The failure of the sugar-plantation and the premature death of her father left young Caroline in a precarious position; when everything had been sold to pay the debts she was destitute. Then offer of help came from an unexpected source: the Earl of St Benet's, a distant relative in England. Why would the old aristocrat offer to provide a home for Caroline and her two servants? There had been no contact between the two branches of the family since Caroline's grandfather had been exiled to that Caribbean island in disgrace, and there was certainly little similarity between the autocratic life-style of the Earl and the rather informal life of Caroline, who had grown up with the children of the plantation slaves. One cause of failure of the plantation had been her father's charitable ways, especially in his freeing these slaves. Caroline had never known her mother, who had died giving birth to her, and Caroline was brought up by Bessie, her father's black housekeeper. Consequently Caroline had formed a strong bond with Lucy, Bessie's daughter - in fact they were more like sisters, and the robust, tanned Caroline was something of a tomboy and was a fearless horsewoman, so unlike the scion of a noble family. But she had no other option than to accept the offer to go to England and live on the family estate in Norfolk, her friends Lucy and Joseph would be with her but unfortunately her other friend, Midnight her horse, had been sold with the rest of the property. The reason for the Earl's apparent generosity was unknown to her, she surmised that it could be part of a plan to marry her off in some dynastic marriage arrangement, she knew that he had two unmarried sons, perhaps he was concerned with the succession. The heir, Henry, was in his forties and was somewhat of a recluse, never having completely recovered from wounds received as a young officer in the American war - nor from the indifference shown by his father towards him all his life.