Here are more excerpts from THE Akashic Record research notes for TO DEFY A KING.
Mahelt interracting with her father at about 10 years old.
Alison: I am there but I’m not understanding what I’m seeing yet. Oh, she’s watching her father ride. I was seeing snatches of her dad as if on one of those photograph things where you take one after another but I think it’s possibly him riding past trees. Yes that’s what it is. They’re riding through the forest. She wants to go faster and he’s saying ‘Not so fast, not so fast, it’s dangerous. You don’t know where the horse might trip.'
I laugh. Alison asks what the matter is. I say I am thinking of a certain young William Marshal flinging his pony about and doing all sorts of things on horseback he wasn’t supposed to do!
She’s saying ‘But daddy, you’re so slow.
He says ‘No, I’m not, for I will get there and those who have more haste than is wise will not. Does that make them then slow?’
‘Oh daddy, I’m not slow. You know I’m not slow.’
And now he has asked one of his retainers to take a lead rein to her horse
‘Oh no, oh no daddy, that’s not fair. Oh no, I’m not going to have that!’
The retainer looks a bit worried and William just puffs out with exasperation.
The lead rein goes on and she rides along in a slump and a sulk – it’s not a good riding position.
So is William finding her a bit of a handful at this age? No…goodness. It’s nothing he can’t handle. It’s easy compared to some of the boys he has to look after. What, other people’s sons or his own? Both. And he has such a love for her. He still loves her as if she was a very little girl. That was just perfect for him. He just adored her like that (fish incident) and a little bit younger as well. And in some ways he still relates to her as if she was that age because it meant so much to him.
Alison says that it didn’t perturb him in the least. It was an easy case compared with some of the people he has to tell what to do.
I asked about the betrothal circumstances of Mahelt Marshal to Hugh Bigod. Whose idea was it in the first place – all that sort of thing. I asked to go to William Marshal in 1203 to see if we could get a start from there.
Alison: Yes, I can feel I’m with William Marshal. He’s sitting up very straight and proud. I can see him on a horse, and it’s not equipped for warfare or fighting, it’s accoutred in a noble style with rich trappings and horse cloths. He’s with a small group of people – men and women. As I try to get closer to his thoughts about Mahelt I feel a strong sense in his solar plexus area, first warm and then thinking of parting with her, I sense pain. I sense I am feeling his love for her first, and then pain as in as well as his love for her he wants to do his best for her - and one of the consequences of that will be the pain of losing her. He’s aware of all that mixture of feeling as he‘s talking but he has to carry on and concentrate on what’s being said and what’s happening outside himself. They’re discussing the settlement.
Who’s they? One is Roger and there’s a younger man in the background who is some kind of financial adviser, perhaps a relative. There are two ladies in the background who are not joining in the conversation. Roger is driving a hard bargain and he’s saying ‘And what will that mean, and where would that demesne end? And how much would that bring a year? His associate is listening carefully and mentally registering all these details and giving Roger the nod every so often.
William doesn’t think this is any bad thing because he reasons someone this careful will be careful with his daughter and will look after her and her interests. Whose idea was it in the first place? Alison says that she wants to say before she moves on to my query that there’s more about William here re the settlement. He is of a mind to be generous. He’s being very open and he doesn’t want to stint and his love is attached to this as well.
Alison now backtracks to when the idea first came into his mind.
He’s watching Mahelt playing. She’s bending over something in the courtyard. I think it’s a barrel – a small one like a well bucket. There are puppies in it. I think they’re having a bath. They’re pale like
So FFW to how it comes about that Hugh comes to the top of the list.
Hugh is nearer the top of the list. In fact he IS at the top of the list now. The two he wanted more information about have been discounted because there were things about them that weren’t right. There are three in the middle that are still contenders. So now he’s thinking seriously about Hugh. He likes the boy well. He is heir to a good estate and he is a person of good repute and taste. He will treat William’s daughter well. He does just wish that Hugh was maybe a little bit younger because he’d like that for his children that they have a better age match than he had himself, but nevertheless the difference is not too much. (somewhere between 11 and 12 years) And he likes the lad well. The more he becomes familiar with Hugh, the better he likes him.
Now onto Hugh Bigod, Mahelt's husband.
What sort of things does Hugh like to do in his leisure time before his marriage to Mahelt?
