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Gresham Presentation | 12/28 8pm- Xmas 1677

Francis Kirke

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Gresham College, Headquarters of the Royal Society




Gresham House was built in 1566 and named after its original owner, Sir Thomas Gresham, once a Mayor of London. Upon his death in 1597 this grand mansion was bequeathed to the city of London, with Gresham expressing his desire that it be used as a College, a place of learning, with room for lectures, research space and lodgings for seven professors, each of a different discipline. This entire venture is funded by the earnings of retail tax from the shops surrounding the Royal Exchange, which too was founded by Sir Thomas. His gift to the city allowed for great minds to come together and work upon their ideas, a practice cumulating in the founding of the Royal Society in 1660.


Gresham college is open to members of the public, who may attend the free lectures that are held there regularly. All manner of topics are discussed, from natural philosophy to the applications of mathematics and the orbit of the planets. All who are interested in the pursuit of knowledge, or perhaps just the opportunity to seek the opinion of a learned academic, would be well advised to drop in on a session.


The Lecture Theatre


Visitors wishing to expand their intellects should make their way through a little door and enter the lecture theatre, where they would find themselves faced by a number of benches in long lines, sloping up the length of a cosy hall. The dark wooden rows are positioned to give even those seated at the back the opportunity to see the lecturer at his podium. Anyone in the farther rows is also benefitted by the remarkable acoustics of the room, which allows a speaker to project his theories with little need to raise his voice. Unfortunately, this also means that the squeaks and creaks of the aging chairs and the whispers of less enthusiastic attendees are amplified quite considerably.


During the day, light is provided from the high windows that face out onto the College's courtyard, although shutters can be drawn to facilitate the use of demonstrations that require a darker environment. The room is already nearing a century of use, which perhaps explains the prevelance of dust and a curious aroma of musty books and burning. It should perhaps be explained that experiments involving exotic chemicals or the deaths of small mammals are not an uncommon sight in the College lecture theatre.


The Courtyard

This simple square is lined on two sides by sheltered walkways, supported by elegant columns, that offer protection from the elements for the wandering scholar. The courtyard itself has a lawn and lines of young elms along its edge. A stone urn sits upon a pedestal at the centre of the lawn, a pleasant feature in an otherwise unremarkable environment.


Professor of Law: Richard Pearson

Professor of Physics: John Mapletoft

Professor of Music: Thomas Baynes

Professor of Divinity: George Gifford

Professor of Geometry: Robert Hooke

Professor of Rhetoric: Henry Jenkes

Professor of Astronomy: Walter Pope



(OOC - feel free to change the thread title!!! I'm holding place )


Francis had not come by horseback. The evenings were proving rather cold for London. With the intermittent snow they were having, Kingston had gone by one of Buckingham's liveried coaches with Tommy in tow. The number of carriages on the road on the way there proved he was not the only one who thought that the preferred method of travel with this weather. There were flurries yet again!


His outer coat was doing a good job of keeping in the warmth, but he was eager to get inside. Truth be told, he had spent so little time in places with cold weather, England included.

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The hackney carriage jolted to a halt again. Edmund sighed in frustration, watching as his breath wisped out in a silvery cloud in the evening's frigid air. He cracked his fingers through his white gloves and, with his left hand, pulled aside the taut leather window covering and stuck his head out to view what this most recent hold up was. If the previous few days had taught him anything, it was that he had no luck with London hackneys. From his vantage point, all he could see ahead of him in the gloom was a long line of other carriages ahead. A traffic jam. Perfect.


He let the leather flap fall back into place and drummed his gloved fingers on his lap as he thought. He had spent the morning about town, investing in various items he had mentally compiled in a list over the previous few days. The open invitation to the Gresham College lecture had circulated St Marks and, being of an inquiring mind, Edmund had determined to go. In deference to the inclement weather he had decided against walking and made the habitually bad choice to hire a hackney carriage for the purpose. Now he feared a repeat performance of the Christmas Ball, in which his late arrival (caused by carriage concerns) had left him a Johnny-Come-Lately, much to his annoyance.


No, there was no other choice, he'd be damned if he sat in this freezing carriage slowly shuffling along at the pace of a three legged dog hauling a heavy branch. With his cane he tapped the roof of the carriage to get the driver's attention, then opened the door and gingerly stepped down onto the street, his feet sinking into the snowy slush. He quickly patted himself down to ensure he had all his belongings - the small pad and pencil with which to take notes, a purse of small change for any costs and his new walking cane. He reached up and paid the driver his fare and ignored his protestations that the journey would surely not take that long still, once the traffic cleared. Instead, Edmund bade him a curt farewell and dodged around the vehicle and set off, passing carriage after carriage on the walk towards the College.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The arch of Gresham was lit by a pair of torches - like a beacon, or as one of minds behind the events planing had said 'A lighthouse in the dark, inquiring minds shall be guided in to our font of enlightenment."


