Discworld Wiki

Motto: PROTEGO ET SERVIO (Protect and Serve)

Commander Suffer-Not-Injustice "(Old) Stoneface" Vimes, Ankh-Morpork City Militia, Leader of the Ironheads.

Quote: In the Fyres of Struggle let us bake new New Men, who Will Notte heed the old lies. (Feet of Clay)

The last king of Ankh-Morpork was Lorenzo the Kind, whose reign was brought to an end in 1688 UC, by an axe wielded by Suffer-Not-Injustice "(Old) Stoneface" Vimes, the then-Commander of the Ankh-Morpork City Militia, (predecessor to the Ankh-Morpork City Watch), who was also, technically, defender of the crown, but it had needed doing. But according to Samuel Vimes, Suffer-Not-Injustice Vimes' modern-day descendant; "It wasn't even execution. You execute a human being; you slaughter an animal".

Suffer-Not-Injustice Vimes was described as a 'hard' man, "but they were hard times." He then went on to rule the city for several months. Whilst Vimes was of a noble family, his name was disgraced after the killing: after all, even if he did what everybody else wanted to do, he had still killed a king, and without trial, (when, in-fact, no judge was willing to preside over such a trial). In fact, later in the aftermath, he was betrayed, got hanged, dismembered, and then buried in five different graves. With Suffer-Not-Injustice dead and the Vimes Family name now in disgrace, the family's Coat of Arms was Banned; the family estate, lands, titles and fortune confiscated, and his descendants surviving one generation at a time, although it was noted in Feet of Clay that, over the generations, most of Suffer-Not-Injustice's descendants had served in the Watch, making it up to the rank of an officer.

Stoneface's case was re-evaluated by the Guild of Historians at Lord Vetinari's 'request'. The name of "Vimes" has been re-established along with the Vimes Coat of Arms, much to the bewilderment, (and annoyance), of his modern-day descendant, Samuel Vimes, (but to the joy of Sam's wife, Sybil's). Commander Vimes is now forced to use a noble title and a coat-of-arms, but he insists that he just be addressed as "Commander". However despite the re-evaluation of history, many still see Stoneface as the murderer of the last king of Ankh, and so it may take time before he is exonerated.

In Jingo, when Lord Vetinari makes Samuel Vimes a Duke, he also has the Vimes coat of arms resurrected and ordered a statue of Suffer-Not-Injustice Vimes, which according to Vetinari had "long disgraced the city by its absence". Whilst Vetinari thought to put the statue somewhere in Peach Pie Street, Samuel Vimes insisted that it be placed "Top of Broadway. Right in front of the palace. ... And right up close to the wall. Out of the wind..." (where any sensible Watchman would stand whilst on duty). According to Snuff, Suffer-Not-Injustice Vimes' statue remains free of graffiti because Commander Samuel Vimes has made it well known what he'll do to anyone who defaces it.

Suffer-Not-Injustice Vimes was apparently proud of the nickname "Old Stoneface", so proud in-fact that he asked that a reference to it be included in the Vimes Coat of Arms. His descendent, Samuel Vimes, seems to have also inherited the same "Old Stoneface" nickname, (as well as the "Vimes profile"), and some of his officers call him "Old Stoneface", never to his face, but when they think he can't hear them.

According to Feet of Clay, Samuel Vimes had read his ancestor's journal, having discovered it in the Unseen University library, (see quote at top of page).

The Vimes Family Coat of Arms features a Morpork Owl perched upon an Ankh, which is atop a Shield divided into four-quarters, with a symbol in each quarter: A Crown with a Dagger through it, (a traditional symbol for the role as a defender of the Crown). A Fasces--a bunch of rods with an Axe amongst them, (A symbol of the role of an officer of the Law). A marble bust, (a nod to Suffer-Not-Injustice's nickname, "Old Stoneface", put in at his own request). A bunch of grapes, (word play on the words "Vimes" & grape "Vines").

Known descendents[]

  • Gwilliam Vimes
  • Thomas Vimes
  • Samuel Vimes SR.
  • Samuel Vimes JR.


Old Stoneface is a reference to Oliver Cromwell, who was known as "Old Ironsides". Old Stoneface was described as having "warts and all"' a play on the comment by Cromwell that he be painted "warts and everything" by Sir Peter Lely. After having King Charles I of England executed, Cromwell was himself later ritually beheaded. Although he died in 1658, in 1661, Oliver Cromwell's body was exhumed from Westminster Abbey, and was subjected to the ritual of a posthumous execution by beheading. Symbolically, this took place on 30 January; the same date that Charles I had been executed. His body was hanged in chains at Tyburn. Finally, his disinterred body was thrown into a pit, while his severed head was displayed on a pole outside Westminster Hall until 1685. The head was eventually obtained in 1960 by Cromwell's alma mater, Cambridge University's Sidney Sussex College, where it is buried in a secret location.