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Olivia Pearsall

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Olivia was young, but not stupid... While she seemed not to have been damaged by her earlier engagament to a Cornish merchant prince named Trevelyan, the affair had evidently taught her a few things about the workings of the world.


Olivia Pearsall Stubbs is the orphaned cousin of Lord John Grey and Harold Grey, Duke of Pardloe. She was Hal's ward for ten years, and lived in her aunt Benedicta's house in Jermyn Street. She is the wife of Malcolm Stubbs and mother of Cromwell Stubbs.

Personal HistoryEdit

Following the deaths of her parents Olivia was placed into the care of her maternal cousin Harold Grey who is head of the Grey Family. She grew up in her aunt Benedicta Grey's home on Jermyn Street. Following her sixteenth birthday Hal betrothed her to his friend Joseph Trevelyan, a prominent Cornish business man. Before the wedding could take place the engagement was terminated. Though not to wallow long in this sadness Olivia had secretly been courting Malcolm Stubbs and with consent of her cousin John Grey the two married. The two welcomed a son, Cromwell Stubbs, during her aunt's wedding in 1758.

Lord John SeriesEdit

Lord John and the Private MatterEdit

In June 1757, Olivia is occupied with finalizing arrangements for her wedding to Joseph Trevelyan, a wealthy Cornish merchant and friend of her cousin and guardian Harold Grey. Unknown to Olivia her other cousin Lord John Grey takes up a person investigation into Trevelyan after noticing a sore on Trevelyan's privy member. A few days prior to Grey discovering this Olivia met Malcolm Stubbs while riding in the Row. While seeking advice from Harry Quarry about what he should do about Trevelyan, and the two plot out how to determine if Trevelyan is truly poxed and, if necessary, force Trevelyan to end the engagement while also saving Olivia from social embarrassment.

During one of her aunt's Wednesday musicals, this particular event dedicated to German music to honor their Hanoverian guest, Grey tries to slip through unnoticed. However, Olivia spots her cousin and attempts to convince him to sing. Grey's attempts to get out of any involvement fail as Lady Mumford spots him and Olivia murmurs that the Lady Mumford had been hoping he'd arrive and leaves them to join her fiancé.

Olivia later leaves Trevelyan to save her aunt from von Namtzen's overbearing company, and they talk until the Hanoverian spots John and engages him in military-related conversation. While von Namtzen has the room's attention, Olivia and Lady Mumford decamp to the supper tables. Left to make awkward conversation with Trevelyan, Grey mentions that the house has been bustling with wedding preparations. Trevelyan gives a faint wistful look at Olivia from across the room as he speaks of her. Before Trevelyan leaves for the evening, he stops to bid farewell to Olivia without betraying any inner disquiet, and Grey wonders whether a man afflicted with the French disease could discuss his pending wedding and remain so composed.

One morning, Olivia shares breakfast with John as she sorts through the mail. Olivia asks her cousin for his opinion on edging for handkerchiefs, explaining that she was getting a dozen made for Joseph as a wedding gift using her dowry money. She mentions Grey's new valet, pointing out that he is rather "young and unpolished" for the position. Grey assures her that, for what Tom may lack in refinement, he makes up for in the skill necessary to administer a proper shave and his due attention to Grey's wardrobe. Olivia relents, and notes that she wants him to wear his gray velvet suit to the wedding, but he must have the hem repaired.

When Grey teases that she is practicing her care of domestic details, Olivia apologizes for being overbearing. Trevelyan had told her she did not need to trouble over anything, as his butler would handle such things. Olivia, however, does not want to be the sort of wife that has nothing more to do than be an ornament. Grey assures her of her own value, and tells her that any man of worth would discern her true character and value it more highly than her outward appearance. They slip into silence until Olivia asks if he has ever thought of marriage. Grey explains that he hasn't, given that he has no estate or household, and that Hal and Minnie have had plenty of sons to continue the family name. Olivia subsides while she eats her breakfast, but after some time asks John if he has ever been in love. Grey explains that yes, he has, but his lover died. Olivia expresses her sympathy, saddened by this revelation.

After Grey discovers that Trevelyan has a mistress, he asks his mother how brokenhearted Olivia would be if the engagement was ended. Benedicta advises him not to interfere; that men of Trevelyan's age do have affairs and if he keeps a mistress after the marriage, she trusts he will be discreet.

