Major (Army of Albion, honorary) the Admiral (Royal Navy) the Right Honourable Lord Wilson Mandrake, Baron of Brighton, Lord-Lieutenant of Malta, MP, Privy Councillor - Mark J

Major the Right Honourable Lord Wilson Mandrake, Baron of Brighton Player: Mark J
Rank: Baron (Rank 2)
Religion: Church of England

The Right Honourable Lord Wilson Mandrake is somewhat infamous for an incident in his youth at the La Valette College of Magics and Medicine on Malta. No-one is quite clear on the nature of the incident but his name is still ritually insulted at every graduation ceremony. He appears to have left that behind him now and owns a merchant ship of his own, the Phoenix, which plies a profitable trade. It also acts as an occasional hospital ship for the soldiers of Albion for the baron is a skilled physician.

The Baron of Brighton is an honorary Major in the Army of Albion as well as a Professor of Alchemy at Cain's College where he dedicates himself to training more Alchemists for Albion's strength. Upon the creation of the Royal Navy he was appointed a Commodore and, after seeing considerable action in the Mediterranean, he was promoted to the rank of Admiral of the Blue. He is also Lord-Lieutenant of Malta, the King's direct representative on that island.

The Baron has is a Member of Parliament in the House of Commons, and has recently been appointed to the Privy Council.



Extracts from the history “A New Biography of Wilson Mandrake” by Thomas Addley (Oxford University Press), 1872.

For a man so very much in the public eye - Lord-Lieutenant of Malta, Admiral of the short-lived Royal Navy, Privy Councillor, Lord-Director of the Honourable East India Company, and Member of Parliament to name just a few of his public roles - Wilson Mandrake has always been an elusive figure for historians and biographers. Even within his own lifetime his elevation to the rank of Lord-Director of the East India Company must have come as a surprise to many of his peers. Certainly he spent no little effort in concealing his role as a Director of the “John Company” as it was nicknamed from them. That his role in the establishment of both the Drakes, dealing with concealed threats to the security of the Realm from within its own ranks and organisations, and of COIN, to gather intelligence from foreign powers, should thus remain secret till decades after his death seems only to illustrate the essential nature of the man.


The twin issues that have most vexed biographers of the Baron of Brighton however, are the reasons for his expulsion from the La Valette College of Magic and Medicine in his youth and the issuing by King Matthew of Albion of a full pardon in 1647. The former has received considerable attention from what could be generally described as “popular historians”, and less generously as the historiographic equivalent of “Nearer!” journalists, and yet has produced no firm evidence. Respectable historians have simply posited an incident of youthful indiscretion so successfully hushed up that it has faded from history's gaze. Some few have ventured a theory that it was linked in some manner with the mysterious Baroness von Pomerania, who seems to refer to the affair a number of times in the correspondence between them that started shortly after the expulsion.

The matter of the general pardon of 1647 is even more mysterious. No reason for the pardon is provided, instead all crimes committed before the issuing of the document are simply absolved. The nature and number of these crimes is also omitted. Indeed the very existence of the pardon was only revealed a number of years after the death of Lord Mandrake in 1703, mentioned in passing in letters exchanged amongst the then Privy Councillors Lord Walter Devereux and Lady Elizabeth Weaver. It was to be a further thirty years before any historian located the document in question and then commenced 150 years of further mystery.


Now with access to the archives of the East India Company, the Drakes and most surprisingly of all the Vatican it is possible to piece together the true story. It appears that the gentleman of commerce who secured for a time sole monopoly for Albion over the production of the world's gunpowder, the privy councillor who advised the King in private, the founder of the Realm's intelligence services, was in fact a Jesuit agent!

In his own words Wilson Mandrake “was a boy used to doing what he was told”. Advised that he had a talent for medicine he was dispatched as a youth to Malta and the pre-eminent school of medicine at La Valette. Mandrake soon found his affinity with medicine was down to his skill at alchemy and began to study the magical as well as directly medicinal arts. Unfortunately Mandrake was still used to doing as he was told and when approached by the Grand Master of the College for a favour that could not be discretely performed by the tutors of that institution agreed. The man he agreed to help was named Wolfgang Rackham, a Jesuit on the run. In need of a new identity he sought, through mystical means, to procure for himself a new face too. Unfortunately for him, Mandrake was not sufficiently skilled and Wolfgang Rackham was turned into a woman by the powers of alchemy. This accident was soon reported to the Master of the La Valette College and was the reason for Mandrake's expulsion. As the only other person who knew of his new identity, Rackham had the Master killed to cover his tracks, believing that “Mandrake was too spineless to oppose him”.

The stories of Wilson Mandrake and the once-man Wolfgang Rackham diverge for a time. Mandrake entered his career in the East India Company and Army of Albion and began his steady rise towards wealth and began to put his past mistakes behind him.

Wolfgang Rackham remained a zealot, though his self-loathing about his new form and newly-unclean desires are scrupulously chronicled by his confessor-handlers. Certainly the Jesuits were still able to make use of him, arranging for him to replace the youngest daughter of a minor nobleman of Baveria (the licentious daughter dispatched in secret to a convent) and married to the unsuspecting Baron von Pomerania. The Protestant Baron had long been a thorn in the Jesuits' sides in the Germanies and when he died of poisoning a few scant months after the marriage his grieving widow ostensibly converted from her Catholic faith and attempted to take up the reigns of his network and continue to fight those who had murdered him.

It was also now that the “Baroness” von Pomerania resumed contact with Lord Mandrake. Threatening Mandrake with the revelation of his terrible secret from Malta, Rackham began issuing orders. Mandrake complied, fearfully, and soon realised that he had effectively become part of the Order of Arundel, against his will.


The final straw seems to have been von Pomerania's obsession with capturing either Tsung Chang-Mai or her wife Leah Brandage. It was intelligence from Lord Mandrake that had delivered Tsung to the Jesuits at Naples, but she surrendered none of the information they so desperately sought to construct their own gunpowder factory. von Pomerania seems to have been convinced that possession of Leah Brandage would have made the Cathayan more cooperative, and the kidnapping of both would be the ideal.

The betrayal of his friend Tsung proved a step too far for Mandrake and instead he confessed to first her and then the rest of the Privy Council and his King.

bio/wilson_mandrake.txt · Last modified: 2008/03/04 11:06 by ivan