The Courtaulds are a famous and illustrious British commercial family who are descended from French Huguenots, the protestants expelled from Roman Catholic France in the 17th century on religious grounds. In the early years of the last century prominent British politician, and later prime minister, David Lloyd George tried to sell the Courtaulds a peerage for the enormous sum of 70,000 guineas, to fund his Liberal Party. (The guinea being the currency of gentleman and equivalent to 21 shillings). When they declined, and Lloyd George reportedly said, “Wouldn’t you like to be a peer”, what was the reply from the Courtalds’ family representative?

Answer: “I’d prefer to remain a gentleman.”

Source: Churchill by Andrew Roberts

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