Jump to content


Your Stories Await Telling

Roarsomeness at the Lion | Lunchtime 1st April [Open]

Recommended Posts

The Red Lion Inn

The Red Lion Inn is located at Charring Cross. Solidly built in grey stone the inn has an air of permanence and protectiveness. The three storied building displays a shield-shaped sign of a red lion rampant guardant on a white ground. The legend above the door reads "Red Lion Inn. Hezekiah Golightly, lndld."

At the eastern end of the building is the great arch, twice the height of a man, giving on to the coach yard. Sturdy wooden gates stand open during the day but are locked with the coming of night. The main entrance can be accessed from the street or from the yard.

The dining room is on the south western corner of the building. Although open to the public, the dining room is accessible only from within the inn. A door in the north wall leads to the kitchen area, a door in the east wall to the rest of the inn. Sturdy but comfortable oak tables and chairs furnish the room.

The dining room is graced with three large windows - one in the south wall and two in the west. The depth of the sills show that the walls of the inn are a good foot thick. A fireplace is located on the west wall between the windows. A jug of spring flowers sits on the mantle piece. In combination with the windows, the whitewashed walls give an impression of space and light, punctuated by the dark wooden beams. As in the taproom, the floor is covered with the finest sand which is changed weekly.

The Red Lion is noted for the excellence of Mistress Golightly's cooking and the dining room is redolent with beguiling savoury fragrances. Particularly famed are the Carrot and Oyster Pie and the Grilled Beefsteak.


The young Baron took drink over reading the latest Gazette, expecting his Lady Mother to arrive presently he'd secured a table near the window with view of the entrance.   


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 60
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

She arrived with little fanfare yet some annoyance at her son's wanting to meet at an INN and not St Marks. Her inward sigh as she was assisted from the coach she had hired and then settled her clothing was all designed for the visual. She may be only the widow of a Baronet but her own self-pride would not allow for anything else. 

Her gaze took note that her son had placed himself so that he could see all the arrivals and occupied himself with his paper - he suruly had seen her arrival yet there he continued to sit without thought to greet her -  She turned away and made her way inside her manner calm and nod of greeting in return as she was then escoreted to the place where said son sat. She threaded her way past several eyeing the plates and platters and the smells until she at last arrived.

"John. I have kept you waiting ...."

She would remian standing until he made his greeting. 

He would find her dressed in cranberry brocade with newly added lace about the neckline and at her elbows. Some clever needlework had altered the shape of her bodice to suit the current 'look' and the nipped in sides were actually flattering. Her hair style she had also made over. She had thought it all too sever before and so had experimented over recess and settled upon a style that allowed her to wear it up naturally but softer in its composition and the framing of her face added another change. Her features softened even if by illusion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OOC: Remember not to assume NPC's undefined future movements, as that may not be what happens.  IC:



John admitted it to himself, he was excited.  The paper did little to distract him as he waited for him mother to arrive, and his seat at the table was deliberately chosen so he could see her as soon as she arrived. So it was that Cordelia’s sighing figure was greeted by her son in a genial mood at the entrance to the dining room. 

"My Lady Mother, you are on time!" he declared in good spirits. The first of his plan had come to pass. "Have you sampled Mrs Golightlys food before? She is highly fabled in London, you are in for a treat."  

Back to the reserved table he moved, the copy of Gazette now tucked askew in his jacket pocket; the son drew chair for her, then settled himself opposite.   It was a prettily arranged table, with clean cutlery and fresh table linens, with a posy of panises in middle next to pottery salt and pepper (one in shape of a ship, the other a light house.  

"It is grand to see you again, how do you fare, is that a new dress, it suits you entirely."  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A still tired and achy Henry entered the dining room. He had eaten nothing after his midnight arrival to the Inn and had not been able to fall asleep before three. Thus, it was hunger, not any desire for physical activity, that had seen him get up, get dressed, and leave his room.

The nobleman wore moss green brocade justaucorps and breeches, an apricot crewel work waistcoat, and white silk shirt and cravat. A gold watch chain, a walnut walking stick with a gold head, a red coral cravat pin, and a unicorn horn brooch* completed his ensemble. It was all new and of the best quality, and it would have been considered notable… a couple of seasons before. Those truly observant would notice that the man wore only one ring, a signet.

As the slightly overweight man surveyed the room, he noticed a very elegant and grey-haired lady walk past him and direct her steps towards a much younger gentleman sitting near the window. A relative, perhaps? The baron smiled at his custom of trying to find the cause and effect of, well, everything! Without thinking, he followed her at a few paces distance, and sat at the closest empty table to the pair.

A serving wench noticed him, approached, and asked if he wanted anything to eat or drink. “Grilled beef, potatoes with gravy, whatever vegetables you happen to have, fresh bread, and strong ale. I am staying in the Yacht room”.

