Start of the sale:
Thursday, 11 May 2017 at 08:51
Tuesday, 26 November 2019 at 07:57
Created by Delcampe API
FIRST CAR ACCIDENT TRIAL BARON DE CLIFFORD HOUSE OF LORDS TICKET 1935
Rare ticket and its original accompanying envelope for notice of proceedings in the trial of Edward Russell 26th Baron de Clifford (1907-1982), he was a Lieutenant Colonel and the last peer to be tried for a crime in the House of Lords. He inherited the title aged two when his father was killed in a car accident. Coincidentally his trial before the Lords in 1935 was for vehicular manslaughter. His hobby was racing cars, and he was a young supporter of the fascist Sir Oswald Mosley. In 1928 he made his maiden speech in the House of Lords, on the subject of road safety, in which he proposed introducing mandatory driving tests for anyone applying for a driving licence. During his career in the House he also argued for speed limits to be imposed. On 15th August 1935 Russell killed a man, Douglas George Hopkins, in a head on collision while driving his sports car on the wrong side of the road. When a jury at the coroner\'s court concluded that Russell was responsible, the police decided to charge him. At first he was indicted and committed for trial at the Old Bailey, until it dawned on the courts that as a Peer of the Realm, only the House of Lords could try him for a felony. This had not occurred since 1901 when the 2nd Earl Russell was convicted of bigamy. The trial commenced on 12th December 1935 with the Lord Chancellor, Lord Hailsham presiding, the Attorney General prosecuted the case. Admission to the public was strictly by ticket, and this was the last ever trial in the House of Lords, since the right of peers to be tried by peers was abolished in 1948. Russell\'s defence was that Hoskins\' vehicle was travelling at excessive speed and that Russell had been compelled to switch lanes at the last moment, only for the other vehicle to do the same. This defence was successful and he was acquitted. The ticket was made out to Lady Savile and the envelope has the stamp of the Lord Great Chamberlain, the three page confidential order of proceedings sent to Lady Savile sets out the procedure of the trial.