Turtle Bunbury

Writer and Historian

 
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HISTORY

FAMILY HISTORY
Moore of Moore Abbey - Earls of Drogheda

Readers of magazines such as Architectural Digest, Harpers & Queens and Nest may be familiar with the work of the prolific interiors photographer Derry Moore. These same readers might be surprised to learn that Derry Moore is also the 12th Earl of Drogheda, head of a prominent Kildare family who resided in Monasterevin for exactly 200 years between 1725 and 1925. Although the Moores left Ireland early in the 20th century, their ancestral home, Moore Abbey, built in the mid 18th century, continues to stand today, being the Irish headquarters of the Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary.

FAMILY ORIGINS

As with the Moores of Tullamore and Charleville, the Moores of Monasterevin are said to descend from a Saxon family active in Kent during the Middle Ages. Thomas de la More held the Manor of More Place in Ivy Church in the days of Henry II. They later moved to Moore Court at Benenden, a property that still exists, albeit in considerably altered form. The first mention of a family member in Ireland is Sir Edward Moore, a senior figure in Queen Elizabeth’s army, who married Elizabeth Clifford, widow of Sir William Brabazon, former Vice-Treasurer of Ireland. As a reward for his services to the Crown, Sir Edward received a phenomenal estate exceeding 50,000 acres in Counties Louth and Meath. This included the lease on the dissolved abbey of Mellifont in County Louth, which became the Moore’s family home until 1725. Mellifont Abbey had formerly been the principal Irish base of the Cistercians, a zealous Catholic order who traced their origins back to the days of the enigmatic Knights Templar.

THE 1ST VICSOUNT

Contemporary records indicate Sir Edward, who died in 1601, had a “strong link of amity” with both Hugh O’Neill, the “Great Earl” of Tyrone, and Hugh O’Donnell, Earl of Tyrconnell. The friendship survived when the two Earls went into rebellion against the English in 1594. His son and heir, Sir Garret Moore, was also close to both. On March 25th 1603, Lord Deputy Mountjoy, who was staying with Sir Garrett at Mellifont, offered O’Neill one last chance to surrender. Sir Garrett personally delivered the offer, which came with a guarantee of safe-conduct. Nobody in Ireland yet knew Queen Elizabeth had died the previous day; King James VI of Scotland was already en route to London to claim the throne. O’Neill duly arrived at Mellifont, went down on his knees before the Lord Deputy and “made submission in all penitence”. The Nine Years War was over at last.

In 1607, shortly before he and the other surviving rebel leaders fled to the Continent, O’Neill again visited Sir Garrett in Mellifont. The story runs that O’Neill left in tears, unable to tell his friend he was abandoning Ireland forever. Another guest, Sir Arthur Chichester, later recalled “the manner of his departure, carrying his little son who was brought up in Sir Garret's house, made me suspect he had some mischief in his head…' At the time, Sir Garrett was involved in an increasingly public feud with Lord Howth whom he accused of being “an idle-headed lord, a speaker of untruths, one that would crack and brag much, yea, that would draw a man into the field, but when he came there would not and durst not fight him". Lord Howth’s response was to make a formal charge of treason against Sir Garrett for aiding and abetting in the so-called “Flight of the Earls”. Sir Garrett was subsequently acquitted of the charge and rose through the ranks of the new elite in Ireland to become President of Munster in 1616. The same year he was raised to the peerage of Ireland as Baron Moore of Mellifont and, in 1621, as Viscount Moore of Drogheda. He married Mary, a daughter of Sir Henry Colley of Castle Carbery in Co. Kildare.[1]

THE 2nd VISCOUNT

The 1st Viscount died in the winter of 1627, two years after the ill-fated Charles I ascended the throne. His 24-year-old son Charles succeeded as 2nd Viscount. Charles initially distinguished himself as a strong supporter of the Stuart monarch during the ensuing English Civil War. He withstood a 16-week siege by some 14,000 rebels at Drogheda in 1642. On 7th August 1643, he led a cavalry unit to engage with Owen Roe O’Neill’s troops on the banks of the Boyne near Portlester Mill, Co. Meath. O’Neill secured a remarkable fluke victory over the Parliamentary forces when, during a demonstration to his officers as to how one might best use a perspective glass to train a canon’s trajectory, he fired a ball that blew the 2nd Viscount’s head clean off. The leaderless Parliamentarians were then defeated so badly it took nearly three years for Cromwell to reassert his dominance in Ireland.

