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Charles Arden

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Character Sheet Player Profile
    Name: Nathan
    Email: PMs on here would be better!
    Age: 30
    How you found us: Word of mouth - former site player mentioned it and I was pleased to see the site is still active!
    What is your background and experience in roleplaying: Over a decade in online RP although I confess now to it being sci-fi stuff...
    What themes do you wish to explore in our game: Write with new people who are clearly experts in a period of history I'm very interested in as a Londoner.
    What makes you excited to do in our game: Character development over time and hopefully make some writing friends
    What are you NOT looking for in our game: Will be nice to write about something with a factual basis for once and no sci-fi madness!
    Character Profile  
    Character Name: Charles (Henry Augustus) Arden
    Title: Viscount Romsey
    Estate Name: Arden Hall
    Nationality: English
    Age: 35
    Gender: Male
    Eye Colour: Brown
    Hair Colour: Brown
    Avatar: Robert Downey Jr
    The First Impression & Physical Appearance 

Charles is of middling height, averaging at about 5 ft. 9 in, but he is notably fit from a life of outdoor and athletic pursuits. His brown hair is cropped short and has a wave to it, but he prefers to wear wigs as it is easier upkeep and in keeping with the dictates of fashion (French, at least). He has inherited a lighter complexion from his Scandinavian mother. His eyes are a feature quickly remarked upon, being seemingly ever so slightly larger - or, rather, deeper - than normal. A dark brown, then can seem dark, severe and mysterious and certainly worthy of comment. By no means a pretty boy he is perhaps best described as striking rather than handsome. He enjoys wearing bold colours and clothes tailored to the current modes of fashion. The only departure from this is his signature affectation: a penchant for outlandishly broad hats, often complemented by ostentatious feather, plumes, or hatbands.


Charles is blessed with an easy-going, open and friendly personality. Gregarious to a fault, he enjoys parties and gatherings, and finds it easy to make conversation. He can be serious, particularly when on business, but he prefers humour and easy company to serious and sombre ones. He does have a penchant for ladies: married or not. He is in love with Love - the ideal of it at least; whilst also being a man keen on the chase and flirtation. However, he is by no means a user and it would be rare for him not to feel any remorse at any dishonour any women may suffer to the reputation from any entanglements with him. On the down side to his personality he is quick to anger and take offence. If he is not restrained at times he is want to act first and think later, his hand dropping to his sword and the words of challenge given without a moment's thought to the consequences.
    Wealth Level :
    St Marks.
    Benefits, Challenges

  • Viscount +2
  • Fashionable +1


  • Son with living father -1
  • Secretly Catholic -1


Family legend has it that the Arden family can trace its lineage back beyond the Norman Conquest to Saxons of that earlier time who lived, and held lands, in the Forest of Arden in Warwickshire. Whether that is true of not is impossible to say. The first documented Ardens appeared in the late middle ages, when they started to appear as modest landowners of distinct gentry level status in Hampshire. These early recorded Ardens did what members of the gentry were meant to: they husbanded their lands, they served on local commissions of array and as Justices of the Peace; they married, argued, fought and died but all in a very respectable and almost parochial fashion. By the time James VI of Scotland also adopted the mantle as James I of England, the Ardens had become a leading gentry family in Hampshire, with members having served as lawyers in London and even holding a few tenures as local MPs under their belt.

The head of the family at the time was Sir Edmund Arden, baronet. Born in the turbulent 1550s, Sir Edmund was already a venerable grey-beard at the time of the new monarch's arrival.  Serving as a lawyer in London, he had been appointed a judge in the dying days of Elizabeth I and had, by them, amassed a reasonable fortune by the standards of his gentry peers, sufficient for him to expand the family's main lands and redesigning the family's decrepit castle, now rechristened Arden Hall, built in what would come to be called the High Jacobean fashion.

The new King James was very liberal in dispensing favours, boons and titles to his new (and old) subjects, particularly if those subjects were to show their gratitude with presents of cash in return. Seeking to jump in on this fiesta of ennoblement, Sir Edmund was able to slip the appropriate sums to the appropriate people to find himself raised, by letters patent, to the Earldom of Bembridge. He enjoyed his new position for several years before passing away at the august age of 70 in 1620.

