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Full text of "Notitia venatica : a treatise on fox-hunting : embracing the general management of hounds and the diseases of dogs : including distemper and rabies, also kennel lameness, its cause and cure"

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tgham JltckartiBan. 



The Life of John Mytton, Esq. . 
The Life of a Sportsman 
Ditto with 36 coloured Illustrations 
Hunting Reminiscences . 

By Nimrod 
. Ditto 
. Ditto 
. Ditto 

1 5 

2 2 
n 7, 6 

! 6 

Field Sports of France . 

Wild Sports of the Highlands 

Chamois Hunting 

Forest Life in Ceylon 

Shooting Scenes in the Himalayas 

Tiger Shooting in India 








St, John . 


C. Boner . 



1 1 

General Markham 

1 1 

Lieutenant Rice 

1 I 


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Some time Master of the North Warwickshire and the Holderness 


" Nee tibi cura canuni fuerit postrema." — Geog. III. 






PRiNTrT) ny jor.nn rogeuson, a"!, nobfolk STUEr/r i3rnANi>. 



My dear Sir, 

In these degenerate days, when the so-called improvements 
in our social system, and in the state and appearance of 
the country, have well nigh put a stop to our sports and 
pleasures in the fields, it may seem ill-timed to bring for- 
ward a work on a subject which appears to be fast declining 
in general estimation. I am aware that it is so, but, being 
a devoted admirer of all connected with field sports, I have 
endeavoured to rescue the science from oblivion, by giving 
in the following pages my experience in the chase hoping 
that my labom-s may contribute to the pleasure and in- 
struction of those true English hearts who still love that 
noblest of British pastimes, Fox-hunting." " I cast, then, 
my book upon the waters," in hope, " believing that its 
vein is good ;" unwilling, however, to send it forth to the 
M^orld without an introduction, I feci proud of the perrais- 


sion to commend it to the care of so distinguished a pilot 
as yourself. 

That you may long continue in the successful pursuit of 
that most noble enjoyment in which you have obtained 
such celebrity ; and that you and all true lovers of Fox- 
hunting may derive pleasure in the perusal of these few 
hints upon the subject, is the sincere wish of. 
My dear Sir, 

Yours faithfully, 


July 1st, 1847. 


The biographer of Paley tells us, that " the subject of an 
author's first production usually discovers the natural bias 
of his genius." That such is undoubtedly the case with 
regard to the following pages, I think no one will for one 
moment hesitate to admit ; and although the humbleness 
of the theme may not claim entire exemption from the 
ordeal of a critique, and at the same time, however weakly 
the subject may have been handled, the author has this 
earth of consolation to jly to, the consciousness of having 
done his best to amuse, hoping also that this short treastise 
may not be found totally devoid of practical information to 
the rising generation of masters of hounds, to whom 
" Notitia Venatica" is more particularly addressed. 


Portrait of the Author (to face title-page). 


1. — Parson Curtis's Dinner Party .. .. .. 33 

2. — Mr. Musters hunted by his Hounds . . . . 3S 

3. — Plan of a Kennel (to face chapter on Kennels). , . . 49^ 

4. — A Kennel Day, or three hours on the flags .. 98 

5.— My First Brush .. .. .. ..109 

G. — The Fox and many Friends .. .. •• 146 

7. — Mr. Hodgson's Hounds at Speeton Cliffs .. .. 148 

8. — It was a deep Woodland where we found.. .. 154 

9.— Hounds and Marten Cat .. .. 160 


The Wrong Sort and the Right .. .. 151 

The Fox and Mouse .. .. .. ..162 

The Finish .. .. .. .. 172 




Introductory remarks — Literature relating to field sports— The love of hunting on the 
decline — Notice of Nimrod's death — Dr. Paley a sportsman — Cruelty to ani- 
mals considered — Lord Bacon's opinion on the necessity of hunting — A 
" senior sportsman's" observation on hard riding — A niggardly system of ex- 
penditure condemned — Hunt committees— Anecdote of Mr. Samuel NichoU — 
Manner of hunting in Germany — Hunting in Ireland — Foxhounds kept in 
France — The Baroness de Dracek, an extraordinary character ; and her mode of 
hunting — King James I., his love of Hunting — Different breeds of hounds : 
Lord Yarborough's, Lord Fitzwilliam's, Duke of Rutland's, Mr. Osbaldeston's, 
Lord Monson's, Lord Vernon's, Mr. Warde's, the Duke of Beaufort's, Mr. 
Noel's or Lord Lonsdale's, Sir Tatton Sykes's, the Pytchley, and the Vine, &c. 
— Remarks on breeding — Mr. Meynel's Glider — Mr. Meynel's system of hunt- 
ing — Extraordinary price of Mr. Osbaldeston's hounds — Mr. Foljambe's 
hounds — Drawing hounds to size and pace — Vices of hounds — Sheep killers — 
Breeding: the " in and in" system condemned — Mr. Osbaldeston's Furrier — 
Mr. Muster's Lionel — Marking young hounds — Showing young hounds for a 
prize — Spaying bitches condemned — Beasts of chase and hunting — Laws relative 
to hunting — Right of country — Hunt clubs — The Sinnington hunt — Black- 
balling a snob in the York Union Hunt Club — An attempt to form a club of 
masters of fox-hounds — Anecdote of the Rev. Mr. Curtis eating a fox — Anec- 
dotes of hounds — Mr. Musters hunted by his hounds — Mr. Fowne's hounds 
supposed to be the first regular pack — Early system of fox-hunting — Squire 
Draper — Mr. Warde — Sir Theophilus Biddulph — Robert Darling, or " Dog 
Bob," a famous earth-stopper — Fox-hvmting superior to steeple-chasing. — Page 
I to 48. 


Situation for a kennel— Mr. White's opinion of trees — Plan for erecting a kennel— 
Wm. Smith's opinion on letting hounds lie out in the courts — The young hounds' 
kennel — The grass court — Shutting up hounds by themselves — A perfect kennel 
described — The boiling-house and feeding-room — Rats in kennels — Great num- 
bers destroyed in some kennels — a doe kept in Mr. Warde's kennel — Damp and 
dry kennels — Kennel lameness — Col. Cooke's opinion — Hounds lamed by gorse 
— The subject of kennel lameness continued — The Albrighton hounds — Mr. 
Foljambe's opinion — The late Lord Kintore's hounds, and the situation of their 
kennel — Bees kept in the Duke of Nassau's kennel — Dick Knight, the builder of 
the kennels at Brigstock — The Warwickshire kennels — The Holderness kennels 
at Bishop Burton — Lameness in the royal kennels on Ascot Heath — Lead sup- 


posed to be the cause — Dr. Ryan's opinion — Mr. Davis, the huntsman's, opi- 
nion, and letter to the author — Lameness in the Warwickshire woodland kennels 
— On the practice of washing hounds — Jack Wood's opinion — Cast-iron and 
wooden benches — Whitewashing kennels, and drying them — Expense of building 
new kennels — The Pytchley kennels at Brixworth. — Page 49 to 63. 


Different kinds of Food for Hounds — Notice of a book entitled " The Gentleman's 
Recreation" — Old oatmeal the best — Method of mixing the meat — Sir Harry 
Goodricke's large stock of meal at Thrussington kennels — Meal mixed with 
Indian corn bad — Adulterating meal with sand — Mr. Cross's opinion of bad 
flesh — Feeding high and plenty of exercise — Too much of the boiled flesh un- 
wholesome — Biscuits — Vegetables excellent in summer — Boilers should be made 
of iron, and not copper — Method of feeding the pack — Shy feeders — Mr. 
Warde's value of a good feeder — Feeding the pack to "go together" — A 
huntsman ought to feed his own hounds — The Duke of Cleveland's reasons for 
giving up hunting— Mr. Osbaldeston's hounds, and Will Gardner his feeder — 
How to feed " to go the pace" and kill foxes — Delicate feeders — Giving hounds 
" reddle" during the summer months — Early feeding the best, and never feed to 
satiety. — Page 64 to 74. 


Comparison between the old farrier and modern vet. — Notice of Blaine's " Canine 
Pathology" — Distemper, and its cure — Barm an excellent medicine — The dis- 
temper first brought from France — Major Blagrave's system — Yellows, or jaun- 
dice — Worms — Dressing and mange — The red mange — Wounds and bites — 
Strains — Sore feet — Weak or injured eyes — Bite of a viper ; o.\\ experiment of 
the Abbe Fontana— Swelled toes — Canker in the ears — Breaking out, and tetters 
— Fistula— Swelled neck and sore throat — Fractured limbs — Inflammation of 
the bowels — Physic — Sulphur and salts the best — Shoulder lameness — Lameness 
in the stifle — Recipe for the rheumatism — Implements and drugs used in the 
kennel — Canine madness, or rabies — Professor Sewell's opinion — The Warwick- 
shire hounds afilicted — Mr. Hervey Combe's — Mr. Hall's — William Smith's 
remedy — The knife and caustic the only cure. — Page 75 to 95. 


Commencement of the season — Young hounds brought into the kennel — Rounding 
puppies at their quarters — Inspection of hounds in kennel — Anecdote of an 
ignorant M.F.H. — The number requisite to put forward — Purchasing draft 
hounds — The first and second draft — Hounds should match in size and appear- 
ance — Mr. Osbaldeston's and Mr. Villebois' sorts — Throaty hounds, Old Finder 
— The true shape of a hound described — Extensive breeders of hounds — Lord 
Fitzwilliam's hounds — Will Dean and Will Crane, both famous huntsmen — 
Lord Yarborough's hounds, and his huntsman. Will Smith ; his death— Jackal- 
hunting in India — Breaking young hounds — Anecdotes of wildness — Mr. Mey- 
nel's hounds. Gallant and Gameboy — Trailed scents formerly used — Notice of 
the Rev. Dr. Vyner — Mr. Digby Legard's match — The wild-goose chase de- 
scribed — Mr. Meynel's match, and Mr. Smith Barry's hound Bluecap — Show- 
ing young hounds riot in a park — Charles King's system — Jack Wood's perse- 
verance — Roe-deer — A good ear for hounds when dividing — Early reminiscences 
— My first brush — The Warwickshire hounds — William Shaw's system of enter- 
ing to hare in the spring — Will Carter — Summer management of hounds, and 
condition — Time for dressing — Exercise — Early commencement of cub-hunting 
at Bclvoir — Late harvests in the north — Great number of foxes killed in some 
hunts — Bag-foxes bad for hounds — Evening cub-hunting ridiculous — Great 


labour of cub-hunting — Pheasant-preserves prejudicial to sport — System of 
hunting altered — Old Tom Rose — Jem Butler — How to kill a cub handsomely 
— Blood of great consequence — Plenty qf exercise requisite — A dog killed by 
Lord Middleton's hounds — The fox in the chimney — Mr. Stubbs — Anecdote of 
Jack Shirley — Ditto of a hound suckling cubs — Sir Thomas Mostyn and the 
Oxonians— Extraordinary run in cub -hunting.— Page 96 to 122. 


Making the most of a rough country — Various covers described — Gorse covers in 
Northamptonshire — Artificial covers — Sowing — Cutting and burning — Artificial 
earths — Fox-catchers — Badgers — Woodland foxes stout — Small covers preju- 
dicial to hounds during cub-hunting — Large holding covers good — Mr. Assheton 
Smith's plan in the Collinbourne woods — Earth-stopping — Hounds should run 
together — Blood makes wild hounds more riotous at the time — Mr. King's 
bitches in Hampshire — Sir Bellingham Graham's opinion — How to form a pack 
— Duties of a whipper-in — Anecdote of Dick Foster and Shayer at Mr. Villebois' 
kennel — A drunken whipper-in — The Duke of Grafton's rules for a whipper-in 
— Accidents to men in kennels — A whipper-in with a cork leg — Jack Stevens 
an excellent whipper-in — Tom Ball — What a huntsman ought to be — Will Long 
— The old school and the modern — A Frenchman's idea of what a huntsman 
should be — Epitaph to old Tom Johnson — Food of wild animals — Advice in 
hunting a pack of hounds — Drawing — Finding — A curious kennel for foxes 
near Beverley — Habits of foxes in autumn — Advice in hunting hounds con- 
tinued — When to cheer and when to be silent — Working by signs— Checking — 
Blood and good weather desirable — Will Todd's opinion of a fine morning — 
Hounds beat by their foxes at the point of death — William Shaw's disappoint- 
ment — Dick Knight whips the fox out of the kennel and gets beat — The fox 
and " many friends" — Curious anecdote of a badger — Accidents to hounds — 
Mr. Hodgson's hounds falhng down Speeton cliffs — On horsing the men — Job- 
bing hunters from Mr. Tilbury — Hunting a country fairly — The farmers at 
Kenilworth — Anecdote of Mr. Corbet — Hunting in the snow — Notice of Will 
Neverd's death — Remarks on scent — Holderness a good scenting country — 
Anecdote of old Will Carter — Many hares stain the ground like sheep — On 
travelling hounds — Long distances to cover and home — A van occasionally used 
— Killing a May fox — Late hunting prejudicial to sport — The beauty of the 
Pytchley woodlands — The marten cat — Extraordinary number of foxes killed 
in one day by the Duke of Rutland's hounds — Cubs, and the preservation of 
foxes — Anecdote of Lord Middleton and a bag fox — Fox-mobbing in the War- 
wickshire woodlands — Fox-stealers and " Hack mail" — Old Sharp the earth- 
stopper at Mickleton — Description of a good run in Warwickshire — Ditto in 
Leicestershire— End of the Hunting season — Conclusion. — Page 123 to 172. 



3, line 33, 





14, ' 

' 35, 


of even 


or ever 

18, ' 

' 40, 


a most 


the most 

30, ' 

' 36, 


living in 


living at 

34, ' 

' 10, 





52, ' 

* 47, 


after large 


after a large 

58, ' 

' 26, 





103, ' 

' 49, 




a match 

111, ' 

* last, 





127, ' 






130, ' 

' 42, 





153, ' 

' 25, 


sauev qui 


sauve qui 

154, ' 

' 12, 


score ing 





Hear and attend, while I the means reveal 
T' enjoy these pleasures." 



Introductory remarks— Literature relating to field sports— The love of hunting on the 
decline— Notice of Nirarod's death— Dr. Paley a sportsman— Cruelty to am- 
mals con^dered — Lord Bacon's opinion on the necessity of hunting— A 
" senior sportsman's" observation on hard riding— A niggardly system of ex- 
penditure condemned -Hunt committees -Anecdote of Mr. Samuel Nicholl— 
Manner of hunting in Germany— Hunting in Ireland— Foxhounds kept in 
France— The Baroness de Dracek, an extraordinary character ; and her mode of 
huntin"— King James L, his love of Hunting- Different breeds of hounds : 
Lord Yarborough's, Lord Fitzwilliam's, Duke of Rutland's, Mr. Osbaldeston s, 
Lord Monson's, Lord Vernon's, Mr. Warde's, the Duke of Beaufort's, Mr. 
Noel's or Lord Lonsdale's, Sir Tatton Sykes's, the Pytchley, and the Vine, &c. 
—Remarks on breeding— Mr. Meynel's Glider— Mr. Meynel's system ot hunt- 
ing-Extraordinary price of Mr. Osbaldeston's hounds— Mr. Foljambe's 
hounds— Drawing hounds to size and pace- Vices of hounds- Sheep killers- 
Breeding ■ the " in and in" system condemned— Mr. Osbaldeston s furrier— 
Mr Muster's Lionel— Marking young hounds— Showing young hounds for a 
prize— Spaying bitches condemned— Beasts of chase and hunting— Laws relative 
to hunting— Right of country— Hunt clubs— The Sinnington hunt— Black- 
balling a snob in the York Union Hunt Club— An attempt to form a club of 
masters of fox-hounds— Anecdote of the Rev. Mr. Curtis eating a fox— Anec- 
dotes of hounds -Mr. Musters hunted by his hounds— Mr. Fowne's hounds 
supposed to he the first regular pack-Early system of fox-huntmg-Squire 
Draper— Mr Warde— Sir Theophilus Biddulph— Robert Darhng, or Dog 
Bob," a famous earth-stopper— Fox-hunting superior to steeple-chasing. 

In offeriuo- these practical remarks on fox-hunting to the puhHc, I hope 
the reader will be charitable enough to indulge what may be caUed the 
parental fondness of the writer, while humbly introducing this cliild of 
his authorship for their perusal, which is a kind of record of not only 
other men's actions, but also of some of the happiest moments of his 
life That part of the contents of these pages have iormerly appeared 
before the world in the shape of a book, is a truth well known to some 
of the sporting readers of the day ; nevertheless, that book has become 
out of print from the great success with which the sale of the first 
edition was attended ; moreover, it was what might be termed an e.xpen- 



sive work, brought out at a vast deal of trouble, and elegantly 
illustrated ; and consequently, from its high figure, not within the reach 
of all the rising generation of sportsmen, who might be induced to seek 
either amusement or information in searching through its pages. At the 
earnest request, then, of many and sincere friends, and with the greatest 
respect and gratitude to the public, for the kind way in which the work 
has been supported by its great sale, and by the cheering manner in 
which it has been spoken of by those reviewers who have condescended 
to notice it in their critiques on the subject, I am resolved, prompted as 
I am by the allurements of applause, to send it forth once more before the 
world. A subject so extensive and worthy of investigation I covdd have 
wished to be taken in hand by some person better quahfied than myself. 
For my own part, I have had but little experience in authorship ; and I 
might truly add, '* and am but a rude man, and rustically brought up to 
hunting," as Sir Walter Scott said of Sir Henry Lee, in Woodstock. 
But, having been in the habit of keeping a pack of foxhounds, I have 
enjoyed many favourable opportunities of making myself fully acquainted 
with a knowledge of the various branches of the science gained by such 
an occupation ; and I have neglected no opportunity of deriving what 
information I could from those incidents which circumstances have 
tlii-own in my way : fully compensated shall I be if one single instance 
should occur, of either amusement or information being derived from a 
perusal of this my undertaking. 

Among the numerous authors who have written upon those subjects 
under the unassuming title of Sporting, many have not only been well 
received, but have obtained a very exalted place in the scale of litera- 
ture. Confining ourselves, however, to the subject in question — namely, 
fox-hunting — since the days of the immortal Beckford, none have treated 
it in that practical manner which so national an amusement deserves. 
The great Nimrod, now no more,* who has certainly been the most suc- 
cessful and entertaining amongst all authors on subjects connected with 
the sports of the field, either before his time or cotemporary with him, 
could only expatiate upon the chase in a general way ; he never had the 
possession of a single hound in his life, and, consequently, could have 
had no experience in the craft excepting what he picked up from the 
observations of others. Mr, Delme RadcUttc, who produced a book 
some few years since, entitled " The Noble Science," was also far too 
general in his way of treating the subject, observing that the minutiae, 
or practical parts of the knowledge of managing a pack of hounds in 
kennel, were only fit topics for the servant 's-hall or saddle-room. An 
admiral might just as well say that the intricate knowledge of the rig- 
ging of a *' seventy-four," or expertncss in reefing main-topsails in a 
gale of wind, were accomphshmcnts only worthy to be known by men 
before the mast. Depend upon it, there is no employment nor amuse- 
ment in the world which is worthy of being pursued by man, even ever 

* Death oi' Nimkud. — We i-cgret to announce the death of C.J. Apperley, Ksq., 
on Friday, at his residence in I'imlico, of inflainiuation in tlie bowels, lie loiii; wrote 
our sporting matters under the signature of " Nimrod." He was about Gl. — Dell' a 
Life in London, May 21st, 1813. 


SO trivial, that will not amply re[)ay strict examination either into the 
most hidden arcana or the most humhle of its departments : whatever is 
worth doing, is worth doing well ; knowledge is power, and where the 
scrutinizing eye of the master is familiar with the objects upon whicli it 
may rest, and is capable, through experience, of judging of the industry 
or negligence of his agents, the economy of every description of estab- 
lishment will be carried out to a far greater extent than under the super- 
ficial and casual observance of the votary of indolence and neglect. 
Where orders are given without skill, and when ignorance or inattention 
mark the master's character, it is a tolerably certain mode of marring 
that of the servant, who becomes idle in proportion as he perceives his 
master's commands to be absurd and frivolous. 

The time Avas when the knowledge of the discipline of the kennel was 
acquired with quite as keen a zest as the more exhilarating accomplish- 
ments of the field. Hound-breeding was at that period as scientifically 
pursued as sheep-breeding, and the successful perseverance of Mr. 
Meynel and the first Lord Yarborough Avill ever be deserving of the 
warmest gratitude from all true sportsmen, for lighting up as they did 
what might be justly termed the dawn of science in the chase. But 
money is not so plentiful as it was in the war times, or the science has 
reached the acme of its perfection, or perhaps more lucrative specula- 
tions on the turf or the gaming table are more attractive to the " sport- 
ing characters"* of the present age ; for such is the all-transforming 
power of cupidity, that even our national amusements, which were ever 
intended to be a relaxation from more important duties, are labori- 
ously cultivated by thousands of our gentry as a soil for profitable specu- 
lation and golden fruit. 

Wlio, I ask, is the most likely to be an ornament to the society of the 
aristocracy of this country — the man whose early Hfe is passed away 
pent up in cities, and whose mind and taste have been weakened and 
vitiated by every kind of refined luxury and excitement ; or his whose 
early days have tranquilly rolled on, soothed as it were by the various 
rural pursuits and requirements which have so pre-eminently distin- 
guished Englishmen upon all occasions of competition ? 

The accomplishments of the country and the town, or even of this 
country and of any other, will, I affirm, bear not the slightest compari- 
son. The greatest success may be commanded at the card table, the 
billiard room, or the dice-box, by a French valet, a waiter, or a groom ; 
in the more aristocratic recreations of lumting, shooting, and fishing, 
the English gentleman alone stands unrivalled. But as, of all these de- 
lightful amusements, fox-hunting Avill be the only topic aftbrding matter 

* I beg my readers to clearly undarstuiid, tliat the ditt'erence between gold and 
iron cannot be greater than between a sport sman and what is termed a ''sporting 
character." The first is one who pursues as a gentleman, and is an adept at all or 
any of our ackowledged field-sports. The latter includes a vast and intricate mass of 
character, too numerous to be mentioned; amongst them., however, we may rank the 
layer of thousands against the Derby favourite, the pigeon-shot, the maker of trot- 
ting-matches, the flash dog-fighter of Whitechapel, &c., &c., not forgetting the 
humble linnet-fancier or the ragged bird-catcher of the Seven Dials. 

li 2 


for the following pages, I will at once introduce my readers to the subject, 
humbly assuring them that they will not meet with a long and elaborate 
account of the natural history of dogs used in the chase, nor a tedious 
and philosophical treatise on the different properties of medicines used 
in the kennel, but merely the straightforward and plain course pursued 
in a hunting establishment, with the most approved methods of breed- 
ing and rearing the foxhound, and preparing that noble animal for the 
chase. No wild theories will be introduced, but such information as has 
been gleaned by the writer during his hunting career will be humbly 
offered for their perusal. 

Mr. Beckford has designated the pursuit of hunting by the title of an 
art ; and although I have classed it amongst the sciences, I hope the 
critic will excuse my enthusiasm, as Mr. Locke, in his celebrated essay, 
on speaking of the operations of the mind, compares its searching after 
truth to hunting and hawking, the pursuit of Avhich he says constitutes 
the chief pleasure. That excellent divine. Dr. Paley, was a sportsman ; 
and although his practice was confined to the " gentle craft" of fishing, 
he always spoke of sportsmen with respect ; he felt the inward delight 
which emanated from the enjoyment of the contemplation of nature and 
her various pursuits — "he looked from nature up to nature's God ;" but 
Avhile he acknowledged the pleasure he derived from such recreations, 
he was at a loss to express, or even to discover why he was thus 
amused, and declared " he never yet met Avith any sportsman who could 
tell him in what the sport consisted, resolve it into its principle, and 
state that principle."* 

It would not be according to the natural state of our sublunary joys, 
if there could not be found, amongst the great mass of our fellow- 
creatures, some who, from a blind and bigoted enthusiasm, or, what is 
far oftener the case, from an innate and invidious morosity, are cynical 
enough in their dispositions to damnify and cry down everything in the 
shape of amusement and relaxation from our more serious employments. 
The charge of cruelty, too, has been brought, in these days of false 
sentimentality and refinement, against the followers of field sports ; but 
against such malevolent attacks, and in support of the legality of fair 
sporting, Ave have the highest authority from the very earliest ages of 
the Avorld even up to modern times. And Ave have inidoubtedly a full 
riffht to exercise a dominion even mito death, so lono- as Ave do not in- 
flict wanton torture, upon all those animals Avhich the Almighty has 
destined for our use ; Avhethcr AVe consider those ordained for daily food, 
or those Avhich he has created to assist man in his labours, and contribute 
to those amusements Avhich Avcre, Avithout doubt, liindly given to him to 
lighten the burthen of his toils whiclihe is doouu'd to undergo in tliis life. 
The great Dr. Paley very justly remarks in his " Natural Theology," 
in speaking of the destruction of one class of animals by anotlier (when 
they become too numerous or Jielpless through age), that it is not only 
proved to be exjtedient but merciful, lie observes that " the pursuit of 
its prey forms tlie employment, and appears to constitute the pleasure 

* Palcy's Nat. Theol. p. 202. 


of a conslilerablc part of the animal creation ; the using the moans of 
defence, or flight, or precaution, forms also the business of another 

It is no less extraordinary than true, that although the votaries of the 
chaste Diana arc much increased in numbers, as each hunting season 
returns with the " cloudy sky" of November ; still the knowledge of 
hunting is most truly considered to be on the decline. The " noble 
science" is not cultivated as in the days of a Meynel, a Corbet, or a 
Warde ; and although some wealthy and staunch supporters of the 
" good old cause" are still left in the persons of some of our first 
nobility, the rising representatives of our great aristocracy have, I fear, 
far difierent allurements to the field than the cultivation of that noblest 
of amusements. It has been often and justly remarked, that a man 
cannot hunt from a bad motive, and that I must allow is good in the 
main ; and whether it be the desire to enjoy the most exhilarating of 
exercises, the innate fondness of " coftec-housing, " the harmless recre- 
ation of exhibiting one's-self in a new scarlet coat and leather breeches, 
or the real " amor vetiandi,'^ in the literal sense of the word, which 
brings so large a congregation of neighbours together as may be Avit- 
nessed grouped by the side of a fox-cover on a hunting morning, it mat- 
ters but little, so long as it tends to the increase of good and cordial 
feelings in a neighbourhood, and oft'ers so strong an inducement to gen- 
tlemen of fortune to reside on their property in the country. One of 
the greatest advantages held out in advertisements, for letting a house, 
is its vicinity to any celebrated hunt, or its being situated in the centre 
of various packs of hounds ; without which many houses, in retired parts 
of the country, would never find tenants. The great Lord Bacon says, 
in his essay on building, that a house is situated " upon an ill scat" if 
there is in its neighbourhood " Avant of places at some near distance for 
sports of hunting, hawking, and races." The style of shooting suited to 
the taste of the present day has degenerated into the absurd display of 
the annual battue ; and even some of the largest and best of the Eng- 
lish preserves, and many of the most extensive of the shootings in Scot- 
land, are in the sweeping and avaricious hands of the London poulterers. 
Well, then, may we exclaim with Mr. D. Radcliffe — ^" that fox-hunting 
is the very last link of amusement which has bound country gentlemen 
to their homes." 

The average number of sportsmen who are seen at a " favourite fix- 
ture" in one of our crack hunting countries is about a hundred and 
fifty ; and occasionally as many as three hundred men in scarlet may be 
counted, and which I have myself witnessed, in " Squire Osbaldeston's" 
palmy days at Misterton. And Avhen the royal stag-hounds were taken 
into the New Forest in 1836, the number of sportsmen who daily at- 
tended them might be computed at about three thousand, of all ranks 
and denominations. At a "woodland meet" in one of the " provincials," 
the number is usually about thirty or forty ; and although, in the motley 
crowd, numbers of men of rank and fortune may be found to give two 

* Paley's Nat. Theol. p. 253. 


or three hundred guineas for a horse (an extra fifty hoing demanded if 
quaUfied for a steeple-chase or hunters' sweepstakes), yet it would be 
next to an impossibility to discover one single person who could be pre- 
vailed upon to take the management of a pack of foxhounds, or to con- 
tribute more than the price of a cover-hack towards the support of them. 
The present system of living two-thirds of the year in London, or in a 
foreign land, that most insinuating and undermining vice of gaming, 
and the meretricious luxuries of the continent, have far greater charms 
to the young man of fortune than the quiet and peaceful retreat of an 
old family mansion-house in the country. The love of the chase 
vanishes at the approach of the SAvallow ; and no more is thought of the 
hoimd or the horse, until, by the hard rains of autumn, the ground is 
rendered sufiiciently saturated for hard riding— an accomphshment 
which is now considered the only requisite knowledge in hunting for tho 
modern sportsman. These causes — together with the high pitch to 
which political feeling is now carried in England — render it next to an 
impossibility for any one person to have sufficient influence to prevail 
upon his pheasant-feeding neighbours to ajlow the foxes to be preserved. 

In speaking of riding to hounds being the only desideratum amongst 
the fox-hunters of the present day, a " Senior Sportsman" has justly 
observed — " That at a time Avben such numbers of men are mad about 
fox-hunting, I am surprised that so few gentlemen have learnt to enjoy 
it rationally. The fashion of the present day is hard riding ; and at 
night, over the convivial board, their only pleasure seems to be in relating 
the exploits or disasters of their own or their friends' horses. Not a 
Avord about the best or the worst hound in the pack, or any idea ever 
started to ascertain whether by system or by accident they had contrived 
to carry a scent for twenty miles over a country to kill a fox ; and how 
so great an event has been achieved, few modern sportsmen can, with 
any degree of accuracy, relate. 

Many years ago, I recollect a gentleman who kept ten horses in 
Leicestershire, and who had been riding near me very often in a remark- 
ably fine run, in which two of the most beautiful and interesting things 
happened that I ever remember to have seen, and to whom I remarked 
them Avhen the run was over. " Good God, sir," said he, " I sa^v 
nothing of it !" This was a hard rider, who, from his own account, saAV 
nothing, while riding his horse as fast as he could go, and as near tho 
tail of the hounds as he could possibly get. And how should he ? For 
a man behind the hounds cannot be a judge of what is going on in front, 
and is tho first person (by pressing on them) to bring them to a cheek. 
A good sportsman will, as often as possible, ride parallel with the pack, 
not after them, unless by short turns he is obliged to do otherwise ; by 
which means, he can see everything that is going on, and anticipate the 
cause of hoiinds coming to a faxdt. 

In the modern days of econom^^ — sporting as well as political — a 
committee is generally formed to squabble about doing that which one 
man by himself would be ten thousand times more likely to carry into 
sffect. The new mode of doing things by subscription is introduced ; 
the niggardly system of curtailing and ret renchment is resorted to. And, 


as an instance, T rocollocl tlio Wav\vicl<shiro Hunt ffoinmitfec redueinjv 
the pay of tho earth- stopjiors, in 1830, to half what it had previously 
been for years. The result was what might reasonably be expected — ■ 
in about half the covers there was *' no find." Jealousies amongst the 
subscribers generally ensue, the subscriptions fall oif, the foxes are 
destroyed, and the establishment is generally broken up after a few 
seasons ; the master of the pack retiring in disgnst, having only half 
achieved what he so fondly hoped for — the possession of a pack of 
hounds bred under his own eye, and by his own judgment. The conse- 
quence is, that, with such prospects in view, few can be found to take 
so thanldess a labour in hand ; where neither profit nor honour are to 
be gained, who would be prevailed upon to waste either his time or 
money in conducting a scheme which is so likely to lead to disappoint- 
ment and disgust ? Few men of the present day have either spirit or 
inclination to retain their hounds after a few seasons ; and Avhen this 
generation has passed away, in vain will such men as the late Duke of 
Cleveland, Mr. Ralph Lambton, or the late Mr. John Villebois, be 
sought for amongst the sportsmen of future ages. In these haste- 
making days of steam-engine velocity, fox-hunting is deemed a bore and 
too slow amongst the young-'uns, especially if much of the morning is 
taken up in drawing before a fox is found. The excitement of steeple- 
chasing — rendered more piquant by a stake of money being attached to 
it — is substituted ; or the cruel and cocktail practice of turning out 
tame stags to gallop after — an amusement which is mis-called stag- 
hunting is substituted for the legitimate chase. 

To return once again to the subject of committees, Avhich I before 
spoke of, and which are now becoming so general. I have been borne 
out in my opinion by that of many masters of hounds, whom I could 
name, and who all agree that they are more frequently than otherwise 
(excepting as regards the finding, the "sine qua non' ) a sad nuisance 
to the masters themselves ; and from the ignorance and conceit of many 
committee-men — who are too often elected on account of the length of 
their purses, from the vulgar and rich parvenus of the neighbourhood — 
owners of fox-hounds feel an irresistible jealousy at their interference. 
The following ludicrous anecdote, and truly characteristic of the man, is 
related of Mr. Nichol, when that gentleman hunted the New Forest. 
The first day his hounds hunted that country, and before he could pos- 
sibly have become acquainted with one-half of the usual attendants upon 
the New Forest foxhounds, when experiencing a run across the forest, 
after begging and beseeching to no purpose to several hard-riders, who 
were wantonly pressing upon the pack, he let out at them in rather un- 
measured terms, to the utter astonishment of one unfortunate wight, 
who claimed the privilege of exhibiting himself upon the plea of being a 
committee-man, and expi'essed his sm'prise at Mr. N. for using such 
dreadful language to one of his consequence. " The committee be 

d d," said Mr. Nichol ; " You are not Avorth damning singly, so I'll 

d n you all in a lump ! ' ' 

In the earliest accounts of history, the amusement of hunting has been 
recorded as forming one of the chief employments of man ; and even at 


the present Any, there is no country where the chase is not a favourite 
pursuit. Tlie enormous expense which some monarchs have gone to 
for the purftose of enjoying one day's grand pageant in the chase would 
hardly credit hehef ; but the exhibition of those days consisted in merely 
driving together an innncnse herd of deer and other animals, and slaugh- 
tering them in heaps without discrimination. To England alone Ave 
must look for that most manly of all recreations— the chase of the fox. 
Even in the sister gem of the ocean, Avhere Irishmen are proverbial for 
their hard-riding and attachment to the sport, the baneful effects of mis- 
goverument seem to threaten it with annihilation. It is not a long time 
since, the Marquis of Watcrford — acknowledged as one of the wealthiest 
and most liberal noblemen of the land — has been compelled to relinquish 
the country he was hunting, in the county of Tipperary, on account of 
the numerous demoniac attempts, not only to poison his lordship's 
hounds twice, but even to destroy by incendiarism the stables occupied 
by the horses of the hunt. No cause could be attributed for this most 
atrocious act, but that spirit which so unhappily stalks abroad in that 
devoted land, threatening Avith secret death all those Avho may differ 
from the perpetrators either in politics or religion. The following ac- 
count, which appeared in the Limerick paper, and Avas copied into many 
of the daily journals, Avill throAv as much light on the subject as if I Avere 
to attempt to Avrite a dozen pages in condemnation of this most fiendish 
outrage : — 

•' Lord Waterford has expressed his determination never to hunt the 
county of Tipperary again ; but in order that this resolution should not 
impair the future operations of the club, with a truly generous and 
sporting feeling, the noble peer has signified to the committee his in- 
tention of presenting fifty-two couples of hounds and five horses from his 
OAvn stud, besides an annual subscription of .£100 to the hunt. It ap- 
jiears that it AA^as not one or tAvo, but a dozen threatening letters his 
lordship had received about persons in his employment, Avhich Avas suffi- 
cient to disgust him, even if his stabling luxd not been fired. A better 
justification of one of the greatest evils that ever afflicted a country — 
absenteeism — could not he Avell conceived ; and if report spoke true, 
much more had taken place, Avell calculated to disgust the noble marquis, 
and thus deprive the country of the benefits accruing from the constant 
residence of a Avealthy, liberal, and kind-hearted landlord." 

Although in many parts of the continent the nature of the land is most 
favourable to hunting, being in many places an immense expanse of as 
fine champaign country as could be Avished for, still the tastes of the in- 
habitants have hardly ever led them to attempt it ; in fact, the enormous 
penalties and other annoyances attached to riding over that land Avhlch 
is in cultivation, although not even soAvn Avith a crop, Avould entirely de- 
prive the sportsman of foUoAving his amusement Avith the least degree of 
comfort or security. 

The manner in Avhich the fox is destroyed on the continent is by the 
gun, or digging him Avith a small dog resembling our crooked-legged 
terriers, in (ierniany called dacks-hunden (corrupted into taxles), or 
badger dogs ; and aUliougli l)otli in (lint [nut of the continent and in 


France lioiiiuls arc Iccjit, tlicy are employed in luintinp; the wild boar and 
the stag, the coup de f/racc being- in most instances given by the gnn or 
spear. As I have observed, little or no hunting has ever been attempted 
in the real English style, excepting by some sportsmen who a few years 
ago established about 20 coujiles of hounds at St. Omer's, which under 
the management of Mr. Woodbridgc, so well known as a first-rate per- 
former in Essex, had very tolerable sport, and killed a great many foxes; 
but it yvus chiefly cover-hunting, from the reasons I before mentioned. 
A pack was also at one time kept by some Englishmen at or near St. 
Malo ; as also at Pau, where Sir Henry Oxendon had good sport for se- 
veral seasons, frequently running wolves, but never killing these ani- 
mals, which far surpass a fox in wind and endurance. In tlie spring of 
the year 1843, when the Earl of Chesterfield was at Rome, where his 
lordship had been spending the previous winter, he sent for 15 or 16 
couples of draft hounds from England, and by having several sharp runs 
in that neighbourhood, and killing a few brace of foxes in gallant style, 
he quite astonished the Italians ; Avho, fond as they are of music, had 
never before been delighted with such harmonious melody as echoed 
upon that occasion through the hills and vales of that classic ground. 
The number of foxes shot in France is, during some seasons, very great. 
According to the summary published in the Journal des Haras, 
for August, 1837, the numbers returned as killed amounted to 14,791 ; 
besides wolves, old and young, 641 ; boars, 461. When travelhng in 
Germany, in the year 1837, the author saw amongst many other 
curiosities at Kranistine, which is the hunting chateau of the Grand 
Duke of Hesse Darmstadt, in one of the rooms, a very curious picture, 
representing a royal party enjoying the diversion of shooting wild boars 
in a small enclosure ; from which it appeai-s that the animals were en- 
ticed or driven into a small space, surrounded by net-work, and at one 
corner was built a room, through the windows of which the sportsman 
was enabled to show his skill in rifle-shooting, Avithout any inconvenience 
from either the Avounded animals or the inclemency of the weather. 
This mode of diversion is now seldom or never practised ; but Mr. 
Bright, in his travels through Austria, informs us, that so lately as 
1814, a similar exhibition took place in the neighbourhood of Vienna. 
In mentioning the amusements with Avhicli the court were entertained 
in that year, he describes one which was designated by the title of a 
•' Royal Hunt," and says that " the monarchs and royal personages who 
were to be the chief actors in this tragedy, provided with fowling pieces, 
placed themselves in certain stations Avithin a large arena, Avhich had 
been prepared for the purpose, scA^eral miles from the city, and Avas sur- 
rounded by accommodations for a large assemblage of nobility. Each 
of the sportsmen was attended by four pages, to assist in reloading, 
Avhile yeomen armed Avith spears stood behind to protect them from any 
danger Avhich might threaten. All being thus artfully arranged, a num- 
ber of Avild boars, deer, hares, and other animals of chase, Avhich had 
been before fjrovided, Averc let loose in succession, and the privileged 
sportsmen continued to fire, until the Avhole Avere destroyed, or the de- 
stroyers Avere Aveary of their labour. It uiay excite some surprise, but 


T was assurer! by ono of tlio spcftatovs that, t-lioii^-li all the monarehs 
were tolerable niarksiiicn, none shot so Avell as the Empress of Austria, 
who always selected the hares as the smallest objects, and never failed 
to kill with a single ball. The ladies, it was said, entered Avith spirit 
into this amusement, and seemed delighted at the sufferings of a poor 
fox which, aftei- being fired at till all his legs were broken, still gasped 
for breath." 

In speaking of hunting on the continent, I cannot prevail upon my- 
self to dismiss the subject without giving some account of one of the 
most extraordinary characters as a sportsman, or rather sportswoman, 
that ever existed, either in this country or in any other. The person to 
whom I allude was the Baroness de Dracek, or Brack, as it is pro- 
nounced ; she resided in an old-fashioned chateau, surrounded with 
woods, on the Belgian frontier of France, and about sixteen miles from 
the town of Calais. In the year 1839, I visited the place from curiosity ; 
and although nothing but the history remained of this most eccentric 
character, save and except a few relics relative to the chase and other 
emblems of her darling occupation, a short sketch of what I saw, will, 
I hope, not be found unentertaining to the generality of my readers. 
On approaching the grand entrance, nothing particularly struck the eye 
excepting a kind of pent-house, Avhich had been built up purposely to 
protect from the weather a large collection of the heads of wolves 
killed in the chase by this modern Camilla. Upon entering the house, 
we passed through the rooms on the ground-floor, where still hung 
many of the family pictures ; amongst them were several representing 
the Baroness in her usual hunting costume, and in the act of perform- 
ing some of her most renowned exploits in the chase. The most remark- 
able was where she was described upon her favourite gray horse, pre- 
pared to start on a hunting expedition ; her style of dress, which it must 
be allowed was unique, was the following : — A green coat, with a gold 
belt round the waist ; hat with a high crown, having a small gold band 
round it ; her hair powdered, and appearing behind in rather large 
curls ; leather breeches, and boots ; and seated in her saddle, of course, 
a la chasseur. In addition to all this she had the coiiteau de rhasse by 
her side, and the figure of the wolf on the buttons of her clothes, deno- 
ting the chef d'amvre of her pursuits. Her best hunting dress, richly 
ornamented, cost 1,200 francs ; but Avith the exception of one button 
not a remnant Avas to be found. Behind lier saddle Avas placed a blouse, 
to be resorted to in case of rain. In the dining-room 1 Avas shoAvn the 
spot where this extraordinary person, stricken with apoplexy, fell in 
her seventy-fifth year, dying on the folloAving da3^ Her grave Avhere 
her remains rest is situated at no great distance from the house, in the 
church-yard, between tAvo elm trees, Avhere, on a Avooden cross, is the 
foUoAving inscription : — " Ici repose le corps de noble Bame Marie Cecile 
Charlotte de jjauretau, Baronne do Bracek. Bccidt'e le ID Jan., age 
75." There is a rude sketch of the family arms, AA^hich are Avolves Avith 
the heads of cocks. Amongst the ])ictures in the house is one, I forgot 
to mention, representing our heroine in the act of fishing, in Avhich she 
was a great adept. Tlie kitchen Avas an ample apartment, and bore 


evident tracc« of tlio good chocv whioli, onoo existed in this liospltablo 
chateau. She always lind a diniiov party after eacli day's hniitinft-, 
Avliich was three days a-Avoek. In the kitchen Avas tlie head of an im- 
mense sta,n', shot hy Madame lierself : ho Avas nine years okl Avhen she 
killed him. A picture also represents the foUoAving remarkable fact, 
which I had almost forgotten to mention. As the hounds of this lady 
were pursuing a ferocious hoar, a Avoodman chanced to be in his path, 
and apprehensiA'e tliat he might attack him, Avas about to aim a blow 
at the animal as he passed. Whether from agitation at the moment, or 
Avishing the bloAV to be effectual, it is not in my poAver to determine ; but 
Avith such force Avas the Aveapon raised, previous to its being struck, that 
it entered the man's head, and killed him on the spot. Madame is re- 
presented riding up to him, and offering him assistance. In her bed- 
room up stairs Avas a row of saddle-rests, seven in number, on which 
her own saddles Avere kept. Also six rests for her guns, over the fire- 
j^lace, in the use of Avhich she Avas most expert ; in fact, almost the last 
act of her life Avas to kill an owl Avith her rifle on the top of a dove-cote. 
All her dinner-knives Avere mounted Avith stag's -horn, killed by herself ; 
and even the Avhistle, Avith Avhich she used to call her pointers, Avas made 
from the tusk of a Avild boar of her OAvn killing, and Avhich still remained 
amongst her trophies. Her stud of hunters consisted of eight. She 
hunted all the year round, as Avhen the stag and boar Avere out of season 
she had a pack of beagles to hunt the badger, and on other days amused 
herself by earthing the fox. She Avas fond of cock-fighting, and this 
amusement was carried on in one of the out-houses, where chairs Avere 
placed round, and all the neighbours Avho Avould come Avere made wel- 
come. The foUoAving anecdote is told of lier as very characteristic, and 
at the same time hard to be excelled. On her return from one of her 
excursions — as she Avent from home to hunt AA^hen game ran short — she 
passed through St. Omers with nine Avolves' heads exposed to public 
vicAV ; blowing the horn herself, and thus attracting notice. So rich 
Avas her hunting-dress upon this occasion, that the soldiers at the gates 
presented arms as she passed, mistaking her for a general officer. She 
Avas known to have killed upwards of six hundred and seventy Avolves in 
her time, besides hundreds of deer and other game. It is singular that 
almost the last Avolf she killed Avas hunted by her hounds into a village 
Avhere there Avas a Avake, or ducasse, and Avhere she shot him in the 
midst of the festivities. 

To return to my subject. It Avas at the end of the seventeenth cen- 
tury that fox-hunting first became an amusement in England ; before 
that time the sport chiefly consisted in driving him to earth, and dio-- 
ging him out, or trapping him. Hunting the hare and stag are of much 
earlier date. We read in the account of King James's journey from 
Edinlnn-gh to London, in the year 160.3, that "he left NoAvark on 
Friday, the twenty-third of April, and advanced toAvards Belvoir Castle, 
the splendid seat of the Earl of Rutland, hunting all the Avay ; next 
morning after breakfast he set forward to Burleigh, dining by the Avay 
at the seat of Sir J. Harrington. His Majestic on the way was attended 
by many lords and knights, and before his coming there were prepared 


train-scents ; and live hares in baskets being carrietl to the heath, made 
excellent sport for his Majestic, all the way betwixt Sir John Harring- 
ton's and Stamford ; Sir J.'s hounds with good mouths following the 
game, the king taking great leisure and pleasure in the same."* The 
noble family of Manners, and the fiir-famed Vale of Belvoir, seem still 
to support their well-earned celebrity for hunting. If the royal sports- 
man took so "great leisure and pleasure" in the train-scents and box- 
hares, what would be the extent of his delight in Avitnessing some of the 
severe bursts of modern days, with the magnificent pack of the present 
noble possessor of Belvoir Castle, t from Melton Spiny, or Clawston 
Thorns ? What sort of a figure he Avould cut is quite another thing ;| 
at any rate, I fear he Avould not be gratified with quite so much music 
as he was entertained with by the old-fashioned Towlers of Sir J. Har- 
rington. 1| 

Since the commencement of hunting the fox in the open, so many differ- 
ent descx'iptions of hounds have been bred for the purpose, that to de- 

* Nichol's Progress. 

t Royalty has been again attracted to, and delighted by, the hounds of Belvoir ; 
not by the cold arrangement of scent, and the hand-canter, which marked James's 
antique style of sport, but by the honest finding of a fox, " in Salt-Spring Wood" 
— the fast thing through Knipton Plantation, and the kill at Blackberry Hill ! Long 
may this splendid pack maintain its high character ! " Belvoir Castle, Jan. 5, 1842. 
— The hounds met at the stables this morning, which are directly underneath the 
lofty towers of the castle — there was an immense field. The general appointments 
of this far-famed pack excited the admiration of all strangers, and of none more than 
the Duke of Cambridge, who entered into familiar conversation with a number of 
veteran fox -hunters, and expressed his admiration at the condition and beauty of the 
horses, and the remarkably adapted character of Leicestershire as a sporting country. 
His royal highness rode a powerful hunter of the Duke of Rutland's, and kept a 
good place throughout the day. The first fox found in Salt Spring Wood, threaded 
Knipton Plantation, skirted the Spiny, and was killed at Blackberry Hill. The Duke 
of Cambridge received the brush on this his first initiation to Leicestershire fox-hunt- 
ing. The second fox found at Musson Gorse went away in gallant style to Wools- 
thorpe, returned in the direction of Redmile ; but falling into a lock of the canal, 
he was taken out by the whipper-in, muzzled, and conveyed to the royal carriages 
for the inspection of the ladies. This concluded the day's sport, which gave infinite 
pleasure to all engaged therein." 

% The reader will perceive, by the following true picture of this sporting monarch 
by Sir Walter Scott, the ludicrous style in which he was wont to pursue this his 
favourite diversion: — "A single horseman followed the chase upon a steed so 
thorouglily subjected to the rein, that it obeyed the touch of the bridle, as if it had 
been a mechanical impulse operating upon the nicest piece of machinery ; so that, 
seated in his demi-pique saddle, and so trussed up there as to make falling almost 
impossible, the rider, without either fear or hesitation, might increase or diminish 
the speed at which he rode; which, even on the most animating occasions of the 
chase seldom exceeded three-fourths of a gallop, the horse keeping his haunches 
under him, and never stretching forward beyond the managed pace of the academy. 
The security with which he chose to prosecute even this favourite, and in the ordi- 
nary case, somewhat dangerous amusement, as well as the rest of his equipage, 
marked King James." — T/ie Fortunes of Nigel. 

II King James's love of hunting gave a colouring to the contents of most of liis 
letters. In one to his queen, he calls her " his dears littel Bear/le ." and in another 
to his son, in speaking of such exercises as became a prince, he says — " I can not 
omitt heere t/ie fnintlng, namelie, with running houndes, which is the most honour- 
able and noblest sorte thereof." 

Norm A TENATlCA. 13' 

scribe all the sorts, aiul to give a statistical account of the divers " strains 
of blood" which havo been celebrated in their time, -would be far too 
tedious for my readers, and quite foreign to my present purpose ; the 
follo^ying short account of the pedigrees of some of the principal packs 
of the present day will suffice. The original stocks, from whence the 
most fashionable sorts arc descended, are from the packs of the Earl of 
Yarborough (the family of Pelham having possessed hounds of the same 
breed for nearly two centuries) ; from that of the Earl of Fitzwilliam, 
which may soon be entitled to celebrate their second jubilee ; the Duke 
of Rutland's, wliich were bred from the packs purchased of Mr. Heron 
and Mr. Calcraft, many years since ; Mr. Osbaldeston's (purchased by 
Mr. Harvey Combe for two thousand guineas, and afterwards sold to 
Lord Soutlaampton for the same sum), descended from the celebrated 
pack of Lord Monson, and Lord Vernon's crossed with the Duke of Rut- 
land's, and also from Lord Yarborough's ; Lord Middleton's, wMch 
were directly descended from Lord Vernon's, Lord Middleton having 
purchased that celebrated pack ; he afterwards sold them to Sir 
Tatton Sykes ; Mr. Warde's ; and the Dulie of Beaufort's, which have 
been in the family for a very considerable period, and are perhaps the 
steadiest and best pack of hounds of their day ; Lord Lonsdale's de- 
scended from Mr. Noel's, the commencement of which pack, Col. Low- 
ther informed the author,' went back about 150 years, when they Avere 
sold by Mr. Noel to Sir W. Lowther for 1,000 guineas. This celebrated 
pack was sold at the hammer in lots in 1842. The sort known as the 
old Pytchley blood, so justly celebrated when the property of the late 
Earl Spencer, at that time Lord Althorp, were descended in a great 
measure from the old Beaufort Justice, relationship to which renowned 
dog many of the best hounds of the present day can proudly boast. 
When Lord Althorp first took the Pytchley country he purchased Mr. 
Warde's hounds for 1,000 guineas, in the year 1808, which country 
Mr. Warde had been hunting for several seasons. The Pytchley coun- 
try, so much celebrated in modern days, seems to have been equally 
adapted to the " crafte of venerie" in ancient times, for "in the forty- 
third year of Edward the Third, Thomas Engain held lands in Pytchley, 
in the county of Northampton, by service of finding, at his OAvn cost, 
certain dogs for the destruction of wolves, foxes, &c., in the counties of 
Northampton, Oxford, Essex, and Buckingham."* 

There is a pack in Hampshire, rather low in stature, but possessing 
great power, called the Vine Hounds ; they have now been under the 
management of Mr. Fellowes, a relation of Lord Portsmouth, for many 
years ; they were originally bred from drafts of the old Egremont blood, 
by the late Mr. Chute, of the Vinej (the hunt taking its nomenclaturo 
from that place) ; they have been much crossed by stud hounds from the 
Duke of Beaufort's and Mr. Assheton Smith's kennels ; still there is a 
great deal of the original character of the old fox-hound of days gone 
by, which is visilile in no otlier established pack — an inclination to be 

* From Blunt's ancient tenures. 

t Over Mr. Chute's kennel door were these words — " MuUum in parvo." 


rough, and, as it is tormecl, sour about tlieir muzzles and chaps. I saw 
them in the season of 1834, hoth in the kennel and in the field, and was 
much struck with their appearance and the excellence of their work ; 
they were most remarkably steady from all descriptions of riot, quick 
and yet patient, very determined, and altogether particularly calculated 
for the sort of country they hunted — a cold, flinty, and cheerless tract, 
Avith immense woodlands. If young breeders of hounds, Avho reside in 
what are denominated the " slow " or " provincial " countries, would 
encourage that style of animal, instead of going to the most fashionable 
kennels, merely because they wish to have a pack resembling in apjiear- 
ancc those which hunt in the grass countries of Leicestershire or Rut- 
landshire, they would have a much greater chance of possessing good 
as Avell as handsome hounds. Wheu I say that the Vine hounds look 
rough in their faces, I beg to be understood that I am not describing 
that roiagh, vulgar-looking animal, so constantly seen in every village in 
Wales ; for although the hard and ferocious character of the foxhound 
is stamped on them, a better shaped, more powerful and truly sporting 
jiack does not exist in the world.* They are remarkably clear in their 
throats, and strikingly level. Hounds bred in a high scenting country, 
accustomed to be ridden over and pressed upon every day they go out, 
become much wilder than those which are left more to themselves ; and 
this practice being continued from one generation to another, engenders 
in them a second nature. When in the study of animals we consider 
nothing but their organic structure, we often fail to ascertain a sufficient 
cause for their pecuhar modes of action, and for the way in which they 
perform the various parts assigned to them in life. The organisation 
of all dogs is very nearly the same, yet their destination is far from 
similar ; the lot of one is cast in the thickest woodlands, while the life 
of the other is spent in an open country, the powers of speed being- 
much oftener put to the test than the more refined oi-gans of the nose. 
A difi^erence in the powers and the dispositions of animals must arise 
from the force of education, as well as from the force of rejiroduction. 
It is an old and trite saying, but nevertheless true, that " like begets 
like," and-in no instance is it more applicable than in the breeding of 
hounds : if the vices of even colours fail to show themselves in the first, 
they are frequently perceptible in three, or even four generations after ; 
still by degrees their natures become changed, and after a certain num- 
ber of years, mider the management of a judicious breeder, the pack 
which was characterized by its impetuosity, Avildness, and skirting, be- 
comes no less celebi'atcd for its capabilities in hunting and its steadiness 
in work. We might go one step further, and even say that the organic 
structure of animals might be changed. In the natural history of the 
dog it has been stated that all that tribe descended from the shepherd's 
dog ; and that, from various causes after their removal to other coun- 
tries, they became, some greyhounds, some mastifis, some spaniels, 
&c. ; many of the foxhounds of the present day resemble greyliounds 

* Mr. Muster's last i)uck were chiefly desceiuleil from tlie Vine ; e. g. Voucher, 
Broker, Lionel, ike. 


niucli more than wliat they are called, not only in their speed and 
actions, but also in their appearance ; and I see no reason Avhy, with 
the increase of their speed and their similarity of shape to that animal, 
they should not also become, like him, deficient in the powers of smell- 
ing. Baron Cuvier, in his " Regne Animal," gives the following rea- 
son for the greyhound being less gifted with the powers of smelling - 
than other dogs with larger and broader heads. In speaking of their 
long noses and flat foreheads, he says, " The flatness of the forehead 
is produced by the obliteration of the frontal sinuses from those cavities 
which are formed at the base of the nose, which being immediately con- 
nected with the nasal cavities, and covered with the same membranes 
as they are, increase the sense of smelling ; this is generally accom- 
panied with an extraordinary slenderness and length of the legs, as well 
as a great contraction of the abdomen — phenomena Avliich, although not 
explained, are without exception." Although a small head may be con- 
sidered by some as a mark of beauty in a foxhound, large-headed 
hounds are in nowise inferior ; and as a proof of this I must be allowed 
to relate an anecdote upon the subject. A draft hound, named Glider, 
many years since, Avent from Lord Fitzwilliam's to Lord Foley's kennel, 
upon which occasion Will Deane, his lordship's huntsman, remarked 
that he could not guess at his lordship's dislike to Glider, which was 
the best blood in the country, being by Mr. Meynel's Glider, out of 
Lord FitzwiUiam's Blossom, unless it was the size of his head ; but he 
begged leave to say that, although it was a trifle out of proportion, 
there was a wonderful deal of mischief to the foxes contained in it. 
And so it turned out : Glider proved himself an excellent worker, and 
afterwards became a favourite stud-hound in the kennel of his now 

As I have before observed, it was at the commencement of the career 
of the "great Meyuel" that the "dawn of science" began to cast its 
rays upon that system, out of which has groAvn the modern style of 
fox-hunting ; he was, as an old sportsman and excellent judge of hunt- 
ing* (now no more) has justly remarked, " without doubt, the most 
successful master of hounds of bis time, producing the steadiest, wisest, 
best, and handsomest pack of foxhounds in the kiiagdom. His object 
in breeding hounds was to combine strength with beauty, and steadiness 
with high mettle. His idea of perfection of shape was short backs, 
open bosoms, straight legs, compact feet, as the greatest and first con- 
sideration in form ; the first qualities he considered were fine noses and 
stout runners. In the spring of the year he broke in his hounds at 
hare, to find out their proi)ensities, which, when at all flagrant, they 
early discovered, and he drafted them accorcUng to their defects ; after 
hare-hunting they were, during the remaining part of sumuier, walked 
daily amongst riot. When the hunting season commenced, his hounds 
were hunted in the woodlands, amidst abundance of foxes, for two 
months. In the month of November the pack were carefully divided 
into the old and young pack ; the old pack consisted of three-year-olds 

* The late J. Hawkes, Esq. 


and iii)>vaids, tuid no two-year-olds were admitted, except a very high 
opinion was entertained of their virtues and abihties. The young hounds 
were hunted twice a week as much in woodlands as possible, and in the 
most unpopular covers ; the young pack had always a few couples of 
steady old hounds with them. The old pack hunted the best country : 
when any bad faidts were discovered, they were immediately drafted for 
fear of contamination. Skirting, over-running the scent, and babbling, 
were considered the greatest faults ; perfections consisted of true 
guiders in hard running, and close patient hunters in a cold scent, to- 
gether with stoutness. Mr. Meynel's hounds were criticised by himself 
and his friends in the most minute manner ; every hound had his pecu- 
liar talents, and was sure to have a fair opportunity of displaying them ; 
some had the remarkable faculty of finding a fox, which they would do 
almost invariably, notwithstanding twenty or thirty couple were out in 
the same cover ; some had the propensity to hunt the doubles and short 
turns ; some Avere inclined to be hard runners ; some had the remarkable 
faculty of hunting the drag of a fox, which they would do very late in 
the day : and sometimes the hardest runners were also the best hunters, 
and fortunate was the year Avhen such excellences prevailed. Mr. Mey- 
nel prided himself on the steadiness and the docility of his hounds, and 
their hunting through sheep and hares, which he did in a very surprising 
manner. lie seldom or never attempted to lift his hounds through 
sheep, and from habit and the great flocks the hounds were accustomed 
to, they carried the scent on most correctly and expeditiously, much 
sooner than any lifting could accomplish. Mr. Meynel was not fond of 
casting hounds ; when once they were laid upon the line of scent he 
left it to them ; he only encouraged them to take pains, and kept aloof, 
so that the steam of the horses could not interfere with the scent. 

When a fox was found in a gorse cover, very little noise or encourage- 
ment Avas made : and when he went away, as soon as the hounds were 
apprised of it, they did not go headlong after, but commenced very 
quietly, settled and collected together graduall}^ mending their pace 
and accumulating their force as they Avent along, completing Avhat was 
emphatically termed a terrible burst. When his hounds came to a 
check, every encouragement Avas given them to recover the scent, Avith- 
out the huntsman getting amongst them or Avhippers-in driving them 
about, A\diich is the common practice of most packs. The hounds Avere 
halloed back to the place Avhere they brought the scent, and encouraged 
to try round in their OAvn Avay, Avhich they generally did successfully, 
avoiding the time lost in the mistalu^n practice of casting the hounds at 
the heels of the huntsman. When the hounds Avere cast, it was in tAvo 
or three lots, by Mr, Meynel, his huntsman, and Avhipper-in, and not 
driven together In a body like a flock of slieej). They Avere alloAVod to 
spread and use tlieir own sagacity at a very gentle pace, and not hurried 
about in a blustering mannei', but juticMitly. It Avas Mr. Meynel's 
opinion that a great noise and scolding of hounds made them Avild ; 
correcting them in a quiet Avay Avas the most judicious method ; Avhip- 
}»ei's-in should turn hounds quietly, and not call after them in a noisy, 
disagreeable mannci-. When hounds arc going to the cry, they should 


be ciu'uuraged in a pleasant way, and not driven and rated as if discord 
was a necessary ingredient in the sport and music of a fine cry of 
hounds. Wliippers-in are too apt to tliink their own importance and 
consequence consists in shouting, hallooing, and unnecessary activity ; 
Avhen hounds can hear the cry they get together sooner than any whip- 
per-in can drive them. If any hound should he conceited and disinclined 
to go to the cry, he should be immediately drafted. Shoidd there be 
only one fox in cover, and two or three hounds get away with him Avhile 
the body of the pack are hunting the line behind, some judicious sports- 
man should ride to them, and view-halloo for the rest of the pack to 
join them ; it is the most certain way to insure the run, and the hounds 
Avill very speedily get together, if properly treated. If there are many 
foxes in cover, and one should go away, and the hounds are running in 
various parts, you may, if a favourable opportunity presents itself, try 
to halloo the pack away ; but do not attempt it without such favourable 
circumstances, as a good rummaging in cover will do the hounds ser- 
vice. When a fox dwells in cover, and will not go away, the best plan 
is to leave him and not kill him — another day he Avill perhaps afford a 
good run. Blood was a thing Mr. Meynel was more incHfferent about 
than most owners of hounds. The wildest packs of hounds were known 
to kill the most foxes in cover, but vei-y seldom showed good runs over 
an open country. Hounds chopping foxes in cover is more a vice than a 
proof of their being' good cover hounds. Murdering foxes is a most ab- 
surd prodigality. Seasoned foxes are as necessary to sport as experi- 
enced hounds. To obtain a good run your hounds should not only have 
good abilities, but they should be experienced and well acquainted with 
each other ; to guide a scent well over a country for a length of time, 
and through all the difficulties usually encountered, requires the best 
and most experienced abilities ; a faulty hound or injudicious rider, by 
one injudicious step, may defeat the most promising run. Gentlemen, 
and every person who makes hunting his pursuit, should learn to ride 
judiciously to hounds ; it is a contemplative amusement, and much good 
diversion might be promoted by a few regular precautions. The prin- 
cipal thing to attend to, is not to ride too near the hounds, and always 
as much as possible to anticipate a check ; by which means the leading 
men will pull their horses up in time, and afford the hounds a fair op- 
portunity to keep the line of scent unbroken. Sheep, cattle, teams at 
plough, and arable land are all causes of checks ; thoughtless sports- 
men are apt to press too much on hounds, particularly down a road. 
Every one should consider that every check operates against the 
hounds, and that scent is of a fleeting nature, soon lost, never again 
to be recovered. Mr. Meynel's hounds had more good runs than any 
other pack of his day. Two very extraordinary ones hajipened of a 
very rare description : one was a run of one hour and twenty minutes, 
without a check, and they killed their fox ; the other was two hours 
and fifty minutes, Avithout a cast, and killed. The hounds in the first run 
kept well together, and only two horses performed it ; the rest of the field 
Avere unequal to its fleetness. The other run alluded to was performed 
by the whole of the pack, and, though all were up at the death, two or 



three slackened in their pace just at the last ; one horse only went the 
whole of It. Mr. Meynel's natural taste led him to admire large hounds, 
but his experience convinced him that small ones were generally the 
stoutest, soundest, and in every respect the most executive. Various 
are the attentions necessary to manage a pack of hounds, and quite 
sufficient to engage the occupation of an active man's mind. 

