Scholars, casuals, plods, the lot.
Millicent, Lady Lacy:
As matters stand, she's busy leading the multidisciplinary teams of historians, prehistorians, archaeologists, and so on who are surveying the hell out of the Woolfonts. And doing so brilliantly.
Professorial Fellow, S Chads, Dunelm, Quondam Fellow of All Souls in the University of Oxford
b Merryhill House, Mansel Lacy, Herefs, 20 August 1966, dau of the Revd Hugh Walter Alan Lacy DD & Helen Joan Margaret (née Childe), dau of Sir [Miles Henry Alan] Bullough Childe Bt MFH & Althaea [Maud Anne], Lady Childe, dau of Henry John Fitzroy Scudamore Esq. & Margery Anne Honoria (née Burke Roche)
Malvern Girls; BA (Oxon) MA (Oxon) MPhil (Dunelm) DPhil (Cantab)
yr br, Sqn Ldr Walter Fitzroy Childe Lacy RAF (No. 617 Sqn) DFC & Bar, 1973 2007
The WI; the RHS; the RSPB; the Council for British Archaeology; the Wainwright Society; SPAB; the Georgian Group; the Royal Society; the Society of Antiquaries; the Royal Society of Edinburgh; the Royal Historical Society; the British Academy; the Academy of Social Sciences; the British Society for Population Studies; The Economic History Society; The Regional Studies Association; the Hadrianic Society; the Anglo-Norman Text Society; the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society; the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire; the Clifton Antiquarian Club; the Chetham Society; the Lancashire Parish Register Society; the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire; the Surtees Society; the Oxfordshire Architectural and Historical Society; the Oxford University Archaeological Society; the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society; the Stubbs Society; the Early English Text Society; the Ancient Monuments Society; the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies (The Roman Society); the Society for Name Studies in Britain and Ireland; the British Association for Local History; the Historical Association; the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland
Gardening & horticulture; Rambling (as my students should attest); Birding & twitching; Preservation; Historical cookery
c/o S Chads College, Dunelm
"'If you know Who and Where and When, you know, Why; and, How. The decisions of the past, the history of prior choices, shape and limit the present and the character and options of those living in their present.
"'History, simply, is mass biography, the cumulative biography of the great and the humble alike, and their choices, most of these made in an absence of mind whilst thinking more about dinner or washing or, as one reels home from the local, what sort of rocket one's going to get from one's spouse."
- Badass Bookworm: She's been to some interesting and dangerous sites, and emerged unruffled and unscathed.
- The Baroness: Utterly averted. As a Life Peer, she is a baroness; but no one could be further from that trope.
- Blue Blood: Hers may be a cadet branch, and County gentry, but she is a Lacy. And a Burke / de Burgh. And a Scudamore (refer to Kit Trowbridge's four-barreled surname if any questions).
- Everyone Can See It: She's just waiting on Charles Taunton to wake up to it.
- Lady and a Scholar: A shining instance.
- Lady of Adventure / Adventurer Archaeologist: Averted. She'd do it splendidly and with style, but it's an unscholarly sort of activity, Professor Jones, surely you admit that....
- Preacher's Kid: Factually, yes. But the trope is averted (partly because, well, it's the C of E we're talking about).
- Proper Lady: By temperament and by breeding.
- Respected by the Respected: In addition to everything else, she was given a life peerage at quite a young age for services to heritage and education.
- Sage Love Interest: In-Universe, she is so regarded by all (bar, maybe, the Duke.) So far subverted as being in the air, despite mass quantities of Ship Tease. If she does become the Duke's love interest, she'll fit this to a tee.
"'It'd be a thumpin' great honour: to me. If Mils were so silly as to contemplate such a thing. But, damn it all, bein' duchess of Taunton's no sinecure and it's insultin', or ignorant, to suppose that, if it were, Millicent Lacy of all people'd wear that for an instant. She ain't the sort to accept a sinecure. If she were that sort, she'd be unsuited to the position you lot seem to be tryin' to put her in without askin' her leave or mine: and she's precisely not unsuited. She's a full-time job already, damn it all, as a damned distinguished lady don and scholar. D' y' think she'd give that up? D' y' think she'd be of the metal out of which duchesses of Taunton are forged as she very much is if she'd contemplate for one damned moment givin' that up?'"
- And the Duke's resistance seems to be a case of I Want My Beloved to Be Happy:
- The Smart Guy: She's brilliant.
- Older Than They Look: She's quite well-preserved.
