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Tuesday 12 April 2016

J is for...Jacobites' Apprentice

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Jacobites' Apprentice

Throughout April I have invited 26 authors who had been selected as Editor's Choice by the Historical Novel Society Indie Reviews
 to help me out with the 2016 A-Z Blog Challenge...

Except to be a little different I interviewed 
their leading Character/s...

Today's Character is from :

HH : Hello! I believe you exist in David Ebsworth’s  novel, The Jacobites’ Apprentice. Would you like to introduce yourself – tell us your name, and what do you do?
My name? Well, that rather depends on where, or perhaps when, you might have encountered me. If you intend that time in which so many of us were pretending – Charles Edward Stuart to the throne of England, and myself to serving as his agent – then you may have known me as William Owen. And, la! What a dance I led those Jacobite dogs while in that guise. They could have seized London, you may collect, had I not spun such a deception to send them scuttling back to their Highland hovels – and the fate they all so richly deserved. Yet, had you met me in sweeter times, you may have been graced with my true name, Dudley Striker, and in doing so exclaimed, ‘Sirrah, what a douce fellow he is!’

HH : Jacobites? That would be the Rising of 1745, I suppose. So are you a real historical person or did your author create you?
Ebsworth, you mean? The fellow claims to have created me, naturally. Based on one of German George’s spies, Dudley Bradstreet, he says. Yet a pox on him, madam. Is it not obvious that I am flesh and blood?

HH. Oh, indeed! But in a few brief sentences, might you tell us about the novel in which you feature?
Sedition, madam. It’s about sedition. Those Jacobites – Papists, for the most part – in rebellion against our anointed king, George the Second, may the Almighty bless him. And the rebels supported by rogues and Tory rascals in rats’ nests like the towns of Manchester and Wrexham. It was my job to root them out. To stamp out their damned treasons. But, God blind me, none of us could have foreseen where it would lead us all.

HH :  I ‘met’ my pirate, Jesamiah Acorne on a beach in Dorset, England -  how did your author meet up with you? 
Oh, the scoundrel spins this tale about how he worked a while in Manchester itself, and only then discovered the story of the town’s part in the Pretender’s rebellion. He researched the background, he says, and came across this Bradstreet person. Inspired him to write my character – and we had our first meeting in that damn’d Manchester Coffee House.

HH : Tell me about one or two of the other characters who feature with you. Who are some of the nice characters and who is the nastiest one?
God’s Hooks! A rum bunch. Young Aran Owen, for example, adopted as apprentice to Titus Redmond, a Manchester merchant, smuggler and leading Jacobite. The foolish lad was beholden to Redmond and devoted to his eldest daughter, Rosina. But that fro’ward girl was driven by her own passions – for the local Coffee House proprietor, a tribade, no less - Elizabeth Cooper. But Redmond had other plans for the girl – a political marriage to his main rival, leader of the Loyalist faction, James Bradley – yet unaware that the fellow was already playing fast and loose all that time with Redmond’s own wife, Maria Louise. And each of them up to their necks in the rebellion too – on one side or the other. But I loved them all. They provided me with a considerable amount of amusement. Yet a nasty character? I fear that does not quite signify, madam. Unless, perchance, you might have been implying…

HH : No, not at all. Perhaps we should move on. Maybe tell us about your favourite scene in the book?
Oh, it is undoubtedly the one in which I was forced to persuade Aran Owen that he needed to act as my eyes and ears within the Redmonds’ faction. He was imprisoned at Lancaster Castle just then. A remarkable place. All manner of devices for helping one to loosen the will of even the most reluctant accomplice.

HH : What is your least favourite? Maybe a frightening or sad moment that your author wrote.
The trap that he allowed Aran Owen to set for me and seek his revenge. Blast his eyes, I swallowed the whole thing like the most innocent of bubbles. A riddle, by God’s Teeth!

HH : What are you most proud of about your author?
Proud of Ebsworth? The fellow’s nothing but a damn’d scribbler. Leaves me to take all the risks and then claims the credit. There is this secret organisation he belongs to, for example. Some “Historical Novel Society” – and he claims they saw fit to make him a finalist in a contest. For this very tome, The Jacobites’ Apprentice, which would be less than nothing without I graced its pages!

Master Ebsworth
HH : Has your author written  other books about you? If not, about other characters? How do you feel about your author going off with someone else!
Indeed not! And, as I pen this missive, I lie in some Welsh prison.  At Caernarfon. Awaiting the Great Sessions, the Welsh Assizes. They tell me I may meet my end  hanging in chains on Twllhely Marshes. Well, we shall see! And that faithless dog, Ebsworth? Yes, he has left me here to rot, or worse, while he goes a-ranting about all manner of other strange places and times.

HH : As a character if you could travel to a time and place different to your own fictional setting  where and when would you go?
Travel to a different time? How fanciful. I cannot conceive of such a thing. But a different place? Of course. Did I never tell thee, sweet one, how that pampered peer, Lord Halifax, succeeded in claiming for his own almost five million acres covering the Virginia Colony’s Northern Neck, including those lands worked by my own family? Stole everything we possessed. But had I the freedom to do so, I should return there and wreak a terrible vengeance on the dog. And, strangely, I received word, while lying here, festering in this place, that the same Aran Owen I mentioned earlier has himself been invited to join an expedition to the American Colonies. As an artist. How jocose it might be if I could only find a way to escape this prison, make my way to the Americas also. Surprise young Aran, as you might say. I wonder, Good Mistress Hollick, might you have a word with that fellow Ebsworth for me?

