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Full text of "The Quorn hunt and its masters : by William C.A. Blew"






The Quora Hi 

and its 




<&L Ml 



^=^S«sv Ak 






v William CA. Blew 




JOHNA.SEAVERNS 



Webster Family Library of Veterinary Medicine 
Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at 
Tufts University 
200 Westboro Road 
North Grafton, MA 01536 



THE QUORN HUNT 
AND ITS MASTERS 

W. C. A. BLEW 



THE QUORN HUNT 
AND ITS MASTERS 



BY 



WILLIAM C. A. BLEW 

(Editor of Vyner's " Notitia Venatica," and Delme Radcliffe's "Noble 
Science of Fox-Hunting,'' ''Brighton and its Coaches") 



WITH 24 ILLUSTRATIONS DRAWN BY 
HENRY ALKEN 

12 OF WHICH ARE COLOURED BY HAND 

ALSO A COLOURED MAP OF THE QUORN 
AND SURROUNDING COUNTRIES 



LONDON 
JOHN C. N1MMO 

i 4 KING WILLIAM STREET, STRAND 
MDCCCXCIX 



Printed by Ballantyne, Hanson &> Co. 
At the Ballantyne Press 



PREFACE 



WHEN the idea of compiling this book was origi- 
nally conceived, the intention was that it should 
enter more into detail than was subsequently found to 
be possible without making the work unduly bulky. On 
this account it is that runs are mentioned sparingly. 
Captain Pennell-Elmhirsts "The Cream of Leicester- 
shire" and "The Best Season on Record," though ex- 
tending over no more thar^ seven years, together exceed 
the size of this outline sketch. An account of a good 
run, penned by one who can both ride and write, makes 
charming reading, but a mere enumeration of the points 
touched would interest no one. After perusing the 
diary kept for about ten years by "Cork-legged Jones" 
(see p. 51), and the accounts of other runs, one is 
perhaps warranted in arriving at the conclusion that 
sport aforetime did not materially differ from that en- 
joyed at the present day. 

Nearly all the history of the Ouorn which has al- 
ready been printed has concerned Mr. Meynell, Mr. 
Assheton Smith, and Mr. Osbaldeston, and as so much 
has been said about the two latter, the reason is given 
at page 85 why these two heroes are here dealt with 
somewhat shortly. All available sources have been 
searched, and the aim has been to give as many as 
possible of little-known facts and anecdotes, and not to 
reproduce, to a greater extent than is absolutely neces- 
sary, matter which in book, newspaper, and magazine 
has been published over and over again. 



vi PREFACE 

Great difficulty has been encountered in spelling 
names of places and coverts. Various readings are to 
be found in maps, directories, and guide-books, and I 
have no means of saying whether the manner adopted 
in these pages of spelling Munday's Gorse and many 
other places is correct. In old accounts of runs (in 
some modern accounts too) Ellar's Gorse has been 
spelled Ella's ; Kinoulton sometimes has two n's, some- 
times one only ; there is also a doubt whether Glen 
Gorse should have another letter tacked on to it. 

In putting forth this book I have to render my best 
thanks to the proprietors of the Leicester Journal for 
their kindness in allowing" me access to their back files ; 
to the proprietors of Baity s Magazine for permission to 
reprint "The Dream of an Old Meltonian," and to my 
friends, Mr. E. Penton and Mr. W. F. Boulton, for the 
valuable assistance they have rendered. 

London, November 1898. 



PUBLISHER'S NOTE 

The hand- coloured plates and other illustrations, 
all after Henry Alken, are among the best and 
most spirited of his drawings. They depict runs 
and other incidents in the Quorn country. 



TABLE OF MASTERS, HUNTSMEN, 
AND WHIPPERS-IN 



jl 

Year. 


Master. 


Huntsman. 


Whipper-in. 




Mr. Boothby (died 1752) 






1753 1 


Mr. Meynell (no par- 






1775 S 


ticulars) 






1776 


Mr. Meynell 


John Raven 


|. Jones 


1777 ) 
1797 | 








" 


" 




1798 


)? 


,, 


J. Harrison 


1800 / 
1S04 \ 


Lord Sefton 


\ J. Raven 
j S. Goodall 


J. Harrison 
T. Wingfield 


1805 


Lord Foley 


J. Harrison 


( T. Wingfield 
1 Dick Burton 


1S06 J 
1817 | 


Mi. Assheton Smith 


Himself 


| T. Day 
V J. Harrison 


1817 j 
1S20 \ 


Mr. Osbaldeston 


Himself 


( Tom Sebright 
| T. Stevens 


1821 


Sir Bellingham Graham 






1822 


" 




J Dick Burton 


1823 


Mr. Osbaldeston 


Himself 


\ T. Day 


1824 ) 






Dick Burton 


1826 ( 


" 






1827 


Lord Southampton 


Dick Burton 


Will Derry 


1828 


SJ 


,, 


,, 


1829 


,, 


G. Mountford 


\ Will Derry 
( George Beers 


1830 


») 


j? 


., 


1831 

1832 
1833 


Sir Harry Goodricke 


» 


■• 


Mr. Holyoake 




,, 


1834 


? ? 




,, 


1835 


Mr. Rowland Errington 




,, 


1836 






\ Will Derry 


" 


" 


/ Tom Ball 


1837 


) ? 


,, 


?3 


1S3S 


Lord Suffield 


C. Treadwell 


T. Adamson 


1839 


Mr. T. Hodgson 


Webb 




1840 


> 5 


Tom Day 




1841J 

1846 \ 


Mr. Greene 


" 




1847 I 


Sir Richard Sutton 


I J. Morgan / 
( R. Robinson \ 


Ben Morgan ' 


1856 


Lord Stamford 


Benj. Boothroyd 


j Samuel Bacon 
| James Maiden 


1857 


" 


John Treadwell 


i Samuel Bacon 
/ William Martin 
J Dan Berkshire 


185S 


" 


11 


/ George Pickhard 


1859 


" 


•• 


I James Macbride 


i860 


" 




/ James Batsford 
j James Macbride 


1 86 1 


■• 


" 


/ James Young 


1862 




,, 


,, 


1S63 


Mr. J. W. Clowes 


John Goddard 


(James Macbride 
(Thomas Firr 



1 For part of the time. 



TABLE OF MASTERS, ETC. 



Year. 


Master. 


1 
Huntsman. 


Whippeis-In. 


1864 


Mr. J. W. Clowes 


John Coddard 


1 James Macbride 
( Edwin Summers 
( James Macbride 


1865 


" 


" 


( William Snaith 

( Philip Tocock 

j Stephen Winkworth 


1866 


Marquis of Hastings 


Charles Pike 


1867 


>> 


Thomas Wilson 


J. Hollins 
( C. Jones 






{ The Master and 


\ John Machin 


1868 


Mr. J. C. Musters 


\ Frank Gillard 


( John Goddard, jun. 


1869 




Frank Gillard 


,, 


1S70 


Mr. J. Coupland 


James Macbride 


{ Thomas Wiggins 

j F. Payne 

^ Thomas Wiggins 


1871 


? > 


j) 


| Robert Smethurst 


1872 


>> 


Tom Firr 


55 

{ George Gillson 


1873 


>> 


)> 


| Robert Smethurst 


1874 


>> 


5> 


>5 

J George Gillson 


1875 


" 


>» 


j William Webb 
William Wells 


1876 


» 


)> 


| William Wilson 


1877 


>) 


)> 


1 Edward Haynes 


1878 


) ) 


J) 


( William Spiller 
{ Edward Haynes 


1879 


j» 


" 


( Berry Cassell 
i George Cotterill 


18S0 


" 


>> 


( Charles Smith 
i George Cotterill 


1881 


)? 


>) 


j Alfred Earp 
( Charles Jones 


1882 


>> 


)> 


\ Alfred Earp 

j Charles Curtis 


18S3 


" 


I) 


| Alfred Earp 
\ Alfred Earp 


1884 


Lord Manners 


)> 


| G. Beams 
i Alfred Earp 


1885 


" 


" 


| Steven Burtenshaw 
\ Alfred Earp 


1886 


Captain Warner 


)) 


( Robert Brown 


1887 


5> 


5 J 


\ Alfred Earp 


1 888 


)> 


>) 


| William West 


1889 


( Captain Warner and ) 
j Mr. W. B. Paget ( 


)) 


^ Alfred Earp 


1890 


)> 


| William Capell 








i Alfred Earp 


1891 


" 


J J 


1 Thomas Parker 


1892 


,, 


)' 


!> 


1893 


Earl of Lonsdale 


)> 


)) 






I Alfred Earp 


1894 


» 5 


)) 


1 Walter Keyte 


1895 


)) 


>) 


)> 


1896 


») 


" 


>> 


1897 


" 


a 


\ T. Gabbetis 


1898 


Captain E. B. Hartopp 


" 


( Walter Keyte 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER I 

THE QUORN COUNTRY— MELTON MOWBRAY— QUORN 
KENNELS— QUORN HOUNDS. 

The Early Quorn Country, 3. Boundaries in days of Messrs. Boothby 
and Meynell, 4. Atherstone and Donington portions, 4. Unfair 
hunting of the country, 5. Hunting the Donington side, 5. Third 
Marquis of Hastings, 5. Lord Ferrers's country, 6. The Harborough 
side and Mr. Sutton, 7. Quorn dispute, 8, 9. Melton Mowbray, 10. 
Mr. Ralph Lambton, 10. Quorndon Club, 10. Old Club, 11. New and 
Lord Rokeby's Clubs, 11. Lord Alvanley and his top-boots, 12. His 
remark to Lord Foley, 12. Melton hotels of old, 13. Marquis of 
Waterford, 12. Scarlet dress-coats, 14. Midnight steeplechase, 15. 
"Pulpit utterances" on, 16. Sunday horse-clothing, 16. An autocratic 
stud-groom, 17. Larking home, 18. Dream of an old Meltonian, 18. 
Quorn kennels, 23. Mr. Meynell's first, 23. At Quorndon Hall, 24. 
At Humberstone Gate, 24. At Thrussington, 24. At Billesdon, 24. 
Description of Quorn kennels, 25. Quorn hounds, 27. Mr. Boothby's, 
27. Mr. Meynell's and Lord Sefton's, 27. Queer'em and Quornite, 28. 
Mr. Assheton Smith's, 28. Hounds of Mr. Musters, Mr. Osbaldeston, 
Sir Bellingham Graham, and Lord Southampton, 28. Lord Suffield's, 
Mr. Hodgson's, Sir Richard Sutton's, and Lord Stamford's hounds, 29. 
The Craven hounds bought by Mr. Coupland, 30. The Quorn hounds 
bought for the country, 30. Quorn Alfred and Watchman, 31. 



CHAPTER II 

MR. BOOTHBY AND MR. MEYNELL 

An ideal hunting country, 35. Vale of Cashmere, 35. An Easter Monday 
hunt, 6. Mr. Boothby, 37. Charnwood Forest, 37. Mr. Boothby's 
horn, 38. Pattern of horns, 40. Boothby family and racing, 41. Mrs. 
Boothby, 41. Prince Boothby's suicide, 42. Mr. Meynell buys Quorn- 
don Hall, 43. Cock-fighting, 43. Ball at Quorndon, 44. Theatricals, 



xii CONTENTS 

44. Mr. MeynelFs first marriage, 45. " Cork-legged Jones's'' diary, and 
Mr. Hawkes's " Meynellian Science," 46. Subscribers to the Quorn, 47. 
Dr. Ford, 47. Mr. Meynell in the field and his sayings, 47, 48. Mr. 
MeynelFs hound-breeding, 49 ; studs, 49. Mr. Meynell as a horse- 
man, 49, 50, 51. John Raven, 51. Mr. Meynell on rabies, 52. Royalty 
with the Quorn, 53, 54. Billesdon Coplow run and poem, 55. Mr. 
Meynell gives up hounds, 63. Mr. MeynelFs correct ear, 64. "The 
Flying Cucumber,'"' 64. Harvey's sauce, 65. Death of Mr. Meynell, 66. 



CHAPTER III 

LORD SEFTON, LORD FOLEY, AND MR. ASSHETON SMITH 

The second Lord Sefton, 71. Good Friday, 1800, 71. A pack with two 
huntsmen, 72. Goodall and Raven, 72, 73. Raven's death, 7^. Lord 
Sefton's hunters, 73. His riding, 74. Curious carriage, 75. The 
Greville Memoirs on Lord Sefton, 75. Joe Harrison, 75. A run, 76. 
Second horses, 77. Sport and foxes in the Quorn country, 78. Lord 
Jersey has a Derby winner as a hunter, 79. Famous riders, 80. Parisian 
sportsmen, 80. Lord Foley's share in the hounds, 81. Lord Foley, 
master, and buys Quorndon Hall, 82. His accident, 82. Advertising 
fixtures, 83. Lord Foley resigns, 84. Sale of his Worcestershire pro- 
perty, 84. Mr. Assheton Smith's published life, 85. Anecdotes, 86. Mr. 
Smith's riding and hunting, 87. George Carter, senior, on Mr. Smith, 
88. Buys Mr. Musters's hounds, 89. A run, 89. Time and distance, 

90. Mr. Smith's sayings, 90, 91. Mr. White and Mr. Smith at a fence, 

91. "Hunter pairs," 91. Mr. Smith's subscription, 92. Sir Francis 
Burdett, 92. Marquis of Tavistock, 92. Tom Heycock, 92, 93, 94. One 
of Mr. Smith's leaps, 93. " Leicestershire White," 94. Joe Maiden, 94. 
Claret Lodge, 95. Mr. Smith's death, 96. The Melton Hunt, 97. 



CHAPTER IV 

MR. OSBALDESTON, SIR BELLINGHAM GRAHAM, AND 
LORD SOUTHAMPTON 

Mr. Osbaldeston, account of, 103. As a huntsman, 104, 105. Mr. 
Grantley Berkeley's criticism, 105. The hound Furrier, 106. A pack 
by Furrier, 106. The hound Vaulter, 107. Muteness of pack, 107. 
Increased subscription, 108. Exaggerated runs, 108. Lord Plymouth, 
108. Costly horses, 109. The stoutest horse in Leicestershire, 109. 
The Duke of Wellington in Leicestershire, 109. " Davie Baird on Jamie 
Hope," no. John Gully's horse, Jack Ketch, 111. The Squire dislikes 



CONTENTS xiii 

timber, in. His fall with Lord Anson's hounds, 1 12. Mr. Osbaldeston 
takes the Hampshire country and returns to Quorn, 112. A good run, 
ii" Hounds stopped because overridden, 113. Dick Burton, 114. 
« Georgium Sidus," 114. " Assheton," 114. " The Flying Parson," 115. 
Mr. Osbaldeston's death, 115. Sir Bellingham Graham, countries 
hunted by him, 116. His riding, 117. The horse Cock Robin, 118. 
Tot Inchley, 118. Proposed pack of staghounds, 119- Accident to Sir 
Bellingham Graham, 120. Lord Southampton, 121. Scarcity of foxes, 
121. " Importation of foxes," 122. Lord Southampton gets together a 
pack of hounds, 122. Dick Burton appointed huntsman, 123. Accident 
to Burton, 123. Jumps a gate on Lord Rancliffe's galloway, 124. Big 
horses v. little horses, 124. A great run, 124. Lord Southampton's 
hound van, 124. Colonel Russell's big leap, 125. Money circulated by 
hunting men, 125. Lord Southampton buys the Oakley hounds, 126. 
George Mountford becomes huntsman, 126. Sport with the Quorn, 
127. Kirby Gate, 128. Hunting dress, 129. Humberstone kennels, 
129. Description of Quorndon Hall, 130. Good run, 131. The horse 
Segar, 132. "Melton in 1830," verses, 133- Resignation of Lord 
Southampton, 139. 



CHAPTER V 

SIR HARRY GOODRICKE, MR. HOLYOAKE GOODRICKE, 
AND MR. ROWLAND ERRINGTON 

Sir Harry Goodricke succeeds Lord Southampton, 143- Builds new kennels 
at Thrussington, 143. A dinner at Melton, 144- Melton Song, 144- 
Young Goodricke and the King, 145. Sir Harry a good and popular 
sportsman, 147. Buys the hounds of Lord Petre and Mr. Shaw, 148. 
The Old Club, 148. Ladies hunting with the Quorn, 149. Mountford's 
illness, 149. Runs, 150. Foxes' skeletons in a drain, 150. Melton 
studs, 151. Lord Alvanley, 151. Sir Harry Goodricke as a horseman, 
151, '152. His death, 153. Mr. Holyoake Goodricke succeeds Sir 
Harry, 154. Woodcock shooting and hunting, 155. Good run, 155. 
Mr. James Ellar, 156. His accident, 157. Mr. Ellar and Lord Rancliffe, 
158. Buttress the runner, 158. Quorn hounds meet at Belvoir by in- 
vitation, 159. Mr. Holyoake Goodricke as a sportsman, 160, 161. Mr. 
Rowland Errington succeeds to the Mastership, 162. Chairman at a 
dinner, 163. Charles Payne, 163. Early cub-hunting, 164. Mr. Erring- 
ton's three packs, 164. The Duke of Wellington in Leicestershire, 165. 
The Hunt Ball, 166. Sir Francis Grant paints "The Melton Hunt 
Breakfast," 166. No Irishman in the picture, 167. "The Meltonians" 
at Drury Lane, 167, 168. Description of hunting in Blackwood's Maga- 
zine, 169. Mr. Errington's last season, 170. Sells his hounds to Lord 
Chesterfield, 170. 



xiv CONTENTS 

CHAPTER VI 

LORD SUFFIELD AND MR. THOMAS HODGSON 

Lord Suffield takes the Quorn country, 175. Keeps race-horses, 175. Lord 
Gardner in the " Chaunt of Achilles," 176. Lord Suffield buys the 
Lambton hounds, 177. Lord Suffield and Lord Gardner live at 
Lowesby Hall, 177. Builds new kennels at Billesdon, 178. Lord 
Suffield and his stud-groom, 178. Prizes for farmers, 179. Mr. Tilbury 
in a run, 180. Good run from Kirby Gate, 181. Resignation of Lord 
Suffield, 181. Sale of horses and hounds, 182. Meeting of covert 
owners, 183. Mr. Hodgson comes from the Holderness to become 
Master of the Quorn, 184. Webb as huntsman, 185. Tom Day suc- 
ceeds him after one season, 186. Mr. Hodgson in love, 187. His 
hunting-dress, 188. The Quorn and Donington hounds, 188. Runs, 
188, 189. Dick Christian's leap, 190. Lord Harborough's objection to 
hounds, 190. Remarks on Lord Gardner, 191. Mr. Assheton Smith 
brings his hounds to Leicestershire, 191. Prince Ernest of Saxe-Coburg 
one of the field, 191. The sport of the day, 193. Marquis of Water- 
ford's staghounds, 193, 194. A German Baron in Leicestershire, 194. 
Mr. Rowland, the veterinary surgeon, 195. Good run, 196. Resigna- 
tion of Mr. Hodgson, 197. His sale, 197, 198. Sir Tatton Sykes and 
Mr. Gully, 198. Mr. Hodgson becomes a Registrar in Yorkshire, 199. 
Death of Mr. Hodgson, 199. 



CHAPTER VII 

MR. HENRY GREENE 

Mr. Greene the only Leicestershire Master of the Quorn since Mr. Boothby, 
203. His hounds and horses, 204. Kirby Gate, 204. Mr. Greene's 
hounds and horsemanship, 205, 206. December runs, 206, 207. Acci- 
dent to Mr. Greene, 208. "Venator" on the Quorn Hunt, 209. Hunt- 
ing map, 210. Sir Watkin Wynn in Leicestershire, 210. The Duke of 
Cambridge and the Quorn, 211. Hollow coverts, 211. The Due de 
Nemours in Leicestershire, 211. The Queen visits Belvoir and Melton, 
211. Accident to Lord Wilton and death of Mr. Knight, 212. Sir 
Francis Burdett's first hunting, 212. Death of Mr. John Moore, 213. 
Clashing of the Quorn and Mr. Musters's hounds, 214. Benjamin 
Fouldes, 215. Sir Richard Sutton takes the Quorn hounds, 216. 
Death of Mr. Greene, 216. A nobleman's portrait sold for tenpence, 
217. 



CONTENTS xv 

CHAPTER VIII 

SIR RICHARD SUTTON 

Sir Richard Sutton's hounds, 221. The money he spent on hunting, 222. 
Dinner at Melton, 222. First Sunday in November at Melton, 223. Sir 
James Musgrave and friend, 223. A hunting-field scrimmage, 224. 
He "hangs a good boot," 224. Sir Richard's questions to his second 
horseman, 225. A "wretched memory for hounds," 225. Ben Morgan, 
225, 226. Dick Webster, 226. A fog, 228. Shooting a fox before 
hounds, 227. Money circulated by hunting-men, 228. Runs, 228, 229, 
230. Mr. Little Gilmour, 231. Sir Richard Sutton charged with buy- 
ing foxes, 231. Kirby Gate, 232. Death of Mr. Glossop, 233. Rail- 
ways, 234. Mr. Cradock defends Sir R. Sutton on charge of damage, 
234. Death of Lord Rancliffe, 235. Tower near Bunny Hall, 235. 
Good run, 235, 236. Captain Campbell, 237. Sir R. Sutton gives 
Harborough side to his son Richard, 238. Run, 238, 239. Duchess of 
Cambridge and daughter visit Lord and Lady Wilton, 239. Vulpicide, 
239. Sir Richard Sutton's presentation portrait, 240. An unlucky 
family, 240. Sudden death of Sir Richard Sutton, 241. Family history, 

241, 242. Sir Richard as a shot, 242. Sir Richard on stag-hunting, 

242, 243. Jem Shirley, 243. Horse and hound sales, 244. Hunting 
the Quorn country, 244, 245. 



CHAPTER IX 

EARL OF STAMFORD AND WARRINGTON 

Mr. Story seeks Lord Stamford, 249. Lord Stamford agrees to be Master 
of the Quorn, 250. Lives at Bradgate Park, 250. Mr. Warner buys 
Quorndon Hall, leasing stables and kennels to Lord Stamford, 250. 
Early life, 250, 251. Buys some hounds, 251. Ben Boothroyd hunts- 
man, Bacon and Maiden whippers-in, 251. Opening day Asfordby 
instead of Kirby Gate, 252. The Rector of Asfordby, 252. Accident 
to huntsman, 252. Boothroyd succeeded by John Treadwell, 253. 
Assheton Smith on " Ayston," 253. Curious death of a horse, 255. 
Studs at Melton, 255. The Hunt warned off. 255. Mr. Richards, the 
stockinger, 256. Runs, 257. Challenge to ride by Lady Stamford con- 
tradicted, 257. The female blacksmith, 257. Epitaph on blacksmith, 
258. Runs, 258, 259. Death of Lord Jersey and Marquis of Waterford, 

260. Notice of Lord Waterford, 260. Dick Christian on " Lord Grey," 

261. Lady Harborough throws open Stapleford to the hounds, 262. Ac- 
cident to Mr. Bullen of Eastwell, 262. Amateur theatricals at Melton, 
263. Return to Melton of Count Batthyany, 265. Death of Mr. Lyne 



xvi CONTENTS 

Stephens, 265. Illness and threatened resignation of Lord Stamford, 
265, 266. Accident to the Honourable A. Coventry, 266. Testimonial 
to Lord and Lady Stamford, 267. Sir Harry's Gorse, 268. Foxhound 
show at Yarm, 268. Railways and hunting-men, 268. Death of the 
Prince Consort, 269. Covert funds, 269. Unruly fields, 270. A dropped 
£5 note, 271. Bell-ringing in honour of hounds meeting, 272. Fox 
while hunted picks up rabbit, 272. Death of Dick Christian, 273. 
Treadwell leaves the Quorn, 275. His death, 275. Lord Stamford 
gives up the Quorn and sells his horses, 277. Lord Stamford as a 
cricketer and a shot, 278, 279. 



CHAPTER X 

MR. CLOWES, MARQUIS OF HASTINGS, AND 
MR. JOHN CHAWORTH MUSTERS 

Mr. Clowes buys Lord Stamford's hounds, 283. Unfavourable hunting 
weather, 283, 284. Failure of foxes, 284. Wire-fencing, 285. Mr. 
Lyne Stephens's stables, 285. Mr. Bromley Davenport in Leicester- 
shire, 286. A run, 286. A farmer on hunting-men, 287. Accident to 
Mr. Bromley Davenport, 287. A hoax concerning accident to " Sir B. 
Hichens," 288. The first Grand National Steeplechase, 288, 289. 
The last of the four M's, 289. Results of the season 1863-64, 289. 
A Leicestershire Grand National, 290. Mr. Clowes stopped by a 
farmer, 290, 291. Dinner and testimonial to Mr. Clowes, 291. Sale of 
the hounds, 293. The Marquis of Hastings hunts the Quorn country, 

294. His hound purchases, 295. Walton Thorns and Lord A. St. Maur, 

295. Runs, 296, 297, 298. The Quorn and Belvoir hounds clash, 297. 
Horse and hound show at Birmingham, 298. Wilson replaces Pike as 
huntsman, and removal of the kennels to Donington, 3C0. Mr. Sothern 
with the Quorn, 300, 301. Resignation of the Marquis of Hastings, 
301. Mr. Musters, 302. Death of Roger Onions, the whipper-in, 303. 
Mr. Clowes and Mr. Frewen in connection with the representation of 
North Leicestershire, 304. Frank Gillard becomes huntsman, 305. 
Mr. Musters's three huntsmen, 305. Accident to Lord Wilton, 306. Life 
of John Goddard, 306. Management of the coverts, 307. Mr. Musters's 
horsemanship, 307. Studs at Melton, 308. Presentation to Mr. Musters 
by the earth-stoppers, 308. A rector's remarks on hunting, 309. Re- 
sults of the season 1869-70. 310. Retirement of Mr. Musters and the 
sale of his horses, 310, 311. 



CONTENTS xvii 

CHAPTER XI 

MR. COUPLAND 

Mr. Coupland establishes hounds in Bombay, 315. Buys Craven hounds, 
315. A member of the Coaching Club, and runs steeplechasers, 316. 
Frank Gillard as huntsman, 316. Sale of Mr. Musters's horses, 317. 
Mr. Coupland institutes puppy shows at Quorn, 317. Puppy walking, 
317. Swimming the Wreake, 318, 319. Annual sale of horses, 319. 
Visit of Prince of Wales, 320. Prince of Wales's Covert, 330. Mr. Coup- 
land and the jibbing pony, 321. Death of Master C. C. H. Webster, 321. 
Death of Joseph Hobson, 322. The "twice accursed" Midland Rail- 
way, 322. Death of Lord Chesterfield, 323. Clashing of Quorn and 
Mr. Musters's hounds, 323, 324. Death of Will Derry, 324. Melton 
Mowbray pork-pies, 324. Accident to Lady Ida Hope, 324. Abolition 
of the toll-bar at Kirby Gate, 325. Hunting on wheels, 325. Foreign 
visitors to Melton Mowbray, 326. A runaway pack, 326, 327. Tom 
Firr becomes huntsman, 327. Prince of Wales attends Melton Steeple- 
chases, 328. Deaths of Lord Hopetoun and the Hon. H. Coventry, 
329. Payment of earth-stoppers, 329. Earth-stoppers' dinner, 330. 
Hound show at Harrogate, 330. Presentation to Mr. Coupland by 
earth-stoppers, 331. Accident to Tom Firr, 331. Crossing a bridge, 
331, 332. Riding on the railway-line, 332, 333. The covert fund ques- 
tion, 333. Death of Lord Rossmore, 333. A hunting Ritualist, 334. 
The Great Yorkshire Hound Show, 334. The Empress of Austria at 
Melton, 334. Death of Lord Forester, 335. Death of Mrs. Coupland, 
336. Lord Grey de Wilton and the Melton Canal Company, 336. A 
hard-riding visitor, 336, 337. Accident to Lord Stamford, 337. Popu- 
larity of Mr. Coupland, 337, 338. Death of Mr. Herrick, 338. The 
Alexandra Park Hound Show, 338. Hound show at Driffield, 339. 
Opening of the Leicester Horse Repository, 340. Accident to Firr, 340. 
Visit of the Prince of Wales to Melton, 340, 341. Hound show at 
Skipworth-in-Craven, 341. Acting upon impulse, 341. A dead horse 
and a dyed one, 342. The Queen's staghounds visit the Cottesmore 
country, 342. Hound show at York, 343. Colonel Burnaby and 
Leicestershire old soldiers, 343. Scarcity of foxes, 344. Empress of 
Austria in Leicestershire, and accident to Lord James Douglas, 344. 
The steeplechase horse " Doctor," 344, 345. The Rev. John Russell at 
Kirby Gate, 345. A horse jumps into a tobacconist's shop, 345. Death 
of John Goddard, 345. Death of Mr. Andrew Heseltine, 346. Report 
that the Duke of Portland would succeed Mr. Coupland, 347. Protest 
against advertising fixtures, 347. Death of Lord Wilton, 347, 348, 349. 
Accident to Mr. Musters, 349. Presentation to Sir A. Hazelrigg, 
349. Portrait of Firr, 349. Quarrymen mislead a hunting-man, 350. 
Hunt picture, 350. Death of General Burnaby, 350. Mr. Trew and 
the Prince of Wales's Gorse, 351. Accident to Mr. H. Barclay, 352. 
Lord Lonsdale takes his hounds from Lincolnshire to Scraptoft Hall, 
352. Retirement of Mr. Coupland, 353, 354. 

I? 



xviii CONTENTS 



CHAPTER XII 

LORD MANNERS, CAPTAIN WARNER, AND 
EARL OF LONSDALE 

Lord Manners wins Grand National, 357. Clashing of Quorn and Belvoir, 
357) 358- Bad scenting weather, 358. Friday fixtures not advertised, 
358. Accident to Firr, 358. Death of the Rev. E. Bullen, 359. Lord 
Manners improves Adam's Gorse, 359. An accident on the road, 360. 
Captain Warner takes the Quorn, 361. Action of tenant farmers, 361, 
362, 363. Death of Captain Ross, 363. Firr breaks his collar-bone. 
364. Death of Mr. Little Gilmour, 364, 365. A bad season, 366. 
Peterborough Hound Show, 366, 367. A run, 367. An unusual line, 

368. Death of Captain Barclay, 368. Death of brother to Gamecock, 

369. Hounds poisoned, 369. Neutral coverts, 370. Accidents, 370, 372. 
Man-hunting with bloodhounds, 371. A run, 371. Death of Mr. G. 
Harvey, 372. Resignation of Captain Warner and Mr. Paget, 373. 
Action for damages against Captain Warner, 373, 374. Tom Firr's 
evidence, 374. Lord Lonsdale asked to take the country, 375. Kirby 
Gate and Gartree Hill, 375. Lord Lonsdale's list of farmers, 376. 
Death of Sir Henry des Voeux, 376. Lowesby Hall (verses), 277- 
Hounds meet at Loughborough, 380, 381. Melton Hunt Ball, 3S1. 
Lord Lonsdale's driving feat, 382. Presentation to Mr. Cradock, 382. 
The family, 383. Retirement of Lord Lonsdale and appointment of 
Captain E. Burns Hartopp, 385. 