After the server left, Henry noticed just how hungry he truly was. If there is much walking to be done in London, I better watch how much I eat. My feet will suffer unduly otherwise. But that is a consideration for tomorrow. Today I could eat half a side of beef! It was an exaggeration, of course, but he wondered if what he had asked for would be enough to sate him.

Removing notebook and pencil from one of his coat pockets, he started to sketch a new design for a telescope eyepiece, using two lenses instead of the usual one, marking thicknesses, diameters, and distances normally, but writing everything else in his personal cipher.

* For us mere mortals of the 21st Century, it did exist, and it was supposed to have magical protective and healing qualities. We would now call it narwhal horn.

Edited by Henry Grey
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The dining room was indeed filling, and fast, soon there would be no seats left.   The table that Henry managed to secure was only breathing distance away from the newly arriving lady of some prominence (as her costume did attest!)

Men with grand appetites was no new thing to the staff at the Inn - so the youngster (the Innkeepers son, for the Red Lion was very much a family run business) readily recognised the hungry look in Henrys eye, and knew very well that he was ordering less than he actually wanted to. "We've a fresh baked Carrot and Oyster pie that I'd recommend also, what say I add a slice of that for you to try... ah,  Sir Grey?"  From memory he spoke the most recent resident of the Lions name - Henrys meal would all be put upon his rooms tab. 

Here now a further fellow arrived, a chap with camel hair coat hooked over his arm, who now lingered at the doorway wondering to be sat.  The youth serving on Greys table made eye contact with the other guest of the House, his eyes sliding to the free chair at his table with an unvoiced thought, then to make eye contact about the unsaid with the gentleman currently attended? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cordelia and John 

She found him by her side eager to address her and then play escort to the table where she had seen him sitting.

"In Truth I have never before been to this Establishment nor have I heard about 'Mrs. Golightly and her food'. She could not help but be aware of smells and to have taken note of what rested on platters and plates. "And as for a 'treat' I shall hope it to be so."

She took the seat he offered her eyes taking in his person and attire then the table before her and smiled to indicate that she found it well enough.

It would seem that he intended to begin with a jocular manner and so she would play as well.

"Thank You. Tis hardly that but then I am clever and I agree the color is a good one for me."

"And you? You are well? It was unfortiunate that we missed each other ...."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The lady and the young man engaged in amicable conversation, oblivious to their surroundings. Henry thought he heard something regarding Mrs. Golightly’s fare being legendary. Good, he thought, because I will be eating it for the foreseeable future! It was a promising beginning to his stay in London. The room had been better than he expected, although small, and he would need to arrange for space to hold his experiments in, but if food was good, it was a good beginning indeed.

So, when the youth suggested a slice of carrot and oyster pie, the baron assented, salivating at the thought. “It is Lord Grey, not Sir Gray", he corrected, "but yes, I will have a slice of the pie you recommend. And if there is anything else you can get me a small serving of, particularly sweets, just bring it”. Since they were so close, perhaps the lady in the nearby table (Cordelia) overheard him stating his title.

And then, the hungry lord’s eyes followed the boy’s, first to the man entering the dining room*, and then to the empty chair in front of him. “Do you know the gentleman?”, he inquired. Not eating alone was an appealing thought. "If you do, and he is of good character, invite him to join me".

* Does the man seem familiar to Henry? If so, let the youth know the man is welcome at Henry’s table.

Edited by Henry Grey
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cordelia and John 

"Then I am pleased to expand your culinary horizons." spoke John. 

The tables were set close enough that it was entirely possible to listen in on other tables discussions (or might it be more polite to say 'accidentally overhear').   Cordelia certainly could that a fellow attendant of the tables was a man of rank, the information possibly placating her concern that the Inn was too common for her patronage. 

"In fact a great many of the great houses have tried to hire Mrs Golightly's services full time even."  He did not explain how he happened to know that. 

 Henry & the Youngest Son Golightly    

"Certainly Milord." His order confirmed, the young man's expression showed relieved pleasure as the gentleman accepted prompt to a table mate. "A man of business and of repute, a guest of the house also, the West Mithras room." he confirmed, before turning to meet the man in questions eyes with further non-verbal communication.

One might guess that the sharing of a table was a common place, for the man at the door showed no hesitation in approaching -  his defining features being evident that he was a man in his fifties, with wrinkles lacking in quantity that made up for in their depth. His tufted eyebrows are flecked with a white strands, shaggy in contrast to his perfectly trimmed sideburns that were connected by a narrow line of hair running along the jawline, like a helmet strap under chin.

"Good Noon." he gave a nod to Grey, "Arthur Cadogan, of Cadogan Investments and Procurements Westminster, pleased to share you table..." as he sat he gave a nod to the Golightly boy as he handed him his coat with an utterance of 'the usual'.   Cadogan’s attention then returned to Grey, in anticipation of his own introduction.


