Pro-marriage Earl sells heirloom to meet costs

The Earl of Devon, who lost thousands of pounds because of his Christian beliefs on marriage, is selling a Civil War diary to pay for building work on his estate.

Last year he lost his licence to hold marriages at his castle because he wouldn’t allow homosexual civil partnerships to take place there.

He said the matter was an issue of religious conscience for him.

It was reported that losing the licence would mean Lord Devon would miss out on £200,000 a year generated by holding marriages at the castle.

Devon County Council said they took the licence away because of ‘gay rights’ laws introduced by the Equality Act 2006.

Homosexual activist group, Stonewall, called for Lord Devon to be hit with a huge inheritance tax burden because of his stand.

Now Lord Devon is selling a centuries-old Civil War diary written by one of his ancestors, Sir William Waller, to help pay for new castle facilities which will be open to the public.

Auction house Sotheby’s are selling the diary which is expected to attract £15,000.

Lord Devon insists the sale is not linked to losing his licence to hold marriages. He said: “We are selling it to try and raise money because we have invested a lot of cash to provide new facilities for the public.”

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