Lord Bradford

Orlando Bridgeman, 2nd Baron and later the 1st Earl of Bradford was,in his younger days, one of the Prince Regents set. It is reputed that he was the only witness to the ill-concealed and unauthorized marriage between the prince Regent (later King George IV) and his mistress Mrs Fitzherbert in 1785.

He was a noted agriculturist. In 1803 a head servant in a letter from the Earls seat, Weston Park, Staffordshire wrote, "my lord is sending us from Weeting a new ploughman, also three horses, a wagon and two ploughs". In an attempt, it appears, to improve the land.

It seems however that his lordship had not completely abandoned his taste for the wild life of his youth. He would entertain lavishly in the Belvedere, a building some two miles from the Hall. Many years later the Rev. Luke in his 'History of Weeting' refers to the "goings on", "Many are the traditions concerning the occupants of the Hall before the Angerstein family came to live there, and although behaviour is seldom to be relied on for speaking the truth, yet in this instance there is sufficient evidence to show that there is some foundations for the various theories related concerning them. It is a dark record and far be it from me to withdraw the veil which conceals mental degradation and moral turpitude. To write of those days would be to dive into the dark doings of that most debauched and licentious court that has existed since the days of Charles II, even the court of George IV. A plague spot was however left by them on the parish". He goes on to suggest that the morals of the parish were only returned to an acceptable standard by the good work of Mrs Angerstein, the wife of the next owner of the Hall.

In 1805 the earl of Bradford put the Weeting Hall Estate up for sale by auction. The sale was conducted by Mr Willcock at Garraway's Coffe House, Change Lane, Cornhill, in the City of London. It appears that the estate did not reach the reserve price so remained unsold until bought by John Julius Angerstein in 1808.

Gerry Moore 2004

You can read about Lord Bradford, and other notable characters for the village's past in the book "Weeting Worthies". Copies are available from the group - please visit our sales page.