The Youngest Golightly attends John & Cordelia

Now in possession of camel coat over his arm, moved to take Cordelia and John's order.  "Greetings, it's nice to see a new face." he meant Cordelia, for John was certainly no stranger. "May I recomend the Carrot and Oyster pie, served with pureed peas, or the pickled pork stew - or the speciality fo the house is grilled beef." allowing them a moment for contemplation, he took their drinks order.   

John asked for the pie and a pint.

"I've certainly nothign to complain about." he resumed converation after the ordering was done and they were 'alone', have been keeping myself busy, settling into my position." to which he looked towards Cadogan at the other table and gave a friendly nod. "Our futures are assured Mother." 


* I know there are 2 sons, no daughters, in the family - but have not been able to find their names yet! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cordelia and John

Proximity to ones' fellow dinners was like unto dining at The Great Hall at the Palace so for Cordelia is was not a hindeance and it had the sometimes added benefit of the gathering of information. Such was the case now for she learned the identy of the Gentleman as on Baron Grey and her practiced eye judged and found him acceptable. Then another man was prompted to join the other and he announced himself without benefit of any Title yet bandied one which might establish him as a Tradesman. She spared another look then turned back to her son. 

"Have they indeed? Yet none have managed thus far so perhaps that speaks well of her."

A young man appeared asking what they wished and by his greeting seemed acquainted with her son which made Cordelia wonder yet again what he did with his time.

"No chicken?" She asked finding the two offers not to her taste. "If not then the beef. A glass of Red wine I think to accompany."

"Futures? What is your meaning? Are you going to tell me that you plan to marry thus bringing an income (dowery)? Who is she? And her Family?"

Her questions were to be expected for a Mother with an unmarried only son.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Henry had not always been Lord Grey. That meant two things: first, that he had had to live within the limits of an allowance most of his life and, second, that he did not mind sharing a table with someone not of the gentry. This last he had done more times than sharing the table with nobility. The first was important because it told him that Mister Cadogan could afford the Inn’s fees, both food and lodging, and that was very telling regarding his finances. The second allowed Henry to simply enjoy the man’s company, without looking down on him.

Arthur asked for the usual. So he has lunch here often? He might be staying here for an extended visit, like me, hmm

“Lord Grey”, the baron said simply. “Recently arrived in London to take my seat in the House”. If Cadogan knew what he was talking about, there was no need for additional explanation. If the man didn’t, it would probably be a topic that would have no interest for him. Besides, the boy had called him a man of business and of repute, and new connections and acquaintances could prove useful in the future. “And what, may I ask, does Cadogan Investments and Procurements do?” Who knew? Perhaps the man's trade would be of use to Henry.

If he is a guest of the Inn, I better take a measure of his character. I do not want any of my equipment, or my notes, stolen. The scientific world was a thug’s world.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cordelia and John

"Indeed, I myself suggested she give lessons to house cooks that are less impressive!"  So far it was going very well.  Well, his mother seemed disappointed that there was no chicken on the menu today, but as far as complaints when that was almost nothing.   

"Marriage? Not at all mother, that is a subject I would not move swiftly upon certainly!"  John was caught by surprise at the topic in public venue. "Besides I appreciate your interest in that matter, why news reached my ears of your matching successes even in the recess.  Income, certainly, but not via a Dowry."


Drinks arrive: It was Hezekiah himself that arrived after a few minutes, with red wine and a pine for the Lucas table, and a Coffee brandy & Ale for Merchant with Scientist. 


Henry & Arthur

Mr Cadogan accepted his coffee and took a grateful sip - his eyes slid towards the young man at table nearby (having previously returned John's nod of recognition).  

"Ah, congratulations for your preferment to title."  Having worked for the late Earl Chatham for many years, and have multiple dealings with Nobles here in London, he was very aware how it all worked.  "You shall be taking the oath at the next session I take it?"

"Why my own business has a number of pots on the boil to speak, the current focus is a collaboration of resources and abilities with regard to the pending war.  Have you heard of Lord Winchelsea and Lord Chatham by any chance?"  


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cordelia and John 

She watched him with interest. 'This John' was so unlike the one she knew so her sense of curosity was present but also one of unease - just what had he been doing or was about to do that made him so jocular?

Concsience of fellow dinners she understood that there should not be too much of anything private said unless it was meant to be overheard.

She sipped her wine and managed to not make a grimace turning it into a small smile. So it was not marriage that he refered to and yet he made some congratulations for her own abilities over Recess and she nodded her thanks.

"Yes. I was pleased indeed for them and the bans are to be read shortly. I am glad that you think I can be of use to you John - when it is needed. Since you have spoke of it you must want to tell me more? What then is this 'income' and how did you come by it?"

has he mortagaged the estate then? no he would not be so foolish. if not from a dowery then from where?  