INDEX 387 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

Drawn by HENRY ALKEN 

AND COLOURED BY HAND 

I. THE MEET. — Let us suppose ourselves at Ashby Pasture, in 
the Quorn Country, with Mr. Osbaldeston's hounds. — Let us 
indulge ourselves with a fine morning, in the first week of 
February, and at least two hundred well-mounted men by the 
cover's side. — Time being called — say a quarter-past eleven, 
nearly our great-grandfathers' dinner-hour — the hounds 
approach the gorse Frontispiece 

II. MAP OF THE QUORN AND SURROUNDING 

COUNTRIES To face page i 

III. DRAWING COVER.— "Hark in, hark!" with a slight 
cheer, and perhaps one wave of his cap, says Mr. Osbaldes- 
ton, and in an instant he has not a hound at his horse's heels. 
— In a very short time the gorse appears shaken in various 
parts of the cover — apparently from an unknown cause, not a 
single hound being for some minutes visible. Presently one 
or two appear, leaping over some old furze which they cannot 
push through, and exhibit to the field their glossy skins and 
spotted sides. — The cover shakes more than ever. Every 
stem appears alive, and it reminds us of a cornfield waving in 
the wind. In two minutes the sterns of some more hounds 
are seen flourishing above the gorse. " Have at him 
there ! " holloas the Squire — the gorse still more alive, and 
hounds leaping over each other's backs. " Have at him 
there again — a fox for a hundred ! " reiterates the Squire, 
putting his finger in his ear, and uttering a scream which, 
not being set to music, we cannot give here. — Jack Stevens 
looks at his watch. At this moment "John White," "Val. 
Maher," " Frank Holyoake," and others are seen creeping 
gently on towards a point at which they think it probable he 
may break, and Billy Coke comes up at the rate of thirty 
miles an hour on Advance, with a label pinned on his back, 
" He kicks." — At this interesting period a snob, just arrived 
from a very rural country, and unknown to any one, but deter- 
mined to witness the start, gets into a conspicuous situation. 
" Come away, sir ! " holloas the Master ; " what mischief are 



xx LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

you doing there ? Do you think YOU can catch the fox ?" — A 
breathless silence ensues. — At length a whimper is heard in 
the cover, like the voice of a dog in a dream : it is Flourisher, 
and the Squire cheers him to the echo. In an instant a 
hound challenges — and another — and another. 'Tis enough. 
"TALLY-HO !" cries a countryman in a tree . To face page 48 

IV. TALLY-HO AND AWAY.— " He's gone," exclaims Lord 
Alvanley, and clapping spurs to his horse, in an instant is in 
the front rank. As all good sportsmen would say, " Ware, 
hounds ! " cries Sir Harry Goodricke. " Give them time," 
exclaims Mr. John Moore. " That's right," says Mr. Osbal- 
deston, " spoil your own sport, as usual." " Go along," roars 
out Mr. Holyoake, "there are three couple of hounds on the 
scent." "That's your sort," says Billy Coke. A turn and 
a momentary loss of scent in the few hounds that have shot 
ahead, joins head and tail together, and the scent being good, 
every hound settles to his fox ; the pace gradually improves ; 

VIRES ACQUIRIT EUNDO ; A TERRIBLE BURST IS THE 
RESULT To face page 96 

V. THE PACE BEGINS TO TELL.— After running at best 
pace for nineteen minutes the hounds come to a fault, and for 
a moment the fox has a chance. The Squire hits him off like 
a workman, and the pack again settle to the scent. Some 
begin to show symptoms of distress. Two horses are seen 
loose in the distance, a report is flying about that one of the 
field is badly hurt, and something is heard of a collar-bone 
being broken, others say it is a leg ; but the pace is TOO GOOD 
to inquire. A cracking of rails is now heard, and one gentle- 
man's horse is to be seen resting, nearly balanced, across one 
of them, his rider being on his back in the ditch, which is on 
the landing side. "Who is he ?" says Lord Brudenell to Jack 
Stevens. "Can't tell, my lord ; but I thought it was a queerish 
place when I came o'er it before him." It is evidently a case 
of peril, but the pace is TOO GOOD to afford help To face page 128 

VI. "SNOB" IS BEAT— "Snob" all this time has gone quite in 
the first flight, and is here in the best of company. Wishing, 
however, to out-Herod Herod, and to have a fine story to tell 
when he gets home, he pushes to his speed on ground on 
which all Leicestershire men are careful, and the death- 
warrant of the little bay horse is signed. It is true, he gets 
first to the gate, and has no idea of opening it ; sees it con- 
tains five new and strong bars, that will neither bend nor 
break ; has a great idea of a fall, but no idea of refusing ; 
presses his hat firmly on his head, and gets his whip-hand at 
liberty to give the good little nag a refresher ; but all at once 
he perceives it will not do. When attempting to collect him 
for the effort, he finds his mouth dead and his neck stiff; 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS xxi 

fancies he hears something like a wheezing in his throat, and, 
discovering quite unexpectedly that the gate would open, 
places the hook of his whip under the latch, just as John 
White goes over it close to the hinge-post, and Captain Ross, 
upon Clinker, follows him .... Jo face page 160 

VII. FULL CRY, SECOND HORSES. — Another short check 
enables thirteen men out of two hundred to get their second 
horses, and the hounds again settle to the scent at a truly 
killing pace. "Hold hard, Holyoake!" exclaims Mr. 
Osbaldeston (now mounted on Blucher), knowing what 
double-quick time he would be marching to, with fresh pipes 
to play upon, and the crowd well shaken off; "pray don't press 
'em too hard, and we shall be sure to kill our fox. Have at 
HIM there, Abigail and Fickle, good bitches — see what a 
head they are carrying ! I'll bet a thousand they kill him." 
The country appears better and better. " He's taking a 
capital line," exclaims Sir Harry Goodricke. " Worth a 
dozen Reform Bills," shouts Sir Francis Burdett, sitting erect 
upon Sampson, and putting his head straight at a yawner. 
"We shall have the Whissendine brook," cries Mr. Maher, 
who knows every field in the country, "for he is making 
straight for Teigh." " And a bumper too, after last night's 
rain," holloas Captain Berkeley, determined to get first to 
some still rails in a corner. " So much the better," says Lord 
Alvanley ; " I like a bumper at all times." " A fig for the 
Whissendine," cries Lord Gardner ; " I am on the best 
water-jumper in my stable" .... To face page 192 

VIII. THE WHISSENDINE APPEARS IN VIEW.— The pro- 
phecy turns up. Having skirted Kanksborough gorse, the 
villain has nowhere to stop short of Woodwell Head cover, 
and in ten minutes, or less, the brook appears in view. Six 
men, out of twelve, take it in their stride ; three stop short, 
their horses refusing the first time, but come well over the 
second ; and three find themselves in the middle of it. The 
gallant "Frank Forester" is among the latter; and having 
been requested that morning to wear a friend's new coat, to 
take off the gloss and glare of the shop, he accomplishes the 
task to perfection in the bluish-black mud of the Whissendine, 
only then subsiding after a three days' flood. " Who is that 
under his horse in the brook ? " inquires that good sportsman 
and fine rider, Mr. Green of Rolleston, whose noted old mare 
had just skimmed over the water like a swallow on a summer's 
evening. " Only Dick Christian," answers Lord Forester, 
"and it is nothing new to him." "But he'll be drowned," 
exclaims Lord Kinnaird. " I shouldn't wonder," observes 
Mr. Coke. But the pace is too good to inquire To face page 240 



xxii LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

IX. THE DEATH. — The yEneid of Virgil ends with a death, and 
a chase is not complete without it. The fox dies within half a 
mile of Woodwell Head, evidently his point from the first ; 
the pack pulling him down in the middle of a large grass 
field, every hound but one at his brush. Jack Stevens with 
him in his hands would be a subject worthy of Edwin Land- 
seer himself : a black-thorn, which has laid hold of his cheek, 
has besmeared his upper garments with blood, and one side 
of his head and cap are cased in mud, by a fall he has had in 
a lane, his horse having alighted in the ruts from a high flight 
of rails ; but he has ridden the same horse throughout the 
run, and has handled him so well, he could have gone two 
miles farther, if the chase had been continued so long. — 
Osbaldeston's who-hoop might have been heard to Cottesmore 
had the wind set in that direction, and every man present is 
ecstatic with delight. " Quite the cream of the thing," says 
Lord Gardner. " The cream of everything in the shape of 
fox-hunting," observes that excellent sportsman Sir James 
Musgrave, looking at that moment at his watch. "Just ten 
miles, as the crow flies, in one hour and ten minutes, with 
but two trifling checks, over the finest country in the world." 
"What superb hounds are these !" added the baronet, 
as he turned his horse's head to the wind. "You are right," 
says Colonel Lowther, " they are perfect. I wish my father 
had seen them do their work to-day." — Some of the field now 
come up who could not live in the first flight ; but as there is 
no jealousy here, they congratulate each other on the fine day's 
. sport, and each man turns his head towards home To face page 272 

X. THE MEETING. Kirby Gate.— Childers Inn. Kirby Toll 

Gate. Sir F. Burdett's House. Melton Mowbray To face page 304 

XI. BREAKING COVER. Billesdon Coplow.— Galby. Billes- 
don Coplow. Houghton. Botany Bay Cover. Scrap Toft 
Spinney. Heyham. Ingersby Spinney. Hungerton. Barkby 
Holt. Quonby Hall To face page 304 

XII. FULL CRY. Wissendine Pasture.— The Cover. Wissen- 
dine Brook. Freeby Wood. Waltham Stonesby. Buck- 
minster. Wymondham. Wissendine . . To face page 336 

XIII. THE DEATH. View of Kettleby.— Mr. Crosse's House. 
Great Home Close. Kettleby Church. Road to Melton. 
Bilsdon Coplow ...... To face page 336 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS xxiii 

TAIL PIECES 

Drawn by Henry Alken 

TAGE 

i. Full Cry !....■ 9 

2. Spree at Melton Mowbray ; or, Doing the Thing in a 

Sportsman-like Manner. Anno Domini 1837. Quick Work 
without a Contract, by Tip-Top Sawyers 22 

" If it were done, when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done quickly." 

—Shakespeare. 

"Coming it strong with a spree and a spread, 
Milling the daylights or cracking a head ; 
Go it, ye cripples ! come tip us your mauleys, 
Up with the lanthorns, and down with the Charleys." 

3. Drawing a Cover 31 

4. The Master taking the Gate 67 

5. All the Difference. Not used to it. Used to it . . 100 

6. A Check ; or, The Misery of a Nailed-up Gate . . 140 

7. Spree at Melton Mowbray. Larking at the Grantham 

Toll-Gate ; or, Coming in for the Brush ! A Society 
of Distinguished Painters, who hunt with Fox-hounds, live splen- 
didly, and only paint at Night 171 

" They left no man's sign, name, or calling 
Untouched by something most appalling." 

8. The Return Home. Discretion the Better Part of 

Valour 217 

9. Death of the "Varmint" 245 

10. Crowding at a Gap; or, Who shall be First? . . .279 

n. A Morning Refresher 293 

12. A Stable at Melton Mowbray 311 



MAP OF THE IIP EH All!) sflfllROIfirinrffl OOlJtnT .' ''+:'■ 







^mmmm ?n 



CHAPTER I 

THE QUORN COUNTRY: ITS HOUNDS 
AND KENNELS 

MELTON MOWBRAY 

THE QUORN KENNELS 

THE QUORN HOUNDS 



CHAPTER I 

THE QUORN COUNTRY: ITS HOUNDS 
AND KENNELS 

THE boundaries of hunting countries are ever 
changing, and hunting geography is exceedingly 
difficult to learn thoroughly, as the old Boodle's Com- 
mittee and the present Masters of Foxhounds' Associa- 
tion could tell us. If we take in hand the first edition 
of Hobson's " Fox-hunting Atlas," we can now hardly 
recognise the face of England, so many are the new 
names and new boundaries. 

The Quorn country has had its fair share of changes, 
which it is the aim of this chapter to point out. One 
hardly knows over what extent of country Mr. Boothby 
roamed, but his limits were probably wider than those 
of Mr. Meynell, who hunted from Clifton Gardens, near 
Nottingham, to Market Harborouo;h, even if he did eo 
a little wider. He had at his command what are now 
the Quorn, Mr. Fernie's, and a portion of the Atherstone 
countries, besides other slips of ground which have since 
been absorbed into other hunts. In Mr. Meynell's time, 
however, a greater extent of country than at present was 
needed. There were not nearly so many foxes in the 
country as there now are, and Mr. Meynell, like the 
Earls of Berkeley, the Dukes of Beaufort, and other 
masters, was probably accustomed to visit distant parts 
of his territory at intervals, for the number of square 
miles which now suffice for two days a week would not in 



4 THE QUORN HUNT 

the last century have found sport for one day in a fort- 
night or three weeks ; moreover, vulpecide was possibly 
more common then than it now is. In reading the 
accounts of the different runs, however, it is necessary to 
remember that the country was far more open than it is 
at present, and except for an occasional boundary fence, 
hounds mieht run for miles without meeting with much 
to stop them. 

There is no necessity to discuss at length the pre- 
cise boundaries of the Ouorn Hunt in the days of Mr. 
Boothby and Mr. Meynell ; it will suffice to say that the 
famous hunt in question was shorn of some of its country 
towards the latter end of the reign of Mr. Assheton 
Smith (1806-17), when in or about the year 18 14 Mr. 
Osbaldeston brought his hounds from Nottinghamshire 
and first made the Atherstone a separate hunt. Portions 
of the country had, it is true, been hunted by other 
masters ; but with the advent of the Squire the Quorn 
country was deprived of part of its ground. There was 
then no change, at least no material change, until the 
year 1834, when Mr. Holyoake was getting near to 
the end of his two years' mastership. Then it was that 
the second Marquis of Hastings, a right good sports- 
man, who kept a smart pack of harriers, being desirous 
of having more hunting nearer home, induced Mr. 
Holyoake to cede to him a portion of his country on 
the Donington side, and building kennels at his resi- 
dence, appointed Will Head as his huntsman, his 
whippers - in being William Markwell and Edward 
Evans. 

The Donington country, as it was called, took in 
some of the forest, and stretched away into Derbyshire, 
and, as the Marquis of Hastings announced his intention 
of hunting three days a week, there was every chance 
of those who lived at a distance from the centre of the 
Ouorn country enjoying an increased amount of sport, 



THE QUORN COUNTRY 5 

for there were then seven or eight days with hounds 
instead of four. After hunting the country in excellent 
style for about seven years, the Marquis of Hastings, 
who loved nothing better than to pass his time at home 
at his own place and amongst his own people, relin- 
quished the hounds in 1842, and they then became a 
subscription pack. The marquis lent the hounds and 
kennels ; gave ^500 a year to the hunt, and said that 
he would give more if necessary. The new master was 
Mr. G. B. Story, of Lockington Hall, an excellent 
sportsman, and a first-rate man to be at the head of a 
hunt, being full of tact and energy. 

One reason why the Donington hounds were so 
popular, at least for a time, was that neither Mr. Osbal- 
deston, Lord Southampton, Sir Harry Goodricke, nor 
Mr. Holyoake had hunted the country fairly. The 
Melton clique, it was said, used their utmost endeavours 
to induce the several masters to confine their operations 
to the Melton district. The result was that on the 
Donington side foxes were freely destroyed, and as one 
man said, " Foxes which are seldom or never hunted are 
a luxury which no one can afford in these hard times." 
The Marquis of Hastings, of course, knew all about this 
state of things, and it weighed with him not a little in 
his desire to hunt the Donington country himself. About 
a couple of years after the Marquis of Hastings resigned 
the country, that is to say, in January 1844, he died ; and 
for a short period after his death the country continued 
to be hunted with something like the vigour which had 
characterised the rule of the late master. A feeling of 
respect to the memory of the Marquis of Hastings doubt- 
less prompted sundry of the Donington sportsmen to 
continue to lend a helping hand, while they also felt that 
the Quorn, as then constituted, was not strong enough 
to hunt their side of the country fairly. Sir H. Blane, 
Mr. Sutton of Shardlow Hall, and Mr. Story did all that 



6 THE QUORN HUNT 

in them lay to promote sport ; but by degrees, as the 
hunt had lost the assistance of the Marquis of Hastings, 
support fell off in other quarters, and in April 1851, 
about midway through the mastership of Sir Richard 
Sutton, the Donington country was handed over to him, 
and once more became part and parcel of the Quorn 
Hunt, and when the hounds were sold by Mr. Breary at 
the kennels, Sir Richard was a liberal buyer, his purchase 
being fifteen couples for ^404, 5s. Mr. Villebois, Sir 
Watkin Wynn, Mr. Mure, and Mr. Healey Greaves were 
the other buyers, and the total was ,£669, 18s. From 
this period Sir Richard Sutton hunted the Donington 
side himself, and so did some succeeding masters. 

There was no further division of the country until 
the beginning of the season 1876-77. Mr. Coupland 
had then been six years in office, and as the tenth 
Lord Ferrers, whose seat was at Staunton Harold, was 
anxious to hunt the old Donington country two days a 
week, a slice of country was lent to him by the Quorn. 
He built kennels on his own property, and filled them 
with the hounds with which Mr. Standish had been hunt- 
ing the New Forest country. Mr. Standish sold them 
to Mr. Theodore Mansel Talbot, who first of all kept 
harriers ; then migrated to the Ledbury country for a 
short spell, returning eventually to hunt Glamorganshire, 
and after being master for four years sold his hounds to 
Lord Ferrers, replacing them with a pack he bought 
from Mr. J. C. Musters ; but these he did not live to 
hunt, as he died in 1876. Though for various reasons 
Lord Ferrers's country did not appeal to the Meltonians, 
it was good sporting country, and was well hunted until 
1887, when the Quorn gave notice that they should 
require it back, whereupon about ninety hunting and 
non-hunting tenant-farmers, together with several land- 
owners, presented a petition requesting Lord Ferrers to 
continue to hunt the country. With that request he was, 



THE QUORN COUNTRY 7 

of course, unable to comply, and what had aforetime 
been the Donington country once more reverted to the 
parent pack, and is still (1898) hunted by the Quorn. 

Turn we now to the Harborough side. This was 
hunted by Sir Richard Sutton, in common with the rest 
of the Quorn country, down to the year 1S53, when, 
finding the Quorn country too big for him, he entrusted 
the Billesdon, or South Quorn, side to his son Richard. 1 
The latter was not able to show very grand sport during 
his first two seasons, his exertions being thwarted by 
excessive drought. At the beofinnino- of his third season 
Sir Richard died, when the two sons, Richard and 
Frank, carried on the two countries for the remainder 
of the season until Lord Stamford came to the fore. 

Ben Boothroyd, who had hunted the Donington under 
Sir H. Seymour Blane and Mr. Story, went as kennel 
huntsman and first whip to Mr. Richard Sutton, and on 
his retirement hunted for Lord Stamford for one season. 
This brings us to the date of Lord Stamford's taking 
the Quorn Hunt in 1856. I believe that the actual terms 

1 Mr. Richard Sutton, the second son of Sir Richard Sutton, had a 
somewhat varied career. Born at Sudbrooke Hall in Lincolnshire on the 
21st October 1821, he entered the navy as a first-class volunteer on board 
H.M.S. Pique, commanded by the Hon. Captain (afterwards Admiral) 
Rous, of turf fame. Mr. Sutton was on the Pique during her memorable 
voyage from Quebec, when, after getting ashore and bumping on the rocks 
for about ten hours, with the loss of nearly all her guns, Captain Rous 
brought her home very much disabled. From the Pique Mr. Sutton went 
to the President, on the South American station, with Captain Scott, where 
he remained for two years and a half. Then casting aside his blue coat 
he donned a red one, joining the 1st Life Guards, in which regiment he 
remained but a short time. Meantime his sporting proclivities had always 
been strong. When no more than six years old he was put on a pony 
which his father had bought from old Mason, the dealer, of Stilton. Sir 
Richard then living at Lundford Hall, close to Buckenham, the residence 
of General Peel, the younger branches of the two families were wont to 
amuse themselves by having impromptu races on their ponies, and on one 
occasion young Dick Sutton, after he had been beaten for speed on the flat 
by a young Peel, jumped a gate three times and challenged his conqueror 
to follow him. Then, as already mentioned, he was entrusted by his father 
with the Harborough side. 



8 THE QUORN HUNT 

of Lord Stamford's offer were to hunt without a sub- 
scription the same amount of country that Sir Richard 
Sutton had hunted over, and as the new master dis- 
pensed with a subscription, it was considered expedient 
to allow him to have his way in this respect. 

This was eventually the fons et origo of a dispute 
which raged long and hotly in the Ouorn and Billesdon 
countries. On one side it was said that Lord Stamford 
had abandoned the Billesdon country ; on the other it 
was urged that the country was lent only, just as part 
of the Cottesmore with some woodlands were loaned. 
A short time after Lord Stamford's succession to office 
Mr. W. W. Tailby, amid great acclamation, became 
master of the Billesdon, or South Ouorn, country, for- 
merly hunted by Mr. Sutton, and, with Jack Goddard 
for his huntsman, began a brilliant era of sport. At this 
lapse of time there is no need to follow the dispute 
which ultimately took place. Suffice it to say that in 
due time the Cottesmore, then in the hands of Colonel 
Lowther, afterwards Lord Lonsdale, gave notice that 
they would require back the country they had lent, and 
Mr. Coupland at the same time intimated that he would 
like back the Quorn portion, though this request was 
not made until Mr. Tailby had announced his intention 
of resigning. Then it was that a somewhat bitter dis- 
pute arose. Meetings were held, various opinions were 
expressed, and a great deal of angry correspondence 
took place. To cut a long and not very interesting 
story short, the matter was referred to the Masters of 
Foxhounds' Committee at Boodle's, that body deciding 
in favour of the Quorn bein^ entitled to reclaim the 
country which Lord Stamford did not want to hunt, and 
which he allowed Mr. Tailby to have. That decision, 
however, did not please every one. Farmers were asked 
in a letter to stand out for their rights ; " Who's Boodle ? 
Where does he live ? " 



THE QUORN COUNTRY 9 

The point gained, however, further opposition on 
the part of the Ouorn authority was withdrawn. Mr. 
Tailby consented to hunt a limited area two days a 
week; resigning in 1880 to Sir Bache Cunard, who was 
succeeded in 1888 by Mr. Fernie, and in this manner 
is Leicestershire now mapped out. 







io THE QUORN HUNT 



MELTON MOWBRAY 

MELTON, a country town which is to all intents 
and purposes kept alive by fox-hunting, is a very 
different place from what it once was, in fact in Mr. 
Meynell's earlier days it had practically no existence. 
Leicester and Loughborough were the places towards 
which Mr. Meynell's followers gravitated, and it was at 
Loughborough that the Ouorndon Club was established, 
long before the Old Club at Melton was ever dreamed of. 
Mr. Ralph Lambton, afterwards master of the famous 
Lambton Hounds (subsequently bought by Lord Suffield), 
after leaving Cambridge "without a shilling of debt," 
made the Grand Tour, and in 1787 succeeded his father 
as member for Durham ; and it was in the same year that 
he enrolled himself as one of Mr. Meynell's followers, 
making the Ouorndon Club his headquarters. Those, 
however, were the days of somewhat boisterous merri- 
ment, and Mr. Lambton, who was a quiet and somewhat 
shy man, finding his companions rather too high-spirited 
for him, cast about for a quieter location and eventually 
selected "the unfrequented town of Melton," and he is 
said to have been the first man to take a house there. 
Nowadays it seems strange that a Leicestershire fox- 
hunter should have gone to Melton to find solitude ! 
Mr. Lambton, however, lived in what has been described 
as a style of great magnificence. He had a fine stud, 
and was most hospitable. 

It was not long before other famous sportsmen fol- 
lowed Mr. Ralph Lambton's example. Lords Forester 



MELTON MOWBRAY n 

and Delamere (then Messrs. Forester and Cholmondeley) 
and two or three others had for some time lived at 
Loughborough to hunt with Mr. Meynell ; they eventu- 
ally removed to Melton, took a house, where they were 
joined by Mr. Smythe Owen of Condover Hall, Shrop- 
shire, and that dwelling eventually became the Old Club, 
the members of which were restricted to four, that being 
the number of the best bedrooms. Soon after the estab- 
lishment of the Old Club, putting up horses for auction 
was a common proceeding after dinner. " Parties," writes 
" The Druid," in Scott and Sebright, "were often made on 
purpose, and after a couple of bottles of claret, business 
became quite brisk. Each owner had one reserve bid, 
and it was quite a sight the next morning to watch the 
different horses change stables, to the great bewilderment 
of the grooms. Several were very sweet on the Widow 
(the property of Captain White) the first day she came 
out, and ^400 was put under the candlestick. The 
captain's reserve bid was ^100 above that sum, and 
after the Billesdon Coplow day, Lord Middleton did 
not scruple to close further ! ! This 'putting up ' practice, 
however, soon died out." Later on, while still the club, 
this became the home of the four M's — Sir James Mus- 
grave and Messrs. Maher, Maxse, and Moore — who were 
included in these lines : — 

First the Old Club Men, a compact of four 
Sporting old Ladies, led on by John Moore ; 
Val Maher on Potash and Musgrave behind, 
On his Titus, so testy, comes panting for wind. 
But hark forward ! one hero is here to be found — 
The merry Jem Maxse ; and show me the pack 
That he cannot ride up to on old Cognac. 

Subsequently two younger clubs came into exist- 
ence. Lord Alvanley's old house, opposite the George, 
became the New Club, and Sir Harry Goodricke's Lord 
Rokeby's Club. Within comparatively recent years 



12 THE QUORN HUNT 

there was some talk about establishing a club on a larger 
scale, to accommodate those who did not care about the 
expense involved in hotels or a private establishment ; 
but so far as is known the project came to nothing. 

Lord Alvanley, mentioned just now, was quite one of 
the foremost of the Meltonians for a good many years, 
roughly speaking, from 1808 or thereabouts till well into 
the thirties. He was rather a character in his way, and 
wore, says Mr. Birch Reynardson, "the most monstrous 
pair of boots that perhaps ever were seen on any man's 
legs. At one time he wore ordinary top-boots ; but one 
day he appeared at the covert side in a pair of boots the 
upper extremities of which were like those worn by the 
Household cavalry, though the tops began in the usual 
place. A former Duke of Rutland injured one of his 
knees by a thorn piercing it, so he had one boot made 
in order to protect the injured limb. Lord Alvanley 
took the hint, and caused several pairs to be made to 
the pattern, as bullfinches were then common enough in 
Leicestershire. In some ways these boots were a grand 
invention ; but they had their drawbacks, as being open 
above the knee, dead wood and thorns would occasion- 
ally fall into them, work down to the calves, and then 
tickle his lordship no end." Lord Alvanley was one of 
the jokers of the hunt, but some of his jests do not 
appear always to have been in the best of taste. On 
one occasion he encountered at Brighton Lord Foley — 
not the Lord Foley who was master of the Quorn 
hounds, but a later holder of the title. Lord Foley was 
rather deformed and so went into society comparatively 
little, devoting himself, after he gave up racing, to his 
carriage-horses. Said Lord Alvanley to Lord Foley, 
"Hullo, how did you get here?" "I came straight 

from London," was the reply. " D it, then, you 

have warped a good deal on the way down," was Lord 
Alvanley's not very courteous retort. 



MELTON MOWBRAY 13 

Concerning the progress of Melton, " Nimrod," in an 
article contributed to Frascr s Magazine, wrote : — 

When I first visited Melton there was only one inn, and that 
a very bad one ; not one bank, and but few houses with which a 
well-breeched Meltonian would be satisfied. But what a change 
has taken place in these respects. There is nothing now wanting 
at Melton for any man's comforts, provided he has the means to 
pay for them ; and there are two hotels, the George and the Har- 
borough Arms, which equal in accommodation and comfort any 
that I have experience of. Some idea indeed may be formed of 
the style in which the Harborough is fitted up, by the fact that 
the very passages, upstairs and down, were entirely covered with 
carpet. 

What would " Nimrod " have said to the Grands 
and Metropoles of our own time ? 

When people began to flock to Melton, where houses 
were being built by degrees, they naturally brought a 
good deal of money into the place ; but this advantage 
was to a great extent counterbalanced by the rowdyism 
which went on, and the low practical jokes in which the 
visitors thought fit to indulge. Needless to say there 
was then no ladies' society in Melton, for men never 
dreamed of taking their women-folk there. Families 
resided in the neighbourhood, of course, and they hospi- 
tably invited to their table those visitors who were living 
en garfon ; but the visitors left the wives at home. Some 
of Lord Waterford's exploits are mentioned in connec- 
tion with Lord Stamford's mastership, but there were 
plenty of others ready to join him in any mad frolic in 
which he might indulge, while there were some who 
backed their collection of door-knockers, London and 
provincial, against that of even Lord Waterford. In the 
days of which one is speaking everything gave way to 
hunting. Long rides to covert and home again were 
the rule, and the hunting man of the period had little 
more time than to dress for dinner, dine, make his plans 



i 4 THE QUORN HUNT 

for the morrow, take forty winks and be off to bed, 
rising early in the morning in order to be present at 
some distant fixture. 

The Melton men always boasted that they set the 
fashion to the hunting world, and that when they increased 
or decreased the depth of the coat collar, the length or 
width of the skirts, or discarded tight breeches for looser 
garments, the provincials followed suit. Among other 
things, they claimed to have introduced the custom of 
dining in scarlet coats. 1 It is, we know, the case that 
in the Squire Western days men sat down to dinner in 
the red coats which they had worn during the morning ; 
but the red dress-coat may be distinctly traced to Melton, 
and it is on record that an eccentric Scottish laird, Jamie 
Johnstone, who hunted from Melton in the long ago, 
startled his friends by appearing at dinner, not only in a 
red coat, but in a pair of scarlet leggings as well, which 

1 How or why the scarlet coat first came to be used for hunting I have 
never been able to ascertain. Many years ago there was an article in one 
of the London magazines about red coats, and it was therein stated that 
Henry II. or III., I forget which, was so pleased with a fox-hunt that he 
ordained it should be a royal sport and that red should be the colour of the 
coat. This was obvious nonsense, because it is by no means clear that red 
had, at that time, anything to do with the royal livery. Among the ques- 
tions propounded by Tit Bits at a later year was one asking why scarlet 
came to be the recognised colour of the hunting-coat, and the answer in a 
following number was the same as that given above, viz , that it was due to 
the order of one of the Henrys. I therefore wrote to the editor asking for 
further information ; but none was forthcoming, the correspondent who 
answered the question having apparently been content to copy out what 
had been inserted in the magazine or what appeared in " The Noble Science" 
by Mr. Delme Radcliffe. At page 144 (fourth edition, Nimmo, 1893) tne 
author says : "The custom of wearing scarlet in fox-hunting is supposed to 
have had its origin in the circumstance of its being a royal sport, confirmed 
by the mandate of one King Henry, who organised and equipped, in the 
royal livery of scarlet, a corps for the destruction of foxes, not after the 
manner which we should recognise as legitimate in the present day. This 
is at least a plausible and, at all events, right royal way of accounting for a 
habit rather of martial than sylvan import, were it not otherwise sufficiently 
recommended by the cheerfulness which it imparts to the aspect of the 
field." Then I wrote to the editor of Notes and Queries, who courteously 
inserted my question as to the origin of the scarlet coat for hunting, but no 
reply was ever made, 



MELTON MOWBRAY 15 

caused one of his friends to remark that he supposed 
Jamie wore red gaiters so that he should not be taken 
for a blackleg. 

In due course, however, the spoliation of sign-boards, 
the tarring and feathering, the street brawls, all of which 
were, rightly or wrongly, laid to the account of the 
hunting visitors, gave way to a better state of things, 
and some time prior to 1850 Melton had become quite 
an exemplary place. Literary societies came into fashion, 
we are told ; ladies came to Melton, 1 and everything took 
an upward turn. Much of the credit for this state of 
things is said to have been due to the Lord Wilton of the 
time ; he who rode well up to the time of his death, when 
aged about eighty. Egerton Lodge had been bought 
from Lord Darlington, and after being altered and 
enlarged, became one of the finest hunting residences 
in the county, and there the juvenile members were 
accustomed to indulge in private theatricals, and give 
other entertainments. 

Melton, like other places, has moved with the 
times, and now every decorum reigns supreme, and 
the social life of this delightful and famous hunting 
centre is very much like what it is in other places, 
all residents and visitors appearing to enjoy them- 
selves. 

One little matter there was, however, which rather 
upset the proprieties of Melton in 1890 — the "midnight 
steeplechase." A mild affair was got up, but as the 
moon did not serve till about midnight, the start could 
not take place till then ; the jockeys, following the 
example of those who are supposed to have taken part 
in the mythical " first steeplechase on record," wore 
white garments ; the course was lit by lamps, and 
Melton was possibly rather lively at a later hour than 

1 The Duchess of Devonshire and numerous other ladies hunted with the 
Quorn in the time of Mr. Meynell. 



16 THE QUORN HUNT 

usual. A detailed description of the event is unnecessary, 
but the affair gave rise, on the following Sunday, to what 
are known as "pulpit utterances," the steeplechase being 
denounced in more than one place of worship in the 
town. The vicar took for his text, " Have no fellowship 
with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove 
them," and at the conclusion of his discourse he reminded 
his hearers that the Melton of 1890 was not the Melton 
of 1837, and that the town, while welcoming its visitors, 
did not want the scenes which had been common fifty- 
three years previously to be re-enacted. Enough, how- 
ever, of the midnight steeplechase, which, after all, was 
not hunting. 

