Born in 1108, Toby lived during a period of civil war, chaos, jam-making and anarchy in England caused by Stephen (the idiot grandson of William the Conqueror) seizing the throne from Matilda (King Henry I’s stuck-up daughter). Toby spent his entire mortal life in what is now referred to as the Cotswolds, but was called Codesbyrig when he lived there – it is essentially the same now only with less plague. The 14th child of a local prostitute called Glad Hands Mary, Toby never knew for sure who his father was, but local rumour pointed to a member of the gentry. It was well known that Lord Robert of Turkdean would visit Mary once a week to play Pop Goes the Weasel and he always gave Toby a groat and a wink, when he paid a visit to his mum.
There weren’t a great many employment prospects when you were the son of a prostitute in the 12th century, but Toby managed to get himself apprenticed to the local smithy and learned his trade quickly. Amongst Toby’s many hobbies was playing Run Piggy Run with Maisie the milk-maid on the next door farm. Toby died in 1143 due to complications associated with sleeping with the local squire’s wife. He then fell foul of the much stricter rules regarding entry to Heaven having clocked up a (then) unpardonable sin of swiping a few groats from the collection plate at church. Unlike many souls admitted to Hell back in those days he didn’t mind the conditions one bit, having spent so many days working hard over a forge and anvil. In fact he was so happy in Hell that he was fast-tracked onto a junior management scheme and became one of the first members of the Dishonourable Legion of Diabolic Heating Engineers.
Amongst Toby’s interests are:
- Sexy Potatoes
Bonus fact: blacksmiths are so named because they are a smith who works in the black metal (namely iron) as opposed to the white metals such as tin, silver or gold. Those who work with tin, silver or gold are sometimes referred to as whitesmiths, jewellers or armed robbers.