The Disputed Toll
Painting from 1875 (circa)
A new elephant, Maharajah, was bought
for the Zoological Gardens at Belle Vue. He smashed the railway carriage he was
placed in and so had to walk the 200 mile journey from Edinburgh to Manchester,
accompanied by his keeper, Lorenzo Lawrence. A celebrated incident occurred on
the journey (possibly at the Hyde Road toll gate): Lorenzo and a tollgate
keeper began to argue about the charge for an elephant to use the road.
Maharajah wrapped his trunk around the gate, lifted it off its hinges and
walked through. Hearing the story, the people of Manchester welcomed this
elephant with attitude into the city.
Painting by Heywood Hardy
In a collection
Free entry Monday - Sunday 10am - 5pm (Thursday to 9pm)
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