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<gallery>Image:WHVE_Memoir_Rough_Ch01.pdf|Chapter 1 Scanned file</gallery>
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:::I, William Henry
:::My Family
:::youngest son of Ernst Ablrecht
:::Baron von Eberstein
:I, William Henry, Baron von Eberstein,
was born the 15th day December, 1821,
at about 8 o'clock one Saturday night. I
was born in a large room in a stately
mansion, known as Bon Pastore, located
in St. Servan, France, where my father was British Vis?count?
The mansion was situated near where
the English colony worshiped according to the
Church of England
:For the reason that I was dangerously
ill, and given up by three sisters, and
my parents did not want me to die without
being baptized, I was baptized by a
Roman Catholic priest named Papa. My
name was entered in the Mayor's office of?
St. Servan
:In the month of August, 1822, when I
was eight months old, my mother, who
belonged to the Church of England, and
not satisfied with the Romanish baptism,
took me to her home on the Island of
Guernsey. There on the tenth day of
August, 1822, I was again baptized
according to the rights of the Church of?
England, in that good ancient church of
St. Peters. My sponsors were Richard
Flick Champion, my mother's ???? Francis
Pichard Champion von Eberstein, my ????
=''''' Page 2 '''''=
brother, and Josephine Hyde Champion,
my mother's sister. After which I was taken
back to St. Servan, and brought up until
I attained the age of twelve years.
:The family from which I am descended, on
both my father's and my mother's side, are
high aristocrats in Germany and in England.
That more may be known of my family,
I shall pause here to recon some of the
facts about them, before proceeding with
the account of my own experiences.
:According to the factory and recons I
have read, my father's family date back to
the circa 900 A.D., and commenced with the
Counte von Eberstein, who resided? at the
Castle of Eberstein, in the ? duchy of Swabia,
about six miles southeast of the town
of Baden, in Baden.
:When the Emperor Otto the Great acceeded
the thron in 936 A.D. he promptly attempted to
subordinate the dukes and counts of Germany
to his will. Under Otto's father, they had been
accorded the position and rank of ???
independent princes. Naturally the dukes and
counts resisted these efforts.
:In 938 A.D. the Emperor Otto bleaguered
the castle of the Counts von Eberstein for the
space of two and three-quarter years,
and never was able to accomplish the
capture of the castle; the von Eberstein
being watchful as old Solomon, not to
='''''Page 3'''''=
be caught sleeping instead of defending
their castle.
: Having not acheived his goal militarily,
Otto resorted to chicanery. He g???
it out that a Grand Tournament would
be held at his court, and sent out
invitations to all the Nobles of Germany
far and near, friend and foe, to
attend. All should have safe conduct
to Otto's court and back to their own
:Though this invitation was to the
court of their deadly enemy, the Counts
von Eberstein accepted on the terms
proposed. At the tournament, the younger
of the brothers, ??? , count
Eberthard von Eberstein was the successfull
contestant, winning the title Baron of the Empire
:After the tournament, the Emperor
Otto gave a grand ball in honor
of the comely, light haired winner,
Count Baron Eberhard von Eberstein.
During the ball, count von Eberstein
procured the hand of Princess Hedwig,
sister of the Emperor, for a dance.
Whilst dancing with the handsome
young Count, with whom she had become
enamoured, Princess Hedwig whispered
that soldiers of her brother, the Emperor, were
going to attack the Castle von Eberstein
in the absence of Count Eberhard and his brothers
= ''''' Page 4 ''''' =
:When the same was over, Count
Eberhard communicated to his brothers the
intelligence he had received? from Princess
Hedwig. They then secretly left the ball
room of the Emperor's palace and made
post haste toward the district o? castle.
They arrived there by daybreak, called
the men-at-arms and their retainers,
and put their castle in defense to
meet the assault.
:The Emperor, finding the Counts had
left the ball room, and anticipated his
design, relinquished his traitorous plot for
the moment. Instead, he sent ambassadors,
who were to act as spies, to see if the
Castle Eberstein could withstand another siege.
:The young Counts von Eberstein, suspecting
the Emperor's design, made preparation for
the receptio nof his ambassadors. Before
the ambassadors arrived and were admitted,
the young Coutns had their bins filled with
straw, and their cellars filled with
empty casks, so that the ambassadors
would go back to the Emperor with the
impression their bins were full of wheat and
their cellars full of wine.
:The young counts were successful in their deception.
Upon the ambassadors' return, they reported
to the Emperor that the Counts von Eberstein
were prepared for any assault, and
= Page 5 =
that they could withstand a siege for
three years or more.
