Lord Percy Ben Dover's Diary

 Lord Ben Dover's Diary

 Ben Dover Controversy
Intense controversy has dogged the Ben Dover diary discovery since 1994. Is there a definitive answer?


Crupper and Crimps - Face Off!
Interview excerpt (MP3)

Ugly confrontation over Ben Dover Diary

Sir Phillip Crupper, the renowned British explorer who discovered the Ben Dover diary, and Dr. Jacob Crimps, world-famous 18th century historian, clashed recently on a Tennessee cable access television program. Crimps issued death threats when the show ended was quickly taken into custody by local police.

 Sir Phillip Crupper

Sir Phillip Crupper, the wealthy British explorer who discovered the Lord Ben Dover diary, speaks out on the authenticity controversy on BBC-15's "Speak Out" program. "100% authentic," proclaims Crupper.

Play interview excerpt (MP3)

Doctor Crimps

Speaking from an undisclosed location for security reasons, Dr. Jacob Crimps blasted Sir Phillip Crupper's diary discovery and wished he would experience "painful torture" for his deception.

Play interview excerpt (MP3) 

Lord Percy Ben Dover (1750-1781) is one of the great unknowns of the American Revolutionary period. His recently discovered diary sheds shocking new light on events connected with the American Revolution. Having been thoroughly examined by the foremost authorities in 18th century historical studies, the diary has been determined to be – without a shadow of a doubt – 332 pages in length.

The leather-bound diary, found wrapped in women's clothes beneath the floorboards of what had been an 18th century brothel four miles from Williamsburg, Virginia, revealed surprising new information to American Revolutionary War scholars in general and military historians in particular. Although written in a childish scribble with many passages obscured by undetermined liquids (apparently DNA in nature), the few passages transcribed so far have proved a remarkable resource to military history scholars from New Jersey to Maryland.

Here are several recently transcribed passages (others will be posted when they become available):

10 March, 1777 - New York City

"Having been in the city but a short while, I was at first hesitant to pass judgement on these colonials. However, I was struck by the squalor in every direction. There was but one thing to do – drink. And heavily at that.

I found my way to a dingy tavern called the Bull's Head, situated next to a livestock pen (how delightful). It wasn't long before I was weaving and I soon wound up "shooting the cat" as they say.

As I struggled to wipe the sick from my face, I noticed a rather distinguished gentleman lying next to me on the floor. Between bouts of emptying the contents of his stomach, he managed to introduce himself as Beverley Robinson, a wealthy New York loyalist.

'Beverley? That's kind of a girl's name, isn't it?' I said smugly.

'It's a family name,' he shot back defensively.

'Perhaps but it's still kind of girly, isn't it?' I returned.

He responded by hurling me into several British Grenadiers who further pummeled me for spilling their tankards of ale. Later, Robinson and I wound up talking at length about his impending plans for forming a loyalist regiment to fight against the rebels. He seemed stumped for a name for the regiment.

'I was considering His Majesty's Legion of Death as a name,' he said confidently.

'I don't like it. I'd go with something simple and straightforward. Why not call your loyal american regiment something like... the Loyal American Regiment?'

'I can't say I like the name but I'll think about it,' he returned as staggered off into the alley to shoot the cat again. I smiled, knowing that he would see it my way after he regained his senses."

6 October, 1777 - Fort Montgomery, New York

"As I struggled to wipe the sick from my face, I looked around at the fort and quickly realized that I was seeing history being made here on the Hudson River. I had accompanied Colonel Beverley Robinson and his bold Loyal American Regiment as they raided and took Fort Montgomery. I surveyed the newly-captured fort. It was a bit messy and I quickly became bored.

Since there were no more rebels to slaughter, I walked into the abandoned rebel officers' headquarters. Just a few minutes later, I was enjoying one of the harlots that the rebel officers had left behind. These American girls are devilishly saucy wenches. As this one attended my [illegible] by [illegible illegible] like someone might milk a cow, she told me with a sly wink to try on some leather breeches that a rebel officer had left behind.

