Lissette Nolet of La Rochelle, France

My name is Lissette Nolet and I am a washerwoman in the Willensstark Mercenary Company. I was born the year of 1476, the 28th day of the month of November, to French parents, Jean-Paul Nolet and Emeline Couriour in the port city of La Rochelle, France. I never did attend an actual school for my mother wanted to teach me house values, instead of number values. My only brother Sebastian was shipped to school as soon as he could talk. I always envied him for the education. The year of 1485 my mother took ill and died, of what I do not know, but my father did his best to teach me how to be a lady, even though his health was growing weaker every day. I didn’t have much knowledge at the time, but I was a quick learner and in my spare time found a book so my father could teach me some words and letters.

15th century washer woman, 15th century woman, washerwoman, reenactment
Lissette Nolet of La Rochelle, France

Five years later, in the year of 1490 when I was at the age of 14, Sebastian grew weary of staying at home and going to school, so he took off and boarded one of my father’s trade ships, The Corinth, to work as a cloth merchant. My father was proud of Sebastian, but his health was still suffering greatly and his heart still ached for my dear mother. That same year Sebastian returned home with an English wife by the name of Charlotte Godwin who he picked up in Caister, Norfolk England. I heard him speaking to my father about the arranged marriage the girl was forced into, but she seemed decent enough. They stayed for a while and being that I was close enough to Charlotte’s age we became close friends and traveled throughout La Rochelle together, you could always find us together during the daylight hours.

Then our luck turned for the worst, that night Charlotte found that my brother was burning up with a fever. My pompous brother came down with typhus and soon died on his beloved ship three days later.

Seven months later on the fifth of May 1491, my brother and his bride boarded The Corinth again to venture, who knows where. At the time my father was in great need of my help, for his health denied him from going anywhere outside of his bedroom, so I stayed behind. Only a week’s time after The Corinth left, my dear father Jean-Paul Nolet died in his sleep peacefully, and his death left me in our great-aunt Joelle’s care, until my brother returned. My stay with Aunt Joelle left me in such a state that I yearned to be out of the house forever. Unfortunately when Sebastian did return to resupply he decided I was not to bother him, and wanted to leave me in the old woman’s care. I did not agree with him the least bit. I love Aunt Joelle, but her company is but a bore to me. So I took action for myself.

I did the deed of a rebel child and stowed away on the ship when it left, but to my surprise I was welcomed warmly by Mademoiselle Charlotte, and we were once again together as friends. My brother, though, was not as pleased with my company. Luckily, Charlotte spoke to him, and had him agree to my staying. Then our luck turned for the worst, that night Charlotte found that my brother was burning up with a fever. My pompous brother came down with typhus and soon died on his beloved ship three days later. Everyone, including myself knew that Charlotte was forced to marry the conceded man my brother was, and we wouldn’t be surprised if she was the one who killed him. So suspicions grew, except for my own of course because I knew the truth.

I am grateful for the protection I have, but let’s be honest, the men smell like cattle in a hot summer’s day. They sweat, belch, and emit other impolite bodily noises, and smells.. Every day, I am disgusted.

The rest of the shipmates were thinking she was mad, and some wanted to throw her over board, but after she cured a few members of the crew the murmurings weakened. We wouldn’t take a chance of going to jail though or being thrown overboard, so we left the ship at the North shore of Spain.

We only had one chance at that point, and it was Charlotte’s uncle William Godwin, who was currently fighting in Granada. Our travels were long and I don’t like to think of how sore I was from traveling so far. We went around the Sistema Berico Mountains to the Sistemas Central mountains where we then crossed and followed the dirt road to Madrid, if we were lucky we convinced a farmer to allow us a ride on his cart. From there we traveled south towards Grenada. Here the journey became more difficult and dangerous as we had to search for the location of the Willensstark Company. Finally, after a month of horrid travel we found our Willensstark Company, and the most forgiving and English master-at-arms William Godwin, along with the ever brave and humorous Captain Lothar Von Degen.

I am grateful for the protection I have, but let’s be honest, the men smell like cattle in a hot summer’s day. They sweat, belch, and emit other impolite bodily noises, and smells.. Every day, I am disgusted. I will feed them, I will care for their wounds, and I will clean and mend their clothing, but it comes with challenges. The men call me Frenchy, and the jokes are non-stop. It amuses them, so why not take it? If they try to get after me, I have trusty Charlotte to get after them with her paddle..

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