Thank you for your letter. It is always pleasing for a person - be he author, carpenter, or bum - to know that his work is appreciated. So as one of the first category (the second and third probably), many thanks.
Concerning Dr Clavell of Puerto Rico, I would say that it is quite probable that we are related for as far as I know the English branch of the Clavell family is somewhat individual and fairly closely correlated. I seem to remember that one of my forebears went to Spain in the early 17th century. At that time the English branch were running privateers out of the home base in Dorset - stealing ships from the French and Spanish - and if I recall according to legend at a conclave they decided it would be a wise move to have somebody on the Spanish side who could steal ships, loot, profit, princesses, from the English. If Dr Clavell is truly a Clavell I am sure he will appreciate the benevolent justice of such an arrangement.
Dr Clavell might be interested to know that the family is well documented in the DORSET VISITATION of 1450 approximately, and as he may know, Walteris de Claville arrived, pirate style, with William, Duke of Normandy, in 1066. There are the necessary land grants in the Doomsday Book. So it would seem to me that there is a Puerto Rican branch of the family which is a happy thought. In fact we drank a toast today in its honour to celebrate the occasion and to welcome it back into the fold.
Oh, by the way, there is an old custom in the family which says that branches of the family are supposed to send tythes to the current head of the family. Perhaps you would be kind enough to mention this to Dr Juan Eugenio of the Puerto Rico branch and transmit some forthwith!
P.S. He might be interested to know that the family crest is a stag rampant with an arrow between its horns and a ducal crown around its neck. The shield is barred with golden cups of plenty which ironically are upside down.The reason for the stag is alleged as follows:
who was Armour Bearer to William, was hunting with him in the New Forest
when a stag broke out of the thicket and would have killed the Duke if
Walteris had not fired an arrow over his shoulder and saved his life. For
saving the life of the Conqueror he gave the family the right to the crest
and to the Isle of Purbeck which is a land-locked island of Dorset. (Of
course the gift was double edged as that time the land given was not in
his control and it had to be conquered. It was conquered. After all, a
Clavell was connected with the affair.)