WHEN I write of Ali Bey, it is not the story of some wonderfully
intelligent canine who will draw your beer, ring up the price on
the till, run out to the tobacconist’s for a packet of cigarettes, and
discuss the political situation with you”wonderful as these services
would undoubtedly be.
These sketches are sprinkled with examples of canine intelli-
ence. Ali Bey is simply one of the ﬁnest Afghan hounds in the
It so happens that his owner is not only the leading exhibitor
in the country, but also the landlord of The K’ing’s Head which
stands at the Junction of two busy thoroughfares~Fulham Palace
Road and Fulham Road.
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Afghan hounds are without doubt most handsome and elegant
animals, especially Ali Bey. But don’t rush along to this large and
handsomely built house merely to see him; a dog worth all of
£500 is not to be found sculling around in the four ale bar, saloon
bar or even the lounge. No, sir! He is nicely tucked away in his
kennel in the country.
Ali Bey’s ancestors, as his name denotes, are found in and
originate in Afghanistan, where life is real and eamest. They are
especially esteemed for their lion-hearted courage in hunting. They
will not hesitate to attack cheetahs, leopards and such-like animals.
A dog who will do that is a dog worth having.
The breed is, of course, exceedingly fast; to keep body and
soul together, if you follow me, they have to be. It is unfortunate
that they cannot be bred to the race track. They run in accordance
with their deeply bred hunting instincts, and cut across to their
goal the shortest way.
Although it is highly unlikely that you will see Ali Bey, you
can get an idea of what an Afghan of his eminence should look
like from my sketch. His show record would put ninety nine per
cent of our other canine friends in the shade. He’s no snob, how-
ever, and I feel sure he would not object to a little of his prowess
He is ﬁve and a half years of age. Up to date, he has won
three hundred first prizes, nine championships, and has been best
in the show seventy-three times—a remarkable achievement in one
so young. If he continues with the good work, it will be a problem
to know where to store all his prizes. His proud owner certainly
considers he has a great future in store.
Maybe you won’t see Ali Bey, you will see a relative of his
—Rana, a pleasantly disposed and handsome specimen.
The original King’s Head once stood in the middle of the
road where trolley buses and buses now run. It cost the London
County Council £6o,000 to put it back to its present position,
which is only another way of saying that it cost the ratepayers
The ground on which it now stands belongs to the Ecclesiastical
Commissioners, and is part of the grounds of Fulham Palace, the
official residence of the Bishop of London. From the dining-room
of this house you can look right across to the Palace.
Fulham Palace was known as the Manor House, and is
undoubtedly the oldest building in the Parish of Fulham. For at
least eight centuries it has served as the Bishop’s residence. The
Bishop incidentally, enjoys a land tenure which is older than any
other in England.
The Palace is supposed to have been the site where the Danish
Lorde passed the winter of 88o. The moat which surrounds the
Palace is a mile in length representing, when full, a water surface
of 2,368 acres.
The entrance to Bishop’s Avenue has, during the present
century, undergone many alterations.
The Palace itself stands round two courts. The design is eminently
suggestive of the days when the Palace must have been the scene
of pageants and processions, when the Bishop occupied himself in the
political, and even military, sphere of the nation.
Elizabeth came here when the great Bancroft held the See.
James the First of England—the wisest fool in Christendom—
came to enjoy the princely hospitality of this same great prelate,
and it may well be that his partiality for bishops was increased by
this visit, a partiality that offended the martial nation from which
It is commonplace that the modern holders of this See have
been eminent in several fields.
There was Mandell Creighton, the historian, whose little black
bag so fascinated Lytton Strachey. The most beloved prelate of
London of this century was of course Winnington Ingram, whose
loving kindness so dominated the ecclesiastical scene in the early
years of the century.
But that is to forget homelier things. Let us therefore return
to the scene of our story and conclude by recording one fact: In
The King’s Head you will see a bygone taxidermist’s modelling of
three of the smallest miniature black-and-tan Manchester terriers
that you or anyone else will ever see!