Sunday, March 27, 2011
April 1, 1893 --- "The Squire"
Not a man to tarry with any woman, he move on to a dalliance with "Doll Tester," another ex-actress who had won the hand of the caddish Marquis of Ailesbury. He sent "Doll" home to her Marquis with £100,000 in reparations. When Baird wrote a check for £100,000 to the Kirk of Scotland, wits dubbed it the "largest fire insurance policy" in memory.
In addition to the turf, the Squire had recently taken an interest in prize-fighting. Backing an Australian boxer named Jim Hall on an American tour, Abingdon worked in Hall's corner in a losing bout with the American, Fitzsimmons. The New Orleans fight venue was a drafty old barn, and on a chilly March evening, he was ill-dressed for the elements. Undismayed by his man's defeat, the Squire joined in a "general round of dissipation" which followed, but, within hours, he collapsed. His death on 8 March was attributed to pneumonia, but The New York Times acknowleged: "His appearance of late has shown the effects of a very fast life."
Accountants closing the estate estimated that, in his short life, the Squire expended something near £2,000,000. Racing World concluded that "he probably got less enjoyment out of money expended than any turf celebrity on record." He left his mother a million pounds.
Posted by Tom Hughes at 6:21 AM