John ‘Mad Jack’ Mytton (1796–1834) Great British eccentrics
IN order to secure a seat in Parliament, Mytton promised each constituent of Shrewsbury £10 for their vote. He duly won, but decided, after attending his first session for a mere 30 minutes, that he found the whole affair tedious. Instead, he embraced a life of extravagance, feeding his 2,000 dogs on steak and Champagne. Mytton owned 700 pairs of hunting boots and was known to strip naked while riding out. It was said that he consumed eight bottles of Port daily and, for his brief stint at Cambridge University, he took 2,000 bottles of the stuff with him. His fondness for the drink ended in tragedy, however, when he fed a bottle to his horse, killing it. Other tales recount how the Shropshire squire jumped a horse out of the window of a hotel and rode a bear into dinner. Unsurprisingly, he died both young and in debt.
Illustrations by Emma Mccall