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Mytton Swims The Severn At Uppington Ferry - TJ Rawlins - Framed Print - 11"H x 14"W


Mytton Swims The Severn At Uppington Ferry - TJ Rawlins - Framed Print - 11"H x 14"W

John Mytton was a notable British eccentric and rake of the Regency period.

John "Mad Jack" Mytton was born into a family of Shropshire squires. He inherited the family seat, Halston Hall, which was worth £60,000, as well as an annual income of £10,000 from rental and agricultural assets generated by an estate of more than 132,000 acres in North Wales and Shropshire.

Having been expelled from Westminster School and Harrow School He was educated by a series of private tutors whom he tormented with practical jokes that included leaving a horse in one tutor's bedroom.

Mytton was granted entry to the University of Cambridge, to which he took 2,000 bottles of port to sustain himself during his studies. He left, having found it boring, and embarked on the Grand Tour.

Mytton later returned to his country seat and took up the duties of a squire. He thus became MP for Shrewsbury and served as High Sheriff of Merionethshire, High Sheriff of Shropshire, and Mayor of Oswestry.

He enjoyed horseracing and gambling. He bought a horse named Euphrates, which was already a consistent winner, and it won the Gold Cup at Lichfield. Its portrait, was painted by William Webb,  and was exhibited at the Royal Academy.

In 1826, in order to win a bet, he rode a horse into the Bedford Hotel in Leamington Spa, up the grand staircase and onto the balcony, from which he jumped, still seated on his horse, over the diners in the restaurant below, and out through the window onto the Parade.

Mytton had hunted foxes in any kind of weather and was known in the thrill of the chase to strip off and continue the hunt naked, even through snow drifts and rivers in full spate. 

His favourites dogs were fed on steak and champagne. His favourite horse, Baronet, had free range inside Halston Hall and lay in front of the fire with Mytton.

Mytton drove his gig at high speed and once decided to discover if a horse pulling a carriage could jump over a tollgate. On another occasion he asked his passenger whether he had ever been thrown from a gig. The man said he had not and Mytton responded, "What!! What a damn slow fellow you must have been all your life!" He promptly drove the gig up a sloping bank at full speed, tipping himself and his passenger out.

He also once rode his bear into his drawing-room, in full hunting costume. The bear carried him very quietly for a time; but on being pricked by the spur he bit Mytton through the calf of his leg.

Over the course of fifteen years he managed to spend his inheritance and then fell into deep debt. His agent had calculated that if he could but reduce his expenditure to £6,000 a year for six years his estate would not have to be sold, but Mytton declared that "I wouldn't give a damn to live on £6,000 a year!" In 1831 he fled to Calais to avoid his creditors.

During his stay in Calais he tried to cure his hiccups by setting his shirt on fire.

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