The Old Booksmith


The Greystoke Lineage






(I hope this will convince once and for all those who continue to doubt that His Grace John Clayton, Duke of Greystoke, a/k/a "Tarzan," was and is a real person. . . .)

The lineage herein is as if taken from the pages of Burke's Peerage. The real coat of arms and lineage of "Lord Greystoke" cannot be presented here, of course. But over half of the people and almost all of the places in the lineage are true. The others are not really fictional; they are just disguised. Thus, Sir Oliver Tressilian, the hero of Sabatini's novel The Sea-Hawk, is used as a cover for the very real Cornish knight and Grand Armada hero who was an ancestor of the very real "Lord Greystoke." Greystoke is also descended from the man whom Daniel Defoe called "Captain Bob Singleton" in a three-quarters-true narrative. Be it noted that Sir Nele Loring, K.G., did exist and that he was knighted on the spot during the great naval victory of Edward III's sailors over the French at Sluys. Conan Doyle based his character of Sir Nigel Loring on Sir Nele and undoubtedly knew that Sir Nele was an ancestor of "Lord Greystoke."

Greystoke is descended from the various royal families of Great Britain and Ireland, France, Castile, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, et al. However, this lineage, like the history of the Greystokes in the main text, is analogical.

For the sake of brevity and clarity, the long listings of the families of daughters, younger sons, and remarriages have been removed. Many of the repetitive listings of honors are also excised. The remarks in brackets are my explanatory insertions. There is no title of Duke or Viscount Greystoke, of course. "Greystoke" was used by Edgar Rice Burroughs to conceal the true title. I have continued this usage. The most common abbreviations used in Burke's are retained; a table of definitions precedes the lineage. The blazoning of the coat of arms is described in nontechnical language at the end of this addendum, and some historical notes are added.






Abbreviations & Definitions
(In the order in which they appear)

K.C.S.I.
        Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of India

V.C.
        Victoria Cross

D.F.C.
        Distinguished Flying Cross

G/C.
        Group Captain

R.A.F.
        Royal Air Force

U.S.A.A.F.
        United States Army Air Force

§
        in the line of precedence for the title

K.G.
        Knight of the Order of the Garter

F.R.G.S.
        Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society

F.Z.S.
        Fellow of the Zoological Society

W/Cmdr.
        Wing Commander

Bt.
        Baronet

G.C.B.(M.)
        Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (Military Division)

F/Lt.
        Flight Lieutenant

A/Cdre.
        Air Commodore

K.C.B.
        Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath

Lord-Lieut.
        lord-lieutenant (originally the king's deputy for military affairs in a county)

P.C.
        Privy Counsellor (member of the advisory council to the monarch)

M.V.O.
        member of the Royal Victorian Order

J.P.
        Justice of Peace

(E.)
        England

(G.B.)
        Great Britain

(U.K.)
        United Kingdom






The Duke of Greystoke (John Clayton, K.C.S.I., V.C., D.F.C.), Earl Staveley and Viscount Breconcastle and Viscount Greystoke of Great Britain, and Baron Grebson of Grebson and Baron Sallust of England; privately educ. French Equatorial Africa (Gabon); served World War I as guerrilla (hon. Capt. 2nd Rhodesians, hon. Capt. King's African Rifles); late G/C., R.A.F. World War II, Europe, India, Burma, attached to U.S.A.A.F., Indonesia (wounded); has Croix de Guerre, Officer of Legion of Honour, Distinguished Service Cross (U.S.); b. 22 Nov 1888; s. his cousin as 8th Duke, 1910; m. Jane, dau. of the late Archimedes Q. Porter, D.D., Ph.D., LL.D., and his wife Jane Carter Lee, of Baltimore, Maryland, and by her has had issue,

§ Sir John Paul, K.G., V.C., D.F.C., F.R.G.S., F.Z.S., honorary Lord Staveley, author of many works on African archaeology and zoology, educ. Eton, Cambridge, University of Stockholm, late W/Cmdr., World War II, prisoner in Germany, escaped, has Order of the Elephant of Denmark, b. 20 May 1912; m. 3 Nov 1942, Alice Horatia, dau. of Sir Holmes Rochester, Bt., of Thornfield, and of Alice Gridley, great-grand-dau. of Admiral Viscount Hornblower, the naval hero of the Napoleonic Wars, and has issue,

        § John, b. 24 Nov 1943.

§ Sir John Drummond, G.C.B.(M.), V.C., D.F.C., honorary Lord Breconcastle, His Grace's cousin and adopted son, educ. Grey Priors, Derbyshire, University of Paris, late F/Lt. R.A.F., World War I, late A/Cdre., World War II; b. 24 Nov 1898; m. 26 May 1914 Jeanne, dau. of the late General Armand Jacot, le Prince de Cadrenet, and of the late Suzanne Fogg, of Paris, and by her had issue,

        § John Armand, educ. Eton, late F/Lt. R.A.F., World War II, b. 7 May 1921, m. 1 May 1945, his kinswoman, Hazel, dau. of Edward, 15th Baron Tennington, and of Hazel, dau. of George Strong, of Baltimore, Maryland, and Beatrice Conyngsby of London.






LINEAGE



WESTERFALCNA, b. ca. 578, son of King Aelle of Deira by Osburgh, a Wessex woman, claimed descent from the God Woden through Waegdaeg, of south Denmark, c260 A.D. [See Grimm, Teutonic Mythology, for the divine genealogy of early English kings. The present monarch of England also claims descent from Woden; see the Royal Lineage Section, Burke's Peerage.]

Westerfalcna, who called himself Graegbeardssunu [Old English for "The Son of The Grey-Bearded One," an epithet for Woden] fled after Aelle was slain and Aethelric, king of Bernicia, seized the throne. In what is now the North Riding of Yorkshire, Westerfalcna erected on a peak a wooden fort, Grebson's Hold.

GODWULF OF GREBSON [modern spelling], b. 1010, m. a dau. of Komak Sigurdsson, Irish-Norwegian lord of the neighboring holding eventually known as Sigerside.

His son, GODWULF, m. a dau. of the lord of Greystoke, Cumberland.

GODWULF, Godwulf's grandson, m. ________ of Greystoke, a cousin, and fell at Stamford where the invading Norwegian, King Harald Haardrada, was killed. Godwulf's brother, Westerfalcna, who had m. a sister of his brother's wife, was also present at Stamford. He marched with King Harold of England to Hastings and was slain.

BEOWULF, Westerfalcna's son, was born posthumously with his cousin, Godwulf's son.

The lordship of Grebson then passed into the hands of RAINULPH FITZGILBERT, brother of Richard FitzGilbert, or De Clare, who received 176 lordships after accompanying William the Conqueror into England. Rainulph's wife dying, Rainulph m. Westerfalcna's widow, and, his six children dying in infancy because, it is said, of a curse, adopted Beowulf as his son and heir on the condition he change his name to Rainulph FitzRainulph and swear anew devotion to Christ.

