Bazouker: The Untold Scandals of Captain Lennox Berkeley, 7th Earl of Berkeley
By Tony Scotland
All families have a black sheep, some can rustle up a whole flock. In a recorded history stretching back to the Anglo-Saxons, the Berkeleys of Berkeley Castle have fielded more than their fair share of cads. One was involved in the murder of Edward II, another sparked a war with America, a third falsified the records to try to prove his children were legitimate, and two gave the castle away to spite their next of kin.
One of the family’s most colourful scoundrels was Captain Lennox Berkeley, the 7th earl. Wife-stealer, Bashi-Bazouk and Redshirt, chronic gambler and zither-player, he died a bankrupt and outlaw, leaving three sons, only one of whom was legitimate.
The eldest, Hastings, became a captain in the Royal Navy (and father of composer Sir Lennox Berkeley); the second, Sir Ernest, was a colonial administrator; and the third, Randal – the only legitimate son – inherited the earldom, the castle and a vast fortune.
On Randal’s death without issue the title fell into dormancy, and the castle was willed to distant cousins. Tony Scotland, author of a biography of the composer (Lennox & Freda, Michael Russell Publishing, 2010), has pieced together the few remaining records to tell the story of the Berkeleys’ most elusive black sheep.
Bazouker is designed by Libanus Press and published by Shelf Lives, in a signed and numbered limited edition. A slim volume of 64 pages, with 18 photographs and a new Berkeley Pedigree (drawn up by Tony Scotland, designed by the late Michael Mitchell of Libanus Press, and approved by Patric Dickinson, Clarenceux King of Arms), it is available in hardback (measuring 218 x 138 mm; ISBN 978-0-9955503-0-8) at £15 including UK postage.
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