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John Murray

Title: Marquess of Athole, Viscount Glenalmond, Earl of Tullibardine [all in Scotland]

Estate Name: Dunkeld Hall, in Perthshire, Scotland

Nationality: Scottish

Age: 46 (b. 2 May 1631)

Gender: Male

Eye Color: hazel

Hair Color: sandy red

 

Physical Attributes

Of slightly taller than average height and broad shoulders, he is otherwise unremarkable in appearance.

 

Initial Impression of Personality

Ruthless.

 

Background

A staunch Royalist, he supported Charles I, just as vigorously as he now supports Charles II.

 

Murray is married to Lady Amelia Murray (30+), who has born him a child almost yearly since they were wed.

 

Offspring:

  • Lady Amelia Murray (18)
  • Lord John Murray (17)
  • Charles (16)
  • Charlotte (14)
  • James (14)
  • William (13)
  • Jane (deceased)
  • Mungo (9)
  • Edward (8)
  • Henry (deceased)
  • Katherine (5)
  • George (4)

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Amelia Murray

Title: (Lady) Daughter of the Earl of Atholl and Tullibardine

Estate Name: Dunkeld, Perthshire

Nationality: Scottish

Age: 18 (b. 1659)

Gender: Female

Eye Color: Green

Hair Color: Copper

 

Physical Attributes & Initial Impression of Personality

She is a little taller than average, with green eyes and an abundance of both copper curs and, unfortunately, freckles.

 

Background

Lady Amelia Murray is the daughter of John Murray and his wife, Lady Amelia. She is the eldest of 10 surviving children.

 

Having spent the autumn season in London, this young lady returned to Scotland for the winter.

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John Maitland

Full Name: John Maitland

Nationality: Scottish

Title: Duke of Lauderdale

Age: 61 (b. 1616)

Gender: Male

Eye Color: Blue

Hair Color: Blond

Marital Status: Married

 

Physical Attributes

John Maitland was not just plain. He was ugly, his face somewhat bloated, and lines noting his age. His nose was grotesque. His waistline had grown considerably through the years.

 

Personality

Although able, John is arrogant and unscrupulous and ruthless, and is widely disliked. He is a Presbyterian. Clarendon described him as "insolent, imperious, flattering and dissembling, and having no impediment of honour to restrain him from doing anything that might satisfy any of his passions."

 

One of these passions was the arts.

 

Background

He was a member of an ancient family of Berwickshire, the eldest surviving son of John Maitland, 2nd Lord Maitland of Thirlestane (d. 1645), who was created Earl of Lauderdale in 1624, and of Lady Isabel Seton, daughter of Alexander, Earl of Dunfermline and great-grandson of Sir Richard Maitland, the poet.

 

Married Lady Anne Home in 1632, with whom he had one child, Mary, in 1645. Secondly, he married Elizabeth Murray, Countess of Dysart, in 1671.

 

Covenanter

Maitland began public life as a zealous adherent of the Presbyterian cause, took the Covenant, sat as an elder in the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland at St Andrews in July 1643, and was sent to the Kingdom of England as a Commissioner for the Covenant in August, and to attend the Westminster Assembly in November.

 

Privy Councillor in Two Kingdoms

In February 1644 he was a member of the Privy Council of England and the Privy Council of Scotland, and on November 20 was one of the Commissioners appointed to treat with the king at Uxbridge, when he made efforts to persuade King Charles I to agree to the establishment of Presbyterianism. In 1645 he advised Charles to reject the proposals of the Independents, and in 1647 approved of the king's surrender to the Scots.

 

Restoration

At this period Lauderdale veered round completely to the king's cause, had several interviews with him, and engaged in various projects for his restoration, offering the aid of the Scots, on the condition of Charles's consent to the establishment of Presbyterianism, and on December 26 he obtained from Charles at Carisbrooke "the engagement" by which Presbyterianism was to be established for three years, schismatics were to be suppressed, and the Acts of the Parliament of Scotland ratified, the king in addition promising to admit the Scottish nobles into public employment in England and to reside frequently in Scotland.

 

Returning to Scotland, in the spring of 1648, Lauderdale joined the party of Hamilton in alliance with the English royalists. Their defeat at Preston postponed the arrival of the Prince of Wales, but Lauderdale had an interview with the prince in the Downs in August, and from this period obtained supreme influence over the future king. He persuaded him later to accept the invitation to Scotland from the Argyll faction, accompanied him thither in 1650 and in the expedition into England, and was taken prisoner at Worcester in 1651, remaining in confinement till March 1660.

 

He joined Charles in May 1660 at Breda, the Netherlands, and in spite of the opposition of Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon and George Monck, was appointed Secretary of State for Scotland.

