I have this one interesting character who my family is dependent upon....in getting to London, and later onto Virginia. Without this guy....there is no family tree.
In the early 1600s....Algernon Percy is born into a well-to-do family and ends up becoming the 10th Earl of Northumberland.
In his youth "Al" was sent off to Saint John's College in Cambridge to study. Big things were planned for this kid. Two years later, he had his master's degree done. Yeah, it was a slacker degree in Arts, but still.....bought and paid for by the family. It's hard to say what you learn in a two-year period.....over arts.....that amounts to a degree. Shortly after graduation....he was made a Knight of Bath.....meaning that the family contributed something to the local Knights Templar organization, and the title of "Sir" was noted when you address Al.
Al began a six year tour of Europe with a mentor/tutor. It's not exactly written much into his history.....but he toured France, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, and Italy. The family paid for the tour, and you have to imagine that he rode through the countryside....sipped fine wines and beers.....talked politics and gossip.....and generally got some kind of view of the big world.
Al returns in 1624 to the family....just about the same time that his dad is released from the London High Tower.....for being a pain in the King's side. Maybe the six years were meant more to simply hide Al from public view or to keep him out of trouble.
Two years go by. Al gets called now up to London.....to the House of Lords....to assume the Lordship title that his dad had. Before age thirty.....Al had gone from university guy, to knight, to Lord. Fairly impressive.
Al enters 1629 and casts a long shadow on family relations. He ends up marrying some aristocratic gal from the region, whose family name was Cecil, and the old chap in the family Cecil was Lord Salisbury. Apparently....Al's dad was put into the High Tower imprisonment deal....compliments of complaints laid down by Lord Salisbury. So, there's a big of hostility and frustration over Al's desires for Miss Anne Cecil. Miss Anne...was a thinly gal who strolled around with a pretty open blouse (at least the paintings describe her in such ways).
Al goes through a number of influence buying episodes, and in short time....ends up as an admiral in his majesty's navy. To say that Al had any background or shipping experience....well....it'd likely all fit on a 3x5 index card. But Al was a good talker, and assumed every position would lead onto a better deal. In this case? Al was pretty disenchanted with the shipping operations, conditions of ships, and morale. That probably led into his convictions going against the king and his staff.
Around the 1638/1639 period.....things are getting rough for the King, and there's civil war brewing. Al gets himself drawn against the King. The war that is coming....has nothing to do with outside threats....it's the Tea Party version of today, cast against the 1600s, against the King and his royal court.
So, here at the junction of life, civil war, and chaos.....my ancient relative....Francis Hammond from the eastern side of the country....near Norfolk.....will join and end up as an officer within the service of Al's military campaign which counter's the king. Al probably had a good association with Franci, and helped his associate.
Francis will be around forty-nine years old and a well-to-do guy, without a title.
Over a ten-year period, there are military strikes, various peace talks, skirmishes.....and threats made. Beyond Al's control.....the end result was Charles I being executed to make everyone happy (1649).
Generally, one's impression is that Al didn't really see the execution as fixing anything, and preferred the King remain with some controls in place. Al really didn't participate in anything after the execution.
My relative? Francis Hammond will stay in the middle of this civil war period.....around London the whole time....and pass away on 20 May 1652. Nothing much is written over his residence or position in life. He more or less ended up as a mercenary officer for Al and the anti-King crowd.
Francis's son? John. He will make a decision in 1666 to leave England with his son (Ambrose, age 20) and settle in the Cumberland area of Virginia.
Our chief character? Al? Well....it's an interesting turn of history that occurs. For eleven years....things in England kinda just wander along and most folks agree that they kinda screwed up. So the son of Charles I.....Charles II in this case....makes an arrival in England in 1660. Al does a number of things to show the better side of his character, and ends up with being appointed by Charles II as the Lord High Constable of England....chief law enforcement authority for London. Al also had a strong hand in monitor society and the public over the Clarendon Code.
The Clarendon code? Well....it was a set of rules that limited religious meetings of any group of five or more. Religious fever....if you didn't grasp the 1600s period of England.....was causing a fair amount of instability.
Al will pass from this Earth on 13 October, 1668. There are no statues of Al....just paintings of him. No one remember much of Al today, except as the tenth Earl of Northumberland. For me.....without the Earl, my family never gets to London....never launches in 1666....never reaches Virginia. So the Earl is a pretty key character in my family's history.