Edited by Cordelia Lucas
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Marriagematching successes… both concepts were of interest to Henry, but he tried very hard not to show it, paying particular attention to both his posture and his expression. Not only was it impolite to be caught eavesdropping, but he was also in the middle of a conversation. Those matters would have to wait.

Henry’s reverie was interrupted by the arrival of drinks. He nodded to the establishment’s owner with a slight smile and took a sip of his ale. It was strong and bitter, just as he liked. His companion received coffee and, from the aroma, brandy had been added to it.

“Thank you”, Henry accepted with a small smile. “And yes, I will take the Oath on the fifth, just as any dutiful and obedient peer should”. The Greys had been involved in the politics of the kingdom for a long, long time. Perhaps not of late, but that was something Henry intended to change.

The war, ah, yes! Could we dispense without it? I don’t know much, except the French tried to kill the King, so I need to learn more, perhaps from His Grace. I cannot venture an opinion without more data.

“Lord Winchelsea? Isn’t he somehow related to the Lord Chancellor?” The baron’s brow furrowed, trying to recall. “As for Lord Chatham, no I do not have the pleasure. Are the supporting your business endeavours?”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cordelia and John 

She would not be the first mother to be surprised at what her child grew into. 

Something was indeed buoying his spirits today, but just what, perhaps time would tell.  One thing was easier learnt, and that was the vintage of wine she'd been given was very good!  This was no watered down swill, but a wine that was fit the range of old and new money of the Red Lions patrons. 

"But first, I need to know what the concerns of the Estate are that you discovered, that you wrote to me of.  I have a option upon hold meanwhile. it was only your letter that had me desist from finalising the papers.  Thus you appreciate, I need to know your news first, before able to speak of my own.  I certainly hope it is naught so dire to require a cancellation."  


All: Their meals were then delivered is a timely manner... carried out by the original Golightly, the youngest son and set into place with no fuss. 


Arthur & Henry

So not catholic.  There was good reason to confirm he'd be taking the oath, for whatever failings Arthur Cadogan had, he did not do business with Catholics! 

“The Chancellors eldest son, and a keen business man himself.  It is not at all as uncommon as you might think. for the noble class to have much to do with commerce. Ah, but I have no need to tell you this do I, you are plainly a man of some means yourself."   Which was to say Henry was staying in the best Inn in town, and was dressed in a manner befitting his rank.

"While Lord Chatham, I knew his father well. God rest his soul.  You even  say I have taken the new earl under my wing some..." He smiled likning how that sounded. Though Charles certainly looked at it quite differently!

"And yes, we have a collaborative towards the war effort.  And what with Winclisea having secured a contract of supply, the prospects for great success is near a certainty." 

With the meal settled down before them, Arthur took up his knife and fork. "Perfect just perfect."  To the current busiiness at hand! Eating! 

“Other than The Lords, what activities engage you Lord Grey.” He presently asked between mouthfuls.   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cordelia and John 

Her gaze was direct and focused for she was certain, by his choice of words, that he had indeed been up to some financial trickery and his using 'finalizing the papers' gave her a moments panic. She was had her Widow's third which was a third of the yearly value of her late husbands' Estate that sustained her so that could not be touched but if he was selling off lands or other things then that was something that would require legal action on her part. He could not legally 'sell' off parts of the estate without making surety for her third to be continued. She would fight if necessary.

But for now she pushed the emotion down and began to tell him of how she had arrived at Longview.

"I was shocked to arrive and find that it had been broken into in our absence. The Plum brothers were no where to be found. Nor was the man that you had hired as Steward - James Combe - to be seen. I went room to room John and took an accounting and the loss is considerable. But this is secondary to the condition of the property. You must have noticed the disaaray? Repairs will need to be done and soon or else I fear it will all go to ruin."

She took a sip of her wine then continued her voice lower in pitch to allow for some privacy.

"The roof will have to be fixed and there is rot under the eaves in two places from water and damp. That will mean a plasterer but by the day or by the great I do not know.* But the amount will be considerable. The kitchen has suffered damaged as well as if some sparks from the fire leaped out for one half the wall is black from soot so that needs fixing and the back door replaced."

"That was why I asked for you to come. To view it all yourself. For I can not make the decision. That is for you to do John."


ooc: *Labourers generally received a daily wage, but the more skilled craftsman, plasterers and joiners for example were paid either according to the job, on a contract basis or 'by measure' according to quantity. On top of wages the skilled man would also get food, drink and lodging for himself and his men, materials - timber, nails and glue - and money for candles.*

Link to comment
Share on other sites

“I am a man of some means, yes, but there are many others that have much more than I”. Not only was that true, but also Henry did not like to boast. His clothes were of quality, yes, but neither his fingers nor his cravat winked with the sparkle of faceted gems. The jewellery he used was more for health and protection than for ostentation, and the cut of his attire had been chosen for its practicality; there was no gold, no silver and no pearls to be seen anywhere.

