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Last Updated: Friday, 30 September 2005, 17:19 GMT 18:19 UK
Funeral for Earl killed in France
Church in Wimborne St Giles
About 200 mourners turned up for the funeral in Wimborne St Giles
Hundreds of mourners have attended the funeral of the 10th Earl of Shaftesbury, Anthony Ashley-Cooper, whose body was found in France.

A service was held at the parish church in his home village of Wimborne St Giles in Dorset on Friday.

His ashes were taken to the church crypt and buried in the family tomb.

The body of the 66-year-old Earl, who had a home in Hove, East Sussex, was found on 5 April. His brother-in-law has said he accidentally killed him.

About 200 friends and family attended the 45-minute service, which was conducted by parish priest the Reverend David Paskins.

The Earl was then laid to rest next to his son, also Anthony Ashley-Cooper, who became the 11th earl after his father's death but died after suffering a heart attack in New York on 15 May.

Generous was certainly one of the words used to describe him
Reverend David Paskins
Friday's funeral was attended by Lady Christine Shaftesbury, the earl's second wife, and their other son Nicholas Ashley-Cooper, who is now the 12th earl.

The late earl's sister, Lady Frances Ashley-Cooper, was also among the mourners.

Charles Palmer-Tomkinson read from Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet.

Lady Frances read from For These Once Mine, by George Satayana, and the 12th Lord Shaftesbury read The Prayer of St Francis of Assisi.

Rev Paskins said after the ceremony: "It was a very inspiring occasion.

The Earl of Shaftesbury and Jamila M'Barek
Anthony Ashley-Cooper and Jamila M'Barek were married in Holland

"They have had a very difficult time and have borne it with great dignity and fortitude.

"Generous was certainly one of the words used to describe him.

"One thing that was said by a local person was that had the Earl at any time come back to St Giles he would have received a huge welcome."

Anthony Ashley-Cooper disappeared from Cannes in the south of France in November 2004. His brother-in-law, Mohammed M'Barek, has claimed he died accidentally during a drunken fight.

Mr M'Barek is awaiting trial in France accused of murder.

Jamila M'Barek, the earl's third wife, has also been under investigation for murder.

Earl's killing was 'by accident'
12 Sep 05 |  England
Mobile led police to earl's body
07 Apr 05 |  Southern Counties
Earl's body 'is found in France'
06 Apr 05 |  Southern Counties
Earl's relative to be extradited
14 Mar 05 |  Southern Counties
Profile: Earl of Shaftesbury
28 Feb 05 |  England


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