Finbar Scanlon is an apothecary in London and husband to Francine Scanlon.

Personal HistoryEdit

Finbar was a soldier, like many members of his family, and was taken on as an assistant to the regimental surgeon in France. He learned all he could of the surgeon's medical knowledge. At Laffeldt, he suffered a severe abdominal wound but miraculously recovered, thanks to the quick thinking of his mentor. He was then invalided out of the army and decided to apprentice himself to an apothecary.

He opened his own apothecary shop in London and rented the upper rooms to Timothy O'Connell and Francine O'Connell. After Tim abandoned his wife and took all their money, Finbar stepped in and offered what help he could. Eventually he started an affair with Francine, getting her with child some five or six months before O'Connell returned with the regiment.

Events of the Lord John SeriesEdit

Lord John and the Private MatterEdit

In June 1757, Finbar greets Malcolm Stubbs and Lord John Grey upon their arrival at his apothecary shop. When they state their visit is in regards to Mrs. O'Connell he advises them she is out at the moment, dealing with arrangements for her late husband Tim O'Connell's funeral. Not wishing to allow them upstairs Finbar distracts them by offering a drink, in memory of Tim.

As they drink Finbar remains calm in answering Grey's questions. Telling them that his understanding from the Constable who had come to tell Francine about the death, was that Tim died as a result of a brawl and was found in the Puddle Duck with a hell-print in his forehead. He expresses his opinion that it was probably the tavern owner that dumped Tim to avoid having a corpse on the premises.

While Grey looked around the shop Finbar and Stubbs began talking about the Indian Campaign. Finbar explaining how he has many family that are currently in the service a cousin in the 81st and the 63rd mentioned specifically. Hearing a sound from above them Finbar tries to casually blame a cat, however this does not deter Stubbs and Grey who go upstairs to find a battered Francine O'Connell. Finbar bluntly stated that her husband, Tim, was who had beaten her. Upon passing Stubbs' inspection of his hands Finbar moved past them to stand by Francine holding her elbow.

This gesture did not serve to alleviate any suspicions about him, only creating new as Grey noticed how Francine seems to sway to him and both men noticing that Francine was at least five maybe six months along with child. Knowing that the regiment and therefore Tim had only returned six weeks ago, it's clear to both Stubbs and Grey that Finbar is a bit more than landlord and friend. They offer Francine the widow's purse - money collected by the regiment for their comrade's widow - however she refuses it. When Grey suggests this refusal was borne of a guilty conscience, Finbar is outraged and demands that Grey explain how he thinks Francine killed her husband. Grey explains that it's not that he believes she killed Tim, but that perhaps persons on her behalf or behest did.

Francine explains she is refusing the money on pride, something Stubbs finds hard to believe as he looks pointedly at her pregnant belly, and accuses her of adultery. Francine explains that Tim had left her the previous spring, taking all their money and started up with another woman. She had not seen Tim for over a year until he showed up two nights prior, and only survived because of Finbar. Finbar takes a step back from the situation, letting Francine make up her own mind about the money and watching her with concern. Relenting on the matter of the shroud money, Grey asks if she would also like to reject her widow's pension, but she says that she will take it. After Grey arranges for her to be paid her pension, he and Stubbs leave. Because of their suspicious behavior, connection to Tim, and obvious motives, Finbar and Francine are considered suspects in the murder investigation.

Outside of the constable's office Finbar arrives with Francine, a priest, and others to help carry Tim's coffin. Their arrival however timed with the arrival of Iphigenia Stokes and her company of mourners. Finbar vainly attempting to persuade Francine from the argument. Grey steps between the two warring women which results in him taking an elbow to the stomach and being tripped and sent tumbling into a shed. Grey breaks up the fight drawing his sword. When Grey begins to figure out who's who and their intentions Finbar speaks up saying that Francine is now Mrs. Scanlon as they'd recently wed. Finbar suggesting that Francine calm and not brawl reminding her of her own delicate condition at least got Francine to concede from the fight. Grey is able to get the two women to agree that Miss. Stokes may have Tim buried by the priest she brought and in the plot she'd obtained if she repaid Mrs. Scanlon the cost of the coffin. With that Finbar and Francine stood back with their people as Miss. Stokes and company carry Tim away.