Charles was married to Alice Loftus, a reputedly unpleasant woman who, in April 1645,was imprisoned for her attempts to betray the garrisons of Dundalk and Drogheda to Cromwell’s army. Her father, Adam Loftus, Viscount Ely (1568 – 1643), was one of the first “New English” career men to settle in Ireland during the late Elizabethan age. He was originally brought over in the 1590s by his uncle and namesake, Adam Loftus, Archbishop of Dublin, through whose patronage he was granted an arch-deanery, a knighthood and, of most significance to the Moores, the church lands at Monasterevin in the west of Kildare.[2] Like Mellifont, the abbey at Monasterevin previously belonged to the Cistercians. Its substantial estate was seized during the 1540s by the English authorities in Dublin who regarded it as of indispensable strategic value to the on-going conquest of Ireland. The abbey itself, sited on the banks of the river Barrow, was converted into a vice-regal residence in 1558. In 1619 Adam Loftus received a plantation grant in Wexford and was appointed Lord Chancellor, a position he allegedly purchased from King James’s homosexual lover, the Duke of Buckingham. As to his daughter Alice, she fell from her horse in January 1649, broke a leg and died of gangrene some days later.

THE 1st EARL

The fate of the family now lay with Charles and Alice’s only surviving son, Henry, 3rd Viscount Moore, who was appointed Governor of Counties Meath and Louth in 1643 and of Dundalk in 1645. On 8th August 1647 he commanded a troop of cavalry in action against Irish rebels at Dungan’s Hill near Trim, a vicious battle that left more than 6000 Irish dead. To secure his continued support during Cromwell’s Interregnum, he was awarded £6953 by the Parliamentarian government in 1653 which amounted to nearly twice his estate's net rental. Upon the Restoration of Charles II in 1660, he was appointed a Privy Councilor and Governor of Drogheda. The latter appointment paved the way for his elevation, on 14th June 1661, to the Earldom of Drogheda. The 1st Earl’s influence was undoubtedly increased by his marriage to Alice Spencer, a younger sister of the dashing Earl of Sunderland killed during the battle of Newbury in 1643. Indeed, the kinship would prove of increasing significance during the next generation when the Spencer’s cousin, the famous Duke of Marlborough, became one of the most powerful figures in Europe.

THE 2nd EARL

The 1st Earl died in January 1675 and was succeeded by his eldest son Charles. The 2nd Earl married Lady Letitia Robartes, daughter of Lord Radnor, an English tin magnate who stood as Viceroy of Ireland immediately before the Duke of Ormonde’s return in 1660. The 2nd Earl left no surviving issue and died at his Dublin house on North Earl Street in June 1679.[3] He was succeeded by his younger brother Henry, 3rd Earl of Drogheda.[4] The 3rd Earl resided at Drogheda House (later the Hibernian Bible Society) in Dublin and used his wealth to develop property on the cities north side. He evidently had a fine sense of self-importance for he named the streets after himself - Henry Street, Moore Street, Earl Street and Drogheda Street.[5] There was even an “Of Lane” for a while although when this became a notorious red light area frequented by sailors, the Corporation re-designated it as ‘Henry Place'. The 3rd Earl died in 1714, the year George I became King, and was succeeded by his 14-year-old grandson Henry.