[The Grebsons were suspected of being secret worshipers of the pagan god, Woden, and, indeed, for four centuries thereafter, many Grebsons were burned or hung for witchcraft, though none in the direct line of descent.]

Thus, the Grebsons kept their lands in a time when most of the old English lords were permanently dispossessed.

Lord FitzGilbert d. 1090, and Rainulph, succeeding, swore fealty to King William Rufus, son of the William the Conqueror. He m. Erica, a grand-dau. of Harald Haardrada, while on a trip to Norway.

[This giant Norse king, one of the great warriors and travelers of the Viking age, is said by William of Malmsbury to have been thrown down to a lion while a prisoner in Constantinople but to have strangled it with his bare hands. If this is true, he was a fit precursor of his descendant, Tarzan of the Apes.]

Rainulph, accused of complicity in the death of William Rufus in the New Forest, was arrested in 1100 but d. under mysterious circumstances in prison. Rainulph's son, FitzRainulph, b. 1100, m. Elizabeth Dacre and by her had four daus. and a son. His lordship d. 1128 of the ringworm disease after being ill for some time.

[The "ringworm" was probably an acute form of ergotism, caused by eating meal which was ground from corn infected by a fungus disease. Ergotism was widespread during the medieval period.]

Rainulph's son, WILLIAM, m. a dau. of Humbring, a priest of York, and d. c.1150, leaving an only son,

JOHN, b. c.1145, had a natural son by a Welsh slave, and declared him his son and heir.

Sir John FitzJohn of Grebson was one of the few Englishmen who accompanied Richard I, the Lion-Hearted, on his crusade. John, knighted outside Acre, returned in 1199 with a Saracen bride, Ayesha, dau. of the half-Persian Abdul el Dehshetli, cousin to Saladin and descendant of both Mohammed and Zarathustra.

[The sinister crest of the Grebson coat of arms is "a spear or transfixing a Saracen's head gules." That is, a golden spear stuck through a red-hued Mohammedan's head. A Saracen's head usually commemorates an ancestor who has been on a crusade to the Holy Land. The Grebson crest is colored gules instead of the proper, or natural, color because of Sir John's use of the severed head of a Moslem while escaping from Acre. After cutting off the head, Sir John threw it, knocked another soldier off his horse, and fled with Ayesha through the momentarily opened gates. It's worth noting that Tarzan's ancestor, Mohammed, belonged to the Qoreish, the dominant tribe of Mecca since 440 A.D. These claimed descent from Qosaiy, whose ancestors were, supposedly, Abraham and Ishmael.]

Sir John d. 1220, leaving an only son,

RICHARD "THE BLACK LION," 1st BARON GREBSON, so declared by a writ issued by Henry III in 1222. Richard m. Catherine O'Brien, dau. of The O'Brien of North Thomond, Munster, and returned from Ireland with her and her brother, Finn O'Brien, "The Red Bull of Munster," exiled for having killed his cousin in a quarrel. He lived on the Grebson estate until he m. Rebecca, a dau. of John Griffin, ancestor of the Barons Griffin of Braybroke Castle of Northants.

[Finn O'Brien was of those ancient and illustrious families presently represented by the barons of Inchiquin and the earls of Dunraven and Mountearl. Through the O'Briens and the O'Quinns, Finn could trace his ancestry to Brian Boroimhe, monarch of Ireland and victor of the battle against the Danes at Clontarf (23 Apr 1012), and to Cormac Cas, son of Olliol Olum, monarch of Ireland c200 A.D.]

The 1st Baron at this time changed the arms on his shield because, it is said, of a desire to impress his neighbors with his devotion to Christianity, a brother and sister having been burned for witchcraft. The former arms, one of the most ancient of record in England, "Per pile azure and argent, thereupon drinking horns in triskele gules," were changed to the present arms.

The 1st Baron's wife dying and his eight children dying in infancy, his lordship made a pilgrimage to Rome. While in Italy he also visited Florence, and from there eloped with Alessandra, dau. of Alessandro de Parco, Count of Scarlassi-Longobardo. This illustrious family, now extinct, could trace its ancestry without question to Julius Caesar, who, in turn, claimed descent from the goddess Venus.

By Alessandra the baron had one son,

WILLIAM, 2nd BARON GREBSON.

The 1st Baron and his wife d. 1238, presumably of poison administered by an agent of Alessandra's father.

William, 2nd Baron, m. Margery, dau. of Sir William Nevill of Stainton and grand-dau. of William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke, and by her had one surviving child, a dau., ALICIA.

[William Marshal, b. ?, d. 1219, second son of John le Marechal by Sybille, sister of Patrick, Earl of Salisbury, succeeded to the title by marrying Isabel, dau. of Richard, Earl of Pembroke, called "Strongbow." William was undoubtedly the greatest warrior of his time and probably of the entire Middle Ages. He won every one of the five jousts in which he fought and once unhorsed Richard the Lion-Hearted in a skirmish but spared his life.]

The 2nd Baron d. 1278, succeeded by his adopted son,

JOHN CALDWELL-GREBSON, 3rd BARON, who, a landless knight claiming to be of Scots descent, m. Alicia in 1278 and by her had one son,

JOHN CALDWELL, 4th BARON OF GREBSON.

The 3rd Baron being slain during an encounter with the officers of Edward I in 1280, his son assumed the lordship of Grebson.

[There is little doubt that the 3rd Baron was, in actuality, Richard, son of Henry III, known at one time as Norman of Torn (see Edgar Rice Burroughs, Outlaw of Torn). Richard, according to Burroughs, was the son of Henry III and Eleanor of Provence, though it seems more likely, from his obscurity in the historians' records, that he was a natural son of the king. Kidnapped at the age of three, Richard was raised as "Norman" of (the ruined tower of) Torn in the hills of Derby by De Vac, a Gascon who hated Henry III, and who taught Norman to hate Englishmen. Richard, or Norman, fell in love with Bertrade, dau. of Simon de Montfort, henry's brother-in-law and enemy. Richard fought with Simon against Henry at the Battle of Lewes. The 2nd Baron of Grebson, also present at Lewes, probably knew Richard's true identity when Richard later claimed to be John Caldwell.

[Richard was recognized by Henry III as his son under dramatic and almost fatal circumstances and was reconciled with his father and mother. He m. Bertrade, but she d. in childbirth. After Henry's death, Edward accused Richard of treason, and Richard became an outlaw again. Disguised as Caldwell, he m. Alicia. But when adopting new arms, he was unable to resist an example of "punning arms." A spinning wheel was then known as a torn, and his shield born "Sable, a torn or," i.e., a black field on which is a golden spinning wheel. Edward, hearing of this, sent five knights to arrest him. They caught the outlaw alone, but he killed all of them, though he died of wounds immediately after. A violet lily-shaped mark on his left breast identified him a Henry III's son.]

[John Caldwell, or Richard Plantagenet, or Norman of Torn, was, through Henry III, descended from King John and the following: William the Conqueror; Hrolf the Ganger, the Viking who became lord of Normandy by the Treaty of St. Clair-sur-Epte in 912; Charlemagne; Alfred the Great; Egbert, King of Wessex; Woden, the chief god of the Germanic nations. Thus, the son of John Caldwell was doubly descended from Woden.]