Well, I’ll do my best! But thank you anyway. That was really interesting!

Now where can readers of this A-Z Blog Challenge find out more about you and your author?

Twitter: @EbsworthDavid

Buy on 

Here is the company we will be keeping on this 
A-Z Blog Challenge!

A 1st  Friday - Aurelia  - Alison Morton
B 2nd Saturday  - Bloodie Bones - Lucienne Boyce
C 4th Monday - Man in the Canary Waistcoat Susan Grossey
D 5th Tuesday - Dubh-Linn  - James Nelson
F 7th Thursday - Fortune’s Fool- David Blixt
H 9th Saturday - The Love Letter of John Henry Holliday) - Mary Fancher
K 13th Wednesday - Khamsin- Inge Borg
L 14th Thursday - Luck Bringer   - Nick Brown
N 16th Saturday - A Newfound Land  - Anna Belfrage
O 18th Monday - Out Of Time  - Loretta Livingstone
P 19th Tuesday  - Pirate Code  - Helen Hollick
Q 20th Wednesday - To Be A Queen – Annie Whitehead
R 21st Thursday  - The Spirit Room - Marschel Paul
U 25th Monday  - A Just And Upright Man - John Lynch
X 28th Thursday – The FlaX flower – AmandaMaclean

So call back tomorrow 
To meet the next exciting Character! 
(unless it is Sunday - in which case, I'll have something different 
but just as interesting !)


  1. I can definitely understand why William couldn't conceive of being anywhere else in time. I like your theme.

    1. Thank you J.L - we've had some fantastic characters already, and some superb ones to come!

    2. Thanks for the post, Helen. Loved doing this!

  2. David it sounds from this as if you had a lot of fun with this fellow! Many congratulation at getting to the final. My suspicion is William won't end up hanging in chains at Twllhely Marshes. I hope not!

    1. As William Owen, Mistress Victoria, I suppose it could be argued that I deserve to dance the jig. But as Dudley Striker? Ungrateful nation to ignore the small matter of my saving the country single-handed from the Jacobite curse. I simply wish that Ebsworth would make up his mind, one way or the other. But I have a modest scheme of my own, and you can depend upon it that I shan't simply end my days in the gibbet!

  3. Oh, what a marvellous interview. William Owen, you are a most striking character - I'm delighted to meet you and hope your author ensures your speedy release.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Mistress Loretta? Give you joy of that exquisite name, my dear. Perhaps we might share a dish of geneva, a dash of diddle, at some stage - if you will forgive this rum dab for being so fro'ward. But you must call me Dudley, meanwhile. The name William Owen had now outlived its usefulness. And if I'm to escape the nubbing cheat, it must be under my true name - Dudley Striker. At your service, ma'am. Always!

    3. Oooh, very smooth, dear sir. I must confess, I am almost tempted. But la, I ever was attracted to a smooth-tongued rogue, and I fear no good would come of it. But, mayhap...well, who knows what the morrow may bring. (My husband, probably.) ��

    4. Oh, a fie upon all husbands, madam. And you think no good would come of such a tryst? Well...

  4. What a wily old fellow you are; perhaps you justly deserve to be rotting in jail. Although I suspect your author might come to your rescue yet - if you stop maligning him; because we here are quite taken with his talent.

    1. Old, sirrah? You said "old"? I collect that you have all grown bold as Nabobs in this strange world you now inhabit. But wily? Yes, I hope so, else I should not have survived so long among this Jacobite banditti. And I do not malign Ebsworth. He's not a bad fellow - for a scribbler. But do you know that he's never once killed a man? Never. How can that be?

  5. So very interesting. You know your character so well.

    Meet My Imaginary Friends

  6. Thanks Kathleen. Just thought I'd try and get a word in edgeways before that peacock comes back. To be honest, villains like Dudley Striker are probably the easiest characters to write and remember. Or does that say more about me?? Hmmm. Oh, and please don't tell him I said "villain" - I'll never hear the end of it!

  7. I doubt not that you'll gain your freedom, set sail for the Colony of Virginia, right old wrongs, and be running the place in no time! And though a well traveled man of your sensibilities may find Virginians a tad provincial, and think Williamsburg a rather small place, I'll wager you'll find few places as beautiful.

  8. Williamsburg, sweet lady? Yes, I know it. Our own lands lay within the Northern Neck but, as a child, I visited Williamsburg twice. And you have the right of it! A pretty little place. But the Virginians I knew best were far from provincial. They were Lenapes, skarure-speakers of the Algonquian tongue. They taught me much that I now value. Stealth and forest-craft. The proper use of knife and axe. And, my pardon for your sensibilities, mistress, but we used them well, to give short shrift to those damn'd Catawbas when they took to the war trail and came a-calling upon our territories. But you tempt me, madam. Might it be impertinent to ask that, if I am able to return, I might find you waiting there - in Williamsburg? La! Such a thought.

  9. Hallo Dave, great blog! Very funny to hear a character getting his own back on his author!!

    1. It's fair enough, isn't it? I spend all my days making life impossible for them. Can't expect them to like it very much. Except that, with Dudley Striker, I always had this sneaking suspicion...

    2. It's fair enough, isn't it? I spend all my days making life impossible for them. Can't expect them to like it very much. Except that, with Dudley Striker, I always had this sneaking suspicion...

  10. Zounds! This secret society of scribblers that the faithless dog Ebsworth belongs to sounds the stuff of sedition itself and should be rooted out before it takes hold and threatens order in the land.


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