Should the master of the hounds have other important concerns to 
call his attention off, sensible and confidential agents and servants 
should be chosen in every department. Fox-hunting is a manly and 
fine exercise, aftording health to the body, and matter and food for a 
contemplative mind ; in no situation are the facidties of man more dis- 
played ; fortitude, good sense, and collectiveness of mind have a wide 
field for exercise, and a sensible sportsman would be a i-espectable cha- 
racter in any situation of life. The field is a most agreeable coffee-house, 
and there is more real society to be met with there than in any other 
situation in life ; it links all classes together, from the peer to the 
peasant ; it is the Englishman's pecidiar privilege ; it is not to be 
found in any other part of the globe but in England's true land of hberty, 
and may it flourish to tlie end of time ! 

So much for " the Meynellian science," or fox-hunting upon system ; 
and although, without doubt, hounds, and horses too, go a bit faster 
than they did in those days, still the system is good in the main. There 
are some features in it proved to have been founded on error, all of which 
I shall speak of in their proper places, others hold good to the present 
day ; however, I shall give them all a tui-n in the course of my progress 
through the work. 

If a person wishes to become possessed of a pack of hounds, no doubt, 
as has been advised by Mr. Beckford, Colonel Cooke, ami other writers 
on the subject, the most approved plan is to purchase one which has 
been some years established ; by these means he Avill be able to com- 
mand a greater share of success from the commencement of his career, 
than by going through the whole routine and drudgery of making a 
pack from drafts, of the anxiety and trouble of which undertaking no one 
can have an idea, unless he may himself have been a labourer in that 
vineyard. To those upon whom the fickle goddess has less liberally 
showered her benefits, the more laborious path must be pursued ; which, 
nevertheless, in the end is far more satisfactory to a real and zealous 
sportsman. I have heard it remarked by several most excellent judges 
of hunting, and amongst them by the late Mr. J. Villebois, and also by 
Mr. Osbaldeston, who was certainly a most successful breeder of hounds 
in his day, that no man could breed a pack of hounds from drafts under 
eight years ; and if he even succeeded to form a good one in so short a 
time, he woidd be considered a most fortunate person. In speaking of 
draft hounds, the reader must understand that there are two sorts, the 
one comprised of those which are drafted annually from estabhshed ken- 
nels, consisting, generally speaking, of those which arc nearly worn out,* 

* In some countries hounds are worn out much sooner than in others ; in Hamp- 
shire, Berkshire, and part of Wiltshire, owing to the immense beds of flints which 


such as begin to show vice in their work, and such of the puppies as are 
too large or too small, or, in fact, are what may be considered inferior 
to the lot which are " put forward" by the owner of the pack. The other 
description are such hounds as may be purchased from gentlemen who 
are either reducing their hunting establishments, or who are forming 
one pack from two or three, of which they may have lately become pos- 
sessed. The first arc almost invariably the perquisite of the huntsman 
or first man in the kennel, the usual price being three guineas per 
couple ; the proceeds arising from the sale of the second description 
more frequently find their way into the master's pocket ; the price, of 
course, is higher, varying from five to fifteen and twenty guineas per 
couple ; drafts from Mr. Osbaldeston's celebrated pack, in 1830, fetched 
twenty-five guineas per couple — that is, the twenty-five worst couples 
out of seventy-five couples brought at his sale at Brixworth £625, a sum 
quite unprecedented for such hounds. But the most remarkable sale of 
hounds ever known took place at Hyde Park Corner, in 1842. The 
lots sold were thirteen in number, making 127 hounds, exclusive of 
whelps ; their produce was 6,511 guineas, or upwards of £100 per 
couple. The pack that reahzed this enormous sum was Mr. Osbaldes- 
ton's old pack, Avhich had been sold conditionally some years previous to 
Mr. Harvey Combe : and upon Mr. Combe's relinquishing the old 
Berkeley country, where these hounds had been hunting, they went to 
TattersaU's, to be sold by auction. Report says it was a fictitious sale ; 
whether it was or not, it gave employment to the "gentlemen of the 
long robe," there being some previous agreement between Mr. Osbal- 
dcston and Mr. Combe relative to the price the hounds might ever fetch, 
if sold at the time when Mr. Combe chose to part with them. The late 
Mr. Ralph Lambton's hounds were sold to Lord Suftield, in 1838, for 
the enormous sum of 3,000 guineas ; but that pack which were ever 
supposed to have fetched the highest bond fide price were Mr. Foljambe's, 
whidi were sold by auction by Mr. Tattersall on April 4th, 1845, and 
produced, for the old hounds, 2,926 guineas, and for the unentered 238 
o-uineas ; total, 3,164 guineas. 

It is generally presumed that the more money a man gives the better 
article he has a right to expect for his money ; and the attempt to form 
a pack from the mere refuse of other kennels will be found to be not 
only a most tedious imdertaking, but in the end by far the most expen- 
sive, as so many must be purchased before a sufficient number can be 
collected to work together in anything like a hunting style, that the 
task would be endless. The usual draft of old hounds from the best of 
kennels are generally nearly worn out ; and although they may be ex- 
tremely usefid to enter the young ones with, their services can only be 
looked for during one season. Occasionally, liouuds of the first, second, 
and third season, are amongst the draft ; these, I fear, may be consi- 
dered invariably to be drafted either for vice, lameness, or weakness of 
constitution ; sometimes those put away for lameness in the stifle-joint 

the pack are continually traversing, their feet are not unfrequently quite spoilt and 
worn out after three or four seasons' work. 

c 2 


01- knees may become sound after a summer's rest, and turn out a valu- 
able acquisition, and an invalid may recover after being removed to 
another and more healthy kennel. If the second description of drafts 
be collected, the chances are that the purchaser has very nearly as good 
a pack by the second or third season (though, perhaps, not quite so 
handsome and level to the eye) as the person's from whom they are ob- 

New masters of hounds are very frequently young men, whose know- 
ledge in the secrets and mysteries of the kennel is in the perspective ; 
their great ambition seems to be to be able to boast of beauty alone, 
without considering the more important quahties. A well-matched and 
level pack are certainly a most agreeable and beautiful object, and truly 
worthy of admiration ; but if in chase they tail and are imable to run 
together, they are, in my opinion, very inferior in both appearance and 
value to those which carry a good head, without skirting or tailing, even 
if they are not quite so equal in size. I have seen numbers of hounds 
of all ages, in whose shape and make the most scrutinising and fasti- 
dious judge might in vain seek for a faiUt, and which were the very 
heau ideal of speed and stoutness ; yet totally unable to " go the pace," 
or even to last out on a severe hunting day without tiring : nevertheless, 
there is, no doubt, a good reason for it, which is beyond the knowledge 
of man to discover. That pack of hounds has always been considered 
the best by good judges which carries the best head, and can guide a 
scent over a country for a great distance in the shortest time, making 
their own turns without flashing aud deviating from the hue. Now what 
is it which enables such hounds to acquit themselves so much to the ad- 
miration of the sportsman ? Why it is nothing else but a superiority 
of nose. There can be no doubt that some hounds are possessed by 
nature of a finer sense of smell than others ; but it is a gift which, if 
not absolutely to be acquired, is able to be cultivated ; and a skilful, 
2)aticnt, and judicious huntsman may improve that faculty in a pack to 
an incredible extent by invariahly — especially in the earlier part of the 
season, when difficulties greater and more frequent are to be met with 
— allowing them to trust solely to their own exertions to get through a 
run, than constantly indulging them with assistance upon the occurrence 
of every difficulty. The chief reasons for which hounds are drafted 
from packs which may be considered to be established, are — besides 
from their size not matching with others — lameness, and having delicate 
constitutions, or being subject to fits ; their being wide or skirters, mute, 
noisy — that is, cither speaking where a fox has never been, or throwing 
their tongues before they are on the line of a fox, when going from any 
point to join the leading hounds, forcing or driving at check without a 
scent from jealousy, being incm-able hare-hunters, and hanging or tying 
on the scent. As soon as a huntsman perceives a culprit to be guilty 
of any of the above vices, he should without hesitation draft him before 
the rest become contaminated by such evil examples. No vicious habit 
is sooner acquired from others than skirting, being noisy, or tying on 
the scent. A mute hound, particularly in woodlands, is more likely 
than not to spoil the day's sport every time when he is taken out, and 


one that tires is a disgrace to Ills possessor. Some take to hanging in 
cover ; the sooner they are hanged out of cover the better it will be for 
their owners. And Avhen hounds through age become conceited, or too 
lazy to join the cry of their comrades, it is high time that such impedi- 
ments to sport should be removed from the pack. 

In speaking of mute hounds, I nmst observe that, some few years 
ago, it was the fashion to breed them with as little tongue as possible, 
pace being the only desideratum ; as it was the opinion of some wild 
masters of hounds that those horsemen who could not ride up to the 
hounds had no occasion to hear them. But experience has convinced 
all breeders of foxhounds that those which have the best noses are gene- 
rally the freest with their tongues ; and that they may be bred to ' ' go 
the pace" without losing their powers of scenting, or freely joining in 
the cry. 

It is not unfrequently the case that young hounds, which distinguish 
themselves very much at the commencement of their career, turn out 
ungovernably vicious in after-life, if they have been worked down through 
the early part of the season, and so kept on at it " working double 
tides" as the only means of keeping them in subjection ; and if they have 
naturally any rogue in their compositions they will be almost certain to 
show it as the spring comes on. On that account, I Avould never take 
out young hounds after the March winds set in that were worth keeping 
on, if they were at all fond of hare, or inclined to be unsteady ; and 
some of the very best blood in the world — I don't care what kennels 
they may be bred at — will show, in spite of every precaution, a few little 
peculiarities with regard to Avildness during their first season, and then 
turn out afterwards the steadiest and most industrious, and best of work- 
ers. Hounds — when they are put to work when totally unfit to go, 
from a bad system of preparation, either when too high to " go the 
pace," or too low to endure through the fatigue of a hard day's work — 
are in many cases very apt to become vicious ; distress drives them to 
it. They try to relieve themselves by breaking from the line, as a race- 
horse bolts from the course, or as a man turns dishonest in his adversity ; 
they find themselves stopped from that experiment by the whipper-in, 
ever on the watch and in his place to " keep 'em together." They then 
become shifty and noisy ; and rather than endure fatigue that they are 
not equal to, they hang in cover and amuse themselves with a chase 
of their own — hares, rabbits, or the contents of the poacher's wires fre- 
quently producing a plentiful repast. 

It cannot be expected that what are termed the old hounds (that is, 
such as have been hunted) can be particularly striking in point of even- 
ness for the first season ; it is quite sufficient if they are tolerably steady, 
and can run together ; new introductions invariably cause jealousies^ 
and those which have been perfect Nestors in their former kennel fre- 
quently become, by the example of vicious companions, the most incor- 
rigible rogues themselves. Whatever hounds are to form a new pack 
should be undoubtedly collected for some weeks previous to the com- 
mencement of cub-hunting ; they should be thoroughly drilled, like the 
young ones, and such as show lameness, or vice amongst shec]) (hare^j 


or deer may be excused at first), should be put back. Hounds which 
have hunted hi wild mountainous countries are all, more or less, given 
to the vice of kiUing their OAvn mutton, from the impossibility of a whip- 
per-in getting at them upon all occasions, and from the frequent and 
tempting opportunities offered them of pulhng down the small black sheep 
when unobserved, which bounce out of the ling like a fox ; which they 
resemble, not only in their wildness, but in the length and shape of their 
tails. Drafts from such kennels as hunt the Mendip hills, the north of 
Yorkshire, or the hills between Wales and Shropshire, shoidd be re- 
garded with a jealous eye. It is not much to be wondered at that 
hounds hunting some of the above-named districts should acquire vice 
and wildness. A friend of mine, who was in the habit of hunting some 
years ago with a pack that had been kept for a length of time, not above 
a hundred miles from Ludlow, informed me that it frequently happened 
that, when the hounds ran to the hills, and the men's horses were, from 
distress, unable to get to them to stop them, when night closed in, the 
pack were left to their own resources to kill the fox or leave him, just as 
they liked ; and it very frequently happened that the majority of the 
hounds did not reach their kennel until the next morning. The most 
remarkable thing Avas, however, that they invariably returned with their 
bellies full, having had, Avithout doubt, a plentiful repast of mountain 

At the commencement of the cub-hunting season, if foxes are very 
plentiful, the old hounds should be taken out two or three times before 
the puppies are entered. But here let me remind my readers that I am 
speaking of a newly-formed pack of hounds. In old-established packs, 
where the body of old hounds can be depended on, the young entry 
should be taken out with them from the first morning. During these 
trials, such as are noisy or wide should he put aAvay decidedly for the 
first oftence. 

Old hounds Avhich cannot run up, if steady and not noisy, may be ex- 
tremely useful, at any rate for the first season : and, after the young 
ones have joined them, no others should be received into the pack, even 
as presents. No one parts with a hound at that season of the year 
which is worth a farthing, and new acquaintances invariably create Avild- 
ness and jealousies ; the constantly rating and flogging those which are 
Avild and vicious, tend considerably to alarm and disturb those Avhich are 
already steady, and from shyness and distrust they become themselves 
reckless and ungovernable. " DimicUuni facti qui bene coepit hahet," 
is a motto Avhich cannot be too forcibly impressed upon the mind of any 
one making his debut as a master of hounds. If you have sufticient 
walks, or quarters, as they are sometimes called, to enable you to breed 
your own, begin from a good stock at first ; there is plenty of choice ; 
and bad blood, once introduced, may blight the fruits of your imder- 
takings for many years to come ; and, above all, remember the Avords of 
the dying huntsman, " Breed 'em wi' plenty of bone.''* A ncAV pack 

* Almost the last words of old Tom Grant, many years huntsman to his Grace the 
Duke of Richmond. 


wUl seldom allow of the breeding establishment being very cxtensiA'^e for 
the first season. It is never worth while to breed from very old bitches; 
the whelps they throw are frequently small and weak ; and those which 
can be really depended upon as being of a good family and sound con- 
stitution will, of course, not be very numerous. If you have some old 
bitches in your kennel of undeniable blood and excellence, which are 
getting rather too slow for winter hunting, as soon as the cub-hunting is 
over they should be well physicked and put away by themselves, taking 
care to let them be well fed on good and nourishing food, and daily ex- 
ercised with a horse, but not loorked. They will thus become invigorated 
in their constitutions, and by coming into use about Christmas will have 
by far a greater chance of tin-owing strong whelps than if left to the or- 
dinary course of things. Never breed from those which are dehcate of 
either sex, and never propagate vice in your kennel by breeding from 
any one which is notoriously wild and vicious, though he be ever so 
stout and handsome. 

There is no doubt that the impression of your own brand on the sides 
of your hounds is a far more agreeable sight than the initial letters of 
another man's name. But before a breeder of hounds makes his debut 
in that capacity, he should well consider, in the first place, what de- 
scription of hounds he intends to possess. He should select a model, 
and adhere to that model ; in fact, he should never put forward one 
young hound Avhich does not come up to the sample, whether for the 
sake of sort, power, or any other reason for favouritism. Nice equality 
in height, where entire dissimilarity of character may prevail, is, in my 
luunble opinion, of far less consequence than getting them not only to 
run together, but to look like a family of brothers and sisters, even if 
they are not quite so level to the eye. The attempt to achieve this 
point will at first be attended with much difficulty, vexation, and disap- 

The great obstacle is, the small quantity of roomy bitches of anything 
like breeding to be found in any kennel, excepting those which have been 
long established. In the next place, it must be considered what sort of 
dog hounds will best suit the various bitches to be used ; the deficiencies 
in one sex must be supphed by the excellence, in points, possessed by 
the other. The best judges only attempt to breed from hounds which 
can be well relied upon, not only for their own individual merits, but as 
being of families imstained by vice or weakness of constitution ; Mobile 
inexperienced persons, wishing to attain the highest steps of the ladder 
at once, breed from almost every bitch that may be in the kennel, and 
fancy that because a union has been efl^ected with a dog of some cele- 
brated blood, all the Avhelps put out to quarters must come in well up to 
their ideas of perfection. But when the first of March arrives, bitter 
disappointment is the consequence ; and a set of spindle-legged, flat- 
sided, egg-suckers,* or chucked-up, calf-kneed, jumbo-headed brutes — ■ 
fit for nothing but to draw an organ about the streets of London — make 
their appearance ; or, even if they are handsome enough to be put for- 

* So called, in kennel language, from their similarity to weasels. 


ward, the vice indigenous to their nature prevents the possibility of their 
being used for the purpose they were intended for. The old custom of 
breeding " in-and-in," or the union of animals which might he nearly 
related, has become amongst experienced persons quite exploded. Ne- 
vertheless, that great authority, Mr. Meynel, only considered the produce 
of brothers and sisters as being bred " in-and-in," and not those pro- 
duced from a union of a parent and offspring ; as the daughter is only 
half of the same blood as the father, and will probably partake in a great 
degree of the properties of the mother. It is generally allowed that 
animals thus produced greatly degenerate, and speedily become deficient 
in true courage and bottom. The first thing that can recommend a 
hound to notice, more especially for the purpose of propagation, is fine- 
ness of nose.* Secondly, stoutness of constitution ; which consists, not 
only in enduring work through a long chase, but keeping in condition, 
and " conimg again," after a severe and protracted day's work. The 
last is elegance in form, and beauty in general, desirable as it may ap- 
pear ; and when you can get an animal in whom are united the three 
above-named qualifications, he may justly be pronounced a perfect hound. 
In selecting hounds for the purpose of breeding from them, the races 
they come of should be regarded quite as much, if not more, than the 
individuals themselves. We see, every day, remarkably handsome 
hounds produce very plain stock, and vice versd. Mr. Osbaldeston's 
Furrier was a hound by no means straight in his fore legs, a deformity 
attributed to his having been tied up at his walk ; but his produce were 
proverbially straight and clever. Mr. Muster's Lionel, a small, mean, 
wiry-looking animal, got puppies which might have been supposed to be 
the ofFspring of a dog twenty-four inches high. Another thing to be 
well remembered is, that vice, in every shape, is much more difficult to 
be eradicated than want of beauty, and, consequently, in a greater de- 
gree to be guarded against. I have been asked, two or three times in 
my life, which was the largest hound I ever saw ? Without entering 
deeply into the detail of symmetry, weight, &c., I have no hesitation in 
saying, a hound called Riddlesworth, bred by Mr. John Russel, when he 
had the Warwickshire. He was so called out of compliment to Lord 
Jersey, who was an intimate friend of Mr. Russel, and by whom, with 
others, he had been walked in the neighbourhood of Middleton, and sent 
home to the kennel the same spring in which his lordship's celebrated 
horse, Riddlesworth, won the stake at Newmarket of that name, and af- 
terwards the Derby. This hound I never saw measured, but he was 
larger than any other hound in the kennel, by several inches, at the 

* Nose, and the qualities of line -hunting are, I fear, in these days of velocity, fast 
going out of fashion ; and faulty as the systems pursued by the great " father of fox- 
hunters" are considered (some of them certainly with much reason) by tlio scientific 
performers of modern days, still the memory of Jolni Warde will be for over revered 
hy »\\ ^^ lovers of fox-hunting," whether of the old or new school; for the well- 
digested opinion he held with regard to " nose " beauty, stoutness, speed, and dash, 
are but of little avail without it ; and so thought Mr. Nichol, of the N.F.II., when 
he wrote — 

" Come, then, and see that nose and pace 
Are the twin sisters of the chase." 


same time remarkably clever. Being too large for the pack, he was sent 
to Mr. Horlock, in exchange for a couple of hitches, where he turned 
out Avell, and has since become a stud hound. The smallest hound I 
can remember to have ever seen, in any established pack of fox-hounds, 
was Little Blue Ransom, in the Pytchley kennel, bred by Mr. Grantley 
Berkeley, and included in the lot bought of that gentleman by Mr. 
Wilkins, when he took the Northamptonshire country. I saw her 
measured at Brixworth, and her height, if my memory does not fail me, 
was seventeen inches and a quarter. She was a perfect curiosity, and 
her extraordinary appearance was rendered more remarkable by having 
her right ear stuck bolt upright, from an injury received by a kick from 
a horse. She was a great favourite both at home and in the field, and 
was one of the most inveterate devils on a fox that ever was cheered. 
What curious names some hounds are distinguished by ! Sir John 
Cope's list, however, beats everything I ever met with in my life, with 
regard to imique nomenclature. The worthy baronet must have drawn 
very deep, before he found some of those beautiful specimens of jaw- 
distorters. I have been told that he never, on any account, admits a 
name into the list that has ever been used before in the kennel. The 
late Lord Middleton was as curious in naming young whippers-in as Sir 
John Cope is in christening his hounds ; and upon one memorable oc- 
casion, when he stood sponsor in person to two sons, tirAns, of old Tom 
Smith, his lordship's first whip, he insisted upon the lads being called 
Romulus and Remus, after a couple of his lordship's favourite hounds. 
After Christmas, such bitches as you may intend to breed from should, 
on their coming on heat, be immediately put to the dog, and on no ac- 
count should they be suffered to go to work again that season ; no. bitch 
should be put-to after the first week in April, nor would I put one to 
later than the middle of Mai'ch — late puppies seldom do much good. 
Before the breeding season commences, care should be taken to have 
every convenience in readiness for the comfort of the bitches. Under 
the south-side (if possible) of one of the paddocks should be placed, at 
certain distances, numerous roomy dog-cubs, with small separate en- 
closures attached to each, made with hurdles, resembling sheets of 
paling in miniature ; the bars being nailed on perpendicularly, renders 
it more difficult for the puppies to climb over, than when they are 
placed horizontally. Hither should be brought each dam, a few days 
after she has produced, and her whelps have acquired a little strength. 
When the bitches become heavy, they should be shut up at night sepa- 
rately, in dry, warm places, made for the purpose, where they can be 
kept very quiet ; here they may be allowed to whelp, and on no account 
should their puppies be looked at or handled until some hours after they 
have come into the world : It is a bad plan to allow them much straw, 
as when the htter is too abundant, particularly when long, it is apt to 
get twisted round the necks of the puppies, and strangle them. Wher 
wet nurses are used, they should be of the same period, as the milk of 
bitches cannot be made to endure like that of cows and some other ani- 
mals. Three are quite sufficient for a mother to suckle that is a mode- 
rate nurse ; but a good stout bitch, with abundance of milk, will 


occasionally bring up as naany as seven. Mr. Asslieton Smith had a 
hound, some years ago, named Governess, Avhich was as famous for 
rearing puppies as she was excellent in the field, and during the spring 
and summer of 1831, produced and reared two litters, amounting to 
fourteen, which did well — ^and went to quarters, the first litter were by 
that famous hound Watchman, the second by Mr. A. Smith's Barrister 
— a circumstance worthy to he recorded in the annals of breeding 
hounds. The usual practice of turning out the bitches which are iu 
whelp for about three Aveelcs to run at large, is certainly an excellent 
system ; but, nevertheless, there are circumstances connected with it 
that are a great di'awback, unless properly guarded against ; one in 
particular, of their gorging themselves with flesh where they can get at 
it, which produces surfeit, after having lived on the mixed kennel food ; 
therefore the flesh-gibbet should be enclosed in a small boarded yard 
made on purpose. It is an excellent system which is pursued in some 
establishments, to keep one or two cows for the exclusive use of the 
puppies ; moreover the huntsman is generally allowed the keep of one 
for his own family. At Brocklesby (the Earl of Yarborough's), where 
everything connected with the kennel department is conducted on a scale 
of the greatest liberality, the huntsman is permitted to keep two cows, 
and the whippers-in and boiler have the run of one each in the park. I 
shall not enter into the detail of managing and rearing the young puppies, 
it is so well known to every kennel man, who may have had even a mo- 
derate share of experience ; and I shall only add upon this subject that 
the cleaner they are kept, and the better they are fed, the more likely 
they are to arrive at maturity. If the distemper breaks out, those which 
are aflected should be immediately removed to a distance from the rest 
which may be healthy, or the most fatal consequences will ensue. Some- 
times young puppies, Avithout any apparent cause, become knotty in 
their skins, and whilst their bellies are much distended, the flesh upon 
their bones visibly wastes away ; it almost invariably proceeds from the 
place where they lie being more or less damp, and nothing will be found 
more likely to eradicate the evil, than the removing them to a warmer 
and a drier place ; they shoidd have tincture of rhubai-b administered to 
them in small doses, and be dressed with a little of the common kennel 
dressing, adding but a small quantity of the turpentine, and totally 
omittino- the spirit of tar. Each litter should be separately marked, in- 
dejiendent of branding them ; or when they return from their quarters, 
by having rambled about the country, and having changed their walks 
with others of the same age and colour, it will be totally impossible to 
remember how they were bred or to which litters they belonged. These 
" private marks," or " litter marks," as they are called in the kennel, 
are generally made on the lips, the deaf cars, or by cutting ofi" the ear 
buttons ; another way of marking them is by dipping a thread into wet 
gunpowder, or Indian ink, and drawing it with a needle under the in- 
side skin of the ear, in the shape of a T, a V, an X, or any other de- 
vice which may take the marker's fancy — it is a neat Avay of doing the 
business, and attended with less ])ain than clipping the lips or ears. 
" It is the judicious cross," says Mr. Beckford, "that makes the pack 


complete. The faults and imperfections in one breed may be rectified 
from another, and if this be properly attended to, I see no reason why 
the breeding of hounds may not improve till improvement can go no far- 
ther." And in another place, he gives the following advice : — " In 
breeding, I would advise you to be as little prejudiced as possible in fa- 
vour of your own sort ; but send your best bitches to the best dogs, be 
they where they may. Those who breed only a few hounds, may by 
chance have a good pack ; vrhilst those Avho bi-eed a good many, may 
(if at the same time they understand the business) reduce it to a cer- 
tainty." The custom of sending out bitches to a distance is attended 
with a very great expense ; nevertheless, it is the only path to be pur- 
sued, where the breeding department is on a large scale, and perfection 
in the pack is the grand desideratum. But, at the same time, the per- 
son sent with the bitches should invariably see the operation consum- 
mated, as it is a well known and accredited fact, that the huntsman of 
one of the first establishments of the day is in the constant habit of in- 
troducing stud hounds of less celebrity than those selected by the owners 
of the bitches sent ; and to prevent detection he invariably undertakes 
the superintendence of that part of the kennel economy, during the 
hour that the men are absent at breakfast, so jealous is he of others ob- 
taining his best strains of blood. Where the establishment is small, and 
strict economy is continually jogging the memory, it would be an ad- 
visable plan to obtain a stallion hound of a good sort from some quarter 
that can be depended on, A good judge in these matters might have 
many chances during the summer of procuring one, or even a couple, 
which should be kept for the purpose until the following spring ; few 
owners of packs are in the habit of parting with a stallion hound, which 
is worth accepting, early in the year ; but in the months of May or 
June, a young dog of good blood, which may by accident have become 
stifled, or otherwise injured in his limbs, may generally be obtained for 
the purpose of propagation during the ensuing breeding season, even if 
you are unable to procure a good stock-getter. 

Nothing would be more Ukely to improve the breed of fox-hounds 
than prizes, to be awarded by competent judges, to those who might 
excel in so delightful a speculation as showing a couple or three young- 
hounds in a sweepstakes. The awarding piizes to the best breeders 
and feeders of cattle has been attended with the most beneficial results ; 
and I see no reason why improvement in the breed of the foxhound 
should not be promoted by the same means. Some years ago, three 
celebrated masters of hounds* made a practice of showing a few couples 
of their new entry for a prize, which was most appropriate, namely, a 
piece of scarlet cloth, to be made up into hunting coats. 

The practice of spaying bitches, so frequent in many kennels, al- 
though it has its advantages in augmenting the number of your forces 
in the spring, and in occasionally being the means of giving strength to 
the sickly and reclaiming wildness, is by no means to be recommended : 
it is a most barbarous and cruel practice, extremely difficult to perform, 

* Mr. Hodgson, Mr. Wickstead. and Mr. Foljambe. 


aud in many instances the operation fails to have the desired effect ; not 
unfrequently bitches thus imraatroued will show the same desire for 
copulation as others which have not been so cruelly tortured, and in 
several instances I have known them absolutely to produce whelps. In 
the sprino- of the year 1831, when the late Mr. Russel was master of 
the Warwickshire hounds, and under whose indefatigable care and 
directions that pack obtained so great a celebrity, the operation was 
performed upon nine couples of bitches ; with what effect the reader 
may iudo-e for himself, as out of the number several came on heat, and 
two or three absolutely produced whelps, but much deformed, as some 
had foro-otten to bring their heads into the world, and others their legs, 
the two most requisite members for a young foxhound. 

In some instances, where bitches have come into use, but have, never- 
theless, not been allowed connection Avith the dog, when the nine weeks 
have expired — namely, the period at which they would have wheljjed — 
they will be found to have all the symptoms attendant upon pupping 
(though not in the enlargement about the belly), even to the secretion of 
milk ; this, however, will all pass away in the course of a few days. I 
met with a book, some time since, entitled " An Exposition of the Signs 
and Symptoms of Pregnancy, iic." by W. F. Mongomery, M.D., and was 
struck Avith the following extract. In speaking of spurious pregnancy, 
where women have all the symptoms usual in all cases of real pregnancy 
up to the time when they should be dehvered, at which time, when it 
arrives, they are not with child at all, he says — '* It should be remarked 
here that these sympathetic affections, or constitutional disturbances, 
occurring at the time that they might naturally be expected, as the 
usual changes connected with or consequent upon the termination of 
utero-gestation, had that condition really existed, are not confined to the 
human female, but have been observed in the lower animals also. A 
friend of mine had a favourite and very valuable sporting bitch, which 
he was anxious should not breed ; in order to prevent which she was 
always carefully locked up whenever she came on heat, so that inter- 
course with the dog was pi-evented ; but on several occasions, when the 
time expired which would have been that of her bringing forth, had she 
been allowed to breed, she was observed to be very dull, to wander about 
the whole day as if seeking for something, and presently afterwards her 
teats used to fiU with milk in such abundance as to drop from her on the 
o-round." Such facts did not escape the observation of Harvey.* 
'* Your little bitches," says he, " which are kept too j>U'nt}fidly , and 
thereupon admit coition without success, are, notwithstanding, observed 
to be sluggish about the first time whereat they ought to puppy, and 
bark as if they were in distress ; and likewise filch away the whelps 
from another bitch, and lick them over and cherish them as tenderly as 
if they were their own natural productions, and fight eagerly to keep 
them from their true parent. Nay, some of them have milk or boast- 
ings (as they call it) in their teats, and are obnoxious to the distempers 
incident to those that have reaUy puppicd." 

* Generation of Animals. 


One of the greatest tli-awbacks to fox-] muting is the enormous ex- 
pense attending it, and, as the great John Warde used to say of the 
Pytchley Hunt dinners, when he hunted Northamjitonshire forty years 
ago, they are all very delightful and agreeable, exeejjting the paying 
for them. In many of the first hunting establishments, each fox that 
is killed costs about £50 for his funeral expenses, allowing fifty brace 
of foxes to be killed annually ; this, of course, includes many contingent 
expenses, besides absolutely the keep of hounds, horses, and servants. 

According to the ancient custom of hunting, the animals pursued in 
that diversion were divided into three classes. 

The first class (termed beasts of hunting) were the hare, the hart, the 
wolf, and the wild boar. 

The second class (termed beasts of chase) were the buck, the doe, 
the fox, the marten, and the roe. 

The third class were — •the badger, the wild cat, and the otter; 
Avhich showed " great dysporte." The fox is also classed by some 
old authors among the beasts of " stinking flight, " to distinguish 
them from the beasts of " sweet flight," as the buck, doe, hare, and 
some others. 

But, as the fox is the only one of this number, the chase of which 
belongs to the contents of this volume, I shall content myself with 
treating on the hunting of that animal alone, although I may occasion- 
ally refer to other beasts of chase, and bring forward anecdotes con- 
nected with them. The old laws relative to hunting are supposed to 
have been introduced into this country by the Saxons, as no mention is 
made of their existence previous to that period. The first mention, 
however, of the employment of the dog in the pursuit of other animals 
is in Oppian's Cynegeticus. Pollux is said to have used the dog in 
hunting, about two hundred years after the propagation of the Levitical 
law. Canute, the Dane, was also much attached to the chase, and 
enacted many laws for the preservation of the game in the royal forests, 
granting at the same time to proprietors of estates the privilege of 
hunting on their own lands and woods ; this prince also prohibited the 
exercise of hunting or hawking on the Sabbath-day.* 

According to the accounts given by various authorities, these laws 
were exceedingly severe ; they have by degrees, however, been repealed, 
and, although the legislature has given protection to the preservers 
of deer, pheasants, &c., the chase of the fox is alone counte- 
nanced by sufi'erance, and supported by by-laws framed and acknow- 
ledged by the admirers of the sport. These laAvs refer chiefly to the 
lines of demarcation which divide one fox-hunting country from another; 
or, in other words, what covers a master of hounds shall enter to draw 
for a fox, without trespassing upon lands within the acknowledged 
boundary of the country hunted by another established pack of hounds, 
a transgression beyond which is considered by the hunting world dis- 
honourable and unsportsman-like. 

* Leges Canuti apud Lambord, cup. 77, from Strutt. 


If a huntsman pursues lus fox beyond his own country, he has a 
right to endeavour to kill him, even if he shoukl enter a favourite 
cover of another hunt ; if he goes to ground in a strange country, he 
may he bolted by a tei-rier, but not by digging, as no spade nor substi- 
tute for a spade must be used — in fact, the ground must not be broken ; 
he may be washed out, in case of his going into a drain leading from a 
pond, where the water can be let into the drain by a sluice ; he may be 
also bolted from a drain by inserting a lighted wisp of straw at one end 
of it. The " New Sporting Magazine" records an instance of a fox 
being bolted from a drain by a person blowing at one end of it the horn 
of the guard of a mail coach, which happened to come up at the time 
when the fox went to ground.* 

A fox is a most nervous and timid animal, particularly when coming 
in contact Avith anything in the shape of an enemy ; and I have known 
him bolted more than once in my life by ferrets. 

It is well known that in this country the absolute and undisputed 
right in landed property extends " usque ad caelum," and that a person 
is undoubtedly at hberty, by the law of the land, to do what he likes 
with his own ; but, although by this enactment it is legally in his power 
to determine whom he shall permit to hunt his covers, the by-laws of 
fox-hunting have decided quite difi'erently, as the right of drawing those 
covers would, without the least doubt, belong to that hunt which had, 
without interruption, been in the acknowledged habit of hvuiting that 
country, within the hmits of which these covers might be situated. If 
it were not for this, what confusion would ensue ! Upon every slight 
misunderstanding, or coldness between neighbouring gentlemen, there 
would be some pretence or other for allowing their covers to be drawn 
by another master of hounds ; no acknowledged boundary would be 
kept up, and when the sportsmen left the kennel in the morning, it 
would be a matter of uncertainty whether their " line of drawing" had 
not been disturbed throughout on the day before or not, and even whe- 
ther it Avould be possible for them to hunt with any degree of certainty 
three or four days a week for the rest of the season. As time rolls on, 
changes, not only in the demarcation of kingdoms, but also in the ex- 
tent of hunting countries, are continually taking place ; partly, in the 
latter case, from the circumstance of a new owner of a jjack living in a 
more remote distance, or from the number of hunting days being in- 
creased or diminished. I could enumerate many instances of covers 
changing hands, or becoming what are termed neutral covers. 

It is in the memory of sportsmen now living, that the far-famed 
Shuckburg-hills have been claimed by four different hunts. Many years 
since, when Mr. Wardc hunted Warwickshire, they were drawn by his 
hounds ; afterwards the Pytchley drew them, and since my recollection 
they have been hunted both by the packs of Sir Tliomas Mostyn (after- 
wards sold to Mr. Drake) and of Lord Lichfield, at that time Lord 
Anson, when his lordship hunted the Dunchurch country, and now they 

* Vide New Sport. Mag. vol. ii. p. 95. 


arc drawn by the Warwickshire hounds. The Randans, also, a chaiii 
of covers (perhaps nearly the deepest and darkest woodlands in Eng- 
land), have undergone perpetual changes with the Worcestershire and 
Staflbrdshire hounds from time immemorial. Shropshire has also ex- 
perienced many alterations, and, in fact, there are very few countries, 
the boundaries of which are the same that they were fifty years ago. 
Nevertheless, there are rules and regulations acknowledged in the sport- 
ing world by which the line of demarcation is preserved ; and as long- 
as any established hunt continues to draw covers thus marked out, their 
rights are held inviolable. In 1786, an action was brought against the 
huntsman of a Mr. Sturt, for pursuing a fox over the property of an- 
other man. The point was, whether a person hunting has a right to 
follow foxes on to the ground of another. Lord Mansfield, who tried it, 
said that by all the cases, as far hack as Henry VIIL, it is settled that 
a man may follow a fox into the grounds of another. It is averred in 
the plea that this is the only way of killing a fox. This case, however, 
does not determine that a person may xmnecessarily trample down an- 
other's hedges, or maliciously ride over his ground ; for, if he does 
more than is absolutely necessary, he cannot justify it. Judgment was 
given for the defendant. I fear the defendant would not be victorious 
in a similar case at the present day. The most interesting cases rela- 
tive to a disputed right of country between masters of hovmds, which 
have occurred for many years, are between the Duke of Beaufort and 
Mr. Horlock, which, I am happy to say, was amicably arranged ; be- 
tween Gen. Wyndham and his brother. Col. George Wyndham ; also 
between Mr. Drax, of Charbro' Park, and Mr. Farquharson. 

How long it is since hunt clubs were first established, we have no 
certain authority ; but it was about the middle of the last century that 
matters appertaining to fox-hunting were recognized with other subjects 
of county interest. That hunt which lays claim to the greatest anti- 
quity, as I have been credibly informed — although the hounds are little 
better than a trencher-fed pack, the country round composed of ever- 
lasting dingles, woods, and precipices, and the thing chiefly supported 
by the yeomanry of the country — is the Sinnington, in Yorkshire ; and 
amongst other peculiarities characteristic of this ancient club, the hunts- 
man is always retained quite as much on account of his warbling quali- 
fications as his knowledge of the chase ; and unless he has " Bright 
Phoebus," " Old Towler," and " The grey eye of Morning," with a 
few other choice old ballads ready at command, he is no man for " Sin- 
nington Hoont." There are no less than twelve packs of foxhounds 
hunting the county of York : some of these are mere scratch affairs, 
but five or six are old-established hunts, and the members are imited in 
one club, called the "York Union Hunt Club." This is one of the 
most aristocratic societies in England, and none are admitted but those 
whose character will bear the strictest investigation on all points. As 
a proof of the stern determination of the members not to admit any 
improper candidates into their society, I will record the following cir- 
cumstance, which was related to me by one of its oldest supporters. A 
few years since a person who was well known and duly appreciated for 


liis outre manners and overbearing vulgarity, vi'islied to become one of 
the " York Union Hunt Club," Avho, after being twice unsuccessful — 
the black balls predominating in an unprecedented number — resolved 
upon the scheme of collecting a packed meeting composed of three or 
four of its members, who were, from some cause or other, under suffi- 
cient obligation to him to assist him in his forced entree. He was 
at length elected, but not duly elected according to the rules of the 
club ; and at the next general meeting our crest-fallen hero was 
officially informed that he must not consider himself a member of the 
" Y. U. H. C." ; but, if he wished to become a candidate, he had 
better get some friend to propose him at the next meeting in the usual 

In June, 1840, it was proposed, by some staunch supporters of the 
good old cause, that a dinner of masters of foxhounds should take place 
at Grillon's, on Wednesday, the 2nd of June, 1841 ; and, when the 
day arrived, it was agreed that those present should meet, on the Satur- 
day following, at the same place, to consider the practicability of form- 
ing a society for the purpose of making such a dinner annual. At that 
meeting. Lord Hawke being in the chair, it was agreed — 

First, That a club should be formed, called " The Club of Masters 
of Foxhounds," and that a letter should be written to all masters of 
foxhounds, inviting them to become members of the same. 

Secondly, That it would be advantageous to the interests of fox-hunt- 
ing, that the lists of all packs of foxhounds should be annually printed ; 
and iff was therefore agreed that the subscription to this club should be 
sufficient to pay for the annual dinner, and for the printing, in one 
volume, all such lists of foxhounds as should be sent in by the different 
members. The annual subscription to be ^3. 

Thirdly, That a general meeting of the club be held at the Thatched 
House, St. James's-street, on the Saturday in Epsom race-Aveek, 1842, 
at twelve o'clock, on which day all subscriptions must be paid. 

Fourthly, That the annual dinner should be held on the Wednesday 
of the week between Epsom and Ascot ; and that the president of the 
year shall fix the place at which the dinner shall be held, and give due 
notice of the same. 

Fifthly, That Lord Hawke be president for the ensuing year. 

Sixthly, That a circular, embodying the above resolutions, be sent to 
all masters of foxhounds in Great Britain, and that they be signed by 
the chairmain (Lord Hawke) in behalf of the meeting. 

These resolutions were excellent ; and the numerous answers from 
masters of foxhounds, requesting their names to be enrolled;on the list 
of members, a convincing proof of the popularity of the measure. But, 
somehow or other, the plan was not followed up as it should have been ; 

* Friday, February 18th, 1791. — " Met at Pytchley this morning. There wa.s 
a Ijallot at Pytchley House (the^r*^ ever remembered), when Mr. Thomas Grosve- 
hor and Mr. G. Wrighte were unanimously elected members of the ' Pytchley Hunt 
Chib.' Old Lord Spencer was hunting the country at that time. — Extract 
from a MS. entitled " Pytchley Chase Book." 











and, before it came to maturity, it fell to the ground. That the annual 
puUicatiou of the hst of all young hounds, bred throughout the country, 
would be advantageous to -the cause of fox-hunting, there can be, I 
should think, but one opinion ; but that advantage would be greatly en- 
hanced if, on the morning of the dinner, a show could be established, 
awarding prizes to the breeders of the best puppies, such rewards to be 
extended, if the funds were suflieiently flourishing, even to the walkers 
or rearers of the whelps. The judges might be chosen from the most 
cfHeicnt masters of hounds, or huntsmen of the day. 

The hare was not included amongst the animals of chase by the 
ancient Britons, as we are informed by Caesar, who tells us that they 
Jiever ate the flesh of hares, although the island abounded with them.* 
Since that period, however, tastes have altered ; and although their flesh 
is now amongst the greatest delicaciesof the age, I dare say very few of my 
readershavepartakenof that of the fox. But the following anecdote of that 
animal being regularly roasted and served up at the table of one of the 
greatest hou vivans of his day, is undoubtedly true, as I heard it from 
no less than four diff'erent persons, who bore testimony to it, not only 
from the experience of their eyes, but also of their teeth. The Rev. 
Charles Curtis, who was younger brother of the late Sir William Curtis, 
and rector so many years of the parish of Solihull, in Warwickshire, was 
no less celebrated for his attachment to field sports than for his un- 
bounded hospitality, and for the excellent table which he always kept. 
So fond was he of the chase, that for many years he kept a pack of 
harriers himself, with which he sometimes drew for a fox, as there were 
no foxhounds in those days which i-egularly hunted that neighbourhood. 
On one occasion, when the hounds accidentally crossed the line of poor 
reynard, as he was on his travels, and had given him a dressing of up- 
wards of two hours in the old-fashioned style, which had found the bot- 
tom of most of the nags, and amongst them had completely sewed up 
that of the sporting divine, who, finding it almost dark, himself unable 
to proceed, and that " although the spirit was willing, the flesh was 
weak," he gave them a parting cheer, and declared to old Joe Pitch- 
ford, his huntsman, that if he succeeded in bringing home the brush, he 
would, without fail, have the carcass dressed for dinner ; in which he was 
as good as his promise, for, after running their fox hard for a considerable 
time longer, the hounds gloriously vanquished him ; and, accordingly, 
he was actually roasted and brought to table, where a considerable por- 
tion of him was eaten, there being a large party to dinner on that day. 
The author of these observations has both cured and eaten the hams of 
badgers himself, and can answer for their excellence. They should be 
cured by the receipt for doing pig's hams, in which is used a little gar- 
lic and sugar, or treacle, which render them much more melloAV. They 
should be smoked and grated Hke tongue or dried beef, which they far 
excel in flavour. 

This anecdote of Mr. Curtis reminds me of a story told of the old 
Duke of Northumberland — so celebrated as a sportsman — who, after a 

'^ C«5ar Cel. GsL, lib. G. 


most extraordinary run and killing his fox, had the head brought to 
table devilled, which he ate. 

The following extract, from an old French work on hunting, entitled 
" Venerie Royale," relative to the flesh of the wolf, shows that he was 
not held in very high estimation even in rewarding the hounds after the 
death : — 

" La chair do loup est la plus difficile a digerer ; car si un chien la 
mange, sans etre cuitte, il no manque pas d'avoir le flux do sang. Elle 
est capable aussi de Ic faire mourir, elle n'est pas encore bonne cuitte 
et bouillie avec de I'eau, mais rostie dans le four, elle so digere, et ne 
leur fait aucun mal." — Venerie Moyale, 1665. 

Natural history has given the term " Sagax" to the hound, to distin- 
guish him from the rest of the canine species, and most justly does he 
merit that expressive appellation. So numerous are the anecdotes re- 
lated of the feats performed by this animal, that we may almost be con- 
vinced that he has been directed by a power approaching unto reason, 
rather than by mere instinct. " Daniel's Rural Sports," to which book 
I beg to refer my readers, records numerous instances of the sagacity of 
this spirited companion of the sportsman ; and all other books on hunt- 
ing teem with such accounts of his exploits, that he ought, without hesi- 
tation, to take precedence of all other animals which have been rendered 
subservient to the wants and amusements of manldnd. The life of a fox- 
hound, from the very day that he enters the kennel, is that of the most 
perfect slavery ; from the moment that the door is closed upon him his 
free agency ceases ; he neither eats, works, nor even exercises himself, 
but at the command of his keeper ; by some innate faculty, he leai'us to 
imitate the example of others ; he is susceptible of emidation and 
jealousy, and endeavours not only to execute the commands, but also to 
discover the wishes of his master. The folloAving remarks of Dr. Hart- 
ley (extracted from the " Magazine of Natural History"), on the intel- 
lectual faculties of brutes, are so extremely judicious, and so much to the 
purpose of the present subject, that I shall subjoin them : — 

" The whole nature of each brute which has been brought up among 
others of the same species, is a compound of instinct, its own observation 
and experience, and imitation of those of its own species. Instinct 
seems to have exerted its whole influence when the creature has arrived 
at maturity and has brought up its young, so that nothing new can be 
expected of it (instinct) afterwards.* But the intellectual acquisitions 
of brutes from observation and experience continue : whence old 
brutes are far more cunning, and can act better (pro re natA) as cir- 
cumstances arise, than young ones. It ought also to be remembered 
that brutes, from their want of words, and from our ignorance of their 
symbols which they use in giving intimation to each other and to man, 
cannot make manifest to us the extent of the reason they possess." 

We read, in the " Medical Gazette," that the dog is the only animal 

* " The young dismiss'd to wander earth and air, 

There stops the instinct, and there ends the care." 

Poric's Essay on Max. 


that dreams, and he and the elephant the only animals that understand 
looks ; also that the dog is the only qnadrui^ed that has heen hrought to 
speak ; it also declares that a Professor Leibnitz met with a hound, in 
Saxony, that could speak distinctly thirty words. The foxhound has 
not only the greatest sagacity and the most refined powers of scrutiny, 
but is far superior in bottona and stoutness to any other variety of the 
hound race. Only consider the immense distance a hound travels over 
during the twelve hours that he is frequently — I may say generally — 
absent from his kennel, in countries which do not lie very handy with 
regard to their places of meeting. Twelve miles to cover, more fre- 
quently than otherwise, three or four hours consumed in working at 
three parts speed — not only in the open, but through the tliickest wood- 
lands and furze brakes — having been pitted in the course of his day's 
work against three or four fresh foxes, then home at night perhaps from 
fifteen to twenty miles, and this twice and sometimes three times during 
the week ; yet he is fresh and vigorous, and, barring accidents, ever 
ready and impetuous for the undertaking. They are certainly No. 1 iu 
the schedule A amongst all the canine race, in my estimation. 

Many years since, a stag was turned out from Winfield Park, in the 
county of Westmoreland, before a pack of hounds, which were composed 
partly of draft foxhounds from Lord Thanet's kennel. After one of the 
severest and most extraordinary runs on record, the stag having de- 
scribed a circle, returned to the park from whence he first was enlarged 
in the morning ; but so completely was he exhausted, that, upon at- 
tempting to leap the paling, he fell back and expired. Only two hounds 
followed the entire distance, and these were two of the draft fox- 
hounds above-mentioned. One reached the wall of the park, where he 
fell exhausted and died ; the other, also, was found dead at a short dis- 
tance from the place. This run, which was circmtous, was supposed to 
be about one hundred and twenty miles ; it was forty-six by the road, 
and the stag and two hounds were seen at that distance from home 
by several persons during this unequalled day's exertion. In Januaiy, 
1738-9, the Duke of Richmond's hounds found at a quarter before 
eight, and killed at ten minutes before six, after ten hom's' constant 
running ; many gentlemen tired three horses, and only eleven and a 
half couples of hounds were in at the death. A fox was found on the 
19th of February, 1782, near Boroughbridge, in Yorkshire, at twenty- 
seven miniites past nine o'clock ; and, excepting half an hour taken up 
in bolting him from a rabbit-hole, the chase lasted till fourteen minutes 
past five, nearly eight hours' hard running. The above anecdotes are 
undoubtedly true, as they are well authenticated, and supported by the 
best authority ; nevertheless the pace must have been much slower than 
hounds are in the habit of going in these days : it is impossible to have 
been otherwise. 

Another great improvement has taken place since the period of these 
" grand tours," as Ave may designate them ; from the scientific manner 
in which the breed of hounds has been attended to, they have been made 
to run much better together ; and from a strict regard to breeding from 
hounds of a good sound constitution, tired hounds are seldom to be met 

D 2 


witli. In fact notliiug is so disgraceful as in a run of any severity to 
hear of detached bodies of hounds making their way over a country ; 
and it is considered by all houndsinen that a hound missing at the death 
of a fox after a trial of speed and stoutness, provided that hound was 
well and had a fair start with the body, and was not thrown out by 
being divided on a second fox at finding, should never be taken out 
again to disgrace not only himself but the breeder of him. Numerous 
anecdotes are on record of hounds killing foxes single handed after 
severe runs ; one in particular is related by Daniel, of a bitch running 
into her fox even after having her eye accidentally cut out by the lash 
of the whipper-in, Avho attempted to stop her at finding. I remem- 
ber, about twenty -years ago, myself. Sir Thomas Mostyn's hounds throw- 
ing off at HeUidon Gorse, near Shuckborough ; when, having, as Tom 
Wingfield the huntsman fancied, drawn the cover without finding, 
two couple of hounds slipped away at the bottom, and after a 
most brilhant thing, all by themselves, killed their fox near to Dun- 
church, Avhere they were seen by a farmer who Avas up at the death and 
secured the hounds, who followed him with the dead fox in his hand to 
his stable ; no doubt, if they had broken the fox up themselves, they 
would have immediately made their way across the country to try and 
join their less fortunate comrades. Daniel also mentions the circum- 
stance of a pack dividing into three bodies at finding, and each lot get- 
ting well away, aU succeeding in killing their fox, after a chase of great 

The following instance of the sagacity of the foxhound, approaching 
nearer to reason than instinct, is a favourite anecdote of mine, inasmuch 
as I am intimately acquainted with every inch of ground over Avhich this 
sagacious animal travelled dm'ing his performance of the feat, having 
been accustomed to hunt over that part of the country for many years 
during the early part of my life. When Mr. Taylor and Mr. Smith 
hunted Northamptonshire, and kept their hounds at Winwick, a village 
in that county, they were in the habit of going occasionally to Lutter- 
worth, in Leicestershire, for a fortnight's hunting. Upon one of these 
occasions a favourite hound, called Dancer, was left behind in North- 
amptonshire, as not being quite sound. The first day's hunting from 
Lutterworth produced an extraordinary day's sport, and the hounds and 
horses being so much fatigued, it was deemed necessary to stop that 
night at Leicester. Upon their arrival on the next day at Lutterworth, 
they Avere informed that a hound answering the description of Dancer 
came soon after they had left the kennel in the morning, where he 
waited all day, and, after shewing signs of uneasiness at their not return- 
ing at night, left the kennel sometime before the next morning. It was 
concluded that he had gone back to Winwick. On the hounds return- 
ing t(» their kennel, in Northamptonshire, the huntsman was surprised 
to hear that the old liound had come back, stayed one day, and then 
had departed again. After great inquiries he was at last found at Mr. 
Newsomc's, in Warwickshire, where the hounds had been for a week 
some months before. 

For the authenticity of the following anecdotes, 1 think 1 may aufely 


vouch. The first I liad from Thomas Smitli, kennel huntsman to Mr. Mus- 
ters ; a person who was not only an eye-witness of the fact, but one of the 
actors in this interesting performance at the time it took place ; and since 
that I have had the account confirmed by Mr. M. himself. With regard 
to the second, I can assure my readers that it happened at my own 
kennel, and, therefore, I can myself answer for the truth of it. 

Almost all fox-hunters know, or at any rate must have heard, of Mr, 
Musters, of Colwick, who is deservedly placed at the head of the list of 
all huntsmen, whether amateurs or professionals ; he has brought up 
and instructed more servants as huntsmen, whijjpers-in, and feeders, 
than all the rest of the masters of hounds put together. Within these 
few years there were no less than five huntsmen hunting crack packs of 
hounds at the same time, all of whom had Icai'ned their first rudiments 
under this skilful performer. Mr. Musters has had many imitators, but 
no rivals ; when working, there is an indescribable communion between 
him and his pack, which has been attained by no one else, and, on that 
account, all who have been gratified by the performance of his celebrated 
pack, either in Nottinghamshire or in the Pytchley country, must be 
couA'inced that he is decidedly the most skilful amateur huntsman that 
ever cheered a hound, and can draw forth the hidden powers and capa- 
biHties of that animal, on a bad scenting da}"-, to a greater degree than 
any man in England.* The attachment which his hounds always evince 
towards him, when approaching them on a hunting morning, is most 
striking ; and those who have so frequently seen it will not, on that 
account, be so much astonished at the following anecdote. During one 
of the seasons that Mr. Musters hunted Northamptonshire, the hounds 
were to meet at that well-known cover, Badby Wood, and were taken 
on the day previous by his huntsman, Smith, who lived so many years 
with Lord Middleton, and afterwards with Mr. Osbaldeston, to sleep at 
the Bull's Head, at Weedon. On arriving at a place where the road 
from Northampton converges into the road by Avliich they were travelling, 
suddenly some of the most forward of them became restless, and, by 
their manner, their huntsman concluded that a disturbed fox had crossed 
near that place ; in a few moments the Avhole pack, which had been fed, 
and were dreaming as they plodded along of the "joys of the next 
coming day," became roused from their torpor, and in one moment 
more were "away;" the huntsman swore the devil was in them, the 
whippers rode and rated to no purpose ; at last, in turning a corner, 
about a mile further on, who should be seen but Mr. Musters himself, 
who had come by the second road, and was jogging quietly along on the 
hack which usually carried him to cover, to dine and sleep, previously 
to hunting, at the house of a gentleman in that neighbourhood. The 
Squire, no doubt, almost fancied that he had "had his day," and that, 
like the canine attendants of his predecessor Acta^on, his faithful follow- 
ers were immediately about to perform his obsequies. An attempt to 

* One of tlie greatest compliments ever paid by a huntsman to a young master of 
liounds, was the circumstance of old Sam Law'.ey, who was many years huntsman to 
the late Lord Vernon, leaving his horn as a legacy at his death to Mr. Ivlusters, 
declaring with becoming pride that he knew no young sportsman !>o uowcrviuij- of it. 


describe the deliglit of the whole pack, and of their gallant general, 
would, I fear, spoil the picture ; one favourite actually jumped upon the 
quarters of the horse, and Hckcd his master's face ; it was next to an 
impossibility to call them off, and the only means to persuade them to 
proceed was for Mr. Musters to ride several miles out of his way to con- 
duct these faithful creatures to the inn where they Avere to be lodged 
for the night. 

The second anecdote is of a hound-bitch called Frenzy, which came to 
me in 1834, with some others from Overton, in Hampshire, where the 
kennel of the Vine hounds is situated. Being on heat when she arrived, 
she was accordingly shut up separate, and in due course of time, being- 
taken to exercise with the rest of the pack, availed herself of the first 
opportunity of decamping, and arrived, as a letter from Adamson the 
huntsman informed me, on the second day, having travelled through 
four counties, a distance of upwards of one hundi-ed miles. She was 
immediately sent back to the place of her former destination, to which 
she returned safe, and after some weeks produced a litter of whelps, 
which she reared ; but no sooner were they weaned, than she undertook 
a second visit to her native place with equal celerity. She was accord- 
ingly sent back again, and having arrived within ten miles of the end of 
her journey, was tied up by the carrier in a stable with a cord, which 
she bit in two during the night, and, for a third time, retraced her steps. 
It was then considered useless to be at any more trouble about her, 
and she Avas aUoAved to end her days where she had commenced them. 

Another curious circumstance occurred about forty or fifty years ago, 
when the Holderness country was hunted by one of the Bethel family, 
of Rise. Some draft hounds wei'c sent into Kent from Mr. B.'s kennel, 
by a saihng vessel from Hull ; but upon their arrival they refused to re- 
main at their new quarters, and actually found their way back by land 
as far as Lincoln, where they Avere taken up, having accomphshed more 
than tAvo-thirds of the distance home. 

In a former part I mentioned that the " Sinniugton Hunt," in the 
north of Yorkshire, was supposed to have been the first society of fox- 
hunters constituted as a club or hunt in England. However, Thomas 
FoAvnes, Esq., of Stapleton, in Dorsetshire, is set doAvn as the first gen- 
tleman Avho Avas knoAvn to have kept a regular pack of hounds to hunt 
exclusively the fox ; and " these hounds," says the Rev. William Chafin, 
in hh Anecdotes respecting Cranhourn Chase, " AA'ere sold about the 
year 1730 to Mr. BoAves, Avho lived in Yorkshire, andAvcre as handsome 
and as AveU appointed as the most celebrated packs of the present day. 
They were taken into Yorkshire by their OAvn attendants, and, after 
being much admired in their kennel, a day Avas fixed for making trial of 
them in the field, to meet at a famous hare-co\ev near. When the 
huntsman came Avith his hounds in the morning, he discovered a great 
number of sportsmen Avho were riding in the cover, and Avhipping the 
furzes as for a hare ; he therefore halted, and informed Mr. Bowes that 
lie Avas unAvilling to throAV oft' his hounds until the gentlemen liad I'etired 
and ceased the slapping of Avliips, to which liis hounds Avere not accus- 
tomed, and he Avould engage to find a fox in a fcAv minutes if there Avas 


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one there. The gentlemen-sportsmen having obeyed the orders given 
by Mr. Bowes, the huntsman, taking the wind of the cover, threw off 
his hounds, which innuediately began to feather, and soon got ujoon 
a drag into the cover, and up to the fox's kennel, Avhich went off close 
before them, and, after a severe burst over a fine country, was killed, to 
the great satisfaction of the whole party. They then returned to the 
same cover, not one-half of it having been drawn, and very soon found 
a second fox, exactly in the same manner as before, Avhich broke cover 
immediately over the same fine country ; but the chase Avas much longer, 
and, in the course of it, the fox made its way into a nobleman's park, I 
believe Lord Darlington's, which was full of all sorts of riot, and it had 
been customary to stop all hounds before they could enter into it, which 
the best mounted sportsman now attempted to do, but in vain. The 
hounds topped the highest fences, ran through herds of deer and a num- 
ber of hares without taking the least notice of them ; ran into their fox 
and killed him, some miles beyond the park ; and it was the unanimous 
opinion of the whole hunt, that it was the finest run ever seen in that 
country. An ample collection of field-money was made for the hunts- 
man, much beyond his expectation, and he returned to Stapleton in better 
spirits than he left it, and told his story as above related, in which we 
must allow for a little exaggeration, very natural on such an occasion." 
This pack was probably the progenitors of some of the very fine ones 
now in the North. Before this jiack was raised in Dorsetshire, the 
hounds which hunted in the chase hunted all the animals promiscuously, 
excepting the deer, from which they were necessarily made steady, other- 
wise they would not have been suffered to have hunted at all in it. " Sub- 
sequently to Mr. Fownes setting the example, several packs of foxhounds 
were kept through England, entirely at the expense, in those good old 
days, of the individuals themselves, Avho were of that original race of 
country squires which has since faded away and become mere matter of 
history. Some hours before ' bright chanticleer proclaimed the dawn,' 
these hardy sportsmen were in their saddles, and making their way over 
the then unenclosed country, in those days called Avoids, to some distant 
and Avild-fox cover, relying upon a find by the assistance of the animal's 
drag, Avhich they were almost sure to hit upon either in one of the con- 
tiguous Avarrens oi* in the rick-yard of some solitary farm-house : then 
was the display of nose and close hunting appreciated ; no chiltUsh 
jealousy about a good start and good places, but a real enthusiastic 
enjoyment of the sport. As the pace mended or declined, the hunts- 
man Avas enabled to discover Avhether his pack Avero running the fox's 
heel or Avere Avorking their Avay through the tAvistiugs and turnings of 
his nightly rambles to his kennel ; as they droAV nearer and nearer to 
their game, the cry groAV louder and the pace faster, till at length the 
well selected and sheltered brake is approached, where the villain, in all 
the security that furze and briers could afford him, had concealed him- 
self as the grey tints of the eastern sky Avarncd him to retire from the 
prying eye of his enemy, man. As if conscious of the find, the old 
hounds rush to the spot, thirsting for his blood ; but he has fled, and 
the welldn rings Avith the melody of the pack and the cheering horns of 


tlie sportsmen ; for in tliosc days it was the fashion for all the privileged 
attendants on the chase to carry a horn, and blow it as occasion might 
require. The foxes of the last century being far stouter in their natures 
than many of the mongrel-bred vermin of the present age, stained as 
they are by the introduction of French blootl, Avere not only enabled to 
stand longer before hounds, but, from there being so few game preserves, 
and from the necessity of foxes travelling great distances for their food, 
they became much wilder and shyer in their habits than they otherwise 
would have been if they had been enabled constantly to procure their 
prey close at home, from the remains of the Avoundcd game so abun- 
dantly left by sportsmen in some covers, which are so perpetually shot in, 
in all parts of the country, especially where they are contiguous to large 
preserves. Moreover, the country was not enclosed as it is now ; not 
one tithe of the fir plantations to stop hounds, nor canals and railroads 
to form impediments to the progress of the horseman : it Avas all fair 
sailing ; and as hounds were not bred to go such a Hying pace as they 
do in these days, the horsemen could with great ease keep to the higher 
parts of the ground, as the hounds hunted their fox along the hues of 
the valleys, the sides of which were, in most places, clothed v,-ith brush- 
wood, and in the same wild and uncultivated state that nature had 
formed them. The hunting parties of the last century chiefly consisted 
of the neighbouring country gentlemen, most of v/hom were in the con- 
stant habit of taking a part in the operations of the field, being acquainted 
with the merits of every hound in the pack, and could stop or cheer thorn 
in as scientific a manner as the huntsman himself. The county of York 
has, from time immemorial, been productive of more genuine sportsmen 
than any other part of England ; and amongst those who flourished in 
the days of which I have been speaking, no man was more celebrated 
as a fine specimen of the original stamp of fox-hunter and country gen- 
tleman than William Draper, Esq., of Bcswick, in the East Riding. I 
know the old mansion well where this fine old sportsman lived, passing 
by it, as I frequently did, on my road to cover, when I hunted the IIol- 
derness country myself, which consists of what is called Ilolderness and 
part of the wolds, reaching as far as the town of Driflield ; between 
which and Beverley, at the village of Beswick, stands the once celebrated 
manor-house, now much dilapidated, and converted, by degrees, into a 
regular farm-house. The only feature which would arrest the S])ort- 
man's eye is the small public-house which is opposite, ornamented by 
the sign of The Death of the Fox, or the " Fox and Hounds," as it is 
there called. The exploits of this once celebrated man have been handed 
down from father to son amongst the farmers of that neighbourhootl ; 
but as the account which I could glean of him would be very imperfect, 
1 will avail myself of a short biographical memoir^ written by Major 
'i^opham, the substance of which he received from the relations of ilr. 
Draper himself. 

