Lord Delamare’s heir Thomas Cholmondeley dies in Kenya

Thomas Patrick Gilbert Cholmondeley, the grandson of the late Lord Delamare who was twice accused of murdering Kenyan locals, has died after suffering a cardiac arrest, MP Shah hospital announced yesterday (Wednesday 17 August).

According to MP Shah hospital’s chief executive, Anup Das, Cholmondeley, who was from one of Kenya’s largest landowners, was admitted on hospital on Tuesday for an unspecified procedure.

In 2005 and 2006, 48-year-old Cholmondeley had been accused of killing two Kenyans in separate incidents which provoked fierce resentment over race and land.

In 2005, he was cleared without trial of killing an undercover wildlife ranger who was arresting some Cholmondeley employees suspected of poaching, after claiming he acted in self-defense.

However, a year later he was convicted of manslaughter after shooting a black poacher. He was jailed for eight months but the judge reduced the charge from murder, saying that Cholmondeley’s attempts to give first aid proved that he accidentally shot the poacher when aiming at his dogs.

Many Kenyans believed  he received special treatment because of his relation to Lord Delamere and the cases exposed deep tensions about the British presence in Kenya.

Following independence in 1963, some settlers, including Cholmondeley’s family, retained their land and became Kenyan citizens, while many other British settlers relocated back to the UK.