Corpus Davey founded

Against all the odds, DeViet’s son Roger took the business from strength to strength, developing lines based on his father’s ideas, diversifying and with his great-Auntie Bella’s help grew into a major pervert with tendencies that only served to boost business one way or another. He did not, however, develop the sandal theme, partly because he was spectacularly dim (and in any case hadn’t correctly interpreted his father’s ramblings) but mostly because he focussed on growing the company’s product lines in medical dressings.

He was utterly transfixed by pain and bodily fluids. What he lacked in medical knowledge he more than compensated for with biological experiments and a hugely inventive mind. He bred very productively, both within marriage and beyond. His children were similarly blessed and, as if some strange, unseen hand were guiding them all, a corporate dynasty was cultivated – never obvious, never excessive but always changing, pulsing, shadowy.

Similarly, an extremely discreet branch of the monastery that had looked after DeViet had itself, over the years, become transfixed by what it called “Sandal-light”. For nearly 1000 years scholars have studied, sweated and sworn (nearly) over the written and oral mysteries of DeViet’s death-bed evidence of the cult of The Sandal. Never, ever, did more than 5 living scholars know the whole truth, but as time went by the legend grew, changed, pulsed and, perforce, became arcane. It took on a life of its own, meanings of its own and it consumed the own of its own.

Through a network of spies, informers, contractors and victims of blackmail the ORDER and the DeViet Group developed exceptionally secretive links with each other, but only at bishop and chairman level, thus mutually maintaining a subtle, high-level and unbreakable bond between each party. Favours were given, but never forgotten, expensive gifts were exchanged, concepts swapped, ideas developed, enemies “dealt with” and personal fortunes made and lost (both in the negative accounting sense and where the authorities were concerned, if you catch my drift).

By this time, the senior DeViets and those with a direct bloodline back to Roger and his father had changed their name to Davey. In the 1530’s, King Henry 8th took an unhealthy yet pragmatic interest in religion, which made the high-ranking monks who were intrigued by DeViet more than a bit twitchy. The family itself, despite the clandestine but unswerving support of the monks and friends in very high places, had had a few problems with “wealth redistribution”. They were also uncertain and nervous, as many were, about which nationality Henry favoured at any given time so opted to anglicise a bit. (They went through various titles – DaViay, de Wiet, Wiett etc – but settled on Davey on the grounds that the name, whilst keeping close to their Norman roots, had five different letters and would therefore be more difficult to crack if written in code – a prescient move if ever there was one.)

By 1570 the links between the ORDER and the extensive Davey family were so inextricably interwoven (to the extent that several monks even carried the name, Fathers were fathers, mothers were sisters and Mothers, brothers were aunties and in one case there was a father who was neither one thing nor the other) a meeting of the archbishop and family elders decided to go even further underground. They agreed to discredit, deport or execute anyone who knew, or thought they knew, more than that which the original DeViet took to his grave. Clearly this could not be achieved in one fell swoop but, what with one thing and another going on worldwide (and at home), it was felt there’d be a sufficient number of wars occurring to whittle down the numbers quite quickly.

They justified this radical cleansing to themselves on the basis of financial and religious protectionism – an ideology with which some of us may be familiar today. The targets of their evangelical wrath were encouraged to join the army, the navy, go hunting, become missionaries and travel to disease-ridden places like Scotland and Africa, in fact to go anywhere or do anything where the life expectancy was, from their perspective, happily uncertain. Reluctant victims were simply topped and the blame firmly laid at the feet of witches, who were either burnt or sent overseas to become lawyers.

And so, in 1570, it came about that CORPUS DAVEY was founded: a highly secret and guarded formal ORDER, known only to the chosen few and protected by unflagging loyalty and hand-picked mercenaries, oh and lots of fear and money. Ring any bells?