[Tarzan is descended from a number of huge and powerful men. Hrolf the Ganger, or "Walker," was so called because no horse was big enough to carry his gigantic frame.]

John Caldwell-Grebson, 4th Baron, m. 1280 his cousin, only dau. of Sir Robert O'Brien-Griffin, a grand-dau. of Finn O'Brien, the "Red Bull of Munster," and had one surviving child, a son,

ROBERT, 5th BARON OF GREBSON.

The 4th Baron, outlawed in 1296, fled with relatives and retainers into the hills of Derby as his father had. A great bowman, and dressed in Lincoln green, he became known as The Green Baron, or The Green Archer. The story of his long fight against Edward I and Edward II has, according to some, been incorporated into the legend of Robin Hood, along with that of Robert Fitzooth. The 4th Baron was pardoned by Edward II in 1325. The baron d. Aug 1327 in an attempt to rescue his king, who was imprisoned in Berkeley Castle and was murdered there on 21 Sep 1327.

ROBERT, 5th BARON, b. 1298, m. 1322 Katherine Drummond, a dau. of John Drummond, a son of Sir Malcolm Drummond, and she bore him a son,

SIR JOHN MALCOLM, 6th BARON and 1st EARL OF GREBSON.

The 5th Baron's wife disappeared during a visit to her father in 1340, it being presumed that bandits had murdered her and bur. her and her cortege. The 5th Baron d. a year later of a broken abscess in his ear.

The Drummonds, according to unvarying tradition, are of Hungarian origin, Maurice, the first of that family who settled in Scotland, having come from that country in 1066 with Edgar the Atheling and Margaret, his sister, afterwards wife of King Malcolm III of Scotland. Maurice adopted the name Drummond from the Gaelic "druim" and "monadh," that is "back of the mountain." Maurice was the son of George, a younger son of Andreas, King of Hungary. Andreas could trace his ancestry to Arpad, the Magyar king who conquered Hungary (d. 907).

[What Burke's Peerage omits is that Andreas I m. a dau. of Jaroslav, the king of Novgorod and Kiev. Jaroslav was descended from the Swedish Viking Rurik (d. 870), who became king of Novgorod. The Swedish conquerors were called the Rus, or fair-haired, from which the word "Russia" is derived. Jaroslav's other two daus. m. Henry I of France and Harald Haardrade of Norway. Thus, Tarzan is descended through three lines from Rurik. Henry I of France was the ancestor of Edward III of England, whose great-grand-dau., Jane Beaufort, m. James I of Scotland. He was the ancestor of the first Duke of St. Albans (natural son of Charles II and the actress Nell Gwynn), who was the great-great-grandfather of Alicia Rutherford. Alicia m. the 3rd Duke of Greystoke; more details of this genealogy later.]

Sir John Malcolm, 6th Baron and 1st Earl of Grebson, b. 1325, m. Winifrede, a dau. of Thomas, 3rd Lord Furnivall, Lord of Hallamshire, and of Joan, dau. of Sir Thomas de Mounteney, of Swinton and Scoles, and by her had one surviving child, a dau.,

JOANE, 7th BARONESS and 2nd COUNTESS.

Sir John accompanied Edward III's son, The Black Prince, into France and was knighted on the battlefield of Crecy. Sir John sickened of the Black Death in 1348, but, recovering, built a chapel at Grebson and founded a priory outside Macclesfield, where he had recovered. [This later became Dr. Huxtable's Priory School, described by Dr. Watson in "The Adventure of the Priory School."] Sir John was on the famous Burned Candlemas expedition (Jan-Feb 1356) with Edward III and distinguished himself at Poitiers under The Black Prince. Sir John was made 1st Earl of Grebson in 1357. His lordship d. choking on a fish-bone in 1359, and was succeeded by his dau.,

Joane, 7th Baroness and 2nd Countess, b. c.1348, m. Thomas, a brother of William de Greystock, 4th Baron Greystoke, who was adopted as his son by the 6th Baron before his decease. Lord and Lady Grebson had issue, the fourth son, their only survivor, inheriting as

THOMAS RALPH, 8th BARON and 3rd EARL.

Lord and Lady Grebson were murdered by their vassals during the Peasants' Revolt of 1381 and were succeeded by Thomas Ralph, 8th Baron and 3rd Earl, b. 1366, m. Maude, grand-dau. of Sir Nele Loring (d. 1385). His lordship d. of infection from a foot crushed by a horse (bur. Mar 1401), and was succeeded by his 3rd son,

JOHN RALPH, 9th BARON and 4th EARL, b. 1396, m. Anne, dau. of Mycroft Holmes, of the neighboring estate of Sigerside, and of Agatha Bumppo, dau of Sir Nathaniel Bumppo, Kt., of Winestead, Holdernesse, by whom, among others, he had a third son,

JOHN MYCROFT, who m. (banns in 1448), Maude, a dau. of Thomas, a younger brother of Henry Percy, 3rd Earl of Northumberland, and had issue of whom the third son was

JOHN WILLIAM ARTHUR, 10th BARON and 5th EARL.

His lordship d. at the advanced age of 75 while accompanying Edward, Prince of Wales, to the battle of Tewkesbury, where Edward fell, and his lordship was succeeded by his grandson,

John William Arthur, 10th Baron and 5th Earl, b. 1449, m. his kinswoman, Margaret, dau. of Thomas, a younger son of John Talbot, 2nd Earl of Shrewsbury and 7th Baron Furnivall [and so a Nevill], and Martha, a dau. of Thomas Dilke, a gentleman of Maxstoke Castle, Warwickshire, and by her had, among others, an oldest son,

JOHN THOMAS, 11th BARON and 6th EARL OF GREBSON. His lordship, a devoted Lancastrian, was killed outside London, 12 may 1483, by, it is said, men of the Duke of Gloucester [who became Richard III on 6 Jul 1483], and was succeeded by

John Thomas, 11th Baron and 6th Earl, b. 1475, m. Jessica, natural dau. of Edmund de la Pole, 2nd Duke of Suffolk, and of Anne, dau. of Sir John Carter of Ravenspur, and had, with seven daus., a son,

JOHN EDMUND.

His lordship, being accused of treason by Henry VIII, was captured while fleeing to the coast, imprisoned, and deprived of his titles and honours. His lordship was condemned to be beheaded but d. 4 May 1515 of a flux before the sentence could be carried out.

His son, John Edmund, b. c.1501, m. Ellen Washington, a dau. of John Washington of Warton, Lancashire, [John Washington was an ancestor of George Washington, first President of the United States], and had issue, with many daus., of a son,

JOHN, b. 1531, m. 1554 a distant kinswoman, Katherine, a dau. of Morrough O'Brien, 1st Baron Inchiquin, and had issue,

CAPTAIN JOHN DERMOD, b. 1556, sailed with Sir Richard Greville to the New World where the ill-fated Roanoke colony was founded. John returned with a woman of the Delaware tribe who d. en route after giving birth to a son,

JOHN RICHARD, b.1587, m. Jean, a dau. of the brother of Lord Ruthven of Perthshire, and of Devorgulla Drummond, and had a son,

CAPTAIN JOHN CHARLES.

