Don’t let the Palladian mansion, Eton education, or fondness for tweed (and stuffed animal ducks) fool you — Michael William Coplestone Dillon Onslow, the seventh Earl of Onslow, or Lord Onslow for short, was not your typical English Lord. Best known for publicly advocating purging hereditary peers from the British House of Lords, Lord Onslow also had the following under his blue blooded belt:
- His ancestors were cattle thieves who acquired titles through shady political dealings during and after the Renaissance.
- Lord Onslow continued a family tradition of parliamentary service begun in the 16th century. He was also the host of a BBC radio show for hip-hop and thrash metal.
- He once left an Ancient Roman stone testicle under his wife’s pillow as a present.
- While working as an underwriter for Lloyd’s of London, Lord Onslow once headed to work on the London Underground with his pet monkey. It escaped and had to be tracked down by the police.
For more on Lord Onslow’s remarkably unconventional life pick up The Obits: The New York Times Annual 2012, a new annual that collects the best of The New York Times obituaries from the previous year. And check back next week, for another installment of Snippets of the Lives of the Incredibly Awesome.