Sampson and Son

Having left his well-established family in Belfast, Sampson Moore became a cabinet-maker and importer in Liverpool. In 1806, he and Margaret Robinson were ordered to pay certain sums of money towards the parochial care of a ‘male bastard child’.
This novel tells the story of what might have happened when that child grew up, left the workhouse, and discovered his true identity. It encompasses not only aspects of life in nineteenth-century Liverpool, but also the contemporary attempts to overthrow English rule and establish an independent republic in Ireland. 

Author's Notes

Sampson Moore was Maggie’s great-great-great-grandfather. She loves the image of him in the yellow and blue silk outfit he was required to wear when he was installing some of the mahogany panelling at Buckingham Palace, possibly during the renovations that were overseen by John Nash during the reign of George IV (1820-1830) or the continuing work under Edward Blore during the reign of William IV (1830-1837). She also loves the mysteries that surround both him and his son: Why did Sampson leave Belfast? Why did his younger brother inherit the considerable family estates and businesses? Who was Margaret Robinson? What happened to their son?
However, Maggie’s interest in Sampson was secondary to her interest in his wife with whom she shares her name: Margaret Williams. Why did Margaret leave her home near Llanrwst in North Wales? Did she know about her husband’s previous liaison and his illegitimate son?
Not being an historian, the story that developed from these beginnings – like the others in the series – involved a lot of research as well as a fair amount of imaginative input.
There are also some interesting parallels between the past English rule over Ireland and their current rule over Scotland. On the day when ‘Sampson and Son’ was completed, the Supreme Court ruled that the Scottish parliament cannot legislate to hold a second independence referendum without the UK government’s approval. Could this be an indication that Westminster, having left the EU, finds the possibility of our independence something of a threat? 

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Genre: Fiction > Historical

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