'It' girls miss out after death of drug-addicted aristocrat

It was therefore hardly surprising that when the 7th Marquess of Bristol, Baron Hervey of Ickworth, died in 1999 at the age of 44, it was after a lifetime of high-living and drug addiction, during which he was twice jailed.

And yesterday it was disclosed that a man who once boasted he was worth £35m had died leaving very little. Probate records published showed his UK assets were worth just £5,000, which was largely used for funeral expenses.

It is not know whether his two main bequests, of £100,000 to his close friend James Whitby, and £25,000 to his butler, Thomas Foley, were paid. Their whereabouts are unknown.

A family trust fund in Jersey, the contents of which have not been disclosed, was left to his half-brother, Frederick Hervey, whose sisters are the society "It" girls and gossip column favourites Lady Victoria and Lady Isabella Hervey. Lord Frederick, now the 8th Marquess, has declined to comment, but Lady Isabella said recently that the family had been left "virtually nothing".

The 7th Marquess spent his final years living quietly, renting Little Horringer Hall, on the Ickworth estate; Mr Whitby lived in a cottage near by. The estate was once owned by his family, but left to the National Trust by his father in lieu of death duties. He died from multiple organ failure due to drug addiction.

His half-brother, George Lambton - their mother was the first wife of the 6th Marquess - said there were "no hard feelings" from the family at the fact that the money had all gone.

Mr Lambton, 43, a Conservative councillor, added: "He made the most of his life; he packed more in his 44 years than most people do in their whole lives. But he definitely mellowed a bit in the last five years.''

It was a far cry from the 7th Marquess's heyday, when he spent the family fortune on drugs, parties, luxury cars, yachts and constant hedonism. His addiction to vodka is said to have begun at Harrow, but heroin and cocaine were his downfall. He was jailed for a year after he was caught with cocaine worth £1,000 on a flight to Jersey and again for 10 months in 1993 after police found cocaine and heroin at his home.

When the money began to run out, he made £ 2.3m by selling most of the contents of the 60-room east wing of Ickworth House, where he had been allowed to live by the National Trust after the death of his father. He also sold off his remaining farmland worth £4m and lord of the manor titles which had been in his family for hundreds of years.

He was following tradition. His father was a notorious party animal in the early 1930s, nicknamed "Mayfair Playboy No 1" by the gossip columns. He once gave a party that lasted 30 hours during which the 700 guests drank 1,000 bottles of champagne. In the Spanish Civil War he became an arms dealer to both sides.

Earlier Herveys were not much better. John, the 1st Earl of Bristol, a Whig MP when the title was created in 1714, fathered a large number of children and rejected his family for a man. His brother, the 3rd Earl, was a womaniser said to have a taste for nuns. The 4th Earl's daughter lived in a ménage à trois with the Duke of Devonshire and Georgina, his duchess; her daughter by the duke was born in a brothel.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Voices
Ukip leader Nigel Farage arrives at the Rochester by-election count
voicesIs it any wonder that Thornberry, Miliband, and Cameron have no idea about ordinary everyday life?
Sport
sportComment: Win or lose Hamilton represents the best of Britain
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Arsene Wenger reacts during Arsenal's 2-1 defeat to Swansea
footballMan United and Arsenal meet on Saturday with both clubs this time languishing outside the top four
News
i100BBC political editor Nick Robinson had a lot of explaining to do
Life and Style
Nappies could have advice on them to encourage mothers and fathers to talk to their babies more often
newsTalking to babies can improve their language and vocabulary skills
Sport
Tony Bellew holds two inflatable plastic sheep at the weigh-in for his rematch with Nathan Cleverly
boxingGrudge match takes place on Saturday night
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Ronson at PS1
arts + ents
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Female Support Workers / Carers - From £8.00 per hour

£8 - £12 per hour: Recruitment Genius: To assist a young family with the care ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Executive

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Executive is required...

Argyll Scott International: Commercial Finance Manager

£55000 - £70000 per annum: Argyll Scott International: My client, a world lead...

Argyll Scott International: Commercial Finance Manager

Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: My client, a world leading services pr...

Day In a Page

US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

Immigration: Obama's final frontier

The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? Why didn’t these women come forward earlier? And why has nobody taken legal action?

Bill Cosby rape allegations explained

Why are these allegations coming out now? Why has nobody taken legal action? And what happens next for the man once thought of as 'America's Dad'
Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

You know that headache you’ve got?

Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

Scoot commute

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

The Paul Robeson story

How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
10 best satellite navigation systems

Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

Paul Scholes column

England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

Frank Warren column

Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines