First edition cover






Young adult

Historical era

English Civil Wars


Richard Kennedy

Simon is a novel for young adults published by Oxford University Press in 1953, illustrated by Richard Kennedy. It was Sutcliff's fifth book, and the first to deal with what would become her characteristic subject matter, military life and the close friendship between two young men. It follows a young Parliamentarian soldier in Devon during the first English Civil War, which divide him from his best friend, a Royalist.


One October afternoon in the reign of Charles I, eleven-year-old best friends Simon Carey and Amias Hannaford, the sons of a Puritan farmer and a Royalist doctor respectively, seek out an isolated cottage near Torrington named Solitude to consult the wandering musician Pentecost Fiddler on a question of zoology. Pentecost tells them that he sailed on Sir Walter Raleigh's last disastrous expedition to the New World, and the boys note that Solitude's sinister reputation would make it an excellent refuge for a fugitive (1). The following September, it is one of the familiar haunts, along with Simon's home of Lovacott, to which they bid goodbye at the start of four years of boarding school (2). The next August, word reaches Torrington that King Charles has raised his banners against Parliament. For the first time in their lives, Simon refuses to follow Amias's lead in drinking to the king's success, and they part bitterly. The same day, Simon's father rides away with the Militia (3).

In September of 1644, Simon witnesses the retreat through Little Torrington of the Parliamentary horse commanded by Colonel Ireton from the Battle of Lostwithiel. He rescues a wounded officer named Colebourne and volunteers to guide the 600 cavalrymen around Royalist-held Torrington to Barnstaple, allowing them to get cleanly away (4). In February of 1645, newly turned sixteen, Simon goes to join the Parliamentary cavalry at Windsor, meets Colebourne by chance, and is instantly introduced to the Commander-in-Chief Sir Thomas Fairfax, who commissions him as a cornet in Fairfax's Horse on the strength of his work at Little Torrington, over the head of a resentful senior cornet named Denzil Wainwright (5). A month into his training with Second Troop, Simon's non-commissioned officer, Corporal Zeal-for-the-Lord Relf, tells Simon the bitter story of how he lost his bulb farm in the Fen country when his life savings and a new-bred hyacinth bulb were stolen after his brother's death (6).

In mid-June, after the King's escape north from the siege of Oxford, Fairfax and Cromwell's armies combine for the Battle of Naseby, which despite the collapse of the Parliamentarian left wing becomes a rout of the royal forces. It is Simon's baptism of fire (7). In billets that evening, Corporal Relf meets an acquaintance from home, who tells him that his neighbours have believed him dead for two years, and that his good friend James Gibberdyke has come into money and a new kind of hyacinth bulb. Relf is missing at muster the next morning (8). Two days later, Corporal Relf is captured, court martialled, and mercifully sentenced to flogging and transfer, rather than hanging. Outraged that he is not let pursue a righteous vengeance, Relf escapes again (9).

The New Model Army returns to the West Country, defeating the main Royalist army at the Battle of Langport in July and encircling Exeter in November. At the attack on the manor of Okeham Paine in mid-December, Simon comes face to face with Amias, engages him, and is knocked unconscious (10). He awakes in the care of Okeham Paine's stern Puritan mistress, Mrs. Killigrew, and her shy and silent daughter Susanna. On the eve of his departure, Susanna drops her reserve, and answers the question that Simon has agonised over for days: Amias is probably in Exeter with the rest of the Royalist garrison (11). The next day Simon is transported to hospital in Crediton, where on Christmas Day he learns from a Royalist prisoner that Relf, pursuing his vengeance, joined the Royalist army whose cause he utterly despises in order to track down James Gibberdyke, serving under Prince Rupert (12).

In January, Simon is reassigned to pass intelligence reports from the Scouts out of Lovacott (slightly the worse for wear under the Royalists), under pretense of sick leave. On the eve of his departure, he is finally comes to blows with Denzil Wainwright, who swears petty vengeance (13). A fortnight later, the increasingly-chaotic Royalist occupies Torrington; Simon's Torrington contact Podbury kills James Gibberdyke in a tavern brawl and is arrested; Zeal-for-the-Lord Relf, his guard, brings his information to Simon and makes Podbury's escape to a hiding-place in the Torrington gunpowder magazine; Simon's sister Mouse discovers his activities; and Relf refuses to beg for an official return to the Parliamentarian army (14). Two days later, Amias arrives at the head of a group of soldiers to search Lovacott for Relf and Podbury. He recognises Simon instantly, but covers for him with Mouse, and Simon knows that the battle at Okeham Paine was not the end of their friendship (15).

Three days later, on 16 February 1646, Simon rejoins his troop for the Parliamentarian attack on Royalist-held Torrington. As the Parliamentarian cavalry is chasing the routed Royalists across the river, the Torrington powder store explodes, with two hundred Royalist prisoners inside it (16). The next day, a trooper reports seeing the man who probably blew up the magazine, and recognising the description for Amias, Simon joins the search parties scouring the countryside for wounded (17). Discovering Amias in one of their old haunts unconscious with a shrapnel wound, he takes him to Solitude and returns to town for Amias's father Dr. Hannaford, who points out to him that he is breaking the regulations of his own army. Simon admits it (18).

