E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Little Gentleman in Velvet (The).
The mole. To the little gentleman in velvet was a favourite Jacobite toast in the reign of Queen Anne. The reference was to the mole that raised the mole-hill against which the horse of William III. stumbled at Hampton Court. By this accident the king broke his collar-bone, a severe illness ensued, and he died early in 1702.