The blood of a long chain of ancestors
, who nearly all stood on the highest level of culture of their day, cannot, indeed, be without influence on their descendants, morally and physically. Therefore it will not be without interest if I give the pedigree of our family, and a short history of my aunt's immediate relations.
The von Bülow family
can trace their roots back to the time of the crusades, with the family story that one of their ancestors fighting in the Holy Land paid a ransom of 15 Bezants for the release of a Cornish Knight from the enemy forces. To this day part of the coat of arms of Cornwall carries these 15 bezants on its shield; as does the Von Bülow shield.
The family von Bülow
is a very ancient one, belonging to the Abotrites (Mecklenburg). The word "Bülow" (bueol) signifies in the Wendish tongue: "staff of the commander," and in the Abotrite: "coin"; from this we understand that the bearers of the name often led the army and belonged to the landed gentry. We learn from the old Bülow chronicle that in the 14th century the family possessed an enormous property in Mecklenburg.
The crest of the family
shows a dark-blue background, with fourteen golden coins or balls. According to another tradition they are said to be the eggs of the bird Pirol (yellow thrush), so-called because of its cry "Buelow, Buelow." It stands with a ring in its beak above the helmet over the crest. The motto is; " All Bülows are honest." The first who called himself Herr von Bülow was Gottfried III. This Herr von Bülow lived in the year 1154. His ancestors called themselves, after the old custom, Gottfried I and Gottfried II. Very characteristic is the epitaph of a certain Heinrich von Bülow in the old von Bülow chapel at Doberan, of the 14th century:
" Wick Duefel, wick, wick vid van mih--
Ik scheer mi nich cen Hahr um di
Ik buen en Mecklenboergschen Edelmann
Wat geit di Duefel min Supen an?
Ik sup mit mien Herrn Jesu Christ,
Wenn Du Duefel ewig doesten muest,
Un drink mit em soet Kolleschall,
Wenn du Sitzt in der Hoellenquahl
Drum rahd ik, wick loop, ruenn und gah.
""Fly devil, fly; fly far from me,
I do not care a straw for thee!
Of Mecklenburg I am a Peer;
So why at my drink should devils jeer?
My Lord Jesus Christ is drinking with me
Eternally, devil, thou thirsty shalt be!
With Him I am drinking cold sweet wine,
Whilst thou sitt'st in that Hellfire of thine.
So fly, I adjure thee, fly, hurry away
Else, by the deuce, I will thee slay."