Chapter 8 Week Before the Wedding
With just one week before the wedding, my final test was to sleep in Mary’s room on her bed. This was going to be the toughest couple of days because even though we have a board separating us, it was still a temptation because of our strong attraction to one another. I am resolved to wait until our wedding night to be intimate.
After dinner Sunday evening, we were sent to get ready for bed. I made sure I put on a night shirt, and I kept my breeches on. I wanted to make sure I had enough cloth on my body as to not tempt Mary. I did not want to be a stumbling block to Mary. (A stumbling block is something that will make someone sin). I did not want her to succumb to lust and fall into sin. I noticed Mary had the same mindset. She wore a nightgown that covered all her skin up to her neck and stockings that covered her legs. It was modest and showed no skin. We wanted to fight temptation.
There was a board that went down the middle of her bed. This board was low enough to hold hands but not cuddle or hug. We could talk and give each other a kiss sitting up, but we were not allowed to touch each other. Trust me it was very difficult not to touch her when we kissed, but we did it. The kiss was not too long either.
We talked about many topics in bed those nights. We talked about how many children we wanted. Of course, we decided we would have as many as God would allow. We hoped that our children would helpful in my future tailoring shop. We hoped for boys and girls. We heard about the high death rates of the kids in the area because of disease. We prayed that our future children would be healthy. I would be lying if I was not looking forward to making children, but I told her that we could start on the wedding night which was not too far away with a teasing smile and raising my eyebrows up and down. She turned beet red when I said that, and I chuckled and told her that she was so adorable.
I also mentioned to her that I would stay at Cole’s Inn on the night before our wedding, and that I would take her there on our wedding night and one night following. I wanted our wedding night to be special and away from all those who know us. These two nights we would be alone, and without a board and all these clothes on. She turned red again, and I chuckled. I loved teasing her about intimacy.
The final plan I told her about was finishing my temporary dwelling for us that William gifted me when I finished my contract. We would live there until I am granted land and build a nice home with a shop. I planned to become an inhabitant after 6 months of living there, so I can be declared a free man after. The temporary dwelling will allow us privacy as newlyweds. We would want to be alone and work on starting a family. We could not do that here at the Heaton’s. She agreed completely and was so excited. She asked if she could come and look at the home with me? I said, “Sure, why not?” I did not have a problem with a woman making decisions especially about a home. She knew what we needed to start with more than I did.
I asked her if she wanted to work with me at the tailoring shop when I open it? She said,” Sure... Anything to keep us together.” I could be busy in the back sewing and making clothes, and she could handle the customer service and order processing. Once we have children, I could teach the boys the trade, so they could help or even take over ownership when I die. Teaching the older children would relieve her, and she could focus on having more babies and maybe continue to be a nurse for others.
When we were finished our conversations, we gave each other a short kiss, held hands, said our prayers, and said goodnight. About an hour later, we let go of our hands because it made our arms hurt, turned facing each other and fell asleep. This would happen for six nights in a row. Our wedding is on the first Monday in September, so I would sleep in the Inn on Sunday night before the wedding.
The next morning
We woke up, and we were uncomfortable in our clothing, so I ran to my room. I washed up and changed into fresh clothes. Mary did the same. We met in the dining room. We did our morning prayers and ate breakfast. The Heaton’s came to join us. We told them that we were going to look at our temporary dwelling to make sure it would be ready for next week. They thought it was a good idea, since we will be newlyweds, and we would want our privacy.
Mary and I went to look at the dwelling. It was like a small cabin. It was two rooms. The main room had a kitchen area with a fireplace to cook. It had a small table to eat on and a small sitting area with a couple chairs. It had a desk in the corner to write on. The other room was our bedroom. This room had a bed, closet, and an armoire for clothing storage. The kitchen had shelves, a pantry closet, and a hutch for dishes. This dwelling was not very big, but it would do for our needs. Mary was very happy with it, and felt it was a great place to start.
When I took Mary home, Nathaniel was waiting for me and asked me to join him in his study. I said sure. We went into his study, and he told me that he noticed how nice our wedding clothes came out. They were well sewn and of really good quality. He also thanked me for the new clothing that I made him. He said they were well made, and they fit him well. He offered me a small area in his store where I could work to make more clothes. This would give me a regular clientele for my big shop when it is built. He also asked if he could sell some of my designs in his shop. He would give me most of the profits, and he would keep a small percentage for rent. This would only be temporary until my shop opened. He felt that I would need a steady income stream, so I could build my own home, pay board for my temporary dwelling and support Mary. I agreed.
I did tell him about the dwelling, and that Mary and I would move in next week. I also told him that I would be staying at Cole’s Inn the night before our wedding, and I would have my wedding night and the next night there as well. He understood my need for privacy, and I was going to be a newlywed, so he understood why. He did tell me that there might be a couple people listening for evidence of consummation and might make noise. I thanked him for the information. I told him that I will probably peak out and send them away. I thanked him, shook his hand, hugged, and patted his back!
I went to Cole’s Inn to confirm my reservation for those three nights and paid for it ahead of time. We would be getting married on Monday morning, so my first night would be on Sunday. They assured me that I would get the best and understood my need for privacy with my new wife but did allow friends outside the door. Once deed was done, they would send them away. I arranged meals to be taken up to our room, flowers, baths, and any other needs ahead of time. These would be scheduled, so they would not interrupt too much. I wanted time with just me and her....
The next chapter will be the wedding. There is just so much going on. I hope you all are enjoying this book. It has taken a lot of background research. The courting practices, wedding steps, the plans for housing, the Inns, passenger list on ships, government officials, the Christian perspectives and values. Some of this story is fiction, but all character names, places and dates are real. A small honeymoon in an Inn probably did not happen, but I put it in this story because I could not see them having a wedding night in someone else’s home. I tried to keep this story true to it’s time period.
Cole’s Inn is an actual Inn in this time period. It turned into a tavern shortly after 1639.
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