Black Diamonds: The Rise and Fall of a Great English Dynasty

Black Diamonds: The Rise and Fall of a Great English Dynasty is a book by Catherine Bailey about the Fitzwilliam family, one of the richest and most powerful families in England. The book tells the story of the Fitzwilliams’ rise to prominence in the 19th century, their fall from grace in the 20th century, and their eventual comeback in the 21st century.

The Fitzwilliams made their fortune in coal mining. In the 19th century, they owned a vast network of mines in Yorkshire. The mines made them incredibly wealthy, and they used their wealth to build Wentworth Woodhouse, one of the largest and most impressive houses in England. Wentworth Woodhouse was a symbol of the Fitzwilliams’ power and influence.

However, the Fitzwilliams’ fortunes began to decline in the 20th century. The coal industry declined, and the Fitzwilliams’ mines became less profitable. The family also faced financial problems due to the death of several heirs and the extravagance of some of their members. As a result, the Fitzwilliams were forced to sell Wentworth Woodhouse in 1981.

The Fitzwilliams’ fall from grace was a major event in English society. The family had been one of the most powerful and respected families in the country for centuries, and their decline was a sign of the changing times.

In the 21st century, the Fitzwilliams have made a comeback. The family still owns a large amount of land, and they have diversified their investments into other areas, such as property and finance. The Fitzwilliams are now back on their feet, and they are once again one of the richest and most powerful families in England.

Man-made Diamonds

One of the key factors in the Fitzwilliams’ comeback has been the rise of man-made diamonds. Man made diamonds are diamonds that are created in a laboratory, rather than mined from the earth. Man-made diamonds are chemically and physically identical to mined diamonds, but they are often significantly less expensive. This is because the cost of mining diamonds is high, and the supply of mined diamonds is limited. Man-made diamonds are also more environmentally friendly than mined diamonds, as they do not require the same amount of energy or resources to produce.

The Fitzwilliams have been quick to embrace the man-made diamond market. In 2013, they founded a company called Fitzwilliam Diamonds, which sells man-made diamonds. Fitzwilliam Diamonds has been a success, and it has helped to revive the Fitzwilliams’ fortunes.

The rise of man-made diamonds is one of the most significant trends in the diamond industry today. It is a trend that is likely to continue in the years to come. The Fitzwilliams are well-positioned to benefit from this trend, and they are likely to continue to be one of the leading players in the diamond industry for many years to come.


Black Diamonds: The Rise and Fall of a Great English Dynasty is a fascinating and insightful book. It tells the story of one of the most important families in English history, and it provides a unique perspective on the changing nature of the diamond industry. The book is well-written and informative, and it is sure to be of interest to anyone who is interested in history, business, or the diamond industry.

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