County of Memphis
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|— Capital of the Grove —|
|Country||Kingdom of the Grove|
|Founded||12 November 2010|
|- Noble||HIll.H Tania, Countess of Memphis|
|- Total||6.837e-3 km2 (0 sq mi)|
|- Summer (DST)||BST (UTC+1)|
The area now known as Memphis was used as a meeting place for the social group that would become the Orlian nation as early as August 2009. On 4 July 2010, the Caesarship of Orly was declared an independent state, and when it was divided in two later that month, Memphis found itself in the Kingdom of the Grove. As well as being one of the most popular meeting points for the Orlians, Memphis likely became regarded as capital of the Grove due to its monarchical associations, being the site of Esmond's Tree (see below) as well as of some large stone blocks which came to be used as a throne by King Calum I.
Despite its popularity, Memphis remained officially nameless until 12 November 2010, when the new Lord Regent of the Grove, Crown Prince Jonathan, named it after the ancient Egyptian capital. Prior to this, the area had simply been referred to as "by the waterfall".
In December 2010, Declan I seized the throne of the Grove in defiance of Emperor Esmond III, and the subsequent War of the Orlian Reunification saw the Grove invaded by Austenasia. The Battle of Orly took place from Friday 10th to Saturday 11th, with Orlians refusing to allow the Austenasian Army to occupy Memphis on the first day, and retaking the capital after a brief occupation on the second day.
The decision of Declan I to reunify the Kingdom of the Grove with the Kingdom of Copan to form the Tsardom of Orly saw Memphis declared capital of the entirety of the Tsardom. On 26 September 2012, Memphis was referred to a county for the first time when Declan I gave the title Countess of Memphis to Eritoshi Thanasi, a friend of Crown Prince Jonathan, by the latter's request. This title was a ceremonial peerage, with no administrative powers.
The following year, Memphis was the site of the Liberation of Orly on 24 June 2013, when the now Emperor Jonathan I backed an Orlian revolt which resulted in the abdication of Declan I and the restoration of the independent kingdoms of the Grove and of Copan. In gratitude for the role played by Countess Eritoshi in convincing Declan I to abdicate, the Emperor promised to make Memphis an autonomous county for her, which was done by the Second Edict of Orly on 1 July 2013. Eritoshi only visited Memphis once after the Liberation, on 14 July 2015, alongside Jonathan I and Lord John Gordon during a visit to the Carshalton Nations by the latter.
On 16 September 2018, Jonathan I granted the title Countess of Memphis to the now Countess Tania, sister of Princess Hannah.
The County consists of:
- Memphis proper, the most popular meeting place for Orlians, immediately south of the Cascade. The focal point of Memphis proper are some boulders under a tree, used as a throne by Calum I. Next to this tree is Esmond's Tree, which is somewhat taller, and named after Emperor Esmond III in honour of his frequently successful attempts to climb it. The thick branches of Esmond's Tree are used for shelter by Orlians during rain.
- The Cascade (commonly known as the Waterfall) is a 1.5m high waterfall in the River Wandle in the north of the Grove, spanned by a nearby bridge. It has been ornamental in design since a reconstruction in the 1960s, its original purpose being to create a head of water to power the nearby Upper Mill.
- Ricecake Woods is a wooded area to the east of Memphis proper.
- The Manky Pond is a stagnant area of water by the Upper Mill.
- An un-named field borders the Wandle, just to the south of the Manky Pond.
The County of Memphis, despite being an intrinsic part of the sovereign territory of the Kingdom of the Grove, holds autonomy by virtue of the Second Edict of Orly (see above). Any order of the King of the Grove regarding the County of Memphis may be vetoed by the Countess of Memphis, who, despite formally recognising the King as her feudal superior, governs the county independently.
Although the title Countess of Memphis is Orlian and not Austenasian, the first act of Jonathan I as Emperor was to grant its holder the style of Illustrious Highness (HIll.H). In the Second Edict of Orly (issued as it was a mere week after the Liberation), Emperor Jonathan I assumed the right "as suzerain of Orly" to clarify and confirm the geographical borders and political arrangements within Orly, as had Emperor Esmond III three years prior. The King of the Grove was forbidden to remove the Countess "from her title, position or powers", but the Emperor himself did so in September 2018, when he replaced Countess Eritoshi with the incumbent Countess Tania. Memphis therefore effectively holds a de facto form of "imperial immediacy", with the close friendship Emperor Jonathan I has held with both of the Countesses having helped to solidify the special status of Memphis in this regard.
List of Countesses
|Arms||Name||Took office||Left office||Notes|
|HIll.H Eritoshi, Countess of Memphis||26 Sep 2012||16 Sep 2018|
|HIll.H Tania, Countess of Memphis||16 Sep 2018||Incumbent|