"No one knows papa. He's a social leper"
William Lygon, 7th. Earl Beauchamp (1899)
Public DomainWilliam Lygon, 7th. Earl Beauchamp (1899) - Credit: Leslie Ward (1851-1922)

As mentioned earlier, there is some evidence that Evelyn Waugh in Brideshead Revisited drew on real events in the lives of the Lygon family of Madresfield Court:

Two members of the family, Hugh Lygon (on whom, it is said, Sebastian Flyte is partially based) and his elder brother, Lord Elmley, were known to Waugh at Oxford. During the early 1930s, their father, Lord Beauchamp (William Lygon, 7th. Earl Beauchamp), divorced his wife and went to live abroad in exile after it was revealed that he was a practising homosexual.

The events surrounding the self-imposed exile of Sebastian Flyte's father in the novel are, however, substantially different from those which led to Lord Beauchamp's enforced exile.