The New World
Duke of Oatshire Island
A small, wooded island with two seasonal streams running down from between the crown of three hills.
One tumbles down a rock wall into the lagoon in the north. The other flows through a channel cut by water into the sands of the beach of the south west. The only good anchorage is a tight cove, sheltered by rocky reefs and two eroding pillars in the west. The shelf of rock has been levelled off, covered over with fenders and a steep path of steps cut into the face of the cliff above the cove. At the islands centre an incongruous but impressive Gothic edifice sits in the midst of a broad cleared valley, protected by the eminences of the hill tops.
Duke of Oatshire Island is a private fiefdom, where the Earl of Tame, eldest living son of the Duke of Oatshire lives a sequestered life.
A lack of developed soils (except in the centre) and impermanent water supply, together with the impassable reef barring entrance to the otherwise tantalizing lagoon prevented earlier settlement of this minor island in the outer Pearlstring chain.
Charts in late 1602 A.A.D. (Analogue Anno Domini) show a small island, generally thought to be uninhabited, Isla Annunciacione, analoguous to Conception Island. The inspiration here was the estrangement of San Salvador, Christopher Columbus’ first landfall, from Spanish sovereignty by the British, who ended up in possession of the entire Bahamian group. Contemporarily, San Salvador is officially designated Watling Island, named for Watling Street, the Roman road which ran south east from east London, to the south coast, presumably. The principal place of occupation on Watling Island is called Kew, for the village outside London but though the site of a former royal palace, the only one in the hands of the National Trust rather than a property of the Crown and a celebrated botanical garden, not on Watling Street. Watling Island still has a bay named for Columbus corresponding to where the the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria arrived and is a neighbour of Conception Island, Columbus’ second landing place in the Caribbean. This places Isla Annunciacione near San Cristobal, here.