Splendour & Squalor: Marcus Scriven

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Victor Hervey, 6th Marquess of Bristol

‘Known as “The Reptile” by some of his family, equipped with what one apologist described as a “splendidly villainous appearance”, the subject of a Black Book diligently maintained by various of his cousins, Victor was, says one relation (admitting that he is influenced by family prejudice), “a nasty, creepy” boy who tore wings off flies…’

‘Marjorie’s photograph album shows the two boys – John and his first cousin Victor – on the beach together near Lochnell; they briefly overlapped again at Eton, John arriving there in 1931… By 1941, Victor was in prison; John an inmate of St Andrew’s Hospital, Northampton.’

‘About seven miles east of Colwyn Bay, a mass of towers and crenulated, limestone, ivy-clad walls loom over the A55. Roofless, gutted of its marble by New Age travellers, ringed with municipal signs warning visitors to stay out, Gwrych Castle has manifestly seen better days. Yet as a symbol of the follies of dynastic pretension it can hardly be bettered…’

‘A couple arriving for a shooting weekend in the 1960s at Ickworth noticed Victor leaning from an upper window. As they drove nearer, he opened fire (whether with a revolver, rifle or shot gun, his guests were uncertain. “We didn’t stay to find out. We practically had to run for cover”).’

Edward Fitzgerald
Angus Montagu
John Bristol

With thanks to www.thepeerage.com

© 2024 Marcus Scriven