- Archibald Ormsby-Gore
Archibald Ormsby-Gore, better known as Archie, was the
teddy-bearof English poet laureate John Betjeman. Together with an elephant known as Jumbo, he was a lifelong companion of Betjeman's.
Betjeman brought his bear with him when he went up to university at
Oxfordin the 1920s, and as a result Archie became the model for Aloysius, Sebastian Flyte's bear in Evelyn Waugh's novel " Brideshead Revisited". In the 1940s, Betjeman also wrote an illustrated a story for his children, entitled "Archie and the Strict Baptists", in which the bear's sojourns at the family's successive homes in Uffington and Farnboroughare fictionalised. Archie is here described as a member of the Strict Baptistdenomination, riding a hedgehog to chapel, and enjoying amateur archaeology, digging up molehills, "which, he considered, were the graves of baby Druids". A version of the story with illustrations by Phillida Gili was published as a children's book in 1977.
Betjeman also wrote a poem "Archibald" in which the bear is temporarily stuffed in the loft for fear of Betjeman appearing "soft" to his father.
Archie and Jumbo were in Betjeman's arms when he died in 1984.
*Betjeman, John (1977). "Archie and the Strict Baptists". London: John Murray.
*Waugh, Evelyn (1945). "Brideshead Revisited: The Sacred and Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder". London: Chapman & Hall.
* [http://shop.bodley.ox.ac.uk/acatalog/Exhibitions.html Introduction] to an exhibition on Betjeman at the
* [http://www.newcriterion.com/archive/23/mar05/betjeman.htm "Betjeman: a "whim of iron"] , article by
Brooke Allenin " The New Criterion"
* [http://www.longbarnbooks.com/pages/new_titles/archie_and_the_strict_baptists.htm Advertisement for a facsimile] of Betjeman's original version of "Archie and the Strict Baptists".
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