"For over a thousand years the Word of God was bound, hidden in the darkness and deception of Romish traditions. Then... a trumpet sounded; a light sprang forth from the depths of darkness, and the ancient scriptures were opened." Ruth Ann Ellinger
We begin our story with the death of Patrick Hamilton (1504 – 1528). He was a Scot, a leading Protestant reformer, a charismatic thinker who preached the gospel to the common people. He was eventually arrested, tried as a heretic by Archbishop David Beaton, and burnt at the stake at St Andrews. In the wake of this tragedy, we meet the Carmichaels, a lowland clan caught up in the fires of the reformation that swept across Europe.
While Peter’s story is taken from historic accounts, his involvement with Genevieve Chancellor is from my own imagination. We do know that the Chancellors and the Carmichaels were close neighbors, the family seat of the Chancellor family is located near Biggar Scotland where Shieldhill Castle remains today as an upscale hotel and events center. In some instances, names and locations have been changed to augment the storyline.
Interesting glimpses of Katherine’s involvement with young King James V of Scotland, later to become his mistress, is named in "Memorie of the Somervilles" Vol 1, 373-386, the Somervilles being an influential clan who entertained Katherine and young King James V at 12thcentury Cowthally Castle, Camwath, their baronial estate, in Lanarkshire Scotland. The Castle is now a protected ruin.
A more detailed account of the King of Scots pursuit of Katherine, a reluctant subject, is found in the ancient book of Scot Lore, Vol. 1, pages 290-291. It describes the young King’s pursuit of Katherine and Lady Somerville’s attempt to protect Katherine from the King’s unwanted advances. When Katherine was released from court as mistress from King James V, John Somerville, (Robbie) took Katherine as his wife.
I chose to use proper English for this series, using only a few well-known phrases easily understood by most readers. The Edinburgh History of the Scots Language by Charles Jones, Edinburgh University Press, 1997, provided a detailed description of the vocabulary of the Scots language from the earliest time to present day.
I am not attempting to write an account of the Protestant Reformation, neither a scholarly examination of the theology of the Reformers but follow one family’s involvement in those extraordinary times of spiritual upheaval. In contrast to academia’s hypotheses, I, the writer, envision the impacting scenes that happened between the lines, imagine those tender and stirring words never recorded in history, remember love known only in secret, and write about the honor and integrity of those whose brave deeds were never valued or remembered…except by God.
Ruth Ann Ellinger
In THE BROKEN SPEAR, book one of the Stone of Destiny series, the reader is plunged into the midst of the turbulent years of the Protestant Reformation.
Set in the misty shires of the Southern Uplands of Scotland, the Reformation fires have been ignited by William Tyndale’s New Testament translation in English. The Carmichaels of the Clyde Valley are suspected of treason to the Church and face the ongoing threat of papal retribution.
Peter Carmichael, a young activist, falls in love with a beguiling daughter of a devout papist, complicating his life and his mission. Peter’s uncle, Sir John Carmichael; his father, William; and his cousin, Katherine, mistress to young King James V, are caught up in the horrific events of heretic burnings and inquest. But a trumpet is sounding, and there is no stopping the religious awakening sweeping across Europe.
The reader follows the lives of one compelling family living and loving through the hazardous times of the Protestant Reformation. Is it a time for peace or a time to wage war for God? Even once close-knit families are in jeopardy of becoming divided.
Does history repeat itself? Until this day, God’s people have always faced false religious systems that defy the very foundations of biblical truth. Will the Carmichaels of the Clyde Valley recant under the increasing threats of papal retribution, or will their faith hold fast to the revealed truth available to all in the Word of God?