December 16th, 2006

  • lisabel

Effects of Foot Torture; Chancery Court: Wards in Chancery

Two unrelated questions for the same story; I thought it better to post both at once rather than spam the community unnecessarily.

I have a character who was a spy in his youth, got caught, interrogated, and tortured. But now, I've got a few questions on the torture that he underwent during said interrogation. Any and all help will be greatly appreciated.

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The second question relates to the Court of Chancery (England) in the year 1811. I have come across the term 'ward in chancery' often enough in literature and have attempted to find out more about it; as far as I can tell, it refers to a person who is comparable to a 'ward of the state' and who is put under the guardianship of a private individual. If my understanding is correct, would the following situation be plausible?

Three orphaned children go out from England to live with their uncle, who is an army officer stationed in Gibraltar. By the time they arrive in Gibraltar, their uncle has died of malaria and they do not have another relative in the world to their knowledge, nor any friends or connections to whom they might apply. On the way out from England, they shared a ship with a benevolent woman who is quite wealthy and, having been an orphan herself, feels for the children in question. Could she and her husband be made these kids' legal guardians in the chancery court? How would they go about petitioning for such rights? They do not want to adopt the children outright, but they do want to ensure that they will at least be taken care of.

Thanks in advance!
  • Current Mood

toad rooms? WTF?

This is perhaps not the best forum for this question and it may not show up in my writing, either, but I have to ask:

I was looking at a book of plans for a British university teaching hospital built around 1972 and spotted, in the basement near the morgue and pathology a small room labeled "toad room". What the blazes is this?!

I have worked in teaching hospitals and most often think I know a thing or two about hospital architecture (indeed I co-authored a scientific publication on designing radiology departments) but this is something which I have never seen before and I asked other medical ppl I know and everyone is clueless (albeit very intrigued) about these toad rooms!


Seeking English/Welsh castle advice from seasoned travellers!

I am writing a novel set in an alternate past that is nominally set in Saxon England (with a little Norman thrown in). Fortunately, I will be going to Wales this Spring (Swansea to be exact). I am hoping while I am in the UK to visit Medieval structures that could be models for those in my novel. I have been looking at travel guides, but they are not helpful for the specific sort of information I am seeking. I don't want to waste precious time traveling to empty ruins blocked off by gates! Can anyone who lives in the UK, or has visited suggest:

1) Castles that have well-preserved Medieval interiors that one can walk through. (courtyards, stairs, halls, towers, and -in a dream world-furniture!)
2) A lighthouse or tower that one can go in and climb up. The plot centers around a tower, so I am desperate for this one!
3) Places (castles or beaches) with caves or underground passages (again- for plot)
4) Monastic buildings that give some feel of the interior.
5) Roman structures (Not just tumbled stones)
5) Anything Saxon!

Thank you so much!

Chicago's parks?

I'm writing a fanfiction (Dresden Files/Dogma crossover, in case you're interested, but the fandom doesn't really matter for this question) in which a character runs away and gets lost in a park. The story is set in Chicago. Questions are as follows:

1) My research seems to indicate that Lincoln Park is Chicago's biggest park. Is this true?

2) For Chicago natives; is Lincoln Park big enough to get lost in? The character in question is a ten-year-old girl.

3) If it is big enough to get lost in, is it big enough to hide a small battle? Noise is not a problem, and the number of participants shouldn't need to go above a hundred or so. I'm looking for line-of-sight issues more than I'm worried about noise; magic is a given in the fandom in question, and thus noise can be deus-ex-machina'd away. If line-of-sight issues would be a problem, what would police response times be like in the area around Lincoln Park? I've looked all over for information, and all I can find is an article about response times being substantially higher on the South Side in minority neighborhoods. The battle will be relatively brief, at night, and due to outside forces there won't be any evidence left. I guess overall what I'm asking is if about a hundred people could have a huge fight around midnight for say, ten minutes, and then escape before the police arrive in Lincoln Park.

4) Last question, I swear... I've looked all over the Chicago Park District website and can't find anything regarding park hours or fences or such. Is the park easily accessible after dark? Would people be in it at midnight? I'm thinking no, because city parks at midnight are a Bad Idea, but in general...

Thank you very much in advance!