and the Kingdom’s fortunes?
Was this the true Golden Age of Henry’s reign, before the fabric of unity was destroyed and drew his Kingdom and himself apart?
All the riders were grand! They wore colourful hats and billowing colourful clothes in pure Tudor fashion style. They were both warriors and men of supreme culture, Renaissance men! Even Mrs Muggins could see that these were real men, not the lap dogs, office boys and lazy bums of modern society. They could all ride horses for a start, and probably speak at least 3 languages. More than a few of them glanced in her direction as they rode by, including the handsome King, whose crown she could see, upon his head. To a man they tipped their hats to her, and the King nodded, pulling up his horse.
“Fair lady, we are well met,” said the King with a confident glint in his eye. “It is a fair day, is it not?”
“Yes my Lord,” she uttered, lowering her head and wishing she had paid more attention on that guided tour around Hampton Court Palace a few years before, so she could remember what the etiquette should be (at least Alfred had managed to spell it right with a little bit of help from the automatic spell checker). She knew not what else to say.
Evidently the King noticed her wedding ring, because he immediately asked, “And is this your husband? We are well met Sir! What is your name?”
“I am Alfred Muggins of Sheffield, and this is Mrs Muggins my wife Sire.” Said Alfred, wondering how to describe himself, and not particularly wishing to reveal his relatively lowly profession. They were wearing ‘nice’ clothes, so the King probably thought they were more important than they now felt.
“Be sure, man,” the King laughed goodheartedly, like a brother or friend, “I will soon find out her full name!”
(I am quite sure Mr Alfred Muggins will be writing a further sequel or episode to this continuing tale of his and Mrs Muggins’ time travelling adventures at the actual Court of King Henry VIII, although when this will actually come to pass cannot be easily predicted due to the busy mind, and life, of Alfred Muggins, which tends to be full of many distractions, and whose writing exploits may go off on many an unpredictable tangent. Watch this space!)