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Le Foundeur -- Le Comte Gerald Deux-Paddeaux

History reveals the ancient origins of Two Paddocks

Our ever resourceful archivists have turned up sensational evidence of what we had always suspected -- Two Paddocks has a far longer and more distinguished history than previously thought.

More than that, art historians have verified a previously overlooked portrait as not only an ancestor of The Prop, but the work of Vigee Le-Brun herself.

And the tireless researchers at "Who The Feck Do You Think You Are?"(RTE) have verified the sitter as none other than Comte Gerald Deux-Paddeaux (pronounced  Jay-ra Der-Parder). Their genealogists have identified this distinguished Frenchman as The Prop’s bastard Great Grandfather x4.

Further work on the Comte (pron. Cumte) reveals a most interesting military, political and oenological career.

First reports find him in Burgundy in the early 1770s, where from obscure origins (possibly Irish), he quickly acquires considerable holdings in Nuit-St-Georges, Corton, Vosne-Romanee, Gevry-Chambertin and Chambolle-Musigny. How exactly he manages this with no personal fortune is unclear, although some historians have suggested his fondness for bigamy (largely ignored in N E France at that time) could account for his accumulating considerable land and monies via at least seven comely heiresses. At the same time, and possibly by the same route, so to speak, he quickly acquires several titles, and is considered an equal of all but the very grandest at Versailles.

By 1778 he is the most important producer of Burgundy, and has changed the Domaine name to Chateau Beaucoup-de-Paddeaux, but this falls into disuse as Deux-Paddeaux is the family name (and remains, to his chagrin, as a reminder of his humbler paysan origins). Apparently a veteran of several campaigns in The Americas and the Far East (it’s entirely possible he just bought the medals on the Left Bank), by 1883 the Comte is also a General, a rank bestowed by a Louis himself during a riotous evening at Le Louvre.

Unwisely, Louis quickly dispatched the Comte to the Lowlands to deal with a violent insurrection (beer had risen by two sous a litre, which outraged the local Flemish) The campaign was not a success, and Deux-Paddeaux was not called upon again militarily until the end of the decade.

The Comte Deux-Paddeaux falls drunk and incapable at the height of the Battle of Heineken.

The campaign was effectively covered up, and little mention was made on the return of what was left of Deux-Paddeaux's army to Paris. His offer of free burgundy to the revolting Flemish had defused their demands. Several of the French war widows with the worst grievances were incorporated into Deux-Padeaux’s increasingly bigamous households (it is estimated he owned 23 chateaux across France by this time) and thus no more complaints were heard from that quarter. Records show that the Comte was a great benefactor to The Church at this time (he built a number of private residences for various Cardinals in France and the Vatican.) This may explain why he never received censure for his libidinous ways at that time.

Until 1789, Deux-Paddeaux pursued both a successful political career (in the Assembly of Notables he was a leader in the centrist  ‘Royauiste- Republicaines’), and business career. By 1787, all Burgundy wine was subject to a levy exacted by the Comte himself. At a meeting of angry Burgundy producers at the Hospice de Beaunes on 17 Sept 1787, loud and insulting epithets were hurled at the now filthy rich Comte. (Cochon! Voleur! Flaneur!) Undaunted, the Comte famously retorted 'I spit on you sirs!' (Je crache sur vous Messieurs!), which put a stop to that nonsense. Stunned, the paysans soon dispersed and continued with vintage.

Then in 1789 came The French Revolution. The world turned upside down. Was this to be the end for Le Comte, the end of a great career?

Coming soon to the TP blog -- What happened to that Comte?

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