Fitzroy Richard Somerset, 4th
Baron Raglan (10 June 1885 – 14
September 1964) was a British soldier, author, and amateur
anthropologist. His books include The Hero, A Study in Tradition, Myth
Monmouthshire Houses, with Sir Cyril Fox.
2 Literary works
6 External links
FitzRoy Richard Somerset, heir to the peerage title Baron Raglan, was
born on 10 June 1885 to George Fitzroy Henry Somerset, 3rd Baron
Raglan and his wife Lady Ethel Jemima Ponsonby. He was educated at
Eton and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, and received a
Second lieutenant in the Militia regiment the Royal
Monmouthshire Royal Engineers on 10 June 1902. In 1905 he entered
the British Army and was commissioned in the Grenadier Guards. His
military career included working as an aide-de-camp to the governor of
Hong Kong, service in the Egyptian army from 1913 to 1919, district
Sudan and as a political officer in Palestine and
Transjordan. In recognition of his services in Egypt he was made an
Officer of the Order of the Nile. He retired from the military in
1922 with the rank of major.
With the death of his father in 1921, he assumed the title 4th Baron
Raglan and, after retiring from the army, returned to his ancestral
Cefntilla Court near
Usk in Monmouthshire. He was very active in
local affairs. He was a Justice of the Peace for the county as early
as 1909 and served for twenty-one years (1928–49) as a member of the
Monmouthshire county council. He took a great interest in the
Boy Scout movement and was county commissioner for
27 years (1927–54). He served as Lord Lieutenant of Monmouthshire
from 1942 until 1964.
During his life he studied and wrote on topics in areas such as
anthropology, political science, and architecture. His interest in the
Monmouthshire led him to write, with Sir Cyril Fox,
three volumes on the county's medieval and later domestic
Monmouthshire Houses. In 1933 he became president of
Section H (Anthropology) of the British Association for the
Advancement of Science, and from 1945 to 1947 he served as president
of the Folklore Society. He was chairman of the art and archaeology
committee of the
National Museum of Wales
National Museum of Wales (1949–51) and president of
National Museum of Wales
National Museum of Wales from 1957 to 1962. He was also president
Royal Anthropological Institute
Royal Anthropological Institute from 1955 to 1957.
On 9 April 1923 Raglan married Julia Hamilton (7 January 1901 – 17
April 1971), daughter of Lt.-Col. Robert Hamilton-Udny, 11th Lord
Belhaven and Stenton by his marriage to Kathleen Gonville Bromhead.
The Lord and Lady Raglan had five children, the first of whom died a
few days after birth. Julia, Lady Raglan also contributed to the study
of folklore. In an article in the journal Folklore in 1939, she coined
the term "Green Man" to describe the foliate heads found in English
churches. Her theory on their origin is still debated.
Lord Raglan was also the source of various controversies over the
course of his life. In 1938 he declared his wish to give up his job at
the Ministry of Information on the grounds that he was not doing
enough work to justify his salary. In 1958 he agitated Welsh
nationalist feelings by declaring Welsh a ‘moribund’ language.
Demands were made for his resignation from the National Museum of
Wales, but he stood fast. (The motto of the Raglan barony is Mutare
vel timere sperno: ‘I scorn to change or to fear’).
Lord Raglan died on 14 September 1964 at age 79 and was buried in
the family plot in the Church of St John, Llandenny.
Lord Raglan was not only an active member of many societies and
interested in administrative duties in national institutions but also
published a number of books and papers on archaeology and
anthropology. His first book, Jocasta's Crime – An Anthropological
Study, a study of incest and incest taboos, was published in 1933. He
followed with The Science of Peace, a work on the origin, development,
and prevention of war.
Lord Raglan's work, The Hero, a Study in Tradition, Myth and
published in 1936. The book's central thesis is that hero figures of
mythology had their origin in ritual drama, not historical fact. In
the book's most influential chapter, he outlined 22 common traits of
god-heroes which he called the "mythic hero archetype". Raglan then
encapsulates the lives of several heroes and awards points (marks) for
thematic elements for a possible score of 22. He dissects Oedipus,
Theseus, Romulus, Heracles, Perseus, Jason, Bellerophon, Pelops,
Asclepios, Dionysos, Apollo, Zeus, Joseph, Moses, Elijah, Watu Gunung,
Sigurd or Siegfried, Llew Llawgyffes, Arthur, and Robin Hood.
