may I introduce my horse?


image found here

Gerald Tyrwhitt-Wilson, fourteenth Baron Berners, was a trifle eccentric.


He was known for such antics as dyeing the doves on his estate various colors, arranging color-coordinated meals, and traveling through Europe with a spinet piano in the rear seat of his Rolls-Royce.


He also wrote scatological verse, trained a parrot to walk across the floor while hidden beneath a bowler hat and once had a horse as a guest at a formal tea-party in the parlour of his ancestral home, Faringdon House in Berkshire. He built a folly in the garden there, a 140 foot high tower with a sign reading “Members of the public committing suicide from this tower do so at their own risk.”

One of his friends described how he kept strangers out of his railway compartment “Donning black spectacles and skullcap, he would, with a look of fiendish expectation, beckon in the passerby. Those who took the risk became so perturbed by his habit of reading the papers upside down and taking his temperature every 5 minutes that they invariably got out at the next station.”

glasses vintage printables

This is the epitaph he wrote for himself:

“Here lies Lord Berners,

One of the learners.

His great love of learning

May earn him a burning.

But praise to the Lord,

He was never bored.”

harold wheeler

image by Harold Wheeler found here

Published in: on October 28, 2009 at 7:59 am  Comments (34)  
Tags: , ,

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

34 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. He sounds like fun! I want to be an eccentric when I grow up. Nurse Myra, what is the purpose of ‘fodrulling’ please?

    • It’s a mystery to me Miss Spinach 😉

  2. At first glance, I once assumed that a scatological verse would merely be a book of shitty poems. How wrong was I?

  3. Oh I love wealthy eccentrics. Everyone from Oscar Wilde to the murderous John du Pont; they are just so entertaining.

    I love his tactics for keeping the railway compartment to himself. When I begin to feel crowded on public transportation, I usually just glare off into the distance and shout, “Who’re you calling a psycho?”

  4. I wish it would be ok to be a poor eccentric but they just haul them away to the padded room.

    Wordless Wednesday – Now That’s Scary

    • Not so much these days, I think. But extra money does allow for more extravagant flights of fancy, oh yes, and lawyers should the need arise.

  5. he could have dyed the equestrian tea-party attendee, but i suppose that would be a horse of a different color…

    • Ha!

  6. The Screwmaster? Ironically, I am the master at being screwed. And not in the nice way.

  7. Ah, Nancy Mitford’s Lord Merlin.

    I most clapped my hands with glee while reading this.

    • oh those crazy Mitford gals…..

  8. My kinda guy. Except for the spinet. We coyotes prefer oboes in our Rolls-Royces…

    • To leave more room for the Samoyed?

      • That, and the herd of multicoloured cats…

  9. “Members of the public committing suicide from this tower do so at their own risk.”

    This guy kills me…

  10. He would have kept a great blog.

  11. trained a parrot to walk under a bowlers hat….I’m sure the bird was amused.

  12. When i suggested to my best bud that we get a huge mansion together and fill it with horses and tigers, he insisted we get a green tiger with pink stripes! Also a panther which he wants to name Panty-The-Panther!!!

  13. Are these actions considered eccentric? They appear perfectly normal and sane to me.

  14. I’m going to practise the ‘fiendish expectation’ look. I think it may come in handy.

    • But you’ve already perfected that look anaglyph!

      And the photographic evidence is right at the top of your blog…. 😉

  15. If only the screwmaster really worked on those of us with a screw loose.

  16. I so need to find a Screw Master 😉

  17. Nursemyra is the superintendent of my head movements.

    • … and don’t you forget it

  18. My field biology teacher used to tell us a story about maintenance workers on a huge bridge that used to catch ring-necked gulls and paint extra rings around their necks, and then set them free. After several years, local bird watchers began to contact naturalists describing an unknown, and previously undiscovered, species of gull living in the area. Eventually, a story hit the newspaper about the unidentified gulls. After seeing it in the paper, the workmen came clean about the origin of the species.

    See, I got through this whole post without once mentioning Screwmaster…oh, oh, wait, DAMN!

  19. He was a composer, as well.

    I have an old cassette which I haven’t played in years, but I remember the lyrics
    “James gave Elizabeth a dodo
    And he’s never given one to me!”

    • Great find sledpress

  20. Yup. That’s what I want to be when I grow up. Wealthy enough to be seriously odd. It would be so much fun!

  21. Hey, where did you get my excerise program?

  22. That OP Spectacles picture looks strangely familiar to me…

    • Where have you seen it? I have no idea where I originally found it, so I can’t give credit… 😦

  23. My kind of guy.

  24. […] Lesbos for the Isle of Man Regular readers may remember a previous post about the fourteenth Baron Berners from last year. He was such a marvellous eccentric that […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: