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Issues At Hand, Monday Afternoon

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Windsor was miles from London and that had provided John with some much need space to actually breath. 

The City was a pot at the boil with fuel constantly added to the fire so it was always a battle to not get burned. There was never a respite from noises or smells or animals and so for a man who lived amongst wide open space and forests it had come as a shock. Boston held no candle to this City nor did any other other Cities he had been to. In the Spring he had arrived with his sister with the intent to look up his relation - meaning the Earl of Huntington - but he had learned that Gentleman was not often at Court. He had sent letters out none the less in the hopes that he would be received by the Earl and might take up some conversation. There was also the matter of his dead Father's 'other family' and what he must do to try to ensure they proved no threat. He knew of there last residence but it seemed that they had gone elsewhere a few days after his arrival. He knew that this was another pot that might well boil over and so he had hired a man to look about and keep his eye at the ready. Better to be prepared than to have a surprise dropped in your lap.

And now here he was at Windsor Castle. He knew he had right of place by his rank of Baron - a title he had inherited on the death of his father as his older brother had already died - which was the cause of the first journey to England and the claiming of that inheritance. His Great Grandfather had been the first Baron Silverbridge and when the family split John's father had been the one to immigrate to The Colonies to farm tobacco and provide extra monies for those back in England if needed. John had no qualms about the inheritance for who else was there to take it but himself. It was an additional responsibility but his shoulders were wide and he was capable.

His room here was well enough and had space for the indian servant he had brought to see to his needs. He had spent the morning watching the arrival of this Carnival into Windsor Town and found it a curiosity which he would explore come Wednesday with Anne -Elizabeth. He could not help the smile as he thought of her - she was a spitfire of a woman and one he thought to tame but knew it would be a struggle but he would enjoy every fight they would have. He was a man and she a woman and he might be of a mind to allow her to think she was equal but she would always be delegated to a level beneath his for it was a Truth that those of her sex needed a man's firm hand to keep the balance.  He leaned his tall frame against one side of the wall beside the windows taking in the view before turning back to take his chair at the table he was using for a desk. The pace here was not the same as London which he had expected. It seemed that leisure was the main ideas and while he found no fault it was a thing that a man such as he was unused to. This had given him an unexpected time to try to sort out so many things that he had received from the Attorney.

Papers and charts were peppered about its top as well as a few that had slipped to the floor. A quill and an ink pot as well as a small knife lay to one side within easy reach. His Great Grandfather had built a large Tudor manor house, a two-story redbrick building with thick, exposed wooden beams and long, narrow windows. Hardly a Palace it was nevertheless a more spacious and comfortable home than most possessed at the time. The high ceilings, private rooms, multiple fireplaces, thick roof, and decorative furnishings kept the Pallisers warm in winter and set them apart from their neighbors. John's Great Grandfather had purchased Springwood Hall some sixty miles from London with monies he had made in the sheep trade. Land was the currency of power and the primary source of wealth. At that time he had been a man with no title so he used his modest income to buy land when he could and thus gradually carve out his own small pocket of power.

The Monarch had the prerogative to grant land, which came with aristocratic titles as well, to families who had served the Crown, but sometimes from the Crown's perspective however it could be more lucrative to sell land to families such as the Palliser's rather than grant the privilege of ownership to peers. This was how the title of Baron Silverbridge came to be. At the behest of a Grateful Monarch for his contributions and services. At his death his son, John's Grandfather, inherited Springwood and other parcels and estates that his father had acquired. Capitalizing on the rich grazing lands he had inherited he continued to invest in the sheep and wool trade, and by the middle of the century, he was one of the leading providers of wool, mutton, and sheep. He made an advantageous marriage to a daughter of wealthy merchant. Now that he had become the second Baron Silverbridge he knew that the title as well as the coat of ams could be passed down to his eldest son and then to his. The continuance of the Family Name was paramount. With the title he might well secure an office in service to the monarch and thus have control over larger portions of lands, which meant more rental incomes from tenants.

And therein lay the current problem for John.

Henry VIII had enacted a series of enclosure laws that allowed landowners such as the Palliser's to plant think hedgerows and put up fences that prevented local people and tenants from accessing pastures, meadows, and forests, essentially converting common lands into private property. John's Grandfather had quickly realized that their lands would generate far more money from sheep framing than from rents they might collect from tenant farmers. And so 27,000 acres were completely enclosed, forcing 1,500 people to abandon their rented lands and common pastures and cutting off access to firewood and kindling. Local farmers and laborers naturally began to detest the Palliser's, as people starved while the Palliser sheep grazed all day. This was not a new thing but something done by every landowner who owned great tracks of land. There was little thought paid out to those that now suffered. Enclosure riots routinely ravaged the countryside as farmers dug up or burned the Palliser's thick hedgerows, attacked their flocks, and trespassed to gather essential food and fuel. And very little had changed since the death of John's Grandfather and then his own Father. He was now faced with the countenance of enclosures and the growing dissatisfaction from the tenants to accept it. 

John's own feelings also made problems. He was not of the same mind as his late Grandfather had been and his sympathies were pointing to siding with the tenants. It was a tricky situation he found himself in and understood that changes needed to be made. He had hired a man with the unfortunate last name of Grimm to act as his Factor and now he reread the latest letter  ..... Since John himself had yet to make an appearance those tenants and farmers had made more trouble secure in the fact that the new "Baron Silverbridge" had no interest as he had not come up from London to see his holdings or even rode out to inspect his land. John ran a successful tobacco Plantation and oversaw acres of land worked by slaves and indentured prisoners but he had no experience in dealing with farmers and tenants who did as they pleased.

He had no other gentlemen in his circle that he might turn to for advice and so he thought too ask Anne Elizabeth for her opinion or even a name that he might approach. She seemed to have a good grasp over who was who so maybe she might well be of help. One thing was a fact however and that was he was surely not the only landowner at Court who was facing the exact same issues.

Once back in London he would take to the roads and set about this business firsthand. He wondered if he had better look to hire a few burly men to accompany him - he was no lad or small boned man - but the visual it might create could well come in useful. 

Taking up a quill he settled himself to putting thoughts to paper and then sending instruction to his man Grimm letting him know that he would, within in a few weeks, venture out to claim his inheritance and have a first-hand look over the current situations.

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