Pour passer le temps on Sunday afternoons it had no 
doubt been the custom for some time for men to look 
over their friends' studs, but in the forties, if not 
before, "doing stables" on Sunday afternoon appears 
to have attained the dignity of a recognised function. 
Stables were made to look as trim as complicated plait- 
ing and pipe-claying could cause them to look, and 
horses, like so many men, had Sunday coats, that is to 
say, they had special suits to be worn during visiting 
hours while critics, skilled and unskilled, were passing 
remarks upon the merits of the horses in the different 
studs. The wealthy Mr. Lyne Stephens clothed his 
horses (on Sunday) in green sheets magnificently 
embroidered with gold ; but after a while this sort of 
thing struck most of the Meltonians as exceedingly 
absurd, and so the Sunday coat was given up almost 
before it was half worn out. As mentioned elsewhere, 
the stables of Mr. Lyne Stephens, like those of many 
other Meltonians, were fitted up in the very best style, 
though perhaps no Meltonian ever reached the standard 
attained by an eccentric Hertfordshire sportsman, who 
carried stable fittings up to the point of absurdity. The 
stall partitions were made of mahogany, and an elegant 



MELTON MOWBRAY 17 

lamp was suspended over each stall ; a round table was 
wheeled in after dinner, and to the stable the host, and 
any one he might have dining with him, used to retreat 
after dinner, and while sipping their wine would see the 
horses bedded up for the night. 

Every stranger who went on a visit to Melton was 
accustomed to come away full of admiration at the condi- 
tion and appearance of the horses he saw, though this 
was possibly nothing more than a natural sequence of 
the surroundings. In the first place, the horses were of 
the best ; the grooms were supposed to be of the true 
Mr. Tip-top type ; and the studs being large, no horse 
was overworked. Lord Plymouth had once six-and- 
twenty horses in his stable, and he bought another at 
500 guineas in case he might want it later on ; while 
from a dozen to twenty was no uncommon number ; but 
most of the Melton men of that day are said to have 
been ready to buy a likely horse whether they wanted 
one or not. Prom all accounts there was great rivalry 
among the helpers and stud-grooms as to the appearance 
of the horses, which must have been at any rate a good 
thing for the owners, as it necessarily saved them much 
fault-finding. The stud-groom of the period, however, 
was a bit of a tyrant. Sir James Musgrave had a 
very good, if somewhat jealous, head man, and it was 
Sir James's custom to have his horses summered at his 
country house, where he kept them until the eve of the 
hunting season, when they were sent to the Melton 
stables. A few weeks before they were sent to Leices- 
tershire the stud-groom, who had up to that time been 
feeding the horses on oats, told Sir James that the time 
had arrived when he must give them some beans as well. 
For some reason or other, Sir James Musgrave objected, 
whereupon the stud-groom told the baronet that he (the 
groom) must either buy beans out of his own pocket or 
else "decline his service." The groom carried his point, 

13 



18 THE QUORN HUNT 

and Sir James Musgrave's horses came out in their 
usual excellent condition. 

Every one who knows anything about hunting has 
heard of the larking home to Melton after a poor day, 
and Dick Christian has left it on record that he was 
often "the fox." On one occasion, after the hounds had 
met at Melton, a long tiring day ensued. Two foxes 
were certainly killed ; but they showed no sport. When 
the hounds were ordered home (this was in Sir Harry 
Goodricke's time), half-a-dozen men started to find their 
way home to Melton. Lord Gardner took the lead, and 
at one place came down a cropper, and lost his horse ; but 
instead of rushing off on foot and crying, " Catch my 
horse! pray catch my horse!" which Assheton Smith said 
was such low form, he simply waited for the next man, 
who chanced to be Lord Wilton. As soon as the latter 
had cleared the fence he pulled up, Lord Gardner jumped 
up behind him, and the pair went sailing away after the 
loose horse, which some one eventually caught. Lord 
Gardner then mounted his own hunter, and carried on 
the larking to Melton. 

This chapter may perhaps be fitly closed with a 
reproduction of the late Mr. Bromley Davenport's 
spirited verses. 



THE DREAM OF AN OLD MELTONIAN 



I am old, I am old, and my eyes are grown weaker, 

My beard is as white as the foam on the sea, 
Yet pass me the bottle, and fill me a beaker, 

A bright brimming toast in a bumper for me ! 
Back, back through long vistas of years I am wafted, 

But the glow at my heart's undiminished in force, 
Deep, deep in that heart has fond memory engrafted 

Those quick thirty minutes from Ranksboro' Gorse. 



MELTON MOWBRAY 19 



What is time ? the effluxion of life zoophitic 

In dreary pursuit of position or gain. 
What is life? the absorption of vapours mephitic, 

And the bursting of sunlight on senses and brain ! 
Such a life have I lived — though so speedily over, 

Condensing the joys of a century's course, 
From the find till we eat him near Woodwellhead Cover, 

In thirty bright minutes from Ranksboro' Gorse. 



in 

Last night in St. Stephen's so wearily sitting, 

(The member for Boreham sustained the debate), 
Some pitying spirit that round me was flitting 

Vouchsafed a sweet vision my pains to abate. 
The Mace, and the Speaker, and House disappearing, 

The leather-clad bench is a thoroughbred horse ; 
'Tis the whimpering cry of the foxhound I'm hearing, 

And my " seat " is a pig-skin at Ranksboro' Gorse. 



He's away ! I can hear the identical holloa ! 

I can feel my young thoroughbred strain down the ride, 
I can hear the dull thunder of hundreds that follow, 

I can see my old comrades in life by my side. 
Do I dream ? all around me I see the dead riding, 

And voices long silent re-echo with glee ; 
I can hear the far wail of the Master's vain chiding, 

As vain as the Norseman's reproof to the sea. 



Vain indeed ! for the bitches are racing before us — 

Not a nose to the earth — not a stern in the air ; 
And we know by the notes of that modified chorus 

How straight we must ride if we wish to be there ! 
With a crash o'er the turnpike, and onward I'm sailing, 

Released from the throes of the blundering mass, 
Which dispersed right and left as I topped the high railing 

And shape my own course o'er the billowy grass. 



2o THE QUORN HUNT 



VI 

Select is the circle in which I am moving, 

Yet open and free the admission to all ; 
Still, still more select is that company proving, 

Weeded out by the funker and thinned by the fall 
Yet here all are equals — no class legislation, 

No privilege hinders, no family pride : 
In the "image of war" show the pluck of the nation 

Ride, ancient patrician ! democracy, ride ! 



VII 

Oh ! gently, my young one ; the fence we are nearing 

Is leaning towards us — 'tis hairy and black, 
The binders are strong, and necessitate clearing, 

Or the wide ditch beyond will find room for your back. 
Well saved ! we are over ! now far down the pastures 

Of Ashwell the willows betoken the line 
Of the dull-flowing stream of historic disasters ; 

We must face, my bold young one, the dread Whissendine ! 



VIII 

No shallow-dug pan with a hurdle to screen it, 

That cock- tail imposture the steeplechase brook ; 
But the steep broken banks tell us plain, if we mean it, 

The less we shall like it the longer we look. 
Then steady, my young one, my place I've selected, 

Above the dwarf willow 'tis sound I'll be bail, 
With your muscular quarters beneath you collected, 

Prepare for a rush like the "limited mail." 



Oh ! now let me know the full worth of your breeding, 

Brave son of Belzoni, be true to your sires, 
Sustain old traditions — remember you're leading 

The cream of the cream in the shire of the shires ! 
With a quick shortened stride as the distance you measure, 

With a crack of the nostril and cock of the ear, 
And a rocketing bound, and we're over, my treasure, 

Twice nine feet of water, and landed all clear ! 



MELTON MOWBRAY 21 



What ! four of us only ? are these the survivors 

Of all that rode gaily from Ranksboro's ridge ? 
I hear the faint splash of a few hardy divers, 

The rest are in hopeless research of a bridge ; 
Vce virtis! the way of the world and the winners ! 

Do we ne'er ride away from a friend in distress ? 
Alas ! we are anti-Samaritan sinners, 

And streaming past Stapleford, onward we press. 



XI 

Ah ! don't they mean mischief, the merciless ladies ? 

What fox can escape such implacable foes ? 
Of the sex cruel slaughter for ever the trade is, 

Whether human or animal — Yonder he goes ! 
Never more for the woodland ! his purpose has failed him, 

Though to gain the old shelter he gallantly tries ; 
In vain the last double, for Jezebel's nailed him ; 

Whoo-Whoop ! in the open the veteran dies ! 



XII 

Yes, four of us only ! but is it a vision ? 

Dear lost ones, how come ye with mortals to mix ? 
Methought that ye hunted the pastures Elysian, 

And between us there rolled the unjumpable Styx ! 
Stay, stay but a moment ! the grass fields are fading, 

And heavy obscurity palsies my brain ; 
Through what country, what ploughs and what sloughs am I 
wading ? 

Alas ! 'tis the member for Boreham aerain ! 



XIII 

Oh glory of youth ! consolation of age ! 

Sublimest of ecstasies under the sun ! 
Though the veteran may linger too long on the stage, 

Yet he'll drink a last toast to a fox-hunting run. 
And oh ! young descendants of ancient top-sawyers ! 

By your lives to the world their example enforce ; 
Whether landlords, or parsons, or statesmen, or lawyers, 

Ride straight, as they rode it from Ranksboro' Gorse. 



22 



THE QUORN HUNT 



Though a rough-riding world may bespatter your breeches, 

Though sorrow may cross you, or slander revile, 
Though you plunge overhead in misfortune's blind ditches, 

Shun the gap of deception, the hand-gate of guile : 
Oh, avoid them ! for there, see the crowd is contending, 

Ignoble the object — ill-mannered the throng ; 
Shun the miry lane, falsehood, with turns never ending, 

Ride straight for truth's timber, no matter how strong. 

xv 

I'll pound you safe over ! sit steady and quiet ; 

Along the sound headland of honesty steer ; 
Beware of false holloas and juvenile riot, 

Though the oxer of duty be wide, never fear ! 
And when the run's over of earthly existence, 

And you get safe to ground, you will feel no remorse, 
If you ride it — no matter what line or what distance — 

As straight as your fathers from Ranksboro' Gorse. 




THE QUORN KENNELS 23 



THE QUORN KENNELS 

IT is something like a hundred and fifty years since 
Mr. Meynell began to hunt the famed Ouorn 
country, and now after so many years, after the rule of 
so many masters, and so many fresh sites, the Quorn 
kennels are just in the place which Mr. Meynell selected 
as soon as he had fairly settled into harness. When he 
lived at Langton Hall with "Prince" Boothby, quite 
early in his career, Mr. Meynell kept his hounds at 
Bowden Inn, on the Pytchley side of his country. 
Ouorndon Hall he afterwards bought from Lord Ferrers, 
about the year 1754, and the kennels there are, as 
subsequent events have shown, the best that could be 
chosen. Mr. Meynell doubtless had his eye on Charn- 
wood Forest, then far more open than it is now, as a 
fine schooling-ground for hounds, and a grand area for 
spring and autumn hunting. It must be remembered that 
Mr. Meynell's country reached from near Nottingham to 
Market Harborough, and embraced a good deal of the 
present Atherstone Hunt. It is clear, therefore, that from 
no one base could all the fixtures have been reached. 

The Bowden Inn kennels having once been found 
convenient, were kept on for occasional use after Ouorn- 
don Hall became the headquarters of the pack. In the 
time of the " Primate of the Science," too, other kennels 
are mentioned. The hounds sometimes went to Brad- 
gate Park ; but that was then Lord Stamford's place, so 
when Mr. Meynell quartered on him, it was most pro- 
bably as a guest for some particular fixture. Bradley, 
too, is mentioned in connection with the Ravensdale side 



2 4 THE QUORN HUNT 

of the country, and from all these and, at times, other 
places being visited by the hounds, has no doubt been 
suggested the idea that it was one of Mr. Meynell's 
fancies that his hounds should never have more than a 
few miles to go to covert on a hunting day, and that he 
always sent them by road twenty-four hours in advance. 
Whether Mr. Meynell did so, or whether, like the earlier 
Dukes of Beaufort and other masters of older time, he went 
for a week or two at a stretch to some outlying district, 
I am not able to say, for there is to be found no evidence 
one way or the other : the one fact remains that several 
kennels were utilised during Mr. Meynell's mastership. 

Quornclon Hall, from the time of the Ouorn's first 
master, came to be regarded as a sort of official residence 
until Lord Southampton's advent, since Lords Sefton 
and Foley, Mr. Assheton Smith, Mr. Osbaldeston, and 
Sir Bellingham Graham bought the place as they bought 
the hunt stock and fixtures. Lord Southampton, follow- 
ing the example of his predecessors, took up his abode 
at Quorndon in 1827 ; but left it for Belgrave Hall, near 
Leicester, in 1829 or 1830, while at the same time he 
built new kennels in Humberstone Gate, Leicester. But 
these do not appear to have been very well arranged or 
convenient premises, and were speedily vacated by Sir 
Harry Goodricke (the next in succession), who, regarding 
Thrussington as more central than either Leicester or 
Quorndon, put up new kennels there. Sir Harry's pre- 
mature death, however, necessitated the choice of another 
master, and in 1838, when the Thrussington kennels were 
scarcely seven years old, they were advertised for sale 
and were pulled down not long afterwards. Another 
master who did not fancy the Quorndon kennels was 
Lord Suffield, who signalised the beginning of his brief 
reign by building new kennels at Billesdon : 1 but they 

1 The design for these kennels is said to have been furnished by Mr. 
Thomas (not Assheton) Smith, sometime master of the Hambledon, Craven, 
and Pytchley hounds. In describing the new kennels, a writer of the time 



THE QUORN KENNELS 25 

were occupied for one season only, for Mr. Hodgson 
went back to the old place, but had a second kennel at 
Oadby for the sake of convenience in hunting the Market 
Harborough side. In Mr. Hodgson's day, in fact down 
to Sir Richard Sutton's time, it will be remembered that 
what is now Mr. Fernie's country was hunted by the 
Ouorn, so that now Market Harborough is not in the 
latter country at all, but is situate where Mr. Fernie's 
and the Pytchley join. 

Since Mr. Sutton took the Billesdon or South Quorn 
country from his father, the Ouorn kennels are more 
central than they used to be, and so are more eligible 
than ever, and though of most unpretending exterior, 
are convenient and exceedingly healthy. 

The following untechnical description of the Ouorn 
kennels, taken from a book called " Music and Friends," 
by William Gardiner, and published in 1838, is perhaps 
too curious to be left out. Speaking of Colonel Cheney, 
of Gadsby, the author writes : 

Near the colonel's estate are the dog-kennels of the Melton 
Hunt, a college for rearing and educating foxhounds. It is com- 
posed of several buildings occupying some acres ; the principal 
apartment is the dinner hall, the whole being filled with separate 
troughs, at each of which four dogs feed at the same time. The 
larder is a spacious place, in which the joints of six or seven 
horses are hung up every week ; the whole is eaten raw, and the 
gourmand taste of these animals is such that they will not touch 
it unless it has been seasonably kept, which the insupportable 
stench that surrounds the place fully proves. In the kitchen are 
conveniences for cooking 1 vegetable diet, of which oatmeal forms 



remarked "that with the due regard to economy which guided all Lord 
Sumeld's proceedings, there is a weighing-machine in front of the stables, so 
that the Leicestershire farmers could not possibly impose upon his Lordship 
by delivering short weight in corn, straw, or hay." On this matter, however, 
see pp. 178 and 179. 

1 Some new boilers by Messrs. Barford & Perkins of Peterborough 
(Mr. Barford, well known in connection with the Peterborough show, died 
in June 1898) have been substituted for the old blue coppers previously 
in use. 



26 THE QUORN HUNT 

the principal part. The litter-houses comprise numerous berths 
for the mothers, where the puppies are kept until they are ad- 
mitted into the junior college. In this building are lodged the 
young dogs from eight to twelve months old. The play-ground 
is a large court in front, neatly flagged and always clean. A 
similar one is on the western side for the older dogs. Nothing 
can surpass the regularity and orderly behaviour of these intelli- 
gent creatures at the dinner-hour; on the ringing of the bell, the 
dogs in the courtyard wait patiently until they are called by fours, 
when Ponto, Jowler, Music, and Trinket leave the crowd and go 
to their stated troughs. Other parties follow, dine, retire, and 
make way for the remaining sets. The kennelman cracked a 
long whip two or three times before he introduced the colonel 
and myself into the junior court. On entering I was surrounded 
by a score of playful whelps, who all pressed forward to be 
caressed. We then passed into the court of the grown-up 
gentry, and I followed with very different feelings. These 
gaunt fellows came round me with a more savage look, smelling 
my person in such numbers that I scarcely could proceed. 
The huntsman, seeing me somewhat alarmed, called out to two 
or three of the dogs to make way, and said, " Come on, sir, 
don't be afraid." I was glad when I was by the side of him and 
his long whip, but should not have been so easy had I known 
that a kennelman, who had got up in the night to appease a 
quarrel and had not taken the precaution to put on his clothes, 
had been devoured by the dogs in consequence of not being 
recognised by them. They picked his bones. 

How many versions there are of this story, and of 
how many kennels it is told, it would be difficult to say : 
but the moral perhaps is that the incident never occurred 
at all — at any rate let us hope so. 

No new kennels have been built since Lord Suffield's 
time. The Marquis of Hastings, it is true, kept some 
of his hounds at Donington during his short reign 
(1866-68) ; but with that exception, and save for sundry 
alterations and repairs, the Ouorn kennels stand very 
much as Mr. Meynell left them. The lodging-rooms 
have cupola roofs covered with the old Swithland slate, 
which is now almost unobtainable. 



THE QUORN HOUNDS 27 



THE QUORN HOUNDS 

IN attempting to sketch an outline history of the 
Ouorn, the foxhound problem confronts one directly. 
It is, for instance, quite impossible to discover the 
source whence Mr. Boothby obtained his original pack 
of hounds, which he must have started about the year 
1697. At that time there were very few regular fox- 
hunting establishments, and it could not then have been 
an easy matter to make up a scratch pack with drafts 
from various kennels. This is not the place in which 
to indulge in theories concerninor the evolution of the 
foxhound, which I take leave to regard as just such 
another composite animal as is the blood horse. 

As these pages will show, the Ouorn Hunt has a 
history of something like two hundred years ; but, 
except in an indirect sense, the present occupants of 
the kennel have no such long lineage, because, since the 
youthful Mr. Boothby first began to hunt the country, 
packs have been dispersed time after time, and it is 
only through chance strains, if any such exist, that the 
present Ouorn hounds can have any relationship with 
Mr. Meynell's famous pack. 

The pack of which Mr. Boothby was possessed was 
taken over, so far as one can discover, by Mr. Meynell 
in 1753, and that great master of hunting, by judicious 
breeding, no doubt improved them very much ; and they 
in turn were sold to Lord Sefton, who added to them 
his hounds with which, from Combe Abbey, he had 
been hunting a part of Oxfordshire. It is reasonable 



28 THE QUORN HUNT 

to assume that Mr. Meynell's hounds were crossed with 
those of Lord Sefton ; but we have it on the authority 
of " The Druid " that Mr. John Warde would never 
send to Mr. Meynell's kennel for new blood. He by 
some means obtained a couple of Mr. Meynell's cast- 
offs, named them Oueer'em and Quornite, and used to 
show them to his friends as the "sort of things the 
Ouorn people hunt foxes with." At any rate, whatever 
the Ouorn pack was like in 1805, when Lord Sefton gave 
up the country after a five years' reign, so it passed 
into the hands of Lord Foley, his successor, who held 
the country for a single season only, and by that time, 
by whose fault one cannot tell, the pack had very much 
deteriorated, and were dispersed, not being good enough 
for his successor, Mr Assheton Smith, to take to. Mr. 
Musters gave up the Nottinghamshire country in 1806, 
when Mr. Smith took the Quorn, so the latter gave the 
former a thousand guineas for his hounds ; he obtained 
some from Belvoir and other kennels, and began his 
eleven years' mastership. On his resignation he took 
his hounds and horses into Lincolnshire, and Mr. Osbal- 
deston, on becoming the next master of the Quorn, 
brought his own ready-made pack from the Atherstone 
country. Sir Bellingham Graham had to find some of 
his own hounds though he bought a few from his pre- 
decessor, who took the rest away when he went into 
Hampshire, and brought them back in a couple of 
years when he returned to Ouorn, and then after a 
few years' rule he took away the pick of the pack to 
succeed Mr. Musters in the Pytchley country. 

Mr. Osbaldeston left a few old and blemished hounds, 
and they were not even sound. To these Lord South- 
ampton added some from Mr. Nicholls, who then hunted 
the New Forest, but they were mostly suffering from 
kennel lameness ; a few came from Mr. Musters, and a 
few from Belvoir. The next step was to sell or make 



THE QUORN HOUNDS 29 

away with most of this rubbish and buy the Oakley, Lord 
Tavistock having just given up the country ; and after 
a time he sold these to Mr. Russell of Warwickshire, 
and bought in their stead Lord Petres' Essex Union 
hounds, adding to them the pack of Mr. Shaw. 

After Mr. Errington's resignation in 1838, Lord 
Chesterfield bought his hounds to take into the Pytchley 
country, and Lord Suffield, who comes next on the list, 
bought the Lambton hounds for three thousand guineas, 
and after a year sold them for one third of that sum ; so 
Mr. Hodgson brought with him to the Ouorn country 
the hounds with which he had been hunting the Holder- 
ness country, and on his resignation in 1841 they were 
sold, Lord Ducie taking the bitch pack at a thousand 
guineas. Mr. Greene was the buyer of some of the 
lots, but when Sir Richard Sutton succeeded Mr. Greene 
in 1 847 he brought his own pack from the Cottesmore, 
which necessitated Mr. Greene's hounds being dispersed. 
About a month after Sir Richard Sutton's death his 
hounds were sold at Tattersall's, seventy couples realis- 
ing 1 82 1 guineas, by no means a large price when it is 
remembered that their deceased owner had given the 
utmost attention to them ever since he first took the 
Burton country in 1824. They had been bred with the 
utmost care, and amongst the buyers were Lord Stam- 
ford, who succeeded Sir Richard Sutton, Mr. Richard 
Sutton, Mr. Drake, Mr. Morrell, Mr. Collier, and the 
committee of the Cheshire Hunt. Lord Stamford 
taking the lots he had purchased at Sir Richard 
Sutton's sale as a nucleus, added thereto the hounds 
with which Mr. Shaw-Hellier, a breeder of great ex- 
perience, had been hunting the Southwold country, which 
he resigned in 1855 ; while he also bought the Bedale 
hounds from Mr. Mark Milbank, the Duke of Cleve- 
land's son-in-law, who gave up the country in the same 
year in which Mr. Shaw-Hellier retired from Lincoln- 



30 THE QUORN HUNT 

shire. Several couples were also obtained from other 
good kennels, so that Lord Stamford found himself in 
possession of a really good lot of hounds, and on his 
resignation he sold the pack to his successor, Mr. 
Clowes, who after a three years' rule retired and offered 
his kennel for sale. To the surprise of all, it was dis- 
covered that the Marquis of Hastings had purchased 
about half the pack, and he after two years of failure 
held a sale, the fourth within thirteen years. Mr. 
Musters, who came from South Notts in succession to 
the marquis, brought his own hounds with him into 
Leicestershire, and took them home again after an 
attempt at a partnership with Mr. Coupland had failed ; 
so the latter gentleman, having to cast about for a pack, 
selected the Craven, which were then in the market, 
owing to the resignation of Mr. G. S. Willes. And these 
hounds, although they were subsequently more than 
decimated by dumb madness, are the ancestors of the 
present pack, which have done so well at Peterborough 
and in the field ; and, in the interests of an historic hunt, 
it is to be hoped that the day is far distant when any 
future master of the Quorn may have to get together 
a scratch pack, a strait to which former masters have 
been reduced. Such a contingency, however, is scarcely 
possible, as some years ago Lord Wilton, Mr. Behrens, 
and the Duke of Portland (who for some seasons hunted 
from Melton) purchased the Ouorn hounds, so as to 
secure them to the country. On the death of Lord 
Wilton his share was purchased by the Hon. Montague 
Curzon, of Beaumanor. The Duke of Portland, on 
giving up hunting in Leicestershire, liberally presented 
his third share to the hunt, while the members thereof 
purchased the one-third share of Mr. Behrens's executors 
when that gentleman died, so that at the present time 
two out of the three shares belong to the hunt. 

Considerations of space preclude any detailed history 



THE QUORN HOUNDS 



3i 



of the breeding of the pack, but mention must be made 
of Alfred and Watchman, who came in a Belvoir draft ; 
and so, too, did Contest, who brought in some of the 
Berkeley blood. Since that time the Quorn have bred 
their own hounds. The best bitches have been sent to 
some of the most noted stallion hounds in England, 
while at the present time (August 1898) the kennel 
has some excellent sires of its own ; but Warwickshire 
Hermit and other stallion hounds have been utilised. 







CHAPTER II 

MR. THOMAS BOOTHBY 
MR. MEYNELL (1753-1800) 



33 



CHAPTER II 
MR. THOMAS BOOTHBY 

IT is now a good many years ago since a brilliant 
horseman, who annually betook himself to Melton 
Mowbray, defined an ideal hunting country as one which 
should contain no covert which hounds could not draw 
thoroughly in twenty minutes, and whose surface should 
show no hill long enough, or steep enough, to blow a 
horse in good condition. To these not inconsiderable 
advantages the sportsman might have added the entire 
absence of plough, of any fence which the best com- 
bination of man and horse could not surmount, and, as 
a matter of course, that no wire, barbed or otherwise, 
should lurk in unsuspected places. 

If Leicestershire cannot entirely comply with all these 
requirements, it remains, at any rate, the acknowledged 
headquarters of fox-hunting, while its physical character- 
istics have attracted the unbounded admiration of suc- 
cessive generations of fox-hunters for at least a century. 
" Nimrod " began his Leicestershire hunting tour with 
the words that Leicestershire "may justly be deno- 
minated the Montpelier of hunting countries ; in the 
eyes of a sportsman it is a Vale of Cashmere, and in 
comparison with it all others retire longo intervallo." 
"Nimrod" perhaps acts the part of fugleman in prais- 
ing Leicestershire, and from that day to this to take 
up a pen to write about Leicestershire has been to laud 
it. Its rich soil is favourable for holding a scent, its 

o 

35 



$6 THE QUORN HUNT 

wide enclosures, its few large coverts, and the famous 
men who have been connected with it, are among the 
reasons of its celebrity and popularity. It is elsewhere 
mentioned that, in olden days, Leicestershire was not 
the stiffly fenced country it now is, and the Rev. J. 
Curtis, who wrote a history of Leicestershire, remarked, 
when speaking of hunting, that the fences offered no 
danger, "being chiefly quicksets," not the most insig- 
nificant obstacles to-day. 

Hunting, however, was evidently known to Leicester 
men prior to the time of Mr. Boothby, for Throsley, 
in his " History of Leicester," makes mention of an 
" innocent holiday " which had been dying out since 
1707, and which must therefore have been in full swing 
years before. On Easter Monday it seems to have 
been the custom for the Mayor and Corporation, clad 
in their robes, to go to a certain close near the town 
to see a travesty of hunting. A kind of gymkhana 
took place in the morning, and then about noon the 
aniseeded carcass of a dead cat was fastened by a string 
to a horse's tail and dragged over the ground "in zigzag 
directions." Half-an-hour later the hounds were laid 
on, and "gave tongue in glorious concert," the people 
on the hills shouted, and "the horsemen, dashing after 
the hounds through foul passages and over fences, were 
emulous of taking the lead over their fellows." A regular 
cockney business truly, and worthy to rank with the 
Epping Hunt on Easter Monday when Colonel Thornton 
was Master of the Ceremonies, but in the eyes of the 
historian " it was a scene, upon the whole, of joy, the 
governing and the governed in the habits of freedom 
enjoying together an innocent and recreative amuse- 
ment, serving to unite them in the bonds of friendship 
rather than embitter their days with discord and dis- 
union." This is praise for the drag, indeed; but as the 
cat was eventually dragged through the principal streets 



MR. THOMAS BOOTHBY 37 

to the Mayor's door, that functionary was expected to 
entertain all comers. 

The Quorn country, with which alone I am con- 
cerned, came into notoriety all at once owing to the 
skill and measure of success which attended the forty- 
seven years' mastership of the famous Hugo Meynell, 
of Bradley, Derbyshire, who has been called the " Pri- 
mate of the Science." He had, indeed, a predecessor, 
for Mr. Thomas Boothby was master of a pack of fox- 
hounds in Leicestershire for fifty-five years ; but of the 
sport enjoyed during this long period we know less than 
we know of any single day at the present time. It is, 
however, improbable in the extreme that the sportsmen 
who lived before Mr. Boothby were unappreciative of 
the merits of this, the par excellence hunting ground, 
though at that time popular appreciation may have run 
more in favour of Charnwood Forest than of the open 
country. Charnwood Forest was a royal preserve as 
long ago as the time of William the Conqueror, who 
being a keen sportsman, as the term was then under- 
stood — that is to say, an intensely selfish one — forbade 
the peasants to feed their pigs within its boundaries ; 
and this is about the first historical fact we hear of in 
connection with it. The monks of Alverscroft Priory 
kept hawks and an establishment of hounds up to the 
year 1539, when the Priory was surrendered to Henry 
VIII., at which time its glades are said to have sheltered 
the wild red deer. The "Cowering hills of Charnwood," 
wrote another chronicler, " once so famous in olden 
times, when the renowned Earls of Leicester, Winches- 
ter, and Bogham, and other great people, with their 
high-born dames and numerous retinues, made those 
hills and vales resound to the music of horn and hound, 
which attract the villagers to this all-exhilarating sport." 
Quorndon Abbey was not far from Charnwood, and its 
monks once laid serious complaint against one John 



38 THE QUORN HUNT 

Comyns "for that he did once kill a hundred wild hogs 
in the Forest of Charnwood," that being, it was alleged, 
considerably in excess of the number he was entitled to 
slay. This was one of the earliest hunting disputes on 
record, and after the matter had been made the subject 
of a trial, the sporting rights over Charnwood Forest 
were divided. 

Charnwood, however, kept up its reputation for 
sport, and in this wise does Drayton speak of the forest 
and its surroundings — 

Oh Charnwood ! be thou called the choicest of thy kind, 
The like in any place what flood hath hapt to find ? 
No tract in all this isle, the proudest let her be, 
Can show a sylvan nymph for beauty like to thee ; 
The Satyrs and the Fauns, by Dian set to keep 
Rough hills and forest holts were sadly seen to weep, 
When thy high palmed harts, the sport of boors and hounds, 
By gripple borderers' hands were banished thy grounds. 

In the year 1805, the year in which Mr. Meynell 
died, the Act of Enclosure was passed. 

Such was the Quorn Hunt of antiquity. The harts 
and hogs no doubt found plenty of sport for successive 
generations of boors and others, and in due time, we 
may take it, the marten, cat, and the fox came to be 
pursued ; but we have no definite information concern- 
ing Leicestershire fox-hunting until we find Mr. Thomas 
Boothby at the head of an establishment at the latter 
end of the seventeenth century. The date at which this 
gentleman was born, hunted, and died would probably 
have not been generally known were it not for the fact 
that in the Field for the 6th of November 1875, there 
appeared an engraving of Squire Boothby's hunting-horn 
— a perfectly straight horn. The sketch was sent to the 
paper by Mr. Reginald Corbet, of Adderley, Master of 
the South Cheshire Hounds. The lower portion of the 
horn is of silver, and the upper part towards the mouth- 



MR. THOMAS BOOTHBY 39 

piece is of some greenish material, and the whole instru- 
ment must be about eighteen inches long. This old 
horn bears the inscription : "Thomas Boothby, Esquire, 
of Tooley Park, Leicestershire. With this horn he 
hunted the first pack of foxhounds then in England 
fifty- five years. Born 1677; died I 75 2 - Now the pro- 
perty of Thomas D'Avenant, Esquire, County of Salop, 
his grandson." If, by the way, Mr. Boothby himself 
hunted his hounds, there is at once a contradiction of 
the statement that Assheton Smith was the first amateur 
huntsman in Leicestershire. 

