[I cant help thinking that for some Gadjo English aristocrat to waltz in and declare himself "King" of the gypsies must have been pretty insulting to the Roma in England at that time, who where and are often quite a close knit community by necessity. I may be wrong, but I doubt he was king of many Gypsies]
|Bampfylde-Moore Carew By Richard Phelps (died 1790) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons|
"Bampfylde-Moore Carew was the son of the Rev. Theodore Carew, rector of Bickleigh, Tiverton, Devon. Born, July 12th, 1690. At the age of twelve he was entered as a pupil at Old Blundell's School, Tiverton, where he formed the acquaintance of the sons of the best families in the county. At first he gave close application to study, and bid fair to make his mark in the world. His father had every reason to hope that at some future time he would succeed to the family living of St. Mary, Bickleigh. Blundell's scholars at this period possessed a fine pack of fox-hounds, and Carew took frequent opportunities to indulge in sport at the expense of his studies. Besides strength of body and vigour of mind he possessed agility of limb, and a voice of such depth of sound that he could give the loudest halloo to the hounds of any man of his day. Dogs were attracted to him in a marvellous fashion, and in after years this mutual sympathy proved disastrous to our hero, who on this account suffered imprisonment several times.
It happened one day that a farmer coming to Tiverton market saw Carew standing at the school gateway, and knowing the latter's fondness for sport, acquainted him with the fact that a deer, with a collar around his neck, was harbouring in a field on Exeter Hill ; whereupon Carew, Martin, Escott, Coleman, and a crowd of other Blundellians started to hunt it. This happened just before corn-harvest. The chase was hot and lasted several hours ; they ran the deer many miles across fields of ripening grain, doing great damage. The deer proved to be a tame one, the property of Col. Nutcombe, of Clayhanger. Persons who sustained damage to their corn, complained to the headmaster of the havoc made. The culprits were so severely threatened that several absconded, Carew being one of the number. They made for a small wayside inn at Brickhouse, on the Bampton road, situated about a half-a-mile from the town. Here they fell in with a party of gipsies and remained in their company the whole night, engaging in the wildest orgies. In the morning they were admitted as Romany members, each taking the necessary oaths and going through the requisite ceremonies.
It may be interesting to the reader to know that a recruit goes through various rites and takes certain oaths before being admitted a member of the fraternity.
A new name must be assumed, after which he takes the following oaths
I, Bampfylde-Moore-Carew (or as the case may be), do swear to be a true brother; to obey the commands of the tawny prince ; to keep his counsel ; not to divulge the secrets of the brotherhood ; will never leave the company ; and observe and keep all times of appointment by night or by day, in every place whatsoever.
I will not teach anyone to cant, nor will I disclose our mysteries to them. [This was broken then!]
I will take my prince's part against all that shall oppose him or any of us.
I will not suffer him, or any of us, to be abused by strangers, but will defend him or them to the death. I will not conceal aught I win out of private houses or elsewhere, but will give it for the benefit and use of all the company, &c.
Carew was an actor of the highest type, as is evidenced by the numberless opportunities he embraced to personate the leading men of the neighbourhood in which he found himself. By assuming the garb of a. peasant, a beggar, an old woman, a soldier in distress, a maimed sailor, or whatever guise his fertile fancy dictated, he successfully deceived even his nearest relatives and wrung from them entertainment, gifts of money, clothes and any commodity he demanded.
On the death of Claude Patch, the king of the gipsies, Carew was, by a large majority of the brotherhood, elected his successor. He at once took up the government, but ran his kingly power on totally different lines from the former sovereign. Instead of living in idleness and luxury, depending on the members of the tribe for support, he started off on a round of adventure.
The knavish tricks and deceptions he successfully practised on his nearest relations and most intimate friends would be too numerous to chronicle in these pages. A Life of Bampfylde-Moore Carew, can, I think, be obtained at any bookseller's, and to lovers of humorous incidents would prove amusing.
Carew married about the year 1720, a Miss Gray, daughter of an apothecary, of Newcastle-on-Tyne, at Bath.
They had one daughter who married a Westcountry squire, by whom she had a numerous family of promising children.
After a life of beggary, adventure, and imprisonment, Carew returned to his birthplace at Bickleigh, where he resided two years previous to his death in 1758."