Speaking of unusual obituaries.
See this one from GenealogyBank – published in today’s (3 April 2009) Boston Globe.
Sir Sacheverell Reresby Sitwell, son of the late Sir George Sitwell (author of The History of the Fork and inventor of a revolver for shooting wasps).
Boston Globe, (MA) – April 3, 2009
Sacheverell Reresby Sitwell; restored hall of eccentric clan
LONDON – Sir Sacheverell Reresby Sitwell, who restored the stately home of his famously eccentric family to its former glory, has died at age 81.
Sir Reresby Sitwell died in a London hospital Tuesday, his family said. He had been in poor health since suffering a stroke in 2005.
In 1965, Sir Reresby Sitwell inherited Renishaw Hall in Derbyshire, the family seat since 1625.
At the time, the rambling three-story, battlemented house near Chesterfield had neither central heating nor electricity, and Sir Reresby Sitwell and his wife, Penelope, were said to retreat to the warmth of their car after breakfast.
The couple restored the house as well as the Italianate garden laid out by his grandfather in 1895. The garden’s attractions now include the National Collection of Yuccas, the succulent genus native to the Southwestern United States.
“His greatest legacy would be the revival of Renishaw Hall, where he resurrected the estate to the former glories of the Georgian era,” said Timothy Morgan Owen, who supervises exhibitions at the house.
Sir Reresby Sitwell was the elder son of Sacheverell Sitwell, who with his brother, Osbert, and sister, Edith, were famed for their literary talent and their quirks.
The trio’s oddity no doubt was influenced by their father, George, who was Sir Reresby Sitwell’s grandfather. He delighted in telling guests: “I must ask anyone entering the house never to contradict me or differ from me in any way, as it interferes with the functioning of my gastric juices and prevents my sleeping at night.”
George Sitwell dined alone, in full evening dress, exclusively on a diet of roast chicken; he invented a revolver for shooting wasps and wrote a book on “The History of the Fork.”
Author: Robert Barr Associated Press
Page: 12Copyright (c) 2009 Globe Newspaper Company