Splendour & Squalor: Marcus Scriven

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John Hervey, 7th Marquess of Bristol, ‘John Bristol’

‘My mother’s husband was a wonderful stepfather to me…he used to take me hunting.’

‘It was normal, during the high days of the late 1980s and early 1990s, that John should feast on cocaine, grab a shotgun and repeatedly fire it into the air whilst howling abuse at those members of the public who had paid to visit Ickworth’s gardens (“****ING PEASANTS, ****ING NATIONAL TRUST”), and just as normal that those lunching with him should scarcely stir (“we just carried on: it was routine”). It soon seemed normal that his movements should become jerkier, “his appearance sinister, his hair longer and oilier”; normal that he should have “five suits made each week in materials more suited to soft furnishings”; that he should entertain “frantically, seven days a week, as though he could not bear his own company”. It was normal that disdain for the fuel gauge should send the Hughes 500 plummeting from the sky into a ploughed field, as it did with Angela Barry onboard (“Where’s the ****ing telephone?” shrieked John, on reaching the nearest farmhouse, through which he stamped mud, oblivious of its owners); normal that a visitor (George Milford Haven) should be greeted by the news that John had blown the door off the fridge the night before (courtesy of the shotgun once more); normal that he should shatter furniture at Ickworth, much of it of little consequence…though some of it precious if not priceless’

Edward Fitzgerald
Victor Hervey
Angus Montagu

With thanks to www.thepeerage.com

© 2017 Marcus Scriven