Thursday, July 14, 2016

Plas Newydd: The 5th Marquess of Anglesey

Every family has one, I suppose, especially families whose fortunes are so dissipated that all or nearly all is lost. The 4th Marquess died when Henry was only two, and his mother married an actor. Henry was fascinated by the theater and poured the family's wealth into converting the chapel into a "Gaiety Theatre" and organizing a theatrical troupe of 50 that toured in Britain as well as the Continent. All proceeds were given to charity. He was producer, director, and star, of course. A specialty was his "Butterfly Dance." He also had lavish tastes. The fun ended when he was still in his twenties, and all was sold, creditors getting 6 pence on the pound. Henry went into exile in France and died, age 30, his annulled/reinstated wife at his side. A sad story, I know, but the photos, more or less buried in Plas Newydd's basement bowels, are a hoot.

Extreme piercing

The Gaiety Theatre at Plas Newydd, once the family chapel

Click to enlarge for the fuller story

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