" In the old, but now ruinous mansion of Beswick Hall, in the East 
Riding of Yorkshire, lived the once well known William Draper, Esq., 
who bred, fed, and hunted the staunchest pack of foxhounds in Europe. 
On an income of £700 a year, and no more, ho brought up frugally and 


creditably a family of cloven sons and daughters, kept a stable of right 
good English hunters, a kennel of true bred foxhounds, besides a carriage 
with horses suitable to carry out my lady and her daughters to church 
and other places of goodly resort. He lived in the old, honest style of 
his country, killing every month a good ox of his own feeding, and 
priding himself on maintaining a goodly, substantial table, but with no 
foreign kickshaws. His general apparel was a long, dark-brown hunt- 
ing coat, a belt round his waist, and a strong velvet cap on his head. 
In his humour he was very joking and facetious, having always some 
pleasant story, both in the field and at the hall, so that his company 
was much sought after by persons of good condition, which was of great 
use to him in after life in advancing his own children. His stables and 
kennels were kept in such excellent order that sportsmen observed them 
as schools for huntsmen and grooms, who were glad to live there with- 
out Avages, merely to learn their business ; when they had got good in- 
struction, he then recommended them to other gentlemen, who wished 
no better character than that they were recommended by Squire Draper. 
He was always out of bed, during the hunting season, at four o'clock in 
the morning, and mounted on one of his goodly nags at five o'clock, 
himself bringing forth his hounds, who knew every note of their master's 
voice. In the field he rode with good judgment, avoiding what was un- 
necessary, and helping his hounds when at fault. His daughter, Di, 
who was equally famous at riding, was wont to assist him, cheering the 
hounds with her voice. She died in York at a good old age, and what 
was wonderful to many sportsmen, who dared not follow her, she died 
with whole bones in her bed. After the fatigues of the day, when he 
generally brought home a couple of brushes, he entertained those who 
would return with him, which was sometimes a. distance of thirty miles, 
with good old English hospitality ; prime old October home-brewed was 
the liquor drunk, and his first fox-hunting toast, after dinner, was, ' All 
the brushes in Christendom.' At the age of eighty years this famous 
squire died as he lived, for he died on horseback ; as he was returning 
from a visit to a neighbouring sportsman, where he had been to give him 
some instruction about establishing a pack of hounds, he was seized 
with a fit, and, dropping from his favourite pony, expired. There Avas 
no man, rich or poor, in the neighbourhood, but who lamented his death, 
and the foxes Avere the only living things that had cause to be glad that 
Squire Draper was no more." 

A Yorkshireman and a sportsman have, from time immemorial, been 
almost synonymous terms; and I have always fancied that there is in- 
variably a certain degree of character stamped upon the inhabitants of 
this, my favourite county, which in no degree loses its interest even in 
the more humble of its examples. Amongst the numerous latter class 
whom circumstances have placed in my way, not one is more deserving 
of notice than that extraordinary character who is the subject of the fol- 
loAving short memoir. 

Robert Darling, who was so well known for a great number of years 
as earth stopper to the Holderness hounds by the appropriate soubriquet 
of " Dog Bob," was a native of that soiithern part of Durham bordering 


upon Yorkshire, where, in the humble and retired capacity of a plough- 
man, he first imbibed a passion for the chase. Upon an occasion of 
Lord Darhngton's (afterwards Duke of Cleveland's) hounds running a 
fox through the field where our hero was at work, he, totally unable to 
resist the temptation, unyoked the " fore horse of the team," who had 
been an old hunter, and, with a nerve and judgment far surpassing his 
years, went to the end of a long run, when the hounds killed their fox, 
and the noble master of the hounds presented him with a guinea for the 
gallant manner in which, without a saddle, he had distinguished himself 
through the chace. Upon his return home in the evening he got, what 
he most richly deserved, rather more than a slight taste of the farmer's 
hunting-whip, and without supper or bed was turned adrift to seek his 
fortune as he could. He then entered the service of a horse-breaker, 
and subsequently, emerging from man to master, he started on his own 
account as a horse-dealer, and settled in the town of Hedon, in the East 
Riding. These might be considered as the palmy days of our future 
earth-stopper. To the precarious profession of horse-dealing was added 
that of the farmer of a pack of harriers, which he kept for many years, 
they being chiefly supported by the subscriptions of a set of sporting 
tradespeople at Hull. As time passed away, and hare-hunting became 
less fashionable in that neighbourhood, poor Bob very soon, Avithout the 
assistance of his subscrijjtions, " brought Ms nohle to ninepence," and 
taking his pack to London upon speculation, he sold the finest of his 
hounds at Tattcrsall's; but failing to find customers for the whole, and 
not fancying a second taste of keeping hounds out of his own pocket, 
he, to use his own words, " gave the poor things their Hberty in the 
streets of London," leaving them, as their master once before had been 
left, to seek their fortune through the wide Avorld. Upon his return to 
Yorkshire, still loving any kind of Hfe which was attached to hunting, 
he was installed earth-stopper and watcher of the fox-covers belonging 
to the Ilolderness hounds. In this capacity, dressed in the cast off 
scarlet coats and caps of the whippers in, both summer and winter, did 
"Dog Bob" perform the ofiice above mentioned till upwards of seventy 
seasons had blanched his scanty locks, regularly attending the pack at 
the cover side mounted in full costume, and frequently appearing at the 
end of the day's sport riding over fences, even during his last season, 
Avhich would have tried the nerves of many men of only half his years. 
Subsequent to the period above referred to, in Avhicli Mr. Draper 
shone so conspicuous, great improvements took place in almost every 
department connected with the chase ; establishments totally uncon- 
nected with the other parts of a country gentleman's household, and on 
a far more expensive scale tliaii heretofore maintained, began to be kept. 
Still the chief enjoyers and promoters of the anuisement Avere to be dis- 
covered almost exclusively amongst that class of persons Avho necessarily 
were the first originators of the science. During the long period of 
which I am now speaking, it would be diflicult indeed to discover, 
amongst all his cotemporarics, a counterpart of that extraordinary cha- 
racter, a short memoir of whom 1 am about to present to my readers. 


On the 9th of December, 1838, and in the eighty -first year of his age, 
in Charles-street, Berkeley-square, died JohnWarde, Esq., of Squerries, 
in the county of Kent. He Avas, during fifty-six years, a master of fox- 
hounds, and enjoyed, till his death, the honourable title of " The Father 
of Fox-hunters," which devolved to Mr. Warde upon the demise of the 
first Lord Yarborough. 

Mr. Warde's dSbut as a master of hounds, commenced at a very 
early period of his life ; in fact, he was only just of age vv'hen he first 
became the possessor of a pack of foxhounds in France. He subse- 
quently hunted Warwickshire, Northamptonshire, and Berkshire. In 
the latter county he made his bow, in the year 1825, on the stage to 
the fox-hunting world, where he had during so many seasons played his 
part Avith universal applause, selUng his hounds to Mr. Horlock for 
2,000 guineas. During the whole course of his long hunting career, he 
never attempted to handle the pack himself, but left the entire manage- 
ment of the hounds, after they had been throAvn ofi", to his huntsmen — 
the most celebrated of whom were Jem Butler, when he hunted the 
Pytchley country ; Robert Forfeit, who became afterwards his groom ; 
and in Berkshire, old Will Neverd. The description of hounds Avhich 
Mr. Warde bred through the Avhole of his life, Avas a large, bony, throaty 
sort of hound, more calculated to plod his Avay over the cheerless and 
flinty doAvns of Berkshire, than to take the shine out of the nags in the 
Pytchley country ; and in latter hfe he even increased their size, Avhen 
they were designated by the neighbouring sportsmen as " John Warde's 
Jackasses." The folloAving extraordinary run occurred Avith Mr. Wai'de's 
hounds Avhen he hunted the Pytchley country : — On Feb. 3rd, 1802, 
found a fox at Marson Wood, between Welford and Market Harboro', at 
half-past ten o'clock, and Avent aAvay immediately at the best pace over 
Sibertoft, Howthorpe, Theddingworth, Laughton, Lubbcnham, and 
Foxton, Avhere he Avas headed by a party coursing to Giuuley, OAving to 
which the hounds slackened their pace a little, and Avere brought to 
hunting near to Gumley House. About a mile on they got from scent 
to vicAv, and ran SAviftly over Saddington, Smeaton, KibAvorth, Fleckney, 
WistoAV, Newton Harcourt, Glenn, Oadby, Stoughton, Great Stretton, 
Little Stretton, and on to Galby. Here they again came to hunting 
over Trisby, to Billesdon, and under the cover side to Billcsdon Coplow, 
where they came to very close hunting for near an hour over Cold New- 
ton, Skefiington, and Tilton-on-the-lIiU, Avhere they hunted up to him in 
a double hedge-roAV, from Avhence they got Adew and ran into him, after 
a chase of four hours and a quarter, in the course of Avhich they ran 
through twenty-six parishes, Avithout going into any cover ! The dis- 
tance from Marston Wood to the fui'thest point is computed at tAventy- 
seven miles, and the circle they made from thirty-five to forty miles. 
Out of a numerous field at starting, the only people remaining Avith the 
hounds at the end Avere the late Sir Henry Warde, K.C.B., brother to 
Mr. Warde, and Sir Andrew Barnard, Avith Robert Forfit, the hunts- 
man, and Jem Butler, the first whippcr in. The hoimds slept that 
ni^cht in the kennels at Bowden Inn, where Lord Sefton, who then 


hunted Leicestershire, kept his hounds, Mr. Warde twice suffered in his 
kennel from the ravages of canine madness — at one time, losing his whole 
pack ; and at another, all excepting a few couples. Mr. Warde's greatest 
failing in breeding hounds, was his extreme prejudice in favour of his 
own sort ; to which might he attributed the increased slackness of the 
pack, although unrivalled in form in his later days. He was remai-kably 
convivial and facetious ; and although his well-timed jokes and anecdotes 
continually kept " the table in a roar," he w^as as much at home and 
refined in the more elegant society of the drawing-room, as he was when 
entertaining with his inexhaustible fund of wit a circle of sporting far- 
mers by the cover side. No man was better calculated than Mr. Warde 
to add a lustre to each grade of society in which it was his lot at times 
to be placed, various and different as it was ; and equally was he in his 
place, whether you take him as a bidden guest, as was occasionally the 
ease in his early life, at the refined table of George the Fourth, when 
Prince of Wales, or merely as the chairman of a Pytchley Hunt dinner. 
He Avas a great patron of the road, and amongst the dragsmcn of the old 
school was considered a first-rate performer in his way, always driving 
his own four horses on a journey, let the distance be ever so great. He 
was one of the original members of the B. D. C. (or Benson Driving 
Club) ; and amongst the numerous feats of his more active days may be 
enumerated his driving one of the long coaches from London to Oxford 
in a match against time, which he won. Mr. Warde was a great agri- 
culturist ; and at one time, when the butchers of his neighbourhood, in 
Kent, combined unfairly to keep up the price of meat, he opened a re- 
gidar butcher's shop of his own, and by a spirited perseverance in under- 
selling the trade, not only brought the butchers to their senses, but re- 
duced the price of meat to its pro])er standard, making for himself, as 
he afterwards declared, a good and remunerating profit by the trans- 
action. During the summer, when his pack was at what he considered 
their highest perfection, Mr, Warde had an annual hound show at 
Squerries, to which place were invited many of the first judges amongst 
the masters of hounds of that day, who were not contented by merely 
inspecting the pack in kennel, but had many of the best hounds brought 
by the huntsman singly into the room after dinner, where they once 
more went through the ordeal of the scrutinizing judgment of his guests, 
and where their individual merits were again pointed out by the enthu- 
siastic owner of the pack. Mr. Warde's immense and increasing weight, 
during the latter part of his career, led him to bo the purchaser of a 
description of horse which from its pace was by many sportsmen consi- 
dered but ill-calculated to carry a man to a pack of foxhounds in any 
country ; and I remember, nearly twenty years ago, Avhen I M'as stay- 
ing at Hungerford for the purpose of hunting with his hounds, that he 
purchased a bay horse to carry himself, with no other character than 
that he could draw a load of wheat round the market-place in a quicker 
time than could be accomplished by any other horse in that neighbour- 

By the deatli of ,Tohn Warde, society was deprived of one of the 
finest s])ecimen,s of the true English gentleman and sportsman that was 


ever known, either in his own time or any previous to it ; he was an 
excellent noighhoiir, and a staunch and sincere friend. That stamp of 
fine old English squires will soon be rooted from the soil ; and though 
nearly eradicated, Ave occasionally see recorded the death of some aged 
remnant of the old school. The worthy baronet, of whom the following 
is a short memoir, Avas another sample of the good old times of which we 
have been speaking. He was an intimate friend of Mr. Warde's, and, 
at the time he hunted Warwickshire, a constant attendant on his pack 
in the hunting field. 

Died, on the Gth of August, 1841, at Ryde, whither he had retired 
for the benefit of his heath, in the 8oth year of his age, Sir Thoophilus 
Biddulph, Bart., of Birdingbury Hall, Warwickshire. 

The demise of the worthy baronet has taken from society one of the 
finest specimens of the old sportsman and country gentleman that has 
been known for many years ; he Avas a magistrate for the county of 
WarAA'ick, and one of the trustees of Rugby School. Trained from his 
earliest infancy to the sports of the field, Sir Theoi)hilus shone in after- 
life as a proficient in almost every description of sporting lore. Al- 
though at no time a master of foxhounds himself, he Avas a strict pre- 
server of foxes, and a constant attendant at the cover side, and no one 
better understood the Avhole arcana of the chase. He was moreover a 
good hand at hare-hunting, and no pack of harriers stood in higher 
estimation than his OAvn, which he hunted himself for a very long jjeriod, 
even until his 75th year. He Avas a contemporary and intimate friend 
of the celebrated John Warde, of Squerries; and a rich treat it was for 
all lovers of fun and fox-hunting to meet these tAvo jolly old Nimrods 
together over the mahogany. Sir Theophilus rode a horse many sea- 
sons, A\diich he bought of Mr. Warde, and Avliich Avas called " Pattens," 
from his extraordinary manner of going. At every description of trap, 
net, or other engine for the taking of all kinds of animals, birds, or 
fish, he Avas unequalled ; and Avas one of the few remaining sportsmen 
Avho kept up the old system of taking partridges by means of the 
setting dog and net ; his best setters were procured from Stafi'ordshire. 
He Avas a great preserver of pheasants as Avell as foxes, and Avas the 
original inventor of the artificial pheasant, which is placed in trees to 
deceive the poachers Avhen shooting them by moonlight. Sir Theo- 
philus Avas also the inventor of a humane man-trap for catching 
poachers and garden thieves, by means of a chain, Avithout injuring 
their limbs. 

He was a huntsman, a shot, a fisherman both in fresh and sea-water, 
an otter-hunter, a bird-catcher, and a taker of wildfoAvl by means of a 
regular decoy ; he also made and repaired all his OAvn nets ; he was an 
excellent mechanic, and a first-rate turner in Avood, metal, and ivory. 

Sir Theophilus Biddulph has gone doAvn to the grave sincerely re- 
gretted by all classes of society, excepting the poachers, of Avhom he 
had been the terror for many a year. In his person he Avas remarkably 
handsome, and although ahvays, even in early life, a heavy man, liis 
Aveight considerably increased Avith his years, and at the time of his 
death he Aveighed nearly tAventy stone. 


On February 13tli, iu the year 1825, a most extraordinary good run 
took place from the noted fox-cover Deepdale, which was then a wcU-pre- 
served cover of Sir Theophilus Biddidph's, and is even now a favourite 
draw with the Warwickshire hounds. Lord Lichfield (at that time Lord 
Anson) hunted what is known as the Dunchurch country, and it was 
with his lordship's pack that this excellent rnn took place, which was 
afterwards celebrated in verso by a well-known sporting divine, who had 
the good luck to have come from a neighbouring country to meet his 
lordship's hounds on that memorable occasion. 


Here's success to the pack of the Staffordshire Lord, 

And a health to Sir The, who's a man of his word, 

For two better Britons ne'er joined their address, 

To realize sport with such signal success. 

And here's to the day, when at Deepdale again 

We'll find such a fox as was yesterday slain ; 

A traveller, stranger, stout, gallant, and shy. 

With his earths ten miles off, and those earths in his eye. 

He was off like a shot at the sound of the horn, 

As the stars disappear at the pale peep of morn. 

No uproar to render hounds wilful or wild, 

He was not viewed away by a Leicestershire field ; 

But a snug little party of gens cle province. 

With moderate nags, so the hounds had a chance. 

A party from Birb'ry, from Leamington some, 

A few were from Dunchurch, and Napier from home ; 

There was Wyndham and Ladbroke, Kingston, and Boweu, 

And twenty I had not the honour of knowing, 

With Applewait, Oliver, Spooner, and Lance, 

The peer on ' Young Watson,' and Coke on ' Advance.' 

The hounds they set-to, as if meaning to run. 

In spite of a gaudy, meridian sun ; 

They settled in earnest we very soon found, 

With their heads in the air, and their sterns on the ground ; 

How they dash up the headlands, and fling up the glades ! 

How they draw the best breath from the Leamington blades ! 

How jealous they render these ' Spa-swilling chaps,' 

Such whipping, such spurring, such charging of gaps, 

Such very tight neckcloths, such very slack reins, 

Such squeezing of gates, and such work in the lanes ! 

In short, I'll defy you to say, in the burst, 

Who were pressing, or nicking, or tailing, or first. 

The peer had no time to decide which was which : 

Go it, Victory, Tidings, and Spiteful, my bitch.* 

Not a word for a farmer, a rate for a flat, 

E'en for me, who at foot-ball had play'd with his hat. 

Quoth he, * If I judge by the line that he ran 

Once before, you may presently press if you can.' 

He was right, for although at first starting the tit 

Could just stay with the hounds, and o'er-ride them a bit, 

We had no sooner left the small fields and light soil, 

Than to live was a pleasure amounting to toU. 

* Three favourite hounds ia his lordship's pack. 


The scent was improving, pace faster of course, 

The hound getting fleeter, and slower the horse ; 

Ev'ry foot o'er the vale the pack beat us at will, 

And were two fields a-head when they mounted the hill 

That's crown'd with the hall of Sir Shuckburgh's descendants, 

Ungraced and unaided by human attendants. 

The check at the earth gave us time to ascend. 

Where t'was smoking, and piping, and ' bellows to mend.' 

Fifty minutes so ripping, it must be confessed. 

Was enough for the bad ones, no joke for the best. 

And now o'er the vale where the Welshman* presides, 

And ' High Noble field,' with its evergreen sides. 

Where folks 'gan to falter, and justice to yield. 

The peer played a solo for many a field ; 

But for this he may thank the address of his man, 

Who brought up his mare fresh, the fleet Marianne. 

We brush' d him up smartish to Staverton wood ; 

He skirted it down the hill, hang his stout blood ; 

W^e headed, and back to the cover he slunk. 

The men in a pickle, the peer in a funk. 

From Staverton wood he broke cleanly and dry 

(We've known it before) ; ' A fresh fox,' was the cry. 

'The gentleman wished to be knowing, of course ; 

And perhaps he was fresh, when compared with his horse. 

Pug manag'd to make one small field from the cover, 
A crash and a whimper, ' who-whoop !' and it's over. 

Scarce the fate of this veteran fox had been seal'd. 

When the question occurred, ' What's become of the field ? 

They can't be all beaten, they can't have stood still ; 

I've seen but six people from Shuckborough Hill. 

Perhaps the brook stopped them ; I hope they are in it.' 

' Don't alarm yourself, sir, they'll be here in a minute ; 

They'll meet with some farmer, a good pioneer.' 

The word was scarce spoken, when lo ! they appear ; 

They had sought for a road, and then made a wide cast, 

And the wind-sinking gentlemen came up at last. 

Little else to describe, if to write I was hired, 

But the jest of the fresh and excuse of the tired : 

' What kept you, kind sir, in the back-ground so far ?' 

' Why, I stopped at the village to light my cigar.' 

' I say, my good friend, at the brook why so linger ? 

' I got such a horrible thorn in my finger.' 

' A thorn in your finger ?' another replied, 

' You mean that the brook was a thorn in your side.* 

' Why so far in the rear ? were the spurs of no use .'" 

' Oh '. I rode to a halloa.' ' A hollow excuse.' 

Many thanks let us give to the Staffordshire peer. 

Whose pack has this day left us all in the rear. 

May his sport be as good as it's hitherto been. 

May he see as good runs as he's hitherto seen. 

And before many years have passed over his head 

He'll beat all the world both in science and speed." 

Let US now dismiss this chapter with the sincere hope tiiat, with the 
rising generation of British sportsmen, this manly and soul-stirring 
amusement may ever continue to hold the high rank that it does amongst 
our numerous national sports ; nor may the murderous and selfish sys- 

* The late Sir Thomas Mostyn. The country is now hunted by Mr. Drake. 


tern of preserving game, nor the quarrel-breeding, niob-coUecting, and 
cruel exhibition of the steeple chase, supplant that noble pursuit, Avhich 
affords recreation to all classes of society. Beckford says, Avith great 
truth, that " hunting is the soul of a country life ; it gives healtli to 
the body and contentment to the mind ; and is one of the few pleasures 
we can enjoy in society without prejudice cither to ourselves or our 
friends." It not only finds employment for numerous hands in nearly 
all our trades and manufactures, but amongst the higher ranks it is an 
eifectual security against the intrusion of idleness and si)leen ; it aftbrds 
to the man of property ample scope for the display of generous and 
social feelings, and far better supplies the place of the more fashionable 
and expensive amusements of the metropolis, v/hich only tend to excite 
and not to satisfy our fancied and artificial wants. 































- o — 














U (0 

i z^ 



dV3H ON no/ 




" It proceeded from the nature of the vapourish place." — Sandys. 


Situation for a kennel~Mr. White's opinion of trees— Plan for erectiiig a kennel — 
Wm. Smith's opinion on letting hounds lie out in the courts — The young hounds' 
kennel— The grass court — Shutting up hounds by themselves — A perfect kennel 
described —The boiling-house and feeding-room — Rats in kennels — Great num- 
bers destroyed in some kennels — a doe kept in Mr. Warde's kennel — Damp and 
dry kennels — Kennel lameness — Col. Cooke's opinion— Hounds lamed by gorse 
— The subject of kennel lameness continued — The Albrighton hounds — Mr. 
Foljambe's opinion — The late Lord Kintore's hounds, and the situation of their 
kennel — Bees kept in the Duke of Nassau's kennel — Dick Knight, the builder of 
the kennels at Brigstock — The Warwickshire kennels — The Holderness kennels 
at Bishop Burton — Lameness in the royal kennels on Ascot Heath — Lead sup- 
posed to be the cause — Dr. Ryan's opinion — Mr. Davis, the huntsman's, opi- 
nion, and letter to the author — Lameness in the Warwickshire woodland kennels 
— On the practice of washing hounds — Jack Wood's opinion — Cast-iron and 
wooden benches — Whitewashing kennels, and drying them — Expense of building 
new kennels — The Pytehley kennels at Brixworth. 

It is no less curious than true, that although there is one point on 
which all authors are agreed in erecting a kennel, namely, that it is to 
he on a healthy spot, yet a true description of what is really a proper 
situation has never been given. One recommends it to he built on high 
ground, while another declares that it is impossible to have the place 
kept sweet and clean without a stream of water running through it : it 
has also been advised to have it shaded by trees, as if the all-cheering 
rays of the sun were not the chief means of drying the courts, and dis- 
sipating those noxious vapours which invariably attend the keeping to- 
gether so large a body of animals as a pack of hoimds. Mr. White, in 
his " Natural History of Sclbourne," in speaking of the effect that 
trees have near any place, says, " that they are great promoters of 
damp, and that they perspire profusely, condense largely, and check 
evaporation so much, that woods are always moist ; no wonder, there- 
fore, that they contribute much to pools and streams." 

I will now proceed to point out what, in mj humble opinion, are the 
chief essentials to be attended to in erecting a kennel for fifty couples of 
hounds, omitting nothing which can in any way throw a light upon a sub- 
ject which I fear is, nine times in ten, left to the creative genius of those 



whose experience has never reached beyond the bricks and mortar, 
without the opportunity of judging, as sportsmen and economists, why 
doors should be placed in this direction, or windows in that ; of the 
height of benches, the location of coolers, the width of doorways, and 
many other apparent trifles, which Avill be all found and hunted up to in 
their proper places. My endeavour shall be to describe, in the best way 
I can, a kennel perfect in its conveniences ; approachable at all points 
in its interior with the greatest facility, without interfering with, and 
disturbing that repose so essential to animals, which must be kept in the 
highest state of condition ; healthy and cleanly in the arrangement of 
its ventilation, draining, and feeding ; and economical in the locahty of 
the meal and other store-rooms, as well as in the expense attending its 
whole production. The situation of a kennel should on no account be 
near a public road or footpath, if it can be avoided, for many reasons 
too obvious to require enumerating ; it should face the south, east, or 
south-east, but not be ojien to the west or north, as many are. 

The lodging-rooms of a kennel, if built in a proper manner, should 
always have other rooms over them, as they will then be much warmer 
in winter, and may be kept much cooler in summer. If the kennels are 
only buUdings without rooms or lofts over them, they should be carried 
up as high as they conveniently can, and not slated nor tiled, but 
thatched neatly. Tliis plan has been found fault with as harbouring 
vermin ; but if the roof is properly plastered in the inside, there will be 
no fleas nor ticks ; and if built a reasonable height from the ground, and 
defended by pieces of sheet-iron at the corners, rats and mice will not 
he able to climb up. The plaster should be put only on the roof, as 
walls plastered are very apt, when broken, to harbom* ticks ; the bricks 
should be aU carefully struck, as the masons term it, and well pointed 

One of the rooms should be occupied by the boUer or feeder as his 
sleeping apartment, as hounds ought never to be left entirely alone, 
without some one close at hand, and within hearing, for one single mo- 
ment, or they may quarrel and worry each other. Many instances 
might be recorded of hounds being worried in the kennel. Colonel Cook 
mentions the fact of three being thus destroyed in the short space of ten 
minutes ; and the author had the same number killed in one of liis ken- 
nels, where no one slept near at hand, during one week in the summer 
of 1834. What made it more extraordinary was, that they were all of 
one family, namely, two brothers, and a young hound got by one of 
them ; they were all remarkably ill-tempered, wliich is a convincing 
proof that the victim in such unfortunate cases is generally the ag- 

If the lodging-rooms are lofty (about the height of eleven feet) and 
well-ventUated, providing they have rooms over them, they will be sufii- 
ciently cool in summer ; and dmnng the time that hounds are in the 
kennel, they had much better be upon their beds, than lying out, as is 
the custom in some establishments, under the shade of trees, on the damp 
ground. It was the opinion of Mr. W. Smith, Lord Yarborough's 
huntsman, that nothing contributes to render hounds liable to rhcuma- 


tism, or shoiildcr lameness, moio than allowing them to lie on the cold 
ground in the shade, particularly after work or exercise ; besides, it is 
the means of maldng servants slack in taking them out to horse exer- 
cise, of which they ought to have at least four hours' work every morn- 
ing early, during the summer months. The only use a large grass- 
court can be of is, in my opinion, for the puppies to air themselves at 
their will, when they come up from their quarters, and which should be 
kej)t exclusively for them. 

The young hounds' kennel should be as far from the other hounds' 
lodging-rooms as the arrangement of the structure will allow ; and at 
the furthest end of the grass-court should be an hospital for such puppies 
as may be distempered, so contrived as to be remote from the other 
lodging-rooms, but at the same time within an easy distance of the boil- 
ing-house, whence, by an outside door, the feeder can constantly pass 
to attend to the sick hounds, without disturbing the healthy lots. This 
lodging-house should be so contrived as to be warmed by the chimney 
of the boiling-house ; but it must at the same time be well ventilated by 
two windows, to which shutters must be attached. 

If hounds are to be walked out, either for inspection or for exercise 
after feeding, or on rest days, they should be taken into the paddock, 
which should be also kept entirely for that purpose. If horses are 
turned in, their dung is always in the way, as most hounds will, even 
directly after feeding, ramble about to pick it up. The size of a grass- 
court to the puppies' kennel need not be more than a hundred yards 
square, in a very airy situation. The paddock for moving the old hounds 
into should be three or four acres at least. 

As we are now upon the subject of their eating excrement, and other 
filth, it may not be considered an improper time to mention the ten- 
dency that some of them have to fill themselves with the dung of not 
only the others, but also to devour their own ordure. Those which are 
in the habit of eating the filth in the courts may always be known by 
their bad condition, and by their being more or les,s dropped in their 
bodies. The number of hounds whi/3h are rendered useless by this filthy 
practice alone is incredible ; a huntsman should always take the pre- 
caution of shutting up by themselves on the night previous to hunting- 
such as are in the habit of thus fiUing themselves, and also of jjutting 
muzzles on them to prevent them eating their own ordure. It is jDOsi- 
tively necessary to shut up such as have acquired this dirty practice by 
themselves ; for if the others do not worry them (being unable to defend 
themselves) in the night, they will without fail gnaw oft" their muzzles 
for mere mischief. I woidd recommend some small places, large enough 
to contain one or a couple of hounds, to be built about a kennel ; they 
are always useful for the sick and the lame, or for early whelps ; they 
should be well sheltered and warm. 

1 have visited above half the kennels occupied by foxhounds through- 
out Great Britain, and convenient and replete with comforts as many of 
them are, I never yet saw one in which my fancy, or rather my experi- 
ence, did not lead me to suppose that many alterations, beneficial to the 
convenience and economy of the place, might be effected, without 

B 2 


deterioratiug the harmony or in any way augmenting the expense at- 
tending the erection of the building ; and if I Avere enabled to build 
another kennel, I woidd have it constructed upon such a plan, that I 
coidd enter any one of the courts Avithout interfering with the others : 
this might be easily effected by having the great drawing court to run 
the whole length of the other courts. I woidd also have two courts at- 
tached to the feeding-house for the sole purpose of di-awing the hounds 
while feeding. This plan Avould be a great convenience, as not inter- 
fering with hounds when at rest. Moreover, when hounds return very 
late at night from hunting, and are put over into one of the courts at- 
tached to the lodging-rooms after feeding, they invariably cause the floor 
to be covered with grease ; which, if neglected to be washed off by a 
cai'efid feeder (and such persons cannot be trusted at all times), will in- 
duce the hounds to be hunting and licking the floor in the cold for an 
hour, instead of retiring to their benches. 

The feeding-room should be so contrived that the pack may be drawn 
in to feed from one court, and turned out through another door into a 
second court ; by this means they can be fed much easier, and more 
level, than by turning those which have been fed back amongst those 
which arc waiting. The door through which they are drawn in should 
be divided in the middle, the upper part being left open during the 
time of feeding renders the operation much less difficult to the feeder. 
The feeding-room should be always separate from the boiling-house, let 
the size be ever so large, even in a temporary cub-hunting kennel, as the 
heat of the furnaces Avill cause the puddings to ferment, to say nothing 
of other inconveniences. Hounds seldom look clean in their coats when 
the boiling-house is in the centre of the building, on account of the smut 
falling continually upon them when in the court-yards. 

In Mr. Assheton Smith's kennel, at Tedworth, the boiling-house is 
nearly 100 yards from tlie feeding-room, and unconnected Avith the build- 
ing. The smell attending the preparation of the food is thus, no doubt, 
got rid of ; but the labour, in my opinion, is unnecessarily increased by 
the system, to say nothing of the frequent inconvenience of waiting for 
small portions of the broth or feed. 

The eaves should be by all means spouted, and the water Avell drained 
oft', Avhich will much contribute to the dryness of the place ; the gutters 
of the courts should be all carried into one main drain, which should not 
have access to the open air within at least one hundred ytirds of the 
building, Avcll grated at each end to prevent the rats getting in. This 
description of vermin will be found most troublesome guests in a kennel 
if allowed to increase ; the food they destroy is perfectly incredible, to 
say nothing of their leisure moments being employed in drilling loop- 
holes through the doors, trough-lids, and meal sacks. There are various 
Avays for extirpating these Avliolcsalc marauders. In the Puckeridge 
kennels the top of the cooler for the pudding is covered Avith lattice- 
work, with lifting doors resembling a rat-trap, Avhich the feeder in- 
formed me ansAvcred well at times, but that after large catch of perhaps 
ten or twelve brace, the rats became shy of entering for a time. I once 
killed in and about my kennel in WarAvickshire three hundred old ones 


in one week, besides a numerous small fry ; and a few years after, when 
in Holderness, my men killed in various ways in the kennels, stables, 
and yards adjoining, including the rick-yard banks, seven hundred and 
thirty-six rats between October and the following April. In some places 
they give so much a dozen for the tails of rats, as an encouragement for 
their destruction. In the stables of R. Watt, Esq., of Bishop Burton, 
near Beverley, some years ago, a lad, who had acquired the character of 
a most expert rat- killer, was discovered to have a method of making two 
tails out of one, by skinning them, and inserting a stick in so ingenious 
a manner as to have escaped detection for a considerable time ! Two 
or three cats are good things to encourage about a kennel. I recollect I 
was much amused when looldng at Lord Middleton's hounds when they 
were kept at Stratford-on-Avon, in seeing two very large cats lying on 
the benches with them ; I was informed by Harry .Jackson, the old 
huntsman, that they were all on the very best terms, the cats going in 
and out at their pleasure. What made it appear more extraordinary 
Avas, that there were three or four couples of terriers, the most invete- 
rate enemies of the feline race, kept with them, which likewise appeared 
on an equally friendly footing. The following is an excellent recipe for 
poisoning rats, but the greatest caution should be observed in the use of 
it. This poison should never be used, except during the time the hounds 
may be absent from the place altogether, which is sometimes the case 
Avltli those packs which hunt their country from two kennels, or which 
spend their winter at one place, and their summer months at another. 
Take of— 

Powdered fenugreek seed . . . . 1 oz. 

Musk ...... ^ ga. 

Oil of rhodium, caraway, and anis, each . . 4 drops. 

White sugar . . . . . 2 oz. 

Mix this well together in a quart of oatmeal, and put small quantities on 
bits of board in the situations where the rats generally frequent. Re- 
peat it for four nights, or tiU you see that they eat freely of it : then 
take half an ounce of white arsenic in powder, mix it intimately with 
the composition, and lay some of it, at night, in the places where you 
first laid the feed. In the morning take up what may be left, and put it 
safely away. 

Some years since, when staying at Hungerford for the purpose of 
hunting, I saw in Mr. Warde's kennel a doe which was kept in an out- 
house close to the kennel- door; she was remarkably tame, and came in 
generally to feed Avith the hounds at the trough, and it was really won- 
derful to see with what avidity she would eat, not only the meal, but 
also the boiled flesh.* She afterwards walked out with the pack in 
the paddock, and caused much amusement by her playful antics : this 
was, no doubt, one reason why Mr. Warde's hounds were so notoriously 
steady from deer in the Marlborough Forest. 

* Deer are well known to have a great desire to eat almost anything offered to 
them. The author has frequently fed the deer in Magdalene Park, Oxford, after 
breakfast, with buttered rolls, ham, and all sorts of meat, gloves, handkerchiefs, 
paper, and even cinders, thrown to them from the windows. 


But to return to my subject. If care be taken that the straw is well 
swept off, and the dung carefully picked up, before the courts are Avashed, 
there will be no danger of dirt accumulating in the drain, so as to stop 
it up. In many places, the fellmongers buy the dung which is picked 
up in the kennels, and use it for cleaning the skins during the operation 
of dressing them. This, if sold, is the perquisite of the boiler ; but no 
man who had a farm in his hands would, I should suppose, allow of so 
great an abuse. If the floors of the lodging-rooms are not made of 
large slabs of stone, they should be laid with bricks called quarries, and 
not common bricks, as many are — in cement, and not in mortar, which 
will render the place not only drier, but much sweeter : and if the 
whole of the building were composed of bricks instead of stone, I have 
no hesitation in saying that it would be less likely to become damp in 
any weather. By attending to these hints, even in case the architect 
had only some old out-buildings or barn to convert to the purpose, a 
good kennel may be built and properly arranged, provided the one great 
essential be obtained, and that is, a healthy situation. 

A kennel may be complete in every other respect ; it may, to all ap- 
pearance, be Avarm in winter and cool in summer, and replete Avith every 
sort of convenience ; but the one thing may be Avanting, namely, 
health. In fact it may have the greatest of all curses next to madness 
to a pack of foxhounds — kennel-lameness, or shoulder lameness, as it 
is sometimes called ; but Avhether that is a proper name remains to be 
proved, as no one has ever satisfactorily defined it, nor given positive 
proof Avhether the grief be situated in the shoulders, or loins, or spine. 
The cause also of the disease Avas never clearly developed for many 
years. Colonel Cook has Avritten but very little on the subject, and the 
instances adduced are only relative to hounds hunting in the New 
Forest. He has given some reasons for their being lame : the most 
probable one is, the damp from the black bogs ; but, after all, he comes 
to no decided conclusion. Another reason Avliich he gives for the 
malady is, their feet being continually pricked by the short stubby furze 
so prevalent in the New Forest. I have experienced the same annoyance 
myself, although not to so great an extent. In part of the country 
Avhich I hunted (over Coleshill Heath, in Warwickshire) large fields of 
gorse, Avhere the land Avas poor, were groAvn for the express purpose 
of cutting as food for coavs. It is mown once every year, and bruised 
in a mill, and the stumps and prickles which are left behind are a 
grievous impediment to hounds in chase. Although hounds are fre- 
quently lame after running far over this land of land, their Avay of 
travelling is very difterent from the manner in Avhicli they move when 
lame in the shoulders ; a person conversant Avith hounds Avill see it in 
an instant. As far as regards my personal experience, I have every 
reason to believe, having inquired diligently of many practical men, that 
the grief arises from one cause only, and that is, from the situation of 
the kennel. If you ask a sportsman Avliat is the reason Avhy Mr. So-and- 
So's hounds are always half of them lame ? the ansAver is, " The kennel 
is damp, I should suppose ;" yet, after all, the kennels are, to the eye, 
as dry as tinder. Ask another the same question, and he says, " Why, 


I think it must be kennel-lameness ;" but at the same time knows no 
more what kennel-lameness is than the " man in the moon." 
The best cause that I can attribute it to is from the building being 
either on a bed of sand or upon a sandstone rock. Of the four kennels 
occupied by the writer of this treatise two of them were decidedly sub- 
ject to the disease, one partictilarly so ; they were both built upon sand, 
one of them close upon a sandstone rock, and what would generally be 
considered the healthiest and driest spot in the world, and one especially 
calculated for the purpose for which it was used : the lodging-rooms 
were well ventilated, with good sloping floors, and always were every- 
thing that cleanHness could demand. It was used during the cub-hunt- 
ing season by the Warwickshire hounds before the author occupied it, 
and only occasionally in the winter for one or two nights at a time. No 
sign of lameness occurred during that period, but when it was used re- 
gularly during winter the lameness became manifest ; out of forty cou- 
ples there were sometimes fourteen or fifteen couples lame. The usual 
remedies, of which 1 shall speak hereafter, were ti'ied ; but although 
some became eventually sound, their recovery might be attributed more 
to turning them out to run loose than to any artificial resources. 

Another cause from which kennel-lameness may be supposed to arise 
is the situation being upon ground where the springs rise up in a direct 
line. The best reason to give for its existence where the ground is 
sandy, is, that the exhalation from that sort of soil is much greater than 
from any other, and that the damp arising from it, although impercepti- 
ble in itself, causes lameness ; which is, in fact, rheumatism. In look- 
ing into the "Edinburgh Philosophical Journal," where there is an 
article upon "Artesian Wells,"* by M. Arago, I find that in this sup- 
position I am partly borne out by the opinion of Aristotle, which is there 
quoted ; he considered that a central heat is produced by the increased 
humidity arising from water pent up in the inside of the earth, and which 
finds its easiest escape through that body which is the most porous. 
This water was supposed by him, and also by many other philosophical 
inquirers, to be filtered through the various strata of soil from the sea 
(and not composed of rain-water, as has been conjectured by some per- 
sons), as it has been attested that rain-water never penetrates very deep 
into the ground ; but whether that is the case or not, it makes no sort 
of difference to what I wish to prove. M. Arago goes on to say, " that 
Seneca mentions in his questions on natural history that rain, however 
abundant it may be, never penetrates into the soil above ten feet ; he 
states that he is certain of this from having made many careful experi- 
ments with this object in view. It becomes a question whether we must 
not have recourse to internal vapours in explaining the existence of 
fountains which are situated far above the level of the sea, whilst their 
source is also deep under a vast extent of soil. According to the ex- 
periments of the great number of naturalists who have recently engaged 
in these researches, the permeability of the earth would be decidedly in- 
ferior to the limit assigned by Seneca. Thus Marriotte maintains that 

* From the French province of Artois, where entensive researches wete carried on 
for the discovery of subterranean water. 


in cultioatecl lands tlic heaviest rains of summer do not penetrate above 
six inches, Lahiro also has observed, tliat in soils covered with vege- 
tation they on no occasion penetrate more than two feet ; and he has 
likewise stated, concerning a bed of naked earth eight feet thick, that 
not a drop of water had penetrated to the leaden plate which supported 
it during the fifteen years it had been exposed to every atmospheric 
vicissitude. BufFon has supplied the results of a similar experiment, 
for he mentions having examined in a garden a bed of earth more than 
nine feet high, which had been undisturbed for many years, and he 
noticed that the rain had never penetrated more than four feet deep. 
These observations would be of the greatest import in the (piestion con- 
cerning the origin of fountains, if the surface of the globe were covered 
with a layer of vegetable earth of the thickness of two or three yards. 
But the very reverse of this is the fact ; and every one knows that in 
many places the superior layer is sand, and that sand allows water to 
percolate as if it Avere a sieve." 

At any rate, whether Aristotle is right or not, this appears to sup- 
port my argument, that the water which causes this moisture is filtered 
either one way or other, and from this we may fairly conclude that the 
vapour which I before spoke of finds its exit by the same passage. 

This vapour seems nearly allied to what is called by the hop-growci's 
" fire-blast," which rises out of the ground when a hot gleam of sun- 
shine has come immediately after a shower of rain. It is well known 
that small separate portions of pellucid vapour are continually rising 
from the ground and floating on its surface, and though not visible to 
the naked eye, are yet considerably denser than the circumambient air ; 
and vapours of such a degree of density may very probably acquire so 
scalding a heat from the sun as to scorch Avhatever plants they touch, 
especially the more tender — an efi:eet that too many gardeners have 
found to their cost when they have incautiously put bell-glasses over their 
cauliflowers early in a frosty morning before the dew has evaporated off 
them ; Avhich dew being put in motion by tlic sun's warmth, and con- 
fined witliin the glass, has produced a scalding vapour which has killed 
and burnt the plants ; but which is, I will allow, considerably increased 
by the action of the sun upon the innumerable globules of water, form- 
ing, as it were, so many natural burning glasses. Now, having proved 
before that a vapour does arise through the passage of the veins of sand 
frotn the depths of the earth, it is reasonable to presume, in comparing 
that excessive heat caused by so large a body of animals lying together 
as a pack of hounds, with the beat of the sun, as in the case of the fire- 
blast before spoken of, that the production and accumulation of the 
noxious vapour may be not only considerably increased, but also be ren- 
dered more dangerous in its ert'ects upon the constitution of animals. 

Some years since, tlic Albrighton hounds (then under the manage- 
ment of Mr. Walter Giflbrd) had been removed to a new kennel which 
was built for them. As soon as it had been used a short time, the 
hounds became lame in their shoulders. It being suspected to be ken- 
nel lameness, among others one remedy was tried, which Avas to dig out 
the lodging-rooms for several feet, and fill them up with cinders. It 


need hardly be said that it was of no avail. If good stiff clay had 
been rammed down, the result might have been dilfcrent ; the situa- 
tion was upon a sandstone rock. The hounds continued to show lame- 
ness for several years, when Sir Thomas Boughey, Bart., purchased 
the pack, and a removal to a fresh and healthier kennel put a stop to 
the increase of the disease, although many which had been long lame 
never recovered. Some years since Mr. Foljambe, built a new kennel for 
his hounds upon a dry sandy situation at Beilby ;* they became lame ; 
many remedies were tried, even the changing the aspect of the courts, 
but without any beneficial consequences. In a conversation I had with 
Mr. Foljambe upon the subject in the autumn of 1840, he told me that 
he was thoroughly convinced that the situation was the sole cause of 
kennel lameness existing in hounds : his were invariably afflicted with 
the malady if they remained at Beilby after the damps of autumn came 
on ; but by being removed to his hunting kennel five miles distant from 
that place, they were prevented from being attacked by this dreadful 
complaint. To such an extent has this rheumatic aftcction shown itself 
during some seasons at the Beilby kennels, that the bitches heavy with 
whelp, when running at large, have been grievously attacked, and 
even puppies when only a month or six weeks old have been completely 
distorted in their limbs, and consequently destroyed. Tbe late Lord 
Kintore's hounds were martyrs to this curse on hound-flesh for a long 
period ; and his Lordship, after fighting against it for ten years, was 
fully convinced that the situation of his kennel at Gask was tbe only 
cause for the existence of kennel lameness in his pack. I could enume- 
rate many kennels subject to this dreadful calamity, even where they 
are situated upon healthy-looking spots of ground ; and I coidd also 
mention some instances where they are to all appearance damp, but 
which are, at the same time, free from all sorts of diseases. It is truly 
disgusting to see what make-shift places some masters of hounds are 
content with by way of kennels, where the floors, not even covered with 
bricks, are allowed to remain saturated Avith filth and urine. 

I always make it a rule, when travelling, to visit all kennels contigu- 
ous to my line of march, whether in England or on the continent, and 
during these inspections I have sometimes witnessed extraordinary 
scenes, both at home and abroad. Sheep, and even pigs, are placed in 
some kennels during the time the hounds are absent for a few weeks, by 
way of keeping them well aired and sweet ; but what beat everything I 
ever saw, by way of making the moat of an enclosure, was at the Duke 
of Nassau's kennel on the Rhine, where ten or twelve hives of bees 
were kept in the yard amongst a large collection of deer-hounds, 
pointers, and other dogs. The attendant informed me that the bees 
seldom stung their companions ; I have no doubt that they kept at a 
respectful distance, verifying the old adage about " burnt bairns." 

Many of my readers will, I dare say, remember the old Woodland 
kennels at Brigstock in Northamptonshire, built under the direction of 
the fatlier of the late Lord Spencer, by the celebrated Dick Knight 

* The kennels were formed from the rooms of the old mansion-house. 


(his lordship's huntsman.) The last time I was in them Avas in 1835, 
•when they were in the same condition in which they were in early days, 
anything hut a convenient place for hounds. There was always a peculiar 
appearance on the floors, as if the wet settled on the hricks ; hut it was 
considered by Charles King (huntsman to Lord Althorp), as one of the 
healthiest situations for hounds in the world. Jack Stevens, who also 
used it with Mr. Osbaldeston for eight or nine seasons, told me he never 
knew hounds do better in the whole of his experience than at Brigstock. 
The kennels are built upon a clay, the substratum of which is marl. 
There is a small kennel at Downside in Somersetshire, built so close to 
a trout-stream that it actually runs through the yards upon a rock ; but 
then the rock is of freestone and not of sandstone : this is a particularly 
healthy place for hounds. Mr. Hall, who occupied it when I saw it, 
declared it was equally so with his other kennel, which was far superior 
both in size and convenience. The kennels at Butler's Marston, occu- 
pied for many years by the Warwickshire hounds, were built upon a 
white clay : the country near them after rain was always knee deep 
in mud, yet no lameness Avas ever visible. The Holderness kennels at 
Bishop Burton may also be mentioned as another instance of soundness 
on apparently wet land : so much for situations. 

From these few instances of many, then, it may be fairly presumed 
that the best place to build a kennel upon is a clay or strong sound 
ground, devoid of sand veins, sandstone rocks, or springs. Build it, I 
say, upon strong clay ground, and you will be safe ; and let not tAvo or 
three thousand pounds be sacrificed on a heap of bricks, as was the case 
in Thrussington in Leicestershire, where the jail-hke kennel of the late 
Sir Harry Goodricke, costly as it Avas, proved, from its unhealthy situa- 
tion, a perfect failure. Let the spouting and ventilating be particularly 
attended to, and if shoulder lameness or any other disease breaks out, 
the owner may come to a fair conclusion that there is some hidden cause 
of the malady, of Avhich the Avriter of these pages is at present unable to 
give an account. 

It is a fact weU known to most sportsmen, that the royal kennels on 
Ascot-heath have been subject to this destructive disease for a great 
number of years ; and Avhich, as was always considered, arose from the 
nature of the soil on Avhich they Avere built. Many remedies Avere tried 
to alleviate the sufferings of the hounds ; amongst others, the turning 
of arclies of considerable size under the foundation of the building : but 
the result was, that little or no amendment took place from the experi- 
ment. The hounds not only continued to be constantly attacked, but 
many of the servants attached to the establishment became victims to a 
kind of paralytic aff'ection in their limbs. These circumstances became, 
in due course of time, matter of deep consideration, and it Avas thought 
that probably the presence of lead in the Avatcr, Avhich Avas conveyed by 
means of leaden pipes for upAvards of a ([uartcr of a mile to the kennel, 
might be the real cause of the calamity. The Avater was analyzed by 
the learned and experienced Dr. Ryan, Professor in the Royal Poly- 
technic Institution, in whose paper the foUoAving observations apj)eared : 
" Wc apprehend that the generality of persons are aAvaro that the more 


pure the water tlic larger the quantity of carbonic acid gas is contained in 
it, giving it a greater susceptibility for any impurity from the surface 
over which it has to pass, and a capabihty for certain chemical actions 
on different substances, forming what is technically called a salt of the 
metal Avith which it may be brought in contact ; and yet we find in use, 
for general purposes, this very application, in the ibrm of lead pipes, 
tanks, cisterns, &c., either as a means of conveying water from the supply 
to our own locale, or as a reservoir for our domestic purposes, a pl-actice 
which cannot be too much deprecated ; the action is this : — The car- 
bonic acid in the water enters into combination with the lead, and forms 
a salt called carbonate of lead, Avhich in itself is a poisonous compound, 
and in all human pi-obability is the cause of many of the ailments which 
' our flesh is heir to.' " 

It was the opinion of Professor Ryan, and consequently of many others 
who had interested themselves about the matter, that the presence of 
the lead in the water was the cause of the malady ; and he goes on to 
say that ' ' there are strong grounds for presuming that the disease called 
' kennel-lameness' in sporting phraseology, and which now rages 
amongst the hounds in the royal kennels, is caused by the quantity of 
lead taken into the stomachs of the poor animals." For the gratifica- 
tion of the scientific, we have procured an analysis of the water before 
named, and it runs thus : — 

Dated Feb. 3, 1843. 

From the spring head we found the specific gravity at 60 deg. to be 1.000-18. 
The imperial pint on evaporation to dryness yielded 2.37 grains of solid matter. 

The solid contents of an imperial pint are Chloride of sodium 1*54 grs. 

Magnesium 071 

Sulphate of lime 0-128 


Excess in course of analysis "008 

Signed, John Ryan, M.D,, LL.D., &c. &c. 

After it had passed the pipes and in the kitchen of the kennel, the specific gravity 
was 1.000-42. 

An imperial pint evaporated to dryness yielded 2 grains of solid matter. 
The imperial gallon contains 1.312 grains of carbonate of lead. 
An imperial pint contained — 

Carbonate of lead • • • • -164 grs. 

Organic matter and traces of chlorides of sodium and magnesium, 

and sulphate of lime 038 


Excess in analysis .002 

Signed as before. 

Pursuing their plans still further, some water was drawn from the 
pipe which supplies Mr. Davis's kitchen ; this was merely tested, not 
enough having been obtained for an analysis, and the appearance of 
lead was abundant. A certificate was given, which runs as follows : — 


" Laboratory, Royal Polytechnic Institution, April 6, 1843. 
" I have this morning repeated my examination of certain samples of water brought 
from the neighbourhood of Windsor. The water from Mr. Davis's house contains 
lead, and although the amount may appear small, yet its continual absorption into 
the system is most decidedly deleterious. Ijcad is an accumulative poison ; and the 
continuous use of water containing even the quantity of lead found in the sample from 
Mr. Davis's house is sufficient to produce paralysis. 

(Signed) "John Ryan, MD., LL.D., M.R.C.S." 

I will certainly grant that there were ver}^ strong grounds for suppos- 
ino- that this disease was caused by the presence of lead ; hut, never- 
theless, I think I can most positively prove, that although other diseases 
may he produced by it, " kennel lameness" is the effect of a far diffei*- 
ent cause, namely, as I have before declared, situation alone. I men- 
tioned in a former part of this ai'ticle, that the hounds, when kept at 
one of my kennels in Warwickshire were grievously attacked by the 
complaint ; consequently, last spring, I sent for some water from the 
very pump which was still in use, and had it analyzed by that scientific 
chemist, Mr. Savory, of Bond-street, as I wished to be informed 
whether it was the presence of lead that had produced the lameness 
amongst the hounds or not. After examination, he informed me that 
the water contained the usual salts, and that by the application of the 
most delicate tests, he could not perceive " any presence" of lead. I 
had almost forgotten to mention that, subsequently to my hounds being 
kept at Milverton, a scratch pack of harriers were kept there for the 
purpose of hunting deer, which were in an awful state of lameness from 
the same cause as mine had been ; and after they had left these quar- 
ters for a more distant kennel, a large stud of greyhounds were brought, 
which still added to the number of cripples, which may date their de- 
struction from the time they first entered these accursed walls. 

As it was about a year since the experiment had been tried with the 
new earthenware pipes at the Royal kennel, I wrote to Mr. Charles 
Davis, the huntsman, to know if any beneficial eftects had resulted from 
the alteration ; and without making any further comment upon the sub- 
ject here, I will subjoin his letter, only adding that the opinion of one 
who has had such long experience with hounds and kennels ought to 
have some weight in so important a matter as the one at issue. 

" Ascot Heath, near Chertsey, Dec. 9th, 1843. 

" Sir, — I received your letter to-day on kennel lameness (an unpleasant subject), 
which I will answer as briefly as possible. 

" I never said that lead being in the water used for the hound's food caused the 
lameness, I am sure, but that it augmented it. Since the water has been changed it 
has not been so decidedly afflicting and obstinate, but by the change of water we have 
lost many disorders which this kennel was never before free from. It is well known 
that lead is a rank and insidious poison, for if once taken into the system it remains 
there and undermines the constitution of either man or beast, causing divers 

" I had the water analyzed by the most scieatific men in London : the result was, 
that, after passing through lead to the boiler, the water had the proportion of clear 
lead nearly two grains to one gallon. Now, supposing that each hound will eat 1 lb. 
of meal boiled in three quarts of water (which is a fact) daily, besides what he laps, 
who can be surprised at paralysis, indigestion, abcesses, &c., making their appear- 
ance ? Such was the case here till withui a few months. Most of the senants have 


been sufferers as well as the hounds ; the latter fare better now, but the people must 
either take the lead as usual or get water where they can. The locality or situation 
causes the kennel lameness, there can be no doubt ; and I am convinced that no arti- 
ficial means can- make a lame kennel a sound one. You may build it with marble 
and alabaster, and heat it with fire — all won't do. This soil is a poor forest sand, 
with peat earth, &c. We have about four or five couple now lame. 

" I am, sir, your obedient, humble, servant, 

" Charles Davis." 

It is the custom with many huntsmen to wash theii* hounds in warm 
water every day after hunting, previous to shutting them up, and I have 
known this practice pursued by some men for a very great length of 
time without any ill consequences arising from it ; whUe other persons 
will teU you that it is a cei'tain plan to produce lameness and disease, 
and that they prefer a little natural dirt to bad condition, as some of the 
Old School term it. Nevertheless, I cannot consider that the removal 
of dirt by a little clean water can be attended by bad results, if the 
hounds are afterwards attended to as they ought to be. 

Hounds, after being washed and fed, sho\dd be shut up in a loarni 
lodging-room, well strawed, but at the same time well ventilated, for 
about two hours : they should then be moved out into the great drawing 
court for a few minutes, and allowed to stale ; after that they may be 
placed in their proper lodging-room for the night, the rest-pack having 
been removed from it only a sufficient time to allow the bed to be well 
shaken up. This plan will prevent their being chilled ; but, to carry 
it into effect, there shoidd always be a spare lodging-room, so that the 
rest-hounds may be shut up dry. 

When Jack Wood was huntsman to the Warwickshire hounds, he 
invariably had the pack washed in warm water after each hunting day : 
they were lifted up into a large tub, which held about two couples at a 
time, and their legs, thighs, and beUies well washed with a brush ; such 
as were very dirty were even washed over the back, but no shoidder 
lameness was ever the result of this method. William Boxall, who suc- 
ceeded him in that office, also pursued the same system without any bad 
effects ; and a few years after, when entering the kennel on my return 
from hunting with Thomas Day — Avho had been first whipper-in, and 
who was promoted at the time when William Boxall relinquished that 
situation — I observed that he still kept up the system of washing, but 
only such as were very dirty were lifted into the bath ; the rest were 
moved round the court in marching order, and, as they passed, warm 
water was dashed against their legs and beUies with a large hand-bowl, 
care being taken not to wet their backs more than could be helped. 
During the twelve years that I was in the habit of not only hunting with 
these hounds, but also of continually passing many hours in the kennel, 
I never was aware of shoulder lameness being detected amongst them 
excepting in cases of kicks from horses and other accidents.* Dming 
the period that I kept foxhounds myself, I usually pursued the system 

* One cause of casual lameness amongst hounds arises very frequently from the 
doorways, particularly of the lodging-rooms, being too narrow, and from their being 
allowed to come ripping out, belter skelter, when moved by the huntsman. 


of washiag tliem after work : while I practised it, tlie hounds were per- 
i'ectly sound ; but kennel lameness having shown itself upon the hounds 
beino- placed in a new lodging-room, which was built at a short distance 
from the one previously used, I desisted from the practice ; and when 
occupying another kennel at ten miles' distance, where the pack was 
most grievously affected with that disease during the winter months, 
Avashing even their feet after work was entirely dispensed with. The 
lameness, however, eyen continued to increase, which circumstance con- 
vinced me, that selecting an improper situation when building the kennel 
is the sole cause of the existence of this most dreadful curse upon hound- 
flesh, and that the practice of Avashing has nothing to do Avhatever with 
it. This opinion about Avashing was afterAvards confirmed when I hunted 
the Holderness country. 

The benches may be made of cast-iron or Avood : the closer they arc 
to the ground the better, proAnded there is room for ventilation and 
cleaning out, as tired hounds Avill prefer sleeping on the bricks to the 
trouble of climbing up, if they are too high, and emptying themselves on 
the beds instead of jumping oft", when tired after work. Cast-iron has 
been recommended as being free from vermin, and more durable ; but 
they are more expensive at first cost. And I have heard from those 
that have used them that the hounds more frequently become lamed 
Avhen getting on to them than Avhen made of wood ; but even Avhere 
wooden benches are used they should be l)ound Avith iron, or the hounds, 
especially in summer, AAall soon destroy them by gnaAving the edges of 
them. They may be either placed round the room or in the centre, 
allowing a free passage by the side of the walls. There are advocates 
for both plans ; but I should think it less likely that the hounds should 
be affected by damp Avhen aAvay from the Avails. The circular benches 
are considered by some as a modern invention ; but I saAV the system 
practiced in Mr. John Warde's kennel nearly tAventy years ago. 

Some lodging-rooms are Avhite-washed only once during the year ; but 
it should be done much more frequently. The objection to their being 
damp for the hounds to enter may be easily remedied by lighting a fire 
in them during this necessary operation, Avhich may be removed a short 
time before they are occupied. There are stoves made on purpose for 
airing damp stables, kennels, &c., Avith a long flue to conduct the smoke 
out through the AvindoAV. If a stove is not at hand, the easiest method 
is to turn the benches carefully up, and form a fire-place of loose bricks 
in the centre, placed diagonally : open the AvindoAVs and keep the door 
shut. No lodging-room which has been long unoccupied should be ever 
used unless it has been w^ell aired for a Avhole day ; it is certain to be 
more or less damp ; and nothing is more likely to produce that disease 
called the yellows, or jaundice, in hounds than lying in a damp place : 
amongst the puppies it is almost certain to produce distemper. The 
building a noAv kennel is attended Avith a very great expense, and fre- 
quently with a very considerable sacrifice, as after a fcAV years in many 
instances, from unforeseen events, it becomes useless for the purpose for 
Avhich it Avas intended. If a hunt committee arc about building one by 
subscription, care should be taken to select such a situation that it may 


be eligible as property to be purchased for an inn or for small houses, 
in the event of the hounds being removed to a different place. The 
great drawback to subscribers finding a kennel for a master of hounds 
offering to hunt a country would thus be remedied, as there would be 
almost a certainty of persons who might be so liberally inclined as to 
build one, being eventually repaid their outlay. The kennels of the 
Pytchley Hunt at Brixworth were built by the joint contributions of four 
gentlemen of fortune in Northamptonshire, which, with the paddocks 
and stables, give each of them a vote for the division of the county in 
wdiich they are situated, while the greater part of their property lies in 
the other division. The general estimate of the expense of building a 
kennel, as Mr. George Tattersall told me, may be easily made by multi- 
plying the area occupied by the buildings by their average height ; and 
that residt, divided by three, will give the simi in shillings, which sum 
ought to include all fittings. 



" The beast obeys bis keeper, and looks up, 
Not to his master's, but his fci;der's hi\nd." 



