The Background of Dorian Balfour & the Balfour Family

  • February 2, 2006 at 2:47 am #1604
    Doug Davis

    Name: Dorian Edward Balfour

    Breed: Mortal

    Age / Date of Birth: August 1, 1846 (24)

    Eyes / Hair: Dorian Balfour has piercing brown eyes, and shoulder-length brown hair. He sports a well-trimmed moustache and a short and trimmed goatee, also brown in colour.

    Height / Weight: Dorian is five feet and nine inches tall, and weighs approximately one-hundred and fifty two pounds. He is relatively average in build and size to other males of the period.

    Occupation: While Dorian Balfour is versed in legal and to a lesser extent, financial and political matters, and while he often uses these skills to earn his keep, he also likes to write in his spare time, and hopes to gain some notoriety by crafting a literary work of some type.

    Equipment/Weapons: A Colt Army Model 1860, which belonged to his sister’s husband who fought in the American Civil War on the side of the Federals. This is not carried with him; however. More often than not, this is left in it’s case, a last reminder of his sister, Emma. Dorian’s weapon of choice is the deadly sabre that has been passed down to him from his grandfather, Lucius Balfour, a former Admiral in Her Majesty’s Navy, who had acquired it in his time in service. Dorian also carries with him a small silver flask filled with his favorite Irish whiskey.

    Appearance: Dorian Balfour normally dresses in various suits, most of them being gray or black in color. Suits made of fine materials, these go well with his shoes, which are almost always black in color. At times, Dorian will wear a black hat and have a matching cane, but these appearances are few in number, and only occur when Dorian feels the need to look more impressive for someone.


    The story of the Balfour family truly begins it’s interest with Reginald James Balfour (b. 1550 – d. 1602), a crewman aboard the Golden Hind who returned with Francis Drake from the trip to circumnavigate the globe. Reginald and the other crew became rather wealthy after the voyage (or rather, they were more wealthy than when they began). After the voyage, Reginald left the business of seafaring and settled down in Plymouth, marrying a young woman named Gwendolyn Small (b. 1568 – d. 1615) in the year 1588. The couple had two children, Charles and Mary. In 1590, Reginald purchased his own ship, hired a crew and started the Balfour Trading Company, which was given it’s blessing by the Crown in 1592.

    Reginald’s untimely death in 1602 after being struck by illness (it was later revealed in family documents that Reginald and Gwendolyn’s marriage had slipped after their second child and Reginald began using the services of a prostitute, from which he contracted an illness, which he took to his grave), left control of the Company to Gwendolyn. Charles, who had been born in 1589, was only thirteen, and not yet ready for such a role in life. Gwendolyn left the affairs of the company in the able hands of her deceased husband’s life-long friend Richard Adler. Richard’s son, John, married Mary in 1608, as part of the arrangement made to save the company Reginald cared so much about.

    In 1607, upon Charles’ Eighteenth birthday, he was given full control of Balfour Trading, and let Richard continue to work there until Richard’s death in 1609. Charles married Elizabeth Stanton in 1610, and their first child, James Balfour was born in 1611. Elizabeth bore Charles two more sons, Edward and John, but both passed away a couple of years after being born. This tragedy loomed largely in the hearts of both Charles and Elizabeth (the entire period between 1614 and 1618 was largely a bad one for the Balfour family. Edward died in 1614, Charles’ mother died in 1615, his sister in 1617, and John in 1618).

    Elizabeth passed away in December of 1642, Charles in early January of 1643. Some say the death of his beloved wife was more than he could handle, and his prayers to God were answered as he dreaded spending too much time out of her company. The Company had already been handed to James Balfour and his wife, Emily, who had married in 1633. Already growing ill, Elizabeth had asked Charles to relinquish ownership to John in the Spring of 1640. James Balfour oversaw a period of expansion and enormous profit, as the company also began dabbling in the slave trade, like other companies. Reginald and Charles both desired to go more honest routes, but Emily had convinced James the route to fortune was through slaving. She was right.

    Before Charles’ death in 1642, James & Emily had already had two children, Mary Emily (1639) and John Edward (1641). John Edward was James’ way of honoring his two brothers, and neither his mother nor his father could have been more proud of this. In remembrance of his own father, James & Emily gave birth to Charles Edward Balfour II in July of 1643, only months after Charles’ death. All three children were healthy and James counted his blessings. In fact, Charles II would be the first Balfour born in the 17th Century, that would see the beginning of the 18th century.

    James Balfour proved to be more ruthless in business than either his father or grandfather. In fact, he married Mary Emily off in 1656 to the son of another mercantile company, just to add four new ships to his fleet. History would prove this decision fatal, in 1672 while on a voyage to America, Mary Emily and husband Albert Prescott died when their ship was caught in a powerful Atlantic Storm and sunk. Their four children perished along with them. James’ first born son, John Edward Balfour never married, nor did he ever father any children. John Edward decided to dedicate his life to the Church of England, and he did. Dying penniless, but happy in 1698, John Edward’s only regret was his brother’s lack of dedication and generosity towards the Church.

