Great Bri­tish ec­centrics

Fran­cis Henry Eger­ton, 8th Earl of Bridge­wa­ter (1756–1829)

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country Notebook - Il­lus­tra­tions by Emma Mccall

DE­CID­ING that life at Ashridge House in Hert­ford­shire was not for him, the Earl left for Paris, tak­ing his dogs with him. There, he bought a ho­tel, re­nam­ing it Ho­tel Eger­ton, and treated the ca­nines to a life of lux­ury. Each evening, the an­i­mals were for­mally dressed in ex­pen­sive, hand­made cloth­ing and, seated at the din­ing ta­ble, were served by their own foot­men. A noted scholar, the Earl kept the date in an un­usual man­ner: he wore a new pair of shoes ev­ery day and lined up the old ones as a po­di­atric cal­en­dar. Miss­ing cer­tain el­e­ments of the English coun­try­side, he im­ported a hunts­man, hounds and a fox, set­ting up his own hunt in the grounds of the ho­tel. When his eye­sight be­gan to fail, par­tridges with clipped wings were re­leased for the Earl to shoot. Sid­ney His­cox

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