Prologue: A Father and Son
I entered the ship, Griffin with anticipation of our journey. I noticed that there was 200 people on board plus cattle, goats, sheep, and pigs. We all brought provisions for every families on board such as food, clothing, housewares, tools for building, and farming items including seeds and shovels. The ship was good sized, but because of cramped conditions, it was very dirty. The voyage itself would take at least a few months to get there. Since the ship was overcrowded, the risks of catching dangerous diseases like smallpox, dysentery, fevers, and seasickness could lead to our deaths.
I was thinking that I might have been a fool coming onto the ship, but then I remembered my father and our relationship. I recalled the memories while I was looking out at the vast ocean:
It was England in the Late 1500′s when my father, Robert Hurde left his father’s estate to pursue a trade because he was the sixth son of a knight, George Hurde. George fought in the French Wars of Religion, which was an English victory, and he received a coat of arms from King Henry VIII. This coat represented the “Hoard” family which had a raven proper hoarding wheat, a crane proper, a silver top shield, blue on bottom shield and a golden lion rampant which represented extreme courage. It had two stars representing the sixth son.
Even though he was a son of a Knight, Robert had to find a source of income because he could not inherit the estate. He became a Yeoman for the King and recorded a delivery of jackets, luxury gowns and swords for the King and his family.
A yeoman was considered a petty officer with a very low rank. He was like a personal assistant to a high ranking official, a gentleman who was titled or non-titled, or tradesman. Yeoman did clerical, secretarial duties such as writing directives, forms, reports, and errands such as deliveries and pickups. Some yeomen were helpers of merchants, tailors, and other tradesmen.
My father did a lot of traveling for his boss, the King, and while he was doing his duties, he met a beautiful young lady named, Christina and married her. A year later, she had a me, John Hurde, and was named and baptized in 1612.
I had two siblings. They were both girls. Their names were Hannah and Mehetable. My father taught me everything I needed to know about the trades. I developed a love and an extreme joy in cutting, designing, and sewing cloth, buttons, and other material, so I wanted to become a tailor. My father took me on his trips and recommended me to do sewing projects for his friends. He also taught me how to farm and build, so that I could take care of myself when I got to be an adult. Some of my fondest memories was when he would help me with my studies. He said that I would need them later in life if I ran my own shop.
When I turned sixteen years old, my beloved father became very sick with consumption. One day I was working on an order from his neighbor when I was notified by the doctor that my father was on the verge of death, and he told me to hurry and to go see my father for the last time.
I dropped what I was doing and rushed into my father’s bedchamber. I noticed my father was frail, coughing up blood, and very pale. He was gasping for air.
He waved me over to the side of his bed and talked with a whisper, ” John, my time has come to go to the Lord. Please promise me you will take care of your mother and your sisters. Also, there is a book on the table full of contacts. I want you to look up William Hutchinson out of Lincolnshire. You have met him before. Do you remember?” I nodded yes. He continued, “He will help you with your apprenticeship. He has been a real good friend of mine since you were born. Please promise me that you will contact him after I am gone.”
I looked at my father on his deathbed and I started to tear up. I replied with tears in his eyes, ” I promise. Father, please do not go yet! You promised me that you would never leave me.”
His father said in a whisper, ” I know, but I am dying, and its beyond my control. Just know that I love you, and that I am proud of you. I will always be watching you from Heaven, my son. Be brave, honest, and always do good! William will help you. Do not worry!
I started to cry and said between my weeping, “I know... I love you too... Goodbye!... Papa!”
Right after I told him that, my father breathed his last breath and was gone.
I wept for days. We buried my father in the burial ground by the church, and I comforted mother and my sisters for quite a while. I kept my promise to father. After a few weeks of mourning, I sought contact with the man who my father recommended for me to contact. That man was a merchant named William Hutchinson.
I sent him a letter asking to work for him, since I knew William was a merchant who dealt with all kinds of products that tailors use. I was hoping for William’s recommendations for tailoring to his clients. The letter said,
Dear Mr. Hutchinson,
I am contacting you to let you know that my father, Robert Hurde died a few weeks ago. He told me to contact you about working for you as an apprentice in the tailoring field. I would like to know if you could take me on. Thank you for your time, John Hurde
Little did I know that my life was about to change forever....
That is it for now! I hope you all liked the first chapter. Like and comment below if you have any for me. Also, this is my first book, so be easy on me. Also, the father’s name is fictional since I am having a tough time finding John’s records in England.
Anyone want to guess what will change John’s life?
Like, vote, comments and ratings welcome!