 

King's Councillor

From this time onwards he kept his hold upon the king, was lodged at Whitehall, was "never from the king's ear nor council," and maintained his position against his numerous adversaries by a crafty dexterity in dealing with men, a fearless unscrupulousness, and a robust strength of will, which overcame all opposition. Though a man of considerable learning and intellectual attainment, his character was exceptionally and grossly licentious, and his base and ignoble career was henceforward unrelieved by a single redeeming feature.

 

He abandoned Argyll to his fate, permitted, if he did not assist in, the restoration of episcopacy in Scotland, and after triumphing over all his opponents in Scotland drew into his own hands the whole administration of that kingdom, and proceeded to impose upon it the absolute supremacy of the crown in kirk and state, restoring the nomination of the lords of the articles to the king and initiating severe measures against the Covenanters. In 1669 he was able to boast with truth that "the king is now master here in all causes and over all persons."

 

The Cabal Ministry

His own power was now at its height, and his position as the favourite of Charles, controlled by no considerations of patriotism or statesmanship, and completely independent of the English parliament, recalled the worst scandals and abuses of the Stuart administration before the English Civil War.

 

He was a member of the Cabal Ministry, but took little part in English affairs, and was not entrusted with the first secret Treaty of Dover, but gave personal support to Charles in his degrading demands for pensions from Louis XIV. On May 2 1672 he was created Duke of Lauderdale and Earl of March, and on June 3 Knight of the Garter. He was also appointed Lord President of the Privy Council of Scotland in 1672, a position he held until 1681. Made Knight of the Garter in 1672

 

In 1673, on the resignation of James in consequence of the Test Act, he was appointed a Lord Commissioners of the Admiralty. In October he visited Scotland to suppress the dissenters and obtain money for the Anglo-Dutch War, and the intrigues organised by Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury against his power in his absence, and the attacks made upon him in the House of Commons in January 1674 and April 1675, were alike rendered futile by the steady support of Charles and James.

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Ophelia Doolittle Melville

 

Full Name: Ophelia Doolittle Melville

Title: Viscountess Melville

Estate Name: Melville Castle, Lothian

Nationality: English

Age: 17 (b. 1660)

Gender: Female

Eye Color: Grey

Hair Color: Mousey brown

 

Physical Attributes

To call Ophelia simply plain would be generous at best. Homely is a much more apt description, for her eyes, ears, and nose are generally disproportionate to her face. She is clearly not fond of time spent in front the mirror, for she is never fashionably dressed and her hair is usually gathered in a simple bun.

 

Personality

Ophelia is a reserved sort, much preferring the company of her books to the lavish gatherings of the Court. She is usually uncomfortable around large groups of people, especially when beautiful women are involved. She shows a scholarly aptitude, and is a stoic, practical sort. She tends to be a little quiet, but will become much more animated when discussing a topic of interest, such as literature.

 

Background

Ophelia is the daughter of Cedric Doolittle, a shipping magnate who purchased a baronet. Her mother, Martha, is extremely ill, and is a recluse. She has two sisters, Ellen (older) and Natalie (younger). She is lately married to Duncan Melville and recently bore a daughter.

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Elizabeth Maitland

Full Name: Elizabeth Maitland (nee Murray)

Nationality: Scottish

TItle: Duchess of Lauderdale and Countess of Dysart

Estate Name: Ham House

Age: 51 (b. 1626)

Gender: Female

Eye Color: Blue

Hair Color: Blonde

Marital Status: Married

 

Physical Attributes

Elizabeth Maitland is neither pretty nor ugly, her rising age noted by the lines starting to appear on her face and a widening waistline had grown considerably through the years.

 

Personality

While appearing simple and open, Elizabeth is a sharp and manipulative woman, at times as ruthless as her husband. An influential woman, who is hard to perturb.

 

Background

Elizabeth was the eldest of the five daughters of William Murray, 1st Earl of Dysart, a close friend of Charles I; and his wife. Her father ensured that she received a full education, which was unusual for women of the period.

 

Because of the English Civil War her father was delayed in finding her a husband but in 1648 she married Sir Lionel Tollemache.

 

Restoration

She was close friends with the Parliamentarian Oliver Cromwell during this period and the friendship provided a cover for her own Royalist tendencies. In 1653 she joined the secret Royalist organisation, the Sealed Knot. She was in correspondence with exiled supporters of Charles II and even visited Europe to see the king himself. In 1660, when Charles II resumed the throne, he rewarded Elizabeth with an annual pension of £800. Her enemies accused her of witchcraft because of her political influence.

 

Family Life

Upon her father's death in 1655 she inherited his titles, becoming Countess of Dysart. In 1669 her husband Lionel died in France. It is suspected that very soon after this she became the mistress of John Maitland, 1st Duke of Lauderdale, the Scottish noble and politician, whom she eventually married in 1672, upon his own wife's death.

