Saturday, 7th December 2013

by Joshua Gaskell

In A. D. Mills’s A Dictionary of London Place-Names I read that Pimlico is named after a Hoxtonian alehouse, which in turn took its name from its publican Ben Pimlico. This surname originated with the native-American tribe of Pamlico (named for the river on the banks of which they lived), some of who travelled to England with Francis Drake in 1586. Mills notes that ‘Pimlico is almost certainly the first native American place name to have been introduced into England!’ Not only that, but transferently, on the north bank between Vauxhall Bridge and the Grosvenor Canal (watersmeet of the Westbourne, the boundary with Chelsea), Old Father Thames is, as it were, twinned with the Pamlico, North Carolina.