Henrietta's Bridge at Boynton by Alan Lowey who notes that there's plenty of room to shelter underneath


Oscar Wilde wrote a wild romantic poem about Henrietta, in which he referred to her raven hair (see below). She owned a monkey and a midget*, and she was everything to Charles. (And it seems from her journal that she felt the same about him). She was small but very strong-willed, and it's possible that it was her influence that led to Charles's intransigence with Parliament and his ultimate downfall.

Her protector was actually a Priest, but Tom didn't know that when he wrote the song. Also, it seems she and Charles may have spent time together after York, but the end result was the same. She died, aged 50, in France.

*Tom has since learned that most European Royal Households had 'Court Dwarfs,' as they should correctily be termed. James 1 had a huge Court Jester - the last in an English Court - called Muckle John (as celebrated by the wonderful Cloudstreet )

I’ve served the house of Stuart, since I was but a child

There was never a huntsman so loyal

And I’ll not forget the day, the Prince’s horse ran wild

And I saved his young bacon so Royal

Maybe that is why he called me on that day

When the thunderclouds of war were all around us

And if I had only known, what my Sovereign would say

I’d have run till they never could have found us

"My army needs more shot and the powders running thin

I must sell any baubles for the making

So my Sweet Henrietta, my rare my Raven Queen

To the Netherlands the Crown Jewels is taking

Will you go, will you go, will you stay by her side?

Will you save my brave Raven Queen?”


Not for the King, nor the sorrow in his eyes,

Nor for your country so green-o

Not even for the crown that Parliament despise

Just for my Raven Queen - o, only for my Raven Queen


She was pale as the moon but there was fire in her eyes

As we sailed with our cargo of treasure

And for her proud and tiny frame I knew I’d gladly die

And for her I would meet any measure

We laid the riches out, and she haggled hard and long

With the armourers of Amsterdam and Arnheim

And who was I to say if they was right or they were wrong

With the heavy hand of history upon them

But on the journey home, there came a dreadful storm

And for nine days and nights we were a-tossing

But Henrietta knew the Queen of England must not drown

It was for her King and Country she was crossing

And I stood in the bow, so proud by her side

Ready to save my brave Raven Queen


Exhausted to the core to Bridlington we came

But Cromwell’s heavy guns they were awaiting,

And the hell-fire and the brimstone came pouring down like rain

I dared to grab her hand, we ran escaping

Beneath the bridge at Boynton for three long nights and days

We hid while the enemy came searching

And underneath my cloak the Queen of England lay

And my hunter's heart was filled to bursting

To York we came at last, but alas we came to late

For Charles he was away in chains to London

And I saw the very moment when she knew what was his fate

And that raven heart rent asunder

And knew I must go, into exile by her side

To save my Brave Raven Queen


Oscar Wilde wrote:

She stands with eyes marred by the mist of pain,

Like some wan Lilly overdrenched with rain,

The clamorous clangs of arms, the ensanguined sky,

Wars ruin, and the wreck of chivalry,

Bravely she tarrieth for her Lord the King,

Her soul a-flame with passionate ecstacy.

O Hair of Raven! O crimson lips!

O face made for the luring and the love of man!

"With thee I do forget the toil & stress,

The loveless road that knows no resting place,

Times straightened pulse, the soul's dread weariness,

My freedom and my life...."

Thanks to Bob who I met at Beverley Festival and who first told me about Henrietta's Bridge. TB.