Captain John Dermod Caldwell-Grebson became immensely wealthy through privateering [actually, piracy] and m. four times after the death of his Indian wife but by these had no surviving male issue. The captain petitioned Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, to be rightfully recognized as a co-heir to the Barony of Greystoke through his descendency, this barony having fallen into abeyance through the death of Thomas, 4th Baron Dacre of Gillesland and Baron of Greystoke, and his lordship's sisters became co-heirs. This petition was never acted upon, though resubmitted in 1712 and 1750, but the family shield still bears the arms of the de Greystocks.

Captain John Dermod d. 1634 of a rupture suffered while bearing a coffin at the funeral of a friend, and left his estates to his grandson, Captain John Charles, his son having d.v.p.

Captain John Charles, b. 1607, m. 1629 Elizabeth, dau. of Sir Oliver Tressilian of Penarrow, Cornwall, and of Rosamund Goldolphin of Goldolphin Court, Cornwall, and by her had, with four daus., three sons,

  • i.   John Tressilian, d. a 9 years of a fall from a tree,

  • ii.   Ralph Arthur,

  • iii.   Harold Cecil (of whom more presently).

[This Sir Oliver Tressilian was knighted at the age of twenty-five for sinking two ships of the Great Armada. He was with Hawkins at San Juan de Ulua. He was a tall, grey-eyed, long-nosed man of immense strength and had a reputation as a daring privateer (an Elizabethan euphemism, in this case, for pirate). Captured by the Spaniards, he became a Catholic, only to convert to Islam when enslaved by the Algerians. He rose rapidly as a captain of Asad-ed-Din, Basha of Algiers, becoming known throughout the Mediterranean as Sakr-el-Bahr, the Sea-Hawk. Escaping after five years, Sir Oliver returned to England and m. Rosamund Goldolphin, related to the Earl of Goldolphin. Sir Oliver's second cousin, Edmund Tressilian, was used as a character by Sir Walter Scott in his novel Kenilworth.]

Captain John Charles Caldwell-Grebson was killed 5 Jul 1643 while serving with Sir John, 1st Baron Byron, at Roundaway Down, and was succeeded by his second son,

RALPH ARTHUR, the "Hercules of Yorkshire," b. 1634, m. Ursula d'Arcy, a sister of the 2nd Baron d'Arcy and 1st Earl of Holdernesse, and by her had, with other issue,

JOHN CHARLES CONYERS, 12th BARON GREBSON OF GREBSON.

Ralph Arthur was famous for his strength and is reported to have been able to lift a full-grown bull above his head. Dying of a bee sting, he was succeeded by

John Charles Conyers, 12th Baron, b. 1668, m. Constance, natural dau. of Charles de Baatz, Seigneur d'Artagnan, Field Marshal of France, and of Dolores Maria Salvador, dau. of Don Esteban de Echequivarra y de Miranda, of Cadiz, Spain, by whom he had one surviving child,

ELIZABETH GRACIA, BARONESS GREBSON OF GREBSON.

[It is worth noting that Dolores's family, like so many noble families of Spain, could trace their ancestry back to Rodrigo Diaz (b. 1043), known as El Cid. It is also worth noting that Dolores's brother disappeared in Africa while with a Portuguese expedition. He was a giant of tremendous strength (his sister was also unusually large), which has caused some to speculate that it may have been his skeleton which Tarzan found in the desert in Tarzan the Untamed. If so, the bones were of his collateral ancestor, and, possibly, of the direct ancestor of the dishonest actor, Esteban Miranda, who resembled Tarzan so closely. See Tarzan and the Golden Lion and Tarzan and the Ant Men.]

John Charles Conyers set forth in a petition to James II that His Majesty be pleased to restore to him and the heirs of his body the barony and earldom of Grebson with such precedency as John Thomas, 11th Baron and 6th Earl, his ancestor, had enjoyed.

Whereupon, His Majesty did graciously condescend, by a letter patent, dated 10 April 1685 at Westminster, to restore and confirm to the said John Charles Conyers and the heirs of his body the barony (but not the earldom because of the limitations of the patent), and he had summons to Parliament accordingly. His lordship d. fighting for James II at the battle of the Boyne (1 July 1690), and was succeeded by his only surviving child,

Elizabeth Gracia, Baroness Grebson of Grebson, b. 4 Apr 1688, m. Jul 1730, after being three times a widow, her cousin, Captain John Clayton, Earl Staveley. His lordship was the grandson of the aforementioned Harold Cecil, third son of the aforementioned Captain John Charles Caldwell-Grebson, and the earl became 13th Baron jure uxoris. The aforementioned Harold Cecil m. Chrysogon, only child of the 3rd Earl Staveley of Staveley Hall, Islington.

[The 3rd Earl was descended from George Clayton of Grimsby, ancestor also of Lord Tennyson, the poet, and from John, or Thomas, Horner, steward to the last Abbot of Glastonbury. When Henry VIII dissolved the monastic orders and seized so much church property, the abbot sent deeds to twelve manorial estates to the king to appease him. These were baked into a pie to fool robbers and were delivered by the steward. On the way, Horner opened the pie and appropriated the deed to the estate of Mells. Hence, the nursery rhyme of "Little Jack Horner." See Horner of Mells Park, Burke's Landed Gentry.]

Harold Cecil, on condition that he inherit his father-in-law's wealth and title, adopted his wife's surname, and renounced his own. The will of the 3rd Earl assured that Harold Cecil would not be able after his death to reclaim his own name or to hyphenate it with Clayton.

The only son of this union, John, was stolen at the age of two, his abductors proposing to sell him, a criminal practice quite common at this time. The authorities being close on their trail, the abductors disposed of John to a beggar woman who, in turn, sold him to a gypsy woman. She named him Bob (not "Robert") Singleton, the only name he knew during most of his life. The gypsy woman being hanged when Bob was six, he was raised by various parishes. At twelve, he was taken to Newfoundland as a cabin boy on a ship. [Much of his life is detailed with more or less validity by Daniel Defoe in the biography Life, Adventures, and Piracies of Captain Singleton, published in 1720. The narrative, however, ends in 1711.]

At the age of 18, Singleton, marooned on Madagascar, sailed with 24 other seamen to the coast of Africa near the mouth of the Zambezi River. From there he began a three-year odyssey which ended at Cape Coast Castle in what is now Ghana. This feat, covering a total of more than 5,000 miles through unexplored jungles and deserts and mountains inhabited by lions, leopards, poisonous snakes, and cannibals, and infested with malaria, tsetse flies, and diseases of many and terrible sorts, is unmatched in history. Yet it is ignored by most historians, probably because of the character and reputation of this intrepid explorer. From Singleton's account, he may have discovered Lake Tanganyika, thus preceding Sir Richard Francis Burton by about 150 years.

