History of Egerton University: A story of a Heartbroken Man

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Lord Maurice Egerton

A story is told of a guy named Lord Maurice Egerton who was the lastborn son of a royal family in England. He was born in 1874 and had two siblings who died young leaving him as the only inheritant to the family’s vast wealth. Lord Maurice worked in the Royal Navy until 1920 when his father died. He thus succeeded his father as the fourth baron of Egerton. He loved hunting and photography and this set him on a travel tour of the world.

He came to Africa through Zimbabwe, to Congo then to Uganda and eventually entered Kenya in 1927 where he stayed for the rest of his life.
Lord Maurice settled around Nakuru where he bought acres of farming land from Delamere.

Being from a royal family, he set to marry a girl of similar status and found himself a beauty from the lineage of Queen Elizabeth named Victoria. He had built a six bed-roomed cottage where he lived and thought it impress the girl of his dream. When he invited Victoria to his house, she dismissed the cottage as a ‘chicken cage’ in which she could never live in. Lord Maurice, still hopeful for the girl, decided to build a castle magnificent enough to impress the girl. He imagined a 52-roomed mansion that would have no comparison in England or any other country. He started the project in 1938, hiring an architect from England, construction workers from Italy and labourers from India with much of the materials being imported.

Nearing completion, Lord Maurice invited his fiancé to live with him. The lady did not take more than two hours before driving away describing the house as being “small like a dog’s kennel”. She had rejected him before on several occasions in the presence of his friends. She then left Maurice and went to Australia to marry the son of another royal family.

Dejected and heartbroken, Lord Maurice decided to proceed nevertheless and completed the house in 1954. He employed 16 male servants and demanded that their women stay away and that they should never keep chicken or dogs. Men visiting him were asked to leave their women 8 kilometres away. He hated chicken and dogs because Victoria had likened his houses to them

He henceforth dedicated his life to farming, hunting and development of education giving birth to Egerton University.

He now hated women so much that he banned them from his compound and actually pinned notices on trees warning women that they risked being shot at if they ever came anywhere close to his 100-acre piece of land on which the mansion was built. Nobody was allowed into the castle except the servants. It is said that whenever he planned to visit the quarters where his African staff lived, he would issue a two-week notice so that all women could be vacated. Lord Maurice Egerton died in 1958 with no heir after living alone in his castle for only 4 years.

The magnificent castle is now owned by Egerton University as a tourist attraction.“`

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