The information about both lords was accepted with a nod. He would not consider involving himself in business. His wealth was measured in acreage, not in the uncertainties of business. Much less in times of war. “My best wishes to you and both lords, then. May you reap abundant gain in your enterprise”. Henry was not going to ask more about the matter, as if the man in front of him asked the nobleman to participate, he would be in the uncomfortable position to say no. Lands in the colonies, maybe, but even that I'd have to think about. Commerce? Definitely not!

And then, the meal arrived. The beef was just right, slightly toasted on the outside, while rare on the inside. The pepper was just perfect and so was the salt. The pie, though, was superb. Henry closed his eyes for a moment as he savoured the first bite. I must be careful, or I will be fattened like a hog.

Lord Grey took a sip from his ale.

“I used to be a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. I had to resign when I became a peer, but my research into optics and astronomy continues, taking much of my free time”. There was much chewing between phrases, ale helping wash the flavours from his mouth. “I hope to be able to visit both Royal Greenwich and Gresham College while in London, though, and perhaps hold an experiment or two”.

Careful what you say, Henry. You do not know the man.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cordelia and John

Hers was a woman’s melodramatic view, he could tell by her tone that she was still upset. 

“I received the full story from James when he returned. It was indeed the young Plum brothers, boys I was raised with even. Perhaps there was jealousy there in, that the man who they once played with was now lord of the manor hmm?  You did not find 'my man' as you call him, for James was taking the Plum boys thru the city, to answer for their crimes.  A good deal of the staff attended too.  I was consulted of course.

“Call me kind hearted if you will, but I wrote a letter on their behalf.  They were my childhood friends after all mother.  If my position grants me anything at all, it should be the ability to so what I think is the right thing.  It is a pity that you were not informed of this during. But you understand mother, bad news is not what we wish for you.” 

Meanwhile he was enjoying his food – and the young Golightly arrived presently to refill their glasses both.

“But this is good news for my business interests I think.  I shall have funds to repair the roof and repair the nothside wall also when everything works out to the plan!

Her meal drew his eye then, “Are you not hungry perhaps?”


Henry and Arthur

“Thank you.” The man of business replied. 

He’d made it plain enough to the Baron that if he was interested in investments, he need only ask. It was not Cadogan’s method to pushily hawk his wares – and so he had then directed the subject onwards. 

“Peers cannot be Fellows? Well that is rough news I can guess.” Cadogan empathised over a further mouthful.  

“Optics, do you mean telescopes and the like.  I have greater knowledge of the other you mention, astrology – I always buy the latest copy of the Poor Robin – whatever it lacks for in accuracy it makes up for in laughs!”

Evidently the man sat opposite Henry was not an academic.

“Oh you might like to attend that event that Gresham is hosting, I heard about something on the 7th.  There is another guest of the Red Lion going to it, a small and rather quiet fellow, not really here very much. I cant remember his name…”  

Once young Golightly had refilled Cordelia's and Johns glasses, he refreshed Henrys and topped up Arthurs coffee too. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cordelia and John 

There is nothing like the finding out that you are the last to know something.

Why had she thought John would be any different then he always was? He was making it very clear that he was indeed Master and everyone employed danced to his tune. She really was slipping to have missed the signs for signs there would have been.

"Well then. That is an end to it."  

She sipped her wine and then played at eating.

"And shall I be privy to what 'business' you are are John? I still have an interest in the Estate and would not wish to be taken by surprise again."

She glanced to her side as she heard parts of conversation drifting about and gave an inward sigh. He would no doubt tease with just enough or nothing at all. Yet his current mood spoke of wanting to be seen as someone important - for THAT singular thing had always been paramount

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Henry and Arthur

Henry might have been well served to probe the business matter further, but his father had always drilled into his two sons that the trades were for commoners. As a Grey, his father used to say, you are either a peer, a politician, a soldier, a church man, or a university man; in that order of preference; nothing else will do. His elder brother had been born to become a peer. As the spare, Henry had been lucky to be given the choice among the rest, and he had chosen university. Alas, Fate had bot been kind to his choice. Brother! How I miss you!

“It is not a question of a peer being unable to be a Fellow, but rather that a Fellowship requires a time investment I, at this point, cannot afford. It would have been irresponsible of me not to resign, as much as I loved the position”.

The beef and the pie were disappearing at a rapid rate. Both men seemed to have been quite hungry and had kept the pace since the start of the meal. Their drinks had also been steadily consumed.

“Yes, telescopes and the like..” the baron had to repress a smile. Astrology? Poor Robin? He hid a small sigh with a sip of ale. What is the phrase… neither cast ye your pearls before swine?  “Not exactly astrology but, in a sense, something like that. Yes, something like… that”.