Not wanting to disappoint her, I tried on the leather breeches and was strutting about the room for her enjoyment when a Loyal American Regiment officer stormed in and stared at me in anger. I recognized him as one Captain Joshua Barnes, a disagreeable loyalist from nearby Westchester County. We had locked horns before. [Five lines have been crossed out] ... however, there was no way I could have known she was his daughter in the first place.

'You little fop, you!' he hissed as he knocked me to the ground. 'I'm taking everything in this room – including those breeches,' he shouted as he brandished his sword, and by that I do not mean his [page torn]. As he raised the sword above his head, I fainted dead away.

When I awoke, I found myself alone in a jollyboat floating down the Hudson River dressed only in a pair of old breeches that I realized to my chagrin, I had soiled. I felt an odd stinging and looked down to realize that the word, 'Fop' had been carved into my chest with the tip of a sword. Still, the pain I could bear. It was missing out on those leather breeches that truly hurt."

7 July, 1778 - Flushing Fly, New York

"As I struggled to wipe the sick from my face, I noticed a platoon of Royal Provincials coming my way along the dusty road. I was intrigued not just by their flamboyant hats which rose a full two feet over their heads but also by the fact that they wore sailor's slops rather than trousers or breeches. I hallooed one of them and asked him about the slops.

"Nice ones, ain't they?" he said as he kicked me viciously to the ground and took my brand new shoes with diamond buckles. "We like the nautical look. You have some sort of problem with that, Sir Nancy Boy?"

"No, they are marvelous," I uttered with difficulty as he pressed his new shoes upon my windpipe.

"Leave the fop alone and rejoin your unit!" shouted a serjeant as he passed (although he found time to spit upon me when he came within range).

The soldier left and I stood up, trying once again to breathe. As I watched them march off into the distance, I couldn't help but admire those slops." 

20 October 1780 - New York City

As I struggled to wipe the sick from my face, I noticed a group of King's Rangers making their way across Broad Street [Broadway]. Collecting myself, I staggered out of the alley to observe these rather striking soldiers. Their coats were green in colour with red facings which made them stand out in an extraordinary fashion from the regulars. Upon their cartridge boxes, some industrious fellow had painted images of rebels being brutally bayoneted by King's Rangers. I was impressed by the small details such as the blood oozing from the touchhole of the musket.

The images was striking although not nearly as striking as the King's Ranger hats. Rather than the usual black round hats, these men wore white round hats with the brim entirely cut off. Affixed to one side of the crown was a green plume, which soared nearly three feet above the top of the hat.

"A remarkable uniform, if I may say so!" I uttered to their serjeant as the group strutted arrogantly past.

"Foppish bastard!" hissed the serjeant as he pushed me roughly back into a wall.

The Ranger had cracked several of my ribs but I couldn't help but be impressed as I watched the Rangers saunter down the street towards one of the many brothels run by the army.

2 November 1780 - New York City

After struggling to wipe the sick from my face, I rushed to the headquarters of Commander Sir Henry Clinton. Harry and I have been friends since the days we went drinking and whoring in Edinburgh before the war. He introduced me to a stern-looking gentleman wearing a green regimental. This was Captain Samuel Hayden of the King's Rangers. The two were in the middle of a heated discussion.

"This is completely and utterly bogus, your Excellency!" exclaimed Hayden as he took a liberal gulp from his wine glass.

"Sam, I've told you before, I need your men on the Jersey coast," returned Clinton patiently.

"Let the New Jersey Volunteers do it! I've had enough of this!"

"Sam, you're always making things difficult," shot back Clinton with a stern look.

All of this was making me extremely uncomfortable. I nervously looked at my pocket watch.

"Well, I really have to be going, gentlemen," I said.

Hayden looked intently in my direction. "Say, nice watch!" he exclaimed with a gleam in his eye. "How much do you want for it?"

"It's not for sale, Captain Hayden."

"Come on, how much?"

"He said no, Sam!" exclaimed Clinton with a sneer.

"You're always interfering!" shot back Captain Hayden and he left the room without another word.

