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From: Stephen Hayes
To: All
Date: 2005-03-15 05:21:56
Subject: RIP Harold Crooks-Faker

* Forwarded (from: GEN_BRITAIN) by Stephen Hayes using timEd/2 1.10.y2k.
* Originally from Roy Stockdill (8:8/2003) to All.
* Original dated: Sun Mar 13, 10:14

From: roy{at} ("Roy Stockdill")

Just thought I'd mention that the Mail on Sunday today has rather a good
double-page spread on Harold Brooks-Baker, the self-appointed "royal
expert" and a man we have often discussed here.

Brooks-Baker, who died last week, was the man behind the infamous Burke's
Peerage "World Books of....." [fill in any old surname you like]
and was consistently in the media, always being ready with an instant quote
on any royal subject you cared to name. He was the subject of some fulsome
obituaries, presumably written by people outside the genealogical community
who didn't know the truth about him.

His nickname here was Harold Oily Double-Barrel and he was a master of
deception. He called himself Publishing Director of Burke's Peerage,
trading on the name of the so-called bible of the aristocracy, but in fact
he never published a single edition of the book and when it eventually came
out in 1999 (the previous edition had been published in 1970) he had
nothing to do with it. He cunningly retained the business title of Burke's
Peerage and published other works by the name, deliberately obfuscating the
issue. He also sold ancient Scottish baronies and obscure French titles to
gullible folks with more money than sense.

The Mail on Sunday article calls him Harold Crooks-Faker (rather good,
that, I think) and the "Nabob of Snob". It says he had no royal
contacts, knew no member of the royal family and, far from being a
genealogical expert, was a shady American businessman with a trail of debts
I recommend it!

Roy Stockdill
Web page of the Guild of One-Name Studies:- Newbies' Guide
to Genealogy & Family History:-

"We are all omnibuses in which our ancestors ride, and every now and
then one of them sticks his head out and embarrasses us." Oliver
Wendell Holmes

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