Friday, 17 April 2009

Lord Curzon of Kedleston


I may be straying into Unmitigated territory here, but I can't resist this story. It concerns Lord Curzon's comedown, when his lordship's steward finally felt obliged to try and moderate the household expenses. He drew up a list of the staff at Kedleston Hall. It was the third assistant to the pastry chef that caught his eye. With elaborate discretion and much throat clearing he hinted to his lordship that such a member of staff might be a little, um, superfluous. "So it's come to this" spluttered the Viceroy to India, "a fellow can't have a biscuit with his tea!"

8 comments:

Peter Ashley said...

Marvellous. Your post and picture not only remind me that a cull is long overdue at Ashley Towers, but also of a scene I saw again recently in Remains of The Day, where an elderly servant (Peter Vaughan on top form again) recounts the shooting of a tiger underneath his Lordship's dining room table.

Diplomate said...

Oh how things come around - to think that was only a little over a century ago. Who'd have thought we'd be struggling to find even a second assistant, let alone third these days. At Diplo Hall we've had an unfilled vacancy for assistant mole catcher for over a year now and I've simply given up trying to find a reliable man to clean my shoes. Those were the days - eh?

Thud said...

A man and his biscuit should be as one.I've never been the same since H&P stopped making milk and honey.

Affer said...

Isn't it a bit non-U to shoot a tiger underneath a dining room table? Don't they have to be running or something - like birds have to be shot in flight?

Save the Tiger! said...

U shud be ashamed of urself - eulogising a 'man' who shot butiful animals for his own carnal plesure. I will report you to the EEC for presecution.

Bucks Retronaut said...

Might I suggest a quick shufti at Youtube`s trailer to "Sir Henry at Rawlinson End" might well prove instructive in dealing with this sort of thing,the treatment meted out to Old Scrotum,the wrinkled retainer, being especially memorable !

Diplomate said...

For further enlightenment on the subject of dealing with tigers it is absolutely essential to read Jim Corbett's Man-Eaters of Kummaon. I recently found a 1st edition in top condition on ABE to replace my well used "reading copy". MORE DRAMA !

Philip Wilkinson said...

WIth reference to shooting tigers under the dining room table, bear in mind that 'With big hungry tigers table manners have no place,' as the Bonzos said. (I hope that's right, I'm quoting from memory.)