Feckless Fools: Part One

Sir Humphrey Kynaston (1468-1534), Jay Cool’s 12th Great Grandfather & 15th Great Uncle, of Myddle Castle and Nescliffe Cave, Shropshire

Yes, it was always best to plan ahead and to have a clear escape route in mind, if foolhardy enough to play a prank on my Grandad, Arnold Edward Cool of Myddle (Please refer back to my ‘Egg Head’ blog post for details about Arnie!). For it has ever been the case that my ancestors were born with a genetic disposition towards the foolhardy. And not just foolhardiness, but sheer fecklessness and devilry.

Snuggled up in his spacious, somewhat draughty cave, with his fine stead Beezlebub, Great Grandad & Uncle Humphrey Kynaston thanked the Lord that he had followed his instincts; because before turning in, our Humphrey had stopped by for a draught of another sort, a good few tankards of stomach-warming ale at ‘The Three Pigeons’, before deciding, spent up and expended, that it was time to call it a night.

The reader may, at this point, be feeling rather sorry for Humphrey. It doesn’t sound like much of a life, living in a cave, with just a horse for company. No man could possibly deserve such a fate. [1] But, before we all get too involved and empathetic, it might be worth revisiting Humphrey’s past, [2] for my ‘Great’ Granduncledad Humphrey, had a temper on him that created earthquakes for miles around.

Take the time when, on finding that his favourite perch at The Three Pigeons was pre-occupied, Humphrey got out his pistol, shot the offender and reclaimed his throne. The amazing thing was that, instead of fleeing the scene of crime, Humphrey just ordered another tankard of ale and remained steadfast, bottom glued to his stool for several more hours, whilst some helpful locals removed the body, and the good landlady got down on her hand and knees to scrub away the bloodied evidence.

Humphrey’s particularity about his seating arrangements might lead one to believe that he was the possessive type, but this, by all accounts was far from the truth …


Copyright of text & photography owned by Jay Cool

[1] And, sadly, Humphrey didn’t have the modern-day advantage of being able to place his cardboard box mattress, sleeping bag and Mountain Warehouse ruck-sack on the pavement up against the window of McDonald’s in Colchester High Street. Because, at least then, someone might have taken pity on him, taken a glance at his empty beer bottle, and his skinny bedraggled horse with collar of string, and given him their card full of tokens for a free night-cap of McCafe. But no, back in the day, this was not to be!

[2] Because our modern-day New Right thinkers have declared that if one is homeless, one must be a lazy good-for-nothing benefit scrounger and, as they have such ‘honest’ followers as Donald Trump and Theresa May, then they must obviously be correct!

The following sources were referred to during Jay Cool’s research: 

Who is Jay Cool?

https://www.revolvy.com/topic/Humphrey%20Kynaston&uid=1575 – Revolvy


‘Antiquities and Memoirs of the Parish of Myddle: County of Salop (A.D. 1700)’ by Richard Gough (Henry Sotheran & Co., London, 1875).

‘Pursing an Outlaw – The Real Wild Humphrey Kynaston’ by David Hamilton, in (The New English Review Press, June, 2011).






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