It was by no means unusual for a West End tailor to be owed large sums of money, and Louis was owed more than most. A regency buck slang term – a snider – was used to describe a tailor who allowed a client to run up large debts. As the Prince’s bonds were repaid, Louis prospered and in turn started to lend money to others. Since he was known to be discreet, and was almost a fixture at Carlton House, it is not surprising that his loans were mainly to the Prince, his brothers and to members of the royal household, who were mostly in financial straits owing to their collective passion for gambling. Louis gained power and influence by having these people in his debt.
The list of Louis’s debtors included the Duke of York, the Duke of Kent, the Duke of Clarence, Lord Southampton (Groom of the Stole in the Prince of Wales’ household), General William Gardiner (Colonel of the King’s Royal Rifle Corps), James Stopford (Lord Courtown) – Treasurer of His Majesty’s household, Sir John McMahon (the Prince’s treasurer), Lt, Col. George Leigh, (who in 1811 married his cousin Augusta, Lord Byron’s half-sister, with whom the latter had an incestuous relationship that produced a daughter (Elizabeth Medora, ‘Libby’) during the summer of 1813. Leigh had got into serious financial difficulties and fell from grace when it came to light that he had cheated the Prince over the sale of a horse and fiddled regimental accounts to fund his gambling habit).
Dr. William Battine, a groom of the royal bedchamber and confidant of the Prince, and a Doctor of Laws in Doctors’ Commons. Regular quarterly payments were received by Louis “at the Navy Pay Office for the salary of Dr Wm. Battine”, since by order of the Court his salary was garnisheed and paid directly to Louis.
Dennis O’Kelly, nephew of ‘Count’ O’Kelly, part owner of the famous racehorse Eclipse.
Sir Godfrey (5th Baron) Webster, who mortgaged 500 acres of Sussex to Louis, including Battle Abbey and Bodiham Castle for a loan of ₤6000. Webster repaid this loan within a month or two, having presumably found another loan at better terms, and this was lucky for Louis because Webster skipped to the continent soon afterwards.
The final large loan was ₤10,000 to Anthony Gilbert Storer of Purley Park, Berkshire, owner of several estates in Jamaica, who then died in 1818.
Louis’s son Evelyn Bazalgette, Q.C., he of the withered arm, subsequently had to spend a great deal of his time going to court to try to recover these loans for the benefit of his father’s estate.