Shortly after Dr Hannaford finishes searching Amias's wound, they are surprised and arrested by Denzil Wainwright, who has followed them from Torrington. Brought before Fairfax, Amias explains that he was occupied with escaping with his company colours and had nothing to do with blowing up the powder store – but Simon is undeniably guilty of harbouring the enemy (19). They are interrupted by the report that a dying prisoner dug out of the ruins of the magazine can testify to how the powder was accidentally set off. Simon is forbidden to tell Fairfax that they are looking at Zeal-for-the-Lord Relf, who dies with his honour, by his own eccentric lights, restored. Fairfax takes mercy on Simon, and returns him to duty without punishment. On Midsummer's Day, the King's forces concede defeat at Oxford, and the First English Civil War comes to an end (20).

In the spring of 1650 – after the renewal of war, the execution of the king, and the resignation of Fairfax in protest – the spy Podbury reappears at Lovacott, and corroborates Relf's story of the Torrington explosion – troopers with matchlocks, hearing the noise of Podbury's escape, burst into the magazine and ignited the loose powder. Relf is innocent (21).


Pre-war Edit

  • 1415 (2): Battle of Agincourt. The Careys come into Lovacott.
  • 1603-16 (1): Raleigh imprisoned in the Tower of London
  • 1617 (1): Pentecost joined Raleigh's last voyage
  • 1629 (1, 5): Simon born
  • 1653 (3): Simon and Amias first meet.
  • 1654 (1): Pentecost "finished with the sea half-a-dozen year agone"
  • 1640 (1)
    • August (2): Scottish Covenanters invade Northumberland
    • October (1): Simon is "ten-and-three-quarters," Amias eleven.
  • 1641, September (2): Simon and Amias begin boarding school. Scarlet is born.

1642 (3) Edit

  • August 22: King Charles raises his standard at Nottingham
  • August 24: Simon and Amias part ways; the Devon Militia rides to war
  • October 23 (4): Battle of Edgehill
  • "a few weeks" after Relf's departure with Cromwell (6), Aaron Relf dies and their property stolen

1643 (4) Edit

  • March: Simon sees Col. James Chudleigh
  • April: Chudleigh defects to King Charles
  • May: Bideford and Torrington taken by Royalists, Barnstaple yields
  • July 28 (8): Battle of Gainsborough, Relf reported dead at home
  • September 20 (4): 1st battle of Newbury

1644 (4) Edit

  • April: Amias joins Prince Maurice's army attacking Lyme
  • July 2: Battle of Marston Moor
  • August: Barnstaple retaken by Parliament
  • September 2: Battle of Lostwithiel
  • c. September 3-7: Royalist siege of Barnstaple

1645 (5) Edit

  • Early February (5):
    • Simon turns 16
    • A week later: Simon joins the New Model Army at Windsor
  • Early March (6): Simon befriends Corporal Relf
  • 11 March (7): 2nd Royalist siege of Taunton begins
  • 28 April: Fairfax sent to relieve Taunton
  • 7 May: the King escapes from siege of Oxford
  • 31 May: Royalist sack of Leicester
  • June (7-9):
    • 5 (7): Fairfax leaves siege of Oxford to pursue Charles north
    • 13 (7): Cromwell and Fairfax rejoin forces on eve of battle
    • 14: Battle of Naseby
    • 15 (9): Relf deserts; cavalry returns to Naseby
    • 16: Relf recaptured
    • 17: Relf court martialled, flogged
    • 18: Relf escapes again
    • 20: New Model departs Naseby
  • July (10):
    • 10: Royalist defeat at Battle of Langport
    • 12: Lord Goring reinvests Barnstaple
    • Late July: riots in Dorset, fall of Bridgwater
  • August: fall of Bath, Sherborne ["Sherbourne"]; siege of Bristol
  • September 20: fall of Bristol
  • October:
    • siege of Tiverton
    • 2 days later: fall of Tiverton Castle
    • Next month: New Model Army quartered at Tiverton
  • November:
    • Mid-November: Grenville withdraws from Okehampton, leaving road to Exeter open
    • End of November: siege of Exeter
  • December:
    • 12th: attack on Okeham Paine
    • 13th (11): Simon awakes in Okeham Paine; Susanna is locked up for listening to a fiddler on the Sabbath
    • 15th: Simon introduced to Susanna
    • 16th: Simon befriends Susanna
    • 17th: Simon sent to Crediton
    • 18th (12): Barnaby brings news of Amias
    • December 18: capture of Eggsford House
    • December 24 (11): Susanna's 14th birthday
    • December 25 (12): Simon in hospital in Crediton ("upwards of a fortnight")