:When Emperor Otto found he could not
conquer the Counts von Eberstein, he decided
upon a plan that before and since, has
been instrumental in bringing the warring
houses of Nobility and Royalty together!
The Americans express this as a succinct
phrase: "If you can't lick 'em, join 'em."
:First, the Emperor negotiated a
lasting peace with the Counts von Eberstein,
whom he was unable to conquer. After
the terms of the treaty were settled,
Emperor Otto gave his sister, Princess
Hedwig in marriage to the younger
brother, Count Baron Ebhard von Eberstein.
:After this marriage there were great
feasts and holidays, attended by
all the leading Nobility of Germany, or their
representatives. In a great wedding
procession, the young Count von
Eberstein rode his charger beside
his bride's ornamental sedan.
:The present Emperor of Germany
and the Grand Duke of Baden are
descendants of this Count von Eberstein
through the ?destoff line. Now the Grand
Duke of Baden owns Castle von Eberstein,
near Baden, and when he travels, he travels
as the Count von Eberstein.
= Page 6 =
:Other distinguished forbears of mine
includ General Fieldmarshall Ernst Albrecht,
Baron von Eberstein, born in 1605,
who distinguished himself in the Protestant
cause during the Thirty Years War. He
was awarded the Order of the Elephant,
by the King of Denmark. This is the highest
military award made by the Danes, and is
given only to royalty, and not more
than thirty knights.
:My fathers great, great grandfather,
Christian Ludwig, Baron von Eberstein,
born 1650, died 1717 was also a
General Field Marshal in the Prussian
:My father, also Ernst Albrecht, Baron
von Eberstein, was born, on August 18,
1780, at Dresden. He was the third son
of William, Baron von Eberstein, Counsellor
of the Courts Justice at Dresden.
He entered the Prussian army in 1795
and on May 2, 1798 was promoted to ensign
in the Prussian Thaddenchess Regiment,
and later promoted to lieutenant in the
same regiment.
:In November 1800, while a lieutenant
in the Prussian army, he married Johanne
Elizabeth Funk. Their first child,
a boy named Wilhelm
Alexander Ernst, was born August 29, 1806
= Page 7 =
in Halle on the Saale, in the Kingdom of
Prussia. This older half-brother now lives
at Buhla, his estate in Eichsfelde,
Kingdom of Prussia.
:Shortly after his first son was born, my
father, being of an adventurous nature and
not liking the routine of Prussian garrison
life, resigned his commission in the
Prussian army and accepted a commission
in the British army, in the 2nd Battalion
of the 60th Regiment, also known as the
Royal American Regiment, his regiment having served
with distinction in America during the
American War for Independence.
:On Feburary 27, 1808 he was promoted
to lieutenant, and shortly thereafter his
regiment was ordered to the Island
of Antigua, of the British Seeward
group, in the West Indie.
:His wife, Johanne Elizabeth joined
him there a short while later.
Their second child, my half-sister
Antoinette Charlotte Albertina, was
born on the Island of Antigua on
December 3rd, 1808.
:My father's regiment was active
in the conquest of the French islands
of Martinique and Guadeloupe in
1809 and 1810. While my father
was away from Antigua on this
expedition, his wife, Johanne Elizabeth
= Page 7a =
fell victim to the dread disease,
yellow fever, and died March 3, 1810.
:In 1813, when the Islands of
Martinique and Guadeloupe were returned
to the French, my father's regiment was
returned to England. By then, he
had been promoted to Captain of the
7th Battalion of the 60th Regiment
:Upon its return to England, the
60th Regiment was stationed on the
Isle of Guernsey; one of the Channel
Islands which lies about 30 miles
west of the coast of Normandy and
about 50 miles south of Porstmouth.
:It was on the Island of Guernsey,
in the winter of 1813 about, about three and a half years
after his first wife had died,
that he met my mother. She was
then about eighteen, and he thirty-three.
= Page 8=
:Having herad my mother tell the story
of how my father first made her acquaintance, I believe it is worthy
of recording.
:Shortly after the 60th Regiment
arrived at the Isle of Guernsey, the
Governor of the Island gave a great
ball in honor of the officers of the
regiment and their ladies. All of the first?
ladies and gentlemen of the island were
invited to attend. The ball-room is
a very spacious one, with two ladies
dressing rooms and a refreshment
:My father, being the Officer-of-the Day,
and on duty, could not attend the ball.
While making his rounds to inspect
the guard, he heard the music and
thouguht he would go up stairs and
peep in on the dancers, to see how
they were amusing themselves.
