Peregrine Worsthorne died not too long ago, at a great age. A former editor of the Sunday Telegraph and an ensign-bearer in retirement not only of the past, but also of long-passed notions. One of those was aristocracy, something Worsthorne adored and advocated. Yesterday I read his offering on the subject, the slight book In Defence of Aristocracy. This essay, taking in his most cherished notions and his most coherent effort at writing, serves both as review and, after a fashion, as obituary.
Lord William Henry Cavendish-Bentinck was the archetypal second son, being born at Burlington House on September 14, 1774, into that condition, the child of the third Duke of Portland. The family was noble but not rich, and Bentinck was effectively aware of this situation all his life. Continue reading →