Our new season is now open: Spring 1677 !
|Full Name:||Charles Buchanan|
|Estate Name:||Kinlochaline Castle|
|Eye Colour:||Light Brown|
|London:||Red Lion, Charring Cross|
Reputation: «...newly arrived, this young man has already carved out a reputation as a friendly and witty fellow with fine manner ...»
Apparently easygoing and open to those around him, he resembles a sort of good-natured dog – harmless and easily bored with matters of great weight, he prefers amusement, activity and is quite happy to be burdened by the attention of others. He is indolent, too, despite the buzzing restlessness of his body, and while he enjoys diversions of a physical nature, he seems disinterested in engaging his intellect with any serious enterprise. Instead, Charles contents himself with meaningless banter and light flirtation.
At 5’10” Charles's figure is lean but his slimness is deceptive and he is stronger than he initially appears. An active man, there is always a quality of restlessness about him, an impatience that simmers just below the surface and disappears only when he is engaged in motion. He is a graceful man, however, and he takes great care of his appearance, favoring simplicity and elegance in his garments while permitting himself the small conceit of an auburn-colored periwig. This shade, he has found, flatters his complexion and the strange lightness of his honey-colored eyes while drawing attention to the flawless composition of his straight nose and chiseled features.
The face that Charles presents to the world is little more than a mask that has been carefully constructed since childhood. Beneath all his apparent indolence lies a razor sharp intellect and an ambition that has already begun to displace his elder brother, Lord Glenure. He is a master of deception, an actor whose skills have yet to fail him, and in some respects, the daily performance that he offers is a diversion of its very own for it amuses him to fool others with such relative ease.
Not that those traits presented to the world at large are necessarily false. He is easygoing and charming just as he does enjoy physical exercise and the attention of those around him. It suits his purpose, however, to appear to be less clever than he is, to seem less remarkable and therefore more harmless than is truly the case.
Charles has learned to be this way for the sake of self-interest though he is not incapable of some amount of loyalty to others. He is ambitious within reason but he is committed to realizing that ambition regardless of the relative morality or immorality of his desires. These desires range from recognition to advancement, from pleasure to revenge.
But Charles is a cultured man as well with a particular interest in the study of geological formations and the collection of minerals, gems and rocks. He is a voracious reader and well-read because of it and he enjoys music as long as he is not required to perform it for others. He takes pleasure in art and his appreciation for beauty has made him equally appreciative of women, whose charms he discovered at a rather young age though he does not confine himself to women alone. An attractive youth is just as likely to arouse Charles’s interest though that is a vice in which he has very rarely indulged.
Very few people have been allowed to glimpse Charles’s true nature and he does not trust others easily, preferring instead to keep them at arm’s length until time or experience has spoken on their behalf.
The second son of George Buchanan, 5th Earl of Morvern and of Isabel Clerk, daughter of Sir Alexander Clerk, Provost of Edinburgh, Charles was born on February 11, 1654 at the family seat of Kinlochaline Castle. A precocious child, he exhibited signs of his incredible intellect at an early age but was not close to either his siblings or his father. In fact, Charles is probably his father’s least favorite child, their personalities repelling one another from the start. While George disliked his son’s apparent lack of seriousness and indolence, Charles resented his father’s obvious preference for his heir and so allowed himself to become even more lazy and easy out of spite. The only comfort he felt in this family dynamic was the obvious affection of his mother and the gentle companionship of his sister, finding his brothers insufferable on the whole and too stupid for prolonged intimacy.
When Charles’s tutor recommended early matriculation into university, neither he nor his father objected and he entered St. Andrew’s at the age of fourteen, pursuing a degree in law which he achieved by his eighteenth birthday. Challenged intellectually for the first time, he proved himself to be a bright and diligent student, all traces of his usual idleness gone. Having thus suitably impressed his professors, Charles went on to qualify as an advocate but has chosen not to go into active practice, in part, to annoy his father.
Instead he has devoted himself to a life of apparent leisure, earning a reputation as a libertine and irritating his father and eldest brother in the process. Having recently ended an affair with the wife of a vicar, the scandal of which provided fodder for weeks in Edinburgh society, Charles has finally pushed his father to wit’s end and has been punished by being sent south. Ostensibly he is to represent the family at the king’s upcoming nuptials while ‘making himself useful’ to the Duke of Lauderdale.
- George Buchanan, 5th Earl of Morvern (52; b. 9 April, 1624)
- Isabel Buchanan, née Clerk, Countess of Morvern (43; b. 17 December, 1632)
- Robert Buchanan, Lord Glenure (24; b. 6 August, 1652)
- John Buchanan (19; b. 21 October, 1656)
- Alexander Buchanan (19; b. 21 October 1656)
- Mary Buchanan (16; b. 5 June, 1660)
Incongruously to the blithe persona that Charles presents to the rest of the world, he has a very real interest in geology and in rock and gem collecting. This interest culminated in the procurement of an unusual green diamond from India which he won by outdrinking a gem merchant in Edinburgh. This diamond, which weighs in at nearly twenty-five carats, is a pale but brilliant gooseberry green and has been nicknamed ‘The Rajah' as a fanciful nod to its origins. For five years after acquiring the diamond, Charles set aside a portion of his fluctuating income until he was finally able to mount the stone. This he did by setting it into a silver bezel framed by small, white diamonds and mounting it as a detachable pendant/brooch. A white diamond riviere was fashioned to suspend the pendant so that it could be worn as a necklace and though he wears the Rajah from time to time as a brooch, he has yet to find a woman he considers worthy enough of wearing it around her throat.
