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Defiance

Let Us Make War | House of Lords April 5th through the afternoon

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House of Lords

 

 

 

 

Queen_Anne_in_the_House_of_Lords.jpg

 

 

 

Historically, Parliament has consisted of two Houses (Lords and Commons). All title holders of Baron and higher are permitted a seat in the House of Lords. Ladies are not permitted membership, but may attend with non-peers in the viewing gallery. The Lord Chancellor presides over the House.

 

Surrounding the Hall where the Lord Chancellor presided over meetings is the foyer. It is in this foyer that many of the peers walked around, grouping and softly whispering.

 

Quote

 

FROM RECESS:

House of Lords

Lord Danby has been attainted in the first session of Lords (occurring just before the IC official start of our season) and his final fall rounded out by cheers. Association with his family or friends becomes somewhat dangerous. The reasons for his fall were many but among them his part in the infamous Dover Treaty, implication in the affair burning effigies, & kidnapping of Trevor & Arthur Hill.

 

His Majesty officially declaring war prompted for the voting of primary funding for the war and for some of the Lord High Admiral's new Rupertinoe cannon, with discussion on further funding to occur in the second session of the season, April 5th. The Navy has been preparing now for some months, and it seems that at least the first ships will be leaving shortly.


 

 

 

The crowds were very large at Westminster for the next session of the House of Lords. Money had already been voted on for war previously and His Majesty had already declared that they would join with the Dutch. Before the session was to begin many gentlemen and ladies gathered to walk in the hall before the peers were called in for the session. The gallery was sure to be quite packed today with ladies and gentlemen spectators to see what further measures might be voted upon that day.

 

With the Queen pregnant, much the talk of Exclusion and other measures against Catholics had quelled some, and Englishmen heavily disliked the French so there was not as much discord as there had been in previous sessions. 


 

(OOC - Almost everyone will be here for this and this is set out in the foyer, so is peers, non-peers, and women. If there is someone in particular that we NPC that you want to find or talk to, please bold looking for them or OOC looking for them in your post. If you've never met them, having someone to introduce you is preferable if possible. We will do our best to accommodate with those that are currently played. Unlike Christmastide, where much of the opposition/Country Party isn't around, those NPCs will be around: Shaftesbury, Ashley, Russell, Bedford, Rutland, etc etc). 

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Darlene was not a political creature, but she was diligent to attend the House of Lords session. It was the gathering place of every gentleman worth his salt - and she, upon hunt for a new husband was sensible to seeing them in their natural habitat.  She'd arrived the earlier the better, for to her way of thinking it was before the session that the good part was. (Before everyone had to sit down for hours and hours and listen to the terribly boring speeches!)

She had dressed with usual care in a very pretty day dress of sage green, the lace trim of which was needlework’d with cream roses that matched the criss-cross latticework effect of satin ribbon over the bodice.   In her hair was a spray of  yellow miniature roses woven in with gauze in a faux-hat effect - which, if nothing else,  delighted the lady who's eyes sparkled with confidence. 

Darlene meandered in around the groups that were already here, wondering where she ought to make her new start? It would be pleasing to have a handsome husband, but handsome men could also be difficult.  She did not want an opinionated husband either (her path deviated away from an especially bellicose voice). But perhaps a gentle and indulgent man, and she definitely wanted a husband who was a good kisser this time.

She hardly knew whom or how to approach, but somehow found herself looking at the gentleman who had been given her old office at the palace.  She enjoyed a sudden sensation of nerves that tingled up over her form, which told her just how much he was already important to her!   So although they had barely properly met, Darlene approached Heneage jnr., Lord Aylesford, and offered a tentative smile to try capture his attention. 

"Good day my Lord, did you discover your flowers perchance?" 

 

 

OOC: BG has said he'd write Hen for Darlene sometime, and so I was hoping here might work?! 

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(OOC - you might want to give B a poke!)

 

The Chancellor of the Exchequer and new Lord Treasurer, Lord Fosbury, formerly Sir John Ernle arrived with his lady wife, also the mother of the young Duke of Somerset, and his eldest son Captain Sir John Ernle. They were stopped by courtiers greeting them and offering congratulations along the way. Their family was clearly on the rise, with the young captain quite renown for his prowess at seizing ships. 

 

The Duke of Buckingham was holding court in his preferred area, toward the front and highly visible, clearly having spent a long time in his dressing for his fine-legged figure was decked out in the most expensive of ensembles. It was hard to tell who was surrounding him, for he was an immensely popular figure when the King's favour turned again in his direction. 

 

The Duke of Norfolk was not with his family but rather with the Marquess of Worcester, his first wife's brother, speaking quietly about his recalcitrant sons who refused the see reason. He had hoped that perhaps joint pressure from the boys' uncle might improve his chances, for his legitimate sons remaining Catholic left him in a disadvantageous situation. Worcester was also the first Anglican in his family, though had been so for a very, very long time, long before the Test Act was even a thought in someone's imagination. Worcester's boys were nearby, speaking to another young gentleman. Lord Herbert was detailing the advantages of the Rupertinoe in quite scientific terms, having quite enjoyed his tour of Cumberland's foundry given some time earlier by his brother-in-law, Lord Beverley. 

