My Dear Walter,
What a collection of words to describe you! What a man! (you were…)
But I would also add:
Almost born before your time!
But sadly you were never understood
I have read about you, so sooo much
I have read about you again and again
I am fascinated by you.
You had everything that I search for in a man, but never find.
You had everything that Elizabeth I desired too.
But did she fully understand you?
Do I understand you?
Did anyone ever understand you?
Certainly not James the first.
His jealousy was your downfall.
So many mixed impressions.
You were a paradox!
But a man with style!
So I am wondering…
did you adopt Sherborne?
or did Sherborne adopt you?
Certainly the Abbey Bells rang out when you first arrived to live here.
And now in the 21st Century, visitors flock here to view where you lived. They flock to see the ruins of the Old Castle, the Old Castle that you so lusted after.
The very reason that brought you to Sherborne.
Visitors flock here to see the New Castle where you and Bess were so happy together.
Visitors flock here to view the seat in the grounds where you sat in contemplation and smoked your pipe.
Some visitors go to see the little church in nearby Lillington where young Walt and later baby Carew were christened.
Oh so many places in Sherborne that I share with you, and memories as I walk where you walked.
And yes, you were “Tinker, tailor, Soldier, Sailor, Rich Man, Poor Man, Beggar Man, Thief.” Yes, all of these things.
But also a daring, curious, creative, gifted, an opportunist, explorer, scientist, historian, poet, entrepreneur, and pretender…..
And your death was as meteoric as was your rise to power.
It is almost 400 years since you left us, and you continue to have an extraordinary influence in this town of Sherborne, and an influence on me.
-I love you.
You are my kind of guy……