"Well, now you know what I have to put up with!" uttered Clinton quietly as he leaned back in his chair. "I'm going to ship those Rangers so far away it's not funny."

"How's the war effort going, Harry?" I said, hoping to change the subject.

"Awful. I don't have a clue what to do next."

"Well, I'd suggest pushing into places like Virginia... Williamsburg or even Yorktown perhaps."

"Bravo, sounds good to me. Let's do it."

I smiled, pleased that the commander-in-chief took such confidence in my opinions.

29 May 1779 - Albany, NY
Note: Testing has shown that this entry is written in human blood (apparently, Ben Dover's).

As I struggled to wipe the sick from my face, I noticed Jimmy Rogers, the rather handsome brother of Robert Rogers, coming in my direction.

"That green uniform suits you," I said slyly. I cursed my lack of originality, certain he wouldn't be impressed.

"Thank you. Just got it, you know. The breeches are a bit tight though," he returned with an odd sparkle in his eye.

Before I had a chance to say something clever, the rest of his King's Rangers stumbled into view. They were quite drunk but very, very manly. Within a minute, they pounded me senseless, leaving me in a pool of my own blood. My fingers are broken and it will be several months before I can write by my own hand.

Quotes about various British & Loyalist officers

Major John Andre:
"A smashing fellow... bright, articulate and cultured, although we did nearly tear into each other when I disagreed with his glowing review of a dreary 1774 London peformance of Richard III."

Lt.-Col. James Chalmers (Maryland Loyalists):
"Arrogant, know-it-all... The man has a lisp and a Scottish accent. If that doesn't doom you to failure, I don't know what does."

Colonel Andreas Emmerick (Emmerick's Chasseurs)
"Nice enough when he's got his shipment of German sausages but put a gallon of Madiera into him and he starts shouting in German and slapping his knees. He scares me."

Sir William Howe (British Commander):
"Loser... hopefully, his ship will sink on the way back to England and he will be fish food."

Lt.-Col. Alfred Clifton (Roman Catholic Volunteers):
"This one likes his drink. In fact, the whole regiment does... I don't see them lasting very long."

 Lord Percy Ben Dover portrait

The only known portrait of Lord Percy Ben Dover

(Date & artist unknown)

The portrait underwent extensive restoration in 1997 to remove numerous slurs and curse words that vandals have scribbled or carved on the canvas since it was first displayed in 1996.

"We were pleased to get the damned thing cleaned up," says Reg Hargraves, the curator of the famous Ben Dover collection in Weskit-on-the-Knave.

"I mean, nobody likes this quy. I've never seen such hatred taken out on a piece of canvas before. I mean, bloody hell!"



Important Dates in Lord Ben Dover's Life:

October 6, 1750: Born to 13-year old Beatrice Fanny, a London streetwalker with no arms and Lord Kenneth Ben Dover, a wealthy pig farmer from Whacshire who had a lifelong penchant for smearing himself with whale oil and shouting obscenities at his local vicar.

1761: Ben Dover is expelled from Prat's Boarding School in Lojackshire. No reason given.

1767: a London newspaper reports that Ben Dover is found naked and drunk at the entrance of Westminster Abbey.

1771: a Liverpool newspaper reports Ben Dover found naked and drunk in the cargo hold of the HMS Roebuck.

1775: Ben Dover assaults Edmund Burke in the House of Commons for suggesting reconciliation with the American Colonies.

1777: Ben Dover lands in British-occupied New York City. Shortly thereafter, he is barred from the headquarters of the British high command.

1780: Sited drunk and wearing women's clothes in a South Carolina brothel.

January 1, 1781: A drinking companion of Ben Tarleton, he advises the infamous commander to hit the colonists at Cowpens and be done with them. Tarleton is hesitant but decides to go with Ben Dover's judgement.

Fall, 1781: Placed under military arrest by Lord Cornwallis and shot upon the battlements at Yorktown shortly before the British surrender.



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Lord Percy Ben Dover, Copyright © 2010 by M. Christopher New