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Louise Marie von Linsberg

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Versailles series 3 FULL CAST: Alexander Vlahos returns as Prince Philippe,  with George Blagden as King Louis - Radio Times

Character Sheet Player Profile
 Name: Louise         
Email: LouiseBeatty88@gmail.com
Age: 33

How you found us: My husband used to RP on here, although he has since left he recommended here as a detailed historical site I might be interested in.

What is your background and experience in roleplaying: History graduate (UK) but have since been RPing on sci-fi forums for roughly ten years, oddly haven’t really branched into history RPs yet – lots come and go and there aren’t many which last more than a year or so which is why finding here which has been running for a long time is a nice surprise!

What themes do you wish to explore in our game: Enjoying RPing in a period of history I enjoy (fully open to themes)

What makes you excited to do in our game: Live out my interests in the period with other writers.

What are you NOT looking for in our game: I’m not a huge fan of graphic violence.
    Character Profile  
    Character Name: Louise Marie von Linsberg (maiden name Masham)
    Title: Dowager Baroness Linsberg
    Estate Name: Masham Priory (in North Yorkshire, England); also retains the use of the Linserhof in Linsberg, Duchy of Hanover, Germany
    Nationality: English
    Age: 30
    Gender: Female
    Eye Colour: Blue
    Hair Colour: Blonde
    Avatar: Jessica Clark
    The First Impression & Physical Appearance 

 Louise is relatively tall for the period, standing just shy of 5 foot 8. This stature she enhances by the use of generously heeled shoes. She is a gregarious woman who enjoys the finer things (who doesn’t?). Through experience of loss and hardship in early life she has since become resolved to ensure she never ends up in similar circumstances again. She has a forceful personality but much of this is a mask to cover a deeper set fear of loss, inferiority and the effects of poverty. Although she married young and has given birth to several children, she maintains good looks. She is free from the scars of smallpox and has a good, if somewhat pale, complexion. She enjoys wearing the latest fashions and has a distinct preference for the colour blue, in all its shades but particularly icy tones, which she believes enhances her natural colourings.

Louise is – like many people – one in whom the outside appearance does not necessarily tally with the realities of what lies beneath. On first impression one would find her a gregarious bon viveur; someone who enjoys dancing, shopping, parties and excursions. She is open; confident in herself and tolerates no nonsense with an adopted Germanic attitude to promptness, order and tidiness. However, much of this is a front, adopted to disguise deep-seated insecurities over her place in the world. A child of hardship and disassociated from her homeland, she feels a lack of “place” and is determined to try and set some roots somewhere. Whilst she may on the outside adopt something of a spendthrift attitude with a lackadaisical nonchalance over money, she is in fact deeply money conscious to the point of avarice. Insecure of her position in society, she craves the acceptance of her social betters. This can make her quite needy as she tries to weedle her way into the cliques she seeks.

Wealth Level : Average

Housing: St Marks

Benefits, Challenges

 Widow (+1) and Baroness, by marriage, (+1) = 2.

 Bisexual (-0.5, I’m assuming this is sort of covered by the homosexual challenge) and Naïve (about politics) (-0.5) and Accent (-1, although fluent in English the years of living in Germany have left her with a Germanic accent so one wouldn’t realise at first that she is actually a naturalised Englishwoman) = 2

Louise Marie Masham was born on 1 May 1648 in North Yorkshire to Sir Talbot Masham (banneret) and Marie Helene D’Estaing-Aubec. Her mother was the descendent of French Huguenot refugees who had fled France in the late 1500s to take residence in London. Originally skilled weavers and textile workers, in the successive generations they had managed to raise themselves in business to acquire a considerable body of wealth and, by the time of her mother’s birth, were minor landowners in Yorkshire. Her father, on the other hand, was from a line of long established Yorkshire gentry who claimed a lineage going back to the days of the Conqueror, although anything beyond personal pride to substantiate this was not forthcoming. The Mashams, who took their family name from the Yorkshire town around which they held lands, were stolidly dependable rural gentry. They weathered the changes in religion well, moving from being simple Catholics to being simple Protestants as Parliament and the King required.


When the Civil Wars gripped the realm, Sir Talbot (of course) rallied to the Royalist standard. Without the financial resources to raise troops of his own, he served personally with the cavalry of Prince Rupert. As with all things concerning the Mashams, his service was loyal, good but otherwise uneventful and at no stage did he make any particular mark save for as a dependable pair of hands but one unwilling to use much initiative or skill. He was wounded at the battle of Naseby with a musketball to the right leg. Although the wound healed, the surgeons were unable to remove the bullet and he carried it around in him, with great pain, for the rest of his days.


By the time Louise was born, the course of the first Civil War had been run and the royalists had been defeated. Sir Talbot returned to his home where he had left his wife and two sons – Talbot and Clifford – his arrival coinciding with the conception of Louise. Within months of her birth, the family’s fortunes and wholly reversed. Sir Talbot’s unaltered and insistent support for the royalist cause led the new republican regime to target him for his activities. Heavily fined – far beyond the capacity he had to pay – he and the family were forced to flee abroad to escape creditors. At first they headed to Ireland where Sir Talbot assisted the royalist forces there before being forced to flee once again by the steadily expanding reach of Cromwell’s forces on the island.


From here they moved first to France, hoping to take shelter with some of her mother’s distant relatives. However, Sir Talbot’s stodgy Protestantism revolted at residing in a militantly Catholic France and thus the family moved once again, following contacts from his days with Prince Rupert’s forces to take residence in the German states. By the time the family left France, Talbot Junior and Clifford were already suffering with fevers. Their mother begged for them to stay longer until they recovered by Sir Talbot would have none of it. By the time the family reached Heidelberg in the Electoral Palatinate, the two boys died. Their mother never forgave their father.


