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Case History - Sara Anne Hopwood

When the Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton purchased the stunning Sidi Hosni Palace in Tangier from the American diplomat Maxwell Blake in 1947 she paid twice the amount of money which General Francesco Franco of Spain had bid. She inherited two caretakers: Maxwell Blake's daughter Ruth, and her husband Reginald Hopwood, a retired Colonial Officer, but in the late 1950's she dismissed them and refused to see them ever again. Reginald's previous marriage was to a member of the Abercrombie family, Rosemary Abercrombie Storey, whose relatives included the poet Lascelles Abercrombie, the civil architect Patrick, and his son the cell biologist Michael. Reginald and Rosemary's daughter, Sara Anne, was born in London in 1927 and died intestate in Tangier in 1998. Our extensive research, including visits to property in Tangier, revealed an ancestry of sixty-five family members in England, Scotland, Canada and the French Pyrenees. As Sara Anne was legally domiciled in England, and we have been able to prove that there are no living entitled beneficiaries, the substantial estate will fall to the British Crown.