 

Children (all from first marriage to Tollemache)

  • Lionel Tollemache, 4th Baronet Tollemache (b. 1648)
  • Thomas Tollemache, Captain in the Royal Navy (b. 1649)
  • William Tollemache (b. 1650)
  • Catherine Tollemache (b. 1657)
  • Elizabeth Tollemache (b. 1659)

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Thomas Bruce

Full Name: Thomas Bruce of Kinrosse

Nationality: Scottish

Title: Baron Bruce of Skelton, Ampthill, Whorlton, and Kinrosse, Prince in the Scottish Peerage (by birth)

Age: 21 (b. 1656)

Gender: Male

Eye Color: Hazel

Hair Color: Light, Sandy Blond

Marital Status: Single

e

Physical Attributes

Tall, with a fair complexion, he has the Scottish colouring of his father.

 

Personality

He is an intense young man and a vehement Royalist, with political aspirations. Although he is not lavish or frivolous, he is not wise with money.

 

Background

The eldest surviving son of Robert Bruce, Earl of Elgin and of Ailesbury, and his wife, Lady Diana Grey, he was actually their tenth child, his four elder brothers having predeceased him. He has been a friend to the Duke of Monmouth since they were boys. He was one of the suitors of Elisabeth Killington before her marriage. Also friends with Thomas Thynne.

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  • 1 month later...

Henrietta Sutherland

Full Name: Henrietta Sutherland

Nationality: Scottish

Title: Mistress (daughter of 1st Lord Duffus)

Estate Name: Duffus Castle (near Elgin)

Age: 17

Gender: Female

Height: 5'6''

Eye Color: Brown

Hair Color: Dark Brown

Marital Status: Single

 

Appearance

Taller than average for a woman, Henrietta is slim and perhaps less voluptuous and plump than the true beauties of court. Her stately posture and impeccable manners make up for her average looks.

 

Personality

Is a talented musician, and plays the hurdy-gurdy. Is also recognized as a good dancer.

 

Background

Daughter of Alexander Sutherland, 1st Lord Duffus. Family has connections to the Earl of Sutherland.

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Colin Lindsay

Full Name: Colin Lindsay

Nationality: Scottish

Title: 3rd Earl of Balcarres

Estate Name: Balcarres House (in Fife)

Age: 24 (b. 1652)

Gender: Male

Height: 5'9''

Eye Color: Brown

Hair Color: Light Brown

Marital Status: Widowed

 

Appearance

Slightly taller than average, the Earl of Balcarres cuts a dashing figure. He is always well-turned out in appearance, though his manner of dress is not quite so cutting-edge as to put him in the circles of fashion at court. He is lean and physically fit, as he is an avid sportsman.

 

Personality

Possessed of a likeable nature, Balcarres finds it easy to make friends with others. He greatly enjoys playing tennis and riding, which is to be expected for a cavalryman. He is well-read and classically educated, having had some of the best tutors his father could find, but has made his name via his military suits.

 

Background

Inherited the earldom at the age of 12 following the death of his elder brother. Was presented at court at sixteen in 1670, where the king took such a liking to his personality that he gave Balcarres command of a select cavalry troop manned by gentlemen in reduced circumstances. Not long after this was married to Mademoiselle Mauritiade Nassau, sister of Lady Arlington and the Countess of Nassau, and daughter of Louis de Nassau, count of Beverwaert and Auverquerque in the Dutch Republic; but at the ceremony he, by mistake, placed a mourning instead of a wedding ring on the finger of the bride, who took the evil omen so much to heart that she died within a year. After her death he went to sea with the Duke of York (the future James II of England), under whom he distinguished himself at the battle of Solebay, 28 May 1672.

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Duncan Melville

 

Character Name: Duncan, Lord Melville.

Title: Viscount de Melville, Lord Monymail.

Estate Name: Melville Castle, in Lothian.

Family Motto: "Pro rege et patria" - "For king and country".

Nationality: Scoto-Norman Lowlander

Religion: Presbyterian

Age: 31

Gender: Male

Eye Colour: Steel gray

Hair Colour: Black

Marital Status: Married

Business: Partner in Horizon Ventures

Residences:

- Chelsea: Melville House

- Edinburghshire: Melville Castle

 

Reputation

 

This Scot might come from a good family, but shows his wealth obtained from a merchant marriage in a way that borders on nouveau riche in the eyes of the old English families. Melville's friends find him steadfast & trustworthy, a good and generous companion, who is gaining ground as a courtier. His genteel nature is popular with ladies. Word is he is a good soldier and loyal to England's military interests, and also dabbling in business. Certain eyes are on him.

 

Physical Attributes

 

Standing tall, but not exceedingly so at 5'11", you see a suntanned man standing at ease with his feet set slightly apart. His shoulders are wide, and his frame muscled, although not overly so. His clothes are tight-fitting, yet they do not seem to impede his movements. When speaking to someone, he meets the gaze unwaveringly with penetrating eyes. His jaw is strong, his nose straight, and his eyes are clear, the gray color of steel, framed by long, black eyelashes. His welcoming face is crowned by a generous head of raven-black hair, which he likes to wear in a queue, using a silver clasp decorated with a celtic motive.

