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/^ 



FIFTY YEARS' FOX-HUNTING 

WITH THE GRAFTON AND OTHER 
PACKS OF HOUNDS. 




>.y^,!' 



■"" " '^ 



George Henry, 
Fourth Duke of Grafton. 



FIFTY YEARS' FOX-HUNTING 



WITH THE GRAFTON AND OTHER PACKS 



OF HOUNDS. 



BY 



JOHN MALSBURY KIRBY ELLIOTT. 

EDITED BY HIS SON, 

EDWARD KIRBY ELLIOTT. 



(^All Rights Reserved.) 



LONDON : 

HORACE cox, 

WINDSOR HOUSE, BREAM'S BUILDINGS, E.C 



1900; 



I^ONDON : 
PRINTED BY HORACE COX, WINDSOR HOUSE, BREAM'S BUILDINGS, E.C. 



(900 



TO 

THE RIGHT HONOURABLE GEORGE SHOLTO 
DOUGLAS-PENNANT, BARON PENRHYN, 

THIS BOOK IS, 
BY HIS KIND PERMISSION, MOST RESPECTFULLY 

pc6icatc5, 

BY HIS OBEDIENT SERVANT, 

THE AUTHOR. 



A 



My Lord, 

I feel that an attempt from me to write a book will 
somewhat surprise the public. 

Whatever opinion may be formed of my production, 1 am 
sure it will be universally allowed that I am very fortunate in 
having permission to dedicate the book to your lordship. 

Your lordship has done so much in support of the Grafton 
Hunt by taking the mastership for nine seasons ; and, after 
relinquishing those duties, you have continued so liberally to 
support and help to carry on the sport of Fox-Hunting, with 
the aid, as Master, of the Honourable E. S. Douglas-Pennant, 
that I feel that no one will value the history of the Grafton 
Hunt, its noble ^Masters, good Huntsmen, and fine Packs of 
Hounds, for the last fifty years, more than your lordship. 

Trusting that my efforts may meet with your approval, 

I beg to subscribe myself, 

Your lordship's obedient Servant, 

J. M. K. ELLIOTT. 

Delamere House, Leamington, 
']th June, 1899. 



i 



PREFACE. 



One can readily understand a young man, with 
a taste for fox-hunting, looking forward with the 
hope of having a good time of it, to the period 
when he shall be established as a fox-hunter. 
With an aged man who has had a full share of 
his favourite sport, the time arrives when he 
should be thankful for what he has received, and 
he naturally looks back and recalls the past events 
of his life. During my lengthened career I have 
met many of the best men of the day, and have 
enjoyed hunting with them to my heart's content. 
A very large number of Masters of Hounds, 
Huntsmen, and their Packs have contributed to 
my gratification and pleasure; I feel greatly 
indebted to them personally, and the thought has 
long been in my mind that, if I were spared, I 



X Preface. 

should feel it a pleasing duty to record a word 
of tribute to those who have been taken from us, 
and of appreciation of those who are living. 

Haunted by the thought of the feebleness of 
my attempt, I have done my best, hoping to take 
shelter under the account of splendid Sport I am 
able to place before my readers. 

A . second reason is that I am not aware of any 
trustworthy history of the Grafton Hunt being in 
existence. I feel that the country may be proud 
of a narrative, and I think that I am in possession 
of more knowledge of that which has passed 
during the last fifty years, than perhaps any 
living man ; so I feel bound to write it. 

Another reason which I must state, is, that we 
had for thirty years, in the country, a most skilful 
huntsman, who gave great satisfaction to his 
masters, in carrying out a most difficult office for 
so many years, and leaving a record of sport that 
— I may say with confidence — has never been 
exceeded. Frank Beers commenced in the year 
i860 to whip-in to Lord Southampton, two days 
a week; and to his father, George Beers, also 
two days a week ; and in 1 862 he began hunting 



Preface, xl 

for the Duke of Grafton, and was huntsman for 
twenty-eight seasons in the Country. Frank left 
a good diary, cleverly written ; I am the favoured 
person allowed to make use*of it. I know of no 
more fitting manner of doing so than by making 
it a matter of history. I could not write my 
experiences without mentioning the neighbouring 
Hunts, wherein I, for so many years, enjoyed the 
friendship of, and sport with, many of their 
Masters. 



CONTENTS. 



Chap. Page 

I.— The Fourth Duke of Grafton, M.F.H., Colonel 

George FitzRoy i 

II. — George Carter, Huntsman ..... 9 

III. — Adam Sherwood, Chimney-Sweep and Sports- 
man . . . . . . . .17 

IV. — Charles, Third Baron Southampton, M.F.H. 21 

V. — Dick Simpson, Huntsman . . . . • 38 

VI. — George Beers, Huntsman . . . . -56 

VII.— The First Baron Penrhyn 86 

VIII.— The Sixth Duke of Grafton, M.F.H. ... 88 

IX. — Frank Beers, Huntsman ..... 90 

X. — Frank Beers' Diaries . . . . . .114 

XI. — Frank Beers' Diaries {continued) ... . 139 

XII. — Frank Beers' Diaries {continued) . . .164 



XIII. — The Farmers, Fox Preservers, The Gamekeepers 198 



xiv Contents. 

Chap. Page 

XIV. — Sir Charles Knightley — Sir Rainald Knightley — 



The Rev. Valentine Knightley — Mr. Selby- 
Lowndes, M.F.H. — Bob Ward, Huntsman . 213 

XV.— -The Belvoir— Mr. Arkwright and The Oakley— 
The Pytchley and Charles Payn — Captain 
Anstruther Thomson . 238 

XVI.— H.R.H. The Prince of Wales— H.R.H. Prince 
Arthur (The Duke of Connaught) — H.M. 
The ex-Queen of Naples— H.I.M. The 
Empress of Austria 260 

XVII.— Hunting Ladies— The Bicester— Mr. T. T. Drake, 
M.F.H. — Tom Winfield, Huntsman — 
Mr. T. T. Drake, jun., M.F.H.— Viscount 
Valentia, M.F.H. — Baron Chesham, M.F.H. 
— Stovin, and other Huntsmen — The Earl 
of Jersey — Dick Painter, Horsedealer 280 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



No. 




Page 


I. Fourth Duke of Grafton . 


Frontispiece. 


2. The Author 


Facing i 


3. George Carter. 


9 


4. Adam Sherwood's Coat of Arir 


IS ... . 


18 


5. Third Baron Southampton 




21 


6. Dick Simpson 




. 38 


7. George Beers . . . . 




56 


3. Hazard .... 




81 


9. Marquis .... 




82 


10. First Baron Penrhyn 




, 86 


1 1 . Sixth Duke of Grafton 




88 


12. Frank Beers . . . , 




, 108 


13. Second Baron Penrhyn . 




. 162 


14. Sir Charles Knightley 




 213 


15. Wm. Selby-Lowndes, Esq. 




222 



XVI 



List of Illustrations. 



No. 


Page 


1 6. Captain Arkwright . 


Facing 243 


17. Charles Payn .... 


• 254 


18. The ex-Queen of Naples 


. 267 


19. The Empress of Austria . 


. 274 


20. T. T. Drake, Esq. . 


. 284 


21. Tom Winfield 


. 288 


22. T. T. Drake, Esq., Jun. . 


. 295 


23. "Jonathan" .... 


. 305 



ERRATA. 

Page \%, for lines 24 and 25 read *' running into coverts, where 
fresh ones would appear ; the hunted fox would then turn 
back ; Adam was very clever at seeing such," &c. 
Page 31, line 22, after " March,'' insert "" 1851.' 
Page 19, line \,for " Durham * read " Denham." 
Page 85, line 6, for " daughter " read " dam." 
Page 204, line 24, for " in it " read " to it." 
Page 230, line \2,for " Rothschild read '' de Rothschild." 
Page 252, line '], for "the Misses Higgins and Turvey ' read 

" Miss Higgins of Turvey." 
Page 252, line 14, for '' J." read '' G. Race." 
Page 254, line 10, for " George Payn " read " Payne." 



CHAPTER I. 

THE FOURTH DUKE OF GRAFTON, M.F.H., 
COLONEL GEORGE FITZROY. 

Born on the Grafton estate, at a very early age 
I was sent hunting by my mother on a pillow, in 
front of the head groom ; and, having persistently 
followed the Grafton Hounds for so many years, I 
may reasonably call myself a ** Grafton '' man. 

The first Master of hounds my memory records 
was George Henry, fourth Duke of Grafton, of 
great renown on the turf, a most successful breeder 
of racehorses, as turf history tells us. His Grace 
won many races, and his great success upon the 
turf appears to have stimulated him to turn his 
attention to the improvement of hunters in the 
Grafton country. Having so fine a stud to select 
from, the Duke, in his great generosity, kept a 
proper selection of sires at Wakefield Lodge for 
the benefit of his farmers and friends. After a 
few years had passed, the Grafton country became 

B 



2 The Fourth Duke of Grafton. 

very famous for hunters, and in the early part 
of the century gentlemen and dealers flocked 
to it from all parts. Breeding had become so 
general that a good supply was kept up for a 
time, but the demand was so great, and such good 
prices were given, that the breeders made a great 
mistake ; they were tempted by the high prices, 
and sold the mares which had bred the stock. 

Pioneer was a sire of great fame ; the horses 
from him were wonderful hunters, but bad hacks. 
The mares were exceedingly good. The farmers 
could not resist the pecuniary temptation, ^^150 
and j^20o apiece was freely given. The Duke 
was a great buyer himself, and recommended 
many to his friends. A letter written by the 
Duke in 1 830, to one of his tenants, the original 
of which is in my possession, shows clearly how 
agreeably his Grace did business : — 

The Duke of Grafton's compliments to Mr. Elliott, and has 
ridden his mare quite enough to satisfy him that she is worth 
his bu3dng. on account of the ease of her motion and knowledge 
of her business. 

As Lord James (who has gone hunting to-day) told the 
Duke of Grafton that the price of the mare was 150 guineas, 
he has taken her at that price, considering her to be perfectly 
sound as she seems to be. 

Mr. Roper will have directions to pay Mr. Elliott for the 
mare when he meets him at Towcester on Tuesday next^ or 
the Duke of Grafton can send a draught by the post to>morrow. 



The Fourth Duke of Grafton, 3 

Just as Mr. Elliott pleases; and will Mr. Elliott be so good 
as to send a line on this point by whoever, .he sends back with 
the pony, upon which the Duke has sent back Mr. Elliott's 
•servant. 

Wd. Lodge, \ past 2, Thursday. 

If Mr. E. prefers taking a chesnut horse of the Duke of 
<jrafton's, Norman, four years old, thoroughbred, he may 
have him at 100 guineas. But as this would be quite a matter 
of fancy or speculation on the part of Mr. E., he might 
ride the horse whenever he chooses, and for as long a time 
.as he likes. 

Wakefield Lodge, | past 2, Thursday. 

His Grace generally had the offer from his 
tenants of anything likely to suit him. 

A farmer on the estate named Parish was 
a good rider, and was employed by his brother 
farmers to show the young horses when ready. 

The Duke saw Parish riding a good-looking 
young Pioneer horse, and he said : 

'' Parish ! '' 

^* Yes, your Grace ? " 

^* You don't bring that horse to show me.'* 

*' No, your Grace.'' 

^^ Why not?" 

^* I don't think he would suit your Grace." 

^* What's the matter?" 

*** Well, your Grace, he has broken his knees." 

B 2 



4 The Fourth Duke of Grafton, 

** Oh dear! I am very sorry, Parish! How 
did it happen ? " 

^* In a very extraordinary way ; he was goings 
down the road, he caught his toe and fell, and 
it was a ' fair fall ' \ '' 

The Duke, greatly amused, said it would not 
suit him ; but he had never heard of a '* fair fall "" 
before. 

The Duke took great pains with young horses, and 
was in the habit of taking out two at a time with 
some of his good riding grooms ; if they showed 
good temper and fine hprsem'anship with a way- 
ward horse the Duke always rewarded them on 
the spot. I must add that the succeeding dukes 
have done their best to provide sires of the best 
blood. The results are only satisfactory when* 
the mares are good ; but there is a great dearth 
of strong, well-bred mares in the country, and 
not much disposition on the part of the farmers 
to breed at the present time. 

In hunting circles the Duke was known as 
the ** Green Duke." Three dukes kept hounds, 
and they were called after the colour of their 
liveries, green, blue, and red. When I first saw 
the noble Duke in the hunting field — to know 
who he was — he was riding the beautiful Bolero, 
by Partisan out of Minuet, by Waxy. It was 



The Fourth Duke of Grafton. 5 

his Grace's habit to be very punctual at the 
meet, 10.30, and to ride round and say '^ Good 
morning *' to all. I am afraid that there are not 
many living now who hunted in those days ; but 
there are some ; two may be mentioned — Mr. 
Joe Bailey and Mr. Richard Shepherd, both 
staunch fox-hunters. 

The Grafton country, at that time, extended 
from Weedon on the north to Creslow on the 
south, Brackley on the west, and Easton Horn 
Wood on the east. A rather large slice on the 
north was, and is now, neutral with the Pytchley, 
and I can bear testimony to the liberal manner 
in which that hunt has acted towards the Grafton 
during my life. On the eastern side, from the 
and of Easton Horn Wood to the Northampton 
and Newport Turnpike, the country is neutral 
with the Oakley. 

In the time of the Duke of whom I am now 
writing, the hounds hunted three days a week 
•only. Foxes were not very plentiful, but ran 
straighter than they do now. With so much 
neutral country, it gives me the greatest pleasure 
to state that from those early days until the 
present I never knew of the slightest friction 
between the Grafton and their neighbours. On 
the contrary, the greatest friendship existed. 



6 The Fourth Duke of Grafton. 

I may relate one little incident, or rather two^ 
for it was double-barrelled : — 

George Beers was in his zenith, hunting a rare 
pack in the Oakley country ; it was in the year 
1838. Carter, a great fox-catcher, doing the 
same in the Grafton country. Both packs were, 
on the eastern side, from the Grafton. Beers 
found a fox one afternoon, a long way down in 
the Chase, and ran him for his life up to Salcey^ 
Forest. He had no sooner reached the forest 
than he found Carter's hounds breaking up his 
fox. Beers behaved better than one might have 
expected, knowing his failing, a hasty temper. 
He said to Carter, *^ I will be even with you, old 
boy, one day.-' 

During the following season the two packs 
were hunting in the same district. Carter's fox 
ran into the Chase ; Beers heard them coming, 
collected his hounds, and set his whippers-in to 
look out. It was not long before they viewed 
Carter's fox ; Beers took up the line, and killed 
him. The latter came up and said to Beers : 
** You have killed my fox ! " 
** Yes, old man, now we are quits ! " 
Since that time nothing of the kind haa 
occurred. Mr. Arkwright, who hunted the Oakley 
for so many years, never made an appointment on* 



The Fourth Duke of Grafton, 7 

that side of the country without writing to the 
Grafton, and the same courtesy was extended by 
them. 

I must now return to the Grafton Field. It 
consisted of a large number of farmers, a few 
resident squires, and a nice sprinkling of parsons,, 
for whom I had the greatest regard, as I think 
one of their great duties on earth is to counte- 
nance and encourage good fellowship. 

The Reverend Lorraine Smith hunted in those 
days, and a finer specimen of an English gentle- 
man, a better dressed man, or a kinder man to 
the poor never lived. Mrs. Lorraine Smith and 
her two daughters, with Miss Stone from Blis- 
worth, were the only ladies who hunted then. 
The Misses Lorraine Smith rode in scarlet bodices 
and grey skirts. The improved side-saddle was 
not then invented to enable a lady to ride over 
fences. The farmers rode good horses in those 
days, and the good mounts they had gave them a 
great taste for riding over the country, and made 
many good horsemen. 

By the time I began — as the ladies say of their 
babies — ** to take notice, '^ the Duke of Grafton 
was in declining years, and I saw very little of 
his Grace in the field. During the last four or 
five years of the Duke^s keeping hounds, Colonel 



8 The Fourth Duke of Grafton. 

George FitzRoy, of Grafton -Regis, took the 
management in the field, and carried out his 
uncle's directions to the satisfaction of everyone. 
No finer horseman, no better sportsman than he 
was, ever lived in the Grafton country. He rode 
three beautiful chesnuts of the Duke's, and the 
same number of his own ; his manners were as 
perfect as his horsemanship ; his judgment was 
good all round ; he was for many years consulted 
by the Grafton Masters, and all the huntsmen 
sang his praises. He planted a covert on a farm 
which he rented of the Duke ; it is called the 
Colonel's Covert to this day, and I hope it will 
stand for all time to the memory of that good 
man. 



CHAPTER II. 

GEORGE CARTER, HUNTSMAN. 

In the year 1833, during my early boyhood, 
Carter was first whipper-in to Ned Rose ; he left 
for a time, and went to the Oakley. Ned was not 
successful, and let the hounds get out of repute, 
so. he gave up. Carter was engaged, and came 
as huntsman, but he found the hounds so bad that 
he went to the Duke after the first season, and 
told his Grace he was afraid he should not give 
satisfaction. The Duke, with his usual urbanity, 
said, " Carter, I am quite satisfied with what you 
have done.'' 

From that time Carter took heart, and made a 
pack that was of the highest character. As I was 
not out of my^ teens before Carter left, I only 
intend to give a few early impressions which are 
imprinted on my mind. 

On leaving school, I went hunting as often as I 
-could get leave from my father to do so. Carter 



lo George Carter^ Huntsman. 

was very fond of boys, and did not mind my riding^ 
after him, but encouraged me. A young gentle- 
man was out on his pony, riding near Carter, one 
day at ManteVs Heath, when a fox came away 
in front of them. 

'' What's that ?'' the boy asked. 

George took off his cap, and, waving it towards 
the fox, he said : 

^' That is him, sir! '^ 

I was one day with the hounds in Whittlebury 
Forest, then full of deer. Carter found a fox^ 
and hounds ran well for a time. We then saw 
hundreds of deer go off Wakefield Lawn into Lady 
Coppice; the hounds went in at the side as the 
deer came in at the top. In a few minutes the 
pack broke up, evety hound seemed to have a 
deer; I never saw such a scrimmage ! The young 
deer fell a prey, and from their cries I always 
thought that they killed three brace. Carter, of 
course, blew his horn. Stevens and Dickens, the 
whippers-in, were at work ; the deer crossed the 
riding at such speed and with such bounds that 
we were obliged to look out. Carter rode quietly 
down the riding. Some of the old hounds came at 
once ; as their numbers increased he walked down 
to Broadmoor pond, and gave them a drink. 
Clarke, the Royal keeper, came upon the scene — 



George Carter ^ Huntsman, i f 

a fine man, but rather lame ; he was uttering^ 
great lamentations, and, mopping his forehead, 
said ruefully :— 

'' You will kill half my deer ! '' 

George and the keeper were great friends, so- 
he replied : 

** My dear fellow, I can't help it, I have hounds 
out to-day which will run anything from an earwig 
to an elephant ! ! ! '* 

Mr. Clarke was a superior man in his position, 
and had been in the forest for many years. The 
keepers had a pack of bloodhounds with which 
to hunt the deer out of the enclosed coppices; 
at times the deer would leave the forest and rui> 
over the country. 

Knowing I was fond of hunting, Clarke told 
me that, when he first came to the forest, there 
were marten cats in it, and that the greatest 
treat I could have with a pack of hounds would 
be to hear them running a marten cat ; the note 
changed, and the music was delightful ; they 
ran the thickets for a time, then went up a tree, 
and no scent was so welcome to a hound as that 
of a marten cat. Being great poachers, they 
were exterminated. Clarke said : ** Our foxes 
are stout ; '* and added that ^4n the old days the 
hounds went to Euston, the Duke of Grafton's 



12 George Carter, Huntsman. 

seat in Suffolk, for a month or two in the season/ 
Foxes were dug out in the forest, and sent down, 
all of them marked. They dug out an old fox 
of great size, and sent him ; the next year they 
dug him out again at Wakefield ! ! and sent him 
down once more. He beat the hounds a second 
time, and, on his return, a sheep-dog caught him 
near Newmarket and killed him^^ — an ignoble 
end. 

I must now hark back to Carter. No huntsman 
ever had a finer voice than he had, and at proper 
times he would use it to some purpose ; his cheer 
was soul- stirring. In a cast, when a hound made 
a good hit, you might have heard him for miles ! 
He always named the hound he was cheering. 

Carter did not ride into the woods when trying. 
He had many friends, and liked a chat. Every 
now and then he would let his hounds hear him 
all over the wood. He said that if hounds were 
used that way they would get on the drag better 
than when hurried along ; and would draw all the 
covert if they knew where he was, and the Field 
would stand with him. He was, one day, which 
happened to be New Year's Day, riding very 
slowly, at the end of Grimscote Heath, talking 
to Mr. Winkles, who said : 

** George, I have heard a fox run down the 



George Carter^ Huntsman. ij 

wood ; I have heard of a fox being found in a 
bird's nest ! " 

*' He must have come out of one/^ said Carter. 

In a minute there was a holloa away, and a fine 
run we had, and killed the fox near Northampton. 
A Scottish gentleman named Wemyss was out : 
I heard him singing the praises of hounds and 
huntsman. 

In 1841, a fox from Grub's Coppice took us 
over Foxley Fields to Tite's Coppice, Green's 
Park, Weedon Wood, skirted Allithorn, over 
Stuchbury, down to Thenford, and through it 
into Middleton field ; he turned to the left over 
the brook, near Willifer's Covert, and up to 
Farthinghoe to some farm buildings, where a 
rat-catcher was busy at his calling. The hounds 
ran up to him, Carter stood still, but the hounds 
could do no more. Carter said, ** You have killed 
my fox ! " etc. 

His tone was so severe that the man was 
frightened, and would not confess. The hounds 
had not been gone more than half-an-hour before 
the farmer came home, and made the rat-catcher 
fetch him the fox out of the loft. Carter forgot 
that honey catches flies better than vinegar ! 

That was a good run imprinted on my mind by 
its merits, and by what I saw that day. A lady 



14 George Carter, Huntsman. 

Tiamed Miss Nellie Holmes was out, topping th(j 
fences like a bird, to the admiration of all ; and 
when we came to the brook, over she went ; I 
went with Carter to the ford. That was the first 
lady whom I saw go over a country. There is 
one certainty about ladies, what one does another 
will do, if it be worth the doing. Very soon 
others were at the game^ and many have played 
it well since. 

Mr. Tom Westley was the ladies' pilot. He 
was a good rider, and rather noted on the turf 
for the num herof horses he ran and the few races 
he won. He did win the Chester Cup with 
Councillor, bred within about two miles of 
Wakefield. On the dam's side was Grafton blood. 

Mr. Osbaldeston, owing to Westley's bad luck, 
called him ^* Worseley." 

This was also the first day I saw Jem Mason 
in the hunting field. I had seen him win steeple- 
chases on Lottery not long before. I have never 
seen a man since who could show off a hunter, or 
a good suit of clothes, to greater advantage. I 
hope I may say more of Jem later on. 

Carter's last season with the Grafton Hounds 
was that of 1841-42. The sport was exceed- 
ingly good throughout, and foxes were caught 
in all directions, which greatly alarmed Lord 



George Carter, Huntsman. 15 

Southampton, who was to succeed the Duke. 
There was one old fox. which Carter could not 
nianage; he ran hirii twice from Seawell Wood, 
but did not "catch him. As; I cannot give a 
correct account of the sport, I pass on to the 
second week in February, 1842. Carter found 
his fox at Titers Coppice, and came away with 
a capital scent over the brook in the bottom, 
pointing for Foxley, hounds bearing to the right 
over the hill about a mile from Green's Norton. 
Mr. Jack Smith, a grandson of the Duke of 
Grafton, and Mr. Richard Shepherd, on two grey 
horses, were having a fine set-to: On the hill 
was my good father, out for the last time to see 
the hounds. As we passed him he called to me 
to go on, saying ** That mare can beat either of 
those grey horses.'' 

I never disobeyed my father's orders, so I called 
upon my mare; she was 16.2, aha in the Stud 
Book. At the first fence I' went up to them, in 
the next field I passed them and jumped a good 
bullfinch first ; I was no sooner over than it 
struck me that my head was far too empty 
to keep matters balanced before two such 
horsemen, so I held back, while these two smart 
young men, in green coats, on grey horses 
with bang tails, were having a real contest. 



1 6 George Carter ^ Huntsman. 

They took their own line, and swung over 
the tops of the hedges, and famously matched 
they were ; we came to three large ploughed fields, 
still going evenly ; then grass again, big fences, 
and so they went to the end, which was at the 
Towcester Lodges, leading up to Easton Neston 
House. Carter soon came up and asked where 
hounds checked. ** Just here," was the reply. 
"He can't have gone over the wall, or up the 
road ; he is about here somewhere,** was his 
remark. He called the hounds back to a large 
hedge near the road. " Here he is ! *' Carter 
said, and hounds killed him. That was the last 
day on which I hunted with Carter. My father, 
who was in a weak state of health, broke a blood- 
vessel, and passed away on the 21st of that month, 
so I did not hunt again that season. 

Mr. Assheton-Smith came and bought the pack 
in March, and Carter went with them. Ned 
Stevens went to the Warwickshire as hunts- 
man, and Will Dickens to Mr. Lowndes as first 
whipper-in. 



CHAPTER III. 

ADAM SHERWOOD, CHIMNEY-SWEEP 

AND SPORTSMAN. 

No history of the Grafton Hunt can be considered 
complete which does not contain a memoir of 
one who was a great celebrity in his day — I mean 
Adam Sherwood, a sweeper of chimneys residing 
at Stony Stratford. He had a great taste for 
fox-hunting, and gained a considerable know- 
ledge of the ** Art and Science.'* Living so near 
to the forest, he obtained a good deal of practice 
in the autumn and spring. He had no great taste 
for cross-country work ; for, truth to tell, his steed 
was not exactly thoroughbred. Adam^s hunting 
costume consisted, most appropriately, of a 
'* chimney-pot '' hat, the altitude of which had been 
considerably lowered by repeated bangs upon the 
top, and large wrinkles on the sides ; a green 
smock-frock, and corduroy continuations com- 

pleted his attire. Adam always wore a smile upon 

c 



1 8 Adam Sherwood, 

his face, and had a twinkle of Humour in his eye, 
which greatly illuminates the countenance, even if 
it be a dark one. He was gifted with a very 
pleasing voice ; and when he used it it was evident 
that it was directed by an intelligent and active 
mind. 

On hunting days he always carried a flask. It 
was the first of the kind I ever saw ; two glass 
bottles welded together at the lower ends and up 
to the necks ; and each mouth was neatly corked ; 
in fact it was very like one of the oil and vinegar 
cruets with the crossed necks. In offering 
refreshment to a friend, he would say, " One side 
gives gin, the other brandy f I am sure it is pure," 
and he would name his wine-merchant. Adam 
became so popular that Mr. Lorraine Smith 
provided him with a coat of arms, which I am 
happy to be able to reproduce. 

When hounds were running in the forest, 
Sherwood was a great authority ; he was very 
correct about a hunted fox, and had learned the 
secret of keeping his mouth shut when he saw a 
fresh one. In the forest foxes were fond of 
running into coverts. When fresh ones appeared, 
and turned back, Adam was very clever at seeing 
them, and when he did, he would make the wood 
ring with his ** view-holloa.*' One day the Duke 



X 



//if /i...^ ..../ .//.../ /, -,- ^,..^. 

/. , '■ ./, /y/^ /y y ./,^,./, 

/'/.... .y //.../.../ ^„/ /r //.^/ 



/^/:  i„//.„,^-. ' 



Adam Sherwood. 19 

heard him, and, going up, asked hiffl if it were 
the hunted fox. ^^ Yes, your Grace, and a very 
black fox, your Grace I '' 

^* Out of compliment to you, Adam,'' said the 
Duke. Here Carter came up. ** Go to this fox, 
•Carter,'' said his Grace, '* this is the hunted fox ; 
Sherwood says it is." After the day's hunting 
was over, Adam was very fond of making remarks 
about it. 

Later on, when George Beers became hunts- 
man, Adam used rather to tread on his corns, by 
telling him where he thought he had done wrong. 
He used very forcible argument, but George was a 
hard nut to crack. On one such occasion it 
became evident that Beers's limit of good temper 
"was getting strained ; Adam, perceiving this, in 
the greatest good humour, said, ^* Ah, well! I 
never in my life knew a huntsman who would 
allow that he was in any fault;" and there the 
conversation changed. 

Adam did not in the least mind talking " shop,'^' 

or taking an order, in the hunting field. He had 

a wonderful trade, and was fond of teUing people 

how many gentlemen's chimneys he swept. I 

once asked him which was his largest house. 

"' Mr. Cavendish's, Thornton Hall," he replied, ^^ it 

has 1 01 chimneys." 

c 2 



20 Adam Sherwood. 

One day Adam had finished his morning's 
work at the Rev. Mr. Drummond's, and was taking 
his money. The reverend gentleman said : 

** You black-coated men earn white money very 
quickly, Adam.'* ** Yes, sir ; we gentlemen who 
wear black coats do earn money very quickly, 
don't we, sir? " 

Adam was fond of a game of whist, at which 
he was a good player. I have met him in Stony 
Stratford of an evening, dressed for his whist 
party. He put on another dress then, a good 
silk hat, carefully brushed, a nice cloth coat^ 
sporting style, and such a waistcoat ! worked 
worsted, with a scarlet ground, and the thickest 
row of foxes' teeth down the front, instead of 
buttons, and nicely spotted all over with foxes' 
heads ; which sumptuous article of apparel was 
worked for him by the Misses Lorraine Smith. 

By dint of hard work and taking care, Sherwood 
made money ; but he sustained a nasty blow in 
losing ^400 by a bank failure. Nevertheless, he 
saved enough to retire upon, and to enable him to 
enjoy that repose in old age which he so well 
deserved. No man in his station stood higher 
in the estimation of all classes than did Adam 
Sherwood. 



Charles, Third Baron Southampton. 

Front a portrait by Sir FrancU Gram. 



CHAPTER IV. 

CHARLES, 
THIRD BARON SOUTHAMPTON, M.F.H. 

Charles, the third Lord Southampton, resided 
many years at Whittlebury, and held high offices 
in the county of Northampton. He was Lord 
Lieutenant of the county, chairman of Quarter 
Sessions, also of the Board of Guardians, and 
was always taking the lead in public business ; 
his able services were greatly appreciated. 

In 1842 Lord Southampton succeeded the 
Duke of Grafton as Master of Hounds, having 
hunted the Quorn for a few seasons. In 1830 
Sir Francis Burdett wrote to Mr. John Moore, 
of the Melton Club : ^* You must come arid see 
the best pack of hounds I have ever seen in 
Leicestershire. The Duke of Rutland has hunted 
twice with us this week, when his own hounds 
have been at their best places ; wonderful sport ; 
tired horses every day ; foxes always killed, or 



22 Charles f Third Baron Southampton. 

accounted for, and made to run to distant points, 
instead of running like rabbits ! '' 

This pack was bought of the Marquis of 
Tavistock ; George Mountford was huntsman^ 
and George Beers second whipper-in. . Will Derry 
joined them as first whipper-in. 

Lord Southampton bought a pack of hounds 
of Mr. Harvey Coombe, which had previously 
been bought from Mr. Osbaldeston, and were all 
bred by that gentleman. They were a very 
variegated pack in colour : Sailor, Saucebox^ 
Syren, Symphony, and Singwell were all white ; 
Challenger, the most vivid yellow and white. 
The noted Merriman, nearly all black, was half- 
faced, and had a '' wall-eye '' ; he was by Furrier^ 
by Yarborough Chaser, and that blood pre- 
dominated in goodness during the twenty years 
Lord Southampton hunted the country. Harry 
Taylor hunted, during the first season, with Tom 
Flint as first, and George Wells as second 
whipper-in. 

Mr, Coombe sent ten hunters to Towcester, with 
the intention of hunting; Will Todd, the then 
late huntsman, went as stud-groom. When Todd 
went to the first meet, all the old hounds knew 
him, and wanted to join him. Mr. Coombe did 
not hunt more than two days. He had a friend 



Charles^ Third Baron Southampton, 23 

named Beech, who intended to hunt regularly on 
Mr. Coombe's horses. This friend was taken ill; 
the doctor was sent for, and prescribed some 
medicine. The patient said ^^ No, I never took 
a dose in my life, and I never will.'' He kept 
his word — and died. On that account the stud 
was sent away, and the visit ended. During the 
first season there was only moderate sport, some 
quick things and kills, but Lord Southampton 
said : ^* They don't catch the stout foxes." 

In the spring of 1843 ^"^ Derry came, and 
two new whippers-in, but no better sport followed 
with the change. In 1844 Lord Southampton 
engaged Ned Rose, who had hunted before 
George Carter for the Duke. Ned had been 
keeping the ^^ Spotted Dog" (the ^^ Talbot") at 
Towcester, and subsequently '^ The Cock " at 
Stony Stratford. His upper proportions had so 
much increased and his legs decreased in size 
that he resembled a ** beer barrel on toothpicks." 
Lord Southampton sent Ned out in July, and 
asked me to go with him to Nun Wood, on the 
estate where I was then living. We went and 
killed a fox, but more by accident than anything 
else. The hounds ran into standing corn, so they 
went home and remained for three weeks. 

Rose accompHshed his cub-hunting with credit ; 



24 Cha7^les^ Third Baron Southampton. 

but cross-country work he could not manage. 
Lord Southampton next engaged an aged man 
named Boxall, and a disappointing season was the 
result. In 1845 J^^k Jones was huntsman, he 
had been first whipper-in. Jack did fairly well ; 
still Lord Southampton was not satisfied. A man 
named Bullen hunted a little during the next 
season, and my lord did more himself. We had 
some very fair sport. 

Butler, from Yorkshire, of great repute, came, 
but he had grown heavy and very fussy. He had 
been, 1 have no doubt, a good man in his day. 
On one occasion, in the month of November, we 
were in Plane Woods ; the hounds were engaged 
with a creeping, miserable little fox for more 
than an hour. My lord came to me and said : 
*^ I will leave this fox, would not you? '^ 

'' No, my lord, I would not," I replied. 
** Twenty couples of hounds and three men to 
be beaten by such- a bad fox, I think, looks 
cowardly; give him an hour more.'' In ten 
minutes this fox started, and ran an eight mile 
point without touching a covert, for the last mile 
the hounds ran in view. 

Butler did not finish the season, and we got 
through without anything better than the above- 
mentioned run. 



Charles^ Third Baron Soxfthampton, 25 

In the spring of 1847 Lord Southampton bought 
a pack of hounds from Lord Shannon, which 
were sold from conscientious motives, the famine 
being at its height in Ireland. Tom Smith was 
huntsman, and came with the pack, bringing a 
whipper-in. Smith was a very clever man, and 
2l good sportsman. The old pack had a strong 
draft made out of them, and the new one was 
served likewise ; a large number of the new 
hounds were kept to prove them in cub-hunting. 

By this time I had made the acquaintance of 
many good sportsmen, and Grafton Fridays 
were very popular with the Bicester men. That 
country was justly renowned for hard riders and 
staunch lovers of the chase. Among them were 
Mr. Dan Webb and his son '* Jack,*' as he called 
him; the late Mr. Sclater-Harrison, of Shelswell; 
Mr. Tom Drake, Sir Henry Peyton, Mr. Hoffmann, 
and Mr. Henry Lambton, the latter just from 
college. It would be hard to find in any country 
such a party ; good riders, and generous supporters 
of the hunt in a pecuniary sense. 

Mn Webb, the senior of the party, kept a 
large stud of first-class hunters, and said that 
^very good run cost him ;^ioo. No man could 
be more particular than he was in buying. He 
measured the horse., for that reason the '* faculty '* 



26 Charles^ Third Barmi Southaynpton, 

who dealt in horseflesh called him '' Tape Webb.'^ 
He rode lovely horses; Liberty, Pigeon, and 
Cats'-meat were those he rode with us. Not 
a particle of ambition had left him ; I never saw 
a man of his years so brilliant. He was noted 
for dry sayings and quaint remarks. One day 
his son rode at a ** double '* with a wide bank in 
the centre, his horse jumped into the second 
ditch and rolled over. The father came past 
and said : *' I will give you a hundred for him 
now, Jack ! " 

Mr. Webb asked me for a horse. I said : ''You 
are so particular." '* Yes," he replied; ''they 
must clean knives and talk French or they are 
not clever enough for me, and no speedy-balls 
required ! " He said he liked our Friday country 
better than any he rode over ; there was less 
brutality about it. That was true enough. With 
the exception of the Sulgrave bottom, and a 
ravine near Blakesley, there is nothing one might 
not get over with a good hunter. The only man 
who attempted the former was the late Sir Charles 
Knightley, who rode at it fence-side, jumped 
half-way over the brook, pitched on to a hard 
road and knocked his front teeth out. 

The late Lord Howth jumped into the ravine 
near Blakesley, and was so much injured that he 



Charles^ Third Baron Southampton, 27 

could not be moved from Whittlebury for a long 
time. The gentlemen I mentioned did the country 
justice ; they knew all the farmers, and were 
always welcome. 

There were some good men of our own in 
those days : Lord Charles FitzRoy, Mr. Rainald 
Knightley, the present Lord Barrington, Mr. 
Stratton, and Mr. Fred Villiers, until he left and 
went to the Pytchley country. Lord Barrington 
jumped the biggest water-jump I ever heard of 
in the country ; it was near Towcester. I went 
with a friend and put the tape over it last summer. 
A horse cannot get over without jumping 27 feet, 
but the depth of the banks are enough to shy 
any horse. I saw it done. I don^t think it 
will be exceeded very soon. In those days 
we were always jumping water. Two lines of 
railway have changed the line foxes used to run 
very much. 

Time passed on, and cub-hunting came for the 
before-mentioned combined pack. Lord Southamp- 
ton would give his orders, which were very strict, but 
would not hunt himself until the middle of October, 
unless he thought things were not going right. The 
huntsman was told at the beginning not to run an 
old fox. ** Get on to cubs, and keep in the woods ; 
by no means go over a country. In the first place 



28 Charles^ Third Baron Southampton. 

the farmers don't want you, and I want my hounds 
to be taught to hunt before they are asked to run 
over a country. You may keep the foxes in, 
and the more you make them rattle about 
the coverts the better." Until the leaf had 
fallen, with the exception of a day or two when 
my lord came out himself, hounds were confined 
to the woods. Smith had a good cub-hunting 
season, and gave satisfaction, as the few runs 
I will give prove ; but he was very heavy, and 
very unlucky in getting falls. Lord Southampton 
lost his services so often, that he was obliged to 
change again. 

During a few seasons, about this time, an 
arrangement was made between the Pytchley 
Masters and the owners of Badby Wood and 
Staverton Wood for Lord Southampton to hunt 
those coverts regularly; consequently we met at 
Badby Toll-bar very frequently. Our runs were 
on many occasions to Shuckburgh, and we were 
very fortunate in not running to ground, and 
very successful in killing our foxes. Those coverts 
always pleased me better to run to than to draw. 
The large fields prevent foxes from leaving. 

Smith had a fine run from Tiffield Allotments, 
taking Astcote Thorns, Grub's Coppice, Lich- 
borough, Farthingstone, to Hen Wood without 



Charles, Third Baron Southampton. 29 

a check; the fox turned to the left, by Little 
Preston, up to Canon's Ashby. Hounds ran 
away from huntsman and whippers-in, but the 
fox beat them. Lord Alford was out, and rode 
splendidly ; he was a ** Jem Mason " amongst 
the gentlemen of those days ; it was a treat to 
watch his elegant figure, and the gre^t composure 
with which he sailed over a country. He would 
smoke a cigar through a run with the greatest 
ease. 

On the last Monday in March, i$48, the 
hounds were on the north side, engaged, as is 
too much the case there, with more than one 
fox. In the afternoon we drew Badby, and a fox 
took us over the Newnham brook. Six men only 
secured a good start ; they were Mr. Knightley, 
and two gentlemen in Scarlet whom I did not 
know, with three farmers in black coats ; we 
passed Newnham on the left, crossed the London 
road, going as straight as a line, just in sight of 
Watford Gorse on the right, and continued in 
the same straight-necked fashion, without going 
into a covert, down to Sulby. This ought to have 
been the best run during Lord Southampton's 
time, but with a heavy huntsman, and hounds none 
the fresher^ the fox, said to be dead tired and 
near at hand, beat us. This is the sort of fox 



1 



30 Charles^ Third Baron Southampton. 

that wants tackling in the morning. People 
talk of hounds racing at night ; how can they 
after the miles of running they have had during 
the day ? We reached home about midnight. 
There was a great oration about it, and next day 
at Northampton Races it was a subject of much 
conversation. I agree with Captain Thompson 
that without a kill there is a disappointment that 
destroys the pleasure to a great extent. I was 
quite sick of jumping. Mr. Knightley, Messrs. 
Cowper, of Famborough, and G. Hitchcock rode 
very well indeed, but very few survived to the end. 
That season Lord Southampton caught his 
foxes well with the bitches. In the spring we 
had a very fast thing from Plumpton to Moreton 
Pinkney, by Ashby Ponds, Ganderton's on the 
right, and over that nice grass Vale as hard as 
they could go, over the brook, and pulled him 
down under an oak tree standing a little way 
out of the ditch near Woodford. There was a 
person out in a green coat, none other than George 
Beers, who was engaged for the next season. 
Lord Southampton told 6eers he had heard that 
he was free with his tongue to the Field. '^ I wish 
you to bear in mind that I shall not allow that 
here ; I reserve that privilege to myself,^' he 
remarked. 



Charles, Third Baron Southampton. 31 

No man knew better how to keep a Field in 
order than did the noble lord. I never saw him 
do an unsportsmanlike action ; he would give his 
Field a good chance, no marshalling, up in a corner, 
with the hounds and covert all down wind, so that 
they could neither hear nor see. A good blowing 
up is much to be preferred^ No nicer man was 
there than Lord Southampton until the first hound 
spoke ; then he was prepared to rebuke the first 
man whom he saw out of his place. 

George Beers commenced his duties as hunts- 
man to the Grafton Hounds in 1848, and he was 
then 48 years of age. Lord Southampton bought 
two of the best horses out of the Oakley stud, which 
was sold when Mr. Magniac gave up, and 
Major Hogg took the hounds. Matters settled 
down, good sport prevailed^ and Beers' s hound 
knowledge, and the condition into which he suc- 
ceeded in getting his pack, placed them in a very 
proud position, and I shall simply say that the sport 
was highly satisfactory;. and pass on. In the last 
week in March we had a brilliant twenty-nine 
minutes from one of the Brad den coverts, over 
some of the finest grass, and ran to ground near 
Grub's Coppice. The fox was in view, and very 
tired, when Lord Southampton came up Beers 
told his lordship. He put his hands upon his hips, 



32 GharleSy Third Baron Southampton. 

drew a long breath, and said, '* Yes, if I had had 
Charles Payn as a huntsman, just that extra con- 
dition he would have put upon the hounds would 
have killed him ! *' 

Ben Morgan, who had been whipping-in to Sir 
Richard Sutton, had been so strongly recommended 
to Lord Southampton, that he, against his own 
inclination, engaged Morgan as huntsman. The 
Oakley gladly took Beers back again, with 
Mr. Arkwright as Master. Morgan was a very 
fine horseman indeed, and thought a great deal too 
much of his own performance. On a good horse it 
was a treat to see him ; but on a horse which he 
did not quite like he was a duffer, and would not 
try. It was soon evident that Lord Southampton 
had spoiled a good whipper-in to make a bad 
huntsman. 

We found a fox at Grimscote Heath, went away 
with a rattle, and everything looked like a good 
run ; Astcote Thorns left on the right, over the 
turnpike, Astcote Village just on the left, a very 
fine line, down the Vale between Dalscote and 
Gay ton. Before this the fox had shown himself 
in front ; again and again he did so, the huntsman 
screamed and blew his horn, the Field, too, was 
wild ; how catching excitement is ! This sort of 
thing continued until hounds reached the bridge 



CharleSj Third Baron Southampton, 33 

crossing the canal into Rothersthorpe field; the 
hounds then had their heads up, and no more 
was made of him. Any yokel can get hounds* 
heads up, but it is more than a clever man can 
do to get"theni down again. I never saw Lord 
Southampton more annoyed^ but he said very 
little. Morgan had one good run afterwards with 
a bag-fox from Bradden, but altogether he was 
unsuccessful. 

At that time there was a farmer living at 
Potcote, named Samuel Ayers, who was a great 
sportsman. There could not be a better fox 
preserver, neither could anyone take more pains 
in the matter. He was born on the Grafton 
Estate, his father being one of the Duke's tenants, 
who made money by breeding hunters. On a 
small farm he kept a few brood mares, and took 
as much trouble with and care of them as a 
shorthorn breeder does of his young stock. Sir 
Justinian I sham, of Lamport, was his chief cus- 
tomer, and gave long prices for many horses. 

One Tuesday morning Mr. Ayers made a very 
clever capture of a fox. From information he 
received — as the policemen always say in court 
— he mounted his pony and galloped over to 
Farthingstone, distant about four miles, where 
he found two men engaged in digging out a fox 

D 



34 CharleSy Third, Baron Southampton, 

from a drain. They had succeeded in getting 
the fox into a narrow compass, but could not 
get him into the bag. He dismounted from his 
pony, and said to them : ** Lend me the bag, 
you don't understand it." Mr. Ayers placed the 
bag in proper form, and told them to poke at 
the other end of the drain ; and into the bag 
Reynard went with a rush. Mr. Ayers tied the 
mouth of the bag up, swung the fox over his 
shoulder, and promptly rode away with it, leaving 
the men looking very blank ! 

Lord Southampton was in Towcester once a 
fortnight at the Board meeting, and generally 
came through the market and had a chat with 
the farmers. I was deputed to ask his lordship 
to hunt this fox the next day at Bradden, where 
the hounds were to meet. I told him that Mr. 
Ayers had bagged a fox, and that he wanted him 
hunted next day, and that he was such a good 
one he would give them some work to catch him. 

" I won't hunt a bag-fox ! " his lordship 
exclaimed ; " my huntsman is wild enough now, 
and if he knows he is hunting a ^ bagman ' I shall 
have to shut him up ! " 

I said, ** My lord, it seems a pity, after all 
Mr. Ayers' trouble, not to hunt him ; Morgan 
need not know. 



Charles^ Third Baron Southampton, 35 

'* Well, if you can manage that I dpn't mind/' 
his lordship replied ; and there it ended for the 
day. 

There is a little place called Bradden Pond, 
with a growth of underwood round it. Thither 
the fox was sent in the morning, with instructions 
to the man in charge to sit on the bank and keep 
the fox until he should hear the crack of a whip. 
When the hounds left the village, and reached the 
hill where there is a fine country before you, I 
said, ** My lord, I will just go and crack my whip 
against the pond.'' 

'* All right," he assented, *^ that will save our 
going down." 

I did so, and was shortly afterwards told by the 

man who had brought the fox that he had gone 

through the water and towards the other side. I 

was soon there, and he was as soon away. My 

hat was up, and the hounds came np very 

quickly; it was good grass; they set to with a 

will and raced away over the hill, leaving Caswell 

on the left. I noticed the best hound in the pack 

(Druid) behind, instead of driving his fox; in the 

"next field he went up to the front, but when he felt 

the scent he stopped abruptly, and no more would 

he do ! The fox, not kno\ying the coverts, avoided 

them, and pointed for Cold Higham ; when parallel 

D 2 



36 CharleSj Third Baron Southampton. 

with Astcote Thorns he crossed the turnpike at 
high pressure, over Astcote and Eastcote field 
down to Banbury Lane. There Lord Southampton 
met me in the road. 

^* This is a good run/' he said warmly, ** and no- 
one has found us out ! " 

** Oh, yes there has, my lord ! '' I meaningly 
replied. 

*'Who?'' he queried. 

** Druid ! " I said, "he is not here, he gave up 
long ago ! '^ 

We then bore to the right under Gay ton, and 
over Blisworth fields, up to -C^urteenhall House, 
where the fox was killed. It was a good nine mile 
point, I suppose. A half-circle made it fourteen 
miles as hounds ran. The horses were pretty well, 
tired. 

Lord Southampton said, ^^ Although it is so 
early, I will go home." 

I do not think the huntsman ever knew that 
the fox was a * bagman ' ! 

On our way home I asked Morgan to touch his 
horn, as I had seen Druid behind. As we went 
over Shoseley Grounds, the old dog, only a four- 
season hunter, came up. He was the tallest 
hound Lord Southampton owned, twenty-six 
inches, and one of the best. That was the run of 



CharleSj Third Baron Southampton. 37 

the season. After this Morgan left, and succeeded 
Stevens in Warwickshire. 

Lord Southampton entertained very largely; 
many of the single noblemen came, and brought 
their hunters to the village of Whittlebury, and 
stayed some time. The present Lord Cork, the 
late Lord Portsmouth, Lord Somerton, Mr. W. 
Craven, a good man over the country, and the 
late Lord Rosslyn. There was always a capital 
party. My lord lectured pretty much, but he was 
very jolly for all that. If it happened that an 
extra dressing fell to my share, he always rode 
home with me afterwards, if he could. I told Lord 
John Scott that I would rather be blown up by 
Lord Southampton than praised by half the 
people ! 



CHAPTER V. 

DICK SIMPSON, HUNTSMAN. 

Dick Simpson came from the Puckeridge ; but 
I think he had spent a year on a farm he had just 
bought before coming. He had the character 
of catching his foxes too quickly. The Grafton 
foxes when they once get upon their legs require 
some catching. He was nick-named ** Dirty 
Dick/' which was a slander, for, beyond carrying 
a dab of mud in the hollow of his ear for two or 
three days, there was nothing to complain of on 
the score of cleanliness. A more civil man there 
could not have been, and he had, as a rule, a 
shy, retiring manner. After a fox fresh found 
he was a demon, with a charming voice, and 
a fine-toned horn. He delighted Mr. Clarke, the 
Royal keeper. ** Hark at him ! '' he would say ; 
** he puts the * demi-semi ' into it ! *' 

Lord Southampton sent him on the first morn- 
ing of cub-hunting sixteen miles to Easton Horn 



Dick Simpson^ Hunts7nan, 39 

Wood, where there was a good litter of cubs, 
Simpson would have killed the lot, he thought, 
for about fox catching he really had nothing to 
learn. With Bob Ward as head whipper-in, and 
Tom Carr as second, it was very bad for foxes. 
In all my time I only knew three men with us 
who could catch woodland foxes satisfactorily ; 
namely, George Beers, Dick Simpson, and Frank 
Beers. 

Cub-hunting went well. Lord Southampton 
never advertised before the middle of November., 
On the last Friday of cub-hunting we were at 
Haversham Wood with twenty couples of bitches. 
We found a fo:< at the top end of the wood, near 
Mr. William Scott's farm (he was a rare good 
sportsman), and a lively find it was ! Dick 
cheered, hounds came together and went away 
like- a flock of pigeons down to the farmhouse, 
over those large grass fields and through the 
corner of Gayhurst Wood, away over the road 
and Stoke fields into Stoke Park. Dick had 
stopped cheering, as he liked to do at starting : 
he said it made the fox run straight. We took 
the rides nearly up to the hummocky field — which 
is well known for a teazer to a horse which gallops 
with a straight knee — and down to the bridle-gate 
at the comer of the forest, the hounds a good field 



40 Dick Simpson^ Huntsman. 

before the horses. The fox rah through an old stone 
pit and went into tlie riding, and there he kept, 
fcrossed the ** Bull-Head *' road over the lawn to the 
left of the house, into the riding again, hounds gain- 
ing ground on us. The fox then went into Quinton 
field, Dick blew his horn ; there was not a creature 
to be seen. He then went aboiit half-way between 
Quinton and Preston Park Wood, down to the 
brook on the left of the Deanery ; straight up the 
hill to the Newport turnpike, past the farmhouses 
on the left, and on to Houghton field. We could 
not gain an inch ! We were then on the steeple- 
chase field (where I saw Captain Beecher win on 
Vivian). There are ox-fences there. We had not 
had much jumping so far, and the fences were so 
large that we were obliged to jump timber, which 
I very greatly disliked unless it were covered 
with moss and lay away from me. However, we 
were obliged to have it ; the pack kept on, not a 
hound fell out of the ranks, and they sang away 
as only those hounds could, through the Furrier 
blood. They crossed the turnpike road and 
entered the meadows, and went for Northampton, 
ran straight to the mill, and 6n t6 the river-bank, 
joining the town ; there they checked, and cast 
left-handed along the bank, going to the right to a 
garden in the centre of which was a bed of winter 



Dick Simp soft y Muktsman. 41 

greens. A bitch called Mischief made a dash 
into them, out bolted the fox, her note called 
attention, and hounds tort his jacket. 

It never fell to my lot to see a more complete 
chase than that. A very stout fox, and such a 
pack of hounds ! They fan together all the way in 
the most perfect manner. Simpson remarked that 
he thought after that breathing they would please 
Lord Southampton on the next Monday ; and he 
would look up his whippers-in and go home. 
About two miles on our way we met Bob Ward ; 
how frequently it happens that good runs are 
missed from want of attention. The run was 
eleven miles from the place where we found, by 
the map ; there was not a check the whole way, 
and not a hound tailed. I do not suppose a fox 
will ever run like that again, and his running the 
ridings must have been caused by the state of 
alarm he was in from the pressure put upon 
him at starting. Salcey Forest covers fifteen 
hundred acres, and is a good home for foxes. The 
forester, Mr. Gulliver, and his uncle who preceded 
him, have always done their very best for the 
Grafton Hunt. 

We had as visitors in the country Lord and 
Lady Strathmore. His lordship was a good man 
between the flags, on the Switcher, but not very 



42 Dick Simpson, Huntsman. 

good to hounds. Lord Southampton had a good 
run from Plumpton, away by Woodend, with 
Blakesley on the left, down the Vale to Kingthorn 
Wood, in the greatest of all hurries. The fox 
pointed for Towcester. but bore to the right 
over Handley and Abthorpe field, hounds never 
checking; and they ran past Barford's barn and 
came up with their fox in the road. There the 
hounds caught sight of him, and gained ground 
all the way to Bucknells. Lady Strathmore was 
going in the front throughout, on a lovely chesnut 
horse, when the hounds went into the covert. In 
my lady went, into a dense thicket, it was a wonder 
that she was not ptrfted of? ; but no ! they killed 
the fox just inside, and she held the horse for the 
man who took the fox away from the hounds. 
She was the second lady I had seen go to hounds, 
and her brilliant riding accorded well with her 
elegant and beautiful person. During the next 
year we heard the sad news that Lady Strathmore 
had died abroad, having taken cold from sitting 
on damp ground. 

