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Louis Killington

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About Louis Killington

  • Rank
    Lord Basildon

Character Information

  • Circles
    Libertine
    Political
    Trade
  • Title
    Earl

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  1. Louis Killington

    The Chase Leads to Chevreuse (Monday)

    "Fair point," Louis replied with a laugh. "Irish whiskey makes you think like an Irishman I fear," he continued as he felt compelled to take another swig. "You have been most kind with your time your Grace. We shall have an entertaining evening to be sure. Have you any words of advice or warning in parting, other than next time leave the whiskey at home?" He laughed at the thought but he worried that his mind was somewhat muddled and he may have forgotten to ask an important question. If the Duc wished to deliver any other message, the Earl wished to afford him the opportunity.
  2. Louis Killington

    The Chase Leads to Chevreuse (Monday)

    "So it was likely Danby that created the whole Irish problem. No surprise there," Basildon admitted. "I had thought Williamson too smart for it, but His Majesty chose to let the man sit in the Tower and sell his office to Sunderland." That seemed rather unfair to Basildon, though he knew Sunderland to be friendly with France. The Hill kidnapping became more clear to Louis in that moment. Their grandfather knew the truth of Ireland perhaps and the boys were to keep his silence. Interestingly, the Duc spoke dismissively of York, expecting the Queen to have a live child. It would certainly mollify Shaftesbury and make him easier to work with going forward. It was more understandable that, once York was no longer the heir, the Whigs would become more cooperative. "Fair enough Your Grace." As for Margetha, "her rooms are cleaned daily," he replied with a smile. Of course, in the future, he would have her room examined even more closely. "When you come for dinner, we could keep her occupied so that you can look for yourself," Louis jested. "Or we could have your spy or Buckingham's spy in my household look as well." His laugh continued. His paranoia was in full bloom, wondering if he should replace all of his staff periodically just to make it harder on spies. "It shall be a grand evening. I shall ask Elizabeth and Nicolette to pick a date and an invitation shall be sent," he promised.
  3. Louis Killington

    The Chase Leads to Chevreuse (Monday)

    Bastard was such a tawdry word in polite company but Basildon found himself nodding. Louis had plenty of his bastards running about. One was in his own household. One day there would be a price to pay. "Oui, the whiskey must be slowing me," he agreed with a laugh. Self-deprecation was a useful tool in such situations. "William could promise her something in Holland perhaps, but she is not welcome there. I had hoped to use her baseness to offer her something more useful and tangible here ... something for which she would be motivated to act in her own interest to assist me. Rest assured she will be further tested. She may yet prove herself an asset rather than a liability. We shall see." He asked about Danby, but it was in jest. It made sense that the Dutch might be more incentivized to find Danby, if the Duc was speaking the truth about the Dutch plot being conspired with Danby. Basildon would have paid a good amount of coin to sit down with Danby later in the day and challenge him as to what in the world was thinking. The former Chief Minister had shared nothing with him beyond niceties. Curiously, the master plotter had no escape plan other than to blame Louis. The Earl told himself that if and when he hatched such a plot, he would have a more elegant exit and excuse, with plausible deniability. Such mediocrity from his former patron was disappointing. "Do you have a idea as to why Osborne would kidnap the Hill brothers? There is some connection to their grandfather." Perhaps the French had better information that the speculation of Buckingham and Worcester. It was also a surprise that the Duc spoke well of Shaftesbury, Basildon had always viewed him through a lens of treason. "A patriot in disguise? That is an unexpected compliment to him. The problem is that his view of what is good for England is different than His Majesty's." "If you are to stay in London until the matter is settled, perhaps you will accept an invitation to join us for dinner later this week, or next. I know that my wife and Nicolette should enjoy your company. We can have Margetha there for you to engage. Feel free to let slip a false military secret to test her," he chuckled.
  4. Louis Killington

    The Chase Leads to Chevreuse (Monday)

