Page:Omnibuses and Cabs.djvu/54

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34
Omnibuses and Cabs

undertaker, and gave evidence before the Board of Health on the subject of the scheme for extramural sepulture. But his success as an undertaker, which must have been very gratifying to him after losing many thousands of pounds as an omnibus proprietor, robbed him of posthumous fame by preventing his name becoming as much a household word as is Hansom's. For several years after his pecuniary interest in omnibuses had ceased the vehicles which he had introduced into England were called "Shillibeers" more frequently than "Omnibuses," but as soon as his "Shillibeer Funeral Coaches" became well advertised, people did not like to say that they were going for a ride in a Shillibeer, in case they might be misunderstood. So the word "Shillibeer," which would in time have superseded "Omnibus," and been spelt with a small "s," was discarded, and is now almost forgotten.

Shillibeer was also associated with Mr. G. A. Thrupp, the author of "The History of the Art of Coachbuilding," Mr. John Peters, Mr. Robson, and Mr. Lewis Leslie in efforts to obtain a reduction of the heavy taxes on carriages. Mr. Thrupp has described Shillibeer to me as a big, energetic man,