A small selection of the ninety-seven
children fathered by Jeremy's brother, Jonty (right).
Birth records show that the Selman-Troytt
family were fecund by any standard but Jonty seems to have
been particularly fertile, producing a stream of children
between 1871 and 1939 when he became inexplicably impotent
at the age of 83. Grieving relatives maintained that he had
never recovered from Hitler's annexation of the Sudetenland
the previous year and refused to send any more financial contributions
to the National Socialist Party.
Jonty's voracious sexual appetite
was legendary and a source of considerable pride within the
family. On one occasion he had to be forcibly restrained from
having intercourse with his wife only seconds after the delivery
of their 43rd child (Joyce). The attending physician, who
was in the process of cutting the umbilicus when Jonty jostled
him aside 'in a state of extreme and unsanitary engorgement'
was compelled to lay the newborn down in order to wrestle
her father to the floor with the assistance of the midwife
and four servants.
The doctor was amazed to record
that 'his engorgement did not subside, even under continual
intravenous sedation, although we maintained constant observation
of it throughout a period of sixty-seven hours.'
Jonty eschewed the use of any form
of contraception, maintaining that it was 'the work of
the devil to contain any man's life-juice within a bag'
and that 'women were designed to be filled. Anyone can
After copulation he insisted that all partners
should lie prone for a period of twelve hours to 'increase
the chance of my seed taking root'.
His greatest ambition was to
impregnate Marie Stopes - the birth control campaigner - whom
he referred to as 'a perfect vessel in need of filling.'
Although he was never successful, she was so impressed by his
obsessive persistence that she marked every 100 repetitions
of his invitation to 'gouge your verdant valley with my
rough, pointed glacier'
with a congratulatory medal which
Jonty displayed proudly thereafter.