Acorn Cabaret Bar

David Taylor: The Mercenary from Marazion


In this session, David Taylor, Polperro author of ‘The Man Who Lived Twice’ will be telling the compelling story of Colonel George St Leger Grenfell and his amazing life.

The Grenfells hailed from Marazion. They had been mining and smelting tin and copper from the middle of the eighteenth century. They had made a fortune out of tin mining, smelting and banking until George’s youthful speculations bankrupted his father and forced his nine brothers and sisters out of their Penzance home.

Wanted for fraud in France and mosque desecration in Morocco, George became a mercenary and fought in most of the foreign wars of the nineteenth century, always with conspicuous gallantry. He charged with the Light Brigade at Balaclava, defended the bullet-strewn barricades in the Indian Mutiny, hacked his way through the Chinese Opium War and helped Garibaldi to liberate Italy.

Like fifty thousand other British citizens, George sailed to America to enrol in their Civil War and was the highest ranked British officer in the Confederate Army. And that’s only the start of the story!