Friday, 30 March 2018

Comte de Berteux

My favourite Balintore Castle shooting tenant is the Comte de Berteux (1834-1913), who leased the building for a number of seasons.  I know about 1887 due to an entry in an American society magazine "Truth" and he was also in residence  between 1893 and 1896, as his name appears in this Scottish Post Office Directory for the period.

This just predates the shooting record of a previous blog entry, which is a shame as it would have been nice to cross-reference the historical records.

Anyhow there is no doubt that the French count, from the 1866 caricature below by Antoine Bisetsky, was the very definition of a playboy, strutting around just like one of the many cock pheasants he must have shot at the castle. He was a race-horse owner, a member of the English Jockey-Club and a friend of Edward VII. With Balintore only 30 miles away from Balmoral, I am seeking evidence of a visit by Edward to Balintore. 

the younger Comte de Berteux

Below is a later 1903 cartoon of the Gordon Bennett (upper right), and the count (lower left) by Georges Goursat (1863 – 1934). The count may be considerably older but his profile is unmistakable. To have known the notorious hell-raiser Gordon Bennett (1841-1918) who owned the New York Herald and was one of the fabulously wealthy elite of the Belle Époque, is a sure sign our count was a bad boy par excellence!

the older Comte de Berteux

By now, dear reader, I hope you are as enamored of Count Léon Tresvaux de Berteux of Balintore Castle as I, and hopefully you will remain on first name terms: "Blog reader, Léon; Léon, blog reader".

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