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George Hardwick III

Sunday Service | Morning 3rd April

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Lady Annesley & Davina

Elizabeth was hardly going to admit what she'd overheard: but Davina's tack of friendliness was clever if she wanted to influence what Elizabeth might do with the possibly-heard-information.

"Yes, that's why I said so." Elizabeth replied with a laugh of bemusement. "But then it is a Lady's duty to keep track of such things, isn't it."

 

 

 

 

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Anne-Elisabeth and the Angleseys

 

Anne-Elisabeth couldn't even remember the last time she had been fussed over like this, and she had to admit she liked it, though not the comment about her wasting away. She knew she was a bit on the thin side but didn't like calling attention to it. It annoyed her a bit that the woman had noticed; every time she looked in the mirror, she told herself that nobody would.

 

“I have plans for lunch already,” she said, smiling apologetically. “And yes, the shipwreck occurred a year and a half ago. I recovered on my late husband's estate while in mourning for him. I knew that he wouldn't want me to grieve for him forever. He had promised to take me to court and told me many wonderful stories about it. So I decided to honor his memory by coming here by myself. I'm often lonely, and when I see other young ladies with their families, it makes me sad, but one must make do with what one has, even if one has next to nothing.

 

“God saved my life for a reason. I must now discover why.”

 

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Nicci and Sophia parting

 

“That is true. Nobody tells me to go back where I came from anymore. I belong here now. I wish I was not the only Ambassador's wife in London, but it seems that the others are either unmarried or leave their families in their own country.” Sophia believed that she would benefit from the advice of another Ambassador's wife. There must be other ways to help her husband than hosting parties and finding opportunities for Spain to contribute to English society.

 

“Perhaps,” the petite singer agreed without much conviction. “I appreciate your prayers and I, too, hope that I will have a boy.” All ladies wanted to prove that they could produce sons, and Sophia was no exception. She wanted several of them, and a few daughters as well. Juan deserved a large family to dote upon, living manifestations of their love for each other.

 

She was curious as to why Nicci and her friends wanted to know about Francis' romantic relationships. Did they want to set him up with a lady they thought he would fall for? Or were they interested because he preferred to keep his own council on that particular subject? “Oh, I would never just ask him outright,” she claimed. “I know how to be sneaky. If I find out anything, I promise to let you know.”

 

The two ladies parted and Sophia left the chapel to find the Duchess of Buccleuch.

 

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Davina and Lady Annesley

"We are indeed often times too heavily burdened but you are right Duty will alway come first."

Davina was not generally given over to conversional awkwardness but she was feeling that now! They were hardly of an acquaintance where a more familiar form of speech and manner would apply so she might have to improvise.

"How is your Family? You are not here alone suruly?"

She glanced about as if looking.

"If so I can hardly take my own leave - I shall gladly see you to wherever you wish."

It would have been disrespectful to Lady Annesley to just leave her standing alone.

Davina guessed that there were other family members still inside so her offer will no doubt be declined but she would remain unless told to be on her way.

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Charles, Darlene, and Thomas

The puzzle to Thomas's rank was a simple one, really: with two twin daughters that were recently turned eighteen, Thomas's father had to provide a dowry for them both. And, being twins, it was expected that each dowry to be of a matching price. And new dresses, too, of matching opulence...

And there was the continued care of his elder brother, which was no cheap thing either. Thomas was indeed his father's favorite son, but his father was pragmatic too, and sought to marry the girls off to wealthy prospects in Yorkshire. Certain expectations on Thomas's end had to be adjusted over the years, and while he was certain that he would get a commission to lieutenant at some point, there was no definitive set date on his father's end.

What mattered more, he supposed, was maintaining a good reputation in the Blues -- the rank would come in time. 

"A pleasure to make your acquaintances, my lady, my lord. Though I wish it were under better circumstances." Thomas's grip tightened on Lady Oakham as she wobbled, and he braced himself to take more of her weight as she moved. 

"Carelessness, or perhaps shrewdness on the part of her family." Thomas doubted the girl had much say in her marriage prospects, after all. "Who is this Williams fellow she is engaged to?"