During a meeting with Hubert Bowles, it is suggested that Harry Quarry apprehend Finbar and his wife for further questioning. However, by the time Quarry's men had arrived at the apothecary shop Finbar, Francine and every piece of stock in the shop had gone missing. Through questioning of neighbors they had been able to find one old woman who said she'd seen people carrying boxes out of the house on Tuesday. Their sudden disappearance only incriminating them further. Grey still uncertain of what this incriminated them of as Finbar had been cool as a cucumber in denying any involvement in Tim's death and there had been nothing save the death of a man in a green dress that occurred since. Grey was hard pressed to find a connection between Scanlon and the man in the green dress' death.

During Grey, Tom Byrd and Stephan von Namtzen's search of Reinhardt Mayrhofer's home they discover that Maria Mayrhofer, Reinhardt's wife, had been visited by a 'doctor' during the week as she had been ill. Upon further questioning they determine that the 'doctor' in question was actually Finbar. Through the help of Neil Stapleton Grey is able to determine that Joseph Trevelyan is fleeing on the Nampara. Once aboard Grey and Tom find Finbar tending to Trevelyan and Maria. Finbar explains that Francine is not also on board but instead safe in Ireland. His presence on board was due to the conditions of Maria and Trevelyan.

After tending to Maria Finbar sits down with Grey to explain everything from his perspective. He starts with telling about his family's tradition of being soldiers. And that he was once on till he was shot at Lauffled, only surviving by the skill of his medical mentor and miracle. The injuring getting him invalided out of the service. And as they are a soldier family they do not take kindly to traitors. He explains that he had been out when Tim showed up and beaten Francine. It was after the attack that he first met Jack Byrd. Jack telling him about O'Connell being a suspected spy. So worried that Tim would come back for something he'd left Scanlon searched his shop to find the documents Tim had stolen and subsequently hidden there.

Then he gathered his friends and family to handle Tim, knowing the man would return. When Tim returned Scanlon and company gave Tim back what he'd given Francine ten fold. Once he was dead they kept him behind the counter till the streets had died down enough then carried him out leaving him in the river to be found at someone's leisure. When Trevelyan came round the next day with Jack with a letter from Lord Melton and Trevelyan explaining he knew all about the stolen documents and would get them to the proper authorities. Scanlon had believed him and turned the papers over.

To help Grey return to London with the documents Finbar offers to speak with Trevelyan, who has said he is in Finbar's debt. Though it is more a business agreement as Finbar sees it. For his assistance with ridding the couple of the pox, by infecting them with maliara to burn out the syphilis, Trevelyan would ensure Francine was taken safe to Ireland with money enough to care for her and the baby until he could return, a sum for his services, and then when his services were no longer needed his passage back to Ireland.

Eight days later when The Scorpion, a troopship, came close Finbar was able to get Trevelyan to agreed to come alongside so that Grey, the Byrd brothers and the papers could be sent back to London.


Finbar is a man that is able to remain calm and collected in strained situations. He is a man of honor taking up issue with a man who would for example beat and abandon his wife or turn traitor against his country. He is a caring and compassionate man though can be violent when the situation requires it.

Physical AppearanceEdit

Finbar is a middle-aged man with silver threaded through his dark, neatly kept hair. He is burly and well built, with an attractive, clean-shaven face and dark eyes. He has a sprawling web of pink scars across his stomach from an injury he sustained while in the army.[1]


Francine O'ConnellEdit

In the wake of her husband abandoning her Francine O'Connell turned to the shoulder of her landlord Finbar. The two grew close and started to have an affair, which resulted in her pregnancy. Finbar cares deeply for Francine, a sort of tenderness that Francine did not receive in her marriage to Tim. For the abuse that Tim dealt her Finbar and his friends and family beat Tim to death dumping his body int he driver. Following the death of her husband she married Finbar. Not long after their wedding Finbar arranged for Francine and their unborn child to be taken to Ireland with funds to provide for them till he could come to them.


  • Finbar is a variant of Fionnbharr,[2] meaning "fair hair", derived from Irish fionn "white, fair" and barr "head".[3]
  • Scanlon is a reduced Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Scannláin, "descendant of Scannlán", a personal name formed from a diminutive of Scannal (Scannell),[4] a byname meaning "contention".[5]



  1. Lord John and the Private Matter
  2. Behind the Name: Finbar - accessed 09 August 2016
  3. Behind the Name: Fionnbharr - accessed 09 August 2016
  4. Ancestry: Scanlon - accessed 09 August 2016
  5. Ancestry: Scannell - accessed 09 August 2016

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