The Found Moorfields Journals

In Three Parts:

Part the First: Of Madness & Melancholy
Part the Second: The Stone of Folly
Part the Third: Divine Lunatics

*Attention: ADULT CONTENT (not so bad....but still adult reading. Thank you)

Remember: This is a blog and therefore shows recent posts first. Scroll back to read in order.

Content unedited.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Master of Complications

collage poetry by Foxmorton

Chapter II Continued (end)

"Violet Moorfields!" again my name.

"It is the intention of Her Majesty's Court to seek justice in the matter of the attempted murder of
Alderman Ian Percival Mountebanke Terwilliger.  Thou stands accused of the aforementioned crime
wherin Alderman Terwilliger did suffer grievous damage to his pate and person, in addition to the damaging loss of..." 

(here the judge did confer quickly and quietly with the Sheriff.)

".....indeed, aye, one pair of silk & brocade breeches listed at two pound six and eight."

A short  bit of chaos burst forth once again, betwixt those who would see me triumph against the perfidious Terwilliger and those who would see me dangle for happy sport.

"Aye, what?"
I blurted out above the din, my words bringing silence upon the court once again.

"And what of  'is dignity, I ask? How much fer that? 
 'Tis in the air he be still wearin' them bloody breeches, is he not?"

Muffled snickers from the crowd.

"Silence, Mistress Moorfields!" spake judge and gavel.

"And what of me own property, I ask ye? 
Me own chickens has been traumatized.  I'll not have eggs for a fortnight!"

A cry from the viewing balcony of 'I've a chicken right wit' me ye can have, Violet!'  nearly made me smile.

The mirthless gavel fell thrice.

"Methinks, Mistress Moorfields,"
spake the hearing judge in a dry tone which told the simple truth of my situation.

"Methinks ye'll naught be having eggs for a great, long while."

I locked eyes with the judge and would not give him leave to look away.
'Twas a small comfort.

Three beats and his voice boomed throughout the room.

"Violet Grace Moorfields, it is the opinion of the court that your person and your impenitent, obdurate nature, without delay will be remanded to Bethlem Hospital, in the city of London, to be detained at her Majesty's pleasure.  So say the court."

The gavel fell as I swallowed a sudden mouthful of sour vomit, unwilling to evidence affright.

Though the members of the court remained stone faced, their eyes flickered, as to the delight of all but two I blew the hearing judge a resounding wet, grandly vulgar, raving tongue salute.

(end Chapter II)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Much Madness...


1830–1886 Emily Dickinson

Much Madness is divinest Sense -
To a discerning Eye -
Much Sense - the starkest Madness -
’Tis the Majority
In this, as all, prevail -
Assent - and you are sane -
Demur - you’re straightway dangerous -
And handled with a Chain -

Monday, November 12, 2012

Chapter II

The hearing judge, a dainty and over delicate sort still reeling in horror from my public truths spewn for all to contemplate, fanned himself with lace and fine linen hanky, whose price would have afforded me meat for sup twenty days lined together. If a humming bird had hovered at the sleeve of his greatcoat it could not have kept pace with his nervous fluttering.  Whey faced and breaking into nervous sweat, he dabbed repeatedly at his pointed nose. His long, lank, coal colored hair drooped in apparent sympathy with his plight.

Not witless by any stretch, he quickly calculated his risks and foresaw the good judgement of handling my case with speed and aplomb least he disrupt the life of luxury he had carved for himself.  For we might have been the same, this delicate man and I.  The difference being, he reveled in the positions the alderman laid out for him whilst I would sooner hear the snap of mine own neck and dwell in Eternal Damnation as the trap door opened beneath me boots than to submit, even a singular time, to a filthy prig-the alderman or any other.

