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Second Craven history talk held at Wiltshire Studios in Ramsbury

A second talk on the Craven family was held at Ramsbury on Sunday afternoon.

Visitors, keenly clutching pages of notes, family trees and copies of Clive Williams’ book The Cravens, listened as a series of experts gave talks on the renowned English landowning family.

The private event, organised by Pauline Wiltshire, was hosted by Annie Craven-Smith – daughter of the sixth Earl of Craven – and her husband Martin at Wiltshire Studios.

From their playboy antics and wartime service to Guinness record-breaking charity balls, the Cravens were a name to be remembered.

The Cravens made their fortune in moneylending before moving to landowning.

Second Craven book talk held in Ramsbury
Second Craven book talk held in Ramsbury

Locally, they had their seat at Hamstead Park and also at Ashdown House in Oxfordshire.

But despite their enormous wealth and international influence, the dynasty eventually went extinct owing to mounting death taxes and failing to settle its land.

Mrs Craven-Smith spoke first about her father and shared a few items from her extensive family collection, handed down through the centuries.

Next spoke Rick Hutto, whose wife is a Craven descendent.

Mr Hutto, a former attorney general at The White House, travelled from Florida for the event after reading about Mr Williams’ new book in the Newbury Weekly News.

Other speakers included Nicola Cornick, who volunteers at Ashdown House, and Julia Gasper, author of Elizabeth Craven: Writer, Feminist and European.

The event lasted three hours and food and refreshments were supplied.

Another talk is being planned at Ashdown House, a former Craven residence.

To order copies of Mr Williams’ book, contact him at clivewilliams@gmx.co.uk

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