28 Oct 2019

Nathaniel Holmes Morison III, Virginia Gentleman, d. October 10th, 2019

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Nat Morison, heir to Welbourne and uncrowned king of Northern Virginia Horse Country, passed away October 10th, aetatis 83.

He was a proud graduate of the University of Virginia who looked suspiciously at people tainted by association with such Yankee schools as Yale and Harvard.

His tastes were naturally antiquarian. After all, he ate his breakfast daily at the same table where George Washington (a regular guest at Welbourne) made notes for the Constitutional Convention of 1787. One window of his house’s second floor features a never-completed inscription by the “Gallant Pelham,” who was interrupted while writing with his diamond ring on the glass in 1862 with a call to arms.

Nat Morison commonly followed the practice notoriously associated with British peers of dressing with decided flair in century old suits and ties, and shirts, and even shoes, inherited from generations of gentleman ancestors.

His colorful eccentricity and his passionate aversion to change inspired the affectionate tribute of a 2004 film comedy, Crazy like a Fox, in which an impecunious 8th generation Virginia aristocrat loses his stately Virginia manse to a couple of crass Yankee speculators (named Sherman, no less) and then proceeds to wage a guerilla war of resistance.

Virginia and the world are duller places without Nat Morison.

Molliter ossa cubent!


Richard Roberts, Middleburg huntsman, formerly huntsman for the Piedmont Fox Hounds, blows “Gone Away” for Nat.

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2 Feedbacks on "Nathaniel Holmes Morison III, Virginia Gentleman, d. October 10th, 2019"

Joseph M. Fanganello

I miss Nat: his frayed dress shirts at cocktail hour on the Welbourne porch; muddy rubber boots from tending the old horses; twang and nasal disdain for anything not totally authentic; brown-inked cursive on letters filled with kind information on his NY Rangers and family and wariness of anyone who could live in an uncivilized outside space of Colorado; his respectful affection for Sherry and Josh and Ames and Rebecca and George. He managed his house and grounds as an historic treasure of writers, musicians, horsemen, and essential characters of our American essence. His blood family extends through centuries of influence from rural Virginia to Baltimore, New York City, Boston and europe. He was living history on a whiskey tour of Marechiara, White Horse Tavern, Grotta Azurraand National



Joseph M. Fanganello

I miss Nat: his frayed dress shirts at cocktail hour on the Welbourne porch; muddy rubber boots from tending the old horses; twang and nasal disdain for anything not totally authentic; brown-inked cursive on letters filled with kind information on his NY Rangers and family and wariness of anyone who could live in an uncivilized outside space of Colorado; his respectful affection for Sherry and Josh and Ames and Rebecca and George. He managed his house and grounds as an historic treasure of writers, musicians, horsemen, and essential characters of our American essence. His blood family extends through centuries of influence from rural Virginia to Baltimore, New York City, Boston and europe. He was living history on a whiskey tour of Marechiara, White Horse Tavern, Grotta Azurra and National Arts Club in NYC. I will again stand on the grassy hill beyond the house feeling the clean cool horse-scented wind. But I won’t see Nat coming around in his old truck bringing me an iced manhattan to share in a rocker on a front porch nurtured with souls and sounds that enriched humanity.



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