1646 Edit

  • Mid-January (13): Royalist army falling apart
  • c. 3 weeks after Simon's return to his Troop: Reassigned to North Devon
    • Next day: leaves for Lovacott
  • February:
    • Early February (11): Simon's 17th birthday
    • 11th, a fortnight after arriving (14): Hopton's army invests Torrington, Gibberdyke killed, Podbury arrested, Relf makes contact with Simon, Mouse finds out
    • 12th: Relf jailbreaks Podbury
      • Night of the 12th: Relf returns with intelligence
    • 13th (15): Amias searches Lovacott for Relf and Podbury
    • 16th (16): Parliament forces occupy Stevenstone Park
      • Evening of the 16th: Battle of Torrington
    • Saturday the 17th (17): Simon joins the search parties; Simon and Amias arrested; Relf dies
    • Sunday the 18th (20): Royalist prisoners admitted to the New Model Army
    • 17th-21st: 5 days' occupation of Torrington
    • Thursday the 22nd: New Model leaves Torrington for Cornwall
  • March: Lord Hopton's army surrenders at Truro
  • May: King's Army besieged in Oxford
  • Midsummer's Day, June: Oxford surrenders
  • 1648 (21): Outbreak of Second English Civil War
  • 1649, January (21): King Charles I beheaded
  • April 1650 (21): Amias returns to Torrington, Podbury visits Lovacott

Selected references Edit

Page references from the 1953 Oxford hardcover edition.

  • (1632 or 3 - Simon meets Amias.
    • p29. "Ever since they were three years old, and the Doctor had brought out his small son on his saddle-bow when he came to tend Diggory for the flux, it had been the two of them, Amias leading, Simon following.")
  • 1. The Golden City of Manoa – October 1640; Simon is ten. Simon and Amias befriend Pentecost Fiddler.
    • p7. "Amias always led in all their doings, partly because he was eleven and Simon was only ten and three-quarters, partly because he was the kind who leads and has brilliant ideas, whereas Simon was the kind who follows loyally, and does his best to save the brilliant ideas from ending in disaster."
  • 2. The Last Day's Freedom – September 1641. Political trouble brewing. Simon and Amias entering school; Scarlet the horse born.
    • p16. "On a still September afternoon Simon and Amias lay up in the high orchard behind Lovacott...In the year since that wild autumn afternoon when they had called on [Pentecost]..." " 'Oh, I wish we were sixteen!' said Amias...'Four years,' groaned Simon."
  • 3. A Toast to the King - August [1642]. King Charles raises his banner; Simon and Amias break up. 4Simon forbidden to join up until he's sixteen.
    • p25. [Opening sentence] "All through that winter [following autumn in chapter 2] and the spring that followed, the wildest rumours were rife in the West Country."
  • 4. Horsemen from the West - September 1644; Simon is fifteen. Summary of first two years of war; Amias joined Prince Maurice "last" April, 1644; Master Carey with Lord Leven's Covenanters. Simon guides Colonel Ireton and Essex Horse's retreat through Torrington from the battle of Lostwithiel.
    • p37. "The village had a very peaceful look in the early autumn quiet of 1644, so that it was hard to believe that England had been at war within herself for more than two years...Parliament had triumphed at Marston Moortwo months ago"
    • p44. "From the bell-slits in the tower an occasional crack and a puff of blue smoke, whipped away by the September wind, told where a marksman was at work."
  • 5. Fiery Tom - February 1645; Simon just turned sixteen. Simon joins Fairfax's Horse in Windsor as Cornet of Second Troop; meets Sir Thomas Fairfax.
    • p50. “More than a week had passed since, having turned sixteen, he had said good-bye to his family and Lovacott and set out…It was yet early in February”
  • 6. The Empty Hoard - March 1645. Settles into the troop; feud begun with Denzil Wainwright; story of Zeal-for-the-Lord Relf’s fortune, lost in autumn 1642.
    • p62. "During that spring all Windsor was one great camp..."
    • p66. "One morning about a month after Simon joined the Army..."
    • p70. “ ‘Twas just after that the war broke, and Cromwell was gathering his men against Charles Stuart, that Man of Blood, and I joined him, that I might also smite the Amalekites. I hadn’t been gone but a few weeks when word reached me that my brother was dead.’ “
  • 7. Into Battle – [14] June 1645; morning. Summary of previous six weeks’ action; semi-omniscient description of the battle of Naseby.
  • 8. ‘Mine Own Familiar Friend’ – 14 June 1645; evening. Zeal-for-the-Lord learns of James Gibberdyke’s perfidy; goes AWOL.
  • 9. Sentence of the Court Martial – 16 June 1645. “On the evening of the second day” since reported missing, Zeal arrested. 17 June – Tried, morning, and lashed evening. 18 June – AWOL again.
  • 10. The Campaign in the West – 10 July 1645, battle of Langford; 20 September, siege of Bristol ended; October 1645, Tiverton invested, cameo by Lady Fairfax; mid-November 1645, followed Sir Richard Grenville into Cornwall; 12 December, attack on Okeham Paine, Simon injured by Amias.
    • p184. “ ‘I was wounded at the assault on Okeham Paine, on December the twelfth.’”
  • 11. Susanna – 13-17 December 1645. Simon wakes a night and day after the assault; spends next three days in bed; meets Mistress Killigrew and befriends Susanna Killigrew.
    • p128. “ ‘I shall be seventeen in February.’ ‘And I shall be fourteen on Christmas Eve.’”
  • 12. Tidings of Old Friends - 25 December 1645. Simon’s last night in hospital at Crediton; hears from a Royalist prisoner that Zeal-for-the-Lord has joined the Royalist army following Gibberdyke.
  • 13. Special Duty – mid-January 1646. Royalist Army flagging; Simon sent home to pass intelligence reports in North Devon; fight with Denzil Wainwright.
  • 14. Of Cocks and Fiddles – February 1646; Simon seventeen. Lord Hopton occupies Torrington; 11 February - Zeal-for-the-Lord makes contact with Simon; 13 February - two days later, delivers Podbury's report; Mouse enters the secret.
  • 15. The Royalist Officer – 13 February 1646; same day as last scene of ch. 14. Amias searches Lovacott for Podbury; Amias and Mouse flirt with danger; Master Carey loses a leg three weeks earlier.
  • 16. ‘Emanuel, God With Us!’ – [16] February 1646; three days later. Parliament Horse gather at Stevenstone; Simon rejoins Disbrow’s Troop; battle of Torrington.
  • 17. The Man on Castle Hill – 17 February 1646. Mopping up; Simon learns of destroyed powder store; hears rumour of alleged culprit.
  • 18. Loyalties – 17 February 1646; evening. Simon finds and hides Amias.
  • 19. ‘No Man Shall Harbour the Enemy’ – 17 February 1646; night. Simon and Amias discovered and arrested; questioned by Fairfax.
  • 20. The Call Comes Home for Ishmael – 17 February 1646; night. Zeal-for-the-Lord clears Amias; dies. Amias released on parole; Simon pardoned. 18-23 February –occupation of Torrington. March 1647 – Lord Hopton surrenders at Truro. May 1647 – King Charles fugitive. June 1647 Oxford surrenders; Civil War ended.
  • 21. After Many Days – April 1650; Simon 21, Amias 21, Susanna 19; Mouse 19-20. Second outbreak of war quashed; king executed; Simon farming, Amias doctoring. Podbury explains the events of the powder store.
    • p241. “It was more than a year since the bitter January morning when the King had stepped out from the window of his banqueting hall onto the waiting scaffold; more than four since the battle of Torrington”


