Louis Pique

  Characters K-S

Two sketches of a real character of Dover in the past, Louis Pique, an interpreter and tout, who tended to stand out in a crowd as he went about his business, offering to carry luggage for cross-Channel passengers landing at Dover or carrying out other menial tasks for them after an often trying cross-Channel trip! The sketch on the right was by 19th Century artist William Heath, who included him (centre of picture) in a scene for his remarkable “Panorama of Dover,” of 1836, which featured a very fine pull-out panoramic view of Dover’s waterfront at that time. Apparently a little on the short side, Louis often used to wear a tall floppy hat, akin to that of a chef in a top class restaurant, a high collar, long frock coat and would carry a long stick with a parrot on the end!

Pique’s eccentricity can also be seen in his extraodinary use of names both his own and his children’s. Records, including those signed by him, list him as either Louis Joseph Antoine Pique or Louis Antoine Francois Pique. He married Ann Barlett at St Mary’s Church on 30 May 1817.