    Louis had been told by more than one person the nature of the Catholic flight to Anglican connections. It was all well and good but that did not mark the path to the resolution of Dutch and French plots. It was more relevant to the Popish plot, which might have been the product of an unusual marriage of Danby and Shaftesbury. He felt obliged to take another drink of whiskey, making him feel comfortably warm. As for the Dutch, he was now realizing what a millstone Margetha was around the neck of himself and his family. "The Dutch girl, Margetha, has royal blood but born on the wrong side of the sheets from Lady Ormonde and Lady Arlington. As such, she is largely disdained by the ladies back in her home. My lady wife took pity on her and thought that an English husband might be the answer. I suppose I need to send her back, or find a husband in haste for her so we can be rid of this millstone. Perhaps a French husband would be just the thing," Basildon laughed. "Do you have a gentlemen that is a pebble in your shoe and we might make a grand match of them?" Louis decided that a conversation with Lisa was in order. If nothing else, they could send her to estates in Basildon to await them. "Buckingham holding a royal secret that he cannot share with me merely stokes my curiosity." He wondered if the Duc knew the topic. "Is it about Danby's current location and status I wonder? In the past 48 hours I have come to revise my speculation as to where that pain in my backside went." The French had yet to know which lord(s) might be involved in the Dutch plot, but it suited them that the plotters be foreigners, as it would only counter their cause. "I would enjoy delving into the matter to ascertain the identity of the Dutch villain, but my instincts tell me that it would only heighten fears about my own loyalty if I were to call upon key members of the Dutch party. I find myself in something of a predicament," he admitted as he looked into his glass of whiskey. "A wise man suggested that I visit Shaftesbury of all people, as if he might be coaxed into assisting the matter. I know the Earl to be a practical man who considers many bed fellows; but, we are of limited common interest." It seemed that Louis was precluded from becoming the sleuth that would solve the mystery. Far more capable powers were stymied and did not run the same risks of associating with the wrong witness as did the Earl of Basildon. The better strategy, he imagined, was to use his newspapers to draw suspicion on Ormonde perhaps. The man was not well respected. "This game is far too intriguing for me to be immobilized on the game board. Perhaps you might have a recommendation for an interesting move on my part?" His eyebrow arched in invitation and then he paid the price with another drink.
  5. Louis Killington

    The Chase Leads to Chevreuse (Monday)

    The plot history and goals were confirmed. Louis had feared a new plot of murder was afoot. He found himself drinking the Irish whiskey again, as he listened. "That gives me additional context. Merci. And so, both the Dutch and French contingents are here to ensure that the truth comes to light." He offered a smile at that. The only truth that mattered was the one that was accepted. "No slight taken, your Grace. I have adopted His Majesty's call for tolerance. While there will be times that I will need to insult Catholics on the floor of Lords to prove myself free of Rome's conspiracies, real or imagined, I will serve my master by urging that all faiths and dissenters should work together to serve the realm, and the Crown thereby. Still I do not find selfishness and betrayal to be a Protestant staple. It is the man, and not the faith, that is to be trusted or not. Yet, I agree that the Jesuits are rather ... bad company." He offered that line with a serious tone and then broke into a smile. "Arlington," he repeated. "A man who betrayed the King to the Dutch, betrayed his religion for an office, married a Dutch princess, joined the Dutch party to no avail, and now lives on crumbs of kindness from His Majesty. I find him as an odd choice to become an advisor in a court of Dutch suspicion." He gave a glimpse of his low regard for the older man with the black plaster on his wounded nose. "I suppose there is solace for the advice of men who once gave advice when you were more in need of it." Chevreuse was a young man like himself. Surely he would understand. "Does Le Roi take solace in the advice of old servants that betrayed him I wonder?" "So tell me, my lord, if you will, would you advise that I sit back and let Buckingham and old friends steer the course while I continue to cultivate friends and contacts with each of the parties? Docility is not in my nature, but I can endure it for a time. I am enmeshed in no plots, as sorry as that sounds." The last was added with humor, bringing forth a smile. When there was a game afoot, Louis wanted to be a player. But, this one was a more dangerous variant. He would be advised, he assumed, to follow the lead of others and he would prevail in the end. He had friends in both the French and Dutch parties. He was well-regarded by royalists and the Court Party, so what did he have to fear? He almost fought a yawn. To combat it he took another drink of whiskey in salute. "That leaves us with predictions. That is a grand game. William will try and bury his tracks on past and current plots, employ other Protestant rulers to remind England of its duties religiously and to contain the French menace to the Continent. You will remind my master as to the value of an alliance with his cousin as opposed to a nephew. Your presence here is proof enough that King Charles does not blame his cousin for the unpleasantness of the not so distant past. If another English lord will fall, I wonder who would be next. The uninformed think it might be me, but that would be wrong. Had the King not embraced Arlington, he would have been a worthy guess for Dutch conspirator. I suppose there is Ormonde."
  6. Louis Killington

    The Chase Leads to Chevreuse (Monday)

