King William IV, His Household Cavalry & A 19th Century Pan Top Rummer

Favourite Finds


Welcome to yet another instalment of 'Blog Post Monday'.

I've been enjoying showcasing a few of my more curious and interesting items here of late and it's also giving me a bit more time to look into them in more detail.

This week, I thought I'd share with you another fascinating piece.  No word of a lie, this piece makes me feel a little odd when I hold it and I'm not sure why.  It gives me an unusual feeling in the gut.  I don't know if that's from the excitement and the intrigue or whether it's just bringing back memories of all the alcohol I drank at my friend's wedding a few weeks back!!  Either way, if this glass could talk, I have no doubt it would have some amazing stories to tell.

So, as always, get that kettle on and sit on your thrones, as we travel back to the reign of King William IV, to the year 1834 to be more precise, which just so happened to be a rather dramatic year...



Now, this early 19th century pan top rummer is no normal pan top rummer.  This pan top rummer is engraved around the rim with the wording "John North Infantry Canteen Windsor Berkshire 1834".



So, this glass is of military interest.  In fact, I discovered that John North was a solider in the Kings Household Cavalry and as such, will have had a very close connection not only with King William IV, but with the entire Royal Family.  Maybe this is why this particular piece gives me a funny feeling.  The fact that we have the glass of a gentleman who has, quite literally, served King and Country.



Interestingly, the year of 1834 was quite the year of drama and King William IV was at the centre of it!  Uniquely, four Prime Ministers served during this single year!  I bet John North had all the gossip! 

And, here's a fun fact for you.  The Reform Crisis turned many people against King William IV, leading him to be described as out-of-touch, dithering and silly. ‘The Government and their people have now found out what a fool the King is,’ noted the political diarist, Charles Greville. ‘They find him rather shuffling and exceedingly silly.’ The nickname ‘Silly Billy’ stuck, though today many people have no idea it has royal connections.



Anyway, the British Household Cavalry consists of two regiments: the Life Guards and the Blues and Royals (Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons). They are the senior regular regiments in the British Army, with traditions dating from 1660, and act as the King / Queen's personal bodyguard.  Both regiments have a long and distinguished history of gallantry on the battlefield, originally on horseback.



Mounted on their immaculately groomed horses with swords drawn and breastplates shining in the sun, they are some of the world's most famous and instantly recognisable soldiers, best known for their role in ceremonial events such as the Queen's Birthday Parade.



The Regiment was based in London, Windsor and it was here where soldiers learnt to ride.  The 12-week riding course was held at the Household Cavalry training wing in Combermere Barracks, Windsor, which is where they were taught the basics of military equitation and horse welfare. This was then followed by a four-week kit ride at Knightsbridge Barracks.



However, on 18th May 2019, the regiment moved from Combermere Barracks in St Leonard’s Road to Bulford in Wiltshire where it now works alongside fellow Royal Armoured Corps Regiment The King’s Royal Hussars, to operate the newly developed army reconnaissance vehicle, Ajax. 



So, there you have it.  This early 19th century pan top rummer is no normal pan top rummer.  A connection to the King's Household Cavalry, the year 1834 and King William IV's year of drama, four Prime Ministers in one year and the creation of the phrase "Silly Billy".

As always, let me know what you think in the comments section below.  It's always an honour to hear from you.

Meanwhile, this piece is currently available to buy here



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So, until next week, stay safe, keep buying those antiques and keep spreading that Source Vintage love!




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