The King has been Dead for 3 years, and Cromwell has England, Ireland and Scotland under his command...
The royalist, James Shaw, often wondered why tales of adventure and daring were almost exclusively crafted around the rich and powerful. Later in life he would come to wish things had remained that way. When Charles I was executed, James took to the highways of England and, like many of his compatriots, became a Knight of the Road, stealing from Cromwell's purse, occasionally giving it to the poor -- usually humble inn-keepers, or hard-up wenches in possession of a loose-fitting blouse and an ample bosom to match. Certainly, Shaw's was a roguish, hand-to-mouth kind of existence.
His woes began on Christmas night in 1651, when he cried the immortal words "Stand and Deliver" to a solitary rider approaching him beneath the spire of St Jude's.
"If it is in your mind to rob the hapless traveller, mark him well."Lucifer smiled, "He may be your undoing".
James neither believed in the Devil, nor was he impressed by the single silver coin that sat overly warm in the palm of his hand. A feeble bounty, to be sure. With a groan, he shot the impudent stranger and left his body for the crows.
Days later, upon an inauspicious stretch of road, James was caught by a particularly intolerant patrol of Roundheads, whereupon he was hanged from the bough of a copper beech . He awoke the next day, still hanging, apparently immune to death, though evidently not to pain. At length, a passing friar cut him down.
His throat crushed and his voice stolen for ever, James could barely thank the man. Nevertheless he took this meeting as a sign from above and resolved to find salvation... of a type at least... Salvation's path is difficult one to tread to those with a wayward step.