 

The first impression

 

The man is definitely not English. His gaze is too open, and his manner too frank. His slight accent does give him away as a Scott when he speaks, and he seems to be a direct, likeable person. His movements, words, and reactions betray him as a man with years of military experience, one accustomed to receive and obey orders... and give them and see them carried out.

 

Background

 

The Melville name originated from the barony of Malaville or Malleville in the Pays de Caux in Normandy. Guillame (William) de Malleville accompanied William the Conqueror to England and fought at the Battle of Hastings. Like many other major Scottish families, the de Mallevilles came to Scotland with King David I when he returned in 1124 after 30 years spent at the English court. They were granted lands in Midlothian, outside Edinburgh by King David. The first record of the name was as a witness to a charter granted by Malcolm IV, later in the 12th century. Galfrid de Maleville was a guardian of Edinburgh Castle in Malcolm's reign. A Richard Maluvell was one of those captured with King William at the Battle of Alnwick in 1174. Richard Maluvell's grand-daughter inherited the Barony of Melville which passed to the Ross family when she married Sir John Ross of Halkhead and the barony has remained in that family until now.

 

Members of the Melville family spread across Scotland and there are a number of documents with their signatures during the 12th and 13th century. When King Edward I of England demanded that all Scottish landowners and clergy should render homage to him and sign the "Ragman Rolls" in 1296, there were signatures from no less than twelve "Maleuill" (and other variant spellings), from as far afield as Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Stirling, Fife, Roxburgh and Peebles. Sir Johannes Maleuill, who signed the Rolls, was one of the major barons of Scotland at that time. His descendant, Sir John Melville of Raith was a favourite of King James V in the 16th century and obtained lands at Murdocairnie in Fife. Despite the royal patronage, he was an early supporter of the religious Reformation. As a friend of some of those who conspired to kill Cardinal Beaton of St Andrews, he was subsequently executed in 1550 on the evidence of a forged letter.

 

Sir Robert Melville of Murdocairnie was the keeper of the Palace of Linlithgow at the end of the reign of Mary Queen of Scots. Twenty years later, as an ambassador at the court of Queen Elizabeth, he was so outspoken about the sentence of death which had been pronounced on Mary by an English court, that he was threatened with imprisonment, despite his diplomatic status. Later, he became Vice-Chancellor of Scotland and took the title "Lord Murdocairnie". In 1616 he was created Baron Melville of Monymail. His son, also a judge, was given the title Lord Monymail in 1627 by King Charles I, and became Secretary of State for Scotland and the first Viscount de

Melville. This last was Duncan's father.

 

The family seat is Melville Castle in Lothian, the original family home, and the Melville clan's motto is "Pro rege et patria" - "For king and country".

 

Duncan's childhood was a whirlwind. His father rose from a member of a respected family, but somewhat unknown country baron, to become Secretary of State for Scotland, and the first viscount of the name. So Duncan saw the family's fortunes rise as he grew up. His perennial company were his mother, Elaine, and his younger sister, Beatrice. He saw little of his father, and thus sought a father figure somewhere else, finding an old but very loyal sergeant-at-arms who had served his family since youth. His attraction for the military definitely sparked then.

 

Duncan's father saw to it that his son was well-schooled to follow in his steps, hoping he would become the third judge of the family line but, to his chagrin, Duncan showed great promise with languages, but little with every other subject he was ordered to study. Disheartened, Duncan's father gave up and, surprisingly, allowed his son to pursue the career of his choice, which was the military. In this, he exceeded even his own expectations, showing great ability and an uncanny sense to anticipate his superiors' orders.

 

When peace came after the last Anglo-Dutch war, Duncan spent a year to put his affairs in order

before leaving for London in 1675. His king was now Charles II, king of England, Scotland and Wales, and he had never met him. It did not feel right. To his thinking, having a liege lord one has never met was not right. So he decided to spend a season in London to meet his king, and to get his bearings in this new post-Cromwell England. Of course, the possibility of acquiring preferment was also a deciding factor.

 

Common Knowledge

 

- Partner of Sir Cedric Doolittle in Horizon Ventures.

- Previously a major in Dumbarton's Regiment.

- Currently a major in Langdon's Regiment.

- A man of demonstrated military ability in the fields of battle of the Continent.

 

Family

 

- Mother: Elaine Melville.

- Sister: Beatrice Lindsay, Countess of Balcarres.

- Wife: Ophelia Melville nee Doolittle.

- Daughter: Ellen Melville.

