Hugh Charlesworthy

The Man

Hubert Charlesworthy was abandoned on New Year’s Eve 1899 on the doorstep of Sir Edwin Smith with a note bearing his name. Sir Edwin, having no children of his own in his declining years, immediately took in the young Hugh and raised him in the tradition of an Englishman. At the age of 16, Hugh joined the British Army and fought in the First World War earning a number of medals and serving with distinction in some of the bloodiest battles. Having survived the war Hugh was a young man of 18 but had already witnessed a lifetime of carnage. Hugh came home a new man galvanised on the field of battle and was compelled to vow to do everything he could to uphold the British way of life. On his return home he found his stepfather, Sir Edwin, had fallen ill. Hugh spent the next three years caring for his stepfather until he finally died in 1921. That same year, Hugh founded the Charlesworthy Foundation for Advanced Scientific Development and not much was heard of him, although he did find time to have a son by an unknown woman, until 1948 when Sir Hugh was summoned to work for Department T of British Military Intelligence.

The Legend

The whole truth of Hugh Charlesworthy’s life is known to a select few retired British Army Intelligence Corps Staff (and its current Director, Brigadier Courtney-Smithe), a few sir scientists at the Charlesworthy Foundation and the venerable Mr Stephens. Others, including his descendants, only know parts of the story, and regard them as rumours, and family bedtime stories. This is due to the unilateral suspension of all time travel experiments in the British Isles, British overseas territory and Commonwealth imposed at the end of Extended WWII.

Hugh Charlesworthy’s life was one of privilege, but that privilege came at a cost. When war broke out, Hugh was expected to join the army at the first available opportunity, and became a boy soldier at 16. Towards the end of the war, Hugh and the four men he was leading shot dead a German man attempting to cross over into the British Lines. Upon inspection, the man was found to be carrying documents from the Wilhelm Institute in Berlin, including one document that purported to be the designs for a time machine. Knowing that the British command, which was slow to accept such mind boggling technological concepts as the tank and the aeroplane, he decided he would look after them, for the sake of the nation. On returning home, he found his stepfather had fallen into infirmity and the plans stayed hidden until he passed away in 1921. That same year, Hugh used the family money to set up the Charlesworthy Foundation. Attracting the most brilliant minds of the day he set about deciphering the German plans. Sure enough along with various other devices, the first Charlesworthy Engine was eventually created.

Hugh used his time machine somewhat recklessly in the beginning, but an early time travel experiment ended badly leading to Sir Hugh becoming slightly out of phase with the rest of the universe. This has a number of very useful side effects. Firstly, Hugh has acute awareness of the affects of his actions of the time line. He has an awareness of when someone is making time do something unnatural or plain damn foolish, waking up in cold sweats or getting a strong headache in these instances. Sir Hugh also has a subconscious awareness of events a few instances before they happen, allowing him to deftly parry blows in combat, identify booby traps before they go off and always know when it is about to start raining. This is not true precognition, but an almost instinctive behaviour. Sir Hugh's unique physiology and absolute faith in himself, makes him one of the few people able to safely interact with himself from other time periods. (See Rules of Time). Indeed, until this timeline was erased, Hugh had to travel back to the storming of the Reichstag daily in order to assist thousands of other Hugh Charlesworthy’s in the storming of that monument. The accident also allows Hugh to utilise his short trip time belt. (See Equipment, below).

Hugh embarked on a number of remarkable trips during the early years, one of the most notable being the one that saw him return with a baby son George Charlesworthy. Although very few people know the story, the apparent truth of the matter is that the mother of George Charlesworthy was none other than Queen Elizabeth I, and that Hugh and Elizabeth were married in a secret ceremony. Rather amusingly, this makes Sir James Charlesworthy the rightful King of England, not that anyone has told him that.

In 1948 Hugh disappeared from the Charlesworthy Foundation, leaving it in the care of Mr Stephens until such time as his son, George, was able to administer it. Hugh has been seconded to Department T of British Military Intelligence to help clear up the mess created by his good friend Albert Einstein. (See Extended WWII). At the end of the conflict the government of the day ordered that no more time travel was to be allowed anywhere within British territory. And that all the equipment and records held by Department T was to be destroyed. However, when SIS agents arrived to shut down Department T, they found only Albert Einstein sitting next to a packed suitcase, amidst a ransacked laboratory and a disabled time gateway. The whereabouts of Hugh and the rest of the Operation H team are currently unknown.

