Peerage and MP Ledger: Lord Nicholas Hervey - near Marquess of Bristol, descendant of William the Conqueror, schizophrenic, bankrupt and suicide

03 JUN 2010

Perhaps one of the most tragic entries in the Peerage and MP Ledger is that for Lord Nicholas Hervey (26 November 1961–26 January 1998), who was the "uptight, protocol-obsessed half-brother...[and] studiously conventional younger sibling" and heir apparent to the notorious "wastrel" John Hervey, the 7th Marquess of Bristol. The courtesy title for the heir apparent of the Marquess of Bristol is the Earl Jermyn. Lord Nicholas' full title was: Lord Frederick William Charles Nicholas Wentworth Hervey. He was the only issue of the second marriage of the 6th Marquess. Lord Nicholas, had a particularly tragic life, despite being high borne into vast wealth and privilege. Lord Nicholas was educated at Eton, Yale and the Royal Horticultural College. His end came before he had reached his full potential. He ended his own life by hanging following hospitalization for schizophrenia. He was only 36. This unhappy event followed a bankruptcy order in 1991. Lord Nicholas entry in the ledger states:


"10902 of 1991

Hervey
The Lord Nicholas Hervey the 10901 of 1991 of 198 Pavillion Road, London, SW1X OAX occupation unknown.

Petition presented 28th November 1991
Bankruptcy order 11th March 1992

As the Peer does not have the right, at present, to sit in the House of Lords (he is the half brother of the Marquess of Bristol) the Crown Office did not want a formal certificate. Accordingly only a letter was sent to place on their Peerage file."
A newspaper article by Tom Utley (unknown source) is included in the ledger inserted at page 50 (Lord Hervey's entry). The source of Lord Nicholas' indebtedness seems to have been a solicitor's bill for £38,000. One commentator has noted, "the trustees of his trust refused to fund, to lawyers of the defendants following the failure of the lawsuit he and his elder half-brother brought against the principal beneficiaries of the will of their father, i.e., his third wife and their young children." His mother, an heiress to the 8th Earl Fitzwilliam, inherited approximately £45 million. She did not bail her son out.

Lord Nicholas' elder half brother had his own money issues, dissipating the Marquisette inheritance of £30 million (down to a purported £5,000) before his own untimely death at the age of 44. The current holder of the title is Frederick William Augustus Hervey, 8th Marquis of Bristol. He is the brother of media personalities Lady Victoria Hervey (born 1976 - who herself closed her fashion boutique with debts of £350,000) and Lady Isabella Hervey (born 1982). The current Marquess does not currently live in Ickworth House, Suffolk, the family's ancestral seat. This property is now in the possession of the National Trust. The 7th Marquess sold the remainder of the lease to raise money. The apartments are now a hotel.

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