Edited by Thomas Easton

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Davina and Lady Annesley

"My family is well, thankyou.” Elizabeth turned as though checking. A veritable tribe of Manners family were coming up along behind, theirs being one of the prominent and royally connected families at court, they put on a good showing.  Elizabeth’s husband meanwhile was moving towards the other side of the Chapel, approaching his parents (whom Davina might notice was talking to her friend.)

“So kind of you to offer, but I have a family lunch to attend, today we are joining my brothers table.  And you shall be dining with your brothers? So much we share in common.” Elizabeth gave another light laugh as the ladies stepped out into the open. 

Elizabeth would now move with her family group their carriages, unless Davina indicated some reason for her to linger in conversation longer.      

 

Anne-Elisabeth and the Angleseys

“But I knew she was not straight from the ocean.” Lady Anglesey sighed in reply to her husband.  A fact of which the young woman confirmed.  

“Oh but she needs a husband. What fine fortune then that our paths have crossed.” Happily she returned her attention to Anne Elizabeth. Matchmaking was one of this vintage women’s hobbies. She spent many happy hours trying to pair her previous ‘project’  Master Kane Graas.  “And you are so pretty, my work is already half done. Have you any aversion to Scotland… remember that Baron we met a few weeks back Arthur, he was very alone too.”

“Now now Mother.” It was a large voice that interjected at that moment, James had approached his parents to greet them before he left Chapel only to find they had cornered some poor helpless girl.  He, as a hero, swept in. “Scotland indeed, I dare say the young lady is quite happy to be here in London thank you.” 

“Oh dear, there you are.” Chattersome Lady Angelsey turned and looked at the tall figure of her son, “Are you coming to lunch, I’ve not sure if we’ve enough beef, but it shall be lovely to have you there none the less. I’m hardly even hungry these days.”

“Lady Cambray, this is my son Lord Annesley.” Arthur spoke up.  James gave a small bow and, with a wink, chuckled “now is your moment Lady Cambray, run.”

 

Rev Hamilton finishes his duty & approaches Kingston

There was only a few stragglers left in the Chapel; Adrian gestured to a younger presbyter to take his place, and approached Francis. 

“You are Lord Kingston I believe. My sister has spoken highly of you.”   

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Charles, Darlene, and Thomas

Thomas did not answer her on what Trumpet meant, oh, no, Cornet it had been.  Darlene's eyes slid to Chatham as she imagined he probably knew the answer. Men knew things like that. Though she had liked to think herself attentive, or at least interested in, anything involving fine looking men in uniform. She would ask Lord Chatham about it later. 

But when it came to gossip Darlene was on level ground. "I debuted the same season as she, and there was a whole lot of fuss over her first engagement. It was not even an engagement really, but a misunderstanding upon her part. Poor Lord MacGregor. Not that it slowed him down at all, he married Lady Patterson in a whirlwind - you of course know her, she was His Majesties Scottish mistress.

"I have no idea who her next engagement was, but the one after was an Irishman, Lord Dunrara who was some manner of artist.  And then now this last I know little of, other than I've seen Lord Langdon with him. 

"Yes, I think you right Lord Chatham, she must be very neglectful of her suitors to have had so many... hmm, but then men can be quite slippery." she grinned teasing them both, "that is why we ladies usually wear gloves, all the better to catch them with. If that doesn't work, then we need to get out our ribbons - and you don’t want to see the results of that gentlemen." 

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Francis & Adrian

 

Francis was saved from having to feel awkward for much longer, because Heather's brother approached him instead. 

 

"On the mark," Francis replied, with a friendly nod as the other named and then went so far as to compliment him. "Was I so very obvious in my loitering? I did not wish to interrupt your well-wishes to our stately matrons."

 

With a chuckle he said, "And I do quite miss your lady sister. There are not enough smiles and witticisms without her. nor schemes for the unfortunate, and I am convinced the Duke of York is not in as good a humour." He delivered the last bit in a joking whisper, leaning a bit closer to avoid being overheard.