Parliament forces Edit

  • Lord-General Sir Thomas Fairfax (4), "Fiery Tom", Commander-in-Chief of the New Model Army and colonel of Fairfax's Regiment. Dark, gaunt, about 32, slow of speech or stammering, friendly to subordinates (5). Nursing an old shoulder wound in October 1645 (10).
    • Major Disbrow (5), Fairfax's regimental 2IC, captain of Second Troop of Fairfax's Horse (5). Hit at Torrington (17).
      • Captain-Lieutenant Barnaby Colebourne (4), shot and rescued by Simon at Little Torrington (4). A connoisseur of fashionable boots (5).
        • Cornet Simon Carey (1) "a square dependable-looking boy with a shock of barley-pale hair", "the kind who follows loyally", son and heir of a North Devon squire (1). Commissioned Cornet in the New Model Army February 1645, just after turning 16 (5). Sees action at Naseby (7), Tiverton, Langport, injured at Exeter (10). Relays intelligence in North Devon before Battle of Torrington (20). Promoted Lieutenant at Maidstone during 2nd Civil War. Takes over the management of Lovacott manor from John Carey from 1646 onward (21).
          • Corporal Zeal-for-the-Lord Relf (5), old Ironside, strict Puritan. Lost his brother, his savings, and his farm a few weeks after joining the Lovely Company in 1642 (6). Deserts to kill the thief, flogged, escaped (9). Joined the Prince Rupert's army at Bristol summer 1645 (12). Caught up with Gibberdyke in Torrington (14).
          • Perks (6), trooper under Simon
          • Wagstaff (6), trooper under Simon (6). Carved his name on a farmhouse windowsill to keep his hands occupied (8). Hit in the leg at Stevenstone (16).
          • Clerk (8), trooper under Simon hit at Naseby
          • Saundry (8), trooper assisting Clerk
    • Major James (17), leading the search for the wounded after Torrington
    • Captain Ralf Marjory (5), old Ironside (5), senior captain of the regiment, a Yorkshireman (9).
    • Captain Bennet (5), "a hell-fire red-hot Anabaptist", Anderson's roommate (5). Argues against hanging Relf (9). Badly wounded at Torrington (17).
    • Captain Mostyn (9), junior captain of the regiment (9). Killed at Torrington (17).
    • Captain-Lieutenant Meredith (13)
    • Lieutenant Anderson (5), "old Sober-sides", unsuspected flautist, Bennet's roommate
      • (Corporal) Trooper Pennithorn (17), met Amias on Castle Hill, rather stupid (17).
    • Cornet Denzil Wainwright (5), touchy senior cornet posted to Third Troop. Harrasses Simon in resentment at being passed over (5). Worsted by Simon in a fist-fight and vows revenge (13). Catches Simon rendering assistance to the enemy (18).
    • Cornet Fletcher (5), Barnaby and Simon's roommate (5). His brother was taken prisoner and hanged in Cornwall by Grenville in 1645 (17).
    • Trooper Hughes (17)
    • Peter (19), Fairfax's Galloper
    • John Rushworth (5), Fairfax's grey-haired secretary
    • Pastor Hugh Peter (6)
    • Chaplain Joshua Sprigg (7), service before Naseby (7). Ministering to the wounded including "Ishmael Watts" in Torrington (20).
    • Dr. David Morrison (9), Fairfax's friend and regimental surgeon, a Scot. Prone to whistling "The Flowers of the Forest".
    • Lady Fairfax (10), joined her husband in Tiverton
    • Mother Trimble (12), senior camp follower, veteran of the Swedish wars, wife of a sergeant
  • the Earl of Essex (4), commander in the West Country in 1644
    • Sir Philip "Daddy" Skippon (4), commander of Foot at battle of Lostwithiel, forced to surrender (4). Chief of Staff of the New Model Army (6). Commanded the centre at Naseby, wounded (7).
      • Pride, Hammond, and Rainsborough's regiments (7), veterans in reserve that held the centre at Naseby
        • Colonel Hammond (10), commander of Foot while Skippon is wounded
    • Colonel Ireton (4), commander of Horse, "Essex's Bodyguard", at Lostwithiel & Little Torrington (4). Commanded the left wing at Naseby, wounded and taken captive, escaped within half an hour and rallied the remnant of his Wing (7).
      • Jenks (4), a trooper at Little Torrington
      • Captain Richard Cromwell (4), with Ireton at Little Torrington
      • Jerry (16), the vedette at Stevenstone Park
  • Lieutenant-General Oliver Cromwell (4), East Anglian cavalry commander of repute with ideas about raising armies (4). "Old Noll", commander the Lovely Company, then Ironsides, then of 6th Regiment of Horse of the New Model Army (6). Makes Simon his one-time Galloper after Torrington (18).
  • Lord Leven (4), joined in the Home Counties by John Carey after Marston Moor (4). Threatened by Charles and Montrose in June 1645 (7). A veteran of the Swedish Wars (12).
    • John Carey (2), Simon's father, master of Lovacott and Lieutenant of Torrington Company (2). Joins Lord Leven's army in the north (7). Loses his unlucky left leg in an explosion in January or February 1646 (15).
  • Sir Samuel Rolle (3), head of the Devon Militia
  • Sir William Waller (4), older general who recommended the formation of the New Model Army
  • Colonel Lutterel (4), led Barnstaple revolt
  • Walley's Regiment (7), first charge of cavalry at Naseby
  • Colonel Okey's Dragoons (7), at Naseby (7), took Great Fulford and Okeham Paine in siege of Exeter. Usually armed with matchlocks (10).
  • Captain Vanderhorst (8), borrows fodder for six from Simon's section after Naseby
    • Jonnie (8), a neighbour of Corporal Relf's from Spalding, serving with Cromwell at Ely and Naseby under Captain Vanderhorst
  • the Pioneers (9), "the scum of the New Model", sappers. Relf's reassignment, to which he never reports (9). Participating in the attack on Okeham Paine (10).
  • Second Regiment (10), holding the right at the Battle of Langport
    • Major Bethel (10)
    • Captain Evanson (10)
    • Captain Groves (10)
  • Sir Hardress Waller (10), brigadier general holding Crediton in siege of Exeter 1645
  • Fortescue's Regiment (12), at the siege of Exeter
  • Major Watson (13), of the Scouts ("a bunch of brigands who made up the Intelligence Services")
    • Benjamin Podbury (13), a former lawyer's clerk and "fairground thimble-rigger", scout assigned to Torrington (13). Arrested in a tavern brawl (14).