Oedipus earns the highest score with 21 marks.
Significantly, Raglan excludes
Jesus from the study, even though Jesus
matched a number of the identified traits. Raglan later claimed to
Jesus to avoid conflict with his original publisher.
Ancestors of FitzRoy Somerset, 4th Baron Raglan
16. Henry Somerset, 5th Duke of Beaufort
8. FitzRoy Somerset, 1st Baron Raglan
17. Elizabeth Boscawen
4. Richard Somerset, 2nd Baron Raglan
18. William Wellesley-Pole, 3rd Earl of Mornington
9. Lady Emily Wellesley-Pole
19. Katherine Forbes
2. George Somerset, 3rd Baron Raglan
20. William Lygon, 1st Earl Beauchamp
10. Henry Lygon, 4th Earl Beauchamp
21. Catherine Denn
5. Lady Georgina Lygon
22. William Eliot, 2nd Earl of St Germans
11. Lady Susan Eliot
23. Lady Georgiana Leveson-Gower
1. FitzRoy Somerset, 4th Baron Raglan
24. Frederick Ponsonby, 3rd Earl of Bessborough
12. John Ponsonby, 4th Earl of Bessborough
25. Lady Henrietta Spencer
6. Walter Ponsonby, 7th Earl of Bessborough
26. John Fane, 10th Earl of Westmorland
13. Lady Maria Fane
27. Sarah Child
3. Lady Ethel Ponsonby
William Eliot, 2nd Earl of St Germans
William Eliot, 2nd Earl of St Germans (= 22.)
14. Edward Eliot, 3rd Earl of St Germans
29. Lady Georgiana Leveson-Gower (= 23.)
7. Lady Louisa Eliot
30. Charles Cornwallis, 2nd Marquess Cornwallis
15. Lady Jemima Cornwallis
31. Lady Louisa Gordon
Jocasta's Crime: An Anthropological Study, Methuen (London), 1933,
Fertig (New York, NY), 1991
The Science of Peace, Methuen, 1933, reprinted by Pierides Press, 2007
If I Were Dictator, Methuen, 1934 (contributor)
The Hero: A Study in Tradition, Myth and Drama, Methuen, 1936,
reprinted by Dover Publications, 2011 ISBN 978-0486427089
How Came Civilisation?, Methuen, 1939
Death and Rebirth, C. A. Watts, 1945
The Origins of Religion, C. A. Watts, 1949
(With Cyril Fox)
Monmouthshire Houses, Parts I-III, National Museum of
Wales, 1951–54 ISBN 978-0720003987
The Temple and the House, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1964, Norton
(New York, NY), 1965
^ a b c Miller, Dean A. (2004). FitzRoy Richard, fourth Baron Raglan
(1885–1964) (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ed.). Oxford
University Press. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
^ "No. 27441". The London Gazette. 10 June 1902. p. 3755.
^ a b "Dictionary of Welsh Biography". The National Library of Wales.
Retrieved 30 January 2016.
^ Somerset, Fitzroy. The Hero: A Study in Tradition, Myth and Drama.
Dover Publications. p. "About the Author".
^ ": Theories and Interpretations". The Enigma of the Green Man.
Retrieved 24 August 2016.
^ "Raglan Family Crest, Coat of Arms, and Family History". House of
Names. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
^ "Lord Raglan, Soldier, Author, Anthropologist". The Glasgow Herald
(182nd year – No. 200). 15 September 1964. Retrieved 27 January
^ "Life events shared by Yeshua (Jesus) and the "Mythic Hero
Archetype"". ReligiousTolerance.org. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
Lord Raglan's Scale The 22 points are applied to other heroes such as
Beowulf and Harry Potter.
FitzRoy Somerset on National Library of Wales Dictionary of Welsh
Pedigree at Genealogics
Sir Henry Mather-Jackson, Bt
Lord Lieutenant of Monmouthshire
Edward Roderick Hill
Peerage of the United Kingdom
George Fitzroy Henry Somerset
ISNI: 0000 0001 2144 8144
BNF: cb12368191j (data)