Invite to uncover Wentworth Woodhouse’s treasure hunt mystery

By Adele Forrest | 13/06/2018

Invite to uncover Wentworth Woodhouse’s treasure hunt mystery
The Island of Cocos

THE story behind a mysterious treasure hunt that started at Wentworth Woodhouse and ended on a South Pacific island will be revealed at a talk at the stately home.

The tour and talk will give visitors the chance to hear all about the secret mission that saw the 7th Earl of Fitzwilliam cross the globe in 1904 in search of buried treasure on the Island of Cocos.

Local historians Stephen Cooper and John Moorhouse will share what they discovered while researching their book, Earl Fitzwilliam’s Treasure Island. 

And they’ll be revealing all about the voyage that was shrouded in great mystery and sparked wild speculation at the beginning of the last century during the event on Sunday, July 22. 

The historians will be joined by Sir Anthony Cooke-Yarborough, whose grandfather was part of the pioneering group of adventurers that took part in the voyage and who recorded the historic trip in his journal. 

Sir Anthony will speak briefly about his grandfather.

The original journal will be on display during the event, along with a photograph album that was compiled during the long voyage. 

Stephen said: “There are all sorts of mysteries and stories associated with Wentworth Woodhouse and this story has not been told in full before.

“The legend of buried treasure on the Island of Cocos was rife from the 1820s and it captured the imagination of people around the world. 

“The 7th Earl Fitzwilliam was, it seems, quite the adventurer. 

“He not only gathered the support of his friends but also enlisted a group of miners from Wentworth for the voyage before going on to buy the ship that would take them on their journey. 

“On their return, there was a massive amount of publicity in the national press and much wild speculation, but the Earl refused to talk about it publicly and locally there was a lot of secrecy.”

Visitors attending the ticket-only event will have the chance to join a special guided tour of Wentworth Woodhouse’s impressive state rooms at 4pm, before the talk begins at 5pm, or can simply arrive at 5pm for the talk.

The event, which will include canapes in the Pillared Hall, will conclude with a book signing.

The authors are donating all proceeds from book purchases at the event to the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust, which is carrying out major works to restore the Grade-I listed building.

Tickets for the one-hour guided tour and talk cost £25 or £15 for just the talk, presentation and book signing and are available online on or by calling Wentworth Woodhouse on 01226 351161.