Index > Character Introductions > The Ladies of Bolsover

The Ladies of Bolsover

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Grizella Campbell-Coffin ((Content Warning: This introduction contains references of all sorts to the world's oldest profession. Innuendo ahead.))

The Most Honble. Anne, The Marchioness of Bolsover, born Nancy Gully in Wapping circa 1765, although this year has been adjusted frequently enough to suit her purposes that it may hardly be considered fact.

After her mother met the natural end of a Ratcliffe Highway doxy shortly after she reached her twelfth year, young Nan had the great fortune of being indentured by the keeper of abbey in which she had been brought up to Mrs O'Kelly, the famed bawd, whose discerning eye recognized great potential in the young girl. Despite the fortunate patronage from which both surely profited, it was Nan's own beauty and unlearned charm that fetched such a high price for her /opening/ that such a sum for the initiation of a member of the sisterhood was not repeated for nearly a decade-excepting that the sum was payed several times over for Nan to be /opened/ again, of course.

It was a dozen years and half as many keepers before she met who would become her last, Somerset Howard-Wriothesley, 9th Marquess of Bolsover; on finding herself expecting once more no-one was more surprised than Nan that /keeper/ became /husband/, and Nan Bolsover became Anne Howard-Wriothesley, Marchioness of Bolsover, and three months after the happy day welcomed a daughter.

Happy were they, at first, until Bolsover's heir by the last Marchioness was taken by teething. Nan's consistent failure to produce an heir marred what might have otherwise been a happy marriage, and rather unsavoury rumors abounded that she had done away with her husband's son. Despite her infamous /'education'/ she became a fixture of the /ton/, a noted hostess for the Whigs (those who would attend) and later the Tories. In this mode she continued until February, when Lord Bolsover's spirit suddenly vacated its earthly vessel, and his nephew, Howard Blount-Howard-Wriothesley, succeeded him.

Anne, Marchioness Bolsover and Lady Honoria have repaired from Bolsover Castle to Jade Meadow, a small estate outside Oakston, together with Lady Bolsover's companion, Mrs Simon Williams, the former Amabel Somerset, widow of the late steward of Bolsover Castle.

Harris's list excerpt, circa 1783:

Miss Nancy B-llf-nch, Mother O'Kelly's, Soho

   Her every glance, like Jove's vindictive flame,
   Shoot thro' the veins, and kindle all the frame.

This Daughter of Love takes her name from her latest and late keeper; a tradesman.
Recently returned home is dear Nancy, having been among our number for nigh five years, but let not the lady's 'experience' confound you; here youth and beauty are combined, and unadorned by education or art... Her natural simplicity is yet so unstained, and her knowledge of the world so very little, that it is almost impossible for her to dissemble; her hair, eye-brows and eyes, are of the deepest black; her complexion of the roses red, and her neck... of the purest white; her limbs are nobly formed, and contrasted beautifully by the blue branching veins which surround every part... Loves a glass of Madeira, but never takes a glass in one hand without having prudence in the other, and is particularly careful that the effects of Bacchus shall not prevent the more sensible joys of Venus... but we must advise our lovers of the sport to keep her pleased, as her temper, a little different from another part, is not to be sported with.
Posted 1 month ago

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