A pair of young men stood talking just inside the entrance, out of the wind, their conversation halting as the arrivals came in -- one stepped forward with an easy smile and a greeting that lapsed into a bow. "Good evening gentlmen, you are here for the presentation? Richard Waller*, at your service."


It would seem that the young men were tasked with seeing guests through the large building to the rooms to be used that evening.


"Won't you follow me please."





* Waller later becomes a member of the Royal Society and its secretary; friend of Hooke & instrumental in publishing 'Life of Hooke'; and published Essayist in his own right.

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Edmund heard his name called over the rumbling and grinding of carriage wheels. He looked up to see the dashing Lord Kingston and his young charge, looking every inch the courtier. “Good evening, Lord Kingston,” he called over the noise of the street, attempting as graceful a bow as he could in the cramped conditions and swaddled as he was in his cloak. “And to you too, young master,” he said with an accompanying bow to the young man.


“God’s bones, it’s cold indeed!” he said, rubbing his gloved hands together and watching his breath drift out in small, silverfish wisps. He indicated backwards with his head – “I came by carriage but thought, knowing my luck, I would likely be late if I left it to the fellow to trudge his way through the traffic. Besides, I feared I would lose the use of my legs if I didn’t move them so I braved the conditions and made the walk!”


“I take it this is another lesson in the young man’s curriculum? Should there ever come a time when you tire of Court or the Sea I am sure you could open a schoolhouse!”


He looked up at the gatehouse of the building. “So this is Gresham College, eh? Yes, I am most impressed! I have heard lots about it of course and it was towards the top of my list of things to do upon my relocation. So, when I saw the invitation circulating in St Marks I thought it was surely Providence. Shall we go in? I dare say it will be far warmer inside and I’m eager to see some scientific worthies – I must have some masochistic streak to surround myself with those who make me feel so feeble in my own faculties!”

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Beverley arrived with his young brother-in-law, Arthur Somerset. Herbert, his elder brother, had yet to return from university but was due within a day or so, Beverley had soon found out when he dropped by Worcester's to see if his new brothers wished to come to the lecture. He knew both were of a more scientific and intellectual nature than Beverley himself, and it did well to bond with one's new family. Especially if one was estranged some from his own family.


"I think I heard it was to be on some new astronomical sort of a thing," the viscount said as their coach rolled toward its destination. It was slow-going that evening. "That is of interest navigationally for the Navy, perhaps." His expertise was more in military matters and military history, but astronomical things could have relevance to Naval matters, so he felt it was his duty to attend. If there was something of interest to his master, Beverley was where he was because he was diligent in being well-poised in telling Cumberland things of interest.


It was not his particular joy to attend lectures at Gresham, that was fairly certain.


"Many believe that all sorts of astronomical things influence the sea, and some of the instruments are fascinating," Arthur replied. Both he and his brother took heavily after their forefather; it had been from there that His Majesty got much of his enjoyment of mechanical things like clocks his father had said. "Are we almost there?" There was a pause. "It is snowing, did you know?"


Beverley slid the flap that he might look out. "It is damned cold, I know that."


The young Lord Arthur laughed and replied, "Ah, I see it, we are close."


A few moments later, they were walking up to where the greeters stood waiting, which was all good and well, because Beverley had no idea where he was going.


(*permission to 'Blount' Arthur is MA )

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"As much for me as for him," Francis replied. "Astronomical things are of quite some use on the seas, and a youth cannot learn everything from a book." He gave a wink to Tom, who had truly learned more things from real life than from a book. A gentleman could not exist simply on bravado, seamanship, swiving, and his swordmanship though; that was only a fine occupation for a common sailor.


He laughed about the idea of opening a schoolhouse. "Perhaps the founder or patron of one. I do believe my cousin and his father both served as Chancellor of Cambridge. Is it a fashion of found fancy schools I wonder? Perhaps I should talk to Mister Pepys about making a school both academical and nautical." Francis chuckled. It was not a half bad idea. Since he had no housing expenses for himself being under the Duke's roof, it might be a worthy use of funds, or perhaps he could convince Buckingham of a join endeavor.


"You have an agreeable modesty, Sir Edmund," he added, smiling.


As they walked up a young man greeted him. "Ah, good evening, young sir. Please do show us the way."