    It was Basildon's turn to give a confused look. "A current plot? The Dutch? Want to kill King Charles?" His head was slowly shaking in the negative. "That would be an act of lunacy," he mumbled and moved to take another sip of whiskey. "I have heard tales of Dutch plots, but I thought them to be attempts to hide possible involvement with the prior assassination attempt," he confessed. :No doubt whispers about the Dutch are slower to reach me because of my wife's close relationship with Princess Mary. I suppose we picked the worst time to host a Dutch girl with some royal blood. Now I wonder whether she is a spy for Orange," he offered with a dark dismissive laugh. Buckingham had warned as much. "So tell me about these plots, if you would. Are they planning to harm my master or just engage in the more traditional lies, manipulation, blackmail, bribery, rumormongering, spying, kidnapping and low level murder," he listed aloud with a wry grin. "I want to know how worried I should be for my master and whether I need to take action unbidden." It was interesting to hear the French duke so free with the admission that the French were paying subsidies to the King to delay entry into the war. Louis supposed it was a compliment to his trusted status.
  7. Louis Killington

    The Chase Leads to Chevreuse (Monday)

    "Did I tell you that the English drink whiskey out of very small glasses," the Earl laughed as it was becoming apparent that he might need to take many drinks. "Yes, let us impose only a net number of drinks upon me or I shall never make it to my final questions. I did bring along an extra footman in case I needed to be carried out," he continued to offer with an amused chuckle. Quick to accept his debt, Louis drank two rounds of whiskey, the grimace on his lips giving evidence to the effect on his body. "Perhaps this should be employed more on prisoners to torture them into intoxicated confessions?" It was meant in jest but it did strike Louis as a viable plan. "I did not deign raise a question about Le Roi's complicity in the attack upon the King. Your master is no fool and I trust people to act in their own interests. My master is a friend of his cousin, as we know. Even though his brother would be one as well, any hint of French involvement in the death of good King Charles would be to destroy more than what was ever gained. No, if anyone was involved it might have been Monsieur, who may have been galled at the selection of a Palatinate ... princess over a French one. That is a theory espoused by those who are no friend of France bit not so foolish to ascribe foolishness to Le Roi. I had come to believe that that fanatics, either Catholic, Protestant or even Dissenters were behind it. Yet, as I gather evidence these days, I look to who would benefit the most from such an attempt. Clearly anti-French Protestants would stand to gain the most. There are hints that it could originate from the Dutch, though they have hidden it well from Princess Mary." The Duke would know that he and Lisa were close to the Princess. "Of course she would not forgive assassins of her uncle." "I wonder if the plan was intended to fail. Think on it. Who attempts to kill a King by shooting at him from the shore? If the Protestants were behind it, would they not want to leave my master alive, rather than to trust in the mercies of his Catholic brother? Most strange." He looked to Chevreuse in invitation to provide evidence. "Danby was involved in much of the intolerance in this kingdom, but I cannot imagine he was involved in that particular treason. Different treason, yes, but he would not be so foolish as to involve himself with a clumsy conspiracy unless he was sure that each conspirator was dead within hours of the event." Basildon was musing aloud as he mentioned it. "And that leaves the fate of Danby, my former patron. Did you know that I saw him the night he went missing? I thought him off to the Dutch but he disappeared instead. I now think he never left England." His eyebrow shot up invitingly as he hoped the Duke would know more than the French should.
  8. Louis Killington

    The Chase Leads to Chevreuse (Monday)

    "Excellent plan," Basildon agreed. "Yes, my means are small when compared to the likely greatest network in the world." "Let us start at the beginning of the Danby affair," he offered. The attempted assassination of the King was a more prickly subject for France. "I have assumed that you saw Danby as the greater threat to France than Shaftesbury, though both are enemies of France, at least in their rhetoric. I know your master provided the treaty to Ashley-Cooper. It was inspired because it turned two enemies against each other, but it has had the effect of stirring the populace more against France, as opposed to ruining Danby in a way more benign to France. Surely some embezzlement could have been discovered, for example. I am guessing that since he survived the last impeachment for misconduct, you thought you needed a bigger cannon? Is that a fair appraisal?"
  9. Louis Killington

    The Chase Leads to Chevreuse (Monday)

    With no pause, Basildon joined the Duke beside the fire. The move could also serve to draw their conversation further away from prying ears. "Yes, do bring the whiskey." Louis urged. "You shall have your choice of bottles for this dare your Grace. The Irish are deeply enmeshed in the game it seems. The Scots less so, surely to their chagrin," he chuckled. As a southern lord, Louis held the other of the Three Kingdoms in lower regard. "Might I suggest for the rules that if I go in the wrong direction, you order me to drink. If I observe something worthy, you would be at liberty to take a drink from your own glass. As the host and of much higher rank, I shall place myself at your mercy completely," Louis dared. "How do you wish me to proceed? Do you wish to set the stage so to speak, have me walk through the steps, or would you prefer to pose questions to me? Though if the latter, if you know not the answer before you ask it, then I would ask you to signify it by sipping your whiskey at the end of the question. Is the game fair?"
  10. Louis Killington

