James Hadfield-Hyde was born in May of 1949 to a wealthy farming and property owning family who moved to Sale in Cheshire in the 1930's. His other grandfather, Edward Curran, was a member of 'The Eight Lancashire Lads' along with his then close friend, Charlie Chaplin. Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy were also part of his grandfather's circle of friends. Edward appeared in, and starred in, silent movies of the time. Most notably, as Jack Shepherd in the film called, 'Jack Shepherd, the prison breaker.'
James attended boarding school at Alton Castle in North Staffordshire. There he excelled in sport, mainly boxing, cricket and soccer. He admits that academia was never his strongest point, apart from History. He attained the Captaincy of both the cricket and soccer teams in his final year there. His education was to continue at High School in Massachusetts, U.S.A., but he later regretted not going on to University.
There followed a series of jobs in both the United Kingdom and Canada, including, Assistant Advertising Manager, a manual labourer, an advertising agency copy writer and a film editor. In 1970, he opened 'The Chuckwagon Charcoal Grill Co.' It was one of the very first genuine American Fast-Food outlets in Great Britain. He expanded the business and sold it in 1975. With family guidance he continued to build a property portfolio of his own, and in 1976 he went into business with his uncle in an import/export business, specialising in Antiques and fine Art.
In the early 1980s he found himself being catapulted into the lower ranks of nobility by becoming Lord of the subinfeuded Manors of Nether Alderley and Over Alderley in the County of Chester. Noble titles in Britain are known as incorporeal hereditaments; property without body. It is something of value, it can be inherited and passed from one person to another, but you can't see it, touch it or smell it. The title had travelled through recorded history, starting in the late twelfth century with Robert de Montalt, then the Orrebys, de Ardernes, de Wevers, Fittons of Gawsworth, Tattons of Wythenshawe, Stanleys, Richards and now the Hadfield-Hydes. However, in 1989 The Crown questioned the validity of his entitlement. It was discovered that the last Lord Stanley did not possess the title of lordship to Alderley and it had returned to the Crown by a law which used to be known as 'escheat.' In 1990, 'The Crown' re-conveyed the Lordship and all ancient rights and privileges to James Hadfield-Hyde.
In 1984, at a meeting held in the House of Lords, he was nominated as Northern Chairman for the forthcoming national celebration of the Domesday Book of 1086. It was to mark 900 years of Royal administration of the Nation. This was to prove an all consuming and enormously costly three years for him, with no financial remuneration offered. It resulted in him being victim of an unscrupulous 'coup de grace' by his fellow directors in his company, Thermovac Plastic Products Ltd. He lost his entire business to them in a calculated liquidate/buyback scheme. The national Domesday celebration was an enormous success. For James, there was an endless round of press, radio and TV interviews. He threw himself into assisting with organising the schools in the North of England to create their own events, and to educate the children as to its historic importance in the forming of local government; a system which has been replicated throughout much of the free world. The culmination of the events in 1986 included his attendance with Her Majesty the Queen in the Royal Courts of Justice and a service held at Westminster Abbey with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother. At that service, the Abbey was filled with all the Lord Lieutenants, High Sheriffs, Lord Mayors and Mayors from around the nation. The service was heralded by the State Trumpeters and the Westminster choir. With the absence of one of Her Majesty's Heralds, Garter King of Arms, Sir Colin Cole KCVO, appointed James as Herald Portcullis Pursuivant in temporary, and he was ordered to ceremoniously escort Her Majesty during the service.
He was later made an honorary executive member of the 'Tartan Society of Scotland' and 'Patron of the East Anglian Celtic Society'.
In 2011 he was honoured to accept the position of trustee of the Liverpool Academy of Arts, a role he still holds.
January 1985 brought the birth of his son, Sebastian, and shortly afterwards, the moving of his family into their new home, Willaston Hall, Nantwich in Cheshire. Willaston Hall is a classically elegant, grade two listed Queen Anne stately home, built in 1702. It has panelled rooms, a grand banqueting room and a listed William Kent chimneypiece in the sitting room. Their enviable family lifestyle was short-lived when 'Her Ladyship' went off with a much younger man. There followed a highly public series of kiss n' tell stories appearing in all the national tabloids, resulting in James being branded as a womaniser. The Sun newspaper referred to him as "Lord Lust"; an unfair title which would continually be regurgitated and fictitiously enhanced by the British tabloid press until today. Immediately afterwards, in 1989 his name was removed from 'Debrett's Distinguished People of Today'. He struggled with the injustice of it all.
He featured regularly on TV shows such as 'This Morning' with Richard and Judy, 'Heart of the Matter,' with Joan Bakewell and numerous Chat shows. He even presented on an Antiques programme called 'Collector's Lot'. But he was ill-advised to take up Granada Television's offer to be the presenter of a show called 'The Lord Lust's Lovelies Show'. This was a short comedy show based on Benny Hill, where James interviewed aspiring glamour models. It was completely innocent and by today's standards, dated and embarrassingly corny, but it would backfire spectacularly. It would give the tabloids the ammunition they needed.