Since the engraving of the horn first appeared, it has 
sometimes been thought that " the first pack of fox- 
hounds then in England " meant the first pack ever 
started ; but this we know cannot be the meaning in- 
tended, as one or two hunts, the Charlton (afterwards 
the Goodwood) were in existence before Mr. Boothby 
could have kept hounds. As he died in 1752 and hunted 
his country for fifty-five years, he must, assuming that 
he kept hounds until the day of his death, have taken 
the country in 1697, when he was no more than twenty 
years of age. Tooley Park, Mr. Boothby's residence, is 
now in the Atherstone country, not far from the fixture 
Peckleton, in which place the name of Boothby is still 
respected, and it is said (in a letter from the Honour- 
able and Reverend Augustus Byron, printed in Mrs. 
Chaworth Muster's " Hunting Songs and Sport ") that 
the old M.F.H. gave to the parish a peal of bells, which 
were so tuned " as to resemble the cry of a pack of 
hounds." How to accomplish this would, nowadays, 
probably puzzle the most skilful campanologist. In the 
same communication the writer states that Mr. Boothby 
is credited with having altered the pattern of the hunt- 
ing-horn, instituting a straight instrument for that seen 
in old pictures, and slung round the body. In the year 
1885 there was an interesting correspondence in /Votes 



4 o THE QUORN HUNT 

and Queries on the subject of hunting-horns. Some of 
the contributors thereto were of opinion that in olden 
times huntsmen of foxhound packs wore the French 
horn slung round the body. Various reasons are put 
forth in favour of the French horn, but none of them 
are anything like conclusive. Prior to the fourth Duke 
of Richmond givinc- his foxhounds to the Prince of 
Wales in or about the year 1813, the French horn was 
unquestionably used by the huntsman of the royal pack ; 
but on the hunt being remodelled, and whippers-in 
being substituted for the old yeomen prickers, a horn of 
the present pattern — one slightly curved, and carried, 
not in a case like the straight horn used with foxhounds, 
but slung over the shoulder with a strap — was adopted. 
One of the contributors to the discussion sought to 
uphold the French horn by quoting a line from an old 
hunting song- — 

And the huntsman winds his horn. 

The expression "winds," he thought, "seems to con- 
vey some idea of curvature." Thereupon ensued an 
argument as to the meaning and pronunciation of 
the word " winds." It surely, so far from suggesting 
"curvature," means simply that the huntsman blew it ; 
and the story is related of Dr. Johnson, when asked to 
decide whether it should be wind or wind, having made 
reply, " I cannot find it in my mind to call it wind ; 
but I can find it in my mind to call it wind." 

As already mentioned, of the details of Mr. Boothby's 
establishment we know nothing. It may be assumed, 
however, that in the course of fifty-five years the game 
was found to be worth the candle, or the hounds would 
have been given up. Tooley Park, according to Nicholl's 
" History of Leicestershire," was purchased by Judith, 
Lady Corbett. Mr. Boothby, our M.F.H., was the son 
of Lady Corbett by her first husband, and at Tooley 



MR. THOMAS BOOTHBY 41 

Park they lived from about the year 1 64S. The Boothby 
family would appear to have been more or less addicted 
to racing, for under date 1st November 1672, five 
years before Mr. Thomas Boothby was born, is the 
entry in Isham's diary: 1 "Nov. 1672. — We heard that 
Mr. Bainbridge had won ^5 at Harleston Races on 
the race between Mr. Hanbury and Mr. Boothby, 
and Saunders won ^3. They also said that Boothby 
challenged Hanbury to run him for ^100." Mr. 
Boothby the master of hounds married a Miss Scrim- 
shire or Scrymshire, a lady possessed of a considerable 
amount of property, and took her name in addition to 
his own. His son, who predeceased him, had a son, 
and daughter, Anne. The latter married, as his second 
wife, Mr. Hugo Meynell, who succeeded Mr. Boothby 
in the mastership of the hounds. The Gentleman s 
Magazine for August 1752 records Mr. Boothby's death 
in these words : " Thomas Boothby, of Tooley Park, 
Esquire, Leicestershire, one of the greatest sportsmen 
in Enoland." 

The Boothbys were a very old family, and Mrs. 
Boothby, an elegant woman, was likewise sprung from 
an ancient stock, for Mr. J. Cradock, jun., in his 
" Literary and Miscellaneous Memoirs," published in 
1828, wrote that, before he went to the jubilee of 
George III., Mrs. Boothby, of Tooley Park, requested 
him to obtain any information as to " her family of the 
Cloptons who were connected with Shakespeare." This 
Mrs. Boothby was a lady not only of commanding 
presence, but of much celebrity during the later years 
of George II. and the beginning of the reign of George 
III., and at that time, as Lord Denbigh declared, she 
" disposed of more preferment in the county of Leicester 
amongst her friends than any other person whatever." 

Fielding, the novelist, was closely connected with 

1 " History of Newmarket," by J. P. Hore, vol. iii. p. 126. 



42 THE QUORN HUNT 

the Boothbys, and it was always supposed that more 
than one character in "Tom Jones" was drawn from 
the Tooley Park district, while Mrs. Boothby is said 
to have been the original of Sophia Western. 

On another page it is stated that Mr. Meynell 
married a grand-daughter of Mr. Boothby's, that lady 
being sister to " Prince " Boothby, as Mr. Boothby's 
grandson was called, on account of his reputed love for 
the society of great people, and his grand way of doing 
things. He appears to have hunted to a certain extent, 
and lived with Mr. Meynell at Langton Hall ; but never 
became famous in the hunting-field. He was, as a 
chronicler described him, " a very respectable gentle- 
man," among whose particular friends were the Duke 
of Rutland, Lords Carlisle and Derby, and Charles James 
Fox. He was somewhat eccentric in his dress ; but 
his distinguishing feature was his hat, as he declined 
to go with the ever-changing fashion, and clung to the 
same shape for twenty years. With respect to his 
weakness for the society of great people, it was said 
of him that he would at any moment leave the com- 
pany of a companion to walk with one of higher de- 
gree. He had chambers in Clarges Street, Piccadilly, 
and there, after breakfasting off cold tea, and riding his 
hack in the Park, he blew out his brains with a great 
horse-pistol because, in his own words, he was " tired 
of the bore of dressing and undressing-." 



MR. MEYNELL 4 3 



MR. MEYNELL 

i753- 1800 

HOWEVER good a sportsman Mr. Boothby may 
have been, he was, at any rate in popular esti- 
mation, distanced by the glories of his successor, Mr. 
Hugo Meynell. Though said to have been descended 
from a family of long standing in Leicestershire and 
Derbyshire, Mr. Meynell at the time he took the 
Quorn country in 1753 owned not an acre of land 
in the county, though he very soon left Langton Hall 
and bought from Laurence, Earl Ferrers, Ouorndon 
Hall, whither he removed the hounds (previously kept 
at Bowden Inn), and Ouorndon Hall has since that 
time been the residence of several masters of the Quorn. 
Temporary kennels appear to have been erected at 
first, but those now in use were built certainly not later 
than 1758. Being born in June 1735 (this is doubtful, 
see post, p. 66), Mr. Meynell could have been but 
eighteen years of age when he first undertook the 
arduous task of hunting the wide-stretching Quorn 
country ; and one of his first acts after becoming 
M.F.H. was to make a cock-fighting match against 
Sir Charles Sedley, to fight twice a year, for five years, 
at Ashbourne and Nottingham alternately. The stakes 
were ten guineas a battle, and 500 guineas the odd 
battle. Sir Charles Sedley was to be assisted by all 
Mr. Neal's cocks, and Mr. Meynell was to have as 
many of Sir Lynch Cotton's birds as he required. 

Mr. Meynell was no Squire Western. He was quite 



44 THE QUORN HUNT 

a society man ; a very good musician, and quite a fair 
violinist. On the 22nd February 1760, while Laurence 
Earl Ferrers was lying under sentence of death for the 
murder of his steward, Mr. Meynell joined in readily 
with the local festivities. The master and the members 
of the hunt gave a ball, to which they invited the 
residents of the neighbourhood, as well as the officers 
of the Suffolk Militia, which regiment happened to be 
quartered in Leicester. The ball was opened at seven 
o'clock in the old Guildhall, when the supper, consist- 
ing of one hundred and sixty dishes, supplied by the 
landlord of the Cranes Inn, appears to have been all 
that could be desired, and " two hundred persons of 
distinction" refreshed exhausted nature. What time the 
company broke up after "meeting" at seven is not 
stated. 

Mr. Meynell and his friends also patronised theat- 
ricals, for so long ago as 1760 Messrs. Darrawan's 
Company performed at Leicester, by special desire of 
the Hunt, the comedy of " Love for Love," while on 
the following evening the " Beggars' Opera " and a 
harlequin entertainment were given, the latter being 
especially applauded. On several subsequent occa- 
sions, too, travelling companies were in request at 
the Leicester theatre, and in 1776 the "Suspicious 
Husband," by the late ingenious Dr. B. Hoadley, "was 
played by request"; the after-piece was "The Deuce 
is in Him," and a day or two afterwards "Macbeth" 
made up the programme. 

Mr. Meynell was High Sheriff for Derbyshire in 
1758, and between the years 1761 and 1778 he had sat 
in Parliament as representing in succession Lichfield, 
Lymington, and Stafford. The Gentleman s Magazine 1 
says that from 1770 to 1772 Mr. Meynell was Master 
of the Royal Buckhounds, a statement I have seen 

1 Vol. Ixxxviii. (1808), p. 1 1 34. 



MR. MEYNELL 45 

made in no other place. 1 Moreover, it is in the highest 
degree improbable that he could have combined the 
two masterships, while we have nowhere the slightest 
hint that he ever suspended his own hunt or found a 
substitute for the years during which he is said to have 
ruled the buckhounds. 

Before Mr. Meynell came of age, that is to say in 
1754 (one year after taking the country), he married as 
his first wife Miss Anne Gell of Hopton Hall, Derby- 
shire, 2 by whom he had one son, Godfrey ; and she 
dying there in 1757, he next married Anne, daughter 
of Mr. Thomas Boothby Scrimshire or Scrymshire, of 
Tooley Park, this lady being grand-daughter of Mr. 
Thomas Boothby, his predecessor in the Ouorn country, 
and sister of " Prince " Boothby, who lived with Mr. 
Meynell at Langton Hall when he first took the hounds. 
By his second wife Mr. Meynell had two sons, Hugo, 
born in 1759, and Charles, born in 1768. 

The situation of Ouorndon Hall no doubt first 
attracted Mr. Meynell's attention, since it is near 
Charnwood Forest, a place not loved by the Leicester- 
shire fox-hunter of to-day, but which must have appeared 
quite a paradise in Mr. Meynell's eyes as a schooling 
ground for his younger hounds ; moreover, his country 
extended nearly from Nottingham to Harborough. 
According to the anonymous author of " Memoirs of 
the Belvoir Hounds," Mr. Meynell had some dispute 
about country boundaries ; so a very business-like docu- 
ment was drawn up between Mr. Noel of the Cottes- 
more and himself, and the affair was settled without 
difficulty. At page 10 of the book, which was published 



1 If Mr. Meynell ever did hold this office it appears strange that nothing 
should have been known of it ; but it is a coincidence that Mr. J. P. Hore, 
who compiled a list of masters from authentic sources, is unable to say with 
certainty who was master between 1770 and 1772. 

2 Now the residence of Mr. Chandos Pole Gell. 



46 THE QUORN HUNT 

in 1867, a copy of the agreement is set out, but it is 
unnecessary to reproduce it here. 

Of the details of Mr. Meynell's early hunting estab- 
lishment and exploits we know but little. From 1791, 
however, to 1800 we have a tolerably good record of the 
sport enjoyed, since Joseph Jones, known as "Cork-legged 
Jones," from his having, like the first Marquis of Angle- 
sey, a cork leg, kept a diary which was published in the 
year 18 16. The book was dedicated to the Duke of 
Rutland. When Mr. Meynell first began to hunt the 
country he used to take out an enormous number of 
hounds ; but experience soon taught him that an un- 
wieldy pack was more plague than profit in the field, so 
he by degrees cut down the number until during his last 
five-and-twenty years of mastership he is said never to 
have taken out more than twenty couples, and often 
fewer than that. To some of the runs of which we have 
record no dates are given, but when the close of the 
eighteenth century was within measurable distance it 
was said that Mr. Meynell's hounds "had more good 
runs than any pack in England," a statement which is 
partly borne out by Jones's diary. Mr. Hawkes, the 
author of a very scarce treatise called the " Meynellian 
Science " (which gives an account of Mr. Meynell's 
theories and practice), refers to two runs which fell to 
the lot of Mr. Meynell's pack. One lasted for an hour 
and twenty minutes, when, without having once checked, 
hounds rolled over their fox by themselves. The 
second run lasted for two hours and fifty minutes ; 
hounds were never once cast, and they killed their fox 
unaided. In November 1794, but whether earlier or 
later than the runs above mentioned is uncertain, a 
superlative day's sport was enjoyed in the shape of a 
run of an hour and fifty minutes without a check. 
They found in Ashby pastures, and after an hour they 
changed on to the line of a fresh fox. It was not "an 



MR. MEYNELL 47 

endways run," as the account says, and the only four 
who really rode all through were Messrs. Cholmondeley, 
Forester, Morant, and Sir Harry Featherstonhaugh. 
The huntsman and three or four others who had "skirted 
with judgment " came up just after the fox was killed, 
but the rest of a large field were quite left behind. 

When Mr. Meynell first hunted the Ouorn country 
he had but two subscribers, Lord R. Cavendish and Mr. 
Boothby, to help him ; but as time rolled on subscrip- 
tions were asked for and were obtained. In Mr. Mey- 
nell's early days, however, fox-hunters would appear to 
have been a power in the land, for when Dr. Ford, vicar 
of Melton (author of "The Melton Hunt in 1813," see 
pp. 96 and 97), was preaching a charity sermon, several 
well-known hunting men came late into church, where- 
upon the learned doctor 1 paused to say, "Here the 
red-coats come, they know their Christian duties ; there 
is not a man among them but what is good for a guinea." 

In his own mode of managing a subscription pack, 
Mr. Meynell was from all accounts one by himself. A 
chronicler of the time says of him, " He had to humour 
as well as to contend with a race of as dashing young- 
men in Harvey Aston, Charles Wyndham, &c, as could 
be found, who were continually racing against each other 
and before his hounds ; but by the force of his laughter 
and the pleasantry of his observations upon them they 
were called to order and acknowledged their error." 
On two of his field one day riding in front of his hounds, 
he made the remark that his hounds were following- the 
gentlemen who had kindly gone forward to see what the 
fox was about. Indeed, the Quorn field appears at times 
to have been extremely unruly, for on one occasion, when 
one of the greatest thrusters of the hunt was asked 
whether he had taken the head in a certain run, he calmly 
replied, "No, I was only second; but I was a field and 

1 A T otes and Queries, vol. ii. p. 252. 



48 THE QUORN HUNT 

a half in front of the hounds." According to all accounts 
Mr. Childe, of Kinlet, first set the example of hard 
riding in Leicestershire, 1 one of his favourite mounts 
being either a pure or half-bred arab ; and Mr. Meynell 
declared that after Cecil Forester and Lord Jersey 
followed Mr. Childe's example of going at a " splitter- 
cockation pace " he never had a moment's peace. When 
describing- what went on in the hunting-field he used to 
say, " First out of covert comes Cecil Forester, then 
the fox, and lastly my hounds." Mr. Meynell's fol- 
lowers, too, appear to have gone the pace, for a writer 
of the last century (1797) declared that the Quorndon 
Hunt with its mad collaterals had ruined a great many, 
and by the general extravagance had nearly compassed 
its own destruction. 

To hark back for a moment to Quorndon Hall, there 
are two old books, " Sketch of a Tourist into Derbyshire 
and Yorkshire," by William Bray, published in 1783, 
and " Select Views in Leicestershire," by J. Throsby 
(1789). Both these publications state in effect that Mr. 
Meynell, at one period, turned Quorndon Hall into a 
sort of private hotel. Mr. Bray says : — 

The hounds are kept by subscription ; but that gentleman 
(Mr. Meynell) permits his servant to accommodate as many of 
his friends as his house will hold with apartments, where they are 
furnished with dinner and all provisions as at any public place. 
Many of those who attend the hunt and cannot get apartments in 
the house, and ai-e strangers, come to the inns, and a great many 
hunters are kept here. The company on a field day is very 
numerous, and they go out with as much ceremony as to court, 
their hair being always dressed. 



1 Mr. Childe may have introduced hard riding into Leicestershire ; but 
long before Mr. Meynell had the Quorn country people rode hard else- 
where, as we have an account of the Duke of Devonshire riding down 
Leven Down, in Sussex, with the Charlton Hunt, and leaping a five-barred 
eate when he reached the foot of the hill. 



MR. MEYNELL 49 

The meaning of the passage concerning the apart- 
ments, dinner, and other provisions is somewhat obscure, 
but it surely cannot mean that the master of the Quorn 
took any payment ; while, although Mr. Meynell was a 
tolerably wealthy man, his purse could hardly have stood 
the strain of keeping absolutely open house for nearly 
half a century at a stretch ! 

In the matter of hound-breeding, Mr. Meynell's idea 
as to a hound's shape did not materially differ from those 
of the Peterborough judges. Straight legs, good bone, 
and compact feet he set great store by, and what more 
can modern masters want, especially as the great master 
of the last century insisted upon good backs and 
shoulders ; but he was equally exacting with respect 
to nose and stamina. Mr. Meynell had a famous old 
hound, Rattler by name, and when he was past work 
he had the run of the place ; but the kitchen and the 
servants' hall were his favourite resorts. Rattler used to 
play about with several dogs in a field near the house ; 
but no sooner did the bell ring for the servants' dinner 
than he immediately left his companions and bolted off 
for the servants' hall. 

What we should now consider eccentricities were 
indulged in by Mr. Meynell. For example, he entered 
his hounds at hare, and if the hounds had to be cast in 
the field after the huntsman had had one try, it was in 
three lots in different directions, the master taking one 
batch himself, the huntsman a second, and the whipper- 
in a third. Still, whatever we may think of these matters, 
the pack showed such excellent sport that many notabili- 
ties were attracted to Leicestershire, and many hunters 
were stabled in various parts of the county. In 1795, for 
instance, Major-General St. Leger kept ten horses to 
hunt with Mr. Meynell, and Sir Henry Featherston- 
haugh "daily aired thirty hunters in body clothing." 

As a horseman Mr. Meynell appears to have been 

D 



5 o THE QUORN HUNT 

amongst the best of his time ; he mounted himself and 
his man in the first style, and hunters were by no means 
cheap even then, for we read of a farmer selling one for 
four hundred guineas ! The author of a by no means bad 
account of " A Day with Old Meynell " relates how, after 
hounds had been running for three-quarters of an hour, 
all those of the field who were up with the pack were led 
by a pilot to a certain gateway by which alone exit from 
that particular enclosure was to be obtained. Imagine 
their disgust on discovering that the gate having been 
broken down, probably in the course of some other run, 
its place was supplied by a set of stout oak rails of the 
noli me tangere stamp. The field was looking out for 
Shufflers Bottom, when up came Mr. Meynell on his 
favourite grey, well cleared the forbidding rails in his 
stride, and left his field in the lurch. "Nimrod," too, 
gives the old Squire a testimonial for his riding abilities, 
for when he was out with the Ouorn during the time that 
Lord Sefton had the hounds, he says that Mr. Meynell 
rode a burst of half-an-hour in grand style, and with all 
the enjoyment of a young man. Yet this was when Mr. 
Meynell was getting on for seventy years of age ; but, 
added Mr. Apperley, "he was always a hard rider." In 
the time of Mr. Boothby and Mr. Meynell, however, and 
for a good many years after that, Leicestershire was not 
the difficult country to cross it now is ; for there were far 
fewer fences. An old sportsman has left it on record that 
in Mr. Meynell's earlier days a great deal of Leicester- 
shire was so deep as almost to deserve the appellation 
" boggy " ; but it carried a good scent, and a horse which 
could stand up for twenty minutes when hounds really 
ran was held to have distinguished himself. Before, 
however, Mr. Meynell bade the world adieu, draining 
had begun to improve the country from a riding point of 
view. According to " Nimrod," Lord Forester used to 
declare that there was a time when he could sit on his 



MR. MEYNELL 51 

horse at Melton spinney, cast his eyes around him from 
that commanding spot, and fail to discern a single ploughed 
field. The Meltonian of to-day, however, may be some- 
what surprised at reading, on the strength of the same 
authority — 

The War prices, however — wheat at a guinea a bushel, and 
other grain in proportion — altered the face of Leicestershire. A 
considerable part of the fine old green sward was turned up, and 
even now (1835) much of it remains under plough. 

Who Mr. Meynell's first huntsman was we have 
no means of knowing, but the first of whom we hear 
anything is John Raven, who possibly went to Mr. 
Meynell in 1775, as in the Leicester J otirnal for the 
4th of November 1775 appears an advertisement to the 
effect that a huntsman was required for the Leicester- 
shire hounds : applicants were to apply to the printer 
of the paper. John Raven is reputed to have been a 
man whose power over hounds was something remark- 
able ; but some of these old stories must be accepted 
with caution. It is stated, for instance, that on one 
occasion Mr. Meynell's hounds ran a fox into a rather 
small gorse, in which there was a danger of his being 
chopped. Thereupon the pack were stopped with a 
wave of the hand, and drawn out of covert. A couple 
of old hounds were then set to play the part of tufters, 
and the fox was eventually forced to take to the open ; 
but although the pack saw him go away, not a single 
hound stirred until the signal was given, when they at 
once hit off the line and eventually killed their fox. 
Early in this chapter mention was made of Joseph 
Jones (the author of the Diary), Mr. Meynell's whipper- 
in. This worthy appears to have been something after 
the stamp of Tom Moody, and it is related that in the 
mornings following his festive nights there used to be 



52 THE QUORN HUNT 

great searches after his cork leg, which he used to take 
off at odd times and leave anywhere. 

Although Mr. Meynell bought Ouorndon very soon 
after he took the hounds, he seems to have hunted from 
Langton Hall for a portion of each season, for there are 
several notifications to the effect that the pack would 
not leave until a certain date; in 1786 hounds did not 
start for Quorn until the middle of November. 

Mr. Meynell's popularity was very great, yet some 
extraordinary rumours were abroad at times. Once it 
was reported that Mr. Meynell, his hounds, and his 
followers were about to desert Leicestershire altogether. 
That was in 1778, and then the Leicester Journal 
was authorised to state that such was not the case ; 
but the hounds would be in Leicestershire during the 
months of October, November, December, and January 
in every year, though where they cub-hunted in Sep- 
tember, and hunted after January, is not stated. Then 
another story was that the Hunt was to be discontinued 
after the season 1787-88, in consequence of the subscrip- 
tion thereto expiring, and that a few coverts only would 
be kept for Mr. Meynell, junior. This rumour was 
promptly contradicted ; but it was admitted that the tide 
of fashion had turned towards Belvoir, and that many 
of those who had previously followed "the Primate of 
the Science " had determined to throw in their lot with 
Sir Carnaby Haggerstone, who was then carrying on 
the Hunt. 

It is not generally known that Mr. Meynell inte- 
rested himself greatly in the subject of rabies in dogs and 
hounds, and communicated to a physician the result of 
his experience, and it is worthy of note that Mr. Meynell 
declared that rabies could not be given by one dog to 
another otherwise than by a bite. This truism is only 
mentioned by way of showing that Mr. Meynell knew 
quite well what he was talking about, as since his time 



MR. MEYNELL s3 

many persons have believed that dogs can become mad 
— just as a human being may contract a cold — without 
any reasonable cause or explanation. The whole docu- 
ment, though some of it may possibly be out of date 
now, shows that Mr. Meynell had thoroughly studied his 
subject, and was a man of keen observation in kennel. 

Mr. Thursby, the writer of " Excursions into Leices- 
tershire," after remarking that Ouorndon Hall had been 
the occasional residence of princes of the blood royal of 
France and of many of the first nobility in England, 
from which we may assume that they were Mr. Meynell's 
guests, relates that in 1786 the Duke of York accom- 
panied the Ouorn hounds to Thorpe Langton, where 
they found a fox, which they lost after running him 
through Welham, Slawson, Stokerston, and Beaumont 
Chase. There was of course an enormous concourse 
of spectators to see the duke, whose affability greatly 
pleased the multitude. On a subsequent occasion the 
Prince of Wales's horses were sent to Market Har- 
borough, as he intended hunting with Mr. Meynell, but 
other business detaining him, he was unable to go to 
Leicestershire, to the disappointment of the county at 
large. 

This, however, was not the first occasion on which 
Royalty hunted with Mr. Meynell. One Sunday night, 
about Christmas-time, 1 766, the Duke of York sent an 
express to Mr. Cradock to tell him that he intended 
hunting next day in the neighbourhood of Gumley — 
presumably Mr. Meynell had announced his intention 
of meeting in that district. Accordingly, the Duke 
appeared at the covert side on the Monday, and seems 
to have enjoyed himself. 

It has been already mentioned that when Meynell 
first began to hunt the Ouorn country he had but two 
subscribers, but in 1783 it is said he had five suppor- 
ters who contributed a thousand guineas each ; but the 



54 THE QUORN HUNT 

names of four only are mentioned — the Duke of Bed- 
ford, Sir Harry Featherstonhaugh, Lord Maynard, and 
Lord Robert Spencer. This statement, one would 
imagine, must be received with some caution, for, con- 
sidering that upwards of four hundred horses were, it is 
said, brought into the neighbourhood to hunt with Mr. 
Meynell, it seems rather strange that five men should 
be willing to provide sport for so many : moreover, if 
five thousand guineas were forthcoming from five men, 
Mr. Meynell's contribution — no small one — must be 
added, the total making a sum out of all proportion to 
the requirements of the day, even if we admit that " the 
establishment of this hunt is upon an infinitely larger 
scale, and a much more expensive footing, than any 
other in this country." 

In this same year (1783) the Prince of Wales de- 
clared his intention of hunting with Mr. Meynell, but 
he does not appear to have carried out his intention. 
Three years later he declared he would go to Leicester- 
shire as soon as the frost broke, and his horses set 
out on their journey to Leicestershire, but the frost 
coming on again they returned to Windsor. 

By the time that the Duke of York paid his last visit 
to Leicestershire Mr. Meynell was near the end of his 
tether, and about 1797 or 1798, he, though retaining 
the position of master, entrusted to his son the actual 
management of the pack in the field. Still, it was while 
Mr. Meynell was nominally master of the Quorn that 
the famous Billesdon Coplow run took place, on Mon- 
day the 24th February 1800, and this famous gallop has 
been lauded in verse by the Rev. Mr. Lowth, the son of 
Bishop Lowth, and by many writers in prose. No com- 
plete version, however, of Mr. Lowth's poem has ever 
been published, as the author thought that in its original 
form it would be too long. 

The story of the description of the Billesdon Coplow 



MR. MEYNELL 55 

run is as follows : Mr. Lowth being- on a visit to a 
friend living near Melton, was offered by his host a 
mount on a young thoroughbred horse which, so far as 
the owner knew, had never seen hounds. Mr. Lowth 
rode the horse to the place of meeting, but had no idea 
of riding him through a run. On the day after this 
famous hunt some one suggested at dinner that the run 
was worthy of being commemorated in verse, and as Mr. 
Lowth was known to wield a ready pen, he was asked to 
give his own ideas of the gallop. Mr. Lowth, who was a 
stranger to Leicestershire (he lived in the H. H. country), 
had of course no prejudice to affect him. He went to 
his room with his head full of the stories he had heard ; 
he sat down, and, before he turned in, had turned out a 
poem which has remained famous from that day to this. 

I give here the usual version, to which are appended 
the extra stanzas, a few lines in the usual edition being 
given to show where the excised lines come in : — 

POEM ON THE FAMOUS BILLESDEN 
COPLOW RUN 

Quaque ipse miserrima vidi, 
Et quorum pars magna fut. 

With the wind at north-east, forbiddingly keen, 
The Coplow of Billesden ne'er witnessed, I ween, 
Two hundred such horses and men at a burst, 
All determined to ride — each resolved to be first. 
But to get a good start over-eager and jealous, 
Two-thirds, at the least, of these very fine fellows 
So crowded, and hustled, and jostled, and crossed, 
That they rode the wrong way, and at starting were lost. 
In spite of th' unpromising state of the weather, 
Away broke the fox, and the hounds close together. 
A burst up to Tilton so brilliantly ran, 
Was scarce ever seen in the mem'ry of man. 
What hounds guided scent, or which led the way, 
Your bard — to their names quite a stranger — can't say ; 
Though their names had he known, he's free to confess, 
His horse could not show him at such a death-pace. 



56 THE QUORN HUNT 

Villiers, Cholmondeley, and Forester made such sharp play, 

Not omitting Germaine, never seen till to-day : 

Had you judged of these four by the trim of their pace, 

At Bibury you'd thought they'd been riding a race. 

But these hounds with a scent, how they dash and they fling, 

To o'er-ride them is quite the impossible thing ; 

Disdaining to hang in the wood, through he raced, 

And the open for Skeffington gallantly faced ; 

Where headed and foiled, his first point he forsook, 

And merrily led them a dance o'er the brook. 

Passed Galby and Norton, Great Stretton and Small, 

Right onward still sweeping to old Stretton Hall ; 

Where two minutes' check served to show at one ken 

The extent of the havoc 'mongst horses and men. 

Such sighing, such sobbing, such trotting, such walking ; 

Such reeling, such halting, of fences such baulking ; 

Such a smoke in the gaps, such comparing of notes ; 

Such quizzing each other's daubed breeches and coats : 

Here a man walked afoot who his horse had half killed, 

There you met with a steed who his rider had spilled : 

In short, such dilemmas, such scrapes, such distress, 

One fox ne'er occasioned, the knowing confess. 

But, alas ! the dilemmas had scarcely began, 

On for Wigston and Ayleston he resolute ran, 

Where a few of the stoutest now slackened and panted, 

And many were seen irretrievably planted. 

The high road to Leicester the scoundrel then crossed, 

As Tell-tale 1 and Beaufremont- found to their cost ; 

And Villiers esteemed it a serious bore, 

That no longer could Shuttlecock 3 fly as before ; 

Even Joe Miller's 4 spirit of fun was so broke, 

That he ceased to consider the run as a joke. 

Then streaming away, o'er the river he splashed, — 

Germaine close at hand, off the bank Melon 5 dashed. 

Why so stout proved the Dun, in a scamper so wild ? 

Till now he had only been rode by a Child. 1 '' 

After him plunged Joe Miller with Musters so slim, 

Who twice sank, and nearly paid dear for his whim, 

Not reflecting that all water Melons must swim. 

Well soused by their dip, on they brushed o'er the bottom, 

With liquor on board, enough to besot 'em. 



Mr. Forester's horse. 2 Mr. Maddock's horse. 

Lord Villiers's horse. 4 Mr. Musters's horse. 

Mr. Germaine's horse. fi Formerly Mr. Child's. 



MR. MEYNELL 57 

But the villain no longer at all at a loss, 

Stretched away like a d 1 for Enderby Gorse : 

Where meeting with many a brother and cousin, 

Who knew how to dance a good hay in the furzen ; 

Jack Raven l at length coming up on a hack, 

That a farmer had lent him, whipped off the game pack. 

Running sulky, old Loadstone 2 the stream would not swim, 

No longer sport proving a magnet to him. 

Of mistakes and mishaps, and what each man befell, 

Would the muse could with justice poetical tell ! 

Bob Grosvenor on Plush 3 — though determined to ride — 

Lost at first a good start, and was soon set aside ; 

Though he charged hill and dale, not to lose this rare chase, 

On velvet, Plush could not get a footing, alas ! 

To Tilton sailed bravely Sir Wheeler O'Cuff, 

Where neglecting, through hurry, to keep a good luff, 

To leeward he drifts — how provoking a case ! 

And was forced, though reluctant, to give up the chase. 

As making his way to the pack's not his forte, 

Sir Lawley, 4 as usual, lost half of the sport. 

But then the professed philosophical creed, 

That "all's for the best," — of Master Candide, 

If not comfort Sir R., reconcile may at least ; 

For, with this supposition, his sport is the best. 

Orby Hunter, who seemed to be hunting his fate, 
Got falls, to the tune of not fewer than eight. 
Basan's king, 5 upon Glimpse,' 1 sadly out of condition, 
Pulled up, to avoid of being tired the suspicion. 
Og did right so to yield ; for he very soon found, 
His worst had he done, he'd have scarce glimpsed a hound. 
Charles Meynell, who lay very well with the hounds, 
Till of Stretton he nearly arrived at the bounds, 
Now discovered that Waggoner " rather would creep, 
Than exert his great prowess in taking a leap ; 
But when crossing the turnpike, he read gg?T " Put on here," 
'Twas enough to make any one bluster and swear. 
The Waggoner feeling familiar the road, 
Was resolved not to quit it ; so stock still he stood. 



