Sir Henry Marsham, Duke of Maylebury was a character in 1 episode of Only Fools And Horses, A Royal Flush. He was the father of Lady Victoria and was disapproving of her relationship with common market trader Rodney Trotter, especially as he once had a minor drugs conviction. Henry was played by Jack Hedley.
Lady Victoria met Rodney Trotter in a street market while in London. She was sick of her rich background and wanted to explore the gritty side of life. Rodney and Victoria got chatting and she said her father was The Duke Of Maylebury. She had to dash off but arranged a date with Rodney. Rodney went to the library and he did research on Victoria and her father in the "Burke's Peerage". When Rodney's older brother Derek "Del Boy" Trotter found out, he thought The Duke Of Maylebury was a pub. But Del saw a pic of Victoria next to Princess Anne and he encouraged Rodney to marry Victoria, as Victoria was an only child and her mother had died. Del thinks that when Henry dies, Rodney would become The Duke.
Rodney and Victoria went to an opera, which was ruined by Del and an ex girlfriend June Snell eating and talking during the performance. Victoria invited Rodney to her family mansion in Upper Stansmere, Berkshire for a shooting weekend. Del got Rodney togged up in toffs clothing. Rodney was introduced to Henry. However the Special Branch and MI6 agents would not approve of royal Victoria dating a commoner, and a commoner who had a drugs conviction. Henry was quite annoyed when Rodney's older brother Del arrived at the shooting weekend. Del invited himself to the dinner that evening. Henry knew that Del meant trouble as Del came across as loud and uncouth. Henry did remain polite to Del. Henry was not impressed when Del ripped a chicken leg off a chicken, ate some then put the leftovers in a fruit display. Del bought his uncle Albert Trotter along. Del took a pot shot with the shooting and was successful. He had borrowed a gun off Iggy Higgins, a bank robber.
Henry was not impressed when Del asked inane questions about the paintings on display in his mansion. Del kept asking if they were Da Vinci works. Henry said that one painting was a Pissaro. Del thought Henry was insulting the picture with a swear word but Henry shut his eyes in disbelief and said Camille Pissaro.
At the dinner, Henry said to another friend that he thinks Victoria dating Rodney is just another phase as she often bought people back to the house, people from common backgrounds. Henry said that one of them beat up Patterson the butler in the library. Henry did almost swear when describing Del to his friend. Del was laughing at the dinner, getting drunk and tapping knives on glassware to test for "pukka crystal" and running his hand around glasses for the pukka crystal reason. Henry's friend said that Del threw his banana skin in a Ch'ien Lung jardinière. "Good grief" said Henry.
Rodney nervously answered questions about his college days and says he left after 3 weeks for personal reasons. Del then started to explain the reason. Rodney begged Del not to blab but Del said it was not Rodney's drugs that he was found in possession of, and that a fellow student had asked him to take a puff and at the same time the SGB agents burst in and Rodney was found banged to rights with a reefer. Del said this just in case it ever gets to the press. Del says Rodney was done up like a kipper. Del then tried to "liven up the evening" by saying a rude joke and even saying the word "arse" in front of all those upper class people. Rodney almost died of embarrassment. Del then started to tell a joke about an Irishman on a skiing holiday. Victoria's mother had died in a skiing accident. Henry had enough of Del so interrupted him and told him he wants to see him in the hallway now. Victoria asked if Rodney would be staying the night or not. Rodney emotionally said he better get off home.
Henry told Del he wants him, Rodney and Albert off the premises now. Del told Henry that Rodney and Victoria are getting married. Henry was shocked to hear this. He said that Victoria is marrying no one and in 2 months time she is off to America to do a 2 year course at The New York School Of Art. Del said that Rodney is very keen on Victoria. Henry said that he will find a way of breaking Rodney and Victoria up. He wants Rodney out of Victoria's life for ever.
Del said there is one thing will make him leave her. Money. After Del arranged this £1000 bribe with Henry, Henry then called Rodney into his study for a little chat. Henry told Rodney he wants him to stop seeing Victoria and be out of her life now and for good. He even offered Rodney money. Rodney did not know that Del had arranged it. Rodney turned the money down. Del and Albert drove back to Peckham, London and Rodney was probably driven back in a taxi. Him and Victoria were over for ever.
Back at Peckham, in the dark early hours of Sunday morning, Rodney lambasted Del for ruining his relationship with Victoria. Rodney said that Del humiliated and destroyed him in front of all those royal people. Rodney thumped the dust chute in anger. He said the most painful event of the entire evening was when Henry called him into his study to tell him to leave Victoria's life now and for good. Rodney says Henry offered him money but he turned it down. Del says "You said nitto to a grand?". Rodney said he has his pride intact. Rodney then wanted to know why Del knew how much Henry offered him. Del says it is the going rate to get a plonker out of your daughter's life. Del says that those royal people are looked after by Special Branch and MI6. Del also adds that if they ran Rodney's name through their computer and found out he had a conviction, if Rodney refused to leave Victoria, then Special Branch would have him killed. Del mildly scolds Rodney for turning the money down. He offers to make peace but crushes Rodney's injured hand to punish him for turning the money down.
According to The Peckham Archives (BBC Books) Published 2016, Henry later contacted the Trotters at their address in Peckham to say he had filed a restraining order on them. He said Del's behaviour at the opera and the dinner was inappropriate. Del sent him a letter back, saying Henry was banned from his flat in Peckham. Obviously a rich man like Henry would not be bothered by this one bit.
Observation: When the Trotters became millionaires 10 years later in 1996, it would have made the news, as they owned a timepiece which was proven to be priceless and historic. This would have made the news so no doubt Henry and Victoria heard of this.
Born: About 1930
Full Name: Sir Henry Marsham, Duke Of Maylebury
Spouse: A wife (deceased)
Children: Lady Victoria (1965)