|The Lefroy family crest|
Sunday, 8 September 2013
A few days ago I viewed the movie "P.S. I Love You" with one of my favorite actors, Gerard Butler. He has a lovely Irish accent, oops, I just checked and his accent is Scottish. Oh, well, I can't tell the difference at any rate. Anyway part of the film is set in Ireland which of course makes me think of our dear Tom.
That film made me think of "Ireland" itself and just exactly why was Tom in that country. Let me quote from the "Memoir of Chief Justice Lefroy" first. This is from Chapter 1:
Thomas Langlois Lefroy was born on the 8th of January, 1776. He was the eldest son of Anthony Lefroy, Lieut.-Colonel of the 9th Light Dragoons- the descendant of a Huguenot family, who were obliged to fly from Cambray, at the period of the Duke of Alva's persecution in the Netherlands, and took refuge in England. The following inscription, on a monument in the Parish Church of Petham, Kent, to the memory of Thomas Lefroy. the great great grandson of Antoine Loffroy, who first emigrated from Cambray, furnishes an interesting record of the circumstances under which the Lefroy family first came to adopt England as their country:
OF CANTERBURY,WHO DIED THIRD DAY OF NOVEMBER, 1723, AGED 43
OF A CAMBRESIAN FAMILY,
THAT PREFERRED RELIGION AND LIBERTY
THEIR CONTRY AND THIER PROPERTY,
TIME OF THE DUKE OF ALVA'S PERSECUTION.
Lieut.-Colonel Lefroy, the father of the subject of this memoir, entered the army in 1763 as Ensign in the 33rd Regiment, then quartered in Ireland, and at the early age of twenty-three married Anna, daughter of Thomas Gerorge Gardner, Esq., of Doonass, in the County of Clare....
Jane referred to Tom as "my Irish friend" which led me to believe that he truly was all "Irish". After looking at the above few details, I began to wonder "just how much "Irish" is he?" The very name "Lefroy" reminds me of it being 'French' from my studies of French in school. So his ancestors did indeed come from the French area and landed in England. I have not followed the exact lineage, but some of those might have married an English woman. And as it turns out, Tom's father did indeed marry an Irish lady. So in essence Tom is part French and part Irish.
So, on that information I rest my case that Tom was not all Irish, and by that it leads me to wonder about his personal character as defined by his ancestors. I say that because in my studies of my own ancestors I have noticed certain characteristics that are inherited due to the nationalities of my ancestors.
Another subject along these lines is the question "What on earth was the British army doing in Ireland?" But that is a question for another day!
Linda the Librarian