Tattersall's Auction House


Richard Tattersall in 1788
founder

Richard Tattersall the younger in 1841

Richard Tattersall rose from a position as groom, to a become a man of importance, rubbing elbows with the rich and famous. He started his career as a groom to the 2nd Duke of Kingston, a member of the Jockey Club. He later rose to be the Duke's Master of Horse. In this capacity he met the great men of racing. His good judgement and honesty helped him establish a business buying and selling for others. He probably helped with the dispersal of the Duke of Cumberland's horses.

Richard Tattersall established himself as an auctioneer in 1766, and soon afterwards opened premises near the Hyde Park Turnpike toll houses at 10 Grosvenor Place, entered by a narrow Lane, at the side of St. George's Hospital. This was the world’s first bloodstock auction house.

There were stables, loose boxes, and a large circular enclosure for trying out horses, in the center of which was a cupola surmounted by a bust of Tattersall's friend, the Prince of Wales. There were also 2 subscription rooms for members of the Jockey Club and these became not only a resort of well known figures of the racing fraternity but also the recognized center for the regulation of betting upon the turf.

The business was carried on by Tattersall's descendants until the 99-year lease expired in 1865, when the buildings were pulled down and the site covered by a new wing for St. George's Hospital. The business was removed to Knightsbridge Green. It remained there until 1939, and is now at Newmarket.

Richard Tattersall himself became an owner of racers, with the £2500 purchase of the race horse Highflyer which had to be sold during his racing career because his owner, Lord Bolingbroke, racked up a huge gambling debt. Highflyer's stud fees made Tattersall a fortune, as Highflyer was the top racing stud for over 10 years near the end of the 18th century


Tattersall's enclosure in 1811
from Ackermans Microcosm of London, by Rowlandson



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