In November 1758, months after the Battle of Crefeld, a Royal Commission of Inquiry is convened to investigate the cannon that blew up under Lord John Grey's command. Grey is called to stand before a tribunal led by Colonel Reginald Twelvetrees, who regards Grey with a cold severity. The panel asks various questions about the day of battle and Grey's prior experience with artillery. Lord Marchmont also suggests that faulty powder was sold to the army by Edgar DeVane, Grey's elder half brother, then goes on to imply that it was Grey's fault that the cannon exploded. Deeply offended, Grey walks out, despite protests from the panel.
- Reginald is from Reginaldus, a Latinized form of Reynold, from the Germanic name Raginald, composed of the elements ragin "advice" and wald "rule".
- Twelvetrees is possibly a habitational surname and describes somebody who lived by a group of twelve "somethings". Another possibility is that it originated from a now "lost" village called Twelvetrees, but no such place has been found in any gazetter of the past three centuries. There is another suggestion that the derivation of the name is from 'Atte-well', which over the centuries became Twelve.