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Shortly before the trip to Brighton, the young Master Killigrew was in attendance on the King as one of his grooms. Charles was glad to be rid of the last person who had pressed him for an audience and ready for a strong glass of spirits and to shirk off his cravat and coat.


As that was happening, he made small talk with the young man, in a happy enough mood to have some hours to his own entertainment.


"How is your father?" he asked the young man.


"He is recovering, Your Majesty, thankfully." It had left the younger Killigrew with much to manage and much stress. Perhaps it showed on his face.


"And?" Charles could always tell when there was more. He was careful not to deprive his household of the benefit of speaking with him about their matters; it was an expected privilege that he respected.


"With the theater gone, it is very difficult. While his position in Your Majesty's household makes him immune to creditors and the threat of being imprisoned for debt, none extend him any credit because of it."


"And your family will now have a hard time recovering," the King completed.




Charles frowned some. Had he not asked Basildon to see the Cofferer of the Household, Maj-Gen Ashburnham and make sure that all the debts were settled? Surely if they had been so, more credit would be extended. The King surely had little to offer from his own funding with his number of mistresses and children.


"Send a page to find out if Jack or Major-General Ashburnham are still in attendance or in the presence room. Fear not." Their family had been very loyal to him and his family for many years, so Charles would have a hard time ignoring such things. Killigrew, like many, lived outside their means.


Some time later the elder Major-General entered, leaning heavily on his fine bejeweled walking stick.


"Your Majesty," he greeted with a stiff bow, from years of aging joints.


"Basildon was supposed to contact you about satisfying the Killigrew's debts, my friend, has he done so?"


The Major-General raised an eyebrow. "No, Your Majesty, I have not had a word from Lord Basildon at all."


"Will you settle them for me?" he asked, gently. The Ashburnhams had been his private financiers for a very long time, his father's before him. They were the silent access to coin behind the crown that nobody really knew about. Now and again when land or a large fine came back to the crown, Charles settled some of it, but it was never near what was owed. Even the monopoly on tapestry for the whole country could not truly settle the service that was rendered to him silently and without expectation of anything for it.


"Of course, Your Majesty. I will contact Killigrew for a list and send John with the coin."


"Good man. Tell young Killigrew on the way out that he can rest easy and enjoy Brighton thanks to my generosity and send me in someone else to pen a letter."


Within a short time, a note was penned to Lord Basildon.

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