Your Name: Alexandra
Where'd You Find Us: Here already. Yay.
Name : Nicholas Andrew Abercromby Gosling, Duke of Leighton
Nickname : Nick by his brother (he despises this!)
Age : 29
Date of Birth: June 4, 1781
Title : 5th Duke of Leighton (also, Marquess of Inverloch)
[deceased] Andrew Augustus Gosling, 4th Duke of Leighton (b. 1753)
[deceased] Sophia Gosling (b. 1763)
Brother : William Augustus Gosling (b. 1782)
[deceased] Cassandra Gosling, née Chichester (b. 1790)
The 4th Duke of Leighton was delighted when his wife presented him with two healthy, happy boys within a year of one another. Nicholas and William spent a cheerful childhood bounding about the family estate, constructing forts and learning to fence with sticks. The boys’ mother was sadly taken by consumption when Nicholas was six but life continued much as usual for the two children. The young nobles had a very thorough education, first at Eton and then at Oxford, where Nicholas studied all a gentleman should know (while his brother Will studied little) and found the study of the law particularly riveting. Nicholas inherited the dukedom just weeks after graduation when his father was tragically thrown from a horse.
Unaccustomed to the company of women, he found the hunt for a wife a daunting and rather dull game. He was introduced to Lady Cassandra Chichester one balmy April evening at Almack’s. Finding her pretty, and her calmness amid all the Almack’s chaos refreshing, he solicited a dance. Romantically attaching himself to Cassandra saved him (sort of) from the machinations of other matchmakers and so he courted her. By the end of the season he had himself a duchess.
He had grown quite fond of Cassie and was stunned by her death in childbirth less than a year after their marriage. The heir did not survive his first day, compounding Nicholas’s anguish.
Two years on Nicholas is determined to piece together a family. He means to start by finding a second wife and so has ordered the cobwebs to be vanquished from the Darling house in Town in preparation for his arrival. William accompanies him to London for lack of much else to do. Nicholas has a great deal of admiration for his Corinthian of younger brother, though their list of commonalities includes but a love of fencing and Will’s morals are perhaps not yet quite as well formed as one might like.
Nicholas is generally acknowledged to be an exceedingly handsome gentleman, though in most other regards he is unremarkable. He is of medium and height and of a muscular build. His dark hair is cut short in a no-nonsense style and equally dark eyes are guarded by unintentionally expressive brows.
He has a slightly downturned mouth that gives him a perpetually unimpressed countenance when he does not guard against this. Upon accidentally catching sight of himself in a looking glass, Nick is frequently struck by how very disagreeable he looks and plasters on a smile.
Nicholas is a taciturn individual by nature. The many deaths in the family have markedly enhanced this aspect of his personality. He feels strongly but expresses little, finding that making himself truly understood on the issues that matter is far too difficult and that he would rather be detached than misunderstood any day. He has no patience for small talk and is in all probability a terrible dance partner but, ironically, his title and fortune ensure he is never short of willing victims. Nicholas is not unaware of how intimidating some people find him.
What the Duke desperately wants is to establish a family for himself. He dreams of bringing the silent old manor of his childhood to life once more. Currently he has dogs...but it’s not quite the same thing. Nicholas would like the mother of his children to be refined, from a respectable lineage and capable of bearing him an heir, a spare and then some. Interesting is a must. Tolerably pretty would be nice. Loud or impertinent are deal-breakers, he feels.
Despite not being forthcoming with his intimate thoughts and wishes, Nicholas is not unsociable. He infinitely prefers the company of gentlemen to that of ladies, but mostly because he struggles to find common ground with the latter. Hats, lace and debutante gowns? No thank you. Hunting, politics and business? Yes please. He would happily divide his days only between his library, the Club, fencing at Angelo's and Parliament if he could. Keeping busy is of vast importance to him.
He possesses some talent at sporting endeavours and is a very gifted debater. On the other hand, he is decidedly unmusical and would rather run through Berkeley Square in his undergarments than open his mouth to sing.
Those who know him would single out his two biggest character flaws as impatience and possessiveness. When he has decided to do something, he likes to do it immediately - however impractical or ill advised that may be. He is also highly overprotective of things that he considers ‘his’ and would be the jealous sort. His saving graces are his passionate nature, his high regard for family bonds and his perceptiveness.