Kim – Springer Spaniel


King George IV, ,


GEORGE IV, better known as the Prince Regent”shifted his
court from Kensington Palace to Buckingham House, now known
as Buckingham Palace. This move was the ifirst of many, because
Society (at least much of it) thereupon shifted to the district now
known as Belgravia.

This little fact has no connection with , but I discovered
it when I was reading about the history of this fine tavern and
that of in which it is situated.



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– Springer Spaniel

is a liver and white springer spaniel, and is the
possessor of a lovable character. He loves his mistress”Mine
Host at the ”so much that unless he is by her
side or she by his side he is so unhappy that he just can’t keep

In other words, Kim is a canine Sir Galahad in an age not
noticeably dedicated to chivalry. Perhaps he acquired his habits
from the gallant early Victorian gentlemen who would arrive in
their carriages for a quick one after meeting their lady loves
Perhaps Kim can see the ghosts of these gentlemen”top-hatted,
,morning coats, perhaps a bright-hued waistcoat, a stick, gloves, and
an elegant presence: a pretty thought.

takes its name from Montpelier in France
“mainly on account, it seems, of its healthy situation. The square
is not old; it seems to have been built (or at least most of it) about
I837 when Queen Victoria, saying “I will be good,” ascended the
throne with high purpose intent on the still. higher achievement
that was to come. . . .

King George IV

But it may be assumed that the tavern was built some little
time before. Let us examine the square.
There are but forty-two houses here, and of quite different
character to those of its neighbour, Trevor Square. The t-wo squares
of early Victorian houses form an oasis between, Brompton Road
and Knightsbridge. Trevor Square, named after Sir John Trevor,
whose mansion once occupied its site, was built earlier in 1815.

Sir John Trevor, it appears, was Speaker of the House of
Commons, which (as some humorists have it) means that he rarely spoke in that august assembly,

but when he said a few words, they
were very much to the point.
According to Leigh Hunt, Sir john Trevor (who was later
Master of the Rolls) was “Infamous for bribery and corruption”.
But keeping Leigh Hunt’s record in mind, it will doubtless be
regarded as a somewhat biased judgment. Leigh Hunt had no
particular reason for loving judges.

The freehold of Trevor Square is still vested in Sir ]ohn’s
The houses in are smaller, and have a
quiet, almost Galsworthian, distinction which, if not aiming at
being fashionable, yet achieve something better”something that
is difiicult to define, but easily enough recognized.

A few people of note have lived in the square. At No. 1 I Frederick
William Fairlot, an artist of some distinction, resided in 1860. He
died in the same house in 1866. From 1852 to 1860 Walter Lacey,
a well-known actor of the mid-Victorian period lived there. Another
of its we,-known residents was the Rev. Mackenzie Walcoot,
celebrated for his researches into the history of Westminster and
the Abbey. The square is also indirectly connected with William
Morris and his circle.

Knightsbridge Green

Knightsbridge Green is but a stone’s throw away. This green”at
the Knightsbridge end of Brompton Road”-is said to have been the
site of a pit in which victims of the plague were buried in 1665.

It is triangular, consisting mostly of gravel, shaded by a few trees.
The dignified building overlooking the square is the head-
quarters of horse sales-“Tattersalls. Prior to the war dog shows
were held there, so it may well be that Kim’s distant relatives
pranced round the ring here, showing their points.

The founder of the firm, Richard Tattersall, was stud groom
to the second Duke of Kingston. It was in 1766 that he founded his
world-famous business as an auctioneer of horses in premises
behind St. George’s Hospital. By great ability he soon attracted
an aristocratic clientele, including members of the Jockey Club.
He was a friend of the then Prince of Wales.

Under Richard’s great-grandson, the firm moved in 1865 to
their present premises at the Green.
There is some talk of reviving the dog shows at the Tattersalls
again. If so, it may be that one of Kim’s great-grandsons may
compete for the honour of being judged the best springer spaniel
in the show. It wouldn’t surprise me.

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