Hon. Charles Hamilton, like several other 18th-century English gentlemen, felt that the landscaping of his estate would be incomplete without the melancholic presence of a hermit.
So Hon. Charles built a suitable retreat among the gnarled roots of trees and advertised.
The terms and conditions were simple – that a successful candidate would be given a Bible, spectacles, food and water, a mat and a robe. He must not cut his hair, beard or nails, nor speak to anyone for seven years, at the end of which time he would be given £700.
But the man who got the job didn’t even last for a month. He managed to stay for three weeks.
He complained that he was alone.
But the other prominent reason was that he had a great taste for beer. He loved it.
And the prospect of seven years on water was more than he could endure.