:Leaving his horse with a soldier
of his regiment, who was in attendance
at the ball, he slipped up the stairs
for his peep. He had been there but a few minutes when a young
officer of his regiment waltzed by
with a comely young lady. As
they whirled past, the long train
of her white satin dress caught on
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his spurt, and made a large rent
in the train of her dress. Chagrined? by the
damage he had done, and unable
to apologize as the dancers did not
stop, my father left the place
where he was standing and
proceeded to finish his rounds
of the guard.
:The next morning he made
inquiries from the brother officer who
had had the honor to dance with
the young lady, and obtained her
name and her place of residence.
She was Miss Harriet Perchard Champion,
the daughter of Mr. Joseph Champion,
a customs officer, and one of the most influential persons
on the island and a very wealthy
personage. Their residence was in
Horn Street, just on the brow of the hill.
:At 11 o'clock in the forenoon he
wended his way to the residence of
the young lady, rand the bell,
and sent up his card to Miss
Champion, with the request that she
see him.
:When Miss Champion appeared, he
introduced himself and apologized
in a very polite and sorrowful
manner for the accident of the
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last evening. My father being a
comely? British officer, was in his
regimentals. This had the desired
effect and the apology was accepted
and consent granted for him to
call upon her whenever convenient.
:This was the commencement of their
acquaintance and romance, which
culminated in their marriage a
ten months later, on Feburary 22, 1814.
:My mother's family is from an
equally distinguished line. On her father's
side, she is a descendant of Richard Champion,
Viscount de Vire, of Normandy, whose estate
included the town of Vire, in the Province of
Calvados?. The Vicount de Vire was an intimate
friend of William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, and accompanied
the Duke to England and was by his side
at the Battle of Hastings, in 1066 A.D.
:She is also a descendant of Les Seigneurs
de la Sere of Montpelier, in the Province of
Herault?, which lies in the south of France,
on the Gulf? of Lions, about 100 miles from
the Spanish border.
:Through her paternal grandmother,
she is also descended from Eleanor Hyde,
a sister of Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarenden.
:Lord High Chancellor of England, and
one of the original Eight Lord Porprietors
of Carolina, where I eventually established
= Page 11 =
my residence. This Eleanor Hyde was
the great aunt of Edward Hyde's
grandaughter, Mary and Ann, both
of whom reigned as Queen of England.
:In the summer of 1814, following my father's
second marriage, the 60th Regiment,
or Royal American Regiment, was again ordered
to Halifax, Nova Scotia, in British America.
There, early in November 1815, their first son,
Albert Ernest, was born.
:Just before my mother was confined, my
father, then a Lieutenant-Colonel, was ordered
to Cape Breton Island, as Governor? of that
island. He delayed his sailing until after
her confinement, then left my mother
with her first bbay, to follow later.
:Two or three weeks after his departure for
Cape Breton, my mother and her month
old child boarded a small commercial
vessel at Halifax, and sailed for Cape
Breton. It was necessary she go then,
or wait in Halifax until spring, as
the ice soon hardened to where those
small vessels could not penetrate.
:The east coast of Nova Scotia and the
coast of the Island of Cape Breton are
lined with a myriad of small islands,
very dangerous to navigation, & here
there had been many shipwrecks.
:On the 25th day of November, 181?
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my mother's ship was wrecked on a
little island named St. Pierre. On this
island is only one small fishing village,
populated entirely by native Indians.
:Fortunately my mother survived the
wreck, and was rescude by the Indians.
Care for by an old Indian woman
and her husband, my mother lived? with
them in a small ???? for six weeks.
:When the ice had hardened enough
for an Indian to cross, and go to
Cape Breton with a message for my
father, she was rescued. In the meantime
their son, Albert Ernst, unable to stand
the rigors, died. For some time after this trying ordeal,
my mother suffered poor health.
:Their second son, Francis Richard,
was born in Sydney, Cape Breton Island
on January 29, 1816, where my father
remained as Governor.
:Toward the end of the year 1817,
or early in the year 1818, my father
retired from the ? military service and
returned to England. There he was
appointed to the diplomatic corps
and assigned as British Vice-Counsel?
at St. Servan, in the Province of Ille-ct-ilaine,?
in France. There, on May 23, 1820,
my sister Harriet was born, and on
December 15, 1821, I, William Henry,
was born.
:My father remained as Vice Counsul
at St. Servan until his death, January
27, 1838, when I was eleven
years of age. He was buried in the
cemetary at St. Servan, in the strangers
postion, set apart by
the Romish Church for foreigners.
[[WHVE Memoir Rough - Chapter 2 | Click here for the next Chapter ]]

Latest revision as of 15:03, 19 June 2009