Tollemache-Tollemache ...

 In July 1999, Tollemache descendant, Robert Maxtone Graham, noticed a short letter in The Times newspaper in which a Miss P.B. stated that her grandfather had once been asked to baptise a baby with the name 'Zeppelin'. She closed her letter with "I am happy to say that his persuasive powers saved the unfortunate infant from the appellation." Robert, knowing of a rather more exotic family naming story, replied a couple of days later, as follows:

"Sir, Your correspondent's [grandfather], as a clergyman, persuaded a couple not to name their baby "Zeppelin" ... but no one dissuaded my kinsman, the Rector of South Witham, Lincolnshire, from naming most of his 14 children in a way which some would have found even more awkward.

After giving his eldest son the family name of Lyonel, he played variations on that theme - Leo, Leone and Lyonulph for some boys; Lyonesse, Lyona, Lyonella and Lyonetta for the last four girls - mostly with a clutch of "historic" middle names.

One son went to live in New Zealand, improbably burdened with 16 forenames. He was my distant cousin, born Lyulph Ydwallo Odin Nestor Egbert Lyonel Toedmag Hugh Erchenwyne Saxon Esa Cromwell Orma Nevill Dysart Plantagenet Tollemache-Tollemache. (1876-1961)."

Robert was well-informed and, put to it, could have added further examples of this family naming pattern. In his extensive collection of family papers is a cutting from 1917 with this sad - but equally bizarre - announcement:

Leone Sextus Denys Oswolf Fraudati Filius Tollemache-Tollemache de Orellana Plantagenet Tollemache-Tollemache.ARMY OFFICER WITH MANY INITIALS

"The death on active service is announced in the casualty lists published today of Captain L. S. D. O. F. F. T.-T. de O. P. Tollemache-Tollemache, Leicester Regiment.

Captain Tollemache-Tollemache, with his eight [in fact there were 14 by two wives (RMG)] brothers and sisters was a victim of one of the most extraordinary nomenclature freaks ever perpetrated. His full name was Leone Sextus Denys Oswolf Fraudati Filius Tollemache-Tollemache de Orellana Plantagenet Tollemache-Tollemache. He was a son of the Reverend Ralph Tollemache, who, for some reason which has never been made apparent, doubled his name, and, to judge by the extraordinary result achieved, went on adding to it.

One of the sons declined to carry the burden, and in 1908, by legal process, stripped himself of a great deal of his inconvenient glory. His name was Leo Quintus Tollemache-Tollemache de Orellana Plantagenet Tollemache-Tollemache. He became comparatively plebeian as Leo de Orellana Tollemache-Tollemache.

Both were fortunate in comparison with another brother, however. This unfortunate gentleman represented in his godparents' gifts at least two ancient mythologies, to say nothing of the Angles, the Saxons, the early English royalty, the modern aristocracy, and, not to miss a point in British history, the Ironsides. Living or dead [He was living at this time and survived to 1961. (RMG)] he was: Lyonel [Lyulph] Ydwallo Odin Nestor Egbert Lyonel Toedmag Hugh Erchen Wyne [Erchenwyne] Saxon Esa Cromwell Orma Nevill Dysart Plantagenet Tollemache-Tollemache.

Two of the sisters of the house ran the brothers very close. The elder of the two was Miss Mabel Ethel Helmingham Huntingtower Beatrice Blazonberrie Evangeline Vise de Lou de Orellana Plantagenet Saxon Toedmag Tollemache-Tollemache; but, after all, she could boast of little more than could her immediate junior, Miss Lyonesse Matilda Dora Ida Agnes Ernestine Curson Paulet Wilbraham Joyce Eugénie Bentley Saxonia Dysart Plantagenet Tollemache-Tollemache."

Ancestor IndexAncestor Index

Saxon Lineage Saxon

Nevill/e AncestryNevill

Cromwells Tollemaches and SmythesCromwell

Manners to TollemacheManners

Tollemache Tollemache

The Gossip Notes of Ada  Sudeley (born Ada Tollemache)Gossip Notes
The Gossip Notes (1913) of Ada, Lady Sudeley - née Tollemache.

Diary of the last days in the life of Leone Sextus Tollemache ...August 2003

The images on this page were supplied by courtesy of Susan Tollemache. She states that the first photograph was taken "at about the time of his engagement or marriage in Susan Tollemache's information, 8/2003April, 1914".

Susan is a direct descendant of the Reverend Ralph Tollemache and has been kind enough to donate further material - together with some explanations concerning this family line - with a photograph of the Reverend Ralph Tollemache himself - grouped with some members of his second family, including the young Leone. Use the gold button adjacent to access this information.

Susan writes: "Among the things I have is a damaged postcard with a faded  photo of the original cross put on my grandfather's grave. The photograph [accompanying images are computer enhanced] has a bone-chilling air to it that the sterile, white stone that replaced it lacks. The black "skeletons of crosses" in the background show the real horror that was 1917 ...

Click on the postcard image for further details and for the poignant diary entries that track the last few weeks in the life of Susan's grandfather.

Writiing iin May 2004, Susan adds:

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