JACOB, the great, great, great grandnephew of the Fourth Earl of Bantry, is a dead ringer for his late relative.
Jacob’s ancestor, William, inherited Bantry Estate in 1884, when his father died, but before that he had spent time in New Zealand, where he built a house called Bantry Lodge.
Now, it is the turn of Jacob’s parents – Sophie Shelswell-White and Josh Luttrell, as well as his siblings Max, Hugo and Remi –to live on the other side of the world, having relocated to Tasmania in Australia, a couple of years ago.
Julie Shelswell-White, who now manages the major tourism attraction that is Bantry House and Garden, told The Southern Star: ‘There is no denying that the resemblance is uncanny – genes will out!’
Julie gave a brief outline of William’s history, saying: ‘He was an only son.
He did marry, but they had no children and, when he died in 1891, the title lapsed and the estate was passed down to his nephew, Edward Leigh-White.’
Jacob, better known as Jake, is just nine years old, but even he can see his own face reflected back at him down through the generations and he’s delighted with it.
‘When I posted it on Facebook,’ Julie said, ‘I thought it was just a fun social media thing to do, but to be honest, people are shocked by how much they look alike.
‘I’ve received tonnes of messages from friends – and indeed supporters of Bantry House – who can’t get over the similarities between the two. Now the hunt is on for my doppelganger.’
Bantry House did not open for the season this year, due to Covid-19 restrictions. However, Julie confirmed that the gardens are now open again for the new season.
‘And we will do everything in our power to make sure both staff and visitors are kept safe.’