'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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Voices
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Sport
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths surrounding the enigmatic singer
Life and Style
life
Sport
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola
Arts and Entertainment
Myanna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey in 'Banished'
TV Jimmy McGovern tackles 18th-century crime and punishment
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Whitehouse as Herbert
arts + ents
Sport
Christian Benteke of Aston Villa celebrates scoring the winner for Aston Villa
football
News
Bill O'Reilly attends The Hollywood Reporter 35 Most Powerful People In Media Celebration at The Four Seasons Restaurant on April 16, 2014 in New York City
media It is the second time he and the channel have clarified statements
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: Lettings and Sales Negotiator - OTE £46,000

£16000 - £46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Home Care Worker - Reading and Surrounding Areas

£9 - £13 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity to join a s...

Recruitment Genius: Key Sales Account Manager - OTE £35,000

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Have you got a proven track rec...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £40,000

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn