John ‘Mad Jack’ Myt­ton (1796–1834) Great Bri­tish ec­centrics

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country Notebook - Sid­ney His­cox

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

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