Different kinds of Food lor Hounds — Notice of a book entitled " The Gentleman's 
Recreation" — Old oatmeal the best — Method of mixing the meat — Sir Harry 
Goodricke's large stock of meal at Thrussington kennels — Meal mixed with 
Indian corn bad — Adulterating meal with sand — Mr. Cross's opinion of bad 
flesh — Feeding high and plenty of exercise — Too much of the boiled flesh un- 
wholesom.e — Biscuits — Vegetables excellent in summer — Boilers should be made 
of iron, and not copper — Method of feeding the pack — Shy feeders — Mr. 
Warde's value of a good feeder — Feeding the pack to "go together" — A 
huntsman ought to feed his own hounds — The Duke of Cleveland's reasons for 
giving up hunting— Mr. Osbaldeston's hounds, and Will Gardner his feeder — 
How to feed " to go the pace" and kill foxes — Delicate feeders — Giving hounds 
" reddle" during the summer months — Early feeding the best, and never feed to 

Much has been said by various theoretical authors upou feeding hounds 
upon diiFerent kinds of food, each recommending his own peculiar plan 
as the best ; the proof positive, however, derived from one's own expe- 
rience will bear out every argument upon the subject. In former days 
hounds Avcre fed chiefly, if not entirel}^ upon raw flesh ; but times have 
altered, and improvements in kennel economy, as well as in most other 
departments, have been introduced. In my early days I have repeatedly 
seen harriers fed by calling them into six or seven large joints of flesh, 
instead of to the trough ; and the wavm entrails of a fresh-killed horse 
were considered a grand restorative to tired hounds after a long day's 
hunting. In an old book entitled " The Gentleman's Recreation," the 
author, in the old-fashioned and quaint language of the seventeenth 
century, in recommending flesh as good food for hounds, says that 
horse-flesh is the best and hottest ; but strictly cautions any one from 
giving it with the skin on, " lest your dogs, discerning the hair, may 
fall on them when alive in the field." In the " New Sporting Maga- 
zine," some few years since, a writer under the signature of Dashwood 
recommended the use of mangel-wurzcL Such food might do extremely 


Tvell for fattening pigs or cows, or for pointers or harriers which did not 
work very hard ; but for foxhounds, whose powers of exertion arc taxed 
to a much greater degree, such succulent food would never answer. 1 
have used at vai-ious times many different kinds of meal, but am tho- 
roughly convinced, by experience, that nothing will answer to feed fox- 
hounds on but the best old oatmeal. Beckford has no objection to 
barley-flour mixed with the oatmeal, and gives the following method for 
mixing and preparing it. In speaking of the preparation of food for 
hounds, he says — " I have inquired of my feeder, who is a good one 
(and has had more experience in these matters than any one you may 
perhaps get), how he mixes up his meat. He tells mc that, in his opi- 
nion, oatmeal and barley mixed, an equal quantity of each, make the 
best meat for hounds. The oatmeal he boils for half an hour, and then 
puts out the fire, puts the barley into the copper, and mixes both to- 
gether. I asked him why he boiled one and not the other ; he told mo 
boiling, which made oatmeal thick, made barley thin ; and that when 
you feed with barley only, it should not be put into the copper, but be 
scalded with the liquor and mixed up in a bucket. I find there is in my 
kennel a large tub on piu-pose, which contains about half a hogshead.'' 
And in a few pages before the lines quoted, he says — " Oatmeal, I be- 
lieve, makes the best meat for hoimds ; barley is certainly the cheapest, 
and in many kennels they give barley on that account ; but it is heat- 
ing, does not mix up so well, nor is there so much proof in it as in oat- 
meal. If mixed, an equal quantity of each, it will do very well ; but 
barley alone will not." Thus we see that, although Beckford has no 
objection to the occasional use of it, yet he by no means advises it for 
constant consumption. In the summer of 1834, when wheat was doAvn 
at 15s. per bag (of three bushels), I tried that for some considerable 
time ; but the hounds by no means did so well upon it as upon oatmeal. 
The only time that barley -flour can be recommended is in case of hounds 
being obhged to use new meal ; a little, imder such circumstances, w^ell 
scalded (not boiled) and mixed in the trough with the oatmeal, will pre- 
vent the new meal from purging them, which it otherwise would do. 
The meal for the day's consumption should be brought immediately 
from the meal-house, instead of having a quantity put into a bin made 
to hold sufficient for a week or a fortnight, to save trouble ; as old 
meal, as well as new, Avhich has been lately moved, undergoes a process 
of fermentation, and invariably causes purging. It is highly reprehen- 
sible for any one to subject himself to such an inconvenience, particu- 
larly in the hunting season ; and if any experiments are to be tried in 
feeding on different kinds of meal, it should be done during the summer 
months, as there would be a considerable risk in tampering with the 
constitutions of a pack of foxhounds during work. Care should always 
be taken to have a stock of old oatmeal on hand, and to lay it in at a 
proper time. When the late Sir Harry Goodricke died, he had at his 
kennel at Thrussington (between Leicester and Melton) sufficient old 
oatmeal for three years' consumption, all from his own estates in Ireland. 
Sir Harry had nearly a hundred couples of hounds to feed, hunting five 
and six days a week, with a separate establishment of unentered 


jiuppies at Quorndou. Barley-flour by itself makes hounds scratch 
themselves aud stare iu their coats ; and oatmeal which has been too 
highly dried on a kiln will have the same effect upon them. When 
oatmeal has been adulterated with barley-flour, it is easily perceived 
when hounds are out, by their constantly leaving their work to lap 
water from the pits and ditches near at hand ; it is also frequently 
adulterated with maize or Indian corn, a remarkably heating thing. 
The only plan to prevent being thus cheated, is to go to a really re- 
spectable tradesman, and give the best price. The Scotch meal is the 
best — that is, if procured genuine ;* the Scotch are better farmers than 
the Irish, their harvest is generally better carried, and the oats are 
better and cleaner winnowed, f 

Good wholesome flesh, well boiled down and mixed with the pudding, 
is indispensable ; and when I say good wholesome flesh, I mean not 
those poor devils that are more than half putrid before they are killed. 
The circumstance of hounds going suddenly off in their condition during 
the hunting season may be attributed, in nine cases out of ten, to their 
having been fed with improper flesh. I know it is the practice to boil 
down everything that comes to some kennels (particidarly such as are 
served by contract) in the shape of flesh, good or bad ; and some hunts- 
men even put those hounds into the copper which have been destroyed, 
and declare that it is a certain cure for the distemper ; but that is no 
reason why bad and tainted flesh should be used, when a good, fresh- 
killed horse can be obtained. I know one master of foxhounds who 
boasts that he has become quite callous to all that can be said about bad 
flesh, <fec., and told me he once had a porpoise sent him by a neighbom'- 
ing farmer, 'which he boiled up, blubber and all together, and that the 
hounds were not injiu-ed in any way during the time they were enjoying 
this most exquisite supply of turtle. I had a long conversation some 
months since with Mr. Cross, the great wild-beast proprietor, upon the 
different Idnds of food used for the support of animals in confinement ; 
and amongst the much useful and rational information imparted to me 
upon the subject was, that putrid or tainted flesh was one of the first, 
if not the chief thing to be guarded against in feeding animals; the 
next was to avoid feeding them to repletion. A less quantity of flesh 

* The mealmen who supply the London tradesmen from the Scotch markets have 
been detected, as I was informed by a master of hounds in Scotland, in regrinding 
sand into the oatmeal. 

t The weight of a sack of oatmeal is twelve score pounds. There are eight sacks 
to a ton, deducting forty pounds for eight empty sacks. The following memoranda 
may be found interesting, and even useful, to the amateur kennel huntsman. Oat- 
meal, at 2s. 3d. per stone, is £^2s. 5s. per sack, or about i,'16 per ton ; at 2s. 6d. 
per stone, £2 10s. per sack, or nearly X'18 per ton ; at 2s. 9d. per stone, £2 15s. 
per sack, or about i^O per ton. There are 142 st. 12 lbs. in a ton. The quantity 
of oatmeal produced from a bushel of oats is as follows : — 

42 lbs. of oats produce, in meal, 25 lbs. 2 oz. ; in husk, 16 lbs. 14 oz. 



























is sufficient iu summer ; and although some theoretical sportsmen will 
tell you that, during the dead months, hounds ought not to touch one 
morsel of flesh in any shape whatever, experience has convinced me that 
without a constant use of it, although in moderation, no pack of fox- 
hounds can he kept in real hard condition. If owners of all descriptions 
of hounds would feed them higher in the summer, and give them more 
strong exercise early in the morning than is generally the case, a tired 
hound would seldom be met with in the early part of the season, and 
the necessity of the use of styptic tinctures and sharp water would be 
nearly abolished from the kennel. When flesh cannot be obtained, a 
broth made of greaves may be used : it is a thing which all dogs are 
particularly fond of, and frequently the sick ones, which will not eat the 
common kennel-food, will feed on that which is mixed Avith greaves ; the 
giving them this broth will prevent their going ofl; their feed, and losing 
their condition; nevertheless it shoidd be given most sparingly, as nothing 
will render them foul in their bodies sooner if used for many days. A few 
pails of sweet skimmed milk may generally be obtained during the days 
that flesh is scarce, from some neighbouring farm, which is an excellent 
substitute when they are not at work. In summer, when they have only 
their ordinary exercise, a day or two's short commons is not of much 
consequence, but during hard work one unwholesome meal, or half a 
belly-full, may waste them in their flesh, and lower their vigour and con- 
dition to such an extent, that it may take three weeks or a month to 
retrieve it. Boiled flesh given in too great abundance causes the food 
to pass through hounds too quickly, and before it is thoroughly digested. 
After flesh is boiled down to rags, there is little or no virtue in it ; and 
if I wanted hounds to be in brilliant form, when there was a superabund- 
ance of boiled flesh, I would have it thrown away rather than make use 
of it, especially the day before hunting. 

Some persons use biscuits occasionally during the summer months, 
but I should fancy no good judges Avould pursue this system for a very 
long time ; having tried them myself, I can answer for their being by 
far more expensive than oatmeal, and by no means so nutritious. There 
are two kinds of biscuits : one, the common sea bread, that has been 
damaged either by age or salt-water, and sold as old stores by the ship- 
chandlers ; the other is made on purpose for hounds and other sporting 
dogs, of refuse meal of all sorts. Having no choice myself, I shall 
leave it to the reader, if he wishes to become a purchaser, to buy that 
which his fancy conceives to be the best. Sago is also advertised in some 
of the London papers, and recommended as good food for hounds ; but 
not having tried it myself, and not even having heard of its being used 
for such a purpose before, I can give no account of it. Cabbages are 
frequently given by some huntsmen during the dead months ; they are 
a most excellent and coohng addition to the food, but being expensive, 
are not always to be procured, particularly where the estabhshment is 
numerous. In that case, nettles are a good substitute ; they are very 
coohng, a strong antiscorbutic, and a diuretic, and their good eflects will 
be evidently seen on the coats of the hounds when they have been used 
for a week or ten days. Care should be taken to gather the young 

F 2 


tops of the nettles, as wlien the stalks become old aud hard, they are 
unwholesome and difficult to digest ; a large sackful may be put into 
the copper daily, and boiled up with the flesh. The best way of pro- 
curino- them is to set one of the old women who may usually be employed 
in garden or field work to gather them by the day, having first supplied 
her with a pair or two of strong gloves ; she will be thus enabled to 
provide a constant succession of fresh nettles. Hounds, when heated, 
are remarkably fond of vegetables boiled up with their food ; prompted, 
no doubt, by the strong inchnation which nature never fails of exciting 
in scorbutic disorders for these powerful specifics. The boiler's or 
feeder's ^rsi care on entering his kennel in the morning should be in- 
variahhj to take out two-thirds of the broth from the copper, which 
should be perpetually simmering, and pour it into a tub kept for that 
purpose, and then fill up the copper again previous to lighting the fire ; 
he wiU then have plenty of good strong cold broth to cool the newly- 
mixed food at feeding time, instead of waiting for it to cool while half 
the morning is lost, or mixing it with cold water, which is a bad plan ; 
as long as the broth is not sour nor burnt, it cannot be too strong nor 
too rich. The boilers, or coppers, as they are generally called, should 
be made of cast-iron, and not of copper ; if any liquid of a greasy or 
oily nature is allowed to remain in a copper vessel, it Avill produce verdi- 
gris, than which nothing can be a more deadly poison. In the year 
1823, Mr. Shirley, of Eatington, Warwickshire, lost about twelve 
couples of hounds in one night, from eating flesh and broth which had 
been allowed to stand in a boiler which was made of copper. 

There are some hounds which, more from habit than from constitu- 
tion, have learned, from the method pursued by injudicious feeders, a 
trick of continually leaving the trough and passing behind the other 
hounds, while they slop the feed about in all directions, instead of filling 
their bellies, as they ought, with a good appetite ; this is taught them 
by making a continual practice of indulging them by drawing them in 
four or five times, and coaxing them to feed because they are naturally, 
perhaps, shyish feeders. The best plan is to draw a lot of all the deli- 
cate feeders first ; before you begin put them away, and, by making 
them wait till last, taking care to have some of the best food saved for 
them, you wlU soon perceive that they will become as good trencher-men 
as the rest of the hounds. 

With regard to summer-feeding, the system of using potatoes, cab- 
bages, mangel-wm-zol, &c., is excellent, provided it is not carried to 
excess. Oatmeal puddings should be made for constant use in the same 
manner as in winter ; and the vegetables, nettles, &c., shoidd be put 
into the flesh copper, and not boiled separate ; and when the feed is 
mixed up, the first lot shoidd be for the puppies, chiefly consisting of 
the pudding, and only sufficient vegetables to form a cooHng diet, for 
if they are fed daily on potatoes and other rubbish, as is the case in 
some establishments, they will never throw out muscle, and furnish into 
foxhounds as they ought to do, particularly when recovering from the 
ravages of the distemper. But with the old hounds it does not so much 
signify ; if the contents of the meal-bin are fast diminishing, potatoes 


or ground oats may be substituted for a short time ; and, with legard 
to those bitches which may be at large suckling whelps, neither they 
nor their young otFspring should be served with the feed in which 
nettles or other vegetables have been mixed, as the worst consequences 
will, in all probabihty, be the result, but a small copper should be kept for 
their exclusive use during the breeding season, Avhere vegetables are used. 
It is quite impossible to feed in good workmanlike style, or make the 
most of the meat, unless the ingredients are good of their kind, well 
prepared and properly mixed. No department in the management of the 
kennel was considered of greater importance than the boiling and pre- 
paring the food by that fine old sportsman, Mr. J. Warde, whose expe- 
rience, both in feeding and breeding hounds, and Avhoae opinion in all 
matters relating to the chase, stood amongst the fox-hunters of the old 
school — even if he did get too slow for modern times — in as high esti- 
mation as the oracle at Delphi did amongst the Athenians, So con- 
vinced was he of the necessity of having the meal well-boiled, that 
almost the first question he asked a new whipper-in or kennel-man, who 
might offer himself as a candidate for his service, was Avhether he knew 
how to " thick a copper ;" and, according to the knowledge evinced in 
the culinary art of the boiling-house, his estimation of the person rose 
or fell. The following is the proper way to make a pudding, or " thick- 
up," as it is sometimes expressed in kennel language. First, take care 
that your water is thoroughly boiling ; then keep strewing in the oat- 
meal with one hand, holding the vessel containing the meal in the other 
arm, stopping ever and anon to stir it up well with a wooden stirrer, 
having also a strong stick, resembling a fork handle, with an iron scraper 
at one end, to move it jjerpetually from the bottom, to prevent its burn- 
ing. The better the oatmeal, the less it Avill take ; but you Avill know 
Avhen you have used sufficient by its becoming thick and sweUing to its 
proper consistency. Let it boil for two hours, and then put out the fire, 
and ladle it out into the cooler, where, if it is properly made, and the 
meal old and good, in the course of a few hours it will bear the weight 
of a man to jump on it. The old plan of mixing the feed used to be to 
boil up the meal with the broth and flesh all together ; but there are 
many objections to it. In the first place, the meal does not go so far, 
nor does it stay by the hounds so long as when the meal is made into a 
pudding by itself ; and in the next place, what may be left will ferment 
and become totally unfit for use in a few hours. It may here be re- 
marked that the best made pudding will occasionally ferment from the 
following causes — thunder ; change in the weather ; if any broth has 
by chance got into the copper or buckets which have been used in mov- 
ing it, and if the cooler has not been well washed out with a brush since 
it may have been last emptied. Fermented food will invariably cause a 
looseness in hounds, consequently it should be avoided. The feeding- 
hounds, to make the most of their poAvers and constitutions, is another 
art, which, amongst the ordinary run of fox-hunters, is not much consi- 
dered, whereas half the secret in making a pack nin together consists in 
a thorough knowledge of that branch of the science. I have heard many 
men, who wero good judges too in these matters, declare that no man 


can hunt a pack of hounds properly without feeding them ; and, more- 
over, that no man can feed a pack to run together without hunting them, 
so that he may ho thoroughly acquainted with their constitutions, and 
the eifect that high or low feeding may have upon their pace and stout- 
ness. I have frequently fancied that hounds which had been travelled 
the day previous to hunting, for the purpose of lying out at some more 
contiguous spot to the place of meeting, have not shown themselves in 
such good ioind, when at work, as they generally had been accustomed 
to he when they had only left their kennels on the hixnting morning, 
and this I can attribute to two causes ; first of all, many huntsmen who 
fancy their hounds are in for an extraordinary hard day's work give 
them thicker feed than usual, and more of it ; and, in the next place, I 
do not think hounds digest so easily while travelling along as they do 
when lying quietly on their benches ; and this supposition is still more 
confirmed by the full appearance of their flanks upon the occasions above 
alluded to. Some huntsmen are in the habit of feeding with a lump of 
parboiled flesh such hounds as are too fast for the rest of the pack on 
the mornings of hunting, as they will throw ofi^ any other description of 
feed. But it is, after all, a bad system. How can a hound work to any 
effect with his belly half fuU ? It is much better to get rid of such 
hounds at once. No doubt there is a great deal of truth in what 
has been said about men feeding their own hounds, as I know, by 
my own experience, that if a huntsman knows anytliing of feed- 
ing, he can generally perform that duty to better cflPect than a man 
who stays at home, and is consequently in ignorance of the way in which 
the work is performed in the field ; besides, nothing makes hounds 
fonder of their huntsman, or handier in casting or lifting them, than the 
constantly being with them, ministering to their wants, and caressing 
them, and by never, on any account, striking or scolding them. No 
gentleman, who is his own huntsman, should over think of entering his 
kennel Avithout first putting on a large frock, made of jean or brown 
hoUand, to protect his clothes, that he may allow his pack to come round 
him without the fear of their being ill-naturccUy beaten or repulsed. 
Dogs are animals not to be trifled with ; and a bloAV given to a faultless 
hound, for no other crime than soiUng the coat of a dandy, may create a 
shyness and antipathy in the animal which can never again be eradi- 
cated. There are many first-rate amateur performers as huntsmen, 
who do not attend to the feechng department themselves : and, to the 
eye of an indifiPerent observer, their hounds may perform their Avork 
without the slightest cause for reproach ; yet I have no doubt, if these 
gentlemen would undertake the fatigue and trouble of doing it them- 
selves, their performances in the chase would be much more to their sa- 
tisfaction, and many a hound which is put away as not being able to go 
the pace, or for tiring, woidd be by such means redeemed. The late 
Duke of Cleveland, even to the last season of his keeping hounds, was 
so devoted to them as to stay after hunting during the whole operation 
of feeding, oven Avhen his clothes were soaked with rain. And to bad 
health and rheumatism arising from this practice might be attributed 
Ills abandonment of tlic chase. Mr. Osbaldoston, although an inde- 


fatigablc field huntsman, seldom or never troubled himself about the 
feeding : after his kennel huntsman left him in Nortliamptonshire, that 
operation was generally performed by William Gardner, his boiler ; and 
I must do him the justice to say that I never saw any pack of hounds in 
the whole course of my experience as a fox-hunter Avhich covdd go so 
killing a pace, both in cover and in the open, run so well together, and 
carry so fine a head, or last out such long and tiring days, as those of 
Mr. Osbaldeston : they would not only go like a flock of pigeons with 
a biu'ning scent, but could " cold hunt" a fox with as much patience as 
any pack of hounds in England. They were never whipped off till it 
was quite dark, even if twenty miles from home, if there Avas the least 
chance of kiUing their fox ; and, as the "Squire" hunted six days a 
week, and frequently had two packs out in a day, it was impossible for 
liis head man. Jack Stevens, to feed ; consequently the hounds were 
generally, if not always, fed during the hunting season by WiU Gardner, 
who Avas considered by far the best kennel-man and most judicious 
feeder of his day ; he had no doubt a quick and discerning understand- 
ing, and a most retentive memory, or he never coidd have fed them with 
the exactness which he did — capabihties of a mind worthy of a higher 
walk in hfe. 

" The Squire's" hounds have always been considered amongst the 
stoutest in the world, and no doubt the goodness of their nature must 
have beeu one great cause of their strikingly lasting quahties ; yet I 
firmly beheve, had they been fed by an ignorant or inattentive person, 
or one of the common stamp of feeders, that they never could have gone 
through the labour which they did in so workmanlike and superior a 
manner. The great art of feeding consists in administering that quan- 
tity of food which will produce the greatest powers of exertion, Avithout 
impairing the constitution by repletion ; over-feeding or giving too much 
at once is equally as injurious as giving too little ; food introduced into 
the stomach in too great a quantity does not digest, and totally defeats 
the object for which it was given, which maybe seen in any dogs that 
have gorged too much, ahvays purging. Hounds at all seasons of the 
year, in my humble opinion, ought tt) be rather high in condition, par- 
ticularly in wet Aveather ; and, as long as two ribs are visible, the 
muscles on their thighs and backs cannot be too exuberant. The 
greatest mistake in most huntsmen is, that they do not begin sufficiently 
early in the summer to give strong exercise ; they content themselves 
Avith crawhng out at six or seven o'clock, and, because it is hot, and the 
hounds seem distressed (Avhich no doubt they are), bring them in at 
nine ; whereas they ought never to be in their kennel after five o'clock, 
unless the morning is wet, and ought to be kept out for at least four 
hours. As the summer wears away, and the time approaches towards 
cub-hunting, their exercise must, of course, be increased ; and at that 
period they ought to have, during two days in the week, at least about 
nine hours' strong exercise. 

The best time to feed hounds during the siuumer months is about 
three or fom" o'clock in the afternoon. Some huntsmen feed much later, 
on account of the hounds resting more quietly during the night ; but, if 


they are to be taken out to exercise by daybreak, as tbey ought to be, 
three or four o'clock in the afternoon is quite late enough for the feed- 
ing hour, as they have then time to digest their food sufficiently before 
the next day. When the puppies first come up from their quarters, 
they should be fed two or three times a day, unless they are very high 
in flesh and likely to grow too large for the pack ; but, as they advance 
in their education and condition, and the effects of the distemper begin 
to wear off, they should be taught to feed only once in the day. A dog 
is almost a carnivorous animal ; and, as he is, like all animals of that 
description, enabled by nature to go many hours without food, so also is 
his stomach formed to contain at one meal sufficient for at least one day's 
digestion, without feeling his strength and vigour impaired in the same 
degree as the horse would, or any other graminivorous beast. Although 
dogs are, undoubtedly speaking, naturally carnivorous, we sometimes 
meet with accounts of their living in nearly a natural state on fish and 
even vegetables. In Siberia their chief food consists of fish, and Ave 
may also read that, in the islands of the Pacific Ocean, dogs are bred up 
on vegetables, and would not eat flesh when oftered them by our circum- 
navigators. Hounds should never be allowed to eat to satiety ; Sir B. 
Graham, who at one time himself performed the office of feeder, and 
whose authority on matters relating to feeding and kennel management 
was never doubted for a moment, considered it as most injurious to con- 
dition, to allow them to fill themselves at the trough. It is the custom 
of some huntsmen during the hunting season to draw those hounds 
which look thin, and give them some meat in the afternoon. I must 
confess it is a system I do not admire : a hound fed at three or four 
o'clock in an afternoon is totally unfit to run a burst at eleven o'clock 
the next morning. It is a much better plan to make such as will not 
feed one day wait till the next ; by that means they soon learn to feed 
at a proper hour, as they ought to do. When animals reject their food, 
depend upon it there is a good reason for it ; and nothing is so good for 
the stomach, when disordered, as a Httle fasting : such was the system 
pursued by the great Napoleon, Avho preferred it to taking medicine 
when unwell. When hounds whose constitutions are delicate become a 
little below the mark, the better plan is to let them miss one day's hunt- 
ing ; by that means they will gain more vigour than by overloading 
their stomachs with food, Avhich will do them more good when it is on 
their backs than it will when it is inside their ribs. If you wish yoiu* 
hounds to run well up, and at the same time to be stout in an afternoon, 
keep them high in condition, always feed thick, proportioning the quan- 
tity to the work, and never later than nine o'clock in the forenoon, even 
eight o'clock is better. Some wiseacres fancy that a hound fed at three 
or four in the evening Avill be stouter at the end of the day ; but it is 
ridiculous to suppose that a carnivorous animal like a foxhound can ever 
feel distress from want of food during thirty-six hours, provided he is 
well fed at other regular and stated periods. Mr. Warde, whose grand 
amusement in the latter part of his long hunting career consisted chiefly 
in drawing and feeding his hounds, was a great advocate for a little af- 
ternoon stuffing ; and, Avhen inspecting the pack for the foUowiug day's 


work, would frequently draw sucli as he considered too fast for the rest 
at three o'clock, and give them what he termed " stopping-halls," com- 
posed of oatmeal and barley-flour, mixed with flesh, and rolled up. But 
Berkshire was a slow and cold-scenting country, and the pace was not 
expected to bo quite so good as it is upon grass. His huntsman, Wil- 
liam Neverd, was quite of a different opinion on the subject, and told me 
he thought they would have done much better if his master had given the 
" slow 'uns" some quicksilver balls instead. In looking over hounds 
some four or five hours after they have been fed, it is impossible to form 
a correct judgment of the quantity of food they may have eaten, or what 
their appearance and condition may be at ten o'clock the next morning. 
Some digest quicker than others do : Rallywood, whose sides appear as 
if he were only just fed, at two o'clock, may not have eaten any more 
than Vanquisher, who looks at that hour almost fit to run a burst, yet 
by the cover-side the next morning they will hoth look as '* level as 
dice, " and the food of both of them will be upon their backs, instead of 
inside their bellies, which it would have been had they been fed at three 
or four o'clock in the afternoon of the day before. Some, whose diges- 
tion is weak, void their food nearly in the same state as they swallow it ; 
and many, from the same cause, are constantly in the habit of throwing 
part of their meat oft' immediately after feeding : it is quite curious to 
see how such hounds are continually watched by the others, to whom 
they are as well known as the pieman would be near the gates of a 
school ; for what purpose I leave my readers to guess. When hounds 
are moved out after feeding, they should be walked about very slowly, 
and allowed to empty themselves at their own pleasure, or many will 
throw oft' part of their meat. And when the pack are going to be taken 
from home to be ready for the next day's hunting, they ought to be fed 
at least three hours before starting. When hounds lose their appetites, 
and when they are in the habit of throwing oft' part of their meat imme- 
diately after feeding, it is a certain sign that the digestive organs are 
impaired ; this frequently ha2)pens to puppies when recovering from the 
effects of the distemper, and even the older ones, whose constitutions are 
none of the strongest, are at times afflicted with dyspepsia ; it arises 
generally from too great an acidity in the contents of the stomach, to 
which all animals whose aliment is mixed with vegetable matter are 
more or less liable. This tendency in the stomach to produce acid may 
be obviated by avoiding acescent aliments, and substituting animal food, 
which is not so likely to excite undue fermentation ; this is evident by 
turning those hounds out of the kennel which have become sickly and 
dyspeptic, to feed on raw flesh, when they almost invariably in a few 
days become sleek and fat. This plan, however, if for a long time or 
very frequently pursued, is not the most likely means of either getting 
them into condition, or keeping them so, even if they were in such con- 
dition, as it cannot be long continued without corrupting the state of 
their blood ; and, as vegetable food cannot be entirely dispensed with, 
the excess of the acescency may be in a great measure avoided, by mix- 
ing in each meal a small portion of common chalk, and administering to 
the hounds thus affected to each a pill, containing eight grains of calomel 


and thirty of jalap, on every third morning for five or six mornings, and 
feeding them twice a day as long as they are taking the pills ; if it is 
in the summer, and the weather is fine, they may go to moderate exercise 
with the rest. Some huntsmen are in the habit of using common reddle, 
mixed up in the food once a week during the simimer months. I once 
asked Wm. Boxall, Avho siicceeded J. Wood in the office of huntsman to 
the Warwickshire pack, why he used it ; but the only intelligence I 
coidd gain was that " it was a rare thing for the blood." Now reddle is 
nothing more nor less than red chalk, which is an absorbent earth ; and 
I coidd never discover any peculiar projierties in it which are not found 
in the common white chalk, excepting its difference in colour. Other 
hounds which have the same symptoms as those described above, are 
also at times afflieted with purging, which arises from the same causes, 
and is part and parcel of the same complaint ; and until a more healthy 
action of the stomach is produced, we must in vain look for an amend- 
ment in cither the appetite or secretions. From an undue fermentation, 
and the digestion becoming morbid, an acid and phlegm-like accumidation 
takes place on the coats of the stomach ; and, as Dr. Whytt has justly 
observed that Avhen much phlegm is collected in the stomach and intes- 
tines their nerves arc rendered less sensible of the stimulus of the aU- 
ments, their absorbent vessels are partly obstructed, and the gastric and 
intestinal lymph is more sparingly secreted, or at least becomes more 
viscid. This observation was made with regard to the luxman frame, 
but it is well known that the organic structure in the stomach of dogs 
differs but little from that of human beings, both being omnivorous ani- 
mals ; many diseases being common to both, and having almost the 
same symptoms in each, for instance, the jaimdico or yellows, inflam- 
mation of the bowels, and many others. Iron or copper introduced into 
the stomachs of those which are dyspeptic and weak in their digestions, 
very frecpiently increases the appetite and vigour of the circulation. I 
have tried occasionally one grain and a half of blue vitriol pulverized, 
and rolled up in a pill, and given every morning for a week or ten days, 
with great success. But, after all, the grand secret is, never to allow 
any hound to eat at one time to satiety, and feed early and tliich during 
the huntino- season. 




" Morbomm quoque te causas et signa docebo." — Geor. 3rd. 


Comparison between the old farrier and modern vet. — Notice of Blaine's " Canine 
Pathology" — Distemper, and its cure — Barm an excellent medicine — The dis- 
temper first brought from France — Major Blagrave's system — Yellows, or jaun- 
dice — Worms — Dressing and mange — The red mange — Wounds and bites — 
Strains — Sore feet — Weak or injured eyes — Bite of a viper ; an expeiiment of 
the Abbe Fontana— Swelled toes — Canker in the ears — Breaking out, and tetters 
— Fistula— Swelled neck and sore throat — Fractured limbs — Inflammation of 
the bowels — Physic — Sulphur and salts the best — Shoulder lameness — Lameness 
in the stifle — Recipe for the rheumatism — Implements and drugs used in the 
kennel— Canine madness, or rabies — Professor Sewell's opinion — The Warwick- 
shire hounds afflicted — Mr. Hervey Combe's — Mr. Hall's— William Smith's 
remedy — The knife and caustic the only cure. 

It may be justly remarked, that not one of the various improvements, 
upon whicli modern sportsmen can congrattdate themselves, has ren- 
dered greater benefit to the cause in general than the rapid advancement 
which veterinary surgery has made during the nineteenth century. That 
dangerous and disgusting character, the old-fashioned, drunken, and 
ignorant farrier, has become obsolete ; and a well-educated and en- 
lightened body of men have sprung up in that niche Avhich has so long 
been waiting for them. 

The horse, however, has almost entirely engrossed the whole of the 
attention of the profession, imtil within a short time ; but during the 
few last years, that most useful, interesting, and companionable animal, 
the dog, has gradually been creeping up into the notice of those pro- 
fessional men who practise in the metropohs. And, if we may judge of 
what we read in the sporting periodicals, the rising generation of veteri- 
nary surgeons seem anxious not only to make the diseases of the hoi-sc 
their study, but also to extend their exertions and inquiries to those ma- 
ladies and accidents to which not only the canine race but also all other 
domesticated animals arc liable. 


Althougli hunting has been the moat fashionable amusement amongst 
the gentry of England for many centuries, strange it is that the ma- 
nagement of the hound, upon wliich animal all the hopes of success in 
the chase entirely depend, has been too frequently intrusted to a class of 
men whose gross ignorance, in many instances, has only been surpassed 
by their obstinacy. 

That some huntsmen are exceedingly skilful in their vocation, and 
eminently successful in their treatment of many of the diseases with 
which hounds are afflicted, all must admit ; but the generahty of them 
are ignorant and uneducated men, Avho, by an indiscriminate and injudi- 
cious application, often ruin the credit of medicines and processes which, 
in o-ood hands, might otherwise have succeeded to the utmost wishes of 
the most sanguine. Such self-taught and conceited fellows invariably 
call to my recollection Sir W. Scott's Avell-drawn character of Waylaud 
Smith, to whom he has very aptly apphed the following words of 
Perseus : — 

" Diluis hcUeborum, certo compescere puncto, 
Nescius examea ?" 

which has thus been translated : — 

'• Wilt thou mix hellebore, who doth not know 
How many grains will to the mixture go ?" 

When a dog recovers from any dangerous disease or accident, it is gene- 
rally attributed to the efficacy of the remedy, and to the great skill with 
which the medicine or application has been used ; but nine times in ten 
the poor animal, if he could reflect within himself and speak the real and 
stubborn truth, would tell us that it Avas his tough and invincible consti- 
tution, with which nature has gifted him, which has borne him through 
not only the trying eftects of the disease, but also the still more dan- 
gerous consequences of cruelly misapplied nostrums and operations. 
Nine country veterinary surgeons out of ten, even in the most simple 
cases, when called in, profess the utmost ignorance of the diseases con- 
nected with the kennel ; and as the knowledge of anatomy which gene- 
rally falls to the share of even the most enlightened sportsman is very 
Hmited, the cure, or rather the attempt at cure, is generally carried on 
in the dark, and at the utmost hazard of life or recovery. In the ma- 
nao-ement of not only my own hounds, but also of numei'ous pointers and 
other sporting dogs, for the space of about nineteen years, the chief as- 
sistance upon which I could rely has been the recipes and advice of those 
huntsmen whom I considered the most inteUigent and experienced ; 
Avhere recipes have succeeded, I have continued to use them, but have 
invariably rejected those which might fail in their operations. As to 
the veterinary surgeons I never could prevail upon one in any instance 
to attempt to assist me, either with regard to the use of difl'erent kinds 
of medicines, or in the performance of any common operation which 
might be necessary ; but a medical gentleman* in very high practice in 

* I. Kimble, Esq-, Knowle. 


the neiglibourhood where I resided, and with whom I was upou terms of 
intimacy, constantly assisted me, not only in many and frequent opera- 
tions upou my hounds, but also in the choice of divers medicines and 
other remedies. I have read attentively nearly every sporting book that 
has ever been published since the " Gentleman's Recreation," but with 
little benefit to myself, as I have seldom, if ever, met with one single 
instance of any recipe succeeding which I may have been induced to try. 
The only book from which I have derived the least information is one 
entitled " Canine Pathology," by Mr. Blaine ; and I must confess that 
that book stands alone amongst the many wliich have been foisted upou 
the pubhc, as one which may be entirely depended upon. No sports- 
man should be without it ; it gives not the effects of theoretical and in- 
experienced advice, but the effusions of the understanding of a man who 
has made the study of the diseases of the dog his chief pursuit, and who 
has most eminently succeeded in the undertaking. 

When compared with the horse, the dog is subject but to few mala- 
dies ; this is, in a great measure, owing to the coldness of his tempera- 
ment, the hardiness of his constitution, and the great strength of his 
digestive powers. He is seldom attacked with inflammation, although 
cases of enteritis or inflammation of the bowels are sometimes to be met 
with. Inflammation in the eyes, although not so frequent as one might 
expect, from the continual and laborious occupation which dogs of all 
descriptions are doomed to undergo when working in cover, is generally 
of not so formidable a character as when that member meets with severe 
injury in the horse ; still it is attended with much danger, and the total 
loss of the organ is sometimes the consequence of a puncture from a 
thorn or a mis-aimed blow from the lash of a whip. 

Section First. 

The distemper, which is the first disease to which hounds are gene^ 
rally subject, is, in the opinion of all men, the most fatal which has ever 
discovered itself in the canine race ; thousands are annually swept off by 
this dreadful plague ; and as it breaks out in so many various forms, the 
possibility of finding remedies to counteract it is rendered far more difii- 
cult. In the report of the Veterinary Medical Association for March, 
1838, a Mr. Simonds, in expressing his congratulations at the prospect 
of the diseases of dogs becoming the siibject of inquiry amongst the 
veterinarians of the present day, goes on to say that " distemper is pri- 
marily an affection of the schneidcrian membrane ; thence, in certain 
constitutions, it is transmitted to the lungs, and we have pneumonia in 
one of its various forms ; sometimes to the intestines, and we have diar- 
rhoea and dysentry ; and sometimes by simple proximity, or through the 
medium of the ethmoidal processes, it attacks the brain, and we have 
epilepsy ;" and very justly adds, " it is clear that we have no specific 
for such a disease." There certainly is no specific for the distemper; 
and, not unfrequently, the very medicine which is given to one dog 
which recovers, when administered to another wiU cause immediate death. 
I have tried numbers of remedies upon dogs of all ages and conditions ; 


many I have cured, or rather fancied I have cured, and hundreds I have 
seen sink under the disease, even when they have been attended with 
the strictest care and attention. Vaccination was considered a few 
years since as a certain preventive, but I have been credibly informed 
that the disciples of this foolish doctrine are daily on the decrease. The 
only trial I have ever given this remedy failed, as the puppies upon which 
I operated all sickened soon after and died. They were a litter of four 
spaniels, and were vaccinated inside the flap of the ears : the incisions 
inflamed and crusted over, but whether they were good and genuine cow- 
pock pustules I was unable to determine. Numerous other sportsmen 
with Avhom I am acquainted have given vaccination a fair trial, but the 
results have been by no means satisfactory. When very young puj^pies 
are attacked vrith distemper, the only remedy is to administer gentle 
dozes of castor oil, keep them very clean and moderately cool, and 
nature must do the rest. Huntsmen difler as to the keeping young 
hounds, when sufiering from distemper, warm or cold ; I should recom- 
mend them to be kept cool, provided they were not starved, and at the 
same time that the ventilation should be pure and free. In May, 1840, 
I visited the late Duke of Cleveland's kennels at Raby, about a fort- 
night previous to the sale of his Grace's hounds at York, to the tune of 
Mr. Tattersall's hammer. Upon my entering the lodging-room of the 
young hounds, who were stretched about in all directions, looking like 
suft'erers from the plague in the streets of Alexandria, the whole of the 
windows being open, and rain accompanied by a west wind driving in, 
which gave the place more the character of a dairy or butcher's slaugh- 
ter-house than a kennel, I remarked to the feeder, the only person 
about the premises, that I thought the puppies full cool and airy, but the 
only answer I got was — "Us always keeps 'em so." I can only add 
that most of them died between that day and the day of the sale. 
Neither huntsman nor Avhipper-in was in attendance ; and how forcibly 
the old saying about " the master's eye, <fec.," struck at the moment ! 
These hounds were kept cool enough to be sure ; but when coolness is 
recommended, it is understood that cold starvation is not imphed in the 
treatment. When puppies are grown to a larger size, other attempts 
may be made to eftect a cm-c ; but although I have tried many 
recipes with partial success, the only and best system to pursue is the fol- 
lowing : — Be beforehand Avith the thseasc if you can, and upon the first 
symptom, which is a dry cough or husk, attended with loss of ajjpetitc 
and lassitude, bleed freely, but not after any discharge has shown itself 
at the nose. Then give the foUowiiig ]»ills : to a small dog one pill, but 
to a large dog two pills. Remember, there is a vast diflerence between 
a terrier and a hound. Each pill should contain of — 

Calomel three grains 

Compound powder of antimony four grains 

Camphor half a drachm. 

Give one at daylight, and tie the dog's head up for three hours, if he is 
strong enough to stand so long ; if he is weak, he must be watched by 
a trusty person to sec if he throws ofi" his pill, and if he does he must 


have another. Work this off in four or five hours with a dose of castor- 
oil. If the dog" is much purged omit the pill and oil for one night, and 
then dose again as hefore. Keep on with this remedy till a change takes 
place for the better, such as absence of fever and increased strength ; 
but do not weaken him with too strong purges. The dog must be fed 
from the beginning, if he refuses his food, with a spoon on the best 
beef or mutton broth, with a little white bread crumbed into it, or he 
will become so weak that he Jwill die of exhaustion : this must be done 
every two or three hours, or he will die. He must be kept cool (not cold), 
dry, sheltered, and comfortable, with plenty of ventilation. If his eyes are 
much affected, put a seton in the back of his neck. If too much purged, 
feed also on arrow-root or flour-porridge ; and if he is very ill with a violent 
diarrhoea, give him an ounce of barm, or yeast ; but if taken in time he 
Avill not want it. If with the above treatment, with strict attention to feed- 
ing the dog well upon good light but nourishing and Avholesome food, and 
at the same time keeping him cool and dry, he does not recover, I fear 
in vain must his owner seek otherwise for rehef. Many young hounds 
die of absolute exhaustion, after the worst stages of the disease are 
passed, from cruel neglect and idleness, when a little attention to merely 
giving them nutritious food and strengthening medicine might un- 
doubtedly have saved their lives. The following pill given to puppies 
recovering from distemper, and also to older hounds which have been 
debilitated in their constitutions, I have frequently found to have the 
very best effect ; — Take of 

Quinine twenty-four grains 

Gentian powder half ounce 

Bark powder half ounce 

Cinnamon powder one and half drachm 

Sulphuric acid eight drops. 

To be made into eight balls \vith syrup, and one to be given every morn- 
ing fasting. 

It has been supposed that this direful disease was first introduced into 
this country from France, where it was designated by the term of "La 
Maladie." It may now, however, be considered to have become natu- 
rahzed amongst the whole of the canine race in this island ; and not 
only are some kinds of dogs more subject to the disease than others, 
but in some kennels this dreadful scourge seems inherent in particular 
breeds ; I could enumerate several packs of hounds (but the exposing 
the misfortunes of some of the most justly celebrated establishments of 
the day is by no means my intention) where undoubtedly the distemper, 
in a very aggravated form, has been handed down from one generation 
to another until it has become one of the peculiar characteristics of the 
blood. Mr. Blaine's remarks upon distemper are so excellent that I 
woidd advise the reader to peruse them attentively ; they are far too ex- 
tensive to insert in this short chapter ; but the few following lines are so 
exceedingly descriptive of the cause of the disease that I shall insert 
them without apology : — " The distemper has become so naturalized 
amongst our dogs, that very few escape the disease altogether. A con- 


Btltutioiial liability to it is inherent in every individual of the canine race, 
which predisposition is usually acted upon by some occasional cause. 
The predisposition itself in some breads seems sufficient to produce it, 
and such have it very frequently very soon after birth ; but the predis- 
position is more frequently acted upon by some occasional cause, of 
which there are many. 

" Contagion may be regarded as the principal of these ; few dogs who 
have not passed through the disease escape it when exposed to the 
effluvia or the contact of the morbid secretions received on a mucous or 
an ulcerated surface. Yet inoculation with distemper virus frequently 
fails to produce it, and the disposition to receive the contagion is like- 
wise not always in equal force, but it appears stronger and weaker at 
various periods in the same animal, and is perhaps under the control of 
the accidental changes in healthfulness of habit, <fec., <fc;c. Cold apphed 
in any noxious manner to the system is a very common origin of the 
complaint ; throwing into Avater, washing, and not after drying the 
animal, unusual exposure during the night, «fec., are frequently causes 
of distemper in young and tender dogs. I have seen it produced by 
violent hemorrhage, by a sudden change from a full to a low diet, and, 
in fact, any great or sudden derangement in the system is sufficient to 
call the predisposition into action. The usual period of its attack is that 
of puberty, or when the dog attains his full growth ; in some it is pro- 
ti-acted to two, three, or even many years old, and a very few escape it 
altogether. The having once passed through the disease is not a cer- 
tain preventive to a future attack. It occasionally appears a second 
time, and an instance fell under my notice of a third recurrence, with 
the intervention of two years between each attack." 

In another place Mr. Blaine says, in speaking of the effects produced 
by the distemper : " The importance of the subject renders it not im- 
proper again to repeat, that of aU the symptoms that appear the epileptic 
convulsions are the most fatal. It is, therefore, of the utmost conse- 
quence to prevent their occurrence ; for when once they have made 
their attack art is too apt to fail in attempting their removal. The best 
preventive means that I know of are to avoid or to remove all circum- 
stances tending to produce debility, as looseness, low poor diet, too 
much exercise, exposure to cold, extreme evacuation from the nose, and 
no less the operation of mental irritation from fear, surprise, or regret ; 
all of which, I must again repeat, arc very common causes of fits in dis- 

Section Second. 


This disease, Avhich exhibits i.tself in many quadrupeds in very much 
the same form as it docs in the human frame, is thus described by Dr. 

* The i)ractice of Jressing or anointing young hounds when suffering from 
distemper is by no means to be recommended ; although the seasonable use of this 
most salutary application preserves health, and readers not only distemper, but other 
diseases, less violent in their attacks. 


Thornton, in his "Philosophy of Medicine:" — "If after bile is 
secreted its free admission into the duodenum be impeded, so that an 
accumulation of it takes place in the excretory ducts of the liver, it 
either regurgitates into the habit of the hepatic veins, or is absorbed 
by the lymphatic system ; in either case it produces the disease called 
jaundice." This is frequently generated by too high feeding, without a 
sufficient quantity of exercise ; lying in damp places will also produce it. 
It is exceedingly dangerous when it attacks puppies, which are also suf- 
fering from distemper, and it almost invariably proves fatal ; at least I 
never knew an instance of recovery. Blaine says that " dogs become 
affected with hepatic absorption in distemper and acute inflammation of 
the abdominal viscera ; but that icteric obstruction to the flow of bile, 
producing human jaundice, I have not met with in them." The 
method which I have always pursued has generally proved successful, 
which is, first, to bleed freely, and then give the following pills : — 

10 grains of calomel 

2 drachms yEthiops mineral 

3 drachms rhubarb 
-\ ounce Castile soap 
^ ounce aloes. 

Make this into six balls with some honey, and give one every three mornings. If 
it does not succeed, omit a day, and repeat it again ; and rub some strong blister 
along the dog's spine. 

The dog must be kept warm, and fed with broth and other light food, 
as with the distemper. Edward Rose, huntsman to his Grace the Duke 
of Grafton, and son of old Tom Rose, who filled that situation with great 
credit for so many years, gave me the following recipe, and assured me 
that he had known frequent instances of its effecting a cure in the yellows, 
when calomel and other remedies had failed ; but as I never tried it my- 
self, I am unable to give an opinion upon it. The following is the re- 
cipe : — 

Mix some nitre and honey together, ■well melted, and give it to the 
dog with a spoon ; it will cause him to vomit in a few minutes ; and 
rub in along the back for a few mornings some mercurial ointment. 

Section Third, 


Strange it may appear, but I scarcely ever knew a dog of any de- 
scription which was not occasionally in the habit of voiding these most 
troublesome insects. Many remedies have been prescribed, but few have 
any effect in completely eradicating the disease. When yoimg hounds first 
come up from their quarters, nine out of ton are generally more or less 
afflicted with them. In this case a few doses of sulphur and high feed- 
ing wUl very frequently remove them ; but in some instances they ap- 
pear so firmly rooted in the stomach as to defy every medicine which 
may be administered for their expulsion. Calomel, in doses of from eight 
to ten grains, given every third morning, is a good medicine ; but the 



dog lUList be fed exceedingly Iiigli cluriiig that time, and also after phy- 
sicking, as the disease proceeds from weakness of stomach in a great 
measure ; after three or four doses, physic mildly with salts and sul- 
phur, feeding very high. Turpentine has also been frequently and suc- 
cessfully given both in the form of pills made with flower, and also tied 
up in little pieces of wet bladder-like boluses. I have tried all these re- 
cipes, but the following is the most efficacious with Avhich I have ever 
met : — 

Give from half an ounce to an ounce of castor oil, with a teaspoonful 
of turpentine in it every three or four days for three doses. 

Calomel, six grains 

Tartarized antimony, one grain and a half 
Powdered jalap, ten grains. 
To be made into a pill, and to be repeated if necessary, 

is also an excellent prescription for foulness, as it is called in the 
kennel ; and assists in clearing the stomach from worms. 

The numerous medicines recommended for the cure of worms in dogs 
may be divided into two classes, the mechanical and chemical. 

The mechanical are those Avhich expel the worms from the stomach, 
frequently alive, by the pain and irritation they cause to them, as tilings 
of tin, powder of cowhage, and bruised glass.* The chemical are much 
more numerous, and of a different nature, generally of a poisonous 
quality, and causing death to the Avorms before they are brought away 
from the body. 

By an extract from a formula written by Dr. Thornton in his 
" Philosophy of Medicine, " I have shown the effect that the different 
medicines used to cure worms have upon the common earthworm, which, 
according to naturahsts, is the same in structure, manner of subsistence, 
and mode of propagating its species with many of the worms found in 
the bodies of men and animals : — 



Aloes, watery infusion of 2 48 

Jalap, ditto 1 — 

Epsom salts, solution of — 15^ 

Corrosive sublimate, ditto — 1^ -s g 

Calomel, a solution of — 49 * S 

Turpeths mineral, ditto — 1 ^*' 

Green vitriol, ditto — 1 '^ o 

Blue ditto, ditto — 10 § ^ 

White ditto, ditto — 30 ^ „ 

FiUngs of steel.. — 25^ rS ^ 

Ditto of tin , 1 — « 5 

Tobacco, infusion of — 14 t. -e 

Turpentine — 6 

Arsenic, solution of 2 — 

^thiops mineral 2 — 

Sulphur 2 — 

Sweetoil 2 30 

Rum — 1 


'^ It is a curious fact that, during the period that hounds may be fed upon ground 


Dogs are frequently afflicted with divers sorts of worms ; but the tape- 
worm, or taenia, is the most couimou to bo found. It is sometimes 
called "ttenia articidos dimittens," from the frequency of its parting 
with its joints. It was for a great length of time supposed by many 
eminent men, that only one worm existed in the same individual, from 
whence it was called Solium, and by the French " le ver solitaire." 
But it has since been satisfactorily proved that each link is a single 
worm, Avhich has a head capable of imbibing nourishment ; but that the 
first joint alone is possessed of the powers of reproduction. All kinds of 
animals are at times subject to this disease, and the worms which come 
away are frequently of a very considerable length. I have discovered 
a string of worms lying in a field, which had been recently voided by a 
sheep, of the length of upwards of six yards ; and I have read accounts 
of others which were much longer. 

Section Fourth. 


The best time to dress hounds is when their coats are stirring, and 
when the weather is mild and warm. A new draught should be invaria- 
bly dressed previous to their being introduced into the hunting kennel, 
as by that means the possibility of introducing fleas and ticks, which 
they may have picked up whilst travelling, will be prevented. 

The following is the simplest and best to be recommended : — 


Take two gallons of train oil (but linseed is better) and put it into a 
small iron boiler or pot, and add two pounds of soft soap ; mix it well 
together, and make it hot with a gentle fire. Then put it into a large 
pail, and add one pint and a-half of spirits of turpentine, one pint of 
spirits of tar, and about two quarts of train oil, in which has been mixed 
with the hand, minutely, as much sidphur as will make a thick oint- 
ment of the two quarts. Stir all together, and when cool rub it in with 
the hand. Boiling either the sidjdmr, tar, or turpentine spoils them. 
This will not only eradicate all vermin, but will cure the common mange ; 
and if the black sidphur is used instead of the common, it will generally 
cure the most virvdent mange. 


Is frequently attempted to be cured by the following remedy : — 

Mix soft soap and quicksilver together into as strong a blue ointment 
as can be made, and rub a lump as big as a walnut into each knee-joint 
for seven or eight mornings, which will cause sahvation ; and give a 
dose of ten grains of calomel on every third day, for three mornings. 

oats (not oatmeal), worms are seldom perceived to come from them, after the first 
few days ; the prickly husks of the oat*> acting like cowhage, dislodge them all, or 
most of them, during the first day or two. 

G 2 


Tliis will cure the disease, but ruin the clog's constitution. Corrosive 
sublimate aud Hellebore are also occasionally used ; but I cannot recom- 
mend so dangerous a remedy, as I have myself suffered from its cruel 
effects in mine own kennel more than once. The reason why sulphur 
does not always effect a cure is, that it is seldom half rubbed into the 
dog ; he ought to he perfectly saturated with the ointment all over every 
part of his skin. 

Section Fifth. 

When a hound requires any operation to be performed upon him in 
the kennel, be it ever so trifling, let liim be first properly secured, as, if 
he once gets the upper hand he will always be exceedingly troublesome 
to manage. If he is fractious he should be caught with a whip, or even 
two whips, in a resolute and Avorkmanlike manner before the couples are 
put on him, and not hunted round the court and irritated by a bungling 
tailor who is frightened at him ; the muzzle shoiild then be firmly strap- 
ped on, and with a strong cord he should be tied up to a staple in the 
wall. Being thus carefully secured, the huntsman may search for thoi'ns 
or stubs in his feet and limbs in safety, as all attempts to do any mis- 
chief to the operator will be unavailing. 

Many are the accidents to which all dogs, but more particularly fox- 
hounds, are liable ; such as cuts, bruises, strains, and punctures, from 
thorns and stubs, as well as from deep and severe bites from their com- 
panions. The tongue of the dog has generally been considered as the 
best remedy for a wound, but from experience I should say, that in nine 
cases out of ten the remedy only increases the grief, by keeping the 
place open until it becomes morbid ; and from want of sufficient inflam- 
mation to heal it, an obstinate cancerous sore is not unfrequently the 
consequence. Blaine, in speaking of the wounds in dogs, says, 
" However bad, they are not generally much attended to, from an 
opinion that the animal's tongue is the best dressing. This is very 
questionable ; in some instances, I am certain, no application can be 
worse to a Avounded dog than his own tongue. Whenever dogs are at 
all inclined to foulness, as it is called, a sore solicked is sure to become 
mangy, and to be aggravated by the licking." 

After cleansing the wound from dirt, and Avell fomenting it in hot 
water, the foUoAving applications will be found infallible in aU simple 
cases : — 


Balm drops, two ounces 
Tincture of myrrh, two ounces 
Nitrous acid, half ounce. 

To be rubbed on the wound. 


Spirit of wine, onek)unce 
Sweet nitre, one ounce 


Spirit of opodeldoc, one ounce 

Spirit of salamoniae, one ounce. 

To be well rubbed in. 


Oil of salts, one ounce 
Oil of bays, two ounces 
Oil of spike, two ounces 
Oil of petre, two ounces 
Oil of vitriol, sixty drops. 

To be rubbed in once a day. 


4 drachms rectified oil of amber 
1 ounce spirit of lavender 
1 ounce spirit of turpentine 
3 ounces white wine vinegar. 


Some huntsmen use Friar's balsam alone, or a styptic tincture made 
of oil of vitriol five drops, and tincture of myrrh one ounce, which is a 
good remedy. But the following is the very best application which I 
have ever tried ; I had it from the late Mr. J. Warde's kennel in Berk- 
shire (a very flinty country), where it was used for many years : 

Blue vitriol, three ounces 
Roch allum, three ounces 
Vinegar, one and a half pint. 

To be mixed together. Let it be kept warm for two months, either 
near the fire or let it be buried in a heap of stable manure. The 
older it is the more astringent it becomes. 


First take some blood from the hound thus injured ; give a mild dose 
of physic, and foment the eye very frequently with warm water ; after- 
wards bathe it with an eye-water, composed of rose-water and white 
vitriol, mixed as for a human being, but rather stronger ; it is far better 
than goulard-water, which is too harsh and drying. If the eye still con- 
tinues to be inflamed, put a seton in his neck. Weak eyes are very 
frequently the eti'ect of heat of constitution and Avant of condition, 
(See Blaine's chapter on diseases of eyes). 


Rub the part bitten with very strong hartshorn and oil repeatedly, 
and give doses of linseed oil (but olive is better) intenially. If the part 


swells and pockets, open it below the swelling with a lancet, and ruh it 
with the dressino- recommended above.* 


Give a mild dose of salts, and foment continually ; afterwards rub 
gently in the lotion for cuts and bruises. 


This generally arises from a foulness of habit, as a thrash does in 
the foot of a horse ; dogs much exposed to the water, as otter-hounds, 
are particularly subject to it. I have known hounds to have had this 
complaint for years, and no material inconvenience to arise from it, ex- 
cepting the disagreeable sight of the animal continually shaking his 
head. To cure it, first bleed, keep him cool and low, and inject an 
astringent wash, composed of six ounces of rain-'water, in which should 
be mixed as much alum as it will dissolve, to which add about twenty 
grains of Avhite vitriol ; let it be injected with a small syringe. Hounds 
seldom are afflicted with canker on the outside of the ear, as long-eared 
dogs are. Rounding, which is the only certain cure, prevents it. 


Hounds when at work will occasionally break out in little patches, 
even under the care of the most vigilant feeder ; if the place is touched 
Avith a little spirit of tar, it will be easily cured. Nothing looks worse 
than to see a hound at the cover side with a patch of blue ointment on 
his back. I must again repeat, if the insides are well attended to, and 
hard condition promoted earlier in the summer than is too frequently 
the case, red elbows and tetters would seldom or never be seen in the 
hunting season. 


" Fistulous Avounds," says Blaine, " in glandular parts, often prove 
very obstinate. In such cases, means must be taken to get at the bot- 
tom of the sinus, and to raise a more healthy inflammation therein. 
This may be done by either injecting something stimulant into it, as a 
vitriolic wash, or by passing a seton through it. Some fistiUous wounds, 
such as those in the feet and about the joints, will often not heal, be- 
cause either the bones or the capsular hgaments are diseased. In these 
cases the wound in general requires to be laid open to tlic bottom, and 

* The bite of a viper seldom or never kills a dog. " The experiments of the 
Abbe Fontana, which were numerous, go strongly to the proof of this point. He 
found that it required the action of twelve exasperated vipers to kill a dog of a 
moderate size ; but that to the killing of a mouse or a frog, a single bite was suffi- 
cient." — Paley's Nat. Theol. 


to be stimulated with oil of turpeutiue, or with tincture of Spanish flics, 
daily, till the foul diseased bone or ligament be thrown off, when a heal- 
ing process immediately commences. " The plan 1 have always pursued 
has been the following : in some instances I IiaA'c effected a cure, but I 
have frequently seen hounds so diseased as to baffle the most indefati- 
gable perseverance : first cut open to the bottom of the sinus, and dress 
very lightly with butter of antimony, once in four or five days. Care 
should be taken not to use too much of this severe appUcation, as it will 
destroy the flesh and increase the evil. I once had a hound named 
Waterloo, whose leg became fistulous to the utmost degree, from the 
effect of a bite in the knee ; as soon as I cured it in one place in the 
front, another broke out at the back, and his hmb Avas like a honeycomb 
up to the very shoidder. As he ran sound, I kept liim at work for 
three months, when a complete cure was effected by the above treat- 
ment, added to frequent mild does of medicine ; he rested occasionally, 
on account of the inflammation caused by the dressing ; but the work 
itself, by invigorating his constitution, was no doubt one great cause of 
his recovery. 


Hounds are frequently afflicted with a swelhng in their neck, not un- 
like the mumps, and at other times we find them attacked with inflam- 
matory sore throat ; it is very similar to that disease which among 
human beings is appropriately designated by the name of " Cyanche 
Tonsilaris," from kvmv a dog and av;y;w to suffocate. I have seen them 
suffering almost to starvation, and when they have approached the 
trough, thrust in their jaws, and attempt to eat, but, owing to the in- 
tense swelhng, their mouths being gagged wide open, they have been 
unable to swallow^ This disease has been confounded with rabies, and 
designated by some as dumb madness. 

The remedy which I have always pursued, and which I have invaria- 
bly found to succeed, is first to bleed and then to give several doses of 
castor oil, if possible, and blister repeatedly with any strong hquid 
bhster ; it is a very difficult thing to get a blister to rise upon the skin 
of a dog, therefore the apphcation can hardly be mixed too strong. A 
warm bath is also a great assistance towards relief, if the dog is kept 
dry and warm afterwards. 


Although the fractured limbs of dogs will recover quicker than those 
of almost any other animal, and even in some instances without any as- 
sistance from even a bandage, upon their recovering, their speed will 
almost invariably have forsaken them ; I never knew an instance of a 
foxhound being able to run tvell up after meeting with such an accident, 
excepting Lord Middleton's Conqueror, whose thigh was broken by a 
kick from a horse. Unless the hoimd is Avorth keeping, either as a 
staUion or brood bitch, the more merciful Avay woidd be to have him im- 


mediately destroyed. A broken thigli or arm, however, soon unites, if 
a plaster or bandage is carefully placed round it ■with splints. Let the 
patient be kept continually muzzled, except when fed, to prevent him 
gnawing off the bandage. Take some blood from him, and give him 
several mild doses of physic. 


Bleed to exhaustion, and repeat if necessary ; give the dog a hot 
bath, and inject two or three drops of croton oil in some broth two or 
three times a day, and dose with castor oil. 

Section Sixth. 


We are now about to treat upon the practice of physicking hounds, 
which is far from being the least interesting topic embraced in kennel 
management, and concei'ning wliich more different opinions perhaps 
exist, than upon any other subject connected with condition. Food of 
the best quality, and properly administered, added to a well-regulated 
system of exercise, is no doubt the main point to be attended to in the 
management of not only foxhounds, but all other animals Avhose cor- 
poreal exertions are required to be tried to the utmest of their abilities ; 
but unavailing would this system of care and attention prove, without the 
timely execution of those medicinal auxiharies, without which the various 
channels of the body, or secretions, would, from excess of stimuh, 
quickly become overcharged and devoid of their proper and natural tone. 
" It is the condition of the hound which gives him the advantage over 
the animal he hunts," says Colonel Cook, in his " Observations on Fox- 
hunting. " But how is this point of condition to be attained ? Not by 
overloading his stomach with food, and, consequently, his circulation and 
absorbents Avith grossness, but by introducing as much and no more nu- 
triment than can be easily and thoroughly digested. Of the feeding of 
hounds I have spoken sufficiently in a former chapter, and shall content 
myself here with making a few observations upon the medicine which is 
considered necessary to be used in getting a pack of foxhounds into 
condition. Nearly all huntsmen have their favourite recipes for physic; 
but, although there may be various ways of producing the eft'ect required, 
still the principle upon which each plan is founded nuist stand the same 
in all cases. Large bodies of animals which are kept together, such as 
sheep, horses, cattle, hounds, and even human beings, fi'om living on 
exactly the same food, breathing air of the same temperature, and pur- 
suing the same habits, become, by degrees, very similar in their consti- 
tutions ; this is evident by diseases, Avhich arc not contagious, breaking 
out in schools, workhouses, and other places whei'e a large body of 
human beings arc in the habit of living together. We may also see the 
same thing amongst cattle, and in studs of horses, where an epizootic 
frequently shows itself without the possibility of its having spread by 
contagion, Hounds, wliich have been kept together for mouths, and 


even years, eating tlic same food, and following in every way the same 
line of existence, become so much alike in their natures and constitutions, 
that medicine, during a general and periodical physicking, will have, ex- 
cepting in a very few instances, exactly the same effect upon each indi- 
vidual ; it may vary in the degree, hut the nature of the effect will he 
the same, or nearly the same, in all. For this reason, the system of 
physicking in the trough is always pursued by good judges. Some per- 
sons may exclaim, " The greedy feeders will get a stronger dose than 
the rest ;" but that is the very reason why the system is recommended: 
the hard feeders are always the foulest in their constitutions, and there- 
fore require the most. Nothing is easier than to regulate that part of 
the business ; and the shy and delicate may generally be coaxed into 
eating a sufficiency for the purpose. Occasionally old hounds are met 
with of so cunning and suspicious a nature, that nothing can induce 
them to eat that meat in Avhich physic may have been mixed. I have 
known instances of them going Avithout food for two days, rather than 
be thus cheated. In such cases, the best plan is to give it to them in 
the shape of balls, taking care to tie their heads up to a staple for an 
horn* afterwards, to prevent their throwing them off. If the weather is 
warm, they may be coupled up in the drawing court ; if it is in winter, 
let them be tied up against the wall in the boiling-house. 

