Friday, 15 March 2013


Some time ago I was doing some research about Holland Park. In the course of reading up on its history and development, I came across a series of Earls of the British peerage with possibly the most fabulous surname ever: Fox-Strangeways.

Okay, actually, technically, officially, it's Fox-Strangways but in my mind I inserted an "e" because... well... it just transforms it from being pretty awesome into entirely marvellous.

Here's one of them, Henry ol' chap, 5th Earl of Ilchester, as caricatured in Vanity Fair:

Henry Fox-Strangways in Vanity Fair, 1882 (Image source)

And where do you think these Fox-Strangways folk lived? Well, right here, of course:

Holland House in 1896 (Image source)

You can't make this stuff up.

I am now contemplating changing my surname to Fox-Strangeways. I wonder if there's a dashing Fox-Strangways bachelor still out there, carrying on the family name? If so, I could marry him and then "accidentally" slip in a convenient "e" when I fill out the official forms to change my name. Alternatively, I could just have my name changed by deed poll anyway, but that might seem a little bit... affected.

In the meantime, I've decided to set myself to drawing a character of my own creation called Lord Fox-Strangeways. I'm not sure if he's going to be human or vulpes yet... I might let you know how I get on, depending on how he turns out.


  1. Hah hah! That is definitely fun. Some names really are quite special. Perhaps this name originally had an 'e' in it anyway. I always think of Isambard Kingdom Brunel when the subject of grand names comes up. But it's his middle name that takes his to that special level. Your chaps have it with the hyphen! I hope you do show us a drawing. But what is 'vulpes'?

    1. Isambard Kingdom Brunel is definitely one of the coolest names out there. Ha - 'vulpes' in Latin for fox. Don't worry, I had to look it up to check it! I will certainly share my drawing if I get one to look how I want but my first shot wasn't so successful... Try, and try again?