Captain Singleton m. 1st ________ Walters, sister of William Walters, a Quaker and a fellow sailor on Singleton's later exploits in the Indian Ocean. His first wife dying soon after marriage, and his fortune lost for a second time, Singleton sailed off the coast of western Africa and made a third fortune. He m. Una, dau. of a Swedish merchantman, Captain Ulf Larsson, and of Haiba, a beautiful quadroon who seems to have been the dau. of a half-Waziri woman and a Finno-Lithuanian, Algirdas Otava, and employee of a Swedish slave factory and trading post.

[The Waziri, at this time, were near the coast of the Cameroons, on their way from their homeland in northern Nigeria or southern Mali. Their two-centuries-long migration represented the last great movement of Bantu speakers from the area where this language family originated. Linguistic and somatic evidence indicates that the Waziri had absorbed some Hamitic (Tuareg) words and genes before the migration.]

Returning with his third fortune, his wife, and a son, John, b. 1712, Captain Singleton settled in Islington. Having made extensive investigations on which he spent great sums, he determined that he was the abducted son of Harold Cecil Clayton and his wife, who at the age of 87, was still living. She, having proved his ancestry by a birthmark and the few facts he remembered from his infancy in Islington, proclaimed him her son and, to strengthen the claim, adopted him. He thereupon, by royal petition, got himself and his son, John, acknowledged as in the line of heirship to the barony of Grebson of Grebson and the earldom of Staveley. The titles were not, however, officially confirmed until after the captain's death.

The captain purchased Chamston-Hedding, an estate neighboring to Grebson, and built thereupon Westerfalcon Hall (1731–32), naming it after the founder of the line. This became a family seat, Grebson Hold having been ruined when stormed by Cromwellian forces in 1651.

[Elizabeth Tressilian, widow of the aforementioned Captain John Charles Caldwell-Grebson, having blown up the powder magazine, perishing with all defenders and most of the invaders.]

Captain Clayton (the erstwhile Captain Singleton) killed a neighbor, a Squire Holmes, who had insulted his wife because of her reputed Waziri ancestry, but the captain was acquitted on a plea of self-defense. There was bad blood between the two families for several generations, with deaths from several duels, but marriages were not infrequent between the two families at a later period.

John, the 4th Earl Staveley and 13th Baron Grebson, and his wife, Elizabeth Gracia, had issue, of whom the heir was their second son,

JOHN CECIL, 1st DUKE AND VISCOUNT OF GREYSTOKE.

The 4th Earl d. 1749 of the pox, being survived by his wife, who was declared mad and shut up in a wing of Westerfalcon Hall, constantly attended, until death put an end to her sufferings in 1764.

John Cecil, 1st Duke and Viscount of Greystoke, b. 1730, m. (when he was 16) Hilda, dau. of Major Bolko Rubinroth of Lustadt, Kingdom of Lutha, and Julia, dau. of Dr. Wilhelm von Harben and Augusta, dau. of Baron von Ruderfurd of Cronstadt, and had issue, including:

  • i.   Cecil Arthur, 2nd Duke, and

  • ii.   John William, 3rd Duke.

The 1st Duke was a child prodigy, starting to read Latin at the age of three, Greek at four, and Hebrew at five. At seven, he could play six musical instruments and composed, at eight, a number of musical pieces, including a concerto grosso which puzzled many critics but which Bach was to declare a work of genius which he predicted would not be fully appreciated until the 20th century. (Unfortunately, this work has since been lost.) At fifteen, the precocious 1st Duke went on the Grand Tour and met Hilda Rubinroth, a famous singer, 30 years old, served a year in the Luthan army as a Lieutenant, and then resigned, eloping with Hilda.

Upon returning to England, after a visit to Egypt and the Holy Land, His Grace seemed to lose all desire to further his musical and classical genius. His Grace had access to an immense fortune, his father being one of the few who had profited by the South Sea Bubble of 1720, escaping the general ruin.

Becoming intimate with his Majesty, George II, who shared his interest in opera and was a patron of Handel, His Grace lent His Majesty vast sums. Little of this was repaid, but His Grace could afford it, deriving his fortune from the very profitable trade in slaves and goods in Africa, the West Indies, and the North American colonies. Though he never held public office, he nevertheless had great influence on the king, and this despite a long absence from England during the French-Indian War. Also sharing George II's keen interest in military life and affairs, His Grace purchased a commission and went to the Colonies. There he was wounded in the battle in which General Braddock was killed. He served in Lord Loudon's unsuccessful amphibious expedition against Louisbourg, but was with Lord Amherst in the capture of Louisbourg and the victories of Fort Ticonderoga and Crown Point.

His Grace derived much fame from the publication of his journal, An Odyessey in the American Wilderness (1754), in which he described his capture, torture, and escape from the Cayugas. While being tormented, His Grace lost an eye and, after his successful flight, his right leg from an infection resulting from a dispute with a bear over a rabbit. Returning to England, his lordship saved His Majesty from a Jacobite assassin and was for this and his other services created Duke and Viscount of Greystoke (not to be confused with the extinct Barony of Greystoke, Cumberland). His Grace d. 1765 of a fall from a horse while hunting, and was succeeded by his son,

CECIL ARTHUR, 2nd DUKE, b. 1749 New York, who d. unm. two months after his father, accidentally shooting himself while loading a pistol. He was succeeded by his younger brother,

JOHN WILLIAM, 3rd DUKE, b. 1750 New York, m. Alicia, a dau. of Sir John Rutherford [Bt.], younger brother of Baron Tennington and of Alice Drummond.

[Alice Drummond was the dau. of John Drummond of Stanmore, M.P., and of Charlotte, grand-dau. of the 1st Duke of St. Albans, natural son of Charles II and Nell Gwynn. Charles II was descended in a direct line from Mary (Q. of Scots), from James IV of Scotland, who m. Margaret, dau. of Henry VII of England, from James I of Scotland, who m. Jane Beaufort, Edward III's great-grand-dau., from David I of Scotland, whose sister m. Henry I of England, son of William the Conqueror, and from Malcolm III, who m. Margaret, dau. of Edmund "Ironside," Alfred the Great's great- great-great-grandson. It was Margaret who brought Maurice, the first Drummond, from Hungary in 1066. Malcolm III claimed descent through the kings of Dalriada to Fergus Mor MacErc (c.490) and Cruithne, the eponymous king of the Picts. Through these lines, Alicia Rutherford was also descended from every one of the dynasties of France and from the royal families of Castile and Denmark.]

The duke and his wife were lost at sea off Cherbourg, 26 Jan 1801, leaving two sons,

  • 1.   SIR JESSE, 4th DUKE, and

  • ii.   General Sir William, V.C., K.C.B. [1st Bt.], author of many books and much poetry, b. 1 Jan 1799; educated Eton, went at 18 to South Africa, his father having gambled away everything except the family seats and lands, where, after some misfortunes, including almost dying of thirst while lost in the Kalahari Desert and being chased by twelve natives for five days, during which he slew ten of their party, he found enough gold to make him wealthy for several years.

