Blencowe Families’ Association Newsletter Vol. 23 No. 3 August 2008

Edward Blencowe Gould

Edward Blencowe Gould (August 9, 1847 - November 16, 1916) was a British Consul in Bangkok, Thailand.

In 1884 Mr. Edward Blencowe Gould an Acting Vice-Consul at Bangkok was the first person to import & introduce Siamese cats into England. He obtained a breeding pair of Siamese cats called Pho & Mia as a present to his sister, Mrs Lilian Veley. The cats, Pho and Mia, are recorded as 1a & 2a in the Siamese Cat Register and were shown at The Crystal Palace in 1885. Mrs. Veley went on to co-find the Siamese Cat Club in 1901.

It is said that King Chulalongkorn gave them to Edward although this story does attract some skepticism.

“The original pair was sent from Bangkok, and it is believed that they came from the King's Palace, where alone the breed is said to be kept pure. At any rate, they were procured as a great favour, after much delay & great difficulty, and since that time no others have been attainable by the same person. We were in China when they reached us, and the following year, 1886, we brought the father, mother & a pair of kittens to England.”

During the next few years more Siamese were imported into Britain, and are the foundation cats of the Siamese we know & love now.

Edward Blencowe Gould started his career as a junior interpreter in Siam (now Thailand) on January 20, 1868. Shortly after, he became the first and later the second assistant on May 1 1878. He was appointed Consul in Siam on November 27, 1885 before being transferred to Port Said, Egypt on August 13, 1891. Edward then rose to Consul General in Alexandria, Egypt in 1897.
He retired on November 3, 1909 and died seven years later in 1916.

Frances Forbes

Pho and Mia kittens Kittens produced by Pho & Mia, the legendary Siamese said to have been gifts from the King of Siam.
updated: 31 October 2008