 

The Duke of Ormonde was speaking to the Earl of Brooke. A further grouping of gentlemen associated with Irish doings were nearby, including a small groups of Boyle Lords, Ranelagh, Denbigh, and Ibracken. 

 

The Earl of Shaftesbury was engaged in conversation with his typical crowd, not far from Buckingham's encompassing circle, including the Earl of Rutland, Earl of Bedford, and Lord Russell. His son, Lord Ashley and was there as well, speaking to Sir Scrope Howe. 

 

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Darlene and Heneage Junior

He had been in the company of his father but moments before; yet, the Chancellor of England was a popular man and was swept away by a knot of lords, each seeking to ask whether the Chancellor would find their petition or interpretation of law to be consistent with his.  The senior had moved over towards the chamber doors while his youngest son awaited the arrival of more lords.

It was then that a beauty that was somewhat known to him arrived, looking for him of all people.  "Flowers?"  he seemed flustered trying to think if anyone had sent him flowers.  No one ever did that.  It took a longer pause to put a face with a name and a name with an office and an office with flowers.  "Ah, yes, now I recall.  You left me a key and some flowers.  I must say they were quite unexpected."  He offered a nervous smile as he was trying to better understand the motive and the story behind it but had not written her to inquire further.  "I mean most welcome," he added lest she think he was somehow critical of her efforts.  "I must say you have me at a loss about how you had a key to the office.  I am just using it temporarily."  

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Posted (edited)

Heneage jr. & Darlene

Darlene flashed a smile. "I was worried they might wilt before you could enjoy them."  The office had not looked very used, but lucky for her he'd been there and seen them. 

He corrected his review from 'unexpected' to 'welcome', she gave a little laugh and claimed, "Now I shall wonder if you always find the unexpected to be welcome - few gentlemen are so daring, usually they are more fond of the predictable.  I could give you another surprise, if you like?" 

It was news to hear that his use of the office would be temporary only.  (It made her wonder if she should have kept the key and waited for it to be vacant again! Oh well.)

"Well you see the office used to be Lord Mountjoys' and after he got his new office, I had use of it. Temporary too I suppose you'd say.  I was very busy at the time arranging garden excursions and other things for my ladies groups.  But then when I left, I forgot to return the key." she gave a small shrug. "It's a lovely office don’t you think, with so many shelves. It's very good for being organised…

“… do you think you shall have need of all of the shelves?”  though it was not really storage space she was thinking about at that moment, rather, this gentle gentleman who had a nervous smile and sincere tone.  Qualities that a lass like Darlene keenly appreciated. 

Edited by Darlene Hamilton

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Anne-Elisabeth had hoped to arrive at Westminster early but it looked as if everyone else at court had the same idea. Well, at least she would stand out in her bright salmon silk gown shot with saffron, which seemed to change color from peachy-pink to orange to golden yellow with each step she took. The fabric was so spectacular that it needed no lace, beads, or other decorations and it was also simply cut, sitting just off her shoulders with twice-puffed short sleeves.

 

Its only adornment was a wide orange silk sash wrapped around her tiny waist and tied into a bow in front. Two roses, one pink and one yellow, had been stuck into the knot of the bow. Her hair was worn mostly up with a few fat raven curls left loose to cascade over one shoulder. Pink, orange, and yellow roses were fixed into her coiffure. Around her neck she wore a golden necklace with a medium-sized topaz dangling from the center and matching topaz earrings sparkled in her ears. A topaz bracelet encircled one wrist.

 

Meandering slowly through the throng, she spotted Captain Ernle, the handsome young gentleman whom she had met at Lord Buckingham's party. Was that his family he was with? Heading in his direction, she tried to catch his eye, hoping that he wouldn't mind either introducing her to them or leaving them for a few moments to speak with her.

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Darlene and Hen

"No, they were quite lovely.  Not wilted at all," he assured her.  "Another surprise?" he peeped.  It took himself a moment to assure himself that it could hardly be anything but a pleasant surprise.  "Yes, of course."

"Oh, ladies groups.  I understand."  He supposed that ladies might like to use an office from time to time for their meetings.  Most men assumed they preferred parlors with tea, but perhaps there were more serious things to discuss.

"It is a nice office," he agreed.  "I am working on some legal papers and it promises a place for quiet contemplation while at court.  I shan't need very many shelves at all," he assured her.  "My law library is at home and my office in the Temple district."

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The Lucas family 

John had offered to escort his mother to the Lords.

It might not be her preferred venue, but he'd encouraged her to attend following their discussion days before about the stocks he had an option upon.  He had dressed finely in a costume of navy blue, which he thought was of the moment and even patriotic, what with the navy ships (and their sailors) being stationed at Blackwell Docks.