    The Chase Leads to Chevreuse (Monday)

    "Tut tut," Louis laughed, "poison is a woman's weapon." There was still some time for laughter. "I far prefer the civilized taste of wine, brandy and cognac," the earl confessed to his French companion. "Whiskey, is saved for special occasions I find. It is almost a dare to insult your senses so. It is like walking naked into the sea during winter. It is not to be recommended; but, when done on a dare and done in good company, it can build a sense of comradery. " One of his purposes was to build comradery with the French duke. Half of his family was in France, he was of the French party loosely in England, and Le Roi was the most powerful and wealthy man on the planet. A man would be a fool to not curry favor with the Sun King and those adroit enough to survive the court of vipers that was Versailles. The Duke provided his opening and Louis was ready. "Ah yes, the matter." The smile was replaced by a more intrigued look. "A worthy web spun by more than one spider. I have found myself, at times, ensnared into most each one. Some might curse such luck, but I find it a worthy game. There is much to learn as I am but an insignificant piece in the middle of the board, perhaps a knight who cannot travel in a straight line without a slight detour at each step," he chuckled, "and surely no bishop." His own path had involved both Danby and Buckingham, as well as French and Dutch (through his wife and his own relationship with Princess Mary, now Queen Mary. "Sadly, I cannot see the whole board nor through all the threads of the web "I do hope the matter is settled in a satisfactory way for your Grace and our masters. Though, I confess I am intrigued to see if I can solve some of the mysteries before the game is done. My skills are in need of honing and you are a master, so I pray that you might indulge me in a bit of spirited guesswork and a worthy contrast to our last five days of solemn spiritual cleansing."
  11. Louis Killington

    The Chase Leads to Chevreuse (Monday)

    Helping himself to the offered drink, Louis tasted the best brandy that he could find, leaving the two bottle of whiskey nearby. Twenty minutes was a short wait for a French duke, but a long one to an impatient Englishman. Louis attempted to school himself in tempo and thought through the conversation that was to follow. "Good day your Grace," Basildon greeted with a flourish, quite comfortable with the French morning rituals. "My cousin is in fine form, as always. She would have insisted on joining me had she known my destination. She will wish to express her greetings in person as it is quite the privilege to have you back in London again." He did recall that his aunt was a guest of the Duke. She was a French subject after all. Being a Hugenot in France these days was a dangerous position. As for talk of Sunday services, the Earl sighed. "The fifth day is the hardest," he admitted. "I was thinking that one day of prayer for each cross on Calvary would be sufficient." He offered a more cheerful smile than the high holy days might allow. "I brought both Irish and Scot fire that they call whiskey, charitably, as a strong salute to the resurrection, and I mean Christ's too," he jested. Relationships had died or failed in 1677. Danby had fallen and was perhaps dead. The English-French alliance had been broken. The Sun King was dealing with the Blond Villain. There was finger-pointing at who was behind the assassination attempt. A war was ongoing. The Northern Secretary was in the Tower. Ireland was said to be a powder keg. Old relationships needed to be resurrected. "I assume it was England's famed corn beef and cabbage that has brought you back to see us again," he continued to jest. "I know I would brave the miserable April weather and a Channel crossing for it." Basildon preferred to get to the point directly, but it was not the French way. The Duke would signal when he was ready to progress past the small talk and jibes. "How are things in Versailles and France these days? Is my aunt well? I know that Nicolette shall be asking after her."
  12. Louis Killington

    The Chase Leads to Chevreuse (Monday)

    Chevreuse was staying at the guest house of the Duke of Buckingham. Basildon knew the location well enough. Armed with new information and speculation from Worcester and two bottles of Irish and Scotch whiskey, Louis arrived in the late morning to pay his respects to the important Frenchman. Dressed in dove grey attire, and a cloak, there was no reason to stick out in the morning gloom. His carriage waited as the Earl made his presence known to the servant who answered the door.
  13. Louis Killington