Horse racing became all the rage during the early years of George I’s reign and the young 4th Earl was not immune from its charms. Unlike his grandson, the 6th Earl, the 4th Earl does not appear to have had a great knack for choosing winners and the archives are replete with tales of other horses defeating his gallant steeds at Newmarket. His financial woes obliged him to sell some 5000 acres of his Louth estates (including the village of Collon) to the Foster and Fortescue families.[6] In 1725 the 4th Earl married Charlotte, a daughter of Hugh, 1st Viscount Falmouth.[7] In 1725 his luck changed when he succeeded to the Kildare estates of his mother Jane Loftus, only child of the last Viscount Ely, making him one of the largest landowners in Ireland during the Georgian age.[8] The Loftus’s 1100 acre estate of Monasterevin would soon become the Moore family’s principal base in Ireland.

EDWARD, THE 5th EARL

The 4th Earl died in May 1727 without issue at the age of 27 and was succeeded by his brother Edward who, earlier that year, married Lady Sarah Ponsonby. This marriage was of immense significance to the Moore fortunes. Lady Sarah’s father, Brabazon Ponsonby, became Commissioner of the Revenue in Ireland during the Lord Lieutenancy of the Duke of Devonshire (1737 – 45) and was later created 1st Earl of Bessborough. Her eldest brother William, later the 2nd Earl, was a lover of George III’s daughter Princess Amelia while another brother, John, succeeded their father at the Revenue Board and became Speaker of the Irish House of Commons. Lady Sarah died in January 1737, shortly after the birth of her third son, Edward. The 5th Earl was remarried the following October to Bridget Southwell, a niece of the 1st Lord Southwell of Castle Mattress, Co. Limerick.

On 28th October 1758, the 5th Earl and his son Edward, now chaplain to the House of Commons, were sailing across the Irish Sea when their ship capsized killing all on board.

CHARLES, THE 6th EARL

The 5th Earl’s eldest son Charles, a prominent officer in the British Army, duly succeeded as 6th Earl. The following year, the 6th Earl raised a cavalry regiment known as “Lord Drogheda’s Light Horse” to assist England in its Seven Years War against France.[9] He would go on to command the Light Horse for an astonishing 62 years, rising to the rank of Field Marshal and Master-General of the Ordinance. The regiments’ first task was to oust an army of 1500 Frenchmen, commanded by Admiral Thurot, who had captured the town of Carrickfergus in February 1759. The French withdrew and were later captured after a naval action in Belfast Lough.[10]

In 1766 the 6th Earl married Lady Anne Seymour, a daughter of the Marquess of Hertford, a popular Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in the 1760s. A year after his marriage, he commissioned the little known English engineer Christopher Myers to assist in the construction of a new house in the Strawberry Hill Gothic style on the banks of the River Barrow in Monasterevin. The new house, sited on Saint Evin’s 7th century abbey, was to be called Moore Abbey.[11] The old Protestant Church inside the gates of Moore Abbey was simultaneously demolished and St. John's Church built in its place. Monasterevin continued to grow around the abbey, particularly with the arrival of the Grand Canal in 1786. Indeed, the number of bridges erected in the town inspired some to call it the “Venice of Ireland”.

On 11th March 1783 the 6th Earl became one of the first fifteen men to be appointed a Knight of St. Patrick.[12] However, for all his connections, the 6th Earl sees to have been a quiet character on the political scene, earning a reputation as one who “seldom speaks”. On 5th July 1791 he was created Marquess of Drogheda. Having taken an active role in the suppression of local rebels during the 1798 Rising, he supported the 1801 Union and was duly rewarded with £15,000, a place in the Representative Peerage and a title in the English peerage - Baron Moore of Moore Place.[13] The latter effectively entitled him and his heirs to a permanent seat in the House of Lords.