1 The name of the huntsman. - The huntsman's horse. 

3 Mr. Robert Grosvenor's horse. 

4 Sir Robert Lawley, called Sir Lawley in the Melton dialect. 

6 Mr. Oglander, familiarly called Og. 6 Mr. Oglander's horse. 

7 Mr. C. Meynell's horse. 



THE QUORN HUNT 

Yet prithee, dear Charles ! why rash vows will you make, 

Thy leave of old Billesden 1 to finally take? 

Since from Legg's Hill,' 2 for instance, or perhaps Melton Spinney, 

If they go a good pace, you are beat for a guinea ! 

'Tis money, they say, makes the mare to go kind ; 

The proverb has vouched for this time out of mind ; 

But though of this truth you admit the full force, 

It may not hold so good of every horse. 

If it did, Ellis Charles need not bustle and hug, 

By name, not by nature, his favourite Slug. 3 

Yet Slug as he is — the whole of this chase 

Charles ne'er could have seen, had he gone a snail's pace. 

Old Gradus, 4 whose fretting and fuming at first 

Disqualify strangely for such a tight burst, 

Ere to Tilton arrived, ceased to pull and to crave, 

And though freshis/i at Stretton, he stepped a pas grave ! 

Where, in turning him over a cramp kind of place, 

He overturned George, whom he threw on his face ; 

And on foot to walk home it had sure been his fate, 

But that soon he was caught, and tied up to a gate. 

Near Wigston occurred a most singular joke, 
Captain Miller averred that his leg he had broke, — 
And bemoaned, in most piteous expressions, how hard, 
By so cruel a fracture, to have his sport marred. 
In quizzing his friends he felt little remorse 
To finesse the complete doing up of his horse. 
Had he told a long story of losing a shoe, 
Or of laming his horse, he very well knew 
That the Leicestershire creed out this truism worms, 
" Lost shoes and dead beat are synonymous terms." 
So a horse must here learn, whatever he does, 
To die game — as at Tyburn — and " die in his shoes." 
Bethel Cox, and Tom Smith, Messieurs Bennett and Hawke, 
Their nags all contrived to reduce to a walk. 
Maynard's Lord, who detests competition and strife, 
As well in the chase as in social life, 
Than whom nobody harder has rode in his time, 
But to crane here and there now thinks it no crime, 
That he beat some crack riders most fairly may crow, 
For he lived to the end, though he scarcely knows how. 



1 He had threatened never to follow the hounds again from Billesden, on 
account of his weight. 2 A different part of the hunt. 

3 Mr. Charles Ellis's horse. 4 Mr. George Ellis's horse. 



MR. MEYNELL 59 

With snaffle and martingale held in the rear, 
His horse's mouth open half up to his ear ; 
Mr. Wardle, who threatened great things overnight, 1 
Beyond Stretton was left in most terrible plight. 
Too lean to be pressed, yet egged on by compulsion, 
No wonder his nag tumbled into convulsion. 
Ah ! had he but lost a fore shoe, or fell lame, 
'Twould only his sport have curtailed, not his fame. 
Loraine, 2 — than whom no one his game plays more safe, 
Who the last to the first prefers seeing by half, — 
What with nicking 3 and keeping a constant look-out, 
Every turn of the scent surely turned to account. 
The wonderful pluck of his horse surprised some, 
But he knew they were making point blank for his home. 
"Short home" to be brought we all should desire, 
Could we manage the trick like the Enderby 4 squire. 

Wild Shelley, 5 at starting all ears and all eyes, 
Who to get a good start all experiment tries, 
Yet contrived it so ill, as to throw out poor Gipsy, 6 
Whom he rattled along as if he'd been tipsy, 
To catch them again ; but, though famous for speed, 
She never could touch 7 them, much less get a lead, 
So disheartened, disjointed, and beat, home he swings, 
Not much unlike a fiddler hung upon strings. 

An H. H. 8 who in Leicestershire never had been, 
So of course such a tickler ne'er could have seen, 
Just to see them throw off, on a raw horse was mounted, 
Who a hound had ne'er seen, nor a fence had confronted. 
But they found in such style, and went off at such score, 
That he could not resist the attempt to see more : 
So with scrambling, and dashing, and one rattling fall, 
He saw all the fun, up to Stretton's white Hall. 
There they anchored, in plight not a little distressing — 
The horse being raw, he of course got a dressing. 
That wonderful mare of Vanneck's, who till now 
By no chance ever tired, was taken in tow : 



1 Said to have threatened that he would beat the whole field. 

2 Mr. Loraine Smith. 3 A term of reproach. 
4 Where Mr. Loraine Smith lives. 5 Usually very grave. 

6 Sir John Shelley's mare. 7 Melton dialect for "overtake." 

8 These initials may serve either for Hampshire hog or Hampshire Hunt. 



60 THE QUORN HUNT 

And what's worse, she gave Van such a devilish jog 

In the face with her head, plunging out of a bog, 

That with eye black as ink, or as Edward's famed Prince, 

Half blind has he been, and quite deaf ever since. 

But let that not mortify thee, Shacabac ; 1 

She only was blown, and came home a rare hack. 

There Craven too stopped, whose misfortune, not fault, 
His mare unaccountably vexed with string-halt ; 
And when she had ceased thus spasmodic to prance, 
Her mouth 'gan to twitch with St. Vitus's dance. 
But how shall described be the fate of Rose Price, 
Whose fav'rite white gelding conveyed him so nice 
Through thick and through thin, that he vowed and protested 2 
No money should part them, as long as life lasted ? 
But the pace that effected which money could not : 
For to part, and in death, was their no distant lot. 
In a fatal blind ditch Carlo Khan's 3 powers failed, 
Where nor lancet nor laudanum either availed. 
More care of a horse than he took, could take no man ; 
He'd more straw than would serve any lying-in woman. 
Still he died ! — yet just how, as nobody knows, 
It may truly be said, he died "under the Rose." 
At the death of poor Khan, Melton feels such remorse, 
That they've christened that ditch, "The Vale of White Horse." 

Thus ended a chase, which for distance and speed 
Its fellow we never have heard of or read. 
Every species of ground ev'ry horse does not suit, 
What's a good country hunter may here prove a brute ; 
And, unless for all sorts of strange fences prepared, 
A man and his horse are sure to be scared. 
This variety gives constant life to the chase ; 
But as Forester says — " Sir, what kills, is the pace." 
In most other countries they boast of their breed, 
For carrying, at times, such a beautiful head ; 
But these hounds to carry a head cannot fail, 
And constantly too, for, — by George, — there's no tail. 
Talk of horses, and hounds, and the system of kennel, 
Give me Leicestershire nags, and the hounds of Old Meynell ! 



1 A name taken from Blue Beard, and given to Mr. Vanneck by his 
Melton friends. 

2 At the covert side a large sum was offered for it. 

3 Mr. Price's horse. 



MR. MEYNELL 61 



Extra Stanzas 

But these hounds with a scent, how they dash and they fling ; 

To o'er-ride them is quite the impossible thing. 

At starting, descending that desperate vale, 

'Stead of skirting the hill, to fall could not fail. 

E'en regaining with Loadstone and Raven that hill, 

Was enough many country good horses to kill. 

Arrived at the top, and fast gulping for breath 

To avoid the mad staggers, or perhaps sudden death, 

To fall in with the hill nags when we could scarce creep, 

As they poured from around the amphitheatre's sweep, 

Slap-dash, seeming cloud-dropped, at three quarters speed, 

None of us could then compass e'en those thoroughbred ; 

Or from stage scenes behind, being all in the secret, 

By the trap-door from Coplow to Tilton to migrate. 

A rencounter so sudden, it put me in mind 

Of a flight of young pigeons, when right 'fore the wind, 

Or the whiz of an arrow shot out of a bow ; 

Now by them and their pace to be taken in tow 

Were enough to have shook stouter nerves than were mine, 

And disordered for ever the stout Palatine. 1 

While we sloped and were ploughing much deeper than hoof 

On the hill every Pegasus kept them aloof; 

Had they all been with us in the valley beneath 

They avoided so wise as the valley of death — 

With the hounds their ascension, I shrewdly suspect 

Would have proved most remarkably choice and select ; 

If many, indeed, perhaps famed on the flat 

Had not ended their sport there, or haply though late, 

They had managed to reach the steep height, their dim eye 

Might have viewed, not the hounds, but their fate only nigh. 

A few there were who had ridden the line yard for 
yard with the hounds, and when they reached Tilton 
with their horses in a lather and pretty well blown, 
they must have been rather angry at finding so many 
of the field cantering up with their horses not at all 
distressed, since they had come by the road. At tin's 
stage, however, the victory of the point rider and skirter 

1 The horse on which Mr. Lowth was mounted. 



62 THE QUORN HUNT 

would appear to have come to an end, for the fox, in- 
stead of making what was supposed to be his original 
point — over Tilton Hill — was headed and turned short to 
the right, facing the open country towards Skeffington. 
At this point both thrusters and skirters were together, 
and the struggle for supremacy began. The line lay 
over a splendid line, for Mr. Lowth in one of his un- 
published notes says — 

But one field we rode that was not laid in grass. The fox, 
on leaving Skeffington, took a line bearing still more to the right 
by Gadby, but, unwilling to face the wind, gave up his original 
point and turned south, and then going west, ran down wind to 
Enderby. 

In this part of the run it was that Mr. Lowth de- 
scribed in the original MS. his "one rattling fall" : — 

As the pace, now old Marplot or Magic maintain, 

So now Villiers, now Forester, Cholmondeley, Germaine, 

Take the lead in their turn 'mong the Nimrods, as each 

By speed, by quick eye, and by nerve the pack reach. 

On these guides any stranger may safely depend 

If he's duly prepared to meet his last end. 

Not on things on the earth is concentred their love, 

Their affections are set upon things far above. 

Even Herschel himself, with much wonder would stare 

To see these bright meteors skim through the air, 

So Villiers, who during the speediest course, 

Ever picks with decision choice ground for his horse ; 

A stranger, who marked how direct was his line 

To him straight determined his faith to confine ; 

But scarce had resolved on this laudable plan 

Ere the musical pack with such eagerness ran 

Down a seeming small gulley, which spreading, was seen 

To become a wide track two steep hills between. 

About midway this chine, as the fleet pack divide, 

We hoped that the scent would have lain on our side, 

When, as ill-luck would have it (could fortune do worse ?) 

The scent soon turned out to be just the reverse. 

My guide thus thrown out, down the precipice swept, 

Charged the rail and the brook, through the sedge as it crept. 



MR. MEYNELL 63 

Close behind poor Pilgarlic ' in charging the same 
Cleared the rail and the gulf, but alas ! headlong came 
Horse and all, for the novice unpractised to land, 
From want of Exertion, was sadly trepanned ; 
Though to make as amends for this trifling faux pas 
(A completer capsize no man living e'er saw) 
On the brow of the hill, where the grass lay but thin, 
A most opportune half- minute's check let us in. 
Let that poet be therefore no longer believed 
Who averred that "one false step can ne'er be retrieved." 
Yet, had he been pressed, 2 perhaps again he'd have come, 
Since he gallantly faced two-and-twenty miles home. 
How he met with fair play, there's no reason to doubt. 
But the whole of this trimmer he'd fairly seen out ; 
For to covert being fanned, as a hackney apace, 
He directly supplied, too, a hunter's hard place. 

This horse Palatine must have been an exceedingly 
good one ; but though raw and unfit, as was supposed, he 
must have been kept in some condition by being hacked 
about. Blood will tell, they say, and it was so in this 
case ; moreover, he was ridden by a superlative feather- 
weight horseman. 

About a couple of hundred started from the Coplow, 
on their second horses, of course, for the first horses 
had been sent home before the Coplow fox was found 
at two o'clock. This fox ran about twenty-eight miles, 
and eventually beat both hounds and horses. 

On giving up actual management of the hounds Mr. 
Meynell built himself a cottage near the kennels, with a 
passage running into them from his house ; and in 1800 
he sold his hounds and Quorndon Hall to Lord Sefton, 
who succeeded him, and for five years maintained the 
Quorn hounds in princely fashion. Mr. Meynell con- 
tinued to go out with Lord Sefton, as mentioned by 
" Nimrod," and after he had parted with his hounds it 
was found that his correctness of ear was by no means 
impaired by his advancing years. While a small covert 

1 The author. - The author's horse, 



64 THE QUORN HUNT 

was being drawn a hound spoke, and Lord Sefton, 
riding up to Mr. Meynell, asked him what hound had 
spoken. " I think it was Concord," replied the old 
master. " No," objected Lord Sefton, "Concord was at 
my heels all the time." " I am pretty sure that it was 
either Concord or Caroline " (brother and sister), rejoined 
Mr. Meynell. 

Soon afterwards Jack Raven, the huntsman, came 
cantering by with the main body of the pack. " What 
hound was that which spoke ? " asked Lord Sefton. 
"Concord, my Lord," was the answer, and so the point 
was settled. 

During the middle and later years of Mr. Meynell's 
mastership there often appeared in the field Mr. (after- 
wards Captain) Charles Combers, who was born at Brent- 
wood somewhere about the year 1752. He was entered 
to hounds when only about nine years of age, and when 
he reached man's estate was known as " The Flying 
Cucumber," from the manner in which he put his horses 
along. After leaving the university (Oxford, I think) 
he joined the nth Dragoons; ran through his money, 
and was ultimately appointed captain commandant of 
an advance corps in Ireland about 1796. 

When "The Flying Cucumber" was in full feather 
he gravitated towards Leicestershire, taking with him 
two good hunters and a hack — not much of a stud as we 
should think now — -having about a hundred pounds in 
his pocket. On the very first day he met the hounds 
he went as straight as a dart, and among those whom 
he pounded was Lord Maynard, who, addressing him, 
said, " Combers, 1 should like to buy your nag ; I gave 
^"300 for mine, but yours is a better jumper." The 
bargain was eventually closed by Lord Maynard giving 
his horse and £50 in exchange for Combers's hunter, 
and a few days later Comber rode the new horse field 
for field with the hounds. The experience of this run 



MR. MEYNELL 65 

served to show Lord Maynard that, after all, his original 
three hundred guinea horse was the better of the two, and 
eventually the horses were exchanged again, Combers 
drawing another ^50. It would appear that in the 
course of the season he had several more remunerative 
sales and barters, and when he left Leicestershire it 
was with ^800 in his pocket. 

Harvey's Sauce is a very well known condiment to- 
day, and it is to "The Flying Cucumber" that we owe 
it. On one occasion when on his way to Leicestershire 
he stopped, as was his wont, at Bedford to dine at the 
George, then kept by a man named Harvey, where he 
ordered a steak, and when it was served, Combers re- 
quested Harvey to let his servant bring from his buggy a 
quart bottle which contained an admirable sauce. Having 
poured some of it into his plate and mixed it with the 
gravy of the steak, he asked Harvey to taste it, and 
the host pronounced it to be a most excellent relish. 
"Well, Mr. Harvey," said Combers, "I shall leave the 
bottle with you, to use till my return, only be careful to 
reserve enough for me." On the next day Harvey had 
to provide a wedding dinner, and introduced the sauce, 
which afforded such general satisfaction that several 
smaller parties were made up, and the contents of the 
bottle were soon exhausted. 

In due course Captain Combers returned, and having 
been told that no more sauce remained, said, " Never 
mind, I can make some more from my mother's recipe ; 
and, by-the-bye, I will give you a copy of it." He was as 
good as his word. Harvey made it in large quantities ; 
sent it to the different shops in London ; advertised it 
as " Harvey's Sauce," and by its extensive sale realised 
a large income. He subsequently sold the recipe for an 
annuity of ^400 or ^500 a year, which he received for 
the remainder of his life. Such at least is the story. 

Mr. Meynell, while popular with his subscribers, was 



66 THE QUORN HUNT 

held in high esteem by the farmers and cattle-dealers, 
whose interests he ever consulted. Punctuality at the 
covert side was not the least of his virtues, but on one 
occasion seeing a horse ridden by a lad, and knowing 
who the owner was, he pulled out his watch at the time 
when the hounds should have moved off, and said, " I 
see Jack So-and-so's horse here, and he has not come. 
It is Leicester Fair this morning ; he is a good fellow, 
and we will give him a quarter of an hour's law ! " The 
Jack in question was a sporting grazier who was attend- 
ing the fair on business, but the cattle-market was held 
early in the morning, and many a sporting farmer, who 
could afford to keep a hunter in those days, did his busi- 
ness first and then came on to hunt afterwards. " Few 
masters of hounds," wrote a chronicler of the time, 
"bear this in mind: this is the way to preserve a 
country." 

Towards the close of Mr. Meynell's career Messrs. 
Cholmondeley, Forester, and Ralph Lambton were 
among the hardest men of the hunt, and Mr. R. Lambton 
it was who succeeded his brother and Mr. Baker in the 
mastership of the Lambton hounds. 

It is supposed that Mr. Meynell's last appearance at 
the covert side was at Gumley in January 1798, after 
which date his son took command, though Mr. Meynell 
still remained actual master. Mr. Meynell, junr., how- 
ever, died in the year 1800, from the effects of a fall 
from his horse. 

Mr. Meynell lived on until the 14th of December 
1808, when he died in London, at his house in Chapel 
Street, Mayfair, at the age of seventy-three, as some 
say ; but the Sporting Magazine and the Leicester Jour- 
nal give his age at the time of his death as eighty- 
one, in which case he would have been born in 1727, 
and this is the more probable story of the two, as one 
can hardly imagine that he would have been a master 



MR. MEYNELL 



67 



of the hounds and married before he attained the age of 
nineteen years. Mr. Meynell was buried in the family 
vault at Bradley in Derbyshire, and thus ended the life 
of a master of foxhounds whose name will never pass 
out of memory as long as fox-hunting continues to be 
one of the chief of English sports. 







CHAPTER III 

LORD SEFTON (1800-1805) 

LORD FOLEY (1805-1806) 

MR. ASSHETON SMITH (1806-1817] 



69 



CHAPTER III 

LORD SEFTON 

1800-1805 

LORD SEFTON will take my hounds at the end 
j of the season, and I know he hopes to succeed 
me in hunting the country." So runs a letter, dated the 
19th March 1800, from Mr. Meynell to the Duke of 
Rutland. The second Earl of Sefton was as o-ood as 
his word. He bought Mr. Meynell's hounds en masse, 
and added to them his own, with which he had been 
hunting a part of Oxfordshire. Tom Wingfield and 
the kennel-man were sent to bring them to Quorn, from 
Combe Abbey, and on the return journey the cavalcade 
passed through Leicester on the Good Friday of 1800, 
just as the people were going to church, whereupon 
Tom Wingfield remarked to his colleague, " Jack, we 
shouldn't be here," Tom no doubt feeling that they were 
creating something of a scandal, and probably setting 
some people against fox-hunting. However, they reached 
Quorn safely, and when the two packs were united the 
kennels were full indeed. 

When Lord Sefton took over Mr. Meynell's hounds 
he retained Jack Raven, the huntsman, as well. Raven, 
though getting on in years, was still efficient ; while the 
new master, whose hounds had been hunted by old 
Stephen Goodall, did not care to discharge his old 
huntsman, who had served him well and faithfully, so, as 
he had so many hounds — rather over a hundred couples 



72 THE QUORN HUNT 

— he determined on the bold experiment of having two 
packs and two huntsmen. With two Kings of Brent- 
ford in the field, many disagreements, the outcome of 
jealousy, might have been anticipated ; but it speaks 
well for master and men that nothing of the kind oc- 
curred, and everything went on as smoothly as possible. 
The arrangement was that Raven should be head-man, 
the chief in kennel, and should hunt the old pack on two 
days in the week in the best part of the Quorn country, 
the younger hounds hunting, under Goodall, the wood- 
lands on the other two days. One cannot help praising 
Goodall for his willingness to play second fiddle, but the 
arrangement was the only possible way out of a difficulty. 
The two huntsmen were about as much unlike as two 
men could be. " Nature had interdicted superior horse- 
manship to Goodall," wrote " Nimrod," " for although 
she had given him his full share of brains, she formed 
him with a great carcase upon short legs (very good 
qualities in a horse) and an aptitude to feed (still better 
in a hog) that would not be satisfied until the maximum 
exceeded twenty stone." With a frame which must have 
much resembled, if it did not exceed, that of Charles 
(Bob) Ward of the Hertfordshire, Stephen Goodall was 
not built to shine over the more stiffly fenced portions of 
Leicestershire, even as the country then was ; but like 
many another heavy man (when his nerves are in the 
right place) Goodall would, to use a phrase of Whyte- 
Melville's, " smuggle " himself and his horse over a 
country in surprising fashion. 

Jack Raven, on the other hand, was moulded more 
on the lines of James Pigg (though no one would think 
so after looking at the picture of him in which he and 
the hound Glider are represented in Mr. Meynell's 
plainly furnished sitting-room) : he was tall and wiry 
and had a fine melodious voice, whereas Stephen Good- 
all is reported to have been very weak in the throat. 



LORD SEFTON 73 

Neither huntsman appears to have been very free with 
the horn, as one follower of the Quorn says that he 
only remembers to have heard it once in four days, 
and that was when a hound was lost. He was, how- 
ever, a master of hound-lore and hunting. So, too, was 
Raven, and several stories testifying to his knowledge 
of hunting are extant. On one occasion a famous 
hound called Guzman was running a hare, the hound 
being on one side of a hedge and the hare on the 
other. A whipper-in galloped on to stop Guzman, 
when Raven called to him, " Let him alone ; he will 
stop of his own accord when he sees what he is 
running." And so he did. 

Jack Raven's death is nowhere mentioned, so far as 
I have been able to discover ; but on very good autho- 
rity I learn that he was drowned in the river Soar, not 
far from the kennels, while returning home after " a pipe 
and a glass." It is supposed that he slipped off the 
bank. 

The establishment of Mr. Meynell, though framed 
on the lines of efficiency and governed by a master 
hand, does not appear to have excelled what may be 
termed a strictly workmanlike standard ; but Lord 
Sefton carried on the Hunt with great magnificence. 
He was at his prime when he succeeded to the country ; 
he smartened up the men and their livery ; put them 
on much better horses, while the master himself, a 
welter weight, rode the best hunters that money could 
buy. For Rowland, Plato, and Gooseberry he gave well 
on for a thousand pounds each, while to Mr. Loraine 
Smith he offered eight hundred pounds for his famous 
Hollyhock horse. Unfortunately for the "long Squire 
of Enderby Hall" the offer was refused, as the horse 
died not long afterwards during a run, from the rupture 
of a blood-vessel. The prices of good hunters, however, 
ruled high in those days, as in 1802 two horses, the 



74 THE QUORN HUNT 

property of a Leicestershire gentleman, were sold, one 
for 750 guineas, the other for 650 guineas. 

Heavy weight though he was, Lord Sefton was a 
capital hand at getting over a country ; he was a rare 
hand at galloping between his fences, and had the knack 
of making up lost ground, while he took the fullest 
advantage of every turn of the hounds. Like a later 
master, Mr. Osbaldeston, he very much disliked timber ; 
but if he occasionally shirked a stiff rail, he turned away 
from nothing else ; and his weight, which eventually 
caused him to give up fox-hunting altogether, enabled 
him to bore his way through the thickest blackthorn 
fences in his country. 

Mr. Edward Goulbourn, the author of " The Epwell 
Hunt ; or, Black Collars in the Rear," written some- 
where about the year 1807, wrote a burlesque descrip- 
tion of a run he saw in Leicestershire, but which was 
never published, and he makes mention of Lord Sefton 
in these words : — 

Earl Sefton came next, and for beef on the rib 
No Leicestershire bullock was rounder ; 

A wonderful weight at a wonderful rate, 
He flew like a twenty-four pounder. 

In all departments the Hunt was most ably adminis- 
tered, for Lord Sefton was an admirable man of busi- 
ness, seeing himself to the details of kennel and stable, 
much as Mr. Meynell had done. Unlike some of his 
successors, he did not land himself in difficulties by over 
expenditure and extravagance. He was a fine coach- 
man, kept a fine stable of coach horses, and his drag 
or landau 1 was often seen at the covert side. In 



1 Amateurs who kept their own conveyances drove four horses in a kind 
of barouche more often than in a coach. In the sixties an old gentleman 
whose name was, I think, Box, and who lived at Cookham, used to drive 
four horses from the box of a landau. 



LORD SEFTON 75 

London, too, one of his equipages created no little 
sensation in St. James's Park by the Horse Guards. 
The vehicle, in which were the ladies Molineaux, is de- 
scribed as having resembled two large chaises fastened 
together, one behind the other, the shafts being removed 
from the second chaise. The two bodies were on four 
wheels, and behind the united chaises there was a species 
of dickey for the groom. This made three departments 
for passengers ; with the groom there were eight per- 
sons, and a pair of horses drew the vehicle. After 
giving up the hounds Lord Sefton hunted for a few 
years, and later on we read of him in the Greville 
Memoirs. 

" Five new peerages came out yesterday," wrote the 
Clerk of the Council on the 15th June 1 83 1, "Sefton, 
Kinnaird, Fingall, Leitrim, and Agar Ellis." Mr. Gre- 
ville, who went to Goodwood for the races and was kept 
there by an attack of gout after every one else had left, 
was not perhaps in a very good humour when he wrote 
on the 20th August, after his arrival in town : — 

Sefton has just been here, who talks blusteringly of the peers 
that are to be made, no matter at what cost of character to the 
House of Lords, anything rather than be beaten ; but I am not sure 
that he knows anything. In such matters as these he is (however 
sharp) no better than a fool — no knowledge, no information, no 
reflection or combination ; prejudices, partialities, and sneers are 
what his political wisdom consists of; but he is Lord Grey's dme 
damnie. 

To return to hunting, however, the stables at Quorn 
were a sight to behold, and at sunset a patent lamp, 
shedding what in those days was considered a great 
amount of light, was suspended at every fourth stall. 

"Cork-legged Jones" having died just before Mr. 
Meynell gave up the hounds, Joe Harrison, who succeeded 
him, and Tom Wingfield were Lord Sefton's whippers- 



76 THE QUORN HUNT 

in. Both of them were good men, and both eventually 
became huntsmen, Tom Wingfield becoming very famous, 
one-eyed man though he was ; but it was said of him 
that he could see more with his one eye than most men 
could with two. His partial loss of sight certainly did 
not affect his riding, for a bolder man never crossed a 
horse. One day, on seeing a follower of Lord Sefton's 
hounds decline a big fence, he half turned round in his 
saddle and remarked to some one who was following, 
" I'm thinking, sir, that that there gentleman has no 
business in our shire." 

One of the critics of the time declared that Lord 
Sefton cared but little for hounds, but made much of the 
standard of men and horses. To a certain extent this 
may be true. He certainly was not the hound man 
Mr. Meynell was, but that gentleman was always ready 
with advice and assistance, and to him the new master 
owed a good deal. On the other hand, Lord Sefton 
could have been by no means indifferent to the kennel, 
for when he said, as a reason for giving up the hounds, 
that he could not find horses to carry him as fast as he 
wished to go, people said that it was a judgment upon 
him for having bred his hounds so fast, though how he 
could have made so great an alteration in the pace of his 
pack in five seasons is not clear ; for Mr. Meynell's were 
by no means slow hounds ; nor were Mr. John Warde's. 
However, there is the story. 

In March 1805 Lord Sefton's hounds enjoyed a good 
run under somewhat singular circumstances. 

A certain fox was reported to have made many depredations 
upon the poultry of Mr. Stone of Barrow, and him Lord Sefton 
eventually killed with five couples of hounds only. We find only 
two instances of a few couples of hounds being used as the Devon 
and Somerset staghounds employ tufters ; but whether these five 
couples were so used, or whether they went away with the fox, 
leaving the main body in the lurch, one cannot discover. At any 



LORD SEFTON 77 

rate the fox was in a few minutes found in a hedgerow on Mr. 
Stone's farm, and went away in view of the hounds, which, for 
about half-an-hour, ran very fast indeed. The fox at last obtained 
a start, and for a couple of hours the pace fortunately moderated 
considerably. The little pack worked wonderfully well up to 
Thrussington, where they hunted the fox in and out of a number 
of yards and gardens, coming up to him in one of the latter. A 
second time he went away in view of the hounds, but then 
they gave him no rest, killing him after a three hours' hunt near 
Brooksby Earths. Report says that the only three horsemen 
up at the finish were Mr. Stone, Goodall, who was hunting the 
hounds, and Jack Raven, who was perhaps out for a holiday. 

To Lord Sefton has been ascribed the invention of 
second horses in the field, an arrangement which in later 
times has been the cause of much grumbling, and, as in 
the Quorn and some other hunts, of special regulations 
being promulgated by the respective masters. Lord 
Sefton may perhaps have made some alteration in the 
use of them, but men rode more than one horse a day 
nearly three centuries before he became an M.F.H. 
Henry VIII., a welter weight, worthy to rank with Lord 
Sefton himself, once got to the bottom of eight horses in 
a single day, while in the account of a run with the 
Charlton (afterwards the Goodwood) hounds in 1738, 
contributed by Mr. T. J. Bennett to vol. xv. of the 
" Sussex Archaeological Collection," we read that 

Lord Harcourt blew his first horse, and that his second 
subsequently felt the effects of long legs and a sudden steep . . 
while in Goodwood Park, the Duke of Richmond chose to send 
three lame horses back to Charlton, and took Saucy Face and 
Sir William that were luckily at Goodwood. 

There is nothing new under the sun, they say. Lord 
Sefton's method of employing a second horse, however, 
was in direct opposition to the course adopted by Lord 
Lonsdale, who ordained that all second horsemen, to 



7 8 THE QUORN HUNT 

whom his own second horsemen act as pilots, should keep 
to the roads and bridle paths. Lord Sefton had a light 
groom in livery, and he and George Raven, John's 
nephew, dressed as a whipper-in, rode his spare horses, 
for he always had three out, not to points as is the 
present fashion, but in his wake, and he changed from 
one to the other as occasion required, which appears to 
have been about every fifteen or twenty minutes, though 
on one occasion one of his best horses, Loadstar, carried 
his owner for an hour and five minutes. John Leech, it 
may be remembered, made merry over the different styles 
in which second horses were ridden in his time. 

In November 1802 it was stated that the Ouorn had 
experienced little more than a succession of blank days, 
there being but few foxes in the country. Some people 
attributed the prevailing state of things to the severe 
winter of 1 801-2 having killed so many gorse coverts, 
while others accounted for it by acknowledging that "an 
unfortunate misunderstanding" existed between the Hunt 
and the farmers, who, following a course adopted in other 
parts of England in consequence of the Game Acts, 
decided to kill foxes. In spite of a contradiction of the 
above statements, there appears to be no doubt that 
foxes were few and far between, as when the season 
1802-3 was near its close the Leicestershire men con- 
fessed that they were disappointed with the season's 
results. The turned-out foxes would not run, and they 
were, wrote a critic, " but a bad substitute for those 
oallant foxes which, when old Meynell managed the 
hounds (whose courteous and conciliatory manners pre- 
vailed on the farmers to preserve the game), showed such 
straightforward runs and short bursts." Moreover, several 
of those who had for some time hunted with the Quorn 
now stopped away, in the hope of finding some more 
favoured locality, among the absentees being Lord May- 
nard, Lord C. Somerset, Sir H. Featherstonhaugh, and 



LORD SEFTON 79 

Mr. Charles Wyndham. Others, however, declared that 
the sport had been up to the average, and that the 
farmers and members of the Hunt had never been on 
more amicable terms ; so which story is the true one, 
it is impossible to say. Nevertheless rents did not 
fall, for small houses were let at ^200 a year, and the 
accommodation was meagre in the extreme in many 
cases. 

Among the shining lights of Leicestershire about this 
time was Lord Villiers (afterwards the fifth Earl of 
Jersey). He was born in 1773, 1 and before he reached 
his majority knew his way over Leicestershire pretty 
well, consequently he hunted in the time of Mr. Meynell. 
Lord Jersey enjoyed the reputation of being one of the 
hardest, boldest, most judicious and elegant horsemen 
that ever crossed Leicestershire or any other county. 
But he rode grand horses, up to much more than his 
weight, and he was probably the only man who ever 
rode a Derby winner as a hunter. This was the 
Duke of Grafton's Tyrant, by Pot-8-o's, the winner 
of the Derby in 1802. He was a strong, short-legged 
horse of great stoutness, but he won no race after the 
Derby, and, as he proved utterly useless at the stud, 
Lord Jersey, taken by his make and shape, bought him 
for a hunter, and a capital bargain he turned out, for he 
took to jumping in the kindest manner possible, and on 
one occasion, after an excellent run from Shipton, his 
lordship declared that he believed Tyrant had jumped as 
high as the ceiling. Besides this Derby winner, how- 
ever, Lord Jersey had many other good horses, and 
perhaps his favourite hunter was a chestnut horse named 
Cecil, which he rode for several, if not many, seasons 
without getting a fall. He was not only ridden in a 
snaffle bridle, but was a snaffle-bridle horse — the two are 
not synonymous, as a high authority has pointed out — 

1 He died on the 3rd October 1859. 



80 THE QUORN HUNT 

and he once carried his owner in a memorable run with 
the Burton, when Mr. Osbaldeston hunted the country. 
The pair beat everybody else, and Cecil, at the finish, 
jumped a big stile with a ditch on the taking off side, 
landing in the field in which the hounds pulled down the 
fox. Harrington was another snaffle-bridle horse, and 
he stood high both in stature — seventeen hands — and 
in his owner's estimation, while Shuttlecock was another 
horse bad to beat. 

