Tailor of Gloucester – Beatrix Potter Celebrated

11th October 2023

Gloucester Cathedral is celebrating the anniversary of Beatrix Potter and her links to the city with a service of Choral Evensong this week.

The service today, Wednesday 11th October will mark 120 years since Beatrix Potter’s ‘The Tailor of Gloucester’ was first published.

This well-loved story of a little mouse was based on a the real incident involving a tailor commissioned to make a suit for the city’s new mayor.

John Samuel Prichard, who inspired the famous Beatrix Potter character, supposedly returned to his shop on a Monday morning to find the suit mysteriously completed except for one buttonhole, with a note saying: “No more twist!” ‘Twist’ referred to the silk thread with which to stitch the last button.

Prichard’s assistants had finished the coat over the weekend, but the tailor encouraged a tale that fairies had done the work, and the incident became the stuff of local legend.

A search was launched to find descendants of the old tailor who lived from 1877-1934 by the House of the Tailor of Gloucester, now a tourist attraction shop at 9 College Court, Gloucester, which pays homage to the famous children’s author, artist, conservationist and award-winning sheep farmer.

Ten specially commissioned brass plaques creating a new city trail to celebrate Beatrix Potter and her links to the city have been installed around the Cathedral Quarter and will be opened later this month.

Each plaque features mice based on the original illustrations drawn by Potter for The Tailor of Gloucester, re-drawn by local artist Ella Daniel Lowe.

The Tailor of Gloucester by Beatrix Potter was published in 1903 and was reported to be Potter’s favourite of all her books.