Just a quick one today, guys.
Many Victorian aristocrats were criticized for living decadent lives, but nothing said "I have more money than sense" quite like George Brudenell-Bruce, 4th Marquess of Ailesbury. While his father was still alive, he paid hundreds of thousands of pounds to cover George's massive gambling problem. Upon inheriting the estates, George rapidly gambled himself into bankruptcy. If he's guilty of anything, it's predictability.
Yet despite his financial woes, he continued to wear a "heavy box coat [which] had real half-crowns for buttons" (381). Because "Screw you, poor people. I have so much money I need to invent new uses for it."
A half-crown in Victorian times was roughly equivalent to £10 today, or $16.
He was the 19th-century Tracy Jordan:
Quotation found in A.N. Wilson's The Victorians.