Thursday, March 07, 2013

John “Mad Jack” Mytton

John “Mad Jack” Mytton
Also known as: "Mango, the King of the Pickles"
  •  Born 30 Sept 1796 at Halston, Shropshire
  •  Inherited the family fortune at the age of 21 –  £60,000 and an income of  £10,000 annually from 132,000 acres of agricultural land in North Wales and Shropshire.
  • Inherited family seat Halston Hall, Whittington, Shropshire.

  • First wife was Harriet Emma Jones. They had a daughter Harriet Emma Charlotte christened on 23 April 1819.
  •  His marriage to second wife Caroline Gifford on 29 October 1821 ended in separation in 1830. She had a daughter and four sons:  Barbara Augusta (b. 9 August 1822), John Fox Fitz-Giffard (b. 20 November 1823), Charles Orville January (b. 1825), Euphrates Henry April (b. 1826) and William Harper (b. April 1827). Euphrates and Charles died young but his two other sons and both daughters survived him. Barbara Augusta in 1847 married Colonel Poulett George Henry Somerset, son of Lord Charles Henry Somerset, a younger brother of the 6th Duke of Beaufort.


  • He was thrown out of Harrow and Westminster schools for fighting with his teachers and didn't last long at Cambridge either. 
  •  Was elected Member of Parliament for Shrewsbury at a by-election in 1819. Legend has it that he spent only thirty minutes in parliament and left because he was bored. 

  • "By his mid-twenties he was drinking six bottles of vintage port a day, the first while he was shaving before breakfast". Curing Hiccups with Small Fires: A Delightful Miscellany of Great British Eccentrics by Karl Shaw, page 36. 
  • " He fought dogs and bears with his bare hands went duck-hunting in winter wearing only his nightshirt and chased rats across frozen ponds on ice skates". Ibid, page 37.
  • "Mytton was master of the local hunt and kept two thousand hounds, which he fed on champagne and steak. He also owned sixty cats, which he dressed in fine silk livery." Ibid, page 37.
  • He had a bear called Nell which he once rode into his drawing-room during a party. The bear became agitated when piqued by Jack's spurs and took a bite out of his calf. 
  • His favourite horse, Baronet, had the freedom of Halsted Hall and used to lie in front of the fire with Jack.
  • In order to cure hiccups, he set his nightshirt on fire. Although this did the trick, Mytton was very badly burned in the process. 
  •         After squandering his fortune, he died penniless in King’s Bench Prison on  29 March 1834, aged 37, of delirium tremens. 

No comments: