Bawdy Tales
Chapter 1: the Monk's Tale

Copyright© 2015 by Willgreybeard

Historical Sex Story: Chapter 1: the Monk's Tale - :This story is the beginning of a series loosely based on Boccaccio's Decameron, about a group of survivors of the Black Death on a journey from Yorkshire to London, who wile away the long evenings by telling each other stories. The places are real, and as far as possible the language is of its period, and I have tried to avoid anachronisms, such as underpants for men, and knickers for women.This first episode is mainly by way of introduction, and there is no sex until just over half way.

Caution: This Historical Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa   Consensual   Heterosexual   Fiction  


In the late Middle Ages the Black Death, the greatest and most deadly outbreak of infectious disease in history, ravaged Europe, eventually killing between one third and a half of the population.

The disease, which is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, was carried by fleas living on the rats that were found in ports and on board ships, and humans were infected by the bite of a flea. Transmission may also occur via the respiratory route in droplets containing bacteria emitted by infected individuals through coughing or sneezing.

The first cases of bubonic plague were seen in 1346 in the Genoan port of Caffa, in the Crimea, and the disease was carried to Europe on the merchant vessels plying their trade between Italy and the Black Sea ports. The first case was seen in England in June 1348 in the port of Weymouth, Dorset, in a sailor from Gascony. By autumn the disease had reached London, and the rest of the country by summer 1349, before dying down by December. It is estimated that in England alone more than 1.4 million people died in the space of a few months.

At the time the disease was generally called the Great Pestilence or the Great Mortality, and was not given the name by which it is known today until the seventeenth century. The disease received its name bubonic plague because of the appearance of swellings in the groin, neck and armpits, known as buboes, which oozed pus and blood when opened. The appearance of buboes was followed by fever, malaise and vomiting of blood, and 80% of victims died within two to seven days of being infected.

The Italian writer Boccaccio lived through the plague as it swept through the city of Florence in 1348, and the experience inspired him to write The Decameron, the story of seven men and three women who escape the disease by fleeing to a villa outside the city. This story is inspired by Boccaccio, and imagines a similar and equally diverse group of people in Yorkshire in 1349, and the tales they tell to amuse each other as they travel south in search of a new life.


Cawood, April 24th in the year of grace 1349 - yesterday perchance I found myself in the great city of York, just three leagues from here. I was there with my wife Godgifu to attend the festivities attending on the feast of St George.Yesterday Sir Miles Stapleton, Lord of Bedale and Knight of the Garter - a new order of chivalry instituted last year under the banner of St George by our glorious king Edward III by the grace of God - was in attendance at the Minster to give thanks for his recent magnificent victories in the tourney.

As a true son of Yorkshire, I sought to combine business with pleasure, and after the service in the Minster I sought out Will, a timber merchant of my acquaintance, in the tavern of the White Hart, as I needed to order some wood for erection of stands for the Mayday celebrations in our village - I am a joiner and carpenter by trade, and also the village undertaker. While I was taking a pint or two of ale with Master Will, I overheard a man saying that he had been told that the first cases of the Great Pestilence had been seen in the great port of Kingston on the Humber. We received news last summer of how the pestilence had ravaged London and the South of the country, but we had prayed that we would be spared. This Sunday I must make an offering to the priest to pray for our salvation, God be feared.

Cawood, May 2nd in the year of grace 1349 - the celebrations went off well yesterday.Father Julian said mass in the church, and then we all sojourned to the tavern, while all the girls and boys of the village looked so sweet dancing round the maypole. A great beast was roasted on the village green for the feasting, and there was much laughter and carousing. Some of the older lads and lasses slipped away from time to time for a little merrymaking of their own - there are always a few more weddings than usual at Michaelmasstide, and February brings its crop of new babies.

By eventide everyone had feasted and drunk to their hearts content, some too much so - there would be a few sore heads in the morning I thought. We were all making ready to make out way to our beds, when a man rushed in to the inn in great alarm, and when he could catch his breath, blurted out that the pestilence was in York, and the priests were saying masses in the Minster for the deliverance of the city.

Cawood, May 5th. I am Godgifu, wife of that good man Oswine. My husband was taken sick yesterday with such terrible chills, and now he is burning with fever. This morning terrible swellings the size of an egg appeared in his armpit and groin. He is tossing about in the bed in his extremity, and I have been applying wet cloths to his forehead to soothe him but to no avail. I fear for his life, but I constantly pray to the Virgin that he be spared this terrible pestilence. I do not know what I will do if he dies, or where I will go, for I will certainly be put out on the street by the Squire, and I have no children to take me in.

Cawood, May 14th. I can no longer call on the name of the Lord, for he has surely forsaken us. What dire sin we have committed I know not, but we are cast into the darkness of hell, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. The priest has fled, and the village is strangely silent, no sound of good wives gossiping at their doors, or the happy laughter of children playing. I awoke two days ago to find my dear wife dead on the floor, lying in a pool of her own vomit and blood. The stench was terrible. I am still very weak, but I managed to crawl to the hearth, and filled my belly with cold potage and mouldy bread. I do not have the strength to bury my wife, so I covered her body with a blanket, and said a prayer for her soul, may God have mercy, for she was a good woman even though she couldn't give me any children to carry my name. Some people said I should have put her aside, but I loved her dearly, and that I would not do. I grieve for her, and such terrible loneliness afflicts my soul, but I no longer have tears to shed.

Cawood, 21st May. I have decided after much thought that I must leave my home and this village, and make my way to York. There is none other left alive here, and I have no future in this place. At least I have my trade to fall back on, for surely there will be work for a carpenter wherever there are people still alive, if only to make coffins for the dead. I have managed to find some food in the houses of my neighbours - it cannot be theft if one takes from the dead what they no longer have need of. Tomorrow I shall set out, carrying my tools and what money I have, to seek a better fortune in the world.

York, The White Hart, 23rd May. And so I find myself in a motley company, a ragbag collection of men - and a few women - survivors of the judgement of God, if there is a God, which I start to doubt. Some of us were fortunate not to be afflicted, but there are others, such as me, who have been through the fire, and come out alive, though not unscathed. None will ever forget the horrors we have seen, and we will all bear the scars until our mortal life's end. All have reported whole villages with not a single soul left alive. Strange to tell, this pestilence was no respecter of persons, men and women of high rank, and of none, were struck down. Nor did God protect his servants, priests and monks were taken, despite their piety and prayers, and it seems to me that prayers and sacrifices have been no protection against the Angel of Death. What point therefore in continuing in the old ways of obedience, when even the Church could not save its own?

We have been arguing since noon about what should be the best thing to do. There is no work here in the city, not even for those with a trade. Some have argued that it would be better to stay and wait for the return of the good times. Others, and I count myself among their number, believe that to wait on fortune is futile. It might be many months, even years before the true ordering of society is restored, and in the meantime we all need to earn our bread and board, if we are not to descend to the level of vagabonds and thieves, and take what we need. Tomorrow there will be more arguing, tempers will flare, and blood will be spilled - more deaths to add to the harvest of the Devil which has brought us to this pass. A small band have therefore taken a different council, and tomorrow will set out on a journey into the unknown, South to the heart of the kingdom. London will be their goal, for they have heard that its streets are paved with gold, and there is work for everyman. It is there that they go, to seek their fortunes, and to carve out a new future for themselves. So, without a backward glance I will go too, free from the ties of past allegiance and obligation, not with a light heart, for I have lost all that was dearest to me, but at least with hope.

Our Journey Begins

Tadcaster, The Kings Head, 24th May. We are a small band of adventurers, just twelve in number. What a strange fellowship we make, some tradesmen, such as myself, but our number includes a monk - or former monk, for he has cast off his habit and taken the garb of an ordinary man - a friar, cook, miller, and a pedlar of fancies, and three women, one the widow of a merchant, the other a bawd, whose whores either perished or fled, all except one who was with her, I forget the rest. All drawn together by circumstance, not a group you would normally expect to find travelling together. I'm afraid that we took a couple of palfreys from the stables for the widow and the bawd, who would otherwise have found the journey too arduous. Their owners were dead, so we gave the innkeeper a few crowns to take them off his hands. They would probably have gone to the knackers else, but it was much less than their true worth.

Knottingly, The Lamb, May 25th. At first we trudged in silence, each caught up in our own thought and memories, but by common consent it was agreed that we must find some way to entertain ourselves, or more truthfully, each other, else we would be a melancholy crew indeed. One or two were for gaming or dice, but that would only divide our number, for some would win whilst others would lose, and that would end in discord. It was the bawd, God help us, who came up with the idea which drew the greatest agreement. So, each night, by turns we will each undertake to tell a story to while away our evenings, and provide a topic for conversation on the morrow. To make things fair, lots will be drawn each morn before we set out, to see who should take the stage that evening, Time enough on the road for that person to collect their thoughts and frame the night's entertainment.

These then are the tales with which we beguiled each other, beginning with the monk. There was a general groan when he drew the first lot, for what had he learned in his monastery, other than prayers and psalms, dreary fodder indeed? As it turned out, we were surprised, perhaps even shocked, for we had not thought that such things as the monk described would have taken place among those who had renounced the pleasures of the flesh.

The Monk's Tale or "How an innocent novice monk was betrayed into carnal sin by a wicked Prioress."

You will understand, my friends, that the events I am about to relate to you took place many years ago, when I was young and innocent novice, ignorant of the wiles of women, begging your pardon ladies. My father was a blacksmith, a vigorous and lusty man, who sired a child every year without fail on my mother until her death in childbed when I was nine years old. I was the seventh of sixteen children, eight of whom survived the perils of childhood, and the fourth and last of my father's sons. Until this recent calamity, two of my brothers and three of my sisters were still living, although I have not heard whether any were spared by the grace of God and the Holy Virgin, her name be praised.

When I was but ten years old my father sold me to the Abbey at nearby Selby as a servant, saying he had enough mouths to feed, and as I was a sickly child I was of little use in earning my keep by helping in the forge. I was quick with my letters, and found employment in the Almonery, helping to keep the records of those in dire poverty in the nearby town who were recipients of the monastery's charity. When I was in my eighteenth year, the Prior called me to his lodgings one morning after Matins. He told me that he had received good reports of my diligence and piety, and that he had decided that I was fit to become a postulant; and if he received a satisfactory report from the novice master, I would be received as a novice at a ceremony the next Pentecost Sunday.