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Edmund, Francis & Waller


Waller took a reticent stance, as the gentmen seemed to know each other (with some that he'd escorted he'd chattered away merrily to.)


Through the arched entrance he moved into an small courtyard, before passing through a gate into a much larger courtyard, "The lecture halls are down that way." he gestured the other side, "but the demonstration tonight is being held in Hooke's room." at that point they entered then entered a grand scale foyer, a room with a door that led to another room, until they came upon a corridor that ran the length of one side. Many doors came off this.


"Hookes study is one of the wamer ones, it's large enough for it, dont you fear, but shall be by far more comfortable than the lecture halls."


A clue that they neared Hookes study came in the form of a pair of men who dawdled outside the door, one seemed cornered by the other who stood puffing his pipe and with a glass of something steaming rested against volumous belly. "Ah, here is the next batch of inquiring minds." the one with pipe gave a wrinkly faced smile to the pair as they aproached.


"Oh, Lord Kingston?" The other recognised Francis, and gave a smile excusing himself from man with pipe and drink. "I'm so pleased you made it tonight." he joined Waller and Francis, with a curious smile towards Edmund -- leaving the hall and the smoking/drinking fellow behind.


Beverley & Arthur

As a few more arrived, it was James Pettiver who stepped fowards to meet. As he neared Beverly he realised he recgognised him, eyes widened of that fact, but modesty had him not claim that knowledge outright. "Good evening my lords. Welcome to the Gresham presentation evening. I'm, ah, James Pettiver, at your service."


He paused slightly at that point, dared to meet Beverlyes hopeful that the young Lord might recognise him? He's been employed by the father rather than the son, but... still.


"Ah, if you'd like to follow me, I'll lead you on through."

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If Beverley had not noted that Pettiver looked familiar, the name surely placed things together for the viscount. His eyebrows raised with recognition and he nodded, whisper of a curve to his lips.


"Mister Pettiver, you are the fine artist who designed and managed our lovely ceilings, erm, or was it the grand paneling for my lord father, the Earl of Brooke?*" Beverley asked.


The young viscount had developed an excellent memory in his position serving Cumberland considering a grand part of his duties were being a spare reservoir of things for his master. Not to mention a nobleman had few tasks to his name, but it was a part of the grander largesse or noblesse oblige for a gentleman to recognize and appreciate those who had worked for or served his family. He had learned quite a few things from his lord father even if being the best at curbing his temptations was not necessarily one of them.


"And do show us through. What do you know of the presentation tonight?" he asked.


For his part, Arthur simply stood on curiously listening while Beverley spoke to Pettiver. Fine ceilings and paneling? Perhaps Papa will wish some work done...


(OOC - It was MA that Pettiver did work for Brooke )

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Arthur, Beverley & Pettiver


But he did recognise James, and a smile grew on the young mans face. "Indeed my lord, it was my honour to have been recommended to your father the Earl by Mr Wren himself." the world of architecture, was remarkably small really, and fine craftsmen that managed to get the right contacts were much sought after. "So thought well of them, yourself?"


Here he begun the walk to escort the men through, well Arthur was practically a boy still. While James was a man in his mid twenties, modestly proportioned with sandy brown hair, wearing a best suit of English wool in pale grey, with a splash of colour with his cravat of mauve. "Well it was initially a recognition of Mr Flamsteeds research, a lecture was planned. Then they decided to make something a bit different, and host an evening for people outside of the College. All the heads of the departments are attending, for an informal meet and greet afterwards, they are expecting it to go as late as ten or eleven even." the later point was likely more relevant to him, who'd been called on to help out for the evening.


With conversation to distract, the bends and turns of the walk blurred into lesser significance.


"So you've an interest in science then, Lord Beverly." Not wanting to be rude to the hush youth, he leaned to catch Arthurs eye at that point, "Have you ever been to Gresham before?"

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Edmund and the Gentlemen


Torrington had been in one of his gawping reveries as they were led into the heart of Gresham College, staring up at the pictures of great scientific and philosophical worthies on the walls, staring into every open doorway as though someone might be working on the philosopher's stone therein. The presentation was in the room of Hooke himself! Now that was something he would write to his student brother. Oh, all his book learning would be fine and dandy, but here was he about to enter the presence, presumably, of the great Hooke! Ha!


They were brought up abruptly outside the room. The guide stood to one side and another gentleman fired a greeting to Lord Kingston - Lord, the man knew everyone!


A curious look was thrown in his direction. Edmund bowed,


"Sir Edmund Torrington, at your service, gentlemen. An enquiring mind, drawn here like a moth to the flame!"

