|Buckeye Blake (right) with son Teal Blake on his Weatherford, Texas ranch|
I attended UCLA for two years, and only two courses had any lasting impact on me, neither one of which had to do with my major (psychology). The first was Urban Geography, and the other was The American West. Growing up in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, my experience was entirely suburban, but thanks to television, the Old West was never too far away. Chatsworth Park, where I would go hiking with high school friends, had been used frequently as a location by the Hollywood studios for their westerns, and Little House on the Prairie, a show my sister and I watched every week growing up, was filmed in neighbouring Simi Valley (where my sister and her family now live). But it wasn't until my parents took us on trips outside of Los Angeles, into Arizona when we were young, and then into Montana and Wyoming when we were teens, that I got a real sense of the American West - the vast and beautiful natural landscapes were breathtaking. The UCLA course put it all into perspective for me: the history of the frontier, and the history of the mystique and myth which sprang from the frontier. A couple months ago, when I began tracing the descendants of Regency-era British aristocrat Lady Anne (Townshend) Hudson, the last people I expected to find amongst them were authentic American cowboys in Texas, who not only compete in rodeos, but who, through their paintings and artwork, interpret their experience and share their vision of the beauty and mystique that is the American West.
|Fire on the Mountain by Buckeye Blake|
|James Coke 'Buckeye' Blake|
"Buckeye is known as a painter of landscapes and Western scenes. He is also known for his posterlike works, paintings with lettering that recalls the classic tourism posters during the early days of Western railroads. But Blake is a fine-art sculptor as well. His life-size bronze of Kit Carson resides in front of the Supreme Court Building in Carson City, Nevada, while a similarly scaled sculpture of Charlie Russell and his horse, Monte, can be viewed in Great Falls, Montana. His graphic designs appear on soda bottles and dinnerware; he’s even designed iron gates for a private ranch. Represented by many galleries, in 1994 he was the subject of a one-man retrospective at the Whitney Gallery of Western Art at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming" [Chase Reynolds Ewald, 'An Integrated Life', Western Art & Architecture, Fall/Winter 2010]. Eventually, the Blakes went down to Texas with their horses for the winter months, and discovered the historic town of Weatherford, twelve miles north of the Brazos River and twenty-five miles west of Fort Worth. They now live there year-round on a 13-acre ranch. Weatherford is known as the cutting horse capital of the world, and in addition to his art, Buckeye also raises horses and trains them for cutting competitions. His son Teal Coke Blake, who grew up in Montana surrounded by Hereford cattle, cowboys and horses, first tried his own hand at art at age six, when he drew bucking horses and made little buttons from them, which he sold at the rodeos for 50 cents a piece. But bull riding was a stronger passion for him in his youth, and he left Montana State University to rodeo full-time. In 2002 at age 23, he picked up art again and began pursuing it full-time the following year. In 2009, Teal won Best of Show and took first place in watercolors at the prestigious 34th Annual Phippen Western Art Show in Prescott, Arizona for his painting of saddled horses in a red trailer, becoming one of the youngest western artists in the industry [Tonya Ratliff-Garrison, 'Western Son', The American Quarter Horse Journal, January 2009]. In 2011 Teal created an art show held in Fort Worth, celebrating the memoirs of Teddy 'Blue' Abbott. Blake’s work appeared on the cover of the Big Bend Saddlery catalogue in 2012 and 2013, his painting 'Morning Gather' was used for the cover of a new 2013 edition of Some Horses by Thomas McGuane, and the following year Teal was invited into the renowned Cowboy Artists of America organization.
|In the Valley of the Sun by Teal Blake|
The American West comes naturally to the father and son artists. Per Buckeye, “If you’re raised in it—I was, Teal was, my father was—it’s the West and it’s what you know. It helps to paint what you believe in; that comes across in the finished work. You’re emotionally connected” ['An Integrated Life', op cit]. The Blakes certainly have horses in their paternal heritage. Samuel Blake (1818-1878) immigrated from the Isle of Wight to the U.S. at some point before the Civil War, and settled in Arkansas. His son S(amuel) Coke Blake (1862-1951) started up a ranch in Oklahoma in 1898, where he started raising Steeldust horses. Blake bought four White Lightning mares to cross with his Cold Deck stallions, a cross which contributed greatly to the emergence of 'The Blake Horse.' He was one of the few breeders in the early 1900s to keep pedigrees on the horses he raised, which were particularly renowned throughout Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri and Kansas for their speed on the track and their ability for ranch work.