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Douglas FitzJames

 

Full Name: Douglas Kieran FitzJames

Nationality: Scottish

Title: Captain FitzJames, Baron Dundarg, Lord Lieutenant of Aberdeen

Estate Name: Dundarg Castle (on the Aberdeen coast)

Age: 25

Gender: Male

Height: 6'6''

Eye Color: Cornflower Blue

Hair Color: Dull Black

Marital Status: Single

 

Appearance

Outlandishly tall and leanly built, Douglas is never going to be muscular but he moves with a certain grace. He has the fine MacBain bone structure but it doesn't work on a man, his features are sharp and his face hollow-cheeked. He sports his fair share of freckles from spending time outdoors, and he has startling, cornflower blue eyes.

 

Personality

Genuine but unrefined. Douglas is serious, loyal and steadfast, and prepared to do what is deemed necessary. Around his friends he can be jovial and lighthearted, around his enemies he is sour and scathing.

 

Background

Illegitimate first child and only son of James MacBain, Viscount Lochend. His bastardy meant that Douglas inherited nothing and he left the estate at 16 and joined the Regiment du Dumbarton. Several years later he was granted a position in the King's Life Guards and came to London where he was reunited with his half-sister, Catriona MacGregor. Since then he has risen in the ranks of the Life Guards and been granted a title and estate.

 

Common Knowledge

* Douglas is illegitimate.

* He is a known military hero, with a string of daring adventures under his belt, both in the Regiment du Dumbarton and in the Life Guards.

* His skill lies on the battlefield, not in the niceties of court, and he is known to lack finesse.

* As a Lord Lieutenant in Scotland, he is entitled to fly the Lion Rampant, the Scottish Royal Arms.

 

Family

* Half-sisters: Catriona MacGregor, Fiona MacBain, Shona MacBain, Aileen MacBain.

* Niece: Nessia MacGregor.

 

Edited by Douglas FitzJames
Updated age
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Catriona MacGregor

 

Character Name: Catriona MacGregor (nee MacBain, nee Parham)

Title: Countess Alyth

Estate Name: Alyth

Nationality: Scottish

Age: 19

Gender: Female

 

Physical Attributes

The first thing one notices when Catriona enters the room is her height. She stands taller than most ladies, at an impressive 5'8" without heels. This makes it easy for her to look men in the eye when she speaks with them. Unfortunately, it is not often that their eyes meet hers. Instead, they are drawn to a most bountiful sight provided by the low cut gowns and tight corsets of the day's fashion. A pity, really, since it is her eyes that she feels are her best feature. The deep sapphire blue of her eyes, surrounded by thick lashes, darkens when angered and lightens when amused, readily giving away her mood. Her hair is a rich chestnut, in which hides startling auburn highlights, giving away her Scottish heritage almost as easily as the brogue that sometimes slips into her voice when she loses control of her speech pattern. Her nose is straight, almost knife-like, much like the dark, thin brows that perch upon her brow. Her skin is her biggest physical flaw, as it carries a kiss of the sun upon it, quite unlike the pale complexions favored by other ladies of the court.

 

Personality

Cat is for the most part a very friendly person. A very honest person to her friends, though she is able to lie very prettily if she feels it necessary. A natural mother hen (if mother hens carried weapons on them), even to those who don't require her continued protection. She has fun, but can sometimes slip into a dark mood, though she tries to hide that from public view.

 

Reputation

The Scottish Catriona Gillian MacGregor, Countess of Alyth and Royal Mistress to His Majesty Charles II, is an acknowledged court beauty. The lady is temperamental, a touch overbearing even, yet considered to be among the leading charitable matrons, kind and friendly to all so that often her dramatics are forgiven. Her influence at court is said to be considerable. Some say so is her greed.

 

Background

Oldest legitimate child of John MacBain, Viscount Lochend, and his wife Siobhan. Married off to her first husband at the age of 14, the Viscount Patterson died at the hands of a jealous lover when Cat was 16. Her mother died shortly thereafter, so she returned home to help with her sisters. Her father, after a violent fight with Cat, died of a self-inflicted gun shot to the head, though the story told is that he died in a hunting accident. The younger MacBains were made wards of the Crown and were sent to London. Cat followed soon after.

 

 

Common Knowledge

*Mistress to the King

*Mother of his daughter, Nessia Maire MacGregor

*Known for her charitable works and her tea shop

 

Family

Sisters

Fiona MacBain, Viscountess Lochend-16

Shona MacBain-14

Aileen MacBain-12

Half-Brother

Douglas Fitzjames

Daughter

Nessia (Nessie) MacGregor, natural acknowledged daughter of King Charles II-1

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  • 5 weeks later...

Stephen Murray

Full Name: Stephen Thomas Murray

Nationality: Scottish

Title: Untitled Gentry (third son of the Baron of Durness)

Estate Name: Durness Hall

Age: 25 (b. 07 October 1651)

Gender: Male

Height: 6'

Eye Color: Blue

Hair Color: Red

Marital Status: Unmarried

London Residence: #40 Piccadilly (Taigh nan Craobhan)

 

Current Reputation (after Season VI)

“This newcomer of the Murray Clan gained the notice of the King and some of the highest members of the nobility. It is no wonder when he is known for being academic, witty, and honest, but he has also been accused of being unfeeling and artless.”