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"Indeed, smart work. Very smart work. A good eye for finery is, erm, essential for the next Lord Brooke," he added, with a grin. Buying fine things and supporting such artisans was expected of noblemen. He did not wish to disappoint by seeming not knowledgeable.


His brother-in-law might be younger but then it was even more important to be a good example and to impress the youth. Beverley would not wish to be the unimpressive addition to the family; he had felt that way about the potential of Ogle and did not wish to be taken similarly.


"Then it shall be quite the night," he said, looking to Arthur with a grin.


"The Lord High Admiral has interests in science, so I think to keep abreast of them. Planetary motions seem perhaps to be important to navigation," Beverley replied, for there was little he would not to in the name of duty or impressing someone with industriousness.


"Not for anything such as this," Arthur replied. " Quite different to come to an event in the evening." And without his father or brother. It felt a very grown-up and gentlemanly thing to do.

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Beverly approaches the Hallway.


"If there is ever any other plasterwork you require, I would be honored..." Pettiver followed the Brook family in the papers of course, had pointed out marriage notice last year and told him friends and assosicate that he'd done work for the father, that the Brooke family in toto wre clients of his. This was simply the way things were done, a noble customer like Beverly's family raised an artisans profile and made him the more desireable man to hire by the merchant classes.


But the night was not about work. And Pettiver had other things going on in his life also. He was connected to Hooke via his friend Waller, who had come into the natural philosopher, architect and polymath's eye upon accout of his own merit. Of course, that did then mean he was roped in to act as an usher on a night liek this, but it was a change of pace, and become a finer thing when he recosnised Lord Beverly.


"Between Gresham and the Royal Society, Englands discoveries are laudable indeed." a pause, "And so His Grace is not attending tonight?" Cumberland and Hooke had a fine past of association, Pettiver had overheard some talk of the Duke, but had not got the gist of it. Perhaps it had been mention of regrets sent.


"It is an argument of the ages, Ptolemy, Copernicus, Aristotole, many have raged it. But to proof of celestial motions, that has been the challenge!" He was at least a little informed of the nights subject.


"Then it is a fine initiation into the field of study my Lord." he replied to Arthur, eyes bright, "Gresham is an open pool of learning, and might I add, gentlmen are always welcomed. But this, tonight, shall be something fine I think." they approached the entrance to the chamber, discovering something of a bottleneck.


So they need stand in the hall a time, until the way in cleared.


Edmund In the Hallway


The man with pipe clicked his tongue to Edmund's dawdled reply (while it seemed Newton made off with Francis through the door). "Not to be burnt by the sheer brilliance of them all." he chuckled, and removing his pipe he provided his own intrdocution.


"Richard Pearson, Professor of Law." For a man with such a dry profession, he held good humor. "Torrington, of the Devon Torringtons may I assume?"

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Edmund and Professor Pearson


Edmund extended his hand in greeting to the Professor, the cloud of pipe smoke slowly dissipating into the air. “A pleasure, Professor. My late father would lament that we seem to have met many years too late for he always thought I ought to have gone into the Law. Sadly my younger brother has the better aptitude for arguments and logic. The best I can offer is putting myself in situations in which I have need of men learned in the Law.”


To the best of Edmund’s knowledge and belief there were no Torringtons outside of Northumberland. Within Northumberland there were a great many – offshoots of the line of that first William Torrington who had made a name for himself and enough pennies to pull himself up the social ladder. However, Edmund did love history and what history could one enjoy more than that of one’s own family? There was no impediment logically, he supposed, to there being Torringtons outside of Northumberland. After all, was he not a colonist in climate new? No man was an island and he supposed the same was true of families. William Torrington must have had a father, and he a father, and so on back until Adam. A puzzled look crossed his face, his mind now churning over one of life’s mysteries.


“I hail from Northumberland, the vastness beyond the Tyne and, to my knowledge, that is where my family have been at least since by great-grandfather’s days at the close of Elizabeth’s reign. I must show my ignorance when I say I did not know there were other Torringtons, in Devon or otherwise! Have you come across them before or are you a student of family history as well as a teacher of the Law?”

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Edmund and Professor Pearson - within earshot of Beverly


"It is never too late, besides how old can you be?' Pearson had to chuckle as Edmund declared himself too old to learn a new trick, though it might be mroe than that. "Aha, well interest is often prequel to ability, perhaps you simply find other matters more absorbing."


