Saturday, October 18, 2014

Warring families that always come out on top

From:  The Telegraph 

by Harry Mount

(And some which do not)

"The 12th Duke of Manchester was a similar disappointment. Born in 1938 in spectacular style, he was due to inherit the family seat, Kimbolton Castle, the last home of Henry VIII’s first wife, Catherine of Aragon. 

By the time of his death in 2002, however, the duke’s fortunes had collapsed: over 20 stone and married four times, by then he lived in a Sixties block of flats in Bedford. He had worked as a clothes salesman, crocodile-wrestler and barman. He had flogged the family silver and furniture in exchange for his five favourite things: “Flights, food, drink, narcotics, girls,” as his biographer puts it. 

It didn’t help that he was also a fraudster, jailed for 33 months in 1996 in Virginia for conning the owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning, a Florida ice hockey team. His family had form: the 12th Duke’s father sold Kimbolton Castle for a song in 1951. In 1935, his grandfather, the 9th Duke, was imprisoned in Wormwood Scrubs for defrauding a London pawnbroker."  MORE