Gustave De Batthyany Strattman was a member of an aristocratic Hungarian family of Transylvanian roots which had been at the heart of government, church and law since medieval times. During the 19th century this part of central Europe was in a state of transition and turbulence and some members of the Batthyany family sought to spend time in safer parts whilst retaining ownership of land in Hungary.
The then Count came to England as a young man and became naturalised by Act of Parliament. Gustave married Freiin Wilhelmine von Ahrenfled in December 1828 and they had two sons. His wife, known in the family as Annie, died on the 1st of April 1860 and was buried here. He sent his sons Count Gustave and Count Edmund to school at Eaton. A prominent figure in Victorian days, he was a guest at the opening of the Manchester to Liverpool railway line where William Huskisson was killed in the first ever railway death.
In 1870 Gustave’s second cousin, Philip, died childless and Gustave succeeded to the title of 5th Prince Batthyany Strattman. Whilst in Portsmouth he was the guest of Edward, Prince of Saxe-Weimar, and his family. He had a taste for sport, especially horse racing, and the funds to indulge it. He rode in many races himself up to the age of 50. He owned Galopin who won The Derby in 1875.
At Newmarket races in 1883 he was watching Galliard, son of Galopin, win The Two Thousand Guineas. Known to have a weak heart, it was all too exciting for the Prince, he collapsed and died following a coronary on the steps to the Jockey Club rooms. He did not live to see the end of the race. He was buried in Highland Road Cemetery beside his wife.