Sport was very good throughout the season^ 
Simpson hunting the woodlands with a part of the 
open country two days a week. In the following 
season a change took place. Mr. Lowndes gave 
up the top country, and Went into WarwickshireL 



Dick Simpson^ Huntsman, 43 

Lord Southampton then hunted the Grafton 
country in its entirety, continuing to hunt the 
Monday and Friday country as before; Simpson 
hunting the Vale of Aylesbury on Wednesday, 
the home woodlands on Thursday, and the upper 
country, with the Yardley Chase side, on alternate 
Saturdays. No cub-hunting was done in the new 
district. 

The great opening day was at Creslow, by 
invitation from Mr. Rowland, which brought 
together the most aristocratic Field I ever saw 
in the absence of Royalty. Many of Lord 
Southampton's friends from Melton w^ere there : 
Lord Gardner, Mr. Little-Gilmour, and Mr. Coke— 
" Billy *' Coke, as he w^as called — ^all fine riders, 
Mrs. Jack Villiers, a large attendance from 
London, about twenty Oxonians, and sportsmen 
of all classes from miles round. A finer field of 
horses I never saw. It was a pretty sight to 
see the party walk along the top of the ** Great 
Ground," 365 acres, to the covert, which is not 
large, but pretty thick, and never without foxes 
on the opening day. 

A litter of cubs was soon on the move, one of 
which fell a victim in a double hedge. Another 
was found, and went away on the Whitchurch 
side, rather downhill. We soon came to a tall 



44 Dick Simpson^ Huntsman. 

hedge with long upward growers, and a drop. 
The Oxonians advanced in a body and took 
possession. A most amusing scene ensued ; some 
of their horses refused, others colHded, and a great 
proportion fell. Most of the Field left. Mr. John 
Roper, of Grafton, was watching the fun, when 
Lord Southampton came up and asked him what 
he was doing so far from home. **My lord, I am 
watching these young gentlemen taking their 
degrees,*' he replied. In time they crossed and 
we followed. One of those large doubles which 
necessitate a double stile came in front ; there 
we found a young gentleman standing over his 
"horse, which had its head on one stile and hind 
quarters on the other. Mr. Roper observed, 
** This is the last degree ! " A cut with the whip 
made the horse plunge and get up. The day 
ended as it began, with cub-hunting. 

Simpson was so good in the woods that the 
foxes in Salcey Forest and Yardley Chase had a 
bad time of it. The late Colonel FitzRoy was 
very fond of going there, and gave directions 
when required. Lord Southampton rarely hunting 
on that side. On one occasion we met at 
Cowper's Oak. Finding a fox handy to it, the 
hounds were called together, and ran him for an 
hour from one side of the Chase to the other. 



Dick Simpson^, Huntsman. 45 

After doing all he could the fox was killed. 
Simpson went to the Colonel and said : 

 * It is a pretty good scent, sir ; I think we can 
catch another/' 

*^ Very well/' was the reply, *'go where you 
please/' 

** I think we will go down to the bottom end of 
the Chase, ^ir ; the wind is right to bring us 
towards home." 

Accordingly we mounted our second horses and 
trotted down to Old Pond Close; there we found one 
of the brightest coloured foxes I ever saw. Dick 
viewed him away. That horn of his and that 
'* view hpUoa" he could give was answered by the 
hounds, and to work they went with a dash. 
Hounds took the fox through some of the large 
quarters, when he made a turn right-handed out 
into the fields, back to the starting point ; but 
no resting place found he there, and away he 
went down to Warrington Toll-bar, turned to the 
right, and set his head straight down wind, leaving 
all the coverts untouched. He ran a good line of 
country, Salcey being hi^ point if he could reach 
it ; Weston Underwood was on his left and 
Ravenstone on his right ; then over Cheney 
farm, where we found oifrselves on large grass 
fields, the dog hounds roinped along. We had 



4-6 Dick Simpson^ Huntsman, 

a view at him a field in front, Horton Wood on 
the right and hounds running their hardest ; then 
they came to a check, Simpson was on the left, and 
I on the right, and we looked everywhere. Dick 
would not move, and as we could see well in front, 
we thought the fox had lain down in the ditch. A 
signal from Simpson caused me to look round ; 
there he was holding the fox up — dead ! It 
was evident he had run along the hedge side, 
returned over his foil, and then turned out into the 
field and died. It was one of the finest foxes I 
ever saw, and the brightest colour, and I never 
witnessed such an incident before or since. 

That season Simpson killed sixteen and a half 
brace of foxes in Salcey and Yardley Chase. 

George Beers had gone back to the Oakley, 
to a pack of hounds which had so much deterio- 
rated as the result of bad management that it 
took Mr. Arkwright and him three years to work 
them up again; consequently they did not hunt 
the Chase much at that time. 

I must now, before I proceed further with 
the sport, relate the manner in which Lord 
Southampton acted in a great pestilence which 
visited Towcester and Silverstone. When travel- 
ling abroad and staying in Cairo Lady Southampton 
was taken ill with small-pox, which greatly 



Dick Simpson^ Huntsman, 47 

alarmed my lord. In a few days he was also 
seized, and so severe was his attack that a 
coffin was placed under his bed and remained 
there for days. However, his lordship began. to 
mend, and told his attendants that he should not 
want the coffin ! I had this from my lord's own 
lips. Happily both recovered, but they carried 
the marks for life. Having passed through such 
a trial. Lord Southampton always felt great 
sympathy for sick people. 

The cholera visited the above-named places 
in the month of August, 1854, and raged to a 
fearful extent. One Tuesday I met Lord South- 
ampton, in Towcester; he said, ** I have just 
left Silverstone, the people are dying very 
fast, the doctor will be dead before night '* — and 
it was so. On the Thursday following his 
lordship came down to Towcester and went into 
the very worst part of the town, where gipsies, 
tramps, and the vary poorest lived. He went 
into their filthy dwellings, and carried their straw 
beds, chairs, and tables outside, placing them in 
a great heap, and set lire to them ! There was 
the greatest excitement in the place, and it was 
feared the town would be burned down. The 
articles destroyed were replaced by his lordship, 
all necessaries were provided, and happily the 



48 Dick Simpson^ Huntsman. 

plague was stayed. A more noble-hearted thing 
a man could not have done. Seventy-two people 
died in Towcester, and sixty in Silverstone. 

Lord Southamptoa-'s kindness had long been 
appreciated by his neighbours; in 1850 they had 
presented him with a testimonial, which took the 
form of a magnificent silver centrepiece represent- 
ing an oak tree, which stood in the park near 
his lordship's house, with deer underneath it. It 
would have been even larger if the subscriptions 
had not been limited by his own request. 

I am now come to Simpson's last season. He 
had such a desire to return to his farm that 
he begged his master to let him go; but Lord 
Southampton was so pleased vinth him and his 
great talent that he much regretted that Simpson 
could not remain. 

The best run over the Vale took place from 
Christmas Gorse. The blackest old vixen I ever 
saw went away at the bottom. 1 holloaed, and 
the dog hounds were away directly, ran up to 
Mains Hill Farm parallel with the Aylesbury 
turnpike for some distance, pointing for Creslow ; 
a man breaking, stones turning the fox to the 
right, he then dropped into one of the finest 
valleys that can be found. Hounds kept one 
steady but rapid pace for miles, ran under the 



Dick Simpson; Huntsman. 49 

Durham hill past Mr: Tomb's house left-handed 
up to Waddesdon cross roads. Looking over the 
road I saw the fox roll into the ditch. Simpson 
did not get a start, but Lord Southampton and 
he came up one of the roads and we killed the 
fox after fifty minutes, without the hounds being 
touched. The fox did not cross one ploughed 
field. Mr. Coke was out and; saw it capitally, 
and declared that he had never seen a better run 
in Leicestershire. 

On another occasion we had a very fast run 
in the Vale. Dick handled his fox in thirty-five 
minutes ; he dismounted to take him away, his 
horse then lay down and stretched himself out, 
upon which someone went near to see what was 
the matter, but Simpson called out to him to let 
him lie, adding " He will be all right when he has 
got his wind.'' He was, and went home very well. 

Here I may fittingly introduce some poetry 
which appeared about this time in Bell's Life in 
London. 

A DODGING RHYME AND RUN WITH LORD 
SOUTHAMPTON'S HOUNDS. 

'Twas about half-past six when Tom knocked at my door. 
" I've brought your hot water, Sir — ist there anything more ? 
The mare is all right; sir — Fve got Out the *Bugg>%' 
There's a bit of a frost, and its rayther lo^eioggy.'' 

E 



50 Dick Simpson, Huntsman, 

Last night I was late, and a Uetle bit merry — 

I've just cut my chin — " botheration ! " the sherry. 

Took a cup of hot coffee, ate a rasher of bacon, 

And feel fresh as paint, tho' Fd been rather shaken. 

" Now Tom, bring my boots, and have the mare ready, 

I'll take plenty of time, and drive her up steady. 

Buckle my spurs on — pull them up tight, 

I'll smoke a cigar — quick, bring me a light ! " 

In my " Buggy *' I settle — turn her head towards ** Lunnun,*' 

I've just forty minutes, but " Topsy's " a " rum 'un." 

Eight miles to the station, thro* Shepherd's Bush Gate — 

At the Notting Hill Pike, I fancy I'm late. 

^' Come, go along Topsy — Tom, look out for the time — " 

In the New Road I am pounded — I can't make it rhyme. 

I send her along — " Ya, ha, ha, hoo — come give us some 

room," 
I see it's all right, there goes Anderson's " Broom." 
I gave Topsy a pull — the roads were so greasy — 
The station I eight minutes to spare, she's done it quite easy. 
Now I'm all right for time, I don't care a mag. 
Take her home quiet, and just hand me my bag. 
The platform looks gay, with a few men in pink, 
The Berkhampstead smash don't make them shrink. 
Some men there are here, who, by Providence spared. 
How nearly the fate of poor Blavey they shared ! 
By the rail, for six months, a " tenner's " the wack, 
But " Topsy " give me for a safe " cover hack." 
Her description I'll give, and I'm sure you won't fail 
To take '* Topsy ''for choice when matched with the rail. 
Her colour is chesnut, her height fourteen " han," 
With a head like a deer, and a neck like a swan, 
Her girth is so deep, and her shoulders so strong. 
Her hips they stand high, and her haunches are long ; 
Her legs are like iron, and feet that won't fail. 
She is just six year old — ^with grey hair in her tail. 



Dick Simpson, Huntsman, 51 

With courage so good, for she's thorough bred quite, 

Not a blemish about her, she is all over right. 

As a hack, or in " leather," I am not talking faction, 

Her temper's so good, with the finest of action. 

She has carried a lady, and will stand at a door, 

She has taken out physic, and thought it a " bore." 

Such distance I've driven, till some have cried shame, 

She has never been sick, nor was ever known lame. 

She cost under a score, but one hundred's the price, 

If anyone wants her — apply to George Rice. 

The bell has just rung, come, jump into the train. 

The fog clears away, 'tis beginning to rain, 

Altho' cover'd up warm, one comfort I lack — 

■** Leighton Station's " too far for my little blood hack. 

In a soft padded carriage, with elbows quite roomy. 

Six fellows now settle, and look rather gloomy. 

'Tis not to be wonder'd, for only last week. 

The " cover hack " bolted — my eye, what a squeak ! 

Still undaunted, the men to Aston Abbots they post. 

And those who were absent, a good run they lost. 

Baron Rothschild's pack, with Tom Ball, what a treat, 

Two hours they had, and all were dead beat. 

We talked of this run, to drive away sorrow, 

It's a good meet to-day — where is it to-morrow ? 

^* Mentmore," says one — " No ! I think it is Hogstone; " 

*' That's right," says a third—" Where's Mr. Grimstone? " 

We are off now for Leighton, but not in high fettle, 

I felt quite alarmed at the tale of George Brettle ; 

He points to the spot, where, all smother'd in steam, 

Lay the wreck of the rail, it seems like a dream. 

The shrieks of the people, the steam it kept humming. 

And then came the cry — " There s another train coming !! ! " 

In the tunnel 'tis heard, what danger they fear. 

It is nearer approaching — 'tis coming quite near. 



E 2 



i 



52 Dick Simpson, Himtsvian, 

What power on earth could this terror assuage ? 

At the mouth of the tunnel there stood one John Page. 

Such courage^ and foresight, did he attain, 

That he signall'd the driver, who soon stopped the train t 

His presence of mind, and conduct so brave, 

What destruction and sorrow did this worthy man save 1 



The passengers all, they must regard him, 
The Company surely well will reward him I 

And now we reach Leighton, each one with a smile. 
Felt pleasure in having to gallop ten' mile ; 
We call at " The Castle," each one took his " mixture,"" 
Then canter away to " Winslow " — ^^he fixture. 

** The meet" was a large one, and brilliant the scene. 
Twenty couple of hounds, so even and clean ; 
Six men, all in scarlet, with quick little Simpson, 
And just in the rear stood noble Southampton. 
The men were so neat, and all so well mounted — 
One hundred and fifty, the field must have counted. 
Beside second horsemen, seen straggling about. 
Who can but admit this a Princely turn-out ! 
Amongst them, I see Grafton's eldest son, Euston ; 
Captain Lowndes was not there, neither was Grimstone. 
Percy Barrington was, though, and so was Joe Bailey, 
With Elliott and Anderson, and the bold Maurice Mowbray^ 
Hervie Farquar, and FitzRoy, Smith, Duncan, and Lev)% 
Cooke, and Jackson, were out, with that rum little Dancey, 
Some *• fellows " from Oxford, with Symonds, and ToUit ; 
Harry Poole, he was there, but not his friend Quallett 
Then galloping up on a pony so queer, 
I could scarcely believe him, the son of a peer ! 
His hunter a pony, his "breeches " were "trousers,* 
He gammon'd a parson, and kicked up a row, sirs. 



n 



Dick Simpson, Huntsman^ 53 

Many others were there, well worthy of mention, 
But already I have taken too much your attention. 

So we trot to a gorse to pay Charley a visit 
^/ Hi — in 1 Yooi over there ? " How quick they are in it — '^ 
** Hoic ! hoic ! ybic ! push him about!'* 
In a minute we are told that Reynard is out. 
On to Addington Gorse, His Lordship took — \ '. 
Such a place for a find, below, sirs, the brook. 
Hounds scarcely in cover, when a whimper was^ heard ; 
Charley made up his mind, and was off like a bird ! ) 

In the distance is heard, ** Tally ho ! tally ho ! " 
And the cover it echoes, " Hoic, hallo I hoic, hallo ! " 
Like lightning they fie^, the brook is in sight. 
The landing is good; and your hat is all right : 
There, Elliott's gone over, and next Hervie Farquar, 
Cooke and Poole jumped the " Ford J' and so did "The 
Doctor."  ' ! 

The Oxford division they all have a shy. 
Some got a ducking, and others kept dry. 
The country's so good, they went such a pace, 
Each hound, with each other, contending a race; 
For near twenty minutes a " cracker " they went, 
When a road and " Hallo ! " — it lost them the scent ; 
My Lord tried his best, and with Simpson's assistance. 
Poor Charley he beat them, and gave them a distance. 
^* Second horses" are called for, more than one shook his tail, 
My second " Brown Brandy," His Lordship's " Pale Ale ! " 

Back to Winslow, the Spinney we then went to draw, 

I'll tell all that followed, and all that I saw ; 

Such a beautiful home for poor Reynard to dwell in, 

Such echo I hear, from Simpson's voice swelling; " 

A whimper, a challenge, — " Yooi I .have at him ! " I hear— 

'Twas a three-legged fox, and they Chopp'd him — *'0h! dear.'' 



A 



^4 Dick Simpson, Huntsman. 

Poor Simpson looked frightened, Lord Southampton astounded. 

That traps to catch foxes, in this country abounded ! 

'Twas a sorry " Who-oop ! " — Fitz Oldacre gave it ! — 

The hounds ate the fox, and there I must lave it ! 

'Twas now three o'clock, but to show sport determined, 

My Lord took his pack to Pilch Cover and found him ; 

They ran him six miles, such a clipping good burst, 

" Poor Pug*' just in time to reach his home first — 

Safe 1 Now for our own homes, — ^bother the " Rails," — 

Believe me to be, out of place, very faithfully yours, 

(Part Proprietor) and late Huntsman to the Mangey 

Tails ! 
Master is gone abroad, 

I said one day to Dick ** You have a good 
pack out/* He replied ** Yes^ sir, there is not 
a hound which will not do her part, and there is 
not one that can beat the leading hounds two 
lengths. It is the head of the pack, sir, that is 
responsible for all the checks. If my lord sees 
a hound four lengths before the leading hounds 
for any distance, that hound has to go ; you 
must have your chase-hounds steady." 

At the end of the season Simpson left and 
returned to his farm ; but he was not destined 
to enjoy himself in his own way for long, as 
Lord Henry Bentingk sought him out and offered 
him the largest salary that ever was heard of. 
He hunted the Burton until he got farm-sick 
again, then ended his most prosperous career 



Dick Simpson, Huntsman, 55 

as a huntsman. Bob Ward and Simpson were 
great friends. It happened that the former had 
a bad fall and was unable to hunt, and Dick 
packed up his bag, and went and hunted the 
'* Hertfordshire '* until Bob recovered. 



A 



CHAPTER VI. 

GEORGE BEERS, HUNTSMAN. 

AfTKR Dick Simpson left Lord Southampton 
kept the same whippers-in, and took his old 
servant George Beers back from the Oakley, 
Mr, Arkwright taking the horn there and hunting 
most successfully for many years. Beers felt 
quite at home again at Whittlebury, and remained 
to the end of his lordship's reign. 

About the third day in cub-hunting the hounds 
went to Stowe Ridings at five o'clock. It was 
very foggy but we began, found directly, ran the 
whole length of those beautiful coverts and 
crossed over to the other side. There was no 
doubt about what the bitches were going to do 
provided the fox w*ould only keep above ground. 
When Reynard reached the top again he went 
St might across the grass fields at Luffield Abbey, 
This made matters worse, as hounds went like a 
flock of pigeons, entered the new park at Whittle- 



George Beers. 



George BeerSj Huntsman, 57. 

bury, swung him round that into the garden at 
the mansion, and killed him under the dining- 
room windows. '* Fetch him out, George,'^ I 
said ; '* I believe my lord is at home/* In a 
minute I knew he was, and saw my lady also, 
one peeping out on each side of the bedroom 
window blind. George threw the fox up on to 
\ht lawn. We went and killed another and were 
home at eight o'clock. 

Lord Southampton said :* His- hounds would 
not let him have his sleep out ! ' 

Beers was delighted with the Vale, and had 
very good sport. There were some hard men 
out with US: Mr. William Levi, Mr. Duncan, 
Jem Mason settled there; Mr. Henry Pike, 
George Price, Mowbray Morris, Poole Ward, 
and others, with Mr. Henry Poole, of Saville 
Row, who made Jem as smart as you please 
with his hunting coats. It took several men to 
dress Jem ; one made the feet of his boots, 
another the legs, and a third the tops ! no one 
could grudge him anything because he did 
everything justice. 

^ Mrs. Villiers was one of the most popular 
ladies of those days on account of her rank, 
her riding, and noble character. Her husband 
died a young man, and things in the shape of 



58 George Beers, Huntsman. 

" \ . 

bills were not settled. She went abroad and 
no one heard anything of her until she had saved 
enough to pay all. She then went to Melton, 
paid everyone, and made such an impression there 
that the next time it was known that she was 
returning thither they rang the church bells ! 
This good lady had been troubled to find a 
good pilot, so Jem Mason showed her the way 
in the best of form, a most popular action on his 
part. 

It would be only travelling over the same 
ground to recount the runs in the Vale, so I 
will write of what Lord Southampton had been 
doing. He had dressed me down pretty much, 
and one day, by way of making amends, he said 
to me : 

" Take my horn ! '' I replied *Mt is of no use 
to me, my lord, I can't blow it ! '' 

We had famous sport on the Whistley side, 
Mr. Webb senior, Mr. Drake, Mr. Hervie Far- 
quhar, and others before mentioned had been very 
constant in attendance. We had a fine run from 
Whistley to Thenford and killed ; Mr. Webb was 
riding a favourite horse named Liberty. *^ Are you 
sending the old horse home?*' I asked. *^Yes,'' 
he replied, ** he cannot stand two wet shirts in one 
day.'' ' 



George Beers, Huntsman, 59 

In the month of March we had a very heavy fall 
of snow without frost. Then came a gale from the 
north and blew all the snow off the land into the 
hedges; the wind then turned into the south-west 
and a rapid thaw began. I took the chance, and 
went to Astwell Mill and found master and pack at 
the meet. My lord asked me if it would do. I, of 
course, said *^ Yes." Will Derry was once asked 
the same question on a hard morning ; his reply 
was, ** I see no danger whatsomedever ! " 

** But how about this snow?'' his lordship 
anxiously inquired. ** We must keep out of that,'^ 
I said emphatically. 

Lord Southampton had a friend with him who 
he was anxious should see his hounds. 

*' I should hunt certainly,'' I said, '* and go to 
Allithorn ; if the hounds beat us we must find 
them and go home." 

We went, and I was thinking I had made myself 
responsible, and should * catch it ' if things went 
wrong. We drew the covert straight up wind, 
found at the top end and away hounds went ; no 
mistake about it I could see. They ran up wind 
leaving Sulgrave on the right, pointing for Then- 
ford, a good mile ahead of me. I had the good 
luck to see the hounds turn in the distance. 
Thinking that the fox would make another bend 



6o George Beers, Huntsman. 

and come down to me I turned, for which there 
were two reasons : one was that they would very 
likely sink the wind, and the other that there was 
a good track without jumping. Every hound could 
be heard, the * young ladies * were singing away at 
the head, and the Furrier blood beating time — 
such a cry ! They were then pointing for Steane 
Park, but as luck would have it they turned 
again and came down to me ; then going straight 
again, leaving Radstone on the «left, up to 
Bartlett's long covert, through the bottom end 
and down to Brackley turnpike pointing for 
Whitfield Coppice. I began to think I ought to 
see the fox, but could not do so as he made for 
a long covert on the opposite hill, Turweston 
Furze. It occurred to me that if I could reach 
the end of that he ought to be visible. I was 
there as soon as might be, but the hounds 
were in the grass lane at the top; they had run 
the rackway and riding sill the way and out at 
the gate, when they hit the line through the 
hedge. Looking forward about three-quarters of 
the way down the field — ^a long one — I saw the 
fox " done to a turn.'' I jumped the hedge, and 
on looking again he was not to be seen. Down 
this fallow field the pack ran ; when they neared 
the place where I had seen the fox they checked. 



George Beers, Huntsman, 6i 

I stood still, and in a minute heard a voice saying 
in angry tones : — 

" If you would stay at home I could catch 
a fox ! it is impossible when you are out.'* 

Turning in the saddle I said, *^ My lord, I 
saw the fox dead tired, just here,'' turning again 
and pointing and looking to the spot ; there lay 
' Master Charles,' the sun shining upon him, he 
looked beautiful! I went on, ** my lord, we shall 
kill this fox." 

** Yes," his lordship rejoined, *^ if anyone can 
say a disagreeable thing, it is yourself." 

** I am sure. we shall catch him," I emphatically 
replied. 

** Hold your tongue, do!" was the sharp 
rejoinder. 

This did not tend to imend matters,* but as his 
lordship came nearer, I $aid, ** What do you think 
of this^ my lord ? " showing him the fox. 

'* Oh dear," he exclaimed, quite taken aback, 
'' what shall I do ? " 

*' Stand still, ray lord/' was all my reply. 

^*They will never, qgiftch him !" his lordship 
cried excitedly. 

'' Pray stand still, ,my lord," I entreated, adding 
reassuringly, ** they will find him." 

While this conversation was passing the hounds 



62 George Beers, Huntsman, 

had gone along the fence at the bottom of the 
field, and turned up the other side, still keeping 
by the fence, until they arrived opposite the place 
where they had checked. They had spread them- 
selves in a perfect line about a yard apart, and 
were then coming straight for us with every nose 
down ; they might well have been compared to a 
wave on the seashore ; the fox did not rise, and in 
a second he was lost to view under a heap of 
hounds which could have been covered with a 
cast-net. 

There was a study for a huntsman ! particularly 
for one who thinks it his business to interfere 
with hounds. 

As a south-west wind blew across the line, the 
hounds ran the scent about twenty feet from the 
line the fox had travelled. How often have I 
heard huntsmen say, ** He must have dropped into 
the earth," when in all probability he has only lain 
down. A tired fox will not get up unless he is 
obliged to do so. 

Bob came up and gave the fox to the hounds. 
All troubles ceased, and I had to tell my lord 
where they had gone during a very pleasant ride 
home. I inquired where the friend was. '^ Oh ! " 
answered his lordship, ** the last I heard of him, 
he was in a snowdrift ! " 



George Beer Sj Huntsman. 63 

This fox was killed in the corner field of Oxford- 
shire, joining Northamptonshire on the north, and 
Buckinghamshire on the east side. Lord South- 
ampton often surprised his huntsman by appearing 
unexpectedly. 

His lordship possessed an extraordinary facility 
for getting to the end of a. run without much 
jumping. He rode rather small horses for a six- 
teen stone man ; knowing the country thoroughly, 
and being such a good judge of what hounds 
were doing, he seemed to see everything that 
passed. 

Up to this time one hundred couples of hounds 
had been bought. An advertisement appeared in 
1850 in BelVs Life that the Badminton pack was 
to be reduced. Of these hounds Lord Southamp- 
ton bought, I believe, thirty 7three couples. Beers 
brought them into condition with the pack, and 
took them cub-hunting* . They did not please 
George at all. He was ask^ed by his master what 
he thought of them. His, reply was /that they 
were of no use in the W9,0(Js, and he did not 
think they were any good in the open.' Of course, 
this was a great disappointment to the purchaser. 
It was, therefore, decided to .send them out alone, 
to see if they could c^^^cb a fox. I was asked 
to go with them ; the result was, however, very 



64 George Beers, Huntsman. 

discouraging. Beers liiade his report, my lord 
said he would send for Will Long to come 
and catch a fox with them ; but nothing would 
move our huntsman. It ended in seven and 
a half couples being kept and the others sent 
away. There was artiongst them one of the 
best-looking hounds I ever saw, a beautifully- 
coloured dog named Posthumous. This hound 
thought his part wis to ^^ do the ornamental,'' 
so he used never to leave the huntsman ; he was 
a three-season hunter. Where there is a pack of 
hounds which is to be carried on the owners do 
"not part with anything for its good deeds. 

Things settled down, and sport was enjoyed 
when there was any opportunity of obtaining it. 
Lord Southampton was most successful on the 
north side of the country. There was a very fine 
run from Charwelton leaving Byfield on the left, 
on to Boddington, also on the left, and over 
Priors Marston field up to. Shuckborough ; hounds 
ran very hard and there was much 'grief/ but 
the fox was killed handsomely. Mr. Knightley 
and Mr. George Hitdifcock had a great set-to. 
Lord Southampton ga^e the latter the brush. 

Towards the end of the season Lord South- 
ampton said he should like to have a day in 
Whittlebury Forest witfc the dog hounds, and 



George Beers, Huntsman, 65 

asked me if I thought he could catch a fox. 
I replied : 

^' No doubt you can, my lord, with a good 
scent; Beers has given the foxes in the forest 
such a drilling, and such a thinning, that they 
will run for their lives.'* 

His lordship enquired where he should begin ; 
I suggested Porter's Wood, about a mile from 
the large coverts, adding, ** They will open the fox's 
mouth if they can get away with him, he will 
then run the plains and the rides/' The forest 
was then nearly double its present size. 

The fixture was .Whittlebury Green. It was 
a perfect hunting morning as luck would have 
it, and the hounds were taken to Porter's Wood. 
A fox was found and ran rather well round the 
wood and out at the top towards Whittlebury ; he 
was an enormous old fox, the hounds did just 
what I wanted them to do ; they raced over three 
fields and across the centre of Sholebrook Lawn, 
into the jungle, where, having no peace allowed 
him, he took to the rides and plains. 

His lordship was very happy ! I was glad to 
see such a good prospect, knowing well what 
would happen if we did not succeed. On we 
went, no sign of a check, and we made a 
seven-mile point and reached the outside of the 



/ 



66 George Beers, Huntsman. 

forest at Shrob near Stony Stratford. Instead 
of going away he turned right-handed into the 
Hanger division of the forest, and on hounds raced 
in gallant style through some splendid ridings, 
first-rate places in which to see dog hounds carry 
a good head. Our horses were going none the 
better now, and I thotijght that the hounds would 
beat us. As they were racing up a beautiful 
riding we came to a cross-riding; a couple and 
a half went straight on. I said,' ** Forward, my 
lord, this is right,^^ but he turned, and into a 
thicket his lot went ; I went on tvith the leading 
hounds. They were three of the best chase- 
hounds we had, and well matched in pace too, 
that is the beauty of chase-hounds. They made 
a turn and we went into another ride like a race- 
course, there I saw the fox sinking to nothing ; the 
hounds ran up to him as if he were standing still, 
and rolled him over in the middle of the riding. 

I believe the fox was blind. I dismounted and 
picked him up ; luckily my mare was crying 
*' bellows to mend ^* or she would not have carried 
him. I have handled as many foxes as most 
people but never carried such a heavy one. Going 
back with him, I found his lordship still in the 
thicket with a fresh fox, and riding up I said : 

** Here is your fox, mv lord ! '* exhibiting him. 



George Beers, Huntsman, 67' 

** My hounds shan't eat him!" he exclaimed 
testily. 

*'Well, my lord, I won't/' I laughingly replied; 
and I threw him down against his horse's head, 
and stood back. In a few seconds the horn 
\vas blown, and the hounds came and iate him 
up. We then went home, and on the way 
his lordship curiously enquired, '* Why did you 
think those hounds were right ? " I replied 
*' Because they always ran at head, and had done 
so all the time, and for that reason I followed 
them." 

His lordship's comment was, *^ I wish I had 
done so, the thing would have been more com- 
plete." ^'Well," he added, ''\ must say Beers 
has made the dog hounds as near perfect as 
possible." 

Looking back to the period of which I am now 

writing, many changes were taking place. Good 

men had passed away, and their successors were 

following on in the support of the hunt. Messrs. 

Aris of Adstone, and Aris junior of Oakley 

Bank, Mr. John Aris of Weedon, Mr. William 

Amos of Charlock, the Bartletts of Halse, Mr. 

Pike of Haversham, Messrs. Edward Roper, John 

Smith of Quinton, Joseph Whitton and his brother 

John, Mr. Tom Dunkley of Kislingbury, and 

F 2 



08 George Beers, Huntsman, 

many other farmers — whom, I consider, are the 
backbone of the hunt — had now settled down as 
foxhunters and fox-preservers over a good span of 
country. Young men are very useful in taking off 
the binders or the top-rail. 

Many more gentlemen whose names are too 
numerous to mention had joined the hunt. Mr. 
Harry Lightfoot was a very fine horseman, and a 
good-looking man, with such a fine pair of black 
whiskers ! he was a general favourite, particularly 
with the ladies. One morning he appeared at the 
meet minus his whiskers. 

** What on earth have you been doing?'' I 
exclaimed aghast. 

'* Well," he ruefully replied, '* last night some 
of my friends were chaffing me about the whiskers, 
and said I was very proud of them. I denied it, 
and said I would sell them for very little ; the 
bargain was struck and scissors produced ; they 
cut off one side, and left me the extreme mortifi- 
cation of cutting off the other myself. I only got 
a ' fiver ' for them, I would give ten * fivers ' for 
them now ! ! '* 

. One morning Lord Southampton brought an 
indictment to which Lightfoot and I were the 
defendants. My lord began : 

** I wonder what I shall hear next?'* He then 



George Beers, Huntsman. 69 

proceeded to charge us with having ridden over 
the pack. In our defence I said : 

** I wish your lordship had witnessed what 
occurred, I am sure you would not then blame 
us. The hounds had all gone out of the field to 
our right, and we had to jump about ten yards 
apart, a very high thorny hedge, when in the air 
we saw hounds running along a path under our 
horses ; but we did not touch one. The fox had 
been headed and turned towards us, and we could 
not see them sooner.'' Upon this we were 
acquitted with a caution. A more sensible or 
reasonable man than Lord Southampton never 
lived. 

A short time before we had killed a fox in 
Blakesley Field, and a young farm-pupil's horse 
kicked a hound and killed him. I was sorry for 
the young fellow, and went at once to my lord, 
who had moved on, and said apologetically : 

*' We have had a bad job happen, my lord." 

*' What^s the matter? " he enquired. 

*' A young man's horse has kicked Bluecap, 
and killed him ! " 

" The best hound we have ! " his lordship 
sorrowfully exclaimed. 

'* It is, my lord, and .the young man dare not 
Tiimself come to tell what he had done.-'^ Thfe'<)itly 



yo George Beers, Huntsman. 

further comment was, ** I daresay he will be sorry 
enough, so I shall not say anything to him ; it was 
my fault for not taking the hounds away sooner. 
As a caution, let me add that I have known thre^ 
hounds killed in that way/' 

The last purchase of iiounds not being a success 
another lot was bought, containing twenty-nine 
couples, from Yorkshire. Beers was sent for them, 
and brought them by rail ; when they arrived at 
the station two couples were found to be worried, 
and during the first night ^t the kennels, the 
•same fate befell one and a half couple more. Not- 
withstanding these losses it was a very useful lot, 
and there were some famous hounds in it. 

Bob Ward was now leaving to go to Mr. J. 
Gerard Leigh of Luton Hoo. Tom Carr was 
•promoted to be first whipper-in, in which capacity 
he was a success. 

Lord Southampton did not hupt so regularly as 
before, consequently Beers did more in the open. 
He found and killed the first fox from Woodford 
New Covert ; it was a ring, and a good one. No 
one went better than George on a lovely chesnut 
horse. The hounds passed Byfield on the right, 
also the reservoir, bore to the right over Priors 
Marston, round Catesby, and to the right of 
Shuckborough ; still bearing right-handed over 



George Beers, Huntsman, 71 

Hellidon field, on ov^r Charwelton Hill, and killed 
the fox about two fields from the covert, in fifty 
minutes without a check. This was a very good 
beginning from a very successful covert. 

During this season Beers gave us perhaps the 
most severe chase I ever rode in that country. 
Finding our fox in a little osier-bed near Charwel- 
ton we ran the flat up to Ganderton's, and on to 
Louseland through the spinney, and followed the 
little brook on the left side down the valley, and 
killed the fox under Woodend. The * ladies * 
never checked and we scarcely opened a gate all 
the way; and if any of my readers doubt that 
being a severe line I should like them to try it. 

Sport was now reduced to a certainty when 
opportunity offered. During this season I had 
heard much said about Mr. Baker's hounds in 
North Warwickshire. Several of that pack were 
bloodhound colour, and being very anxious to 
see them, I put a hunter on the train and went 
down to Dunchurch, Peter Collison was hunts- 
man, and he had a very nice pack of bitches out> 
two couples of the dark colour. The country was 
strange to me, but they called the covert Bunker's 
Hill. We found and ran to ground in five minutes, 
a dog bolted the fox and away hounds went in view. 
The fox was soon put of sight, and the hoimds 



72 George Beers, Huntsman. 

settled, without, as is often the case, staring about. 
They ran steadily, and hunted the line famously 
over some arable fields, until, getting on the 
grass, they could press their fox. I cannot say 
where we went any more than that I was told we 
did a good piece of Barby Parish and wheeled 
round right-handed^ Peter going nicely with no 
other occupation but to ride ; and what with water 
and ox-fences he was fully occupied, and in forty- 
five minutes the fox was in view and Peter had I 
handled . him. In my humble opinion the pack 
behaved admirably and Peter was a genius. 

Good sport in the Vale drew large fields — Sir 
Hugh (afterwards Lord) Cairns, Mr. Poole Ward, \ 

Mr. Watson, who afterwards hunted from Lubben- 
ham, and was a very fine rider, Jem Mason also 
going to the front with Mrs. Villiers. On the 
Friday side of the hunt we were meeting good 
sportsmen. 

Two very fine characters, Mr. Webb and Mr. 
Harrison, passed away about this time. I forget the 
dates of their deaths, but remember well, in a very 
good run which Lord Southampton had from 
Kingthorn Wood killing the fox at Kislingbury, 
that Mr. Webb falling into Bugbrook Brook, 
became very wet, and had to ride twenty miles to 
reach home. I do not remember seeing him out 



George Beers, Huntsman. 73 

igain, and later on heard that he was very ill. He 
sent for me to go and see him ; I called in Arling- 
ton Street for that purpose, and found him very 
weak but cheery. *' How are you?'' he asked. 
*'.Glad you're come, the only wonder is that I am 
living to see you." I remained as long as was 
good for him, and then bid a last farewell to one 
of the finest sportsmen of his day. 

A man of superior mental attainments, and bril- 
liant in conversation, it was a treat to talk to — and 
a pleasure to ride over a country with him. From 
his great experience and ability he was an 
authority upon hunting and everything pertaining 
thereto. Mr. Jack Webb, his son, had pre- 
deceased him. He was the father of Lady 
Valentia. 

Mr. Webb gave his favourite mare Cat's- 
meat to a farmer, Mr. Sirett of Stratton Audley, 
for a brood mare. To use his favourite simile for 
being clever, ^' She could talk French and clean 
knives ! " 

Mr. Harrison, Mr. Webb's great friend, was 
another ardent supporter of the Bicester Hunt, 
and- was equally popular ; a fine rider to hounds, 
and I never saw a man with better hands. At his 
death his mantle and estate fell to the present 
worthy Squire of Shelswell. '..::: 



74 George Beers, Huntsman. 

Early in i860 Frank Beers came home, from 
Russian-Poland, and was put on first whipper-in 
at once. On the 15th of March Lord Southampton 
thought he would try to catch a fox with the dog 
hounds in the Vale. The meet was Mursley, 
High Havens the; draw. A number of foxes were 
found, the result being much ringing about ; but 
my lord would persevere, and spent two hours in 
doing nothing. We went back to the covert, 
found again, and with a better scent took the fox 
a ring round Cubbington and back, leaving the 
covert on the left', over Stukeley field, Mursley > 
down to Newton, past Mrs. Villiers' gorse at a 
rare pace, leaving Salden Wood on the left, and 
straight down to the Chase at the Bletchley 
end. His lordship came down the road, only 
four people being with the hounds. The late 
Colonel Archibald Douglas- Pennant and Frank 
Beers had gone steadily and well all the time. 

Lord Southampton came to me and with evident 
annoyance said : ^^ I would have given a thousand 
pounds to catch this fox." ^' Well, my lord, you 
may catch him yet/^ I answered. 

*' Yes, I thought you .would say something 
clever," was his characteristic reply. 

I simply said, ** I will go on, if I halloa 
you come." 



George Beers, Huntsman. 75 

Reaching a point from which a long view up 
a riding was obtainable, I saw the fox dead beat. 
I halloo'd, and the hounds were very soon with 
me. ^* Where did you see him?'' his lordship 
asked. I showed him the place. 

'* How could you tell so far off?'* he gruffly 
enquired. 

'' Go on, please, my lord,'' I replied, *' and 
blow me up afterwards." 

I guarded heel-way and he went on ; the 
hounds hit on the scent, ran through the covert, 
out into the fields, and killed the fox in style. 
*' You did that well," his lordship said, in a tone 
of genuine pleasure. I made much of that, as it 
was the only time he praised me in his life. 
*' Give Mrs. Pilgrim the brush, if you please ? " I 
asked. '^ Oh, certainly ! she deserves it," was the 
ready response. 

From that time, on account of Lady South- 
ampton's illness and subsequent death. Lord 
Southampton hunted very little. 

Shortly afterwards I had a day with Mr. Tailby 
in Leicestershire. The fixture was Gumley, and 
Jack Goddard was huntsman. The first fox did 
nothing but ring about the hills ; I never liked an 
undulating country for hunting. Jem Mason and 
Frank Gordon were out, and there was always 



^6 George Beers, Huntsman. 

rivalry between those two. With a fox from '' Jane 
Ball" there was a good scent, and hounds ran 
very hard indeed for thirty-five minutes. There 
was plenty of room for the ambitious, and when it 
came to a pinch Mr. Tailby showed what he was 
made of, and very good form too. Just as the 
fox ought to have been overhauled Jack made a 
bad cast and lost him. It struck me that he did 
not shine so brightly in the office of huntsman as 
he did in that of whipper-in to Jem Hills. He 
was a fine horseman — a nice fellow too ; but these 
qualities do not constitute a fox-catcher. 

In the autumn of i860 the first Lady Southamp- 
ton died. The hounds were stopped for a proper 
period ; after which Beers, in the Master's absence, 
hunted them in his usual form, his son Frank 
whipping in. Mr. Lowndes then took the upper 
country back again, sport still flourishing in the 
northern part of the hunt. 

One very good run George had from Stowe 
Wood. A run hard to beat. It was a frosty 
morning, but not hard enough to stop hounds ; 
there was a very large Field out, including Lord 
Spencer and many other hard-riding men who 
lost a fine run through not paying attention to the 
hounds. The fox went away at the Everdon 
corner, bore tathe righ-t ov^r Weedon Hillj over the 



/George Beers ^Huntsman, 77 

Weedon and Everdon road down to the brook, 
and ran that beautiful vale with Everdon village 
on the left and Newr^ham on the right. Hounds 
passed Badby Wood in the valley beneath, nearly 
touching it, and ran straight to Badby House, 
through the plantation, leaving Staverton Wood to 
the left, and over the Turnpike, all without a check. 
We thought then that the fox meant Braunston 
Gorse, but the bitches ran into him a field before 
he could reach it. Only four people away, the 
Field all left behind ; and I never saw such a 
number of crestfallen people as we met on our 
way back to Weedon, 

Frank Beers learned lessons from his father 
which he never forgot. George Beers had three 
pupils of whom he was justly proud — Mr. Ark- 
wright, Charles Payn, and his ow^n son Frank; 
and they freely acknowledged that they owed 
more to his teaching than they could express. 

Lord Southampton always said of Beers that he 
had but one fault, namely his hasty temper. 
During all the time I knew him he never missed a 
single day's hunting from ill-health or accident j 
he was a most determined man, possessed of great 
power and strong nerve. He only spoke in a cross 
tone to me once in his life ; that was on the 
occasion of his getting a rabbit-hole fall by my 



78 George Beers, Huntsman, 

side. I caught his horse and asked him if he was 
hurt. He burst out with '* Ask a fellow if he is 
hurt after a fall like that ! How could he help 
being hurt ! ! " He went grumbling away, but I 
could not find out that there was any injury beyond 
the temper. 

Beers always thought very highly of the Osbal- 
deston Furrier blood, and he left many of the 
sort in the pack, twenty couples at least, most 
of them from that capital dog Marquis. Lord 
Southampton had this dog's portrait painted, and 
gave Beers the picture, and also the portrait 
of a noted hound his Lordship had in Leicester- 
shire, named Hazard, bred by the Marquis of 
Tavistock. Marquis was a very savage hound 
at a drain or at the death of a fox. I once had 
to stand in my own defence and hit him to keep 
him off me ; this he never forgot nor forgave and 
he ever after set his bristles up at me. Whenever 
I went into the kennel Beers used to say, *' Put 
that old dog away or we shall have no peace.*' 

The last season was a good one ; we had many 
strangers out and gave them plenty of sport. 

On one occasion a fox was found near Grub's 
Coppice, and ran a good line, leaving Cold 
Higham to the left, over the turnpike road 
Caldecote field and Tiffield, Shoseley Ground, 



George Beers, IJufit^fnan, 79 

over Shutlanger field — which Stopped the horses 
— ^and ran to ground near Stoke. Lord Spencer 
was out, Mr. Edward Barton went well that 
day, and so did some others ' whose names I 
forget. 

I now^ arrive at the peridd When our noble 
Master had decided to give up the hounds — after 
twenty years' mastership. His lordship had 
hunted the pack entirely at hiis own cost with- 
out a subscription of any kindv Keepers and 
earth -stoppers were all paid by him in the most 
liberal manner. He was a good customer to the 
farmers, buying many horses and much provender. 
I heard him ask one old gentleman, who did not 
hunt, if he had threshed his oats* *^ No, my lord, 
but I soon shalV was the reply. '^ Very well, 
let me know and I will ride over and buy them.'' 
Not a bad way, this, to keep things pleasant in 
a country ! Happily, aftef his lordship's resig- 
nation there was a good time in store. 

Lord Southampton became the* father of a family 
of fine children, and kept in touth with his neigh- 
bours and friends in local arid county business. 
Nothing could exceed the kindness and support 
he received from the owners of land through- 
out the hunt. The farmers and fox preservers 
regretted the loss of the noble lord, but when 



8o George Beers, Huntsman. 

the time for his retirement c^me they were, to 
a man, rejoiced that the hounds were to continue 
in the FitzRoy family, and transferred their 
support to his Grace the fifth Duke of Grafton 
and the Earl of Euston in May, 1862. 

Lord Southampton sold the whole pack to the 
late Mr. Selby-Lowndes, of Whaddon Hall. The 
dog hounds were sent by that gentleman to 
TattefsalFs and were sold by auction, four couples 
of them returning to the old country to keep the 
Furrier blood in the kenneK 

The Duke appointed Frank Beers to be hunts- 
man, and the country was without hounds until 
the late Lord Penrhyn came to the rescue and 
telegraphed to his friend Sir John Johnson, '* Buy 
Hill's hounds ! '' Sir John acted accordingly, 
and Lord Penrhyn wrote to the Duke begging 
his Grace^s acceptance of the hounds. The 
Duke readily accepted this handsome . offer on 
behalf of the country. With these four couples 
above-mentioned, and some young hounds from 
Mr. Drake's, the pack was formed, and the 
present pack at Paulerspury is descended from 
them. 

Through the kindness of the present Lord South- 
ampton I am able, at the eleventh hour, to include 
two additional illustrations, which cannot fail to 



George Beers, Huntsman. 8i 

possess great interest for the readers of this book. 
They are portraits of two of the most famous hounds 
possessed by the late Lord Southampton during 
the time his lordship hunted the Quorn and 
Grafton countries. As they were hounds of great 
merit, in the field, and of such famous strains of 
breeding, such memories as the elapse of time 
permit me to gather up regarding them may be 
interesting to some of my readers. The portraits 
are taken from original pictures, painted for the 
late Lord Southampton, and by him given to 
George Beers during the time the latter hunted 
the Grafton pack at Whittlebury. Beers was also 
whipping-in at Quorn during Hazard's hunting 
career at Melton. 

The present Lord Southampton was very 
pleased to obtain these two pictures by pur- 
chase, and of course he greatly prizes them on 
his father's account. 

Hazard. — This noble hound -was bred by the 
Marquis of Tavistock, and was entered in the 
Oakley country the season before the hounds 
were sold to Lord Southampton, and he went 
with G. Mumford as huntsman and G. Beers 
as second whip. 

When Lord Southampton retired from the 
Quorn, he sold the pack to Sir Harry Goodrick, 

G 



82 George Beers, Huntsman. 

but kept the hound Hazard, and sent him as a 
pensioner to Whittlebury, to run .in the stable-yard 
for the remainder of his life. Tom Winfield took 
advantage of the opportunity and bred a famous 
hound from him in Hector. 

In 1842, when Lord Southampton took the 
Grafton, he lost no time in getting the favourite 
blood into his kennel through Hector. 

Hazard, Hannibal, Herald, and Herdsman were 
worthy descendants of their noted predecessor, 
although they were not fashionable colours, being 
black and white. 

Herald had a very large blemish on his back, 
the result of a scald, caused by a careless servant 
throwing hot water upon him. 

Herdsman was the most amusing hound 
in kennel : if you showed him the whip he 
would, in perfect good humour, seize the lash 
and try his best to take it away, which used 
greatly to please* George Beers, who thought very 
highly of all the sort because they did not mind 
scratching their faces. He would enlarge on 
the qualities of Hazard, and would declare that 
a better foxhound never crossed Leicestershire. 

Marquis. — This famous hound was a son of 
Belvoir Guider from Magic, which bitch was a 
daughter of Singwell, one of the white litter 



George Beers, Huntsman. 83 

by Merriman, the crack Furrier dog which is 
described in my account of the pack which was 
bought of Mr. Harvey Coombe. 

Lord Southampton and his huntsman were so 
fond of the ** Furriers '' that the kennel became 
very well stocked with the breed, of which the 
most perfect hound was this Marquis. 

Marquis was fawn and white in colour, faultless 
in shape, and perfect in work, but of a very 
morose nature — surly and disagreeable in the 
kennel, and never forgave anyone a real or fancied 
injury. 

The note of the *^ Furriers ^^ was charming, and 
was a source of keen delight to men who hunted 
with the pack. 

When Frank Beers was huntsman he was quite 

alive to the good qualities of the breed, and 

bought Marmion and Merlin at TattersalFs in 

order to retain the sort. Monitor was, I believe, 

kept by Mr. Lowndes for the same purpose. 

There were twenty-two and a half couples in Lord 

Southampton's pack of that family, and it has 

never fallen to my lot to see a pack superior to 

it, of course, I must add — in my humble opinion. 

t Frank Beers availed himself of the opportunity 

of crossing with Mr. Hill's hounds, and the 

favourite sort, and was most successful. Many 

G 2 



84 George Beers, Huntsman, 

a time have I heard him cheer and say, ** Hark 
to the Marquis blood ! *' 

Marmion was an especial favourite of Frank's ; 
he kept him longer than any hound he hunted, 
even until he was a ten-season hunter, though he 
could not run up. He kept Marmion, Minstrel, 
and Rescue to an unusual age, and used to take 
them cub-hunting, because they were all so good 
in finding a cub which had lain down or got into 
the deep ditches in the woods. 

After a long pause there was no greater treat 
than to hear Frank cheer to the echo when one of 
these old hounds spoke, and finish with ** Marquis 
blood" again. 

Marmion was the colour of Marquis, and, to- 
use Frank's words, he was *^ made as a hound 
should be," but none too straight ; which Mr. 
Lowndes did not mind, but it was not approved of 
by others. Marmion was just the reverse in dis- 
position to his father, being most amiable. He 
was allowed the privilege of leaving the pack to 
come and share my lunch. If I held my sand- 
wiches up, he was always on the look out, and 
would come to me. A * whip ' spoke to him one 
day, but Frank said, " You let him alone, he will 
come back." 

It is very remarkable how voice and colour is 



George Beers^ Huntsman. 85 

perpetuated in families of hounds ; after a lapse of 
more than twenty-five years a bitch called Sanity 
came black and white, and half-faced, exactly the 
colour of Merriman, and possessing all the good 
qualities of the breed. Her voice was exactly 
like that of Magic, the daughter of Marquis. 

This bitch was walked when a puppy, by Mr. 
Roper, of Blisworth. 

There is a good deal of the old sort in the 
Grafton kennels now, which accounts in a great 
measure for their good noses. I never saw a 
skirter, or a* headstrong, runaway hound of that 
breed. They were very hard workers, and would 
stop and turn with the scent, always letting it be 
known where they were when running. 

I always had the idea that a good ** cry " after 
a fox made him go straight. Many times I have 
said to George Beers, and to his son, when well 
away over a country, ** Give him a blow ! '* the 
sound of a horn is well known by an old fox. 



CHAPTER VII. 

THE FIRST BARON PENRHYN. 

The first Lord Penrhyn had resided at Wicken 
Park in the county of Buckingham, for hunting, for 
some years previous to the circumstance related in 
the last chapter of his buying Mr. Hill's hounds, 
by which generous act he did all a good turn in 
setting the ball rolling. A nobleman is sure to be 
popular in any country if he is generous and helps 
his neighbours. His lordship was a clever man^ 
and exercised his talents, as well as spending his; 
money, for the benefit of others: 

In those days Shorthorn breeding was an 
expensive luxury, and high-bred cattle commanded 
fabulous prices. It was difficult for tenant farmers 
to obtain superior blood at a reasonable price. 
Lord Penrhyn was a breeder of Shorthorns on a 
large scale, as also of Welsh cattle^ and his herds 
of these were very extensive. Thinking, or I may 
rather say knowing, that Shorthorns were ** all the 



Edward Gordon Douglas-Pennant. 
First Baron Penrhyii. 

Crurn a fiheUgrapii ij Maull and fox, i«7a, Piccadilly, If, 



The First Baron Penrhyn, 87 

go '' in the neighbourhood of Wicken, his lord- 
ship held occasional sales of young sires, bred 
from the best bulls that were to be had. A noted 
bull named Marmaduke was bought at an 
enormous price, and proved to be the greatest 
success. These sales were attended by many 
farmers ; there was a welcome and a good 
luncheon for all comers, and there are many persons 
still living who speak in the highest terms of the 
benefit conferred upon them. I may relate the 
following incident in order to show the effect of 
his lordship's kind efforts, and how great was the 
favour he rendered. 

At one of the sales I was talking to the noble 
lord when a large breeder came up, and, addressing 
his lordship, said : 

"If you are going to sell such animals as these 
at the price we may as well give up, it will ruin us.'' 

'^ You may do as you please," was the reply ; 
" I am only too glad that the farmers come and 
buy the cattle, and I hope it will be the means of 
doing good, by improving their herds." 

That is the style of thing that binds farming 
and fox-hunting together as with a golden cord ! 
 Lord Penrhyn hunted for many years from 
Wicken, and his two sons were there entered to 
hounds. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

THE SIXTH DUKE OF GRAFTON, M.F.H. 

In the year 1863 the fifth Duke of Grafton 
died, and was succeeded by the sixth Duke in the 
title and estates, as also in the mastership of the 
hounds. His Grace hunted the country until 1882 
with the greatest success, advertising three days 
a week only, but occasionally having a bye-day, 
and allowing his huntsman to give the hounds 
strong work in the forest in order to keep the large 
number of which the pack consisted in good 
condition. Frank Beers has, now and then, gone 
out into the forest and killed a fox before going to 
the regular fixture. 

His Grace was a kind and liberal landlord, 
following, in that respect, in the footsteps of his 
ancestors, and carrying into practical realisation 
the principle that property has its duties as well as 
its rights and privileges. 



