04.09.

2007: Greatest Landowner in the UK – Owned 110,000 Hectares

2007: Greatest Landowner in the UK – Owned 110,000 Hectares
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/ "9th Duke of Buccleuch 2 Allan Warren" by Allan warren - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 4 September 2007
  • The extremely wealthy duke owned many castles, but in 1971 he was left paralyzed from the waist down. He became a well-known disability rights activist.

The Duke of Buccleuch, greatest landowner in the UK, died on this day in 2007.

He owned some 110,000 hectares of land throughout Scotland and England. His full name and title were: Walter Francis John Montagu Douglas Scott, 9th Duke of Buccleuch and 11th Duke of Queensberry.

The Duke stemmed from the Montagu Douglas Scott family, one of the most prominent families in the whole of Scotland. His family were the patrilinear descendants of King Charles II (1630 – 1685) through his illegitimate son, whom he appointed Duke. The famous Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott stemmed from the same family.

The 9th Duke inherited great landholdings and many castles from his ancestors. Some of the Duke’s more well-known real estate are Drumlanrig Castle, Bowhill House and Dalkeith Palace in Scotland, as well as Boughton House in England. The Duke suffered an unusual and difficult fate – in 1917 he fell from his horse and was left paralyzed from the waist down. From then on he had to use a wheelchair (for a total of around 36 years), and became a well-known disability rights activist. He was active in the British Parliament, first in the House of Commons, and later in the House of Lords (once he inherited the title of duke from his father).

It is interesting to note that the Duke was the first Member of Parliament to enter the Parliament Hall in a wheelchair. He was greeted by Prime Minister Harold Wilson, who crossed over to the other side of the hall in order to shake his hand.

The Duke’s personal wealth was estimated at around 680 million dollars, and the holding company for his assets was also worth a similar amount of money. The Duke died aged 83, on this day in 2007. His title and vast landholdings were inherited by his son, the 10th Duke of Buccleuch, who currently resides at Drumlanrig Castle in Scotland.

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