Archer's fall: Sons who became part of the legend

William and James Archer were regular visitors to the Old Bailey during their father's trial.

The two sons are quite different. William, the elder at 29, is quieter, introverted and said to be more like Mary than Jeffrey. After attending Rugby School he studied art history and Spanish at Georgetown University in Washington DC. He lived there in frugal conditions, in a cheap flat, buying second-hand clothes.

Afterwards he spent time working with Kurdish refugees in Northern Iraq and at Mother Teresa's mission in Calcutta. He has also talked of emigrating to India.

James Archer, said to be much more like his father, went to Eton and became captain of the athletics team. He then went to Brasenose College, Oxford, where he and three friends shared a large three-storey house with a Colombian hired help who did the laundry and cleaning and provided breakfast in bed.

But it was after university that James really made his mark as a member of a group of self-publicising young brokers calling themselves the "Flaming Ferraris".

The five young traders were behind a PR stunt which ensured they were pictured arriving, Reservoir Dogs style, at an expensive Japanese restaurant, Nobu, in Park Lane in December 1998. The move was designed to raise their profile and increase their already considerable earnings. But the stunt backfired. James Archer now faces a life ban from working in the City for trying in effect to rig the Swedish stock exchange. He sold more than £1m of shares in a wood pulp company, Stora Enso, at below their market valuation to drive down the main exchange and make money on a series of other deals.

James claims he planned to sell only a small number of shares, but his finger slipped on the keyboard and he accidentally sold 10 times more than he intended.

The closest parallels to Jeffrey Archer's life lie not with his sons, however, but with his father, William. Both were compulsive liars who invented their past; both faced bankruptcy; both dabbled in politics as members of the Tory party; both were arrested on each side of the Atlantic and both stood in the dock of the Old Bailey on charges of serious dishonesty.

But William Archer never achieved his son's wealth. His life in crime was also far more extensive.

He was convicted of deception in the US and Britain. But he escaped relatively lightly from his misdemeanours. In June 1917, at the Supreme Court in the district of Columbia, he was convicted of fraud and sentenced to prison for three years. However, he was released on probation after just 10 months.

Then in November 1918 he appeared in court in Toronto for an offence committed within days of entering the country. He was sentenced to a year's hard labour, but was instead deported to Britain. Back in London he faced fraud charges left over from when he jumped bail and fled abroad in 1914. The case was dropped.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Life and Style
tech

Apple has been hit by complaints about the 1.1GB download

Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff
tv

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife
film

Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist

Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC
tv

Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason

Arts and Entertainment
tv

Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me
tv

Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama

Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
Life and Style
i100

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week