WiLUAM Henry. 
Sixth Duke of Grafton, 



The Sixth Duke of Grafton^ M.F,H. 89 

In hunting matters the Duke adhered to the 
system adopted by his grandfather ; he was a 
great buyer of horses in his own country, and 
became the possessor of a stud which was second 
to none. Horse breeding was encouraged by the 
best of blood being placed at the service of the 
farmers at Wakefield. Some of the elders of the 
hunt used to hope that his Grace would resume 
the old livery, but the Duke said * he preferred 
the scarlet and did not care to go back to the 
green.' 

The hounds and horses, by the kindness of 
Lord Southampton, found accommodation at 
Whittlebury for the first season under the sixth 
Duke of Grafton's mastership, whilst the new 
kennels on Wakefield Lawn were being built. 
His Grace was always held in high esteem by 
the farmers, who greatly appreciated his liberality 
in distributing game amongst them. The giving 
of prizes for the best puppies walked by the 
farmers was instituted by this Duke. 



CHAPTER IX. 

FRANK BEERS, HUNTSMAN. 

Frank Beers was about twenty-six years of 
age when he was appointed huntsman. I had 
known him from the time when he was a boy of 
twelve years of age, having first seen him riding 
on a pony in the Chase, with the Oakley, to which 
pack his father was then huntsman. He was soon 
after in top boots and scarlet, riding second horse. 
Frank went to Lord Yarborough as under whipper- 
in to William Smith, until there was a change to 
Tom Smith, a brother. He could not have been 
more than twenty-one ) ears old when Mr. Oldacre. 
engaged him to go to Russian- Poland to take a 
pack of hounds, and hunt the wolf for a foreign 
Count. He remained there until the war broke 
out, when all foreigners were sent home. Frank 
much regretted the change, and it was several 
years before he became reconciled. 



Frank Beers ^ Huntsman, 91 

The hounds were kept at Whittlebury, until the 
new kennels were built. It was a great ordeal for 
so young a man to take the horn with a new pack. 
The trial was so great to a sensitive mind, that I 
thought for a long time he would give it up. On 
tlie third day on which Beers hunted his first 
whipper-in had a fall, and, happening at a time 
when he was not in good health, inflammation set 
in and he died. A young huntsman is sure, if he 
be good for anything, to be anxious. Beckford 
never said a truer thing than that '^ A huntsman 
must be a genius. *' There are people who think 
that if a man can ride, halloo, and blow a horn, 
he is perfect ; and really that huntsmen are 
heaven-born. Upon the same principle, I sup- 
pose, they would take a young man, just called to 
the bar, and mak^ a judge of him ! There is a 
certain amount of experience required, and a 
routine to be gone through, which, combined with 
science and intelligence, conduce to make a 
huntsman. . 

Frank Beers had . hunted .wolves, which are 
found in the valleys, ,and run straight for the 
hills. The- change to a fox of course bothered 
him. However, he was fairly successful through 
cub-hunting; but when he. went into the open 
things did not go very smoothly: The old 



92 Frank Beers^ Huntsman. 

hounds hung on the line, and the young ones 
went beyond it. He made a great deal too 
much use of the horn, and was sorely crabbed 
by the gentlemen. However, he stuck to it like 
a man, and had the good sense to recognise his 
failings, so that after Christmas matters mended 
a little, still, as yet they were unable to do much ; 
but the pack was improving rapidly, and Beers 
was then able to hunt without the old hounds 
which hung on the line. 

When Parliament met Sir John Johnson always 
brought his stud and hunted in the Midlands. 
This season (1862-63), soon after his arrival. Sir 
John came to me with a very long face and said : 

** I am afraid I did no good in buying Hill's 
hounds, but I could not help it ; Lord Penrhyn 
having wired to me to buy them. 1 carried out his 
lordship's wishes. You have no idea how I am 
chaffed about it in the clubs.'' 

I replied, '* I am aware that is quite the 
fashion, and considered the right thing to do ; 
but you know. Sir John, that fashions change, 
and I am confident that before we are much 
older it will be so in this instance." 

** I am very pleased to hear you say so," said 
he. ''I am sure I thought, from what I heard, 
that the case was hopeless." 



Frank Beers, Huntsman. 93 

** Put on a bold front, Sir John/' I added, ** and 
tell them that you can draw sixteen couples of 
as good hounds out of Hill's as can be drawn 
from any pack, and that they don't know what 
they are talking about." 

In the month of February the tide turned. 
Sir John wore a smile, Frank began to catch 
his foxes well, and from that time success 
attended him to a marked extent. 

In the entry some young hounds were bought 
from Mr. Drake of Belvoir blood. Destitute was 
one of these. During cub-hunting we had a 
fox in some very high turnips, higher than the 
hounds. I saw Destitute take a line very steadily 
down a path through the crop, and followed her 
until she turned up under a fence, then I called 
Frank and told him what it was, and that, although 
I thought it must be right, I dared not halloo. We 
followed her with the pack, and eventually we 
caught the fox. 

Destitute was the best foxhound, bar none, I 
ever saw. Frank kept her until she died, and 
then he had her head stuffed, and asked Mrs. 
Beers never to part with it, ^ for that hound,' he 
said, ' was the making of him.' 

In the third year. Beers had the good luck to 
enter four couples of puppies — a wonderful entry 



94 Frank Beers^ Huntsman, 

— from this one hound, Destitute, by Hill's 
Brusher ; such a handsome and good litter. There 
was a large entry ; altogether twenty-six couples 
were put forward, and that number has never been 
equalled since. 

The Duke of Grafton was so anxious to secure 
a good pack that new milk was given ad libitum 
to the young puppies, with remarkable results. 
Many gentlemen visited the kennels to inspect 
this wonderful entry, and, amongst the rest, 
Mr. Foljambe, who was stone blind. Mr. Bevan 
introduced me to that gentleman, who said that 
he wanted to talk to me about Boniface, a dog 
which was considered to be the best of the entry. 
It is an old saying that '* Seeing is believing, but 
feeling is the truth,*' and it was really most 
remarkable how correct Mr. Foljambe was in 
every point of the hound. 

George Beers instilled into his son's mind the 
great necessity of cub-hunting, and taught him 
how to properly carry it out ; he told him never 
to begin upon an old fox, but to stop the hounds 
directly if they hit on one ; and when he was on 
a cub to make him turn as often as his whippers-in 
could do it, and so hold the cubs in one quarter of 
the covert, to ensure a **cry" to attract the young 
hounds. 



Frank Beers ^ Huntsman, 95 

In those days, going away in the open was 
strictly forbidden. I have seen hounds stopped 
many times in a morning, and taken back to a cub ; 
if they are kept within a certain space, the young 
ones can hear the ** cry " and learn to pack. No 
horn, no halloo, will attract a hound like the 
^'cry.'' 

I always considered Whistley Wood to be the 
best scenting covert in the Grafton Hunt, and 
during fifty seasons I saw the best runs from 
there, particularly in the early part of the time. 
When the Northampton and Banbury line of 
railway came it altered the run of the foxes in that 
direction. 

During cub-hunting in 1864 I one day saw the 
hounds run in Whistley, from one fox to another, 
for three hours and fifteen minutes, and kill. 
Frank sent his whippers-in outside, and kept the 
foxes in ; it gave them such a drilling that when 
the season opened they were soon off. I shall 
never forget Restless and Ringlet (Hill's bitches, 
and half-sisters), and Destitute ; they had such 
good tongues and noses that there was no break 
in the work. I always thought that that morning 
did the young huntsman as much good as the 
pack. 

I now have the pleasure of placing before my 



q/S Frank Beers^ Huntsman, 

readers some appropriate lines, kindly contributed 
by the author, Sir Herewald Wake. 

A RUN FROM HALSE COPSE. 
By Sir Herewald Wake. 



I. 

No worthier theme than hunting can a poet's soul inspire, 
The stirring music of the chase shall tune my Muse's lyre ; 
Men, hounds, and horses I will sing, and ever as you listen 
Your pulses shall beat faster yet, your eyes with fire shall glisten. 

II. 

For you shall hear the story told how Reynard fate defied, 
And ran a gallant race for life, how gamely Reynard died ; 
For with that day's achievements all the country side resounds, 
And 1 will sing the praises of the Duke of Grafton's hounds. 

III. 

At Astwell Mill the fixture was, and to that fixture came 

A company of sportsmen true, and not unknown to fame. 

The Duke and Lord Charles FitzRoy,* George Pennant,t too, 

was there, 

St. Maur,J with his hard-riding spouse, had come the sport to 

share. 

IV. 

Campbell and Grosvenor,§ Byass, Bull, and Fuller to the fore, 
Wake and his wife, the Wisemans, too, Robarts, and many 
more ; 

* Lord Charles FitzRoy now Duke of Grafton. 

t George Pennant now Lord Penrhyn. 

X St. Maur, etc., now Duke and Duchess of Somerset. 

f Grosvenor now Lord Ebury. 



Frank BeerSy Huntsman. 97 

And all of them well mounted were on nags of bone and speedy 
And well for them their horses could both leap and stay at need. 

V. 

Through Helmdon on to Stuchbury we wound a devious way, 

The Spinneys drawing blank, alas 1 no fox lay there that day, 

Halse* Copse in order next we drew, and every stout heart sank 

When Beers' " Come, come, come away," proclaimed another 

blank. 

VI. 

But scarce a bow-shot off from there yet one more coppice 

stood — 
Little Halse Copse, the cognomen of that now far-famed wood, 
Which held that day so stout a fox that had but fate been kind 
He might perchance have saved his brush and left us far behind* 

VII. 

The hounds were soon upon his drag, old Rattler feathered 

high, 
Then gave his deeped-tongued challenge and the others scored 

to cry. 
Full soon was Pug unkennelled when he heard the warning 

notes, 
That swift into a chorus swelled from five-and-thirty throats. 

VIII. 

Our fox soon showed himself to be bred of that right good sort. 
Erst wont to show our ancestors such rare old-fashioned sport. 
He scorned to run the covert long, but broke away in style, 
And gained a well-earned start perhaps of nearly half a mile. 

IX. 

Beers galloped round and gave his horn a spirit-stirring twang. 
The hounds streamed out of covert, then their diapason rang 



* Pronounced Haws. 
H 



g8 Frank Beers ^ Huntsman, 

Both loud and deep as o'er the plough with lightning speed 

they went, 
And sportsmen saw with half an eye there was a burning scent. 

X. 

What racing and what bustling now was there to get a place, 
And lucky was the aspirant whose horse could go the pace. 
The hounds soon settled on the line, and then like wildfire ran ; 
It now appeared to be a case of catch them if you can. 

XI. 

And fortunate it was that day, as well for horse as hound, 
The ploughs rode light, the going good, the turf was firm and 

sound, 
Qx else with such a holding scent and with a fox so stout 
Before the finish every nag must fain have given out. 

XII. 

Ten minutes' burst, and then we thought we had a check at last, 
But Beers sat still and watched the hounds complete their 

patient cast. 
When down the fence they hit him off, the line was turning now. 
The fox, no doubt, had headed been by yonder man at plough. 

XIII. 

A few short turns well puzzled out, they're off again at score ; 
Though going fast, yet 'tis a ring, a fact we much deplore. 
Halse Copse again appears which we had hoped to leave 

behind. 
Though thankful for the chance to give our nags a little wind. 

XIV. 

But with a crash the gallant pack fly o'er the opposing fence, 
And still maintain their dashing speed through blackthorn 
thickets dense ; 



I 



Frank Beers^ Huntsman, 99 

Their blood-tipped sterns a moment wave, and then they 

disappear, 
And the fast-receding music of their bell-like tongues we hear. 

XV. 

This is no time to loiter nor to think of drawing rein, 
So spur we down the covert side or from the chase refrain ; 
For he who took a pull that day, if but for half a minute, 
To breath his horse beside the wood, was never after in it. 

XVI. 

For five-and-thirty mihutes we'd been going well and fast. 
And thought the pace was much too good a longer time to last ; 
But, as it proved, a harder test for horses was in store, 
Although the veriest glutton then had hardly asked for more. 

XVII. 

We barely reached the farther end, when, going down the wind. 

We viewed our fox, who had not dwelt for all too close behind. 

Beers and his beauties, swift of foot, poor Reynard stoutly push 

Through brier and brake and clamouring make him tremble 

for his brush. 

XVIII. 

The Whip's view halloo now is heard, and Beers becomes 

aware 
Of Reynard's course, and lifts his voice and pipes both shrill 

and clear : 
A louder pipe and shriller than that possessed by Beers, 
Unless it be a whistle blown by steam, one never hears. 

XIX. 

The hounds, their tongues still throwing, dash out and by that 

sign 
Frank knows full well his steadfast pack has never left the line. 
He cares not now to lift them, and indeed he has no need, 
For as they run they try our panting horses' utmost speed. 

H 2 



loo Frank Beers^ Huntsman, 

XX. 

And well for him it was just then whose nag had got some 

breeding, 
For those on cocktails saw with grief the chase was swift 

receding, 
And would-be thrusters urged and spurred their nags without 

remorse, 
Until they found themselves on foot, and crying " Catch my 

horse." 

XXI. 

With dirty coats and broken hats the natty field was fleckered, 
And some found to their cost that day a sportsman's life is 

chequered, 
And not a few aspiring souls who needs must foremost be 
Were scratched about the eyes and nose and chin most 

piteously. 

XXII. 

O'er ridge-and-furrow fields we flew as fast as we could'^go. 
The whitethorn fences in the Vale uncommon hairy grow ; 
Nigh every fence a bullfinch is, and where the light of day 
Peeps through a space most usually a lawyer stops the way. 

XXIII. 

Just here and there a flight of rails confers a fairer leap. 
But such the pace that few can now afford to hold them cheap.. 
The gates are few and far between, the seeming friendly gap 
As oft as not will prove a most uncompromising trap. 

XXIV. 

The biggest and the blackest place is often safer far 
Than where the wide hiatus doth a fence's outline mar. 
Although of leaping ditches wide one's hunter may be fond,. 
But few in an emergency can clear the darkling pond. 



Frank Beers ^ Huntsman, loi 

XXV. 

Now Stuchbury's pleasant pastures lie stretched beneath our feet, 
The going on those headlands sound was really quite a treat, 
And well-bred horses caught their wind as swiftly on they sped, 
For by a field and more than that the flying pack now led. 

XXVI. 

By Allithorn and Weston and over Banbury lane. 

And on towards Moreton Pinkney the pace we still maintain. 

A few red coats and habits and one or two in black 

Are still seen popping up and down behind the fleeting pack. 

XXVII. 

Now on the broad and level sward we gallop while we may. 
For through these verdant meads a brook, The Tovy, winds its 

way. 
The Tovy is both wide* and deep, and should we chance to fall, 
No fear but what there's room enough to hold us horse and all. 

XXVIII. 

Some willows mark its winding course, its rotten banks and 

steep, 
Keen horses prick their ears and snort, all eager for the leap ; 
Now hustle horse and harden heart, cram firmly on your hat, 
And straightway catch him by the head and go at it, full bat. 

XXIX. 

And so the first flight over swing as if *tis in their stride, 

Not so, however, those who dare or know not how to ride ; 

Some take a header off their nags and much amusement yield 

To those who with much caution form the rear-guard of the 

field. 

XXX. 

Beyond some second horsemen and a farmer here and there 
Who comes to show a four-year-old or exercise his mare. 



I02 Frank Beers y Huntsman. 

And some little boys on ponies, 'tis but just I should explain^ 
There are not many out this day who actually crane. 

XXXI. 

So stiff ther line had been in short the field was soon well 

weeded ; 
From funkers and from skirters both the chase had long^ 

receded ; 
Far back along the roads they come like bands of border 

raiders 
Who fly the justly angered foe and ply their cruel persuaders. 

XXXII. 

The Squire on wheels, his pair of roans with smoking sides 

appear, 
Has made his point right skilfully and now the hunt draws 

near ; 
He waits where we must cross the road, his chuckles are 

immense 
To see the ditch is deep that guards a stiff upstanding fence. 

XXXIII. 

Our horses blown, we looked about to choose the softest place 
Where if we fell we might repose with ease if not with grace. 
" There's nothing here to stop you," the observant squire said^ 
Two nasty falls ensued, laughed he, " from going on your head." 

XXXIV. 

The hounds had now been doing all that lay within their power 
Across a splendid country, mostly grass, for full an hour. 
Yet captious critics, spite of that, would signally have failed  
To find a fault to cavil at, for not a hound had tailed. 

XXXV. 

They ran so well together and they carried such a head 
That almost ever}' hound in turn appeared to take the lead. 



Frank Beers ^ Huntsman, 103 

They dwelt not at their fences and though terrible the pace, 
Not less their tuneful voices they would now and then upraise. 

XXXVI. 

It could not last much longer, when we got upon the plough 
The Pack were to their noses brought ; our fox was sinking 

now. 
The scent began to fail a bit and though 'twas far from dull, 
Most of us were uncommon glad to take a little pull. 

XXXVII. 

For light weights and for ladies too, although their nags be 

blown, 
'Tis possible to leap a fence or two and not come down; 
But welter weights, however big their horses, must look out 
Or at this juncture they would catch a purl beyond a doubt. 

XXXVIII. 

Beers who had ridden straight and well now eyes each favourite 

hound, 
As puzzling out the line, they gain, but slowly gain some ground. 
Content at having pressed his fox, sits as a statue still. 
And takes no notice of the halloo forrard on the hill. 

XXXIX. 

And well is he rewarded and patience wins the day. 
For from the field the hounds again begin to slip away ; 
And if they had been lifted, His likely I maintain, 
They never would have settled on their fox's line again. 

XL. 

To Canons Ashby osier-bed we galloped fast and hard ; 
Nor did that holding covert much the furious hunt retard, 
For Reynard when he reached it all too hot to lie in hiding, 
Nor turned nor stopped but bustled through along the centre; 
riding. 



I04 Frank Beers, Huntsman. 

XLI. . 

Then up by Canons Ashby town for half a mile or more 
Our beaten fox we viewed at length still travelling on before, 
Stems down, heads up, the pack upon the line now cease to 

stoop, 
But course their fox, just one short turn, a snatch, and then 

Whoo-hoop. 

XLII. 

Thus died as good and stout a fox as ever stood in front 

Of fleetest hounds in England found, The Duke of Grafton's 

hunt. 
An hour and thirty minutes ran, his fame shall ne'er diminish. 
For he was pressed, and sorely pressed, from find unto the 

finish. 

XLIII. 

He made his point, but all too late, for on his footsteps flying 
Still pressed the pack so fleet of foot ; he never ceased from 

trying 
To shake them off ; in vain he sought some refuge to discover. 
And in the open did his stout pursuers roll him over. 

XLIV. 

His race was run, his course was done, his gallant efforts 

ended. 
What e'er his former life had been his death was truly splendid. 
With tuneful tongue his requiem sung the pack that ran and 

caught him. 
And Beers will ever hug himself to hand that day he brought 

him. 

XLV. 

When home returning from the run which so much sport 

afforded. 
That day's achievements I resolved should not go unrecorded, 



Frank Beers, Huntsman. 105 

So pass the bottle round and let each sparkling glass be filled, 

boys, 
Here's to the fox the Duke's dog pack at Canons Ashby killed, 

boys. 

During the first eight years of Frank Beers' 
time no diary was kept; but in 1870 he began to 
keep a good one, and I shall give such extracts 
therefrom of twenty seasons' sport as will, I feel 
sure, be interesting to all Grafton men, and to 
others who hunted there occasionally. 

In the summer of 1865 our huntsman's health 
failed, and serious fears were entertained about 
him. The Duke of Grafton was so kind as 
to insist upon Frank's spending the winter in the 
Isle of Wight. George Beers was residing at 
Whittleburyy and the Duke placed the pack in his 
charge. Such good hunters were provided that 
George rode just as well as ever. It was a great 
trial to his son to leave the pack, and he took his 
departure very unwillingly. I promised Frank that 
I would stick to his father, and keep him posted 
up as to what they were doing. Accordingly, I 
hunted every day the hounds went out of the kennel 
during the season, and, as I knew every hound, I 
was able to make a fair report. 

In that season we had a bob-tailed fox in the 
Preston coverts ; this fox we ran twice, and he had 



io6 Frank Beers, Huntsman. 

the best of it on both occasions. One day we 
were going to the meet at Preston, when I joined 
the hounds on the road I said to Beers : 

** We will catch * Mr. Bob ' to-day, George, if 
we find him, and there is any scent/* 

** I don't know,'' he replied dubiously, ** he is a 
* caution.' " 

'* Never mind," I rejoined, ** I have thought 
him out ; we have had two good runs with him, and 
then changed on to a fox with a brush, but we 
never hear of anyone seeing * Bob ' go back. The 
fact is, he runs through every covert near which 
the foxes lie, another fox gets up, and goes on 
while * Bob ' escapes." 

We found * Bob ' very soon, and hounds went 
on good terms with him ; he visited every covert 
on the Fawsley estate without dwelling. The first 
whipper-in worked well, and the fox began to think 
seriously of the situation. He then ran to Hinton 
Gorse and going through it went up to Badby 
Wood ; straight down the covert and away at the 
bottom, pointing to, and passing Everdon on the 
left. The hounds ran like hares over the brook, 
nearly to Weedon, and turned right-handed into 
Stowe Wood. The huntsman and I were very lucky 
in getting on with them, and we were fortunate 
enough to meet our second horses, which was a 



Frank Beers, Huntsman, 107 

great relief. We then ran past Castle Dykes, 
through the Everdon end of the Stubbs, along the 
flat to Snorscombe and into Hen Wood. We 
were lucky again ; hounds ran into Mantel's Heath, 
and things looked very rosy. 

Going down the wood side, the covert on our 
right, we planned the death of ^ Bob.' George 
was to get hold of the pack, and go down wind 
side of Knightley Wood — we knew it was " full of 
foxes,'* as they say — I went, no faster than I could 
help, up to the bridle-gate at the Farthingstone 
corner. In a minute the fox came away, loping 
over the field like a wolf, but I noticed that he was 
languid and leg-weary ; I watched him out of the 
field ; George and the hounds were soon at him. 

** What do you think of him, master?" Beers 
asked me. I answered unhesitatingly: ** He will 
never reach Seawell ! " and in two fields they 
killed him. He lay on a bank ; Beers declared 
that he was the stoutest fox he had killed in the 
Grafton country. The time was one hour and 
thirty minutes. I was to have the brush, which 
measured 3in. by 2^in. 

Beers Jiad two very good runs from Stowe-Nine- 
Churches in that year. The first was from the 
Wood to Stowe Hill. The fox ran parallel with the 
turnpike road to Dray son's, past Bugbrook Downs, 



io8 Frank Beers, Huntsman. 

and on to Gay ton Hill through the Allotment, 
and hounds ran into the fox at Dust Hill. It 
was a great pace to the hill at Gayton. I have 
noticed all my life that the Stowe Hills and the 
above-named are bad scenting land. The other 
run was down very nearly to Drayson's osiers, 
hounds turning up the Vale by the brook, racing 
the fox all the way and killing him about twenty 
yards inside the covert of Mantel's Heath. Mr. 
William Judkins rode very well in that run. 

Happily, in the spring, Frank Beers returned, 
a new man, and was able to resume the duties 
of huntsman. His father, after having a season in 
Yorkshire, went to the Bicester, and was there taken 
ill. Lord North (then the Hon. W. F. J. North) 
took him to London for advice, and it was decided 
that he should not hunt again. Beers used to say 
that he never knew a kinder man than Lord 
North. During the next season all went well, 
and barring colds, and asthma now and then, 
Frank had a brilliant career. 

We were out in the Green's Norton coverts, 
belonging to the Duke of Grafton, one morning, 
where we found a good show of foxes and dusted 
them about well, but they left the coverts, and 
it was contrary to orders to follow them. About 
ten o'clock we went away, Frank being very 




Frank Beers. 



Frank Beers, Huntsman. 109 

dissatisfied at not killing a fox. I suggested that 
we should go and have a try near the kennels. 
We went, and soon found. The sun was shining,, 
which made it hot in the wood. The fox had 
his mouth open and ran the rides, hounds could 
not go faster, and the fox was so pressed that 
he went into the fields, which did not improve 
matters ; he then made for Potterspury village 
(I should explain that we were allowed to go 
into the fields near the forest) and ran down 
the street, where he met a man who caused him 
to jump through a window into a cottage. We 
both dismounted and went in; on the opposite 
side of the room there was another window, and 
in the garden was an old woman, holding a large 
tea-tray to prevent more glass damage. We had 
a very bad light and did not readily- find the fox^ 
but on our moving the cradle, which had been 
recently occupied, there he was. I pulled three 
old hounds in, the pack at the door baying 
furiously, and half the villagers had assembled 
outside. Hounds are very stupid on such occa- 
sions, they don't know what to do. I caught old 
Danger by the neck and threw him on to the 
fox, when a growling began ; Frank jumped upon 
the table like a cat ; he soon came down, took the 
fox out, and threw him amongst the people; the 



1 1 o Frank Beers, Huntsman, 

•children rolled about, and the women screamed. I 
was afraid that the hounds would bite the children, 
but fortunately no damage was done. The old 
woman complained, and the Duke went and 
salved her injuries ; and his Grace was highly 
delighted with the event. 

A great trouble to Frank Beers was the kennel 
lameness, the place was so subject to it. Every- 
thing that could be thought of was done, but 
without avail. The hardest-working hounds fared 
the worst, often when running they were taken 
by it and stopped to nothing; and when once 
seized with it they never recovered, but if they 
were sent to another kennel they would get quite 
well. Many inquiries were made as to the reason 
of their being sent away, because they were such 
good hounds. 

The Duke of Grafton was very kind to his 
huntsman, mounting him upon the best of hunters, 
and during the whole time that Beers hunted the 
Grafton the best horses that could be found were 
bought for him and the whippers-in. Frank Beers 
was a very fine horseman, and sustained few falls 
over fences ; his worst falls were caused by holes 
or uneven ground, which he failed to see while 
watching his hounds. He was not careful enough 
in choosing the path of his horse. 



Frank Beers, Huntsman, 1 1 1 

A good old parson lived at Cosgrove during 
the mastership of Lord Penrhyn who suffered 
very much from the depression in agriculture. 
Not being able to let his land, he was obliged to 
farm it himself. He went in for poultry to a great 
extent, but to add to his financial troubles the 
foxes ate all his fowls. He was very prompt in 
writing to me and giving a correct account of his 
losses, while I was equally prompt in paying him 
to the full. 

Lord Penrhyn was always ready to take the 
hounds upon the first opportunity to relieve such 
cases, and they soon went to the parson's neigh- 
bourhood. 

Beers drew the spinneys all down and through 
without a whimper. I stayed outside, thinking 
I might perhaps see a fox. Down an opening 
in the wood came a hound we called Dexter, 
trotting along thinking he was left behind. I 
noticed that he held his head up, and saw that 
he winded something over a wall, which he 
jumped. Looking over it I saw a small stack 
of rough faggots and the hound scratching at 
the bottom. Beers was blowing his horn to go 
away when we met at the gate ; *^ It's all a * hum * 
about this old parson and his poultry, I would 
never pay him another shilling ! '' he grumbled. 



1 1 2 Frank Beers, Huntsman, 

'^Come here/' I replied, ** and see where the 
foxes are." 

The hounds joined Dexter, and I never saw 
them more furious. Any number of young sports- 
men were present, and they said they would soon 
move the stack of faggots, but the bands were 
so decayed that they broke in their hands. Some 
of them jumped on the top, and the wood being 
very fragile, it let them in up to their knees, and 
cracked so loudly that a fox bolted and jumped 
the wall. Every hound followed him, and out 
came four more foxes and jumped the wall also, 
giving chase to the hounds ! One of the foxes 
soon fell a victim. Hounds went away with 
another, ran him for about ten minutes fast into 
a drain ; he was bolted, and they gave him plenty 
of law, but excessive indulgence in the clerical 
poultry had rendered him short-winded, and he 
was killed. We drew the spinneys again, found 
another, and served him in the same way. Now 
that is my best recipe for saving the poultry fund 
where places are overrun with foxes. 

A poor man, who was most industrious and had 
a large family, grew half an acre of wheat near 
a hedge with a grass ride up the side of it. The 
hunters jumped the hedge and ran on to the wheat, 
and for shame's sake the riders turned off at once, 



Frank Beers, Huntsman, 



113 



damaging a portion of the corn in the shape of 
a crescent, treading the crop out of existence, 
to all appearance. I saw it and sent word to 
the man that he should not sustain any loss when 
he gathered his crop. At harvest time I asked 
him what he claimed. ** Nothing/' he said, ** I 
wish they had done it all, I had more straw and 
com too, where the horses went ! *' 



CHAPTER X. 

FRANK BEERS' DIARIES. 

Through the kindness of Mrs. Beers, and her 
family, I am enabled to offer to the public some 
extracts from the diaries of the late Frank Beers, 
which cover a period of twenty years, from 1870 
to 1890. All who read them will, I have no 
doubt, express their surprise that so much sport 
could be derived from a country containing so 
small an area. I can vouch for the truth of it all, 
the writer and producer of the sport described, 
being a very accurate man ; and the greater 
portion of it came under my own observation. 

1870-71. 

1870. Aug. 29th. — ^The Duke of Grafton^s hounds 
commenced cubhunting at Waterslade. Hunted 36 
days, killed 39 foxes. 

" Nov. 9th. — Bucknells. Found, and went away to 
Lord Southampton's farm, short back to Silverstone 
Windmill, to the village, and to the corner of Seven 



1870-71] Frank Beers' Diaries, 115 

Coppices, across Luffield Abbey grounds, to Hatch 
Woods, but did not enter them ; he ran through 
Crown Lands to Silverstone Village, and hounds ran 
him in view in at the front door of Mr. Whitlock's 
house (he being married only about two months), down 
the passage into the back kitchen, and killed him 
under the table. About an hour and ten minutes at best 
pace. Found another in Bucknells ; ran him once round 
the wood, at a rattling pace ; and- killed him at Lord 
Southampton's farmyard, Whittlebury. Found another 
in Cattle Hill ; hounds went at racing pace over the 
open, leaving Lillingstone on the right, through Leck- 
hampstead Wood to the Village ; short back through 
Wicken Spinneys, and on pointing for Thornton, along 
the meadows, over the river near Bourton Mill, through 
Bourton Brake, over the Winslow road, to Lenborough ; 
stopped the hounds at Sudborough late in the afternoon. 
Not a whipper-in there and the horses tired, so gave it 
up. A most capital day's sport indeed. I rode Ensign 
and a cub-hunter. 26^ couples out. 

" Nov. 14th. — First day of regular hunting. Preston 
Capes. Found in Church Wood, away to Hogstaff, back 
to Ganderton, on to Fawsley, and killed the fox in the 
Churchyard. Found again in Little Preston Wood, ran 
him to Seawell Wood and lost him. Drew Grub's 
Coppice, Ayers's Gorse, and Astcote Thorns blank. 
Found in Kingthorn Wood, had a very nice ring by 
Bradden Ponds to Slapton, back to Greens Norton, on 
nearly to Grub's Coppice ; stopped the hounds when it 
was nearly dark ; a pouring wet day. I rode Rataplan 
and Brocklesby. 20 couples bitches. 

** Nov. 23rd. — Tile House. Tile House Wood blank. 
Found in Stratford Hill Wood, away pointing for 
Shalstone Spinneys; to the right across Mr. Charles 

1 2 



Ii6 Frank Beer s^ Diaries, [1870-71 

Higgins's farm, Dadford Village on the right, Stowe 
Ridings on the left, through the corner of Stowe 
Park, Tile House Wood, and away to Lillingstone 
Lovell, Lillingstone Dayrell on the right, straight through 
Briary, across Wakefield Lawn, through Waterslade, and 
ran into him going away for Moorend. A capital 55 
minutes. Drew Fire Furze, Colonel FitzRoy's new 
covert, and Grafton Park blank. Found in the Forest ; 
did not get out of the wood again. I rode Oxford and 
Rifleman. 

" Nov. 25th. — Plumpton Wood. Found, and after 
a ring or two in the wood away leaving Canons Ashby 
on the right, through the Gorse, away to Little Preston^ 
on to 'Mantel's Heath, through the Knightley Wood, and 
on to Maidford Village ; short back to Little Preston, back 
through Canons Ashby Gorse on pointing for Adstone, 
short to the left, they ran into him as he was crossing 
a grass meadow near Little Preston. • An hour and 
thirty minutes, as good as a man wishes to see, and over a 
very stiff country. A fine fox indeed. I rode Cheerful,, 
he carried me brilliantly. We found another fox in 
GomeraFs Holt ; away close at him pointing for Alii- 
thorn ; was headed back through Plumpton Wood, away 
through the lower coppice to Adstone, on to Maidford 
Mill ; short to the left to the Canons Ashby Gorse, but 
did not enter, away to Canons Ashby Village, pointing 
for the ponds, short back through the Canons Ashby 
Gorse, and away pointing for Preston Capes to the rights 
when they ran into him crossing a grass field (going away 
for Preston Wood) near to Little Preston. I rode 
Cheerful first. Ensign second, both horses carried me 
magnificently. Don't think I ever had more jumping in 
one day. Many horses tired first run. 

" Dec. 3rd. — Bradden. Kingthorn blank, found in 



1870-71] Frank' Beers' Diaries, 117 

Grub's Coppice, after going into the gorse a time 
or two, away at a rattling pace, leaving Foxley 
Mill just on the right, Blakesley on the right, up the 
grass fields pointing for Bradden, through Woodend, 
straight through Plumpton Wood, pointing for Canons 
Ashby, leaving Gomeral's Holt on the right,, to Weston 
Village, leaving it on the right, and away pointing for 
Oakley Bank, turned to the right through Weedon 
Village, pointing for Allithorn, but turned to the left 
along the meadows at a killing pace ran into him in 
Weedon Bushes, about 55 minutes in the open, the 
fastest I ever rode to in my life ; only myself and young 
Austin Johnson with the hounds. 18 couples. I rode 
Cheerful ; carried me capitally. 

" Dec. 14th. — At Tile House. Found a fox, and went 
away to Dadford. Found another at Stratford Hill ; 
they ran to Chackmore to ground. Found again at Fox- 
cote Wood, ran away to Wicken ; lost him. Found 
again in Wicken Spinneys, they ran hard for 30 minutes 
and killed him in Leckhampstead Wood. Went away 
with another, leaving Lillingstone Dayrell on the left, 
Tilley's on the right, away across Luffield Abbey grounds 
to Hatch Woods ; short back same line, and stopped 
the hounds at Tilley's House. The fox , doubled back 
into the wood, only just before them ; but it was dark, 
and all the horses tired. I never saw hounds go faster, 
all the way best pace. 18 couples bitches. Rataplan 
and Ensign. 

1871. Stopped by frost from 19th Dec, 1870, to 
1 6th Jan., 1871. 

"Jan. i8th. — -Castlethorpe, 12 o'clock. Found in 
Gayhurst Wood, Linford Wood blank. Away at a 
capital pace to Salcey Forest, lots of foxes soon on foot, 
ran from fox to fox, at last ran one to ground under the 



ii8 Frank Beers' Diaries, [1870-71 

Hartwell Road; left him as it came on cold rain and 
gave it up. I rode Rataplan and Ensign. 20 couples of 
dogs out. The first time the Duke has been out this 
season. 

"Feb. 4th. — After a frost met at Whistley Wood. 
Found a good show of foxes, they ran with a capital 
scent an hour, away to ground near Astwell Mill ; bolted 
him, and the hounds ran into him in two fields. Another 
fox bolted from same drain, they ran him to Wappenham, 
over the brook to Helmdon, ran into him. Cheerful and 
Ensign. 25 couples of dogs. 

" Feb. 8th. — HartwelK Found a fox in Ash Wood, 
away at a Tatt4i«g pace, straight through the Forest, 
Horton Wood on the left, away through the Chase, but 
headed short back on his foiled ground to Salcey Forest, 
killed him. Found again at Ash Leys; they ran at a 
terrific pace across Courteenhall Park, over the cutting at 
the bridge, along the line, recrossed the railroad, across 
the Courteenhall Park, into Salcey, out again pointing for 
Preston Park, and killed in Quinton Field ; at least the 
hounds did not really kill him, for he ran into a barn, 
some men caught him and put him into a sack, and 
turned him up before the hounds, but he was quite dead. 
22 couples dogs. I rode Rataplan and Oxford. 

** Feb. loth. — At Astwell Mill. Found at Allithorn. away 
at a rattling pace along the meadows to Astwell Mill, on, 
leaving Whistley on the right, Syresham on the left, 
over the Biddlesden brook, when they caiight view at 
him, and raced along through Whistley, and ran into 
him at Astwell Mill. Hounds running three hours. A 
capital day, and I never saw people tumble about as 
they did. I rode Cheerful and Ensign. 18 couples of 
bitches out. 

Feb. 13th. — Met at Adstone. Found in Canon's Ashby 



1870-71] Frank Beers' Diaries. 119 

Gorse. Away leaving Adstone village on the right, 
through Plumpton Wood, Gomerars Holt, Weston 
Village and Helmdon on the left, and Halse Coppice 
on the right, to Radstone ; was headed and ran, 
leaving Whistley Wood on the right, to Falcote, 
back pointing for Syresham, through Whistley Wood, 
heading for Astwell Mill, leaving Falcote Village just on 
the right, and hounds ran into him in a grass field between 
Whitby and Radstone. Time, 2 hours and 20 minutes. 
A most capital run, and the falls were innumerable. I 
had one, the first I have had this season, off Rataplan. 
We found another fox in Weedon Bushes, hounds ran 
him to Wappenham, back to the brook, to ground. 
Gave it up. I rode Rataplan and Brocklesby. 18 
couples dog pack : they worked well. 

Feb. 15th. — Wakefield Lawn. Got on the line of a 
fox from Fire Furze, but he had been gone too long ; so 
we went to Colonel FitzRoy's covert at Grafton, away 
at a killing pace, leaving Bozenham Mill on the left, 
along the meadows, over the river, straight over the 
railway, leaving Castlethorpe on the right, bore to 
the left to Hanslope, through Tattle End, Gayhurst 
Wood, to Linford Wood, back through Gayhurst 
Wood, Stoke Park, to Salcey, to ground under the 
road ; killed him. Found another in Ashton Ash- 
bed, ran a sharp ring by Bozenham Mill, Ashton, 
and lost him near the railroad. Found again in Grafton 
Park, ran a very fast ring by Alderton Meadows, leaving 
the village on the left, and lost him at Grafton. I rode 
Rifleman, jumped the brook under Grafton, which stopped 
the whole field, and they could not get through the ford ; 
so I had it all to myself, to Hanslope. 

"Feb. 17th. — Met at Radstone. Found several foxes 
in Brackley Gorse, got away at a rattling pace. They 



120 Frank Beers' Diaries. [1870-71 

ran to Cold Ready and Farthinghoe, then to Newbottle, 
back to Brackley Gorse, away, leaving Radstone on 
the right, through Whistley to Astwell Mill, and ran 
into him in the open near Helmdon. I rode Cheerful 
and Ensign. 17 couples dogs. 

** Feb. 2 1 St. — Tile House. Found in Stowe Ridings; 
a fast ring by Tile House Wood, back into Stowe 
Gardens ; stopped the hounds. Found at Stratford Hill, 
and went away immediately at a fast pace through Shal- 
stone Coppice, leaving Westbury Wild oh the left, 
Westbury Village on the left, and over the railroad. To 
this point no one was within fields of the hounds but Mr. 
John Elliott and myself. I never saw hounds run harder 
in my life. The fox only a field before them ; but, most 
unfortunately, we changed our fox at Westbury, after we 
crossed the railroad. Hounds ran leaving Mixbury on 
the right, Finmere on the left to Newton Purcell, leaving 
Frinckford Hill on the right, close past Stratton Mill 
away to Poundon, Marsh Gibbon on the right, then to 
Charndon Wood. Several foxes were on foot, so we 
stopped the hounds. This was a fine run over such a 
charming line of country. The hounds went at a terrific 
pace ; they ran away from the biggest part of the field. 
I rode Rifleman ; he carried me well. Oxford second 
horse. 18 couples of bitches. 

" Feb. 24th. — Plumpton Wood. Found at Canons 
Ashby Ponds. Away pointing for Woodford ; was 
headed to the right, leaving Canons Ashby on the 
right, and ran nearly to GomeraPs Holt,when he jumped 
up all amongst the hounds ; they raced him back, leaving 
Ashby Gorse on the right, Preston Capes on the left, 
Everdon Village on right ; over the brook to ground 
within one field of Dodford Holt. 7^ miles as the crow 
flies. 



1870-71] Frank Beers' Diaries, 121 

" We found another fox in Knightley Wood, and ran 
to Seawell, leaving Lichborough on the right, and to 
Grimscote Village, and from Foxley away to Lichborough, 
pointing for Stowe ; stopped the hounds ; a very hard 
day. I rode Cheerful and Ensign. 18 couples of bitches 
and three couples of dogs. 

*' March 3rd. — Bradden. His Royal Highness the 
Prince of Wales out. Found a fox in Kingthorn Wood. 
Hounds ran sharply across Bradden Fields, over the 
brook to Blakesley, where we lost him. Drew Plumpton, 
GomeraFs Holt, Allithorn, Weedon Bushes, Bradden 
Spinneys, blank. Found in Grub's Coppice, ran fast 
to Cold Higham, Seawell Wood to Blakesley ; lost him. 
One of the hottest days I ever remember for the time of 
year. I rode Cheerful and Brocklesby. 18 couples bitches. 

"March 17th. — Wappenham. Found at Brackley 
Gorse, ran fast to Cold Ready stnd back. Foxes were 
vixens, and would not leave the covert. Found again at 
Whitfield, away at a rattling pace, leaving Westbury on 
the left, and on to Newton Purcell, through Tingewick 
Woods, to Lenborough, nearly to Padbury ; then back 
to the right pointing, for Claydon, leaving Hillesden on 
the left, and we stopped the hounds with great difficulty, 
running hard towards Gawcott, at 7.30. This was a 
fine run, and hounds ran remarkably stout. I rode Cheer- 
ful and Brocklesby. 16 couples of dogs. Did not get 
home until 9.30. 

" April 5th. Sootfield Green. Found in Leckhamp- 
stead Wood. Ran a ring very fast by Wicken, round 
Foxcote Village and Wood, and killed the fox on Mr. 
Shadrach Tompkins's farm at Leckhampstead. Found 
again at Maidsmoreton ; ran fast to Wicken, down the 
meadow, and killed. I rode Brocklesby and the Quinton 
horse. 



122 Frank Beers' Diaries, [1871-7? 

''April 14th. — Last day of the season, met at 

Whittlebury. Found in the Forest and ran to ground in 

Tilley* s Wood. Found again in Leckhampstead Wood ; 

ran to Stowe Park, into the ridings, away for Tilley's 

Wood, headed short back to the left, through Stowe 

Ridings to Dadford, through the parks to Thatcham 

Ponds, and hounds killed him in the hop-yard. I rode 

Stepaway, TreadwelFs horse, four-year-old, and Oxford, 

18 couples, mixed. A capital finish to a capital season. 

Charles (William) Wheatley, first whip, Tom Smith 
second." 

1871-72. 

Began cub-hunting Aug. 29. Killed a cub in the 
forest. 34 couples of bitches out. 

Nov. 13th. Began regular hunting at Preston Capes. 
Met at 12.30 on account of frost. Found in Church 
Wood ; ran all over the Preston country but did not kilL 

Nov. 17th. — Astwell Mill. Stopped by frost until 
the following Thursday afternoon. Had a capital after- 
noon in the Forest, killed a fox. 

Nov. 24th. — Whistley Wood. Found a good fox ; he 
secured too much start, but we hunted up to him at 
Allithorn, ran him to ground at Sulgrave, and having 
bolted him, he ran back through Allithorn and went to 
ground at Greatworth. 

" Nov. 27th. — Foster's Booth. The first time the Duke 
was out. Found at Roper's Gorse, and ran to ground at 
Gayton. Found in Tiffield Allotments, but the fox would 
not leave.; Went to Easton, found at . Waterhall, went 
away at a killing pace, through Stoke Park, leaving 
Alderton on the right, Grafton Park on the right, as 
hard as they could go. A fresh fox jumped up in 
view, but I had them stopped, and hit off the line of 
our hunted fox, up to the forest. It was too dark to 



1871-72] Frank Beers' Diaries. ' 123 

go on. i8i couples bitches. I rode Stepaway and 
Brocklesby. 

Dec. I St. — Plumpton. Found, went away to Canons 
Ashby, turned to Maidford Village, and killed the fox 
there. I rode Cheerful and Ensign. 18 couples bitches 
out. Frost until Dec. 14th. 

Dec. 14th. — Castle Thorpe. Found at Pike's Gorse, 
and killed at Haversham Found again at Gayhurst, and 
ran over the river to Tyringham ; back again to Linford 
Wood, and gave it up. 

" Dec. 15th. — Whitfield. Killed our fox in the covert. 
Found in Brackley Gorse, went through Steane Park to 
Cockley, on to Marston, where the fox turned short 
back, leaving Newbottle on the right, and rati through 
Cold Ready to Hinton, and ran into him in front of the 
Brackley Workhouse, after 57 minutes, with hardly a 
check ; lots of croppers. We found a third fox in a 
little spinney in Helmdon Field ; close at him to Falcote, 
Helmdon,and Allithorn, away pointing for Weston Village, 
to the right along the brook side, between Weedon 
Wood and Green's Park, to the left into Plumpton. 
Four or five foxes on foot, so .we went home. 35 minutes. 
A charming line, almost too stiff. A large field out, 
but the hounds ran away from them. Only Mr. Lamb ton 
and myself, Mr. Gosling, Mr. Hibberd, and my second 
whip really saw the whole of it. I rode Cheerful and 
Ensign.'' 

Dec. r6th.-^ Wakefield. A very useful day in the 
forest, and killed a fox. 

Dec. 19th. — Stowe-Nine-Churches. Found and 
went away to Weedon Village ; a fox was headed and 
ran to the right of Stowe, down to Lichboro' to ground. 
Found again at Mantel's Heath. The fox left Badby 
Wood on the left, past Daventry on the left, to Dodford 



124 Frank Beers' Diaries, [1871-72 

Holt, through it to Norton Park, leaving the village on 
the right. Here hounds caught sight of their fox, and 
raced him ; but he just saved his life by going to ground 
in the earths at Welton Place. I rode Rub-a-Dub and 
Brocklesby. 

Dec. 20th. — Tile House. Found and ran about 
Stowe Ridings, Stratford Hill, and had a very wild, bad 
hunting day. 

Dec. 22nd. — Bradden. Found at Kingthorn, and 
ran fast by Bradden Ponds, Green's Park, leaving 
Wappenham on the left, and then straight through 
Whistley, pointing for Radstone, where hounds turned 
to the left, and raced their fox to death close to Whit- 
field Church. Time, i hour and 37 minutes ; a capital 
run. Found again in a spinney close to Whitfield 
Coppice, ran to Westbury and back to Whitfield. I rode 
Cheerful and Ensign. 18 couples of bitches out. 

"Dec. 26th, 1 87 1. — Preston Capes. I could not hunt 
on account of a very severe attack of bronchitis. On 
Sunday last I thought I should have been suffocated. 
The Duke, with his usual kindness to me, won't hear of 
my hunting again this week. I hope that by the blessing 
of Providence I shall start on Monday next. * Charles ' 
Wheatley hunted the hounds, he is my first whip. 
He informs me that hounds found a fox at Hinton Gorse, 
but only half of them got away, so he lost his fox, and 
went back to the other hounds ; then they ran to 
Fawsley, through Badby, and lost him. Found again at 
Charwelton, and ran to ground. Another fox was 
coming up the field ; they killed him directly. 

Dec. 29th. — Whistley. Hounds found, and ran to 
Whitfield, and killed him. Found another fox at 
Brackley, and ran to Weston and lost him. Charles 
rode Cheerful and Ensign. 



1871-72] Frank Beers' Diaries. 125 

Jan. ist, 1872. — Farthingstone. They found in 
Mantel's Heath, ran to Heyford Ironworks, and lost 
their fox at Astcote. 

Jan. 3rd. — Hartwell. . Found in the forest, ran to 
ground at Hardingstone, got him out and killed him. 
The hounds ran alone, not a soul near them, away from 
every horse. Found again in Ash Leys ; ran the fox 
into a pond, and killed him at Courteenhall. 

Jan. 8th. — Tiffield. *' My first day out after my attack.'' 
Killed a fox and had a fair day. 

*' Jan. 1 2th. — Bradden, Found in a haulm-stack close 
to Kingthorn Wood, and ran pointing for Foscote, leaving 
Bradden on the right, Blakesley and Seawell on the left, 
and Grimscote on the right, down to Rodmere, and then 
back through Grimscote Heath and Grub's Coppice to 
Seawell ; hounds killed their fox at Lichborough. For 
the first fifty-five minutes pace was terrific. Hounds had 
the best of it ; the ground was deep and there were many 
falls. I rode Cheerful and Brocklesby." 

Jan. 15th. — Woodford. Found in the Gorse, ran to 
Warden Hill, and lost him. Found in Plumpton Wood ; 
ran fast by Weston and Moreton Pinkney, leaving Eydon 
on the right, straight away to Cul worth, and killed the 
fox. A capital run. 

"Jan. 19th. — Found in Whistley Wood and went at 
once by Halse, with Allithorn on the right, through 
Plumpton and Seawell, and we lost him .at Lichborough- 
Found at Astcote Thorns ; ran to Towcester, back to 
Duncote to ground. I rode Cheerful and Brocklesby."^ 
17 couples, bitches. 



* These were Beeis' best horses. Cheerful, bred by Lord Cloncurry, 
by Cheerful Horn, I sold to the Duke. The other came from Lincoln- 
shire. — J. M. K. E. 



126 Frank Beers' Diaries. [1871-72 

" Jan. 20th. — Bye day. I had a cold, so was not out. 
Hounds met at Bucknells, away through Stowe Gardens, 
and ran into him near Buckingham. Found again at 
Foxcote, and ran to ground near Maidsmoreton. A 
capital scenting day. 

** Jan. 22nd. — Preston Capes. Found at Charwelton 
osiers, and ran pointing for Fawsley ; turned to the left 
through Hinton-Gotse, with Woodford on the rights up 
to Charwelton, and then away to Fawsley Hinton, and 
Byfield ; finally ran t(^ ground at Mill Spinney ; after 
running hard for nearly three hours. Changed foxes 
three or four times ; good scent, lots of horses tired, i 
rode Stepaway and Ensign. Ground very deep, and 
it was a pouring wet day. 

** Jan. 24th. — Met at Tile House. Found a lame fox 
and killed him in the covert. Found in Three Parks 
Wood ; ran to Stowe Gardens and lost him. Found in 
Stratford Hill ; ran to Shalstone, straight away for Ast- 
well ; hounds ran him from scent to view, and killed him 
at Astwell Park. Found again in Bucknells. Hounds 
ran there for an hour and a half and killed him. A good 
day, but ground was awfully deep. 18 couples of dogs. 
I rode Oxford and Quinton. 

"Jan. 26th. — Astwell Mill. Found in Allithorn ; away 
by Sulgrave to Edgcote, on to Chipping- Warden Village, 
iDack by Wardington, with Thenford Gorse on the left, to 
Halse Coppice, Radstone and Whitfield Coppice on the 
left, across Biddlesden Park, on through Whitfield Wood, 
and stopped the hounds. We changed foxes several 
times, but hounds were running the whole time, and I 
consider this to be the most severe day for horses and 
hounds I ever saw. I never saw either of my whippers- 
in for the last two and a half hours, each tiring his second 
horse. Lord Charles FitzRoy assisted me nearly to the 



1871-72] Frank Beers' Diaries, 127 

kennels with the hounds. I rode two of my best horses, 
and my second horse was so tired that he could scarcely 
get home. My two whippers-in reached home about two 
hours after me. 18 couples bitches. I rode Cheerful and 
Brocklesby. 

** Jan. 29th. — Stowe-Nine-Churches. Found and went 
away directly straight over the hill, leaving Dodford on 
the left, and ran to ground under the London- and North- 
Western Railroad. Found again in Little Presfon 
Wood, and killed at Mill Spinney, close to Fawsley. I 
rode Ensign and Rifleman. 19 couples of bitches. 

*'Jan. 31st. — Hartwell. Found in Ash Leys. Away 
through Plane Woods to Tiflfield Allotments, turned to 
the right under Eastcote, and ran the fox to ground in 
Mr Grove's Earths ; bolted and killed him. Another 
fox bolted out, went away past Drayson's House. Grims- 
cote Heath, pointing for Astcote Thorns, and ran into 
a barn at Pattishall and killed him. A most capital 
day's sport. I rode Oxford and Rifleman. 21 couples, 
dogs. 

*'Feb. 9th. — -Bradden. Killed a turn down fox at 
Bradden Ponds. Kingthorn Wood blank. Just as we 
were putting them into Astcote Thorns a halloa brought 
us back to Potcote, but no fox ! Found in Lichborough 
Coppice, and ran away past Foxley to Bradden Brook, 
turned to the right, leaving Blakesley on the left, to 
Foxley, to ground near Grimscote Heath, at a killing 
pace the whole way. Don't remember seeing hounds 
run faster. Found again in Seawell Wood ; ran to 
Farthingstone Wood, to Mantel's Heath, Hen Wood, 
back to Farthingstone Village, to Seawell Wood and 
Lichborough. Hounds raced him in view to a drain, 
put a Roman candle in the drain, he bolted (no 
wonder!), and they killed him in two fields, I rode 



128 Frajtk Beers^ Diaries. [1871-72 

Cheerful and Brocklesby. 17^ couples of bitches, they 
did well, ground very deep. 

" Feb. 23rd. — Brackley. Found in the Gorse, away to 
Steane ; hounds divided. Both lots ran away for Halse 
Coppice, on to Helmdon, back towards Greatworth and 
Brackley Gorse ; away again across Steane Park, over 
the road to Hinton-in-the-Hedges, back to Brackley 
Station, and Evenley Park. Two or three fresh foxes 
were on foot ; we changed and went away with a fresh 
one to Whitfield Coppice, through Hatch Woods, Crown 
Lands, to Bucknells ; gave it up. Two or three fresh 
foxes on foot there. A very hard day indeed for 
hounds and horses, the ground fearfully heavy. Impos- 
sible for horses to go with the hounds. A burning scent 
in the morning. Had the bitches out again to-day, 
although they were out on Wednesday ; they worked 
remarkably well. 18 couples. I rode Brocklesby and 
Ensign. 

