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Seriously? Reverend Ralph Tollemache Gave His Kids Ridiculous Names

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Slade Sohmer

By Slade Sohmer
March 15, 2012 at 10:57 am



George Foreman named his five sons “George.” Clearly he’s a man who built his name to last.

Reverend Ralph William Lyonel Tollemache-Tollemache went the other way. The British clergyman in the Church of England died in 1895, but not before leaving the world at least 15 children with possibly the weirdest names ever. He got progressively more eccentric as he grew closer to the grave.

Here are the names of five children from his first marriage to his cousin Caroline Tollemache:

• Sir Lyonel Felix Carteret Eugene Tollemache
• Florence Caroline Artemesia
• Evelyne Clementina Wentworth Cornelia Maude
• Granville Grey Marchmont Manners Plantagenet
• Marchmont Murray Reginald Grasett Stanhope Plantagenet Tollemache

Alright, a little weird. But his 10 offspring from his second marriage to Dora Cleopatra Maria Lorenza de Orellana really got the oddball end of the naming stick.

• Dora Viola G. I. de Orellana Dysart Plantagenet

• Mabel Helmingham Ethel Huntingtower Beatrice Blazonberrie Evangeline Vise de Lou de Orellana Plantagenet

• Toedmag Saxon

• Lyonesse Matilda Dora Ida Agnes Ernestine Curson Paulet Wilbraham Joyce Eugénie Bentley Saxonia Dysart Plantagenet

• Lyulph Ydwallo Odin Nestor Egbert Lyonel (LYONEL) Toedmag Hugh Erchenwyne (THE) Saxon Esa Cromwell Orma Nevill Dysart (SECOND) Plantagenet

• Lyona Decima Veroica Esyth Undine Cyssa Hylda Rowena Adela Thyra Ursuala Ysabel Blanche Lelias Dysart Plantagenet

• Leo Quintus Tollemache-Tollemache de Orellana Plantagenet

• Lyonella Fredegunda Cuthberga Ethelswytha Ideth Ysabel Grace Monica de Orellana Plantagenet

• Leone Sextus Denys Oswolf Fraudatifilius Tollemache-Tollemache de Orellana Plantagenet

• Lyonetta Edith Regina Valentine Myra Polwarth Avelina Phillipa Violantha de Orellana Plantagenet

• Lyunulph Cospatrick Bruce Berkeley Jermyn Tullibardine Petersham de Orellana Dysart Plantagenet

Get the hell right out of here — did you catch Lyulph’s full name in there? The good reverend named his son LYONEL THE SECOND in acronym form! That’s hardcore. This name was later parodied in James Joyce’s “Finnegan’s Wake” with a character named Helmingham Erchenwyne Rutter Egbert Crumwall Odin Maximus Esme Saxon Esa Vercingetorix Ethelwulf Rupprecht Ydwalla Bentley Osmund Dysart Yggdrasselmann — yup, HERE COMES EVERYBODY.


Rev. Ralph William Lyonel Tollemache-Tollemache (1826-1895) with some of his children and second wife. (Back row, left to right) Mabel, Lyonesse, Lyulph, Dora (wife); (middle row), Leone Sextus; (front row, left to right) Leo Quintus, Lyona, the Reverend with Lyonetta and Lyonella, taken 10/7/1889

Eat your heart out, Frank Zappa.

The New York Times, on May 9, 1892, made mention of the reverend’s proclivity for name-calling. “On those occasions when these children have to use their full names, either orally or in writing, they will certainly not rise to call their father blessed,” the Times wrote.

(hat tip @LettersofNote)

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