Monday, 29 August 2011

David, Earl of Cardigan

The Daily Telegraph reports that Lord Cardigan, a courtesy lord and heir to the 8th Marquess of Ailesbury, is locked in an extraordinary legal battle with the trustees who have taken him to court claiming he is attempting to sell off the family silver to raise funds.

The two Trustees are Messrs Wilson Cotton and John Moore.

The so-called Savernake Club, the nucleus of which shall be Tottenham House, will open for business in 2015.

It is stated that Lord Cardigan owns 4,000 acres in Wiltshire at the heart of which lies Tottenham House, a Georgian mansion worth an estimated £8 million. 

Earlier this month a judge made an order temporarily preventing him selling estate "chattels" after his own barrister described him as a 'down and out' who needed to sell a set of antique silver bowls to 'put food on the table'.

Lord Cardigan claims that the Trustees are letting the house fall into a state of disrepair.

He said rainwater was pouring through his bathroom ceiling in Tottenham House and that he is being forced to use buckets to catch drops. An electrician described the wiring as “dangerous” and plaster is “hanging off the walls”, he claimed.

He further claimed he had been forced to take out an injunction to prevent a recent sale at Sotheby’s in his home on the estate.
  “It’s using up most of my cash trying to get rid of the trustees, and what makes it worse is that one of them used to be my best friend.
“I asked them for the accounts but they didn’t send them.
“I felt I couldn’t restore order from America so I had to come back. They have perpetrated such horrors that I will not rest until I have seized back control of the estate.
“If necessary I will break the bank to get rid of them. I shall not rest until I’ve unhorsed those two."
 The family name is synonymous with the Charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimean War.

At a related legal hearing at the High Court last week, a judge was told that Lord Cardigan was "to all intents and purposes down and out" and needed to raise money or "go hungry”.

But David Cardigan claims the trustees were trying to sell paintings to pay for work because they could not raise money from the bank because they have undervalued Tottenham House at "merely" £3m.

However, he told the Daily Telegraph:
“I attempted to sell 12 silver entrée dishes. We have a large collection and they are not used from one century to the next. When they built the place they bought these things in sets of 100. They were made for the house. They’re worth about £12,000. I needed the money to stop the trustees.”

He declined to disclose how much he had spent on legal fees but added: “I’m a bit pushed in ready cash but not in any sense down and out.”

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