Among other foremost riders of Lord Sefton's time 
were Sir Stephen Glynn, Mr. Assheton Smith (occa- 
sionally), the Hon. Berkeley Craven, the Hon. John 
Vanneck (afterwards Lord Huntingfield), Mr. Hawkes, 
Col. Mellish, Mr. Charles Meynell, and Col. Forester. 

Although, owing to his weight, he could not partici- 
pate in any other branch of the chase than otter-hunting, 
casual mention should be made of Daniel Lambert, who 
at the time of his death, in 1809, weighed just over fifty- 
two stone. His father had been gamekeeper to Lord 
Stamford, and Daniel himself was master of the Leicester 
gaol, where he acquired a great reputation for humanity 
and benevolence. He gave up the post in 1805, a ^ ew 
years after the death of his father. Daniel Lambert had 
the most intimate acquaintance with the Racing Calen- 
dar, and was a great breeder of game-cocks and dogs. 
After his death his dogs were sold at Tattersall's. Some 
setters realised 41 guineas, 26 guineas, 22 guineas, 32 
guineas, 22 guineas, and 20 guineas, the total being 218 
guineas. 

Soon after Lord Sefton took the Ouorn hounds, the 
fame of the Hunt had reached France, where it was 
spoken of with respect, and Mr. Meynell's name was 
always connected with it. A few Parisian sportsmen 
announced their intention of visiting Leicestershire 
during the season 1802-3, and when Tom Wingfield 
heard of it, he is said to have remarked that Lord Sefton 



LORD SEFTON 81 

would show his visitors plenty of hospitality at Quorn, 
but would turn his back upon them in the field and leave 
them far behind. Whatever may have been the quality 
of the sport during- Lord Sefton's early seasons (it is 
more than probable that it was a good deal better than 
some of the grumblers tried to make out), it was at any 
rate of a satisfactory nature during Lord Sefton's last 
season, 1804-5), f° r run s came thick and fast, especially 
in the forest and in the Six Hills district. 

Towards the close of 1804 Lord Sefton, to the 
general regret, announced his intention of giving up the 
country, offering at the same time his hounds and horses, 
together with a liberal subscription (to which it was 
understood the usual followers of the Hunt would contri- 
bute) to Mr. Loraine Smith, if he would become master, 
and the general opinion is said to have been that Mr. 
Loraine Smith was the only man in the country who 
would be equal to the task of carrying on so great an 
undertaking. This statement, which is made in the 
Sporting Magazine for March 1804, does not, however, 
square with a letter written by Lord Sefton, dated Gros- 
venor Square, April 14, 1804. The letter in question, 
which is quoted in Mr. J. Cradock's " Literary and Mis- 
cellaneous Memoirs," states : " I beg leave to inform you 
that Lord Foley having now a share with me in the 
hounds, we shall in future have to return our joint thanks 
for those indulgences which we cannot help hoping the 
Hunt will continue to receive from you." As Lord 
Foley therefore had a share in the hounds as early as 
the spring of 1804, it is not easy to understand why 
Lord Sefton should have offered hounds and horses to 
Mr. Loraine Smith, especially as he was succeeded by 
Lord Foley in 1805, and it was said that Sir Henry 
Peyton "had a wheel" in the Quorn coach, though his 
name never appeared. 



82 THE QUORN HUNT 



LORD FOLEY 

1805-1806 

THE new master bought Quorndon from his pre- 
decessor, and, it is to be assumed, Lord Sefton's share 
in the hounds and the hunt horses. Lord Foley, who 
had been a friend and follower of Mr. Meynell, hunted 
with the Quorn during Lord Sefton's mastership, and so 
knew the country and the people. While hunting with 
Lord Harborough's hounds in 1801 he had a very bad fall. 
His horse's hind legs dropped into a hole and he fell back 
on his rider, who was rendered insensible, and was so 
much injured that he could not be moved to Stapleford 
Park, Lord Harborough's residence, but had to remain 
at a farm-house. He managed, however, to journey to 
Witley Court by the 21st of December, on which day 
he came of age. Lord Foley was the third of his line, 
and came of a family possessed of a fondness for hunting, 
his father having hunted a portion of Worcestershire and 
a small slice of Oxfordshire until ] 776, in which year he 
sold his hounds to the fourth Lord Fitzwilliam, when 
he started the Milton pack. Lord Sefton's successor, 
though he mounted his men very well, does not appear 
to have been much of a hound man, but as he did not 
have the pack quite two seasons, not a great deal of 
harm could have been done. He was a brilliant horse- 
man, and being really fond of hunting, would no doubt 
in time have learned the lesson of experience, and 
eventually have blossomed into a very good M.F.H. 
He had several qualifications which go to the making of 



LORD FOLEY 83 

a successful master ; he was, as already mentioned, bold 
over a country ; he had engaging manners, and was 
courteous to, and popular with, every one. The fixtures, 
even from the time of Mr. Meynell, were advertised in 
somewhat casual fashion. During some seasons they 
were notified with tolerable regularity, and then per- 
haps a season or two would pass with hardly an an- 
nouncement. In Lord Foley's time, however, hunting 
men in general expressed a wish that the appointments 
of all the packs should be made public, and the Leicester 
Journal, among other papers, invited those who were 
acquainted with the fixtures to send them to the office. 

Unluckily for the Ouorn, Lord Foley "flirted with 
the elephant's tooth," as dicing was called at that time, 
while he was also the racing confederate of the notori- 
ously extravagant Colonel Mellish, to whom it was said 
the Prince of Wales offered to grant perpetual leave from 
the 10th Hussars lest he should lead the younger officers 
of that regiment into imitating his lavishness. Mr. 
Raikes, who for something like a quarter of a century 
lived upon terms of great intimacy with Lord Foley, has 
left it on record in his journal that the latter was a some- 
what important person on the turf, and writing of the 
days when the Prince of Wales patronised Brighton and 
attended the races there and at Lewes, gives a vivid 
description of the scene on the Steyne, where the morn- 
ing betting took place, and where Lord Foley and 
Colonel Mellish were conspicuous characters. 

Dicing, racing, profuse hospitality, and the master- 
ship of the Ouorn hounds, however, caused money to 
vanish quickly, and for one reason and another Lord 
F"oley gave up the country late in 1806, 1 after having 

1 Much of the trouble of ascertaining dates arises from the fact of the 
papers being in the habit of using the names of past masters. The Quorn 
were called " Meynell's " hounds after Lord Sefton took them, and then, in 
a local paper dated 23rd January 1827, we read that Lord Foley's hounds 
met at Oadby Toll-bar on the 20th. In the very next sentence Mr. Assheton 
Smith is spoken of as the master. 



84 THE QUORN HUNT 

showed tolerably good sport during the previous 
season. Being - thus more free to follow his own bent, 
he went in more for racing. Lord Foley died on 
the morning of the 16th April 1833, after a few days' 
illness. In his journal Mr. Raikes says the kindest 
possible things of his deceased friend, whose wife was 
sister to the Duke of Leinster, and by whom he had 
eight children. The Worcestershire property, including 
Witley Court, was sold for ^890,000, that being the sole 
means by which his eldest son, who was most anxious to 
pay off his father's racing and other debts, could secure 
a modest income. The purchasers, it is hardly necessary 
to state, were the trustees of Lord Dudley's will on behalf 
of Lord Ward, then a minor, who succeeded to Lord 
Dudley's enormous wealth. 



MR. ASSHETON SMITH 



MR. ASSHETON SMITH 
1806-1817 

FROM 1806, in which year Mr. Assheton Smith took 
the Ouorn, down to 1827, when Mr. Osbaldeston 
brought to a close his second period of mastership, the 
Ouorn country was in the hands of the above-named 
two masters, and also for a couple of seasons in those of 
Sir Bellingham Graham, who came between Mr. Osbal- 
deston's two reigns. The Life of Mr. Assheton Smith 
havinof [rone through several editions (it takes in all that 
"The Druid" wrote about him), it is assumed that every 
one having an interest in, or knowledge of, the Ouorn 
country is familiar with its pages, so it is not proposed to 
reproduce more of what has been written than is neces- 
sary to carry on the story of the Hunt, and there is 
not very much to be said about this famous fox-hunter 
beyond what has already appeared in print ; but a few 
incidents and anecdotes which do not form part of the 
book have been collected. The Life of Mr. Smith (all, or 
nearly all, of it appeared in the columns of the Field 
newspaper in 1855) includes, in addition to what Dick 
Christian told "The Druid," copious extracts from "Nim- 
rod's" " Hunting Tours" and " Hunting Reminiscences." 
Although no biography of Mr. Osbaldeston has 
appeared in book form, so much has been written about 
him that his career as master of the Ouorn has here 
been dealt with at less length than would otherwise have 
been the case. With these preliminary remarks, the 
thread of the story may be resumed. 



86 THE QUORN HUNT 

After Lord Foley had presided for but a single 
season over the fortunes of the Quorn Hunt, he was 
succeeded by Mr. Assheton Smith in 1806. He had 
occasionally made Leicestershire his headquarters, and 
hunted in the county, for he was in the famous Billesdon 
Coplow run of 1800, and is favourably mentioned in 
Mr. Lowth's verse, as well as in one or two other songs 
which the run suggested. Mr. Smith was just thirty years 
of age when he became master of the Quorn, having 
been born in Queen Anne Street, London, in 1 776. 
Though, as mentioned just now, he hunted with the 
Quorn, he was evidently not well known to the followers 
of that pack at large, for on one occasion, when out with 
them, he was seen riding a refusing horse several times at 
a flight of high rails, and people asked one another who 
this determined horseman might be ? Little did they 
think that in the rider of this refuser they saw the re- 
doubtable Tom Smith, their future master. Mr. Smith 
was undoubtedly a fine and bold horseman, but he could 
not work miracles on horseback any more than could 
any one else. "Nimrod" tells a story of how when 
galloping over a field, and looking behind him to see 
how his hounds were coming, his horse galloped into a . 
pond rather than turn a foot out of the straight course. 
In making Mr. Smith out a great horseman, his eulogists 
strike one as having rather overdone it. For example, 
in Sir John Eardley Wilmot's " Life of Mr. Smith " it is 
stated that after a long run with the Ted worth the 
Squire, who had to leave his beaten horse at an inn, 
borrowed a Shetland pony to carry him home, and, says 
his biographer, " his masterly hand persuaded the little 
animal to carry him to his own door within the hour, the 
distance being a dozen miles, good measure." The hand 
may have been " masterly," but to ride a Shetland pony 
twelve miles in an hour is trying him tolerably high, and 
no amount of "hands" can get over the fact. Then, 



MR. ASSHETON SMITH 87 

again, it is said in Mr. Smith's Life that every horse, 
whatever his nature, became a hunter as soon as Mr. 
Smith was on his back. That this was not so is clear 
from the fact that the horse above mentioned refused 
with his owner on the occasion referred to, and the fact 
of the refusing is put forward by way of emphasising 
the rider's determination. Then, again, there was Fire 
King, "as unmanageable a savage as ever wore a 
bridle." Nevertheless, a Mr. Denham managed to hold 
his own on him ; and eventually he became Mr. Smith's, 
and the same biographer who writes that Mr. Smith 
could make every horse into a hunter admits that le 
grand chasseur sent him home on hunting days seven or 
eight times " before he could ride him with confidence," 
though afterwards he succeeded in making him go 
quietly. These remarks are made not with the inten- 
tion of detracting from the reputation of one who was 
beyond all question foremost of the boldest horsemen 
that ever crossed Leicestershire or any other country ; 
but merely to show that he was credited with an 
ability which no living man ever possessed, or ever will 
possess. 

The Ouorn, it will be remembered, was the first 
pack of which Mr. Smith was master, and he was the 
first master of that famous pack to hunt his own hounds, 
as all previous masters had employed a professional 
huntsman. Whatever Mr. Smith's abilities as a hunts- 
man may have been, it is certain that no fence ever 
stopped him in making his cast; but as far as can be 
gathered from all that has been written about him, he 
did not care much about slow-hunting runs. After he 
opened up the Tedworth Woodlands, a Hampshire 
farmer used to say that old George Carter, his first 
whipper-in and kennel huntsman, found the foxes and 
the Squire lost them. A clergyman, who prefers to be 
known as " I. H. G.," wrote a book about George Carter, 



88 THE QJJORN HUNT 

who was with Mr. Smith for about sixteen years, and 
hunted the hounds on certain days in the week in 
Hampshire. In criticising his master, then dead, George 
Carter is made to speak thus : — 

He would ride, for you see he were a wonderful horseman, 
but his ways and mine didn't always agree. I liked to find a fox 
and have an hour and a half with him or more, and then kill him 
if I could, and somehow or other I could generally do that ; but 
you see, sir, Mr. Smith used to say, " What's the good of cadd- 
ling about after a fox all day?" and if he hunted one for forty 
minutes and didn't catch him, why then he gave him up and went 
and tried for another; and as soon as he had tired one horse, he 
had another to get on, and so it didn't signify ; but / always 
knew what Mr. Smith's hounds were. Why, then, I remember 
one day we met at Weyhill ; Mr. Smith came out as a gentle- 
man, and I hunted the hounds. Well, sir, we found a fox 
at Ramridge . . . and just before we came to Chute Lodge 
there were a bit of plough, and I see a hound called Nabob 
feathering up a furrow and none o' the others could own it ; 
but I know'd he were right, so I just said quietly, " Heic, Nabob, 
heic." 

" What are you heicing for there ? " says Mr. Smith. 

" I beg your pardon, sir," I says, " but you see Nabob has 
got the line ; he can't speak to it on the plough, but as soon as 
we get on the grass they will all open." And sure enough, sir, 
as soon as we got to the park palings, and through, away they 
went, and we killed our fox after a good hunting run. 



Such were George Carter's remarks ; but then no 
man is a hero in the eyes of his valet. 

On the Quorn country becoming vacant, Mr. Smith 
decided to take it ; but it is a curious coincidence that 
neither in Sir J. Eardley Wilmot's book, nor in any 
paper or magazine, is it revealed under what circum- 
stances Mr. Smith came to take the country. In Nor- 
thamptonshire and Oxfordshire he was well enough 
known : but it is nowhere to be discovered what reason 
prompted him, then without experience, to embark on 



MR. ASSHETON SMITH 89 

the duties of a M.F.H. Whether the suggestion 
was made to him that he should take the country, 
or whether it was his own idea, is a matter of uncer- 
tainty, on which a careful search has failed to throw any 
light. 

However, be that as it may, he gave Mr. Musters a 
thousand guineas for some of his hounds, procured more 
from Belvoir, laid other kennels under contribution, and 
started the season 1806-7 with plenty of hounds and 
horses. His fame soon became noised abroad, and we 
find that for the first time the Duke of Rutland and his 
two brothers, Lord Charles and Lord Robert Manners, 
"honoured" Mr. Smith by meeting his hounds at Syston 
in December 1806, but that was not the last occasion on 
which they hunted with the Ouorn. Fair sport appears to 
have been enjoyed on that occasion, and a brace of foxes 
were killed, the first at Syston, while the second, found 
at Barkby Holt, ran to Ashby Pasture and back to the 
Holt, where he was killed. Then, on Monday the 9th of 
January 1809, the hounds rolled over a game fox after 
a run of an hour and fifty minutes, at the end of which 
all but about half-a-dozen out of a large field were 
fairly beaten off. One of the keenest hunting men in 
the Ouorn country at this time was a farrier named 
Thomas Varnam, of Kibworth, who shod a great many 
horses for the Ouorn men. He was a fine horseman, 
and did a good deal of rough riding ; but in Mr. Smith's 
second season his horse fell with him and he was killed 
on the spot. 

In April 180S Mr. Smith had a good run, finding his 
fox at Stewart's Hay at two in the afternoon. Thence 
the line lay by Martinshaw, Enderby, Aylstone Gorse, 
ultimately crossing South Fields and the New Walk, 
and finally, after a run of three hours and a half (the 
last seven miles without a check), the fox took refuge 
beneath a shed in the woodyard of Mr. Harrison, 



9 o THE QUORN HUNT 

with the hounds close at his brush. Mr. Smith, who 
appears to have been the only man up, dragged the 
fox from his hiding-place, and then started off to find 
his whippers-in. 

Some of the runs chronicled aforetime require a good 
deal of explanation. Here, for instance, is one taken 
from a contemporary publication in February 1812. Mr. 
Smith found a fox at Barkby Holt, we are told, on the 
20th January in that year. Hounds "ran him hard" 
for about an hour and a half into Tilton Wood, where, 
when hounds were on the point of killing him, a fresh 
fox jumped up, and led them to Edith Weston, where 
the run came to an end. Horses and hounds were so 
knocked up that they were left for the night at Cottes- 
more. " From Barkby Holt to Edith Weston," says the 
report, "is near thirty miles." As hounds actually ran 
that may have been the distance ; but in a straight line 
it is as nearly as possible seventeen miles. It could not 
of course have been anything like straight, as hounds were 
an hour and a half in reaching Tilton Wood, six miles 
from Barkby Holt "as the crow flies." From Tilton 
Wood to Edith Weston is a distance of about twelve 
miles in a straight line, but no mention is made of the 
route taken, nor is the duration of the whole run given. 
This, however, is but one of many good runs which took 
place during the season 1811-12, as on one day four 
horses are said to have died from over-exertion, while 
several others were not expected to survive ; a statement 
which, if true, does not say much for the humanity of 
the old school. 

Mr. Smith's biography affords ample proof that he 
was accustomed to say funny things at times, and what 
would be described in modern language as given to 
put on "side." " He only wants a rider," is one of the 
sayings put into his mouth in reply to a man who said 
that he had an ungovernable horse. " Thank ye, but my 



MR. ASSHETON SMITH 91 

left hand shall be my martingale," is what he is reported 
to have said to some one who suggested that he should 
ride a particular horse in a martingale. A captain of 
militia has left it on record that when quartered at 
Loughborough in 181 2 he often went over the kennels 
when Mr. Smith was away and Tom Wingfield reigned 
in his stead. The major of the regiment, the story goes, 
once had the temerity to ask Mr. Smith how he managed 
to remember the names of so many hounds. The master 
of the Quorn is stated to have made the reply that he 
should consider himself a great fool if he did not know 
every hound in a strange pack after having been out 
with them twice, and he added, "Sir, I suppose that you 
know the name of every man in your regiment." The 
major admitted that he did. 

Not a little of what has been written about Mr. Smith 
must, I imagine, be taken with a big pinch of salt. On 
the day of his great Belvoir run Mr. White is said to 
have stuck in a bullfinch, and because he could not get 
out of the way invited Mr. Smith to charge him, which 
the master did, and then the story proceeds to say that 
they went on as if nothing had happened. Now if Mr. 
White, who was pretty well as hard and quite as heavy 
as Mr. Smith, could not make his way through the fence, 
it appears rather strange that Mr. Smith should be able 
not only to send Mr. White and his horse flying into 
the next field, but to get through himself; still more 
wonderful is it that neither horse should have fallen, 
for we all know the effect of a cannon out hunting. 
Some of these miraculous yarns may be true ; but the 
chances are that many of them are built upon slender 
foundations. 

That Mr. Smith was somewhat of a jealous rider is 
well known, and there is a rather good story told of him 
and Mr. Maxse. During Mr. Smith's time, or part of it, 
it was the fashion to have " hunter pairs" out, that is to 



9 2 THE QUORN HUNT 

say, a man rode two greys, two chestnuts, two bays, or 
two roans in the day. On one occasion Mr. Maxse had two 
blacks out, and finding his second horse, during a good 
run, just in the nick of time, rode on happily. Mr. Smith 
not being so fortunate, and finding his first horse quite 
blown, was having some difficulty with a locked gate, 
which Mr. Maxse, coming up on a fresh horse, cleared 
easily, to the Squire's great disgust, for he had not noticed 
that Mr. Maxse had changed horses. 

A statement that the Melton Hunt had become so 
much disorganised towards the end of the season 1812-13 
that Mr. Charles Meynell had seceded from it, had its 
origin in a difficulty about subscriptions, a point on which 
Mr. Smith himself, most punctilious in money matters, 
was very particular ; yet on the whole, thanks chiefly to 
Mr. Moore, the Ouorn Hunt did their duty by the 
master, as nearly ^"3000 per annum is said to have been 
forthcoming from the Melton side alone, while on one 
occasion the amount almost reached ^3600. In 18 14 
Mr. Musters gave up his Nottinghamshire country, and 
on Qoino- to the Badsworth aofain sold some hounds to 
Mr. Smith, who had a great liking for the strain ; he 
weeded out his pack, and on starting cub-hunting showed 
the best of sport, any number of good runs taking place 
on the forest. 

About this time Sir Francis Burdett was in great 
form with the Ouorn, and, as some one said of him, 
" he dashes with as much gallantry after the hounds as 
in the political field — although in the latter we find him 
sometimes alone, with the former he generally leads a 
considerable majority." 

The Marquis of Tavistock gave up his hounds (the 
Oakley) in 181 5, and took a hunting-box at Ouorndon, 
to hunt with Mr. Smith. Among other well-known 
followers of the Ouorn at the time was Mr. Tom Hey- 
cock, who was intimately connected with the " four M 



MR. ASSHETON SMITH 93 

era of Melton. His memory was remarkably tenacious, 
and when he was once started on his favourite subject of 
the men with whom he had ridden side by side over 
Leicestershire, there was, a contemporary of his once 
said, "no holding him." He was a brilliant horseman, 
and nothing pleased Sir James Musgrave, himself a 
bold rider, better than to give him a mount on a horse 
which had never been over a fence, without telling him 
the horse's antecedents. 

Tom Heycock was an excellent sportsman, and for a 
time Mr. Smith was friendly enough with him ; but here 
is an incident related by a frequenter of the Ouorn at 
the time : — 

Nothing pleased Tom more than to tell how Sir James Mus- 
grave challenged him to show the field how " the thing ought to 
be done " at a long check near a very awkward brook, which there 
was no chance of jumping, when a hard rider had shown them 
very decisively " how it ought not to be done." He began with 
" the Pony," and Mr. Assheton Smith, who had been very civil to 
him up to that point, was terribly annoyed by his taking one of 
his " sensation jumps " over a gate close in his wake. The great 
maestro was wont to do these things to get cheered, and was so 
cross at having to divide the applause this time, that he never 
spoke to Tom again except with a growl, and took no earthly 
notice of him at the great Rolleston meet of 1840. This was 
when he left Tedworth for a time to pay a visit with his 
hounds to Leicestershire and Lincolnshire, which is mentioned 
on another page. 

Some ground for believing that Mr. Smith occa- 
sionally rode to the "gallery" is afforded by a passage 
in his Life : — 

An instance of one of his diagonal leaps is thus recorded : The 
hounds, coming in the course of a run to an immensely high and 
steep bank, with a stile on the top of it, many gentlemen did not 
like its looks. Mr. Smith, throwing his whip into his left hand, 
and at the same time taking out his pocket-handkerchief (this was 
done by way of giving the thing an air of negligence), said, " So 



94 THE QUORN HUNT 

you won't have it, gentlemen ? " Then, taking the fence diagonally, 
" he, by his peculiarly light hand, made his horse take the fence in 
this way — first on the bank, then over the stile and down on the 
other side. Nobody else could take the fence in the same manner 
or would attempt it in any other." 

If, however, there was a little flashiness about Mr. Smith's 
riding, there is no doubt of the courage he ever exhibited in the 
saddle. On one occasion, after a long hunt, his hounds ran from 
scent to view, the fox making for a rickyard on the outskirts of a 
village, a crowd quickly collecting. Mr. Smith, galloping down a 
big grass field, charged a six-barred white gate into a narrow lane, 
and then, with hardly enough space in which to collect his horse, 
jumped another gate out of the lane. A countryman, who was 
about to open the second gate, remarked : " What's the use of 
opening gates for a flying ossman ? " 



Mr. Heycock died in 1863. At a somewhat ad- 
vanced age, a bad attack of jaundice overtook him. 
On partially recovering, he was sent to Leamington to 
recruit his health ; but to no purpose. He lived, until 
he removed to Braunston, about three miles from Oak- 
ham, almost entirely at his farm at Owston. The fre- 
quenters of Tattersall's hardly knew him by sight, and 
the ring he liked best was an agricultural show one, 
with the hunter colts inside it. Over the Owston farm 
he schooled a number of hunters, and generally had on 
hand something with which Sir James Musgrave or 
some other shining light of Melton could do nothing. 
Sir Harry Goodricke's famous horse, Dr. Russell, 
baffled all the thrusters and breakers in the neigh- 
bourhood ; but after a time Tom Heycock made him 
go quietly, and taught him to gallop, for this does 
not come by nature to all horses. 

Shortly before Mr. Smith left Leicestershire, that 
is to say, in the year 18 15, there appeared at Melton 
a well-known hunting man, Captain White — " Leicester- 
shire White," as he was called — who looked over Joe 
Maiden's son " to see if he had good legs and feet." 



MR. ASSHETON SMITH 95 

Joe Maiden himself had a false leg, his own having 
been amputated. Captain White and Mr. Maxse kept 
house together, their dwelling receiving the name of 
Claret Lodge from the amount of wine they got through. 
Captain White is mentioned in "Nimrod's" Quarterly 
Review run, and there is an engraving of him jumping 
a gate, which " Snob " is attempting to open. He hunted 
from Melton, and then in 1842 took his leave of that 
place, where he was regarded as the last of the Mohi- 
cans, and became master of the Cheshire hounds, which 
he hunted for twelve seasons. During his early days, 
while staying at Melton, he went out to meet Lord 
Lonsdale's hounds, and took part in two capital runs, 
one of forty minutes and the other of an hour and ten 
minutes, the fox being killed in each instance. Captain 
White finished his day twenty-four miles from Melton, 
and after riding leisurely thither, he had a chop and a 
cup of tea, and then proceeded to ride to his residence, 
Park Hall, Derbyshire, a great many miles distant ; 
he crossed the Peak of Derbyshire in a violent snow- 
storm, reaching home about midnight. Captain White, 
by the way, was known as the " Light Manchester," 
while his chum, Mr. Maxse, was called the " Heavy 
Bristol." 

In April 18 16 we find Mr. Smith writing a courteous 
letter to Mr. Cradock in connection with his coverts about 
Gumley. The master points out that it is the only place 
upon which they have to depend in the district, and that, 
though he knows it is Mr. Cradock's wish that foxes 
should be preserved, he states that he had been unlucky 
in not finding them in the coverts. 

Mr. Smith was then drawing near the end of his 
period of mastership ; but just as we hear nothing of 
how he came to take the Quorn country, so we learn 
nothing as to the reasons which caused him to resign, 
and, strange as it may seem, the very date of his retire- 



96 THE QUORN HUNT 

ment does not appear to be a matter of certainty. Sir 
John Eardley Wilmot, in his "Life of Mr. Smith," makes 
the latter go to the Burton country in 1816; but Mrs. 
Musters, in " Hunting Songs and Sport," gives the 
period of Mr. Smith's mastership of the Ouorn as from 
1806 to 1 8 17, and these are doubtless the correct dates. 
Confirmation of this opinion is afforded by the Stamford 
Mercury for the 25th July 18 17, wherein it is stated that 
Mr. Walker was about to vacate the Burton country and 
would be succeeded by Mr. Smith, "under the immediate 
patronage of the Monson family," while in the issue of 
the same paper for 1st August 18 17 is a paragraph to 
the effect that it was "expected" that Mr. Osbaldeston 
would hunt Leicestershire, as he was in treaty with Mr. 
Smith for the purchase of Quorndon Hall. This, perhaps, 
may be taken as settling the question of dates. Lei- 
cestershire, as a whole, regretted Mr. Smith's departure, 
for, though he was hasty in temper, and at times some- 
what overbearing, he hunted the country with zeal, kept 
up a capital pack of hounds, mounted his men well, showed 
excellent sport, and gave his subscribers good value for 
their money. 

Mr. Smith, as is well known, was a good cricketer, 
an ardent yachtsman, and in his earlier days a good shot, 
but after his younger life he scarcely ever handled a gun. 
Mr. Smith died in 1858, at the age of eighty-two. • It had 
always been his ambition to hunt his own hounds at the 
age of eighty, but this was denied him. 

During Mr. Smith's mastership of the Ouorn the 
Rev. Dr. Ford, for forty-five years vicar of Melton 
Mowbray, and of whom mention is made elsewhere, 
wrote a poem called "The Melton Hunt," which was 
composed about the year 1S13. Mr. Ferneley the artist 
found a copy of the verses among some old papers, and 
gave them to Mr. Smith's biographer. The poem is as 
follows ; — ■ 



MR. ASSHETON SMITH 97 



THE MELTON HUNT, 1813 

" I must have liberty 
Withal, as large a charter as the wind, 
To blow on whom I please ; for so fools have, 
And they that are most galled with my folly, 
They most must laugh."— Shakspeare. 

I sing Fox-hunting, and the gen'rous rage 

Which spurs the noble youth of this new age, 

With careless toil, all for their country's good, 

To rid us of those vermin of the wood 

That nightly steal, and for their luncheon hoard 

The poultry which should smoke upon our board. 

Such feats advent'rous through the hard-run day, 

From dull November to all charming May, 

Call for the poet's best and readiest rhyme 

In strains at once familiar and sublime. 

Oh ! could my muse resemble such a chase, 

And with the riders keep an equal pace, 

Though cautious, bold ; cool, yet with ardour fired ; 

Free, without check ; impetuous, yet untired. 

Ye knowing sportsmen, foremost of the lead, 
Who keep no turnpike, and no fences heed ; 
Who crack the echoing whip, go off in style, 
Enjoy the sport, and pace through every wile- 
Now found, now lost, and now again in view — 
The cunning fugitive ye close pursue : 
Ye booted senators, who for me frank, 
Claiming post after post an unpaid thank; 
Who, with yourselves, bring thousands yearly down 
To glut the cravings of this sharp-set town, 
Whose trickful tradesmen, farmers, rogues in grain, 
Thrive by your wants, and by your losses gain, 
Scramble who most at sight your bills shall share, — 
" Take in a hunter," and the booty's fair : 
Be candid, hunters, if, once famed in Greek, 
Faintly your foreign dialect I speak, 
Up to your phrases if I'm found unable, 
Not tutored in the science of your stable. 
Besides, our tribe, you know, scarce hunt at all, 
Save for preferment, and the well-cribbed stall; 



98 THE QUORN HUNT 

Yet by your partial notice made thus rich, 
Raised by your favours to my honour's pitch, 
I'll try to set the table whilst you quaff, 
If not on roar, on a facetious laugh, 
Whilst spice of Latin shall with harmless jest, 
Like poignant Cayenne, give my olio zest. 



Not as their fathers erst " with early horn," 

Our modern hunters now "salute the morn," 

'Tis noon, ere these in scarlet bright array 

Commence th' achievements of the dubious day, 

Each on his steed, sleek-coated and high fed, 

From sire to dam in calendar well bred ; 

For in the jockey's heraldry the stud 

Must boast descent from ancestry of blood ; 

As well you might a hobby-horse bestride, 

As mount a roadster of no lineal pride. 

Here blacks, browns, bays, and chestnuts, most renowned 

For spirit, temper, shape, price, fill the ground ; 

Each brags his favourite prowess in the field, 

" My grey mare to no better horse shall yield; " 

But Forester's fine eye and single glance 

Finds out the latent blemish as they prance ; 

Deep skilled to scan the solid worth that lies 

In horses, men, and their true qualities. 

Hear him but talk, what music on his tongue ! 

It cheers the old, it fascinates the young : 

Look in his face, no doubt the counterpart, 

The honest, liberal sentiment of heart. 

