THE PEKINESE AND THE JAPANESE
FEW of the many breeds of foreign dogs now established in England have attained such a measure of popularity in so short a time as the Pekinese. Of their early history little is known, beyond the fact that at the looting of the Summer Palace of Pekin, in r86o, bronze effigies of these dogs, known to be more than two thousand years old, were found within the sacred precincts. The dogs were, and are to this day, jealously guarded under the supervision of the Chief Eunuch of the Court, and few have ever found their way into the outer world.
So far as the writer is aware, the history of the breed in
England dates from the importation in 186o of five dogs taken
from the Summer Palace, where they had, no doubt, been
forgotten on the flight of the Court to the interior. Admiral
Lord John Hay, who was present on active service, gives a
graphic account of the finding of these little dogs in a part of
the garden frequented by an aunt of the Emperor, who had
committed suicide on the approach of the Allied Forces.
Lord John and another naval officer, a cousin of the late
Duchess of Richmond's, each secured two dogs ; the fifth
was taken by General Dunne, who presented it to Queen
Victoria. Lord John took pains to ascertain that none had
found their way into the French camp, and he heard then that
the others had all been removed to Jehal with the Court.
It is therefore reasonable to suppose that these five were the
only Palace dogs, or Sacred Temple dogs of Pekin, which
reached England, and it is from the pair which lived to a