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Gentlemen Adventurers : Chapter One : Europe 1839

Session 001: A Commission to Devonshire February 1839

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The Party

ArnoldTodgersHamelton - DaveF WallaceTiffinSmythe - PeteN GladstoneArchiboldThynne - TimE


Three gentlemen of adventurous spirit are invited to dinner at the Engineering Hall by WilliamSmith, a renown fossil hunter and engineer of their mutual aquaintance.

WilliamSmith commissions the party to survey investigate a location he discovered while producing his masterwork – the complete geological survey of the British isles many years before. The site is in the gorge near Lydford in DevonShire?.

He explains that while surveying the gorge he talked to a number of locals in the Castle Inn and heard rumours of a cave system at the top of the gorge where many bones and fossils were to be found, but also surrounded by rumours of strange beasts & danger so no one would take him there, unfortunately his stay in Devon was nearly over and he had to leave the following day. It has always been a source of frustration to the geologist that he was not able to explore further – this most interesting rumour of his twin passions fossils and bones.

He wishes the party to investigate and survey the cave system and discover if there are any fossils or bones worth seeing in the cave or surrounding area, and will cover any expenses incurred.

The party agree to meet in Paddington the following week, as GladstoneArchiboldThynne has some business to see to, and make their way by train to the convient station of Lydford Junction in Lydford, Devon . So named as it is the junction between London and South Western railway. Here ArnoldTodgersHamelton 's man has arranged for them to stay in the Castle Inn. http://www.francisfrith.com/images/catalogue/c10/high/12/56068.jpg+right

They stay in this basic but homely Inn, and the following day take a guided walk over the snowy and frosted hills to the LydfordCastle ruin.

That evening ArnoldTodgersHamelton makes the further aquatinance of the maid, WallaceTiffinSmythe explores to the head of the LydfordGorge and the Devils Cauldron, and hears a mysterious whistling/ wailing sound. GladstoneArchiboldThynne is approached by the local police sergent who is having difficulty with some ChartistRebels.

The following morning GladstoneArchiboldThynne is escorted by the local sergent to a junction with the main road where 5 very motley and cold police constables are waiting on the snowy road. he explains that they are comissioned to stop a ChartistRebels march which is taking a petition to the town of Plymouth. GladstoneArchiboldThynne inspects the men and has just finished breaking their moral to a point of desertion when 30 marches appear on the horison. He forms them up to block the road and has discourse with their leader who requests that they be allowed to walk peacefully by. GladstoneArchiboldThynne refuses and in the discussion one of the rebels throws a rock that misses everybody - GladstoneArchiboldThynne opens fire at point blank range with his pistold at MarcusAllen the local Chartist leader. He misses, but two other constables fire their muskets at the crowd killing two, while the other constables grab MarcusAllen. The rebels flee, and MarcusAllen is roughed up and captured.

Meanwhile a new guide is found, a young lad JohnnyMay, who takes ArnoldTodgersHamelton and WallaceTiffinSmythe to explore the gorge. With some prompting he does remember a cave in the gorge and is leading them towards it where they meet a woodsman who advises them that it would be 'for the best' if they went to see the White Lady waterfall at the foot of the gorge.


Pictures from the most excellent archive www.francisfrith.com

BBC's history timeline, especially Chartism www.bbc.co.uk/history/timelines/

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Last edited June 12, 2006 7:47 pm by HowardT (diff)