- One-Liner: A witty woman, without ever being hurtfully snarky.To the Nawab, dining at Wolfdown, in a conversation in which everyone is making Northern Soul puns: "'Nobby, dear, are you meaning to urge upon me that the chase is on? Because, if that's the case, I'm on my way.'"note
- Oop North: Hers is a Herefordshire branch, but the Lacys were powerful Northern (and Irish) Norman barons, and some of her academic interests reflect this. And she is a professor at Durham, after all.
Professor Den Farnaby, Student of Christ Church, Fellow of All Souls, Tauntonian Professor of Ancient British History and Antiquities:
Youngish Fellow at Oxford. Very clever, superficially stuffy despite his age, a bit of a dark horse, and with a strong interest in horse cults and sacred landscapes.
- Adventurer Archaeologist: Averted with bellows of horrified outrage. Damn it, that's not archaeology!
- Badass Bookworm: See succeeding entry, and contemplate the marching.
- Single-Issue Wonk: Subverted, though he has a tendency that way: animal cults, sacral landscapes, and Iron Age and Roman Britain are his only real enthusiasms, and he's a bit anorakish.Lady Lacy, reflecting, with amusement: "The really fun part, thought she, suppressing her glee, should be when dear Den, always ready to find a site sacred, should begin spinning interpretations as if he were the son of a civil partnership between Clio and Clotho and dear Charles, always ready to do combat in the name of military and economic history, should bring out the Atropine shears to cut these to ribbons, insisting that one site was not a temple but was rather a redan or lunette or their primitive iterations, and another was not a cursus but was rather a pinfold for early auctions of sheep and a prehistoric County Show.... It should no doubt fall to her it commonly did do to be all-measuring Lachesis, really."
Lachlan Duff-Black, Police & Crime Commissioner:
Gruff, Scots ex-Army (RMP) officer, elected as the County Police & Crime Commissioner: a much-tried man. Wiltshire seems to house half the peerage and an extraordinary number of Scots clan chiefs; Lachlan can manage that or could, if one of those peers weren't the Duke of Taunton.
- "Charles was an excitable wee man, Lachlan sometimes felt, but he had a knack of becoming overexcited, and positively exercised, only over matters, small in themselves but heavy with portent, which did want to be nipped in the proverbial bud and had also a knack of seeing them first. He was a damned nuisance; but an indispensable one."
- The Commissioner Gordon: Mundane type although the Duke might as well be a Badass Normal Superhero, in terms of what a indispensable but painful pain in the ass / arse he is to the Force.
- Happily Married: To Isobel, who's as Professionally Scots as he is.
- Officer and a Gentleman: As Isobel notes, he sometimes misses the days when he was commanding Redcaps. The Army was sane.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He has considerable reserves of patience. Which are often overdrawn, dealing with the Duke and the Woolfonts (more trouble than the rest of the County put together...). His patience is not inexhaustible, however, as seen after the ducal intervention in the famous Bar Brawl:"'Charles, I know you didn't read Law when you were up '
"'Good God, my dear Lachlan,' shuddered the duke. 'I should think not.'
"'I am equally certain you could mount a successful defence to any charge from that incident with the chair-leg. Reasonable force to prevent an escape or head off a further assault, no doubt: and inwith premises in which you have an interest. All the same: don't try that on again.'"
Chief Constable Tommy Labourde QPM
Equally much-tried Chief Constable, who dreads hearing that anything at all has happened in the Woolfonts because absolutely anything might.
- "The duke was trying to persuade Lachlan and Tommy that, so long as there was some limit on the day's bag, journos ought to be subjects of lawful shooting on the wing. The PCC and the Chief Constable persuaded themselves that Charles wasn't, actually, wholly serious although it was a near-run thing."
- By-the-Book Cop: With no CowboyCops under him to berate, poor man.
- Da Chief: In a British sort of way.
- A Father to His Men: He has the back of the whole Service.
- Friend on the Force: Like most of the County Police Service, is so, reluctantly, to the Duke, who though no Gentleman Detective is a decorated Int Corps officer, knows everything that goes on in his part of the County, and is a public member of the Police and Crime Panel.
- Old-Fashioned Copper: The updated version, of the Dixon of Dock Green variety.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Although when the report comes from the Woolfonts, he and Lachlan tend to feel more like the only sane men.
DI Martin Brockway, Wiltshire Police:
Detective Inspector whose sanity chain, as he admits to Fr. Bohun, is skiving off church to work in his garden. (Fr. Bohun carefully doesn't tell him that young Oliver Brockway is beginning to think about a Church career....) A family man, brainy yet practical, educated but still attuned to the rural mindset of those he protects (and those he investigates), and more than wise enough to know that Fr. Bohun, in the Downlands, is one of those people who can influence matters before they become officially his and police business.
