Reggie’s Honour

An article in the Daily Herald in which Mr J Dixon Taylor recalled Reggie’s appearance at the Lord Mayor’s Procession of 1931 when he inadvertently scared some elephants (see King’s Alumni Official History of Reggie the Lion), led to one of Reggie’s many outings. The show organiser mistakenly referred to Reggie as a ‘toy tiger’ and greatly offended King’s students of the time. On the 27 October 1938 the engineering and medical students gathered a large crowd, headed by Reggie, and marched on the Daily Herald’s office. The crowd was reportedly greeted by the paper’s editor, who promised that the complaint would be passed on to the gentleman responsible for the insult. Following the incident the students wrote that ‘Reggie is once more on his perch, once again his tail wags with all its old ferocity, yet once more he has risen triumphant overcoming all his foes!’

Reggie the Lion marching on the Daily Herald.

This outing was recorded in the scrapbooks of David Leete which are held at King’s College London Archives.


Lord Alec Douglas-Home photograph in Sir Denis Wright papers


This gallery contains 2 photos.

This is a remarkable photograph of the British Foreign Secretary, Lord Alec Douglas Home, being held aloft by an Iranian strongman in a gym in Tehran. Lord Home (pronounced ‘hume’) is surrounded by no fewer than 13 athletes. It is not entirely clear … Continue reading

Who is this man?

Last week a member of the Faculty of Natural and
Mathematical Sciences brought in a very large, old, framed photograph which had
been hanging in the Physics Department for many years. Sadly, no one in the Department knew who it
was of but they felt it might be of interest to us here in the Archives.

My difficultly was trying to identify the young man in the
portrait.  Judging by his clothes, his
moustache and his hairstyle, I estimated that the picture was probably taken
around 1900-1910.  It was a large
photograph in a very fancy frame so he must have been important.  So, who was he?

Well, I believe it is an early photograph of Charles Glover
Barkla who was appointed to the Chair of Physics in 1909.  He remained at King’s for four years during
which time he published extensively on his research into x-rays. Barkla then
moved to Edinburgh and in 1917 he was awarded a Nobel Prize for this work.

Here is a later photograph of Barkla for comparison:

[By George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress)
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]

Am I right, have we found a photograph of
Charles Barkla in his 20s?

by Frances Pattman, Archives Services Officer

The marriage of Philmer Eves

In 1847, Philmer Eves was appointed as a Porter to King’s College London. In the letter above, written in May 1848, he asked if he could have a small advance on his wages in order to move from the College Lodge, run by the Gatekeeper, James Nightingale, and his wife, Kezia, into a privately rented unfurnished, presumably cheaper, room elsewhere. He planned to get married and wished to free up a little money to buy things necessary for the wedding and the start of married life. A note was made to the effect that the matter was deferred until October for reconsideration which may have scuppered his plans.

However, according to the parish records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, Philmer Eves married Elizabeth Wood on 10 September 1848 in St Pancras Church. In the 1851 census, they were living in Brydges (now Catherine) Street, near the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, and he was still working as a Porter at King’s. By 1861, Philmer and his wife had moved to Cheshire where they stayed until his death in 1876. It is nice to see that despite the lack of assistance from the College he was still able to get married and kept working at King’s.

Philmer Eves’ letter comes from a large collection of letters and documents sent to the Secretary of King’s College London which date from the foundation of the College in 1829 through to the late 19th and early 20th century. A detailed catalogue of the collection is currently being prepared and will be made available on our catalogue website very soon.

The penmanship of William Allsup

The correspondence files at King’s College London contain a
really splendid example of late Georgian penmanship. It is a letter to the
Marquis of Salisbury dated 24 October 1832 in which William Allsup asks the
marquis to write a letter of reference on his behalf to the Bishop of London
who is a member of King’s College council. Allsup was seeking (and got) a position at the recently opened King’s
College London as a ‘writing and arithmetical master’.

Ideally, such a letter should show off the applicant’s
handwriting to best advantage and this example does not fail. The salutation of the letter, ‘My Lord…’ is a
delight whose initial great swirl reveals a careful pattern by which it appears
not to be solid, but interrupted.

I happened across this letter while looking for another
early letter concerning the location of King’s.

A few years after his application, Allsup produced a
memorial to the foundation of King’s College London written in a number of
scripts and colours, even. His care over
penmanship is again splendidly evident.  

I have taken the image from our online
exhibition In the Beginning explaining the foundation of King’s College London.

King’s Collections : Online Exhibitions : Coming to London


King’s Collections : Online Exhibitions : Coming to London