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Old 03-08-2013, 01:32 PM   #73093
pete675
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Originally Posted by dopey View Post
Ampleforth abuse and Piers Grant Ferris...and his father Robert Grant Ferris

I'd be surprised if this hasn't been already been covered on here however since a search throws up nothing I thought it orth posting again.

This isn't so much about Piers GF but about his father Robert Grant Ferris.


Some background links on the scandal below(all or most of which are already on here but for reference am posting again) but it is the last link and quoted text which is of the most interest to me today.

Piers Grant-Ferris was a member of the staff at the most exclusive Catholic prep school, Gilling Castle at Ampleforth, North Yorkshire and admitting abusing boys over many years. He was given the all clear by Basil Hume, Abbot of Ampleforth from 1963 to 1976 and later Archbishop of Westminster -when the allegations first arose, Hume simply removed him, transferred him elsewhere and did not involve the police.

He was finally convicted in 2008 (given 4 years, reduced to 3 years on appeal) after he admitted 20 charges of indecent assault involving 15 boys under the age of 13.


http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/.../a...hume-1-2590484

http://webcache.googleusercontent.co...&gbv=2&ct=clnk

http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2005/n...chools.schools


Known and generally reported to varying degrees is the fact that Piers Grant Ferris is the son of the late Sir Robert Grant-Ferris, a wartime fighter pilot, Conservative MP and deputy speaker, who was elevated to the peerage and was Lord Harvington at the time of his death. Known affectionately as "the voice of the Vatican" in Westminster, his father was actually rather more interesting than was ever reported.

Even if the Catholic church had not had a policy of simply moving pervert monks to another location, Robert Grant Ferris paedophile son was no doubt particularly guaranteed favourable treatment, or so long as his father remained alive.

http://barneshistorian.com/vm-ferris.php


Sir Robert Grant-Ferris, Baron Harvington (1907-1997)
Although he appeared to be fairly typical of the Conservative knights of the shire, a landowner and sheep breeder, who was noted for his passion for hunting and whose other principal recreation was yachting, Robert Grant-Ferris was a product of Douai rather than Eton, and he had the unusual distinction of owing his knighthood and later his Barony to the Labour Prime Minister, Harold Wilson. Although he remained a Conservative, he had come to be more a servant of the House of Commons than his party, and he spent his last four years in the House fittingly enough as Chairman of Ways and Means and Deputy Speaker. A man of considerable charm and great energy, he was well-liked in the House and thought of as a possible successor when Dr Horace King retired. However, Selwyn Lloyd was the preferred candidate of the Conservative Party.

Robert Grant Ferris was born on 30 December 1907, the son of a General Practitioner, Dr Robert Francis Ferris, but he seems to have been brought up by his widowed mother, Ellen (d.1955) at Falcon Hill, Cotteridge. Her sister had bought the property in 1892 and Mrs Ferris moved in with her. Robert could often be seen as a child riding his pony in the grounds. The family were strong Roman Catholics and Mrs Ferris seems to have bought Harvington Hall for the Birmingham diocese in 1923. Robert was educated at Douai, the independent school run by the Benedictine monks of Douai Abbey at Woolhampton. Early in life he hyphenated his name, adding an additional Grant to it. He made his early career in a firm of estate agents with whom his family had connections, but his eyes seem to have been firmly fixed elsewhere, on politics – he was elected to the Birmingham City Council in 1933 - and on flying. He joined 605 (County of Warwick) Auxiliary Air Force Squadron in 1933, and by the time the war came was a Flight Lieutenant. He began taking his bar examinations in 1932 and was called to the Bar at the Inner Temple in 1937.

He continued to live with his mother until 1930 when he married Florence Brennan de Vine, daughter of Major Brennan de Vine MC, who died in 1996. They had two children, a son, Piers, who became a monk and taught at Ampleforth, and a daughter, Sheila, with whom he later lived in Jersey. It was fortunate that neither parent lived to see their son identified and tried for the abuse of pupils in his care.