THE 3rd MARQUESS

The 1st Marquess died shortly before Christmas in 1821 and was succeeded by his eldest son Edward, who was declared insane nearly thirty years beforehand. The 2nd Marquess died unmarried in 1837 whereupon the title and estates devolved upon his nephew, Henry Francis Seymour Moore.[14] The bushy bearded 3rd Marquess (and 8th Earl) enjoyed a prominent career in Victorian England, serving as Lord Lieutenant and custos rotolorum of Co. Kildare, vice-Admiral of Leinster and Ranger of the Curragh. In 1852, the 26-year-old Marquess established his first contact with the Turf Club by registering his colours. In 1863 he was elected a member of the club, becoming Steward three years later and dominating the Club until his death. In 1866, he combined forces with Lord Howth and the Earl of Charlemont to inaugurate the running of the first Irish Derby in 1866. He was instrumental in the development of Punchestown and of promoting both steeplechase and flat racing throughout Ireland. At one key juncture in the mid-1880s, his dual membership of both the Turf Club and Newmarket’s Jockey Club enabled him to successfully negotiate with the latter when they attempted to disqualify Irish horses from competing in British races. He had a seat on the Privy Council and was an honorary Colonel of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. His wife Lady Mary, a colourful figure in London society, was a sister of the railway magnate, the 1st Earl of Wharncliffe. During the 8th Earl’s day, Moore Abbey was regarded as one of the oldest houses in Ireland. The 4th Earl of Clonmell, a popular figure, once came to stay bearing an unusually heavy suitcase. As the footmen were heaving it up the stairwell, the portmanteau broke open and large chunks of coal came a-tumbling down the steps.

For all their efforts, the Drogheda’s must have felt the pressure of public discontent as the Land Wars erupted across Ireland from 1879; a notice was nailed to the gate of Moore Abbey offering £1,000 [sterling] for his lordship's head and £100 for that of his agent. The 8th Earl died unexpectedly, without issue, on the eve of Derby Day, June 1892. The Drogheda Memorial Fund and Drogheda Memorial Hospital were founded in tribute to his memory. The Marquessate became extinct and the Earldom devolved upon his distant cousin, Ponsonby William Moore. The 9th Earl was a great-great grandson of the 5th Earl and Lady Sarah Ponsonby. He was 46-years old when he succeeded, having served as Deputy Lieutenant for the Queen's County and JP for Kildare. His Scottish wife, Lady Ann, was a daughter of George Moir, Sheriff of Stirlingshire. In 1905, he made his presence felt in Monasterevin when he commissioned the building of a Market House (now the Bank of Ireland). He passed away in October 1908 and was succeeded by his only son Henry, 10th Earl.

HENRY MOORE, 10th EARL & THE SALE OF MOORE ABBEY

Henry Charles Ponsonby Moore was 24-years-old when he succeeded his father as 10th Earl of Drogheda. As a young man he served as a Clerk in the British Foreign Office, holding the rank of lieutenant in the newly created Irish Guards. On 1st March 1909 he married Kathleen Pelham Burn, an enigmatic cigarette-smoking 20th century lady famous for dabbling in the occult. The séances she hosted at her London townhouse were attended by such social celebrities as Mrs Keppel, Baroness d'Erlanger, Lady Ponsonby, Jacob Epstein, Sir Ernest Cassel, Augustus John and Wyndham Lewis. Rumours as to the latter’s relationship with Lady Drogheda whispered on the London breeze; the two certainly shared a passion for technology, aviation, speed and sensation.[15]

The Drogheda’s were divorced in 1921, leaving one son, Garret, later the 11th Earl. [15a] The following year, the 10th Earl married Miss May Meatyard, one of the celebrated Gaiety Girls.[16] Her greatest moment probably came in March 1911 when, as she sang “The Lass With a Lasso”, a popular performance in which “Miss. May” roped a sextet of uniformed chorus boys on stage one by one whilst singing how she was from way “out west … where a horse's hooves, the beating of a heart and the swish of a lasso are the only sounds heard on the prairie”. The 10th Earl was appointed a Representative Peer of Ireland in 1913 and was one of those scheduled to sit in the cabinet should Irish Home Rule have become a reality in the wake of the Great War. However, between the complications of his personal life and the on-going violence in Ireland, he abandoned Moore Abbey after the First World War and settled in London where he became a barrister.