"March 15th— Met at Astwell Mill. His Royal 
Highness Prince Arthur out. He came on a visit to 
the Duke of Grafton at Wakefield Lodge. Wieedon 
Wood blank. Found in Plumpton Wood, away at a 
great pace to Maidford, and killed him, at least a sheep- 
dog undoubtedly did^ as his owner popped him into a 
ditch ! The hounds were that jealous they would not 
eat the fox! Found again in Seawell Wood, ran to 
Grimscote Heath, round to Lichborough, back to Seawell 
Wood, round to Cold Higham, and lost him. Kingthorn 
and Astcote Thorns blank, gave it up. 1 7 couples 
bitches. I rode Cheerful and Brocklesby. 

" March i6th. — Wakefield . Lawn. Found at Fire 

, Furze, away at a rattling pace, along to Bozenham Mill, 

over the river to Hanslope, and lost him. Found again 

at Colonel FitzRoy's new covert, ran at a killing pace to 



1^72-73] Frank Beers Diaries. 129 

Stoke Park, short back through the Gardens, past the 
front of the house pointing for the Colonel's covert^* 
turned to the left up to the canal; here the hounds 
caught view, they never left him, but raced him to death 
before he could reach the Park Wood. 

" His Royal Highness saw the whole, and rode 
pluckily and well. I had the honour of presenting him 
with the brush, for which he kindly thanked me. Also 
he paid me a high compliment in saying 'I had shown 
the best sport of any pack in England.' He said also: — 
" You had the best sport in England last year.'' His 
Royal Highness was obliged to go by an early train, so 
left for Wakefield for luncheon. Did no more worth 
recording. I rode Rub-a-Dub and Quinton, 16 couples 
dogs. 

" March i8th. — Preston Capes. Found near Fawsley^ 
ran to Preston Church Wood on to Canons Ashby. A 
fearful snowstorm came on, and we lost the fox. Found 
in Allithorn, ran fast towards Sulgrave, turned short 
to the right past Colonel Hutchinson's covert on to 
Plumpton Wood, back to Weston and killed him. An 
hour and ten minutes, a most capital run. I rode 
Stepaway, he carried me brilliantly, and Ensign." 

April nth. — Ended the season at Sootfield Green. 
Charles (William) Wheatley, first whipper-in ; Tom 
Smith, second whip. 

1872-73. 

" 1872, Nov. 1 8th. — First day of the season. Met at 
Foster's Booth. Found in Drayson's osier-bed, away 
over the brook at a good pace, ran to Stowe, leaving 
the village on the right, pointing for Lichborough, bore 
away over the hill pointing for the barracks, but the fox 
was headed ; he made his point by leaving Weedon 

K 



130 Frank Beers* Diaries. [1872-73 

on the left, over the road through Floore Village, 
Brockhall on the left, to Brington, and leaving Buckby 
Wharf on the left to Crick Station, over the railroad to 
Welton. Here the scent got dreadful; a cold drizzling 
rain came on, prevented us killing our fox. This was 
undoubtedly the same fox all the way, and we were 
unfortunate in not killing him ; it would have been quite 
a * red-letter ' day. 20 couples of bitches. I rode 
Stepaway and Brocklesby. There were numerous falls, 
and several came to grief at Newbottle Brook. A very 
stiff country indeed. 

**Dec. 2nd. — Preston Capes. Found in Hollowell Pool, 
ran to Charwelton, lost him. Found another in Hinton 
Gorse, away at a rattling pace to Church Wood, through 
Ashby Ponds to Moreton Pinkney, to the right up to the 
$ulgrave Road, back to Eydon, leaving the house and 
gorse on the left, and away pointing for Red Hill, but 
bore away to Hinton Gorse, back through Hinton Village 
to Woodford, and killed him in the churchyard. About 
an hour and thirty-five minutes. I rode Stepaway and 
jumped the new railway railings by Moreton Pinkney, 
and stopped the whole Field, so that I had it to myself 
for over . three miles — quite alone ! Rifleman second 
horse. 18^ couples of bitches." 

Dec. 9th. — Adstone. Found a bob-brushed fox at 
Lichborough Coppice. Ran thirty-five minutes close on 
his back all the way, and killed at Lichborough. Found 
another at Grimscote Heath and lost him at Heyford. 
- *' Dec. 30th. — Preston Capes. Found at Hinton 
Gorse ; away at a tremend6us pace to Ganderton's, 
turned to the left through Church Wood, away through 
the village, leaving Little Preston just on the right, and 
then over the road pointing for Canons Ashby to 
Adstone, turned short over the brook, leaving Maidford 



1872-73] Frank Beers' Diaries. 131 

Village on the right, straight away through Stowe Wood 
without dwelling a moment, over the hill and Everdon 
trook, and short back to Mantel's Heath to ground. 
Had we killed him this' would have been one of the best 
runs I ever rode to, the pace being so good throughout. 
A great many falls ; a great many in the brook. I was 
•carried magnificently through this famous run on Step- 
away ; he proved himself a remarkable stayer ; no other 
horse went the distance he did. 18 couples mixed. 
Brocklesby was my second horse." 

" 1873. Jan. ist. — At Castlethorpe. Found at Pike's 
'Gorse and ran away to Castlethorpe, and lost him. 
Found again in Gayhurst Wood, away through Stoke 
Park, over the road nearly to Ravenstone Village, 
through Ravenstone Wood, through Horton to Hackle- 
ton, straight away to Salcey, which he did not enter, 
but ran short back to Horton House, where hounds 
killed him. A capital run ; lots of falls. I got into a 
pond, and Captain White jumped in after me and 
knocked me head over heels under water, and I was 
•obliged to swim across ; was never so wet in all my life, 
but I went on and killed my fox afterwards. The pond 
was at the corner of Ravenstone Wood. 17 couples 
of dogs. I rode Oxford and Rifleman. 

"Jan. 6th. — Found a fox in Stowe Wood after ringing 
there an hour or more, went away over the hill to Goff's 
House, away through Everdon Stubbs, Mantel's Heath, 
Knightley's Wood, Little Preston Wood on the left, 
away nearly to Preston Capes, through Little Preston, 
away towards Adstone Gorse, leaving Adstone and Maid- 
ford on the right, through Seawell Wood, over the road 
away over the bottom, pointing for Farthingstpne, over 
the brook, and ran into him in the grass meadows point- 
ing for Stowe. An hour and thirty minutes in the open. 

K 2 



132 Frank Beers* Diaries, [1873-74. 

A first-rate run. I was riding Stepaway, he carried me 
magnificently all the way. We had 18 couples of 
bitches. 

" March 28th. — Brackley Town, Found in Whistley 
Wood ; away at a tremendous pace, pointing for Halse ; 
turned short away under Radstone, and killed going 
back into Whistley. Found at Whitfield Coppice and. 
ran very fast to Turweston, over the brook into Whistley,, 
round the wood and out again, over the brook to Whit- 
field, through Biddlesden Gardens to Shalstone, across 
Boycott Farm to Dadford, on to the left through Whit- 
field Wood, up to Biddlesden Cross-roads, where I 
stopped them as our horses were all dead beat. Lord 
Valentia was out and said it was the best run fee had 
seen this season. I rode Stepaway and Brocklesby.. 
18 couples mixed." 

Finished the season April 28th. — " The past has been 
the wettest season I ever remember. Impossible for 
horses to go straight with hounds, the country being so- 
deep. Tom Smith, first whip ; Wm. Smith, second whip,, 

1873-74. 

1873. Sept. 5th. — Began cub-hunting. Went out 
twenty-seven times and killed twenty-two foxes. 

Nov. loth. — Began regular hunting at Foster's Booth. 
Found in Astcote Thorns and ran him to ground. Found 
again in Tiffield Allotments ; away to Easton Park, and 
back to Tiffield, and on to Nun Wood, where we stopped. 

" Nov. 26th. — At Wakefield Lawn. Found in Fire 
Furze, went away directly as hard as they could go to- 
Ashton, and ran him to ground in Roade field. Drew 
Ashton Ash-bed blank, and as we were going away our 
hunted fox came out of the hole ; we ran him for three or 
four fields, and bowled him over near the Ash-bed. Colonel 



^873-74] Frank Beers' Diaries. 133 

FitzRoy's new covert blank. Found a good fox in 
Stoke Park, and ran away at a good pace to Roade Hyde, 
leaving Plane Woods on the left, to Blisworth, through 
Tiffield Allotments to Mr. Ridgway's Gardens, across 
Mr. Elliott's Farm to Greens Norton Allotments, over 
the road to ground at Duncote. A capital run, and the 
fox was viewed dea(^ beat ^before the hounds for three 
fields. Such a blinding rain storm came on that the 
hounds were prevented from running into him. I 
Tode Oxford and Newgentstown, the latter carried me 
•capitally. 18^ couples mixed. 

" Nov. 28th. — Radstone. The Duke's first appearance 
in the hunting field since his illness. Everybody pleased 
to see his Grace out, and nobody more so than I, Frank 
Beers. 

'* Found a good show of foxes in Brackley Gorse ; 
went away with one to Gooseholme, was headed back, 
and hounds killed him in Gooseholme. Found another 
in the gorse, ran away very fast along the railway 
nearly to Greatworth, by Halse Village, leaving Radstone 
on the left, straight to Biddlesden Gardens, where he 
crept in dead beat ; we could never touch him again. 
This was a good run, and hounds had a bit the best 
of the horses all the fore part of it. Found again in 
Whitfield Coppice, biit lost him. 17^ couples mixed. 

" Dec. 5th. — Foxley. Found in Grub's Coppice, ran 
to Astcote Village, Caldecote, over the road to Duncote, 
where they ran into him. Found in Astcote Thorns, 
and went away at a capital pace to Tiffield, back to 
ground, close at him at Caldecote. Found again in 
Grimscote Heath, ran into a drain near Mr. Ayers's. 
house at Potcote, bolted him ; he ran about six minutes, 
hounds racing him all the way and ran into him. 
17 couples mixed. 



134 Frank Beers^ Diaries, [1873-74: 

" Dec. 6th. — A bye-day at Whittlebury. Found in 
Seven Coppices, raced as though they saw him away to- 
a drain at Silverstone, bolted him ; he ran for about five 
or six fields, and hounds killed him. Found again in 
Lyncher, away at once through Mr. Robart's coverts,. 
Tile House Wood just on the left, through the corner 
of Stowe Ridings, across Park Fields Farm, past 
Thatcham Ponds, straight through Hatch Woods without 
dwelling, along the. brook side to Syresham, bore away 
down to Mr. Morgan's at Biddlesden, where they ran 
from scent to view and knocked him over just as he 
entered the gardens. Time fifty minutes, as good as. 
I ever saw, without a check ; the best run we have had 
this season. Found again in Bucknells, went over the 
open for Astwell Mill, but as we did not want to disturb- 
that country, stopped the hounds. Went back to- 
Bucknells, found, and ran to Silverstone and Whittle- 
bury, and stopped the hounds in the park. 25 couples- 
mixed pack. 

** Dec. 22nd. — Little Preston. Found in Church 
Wood. Away close to his brush through Little 
Preston Wood, away just through the bottom corner 
of Mantel's Heath, straight away to Farthingstone,. 
nearly to Stowe Wood, but was headed over the 
bottom, and they ran into him before he could reach 
Lichborough. Time, thirty minutes as fast as possible- 
Found again in Knightley Wood, ran through Seawell 
Wood past Cold Higham to Foster's Booth, on to Astcote 
Thorns ; lost him. About fifty minutes, very good 
indeed. A couple of foxhound puppies ran the fox, which 
spoiled the finish, or I think we should have killed him„ 
F4>und again in Grimscote Heath; away straight to- 
Tiffield Village to a drain which happened to b^ 
stopped, then ran at best pace back to Farthingstone, t^ 



1873-74] Frank Beers' Diaries. 135 

Knightley's Wood, to the top corner of Mantel's Heath, 
and back through Seawell Wood. I stopped hounds 
when going for Foxley ; it was quite dark. A tre- 
mendous day for hounds. I never saw hounds run 
stouter than they did to-day. I rode Stepaway and 
Newgentstown. 1 7 couples bitches. 

"Dec. 26th. — Whistley Wood. Ran a fox for forty 
minutes, he would not leave the covert ; hounds killed 
him. Found again in Halse Coppice ; away at a fast 
pace to the parish of Thorpe Mandeville, to Sulgrave, 
back through Allithorn to Astwell Mill, over the brook 
to Wappenham on the right, over the railroad and 
brook, over the hill, and hounds killed him before he 
could reach Greens Park. An hour, the best thing of 
the season. Hounds ran at a great pace all the time ; 
a large field of the Bicester men out, who all said it 
was the best run they had seen this season. Colonel 
Hutchinson's Covert we then drew blank ; found in 
Allithorn, but the scent had changed. We went nearly 
to Plumpton Wood, on to Canons Ashby, and lost him. 
I rode Brocklesby and Lansley's horse. 17I couples 
bitches. 

^* 1874. Jan. 9th. — Radstone. Found in Brackley 
Gorse. Went to ground. Found in the Ash-bed and 
ran fast, leaving Radstone on the left, over the 
Turweston brook (where several came to grief) to Whit- 
field Coppice, where I think we changed foxes ; through 
Westbury Wild, across Biddlesden Park, Syresham 
Village just on the right, and Crown Lands, on to 
Handley without checking ; hounds were on the go all the 
time until 4.30 ; a very hard day indeed. 

"Jan. 1 2th. — Met at Farthingstone. Found in Stowe- 
Nine-Church Wood and ran to ground under Mr. 
Johnstone's house. Found again in Mantel's Heath> 



136 Frank Beers' Diaries, [1873-74 

and away directly through Knightley Wood and Burn- 
fold, leaving Maidford Village on the left, Blakesley 
on the right, to Foxley, Grub's Coppice on the left, 
Duncote on the right, Towcester Union on the left, 
all the back of Towcester, across Easton Neston- Park, 
to Montgomery's house, and killed the fox in Heathen- 
cote Plantation. An hour and thirty minutes. 184 
couples of bitches. I rode Stepaway.* 

" Jan. 14th — Hartwell. Found in the forest. Hounds 
ran a fox as though they were tied to him for forty 
minutes, and killed him. Found again in Brayfield 
Furze, a lame fox; they soon killed him. Found 
foxes in the Chase, ran there an hour and thirty minutes 
and killed one in Weston Wood. 

"Jan. 19th. — Shoseley. Found in Plane Woods, went 
with a rattle through Stoke Park to the forest, and 
killed a fox in Wakefield kitchen garden. A capital 
-run. Found again at Easton Neston Gardens, ran to 
Roade Cutting and lost him. More than half the hounds 
went down the cutting and not one hurt. A train 
luckily pulled up in the cutting to allow the hounds to 
escape ; a mercy they did escape. 

" Jan. 28th. — Tile House. Found in -Mrs; Pilgrim's 
gardens, away to Tile House, across Stowe Park to Stowe 
Ridings, through' Foxcote Wood, Wicken Spinneys, by 
Beachampton Ford to Furzen Field, pointing to Bourton 
Brake, and, running from scent to view, they pulled 
him down in a grass field before he could reach the Brake. 
A most capital run. 

"Jan. 30th. — At Astwell Mill. Found in Allithorn, 

*Stepaway was bred by Mr. R. Treadwell of Shalstone, a good 
farmer and fox preserver. He was known to the people in general as 
** Rat-tail." As he was such a valuable horse, I name this for the credit 
of the Hunt, where he was bred and spent his life. — J. M. K. E. 



1873-74] Frank Beers* Diaries. 137 

the fox running away to Helmdon, over the road, across 
Stuchbury grass fields, leaving Sulgrave on the left, and 
away at the back of Weedon, across the grass to Oakley 
Bank to ground; the fox just saved his brush. Found 
again at Plumpton, and ran to ground at Adstone. 

** Feb. 2nd. — Adstone. Found a brace of foxes lying in 
a field between Adstone and Canons Ashby; went away 
with a capital start to Preston, round by Ganderton 
Spinney, back to Mantel's Heath, leaving Everdon on 
the right, short back to Little Preston Wood to Mantel's 
Heath, where we killed him. Found again in Charwelton 
osier-bed, away to within one field of Griffin's Gorse, to 
the right pointing for Staverton, over the grass field, 
back to Fawsley, and we stopped the hounds going into 
Badby Wood. A very hard day. 18 couples bitches. 

*^ 1874. Feb. 28th. — A bye-day at Sootfield Green. 
Found in Leckhampstead Wood ; with a good scent 
hounds ran for an hour in covert and went away point- 
ing for Foxcote, turned to Wicken Spinneys, then towards 
Leckhampstead, where they caught him. An hour and 
thirty minutes. Found again in Wicken Spinneys, ran 
fast through Leckhampstead Wood, over the open, past 
Puxley into the forest ; across the Lawn, back past the 
Pond-head, into Dairy quarter. They killed him after 
fifty-eight minutes. Found again in Redmere. With a 
•capital scent hounds raced across the Pheasantry into 
Lady Coppice, where they ran hard for an hour and ten 
minutes and killed him. A capital day ; hounds proved 
themselves almost untirable. Every hound went home 
and fed well, which I consider speaks volumes for health 
and condition. 

" March 2nd. — Stowe-Nine-Churches. Found, and 
after a ring or two in covert went away towards 
Daventry ; lost the fox at Dodford. 



138 Frank Beers' Diaries. [1873-74- 

" Found in Mantel's Heath ; away fast past Preston, 
Ashby Gorse, to Adstone : over the Maidford Brook,, 
and back into Mantel's Heath, where they killed the fox. 
Time, fifty-five minutes, as good a run as one wishes to 
see. 

"March 13th. — Foxley. Found at Seawell ; ran to 
Maidford, over the Preston Road to Farthingstone, and 
back to Seawell, and lost him. Found in Grub's 
Coppice, away at best pace to Caldecote, on past Shut- 
langer. Stoke Bruerne, and Alderton, and killed him at 
Mr. Roper's at Grafton." 



CHAPTER XI. 

FRANK BEERS* DIARIES {Continued). 

1874-75- 

1874. Aug. 24th. — Began cubhunting. Out thirty- 
eight days, killed fifty foxes. 

Nov. 9th. — We began regular hunting at Stowe-Niner 
Churches. A Stowe cubhunting day, killed a fox and 
ran one to ground. 

" Dec. nth. — Astwell Mill. Found in Allithorn, away 
to ground at Stuchbury. Found in Whistley Wood, away 
towards Radstone, very straight to Halse Coppice, 
through the right-hand covert ; they raced from scent to 
view, and knocked him over, going to Stuchbury. A 
capital thirty-five minutes." Went to Bucknells, and 
ran nearly to Towcester, and stopped them. 

" 1875. Jan. 6th. — Castlethorpe. Found in Linford 
Wood ; away to Stoke (Goldington) Park, pointing for 
Hanslope, where they raced into him in the open. Found 
in Gay hurst Wood, ran very fast through Linford Wood,, 
across Gayhurst Park, over the Open by Tattle End^ 
back to Gayhurst Wood, out at the bottom corner, where 
they ran into him. Found again in the Round Wood, a 
fox quite tired ; they ran him round the covert once and 



140 Frank Beers' Diaries, [1874-75 

killed him ; gave it up. A good scenting day. I rode 
Dandy and Grey Mare. 20 couples of dogs. 

*' Jan. 8th. — Blakesley Village. Found in Plumpton 
Wood. Went once or twice round the wood, at last 
away pointing for Canons Ashby, to the right across 
Adstone Fields, straight through Ashby Gorse ; up the 
hill road he was headed, and sank the valley to the 
osier-bed near Charwelton ; was headed by a shepherd, 
ran along the brookside, nearly to Hinton Gorse, turned 
over the fields as though he meant Eydon, short back, 
leaving Canons Ashby Ponds on the right, past Mr. 
Flowers^s house to Lichborough, down the bottom, where 
we viewed him, raced in view to Farthingstone. He 
evaded the hounds by the people hallooing so much ; got 
back to Lichborough, on through Knightley's Wood and 
Little Preston Wood, out at the bottom corner pointing 
for Preston Church Wood, where they killed him going 
with his head set for Hogstaff. Ran into him in the 
open, after one of the best runs the Duke of Grafton's 
Hounds have ever had. Time, two hours and ten minutes. 
I rode Stepaway nearly all the run ; he carried me 
brilliantly, but he never had such a severe day in his life 
TDefore. We had a trepiendous Field out, and many came 
to grief, ^d a great many-tired 'horses. - Mr. Rice, jun.^ of 
Northampton, broke his horse's leg. We then went to 
Seawell, found a great many foxes ; the hounds divided ; 
ive ran past Lichborough to Stowe Wood. Stopped the 
hounds, a very hard day for them, they ran remarkably 
stout just after the frost. 19 couples of bitches. 

**Jan. 18. — Foster's Booth. Found several foxes in 
Stowe Wood ; after ringing round the covert for nearly 
lialf an hour, killed him. Went away with another, 
pointing for Weedon, hurried to the right, away 
leaving Heyford Ironworks on the left, Bugbrook on 



1874-75] Frank Beers' Diaries, 141 

the left, along the brookside, past Drayson's osier- 
bed and house, to Banbury Lane, hunted him back 
to Eastcote, to ground; put in a terrier, bolted him,, 
went away at a rattling pace to Bugbrook Downs, 
over the brook towards Stowe, over the Lichborough 
bottom, as hard as hounds could race, to Grimscote 
Village, leaving it just to the right, on to Potcote, ran 
away from nearly al the Field ; in fact, up to here the pace 
was very fast ; only Mr Barry, of Blisworth, and myself 
with them to Grimscote Village. At Potcote we came to 
a check, hit him off again at Astcote Thorns, straight 
through the covert, they ran the fastest I ever saw 
hounds run, to Tiffield, to ground in a drain. We 
stopped up the water at the top for a few minutes, and 
washed him out and killed him. This has been a real 
good day's sport, and a hard day for hounds, they have 
been running all day. A great many people out ; several 
from the Pytchley country, who said it was the best day 
they had seen this season. I rode Brocklesby first horse, 
who carried me wonderfully well, and Newgentstown 
second horse. We had 20 couples of bitches out. 

1875. 

" Jan. 25th. — Preston Capes. Found in Hogstaff, went 
away through Badby Wood, pointing for Charwelton,. 
turned back to the left to Mill Spinney, over the Brook 
to Mantel's Heath, where they ran twenty minutes, 
through Farthingstone Wood, Lichborough on the left, 
Grimscote Heath to the right; ran into him near 
Weedon a capital run, 2 hours and 30 minutes. Found 
again in Stowe Wood, ran to Heyford, and lost him. 
I rode Newgentstown and O^cford. 1 7 couple of 
dogs. 



142 Frank Beers' Diaries. [1875-76 

"Jan. 27th. — Met at Wicken Village, Wicken Spinneys 
and the Thornton Spinneys, Foxcote Wood, and Mr. 
Robart's little covert blank. Found in Mrs. Pilgrim's 
Wood ; off at a great pace through Stowe Park, and the 
gardens, to Guernsey Hill, Chackmore, back to Mrs. 
Pilgrim's and Stowe Park, to ground. Found again in 
Tile House Wood, away through Mrs. Pilgrim's down to 
Lillingstone, short back through Tile House Wood, 
Stowe Ridings, over the grass, nearly to Three Parks 
Wood ; through the top corner of Whitfield Wood, away to 
the Biddlesden cross-roads, pointing for Westbury Wild, 
ran between the Whitfield Coppices, through Whitfield, 
through the Clergyman's Garden, up to the Brackley 
Road, at last ran within a field of Whistley Wood, along 
the flat ; they raced along and ran from scent to view, 
and bowled him over at Astwell Park Farm. This has 
been a most capital run, and very satisfactory time, an 
hour and thirty minutes. I rode the Grey Mare the 
whole time, could not get my second horse ; she carried 
me capitally, but very beat to finish. 

** Feb. 15th. — At Preston Capes. Found in Hinton 

Gorse ; went down by Woodford, through Ganderton 

Spinney, up to Church Wood, killed him ; fifty minutes 

best pace. Found at Canons Ashby, ran through 

Plumpton Wood past Blakesley Hall to Seawell Wood 

on to Foxley, past Caswell to Bradden Ponds, through 

the spinneys, on for Greens Park, nearly to the lower 

coppice of Plumpton Wood, back through Blakesley 

Village, away to Bradden Fields, over the brook, up 

the meadows, and ran into him near Blakesley Church. 

2 hours and 35 minutes, as good a hunting run as one 

could see. 

1875-76. 

Aug. 30th, 1875. — Began cub-hunting. Went out 



1875-76] Frank Beers' Diaries. 143 

thirty-three times, killed forty-one foxes. " The best 
cub-hunting I ever remember, and the wettest, great 
floods several times during the cubhunting; hundreds 
•of sheep drowned, between 100 and 150 drowned at 
Shutlanger and Stoke Meadows. 

Nov. 8th. — Hounds began regular hunting at Foster's 
Bo'oth. Found in Everdon Stubbs ; a lot of ringing 
about, not much sport. 

"Nov. 19th. — Radstone. Found in Brackley Gorse, 
went away at a tremendous pace, pointing for Halse 
Coppice, Radstone to the left, over the brook by 
Turweston ; only three rode at it, myself, Tom Smith 
my first whip, and a young gentleman Mr. Hannay 
by name, he got a regular cropper ; Tom Smith broke 
his horse's back. I got well over, but my horse, 
Newgentstown, came on to his nose and knees ! I rolled 
•off, but up and on instantly, and after the hounds ; ran 
to Biddlesden Park. We did not persevere further that 
way owing to Mr. Morgan's shooting. Found at Halse 
Coppice a brace of foxes, but they went to ground. 
Found again in Whistley Wood, ran well there for 
forty minutes ; at last, like pigeons, up wind to Radstone, 
to ground under the road, poked him out with a pole, 
and killed him. 

*' Dec. 13th. — Preston Capes. Found in Hinton 
Gorse ; ran past Charwelton osier-bed, over pointing for 
Fawsley, to ground near Griffin's Gorse. Found again 
in a hedgerow near Charwelton, ran him to ground. 
Found again in the osier-bed near the old Mill, over the 
brook nearly to Hinton, back to Charwelton, and killed 
him there. Found again at Hogstaff, ran to Badby 
Wood, back through Preston Church Wood, through 
Badby Wood, and stopped the hounds at Sudborough ; 
a, tremendous hard day. I rode Egmont and Clansman. 



144 Frank Beers* Diaries. [iSjs-^^ 

22\ couple bitches, all there at the finish, and ran 
remarkably stout. 

*' Dec. 15th. — The Ex-Queen of Naples out. Found 
in Pike's Gorse, ran to ground in Hanslope field. 
Found again in Linford Wood, ran at a good pace round 
by Haversham Village, back through Linford Wood to 
Gayhurst House, to ground in a drain leading under the 
house. Found again in a spinney near Gayhurst, ran 
about a mile ; they killed him. The Queen had the 
brush.'' 

Jan., 1876. — Unsettled weather, with frost, not much 
sport. 

** Feb. 1 8th. — Foxley. Found in Seawall Wood, ran 
away through Maidford, Burnfold to the left, Lich- 
borough on the right, to Stowe; it came on to rain 
fearfully ; lost him. Found again in Grimscote Heath. 
Hounds raced away past Bushey End up to Caldecote,. 
and ran into him at Mr. Ridgway's, as hard as they could 
race all the way. Found again in Bushey End ; they 
raced at an extraordinary pace past Grimscote Heath,, 
just to the left to Foster's Booth, as hard as they could 
go to Astcote Thorns, ran into him. The best scenting 
day I have seen for a long time. I rode a new horse 
from Lincolnshire first, Newgentstown second, and 
Gordon's horse third. Seventeen and a half couples of 
bitches. A large field of people out. 

" Feb. 28th. — Adstone. Found in Hinton Gorse, ran 
fast to Warden Hill to ground. Found again at Gander- 
ton's ; away pointing for Snorscombe, turned to the 
right just under little Preston Wood to Canons Ashby, 
back by Ganderton, and ran into him in the long 
hedgerow. Forty-five minutes best pace. 

The first time the ex-King of Naples was out hunting. 
I presented His Majesty with the brush. 



1875-76] • Frank Beers Diaries, 145 

Found another in Canons Ashby Ponds, ran (a ring) 
to ground at Eydon. I rode Egmont and Clansman. 
17I couples bitches. 

" March 3rd. — Found in Whitfield Coppice, killed 
one in covert. Away with another to Westbury to ground. 
Found again in Brackley Gorse, away some distance 
parallel with the railroad, turned to the right pointing 
for Halse, leaving Radstone fir plantation to the left, 
Whistley Wood to the right, away to Syresham, straight 
through Crown Lands, the back of Silverstone Village, 
Charlock and Hanley, to the left, over the Towcester 
road at Swinne} -ford, along the brook side to within a 
field of Towcester Union. This gallant fox here was run 
from scent to view, and run into. As fine a run as I 
ever saw ! an hour and thirty minutes, twelve miles from 
point to, point. A large Field out, but very few in at the 
death. We then found an outlying fox on Montgomery's 
farm at Heathencote, and had about seven minutes in 
view all the way, and ran him to ground ; another fifty 
yards would have been the death of him. I rode Grey 
Mare and Newgentstown. 17^ couple bitches, including 
a few small dog hounds. '^ 

\_Note, — I always thought this the best run I 
ever saw from Brackley Gorse. I never saw 
Frank Beers to greater advantage in getting 
through the woods (Crown Lands), I watched him 
narrowly. We caught sight of the fox a mile 
before we caught him. At this point I thought 
Frank perfect, he never lost his head, and enforced 
silence at the end of a run when he could. — 
J. M. K. E.] 

L 



146 Frank Beers' Diaries, [1875-76 

** March 7th, 1876. — A private day. Met on Wake- 
field Lawn for: — 

THE EMPRESS OF AUSTRIA, who arrived in 
England on Sunday evening, lunched with Her Majesty 
the Queen of England on Monday ; came to Easton 
Neston on Monday evening, and hunted with the Duke of 
Grafton's hounds this day. HER MAJESTY THE 
EMPRESS OF AUSTRIA, THE EX-KING AND 
QUEEN OF NAPLES, and large suite, met on the 
lawn at 2 o'clock. Lord Charles FitzRoy was in waiting 
at Buckingham Palace ; so Colonel FitzRoy, of Grafton 
Regis, brought the Empress and introduced me to Her 
Majesty. After a long talk with Her Majesty about 
the hounds and country, &c., we moved off to Fire 
Furze to draw. 

** The Empress here came and asked me to pilot her 
over the country. 

" Fire Furze blank. Found in Colonel FitzRoy's new 
covert ; away at a rattling pace, pointing for Stoke, out 
the fox was headed back to Grafton Village; lost him. 
Found again in Stoke Park. Went away past Stoke 
Plain, Plane Woods to the left to Roade Station, did 
not go over the line, ran by the side of it to Ashton 
Village, and killed him at the Ash-Bed. A very pretty 
run. 

** The Empress rode beautifully, and expressed her 
great delight to me, and thanked me very much indeed 
for the good sport. I had the honour of presenting Her 
Majesty with the brush. The Queen of Naples went 
well also. The Austrian Counts and Princes also rode 
capitally ; one got a good cropper ! 

** March loth. — At Bradden. A very large Field out, 
including the Empress of Austria and Queen of Naples, 
several foreigners, and many ladies, both on horseback 



1875-76] Frank Beers* Diaries. 147 

and in carriages. Kingthorn Wood blank, also Bradden 
Spinneys. Found in Plumpton Wood, awayj at once, 
Oakley Bank just to the left, as hard as hounds could 
travel to Weedon Bushes ; turned short through Weston 
Village to Plumpton Village, leaving it on the left, to the 
Wood, into Lower Coppice ; back across Adstone Field, 
and away to within a field of Plumpton Church. He got 
into a big hole, but two of the hounds went in and pulled 
him out. A capital run, and never did I see hounds go 
faster than in the ring back to Plumpton. 

"The Empress, Colonel Pennant (her Majesty's pilot), 
and myself were the only three with them up to Weston, 
when Her Majesty's horse stood still in the middle of a 
grass field, completely pumped out ! I got a fall out of 
it, and was hung up in my stirrup. Luckily my horse 
was pumped a bit, so only walked away with me and 
behaved capitally — did not kick me or kick at me. I 
had not been dragged far before the leather came out of 
the bar and set me at liberty. Found again in Seawell 
Wood, away through Lichborough Coppice to Grimscote 
Village, on to Church Stowe, lost him. I rode New- 
gentstown and Clansman. 17^ couple mixed. 

" March 31st. — Radstone. Her Imperial Majesty the 
Empress of Austria, Prince Teck, and a great many other 
Princes, Counts, and noblemen were out. A very swell 
Field and a large one. The Empress and the nobility 
drove to Brackley and had breakfast with Captain the 
Hon. Grosvenor. We trotted on to Brackley, and waited 
with the hounds in front of Captain Grosvenor' s house. 
It was a lovely morning — like summer. 

'* Put the hounds into Brackley Gorse ; a fox was soon 
on foot, but not above one hound could speak to it. At 
last he went away, past Steane Park at a rattling pace, 
within a field of Cockley Brake, over the railroad 

L 2 



i 



148 Frank Beers' Diaries. [1875-76 

pointing for Greatworth ; up to this point a great many 
had come to grief, I (Frank Beers) for one. My horse 
tumbled over a gate before we reached Cockley Brake, 
he never rose at it a bit (a new Lincolnshire horse), but 
I escaped with nothing more than a dirty coat. From 
Greatworth they raced along between the two Halse 
coppices, straight over the bottom up to Whistley 
Wood, down to the bottom corner, back again to the 
Falcote corner of Whistley Wood, and killed him. 
About fifty-five minutes — fifty minutes in the open, and 
a little over five more minutes in Whistley. This has 
been a capital run, and I never saw so many dirty coats, 
in one day. My horse was quite done at Halse Coppice, 
but I fortunately got on Tom Smith's, first whip's ; he 
carried me capitally up to the finish. (Egmont the 
restive horse.) The Empress rode most capitally, and 
Mrs. Grosvenor rode remarkably well. I presented the 
brush to the Empress and the head to Mrs. Grosvenor. 

" We then drew Allithorn and found, but as I rode 
into the covert an old bitch, Sprightly, was standing 
pointing at something in the dried grass. I rode to her,, 
and saw she had before her nose five beautiful cubs, so 
I got the hounds off the line of the mother, and left 
the covert as soon as possible. Found in Colonel 
Hutchinson's covert, ran to Allithorn, so stopped the 
hounds. 

** The last day the Empress hunted this season. Her 
Majesty made me a present of a very brilliant and 
handsome pin with twenty-five diamonds surrounding 
a beautiful sapphire. She also gave to each of my 
children a lot of beautiful toys, and came to tea with my 
wife, presented each child the toys herself, and shook 
hands with each. The Ex-Queen and King of Naples 
came with Her Majesty, and had some tea also. 



1876-77] Frank Beers' Diaries, 149 

" This has been the wettest season I ever remember, 
and had more snow than usual. The country extremely 
deep all the season, and quite as deep, if not deeper, at 
the end as at any part of the season/' 

April 2oth, 1876. — Finished. Tom Smith, first 
whip ; Ed. Cole, second whip. 

1876-77. 

1876. Aug. 28th. — Began cubhunting; out thirty-nine 
days, killed fifty-two foxes. 

Nov. 13th. — Stowe-Nine-Churches, first day of regular 
hunting. A long ringing cubhunting day. 

1877. Jan. 17th. — Gayton. Found at Ashby's, ran 
to Blisworth Station, past Milton Ham, and Ladybridge, 
up to Wootton House, across Delapr6 Park, and killed 
him in the covert on the top-side of the Park. 

" Feb. 2nd. — Whistley Wood. Found, and with a bad 
scent in covert, we were ringing there for half an hour, 
at last went out of covert, a capital scent, they raced 
along as straight as they could go, over the stiflest line, 
leaving Halse Coppice to the left, to Greatworth, back 
down wind leaving Radstone to the left, over the Whit- 
field Brook, which I got into, and a lady nearly on the 
top of me ; only one other rode at it, Mr. Campbell, he 
got over. We had our hunted fox beat before us, just 
before we reached the Brackley road, where three foxes 
jumped up in view of the whole pack, and away they ran, 
best pace, over the Whitfield Brook, through Whitfield 
Coppice to Biddlesden, back to Shalstone, Westbury, 
back to the Wild, and lost him. 

" Drew Whitfield again blank. Had we killed our fox 
this would have been a clinker and no mistake. I never 
saw hounds run harder, or horses made such an example 
of. Mr. Campbell went best, jumping some tremendously 



150 Frank Beers^ Diaries. [1876-77 

high timber, which stopped many. I rode Brocklesby 
and Newgentstown. 2oi couple bitches. 

"Feb. 23rd. — Wappenham. Trotted off to Whistley 
Wood to draw first. Found, after going round the wood 
about twice ; went away along the brookside, to Mr. 
Smith's house at Radstone, turned across the big grass 
fields, towards Halse Coppice, across Stuchbury grass 
fields, over the bottom, straight through Allithorn without 
dwelling a moment, over the brook at the bottom, along 
the valley to Astwell Mill, over the railroad, straight 
to Crowfield ; got headed, so ran one field parallel 
with the road, nearly to the top of Whistley Wood, 
straight through Whistley, over the brook, as if 
Biddlesden Park were his point, but got headed 
by a plough-team ; he ran to Whitfield Village, and 
then along the brookside, where they gradually crept 
up to him and bowled him over, close to Whitfield MilL 
Time, just about an hour, and distance done, thirteen 
miles in the open ; about the fastest and best thing I 
have ever seen ; and one of the gamest and stoutest foxes 
that ever stood before hounds, as the pace was terrific. 
I was riding Brocklesby ; he carried me wonderfully well, 
but I rode him almost to a standstill ; when over Allithorn 
Brook, which he jumped capitally, I eased him down the 
road to Astwell Mill, when he got his wind he came 
again, and carried me through this severe run, and was 
first horse nearest to the fox, when he was pulled down, 
out of a large Field. Very few could stay the pace, but 
a few of the right sort did their best. We then found 
another fox in Bartlett's Covert (Whitfield Coppice) after 
dodging about there a bit, he went away to Evenly Park, 
through the village to Tusmore, and on to Stoke Bushes, 
round over Cottesford Heath, back to Tusmore, and we 
stopped hounds going back to Stoke Bushes after a fresh 



1877-78] Frank Beers' Diaries, 151 

fox. A, most severe day for hounds and horses. 18 
couples of bitches, two couples of dogs included. This 
has been a very open season (it ended April 5th) only 
been stopped twice by frost, a capital season's sport, but 
frightfully wet, and deep the whole season. More foxes 
than have ever been known to have been killed in one 
season in this country, 51^ brace." 

1877-78. 

1877. Sept. 7th. — Began cub-hunting at Briary. 
Hunted thirty mornings, killed thirty-three foxes. 

Nov. 1 2th. — Commenced regular hunting at Stowe- 
Nine-Churches. 

" Dec. 3rd. — Foster's Booth. Found in Grimscote 
Heath, away through Foxley to Grub's Coppice, past 
Bushey End, past Caswell, to Blakesley ; short back, 
and ran into him at Foxley bottom. Found again in 
Astcote Thorns, ran to the road and back, and killed him 
before he reached the covert. Found another in the 
Thorns, away past Caswell, and killed him at Tite's 
Coppice. Went away with another as hard as they 
could travel, to Woodend, and stopped the hounds going 
into Plumpton. 

**Dec. 14th. — Astwell Mill. Found foxes in Allithorn, 
away on capital terms with one to Sulgrave, where 
a fox jumped up out of a hedge, part of the hounds 
caught view at him, and raced him into the village, and 
killed him. The other hounds went on nearly to Moreton 
Pinkney, back to Sulgrave, and finally ran into him in 
the open at Weston by Weedon ; a capital gallop. 
Found again in Tite's Coppice, away at best pace to 
Foscofe, to ground in a drain. I rode Brocklesby and 
Limerick, both horses carried me brilliantly. 18 couple 
bitches." 



152 Frank Beers^ Diaries. [1877-78 

1878. Jan. 6th. — Took the hounds in the Forest, 
had a capital day for them privately, killed a brace of 
foxes. 

"Jan. nth. — Bradden. Found in Kingthorn Wood, 
away along the brook pointing for Greenes Norton Mill, 
short to the right over the brook to Foscote ; gave him 
up to go and find another in Titers Coppice, ran through 
Kingthorn. out at the bottom corner, along the railway to 
Abthorpe, over the brook along the bottom, Oakley Bank 
to the right, to Plumpton Village, through Plumpton 
Wood, and Woodend, nearly to Slapton, on leaving 
Weedon Bushes to the left, through Weedon to Weston, 
through GomeraFs Holt where we viewed the fox in 
the same field with the hounds. They were running for 
him ; but he beat them by getting to ground in the 
earths at Mr. Edmund's of Plumpton. A most capital 
sporting run. Lots of falls; would have been perfection 
had we killed him. Found again in Weedon Bushes ; 
ran nearly to Wappenham Station, over the brook to 
Green's Park, and to ground at Plumpton. I rode 
Pioneer and Brocklesby. 224 couple bitches. 

'^ Feb. 20th. — Wakefield Lawn. 

The Prince Imperial of France staying at Wakefield 
with the Duke of Grafton for hunting. Found in Fire 
Furze, away at once over the river past Stoke Gap, 
over the railroad to Roade, and lost him at Quinton. 
Found again in Ash Leys, ran to Courteenhall, back to 
Ashwood, stopped the hounds going to the forest. 
Found again in Stoke Park, went to Ashton, back to 
Shutlanger through Stoke Park, over the river away to 
Alderton and Grafton, as hard as they could run across 
the meadows, and ran into him at the Canal Bridge at 
Stoke Bruerne. A very good hunt. I rode Pioneer 
and Percival. 17^ couple dogs. 



1878-79] Frank Beers^ Diaries. 153 

'* Feb. 22nd. — Bradden. Found in Plumpton Wood 
after a ring or two round the covert, away they went 
along the bottom, on to the railway as far as bridle-gate, 
round Bradden Village, leaving it on the right, past the 
ponds on the right, Blakesley on the left, through Astcote 
Thorns, over the Weedon and Towcester road pointing 
for Astcote ; bore away to Caldecote, as if for Easton 
Neston, to the left as hard as hounds could race all the 
way, and ran into him at Tiffield. Fifty-five minutes ; 
the best thing of the season. As we were on the road 
to draw Bradden again, a fox jumped up out of the fields 
near Mr. Ridg^ay's, away down to Towcester Station, 
along the meadows nearly to Kingthorn, over the brook, 
past Greens Norton to Astcote Thorns, but did not enter, 
away to Potcote, Cold Higham, and ran into him at 
Foster's Booth. Found again at Bushey End, ran him to 
Astcote Thorns, lost him. I rode Brocklesby and 
Limerick. 18^ couple dogs. 

'* The Prince Imperial was out and went very well. The 
pace was tremendous with first fox.*' 

April 8th. — Deer Park, Yardley Chase, to finish the 
season. Ground very hard. Found in Denton side, 
ran to Salcey, got hold of a fox. 

1878-79. 

1878. Sept. 3rd. — Began cub-hunting, hunted thirty- 
eight days, killed thirty-three foxes. 

Nov. nth. — Commenced regular hunting at Stowe- 
Nine-Churches, found a good show of foxes ; no 

very wonderful sport, until " 1879. March 8th — 

Burcote Wood. Found in Heathencote Plantation, 
ran very fast on to Mr. Montgomery's farm, away 
to Plum Park, over Blunt's farm, Grimsdick's farm, 
to Cattle Hill, to ground in Whittlebury Park. Found 



154 Frank Beers' Diaries. [1879-80 

in Stoke Park ; away past Shutlanger, to Plane 
Woods, towards Nun Wood ; ran the lane down to 
Blisworth Canal, alongside, over the Towcester road, 
Roper's Gorse to the left, Blisworth Gardens on the 
right, past Gayton, Dalscote, and Eastcote ; past Dray- 
son's House, towards Lichborough, over the hill to Church 
Stowe, through Stowe Wood, and lost him. A very good 
run ; I rode Brocklesby and Brown Stout. Dogs out, 
20 couple." 

April 19th. — Wakefield Lawn, to finish the season. 
Found in the Forest, ran to ground at Moorend. Found 
in Stoke Park, killed in Stoke schoolroom. George 
Carter, the Bicester huntsman, and Mr. Lowndes^ 
huntsman out. 

1879-1880. 

1879. Sept. 5. — Began cub-hunting; scarcely a bit 
of corn cut in this neighbourhood. Hunted thirty-nine 
days, killed thirty-four foxes. 

Nov. 17th. — Began regular hunting at Stowe-Nine- 
Churches ; killed a fox in Stowe Wood. Found again 
in Everdon Stubbs, lost him ; found again in Mantel's 
Heath ; had a good thirty minutes and killed near 
Adstone. 

*^ 1880. Jan. 5th. — Preston Capes. Found a fox in 
Hinton Gorse, away at once past Mr. Hitchcock's house, 
as hard as they could go nearly to Red Hill, back to 
Hinton Gorse to ground in a field near Woodford. 
Found in the osier-bed. They ran fast to Ganderton ; 
lost him. Canons Ashby Ponds blank. Found in 
Ashby Gorse ; they went away close at him best pace 
past Lowsland, Preston Church Wood on the right, to 
the left to Charwelton, and, leaving Catesby and Staver- 
ton to the right, up to Shuckboro' House, where a brace 



1879-80] Frank Beers' Diaries. 155 

of foxes were on foot. So we stopped them with diffi- 
culty, owing to our horses being dead beat. The time 
was just an hour, and a more beautiful line it would be 
impossible to find. Had we killed him it would have 
been the most perfect run I ever rode. Out of a lot of 
good men only five of us were there at the finish ; the 
Duke, Mr. Alfred FitzRoy, Mr. Muntz, a farmer and 
myself. Mr. Muntz went wonderfully well, and said it 
was the finest run he ever rode, and the stiflest country 
in England to finish. 

"The dog-pack did remarkably well, hunted beauti- 
fully, and raced along to the finish. We had about 
twenty-four miles home on tired horses. I never knew 
a fox take a finer line of country. It was thought by the 
Duke that we changed our fox at Catesby, which probably 
was the case, as I don't think any one fox could have 
stood the dusting ; they ran him so hard to start with. 
His Grace went well in the last run. 

"Jan. 9th. — Whistley Wood. Found directly, after 
running once round the Wood they went away, Halse 
Coppice to right ; bore to the left through Bartlett's New 
Covert, over the road, leaving Whitfield Village to the 
right, along by the brook-side nearly to Biddlesden, over 
the brook, through top corner of Crown Lands, towards 
Astwell Park down the grass fields, past Abthorpe, to 
the right along the railway to Wappenham, through 
Weedon Coppice, ran from sceqt to view, and bowled 
him over along the meadows pointing for Allithorn. One 
of the best runs I have seen, and never did I see the dog 
pack do better. Out of a large Field only a very few 
were up at the death ; a great many were lost, and many 
thought they were sure to go into Bucknells, and 
never saw them again. Found again in Kingthorn 
Wood, they ran to Bradden and lost him. As we were 



156 Frank Beers' Diaries, [1879-80 

going home, they struck a scent in Handley fields, the 
Duke ordered us to let them go ; at racing pace they ran 
past Silverstone fields, through Burcote Wood, past 
Sholebrook, through Whittlebury Park, Tile House to 
the left, and stopped them going into Stowe Gardens. 
A very hard day indeed for hounds ; they ran very stout. 
My second horse was dead beat, and both whipper-ins' 
horses so done that I did not see either of them for the 
last half-hour. Only Colonel Pennant, Mr. FitzRoy, and 
Mr. Robarts were left when we stopped them. 19 couple 
dogs. Brocklesby and Grey Friar.'' 

Stopped by frost from Jan. 19th until Feb. 2nd. 

1880. Feb. loth. — Hartwell. Found in the Clears; 
they ran thirty-five minutes, as though they were 
tied to him, and killed him. Found again and had an 
hour in Salcey and killed him. Found again and ran to 
ground, horses all beat. 

March 13th. — Stowe Ridings. A capital day, killed 
a brace of foxes. " No better scent this season, I rode 
poor old Brocklesby, he makes a great noise. 

" March 22nd. — At Little Preston. Found in Mantel's 
Heath, away through Mill Spinney, by Snorscombe, over 
the Everdon Brook, leaving Badby to the left, Everdon 
to the right, Newnham to the left, to ground in Pytchley 
country, not far from the Daventry road, in an earth, dead 
beat. Found in Preston Church Wood, away leaving 
Hogstaff to the left, to the top corner of Fawsley Park, 
ran alongside Badby Wood, leaving it on the right, over 
the Daventry and Banbury road, over Sharman's Hill, as 
hard as hounds could race, to Hellidon. Here he was 
headed by people working in the allotments ; so he left 
the village to the right, away over a nice bit of country, 
for Priors Hardwick, back to within three fields of 
Griffin's Gorse, Byfield Reservoir, and Prior's Marston to 



i88o-8i] Frank Beers Diaries. 157 

the left, over Boddington Hill, and ran into him at 
Wormleighton. As stout a fox as ever ran before 
hounds. They ran him for about an hour and thirty-five 
minutes, and very often they were only a field behind 
him. A most capital run, a fine line of country, and this, 
gallant Fox never entered a single covert from find to 
finish. A clinking good day^s sport. I think this as fine 
a run as we have had this season. I rode Pillbox and 
Brown Stout. \%\ couple, dpg pack." 

April 8th. — Cowper's Oak. A bad scent. Got Susan 
killed by the train, no sport, the last day of the season. 

1880-81. 

1880. Aug. 24th. — Began cub-hunting, hunted forty 
days, killed twenty-three and half brace of foxes. 

Nov. 8th. — Stowe-Nine-Churches. Found several 
foxes, killed one in the wood, away with one up 
to the dykes to ground. Found another in Snorscombe 
Mill Spinney, killed at Moreton Pinkney, a capital fifty 
minutes. Found in Seawell, a good ring, killed him in 
Farthingstone. 

Dec. 3rd. — Brackley. Found in the gorse, away at 
once very fast to Radstone without a check, got headed 
back a field, but hit him off at once through Bartlett'a 
New Covert, Stratford Hill, to Buckingham, to the right 
over Duke of Buckingham's Avenue to Chackmore, and 
ran into him near the osier-bed. Went back and drew 
Westbury Wild, found and killed the fox in Whistley 
after a good fifty minutes. 

" 1881. Feb. 4th. — Astwell Mill. Found in Plumpton 
Wood, away over the grass fields, past Oakley Bank, 
Greens Park, and Wappenham Station, to Bucknells 
without dwelling a moment ; they ran the ridings, and 
away to Handley Farm, past Kingthorn Wood ta 



158 Frank Beers* Diaries, [1880-81 

Bradden, back to Barford's faggot stack. The hounds 
pulled him out and killed him. A real clipper ! all the 
horses done to a turn. Pillbox carried me well first to 
Bucknells, pace terrific ; but he was so done at Bradden 
that Mr. Leopold de Rothschild lent me his second horse 
to finish on. Stovin, the Bicester huntsman, was out, 
and a large Field besides. 18^ couple bitches, including 
Iwo couple dogs. 

" Feb. 25th. — Whistley Wood. Found after a com- 
plete ring round the wood ; went away over the brook 
^t the bottom, and hounds ran through Whitfield 
Coppice to Westbury, and lost him near Stratford Hill. 
We then found a fox at Brackley Gorse. Away almost 
before hounds were in at a tremendous pace pointing 
for Halse ; they turned over the bottom, flew along 
through Mr. Bartlett's Covert to Whitfield and Westbury 
Wild, and turned short back by Turweston to Great- 
worth and Farthinghoe, through Cold Ready, Brackley 
Gorse, away toward Halse, to the left over the Great- 
worth grass fields, nearly to Cockley Brake ; away to 
Hinton-in-the-Hedges, all through the gardens there, 
on nearly to Croughton, bore away back nearly to 
the * Barley Mow/ and stopM the hounds running 
for Evenley Park late in the evening. This has been a 
most severe day for hounds and horses, all the horses 
were tired to death ; in all directions they were ridden 
to a standstill. I rode my first horse to a standstill, and 
my second was so beat that I could scarcely get him 
home. We changed foxes two or three times. It only 
wanted a kill to make it one of the finest day's sport I 
•ever saw. I rode Pillbox first and Clansman second, 
and he carried me magnificently and proved himself to 
be as stout as steel, although he was quite done, or I 
think we should have killed our last fox. We viewed him 



1881-82] Frank Beers' Diaries, 159 

several times, but with both whips' horses dead beat, I 
stopped them first chance. I had the bitches out, and 
they ran remarkably stout. 18^ couple. We had a 
very large Field out — several from Leicestershire — and 
many will never forget this great day. Hounds ran 
very hard all the time, and would have killed two or 
three foxes had we not changed continually%" 

1881-82. 

1 88 1. Sept. 14th. — Began cub-hunting. Killed a cub 
in Wicken Spinneys, then a fine old badger, but not 
without assistance. Hunted twenty days and killed 
twenty-one cubs. 

Nov. 7. — Stowe-Nine-Churches for regular hunting. 
Found foxes in the wood, and ran to Heyford Iron Works 
to ground. Found again in Everdon Stubbs, killed at 
Preston. Found again in Knightley's Wood ; ran very 
hard and could have killed him. Mr. Val. Knightley 
begged hard for his life. Being so short of foxes we let 
him escape. I rode Amos and Crisis. 

^* Dec. 28th. — Wakefield Lawn. Found in Fire Furze ; 
got headed and killed. Found again in Colonel FitzRoy's 
Covert; ran through Stoke Park, past Plane Woods, 
across Courteenhall Park, over the brook, down to 
Northampton, to the left to Huntsbury Hill, to Lady 
Bridge, Wootton House, and Delapr6 Park to the right, 
and ran into him below Queen's Cross. A very fine 
hunting run ; hounds worked admirably.** 

1882. Jan. 2nd. — Adstone. Found at Ashby, away 
past HogstafI and Badby, over Burrough Hill, Dodford 
Holt, through Mr Craven's Garden, and killed him at 
Mr. Tibbit's House. An hour and three-quarters, eleven 
and a half miles — a fine hunting run. 

"Jan. 13th.— Wappenham. Found in Astwell Mill 



i6o Frank Beers' Diaries, [1881-82 

osier-bed, ran very fast to Wappenham, and killed 
him. AUithorn blank. Hit on the line of an out-lying 
fox ; ran past Sulgrave to Moreton Pinkney, back to 
Gomeral's Holt; lost him. Found again in Plumpton 
Wood, away close past Canons Ashby Church towards 
Eydon, bore away leaving Moreton Pinkney to the left 
between Gomeral's Holt and Oakley Bank, through 
Plumpton Wood up to Weston, over AUithorn Brook to 
Helmdon, nearly to Astwell Mill ; they raced up to 
Weedon and killed him under Mr. Aris' dining- 
room window. Time one hour and forty minutes ; 
pace good all the way; the best run we have had 
this season. I rode Thistle all through until we 
reached AUithorn Brook the last time, when I got 
my second horse. Only very few were up at the 
finish. The Duke went well, but his Grace's horse 
was so tired that he had to walk the last three or four 
fields. Clansman was my second horse. 19^ couple, 
bitch pack, six couple and a half dogs included ; they 
worked beautifully. 

** Feb. 2oth. — Tiffield. Found in the allotments, ran 
to ground at Blisworth. Found at Easton Gardens, 
hounds ran at a good pace to Heathencote, pointing 
for Burcote Wood ; they headed short back over 
Montgomery's Farm, along the Shutlanger brook-side, 
leaving Cuttle Mill to the left, Paulerspury to the 
left, Burcote Wood to the right, and away to Silverstone 
Fields, to the left to Silverstone Village, and then 
headed back up by the side of the Whittlebury road, 
through Bucknells, pointing for Wappenham, turning 
short back into Bucknells; ran him there about ten 
minutes, and killed him. A real good run, an hour and 
forty minutes. Rode Crisis and Pillbox ; Crisis carried 
me wonderfully well." 



Frank Beers' Diaries. i6i 

This is the last run that will be recorded of the 
Grafton Hounds under the Duke's reign. 

It was now announced that the Duke of 
Grafton had decided to retire from the master- 
ship, after hunting the country for twenty years in 
the most liberal manner. The announcement was 
received with great regret, and was quite unlooked 
for in any quarter. During the whole time his 
Grace had had the staunchest support from all 
landowners arid farmers in the hunt. It had 
always been the Duke^s study to do what lay in 
his power to help the farmers, and his Grace was 
a good customer for a hunter in his own hunt. 
Some of the best horses in the stud were bought 
of the farmers. 

At the end of the season, the Duke called a 
meeting at Towcester, for the purpose of stating 
his reason for giving up, which was failing health. 

'* But remember,'' he said, *^ I am going to do 
all I can to help you after I retire.'' 

A testimonial in the shape of a portrait was 
offered, but the Duke smilingly said : '^ I am in 
too delicate a state of health to undergo the trial 
of sitting, and I shall be quite satisfied with the 
continuance of the friendship I have enjoyed for 
so long." 

The Grafton farmers had a great respect for the 

M 



1 62 Frank Beers^ Diaries. 

Douglas-Pennant family ; and when it became 
evident that there was no hope of the Duke 
changing his mind, the Hon. George S. Douglas- 
Pennant was chosen as Master and asked if he 
would kindly take office. 

A meeting for that purpose took place at Tow- 
cester. Mr. Samuel Ayers, of Potcote, proposed, 
and Messrs. . Roper and Bartlett seconded, the 
resolution, and the people rejoiced in Mr. Douglas- 
Pennant's acceptance of the office. The new 
Master was soon at work in buying horses and 
making plans for carrying out his duties in a fitting 
manner. 

A Poultry Fund was established at once, and 
has been carried on up to the present time. Mr. 
Pennant first arralnged a luncheon at the Puppy 
Show, which has been a great success in every 
way. The Duke had left the hounds in excellent 
order, and allowed them to occupy the kennels for 
some years ; alas ! not for long in his Grace's 
time ; but the present Duke trod in his brother's 
steps, and permitted them to remain until it was 
found quite too inconvenient to have the horses 
standing five miles away ; so that after a few 
years it was decided to move the hounds. 

Mr. Robarts, a long and strong supporter of 
the hunt, put his shoulder to the wheel and soon 



(GE Sholto Douglas-Pennant. 
Second Baron Penrhyn. 



Frank Beers* Diaries. 163 

bought land and built kennels. Good houses and 
stabling were erected by many supporters of the 
hunt, and the whole establishment shows that the 
Grafton men know what they are about. 

Our new Master had the support of all the 
gentlemen and farmers transferred to him, with a 
good huntsman and whippers-in, and a capital 
pack of hounds, and the record which follows will 
prove that his Mastership was a great success. 

It is due to the present Duke of Grafton to 
mention that he is a diligent preserver of foxes on 
his large estates and in his numerous coverts ; and, 
although his Grace has retired from the hunting- 
field, a fine stud of hunters still occupies those 
stables which have been so well furnished for 
generations. The FitzRoy family is ably repre- 
sented in the field by the Earl of Euston and Lord 
Alfred FitzRoy. 



M 2 



CHAPTER XII. 

FRANK BEERS^ DIARIES {Continued). 

1882-83. 

"In the year 1882, the Honourable George Douglas^ 
Pennant (now the second Baron Penrhyn) undertook 
the Mastership of the Grafton Hounds, which were 
kennelled at Wakefield. The horses stood at Tow« 
cester. 

1882. Sept. 5th. — Commenced cub-hunting; out 
thirty-four mornings and killed thirty-three foxes. 

Nov. 6th. — Began regular hunting at Grafton Regis. 
Had a famous day which was reported in the Field ; 
killed a brace of foxes. 

" Nov. 29th. — Castlethorpe. Found in Gayhurst Wood; 
away to Tattle End, to the right leaving Stoke 
Goldington Village to the left, over the brook, over 
Ravenstone Brook ; Weston Underwood to the right, 
up to the Chase, into Ravenstone Wood, straight through 
the Chase to Warrington and Olney Hyde Farm, to- 
Lavendon Grange, to " Cowper's Oak,'* over the railroad 
to Olney, back to Lavendon Grange, and lost him. 20 
couple dog-hounds, and they worked capitally. I rode 
Rossiter and Paragon. 



1882-83] Frank Beers' Diaries, 165 

" Dec. 4th. — Preston Capes. Found in HogstaflF 
■directly hounds were in the covert, away at once 
pointing for Charwelton ; turned away for Badby Wood 
as hard as they could go, straight through the Wood 
and out at the far end, the men headed him back. The 
fox ran over the Earths, back through Fawsley Gardens, 
as if for HogstafI ; they ran nearly to Charwelton road ; 
he did not go over the road, but turned short over the 
hill nearly to Badby Village and on nearly to Catesby, 
Staverton just to the left; over the bottom, over 
Braunston Brook, several came to grief. I was first 
over ; a most lovely country up to Fleck noe Village ; 
turned to the left down to the brook ; it was overflowing, 
and a very wide place. Captain Riddell and I were the 
first over; the next man had a terrible ducking. We 
ran away pointing for Staverton Wood, but bore to the 
right over the road and the brook again, up to Shuck- 
borough Gardens, but did not enter, away pointing 
for Wolfhamcote, to the right over Braunston Brook 
again, nearly up to Shuckborough ; past Catesby House, 
towards Charwelton and Hogstaff, but they dusted him 
along, so he turned to the left, past the Steward's house 
at Fawsley. Hounds ran him almost in view, over that 
big grass field with the round clump in the middle, 
where they killed him. He just managed to get into the 
clump, poor fellow ! he was most dreadfully tired. Some 
say it was the same fox we started with, but it looks 
impossible that one fox could have stood so much work. 
Time just three and a half hours; found him at 11.30 
and killed him at 3 o'clock. I rode Jerry first horse; 
he carried me magnificently, but had I not met 
my second horse when I did should have had to stop. 
He jumped several fences with me after he was tired. I 
never rode so much good country in one day in my life ; 



1 66 Frank Beers^ Diaries, [1882-83 

and I put this down to be the best and most satisfactory 
run I have ever seen. We hardly went into half a dozen 
ploughed fields during the whole run. We had 19 
couples of bitches, and one couple of dogs, making 
twenty couples. Every hound was there at the finish, 
and I never saw hounds run and hunt better, or run 
stouter. I rode Jersey and Comrade. 

" 1883. Jan. 19th. — Astwell Mill. My first time out 
after my attack of asthma. Found a fox close to 
Astwell Pond, away for Wappenham, by Weedon 
Bushes, past Oakley Bank to Blakesley Hall, Plumpton 
Wood to the left, to Maidford, lost him there, dead beat. 
Found another fox in Plumpton Wood, ran by Preston 
Church Wood through Badby Wood, nearly to Catesby, 
through Staveton Wood, Daventry to the right, and 
lost him about half a mile from Braunston Gorse. A 
capital day's sport, only wanted a kill to have made it A i. 

" Feb. 1 6th. — Syresham. Found in Whistley Wood, 
ran fast through Halse Coppice and Cockley Brake, 
Farthinghoe to the right, to Newbottle, on to Croughton, 
back to Newbottle ; he dodged about some time, and 
they killed their fox. 

" March 2nd. — Astwell Mill. Found in Weedon 
Bushes, ran by Culworth Village to Edgecote, and 
killed him — an hour and twenty minutes; ran well 
together, a capital run. Several Leicestershire gentlemen 
out, and said it was the best run they had seen this 
season. Found in Allithorn ; away, leaving Colonel 
Hutchinson's covert to the left, nearly to Astwell Mill up 
to Helmdon, where they ran into him. About fifty-five 
minutes. I rode Thistle and Comrade." 

April 13th. — Ravenstone, to finish the season. Ran 
all day without killing a fox ; but a very hard day for 
hounds. 



1883-84] Frank Beers' Diaries, 167 

1 883- 1 884. 

1883. Sept. 3rd. — The Grafton hounds began cub- 
hunting ; hunted thirty-one days ; killed thirty-five foxes. 

Nov. 5th. — Foster's Booth. Began regular hunting. 
Found in Bushey End, ringing about all day, and killed 
a fox. 

''Dec. 2ist. — Wappenham. Found in Weedon Bushes, 
away towards Astwell, turned through Weedon Village 
to Plumpton Wood and Woodend — a capital gallop — 
and killed. Found in Allithorn ; away past Weston, 
through Plumpton' Wood, and lost the fox near Sea well 
Grounds. Found in Titers Coppice, ran towards Astwell 
Mill, turned back to Wappenham, and killed." 

1884. Jan. nth. — Biddlesden. Found in Whitfield 
Coppice, ran to ground, bolted him and had a fast ring 
round Westbury, and killed. Had another fast run from 
Whistley, and he beat them in some farm -buildings. 

Jan. 1 8th. — ^Wappenham. Found in Weedon Bushes, 
ran a short time and killed. Found another in Allithorn, 
and ran clean into the fox in five fields. Got on the line 
of a fox from Allithorn, ran through Plumpton, Seawell, 
and Stowe, down for Weedon, headed back for Church 
Stowe, and killed him in Mr. Robert's farmyard — one 
hour and ten minutes without a check ; a nine mile 
point, very fast all through. Found again in Tiffield, 
and ran to ground. 

"Feb. 15th. — Wappenham. Found in an uncultivated 
field near Weedon Bushes, away between Weedon 
Coppice and Village, Oakley Bank to the left, to Wood- 
end; here we came to a check ; away through Plumpton 
Wood, Canon's Ashby Church and Louseland to the left, 
Little Preston on the right, close past the Inn, Preston 
Capes, straight down the grass fields, leaving Hogstaff 



1 68 Frank Beers' Diaries, [1883-84 

to the right to Fawsley Laurels ; did not enter, but ran 
away, Charwelton osier-bed to the left, over Sharman's 
Hill to Prior's Marston, away over a most lovely country. 
Hounds gradually ran from scent to view, and this gallant 
fox yielded up his brush at Napton-on-the-Hill, after as 
fine a hunting run, if not the finest, I ever saw ; nearly 
three hours, and over a magnificent country. Many old 
and young sportsmen who saw it said it was the finest 
run ever seen by them. Fourteen miles as the crow flies, 
but probably nearer twenty as hounds ran. 

*' They touched upon, or crossed," said ' Nimrod ' in a 
contemporary newspaper, ** thirteen parishes, and after 
running clean out of the hunt they traversed the tail- 
end of the Pytchley and Bicester, and finished in the 
best part of Warwickshire. A run extending into four 
Hunts is a very rare occurence in the annals of fox- 
hunting." 

This was the best long run I ever saw, our 
noble Master had the head of this fox stuffed, 
and gave it to me ; it hangs over me as I 
write, as does also the brush of a fox killed by 
Simpson in the Vale, which gave us the best fifty 
minutes all over grass I ever rode to. Blacker 
it could not be, or in better preservation. Both 
these foxes were vixens and the same foxes with 
which we started. J. M. K. E. 

** Feb. 22. — Bradden. Found in Tite's Coppice, ran 
to Bradden Ponds to ground. Found in Plumpton 
Wood ; away through Gomeral's Holt, past Colonel 
Hulohinson*s Covert and Allithorn, Helmdon on the left, 



1884-85] Frank Beers' Diaries, 169 

over the railroad, Halse Coppice to the right, to Radstone 
to ground. Forty-five minutes, fast all the way, and over 
a very stiff country. Found in Brackley Gorse ; away 
past Crowfield, over Astwell Park, straight through 
Bucknells to Handley, Kingthorn Wood to the left, 
all along the line some distance beyond Bradden Ponds, 
Blakesley to the left, through Maidford Wood to 
Farthingstone. With difficulty the hounds were stopped 
by the second whipper-in, who had just come up with 
his horse which had a gallop left in him, all the others 
were ridden to a standstill. Mr. T. Whitton lent me his 
young mare (he having joined us at Blakesley), and took 
my horse Tenbury to his house from Maidford Wood ; 
he carried me magnificently. A good day's sport. We 
had a very big Field of strangers. I rode Thistle and 
Tenbury. 

"1884. April 15th. — Finished the season; the best 
sport we have had for years. I have been wonderfully 
well mounted, and had but few falls. The whippers-in 
also had some genuine hunters to ride ; no men mounted 
better." 

1884-1885. 

1884. Aug. 1 8th. — Began cubhunting and killed an 
old badger. Hunted forty-one days, killed forty-seven 
foxes. 

''Dec. 19th. — Astwell Mill. Found in Weedon 
Coppice, and ran into Plumpton Wood, leaving 
Gomeral's Holt to the right, back via Oakley Bank to 
Plumpton Wood, out again, leaving Weston to the left, 
and to ground near the Brickyard ; bolted, and killed 
him. Found in Allithorn, ran past Helmdon and Stuch- 
bury, over Halse road, across Falcote Farm, past Astwell 
Mill, and stopped the hounds at Greens Park. 



1 70 Frank Beers' Diaries, [1884-85 

** 1885. Jan. 19th. — Preston Capes. Found in Church 
Wood, and away with a capital scent to Snorscombe. 
Turned to the right over the Maidford road, past Canons 
Ashby, Moreton Pinkney, ran through Allithorn to 
Helmdon and Weston, back to Allithorn, losing the fox. 
Several more on foot. Killed a fox in Titers Coppice. 
Away with another to Greens Norton to ground. The 
run in the morning was a good one ; men rode with 
determination over a capital country. The Field scat- 
tered and pulled out miles in length. 18^ bitches. 
Timepiece carried me well." 

Feb. 13th. — Astwell Mill. Found in Allithorn ; away at 
a killing pace to Canons Ashby Gorse ; turned short to 
the right pointing for Maidford, but the fox was headed 
short back, and hounds fairly ran into him at Adstone. 
Forty-five minutes at best pace all the way. Found in 
Plumpton Wood, went past Oakley Bank to Woodend, 
and lost him. Found in Titers Coppice, ran to ground 
at Bradden. Found at Kingthorn Wood, away towards 
Foscote, but turned to Blakesley, killing the fox in a 
cellar. Lords Chesham, Lonsdale, Rocksavage, and 
fifteen other lords out this day. 

'* 27th. — Brackley. Found in the Gorse, and went 
away across Steane Park, past Halse Grange and Rad- 
stone, to the right over Stuchbury grass enclosures, and 
ran into an old dog-fox at Greatworth. Fifty minutes at 
a good pace. Found again in Halse Coppice ; away to 
Helmdon, Allithorn just on the right, to Sulgrave, over 
the road pointing for the * Magpie ' inn, but bore to the left 
over Stuchbury Grass, and ran into him close to Mr. 
Warren's House. Found at Whistley Wood, a dozen 
foxes at least. After four or five turns round the wood, 
hounds went away straight to Astwell Mill, and on nearly 
to Wappenham, turned down over the railroad, with 



1884-85] Frank Beers' Diaries, 1 7 r 

Weedon Bushes just on the right, to Weston Village,, 
over the road to Weston Wild, and they ran fairly into- 
him near Moreton Pinkney. I rode Traveller, Thistle, 
and Tenbury, three as good and as fine performers as a 
man could ride. The bitches, 16^ couples. 

" 1885. F^b. 2i8th. — Sootfield Green. Found in 
Wicken Wood ; ran into the Forest all about the 
Wakefield side, then nearly to Wicken Spinneys, down 
Leckhampstead Fields, short back through Wicken 
Spinneys to Shrob and Old Stratford, through Passenham 
osier-bed; they ran over the brook, fast along the 
meadows, over the river, Beachampton to the left, 
Furzen Field to the right, over the Nash road, pointing 
for Whaddon, but turned to the right, up into Nash 
Village, and killed him in an orchard there. Mr. 
Lowndes* hounds were drawing Beachampton Grove, 
and they heard me halloo, * Whoo-hoop ! ' and Bentley,. 
the Huntsman, thinking it a ' view halloo,' brought his 
hounds, and someone told him where he had last seen 
(our) the fox, but forgot to tell him our pack had gone 
on as well. Bentley had his hounds on the line of our 
pack and hunted slowly (* dog hunt dog ') up to the very 
place where we had broken up our fox ! Several of our 
Field had not left the spot, and to their astonishment, 
found a different huntsman and pack of hounds come 
on the scene, as they chaffingly said * to pick up the 
fragments ! * Poor Bentley had to stand no end of 
* chaff,' which was not easily digested by him. 

"We found again in Wicken Spinneys, ran over the 
river, through Thornton osier-beds, away up through 
Furzen Field to Beachampton, back to Thornton and 
Wicken Spinneys, stopped them at dark. A very hard 
day for hounds. I rode Paragon and Jenny Jones. 
The dog pack, 1 7 couples. 



172 Frank Beers' Diaries, [1885-86 

" March 30th. — Paulerspury. Water Hall blank, also 
Easton. Found in the Rifle-butt clump of laurels. 
Away at a rattling pace close on his back, past Tiffield 
Reformatory Gorse, leaving Tiffield on the right, 
Caldecote to the right, Mr. Ridgway's gardens just to 
the left, Greens Norton Mill to the right, along the 
brookside at best pace ; Bradden on the right. 
South Fields and Oakley Bank just to the right, 
close past the top corner of GomeraPs Holt, Moreton 
Pinkney on the right, as straight to Eydon Main Earths 
as they could run, and at a killing pace. The fox 
just saved his life ; another mile would have been the 
death of him. A better run I never rode to in my life; 
eleven and a half miles as the proverbial crow flies. 
Time, one hour and ten minutes. I rode Traveller, and 
he carried me capitally. There were a great many falls. 
Two ladies went well. Miss Tennant and Mrs. Bunbury; 
they both had falls, the latter was hurt so did not get 
above half-way. We had the Eydon Brook to jump for 
the last obstacle, seven of us jumped it on rather 
pumped-out horses. Found again in Canons Ashby 
ponds, away to ground at Woodford Hill. Found again 
in Canons Ashby Gorse, away leaving Louseland just to 
the left, Preston to the right, Charwelton to the left, 
over Sharman's Hill, and lost him late in the evening 
going away for Staverton. I rode Traveller, Comrade, 
and Rossiter.'^ 

April 1 6th. — The Kennels to finish the season. 

1885-86. 

** 1885. Aug. 20th. — Commenced cub-hunting. Out 
forty-five mornings, killed fifty-four foxes. 

"Nov. 9th. — Met at Woodford. Found foxes in 
Hinton Gorse, ran to a drain to ground one field from 



1885-86] Frank Beers Diaries, 1 73 

the covert. Found again in the gorse, they ran him to 
the same drain, he thought he would get back to the 
gorse, but they killed him before he could do so. Found 
again at Charwelton osier-bed, away pointing for 
Fawsley, but they pressed him so hard that he made 
a ring and they went back to Charwelton as hard as 
they could go ; away again, leaving Fawsley to the 
right, over the Banbury road for Sharman's Hill ; short 
back to within a field of Fawsley Gardens, again he 
went to the left over the road for Staverton, up to 
Badby House, across the park, a ring over the country 
beyond, back through Staverton Wood, into the gardens 
at Badby House, and we killed in the field adjoining. 
Found again in Hogstaff, soon killed him. Away with 
another to Church Wood, through Fawsley into Badby 
Wood, and stopped them going back to Fawsley. A 
better scenting day I never remember, no horse could 
have lived with them with the second fox. I rode 
Tenbury and Miriam. 

'* 1886. Feb. 17. — My first appearance after my acci- 
dent (dislocated and fractured shoulder at Farthingstone 
on December 14th). Found in Stratford Hill; away 
past Shalstone Coppice, to Gorrell Farm, ran him 
fast to the homestead ; never could make more out 
of him, until too late ; after we left they found him 
in the hen-roost ! Shalstone Spinneys and Westbury 
Wild blank ; found in Whitfield Wood ; they ran 
hard in the wood, away through Shalstone Coppice, 
to Mr. Higgins^s osier-bed, and ran into him in the 
open. 

" Feb. 23. — Badby House, by special invitation. It was 
a sharp frost with snow lying on the ground. We put 
the hounds on the train at Towcester, and went to Byfield 
Station. When we arrived at' Badby House I never 



174 Frank Beers' Diaries. [1885-86 

saw such a number of pedestrians at a meet of foxhounds 
before. A very large Field of horsemen as well, including 
several Masters of hounds and professional Huntsmen. 
G. Carter, of the Fitzwilliam ; Grant, from Sir Bache 
Cunard's ; Goodall, from the Pytchley. We drew 
Staverton Wood blank. Found in one of the small 
•coverts adjourning; went away, five hundred or more 
' view-halloos ' greeting him ! As straight as he could go 
he ran to Charwelton, on beyond made a wide ring, and 
^ot to ground near Charwelton House. Found in Badby 
Wood, went away through the village, back towards 
Preston, lost him. It was hardly fit for hunting; gave it 
up. 

** March 22. — Foxley. Found in Bushey End, and went 
away at a capital pace down to Foxley, and through 
Grimscote Heath; turned away past Lichborough, over 
the bottom, through Seawell Wood and Maidford, along 
the brookside pointing for Canons Ashby ; over the 
Preston road, and back through Burnfold ; away 
pointing for Farthingstone, and ran into him in Lich- 
iDorough Park. A capital gallop. Found again in Titers 
Coppice, a vixen ran to Bradden ; lost her. Found 
in Astcote Thorns, ran to Grimscote Heath, back, and 
lost him near Astcote Thorns. Found in Tiffield Allot- 
ments ; ran very fast, leaving Nun Wood on the left, to 
Easton and lost. 

** March 29. — Preston Capes. A very stormy morning ; 
found in Hinton Gorse, away to Byfield in a blinding 
storm of hail and rain, lost him. Found in Fawsley 
Gardens, away through Church Wood, Mantel's Heath, 
Everdon Stubbs, to Stowe ; killed him. Found in 
plantation by Mr Hurley's, ran through Stowe Wood, 
over the hill for Weedon, up to Everdon Stubbs, and 
killed him." (No further record this season.) 



1886-8;] Frank Beers' Diaries. 175 

1886-87. 

1886. — Cub-hunting on thirty-eight mornings ; killed 
forty-eight foxes. 

" Nov. 8th. — Regular hunting. Found in Hinton 
Gorse ; away towards Byfield, soon lost him. Found 
again in Charwelton osier-bed ; ran away by Fawsley 
to Badby Wood, up to Preston, to the corner of Mantel's 
Heath ; turned short back over the Everdon Brook, away 
over the hill, the fox dead beat, to the corner of Fawsley 
Park, top corner of Badby Wood, to ground in a small 
rabbit-hole ; got him out, and killed him. Found in Hog- 
staff, ran to Burnfold, lost him. Found our hunted fox 
again in Maidford Wood, ran him a ring or two in 
Seawell, and killed him on the Earths. 

'* Nov. 1 2th. — Syresham. Found in Whistley Wood, 
away to Wappenham, over the brook, leaving Weedon 
Bushes just to the right, straight through Allithorn, 
Helmdon, with Astwell Mill on the right, over Wappen- 
ham Brook, Weedon Bushes on the right, pointing for 
Oakley Bank, GomeraFs Holt to the right, and ran into 
him two fields from Weston. Hounds ran at a great pace 
all the time, and beat the horses all through, running into 
their fox before any horseman got to them. I was first 
up on Thistle, and nothing remained of the fox but half 
his head. One hour and forty minutes. A large Field 
out, and many falls. Horses much distressed ; a real 
good run. Found again in Weedon Bushes ; away to 
Plumpton Wood, lost him. Found in Titers Coppice, 
ran to ground at Bradden in an earth close to Mr. 
Goodman's House. 

"Nov. 15th. — Foster's Booth. Drew Drayson's osiers 
and Mr. Hurley's covert blank. Found in Stowe Wood, 
away over the hill towards Weedon ; ran away up 



176 Frank Beers' Diaries. [1886-87 

the valley to Everdon Stubbs ; back through Stowe 
Wood to Weedon, and killed the fox in the clergyman's 
garden there. We went on, and found in Grub's 
Coppice ; ran in the gorse, turned short back, and away 
at best pace, leaving Foxley just to the right, Blakesley 
Hall just to the left, through lower coppice at Plumpton, 
as hard as hounds could race, leaving Gomeral's Holt to 
the left, to within a field of Weston Village. Then they 
turned over the road, leaving Colonel Hutchinson's 
covert to the left, pointing for Culworth, bore away over 
the bottom, leaving Sulgrave Village on the right, over 
Stuchbury fields, to the further coppice, over the railway, 
pointing for Halse Coppice. Here such a heavy storm 
of rain came on, almost washing us off our horses, and 
just saved the fox's life. He got to ground on the rail- 
way bank at Greatworth. The run was all up wind, and 
the pace tremendous. 

'* Nov. 1 7th. Wicken Village. Found in Park Coppice; 
ran through all the Spinneys to Dagnell, and killed him 
on the land between Deanshanger and the river. Found 
another fox in some turnips close by ; ran up to the 
village, headed back, ran the meadows, over the brook, 
crossed the river close to Passenham, as hard as they 
could go, pointing for Oakhill Wood ; turned to the right 
through Beachampton Grove, pointing for Whaddon ; 
turned under Nash, to Furzen Field, and ran into him 
one field from Nash Brake. Found again in Foxcote 
Wood, lost him in Akeley Village. Found in Leck- 
hampstead Wood, finished there at dark. 

" Nov. 19th. — Adstone. Found in Canons Ashby 
Gorse, and ran down to the ponds — one ring ; then on, 
pointing for Ganderton, bore to the right, leaving 
Louseland on the left, close past Little Preston, Farthing- 
stone on the left, to Lichborough Bottom, then up over 



1886.87] Frank Beers Diaries. 177 

the hill to Stowe Wood, did not enter ; ran up to the 
small covert between Mr. Hurley's covert and Church 
Stowe, where we had him in view. Hounds ran him 
through Stowe Wood back to Hurley's covert, and 
killed him. Best pace for fifty-five minutes, and nearly 
four miles. Only myself, Edward, my second whip, 
G. Elliott, and a steeplechase^ gentleman-rider, viz., 
*' Bonnetty Bob," were with them. The country was 
a stiff one. 

Found in a small patch of gorse between Canons 
Ashby and Plumpton ; they raced him away in view 
to Plumpton Wood. A brace of foxes went away 
from Plumpton, and they ran one to ground at 
Woodend, and the other to Blakesley Hall ; back to 
ground in a drain, close to the railway arch by Plumpton 
Wood, bolted him, and he went to ground under the 
riding in Plumpton Wood ; gave it up. I rode Thistle 
and Comrade. 

'* 1886. ' Nov. 20. — Horton. Found in Bravfield 
Furze. Hounds went away at a great pace through the 
Chase, across the middle of the Deer Park, through 
Collier's Earn and Horton Gardens ; the fox swam the 
pond through Horton Wood, and was run to ground at 
Eakley Lane. We bolted him, and ran back to ground 
at Horton, near the pond. Found again in Ravenstone 
Wood, away to Weston Underwood ; a ring back, 
leaving Ravenstone Village on the right, over the drain 
at Eakley Lane, through Horton Wood, ran just outside, 
and on to Warrington Spinney ; then back, leaving 
Weston Underwood on the left, over the road pointing 
for the river, turned up and ran to ground just under 
Weston Underwood, after one hour and forty minutes — 
as good a run as I ever saw on that side of the country. 
Best pace all through. Pulled up the sluice, and out 



1 78 Frank Beers* Diaries, [1886-87 

came the fox ; we killed him in the same meadow. 1 
rode Rossiter and Jenny Jones, and stopped the Field on 
the latter over a stone wall, under Weston Underwood, 
just before he ran to ground. A really grand day's 
sport, and never did I see the dog-hounds to better 
advantage. 22 couples. 

*' Nov. 24. — Castlethorpe. Found at Mr. Knapp's, 
lost him at Lincoln Lodge. Found another fox at 
Bunstye Wood ; ran to ground close to Jarvis's Wood ; 
bolted him, and ran at a clipping pace through Horton 
Wood, over the railway into Collier's Earn, out directly 
to Horton Rifle-Butts, along by the Chase for some 
distance ; turned away, leaving Brayiield Furze on the 
left, as straight as he could go to Cooknoe Spoil Banks, 
ran into him two fields beyond, below the village of 
Cooknoe, after a good fifty minutes. There was no 
scent during the fore part of the day; but it was better 
in the afternoon. Rode Tenbury and Paragon. 

" Nov. 26. — Brackley. A very large Meet of both 
ladies and gentlemen. Found directly we entered the 
gorse ; ran through Gooseholme to Hinton-in-the- 
Hedges, and killed at Croughton Covert ; hounds ran like 
flying all the way. Found again in Brackley Gorse, and 
ran away pointing for Brackley Union, but turned short 
back over the grass at best pace to Halse Grange, 
where they ran him into Mr. King's farmyard and killed. 
Found in Halse Coppice, away close under Radstone to 
Whistley ; ran hard there, and several foxes on foot. At 
last away to Biddlesden Home Wood to within one 
hundred yards of Whitfield Wood, made a ring back 
nearly to Biddlesden, over the brook, through the fir 
plantation, over the brook as hard as hounds could go to 
Whitfield. We changed foxes at the coppice ; ran like 
mad back to Biddlesden Gardens, lost him, and gave 



1886-87] Frank Beers' Diaries. 1 79 

it up. A good scenting day ; many falls and tired 
horses. 

" Nov. 27th. — The Kennels. Fire Furze and Grafton 
Park blank. We found in Waterslade, away through 
Cattle Hill into Paulerspury Fields, across Sholebrook to 
Whittlebury and Sholebrook Lodge, killed close to the 
back-kitchen door. Found another fox in Briary, away 
through Cattle Hill close past Sholebrook, over the 
Rookery at Whittlebury, straight through Bucknells to 
Abthorpe, over the brook, ran by the railway some 
distance ; then, pointing for Kingthorn Mill, turned over 
Handley Fields, and lost the fox at dusk on Lord's Fields 
Farm. A capital hunt. Another fifteen minutes' day- 
light would have brought him to hand. Hounds hunted 
beautifully. 

*' Nov. 29th. — Green's Norton. Found in Grimscote 
Heath, and ran to ground in a drain under the Foxley 
road. Found again in Tite's Coppice ; ran down to 
Bradden, over the road to Abthorpe, turned away 
parallel with the railroad, turned to the left, leaving 
Kingthorn Wood on the right, went through Bradden 
Ponds, over the brook, leaving Blakesley on the left, 
Foxley to the left, through Grub's Coppice, through 
Lichborough Coppice and Grimscote Heath to the 
village, past the Downs Farm, pointing for Lichborough, 
turned short to the right through Rodmere, and ran 
into him fairly in the open between there and the 
Weedon and Towcester road. An hour and ten 
minutes ; no end of falls, over a stiff country he ran. 
Drayson's osier-bed and Tiffield Allotments blank, gave 
it up. Bitch pack, 23 couples. 

''1887. Feb. 4th. — Wappenham. Found in Plumpton 
Wood, away to Adstone over the Maidford Brook, 
through Seawell Wood to Bushey End, where he waited 

N 2 



i8o Frank Beers' Diaries, [1886-87 

for us ; away on good terms through Grimscote Heathy 
the village on the right, Cold Higham just on the right, 
Cornhill to the left, to Bugbrook Downs, on to Gayton,. 
and killed him. Found in Nun Woods ; down to Shut- 
langer, turned short to the right, through the Rifle-Butts 
Spinney, over the Towcester road to Tiffield, back ta 
Blisworth Gardens and Roper's Gorse, and lost him late 
in the afternoon. 21 couple bitches. 

" Feb. 7th. — Woodford. Found in Hinton Gorse, ran 
well in covert for about twelve minutes, and killed him 
almost directly. Hounds were on another, and away 
like pigeons ; they flew to Hinton, and ran the fox to 
.ground in a drain in a grass field beyond, which is in the 
Bicester country. Another fox was halloo'd, over the 
Byfield road, away nearly to Grifiin's Gorse, headed 
back to Hinton, and lost him. Killed one fox in 
a pond at Charwelton, and he sank almost directly. 
Found again in one of the spinneys near to Char- 
welton ; ran nearly to Fawsley Laurels, back to- 
Charwelton, and killed him. Found another ; they 
ran him all about those big grass fields for twenty 
minutes, and killed him. Found another; they ran him 
over the same ground, then over Sharman's Hill, back to 
ground in Fawsley Laurels, dead beat ; and to ground 
in view. Found another in Hogstaff; away over the 
Preston road, pointing for Louseland, past Little Preston,, 
through Mantel's Heath, Hen Wood, to Mill Spinney^ 
Fawsley, where he went to ground in a drain. Good 
scent. 

*• Feb. 14th. — Little Preston. Found in Badby Wood,, 
came across Fawsley Park, and lost him. Found at 
Ganderton. Away at a good pace, through Canons 
Ashby Gorse and Little Preston, leaving Church Wood 
on the left, through Hogstaff, away back by Preston 



1886-87] Frank Beers' Diaries, 181 

•Capes brickyard, Ganderton on the right, to Canons 
Ashby Ponds, not two hundred yards in front of the 
hounds between Canons Ashby and Eydon on Crock- 
well Farm. Found another fox in the gorse between 
•Canons Ashby and Plumpton ; away close at him they 
ran, in view, to Plumpton Wood, through the Lower 
Coppice back to Adstone, to Canons Ashby, through the 
Ponds, away over Crockwell Farm, pointing for Wood- 
ford Village, turned short to the right, Ganderton to the 
left, to ground under the road on Woodford Hill, close 
to Mr. Ward's house. Poked him out with a pole, and 
away they raced him through Ganderton along the flat, 
and ran into him going for Woodford. A capital day's 
sport. 

"Feb. 2ist. — Stoke Plain. Found in Stoke Bruerne 
Park ; ran away round the covert once, and killed 
him; he was headed into the hounds' mouths. Found 
again in a hedge close to Ashton Spinney, away down 
by side of the river, pointing for Bozenham Mill, 
over by the old ford, away all by themselves. Hounds 
ran hard all along the Alderton Meadows, over the 
brook, past Shutlanger Grove, through Rifle - Butts 
Spinney to the Reformatory, close at him, dead-beat. 
Unfortunately a fresh fox jumped up before them, and 
away they ran ; there was no stopping them, past 
Tiffield, over to Caldecote, to Astcote Village ; short 
back to within a field of the Allotments, through the 
Reformatory Gorse, back to Easton Neston, and lost him. 
Found again in Plane Woods, away through Nun Wood 
to Roper's Gorse, back by Blisworth to Nun Wood, 
Plane Woods, and Roade Cutting, where three hounds 
went over, unhurt ; back to Shutlanger, and Bozenham 
Mill to the new Covert, Grafton, and stopped them at 
Alderton. No one left with the hounds but Lord Euston 



i82 Frank Beers' Diaries. [iSSj-sa 

and myself. I had my third horse ; one of the hardest 
days I ever saw for hounds and horses. Hounds were 
running their hardest nearly the whole day ; all went 
home with their sterns up, and fed well. I rode Prince 
Charlie, Miriam, and Paragon. 22 couple of bitches. 

" March 4th. — Adstone. Found in Canons Ashby 
Gorse ; away to the Ponds, over the hill, and lost him 
on Woodford Hill. Found again in Ashby Ponds, killed 
one, and away with another to ground just under Eydon,. 
in a drain under the East and West Railway. Found 
next in Plumpton Wood, over the Lane, and down for 
Canons Ashby ; I put my horse Thistle at a very wide 
place, when a lady and gentleman crossed me, and my 
good horse was put out of his stride, so jumped shorty 
fell backwards, and broke his back. Thistle was one of 
the very best hunters I ever rode. The only horse I 
ever had an accident with, after hunting hounds for 
twenty-five years. 

1887-88. 

1887. — Began cub-hunting on Monday, August 29th. 
Hunted twenty-nine mornings, killed forty-four foxes. 

"Oct. 19th. — Easton Neston at 11.30. His Royal 
Highness the Prince of Wales, staying with Sir Thomas 
Hesketh for the week, hunted with the Grafton. Drew 
Water Hall, Rifle-Butt Spinney, blank. Found in 
Nun Wood ; went away to Shutlanger and Stoke 
Bruerne, and ran into the fox one field from Plane 
Woods. Sir Thomas Hesketh's children were out ; one 
had the head, the other the brush (both blooded). Drew 
Stoke Park, Heathencote, Burcote Wood, Sholebrook, 
all blank. Found in the forest, hunted till dark.** 

Nov. 7th. — Regular hunting began. 

*' Nov. 12th. — Bozenham Mill. Found several foxes 



1887-88] Frank Beers' Diaries. 183 

in Grafton Covert, away at a rattling pace to Alderton 
down to the meadows, through Stoke Gardens, along 
the bottom towards Shutlanger, to a drain which 
was stopped; turned short to the right, through Stoke 
Park up to Stoke Church, across the Allotments, Shut- 
langer just to the right, over the bottom, Shutlanger 
Grove on the left. We crossed the brook, over Mr. 
Montgomery's Farm, through Mr. Nickson's Garden-, by 
" Park View," down his meadows, over the park wall at 
Towcester Town end, ran along the enclosure at the 
back of Towcester, up to Burcote Wood ; through 
Porter's Wood, Long Hedge, with Sholebrook on the 
right, to the Paulerspury end of Sholebrook Lawn, as 
hard as hounds could run, straight across Sholebrook 
Lawn, over the Park, up to Sir Robert Loder's 
house, and killed our fox just in front of it. A capital 
run, and most of the time hounds ran really hard. An 
hour and thirty-five minutes. 

" Found in the Hassatt (Forest), away at once with a 
clinking good scent; Potterspury on the right, as 
straight as he could go to Cosg^ove, over the canal and 
river to the Rectory Gardens at Wolverton; here they 
caught view of him and raced him past Wolverton 
Mill, along the riverside, and nearly to Stony Stratford 
Bridge, over the river and canal to Cosgrove ; away to 
Furtho and Potterspury Cemetery, across the road to 
Puxley, where they ran from scent to view, and ran 
into him between Puxley Green and Shrob. An hour 
and ten minutes, as good as could be. I never was out 
on a more perfect hunting day; the best day this season 
so far. I rode Conqueror, Paragon, and Jenny Jones. 
23 couple dog-pack. 

*^Nov. 28th. — Preston Capes. Found in HogstafI, 
ran straight through Badby Wood, the village on the 



184 Frank Beers' Diaries. [1887-88 

left, then to Daventry Town end, to the right over 
Newnham fields, towards Weedon, along the Meadows, 
nearly to Everdon Village, over the Brook through 
Everdon Stubbs, Snorscombe Mill, and Badby Wood, 
over, round, away again past Newnham, to ground in the 
Earths at Daventry. A capital run. Found again in the 
Laurels at Fawsley ; hounds flew towards Charwelton, 
turned sharp to the left, as hard as ever I saw them go, 
then to Hogstaff to ground in an old tree. I rode four- 
year-old (Hollywood), Prince Charming, and Comrade. 
22^ bitches. 

" 1888. Feb. I oth.— Whitfield. In Radstone Fields 
got on the line of a fox, ran him past Brackley 
Union, down the railway, nearly to Brackley Station ; 
turned away for Hinton-in-the-Hedges, to the left over 
the * Barley-Mow ' road, to the Halls ; lost him in a very 
unsatisfactory manner; got into a hole somewhere, 
no doubt ; from the pace hounds ran he must have been 
completely pumped out. Found at Halse Coppice, went 
away over the road for Helmdon ; the fox turned quite 
short to Radstone and thence to Brackley Grange Farm ; 
bore away back to Halse, over the bottom, Whistley 
on the right, to Falcote, Astwell Mill, about a field- 
and-a-half on the left ; down to Wappenham ; and 
killed him in the village. One hour and fifteen minutes ; 
as good a run as one wants to see ; and over a very stiff 
country. 19^ couple bitches. I rode Tom Moody and 
Miriam. 

'* March 14th. — Blis worth Station. Found in Tiffield 
Allotments, away pointing for Roper's Gorse, turned 
over the railway, Gayton Village just on the right, 
pointing for Eastcote ; to the left, as if for Tiffield, over 
the road to Duncote ; lost him near Bushey End. Found 
again in Easton Neston Gardens; at a rattling pace they 



1887-88] Frank Beers' Diaries, 185 

ran, through first covert, Plane Woods, down to Blis- 
worth Ironworks, over the canal to Blisworth Station, 
short back to the village. Roper's Gorse on the right, to 
TiflSeld Allotments ; raced him from that covert, in view, 
to the Northampton and Blisworth road ; two fields 
beyond made a ring, pointing for Nun Wood, back to 
Blisworth over the canal at the tunnel mouth to the 
Roade Cutting. Stopped the hounds : the fox dead- 
beat. I saw him walk up the cutting and lie down in 
the six-foot way ; a train came past him, which he took 
not the slightest notice of; two plate-layers came and 
buffeted him with their caps before he would get up, he 
then trotted before them back out of the cutting, and 
climbed up the embankment ; when half-way up he was 
so tired that he lay down again, and was obliged to be 
put up by the second whipper-in. When fairly off the 
 railway he made such a poor go that the hounds went 
and knocked him over as he was in a walk, so terribly 
dead-beat. 

*' Found in Stoke Park, ran to the garden, and killed 
him, very mangey. Gave it up. I rode Prince Charming 
and Jenny Jones. The dog-pack worked capitally. 
18^ couples. 

** March 25th. — Owing to deep snow hounds did not 
meet till 12.30. Found foxes in Stowe Wood; they 
ran there for thirty-five minutes with a good scent, and 
killed a dog fox. Found a good fox in Snorscombe 
•osier-bed, away on very good terms through Hen Wood 
and Little Preston Wood, bore away to the right of the 
village, straight to the top corner of Hogstaff ; did not 
•enter the covert, went on as straight as a line to 
Fawsley Church, over the Waterfall, up to the left-hand 
corner of Badby, not dwelling in the least ; ran fast 
through the wood and out at the right-hand corner. 



1 86 Frank Beers* Diaries. [1888-89^ 

down Newnham Vale, over the hill through Upper 
Weedon, over the brook, and on nearly to the top 
corner of Everdon Stubbs. The fox was headed back 
and met the hounds, they ran him in view down the hill 
again, then bore away over the hill for Weedon, and 
into Stowe Wood, and killed him after an hour and 
five minutes without any check, hounds running very 
hard all the way. The best run of the season. After 
trying Maidford Wood, Seawell Wood, Grimscote Heathy 
Grub's Coppice, and Bushey End, all blank, gave it up. 

** March 31st. — ^Tile House. Found in Stowe Ridings, 
and killed him. Ihen found at Hop-yard, a brace of 
foxes, stopped them from running the vixen ; got them 
on to the dog fox, which had got a good start, they 
rattled along through Hatch Woods to Biddlesden, over 
the brook nearly to Whistley Wood, turned short to the 
right, leaving Syresham and Crowfield on the left, over 
the road running by the side of the Towcester road for . 
some distance, and at last hounds bore to the left by the 
side of the brook, over it — a good jump — past Syresham 
Windmill to Astwell Park ; turned to the right to 
Thomas's Wood, through Bucknells, past Charlock Farm^ 
down to Handley to the railway at Green's Norton; 
through Kingthorn Wood to Bradden, along the bottom 
to Slapton, through Bucknells, Crown Lands, Hatch 
Woods, Biddlesden Wood and Park, and killed him in 
Biddlesden Gardens. Three and a half hours ; for 
hound work I think it was the best hunting run I ever 
saw. Dog-pack with a few bitches — lyi couples. 

1888-89. 

1888. — During cub-hunting killed twenty-eight foxes- 
"Nov. 1 2th. — Stowe-Nine-Churches. Found in Ever- 
don Stubbs ; ran a line to the Lodge on Banbury and 



1888-89] Frank Beers' Diaries. 187 

Daventiy road leading to Fawsley, where a brute 
of a dog turned the fox back to Badby Wood ; ran 
through it and over the brook, lost him through a shep- 
herd's dog running the fox; we could never make any 
more of him. Found again in Mill Spinney, and 
ran to ground close to Badby Wood. Hit on the line of 
another fox at Hogstaff, hunted him to Preston, and gave 
up late in the afternoon. Rode Conqueror and Tom 
Moody. 

" Nov. 26th. — Woodford. Found a good fox in 

Hinton Gorse. After dwelling in covert with a bad 

scent hounds went away. Out of covert the scent was 

as good as one wants to see. They ran capitally away^ 

to Charwelton road, and over the hill to within one 

hundred yards of Griffin's Gorse ; away over a beautiful 

bit of country at best pace to Pfior'^ Marston, Hellidon 

on the right, down the valley pointing for Shuckburgh, 

bore away to the right, and ran into the fox about four 

fields from Badby. Fifty-five minutes, as good, if not 

better than I ever saw in that country. Lord Spencer 

was out, he rode as hard and as well as anyone. We 

then found a fox in Parson's Gorse, near to Charwelton, 

he ran in a bee-line to Catesby to ground. Found again. 

in Charwelton osier-bed, ran hard towards Hinton, short 

back, hounds close at him, ran him into a hovel, and 

killed him. Found again in the Mill osier-bed, by the 

brook-side, and ran nearly to Ganderton Spinney, then 

turned short to the left up to Preston Church Wood,. 

where the fox was headed, and ran for Louseland ; he 

did not enter the covert, and hounds ran through the 

grass-fields at Preston Capes, where we meet; Little 

Preston Wood was on the right ; a big ring back to 

HogstafiF, to Preston Church Wood ; had him in view 

here, but he got away, raced towards Snorscombe,, 



1 88 Frank Beers* Diaries, [1888-89 

turned through Mantel's Heath, without dwelling, 
through Everdon Stubbs, towards Farthingstone, ran 
under Hurley's House, down the hill again, nearly to 
Rodmere, up the hill again to Stowe-Nine-Churches, left- 
handed, nearly to Church Stowe, through Heyford 
Grange Garden, hounds and fox all there together ; out 
towards the Iron-Furnace, to Mr. Hardy's along by the 
Railroad, turned over it to Bugbrook, a flock of sheep 
■caused the hounds to check. I gladly stopped them, my 
horse had had quite enough, and everybody's horse was 
tired out, and it was nearly dark at 4.45. Baron de 
Tuyll got a fearful fall into the Charwelton Road, and 
frightfully disfigured his face. 

*' Nov. 2oth. — Horton. Found in Brayfield Furze, a 
A^ery fine old dog-fox. Without any dwelling he ran as 
straight as a line could be drawn on the map to 
Wellingborough Station (we found him in the middle 
^covert) ; away, leaving Denton on the right, Whiston on 
the left, across Castle Ashby Park, close by Welling- 
borough Mill to Great Doddington Village, pointing for 
Wilby ; made a ring and back, ran into him in a forty- 
acre field ; one hour and forty-five minutes. A superb 
line of country. Being a good twenty-six miles from 
home. Lord Penrhyn decided not to draw again. 

'* Dec. 6th. — I followed to his last resting-place poor 
Mr. Arkwright, M.F.H. of the Oakley. He was 
the first who ever taught me to hold a double-reined 
bridle ; it was entirely through him that I ever went to 
hounds. 

"December 17th. — Preston Capes. Found in Church 
Wood, ran fast in a ring to ground at Newnham. Found 
again in the same wood ; ran to Little Preston, down 
to Maidford Brook, like pigeons ; turned to the right to 
Ganderton's, on to Woodford leaving Hinton Gorse to 



1888-89] Frank Beers' Diaries. 189^ 

the left, to Mill Spinney, Fawsley Gardens, across the 
Park, leaving Badby Wood to the right, over Newnham 
Brook to Staverton, ran into him within a mile of 
Daventry, killing him by the light of the moon after an 
hour and ten minutes* hunting. 21 couple of bitches ; 
all in at the death. 

" Dec. 26th. — Chackmore. Found in Shalstone Spinney ;. 
away to Westbury, and lost him. Found again at Whit- 
field Wood and ran to Shalstone, Stowe, nearly to- 
Water Stratford to Shalstone Park ; back through 
Stratford Hill, pointing for Stowe, short to the left, as 
hard as hounds could go, to Three Parks. Leaving that 
covert on the left, they ran at best pace to Boycott 
Manor, through the Gardens by Buifler's Holt, Radcliffe 
to the left. Tinge wick on the right, by Chetwode to 
Twyford, away by Three-Bridge Mill to the corner of 
Claydon Woods ; away to Hillesden, and down to 
Preston Bassett, up to Goddington Mill. When I came 
up with the hounds some were on one side of the river 
and some on the other. With difficulty we got them 
away, it being 5.50 o'clock, and, of course, dark. We 
could not tell what had happened until next day, when it 
was proved that the fox had been killed — their fox : he 
sank, and was fished out next day. This was an extra- 
ordinary run ; for nearly an hour hounds went capitally, 
almost in the dark. It was a beautiful starlight night ; 
no chance of stopping them. We rode by ear, having 
a capital pilot in a young farmer, Mr. Barge, of Hilles- 
den, who knew every inch of the country. Had it not 
been for him we should have left the hounds out. Only 
Lord Penrhyn, Mr. E. Pennant, myself, and Mr. Barge, 
were left at the finish. The whipper-ins' horses being 
tired, they joined us on the road home. We reached the 
kennels at eight o'clock. 



ipo Frank Beers^ Diaries, [1888-89 

''1889. 2ist. Jan. — Met at Stoke Plain. Found in 
Stoke Park Wood; away almost directly, by Shutlanger 
Grove, crossed the brook, and up to Heathencote, did not 
cross the road, on by Bishop's, Druce's, Franklin's, and 
LinnelFs farms, through Waterslade, across the Lawn, 
across Briary, over Mr. Elliott's Farm, LovelPs Wood, 
to Tile House; killed just in front of the house. All the 
Field were entertained sumptuously by Mr. A. J. 
Robarts. We then drew Water Hall, Easton, and Nun 
Woods, all blank. Found at Tiffield, and away over 
the Northampton Road to Nun Wood, and Plane Woods, 
back at a tremendous pace to the Allotments, Eastcote, 
Astcote Thorns, and back to Caldecote, where we 
stopped them running. A famous day. 

"Jan. 28th. — Adstone. Found in a stubble field, 
and ran away to Canons Ashby Gorse, after a good 
run to gp-ou»d in a drain near the railway, by Canons 
Ashby; bolted a fresh fox out of the drain, and away 
as hard as they could race to Adstone ; a good run to 
Heathencote Plantation, to ground in the earths there. 
One of the most severe days for hounds I ever 
remember, and hard luck they did not catch a fox. 
lyi couple bitches, all up at the finish. 

" April 8th. — Horton. Found in Brayfield Furze, and 
ran away to the Chase, and on to ground in a drain 
l>etween Bozeat and Harrold Park. Very fast all the 
way, away from all the horses, not more than four or 
five of us could live with them. Being out of our 
country we had to leave him; we had just reached 
Horn Wood, and the fox came out of his own accord ; 
, a man gave a view halloo. We were soon on his line, 
-and they raced away towards Harrold Village, and on 
to Culworth, the seat of Mr. Magniac, M.P., where the 
fox went to ground in a big rabbit hole. A young 



1889-90] Frank Beers Diaries. 191 

farmer, Mr. Townsend, was riding by my side when he 
viewed the fox dead-beat almost in view of the hounds ; 
the fox went to ground when another three or four 
hundred yards would have made a glorious finish to one 
of the best woodland days ever seen on that side of the 
country. I never was more certain of killing a fox ; we 
could feel him quite plainly with a stick." 

1 889-90. 

Sept. 2nd. — Began cub-hunting at Redmere, and 
finished Nov. 9th, at Stratford Hill, killing thirty-three 
foxes. 

1889. Nov. nth. — Began regular hunting, much 
stopped by frost. 

" Dec. 9th. — Maidford. Found in Bushey End, ran to 
Astcote Thorns, across the Turweston Road to Eastcote, 
lost him. Found in Astcote Thorns, away to Potcote, 
a ring by Grimscote Heath, the village to left, past 
Potcote, to ground in sand holes near Caswell. Found 
at Titers Coppice, ran into Taylor's Spinneys, nearly to 
Blakesley ; crossed the road to Bradden Ponds, turned up 
to the village. Greens Park to the right, ran between 
Wappenham and Weedon Coppice, close past Astwell 
Mill, up to Falcote, turned to the right, and ran up to 
Helmdon Village, and lost him. A person was in the 
road with three greyhounds ; he declared he never saw 
our fox (?) we could never touch on him afterwards. 
This was really a capital run. George Barrett, the 
jockey, was out, and went well. He got an awful 
cropper over some rails at Bradden and very nearly in 
Wappenham Brook. Captain Elmhirst's horse was in 
for two hours. Mr. Fuller was also in. I rode Falcon 
and Sunshine. 24 couple bitches. 



