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Cigars and Whiskey | The Woolsack circa 1680

George Hardwick III

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The Woolsack was founded 1661 by 24 gentlemen including 3 dukes, as a meeting place of highest order. The present location was bequeathed to the club by John Earle, Bishop of Salisbury upon his death in '65. 

An exclusive club, operating from a house at 15 The Mall. The building was of white stone and was U shaped in layout - visitors traversed a large paved courtyard with the stately house on either side as they approached the main doors. Dual doors of tremendous height, one of which was swung open during warmer months admitting members into the central lobby where a tome sat open upon a table with ink and quill nearby. Attendants stood nearby. 

The primary purpose for the club was to provide a home away from home for a gentleman, where he might freely converse with his friends, avoid his and others' ladies, gamble in one of it's many gaming rooms, avail of a meal in its dining hall, or enjoy some solitude in it's considerable library upon natural or social philosophy.


Membership to the Woolsack had been a long time coming for Chichester, so that even now, some years later, he took great pleasure in entering though those lofty doors.  

"Eve'nin Felps." he greeted the Steward with a nod as he checked hat and cloak, before heading up to the great hall. 

There was a speaker promised for tonight’s interest, some expert upon the topic of double malts.  George had seen a distillery just once in his 30 some years, and while marvelling of the gleaming copper sight of it still knew little of the actual process.  Perhaps he would invest in this new London distillery? (For there was no doubt in George's mind, that the speaker would complete his presentation with some manner of pecuniary request.)  

But that was some time away yet.  Chichester was typically early - for he was one of those chaps that was quite happy to leave the domestics of a day behind, namely wife and noisy children that operated upon a decibel level that rattled his calm.  He was quite pleased indeed with the sober solemnity of the Woolsack’s halls,  a respite, and a sanctuary of it's own sorts.  Passing the painting of a House of Lords session he'd donated, he made a final adjustment of cravat as he entered the main room. 

He was of a hope that Beverley was likewise in attendance... indeed there was even a pair of celebratory cigars in his pocket.   

Moving to the sociable hearth around the modest theatre of fire, he provided a  nod and smile to those in the proximity. "Cool out," he begun conversationally, "it might rain later."  




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  • 3 weeks later...

Beverley was not gambling in one of the gambling rooms but he was watching one very idiotic earl stake a gigantic ruby against John Ashburnham. There were clearly reasons other than monopoly that accounted for the Ashburnham family wealth.


He emerged shaking his head, with a glass of brandy in hand a few moments after the roar at the result had died down. 


Spying George by the hearth, Beverley went that direction. "You have just missed John Ashburnham win a huge ruby from a very fat earl," Beverley said, chuckling as he joined George.



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"Lud, that man has the luck of the Irish." George replied with a grin and production of cigar by way of greeting. The jest being Beverly’s own Irish connections, and luck; well from George's rosy glasses perspective of the young man, Beverly was the most worthily fortunate of men.  It only ate the Earl up that he'd never gotten lucky with Bevs. 

"These are a milder than the last we tried." he reassured his sensitive friend of the cigar (with a memory of last time!)  

"I am not the first, I am sure, but let me add my congratulations!  Well done!*"

Here he glanced around, for as easily as a man of his tobacco connections could secure the very finest of cigars, he still needed a humble fellow of not much, a servant, to attend to said cigars preparations for the smoking.  “A cherry brandy please.” He added a drinks order while servant was convenient, and with a looked suggested Beverly place a request too.


* I've no idea what they might be celebrating, but surely there is something! 

Edited by George Hardwick III
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