In 1925, the family home at Moore Abbey was leased to the popular Irish tenor, Count John McCormack, who remained there until 1937. Born in Athlone in 1884, McCormack made his operatic debut at Covent Garden, London, in 1907, before going on to perform in the New York Opera House, Carnegie Hall and a, perhaps most famously, at the Eucharistic Conference held in Dublin’s Phoenix Park in 1932. The Count marked his tenure in Monasterevin by hosting a special performance, alongside the Spanish soprano Lucrezia Bori, in the town’s St. Peter & Paul's Church. The McCormack family lived in great style at Moore Abbey, throwing lavish dinner parties during which the Count would sing and play on the grand piano. In 1930 Moore Abbey became the location of “Song of my Heart”, the first “talkie” movie made in Ireland, during which McCormack sang “A Fairy Story by the Fire” to a crowd of local children.

The 10th Earl put Moore Abbey and 300 acres up for sale shortly after the McCormack’s departure in 1937. By 1946, the property had been purchased by the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary, a religious institute founded in Belgium in 1803. The following March, a fire broke out and gutted the entire west wing of the building. The house was gradually repaired - complete with kitchen, dining hall, laundry room, dormitory and community room - and the hospital officially opened for business in September 1948. New buildings were added in the 1970s. Moore Abbey remains the principal Irish headquarters of the Sisters of Charity.

As to the Drogheda’s, the 10th Earl enjoyed an influential role in later life. A close friend of Churchill, he served as Minister of Economic Warfare in Britain’s wartime cabinet from 1942 to 1945. In 1946 he was elected Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords and Chairman of Committees.[17] He also served as Chairman of the Cinematograph Film Council from 1944 to 1954 during which time the Ealing comedies were made. Among his many medals were the Grand Officer Order of Orange-Nassau of the Netherlands, the Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George. On 30th January 1954, he was created a peer of the United Kingdom as Baron Moore of Cobham, Co. Surrey.

GARRET MOORE, 11th EARL

The 10th Earl died on 22nd November 1957 and was succeeded by his 47-year-old son Garrett, 11th Earl. Educated at Eton and Trinity College Cambridge, the 11th Earl served as a captain with the Royal Artillery in 1940 and on the Staff of the Ministry of Production from 1942 to 1945. After the war, he became greatly involved with the British press, serving as managing director of the Financial Times from 1945-70 and as its chairman from 1971-75. Together with the editor Sir Gordon Newton, he transformed the newspaper from a modest eight pages selling 50,000 copies a day to one averaging 40 pages with a circulation of 200,000. He was also Director of The Economist and Chairman of the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.[18] As to his character, The Spectator’s Clement Crisp regarded him as “a brilliant and great man”, Norman Lebrecht as an “insufferable snob” and Richard Witts as “one of the dimmest men ever to dither with the arts". In 1946 he was awarded the OBE. In May 1935 he married Joan Eleanor Carr. They lived principally at Parkside House, Englefield Green in Surrey. In the summer of 1956 they let the house to Marilyn Monroe and her husband Arthur Miller while she filmed the comedy “The Prince And The Showgirl”. The 11th Earl was created a Knight of the Garter in 1972. He died in 1990.

