OBITUARY: Sir Anthony Wagner
Tuesday 16 May 1995
Some years ago, researching a book of contemporary social history, I telephoned the College of Arms. Would it be correct, I wished to know, to continue calling Antony Lambton "Lord Lambton", or was he, after disclaiming his peerage in the Earldom of Durham in order to remain in the Commons, simply "Mr Lambton".
Wagner - for it was he who answered my call directly - said, "Tell me, are you going to refer to that over-the-fence affair with the Maida Vale lady which led to Lambton's resignation?" - "Yes" - "And are you, by chance, going to mention the other peer whom the Press implicated in the same scandal, and who also resigned?" - "Yes" - "Then it will be very costly for you, since the latter lord owed his putative implication in the affair solely to the fact that the lady had written what appeared to be his title in her engagement diary: it was, in fact, not his title, but the address of a block of flats that took its name from one of his noble ancestors. You cannot be too careful over such things."
He waited a few seconds, no doubt to hear my slight gasp of relief at seeing a libel headed off at the proof stage, then said, "And by the way, it is still 'Lord Lambton' - the presumption of courtesy remains whatever the disclaimer."
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 2 Antonio Martin shooting: Police and protesters clash over teenager's death just five miles from Ferguson, Missouri
- 4 Hip hop is both racial and political, and for Iggy Azalea to suggest otherwise is insulting
- 5 Man hospitalised with pneumonia after downing eggnog at office Christmas party
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are in need of a HR Manage...
£35000 - £40000 per annum + £65,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Birmingham, M...