Roan Kearsey-Lawson Royal Ancestry & Musical Inheritance
Grandson of Professional Drummer - A Direct Grandson of Royal Stuart Family - A Cousin of Prime Minister Sir Spencer Perceval - & A Direct Descendant from Black Slavery & a Pirate!
Roan is the Grandson of a professional jazz musician Joseph Kearsey - a 1930's drummer for Ted Heath, Joe Kearsey gave George Chisholm and Jack Parnell their breaks and worked with loads of jazz greats from the 30's to 70's. Through that same line of inheritance Roan is a cousin of Sir Spencer Perceval who was the only British Prime Minister to be shot and killed whilst serving in office. Spencer Perceval, a relative of the Earl of Egmont was part responsible for ending the slave trade but his taxes for the War with the US in 1812 and his oversights in the Luddite Riots led to high taxes and an angry Farmer shooting him dead in the Palace of Westminster on the 11th May 1812. Spencer Perceval actually wanted to be a musician, but his family felt he would make a better living in politics, where he had to deal with the Madness of King George III and paid his life for politics - Perhaps being a musician is a better option!! The link to Prime Minister Perceval is through RKL's Great Grandmother Mary Hughes.
The Kearsey family home, until the end of the 1800's was Burstow Hall in Surrey England, where Roan's forefather Thomas lived and worked as the Member of Parliament for Twickenham, he changed his name from Thomas to the new family name Kearsey. It looks like one Kearsey ran off to the USA with the loot and Burstow Hall was lost!! (On Roan's album 'New York Connections' the track 'Cloth Ears' is dedicated to Roan's Great Great Grandfather who spent all the family fortune from the sale of Burstow Hall in New York City. There is an article for Kearsey Thomas in the early 1900's in a New York newspaper). Francis Kearsey who ran off has a brother Alexander Kearsey who was a highly decorated British war Colonel.
Grandmother's Royal Connection to the Stuart Family:
On his Grandmother's side (Joe Kearsey's wife) Roan Kearsey-Lawson is a relative of Janet Stuart, who is a direct relative of King James and Mary Queen of Scots who was executed by Queen Elizabeth I in the 1500's. The direct royal line is basically several times Great Grandmother back to Janet Stuart! Roan's great grandmother Christiana Grieve is from Edinburgh. Her Dad, RKL's Great Great Grandad was in the Black Watch as a private guard to Queen Victoria. Through these Great Grandparent's the family line goes through successive parents to Janet Stuart in the 1600's, who was herself a of the Royal Stuart line and a direct relative of King James and Mary Queen of Scots.
Through his Grandmother's line Roan is also a direct relation of a freed Slave from the Caribbean, Martha. Through this line RKL is from the Harper family. Based in Southhampton for over 500 years they were mainly pirates. One of RKL's great Grandfather pirates fought for both the US and UK in the wars of independence. He was of the famous Arnold family known in the US as a turncoat. However, his switch to the UK side freed Martha from slavery and married her around the same time RKL's other relative Prime Minister Sir Spencer Perceval was fighting for emancipation of slaves. On his album 'New York Connections' Roan has written Calypso for Martha. Roan's line comes direct from Martha (he discovered through his uncle that he has gene's found only in Black peoples - Roan is however is White in colour as successive marriages since the early 1800's have been White to White predominantly).
Unfortunately Roan is left as a poor musician and composer (arrrh!). Mary Stuart was beheaded and left Roan nothing, Spencer Perceval was shot, the benefiting Kearsey's settled in nicely to Burstow Hall but it would seem Francis Kearsey sold up and ran off to the USA in the early 1900's only to comeback empty handed; so Roan has been left to work hard graft as a musician starting with £10 for fuel money to pick up his first Vibraphone! Although all the Royal money and title went to the first born son of each generation, and although Roan is just a poor musician and composer at least he can keep his head!