Edward Hunt's Forest of Dean Miscellany

Fact, Fiction and Fantasy


The Magic Mantle by Isobel Lilian Gloag

It was in the courtyard of Goodrich Castle that Wordsworth met the simple child that lightly drew its breath, but of the resultant poem ("We are Seven" by William Wordsworth - EH ) the less said the better. I would rather refer to a more robust ballad ("The Boy and the Mantle" - EH ) connected with Courtfield, two miles further downstream. This estate was once known as Greenfield, but after King Henry V, as a sickly infant, had been nurtured there it became known by its present name. The property has long been owned by the Vaughan family, who trace their ancestry back to Sir Cradoc, a Knight of the Round Table; and it was Sir Cradoc's wife, a daughter of King Palinor, Prince of South Wales, who was the heroine of the ballad. In it a boy is made to enter the court of King Arthur carrying with him a magic mantle. This mantle was such that only a woman of the strictest virtue could wear it, and the ballad tells how each of the ladies of the court was, in turn, challenged by her husband to wear the garment, and of the disasters that followed.

  The above text is from:
                "Coming Down the Wye"
                by Robert Gibbings
                publisher: E.P. Dutton 1943

 Here is a link to "We are Seven" by William Wordsworth:

          We Are Seven at www.litscape.com

 Here is a Link to "The Boy and the Mantle"

          The Boy and the Mantle

Edward Hunt