Amongst the many minerals, drugs, and other medicines used amongst 
dogs, sulphur is the principal ; and if it were ten times its price, I have 
no doubt it would be held in far higher esteem than it is, not only by ca- 
nine practitioners, but also by those gentlemen who exercise their talents 
amongst the lords of the creation. Dr. Henry, in his " Elements of 
Chemistry," tells us that the best sulphur comes from Sicily ; and that 
Avhich is procured in our own island is of an inferior quality, and con- 
tains a portion of the metal from combination with wliich it has been se- 
parated. I am convinced that it is the best and most efficacious physic, 
when followed by mild doses of salts, that has ever been recommended 
for hounds. Some persons prefer syrup of buckthorn and jalap, but as 
they cannot influence nor act upon the blood-vessels and secretions, as 
sulphur does, nor affect the liver in any Avay, I am at a loss to discover 
why they are preferable. In cases of extreme foulness, and in liver 
complaints, calomel and tartarised antimony are undoubtedly indispen- 
sable ; but where merely relieving the stomach of its load is the object, 
I should conceive that the method by which it was effected in the mildest 
and quickest form would be the best. For this reason, salts are the 
very best purgative which can be given. The practice of giving salts in 
human beings, is objected to on account of constipation almost invariably 
following the operation of the medicine ; but with dogs it has quite a 
contrary eflfect ; and I never knew one single instance of hounds being 
confined in their bodies, even after the strongest dose. 

The more general practice of administering sulphur, is to give a good 
large dose of it one morning in every week during the summer months, 
as an alterative ; but if huntsmen would adopt the following plan in- 
stead, they would find the result far more salutary, and that the quantity 
of sulphur consumed would go twice as far. About four or five day§ 


after giving the first dose of Epsom salts, I would commence with giving 
sulpbiir in each da3^'s feed in very moderate quantities, just sufficient to 
cause the hounds to smell strong of it, for seven or eight successive 
mornings ; then miss two clear mornings, and on the third give a dose 
of Epsom salts. In mixing the salts, care should he taken not to scald 
them, as the practice of so doing will considerably weaken their pm-ga- 
tive powers. They should be mixed in the trough amongst some very 
thin, lukewarm meat : the usual allowance is one large handful for each 
couple of hounds. 

Those Avho may consider buckthorn and jalap as a superior medicine, 
will find the following recipe a good one. I have tried it myself ; and 
if I did not prefer that which I have recommended above, I should in- 
variably make use of it : — 

Syrup of buckthorn, three quarts 
Jalap , quarter of a pound ; 

to which add three quarters of a pound of cream of tartar, to be mixed 
in their food. This is sufficient for twenty couples of hounds. They 
should be physicked early in the morning, and they shoidd have Avarm 
broth given them twice after during the day, to work it oif kindly. 

Section Seventh. 


In a previous chapter on the kennel, I set forth in a clear light the 
real and only cause of kennel lameness existing in hounds. Upon the 
cause, I shall say no more ; and even with regard to an attempt at cure, 
the imdertaking will be useless, unless the pack are first removed to 
another more healthy spot. The usual remedies are blistering (which 
seldom does any good), putting setons in the shoulders, and turning out 
of the kennel to run loose ; but, amongst the Avholo of the systems re- 
commended, the last, namely, giving the animal his liberty for a time, 
may be considered the most efficacious. 

Many hounds become unsound in their shoiilders also from other 
causes, such as blows from rushing out of the kennel, and striking them- 
selves against a door-way, and from kicks from horses, and other acci- 
dents ; also from being lost, and lying out all night in a damp situation. 
By proper care and managemerrt, they may from such casualties 
eventually recover. 

When you perceive a dog to travel badly and go tender before, he 
shoidd immediately be examined as to the locality of his lameness. If 
it is situated in the knee, it may be plainly perceived by gently bending 
in the knee-joint ; but if the grief is in the shoulder, by pidling forward 
his leg, he will immediately show you, by the jiain he sutlers, the seat of 
the misery. 

The first thing to be done is to have him well fomented daily for some 
hours ; take some blood from him in the shoulder vein ; and afterwards 
rub in the embrocation, a recipe for Avhich is given above. If this, 
with rest, will not re-establish his soundness, you must insert a seton 


either on the top of tlio slioulder or bcloAv, at the point of the shoulder ; 
let him be turned out to run loose, care being taken to shut him up 
Avarm at night by himself, or the other hounds will gnaw off his seton. 

Kennel lameness, which is neither more nor less than " acute rheu- 
matism," aflects hounds in various ways : sometimes in the shoulders ; 
at other times they appear to be suffering luider lumbago, or a violent 
pain in the loins or spine, which is evident when pressing those parts 
with the hand. Blaine does not mention this disease under the name of 
kennel lameness, but, in his chapter on rheumatism, describes a com- 
plaint very similar to it, and at the same time recommends the same 
remedies for the one which Avoidd be used for the cure of the other. 

He says, in speaking of the above-mentioned disease, that " it seldom 
attacks the smaller joints, but confines itself to the trunk and ujmer 
portions of the extremities ; neither does it wander, as the human 
rheumatism, from place to place, but usually remains where it first 

He also says that no dogs are ever afilicted with rheumatism without 
also being aff"ectcd in the bowels with constipation. I have never par- 
ticularly observed that in hounds ; but nothing tends more to keep a 
pack at work, which may be afilicted by the disease, than frequent doses 
of mild physic, especially of siUphur. In cases of rheumatism amongst 
human beings, sulphiir has been found to give great relief ; and in that 
famous recipe for rheumatism and rheumatic gout called the " Chelsea 
Pensioner," sulphur forms a chief ingredient. 

Lameness in the stifle-joints may also be treated in the same manner 
as when it appears in the shoulders ; for an obstinate stifle lameness I 
have tried firing, but absolute rest is the best remedy. 

Section Eighth. 


A huntsman should invariably have his diff'erent instruments nicely 
cleaned, and laid in such order as to be ready at the shortest notice. 
Amongst them may be enumerated a brand, rounding irons, and mallets, 
two large seton needles (these should be made to order, as it is very' 
difiicult to obtain them ready made with the eyes sufficiently large), case 
of large lancets, claw nippers and pliers, probe, forceps, knives of 
various sizes, divers straight and bent needles and silk, two or three 

* As many sportsmen are troubled with rheumatism to a distressing degree, from 
bein^ so frequently wet about the shoulders and knees, the following recipe may not 
be found unacceptable : — 

Half an ounce of milk of sulphur, 

Half an ounce of cream of tartar, 

Quarter of an ounce of rhubarb, 

Quarter of an ounce of gum guiacum. 

Tea-spoonful of ginger, and a small nutmeg ; 

to which add half a pound of honey. Take a tea-spoonful night and morning. This 
is a most excellent recipe. 


])airs of scissors, with many other things too numerous to mention here. 
Also a good dry cupboard, invariably under lock and key, containing, 
ready for use, a large bottle of tincture of rhubarb, a large flask of 
castor oil, liniment for bites, cuts, »fcc., a box containing the calomel 
and antimony pills, some Venice turpentine, mercurial ointment, jar of 
sharp-water, spirit of tar, bottle of eye-water, a pound or two of cream 
of tartar, &c. To these may be added, to be kept dry, two or three 
hundred-weight of sulphur, and a large stone bottle of spirit of turpen- 
tine ; also a large barrel of chalk. In using any lotion, sharp-water, 
&c., a small quantity should be poured into a bottle for immediate use, 
as constantly opening a large bottle considerably weakens its medicinal 

Section Ninth. 


It may seem almost impossible, amongst the various opinions that 
have been given by those authors who have before written upon this 
subject (and whose authority upon other canine diseases may have never 
been for one moment called in question), both with regard to the origin 
and also the reproduction of this dreadful malady, for any one to decide 
positively Avhether " Rabies Canina" can be produced in dogs spontane- 
ously, or from the effects of a wound inflicted by the teeth of a rabid 
animal alone. Facts, however, as we have been often told, are " stub- 
born things," and to facts alone ought we to look for a proof of that doc- 
trine which we may wish to estabhsh. The disciples of Dr. Hamilton 
are considerably on the decline, but arc still occasionally to be met Avith, 
although Mr. Blaine, in his " Canine Pathology," has most clearly ex- 
plained that the disease is not produced without inoculation. In page 
226 he says, in one of the marginal notes, in speaking of the epidemic 
fury with which it seemed at times to have raged, according to many 
historical accounts, " Not that I believe the rabid malady ever arises 
spontaneously, but that sometimes the inoculation of it takes place 
under circumstances particularly favourable to its rise and future propa- 
-gation." And in page 234 we find the following remark — " As far as 
mine own experience goes, as far as close observation and attentive con- 
sideration have enabled me to judge, I have no hesitation to give it as 
my opinion that the disease is never now of spontaneous origin. Among 
my most unlimited opportunities of remarking the subject, I never met 
with one instance of rabies in a dog wholly excluded from the access of 
others." If any one will give himself the trouble, or rather the plea- 
sure, of reading Mr. Blaine's chapter upon canine madness, he Avill 
meet with abundance of anecdotes illustrative of the positive proof of 
the disease being propagated by inoculation alone, and of the extreme 
folly of supposing that it is produced by excessive heat, unwholesome 
food, an arid state of the blood, or from any other remote causes. I 
will, therefore, merely refer my readers to those interesting pages, 
without copying out their coutents, as it is far from my wish to crowd 


this book ■with information that can be so easily procured elsewliero, or 
to gain to myself the imputation which has been laid to the charge of 
Mr. Gillman, on his " Prize Dissertation," of wearing plumes gathered 
from the " Memoir" written by Mr. Blaine upon this disease, and which 
was afterwards inserted in " Rees' Cyclopaedia." 

At a later period, we find Mr. Youatt, who, in his early life, was a 
partner of Mr. Blaine, bringing forward the subject in an enthusiastic 
and masterly manner, in the pages of the " Veterinarian ;" and by the 
scientific way in which he has exposed the absurd errors })y 
which it has been surrounded, we may look forward with in- 
creased hope that the day is not very far distant when a thorough 
knowledge in every branch of a disease which is more to be dreaded 
than any other in the whole range of veterinary practice, will not only be 
firmly established, but that some certain remedy for it may also be dis- 
covered, to which it may eventually yield.* Mr. Youatt, like his prede- 
cessor, denies the possibility of the disease being propagated except by 
inoculation, and which he distinctly proves by a long course of Avell- 
digested reasoning and undeniably authentic anecdotes. t Of the nume- 
rous instances of rabies showing itself in sporting dogs, and which have 
come within the pale of mine own knowledge, the few following will 
suffice to convince my readers that there is just reason for entertaining 
the same opinion as Mr. Blaine and Mr. Youatt, upon the almost cer- 
tainty of tlie disease being propagated by inoculation alone. What 
makes the circumstances more extraordinary is, that they all happened 
during the same year, namely, at the end of the winter of 1835-6, 
which might give some persons the idea that it must have been some 
kind of epizootic by Avhich the hounds were attacked, and not by the 
real " rabies canina." But the fact that only one pack in each estab- 
lishment was attacked Avoidd, I should suppose, with any reasonable 
person, set that doubt at rest. At the close of the Avinter above-men- 
tioned, the "bitch pack" of the Warwickshire hounds, then under the 
management of Mr. Thornhill, shoM'ed evident symptoms of madness, 
upon which they were taken out no longer, but each individual was 
chained up separate from the rest, so that there could be no possibility 
of their biting each other. After the space of about six weeks ten 
couples died, or were destroyed, in a state of the most raging madness. 
Amongst the dog hounds, which formed another pack, and were kept at 
the same kennels — but of course in separate lodging-rooms and courts 
— there was not one single instance of the malady showing itself, 
although they had been fed from the same trough, breathed the same 
air, and were exactly in the same state of condition, having, previous to 
the malady brealdng out, worked alternate days. The disease had 

* In November, 1845, Professor Sewell, in the course of his lecture at the College, 
Camden Town, said that " rabies canina" was incurable by the administering of any- 
internal agent ; but that the remedy he had hitherto practised, and would still con- 
tinue, was to bleed to exhaustion, and then renovate the patient, whether man or 
beast, by an infusion of healthy blood. The poison produced inflammation on the 
brain and spinal marrow. 

t See "Veterinarian" for July, 1838, 


evidently been introduced amongst them by inoculation, as it was a well- 
known fact that about three weeks or a month prior to its first appear- 
ance, when hunting at that celebrated cover, Woolford Wood, the 
hounds were joined by a cur-dog, which was observed by the Avhipper-in 
to quarrel with and bite several of them. By taking the precaution of 
separating the hounds, upon the madness first breaking out, the re- 
mainder, about fifteen couples of valuable bitches, were saved. Thomas 
Day, the huntsman, was bitten in the hand while administering a ball 
to one after she had become attacked, but a timely application of the 
knife, and lunar caustic, efi"ectually prevented any fatal consequences,* 
As to the cui'e — I do not believe that any faith whatever can be placed 
in any remedy excepting the knife and caustic, by a timely application 
of which the progress of the malady may be safely arrested previous to 
the second circulation taking place through the absorbents, and 
which is necessary to enable the virus to produce " confirmed rabies." 

The second instance which I have to record, is the destruction of part 
of Mr. Hall's hounds, which hunted Somersetshire. The malady Avas 
traced to a terrier wliicli belonged to the pack, and which had been 
bitten by a wild-looking setter dog during one of the hunting days. 
The hounds were divided into a large and a small pack, and it Avas the 
large pack which Avero out on this unfortunate day ; amongst this lot, 
every single hound either died raving mad or was destroyed upon sus- 
picion of having been bitten ; but in the small pack, not one single in- 
stance of rabies occurred. During the same year, but rather later in 
the season, Mr. H. Combe's hounds — which had formerly been so cele- 
brated when the property of that excellent sportsman, Mr. Osbaldeston 
— ^were taken into Lincolnshire to " hunt the April month" in Sir K. 
Sutton's woodlands. They travelled by water from London, and Avhile 
waiting at one of the Avharfs before embarking, a cur dog was obseiwed 
by W. Gardner, the boiler, who Avas one of the persons attendant upon 
the hounds, to Avrangle Avith them and bite several of them. No parti- 
cular notice was taken at the time, it being looked upon as an incident 
frequently occurring to hounds when travelling. However, AAathin about 
three weeks of the time, several couples of them died mad ; the rest 
were only saved by separating them. 

I will relate one more instance of hounds going mad in the kennel, 
from being bitten, before I close these few observations. I received the 
account from that Avell-knoAvn old sportsman. Major Blagrave, Avho was 
master of a pack of harriers for many years. In the year 1806, the 
major i-esided as Ashdown Park, in Berkshire, and Avas at that time in 
possession of a very clever pack of harriers. Upon the puppies coming 
up from their quarters in the spring, he was informed that one of them 

* William Smith, huntsman to the late Earl of Yarborough, had the credit of pos- 
sessing a recipe which is a certain cure for the malady, and which had been haaded 
down from father to son for several generations. Whether it is infallible or not I 
cannot pretend to say ; but it is a well known fact that it has been frequently used 
with supposed success ; and amongst other patients who have availed themselves of 
it, we may mention Jem Shirley, the present huntsman to Sir J. Cope, who was 
bitten by a, mad dog some years since iu Ireland. 


had been bitten by a dog supposed to be niatl, whicli had been roving 
about the neighbourhood, and he was advised to keep an eye upon him. 
However, after the dog had been shut up some weeks, and no symptoms 
of madness being evinced, he was placed in the kennel with the other 
hounds, where aU went on well for some days. In the course of a short 
time this suspected puppy was observed to have a most extraordinary 
propensity for fondling upon and biting at, in a playfid manner, not only 
the other hounds, but also his master and the feeder. He was imme- 
diately condemned, and, being placed in confinement by himself, died in 
a few days ra\'ing mad. The whole pack were shortly afterwards de- 
stroyed, some in a most confirmed state of rabies, and the rest were put 
away to jirevent the possibihty of their propagating the malady. 

I will conclude by declaring that I have never known a dog to be 
really hydrojihobous where the disease had not been proved to have 
been introduced from inociUation from a bite alone ; nor do I believe 
that any other person can adduce one single instance to the contrary. 
Dogs may be known to suffer under extreme feverish excitement, ap- 
proaching to madness, from constipation, the eftects of distemper, or 
from other causes. They may also be afilicted with brochitis, or with a 
violent inflammation of the fauces, the symptoms of which I know, by 
mine own experience, greatly to resemble rabies ; but to one who is well 
acquainted with both diseases, they are as different as light from dark- 




' ' My hounds shall wake 
The lazy morn, and glad the horizon round." 



Commencement of the season — Young hounds brought into the kennel — Rounding 
puppies at their quarters— Inspection of hounds in kennel — Anecdote of an 
ignorant M.F.H. — The number requisite to put forward — Purchasing draft 
hounds — The first and second draft — Hounds should match in size and appear- 
ance — Mr. Osbaldeston's and Mr. Villebois' sorts — Throaty hounds, Old Finder 
— The true shape of a hound described — Extensive breeders of hounds — Lord 
Fitzwilliam's hounds — Will Dean and Will Crane, both famous huntsnien — 
Lord Yarborough's hounds, and his huntsman. Will Smith ; his death— Jackal- 
hunting in India— Breaking young hounds — Anecdotes of wildness — Mr. Mey- 
nel's hounds, Gallant and Gameboy — Trailed scents formerly used — Notice of 
the Rev. Dr. Vyner — Mr. Digby Legard's match — The wild-goose chase de- 
scribed — Mr. Meynel's match, and Mr. Smith Barry's hound Bluecap — Show- 
ing young hounds riot in a park — Charles King's system — Jack Wood's perse- 
verance — Roe-deer— A good ear for hounds when dividing — Early reminiscences 
— My first brush — The Warwickshire hounds — William Shaw's system of enter- 
ing to hare in the spring — Will Carter — Summer management of hounds, and 
condition — Time for dressing — Exercise — Early commencement of cub-hunting 
at Belvoir — Late harvests in the north — Great number of foxes killed in some 
hunts — Bag-foxes bad for hounds — Evening cub-hunting ridiculous — Great 
labour of cub-hunting — Pheasant-preserves prejudicial to sport — System of 
hunting altered — Old Tom Rose — Jem Butler— How to kill a cub handsomely 
— Blood of great consequence — Plenty of exercise requisite — A dog killed by 
Lord Middleton's hounds — The fox in the chimney — Mr. Stubbs — Anecdote of 
Jack Shirley — Ditto of a hound suckling cubs — Sir Thomas Mostyn and the 
Oxonians — Extraordinary run in cub -hunting. 

The opening of tliis chapter sliall be the commencement of a new 
season, and in it I will endeavour to lead my reader through the Avhole 
routine of the economy of the hunting kennel ; and although topics may 
he introduced, and incidents recorded, which may at first sight appear 
extraneous and heavy, still they will be found to he so interwoven with 
the main object, that they are absolutely necessary and convenient to 
carry on the design, and that, like a firm building, the cavities must be 


filled up with sucli stones and mortar as are proper and in keeping with the 
strength of the fabric, and not plastered up with such perishable materials 
as are inconsistent with the intention of the architect ; nor will any foolish 
attempt be made to introduce that kind of flowery language so prevalent 
in books of modern days, by which the reader may bo misled into a dif- 
ferent kind of pleasure, quite foreign to that which is designed in the 
present Avork. 

According to the acknowledged custom of fox-hunting the season 
commences in November ; some establishments begin to advertise their 
fixtures early in October, but the first Monday in November opens the 
campaign in Leicestershire, invariably at Kirby Gate ; on that day may 
be seen at this celebrated place of meeting most of the regular Melton, 
men, and undoubtedly the finest display of horseflesh that can possibly 
be exhibited in any country in the world. In humble imitation of the 
great men in this metropolis of hunting, the numerous jjossessors of in- 
ferior studs who flock to the various other minor hunting quarters, for 
the sake of enjoying the pleasures of the chase, date the commence- 
ment of their hunting season from this period. But it is quite another 
thing with the master of a jiack of foxhounds ; his new year begins on 
the very day after the last day of the l)ygone season, that is, if he hunts 
till the 30tli of April his new season opens on the 1st of May ; and al- 
though the following six are called the dead months by the generality 
of fox-hunters, they are, perhaps, nearly as full of labour as the remain- 
ing half year. From that day his whole attention must be taken up in 
renewing his forces for the ensuing camj^aign, in weeding his ranks of 
the disabled and vicious, and supplying their 2)laces with a new entry of 
recruits, which may be either of his own breeding or from the drafts of 
other kennels. The young hounds are generally sent in from their 
quarters by the end of March ; few farmers being prevailed on to keep 
them even to so late a period on account of their lambs and young poultry. 
Sometimes they shut them up close in a small pigsty or outhouse, where 
their limbs become deformed ; and, by constantly sitting on their hams 
watching to escape, they grow sickle-hocked and weak in their quarters. 
When a puppy is discovered to be treated in so brutal and unfeeling a 
manner, the sooner he is rescued from his dungeon the better ; as by 
good food, and being allowed the free use of his limbs, he may still re- 
cover after coming into the kennel.* By the first week in April, how- 
ever, we may conclude that they are not only all come in, but that out 
of the whole body those which are to form the entry for the ensuing- 
year have been selected to be " put forward" from those which, on ac- 
count of their size not matching Avith the rest, or from infeiiority in 
symmetry, power, colour, and general appearance, are drafted from the 
kennel. The first thing to be done after the requisite number have been 

* The reason for confining puppies is sometimes on account of theii' hunting in the 
fields and disturbing the neighbouring preserves ; this, however, may be easily pre- 
vented by sending over a whipper-in to round their ears whilst at (juart?rs, which 
will effectudllj put a stop to tleir rambling propensities for at least a month or five 



selected is to round tliem, as by the time the soreness of their cars has 
recovered, and the natural timidity and wildness arising from the novelty 
of their new mode of living has gradually worn off, they will become 
sufficiently tractable to walk out in couples, and to proceed in some sort 
of order from their court-yard to the feeding-room. Some of the for- 
ward puppies win come in as early as Christmas ; these should be 
Avalked out in couples daily, and taught their names from the very first 
period of their entering the kennel. But the education of a young hound 
may be said to commence from that time when, after being recovered 
from the effects of rounding, the new entry are first taken out in regu- 
lar order to foot exercise in couples. Some huntsmen defer rounding 
their puppies until they have had them in couples more than two months, 
and half broke them. This plan may be right ; but there are two ob- 
jections to it, in my humble opinion, if not more. In the first place, 
the later the operation of rounding is performed the more hot the 
weather becomes, and the more troublesome the flies ; in the next place, 
when their ears are chopped off when they first come into the kennel 
there is no interruption to their education. Care should be taken not 
to draft too close, as the ravages caused by the distemper have very 
frequently so thinned the number "put forward" that there has not 
been a sufficiency left without having recourse to the second draft of an- 
other pack. It is a most excellent custom in many kennels, where the num- 
ber of puppies will allow of it, to put forward twenty -two or twenty-three 
couples, and to make a second draft as soon as the young hounds have 
recovered and may be considered safely landed from the effects of the 
distemper. Three hours on the flags may be very agreeably spent at 
tills season of the year by a real sportsman, but it is a sad hove to one 
ivho is not an admirer of the symtnetrical. The usual routine com- 
mences by drawing the hounds of the year in litters, and showing them 
with the dam, and also the sire, if he be at that time in the kennel, and 
so on from the two, three, and four-season hunters to the end of the 
chapter. Now, if the said visitor is what is termed a houndsman, he 
is twigged in one moment by the huntsman, and the raree-show goes on 
with all the alacrity and scientific display which the showman is capable 
of exercising. Huntsmen like to talk with sportsmen about their 
hounds ; and the more questions asked, and remarks made, by one of 
the craft, the better they are pleased. Judicious observations, added to 
a well-merited praise, wiU, in many instances, go much further with 
such men as Tom Carter, Joe Maiden, or Tom Sebright, than a guinea 
presented by an ignoramus. What fun I have seen, to be sure, with 
some men during an inspection of hounds ! Poor fellows ! they wished 
themselves Avell out again, after having been introduced to about three 
or four couples ; and, generally sj)caking, this description of inspector 
?.s not treated with an individual sight of each hound, but the whole 
l^ack (especially if it be near walking out time) are taken out " en 
masse," and shown altogether in the ])addock. I don't wonder at 
huntsmen getting tired of exhibiting their hounds to some men ; for the 
ignorance displayed, and the silly and trivial questions asked, ai-c 
enough to weary the patience of Job himself. The following ease, that 







^1 1 

1..- ^i-.^^'rvii/^ii : 


occurred at mine own keuuel, I must record as an instance of tlic awful 
state of neglect to which some gentlemen's hunting educations have 
been exjiosed. A young master of hounds (though no houndsman) who 
lived within a hundred miles of my kennel in Warwickshire, did my 
pack the honour of a visit in the spring, and of passing judgment on 
their merits and demerits. As a matter of course, a M.F.H. being 
present, the puppies were drawn and shoAvn first, when, on one pre- 
senting himself of rather a solemn aspect and counsellor-like visage (in 
kennel language termed " sour about the head "), my unfortunate 
visitor — for I really consider it as one of the most melancholy cases of 
barbarism on record — giving the puppy a tap with his stick, inquired — 
" How many seasons has this old Solon-like fellow been at work?" 
Observe, most attentive reader ! his ears had not been even chopped off ; 
and now you may, I think, be allowed to ask which were the longest, 
those belonging to the hound or his admirer. I can only add that, aftci 
such an expose, the whole lot were shown out en masse. 

Where hounds are to hunt foiu* or five days a week, sixteen or seven- 
teen couples shoidd be entered ; Avherc the number of hunting days is 
only twice a week, or five times a fortnight, seven or eight couples will 
be quite as many as will be required. If there are not sufficient good 
Avalks in a country to make it worth while to attempt breeding, at any 
rate during the first two or three years after commencing the formation 
of a pack, the more advisable plan for renewing the defalcations of the 
past year will be to procure the young drafts of some other well known 
and accredited establishment, engaging invariably both first and second 
drafts, from one year to another, and not to hazard the chance of jiick- 
ing up young hounds from various difierent kennels ; by this means it 
will be far easier to obtain a pack of the same stamp and character, a 
very material point to be looked to by any one wishing to excel. How 
frequent a thing it is to meet with a i)ack, in high estimation too, which, 
when viewed as a body, appear to have been purposely selected from 
every kennel in the universe ; although, if each individual is drawn out 
separately, no particular fault can be discovered in him. The main 
points in their symmetry, when examined by themselves, may be all 
sti'ikiugly good ; but when a few couples are mixed together, their 
style, countenances, and general character vary so exceedingly, that they 
are immediately obvious to any one who is a close observer of such mat- 
ters. Appearances are certainly much more considered than they used 
to be in former days, and in many instances, I fear, before other qua- 
lifications of greater consequence ; still, in the days of Somerville, 
equahty of size and similarity in character were looked upon as essen- 
tially necessary in the selection of a pack, which is beautifully expressed 
in the following lines : — 

" As some brave captain, curious and exact, 
By his fix'd standard forms in equal ranks 
His gay battalion ; as one man they move 
Step after step, their size the same, their arms 
Far gleaming dart the same united blaze ; 
Reviewing generals his merit own ; 


How regular ! how just ! aud all his cares 

Are well repaid, if mighty George approve. 

So model thou thy pack, if honour touch 

Thy generous soul, and the world's just applause. 

But, above all, take heed, nor mix thy hounds 

Of different kinds ; discordant sounds shall grate 

Thy ears offended, and a lagging line 

Of babbling curs disgrace thy broken pack." 

Tlic sort of hound put forward must depend, to a certain degree, 
ujion the taste of the breeder ; for instance, no tAvo descriptions of 
hounds could differ more widely than those of the late Mr. John 
Villebois, and those of Squire Oshaldeston, both being allowed to be 
first-rate judges in every way connected with hounds and hunting. The 
symmetry of those of the former Avas, in the opinion of many sportsmen, 
spoilt by a loaded neck, and quarters inelegantly short, that is, short 
from the hip-bone to the setting on of the stern ; in other respects they 
were perfect, with deep chests, wide backs, round ribs, and legs and 
feet formed to endure the incessant flint beds of Hampshire. Now the 
Squire's were, in many respects, the very opposite to these, as to some 
of their points ; for example, he never put a hound forward that was not 
clever in his quarters ; however, they did not give much trouble to the 
selector, coming, as they did, nearly all fit to go forward, the result, no 
doubt, of first-rate judgment in the breeding of them. His good taste 
led him to prefer light necks, and perfectly-formed shoulders ; in fact, 
without the latter no hound can go in any country. You seldom saw a 
throaty hound amongst Osbaldeston's, but old Fiudcr was an instance 
to the contrary, from Avhom he bred for several seasons, Avarranted by 
the excellency of his Avork on the line, and his extraordinary stoutness in 
chase. He afterwards Aveut to the Duke of Buceleugh's kennel, and 
was used as a stud hound for several seasons. StiU, Avith all this va- 
riety in taste, there are certain rules to go by, a deviation from Avhich 
must inevitably end in failure and disa2)pointment : for instance, a puppy 
may be not quite straight in his fore legs, and yet as strong and speedy 
as those Avhich are as straight as darts, but then the crookedness must 
be at the knee-joint, and not at the clboAv ; if he turns his toes out from 
the elbows while those joints turn in, he is not Avorth a farthing, and if 
his knees bend back, a defect AA'hich is called by some " calf-kneed," as 
resembling the limbs of that interesting animal, he is only fit to sell to 
the foreigners. But he still may be a little crooked at the knee, as you 
stand before him, and on looking at him sideways, you may perceive 
that his knees are straight that v:ay, and full of bone, Avith the ankles 
lai'ge and not bent back ; if he came of a good family, and Avas clever in 
other respects, I Avould never reject such a hound, imless very strong in 
the year's entry. The next point is his ribs, both fore and aft ; if he 
is not deep and thick through the heart, he can never have Avind to chase 
and run up — dont try him, and if he has no back ribs, it is ten to one 
about his lasting through a day's Avork, unless he has an extraordinary 
good back and loins, and then he may, but he UTUsthave strength sonic- 
Avhcrc about his middle-})iece, I don't object to a " Avhcel-back,'' or 
" roach-back," as it is sometimes called ; hounds so formed are gene- 


rally speedy aud strong, especially in loilly countries. Of slioulders 1 
have spoken before ; if in the least upright, reject them at once. As 
to hind-quarters, they should be chosen the same as a race-horse's, but 
plain ones go well sometimes. The houghs should be near the ground, 
angular and bony ; what are termed sickle houghs are generally weak ; 
at any rate they are very unsightly, although they may sometimes stand. 
Hounds which are loaded about the neck, or fleshy under the throat, or, 
as it is generally termed, throaty, are usually found to be slow, patient 
hunters, but not quick enough for modern fox-hunting ; and I have, 
moreover, frequently observed that where extreme elegance of form ex- 
isted about the head and neck, the possessor was, nine times in ten, a 
rogue, when he had the opportunity of so distinguishing himself. The 
form of a hound's foot should be round and compact, like that of a cat ; 
and although some sportsmen fancy that a more open foot is more capa- 
ble of enduring hard work, my experience has always led me to prefer 
round hard feet, especially in a flinty country, and I am convinced that 
hounds which have too open feet are continually laming themselves in 
climbing banks, and in various other ways getting them chafed and in- 
jured. A hound ought to carry his stern up, and slightly curved over 
his back, although many excellent hounds travel with them level with 
their houghs ; nor would I reject a curly-sterned hound, if good in other 
I'espects, for the sake of one of the best and truest hunters I ever knew, 
and that was Osbaldeston's old Rambler. As to their tongues, Ave can 
say nothing about that point till they are entered and tried ; they must 
then learn to " speak out," and as an old writer has it, " with such 
tuneful notes to assemble their fellows, and give tidings to their master, " 
when they have got master reynard on his legs, or, as Will Price once 
expressed himself to me, they should have " a nice 'ticing tongue" to 
call the others to the line. 

The most extensive breeders of hounds of the present day are the 
Dukes of Rutland and Beaufort, the Earls of Yarborough* and Fitz- 
Avilliam,t Lord Fitzhardinge (late Lord Segrave), Sir Tatton Sykes, and 
the master of the Cheshire hounds. Numerous other noblemen and gentle- 
men depend upon the produce of their own kennel for the rising gene- 
ration ; but the number of puppies put out to quarters is by no means 
so great, and consequently the annual draft from them are not of tliem- 

* The Yarborough or Brocklesby houads (taking their title from the name of the 
S3al of the Pelham family) were established considerably upwards of an hundred and 
fifty years ago ; and it was under the auspices of the first Lord Yarbro' that the 
character of the pack rose to the high pinnacle of fame to which it has so justly 
attained, his lordship being, at the lime of his decease, the " father of the field." 
This nobleman was also a rival, although a friendly one, of the celebrated Mr. Mey- 
nel, of Quorndon. One of the not least remarkable features connected with these 
hounds is, that the office of huntsman has descended through the same family of 
Smiths for four, if not five, generations. The present huntsman has only hunted 
these hounds two seasons : his father, who had filled the office before him for about 
twenty-five years, being killed by a fall in hunting, which fractured his spine, while 
leaping a ditch in the parish of Bariioldby le Beck, near Grimsby. 

t The Earl of Fitzvvilliam's hounds are descended directly from that pack pur- 
chased from Mr. F0I17 and Mr Crewe (afterwards Lord Crewe), who bought them 


selves sufficient to form an entry for an cstabllsbment which hunts four 
or five clciys a Avcck. The number of young hounds purchased annually 
to go to various parts of the continent, and even to tlie East Indies, is 
very great, although the numhei's exported some few years since far ex- 
ceeded what are now sent from England : the average price per couple 
in India is twenty guineas, as I have been informed, upon good autho- 
rity, by a gentleman who resided in that country for some time, and 
was in the habit of joining a pack occasionally, in the neighbourhood of 
Calcutta, which hunted jackals in the same manner as we hunt the fox 
in England ; he described the sport as a bad imitation of bad cub-hunt- 
ing. The number sometimes kiUed is very great ; and although the 
jackal appears to come nearer to the species of the dog than the fox 
does, yet the hounds never refuse to break him up, but " tear him and 
eat him" in as good style as if they had killed him from Owston Wood 
or Charnewood Forest. 

Young hounds, after they have commenced their education, should on 
no account Avhatever be trusted at exercise, or even when moved out 
into the paddock, without a sufficient and effective number of persons 
to attend them, and prevent the possibilitij of their breaking away, or 
getting into the slightest mischief ; the ice once broken, and then there 
is an end of all confidence in them, and if the old hounds are taken out 
along with the puppies to exercise, as is the case in some cocktail 
establishments, the matter is made a thousand times worse. I once ' 
knew an instance of a lot of wild yoimg hounds being moved out into a 
field adjoining the kennel Avhere they were kept, and where a long-tailed 
black pony was grazing, attended by the feeder a?one; from wantonness 
one of the hounds bayed at the pony, whicli induced another to do the 
same, and the pony to declare his approbation or disapprobation by re- 
peated snortings and caprioles ; the main body concluded it Avas a 
signal for a rush, when away went the little horse over the fence into 
the adjoining lane, and away went the hounds full cry, to the dismay of 
the feeder and the rest of the establishment, who were so suddenly 
summoned by the music of the pack ; however, to conclude my story, 
they were not stopped until tb.ey ran the pony five miles, but without 
any further damage to any of the party excepting sowing the first seeds 
of irrevocable wildness, whenever an opportunity might offer itself. 

of Mr. Child, the banker, who hunted Oxfordshire many years ; Mr. Child had 
them from Lord Thanet, who also hunted Oxfordshire when it was a perfectly open 
country. His lordship was supposed to have been possessed of the best pack of 
hounds of the day ; he was the breeder of the famous Gallant and Gameboy, t^vo 
stud hounds, of whom more will be said hereafter, which by a union with two bitches. 
Vicious and Victory, laid the foundation of Mr. Aleynel's celebrated pack at Quorn- 
don. When Lord Fitzwilliam purchased the hounds of Mr. Foley and Mr. Crewe, 
he took them away from Oxfordshire, and Will Dean, who had been first whipper-in, 
accompanied them as huntsman ; he had been brought up under the famous Will 
Crane, who, when speaking of Will Dean, used to say, " he would not boast of his 
own qualifications, but he could say that he had formed the best huntsman in Eng- 
land." Will Dean was allowed by the eld sportsmen of that day to have been the 
most agreeable and sensible man who had ever been known in that lino. — Extract of 
a li'ifer of an old sportsman, ar/ed 90. 


There is an old story told of the Beaufort hounds, when tliat pack was 
being first formed many years ago ; a new draft of hounds, v,'hich had 
arrived on the pi'evious day, were let out into the paddock to he in- 
spected, when they commenced running the crows, which frequently fly 
skimming along close to the ground in windy weather ; and as the old 
kennel man who had the care of them declared that he believed they 
would have never been stopped if they had not, by the blessing of God, 
changed for a jackass. Beckford also mentions the fact of the whipper- 
in belonging to a pack of foxhounds being thrown from his horse when 
at exercise, when the horse galloping off caused the hounds to break 
away after him, they being full of rest and wildness ; after which, find- 
ing themselves without control, they commenced rioting, and, falUng 
upon a flock of sheep, destroyed many of them before they could be 

It was not a very uncommon practice in former days to try young 
hounds, before they were entered, with a drag or train scent. From an 
old collection of hunting memoranda in my possession, which belonged 
to an uncle of mine who was a worthy D.D.* and a real lover of fox- 
hunting, and who passed many a happy winter in hunting with the 
hounds of the late Lord Yarborough and Mr, Meynel, I have taken the 
following extract, relative to the hounds of the latter gentleman. 

" Lord Thanet's Gallant and Gameboy were got by Brusher, out of 
a daughter of Lord Chedworth's Gamester. Crane brought with 
him the dam of that bitch when he came to Lord Thanet. Brusher 
was bred by Lord Ossory, and supposed to be got by Mr. Taylor's 
Rivers ; of the same litter with the dam of Gameboy and Gallant, there 
were nine in the whole, all remarkably good-winded and speedy, though 
coarse-looking hounds ; they were called the ' Royal Family, ' from 
their excellence. However, this litter were most of them to have been 
drafted on account of their plainness, but Crane begged they might be 
tried u]i a trailed scent before they went, and in running this trailed 
scent the whole family distinguished themselves in a very remarkable 

Many matches are on record of hounds running a trailed scent ; and 
in or about the year 1808 or 1809, the late Mr. Digby Legard, Avho at 
that time hunted the country now hunted by Sir Tatton Sykes, made a 

='= Dr. Vyner was the intimate friend and companion of the first Lord Yarbro', 
passing the hunting season at Brocklesby for many years. He was a prebendary of 
Canterbury, and also held two livings in the neighbourhood of the Brocklesby Hunt, 
Withern and Authorpe. He was also an intimate friend of the celebrated Mr. Mey- 
nel, with whom he occasionally hunted. Dr. Vyner was considered not only a first- 
rate judge of breeding hounds, and everything connected with their work, both in 
the kennel and the field, but one of the most elegant and accomplished horsemen 
that ever steered a hunter across a country, which was the more remarkable at that 
period, when every young man could not ride to hounds a bit, as most of them can 
at the present day. Amongst many good nags to be found in the Doctor's stable 
was a magnificent roan horse, which was a present from Lord Yarborough, and which 
had been given up by himself, his huntsman, and his whips, as a dreadful and in- 
curable puller ; but the light hand and resolution of this sporting divine were match 
for this Bucephalus, and he rode him gallantly for several seasons, by the aid of 
merely a plain snaffle-bit. Dr. Vyner died in November, 1804. 


match to run two couples of hounds four miles, against two couples of 
Mr. Osbaldestou's, on a tiailcd scent, wliich he won in the neighhour- 
hood of Malton. The trail used was a horse rug, which had been 
placed under a tame fox for two or three days. The following extract 
was copied from a Cork paper :- — • 

" I will back, for two hundred sovereigns, hounds from mine own 
kennel, running a drag scent, to beat any horse carrying lOst., four 
miles, over a fair sporting country ; and mind you, by beating I do not 
mean a head or a length, but the hounds shall be at the finish two hun- 
dred and forty yards before the horses ; or, in plain words, the hounds 
shall distance the horses. My money is lodged in the Provincial Bank, 
Cork, where it shall lie fourteen days to be covered, and Avhere the chal- 
lenger's name and address shall be learned on that being done." 

The author of an old book entitled the " Gentleman's Recreation," 
which was compiled about two hundred years ago, in speaking of the 
manner in which horses were matched in racing in former times, says 
that " first, then, the old Avay of trial was, by running so many train 
scents after hounds, this being found not so uncertain and more durable 
than hare hunting, and the advantage consisted in having the train 
scents laid on earth most suitable to the nature of the horses. Now others 
chose to hunt the hare till such an hour prefixed, and then ' to run the 
wild-ffoose chase,' which, because it is not knoMai to all huntsmen, I 
shall explain the use and manner of it. The ' wild-goose chase re- 
ceived its name from the manner of the flight which is made by wild 
geese, which is generally one after another ; so that the two horses, 
after the running of twelve score yards, had liberty, Avhich horse soever 
could get the leading, to ride Avhat ground he pleased, the hindermost 
horse being bound to follow him Avithin a certain distance agreed on by 
the articles, or else to be whipt up by the tryers or judges, which rode 
by, and which ever horse could distance the other won the match. But 
this chase was found by experience so inhumane, and so destructive to 
horses, especially when two good horses were matched, for neither being 
able to distance the other, till both were ready to sink under their riders 
through Aveakness, oftentimes the match Avas fain to be dra^vn and left 
undecided, though both horses were quite spoiled. This brought them 
to run train scents, which was afterwards changed to three heats and a 
straight course." 

The most celebrated match Avliich we have recorded, and Avhich took 
place about the end of the last century, was between Mr. Meynol and 
Mr. Smith Barry, over Newmarket Heath. Will Crane, Mr. Meynel's 
huntsman, had great difficulty in making liis hounds run the drag at 
first ; they Avere trained in Essex, and exercised at it three times a 
week, from the 1st of August to the 2Sth of September, the match 
coming oft" on the 30th of that month ; tlie food used Avas oatmeal and 
sheep's trotters. The drag Avas draAvn up-Avind from the rubbing-house 
near the toAvn, to the rubbing-house at the stabling, near the B.C. The 
result Avas as follows : Mr. Ijariy's Bluecaj) came in first, his Wanton 
second (very close), Mr. Meynel's Riehmond third, and a bitch of his 
never came in at all. Coopci-, Mr. J^arry's huntsman, was first up, his 


mare Lehig' riiUlcu blind. Crano tlic clevcntli, on a plate horse called 
Rib ; the tunc occupied was eight minutes and a few seconds. Odds at 
starting, 7 to 4 on Mr. Meynel, whose hounds were trained on legs of 
mutton. This species of amusement is now seldom practised, excepting 
in Lancashire and some of the northern counties, where matches are 
occasionally made by OM'ners of harriers, numerous small packs being- 
kept in those lawless dictricts. 

We will now suppose the new entry to be recovered from the effects 
of the distemper, to have learnt to answer to their names in the kennel, 
and to have begun to go daily to horse exercise along the neighbouring- 
roads, the wild ones in couples, the rest with a pr. buckled double on 
their necks, being occasionally taken for an hour at a time amono-st 
sheep and cattle, in which way they must be employed until within a 
montli of cub-hunting, when they may be taken every morning by them- 
selves into a deer-park, or amongst hares. When this part of their 
education commences, they should be cross-coupled, and if they show 
any inclination to riot they should be severely chastised. In the course 
of three or four days they Avill be so accustomed to them, that they may 
be trusted amongst them Avithout being coupled, taking- care to enlaro-e 
only a few at a time ; they may then bo taken out with the old hounds, 
and thus exercised for about eight or nine hours each morning till the 
cub-hunting commences. With regard to showing the young hovuids 
hares previous to entering- them, huntsmen differ widely in opinion ; it 
is the custom with some to show them riot almost daily for many weeks 
previous to cub-hunting — flogging them most severely for attempting to 
chase. Charles King, Avho lived so many years with Lord Althorp (af- 
terwards the late Earl Spencer), acted in quite a different way : his 
opinion was that it was not only useless, but that it tended considerably 
to dispirit and spoil young hounds, to awe them too much from riot be- 
fore they were well entered and blooded ; and with the exception of 
showing them deer in Althorp Park a few times (although the kennel 
was close to it), and two or three times finding a few sitting- hares, to 
teach them to know the meaning of a rate, they were not broken from 
riot, until after they had killed two or three brace of foxes from the 
Brigstock kennel ; they were then taken every morning, when they did 
not hunt, for a couple of hours into Rockingham Forest, and severely 
rated from deer, hares, and rabbits, the place being particularly adapted 
to the purpose. The Pytchley hounds Avere no less remarkable for their 
steadiness than they were for their stoutness and hunting qualities ; and 
I have no doubt that this system considerably increased their handiness 
afterwards in the field. Jack Wood, whose rudiments of hunting- were 
learned under the renowned Philii) Payne (many years huntsman to his 
Grace the late Duke of Beaufort), and whose first-rate knowledge of the 
science, both in the kennel and in the field, Avas partly acquired Avhen 
living as first Avhipper-in under Charles King, was of the same Avay of 
thinking. Having hunted Avith him many seasons, and havino- com- 
menced invarialdy at early daAvn, I have had many good opportunities of 
not only observing and admiring the quiet and workmanlike manner in 
Avhich he drilled and educated his noAV entry, but also of conversing mth 


liim upon the various subjects relative to entering young hounds, and 
other matters connected with the chase. He considered it a most useless 
and cruel practice to chastise and rate animals from that mischief which 
in a few days they woidd not only have so many opportunities of in- 
dulging in, hut be, as it were, encouraged to commit ; and that by too 
early and severe a system of education, huntsmen not only cowed and 
dispirited their young hoimds, but absolutely destroyed in a great mea- 
sure that dash so requisite in a foxhound, or, in other words, " flogged 
the fox completely out of them." While the body of old hounds are 
running a fox with ever so good a cry, it is impossible for the young ones 
to distinguish whether they arc running the hares which are continually 
jumping up before them in cover and crossing them, or not ; but when 
they have been blooded by two or three brace of foxes, and perceive that 
they are not assisted by the old ones when pursuing hares and other riot, 
they will soon learn to leave them, and join that part of the pack that 
are settled to a fox. To gain this end, Wood considered that downright 
hard work and perseverance wei*e the only means ; and no man ever 
acted up to his own maxim in a more determined manner. I have seen 
him frequently, in some of the largest and thickest covers in Warwick- 
shire, with homids torn and cut all to pieces, absolutely walk up to a 
beaten fox, which had been crawling before him Avith a miserable scent 
for hours, and kill him at last ; I have seen him repeatedly do this when 
another huntsman would have been dead beat by the heat of the morn- 
ino- or the distance from his kennel, and have contented himself with 
riding home and murdering a fresh fox in a gorse cover on the next hunt- 
ing day, by way of keeping his pack in blood. Long tiling mornings in 
the early part of the season, when the weather is hot, are by no means 
to be recommended ; but one stout fox hunted fairly up to with a mode- 
rate scent, in a large thick woodland, will do more good than killing six 
brace in gorse covers or small hollow spinies. 

It is a question that has been often mooted amongst sportsmen, why 
some packs of hounds are so much wilder and more vicious than others ; 
whether ■sice descends in the blood, or if it proceeds from an injudicious 
and unskilful management of the pack when at v:ork or exercise. I 
should say, undoubtedly from both these sources, and also from other 
causes, over which a huntsman has no control, viz., scarcity of foxes, 
and the circumstance of covers and country being, in their nature, inac- 
cessible to whippers-in. Hounds invariably imbibe the nature and tem- 
perament of their huntsman, and are, according as they are generalled, 
flighty or slov/ and plodding, shifty or line hunters, steady or incurable 
hare-hunters, as the case may be. Although vice of all descriptions 
(and none more so than unsteadiness in drawing, or, in other words, 
speaking to a hare-scent) is proved to be transmitted, in the breed of 
hounds, from one generation to another, still, a great deal towards eradi- 
cating this evil maybe done, by persevering exertions, after cub-lumting 
has commenced. Whei'e things are done on a grand scale, and there 
are plenty of horses at command, there can be no excuse for vicious 
hounds. On the rest-days, the rogues can, without trouble or inconve- 
nience, be taken out early in a morning, well drilled amongst deer or 


hares, and broug-ht in again time enough to be fed with the lot dra\m 
for the next day's hunting, of which they may fonu a part. But in 
small and " scratch" establishments, where, in nine eases out of ten, 
matters are conducted on a more than economical plan, few hacks are kept, 
perhaps not more than one for all pm-poses ; and the hunting stable not 
affording any spare nags, the employes are glad of an excuse to give the 
cavahy a chance. In these cases, the riotous hounds only get an extra 
cut or two in going to cover the next morning, instead of three good 
hours' drilling on the previous day over some neighbom-ing manor, 
where the proprietor has kindly given pemiission for the foxhounds to 
be exercised and awed from riot, whenever their himtsman may be dis- 
posed to take them. Amongst the various descriptions of riot that are 
met with, none is more vexatious and destructive to good sport than 
the roe-deer (luckily confined to part of Scotland and the west of Eno-- 
land). They are animals that seldom show themselves in the open at 
any season of the year, but abide pei-petually in the most thick and re- 
mote covers ; conserpiently, it is impossible, when exercising and break- 
ing young hounds, to show and awe them from them with any effect. 
Various schemes have been attempted to make hounds familiar with 
them by bi-inging up the fawns tame, to live about the kennel, (te. : 
but the plan adopted by Captain Barclay, when he hunted the Turriff" 
country in Aberdeenshire (where the roe abounds more than in any other 
county in Scotland), was one of the most extraordinary. He procured 
a dead roe, which he had stuffed and plaeed epon wheels, and by this 
means cbagged about the neighbouring fields when the pack were at 
exercise ; and he declared that the practice rendered his hounds infi- 
nitely more steady than they had been before this novel experiment had 
been tried. 

Although in all packs some hounds are to be met with of so impatient 
a disposition, that, if a fox cannot be found in the first or second cover 
drawn, they must have a fling at something or other, yet thorouo-h-bred 
foxhounds will invariably prefer a vermin scent to that of hares or other 
game ; and I have frequently seen them throw their tongues on a pole- 
cat or fitchet, as also on the common house cat, when met with in woods 
at a distance from home. An extraordinary instance of running a pole- 
cat to groimd occm-red with the Warwickshire hounds, some vears ao-o, 
when Jack Wood hunted them. I was very yoimg at the time, and had 
only just begun to take notice of the work of hoimds, but knew pretty 
well when they turned in a big wood of 300 acx-es, or if thev were nin- 
ning in two or three bodies. However, to hunt up to mv story, we 
found a fox in the Kenilworth Woods, and after giving him a devil of a 
dusting for about two hours, ran him to groimd in a small head of 
earths in that well-known cover — Long Meadow Wood. I was 
attending to the cry of the hounds, just before they went to oround, ex- 
pecting to hear them stop and kill their fox, when suddenly they were 
divided into two bodies, both of which ran to ground at the same 
place, and within one minute of each other. Upon o-oino- down to the 
earth, I remarked to Jack Wood that there were two scents, and I fan- 
cied a brace of foxes were gone to ground. 


" There were two scents," said Wood ; "but I am sure there have 
never been two foxes before the hounds this morning ; it certainly did 
apjjear very strange for them to divide as they did during the last ring ; 
but we shall see." 

We dug down, and first of all found a huge polecat, and in a few 
more minutes (the terrier still keejjing at work) the hunted fox. 

" Well done, Master ! " said Jack Wood, " you have got the best ear, 
for a young one, I ever met with in my life. " 

1 felt half a foot higher upon the strength of such a compliment from 
such a quarter. 

In the spring of the year hounds are frequently more inclined to be 
riotous than earlier in the season, for the following reasons : — In the 
first place, March winds are great promoters of wildness ; and, in the 
next, the old Jack-hares smell so awfully strong, during that pecuhar 
period, that old hounds, which were considered perfectly steady before, 
have suddenly broke away, on hare scents, in the most determined and 
ungovernable manner. Moreover, when there is any vice bred in young- 
hounds, it is allowed by all huntsmen to show itself at that peculiar 
season of the year. In the spring 1 have also frequently seen a pack of 
hounds leave the line of a vixen fox and refuse to hunt her : this may 
appear strange, but it is perfectly true ; and I have no hesitation in 
saying, that nine old huntsmen out of ten will confirm Avhat I have 
written, from their own experience. Another thing which contributes 
to the rendering of young hounds, or even old ones, skirtcrs and shifty 
in their work, as it is termed, is the practice of continually cub- 
hunting them in gorse or whin covers, as they are enabled when dis- 
tressed to come to the outsides, and meet the fox in the rides and rack- 
ways. This, however, is unavoidable in some ojjen countries, where 
this description of covers abounds Avithout any woodlands. Ko pack of 
hounds can be made and kept steady, in my opinion, without a good 
drilling, at the commencement of the season, in large holding woods ; 
and 1 have no hesitation in saying that a pack which can do their work 
as they ought to do in deep and extensive covers, running well to the 
head, and driving abreast without tailing or skirting, would not fail to 
cut a good figure, and give a good account of their foxes in any countiy. 

Owing to the large, ungovernable fields of horsemen which, in these 
days, are in the habit of attending hounds, even from the very com- 
mencement of the regular hunting season, I have always looked upon the 
cub-hunting months to l)c by far the best time for a man fond of the 
work of hounds, to indulge his venatic taste, without the danger of being 
either himself ridden over, or having the greater part of his hounds 
trampled down and destroyed. Long before I kept hounds myself, 1 
was in the constant practice of beginning with the first morning's cub- 
hunting, and going out i-egularly, through the summer and axitumn, 
with the ])ack which hunted my neighbourhood in Warwickshire ; and 
many is the run I have seen in those woodlands, which would not have 
disgraced December, and many the fox killed when the lazy world were 
snoring away their time in bed. Even when a schoolboy, 1 never lost 
the oppO)'tunity, when it otl'ered, of runnino; on foot I'or miles to get a 

''J .-.J 


siglit of the liouiuls, citlier as they were passing from one cover to draw 
another, or where they might he even seen for a few minntes on their 
return home from hunting ; and as five of my boyish years were spent 
with a private tutor in the cream of the Pytchley country, it is not 
much to he wondered at that the innate love of hunting shoukl have been 
cherished till it became " the ruhng passion," and that the remembrance 
of those early and dearly-loved scenes round Hemplow Hills and Win- 
Avick Warren should be amongst the fondest of my by-gone days. 

" Ml) first brush,'' that trophy so sought for and valued by the old 
school, now become by far too dirty and odoriferous for the Avhite gloves 
of the modern fox-hunter, Avas gained in that Paradise of chase, Nor- 
thamptonshire. It was late in the month of March, during the season 
of 1816 and 1817, when the quiet village of Guilsborough Avas aroused 
from its accustomed tranquillity by the cry of the Pytchley hounds, at 
that time the property of Lord Althorp : they had run their fox, after a 
most brilUant burst of fifty minutes, from Nethercote's Gorse up to the 
gardens which surrovmd the village, and amongst a most heterogeneous 
mass of cobblers, tailors, and snobs of every grade, and curs of Ioav 
degree, they killed him. Not having far to run from the house of my 
tutor, I Avas lucky enough to be " m« my place" at " the finish," and 
by the joint assistance of a large stick and a icvr kicks from the hobnails 
of a yokel, the fox Avas saved ; and I bore hjpi aAvay in triumph into the 
middle of the next field. But Avhere are the horsemen ? Where is 
Chas. King ? AVhere is Jack Wood ? Where is Mr. Bouverie ? 
Where is Vere Isham ? Where is Davy, cum multis aliis ? In the 
middle of Naseby Field, lost in a fog, and floundering their Avay through 
those far-famed receptacles for beaten horses, the Naseby Bogs. Why, 
the fox has been killed these ten minutes ! But here conies one in a 
cap; 'tis Jack Wood first ; and five minutes more come "the field." 
It was a good run, and a good finish — all Avere delighted, and none more 
so than he Avho on that day gained his " first brush." 

It Avas under the keen eye and by the quick discerning judgment of 
Jack Wood, that the far-famed WarAvickshire pack, then the property 
of Mr. Shirley, was first formed, in a great measure from hounds es- 
teemed, by good judges, of the very best blood in England, besides the 
progeny of several stud-hounds from Northamptonshire, amongst them 
the renoAvned Laundress, Darling, and Ottoman, bred by the late Lord 
Sondes ; they had several stallions and brood bitches from the kennel 
of the late Duke of Beaufort, of the Dorimont and Nectar blood; and 
with such materials in the hands of so skilful and experienced a person, 
it was no wonder that in a icav years a pack Avas produced Avhich might 
compete in steadiness, speed, and the qualities of enduring, Avith any 
other in the Avorld. Of their extreme steadiness in chase I think the 
folloAving anecdote Avill bear ample testimony. It Avas in the December 
of the year 1829, Avlien the pack Avere under the management of that 
well-known and excellent sportsman, Mr. Robert FelloAves, of Shotesham, 
in Norfolk (but Av^ho then resided at Talton, near Shipston-on-Stour), 
that the circumstance to Avhich I allude occurred. An afternoon-fox 
Avas found at Witnash-gorso, and it being a good scent, and the hounds 


o'ctting away close at liis brush, a tremendous burst over a severe coun- 
try was the consequence ; pointing at first for Oakley Wood, and then 
bending to the left, the direction taken was over part of the Chesterton 
enclosures and Ilarbury Field. At this point a hare jumped up in view 
of the whole^ack, who were at that time driving along with a breast- 
high scent, and continued to run for at least half a mile in the exact di- 
rection which had been taken by the fox. The anxiety and despair 
depicted in their huntsman's face at this moment may be better imagined 
than described ; the pace was so great that to get at them, or attempt 
to stop them, Avould have been impossible. Turning to me, who hap- 
pened to be at that moment in a pretty good place, he exclaimed, " By 
G — , sir, they are running hare! And yet," said he, pausing for a few 
moments, " they cannot be, for old Bashful* is leading." He was 
rio-ht in his second supposition, for the hare finding himself distressed, 
turned short across the field, and this gallant pack kept straight forward 
upon the line of their io)9, without one single hound deigning to look for 
one moment in which direction she had taken herself ofl: out of their 
way. Forty-three minutes completed this excellent run uj) to Itching- 
ton Heath, and in four more minutes the fate of the fox Avas sealed, and 
his death proclaimed by a thrilling who-whoop. This incident, to the 
common run of hard riders, might appear to be without interest, and 
miworthy to be remarked ; but to me, to Avliom the behaviour of the 
hounds, and the manner in which they ])erforni their work, are ever of 
the first consideration in a day's sport, it was particularly striking. 

I once had a long conversation Avith Wm. Shaw, who Avas many years 
huntsman to his Grace the Duke of Rutland, upon the system of entering 
the puppies to hare in the spring, Avhen they first came up from their 
quarters. He Avas a great advocate for this plan, and he told me he al- 
Avays practised it, taking them out with two or three couple of old har- 
riers, and declared that he Avas convinced that Avhen they Avere thus en- 
tered they turned out invariably better hunters afterwards, and that they 
Avere by no means more unsteady amongst hares than others Avhich had 
not been entered in that manner. Nevertheless, Avith all his experience 
in the matter, and eloquence into the bargain, he coidd not succeed in 
making me a convert to his system, although 1 believe him to liave 
been a most excellent judge of hunting, and a very first-rate performer 
both in the field and in the kennel. Old Will Carter, many years 
huntsman to Sir Mark Sykes,. Avas another of these hare-hunting fox- 
hunters ; he Avas an " out-and-outer" in his Avay, and had a very good 
]»ack of hounds, as old sportsmen Avho have lived in Yorkshire, and who 
liunted Avith him for years, have informed me ; but they Avere ahvays, 
as I liave imdcrstood, fond of '' currant jelly" in wild Aveather. The 
great Mr. Meynel Avas, I believe, the first avIio brought this system into 
fashion, but, like a good many more of the absurdities of our forefathers, 
it has noAV become exploded. 

* By the Duke of Beaufort' b Boxer, out of Virulent, who was by the I'ytchley 
Ottoman, out of then- A^cngeance. This most excellent hound couUr run up to the 
very head when in her tenth season. 


Wc will now return to the old hounds, wliicli, wlion we bad left them, 
had just concluded the by-gone season. Their services are noAv at an 
end for the present, their energies wUl no longer be required in the field 
for at least three months, and by comparative rest and indulgence their 
mutilated feet and battered joints are to be fresh braced up, and their 
nerves restrung with a new vigour for the labours of the next hunting- 
season ; but this rest must not be increased to slothful indolence, nor 
this indulo'ence be allowed to grow into a contraction of laziness and 
fat. The stamina is to be preserved by good and noiuishing food ; but 
the elasticity of the muscles and the clearness of the respiratory organs 
must be kept in tune by a proportionable quantity of exercise and occa- 
sional doses of mild physic and alteratives. Upon the commencement 
of the dead months, it is the custom of most huntsmen to bleed indis- 
criminately throughout the pack, Avithout regard to age, condition, or 
constitution. As far as I can judge from mine own experience, I should 
say that it is a most salutary practice, and I never knew any kind of 
harm arising from it, but, on the contrary, hounds thus treated have 
always thriven better after it, and have been in themselves, during the 
whole of the hot weather, in much better spirits and estate of body than 
when they have not undergone this kind of discipline. The whole pack 
shoidd be bled, Avitli the exception of such as may be very shy feeders 
and of an exceedingly delicate constitution. The extremely sudden 
change from high feeding and hard work to a state of comparative idle- 
ness, rendered still more heating by the naturally increased warmth of 
the atmosphere at that period of the year, must, without doubt, create 
a disposition to form too great a quantity of blood, which may be plainly 
seen by any one who is acquainted Avith such matters in the fiery ap- 
pearance of the eye-balls of houiids in the month of May which have not 
imdergonc the operation of being blooded ; a dose of salts should then 
be given, and after a few days' rest a coiu'se of sidphur should be imme- 
diately commenced, folloAved by a second dose of Epsom salts ; previous 
to this second dose of salts there is no absolute occasion for much exer- 
cise, further than for an hoxu' or so along the road, besides their being 
moved into the paddock three or four times in the day. In about ten 
days' time the sid2)hur should again be given, in the same proportion as 
before, foUoAved by a dose of Epsom salts giv^cn in the same manner as 
the first. This Avill bring the time, AAdien the hunting season has been 
continued thi'ough the month of April, to about the end of the first week 
in June, betAveen Avhich period and the end of July the Avhole pack 
ought to be dressed. The best time to dress hounds is Avhile their coats 
are stirring, as by attention to that they Avill be nuich Idnder and 
brighter than by dressing them Avhen the hair is set. As all jiacks of 
hoimds do not shed their coats exactly at the same time, but vary ac- 
cording to the Avork they have done and the physicldng and dressing 
they have undergone during the same year ; of com-se the time for 
anointing must be chosen Avith regard to that period. The young ones 
should also be physicked and dressed in the same manner as the old 
ones ; some huntsmen dress them twice, but unless there is a great ten- 
dency to redress in their clboAvs and flanks, the operation once properly 


])erf'orraecl is quite sufficient. If you keep tlieir insides cleau and cool, 
their outsides will naturally become the same ; if any of them appear 
foul in their bodies, or become subject to worms, besides the above course 
of physic, they should have administered to them an emetic, consisting 
of four grains of tartar emetic, and a ball composed of calomel and an- 
timony, the recipe for which I have given in the chapter on physic. 