192 Frank Beers Diaries, [1889-90 

" 1889. Dec. 1 6th. — Preston Capes. Found in 
Church Wood ; ran to HogstaflF and back, away to 
Louseland, Gandertons, and back to HogstaflF to ground. 
Found in the Laurels at Fawsley, ran to Badby, out of 
there, and back to HogstaflF again, into Badby, where 
hounds stuck to their fox well and killed him. Found 
again in Parson's Gorse ; they ran like mad to Char- 
welton Church, and short back to Fawsley, and killed him 
on the front doorstep ' at Fawsley House. Found again 
in Kingthorn Wood, away pointing for Rodmere; 
turned up to Lichborough on the left, Seawell and 
Maidford Wood, and the Village, all on the left, Adstone 
to the right, to Canons Ashby Gorse, across Moreton 
Pinkney fields, through GomeraFs Holt, and stopped 
hounds at Weedon, going for the bushes. All the horses 
were done, and a brace of foxes in front of us. The 
best day of the season, so far, a capital scenting day. 
22^ bitches. 

"1890. Jan. nth. — Horton. Found in Salcey Forest, 
ran a short time, and killed a fox. Found again, ran 
away leaving Stoke Goldington Park on the right, then 
to Ravenstone Village, up to Yardley Chase. Stopped 
owing to shooting. Found in Stoke Goldington Park, 
ran to Salcey, a ring there ; a good scent ! Out by the 
Bull Head, Jarvis's Wood to the left. In Stoke Golding- 
ton Park, hounds ran almost the same ring again, and, 
getting up to the fox, ran harder than ever to Bun stye 
Wood and Gayhurst Wood, through Linford Wood, by 
Hanslope House, on to the village ; ran him back, in 
view, to Hanslope Park, and killed in a small plantation 
close to the house. A capital woodland day. I rode 
Falcon and Topsy. 20^ couple of dogs. 

" 1890. Jan. 27th. — Stoke Plain. Found in Plane 
Woods, and away at a rattling pace to Easton Park, 



1889-90J Frank Beers' Diaries, 193 

back through the Gardens to Nun Wood and Plane 
Woods, and to the cutting at Roade, where the hounds 
all went over, I got down with both whippers-in and 
ran with the pack through the Cutting northwards. 
Two express trains being due, we expected the hounds 
to be cut to pieces every minute, but we managed to get 
out of the dreadful place just in tim^. Two trains, one 
each way, dashed through half a minute after we had got 
the hounds out ! I never had such an anxious time I 
think. Airs well that ends well; for we finished the 
day with the best run I ever saw on that side of the 
country. After this we found our hunted fox in Tiffield 
Allotments, and soon killed him. Found our next fox in 
Nun Wood, and, after a clipping run, killed at old 
Wolverton. Only about a dozen got to the end, including 
two ladies ; one, Mrs. George Barrett, the jockey's wife, 
had the brush. 

" April 5th. — Hartwell. Found in Ash Leys Gorse, 
and went away rapidly towards Courteenhall Grange, 
turned short to the left, and ran at best pace to Courteen- 
hall Church ; headed down the Park northwards, in view ; 
hounds ran hard to Quinton, up to Salcey Forest, 
through the clears and across the Lawn, into and 
through both Horton Woods, Ravenstone Wood to the 
left, down the fields towards Ravenstone, back to the 
Chase, away again, over the open, down to Ravenstone 
Village, and ran into him in the village grocer's shop, and 
killed him there. As we were running by Ravenstone 
Wood, we met the Oakley Hounds, running the reverse 
way : we were at the same time at one end of the field, 
they at the other ! Lord Spencer, Goodall, his huntsman, 
and Isaac, the first whipper-in, were out. It proved 
rather a lucrative business for the old lady who kept the 
shop, for Lord Penrhyn and Lord Spencer, besides 

O 



194 Frank Beers' Diaries. [1889-90 

giving her something, purchased all the oranges and 
biscuits in the shop, which to my. knowledge were very 
acceptable, for the sun was as hot as in July. We drew 
Stoke Goldington Park blank. Found in Salcey Forest, 
had seven minutes as hard as hounds could run, to 
ground in an old tree. A good day for the time of 
year. Mixed pack, 19^ couples. I rode the Leamington 
mare and Comrade. 

"April 12th. — Castle Ashby Lodges. Found in 
covert, Easton Wood ; ran to Upper Wood, away to 
Easton Horn Wood to Easton Maudit, through Horn 
Wood, back to Easton Wood, to the Chase, crossed the 
Deer Park to Denton side to Brayfield Furze ; left it to 
the left, down to Brayfield-on-the-Green, short back to 
the right of Denton Village, through Collier^s Eatrn to 
Cowper's Oak side, and killed a fine old dog-fox. We 
ran about two hours. Found in Salcey Forest, ran to 
Preston Deanery, past Piddington up to Brayfield Furze, 
through the Chase for Weston Underwood, away up to 
Cowper's Oak side of the Chase. Stopped the hounds 
late in the evening. It was a good hound day, and, 
considering the hard ground everywhere, as dry as 
chips, the hounds pleased me very much. A large Field 
out, including several M.F.H.^s ; some of them brought 
their huntsmen and whippers-in. I rode the Leaming- 
ton Mare and Sunshine.'* 

Lord Penrhyn . Master. 

Frank Beers . . Huntsman. 

Tom Smith . . First Whipper-in. 

Tom Bishopp . . Second Whipper-in. 

At the end of the Season, 1889-90, Frank 



Frank Beers' Diaries. 195 

Beers' health gave way, and his bright and 
successful career as a huntsman ended. With all 
possible kindness Lord Penrhyn had everything 
done that human skill could accomplish to help 
his faithful servant. During the summer flattering 
hopes were entertained of the patient's recovery. 
At the commencement of the season an attempt 
was made by the poor man to resume his duties, 
but one hour's trial proved to Mr. Robarts and 
those present that all hope had vanished, and 
the above - named gentleman, being in charge 
during Lord Penrhyn's absence, sent the hounds 
home. 

Tom Smith then took the horn, and hunted 
very much to the satisfaction of all, and had a 
very good season, of which there is no record 
beyond the fact of a good average of foxes being 
killed and good sport prevailing. 

In the month of January, 1891, I received the 
following letter from Lord Penrhyn on the subject 
of his Lordship's resigning the Mastership of the 
Hounds : — 

Penrhyn Castle, Bangor, N.W., Jan. ist, 1891. 

Dear Sir, — You have done so much to help me in 
hunting affairs, since I have been Master, that I am sure 
you will be sorry to hear that I have quite decided on 
giving up the hounds at the end of this season. My 

O 2 



196 Frank Beers* Diaries. 

reason for doing so is that I really cannot find time 
to attend to my duties as Master of Hounds, without 
running the risk of neglecting business in this part of 
the world ; and, therefore, as I cannot do the whole 
thing in a manner which is satisfactory to myself, I have 
settled to abandon attempting what is an impossibility. 

I have no idea what the future of the country will 
be; but I only hope my successor will be fortunate 
enough to meet, on all sides, with the same cordial 
co-operation that you have extended to myself. Wishing 
you and yours a Happy New Year, 

I am. Yours truly, 

J. K. Elliott, Esq., Penrhvn. 

Lillingstone Lovell. 

Sufficient proof, if such were needed, may be 
found in the huntsman's diary . to shew that the 
nine seasons during which Lord Penrhyn was 
Master were very successful, and could not be 
surpassed. 

A meeting of the Hunt was called, and a vote 
of thanks was passed to the late Master; and 
universal regret was expressed at losing his lord- 
ship's services. 

The Grafton were in luck once more. Mr. 
Robarts, than whom no man was more popular, 
joined the Hon. Edward Douglas-Pennant, and 
carried on the Hunt in the old form. 

With this period I arrive at my limit of fifty years. 



Frank Beers' Diaries, 197 

and close my reminiscences and remarks as to the 
Grafton Masters and Hounds by stating how 
pleased I am that the country is now in such good 
hands as those of the Hon. E. Douglas- Pennant ; 
and I wish him every success. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

THE FARMERS— FOX PRESERVERS— 
THE GAMEKEEPERS. 

Although I was for many years a farmer my- 
self, and therefore feel some natural diffidence in 
writing of the farmers, yet all will freely admit that 
it is only their due to speak of them in the highest 
terms. No one has seen or known more of them 
during the last half-century than myself. I first 
knew them in the days of ** Live and let live.^' 
I wish that I could repeat that in connection with 
them now. Circumstances, over which we have no 
control, have militated against the landed interest, 
and have operated in favour of others, leaving the 
farmer in a much worse position than he was ; 
and it seems very sad that it should be so. 

Notwithstanding this calamity, there is still 
great loyalty to Foxhunting remaining in the hearts 
of the farmers ; and where they are treated kindly 



The Farmers — Fox Preservers, &c, 199 

by those who are under an obligation to them no 
untoward results are to be feared. 

Masters of Hounds and Gentlemen hunting 
from their homes in the country are, as a rule, 
very liberal ; but there are visitors and strangers 
of whom it may truly be said that they might 
very easily do more than they do, and I shall 
hardly be ruled out of order if I remind that 
class of hunting men that the farmer finds the 
playground, and there is certainly something due 
to him for so doing. The apparent overlooking 
of this fact may be only the result of thought- 
lessness but it is not the right thing anyhow. 

It is a great pleasure to me to be able, in 
writing of the Grafton farmers, to say that in 
the period covered by this history we only had 
one man who revolted, and he did it openly ; he 
was utilised and that in a fitting manner, namely, 
to compare with the good ones and show them 
up to the best advantage. 

Some of the farmers had coverts on their farms, 
whether the same were their own property or 
rented. Messrs. Aris, of Weedon, father and son, 
had Weedon Coppice, than which there was no 
better place, and the Diary extracts now pub- 
lished will show the value of this covert to the 
hunt. Mr. Aris, of Oakley Bank, had the 



200 The Farmers — Fox Preservers, &c, 

shooting and care of Plump ton Wood for sixty- 
five years, and had a luncheon on the table every 
Friday for years. Mr. Samuel Ayers of Potcote, 
was a wonderful fox preserver. Mr. J. Bartlett 
of Whitfield had two or three coverts ; Mr. 
Fairbrother a part of Allithorn ; Mr. William 
Whitton, and his son, Mr. Thomas Whitton, had 
the noted Tite's Coppice ; Mr. Joseph Whitton, 
Grub's Coppice ; Mr. Pike of Haversham, the 
gorse which bears his name ; Messrs. Whiting of 
Castlethorpe also had coverts ; Mr. Wait of 
Lichborough, The Coppice ; Mr. Roper had 
Blisworth Gorse. The following were large 
occupiers and loyal supporters : — Messrs. Aris 
(of Adstone), Amos. Barfords, Barretts, Birds, 
Chapmans, Goffs, Clarkes, Bennetts, Blunts, 
Dunkleys, Grimsdicks, Hursts, Corbett Whitton, 
Ward, Messingers, Montgomerys, Mannings, 
Nickson, Shepherds, Franklins, Scotts, Timms, 
Starmer, Hurleys, Linnell, York, Ganderton, 
Johnsons, Checkleys, Ridges, Whitlocks, Peas- 
land, Pinckards, Bull, Harris, Pains, George, 
Kennings, Newitts, Nichols, Maule, Jeffery, 
Jessett, Farmer, Wait, Gibbins, Underwoods, 
Wards, Bazeley, Watts, Stops, Savage, and many 
others. 

A few years ago Mr. James Bartlett, above 



The Farmers — Fox Preservers, &c, 201 

mentioned, of Whitfield, which parish was but 
ill-provided with a church, and was besides very 
small and poor, being anxious to remedy this 
state of things, and finding it impossible to raise 
the necessary funds in the usual way, made a 
collection in the hunting field, with the result that 
the bulk of the money was provided by hunting 
gentlemen, which fact is commemorated by the 
church, which was duly built, being called '* The 
Hunting Church/' 

In the year 1871 the farmers and friends of 
Frank Beers subscribed at the rate of £\ each 
towards a wedding present for him ; the sum 
collected amounted to ^^383. 

No country could be more highly favoured than 
the Grafton country was by noblemen and gentle- 
men in the way of shooting ; his Grace the Duke 
of Grafton only preserved the outlying coverts 
for foxes and the Forest from trespassers. Sir 
Robert Loder had great shootings with any 
number of foxes and was a staunch fox-hunter. 
Sir Henry Dryden was for many years most kind 
in preserving foxes, although he did not partici- 
pate in the sport. Colonel Morgan, of Biddlesden, 
has always been good, and Mrs. FitzGerald, of 
Shalstone, cannot be surpassed. 

Yardley Chase, and the woods on that side, I 



202 The Farmers — Fox Preservers, &c. 

have alluded to in another place. Easton Neston 
has always been good. Captain Hall, of Foxcote, 
was never without foxes. Mr. Gough (of Maids- 
moreton), Mr. Grant, Mr. Ives, Mr. Grant-Ives, 
and many others, small proprietors, have always 
done well. 

Mr. Vernon, of Stoke Park ; Lady Hanmer, of 
Weston by Weedon ; Lord EUesmere, Lord 
Barrington, Mr. Robarts, and Mr. George 
Campbell ; leading members of the Hunt. Sir 
Herewald Wake and the Gunning family are, and 
have been also good fox preservers ; and so has 
Mr. Delap of Lillingstone Lovell. 

The statement that Fox - hunting and its 
prospects have greatly changed during my life 
will occasion no surprise to my readers. The 
sport is more popular than ever, and it is a 
question how far the increase of its popularity 
may adversely affect it ; and much depends on 
the support extending in due proportion with the 
increase in the number of followers. 

^* Iron '' has indeed, ^^ entered into the soul '' of 
the hunting-grounds ! and it seems to me, now, 
almost incredible that I can remember the time 
when there was not an iron rail in the Countries 
I have spoken of. How gradually and how 
steadily railways have increased, and are still 



The Farmers — Fox Preservers, &c, 203 

increasing and scarifying the country ! From the 
time when the great George Stephenson was 
lodging in one of the Duke of Grafton's farm- 
houses at BHsworth, and giving directions and 
preparing specifications for the London and 
North Western Hne, through the Grafton Hunty 
up to the present period, there has been na 
cessation in the promotion and formation of that 
which may be termed ''The Necessity of the 
Age." 

After all, there is no apparent reason why 
hunting may not be carried on, even under 
existing difficulties of the kind mentioned above, 
although the sport is interfered with to a certain 
extent. 

Against the new hindrances to the exercise of 
** The Sport of Kings *' must be set the vast 
improvements which have taken place in the 
Woodlands. Whittlebury Forest has been cur- 
tailed in a marked degree ; the large head of 
deer it formerly contained was disposed of at 
the time of the enclosure, only a small herd 
remaining, and these were confined on seven 
hundred acres, in Whittlebury Park, the greater 
proportion of which were reclaimed from the 
jungle, and this clearance gives hounds an oppor- 
tunity of chasing their fox without hindrance. 



204 The Farmers — Fox Preservers, &c. 

There are thousands of acres cleared which grew 
the thickest underwood when I first hunted in the 
Forest, and now yield an opening for hounds to 
act freely and shew excellent sport. 

Salcey Forest in days gone by was a thicket 
from one end to the other ; there were deep 
ditches to baffle hounds in every quarter. On 
account of the great growth of young oak timber 
the underwood has been destroyed, which enables 
hounds to work and press the foxes. 

Surly old Bucknells, which rarely holds a scent, 
has been greatly modernised in my time. I have 
a lively recollection of following George Carter 
through the only driftway there was in it. It has 
now eight ridings pointing to the centre and 
extending to the outside fence, with many cross- 
ridings ; but it is a curious fact that the foxes will 
not avail themselves of the open running they 
might have in them, but persist in running the 
Covert, which is a very bad scenting one. Of 
the many huntsmen I have seen in those woods, I 
never knew one to speak well of them. To give 
the place its due, many good runs have been seen 
in it, and on a few occasions from it. I have 
seen a fox run from it to Fawsley. Lord South- 
ampton used to pay visits to shoot with other 
noblemen ; we always used to know when his 



The Farmers — Fox Preservers, &c, 205 

lordship was going out by the Woodland Meets 
during his absence, for the purpose of driving the 
foxes into the open. 

Although Yardley Chase was a long way from 
me I always had a great affection for it ; hounds 
could always act there, and now^here was better 
hunting to be seen than in the woods and in the 
surrounding country. 

A subject now comes up upon which I dare 
hardly trust myself to write, as it has no re- 
deeming feature in the eyes of a fox-hunter, and 
one cannot but regret that it has attractions for 
the farmer; the thing meant is *^ Barbed Wire.'^ 
It may well be said of it that ^* the snake has risen 
out of the grass and secreted itself in the hedge ! '' 
and that so effectually that it is not visible to the 
naked eye, and until its horrid fangs are stuck into 
a poor horse there is no warningof its presence. 
It must be hoped that good offices and good-nature 
may avail to overcome the difficulty and lessen 
the danger. 

The Grafton countr)" is perhaps second to none 
for making a pack of hounds perfect in their work, 
if they be kept what one may call ** indoors ''^ 
during cub-hunting. No man knew better what a 
pack of hounds should do, and how they ought to 
do it, than the late Lord Southampton. He was 



ao6 The Farmers — Fox Preservers, &c. 

most severe in drafting from the head of his pack. 
He gave away a dog called Priam, which I 
thought was the best I had seen up to that time ; 
on my expressing regret, his lordship gave his 
reason : '' In the first place," he said, '* Bob Ward 
and that dog would lose any fox ! I admit his 
superiority, he wants to do all the work ! And, 
pray, what is the pack to do ? If you have a 
hound of that kind he disgusts the others and 
they lose their interest." 

A jealous hound his lordship would not keep. 
If he saw a hard runner, when he came to a 
check, follow an old hound and watch him pick 
the scent up, then slip in and take it away from 
him, he would have to go ; to take that for which 
he had not worked was dishonest. 

In conversation with Tom Firr — than whom 
there was no better authority — I remarked, 
'* Jealousy is a great curse in a foxhound." 
^' I quite agree with you," he replied. '* In 
wanting to get on they lead the pack, when they 
miss the turn of the fox and bore on drawing 
the others after them." He added by way of 
illustration, '' I had a hound of that kind, and 
I once saw him go ahead for two fields, the 
others stopped; he then stopped and looked 
back ; seeing they did not follow he went back as 



The Farmers — Fox Preservers, &c. 207 

fast as he could, picked up the Hne, and followed 
thence, knowing where he had left it ! '* 

The Friday country is the best from a riding 
point of view ; it is as good a scenting district as 
can be, with plenty of jumping for a man who 
goes with the hounds ; and firm grass, in good 
proportion, to gallop over. Moreton Pinkney and 
Sulgrave require a good man and a hunter to 
surmount the impediments, and there have always 
been men who could hold their own over the 
severest part of it. Mr. G. Campbell and the 
Honourable R. Grosvenor went very straight, as 
did also Mr. T. Whitton and Mr. Blencowe, our 
two best welter-weights, who were only equalled 
by Mr. Muntz. All the light-weight farmers 
could go well, and many of them have shone 
between the flags. 

The Hunt servants, who were chosen by the 
Masters solely because they were good horsemen, 
have always been mounted on cattle which could 
compete with the pack. 

In or from the Monday country the Warden 
Hill district is occasionally reached. A very 
good run there, with most severe fencing, may 
be recalled. After leaving Charwelton hounds 
ran over Byfield, bearing to the right into 
Hellidon Field, the village on the right. Priors 



2o8 The Far7ners — Fox Preservers, &c, 

Marston on the right, at a great pace. Very near 
the village I had an easy fall. Mr. Harry 
Everard looked over the hedge ; I said, " It will 
do ! *' '^ No, thank you,*' he answered decidedly; 
*' Beers is down and you have been down, I will 
have none of it !'' 

Beers' horse, Hunting Horn, with the saddle 
flaps flying, was going down the field like 
Pegasus, verifying his nomenclature at every 
stride by carrying the horn without the 
Huntsman ! 

Hounds ran on over the Catesby doubles, along 
the vale, over the brook and nearly to Staverton 
Wood, when a flock of sheep brought them to a 
check ; Beers came up on the whipper-in's horse, 
and thought we had changed foxes, and there 
ended a very severe run. Mr. Vincent Shepherd 
rode well on a chesnut horse which his father 
bred and sold to the Duke of Grafton after 
that performance. Lord Camperdown and Mr. 
Edward Knott used to go well on that side. 

At the time this narrative commences and for 
twenty years afterwards there was only one fox 
in three compared with the present time; a 
mangey fox was then seldom seen or heard of. 

A fox-hunting farmer said to me last autumn, 
'' I am completely eaten up with foxes. *^ 



The Farmers — Fox Preservers, &c, 209 

** Do you keep greyhounds?" I asked. 

*' No, I do not/* was the reply. 

*' When you Hved in the Grafton country you 
used to do so/* I rejoined, '* and many others 
also, and I always credited the greyhounds with 
killing one fox to five killed by the pack ; and I do 
not think I exaggerated.** 

** Well,** he said, reflecting, ** now that you 
name it I think there is a good deal in what 
you say, for I once had a dog which did catch 
them, and when he caught one he carried him 
about and would not let me have him.'* 

Formerly there were greyhounds, or lurchers, 
kept in every village in the Grafton Hunt, and 
the stubble was put into heaps in the field and 
formed a favourite bed for Reynard. At the 
present time I only know of one brace of grey- 
hounds in the Hunt, and they are in my native 
village ; and, happening to be there on a visit at 
Christmas, the hounds sent a fox down to the 
outskirts of the village, and one of the greyhounds 
killed him a very short distance from me. 

In Lord Southampton*s time foxes were found 

to be very thin in the spring, and blank days 

threatened. Meeting on one occasion at 

Whistley — the Hunt's largest covert on the 

south side — we drew it blank ; Halse Coppice, 

p 



2IO The Farmers — Fox Preservers, &c. 

Allithorn, Hutchinson's Covert, Plumpton, Seawell, 
and Grimscote Heath were also blank. Seeing 
Mr. William Wait of Lichborough, in the distance, 
I rode up and asked him if there were a fox about. 
*' Yes," he said, ** You will find in Lichborough 
Coppice." Lord Southampton was informed of 
it, and also that it was a lamb-killer. He was 
viewed away at 5.5 and killed at 5.55 o'clock, 
after a ring up to Stowe, when hounds were so 
near him that he turned right-handed up to Cold 
Higham, and they caught him in the hedge 
before he could get into Grub's Coppice. A very 
good finish after the long draw. This was the 
last day in the open country in 1848. 

The Gamekeepers. 

One cannot over-estimate the value of a keeper 
who is loyal to fox-hunting and interests himself 
in the preservation of foxes. No history of the 
Grafton Hunt would be complete which should 
omit to mention men of this class who have done 
gx)od service in the cause. 

Rayson, the park keeper at Fawsley, is a well- 
known figure trotting about the estate on hunting 
days. After many years* service he has attained 
a great age, and it is pleasant to hear that he 
still exerts himself, and applies his knowledge in 



The Farmers — Fox Preservers, &c. 211 

the office he has so long and so honourably filled, 
having served under four successive baronets. 

Paragreen of Blisworth, is another; he served 
for many years under the late Colonel FitzRoy 
and his son (the General), who had the shooting 
over a large portion of the Duke of Grafton's 
property including Plane Woods. A more 
energetic or zealous man could not be, nor one 
who prided himself more in showing plenty of 
foxes. He was also of great service when 
depredations occurred in going to ascertain the 
extent of the damage, and in rendering a 
correct account to the manager of the Poultry 
Fund. 

Whistley Wood has long been under the care 
of John Pollard. The Huntsman knew where to 
find him in that large covert, and never failed to 
reach him as soon as he could knowing how 
reliable he was. Lord Ellesmere was and is his 
Master and appreciates the success of the hunt 
in that favourite covert. Another good man under 
the noble lord is Bonham who looks after Hatch 
Woods and Halse Coppice. 

The late Spencer Longland was employed by 

the Duke of Grafton for many years in the Green's 

Norton country, and, at his death, was succeeded 

in the Duke's service at Wakefield by his son. 

p 2 



212 The Farmers — Fox Preservers, &c. 

Atkins, the present keeper at Greenes Norton, 
being then appointed. The whole of the property 
swarms with foxes. Besides those above-men- 
tioned many good men have passed away leaving 
good characters behind them. 



Sir Charles Ksightlkv, Bart. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

SIR CHARLES KNIGHTLEY. — SIR 
RAINALD KNIGHTLEY.— THE REV. 
VALENTINE KNIGHTLEY.— MR. 
SELBY-LOWNDES, M.F.H.-BOB 
WARD, HUNTSMAN. 

f 

It was in my early manhood that I first knew 
Sir Charles Knightley, and as the acquaintance 
grew I came to regard him in the same light as 
Sydney Smith did Macaulay, namely as ** A book 
in breeches ! '■ Every word Sir Charles uttered 
had a ring of knowledge that was delightful. 

When I first beheld the house at Fawsley 
nestling in its picturesque surroundings, I was 
greatly impressed with the beauties of the scene, 
and keenly realised that Nature had lavished 
loveliness upon it with no niggard hand. With 
its broad pastures stretching afar, its stately timber 
standing out in bold relief on Nature's elevations, 



J 



214 ^^^ Charles Knight ley, 

showing it off to great advantage; its rich deer 
park mantled by a grove of majestic beeches ; 
and a lake to complete the beauty of the pano- 
rama, it stands conspicuous as one of " The 
Stately Homes of England/' 

It was an added satisfaction to know that the 
character of the owner was in harmony with the 
grandeur of the place : and Sir Charles Knightley 
was a prince among fox-hunters. 

The plentiful supply of venison enabled Sir 
Charles to exercise his generosity to his friends, 
tenants, and neighbours to the full. Men of all 
creeds could eat of his venison with avidity and 
a relish. But he was at variance with the cooks, 
and, considering that they did not do justice to 
the haunches he sent to his friends, he determined 
to ask the recipients, in many instances, within 
a radius of a dozen miles of Fawsley, to cook it 
there. To carry out this scheme he had an oven 
placed upon wheels and sent the venison to his 
friends, properly cooked, at any hour they chose 
to name. 

Many anecdotes were told of Sir Charles 
Knightley. Here is one : A fat deer managed to 
escape from the park in the height of the season 
for killing, and it strayed to a field in Byfield 
Parish near to Griffin's Gorse, and was killed by 



Sir Charles Knightley. 215 

Mr. Barnes's men. It was properly dressed by a 
butcher and a venison feast was proposed to 
celebrate the harvest home. 

On the following day Sir Charles's keeper 
appeared on horseback with a venison basket 
on each side of the saddle, and demanded the 
buck. Mr. Barnes gave it up at once but asked 
the keeper to wait while he wrote a note. On 
the keeper's return he met his master and handed 
him the note which ran as follows : — 

Mr. Barnes's compliments to Sir Charles Knightley, 
and he begs to say that he had intended to put 
the deer to a proper purpose by giving a feast to the 
poor. 

Sir Charles sent the keeper back to Byfield 
with his compliments to Mr. Barnes, and begged 
his acceptance of the venison for the purpose he 
had named. My informant told me that he 
lived with Mr. Barnes at the time and that the 
poor were treated with the present. 

Two other anecdotes of the worthy gentleman 
of whom I am now writing may here be given : — 

Byfield is noted for Freeholders. Sir Charles 
regularly attended the meetings of Guardians. 
On one occasion an applicant for relief came 
from that parish. '* Byfield again ! " Sir Charles 



2i6 Sir Charles Knight ley. 

exclaimed; **they are freeholders but not free 
givers ! 

In the days when dogs were used for drawing 
small carts a fishmonger from Daventry named 
Bree used to take fish into the country for sale. 
One day he was passing the ** Lantern House'' 
(a lodge gate) when the man who kept it stopped 
him and asked if he had a turbot ; Bree said he 
had, a good one. The lodge-keeper told him that 
the cook at Fawsley wanted one. Bree replied, 
** Open the gate, and I will go down.'' 

*' Unless you promise to give me half the price 
of the fish I won't let you through," said the 
grasping lodge-keeper. 

After considerable argument Bree agreed, and 
was then admitted to the Park and went and 
sold his fish to the cook. While he was at the 
door Sir Charles appeared upon the scene and, 
enquiring the price, said he would settle for the 
fish. Bree said, " Forty stripes on my back, 
with a whip ! " pulling off his coat to receive them. 
And no other payment would he take. Sir Charles 
fetched the coachman, and, saying he had a fool 
to deal with, told the man not to hit him hard. 

Bree counted the stripes up to twenty, and then 
exclaimed : — 

" Stop now, there is a partner in this business ; 



Sir Charles Knightley. 217 

the lodge-keeper is to have half the price of the 
fish for letting me through ! *' 

After that transaction Sir Charles greatly 
assisted the fishmonger. I never heard how the 
gate-keeper fared. 

Sir Charles Knightley was a great authority 
on agricultural matters and very successful as 
a breeder of Shorthorns, besides being a good 
practical grazier. His foresight regarding agri- 
cultural depression was only too correct. He 
made no secret of his predictions. ** Sooner or 
later it must come ! *' he used to say to his 
tenants. This had such a powerful effect upon 
one of them, Mr. Jonas Paine, a large grazier, 
who was wont to appear in the hunting field well 
dressed and well mounted, that he altered his 
costume and came out in trousers. I overheard 
a friend ask him why he had made this change ; 
his reply was, '* Bob Peel has got my breeches 
and boots ! '* 

Sir Charles used to enjoy a chat about old days 
in the Quorn country, and with Charles King 
and the Pytchley. I once asked him if he had 
marked any time in particular when there had 
been a better scent with a fox than usual. He 
replied, ^* I have ; when I was at Melton in the 
month of March after the ground had been very 



2i8 Sir Charles Knight ley. 

wet, a white frost followed every morning, and we 
went out and returned home about two o'clock 
in the afternoon, having accounted for a brace of 
foxes, and given our horses plenty to do, and 
this sport continued through the month/' 

Sir Charles was his own steward, attending 
to the wants of his tenants whom he was very 
fond of meeting upon their land early in the 
morning. The estate being chiefly grass he 
paid the greatest attention to the drinking-places. 
Kindness to the poor has long been a great 
characteristic of the Knightleys. Sir Charles 
had a fixed morning for the aged poor to receive 
alms, as he had a dread of their going to the 
workhouse. Sir Charles Knightley lived in the 
'* Good old times '' and was my ** Grand old Man.'' 

I will conclude this short memoir with one more 
story. In the old house at Fawsley there was a 
room which was reputed to be haunted, it is now 
pulled down. A good many years ago a large 
party had been invited there to meet the Bishop. 
None of the lady guests would sleep in the 
haunted room ; it was therefore arranged that 
the Bishop, who was not aware of the ghost, 
should occupy it. All the rest of the party knew 
of the ghost, and the arrival of his lordship at the 
breakfast table was awaited with considerable 



Sii^ Charles Knight ley. 219 

interest, but some disappointment was felt when 
the Bishop appeared, quite unconcerned and at 
his ease, and partook of a hearty meal. 

However it was concluded that his lordship 
had been tired the night before and had fallen 
asleep before the ghost had appeared, or, perhaps^ 
was aware of his lordship's presence. They 
therefore decided to await the events of one more 
night before questioning the Bishop. The result 
was disappointing, for the Bishop came down next 
morning in perfect health, and with his appetite 
unimpaired. One lady could not restrain her 
curiosity, and asked his lordship if he knew that 
he had been sleeping in a haunted room. 

He replied he had discovered that on the first 
night, and related how his room had been 
suddenly illuminated by an unearthly light, and 
a beautiful lady, splendidly dressed, had appeared ; 
his lordship went on : — 

*^ Addressing her I said, * you are evidently a 
wealthy lady, don't go away!' I went to my 
pocket and pulled out a subscription list for a 
new church which I want to build, and turning 
towards the beautiful apparition I continued, ' I 
know you will give me ;;^ioo towards it,' — but the 
words were scarcely spoken when she vanished 
away, and I saw no more of her ! " 



220 Sir Rainald Knight ley. 

The Bishop then, addressing the inquisitive 
lady, said, " You are a rich lady too, I know you 
will help me ! '' but she replied that she must 
really run away and pack, as she was leaving 
almost immediately ; and to similar appeals from 
his lordship the other guests returned like 
excuses, whereupon the Bishop exclaimed, " Oh 
dear ! what shall I do ? the dead fly from me, the 
living leave me — how shall I get my church built ! ! !'' 

Sir Rainald Knightley. 

This gentleman succeeded to the estate on 
the death of Sir Charles. He represented the 
Southern Division of Northamptonshire in Par- 
liament for many years, until he was created a 
life Peer. In his young days he was a fine rider 
to hounds and knew the secret when to ride as 
well as how to ride. 

He possessed a horse of great merit, which he 
called " Go-easy " ; no man had a better or a 
better-looking horse. On him Sir Rainald was 
at home, and sailed over the country in the front 
rank in graceful style. 

He had the misfortune to meet with a bad 
fracture, after which he took things more quietly ; 
but he was a fine sportsman and welcomed the 
Grafton and Pytchley hounds on all occasions. 



The Rev. Valentine Knightley. 221 

Lady Knightley was very fond of hunting and 
graced the Field with her presence at the near 
meets, while by her affability and kind manner 
she gained the esteem of all. 

Lord Knightley' s mantle fell upon Sir Charles 
Knightley, the present baronet, who is so well 
known and liked in the neighbourhood ; and with 
Lady Knightley fond of hunting also there will be 
a home for the fox and a welcome to the hunter 
as of old. 

The Rev. Valentine Knightley. 

A good man, who has recently departed this life,, 
after devoting his time and talents to the benefit 
of others. He had for many years the charge of 
the foxes and game on the Fawsley estate. The 
shooting was wild and not being preserved very 
strictly it was a secondary consideration. Mr. 
Knightley, always popular, had a happy way of 
keeping the farmers good friends to the chase. 
If the owner of Fawsley were asked where the 
hounds should draw no decision was given until 
he had been consulted. He was a great friend 
to the foxes and would beg them off if he 
could. Full of honourable feeling, if any damage 
had been done to cattle or colts, he took care 
that the farmer was remunerated. 



222 Mr, Selby 'Lowndes. 

As well as conducting his clerical duties in an 
able manner he took the lead in his parishioners* 
games, pleasures, and holidays. No child who 
•ever knew that good man will forget the kindness 
received at his hands. No man could be more 
respected in his generation than he was. The 
poor — and the foxes — have lost their best friend. 

This good pastor was sixty years at Preston 
Capes. Late in life he succeeded to the Fawsley 
estate ; but, in his great unselfishness and 
g;enerosity, he at once made it over to the present 
baronet. 

Mr. Selby-Lowndes. 

The late Mr. William Selby - Lowndes com- 
menced to hunt the upper part of the Grafton 
country in the autumn of 1842. He was a great 
admirer of George Carter, and took Dickens, 
the second whipper-in, as his kennelman and 
whipper-in. Mr. Lowndes always fed his hounds 
on Indian meal. He also had a notion, which 
does not go down with many people, that a 
hound need not be so very straight, and always 
maintained that those which were not so were the 
best wearers. At any rate he soon got together 
a killing pack of hounds, and could catch his 
foxes with them. I remember his bringing his 



William Sel by- Lowndes, Esq., Senior. 



Mr. Selby 'Lowndes, 223 

pack down by invitation to Whittlebury Forest 
and killing a brace of foxes handsomely. 

About the year 1853 Mr. Lowndes gave the 
country back again to Lord Southampton for 
a time, during which he hunted the North 
Warwickshire and the Atherstone. However, he 
returned and took back the country from Lord 
Southampton after five seasons, and it has 
remained in the possession of father and son ever 
since. In 1862 Mr. Lowndes bought Lord South- 
ampton's hounds, of which he retained the bitches, 
selling his own pack and the Whittlebury dog 
hounds at TattersalFs. 

On the 28th of October in that year I went to 
see the old pack. When I drew near College 
Wood, where they began, I met the pack coming 
over the cross-roads into the Grove, which was 
then standing. The people, one and all, pulled 
up at the cross-roads. As I knew by the tone 
of the cry that they meant to treat the fox 
severely, I followed the hounds. When I arrived 
at the bottom of the wood they were gone. I 
halloo'd lustily but no one appeared, and down 
to Little Horwood the ladies' were before me. 
The fox ran the Gardens, which hindered them, 
and enabled me to meet them in a dirty lane. The 
thought struck me that they would not get on 



324 ^^^' Selby 'Lowndes. 

very fast, so I called them, and every hound 
seemed to know me, and down the back street we 
went and into the direct road for Mursley. On 
clearing the village hounds caught the scent, and 
ran directly over Mr. Dauncey's Park, and down 
to a very awkward fence and brook at the 
bottom ; then a very rough country had to be 
crossed on the left of Winslow Spinneys, over the 
Swanboume road, where more difficulties came 
for me, but the hounds kept singing away. The 
fox ran up a grass baulk wth two or three gates 
upon it; many hounds jumped them. We then 
crossed the Aylesbury road leaving Christmas 
Gorse and Mains Hill on the right. At this point 
a broad expanse of the creamy Vale presented 
itself ; not for one instant had they checked. 
Going as of old, they gave me work enough to 
keep with them ; and ran straight over the Vale up 
to North Marston. There the fox turned right- 
handed ; he had shot his bolt, but still they 
chased him down to the right of Granborough, 
and I saw him ; the bitches crept up to him and 
from scent to view they ran into a fine old fox in 
the middle of a large grass field. 

At that moment I saw a gentleman coming into 
the field at the bottom and he was the first man 
to appear. All through inattention on the part of 



Mr, Selby- Lowndes, 225 

the Field, as good a run as hounds could have, 
over so fine a line, was lost. The Squire reached 
Mains Hill whence he could see the hounds in 
the distance ; he came up delighted. 

Having such an affection for the old pack I 
hunted every Tuesday I was able to in the follow- 
ing season. The sport being exceptionally good 
the meets were well attended. On bad scenting 
days, which happily were few and far between, 
some of the wild gentlemen pressed on the 
hounds. 

The Vale of Aylesbury, as a rule, is very good 
scenting ground ; some of the grass is very deep 
in the winter and does not carry stock, which is 
a great help to the pack but is very severe for 
the horses ; only men well mounted, and possessed 
of good judgment, can live with the hounds on 
the low ground. 

At that time Lord Petre was fond of running 
down for one day a week, and enjoyed the change 
from the Essex ploughs, where he hunted the 
stag. Lord Charles Russell also used to enjoy 
a ride over the Vale. When hounds were running 
his lordship had a most peculiar habit. Nature 
had provided him with a very large tongue but 
with insufficient room for it in his mouth, which 
caused him to ride with it hanging out, and it was 

Q 



226 Mr, Selby-Lowndes. 

always a wonder that he did not bite it off ! He 
was a very hard rider, and an excellent all-round 
sportsman. 

Mr. John Leech, of Punch renown, came out 
with the Whaddon Chase Hounds, and there 
found subjects suitable for his sporting cartoons: 

No man was more popular than the Honourable 
Robert Grimston. Being rather a welter weight 
he used to ride strong blood horses and well 
understood how to make use of them. With 
honourable notions of the highest order he was 
often consulted as referee when difficulties arose 
between two people. He was a distinguished- 
looking man, of a peculiar type, and wore a hat 
with a very broad brim on the back of his head, 
with a black band under his chin; This gave 
him a rather clerical aspect ; and he was very 
fond of telling a story of two boys in a crowd 
who were attracted by his appearance. One boy 
was calling him names, when the other rebuked 
him, saying ** Hold your noise, he will hear you; 
it's the Dean of Westminster!'^ Mr. Grimston 
was a fine sportsman, and was highly esteemed 
by his numerous friends and acquaintances. 

Another good man at that time was Mr. 
Cazenove, who was also fond of the vale hunting, 
whether after fox or stag. 



Mr, Selby- Lowndes. 227 

Mr. Lowndes had a hard-riding tenant named 
Charles Higgins, who possessed a good deal of 
knowledge of a kind very distasteful to a fox, and 
could undertake the duties of a whipper-in in 
assisting the Squire to catch one. He had a fine 
voice, of which, however, he lost control at times. 
I happened to be with the Squire in Shenley 
Wood when a fox was just afoot; Charles 
galloped past us, screaming vehemently ; the 
Squire, turning to me, said *^ He is very tonguey, 
but I shan't draft him.'* 

Although Mr. Lowndes did not ride hard he 
was generally on the line, having an accurate 
knowledge of the country ; and when he did come 
up, he, like George Carter, knew what to do. 

Two good men, who were also good riders, 
Colonel Hunt and Mr. John Foy, joined the 
hunt. The Colonel rode well to hounds without 
any fuss or hesitation. If anyone challenged 
him, he was not slow to accept the invitation. 
There was a gentleman then living in the hunt 
who rode fearfully hard at first, and he tried the 
Colonel very much. One day this man started in 
his old form ; at him the soldier went, and as he 
passed me I said, ** Let him go, Colonel, he won't 
last five minutes." At the first fence over he 
went, and down he fell, the horse was up first. 

Q 2 



228 Mr. Selby 'Lowndes, 

A little on the left the Coloners horse jumped 
into a newly-cut drain, and rolled over; the 
horses then had it to themselves and the riders 
had to run. 

The Colonel hunted for some years with the 
Whaddon Chase Hounds and was an ornament 
to the hunt. After poor Jem Mason died he 
piloted Lady William Osborn, and very well he 
performed that office. Mr. Foy was a good 
sportsman and would ride steadily and to the 
end of most of the gallops. As I kept no diary 
I am unable to say more than that there was 
first-rate sport. 

In a very good run over the Creslow country I 
felt sorry for Jem Mason. We were going along 
together so cheerfully and had negotiated a good 
water jump, when I looked back and saw Lady 
William Osborn drop into the brook; of course 
Jem had to go back and lost the run. 

On another occasion we had a good run and 
reached the river at Thornton. 

'* What's to be done now, Jem ? *M asked. 

^* I am not going to do anything,'' was the 
reply. 

I said, '' I will try for once in my life ! " and in 
I went ; my horse took two steps and then dived 
quite out of sight, came up, and swam across; 



Mr, Selhy 'Lowndes, 229 

Jem laughing at me. Of course hounds ran two 
fields and then checked until the people came 
round, so that I had my trouble for my pains. 
As I was wet to my pockets I rode home, 
changed into dry clothes, and struck swimming 
out of my hunting programme. The Vale of 
Aylesbury is certainly a rare scenting country, 
and second to none. 

It was matter for great regret that Mr. Lowndes 
did not breed hounds enough to keep up that 
perfect pack of bitches, and at the present time it 
would probably puzzle anyone to trace back to 
them. For many years the Fitzwilliam draft was 
taken, and very good they were in those days. 

Time has slipped away and the old Squire is 
no more ; he is succeeded by a good son, an 
expert horseman and a good sportsman ; the 
farmers are with him and for him, and may he 
live long to enjoy the hunting and his neighbours' 
friendship ! When hunting in the Vale, you are 
bound to meet a thrusting Field. It is only 
natural that good horsemen should resort to such 
a playground in order to indulge in the game of 
which they are so fond. 

Mr. W. Levi, Messrs. Saunders, Wilson, 
Gerald Pratt, and many others whom I fear I did 
not know, were very good riders. Mr. Greaves 



230 Mr, Selby- Lowndes. 

of Winslow has been most interested in the pack, 
and a great supporter of it. 

Bentley was huntsman for many years, and 
needs no praise of mine. He was brought up in 
a good school. From his hound knowledge 
throughout the whole science he was undoubtedly 
a most creditable pupil. It is a pleasing fact 
that although he has retired, he resides in the 
midst of his former followers and those who have 
the greatest friendship for him. 

Many ladies, attend the Whaddon Chase 
fixtures ; Mrs. Leopold Rothschild and Mrs. 
Lambton are famous riders. I once saw Miss 
Wilson ride over a piece of timber as high and 
strong as anything I ever saw a lady attempt; 
and she did it as if it were a common occurrence. 
At the present time if a stranger is wanting a 
pilot he might do worse than keep Mr. Gerald 
Pratt in sight. 

Another excellent rider was Mr. Chinnery, also 
Mr. Stewart Freeman, men any country may be 
proud of possessing. Later on Lord and Lady 
Orkney and the Honourable — Bouverie were very 
good. No man hunted longer, or rode better, 
than '* Billy *^ Levi for years. Lord Battersea and 
Mr. Peter Flower were good performers. In later 
days the illustrious Whyte Melville used to hunt 



Bob Ward, 231 

regularly in the Vale. All know and lament his 
sad end. 

Bob Ward. 

Bob Ward was a leviathan huntsman ; a man 
of tall stature, broad in the chest, and on a large 
scale altogether. His size and weight, however, 
did not prevent his shewing great activity. He 
was quiet, civil, and most respectful in manner, 
and a general favourite with those with whom he 
came in contact. In listening to his conversation 
one would never have suspected Bob of having 
regularly attended school, as in his pronunciation 
he was at variance with orthodox prosody ; and 
in using such words as baker, gate, or lane he 
would put in as many ^^ a's '' as he could. 

Bob began in the ^^baaking^' business at 
Brixworth. In that village there then resided 
one Squire Wood, who kept harriers, which 
attracted Bob's attention ; and by some means he 
*' got in with '' the Squire and was trusted to hunt 
these hounds and prepare them for the season. 
Bob had a *' chap '' — a term by which he always 
afterwards addressed his whippers-in — to turn the 
pack to him. 

The following account I should not dare to 
write had I not heard it from Bob*s own lips. I 



232 Bob Ward. 

have had the honour of being invited by Mr. 
Leopold de Rothschild (through Fred Cox) to the 
puppy show at Ascott. On those occasions the 
party consisted of about half a score of hunts- 
men, past and present — Bob Ward always being 
one. The last time poor Bob was there he was 
in bad health, and he had his daughter with him 
to take care of him. 

There is no lack of fun with such a party. 
One of them called upon Bob for a tale before 
going into the kennel. 

'* Well/' Bob began, ^^you know I hunted 
harriers. I was out with them one morning ; we 
had a good scent, and gave them some good 
work, you know. After we had been running for 
some time, they got into a road ; they kept 
chattering to it you know. I couldn't quite 
understand it and I said to my chap, ' I don^t 
think this is right, they get so near the village ; ' 
and I said to my chap, * I know they are running 
the old post-woman,' and into the village they 
went, and they ran up to a door where the old 
woman was, and jumped up at her back, and got 
into the house and made such a rattle, breaking 
the crockery fearfully. I got into no end of 
trouble about it ; the old woman had a basket of 
herrings ! " 



Bob Ward. 233 

After great applause one of the company said, 
'^ Let us have one more tale, Bob, before we go 
into the kennel.'* 

'' WelV' Bob said, '' after that row with the old 
woman there was a deal of talk about it. There 
was a gentleman farmer in the plaace who had a 
saacy bull. He said to me, * Bob, I wish you 
would let your dogs run my bull.' I said, ' If they 
do they will kill him.' * I don't mind that,' he 
said, 'you run him.' So one morning we were 
out, and had had some work with the hares, and 
I said to my chap, ' We will go now and run the 
bull.' So we went into the field and my chap 
fetched the bull from among the cows, and I 
started him galloping and halloo'd them on, there 
was such a * charm ' with them and I rode after 
them and cheered. Over the hedge he went, 
through it went they and across the next grass 
field, full cry. He jumped the next hedge, 
pitched on his head in the next field, and when 
I got round to him I found he had broken his 
neck and was dead ! I said to my chap, * We 
must go and tell the gentleman,' so we trotted 
up to the house. I said, * Sir, we have run 
the bull and killed him.' * I am very glad, 
Bob,' he replied, *I will send the cart for him; 
where is he?' I told him and he said 'I am glad 



234 Bob Ward, 

you have done him.' Now, none of you hunts- 
men ever killed a bull !' and we adjourned to the 
kennel/' 

Bob was with Mr. Charles Barnet in Cam- 
bridgeshire before going to Lord Southampton to 
whip-in. Lord Southampton liked Bob very 
much ; he was very good at pulling down rails or 
lifting a gate off the hooks for my lord. 

One day his lordship cautioned Bob about the 
horse he had kicking hounds ; ^' I knew that years 
ago, my lord,'' was Bob's comment. '* He is a 
good horse," his lordship said. *^ I never heard 
that of him, my lord," Bob replied. 

On going to Mr. Leigh to hunt the Hertford- 
shire, new kennels were built; Bob was the 
architect, and everyone who has seen them must 
allow that they are a credit to the designer. He 
found a pack there which he did not consider to 
be suitable for the style of country, and set 
about forming one to his own fancy. I did not 
visit the kennel for six or seven years after Bob 
went there, and then I was never more pleased 
with a pack of the kind. He had bred the 
hounds much less in size than those he found 
there ; and he had taken as his model a good 
hound of Lord Southampton's, called Prophetess, 
of small size with great power, and he had 



Boh Ward. 235 

succeeded in obtaining a very smart pack. Bob's 
reason for breeding small hounds was that the 
flints cut the large feet of heavy hounds so 
much. 

Mr. Arkwright thought very highly of Bob, and 
one could seldom mention him without Mr. 
Arkwright saying ^* Ward is a very clever man.'' 

I happened to meet Bob on the railway one 
season, just after a great run he had 'had, and he 
related it to me with great delight. Hunting with 
the Oakley directly afterwards, I asked Mr. 
Arkwright if he had heard of the run with the 
Hertfordshire. '^ I have not heard the particulars,"' 
he said. So I related them. 

It appears that the fox was found in the centre 
of Bob's country, and set his head straight for 
the Oakley country, and crossed the line from 
Bletchley to Bedford, near Liddington, pointing 
straight for Marston Thrift. Bob knew his fox 
was beaten and dreaded a change in the Thrift. 
When approaching the covert he told his whipper- 
in to turn the pack to him and not to make a noise. 
When he got the hounds he took them alongside 
the covert up to a gate, and was going through 
the gate when it struck him that the fox had not 
had time ; so he took the hounds and stood back 
out of sight ; and in about two minutes the fox 



a36 Bob Ward. 

came away. He did not let them see him ; but 
when he was out of sight put them on the line, 
and after racing him for a mile they ran into him. 

" There ! '' Mr. Arkwright said, *' I always told 
you Bob was a clever man ; very few huntsmen 
would have made those calculations which killed 
the fox/' 

On account of Bob's weight Mr. Leigh paid 
high prices for his horses, as the writer can testify. 
I was asked by Mr. Leigh to write to him if I 
happened to have a weight carrier. My then 
landlord had a good horse to sell, and asked me 
to find a customer for him. I wrote to Mr. Leigh 
full particulars of the horse's qualities. Bob was 
sent to see him ; he had a ride, and liked the 
horse very much ; he said that it would not suit 
his master, but would carry him. I said, ** I am 
afraid your master would not give ;^4oo for a 
horse to carry you." 

'* He would, if I tell him," Bob answered. 

'* Do you mean to tell him ?" I asked. 

*' I do," was the reply. 

In due course I received a cheque for ^^400 
which I endorsed and sent to my landlord. The 
horse was bred by Mr. Shadrach Tompkins of 
Leckhampstead, out of a cart mare; and he 
carried Ward for eight seasons. 



Bob Ward. 237 

It was quite remarkable how a man of Ward's 
weight could get over a country as he did. He 
liked short-legged horses best when he was with 
Lord Southampton. Nothing Lord Southampton 
said to Bob offended him. One day his lordship 
said, ^* Yes, you hunted for Mr. Barnet ; I heard 
he only killed one fox all the season, and it so 
happened that you were not out ! '' 



CHAPTER XV. 

THE BELVOIR— MR. ARKWRIGHT AND 
THE OAKLEY — THE PYTCHLEY 
AND CHARLES PAYN — CAPTAIN 
ANSTRUTHER^ THOMSON. 

I HAD been wishing for many years to see the 
Belvoir pack, and I had had many invitations 
from Gillard. At last this worthy huntsman 
captured me at a show" at Newark, and took me 
home with him in the evening. 

As he was to exercise the hounds in the morn- 
ing I asked to be allowed to rise early, and 
accompany the pack. We took the dog-hounds 
a round on the eastern side of the Castle for an 
hour. We then returned home and went on the 
southern side with the * ladies.' A ride on a 
lovely morning, with the views surrounding 
Belvoir, is a great treat at any time ; but to be 
accompanied by such a talented man in the 



The Belvoir, 239 

^ noble science/ and such a pack of hounds, 
added all that I cared for to the pleasure. 

After breakfast Gillard gave me a most instruc- 
tive and agreeable morning on the flags. Hunting 
all my life with hounds descended from these 
kennels I could refer back to many of the old 
hounds which were there before Gillard*s time. 
You see in the Belvoir Kennel a feature not to be 
noticed in any kennel I have visited, namely, 
uniformity of character, quality, colour, and 
symmetry which is not to be equalled. A list of 
62^ couples of hounds shewed five couples only 
immediately related to another pack. 

I made the remark to Gillard that I thought he 
must be much puzzled to know where to go for a 
change of blood, without losing the class of his 
own. To shew that there was something in this 
a novice like myself was able to pick out three 
bitches, before we had gone a quarter of a mile, 
which were of a different character and colour from 
the rest of the pack. Gillard remarked : ^^ Those 
are all the strange blood I have besides one dog 
in the entry.'' Anyone referring to the list of 
1887 will find that this was so. 

I returned home in the evening greatly pleased, 
and was then able to compare notes with Frank 
Beers, who always thought so highly of the 



240 The Belvoir. 

Belvoir on account of his good Destitute having 
been bred there, and being descended, on the 
dam's side, from Mr. Drake's Duster. 

In the following season I met Mr. Ernest 
Chaplin, who invited me to accept a mount and 
have a day with the Belvoir. Of course I was 
only too pleased to avail myself of such a kind 
offer. During the season I received a very 
courteous letter inviting me to Grantham, offering 
me quarters and mounts for two days' hunting. 
Accordingly I went to ** The Angel," and met 
there some gentlemen of my acquaintance and 
had an enjoyable time. 

In the morning I was riding to the Meet, and 
at Lord Brownlow's lodge gates I fell in with 
Gillard, who was letting his pack out of the van. 
He had the big pack out, all dogs, and a fine 
lot they were ! and I was fortunate in having a 
ride to covert, a few miles distant, in his company. 
The fixture was ^^ Byard's Leap," near to a 
wayside house. I was taken to see the Leap, 
marked out by four stumps with a horseshoe on 
each. There was a legend about it to which 
I did not pay much attention beyond thinking 
that our forefathers enjoyed greater license for 
*^ throwing the hatchet" than is permitted to their 
descendants. 



