Fitzwilliam treasure island tale to be revealed at Wentworth Woodhouse
The story behind a mysterious treasure hunt that started at Rotherham’s Wentworth Woodhouse and ended on a South Pacific island will be revealed this summer at the house where it all began.
Wentworth Woodhouse will be hosting a special tour and talk on Sunday 22 July that is set to unveil tales of adventure on the high seas. There will be the chance to hear all about the secret mission that saw the 7th Earl of Fitzwilliam cross the globe in 1904 – in search of buried treasure.
Local historians, Stephen Cooper and John Moorhouse, will talk about what they discovered while researching their book Earl Fitzwilliam’s Treasure Island. And they’ll be revealing all about the voyage that was shrouded in great mystery and sparked wild speculation at the beginning of the last century.
They will also be joined by Sir Anthony Cooke-Yarborough, whose grandfather was part of the pioneering group of adventurers that joined the voyage and who recorded the historic trip in his journal. That original journal will on show during the event, along with a photograph album that was compiled during the long voyage. Sir Anthony will speak briefly about his grandfather.
Visitors attending the ticket-only event will have the chance to join a special guided tour of Wentworth Woodhouse’s impressive state rooms at 4pm before the talk begins at 5pm. Alternatively, there is the option to come along at 5pm solely for the main talk and presentation. The event, which will include canapes in the Pillared Hall, concludes with a book signing.
The authors have kindly offered to donate the money raised by all book purchases made at the event to the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust; which is currently carrying out major works to restore the Grade I listed building.
Writer, Stephen Cooper, said: “There are all sorts of mysteries and stories associated with Wentworth Woodhouse and this story has not been told in full before.-. The legend of buried treasure on the island of Cocos was rife from the 1820s and it captured the imagination of people around the world.”
“The 7th Earl Fitzwilliam was, it seems, quite the adventurer. He not only gathered the support of his friends but also enlisted a group of miners from Wentworth for the voyage before going on to buy the ship that would take them on their journey. On their return there was a massive amount of publicity in the national press and much wild speculation, but the Earl refused to talk about it publicly and locally there was a lot of secrecy.”
Tickets are £15 for the talk, presentation and book signing. Tickets are available online or by calling Wentworth Woodhouse on 01226 351161.