- "DI Martin Brockway could attest wearily to that latter fact, the limited overlap between 'human' and 'decent'; and could attest, too, that it wasn't all on one side."
- Friend on the Force: Inverted: When he wishes to nip trouble in the bud, or the law cannot act even though some idiot is going to make it a public order matter if they don't belt up, he tends to turn to such community leaders as, oh, the Honorary Chaplains to the police service: Dr. Jettou, Mgr Folan, Fr. Bohun, the Rector....
- Moral Guardian: Averted. He's attested to enforce the law, which is what Parliament says it is; not to uphold anybody's morals. And if that damned Mrs. Brickell doesn't leave off wasting police time with her little crusades, she's going to be run in....
Sgt. Alice Fay (née Bull), Wilts Police
Occasionally exasperated uniformed sergeant in charge of the rural Neighborhood Police Team covering Tisbury and the Woolfonts.
- " PC Bull just finding her feet at Tisbury NPT and already realising she'd been given, for her sins of newness and knowing no better, a truly shit task by her friendly colleagues...."
- The City vs. the Country: A determinedly rural policewoman.
- Fair Cop: Averted. Not that she's ugly (a bit plain, perhaps, but...)."'Damn it, Bull!'
"'It's "Fay", now, Your Grace: since I married.' Sergeant Fay, although born away off in Steeple Ashton and married to a chap from Swallowcliffe, was by now well used to the duke.
"'Good God.' Alice Fay bridled a bit at that: she wasn't, she considered, all that plain. 'Be that as it may, Sergeant '"
- Jurisdiction Friction: She doesn't like "Funnies" on her ground. Retired Special Branch types and That Sort...."It would, however, be a good deal more satisfying if the odds and sods put a foot over the line before that: because she'd like nothing more than to nick them, and their feet wouldn't bloody touch ground when she felt their collars."
- Meddlesome Patrolman: As a PC Police Constable before her Rank Up, was (unfairly) so considered by the Duke, who prefers to settle things feudally. (Mr. Viney always respectfully thwarts him: with Plausible Deniability added.)
- Reasonable Authority Figure: And clutching desperately at the Sanity Ball amidst the loons she deals with daily.
- There was the tourist who overheard farmers down the Boar talking about sheep and rape (canola crops), and the tabloid journo who was convinced there were meth labs and addicts all over the County because she "couldn't count to fourteen in Received Standard Sheep" ("fourteen," in Yan Tan Tethera's Wiltshire version, is "metheraddick"). And then comes Mrs. Goosey the tourist, who overheard two experimental archaeologists talking about (flint)-knapping and how it's never too early to get the children interested....
The retired Gurkhas:
- Ayo Gorkhali!
The retired Gurkhas and their families who were the ducal solution to running up social housing in a heritage area. And the excuse for creating STETHEL as a Trust to retrain wounded and demobbed squadettes and squaddies. Notably includes young Captain Rai ("QGOO, MVO with it, and, most pertinently, CGC"), liaison (still serving); and community leaders Hon. Captain Thapa, retired QGO (late QGS) and Hon. Lt. Gurung ("who had been, in his youth, a Rifleman of the 7th (Duke of Edinburgh's Own), and had fought like a tiger at Mount William in the Falklands").
- Martial Pacifist: That's them. Kind, patient, cheerful practitioners of a Hinduism deeply syncretic with Buddhist ideas (or vice versa): "(Canon Paddick had startled some of his parishioners, during Advent, by musing, 'This morning as every morning our Gurkha neighbours, the bravest men on Earth, welcome each one the god of his devotion, and anticipate with familial pleasure the advent of the divinity. Have we?')"
and the most dangerous soldiers an enemy will ever face. Even retired."Old Gurkhas rise early; and in every commodious, Georgian house of the new Agincourt Estate (Crispin's Buildings), the little, morning, family pujas were undertaken, welcoming the household gods. [snip] And so the families gathered, at once or in series, at the little household shrines, to welcome the chosen gods: elaborately, perhaps, with the attendances reserved to the great, or, if other matters pressed, with simple ceremony and affection, as to a friend and house guest; each of the family perhaps having devotion to a particular deity, all agreeing that each was fundamentally the Supreme Brahman in one or another aspect and expression. [snip] The divinity was welcomed with affection, and bade farewell with love. And the business of the day was entered into, with lightened hearts."
- Retired Badass: Hon. Capt. Thapa and Hon. Lt. Gurung. By definition. And every other member of that community.
