|Hyde Park Corner|
It’s been a while since I wrote my traditional Regency stories, and I’m not sure whether I allowed my characters to travel in a carriage in Rotten Row or realized this would be a faux pas. I’ve written about it before (here—with maps!)
“The right to drive along the Row in a carriage remained the prerogative of the reigning sovereign; as late as 1832, a map of London published by the United Kingdom Newspaper marked Rotten Row as ‘The King’s Private Road.’”
—Joyce Bellamy, Hyde Park for Horsemanship (1975)
Samuel Sidney’s Book of the Horse (1880) confirms this.
As does Baron Redesdale’s Memories (1916)
Yet searching online leads to confusion. I find many books, by 19th C as well as recent authors, referring to driving in Rotten Row. Did these writers confuse Rotten Row with the carriage road running more or less parallel to it? A blog post indicates the Row was not restricted to riders until 1834, and certainly some caricatures seem to support this.Some 19th C authors describing Hyde Park say the rule was not in effect until Queen Victoria’s time, while others believe it dates to King Charles II or King William IV.
In any event, Queen Victoria was in no doubt whatsoever about her prerogative.
|The Queen's Drive|
|Hyde Park after 1736-Larwood|
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