 

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Darlene and Hen

"Very well."  So Darlene planned a surprise for him, moving closer with the pose as though to whisper something to his ear.... willing him to lean in

 

He accepted her reason for needing a office rather well, almost as if that was normal.  She smiled at his gracious agreeableness, gentlemen really were too nice rather often. Thank goodness she was not a gentleman, for she'd never be able to just agree and accept even a half of what she presented them with!  "Might I be able to use one of those shelves still? I would only access the information while you are also present of course.  And I would promise, cross my heart - " Which she then did, drawing his eyes to ample cleavage, "to be perfectly hush." 

 

Was she easily impressed perhaps?  For she was terribly impressed when he told her he had a library, and then he added that he had another office in the temple district too. "Goodness, you must be very important."  she praised glowingly, "though of course I suspected that already, which was why I got you flowers.  All these years I have heard of your acting as an emissary - is that the right word - for the crown.  Wasn't it you who sought the European princesses, the candidates to be out New Queen?  Yes, I have always heard you name spoken of upon important task,  but I never knew you had a office in the temple district. Isn’t the temple district the most important in London? Oh, except for Whitehall of course."

 

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Darlene and Hen

"Oh."  As she leaned in so too did he.  Whatever could she have to say?  It was sort of exciting.  Women did not whisper often, did they?  Not to men anyway.

Beautiful women would always find decent gentlemen to be agreeable to most anything.  It was part of the grand bargain.  The women were the weaker vessel and gentlemen needed to indulge and protect them in return.

"Of course!"  She wanted only one shelf.  He could not imagine what sort of books she wanted to store there, but it seemed harmless.  "You need not restrict yourself to the times that I am there," he assured her. "Would you like your key back?  I have my own."  No doubt he caught sight of her breast but he did not linger with his look, as a libertine might.

"Me, no, I am nothing special really," he replied in modesty.  As soon as he said it, he regretted it somewhat.  One did not impress ladies with too much modesty.  "My father is the important one.  As Chancellor, he is in charge of the King's courts.  I too am a barrister and I am helping him with some of his research into more sensitive topics," he explained.  Of course, his father also intended to gain him an important legal office as well, perhaps as solicitor for Londonshire.  "The temple is where most all of the solicitors and barristers in the city have their offices.  It helps to be near each other, the courts, and the prison.  It is an important place surely, but nothing glamorous.  I am not an emissary of the Crown, so to speak, but an officer of the court."  He paused to see if she showed any interest.

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The Lucas Family

 She understood full well the value in "Apperances' as did every Courtier in attendance. To NOT have come would leave that unfortunate one the subject of gossip and speculations.

Her son was well appointed and she herself had chossen to wear a tafetta silk closed gown of blue/green that changed its color depending upon the light. Hair up and pinned nicely with her wedding jwelery of creamy pearl necklace and matching earrings.

"Do you see Lord Grey in all this?" She asked him. "I hope he does well if he is to speak today."

"We need to present complements to Cavendish as well John."

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Captain Ernle & Anne E

 

The Captain did notice her approach. Who could not in such an extravagantly coloured ensemble. Since they had just arrived and were making their way through the groupings of people coming up to his face, the younger John was able to deviate his path away from the well-wishers.

 

"I see you in the light of day, Lady Cambray. Have you come to hear the battlecries for war with France?"

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Nicolette was a bit nervous of attending the session;  highest odds were that much would be said against the French, and there was no mistaking her for an Englishwoman.  She'd considered simply styling at home, there was always another chapter to read of 'Theatrum Botanicum'.  But that would be cowardly.  That would be the weaker course. So it was Nicolette resolved to attendance.

Besides it would be extremely interesting to hear what her patron the Duke of Buckingham had to say on such matters, and then there was the Ernles views (that surely were an echo of the Dukes own?), not to mention her interest to whether any more was revealed about the very absent Lords Danby and Mounmouth and Williamson - some of who's location were known and others not.  There seemed to be a theme of men being suddenly absent at the English court.  Who would (by some necessity from within or without) be next?!

She dressed in a fine costume of light blue.  Curiously, ever since she had dresses of other colours in her wardrobe to choose from, her affection for that colour had increased.  It was a soft velvet, and where it's folds shifted in the light it was a silvery grey.  Around the neckline was crochet'd with clear glass beads that prettily caught the light.  Folding down her parasol, she hooked this handle over one arm and entered quietly into the foyer... dark eyes acclimatising to the light then looked around for faces familiar. 

It would be predictable of her to move directly towards Lord Buckingham as she saw him, so she did not, but offered a smile and nod in his direction - placing her frenchsess nest to him at this moment would be blatant and not considerate of him.   

Instead she sought the group of younger men, that might include Herbert and Arthur, pups really, but for Charles recent companion Ashburnham who might now rank as their leader.  She'd meant to discover if Ashburnham had liked the gift she'd given him last Christmas*; an bottle of fragrance, vetiver & lavender. She'd be able to tell by discreetly inhaling.  "Goodmorning Gentlemen." said she. 

 

 

* was in Nicci's gifts given thread

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Daperly dressed Chichester walked into the House of Lords foyer, a satchel tucked under his arm, within it notes and more note paper. 

