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Authors: Jean Plaidy

Daughter of Satan

BOOK: Daughter of Satan
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Contents

About the Book

About the Author

Also by Jean Plaidy

Title Page

Epigraph

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Copyright

About the Book

Even Tamar's mother believed that the child had been forced on her by the Devil when, against her judgement, she was persuaded to attend a midsummer sabbat of witches. In a world of superstition and intolerance, the wild and beautiful Tamar seemed doomed to a violent death. Intelligent though untutored, she attracts the wanted attentions of two gentleman, one passionate, the other pious. But all thoughts of romance are suspended when the terrifying witch-pricker comes to town…

Daughter of Satan is a moving and exciting novel of fanaticism and persecution, of witches and puritans, pirates and savages. From Old Plymouth to New Plymouth in search of a new life, came Tamar, the passionate pilgrim, the woman whom many believed to be the daughter of Satan.

About the Author

Jean Plaidy, one of the preeminent authors of historical fiction for most of the twentieth century, is the pen name of the prolific English author Eleanor Hibbert, also known as Victoria Holt. Jean Plaidy's novels had sold more than 14 million copies worldwide by the time of her death in 1993.

Also by Jean Plaidy

THE TUDOR SAGA

Uneasy Lies the Head

Katharine, the Virgin Widow

The Shadow of the Pomegranate

The King's Secret Matter

Murder Most Royal

St Thomas's Eve

The Sixth Wife

The Thistle and the Rose

Mary, Queen of France

Lord Robert

Royal Road to Fotheringay

The Captive Queen of Scots

The Spanish Bridegroom

 

THE CATHERINE DE MEDICI TRILOGY

Madame Serpent

The Italian Woman

Queen Jezebel

 

THE STUART SAGA

The Murder in the Tower

The Wandering Prince

A Health Unto His Majesty

Here Lies Our Sovereign Lord

The Three Crowns

The Haunted Sisters

The Queen's Favourites

 

THE FRENCH REVOLUTION SERIES

Louis the Well-Beloved

The Road to Compiègne

Flaunting, Extravagant Queen

 

THE LUCREZIA BORGIA SERIES

Madonna of the Seven Hills

Light on Lucrezia

 

ISABELLA AND FERDINAND TRILOGY

Castile for Isabella

Spain for the Sovereigns

Daughters of Spain

 

THE GEORGIAN SAGA

The Princess of Celle

Queen in Waiting

Caroline the Queen

The Prince and the Quakeress

The Third George

Perdita's Prince

Sweet Lass of Richmond Hill

Indiscretions of the Queen

The Regent's Daughter

Goddess of the Green Room

Victoria in the Wings

 

THE QUEEN VICTORIA SERIES

The Captive of Kensington

The Queen and Lord M

The Queen's Husband

The Widow of Windsor

 

THE NORMAN TRILOGY

The Bastard King

The Lion of Justice

The Passionate Enemies

 

THE PLANTAGENET SAGA

The Plantagenet Prelude

The Revolt of the Eaglets

The Heart of the Lion

The Prince of Darkness

The Battle of the Queens

The Queen from Provence

The Hammer of the Scots

The Follies of the King

The Vow of the Heron

Passage to Pontefract

The Star of Lancaster

Epitaph for Three Women

Red Rose of Anjou

The Sun in Splendour

 

QUEEN OF ENGLAND SERIES

Myself, My Enemy

Queen of this Realm: The Story of Elizabeth I

Victoria, Victorious

The Lady in the Tower

The Goldsmith's Wife

The Queen's Secret

The Rose without a Thorn

 

OTHER TITLES

The Queen of Diamonds

Daughter of Satan

The Scarlet Cloak

Daughter of Satan
Jean Plaidy

Out of small beginnings great things have been produced, and as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone to many.

BRADFORD

(Governor of Plymouth Colony)

ONE

TAMAR WAS CONCEIVED
one midsummer's night during the most glorious and triumphant year which England had, up to that time, known.

Her mother was a poor serving maid, and when she was asked who had fathered the child, she would lower her eyes and do all she could to avoid giving the answer. If she were pressed, she would mutter something to the effect that it had been no fault of hers; the child had been forced on her in the darkness of night and she had not even seen its father's face. But she, the child's own mother, was one of those who believed Tamar's father to be none other than the Devil himself.

It was Whit Sunday.

The sea sparkled and the sun beat down on the rocks so that it seemed as though they were streaked with amethyst and chrysoprase, rose quartz and jade; the gorse had never seemed so golden as it did that Maytime; even the clumps of sea-pinks – that most modest of flowers – appeared to jut out from the slated rock with a new-born defiance. The haunting fragrance of hawthorn blossom was in the air, mingling with the scents of the sea and land; and the unparalleled charm of English springtime was doubly sweet that year.

On this Sunday morning, Richard Merriman had been unable to remain in his house at Pennicomquick; there was too much excitement in the air; and he, like many others, must go into Plymouth to attend the special church service. He left his horse to be watered and fed at an inn a stone's throw from the Hoe, and he walked out to face the keen wind and look out across the Sound before making his way back to the town.