Dons, mostly. And two mixed-type Americans. The Warden of All Souls, the Dean of Christ Church, the Provost of Oriel, a Junior Proctor, an American Marshall Scholar, and an American Rhodes (Must Fall) Scholar. And Poppy van Meteren and India Charlton, the world's most cynically world-weary undergraduates.
- Bourgeois Bohemian: The Dean is, of the right-on churchmanship sort; the Provost is; and the Junior Proctor is. The Warden is a crusted old Tory and friend of the Duke's (who is, after all, himself a Fellow of All Souls).
- Deadpan Snarker: The Warden, particularly in dealing with the Dean and the Provost, who are unnerved to have Rupert and James as members of their colleges.
- Eagleland: Ms Anderson-Harris and Travis Bolling Martinez-Henderson III. They are not friends. (She's an SJW Rhodes Student involved with the Rhodes Must Fall movement; he's a Marshall Student, half Texas, half Virginia, a product of VMI, and a Reserve Officer. He points out though that the real problem, especially when they confront being each one a Fish out of Water in a foreign land, is that they're Not So Different.)
- Mistaken for Racist: Some undergraduates are singing a merry song about highwaymen. Ms Anderson-Harris objects (especially as she sees Rupert and James in the Quad, though it's nothing to do with them); objects, and gets the Junior Proctor and a lot of diversity bureaucrats involved. It does not go well for her."Ms Anderson-Harris.... I am a chemist, not an historian. But I might at this juncture usefully remind you that my surname unmarried as I am is, "Halloran"; and I strongly suggest you familiarise yourself with the Irish origins of many popular songs in your country's history. Including, in the case before us, "The Irish Jaunting Car". I regret that you found offence in the tune, but that is not the fault of the tune or the singers, but of your long-dead countrymen who appropriated the song from the Irish. It is peculiarly unfortunate that you have chosen to be offended by a traditional Irish air, with, it appears, working-class English lyrics, and have chosen to complain not only of the song's being sung but of its being listened to by two passing undergraduates who are, as they point out, of part-Desi descent. Classism is regarded with substantial disfavour by this University, Ms Anderson-Harris, and racism towards the Irish and those wholly or partly of subcontinental descent is not tolerated."
- The tune, "The Irish Jaunting Car," is known to Americans only as the tune to the old Confederate song, "The Bonnie Blue Flag"....
- Only Known by Their Nickname: The Warden, the Dean, and the Provost. Which does avoid some very lawyer unfriendly cameos.
- Soapbox Sadie: Miss Ms Anderson-Harris, the American. Though she does get some great lines, and an awesome (and awesomely PrecisionFStrike-laden) "The Reason You Suck" Speech.""Fuck your High Society and your class distinctions and your silver spoons. Fuck you, and your Ethical Threads and your Beulah London and all your fake-ass concern draped over your Aquascutum and your Hermès and shit, and your fake-ass Guardian-reading when you go off and vote Tory, and your Chunky Ethnic Jewellery and Peasant Chic and treating other cultures as a costume and your fucking Mumford & Sons [snip] And fuck all this fucking tea."
- Those Two Guys: Poppy and India. With Hidden Depths:"Poppy van Meteren and India Charlton were a celebrated double act in their own right: flighty debs at first glance, of the most modern, Glasto-going sort, political and social chameleons who had no principles, only fashions, and who dwelt at the intersection of celebrity, Society, and pop culture. They were the sort whom the inattentive presumed to be pretty-but-dim, charming but easily led; the sort who quite probably modelled a bit, out of vanity and for sexual display, and not for money: second-generation Sloanies, in fact.
"It was remarkable how easily people could be fooled."
- Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: The Junior Provost has had it with Ms Anderson-Harris, up to here.
George Mould, District poacher:
- Evil Poacher: Averted. He's just your standard MkI rural poacher.
- Feuding Families: Moulds (and nephews) and Sangers have been going a few rounds, poachers and gamekeepers, for generations. Although George Mould's nephew may not keep it up: not because he's a good guy, but because he's Too Dumb to Live.
- In the Blood: Subverted. It may be a family tradition, but no one in the Woolfonts believes Mould couldn't straighten up and fly right if he liked. He just doesn't like.
- Roguish Poacher: Averted. He's just a grubby old bugger with no regard for rules and an exaggerated regard for a grubby family tradition. Nor is the Duke an evil landowner. In fact, when it comes to men who screw the rules for their own standards and have an exaggerated regard for a family tradition, Mould and the Duke are Not So Different.