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View Full Version : If William Pratt (Spike) was from the family of the Marquess of Camden:



MikeB
02-12-13, 05:12 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cecilia_Underwood,_1st_Duchess_of_Inverness and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marquess_Camden

Now, obviously the Cecily Underwood connection is kinda thin. But perhaps in the Buffyverse, the Underwoods got to keep some kind of title, perhaps of Earl or something below that. Although, http://www.bedfordpark.net/genealogy/underwood/ .
The Underwood family have flourished in the North Yorkshire Moors since the Middle Ages, with probate records surviving for a Hugh Undirwood of Whitby in 1390 and a Thomas Underwode, Vicar of Lastingham, in 1461 And Spike first confronts Angel and tries to get him to be ‘like Spike’ while they are in Yorkshire.


Spike’s last name being “Pratt” is said by Joss to be because of William Henry Pratt aka Boris Karloff.

But in-verse, things become much more interesting if Spike is supposed to be a member of the Pratt family in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It completely fits by simply having William Pratt be a member of this family.

William would be a ‘Lord’ but not an actual member of the peerage and not an heir apparent, although he’d still be regarded as being “above” almost everyone in the United Kingdom. ( http://www.edwardianpromenade.com/resources/titles-and-orders-of-precedence/ Even though William himself wouldn’t be a peer, he’d still be considered ‘better’ than almost everyone in the United Kingdom. Search for “Younger sons of Marquesses”.) Cecily being the eldest daughter of the Underwoods perhaps could have actually married into the peerage and therefore rejected William because he was “beneath her”. William mother could have possibly been an actual “Lady” or simply had such “courtesy title” as William would have (but they would not be actual peers).

William’s status as a “bloody awful poet” means he’ll never actually be given title and that all he has going for him is being a member of the Pratt family and whatever wealth comes from whom his father was and whatever wealth Anne Pratt brought. So, Cecily would have rejected him simply because William would never likely be given title above being a ‘Lord’.

William seemed to have a very unloving relationship with his father and a very loving one with his mother. His father possibly was the Marquess of Camden but the title was given to William’s older or “more deserving” brother. This would also fit with Spike’s later needing to be the “Big Bad”, his having massive insecurity issues, etc. For another connection to Buffy, perhaps his father divorced his mother and that is a reason why William felt the need to ‘take care’ of his mother.

William would consider himself an aristocrat – and certainly a “gentleman” – and therefore find anyone who’s not from a noble family – meaning families who have titles – to be beneath him. He’d find those people at that 1880 to be “vulgarians” (which means “new money” who wear really nice clothes and such in order to display their wealth).


Baron Camden created 1764, Pratt family name, still exists, created Earl Camden in 1786 and Marquess Camden in the Peerage of the United Kingdom in 1812 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_baronies_in_the_Peerage_of_Great_Britain This kinda fits with Buffy in “Halloween” (B 2.06) hoping to marry a baron.


This also kinda fits with why Spike never dresses “flashy”, why William was able to be so educated and yet be so timid and such, why William lived in such a nice house, etc.

It’d explain his distaste for snobs and elitists (even though he himself is clearly a snob and an elitist).

___________

Anyway, Drusilla calls herself a “Princess” in “School Hard” (B 2.03) and Spike tells her “that’s what you are”. If the Master were “The King”, then Drusilla literally would be a “Princess”. Spike himself would be a “Duke” or whatever. He always refers to female members of the Summers’ family as “Ladies” as that’s what he actually considers them literally to be (probably because of Buffy’s being the Slayer). William the Bloody’s human family was noble and his vampire family is “noble” as well because they are descended from the Master.


This would be another interesting thing regarding Spike’s rivalry with Count Dracula.


Further interesting support for this is Morgan’s interest in Spike. If she could get Spike to be the Marquess Camden he’d have that title for all time, and, you know, instead of being a ‘whore’, she’d be married to the Marquess of Camden.


Obviously, Joss has never said anything about William Pratt being a member of the peerage or that he was from this Pratt family. But the Buffyverse itself seems to imply that William was from such a family.

KingofCretins
02-12-13, 11:44 AM
There is no actual royalty among vampires. Whenever the Master was described as a "king", it was intellectual shorthand to demonstrated that he's powerful and has a lot of mooks. I can't even remember who called him that, but it sure as hell wasn't the Master himself or any of his immediate retinue that I could remember.

As for attributing nobility to Spike... well, it depends on how you approach interpreting the canon, I suppose. If, like me, you are a big fan of authorial intent, the theory doesn't hold up. Very simple reason -- his last name, that you are treating as a historical Easter egg, originates among the audience and that at some point became an example of Ascended Fanon (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AscendedFanon?from=Main.SureWhyNot), a trope also known as "Sure, Why Not?". It became his last name because Joss, et al, said "Sure, Why Not?" and made it official as a form of fanservice.