William m. 1st Wilhelmina, dau. of Jakobus Retief, a Boer, but she d. of a snakebite before he returned to England. On the trip home, William doubled his fortune by gambling, he having his father's love of this sport, though much more moderately. William accused another card player, Major Upwood, of cheating, and in the ensuing duel on shipboard he killed the major with a pistol shot. Being brought to trial in London, William claimed self-defense, all witnesses having disappeared when the ship docked, and he was acquitted. William thereupon wrote a narrative of his South African travels, Gold and a Lost Love in Africa, from which he derived much fame and not inconsiderable royalties. William, however, discovering that his publisher and his agent were in collusion to cheat him, broke both their skulls by knocking them together, he being very large and strong, and in fact, called by one journalist "an Apollo with the strength of a Hercules." The ensuing trial and double suit against him resulted in a great loss of money to him, he being forced to pay the family of the agent, who d. a few months after the assault, despite plain evidence of his having cheated William. At this time, William had his final break with his older brother, the 4th Duke, and they were never reconciled.

Young William, having corresponded with Lord Byron and being fired with enthusiasm for the cause of Hellenic independence, went to Greece with his good friend and schoolmate, Phileas Longferry, son of Lord Longferry of Skiddaw. William was at this time, because of his handsomeness and close resemblance to the poet, called "The Young Byron" or "George's Twin," and a famous French author was to remark on the similarity to Byron of William's son.

William Clayton and Phileas Longferry were on Chios with the Greek forces when the Turkish fleet conquered that island and massacred or sold into slavery almost all the population. Escaping, the two joined Lord Byron at Missolonghi and were present when His Lordship died. William later wrote and published a poem, "The Eagle That Shames," which attracted considerable attention because of its protest against England's refusal to bury Byron in Westminster Abbey. Captured at the siege of Missolonghi, 23 April 1826, William and Phileas were spared in the general massacre but Phileas d. of maltreatment and a fever shortly thereafter. William later escaped, diving from a ship taking him to Turkey and swimming twelve miles to the main coast of Greece.

William m. 2nd Ermione, dau. of General Alexandros Khatamagos, but she d. shortly after childbirth of puerperal fever. Disgusted with Greek factional rivalry, intrigue, and corruption, revolted at the terrible massacres by both sides, and saddened by the deaths of his friend and his wife, William returned to England. Soon after, having arranged for the care of his dau., Aspasia, William went to the American Rockies with the scientific expedition of Prince Peter Rubinroth of Lutha, having been invited along because of his relationship to the prince and his fame resulting from his African and Greek adventures.

William was captured by the Sioux but escaped, thus emulating the exploit of his illustrious ancestor, the 1st Duke. William m. 3rd Marie, dau. of ________ Grandin, a French trapper and of a Crow woman, while living with the Crow. Returning to England after his wife was drowned in a mountain stream, he wrote a best-selling narrative, Blood and Love among the Redskins. Afterward he purchased a commission as a captain of the 1st Hallamshire Rifles but later taught in the Sandhurst cavalry school. During this time, he m. 4th 1832 Lorina, dau. of Lord Dacre by Jane Carfax, dau. of Lord Rufton, and by her had issue,

  • i.   Phileas, b. 1832, and

  • ii.   Roxana, b. 1833.

His wife divorced William in 1835 and m. Sir Heraclitus Fogg [Bt.], an eccentric inventor and owner of a vast estate, Fogg Shaw, in Derbyshire. Sir Heraclitus adopted his two stepchildren, William not objecting.

In 1839, Lt. Col. Clayton was sent to India and then to China, where, as a staff member, he took part in the occupation of Hong Kong and the Opium War. William acquired a considerable fortune at this time, though its source was never known. Sir William was knighted in 1845 and was thereupon sent to South Africa, but not before having m. 5th Maida, dau. of Petronius van Kortrijn, a Dutch merchantman, and, she being stabbed in an altercation with her cook, Sir William m. 6th, Maida's sister, Katrina, who d. of a fever while en route to South Africa.

Sir William, now a colonel, was wounded (1847, dispatches) in the War of the Axe, in the Battle of Boomplaats (Aug 1848, dispatches), and again in 1852 during the Great Kaffir War (V.C.), on each occasion by an assegai. During this time he m. 7th Leona, dau. of Giuseppe Allendi, a rancher. In 1853 he returned to England as a Brig. Gen. and was attached to the staff of Lord Ragland. Thereupon he was sent to the Crimea, his wife dying of pneumonia in England in 1854, at which time Sir William was lying severely wounded in hospital, having been caught in the explosion of the French magazine during the siege of Sevastopol.

[The late Brig. Gen. H.P. Flashman, in his Crimean memoir, Twixt Cossack and Cannon, mentions Sir William. See this title in Flashman, by George Macdonald Fraser.]

In 1855, Sir William m. 8th Natalie, dau. of Prince Alexander Gromsky of Kiev, but, she disappearing shortly thereafter, Sir William had the marriage annulled. In 1857, Sir William went to Mexico City as military advisor to the Mexican Army where he m. 9th Angela Bridget, dau. of General Pedro Alvarez y O'Shaughnessy, but she d. of melancholia a year after giving birth to a dau., Angela.

Resigning in 1859, Sir William returned to England to settle his dau. there and then went up the Amazon with the ill-fated Severac Expedition. Returning in 1864, Sir William wrote a novel based on his South American experiences, Love Is a Jaguar, which was scorned by the critics but went into 22 printings. Announcing his decision to retire, Sir William purchased Sallust's House, Oxfordshire, on the condition that it revert to the 5th Duke, his nephew, or his heirs, on Sir William's death. Sir William was made a baronet of the U.K. in 1866 and m. 10th his housekeeper, Margaret, the 30-year-old dau. of Richard Shaw of Dublin, she bearing him a son, William, a year later. Margaret being drowned in 1869 during a picnic on the Thames, Sir William m. 11th in 1870 his succeeding housekeeper, Martha, 35-year-old dau. of the Rev. Robert Wharram of Reigate, and by her had issue,

  • i.   Phileas Sallust, d. in infancy, and

  • ii.   Martha, d. of burns at age three.

His wife dying in 1874 in the same fire in which his dau. suffered her fatal burns, Sir William, though now 76, m. 12th Jane, 41-year-old widow of Sir Charles Brandon of Brandon Beeches, a neighboring estate [see An Unsocial Socialist], and by her had, to his and his wife's surprise,

Ultima, b. 1877, m. 1898 John T. McGee, an Ohio landowner visiting London.

By this time, Sir William was the object of much gossip and even caricature in the newspapers, being called "Wandering Willie," "Billy Banns," and "Marrying Bill," or, because of the tendency of his wives to die, "The Bluebeard Baronet" or "Gruesome Grebson."

At the age of 80, Sir William began writing his best-selling, sensational memoirs, published in three volumes in 1888 (Paris) under the title Never Say Die. Due to this book, Sir William was denied the title of Marquess of Brandon, which Her Majesty was considering granting him, despite his being a divorced man and once having been named as co-respondent (though not guilty). But, as he was said to have commented, "A title means nothing if no money or love comes with it." [A sentiment echoed by his great-grand-nephew, Tarzan.]

At the age of 90, Sir William published the final version of poems first written in 1818–28, Love of War and Women, a best-seller widely denounced for its erotic content, though, from the viewpoint of a later generation, innocuous enough.

In 1899, Sir William celebrated his 100th birthday. His wife having d. two days earlier, there was considerable speculation, much of it rabelaisian, about whom Sir William would choose for his next wife. Sir William astounded everyone by proposing to, and being accepted by, Genoa Darnley, a 22-year-old widow of unknown antecedents and distressing circumstances, who announced she was marrying for love only. ["Love of what?" was Frank Harris's widely bandied-about comment.] Sir William's dau. and grandchildren by Mrs. Heraclitus Fogg thereupon attempted to have him committed. Sir William, leaving his solicitors to fight for him, took his bride to Greece for the honeymoon. While there, he erected a monument to the memory of Phileas Longferry and also announced that his 13th wife had conceived. This was followed by the famous remark that he should have named his previous child Penultima. The son was named Isaac but d. four years later of diphtheria.

At the age of 103, Sir William d. in the arms of his wife under circumstances which caused much unseemly merriment not unmixed with envy. He was bur. in the family cemetery by the ruins of Grebson's Hold below the inscription of the family motto, Je suys encore vyvant ("I Still Live").

His older brother, Sir Jesse, 4th Duke, m. Arabella, dau. of Charles Howard [3rd V. Breconcastle & 4th Baron Sallust] and of Mary, an actress of repute, dau. of Roger Kemble of Brecon, Wales, and by Arabella had eight children, of whom three survived,

  • 1.   JOHN, 5th DUKE,

  • ii.   WILLIAM CECIL, 6th DUKE, and

  • iii.   Joane, b. 1836, m. 14th Duke of Pomver.

The 4th Duke became Viscount Breconcastle and Baron Sallust in right of his wife. At the time of the marriage, the 4th Duke was recouping the fortunes of his family, his father having experienced great losses of money and property. [The 3rd Duke, as noted, a compulsive gambler, though a strict teetotaller and faithful husband, traveled extensively through Europe to the spas, where he lost most of his fortune and much property at the gaming tables. His son, the 4th Duke, borrowed money with his estates as collateral and built cotton factories, from which he became very wealthy.] His Grace was M.P. for Manchester, Lord-Lieut. of Hallamshire, Chairman of Clayton Manufactories, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors of the Trojan Mineworks and Trading Corp., founder of The Society for the Redemption of African Heathen, vice-president of the Anti-Anarchist Soldiers for Albion Association, and financial advisor and main contributor to the Servants of the Queen Charitable and Educational Society of Manchester and Liverpool. The Duke was created Lord Ranger of Clayton Deer Park, Perthshire, by Her Majesty in 1853. His Grace d. 1858 of a fall from a window in his Kensington mansion [while trying to retrieve a pound note blown by a breeze from his study desk]. Her Majesty attended His Grace's funeral but rejected the petition of His Grace's younger son to permit him to be bur. in Westminster Abbey. The 4th Duke was succeeded by

John, the 5th Duke (author of The Criminal Class: Our Peers; Why New Harmony Failed; Infant Mortality and Its Causes in Manchester; The Fabian Blindness; etc.), educated. Eton, Cambridge; b. 8 Nov 1835, m. 1st Henrietta Jansenius (d. 1863), dau. of Sir John Jansenius [Kt.] (Chairman of the Transcanadian Railway Company, Chairman of Cotman's Bank, President of Appledore Construction and Engineering Company, and Director of Peak Midlands Gas, Light, and Coke Company) and of Ruth, dau. of Absalom Rothschild of that illustrious family, and m. 2nd Athena (d. 1894), dau. of Fitzwilliam Bennet Darcy, of that ancient and honourable landed family, and of Agatha Jansenius, sister of Sir John Jansenius, by whom His Grace had one son,

John, honorary Lord Stavely.

[Both Sir John Jansenius and his wife claimed to be able to trace their ancestry back to King David, c.1000 B.C., and thus were far more ancient in lineage than any of the other human lines ancestral to Tarzan.]

Lord John Staveley, educated Eton and Chatham, b. 13 Jan 1864, m. 21 Feb 1888 Alice Rutherford, his kinswoman, dau. of George Rutherford [13th Baron Tennington] by his wife, Marguerite Grosvenor Blakeney, grand-dau. of Sir Percy Blakeney [Bt.] and the famous actress, Alice Clarke Raffles, cousin to Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, founder of Singapore, and by her had issue,

JOHN, 8th AND PRESENT DUKE.

John Clayton, son of the 5th Duke, Capt. of Pioneers of the Corps of Madras Sappers and Miners, Her Majesty's Indian Army, invalided home after being mauled by a tiger, became a special Investigator-Commissioner for the Colonial Office. With his wife, he proceeded to the coast of West Africa, where they d.v.p. 22 Nov 1889, though thought to have perished over a year before at sea.

The 5th Duke was murdered by an unknown assailant and was succeeded by his younger brother,

SIR WILLIAM CECIL, 6th DUKE, K.G., P.C., M.V.O., Custos Rotulorum and Lord-Lieut. of Hallamshire; Hereditary High Sheriff, Hallamshire; J.P. and M.P., Chester; hon. Col. 5th Btn. Hallamshire Fusiliers; hon. LL.D., Liverpool University; Lord of the Admiralty, 1872; leader of Hallamshire Trade Mission to Canada, 1887; Vice-President of the Board of Trade; Lord Privy Seal; Chief Secretary of State for European Affairs, 1899; b. 2 Oct 1836; m. 21 Feb 1888 Edith Jansenius (d. Jun 1907), widow of Marquess Blackwater and youngest dau. of Sir John Jansenius and Ruth Rothschild, and by her had one son,

WILLIAM CECIL ARTHUR, 7th DUKE.

[Burke's Peerage either ignored, or was not aware of, the existence of an older but illegitimate son, James Clarke Wildman, son of Patricia Clarke Wildman, a grand-dau. of the Scarlet Pimpernel.]

The 6th Duke, while his older brother was still alive, and he was therefore still a commoner, was honoured by Her Majesty with letters patent creating him 1st Marquess of Exminster, 1st Viscount Passmore, and a baronet. His lordship purchased Pemberley House from his cousin, Sir Gawain Darcy [Bt.], who had purchased it from Fitzwilliam Bennet Darcy when that gentleman suffered great financial reverses. [It has been speculated that Pemberley House is the Holdernesse Hall of Doctor Watson's narrative of the Priory School.]

