Story of Errol’s underwear has legs

Errol Flynn's letter to Montague Jeffery's detectives

The discovery of Errol Flynn’s unpaid underwear bill at a Northampton clothes shop, prompted by the opening of the Errol Flynn Filmhouse adjacent to Royal & Derngate, has made national news.

Jonathan Williams, managing director of Montague Jeffery in St. Giles Street, found a handwritten letter from the Hollywood icon in the shop’s archives. Mr Williams’ grandfather Bernard Jeffery kept Flynn supplied with pyjamas and socks during his time at Northampton Repertory Company, and later when he returned to the town in the 1950’s, having found fame in swashbuckling classics including Captain Blood and The Adventures of Robin Hood. Mr Jeffery engaged private detectives in an attempt to recover payment for the items when the star left town without settling his bills.

Flynn’s letter to the detective company reads, ‘If you would care to wait about a week longer I will be able to pay your account in full. The only reason it has not been settled previously is inability, not disinclination. Yours, Errol Flynn.’

A further letter from the detectives laments that Flynn was ‘successfully evading’ them as gaining entry to the film studio where he was working was ‘out of the question’.

Mr Williams said that he was prompted to look through the Montague Jeffery archives by the opening of the Errol Flynn Filmhouse nearby. The story ran in the Chronicle & Echo and was picked up by the BBC, Anglia News, the Daily Telegraph, The Times and the Daily Mail, and in the Express Carole Ann Rice declared a Flynn comeback underway.

  • Penny

    Any more information – what did he buy, full description, ?photos, dates etc

    • ErrolFlynnFilmhouse

      Hi Penny
      It looks as though Flynn’s handwritten letter and the telegram from the detectives are the only items that remain in connection with the matter. The letter has been dated ‘Jan. 1955’, which would coincide with his return to the Royal Theatre as a guest in the fifties. Our friend David DeWitt of The Errol Flynn Blog confirms that it is one of several unpaid bills Flynn left when he went to America to join Warner Bros as a contract player, since he was often without funds at the time.
      Thanks for your interest!

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