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Davina and Lady Annesley

Davina followed the movement her eys finding the rest of the members and it was by sheer chance that her eye caught the figure of the Countess widening slightly as she noted the Company she was in.

had Lady Annesley noted it as well? has she already been introduced to the Countess?

Davina smiled in agreement to the others comment her inner thoughts swirling.

"So it would seem as I am to lunch with my brother! Perhaps we should acquaint ourselves better to the other this Season."

"Well since I can see that you are not alone I shall take my leave. Until we meet again."

She would not relax on this until she knew for certain that Lady Annesley had not heard anything that she might make use of or not.

Edited by Davina Wellsley

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Rev Hamilton & Kingston

"Blame it upon the Chapel, there is only so much a layman can do here to appear gainfully occupied." Adrian chuckled a reply, that yes, it had been apparent that Francis was interested to talk.  The common factor was of course Heather, thus the conversation begun.

"I dare say it is a brief reprieve, she shall be back to tying courts shoelaces together in next to no time."  Had Francis noticed the tensioning of Adrian’s features when he'd mentioned York? The reverend was pained at his sisters freedoms with her person, even if this latest was the fine calibre of a prince (well, fine-ish, they were talking about the very catholic York!)  

Davina and Lady Annesley

The eyes of Lady Annesley were intelligent, looking upon Davina with a weighting of options.  The suggestion that the other made was interesting, an ploy plainly enough, but interesting none the less. It bided both time to consider the many options, she supposed.   "Why yes, why don’t we do that. What do you suggest and when?" 

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Davina and Lady Annesley

"Well the Season has just begun and no doubt there shall be ample opportunities. Why do we not wait and see what Events might be unfolding? There are bound to be any number of things that might capture both our interests!"

She could not be faulted for that she believes. 

The other was no pushover that much was very evident and this made Davina all the more cautious. She would need her wits about her.

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Charles, Darlene, and Thomas

Charles listened interestedly as Darlene laid out the marital history of Mistress Dwight. He rather enjoyed gossip, not that he would ever phrase it quite like that. 

"Carelessness, then," he concluded. "There is a pronounced trajectory there, and it does not trend upwards." If Charles guessed correctly, and this Lord MacGregor had been Scottish, then it had not begun particularly high either, but even a Scottish title was preferable to an Irish one, and the latter was in turn preferable to no title at all. This 'Williams' had none, and was apparently an intimate of Langdon's to boot, which doubtless meant that he was a pompous, priggish bore too. He allowed himself a moment of sympathy for Mistress Dwight. She was far from bright, but surely even such as she needed (and deserved) greater stimulation than she was likely to receive from her husband to be.

He grinned at Darlene as she teased him and Thomas, and then met Easton's eyes in a wry gesture of solidarity with the other man caught in Darlene's wiles.

Ribbons of a more metaphorical sort, perhaps, but pretty ones all the same.

"But surely you yourself have had no need of such fripperies to hold the attentions of your suitors, my lady?" he asked, smiling as he returned his attention to Darlene. "Though now that you bring it up, I confess that I am curious as how a lady might use ribbons to bind a gentleman to her." His eye danced.

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Francis & Adrian

 

Francis might have found more pause had Heather been unmarried before York. As it was, Merry Widow was a socially accepted construct and a royal mistress was the highest sort, so though God and brothers might frown, Kingston was not similarly afflicted.

 

"That was almost how we met, with her tying court's shoelaces," Francis said, chuckling, for he had found Heather under the King's wedding breakfast table about such pranks. "I've been helping her escape trouble ever since, and she has helped me not to look quite foolish when I was new to court." 

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Anne-Elisabeth and the Angleseys

 

Why did all older ladies believe that every woman must be married? Anne-Elisabeth was enjoying widowhood and had no plans to wed anytime soon. And certainly not to a lowly Baron in Scotland. She had heard that Scotland was a lot colder than England, so … no. Absolutely not.

 

The Countess was saved from refusing by the arrival of a tall, younger man who bore a strong resemblance to his parents. She didn't fault Lady Anglesey for trying to find her a husband. Many ladies of esteemed age liked to engage in matchmaking. She had met quite a few of them in the country, but none of them had been as charming as this woman.

