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Edmund Pettifer is one of the villains in the 2017 TV show Taboo.

Pettifer is the head of the African desk of the East India Company. He is the most cruel and vicious of Stuart Strange's henchmen and is often sent to tend to the more brutal and bloody business of the company.

He is portrayed by Richard Dixon.

History

Plotting against Delaney

Pettifer is present in the East India Company board meeting in which the legacy of the recently deceased Horace Delaney is discussed. He and the other board members are surprised when Sir Stuart reveals that they will not, as planned, receive Nootka Sound as it is not inherited to Delaney's daughter but to his son James. At that point, Pettifer, who had been tasked with investigating Delaney, reveals the rumors about Delaney who has returned from a mysterious journey to Africa.

When the company later invites Strange in to discuss Nootka, which they intend to buy from him for a relatively cheap price, Pettifer is the first to welcome him, he then introduces the men in the room, lastly naming Strange as the chairman of the East India Company. Strange, however, does not intend to sell his land to the company and is not at all intimidated by Strange or the others. After Delaney has left the room, Strange sits down, claiming that the son is 'as unstable as the father'. Claiming that he had hoped to settle the matter in a 'modern' way, Strange remarks that it seems that this will not be possible. He then tells Pettifer that Delaney is all his. Pettifer sends a murderer after Delaney but the man is killed by Delaney.

The next day, Pettifer approaches Strange in his office. When Pettifer enters the office, Strange crumples up the letter he is currently writing, throws it at Pettifer's feet and orders him to pick it up. When Pettifer does so, Strange remarks that it seems that has no problem with the principle of obeying Strange, ony with the execution. Pettifer understands what Strange is getting at and tells him that dealing with Delaney takes a little longer than expected. Strange claims that the crumbled letter is Pettifer's dismissal of the East India Company, dated two days hence, and that only Delaney's death will render it obsolete. Speechless, Pettifer leaves the office.

A few hours later, Strange is visited by Pettifer and Wilton, who inform him that Delaney has bought a trading ship at an auction and has founded the "Delaney Nootka Trading Company". However, Strange does not seem to listen, instead wondering about why Delaney did not even look at their offer, how Delaney knew so much about the negotiations and how he obtained enough money to buy a ship. When both Wilton and Pettifer fail to answer, Strange angrily exclaims that he seems to be the only one in the company with a brain, claiming that the Americans must have secured Delaney's services before the East India Company could.

Turn of events

After James Delaney has written his will at his laywer Thoyt's office, Thoyt sends a messenger to inform the East India. A short while later, Pettifer and Wilton, both whom have recently fallen from grace, head for Strange's office. When they knock at Strange's door he tells both men to "fuck off", only allowing them to enter when they tell him that they have information about Delaney. Once both men are inside, Pettifer reveals that the man they sent to kill Delaney failed and was in turn killed by Delaney. Strange claims that he was aware of the fact but reveals that he has news for the men. He tells them about the letter Thoyt's messenger delivered, revealing the will in which Delaney grants all his possessions to America in case of his death. Strange is outraged by this, as not only can't they eliminate Delaney anymore - they even require him alive. After his rant, Strange orders Pettifer to arrange a meeting with a certain Solomon Coop for the next day.

After Strange finds out that a royal commission is investigating the sinking of an illegal slave ship for which Strange was responsible, he sends Pettifer and Wilton to deal with the investigator. After inviting the man, both slander about the investigator but behave friendly when the man arrives at the office.

After things have gotten worse and worse for the company, Strange is even forced to work with Delaney. This forces him to give up to main witnesses he held to use them against Strange. He sends Pettifer to free the witnesses and to deliver them to Delaney's associates. However, on the way Pettifer's carriage is ambushed by Atticus. Pettifer believes this to be part of the deal and frees the two witnesses, as this was what was proposed. However, Atticus reveals that they are aware that the East India Company had murdered the daughter of one of the witnesses to turn her against Delaney. Although Pettifer argues that his master had a deal with Atticus' master, he is shot in the head and killed nonetheless.

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