The first Earl Bembridge left 4 children:-

  • Edmund Arden, Viscount Romsey, later Second Earl of Bembridge (1590 - 1666)
  • Sir Henry Arden, "Captain Arden" - killed whilst fighting for the Royalists in 1644, no issue.
  • Catherine Arden (1600 - 1659)
  • Reverend Charles Arden (1602 - 1670), Dean of Southampton

Edmund Arden, the Second Earl, took to the pursuits of a landed nobleman with ease and spent most of his years overseeing his estates and hunting. Despite being a man of the provinces, it was with some surprise that he married the daughter of a Danish nobleman, who had come with his family to work as part of the Danish ambassadorial retinue in England. The reason for the match (which followed their meeting in one of the Earl's rare sojourns in London) was never fully explained but was chalked to a love match for the bride certainly came with only a modest financial dower, although commentators agreed she more than compensated for that in physical charms. The Earl's quiet lifestyle was shattered by the Civil War, in which he helped raise a regiment for the King and fought for him throughout the conflict. His younger brother, Sir Henry, would lose his life in the cause. When the Royalists' cause collapsed, Earl Edmund fled the country, but left his wife and children in England to fend as best they could against the predatory instincts of Parliament, seeking to punish those who had sided against them.

This placed the poor Countess under extreme pressure, not least because she and her husband had been prolific in their offspring:-

  • Edmund Arden (1618-1638)
  • Henry Arden (1619 - 1647)
  • Charles Arden (1620 - ), Third Earl of Bembridge
  • Elizabeth Arden (1637 - )
  • Richard Arden (1640 - ), lawyer, has issue
  • Anne Arden (1642 - )
  • James Arden (1644 - ), merchant, has issue
  • Spencer Arden (1646 - ), emigrated to Virginia
  • Increase Arden (1647 - 1654)

With the Restoration, Earl Edmund would return to England to an estate much decayed due to the pressures the family had faced in his absence. The benefits of peace were able to start the process of regeneration but it will take time. The Second Earl died in 1666, killed (so it was said) by the shock of the news of the loss of the family's city house in the great fire. He was succeeded by his third son (and eldest surviving one), Charles Arden. A taciturn fellow, Charles had grown up in the poverty the family faced in the Interregnum days. He was determined to increase his wealth as much as possible, becoming an avaricious, tight-fisted dictator. He was forever scheming to maximise his rents and was jumping from one investment to the next. He would marry a wealthy heiress whose tyrannical domestic habits she shared. They would, however, not be as fecund as his father had been:-

  • Charles (1643 - ), currently holds the courtesy title Viscount Romsey
  • Callista (1648 - )
  • Edmund (1655 - )

Our Charles was brought up very strictly by parents who demanded obedience and who sought to regiment his life and development at every stage. His father set the curriculum he would be taught by his tutors. He determined how long he would spend outside each day, who he would associate with, what he would eat and at what times he would go to bed and rise. This was not something which ended when his infancy did. He was still living under this draconian regime when he was 18. 

It was only then that he was able to escape domestic tyranny under the guise of getting a polishing education from Oxford, like most sons of nobles, without the expectation of actually taking, and using, a degree. Freedom was a heavy, potent drug for him. He was soon enjoying the pleasures of peers his own age, and was easily led into the pursuits of drinking, gambling, hunting and chasing women, of good reputation and ill. Unwilling to return home, he began a course of defiance against his father who expected his return to the estates. Instead, Charles took to London and, for some time, lived off credit and advances from his extended London family. His father threatened to cut him off but the pair were only able to reach an accommodation once Charles threatened to leave the country and either flee to his relations in Denmark or, worse, go to Paris and turn Catholic. To avoid that, his father agreed him a modest stipend and grudgingly acquiesced to him living where he pleased.

Charles capitalised on this by quickly taking the first batches of money and going off on an extended European pleasure tour. He took in France, Spain and the Italian states, quickly falling under their influence and secretly professing the Roman faith whilst he was there, more out of knee-jerk reactionary passion rather than out of any deep set spiritual reasons. With the money quickly running out, he returned to England and temporarily took up in Arden Hall, hoping some displays of filial piety would encourage his father to increase his allowance. It took longer than you would expect for the two men to realise they simply couldn't co-habit anymore, they were too different. Charles, able to gain a token increase in his allowance, enough to maintain himself in some comfort, if not extravagance, in London returned to the capital, determined to try and find a way to break free from his father's chain and demands.


To make a new life for himself in London

To prove to his father his worth

To establish himself in a public role either at court or in politics or the army etc.

Romance is always on the cards.

Edited by Antonio Rizetti
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