What followed for the next ten years was a sorry odyssey of the three remaining members of the family as they tripped from minor German Court to minor German Court. Unable to find work as a soldier, Sir Talbot began a descent into depression and alcoholism, having to raise money by hiring himself out as an English tutor or basic fencing master. When the family was attempting to find work in Brandenburg in 1661, Sir Talbot died. The circumstances were murky. He was found floating in a river near their lodging house. Did he fall in whilst drunk or did he throw himself in? No one knew.


This left the young Louise and her mother on their own. With what little funds they had left, her mother moved them both to Hanover, which was at the time enlarging its court life to make a cultural and political statement across Germany. Her mother was able to find a position as a part-time tutor in English and French whilst also, on the quiet, undertaking home work as a seamstress to make ends meet. Louise helped her with this, sharing the small garret room on the third storey of a tenement in the commercial district with her mother. As she worked with her she picked up the rudiments of English, French and German. She learned to read and write and the basics of arithmetic. She learned history and geography, albeit with the fact that this was all second hand from her mother and she received no formal education whatsoever.


As she grew she developed into something of a beauty – possessing the colouring which one might call an “English rose.” Milky skin, blonde hair, blue eyes, not too slim and with an enviable bust. When old enough, she was able to take over her mother’s tutoring business, teaching the sons and daughters of several of the lower level court functionaries of Hanover. In the course of this, she came to the attention of the widowed 38 year old Baron Ulrich Christian von Linsberg, a vassal and courtier of the House of Hanover. A minor chamberlain in the Ducal court, Ulrich was much like the late Sir Talbot Masham – a smallish landowner, lowly but noble title, not particularly original but a plodding, methodical man. His first wife had died and the couple was childless. He first met the young Louise whilst he was paying a visit to one of her clients’ fathers.


Becoming obsessed with her, he lay siege to her virtue, sending her gifts and tokens of his affection, asking that she receive him in private. Telling her mother of this, her mother advised that she do nothing of the sort but told her not to return any of his gifts. It became her mother’s scheme to see whether the Baron would be prepared to offer formality to the culmination of his lusts or whether he was hoping for something cheap and tawdry. In what became a shameful episode Louise would later prefer to forget, the matter developed into more of a negotiation between the Baron and her mother for the terms of her release to him. The result? In 1664, when Louise was only just 16, she was married to the Baron in a small ceremony in the chapel of his family home, the Lindserhof. The Baron’s family, such as there were (three brothers and an elderly mother) refused to attend and shunned the new Baroness.


Louise did not love the Baron. However, she was not revolted by him either. He was, in his way, handsome. He was not a brute. He did not hurt her. He took what he wanted, as was his right as a husband he said, but he never offered her violence. It was something which she didn’t quite understand herself but, whilst she had no great revulsion for men and, indeed, found many attractive, she also found herself drawn to women in the same way. She knew that such thoughts and feelings were wrong and, as she could not admit them openly or even discuss them, they remained a gnawing and nagging sense of “something” in her mind. After the initial honeymoon period had worn off for him he became an infrequent visitor, leaving her and her mother mostly alone in the Lindserhof whilst he returned to Hanover, only rarely returning to engage in hunting and marital rights. He was not stingy with his money. This allowed Louise for the first time in her life to be able to enjoy herself with some degree of abandon. She was able to read widely from the library. She engaged tutors to better her knowledge on subjects she had missed out on, particularly music – learning the harpsichord and guitar. The Baron had no issue with her enjoying rides in the country and even encouraged her to take part in the hunts.


In 1668 she gave birth to her first son, Charles Ulrich; followed in 1670 by twins: Louise and Johann. The Baron, pleased to have children, was not however a hands on father. Little altered in the pace of their life, save for the passing away of Louise’s mother at Linsberg in 1672.


The quietness and dependability of their life was shattered in 1676. The Baron, catching a chill whilst on one of his frequent hunts, succumbed to pneumonia. Dying in Hanover, the news was only brought to Louise by the Baron’s younger brother, together with a letter notifying her that he and his brothers were bringing a legal suit against her for recovery of the family house, seeking to question the correctness of her marriage with their brother. Thrown for the first time onto her own resources, Louise managed to broker a deal with the brothers. She and her children would leave and return to England, having signed over the rights to the von Linsberg lands to the brothers for the remainder of their lives, upon the death of the last of whom the lands would revert to her son, Charles. The blow to her was great. It temporarily disinherited her son but it was all she could salvage in her weakened position. In return, the von Linsbergs agreed to pay her and the children an annual pension. This, at least, was something.


She and her children returned to England in 1677. She took them to Masham Priory, the family home which she had left as a babe in arms. The estate had been cared for by her father’s old steward and his family since the Mashams left. Despite this, the house and lands had fallen into decay. Neighbours had helped themselves to bits and pieces for building works. Moveable chattels had been taken by the family’s creditors in lieu of unpaid debts. Fields had been left untended; livestock had escaped; the roof was sagging; and rents had been left uncollected. She instantly threw herself into wrestling with as many of these issues as she could, using some of the money from Linsberg to remedy the lesser issues. A more proactive management style managed to see rents start coming in again, although she had to settle to agree to write off the historic arrears, lacking the funds to sue so many tenants for these. Compromise was something she had now learned well.


However, country life was not for her. She had money, yes, but she did not want a humble rural life. She wanted good things, not just for herself but also for her children. With the degree of freedom which widowhood allowed, she wanted to actually enjoy her life, or at least to try to. To that end her sights were set on London and there she was resolved to make her mark.



To find a new husband


To increase her personal/family wealth


To find a position or good education for her son


To become a notable person of the court or trend setter.

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