 

First Impression and Physical Appearance

Stephen is a tall man, coming in at six feet in his stockings, but it is not height that catches eyes. Blue eyes gleam, but more often are serious than laughing, and though Stephen’s mouth was meant for smiling, he has found little cause to smile and laugh. His face is angular, with defined cheekbones, and his ears stick out just a bit too much. Overall he cuts a quirkily attractive figure--not classically handsome, but attractive all the same.

 

What seems most likely to strike people about Stephen is not the blueness of his eyes or the curling auburn of his periwig, but the restrained way he holds himself. It is almost like he feels himself afraid to break apart, like a genuine smile or a laugh would be his undoing. This personal restraint echoes throughout his choice of clothing and fabric, and often leads to his cutting a somber figure. In practice this reserve dissipates the longer Stephen has known a person--though whether or not he approves of them also assists in how quickly he allows himself to be friendly.

 

Background

Stephen Murray, third son to Lord Durness, was born into a time that would always be remembered. His father made the decision to support Charles II in the English Civil War, believing that negotiation with the king was more reasonable that overthrowing the monarchy altogether. It was a sentiment popular in the northern Highlands, but no one could have predicted the victories Cromwell won in 1651, effectively shutting down the opposition.

 

The Highlands were sealed off, and another two-year uprising only led to more strife--least of all for Lord Durness, with a string of young children and another expected. Stephen and his older brothers were foisted upon nurses as soon as possible and rarely saw their mother, busy as she was with being nearly constantly pregnant and maintaining appearances as a baroness.

 

It was into this strange time of political unrest that Stephen grew up. He was a studious child, though serious and sour by turns, but took to learning like a fish to water. The fact that Charles II was reinstated as monarch did not appear to register to Stephen; at nearly ten, he was too concerned with his books and figures.

 

His father and mother returned to court, but Stephen was left behind in the care of tutors and nurses with the rest of his siblings. They would write and tell of magnificent parties, of masques and the opulence of court, but for Stephen all it seemed to mean was that his parents would be absent for a portion of every year until he was old enough to be presented in society.

 

When he got his chance in 1669, Stephen wasn’t sure what to think. Isolated as he had been in Durness, not even his mother’s letters had prepared him for what he viewed as the immorality and excess of court. Stephen had never been a prude, or even tight-fisted with money, but he knew an excess when he saw one, and such excesses made him feel uncomfortable.

 

It was this that led Stephen to ask his father to allow him to go to university. Lachlan took some persuading, as he seemed to feel that an education would go straight to the boy’s head and prove detrimental, but seemed to favor the notion in the end because it removed Stephen from court--preventing him from making a fool of the family. And so in 1670, Stephen made the trip south to begin his studies in Edinburgh, intending to study mathematics.

 

Far from home and the shadows of his brothers, who had been sent all the way to England for their education in the hopes that they would meet the right people at Oxford, Stephen flourished. He had a keen mind, and though mathematics had not been his favorite course of study as a child, it was interesting enough to keep his attention. He knew full well that as a third son, his father intended to set him up in trade.

Family

Parents

  • Father: Lachlan Murray, Lord Durness (b. 1615)
  • Mother: Aileen (MacKay) Murray, Lady Durness (b. 1631)

Siblings

  • Andrew Murray (b. 1649)
  • Master Dougal Murray (b. 1650)
  • Mistress Murray (Fenella, b. 1654)
  • Elspeth, Lady Gordon (b. 1657)
  • Master Fergus Murray (b. 1660)

Extended Family

  • John Murray, Marquess of Athole (second cousin, once removed)

 


Recess Summaries

Season 5 Recess

Reputation after Season V

“The young gentleman’s timid countenance betrays his lack of experience at court, however behind the quiet façade friends have discovered a kind and courteous man with a gentle heart.”

Court adjourned not a moment too soon for Stephen. He found it difficult to put on a brave face after the catastrophe of the Pageant Flotilla, and whatever patience he had possessed coming to Windsor had quickly worn thin. Eadgar Setch, the only friend Stephen had made at Windsor, had been killed, and this affected Stephen far more than he let on. Eadgar had been a good man, and Stephen would have been lying to himself if he didn’t acknowledge that he had wanted more from that particular relationship. Friendless, with his recess plans in shambles and unable (as well as unwilling) to make the trek back to Scotland, Stephen made the best of his situation.

 

He went to London as planned and rented a decent room from a widow who ran a boardinghouse in East London, intent on making something of his recess. He ended up helping the widow, who had lost her son’s assistance when he opened a tavern, get her finances in tip-top shape--reducing his monthly fee for his room and board as such. It was nice to forget all about court and to have something else to focus on beyond his family’s machinations for his life. It felt like Edinburgh, where Stephen had finally felt like he had been able to be free of his overbearing father, but it was not meant to last.