Royalist forces Edit

  • King Charles I (1), a vexed subject
  • Charles, Prince of Wales (20), "a wild and rather unpleasant youth"
  • General Lord Goring (4) officer at Lostwithiel, drunk (4). Holding Taunton in June 1645, defeated at Battle of Langport 10 July, escaped to Barnstaple (10). Deserts to Spain with army funds in late 1645 (12).
  • Sir Ralph Hopton (4), general driven into Cornwall in 1644 (4), appointed Commander-in-Chief of the disintegrating Royalist forces in January 1646, "an honourable man" (13). His personal Company are the Blue Coats. He leads the Horse at the Battle of Torrington (16), escapes to Cornwall (17), surrenders at Truro in March 1646, refuses a comission in the New Model and goes into exile after the Prince of Wales (20). An object of loyalty and admiration from Amias Hannaford (21).
    • Sir Richard Grenville (4) officer at Lostwithiel, a brute (4). Widely despised for cruelty; withdrew from Okehampton to Cornwall in November 1645 (10). "the Skellum", commander of Foot under Hopton in January 1646 (13).
    • Lord Wentworth (10), commander of Horse under Hopton in 1646 (13); commands the Prince of Wales's Horse, routed by Cromwell at Torrington (16).
    • Major General Molesworth (19) and his Regiment of Foot
      • Amias Hannaford (1), Simon's red-headed, slightly older best friend, "the kind who leads and has brilliant ideas". A doctor-to-be, "passionately interested in how things worked" (1), particularly explosives (3). A devoted Royalist, he leaves school in Tiverton to join Prince Maurice in April 1644 (4). Occupies Okeham Paine manor during the siege of Exeter Nov-Dec 1645 (10); is captured, paroled to Exeter (12), and escapes instead to Tavistock. Commands a troop in Torrington under Hopton February 1646 (15). Ensign of Maj. Gen. Molesworth's Regt. of Foot, captured after the Battle of Torrington, suspected of blowing up the magazine (18). Convalescent until the end of the 1st Civil War, then a medical student at St. Bartholomew's, London. Rejoins the King in 2nd Civil War (21).
  • Prince Rupert (4), Royalist leader (4), locally victorious commander of the right at Naseby (7). Forced to surrender at Bristol 20 Sept. 1645 (12). Ditto at Oxford June 1646 (20).
    • Captain Weston (12), Company commander over Relf in Prince Rupert's army at Bristol; taken prisoner at an Exeter outpost and in hospital for fever in Crediton Christmas 1645. A scholar.
    • James Gibberdyke (6), Relf's friend and neighbour, of poor reputation (6). Stole the Relfs' savings and their hyacinth bulb (8). Levied by the new Squire for Prince Rupert's army (12). Killed by Podbury in a tavern brawl in Torrington February 1646 (14).
  • Prince Maurice (4), Royalist leader
  • Sir Jacob Astley (4), Royalist leader (4), commanding the centre at Naseby (7)
  • Colonel James Chudleigh (4), erstwhile commander of the Barnstaple Garrison, now a Royalist turncoat
  • Sir Francis Storrington (4), pursuing cavalry officer at battle of Lostwithiel
  • Montrose (7), Scottish loyalist opposing Lord Leven's army in the north
  • Sir Marmaduke Langdale (7), commanding the left at Naseby
  • Lord Cornworth (7), stopped the king's counter-charge at Naseby
  • Lord Bath (10), read the King's Summons to Arms in Tiverton Market Place and was pelted with sheep's horns
  • Webb's Dragoons (14), entered Torrington with Hopton, arrested Podbury