So it was that I entered upon my year of instruction on the Feast of Pentecost in the year of our Lord 1300, just a few days after my eighteenth birthday, a year when my fitness to take my vows of poverty, obedience and chastity would be proved before I could be admitted to the community as a full brother.

In defence of my behaviour at Christmastide that year, which I am about to relate, I must report that the Abbot and monks had gained a reputation for loose living and misconduct with some of the married women of the town, a reputation which I am sorry to confirm was entirely justified.

It so happed that on the Eve of Christmas the Abbot received a visit from the Prioress of the nearby house of Nun Appleton, and she was prevailed upon by the Abbot to remain as a guest for the twelve days of the Feast. She intimated that she took great interest in the instruction of novices, and on the day after Feast of Saint Stephen she visited the novice master to ask about his methods. She was particularly concerned about our spiritual health, she said, and wanted to know how he went about driving the Devil from our souls. If she had asked me, I could have told her that he had a great belief in the power of the lash, and took special pleasure in making us strip and kneel in an attitude of prayer, while he whipped us in a frenzy of religious fervour.

The following day, whilst I was at my prayers, I received a note asking me to visit the Prioress in her lodging in the guest quarters after Compline that evening. So it was with trepidation that about two hours before midnight I found myself knocking on the door to her rooms. In a low voice she called out that I should enter and draw the bolt behind me. I found myself in a small but cosy antechamber, with a log fire burning in the hearth, before which were laid several sheepskins covering the stone flags of the floor.

Of the Prioress there was no evidence, but after a minute or two she entered from her bedroom. Her appearance shocked me, and I was moved to flee, but she stayed me with a gesture. Instead of her austere habit, which I had expected her to be wearing, she was clothed in a simple gown of white linen, which was only loosely tied with a cord of silk, and I could plainly see the curve of her breasts, and the shape of her thighs.

"Young man," she said, "the reports I have received about the methods of your master have filled me with great alarm. In my experience beating only serves to drive the Devil deeper into your soul, from whence he will only rise up to lead you into sin. Now be seated over there," indicating a low stool by the hearth, "and I will set about saving your soul. But first you must strip off your habit and braies, for naked you came into the world, and naked you must be to enter the Kingdom of Heaven."

Feeling most uncomfortable I did as she bade me, she was my superior and I had no choice but to obey. Once I was seated, I covered my privates with my hands, but she told me to take my hands away. It was from my member that the Devil would leave my body, she said, and she had to see that I was properly ready for her to draw him out.

Then, to my utter dismay and confusion, before to my horrified gaze, she removed her robe and stood before me utterly naked. To my eternal shame, I could not prevent myself responding to what I was forced to watch. I felt an unaccustomed stirring in my loins, and my member began to grow, and stand erect before me. Worse was to follow, as the Prioress parted her legs and began to stroke and fondle her womanhood.

"The only true way to be certain that the Devil is driven from you, and so that you are shriven and saved from future sin, is for you to thrust you manhood into my secret place, here between my legs," she whispered, I supposed so that the Devil would not hear her plans and resist. "The evil one will not be able to resist the sweet allure of this forbidden place, and he will be drawn from the depths of your soul. In the release of your soul, he will be expelled with the emission of your seed, and you will know that I have him trapped by my moans and cries. Then, when the curse of all womankind comes upon me, and I pass blood from my womb, he will be expelled into the common sewer where he belongs."

All sense of sin had by now fled from my fevered brain, and a great heat was spreading from my loins throughout my inflamed body. I now realise that I was in the grip of a great madness, powerless to resist, so when the Prioress lay down on the rugs in front of the fire, and instructed me to lie between her parted legs and to thrust my shaft into her dark tunnel, I obeyed with a fascinated alacrity. Thus began the great struggle, a battle for my soul as I believed it to be. I thrust time and again into the warm heart of her most intimate being, and she began to moan and writhe in religious ecstasy.

Finally, with a great shout, the Devil passed like fire from my body up my shaft into the place she had prepared to entrap him. I knew that he had entered her body because of her convulsions and cries of pain and triumph. Truly this was a great victory over the evil one, and in the aftermath I felt a great peace steal through my whole body, and I knew that I was saved for eternal life with our Saviour.

The Prioress spoke once more before rising from her place of travail and retiring to the seclusion of her cell to pray. "You may go now, but tell no one of what has transpired here tonight. I have yet to bring salvation to another five of your fellow novices, and if the Devil hears of my plans, he will prevent them, and their souls will be lost eternally. Go in peace, my child and may our Saviour and the Virgin, be with you, to bring you to true knowledge of the place prepared for you in Heaven."

That my friends is the true story of how I was saved from the clutches of the Evil One into the blessed life of the elect who will gather round our Lord to sing praises unto Eternity. Many times I have relived that night, and experienced anew the great feeling of joy that I felt, evidence inside of my salvation from the power of sin.

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