The condition of hounds, although a subject continually discussed, is 
not much understood by the common run of sportsmen. How frequently 
we hear high encomiums passed on a pack of hounds for their^ne condi- 
tion, when, in fact, they are a mere army of phantoms and skeletons, 
without one atom of muscle. Some mou think that a pack of hounds 
must be drawn as fine as hurdles to run, and as long as their ribs and 
points are all visible they are considered in splendid going condition. 
There is no other animal wliich Avill endure reducing and raising again 
in condition in so short a period as the game-cock and the dog Avill ; 
nevertheless, the latter, with all his natural propensities to improve 
most rapidly, in being prepared for hard work must be allowed a certain 
time necessaiy to get \\n\\ fit io perform such extraordinary labour as the 
foxhound is called upon to endure. Not only from mine own experience, 
but also relying on the opinion of those whose judgment I could depend 
upon, I should say that a dog, whether hound, greyhound, or any 
other dog used in the chase, was at the greatest perfection of con- 
dition when raised again to a certain pitch, after he had been re- 
duced below that pitch, than if he had been merely reduced from a 
lusty state of body down to that certain standard of condition. The 
flesh which is then on him is all muscular and healthy, Avhereas in the 
case of his being merely reduced down to his condition, he is more fre- 
quently than not as loose and flabby as a Smithfield bullock. Perhaps 
some of my readers may ask, " Why then begin Avith hounds in 
cub-hunting in /(f^^/i condition, as they generally become lower after ? " 
1 answer, that they had been prepared for three or four months, 
or ought to have been ; moreovei', they generally sink a little after 
a week or ten days' work, and then go up again, after the first 
feverish excitement of cub-hunting is got through, before the regular 
season begins. A hound to be well and really fit to go should not 
only look clear and bright in his coat, with the muscles on his 
shoulders, loins, and thighs well developed, but he should also be 
firm to the touch, and be able to travel on the road at a jog-trot, 
with his month shut, and his stern up over his back. His eyes 
should be clear and free from any mucous secretion ; when much of 
which is seen in a morning in the inner corners of his eyes you 
may be well assured that he is feverish, usually the result of hard 
work, without a due and proper preparation beforehand. He should 
also not only empty himself with freedom, his evacuation being firm and 
free from a bilious or slimy mixture, but he should also stab? without 
difficulty, and rather frequently than otherwise, or he should have 
administered to him in his feed a small quantity of cream of tartar 
for about two days, which will set mattei's all right on that point. 
Take a handJul of the skin of a hound on his l)ack and [lull it up. 


and if it flies Lack to its place like India-rubber, with a nervous shiver, he 
is all right ; hut if it remain in an unsightly ridge, clammy and sluggish, 
as it returns to its natural position, depend upon it that his condition is 
far from heing what it ought to he — in fact, he is not fit to be put to 
hard Avork without further preparation. 

Dressing the hounds will afi'ect many of them equally as if they had 
had a strong dose of jihysic ; some of them Avill be more or less swelled 
in their Mmbs and testicles, particularly if the turpentine or spirit of tar 
is rather stronger than usual. During the time they are confined to the 
kennel from the eftects of the above discipline, which will be about foui 
days, the whole of the court-yards and the floors of the lodging- 
rooms should be carefully covered with straw, particularly in the door- 
Vfays, to prevent them from slipping and breaking their thighs, which I 
have known to occur, the grease from their coats rendering the ground 
as slippery as ice. Sometimes I have seen a portion of mercury added 
to the dressing, but unless the mange has shown itself, it had better be 
omitted, as, from the heat and fever occasioned by the ointment, the 
hounds will be continually lying on the open floors, and when under the 
influence of that powerful mineral, animals are more likely to take cold 
than at any other time. By the first of August the whole of their phy- 
sic requisite to prepare them for their approaching labours should have 
been administered, consisting of two more doses of salts and sulphur, as 
before directed ; and after the old ones have been walked two or three 
times into a deer park and amongst hares, particularly the two and 
thr§e-year-olds having had a few extra bouts by themselves, the new 
entry may be taken out with them, and regularly exercised until cub- 
hunting commences, going every day, if possible, into that coimtry 
where the covers are situated in which they are about to hunt. The exer- 
cise of hounds during the summer should be slow and protracted rather 
than quick, particularly in the early part of that season. The keeping 
them out with slow walking exercise does their constitutions as well as 
their legs infinitely more good than "long trots" or " brushing gal- 
lojis." The period for the commencement of cub-hunting varies ex- 
ceedingly ; in some countries where the limits of the hunt are not ex- 
tensive, and the foxes rather scarce, the covers cannot be broken until 
the middle of September ; but in many others it is the usual custom to 
begin the first week in August, or at any rate as soon as the corn is 
sufliciently cut to allow of it. By a book published some years since, 
entitled " The Operations of the Belvoir Hounds," it appears that, in 
the year 1808, his Grace the Duke of Rutland commenced as early as 
the 4th of July ; and Mr. Meynel began during some seasons on or about 
the 4th of June. 

In the north the harvest is always, of course, much later than in the 
midland and more southern districts, even when the season may be 
genial ; but the close of the year 1830 and the commencement of 1840 
presented scenes which few of the oldest of our contemporaries can, I 
suppose, remember. In December, and also in the Jaiuiary ensuing, it 
constantly occurred in the llolderncss country while hunting to pass 



tlu-ough fields of beans and oats iu which the farmers wore employed in 
leading or carrying them. 

Even supposing the corn to be cut, few packs could begin so early as 
that, as the necessary destruction of young foxes would be far greater 
than most countries could afford. But when the number of the litters 
in the Belvoir country which were returned averaged about sixty-five or 
seventy, and during some seasons the number of foxes which were killed 
amounted to nearly seventy brace, two or three brace having been mur- 
dered in a morning in the early part of the season, we cannot wonder at 
there being some impatience to commence operations. In the Earl of 
Yarborough's country — which is far too extensive for any one pack of 
hounds to hunt regularly and impartially — the foxes are so numerous 
that the whippers-in and earth-stoppers are frecpiently employed dui'ing 
the frost and snow in digging and destroying them in places which are 
iU calculated for sport. How different is the system in other hunts, 
which it is needless to mention, whei'e there is scarcely a litter of cubs 
which is not put down iu the summer, and which have not found their 
way either from Mr. Herring's menagerie in the New-road or from Mr. 
Baker's celebrated shop in LeadenhaU-market, to the cost and detri- 
ment of other hunting countries. Fox-dealers may He and himibug as 
much as they like about only seUing foreign and Welsh foxes, but it is 
a well-known fact that all are fish which come to their nets. 

The Pytcldey — always the first to commence the campaign, at least 
in their palmy days — were, during two seasons, hunted a few years 
since by a Mr. Smith, who was well-known, previous to his taking 
Northamptonshire, in the Hambleton and Craven countries. This gen- 
tleman, during the early part of his second season, attempted to intro- 
duce the system of evening cub-hunting instead of going out in the 
morning, and some persons put down Mr. Smith as the founder of the 
system ; but that supposition was erroneous, as it was occasionally 
practised, or rather attempted, years before Mr. Smith had ever seen 
or heard of foxhounds. How any sportsman could advocate a system 
so universally condemned, after trial, by all good judges and practical 
men, is perfectly astounding. To say the best of it, it is a lazy, un- 
workmanlike system, and only fit for some poor old invaUd, whose con- 
stitution may have been so much impaired that the labour of rising 
three days in the week at fom* o'clock in the morning is too great a 
fatigue to be long pursued with impunity. That the season of cub- 
hunting is a punishing period to a man who works hard and does his 
duty to his pack all huntsmen know too well ; and that is the reason 
why so few ^' fjentlemen huntsmen" are in the habit of cub-hunting 
their own hounds. If a gentleman rises three or four mornings in the 
week two hours before day-break, and inidergoes the fatigue consequent 
to hunting a pack of hounds in heavy and deep woodlands, he cuts but a 
very moderate figure at the head of his table at seven o'clock in the 
evening ; and as one or the other nmst be given up, why, of course, fox- 
hunting "goes to the wall." Our forefathers dined at one or two 
o'clock, and as they had the choice of luniting early or late, and as it 
is Avell-known that both systems were tried by them, it is natural to con- 


elude that tlicy Avoukl stick to that thing which was most coiicUicivc to 
their sport, which was in those days pretty much what good cub-huuting 
is at the present time during the whole of their season. At a later 
period the afternoon system was tried again, and again abandoned, for 
the best of reasons — viz., that it was found not to answer. In the 
first place, the day is every moment becoming darker, after you have 
thrown off, that is if you hunt late enough to derive any benefit from 
the falhng dew ; and in some countries a fox has to be looked for an 
hour and a half before he can be found, therefore I tliink I need not 
comment any farther upon that point. In the second place, there is no 
drag, and the foxes being empty, have too great an advantage over the 
young hounds. In the next place, the hounds have to be travelled to 
the place of meeting in the heat, instead of a nice cool dewy morning, 
a material point in my humble opinion ; again, the hounds and horses 
have to be attended to in the dark upon their return from hunting, and 
thus the drawbacks, without the advantages of a i^erpetual winter, are 
introduced into the hunting calendar. Moreover, going out hunting, 
even after a moderate dinner, is not very agreeable, and most huntsmen 
and whippers-iu have too much of the animal about them to put on the 
setting-muzzle at one o'clock : consequently their powers of exertion 
are considerably diminished, while '' the foxes hecomo stouter in their 
natures towards night," as Mr. Smith observes in his " Diary of a Hunts- 
man." I could go on enumerating a dozen more objections to the 
system of evening cuh-hunting, but I should consider those already ad- 
duced quite sufiicient for any purpose. If hounds were taken out cub- 
hunting in the afternoon regularly, it would be a great inducement to 
people to join them who would never have the least idea of such a 
thing if they were to be smiimonedfrom their beds at four or five o'clock 
in the morning. Such a concourse of sportsmen at such a season is 
the very reverse of desirable ; for if hounds set to running but ever so 
short a distance " the field" must set to ride, and press upon the hounds. 
What is usually denominated sport during the regidar season ought 
never to be looked for in cub-hunting ; and as long as the young hounds 
are taught to hunt the line, and are kept at work chiefly in cover, where 
they can be more effectually di-illed uutil they become steady, and are 
well blooded, the grand object is obtained. The whole system of cub- 
hunting is so much changed during the last fifteen years that it is now 
quite a difierent kind of amusement ; in the first place, hounds do not 
begin so early in the summer as formerly, partly on account of their 
cub-huntiug ground being diminished by the numerous preserves of 
pheasants in many hunts, where the proprietors wiU on no account allow 
a hound to enter until the regular hunting season. A curious, and, at 
the same time, erroneous, supposition is cherished in some parts of 
England, even in these enlightened times, and amongst others at Rise, 
in Yorkshire, the property of Mr. Bethell, where the custom of celebra- 
ting the fifth of November is stiU kept up by all the idle vagabonds in 
the neighbom-ing villages, and who maintain their right to fire off their 
guns not only after sunset but during the whole of the day. There being 
a large preserve of pheasants in Rise Wood, it has been considered next 

I 2 


to treason to allow a liouiid to cuter the cover })rior to the fifth of No- 
vemher, for feai- of the pheasants Avhieh might he driven out hecoming a 
prey to the Anti-Papists, who are absurdly enough permitted, without 
let or hindrance, to range about the neighbouring lanes with their 

In speaking of the changes which have taken jjlace in hunting, no 
one particular feature is more strikingly altered than the absolute man- 
ner of handling the pack and hunting them at the present day. We 
seldom or never now hear hounds spoken to or cheered by their names ; 
the silent system is carried on in some establishments to such an extent, 
both by the men and packs themselves, that you can hardly tell when 
hounds are on the line and when they are off. In fact, some modern 
huntsmen are actually afraid to speak to their hounds, for fear they 
should begin to drive and fly all over the country. I never go out with 
such a pack that it don't put me it mind of a man who once offered him- 
self to me as a groom ; upon my inquiring of the stud-groom under 
Avliom he had lived as to what sort of a hand he was, I was informed 
that he was a capital servant but " could not dbear to be spoke to"— a 
pretty fellow for a groom to a man with a short stud and a still shorter 
purse. Well, these hounds are just like this man — they " can't abear to 
be spoken to,' being so desperately tetchy and wild. I am not advocating 
the constant practice of whooping and lifting hounds to every haUoo which 
may be heard ; but when you see the old system of cheering the body 
to hounds Avhich may have got the lead done away with, I always think 
that fox-hunting is robbed of half of its spirit. Who can ever forget 
old Tom Rose's rattlitit lialloos, when coming away from Whistley 
Wood with the Duke of Grafton's hounds ? The echoes have hardly 
died away while I am writing this ; and I fancy I still see his fine old 
wliite locks flying in the wind, as he was wont to cheer the pack, cap in 
hand : but, poor old man, he has departed. That was the way to bring 
hounds out of cover ! There was another famous fellow in Northamp- 
tonshire — he was before my time — but I have heard so many capital 
stories of him that I almost fancy I have hunted with him ; that man 
was Jem Butler, father of Butler who now hunts the Badsworth. He 
lived many years with the late Mr. Warde when he hu)ited the Pytchley 
country, and was considered about the best huntsman of his day. His 
system was to be always with his hoimds, and, by cheering them, make 
them hunt the line as well as run : he had a splendid voice, but always 
used it to some purpose ; nevertheless, he sometimes spoke to 'em 
rather faster than his master considered advisable, and he has been 
heard to say on more than one occasion — 

" Gently, Jem — gently, Jem ! Don't be in such a desperate hurry ; 
old Rifleman never spoke to it, did he ?" 

" No, sir, " says Butler, giving another rattling cheer; " but I can 
see he will directly." 

Jem Butler was right. 

When a large body of hounds arc thrown into a Avood in cub-hunting, 
it Is of no consequence into how many lots they may be divided after 
the cubs are on foot, as long as they arc at work on right scents ; care 


liavlug been taken to place the whippers-in in sucli positions tliat it is 
impossible for any foxes to go away, excepting tlio old ones, whi(jli, on 
no acconnt, sbould be put l)ack. If part of the hounds should kill a fox 
by themselves, he should be quietly taken from them and placed out of 
reach in the fork of a tree, and kept till the end of the day, when he 
can be broken up with another, if they have the luck to kill one ; these 
hounds will soon join the cry of one of the other bodies. Hounds after 
they have regularly broken up a fox seem satisfied, and never go to work 
with a fresh one immediately with the alacrity they would do if they had 
not had blood ; besides, their baying at the dead fox would draw 
many of the other hounds away from their work. When the cubs begin 
to sink, the different bodies of hounds should be quietly stopped to one 
fox, the signal for which is the huntsman's halloo, who now begins to 
exert himself, having been a mere spectator for upwards of an hour, 
quietly sitting in the middle riding on his horse, watching the young 
ones as well as the old, and taking particular notice who are leading, 
and if any of the young ones show an inclination to work at the head, 
or if they are noisy, or indicate skirting, or any other vice in any way. 
If the fox persists in running his foil, the following practice is sometimes 
resorted to by some huntsmen, who watch the opportunity, and catch 
liold* of six or seven couples of " loide hounds^' which may have just 
left the line of another fox, and throw them in at head, or, as they term, 
it, " give him the meeting." This so alarms him, having fancied that 
all his enemies were in his rear, that he immediately tries fresh ground, 
which is a great relief to the hounds, as affording a better scent. When 
he is pretty well " wound-up," he shoidd be kept back in a quarter ot 
the high cover, where the hounds can fly at him all abreast, and with 
proper and workmanlike management he can there be vanquished, with- 
out being allowed to slip over by a parcel of bunglers, when in all proba- 
biUty he will be changed for a fresh fox during the next ring. The 
practice of meeting a fox in the above way is much deprecated by 
some sportsmen, as teaching hounds to skirt for one thing, but its being 
done constantly by some of the first performers of the day is, I shoidd 
suppose, a suflScicnt guarantee for the legality of the mano3uvre ; besides, 
it is only admissible in cub-hunting, where many artful dodges are con- 
stantly put in practice which are never dreamed of after the first of 
November. When hounds are running hard in cover and suddenly 
come to a check, they on no account whatever ought to be interfered 
with, or even spoken to; the fox has either laid down or turned short back. 
If the whippers-in know their business his escape is next to an impossi- 
bility ; sit still and make them hit it off" themselves — some of the old ones 
are sure to make it good before many moments are passed, and then one 
word from old Hyale or Laundress is Avorth a dozen hoicks or view-halloos. 
If it can be managed, the day's work should always finish Avith blood : 
therefore, if the hounds have had upwards of an hour or two's Avork of 
the right sort, and killed their fox, and the sun is getting hot, and there 
is little probability of there being a holding scent sufficient to keep 'em 

* " Catching hold" is stopping and calling quickly along. 


at work, tliey had better bo taken home, and brought mit a day earlier 
for the next hunting morning ; but if a fox has not been killed, the pack 
should be kept at work as long as it may be reasonably supposed that 
there is the least chance of the hounds catching hold of a cub either 
above or below ground. 

The sooner you can begin after the corn is cut the better, as it gives 
hounds so much more advantage when the foxes are not come to their 
full strength ; a good beginning is half the battle, and that is one reason 
why it is generally recommended to wait foi- a shower of rain to cool the 
covers and improve the scent. Work of the right sort, added to blood, 
is what is rcquii-ed ; one without the other is of little avail, and where 
good luck forsakes you, cubs scarce, and tlie great desideratum cannot 
be obtained by fair means, others must be I'esorted to, let them be what 
they will, to gain the point ; however, anything in the world is better 
than turning out a bagman, the scent of which is as difterent from the 
natural smell of a wild fox as a red herring is from a fresh mackerel. 
The ill effects which the custom of indulging hoimds with this spurious 
kind of blood produces will soon discover itself, if frequently put in prac- 
tice ; hares, cur-dogs, &c., will be all alike to them, and their hurry 
and wildness in drawing will be no less manifest than their unsteadiness 
in chase. Even foxhounds which have before been steady, after too 
much rest frequently become Avild and migovernable. Some years ago, 
when Lord Middleton hunted Warwickshire, and whose celebrated pack 
stood as high in the estimation of fox-hunters as any in the world, a _ 
most unfortunate occurrence took place, and which is a convincing proof 
that during any part of the year when the pack are not at work they 
cannot have too much strong exercise. After a long and severe frost, 
the hounds met at Walton Wood, and having forced a fox into the open, 
were running him with a good fair scent, when suddenly they changed 
his lino for that of a dark, red-coloured dog (which had no doubt been 
coursing him), and fairly ran into him and pulled him to pieces before 
any one could get to them to stop them. 

A misfortune of the same nature also happened to Mr. Corbet's hoxmds 
in the same country, namely, Warwickshire ; and Will Barrow, his 
huntsman, found out the mistake just in time to stop them before they 
would undoubtedly have killed him. The cur ran a footpath through 
eight or nine stiles in succession — a thing which a fox never does, always 
avoiding every stile, gate, or flight of rails, if he can possibly find a 
mouse in the hedge by which he can make his way instead. As Will 
jumped the eighth stile, he exclaimed — " They are running a dog, by 
G — ! as no fox would run through a hue of stiles like this. " And he 
was I'ight, and stopped the pack in time to save them from such a dis- 
graceful finish. 

I may have once or twice in my life hunted a " put-down fox," as it 
is sometimes called ; but it is a custom I never approved of, nor have I 
ever known any good judges of hunting who recommended it. I once 
killed a fox in rather an extraordinary manner : he was not a bagman, 
although he appeared to have been just shook from the soot-sack of a 
chimney-swee])er. The facts were as follows : — I was sitting late one 


winter cvcnino-, and just upon the eve of retiring for the night, when a 
neighbouring farmer hrouglit me a fox in a large basket, wliich he had 
just taken in an outhouse. As everybody was gone to bed excepting 
myself, and not being able to shut him up in a better place of security, 
I left him in the room where I was then sitting for the night, and gave 
orders that ho should not be disturbed till 1 came down in the morning ; 
however, the next day a maid-servant, going in to light the fire as usual 
about seven o'clock, 02)ened the shutters, when the fox, perceiving the 
light, jumped from the chimney where he had gone to ground, and dart- 
ing through the window like a rocket made his escape. I was imme- 
diately informed of the departure of the prisoner, and, perceiving that a 
heavy storm of snow had fallen, it being ankle-deep and still snowing, 
and the chance of hunting on that day at the regular hour being com- 
pletely gone, I ordered the horses to be saddled ; and in less than ten 
minutes they were out, the men mounted, and every hound in the ken- 
nel (forty-one couples) on the line of the fugitive ; it proved to be a most 
burning scent, and, after a sharp burst of about two miles, we killed him 
as he was running in a direct line for a well-known head of earths ; if 
the scent of reynard was good, the smell of the soot was much more 
pungent, as it might be winded the Avhole way. The animal, when 
killed, certainly looked like a hunted devil, and the hounds, after they 
had eaten him, appeared as if they had had their mustachoes blackened 
for a masquerade. The hole through which he had escaped was trian- 
gular, exactly the shape of his head, and so small that it seemed impos- 
sible for him to have forced his way through it. He had been during 
the night iip and down the chimney some dozen times, as might be 
seen by the black marks all over the room. lie had tried the 
chimney-piece, pictures, all the chairs, and had entered, as far as ho 
could, into a hat and two caps which were on a table, to try to find 
an exit. This calls to my remembrance the anecdote of — 

" Mr. Stubbs, a crack rider no doubt in his time, 
Who hunting on Sunday considered no crime-" 

He kept a pack of harriers, Avith which he used occasionally to hunt 
bag-foxes, and his plan for getting them into condition was to shut them 
up in a small place, with a hole to admit the light about six feet above 
their heads, at which they Avonld continually employ themselves in jumj)- 
iug, to endeavour to escape, and by that means get into good wind and 

Before I conclude this chapter, I must be permitted to write a few 
words on the cocktail and immanly amusement of bag-fox hunting. 
I cannot but express my surprise and disgust that any one calling him- 
self a sportsman shoidd be found to advocate the practice of so 
barbarous and pitiable a substitute for hunting. Let the hard ridei's of 
Ireland catch their foxes in the mountains, and shake them in the plains, 
if they please ; or let the English residents at Naples solace themselves 
with a fotir-mile gallop after an unfortunate cur-dog, rendered more than 
half mad by a good shaking, and then ejected from a sack ; but never 
let that gallant animal, the fox, be tortured or vanquished in any other 
manner than by legitimate hunting. 


Some owners of packs have been known to possess a fox tliat has 
lasted their honnds for half the season, when, by a little mobbing and 
manoenvring, they have been enabled to pick him up by the brush, and 
tlius save him before he could be injured by the hounds, then reconduct 
him to his dungeon, and reserve him for another day's torture. Talk- 
ing of making a fox " do for twice'" puts me in mind of a story tokl of 
Jack Shirley, who so long hunted Sir R. Svitton's hounds, some 
years ago. He was out with the hounds of a noble lord, which hunted 
Avithin reach of the country where he lived, viz., the Burton, wheu,"after 
a very severe run, every one being beaten off but himself and a hard- 
riding young farmer, the hounds caught hold of their fox. Shirley, who 
was close at hand at the moment, took him from them uninjured, and, 
cutting off his brush, pitched him over the hedge, which, being an aw- 
fully- thick one, allowed master reynard time to escape to some distance, 
refreshed as he no doubt was by the galvanic apphcation of the knife, 
before the hounds could get once more upon his line. Just as Shirley 
had climbed into his saddle, the huntsman of the pack and the rest of 
the horsemen came up, but too late to witness the operation. After 
about half a mile more running, the fox was killed the second time, when 
the regular huntsman took him from the hounds, and was about to cut 
off his brush and present it to Shirley, who had requested to have it : 
•what was his astonishment when he found it gone ! It certainly was a 
strange and wonderful occurrence ; he was first up ; no one could have 
got it, or he should have seen him taking it ; he looked round amongst 
tlie hounds to see if one of them had pulled it off in worrying their fox — 
no ; it was not there ! When Jack Shirley pulled the brush from his 
pocket, and in perfect good humour threw it to his brother knight of the 
couples, giving him the following piece of advice : — " The next time 
your hounds are killing their fox, take care and stick a bit closer to 'em, 
or maybe I shall cut his brush off again before you, if I happen to be 

out, Master W ." The late Mr. Mytton was, I am sorry to record 

it, rather addicted to bag-fox hunting ; but this arose from that innate 
impetuosity of disposition which marked all his actions through life. On 
one occasion he absolutely turned out a fox during a hard frost and deep 
snow, and then letting out the whole pack, unattended by any horse- 
man, retired with his visitors to the top of the house at Halston, to see 
what he termed the fan ; after this frolic some of the hounds did not 
return to their kennel for two days. On another occasion the turning- 
out of a bag-fox was attended by circumstances of a more ludicrous na- 
ture, and, as it proved, was a capital exposi of so childish an amuse- 
ment. At the period abo/e alluded to, the man who had the shaking 
of poor Charley had str-ct orders to make himself invisible as soon as 
possible after he had e.j'arged his charge, cither by treeing like a martin- 
cat, or 'n any way he thought best. But whether the fellow considered 
the servants' hall at Ilalston was the most retired spot in the neigh- 
bourhood, or whether he was compelled by the pangs of hunger, occa- 
sioned by two hours' close watching in the wood previous to the hounds 
being thrown off, has nc/er boon decided ; he Avas determined, however, 
to *' break covej-," and, creeping along a thick hedge in the opposite di- 


rectiou to the field where the horsemen were collected, he escaped nearly 
to the liouso. The hounds, who had found the fox, but in a ring which 
he had described in the cover, changed for the line of the bearer, who, 
being lazy, had dragged the bag along the ground instead of carrying 
it, when they fairly ran into him full cry, in view of the who^e field, who 
were no doubt much amused at the stupidity of the fellow who had 
marred the plot. 

A " Fi'iend to all Sports," in an excellent letter which appeared in a 
popular sporting Aveekly paper some short time ago, very justly ob- 
serves — " Give each sport its fair patronage ; encourage fox-hunting 
with foxhounds, hare-hunting with harriers, but do not encourage them 
to interfere with each other's game, and, above all, let the non-hunting 
portion of the community know that half the pleasure of the chase con- 
sists in giving the hunted animal a fair chance — a bag-fox never has ! 
You might as well expect a convict escaped from the condemned cell of 
Newgate to run as stout as a trained pedestrian, as a bag-fox to show 
the sport of a wild one." 

Hounds always stick to that style of hunting they were first entered 
to ; draft foxhounds ai'e too wide and flashy to hunt hares with in a 
proper way, and harriers don't fling enough and get forward, especially 
in a middling scent, to kill foxes. How curious it is too to see a pack 
of harriers hunt an otter, when they have not been accustomed to that 
description of chase : as soon as they come to anything like a check, 
from the otter having dived, instead of persevering to work up to him in 
the stream, and amongst the sedges by the river's side, they almost in- 
variably commence trying away towards the meadow hedges, as the most 
likely ground to hit him off", so difficult is it to overcome the first im- 
pressions of their attempt to follow their game by its scent. 

Hounds should, undoubtedly, be kept to their own game, if they are 
expected to hunt and run together in anything like decent order, and 
with credit; playing tricks with drags of aniseed, or "nineted bag- 
men,"* as old Tom Wingfield used to call them, is one of the most un- 
pardonable insults that can be offered to a master of hounds ; but such 
things have been done, to the everlasting disgrace of the perpetrators. 
No doubt a pask of foxhounds would run anything they were capped on 
to ; and some of those who read this book may recollect Mr. Osbaldestou 
going to draw for a wolf, in the neighboiu-hood of Sibbertoft, which had 
escaped from a caravan at Lutterworth, and had devoured a considerable 
number of sheep. The wolf, however, was not found, but was after- 
wards shot by some farmers near that place. The pack out on that day 
was what the Squire called his Saturday pack, which consisted of a 
mixed lot of dogs and bitches, considered inferior to either of his other 

* Some years ago, when Sir Thomas Mostyn hunted that part of Oxfordshire now 
occupied by Mr. Drake, his fo.xes were much thinned by reason of a club of Oxford 
Collegiims, who were in the habit of purchasing his foxes from the fox-catchers who 
infested that neighbourhood, and hunting them with a scratch pack of harriers, 
rubbing them over with aniseed to ensure a more burning scent. At that time Tom 
Wingfield was Sir Thomas Mostyn's huntsman, and the worthy baronet got rid of 
the nuisance by presenting these young sportsmen with a few couples of his draft 
hounds, to hunt deer with instead. 


packs. As to the bounds running this wolf, is one thing ; and as to 
whether the novelty of the chase would injure them in point of steadiness, 
is another ; at any rate, I do not suppose the Squire would have at- 
tempted it with either of his other packs. 

Tliis anecdote recalls to my recollection another, related of a hound- 
bitch of the late John Mitton, of Halston. A litter of cubs having been 
brought to the kennels, and the said bitch having lost her whelps, she 
was introduced to them in the capacity of foster-mother, which office 
she performed with wonderful care and affection, so long as their infancy 
lasted. In course of time, however, when the young foxes Avere turned 
out into the neighbouring covers, and, of course, all recollection of her 
darlings had vanished, she, without remorse, assisted in tearing and 
eating those very bantlings which, but a few weeks before, she would 
have defended from injury to the last drop of her blood. 

As sumrner wears away, and the cub -hunting is drawing nearer to a 
close, the time of meeting may be at a later hour. But as that period 
of the year.oiight undoubtedly to be given up to the master of the pack 
for the purpose of educating his young hounds, and getting them into 
such order and condition that they may acquit themselves with credit 
when the regular season arrives, I would never meet at such a time as 
that the lateness of the hour would be an inducement to cause a num- 
ber of persons to come out. Men who make a practice of going regu- 
larly cub-hunting are generally good sportsmen, and instead of doing 
harm frequently do a great deal of good, by assisting to keep foxes back 
in large woodlands ; but a numerous field in October is never to be de- 
sired, and the only Avay to prevent it is never to meet later than about 
seven o'clock. When beset by the entreaties of gentlemen who may be 
subscribers oT good preservers of foxes, a huntsman may be over- 
persuaded to draw covers which it may at that time not be convenient to 
disturb, and to endeavour to show sport in the open, which at so early 
a day is never to be desired. One of the best runs I ever knew in my 
whole life was on the 5th of September, with the Warwickshire hounds, 
when Mr. Shirley was master of them. It was an accident, as the 
hounds broke away, and the men were not mounted to go with them, 
and consequently could not stop them. They found at five o'clock in 
the morning at the Bull and Butcher Wood, which is situated on the 
edge of the largest woodlands in the county, six miles from Coventry, 
on the Oxford road, and killed their fox close to Crick, in Northampton- 
shire, fifteen miles from point to point ; but, as the line taken was 
circuitous, it was at least twenty miles. The pace was tremendous; and 
no one who started with the hounds was up at the finish, except William 
Boxal, who was then the first whipper-in. There Avere nearly fifty 
couples of hounds out, seventeen and a half couples of Avhich Avere of 
that year's entry, and had only been out four times before that day. It 
proved an old barren bitch fox. The country traversed for the last 
eight miles, till Avithin two of the death, Avas Avliat is known as the Dun- 
church country. In those days there Avere no covers in that neighbour- 
hood as at the present time ; Cooke's gorso. Hill ^lorton gorse, and 
Bunker's Hill Averc then not even planted, or a fox Avould hardly have 
held on so straight without touching some of them. 




COVERS, &c. 

" Hail ! greenwood shades, that, stretching far, 
Defy e'en summer's noontide power.'' 


" We come ! ye groves, ye hills ! we come ! 
The vagrant fox shall hear his doom , 
And dread our jovial train." 



Making the most of a rough country — Various covers described — Gorse covers in 
Northamptonshire — Artificial covers — Sowing — Cutting and burning — Artificial 
earths— Fox -catchers — Badgers — Woodland foxes stout — Small covers preju- 
dicial to hounds during cub-hunting — Large holding covers good — Mr. Assheton 
Smith's plan in the Collinbourne woods — Earth-stopping — Hounds should run 
together — Blood makes wild hounds more riotous at the time — Mr. King's 
bitches in Hampshire — Sir Bellingham Graham's opinion — How to form a pack 
— Duties of a whipper-in— Anecdote of Dick Foster and Shayer at Mr. Villebois' 
kennel — A drunken whipper-in — The Duke of Grafton's rules for a whipper-in 
— Accidents to men in kennels — A whipper-in with a cork leg — Jack Stevens 
an excellent whipper-in — Tom Ball — What a huntsman ought to be — Will Long 
— The old school and the modern^— A Frenchman's idea of what a huntsman 
should be — Epitaph to old Tom Johnson — Food of wild animals — Advice in 
hunting a pack of hounds — Drawing — Finding — A curious kennel for foxes 
near Beverley — Habits of foxes in autumn — Advice in bunting hounds con- 
tinued — When to cheer and when to be silent — Working by signs — Checking — 
Blood and good weather desirable — Will Todd's opinion of a fine morning — 
Hounds beat by their foxes at the point of death — William Shaw's disappoint- 
ment — Dick Knight whips the fox out of the kennel and gets beat — The fox 
and " many friends " — Curious anecdote of a badger — Accidents to hounds — 
Mr. Hodgson's hounds falling down Speeton cliffs — On horsing the men — Job- 
bing hunters from Mr. Tilbury — Hunting a country fairly — The farmers at 
Kenilworth — Anecdote of Mr. Corbet — Hunting in the snow — Notice of Will 
Neverd's death — Remark on scent — Holderness a good scenting country — 
Anecdote of old Will Carter — Many hares staiu the ground like sheep — On 
travelling hounds — Long distances to cover and home — A van occasionally used 
— Killing a May fox — Late hunting prejudicial to sport — The beauty of the 


Pytchley woodlands — The marten cat — Extraordinary number of foxes killed 
in one day by the Duke of Rutland's hounds— Cubs, and the preservation of 
foxes — Anecdote of Lord Middleton and a bag fox — Fox-mobbing in the War- 
wickshire woodlands — Fox-stealers and " black mail" — Old Sharp the earth- 
stopper at Mickleton — Description of a good run in Warwickshire — Ditto in 
Leicestershire— End of the Hunting season — Conclusion. 

Among the numerous collateral branches appertaining to the science of 
hunting, we may, without any apology, introduce the subject of covers, 
the various descriptions of them, and the best mode of making the most 
of a country, which may by nature have been but moderately gifted 
with these indispensable requisites for the preservation of the " crafty 
animal," and consequently the ensurance of sport. Various are the 
kinds of covers and the names by Avhich each variety is distinguished 
according to their locality. For instance, what is termed in the mid- 
land counties " a gorse," or " gorse cover," is called in the north a 
"whin," and in some places a " furze-brake ;" "gullies," "dingles," 
" dumbles," and "bottoms," are also synonymous terms. Woods also 
are defined by " holts," "roughs," "coppices," " spineys," "brakes," 
" stubbs," and " scrubs," according to the counties in which they may 
be situated ; and no less varied are the tastes of sportsmen which may 
lead them to pronounce in favour of either the " woodland wild," or 
what in these " haste-making" days may be denominated " a nice httle 
handy gorse to get away from ;" giving one the very idea of some- 
thing pre-eminently dreadful in the mere presence of a wood or any 
other temporary shelter, which may either entice reynard from his line, 
or retard but for one instant the steam-like velocity of a modern "burst." 
Large woods and cliffs, clothed with briars and brushwood, were no 
doubt the only places where our forefathers first bid the echoing horn 
to speak at early dawn; but as "hunting the fox," Avhich in those 
days might be compared to the refined amusement of badger-baiting, 
gave way to the " noble science," and as this princely diversion, which 
owes much of its patronage to the graceful' and manly aecomnaniment 
of. horsemanship, gradually progressed to its climacteric, means were 
resorted to, to enable the sport to be enjoyed entirely in the open, and 
leave the "dirty woodlands," as they are called, for cub-hunting, or 
for bye-days, when some neighbouring pack may be reached at a more 
genial fixture. Desirable as a fine open country is for fox-hunting, how 
often do wo see the thing well done, and good sport shown, in many of 
the provincials, Avhere the nature of the covers and enclosures is just 
the reverse, and where the natives from a truly English and laudable 
desire to spend their incomes at homo, and promote the general good of 
their neighbours, and Avishing to enjoy, in the best manner they can, 
" the goods the gods have provided them," set a far better example to 
the risuig generation than those debilitated scions of debaae'iery who 
are daily wasting not only their health, but their exchequers, in the 
support of foreign allurements and frivolities. Although a large wood- 
land cannot very conveniently be dis-aftbrested, and convortcd into a 
flying country, at a year's notice, nor the shades of Whittlebury be 
lui-tainorphosod by a magic touch into the far-famed grass groimds of 


Mistei'tou, yet, by proper inanagenicnt uud atteiitiuu to a very f(!\v 
points, really good sport may be obtained in almost any country, let it 
be ever so dark and severe, provided tlic occupiers liave spirit and libe- 
rality to pursue tbe following plans. Let britUe-gates — or riding gates, 
as tliey are sometimes termed — be placed at divers points for the con- 
venience of not only the sportsmen in freneral, but more especially to 
enable the men attandant on the hounds to get at them quick, and as- 
sist them as occasion may require, without the risk of breaking their 
limbs at some great boundary fence, or other impassable barrier ; let 
small wooden bridges be thrown over the worst of the larger dykes or 
ditches ; let the rides be kept well trimmed, the rackways, trigs, or 
small bye-rides kept open, and the earth-stopping department properly 
attended to, and it will be seen that sport of the first order may be had, 
provided that the rest of " the means and appurtenances" be in equally 
good keeping. To the neglect of the above management, and to the 
well-known fact that the generality of masters of hounds would rather 
at any time draw the open under an uncertainty of finding than run the 
risk of a long day in the woods, and to the destruction of foxes by unfair 
means consequent to such neglect, may, in nine cases out of ten, be at- 
tributed the odium attached to woodland hunting. I can only add upon 
this point that, if more days were devoted to rummaging the woodlands 
than the modern system allows, there would be fewer blank days, and 
more clipping runs in the open, and the necessity of going to Messrs. 
Herring and Baker would be altogether done away with. The large 
woods and cliffs before mentioned were undoubtedly natural covers, and 
to these may be added brakes, composed chiefly of blackthorn and the 
briar, or blackberry ; these are the favourite resort of foxes, and in- 
deed all other wild animals, from the almost impenetrable nature of the 
plants which compose them ; and although not nearly so numerous as 
they were thirty years ago, when agriculture was not attended to as it 
now is, they are occasionally to be met with, particularly in open fields; 
and where the land is what may be termed " fox ground," a find usually 
accompanies a draw. One great recommendation to encourage brakes 
is the impossibihty of shooters and poachers walking in them, especially 
during the night ; consequently they are quieter. We may also add 
to the list, natural gorse covers, which are met with generaPy upon 
the sides of hills, or what are termed " hangings ;" these are consi- 
dered by many persons as much more preferred by foxes to kennel I'l 
than the artificial gorses (of which I shall speak hereafter), a^^ qUG 
reason given by old sportsmen is, that when the gorse is young, aftei" 
having been cut, the sheep and cattle eat away the grass as it grows up, 
which allows the gorse to shoot stronger ; moreover, that the bare 
places occasioned by the cattle grazing make excellent kennels for a 
fox, where he can bask in the sunshine, and dry himself after wet wea- 
ther. Let it also be remembered that gorse which grows upon stiff" clay 
soil, although longer in coming to perfection, remains in full vigour 
during many more seasons than where the soil is sandy, and conse- 
quently more congenial to a quick growth. 


As to artificial fox-covers, tliey may be classed under the heads of 
gorse, broom, osiers, and stick or faggot covers. 

The oldest artificial gorse cover in the Pytchley country, as I have 
been informed upon good authority by several sportsmen who have 
hunted in Northamptonshire all their lives, was a cover in Yelvertoft- 
field ; there were two, but the one known as Lord Spencer's cover was 
the oldest, and to which I now allude. Since those days, the numerous 
covers which have been made (and if half of which were destroyed would 
be aU the better for sport), would fill a roll which might reach from 
Melion to Brixworth ; but a quick find and a sharp burst are all now 
required ; and whether seven minutes and a half racing is sport or 
not, I leave for others better quahned than myself to pronounce judg- 
ment upon, where the amalgamation of horses and hounds will scarcely 
allow of determining which are leading, and to which the powers of 
scent may by nature belong. Producing a cover by means of sowing 
or planting gorse has always been a favourite substitute for the absence 
of a natural asylum for foxes, and the old and well-known toast of 
" The Evergreen," alluding to the never-faihng exuberance of that 
plant, is a striking proof of the estimation in which it has always been 
held by sportsmen. The beautifid eft'ect which a large patch of gorse 
in full bloom, like burnished gold, gives to rural scenery, can never be 
surpassed amidst the numerous attractions of spring, and which, even to 
a certain extent, is to be met with during the whole year, and which 
was the origin of the old saying, " When gorse is out of bloom, kissing 
is out of fashion," For the sake, then, of the best and fairest of our 
species, as well as ourselves, let it be hoped that fox-hunting and " the 
evergreen" may flourish for ever ! 

The best spot to fix upon for making an artificial gorse cover is, if 
possible, upon rather a lightish soU, wliich is rendered the more chfiicult 
from the country, in which it is most desirable being grass, and conse- 
quently, more frequently than not, a stifle clay ; however, let the soil 
be what it may, it should be in the very best state of cultivation previous 
to the seed being sown ; it shoidd be fallowed and well cleaned, and 
prepared in every respect as for a crop of tm-nips. The seed shoidd 
then be sown by drill ; about seven or ten pounds of seed to the acre 
is sufficient : and it should be ke2)t well hoed and hand-weeded twice a 
year, until the gorse has out-topped the grass and Avceds. From the 
nature of the soil being more genial to this kind of plant, some covers 
will hold a fox in three years, while others will scarcely hide a rabbit in 
double that time. April is the best month for sowing the seed, which 
may be procured, at any of the first rate seedsmen in town, at two 
shillings per pound ; and it may not perhaps be generally known that 
nearly all the gorse-seed sold in this country is imported from France. 
Some persons have recommended mixing broom with the gorse in equal 
quantities ; but it has been found not to answer, as the broom comes to 
its growth some years before the gorse, and consequently requires cut- 
ting at an earlier period, wliich not being practicable, it perishes, leaving 
large patches cither bare or so thin and weak as to be of little use for 


tho purpose intended, I have occasionally seen a fox-cover made by 
sowing the seed with a crop of oats, beans, or wheat : this practice may 
do very well where the soil is healthy and the plant indigenous ; but in 
a stiff clay, like some of the Leicestershire country, it must be nou- 
rished and cultivated exclusively, or the labour and expense bestowed 
will, in all probability, end in a failure and disappointment. If the 
land is wet, it should be well soughed through all the furrows, or the 
plants will perish everywhere during the first winter, excepting upon 
the tops of the laud where it is dry and sound. Some covers have suc- 
ceeded to admii'ation, by first sowing the seeds in a nursery ground and 
then setting out the plants at two years old, during the autumn. Gorse 
is a plant which makes a prodigious shoot very late in the year ; it con- 
sequently becomes settled and rooted in the soil before winter sets in, 
and the dry weather in the spring and summer does not materially in- 
jure it, as it would if planted out in March or Api'il. When a furze 
cover is established, there is still almost as much labour and skill re- 
qiured to keep it constantly in perfection and sufficiently strong to hold 
a fox, as there was to produce it. To achieve this, care should be taken 
to cut about a fifth each year, after it begins to get hollow and weak, 
untU the whole has undergone the operation, when, after a couple of 
years' hohday, you may recommence at number one. In speaking of 
cutting, the system of burning is highly to be recommended, for several 
reasons ; in the first place the faggots will hardly pay for tying up ; 
and in the next place, the operation renders the ground perfectly clear 
from all weeds, which are totally eradicated by the fire : not so the 
gorse, the* roots of which extend too far into the ground to be injured 
by the heat ; moreover, the ashes form a most excellent manure to the 
new shoots, and the long black stumps, which should not be cut ofi" until 
two years have expired, are a most excellent preventive against persons 
either riding or walking upon the young buds and destroying them. 
When the aid of flames is resorted to, the cover should be cut out in 
quarters, or the whole may be inadvertently set on fire at once, and the 
day chosen for the conflagration should be one on which the wind blows 
from a favom-able point ; it is also to be higlily recommended to take 
the precaution of cutting round the part intended to be burnt, for the 
space of about four or five yards, to prevent the possibility of the flames 
extending to the hedges or the adjacent parts. Burning a cover has a 
most extraordinary eflect upon the hares and rabbits which inliabit it : 
when the flames are at their greatest height, so paralyzed are these un- 
fortunate sirflferers by fire, that, instead of attempting to escape, they 
run headlong into the devouring element, and are thus consumed. Arti- 
ficial covers are also occasionally made of privet and blackthorn, and 
even of laurel ; but a severe winter is a terrible destroyer of the latter, 
the ravages of which two genial seasons M'ill scarcely replace. Osier or 
withy beds (as they are called in some counties) also form excellent 
covers, and are invariably favourite places of resort for foxes, partly on 
account of their principal food, the field-mouse, abounding there ; but 
more especially because the high banks on which osier beds are formed 
aflbrding such dry lying even in the wettest weather. I recollect many 


years ago, when I was an " Oxford Ijoy," seeing a quick tiling of near 
thirty minutes from tlie osier bed at Deddington turnpike with the 
hounds of the late Duke of Beaufort ; the brook on the lower side of 
the cover was more than a bumper, and the pack had actually to swim 
over to draw this small island, flooded as it was, and which is scarcely 
half an acre, before the old gentleman made his exit ; however, he 
beat us after a sharp burst, by going to ground in Sir Thomas Mostyn's 
(now Mr. Drake's) country near the village of Adderbury. 

Modern invention has in some places substituted covers made of dead 
wood instead of planting or sowing. These are denominated "stick 
covers," " faggot covers," or " dead covers ;" they may be found to 
answer occasionally in the total absence of real brushwood until a regu- 
lar gorse cover can be raised, but they are also highly objectionable on 
many accounts. In the first place, no good wild fox will lie in them ; and 
secondly, they are dreadfully distressing to hounds when drawing, on ac- 
count of the thorns breaking oft' after they have punctured them, and in 
consequence frequently causing an obstinate lameness ; lastly, they are 
awfully expensive, and at the best only last about three years. Where 
there are many old whitethorn bushes (of twenty or thirty years' growth) 
upon the side of some warm and sequestered bank, the boughs may be 
advantageously nicked down, and the interstices filled up with strong 
stakes and dead wood ; by this means a good cover of several acres may 
be at once formed quite equal to any gorse cover, Avhicli will last for 
many years without renewing, and to which foxes will be found to take 
more kindly than if the whole were composed of faggots and such rub- 
bish. An artificial earth may also be made in one corner, but it will be 
found of but little avail for the purpose of rearing turned-down cubs in 
unless there is a good supply of Avater close at hand ; this is indispen- 
sable, as without it young foxes Avill inevitably wander away and be lost, 
and thus starved to death or destroyed. No game should be encour- 
aged in a cover which is rented or kept up solely as a fox-cover, for 
reasons too obvious to mention ; and even rabbits, where they are 
allowed to get to too great a head, defeat the object for which they were 
at first introduced by attracting every idle boy and cur dog Avithin six 
miles of the place to hunt them. The more frequently large woodlands 
are ransacked the better, but small gorse covers or spineys should on 
no account be disturbed oftcner than about once in every three weeks or 
a month, that is if the find is to be booked as a certainty. Beckford re- 
commends the encouragement of gorse covers as a great protection to 
foxes from poachers and fox-catchers ; such might have been the case 
in the days of that great authority, but it is Avell known by every one 
conversant in that nefarious practice that there is no place in the world 
Avhere foxes can be more easily taken than from gorse covers, unless 
Avell Avatched and preserved by persons emijloycd for the express pur- 
pose. In draAving small covers it matters but little Avhether you go uj) 
Avind or the reverse into them ; if the animal is at home, and a moderate 
share of pains taken, he is almost sure to be found : and tAvo or three 
cracks Avith a Avhip in the adjoining field, aiul calling the hounds back 
with a loud voice us a huntsman usually docs Avhen travelling along, Avill 


generally give sufficient warning i'ur a fox to get upon his legs and pre- 
pare himself for a start, without the danger of heing choppcil. Where 
there is a large riding in a cover, the Held had by all means he better col- 
lected to that point, as there will be less chance of the fox being headed 
back than when each person is left to his own discretion ; the jealousy 
of getting a good start has been the chief cause of spoiling many a good 
run. I have occasionally seen a small cover drawn by about four or 
live couples of hounds, the body of the pack being kept in reserve at 
some distance, and nuist confess that, although the motive was excel- 
lent, viz., that the fox should have every advantage in making his point 
away without being overpowered by numbers and chopped, it took away 
in no little degree from the true spirit of the thing. Colonel Cook men- 
tions, in his " Observations on Hunting," the circumstance of Mr. Mey- 
nell's hounds waiting in the same Held, while a few couples selected 
from the pack were running hard in an adjoining gorse ; nor did they 
attcmjjt to break from the Avhipper-in until cheered to the cry by Jack 
Raven. In some hunting countries where earths are scarce, and it is 
found necessary to establish an artificial one for the sake of rearing 
young cubs, which may have been put down, the best method of making 
one is by digging a deei) trench on the sunny side of some rising ground, 
inside the cover which is intended to be stocked, if possible. When you 
have dug the first trench, which ought to be about four feet deep, and 
about of the same width, being in a semi-circular form, with two entrances, 
and from the centre turning oft' into an oven or den, lay a drain of very 
small soughing tiles, placed upon flat ones, to prevent rabbits from work- 
ing under them ; by this means the artificial earth will be kept per- 
fectly dry after severe soaking rains. Having foi'med the large trench 
in which the earth is to be made, lay the bottom with large flat stones, 
which may be generally procured from the rubbish of stone quarries at 
a low price, taking care to build in the aforementioned oven or den, a 
kind of raised kennel, in which the foxes may he secure and dry, having 
two or three small spouts in the side, into which a fox may stick him- 
self, with his head only exposed, in ease of a terrier being sent in by a 
poacher or fox-catcher ; by taking this precaution it will be next to an 
impossibility for a dog which is small enough to creep into the earth to 
bolt or draw a fox out. The earth may then be built of stones or bricks 
upon the floor, terminating at each entrance with a hole of such a size 
as not to admit a dog larger than a fox. The mouth should be made 
Avitli a heavy stone or large piece of timber, to prevent its wearing aAvay. 
A large mound of soil should be heaped over the earth, and, for a better 
protection, a quantity of dead cover placed upon that. Great care should 
be taken to select a dry place for an earth, or the foxes will become 
mangy, and, by dying in the earth spoil it for ever. Badgers are a sad 
nuisance when they take to an artificial earth, and should be imme- 
diately caught, or they will in a short time pull down and destroy the 
whole of the interior. The best plan for taking them is by placing 
sacks or large purse nets made on purpose in the entrance to the earth 
on a moonhght night, and hunting them in with terriers from the lower 
grounds, where they usually go to feed about midnight. It is a fact 



perhaps not generally known, but nevertheless not the less curious, that 
badgers go twelve months with young ; this fact I learned from a neigh- 
bour of mine in Warwickshire, who some years ago dug out in the spring 
a sow badger and pigs. The young ones Avcre destroyed, but the old 
badger was confined in an out-house for twelve months, where I fre- 
quently saw her, about which period she produced one young one. Dur- 
ing her confinement it was impossible for her to have been visited by a 
male, which is a conclusive proof of what I have stated about the period 
of their gestation. 

It is generally given as the opinion of most sportsmexi that foxes are 
not so stout as they Avere fifteen or twenty years ago, and that there are 
not anything like the long runs there had used to be in those days. 
There is without doubt a good deal of reason in this, for, in the first 
place, the country is much more enclosed than in former times, nor are 
there near such good scents as there had used to be, when the land was 
in a more primitive state of cxiltivation ; sheep in those days were gene- 
rally folded or kept in large flocks, and not, as they now are, divided 
into small lots of eight or ten, and placed in nearly every field you pass 
through in a run, where they never fail to follow the fox, and 
stand jambed-up in the hedge just in the way of the hounds. Moreover 
there are such numbers of bad French foxes turned down every season, 
which being weak and obliged to be fed for a considerable length of 
time cannot possibly have the least kuoAvledge of the country exceeding 
about two miles from the place where they have been brought up, nor 
strength to stand before hounds Avith anything like a scent if they did. 
Roads and railroads are on the increase, and the whole face of the coun- 
try being now built upon, a fox can seldom go any great distance with- 
out being headed from his point. Game presen'ers and traps of all de- 
scriptions lend their aid to defeat the object of the fox-hunter. The 
modern system of hard riding, where all are in such a hurry, men, 
horses, and hounds, that the fox gets almost immediately blown, when 
he either turns short back or lies down in some convenient ditch, where 
he carefully retraces his steps as soon as the whole cavalcade liave un- 
Avittingly passed him. Such poor devils as these cannot be expected to 
show long runs over a straight line of country ; but a good old dog fox, 
such an one as used to be found at Hampton Coppice or Tyle Hill, in 
my earlier days, going straight across the enclosures, Avithout deigning 
to sneak under a hedge-row, Avould take more killing than half the fly- 
ing packs of the present day could find time to bestow u])on him ; and 
unless there was a real " ravishing scent," he might truly exclaim with 
Coriolanus — 

" On fair ground I could cat forty of them." 

During the first part of the'cub-hunting season, as long as there is a 
chance of find and killing foxes in large woodlands, hounds should never 
on any account be taken to draw small spineys, or be suffered to work 
in the open ; it is impossible to keep so large a body together as arc 
generally taken out at that time of the year, and the mischief they may 
be led to commit and the vices they may contract will be much easier ac- 


quired than cured by such a practice. Some countries arc so extensive, 
and the foxes so Avell preserved, that the two packs necessary for four 
days a week may be divided from the very outset, which is a most ex- 
cellent plan, and some masters of hounds arc in the habit of so arrang- 
ing matters from the very commencement of the season. When the 
young liounds begin to show an inclination to Avork and to enjoy a scent, 
and to bo tolerably steady, about a fortnight before the regular season 
the two packs should be formed ; they may then be allowed to work over 
the open, and such as arc noisy or cannot go the jiace, or are guilty of 
any flagrant vices, shoidd be immediately put back ; at this time it is 
the custom in some kennels to rest for a week, dress, and give a mild 
dose of physic. I should consider a week spent in hard work to have a 
much more salutary effect, as nothing is so prejudicial as too much rest, 
particularly during the autumn ; and by hunting three days instead of 
four it is a very easy thing to give each pack a mild dose, which is all 
that is requisite. It is an excellent practice to stir up every cover be- 
fore November, except where the foxes arc very shy of lying, and where 
" the find" is always uncertain ; it teaches them to break sooner Avhen 
they are regularly hunted ; and by this means better runs will be ob- 
tained previous to Christmas than by nursing them, as is too frequently 
the case in some favourite covers until the end of November, when they 
show but little or no sport. There arc very few districts of large and 
deep woocUands but where the foxes might be made to fly, by continually 
hunting them for three or four days in succession ; however, very few 
huntsmen have courage or inclination to go through with so arduous an 
undertaking if they can possibly find cubs and get a sufficiency of blood 
in smaller and more handy covers. Some years ago Mr. Assheton 
Smith adopted the folloAving plan for instilling terror into the foxes 
in the great Collingbourne Woods, which are situated on the borders 
of Hampshire, on the Berkshire side : he caused large fires to be 
lighted and kept up all night at certain places, so that the foxes shoidd 
be rendered more shy and inclined to fly their country, which seemed 
to be all up in arms against them Avhen found in the day time by the 
hounds. Where proper persons can be employed to keep an eye to 
the preservation of foxes from fox stealers, main heads of earth are in- 
dispensable, not only as sure and safe places for vixens to lay up their 
cubs in, but also as inducements for good old travelling foxes to come 
long distances home, and by that means afi'ord better and straightcr 
chases than by ringing about a district of countiy and covers without 
any particular object to allure them to a distance. If the stopping of 
such places may be found expensive and inconvenient, they can very 
easily be Avell smoked and stopped up in October for the season, taking 
care to have them well opened by the first week in March. No head 
of breeding earths ought to be stopped after the first week in March, 
but merely put-to when the hounds are in the neighbourhood. The 
difference between stopping and putting-to is, the former being stopping 
the earths in the middle of the night, and putting-to only placing the 
kid or faggot in the mouth of the earth late in the morning, to prevent 
a fox getting in after he is found by the hounds. The earth-stopper 



should invariably unstop all liis eartlis before dark, after they have been 
stopped, unless those which have been blocked-up for the season. Foxes 
lie very much at earth in the spring of the year, after they have begun 
to draw the earths out for breeding. 

When a country has been drawn blank for some time, you may very 
frequently rc-stock the covers by smoking all the large heads of earths ; 
and in a very dry season, in the autumn, where large stone drains 
abound, the foxes will lie continually in them, three and four in a drain 
sometimes ; but as soon as the Avet weather sets in, they will again be 
found in those covers which before had been drawn blank. It is a good 
system to let all large drains be either staked up, or guarded by an iron 
grating ; this, if attended to, would be the cause of ensuring many good 
runs in the course of the season. If the number of hunting days in each 
week is four, one of them ought, without fail, to be in the woodlands ; 
and as fifty couples of hounds, which would be necessary to hunt four 
days a Aveek, Avould be all the better if they hunted five, Avhen the coun- 
try is sufliciently extensive, and the " sinews of Avar" Avill allow of it, a 
fifth day should be invariably devoted to rattling those covers Avliich, 
from being situated in the Avorst part of the country, are not favourite 
fixtures : it Avould only be the expense of three more horses for the men. 
By this means each pack Avould get a Avoodland day every Aveek, Avhich 
Avould keep them steady, and their condition Avould be much better than 
if they hunted only four ; the foxes, too, Avould be better preserved 
by the farmers Avho might reside on that side ; and by driving them so 
continually out of the large covers, they Avould fiy to the smaller ones, 
and afibrd much better runs when found afterwards, from their geogra- 
phical knoAvledge. 

The possession of fifty couples of really good and steady hounds is 
certainly a desideratum Avhicli is not so easily accomplished as some per- 
sons may suppose ; a thorough knoAvledge of the individual capabilities 
of the animal, and a quick discernment in the difference of their consti- 
tutions and speed, Avill be found absolutely necessary for the arrange- 
ment of the pack, so that they may run together, and that their labours 
may be performed Avitli the correctness and regularity of a avoU-cou- 
structed piece of machinery. 

While hounds are running a fox, especially in cover, they should all 
Avork as if they Avere trying to get to the head : hanging too much to 
the line Avill produce a slackness, Avhich is uiuloubtedly a great obstacle 
to killing a fox handsomely and Avith spirit. I like to see them (as long- 
as they do not skirt) score a little, as if looking out for him, and Avork 
abreast when the fox is sinking before them ; 1 love to see them Avith 
their bristles up, flinging themselves right and left, and looking avcU out 
for him in his last shifts and artful dodges, like Avhat old Wells (who 
hunted Mr. Wickstead's hounds so many seasons) used to call " rale 
(real) fox-killers." In very stormy and bad Aveather all hounds Avill fly 
about and riot a little, and then it is excusable ; but they ought to stop 
when the huntsman speaks to them or chides them. A riotous pack arc 
generally more inclined to be vicious immediately after blood, being then 
in the highest sjjirits ; consequently they should be Avatched close, and 


Avaited upon on such occasions. Now, tlic young sportsman, to whom 
I fi m move particularly addressing myself, and whose knowledge in draw- 
ing his pack has not hecn matured hy much ohservation and exjjerienco, 
would he saved from a great deal of anxiety and disappointment, if ho 
would consider hefore he commences this most important part of the duty 
of a huntsman, why he classes such and such hounds. The grand point 
to be achieved is, to get them to run and work together : their heing all 
of one height is quite a secondary consideration, although I grant that 
perfection cannot he said to he ohtained until that is the case. The 
fashion of the present day is very frequently to hunt the dogs and 
hitches separate : hut unless the forces are very numerous, I fear that 
tlie ranks Avill not he filled up with much credit and satisfaction ; a man 
must he either a very successful breeder, or a very extensive purchaser, 
who fancies he is to achieve so difficidt a task during his first two or 
three seasons. Mr. King, who hunted the Hambleton country in Hamp- 
shire many seasons, had a pack entirely composed of bitches, in fact, 
about forty couj)les, only reserving two or three dogs as stud-hounds. 
And Sir Bellingham Graham was repeatedly heard to say, that if his 
kennel could aftbrd it, he would never take anything into the field but 
ijitches. They are, no doubt, much quicker in their woi-k than the 
dogs, but, at the same time, they are more inclined to fly a little too 
much. The dog-hounds, I think, are generally closer to the line, and 
do their work better and steadier in the long run. Another method is, 
to divide them according to their size, so as to form a large and a small 
pack, which is far more advisable than hunting the sexes separate ; by 
so doing, the necessity of drafting the smaller dogs may be dispensed 
with, and, consequently, the services of some of the handsomest and 
best shaped of the puppies secured. But the best of all systems is, in 
commencing a pack of hounds, Avliere it is a four-day country, to form 
one good pack first, composed of the elite of the kennel ; none should 
be older than four-season hunters, and no two-year-olds Avhich arc very 
Avild, nor any of the last entry, should be admitted, but such as take a 
share in tlie work, and such as are tolerably steady. The other may be 
considered the awluvard squad, consisting of old line hunters, which can 
always be depended upon, particularly as finders, and such as require 
perpetual drilling in the woodlands to keep them in order. Be, if pos- 
sible, strong in hounds at the beginning of the season ; it is vexy easy 
to put away the incorrigible, and such as cannot run up •; and by strict 
attention and perseverance a few years will produce a second pack equal 
to the first, both in capabilities and appeai'ance. 

Nothing will be found to be of greater importance in the well conduct- 
ing of the operations than steadiness and persevering exertions on the 
part of the whippei's-in ; servants of that description ore quite as difti- 
cult to meet with as a first-rate huntsman ; a master who " puts uj)" a 
booby of a groom, merely because he can ride young horses and scream 
like a fish-woman, must never expect to see his hounds anything else 
than Avild and vicious in their drawing, and heedless and unhandy in 
their attention to the hiuitsman when casting. It Avas the opinion of 
Mr. Beckford that first-rate abilities in a whipper-in were of more conse- 
quence to the promoting of good sport, than they were in a huntsman ; 


and although I must beg to differ with that universally acknowledged 
oracle in hunting matters, in considering that it is impossible for a 
huntsman to know too much, or to be too aufait at liis business, yet as 
my opinion with regard to the knowledge and acquirements of a whipper- 
in so exactly agrees Avith the ideas of that great man, I will give them 
in his own words, omitting such parts as I may consider immaterial : — 
" I must, therefore, remind you," says he, " that I speak of my own 
country only, a country fidl of riot,* where the covers are large, and 
whore there is a chase fuU of deer and full of game. In such a country 
as this, you that know so well how necessary it is for a pack of fox- 
hounds to be steady and to be kept together, ought not to wonder that I 
should prefer an excellent whipper-in to an excellent huntsman. No one 
knows better than yourself how essential a good adjutant is to a regiment: 
believe me, a good whipper-in is not less necessary to a pack of fox- 
hounds. But I must beg you to observe, I mean only that I could do 
better with mediocrity in the one than in the other." And again he 
says, " I cannot but think genius may be at least as useful in one as in 
the other ; for instance, while the huntsman is riding to his headmost 
hounds, the whipper-in, if he have genius, may show it in various ways : 
he may clap forward to any great earth that may by chance be open ; 
he may sink the wind to halloo, or mob a fox when the scent fails ; he 
may keep him off his foil ; he may stop the tail-hounds and get them 
forward ; and has it frequently in his power to assist the hounds, with- 
out doing them any hurt, provided he may have the sense to distinguish 
where he may be chiefly wanted. Besides, the most essential part of 
fox-hunting, the making and keeping the pack steady, depends entirely 
on him. In short, I consider the first whipper-in as a second huntsman, 
and to be perfect he should be not less capable of hunting the hounds 
than the huntsman himself." When hounds divide into two parts, the 
whipper-in should invariahhj stop to the huntsman's halloo ; but if tliey 
are in doubt which is the hunted fox, those which are furthest down 
Aviud should be stopped, as they can hear the others soonest ; moreover, 
the down wind fox is most likely to be a fresh one which has been dis- 
turbed by the hounds. Mr. Beckford goes on to say: " Most hunts- 
men, I believe, are jealous of the whipper-in ; they frequently look on 
him as a successor, and therefore do not very readily admit him into the 
kennel ; yet, in my opinion, it is necessary he should go thither, for 
he ought to be well acquainted with the hounds, who should know 
and follow him as well as the huntsman.! To recapitulate what 
1 have already said, if 'your whipper-in be bold and actice, be a 
f>-ood and careful horaeman, have a good car and a clear voice ; 

* In these days, owing to the increase of game preserves, all countries are full of 

t An extraordinary instance of a quarrel between a huntsman and first whipper-in 
is related of Dick Foster and Shayer (commonly called Sawyer), who both lived with 
Mr. Villebois so many years. Foster having been led to suppose that Shayer wished 
to su])j)lant him in his office of huntsman, resolved to cut him, and consequently no 
intercourse took place between these two men for three years, excepting in their bu- 
siness relative to liunting ; nevertheless the work in the field was conducted in first- 
rate style, and without any apparent jealousy or bad feeling. 


if he be a very Mungo, here, there, and everywhere, having at the 
same time judgment to distinguish where he can be of most use ; 
if, joined to these, he be above the fooHsh conceit of kilhng a fox, Avith- 
oixt the huntsman, but, on the contrary, be disposed to assist him all he 
can, he then is a perfect whipper-in. " Added to these qualifications, 
he should be fond of work, and habitually sober. There can be but one 
opinion upon the vice of drunkenness in any man ; and the second fault 
in either a huntsman or whipper-in ought to be the last to be overlooked. 
Many of my readers may have, I have no doubt, been disgusted in tlie 
course of their lives, by such an outrage ; but to see a whipper-in drunk on 
champagne would be rather a novel sight. I recollect once meeting at the 
house of a jolly good fox-hunter " of the olden time," Avho shall here be 
nameless, where he had a most splendid breakfast set out upon the oc- 
casion ; and our worthy host, not being content with giving his guests 
plenty of that exhilirating beverage, absolutely sent a bottle out to the 
men who were waiting Avith the hounds upon the lawn ; the result may 
be imagined. Upon remonstrating afterwards Avitli the elder of the two 
upon this most disgraceful occurrence, the answer was, that he was 
sorry for what had happened, but that he thought there could be no harm 
in the contents of the bottle, as he had seen a lady drinking some of 
the same kind, through the window, just before. This man had but one 
fault in the world ; in other respects, he was a most excellent and trust- 
worthy servant, and one of the quickest and best sportsmen I ever saw 
handle a Avhip ; ho had lived twenty years in two of the most noted 
hunting establishments in England, but gin became his ruin. 

