Royal Regard’s Major John Smythe

Mariana Gabrielle visits the blog today to introduce us to one of her characters from her book Royal Regard. Giveaway: Marianna will give an ebook copy of Royal Regard to one person who comments.

Major John Smythe finds himself stymied by the legal process.

John tapped his forefinger against the long scroll on the desk before him, explaining, for what felt like the Royal-Regard-cover-500x750-200x300 Author's Blog Regency Era Regency Romance hundredth time, the goal he needed to accomplish. And he needed to accomplish it soon. Sooner than soon. His sister lay unconscious, probably dying, and there would be no seeing her until this was done.

The incredulous tone of the man behind the desk had been repeated each time he attempted to settle the matter, first in the Court of Chancery, now in the Court of Common Pleas, where he was trying to have fourteen cases entered into the rolls.

“You wish to enter your own debts into the record?”

“That is correct.”

“Debts creditors do not know they are owed?”

“Yes. Well, they once knew. The men owed have believed me dead ten years or more.”

Once John had watched his insolvent father hang himself, then his brother stabbed to death in the stews, he had changed his name and taken the king’s shilling to join the infantry.

“So, you have got off scot-free, and now you wish to resurrect yourself and make these creditors aware of the debt.”


“Are you certain, Major Smythe, the war has not left you a bit… off? Seen one too many battles or caught the French pox from some camp bawd?”

William_Ballantine_Vanity_Fair_5_March_1870_crop-188x300 Author's Blog Regency Era Regency Romance

Caricature by Alfred Thompson, Vanity Fair, 1870

“No, and I will thank you not to repeat such an accusation. Will you enter the amounts in the rolls, please?” Once more, he tapped his gloved finger on the parchment. “As stated in the Chancery writs.”

“Do you not have a solicitor who can… advise you?”

“I need no advice.” He reached across the desk, dipped the man’s quill in the standish, and placed it in his hand, all but curling the fingers around the shank. “Begin with Viscount Effingale, please. Ten thousand pounds. He has agreed to take a note at ten percent. Twenty for the others, please.” For the first time, his forehead furrowed. “Twenty is enough, do you not think?”

The man’s laughter filled the room and likely the hall outside the door. “A viscount will take a note, but you still wish the court to enter the debt? And you will raise your own interest rate? You do know, once I’ve written this in the rolls, your creditors can have you gaoled for nonpayment?”

“That is the very point of the exercise. I wish the consequence clear and indisputable.”

“Now, see here!” The man placed the pen back on the desk. “Why do you owe all these men money? Are you avoiding some criminal matter?” John’s face paled. “Something havey-cavey going on with you.”

Gathering himself, he replied, “You see here! There is nothing havey-cavey about a man wishing to

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“John Smythe” (actually Illustration from “Eugene Onegin” by Samokish-Sudakovskaya, edition 1908)

settle his arrears. I am a First Major in the Coldstream Guards, and will not be hindered by your baseless suspicion.”

“Never known a gentleman who wished to add to his legal debt.”

“Then you have known remarkably few gentlemen.”

As though his hand were a blacksmith’s anvil, the man picked up the quill again, and John breathed a sigh of relief. The matter could finally be settled, hopefully without imprisonment for his part in his father’s long-overlooked land fraud. He might yet be incarcerated for not betraying Baronet Jasper Smithson’s scheme, but was determined to make restitution one way or another.

About Royal Regard

After fifteen years roaming the globe, the Countess of Huntleigh returns to England with her dying husband. She soon finds herself plagued by terrible troubles: a new title, estate, and sizable fortune; marked attentions from the marriage mart; the long-awaited reunion with her loving family; and a growing friendship with King George IV.

Settling into her new life, this shy-but-not-timid, not-so-young lady faces society’s censure, the Earl’s decline, false friends with wicked agendas, and the singular sufferings of a world-wise wallflower. Guided by her well-meaning husband, subject to interference by a meddlesome monarch, she must now choose the dastardly rogue who says he loves her, the charming French devil with a silver tongue, or the quiet country life she has traveled the world to find.

Genre: Regency Romance
Heat Level:  R for minor sexual contact, 2 out of 5 flames

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About the Author

Mariana Gabrielle is a pseudonym for Mari Christie, a mainstream historical and Regency MarianaGabrielle-150x150 Author's Blog Regency Era Regency Romance romance writer. She is also a professional writer, editor, and graphic designer with twenty years’ experience and a Bachelor’s in Writing from the University of Colorado Denver, summa cum laude. She lives in Denver, Colorado with two kittens who have no respect at all for writing time.

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6 thoughts on “Royal Regard’s Major John Smythe

      • No I meant what is he doing. I have not heard of putting debts in/ on the rolls. Chancery had master of the rolls but they usually didn’t deal with debts. It is the process I find confusing.

        • According to my research, the debt was first entered as a Chancery writ, then recorded in Common Pleas. Common Pleas required a writ be issued first, before they would take legal action.

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