Civilians Edit

  • At Lovacott and Heronscombe:
    • Anne Carey (3), Simon's mother, orderly and largely imperturbable (3). "Comfortable" (13).
    • Marjory "Mouse" Carey (2), Simon's younger sister, exasperatingly light-footed, but close-mouthed (2). Difficult to upset, like her mother, and secretly fond of excitement (15).
    • Diggory Honeychurch (2), "steward, horseman, and friend to the Careys." (2). In bed all winter (14).
    • Tom Honeychurch (2), Diggory's son, Lovacott ploughman
    • Phoebe Honeychurch (2), Diggory's "pippin-round" wife
    • Meg and Polly (3), the maids
      • Rizpah (2), a sorrel mare
      • Scarlet (2), her colt
      • Jillot and Ben (2), spaniels
      • Captain (3), Simon's pony
      • Balin and Balan (3), Simon's grandfather's swords
      • Hector (3), John Carey's war mount (3). Killed by the explosion that cost John his leg (15).
      • Selina (15), the inconveniently-lame cart mare
      • Ship (15), the cattle-dog
      • Joram (21), Jillot's youngest son
    • Jem Pascoe (14), the hurdle-maker, a neighbour
    • Bill Darch (14), a poacher
    • Grannie Pascoe (15), a neighbour frightened by Royalist foragers
    • Job Passmore (21), thatcher
  • At Torrington:
    • Dr. Odysseus Hannaford (1), Amias's father. A fencer and student of Padua University.
    • Mr. Braund (1), the schoolmaster
    • Thomasine Blackmore (1), the Hannafords' housekeeper
    • Grannie Halfyard (1)
    • A man with one eye and a ferret (1)
    • Pentecost Fiddler (1), itinerant musician presumably related to the Good Folk
    • Bess (1), a white owl inhabiting Solitude
    • Jem (3), the doctor's man
    • Matthew Weeks (4), pig owner at Little Torrington
    • the smith (4), at Little Torrington, uncle-in-law to one of Col. Lutterel's men
    • Lord Henry Rolle (16), owner of Stevenstone Park, a Royalist
  • At Tiverton
    • Mr Yeo (10), Tiverton chandler
    • Nick Veryard (10), of the Hand-in-Glove, Tiverton
    • Mother Tidball (10), vendor of sweets, friend to schoolboys of Tiverton
  • At Spalding
    • Aaron Relf (6), Zeal-for-the-Lord's brother, died early in the war
  • At Okeham Paine
    • Mrs Killigrew (9), outspoken Puritan mistress of Okeham Paine. Tall, stern, and fearless.
    • Jinny (10), "her little round henchwoman"
    • Susanna Killigrew (10), youngest of three daughters, excessively demure, of pale face and red hair, dark eyes. Turns 14 on 24 December 1645.
    • Mr. Killigrew (10), confined to bed with gout
  • Elsewhere:
    • Sir Walter Raleigh (1), "their most particular hero", author of the 'Discovery of Guiana'
    • Dr William Harvey (1), of St Bartholomew's Hospital, author of The Circulation of the Blood
    • Destiny (1), Raleigh's last ship and Pentecost's first
    • King James I (1), imprisoned, released, and executed Raleigh
    • Walt Raleigh (1), Raleigh's son, killed in the New World
    • Queen Elizabeth I (1), Raleigh's patron
    • King Hal (3), Henry VIII, to whose reign the Devon Militia's equipment may date


