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The parson from this four-figure set showed up in my recent post on the Salem Sisters. Let's ratchet several notches up the social scale for the other three. First, some Ladies at Court: Or courtiers, or courtesans, it's not easy to draw the line in King Charles II's time. Lots of flounces and furbelows, lots of gossip. "Of course the Barsteads have wealth piled upon wealth. It is said that the family were blaggards and privateers who got rich off of Spanish gold in Queen Bess's time" "Well, *I* heard that the Barstead fortune came from a devil's bargain! The coffers will never run empty as long as the Good Folk take the firstborn to pay the tithe to Hell!" "Hm! The way the family carries on, it seems Old Scratch got the worse end of the deal, paying up for what would rightfully come his way in due time with no effort on his part." And here is Lord Barstead himself. Rouged cheeks and mad eyes, definitely drunk and dissolute. The sort of person who would horsewhip the servants and call people "cack-handed slatterns." The kind who will squander the family inheritance on cards and drink. Maybe enclose the Commons later, on a whim, or start a tobacco plantation in the New World, or just sentence a peasant to hang for poaching. "...Very old family, the Barsteads. In the War of the Roses Sir Ranulf Barstead invented the Barstead sword. Why, back in the Conqueror's day half the nobility in this part of the realm were Barsteads. Demned upstart vagabonds these days, jumped-up weavers and tradesmen get a little money and start thinking of themselves as Peers? Why, it makes a Barstead's blood boil!" "You DARE? Insolent whelp, I'll see you dead and damned at dawn! Pistols, or swords?"