The Three Graces

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Have you heard about the Three Graces? Not the Greek goddesses, the elephants.

It all began with Samuel Lockhart (1851–1933), famous Victorian elephant trainer and the second child of the famous Lockhart circus family. His work with elephants took him all over the UK, including Royal command performances in front of Queen Victoria, Europe (where he ran his own circus France) and in the USA, where he worked for the famous Ringling Brothers Circus from 1896 to 1901. He has appeared in several historical books on the circus, including one children’s book completely dedicated to him (“Elephants at Royal Leamington Spa” by Janet Storrie, 1990), and the English town of Leamington Spa has several areas named after his most famous group of elephants “The Three Graces” (Wilhelmina, Trilby and Haddie).

The dapper little man with the magnificent white moustache was one of Leamington’s most recognisable residents in the years between the two world wars.

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