Ever since I was a boy I have wondered if any other town or city in this country has animals buried in their vicinities.
In Old Portsmouth there are two, both horses, interred in the pasture close by the Royal Garrison Church.The inscription is on a large block of stone set into the wall that leads from Pembroke Road to the seafront.
Fitzclarence was the third (illegitimate) son of William IV and his mistress Dorothea Jordan. He was born on December 9, 1799, and died, aged 55, on October 30,
1854. He was the Lieutenant-Governor of Portsmouth from 1847 until 1851.
He must have thought the world of these two horses to have them buried rather than be carted away to the knacker’s yard. This is what the inscription says: ‘Close to this spot is buried Comus a favourite pony given by King William the IV to Lord Fred Fitzclarence 1832. Died 1851 aged 25 years.
‘Also The Chief, a favourite old hunter given by King William the IV to Lord Fred Fitzclarence. Age 21 years.’
These horses were buried here by Lord Fred Fitzclarence relinquishing the command of the South-West District and Lt Governorship of the fortress. 1851.