 

His manner was quiet and watchful, as were his intentions of the day.  Over previous months he'd spend numerous hours reading past sessions minutes, his great intention was to come to hold an understanding of his various peers standpoints, alliances and preferences. It was no small task, it was as vast as it was complex, particularly as none ever showed their full hand.  There was a great deal between the lines that needed to be reckoned. 

 

Coming to a quiet position out of the flow of ingress, the Earl came to stand watching the various groupings.  One man of note to him was Norfolk, with whom he'd spent a pleasant afternoon with last season. The Duke was currently speaking with Worchester, a fellow with interests not far from Bristol thus relevant to himself via his Boyle trade interests that now worked out of that city. (Boyle had moved there in good sense given the anti-Catholic climate here in London, and very likely other Catholic business's had also).   

 

Chichester also noticed the widowed Countess from the Stand, she was speaking to Ernles son (he was a Captain in the navy or something).  She looked to be sweetly charming him, much in the same manner she'd sweetly charmed Chichester.  He smiled of it, and wondered what his rather stuffier father would make of it, and then George's eyes drifted on...

 

Till his gaze came to rest upon Buckingham, now there was a man in his own league, who had shot down many an opponent in the records that George had diligently read. Was his young protégé nearby him? The Earl, being newly properly acquainted with Francis, was interested to see where the young mans attention fell.  Such a pretty fellow, he was likely flirting with a cluster of Ladies.

 

George was yet to see Basildon anywhere, though there spotted his French cousin so was likely not far off. 

 

The newly returned Mountjoy was likely to be here already too, by memory George recalled he was close with the Chancellors son, who was currently chatting with another newly returned. Was that Lady Oakham, good grief.   

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Darlene and Hen

Naively he leaned in, which was perfect for her plan; tippee toing she placed a surprise kiss upon his cheek, before dropping back down with a broad smile, “It is done!” secondly she caught his hand and gave it a squeeze, having not wanted to startle him as much as make him smile also

“Would that be alright?” she asked about the key, for it had sounded like his work might be too important to be left untended around her. She would read it if given a chance. Didn’t he realise that?

He showed great modesty when under the light of her impressed state, it was rather nice to see. Not many are modest when at court, though Thomas had been modest too.   With a soft smile she countered, "It is my guess that the great man, your Lord Father, is privately very proud of you.”  Which might be a compliment he’d that would sit better with him.  She still firmly believed that a man with multiple offices and a library too, must be a very important man (even if he did not realise it).

 “Thank you for a shelf,”   If you looked at it correctly, it was practically a piece of his own importance given to her.  Darlene was very pleased.

“Do you think you will become a court judge one day.” which probably revealed how little she knew of his professional life.  "What does officer of the court actually mean?”  

Edited by Darlene Hamilton

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The Lucas Family looked for Duke Cavandish

“I do not see him here yet.” John replied, likewise interested to speak with Henry again.  

It was then that Cordelia suggested that they present themselves to the Duke.  “And I would not mind hunting out Mr Cadogan also.” John replied, while deferring to his mothers first preference.   

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Lords Spiritual

Politics mixed readily with religion, indeed Bishop Compton sat at the lords and held a vote.  He arrived to todays session in his full bishopric regalia, and with the young Reverend Hamilton in tow... 

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Mountjoy Entering

 

Charles had not slept very well the previous night but this was an important occasion for him, not only legislatively but also personally…or at least professionally which to Mountjoy was very much the same thing for it would be the first public appearance since returning to Court.

 

He had paid particular attention to his toilet choosing a coat in the German cut of longer sleeves and cutaway front with matching breeches that had recently become fashionable at the Court of the Holy Roman Emperor. The coat was of dark Egyptian blue velvet with turnback cuffs edged with silver embroidery in the shape of acanthus leaves, an amaranth waistcoat of jacquarded silk in a floral pattern embellished with silver thread and ruby chips was worn with crisp white silk stockings, patent leather court shoes with red heels accented with silver buckles set with rubies and a white linen shirt and Chelsea lace cravat held in place by a colourful jeweled pin cunningly designed in the image of a peacock. A crowned hat, also in the German fashion, was of dark blue felt with the right brim pinned to a red silk band with a clasp of silver set with sapphires holding three peacock feathers sat on top a luxurious black periwig of sumptuous curls. A baldric of morocco leather heavily accented with plaques of lapis lazuli held his court sword and his hands, encased in calfskin gloves of cornflower blue, held an ebony walking stick filigreed with silver and sapphires.

 

Thus modestly attired Mountjoy strode into the anti chamber and surveyed the room. As expected the session already looked like it would be heavily attended as not only had the usual suspects already begun to gather but many more that normally did not bother to attend were milling about. He cast about for the Lord Chancellor as he would desire to have a quick word with him before proceedings began in case there were some political currents afoot that he should be aware of.

 

He saw his good friend Heneage and the first true smile appeared on his face since yesterday but then he noticed his speaking companion was Lady Oakham. He had no negative feelings about the Lady after all they had shared an adventure or two in the past but she was just too sparklingly effervescent for him in his current state so reluctantly did not join them preferring to wait till he could get his friend alone.