"Aye, and there's the rub." to speak the speech of a merry, ale-soaked fellow who fancied himself a man of words and plays, that I often served a tankard or three to in the public house in better days.
To find me guilty of the accused crime would be to also find me sane.  To find me sans lunacy would also admit, by matter of course, that I spake true.  To release me would admit the same and more.  Aye, such a tangled web.  My literary tavern patron may have been in his cups and out of coin on many the occasion but it can ne'er be said he did not know the truth of human folly.

"Violet Moorfields!"
Hearing mine own name returned me to the forefront of my situation.

Violet Moorfields.  A name bestowed upon me at birth by me Da, who was a grand and handsome Admiral with the Queen's Armada-or so me Mum would say time and time again whilst thithering about the business of raising nine nippers, eight of them my brothers, with what appeared to be the ability to put one foot in front of the other and the possession of a solitary loaf of bread.  The same loaf, near as I could tell, all those years.  The Miraculous Draught of Fishes had naught on me Mum.

"Twould explain his absence." she would often say.
"What with serving our most gracious Majesty and sailing into many a battle and such.  Though any day now we should expect his return to live with us happily e'er after."

And for I time I, too, believed.

"And bring us more bread as well?"
Wee Fergus, the youngest and most able to believe in fairy stories would always ask in anticipation.

""I should think." me Mum always finished afore turning abruptly to an important chore so as to make ready for the day.

Violet Moorfields.  The jest was on meself though as Moorfields were naught but a swamp on the far side of Bishopsgate Without, just north of the city of London and violets as common as horse flops in the street.  And me Da?  Well, he ne'er did come.  Though I needs must give me Mum her due; she could still dream.  In sooth, those dreams kept us alive.  They did not in the end, howe'er, do like for me Mum.

(to be cont'd)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Chapter I Continued....(end)

Albrecht Dürer   1471-1528

I rolled from him then, disgusted that I had spread my legs around him even if only to kill him, then carried myself to the nearest stool where I sat staring at naught, mourning a life I ne'er had.  I cradled the bread knife as a babe and refused to allow myself any tears.

'Twas how they found us, the Sheriff and his man, early the following morn; the Alderman still flat on his back in shite soggy breeches, a placid chicken perched delicately atop his noggin, mayhap in hopes of hatching   into worth the obscene egg that had taken o'er his forehead.  Myself, rocking a blade and singing it a sweet 

In sooth, 'twas the lullaby I believe, what saved me sorry neck.

The Sheriff, as balanced and just-minded a man as one in his position is allowed to be, knew not what to make of the scene, nor, whence it should come to it, know where to set his gaze in the coming hours for want of an acceptable explanation as to exactly how it was he foretold the whereabouts of Master Terwilliger with such prophetic accuracy.  But it was clear that no matter the circumstance the fault would be mine own, with Ian Terwilliger emerging as the victor-if one can be said to be victorious with a load of shite in ones breeches and the guilt of lechery upon ones soul.

As for the rest?  Well, the phrase mere formality does spring to mind.  I would not hold the taste of freedom upon my tongue nor know the giddiness of a brilliant summer day for much time hence.  And though I would become intimately acquainted with the bite of frigid cold, sick hunger, rats and raving madness,what came to me from it I would ne'er sell nor trade even to wipe my slate clean nor to have lived a different life.  Tainted though it may sound, I owe Ian Terwilliger my gratitude, if not my debt.

end chapter i

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Chapter I Continued.....

I tell you now, in sooth my friend, I did indeed swing the iron stew pot mightily, with double fists,
landing it square to his lordship's balding and lice scabbed pate,  knocking his unnaturally tiny feet from under his swaying girth, causing him to topple backward into an unsuspecting lot of laying hens minding their business by the fire.

More's the pity for the hens.

I confess that the site of him scuttling his limbs about like to an upended stink bug in the garden whilst gagging upon loose feathers and dried chicken shite nearly caused me to laugh aloud and show him a small mercy.  But somehow, somehow I did not end it there.  

Though to this very morn I do not regret one whit.

