The name’s Bond...John Bond And he spied for Britain too
THE discovery of a diary written more than 400 years ago suggests that a nobleman in the service of Elizabeth I could have been the inspiration for 007.
Ad to prove that fact is often stranger than fiction, his name was Bond.
Fans now flocking to see the latest 007 film Quantum Of Solace might like to know that this 16th century Bond – first name John – was also a dab hand at cloak-anddagger work.
The ancient journal was found recently at the nobleman’s ancestral seat. It records his stirring adventures working for Good Queen Bess.
It may just be chance that James Bond’s creator Ian Fleming went to a prep school on a neighbouring estate.
But it has to be more than coincidence that the real-life Bond family motto Non Sufficit Orbis – The World Is Not Enough – is the same as that used by the fictional 007, and was the title of the 19th Bond movie.
The diary was discovered by land owner William Bond, whose family have lived for generations at Holme Priory in Langton Matravers village, near Swanage, Dorset.
Fleming was born in London but was sent by his parents to the now-closed Durnford House school, next to the priory.
Though he could not have seen the diary, Fleming would have learned about the Bonds next door – and perhaps even have heard about their motto.
The journal was written by Denis Bond in the late 1500s and tells of how his father John really did work in Her Majesty’s Secret Service – assisting Sir Francis Drake on many daring escapades.
An entry in the diary from 1573 demonstrates John Bond’s ruthlessness with a story of his escape from the St Bartholomew’s Day massacre a year earlier in France by taking a woman and her children hostage, threatening to kill them.
Non Sufficit Orbis was King Philip of Spain’s motto – and the Bond family believe that their ancestor cheekily adopted it to cock a snook at England’s arch enemy.
It was the kind of wry humour for which Fleming’s character was to become famous.
Dorset historian and author Rodney Legg said Fleming once admitted that everything he wrote had “a precedent in truth”.
He said: “I think it is true of the Bond motto.”
STIRRING: 007 author Fleming’s old prep school next to the ancient Bond estate. Left, the family crest