 

In sessions past it would have been others that would come up to him but a season is a long time in politics so his friends and allies would need to be re courted so he took a moment to assess the current of the room. Basildon was a man who could always be relied upon to know which way the wind was blowing, if you could get him to divulge such information, but he was nowhere to be seen. Buckingham was in his usual place surrounded by his usual cortège but he was not so desperate as that. Spying Shaftesbury he thought it would be arch if he was to be the first one he spoke to but he settled for catching the Earl’s eye and giving him a bow as if to emphasize I am back.

 

But it was the lone Earl of Chichester (George Hardwick) that finally caught his eye. He did not recall seeing much of the Lord in sessions past but this had the earmarks of being an atypical session. Besides the man was dressed very smartly and if politics failed to hold his attention Mountjoy would happily discuss the merits of their tailors.

 

“My Lord Chichester, have you come with your brushes to immortalize this session as if this was the Senate on the Ides of March or do you plan to take up a knife and get stuck in?”

Yes knife and stuck in, he thought that a good play on words and he could use a bit of light conversation.  

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Hen and Darlene

"Oh my," he exclaimed as she gave him a kiss.  He had not been expecting that and blushed accordingly, wondering who might have witnessed it.

It seemed that she did want the key back.  he had not really considered the consequences.  He would in time but the offer had been made out of politeness because he was not the actual officeholder.  "Of course." Her compliments were met with little lessening of his blush.  His shoulders shrugged involuntarily.

"I suppose it is possible," he replied.  Judges were o the common class mostly, but he might hold some distinguished judicial appointment he supposed.  What man of law did not consider the path of judgeship?  Being the King's prosecutor was held in higher regard because one represented the King in seeking justice, whereas a judge merely dispensed it.  "An officer of the court is sworn to uphold the ethical duties of the legal system.  It means we must bear no false witness and seek justice in the King's name.  All barristers are officers of the courts that they practice within."

The topic was likely boring to Darlene, so Hen asked instead "what sort of books do you plan to keep on your bookshelf?"  It was then that he noticed his old friend Charles Blount enter the antechamber.  The man ever knew how to make an interest.  He had missed Charles of late.  There would be enough time for that later.  Now he owed his attention to the beauty that had bestowed a kiss upon him.

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Mountjoy & Chichester

Chichester was for a moment distracted; the attire of the Bishop that just entered looked rather stunning... 

 

And then just after him entered Mountjoy, a man that George thought well of (he'd been one of a select few at George's engagement party), though he remained a mystery too.  Success seemed to be Mountjoys middle name, and that was something that George was interested in also. How does he do it I wonder?  George made a mental note to study the mans methodoligy, meanwhile he gave the Marquis a nod and smile, expecting Charles to carry on past...

But instead the man halted; Chichester was most pleasantly suprised. 

"Knife?"  the knife and getting stuck in comment went right over George’s head (unless Mountjoy was talking about a palette knife, but 'getting stuck in' seemed an odd descriptor for painting impasto)   "Aha, funny you should suggest that. Lord Basildon has something of the same idea. Indeed he offered to take centre stage in such a scene." the Earl chuckled.  "I quite favour the idea, though wish to present the concept to powers that be prior to rushing in. There may be some manner of law that what goes on in the house stays in the house?" George rose a questioning eyebrow. "Though really, what man amongst us does not desire to be immortalised in oil." 

"And you, you have been at the law books reading precedents I dare say. When would the last session of the House discussing declared war have been I wonder? At the end of the day my guess would be we are about to hear a lot of Treasury discussion about navy funding."  Which brought George to a pause, a financial based session brought to mind the missing Treasurer. 

"You have heard that the newly appointedTreasurer is Lord Fosbury, though you might better recall him as Sir John Ernle of the Exchequer."  

 

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Darlene & Hen (with a wave to Mountjoy)

Darlene grinned at her successful surprise giving, and hoped that just everyone had seen it. 

The Lord Chancellor’s son was one of those men that most women seemed to overlook, though there was absolutely no reason to not consider him far more closely.  Why really, if she did not already have her sights set upon Lord Langdon, then she’d be quite interested in pursuing Lord Aylesford.  

Heneage was very agreeable, spontaneously offering her a key  (Charles had not given her a key to Dorchester house yet)  “Oh thankyou.” She smiled prettily.

It did not sound like being a Judge was his ultimate goal. “Shall I try the address it out on you, to see if you like the feel of it?"  Darlene always loved to enact. "Your Honour. Permission to approach the bench,Your Honour. Oh, and please don’t sent the Bailiffs, Your Honour.” Darlene played around, peeking at Heneage to see if he was amused?  

“There must be similarities between those courts, and His Majesties court with it’s courtiers. Surely?” she quizzed, as he had such a grasp on the subject he ws surely the person to know. “It cannot be a coincidence that Court (with Judges) and Court (with Matrons serving in that same stead) are named the same word. Can it?”

