John Deane of Nottingham

W.H.G. Kingston
John Deane of Nottingham, by
W.H.G. Kingston

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Title: John Deane of Nottingham Historic Adventures by Land and Sea
Author: W.H.G. Kingston
Illustrator: A.H.C. and W. Cheshire
Release Date: October 31, 2007 [EBook #23273]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ASCII

Produced by Nick Hodson of London, England

John Deane of Nottingham
Historic Adventures by Land and Sea

By W.H.G. Kingston.

John Deane was a real person, and I hope that the readers of this my
book about him will be as much pleased with it as I was with the
history of his adventures, placed in my hands by a friend who long
resided at Nottingham. He was born at that town A.D. 1679. Though of
gentle parentage, in his early days he followed the occupation of a
drover. He then went to sea, and became a Captain in the Navy; after
that he was a Merchant Adventurer. He next took service under Peter
the Great, and commanded a Russian ship-of-war. On leaving Russia,
he obtained the post of British Consul at Ostend, held by him for many
years. Returning home, he was made a Burgess of his native town, and
took up his abode at the neighbouring village of Wilford, where, in
1760, he died. In the quiet churchyard of that sweet spot, his tomb and
that of his beloved wife Elizabeth are to be seen:--
"His age, fourscore years and one."
"After life's fitful fever, he sleeps well."
The Author.
Romantic Sherwood! Its pristine glories since the days when bold
Robin Hood and his merrie men held sway within its borders, and
levied taxes from the passers-by, had sadly dwindled even in the year
1696, when our history commences. The woodman's axe had been busy
and the plough had gone over the land, and mansions and homesteads
had arisen where once flourished the monarchs of the forest, and the
huntsman's horn had been wont to sound amid sequestered glades; still

many a wide stretch of woodland and moorland remained, over which
the fallow deer roamed at freedom, and rows of far-spreading trees
overhung various by-paths green and narrow winding in all directions,
and shaded the king's highway which ran north to York and south to the
ancient and pleasant town of Nottingham. And there were likewise
majestic avenues leading to the abodes of nobles and squires, and thick
copses and scattered groves, above which rose the hoary giants of
ancient days; and by the borders of the streams and rivulets which find
their way into the Trent numberless trees had been allowed to stand.
Wide strips also of grass-land were to be found running even with the
road or between different estates, extending sometimes in an unbroken
line for several miles together, with oaks and elms and beeches
stretching out their umbrageous branches to meet from either side, and
preserving by their shade the soft velvet of the turf even during the
heats of summer.
Thus the old forest trees, if marshalled in close order, would have
formed a wood of no inconsiderable magnitude.
The noon-day sun of the warm summer was shining down on the
branches of the wide-spreading trees shading a long woodland glade,
such as has been described running from the north towards Nottingham,
the walls of whose siege-battered castle could be seen in the far
distance, where on a slight eminence the trees opening out afforded a
momentary glance of the country in front.
Just at that spot a gentleman of middle age, mounted on a strong, active
horse, accompanied by a young lady on a graceful palfrey, was riding
at a leisurely pace along the glade in the direction of the town. The gold
lace with which his long, loose riding-coat was trimmed, his
embroidered waistcoat, the gold ornament which secured the turned-up
flaps of his beaver, and more than all, the jewel-hilted sword by his
side, bespoke a person of position. He wore also leather breeches and
buff-leather boots, the usual horseman's dress of the period.
The fair girl by his side sat her horse with that perfect ease which habit
alone can give. Her blue riding-coat was turned up with white, with
broad flaps and pockets, the petticoat below being of the same colour;

her waistcoat was elegantly embroidered, and the small three-cornered
hat with a jewel in
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