Thomas Thimbletoes received his nickname by playing with his mother's sewing basket
when he was very young. (1) When he came of age, having no land, (2) Thomas was sent off
for a seminary education in northern Italy. (3) Having nearly completed his education
there, Thomas was suddenly expelled for having broken curfew one too many times. (4)
Returning home, he discovered that he had no home; his beloved village had been
annexed to that horrifying collection of buildings known as Willy-Nilly on the Wash. (5)
Curious to know the whereabouts of his kin, especially his brothers, (6) Thomas went
to Warrickshire for information. He miraculously gained an audience with Lady Warrick,
who, upon hearing Thomas had seminary training, immediately enlisted him to be the
tutor for the Warrick children. After a few months of working with these precocious
children, Thomas complained to Lord Warrick, saying, "I would wager that I could make
your brother Lord Leicester laugh quicker than I could teach either of these two
knotheaded children!" (7) Lord Warrick took Thomas up on the bet, supplying him with
fool's motley and changing his responsibilities from that of tutor to that of jester.
Fortunately, Thomas had teamed how to juggle from a local Commedia dell' Arte troupe
while he schooled in northern Italy.
Thomas does not foresee himself as the Warrick's jester / tutor forever - not that
he is complaining, for he gets a lot of food and gets to wear wonderful clothing - but
Thomas hopes to one day own a piece of land where he can raise a few pigs and grow some
potatoes. Thomas is realizing that he is coming to be of marrying age and so is searching
for a proper wife. He is looking for a spouse who will join him in the Ritual of Mudding. (8)
Incidentally, you will never see Thomas without his boots. This is because Queen
Elizabeth would execute him if he took them off. (9)
- It is a delightful story; ask him to tell you sometime. Strangely enough,
it has to do with his putting thimbles on his toes.
- Although Thomas is the eldest son in his family he belongs to that strange
clan of O'Greenhoes from Booty Rooty on the Bush where they pass the land holdings to the eldest
daughter - in this case, his sister Sooey O'Greenhoe.
- His family chose that region because of the stories of 6-foot pigs that ran
wild there, feeding freely on grape mash and barley. This seemed like a dream come true for the
- His expulsion is much more complicated than that and involves the fact that
he had painted images of St. George and St. Ninian on his bum, one on each buttocks. It is a story
Thomas delights in telling.
- Ironically Thomas' estranged cousin, the Lady Cordellia Clark, is married to
the Mayor of Willy- Nilly, Lord Alexander Clark * for Lady Cordellia's mother and Thomas' mother
were sisters. Thomas' mother, Pimpinella (nee Oggleview) O'Greenhoe was cast out from her Family
by her elder sister Penelope Oggleview. Their disagreement had something to do with Pimpinella
discussing the many varieties of farts, which greatly insulted the sensibilities of the prudish
and straitlaced Penelope. To add greater insult, Pimpinella married one of those nasty pig-herding
O'Greenhoes (Walter, better known as "Doodler") from Booty Rooty. Thus, Thomas and Cordellia rarely
spoke in their childhood but their positions of adulthood have created some interesting dynamics
* Of further irony is the fact that Lord Alexander Clark was a titter rival with
Thomas' younger brother, Digby 0'Greenhoe mayor of Booty Rooty on the Bush at the time of the horrendous
annexation of free loving Booty Rooty into this unnecessary collection of buildings. I mean what's the
fun of having a city if it stays the same every year, never changing because of a good mud slide? That's
the way a city grows - you have to keep adding to it because the mud slides keep changing the geography.
At least that's how we did it in Booty Rooty.
- O'Greenhoe brothers share uncommon bonds (which often frighten those not familiar with
the brothers). Thomas has at least two brothers; Digby OGreenhoe, former mayor of Booty Rooty, and a younger
brother named Thommie. Thommie has dissappeared some time ago, after hitting his head on one of the few rocks
in Booty Rooty. Oddly enough a troll named Thom appeared in Willy-Nilly, at the same time Thommie disappeared
and the two do bear an odd similarity to one another.
- "Knot-headed" is a term of endearment among Booty-Rooters; it is a compliment for a fashionable
hairstyle. Its origin is unknown since many Booty-Rooters, both male and female, shave their heads and go bald for most
of their adult life.
(Except when they, their spouse, or their favorite pig is pregnant and / or in mourning, or when they areexpecting to go
on a pilgrimage to the Great Pig Pen of Lockhist in southeastern Ireland, where they claim their family originates.)
- The traditional way a Booty Rooty couple begins a marriage. The ritual mostly involves the intended couple being coated
in fresh, wet, sticky mud; then their friends d family throws large handfuls of hay at the couple. The two then depart to
scrape off their bodies and make bricks for their new home from the mud and straw - gifts of their friends. There are some
other traditions, such as the sharing of a pig s ear parse and the Ritual of Gnawing on a Pickled Pig's Foot as well as the
exchanging of vows, which include the traditional "Spouse's Pig, vow, in which both the husband and wife promise to never kick
their spouse's beloved pig from bed at night - but Thomas, being an educated man, is willing to negotiate on these. Except for
the Spouse's Pig vow.
- Yes, this also is connected to a rather delightful story (although the consequences of it could be dire). In short, Thomas
had insulted Her Majesty, to which she declared Thomas was never to set foot on English soil again. Thomas booked passage to
France, filled his boots with dirt from its soils, and then returned to England. Thus, with his boots on, his feet rest on French
soil. Elizabeth delighted in his cleverness, but declared if he ever set foot on English soil he would loose his head Consequently,
he never removes his boots.
Return to the O'Greenhoe Page.