Thumb tucked into his waistcoat, the portly figure rocked back on his heels as he spoke. "Why infact, the curiouser thing is that your younger brother has an interest. He is studying then? At Cambridge? I recieved my own doctorate of civil law there myself."


"Aha." with the pipe stem clicked against his teeth as it was replaced for a draw. So he was of a different family. "I had wondered if you were a relative of the Duke Albemarle, amongst his titles is Lord of Torrington," he explained his question.

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Edmund gave a little chortle, “my younger brother is a curious fellow, full stop. Sadly he is at your old rival, Oxford. I have meant to visit since coming down South but the opportunity has thus far evaded me.”


“Yet what you say is true, interest is indeed the fountain of all things and in many fields I do not lack for that so perhaps there is fertility in this Mind yet!”


Edmund’s brow creased a fraction as the Professor developed his earlier question. It was the sort of information his mother – who had a passion for all things peerage – would have known. The meandering titles of the great and the good were confusing to him, especially being as he was towards the lower end of the title ladder. So, the Moncks had a Torrington title! He almost coloured in his cheeks slightly at his ignorance that Torrington was a physical place – it had never occurred to him that it was but, being that it in fact is, there was therefore no impediment to it being utilised as a title for another. Oddly, and he could not fathom really why, it struck him as part upsetting, part aggravating that someone should hold a Lordship of his name. How would they like it if he was raised up as Earl of Monck, or Marquis of Villiers, or Duke of Cavendish? A figurative nonsense, but it still struck him as odd that there was the small but nevertheless present chance that the Earl of Torrington may one day bump into Baronet Torrington-Kirby. To his knowledge, he could not claim any relation to the Monck’s, at least none that he knew of, but perhaps the chance was there with digging? Very, very remote.


“Well, I must confess my ignorance in not knowing that! I am not aware of any connection with the good Duke, or at least none that was ever brought to my attention. Perhaps I ought to one day call upon him to see if there is any connection, however tenuous, between ourselves! So, Professor, I assume you are here as well to view this evening’s presentation?”

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Francis had seen Pearson before he had seen Newton, and he was not precisely thrilled with the idea of renewing Pearson's acquaintance. The man had been Master of Trinity when he was at Cambridge, and Francis had been particularly...precocious and rambunctious.


When he saw Newton, he instantly was happy to be the other man's rescuer.


"Ah, Master Newton, how do you do? I would not miss an excuse to get away from court and intrigue for a few hours of intellectual pursuits," he replied, thankful that he had a title because his surname would have given him away. Perhaps Pearson would not recognize him, though with the bane of his existence being his youthful looks, there was not much that had changed besides a dusting of facial hair on his chin.


He would have introduced Edmund, but it seemed Pearson had engaged with him first, and Francis was not about to interrupt that.


Leaning down some, he whispered, "I felt quite a jolt to the belly to see the old Master of Trinity cornering you..." He had been quite a bit younger than Newton when they had been there; the other was at least five years his elder, if not a round decade, so he doubted that the renown scholar had quite the same views of his old Master that Francis did.


Wait until I tell George (Legge) I saw him! he thought.


(OOC - Francis & Newton discovered in a thread previously that they were at Trinity at the same time.)

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Inside Hooks Study


It was a room of considerable proportions. Running down the centre was a long table at which many a Gresham society meeting had been held*. Two walls were lined with books, while a third wall was home for a board and various charts hanging. The fourth wall was for the heart, and the Professors personal table was positioned near this.


A number of additional chairs lined the walls tonight.


Here about men milled with glasses in hand & muted conversation.

Pleased to make good his escape with Francis, Newton then chuckled. "Do not fear, I dont think he will send us to the headmasters office!" but upon a puff of breath he admitted, "Though in truth I rarely ever came into trouble while at school. Still it's a little pleasant to pretend of it, a nice feeling of camaraderie." he spoke honestly. "The life of a scholar can be quite isolated after all - which gives way to the necessity of institutions like this."


It was pleasant to meet Francis again, it had been a long while.


"They have beverages here. Do you enjoy liquor? They might have coffee too if you prefer."


Out in the Hallway


"What on earth possessed your father to send him there?!" Pearson replied in jocose dismay, the rivalry of the colleges being something of a well loved pastime. "Ah well, you must tell him that when he's ready for some real learning, he's welcome in my classes at any time. You yourself for that matter, I dare say with the right questions to inspire you, you might discover some enthuse for the law yet."


Then onto Edmunds family name, it had not been meant as a question to agitate, yet young Torrington took it all quite seriously. "It is as good an excuse as any I agree, though I do not know if there is a precedent for that approach. Now if it were me, I might plot some manner of drawing his notice to your possession of the name." the old master suggested.