Through further investigation, Grey confronts Trevelyan about his disease and demands that he end his engagement to Olivia. Trevelyan asks for three days to find the best way to do so without causing harm to either Olivia's or his own reputation. His request turns out to be a stalling technique when Grey finds himself poisoned with mercury and put out of commission for at least a day or two. Grey manages to catch up to Trevelyan's ship, the Nampara, and demands answers. He receives them, and the upshot is that Trevelyan escapes with his mistress, whom he has recently married, to India. Trevelyan suggests that word be put about that he had perished at sea, thus sparing Olivia's social status and reputation.

Olivia was not brokenhearted at the news her marriage was being called off. She had secretly, since their first meeting, been courting with Malcolm Stubbs. On August 18, 1757, at a party hosted by Benedicta to celebrate the victory in Bengal, Malcolm seeks Grey's approval to marry Olivia before their regiment is due to be shipped out, and Grey consents.


Lord John and the Brotherhood of the BladeEdit

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On February 27, 1758, Olivia gives birth to her first child in the parish church of Westminster Abbey during her aunt's wedding. Her cousin, John, and John's new stepbrother Percy Wainwright help deliver the child in a stairwell beneath the organ gallery.

PersonalityEdit

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Physical AppearanceEdit

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RelationshipsEdit

Joseph Trevelyan agreed to become betrothed to his good friend Harold Grey's cousin and ward Olivia Pearsall due to the fact that his lover Maria Mayrhofer refused to leave her husband. If he had thought there was a chance Maria would leave Reinhardt he would never have agreed to the marriage. The betrothal was of convince more than love and Trevelyan intended to not end his affair with Maria after marrying Olivia.

When Lord John Grey approached him insisting the betrothal be terminated due to Trevelyan being poxed Trevelyan requested three days to come up with a reasonable reason to call of the wedding that would save both him and Olivia face. The time he asked for was just for time to flee the country with his lover. Following the death of Reinhardt Trevelyan married Maria and took her away by sea to India. He explains to Lord John that word would come back that he had died at sea, this eliminating Olivia of being thought of as jilted by her fiancee and making her free to marry someone else of good standing.

During the final plannings of her wedding to Joseph Trevelyan Olivia met Malcolm Stubbs and the two secretly courted. When Joseph went missing and the wedding was called off Malcolm sought the approval of Lord John Grey, who in the absence of Harold Grey was head of the Grey Family, for them to marry. Wishing for his cousin to be happy and knowing that soon Stubbs, like he, would be shipped out agreed to the union. The two welcomed a son, Cromwell Stubbs, during her aunt's wedding in 1758. Olivia remains unaware that while her husband was in Quebec he had an affair with an Indian woman resulting in an illegitimate son, John Cinnamon.

NameEdit

  • Olivia is a name first used in this spelling by William Shakespeare for a character in his comedy 'Twelfth Night' (1602). Shakespeare may have based it on Oliver or Oliva, or perhaps directly on the Latin word oliva meaning "olive".[2]
    • Oliver is from Olivier, a Norman French form of a Germanic name such as Alfher or an Old Norse name such as Áleifr (Olaf).[3] Alfher is a Germanic name composed of the elements alf "elf" and hari "army, warrior",[4] while Olaf is from the Old Norse name Áleifr meaning "ancestor's descendant", derived from the elements anu "ancestor" and leifr "descendant".[5]
    • Oliva is a Late Latin name meaning "olive".[6]
  • Pearsall is a habitational name from Pearshall in Staffordshire.[7]
  • Stubbs it is possibly a topographical but is usually locational deriving from the village of 'Stubbs' near Pontefract in the West Riding of Yorkshire, and virtually all the early name recordings are found in this area. The origin is from the word stybb and this refers to an area of ground covered by tree stumps, probably following a forest fire. The name later was applied as a nickname to people of short and/or stocky build.[8]

TriviaEdit

  • Had a stubborn but amiable bulldog named Alfred.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Age as of the end of Written in My Own Heart's Blood.
  2. Behind the Name: Olivia - accessed 06 July 2016
  3. Behind the Name: Oliver - accessed 06 July 2016
  4. Behind the Name: Alfher - accessed 06 July 2016
  5. Behind the Name: Olaf - accessed 06 July 2016
  6. Behind the Name: Oliva - accessed 06 July 2016
  7. Ancestry: Pearsall - accessed 06 July 2016
  8. Surname Database: Stubbs - accessed 05 July 2016

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