 

The son was intent on saving her from his parents' meddling, which she thought was very courteous of him, though she was by no means a damsel in distress. Again, Lady Anglesey mentioned the lack of beef, and Anne-Elisabeth wondered if they were lacking in wealth. Some nobles were impoverished, either from gambling their fortunes away, or from spending too much to keep up appearances with everyone else.

 

Lord Anglesey introduced his son, and Anne-Elisabeth grinned as he bowed to her. “I'm pleased to meet you, Lord Annesley.” She wondered if there was any significance to the similarity of their titles. Holding up her hand to be kissed, she added: “Why should I run? I find your parents delightful and they were so gracious to allow me to sit with them during the service.”

 

 

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Anne-Elisabeth and the Angleseys

The young woman from Barbados was no doubt starting to learn that every woman who was married had an instinct to see any single woman became likewise (incarcerated!) And the older the married woman was, the less likely she was going to be discreet about it. 

“Aha, then I apologise Lady Cambray.” Uttered James as he stood corrected.

Turning to Lady Anglesey he replied, “And no Mother, I was just wishing to greet you both before I head off with the Manners for lunch. Shall we join you for Sunday dinner next?”  thus his mothers mental planning of lunch menu was placated.

“Ah, but I best head off before I keep everyone waiting.” He turned to AE, “Again, A pleasure to meet you milady.”

And exiting chapel into the light of day the little impromptu gathering broke up, with the young woman having had the fortune of extending her field of acquaintances.

 

Francis & Adrian

Adrian had a reserved manner about him, but he was diligent enough in keeping watch over his little sister.  Heathers antics were as bad as Clarence’s! “Who needs to read books of fiction with family like mine to keep one entertained and diverted – though I would say, Lord Kingston, that I would not mind if the tales they wove were a little less colourful.”

“And you yourself are well?” he asked, by was of an opening to the other, in case there was matters physical or spiritual Francis wished to discuss? 

 

Davina and Lady Annesley

Davina did not try to make a ‘date’, but left it open in that way that people did when they were not actually wanting to see the other. 

“Oh, yes certainly, we shall bump into each other eventually I dare say.”  The Lady gave a light laugh, aware that the others suggestion had only been a social nicety.   

And here the ladies paths separated, with Lady Annesley’s husband re-joining the Manner Family group with it’s lively chatter.

 

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Anne-Elisabeth and the Angleseys

 

Lord Annesley was as pleasant as his parents, and Anne Elisabeth assured him that there was nothing to apologize for. He soon excused himself and joined a group of people she didn't know. After he had gone, she said her farewells to Lord and Lady Angelsey and told them she hoped to see them again soon. She needed to prepare for her lunch with Davina and after waving at the older couple, she went to find her carriage.

 

 

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"A misspent youth has woven quite a tale by the end of life for a number of personages I would wager," Francis replied, as if to say that there was hope yet that the reverend's siblings would reform. He might rather doubt it in this particular case, but it had been done before. "With our royal master, many follow suit of the adage 'like master, like man'; or in my case, it is rather a requirement of a good servant." 

 

It was not as if everyone did not know part (much?) of the purpose of being one of the King's Gentlemen of the Bedchamber! Their King was never one to be swayed by sober arguments or even long-winded speeches of any kind. He was not going to altogether reform. 

 

Francis gave a quick look around to make sure nobody was close enough to overhear. "Which speaking of an inability to disappoint His Majesty, he quite enjoyed an excursion to your sister's in Chelsea last summer. I had to host it last moment in your lady sister's absence, and I thought to try to do the same with a few of our friends in the desire to keep such things away from Her Majesty, but even though Heather has left me to look after her financial affairs and estate here, I thought to make sure nobody would think it was vandals by telling you of it and her close neighbors." Francis felt it quite important to be respectable and respectful of others, even in such strange circumstances.

 

Heather had a unique set up in Chelsea for several reasons besides the grounds and buildings, prime among them that it was a respectable distance from court and Queen. It was quite important for such affairs to be as respectable as possible. 

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