Hens eyes slid, and so too did Darlenes, that both spotted the arrival of Lord Mountjoy.  The brunettes lashes fluttered of the pleasant surprise, and she gave a little wave of her hand to yonder lord.   “Oh my goodness, there goes trouble!” she jested with Heneage.

“Oh.” His question caught her by surprise, but luckily, Darlene never faltered in improvisation.  “Well probably my journal, for that is where I put all my notes from my meetings. And also my maps and charts. I don’t know if you recall, but a while back Lady Lismire and I planned a portable garden event, that unfortunately we had to cancel.  I shall like to try to get that back going again. Would you mind if I was to hold a ladies meeting there, just now and then. You can attend also, in fact, if you insist you could be our main sponsor. It’s a very high profile position, but a man of your calibre has more than earned it.”      

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Henry Grey arrives

     A much better dressed Lord Grey entered the foyer. Not better than others in the place, but better than he had been dressed in his whole life. Following the Earl of Chichester’s advice, he had cast aside the greens in his wardrobe, and Mr Maisonere had done a great job altering the pieces of the ensemble in the little time he had been given.

     Henry was wearing black brocade breeches, a dove grey silk waistcoat, and a plum brocade justeaucorps that had been trimmed and threaded in a motif of small silver lions of England, with buttons made of grey mother of pearl. To those were added white silk stockings, shirt and frothy cravat, black leather shoes with shiny silver buckles, and his ebony walking stick with a cube-shaped silver head. The jewellery that had been bought from Mr Gaunz was the final touch. The baron looked very different from the way he looked when he arrived in London, with one exception: his pencil and notebook remained with him even in the House of Lords.

     There were already groups of people already there. Not only peers, I see. I suppose many are here to see and be seen. Peacocks! Not all were such, he knew, and he would have to learn who was who.

     From a distance he saw Sir John Lucas and his lady mother. The pair seemed to be looking for someone. He also saw His Grace Buckingham surrounded by a large group. Although he would nod and smile if noticed, he decided not to approach the princely man. Buckingham had not answered yet whether Henry’s support should be overt or covert and, until an answer was given, the baron decided to play it safe and not approach.

     As he turned to the side, Henry noticed Lord Chichester talking with an unknown man (Lord Mountjoy). The baron did not approach, waiting for George to notice him instead. He would gladly do so if invited, but he did not want to intrude.

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Mountjoy and Chichester

   With Grey approaching

 

Charles’ quip to George likening today’s session to the Ides of March and Caesar’s assassination did not go over well or more accurately missed the mark entirely. Since his return he seemed to be having trouble expressing himself saying one thing and having it interoperated as something else. Here it was a minor case of humor going awry unlike a previous occasion when it involved a more serious matter.

“I was intimating that this session had the possibility of becoming contentious like the session of the Roman Senate that resulted in the assignation of Julies Caesar. I would deem the occasion worthy of being immortalized in paint but considering the outcome I do believe Lord Basildon would not wish to be the main subject.” He said lightly to make the comment more clear.

“As to reading up on the presidents, I am generally of the opinion that a Gentleman should be conversant with the subjects to be discussed if he is to be of service to this House but on this occasion I must confess I am woefully unprepared. Although I have heard snippets of news during my travels I cannot say I am conversant with the political climate at present as my return has been so recent as to preclude any in depth study thus putting me at a disadvantage.” He truthfully replied to the Earl’s enquiry. He could not help but offer a wry smile at Georges next comment speculation that funding might be the main item on the docket. “Ah… funding for the Navy… that is something I am familiar with for with the Country Party’s insistence on using the purse strings to limit the King’s authority funding of some sort or another seems to always be the issue.” 

Less than two years ago he had fought Shaftesbury tooth and nail to clear Navy’s deficit and provide them with a steady revenue as well as to practically invent a legal framework to increase the king’s revenue they seemed to be back at square one for it seemed that no matter how much money was found the King spent it and more.

“Prey have you any inkling of Shaftesbury’s position? Does he see the French threat as creditable and increased funding appropriate or does he still use every opportunity to starve the King of guineas?”  

He would have to tread carefully until he regained his ‘sea legs’ so to speak so would be interested an any nuggets of information that would come his way.

“Lord Fosbury he is now? I know of him but can not claim to know him other than his reputation for being a solid man and give him joy in his elevation. I wonder if he will speak today.”

He then became aware of a well dressed gentleman hovering within that nebulous distance that indicated that he could be invited into the conversation but that he had no wish to insert himself. As he did not know the Gentleman etiquette precluded him from offering an invite but he assumed that Chichester and the Gentleman had some sort of acquaintance.

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Posted (edited)

Chichester, Mountjoy & Grey arriving

So Mountjoy explained.  

“Ah, so here I am unmasked as a man who failed his history exams.” Sure he’d heard of Caesar, but new nothing about how he ran his government!  Crap. But George had enough to try focus on reading and trying to understand the antics of this English Parliament, so he did not add any roman history books to his reading list. ( If it proved to be his downfall, then so be it!)

“Ha, and no that certainly was not what Basildon was volunteering for!” it was almost humorous, except that the Solicitor General was not smiling.