Then the topic became much more interesting. “A Gresham College event you say? On the 7th? Do you have any particulars? I will definitely make it a point to attend. Thank you very much for bringing this to my attention, mister Cadogan, much appreciated”. Indeed, that would be an event worth attending. “And I will make it a point to meet this ‘quiet fellow’ you mention. Gresham is a worthy college”. Not Cambridge or Oxford; not even St Andrews or perhaps even Dublin's Trinity in my opinion, but the professors are world-class, and they do have strong ties to the Royal Society…

“The one other matter that will occupy my time”, Henry said without thinking, “will be to find a wife. A peer has an obligation to his name to continue the family line, and I need to find a bride worthy of the name of Grey”. He regretted his words as soon as he had uttered them. Am I a prattling fool? Why am I disclosing thoughts to a perfect stranger? Discipline, Henry, discipline! If you don’t discipline yourself in the menial, you will one day reveal details of an important experiment to a competitor. Get a hold of yourself!

Ale mug was topped of, and Lord Grey used the opportunity to stop talking and sip from it, taking his time. He needed to focus himself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cordelia and John

Having attained his majority a good 4 years ago, John was indeed lord of his own Estate, and was comfortably well off  – even if he did somewhat begrudge the pension given his Mother that should have been his, he was coming to terms (and knew her to have no grounds to cry hardship at least!)

Again?  What did she mean by that - ah, but he was not going to raise to her needling, not today of all days, when he had the plans that he had!  The lunch could hardly pass quick enough for him, for the suprise that he has in store for her!  Eager and even proud as he was of it, he was also a tad nervous too. For there was absolutely no guarantee she’d not discover some reason to be affronted.  Still, what could help a man from wanting to try give his mother a happiness.

But to her question now. “It is an investment in supply of saltpetre for the war effort.” Said he, “If it is of interest to you, to learn more, I could introduce you to the Man of Business who is key to the enterprise. For infact he is sat at the table just over there.” He discreetly nodded his head towards Cadogan and Greys table to indicate the man in question.


Arthur and Henry

“Ah, I see.  Then you are a man of great diligence, for I would suspect that many a man might retain the title and consider it an honorary only position thus relieving their conscience of enacting the duties.  

“Out of curiosity, what are the duties of a Fellow, Lord Grey, I am unlikely to come across another to ask this question again and so I must seize the opportunity to ask while I can!”

“Ah yes, I am a great admirer of mathematics.”  Mathematics being the coverall for the practise of astronomy ff the age.  Cadogan chuckled some, finding at last, a topic that they could relate upon.  “And of course our whole nation is scouring for predictions upon the pending royal birth.   As much as we hope for a son, I am aligned that even a girl would be good at this stage.  Call me an optimist, but I would see a thriving baby girl as proof that the Queen is productive, and surely then a boy will be next.”

Unfortunately his table mate found the Gresham topic ( a topic so less interesting to himself!) to merit further discussion.  “Well only something about them needing guest speakers. There is some main event.  I over heard the quiet fellow saying he might put forth a brief discourse himself... such a quiet fellow, I cannot imagine his talk would be riveting, so you might hope that he reconsiders! Heh heh.”

“Ah, a wife. I quite understand, good sir, I myself an a widower and keenly appreciate female absence.” He revealed it’s relevance in his own life too.  “And have you anyone in mind? Myself, there is a handsome and impressive woman whom I have my sights upon. Alas, she seems to merely toy with my affection, or at least has failed to give me a certain indication of her favour as yet.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cordelia and John 

As she waited for his answer her ear pricked at the conversation close at hand. She carefully directed a glance to the Gentleman who had refered to himself as Lord Grey and of a Prominete Family. He was not young, modestly dressed but a bit out of the current fashion, and in want of a Wife. She could not be intrusive and yet she itched to have a conversation. She would have to find out where he resided. Perhaps here at this Inn? And then the other man, for he was No Gentleman Cordelia deduced by his manner and tone, spoke of some Event on the 7th ......

Her son speaking drew her back and she sipped at her wine as she refocused.

"An invest in ....Saltpeter? War Effort? Who?"

She followed his line and it took her to the two men she had just be observing.

"Well one is a Gentleman the other not. John how came you to be connected with him and his scheme?"

She was about to add more but her inner voice advised caution and to take his offer to meet and learn. It would also provide an introduction to the Man she wanted to know more about and as for the other he was certain to be a swindler and cheat!

"I should indeed like to hear more from this Man of Business. Introduce me."

Her tone was one of no nonsense and he would certanily guess that it might not bode well but he could hardly deny her after he had offered.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Henry and Arthur

Totally oblivious at having been overheard, Henry focused his attention on the man in front of him. I must not allow such slips of the tongue, he again chided himself.