|S. Coke Blake (1862-1951)|
From his mother, Buckeye inherited his artistic ability, and from his mother's mother he inherited a descent from Britain's peerage, landed gentry, and Plantagenet kings. Violet Bond (1898-1965) was born in Dorset, England, the eldest daughter in a family of five children. At age 14, she immigrated with her parents and siblings to Arcadia, Florida, where her uncle had a large farm. It was there that she met Coleman Richard Walls (1897-1977), an intelligent young salesman who had served as a driver with the 94th Aero Squadron during World War I, and who had ambitions that went beyond his father's Arkansas farm. Violet married him in 1920 at age 19, and he moved her to New Castle, the seat of Lancaster County, the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country, where their daughter Genevieve 'Dee' Walls (1921-2005) was born. The Walls went back and forth to the UK frequently to visit Violet's relatives in the early years of their marriage, and their son Richard Walls was born in Dorset in 1924. When the Great Depression gripped the U.S., Coleman Walls moved his family out West in 1934, to Whittier, a city in the San Gabriel Valley south of Los Angeles.
|Violet (née Bond) Walls with daughter Dee - 1924 passport photo|
JAMES COKE 'BUCKEYE' BLAKE, artist and rancher, b. 1946 Fullerton, Orange County, California, only son of Coke 'Bud' Blake (1920-1968) and Genevieve 'Dee' Walls (1921-2005, descended from Edward IV - see Generation 16 below); m. 10 Mar. 1978 Carson City, Nevada, TONA FE FREEMAN, b. 1947, and has issue, one son.
|Teal Coke Blake (b. 1978)|
Issue of Buckeye and Tona (Freeman) Blake:
1) TEAL COKE BLAKE, artist and rancher, b. 1978 Helena, Lewis and Clark County, Montana; m. 26 Oct. 2007 Parker, Collin County, Texas, JONCEE ANNE MOULDER, b. 1982 Texas, dau. of John Cable Moulder and Allee Inez Reid, and has issue, one son.
Edward IV would no doubt be pleased to number the father-son artists of the American West among his descendants. Edward was himself an expert horseman, and his winning the field at Towton (the largest and bloodiest battle ever fought on English soil) and being crowned king of England shortly afterwards, at the age of only 19, qualifies him as a kind of medieval English cowboy. Perhaps that's a stretch, but there's no doubt that Edward IV, though not an artist himself, appreciated artwork, as demonstrated by his collection of beautifully illuminated historical and literary manuscripts. Though five hundred years and seventeen generations may separate Edward IV and his descendant Buckeye Blake, a love for art, and for horses, unites them.
Edward IV = (probably) Margaret Fitzlewis, Dame Lucy (1440-1466, descended from Edward I), and had a dau:
1) Margaret Plantagenet, illegit. (b. c.1462) m. Sir Thomas Lumley, Heir of Lumley Castle (c.1462-1503, descended from Edward III), and had
2) Richard, 4th Lord Lumley (by 1478-1510) m. Anne Conyers (1469-1530, descended from Edward III), and had
3) Anthony Lumley (d. bef.1587) m. --- Grey, and had
4) ROGER LUMLEY of Durham, b. c.1550; d. Great North Gate, Durham, bur. 30 Mar. 1606 St Mary-le-Bow Durham; m. 28 Sept. 1578 St Oswald Church, Durham, ANNE KYRKEMAN, d. aft.1616, and had
5) RICHARD, 1st Viscount LUMLEY of Waterford, bap. 7 Apr. 1589 St Mary & St Cuthbert Church, Chester-le-Street; d. by 12 Mar. 1663 (when will was proved), bur. St Dunstan Church, Cheam, Surrey; m. 1st by 1617, FRANCES (SHELLEY) HOLLAND, bap. 21 Nov. 1592 Warminghurst, Sussex; bur. 10 Mar. 1627 St John the Baptist Church, Westbourne, Sussex, widow of William Holland of Steyning (1590-1615), and dau. of Henry Shelley of Warminghurst (1554-1623, descended from Edward I) and his 2nd wife Barbara Cromer (c.1562-1612, descended from Edward I), and had
|Hon. Julia (née Lumley) Conyers|
- see Generation 6
