|— Derby resident —|
|Personal motto: '|
|Place of Residence||(unknown), Derby, Mercia|
|Account created||06 October, 2007|
Fleta was a maid in the Royal Household who eventually became personal maid, secretary, research assistant and hat-stand to Queen Aggnes, mainly because she was one of the few capable of keeping up with her. She inherited the Queen's personal estate at Derby, and has spent much of her time since travelling and studying, in accordance with Her Majesty's instructions.
Slim, dark hair. "Fleta was a good head taller than Taarna". Dresses modestly and appropriately for any occasion, so as not to draw attention to herself. She will usually be carrying various useful small tools: a sewing kit, writing implements, and so on.
Tastes and other RP notes Edit
Middle-class upbringing in London.
Spent enough time at Court to know what goes on behind the scenes. Appreciates things that she knows take a lot of work. Food - acquired a taste for highly spiced things, as a result of having to dispose of things that Aggnes and Cullan either didn't like or weren't allowed to eat. Doesn't like "messy" eating.
In 1465, she is 25, so born in 1440.
She is a member of the Winslow family, daughter of Roger Smith, a blacksmith from Wanborough, in Wiltshire, and Rose Winslow. Rose is the daughter of Henry and Constance Winslow - Constance had previously been a ward of Henry's father Ebenezer, her own parents having died.
Roger moved to London because he was the youngest son in a family of blacksmiths, and there is a limit to how many smiths a village with a population of 200 needs. While he will do the ordinary work of a smith (shoeing horses and so on), he much prefers the very fine work required for jewellery. He has a shop in Cheapside, and the family live over it.
Fleta's next youngest sister, Margaret (Maggie) has married Ralph Shelton, from Ormesby, on the Norfolk coast. They have two children, Ralph (3, blonde and blue-eyed like his father) and Alice (1, dark like her mother and aunt). (In RL history, the elder Ralph will later become Sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk, and the family line through a son yet unborn eventually leads to one Horatio Nelson.)
Early history Edit
In June of 1462, when Fleta was 22, Roger was asked to create a copy of a certain coronet, only using paste jewels and low-grade metals, to be used as a "second best". Fleta recognised the arms on the coronet, and therefore who the new owner was, and why she probably wanted the cheap copy. She would have been discreet about it in any case, but this was assured by her being offered a reward for her silence: not a position in the Countess of Lonsdale's own service as her father had requested, but at Royal Court. At first she was employed mainly as a scribe, but was taught the essentials of serving as a lady's maid as well, and learnt fast. There was however a certain amount of secrecy about this, in part because her mother, conscious of her own very middle-class background, insisted that for Fleta to make the most of her good fortune, she should not admit to being associated with them but instead give her best impression of someone from a much higher class. Since this fitted in quite well with Fleta's professional preference to have no known association with the jeweller who had aided Aggnes in asset-stripping the regalia of every title she possessed (including, eventually, the Crown Jewels), she went along with it, although reluctantly, since she loved her family. In later years, this separation was as much for their protection as her own - Aggnes made enemies, and the hostility could easily transfer to her maid, and to any possible hostages to fortune.
Queen's Hatstand Edit
At the Royal Wedding, Fleta was merely one of a number of Royal Maids, assisting the bridesmaids with their dresses, and Taarna in particular. Soon afterwards, though, she became part of the new Princess of Wales' close entourage, being noted as one of the few who could keep up with her punishing schedule, and eventually, think fast enough to anticipate her needs. She was also the coordinator of much of Aggnes' personal intelligence service, having access to many places, and a remarkable memory. She had reached the pinnacle of her ambitions, looking forward only to the pension and perhaps small house that a royal servant might expect on her retirement, many years in the future.
In May 1464, Queen Aggnes died in childbirth. In her will, she left Fleta her house and smithy in Derby, and what was left of her personal fortune, with instructions to use the money to travel, and to finish her education. This was exactly what Fleta had aimed for as her ultimate goal, only reached about forty years earlier than she had expected.
Lady of Leisure Edit
Fulfilling her ambitions quite this early left Fleta at a bit of a loss as to what to do next. She did not lack respect from from very influential people, but she lacked ambition - there was simply nothing left about which she felt much passion. She followed her instructions to travel and to complete her education, but in a disinterested fashion.
Even before the funeral, however, her advice and help was being sought - Fred Cribbin's invitation to the reading of the Royal Will was delivered by Regent Lark requesting that Fleta locate him. As Fleta thought at the time:
"...all she was expected to do was find a man who could be anywhere in England and was notorious for avoiding the attentions of the gate guards and their paperwork. Anywhere in England, that was, except London. Not good for the health of the donkey. And she had less than a day to do it. Either someone had no idea just how impossible that was, or someone knew how good she was..."
As time went on, discreet invitations to take up various offices were issued, and for the most part, declined. Her memory of certain historical events and their meaning was sought, even her advice on politics, at times.
Founder member and pilgrim in RCOW. 23 June 1464
Travelled with a theatrical troupe to Devon, and spent a lot of time there picking herbs and selling them to the county, resulting in a medal: nominated by Kleophas Rose, Count of Devon for a CMP, awarded in February 1465.
Sailed with Siren to France in order to read a book, then back to Derby, completing her university studies 21/03/1465.
Attended wedding of James and Rain (one of the four stations), and the Royal Wedding, viewing it from the Winslow family ship.
Appointed as a Crown Rep to the RHA.
Travelled to Porto, then Valladolid, crewing Siren's barge, the Tien Lung, as she went there to buy herself a new Genovese trader. Was gifted the barge as a result, and sailed it home to Derby with Ainvar as crew.
August 1465, awarded a second CMP by Adelaide_grace as Countess of Mercia, and received it in Court. Requested by King Moratt to attend the Yellow Rose room as a legal adviser.
Royal Scribe Edit
In December 1465, appointed to the Privy Council of Queen Siren as Royal Scribe, the Queen being illiterate.
June 1466, sold the Tien Lung to John Winslow.