“A Fellow forms part of the Governing Body of the College. All Fellows are entitled to certain privileges within the college, which include dining at the High Table and the right to a room in the College. But since I was unable to continue lecturing or holding experiments on College grounds, I decided it was best to resign. Otherwise I would just be taking the place of someone who not only could perform the functions, but mayhaps need the room and board”. Perhaps Henry could have retained his post in absentia, but it did not feel right to him. "I do hope to return one day, though".

Wishful thinking at its best...

The subject then changed back to astrology, this time disguised as mathematics. But the final observation was a valid one, as England had had its share of reigning Queens. “I agree that any healthy baby will be welcome, whether boy or girl. Boy is preferable, of course, but another Elizabeth on the throne would not be a bad state of affairs for the realm”. There had been other women on the throne of England, of course, but he was not about to name Bloody Mary, and he was not sure that his interlocutor would know about either Lady Jane Grey or Empress Matilda.

“Guest speakers, you say? How interesting…” Henry would have to check that out, although most of his ideas did not have a concrete form yet. Perhaps Newton? “A quiet fellow… hmm...” Could it be him?

“A widower? I am deeply sorry for your loss”, the baron said politely as Arthur again changed topic. “No, I have no one in mind yet”, Lord Grey said forgetting his resolve of a few moments before. “With peers, it is not as much a matter of interest, but more of a matter of family alliances”.

It was true. Henry would most likely not be in a position to choose a wife because of looks or affinity. Rather he would strike an alliance with another lord, hopefully one of higher precedence, and seal that alliance by marrying a daughter of his. That was the way of things, and love and looks would have very little to do with it, if anything at all. His status as the last surviving Grey of the senior branch would work in his favor, as would the fact that the family fortune had not been dilapidated. His lack of a title higher than baron, or holding offices that represented both rent and influence would work against him, though. In the end, it would all depend on how highly the father of the prospect valued the name of Grey.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Henry and Arthur:

"Ah I see." You learn something every day, they say, and here it was the Baron that provided this days education for Cadogan.  It was information he was not likely to ever need, but added to his broader understanding of the world, thus was gratefully accepted as their plates were finished off mopping up gravy buns...

"Thankyou. It has been four years, enough time that the grief has eased to acceptance..." he spoke of his own circumstance before Henry elaborated more upon his own.  Sometimes it is easier to reveal personal things to complete strangers, than those closer to you who might sit judge.   

Cordelia and John: 

"Right here at the Red Lion in fact, upon the chance of sharing a table." He replied with clear expression, and having no reason at all to retract his offer. Quite the opposite in fact!  


Quietening his voice he whispered, they seem to be near finished with the main, perhaps I suggest...  Johns thoughts to include his mother on the decision was then discarded and he lifted his voice spoke.   "Gentlemen... our meals seem synchronised, might we join our tables perhaps over a desert?"  

"I am Sir John Lucas, Baronet from Longview Hertfordshire, and known to Mr Cadogan," he explained to Henry, "and my Lady Mother has expressed an interest in meeting him. Carpedium as they do say."  

“Well I can express no objection." Cadogan rose to stand to greet the mother, a mother he'd heard plenty about already.  Widowed and well funded, she would be a prime catch! "Indeed, it would be a rare pleasure."  As he was lowest of rank, preference fell upon his table Companion the Baron Henry Grey to be introduced first, (all this happening around about Henry!)  "This is Lord Henry Grey,  Baron, scholar and man of astrology.  And I, Mr Arthur Cadogan, Man of Business - at your service." 


Young Golightly readied for a nod from the Lady if he should pushed the tables together or not?  Women ruled in such things (he'd been well taught.) 



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lucas and Company 

His way of offering a merger was acceptable but needs must have her approval and so she nodded her head and offered up a smile standing and taking a few steps away so that tables could be pushed.

"Lord Grey. A pleasure." She extended her hand for a Salute adding a small nod of her own head. "Mr. Cadogan." She looked him over and did not find anything of merit. It would be unlikely that she would.

"Are you returning then for The Season?"

She inquired of Lord Grey as she waited to be given a place to sit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The young man from the nearby table addressed the pair with an offer to join tables. It so happened that Sri John Lucas, Baronet, was an acquaintance of Mister Arthur Cadogan. “If your lady mother agrees to it, I have no objection”. Astrology again… God’s blood! “A man of science, actually. An erstwhile Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge”. Hopefully the pair joining them would have a bit more knowledge of the academic world.

The baron stood up, allowing the young Golightly access to table and chairs. He would remain at the ready, in case the boy and Sir John were not to move to help Lady Lucas with her chair, to help her take her seat. He would not move if either of them did, though, as it was the business duty of one, and the familial duty of the other. Yet, if they didn't...

As a hand was offered, Henry kissed if formally. “A pleasure to meet your acquaintance, Lady Lucas”. She was obviously a woman of quality and, by the way she looked at Cadogan, someone who did not easily mix with commoners. Well, to each his or her own…

“I have returned to London after five and score years to take the Oath and take my seat in Lords, Lady Lucas, but yes, I will remain for the whole season. Between the House, Science, and related activities I guess my time won’t be my own anymore”.

