Jump to content


Your Stories Await Telling

Defamation in the Dark Saturday Sept 17


Recommended Posts

It was a meeting of three seasoned lords in a comfortable dwelling outside Windsor Castle, away from the prying eyes of court.  A meal had been shared and servants dismissed for privacy.  The following conversation might be overheard.

"Have the broadsheets flushed out Buckingham to do something rash yet?"

"No, quite the opposite," replied another with a hint of surprise.  "Buckingham is silent and his spies sniff the print shops in London for our handiwork..

"It is good we stayed away from those.  Buckingham's bootlicker Basildon has connections there and in several southern cities.  It was important to use my trusted printer and ship the copies to London."

"Maybe the Duke does not care as much about Kirke as we thought?" queried the third.

"He does.  Do not let his apparent disinterest fool you.  He has practically adopted the man.  He has placed him with the King's gentlemen as his spy."

"And what of the King?  Is he disturbed?"

"Yes, but not enough to do anything."

"And what does Kingston say?"

"He chooses to ignore the scandal, like the Duke."

"Does it mean that we need to increase the heat of the fire on Kingston?  I have possible rumors that he debauched Lady Toledo when he was her guardian.  They say she was often seen about unsupervised with little to fear from her guardian or the Dolittles.  No witness has come forward unfortunately."

"This is not about Kingston, this is about Buckingham gentlemen, even though he is now the Duke's creature.  Kingston has been elevated far beyond his worth by an indulgent duke with designs to control him.  Villiers does nothing that is not for himself.  Kingston in but a game piece on George's game board."

"Buckingham has grown too powerful.  I liked him better when he was in the Tower."  The three chuckled.  "He brought down Clarendon, then Coventry, then the late Ormonde, each of us, and now Danby.  One by one his rivals are gone, or like us, in the shadows.  The King shows him unmitigated favor.  He is Chief Minister again in all things but name."

"I thought him gone in '68 when he killed Talbot and co-habitated with Shrewsbury, his widow.  He cared little about scandal then and he fell.  Taking up with the Country Party then should have doomed him," spoke the elder ruefully.  "George is almost as much a brother to the King as James.  He indulgences the bad instincts of both.  The two shall bring about the doom of the realm."

"Do not forget Monmouth."

"Ye Gods, that moron as well.  The King loves best those that serve him the least," came another rueful observation.

"And the people love their merry monarch best that serves them the least through his indulgence of incompetence and a duke who thinks himself king.  Rupert would not have tolerated this were he King."

"Alas he is not, nor desires to be.  May the new Prince Charles grow wiser than his father though I fear none of us will likely live to see the day."

"What is our next move then?"

"Gentlemen, if Buckingham will not give us a scandal, then we will need to invent one.  First through his proxies and then himself.  Only the mob has the power to unseat Villiers and I worry that Shaftesbury will lock arms with his old comrade Buckingham."

"Will that not render our hopes impotent?"

"Perhaps, but Shaftesbury can be removed as the gatekeeper to the mob.  Time will tell.  Until then, let us finish with some exquisite wine and then return to our duties, serve our King,  and wait for the wheel of fortune to take a favorable turn."

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Create New...