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The King's Toads

Length: 499 pages5 hours


Geoffrey Boterel, the first to bear the name of Bottrill/Bottrell,Boterill, bore a coat of arms - 'argent, three toads erect sable' – three black toads. This was believed by some to be the Devil’s own coat of arms. What was the connection? Since Count Geoffrey Boterel had refused to support the Norman Invasion, William the Conqueror, who could be petty, put it about that Eudes, Duke of Brittany, Geoffrey’s father, had signed a pact with the Devil for family advancement. The Devil had then insisted the family bear his own coat of arms. The Conquest actually succeeded with the help of other members of the family, who did incredibly well out of it - a successful pact? Could the rumour be true? No one really believed the story because the family was never Christian, and there is no Devil in the Old Religion. But, as a result of the family’s help, Nicholas Boterel, Geoffrey's son, got a fief in Cornwall - later known as 'Botereles Castel' (now 'Boscastle'), and Alan Rufus, Geoffrey's brother, became Lord/Earl of Richmond - the fourth most powerful man in England. Stephen, another brother, became Duke of Brittany, and the Cornish branch became Baron Botreaux. The spreading Boterel family were involved in the assassination of a king, the First Crusade, the rise of the Templars and Order of Sion. Nicholas had a lifelong affair with the king!

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