The Story Sofar
Season IV: Arrival in the last weeks of May 1676
Recess IV: 1 June - 7 October 1676
A week had barely passed before the king’s departure for Newmarket initiated a mass exodus of courtiers from London. Charles paused only long enough in the capital to leave directions that all fencing correspondence be forwarded and to call one last time upon the Duchess of Lauderdale who informed him of the intended royal visit to Scotland before sending him on his way. He took leave of his uncle’s wife respectfully, but not before presenting her with a new publication of Charles Perrault’s Histoires ou contes du temps passé to ‘amuse her on her journey northward’, relying upon her native intelligence to see past the fanciful nature of such a work to the morals contained within. It was, he hoped, something that would appeal to her love of propriety. For his uncle, who was not on hand to receive him, he left a brace each of pheasants and hare to grace the man’s table before undertaking his journey with the king.
His own journey homeward was a ruthless trek north, uneventful save for the relentlessness of his pace. Charles did not tarry, stopping only long enough to snatch a few quick hours of sleep or to change horses before entering the Scottish capital on the morning of June 2nd. Here, he made himself presentable and called immediately upon the chambers of Sir George Mackenzie of Rosehaugh, letters of recommendation in hand. The two had met previously while Charles was a student at St. Andrew’s and, placing good faith in the complimentary language of his professors, he advanced himself as a candidate for deviling with Sir George as his devilmaster. Accepted by the eminent attorney into his chambers, Charles thus embarked upon the necessary first leg of his journey to the office of Lord Advocate.
Sixteen weeks of intense work followed, eight spent in chambers and eight spent actively arguing cases before the Scottish courts. Mackenzie proved to be a tough but fair, and ultimately brilliant, master under whose guidance Charles flourished, plunging headfirst into his chosen profession and remembering at the same time how much he had enjoyed delving into the subject at university. By mid-September, Charles had satisfied Sir George sufficiently enough to be advanced for admission to the Faculty of Advocates and he donned his silks formally for the first time on September 25th.
Though exhausting, the work had nonetheless been satisfying and modestly lucrative as well. While none of his personal cases argued before the bench were particularly important, Charles managed to acquit himself well before the justices and win the verdicts he intended.
Such serious endeavors, however, left little time for unfettered pleasure over the summer and Charles suffered some distancing of previous friendships as they abandoned him to his labors to play amongst themselves. He was not entirely bogged down, however, and he managed to snatch a few brief interludes whenever the opportunity arose. He continued to frequent the gem-dealers and jewelers of the city and commissioned a number of gifts, chief amongst them, a wedding present for the king and his new bride which he charged to his father since it was to be gifted under the name of the entire family. Moreover, since arriving in Edinburgh, he had kept up a steady correspondence with his newly made London acquaintance, exchanging letters with Lord Meehan and Ladies Atherstone, Oakham, Nesbitt and Neuville.
With the king’s arrival, he found himself able to attend upon the monarch during his stay in the capital where he also met up again with Lady Oakham who had been brought to Scotland by Lady Alyth. Presented by Darlene to Cat, he offered to take the ladies sightseeing around the city and in the surrounding countryside, before taking them up to Arthur’s Seat for a grand vista and picnic. Once he had completed his deviling and donned his silks, Charles returned home to Kinlochaline to visit his mother and sister. Arriving home late on the 26th, he discovered to his delight that the family was entertaining his favorite cousin, the Viscountess Morton, his eldest paternal aunt’s eldest daughter and the only woman he had ever romantically loved. It had been Isabel, bold, dashing, and ironic who had slipped quietly into his adolescent chambers before his departure for university to ensure he “wad na embarrass himsel’ afore th’ lassies in St. Andrew’s”. Four years older than himself, she had certainly made good on her promise and they had maintained the intimacy of their relationship since, whenever circumstance allowed, despite the fact of her long marriage to the Viscount Morton.
He was not satisfied, however, and his ill humor remained long after she had departed to rejoin her husband in Perth. His only solace came from his solitary walks along the Morvern coast where he noted several observations regarding the geology of the cliffs which resulted in his first attempt at a scientific paper which he sent for review to Lord Meehan once it was completed.
In the meantime, Charles found himself increasingly at odds with his eldest brother whose fractured health had made him more insufferable than ever and threatened to upset all of Charles’s hard work to satisfy his father’s expectations. After a particularly nasty confrontation over the trifling manner of a lost glove, Glenure vented his rage by splitting Charles’s lip with a well-aimed blow. The lip healed eventually but formed a faint scar and by October 5th, he was well on his way south once again to meet up with the court at Windsor.