Almost stereotypical in his doddering old eccentric mien, he and his wife are almost entirely recluses.
But during the 60s, they were a let everything hang out, do what you want to do sort of pair, experimenting with drugs and free love. When their two oldest children followed their example to its limit and had an incestuous affair, William threw them both out of the house.
After his son Robin ran their car into the river, and he thought them dead, he and his wife withdrew from their lives. Eventually, an interfering bureaucrat arrived at his door with keys to the the old scandal and William forced him into his own kayak and let the river kill him.