 

The recess had been good for Stephen beyond just keeping him busy. Eadgar’s death still sat badly with Stephen, but it was easier to deal with as time went on. He missed him awfully, but the widow helped fill the loneliness with her good-natured sense of humor. There would be time for finding friends, and London held the promise of meeting Whigs as well as the Royalists he had met at Windsor. These sorts of thoughts sustained Stephen for the majority of his recess, and he threw himself into everyday life, waiting for court to be called again, determined to make the most of the new court season and see where he ended up.

 

Season 6 Recess

Reputation (after Season VI)

“This newcomer of the Murray Clan gained the notice of the King and some of the highest members of the nobility. It is no wonder when he is known for being academic, witty, and honest, but he has also been accused of being unfeeling and artless.”

Stephen decided to stay in London, having no estate to retire to in the country and not wishing to risk going home when he had heard nothing from his father. For the first few days following the disbanding of court, he spent his time lounging about his house playing with Morag and catching up on reading.

 

However, he quickly grew bored with lounging around and then threw himself into planning excursions with the young lords, his charges. Stephen found himself out in Chelsea on a frequent basis, arranging for excursions. He took the boys to the Chelsea Physic Garden to have them practice their drawing, as well as on barge rides up the river. Fishing became a fun pastime, as did riding in the countryside, to help alleviate the tedium of lessons.

 

Lesson were comprised of the Bible, Latin, history and mathematics. Stephen went by Ashton’s to retrieve the books he had ordered to assist in the teaching of mathematics, and used them quite frequently. All was not simply fun and games, though Stephen tried to strike a good balance between the two. He enjoyed his time spent with the boys, though as boys were wont to do, they often got into trouble and required discipline.

 

Stephen also visited Lord Athole’s house for dinner a few times during recess, and continued to spend his afternoons when not in Chelsea at Kemp’s, which had quickly become tradition. He liked the hustle and bustle and keeping up on the gossip, feeling in the loop. He also visited the new Lord Kingston, and gifted him with enough credit at Isaac Gaunz' goldsmithing shop to have a seal ring crafted to befit his new position.

 

The most ambitious portion of recess was the devising of a plan to put better surveillance on Lord Basildon, who Shaftesbury was keen to have watched. Stephen paid good money to buy off a servant in the man’s household in London, who he hoped would prove useful in the future.

 

Little did he know, but there were also eyes and ears on him as well; John Ashburnham had been keeping tabs on Stephen for some time and knew who he was acquainted with, particularly in regards to his connection to Shaftesbury and that group.

 

Stephen thought often of potential pamphlet ideas, and began to keep a collection of half-formed ideas and snippets. Most were anti-Danby, anti-French, or pro-war, but none were finished. He did not have as much time as he would have liked to sit down and finish a pamphlet in its entirety, but hoped that in keeping a log of sorts, if he came back to it something might grow out of what he already had.

 

Stephen’s days were quite full, and he found he enjoyed teaching more than he had thought he would. The boys were equal parts fun and exasperating at times, but he was very rarely bored when he went to Chelsea, no matter what. Spending time with them put him in mind of what it might be like to have children of his own, but it was not a thought he chose to dwell on overly much, but it lingered all the same.

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  • 3 years later...

Agnes Dundas

Title: Mistress Agnes

Nationality: Scottish

Age:  18

Gender:  Female

Eye Color: Blue

Hair Color: Strawbery blonde

 

Physical Attributes

A neat figure seems to suit this modest mannered girl.  Her features are somewhat plain, with her finest feature being her reddish blonde hair. 

Initial Impression of Personality

Agnes enjoyed the science fair she attended, she also enjoyed the ball.  It's a secret, but she also enjoyed overhearing a singer of bawdy verse.  

Background

Agnes is fifth child (second daughter) of Lady Christian Leslie and Walter Dundas sof Dundas.   Lady Christian was sister to Alexander Levie, Lord Balgone, who was Lady Margret Leslie's (Anne Scotts mother) first husband - making her niece to heiress Anne Scot, Lady Monmouth.

Agnes is staying with Lady Monmouth, who secured her a positon within the Queens Houshold. .     

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  • 3 months later...