If you prefer to not calculate authorial intent at all, then you are just left with what could be reasonably inferred from the story as presented. In this case... I guess it's plausible that Spike began life on the fringe of British aristocracy based on the home he lives in, whether this Pratt guy was a bigshot or not. But in the details, I don't think it holds up very well there, either. Does a nobleman get openly mocked and disrespected at a London cocktail party in the 19th century? Get told he is "beneath" a woman who, even if we use the geneology you present, doesn't give any indication of being any sort of nobility herself? Basically go through his life living with his mother? I'm still a little up in the air about how the hell he even got back into the house to kill and turn his mother, but let's say there's a live-in servant... seems there would be an awkward etiquette wall to get over with finagling an invitation. Would have probably taken Spike to expressly order that he be invited by a wildly confused servant who would not be programmed to thinking of telling one of a noble family when they may come or when they may go.

So, while creative, I think the theory falls apart under close scrutiny of the circumstances in which we see the characters.

MikeB
03-12-13, 06:04 AM
Joss Whedon during BtVS S2 said Angel was sired at 27 and Spike was sired at 25.

During BtVS S5, Joss said that Spike's surname is "Pratt", though he said it was because of of the Boris Karloff connection.


* I had thought every member of a noble family was an English peer. It turns out that only the actual person holding the title is the peer and then possibly the heir apparent.


* It's not as if Spike was an HRH, a member of Queen Victoria's family, etc. If he was a 'Lord' that would mean he'd have 'precedence' over almost everyone in the United Kingdom http://www.edwardianpromenade.com/resources/titles-and-orders-of-precedence/, but he'd still actually be a commoner.


* I know there's no actual royalty among vampires (unless one counts Count Dracula). But if Spike was from such a family in human life, he would probably consider being of the Master's bloodline would count as his being vampire royalty.

Drusilla in "Redefinition" (A 2.10) refers to wanting a 'castle'.

Spike in "Beneath You" (B 7.02) talks about "No manners is the problem. Proper breeding. Lack of etiquette." Spike clearly went to 'boarding school'. Everything seems to fit with William Pratt being a member of 'the Ton'. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ton_%28le_bon_ton%29


* There is enough evidence that William Pratt was probably in the aristocracy.

Those other people at the 1880 party could have also been members of the Ton, but were only members because of their wealth and therefore were considered vulgarians by William.

Speaking of the party, it could be this flashback was in "the Season" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Season_%28society%29 . We see in "Lies My Parents Told Me" (B 7.17) that Spike wanted to take his mother to the theatre or dancing, which would also fit into activities of "the Season".

William wanted to marry Cecily. But Cecily didn't seem to want to be seen 'in public' with him, which would imply that she was planning to marry him. But Cecily did seem attracted to William.


* Cecily Underwood is presented as being one of the most desirable women in London. If she could do better than William, then he literally was 'beneath' her in terms of the 'social ladder'.


* Drusilla's family would be considered middle class. Either her family runs a mine or whatever or they own one. In any case, they lived in a nice house in the East End and they were able to dress nicely.

__________

* Oh, it's clear in "Lies My Parents Told Me" (B 7.17) that technically his mother was living with him. William very much speaks as if that house is his house and that he's simply taking care of his mother.

__________________

* Anyway, it seems almost certain that William Pratt and his mother were members of 'the Ton'. All that's left is what was his 'place' in the Ton and how that affected his wanting to lay waste to London and all of Europe.

It's possible that simply William's being sired means he leaped up the 'social ladder' by becoming immortal. He can now kill everyone because they are now all 'beneath' him.

________________________

BTW, this kinda also relates to Angel's getting Buffy to think he was a nobleman who dated noblewomen.

And I wonder how much Buffy knows of the Victorian era.

KingofCretins
03-12-13, 01:02 PM
It's not as if Spike was an HRH, a member of Queen Victoria's family, etc. If he was a 'Lord' that would mean he'd have 'precedence' over almost everyone in the United Kingdom http://www.edwardianpromenade.com/resources/titles-and-orders-of-precedence/, but he'd still actually be a commoner.

It's one thing to say that, say, "outlying" (non-successive?) members of a noble family might not be treated with obsequious solicitude, but another altogether to allow that they might be openly mocked in their presence, seems to me. Nothing about how William acts or is treated by others jives with the idea that either he or his family were an even marginally big deal in London society.


Drusilla in "Redefinition" (A 2.10) refers to wanting a 'castle'.

