1777: Earl meets end in well; dog survives

Simon Harcourt was raised to the peerage in 1749 after his military service to George II. As the 1st Earl Harcourt, he served as an advisor to the future George III and an ambassador on the European continent, including four years in Paris.

Harcourt met a watery end in September 1777, aged 63. While walking on his estate in Oxfordshire, the earl apparently fell head-first into a well while trying to rescue his dog:

“…the body of Earl Harcourt was found dead in a narrow well in his park, with the head downwards and nothing appearing above water but the feet and legs. It is imagined this melancholy accident was occasioned by his overreaching himself in endeavouring to save the life of a favourite dog, which was found in the well with him, standing on his lordship’s feet.”

Source: Pennsylvania Evening Post, December 30th 1777. Content on this page is © Alpha History 2016. Content may not be republished without our express permission. For more information please refer to our Terms of Use or contact Alpha History.