Hark forward how they bear ; nor them restrains, 

Or driving blast, or storm with drenching rains. 

What springs they make, o'er ditches, post, and rail, 

And dash and plunge through Belvoir's stick-fast vale ! 

In at the death 'tis glorious to arrive ; 

To claim the brush, no mean prerogative : 

Thrown out, and some thrown off, besplashed with mire, 

A motley group — peer — parson — grazier — squire. 

Home safe returned, how changed ! studious they dress, 
In newest fashion for the sumptuous mess; 
Set out with Lucry's complete bill of fare : 
Fish by the mail — delicious, costly, rare ; 
High-seasoned dishes, — fricassees — ragout, 
All that the sav'ry pamp'ring art can do. 



MR. ASSHETON SMITH 99 

They eat like hunters, frequent bumpers drain, 

Of flavoured claret and of brisk champagne. 

Flushed with the grape, like Persia's prince grown vain, 

They thrice each bullfinch charge, and thrice "they slay the slain " 

Where Smith would draw, what lengths with freshmen go, 

To break them into service passing show ! 



"Saddle White Surrey for the field to-morrow." 

But ah ! unlooked for, to their spleen and sorrow, 

The next day " comes a frost, a killing frost," 

All's at a stand, and all their pleasure crossed. 

To town some scamper, and the odds are even, 

Who first get seats in Chapel of St. Stephen, 

To do their duty there, State flaws detect, 

Invent new laws, and trespasses correct ; 

The frost now gone, they're down again in mind, 

And motion quicker than the verging wind. 

To sober whist, some soberly betake, 

Though deep the rubber, deeper yet the stake, 

Fixed as stanch pointers to a practised set, 

Well read in Hoyle, on every deal who bet ; 

And cards played out, what a confused din 

Of blame, or praise, as the sets lose or win ! 

" You played the Knave, you might have played the Deuce." 

"You drew and forced my Queen." — "Pray, spare abuse."- 

"You cut my hand to pieces, threw away 

Your highest diamond, and you call this Play ? " — 

" There a cool fifty goes ! Before we part, 

Take my advice, get Bob Short's rules by heart." 

So oft began the midnight conversation, 

So closed as oft in mutual altercation. 



But now a scene how brilliant hath ta'en place, 

Where beauty, elegance, and softest grace, 

Of highest female rank — resistless can 

Charm and control that lawless creature, man; 

Improve his morals, harmonise his heart, 

And tenderness to fortitude impart ! 

School of Politeness, be our club hence named, 

For kindest conjugal attention famed, 

Each well deserving that pure bliss of life, 

The sweet endearments of a lovely wife; 

Be Benedict of Beatrice possessed, 



IOO 



THE QUORN HUNT 



Like Cavendish, Powlett, Worcester, Plymouth blessed, 

Like Forester 

I leave a lengthened space 

Where bachelors forlorn may find a place ; 
Aylesford and Dartmouth, gallant Craven, May, 
All-polished Mayler, and Sir Robert Gay. 

This round of labour ruddy health insures, 

To courage stirs, to hardiness inures ; 

Thus trained, my masters, you would meet the foe, 

Furious to battle, as to covert go. 

A cavalry already formed the French to rout, 

And Tally-ho ! your frantic war-whoop, shout, 

But hold ! our furrows in the blade look green, 

Our burdened ewes their tender lambs 'gin yean ; 

Timely you cease, of damages afraid, 

Nor injure lands for summer crops new laid, 

Pastures revive — foxes shall breed and rear, 

Strong and inviting cubs for next Leap Year. — Shallow. 







fi 2? 







CHAPTER IV 

MR. GEORGE OSBALDESTON (1817-1821, 1823-1827) 
SIR BELLINGHAM GRAHAM (1821-1823) 
LORD SOUTHAMPTON (1827-1831) 



CHAPTER IV 

MR. GEORGE OSBALDESTON 

1817-1821, 1823-1827 

MR. OSBALDESTON, like his predecessor, to 
whom he was eleven years junior in age, was 
born in London (Wimpole Street) on Boxing Day, 
1787, and after some experience with harriers, which 
occasionally ran foxes, in 1809 or 18 10 became master 
of the Burton country, buying the hounds of the fourth 
Lord Monson. In 18 14 he migrated to the South Notts 
district, and after admitting that it was a most difficult 
country in which to kill foxes, left at the end of his first 
season to take the Atherstone country, of which he may 
be said to have been the first master, for then it was 
that the Atherstone became a really separate hunt. 
After two years there he succeeded Mr. Assheton Smith 
at Ouorndon as the sixth master of the Ouorn. 

Mr. Osbaldeston came to Quorn with a great 
reputation for hound-breeding skill, horsemanship, and 
keenness in general, and the reputation was by no 
means undeserved. One who saw his hounds durino- 
his first mastership wrote that they were a very perfect 
pack — all of one size, of one colour, of the same form 
and general character, and showed more blood than any 
other hounds, while they appeared to be less than their 
real height ; the last mentioned being, of course, a 
compliment to their symmetry. Somehow or other, 
however, Mr. Osbaldeston could not manage to please 



103 



io 4 THE QUORN HUNT 

everybody, and there were certainly two opinions about 
his character as a huntsman — 

Who is the trumpeter blowing his horn ? 
That is the trumpeter coming from Quorn, 
The very worst huntsman that ever was born, 

are lines which were applied to Mr. Osbaldeston as a 
huntsman, while Mr. Grantley Berkeley in his published 
works refers to the Squire * in anything but compli- 
mentary terms. In the year 1865, long of course after 
Mr. Osbaldeston had given up hunting, there appeared 
in print a review of a book of Mr. Grantley Berkeley's 
and also a letter in which reflections were cast upon his 
system, and to these Mr. Osbaldeston replied in the 
following words : — 

Now, sir, I hunted the Burton country in Lincolnshire ; the 
Spilsbyin Lincolnshire; Mr. Musters's in Nottinghamshire; Lord 
Vernon's in Derbyshire ; the Atherstone ; the Holderness in 
Yorkshire; the Suffolk, the Quorn, the Pytchley and Hampshire, 
a period of more than thirty-five years ; and, during that long 
career, I never heard any complaints conveyed through any of 
my friends, and I hunted the hounds myself and bred them 
myself. When 1 left the Burton country I was presented with 
a large silver waiter, the handles being in imitation of two foxes' 
heads, with an inscription expressive of their approbation of my 
hunting the country ; and when I left the Pytchley I received a 
beautiful snuff-box from the Hunt with the following inscription : 
"To the best sportsman of any age or country." 

Mr. Osbaldeston was saved the trouble of finding a 
fresh pack of hounds when he took the Quorn country, 
as he brought his own with him from the Atherstone, 
and they quickly took the eye of the Quorn men. A 
good many people had complimentary things to say of 

1 Mr. Osbaldeston was called the Squire because he was the only com- 
moner who then hunted a pack of hounds in Leicestershire, and he was 
very proud of the title. 



MR. GEORGE OSBALDESTON 105 

their make and shape, and their hunting powers ; but the 
greatest compliment of all was when one who was often 
with them said that they did not in the least appear to 
mind being ridden over, or to be mixed up with the field, 
to which they appeared accustomed. 

The fact appears to be that both the Squire and his 
hounds came to see that Leicestershire required a style 
which materially differed from that which would suffice 
elsewhere. From all accounts the Osbaldeston of Not- 
tinghamshire, Lincolnshire, and the Atherstone country 
was not the Osbaldeston of Leicestershire. On coming 
to the Quorn he found that he had to conform to the 
peculiarities of the country, and he wisely adapted him- 
self to circumstances ; yet even in his most rapid move- 
ments he always showed himself perfectly cognisant of 
what he intended to effect, and how to accomplish it. 
Those who knew him in countries other than the Quorn 
averred that as a huntsman he was patient, and most 
averse to interfering with the pack until they had quite 
failed to solve any difficulty which might have presented 
itself. " Often and often," writes one who constantly 
followed his hounds, "have I seen him grind his teeth 
in vexation, and heard him utter an anathema when his 
favourites were interdicted from feeling for the line by 
the continuous charge of a body of men whose one 
solitary idea was to follow a leader without other care 
or thought." 

Mr. Grantley Berkeley possibly called him "flashy" 
because he was quick. He soon discovered that a good 
start was, if not everything, at least worth a good deal, 
and in this particular he was said to soon be a match for 
any of his followers. Having undertaken to hunt the 
Quorn country six days a week he had, of course, to 
strengthen his kennel, and towards this end he procured 
a large draft from Belvoir, the famous hound Furrier, 
then very young, being among the lot. The story has 



106 THE QUORN HUNT 

often been told how Furrier was crooked owing to 
having been tied up too much at walk, and this was no 
doubt the reason of his being sent away from Belvoir. 
When any critic came to the kennels, and tried to obtain 
an end-on view of Furrier, the Squire would interpose 
and say in his shrill voice, "Not that way ; look at him 
so," and Furrier would be turned broadside on, so that 
his shortcoming should not be seen. 

At the end of a very long day, when hounds and 
horses were pretty well beaten, the indomitable Furrier 
was running at the head of the pack, and in his career 
jumped a very high gate, and from that moment he 
became a stud-hound. At first he was naturally used 
with care ; but he was not long in making a name for 
himself, and before the Squire's second period of master- 
ship came to an end he rode up to Kirby gate on the 
first Monday in November with twenty (one account 
says forty) couples of bitches, all by Furrier, and in an 
ecstasy of pleasure the master said, " There, gentlemen, 
there they are. I have bred those beauties to please 
you — ride over them if you can." * 

This was perhaps a rather injudicious challenge to 
issue, but as a matter of fact the hounds were not so 
much ridden over as those of some other masters of the 
Ouorn. Mr. Osbaldeston made no pretence of stopping 
his field by a single wave of his hand as Mr. Greene did 
afterwards ; but some of his pet anathemas, given in his 
loudest and shrillest falsetto, usually sufficed to secure 
elbow-room for his hounds. 

Although these hounds were all that could be desired 
in point of make and shape — their necks, shoulders, loins, 
and limbs are said to have been as near perfection as 

1 Durin 0- the time that Mr. Villebois was master of the Hampshire 
Hounds, he met on the 22nd December 1822 at Harmsworth, and on that 
occasion he took to the covert-side sixteen and a half couples of hounds by 
Pontiff, a favourite stallion hound of his, the dams being Vengeance, 
Thoughtless, Notable, and Milliner. 



MR. GEORGE OSBALDESTON 107 

possible — there was one famous hound at Quorn called 
Vaulter, which was walked by one of the Squire's tenants 
in Yorkshire, and when he was sent in a note came with 
him to say that he should make a good hound, as he had 
eaten the mistress's prayer-book. Mr. Osbaldeston's 
packs, however, had two faults, and in pointing them out 
Mr. Grantley Berkeley was right — they ran quite mute, 
and were impatient on a middling scent. Their muteness 
was ascribed to the strain of Sir Thomas Mostyn (who 
hunted what is now the Bicester country), Furrier being 
by one of his stud-hounds which never threw his tongue ; 
indeed, all Sir Thomas Mostyn's hounds were notoriously 
mute. Their impatience on a poor scent is said to have 
been engendered by the impetuosity of the field which 
followed them. Nevertheless, the Furrier pack were 
bred by Mr. Osbaldeston to answer a particular purpose, 
and they answered it ; if they went away from covert 
with anything like a scent and on decent terms with their 
fox, they showed the best of sport. Such is contem- 
poraneous criticism, though perhaps there is no pack in 
the United Kingdom which would not run under similar 
conditions. 

It is well known, however, that Mr. Osbaldeston 
spent much of his time in kennel, and report says that his 
hounds were under such control as would almost have 
satisfied the authorities in these dog-muzzling days ( 1 898). 

It has been said that the words, " Bitches turn over," 
sufficed to make the two sexes go apart ; but too much 
credence need not be placed on the anecdote, since it 
has been told of three or four kennels, while, to make the 
story perfect, the dogs should at least have been as well 
versed in English as the ladies of the kennel. 

The Squire thoroughly threw his back into hunting 
the Quorn country, and he showed much excellent sport. 
Hunting six days a week, however, made a strain upon 
Mr. Osbaldeston's resources, and it was not long before 



108 THE QUORN HUNT 

he stipulated for an increased subscription, which was 
granted him, and the season 1819-20 began in tolerably 
brilliant fashion. On the opening day at Kirby Gate in 
1 81 9, three very decent runs fell to the lot of the hounds, 
and on subsequent days the sport was good. Mr. 
Osbaldeston, being a country gentleman bred and born 
(his property was in Yorkshire), was quite in touch with 
the farmers, who at that time preserved foxes well for 
him, whereas formerly they had " crabbed these gentle- 
men fox-hunters." The Squire, too, whatever his later 
failings may have been, bought all his oats, hay, and 
other things from the farmers, so the latter soon came 
to see that hunting, even if productive of some damage, 
was not without its better side. The country people, 
too, were taken by the Squire's zeal and interest in 
them ; for, instead of hunting the fox with their own 
sheep and other dogs, they kept them carefully tied up 
when hounds were about. 

Excellent as was the sport shown by Mr. Osbal- 
deston, some of the runs must have been grossly exag- 
gerated. We read, for example, of a run which began at 
Marriott's Gorse, from which a fox slipped away as soon 
as he heard hounds coming. The Squire, however, soon 
hit off his line, and after running a ring back to where he 
was found, was forced out again, and gave a run of an 
hour and seven minutes, during which twenty miles are 
said to have been covered ! Well may we say with 
Dominie Sampson, "Prodigious!" The fox in question 
went to ground, and I find a note to the effect that, 
as foxes were becoming rather scarce, it was deemed 
prudent to dig out this one and " reserve him for 
another day's sport." 

During Mr. Osbaldeston's tenure of mastership some 
of his best known followers were Lord Plymouth, who, 
living with his family at Melton Lodge, kept up a 
remarkably fine stable of hunters. He seldom had fewer 



MR. GEORGE OSBALDESTON 109 

than twenty horses, and he would pay, it is said, as much 
as ,£1000 — he certainly bought several at ^500 and ,£600 
each — and then when he had bought these costly steeds 
he discovered that he could not ride some of them ; he 
would, therefore, put up Dick Christian, so that he might 
have the satisfaction of seeing them go. Sir James 
Musgrave, of course, was a standing dish, and " Paddy " 
Maher was one of the shining lights of Melton, he pos- 
sessing a thorough knowledge of everything pertaining 
to hounds, horses, and hunting. No coffee-houser was 
he. As soon as hounds were in covert he was all atten- 
tion ; on a good start he placed his whole hope, and if 
he only slipped well away, no hounds could shake him 
off. If he were left behind, as the best of men are some- 
times, he would just dodge along the roads and lanes at 
a trot ; but never could he be induced to ride a stern 
chase. He is said to have ridden horses which were 
somewhat deficient in blood, and though they could all 
jump like cats, could not catch up hounds. There is a 
story that on one occasion Mr. Valentine Maher, while 
riding one of his "countrymen" — he had several Irish 
horses — crept behind a haystack so that people should 
not see that his horse was beaten. One of the best of 
his stud, however, was a grey Irish horse named Erin, 
which stood barely fifteen hands one inch. Mr. Assheton 
Smith, who had ridden him a few times, pronounced 
him to be "the stoutest horse then in Leicestershire." 
Of Erin's jumping powers "Paddy" Maher once had 
ample proof. Maher, who was very strong in the arms, 
rode all his horses in snaffle bridles, which, as an autho- 
rity has reminded us, is not the same thing as riding a 
snaffle-bridle horse. One fine day Erin "took charge" 
of his owner, and with his head in the air started off at 
full gallop, jumping in his career the dry lock of a canal 
in the Vale of Belvoir. Of Leicestershire White men- 
tion is made elsewhere, while Mr. Maxse, whose name is 



no THE QUORN HUNT 

so often mentioned in Mr. Assheton Smith's Life, was 
also hunting in Leicestershire in Squire Osbaldeston's 
time. Mr. Maxse was one of the welter weights of the 
Hunt, but he had a formidable rival in " Saddle " Camp- 
bell — so called from the place where his property was 
situate ; and though Campbell's weight exceeded that of 
Mr. Maxse, the former generally contrived to beat the 
latter, until at last the " Ajax of heavy weights," as Mr. 
Smith called Mr. Maxse, became so angry that whenever 
it was possible he made a point of always going out with 
the pack which was not to be honoured with " Saddle" 
Campbell's company. 

The Marquis of Tweeddale, a most determined horse- 
man, occasionally hunted with the Quorn, though he was 
more often seen with the Belvoir, and he it was who 
once mounted the Duke of Wellington on so perfect a 
hunter that the duke was afterwards heard to say that 
Leicestershire was an easier country to cross than he 
thought. Then, again, "Davie" Baird, afterwards Sir 
David, a great chum of "Saddle" Campbell's, was another 
of the " Scottish Brigade," who did great things. The 
story goes that no sooner did he appear in Leicestershire 
than he at once took his place in the front rank, though 
owning at the time a rather rickety stud. It is said that 
he could ride anything, and would "shove along" on a 
bad horse better than most people could on a good one. 
An old song, said to have been written by "Saddle" 
Campbell, at that time the Melton laureate, made 
mention of — 

Davie Baird on Jamie Hope 
Swift o'er the grassy slope. 

Jamie Hope was "a thoroughbred cross-made horse 
which had been stumbling about with a whip in Scotland 
for several years." Davie Baird got hold of him, and 
after riding him through a famous run in his well- 



MR. GEORGE OSBALDESTON in 

known style, sold him for £joo, and on the sale reaching 
the ears of his father, a master of hounds in Scotland, 
Baird pere is reported to have said, " It matters little, 
for though Davie has sold the fiddle, he has not parted 
with the bow." This anecdote has been told in a 
variety of forms of different people ; but as it was re- 
lated of Davie Baird in Bell's Life as long ago as 1840, 
it is as likely as not to be the original version. 

During Mr. Osbaldeston's mastership of the Quorn, 
John Gully used to spend a good deal of time with the 
Squire, for though not much of a bruiser over a country 
he was devoted to hunting, and afterwards, when he 
bought Ackworth Park, near Pontefract, he became 
a great supporter of the Badsworth. Among John 
Gully's hunters was a much-admired horse called Jack 
Ketch, and in connection with him a curious story was 
current in Leicestershire. After Gully's stud was sold, 
a Meltonian whose new horse was admired said that it 
was Gully's Jack Ketch, and he added that there never 
was a better. Whereupon another man said, " My good 
sir, you surely must be crazy, for the horse I am now 
riding is Gully's Jack Ketch. I bought him from 
Milton, who purchased all Gully's horses." Only a 
few days later a third and a fourth Jack Ketch turned 
up, and on inquiries being set on foot it appeared that 
the dealer in question, knowing that the original Jack 
Ketch had a marvellous reputation, reduplicated him 
ad lib., so that eventually no one claimed to have the 
original horse. 

In the company of thrusters in which he found 
himself the Squire was quite capable of holding his 
own ; but to timber he always had an intense dislike. 

" I hate that d d carpentry," was his remark when 

timber came in the line ; but over other kinds of fences 
he rode fearlessly enough. 

It was in the early part of 182 1 that he met with the 



ii2 THE QUORN HUNT 

bad fall which caused him ever afterwards to object to 
any one riding near him at a fence. He was hunting 
with Lord Anson's hounds in the Atherstone country 
when his horse, after dropping his hind legs into a ditch, 
rolled over. Sir James Musgrave, riding close in his 
wake, was not able to stop his horse in time, and jumped 
first on the Squire's prostrate steed and then on to 
Mr. Osbaldeston himself, and with such violence as to 
break his leg in two places. 1 A couple of doctors were 
fortunately out, and everything possible was done for 
the unfortunate gentleman ; but at the end of the season 
1820-21 Mr. Osbaldeston gave up the Ouorn, and ex- 
changing with Sir Bellingham Graham, who was then 
master of the Hambledon, went into Hampshire, where 
however he remained for a short time only, and the 
spring of 1823 saw him back at Ouorn again, when the 
sport he had previously shown was to a great extent 
revived. There was a rumour that the country was 
short of foxes in some parts ; but whether the state- 
ment was true or whether steps were taken to remedy 
the deficiency there is no means of knowing, but at any 
rate the Squire killed, or is said to have killed, thirty 
brace of foxes before regular hunting began in Novem- 
ber 1824. 

During cub-hunting many good runs took place, and 
November set in with a rare vein of sport. 

On the 15th November 1824 Mr. Osbaldeston met at Sea- 
grave ; found in Munday's Gorse, and hounds ran the fox to old 
Dalby Wood, and then after a ring of about four or five miles, 
hunted him well to Schoby Scholes, where the hounds unluckily 



1 On the day after the Squire's accident Tom Sebright, then first whipper- 
in, hunted the hounds, and had one of the best runs he ever saw in Leices- 
tershire. The fox which gave the run was known as " Perpetual Motion " ; 
he was found at Schoby Scholes, and ran, or is said to have run, to Garthorpe 
Lodge, a fourteen miles in and out journey, with only one short check, 
in an hour and twenty minutes, 



MR. GEORGE OSBALDESTON 113 

hit upon a fresh fox, and getting away on good terms with him 
raced away by Saxelby and Grimstone. At Schoby Scholes the 
hounds slipped all the field except Mr. Holyoake and Mr. Oxen- 
don, who was on a visit to Dr. Leeke, of Nottinghamshire. These 
two, it is true, had a bad start, but they were at any rate able 
to see the way hounds went, though perhaps their view was a 
distant one. Eventually the fox was lost in the " Six Hills 
country," just in the nick of time as the report says, for every 
horse which struggled on to the finish was completely done up. 
It was, from all accounts, useless for any one to try to overtake 
the pack, but even those who rode the lanes and byways could 
not keep up with them, and at the end there was hardly a horse 
which could trot. 

Only a few days afterwards, that is to say, on the 23rd of 
November, another good run took place. After meeting at 
Gaddesby, hounds went to Cream Gorse, whence a fox stole away, 
and the hounds being on the outside of the covert at the time, 
they soon hit off the line. The fox skirted Ashby Pasture to 
Thorpe Trussells, and ran thence to Thorpe Satchville, after- 
wards taking a direct line to Burrough Hill. At Adcock's Barn 
the fox made a short turn to the left, almost in face of the 
horsemen, and eventually the hounds ran into him, after a very 
fast forty minutes, in the middle of a large field between Melton 
and Kirby Park. All those who held good places up to Adcock's 
Barn were thrown out at that point, and never saw hounds again 
until long after they had killed their fox. 

The only man with the hounds all through was that fine 
horseman Dick Burton, Mr. Osbaldeston's first whipper-in, and 
for more than a mile he saw the fox in front of the hounds. 
Close to the field in which he was pulled down, the fox crossed 
a road close to Dick Burton, and then he lay down " coiled up 
like a dog before the fire," as Dick said. Three couples of 
hounds, which were two hundred yards ahead of the rest, ran 
right over him; but the main body, less hasty, killed him. 

On the 26th November 1825 the Ouorn met at 
Brawnston, near Leicester, and finding a second fox at 
Glen Gorse, hounds ran him for some distance ; but just 
as they were on the point of killing him, Mr. Osbal- 
deston suddenly stopped the hounds owing to their 
being overridden by oik- of the held, who must have 

H 



ii 4 THE QUORN HUNT 

been on an uncommonly good hunter, unless he had 
managed to pick up his second horse, as when the 
hounds were stopped all the horses were said to have 
had quite enough galloping, and Mr. Holyoake was 
obliged to have his hunter bled. 

The season 1824-25 appears to have opened with 
every promise of success. House accommodation was 
at a premium, while sport continued to be of the best, 
all the horses being knocked up day after day from all 
accounts. For example, on the 23rd December 1824 
hounds met at Owthorpe and had an extremely fast run 
of an hour and fifteen minutes. Sir Harry Goodricke 
had the luck to pick up his second or third horse, and 
took the fox from the hounds. Mr. Osbaldeston and 
Dick Burton were beaten some way from the finish, 
while of those who rode one horse all through the run, the 
honour lay with Lord Rancliffe, who struggled on nearly 
to the end, Mr. Holyoake and Mr. Johnson being perhaps 
the next best off. Just about this time Dick Burton 
sustained one of his many serious falls ; his horse rolled 
over him, and one of the bones of the pelvis was broken. 

Mr. Osbaldeston was styled by Colonel Lowther 
" the moonlight hunter " and " Georgium Sidus," but 
great as was his reputation as a horseman, he was some- 
times beaten. There was a somewhat notorious hunter 
named Assheton which eventually became the property 
of Mr. Holyoake, who was too heavy for him, and could 
not ride him ; nor for that matter could Mr. Osbaldeston ; 
though on one occasion Assheton carried him well in a 
run from Billesdon Coplow to Ranksborough. Dick 
Burton, however, who could always get on with Assheton, 
had ridden him during a hard morning's work, and it was 
only when the edge was thus taken off him that the 
Squire was able to shine upon him. 1 At this time, how- 

1 Ferneley, the artist, painted Mr. Osbaldeston mounted on Assheton in 
the act of jumping a gate — in spite of his hatred of carpentry — while Sir 



MR. GEORGE OSBALDESTON 115 

ever, Parson Empson, " the flying parson," as he was 
called, had a horse called "Shaver" which was Asshe- 
ton's master, as he was just as speedy, as stout, and was 
as good a fencer, while in addition he had a much more 
angelic temper. 

In bringing to a close these notes on Mr. Osbal- 
deston's career as master of the Quorn, it must suffice to 
note that he was a good all-round sportsman and athlete. 
He was a good steeplechase rider, shot, pedestrian, 
pugilist, and billiard player ; but an extended notice of 
his excellence in these diversions would be outside the 
purview of this book. His old friend Mr. Wheeler has 
written about him and his exploits in Sportascrapia.ua, 
and in another book ' the present writer has given sundry 
particulars concerning "the Squire." He unfortunately 
took to the turf ; lost much money at racing, and died in 
somewhat straitened circumstances, at his house in St. 
John's Wood, on the 1st August 1866. It was in the 
year 1831, when Mr. Osbaldeston was in his forty-sixth 
year, that he accomplished at Newmarket his famous 
ride of two hundred miles in eight hours and forty 
minutes, using twenty-eight horses. 

Harry Goodricke on Dr. Russell, and Mr. Holyoake on Crossbar, are jump- 
ing the fence at each side. When Mr. Osbaldeston saw the picture he is 
reported to have exclaimed that a cleverer hunter than Assheton was never 
foaled. A portrait of Mr. Osbaldeston was also engraved by Roffe, from a 
painting by Dr. Woodhouse, Fellow of Caius College, Cambridge, in 1835 
or 1836. 

1 Notitia Venatica, new edition (Nimmo). 



n6 THE QUORN HUNT 



SIR BELLINGHAM GRAHAM 
1821— 1823 

AS already mentioned, that fine sportsman Sir Bel- 
l lingbam Graham ruled the Ouorn country for 
a couple of seasons (1821-23) between Mr. Osbal- 
deston's two periods of mastership ; and on reviewing 
his career as a master of hounds, one can scarcely 
avoid agreeing with " Nimrod," who regretted that 
Sir Bellingham had not confined himself to one good 
country instead of hunting so many, " some of which 
were of an indifferent character." Personally I do not 
desire to brand as indifferent such countries as the 
Pytchley, Badsworth, Atherstone, Shiffnal (now the 
Albrighton), and Shropshire; but Sir Bellingham Graham 
was, like Mr. Osbaldeston, a master who hopped about 
from country to country, "to one thing constant never." 
He began his career by succeeding Mr. Musters 
in the Badsworth country, which he hunted for two 
seasons ; then he migrated to the Atherstone, where 
he remained for three years ; and then he hunted the 
Pytchley for a single season (1820-21), and it may here 
be mentioned that Sir Bellingham Graham and Mr. 
Osbaldeston are the only two men who have ever been 
masters of both the famous hunts, the Quorn and Pytch- 
ley. In addition, Sir Bellingham had a turn with the 
Hambledon (when he exchanged with Mr. Osbaldeston, 
and declared that the subscription would not find him in 
spur-straps and blacking). He did not stay long in Hamp- 
shire, the hunting not being brilliant enough lor him. 



SIR BELLINGHAM GRAHAM 117 

It is, however, with the Ouorn only that I am now 
concerned. Sir Bellingham Graham's reputation had so 
far preceded him into Leicestershire that it was taken 
for granted he would hunt the country as well as it could 
be hunted, and in proof of this he received the largest 
subscription ever given to a master of the Quorn, 
namely, considerably over four thousand a year. Soon 
after Mr. Osbaldeston's accident with Lord Anson's 
hounds, the former wrote to the members of the Hunt, 
through the medium of the local paper, to say that he 
was compelled to give up the country ; and Sir Belling- 
ham wrote to the same journal offering himself as the 
Squire's successor, an offer which was readily accepted. 

Sir Bellingham Graham, a fine horseman, is said to 
have had in the Ouorn stables the best collection of good 
big horses ever seen, not even excepting Lord Sefton's, 
and no one ever hunted the country in more liberal style. 
During the two seasons he ruled Leicestershire there 
was not, it was said, a single instance of his not being 
with hounds, which was the more remarkable because 
when he first came he did not know the country ; while 
in his first season the long-continued rain had made the 
country uncommonly deep and holding. Sir Bellingham 
was a heavy weight, but he went with the best, and his 
straight riding brought him to grief at the beginning of 
his second season, for while hunting his hounds on 
Boxing Day 1822, he rode at a gate — or at an ox-fence, 
according to another account — apparently close to the 
post, which his horse struck, and down came the pair, 
while one of the field, riding behind, fell at the same 
obstacle, and tumbled on Sir Bellingham, who remained 
insensible, it is said, for something like twenty - four 
hours, during which time he was bled three times, in 
accordance with the drastic measures of the day. His 
chest was much injured, and for five days he was con- 
fined to his bed ; but on the seventh he was muffled up 



n8 THE QUORN HUNT 

in shawls, and managed to get out in a carriage, just 
to see his hounds find ; but he even went further ; he 
is reported to have called for one of his horses, which 
was being ridden by a groom, and to have taken com- 
mand of his hounds, until, thoroughly exhausted, he was 
compelled to give in. 

Sir Bellinsfham Graham had a famous horse called 
Cock Robin, on which he once slipped away from covert 
and a large field by jumping in and out of some double 
rails, between which there was barely room to land. 
On another occasion, when the hounds ran hard from 
Glen Gorse to Stanton Wood, the master took the 
lead and kept it, notwithstanding the fact that several 
of the best light weights in England, including Colonel 
George Anson and Mr. William Coke, were very close 
to him, but they could not overtake him. 

It was during Sir Bellingham Graham's mastership 
that there died a somewhat remarkable Leicestershire 
character, one Job Inchley, a horse-dealer. He was 
born about 1753, and in his younger days sold a good 
many horses to the followers of Mr. Meynell, and for 
some reason or other his portrait was painted by 
Marshall for some nobleman, whose name is not given. 
Unlike most dealers, however, Job Inchley had fancies 
of his own, and after a while he dealt in classes of horses 
which did not find general favour. A critic of the time 
says that he at one time bought blood horses of the type 
called by Jacob Wardel "slashers," but which were not 
suitable for the purpose intended. Some of these he 
trained and ran in races ; but they " were not fast enough 
to tire themselves, nor stout enough to win." Eventually 
Job Inchley's fancies brought him to grief, and after 
parting with his little freehold property, he died in 
London without a shilling, during the mastership of Sir 
Bellingham Graham. In his dress, Job is said to have 
been very peculiar. To all appearance he always wore 



SIR BELLINGHAM GRAHAM 119 

the same clothes ; his boots were seldom cleaned ; but 
when they were it was with a wisp of hay and some 
water. In his horse-dealinsf transactions he was said to 
be straight enough ; but he was undoubtedly eccentric. 

During the autumn of 182 1 the idea appears to have 
occurred to the Leicestershire hunting men that it would 
be a good thing to have a pack of staghounds, and the 
proposal was made that they should be established under 
the mastership of Lord Brudenell, but the project fell 
through. 

Mr. Osbaldeston was, however, somewhat late in 
making known his intention to resign the country, for 
although the Quorn fixtures were published in the local 
papers on the 2nd November 1821, Mr. Osbaldeston's 
letter intimating his intention of resigning the country 
did not appear in print until the 29th of the month, 
though Sir Bellingham Graham offered his services on 
the 22nd; but it had doubtless been arranged between 
them that the one would give up and the other would 
apply for the country. 

