Old map of Somerset illustrated with figures relevant to the landscape Old map of Somerset illustrated with figures relevant to the landscape Show image info

Section from a map of Somerset and Wiltshire engraved by William Hole, 1612, to illustrate ‘Poly-Olbion’ the epic poem by Michael Drayton

My Name is Marcus

Written in 2019 by a member of a creative writing class, through a collaboration between Bath Record Office and the St. John’s Foundation.

My name is Marcus.

I am proud to have my picture on the map drawn of Somerset and Wiltshire by William Hole in 1612. He walked through my Pewsham Forest towards Colne to get the lay of the land and the flow of the river. I took him through my trails and he was interested in the different trees that grow there. I showed him the maple grove where I cut the saplings for my bows, and he drew that on his map. Maple is a dense wood with a straight grain and flexible enough to handle the bending and stress applied in every shot. I make bows and arrows and trade them in Colne at the market.

There are large herds of boar and deer in the forest that provide me with sinew, bone and horn for my work.  Along with pigeon and pheasant aplenty, my tribe will never go hungry. We are hunters and woodsmen, skilled at standing absolutely still for long stretches as we wait for our prey. We can skin and butcher a boar quickly and efficiently. We cut down trees to keep clear spaces for living and use the wood for fires to cook meat and keep us warm.

The river is our source of water, fish and smooth round stones for slingshots. The constant musical sound of its flow gives us joy and pleasure.

Lynne Damberg, 2019