Moving on to topical knowledge, the baby politician was able to offer a tid bit or two, how fortunate he was to be able to do so. (Perhaps saving face just a little?)  But when it game to answering deeper enquiries he was at a loss. “All I can say is that the Leopard does not change his spots. Shaftesbury’s hatred of popery would have one expect the declared war would have his fullest support. But the minds of men such as he are filled with loopholes and fine print. I shall be looking for enlightenment on that very question through the mans speeches here today. If indeed he speaks. Oft, I note, it is the ‘lower ranking’ in these fractions that do so, thus sparing men like he from offering their necks to the chopping block.

‘Yes, it is an old issue, never truly resolved. Last season Cumberland put his weight behind another fund raising push.” While tempted to reveal that he himself had donated heavily, that would be immodest.  (It was one of those things that Grey might better know how to leverage into a court advantage. George however, had no idea at all.)

Speak of the devil; Grey walked though the great doors and into the foyer. If it was indeed him. His costume was unrecognisable!

Lifting his hand George beckoned the man over, an easy smile on his face as he thought to share the grandeur of his company with the new arrival to The Lords.  There had been a time when Lord Basildon had done George the same favour, (in fact, it might have been the very same Charles whom Louis had introduced a newbie George to?)

Surreptitiously George gave Grey a raise of eyebrows stamp of approval upon his fine attire.

“Lord Mountjoy, you have met Baron Grey before? Brand new to the House today, I dare say swearing the oath alongside myself before.”  He threw that last tidbid in, it never hurt to let people know he had turned his back on the Catholic Church.  This, as George first session since then, would mean he too would processed taking the oath*  “Lord Grey, may I introduce Lord Mountjoy, recently elevated to Marquis, and serving the Crown for a good while longer as Solicitor General.”

 

 

·* Fyi taking the oath is never done IC

Edited by George Hardwick III

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Darlene and Hen

"Please do," Heneage invited and he found himself laughing as Darlene mimicked a barrister's approach to the bench.  "Are you sure you have no legal training?" he laughed.

As she likened the two courts, the lord adopted a serious expression.  "I had not thought of that.  I suppose your are correct.  Shall I need approval to approach the matrons at court then?" he played along.

It seemed she had only modest things to store on the bookshelf.  Left unasked was why she needed a shelf at all.  Surely she had room at her abode.  "Perhaps you ladies could aim for a weekend.  You would likely have the whole hallway to yourself, as well as the office."  As for the invitation to be a sponsor, he found himself quite unable to answer, not wanting to say no.

"Did you know that Lord Mountjoy and I were friends as boys?"

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The recent arrival from Alba had decided to show her face at the House of Lords gathering, for it had come to her attention that a matter of grave importance was to be discussed and that a decision impacting the isle would be made. The information, of course, had been levied to her by her late brother who was much more of an intellectual being than Iona eever claimed to be. She knew practically zilch about political matters and most likely was unaware as to the intricacies of the ongoing situation. She considered herself present in spirit for Andrew who would've been desperate to spectate the happenings as well as give his own point of view to his gentleman friends. 

Maybe it would be a positive for her to attend the session, a chance to expand her knowledge in an area unknown to her and to also seek out someone of importance to help her with a very pressing issue that she could not ignore. 

Iona was clad in a periwinkle gown which she believed complemented her light eyes and pale complexion, but the Scot was no expert in fashion - she wore what she found nice! The very modest squared neckline was adorned with subtle white lace as well as the bottom of her puffed sleeves. A blue ribbon tied into her mass of flaxen locks, she considered herself presentable enough for the day. 

She surveyed the crowds which were beginning to gather in the foyer, unable to put names to faces as most people were unknown to her. It was daunting, yet also exciting for the young Scot as she did enjoy meeting new people. As long as they were pleasant. Iona noticed Darlene, but decided against approaching her as she appeared to be in a deep and amusing conversation with a gentleman.

Iona continued to inspect the masses in the foyer, hoping to perhaps lay eyes on someone dressed in a uniform. 

 

Edited by Iona Dunbar

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Mountjoy, Chichester, and Grey

     Lord Chichester raised his hand and beckoned him over, so the baron approached the two lords. I will have to send a token to my thanks to this man. I am fortunate indeed to have been taken under his wing. The man talking to Chichester was also very elegantly attired, although in a somewhat different style. When there was time for it, Henry would make it a point to ask George what the style was.

     As he approached, Lord Grey saw his new friend’s eyebrows shot up. He returned the gesture with an ephemeral smile and a slight nod. It seems the outfit at least is a success. We will see about the rest. God! Help me! The earl then made the appropriate introductions.

     A Marquis and Solicitor General? Chichester had powerful friends, it seemed. That such a dapper and well-connected man as the earl had deigned to even talk to him was considered by Henry as heaven-sent. “An honour to make your acquaintance, Lord Mountjoy. I hope I am not intruding but, as Lord Chichester stated, I am taking my seat today and, I must confess, I am a tad… nervous…”

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Posted (edited)

Mountjoy, Chichester and Grey

 

Mountjoy did then smile but it was more out of habit, his lack of characteristic joviality was no reflection of the company but rather from a fatigue of emotion from which he had not yet recovered. Nevertheless he said, not unkindly for he had not intended the explanation to be any type of censure.

