Born the youngest of Silas and Mae Stoneroot's six children, Vespasia Nettleford is the very definition of a self made woman. Her father, a farmer of meager means on the outskirts of Combe, was a skirt chaser who abhorred the very women he chased. In his mind, women were inferior to men in every respect that mattered. Daughters in particular were nothing more than a drain on their father's resources. Not only could they not perform the same physical tasks as their brothers of the same age, the father would have to pay their future husband a dowry just to be rid of them.
For him, Vespasia's birth was not a cause for joy. It was an affront and even more a pretext to completely disregard his marriage vows. Evenings out at 'The Comb and Wattle" soon became days long benders. Her mother was beside herself but rather than take out her anger on the source of her misery, her philandering husband, she turned on her daughter instead and resolved to be rid of her.
On a bright, sunny day while her boys were busy working out in the fields and her spouse in the arms of another, Mae put her plan into action. With the eight year old Vespasia in tow, she hitched up the family's wagon to their old horse and set out for the town of Bree. The two of them checked into the Prancing Pony just as dinner was being served but rather than sup in the common room, Mae ushered her daughter upstairs to the room they had just rented on the second floor. She told the little girl to wait there while she purchased their food and had it sent up to them but Mae never returned. Vespasia had been abandoned.
The Butterburs, who owned the Prancing Pony, took pity on the girl and allowed her to work for them in exchange for room and board. Although Vespasia performed a wide variety of tasks for them, her true talent was in mending clothes and salvaging the impossible. Betsy Butterbur, the family matriarch, raved about her skill to her friends who in turn told their friends. Soon, people were coming to the Prancing Pony not just for a pint but for a bit of tailoring as well. The little girl developed such a reputation that she attracted the attention of Jaymes Nettleford, the son of a tailor in town, who thought she'd be the perfect edition to the family's business. His father was reluctant at first. She was much younger than most of his apprentices but he could not deny the quality of her work. He decided to take a chance and contracted her for a period of eight years. It was the best decision he ever made.
Vespasia was the model employee--meticulous, hard-working, and quick to learn. Clients lauded the quality of her stitching and construction. Nettleford Sr. saw his profits soar so much that when the period of her contract was up, he asked her to stay on. He knew it would be a hard sell. Vespasia had limitless ambition and would not be chained to their little shop forever but surprisingly, when the question was broached, she agreed. For all the aspirations she had, Vespasia had grown attached to the Nettlefords, his son in particular. She thought of them as her family and in due time, it was made official when Jaymes married her.
The union was a happy one, lasting thirty four years before Jaymes' passing just four years ago. Her drive for success has since increased tenfold. She now aspires not only to own the premier shop in Bree but expand into other communities.
Notoriety, her job, teasing a certain innkeeper that runs the Prancing Pony
Whiners, Defeatist attitudes
To become preeminent in her profession
"Kill them with success and bury them with a smile."