    Charles Edward Balfour II was James’ only son to follow him into the trading business. Charles II would quickly put a stop to the slave trading, and sold off the slave ships his father had purchased. Charles used his brother as his own advisor, and gave up on these hedonistic activities in order to save the family’s face before the Almighty God. Charles married Ann Hollings in the summer of 1668, and she gave birth to their daughter, Elizabeth Ann in 1670. Elizabeth would eventually marry William Scott Harding in 1690, and relocate to the Colonies in 1693. Charles’ reaction was not one of happiness at this news. The memory of his sister’s death still caused him pain. His son, Phillip, was born in 1675, but a grave price was paid. Ann died shortly after giving birth, Charles never remarried.

    Phillip was the first Balfour to get a formal education. Charles put his son through Cambridge, thus beginning a tradition for future generations of Balfours. During his final year at Cambridge, Phillip met, and fell in love with, a French woman named Josephine LaFluer. They married in 1699, and in 1701, the first Balfour of the 18th Century was born: William Balfour. Four years later, Henry was born. Henry would follow Phillip’s lead and attend Cambridge, whereas William traveled north, and settled down in Scotland, never hearing from him again until his death in 1742, which was a point of sorrow for Phillip and Josephine. Henry, on the other hand, would continue the family business, and eventually he would come to be nicknamed “That Crazed Old Man” (mainly for the sole reason Henry outlived all three of his children).

    Henry Balfour took control of the company in 1740 at the age of 35 and would remain in control of the company for half-a-century. In 1745, Henry married the much younger Anne Bancroft, who bore him two sons, and a daughter. Edward John born in 1745 would be the only offspring of Henry’s to actually pass on the family line. Daughter Emily, born 1748, died in 1755 from an incurable illness of sorts. Son, Charles Edward III (born 1746) died on the battlefields of America (~1778), fighting the rebellious colonists who had dared to defy the crown.

    Edward John Balfour married Jane Walcott in the spring of 1784, and by the autumn of 1785, the couple would have their only child, Lucius John Balfour.

    Henry detested the Trading business, and in 1790, as one of his last coherent acts, he sold the company off to other investors, pocketing a large fortune from the sale. To crippled to do anything else, Henry passed along his earnings to his only grandchild, Lucius Balfour, a thirteen year old boy at the time, totally ignoring his daughter-in-law, who was raising the child alone after the death of Edward in 1795. Henry would be hospitalized until his death in 1798.

    Lucius Balfour decided to traverse a different path than his forefathers, after graduating Cambridge, Lucius married a young woman named Margaret Chatsworth and moved northwards to York, selling off the family home in Plymouth. Lucius purchased an estate on the outskirts of York, and moved his young wife (who was but 17 at the time) there. Lucius entered the Royal Navy in 1811, and by 1812, was setting sail for the Americas to combat the United States. During the war the Americans dubbed the War of 1812, Lucius Balfour rose from a simple Lieutenant to a Captain, commanding his own frigate and in 1814, captured two prizes. Luicus was known for his courage and his loyalty to the Crown, and was rewarded for it.

    Lucius would eventually command the rank of Admiral in the Royal Navy before retiring in 1850, at the old age of 65. He is currently living in the Balfour estate in York. Lucius & Margaret had three children, two of which did not live full lives; Mary (1811-1814), Edward II (1817-1828), and John II (1820). John Balfour, after graduating Cambridge, would command a Law Practice in York. John Balfour is currently a Judge in York.

    John married Elizabeth Hudson in 1840. Elizabeth gave birth to Emma in 1842 and Dorian in 1846. Emma was John’s prized daughter, or rather, so he said. Emma was married off to Paul William Wincott, the son of an American financier. Paul died in a small Pennsylvanian town named Gettysburg in July of 1863, and burdened with his loss Emma died of medicinal overdosing in 1870.

    Dorian, who attended Cambridge like his forefathers before him, was pressured by his own to study Law. So he did. Or rather, he pretended to. While he graduated from Cambridge with a Law degree, his true interests were with writing and studying historical events from the perspectives of people who wrote about it. Literature was a hobby, his father had told him, but Dorian, who dared to inform his father that many men made honest livings with it, was quickly put into place. During his time at Cambridge, Dorian became quite acquainted with the healing powers of alcohol, although he quit at the end of his time in schooling, he also picked up a love for gambling, especially Poker. To this day there are many times when Dorian will offer up various sorts of wagers in order to entertain himself.

    Emma’s death in 1870 was a disheartening moment. Her letters and personal items she had passed to him. These things, he cherishes. Dorian arrived in London in late 1870 in order to begin a life for himself away from his father. His claim was to start a new Law Practice in a larger city, to bring in more money and more clients. His wish is to learn more about Emma’s letters, Emma’s sudden interest in things of a darker nature, and to work on his writing. Emma’s passing also awakened an old beast within Dorian. Since her death, he began to drink in order to help sooth the pains of loss.

    Upon his arrival in London, Dorian purchased a home in the Chelsea on King’s Road. His home is of moderate size for the time. He has a servant who lives with him, a middle-aged man named Edward Thomas, whose family had served the Balfours since the days of Henry Balfour in the late 1700s. Dorian is currently seeking a location to start his law office. ((A Storyline will be worked on and submitted sometime after the game goes Live to describe the House and other workings in some more detail.))

    February 5, 2006 at 6:50 pm #2119
    Jeff Crowley

    What detail! Great stuff, nice extensive history. Let’s see even more of what makes the little greenie tick! ::g::

    February 5, 2006 at 10:18 pm #2120

    Wonderful background! Impressive, too, and very well detailed…I’m looking forward to more!

    February 6, 2006 at 6:02 am #2121

    Exquisitely intricate. Nice job!

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