DERRY MOORE

The present head of the family is (Henry Dermot Ponsonby) Derry Moore, 12th Earl of Drogheda. Born in January 1937 and educated at Eton and Cambridge, Derry Moore left the Life Guards to pursue a career in cinema and the fine arts. He found work assisting a Harpers & Queens photographer in a shoot of the renovated interiors of Versailles’ Petit Trianon. The photographer had already left on holiday when word came through to Derry that the magazine needed more photographs of the palace. Derry took a gamble and went off with his own camera; his photographs were published. Now regarded as one of the world’s foremost interiors photographers, the sharp dressing 12th Earl is also well know for his portraits. His sitters include Alan Bennett, Baron Rothschild, Rudolf Nureyev, John Bayley, Iris Murdoch and Quinlan Terry. His books include “Evening Ragas: A Photographer in India”, “The Stately Homes of Britain” and “Inside the House of Lords”, in which he describes “a wistful last walk through the majestic master work of Charles Barry and AWN Pugin, reflecting on the noble Arthurian mythologies coded into the buildings décor and the perilous path of politics which delivered the hereditary peers to their powerless end”.[19] He has made his mark in the House by his continuing calls for more financial support of the British film industry. He is married to Alexandra, Countess of Drogheda, only child of Sir Nicholas Henderson, the former British Ambassador to Washington, and his wife, Lady Mary, the popular fashion writer. Alexandra has worked as executive producer of “Panorama”, editor of “Great Britons” and deputy head of the BBC’s political programs. In April 2004, she became head of the new events and special programming division of Talent TV. She is mother to the 12th Earl’s children.

With thanks to Barry Kennerk.

FOOTNOTES

[1] By his daughter Eleanor, Sir Garrett was grandfather to the poet John Denham.

[2] Adam Loftus, Archbishop of Armagh and Dublin, was one of the founding fathers of Trinity College Dublin.

[3] His widow then married William Wycherley, a well-known Restoration dramatist and poet, to whom she later bequeathed the family estate in North Dublin. However, her will was disputed and the law-suit ruined the playwright to such an extent he was confined in the Fleet Prison for seven years.

[4] The 3rd Earl also succeeded to substantial estates in County Down which belonged to his childless brother-in-law, Henry Hamilton, Earl of Clanbrassil

[5] Drogheda Street became Sackville Street in 1809 and is now O'Connell Street.

[6] The likelihood is that well over half the Foster estate in Louth and Meath, which totaled 6,500 acres in 1778, came from the Moore family as a whole.

[7] Her brother was the British naval hero, Admiral Edward Boscawen, the man responsible for capturing Louisburg in 1758 and annihilating the French fleet at Lagos Bay in 1759.

[8] By 1767 Lord Drogheda’s rental from the former Loftus estates amounted to £5425 a year.

[9] Some trees planted at Moore Abbey to commemorate the founding of the Light Dragoons still stand today.

[10] The regiment was renamed the 18th Hussars in 1807 and given Prussian style uniforms. However, disgrace followed when charges of looting were leveled against them in the wake of the battle of Vittoria (during which they lost an entire squadron). The regiment was disbanded in 1821, the 6th Earl of Drogheda having held the colonelcy for 62 years, the longest in the British Army.

[11] Myers also worked on Glanarm Castle and Ballycastle Harbour in Co. Antrim, as well as many locks on the River Shannon.

[12] The Order of St. Patrick was instituted by George III in 1783,for the purpose of establishing in Ireland a fraternity of knights as a counterpart to the Order of the Garter in England and the Order of the Thistle in Scotland.

[13] The Duke of Portland, in a private and confidential letter to the Viceroy, dated June 27, 1800, declares that Lord Drogheda's claims to be a member of the representative peerage were "irresistible." [Castlereagh Correspondence, vol. iii., p. 345.]

[14] In 1846, he had a portico and great steps built at Moore Abbey.

[15] Oscar Wilde's Last Stand, Philip Hoare (Arcade, 1998)

[15a] See The Times law report from November 23, 1921 (p. 4). I made a hasty transcription of the report here below:

PROBATE, DIVORCE AND ADMIRALTY DIVISION. LADY DROGHEDA'S PETITION. DROGHEDA (COUNTESS OF) v. DROGHEDA (EARL OF).

