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Story of Dr Syn

Story of Dr Syn

The Romney Marsh is a unique and mysterious location, steeped in tradition and legend. Reclaimed from the English Channel since the time of the Romans and due to it's close proximity to mainland Europe; the area has, over the centuries, been in the front line of the invasion hordes of Vikings, Saxons and Normans; as well as in more recent times facing the sinister invasion threats of both Napoleon and then Hitler. The range of Martello towers and defensive bastions along it's curved coastline reflect this unenviable legacy.

The area, now a peaceful heaven, lies somewhat precariously below sea - level; the awesome force of the great tides only kept at bay by the giant which has withstood the onslaught of centuries of ferocious channel storms. The Marsh is famous for it's churches, so rich in charm, beauty, history & architecture. There are also many strange tales surrounding these ancient buildings & their sites. The moods of the marsh are many, and when the hot sun sits high above the great scarp of Lympne Hill, smiling it's rays upon the quilt of greenest England, beaming it's reflection upon the summer sea and the ribbons of reeded dykes, there are few places in the world of such serene beauty and tranquility.

On another day, the sea mist that rises incredibly fast, shrouds the land in a blanket of enveloping mist so dense, you cannot see further than a foot in front of you. On these days, you can almost touch the silence. Winter winds can be frighteningly severe, with savage storms and blizzards that blow massive sheets of snow horizontally across the land. When night falls, the blackness and the isolated�cry of the Curlew beckon in a most ominous and spooky feeling, and it is easy to understand why so many tales abound of ghosts and ghouls and the supernatural.

It was against this background that the author Russell Thorndike created his famous Dr. Syn novels. Set in the latter part of the 18th Century when the old smuggling gangs were prevalent in the area, the books tell the story of Christopher Syn; a man of majestic romance, daring and cunning. By day, the pious and extraordinary vicar of the parish of Dymchurch - under - the wall and by night the infamous "Scarecrow", leader of the notorious smuggling gang, "The Night Riders"; whilst concealing the deadly secret of his third persona of Captain Clegg, the most ruthless and blood - thirsty pirate terror of the high seas.

This is the story about Dr.Syn, a sinister and mysterious person who was a brilliant scholar at Oxford, a gallant lover and a dueling cavalier. During his time in Oxford he won, by killing a notorious bully in a duel, the love of the beauty of Oxford.

Life has been good until the one day where this story begins.
As Dr. Syn came home he found out that Pirates kidnapped his wife, Imogene. So, Dr. Syn threw away the bible for the sword in his mad quest for vengeance and became the dark Pirate Captain Clegg on the Imogene, the most ruthless and bloodthirsty pirate, terror of the high seas.

image001Here's to the feet wot have walked the plank-
Yo-ho! For the dead man's throttle.
And here's to the corpses afloat in the tank,
and the dead man's teeth in the bottle.

For a pound of gunshot tied to his feet,
and a ragged bit of sail for a winding-sheet;
then the signal goes with a bang and a flash,
and overboard you go with a horrible splash.

And all that isn't swallowed by the sharks outside,
Stands up again upon its feet upon the running tide
And it keeps a-blowin' gently, and a-lookin' with surprise
At each little crab a-scramblin' from the sockets of its eyes.

Captain Clegg's song
He followed the Pirates to America having just one thought in mind. Vengeance. In his blood-thirst he hunted the pirates down only to learn that his wife already was dead and that King George has placed a price on his head.Some years later, after many high sea adventures, he returned to rural England to shed his past and assume a posting as vicar of Dymchurch.

His former ship�s carpenter, Mr. Mipps, accompanied him. Mr. Mipps soon became involved in the local smuggling ring. Dr. Syn, fearing for the life of his friend and others, decided to bring the ragtag group of smugglers together by becoming their masked leader, The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh.

Scarecrow! Scarecrow!

The soldiers of the King feared his name.


On the southern coast of England, There's a legend people tell, Of days long ago when the great Scarecrow

Would ride from the jaws of Hell

And laugh (Ahhh! Ha-ha! Ha-ha! Haaa!) With a fiendish yell!

With his clothes all torn and tattered,

Through the black of night he'd ride,

From the marsh to the coast like a demon ghost

He'd rob the rich then hide

And he'd laugh (Ahhh! Ha-ha! Ha-ha! Haaa!) Till he split his side!

So the King told all his soldiers,

"Hang him high or hang him low,

But never return till the day I learn

He rides in flames below

Or you'll hang - with the great Scarecrow!"

Scarecrow! (Scarecrow!) Scarecrow! (Scarecrow!)

The soldiers of the King feared his name.

Scarecrow! (Scarecrow!) Scarecrow! (Scarecrow!)

The country folk all loved him just the same.


He would always help the farmer,

When there was no gold to bring,

He'd find a way for the poor to pay

The taxes of the King -

With gold from a smuggler's ring!

Scarecrow! (Scarecrow!) Scarecrow! (Scarecrow!)

The soldiers of the King feared his name.

Scarecrow! (Scarecrow!) Scarecrow! (Scarecrow!)

The country folk all loved him just the same.




(Ahhh! Ha-ha! Ha-ha! Ha-ha! Ha-haaa!)

The Scarecrow Song Many stories have been told since then, about how the crown tried to capture him and how he survived all attempts of murder. He still can be heard in misty nights when he rides through the Romney Marsh and the fog crouches from the sea to the land. Then you still can hear his song �
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