Marquis to be exhumed to solve Larios gin inheritance row
The body of a local nobleman, the Marquis de Larios, is to be exhumed after an orphaned trumpeter claimed he was the heir to his wealthy dynasty and entitled to a share in the famous family gin company.
A judge has ordered tests to be carried out on the corpse of Jose Antonio Larios Franco, whose father founded the Larios gin brand in the 1920s, after Jose Collado, a trumpeter in an orchestra in Marbella, claimed to be his illegitimate son.
Mr Collado claimed he was the result of an affair between the marquis and one of the cooks working at his ancestral stately home and hopes that DNA taken from the exhumed remains will prove that he is the rightful heir to the gin fortune. When the fourth marquis died suddenly in 1954 without a natural heir, the title was passed to his step-son.
The musician was brought up by nuns in an orphanage with no idea of his parentage, It was not until 1997, when he was 49 years old, that he finally tracked down his mother, Emilia Collado, The Telegraph reports.
By then an old woman, she told him his father was the Marquis de Larios, according to a report in Spanish daily El Mundo.
Mr Collad’s claim to the title and Larios fortune, which includes the vast Dehesa de Los Llanos1, an estate comprising 11,000 hectares (27,181 acres), centres on his belief that his mother was pursued by the marquis when she was employed in his household in the 1940s.
Mrs Collado claimed that their secret assignations had come to the attention of the Marquis’s wife, Pilar Pries, a widow whom he married in 1931 and with whom he had no children, although she had a son from her previous marriage.
Dismissed from the household by the marchioness, Mrs Collado claims the marquis rented a house for her near Malaga and continued his secret visits, which eventually resulted in pregnancy. When the baby arrived in July 1948, she was forced to give him up to an orphanage and eventually went on to remarry, settling in Jaen, the newspaper reported. She died in 2002.
For the last ten years Mr Collado has been fighting a legal battle to be recognised as the rightful heir to the Larios title and fortune.
Magistrate Maria Dolores Escoto has ordered the exhumation of the grave of the marquis from the family plot at the Finca le Dehesa de los Llanos near Albacete to “carry out DNA testing with a view to determining biological parentage”.
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