In the 1935 General Election he fought Wigan as a Conservative but lost heavily. Less than two years later, in February 1937, he fought St Pancras North in a by-election and won narrowly. Apart from his staunch support for General Franco in the Spanish Civil War. Grant-Ferris had little impact on the Commons in the late 30s, arguably because he was concentrating on becoming a front-line airman. By 1939 he commanded one of the flights in his squadron and in 1941 was promoted to Wing Commander. During the war he saw active service in France, Malta, Egypt and India.

Towards the end of the war he gave up active service for a return to more active participation in the House of Commons and became PPS to W.S.Morrison, the Minister of Town and Country Planning 1944-45. However, he was swept out of the Commons in the Labour landslide of 1945 by 7,630 votes and did not continue as the Conservative candidate for St Pancras North. Instead he concentrated on his farm and on his directorship of the publishing company, Burns, Oates and Washburne. He became deputy chairman on the Board of the Roman Catholic weekly, The Tablet, a role that he relinquished only in November 1997.

Although a by-election was called in St Pancras North in 1949, Grant-Ferris was not called upon to fight it, and his next attempt at Parliament was in Central Wandsworth, a seat that he failed to take in both the 1950 and 1951 General Elections.

Nantwich, which he won in the 1955 General Election gave him a safe berth until he chose to stand down just before the February 1974 election. In 1962 he became one of the panel of Chairman, who chair standing committees in the Commons. He was well known for his fairness and amiability, and there were many who thought that he would make an excellent Speaker. In 1970 he was appointed deputy Speaker and Chairman of Ways and Means. He had been knighted in 1969 and he was sworn of the Privy Council in 1971. Although not included in Heath’s dissolution honours, he was one of fifteen life peers nominated by Harold Wilson in the summer of 1974 and the only one with no Labour affiliation. He took his title from the house that his mother had given to the Archdiocese of Birmingham.

He always took a considerable interest in Britain’s inland waterways and was one of the Inland Waterways Association’s most influential allies in the House of Commons. He was elected a Vice-President in 1966 and was chairman of the original All-party Waterways Committee.

As privy chamberlain of the sword and cape to Pope Pius XII, Pope John XXIII and Paul VI, Grant-Ferris spent a week each year in attendance on the Pontiff. His strong opposition to abortion was thought to emanate from the Vatican rather than the Catholic hierarchy in this country. He became a Knight Grand Cross of Magistral Grace 1949 and of the Sovereign and Military Order of Malta in 1953.

He was the chairman of the Board of Management of the Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth in St John’s Wood 1963-70.

Grant-Ferris was a notable breeder of sheep, serving as President of the Southdown Sheep Society of England on three occasions (1950-52, 1959-60, 1973) and presiding over the National Sheep Breeders of Britain 1956-58. He became a Vice President of the Smithfield Club in 1963 and President in 1970.

He was a man with many interests, keen on both hunting and golf, but his main passion was his motor yacht, the 43 ton Melita. He entertained both Edward Heath and the Thatchers aboard her but his plans for a summer cruise with the Thatchers around northern France a year before the couple entered Downing Street had to be cancelled when the French police said they could not guarantee the party's security. He was a member of the Royal Yacht Squadron and of the Royal Thames Yacht Club, and for a time Honorary Admiral of the House of Commons Yacht Club. He was also a member of the Royal and Ancient at St Andrews, the MCC and, of course, the Carlton Club.

After his retirement from the House he lived abroad for tax reasons, initially in Malta and then in Jersey, although he would contribute to debates in the Lords when the taxman let him return. In 1980, he was one of those who rebelled over the school transport clauses of Mark Carlisle’s Education Bill, which would have imposed charges on the ‘free’ transport enjoyed by students at faith schools.

He died on New Year’s Day 1997. An obituary appeared in The Times on 3 January 1997.
Very interesting. We all know about Heath's inclinations, and probably Denis had the same tastes.

I once briefly met Piers Grant-Ferris and couldn't get away quickly enough. Very smooth and polished in the manner of the comfortable elite, but scary in some undefinable way. Not a bit like your decent whisky drinking Irish priest.
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