And Drusilla in "Reunion" is correctly pointed out to be "loony" :)


Spike in "Beneath You" (B 7.02) talks about "No manners is the problem. Proper breeding. Lack of etiquette." Spike clearly went to 'boarding school'. Everything seems to fit with William Pratt being a member of 'the Ton'. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ton_%28le_bon_ton%29

Because only boarding school kids know about proper breeding and etiquette? I hear non-nobility quip about this things pretty often, even non-nobility that didn't go to boarding school.


* There is enough evidence that William Pratt was probably in the aristocracy.

So far, I haven't seen any evidence on point. It's a massive leap no matter how you approach the facts.

Those other people at the 1880 party could have also been members of the Ton, but were only members because of their wealth and therefore were considered vulgarians by William.

Speaking of the party, it could be this flashback was in "the Season" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Season_%28society%29 . We see in "Lies My Parents Told Me" (B 7.17) that Spike wanted to take his mother to the theatre or dancing, which would also fit into activities of "the Season".


William wanted to marry Cecily. But Cecily didn't seem to want to be seen 'in public' with him, which would imply that she was planning to marry him. But Cecily did seem attracted to William.

Leaving aside that I question the core logic here -- I"ve never heard of any form of aristocratic courtship that makes all public contact unseemly -- it still doesn't explain why Cecily would very harshly insult and reject him. You don't tell someone that they are "nothing to you" and are "beneath you" as prelude to nuptials, my man. An insult so dire that Buffy's intentional or inadvertent reference to it reduced him to tears like 120-130 years later.


* Cecily Underwood is presented as being one of the most desirable women in London. If she could do better than William, then he literally was 'beneath' her in terms of the 'social ladder'.

At most, we can conclude that Cecily was one of the most desirable unattached women at that party. That party is not the whole of London society nor representative.

MikeB
17-12-13, 10:44 AM
KingofCretins


It's one thing to say that, say, "outlying" (non-successive?) members of a noble family might not be treated with obsequious solicitude, but another altogether to allow that they might be openly mocked in their presence, seems to me. Nothing about how William acts or is treated by others jives with the idea that either he or his family were an even marginally big deal in London society. Um, pretty much only members of the actual Royal Family and Dukes would be treated with obsequious deferential behavior by people in ‘the Ton’ who aren’t also HRH and/or Dukes. It’s not as if a wealthy banker or merchant couldn’t possibly make fun of an aristocrat who isn’t even actually in the British peerage. Such wealthy people were also members of ‘the Ton’ and by marriage could themselves become actual members of the peerage or aristocratic families.


* There’s about no reason why Spike would even be mentioning, “No manners is the problem. Proper breeding. Lack of etiquette.” if it wasn’t directly related to his human history. Did you even skim this? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ton_%28le_bon_ton%29

In the Victorian Era, did people whose families weren’t in ‘the Ton’ send their kids to such “public schools”?


My quote: “There is enough evidence that William Pratt was probably in the aristocracy.”

So far, I haven't seen any evidence on point. It's a massive leap no matter how you approach the facts. It’s a leap to conclude he wasn’t a member of the aristocracy. Everything fits with his being an aristocrat.


My quote: “William wanted to marry Cecily. But Cecily didn't seem to want to be seen 'in public' with him, which would imply that she was planning to marry him. But Cecily did seem attracted to William.”

I"ve never heard of any form of aristocratic courtship that makes all public contact unseemly Oops. I don’t know why I wrote it like that. Cecily essentially wanted to shut down any notions from William that she would perhaps marry him.


* William mother considered Cecily Underwood would be a wonderful match for William. Anya referred to Cecily as always having been known as a great beauty.


* I simply consider that actual British history ties nicely with Spike’s being a member of that Pratt family and Cecily being a member of that Underwood family.

William Pratt wouldn’t have referred to those other guest as “vulgarians” if he was actually ‘new money’ as well. So, it’s almost certain William was an aristocrat. Given all the references, it’s almost certain he was a member of ‘the Ton’. All that’s uncertain is did he actually have a connection to the Marquess of Camden.

Wolfie Gilmore
17-12-13, 12:50 PM
I suspect Spike isn't titled, but rather of that Jane Austen-level poshness - the sort of people that get invited to grand houses from time to time, but aren't themselves aristocrats. This is total... well, less fanon, more fanfic. But I always imagined his father was killed in the army doing something unmanly - fell in a latrine pit or something. And Spike both has issues trying to compensate for his father's absence, but also his father's inadequacy. Also suspect large gambling debts on behalf of Pratt senior.

He's a gentleman, certainly, with some kind of independent income (no hint of him having a job), but I don't think he's high status enough to be an aristocrat. Cecily, I imagine, is an honorable - not inheriting a title, but her brother is perhaps. :)

I'm fanwanking this from his social and psychological position in the show mind :)