The Belvoir. 241 

Two rare good hunters awaited my arrival, and 
I was asked to ride a black horse first. We 
moved on to the covert ; I saw Gillard making 
some alteration in his whip-lash which I could 
not understand, and, asking what it meant, was 
told : ^* We are in the stone- wall country and 
my horse wants rousing at them ; you are all rights 
there is no better wall jumper than that horse.'* 
Good hearing, I thought, as I did not often have 
an opportunity of practising over walls. We' soon 
found a fox — and the walls. My information 
from the huntsman was correct ; the black horse 
jumped them beautifully, and many of them there 
were to be jumped. The dog-hounds romped 
along. It was just the country for a big pack, 
the * cry * was delightful, and so was the whole 
thing. 

After a good deal of knocking about, changing 
foxes now and then, we managed to give two 
horses a drilling, but did not succeed in catching 
a fox. The work of one hound in particular was 
excellent ; he was the sort of dog that pleases 
me ; very industrious and determined, and did not 
bore on, but he would insist upon stopping when 
he thought he ought to do so, and I saw him turn 
with the line and put the others right several 
times ; which pleased me so much that I asked 

R 



242 The Belvoir. 

Gillard what his name was. '^Gambler, sir; you 
know him/' he answered. 

" No, I do not/' I said, positively. 

" Yes, you saw him, you know, in the summer," 
Gillard said. 

 * That is what I did not do,'* I replied; '*you 
showed me Gameboy, but you said Gambler 
had been fighting, and was not fit to be 
seen.'' 

As I believe there is more progeny from that 
dog in different packs than from any other, it 
seemed very satisfactory. 

The fixture on the next day was close to 
Melton, and the small pack was out ; a smart lot 
they were ! We found at a gorse near to Melton ; 
ran for twelve minutes, treading on the fox's heels 
all the way, and killed him. We then went to 
Melton Gorse, found, and ran about, with a 
moderate scent ; but undulating ground, quarry 
pits, and arable land did not afford satisfactory 
results. A hard, long day. 

The impression which I formed of the country 
was, that after turning from Melton it is a hard- 
working place for hounds and huntsman ; while 
many foxes are not to be caught without earning 
them. As before remarked, I was delighted with 
the pack in the kennels, and liked their work 



Captain Arkwright. 



Mr. Arkwright and the Oakley. 243. 

very much ; but no marked superiority over some, 
other packs I have hunted with was specially to 
be noticed. 

With many thanks to my kind friend for the 
four good hunters he had placed at my disposal, 
and the great pleasure afforded me of seeing. 
Gillard and the pack in the field, I returned home 
greatly pleased with my outing. 

Mr. Arkw^right and The Oakley. 

In 1848 a change took place in the Oakley 
country. George Beers left to go to Lord South- 
ampton, and Major Hogg, having just returned 
from foreign service, took the hounds. I believe 
Mr. Arkwright had been a brother officer of his. 
The Government requested the Major to go 
again to India, where he had served with much 
distinction ; but he only accepted the commission 
with reluctance, after trying in vain to persuade 
Mr Arkwright, or Major Magennis (who had 
lost an arm), to go in his place ; and it was under- 
stood that he was to have the hounds again upon 
his return. 

The business in India was well-nigh accom- 
plished when it was deemed necessary to send 
an expedition up country again to make terms 

with some native chiefs. Major Hogg went on 

R 2 



244 ^^' Arkwright and the Oakley, 

this mission, and, while so engaged, he fell ill of 
fever and died. 

In 1 85 1 George Beers returned to the Oakley 
Hounds as huntsman. Mr. Arkwright was 
passionately fond of hunting, devoting the closest 
attention to it in field and kennel ; and embraced 
the opportunity which now offered of learning 
from so clever a man as his huntsman. 

When Beers left there was a good pack of 
hounds ; but during his absence the breeding as 
well as other matters had been mismanaged ; 
and all had gone wrong. After his return nothing 
was omitted that could be done to put matters 
right again ; and at the end of three years* 
apprenticeship to Beers Mr. Arkwright took the 
horn. 

Having been a visitor in that country for 
several years, and getting to know and like the 
Master, my visits continued ; indeed, they became 
more frequent ; and I there enjoyed so much 
sport that the title of this book binds me to give 
some account of it. I will not describe the 
country further than by saying that the Yardley 
Chase end of it was neutral with the Grafton, and 
was a very favourite place of mine in which to see 
good fox-hunting. There was, perhaps, no better 
country in which to test the qualities of a pack ; 



Mr. Arkwright and the Oakley, 245 

and a pack or huntsman could hardly be pro- 
nounced perfect unless they could catch a brace 
of foxes there in a day, with anything, like a 
scent. 

This property belongs to the Marquis of 
Northampton, and its resources for hunting are, 
as indicated above, very great, and the kindness 
of the noble owners has been equally so. There 
has always been an excellent keeper there ; and 
Mr. Carvel, who has been there for some years, 
is a very praiseworthy man. Mr. Finch has a 
property adjoining, which has been under the 
care of Mr. Shakeshaft and his father for many 
years, and the estate has always been a safe 
home for foxes. The Horton property brings 
the country up to Salcey, and there the neutrality 
ceases. 

It was a great treat to see Mr. Arkwright, with 
his worthy secretary, Mr. Harry Thornton, Mr. 
J. Gibbard, Captain Higgins, Messrs. Macan, 
Green, Orlebar, and a host of sporting farmers, 
to wit, Messrs. Battams (father and three sons), 
Harry Boulton, Lavender, Whitehead, Sanders 
Brothers, Joseph Robinson, Tom Turnell, Lucas 
Foster, Swannell, and many others, all horse 
fanciers, and splendidly mounted. No man was 
better supported than Mr. Arkwright. 



246 Mr, Arkwright and the Oakley. 

In the early part of his reign I had a curious 
experience. We were on the Newport Pagnell 
side, in the neighbourhood of Hardmead, hunting 
a fox over the plough, when an eclipse of the sun 
took place ; the birds went to roost, we were in 
semi-darkness and had to grope our way about, 
and it is puzzling to understand how we managed 
ivhile this state of things continued. The country 
was strange to me ; but a few of the followers 
and the Master advanced with the greatest 
difficulty. 

' In a very large grass field I caught sight of 
the fox and he appeared as much puzzled as we 
were. The hounds were in the same field with 
him ; he then went into the next field ; I rode at 
the fence, not a large one, but down my mare 
went on her side, and I on the ground, it seemed 
as if her eyes were eclipsed ! We therefore declined 
any more jumping and the fox beat us. 

Owing to the fact of the country where I 
hunted with the Oakley being large woods, with 
plains and fields intervening, it is not easy to 
write a description of the runs. If we made 
points from Cowper's Oak to Harrold, for instance, 
hounds would race from one wood to another, 
and it required a good horse to keep them in 
sight. Frequently a fox would run from the 



Mr, Arkwright and the Oakley. 247 

Chase to Brayfield Furze, and go on to Houghton 
Lordship, where you might imagine you were in 
Leicestershire ; then was the time to see Mr. 
Arkwright shine ; he was quick, decisive, strong 
on his horse, and a rare stayer. One thing he 
used to do which was not to be commended ; if 
he caught sight of his hunted fox he would ride at 
him. In the woods one would do much to bother 
a fox, and turn him if possible, from his foil ; but 
to ride a fox down is a bad thing for hounds. 

Huntsmen and their whippers-in will sometimes 
ride a fox and get him down in a field, and then 
have to fetch the hounds to kill him ! Indeed, 
an instance of this is on record ; but I am happy 
to say that in fifty years I never saw it done in 
the Grafton Hunt. *' From scent to view '^ may 
well be considered to be the greatest reward a 
pack of hounds can have. 

I was out in the Chase on the last day of cub- 
hunting, when we found an old fox ; and he led iis- 
a good round and tried all he knew t) shake off 
his pursuers, but they caught him in a little over 
an hour. We then went and got another fox 
afoot and began well with him. After going over 
some foiled ground the pack pressed and kept on 
pressing. Mr. Arkwright said, ** He is a tough 
one, for a cub ! ^^ I replied, '^ He was a cub once»- 



248 Mr, Arkwright and the Oakley. 

but not this year! '' ** Til bet you sixpence/' he 
said ; ^^ Done ! '^ cried I. 

After a real case of earning him hounds caught 
this fox. Tom Whitmore was asked to decide the 
wager; but, not liking to give it against his 
master, he said he would take the head home and 
put it into the copper. In three days I received a 
letter containing the old fox's tooth, and six- 
pence ! I had that tooth mounted as a scarf-pin, 
and I treasure it for its history. 

On meeting Mr. Arkwright at the covert side 
he never failed to ask how I thought the pack 
was looking. *^ Are they heavier or lighter than 
the Grafton ? '' he would enquire. One morning, 
before we moved off, he said, ** Oh ! if you notice 
anything wrong to-day I wish .you would tell 
me.'' I laughed, and said, 

'' To think that I could tell you anything ! " 

** I mean what I say," he replied, and rode 
away. 

We were not long in finding and after a turn 
round two or three large quarters the hounds went 
away at a good pace, down to Warrington toll- 
bar ; but they checked at the gate leading into 
the road. I waited a short distance from the 
gate, and, hearing a hound speak in the road, 
approached the gate, when, looking over, I saw 



Mr, Arkwright and the Oakley. 249 

what took place. Mr. Arkwright came up and 
asked where they brought the line to. *' These 
gate-bars/' I said; **he has not gone down the 
road/' 

The hounds turned left-handed and hit the 
scent and on we went, but the fox beat us. We 
then went to find another. I was riding with Mr. 
Arkwright, and, pointing to a hound, I said, 
'' What's this gentleman ? '' 

" He is a ^ Sportsman ' dog,'* he replied, ** what 
about him?'' 

** When the hounds reached the gate,'' said I, 
*^ up to which you came, he went down the road 
throwing his tongue ; the others turned to him, 
and, after trying, would not have it. He then 
turned and looked back to see if they were 
coming, put his head down and spoke again ; 
then he turned back." 

'' That," Mr. Arkwright said, '' I saw him do 
the other day, and that is why I asked you to tell 
me if you saw anything wrong ; he must go ! " 

I write this to show how vice gets into kennels. 
There was a dog in the Grafton pack called 
Sentinel, a son of Oakley Sportsman, he was 
the best Chase hound in the kennel. One night, 
going home, I asked Frank Beers if he had seen 
Sentinel do anything he ought not. 



250 Mr, Arkwright and the Oakley, 

He said, '* No, you would crab anything ! '^ It 
was too true however; soon afterwards this 
hound led all the pack up a road for two hundred 
yards to two men standing therein. They told 
Beers that no fox had been there, and pointed to 
the hound which brought the pack on. Down 
went the character of that breed ! My readers 
may see in Winfield^s Lecture, which I shall give 
later on, what he thought of that failing. 

The Oakley hunted in the Chase until ** Prim- 
rose Day," when the ladies did not forget to mark 
the occasion. 

Mr. Arkwright, at one time, had a small black- 
and-white pack ; there was nothing dismal about 
them, the white predominating; they took honours 
at Peterborough, even when G. Carter was so 
strong with the Fitzvvilliam Hounds. 

Mr. Arkwright and Tom Whitmore, with the 
above-named pack, riding into the meeting-field, 
looked as much like fox-catching as one could 
imagine. This pack acted well in the woods, 
and hunted over the ploughs to the satisfaction 
of the Master and his followers. Two days in 
the Chase I remember very well. One was in the 
middle of the season. The meet was Cowper^s 
Oak. It was not long before we hit on a fox. 
and hunted from fox to fox for, an hour and a half,' 



Mr. Arkwright and the Oakley, 251 

until one went to ground near the Deer-park rails 
on the north side. I 'asked : ** Shall you bolt 
him, Captain?^' 

'' No/' he replied, '' I will have him ; if I bolt 
him he will go into another drain in five minutes ; 
I don't believe in letting them oiT here, it is not 
fair for hounds, and, you see, there are too many 
foxes/' He was accordingly accounted for. 

We then trotted on to Easton Wood, found a 
fox directly, and went away close at him, leaving 
Easton Maudit to the right; he ran over the 
open, leaving the Castle on the left, the Chase 
also, nearly to Brayfield Furze ; turned left-handed 
through Collier's Earn, down the Deer Park like 
flying, through the Chase to old Pond ; turned 
right-handed oiit into the open, and hounds ran 
into their fox before he could reach Weston 
Wood ; forty-five minutes without a check ; it 
was getting dark. 

On the other occasion the Deer Park was the 
meet, with the small pack. They had a great 
deal of running in the Chase without killing. In 
the afternoon the scent improved, and a fox went 
away to Olney Court, turned right-handed, ran 
parallel with the Chase up to Ravens tone Brook, 
over it and the turnpike road, through Jarvis's 
Wood, over Hanslope Field and ran into the fox 



252 Mr, Arkwright and the Oakley, 

about thirty yards inside the forest. A very hard 
day finished with a capital run. Hounds a long 
way from home, had to return in the dark. 

Many people used to come for spring hunting. 
Mr. and Mrs. Sharman, Mr. G. Higgins and 
Miss Higgins, Miss Whitworth and her §ister, 
the Misses Higgins and Turvey, and Mr. Hill 
from Wollaston. Masters of hounds and hunts- 
men always came at the finish. 

Bedford has long been a sporting county, and 
the home of the harrier for many a year. Captain 
Browning did good service in the Oakley country 
by keeping a good pack of hounds together. 

Mr. J. Race has killed hundreds of hares ; he 
as a good sportsman too and a fine judge of a 
foxhound. He had a neighbour who was very 
good to him in finding hares and land to hunt 
over. Mr. Race told me that he thanked his 
friend, one day, saying how greatly obliged he 
was to him. The reply was, '* All I can say is 
you ought to be if you are not ! '* 

In old days there was another pack near 
Bedford, the Owner of which had an only daughter 
who was passionately fond of going out with the 
harriers. There was a young Magnate in Bedford 
who also had a great taste for * Currant Jelly ' ; 
and he found out the meets and attended very 



Mr. Arkwright and the Oakley. 253 

• 

regularly. The lady of the house saw what the 
loadstone was, and, not approving of any encour- 
agement being given in a certain quarter, the 
Squire had no peace until the hounds were sent 
away. When the day fixed for the departure of 
the pack came the poor Squire took leave of 
them and sent them byroad to London to be sold. 

They had not been long gone before the Squire 
was informed that his daughter had eloped with 
the young Magnate. He at once summoned a 
messenger and started him to overtake the 
hounds and bring them back. '* They are sure to 
want them when they come home ! '' he said. He 
was a good father ! 

Mr. Arkwright had for many years a good and 
faithful servant in Tom Whitmore. Few men 
were his superior in the kennel and he was a real 
good man in the field. The excellent pack he 
left in the Oakley kennel proved the knowledge 
he possessed in breeding hounds. 

In concluding my feeble record I feel satisfied 
that everyone who was fortunate enough to know 
the late Captain Robert Arkwright could not fail 
to recognise in him a great man, possessing those 
qualities which constitute a gentleman, a soldier, 
and a sportsman ; and knew him also to be a 
true friend to the Oakley country and its people. 



^54 ^A^ Pytchley, and Charles Payn. 

The Pytchley, and Charles Payn. 

In the days when this history commences good 
sport with the Pytchley was a matter of tradition 
only. Three changes took place without mending 
matters. Mr. Smith was said to be a good 
workman but he was handicapped by having 
bad horses and indifferent hounds. Sir Harry 
Goodrich held the Mastership for two years with 
matters getting worse. 

Mr. George Payn had a great reputation and 
I once hacked twenty-four miles to a meet at 
Stamford Hall where a capital mount awaited me. 

I could only come to the conclusion that the 
Squire, in assuming the role of huntsman, had 
greatly mistaken his vocation. We were on fine 
grass all day yet with no good result. The only 
person in the establishment who shewed skill was 
Ned Johnson as whipper-in. He soon afterwards 
came to Lord Southampton to whom he gave 
great satisfaction. Ned was offered the horn 
many times, but he always refused it, saying : 
'' I know nothing of hunting and will never 
undertake it.^^ 

At this time people from the Pytchley hunted 
regularly with the Grafton, and they did not 
return to their own hunt until Charles Payn 



Charles Payn. 



The Pytchley, and Charles Payn. 255 

entered the Pytchley kennel. Then the good 
old character of that pack revived. 

Charles, as a pupil of George Beers, went to 
a good school and made the most of that advan- 
tage. Charles was gallant and graceful in the 
saddle, sitting more firmly than any other man 
could be strapped on. He was strong in body 
and nerve, cool in the head, and patient in temper. 
The way in which he used to treat a large Field 
was admirable. The thrusters looked upon him 
as a fugleman, knowing full well that he would do 
his best and succeed if possible. All difficulties 
seemed to fade before Charles, and no man knew 
better how to catch a fox or how to breed hounds 
for that purpose. 

I have seen him over the cream of the country 
race his fox to death in thirty-five minutes; and 
I have also seen him hunt a fox with a display of 
great science. 

It fell to my good fortune to witness one of 
Charles Paynes finest runs ; this was on the 
29th of December, 1862. 

The fox was found in a hedgerow in Preston 
fields Hounds ran through the Church Wood, 
away at the bottom over Preston fields up to 
Mantel s Heath, through the covert ; they skirted 
Knightley Wood, leaving Farthingstone Village 



256 The Pytchley, and Charles Payn. 

on the left, pointing for Lichborough, where the 
fox was headed, and turned over the road leading 
to Maidford, with Seawell Wood in his face, which 
he objected to ; so ran the bottom over the plough, 
and through Grimscote Heath to Grimscote 
Village, Cold Higham on his left, into Astcote 
Thorns, pointing for Duncote, and turned over 
the old Chester road at the end of Duncote 
lane, with his head straight for Tiifield Allot- 
ments, where he was headed, and turned, with 
Caldecote on his right, crossing the Towcester and 
Northampton road at the old Brickyard, over the 
hill through the old road Plantation, to Shoseley 
Grounds. He was again headed by a shepherd, 
ran the lane and by the side of the road to 
Cappenham Bridge, over it, turned down Paulers- 
pury Meadows (here we had more than one fox) 
into Alderton fields, and up to the road leading 
from Alderton to Paulerspury ; this is the extreme 
point. He turned and ran parallel with the turn- 
pike road nearly to Cuttle Mill, where the fox 
crossed the road and the Mill-dam and ran to 
Heathencote field and Wood Burcote ; he turned 
to the right, crossed the old Chester road again at 
Heathencote Toll-bar, through Heathencote and 
Easton Park to Hulcote Village, where we gave 
it up. 



The Pytchley, and Charles Payn. 257 

It was a fourteen-mile point, and considered so 
good a run that I was requested to write it out for 
the annals of the Pytchley Hunt. 

I well remember Charles Payn's speaking of 
digging out foxes; — like Mr. Arkwright, he did 
not care for leaving them after a good run — 
he said that there was a drain between two 
hunts, at which, by agreement, neither party 
used to dig. After a time there arose a necessity 
for opening it all through and laying it afresh^ 
and when the drain was taken up thirteen masks 
of foxes which had died in it were found there ! 

Charles was a loss to the Pytchley country 
when he went into Wales ; it was a case where 
two suns could not shine in one firmament, Captain 
Thomson being one and Charles Payn the other. 
Although he had a good place, financially, with 
Sir Watkin Wynn, he liked the Pytchley better. 
I once went to see him at Wynnstay, and saw the 
crack dog Painter ; he was very smart, but of a 
bad colour, and too effeminate in appearance ; I 
saw others in the kennel which I liked better. 
In the Pytchley Charles had a good sort in the 
Pillagers ; he used to say that they were so good 
and honest, and he left fifty couples of hounds in 
the Pytchley kennel which would run nothing 

but a fox. 

s 



258 Captain Anstruther Thomson, 

The last time I saw Charles Payn was at 
George Beers' funeral; it was pleasing to hear 
the warm terms in which he spoke of his old 
master. He said : *' This was a great man 
in his profession, and I owe a great deal to 
him. All that man taught me was worth 
learning; and everything he told me I found 
to be correct. '' 

Captain Anstruther Thomson. 

There could not be a greater wonder in creation 
than the gallant Captain. Handicapped as he 
was by weight, it was astonishing to witness his 
performance over, or rather through, a country ; 
he was, of course, obliged to creep and squeeze 
through a good deal, and very wisely guarded 
his knees for that purpose. No man could hunt 
a fox with more patience than he, neither did 
anyone ride better cattle. It was my good luck 
to see Captain Thomson perform in the Pytchley 
— and also in the Bicester — country; the latter, 
I think, suited him the better. 

In 1866 I saw him to advantage in a run from 
Preston High Wood. The hounds ran at a great 
pace up to Canons Ashby, away over the large 
grass grounds to Eydon. I complimented the 
Captain on the *' little horse '^ (as I called it) 



Captain Anstruther Thomson. 259 

which he was riding. ^^ Yes/^ he said, '* there is 
no surrender about him/' 

We ran through Eydon on to Edgcote, through 
that village, and killed the fox in good style near 
Banbury. It was so good a run and so well done 
that it was most creditable to the huntsman and 
pack. I believe that was his last season. 

On the retirement of Captain Thomson, which 
took place far too soon, a succession of changes 
followed. An old friend of mine, a member of 
the hunt, wrote very doleful letters upon the 
prospect, until the good day arrived for Lord 
Spencer to take the Mastership and to put Will 
Goodall in charge. 

All Pytchley men look back with pleasure to 
those good days with their favourite Master 
and huntsman. 



s 2 



CHAPTER XVI. 

H.R.H. THE PRINCE OF WALES— H.R.H, 
PRINCE ARTHUR (THE DUKE OF 
CONNAUGHT)— H.M. THE EX-QUEEN 
OF NAPLES— H.I.M. THE EMPRESS 
OF AUSTRIA. 

In 1870 His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales 
paid a visit to Earl Spencer at Althorp Park, and 
hunted with the Pytchley Hounds at Stowe-Nine- 
Churches. 

I was asked by Lord Spencer to conduct the 
Prince through the wood, and to obtain a good 
start with the hounds when the fox should go 
away. On being presented to the Prince, who 
was most affable, and full of enquiries about the 
surrounding property, I informed him that the 
parish of Stowe- Nine- Churches belonged to the 
Corporation of the Sons of the Clergy, whereupon 
he manifested the greatest interest ; and I was 



H.R,H. the Prince of Wales. . 261 

able to give information which was very gratifying 
to His Royal Highness. 

When the hounds were put into the wood I 
took up my usual position near the earths, which 
are situated upon an eminence, as it is likely that* 
the fox will ascertain for certain if the door of his 
dwelling is closed against him before he takes his 
departure from the covert. 

It so happened that the surrounding part of the 
wood had been then recently cut, which gave an 
opening through which a good view of the country 
round was obtainable. We had not been long 
there before a gentleman-in-waiting came to me, 
and said, '' You had better go on.'' '' Not yet,'' I 
replied ; the Prince still keeping up the conversa- 
tion. Very shortly the same gentleman came 
again and repeated the order, to which I replied, 
'* Presently ! " He then said,' '* Look at all these 
country people coming on foot." 

*' Well," I said, ^* this is one of the most loyal 
parts of Her Majesty's dominions, let them have 
a look at the Prince ! " I could see that there 
was no objection on the part of His Royal 
Highness by his smiling at the idea. 

The people came, and formed a half-circle ; 
— fine fellows they were, too — and feasted their 
eyes upon the Prince. 



362 H.R.H. the Prince of Wales. 

Then I heard a halloo at the top of the wood. 
*' Now we must go ! '* I said. In those days the 
wood was much larger than it is at present, and 
we had to go up a very soft riding in which there 
•was a very nasty bog. I made all the signs I 
could for the Prince to avoid it by getting on the 
side, but the horse did not answer to the rein and 
floundered into the worst part of it ; by good 
horsemanship the Prince just managed to save 
a fall. 

When we reached the top of the wood the fox 
had been headed back by the people and had 
gone into the covert again. I then said, ^' This 
fox will now go through the wood and out at 
the other end ; we must go at best pace back 
again.'' *^ I will go anywhere but through that 
bog with you ! " the Prince remarked, with a smile. 
We then made good haste to the Weedon corner 
of the wood, where I had the satisfaction of 
saying, ** Yonder he goes ! '' as fine a fox as 
ever was seen. My duties ended there for the 
day. 

In the foUowiftg .season the Prince of Wales 
came to hunt with the Duke of Grafton. On 
this occasion Bradden was the fixture, a very 
popular meet. I was told that a very large 
and aristocratic assemblage was there, but. 



H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, 263 

having no great liking for a crowd, I was not 
present. 

Knowing the draw, I saw the fox away, and 
caught the hounds when there was a momentary 
check caused by a flock of sheep. At that point 
I was asked by Lord Charles FitzRoy to pilot the 
Prince of Wales. 

I was fully sensible of the honour, but felt it to 
be a responsibility ; on joining His Royal Highness 
he graciously mentioned our last meeting. 

Having long before made up my mind that, 
when a man is upon a '' hunter,'' the safest place 
in the hunting-field is close to the hounds, I 
asked the Prince to gallop fast to get to the 
front ; and this, the pace not being great, we 
accomplished in a few fields. 

The hounds then began to run over the large 
pastures near to Bradden. A real good stake- 
and-bound fence presented itself to us, with the 
ditch on the taking-off side. Over the Prince 
went ! and I never saw a fence better jumped. 
On reaching the top of the hill there was a very 
nasty double fence which had to be jumped, so 
I gave the lead over, and the Prince landed well 
into a large grass field where there was every 
sign of a run. Hounds had settled down and 
matters were going very nicely when the hounds 



264 H.R.H, the Prince of Wales. 

turned right-handed and set their heads straight 
for a brook. Having made up my mind I raced 
down, jumping a fence into the meadow and 
charged the brook, and was no sooner over than 
I turned round and called out : ^^ Send him at 
it P^ The Prince rode readily at it and jumped 
the brook in gallant style. The pack ran up to 
Blakesley Village and did not do much after- 
wards. His Royal Highness was charmed ; he 
declared that he had never jumped such a good 
piece of water in his life. Lord Royston and 
another gentleman in attendance got into trouble 
over the same place. The Prince informed me 
that Lord Royston was not content with fewer 
than two falls in a day ! The weather was very 
hot, and no sport of any account followed. 

In addition to being pilot I was timekeeper, 
and the time came for the Prince to leave for 
the station, when he expressed himself very kindly 
and left for the train. 

The honour of being within speaking distance 
of the Prince did not again fall to my lot for 
twenty years after that day, when His Royal 
Highness came to stay with Sir Thomas Hesketh 
at Easton Neston, and hunted from there, on 
which occasion he came and shook hands with 
me and spoke most cordially. 



H,R,H, Prince Arthur. 265 

H.R.H. Prince Arthur. 

In the season following the one last recorded 
His Royal Highness Prince Arthur (now Duke 
of Connaught) paid the Duke of Grafton a visit, 
and hunted two days with his Grace^s hounds, 
on which occasion I was honoured, by a request 
to attend His Royal Highness in the field. 

On the first day we found a fox and ran by 
Grimscote Heath pointing for Seawell ; the fox 
ran along the little brook-side parallel with the 
wood, until it entered a ravine. I happened to 
know of a place where one could creep down and 
get up the bank with a scramble, and this we did, 
thinking that the fox would go into Maidford 
Wood. We were no sooner over than the hounds 
came to us. The Field had to go on some 
distance in order to get round. Instead of going 
into the wood as anticipated, the fox ran between 
Seawell and Maidford Coverts. I shall never 
forget the Princess delight when he discovered 
our advantage. 

The hounds raced for a mile into Blakesley 
field, where the dry ploughs hindered them, and 
Beers joined us. Turning left-handed hounds ran 
on again nicely over the Foxley Bottom and the 
meeting-field, up to Grub's Coppice, straight 



266 H.R.H. Prince Arthur^ 

through, and on to Cold Higham. It was a hot 
day, and I thought that the nice grey mare which 
the Prince was riding might not feel very fresh, 
and I asked His Royal Highness what he thought 
about it ; he answered, *' Oh, all right, your horse 
is not tired yet ! '^ We then ran past Cold 
Higham, pointing for Stowe-Nine-Churches, when 
I saw some large ploughed fields ahead ; I said, 
"We shall check directly,'' and we did. Many 
questions followed as to how I knew the hounds 
would check. The ploughed fields were very dry, 
which saved the fox's life. 

On the following day, a Saturday, the Prince 
was out again, but only for half a day. A fox 
was found, but there was not much running. 
Finding another at Colonel FitzRoy's covert^ 
with a capital scent, hounds ran very hard about 
the large grass fields at Grafton Regis, on to 
Alderton, very fast over the meadows, and up 
to Stoke Bruerne House, round the large park, 
the fox wanting to get back to Grafton, but he 
was headed at the river and turned towards Stoke 
Bruerne Locks ; very shortly he came into the 
road, with the pack running in view. 

No sooner had the Prince seen them than away 
he went at full speed after them until the fox 
turned left-handed, wanting to reach the Park 



d 



The ex-Queen of Naples. 



The eX'Queen of Naples, 267 

Wood. A very stiff clipped hedge had to be 
jumped, which His Royal Highness's horse re- 
fused ; I lost no time in giving a lead. Hounds 
were still in view, screaming after the fox, Frank 
Beers cheering his very best. There were two 
young ladies racing in front, one with her hair 
down her back. ** Look at those ladies ! '' the 
Prince said, and gave chase ; in two fields the 
fox was pulled down. The ladies ran in a dead 
heat, the Prince about three lengths behind. I 
never saw a more lively finish in my life. The 
Prince wsCs obliged to leave at once ; he shook 
hands all round, and left a very pleasing im- 
pression of his riding and charming manners. 

The ex-Queen of Naples. 

In the month of December, 1875, Her Majesty 
the ex-Queen of Naples came to England for 
fox-hunting. Her Majesty took up her residence 
at a house called '* Park View,'' near to Towcester, 
and quite in the centre of the Grafton Hunt, 
whence she attended many of the open meets. 

The ex-Queen's first appearance in the hunting 
field took place ' at Castlethorpe. Although she 
was a splendid horsewoman, quite devoid of fear, 
had ridden at the head of an army and had been 
under fire, yet her Majesty had never ridden 



268 The eX'Queen of Naples, 

over a country. Mr. Frederick Allen, the riding 
master, had given her many lessons in the art, 
and great credit was due to him for teaching the 
Queen so successfully. Mr. Allen also provided 
the hunters ; these were two chesnut horses called 
respectively Pilot and Pickles, which could not be 
surpassed in any way for the purpose of carrying 
the Queen. 

Quite unexpectedly I was asked by the Queen 
herself to act as her Majesty's pilot. From 
Pike's Gorse a fox went away, which happened 
to be the first her Majesty had seen going away 
from covert. To my great amusement she 
exclaimed, with great excitement : *' I do see the 
fox ! I do see the fox ! ! '* I then requested her 
Majesty^s attention and rode over a few small 
clipped fences. I soon found, however, that my 
part was to get out of the way, and on the many 
occasions when I had the honour of piloting the 
Royal Lady she never seemed to find the fences 
too large. 

We had a good day's sport and killed a iox. 
When the hounds caught the fox the Queen said : 
'* Let us go away, I do not care for this part 
of it." Her behest was, of course, obeyed. 

As time went on it became apparent that the 
ex-Queen was passionately fond of hunting, and 



The ex-Queen of Naples, 269 

the bigger the fence the better she Hked it ! We 
were away with a fox in a hurry one day, when a 
fence and a brook came early in the run. The 
huntsman and the Field did not face it. I took it,, 
and went over ; the Queen jumped it wjth a good 
start ; we then jumped more fences, and were 
riding along when I heard myself called by name,, 
and, greatly excited, her Majesty said, '^ There is 
nobody with the hojunds but ourselves, not even 
the huntsman or the whipper-in ; if my Sister 
were here she would love it ! *^ I often heard 
remarks of this kind, and in the spring it was 
announced that the Empress of Austria intended 
to pay a visit to England. 

From time to time most amusing remarks 
would fall from the ex-Queen's lips. Once she said, 
^M do see some of the gentlemen go and look at 
the hedge, then they go to another place and look, 
and then they go over, is that better for them ? ^' 

The performances of Pilot and Pickles were 
so entirely satisfactory that I dissuaded her 
Majesty from riding any other horses. Her style 
of riding was only suitable for a perfect horse, 
possessed of the most accomplished manners. 
After a time a young Irish horse called Chit 
arrived ; I observed that there was a great longing 
on the part of the Royal Lady to ride this animal,. 



270 The eX'Queen of Naples, 

but I threw cold water upon the idea. However, 
one day the Queen said, ** May I ride Chit ? " 

'* No, your Majesty," I replied, '* I really dare 
not let you ride him, he is a horse not at all 
suited to the purpose, and I hope your Majesty 
will not mind my saying so/* A very gracious 
reply settled the matter. 

In about a fortnight afterwards Chit was out, 
being ridden by a smart man, properly attired, 
and having every appearance of being a good 
horseman. I enquired of the ex-Queen what part 
this man was to perform. '* He is to ride Chit 
after me ! *' was the reply. 

" Has your Majesty insured him ? *' I enquired, 
with simulated anxiety. 

*' Oh, no ! " the Queen said, nonchalantly ; ''he 
can ride.*' 

*' I do not dispute that, your Majesty ; but he 
cannot ride upon Chit to follow jvt?^.** 

*' Now, I do assure you, he can ride beauti- 
fully ! '' insisted the Queen. 

'' Well,** I added, still unconvinced, ** I must 
say I should be better satisfied if the man were 
insured, because he is bound to come to grief ! ** 

We found a fox at Allithorn and raced over 
the grass in the direction of Weston. In about 
five fields came the brook ; I reached and jumped 



The eX'Queen of Naples. 271 

it first, the Queen flew over on Pickles, and 
then, going up the hill for Weedon Wood, her 
Majesty called out anxiously to me : ** Chit is 
going up the meadow ! '' 

'' Let him go,'* I cried ; *' he will be caught. 
Come along, please/' 

After the run, which was a good one, was over, 
the Queen made enquiries, and told me that the 
man had been knocked off. 

On the following Friday Chit was out again. 
We had a very trying day for horses. We ran 
fast over the Westbury ploughs pointing for 
Evenley, turned right-handed, all going well, and 
we in the front. 

I heard her Majesty calling out : *^ My man 
will be killed ! '* I looked, and over the last fence, 
which was a clipped hedge with a broad top, a 
ploughed field on either side of it, the horse had 
fallen and lay upon his rider. I said : '' Come 
along, your Majesty, it is a very soft place and 
will not hurt.'* 

We soon killed the fox, and I asked ' what 
was to be done now.' ^* Next time will finish 
him," I said, with mock seriousness. '^ Oh," 
replied the Queen, *^ he shall go by the road. 1 
do see that you know better than I do ; I am 
glad that you would not let me ride Chit." 



272 The eX'Queen of Naples. 

Riding home from Stowe-Nine-Churches one 
evening with the Empress of Austria and the 
ex-Queen I was asked if I could get them a glass 
of milk. Knowing a nice old farmer, a tenant 
of the Duke of Grafton, at Grimscote, I rode to 
his house, which, being upon a bank, prevented 
access on horseback to the front door ; I therefore 
went into the farmyard, where I met Mr. Gibbins^ 
and told him that I had come to ask for a glass 
of milk for the two Royal Ladies. Of course I 
received a ready response, and on the arrival of 
their Majesties they were perforce obliged to ride 
up to the back door, where the hostess appeared 
with a jug of milk and tumblers, and handed the 
refreshment over the paling where the horses were 
standing up to their knees in straw. The idea 
struck me what a nice picture it would have 
made ! The good people were deeply sensible of 
the honour done them, and the Empress and 
Queen thanked them most graciously. 

The ex-King of Naples was not a rider of much 
experience, but after a time he took the field and 
was indebted to Lady Knightley for showing him 
a great deal of sport in the Fawsley country. 

The ex-Queen hunted two seasons and part of 
a third, and then, owing to her Majesty's health 
giving way, she was obliged to retire in the month 



H.LM, The Empress of Austria, 273 

of January. For some time previously her 
Majesty had only been able to take part in one 
run, and on that occasion she had to retire early. 

I was asked one day, after the ex-Queen had 
returned home, by a lady visitor from Yorkshire, a 
Mrs. Clarke, if I would pilot her ; of course I 
said, '* With pleasure.'' A few minutes later Miss 
Hesketh asked if she might follow me, to whom 
I returned the same reply. We had a real good 
run and killed the fox seven or eight miles from 
the find ; and both ladies were up at the death 
and enjoyed the run thoroughly. 

The ex-Queen was very fond of chamois 
shooting, and used to entertain me greatly by 
relating her excursions after the wary animals. 
I enquired how her Majesty managed the rifle, 
and was told that she had a man to carry that. 

During the summer following Her Majesty's 
first season's hunting she had a beautiful picture 
painted for me showing the chamois on their 
native mountains. And later on a companion 
picture of a lively hunting episode arrived, both 
most beautifully painted by Benno Adom. 

H.I.M. The Empress of Austria. 

In March, 1876, Her Imperial Majesty the 
Empress of Austria paid a visit to England, and 



274 HJ.M. The Empress of Austria. 

joined her sister, the ex-Queen of Naples, in the 
Grafton country, the ex-Queen having commenced 
hunting there before Christmas. 

Easton Neston House, with its fine stabHng, 
was taken for the Empress and suite ; but so 
numerous was the latter that some of the gentle- 
men-in-waiting had to be accommodated in Tow- 
cester, about a mile distant. 

On the arrival of the Empress, on a Monday, 
a private day was arranged with the hounds in 
order that Her Majesty might lose no time in 
commencing the longed-for sport. 

On Tuesday Wakefield Lawn was the fixture, 
and as good news spreads quickly a number of 
people assembled from all parts ; and of course 
there was a goodly show of ladies anxious to 
welcome so lovely a specimen of their sex. 

Colonel Fit z Roy of Grafton Regis did the 
honours as Master of the hunt, in the absence of 
the Duke of Grafton, who was abroad, and of 
Lord Charles FitzRoy, who was in attendance 
upon Her Majesty the Queen at Windsor. 

The ex-Queen of Naples brought the Empress 
to me, and introduced me to Her Majesty. 

The Empress, addressing me, said, ^' It is all 
through you, Mr. Elliott, that I have come to 
England ! " 



The Empress c 



H,LM. The Empress of Austria, 275 

*' Your Majesty/^ I replied, ** I cannot conceive 
how I deserve that honour." 

'* I will tell you/' said she ; '^ my sister has been 
riding with you, and you have given her so much 
pleasure in the field, that every night, after you 
had had a run, she did write to me and say so 
much about it that I thought I must come and 
see what it was like ! '* 

** Your Majesty will be heartily received,*' I said, 
'* and no pains will be spared to find good sport 
for you/' 

We then went to Fire Furze, a nice covert, 
which has the advantage of being situate in a 
rich vale of grass ; and it was a very favourite 
place with the Grafton Masters for getting away 
to after spending time in the forest. However, 
on this occasion this good covert proved to be 
blank. We then drew on to another, also belong- 
ing to the Duke of Grafton, called the Colonel's 
Covert ; there we found and ran smartly, but 
shortly, to ground. 

We then went to Stoke Park and found there, 

and went away with a good scent, but not over 

our best country. Still, there was a good deal 

of jumping, which afforded the Royal Ladies much 

pleasure. Their pilots had enough to do to 

keep with the hounds. Without jumping it was 

T 2 



276 HJ.M. The Empress of Austria. 

impossible to do so, although people might ride to 
points and not be far behind. That style, how- 
ever, did not commend itself to the Empress and 
the ex-Queen, to whom the pace and the jumping 
gave the greatest satisfaction. 

Whilst we were running for our fox my attention 
was engrossed in looking forward, and I merely 
turned my head quickly from time to time for a 
glance at Her Majesty's skirt upon the right side 
of a fence. But, coming to a momentary check, 
to my surprise the Empress rode up to me. 
Greatly concerned, I enquired where the Queen 
(whom I had been piloting as usual) was. Her 
Majesty answered : ^* I have been riding after you 
for some time ; my sister is with the huntsman.'' 
In point of fact Frank Beers and I had 
exchanged the Empress for the Queen. After 
killing our fox, the meet being so late (two 
o'clock), we gave up and rode home. The 
Empress and Queen together, with myself ini 
attendance. 

I was asked to look over the stud of ten horses 
which had been brought from Vienna for the use 
of the Empress, and I was requested to state 
my opinion of them to Her Majesty. The first 
horse she mentioned happened to be the best ; 
but the two next I was unable to pass, and about 



H.I.M, The Empress of Austria. 277 

the next, I told the Empress I was puzzled, 
*' Why are you ? '' she asked. 

'^ I hardly know what your Majesty could bring 
her for/' I replied. 

*' Well, that is very strange ; the Emperor 
asked me to include her, she is a great favourite.'' 

'' Perhaps His Majesty thought that a sea 
voyage and change of climate would do her 
good," I ventured to suggest ; ^* but she is not a 
hunter." 

^' I quite agree with you," the Empress answered. 

Four horses only in the stud were at all suitable 
for carrying Her Majesty in the hunting field. 
Buyers were sent off to Lincolnshire and elsewhere 
to procure hunters. 

During her visit the Empress had some very 
good days. The best certainly was from Brackley 
Gorse, fifty minutes over a very fine country. 
Her Majesty was well mounted and rode splendidly, 
although she was at a disadvantage at the finish 
from having taken a wrong turn. The Honour- 
able Mrs. Grosvenor, piloted by her husband, was 
in a very enviable position when the hounds went 
into Whistley Wood, thus maintaining her reputa- 
tion for riding well to hounds. 

At the end of the visit the Empress and the 
ex-Queen met the Bicester Hounds at Thorpe 



278 HJ.M. The Empress of Austria, 

Mandeville, where there assembled the largest 
Field, perhaps, which was ever seen in that hunt. 
Lord Valentia was Master, and Stovin huntsman. 
With the first fox we had a scurry, but were 
altogether rather unlucky. It turned out to be 
one of those days when Master and huntsman are 
anxious for sport but cannot succeed in obtaining 
it. Mr. Slater Harrison of Shelswell, piloted the 
Empress. 

Her Imperial Majesty could hardly be con- 
sidered so fortunate in her stud as the ex-Queen. 
During the day with the Bicester the Empress 
came to me and said that she wished to give her 
sister a horse. I remarked : ^^ A very nice gift, 
your Majesty, if the Queen can ride it ; if not it 
would be a *^ white elephant '' to her; allow me to 
suggest that the Queen should have a day on it 
as a trial." This was acceded to, but the hunter 
was found to be too headstrong, so the kind offer 
was declined. 

The Empress was possessed of great physical 
strength, which enabled her to ride a pulling 
horse ; in fact, I think she liked the strong exercise. 
Great liberality was shown throughout, and the 
Empress gave a large sum of money to be run 
for, which started the Grafton Hunt Steeple- 
chases, which have been an annual fixture ever 



HJ,M, The Empress of Austria, 279 

since. Nothing could be more sad, nor create 
truer, deeper sentiments of sympathy and regret 
than the tragic end of that noble Lady. 

I was told by one of the Empress* attendants 
that she was a great Alpine climber, a recreation 
the Emperor also much enjoyed, making arduous 
ascents. On one occasion the attainment by His 
Majesty of a peak of great elevation was related 
to the Empress. Without comment she set out 
and reached the same peak, and on a table of 
rock Her Majesty deposited her watch and chain 
and left them there until the Emperor ascended 
again the next year. 

It is recorded in history that the Empress 
hunted first with the Pytchley ; but that was not 
the case. Wakefield Lawn was the meet where 
Her Majesty remarked that * she thought she must 
come to see what it was like,' after the ex- 
Queen had written in such glowing terms of the 
sport. I must, therefore, claim for the Grafton 
country the honour of introducing Her Imperial 
Majesty to foxhounds in England. 

It may be said of that illustrious Lady that 
charity and loving-kindness held possession of 
her even iinto death. 



CHAPTER XVII. 

HUNTING LADIES — THE BICESTER — 
MR. T. T. DRAKE, M.F.H. — TOM 
WINFIELD, HUNTSMAN— MR. T T 
DRAKE, JUN., M.F.H. — VISCOUNT 
VALENTIA, M.F.H. — BARON CHES- 
HAM, M.F.H.— STOVIN, AND OTHER 
HUNTSMEN— THE EARL OF JERSEY 
—DICK PAINTER, HORSEDEALER 

The Grafton has rivalled other hunts in its 
attractions for the Ladies, and particularly so 
since it has been honoured by the presence of 
Royalty. 

Having previously mentioned the first lady 
whom I remember to have seen perform in the 
hunting-field I may, perhaps, record my first 
essay in piloting a lady. It would be in the late 
' fifties * that a friend came to me at Creslow, and, 
to my great astonishment, asked me if I would 



Hunting Ladies, 281 

pilot a Miss Dickens, who was a member of an 
old Northamptonshire family. I agreed to the 
proposal on condition that the maker of it would 
keep close at hand, and put the lady upon a good 
horse ; both which conditions he promised to 
fulfil. 

We made a start and the hounds ran very hard 
indeed for about forty minutes, and killed the fox ; 
and Miss Dickens was presented with the brush 
after riding well all through the run. After that I 
had several more days with her, and found out 
that men are not the only riders to hounds. 

In the year i860, Mrs. Pilgrim, a resident in the 
hunt, honoured me with her company, and, being 
mounted on the best-bred Irish hunters that 
money could buy, it was not difficult for that lady 
to fly over the country. With no hesitation about 
beginning, riding into a place, and keeping with 
hounds, it gave me the greatest pleasure to pilot 
her during fifteen seasons ; and only on three 
occasions did I lose any time on her account. 
Some splendid sport was enjoyed during those 
fifteen years ; and after Mrs. Pilgrim had retired 
from the hunting-field she remained a strict 
preserver of foxes at Akeley. 

Many famous riders followed. The Honour- 
able Mrs. Grosvenor (now Lady Ebury) would 



282 Hunting Ladies. 

always be seen in the front, piloted by her 
husband, the Honourable R. Grosvenor (now Lord 
Ebury) who was a capital horseman. 

Mrs. Byass, mounted on the best of cattle, was a 
fine rider. The Honourable Mrs. Candy rode with 
me after I broke my collar-bone, professing to be 
nervous ; but I could not detect in her any failing 
of that kind. I had the pleasure of riding before 
Lady Hesketh through the first run she saw, and 
a real good run it was ! and her ladyship, like 
other ladies, was greatly pleased with the sport. 
Lady Wake hunted for a few seasons and rode 
very nicely. 

When my readers go through the following list 
they must think the Grafton Hunt was highly 
appreciated by the sporting fair-sex. 

The Honourable Mrs. Campbell, the Honour- 
able Mrs. Robarts, Miss Campbell, Mrs. Lambton, 
Mrs. Whaley, Mrs. Ryan, Mrs. Gould, Mrs. 
Simpson, Mrs. Hunt, Miss Dryden, Miss Roper, 
Mrs. Knapp, Miss Judkins, and Mrs. Watts were 
all Grafton ladies. Many others have come to 
the country since, and are still going well, with 
the Honourable Mrs. E. S. Douglas- Pennant, 
the wife of the present popular Master. Mrs. 
Fitzroy, Mrs. Atkinson, Miss Berchett, Mrs. 
Wilder, Miss Wake, Mrs. Hatfeild Harter, piloted 



Hunting Ladies. 283 

by Mr. Harter a splendid performer over a 
country, and Miss Whitehouse. 

Great credit is due to the Ladies for the way 
in which they rode. As a rule they are much 
more attentive than the men, and ride with more 
nerve. In all the good runs which I saw, after 
the Ladies took to riding, it was marvellous how 
forward they finished. 

There is no doubt that a lady who wishes to 
ride hard should have a pilot ; not because he 
can ride better than she can, but at times when 
there are things to do which a lady cannot manage 
a pilot is of service. 

Mrs. Bunbury (who is now the wife of Baron 
Max de Tuyll) was first-rate, and an extraordinary 
performer alone, taking her own line and always 
going well. She could turn a hound better than 
most men, having hunted so much with her father^ 
Mr. Watson, who at the present time is, I believe, 
the senior gentleman huntsman in Ireland, in 
which country Mrs. Bunbury first learned to enjoy 
the sport. 

Miss Tennant, Miss Peel, Miss Watson, and 
Miss Elliott also rode well. 

There was one gentleman, Captain Robert 
Oliver of Sholebroke, who, being lame, rode on a 
side-saddle for a few seasons in a very able 



284 The Bicester. 

manner. In course of time he became thoroughly 
disabled, so he kept three pairs of fast harness- 
horses and drove regularly, and saw a good deal 
of the sport. 

The Bicester. 

I first visited the Bicester Hounds in the year 
1844, on a day when the fixture was at Trafford. 
Mr. Thomas Tyrwhitt Drake had been Master for 
some years, and had gained the goodwill of his 
farmers and followers. He enjoyed the highest 
reputation which a country gentleman could 
possess, namely, that he was a good landlord, 
and a fine sportsman. After being sufficiently 
long at the head of affairs he had become the 
owner of a fine pack of hounds. Everything was 
of the best, the men were well mounted, clever, 
intelligent, and civility itself. 

On this occasion Mrs. Drake was also out, and 
when I first caught sight of her was shaking hands 
with a fine old veoman named Greaves. 

No one could help being struck with the 
gentlemen at the meet. There were Lord Jersey, 
of Bay Middleton fame ; the Hon. P. S. 
Pierrepont of Evenley ; Mr. Cox, and his son ; 
Mr. Slater Harrison of Shelswell ; the Rev. 
John Drake, brother of the Squire ; and many 



The Bicester, 285 

others, including the young Squire, Mr Thomas 
Tyrwhitt Drake, jun. ; the Rev. Mr. Bennett ; 
also a number of hard-riding farmers — Messrs. 
Cowper, Selby, Hitchcock, and his son George 
Hitchcock, Ivens of Eydon, Horn of Trafford, 
and many others. 

It happened to be the last day of the season. 
We did not readily find, but at last Thenford 
Gorse proved a success, and away we went over 
some large fields and strong fences. The young 
Squire was all on the go and, jumping a fence on 
my left, down he fell, horse and all, heavily. I 
caught the horse and took it back to him, asking 
if he were hurt. He said, ^^ No, he has not hurt 
me, but I think he must have shaken himself ,* 
it generally happens the other way.'' That was 
my introduction to one of my most agreeable 
acquaintances. 

We had a real good thirty minutes, and ran the 
fox to ground in the Grafton country, then hunted 
by Lord Southampton Mr Drake said that he 
would not put a dog in, and would leave it to me 
to see that the fox might not be interfered with. 
A more gentlemanly man in the field there could 
not be ; everything went so pleasantly, and great 
confidence was placed in the huntsman, Tom 
Winfield. 



1286 The Bicester, 

On the last day of the season, in 1846, I was 
out at Trafford Bridge. We went to Warden Hill 
to draw. Winfield informed me that his Master 
would not come near him that day, for, ^* He is 
riding a horse which kicks hounds, '* said he. *' I 
had my orders yesterday, before we left, to be 
out at Warden Kennel ; if I go north or south 
I know what to do.'' 

When we reached the covert he said, '' Aloo ! 
creep in.'' Tom never threw his hounds in, and a 
fox was soon afoot, and, after a round or two, the 
fox went away on the Edgcote side. There stood 
Jem Hills, of the Heythrop, who told Tom that it 
was a dog fox. The hounds were soon down at 
the Edgcote Mansion, round it to the left, and into 
some long flat meadows, running hard. My mare 
set her foot in a trench, and end over end she 
went. In getting up she pulled my right foot on 
to her shoulder, I was hanging on the near side, 
my foot having left the stirrup and gone through 
the leathers. Several people round did not know 
what to do ; but Winfield soon settled it, he lifted 
me by the shoulders and I was up in a second. 
This was the first and only time I was hung up. 

We then ran through Edgcote Coverts, away 
into the Grafton country, where Tom and his fine 
pack of hounds were seen to advantage going on 



The Bicester, 287 

the left of Sulgrave, bearing towards AUithorn, 
over Stuchbury, leaving Greatworth on the right, 
when hounds began to run for the fox, leaving 
Greatworth Hall on the left, close past the earths, 
and soon after I jumped through a thick hedge, 
and called to what I took to be a man — but it 
proved to be a scarecrow or * Mawkin ' — and 
asked if he had seen the fox. Winfield, who was 
close by, was greatly amused, and said, /* My 
father once asked a ^ Mawkin ' if he had seen the 
fox ! '' We soon had the fox in view, and Duster 
and Grasper were not long in rolling him over at 
Halse. 

The one and only instance in which I saw one 
pack of hounds join another happened thus : The 
Grafton were in the woods near Silverstone on a 
Saturday afternoon running a fox, when I remarked 
to Simpson that our pack had greatly increased 
in number. In a few minutes Winfield and others 
came up. The meeting of the huntsmen was 
very hearty, and after shaking hands Simpson 
said, *^ Now Mr. Winfield please take charge.'^ 

^^Oh!'' said Winfield, ^^ I could not think of 
it in your country ; please go on.^' 

Mr. Drake's hounds had brought their fox 
some miles ; but for want of scent the united 
pack did not get on. Winfield therefore asked 



288 Tom Winfield's Lecture, 

to have a separation when convenient. Simpson 
trotted to the turnpike road ; then counted his 
pack, the huntsmen took leave of each other, 
each turned towards home and every hound 
followed its own master. 

Tom Winfield's Lecture. 

At the end of the month of June 1847 ^ went 
by appointment to the Bicester kennels with Tom 
Smith to see Winfield and Mr. Drake's pack. 
Tom was one of nature's gentlemen, a man rather 
angular in figure, tall, but not very heavy. No 
man was more intelligent or possessed a more 
agreeable voice than Winfield. In conversation he 
was extremely bright and entertaining ; he raised 
his voice at times, and emphasised charmingly 
when necessary. 

On our way, which led through Tusmore Park, 
we saw the hounds coming to meet us, and we 
met in the middle of the park; just as we 
approached a most lovely hound came bounding 
along towards us. She was grey, with a darker 
spot upon her near side, and when she met us 
she jumped around our horses and gave us a 
pleasant greeting. 

Smith remarked : '^ If all their hounds are like 
this one, they are worth looking at." 



Tom Winfield' s Lecture. 289 

We then had a hearty reception from the 
huntsman, and a chat on our way to Bucknell. 

