Oddly Enough

"Lord" puts life up for sale on eBay

LONDON (Reuters) - An eccentric millionaire has put his entire life up for sale on the Internet -- including his title of Lord of the Manor of Warleigh -- in the hope of converting his assets into cash.

David Piper, a hotelier who made headlines six years ago after advertising for a wife to become his “lady of the manor”, wants to sell his west of England existence on the auction site eBay and move to London to be closer to his children.

He is selling two hotels, two Bentleys, a collection of paintings and his title of Lord of the Manor -- which he bought along with a large estate for one million pounds.

“This sale is brought about as the present lord has been diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer,” the advertisement for the sale explains.

“For sale as a whole or in part... Can include David, the existing eccentric lord of the manor, physically as well to a suitable purchaser.”

Piper, who is well known in his hometown of Plymouth for his antics, is hoping to raise up to 4 million pounds, although he estimates that the total value of the estates was as much as 6 million before property prices fell.

More than 100 bids have been received so far, with the current offer standing at 1.3 million pounds. Bidding closes on August 11.

Piper’s move follows that of Ian Usher, a British-born man living in Perth, Australia who earlier this year auctioned off all his worldly goods, including his home. He ended up raising much less than he had hoped -- barely making $380,000 (196,000 pounds).

Piper’s attempt six years ago to find a bride ended in minor disaster. More than 2,000 young women answered his advertisement in the International Herald Tribune newspaper and he chose a 32-year-old American divorcee to try out to be his lady.

She arrived with her two young children, but fled the manor after only a few days, unable to go through with the union.

As part of his new venture, Piper said he was offering to introduce whoever purchased his life to some of the women whose applications he turned down.

Editing by Paul Casciato