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Earl of Cardigan 'sent rude emails'


The Earl of Cardigan, David Brudenell-Bruce

The Earl of Cardigan, David Brudenell-Bruce

The Earl of Cardigan, David Brudenell-Bruce

An aristocrat whose family name is famed for its link to the Charge of the Light Brigade sent emails describing a former friend as a "pedant", a "stupid man", "scum", a "creature" and a "thief", the High Court has heard.

The Earl of Cardigan, David Brudenell-Bruce, 61, also sent a message suggesting that barristers' clerk John Moore, a former chairman of a local Conservative Party branch, should "piss off", a judge was told.

Mr Justice Newey heard that the Earl's father - the 8th Marquess of Ailesbury, Sir Michael Brudenell-Bruce, 87 - had described him as "difficult at times to deal with".

And the judge was told that the Earl's estate foreman carried a video camera "24/7" because his employer "would do silly things".

Detail has emerged in a ruling published today by Mr Justice Newey following the latest round of litigation centred on the Earl's ancient family estate at Savernake, near Marlborough, Wiltshire.

The Cardigan name is renowned because of the part played by one of the earl's ancestors in one of the most famous attacks in military history - the 1854 Charge of The Light Brigade, during the Crimean War.

Details of the link were placed on a Savernake Estate website, which explained: ''In 1854, during the Crimean War, a very distant cousin of the Savernake Forest family was told that his commander-in-chief had ordered him and his men to mount a cavalry charge on some distant Russian cannons.

''Though he naturally queried the written order, he was again ordered to carry it out, which he reluctantly did - and so James, Earl of Cardigan and his Light Brigade passed into famous history.''

The website said the estate was set in Savernake Forest, between Marlborough and Hungerford, and is privately owned by the earl and family trustees. It said the 4,500-acre woodland is the only privately-owned forest in Britain.

An estate history on the website said Savernake Forest could not be "less than 1,000 years old'' and was referred to in a Saxon charter from King Athelstan in 934AD and called Safernoc.

The website said there were four buildings called Tottenham House on the southern edge of the forest. The present stately home was built in 1820, it adds.

It said the family lived in Tottenham House until 1940. After the Second World War ended, the family moved to a smaller house on the estate.

Mr Justice Newey said the Earl took legal action against two estate trustees - Mr Moore and Wilson Cotton.

The Earl challenged the remuneration the two men received as trustees, said the judge.

He wanted the judge to order their removal as trustees.

Mr Justice Newey said Mr Cotton should stay as a trustee, and ruled that Mr Moore should be removed as a trustee - although not immediately.

But the judge said the Earl and one of his legal advisers were "principally responsible" for the breakdown in the relationship with Mr Moore.

And he warned the Earl against using his ruling to "blacken Mr Moore's name in the press and local area".

Mr Justice Newey said Mr Moore "put up with a great deal of unpleasantness" from the Earl, despite the amount of time he had devoted to the estate.

The judge said it would be wrong in particular for the Earl to describe Mr Moore as a "thief".