A rage, blinding purple in its hue, overtook me then as I looked down upon his vile bloat and it was but a short step afore I had straddled him as one would a fat hog at sticking time.  Holding the bread knife, taken in haste from the hearth table, to the multitudinous folds of his stinking neck, I whispered a prayer for all that had befallen me, both past, present and betwixt.

But in that moment of devout petition, pleading to whom I knew to be an unjust and pitiless God, the sightless rage left me as it came; quickly, painfully.

I looked down down upon him to search his eyes for further danger but found none.  Heaving and drooling, he posed no imminent threat to me, the welt rising in the middle of his forehead sufficient to render him senseless if indeed he could e'er be said to have possessed the quality of sense afore.

"By God's teeth, ye heavin' puss-bag," I whispered through my own sour spittle as I pressed knife blade to pink flesh.  "I could slit thee fat gullet to tiny prick and feed thy foul guts to the wild hogs wit' none bein' the wiser.  An' the Devil and yer own self mark mine own words, I wilt see it through if ye e'er lays a filthy, loutish mitt about me person again."

The bubbling wet, ensuing fart and rising stench spake that he believed me.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Part the First: Of Madness & Melancholy

Caius Gabriel Cibber (1630–1700)
17th century sculpture

Part the First:  Of Madness & Melancholy

Dirty Tom fixed his gaze upon me through a barely parted curtain of long, matted, dirty yellow hair, a single rope of spittle the color of a fancy ocean pearl extending from the corner of his slack mouth to the rusted shackle which bound his wrist with like chain to the damp wall of stone.  Though I did not know him to be Dirty Tom then.

Removed of my possessions and garbed only in a reeking blanket gown besmirched about with old pottage, desolation and the shite of another, my despoilment paled in comparison with the scene lain out afore me.  Yet even now I was in finer placement than I had been but a fortnight ago.  To bewail henceforth would be but redundant lunacy.

I stood stock still, fearful of being made as one with wall and chain.  But my silence was mistook for the incivility of the insane and the forged manacle was locked 'round my wrist in a macabre handfasting ceremony consisting of only one soul.  The heavy, rusted circle quashed the bones in my arm liken unto a rough lover.  Though in sooth, naught that I might have spake then would have changed my lot.


"What say ye, Violet Moorfields?"

The gathering of viewers behind me, peasant, trade-folk and gentry mixed, pressed forward to better hear if I should speak.

"I say, me lord and master, that Alderman Terwilliger be a most pompous, toad-spotted, falsifying, belly bloated suck-maggot."

An audible intake of breaths drew in as one from the assemblage followed by not a few quickly stifled sniggers.

"Silence!" squeaked out the hearing judge with extreme difficulty.

Master Ian Terwilliger, having taken his place beside the Court of Alderman at the commencement of the proceedings, glared at me with his vile and perpetually squinted pig eyes.  I could smell the bile rising within him as the color of his untruths spread in mottled blues and reds upon his sour cheeks whence he tried discreetly, but without good fortune, to inhale his obscene girth to smaller form.  Spittle, gray and thick, gathered unbidden at the corners of his greasy gob, his goose egged forehead throbbing visibly.

"And you."  I continued, addressing the judge with a gentle tone and a polite smile.

"You sirrah, are his mewling, boot-licking rump lad."

Absolute silence reigned for a thrice count.

And then, in a sudden explosion, pandemonium broke out, sides forming in the matter of near equal proportions; those who defended my certain innocence and those who would see me hanged as the attempted murderess of one Ian Percival Mountebanke Terwilliger, esteemed Alderman and prevaricating clot-pole.

Trunk at Auction


In May of 2006, Mimi Foxmorton, collector of junque, 
bid at auction on a disregarded sea trunk.
A few coins later, the bid was won and the trunk shipped to Foxmorton's home
 in upstate New York.
After reviewing the contents at great length, Foxmorton has opted to
make the Moorfields journals public in hope of preserving their unique story.
What follows herein, is the extraordinary, often grievous, tale of the Moorfields lineage.
The information within is set forth here, as is, with no editorial commentary.
Foxmorton lets the story speak for itself.
~MF 2012

"It is enough."  ~Dirty Tom 1590

To One In Bedlam....

