Saturday, 18 May 2013

Lord Shaftesbury

The Aristocrats, on More4 this evening at 8pm, follows the Right Honourable Nicholas Edmond Anthony [Ashley-Cooper], 12th Earl of Shaftesbury, Baron Ashley, Baron Cooper, and 13th Ashley-Cooper Baronet, coming to terms with his sudden and tragic assumption of the earldom and other titles.

His father, the 10th Earl, was brutally murdered in France.

 I wrote an article about this incident three years ago.
The 8th Earl wedded Lady Harriet Chichester and thereby acquired part of the Donegall Estate and Belfast Castle. The 9th Earl was sometime Lord Mayor of Belfast, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Belfast and Chancellor of the Queen's University of Belfast.
Lord Shaftesbury endeavours to rescue the family name, famed for philanthropy and acts of charity down the centuries, from bankruptcy and ruin.

This is the first documentary made with access to Lord Shaftesbury and his family.

The 12th Earl thought he was going to be a disc-jockey, and was enjoying success in New York, when his father Anthony, 10th Earl, was murdered by his Tunisian wife's brother.

Lord Shaftesbury's brother Anthony, who had become 11th Earl a month earlier, when their father's body was discovered, then died tragically of a sudden heart attack, aged just 28.

The death of his father and brother left Nick facing an appalling challenge.

The family seat at Wimborne St Giles was in such bad condition that English Heritage had placed it on their at-risk register.

The film follows the 12th Earl as he decides that he will rescue it, borrowing millions from the banks to do so.

No comments :