You Can't Choose Your Relations!

My wife can trace her family back through the Anglo Irish family of Coote which included many notable soldiers including Eyre Coote 1726 to 1783 who was instrumental in creating the British Empire by driving the French out of India, his nephew (also Eyre Coote) who was Governor of Jamaica from 1805 to 1808, an admiral and numerous anglican clergy including a number of bishops.

The Eyre Coote who was Governor of Jamaica had led a particularly colourful career which was unfortunately cut short by the adverse publicity from an allegation of a rather unsavoury incident involving two boys from Christ's Hospital School. Coote was found guilty of conduct unbecoming to the character of an officer and gentleman and dismissed the Army, losing his rank, his privileges and his knighthood.

Several years ago, after the first Gulf War we learned that General Colin Powell, the architect of the allied victory, could also trace his ancestry back to the same Eyre Coote who was Governor of Jamaica via Coote's relationship with a slave girl called Sally who was employed at Government House in Spanish Town (then the capital of Jamaica). We also learned that via his descent from Eyre Coote, Colin Powell could also trace his ancestry back to King Edward I, (the Hammer of The Scots). The ancestry of Edward I could then be traced back via William The Conqueror and his viking forbears to Halfdan the Old who died in about 750. Halfdan's genealogy is detailed in the viking ode "The Song of Hyndla"

Then came the devastating news that George W Bush also claimes descent from Edward I.

The shame is unbearable!


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