Norval Marley

Soldier, Deceased Person

– 1955


Who was Norval Marley?

Norval Sinclair Marley was a White Jamaican, notable for being the father of the reggae artist Bob Marley.

Marley was born in Jamaica to Albert Thomas Marley, an Englishman from Sussex, and Ellen Marley née Broomfield. Norval was a European British Jamaican, however it is supposed that, apart from the British descent, his family was also of distant Syrian Jewish heritage. He travelled to England where he joined the British Army in August 1916 at Liverpool, enlisting in the non-combatant Labour Corps; he had previously been employed as a ferro-concreter in Cuba.

Norval later claimed to have been a captain in the Royal Marines. He was a plantation overseer, when he married Cedella Malcolm, an Afro-Jamaican then 18 years old. Their romance began when he was approximately 60 years old and she was merely 17. Marley’s family was made up of British Jamaicans from the parish of Clarendon, but he relocated for work purposes to Saint Ann Parish where Cedella had grown up and resided.

Cedella gave birth to their son Nesta Robert "Bob" Marley on 6 February 1945. No other children arose from this relationship and the couple separated after a short time. Norval provided financial support for his wife and child, but seldom saw them, and Bob Marley never really came to know his father, who died when he was 10.

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Also known as
  • Norval Sinclair Marley
  • Jamaica

on July 23, 2013


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