In 1860, the Summer Palace in Peking was looted by the Allied forces. The aunt of the Chinese Emperor, rather than face the enemy troops in defeat, committed suicide. Five faithful little Pekingese were discovered guarding her body, by 3 Officers of the British troop. Lord John Hay took possession of a dog, christened Schloff, and a bitch, christened Hytien. The latter was subsequently presented to his sister, the Duchess of Wellington. Sir George Fitzroy took two other dogs and presented them to his relations, the Duke and Duchess of Richmond and Gordon. The latter's brother, Lord Algernon Gordon-Lennox and his wife subsequently established the Goodwood kennel. Lieutenant Dunne presented the last dog to Queen Victoria, who christened it 'Looty'.
The first Pekingese exhibit was shown in Chester Show in England, in 1894 by Mrs Loftus Allan. Her husband, who was a master of a ship trading in China, brought home Pekin Peter (the exhibit). The Pekingese breed gained instantaneous popularity. In 1898, the British Kennel Club approved the standard of the breed. In 1904, the Pekingese Club was founded and this was followed by the Pekin Palace Dog Association in 1908. Many more Pekingese breed clubs mushroomed throughout the length and breadth of the British Isles. Many differing views and ideas were conjured up by the various Pekingese enthusiasts. It gave way to the revision of the breed standard, which was eventually amended in 1926.
Around the end of the 19th century, the Empress Dowager became friendly with the Americans. To show her favor, she made gifts of some of the dogs and the notable recipients included Alice Roosevelt J.P. Morgan, Miss Carl and Dr M Cotton. It didn't take long before the Pekingese charmed its ways to the American Pekingese fanciers. The Pekingese Club of America was founded in 1909.
In Ireland, around that time of the 19th century, a respected Chinese minister, Li Hung Chang presented a dog and a bitch, Chang and Lady Li, to Major Heuston, in recognition of his service in China. He chose to retire in Ireland, which was then part of U.K., and established the Greystones kennel. The application of the Pekingese Association of Ireland for registration to the British Kennel Club, London was made by Mr W. Clarke, Rosetta Villas, Belfast in July, 1910. Membership was granted and recorded in the Kennel Club Gazette in August 1910, and hence the Pekingese Association of Ireland was founded in 1910. The Secretary of the Association at the time was a J. Gibson, 5 South Anne Street, Dublin. Major Heuston, would have been relatively active in promoting the Pekingese breed to the Irish canine fanciers of that era. He was made the President of the Association in 1912. The oldest Cup, The Greystones Perpetual Challenge Cup, is still in the Association's possession to this day.
The Pekingese Association remains one of the oldest canine clubs in Ireland. It was subsequently affiliated to the Irish Kennel Club, which was founded in 1920.
Looty was a parti-coloured Peke, which was among the items looted in the Summer Palace, Beijing, by the British troop. (one of the Allied Forces). He died in England in 1872.
Mrs Loftus Allan, in 1904, dressed in her mixed Chinese and Victorian attire.
Mrs Ashton Cross was one of the most successful Pekingese breeders and exhibitors in the early 20th Century. She was the founder of the famous Alderbourne Kennel in U.K.