 

                                                                                                                                                    Mistress Iona Dunbar 

 

                Name: Sophie

                Email: sophiebla26@outlook.com

                Age: 19

                How you found us: RPG Directory

                What is your background and experience in roleplaying: Around eight years experience, however I've taken a bit of time away from roleplaying for about two years due to focusing more on education

                What themes do you wish to explore in our game: Court intrigue, mystery, adventure, discovery and also love

                What makes you excited to do in our game: I'm really excited to get back into roleplaying, especially in an environment such as this and I'm excited to develop my character

                What are you NOT looking for in our game: OOC drama, but other than that nothing is off of the cards

                 

                Character Profile  

                Character Name: Iona Dunbar

                Title: Mistress Iona Dunbar

                Estate Name: Cairn Castle

                Nationality: Scottish

                Age: 18

                Gender: Female

                Eye Colour: Blue

                Hair Colour: Golden blonde

                Avatar:

                 

                The First Impression & Physical Appearance 

 Even with correct posture, the Caledonian lass stands at an ordinary 5'3" and does not give the impression of being a domineering figure. Her features are dainty from the gentle rise of the tip of her nose to the soft curve of her jawline. She has a child-like aura to her with wide blue eyes that glimmer with curiosity. Her lips are not overly plump, however they are averagely sized and pleasantly pink. Hailing from a place in which the weather is known for being 'dreich', it is no surprise that Iona's complexion is of the paler side. She is not without a rosy glow and in the rare occasion of being privy to sunshine, her complexion can be marred by freckles. Her figure is petite with there being a subtle rise to her bosom, however her hips are indeed rather shapely for her slender size.

                Personality

Iona is a young lady who is beginning to come into her own as she's in the process of building her confidence in relation to societal socialisation. Having spent most of her years in her Scottish seaside town, she is still very much naive to the brutal realities and ways of the world. She is a compassionate soul at heart as she seeks to befriend most individuals she comes across with little doubt of their sincerity. She values loyalty as a great quality and attempts to remain true to those she holds close. Despite sometimes being considered quiet, she is not without a sense of humour even if her sense of humour can sometimes get her a scolding from her parents. With her remote upbringing, she has a thirst for adventure and a cheerful curiosity about the world.  

                 

                Wealth Level :

                Average

                 

                Housing:

                St Marks

                 

         Benefits

        Daughter of a baron/lord of parliament in Scotland +1

        Challenges

        In debt-1

        Bad at needlework -0.5

                 

                Origin/Background

The only daughter of a Scottish Lord of Parliament and his wife, Iona was born in the summer of the year 1660. Her parents had struggled after the birth of her elder brother with furthering the Dunbar brood. They were faced with numerous miscarriages in the process of attempting to conceive another child, but eventually their prayers were answered with the birth of another child. The senior Dunbar was satisfied with having two children, albeit it was not a large amount. Others were not so lucky.

 Iona grew up in the town of Maybole on the Scottish coast, throughout her childhood she grew accustomed to the cold sea breeze and air so salty one could almost taste it upon the parting of lips. The town of Maybole was home to many farmlands as well as being a route to the ocean, so Iona gradually began to feel at ease around the herds of sheep and cattle that were plentiful in the area.  Her childhood was a happy one as she was nurtured by her parents as well as having a close bond with her brother due to them only having eachother to play with. 

Her father provided her with an education fit for a girl of her station which established that she would be competent in the basics expected of her, Iona particularly excelled in reading, writing and dancing while also having a passable singing voice. However, even with the repeated attempts from her mother to offer some assistance in the area of needlework it is easy to be declared that the art of sewing was not something Iona would ever master. Frequent pricking of the finger and the thread becoming a knotted mess was enough for the lass to truly give up on what was a losing battle.

Unbeknownst to herself, her father had accumulated a substantial amount of debt through investments gone awry and impulsive spending habits. The sheer amount of it had not truly struck a cord with the elder Dunbar until he received a strong worded letter that consisted of darker tones. Being oblivious to the situation that her father had gotten himself into, Iona was mostly content with the way her day to day life was going although there was a part of her that yearned to see more than just her seaside town. The opportunity for exploration came when her brother was venturing down south to London for the season and offered that Iona would be able to join on that venture with their father's permission. Her father was happy enough for her to accompany her brother to London, especially as he was attempting to shield his children from knowing the true extent of the problems he faced. 

The hustle and bustle of the city was at first overwhelming for Iona as she had never experienced anything like it, the sheer enormity of the amount of individuals who resided in the city compared to her town drew her in. She found herself intrigued and amused during her first few weeks in the city, however the amusement was not to last. Her brother had gone out to do some shopping without her and had told her that he would be back for supper, however he did not return that evening and it truly disturbed her as he was not one for being incredibly irresponsible. She was quick to strike up her concerns with an officer and her father through the form of a letter. As weeks went by with her feeling very much alone in the city, she kept mostly indoors as she was quite worried about what had gone on to make her brother disappear so suddenly.

More weeks had  gone by until she was delivered the fatal news from the officer that a body believed to be fitting the description of her brother had been found in the Thames. The identification process was particularly traumatising for the young lass who had never been subjected to such brutality before and the utter despair she felt from the unexplained death of her brother stirred unfelt emotions within her. 

 

 

                Goals

To find out what had happened to her brother and who was responsible

To make friends and acquintances

To see more of the world

To acquire new skills and experiences

Edited by Iona Dunbar
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