7) JULIA CONYERS, bap. 19 May 1668 St Mary & St Cuthbert Church, Chester-le-Street; d. 16 Aug. 1722, bur. 21 Aug. 1722 St John Church, Hampstead, Middlesex; m. 1st 27 Jan. 1685 St Nicholas Church, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Northumberland, Sir WILLIAM BLACKETT, 1st Baronet of Newcastle-on-Tyne, b. 5 Apr. 1657 Newcastle, bap. 9 Apr. 1657 St Nicholas Church, Newcastle; d. 2 Dec. 1705 London, bur. 29 Dec. 1705 St Nicholas Church, Newcastle, son of Sir William Blackett, 1st Baronet of Newcastle-on-Tyne (1621-1680) and Elizabeth Kirkley (d. 1674), and had
8) JULIA BLACKETT, b. 18 May 1686 Newcastle-on-Tyne, bap. 25 May 1686 St Andrew Church, Newcastle-on-Tyne; d. 13 Sept. 1736 Calverley Hall, Yorkshire, bur. 19 Sept. 1736 St Wilfred Church, Calverley; m. 17 Jan. 1707 St Andrew Church, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Sir WALTER CALVERLEY, 1st Baronet of Calverley, bap. 16 Jan. 1670 St Wilfred Church, Calverley; d. 15 Oct. 1749, bur. St Wilfred Church, Calverley, son of Walter Calverley of Calverley Hall (1629-1691, descended from Edward III) and Frances Thompson (1639-1721, descended from Edward I), and had
|Susanna (née Trevelyan) Hudson|
- see Generation 10
10) SUSANNA TREVELYAN, b. Leyhill, Payhembury, Devon, bap. 19 Nov. 1736 St Mary Church, Payhembury; bur. 23 Apr. 1780 St Crux Church, York, Yorkshire; m. 5 Feb. 1764 St Crux Church, York, JOHN HUDSON of Bessingby Hall, bap. 28 June 1727 St Mary Church, Bridlington, Yorkshire; d. Oct. 1772, bur. St Magnus Church, Bessingby, son of Benjamin Hudson of Bridlington, merchant (d. 1761) and Elizabeth Wilson (d. 1767, descended from Edward I), and had
|Lady Anne (née Townshend)|
Hudson - see Generation 11
12) HARRINGTON GEORGE FREDERICK HUDSON of Bessingby Hall, b. Raynham Hall, Norfolk, bap. 6 Mar. 1798 St Mary Church, East Raynham; d. 6 Nov. 1848 Bessingby Hall; m. 24 July 1834 All Saints Church, Bishop Burton, Yorkshire, as her 1st husband, CHARLOTTE WATT, bap. 30 Dec. 1814 All Saints Church, Bishop Burton; d. 30 Dec. 1891 Ashton Hall, Ashton-cum-Stoddy, Lancashire, 3rd dau. of Richard Watt of Bishop Burton Hall (1786-1855) and Hannah Burn (1789-1828), and had
|Blanche (née Hudson) Bond|
- see Generation 14
14) BLANCHE HUDSON, b. 2 Aug. 1872 Scarborough, Yorkshire, bap. 31 Oct. 1872 St Mary Church, Scarborough; d. 22 July 1946 Portrush, co. Antrim, Ireland; m. 3 Nov. 1896 St James Church, Westminster, (JOHN LINCOLN) FLEETWOOD BOND of West Parley House, Dorset, and of Arcadia, DeSoto County, Florida, b. 15 Dec. 1869 Belgravia, London, bap. 26 Apr. 1874 St Peter Church, Freston, Suffolk; d. by 1922, yst. son of Rev. Alfred Bond, Rector of Freston 1853-80 (1827-1912) and his 1st wife Georgiana Eliza Tharp (1829-1878), and had
|Dee (née Walls) Blake Tagliamonte|
- see Generation 16
16) GENEVIEVE 'Dee' EVELYN WALLS, b. 5 Jan. 1921 New Castle, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania; d. 1 May 2005 Carson City, Nevada; m. 2nd 1943[*2], COKE 'Bud' JOSEPH BLAKE, rodeo rider, government trapper, b. 3 June 1920 Pryor Creek, Mayes County, Oklahoma; d. 7 June 1968, bur. Rose Hills Memorial Park, Whittier, Los Angeles County, California, son of John Fenlon Blake of Fullerton, glass worker (1894-1968) and Badgie Mae Coppinger (1895-1986), and had
17) JAMES COKE 'Buckeye' BLAKE (b. 1946-see details above)
|Richard and Jane (née Edwards) Walls|
[Photo courtesy of Nanette Walls]
[*2] Dee Walls m. 1st 30 Mar. 1939 Santa Ana, Orange County, California (divorce), as his 1st wife, William Ray Arns of Omak, Okanogan County, farmer, b. 5 July 1916 South Dakota; d. 2 Mar. 1992 Omak, son of William W. Arns of Whittier (1868-1952) and Sarah Amelia Coates (1878-1953), and had issue, one daughter (with one grandchild). Dee's final m. Apr. 1969 Las Vegas, Clark County, Nevada, as his 2nd wife, Nicholas Joseph Tagliamonte, b. 9 Sept. 1932 New York City; d. 26 Oct. 2011 Las Vegas, son of Anthony Tagliamonte of New York City (1901-1984) and Rosa Randazzo.
I am very grateful to sisters Nanette Walls and Rosie Long, daughters of Richard Walls (see footnote [*1] above), for all of their help and patience with the research of the Bond and Walls families.
The next blogpost will return to the Hudson family in England, and examine the ancestry of John Pierce Chamberlain Starkie, M.P., husband of Anne Charlotte Amelia Hudson.