Welcome Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Welcome Lords, Ladies and Gentlefolk.

This blog will be devoted to my literary and cosplay interests and stories set in my own alternative historical steampunk background. I hope people enjoy the stories, as much as I enjoy devising and writing them and that it stimulates their own artistic interests, entertains them or if nothing else fires their own imaginations.

A special note to new readers of this blog, the entries "Nation States" are gazetteers of the nations as they exist in the An Age of Steam, Steel and Iron background, each with a few remarks/observations about each nation as they exist within. Any post headed by the title containing the words "Story Snippet" or "Fragments" is a stand alone, snapshot of the background, they will be developed into fuller stories in future, but at present they serve to give the viewer/reader a measure of what this world is like, what is going on in it and who some of the players are. Full stories, will be headed by their title and a roman number, as they will generally be in several parts.

Comments, suggestions or remarks by readers are welcomed.

I would like to thank the following people:

Yaya Han, for getting me seriously interested in cosplay at a time when things were looking very glum for me back in 2006 with several extended stays in hospital due to illness, and motivating me to get actively involved.

Ashley Du aka UndeadDu, for her unfailing friendship and cheerful support since we first met in 2014 at the Hamilton Comic Con, and for being my Cosplay mentor and advisor.

Sara Marly, for her interest in and support for my writings, since we first met in 2016 at the Hamilton Comic Con and incidently helping me make up my mind to finally do this.

Stephen Thomson, my friend, for his advise and assistance with creating and setting up this blog.

Daniel Cote, my friend and co-worker for his advise and friendship over the years.

The People of the The Aegy's Gathering (particularly Jonathan Cresswell-Jones, Scott Washburn and Jenny Dolfen, all of whom I have kept in contact with over the years), who were brought together in friendship by a certain randomness of chance and a common interest in the Honor Harrington books and stayed together despite distance and the strains of life.

The People of the Wesworld Alternative History website, who gave me the opportunity to sharpen my writing and story telling skills while directing the affairs of Lithuania and briefly France during their 1930s timelines.

My parents Mary Ellen and Logan, my siblings Adam and Danika and various friends both online and at work and play for putting up with me, encouraging and supporting me both in the very good times and the very bad times.

I remain as always yours very sincerely, your obedient servant, Matthew Baird aka Sir Leopold Stanley Worthing-Topper

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Worthing-Topper File (January 1889)

The Right Honourable Sir Leopold Stanley Worthing-Topper, Viscount Worthing, 1st Baronet of Stoke Moran, Squire of New Rolleston.

Born: May 6th, 1846 A.D., Topperham Manor, Cambridgeshire, Great Britain.

Father: His Grace Sir David Alexander Worthing-Topper, 6th Duke of Schomberg (1800-1874).

Mother: Her Grace Norma Worthing-Topper (nee Yates-Stanley), Dowager Duchess of Schomberg (born 1821).

Siblings: His Grace Stephen Worthing-Topper, 7th Duke of Schomberg (older brother, born 1841, naval officer), the Lord Lionel Wilfred Worthing-Topper (younger brother, born 1848, army officer, dangerously close to becoming He Whom We Do Not Speak Of), the Lady Cecilia Worthing-Topper (younger sister, born 1869, A perpetual trial to her Mama).

Education: Private tutors, Brookfield Grammar School, Barchester College, Lushington Academy; underwent a great deal of legal, civil engineering and ecclesiastical training.

Military Service: Served as a volunter aide and staff officer of the British Expeditionary Corps at his father's request during the American Civil War of 1861-67. Formally joined the Corps of Royal Engineers of the British Army by direct commission as an ensign in 1869; assigned to general surveying, fortification and outpost duties in Upper and Lower Canada. Subsequently served on pioneer/field engineer and regimental staff duties with the Nova Scotia Highlanders in Canada in 1870 until 1871 (wounded in action against the Irish Fenians, twice mentioned in dispatches); served on field engineering and line-of-communications duties during the 2nd Abyssinian Campaign 1872-73 (twice wounded, mentioned in dispatches); assigned to surveying, fortification and installation construction duties in British China, Malaysia, British Borneo and India 1874-1878; took part in the 2nd Anglo-Afghan War 1878-80 (wounded, mentioned in dispatches); returned to Great Britain in 1881 and undertook unit organization, refit and recruiting duties; served in the 2nd Anglo-Ottoman War 1882-83(repeatedly and dangerously wounded, mentioned in dispatches); voluntarily went on half-pay from the army in March 1883 for health reasons.

Parliamentary Service: As a hereditary peer: holding the Viscounty of Worthing in the County of Sussex, since 1874, Sir Leo serves in the House of Lords. His attendance was sporadic in the Lords from 1874-1882, largely due to his military service, only after April 1883 did he attend in a more regular fashion. Sir Leo often found himself assigned as either a member or chairman to various special parliamentary committees and sub-committees from 1883 onwards.

Rank: Major (substantive), the Corps of Royal Engineers.

Decorations: Order of St Michael & St George; Order of the Indian Empire; Royal Victorian Order; Order of St John of Jerusalem, Order of St Joachim; Victoria Cross;  Distinguished Service Order; Military Cross; Albert Medals; Knights Bachelor's Badge; Baronet's Badge; Canada General Service Medal with 1870 Fenian Raid bar; Abyssinia Medal with 1872-73 bar; Afghanistan Medal 1878-80 with bars; Kabul to Kandahar 1880 Medal, Anglo-Ottoman War Medal with 1882-1883 bar; Queen Victoria's 1887 Jubilee Medal, Royal Geographical Society Medal with East Africa, Asia and West Africa bars.

Rank in British Peerage: Knight Bachelor (as of 1881); Viscount Worthing (as of 1874); holds the manorial estates (squiredoms) of Stoke Moran (both as of late April 1883, the former estate however was upgraded to a manorial baronetcy the next year following a sizeable donation to the Crown) and New Rolleston; currently heir (he would be the 8th Duke if he succeeds to the title) to the dukedom of Schomberg, and it's associated titles the Marquess of Harwich, Earl of Brentworth, Earl of Bangor and Baron Teyes, following his older brother's ascension to the titles of their father in 1874.

Published Works:
- "A trek through the Ivory Coast and the Western Sudan: notes on the topography, flora and fauna, the peoples and customs" (1886).
- "Eight months in the Courts of the Alamamy Samori Toure and the Sultan Amhadu Tall" (1886).
- "Mr. Gladestone's War: An account of the 1882-83 Anglo-Ottoman War" (1884).
- "Africa, India and South Asia: A Field Engineer's Scrapbook" (1884).
- "Through the Passes: An account of The Second Afghan War" (1883).

Clubs: the United Services Club, Athenaeum Club, Travellers Club, the Eccentrics Club, Diogenes Club.

Primary Place(s) of Residence: Roylott Manor, Stoke Moran, Surrey and Worthing Castle, Worthing, Sussex and three town residences in London; Schomberg Palace and Schomberg House and Worthing House; also a house in Barchester, Barcestshire.

Distinguishing Characteristics:
Height: 5' 9"
Weight: 165 pounds
Hair Colour: dark brown/chestnut
Eye Colour: dark brown

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