A few rules for a whipper-in, which the more he attends to, the more 
he will please the Duke of Grafton. — 'The following rules were put to- 
gether by the late Duke of Grafton, for the guidance of his whippers-in; 
and as they are most excellent, I shall insert them without further com- 
ment or apology :• — • 

" The Duke of Grafton's system of hunting is to have everything 
done as quietly as possible, and never with hurry, bustle, or noise. Be- 
fore finding — that is, in drawing — the Duke of Grafton is against 
driving, Avhipping, or scolding hounds into cover ; but he is for encou- 
raging them as quietly and with as little noise as possible ; but Avhen 
hounds are running in cover, skirters ought to be drove and whipped to 
cry, especially in furze covers, but in such a way as not to disturb those 
hounds that are working. When a hound is from behind running for 
the head, the Duke of Grafton holds that this is not skirting, but Avliat 
every good hound ought to do. In drawing cover, or in rating hounds, 
nothing can be more to the duke's liking than .Tohn Randall's present 
method. Wlien Tom Rose or the Duke of Grafton are forward with the 
leading hounds, the wliipper-in's great attention sliould bo turned to get 
up the tail-hounds, and never (if it can possibly be helped) leave a single 
hound behind in cover. The Duke of Grafton would have the huntsman 
alone (if he is up) speak to the hounds, while trying at fault ; and the 
whipper-in should be at the head (but not amongst them), ready to turn 
any who do not come to the huntsman's call. At hunting, particularly 
at cold-hunting, the Duke of Grafton would have the hounds allowed 


their own try, and not put ofF from it by the wliip, unless they showed a 
wildness in such try. When hounds go aAvay, and the Duke and hunts- 
man are hoth left back with another parcel, the whipper-in is to stop 
them, and bring them to the others v:ithout fail. When hounds are 
behind, and stopped from another scent, the Duke of Grafton would 
have them brought up quietly, without hurry, and no faster than they 
may hear the hounds forward, jjarticularly when in cover. The Duke 
of Grafton is of opinion that the usual method of capping and screaming 
them on at a full gallop makes them Avild, brings them up blown, and in 
the end makes them slack under difficulties. Nothing is more desired 
by the Duke of Grafton to be attended to, than to prevent the hounds 
being divided during the chase, which, from the nature of the two coun- 
tries he hunts, requires much active observation and attention from the 
whipper-in. On finding, or touching, even when the hounds are per- 
fectly known as to steadiness or otherwise, our system is not to be too 
hasty in rating, for a young hound may find a fox ; nor should any one 
be encouraged or spoke to too quickly, excepting it be to such as are 
quite sure. 

" It is unnecessary to say that a whipper-in, who is a good horse- 
man, never drives his horse without occasion, spares him when he can 
over deeji and bad ground, and takes no great leap when a good way 
through is at hand. " 

In giving a description of what an efficient whipper-in shoidd be, be- 
fore we attempt to emimerate the various qualifications of an accom- 
plished lumtsman, it may appear to some of our readers like delivering 
the epilogue before the commencement of a play ; but it must be remem- 
bered that, according to the regular notion of the thing, a man ought to 
learn to whip-in before he presumes to catch hold of a pack of hounds 
to hunt them ; and I have no hesitation in saying, that all ouv Jirst-ratc 
pcrfortncrs as amateur huntsmen (to let alone the professionals) had 
made it their study to know what the duties of an efficient whipi)er-iii 
were, as well as of a huntsman, long before they attempted to exhibit 
their own prowess in the hunting-field. The life of a huntsman is one 
of great labour, trust, and liability to accidents in the chase (healthful 
as the pursuit of hunting undoubtedly is) from falls and other disastei's ; 
yet the generality of men of that calling usually live to a good old age. 
Amongst the many extraordinary and disastrous mishaps may bo re- 
corded the accident Avhicli occurred to Joe Maiden, the late huntsman to 
the Cheshire hoimds, about fifteen years ago, when he Avas whipper-in 
to Mr. Chadwick, Avho at that time hunted the Sutton-Coldfield country, 
which lies partly in the counties of Stafford and Warwick. Being sliort 
of hands in the boiling-house, Joe Maiden was assisting in ])lrtcing a 
large piece of fiesh in the co])per, and to carry out his intentions with 
greater facility, lie Avas standing upon the greasy edge of the boilei-, 
when he unfortunately slip])ed in nearly up to his middle in the boiling 
broth. Although inuncdiately extricated, he Avas .scalded in a most 
dreadful manner ; and being carried to his bed-room, he laid for many 
weeks in a most dreadful and jiitiable condition. After a certain time, 
suppuration came on to such an extent that it was found necessary to 


carry oft" the quantity of matter formed, to place pipes made of hollow 
canes reaching from the sores ahout his limbs to a large vessel hy the 
Led-side. This drain upon his constitution lasted for some time, until 
at last, by judicious treatment, aided by a natural constitutional sound- 
ness, he totally recovered tlie use of his limbs, although the muscles on 
his legs were so nnich reduced as to oblige him to have artificial jiads to 
protect him from injury when on horseback. A curious instance of a 
whipper-in with a cork leg is i-elated of a man of the name of Jones, 
who fractured his knee-pan in so dreadful a manner with the iron ham- 
mer of his hunting-whip, while attempting to break a padlock on a gate 
when out hunting, that tlie limb was obhged to be amputated ; yet he 
recovered sufficiently to perform his duties, and was well known as an 
excellent hand in Shropshire for many seasons. Amongst some of the 
first hands which have been known as quite *' top-sawyers" when they 
were only whippers-in, many cut but a very indifferent figure Avhen they 
came to be promoted to the office of huntsman. As an instance of this, 
we may enumerate Jack Stevens, so well remembered and appreciated 
as one of the very best whippers-in and first-rate hands over a severe 
country, that ever attempted to turn a hound, whether in the open or a 
deep woodland. With one of the most brilliant and musical voices (till 
rendered in after life ropy and hoarse by hard work — and the too usual 
concomitant — drink), with a flow of hunting language and phraseology 
never surpassed by another of his craft, with a nerve the most undaunted, 
and a constitution of iron pervading his diminutive frame, weighing in 
the saddle only 9st. 21bs., with an unflagging buoyancy of spirits, a fine 
temper, and a most respectful deportment towards every sportsman in 
the field, and Avith a strict determination to assist his master througli a 
run Avithout jealousy, to show sport and kill his fox, did Jack Stevens 
Avhip-in to Squire Osbaldeston for fourteen consecutive seasons, the last 
eight of Avhich Avere passed in the Pytchley country ; bixt he is gone, 
and at tlie early age of forty-tAvo his cold remains Avere placed under the 
sod, in the quiet but sporting church-yard of BrixAVorth, in Northamp- 
tonshire. The natural ambition inherent in almost all men, and from 
which it is absurd to suppose even a first-rate Avhipper-in to be exempt, 
had prompted many to attempt to soar in a sphere in Avhich their expe- 
rience in their calling has but imperfectly prepared tliem ; as an in- 
stance, hoAvever, to the contrary, Ave may mention Old Tom Ball, Avho 
was long knoAvn and respected as an excellent Avhipper-in in the Old 
Berkeley country : he had l)cen frequently oft'ered the situation of hunts- 
man to several packs of foxhounds, Avhicli lie invariably declined, mo- 
destly ol»serving that he Avas not sure of having talent to succeed in his 
ncAV appointment, and that the mortification of returning to the place of 
Avhippei*-in Avould bo too great for him to hazard. 

C'hanged as the system is, during the last fifty years, for the better, 
still the old school had a deal of the right sort of knoAvledge, gained by 
extreme patience and the observation of circumstances. The pace of 
the present day is too fast to allow time for a huntsman to reflect ; all 
he thinks about is, " IIoav they are going ! I shall be all behind Avith 
these jealous fellows ;" and his eyes are on the horses instead of where 


they ouglit to be, on liis hounds. Hunting was no doubt at its zenith 
about twenty-five years ago, when men rode well enough to get to the 
hounds without doing mischief ; the huntsmen of that day had been 
mostly bred up as whipi)ers-in under real good sportsmen ;* they could 
hunt as well as ride, and knew what they Avere about, whether in tlie 
woodlands or the open ; but the modern huntsman has been put up 
since steeple-chasing came in, because old Tom Castwell, or Jack 
Cheerly, liad got too slow to ride against modern fields ; but Tom gene- 
rally killed his fox or run him to ground every day lie went out, and his 
hounds could hunt through deer, hares, or village gardens,! and Jack 
Cheerly's system of working his hounds through woodlands, without 
their dividing or changing their fox, was the admiration of all sports- 
men far and near. But the modern performer seldom kiEs his fox after 

* The'deliverer of the following speech may justly be ranked amongst the first 
pei'formers of the present day. He has hunted the hounds of his noble master for 
many seasons, giving great satisfaction. He succeeded old Philip Payne in that situ- 
ation at the time of his death : — 

" A Huntsman's Speech. — At the dinner given to Will Long, the Duke of 
Beaufort's huntsman, the old boy returned thanks, on his health being drunk, in a 
sportsman-like style. When silence was obtained, he said — ' Gentlemen, I have got 
on my legs, but I assure you I could have got on the saddle with far more confidence 
(cheers and laughter). Indeed, I am puzzled to find suitable terms to thank you 
for the honour you have conferred on me ; perhaps every one present has heard my 
voice, though I may safely say that no one ever heard me make a speech (cheers and 
laughter), and I fear if I make an attempt I shall soon be at fault (laughter), or 
perhaps I shall break down altogether. However, trusting to your kind indulgence, 
I'll do my best to hark forward (Hear, hear) ; and if in my efforts I should come 
to a check, I hope you will allow me to try back, and, if possible, to regain the scent 
and get out of my difficulties (cheers). Gentlemen, through thirty years of fox- 
hunting I have had the good luck to spend many pleasant days in your company ; 
but none so pleasant as this, for this is the day of all days. I shall never forget it. 
It has always been my study to show sport ; I have had many fears about being able 
to succeed ; whether those fears were groundless or not, you are the best judges ; 
but, from your kindness to me this day, I think I may flatter myself that I have not 
been altogether unsuccessful (loud cheers). To insure sport there requires a liberal 
master, good hounds, a good scent, and last, not least, a good fox (Hear). I hope 
we have had all these tilings. Of the noble duke it hardly becomes me to speak ; 
but this much I must say, that a kinder master or a better sportsman never entered 
the field (lo2td cheers). Of the hounds you must form your own opinions ; they 
are as good as I can make them ; and I hope when next they meet, every one of you 
will be present to hear and approve their nmsic. As to the scent, we must take that 
as it comes ; but, with respect to foxes, I am happy to say they are strong and plenti- 
ful, thanks to the liberal fox preservers whom I see around me (cheers). We owe it 
to them that we had not a single blank day last season, and, from what 1 hear, there 
is no fear that we shall have one in the present (cheers). I hope we shall all meet 
soon in the field ; a good start is half the battle ; and when I see so numerous a 
company as is nov? assembled, I cannot but think we have made a good beginning, 
with a fair prospect of a good finish ; wlien we finish elsewhere, I hope you will all 
be in at the d(>ath (loudc/ieers). Gentlemen, I am fairly run to ground (cheers and 
laughter). Allow me again to thank you for the honour you have done me, and to 
drink all your healths in return, wishing you health and jirosperity, and may you be 
happy at last, when you can see no more hounds (prolonged cheers).' " — Devizes 

t Nothing is more ])rejudicial to scent than the smoke from a wood or turf fire 
whicli hangs aljout small cottages. This may be easily jx'rceived by hounds gene- 
rally getting into difficulties when approaching those places. 


a run : to be sure, he mops up a good many weak, stupid brutes, that 
have no knowledge of hounds, and, in fact, have not been introduced to 
the pack since their arrival in a perforated box from the " Foret de 
Guincs," or "the large woods in the vicinity of Amiens," whence, 
poor things ! they were cruelly forced from the tender embraces of 
their anxious mothers. The old huntsman, although a shade slow, 
" knew hunting and hounds well ;" he was not only a huntsman in the 
modern acceptation of the word, but a sort of maitre de chasse. When 
he did not hunt, he shot for his master ; and when he did not shoot, he 
cither fished or was vermin-catching, not by trap, but by hunting them 
with terriers, and digging them. In reading a very old French book on 
hunting, some few months since, I was much struck with the following 
passages, which I shall quote, and which shows that the Frenchman's 
ideas of what a good sportsman should be were not very far from the 
mark. In describing a good sportsman, he says — " Un bon cognois- 
seur ; c'est un veneur qui a toutes les cognoissances des bestes dont il 
traitte. Un bon piqueur, c'est quand un veneur, et un bon cognoisseur, 
homme de jugement, et experimente, a faire chasser les chiens courans." 

And again, in describing the qualifications of a good huntsman, or, 
as he terms it, " un bon piqueur :" 

" II est done a-propos qu'il soit homme de jugement, vigoureux et 
hardi, afin qu'il n'appreheudc pas de franchir, et sauter un fosse, on les 
brances et les epines le pourront egratigner, et s'il le rencontre bon 
sonneur, il s'en fera mieux entendre, et en donnera plus d 'emotion aux 
chiens, "t 

Before hard riding was considered — as it is, I fear, at the present 
day — the only qualification necessary for a huntsman, these men almost 
finished their earthly careers in the performance of the duties of their 
profession. A good sample of the old huntsman of days gone by 
might be found in old Thomas Johnson, Avho died in the service of 
Charles, Duke of Richmond, and was buried at Singleton, near Chi- 
chester, December 20, 1744. His epitaph says — "His knowledge in 
his profession, wherein he had no superior, and hardly an equal, joined 
to his honesty in every other particular, recommended him to the ser- 
vice and gained him the approbation of several of the nobility and 
gentry : amongst them Avere — the Lord Conway, the Earl of Cardigan, 
the Lord Gower, the Duke of Marlborough, and the Honourable Mr. 
Spencer. The last master whom he served, and in whose service he 
died, was Charles, Duke of Richmond, Lenox, and Aubigny, who 
erected this monument to the memory of a good and faithful servant, 
as a reward to the deceased and an incitement to the living : — 

" ' Go and do thou likewise. ' 

" Luke X. 37. 
" Here Johnson lies. What huntsman can deny 
Old honest Tom the tribute of a sigh ? 
Deaf is that ear which caught the opening sound ; 
Dumb is that tongue whicli cheered the hills around ! 
Unpleasant truth ! Death hunts us from our birth 
In view ; and men, like foxes, take to earth." 

t Venerie Royale, 16C5, • 


There are, undoubtedly, some few first-rate performers as " gentle- 
tlemen huntsmen ;" but, taking all things into consideration, a master 
of hounds had mucli better give uj) that part of the business to " a 
professional :" according to the modern state of affairs, they are not in 
their places; and as Mr, Bunn, in his book entitled "The Stage," 
justly observes that, when " actors are managers and actors too, they 
certainly labour under a great disadvantage." The " nascitur non fit" 
is c([ually applicable to huntsmen as poets ; moreover, for a man to 
fancy he is entirely to learn tlie way to liunt a pack of hounds, upon 
paper, is absurd ; his actions must be guided by circumstances ; and 
although there are no imniutahlc rules for drawing, casting, or following 
the line of a fox, still I will endeavour to give a few hints upon these 
subjects, and how to assist a pack, when necessary, over a country. In 
drawing covers, the more usual method is to give the hounds the benefit 
of the wind ; but I really think that precaution is needless, excepting 
in lai-ge woodlands, and then either drawing against the wind, or rather, 
with a side-wind, will be of great service to the pack, not only in finding, 
but in getting together ; moreover, a fox will not be so likely to get a 
long start, and shp away with perhaps only a couple or two of hounds, 
hearing and more especially winding them as he v:onlcl for nearly half 
a mile, Avhen they Avere approaching the cover down wind. Foxes, and 
indeed almost all wild animals, trust more to their noses than they do 
to the power of their visionary organs. Look, for example, at the wild 
duck, and we may even add all kinds of game. Though hounds in 
drawing should be controlled to a certain extent, and so drilled that 
they should draw each quarter of a cover by itself and Avith regularity, 
still they should be allowed to range, and encouraged as much as pos- 
sible to trust to their own exertions to find a fox by his drag, and not 
expect him to be Avhipped up for them as they crowd round the hunts- 
man's horse, or wait to be halloed to a disturbed fox, as is not unfre- 
quently the system. If there are some low meadows on the side of a 
Avood about to be drawn as the first cover in the morning, it is not a bad 
plan to Avalk quietly up them while waiting for the arrival of the field. 
A huntsman who knows anything Avill, see with half an eye by the old 
hounds, although their indications Avill hardly amount to feathering, if 
there arc foxes in the neighbourhood ; as, if there are, they would, 
nineteen times out of twenty, have come off their feed from these mea- 
dows, having been amusing themselves during the previous night in 
huntiuf the moles and lai'ge field-mice Avliich abound in such places, and 
which luidoubtedly form the chii'f food of not only foxes, but of most 
wild animals of prey, from the wolf to the weazel. You will almost in- 
varial)ly find in the same quarter of a cover, provided that jiart has not 
been cut too lately : there is something attractive in peculiar sjiots, 
whether from dryness or shelter, Avhich induces foxes to kennel about 
the same identical hillock or bank year after year ; and avo may see the 
same thing in partridge-shooting, Avhere Ave invariably find a coA'ey of 
bii'ds, not only year after year and day after day, but even several tunes 
in the same day, exactly in the same identical part of a field, Avhether it 
be Avheat, turnips, or any other crop. It' in drawing a coA'^cr you liave 


been tlisappointed, and, at the same time, know that there are some 
foxes in the neighhonrhood, yon should, upon coming away, just allow 
the hounds to run through what is termed in some counties " the 
spring," or what was the last year's cutting. I have very frequently 
seen foxes found there, more especially if there are some heaps of fag- 
gots still left, which afford nice Avarm places for kennels, and, indeed, 
even for vixens to lay up their cubs in. I once found a fox in the cars 
below Beverley, in a very curious place. We had been requested by a 
farmer to meet at his house in that neighbourhood, to disturb the foxes 
in the montli of March, as, to use his own words, he Avas nearly cat up 
with them. Now there was no cover within two miles of the place that 
would have concealed a rabbit ; nevertheless, in drawing a long line of 
open and perfectly bare plantation of fir trees, I could plainly see by 
the hounds that a fox had been on his feed at a very late hour in the 
morning, as they could almost speak to it : at last, as we were coming 
away, and giving it np as merely the stale line of some old travelling- 
dog-fox, a couple of hounds hung to a large lieap of posts and rails, 
which had been cleaved out of the black wood found so plentifully in 
some old bogs in Yorkshire and many other parts of England : to this 
place their well-known tongues innnediately drew the pack, and here we 
found a whole colony. After putting in a small dog of the farmer's, we 
bolted an old dog-fox, which avc killed, after running him eighteen 
minutes without a check, in the village of Routli : how many more 
there were Ave could not tell, as avc did not return to disturb the place, 
the earth-stopper discovering after Ave had left that there Avas a vixen 
and a litter of cubs among the timber. I have seen foxes found in all 
sorts of curious out-of-the-Avay jdaces, and Avhere any one Avould little 
dream of going purposely to look for the animal. Besides in turnip- 
fields,* where they are frequently found, being regularly draAvn by 
hounds in some countries, you may sometimes Avhip foxes out of stubble- 
cocks, hedge-roAvs, and bushes of ivy groAving either against trees or 
old Avails, and I have frequently seen them lying (especially Avhen the 
covers have been much disturbed) on the bare ground in falloAv-fields ; 
and although their beautiful hazel eyes are staring Avidc open, they Avill 
generally alloAv you to approach on your horse within almost the length 
of a Avhip-thong before they make any attempt to cscajje. In my early 
days, Avhen the covers at Farmbro' (Mr. Holbeach's j)lace in Warwick- 
shire) could not supply a fox, the custom used to be to try an old cart- 
hovel close at hand, Avlicre the foxes had a sort of earth under the 
thatch that reached to the ground on one side, and Avliere they Avere 
generally found at home. Woods, AA'hich later in the year generally 
hold foxes, are, during the months of September and beginning of 
October, rendered frequently very uncertain, by being disturbed not 
only by shooters, but by a vast concourse of persons, in some countries, 
Avalking in them to gather the nuts. 

* In drawing a turnip-field for a fox, care should be taken to allow the fox, if pos- 
sible, time to get a-head into one of the furrows ; as, if he once begins to jump in the 
high turnips, and the hounds catch a view of him, he is certain to be chopped. 


As soon as a hound opens in cover, if you do not know his note, be- 
fore you speak to him work your Avay right up to him, and see which it 
is ; if it is riot, even in the case of a young hound, lie will nine times in 
ten leave it Avhen he sees you approach him : let him alone for a few 
seconds ; if you knoAV him to he sure, cheer him and talk to him, and 
blow your horn, and get the body of the hounds to him as quick as you 
can. Oh ! what thrilling melody, as they come chiming in one after 
the other ! and then rattle him on with a tremendous ci'ash. Such a 
find as that, reader, is Avorth riding, or even walking, fifty miles to wit- 
ness. After you have found your fox, more especially when running a 
chain of covers, always, if you possibly can, lie down wind of your hoimds ; 
you Avill then never be out of hearing, and they Avill with greater ditti- 
culty slip you, or even change or divide, Avithout your being aware of the 
circumstance. Unless you Avork Avith your men according to a system 
laid doAvn and agreed upon betAveen you, you Avill ahvays be in confu- 
sion : a cunning old Avhipper-in, vinless he is Avorking to orders, Avill in- 
variably take the down Avind line from you ; hoAvever, it is your OAvn 
fault if you let him. A little experience soon puts a man up to all these 
httlc manoeuvres in the chase. When hounds arc once aAvay and got 
together, the Avhippers-in should ride one to the right and the other left 
(if there are tAvo) ; and, generally speaking, one is quite sufficient to 
turn hoiuids ; therefore, if the second whip sees the first rather more 
forAvard, and ready to wait upon the huntsman, he ought to ease his 
horse a little ; and Avhen the hounds turn toAvards his line, he can ride 
forward, and alloAV the first Avhip to drop a little back and recover his 
horse's wind. In Avindy weather and on bad hearing days, a huntsman 
should draAV invariably up Avind, and should not only be pretty free Avith 
his voice, but should also give frequent single blasts on his horn as he 
rides along, to keep the hounds pretty avcU together, or they may draAv 
away too Avide, find a fox by themselves, and slip aAA^ay doAvn Avind unper- 
ceived, I haveknoAvnhoixnds on some days, esijccially Avhen there Avas 
a good deal of Avind, run much harder doAvn Avind than they could Avhen 
they turned against it, although the reverse is generally the case : Avhy 
it Avas so I never could make out, nor yet get any experienced sportsman 
to explain to me the reason in a satisfactory manner. Hounds seldom 
riot in loAV thick coA'ers, Avherc they can be easily got at by a A\'hii)per-in ; 
but in high cover, Avhere they can see the hares bouncing by them in a 
most tempting manner, and Avhere they knoAV, from the nature of the 
copse-wood and tangled briars, that no Avhippcr-in can ride after them, 
they Avill occasionally, especially if there is no drag of a fox through the 
cover, set to Avork in a most ungovernable and determined manner both 
young and old : if they should refuse to listen to the rating and chiding 
of the Avhipper-in, jump ott" your horse quickly, run a little Avay in to the 
high cover on foot, scream a note upon your horn, and chide them, and 
they Avill invariably come aAvay ashamed, and folloAV you out like a gang 
of condemned culprits : don't fiog them, but talk a little to them as you 
go along, and make them ashamed of themselves : it Avill do them more 
good than being flogged by the huntsman, Avho should never strike a 
hound, and only rate him upon such occasions, Aftez'wards find a fox 


as soon as you can, and by all manner of means kill him if possil)lc. 
Never hang about a place where there is nuich riot and no fox ; few 
hounds can stand it, and they sliould never have a chance given them 
to run riot if it could be avoided : in fact, you slioidd instil into them 
the belief that they can never riot Avithout being immediately detected 
and punished for it on the spot. It is a glorious morning for the young 
hounds Avlien you can find a fox in the middle of a good deal of riot ; 
and if he hangs a little before he breaks : blood after such a day's drill- 
ing will do them more good than a hundred floggings. When a fox 
continues to hang to a large wood, and, in fact, upon all occasions Avlien 
running in cover, ride well on up to the leading hounds ; that is, if you 
cannot follow them through the covers, Avliich I would always do if I 
could in any way, keejj as near them as you can, taking care to lie 
down wind of them. Continually cheer and halloo the rest of the hounds 
forward to the body : nothing is so disgraceful as to see hounds running 
one fox in detached bodies ; and never mind what some of the new hght 
say about making hounds wild by halloing to them, and cheering them 
together upon such occasions : a foxhound that Avill not stand cheering 
is not worth his keep. What did old .John Warde say ? and no man 
loved to see hounds work by their noses more than he did. He used to 
say, when hounds were running a fox in cover, " continually cheer and 
encourage them : a good cheering halloo shoves 'em well together." 
How old Tom Rose had used to cheer and rattle a pack together when 
he hunted the Duke of Grafton's ! So did Mr. Musters when he was 
getting his pack to settle well to him ; and no man could kill a crooked 
fox better than he could. I do not recommend an unnecessary scream- 
ing at hounds upon all occasions when they cross the ridings before you 
but I am convinced that they will get along better and faster through a 
heavy lino of woodlands, Avhen well waited on, and cheered forward on 
the lino of their fox, than when they are totally left to the melancholy 
system of working all alone, till at last it degencx'ates into the spiritless 
exhibition of "follow the leader" from morning till night. When 
taking hounds to a halloo in cover, or even when only casting them, you 
should invariably hold them on the side of the riding into which the fox 
has crossed ; for if you come bungling up the ride, with the hounds after 
you, as one or ttvo men whom I could mention arc in the habit of doing, 
giving you the idea, of a flock of geese with the greatest goose first, it is 
ten to one, if the fox has come down Avind, that the hounds strike the 
scent heel-ways, and cause much confusion and loss of time before they 
can again be got upon the right line. If hounds, when brought to a 
halloo in cover, are put on the line, and cannot at first acknowledge it, 
ride quietly into the cover the way the fox went, and by holding them on 
and gently encouraging them to try, the old hounds wiU soon hit him 
when held further on. The most probable cause of their not hitting him 
at first is that the fox made a short turn right or left to find the rack- 
way, where he could travel with greater case, and which he missed when 
he first came over the riding : moreover, the first part of his line may 
be stained by the breath of the horse, or oven of the man himself, who 
had halloed you to the point, and thoughtlessly had been standing 


for several seconds just on the very place he should not have done. 
When any horseman lias viewed a fox over a riding, and it is necessary 
to halloo, he should invariahly place his horse's head across the riding 
in the direction Avhich the fox went, as a signal to the huntsman when 
bringing up his hounds, by which he may know exactly which way to 
hold them. It frequently happens that a beaten fox may bring you into 
a cover, Avhcre, after running a short time and constantly expecting his 
death, you may unavoidably change for a fresh fox. The only thing to 
be done is to trust to the old line hunting hounds, as the least likely to 
have changed, as far as the powers of the hounds go ; but clever whip- 
pers-in can do much towards killing the fox, even if a brace or two of 
fresh ones are on foot : and then, it must be observed, is the time to see 
the vast diiference between the modern, flashy riding whipper-in, and the 
old wide-awake sportsman, such as Zach Goddard, Bob or Harry Old- 
aker. Will Todd, Tom Smith with Lord Middleton, Will Iledden, Dick 
Adamson, Jem Shirley, Ben Foote, and Jack Wood, when he whipped- 
in to Charles King. Such men as these Avould " lie forward,', as they 
call it ; and well knowing a hunted fox half a mile off from fifty fresh 
ones, would, if necessary, put the liounds off the line of a fresh one by 
going into the cover and rating them at their head ; then turning them 
round, and catching hold of them, halloo them on to their hunted fox. 
All tiiis would be done in half the time I could write it ; and in the mean 
time the huntsman and other Avhips, if they worked as they ought to do 
— by signals, and Avithout jealousy — would get forward or lie back, as 
the case might be, and anticipate the same thing again, till they had 
got through their difticultles, and perhaps got the fox away again in the 
open, or killed him. And here it should be understood, that when 
hounds are at work as I have just dcsci'ibed them, if the huntsman hears 
one of his Avliips halloo and blow his horn at a distance, and can depend 
on him as a i-eal good hand, he should stop his hounds himself from what 
is certain to be a fresh fox, and get forward to Jack as fast as he can, 
who has viewed the hunted fox. Now, to work in this way, men must 
not only be experienced hands, but Avell known to each other, and 
accustomed to Avork by signals and without jealousy : why shoidd a 
huntsman, or even master of hounds, be above acknowledging the assist- 
ance of his servant ? How was it that Mr. Osbaldeston shoAved more 
sport during the eight seasons he Avas in Northamptonshire than all the 
rest of the masters of hounds in Great Britain put together ? Because 
in chase he Avas most indefatigable, and not above stopping liounds him- 
self Avhen Avrong, or Avluitping to his men Avhcn they Avcre forward on the 
line of their fox. 

When a check should occur, in running over the open country, I be- 
lieve a good huntsman, and a minute observer, Avill tAvicc out of three 
times discover the object in the line of hounds that caused it, and as 
soon as he suspects, pull up his horse. For instance, a church, a village, 
a farm-house, team at plough, men at Avork, sheep, and above all, cattle, 
are the things most likely to impede the scent (be it remembered, that 
the breath of one coav Avill distract liounds more than a hundred shecji) : 
Avlien any of these objects present themselves in the face of hounds, you 


may then anticipate a alup, and by pulling up your horse, and ohscrving 
which way the pack inclined before the check, you will be able (Avithout 
casting) to hold them to the right or left accordingly. 

If casting is necessary, you should be directed by the pace, or degree 
of scent which you brought to the spot where the hounds threw 
up ; if you came quick, and your hounds are not blown (be sure to 
attend to that), you may make a quick cast in the direction which the 
hounds were inclining, by forming a small circle first, and a larger circle 
afterwards, if you are not successful : but if the hounds are blown, you 
should invariably hold them back ; for when hounds have run a long 
way hard, they lose their noses for want of wind, and run beyond the 
scent, especially if there is water in their view. 

I am well convinced that, if more confidence were placed in the noses 
of the animals than in the huntsman's skill in forcing and lifting, not 
only more foxes would be killed, but far better runs would be ensured. 
When a huntsman does exhibit his own scientific manoeuvres, let him 
combine patience with quickness, and watchfulness with cool determina- 
tion ; when the " field" presses upon his hounds, he should by no 
means lose his temper, nor allow himself through jealousy or reckless- 
ness to be driven from his ground, nor from a want of nerve and decision 
be led to hold on his hounds in a contrary direction, to which it was 
evident when the old hounds first threw up the fox had in all probability 
gone. Quietness, with ivell-timed cheeriness, should be the order of the 
day. Let 'em work it themselves as long as they can ; and, when they 
can't, let 'em fancy they are doing all the work while you are holding 
'em on the line without taking off their noses, or casting them. When 
you do make a cast, let it be a good large one, and not across the middle 
of fields, but under the line of hedges, or in an open country along the 
green balks, or nnploughed ridges. Hang to your hounds, and they 
will in difficulties hang to you. In fact, you may say of a pack of hounds 
what the Duke of Welhngton once said of his army during the Penin- 
sular war : — " When other generals," said the hero, " commit an error 
their army is lost by it ; when I get into a scrape, my army get me out of 
it." Never deceive them or disappoint them of their well-earned blood. 
Keeping a pack in blood is the grand secret, and next to this, luck in 
weather is of the greatest consequence, Hoimds which have been un- 
fortunate for weeks, owing to adverse weather, have, by one genial and 
good-scenting day, been restored to their accustomed efficiency — I mean 
the sort of huntins; mornino- on which Will Todd* used to look so de- 
lighted in Oxfordshire, when after his first salutation he was wont to ob- 
serve in his broad Yorkshire lingo : — " This is a naice morning, sir ; 
he mun either fly or die to-day." No doubt it is the duty of both master 
and huntsman to show all the sport they can in the open ; but the pack, 
upon the goodness of Avhich all depends, should never be sacrificed to 
suit the caprice of a set of foolish schoolboys and steeple-chase dandies, 

* Will Todd was second whipper-in to his grace the Duke of Beaufort, when 
Philip Payne was huntsman and Will Long was first whipper-in. He was afterwards 
huntsman to the Old Berkeley. 



or amateur horse-dealers. Isotliing is so vexatious as being beat day 
after day by want of scent or luck, and then, when the fruit is almost 
within your grasp, to be denied the attainment of it. There is an old 
story of Shaw, when he hunted the Duke of Rutland's hounds, being- 
beat by his foxes for fourteen days in succession ; he, however, at last 
got one to ground late in the day, and being determined to have him out, 
dug two hours by candlelight, Avhen he drew him out himself, and, to 
make sure of him, threw him amongst the hounds, who, being dazzled by 
the light, missed him, and aAvay he Avent, as safe as a large woodland 
at six o'clock at night could make him. 

There is also another story told of the celebrated Dick Knight being 
beaten by his hunted fox, even after he had got him into the kennel, on 
February 22nd, 1790. The Pytchley hounds, at that time the late Lord 
Spencer's, met at Buttock's Booth. After finishing their first run, they 
found an afternoon fox at a cover called Gib Close, which they ran 
through Moseley Wood and by Broughton village, up to Pytchley House, 
and into the kennel Avhere the hounds were then kept. Dick Knight 
shut the hounds up in one of the courts, and whipped out the fox from 
the lodging-room, where he had concealed himself. As soon as he was 
at liberty, and the hounds laid on his line, he ran for the sand-walk, 
where he was viewed several times, with the hounds close at his brush, 
but at last he went away from the sand-walk, and got into the head of 
earths, which had been imperfectly stopped, narrowly escaping with his 
life, as he was viewed frequently in the midst of the pack.* 

Amongst the numerous instances of my being beat and cheated of my 
fox, the following is worth relating, and Avhich proves how careful a 
huntsman slioidd be to stand close to the mouth of the drain or earth 
when blood is the object in view. After a long, slow run of one hour 
and a half from Hay Wood, my hounds run a fox to ground, in the 
month of October ; we dug him, and although I had him in my hand 
and condemned, to gratify a good preserver of foxes in the neighbour- 
hood, I ordered the whipper-in to put him down in the next meadow, 
being more easily persuaded by an improvement in the scent during the 
last twenty minutes of the first run. After two minutes' law, the 
hounds were laid on the line, and away they went for eighteen minutes 
like pigeons to ground again in a large main drain leading from a fish- 
pond at Springfield, the seat of J. Boultbee, Esq., as good a judge of 
hunting and as great a friend to foxes as ever rode a nag. I requested 
the pond-sluice to be turned, and booked the fox " dead as a stone," I 
was almost feehng for my knife to brush him, and stood about fifty 
yards from the mouth of the drain to allow the pack to have a clear run 
at him as he came out ; with breathless anxiety we watched the clouded 
water as it streamed out over the greensward. " Here he comes ! here 
he comes ! here he comes ! " And, sure enough, he did come, attended 
by his three sons.f 

* From an old numusciipt, entitled " Pytchley Chase-book." 
t This accounted for the disappearance of the remainder of a litter of cubs, out of 
which we had killed one, about a nionlii before, from an adjoining cover, where tliey 
were bred. 



Tally-lio ! by Jove ! we're beat again : oiir old friend slipped through 
the next hedge, and the hounds hung to a fresh one ; we coidd not stop 
them until too late, and found ourselves at five o'clock at night in a 
great Avoodland without blood. I can only add I have always since taken 
better care in similar cases. Another time Ave Avere beat in a very sin- 
gular manner : avc had run a cub to ground early in the morning in 
Ryton Wood, and as the sun Avas getting up and little probabihty of 
getting blood on that day, except by digging the fox Avhicli Ave had 
marked, it Avas resolved to have him out ; the spout Avas not a very 
deep one, and the hounds had marked the end of it, and had scratched 
doAvn upon the fox, Avhile I Avas keeping the other hole safe by standing 
in it until one of the Avhips returned with a spade. The baying of the 
hounds at the further end so alarmed an old badger, avIio was the laAvful 
possessor of the said earth, that he immediately determined to make his 
exit at my end, and charging me Avith all the force he could muster, and 
getting betAveen my legs, fairly put me on my back ; the hounds, of 
course, seized him before he had run fifty j^ards, and the cub, taking 
this opportunity of decamping, effected his escape, to the great mortifi- 
cation of the Avhole party. 

Trying as the circumstance of being frecpiently beaten by your fox is, 
I think accidents to the hounds are by far more annoying. In the 
neighbourhood of coal-pits and mines, hounds sometimes cUsappear rather 
suddenly, and Avhen hunting near rocks and clifi"s, fall over, and are 
thus destroyed. They are also noAV and then hung up in poachers' wires, 
by Avhich, if not downright killed they are occasionally seriously injured 
in their limbs and toes. Keepers' traps, set either for vermin or rab- 
bits, dreadfully annoy hounds, where they may, either through neglect or 
spite, have been left Avithout being struck. It had used to be fearful 
Avork, some years back, before the railroad had knocked up all the long 
coaches : if the road home lay along a turnpike road on Avhich there 
Avas much travelling, and the night Avas very dark and foggy, it Avas with 
great difiiculty you could sometimes move the hounds out of the way be- 
fore the mail, or some other ten-mile-an-hour vehicle, came right upon 
you, the thick fog or sleet preventing your seeing its approach tiU nearly 
upon the backs of the hounds. When Mr. Warde's hounds were com- 
ing home one night, along the old Bath road, near Hungerford, a heavy 
Bristol van came right amongst them, running over one hound called 
Vovieher, the Avheel passing over his loins ; yet he recovered, and lived 
to be a favourite stud hound afterAvards. When hounds are travelling, 
they are liable to many accidents, unless under the care of most exj)eri- 
enced and vigilant attendants, from being shut up in improper and ill- 
ventilated places, such as old outhouses, small stables, &c., &c. The 
following extraordinary accident is one instance of a pack of hounds 
being entrusted to persons on a jovu'ney, Avhose ignorance and inexperi- 
ence but ill qualified them for the attendance of such valuable ani- 
mals :— On the 10th of July, 1844, Mr. Thomas Shaw Hellier 
removed his hounds, horses (sixteen in luimber), &c., from his kennel 
in WarAvickshire, Avhere he had hunted several seasons, to Coventry, and 
thence by railroad to Nottingham, en route for Louth, in Liueoln- 

L 'J 


shire, to which country — uaraely, the South Wold — Mr. Ilelher was 
about taking. 

The hounds were in two horse-hoxes, and on their arrival at Notting- 
ham, one box having a greater number in than the other, it was truly 
lamentable to sec, on the box being opened, the state the poor animals, 
as well as the man who had the care of them, were in ; all being nearly 
exhausted from the heat arising from the crowded state of the box ; 
several of them were actually dead, and others died upon being admitted 
into the open air ; in fact, seven couples of the hounds died from the 

Speaking before of accidents from poachers' wires recalls to my re- 
collection a curious circumstance which occurred some time ago with the 
Atherston hounds, while drawing a cover of Mr. Chadwick's, near Blith- 
bury. A hound was missing from an osier bed after it had been draAvn; 
and upon the whipper-in going back to look for him, he discovered him, 
after searching some time, fast by the nose, at the end of a poacher's 
line, having improvidently taken the bait laid for a pike, and which the 
flood had probably washed on shore. 

During the time I was hunting on the Yorkshire coast, I never met 
with anything like a bad accident, although the hounds on one occasion 
killed their fox on the top of a bank above the sea, which gave way 
while they were worrying him, and let them down about thirty feet ui)on 
the sands ; it was not sufficient to injure them, but it knocked out the 
wind, and the fox ran away for one hundred yards into the breakers, 
before they laid hold of him a second time and finished him. Mr. Hodg- 
son, who was in the Holderness countiy fourteen years previous to his 
taking Leicestershire (to Avhich country I have just alluded), met with a 
far more serious misfortune in 1838, being his last season in Yorkshire, 
and which is one of the most melancholy disasters that ever befel a pack 
of hounds in chase. They had run their fox from the neighbourhood of 
Burton Agnes to the Speeton Clifts, wliich are about four miles to the 
north of that weU-known point Flamborough Head ; being near then- 
fox they flung themselves too close to the edge of the precipice, and in 
their ardour four or five couples went down the distance of two hundred 
feet, some were dashed to pieces, while others escajied by lodging in 
their descent upon some parts of the rock which jutted out. Ned, the 
whipper-in, with great gallantry descended in a basket, and by his forti- 
tude and exertions some of them were carried up and restored to the 
pack. The fox, however, escaped by some means or other into a cleft 
in the rock. 'NVliat Mr. Hodgson's feelings at this dreadful moment 
must have been, can be better imagined than described. When ho 
viewed from the svmimit of this awful precipice his favourites Avrithing 
in the agonies of a lingering death, while their piteous bowlings were 
only responded to by the greedy and fiend-like scream of the sea-bird, or 
the dismal croaking of the raven as he watched his mangled prey from 
an adjoining rock. 

With regard to horsing the men belonging to a pack of foxhounds, I 
shall write but a few words, as the system of managing hunters used for 
that purpose is, or rather ought to be, exactly similar to the one i)ursued 


/ W:>Sm^M:^ 

'if', ■- \ ■ "V 



i, ;. 


*;^ '■ ■'■% 




i^^>y.i!i.v- i 


jTed, the Wkipper-in^ de^yoettdedy tvitfi/ ^real> aaKofvtry " 


ill the care of the first studs m the country. No animals in the creation 
Avork harder than the horses of a huntsman or whipper-in who rides hard 
and docs his duty, particuhxrly in a woodland country ; nor is the proof 
of condition put to the test more frequently than in the long-tiring 
chases, Avhich horses attendant on a pack of hounds are continually ex- 
periencing. To say nothing of the respectability of a Avell mounted and 
properly appointed estahhshment, the purchasing good-shaped and fresh 
3'oung horses will be found far less expensive in the end, than picking 
uj) cheap under-bred brutes which may be half worn out before they 
enter the service. Beekford justly observes, that it is highly essential 
to mount the men well, " and that there is no economy in giving them 
bad horses : they take no care of them, hut wear them out as soon as 
they can, that they may have others." It is wonderful how almost all 
horses which are continually being badgered about learn to take care of 
themselves when they have had enough ; good seasoned hunters of this 
description are invaluable in a kennel-stud, to put the under-whips on, 
as they will go on at a certain pace for ever ; they never are killed by 
distress, and are invariably good fencers, which is a consideration of the 
first importance. Some men will declare that anything which will go 
fast enough will do to carry a whipper-in ; but persons who make this 
sort of ridiculous assertions only expose their gross ignorance, and evi- 
dently set forth to the world the shght experience they must have had 
in all hunting matters. Nine foxes out of ten which are lost at the end 
of good runs, and which undoubtedly ought to have been killed, owe 
their escape to no other circumstance in the world than the men's horses 
being so beaten that no assistance can be given to the hounds at a time 
when they most require it. For this reason a huntsman should inva- 
riably have a second horse out ; and if another spare horse was always 
in readiness for either of the whippers-in Avho might stand in need of it, 
it would be all the better, and, in the end, considerably save the wear 
and tear in the himting-stable. I recollect many years ago an excellent 
run in Northamptonshire, from Stamford Hall (Mr. Otway Cave's), when 
Sir Chas. Knightley hunted that country ; Jack Wood, of whom I have 
spoken before, was at that time huntsman (previous to his going into 
Warwickshire), and his horse being dead beat near the end of the day, 
close to the Hermitage, Mr. Whitworth, the sporting draper of Nor- 
thampton, whom many of my readers will recollect as a hard rider, of- 
fered him his nag, which Avas still comparatively fresh, Avhich he imme- 
diately mounted, and ge1;ting forward with his hounds, killed his fox at 
Bramjjton Wood, after a most severe run of upwards of an hour and a 
half. This act of kindness and attention towards a huntsman was not 
thrown aAvay, as it was the cause of Mr. Whitworth selling his horse on 
the foEowing day, to a gentleman in Leicestersnire. for two hundred and 
fifty guineas. Some horses last much longer than others, partly OAving 
to the strength of their constitutions, but more especially to the care 
Avith Avhich they have been ridden over the country, and the manner iu 
Avhich they are kept during the summer. 

In some hunts tlie horses for the servants are jobbed l»y the season : 
and where a pack of hounds are kept up by subscription, Avithout any 


cevtaiuty of their being continued from one year to another, it may he 
found to answer ; hut it is a disreputable way of doing business, to say 
the best of it. The horses, from lameness or some other cause, are 
continually being changed, and by their not being accustomed to he 
ridden amongst hounds, frequently kick and injure them. With regard 
to the danger of kicking, I can speak most feelingly, having suffered 
with a fractured limb from the very cause I have been mentioning. 
Amongst the many speculators in horse-flesh Avho have attempted to 
jirovide hunters for the above purpose, none have ever succeeded in 
giving satisfaction to their employers, excepting Mr. Tilbury ; and his 
extreme liberality, and constant desire to accommodate those gentlemen 
who have been induced to hire hunters from his yard, have no doubt been 
the chief reasons for his having almost an entire monopoly in that des- 
cription of business. 

To give general satisfaction to all classes who may he interested in 
the operations of a hunting establishment will, I fear, be found a task 
too difficult for any one, however iudefatigable and courteous he may he, 
to accomplish. Each side of the country ought to be hunted fairly, the 
had Avith the good ; and this system, Avhen impartially pursued, Avill be 
found more likely to produce a continuance of sport, than perpetually 
relying on the smaller covers, merely because they arc situated in the 
open. When the fixtures are made out for advertisement, care should 
be taken not to hunt any favourite covers on that side of the country 
when it is the market-day of the neighbourhood ; it causes a great dis- 
appointment to decidedly one of the most respectable body of men in the 
British community, namely, the yeomen and farmers ; and upon whose 
good Avill the preservation of the foxes, and a kindly feeling towards the 
numeroiis gentlemen Avho come out, more materially depends than is 
very often considered. I remember some years ago complaining to a 
farmer who Avas a good sportsman, and AA'ho resided near the celebrated 
Kenilworth chase, of the scarcity of foxes in his neighbourhood, a large 
Avoodland ha\'ing been draAvn blank on the previous day. His answer 
Avas, that his neighboiu-s having been deprived of the pleasure of hunt- 
ing, by the hounds being sent to that side on the Friday, Avhen they all 
Avished to go to Coventry Market, had determined to have a grand battue 
on every Thursday, it being more likely to have sport on that day, as the 
Avoods Avould have had six days' rest. If Ave Avere to give too ready a 
credence to every murmur and complaint Avhich the ill-conditioned are 
ahvays, and in many instances unjustly, prepared to make about damage 
done to crops and fences, Ave shoidd be laying oursch^es open to a very 
hcaA^y tax upon fox-hunting ; but Avlicre absolute mischief has been 
caused by inadvertently driving sheep into pits or rivers, Avhereby they 
have been droAvned, or AA'here a crop has been imdoubtedly injured by 
being frequently cut up by the horsemen near to a favourite cover, a 
handsome remuneration ought undoubtedly to be made to the farmer thus 
suffering. If this kind of attention and couitesy /ro»?. the field toAvards 
the country people Avere rather more practised than it is, the disappoint- 
ment of a blank day Avould be scarcely ever experienced ; and those self- 
created 'incu of fashion who swarm in the various Sjjas in many of the 



lumtuit;' coiintrk'S, lo tlio annoyance of the o-eutlomcu iui«l farmor.s, 
Avoiild meet witli a far iiiorc wolcuiiie reception in November than is fre- 
quently tlie case. 

Nor would I fora;et the wives and daughters of the farmers, who are 
occasionally, though not frequently I hope, fellow-sufferers in the cause 
with their husbands, from the rapacity of reynard, invariably through 
tlic idleness and neglect of their servants in not properly securing tlic 
feathered inhabitants of the farm-yard l^efore the night closes upon them. 
The money arising from the produce of the poultry-yard is almost inva- 
riably ajjpropriated as pocket-money to the female branches of the family; 
and in more instances than one, I regret to state, that the disappoint- 
ment of not having new bonnets and dresses, in which to attend the 
neighbouring races, has been caused by the total destruction of a flock 
of turkeys in one night. 

When Mr. Corbet hunted the Merriden country, he was always par- 
ticularly attentive in remunerating those Avho might be losers ; and on 
one occasion, when riding out to visit his puppies Avhich Avere at their 
walks in that neighbourhood, he was informed by the daughters of a 
farmer, who was a Avell-wisher to fox-hunting, that they had lost all 
their turkeys and fowls by the foxes, which were strictly preserved, in 
those days, in the Packington Woods. This kind-hearted man tridy 
sympathized with their disappointment, and observed that it would be 
higlily proper for them to go into mourning upon the occasion, and that 
he would send them some ribbons to wear for the sake of their poor 
turkeys. But how great was their astonishment upon receiving on the 
next day some very handsome bonnets and dresses, but not of quite so 
sombre a colour as they had expected. 

Mr. Corbet's benevolence in word as Avell as deed was highly and 
justly conducive to his universal popidarity as a master of hounds, inde- 
pendent of his weU-appointed establishment. Even in anger his mild- 
ness and polished method of relnike never exceeded the limits of good 


breeding : and amongst the numerous anecdotes related of the Squire 
of Sundorn, the following is highly characteristic : — Having run a fox 
to ground in the neighbourhood of Hampton coppice, at a place called 
Olton End, the residence of two old maiden ladies of the name of 
Spooner, who were inveterate card-players, Mr. Corbet requested to be 
permitted to dig him out. This was peremptorily refused by the old 
maids ; and as such an objection was exceedingly ill-natured, the mas- 
ter of the pack of course felt much disappointed inconsequence. " Give 
my compliments to the ladies," said Mr. Corbet, " and tell them I hope 
they will never get spadille as long as they hve. " 

After the regular hunting season has commenced, a general physick- 
ing will be needless where the pack have been propei'ly prepared, until 
after Christmas, when the first opportunity of administering a mild dose 
should never be lost sight of ; but as the endurance of frost is always 
very uncertain, it should be of such a nature that the field may be taken 
immediately, upon the sudden return of open weather ; but when hunt- 
ing is fairly stopped by the extreme hardness of the ground, and the 
chance of again going to Avork is undoubtedly gone for many days, the 
attention of the huntsman must be awakened towards allaying the excess 
of stimuli which a long continuance of hard work and high feeding have 
produced. Those hounds Avhich may be down in their eyes, or such as 
may have had fits, should have a little blood taken from them, and all 
of them may have a little dressing rubbed on their arms, briskets, 
flanks, elbows, and hocks, if required ; a moderate dose of salts may then 
be administered, Avith which some mix syrup of buckthorn ; it is a very- 
strong purgative, but I am convinced itis a thing Avhich the stomach is a long 
time getting rid of, which is evident by the manner in Avhich hounds lap 
Avater, Avhen out, for many days after, therefore no favourite of mine. 
Strong exercise, after the effects of the physic have Avorked off, must be 
given for at least six or seven hours daily. Perhaps I may be singular 
in my opinion, and not so happy as to persuade others to imbibe the 
same taste ; but I should prefer hunting the Avhole of the long frosts, 
providing there Avas snoAv sufficient to counteract the concussion from 
the hard ground. One anecdote I have recorded of killing a fox in the 
snoAV Avhich Avas ankle deep ; and I can assure my readers, that I have 
repeatedly gone out in lai-ge Avoodlands Avhen it lay much thicker on the 
ground, and enjoyed excellent sport. Of coiu'se I am not trying to prove 
that it is as practicable for a man to ride over a country in a deep snoAV 
as in open weather ; but I am thoroughly convinced from experience 
that hounds had much better be employed in rummaging the extensive 
district of Avoods Avhich some hunting countries are blessed Avith, during 
a long frost, providing the snoAV is sufficiently deep, than craAvling about 
the lanes and roads in the immediate vicinity of their kennel for tAvo 
short hours, and spending the rest of the day on their benches, Avhile the 
men Avho have the care of them are getting rid of their extra leisure at 
the nearest public-house.* There is very frequently a most excellent 

* During a hard frost the (;ourts and door-ways of the kennel should invarial)ly be 
covered with straw, to prevent the hounds from slipping about and laming them- 


sceut in the snow : I recollect some years since, when Mr. Warde 
hunted Berkshire, seeing a capital run from that well known cover, 
Stypo, near llungerford. We met late, and after drawing some time, 
foiuid on the hanging side toAvards the Kennet, which we crossed twice, 
and after a severe run v/ere unfortunately defeated by changing our fox 
in Marlborough forest. The snow, Avhieh was much drifted, was above 
three feet deep in many places ; and I remember William Neverd,* who 
was at that time Mr. Warde 's huntsman, making one or two excellent 
hits himself by the fox's pads. The winter of 1813-14, which must be 
still in the remembrance of most sportsmen as affording less open wea- 
ther during the himting months than may have been known for half a 
century, was perhaps one of the hardest recorded in the memory of man; 
the whole country had the appearance of Salisbury Plain, only for the 
trees ; gates, hedges, and even rivers, were in many places invisible, 
and the snow being frozen extremely hard, it was an easy matter to ride 
over fences and other hidden dangers, without the labour of jumping. 
During a great part of that dreadful season, the Pytchiey hounds, then 
the property of Lord Althorp, hunted the Northamptonshire woodlands 
regularly, having excellent sport, and killing many foxes. 

Two years ago, the following anecdote was copied from the Forfar 
paper. *' On Tuesday, the 3rd instant, the Fife hounds met at Loijio, 
and found a brace of foxes in the Muir, but could not press them, the 
morning being stormy and the ground stained by sheep. Afterwards 
they drew blank all the neighbouring covers, and late in the afternoon 
found a fox in the plantations of Bridge of Murthel. Sauev qui pent 
being the order of the day, reynard retreatedinto the woods of Inchwan, 
but was speedily dislodged ; thence fled northwards across a heavy coun- 
try, followed by the hounds at their best pace, keeping Avcst of Dcuehar, 
through Glenquiech, to the top of the hill of Ogil, nearly six miles from 
where he was originally found. Further pursuit being impracticable, 
from the depth of the snow, the field reluctantly came to a resolution of 
' 7ioIIg prosequi.^ It being a decided case of ' no go' among the prads, 
' Merry John,'t fertile in expedients, instantly dismounted: that lauda- 
ble example was followed by the whippei'-in, Jack Jones. Leaving their 

selves : the litter should be shook over, well cleaned, and partially renewed as often 
as required. 

* Died, on Saturday, January 21, 1843, William Neverd, aged about 70, forty 
years of which he took the field as huntsman. He commenced his career with Sir — 
Rowley, Bart. He was afterwards with Col. Cooke, in Suffolk, living subsequently 
with John Warde, Esq., hunting that gentleman's hounds in the Craven Country 
(Berkshire) during eighteen seasons. He then went to Mr. Mule, in Essex, for six 
years ; afterwards to Mr. Hall, in Somersetshire, for three years. Being out of a 
situation he hunted Mr. Vyner's hounds for about two rxionths, when that gentleman 
broke his leg in 1836. He subsequently went into Mr. Horlock's service, his late 
employer, until the time of his decease, which took place at Ashwick, near Bath, the 
seat of that gentleman. His death was accelerated by an accident he liad a short 
time since, while hunting, and from the effects of which he never rallied. He was 
always considered a first-rate sportsman ; his manners were unassuming, and he was 
remarkably quiet and good-tempered in the field, civil to every person, and with a 
nerve far going to his hounds, when necessary, that few men could boast of. 
fJack Walker, huntsman to the Fife Hounds. 


horses on tlic lull, botli padded the footsteps of" the hounds through the 
snow, nearly four miles uj) Glcnogil, when fortiuiatcjly they fell in Avith 
the pack, after they had eaten their fox — a pad or two being the solo 
remnants of the hancpiet. These were carefully treasured up, and will 
doubtless find a niche beside ' Rival,'* in Sandie Ross's hunt parlour. 
We believe Mr. Walker's pedestrian performance quite iniparalleled in 
the annals of hunting. 

With regard to scent, I never yet could meet Avith any person 
who could satisfactorily prove to me how it is ])roduced, or in Avhat Avay 
the atmosjiherc affects the increase or diminution of it. Scent is Avell 
known to exist in all Aveathers, and Avitli the air at all tcm2)craturcs ; I 
have seen a most brilliant scent in the hardest black frost at Christmas, 
and also under the scoi'cing influence of the sun in the months of April 
and May ; I have Avitnessed a total absence of it in the gloomy and soft 
mizzling damp of November, in Avhich kind of Aveather scent is generally 
observed to prevail ; and in the boisterous and drying Avinds of March I 
have known hounds to run for an hour as if they had been tied to a fox. 
The spring, Avith the exception of the period Avhen the blustering March 
Avinds set in, generally produces better runs than any other part of the 
year : but I have also known the day to produce a good scent, even 
during that tempestuous season. I Avas once riding to cover in a per- 
fect hurricane in March, and calling at the house of a friend to break- 
fast, observed to him that it Avould be quite useless to attempt to hunt as 
the air was so piercing, and the Avind so tremendously strong that I 
could Avith difficulty keep my cap on my head, and consequently there 
could be no scent ; he smiled and said I Avas much mistaken, as there 
Avas a most burning scent, Avhich he had proved, having had a most 
capital run just before. The fact Avas, he had started his gardener, 
Avitli a quarter of an hour's laAV, in a circle of about two miles round his 
park, and had then hunted him Avitlj tAvo bloodhounds Avhich ho kept. 
AAvay they Avent in right good style, and the affrighted gardener had 
only just time to escape into a tree near the house, as 

" Yelled on the view the opening pack."t 

My friend's conjectures proved perfectly true ; notAvithstanding the con- 
tinuance of the storm Ave threw oft". It Avas a large deep Avoodland 
Avhere we found ; but the fox, Avhich was no doubt a traveller, faced the 
Avind in almost determined manner, and Ave killed him, after fifty-five 
minutes' hard running, close to ]>romsgrove Lickey. What impi-essed 
it more particidarly on my mind Avas, that Ave had to ride a thstance of 
twenty-five miles home afterwards. The general indications of a good 
scent are — Avhen the hounds smell strong when they come out in a 
morning, and Avhen they puke on their road to cover ; if the pave- 
ment sweats or looks dam]), more particularly on the barometer rising 
than Avhen it is the reverse ; when the horses are faint on their road to 

* " Rival," a celebrated h.ound in Lord Panmure's pack. His painting, inter 
alias, graces the hunt parlour at Forfar, innwediately behind the chairman's seat. 

t " l^ady of the Lake." 


tlic cover-side. In a black frost the scent is frequently good ; Init in a, 
white one, Avlien it is going oil", there is seldom any. Frosty mornings, 
with stormy Aveathcr after mid-day, arc seldom favourable to sport ; and 
if a large black cloud comes suddenly over, the scent generally fails 
during its influence. One poet tells us that " a southerly wind and a 
cloudy sky" are necessary for a good day's sport ; Avhile another de- 
scribes one of the best days ever seen in Leicestershire as taking place 
" with the wind at north-east forbiddingly keen." Some persons fancy 
that the Avetter a country is the better the scent Avill be ; this is, to a 
certain extent, erroneous, as, although moisture in some shape is con- 
ducive to it, so, on the other hand, too much wet chills the soil and also 
the atmosphere, and destroys it. When I hunted Holderness, which is 
allowed to be one of the deepest and Avettest countiies in England, I 
observed that there Avas ahvays the best scent when the ground merely 
shoAved the impression of the ball of the fox's foot ; Avhen it Avas soft 
enough to alloAv the leg to penetrate deep into the soil, Avhen it Avas 
" deluded Avith Avater," as old Will Carter used to observe,* the residt 
generally was that there Avas little or no scent. Again, in sandy coun- 
tries I have frequently observed a burning scent in the spring, Avhen the 
exhalations Avere the strongest on hot sunny days. One cause to which 
the scent failing from the beginning of a run is from the misfortune of 
running the heehvay of the fox's line, Avhich.I have often seen done, 
even up to his very kennel. Such a circumstance as this is more likely 
to occur in woodlands than otherAvise, excepting in the case of hounds 
coming across the line of a disturbed fox. I met Avith the folloAving 
in an old manuscript I Avas reading the other day : — 

" Feb. 25th, 1788. — The Pytchley hounds met at Orlingbury Old. In the course 
of the morning, as the hounds were going to draw near Ecton, they struck a scent 
through a hedge, and ran very hard into Billingfield, where they came to a check ; 
Avhen, after some time lost in making a cast, Dick Knight found a kennel in a patch 
of young furze, and inquired of a shepherd if he had seen the fox, when he said his 
dog had put him up a short time before, and we found we had been running heel. 
We then went back, and laid the hounds on the right way ; but it was too late, as 
the scent had died away, therefore Ave gave it up."t 

Another reason for hounds not being able to Avork over some dis- 
tricts, independent of sheep, cattle, &c., is the amazing number of hares 
Avhich on some estates are preserved to such an extent as to entirely foil 
the ground. I could enumerate many instances as happening to myself, 
corroborative of what I have been saying ; but the tAvo folloAving ac- 
counts of the sport of hounds being thus spoilt Avill, I should conceive, 
1)0 a much stronger proof as occurring to tAVO such great authorities as 

* Some years ago when Lord Middleton hunted the country known as Sir Tatton 
Sykes's country, old Will Carter being at this time his lordship's huntsman, the 
hounds were brought to cover one morning at the usual hour, when Will, to relieve 
the gentlemen already arrived from the anxiety of waiting, with a low bow thus ad- 
dressed them : — " My lord's compliments, and he does not intend hunting this morn- 
ing, as the country is so ' deluded' with water." 

t E.xtract from memoranda in MSS., entitled " Pytchley Chase-book." 


the celebrated Dick Knight, and William Shaw, so long the excellent 
huntsman of his Grace the Duke of Rutland : — 

"Monday, Nov. 14th, 1791. — The Pytchlcy hounds met at Lamport Earths. 
After having finished their first fox, they drew Scotland Wood, where they found 
immediately ; but, from the abundance of hares getting up before the hounds every 
instant, and siaining the ground, they were completely foiled, and consequently Dick 
Knight took them away, to find a fox in another cover."* 

We may also read of the same thing in the " Operations of the Bel- 
voir Hounds ;" where the hares were so numerous ou one hunting day 
in the neighbourhood of Belton House, that Shaw Avas obliged to take 
the hounds home, it being perfectly impossible for them to work the line 
of a fox through the multitudes of hares which Avere continually cross- 
ing, and staining the groiuid as bad or worse than if twenty flocks of 
sheep had been driven across the fields. 