He pops up from time to time, a file of appearances are on record. Apparently, there is a small office within MI6 were all reports of a strange bowler-hatted man end up. Opinion is, however, divided in the establishment over what would be done with Hugh if they ever caught up with him. There are those who view him as a reckless danger meddling with the natural order of things without any accountability, while others view him as a great protector, who ought to be given a chest full of medals for his continued efforts on behalf of the country.

Either way, he still manages to pay his bar tabs.


Those who meet Hugh in passing see nothing more than an English gentleman in his mid 40's. He has that kind of timeless easy English geniality; pleasant, somewhat talkative. He puts people at ease very quickly. He is extremely intelligent, and exerts a certain sagacity. Those who know him a little better know that a great deal of his apparent wisdom is down to simply knowing what happens next. He almost always seems to be on top of the situation, although he is not infallible, in so much as it is possible to surprise him, he is almost totally unflappable. Hugh is aware of almost all aspects of the occult and the true nature of things in the universe. He tends to be somewhat dismissive of what he describes as 'wizards and their trinkets', acknowledging that, yes, the arcane has its uses but that it is folly to come to rely on something you do not truly understand. Hugh's stance on religion is that it's something best left to the priests, although he has certainly conversed with loyalist angels due to his understanding of what areas of time he may not visit. Should Hugh come across another member of the Forces of Light his reaction is liable to be one of polite reverence coupled with suspicion. Hugh is aware of essentially every secret society past and present and has both friends and enemies in both. His stance of maintaining the status quo is something that many of these societies find useful, at one time or another. When it comes to the occult aware monster hunting groups of the present day Hugh is more ambivalent. If the forces of now are capable of dealing with a problem in a satisfactory way, he tends to let them. This attitude can make Hugh seem rather cold, such as when he allowed the destruction of The Agency in late 2009, but this is because Hugh is playing the long, long game. One thing almost guaranteed however, to attract the attention of that great silver Rolls is anyone getting hold of their own time machine. The last thing Hugh Charlesworthy wants is more people buggering around with the timeline, even if they have the best of intentions. This has earned him the ire of organisations such as the Hiroshima Aruki Chrono Soldiers whom he views as impudent children who know not what it is they do and they in turn view him as a self appointed time policeman that no one asked to be involved.

Hugh, when dealing with things personally, prefers to get his way through his own wit, charm and intelligence. When violence must be resorted to it is always with his trusty old service revolver. This, coupled with his dogmatic adherence to a notion of gentlemanly fair play, can lead to some apparent weakness on his part when it comes to enterprise of martial kind. Perhaps Hugh's single biggest flaw however is his capacity for tomfoolery while drunk. Hugh has a large tolerance for gin however, when this is surpassed, well, interesting things can happen.

Hugh's favourite food is Aniseed Balls.

Hugh's Equipment

Hugh carries the following items of equipment with him at all times.

Hugh’s car is an exceptionally modified original Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost. Underneath the antique chassis it has extremely high tech components. It has the speed handling and maneuverability of a modern sports car. It’s heavily armoured, not to protect its passengers (it is open topped) but to protect the Charlesworthy Engine from damage. Running on a form of fusion Hugh’s car has no need for petroleum and is rather eerily quiet.

Hugh wears at all times an original bowler hat from Lock & Co of St James's, London. Concealed in this headgear is the Mark 1 Graviton Personal Defence System. This small device combines a powerful particle projector with state of the art sensor equipment to literally push incoming projectiles out of the way. It has, over the years, rendered many an MP40 sadly impotent.

Hugh carries an umbrella at all times, made by James Smith & Sons of London. It conceals a sword. More remarkable however the handle conceals the Charlesworthy Kinetic Entropy Manipulation Device. Operating through some unknown means, whenever the handle of the umbrella is knocked against something that object will tend to react in the most favourable way possible to that person. I.e. knocking on lift doors causes them to open, knocking on the side of a one armed bandit causes it to ring up jackpot, knocking on the bonnet of a broken down car will cause it to spring into life.

Hugh's belt buckle conceals a miniature short hop time machine which allows him to take himself backwards or forwards in time a moment or two, in case of peril. This technology is only useable due to Hugh's altered physiology.

Hugh hates to use guns, preferring to solve his problems with his wit and intellect. None the less, as a backup he carries his army issue Mk VI Webley service revolver. It is unremarkable.