Alison: I’m hearing singing already even though I’m not there yet. I can feel the air in the lungs and hear the singing and hear all the background noises of eating and drinking. There’s the smoke of the fire, sheepskins on the floor, warm orange flames, and more songs. When they run out of songs they send out for more songs – ‘Who can remember another one, who can remember another one?’ So this goes on for hours and hours until they go to bed late in the night. It’s very dark. Some people are very tired and some are still humming. The beds are warm because they’re all near the fire and they all go to bed like cubs – all relaxed and curled up. There’s still that lovely atmosphere of togetherness in the room.
So anything else? I can smell grass. The sky is so bright it’s dazzling his eyes. Big clouds but the sky is bright. It’s lovely. He’s standing somewhere on a hillside overlooking a lot of land. The feel of the air coming towards him all unimpeded and just this massive sky. There’s a feeling of being part of it and all the edges blur, the land and the sky, his vision, the warmth of the sun, the warmth of him, the smell of the grass in the air. Everything is blurred and he’s part of the whole. The feeling is quite a high. It’s a spiritual experience for him. He likes to do that (come out on his own) and get that feeling, to get everything else out of his system, all the bad things and the small things out of his system. To clarify and cleanse. (so me time out of the house basically). Yes.
Anything he specifically likes doing other than that? Swords. He’s got a very brightly polished silver sword. The end of it is very bright and prominent. The rest of it is duller to me but that last portion of it is very bright and sharp. He’s making patterns with it, in the dust, and is also making patterns with himself by keeping the sword in the same place but jumping over it, keeping his hand on the hilt. He’s going round the sword, keeping the sword in the same position. So is it part of his training, or is it just fun? It’s a skill. It reminds me of the sort of feeling I got at school and my friends would have got where you do that Chinese skipping – a totally pointless exercise, but there was a skill in getting one piece of elastic over another piece of elastic and then hopping in and out in various different patterns.
Go toe time when the idea of the betrothal to Mahelt was first mooted?
I’m with Hugh. He’s very content, very calm, solid. I can see a bird of prey. They’re using a bird of prey not sure if they are training it or going hunting because the bird seems to be bringing back fish or sticks, doesn’t look like carrion. Anyway. Back to idea of marrying Mahelt. It’s not come from him; he’s not thinking about it at all. Oh, his mother is there at his right side. She’s saying to him. ‘You must marry someday and it behoves you to marry well. We have been careful thus far.’ I get the sense that they’ve been playing a bit of a game and offering alliances just to jolly people along and this has prolonged the game a little bit.
Hugh says ‘Well, it must happen sooner or later; it will happen when it’s ready,’ and he looks at her as if wondering what she means, he looks at her for information, very open eyed. And he says, ‘What is it that you’re suggesting?’ And she says ‘Consider Mahelt of the Marshal family.’
He feels very flat at this and kind of swallows. Why – because she’s still a child to his twenty something?
Yes, I think so. In his mind’s eye he sees William and Isabelle as large figures and he can hardly see little Mahelt as if she’s lying down and kind of insignificant. I think he’s thinking, ‘Yes, well if she survives into adulthood.’ Because the way he saw her was in an effigy position. ‘Yes,’ his mother says,’Well think on it. She will be older before long, and she will be a good catch from a family of such stability and wealth.’
And Hugh says ‘I will think on it’. I don’t think he sees it as any different from the other people they’ve been jollying along so doesn’t get a special feeling about it.
I asked to see Hugh first noticing Mahelt as a Future wife.
Alison: I’m with Hugh and I feel very calm. There are traces of humour glinting through his eyes and up and across his upper stomach. He’s having a very nice meal with lots of people sitting at a long table and they’re conversing as well – having a chit-chat and he’s enjoying it. Ah yes, here’s Mahelt. She’s sitting on the other side of the table to him on the right. Every so often he looks at her. Oh, I see why he’s laughing now! When he looks at her she initially looks coy and embarrassed, but then she darts him this really naughty, playful look that’s strong and just like Mahelt is, and he just thinks it’s so funny, and incongruous with this very young girl. He finds it very amusing and fascinating and exciting. She’s lively and every time he looks at her it sparks something off, so it’s really nice. He likes it, he likes her, but it’s very light hearted. After these little exchanges of glances, he becomes more serious and goes inside himself to check it feels right, which it does. He feels this will work.
Next Sunday. Mahelt and her brothers - the hostage situation, and Hugh and his brothers.