A WARWICKSHIRE woman has discovered the village she lives in was once at the centre of a royal scandal.
Sue Lyne moved to Offchurch some 30 years ago but has only recently taken it upon herself to document the village’s 160 year journey.
Along the way she uncovered how the 7th Earl of Aylesford’s name was tainted after becoming friendly with Edward VII and the Prince of Wales had a reputation for being a playboy and was believed to have had an affair with Aylesford’s wife Edith.
Later on Aylesford accompanied Edward to India on a goodwill tour – while they were there Edith embarked on an affair with the Marquess of Blandford and telegraphed her husband to say she was leaving him.
Aylesford’s name was dragged through the House of Lords the family’s private affairs publicised.
The book, entitled ‘Offchurch 1820 to 1980: 160 years of life in a Warwickshire Village’ is being used to raise money for the Aylesford Cancer Ward at Warwick Hospital, which cared for Sue’s father.
In 2014 Sue herself was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer and she lost her father to oesophageal cancer shortly after.
Speaking to the Observer, she said: “I feel I lost my 60th birthday in all that was going on but having the book to work on, with so many fascinating stories coming to light, gave me something to keep going and kept my mind off everything bad that was happening.
“The book launch was also a bit like a belated birthday celebration for me!”
Part of her journey through the village’s history included researching names she and husband Tim found in the church graveyard.
And it was in the graveyard that Sue found a young girl who wasn’t from Offchurch but had been burried there.
She explained: “I discovered a 16 year-old girl buried in the graveyard in 1851 who had moved in with her grandparents in the village.
“She knew she was going to die and wanted to be in a beautiful place when she did. She wrote beautiful poetry and hymns which her mother published after she passed.”
Sue sold almost 100 books at her recent launch.
The book can be bought online at http://www.offchurchhistorybook.co.uk/buy-a-book/ and at The Stag at Offchurch.