Horace Cole (1881–1936)
William Horace de Vere Cole, nicknamed "The Scoundrel" by Royall Tyler, was an eccentric prankster. Born on May 5, 1881, in Ballincurrig, County Cork, Ireland, he was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge University. His most famous hoaxes were the Dreadnought Hoax of February 7, 1910, where he and five friends impersonated an Abyssinian delegation and were received aboard the Royal Navy warship HMS Dreadnought, and the Sultan of Zanzibar Hoax of March 2, 1905, where he impersonated the sultan and was received at his college in Cambridge. Although an heir to a fortune, he died in poverty in Paris on February 25, 1936.
Martyn Downer, The Sultan of Zanzibar: The Bizarre World and Spectacular Hoaxes of Horace de Vere Cole (London: Black Spring, 2010).