JOSEPH LANG & SON
A 12-BORE SIDELOCK EJECTOR, serial no. 14029,
28in. nitro barrels, rib engraved 'JOSEPH LANG & SON. 102. NEW BOND STREET. LONDON.', and gold-inlaid '1', 2 1/2in. chambers, bored approx. true cyl. in both, toplever gold-inlaid '1', automatic safety with gold-inlaid 'SAFE' detail, gold-inlaid cocking-indicators, fine engraving of acanthus scrollwork and floral bouquets, retaining some blued finish, 14 3/8in. well-figured stock, cast on and slightly swept for the left shoulder, weight 6lb. 5oz.
Provenance: The makers have kindly confirmed that this gun was completed on the 15th August, 1906 as No.1 gun of a trio for the Duke of Manchester.
William Angus Drogo Montagu, 9th Duke of Manchester (1877-1947), styled Lord Kimbolton from 1877 to 1890 and Viscount Mandeville from 1890 to 1892, was a Liberal peer, soldier and one of his generation's most infamous bankrupts.
He succeeded his father in 1892 at the age of 15, and later took his seat on the Liberal benches in the House of Lords. He served under Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman as Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard from 1905 until 1907.
William, in 1900 married Helena Zimmerman (the daughter of Eugene Zimmerman, a railroad president and major stockholder in Standard Oil). As a wedding present Eugene reputedly bought the couple Kylemore Castle in Co. Galway, where the 9th Duke regally entertained house parties such as a famous weekend when the Duke and Duchess of Connaught and their entourage bagged over a thousand pheasants on a shoot in 1903.
Already perilously low after the exuberant spending of his forebears, the family's fortune was completely exhausted by the Duke. In 1915 he was named in the Peerage and MP Ledger as bankrupt, culminating in the sale of the family's lands. The Duke spent much of his life abroad, evading creditors, seeking out wealthy consorts, and attempting to extract money from wealthy acquaintances. He is perhaps most well known in America from the leading case of Hamilton v. Drogo, which concerned the establishment of a spendthrift trust for the benefit of the Duke.
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