A “cankered, crabbed earl,” very wealthy, but miserly and mean.
He seems to be the impersonation of self-inflicted torments. He
married a young wife named Helenore, who set fire to his house, and
with Sir Paridel. Malbecco cast himself over a high rock, and all his
flesh vanished into thin air, leaving behind nothing but his ghost,
which was metamorphosed into Jealousy. (
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894