    A Family Affair | Lord Worcester's Easter Evening

    "Excellent. Let me invite you to come visit my residence whenever you might wish after your visit to share a brandy and a new world cigar. They make an excellent combination." His house offered more security than the Woolsack. "I can share what I learn from Chevreuse as well." It seemed that their plotting was at an end for the moment. "Yes, me gather my ladies. Left to their own overlong they will create their own faction." He smiled at the notion as he made ready to collect them. "Thank you for the hospitality but we are but a short coach ride from home." They would not be needing rooms for the night.
  14. Louis Killington

    A Family Affair | Lord Worcester's Easter Evening

    The feast that was the Popish Plot was said to have many chefs, the chiefs of which were Danby and Shaftesbury, ironically the two greatest rivals at court. It was a curious state of affairs to be sure. The saddest part of Worcester's words was the recognition that both of the men talking were not on the list of lords close to the King, despite that each were a member of the Privy Council. That will change soon enough. Here was where Nicci and Buckingham would be helpful. The recommendation that they consult Shaftesbury continued to gnaw at him. "I plan to visit Chevreuse on the morrow," he revealed. "He is staying at Buckingham's guest house. We are well-enough acquainted and he knows me to be sympathetic to the French Party, so I am hopeful that he can reveal useful information that may not be known widely. You are right that we would benefit from learning more. I can see why friendly parties might share truthful information with us but I question what we could hope to learn from the blond villain. I have spoken civilly with Ashley-Cooper on more than one occasion, but I was always opposed as a loyal member of the Court Party and a protege of Danby. He might tell me something out of pity for my fallen former patron, but I suspect he will be more interested in learning more about what we know than revealing what he knows. He has little motivation to help us unless he thinks he can turn us away from the King." He was curious as to the response of the Marquess and pondered suggesting that it be he that went to Shaftesbury while Louis worked his French connection. Breaking from his somber tone, Louis could not help but quip "my lord, history most remembers the grandoise." He smiled at the declaration. "Incremental support will only incrementally move us towards our goal. If the King trusts us not, then I fear only a grand gesture will move us into his inner circle. Yes, yes, grand steps run a greater risk of a misstep, but we can hardly go wrong by championing toleration." Not wanting to sound deaf to his ally's advice, he was quick to add "but I would hear more of your plan and how you see us not being seen as associating with Shaftesbury, but rather taking steps to help the Crown. You have been a player at this game far longer than I." It was important to show a willingness to learn from his elders.
  15. Louis Killington

    A Family Affair | Lord Worcester's Easter Evening

    It seemed, at last, that the mystery was being solved. "It is always dangerous to oppose Buckingham. Even when the man is out of favor with the King, it seems that the next turn of the wheel he will be back in favor ... not to mention that he is a force of nature that can best any man at oratory and has the resources to best even the most wealthy opponent." Basildon thought on Buckingham further. "The Duke approached me prior to the fall of Danby, warning me to separate myself from the Chief Minister. That suggests he had some advance notice of the plot, or had seen the writing on the wall, so to speak. I was ignorant of Danby's greater plans, so I did not heed the warning initially. I thought the Papist plot to be the work of Shaftesbury and Titus Oates. I expected Danby to prove his worth to the King by being a voice to quell the mob, given his hatred for Catholics. I now see that he intended quite the opposite." It was as if the scales had fallen from his eyes. "Le Roi took a chance with Shaftesbury. The man could have protected and blackmailed Danby into doing his bidding. Though Ashley Cooper has no love for Danby, surely he was smart enough to realize that the fall of Danby would only bring about the rise of a Minister more tolerant to religious freedom and more popular with the crowd. He may have miscalculated," Louis mused aloud. Indeed, it had led to the rise of Buckingham, who was a far more dangerous opponent to Exclusion than Danby. "Yes, let us add Brooke and Fosbury to our Common Sense Coalition," he agreed. "And what of Cumberland and the military party? They would join surely, but the bigger the party, the less acclaim you and I will receive from the King," he offered with a smile. There was the purpose of saving England, but there was an equal purpose in causing the Somersets and Basildons to rise in the eyes of the Crown. "Of course, we would need to confer with Buckingham first so that we do not move at cross-purpose to his plans." Attention was not worth the unhappiness of his patron and the King's closest advisor." "I suspect His Grace has met already with the blond villain," the young Earl speculated. "If Cooper is truly tolerant in his heart, then the crisis can be tamped down. The only battle will be one over Exclusion. If the Queen produces a healthy heir, then there shall be no need for war over York's status. Shaftesbury needs to keep the mob unhappy, however, if he is to wield power. So, his assistance is likely to be limited, if at all. What were you thinking we would suggest to him?" Louis was of the view that it would be too early to approach the man at Kemps.
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