Is Edward “Eddie” Horniman a Real Aristocrat? Is Susie Glass an Actual Marijuana Dealer?

In Netflix’s action crime series ‘The Gentlemen,’ Edward “Eddie” Horniman and Susie Glass form a partnership after the former becomes the new master of the Halstead estate following the death of his father. In addition to the estate, Eddie also inherits the late duke’s partnership in the marijuana farm, operated by Susie and owned by her father Bobby Glass, located beneath the grounds of the manor. The show, created by Guy Ritchie, shares the universe with the filmmaker’s 2019 film of the same name, starring Matthew McConaughey. Even though the narrative of the series is fictional, the characters are rooted in reality!

Eddie and Susie Are Not Based on Real People

Eddie Horniman and Susie Glass are fictional characters conceived for the series. Eddie is not based on any particular English aristocrat. Similarly, the marijuana dealer doesn’t have a real-life counterpart. “It’s a sojourn into aristocrats meeting world gangsters. The world [of the 2019 movie and the show] is exactly the same. The aristocrats have got brilliant houses, lots of land but they don’t have any cash to live on. That’s why in our story the aristocrats are putting skunk farms in their back gardens. The show is about the transition, the evolution from zoo to jungle and how to hunt in the jungle to survive,” the filmmaker said about the inspiration behind the series and the protagonists.

In the series, Eddie is one among several poor aristocrats who end up making deals with marijuana dealers to meet their financial requirements by renting their property out to grow cannabis. In reality, marijuana was discovered on the grounds of members of the English aristocracy multiple times. In 2014, the police discovered over 400 cannabis plants on an estate owned by Hugh Crossley, 4th Baron Somerleyton. The plants were found in Beech Farm House, which is situated on the 5,000-acre Somerleyton estate in Suffolk, England. As per reports, the property was supposedly rented out to tenants who vanished around the raid.

Similarly, in 2015, a nine-bedroom house in Cambridgeshire, England, was turned into a cannabis farm, with around 1,800 plants removed from the property. As per reports, the dealers behind the marijuana found in the £1 million-worth establishment made around £400,000 every nine weeks from the farm, reminding us of how extensive Susie’s operations are in the series. The marijuana seized from Woodlands Castle in Somerset, England, is one of the latest examples. The 17th-century castle is owned by Sir Benjamin Slade, an aristocrat just like Eddie. The property was rented out and it is located a few miles away from Slade’s ancestral home.

The police found around £1.4 million worth of cannabis/3,500 cannabis plants in the castle. Slade’s bank card was inside the property as well. Eddie is not based on any of these members of the English aristocracy, just like how Susie is not based on the dealers behind the seized marijuana from these sites. Still, cannabis dealers targeting aristocratic properties as one of the perfect sites to grow their illegal business must have inspired Ritchie to conceive the two characters. While the owners of these properties might not have been aware of the marijuana farms in their buildings, the filmmaker relies on a fictional aristocrat who is immensely involved in the illegal production of the plants to explore the pattern.

‘The Gentlemen’ is ultimately rooted in the real-life tales of “noble poverty” and “leaking ancestral mansions/castles.” Through Eddie and Susie’s unholy partnership, Ritchie shows us how a once-wealthy and influential aristocrat becomes exposed to crime and criminals due to his poverty and needs. Rather than cutting down his expenses, Eddie sets out to make more money for his family, only to get deeply involved in the unfamiliar world of Susie.

Read More: The Gentlemen: Are the Wards Inspired by Real Gypsies?