A Surprising Legacy, Ernest Swain
Ernest Swain

A Surprising Legacy

A Surprising Legacy is a work of fiction.
Set at the end of the 1700s, it is a tale of romance, hardship and a dangerous flirtation with a counterfeit coin racket that is entwined in folk-lore, myths and legends that abound this Godforsaken and lawless moorland area.
Amos Carlisle is a young man forced to lead an itinerant lifestyle because of the implementation of the Enclosures Act. He travels the countryside in his vardo (a gipsy caravan) pulled by his mare Maggie, picking up casual work.
He is drawn to the remote and bleak village of Flash in the Staffordshire Moorlands where life in general is hard and winters extreme. Pulling him back to this place is the excitement generated by the risk of being involved in a counterfeit coin racket.
Sarah Fletcher, raised in an orphanage was placed in 'service' at the home of wealthy people at an early age. Her treatment there was harsh but she fell in love with the son of her employers and became pregnant with daughter, Ruth. The relationship is not acceptable to her employers and a commission is purchased in the army for her young lover in order to separate them. Unfortunately he is killed in action in the New World.
Sarah finds herself destitute with a child to support. She begs for food and is gaoled as a vagrant. At this point Amos finds the child, Ruth, hiding in a barn and cares for her. When Sarah is released from gaol she joins Amos in his caravan. Together they experience ghostly happenings, a violent robbery, cock-fighting, bare-knuckle fighting, become involved with a mining tragedy and a death caused by an illegal abortion.
Amos narrowly escapes discovery and arrest with his counterfeit coin, but his nefarious enterprise is abandoned when Sarah hears news of the legacy she and Ruth have inherited in the will of her former lover. Plans for their marriage are being laid.
253 printed pages
Original publication
Ernest Swain


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