3rd Baron Moynihan (1965-1991)
Born 1936 Died 1991

Antony Patrick Andrew Cairnes Berkeley, to give him his full name, born on the 2nd February 1936 was the eldest son of Patrick Berkeley Moynihan, 2nd Baron Moynihan by his first marriage to Irene Helen Candy. The most remarkable thing about his life is how he managed to avoid spending most of it in prison, providing as the Daily Telegraph put it "ample ammunition for critics of the hereditary principle".

Educated at Stowe School he was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Coldstream Guards between 1954 and 1956 during which time he married his first wife, Ann Herbert, an actress and nude model. The marriage appears to have had its problems, as in 1956 both his wife and his father saw occasion to remonstrate with Antony over his liaisons with a nightclub hostess, with the result that both complained of assault and Antony fled to Australia to escape arrest.

Whilst in Australia he earned his living as a banjo player but eventually returned to Britain and was briefly reconciled with his wife and gained employment as a manager of the Condor Club in Soho, London. Neither the job nor the reconciliation lasted; soon unemployed and single Antony now married Shirin Roshan Berry Quereshi a former "snake charmer and fire-eater's assistant", whom he had met in Australia, and now began a career as a belly dancer under her new husband's management. Soon forced to flee the country once more to escape a charge of theft, he went to Ibiza where he tried and failed to establish a night club. Back again in Britain he tried his hand at running a coffee bar named 'El Toro' at Beckingham in Kent which also failed. He and his wife then disappeared abroad to escape their creditors, travelling to the Far East where Anthony announced his conversion to the Bahai faith.

In 1965 the 2nd Baron died and Antony returned to Great Britain to take his seat in the House of Lords. Accepting the Liberal Party whip, his most notable contribution was arguing for the return of Gibraltar to Spain. However by 1970 he was facing a total of fifty-seven fraud related charges, including the purchase of a Rolls Royce with a rubber cheque, and true to form dashed off to Spain to escape prosecution. When the British Government began extradition proceedings in Spain he fled once again, this time to the Philippines.

By now the 3rd Baron had dispensed with his second wife and married an Argentinian by the name of Luthgarda Maria Beltran del Rosa in 1968, but divorced her in 1980 and thus felt free to marry again. His fourth wife was a Filipino belly dancer Edith Eduarda Ruben, the daughter of a Major-General in the Filipino army whose family owned a chain of massage parlours and were friendly with President Ferdinand Marcos. The connection with Marcos was fortunate as it enabled him to escape prosecution for a number of offences carried out in the Philippines including, it is said, the murder of a nightclub owner. However the 1986 coup against Marcos rather undermined Antony's protected status and threatened to end his charmed life to date.

Fortunately for the Lord Moynihan he counted amongst his acquaintances one Howard Marks, then a notorious trafficker in marijuana, who was being targeted by the US [Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Howard and Antony were originally planning to set up their own cannabis plantation in the Philippines but Anthony was 'persuaded' by the DEA to record incriminating conversations with Howard and later appeared as a key prosecution witness at Marks's trial in Florida. Thus escaping prosecution once more Antony returned to Manila where he opened a brothel called the Yellow Brick Road not far from the British Embassy. He died at Manila of a heart attack on the 24th November 1991 at the age of fifty-five.


On his death the 3rd Baron left the matter of succession to his title in dispute. Although his first three marriages had produced no heirs, his fourth wife Edith claimed to have produced a son named Andrew, who was put forward as the heir to the barony. However the late Baron claimed to have divorced his fourth wife in 1990 and on the 4th February 1991 went through a form of marriage to another Filipino named Jinna Sibyaga who gave birth to a boy (named Daniel) who was also became a claimant for the title.

It was left to the British legal system to sort out this mess. DNA testing determined that Andrew, who had been born via IVF as the late 3rd Baron was said to suffer from a "low sperm count", could not possibly have been his son, and was therefore ruled out of the succession. The British courts further determined that he had failed to properly divorce his fourth wife, and thus his marriage to Jinna Sibyaga was bigamous and any issue illegitimate. The Committee for Privileges of the House of Lords consequently determined on the 20th March 1997 that the title should pass to his younger half-brother, the far more respectable Colin Moynihan, a former Conservative MP and Minister for Sport.


SOURCES

  • William Donaldson Brewer's Rogues, Villains and Eccentrics (Phoenix, 2004)
  • Burke's Peerage and Baronetage 106th edition
  • Francis Wheen Hereditary members' attempts to survive October 27, 1999 The Guardian
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/lords/Story/0,2763,200246,00.html
  • The Barony of Moynihan: Committee for Privileges Report 20 Mar 1997
    http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/ld199697/ldhansrd/vo970320/text/70320-03.htm
  • A genealogical survey of the peerage of Britain at www.thepeerage.com

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