To One in Bedlam
Ernest Dowson

WITH delicate, mad hands, behind his sordid bars,
Surely he hath his posies, which they tear and twine;
Those scentless wisps of straw that, miserable, line
His strait, caged universe, whereat the dull world stares.
Pedant and pitiful. O, how his rapt gaze wars 5
With their stupidity! Know they what dreams divine
Lift his long, laughing reveries like enchanted wine,
And make his melancholy germane to the stars'?
O lamentable brother! if those pity thee,
Am I not fain of all thy lone eyes promise me; 10
Half a fool's kingdom, far from men who sow and reap,
All their days, vanity? Better then mortal flowers,
Thy moon-kissed roses seem: better than love or sleep,
The star-crowned solitude of thine oblivious hours.

Last Look
collage poetry by Fomorton

dirty tom lives a story
of the doomed
haunted escape
drums throbbed
mourned his increasing madness
night I found him on the precipice
I sat facing this extraordinary man, creator of such an endless stream of magical images
endowed with dignity
"I fell." he says "It was a big fall and I couldn't have gotten back up without your help.
It was like going in a cave where you can't see the sun."
I ran along side until I felt he didn't need me, then....I let go.
immediately, I wanted to grab hold again but he was gone
run like pheidipides
He got away
only I believe in happy endings
we still live in its shadow
How do you define eternity?
Can you wait?
~c. MF 2007

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tom Tell-truth.....

 (The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes, 1951; pp. 312-3) quote a single verse from James Orchard Halliwell's The Nursery Rhymes of England (1842):

As I was walking o'er little Moorfields,
I saw St. Paul's a-running on wheels,
With a fee, fo, fum.
Then for further frolics I'll go to France,
Where Jack shall sing and his wife shall dance,
With a fee, fo fum.

This seems to come from the ballad of Tom Tell-Truth [c. 1676]

I see St. Paul's steeple run upon wheels, fal la la
I see St. Paul's steeple run upon wheels and in the middle of all Moor-fields,
With a fa la, fa la la la, fa la la la la la la.

The precise locality of these strange happenings is here lost, but it is probable that it was Moorfields as in the broadside edition and the nursery rhyme. This would be an appropriate setting for a nonsense song, for in 1675 the old Bethlem Hospital was moved to Moorfields from Bishops Gate Without.

The Moorfields Timeline

as gleaned from the journal pages.

It is noteworthy that the Moorfields women never married
due to the (perceived) curse set forth by Rose.
The Moorfields journal was first discovered by Violet after Rose's death.
All dates and facts are apparent and taken on the word of the journal.

born: 1515  (father: unknown) (date: unknown)
died: 1565 (age 50)

born: August 6, 1550 (father: unknown Bedlamite-Rose states sailor)
died: 1645 (age 95) 

born:  April 1, 1595 (father: Dirty Tom)
died: 1634

born: 1630 (father: Devon MacHamish)
died: 1665 (Year of Great Plague)

born: 1665 (father:unknown)
died:  1710

born: 1710 (father: unknown)
died: 1805 (age 95)

born:  1745 (father:  Jamie MacDougall)
died: 1785

born:  1780 (father: unknown)
died: unknown


LAWRENCE  (f: Haggis Craig) born: 1546
LEO  (f: Haggis Craig)  born: 1547
GEORGE  (f: Haggis Craig)  born:  1548
VIOLET (f: unknown)  born: 1550
RUE (f: unknown)  born: 1551
JAMIE  (f: Seamus Craig/brother of Haggis)  born: 1553
SEAMUS  (f: Seamus Craig)  born: 1555
WILLIE:  (f: Seamus Craig)  born: 1556
WEE FERGUS:  (f: Angus MacDonald) born: 1560