Edited by Henry Grey
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nod received, the youth made quick work of joining Arthur and Henrys table to the one beneath window.  He explained the desert selection as he worked;  "We have vanilla junket with bottled plums, an apple crumble served usually with custard, but you could have some junket with it if you prefer. And then we have a chocolate sago, which I highly recommend."  With tables rearranged he  collected up their plundered plates (while noting the lady had hardly touched her food) and finally giving the table crumbs a swat with used napkin to dust them away (this latter being his own genius, not necessarily condoned by his mother if she even know the habit!)  Plates in hand, he awaited their desert choices. 

As the introductions were finished John moved the chair to reseat his mother, before taking his chair again also. 

Cadogan chose the Junket and Plum, while John opted for the Apple with Custard. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Once things resumed some order she took the chair offered by her son and gave a reply regarding what she would like and took the apple as well.

She studied her son from beneath her lids waiting to see what came next. That this Cadogan fellow seemed to be acquainted already with John made her uneasy and until things were explained she would remain so. Yet how this 'business' would be spoken of with Lord Grey present she had no clue. 

She would have like to converse with Lord Grey yet could not as that would exclude the other two.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All three deserts sounded scrumptious, but the sago seemed particularly enticing. Wasn’t sago introduced to Europe by the Portuguese from the Spice Islands or some such place? I recall having read about it, but I don't think I have ever tried it myself. It did make sense that it was known in England, as the country’s previous queen had been Portuguese. “The sago for me, and a small glass of a dry white to go with it”.

The boy’s waiting style was definitely unique. Not something he would have accepted in his estate, but this was London, so he endured it without blinking.

“Lady Lucas", he turned towards Cordelia, "you look like a person knowledgeable about London and the ways of court”, he began, “so perhaps you would do me the honour of joining me on a tour of the city at your convenience?” He then turned to John, “that is if Sir John approves, of course”. Propriety had to be observed, at least that was what Henry thought, and he did not know how loose or tight those at court ran, so he decided to play it safe.

The baron was not aware that the other three at the table wanted to talk about business. Otherwise he would have declined to join them, and would have asked for desert to be sent to his room.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He'd been anticipating some question from the Mother, but perhaps the lady has not been serious requesting making the acquaintance of him for her initial reply was as breif and manner towards him condecending. Ah well.  Of the drink Cadogan appended, "I'd enjoy a glass of dry white also."  Grey had the right idea.

Young Golightly lingered a moment more. Cordelia had not voiced an order yet. Did that mean she did not want anything, or had she yet to decide?  He waited a moment longer, then left to fetch the mens deserts. 

So while the Henry spoke to Cordelia, Arthur spoke to John. "And so your trouble back at the estate, I trust it was readily smoothed?" Cadogan asked John.   "Indeed.  But it was good to see the old home again never the less.”    "Yes no doubt." Cadogan replied. Perhaps he ought to come up with an excuse to need leave?   Lunch had suddenly become a discomfort.   

Realising that his 'permission was requested from Henry, John clucked and replied, "Oh yes certainly." 

"You must be sure to visit The Tower, most specifically the menagerie.  It is utterly remarkable what is housed there."  Arthur spoke into Johns topic of a tour.  (Allowing Cordelia a further chance of pleasantry before deciding if he'd stay or head off. )    "And one can only marvel watching the industry down at Blackfriars. Our nations ships being navigated in and out of the docks, swiftly unloaded, reloaded then set back off on their way.  There are a great number of vessels of War there too presently, of course, it a great display of the nations might."  


Link to comment
Share on other sites

She turned to Lord Grey to reply.

"Your request is easy enough and I shall be most Happy to do so! The trick with Time Lord Grey is to 'manage it and not let it manage you' which will be a most useful skill here at Court for many things happen all at once."

"I am independent of my son and quite able to do as I please." This to John's given response.

She smiled and teased with the words yet they were true. 

"I shall provide you with my address before we leave - I do not wish to publicize in this place naturally with so much unknown persons about."

Her glance rested for a moment on Cadogan then back to the Baron.

"I am not an experct by any means and there are places in London that I too have not seen. As to Court, there too I am relatively new yet not without connections. My late Husband is kin to the Duke of Newcastle." A little thought occured right at that moment.

"I did not mean to pry but earlier I heard you say that you are in need of a Wife? Perhaps I might be of some help?

The waiter it seemed did not hear her request so she was not asked and took his leave.

She then turned towards her son as she heard that Cadogan fellow make inqueries about Longview. Was this then the 'business' he had spoken of? 

"And is that where your 'interests' lie Mr. Cadogan? And I am curious as to how you and my son are acquainted?"

Her questions were plesantly phrased without any hint of her internal thoughts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Hope locked this topic
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Create New...