Thursday, October 18, 2012

Where Texans Conspired with British Spies

Jamaica Resorts--Round Hill and The Tryall Club
Sir Wm. Stephenson ("Intrepid")

In our last entry at this blog, we posted a news article about Paul Raigorodsky's co-investors in the development of the Tryall golf club in 1957, a 2,300 acre resort development 12 miles west of Montego Bay, Jamaica, often incorrectly said to have included within its acreage the former residence of Britain's North American chief of Intelligence, Sir William Stephenson. The top British spy's Hillowton home had instead been, it appears, a few miles to the east of Tryall and Round Hill--in Reading, St. James Parish, all as shown on the map below.

In 1940 the Intrepid BSC head was placed by Prime Minister Winston Churchill in an office in New York -- Room 3603 of Rockefeller Center -- and by war's end his position at BSC (British Security Coordination) had become an umbrella spy society covering MI5, MI6, the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), Special Operations Executive (SOE), and the Political Warfare Executive (PWE), in all of North and South America as well as the Caribbean. 

Spying against American Presidents and their officials (as revealed in books by authors Jennet Conant, Thomas E. Mahl and Donald Sturrock) did not end after the war. The propaganda machine had been placed in high gear and continued at a seemingly relaxed pace in the British islands south of the United States, where the British spies partied with Americans, both their witting and unwitting tools. 

Stephenson's death occurred on January 31, 1989, in Bermuda, where Stephenson moved after allegedly selling his Jamaican home, Hillowton in 1951.

Pat "Bubbles" Harmsworth
By 1989 spymaster Ian Fleming had already been dead 25 years, his death occurring only a year after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, ironically a fan of the James Bond novels. Six years before that infamous murder, members of the Dallas community where Kennedy's brains were splattered over Dealy Plaza were making plans to construct the Tryall Club adjacent to Round Hill, in Montego Bay. Popular with British aristocrats and their American counterparts, Round Hill has been called "the first great post-war hotel, a meeting place for New York socialites and European royalty, a private retreat for Hollywood on holiday."

Ten years after plans to build Tryall were announced, the following article widely appeared in the press, quoting Patricia Evelyn Beverly Matthews "Bubbles" Harmsworth, more officially known as the:
vivacious Pat  Harmsworth of London, wife of the heir to the title Viscount Rothermere  [her husband's father was Esmond Cecil Harmsworth]. "After lunch, there's swimming, water skiing, snorkeling, but mostly tanning. "You have to get a tan. People don't know where you've been otherwise." Pat and her husband live in a cliffside home at Round Hill that Pat bought by accident. "I bid on it just for fun, and suddenly, I had a winter cottage."
Spies in Swimsuits

Fleming with first James Bond
Pat's husband, Vere Harold Esmond Harmsworth, was a stepson to Ian Fleming's longtime mistress (later wife), Anne Charteris Harmsworth, who had vacationed in Jamaica with Fleming for years while married to the 2nd Viscount Rothermere. 

Anne's first husband, the 3rd Baron O'Neill died in 1944, and though having had affairs with both Harmsworth and Fleming while married to O'Neill, she chose to marry the wealthy Viscount Rothermere in 1945; they divorced in 1952 after she became pregnant with Fleming's son, Caspar Robert Fleming

Lt.-Col. Raymond Arthur Clanaboy O'Neill, a son from her marriage to Baron O'Neill, would be widely rumored to be the man who would marry Princess Alexandra of Kent, though the Princess would actually choose Angus Ogilvy in 1963.

Ian Fleming's stepson, Ray O'Neill
Anne Fleming's stepdaughter, Esmé Gabrielle Harmsworth, already an adult in 1945, when Ann married the Viscount, had married into the Barings banking family in 1942, making her the Countess of Cromer. In 1961 her husband, G. Rowland Stanley Baring, was Governor of the Bank of England. 

During the same year a photo of Esmé's newest stepmother (Mrs. Mary Ohrstrom, niece of Clint Murchison, Sr.) appeared to support the Murchison sons' takeover of Baltimore's Alleghany Corporation. Based in Baltimore, childhood home of the Duchess of Windsor, Alleghany Corp. was originally financed by Alex. Brown and Sons and invested in by Wallis Simpson's uncle on her behalf. The Duke and Duchess of Windsor were introduced by investment adviser Robert R. Young to Clint Murchison and taken to his secluded ranch in Mexico in 1950.  (See also Bryan Burrough, The Big Rich: The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Texas Oil Fortunes.)

Texan Conspirators against Liberal Presidents?

Click to enlarge.
During the proxy battle, Drew Pearson had written in his column:
The Murchisons [John D. and Clint, Jr.?] owe several millions to Mrs. Robert Young, widow of the late New York Central executive, and, according to SEC records, have borrowed $3,000,000 from Arnold S. Kirkeby, who owns the Kirkeby hotel chain and who once borrowed indirectly from "Longy" Zwillman, the New Jersey gangster, to acquire the Sherry-Netherland in New York. It's a frantic battle between the new Texas oil millionaires and the old Scotch Wall Street millionaire. Whoever wins out on May 1 will control two major railroads and the biggest mutual funds empire in the world. The battle will be worth watching.
When Bubbles' father-in-law married a third time, his new wife was former Texan, Mary Murchison Ohrstrom, one of the three women pictured above. She was a daughter of Kenneth Murchison, whose older brother was Clinton Williams Murchison, Sr. of Dallas, the father of the proxy battlers against Allan P. Kirby for control of Alleghany. 

Clint Sr. and Kenneth were sons of a small-town banker, and grew up in a family with ten children. Kenneth graduated from the University of Texas and went to work for a prominent Wall Street Bank at 60 Wall Street. At age 23, Kenneth applied for a passport, to go to the Philippines and Hong Kong on business.

Daughter Mary married Ian Fleming's wife's stepson.
Kenneth married Helen Claire Delaney, daughter of oil producer Michael Joseph Delaney of Bowling Green, Ohio in 1929, and they set up housekeeping in Highland Park, north of Dallas, where he worked for his brother Clint. Years later they lived at 3525 Turtle Creek Blvd., and Kenneth ran the Insurers Corporation in Dallas. 

Growing up in an assortment of states, Helen Delaney Murchison had moved from Ohio to South Boulder Avenue West in Tulsa, Oklahoma by 1910, and had lived a couple doors away from  oilman, Charles John Wrightsman, whose son, Charles B. Wrightsman, was four years older than Helen. 

We will return later to Charles Bierer Wrightsman and the other "conspirators." In the meantime, do your own research, and feel free to comment below.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The first shot was in the lower back and out the throat. This was a shot Lyons aimed for the head but missed. Not Lee. altho Lee was not so innocent, he was still a idiot and a traitor. A shot also came from Anthony Harrington, ........ the Ground coordinate was Delguidice. 5 shooters on team A. This was a family affair. Harris owned the truck.