Black Diamonds: The Downfall of an Aristocratic Dynasty and the Fifty Years That Changed England

From the New York Times–bestselling writer of The mystery Rooms, the extreme real tale of the downfall of 1 of England’s wealthiest families

Fans of Downton Abbey now have a go-to source for interesting, real-life tales of the magnificent lives led by way of England’s aristocrats. With the novelistic aptitude and knack for ancient aspect Catherine Bailey displayed in her New York Times bestseller The mystery Rooms, Black Diamonds offers a page-turning chronicle of the Fitzwilliam coal-mining dynasty and their breathtaking Wentworth property, the biggest deepest domestic in England.

When the 6th Earl Fitzwilliam died in 1902, he left at the back of the second one biggest property in twentieth-century England, worth greater than £3 billion of today’s money—a lifeline to the tens of hundreds of thousands of people that labored both within the family’s coal mines or on their expansive property. The earl additionally left at the back of 4 sons, and the kin line appeared guaranteed. yet was once it? As Bailey retraces the Fitzwilliam relations heritage, she uncovers a legacy riddled with sour feuds, scandals (including Peter Fitzwilliam’s ill-fated affair with American heiress Kick Kennedy), and civil unrest because the clash among the coal and its miners got here to a head. once more, Bailey has written an impossible to resist and tremendous narrative heritage.

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Michael Wishart, excessive Diver, Blond & Briggs, 1977, p. a hundred and five. ‘I in simple terms think . . . ’: stated in Slater, Aly: A Biography, p. four. ‘I as soon as left. . . ’: ibid. , p. 123. p. 411 ‘I by no means imagined . . . ’: author’s interview with Janie Compton, November 2005. ‘You don’t recognize him . . . ’: pointed out in McTaggart, Kathleen Kennedy, p. 217. ‘Peter had all of the charm . . . ’: stated in Collier and Horowitz, The Kennedys, Summit Books, 1984, p. 201. ‘the overall sum . . . ’: Probate money owed, Peter, eighth Earl Fitzwilliam, Wentworth property workplace. ‘As Kick confided .

Ibid. , p. 201. ‘I recognize that. . . ’: Smith, ‘We requested them for bread’. p. 247 ‘The worst accidents . . . ’: Bullock, Bowers Row, p. 197. ‘In 1925 . . . ’: Mexborough and Swinton instances, 26 March 1926. ‘You would . . . ’: Bullock, Bowers Row, p. 198. ‘Fortunately . . . ’: ibid. , p. 195. ‘The older lads . . . ’: ibid. , p. 197. p. 248 ‘I remember . . . ’: Frank Johnson, interviewed through Brian Elliott, Yorkshire Mining Veterans, Wharncliffe Books, 2005, p. eighty five. ‘I shouldn't be living . . . ’: Arthur Clayton, interviewed by way of Brian Elliott, ibid.

At Prayers, we attempted to not stare yet we used to love them. It have been great to determine them. They appeared this type of chuffed relations. We’d ponder our lives in comparison to theirs and naturally obviously we used to imagine, Oh, I want it have been me. ’ along with the junior employees, the senior individuals of the loved ones have been additionally current; Alex 3rd, the dour head gardener who had gained a DSO within the nice battle; Mrs Lloyd, the housekeeper, who used to be recognized between her fees – the housemaids and undermaids – to be vicious along with her tongue, and Jack may perhaps, the butler.

Unpublished memoir, pointed out with the type permission of David Peake. ‘A solid lots of them have been afraid of him . . . ’: girl Mabel Smith, Royal Courts of Justice, Fitzwilliam v Fitzwilliam, February 1951. p. 31 ‘Maurice fell . . . ’: mentioned in McKenzie, Psychiatry for the wealthy, p. one hundred and one. p. 32 ‘3 roasted oxen . . . ’: quoted in Bond, manner Out West, p. 28. p. 33 ‘I were thinking . . . ’: Henry Wentworth-Fitzwilliam to his sister Frances Doyne, July 1860. inner most assortment. p. 34 ‘There looks a few reason . . . ’: Harriet, Countess Fitzwilliam, to George Wentworth-Fitzwilliam, April 1861, Northampton records.

You hadn’t a lot difficulty on the relations pits, Fitzbillies [Earl Fitzwilliam’s], and so forth. There weren’t a lot hassle, you recognize, at little pits. you spot, there has been an improved set of homeowners at Denaby, they can rule the roost,’ recalled Fred Bramley, a miner at Denaby major. ‘I heard it quoted that the landlord, Mr Buckingham Pope, stated that he had a sq. backyard of gold and he’d sink it sooner than the miners may win. ’ Six months previous, the strike had began with a controversy over a layer of airborne dirt and dust. ‘Bag muck’, an asymmetric seam of soppy dusty rock that ran among the beds of coal, used to be one of many banes of a collier’s lifestyles.

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