Redeshawe

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A fine Turkey carpet, 1604

According to a story told by Lady Pole, Mr Redeshawe was a gentleman living near Halifax in West Yorkshire. In the year 1607 he received an inheritance from an aunt, the sum of £10, and decided to use the money to buy himself a Turkish carpet. Mr Redeshawe seems to have been a profligate man, for he not only spent his whole inheritance at a clap on a single carpet, but when he brought it to his house he recklessly spread it in front of the fire! (I should explain that Turkey carpets were so rare in England at this date that those who could afford them generally placed them on a table rather than on the floor. Common English rushes or matting sufficed for the floor.) But luckily no tumbling log fell forward to spoil his treasure, and having admired his carpet by firelight Mr Redeshawe drank some beer and was soon asleep.

He awoke in the early hours. Picture his surprise to find a vast array of tiny people some two or three inches high swarming about on his carpet and forming themselves into battalia with every intention of fighting a pitched battle on it! This, they said, was because its regular pattern made it easy for them to arrange themselves equitably, army to army, in the manner recommended by Bonet. Naturally alarmed for the safety of his carpet, which could not but have been much damaged in the course of a battle, (especially as there was a form of heavy cavalry mounted on rabbits), Mr Redeshawe picked up a broom - and here Lady Pole broke off her story, so we may never know how the situation was resolved[27].

This whole tale has such odd features that one feels it must be, as Mr Segundus later suggests, that all Lady Pole's stories are somehow references to ancient fairy lore rather than descriptions of true events[64].