Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Joys and Distractions of Historical Research.

Sir Walter Gilbey's Funeral, November 1914
One of the joys and distractions of historical research is finding an unexpected clue - and before you know where you are you are hard at work on an interesting side issue - which becomes more interesting the deeper you dig.

Some years ago I obtained a pair of photographs of a funeral - but who was being buried, and it took about 5 years to be certain it was the funeral of Sir Walter Gilbey, of Gilbey's Gin fame, who was being buried in Bishops Stortford in 1914

Earlier this week I was looking at an account of the 1915 AGM of the Tring Agricultural Society, which described Sir Walter's contribution to the Society in these words:  
"Sir Walter had been a member of Tring Show for 22 years, and he must often in his younger days have trodden the ground where our annual show is held, when a pupil on the Tring Park Estate."
I wanted to know more - and then more ... If you are intrigued to know why a very rich man such as Sir Walter started out a "a pupil on the Tring Park estate" see Auctioneer's Apprentices in Tring, 1828-1848

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