Entering the kennel, we began our inspection 
of the young hounds, and received every informa- 
tion from Winfield, who was very eloquent and 
learned in pedigrees. On finishing the entry, 1 1^ 
couples, I said : ^* A short lot !*' 

** Oh ! I could not make room for more,^' said 
Winfield, ^*our old hounds are so fresh and good." 

On this occasion Winfield was charming, 
talking, with great glee, over the days we had 
hunted together during the two previous seasons. 
I said : *' Tom, I know more about hounds running 
(and that is not much) than I do about them 
when standing still. Be so good as to draw out 
your best puppy and shew it to me.'' 

** I will, with pleasure. Let Gratitude out, Ben. 
There, sir, that is what I call a beauty. Is not 
that a beautiful head ? set on a neck which looks 
longer than it is, because her shoulders are long 
and flat, pointing to her ribs ; they should be 
that way, not towards their ears ; and I like them 
light at the points ; no animal I have to do with 
can get along with comfort if it has heavy 
shoulders. Then the next point is the elbows ; 
not pinned in, nor stand too much out ; these are 

just right. 

u 



290 Tom Whifield's Lecture. 

** Now, come in front ; look at those legs, you 
see they are straight, don^t you ? It is a great 
point that this bone should continue right down ; 
if they are weak at the knee they don't stay here. 

** Then the feet ; of course they are of great 
importance ; many hounds are spoiled by being 
tied up at walk. My Master is very lucky about 
that ; his tenants in Cheshire, and our farmers, 
are very good to the puppies.^' 

Tom stroked the hound very hard from head 
to stern, and ran it through his hand so firmly 
that he nearly lifted her off the flags. He then 
proceeded: **That is what I call a beautiful 
feather on her stern. Standing here, you see 
what grand ribs she has ! Look at her strong 
back! a trifle arched; I don't like the back to dip, 
it looks so hollow as they get old. Those hind- 
quarters you cannot beat ; what a piece of ground 
she covers ! I never put a weedy one forward." 

'* How is she bred ? '' I asked. 

'* Grasper and Legacy,*' Winfield replied ; 
*' you know Grasper, I remember what you said 
about him that Trafford Bridge day. Let him 
out, Ben. There, sir ! that is what I call a fox- 
hound ! '' '' I remember him," I said, " it requires 
a strong dog to keep pace with him." 

Winfield then said, ^' Mr. Smith, two years ago 



Tom Winfield's Lecture. 291 

we had the best run in the Vale that we can 
remember, from Claydon Woods. Our gentlemen 
all said so. 

** We found our fox in the big wood, and he 
went right away over the best grass we have, and 
you cannot say more for any country ; no matter 
where he went he could not go wrong, they raced 
him all the way, and that hound and Juvenal 
frightened me to death. Neck and neck they 
went when they were running for the fox. At last 
they ran up to him and got him in view ; he was 
making for a covert with a newly-cut hedge. The 
fox jumped it and this dog caught him on the top 
of the fence and rolled over with him.'' 

I enquired, ^'What were you frightened at, 
Tom, about those two hounds ? '' '^ Why,'' he 
answered, ^^ if they had gone over the scent I 
would never have bred from them ! The gentle- 
men came to me and said ' what a clever man I 
was ! ' Oh dear! gentlemen, I said, I had nothing 
to do with it, they did it all themselves. 

'* You never know what hounds are going to 
do until they are through their second season ; 
they become opinionated, and what I call con- 
ceited ; some of my best have not begun in a 
hurry. I remember what you said about old Free- 
dom over that dry plough, sir. Let her out, Ben. 

u 2 



292 Tom Winjield's Lecture. 

• 

There, that's one of Lord Southampton's old sort 
which he had in the Quorn country, Hector and 
Faithless. Hector, a son of Hazard, bred by the 
Marquis of Tavistock. 

** You remember Duster, sir? Let him out, 
Ben. Now you carry Duster and Gratitude in 
your head and you will never be at a loss to 
know a good hound ! 

** Let some of the old ones out, Ben. Now if 
it were not for these old hounds, and my good 
master I would not be a huntsman another day ! 
They won't run anything but a fox, not they ! 
We have a lot of riot in this country, so many 
hares ! and these old hounds hate them as much 
as I do. 

" I don't care for too many young hounds, 
Mr. Smith ; we have a lot of hard-riding men in 
this country, and when they press upon the pack 
the young ones are apt to get beyond it ; and 
the horses uiiU press if there are hounds going on, 
right or uiTong; then it takes time to get back 
on the line ; your fox goes a mile while you are 
doing it ; on a bad scenting day it's soon all over. 

'' Our Master never says anything to these 
hard riders ; there is Mr. George Hitchcock, he 
calls him " Scorcher," he and our young Squire 
(what a good sort he is !), have nick-names for all 



Tom Winfield's Lecture, 293 

of them ; there is Mr. Cowper, the draper, from 
Banbury ; Master Tom says to him, *^ Good 
morning, ' Ragman ' ! '* and to his brother, ** How 
are you, * Farnborough ' ? '* 

'* I hear our gentlemen say Lord Southampton 
talks to his Field ; but, oh dear, sir ! if he had 
what I have to put up with, he would, what I 
call, * go mad ! * We get so many young Oxford 
gentlemen with us ; they are a great trial to a 
huntsman. • They hire of Symonds, Seckham, 
and Tollit, and get some funny horses, and ride 
very wild. 

^* When hounds run they start ; but they get 
into a ruck, and it seems no fun if they are not 
together; they don't care about hounds one bit, 
but they will go on the line. I often wish they 
would have it to themselves, it would be more 
comfortable for me and my hounds. My master 
says nothing to them, I say nothing; they are 
such nice young gentlemen, if it were not for 
that. They always behave well to me, very ! 

** Now, let my lord come and see what I have 
to put up with ; he would never find fault with 
his Field ! '' 

Tom looks at his watch and says it is 1.30. 
'^ I told Mrs. Winfield to get some luncheon, and 
she is very punctual,'' he adds. 



294 ^^^ Winfield' s Lecture. 

After a pleasant afternoon we rode home in 
the cool of the evening, singing the praises of 
Winfield and his pack. 

When I was young I attended lectures because 
my parents said it was good for me ; but of all 
I then heard I remember not a single sentence ; 
yet I can very well remember all Tom Winfield 
said. This is, to my mind, a complete triumph of 
the living animal over the dead letter ! 

When Mr. Drake gave up the pack was sold 
and realised a great price, amounting to as much 
as Mr. Osbaldeston's sale made, putting the 
bogus sale out of the question. 

Mr. Drake spoke to Winfield about obtaining a 
huntsman^s place for him ; but to this the faithful 
servant would not agree. He said, ^^ I cannot 
work for any other gentleman than you, sir; please 
give me something to do ? ^' so Mr. Drake made 
Tom farm bailiff, and he held that appointment 
for many years. Being a careful man, he had 
saved his money, and he asked Mr. Drake to 
invest it for him. It was placed out upon a good 
security and remained untouched for a long time, 
and Winfield died a very rich man, but not more 
so than he deserved. 

There was no family like the Drakes in 
Winfield^ s estimation ; and Tom thought the 



T. Tyrwhitt-Drake, Esq., Jm 



Mr, T. T, Drake, yun, 295 

late Mrs. T. T. Drake was the nicest lady on 
earth, and he was no mean judge ! 

It happened that a ball was taking place at 
Amersham, and, Tom Winfield having a great 
desire to see his mistress before she went into the 
room, asked the lady ^s maid if she could manage 
it for him, to which she readily agreed. It was 
accordingly arranged that Tom should go up in 
the evening for the purpose. Upon his arrival 
the maid concealed him in a cupboard, having 
previously taken her mistress into the secret. 
The lady walked past the door in order that Tom 
might have a peep ; then, turning, Mrs. Drake 
opened the door, unearthing Tom, and insisted 
upon taking him into the room to open the ball 
with her ! 

Mr. T. T. Drake, Jun. 

After his father's resignation Mr. T. T. Drake, 
jun., succeeded to the Mastership. The Bicester 
people could not entertain the idea of changing 
the name. Ben Goddard, who had whipped-in to 
Winfield, became huntsman. The young Squire 
had a very good idea of following a fox, and used 
to be in close attendance when hounds ran, which 
enabled him to bring a good many foxes to hand 
himself. The Squire, and his two brothers. 



296 Mr, T. T. Drake, yun. 

Messrs. Edward and George Drake, were the 
three hardest men and best horsemen, so related, 
whom it ever fell to my lot to meet with. They 
were all of them very nice men ; but they would 
turn their backs upon people and ride away from 
them if they did not look sharp when hounds 
ran, without, however, entertaining the least ill- 
feeling. 

There were many hard men in the Bicester 
Hunt in those days, as, for instance. Captain Bill, 
Mr. William Chamberlyne, Mr. Severn, and others 
already mentioned. Oxford produced three very 
famous riders with the Bicester — Mr. Hall, a 
great supporter of the Heythrop Hounds ; Mr. 
Thompson, the banker, and *' Bill ** Holland, an 
innkeeper there (the Golden Cross) ; no hounds 
could beat them in a fair country. Mr. John 
Blake, a sportsman of many years' standing, 
was another well-known rider. 

I greatly enjoyed hunting with the young 
Squire, he was so bright and cheerful, with a 
smile on his face, a flower in his button-hole, and 
a good tale to tell. He was very fond of relating 
how he told a farmer to shoot a fox. One of his 
best supporters, who lived in the Vale, complained 
of the fox taking his lambs. The man said : ^M 
cannot stand this, Squire ; he has one every night. 



Mr. T. T, Drake, J-un, 297 

and does not eat half of it, but buries it in the 
ploughed field.'' 

The advice he received was to shoot the fox 
at once, not to make it known, but to bury him. 

I Losing no time, the farmer set his man to watch 

that very night. He had not long to wait ; over 
the wall came an object; the man fired, and killed 

i — the Master's retriever ! 

I once had two good horses of Mr. Praed's, 
and met the Bicester at Chilton, and a nice ride 
I enjoyed in the Vale. Finding at Shearsley 
Gorse, the fox led us over a fine country, well 
supplied with water, and I have a vivid recollection 
of the fun there was over it. The Squire was 
himself hunting, and right well he did it ! He 
killed a good stout fox in a country (near Thame) 
where I never hunted before nor since. We then 
went into the Wootton Woods and found another 
fox, which was soon away, and he ran a whole 
line of deep meadows. I had sailing orders from 
Mr. Praed, and carried them out by indulging my 
horse in a good stride for thirty minutes. The 
fox beat us and we retired ; but, on my way home, 
I could feel an unpleasant bumping against my 
left leg, the only time I experienced that sensation 
with my horse. Weight- carriers, as a rule, don't 
like to be hurried, particularly at starting. 



298 Mr, T, T, Drake, yun. 

The week after I met the Squire at Skimming- 
dish Gate. All the kennel horses were down ¥rith 
influenza ; the Squire was riding my first mount 
at Chilton, and the men were riding horses found 
by the gentlemen of the hunt. We had some 
ringing about in the morning without catching a 
fox. We drew Stratton Coppice in the afternoon. 
The fox was away in a hurry pointing for Frink- 
ford Hill, but was headed and turned over some 
large grass fields to the right. Jem Mason and I, 
sharp after them, jumped into a meadow near 
Stratton Mill, and the hounds checked. The 
Squire came over the fence directly, and, seeing 
us there, said, ** I see how it is ! ^' 

*' Not at all. Squire, '' said I, '' a hundred sheep 
have just gone through the gate, if you cast 
towards the water you will hit him '' ; he did so 
with success, and we rode down to the water. 
^* I said, ^^ We cannot jump this at once.'' 

'^ Jump in ! '' said the Squire. 

'' Not for me," I said. '' Jem had the laugh 
against me once!'' In went the Squire; we 
followed, and the bottom was as firm as a 
road. 

The fox set his head straight, and, without a 
turn, ran at least nine miles, and hounds ran into 
him in the Grafton country in fine style ! I wished 



N 



Mr, T, T, Drake, J-un. 299 

the Squire *' good-night/^ and thanked him for his 
company so far towards home. 

From the Warden Hill part the Bicester ran a 
good deal into the Grafton country. On one 
occasion, about the time I am writing of, they ran 
a fox straight across from one side to the other, 
and killed at Huntsbury Hill, but I was not out on 
that day. I saw many good runs, but could 
not properly describe them now. 

The Squire once told me that he knew of a 
good horse which he thought he should buy, but 
that he was bad to mount — what did I think ? 
'' Strap his leg up," I said. '' WelV^ he replied, '' if 
that doesn't do I will be let down from the window ! " 

A runaway horse or a runaway hound he de- 
tested, and carried his dislike further. We had a 
mutual friend in London. One day the Squire 
said to me : '' Our friend is married ! " 

''Do you know the lady?" I inquired, with 
interest. 

'' Yes,'^ he answered, '' very pretty ! " 

'* I hope they will be happy," said I. 

'* Well, I don't know," said the Squire, doubt- 
fully, '' she ran away ! I always think when they 
have done it once they will do it again." In 
much too short a time I met him again. Laugh- 
ing, he said, '* She has bolted ! I told you so. 



3CK> Lord Valentia, 

she has gone off, and I don't think that he will 
ever see her again ! " 

When Mr. Drake gave up he sold his stud at 
Stratton. He was succeeded by Mr. Greaves, 
Captain Thomson, and Lord North, successively, 
but neither of them retained office long. Sir 
Algernon Peyton then took the Bicester, and, had 
he been spared, would have been well supported, 
instead of being greatly lamented by all who 
knew him. 

Lord Valentia 

Then bought the pack. Stovin was huntsman, 
everything was well done, and there was famous 
sport. I had the pleasure of seeing many good 
days with his lordship. 

One of these was over the Warden Hill 
country. Crossing Prior's Mars ton I followed his 
lordship over some strong timber. My horse 
caught it, and I fell heavily without being seriously 
hurt. A noble lord, who was hunting that day, 
would have given me ;;^300 for my horse, but I 
said he was worth ^^50 more after that fall, and in 
a short time I had it ! His lordship killed his fox 
in the afternoon in good style. 

I was once out on the last day of cub-hunting 
at Barton Common. The sun was very warm, 
and there was no scent, although we found plenty 



Lord Chesham. ' 301 

of foxes ; but I remained out^ and saw a fox found 
late in the afternoon near Frinkford Mill ; hounds 
set to, and ran very hard indeed, a ringing fox, but 
they turned and chased her until we reached 
Mr. Henry Paxton's house, and there she was 
killed, an old vixen. Forty-five minutes, very fast, 
into the house. 

After hunting the country for, I believe, thirteen 
seasons Lord Valentia retired, and was succeeded 
by Lord Chesham in 1884. No Master or hunts- 
man could have been more popular than Lord 
Valentia and Stovin were. 

Lord Chesham, 

Who had hunted in the Bicester country for 
two seasons at least before taking the pack, 
was well known and greatly approved of as a 
Master, Stovin remaining as huntsman, and every- 
thing was done in the best form, keeping up 
the good all-round feeling and showing capital 
sport. After a time Stovin had very bad luck 
in falling heavily and receiving great injury, 
particularly from a summer fall. His lordship 
was most kind and attentive to him, procuring 
the best advice, which enabled him to hunt for 
another season, when a change was made, and 
Wilson took the horn in 1887. 



302 Lord Chesham. 

Lord Chesham, Hke his predecessor, was a 
great hound man, and made several purchases 
to keep up the pack and to improve it, the last 
addition being several couples of the Blankney 
bitches, which blended well with the pack, and 
the benefit was of a long-lasting nature. 

As I was residing in those days within reach 
of one side of the Bicester country, I saw a good 
deal of sport with the pack under both huntsmen, 
my lord himself carrying the horn occasionally 
with success. Although I remember many good 
runs, I cannot give a sufficiently correct report to 
enable me to write them. On one occasion I 
saw the bitch pack find a fox at Cockley Brake 
and run over the grass nearly to Brackley Gorse, 
turn left-handed up Steane Park at a tremendous 
pace. On leaving the park and running on the 
other side of Banbury Road, Captain Hannay, a 
very hard man, had a fall over a strong fence. 
The horse fell, and the Captain pitched over his 
head with both feet hung in the stirrups ; fortu- 
nately there was sufiicient help near or the 
accident might have been serious. 

The pack raced on, 'leaving Hinton-in-the- 
H edges to the left, bearing up to Farthinghoe on 
the right, and they raced together like a flock 
of pigeons, and killed the fox near Astrop. That 



Lord Chesham. 303 

pack reminded me of Lord Southampton's pack 
of bitches which I used to Hke so much. 

After hunting the country so successfully, and 
keeping the hounds up to perfection, Lord 
Chesham resigned, and was succeeded by Mr. 
Colville Smith. The prices obtained for the stud 
proved clearly how well the thing had been carried 
on. It has remained an unsettled point which of 
the three Masters was the most popular — Lord 
Valentia, Lord Chesham, or the much-beloved Sir 
Algernon Peyton. Wilson was a great success as 
huntsman, and, as far as my knowledge carried 
me, his condition, and his manner of hunting his 
foxes by accounting for them so well, were worthy 
of high commendation, and it is certain that the 
present Bicester huntsman. Will Cox, may look 
back to Wilson, as Frank Beers did to his father, 
and be very thankful that he had such an in- 
structor ; and also such a clever man as Lord 
Chesham to form a pack of hounds for his master 
in his youth. 

Having had the pleasure of visiting the Bicester 
country for fifty seasons, I have had some insight 
into the happy manner in which the whole thing 
has been conducted. Many of the proprietors 
were good sportsmen, such as Sir Algernon 
Peyton and Mr. Harrison. Mr. Tubb, the worthy 



304 The Earl of Jersey, 

secretary, has done good service for the hunt, and 
his efforts are greatly appreciated. 

Lord Lawrence, Major Green, Mr. Dewar, and 
Colonel Williamson hunted for many seasons with 
the Bicester, and rode well. 

The Earl of Jersey. 

A name greatly revered for generations is that 
of Lord Jersey, and the bearers of it were famous 
as good landlords, and also as capital riders. 

No pen of mine can do justice to the present 
lord. I once heard an American say that *he had 
licked all Varginie ! * and, extending his arm, he 
exclaimed, ** Cast iron ! pillar of marble ! double- 
jointed all the way through ! my father licked all 
Varginie, and I licked my father! !'' And so it 
is that, good as all the Jerseys have been, the 
present earl beats them all, and I hope he may 
live long to be the '' pillar of marble *' he is to the 
Bicester Hunt ! and it is very satisfactory to hear 
that Lord Villiers is carrying on the riding qualifi- 
cation of the family. 

The farmers do not stand in need of praise ; 
with Mr. Edward Paxton as leader, Messrs. 
Waters, Owen Clarke, Harper, Nichols, Leppei-, 
Busby, Tomes, Barge, Warr, Hinton, Godwin, 
Rogers, Sanders, Terrys, Roper, Lester, John 



"Jonathan." 
Dick Painter's Flyers ; ridden by Frank Beers  
whipper-in. 



INDEX. 



Alford, Lord, 29 

Allen, F., 268 

Amos, W., 67 

Anecdote of Captain Arkwright, 247 

Ayers, S., 33 

the Aut^ior, 15 

Beers, G., 19, 'j^ 

and Carter, 6 

a Bedford magnate, 252 

Mrs. Drake and T. Winfield, 295 

Mr. Drake, jun., 296, 299 

Druid, 35 

the Hon. R. Grimston, 226 

Sir C. Knightley, 214, 215, 216 

H. Lightfoot, 68 

Dick Painter, 307, 308 

J. Paine, 217 

Parson of Cosgrove, iii 

J. Roper, 44 

Lord Southampton, 24, 32, 34, 61,67, 68, 69, 75, 237 

Bob Ward, 232, 233, 234 

D. Webb, 26 
Aris, Messrs., 67, 160, 199 

Arkwright, Captain, 6, 32, 46, 56, 238, 243 ; pupil of G. Beers, 
^'] \ death of, 188; opinion of Bob Ward, 235 






3 1 4 Index. 

Arthur Prince, set " Prince " 
Assheton Smith, Mr., i6 
Atherstone Hounds, 223 
Atkins, keeper, 212 
Atkinson, Mrs., 283 
Ayers, S., 33, 34, 162, 200 

Badby House, meet at, 174 

Badger killed, 169 

Bag-fox, 33 

Bailey, J., 5 

Baker, Mr., 71 

Barbed wire, 205 

Barge, Mr., 189, 304 

Barnes, Mr., 215 

Barnet, C, 234 

Barrett, G., 191 ; Mrs., 193 

Barrington, Lord, 27, 202 

Barry, Rev. H., 141 

Bartlett, Messrs., 67, 162, 200 

Battams, Mr., 245 

Battersea, Lord, 230 

Beckford, Mr., saying of, 91 

Bedfordshire, 252 

Beech, Mr., 23 

Beecher, Captain, 40 

Beers, F., x., 39, 74, 90, 239, 249, 303 ; his father's 
pupil, TJ ; appointed huntsman, 80 ; and the 
Furrier hounds, 83, 84 ; goes to Russian Poland, 
90 ; and Destitute, 93 ; cub-hunting, 95 ; his 
diaries, 105, 114* 139, 164; health, 105, 124, 
195; and Thistle, : 182 ; and kennel lameness no; 
horsemanship, no; and Captain White, 131; and 
Empress of Austria, 146, 147, 148; wedding gift, 
201 



Index, 315 

Beers, G., 22, 30, 39, 81, 82, 105, 243; and Carter, 6; 
huntsman to the Grafton, 31, 56; and the Oakley, 
32, 46, 244; Lord Southampton's praise of, 67; 
pupils of, 'j'jy 94, 255; and the Bicester, 108; 
C. Payn's encomium on, 258 

" Bell's Life," poetry from, 49 

Bel voir Guider, 82 ; blood, 93 ; hounds, 238 ; Gambler and 
Gameboy, 242 

Bennett, Rev. Mr., 285 

Bentinck, Lord H., 54 

Bentley, huntsman, 171, 230 

Berchett, Miss, 283 

Bevan, Mr., 94 

Bicester Men, 25; Hunt, 73; hounds, 284, 297; byname; 
Duster, 292; Freedom, 291; Grasper, 290; Grati- 
tude, 289 ; Juvenal, 291 ; Legacy, 290 

Bill, Captain, 296 

Blake, J., 296 

Blencowe, Mr., 207 

Blood, 4, 22; Furrier, 40; Bel voir, 93 

Bloodhounds, 11 

Bluecap, 69 

Bolero, 4 

Bonham, keeper, 211 

Bonnetty Bob, 177 

Boniface, 94 

Boulton, H., 245 

Bouverie, Hon., 230 

Boxall, huntsman, 24 

Breeding, horse, 2 

Breeders of horses, 2 

Brocklesby, the horse, 125, 150, 156 

Brownlow, Lord, 240 

Browning, Captain, 252 

Brusher, 94 



3 1 6 Index. 

Bucknells, 204 
Bugbrook Brook, 72 
Bull, Mr., 96 
Bullen, huntsman, 24 
Bunbury, Mrs., 172, 282 
Bunker's Hill, 71 
Burdett, Sir F., 21 
Burton Hounds, 54 

„ E., 79 
Busby, Mr., 304 

Butler, huntsman, 24 

Byard's leap, 240 

Byass, A., 96 ; Mrs., 282 

Cairo, 46 

Cairns, Sir H., 72 

Campbell, G., 96, 149, 202, 207; Hon. Mrs., 282; Miss, 282 

Camperdown, Lord, 208 

Candy, Hon. Mrs., 282 

Carr, T., 39, 70 

Carter, G., 9, 12, 14, 16, 250; and Beers, G., 6 

Carvell, Mr., 245 

Casenove, Mr., 226 

Catsmeat, 26, 73 

Cavendish, Mr., 19 

Challenger, 22 

Chamberlyne, W., 296 

Chaplin, E., 240 

Chaser, Yarborough, 22 

Cheerful and Brocklesby (horses), 125 note. 

Chesham, Lord, 170, 304 

Chinnery, Mr., 230 

Chit, 269 

Cholera, 47 

Church, the Hunting, 201 



Index, 3 \ 7 

Clarke, Mrs., 273 
O., 304 
„ the Royal Keeper, 10, 11, 38 
Cloncurry, Lord, 125 note. 
Coke, W., 43, 49 
Collison, P., 71 
Colville Smith, Mr., 303 
Coombe, H., 22, 83 

Connaught, Duke of, 260, and see Prince Arthur 
Cork, Lord, 37 
Corn, trodden down, 113 
Country, neutral, 5; Friday, 26, 207; upper, 76; fine line 

of, 155, 165; Monday, 207 
Councillor and Chester Cup, 14 
Cowper, Messrs., 30, 285, 293 
Cox, Mr., 284; W., 303 
Craven, W., 37 
Cry, 60, 85, 95, 241 
Cubs, 27, 148 
Cub-hunting, 28 

Danger, 109 

Deer, 10, 203 

Delap, Mr., 202 

Derry, W., 22, 23, 59 

Destitute, F. Beers' favourite hound, 93, 95, 240 

Dewar, Mr., 304 

Dexter, iii, 112 

Diaries, 105, 114 

Dickens, W., 10, 16; Miss, 280; Mr., 305 

Douglas-Pennant, Col. A., 74, 147, 156 

Family, 162 

Hon. G. S., 96; becomes M.F.H., 162 
Hon. E. S., 189; becomes joint M.F.H., 
196 ; Hon. Mrs., 282 



)1 



3 1 8 Index, 

Drake, T. T., 25, 58, 80, 93 ; Master of the Bicester, 284 ; 
his pack sold, 294 ; Mrs., 284 

„ the Rev. J., 284 

„ T. T., Jun., 285, 295, 300 

„ E. and G., 296 
Druid, 35 

Drummond, the Rev. Mr., 20 
Dryden, Sir H., 201 ; Miss, 282 
Duke, Green, 4 
Duncan, Mr., 57 
Dunkley, T., 67 
Duster, 292 

Easton Neston House, 16, 274 

Eclipse of the sun, 246 

Ellesmere, Lord, 202, 211 

Elliott, Mr., 2; J. M. K., hung up, 286; Miss, 283 

Elmhirst, Captain, 191 

Empress of Austria, 146, 147, 148, 269; visit to England, 
273; first day's hunting, 274; Her Majesty's stud, 
276, 278; riding, 277, 278; pilots, 276, 278; 
started steeplechases, 278 ; as Alpine climber, 
279; hunted first with the Grafton, 279 

Euston, 11; Earl of, 80, 163, 181 

Ex-Queen of Naples, 144, 146, 148, 267, 274; and 
chamois shooting, 273 ; presents to Author, 273 

Ex-King of Naples, 144, 146, 148, 272 

Everard, H., 208 

Fairbrother, Mr., 200 

Fall, "fair," 4 

Farquhar, H., 58 

Farmers, the, 198 

Fawsley, 213; ghost story, 218 

Fences, ox, 40 



J 






Index, 3 1 9 

Finch, Mr., 245 
Firr, 206 

Fitzgerald, Mrs., 201 
FitzRoy, Lord James, 2, 126 
„ Col. G., 8, 44, 45> 146 
„ Lord Charles, 27, 96, 146, 263 
„ Alfred, 155, 163 

Mr., 156; Mrs., 282 

Family, 163 
Fitzwilliam Hounds, 229, 250 
Flecknoe, 165 
Flint, T., 22 
Flower, P., 230 
Flowers, Mr., 305 
Foljambe, Mr., 94 
Foster, L., 245 
Fox, dug out, 12, 33; bag, 33, 34; bright-coloured, 45; 

bob-tailed, 106; killed in cottage, 109; in grocer's 

shop, 193; in garden, 57; by moonlight, 189; 

bolted with Roman candle, 127 ; dead beat, 185 ; 

preservers, 198 
Fox's head and brush, 168 
Foxes, woodland, 39; riding down, 24/; a dozen found, 

1 70 ; four killed, 1 80 ; three killed, 112; scarce 

and plentiful, 208; in a drain, 257 
Foxhunting, changes in, 202 
Foy, J., 227, 228 
Freeman, S., 230 
Freedom, 291 
Friday country, 26 
Fuller, Mr., 96, 191 
Furrier blood, 22, 40, 60, 78, 80; hounds, 83, 85 

Gamekeepers, 199, 210 
Gambler and Game':ov, 242 



320 Index. 

(jardner, Lord, 42 

Ghost stor>', 218 

Gihbard, J., 242 

Gibbins, Mr., 272 

Gillard, huntsman, 238 

Gipps, Colonel, 308 

Goddard, J. 75 ; Ben 295 

Godwin, Mr., 304 

Goodall, W., 193 

Goodrich, Sir H , 8c, 254 

Gordon, F., 75 

Gough, Mr., 202 

Gould, Mrs., 282 

Grafton, Duke of, Fourth, 2, 3, 21; Fifth, 80; death, 88; 
Sixth, 88, 89, 94, 96, 128, 155, 160, 211, 272; 
and F. Beers, 105; and his huntsman, no; and 
Prince Arthur, 128, 265 ; and Prince Imperial, 
152; retirement from Mastership, 161, 162; and 
Prince of Wales, 262 ; Seventh, 163 
„ Estate, I, 33 ; Hounds, i, 31 ; hunted by Mr. 

Sebly- Lowndes' hounds, 171; country, 5, 
43, 81, 205; hounds by name: Blue- 
cap, 69 ; Boniface, 94 ; Brusher, 94 
Challenger, 22; Danger, 109; Destitute 
93; Dexter, in, 112; Druid, 35, 36 
Hannibal, Herald, and Herdsman, 82 
Hazard, 81, 82, 292; Magic, 82, 85 
Marmion, 83, 84 ; Marquis, 78, 82 
Merlin, 83 ; Merriman, 22, 83, 85 
Minstrel, 84; Mischief, 41; Priam, 206 
Prophetess, 234; Rattler, 97; Rescue, 84 
Restless, 95 ; Ringlet, 95 ; Sanity, 85 
Sailor, Saucebox, 22 ; Sentinel, 249 
Singwell, 22, 82 ; Sprightly, 148 
Symphony, 22 ; Syren, 22 



Dick Painter, 305 

Treadwell, Flowers, Dickens, King, Mansfields, 
and many others there is a strong sporting 
contingent. The Bicester country is one of the 
best, if not the best, in England, such good 
farmers abound all over it ; they set their faces 
against wire, and it is believed to be the fact that 
the country does not suffer from the presence of 
that cruel invention. 

Dick Painter. 

This worthy was a well-known dealer in horses 
who lived at Bicester. In the exercise of his 
calling he gained a large circle of friends, and 
earned an honest living. Dick was the youngest 
of a family of four girls and four boys, who were 
left orphans while still young ; and the girls, being 
all older than their brothers, worked hard and 
brought them up. 

They were plodding, steady boys, but none of 
them showed any aptitude for business except the 
youngest; and two good gentlemen in Bicester, 
forming a satisfactory opinion of his capabilities, 
financed Richard, as they always called him, 
and enabled him to go into Wales to buy horses. 
From a small beginning Dick, by degrees, formed 
a fine connection for buying, and dealt very 
largely. 

X 



3o6 Dick Painter, 

Being very straightforward in all his dealings, 
and a very amusing man besides, he enjoyed the 
patronage of most of the Bicester gentlemen. 

Dick's education did not amount to much, but 
he was full of tact and common-sense, and 
possessed a vocabulary all his own. He was, 
as before remarked, most amusing. He had 
a brother called Jack who assisted him in his 
business, being a good rider, but was not allowed 
to do business alone ; and if anyone called in 
Dick^s absence something of this sort would take 
place. The customer would inquire, '* What horse 
is this, Jack ? '* to which Jack, unwilling to risk 
the smallest show of independence, would reply, 
'' Don't know, ne'er 'eared our Dick say ! " One 
day a friend of mine led Jack on with questions, 
and amongst other things, asked him, *' Had any 
wet up here lately? ** Dunno," answered Jack, 
doggedly, *^ ne'er 'eared our Dick say ! " 

Making a further effort to elicit information, the 
questioner said, ** Where is the nice bay horse I 
saw here the other day ? " 

'' Oh ! our Dick selled 'im." 

^^ Oh, indeed ; where is he gone ? " pursued the 
enquirer. 

^^ I dunno," said Jack, '* a little way up the 
country, t'other side Italy!" 



Dick Painter. 307 

When I paid my first visit to Dick Painter, and 
stated my wants, he said, *^ You want a gallopin^ 
^oss, I have one ! '* The hunter was led out and I 
mounted him. ** There,'' said Dick, '^ you be on 
a 'oss now, he can gallop as fast as you can clap 
your hands, and jump like a flea ! '' 

A gentleman who wanted a horse called At 
Dick's stables, and stated his requirements in 
terms which indicated perfection. Dick listened in 
silence as the customer enumerated the requisite 
points, and then expressed his inability to supply 
the demand thus : ** Ah ! I know just what you want, 
sir, you want a H' Angel, and I don't deal in 'em!" 

Dick was a great favourite with Colonel 
Thomas, who was at that time Master of the 
Horse to His Royal Highness the Prince of 
Wales ; and the Colonel at one time pressed Dick 
to take some horses to the Windsor stables for 
His Royal Highness' inspection, and wrote a kind 
letter about quarters, and so forth. Dick wrote in 
reply : *^ I'm much obliged, but I think I won't ! " 

I myself dealt with Painter for many years, and 
always without the slightest misunderstanding ; 
good animals of all kinds were obtained from 
Bicester. 

Mr. Charles Praed had a stud of ten weight- 
carriers, all of which were bought from Painter, 

X 2 



3o8 Dick Painter. 

and were considered to be second to none in those 
days. Mr. Henry Lambton much Hked the 
horses which he obtained from Dick out of South 
Wales and Shropshire. Colonel Gipps, also a 
hard man, bought many horses of Dick, who 
always called him *^ Mr. Colonel Gipps." 

On one occasion Dick showed me what he 
called ** A funny 'oss," and of which he said, 
*^ He can go as far in an hour as will take him all 
day to come back ! " 

'What are you going to do with him?" I 
laughingly asked. 

*' Tm beggared if I knows ! " was the character- 
istic reply.  

Dick would persist in saying ** Indi^gestion," 
which very much disturbed his two patrons before- 
mentioned, who used very frequently to walk down 
to see Dick after breakfast. On one such occasion 
another brother of Dick^s, named George, who 
worked for him, was passing with a server of oats. 
One of the visitors took a handful of them, and, 
calling Dick's attention, asked him which horse 
they were for ; and, on hearing, he said : *' If you 
put some chaff into them he .will rfz-gest them 
better." 

" I hope to goodness he wonH," cried Dick, 
" he cost eighty guineas ! " The gentleman. 



Dick Painter, 309 

turning to his brother, said that he must give 
Dick up as incorrigible. 

In his latter days Dick became very ill, and 
sent for Dr. Symonds from Oxford. When he 
came Dick said to him : '* Doctor, I have a bit of 
money and no one my very near kin ; if you will 
undertake my case and attend to me, you may as 
well have some of it as any one else.** The 
doctor took the hint and did his best, and pleased 
Dick*s friends very much by relieving him, thereby 
prolonging his life. The gentlemen from the club 
used to go down every evening, after hunting, 
before they dressed for dinner, to tell Dick the 
events of the day. 

All the family lived to a great age, except Jack, 
who was the only one who married. Dick said he 
married a woman who kept an inn, and Jack got 
too near the barrel ! 

I have bought horses from all parts of England 
and Ireland, but none better than those purchased 
from Painter, which came out of South Wales, 
Herefordshire, and Shropshire. The softest 
horse I ever bought in my life I obtained from 
Ireland, where he had been the property of a 
priest ; and although, in deference to his late 
owner, I named him His Reverence, he was a 
cur ! 



3IO . Dick Painter, 

Painter bought a horse of a Doctor of Divinity, 
which was of very high breeding and good 
qualities, and had won many prizes as a colt, in 
consequence of which the doctor was beset with 
would-be purchasers ; and he therefore decided to 
sell the horse to Painter, who promised him to me. 

This doctor was very sensitive and very 
sagacious. In his early life he lived under a 
nobleman and was treated most kindly by his 
patron. In course of time the nobleman died 
and his son succeeded him ; and he, whether 
from accident or intention is not known, took no 
notice of the reverend gentleman, who keenly felt 
this neglect. 

One Sunday the doctor took for his text the 
words : ^^ There arose up a new king over Egypt, 
which knew not Joseph '* ; and, after having 
expatiated on the unkindness of people who 
forget their old friends, he concluded his sermon, 
which, however, made no impression upon the 
young nobleman. Later on in the autumn the 
young nobleman went out shooting, and, by 
accident, stuck a shot into a labouring man. The 
following Sunday the doctor who, of course, had 
heard of the accident, took for his text the words : 
^' A certain man drew a bow at a venture," and 
read a strong lecture upon such carelessness. 



Conclusion. 311 

The nobleman at once said he would give him 
a much better living in order to be rid of him ! 

Having at length brought my book to a con- 
clusion, I must crave the indulgence of my 
readers, and beg them to take into consideration 
the fact that I was never entered for, nor intended 
to be, an author; and I must apologise for the 
liberty I have taken in placing such a production 
before the public. 

. It really ought to have been a good book had it 
been handled with more talent. One thing may 
be said in its favour, namely, that it is for the 
most part a statement of facts, the bulk of which 
were witnessed by the Author, and the remainder 
can be vouched for. 

It is fair to assume that the period of fifty years 
treated of in this book will compare favourably 
with any similar period in the history of fox- 
h^mting; and certainly men are mentioned who 
are or were as good as England ever produced. 

As it did not seem possible for me to relate all 
my experiences in one book, so a great many 
good men whom I have met are not named, and 
much more might easily have been written of 
those who have been named; but I have en- 
deavoured not to *' dwell on the line ** and become 
prosy. 



3 1 2 Conclusion, 

The title of my book confined me to fox- 
hunting, or I should have enjoyed relating the 
good sport I have seen in the Vale with the stag- 
hounds, where everything has been so well 
conducted for so many years by the de Rothschild 
family. I have always thought that the stag 
makes, as a rule, better lines than the fox, one 
reason being that you can place the deer in the 
best part of the Vale, when he is bound to take a 
good line ; and another is that the stag is humed 
by a wonderful pack of hounds. 

I cannot close this book without expressing 
great thankfulness for the number of years allotted 
to me, with health and strength, to enjoy fox- 
hunting ; and I hope my readers will join me in 
wishing success to the noble sport, which has 
been well termed ** The Sport of Kings.'* 



The End. 



Index, 321 



Grant, Mr., 202 
Grant-Ives, Mr., 202 



Hall, Mr., 296; Captain, 202 

Hanmer, Lady, 202 

Hannay, Captain, 302 

Hannibal, 82 

Harrison, S., 25, 284, 303; death of, 72; eulogy of, 73; 

pilots Empress of Austria, 278 
Harper, Mr., 304 
Harter, H., Mr. and Mrs., 283 
Hazard, 81, 82, 292 
Hector, 82, 292 
Herald, 82 
Herdsman, 82 

Hertfordshire Hounds, 55, 234, 235 
Hesketh, Sir T. G. F., 264; his children blooded, 182 

„ Lady, 282; Miss, 282 
Heythrop Hounds, 296 
High Havens, 74 
Higgins, C, 227; Captain, 245; G. and Miss, 252 

Hill, Mr., 252 

Hills, J., 76, 286 

Hiirs Hounds, 80, 83, 92, 93 

Hinton, Mr., 304 

Hitchcock, G., 30, 64, 285, 292 

Hoffman, Mr., 25 

Hogg, Major, 31, 243 

Holland, Bill, 296 

Holmes, Miss, 14 

Hora, 85, 92 

„ Mr., 285 
Horse lying down, 49 
Horses, 26, 89, no, 125 note. 

Y 



i 



322 Index. 

Hounds, 21, 229; leading, 54; jealous, 128, 206; running 
in dark, 189; chase, 249; bought, 16, 22, 63, 70, 
223, 302 ; sold, 64, 80, 223, 294 ; in railway 
cutting, 193; two packs meet, 193; in shop, 193; 
run an old woman, 232 ; run a bull, 233 ; Oakley, 
244 

Howth, Lord, 26 

Hunt, Colonel, 227 
„ Mrs., 282 

Hunters, improvement of, i, 89 

Hunt servants, 207 

Hunting during eclipse, 246 

Huntsman, qualifications of, 91 

Ireland, 25 
Isham, Sir J., 33 
Ives, Mr., 202 
Ivens, Mr., 285 

Jane Ball, 76 

Jersey, Earl of, 284, 304 

Johnson, Sir J., 80, 92, 93 

Ned, 254 
Jones, Jack, 24 
Judkins, Miss, 282 
Jump, biggest water, 27 
Juvenal, 291 

Kennel lameness, no 

r 

Kennels, 89 

King, Mr., 305 

Knapp, Mrs., 282 

Knott, E., 209 

Knightley, Sir C, 26, 213; his venison, 214; anecdotes 

of, 215, 216; as breeder of shorthorns, 217; and 

his tenants, 218 



Index. 323 

Knightley, Mr., ^7, 29, 30, 64; Sir R., 213, 220; Lady, 
221, 272 
„ The Rev. V., 213, 221, 222 

Ladies, hunting, 7, 13, 14, 42, 43, 57, 230, 267, 280, 281, 

282, 283 
Lambton, H., 25, 308; Mrs., 230, 282 
Lameness, no 
Lavender, Mr., 245 
Lawrence, Lord, 304 
Lecture, T. Winfield's, 288 
Leech, J., 226 

Leicestershire, 21, 75, 78, 82; men, 159 
Legacy, 290 

Leigh, J. G., 70, 234, 236 
Lepper, Mr., 304 
Lester, Mr., 304 
Letter from Duke of Grafton, 2 ; Lord Penrhyn, 195 ; Mr. 

Barnes, 215 
Levi, W., 57, 229, 230 
Liberty, 26 
Lightfoot, H., 68 
Little-Gilmour, Mr., 43 
Livery, hunting, 4, 89 
Loder, Sir R., 201 
Lonsdale, Lord, 170 
Longland, S., 211 
Looton Hoo, 70 
Lottery, 14 
Lowndes, see Selb -Lowndes 

Macan, Mr., 245 
Magennis, Major, 243 
Magic, 82, 85 
Magniac, Mr., 31 

Y 2 



324 Index, 

Mans6eld, Miss, 305 

Mares, 2, 4, 33 

Marmaduke (shorthorn), 87 

Marmion, 83, 84 

Marquis, 78, 82 

Marten cats, 11 

Masks in a drain, 257 

Mason, J., 14, 29, 57, 58, 72, 75, 228, 298 

M.F.H's., 199 

Mawkin, a, 287 

Melton, 81 ; club, 21 

Merlin, 83 

Merriman, 22, 83, 85 

Minuet, 4 

Minstrel, 84 

Mischief, 41 

Monitor, 83 

Mcore, J., 21 

Morgan, Ben, huntsman to the Grafton, 32, 33, 34, 36, 37 

„ Colonel, 201 
Mountford, G., 22, 81 
Muntz, Mr., 155, 207 

Naples, ex-Queen and King of, see ex-Queen and ex-King 

Neutral Country, 5 

Newmarket, 12 

Nichols, Mr., 304 

Nimrod, 168 

North, Lord, 108 

Northamptonshire, 21, 63 

Northampton, 5, 13, 40; Marquis of, 245 

Oakley country, the, 5, 6, 9, 81, 243, 246; hounds, 32, 46, 

56, 244, 248, 250, 253; stud, 31 
Oakley Bank, 67 



Index, 325 

Oldacre, Mr., 90 
Oliver, Captain, 283 
Orkney, Lord and Lady, 230 
Orlebar, Mr., 245 
Osbaldeston, Mr., 14, 22, 294 
„ Furrier blood, 78 

Osborn, Lady W., 228 
Oxford, 296 
Oxfordshire, 63 

Pack of hounds, meet another, 193; join another, 287 
Paine, J., 217 
Painter, 257 

Dick, 305 
Paragreen, keeper, 211 
Parish, Mr., 3 
Partisan, 4 
Paxton, Mr., 304 
Payn, C, 32, 258; pupil of G. Beers, ^'j, 255; huntsman 

to the Pytchley, ^54; went to Wales, 257 
Payne, G., 254 
Peel, Miss, 2^3 
Pennant, see Douglas-Pennant 
Penrhyn, Baron, First, 80, 86 ; and shorthorns, 87 ; and Mr. 

Hiirs hounds, 92; Second, iii, 189, 193; and F. 

Beers, 195 ; letter from, 195 
Pestilence, 46 
Petre, Lord, 225 
Peyton, Sir H., ^5; Sir A., 303 
Pickles, 268, 269, 271 
Pierrepont, Hon. P. S., 284 
Pigeon, 26 

Pike, H., 57, 67, 200 
Pilgrim, Mrs., 75, 281 
Pillagers, Pytchley, 257 



326 Index, 

"Pilot," 268, 269 

Pilots, 273, 275, 277, 278, 280, 281, 283 ; the Empress of 

Austria's, 146, 147, 276; the Prince of Wales's, 

260, 263 ; Prince Arthur's, 265 ; the ex-Queen of 

Naples', 268 
Pioneer, 2, 3 

Poetry : " A Dodging Rhyme," Ac, 49 ; by Sir H. Wake, 96 
Poland, Russian, 90 
Pollard, J., 211 
Poole, H., 57 
Portsmouth, Lord, 37 
Posthumous, 64 
Potterspury, fox killed at, 109 
Poultry fund, 162 
Praed, C, 297, 307 
Pratt, G., 229, 230 
Priam, 206 
Price, G., 57 

Prince of Wales, 121, 182, 260 
Prince Arthur, 128, 129, 260, 265 

„ Imperial of France, 152, 153 
Prizes for puppies, 89 
Prophetess, 234 
Puppy show, 162 

Puppies, new milk for, 94 ; at walk, 290 
Pytchley Hunt, 5, 238, 254; country, 27; masters, 28; 

men, 141 

QuoRN Hounds, 21, 81; Faithless and Hector, 292; 
country, 292 

Race, J., 252 
Railway, 27, 202, 203 
Ratcatcher, anecdote of, 13 
Rattler, 97 



Index. 



327 



Raysan, keeper, 210 

Rescue 84 

Restless, 95 

Rhyme," "A Dodging, etc., 49 

Rice, Mr., 140 

Riddel 1, Captain, 165 

Ringlet, 95 

Robarts, A. J., 96, 156, 162, 190, 195, 202; joint master, 

196; Hon. Mrs., 282 
Robinson, Mr., 245 
Rocksavage, Lord, 170 
Rogers, Mr., 304 
Roper, Mr., 2, 304; J., 44; C. E., 67, 85, 162, 200; Miss, 

282 
Rose, Ned, 9, 23 
Rosslyn, Lord, 37 

Rothschild, Mr. L. de, 158; Mrs. 230; Family, 312 
Row and, Mr., 43 
Royal Keeper, 10 
Royston, Lord, 264 
Run, good, from Alii thorn, 59 

„ „ Astwell Mill, 158 
best of season, 185 
good, from Blakesley, 140 

Brackley Gorse, 145, 147, 148 

Brayfield Furze, 190 

Charwelton, 207 

Christmas Gorse, 48 

Claydon Wood, 291 

College Wood, 225 

Easton Neston, 172 

Foster's Booth, 140 

Grafton, 183 

Haversham Wood, 39 

High Havens, 74 



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328 Index. 

Run, good, from Hinton Gorse, 154 

„ Hopyard, 186 
Lyncher, 134 
Mantel's Heath, 156 
with the Oakley, 251 
„ from Plumpton, 42, 147 
„ „ „ Porter's Wood, 65 

Preston Capes, 106, 142, 165 
» „ ,y ., High Wood, 258 

with the Pytchley, 255 
„ „ from Ravenstone Wood, 177 
„ remarkable, in snow, 59 

good, from Stoke Plains, 181 
Stowe Wood, 76 
Tile House, 142 
„ Warden Hill, 286 
with the North Warwickshire, 72 
Run through four hunts from Weedon Bushes, 167 
„ good, from Whistley Wood, 135, 150, 155, 158 
„ Whitfield, 184, 189 
Russell, Lord C, 225 
Rutland, Duke of, 21 
Ryan, Mrs., 282 

Sailor, 22 

Salcey Forest, 41, 44, 46, 204 

Sanity, 85 

Sanders, Messrs., 245, 304 

Saucebox, 22 

Saunders, Messrs., 229 

Scent, 217, 218, 225 

Scott, Lord J., 37 

Season, wettest, 132, 149; good, 169 

Seckham, Mr., 293 

Selby, Mr., 285 



»> M >> 

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Index, 329 

Selby-Lowndes, W., 83, 213; takes the upper country, 76; 
M.F.H., 222; gives country back to Lord South- 
hampton, 223; buys Lord Southampton's hounds, 
223; and C. Higgins, 227; his pack, 229; his 
Field, 230 

Sentinel, 249 

Severn, Mr., 296 

Shakeshaft, Mr., 245 

Shannon, Lord, 25 

Sharman, Mr. and Mrs., 252 

Shelswell, 25, 73 

Shepherd, R., 5, 15; V., 208 

Sherwood, A., 17 

Shooting, 201 

Shorthorns, 86, 87, 217 

Silverstone, cholera at, 46 

Simpson, Dick, huntsman, 38; good runs with, 39, 42, 45, 
48; his success, 46; his pack, 54; and the Burton 
hounds, 54 ; and Bob Ward, 55 ; and Winfield, 
287 
„ Mrs., 282 

Singwell, 22 

Sires, i, 2, 4 

Sirett, Mr., 73 

Smallpox, 46 

Smith, Rev. L., 7, 18; Mrs. and the Misses, 7, 20 

J-, 15. 67 
W., 90 
Mr., 254 

T., 25, 28, 90, 195, 288; breaks horse's back, 143 
Snow, remarkable run in, 59 
Somerton, Lord, 37 

Southampton, Charles, Baron, 15, 58, 64, 66, d^j, 68, 74, 
75, 81, 89; M. F. H., 21; buys hounds, 22, 25, 
63 ; and Ned Rose, 23 ; and several huntsmen. 



330 Index. 

24; his Field, 27, 31; his strict orders, 27; and 
G. Beers, 30, 31, 77; and Ben Morgan, 32; and 
a bag-fox, 34 ; his hospitality, 37 ; and the pesti- 
lence, 46 ; his testimonial, 48 ; his retirement, 79 ; 
sells his pack, 80; his hounds, 81, 82, 83, 206, 
303 ; his shooting, 204 ; his knowledge of hunting, 
205, 206 ; and Bob Ward, 234, 237 ; and Ned 
Johnson, 254; T. Winfield, upon, 293 

Southampton, Lady, 57, 75, 76 

Speedy-balls, 26 

Si>encer, Lord, 76, 79, 187, 193, 259, 260 

Sportsman, 249 

Sprightly, 148 

Stepaway, 137 

Stephenson, G., 203 

Stevens, Ned, 10, 16, 37 

St. Maur, Hon., 96 

Stone, Miss, 7 

Stovin, huntsman, 158, 278, 301 

Strangers, 199 

Strathmore, Lord and Lady, 41, 42 

Stratton, Audley, 73 
„ Mr., 27 

Sutton, Sir R., 32 

Swannell, Mr., 245 

Switcher, the, 41 , , 

Symonds, Mr., 293 

Symphony, 22, 82 

Sjrren, 22 

Tailby, Mr., 75, 76 
Tattersall's, 80, 83, 223 
Tavistock, Marquis of, 22, 78, 81 
Taylor, H., 22 
Teck, Duke of, 147 



Index, 33 1 



Tennant, Miss, 172, 283 

Terry, Mi^iS, 304 

Thistle, 182 

Thomson, Captain, 30, 238, 257, 258 

Thompson, Mr., 296 

Thornton, H., 245 

Todd, W., 22 

Tollit, Mr., 293 

Tomes, Mr., 304 

Tompkins, S., 236 

Towcester, 16, 23, 27, 34; cholera in, 46, 48 

Townsend, Mr., 191 

Treadwell, J., 305 

Tubb, Mr.i 303 

Turnell, T., 245 

Turvey, Mr., 252 

Tuyll, Baron de, 188, 283 



Valentia, Lady, 73; Lord, 132, 278, 300 
Venison, 214 
Vernon, B. W., 202 
Villiers, F., 27 

Mrs. J., 43. 57, 58, 72 
„ Lord, 304 
Visitors, 199 
Vivian, 40 



Wait, Mr., 200, 210 

Wake, Sir H., 96, 202; Lady, 282; Miss, 283 

Wales, 257 

„ Prince of, 182, 260 
Ward, P., 57, 72 



332 Index, 

Ward, Bob, 39, 41, 70, 206, 213; and Simpson, 55; as 

huntsman, 231 ; anecdotes of, 232, 233, 
234; and Mr. Arkwright, 235; his horses 
236 ; and Lord Southampton, 237 

Warwickshire, 16 

„ North, 71, 223 

Warr, Mr., 304 

Water jump, biggest, 27 

Waters, Messrs., 304 

Watson, Mr., 72, 283 

Watts, Mrs., 282 

Waxy, 4 

Webb, D., 25, 58, 72, 73; "Tape," 26; J., 25, 73 

Wells, G., 22 

Wemyss, Mr., 13 

Westley, T., 14 

Whaddon Hall, 80 

„ Chase Hounds, 226, 228, 230 

Whaley, Mrs., 282 

White, Captain, 131 

Whitehead, Mr., 245 

Whitehouse, Miss, 283 

Whiting, Messrs., 200 

Whitmore, T., 248, 250, 253 

Whittlebury, 21, 27, 37, 81, 82, 89, 91; Forest, 10. 203; 
gardens, fox killed in, 57; Green, 65; Parks, 203 

Whitton, W., 200; J. W., 67, 200; J., 67; T., 169, 200, 
207 

Whitworth, Miss, 252 

Whyte-Melville, Captain, 230 

Wicken Park, 86 

Wilder, Mrs., 283 

Wilson, Mr., 229; Miss, 230 

„ huntsman of the Bicester hounds, 301 

Williamson, Colonel, 304 



Index, 333 

Winkles, Mr., 12 

Winfield, T., 82, 285, 286; and Simpson, 287; his lecture, 288 

Wiseman, Mr., 96 

Wolf-hunting, 90, 91 

Wynn, Sir W. 257 

Yardley Chase, 44, 46, 205 
Yarborough, Lord, 90 
„ Chaser. 22