"Yes indeed I do. Shall we go on through." he glanced up the hall, appreciating that they were a like a cork in a bottle stood as they were. "I must admit that I find the topic of tonight a little dry for my own tastes, but yes, I am a little familiar. You are interested in astronomy yourself?"





* The historical fact that they did meet in his chambers was what prompted me to host our event there.

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Edmund and the Professor



Edmund tapped his chin thoughtfully. Now there was an idea! My, my, there was lots that could be learnt here besides Law and Astronomy. “That, Sir, is a most interesting and, dare I say it, appealing thought. In the spirit of this learned establishment I should perhaps put that idea to the experiment and analyse the outcome!”


The idea of attending some of the Professor’s classes was actually somewhat appealing to him. One of his problems (one he determined to tick off his ‘problem list’ as soon as he could) was that his stay in London currently lacked a central purpose. Those he had met thus far had some variety of occupation, profession or role for which the other facets of their city life to orbit around. Lord Kingston had his role as a courtier and close companion of the King. Lord Basildon had his Ministry. Lord Chichester, being a Lord, was able to cultivate the arts at his leisure. What he needed was something of his own and, if that could bring coin and advancement, so much the better. Studying the Law would take time and require a lot of work, but it could not hurt to have a little under his belt when he looked about for preferment in the Court. Besides, a man as learned as the Professor must have a few contacts who, with cultivation, may yield an offer of employment or occupation. “That as well would be an honour and I must look out your Schedule. It would be something to hold over my brother and that, in itself, would be priceless.”


The two men moved into Hooke’s study. A magnificent room and Edmund marvelled at the rows of leather bound tomes on display. Every inch of the room was that of a Scholar. He would well imagine this as the scene where Dr Faustus may have summoned up his demon. Yes, he would need something like this in the Torrington House he was building in his mind. The room was already filling up with gentlemen in small groups, conversing in hushed tones. He lowered the tone of his voice accordingly. “Again, I have to confess that whilst Astronomy interests me, it is yet another Torrington brother’s speciality. My middle brother served aboard an East Indiaman and, as part of his studies, he is no doubt well versed in travelling by Sun and stars. I know the Moon from the Sun and I can pick out the odd constellation although I confess I can never see where the names come from. Yes, it all interests me very much and I have hoped to lay my hands on a telescope to put into practice some texts I may pick up on the matter. Forgive all this talk from a well meaning dilettante! As you’ve said, the interest is there so, who knows, perhaps this evening may see me slip into the orbit of the study?”

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Beverley had not thought very deeply about Hooke's part in the college or that his master might attend. In his experience, the royal made the gentlemen of interest come to him privately rather than the other way around.


"I do not think so. There is much afoot at the moment with talk of war," Beverley said, deflecting the question. "I came to see what there was that might be of use or interest to His Highness, and if there is I am sure he will act on it to hear of things for himself as time warrants." His duties were like being an extra set of eyes and ears.


"I have not seen Hooke since his ailment, I confess. It is thankful that he is doing well," Beverley said as the queued up in the hallways.


He overheard some tidbits of conversation between an elder gentleman and a younger gentleman, hearing some mention of Monck. He cast his eyes that way for a moment and then focused back on the young artist.


"I should not keep you from your post, I expect. I am certain we shall see more of you," Beverley said to the man while he and Arthur waited to go inside.


"Shall we go in?" he asked his young brother-in-law. "I am thankful I see none of my lecturers from Oxford..." Brooke had run into them more often than he had himself since his departure*. "I wonder if any of them know your brother Herbert."


(OOC - Brooke told Beverley IC that he ran into a former lecturer that Beverley had pranked by putting a very loud frog in his lectern a few seasons back.)

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Edmund and the Professor


"If you are want for recommendations to it, speak to the Lord Chancellors son: Lord Aylesford, though regrettably Oxford trained like his father." he added this last with a huff of amusement. cheerful laugh. Possibly the young man was humouring him with apparent interest, 'the proof would be in the pudding' as they said.


Into the grand study they moved, and Torrington seemed impacted by the surroundings, of which Pearson inwardly approved.


"Then your middle brother shall be jealous indeed, where is he now may I ask?" A tray arrived with a low glasses with a measure of golden liquid in each. Pearson took one, with a nod, and the servant held the tray in place for Edmund.


"As to whether the topic shall go right over the heads of those less informed of it, I have noted that keen minds are able to glean points of interest in even the newest of subjects. Why, perhaps not even of the subject at hand, but of it's presentation... ah, but that is the pet subject of another of our professors. Professor Jenkes." he made a head movement (which doubled as pointing), towards a nondescript man in his early fifties. 'Ah look, he is free, would you like to meet him?"

