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loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Thursday, April 25, 2013

the king's pets: royal menagerie

The king is England's George III, and this is from a travel guide dated 1801.
Descriptions of the beasts, etc. now there; which have been given to his Majesty
They are confined in dens of about 13 feet high, made in two apartments: in the upper they live in the day, and sleep at night in the lower. You view them through iron grating.
1. Fanny, a lioness from Algiers, given by general Ransford; so tame, say they, that a Moor slept with her during her voyage over, and then led her to the Tower by a string only.  When she was left here, she fretted much after the Moor, refusing her food for some time. A dog being taken into her den, she fondled and made much of him; and he has been kept with her ever since. The dog is quite her master, for he will not suffer her to eat till he has begun.
2. A lion bred in the Tower, called Young Nero.
3. A handsome lioness, bred also in the Tower, called Miss Fanny, she is very fierce and ill-natur'd.
4. Two beautiful lionesses, whelped in the Tower on the first of June, 1794, named Miss Howe and Miss Fanny Howe, on account of the glorious victory obtained on that day by Lord Howe.
5. A remarkable large male elephant from Calcutta, given by the nabob of Aivot.

In the large Yard.
1. A beautiful royal tiger from China, given by secretary Nepean.
a. A handsome leopardess from, the Malabar Coast, named Dutchess, given by lord Carlisle. Her colours are remarkable bright.
3. A very curious black leopard, named Jack, given by governor Hastings. He is the only one of his colour ever seen: and though his skin is black, the spots on it appear blacker.
4. A very fierce hyena from the island of Salset near Bombay, given to the prince of Wales by Mr. Gooch, then chief mate of the Camden Indiaman.
5. Several monkies, whose antic tricks are laughable. Among them is a baboon remarkable for his sagacity, named Jumbo.
6. Two large bears.
7. A fierce but beautiful tiger cat, from the river Gambia, given by captain Gambier to the prince of Wales. The people of Malabar call it the Marapute.
8. The Coati Mundi, from Honduras, given by lady Read.
9. Two racoons; they were bred in the Tower by a male and female brought from America. These animals are said to be so cleanly, as to wash their meat before they eat it. They walk on the shore when the sea has left it, where they find certain shell-fish lying with their shells open to receive air: they prevent their closing again by putting a small stone between them; by which means they are enabled to take the fish out for food.
10. The jackall, or lion's provider. This animal is full as cleanly as the racoon, in respect of washing his food before he eats it.
11. An eagle of the sun, given to his late majesty by admiral Boscawen, who took it in a French prize.
12. A wolf.

-- from A Companion to All the Principal Places of Curiosity and Entertainment in and about London and Westminster, J. Drew, 1801, pp. 17-19.

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