Bath, Henry Frederick Thynne, 6th Marquess Of

Bath, Henry Frederick Thynne, 6th Marquess Of

▪ British nobleman
born Jan. 26, 1905, Longleat House, Wiltshire, Eng.
died June 30, 1992, Longleat House

      British nobleman who in 1949 turned Longleat House, his financially distressed family's 16th-century home, into a tourist attraction, setting a precedent that was followed by a number of his peers. In the 1960s he introduced African wildlife in a safari park on the estate's grounds.

      After failing his entrance exams at Eton College, he attended Harrow and Christ Church, Oxford, and served in World War II. When his father died in 1946, the new Lord Bath inherited a 100-room Elizabethan house that was in need of repair, as well as a superb art collection, an extensive private library, and death duties that exceeded £600,000. In order to avoid selling the family valuables, he determined to make the estate support itself, and within three years the renovated house was opened to the paying public. Cultivating his public image as an eccentric, he often worked in the garden, while his sons parked cars and his wife served tea to the visitors. The estate drew tens of thousands of tourists per year, especially after the arrival of lions in 1966, and it was frequently used as a movie set.

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Universalium. 2010.

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