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Beverly delivered:


"Thank you Sirs." Well pleased with the conversation, which he now replayed in his mind during his return, Pettiver bowed to the gentlemen both as he was released.


So it was that Lords Beverly and Arthur entered a study of generous proportions.


It was a room of considerable proportions. Running down the centre was a long table at which many a Gresham society meeting had been held*. Two walls were lined with books, while a third wall was home for a board and various charts hanging. The fourth wall was for the heart, and the Professors personal table was positioned near this.


Several additional chairs lined the walls tonight.


Here about men milled with glasses in hand & muted conversation.


Nearby a man in modest attire was looking towards another gentleman who glanced his way as he became free. A step was taken towards, but then a pair of men moved to approach the other. James Harman had missed hsi window and sighed, yet continued forwards (as though he'd been going to look at a sheet of paper laid on the table all along), oblivious that he was crossing Beverly's path.


"Oh, I am sorry." realising his intrusion, he turned sheet in hand and apologised to Beverly, eyes then sliding to his young companion.

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Edmund and the Professor


Edmund lifted one of the proffered glasses and nodded his thanks to the servitor who silently slipped away into the throng carrying his tray. Edmund sipped lightly at the contents.


"Your kind recommendation is most surely noted - I small have to look the fellow up, if I can! As for my brother, Lord only knows where he is at present. He paid us a short visit last year, taking a small amount of shore leave when his vessel put in at London and he managed to find a speedy courier to carry him northwards and back again before it put back to sea. From what I heard of his exploits, the ship he sails upon makes the run to Bengal and back, via the Cape and Portugal and then on to London before returning again seemingly ad infinitum! His visit last year was at the tail of his first round trip so he was as wide eyed telling the tales of all he had seen as we were to have heard them! This time, I have sent him off with a full list of curiosities and novelties to bring back. He spoke so highly of the beauty of the decorative wares produced in Hindoostan that I would like to see some for myself. I hear that oddly the people there have a great hankering for things English made, cloth, cultery, musketry and the like and are quite ready to part with all manner of precious items for them. No wonder the Company does so well."


His eyes followed the direction the Professor was pointing in, towards another distinguished looking fellow. "But of course, if you would not mind at all. After all, I am here to ingratiate myself with all manner of worthies in this establishment, so it would be my honour and pleasure."

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Edmund and the Professor


"Aha, he is one of those adventurers." it was simply enough deduced given the tale Edmund told of his brother. "Yes there is always a interest for foreign curiosities in London, why I have heard of shops set up exclusively to trade in such. Ha, I wonder if abroad there are shops offering the opposite? Perhaps there is some little trading post in this Hindoostan that sells oak dressing tables, devon pottery, briar pipes and halifax wool breeches." all things so commonplace.


With Edmunds assent, they moved towards the other fellow, unaware that they cut off another persons approach.


"Professor Jenkes, wont you meet Sir Edmund Torrington, self professed enquiring mind." the portly fellow huffled over that, a puff of smoke exiting his nose, "And Sir Edmund*, please meet Professor Jenkes, Professor of Rhetoric."


To which Jenkes turned with expression of interest.



* Correct me if I am wrong, but I think the correct form of address is 'Sir [first name]'

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Francis chuckled at Newton's confession and replied quietly, "And that is likely why you are a good deal more capable than I!"


Licking his lips, he added, "I was a bit younger than you, I think, but I ended up copying Georgics so often as punishment that I credit my Latin fluency entirely to that and the many translations of the most inane things I received for the same purpose." Francis had spent many the uncomfortable hour with the old Master of Trinity, that was for sure.


"Far more isolated than the company of a ship, and I daresay one craves a bit of isolation then. I suppose things always seem greener in the pastures one is not compelled to occupy, although I do not envy the scholars task of safeguarding ideas, such ephemeral things, from others."


A sailor's bread and butter was very concrete. An academic's not so. Ideas might represent something concrete but could hardly be locked up easily, nor could one prevent another's mind from coming to a similar conclusion.


"I think I might prefer the two mixed together if there is cognac or brandy which go exceedingly well in hot coffee. Shall we?" the blond said in his tenor.

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Beverley made allowances for commoners not to know the finer details of etiquette, so he did not take the same offense here that he might elsewhere as he was nearly bumped into. It was the same as when one went into the coffee house or the random inn.