North Devon Edit

  • Heronscombe (1), a coombe between the Taw and Torridge valleys, containing:
    • Heronscombe (1), the village. Not occupied by Royalist troops in February 1646 (14).
    • Fris'tock Priory (2), former owners of Lovacott lands
    • Chapel Path (3), from the ridgeway to Heronscombe
    • Lovacott (2), the Careys' manor, comprising:
      • Sanctuary, Salutation, and Twimmaways, the three fields of the farm
      • The Old Warden (13), part of the orchard
      • the Spinney
      • Jewel Water (14), the stream in whose coombe Simon meets with the scouts
      • Lovacott Moor, under the chapel path on which Simon meets with the scouts
  • The Tor valley (1), draining into western Bideford Bay
    • The Torridge (1), river
    • Torrington (1), the local market town, on slope of Castle Hill above the Torridge
      • Castle Hill (1), with the manor mill at the foot
      • the Castle Green (19), last stand of Royalist Foot
      • Taddiport (1), "a disreputable clump of cottages" down on the Torridge
      • Mill Street (1), joining Taddiport to Torrington, with a bridge (1), scene of Royalist rout (16)
      • Market Square (3), fought over in Feb 1646 (16)
        • the Black Horse (17), Fairfax's HQ
      • Calf Street (3), fought over in Feb 1646 (16)
      • Goosey Green (3), where the road forks to Barnstaple ridgeway and Stevenstone Park
      • the Commons (14), above a sheer drop to the Torridge
      • South Street (16), narrow street containing the Hannafords' house, where the Royalist cavalry broke
      • the church (17), north of the Market Square; Royalist powder store, Relf's hiding-place
    • Solitude (1), alias "the Golden City of Manoa", a cottage on Fairy Ground in a clearing in the woods outside of Torrington, occupied by Pentecost Fiddler
    • Rotherne (1), a bridge below Torrington (1). Picketed (19)
    • Bideford (3), port on Bideford Bay, with a fort built by Chudleigh. Fallen to the Royalists (4).
    • Little Torrington (4), village in whose church Ireton's horse stands against Storrington's on retreat from Lostwithiel.
    • Langtree (4), village passed by Essex's B retreating from Torrington to Barnstaple
    • Weare Giffard (4), village with Royalist Hall passed passed by Essex's B retreating from Torrington to Barnstaple
    • Huntshaw (14), occupied by Royalists in February 1646
    • Stevenstone Park (16), great house near Torrington belonging to Royalist Lord Henry Rolle
    • Beaford (16), known unto Pentecost
    • Woodford (17), on the Holsworthy road at the upper reaches of the Torridge, bivouack of Cromwell's cavalry after Battle of Torrington
  • The Taw valley (2), east of the Tor valley
    • South Molton (1), eastern end of of Pentecost's range across North Devon
    • Tiverton (2), Parliamentarian populace, falls to Fairfax October 1645 (10).
      • Blundell's School (2), Simon and Amias board 1642-44
      • the Castle (10), held out for two days
      • the Hand-in-Glove (10), Major Watson's HQ (13)
      • the Market Place (10), where the butcher's wife threw sheep's horns at Lord Bath
    • Barnstaple (3), taken by Royalist forces, freed by Col. Lutterel, retaken by Lord Goring Sept. 1644 (4)
    • Chulmleigh (16), whence the Parliamentarians marched on Stevenstone before the Battle of Torrinton
  • Bideford Bay (3), drainage of the Torridge and Taw rivers, visible from the ridgeway above Heronscombe
    • Hartland (1), western end of Pentecost's range
    • Morte Point to Hartland (16), extremities of Bideford Bay visible from the ridge-road above Lovacott
    • Lundy (16), island in Bideford Bay, ditto
  • Exmoor (4), Essex's Bodyguard's route of retreat from Devon after the Battle of Lostwithiel

South Devon Edit

  • Exeter (10), held by Lord Goring's forces in autumn 1645, taken by Fairfax late November after Grenville's withdrawal from Okehampton
  • Okehampton (10), guards the way to Plymouth. Encampment of Sir Richard Grenville, abandoned in November 1645 (10), occupied December (13).
  • Plymouth (4), last Parliamentarian holdout in the West Country (4), blockaded by Royalists December 1645 (13)
  • Ottery St Mary (10), Fairfax's HQ during siege of Exeter
    • Ottery Marshes (10), feverish
  • Crediton (10), held by Waller's brigade during siege of Exeter
  • Powderham (10), one of several points securing the west of Exeter
  • Great Fulford, Eggsford House, Ashton (10), great houses taken by Okey's Dragoons to encircle east of Exeter
  • Okeham Paine (10), minor manor house holding the road to Exeter, taken by Parliament in mid-December (10.) Home of the Killigrews, staunch Puritans (11).
  • Broad Clyst (10), staging point for attack on Okeham Paine
  • the Dart and Teign (13), rivers between which part of the Royalist army is encamped in December 1645
  • Tavistock (13), quarters of the Prince of Wales in December 1645, guarding the Tamar valley
  • Totnes (13), magazine of the Prince of Wales Guard, staging ground for relief of Exeter
  • Dartmouth (13), taken by Fairfax's Foot during siege of Exeter

