'Lord' turns sleuth to trace thieves

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A LORD of the manor has turned detective in an attempt to catch thieves who stole the family silver from his mansion, writes Richard Smith.

Charles Hudson, 40, has launched his own investigation because he feared police lacked the resources to trace thieves who escaped with more than 35 solid silver antiques worth tens of thousands of pounds.

Most of the heirlooms had been in Mr Hudson's family for 250 years and were inscribed with his family crest - a lion rampant holding a boar's head. They were taken from the 40-room Wyke Manor at Wick, Hereford and Worcester.

Mr Hudson - whose family motto is 'While I live, I hope' - decided to launch his own inquiry when a police officer told him that they were not conducting house- to-house inquiries. He sent a letter to 100 homes in Wick appealing for information, then made drawings of all the stolen pieces and circulated them around antiques markets in London to warn dealers about the burglary. His wife Cressida, 30, also gave details of the heirlooms to the Art Loss Register in London.