 

“You would not be the first young man of imagination who let his mind wonder during tedious lectures in school. I suppose I, having less imagination, had nothing better to do than to listen to the instructor drone on.” 

 

He listened to George’s narrative on the political landscape, his eyes darting to Shaftesbury when George mentioned the man and his tactics. Nodding in agreement he said. “Popery methinks, by Shaftesbury and his ilk, is used more as a political shuttlecock than a religious position.” He knew quite well how strident the man’s political opposition could be.

 

It was then that Chichester beckoned the orbiting gentleman over. Mountjoy eyed the new arrival as he approached and noted the name. The Grey family was well known and had several cadet branches. He could not place this particular Henry into a specific one by sight but being a peer in his own right made him the head of one of those branches.

 

“The honor is all mine I assure you…” He said politely bowing in greeting to the soon to be colleague “…at your service Sir.” By the gentleman’s dress, name and demeanor he need not say any more for he had already passed judgment and accepted Henry as a fellow member of the tribe. Any additional verbal compliments would be superfluous. Although he had no knowledge of the association of the two, George had certainly provided Henry with a service as Mountjoy had nothing but approval for his appearance. Henry’s breeding and education no doubt had something to do with the favorable impression as well.

 

The tid-bit about taking the oath was certainly a revelation to him. He shared the conventional English chauvinism against Catholics but it was more but to him it was more a question about foreign influence than religious intolerance. He was in fact noted for leading a filibuster in this very House to delay the first attempt at instituting the Test Act. He hoped his comment on popery was not misconstrued as it was meant as a comment upon Shaftesbury rather than his current company.

 

“A momentous day then Lord Grey.” He observed to his pending induction. “I will venture to say, I hope without being contrary, that the nervousness will soon pass and the awe that you may currently hold will eventually be replaced by familiarly, and may I add, even monotony in having to spend yet another afternoon amongst droning windbags.” He was attempting to be lighthearted but considering how his last attempt went down he chuckled and hastened to add. “I of course do not mean to include either of you two gentlemen in that assessment having been known to drone on myself on occasion and do note that although we may be verbose and deliberative at times we do offer a counter to the more volatile Commons.” 

He then noticed that Lady Oakham had spied his presence and had waved at him so as an aside, for he had no wish to be inconsiderate, he returned the Lady’s waive with a bow and added a quick nod to acknowledge Heneage.  Turning back to his companions he explained “My apologies gentleman for acknowledging Lord Aylesford in the midst of our conversation. We have been friends since we were both boys.” Choosing to use Heneage for the reason instead of Darlene.   

Edited by Charles Blount

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Darlene and Hen

As he laughed openly she was pleased, ever happy to entertain. “Not that I know of?” she grinned and batted her lashes. 

They were getting along quite well, proven as he piping up with some humour.  “I’d advise against it,” she couldn’t even keep a straight face at that, “theirs is the motto that everyone is guilty until proven innocent.”

Darlene was clever enough to realise that he was having small regrets about his previous generosity, what with suggesting they have meetings in the weekend (who would take her seriously if she did that?) – and then his artful change of topic when she tried trick him into sponsorship.  Yes cleverly he dodged! And she (a girl who’d been changing topic to suit her since she 5 or 6) thought more highly of him for that.

“Truly? I had never realised.”  In deference to his fine switch, she blinked those other topics out of mind.  It was as though they vanished entirely.  Be pleased, she wished towards Heneage.

“Are you the same age then? I’d thought Lord Mountjoy rather older. Or at least, he seems rather more… or really less, flexible." based on the fact that Charles Blount had never let himself be compromised by her compelling charms.  Across the way that same ever self-possessed Solicitor l bowed back to them, aware or not that he was topic of conversation.    "Oh, not that I would say anything negative about Lord Mountjoy, why to be honest I adore the man.  It’s just that you seem so, well,  youthful is what I’d say, and in a very attractive way.” 

Yes Darlene was quite taken with Ayleford indeed (which was not to say she would stop flirting with Mountjoy at every chance.)  

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Posted (edited)

Anne-Elisabeth and Ernle

 

He did see her, and veered away from his family to greet her. I must have made a favorable impression on him, considering that we were called away right after we introduced ourselves. Or maybe he liked the way I felt in his arms. I certainly enjoyed his body pressed against my own.

 

They had both participated in the game of wits at the party. Maybe he had liked her saucy wit. Whatever the reason, Anne-Elisabeth was pleased that he thought her interesting enough to speak with again.

 

“I have indeed.” Captain Ernle was even more dashing in daylight. “It's a pleasure to see you again, my lord. I think this session will be quite exciting. It's also the first one I've ever attended.  Can you tell me what to expect? I confess I am a bit nervous.”

 

 

Edited by Anne-Elisabeth Devereux

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