Elsewhere in England Edit

  • Cornwall (1), Royalist country (4)
    • Lostwithiel (4), battle of 2 September 1644
    • Launceston (13), where the Prince of Wales falls back from Tavistock
    • Stratton (20), where Hopton's army regrouped before retreating further into Cornwall
    • Truro (20), Hopton's new HQ, where in March he surrenders
    • the Scillies (20), islands off Cornwall to which the Prince of Wales flees en route to France
  • Berkshire
    • A tavern in Berkshire (6), above a weir on a backwater of the Thames, with a garden
    • Newbury (4), battle of 20 Sept 1643
    • Windsor (5), Royal town where the New Model Army is built
      • Keep of Windsor Castle, grey
      • Thames Street
        • Garter Inn, Fairfax's HQ
        • The White Hart, officers' quarters of Fairfax's Horse
      • Commons Fields to Datchet Mead (6), army camp
  • Northamptonshire
    • Naseby (7), battle site of 14 June 1645, north-east of the town in an upland valley
      • the Manor House (9), Fairfax's HQ
    • Kislingbury (7), Cromwell rejoins Fairfax 13 June 1645
    • Guilsborough (7), bivouack of the New Model eve of battle of Naseby
  • Leicestershire
    • Leicester (7), sacked by Charles
    • A village in Leicestershire (8), 14 miles from Naseby, where Cromwell's cavalry camps after Naseby
      • the Happy Return Inn, Cromwell's staff's billet
  • Somerset
    • Taunton (7), relieved by Fairfax before siege of Oxford
    • Yeo and Parrot (Parrett) valleys (10), Lord Goring falls back to these in June 1645
    • Langport (10), market town, half a mile from site of decisive battle of 10 July 1645, at the ford through a marsh on the west road
    • Bridgwater (10), west of Langport, fell to Fairfax late July 1645
    • Blackvale Moor (10)
    • Dunster Castle (10), Lord Goring's refuge from Battle of Langport
    • Bath (10), fell to Fairfax harvest time 1645
  • London
    • The Tower of London (1), Raleigh's residence
    • St. Bartholomew's Hospital (1), Amias's training-ground from 1646-1650
    • Whitehall (6), seat of Parliament
  • Northumberland (2), invaded by the Scots in 1639
  • Edgehill, Warwickshire (4), battle of 23 Oct 1642
  • Marston Moor, Yorkshire (4), battle of 2 July 1644
  • Spalding, Lincolnshire (6), flower bulb district in the Fens, where Relf had his holding
  • Sherborne ["Sherbourne"], Dorset (10), fell to Fairfax harvest time 1645. Not Sherbourne, Warwickshire.
  • Bristol, Somerset/Gloucestershire (10), held by Prince Rupert late summer 1645, taken by Parliament 20 September
  • Oxford (7), held by the king and besieged by Cromwell, then Fairfax (7), falls June 1646 (20)
  • Ely, Cambridgeshire (7), relieved by Cromwell, spring 1645
  • Newark, Nottinghamshire? (15), whence John Carey writes, short of a leg (15), falls after Exeter (20)
  • Maidstone, Kent (21), battle of the 2nd Civil War where Simon was promoted Lieutenant

The Continent

  • Padua University (1), Dr Hannaford's alma mater
  • The Spanish Main (1)
  • Sweden (5), Skippon and Lord Leven's old stomping grounds
  • The Low Countries (6), bulb land
  • Lorraine (9), solicited for aid by the King, with France and the Low Countries
  • France (20), refuge of the Prince of Wales

The New World

  • The Golden City of Manoa, Guiana (1), Raleigh's promised land
  • Jamestown, Virginia (21), Podbury's latest port of call

Background and referencesEdit

Balin and Balan, the pair of rapiers that belonged to Simon's grandfather and then to Amias and Simon respectively, are named for an Arthurian legend told in Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, and later used by Tennyson, Swinburne, and T.H. White. Balin, "the Knight with the Two Swords", was cursed to kill and be killed by his dearest friend. He later unknowingly fights his brother Balan to the death.

Adaptations Edit

"Simon", ad. Philippa Pearce, For the Schools, BBC Home Service, 1955

  • Part 1 (BBC Home Service Basic, 15 March 1955)[1]
  • Part 2 (BBC Home Service Basic, 22 March 1955)[2]

"Simon", ad. Felix Felton, Children's Hour, BBC Home Service, 1959

  • Part 1: A Toast to the King (BBC Home Service Basic, 10 June 1959)[3]
  • Part 2: Into Battle (BBC Home Service Basic, 17 June 1959)[4]
  • Part 3: Special Duties (BBC Home Service Basic, 24 June 1959)[5]
  • Part 4: Loyalties (BBC Home Service Basic, 1 July 1959)[6]

Publication historyEdit

In English:

  1. Oxford University Press, 1953. Hardcover. Illus. Richard Kennedy.
  2. Oxford University Press, 1959, 1966, 1967, 1979. Hardcover. Illus. Richard Kennedy.
  3. RHCP Digital [Random House Children's Publishers UK], 2013. E-book.

Other languages:

  1. Union-Verlag Freies Geistesleben, 1963, 1982, 1996. Simon, der Kornett : Eine Erzählung aus der Zeit Cromwells. German.
  2. Malherbe, 1971. Simon. Afrikaans.
  3. Deutscher Taschenbuch, 1985. Simon, der Kornett : Eine Erzählung aus der Zeit Cromwells. German.

References Edit