One look at him was enough to show him to be a most fastidious man. His breeches were made of velvet and he wore no garters to keep up his stockings, which might have suggested he was rather proud of his calves; the sleeves of his jerkin were open from shoulder to wrist to show the rich cloth of his doublet. He was pale of face, haughty and most elegant; he looked what he was – a mixture of savant and epicurean. His love of learning was not shared by his friend and neighbour, Sir Humphrey Cavill. Sir Humphrey was a man whom all men – and women – understood; a heavy drinker and fast liver, Sir Humphrey had sailed the Spanish Main with John Hawkins and Sir Francis Drake, and it was said that half the children between Stoke and Pennicomquick had the Cavill nose or those deep-set, striking blue eyes of Sir Humphrey's. Richard Merriman was more selective than his friend, who was merely his friend because he was his neighbour.

What a sight it was on that sunny morning! Richard stood on the Hoe, and looked at that array of colourful glory.
Ark, Revenge, Elizabeth Bonaventure
and
Mary Rose
– there they lay, pulling at their anchors as impatient, it seemed, as Sir Francis certainly was to break away and go out to meet the Spaniard; then
Victory
and
Nonpareil
– all flying the red cross on a white background, the flag of England. And there were many more – a fine fleet, but Richard knew that, on the way to meet them, was what some believed to be an even prouder and more magnificent armada of ships.

At any moment now the first of the Spaniards might appear on the horizon. At dusk that very night the beacons might suddenly begin to blaze along the coasts of Devon and Cornwall.

The bells were pealing as he left the Hoe and walked into the town. He went on to the Barbican and walked thoughtfully along the fishing quay. On such a day as this there was much for a man to think of. On these very cobbles, not so long ago, King Philip of Spain had walked, an honoured guest; for the greatest enemy of the reigning Queen had been the adored husband of Bloody Mary, her predecessor. Times changed and these days were pregnant with great happenings.

He went through the cobbled streets past groups of people
who shouted and whispered, laughed and looked grave. From diamond-paned casements girls called to others who leaned towards them across the narrow streets, which were teeming with apprentices and merchants, fishermen and old sailors.

He reached the square, but there was no room inside the Church of St Andrew on that Sunday morning, and it was necessary for him to take his stand with those outside.

The tension in the crowd was such as he had rarely witnessed. So, he thought, must the burgesses of this old and noble city have felt more than a hundred years before on that sunny Lammas Day when the corsairs of France had tried to subdue them. Excitement was stronger than apprehension, for excitement was what these people craved; here was the cradle of those adventurers who were determined to challenge and subdue the power of Spain.

Among them now, here outside the church, was many a man who had sailed with Drake and hoped to sail again. These men would flock to their ships when the hour for action came. They loathed the Spaniard as only those could who had come into contact with his fanatical cruelty. They knew that when the dignified galleons appeared on the horizon they would bring something besides men and ammunition – thumb-screws, the scourge, the rack and all the instruments of torture of the dreaded Inquisition. They would bring a fanaticism and an intolerance into a land which had had a taste of these things when the wife of the Spanish King had ruled them.

‘Never again!' said the men of Devon; and men were saying this all over England. It should not happen again while Sir Francis and his kind lived to prevent it.

The service was at length over and the worshippers were coming out into the sunshine. There was Martin Frobisher, and with him John Hawkins. Cheers went up for these brave men. And now . . . the moment for which they had all been waiting had come, for out of the church came Lord Howard of Effingham and beside him Sir Francis Drake himself.

Here was the idol of Plymouth – the one man among all these great men whom all longed to serve and to follow to the death. His beard touched the fine lace of his ruff; his sweeping
moustaches curled jauntily; his full-lidded, twinkling eyes surveyed the crowd, accepting its homage.

‘Sir Francis, God bless thee!'

‘Sir Francis for ever!'

He doffed his cap. Adventurer, charmer, showman, he bowed, and took his companion by the arm as though to introduce him to the crowd; the full lids were lifted as though to say: ‘You and I, men of Devon, must accept this man. You and I – for the sake of courtesy – will do him honour as the Lord Admiral of the Fleet; but we know, do we not, who will beat the Spaniard. We know whose courage, whose resourcefulness will bring us victory. And you, good men of Devon, while – for courtesy's sake – you will follow him, will truly follow me with all your heart.'

A murmur ran through the crowd. Drake commanded and, as ever, Drake would be obeyed. Drake said: ‘Homage to my Lord Howard of Effingham,' and so the men of Plymouth would do homage to the noble lord. Had Drake said: ‘To the Devil with Howard. Follow none but your leader!' then there would have been mutiny in the Fleet.

A smile curved Richard's fine, thin lips. How stimulating to contemplate the power that was in this man to set the mood of a mob. The Queen was a woman, and a foolish one at times. Did she not realize how easily she might have lost her throne when she asked Drake to take second place to Howard? She still ran a risk. Noble birth alone could not defeat Spain's Armada. And if Drake was a parson's son of yeoman stock, yet had he the power, as no other had it, to make men follow him. Tradition demanded that the Admiral of the Fleet should be a noble lord and so here came my Lord Howard of Effingham to take the place which should have belonged to Sir Francis Drake.

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