His Grace continued to live at Pemberley House even after inheriting the titles and estates of his brother. His Grace d. 3 Feb 1909 and was succeeded by his only son,

SIR WILLIAM CECIL ARTHUR, 7th DUKE, b. 18 May 1891, educated Eton, Cambridge, d. unm. 1910 in Gabon, the marquessate of Exminister, the viscountcy of Passmore, and the baronetcy becoming extinct according to the limitations of heirs male of the body, and was succeeded by his cousin,

JOHN CLAYTON, 8th AND PRESENT DUKE, who was discovered alive in Gabon, having been raised after the death of his parents by the aborigines.

[Having celebrated in February 2010 his 122nd birthday, His Grace continues to thrive, though quietly and in seclusion.]






CREATION. — Grebson of Grebson, B. (E.), 22 Apr 1222; Grebson of Grebson, E. (E.), 1 May 1357; Sallust, B. (E.), 15 Apr 1685; Breconcastle, V. (G.B.), 16 May 1708; Staveley, E. (G.B.), 9 May 1733; Greystoke, D. & V. (G.B.), 12 May 1756; Restoration, 10 Apr 1685, Act of Parliament.

ARMS. — Quarterly of six: 1ST, GREBSON OF GREBSON, arg. on a saltaire az. drinking horns in triskele gu.; 2ND, DRUMMOND, or three bars wavy gu.; 3RD O'BRIEN, gu., three lions passant guardant in pale, per pale or and arg.; 4TH CALDWELL, sa. a torn or; 5TH, RUTHERFORD, gu. a wild bull's head caboshed, eyes of the first, otherwise of its own kind, between the horns a wildman's head affrontée, eyes of the first; 6TH FITZWILLIAM & GREYSTOCK, barry of six, arg. and az. over all three chaplets of roses gu. CREST — a sleuth-hound arg., collared and leased gu., for DRUMMOND; issuing from a cloud az. an arm embowed brandishing a sword gu., hilt and pommel sa., for GREBSON; a spear or transfixing a Saracen's head gu., for GREBSON.

SUPPORTERS. — Dexter, a wildman wreathed about the middle with oak, in the dexter hand a bow, with a quiver of arrows over his shoulder, all vert, and a lion skin or hanging behind his back; sinister, a female great ape (mangani) guardant, ppr.

MOTTOES. — (over the crest) Je Suys Encore Vyvant; (under the arms) Kreeg-ah!

SEATS. — Westerfalcon Hall, Chamston-Hedding, Yorkshire; Greystoke House, Carlton House Terrace, London; Greystoke Plantation, West Kenya, Africa.

CLUBS. — Stylites; Linguist's.






The Arms Explained & Some Historical Notes


The language of heraldry is highly technical but easily interpreted. "Quarterly of six" means that the shield is divided into six equal parts, each bearing the arms of a particular family.

Arg. is "argent," meaning silver or gray. The basic color of the field is gray. "Saltaire az." is a blue St. Andrew's cross. "Gu." is gules or red. The drinking horns are "in triskele," that is, they form three curved or bent branches radiating from the center, like a three-spoked wheel. As far as is known, this figure is unique in heraldry, being restricted to the Grebson family. The charge, however, is of ancient origin, being originally a symbol of Woden, or Odin, in his aspect of god of warriors killed in battle. The Saxons knew it as the "waelcnotta" and the Old Norse as the "valknutr," both words meaning the knot of the slain. The drinking horns in triskele, or three triangles connected at the apex, are found scratched on rocks in many parts of Scandinavia and some parts of England and Scotland. Historically, the use of this symbol on the shield started with Westerfalcna, son of Aelle [K. of Deira], but it probably originated with Waegdaeg, who claimed to be Woden's son.

The Drummond arms are "or, three bars wavy gules," that is, a golden field on which are three red, wavy horizontal bars. Geometrically, a bar should occupy one-fifth of the field.

O'Brien: Any beast that is "passant guardant" is walking past with its head turned to face the beholder. "In pale" means the lions are arranged one beneath the other. "Per pale" means the lions will be divided in color by a vertical line down the middle of their bodies.

"Sa. a torn or" means the field is sable, or black, and the charge is a golden torn. A torn was, in the late 13th century, a spinning wheel, and the usual illustration is of a spinning wheel of archaic type. This is also an example of "armes parlantes," or "canting arms," or "punning arms" (of which "Shakespeare" is another famous example). Many heraldic charges originated from plays on the owner's name or title.

The term "caboshed," or "cabossed," which we find in the Rutherford arms, applies to the head of a beast facing forward with no part of the neck visible. "Of the first" means that the color is the same as the first color mentioned in the blazoning; colors are not to be repeated by name. "Of its own kind" is an old term meaning colored naturally. "Affrontée" means the human head is facing forward.

Fitzwilliam & Greystock: "Barry" means the field is divided into a stipulated equal number of equal-sized horizontal sections. "Over all" means the charges are placed over other charges or over a varicolored field.

"Dexter" is the right-hand side, of course, and in heraldry the dexter is on the left of the beholder because positions are from the viewpoint of the man behind the shield. The dexter supporter of the Greystoke arms is unusual in being vert, or green, instead of "ppr." (proper) or naturally colored. It was colored so in honor of the son of the Outlaw of Torn, himself an outlaw and called, in folk legend, the "Green Archer" or the "Green Baron." The lion skin was added by the present duke in commemoration of Jad-bal-ja, the Golden Lion.

The left-hand support is "sinister" only in the original sense of the word. The present duke replaced the original supporter (a sagittarius), with the "female great ape guardant, ppr." in honor of his foster mother, Kala. This substitution of personal supporters in the coat of arms is not uncommon. (See, for instance, the 10th Duke of Marlborough, Burke's Peerage.)

The upper motto, "Je Suys Encore Vyvant," is the original war cry of the Grebsons, adopted by Rainulph FitzGilbert, translated from Old English into Anglo-Norman and later put into more modern (though archaically spelled) French. It means "I Am Still Living," and it pre-echoes, as it were, the words of Tarzan in many situations where things looked hopeless.

The lower motto, "Kreeg-ah!" is, as we know, the warning cry of the mangani, and was added by the present duke.

It is not known why the Clayton arms were not added to the Greystoke shield. Perhaps the 4th Earl Staveley thought their addition would crowd the shield and cause an aesthetic imbalance. Or perhaps he intended to do so but never got around to it, and his descendants saw no reason why they should bother with it. It is a fact that no petition to add the Clayton arms is known.






All this is taken from:

Tarzan Alive: A Definitive Biography of Lord Greystoke,
by Philip José Farmer
(NY: Doubleday, 1972)

which is indeed the standard work on this giant among men . . . and a few hours research in a good reference library will verify the existence (and many of the details) of most of the individuals mentioned, titled and otherwise. The bibliography alone — more than seven pages of not-large print — is worth the effort of seeking out this volume!






This book was brought to my attention shortly after its publication by a friend and colleague, an instructor in medieval history, who knew of my fondness for the Tarzan books. I read his copy, immediately bought my own, and sent it off to the author with fingers crossed and a request for his signature on the title page — which he was kind enough to supply. Thanks, Phil!