Born in Brighton in 1641 to a rum merchant who tested his wares more than he sold them and an invalid mother who believed in spirits, I was lucky enough to be sent to a boarding school where I learnt to be my own man. After my schooling and my father's death, I took up his faltering business and turned it around within a year. I have been twice married. My first wife took ill during a long trip to the West Indies and died on the ship within sight of England. This was a great sadness in my life, but thankfully we had no children, so I have neither the evidence to remind me of her, nor the distasteful burden of caring for a little creature that is half me, half a ghost, and all guilt and responsibility. I prefer not to talk of my second wife or the offspring that resulted from that union, except to note that they are all mercifully taking their sustenance from the soil that lies above them and no longer from my pocketbook. Bored of the rum trade, I have recently turned my attention to tea, and I have high hopes of making another fortune in that promising business. I currently reside in London with my servants, my drinking habit, and a black cat called Socrates.
The third son of a minor noble, I had the great sorrow of being left out of the family inheritance and the divine pleasure of watching my older brother swiftly lose it, in toto. One of my last doomed ventures saw me head East as my brother's agent aboard an East Indiaman, with hopes of developing an exotic animal export business. Disappearing in the jungle while collecting the moths on which their cargo primarily fed, I missed the doomed ship's departure and avoided being lost, with all other hands and many, many paws, in a typhoon. Upon my return, after an epic overland journey across central Asia, I was dismayed to learn of the ship's loss, secretly delighted at my brother's misfortune and the estate's mortgage, and ecstatic to learn that my detailed analysis of the digestive rhythms of the remus monkey had earned me a place in the Royal Society. Since then I have lived comfortably as an agent overseeing various ventures East. The successful ones, of which Jack's have been the most lucrative, have made their backers extremely wealthy. The ones that have failed have tended to do so spectacularly.
It is said that those who are born on the Emerald Isle are unusually quick and possess a gift for the gab that remains unsurpassed in all of England’s territories. Such is not the case with me, having been born with the body of a plough horse and a tongue that finds the proper response five minutes after it is due. However, I was blessed with an ability that completely bypassed my more gifted kin: I was taught to read and write. Unfortunately, this is not a gift that is appreciated by prospective English employers, and I currently find myself employed as a “privy operations specialist,” repairing the commodes of some of the finest pubs and whorehouses in all of London.