Probate, Divorce, And Admiralty Division. (Before the RT HON. SIB HENRY DUFE, President.) The Countess of Drogheda, of Wilton- cresoent, W., whose maiden name was Kathleen Pelham Burn, prayed in this un- defended suit for the dissolution of her marriage with the Right Hon. Henry Charles Ponsonby, 10th Earl of Drogheda, on the grounds of his adultery and failure to comply with a decree for restitution of conjugal rights. The respondent had appeared in the suit, but he had had no answer. The petitioner and the respondent were married on March 3, 1000, at St. Giles"s Church, Edinburgh. There were two children. Mr. Bayford, K.C., and Lord Erleigh ap- peared for the petitioner; Sir Harold Smith held a watching brief for the respondent

Mr. BAYFORD said that his Lordship might at lst glance suppose that, as the respondent's was an Irish title, a question of domicile might arise. As a fact. from the time of the marriage in 1909 the petitioner and the respondent had had their permanent home in England. The respondent's connexion with Ireland was that he was tenant of Moore Park, which was entailed, so that he could not get rid of it. He (counsel) could not say that the parties had never been there, for they had visited Moore Park occasionally, but they never stayed longer than a fortnight.

The President .-Where has their home been?

Mr. BAYFOnD.- At Wilton-crescent, London.

Lady Droghcda, examined by Mr. BAYFORD, said that the house in Wilton-crescent was taken before her marriage, and it had been their home ever since the marriage. Her husband and she lived happily. In 1920 they and the children were staying at North Berwick with her mother. The respondent left North Berwick a few days before she did, and when she came to London she found that he had left Wilton-crescent and had left no Address. She had an interview with him about a week afterwards, and she did everything in her power to persuade him, but she could not get him to come back. She then took proceedings for restitution of conjugal rights, and a decree was pronounced on May 25 last. (See The Times of May' 26.)

MR. BAYFORD (handing a document).-Is your husband's signature on this document ? -It is.

Counsel.-That, my Lord, is an acknowledgment signed by the respondent that he has been served with the restitution decree.

The PRESIDENT.-I take this opportunity of saying that some observations which I made recently on proof, of the service of decrees for restitution of conjugal rights appear to have been misunderstood. This is one of the class of cases in which the question arises, and as disobedience to the restitution decree is the basis of the relief claimed, and at a hearing in open Court evidence on affidavit is not received except in special circumstances, I said that it was not sufficient to produce evidence on affidavit of service of the restitution decree. It seems to have been understood that in all cases the Court would insist on oral proof by the, person who served the decree. That is not the case. The fact of service can be proved in the same way as any other fact, and the course here taken of relying on admission of service signed by the respondent is quite a proper course.

The petitioner, continuing her evidence,; said that she had received the following letter from the respondent:-

June 9. 1921.- Savile House, Berkeley-street. W.l.

I have duly received the order of the Court to return to vou. Nothing will induce me to comply with the order, and if at any time you desire to divorce me I think you will discover all the evidence you require at the Great Central Hotel.-D.

She consulted her solicitor and after inquiries she presented her petition.

Mr. BAYFORD.-You did not stay with your husband at the Great Central Hotel on the night of January 4 last ?-

No; I have never been there.

The witness said that an entry, "Mr. and Mrs. C. Moore," in the register of the Great- Central Hotel was in the respondent's hand- writing. Evidence was given that the respondent and a woman, who was not the petitioner, had stayed at the Great Central Hotel on June 4 last and occupied the same bedroom.

The PRESIDENT pronounced a decree nisi, with costs, and gave the petitioner the custody of the children. Solicitors: Messrs. Lewis and Lewis Messrs. Charles Russell and Co..

[16] She divorced Lord Victor Paget, MC, in 1921

[17] In 1954 he was Chairman of the Home Office Advisory Council on the Treatment of Offenders.

[18] His association with the Royal Opera House is recalled in the name of the “Drogheda Circle”, an exclusive group of 15 – 20 souls who support a production by contributing £1000 a head every four years. In return they are given a post performance supper with the cast and senior members of the company.

[19] Inside the House of Lords, Derry Moore, Clive Aslet (Harper Collins, 1998).

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