The March meeting of the North Notts Association of National Trust Members welcomed many members to the Crossing, despite the dismal weather, who were all very keen to hear speaker Susan Deal telling the tale of the Portland-Druce Exhumation Case. This is a fascinating story of a claim made in the early 1900s by a lady that her son, Thomas Charles Druce, was the real 5th Duke of Portland, and as such entitled to the Welbeck estate – or were he and the Duke one and the same?
The family trees were very convoluted with many illegitimate children, and the claim was therefore difficult to check. It all ended up in a court case with witnesses saying that when Druce died in 1864 the coffin did not contain his body but a roll of lead, supposedly to make up the weight. The actual Duke lived until 1879, long after Druce died. With so many witnesses allegedly supporting Druce’s claim it was eventually ordered that the coffin be exhumed to finally settle the case. It was found to contain the body of Druce. Many witnesses were subsequently prosecuted for perjury after the case but many managed to avoid further action.
The AGM followed by a talk by Ian Morgan on Bolsover Castle on 20th April concluded the talks for the winter session. Ian is a published author on historical and crime subjects and gives his time to English Heritage to act as a guide for Bolsover Castle. He has many different talks on the history of the Castle and however well you may think you know it, there’s sure to be some new and interesting information.
From May there will be monthly visits to places of interest until October, when the talks will resume. Members will be sent the relevant information for each outing and should already have received details of the first trip to Wentworth as below.
Membership is £30.00 single or £55.00 joint and covers seven talks from October to April and five outside visits from May to September, which are priced separately.
- 18th May: Wentworth Woodhouse and Wentworth Castle
- 14th June: Nottingham Castle and City walking tour
- 7th July: Black Country Museum
- 18th August: Hull city tour