"No need, I am unharmed," Beverley replied, turning his eyes to what the other now held for a moment. "Distracting works?" he asked as he looked up then indicated the paper with his eyes again.


"I as well," Arthur added of his own unharmed state. In the absence of his brother, Herbert, it was easy to follow the lead of the older Beverley. He did not wish to get uninvited to future excursions! He tried to look at the paper too and then glanced about to see if there were any interesting contraptions about. Youth had terrible attention spans when confronted with novel and free situations!


(OOC - ha ha, sorry, Beverley is a horrible conversationalist in such situations )

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Edmund and the Two Professors


Edmund gave a small bow to follow the introduction. "A pleasure, Professor Jenkes. Your colleague goes me too great a credit, I am sure, but has kindly agreed to act as my guide in this, my first visit to this isle of Enlightenment in London's dark sea."


"We were just speaking of Hindoostan, where my younger brother is currently sampling the delights of the Orient and doing his level best to fly the flag of our good solid English wares, passing off Sheffield scissors, Salisbury cloth and Kentish cutlery to Nawabs and Sultans in return for rubies, diamonds and emeralds - generally whatever they have to hand in their countries!"


"Do you delve much into Astronomy besides the general field of your other studies? Or are you, like myself, led by fancy this evening to the Presentation?"

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Newton gave a chuckle at the humour in Francis anecdote, and continued, "If we need a speaker upon agriculture, then I shall be sure to put your name forth." It was an unlikely speciality for the man who became sea captain for sure.


Yet to Kingston further point, Newton paused. "There is a certain arrogance to it, I shall grant you, yet it is institutions such as Gresham that would remove the mask of mystery... though to the theory behind the use of Latin for serious works, you understand." he allowed Francis to answer.


Newton's sharp mind found interest in Francis blend of what was spoken, and what was not, and smiled upon his fellows decision of beverage (if that was what he was actually speaking of). "Well said, Lord Kingston." And they ordered their drinks...



Near the front of the hall, which was to say near Robert Hooke's desk, a man was moving about a podium with a serious expression on his face, arranging papers.



James Halman, a man in his late 30's, was abashed. "Ah, I am uncertain in fact, but had thought to look. It may be a programme perhaps?" of the paper he replied, then taking pause both mentally and verbally to consider the man before him. "I am James Halman, Senior fellow and Lecturer at Cambridge." he greeted Beverley, and his young friend.


"I have a certain connection with the Cambridge Press, and intend to place an article of tonight’s meeting into our next issue." he explained.


On sideboard nearby Arthur might spot the gregorian reflecting telescope that Hooke had himself built, near it a pile of papers of detailed drawings of the surface of mars.




He'd not flattered so much as used Edmunds own words to describe him, yet smiled of Torrington’s modesty of it all the same. Those moments of first meeting could be awkward, and each was glad when the hump was gone.


"Yes, you may call me a Kentish fork at a Curry party." Jenkes replied to that with muted amusement, "but then one never knows when a bit of silverware is just what is needed to tame these savages." he gave a wink and then openly chuckled.


"Still I do not think it shall be too uncivilised this evening, even if we are in the company of sciences engineers, math being such a practical skill of course." He noted that the evenings chairman was preparing himself, that perhaps soon the evening would begin in earnest. "And your own interest, Sir Edmund?" for no doubt some have arrived tonight simply to fill a free evening.

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"Tomes selected for their tedium, I assure you, my friend," Francis replied, quietly, holding in his laughter. "Water is my speciality, not Land." He liked his lips about his joke of the sea.


"I admit, hearing things spoken from one who had a hand in the discovery of a thing or birthing of a thought is quite different than reading such on paper. I look forward to such discussions or presentations. My mind isn't satisfied just by the politicking of court." Social things had been a part of Francis as ships were social places (in a way) and Villiers were social creatures, but maneuvering had never been a part of everyday life. There had been too much trying to survive for that.


"Are they readying to begin?" he guessed as he received his drink, nodding toward the podium. He was happy it was not him speaking. The last time he had needed to worry about that was when Cumberland had called him out at Lords. He was not as much a seeker of the limelight as Buckingham.

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"Cambridge, you say?" Beverley repeated with an eyebrow raised. At least it as not someone from Oxford who might remember him! "And what is it that you lecture on?"


He cast his eyes to Arthur momentarily, only to notice he had become rather transfixed with something, a very concentrated look on his face.


Being that he and Worcester's younger son were equivalently ranked in the scheme of things, it made little difference which of them made their own introduction. Thus, Beverley provided it, "Viscount Beverley, and that was Lord Arthur Somerset."

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