Mad Jack Mytton

I don’t think it is controversial to claim that the current crop of MPs are amongst the lowest standard the UK has ever known.

Ranking around the same as the MSM for trustworthiness, likeability, in the gutter , below estate agents, second hand car salesman, the current bunch of ex spads, spivs, virtue signallers and plain stupid amongst the 650 care not a jot for their main role of protecting the UK and its citizens above all else. I guess 40 years of rubber stamping EU directives and devolving power to town hall tyrants to implement globalist policies from the WEF etc has left us with a parliament that is incapable of actually running the country and making coherent laws and policy.

So we have to go back several decades to find any real leaders, I guess Maggie was the last of the breed, I’m trying to think, without success, of any labour party politician who could be described as a leader.

Anyhow this leads me onto one of the greatest ever tory MPs John Mytton, AKA Mad Jack Mytton.

Born in 1796 Jack was 2 years old when his father died and he inherited Halston Hall near Oswestry, Shropshire and the 138000 acres of tenanted farms and houses producing an annual income of circa 2 million in todays money. Sent to Westminster school he was expelled after one year for fighting a master, then sent to Harrow where he was also expelled shortly after.

Home schooled he began tormenting his tutors once leaving a horse in a teacher’s lodgings.

Despite having no academic qualifications he was admitted to Trinity College Cambridge. It was reported he left Halston Hall with a train of wagons including 2000 bottles of port to sustain himself through the academic rigours to come. He is not recorded as ever graduating and doubt remains he ever attended.

Following Cambridge he departed on the grand tour for a year.

At 16 he had been commissioned into the local Yeomanry the Oswestry rangers and following his return from the grand tour he received a regular commission in the 7th Hussars and spent a year in France with the the army of occupation following Napoleon’s defeat.

Most of the time was well spent drinking and and gambling before resigning his commission and returning to life as a country squire at Halston Hall.

John Mytton, artist unknown, c. 1820-1830, oil on canvas - Shrewsbury Museums Service

A Lad at rest. Used under CC0 1.0

Life As A Squire

Jack had ridden to hounds since the age of ten and had his own pack, in all he had 2000 dogs of various breeds his favourites dining on steaks and drinking champagne. His winter clothing usually consisted of a light hunting pink coat silk breeches and thin shoes, although in the thrill of the chase he was known to eschew even these and ride completely naked.

He also continued his gargantuan gambling habit usually at the ,even by those days standards, the disreputable Oswestry race course.

On one occasion, for a bet, he rode his horse up the grand staircase of the Bedford hotel in Leamington Spa to the balcony from where, still seated on the horse he jumped over the diners below and out through a window.

He also would ride his favourite horse Baronet up the stairs to his bedroom where a servant would collect the horse and lead him to the grand lounge where the horse would sleep in front of the fire. He is also believed to have owned a pet bear which had free range at the Hall.

Political career

in 1819 Jack considered a career in politics might suit him so he stood as tory MP for Shrewsbury.
Having no political experience or much else in the way of attraction to the voters of Shrewsbury he offered 10 pounds to every constituent who voted for him.

Some today might consider this an outrageous abuse of the democratic process, but i ask you is it any worse than modern politicians bribing the electorate with promises of other peoples money?
1.5mn in todays money lighter, Jack was duly elected the MP for Shrewsbury.

HIs maiden speech was also his last and in fact his last attendance in parliament, he declared the debates boring and difficult for him to follow as a result of a hunting accident which had left him quite deaf.
he declined to stand at the next election having attended for half an hour in a full parliamentary session.

Post Political career

Jack returned to Halston Hall where he continued life as a spendthrift. His agent told if he could live on 6000 pounds a year for 6 years ( a fortune today) the estate would not have to be sold. Jack was having none of it and continued spending, visitors would often find bundles of notes lying around the estate, whether they were secret present waiting to be found or Jack had just mislaid them we’ll never know, but his finances continued to deteriorate.

A risk taker Jack was known to scare the life out of his guests when taking them for a ride around the estate in his gig. He once asked a passenger if he had ever been turned over in a carriage, “No” came the reply, “You haven’t lived!” exclaimed Jack, and promptly drove the carriage up a steep slope before tipping them both out.

On another occasion he speculated whether a horse and carriage could jump a tollgate, unsurprisingly it couldn’t.

Eventually the inevitable happened and he was forced to sell the state although this failed to realise enough to cover all his creditors so he fled to France, stopping in South London he became enchanted with a girl of 20 years and he offered her 500 pounds a year, that he didn’t have, to become his companion and so they both headed to a new life abroad.

Whilst in Calais he succumbed to a long bout of hiccups and decided the only way to rid himself of them was to frighten them away, taking a candle to his nightshirt he set light to the bottom of it, made of cotton he was immediately engulfed in flames and had to be saved a remaining faithful servant beating the flames down.

He rolled into bed declaring “My god, they’re gone!”.

Inevitably he had been living on tick and reputation during his time in Calais but eventually his French creditors began to become nervous, so he fled back to England where he was detained in London eventually being imprisoned in The Kings Bench debtors prison in Southwark where he died in 1834 at the age of 38, he is buried in the chapel at Halston Hall.

They don’t make them like that anymore.

© Wycombewanderer 2023