Although it is generally, and pretty justly, supposed that the best 
sport is shown by the best packs of hounds, still, Avith all the first-rate 
management in the Avorld, and aU the pains that can be taken by the 
most indefatigable and scientific sportsman, how much depends upon 
good luck I One pack, for instance, may hunt three days a week, and 
experience storms, fogs, and a series of bad-scenting days ; whilst the 
hounds hunting the adjacent country the three alternate days may run 
into the extreme of good luck, and kiU their foxes by the aid of a burn- 
ing scent alone every day they go out. Nothing varies so much as 
scent : we see sometimes that the afternoon scents prevail for days to- 
gether, and that, v.'ithout any appai-ent cause, on the most inviting and 
propitioiis-loohrng hunting moYniug, the men, horses, and hounds arc 
more than half tired with dragging about a country for three or four 
hours Avithout effecting anything, Avhen an afternoon fox is unexpectedly 
found, Avhicli, OAving to nothing else but a change of scent, gives 'em 
all such a tickler, as serves the Avhole field for conversation for the next 
week, and their horses' amusement for a month, at least. Again, Ave 
shall experience the best scents before noon for a fortnight together, 
and not unfrequcntly ride home in a drenching rain or storm, Avhicli has 
entirely set aside all chance of sport after twelve o'clock, at Avhich time 
it began to " breio up," and was hanging in the air till dissipated by 
the storm. 

Although natural land Avhich has never been furrow-drained is gene- 
rally alloAved to afford better sport from its scenting qualifications than 
soil in a very high state of cultivation, it was the opinion of Sir Tatton 
Sykes that the Avoids in Yorkshire, over which country he was in the 
constant habit of hunting Avith his own hounds, afforded better scents 
than they had used to do previous to their being in so liigh a state of 
cultivation. One i-cason Avhich he gave the Avriter of these remarks for 
runs being straightcr than formerly, and for hounds being brought to 
check more seldom than they had used to be, Avas from the system of drill- 
ing the turnijis, Avhich, being in straight lines, Avas a great inducement 

* Extract from " Pytchley Chase-book." 


to foxes to nm straight up a lield, which, in some of the inclobures, 
which arc fifty or sixty acres, would certainly appear to be far from im- 
probable. Fresh-strewed manure will stop hounds, as all liuntsmen 
know ; so will soot, after it has been spread a month on the young- 
wheat in the spring. Changing from good scenting gi-ound to bad 
is undoubtedly more prejudicial to hunting, and has saved the lives of 
more beaten foxes than any other untoward circumstances to which 
hounds are liable. The old story of the huntsman and the violets is 
too stale for insertion here ; but the fact that the wild garlic which 
abounds in Lord Ilotham's cover, Dalton Wood, near Beverley, render- 
ing it next to an impossibilty to hunt a fox through it, is too well knoAvn 
by hundreds of sportsmen to be contradicted. Anything which atti-acts 
the attention of hounds in chase may cause a check the most fatal ; 
and I have more than once seen my hounds, when running over the 
Yorkshire wolds, allured from their Hue by the cry of wild-geese, which 
abound in thousands all over that district which borders on the Ilumber. 
In the first instance the geese are attracted to the spot by the cry of 
the hounds, and the hounds when checking hear a cry so nearly ap- 
proaching their own sweet noise, that they absolutely stare up in the 
air, and seem to try to join these aerial choristers. In mentioning this 
circumstance to Mr. Frank AVatt, who hunted the wolds with his har- 
riers for many seasons, he assured me that he had repeatedly seen, and 
been highly amused by, a similar occurrence. 

That some foxhounds are by nature more tender-nosed than others, no 
one can deny; and many have the extraordinary knack of showing ofi:" their 
talents to the best advantage in various ways : for instance, in the same 
pack one hound is especially noted as a sure finder, and can acknow- 
ledge (that is, speak to) the drag of a fox long before any one of the 
others can even feel it (that is, show symptoms of a scent by their ear- 
nest, yet silent, indications), although there may be twenty -five couples 
out to help him ; when away he works up to the animal's kennel, and 
with his Avell-known tongue proclaims liim "found.''' Another shows 
her superiority in " hitting him through the horses," when shamefully 
ridden over, and fairly cut off from the road of the fox, she guides the 
line like a true pilot enveloped in tainted steam, and interrupted by the 
Babel of an hundred human tongues. The huntsman is perhaps hold- 
ing the body of the hounds to the left, when Dexterous emerges from 
a crowd of horsemen, whose united numbers, with all their smoke and 
noise, had been unable to drive her from the Hue, and catching hold of 
the scent as she inhales the refreshing air to the right, makes the welkin 
ring -ivith her truthful tongue, and recalls her comrades to the recovered 
chase. A tliird exhibits his hviWiant foxhound propensity of "fiinging" 
over the canal bridge, where the scent, together Avith a '■'bloicina 
sand," had been Avafted into the middle of the next field ; and " ivell 
hit. Javelin, my lad /" and three shrill blasts of the horn are sufficient 
notice to the ready pack to fly like lightning to their leader's cry. Old 
Patience hits him down the turnpike road, although a tiock of fifty 
sheep have just passed by : and llostess and old Junket, who were 
never seen " to make a hit" in their lives, contribute as much as any 


of the rest to the killing of the fox by invariably lying in the centre of 
the pack and holding the body together, as with their free and melodious 
tliroats they call the stragglers continually to the line in chase, and 
cause numbers Avho Avould otherwise fly too much to keep in their places 
and run together, as a pack invariably must do who arc to kill their fox 
in good and acknowledged style. 

If the distances are very long to cover, it is sometimes necessary for 
the hounds and horses to be taken on over night ; but to some gentle- 
men, who may keep what is termed a three-day pack, this may be very in- 
convenient, as, having only one body to draw from, by sending them to 
he out, many of the lioimds will very frequently not get even one clear 
day's rest between the hunting days. This difficulty may be remedied by 
having them conveyed, on the morning of hunting, in a carriage built 
like a caravan, Avith a large dickey in front capable of containing three 
persons abreast, with a small boot underneath to hold cajjs, whips, 
great coats, or anything else which it may be necessary to convey in it. 
I believe Lord Southampton, when that nobleman hunted Leicestershire, 
was the first sj)ortsman who introduced this method of conveying the 
pack to cover, which has since been adopted by other masters of hounds. 
It is undoubtedly economical in the end, in the wear and tear of hounds, 
as by thus saving them so many miles of road-work in bad weather they 
will be enabled to undergo an additional day's labour in each fortnight, 
or even oftener. Where the utmost distance to the place of meeting 
does not exceed eleven or tAvelve miles, it is of little consequence ; but 
the constant habit of travelling hounds a long way to cover in a morn- 
ing, and dragging them home in the dark for upwards of twenty miles, 
cuts them up, and jades them infinitely more than most persons arc 
aware of. 

A huntsman should take especial care never to let his hounds lie 
down, even for an instant, upon the cold ground, particularly on their 
return from hunting ; if it is very late, and necessary to call at any inn 
or place for gruel for the horses, the more advisable plan is, if the dis- 
tance from the kennel is very great, and the hounds have had a hard 
day, to shut them up in a clean stable or barn for five or ten minutes, 
and to buy five or six large loaves of stale bread, which may be cut into 
pieces and distributed amongst them as equally as possible. When the 
horses have finished their gruel, a very small quantity of scalded meal 
and milk, just sufficient for each hound to take six or seven laps, should 
be mixed in several different pails, at certain distances in the yard ; and 
when the men are mounted the hounds may be let out. By having 
it mixed in several pails, they will be all more likely to come in for a 
share. The good effects of this slender rejiast will be not only evident 
by the curling of their sterns, and the high spirits Avith which they will 
travel homewards, but their freshness on the following morning •will be 
considerably promoted by it. 

" How long do you intend hunting ?" is a question perpetually put to 
a master of hoimds. The best answer to give is — " As long as the 
peas and beans Avill alloAV us." From the difference of the nature of 
the soil, and the grain grown thereon, some countries are better calcii- 


latod for spving hiuiting than others ; but where the above-mentioned 
description of vegetable produce is the prevaihng crop, the sooner the 
season is closed after the first week in April the better. How fre- 
quently do we hear "Ware wheat!" dinned into the ears of some 
unfortunate aspirant to the honours of a "lead," every day we are 
hunting ! But, if Avare beans, peas, vetches, and seeds, were sub- 
stituted for the above ejaculation, it would be much more to the piu'- 
pose. Excepting where the land is very Avet and tender, the riding 
over ivheat does little or no harm ; and of this I have been repeatedly 
assured by some of the most intelligent and experienced farmers in 
the coimtry, who have occupied farms close to fox-covers all their 
lives. But with all kinds of pulse, young clover, or very rotten and 
tender meadows, it is a very difterent thing ; if the wet settles aftej-- 
wards in the clinkers, or marks of the horses' feet, the roots generally 
perish. The fashion of hunting very late, and the custom of killing a 
May fox, are now becoming almost obsolete, more probably because 
the latter part of the season is spent in woodlands and forests, where 
the modern fox-hunter Avould be as much out of his element as the 
emperor of China w^ould be in the frozen region of Kamschatka. The 
New Forest hounds, Avhich used to hunt out the first week in May, 
now generally close their campaign on or about the 20th of April ; 
and I am not aware of any other hunt of the present day Avhich pro- 
longs the season beyond the end of that month, excepting the Pytch- 
ley, Avhich remain at their Avoodland quarters at Brigstock until about 
the 6tli or 7th of May, and sometimes even as late as the 12th. From 
the nature of the country, there being httle or no arable land be- 
tween the woods, and part of it including Rockingham Forest, no mis- 
chief can be done here at this season of the year any more than at 
Christmas, and there being plenty of foxes, their sport is always of 
the very first order. A great part of the woods belong to his grace 
the Duke of Buccleuch, avIio is not only a master of hounds himself in 
the north, but a good friend to the cause. Few noblemen can boast of 
such a splenchd chain of Avoodlands on their projierty as his Grace can, 
the rides through them extending to about the distance of fifty miles, 
with avenues along the sides of them. His head keeper, Mr. Fletcher, 
is perhaps the finest old sportsman and the best preserver of foxes in 
any district in England. He constantly joins the hunt, and no one can 
forget his animated figure who has seen him when viewing a fox across 
a riding, and blowing his horn, Avhich he invariably carries. Strangers 
Avho have passed " the April month" at Kettering, for the purpose of 
enjoying spring hunting in perfection, have been not more dehghted 
Avith the excellence of the runs than astonished, as Avell they might, at 
the great destruction of foxes, the hounds being repeatedly seen, while 
crossing, to have the half of a fine cub in their mouths ; yet the in- 
crease is so great, and such excellent care is taken of them at other 
times, that Avhen the season again commences plenty of game is found, 
and by the end of October they can generally count from tAventy to 
twenty -five brace of noses on the door of the Brigstock kennel. Owing 
to that groAving evil, the preservation of pheasants, many districts Avhich 


were a lew years since lull ol' loxes, niul ailoriled excellent sport, both 
in cub-liunting and the spring, arc now nearly deprived of the presence 
ol" tliose animals. T, for my own part, am a great admirer of spring 
1 Hinting, and have frequently seen as good sport and as hard running at 
this time of the year as at any other. When hunting in large wood- 
lands, twenty years since, it was not a very unconunon occurrence to meet 
with a marten-cat ; he is a beautiful animal, and where they abound he 
may be seen easily in a morning, running about and drying himself 
along a park-paling, or other wooden fence, previous to his going into his 
])lace of retirement, which is sometimes a hollow tree, and occasionally 
tlie usur])ed nest of the magpie or carrion crow ; but the murderous 
system of trapping has nearly anniliilated not only the marten, but 
almost all other Avild animals and birds of prey. In those days the 
great glcdo or fork-tailed kite, the buzzard, and the I'aven might be 
both seen and heard continually, when hunting in the neighbourhood 
of any largo woodlands, in the solitude of which their well-known forms 
and notes made an interesting addition to the harmony of the scene. 
But they liave vanished, and that more fashionable foreigner, the phea- 
sant, has su])plantcd them. Tlie scent of the marten-cat is remark- 
aid y sweet, and eagerly pursued by almost every description of dog : 
our forefathers used to enter their foxhounds to him, as by his running 
the thickest brakes they were taught to turn quick with a scent, and to 
I'un in cover without skirting. Although in the constant habit of climb- 
ing, when hunted, he Avill stand sometimes for above half an hour before 
hounds, with a good scent, before treeing, when the following method 
of dislodging him is frequently practised : — A man clhnbs part of the 
way up the tree, and holds nnder him some damp straw or hay, which is 
lighted : immediately upon his ])erceiving the smoke he darts out of the 
tree ; and so great is his agility, that he will, more frequently than not, 
escape through the logs of the hounds wliidi stand baying at him and 
eagerly watching his descent. About twenty years since, a remarkable 
coincidence occuJTcd to the hounds of Sir Richard Sutton, in the ]>urton 
country, and whicli Averc divided into a dog and bitch pack, each Icilling 
during the season twenty-one brace and a half of foxes and each a 
]warten-cat, in a Avood near to Lincoln ; one Avas killed in cub-hunting, 
the other later in the season. 

As I remarked before, foxhounds Avill, at times, freely throAV their 
tongues on any descrij)tiou of vermin : foAV hounds can resist the SAveet 
scent of the otter. The WarAvickshire hounds, about Hfteen years ago, 
hunted an otter from llellbrake, a cover near Idlicote, about half a mile 
down to tlie Idlicote brook, Avlun-e they gave him u]). 

If the outstanding Avoodlands ai'e largt', and the foxes plentiful, there 
can be no hann in ])rotracting this noble anmscmcnt, as long as the 
farmer is not injured by it ; but Avhere the land is totally arable, and 
Avhere the cubs will be Avell taken care of, and Avherc they Avill be useful 
to enter the young hounds in autunm, 1 Avould on no account cut tliem 
off in tlie spring by killing the old vixens. A brace or tAvo of cubs 
killod in August or September Avill be of more service to the Avelfare of 
the pack than twice that luimber Avould be if murdered in April or 




■I • * 


o,^ ,9»--rl(^'j«i5'^. 




^ ^ittv ohmis pa^ofBinrcuf vp liie-^e»,ci^Iiij und*i- han 3irm» dmnfi .sZrcat orhm whushhs 


May. Altliough I have frequently known a pack of hounds to destroy, 
by accident, a Httor of cuhs Avhich might have been " laid up " above 
ground, or " stub-bred," as they are generally termed, during the 
latter end of the month of March or April, still it is a misfortune of 
rare occurrence, even in districts the best preserved. Tho follow- 
ing account, however, of the wholesale annihilation of foxes, which is 
recorded in " The Operations of the Belvoir Hounds " during the 
spring of the year 1813, is, I should imagine, perfectly without parallel, 
either in ancient or modern fox-hunting : — " The Duke of Rutland's 
hounds met at Belvoir on April the 10th ; it was a complete summer's 
morning — the sun most brUhaut, the wind south-east, and the thermo- 
meter at 60^. We went to the gorse under the fir-clump at the head 
of the Three Queens' Lane, and finding, ran at the best pace over the 
Denton Hollow, by Winmer Hill, and to the Denton Banks — ^fifteen 
minutes. Here the fox tm-ned back, and we hunted him well across 
the fallows, over the Three Queens' Lane, leaving HaUam's Wood on 
the left, to Croxton Bank. Two or three foxes were here on foot, one 
of which we hunted across Cedar HiU, and towards Seg's Holt. He 
beat us. We cast back through the Ozier Holt, below Croxton Banks, 
into a strong patch of gorse, where the hounds killed one fox, and ran 
another across Cedar HUl to Branston Town-end. Wliile we were 
checking, we heard of his being seen at the reservoir head. Casting 
the hounds to the spot, they hit him in, and instantly killed him. 
We went back to Croxton I3anks, and destroyed a litter of five cubs 
in the grove, between the banks and HaUam's Wood. Went away 
Avith another fox to Croxton Banks, and kUled him, as well as another 
litter of cubs in the patch of gorse, where we had found before. We 
drew forward to a piece of gorse to the left of HaUam's Wood, and 
there kiUcd a bitch fox and a third litter of cubs. Another fox going 
away, we ran him fast by HaUam's and Cony gear Woods, where a 
brace were on foot, through Croxton Banks and over Cedar HiU, almost 
to the reservoir, and back to the large gorse cover at the banks (now in 
the act of being burnt and destroyed), where we kiUed him. Thus com- 
pleting a slaughter of five old foxes and thirteen or fourteen cubs in 
one day ! This last touch lasted half an hour at the best pace." 

Vixen foxes generaUy lay up their cubs from the middle to the end of 
the month of March ; some litters are produced as late as the middle of 
AprU, but not often. In some instances cubs have been discovered in 
the depth of winter, though such occm-rences are rare. I recoUect Mr. 
Osbaldeston's hounds once kiUcd a bitch fox in cub during the month of 
December, in Northamptonshire. A good nm-sery, as a feeder to the 
rest of the country, is a most essential thing, and as some persons are 
not fond of having their covers disturbed very late in the season, the 
convenience and wishes of aU large landed proprietors, whose covers are 
extensive, and whose love for hunting and its concomitants prompts 
them to preserve the cubs, as weU as the old foxes, ought on aU occa- 
sions to be considered. It is, I am sorry to observe, a circumstance of 
every day occurrence to hold out the appearance of preserving, wliile 
not one Utter of cubs is ever permitted to remain, for fear that some old 




oue-leggocl hen-pheasant should be kidnapped. This is as illiberal as it 
is deceitful, for it is as totally impossible for a pack of hounds to be 
taught their work Avithout plenty of cubs to enter them to, as it would 
be for a lad to attempt to construe a play of Sophocles without having 
first learnt the Greek grammar. No animal Avas ever created in vain, 
and if the good that foxes do was weighed against the mischief of which 
they are very frequently and wrongfully accused, I am convinced that 
the former would greatly preponderate in the scale of an impartial judge. 
As a convincing proof of the utility of these animals, I may mention 
the remains of the ])rey belonging to a htter of cubs which I saw the 
other day in the neighbom-hood where I was then staying. In a 
large kennel, or bathering place, as it is sometimes called, we discovered 
the skins of five hedgehogs, the mutilated remains of nearly a dozen 
moles, four or five rats, rabbits' legs, the feathers of small birds, two 
frogs, and the half-consumed carcass of one old soHtary hen ; but it was 
evident, from her extreme age, that she must have ceased to produce, 
and consequently woidd have been of no eartlily use to the farmer from 
whom she had been taken. The chief food of foxes, although I can- 
didly allow that they at times destroy game and poultry, consists of all 
kinds of reptiles and insects, but more particularly field mice, of which 
any one may be thoroughly convinced, if he will take the trouble of 
either examining the animals' billeting, or of following the nightly track 
of one in the snow ; he would then plainly see how cm'lously they hunt 
and examine every tuft of grass and stubble cock, and where they pounce 
upon the mice and devour them. 

^J ^ 

It would not be fair to mention names on such a subject, but the fact 
is beyond question, and it bears so closely and forcibly upon what I have 
been saying about the destruction of foxes, that I shall mention an anec- 
dote relating to it. The hounds of a noble lord,* Avho some years ago 
hunted one of the midland counties, were advertised to meet at the co- 
vers of a gentleman, which were in those days more celebrated for the 
* The late Lord Middleton. 


uuiubor of pheasants which they harboured tlian for the good runs which 
they atforilctl to foxhounds. As it was Avell known that there was no 
chance of a find, the keeper — as I am charitable enough to suppose that 
it must have been done without his master's connivance — procured a 
bagman, Avhich avms designed to be put down in due form when the 
hounds were drawinj^ ; this disgraceful intention having come, by some 
means or other, to the ears of the noble owner of the pack, he was de- 
termined to be even with the intended perpetrator of the insult. Hiding 
up to the cover-side exactly as the hand of his watch rested upon the 
appointed hour, he thus addressed his huntsman : — ■" My hounds meet 
at half-past ten, and I wait for no one ; throw them into cover, Harry. 
In they went, and a blank draw was the result. " Why, there is not 
even the sUghtest touch of a fox," says his lordship, and away he trotted 
to another cover seven miles distant, leaving the keeper, the bagman, 
and a large party of gentlemen in the lurch, who were at breakfast, and 
anxiously expecting the arrival of the hounds. 

In some of the more remote districts of England, where, from the im- 
handy and almost impenetrable nature of the woodlands, fox-hunting in 
the more legitimate way is seldom or never practised, the amusement of 
fox-mobbing is carried on during the falls of snow in each winter, by the 
farmers and country-people, with the greatest perseverance. It is usual, 
in many of these rough settlements, to brew purposely a barrel of extra 
strong beer, to be broached upon the occasion of this annual hunt ; and 
if it should so happen that there is not sufficient snow to enable these 
exterminators of the vulpine race to carry out their mm'derous design, 
the beer is kept till the next season, when a more fitting opportunity 
offers itself to carry on their extermination, and to regale themselves 
upon the beer, which, by its advanced age, had acquired an additional 
strength and flavour. This dreadfid system was at one time carried on 
to a great extent in many of the Warwickshire woodlands, even where 
it was perfectly practicable to take hounds dming the autumn for the 
purpose of cub hunting. 

When Sir Bellingham Graham hunted the Atherston country, he en- 
deavoured to put a stop to a system which well nigh threatened to drain 
his woodlands of aU his best foxes, by inviting to a grand dinner the 
Avhole of the farmers who might then reside in the neighbourhood of the 
Corley and Maxtock Woods, and where the amusement of fox-mobbing 
had been annually carried on to a very great extent ; but such inveterate 
vulpecides had these rascals become, that the very first snow Avhich feU 
during the succeeding year soon dissipated all their ijromises to preserve 
the foxes for the worthy baronet, and they fell to the work of destroying 
the animals with as great alacrity as if Sir BeUingham had never even 
invited them to a dinner, nor received the shghtest promise to abstain 
from their, to him, most annoying amusement. 

At the time Mr. Corbet hunted Warwickshire, the practice of fox- 
stealing was carried on to such an extent in some of his best country ; 
for instance, Woolford and Wichford woods, and most of the covers on 
the Long Compton side of the country, that he was absolutely obliged 
to pay " black mail" to the poachers and fox-catchers who chiefly re- 
al 2 


sided at Long Compton and the village of Mlckleton, which is situated 
at the foot of the •\vcll-known Cotswold Hills. 

The tAvo most celebrated families of these marauders Avere the 
Hugheses of Long Compton, who are well known to this day for their 
excellent breed of earth terriers : the genuine strain to which I noAV 
allude are black and tan, curiously ticked upon their ears ; in fact, one 
of the best dogs I ever possessed I obtained from one of these persons. 
The other family were the Sharps, of Mickleton, who were also quite as 
celebrated for their " little dogs," and were looked upon with horror for 
many years by the fox-hunters of Warwickshire and the Gloucestersliire 
country, till at length a handsome pecuniary present to the last of the 
race, and the appointment as earth-stopper to the district, added to an 
inveterate attack of rheumatism, acquii-ed by his long system of noc- 
turnal adventure, made him " an honest man ;" and he continued in 
the service of the Warwickshire hunt for many years, until the time of 
his death, wliich took place about the year 1830, leaving as a legacy to 
the late Mr. Russell — who at that time hunted the country — a large 
collection of traps, with which he used to take the cubs, having first 
wrapped the teeth with cloth, to prevent their legs being injured : with 
these traps he begged he might have his hunters shod, as far as the 
iron Avoidd go, as he Avas wiUing to make amends as well as he was able, 
for the great injury ho had done to fox-hunting in his early hfe. 

In a former chapter, in speaking of the exercise of hounds, I recom- 
mended their being taken out, during the summer, as early as daybreak, 
but this only referred to the extreme heat of the dog-days. During the 
ordinary summer weather, hounds ought to be taken out to horse exer- 
cise for several hours during the middle of the day, which is far better 
than giving them an hour or two's gentle exercise early in the morning, 
and then allowing them to lie roasting themselves upon the kennel floors 
in the scorching sun during the heat of the day, which practice is one of 
the greatest inducers of rheiunatism that can be imagined, to say nothing 
of their blood becoming heated and thickened to the highest degree. 
Besides, hoAv much their handiuess is increased by always having them 
about Avith you, whenever it is possible. 1 am noAv more especially ad- 
dressing myself to those gentlemen who are in the habit of hunting their 
OAvn hounds ; for the mere mechanical routine of going to exercise Avith 
the property of another, for Avhich Avork the servants arc paid, cannot 
have, I fear, half the charms that the delightful country rides Avill aflbrd, 
Avhich the OAvner of the animals himself may be induced to take during 
that beautiful season of the year, attended by hounds of his OAvn breeding, 
puppies of his oavu rearing, as he Avatches their daily improvement both in 
behaviour and condition, breatlung the pure uncontaminated atmosj>hcre 
of nature, far, far aAvay from the noisy pestilence of cities, charmed by 
the odour of Avild floAvers, and the never-ceasing song of the Avild 
denizens of the woodlands, or soothed by the mighty roaring of the 
ocean, as he passes along, inhaling at every breath, health, vigom*, and 
contentment, Avhile the very horses seem to share in the cxhilirating 
pleasure, as they 2)res3 Avith their nervous limbs the maiden fresliuess of 
the sca-Avashed ground. I declare that, Avith the exception of the more 


exhilarating moments of tho chase, I could never discover any other 
mode of passing my existence in a way to me so truly plcasuraldo as in 
long morning rides with my hounds at exercise, where the nature of the 
ground is such, that the pack can be taken out where there is plenty of 
grass, as there is in parks, large commons and forests, &c., or, Avliat is 
nearly as good, if not even better for a change, along the line of the sea 
coast at low Avater. In these long and unrestrained Avandcrings over 
some neighbouring hiUs, you may ride along, refreshed with the odour of 
the wild thyme, as you listen to the humming of the industrious bees, 
the " drowsy tinkhng" of the sheep-bells, the distant voice of the plough- 
man as it breaks upon tho car, the varied song of the lark, the springish 
notes of the cuckoo, while the "many colour 'd pack," reflecting on 
their glossy coats the rays of the sun, are allowed to traverse the adja- 
cent lawn, docile and unrestrained, to the distance of a hundred yards, 
or to polish their muscular sides on the velvet carpet of the ancient 

In some kennels where strict economy, or, as it should bo more ap- 
propriately termed, parsimony, is the order of the day, the hounds linve 
no beds allowed tliem on their benches during the summer months ; but 
it is a bad system. In the first place the kennels do not smell lialf so 
sweet as when they arc allowed beds, which can be removed as often as 
occasion may require, nor can the vermin be kept from getting into 
their coats half so easily, as when there is a little straw to shake the sul- 
phur upon ; moreover, liounds by continually lying upon hard boards, 
not unfrequently become quite bare upon their hocks and elbows, which 
has an unsportsmanhke and unsightly appearance. Where straw is too 
dear and precious an article (as it is in some counties nearly as dear as 
hay) to be wasted, fern or bracken, which can be sometimes had for the 
mere cutting and fetching, is an excellent substitute, and I have known 
many instances where the hounds were bedded with no other litter for a 
whole summer, and looked exceedingly well and bright in their coats. 
Ticks as well as fleas are a sad nuisance in some kennels, but they are 
undoubtedly a sure demonstration of bad, lazy, kennel-huntsmanship, 
being, in the first instance, nothing else than the effects of idleness, 
filth, and neglect ; and nothing can be easier than to eradicate such 
pests from aU sorts of kennels if the feeder will set to work in a proper 
manner when he first perceives the evil to break out. Pointing up all 
cracks and crevices to the fullest extent upon the walls and ceilings, 
and two or three whitewashings with hot lime water, well scalding tlie 
benches, and afterwards dressing the joints with corrosive sublimate dis- 
solved in spirit and mixed with water, will perfectly and effectually 
eradicate the intruders, provided that when the hounds again return to 
their lodging rooms their coats are free from vermin, which can easily be 
effected by the mild dressing usually used in kennels. But as prevention 
is always better than a cure, a little sulphur sprinkled upon the beds will 
prevent the vermin from ever breaking out again, unless the hounds are 
allowed to pick up ticks and fleas when shut up in strange places, or the 
kennels to become saturated with filth and dirt under the benches or in 
the remote and dark corners of the building. The establishing a good 


and free system of ventilation is a thing not half sufficiently attended to 
in kennels and stables, and I am well convinced that ninety-nino cases 
of illness out of the hundred which occur may he traced to a neglect of 
so necessary a precaution, as cither that or efficient drainage. Nothing 
is so had, after no ventilation at all, as for hounds to he allowed to lie in 
a thorough draft, more especially with the wind blowing from the east. 
An hour of such neglect is sufficient to totally anniliilate the condition 
of a pack of hounds for weeks to come, producing, as I myself can bear 
witness, the most injurious consequences in the shape of colds, rheu- 
matism, swelled heads, and sore throats, Avhich are not very easily got 
rid of with the greatest nursing and attention. Men arc very apt to be 
taken off their guard in hot weather, and I always fancy that more 
severe colds are caught during so trying a season, especially when a dry 
burning wind comes from the east, or a sudden change of the atmosphere 
takes place. Indiscriminately swimming hounds at exercise is a very 
questionable practice, and, in my opinion, very unhuntsmanlike. During 
the heat of summer there can bo no harm in occasionally giving them a 
turn over a clear river or large fish pond, provided they are not kept in 
too long, and care is taken to dry them well afterwards, by allowing 
them to walk about some nice grass field, before they are allowed to 
travel in the dust, so that their clean jackets should not be stained all 
over. Swimming in the sea is a very different thing altogether ; no- 
thing can be more salubrious, and where a pack are within distance, I 
would take them two or three times a week during the heat of summer, 
and exercise them on the sea-shore. Hounds soon learn to swim out 
into the sea, and at first it is very easy to got them across the arms of 
Avater that run up inland as the tide begins to flow. Besides, it does 
the horses' legs as much good as the hounds' constitutions to bo ridden 
into it, and the water is an excellent and cooHng medicine for either ani- 
mal, if they will drink it, as I have seen many do. I have also knowji 
hounds to lap sea-water, after killing a fox in the breakers, with avidity, 
during a hot day in the spring, the effects of which were most evident 
in ten minutes after, and any stranger to the scene would have almost 
thought that they were all in exercise after physic, instead of on their 
road to draw for a second fox. I have heard some good judges of con- 
dition say that a continuance of sea bathing is far preferable to all tho 
dressing in the world, provided the pack has not been actually attacked 
by mange, a thing seldom to be met with in these days of eleanhness 
and improvement. 

Before I conclude my labours, I suppose I ought, according to cus- 
tom, to give a description of a perfect run. Now, I consider that 
imaginary runs arc almost too puerile for even cockneys to read ; and 
although I can describe a run perfect in all its parts, even to the " who- 
whoop," and where I might add " et quorum pars ma fjna fui,'' the fact 
of its having taken place in a woodland district, and consequently tho 
ground traversed only well known to a few provincials, will, I fear, ren- 
der its record of not quite so interesting a character as if it had been 
enjoyed from " tho Coplow" or tho far-famed gorse-cover at Mistcrton. 
Still, however, I must describe it, short as tho narration may be, as I 


really consider, if it was not the best run I was over witness to in my 
life, the fox was killed in the most handsome and satisfactory manner 
to mo, in one of the most severe and difficult countries in England for a 
huntsman and hounds to perform in. 

In Decemher, 1835, my hounds found a fox at Birchley Hayes, a 
large wood lying to the right of the London and Birmingham road. 
Upon going away he ran through Mcriden Shafts — a large cover, the 
property of Lord Aylesford — vnth. a hurning scent ; and passing through 
the whole of the Packington woodlands, made the host of his way to 
Tyle Hill, a distance of ahout seven miles, the hoimds carrying an ex- 
traordinary head through the whole of this difficult country, intersected 
as it is with rough ground and covers in every direction Avithout experi- 
encing the slightest check. From this point the fox turned rather to 
the left, and passing through Crackley Wood, made his point to a small 
head of earths close to Stoneleigh village, hut which he found stopped, 
and continued his course over the river Avon, evidently determined to 
save his life in the Great Weston Woods. At Stoneleigh village we 
experienced our first check, having now come ahout eleven miles in fifty- 
three minutes over a most rasping and severe woodland coimtry. 

By a fortunate east towards Stoneleigh Mill, the hounds recovered 
their fox ; and hitting him over the water, set to running very'ihard in a 
direction for Waveley Wood, the whole field of horsemen being com- 
pletely thrown out for a time, as it was necessary to cross the river by 
a bridge which lay considerably to the right of the fox's line. 

The hounds were brought to check in the field next to Waveley 
Wood by a large flock of sheep, which gave the horsemen time to come 
up ; Avhen the fox, which had been turned from his point by a shepherd 
and his dog, was once more recovered ; and from that point the pack, 
who were evidently running hard for their fox, drove him in gallant style 
to Bubbenhall Wood, through which they rang his kneU with the 
sweetest melody. Here he was actually viewed by the hounds ; but in 
a last effort found strength once more to face the open, over which the 
hounds fairly raised him in view, and driving him into Ryton Wood — a 
cover of two hundred acres — killed him in the middle of it, and within a 
hundred yards of the main head of earths, which were then open, after 
a most brilliant and satisfactory nm of one hour and thirty-seven 
minutes, through a country beset on every side with deep and holding 
woodlands and fences almost impracticable. The hounds, however, had 
two points especially in their favour, one of which was a real burning 
scent, and the other a straight and determined fox. The distance 
traversed was about fourteen miles, and the number of large covers 
passed through were nine or ten. 

Without enumerating any of the long list of first-rate runs to which 
I have myself been witness during my hunting career, I wiU content 
myself by transcribing from " the Journal of the Operations of the Bel- 
voir Fox-hounds" a run which took place on December 10, 1805, and 
which has justly been pronounced as one of the best runs ever recorded. 
There will be no imaginary conversation between imaginary persons 
introduced, no line of country selected to serve the purpose ; and 


although there will be no " death halloo" wafted on the gales to Cot- 
tesmore, I hope I may he allowed to introduce it without further 

" Waltham, Dec. 10. — It had snowed considerably in the morning, 
and was inchned to freeze ; and, as the sun had Uttle or no power, Ave 
soon perceived, on meeting at Waltham, that there was no probabihty 
of the snow melting sufficiently to enable us to throw off in that coun- 
try. As the vale of Belvoir appeared free from snow, we determined, 
by a rapid and sudden movement, to reach' Jericho Cover. Unexpected 
as our appearance was in that quarter, yet the foxes were not taken by 
surprise. On our arrival there we were informed that a fox had been 
disturbed from an adjoining stubble-field, and had entered the cover. 
Probably he had passed through it ; for on throwing in the hounds some 
of them would have brought away a scent at the gate in the top part of 
the cover. They soon, however, found ; and the fox came away along 
the hedge-roAV that runs from the North-east corner. The hounds came 
out with* another fox at first, but hallooing them from him, vre laid 
them on the scent of the former, and ran him very hard across the road 
that leads to Whatton, then tm-ned to the right, and crossing the Whip- 
pUng, came up nearly to the canal, two fields from Redmile Bridge. 
Here we experienced a check by the hounds being overridden ; but they 
hunted him forwards, and he got up in view to the pack from some 
rushest in a field opposite to the windmill which stands on the Belvoir 
side of the canal. They noAV set oft' at the best pace, making a 
direct point for Bottesford town ; and then bearing to the left, crossed 
the Nottingham turnpike road at the toU-bar leading to Elton, leaving 
Bottesford completely on the right ; crossed the River:}: Devon, and 
leaving the village of Normanton on the right, and Kilvington on the 
left, made a direct point for Staunton ; but turning to the right, Avent 
over§ the road that leads from Bottesford to the North Road, up to 
Normanton Thorns. The fox had skirted the cover Avithout entering it, 
leaving it on his left ; and Avhen Ave reached the top of the adjoining- 
hill, we vieAved him two fields ahead. He noAV took the road Avhich 
leads to Long Bennington ; but turned from it into the lane that leads 
to the left to Gotham ; and leaAang that, he made his Avay to the Nortli 
Road, Avhich he kept on his right till close to Gotham village. He had 
noAV run ten miles, Avith the Avind directly in his teeth ; and all persons 
Avere unanimous in considering it as a fine run, and in expecting imme- 

" * This fox had returned into the cover, and we were hicky in getting the hounds 
away from him. 

' ' t Many gentlemen were thrown out at this jjoint ; and such was the pace of the 
hounds from hence that they never saw more of them until we turned back from 

" t The only persons who leaped this wide brook were Mr, Forester and J. Wing, 
a farmer ; the latter fell in the attempt. The rest of the field leaped into the bottom 
of it, and got out at a watering place for cattle, which fortunately offered itself on the 
opposite side. 

" § The only check that occurred between the field where the fox jumped up in 
view, and the point whence they turned back from Cotham was at this place, owing to 
their being pressed along a hedge-row. 


diate death. They little knew the strength and Intentions of the animal 
before thcni. lie had been sorely pressed since he jumped up in view, 
and finding that his upwind coixrsc was no longer safe, he deserted what- 
ever point he had in that line, and turned back down wind, from Mr. 
Evelyn Sutton's white farm-house ; by which measure he at first threw 
the hounds* to hunting. They, however, recovered their terms in ;i 
fcAV moments, and going back close to Long Bennington town, stretcheil 
away along a line for Foston, until they reached the road that runs 
from the former place towards AUington. They ran along it nearly! a 
mile, until they came to a small fir plantation on the eastern side of 
the lane, in AUington Lordship. Hence they turned away to the right, by 
Bennington Grange, crossed the Nottingham turnpike road, lelt 
Muston village on their right, and went up to Sir John Thorold's plan- 
tation. The fox came out in view to many gentlemen, and made for the 
canal bridge opposite ; but being headed by a man there, he returned 
through the cover, and aAvay at the opposite end. Two couple of hounds 
got away close to his brush, and the remainder hunted after them over 
the river, and overtook them when within three fields of Sedgebrook 
village. They now again ran very hard over this beautiful country, 
leaving Sedgebrook on the left, with their heads directly for Barrowby 
Thorns. After going within two| fields of that cover, they suddenly 
turned to the right, and ascended the hiU which lies between the Not- 
tingham road and the Thorns, on the top of which is a clump of fir trees. 
Prom this point several horses dated their discomfiture. The hounds, 
after ascending the hill, proceeded without any relaxation of pace, 
leaving Barrowby town half a mile on the right, pointing for Gunnerby 
village, but when they entered Gunnerby Open Field, they turned sharp 
to tJie right ; and going over a hollow that runs up from Grantham, 
they crossed the hill on the other side, went over Earl's Fields, and 
came down to the canal, Avithin 200 yards of the wharf at Grantham. 
The fox had intended to nick a swingbridge§ opposite the toll-bar, but 
having missed his point by 300 yards, he ran the towing-path and then 
crossed over the bridge. A man who was there informed us that he 
was then ten minutes before us. Crossing the Melton turnpike road, 

" '■= Mr. Cholmondeley, who had been thrown out ia the course of the run, hear- 
ing the hounds returning towards him, looked for the fox, and saw him come through 
a hedge close to him, and not more than two fields before the hounds. He crouched 
for a few moments, and then returned through the hedge back towards the hounds ; 
but of course speedily changed his direction again. 

" t Some men had viewed him in this lane, and he was then about four or five 
minutes before the hounds. 

" J Previous to this point he had been again twice viewed, and each time was five 
minutes before the hounds. 

" § This fox had shown a marked dislike to water during the whole of his widely 
extended course. At Muston plantation, when he headed from the bridge, he made 
no other attempt to cross the canal, though it probably was his intention at that time 
to make a direct point for the woodlands, which he could have done with a saving of 
five or six miles. Again at Grantham Swing-bridge he was determined, in defiance 
of a man who was upon it, to pass over it, and effected his purpose ; and in crossing 
the river at Great Paunton, he did not go through the river, but availed himself of a 


we now ascended the hill, and, leaving Harlaxton Wood just upon the 
right, went away, at great speed on the part of the hounds, to Straxton. 
Leaving this place immediately on* the right, they crossed the earths, 
and made a straight point down to Great Paunton town. Here they 
crossed the highf north road, and, going by the north-end of the town, 
went over the river and the earths by the mill ; ascended the opposite 
hill, and going across the stone quarry, skirted Paunton Wood, as if 
bound for Boothby ; but, turning to the right, Avent over the fine coun- 
try to Stoke Park. They left that cover on the right, and Bassen- 
thorpe village on the left, and, topping the hill, went aAvay for Burton 
Slade Wood ; when — the company being now reduced to five or six per- 
sons, the horses of the hunts-people tired and not in sight, the spirit, cxei'- 
tion, and strength, of our extraordinary fox undiminished and unbroken, 
and a prospect of an immediate change in these great woodlands — it 
was deemed advisable to whip oft" the hounds at this point,]: which was 
eftected with much difficulty by Cecil Forester, Esq., and one or two 
others. On examining the period of dm-ation of this wonderful chase, 
it was found to have lasted tlu-ee hours. This run is supposed by all 
sportsmen to have been the best that can be remembered in the annals 
of fox-hunting. Its great distinguisliing marks were, the distance of the 
point Avhere the fox was found from the place where the hounds were 
whipped oft' from the scent, and the still greater distance of the fur- 
thest point in the run (Gotham) from the same place. The former is 
not less, as the crow flies, than fourteen miles ; the latter, eighteen. 
The other qualifications which give this nm a decided superiority over 
all others that can be remembered, were the beauty and the novelty of 
the country over which the fox carried us, and the extraordinary 
and continued pace at which the hounds ran during the whole time. 
Confident in his own strength, the fox never endeavoured to keep 
farther away from the pack than a few minutes ; and to this, per- 
haps, Is partly to be attributed the apparent goodness of the scent, and 
the consequent severity of the chase. He was at no time pressed to 
defeat, § excepting Avhen he gave up liis Gotham point ; nor did he 
fear showing himself occasionally, as he did before we reached 
Bottesford, and again at Long Bennington, and a third time at Sir 

" ■■■ They went through a small garden close to the village. 

' ' f Very few horsemen went forward from hence ; horses were to be seen in all 
parts of the country in great distress, and the only gentlemen who were at the con- 
clusion were Messrs. Forester, Berkeley Craven, and Vansittart ; and of these the 
two latter had not been near the hounds during the severe part of the run, after the 
fox jumped up in view between Redmile and Bottesford. 

" ^: Of twenty-one couples of hounds that were out, eighteen and a half couples 
were either immediately with the pack at the time of stopping them, or came up with 
the huntspeople immediately after. Among the stoutest hounds were particularly 
distinguishable Traveller and Helen. 

" § It must be recollected that this fox was possessed of such stoutness that he 
endured for three hours the pace which is in general supposed equal to the destruc- 
tion of an ordinary fox in forty minutes. He had evidently a knowledge of Mr. 
Muster's country by his running up wind to Cotham ; and when he found that it 
was not safe to persevere longer in that line, he immediately determined upon reach- 
ing the Great Woodlands, nearly twenty-miles distant in another direction. 


John Tliorokl's plautatioii. It Avas thought by many persons that 
the houiuls must have changed here ; but the only fouuilatiou upon 
which they could rest this opinion was the impossibility of a run so 
severe and extensive being the exertion of a single fox. At Muston 
plantation he was viewed thrice, and by most of the company ; and 
it was easy to be seen that we had not then changed ; and as there 
never was at any time the most trifling division of scent, and avc never 
entered any cover whatever with the exception of the above-mentioned 
plantation, it is certainly equally fair to presume that wo never did 
change. It remains only to add, that during the three hours that the 
hounds were running, they were supposed, on a moderate calculation, to 
have run for thirty -five to thirty-eight miles ; and that they crossed, 
during that period, through twenty lordships. Of the extraordinary fox 
which they pm'sued we can only say, ' Semper honos, nomenque suum, 
laudesqiie manehunt.^ " 

There is something to me always particularly melancholy in the 
spring. As the close of the hunting season approaches it invariably 
brings with it a train of gloomy ideas and reminiscences of by-gone 
happy days, of the absence of friends who have taken their departure 
until the revolving year brings winter round again, and perhaps never 
more to return. Whether it is the consciousness of the departure of 
life, or feelings imbibed from the soft Favoniau breath of spring, I 
know not, which makes this period appear so depressing to the spirits, 
and so pi'oduetive of a desire to reflect and morahzc, but there is un- 
doubtedly something in the atmosphere of this season wliich is not to be 
perceived during any other quarter of the year ; although the weather 
is generally finer than in the previous months, and the new and beau- 
teous livery with which nature is still in the act of adorning herself 
seems to impart not only to the vegetable but also to the animal crea- 
tion, a freshness and splendour which one might suppose woidd awaken 
difterent ideas and feeUngs in the bosoija of man. 

As Ave ride along the sunny side of some lengthened and impenetrable 
wood, listening to the monotonous and gloomy sound of the voice of the 
whippex'-in, or the opening note of some distant hound challenging upon 
a drag, or the line of a disturbed fox, every vision which rises up before 
us, and every object upon which we allow the eye to dwell, seems to re- 
mind us that May is not the season of the year for fox-hunting. The 
shrill bleating of the helpless lambs as they start from the bank-side on 
which they were basking, warns us of the danger of their situation. The 
high notes of the thrush and the lengthened song of the blackbird seem 
to mock us as we cheer the weU-knoAvn find. Even the modest prim- 
rose, and the powerfxd scent of the violet, lend their assistance to 
baflEle our attemjits to pursue our imseasonable amusement, and remind 
us by their looks, if their voices are mute, that this must be recorded in 
our jom-nal as the last day of the season. Even the honest farmer, as 
we pass his homestead or the newly repaired gap — over Avhich he peers 
with an indignant scowl — greets us Avith a very different expression, 
both of countenance and voice, to what he did at Christmas ; and in- 
stead of the accustomed smile and the proftered glass of his Avife's ale, 



the sullen remark of " I suppose you won't come any more this turn," 
forms the whole of both salutation and adieu from that disapproving 

All this is anything hut conducive to quiet and satisfactory feelings ; 
and hy drinking the pleasures of life to the dregs, we totally defeat the 
object with which they ought always to be pursued. 

As Ave draw nearer to home these conflicting reminiscences and 
visions seem to dwell more forcibly upon our fancy ; and as the fleeting 
echo of the last blast of the horn cUes away upon the car, as we approach 
the kennel for the last time, this painfid idea rushes across the mind — 
Shall I ever again enjoy this most enchanting of all recreations — 
this most noble and manly of all pursuits ? Shall I ever again read in 

" Table wherein all my thoughts 
Are visibly character'd and engraved ?"* 

Or must I exclaim, when I turn my face away, as the door is shut upon 
the unwiUing steps of my lingering companions — 


* "Two Gentlemen of Verona." 

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Price lOs. 6d. coloured. Size, 18| inches by 12§. 


Viz., the Fox, Bloodhound, and Newfoundland Dog, 
6| inches by 5§. Price, coloured, 12s. ; proofs, 10s. 6d. ; plain, 7s. 6d. the set. 



24§ inches by 19^, highly coloured. Price £l : 4s. 




24^ inches by 19^, highly coloured. Price £\:4s. 

A large Lithographic 


10s. 6d. coloured, 



20S inches by I65, coloured. Price £l : 4s. 


9| inches by 7|. Price 4s. coloured ; 2s. 6d. proofs. 


18§ inches by 13|, coloured. Price J^l : Is. 


19| inches by 15. Price £1 : Is. coloured. 



Highly coloured. Price 10s. 6d. the pair. Plain, on tinted papt v, 7s. 


Price, coloured, 2s. C(/. each. 



Price, coloured, 18s.; plain, 9s. 



Neatly mounted and coloured. Price 5s. the pair. 


Highly coloured. Price (is. the four. 


Highly coloured. Price 8s. the six. 



Highly coloured. Price 6s. the four. 


Highly coloured. Price 6s. the four. 



Highly coloured. Price Gs. the six. 


Lately Published, 



Price £1 : 16s. Size, 14§ inches by 10|. 




Dedicated by special permission to the Right Honourable the Earl of Kintore. 

Price 7s. Gd. each, coloured. Size of Print, 14 inches by 1 1§. 



Price 7s. Gd. coloured. Size, 15 inches by 10|. 

2wo very Humorous Coloured Sporting Prints, dedicated to the Crack Riders and Craners 

of England, viz : — 


From Drawings by H. Alken. Price 25s. the pair. Size, 17j inches by 11 J. 


Price, each, 3s coloured ; Is. C^. plain. 



Price 5s. the pair, coloured; 2s. Gd. plain. 



14§ inches by 10|. Price 7s. Gd. coloured; 5s. proofs. 


Price 7s. Qd. coloured; 5s. plain. 

Just published, price 12«., neatly bound in cloth, 



Practically explained by Coloured Palettes. 

By J. Cawse. 


Complete. Price £1 : 13s.; the coloured part alone, £1 ; the sepia part, ii;ilf-bound, or 

tiiree Numbers, 10s. Gd. The pencil part, half-bound, 9s.; or six Numbers 

at Is. each. 


In twelve Numbers at 8(/. each. 


Four Numbers at 2s. Gd. each. 


In six Numbers. Price Is. per Number; half-bound, complete, 7s. Gd. 


In six Numbers at 2s. Gri. each ; or the six Numbers, neatly half-bound, 20s. 

The following very beautiful WorJcs, hy enmient Artists, have beeti 
lately published, and tvill be found very entertaining and orna- 
mental for the Draioing Room Table. 

HAY'S ILLUSTRATIONS OF CAIRO, on stone, by Haghe and Bourne. Imperial 
folio, half-bound, j£4 : 4s. 

Imperial folio, half-bound, tinted, £4: 4s. ; coloured, in portfolio, £10 : 10s. 


Same as the preceding. 

AND ROUEN. Printed in Lithography with Oil Colours. Beautifully bound in morocco 
and silk, £6 : ds. ; or mounted in a folio, j^8 : 8s. 

SCENERY OF PORTUGAL AND SPAIN. By G. Vivian, Esq.; on stone, by L. 
Haghe. Thirty-five Views. Imperial folio, half-bound, £4 : 4s. 

SPANISH SCENERY. By G. Vivian, Esq.; on stone by L. Haghe. Twenty-nine 
Views. Imperial folio, uniform with the above, £4 :4s. 

folio, 10s. Qd. each part ; or complete in fifty Plates, £,Q : 6s. 

thirty Plates. Imperial folio, half-bound, tinted, £4 : 4s. ; coloured, in portfolio, £10 : 10s. 

SYLVANIA. Twenty-six Plates. Imperial folio, half-bound, tinted, £4 :4s. ; coloured, in 
portfolio, £10 :10s. 

In twenty-six Plates. Imperial folio, h.-b., tinted, £4 :4s.; coloured, in portfolio, £10: 10s. 

ROBERTS'S SPANISH SKETCHES. In twenty-six Plates. Imperial folio, tinted, 
£4 : 4s. ; coloured, in portfolio, £10 : 10s. 

LEWIS'S CONSTANTINOPLE. In twenty-six Plates. Imperial folio, tinted, 
£4 : 4s. ; coloured, in portfolio, £10 : 10s. 

Imperial folio, tinted, £4 : 4s. ; coloured, in portfolio, £10 : 10s. 

LEWIS'S ALHAMBRA. In twenty-six Plates. Imperial folio, tinted, £4 :4s.; 
coloured, in portfolio, £10: 10s. 

HINTS ON LIGHT AND SHADOW, COMPOSITION, &c., as apphcable to Land- 
scape Painting. By Samuel Prout, Esq., F.S.A. Twenty Plates, containing Eighty-three 
Examples, in the improved method of two tints. Imperial 4to. Cloth lettered, £2 :2s. 

four Numbers. Imp. 4to. Price per Number, each containing six Plates on India paper, 7s. Qd. 

twenty- six Views, lithographed by himself. Imperial folio, handsomely half-bound, price, 
tinted, £4 : 4s. ; coloured, in folio, £10 : 10s. 

GERMANY. Folio, half-bound, price £6 : Cs. 

from Nature, on stone, by himself. Imperial folio, price, half-bound morocco, £4 : 4s. ; or 
highly coloured, and mounted in a folio, £12 : 12s. 

Imperial folio, half-bound, tinted, £4: 14s. :C</. 


stone, by himself Price, imperial folio, half-bound, £4 : 4s. 


Shortly will be published, by R. Ackermann, a New Edition of 

With numerous Coloured Illustrations by Alken. 




Begs leave to recommend his Colours to the Nobility and Gentry, as being prepared with the 

utmost care, and approved by the most eminent Artists of the United Kingdom. 


In Boxes of Yew-Tree, Rosewood, 
&c., ornamented and highly var- 
nished, from £2 : 2s. to . . . . 

In Mahogany Boxes, 45 Cakes, Pa- 
lettes, Marble Slab, Pencils, &c. . 

Ditto, ditto, 36 Cakes, ditto . . . 

Ditto, ditto, 32 ditto, ditto . . . 

Ditto, ditto, 24 ditto, ditto . . . 

Ditto, ditto, 18 ditto, ditto . . . 

Ditto, ditto, 12 ditto, ditto . . . 

Ditto, 12 Cakes, Lock and Drawer 

Neat Mahogany Boxes, with a slid- 
ing Top, 40 Cakes 

£ s.d. 

10 10 

3 13 C 

3 3 

2 12 6 

2 2 

1 11 6 

1 1 


Ditto, ditto, 32 ditto . 
Ditto, ditto, 34 ditto 
Ditto, ditto, 18 ditto. 
Ditto, ditto, 12 ditto 
Ditto, ditto, G ditto. 

1 0- 

1 16 



-0 14 

15 0—0 10 6 
10 6—0 7 
6 0—0 4 6 

£ s.d. £ s. d. 
Highly-finislied Mahogany 
Brass-capp'd, &c., Irom 

52i-. 6^. to 7 7 

Boxes of Velvet Colours 

complete, with directions 2 2 
Ditto, ditto, ditto .... 140 
Boxes of Body Colours . 2 2 
Ditto of Colours for paint- 
ing on glass 2 2 

Ditto of Chalks, complete, 

5s., 25s., and .... 220 

Handsome Rosewood, In- 
laid Brass, ornamented, 
12 Cakes, fitted up complete . . 2 12 6 
Ditto, ditto, ditto, 18 Cakes, ditto . 3 3 
Ditto, ditto, ditto, 24 ditto, ditto .440 
Ditto, ditto, ditto, 32 ditto, ditto . 5 5 
Ditro, ditto, ditto, 30 ditto, larger 

Box and Extras 5 15 6 

Ditto, ditto, ditto, 40 ditto, ditto . 10 10 

Ultramarine . . . . 1 
Ultramarine, Imitative 
Ultramarine, Ash . . 
Guimet's Ultramarine 


Burnt Carmine . . . 
Imperial Permanent 
Blue, equal to Ultra- 
marine in tint . . . 
Platena Yellow . . . 
French Blue . . . . 


Victoria Blue . . . . 
Permanent Crimson . 
Purple Madder . . . 
Orange Vermillion . 


Lemon Yellow . . . 


Intense Brown ... 3 
Dahlia Carmine . . 5 
Smalt 5 

Extra Madder Lake 
Intense Blue . . . 
Pink Madder , . 
Rose Madder. . . 
Burnt Lac Lake . 

Lake, Crimson 
Lake, Scarlet , 
Lake, Purple . 
Brown Madder , 
Indian Yellow 
Indian Black 
Sepia. . . . 
Roman Sepia 

Ackermann's Yellow 


Antwerp Blue 
Blue Black 
Blue Verditer 
Brown Ochre 
Brown Pink 

Burnt Italian Earth 
Burnt Roman Ochre 
Burnt Sienna 
Burnt Umber 
Chrome Yellow, Xos. 

1, 2, and 3 
Orange Chrome 
Cologne Earth 
Dragon's Blood 




Dutch Pink 
Emerald Green, 

and 2 
French Green 
Full Red 
Green Bice 
Green Verditer 
Hooker's Green, 

and 2 
Indian Red 
Italian Pink 
Ivory Black 
King's Yellow 
Lac Lake 
Lamp Black 
Light Red 
these Colours may he 

Cobalt 2 

Warm Sepia . . . . 1 
Permanent White . . 1 
Prout's Black . . . . 1 
Prepared Black for In- 

Ultramarine in Saucers, 

5s. and 2 

Scarlet, in Saucers . 1 
Fine Chinese Gold, in 

Saucers, 10s. Gd. and 2 
Ditto in Shells ... 1 
Gold, Silver, and Cop- 
per Bronze in Packets 2 
Carmine in Powder . 1 
Permanent White Li- 
quid, in Cups ... 2 
Do. in Bottles, \s.6d.Si 2 


1 6 


Mineral Blue 
1 Naples Yellow 

Neutral Tint 

Olive Green 

Payne's Neutral Tint 


Prussian Blue 

Prussian Green 
1 Purple 

Red Ochre 

Red Orpiment 

Raw Sienna 

Raw Umber 

Roman Ochre 

Sap Green 

Saturnine Red 

Transparent Yellow 
had in Half Cakes, at Half 

Varley's Green 

Warm Grey 

Purple Grey 

Dark Green 

Warm Green 


Neutral Tint 

Vandyke Brown 
Venetian Red 
Vermilion. Chinese 
Vermilion Crimson 

Yellow Lake 
Yellow Ochre 
Yellow Orpiment 
York Brown 






Demy 20 inches by 15^ 











Medium 22f ditto 

Royal 24 ditto 

Super-royal 27; 

Imperial 30 

Elephant 28 

Columbier 35 

Atlas 34 

Double Elephant 40 

Grand Emperor 65§ ditto 

Antiquarian 53 ditto 

Antiquarian, extra large 56 ditto 



Demy 4to, size, 8 inches by 6 
Royal 4to 10^ ditto 8 

Imperial 4to 
Half Medium 


91 . 
11 . 
17 . 

Folding Table Easels, Deal. 

ditto ditto, Mahogany. 

s. d. 


5 6 


10 6 
14 6 

Bristol Drawing Paper and Card Boards 

Drawing Vellum 

Wove Cartridge for Landscapes 

Rough-grained Cartridge 

Tinted Drawing Papers for Crayons 

Fine Wliite Velvet for Painting 

Ivory for Miniatures 

Writing Papers 

Transparent Tracing Paper 

Tissue Paper, Demy and Double Crown 

Ditto ditto, Tinted 

Marble and Eartlienware Slabs 

Ivory and Earthenware Pencil Racks 

Ivory Pallettes 

Earthenware ditto 

Ditto Saucers 

Ditto ditto in Cabinets 

Indian Glue 

Black, Italian, French, and German 

Conte a Paris, glazed 
Conte a Paris, square 
Leather and Paper Stumps 
Steel and Brass Port Crayons 


Are more particularly recommended for their brilliancy and ready mixture, and supe- 
riority to all others of this kind, as they do not rub up when washed over by other 
Colours, which has been a great complaint by most Artists of those hitherto introduced. 
Sold separate, or in tin japan Boxes, of different Prices, with Cups and Bottles. 




Price 3ls. 6f/. and 20s. per Box, containing Twelve Tints. 

Or per Cake, Shade-Tint, Dark Comjilexion, Half-Tint, Flesh-Tint, Auburn, Yellow, 

Blue, Maroon, Crimson, Deep Blue, Liglit Hair, and Intense Sepia, 2s. each ; 

Carnation, 3s. — Half-Cakes at half-price. 

Macpheuson's Opaque Back Ground for ditto, ditto, 2s. 6</. per Bottle. — Prout's 
Brown at 2s. per Bottle. 

Ackermann's Colours for Flower Painting, 24s. and 21s. per Box. 

J. D. HARDING'S ELEMENTARY ART; or, the Use of the Lead Pencil. 
Imperial 4to. Cloth lettered, price £2 : 2s. 

Illustrations. Cloth gilt, .5s. 

ING. Price lOs. G(/. 

With numerous Lithographic Drawing Books, Landscape, Flowers, and Figures. 

Sketcliinii; Books, Plain, Various Sizes aJid Bindings. Port/olios of all Sizes. 

\A'ii(,'ht nnO Co., rrintcis, 7li, Flcit Street, I.0111I0 



— ♦ — 

Pictorial Gallery of English Race Horses . . TaiUrsall 

1 10 

Sporting Ai-chitecture 

. Ditto 

1 1 

Darvill on Training, a vols. 

I 10 

The Laws of Horse Racing 

. Captain Rous 

3 6 

Hand-boolc of Betting . 

. Mathematician 

2 6 

Turf Reckoner, or Book of the Odds 

. Green 


The Horse in Health and Disease 


10 6 

The Horse 

. ' W. Yovatt 


The Dog 

. Ditto 


The Ages of the Horse in Case 


Tlie Anatomy of the Horse in Case 

• , 


The Muscles of the Horse in Case 


The Horse's Moulh in Case 

. Mavhew . 


Dogs, their Management 

. Ditto 


The Horse's Mouth 



The Horse's Foot 

. Miles 


Treatise on Horse Shoeing 

. Ditto 


The Anatomy of the Horse 

. Percivall . 


White's Farriery 

Spooner . 


White's Cattle Medicine 


While's Veterinary Dictionary 

7 6 

Every Man his own Farrier 

F. and J. Clater . 


Evary Man his own Doctor 

F. Clater 


Veterinary Art 


1 4 

Veterinary Pharmacy 

Morton . 


Modern Farriery 


13 6 

Canine. Pathology 


7 6 

Outlines of Veterinary Homoepath 




The Horse 

Youatt <5- Cecil 

3 6 

Dog Breaking . 



The Modern Shooter 


1 1 

Instructions on Shooting 

Hawker . 

I 1 

Recreations in Shooting 



Breeding and Training Greyhounds 


1 1 

Tliacker's Coursers, Annual Remembrancer 

1 1 

The British Anglor's Manual 

Hnfland . 


The Angler's Companion 

Stodart . 

7 6 

The Handbook of Angling 



Book of the Salmon 



Walton and Cotton's Angler 


2 6 

Rambles and Recollections of a Flyflsher 

Clerieus . 

7 6 

Days and Nights of Salmon Fishing 

W. Scrope 

1 11 6 

Days of Deer Stalking . 



Moor and Loch 


12 6 

Salmon Casts and Stray Shots 



The Rod and the Gun 

Wilson ^- Oakleigh 

10 6 

Walton's complete Angler , 


7 6 

History of Falconry 

Bellamy . 

6 6 

Hints on Shooting, Fishing, the Rod, and t 

le Rifle 



A Gentleman in Search of a Horse 

Sir E. Stephen 

7 6 

The Horse in Health and Disease 

W. Roper 


Billiards .... 

Captain Crawley . 

2 6 

The Cricket Field 


Felix on the Bat 


Yacht List .... 



Stud Book. 1 Lillywhite's Guide to Cricketers. Game Books. 

Ruflf's Guide to the Turf. | Steeple Chase Calendar. Racing Calendar. 

Also, every other Sporting Work of the day, including the Sjwrting Periodicals. 




- .-^Of^O: 


:ys I