The Seventh Earl of Onslow, 73, a cheerful advocate of removing nobles such as himself from the House of Lords, has died.

Michael William Coplestone Dillon Onslow died Saturday after "an illness most courageously borne," his family said. Mr. Onslow was one of 92 legislators who survived the purge of blue bloods from the House of Lords in 1999.

His death came just as Britain's government is again struggling to find a formula for a permanent reform of the 700-year-old upper chamber of Parliament, which does not make laws but has the power to amend legislation.

He described himself as "a hereditary peer who sees the illogicality of having any power over his fellow citizens just because his forebear got tight with the Prince Regent." He advocated a mixture of elected and appointed members.

Like more than a few of the nobility, Mr. Onslow indulged an eccentric side.

The Daily Telegraph's obituary recalled the occasion when the young Mr. Onslow signaled his arrival in London's financial district "by losing his pet monkey by the Underground line at Aldersgate, from which a policeman retrieved it." - AP