1650's

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Era Moodboard: Golden age of piracy

1715 - 1725 || In its largest sense, the Golden age of piracy goes from the 1650′s to the 1730′s, but many historians consider that the golden age of piracy occured in the Caribbean over a ten years span. Two of the main pirate harbours were Nassau, later reclaimed by the crown of England and Tortuga, later reclaimed by the crown of France. The Golden age of piracy led to many fantasies about the famous pirate captains and is now source of inspiration for Cinema or TV.

Beaufort Castle

Beaufort Castle is located near Beauly in Inverness-shire in Scotland. There has been a castle on this site since the 12th century. The original castle was built by the Byset family, but ownership moved to the Fraser’s in the late 13th century and it became the traditional seat of the Lords Lovat. The castle was besieged by the English in 1303, and then attacked and burned by Oliver Cromwell’s forces in the 1650’s. Simon Fraser, 12th Lord Lovat inherited the castle in 1699. Simon Fraser believed in the Jacobite cause and found himself exiled to France and then imprisoned for carrying messages to Scotland. He returned to Scotland in 1714 and renounced the Jacobite cause in return for his estates and a full pardon. He planned to construct a new house, but the construction was never started due to the Jacobite Rising of 1745, in which Lovat had continued his allegiance, regardless to telling the English Crown otherwise. Simon was captured and executed after the Battle of Culloden and the title of peerage was attained, but restored in 1857. Beaufort Castle was razed by the Duke of Cumberland. The castle was considered forfeit and run by the Forfeited Estates Commissioners, this commission was appointed by parliament and in charge of disposing of confiscated estates. A small house was built on the site of the demolished castle around 1746 to house the estate manager. In 1774, the house was returned to Lovat’s son, Simon Fraser of Lovat, who commanded the 78th Fraser Highlanders for the British Army. In 1815, the estate was inherited by Thomas Fraser of Strichen who commissioned the house to be extended. It was his son Simon Fraser, 13th Lord Lovat who built the baronial mansion that is seen today, which incorporated part of the 18th century house. The castle was sold in 1994 to meet inheritance taxes. Beaufort Castle boasts 23 rooms, a private Catholic Chapel, and a stone wall of the original Dounie Castle. The property once sat on 189,500 acres with walled gardens and ornamental walks, but the land was divided into 39 lots when the estate was sold. The castle is not open to the public. 

Wizarding Families: The Potters

As one of the most distinguished names in British Wizarding history, it’s hard to believe that the Potter family has been one of the smallest Pureblooded families for almost a century. Scuttling precariously upon the edges of extinction, the family’s numbers have dwindled due to various misfortunes, and until 2002, had only one member to its name - Harry Potter. But the ancient family’s mysterious history has more to its name than our favourite wizarding hero. 

The Potters’ initial foundations lie in Godric’s Hollow, situated in the West Country of England. The details of their arrival are unclear, however the earliest records of the Potter name in Godric’s Hollow date back to 1252, making them one of the oldest existing English wizarding names. Oddly though, succeeding the 1650’s - for a reason that is yet to be disclosed - the family secluded itself from the community. They built a large manor house upon the sheltered fields of Gloucestershire, concealing themselves from the wizarding community, their children often considered ‘reserved’ by their peers. 

Gladys Athwyn, a Hogwarts classmate of Leander Potter in 1762 - a keen diary writer - writes: “Transfiguration essay due Wednesday. Have not yet reclaimed my quill of which I lent to Leander Potter. Struggling to repossess; the Potters are rarely seen anywhere but lessons.“ 

What was the reason behind the Potters strange behaviour? What secrets forced them to resort to concealing themselves from a community in which they were so welcomed? Records on the Potter’s antics for the next 300 years are oddly limited, however we can gather that their numbers diminished rapidly. This was for a mixture of reasons - the abundance of females being born, whose name traditionally changed to their husbands’ in their succeeding marriage; the family also suffered a high mortality rate and fertility issues, which predominantly targeted male members.
By the 1800s their numbers were reduced to just 6, which presumably forced them to resurface amongst the community. The Potters’ youngest son - Claude - kindled with Drishti Shafiq, a member of the Pureblood Shafiq family, who had just emigrated from India.
The couple soon married and produced 4 sons; Winthrop, Lance, Giffard and the youngest, Harshall - who was to be Harry Potter’s great grandfather. 

The Shafiqs sustained such a impenetrable bond with the Potters that they moved into their Manor House in Gloucestershire. They also integrated well within the wizarding community, and were even included in Cantankerus Nott’s Sacred 28 Pureblood Families; however this was not to last, as the name dissipated in the 1940’s. 

As for the Potters, the eldest 3 sons of Claude and Drishti Potter died childless. However their youngest son - Harshall - bore 1 son during his late 40s, who was named Charlus. 

In his later years, Charlus and wife, Dorea Potter, continued the latest family tradition of producing only 1 son - James Potter - in 1960. Whether James Potter and bride Lily Potter (nee Evans) intended to continue the Potter tradition further we may never know, as they were most tragically murdered soon after the birth of their only son, Harry Potter.

The more recent Potter history is general knowledge, as the emergence of their son in the 1990s brought international acclaim. According to reports in the early 2000’s, Harry Potter managed to reclaim various family artefacts, unfortunately however, many were targeted by He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and minions in their search to murder James Potter’s son.
This included a large part of the Potter vault and the destruction of the 400-year-old Potter manor house. 

Despite this however, it must be noted that against all odds - two Wizarding Wars, seclusion and murder, the Potter line prevails today. With Harry and Ginny Potter (nee Weasley) making an obvious break in the Potter tradition - which managed to last for almost 60 years - with 3 children of their own. James Sirius, Albus Severus and Lily Luna Potter are  persistent reminders that despite endless tragedy, contentment can still live on. 

[Pictured Claude and Drishti’s 4 sons in the 1880’s. The youngest son on the far right is Harshall Potter - Harry Potter’s great-grandfather.]