On 27 August 2010 the Western Morning News published an article regarding the Reverend Guy Chave-Cox and his wife Heather in which we stated that Mr Chave-Cox claimed to be a descendant of the Middleton family, which was asserting its claim to properties owned by the family in Rosses Point, County Sligo, Ireland.
In fact, although Mrs Chave-Cox is a descendant of the Middleton family and one of many shareholders in the Estate, Mr Chave-Cox is neither a descendant, nor a shareholder, and is not pursuing any claim to Irish property.
Our article alleged that a number of eviction letters had been sent on behalf of the Middleton estate to local residents in Rosses Point, including elderly residents. We would like to make clear that Mr Chave-Cox had no involvement in the sending of any such correspondence and that in any event, the letters in question did not threaten to evict anyone from property in which they reside. Only one letter was sent to a local resident in Rosses Point, and she is not elderly. The letter concerned unauthorised work on a property adjacent to that in which she was living and it did not relate to non-payment of ground rent. We fully withdraw the allegation that Mr and Mrs Chave-Cox frightened or worried vulnerable people, or that they caused any elderly residents to be reduced to tears by a claim on their homes.
Furthermore, we have been asked to clarify that not all members of the Middleton family left Ireland 90 years ago, as some shareowners lived in that country until at least the 1990s. Also, Rosses Point is not owned in its entirety by the Middleton Estate, and locals were not required to trace members of the family across the globe in the 1970s when the Estate facilitated the sale of many of the ground rents.
We are happy to make the position clear. We apologise unreservedly to Mr Chave-Cox and his family, and we also regret any distress, upset or embarrassment caused by the inaccuracies in our article.