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Full Name: James Cillian O'Neill

Title: Untitled gentry (Currently serving as Messenger of the Royal Steward)

Estate Name: Greyabbey

Age: 22 (b. 3 August 1655)

Gender: Male

Height: 5'9"

Eye Color: Green

Hair Color: Dark brown

Marital Status: Unmarried

 

 

First Impression and Physical Characteristics:

 

With well-groomed dark hair, a lean build, and an easy smile, James is at first glance handsome. He stands at an even 5'9", unremarkable for his age, but the debonair courtier makes up for it with his mutable, constantly-shifting green eyes (albeit underscored by a slightly tired look that he never seems to acknowledge), perfect smiles, and large, slightly offset aquiline nose that seems to center his whole boyish face. While perhaps not utterly attentive to fashion trends -who has the time, really- he seems to have an eye for color, and chooses those that match his temperament, preferring dark and bold hues. Something of an Anglophile, O'Neill speaks in a clear Ulster accent nonetheless.

 

At second glance, most mistake his energy for youthful enthusiasm. Considering that the young heir is quick to smile and laugh, sometimes beyond what is truly appropriate (though that is something he has been reminded time and again to work on) or jest and quote a familiar classic, it's not unusual that most who meet the aspiring poet think such thoughts. Whether in literature or at court, most come off believing him to be an utter bon vivant. That's the way he likes it, after all.

 

But behind the intelligence and charm, there's a restless current underneath his words (which, at times, seem to come out an alarmingly rapid rate), and an impulsiveness that always seems to bubble near the surface...coupled with a tendency to talk fondly and excitedly of even the most risky wagers, one wonders how much his actions are truly considered...

 

Background:

 

The family of the Baron O'Neill of Iveagh is a family caught between two different tendencies. While the O'Neill family in particular, especially of recent memory, is well-known amongst their Irish brethren as a stalwart defender of the Catholic Gaelic tradition, Lord Iveagh's place is something of an anomaly amongst the clan and the peerage of Ireland alike. Born in the midst of a total paradigm shift -considering the departure of many of his family to Spain or France during the Flight of the Earls especially- in Ireland, Cillian O'Neill was nothing special, merely a cousin to the more famous Owen Roe and a great-nephew of 'the Great' O'Neill, the last Earl of Tyrone. What differentiated him was the ambition the young scion of the landed Irish gentry had- despite Cromwell's exile of Cillian and many other Irish landowners to Connaught, when the Restoration came, the baron, his two daughters, and the young James Cillian O'Neill returned to Iveagh restored slightly (if not entirely) to their former prominence, with Spanish connections to boot.

 

Given all the essentials and education that the family could afford, James was raised on this duality, and seemingly thrived in it. He was flexible, clever, and quite capable of applying himself when the need arose: only as he became a young man, that focus seemed entirely on the poetry both of the Irish bards and the modern English court. The O'Neills of Iveagh, it seemed, were victims of a temperament out of their control (although one could point to their parenting technique as...unhelpful) and promptly set about correcting their own mistakes in raising a reckless, moody heir. Sent off to Spain, Portugal, and later Italy, to learn from relatives who had left during the earlier persecution of Irish landowners, this hope was quickly dashed as James returned from Italy under hurried circumstances, with a head full of ideas about art and courtly life

 

Now, it seems, the ambitious Iveagh and his heir have reached a compromise. James will get his taste for urban life...in the service of the Duke of the Ormonde, in a seemingly inconsequential position, all the while knowing that the family's future will eventually fall to him.

 

Family:

 

Cillian O'Neill, Baron Iveagh: Father, b. 1627. A stern, ambitious man, seemingly less than pious but nonetheless tied to tradition and the family legacy. Relationship with James is strained.

Grace O'Neill (nee Cassidy), Baroness Iveagh: Mother, b. 1635. Beautiful but demure, Grace has taken little role in the upbringing of James, despite her sympathy. All but Cecily favor her appearance.

Dame Abigail Siobhan O'Byrne (nee O'Neill): Sister, b. 1652. The wife of a landed Irish knight, having inherited the looks of her mother and ambition of her father. Has two children.

Cecily Bridget O'Neill, sister, b. 1660: Intelligent but sharp-tongued to the point of being caustic, Cecily is neither timid nor exceptionally attractive, and as such her prospects look dismal.

Sybil Rachel O'Neill, sister, b. 1663: Precocious, daring, and charming, the young girl is the darling of Greyabbey, though as of late has become rebellious (a tendency which may be encouraged by her brother).

Owen Patrick Cassidy, cousin, b. 1647: James' level-headed cousin, Owen is shrewd but practical, and remains James' sole friend inside the family beyond Greyabbey. Currently residing in Spain due to the large Irish presence in the Spanish military, he was the poet's chief guide to Italy.

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  • 3 years later...

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Full Name: Richard Jones,

Title: Earl of Ranelagh (Sounds like Ran-a-law)

Estate Name: Cranbourne, Windsor, Berkshire

Ranelagh House, Chelsea, London (Next to the Chelsea Hospital, with adjacent gardens)

Estates in Ireland: In Co. Roscommon and Co. Westmeath

Age: 37

Gender: Male

Height: 5'10"

Eye Color: Dark hazel

Hair Color: Dark brown

Marital Status: Unmarried | Bisexual

 

 

First Impression and Physical Characteristics:

Though his nose is a bit angular, Lord Ranelagh is a rakishly attractive man in his mid-thirties. He has an ease of spirit and movement that is very graceful and alluring. He has naturally wavy, dark brown hair, a well-groomed mustache and triangle. Thought known as an Irish peer, Ranelagh has spent very little of his life in Ireland. Ranelagh never knew his father, who was a drunkard that his mother abandoned, and he was raised in his mother's household in London under the protection of his uncle the Earl of Cork. Thus, Ranelagh is entirely a creature a London, enjoying a vast number of educated and frivolous interests, and sporting not one iota of an Irish accent. 

 

He is quite fashionable, not quite foppish, though has utterly pretty gestures and turn of leg!

 

 

 

Background:

Ranelagh was raised in a very strange way for the 17th century, entirely by his mother's family. Ranelagh's mother, daughter of The Great Earl of Cork and the sister and scientific partner of Master Chemist Robert Boyle (she was later dropped from the historical record, but their extant correspondence show it was an equal partnership!). Viscountess Ranelagh was known for her abilities in medicine and wrote numerous recipes for physick, even attending on patients that were considered "lost" by professional physicians. She famously held secret salons in London during the 1650s, and was not only part of the Invisible College (a precursor to the Royal Society) but its host, holding the meetings at her house. Her other  memberships include the Tew Circle, and the Hartlib Circle of intelligencers and philosophers. In her own right, she was considered a great scientist, social, political, and religious philosopher. Her son was thus educated in the fashion of a renaissance man and is regarded as such by those who know him best. As a personal tutor, Ranelagh had such big names as John Milton, John Drury, and Thomas Hobbes. He observed, first hand, the experiments of his uncle and mother, in his mother's house in London. At the same time he heard discourse on religious toleration, charity, and generosity. To much of court Ranelagh is an utter rake, who loves to flirt, dance, and act, but he is something of an untapped genius, who simply prefers fun and beauty.

 

Ranelagh is famous for revolutionizing the Treasury of Ireland, together with his uncle, and was regarded as something of a financial dynamo for saving the crown from a decaying situation in Ireland and turning a profit for Charles II. His house in Chelsea is reknown for its architecture, flower gardens, and extensive medicinal gardens which border the Chelsea Hospital. Those examples are the best illustrations of his dormant genius.

 

In his free time, Ranelagh is a frequent theater-goer and is known to keep company with many writers, actors, and poets. He and George Etherege are long time close friends 😁 , very close friends.

 

Ranelagh has known Rochester since they were youths, and he is one of few people who can coax the intellectual out of the jaded earl. However, Ranelagh's best friend is Lord Denbigh.

 

Ranelagh and his mother are patrons of Robert Hooke, who just redesigned Lady Ranelagh's & her brother's laboratory in 1676

 

 

Family:

Mother - Lady Katherine Boyle - Daughter of the Earl of Cork and Sister of Chemist Robert Boyle

Aunts & Uncles

Lady Sarah Boyle (1609–1633), married Sir Thomas Moore, then after his death married Robert Digby, 1st Baron Digby.

Lady Joan Boyle (1611–1657), married George FitzGerald, 16th Earl of Kildare ("the Fairy Earl").

Richard Boyle, 2nd Earl of Cork and 1st Earl of Burlington (1612–1698), Lord High Treasurer of Ireland (1660–1695).

Roger Boyle, 1st Earl of Orrery (1621–1679)

Francis Boyle, 1st Viscount Shannon

Lady Mary Boyle, married Charles Rich, 4th Earl of Warwick 

Hon. Robert Boyle (1627–1691), author of The Sceptical Chymist; considered to be the father of modern chemistry.

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Full Name: Katherine (Boyle) Jones

Title: Viscountess Ranelagh (Sounds like Ran-a-law)

Estate Name: Cranbourne, Windsor, Berkshire

Boyle House, Pall Mall

Age: 63

Gender: Female

Height: 5'4"

Eye Color: hazel

Hair Color: Dark brown

Marital Status: Widowed

 

 

First Impression and Physical Characteristics:

Lady Ranelagh was once quite pretty and in her mid-sixties still has a sparkle of youth, activity, and intelligence. She has a sharp wit and tongue, has been around the best minds of the era for over forty years, and cows to no man. Ever. Raised as a Tudor Girl by her father the Great Earl of Cork, Katherine has more brains that most men and doesn't bother to try and hide it. 

 

 

 

Background:

Lady Ranelagh is the sister and scientific partner of Master Chemist Robert Boyle. They currently live together in her house on Pall Mall and patronize Robert Hooke and other younger scientists together. Viscountess Ranelagh was known for her abilities in medicine and  wrote numerous recipes for physick, even attending on patients that were considered "lost" by professional physicians. She famously held secret salons in London during the 1650s, and was not only part of the Invisible College (a precursor to the Royal Society) but its host, holding the meetings at her house. Her other  memberships include the Tew Circle, and the Hartlib Circle of intelligencers and philosophers. In her own right, she was considered a great scientist, social, political, and religious philosopher. She has corresponded with the likes of Rene Descartes, Thomas Hobbes,  Samuel Hartlib, John Beale, William Petty, Thomas Willis, Gilbert Sheldon, John Milton, & John Drury.

 

Siblings

Lady Sarah Boyle (1609–1633), married Sir Thomas Moore, then after his death married Robert Digby, 1st Baron Digby.

Lady Joan Boyle (1611–1657), married George FitzGerald, 16th Earl of Kildare ("the Fairy Earl").

Richard Boyle, 2nd Earl of Cork and 1st Earl of Burlington (1612–1698), Lord High Treasurer of Ireland (1660–1695).

Roger Boyle, 1st Earl of Orrery (1621–1679)

Francis Boyle, 1st Viscount Shannon

Lady Mary Boyle, married Charles Rich, 4th Earl of Warwick 

Hon. Robert Boyle (1627–1691), author of The Sceptical Chymist; considered to be the father of modern chemistry.

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