Portman Family Fortunes

THE PORTMAN family is worth about pounds 275m, whichputs Viscount Portman and his relations 78th on the list of wealthiest Britons. Yet Lord Portman (right) insists he does not have a vast personal fortune.

Henry VIII is responsible for much of the wealth, thanks to a gift to an early Portman who was his Lord Chief Justice. The fortune was inherited by Lord Portman's heir, Christopher, when 11, for tax reasons.

Edward Henry Berkeley Portman, 64, the 9th Viscount, farms 3,000 acres in Herefordshire and has a home in Antigua, where he is spending three months with his wife, Penelope.

Educated at Canford and the Royal Agricultural College, Lord Portman is twice-married and has four sons and a daughter.

He is a staunch Tory and has held the party whip for over 30 years.

In 1971, Private Eye was passed papers showing a Portman trust account administered by Lord Goodman was pounds 17,000 overdrawn. The peer threatened to sue journalist Paul Foot and the magazine for libel but settled for an apology.

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