after Magnus Piper. 1779

‘The fact is, I’ve decided to leave everything to Colt,’ he said.  ‘It’s all written down. Mr Pickering drew up the Will. He knows what’s in it.’


'It was to become the most famous argument in the family’s history.  The time was just after three o’clock in the afternoon when Henry Hoare, senior partner of Hoare’s Bank, heard the carriage. Now a grand old man of seventy-eight, he rushed out on to the top step and opened his arms to welcome husbands and wives as they arrived. It was ever thus – funerals, weddings, quarter days, reunions, Easter, Christmas. However great his wealth, however grand his house, it was the style of the man. Come out on to the steps, dash down and warmly shake their hands. It was why this place, for everyone who came, held a magic they could not find elsewhere. They were always valued and fussed over. More recently the old man had taken to remaining at the top. He didn’t like to talk about it but his rheumatism made descending and climbing the stairs difficult.'