The Powerful House of Keswick
Keswick’s got a real grouse…
By Richard Kay
Updated: 08:52, 30 September 2011
The Duke of Wellington so frequently missed the birds and shot fellow sportsmen and beaters on the grouse moors of Victorian Britain that it was considered an honour to be winged by him.
This is not a sentiment shared by Simon Keswick, scion of the vastly wealthy Scottish merchant clan.
For Simon, I learn, has had an extraordinarily narrow escape from serious injury following a shooting accident on a remote grouse moor north of the border.
Thankfully, Keswick, 59, director of Jardine Matheson Holdings, has made a full recovery after the sporting mishap in which a beater was also injured.
The event occurred during a shooting party at the Keswick family-owned Hunthill, an 18,000-acre sporting estate in Angus. Simon, younger brother of Sir Chips and Sir Henry Keswick, was among the house party.
The estate, near Brechin, is noted for the profusion of its red grouse and attracts some of the best shots from Britain and abroad.
Another of the guns was the Duke of Marlborough’s nephew, Old Etonian David Waterhouse, 55, something of a professional house guest.
The former Life Guards major was a ‘walker’ of the late Princess Diana and enjoys making regular excursions to the smartest homes. He also has a reputation as a decent shot.
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While the former Cavalry officer was present when the shooting occurred, mystery surrounds what actually happened.
‘Simon was apparently standing some distance from the person who fired when he was unexpectedly hit,’ says my source.
‘He suffered injuries to his face from pellets. The man who discharged his gun was mortified.’
Keswick and the beater who was hit were treated at the scene.
‘It quickly became apparent neither had been seriously injured, but it did put rather a damper on the day,’ adds my source.
‘The person responsible offered profuse apologies, but one does tend to frown on these things.’