As was only to be expected, Sir Bellingham Graham 
showed capital sport during the short time he hunted the 
Quorn country. One Saturday in November 182 1, the 
hounds met at Preston Wold, and found a fox in Mr. 
Packe's gardens. 

The fox went away over the lawn towards Barton-on-the-Wold, 
and hounds ran at a great pace thence to Walton Thorns, and, 
skirting Mr. Story's plantation and Rugdale Hall, went on, leaving 
Schoby Scholes a short distance on the right. The fox then crossed 
Dalby Wold in the direction of the Windmill, which he left on the 
right, and running thence to Broughton Grounds, went nearly to 
Parson's Gorse, and turning short at Broughton, crossed the 
Smite near Clawson, and bore to the left in the direction of Kin- 
noulton. Thence the line lay in the direction of Hose, and the 
fox crossed the Vale of Belvoir; but by that time he was done up, 
and hounds rolled him over in a field near Piper Hole, where he 
lay down, the run having lasted two hours and ten minutes. It is 



120 THE QUORN HUNT 

said that there was not a check from start to finish, and that out 
of a field of about three hundred, four only saw the finish. It 
was one of the best runs, we are told, ever known. 

In November 1822 Sir Bellingham met with his 
second accident, his horse falling with him at a big 
fence, but beyond being- bruised, he sustained no serious 
injury. 

March 1823 saw another good run, but neither the 
place of meeting nor the covert in which the fox was 
found is mentioned. The account is that 

The hounds had one of the severest days recollected for some 
years past. A fox went away towards Stretton Hall, by Glenn 
Town to Burton Overy by Carlton, near to Stoughton Holt, 
through Stourton Wood to Stourton Town, and afterwards to 
Church Langton. The fox then crossed the Welland, ran through 
Langton Caudle, and thence to Glooston Wood to Hallaton Bot- 
toms. Running thence nearly to Allerton Wood, the line lay to 
Stockerston Wood, where hounds were stopped. The hounds 
found directly they were put into covert, and those who were a 
few minutes late saw nothing of the run. The master, Mr. Anson, 
and Mr. Coke were the only three who were with hounds from 
start to finish. 

In April of 1823 Sir Bellingham Graham announced 
his intention of giving up the Quorn, and at the same 
time Mr. Osbaldeston sought the suffrages of the mem- 
bers of the Hunt for the second time, and his offer was 
accepted. His second period of mastership was marked 
by several good runs. Sir Bellingham Graham left the 
Quorn country, to the great regret of his field. 



LORD SOUTHAMPTON 121 



LORD SOUTHAMPTON 

1827 1831 

AMONG the many keen and hard-riding hunting 
. men who from time to time had visited Leicester- 
shire was the Lord Southampton who had hunted with 
the Ouorn, and he was, in the year 1827, induced to 
become the next master of that famous pack. 

Mr. Osbaldeston signalised his last season as master 
of the Ouorn by taking the hounds out every day, the 
hour of meeting being ten o'clock on some days and half- 
an-hour later on others, while towards the end of May a 
notice appeared in the Leicester Journal that all persons 
having any claim upon the Ouorn Hunt for coverts and 
earth-stopping should attend at certain places on certain 
days and at specified hours to have their claims satisfied, 
though whether this notice was issued by the Squire or 
Lord Southampton is not certain. 

It would appear, however, that everything was not 
as it should be at the time of Lord Southampton's acces- 
sion to office. When Mr. Osbaldeston's second term of 
mastership came to an end, the Ouorn country was said 
to be nearly destitute of foxes. P^or some time pre- 
viously it had been found expedient to cultivate friendly 
relations with the workmen in the Swithland slate quar- 
ries, in order to prevent the destruction of the cubs bred 
in the rocks and coverts near the works. Apparently 
some kindly sportsman had been in the habit of pro- 
pitiating the quarrymen, but by the time July 1827 
arrived, this had become nobody's business, so the 



122 THE QUORN HUNT 

supply of foxes had suffered in consequence, and the 
local journal entertained fears not only for the litters in 
the immediate vicinity of the quarries, but also in the 
Alscroft and Newtown Woods, as well as in the Grooby 
coverts, Barndon Hill, Grace Dieu Park, and the Forest 
generally. In Oakley, Piper, and Spring Woods, and a 
few other places, there was reason to hope for better 
things, and there was something like a chance for the 
Melton and Harborough sides. In earlier days, when 
every possible care was taken, "an importation of foxes 
was almost uniformly necessary in the Ouorndon Hunt," 
but the paper in question reminded its readers that this 
was not to be wondered at considering that, as the hounds 
were out every day, more foxes were killed in the Ouorn 
than in any other hunt in England. 

Lord Southampton certainly started at a disadvantage, 
for he was young and knew nothing about hunting. 
Moreover, when he signified his intention of taking the 
Ouorn country he had neither hounds, that is to say none 
to speak of, nor huntsman. Mr. Osbaldeston left some 
old stagers (about forty couples, it is said), considerably 
blemished ; some of them had lost an eye. Lord 
Southampton bought about twenty couples from Mr. 
Nicolls, of the New Forest, but there was not a sound 
hound among them. To these cripples and aged ones 
were added about twenty couples from Mr. Musters 
and some from Belvoir, so that "on paper" the scratch 
kennel appeared fairly strong, but out of the whole no 
huntsman could have made up one decent pack, for the 
Belvoir hounds were nearly twice the size of those from 
the New Forest. With this material did Lord South- 
ampton attempt to maintain the prestige of the famous 
Quorn Hunt. 

Lord Southampton, however, was unremitting in his 
endeavours to show sport ; he considered the farmers' 
interests and was extremely popular with them, while his 



LORD SOUTHAMPTON 123 

affability gained him friends everywhere. He perhaps 
made one mistake, the result of his want of experience in 
hunting, — he allowed himself to be guided by a clique at 
Melton who had ends of their own to serve, and listening 
to these advisers sometimes led to some portion of the 
country being too seldom visited. 

The first two seasons of Lord Southampton's master- 
ship were anything but brilliant. When he collected his 
first scratch pack he promoted to the post of huntsman 
Dick Burton, who had whipped in to Assheton Smith 
and also to Mr. Osbaldeston. Like many more, how- 
ever, though an excellent whipper-in, he turned out a 
poor huntsman, and neither he nor his hounds gave 
satisfaction to the followers of the Quorn. 

Although Lord Southampton showed in his first 
season a very moderate amount of sport, fogs appear to 
have been rather prevalent after the first week or two 
of the regular hunting season. On December 3, 1827, 
the Quorn met at Six Hills, when among the field were 
Lord Rancliffe, Lord Plymouth, Lord Darlington, and 
Sir Harry Goodricke. The field arrived at the place 
of meeting only to find it enveloped in fog. Lord 
Southampton was at first inclined to make the best of 
circumstances, and try what could be done in another 
district, but Dick Burton recommended an hour's wait, 
and this was eventually agreed to. It was then possible 
to draw, and hounds had a very decent run. Just before 
the hounds moved off, however, it was discovered that 
Dick Burton's horse had in some unaccountable manner 
badly staked himself, so Lord Rancliffe proffered his 
second horse, which was thankfully accepted — an inci- 
dent which seems to show that at that time the Quorn 
huntsman did not always enjoy the luxury of a second 
horse, or he would have ridden it. Lord Rancliffe's horse 
is described as having been a Galloway, by Cervantes, 
and on him Dick Burton went in his best style, clearing at 



i2 4 THE QUORN HUNT 

the close of the run a rate which no other horse in the 
field would face. There is not, perhaps, very much data 
to go upon, but in a great many instances we find it 
recorded that many Leicestershire hunters, at any rate 
up to the end of the twenties, and in some cases a 
little later, were, comparatively speaking, ponies. Old 
Stephen Goodall, riding something like nineteen stone, 
would never look at a horse much over fifteen hands ; 
Lord Jersey had three in his stable which were said not 
to reach that height ; Lord Alvanley's best hunter is 
reported to have been under fifteen hands one inch, and 
other instances might be quoted. To-day, as most 
people are aware, the ideal Leicestershire horse is not 
under fifteen hands three inches, though of course there 
are some exceptions ; but it is a matter of stable faith 
that a good big one is better than a good little one, and, 
as Whyte-Melville has remarked, when a little horse 
gets to the end of a big run, especially under a big 
weight, he is mentioned because he is a little one. 

On the 2 1 st January 1828 the Ouorn had a run 
which was estimated at eighteen miles from point to 
point, but hounds were said to have gone thirty-five 
miles, and the time was given as two hours seventeen 
minutes. The time may be correct, but the distance 
certainly is not. 

Before the year 1828 had run its course the Ouorn 
hounds made their appearance at the covert - side 
(Mowsley) " in a new carriage invented by the Earl of 
Southampton, and constructed at his Lordship's private 
cost." This vehicle was sufficiently capacious to convey 
any reasonable number of hounds to a fixture. It was 
built by Ferneley of Thrussington, and was covered in 
at the top with black glazed leather, with railings at the 
side, while on the front sat the coachman, huntsman, 
and whippers-in. This hound-van is said to have cost 
,£200. 



LORD SOUTHAMPTON 125 

About a month after Lord Southampton's hound-van 
had excited the interest and admiration of the inhabit- 
ants of the Quorn country, Colonel Russell, on a horse 
named Chesterfield (which formerly belonged to the earl 
of that name, but at the time of the feat belonged to 
Lord Alvanley), made a somewhat memorable leap. 
The hounds were running hard, the gallant colonel was, 
as usual, taking a line of his own, and was sailing along 
in a good position, when an apparently practicable fence 
came in the way. At it went the colonel, and by the 
time his horse took off he was aware that there was a 
very wide dyke on the landing side, and which, as he 
afterwards confessed, he would not have ridden at had 
he known of its existence. Chesterfield, however, was 
equal to the occasion, and on subsequent measurement 
the distance cleared was proved to be 33 feet 3 inches. 

At the time of which we are speaking (season 
1828-29) hunting brought a good deal of grist to the 
local mill, and some ingenious statistician calculated that 
in the different Leicestershire hunting centres there were 
kept no fewer than six hundred horses, and these were 
exclusively used in following the hounds. Taking the 
annual expense of each of these at ^60, a contributor to 
the Leicester Journal reckoned that no less a sum than 
,£36,000 was brought into the county in the course of 
one year, to say nothing of what was expended by their 
owners in other directions. In those days hunting men 
were practically compelled, whether they liked it or not, 
to buy their forage from local vendors, so at that time 
hunting necessarily put a good deal of money into the 
pockets of the inhabitants. So for that matter it does 
now. Yet in the Field of February 27, 1897, will be 
found a letter written by a Leicestershire man to 
" Brooksby," one of the Field s hunting correspondents. 
The writer of the letter draws attention to the fact 
that at a Hunt ball then recently given a band and the 



126 THE QUORN HUNT 

refreshments were supplied by caterers carrying on busi- 
ness beyond the confines of Leicestershire, while at the 
present time there are too many ship oats and too much 
foreign hay used in the forage of hunters. 

At the beginning of the season 1828-29, or rather 
towards the close of cub-hunting, bad luck overtook the 
Quorn establishment, as one whipper-in broke his leg, 
and the other his collar-bone; so hunting was for a short 
time suspended, and then, pending their convalescence, 
the master had to do the best he could with the kennel- 
man and a groom officiating as whippers-in. 

For close upon two seasons Lord Southampton 
rubbed along as best he could by getting drafts from 
different kennels, but towards the close of his second 
season (1828-29) an opportunity for effecting a vast 
improvement in the kennel presented itself, and Lord 
Southampton at once jumped at it. The Marquis of 
Tavistock having determined to give up the Oakley 
country at the end of the season 1828-29 to the Hon. 
Grantley Berkeley, finished his hunting several weeks 
before the Quorn were due to stop, and sold his hounds 
to Lord Southampton, who promptly had them removed 
to the Quorn kennels, and two days after their arrival 
they made their first appearance at a Leicestershire 
covert-side. They were a capital pack, too, having a 
good deal of the old Pytchley and Badminton blood 
in them. George Mountford (a first-class man in the 
kennel, in the field, and in the saddle), who had been 
the Oakley huntsman, came with them, bringing with 
him his second whipper-in, George Beers, while Will 
Derry, who was born in Nottinghamshire, and learned 
his business under Mr. Musters, and who whipped in to 
Dick Burton, remained on as first whipper-in. Mount- 
ford had originally whipped in to the Berkeley hounds 
for several seasons, and had been whipper-in to the 
Oakley before he was appointed huntsman. Some of 



LORD SOUTHAMPTON 127 

the critics of the time said that he was not a very neat 
horseman, but he kept well with his hounds, and was 
" the civilest best-tempered fellow in the world." 

The first time the new hounds were out the fixture 
was Breedon Clouds, an extensive covert near Ashby- 
de-la-Zouch. This was regarded as a notable day in 
the Ouorn country, and men from other hunts came to 
see how the new pack would perform on this, their first, 
and Dick Burton's last, day in Leicestershire. The 
hounds made quite a favourable impression. They 
found a good fox as soon as they were in covert; bustled 
him well for five-and-thirty minutes, and then after a 
check had to put their noses down. They lost their fox, 
and, as they were not in anything like condition, hounds 
were then taken home ; but they showed that they could 
run. Two or three days later they were out again at 
Woodhouse Cleaves and found a fox at Beacon Hill. 
He ran nicely as far as Garendon Park, where he turned 
back to the forest, and after ringing about for an hour 
was pulled down. The work in the forest, though not 
to everybody's liking, served to show that the hounds 
could hunt as well as run, and in connection with Charn- 
wood Forest Lord Alvanley used to say that if you 
should happen to be killed there you would have your 
gravestone beside you. Lord Southampton hunted up 
to May Day, and having in the meantime been helped 
from Belvoir, found his kennel vastly improved. 

The opening of the season 1829-30 again saw George 
Mountford huntsman, with Will Derry and George Beers 
whipping in to him. The excellence of Mountford in the 
kennel was seen as soon as cub-hunting began. He 
had ten horses for his own use and the whippers-in six 
or seven apiece. Both master and huntsman, and, of 
course, the field had their reward this season in very 
much improved sport. Before cub-hunting was over 
several good runs had taken place, and the regular 



128 THE QUORN HUNT 

season opened on Monday, November 2, at Kirby Gate, 
when the best things of the day were a fast twenty 
minutes in the morning and a very quick fifteen minutes 
in the afternoon. On the 4th November they had a 
brilliant run, about which no details are forthcoming; but 
one of the best runs of the season came off on Wed- 
nesday, 17th February 1830, when nearly two hundred 
horsemen met the Quorn at Six Hills, the time of meet- 
ing being, for some reason or other, twelve o'clock. A 
fox was found in Lord Aylesford's gorse, and hounds 
settled down at once, but a too anxious field over- 
rode them, and a check of ten minutes was the result. 
Mountford, however, recovered the line, and thanks to a 
good scent, the hounds ran at a great pace for the next 
four miles, and as there were a good many ploughed 
fields in the line, it was, as a chronicler observed, " better 
adapted to killing the horses than the fox." Then the 
fox kept to the grass, left Melton Mowbray about a mile 
to the right, ran through Stapleford Park, the home 
of the cantankerous Lord Harborough, and eventually 
crossed the Whissendine. By the time the brook was 
reached the hounds had been running for an hour and 
fifty minutes, and although upwards of a hundred reached 
its brink, no more than about thirty succeeded in getting 
over. On went the hounds, until in about another three 
miles the fox managed to get to ground in Ranksborough 
Gorse, after a run of seventeen miles from where he was 
found, the distance being covered in two hours and ten 
minutes. About a dozen and a half of the morning's 
field saw the finish, among them being Lord Southamp- 
ton, Sir Harry Goodricke, Mr. White, Mr. Maxse, Mr. 
Henry Thornton, and Dick Christian. On the following- 
day another good run was brought off over a still better 
country, the hounds finding a fox at Barkby Holt and 
losing him at Garthorpe Hill — nine miles in fifty minutes ; 
but the distance is, perhaps, a little flattered. 



LORD SOUTHAMPTON 129 

The pencils of various artists have made us familiar 
with the styles of hunting dress in vogue at different 
dates, but here is the description of a hunting attire 
which was brought to the notice of the dlite during Lord 
Southampton's reign. The cut of the coat was described 
as being quite new, while the colour depended upon the 
hunt. It was a double-breasted garment with small 
lapels ; the pockets at the hips were cut across, and 
they had rather wide flaps, while there were also flaps 
across each breast, but the top ones were not required to 
be made with pockets. A buff, or white, double-breasted 
cashmere waistcoat, with buttons wide apart, four on 
each side, was de rigucur, the vest itself being bound with 
black ealloon. The breeches were of white cord, with 
ribs running about three to the inch, and they were made 
to fit as tight as possible from the crutch downwards. 
They were short at the knee, by which one may pre- 
sume they had no continuations, and the tops were 
braced up tightly to meet them. A green and crimson 
silk cravat completed what the journal in question desig- 
nated "this very fashionable and decidedly new hunting 
dress." Very new indeed, one would imagine. 

Lord Southampton, like his predecessors, had occu- 
pied Ouorndon Hall, but partly perhaps owing to its 
distance from some of the fixtures, and partly from other 
reasons, he determined, in 1830, to exchange that resi- 
dence for Belgrave, not very far from Leicester, while 
new kennels were built at Humberstone Gate, Leicester. 

Belgrave Hall, though doubtless a very eligible 
hunting residence, had not sufficient stabling for Lord 
Southampton's purposes, so he leased the Bazaar, in the 
Humberstone Gate, and there he kept a portion of his 
stud, while he gladdened the hearts of the surrounding 
farmers by ordering in ample supplies of forage. Quorn- 
don Hall then came once more into the market, and its 
attractions were duly set forth in the local journals, the 



i 3 o THE QUORN HUNT 

description being evidently drawn up by the hand of a 
skilful agent. For the benefit of those who may not 
have read of the house, it may be stated that it was 
surrounded by 1 1 7 acres of land, and was described as 
standing in the heart of the Leicestershire country. 
One of its features was the fine long stable containing 
twenty-one stalls and five loose-boxes, while there was 
stablino" for eighteen more horses. A covered ride 
afforded a scope for exercise in frosty or inclement 
weather ; previous masters had lodged their hounds in 
the commodious kennels ; cottages for huntsman and 
stud-groom were ready to hand, while the usual appur- 
tenances of saddle-room, granary, and what not, left 
nothing to be desired. The house itself, "equal to the 
accommodation of a family of consequence," included 
dining, morning, and drawing-rooms, hall or billiard 
room, four-and-twenty bedrooms, besides domestic 
offices, and the property was described as lying on the 
mail-coach road to Manchester, three miles from Lough- 
borough, eight from Leicester, fifteen from Melton, 
sixteen from Nottingham, and one hundred and seven 
from London. 

The beginning of Lord Southampton's last season, 
1830-31, was far from auspicious. Even at that time it 
was the custom for the Quorn to meet at Kirby Gate on 
the first Monday in November ; but for some reason 
or other which his followers did not know, Lord 
Southampton did not open the season until the second 
Monday in the month, to the great annoyance of a good 
many members of the Hunt, who arrived at the end of 
October in anticipation of the usual arrangements being 
carried out. A beginning once made, the hounds 
showed excellent sport ; but from some unexplained 
cause Lord Southampton saw little of it Than he 
no one could be keener about hunting during his first 
three seasons, but during his last he appeared to 



LORD SOUTHAMPTON 131 

become very slack, and from all accounts seldom went 
out ; he had since he took the hounds improved a 
good deal in his riding, so it was a matter of no little 
surprise to find him become so indifferent to hunting 
during his last season. 

In addition to many other good runs enjoyed by the 
Ouorn during the time Lord Southampton was master, 
may be mentioned one which took place on the 4th 
March 1831, the best, according to some authorities, 
that had been recorded since the famous Billesdon 
Coplow run in the year 1800. The Ouorn met at 
Brooksby, the hunting residence of Lord Brudenell. 
The popularity of a Ouorn Friday was even then 
established, for there was a field of almost abnormal 
proportions present. The early morning was suffi- 
ciently hazy as to cause not a few followers of the 
hounds to consider whether hunting would be possible ; 
but by eleven o'clock the weather was bright enough, 
and no better day could have been desired. 

The first draw was Cream Gorse, in which a fox was at once 
found, and he made the best of his way to Ashby Pasture, a line 
which has been lauded over and over again by many a generation 
of hunting men. It was one of those grand scenting days which 
come all too seldom in the course of a season, and hounds never 
gave their fox a moment's rest. Right through Ashby Pasture 
they drove him, and then the fox bethought him of doubling back 
to try if his original home, Cream Gorse, would afford the shelter 
he required. He deemed it better not to run the risk of coming 
to closer quarters with the pack, and so skirting the gorse shaped 
his course for Frisby and crossed the Leicester turnpike road. 
The passage over this highway was not of superlative difficulty 
for the field ; but when the fox was found to have crossed the 
Wreake river the way was not so plain. Lord Gardner, a fine 
horseman, and Lord Brudenell, who turned aside from nothing, 
came down at the water nearly side by side, and in company 
with Will Derry, one of the whippers-in, reached the far side in 
safety, leaving many of their companions unable to effect a 
crossing by the same route. Meantime the fox had set his mask 



132 THE QUORN HUNT 

for Schoby Scholes, running about midway between Grimston 
and Saxelby to Wartnarby Stone Pits. At undiminished pace the 
hounds ran to Holwell Mouth. The fox skirted the village of 
Holwell, and with the pack close at his brush made no attempt 
to gain the covert close at hand, but, running a circular course, 
went to Goadby, thence to Eastwell, going within a few fields of 
Eaton and Braunston, leaving Belvoir Castle only a short distance 
on the left hand. Reynard then made his way to Braunston 
Lings covert, and was finally lost in Croxton Park, after a hard 
run of an hour and thirty minutes. 



Our forefathers may have been, and doubtless were, 
excellent sportsmen, but what with stable management 
— well, not at its best — and perhaps a too ardent desire 
to see the finish of every run, the horses had rather a 
bad time of it. This notable run cost Lord South- 
ampton's famous horse Forefather, and Lord Brudenell's 
no less celebrated hunter Dandy, their lives : they died 
through over-exertion, while many other horses were so 
done up that they were never worth anything afterwards. 
Through this great run Will Derry rode Segar ; he was 
the only horse which went through from start to finish, 
and he was not a bit the worse for his exertions. This 
was not the first time Will Derry had the honour of 
beating the whole field, as in a run from near Rollestone 
to Dingley he was first, Mr. Greene and one or two 
others being the only riders near him. Segar was after- 
wards bought by Sir Harry Goodricke. 

Lord Southampton, as will be seen, gave up the 
Ouorn hounds in 183 1, but it was not until the year 
1838, the first year of Lord Suffield's mastership, that 
Mr. Bernal Osborne wrote an account of a famous run 
with Lord Southampton's hounds. On the occasion in 
question the fox "found himself," and George Mount- 
ford was quickly after him. Mountford, however, had a 
fall, and when the hounds checked he was not with them, 
so Will Derry (first whipper-in) catching hold of them 



LORD SOUTHAMPTON 133 

caused them to run heel way, and eventually the fox 
saved his brush, but Mr. Bernal Osborne, to give point 
to his poem, makes the run end with a kill. These 
spirited verses are as follows : — 



MELTON IN 1830 

A DAY WITH LORD SOUTHAMPTON'S HOUNDS 

Midst lowering skies, o'ercast and tinged with red, 
Sol, slowly rising, quits his ocean bed ; 
Chases the vapours of the night away, 
Illumines Melton, and proclaims the day ; 
Far in the East his glorious orb appears, 
And smiles at once on Helpers and on Peers. 
O'er gorse and wood alike, o'er hill and plain, 
On brooks, still bumpers from the recent rain, 
His brightest rays he cast ; as if he meant 
To gladden nature, but to spoil the scent. 
Though bright his rising, soon his face he shrouds 
Behind a mantle of o'erspreading clouds ; 
And ere John Clod has drove afield his wain, 
His jacket's moistened with a drizzling rain. 

Now Melton sportsmen for the chase prepare : 

Some curl their wigs, — some merely curl their hair, — 

And curse that rashness which has brought them down 

So far from Crockford's, and the joys of town. 

Tenacious of his toggery, Musgrave fears 

To spoil his garments, worn for many years ; 

And, though already mounted, back he goes, 

And changes old ones for still older clothes : 

(What's in a coat? When hounds run, he is wont 

To show its back much oftener than its front.) 

Now here a youth who goes too fast to last, 

On milk and soda-water breaks his fast ; 

Here older hands, with stronger stomachs blest, 

With tea and brandy lull their nerves to rest. 

Now, trampling at the door, the hack appears, 

Impatient of delay he kicks and rears. 

Away ! away ! once mounted, on they ride, 

And soon are panting at the cover side. 



134 THE QUORN HUNT 

Hark to that cheering note ! they've found him, — see 
The gorse is waving like a troubled sea ; 
He's gone away ; hark, halloo ! to the cry ! 
Like swallows skimming, o'er the fields they fly. 
" Give them a moment's time, — hold hard, sir, pray ; 
You'll stop his pulling ere we've done to-day." 
Look at the gallant pack, away they sweep ! 
The pace is killing and the country deep. 
Rolleston is far behind, and on our right, 
The house at Noseley just appears in sight ; 
By Glooston Wood, o'er Cranoe Field they pass, 
Where many a horse declining missed the grass. 

On, on they go — and at a trimming pace ; 

See, Baird is racing for a foremost place ; 

Yet much I do mistrust me, if his steed 

Can hold that pace, and always go full speed. 

White spurts and cranes, now skirting looks for balks, 

And gallops faster than our Rokeby talks. 

See Chesterfield advance with steady hand, 

" Swish at a rasper," and in safety land ; 

Who sits his horse so well ? or at a race, 

Drives four-in-hand with greater skill or grace ? 

And when hounds really run, like him can show, 

How fifteen stone should o'er the country go ? 

If not in person monstrous, yet in weight 
Campbell comes crashing through a new-made gate ; 
Now, " by his fathers' gods ! " you hear him swear, 
And much you wonder who those fathers were. 
Now Plymouth, at a brook, with Gilmour crams, 
While Drummond 1 /<?fo his horse and jobbing damns ; 
With iron hand, and seat devoid of grace, 
You see at once the counter is his place ; 
Now on this side, and now on that he pitches, 
Strikes all his timber, fathoms all his ditches, 
Till, by a binder caught, a weight of lead, 
He comes at last to anchor on his head. 

Quite at his ease, yet stealing o'er the grass, 
From out the struggling crowd see Wilton pass. 



1 This gentleman was better appreciated in the City than at Melton. 



LORD SOUTHAMPTON 135 

Here Goodricke, perfect in his hand and seat, 
Rides like a sportsman who can do the feat ; 
And Stanley, who in courage may not yield 
To him of yore, who fought on Flodden field, 
Forgets his weight, and labours all he can 
To show Perfection, 1 both in horse and man. 
Carried beyond excitement's wildest bounds, 
His horse forgetting, seeing but the hounds, 
Kinnaird, that dear enthusiast of the chase, 
Heeds not how deep the ground, nor slacks his pace : 
Will nothing turn or stop him ? nothing check 
That form of riding, but a broken neck ? 



Here Lowther follows slowly on the track, 

And pines in secret for his " tailing pack." 

(We speak of years gone by, — for now we're told 

Their style of hunting is not always cold, 

And that they draw till one : We therefore pray, 

" That they, like other dogs, may have their day ; " 

Since Lambert's judgment has reformed the pack, 

Improved their breeding, and dispensed with Slack,'- 

All head and legs no longer now they look, 

But stoop to pick a leaf from Goosey's 3 book.) 

The gallant Colonel, pottering at the gaps, 

First damns, then envies " those hard-riding chaps." 



Gardner, 4 who then for raspers ne'er would swerve, 
And thought all riding to consist in nerve 
And swimming rivers, — owned the pace was good, 
But still would have it faster if he could. 
See Heycock flies along ; and few there be, 
Where all ride hard, can harder ride than he. 



1 Not improperly so called, for he was one of the best horses in 
Leicestershire. 

2 The former huntsman of the Cottesmore hounds, well worthy of his 
name. 

3 Lord Forester's huntsman. His lordship was admitted on all hands 
to have the most perfect pack, and to have been one of the best riders in 
England. 

4 Of those who went so well in this run, Lord Gardner alone remained 
to tell the tale. He married Miss Fortescue, the talented actress, and 
lived for many years in complete seclusion in Hampshire. 



136 THE QUORN HUNT 

With spurs and hand-whip Matuscevitz plies, — 
O'er ridge and furrow swiftly Zodiac flies ; 
But though his steed be made of gallant stuff, 
" Tamnation, Zodiac? you will get enough ! " 



Lyne Stephens onward holds a steady course, 
And Grantham gallops faster than his horse. 
Green, leaning slightly forward, passes by, 
But quickly turning shows how good his eye. 
Pinned in his shoulders, see old Johnny Moore ; 2 
A gate half-open, — Rokeby slips before, 
Forgets his manners in his love of place, 
And slams the swinging gate in Johnny's face, 
Then, spurring onward with a graceful seat, 
Unlike Camilla, 3 gallops through the wheat. 



Now some, alas ! before their horses fail ; 
Flight after flight succeeds of post and rail. 
Then Langton Hill appears — the crowd decline, 
And keep their riding 'till they've had their wine. 
Now Brudenell 4 leads, and well does Langar b show 
The rattling pace that strength with blood can go. 
Wilton and Gardner next their station took, 
And Derry, 6 following close on Billy Coke. 
Sloping to meet them, stood exposed to view 
An awkward piece of timber, stiff and new ; 
No other place will do but this alone, 
No choice is left, — go at it, or go home. 



1 The gallant Count's own words. He was celebrated as being the best 
foreigner over a countiy then imported. 

2 This was a jest at Mr. Moore's rheumatism. 

3 A lady who would have had many admirers among the farmers of the 
present day : 

Ilia vel intactas segetis per summa volaret 

Gramina : nee teneras cursu la?sisset aristas. — Virgil. 

4 Lord Brudenell succeeded his father as Earl of Cardigan, and gained 
imperishable fame by leading the Light Cavalry Brigade in the Balaclava 
Charge. His memoir, written by the late Major Whyte-Melville, appeared 
in the fifteenth volume of Daily's Magazine. 

5 Lord Brudenell's horse, well known in that day. 

6 An excellent rider, and one of the best servants that ever came into a 
hunting field. 



LORD SOUTHAMPTON 137 

Langar leaps short, and see, on high his tail, 

Turned in the air, proclaims how strong the rail. 

Over they go, together rise again, 

For Brudenell tight in hand retains the rein. 

Here Leporello 1 fell ; a harder fate 

Attends his falling, — where he fell, he sate. 

Now Billy Coke, who never lost a chance, 

Down the hill's side came rattling on Advance, 

And though he saia the willows, still he took 

His line, and crammed him straight at Langton Brook ; 

But vain the effort, — gazing on the flood, 

Narcissus-like, upon the bank he stood, 

Then struggling headlong fell ; and see, he's done ! 

He ivashed his master, but he lost the run. 

More on the left, see Wilton kiss the plain ; 

Then " Time ! " to Pugilist' 1 was called in vain. 

Without a pause, by Bowden now they fly, 

The pace so good you scarcely hear the cry ; 

With speed unchecked, see bravely o'er yon hill, 

Brudenell alone maintains his station still. 

Here's Dingley Gorse ; " By Jove, they run in view ! " 

On Reynard struggles, on the pack pursue ; 

The earths are open — will he reach the cover? 

Who-hoop ! he sinks exhausted ; all is over. 

How are the mighty fallen ! lulled to rest 

By fifty minutes of Southampton's best ; 

Some deep in ditches lie, 'midst brambles tossed ; 

Others, more prudent, are by Farmers crossed ; 3 

These lost their start, from those, the hounds had turned, 

Yet something still from Brudenell all have learned ; 

And now for once, a Melton field must own, 

Fairly and cleanly, they were all "cut down." 4 

The backward crowd are still the first to chide, 
For all can censure where but few can ride. 
Let those blame others who themselves excel, 
And pass their judgment, who have ridden well. 



1 Lord Gardner's horse. 

2 Lord Wilton's horse. 

3 A very common excuse with some people at that time. 

4 A favourite expression of Lord Macdonald's, who was one of the most 
promising riders of his day, and very well able, himself, to give a practical 
illustration of it. 



138 THE QUORN HUNT 

Each timid skirter thinks it is his right 

To hurt your feelings and display his spite. 

If blest with iron nerves " you ride for fame, 

And seek in hunting nothing but a name " ; 

If tender of your person in the chase, 

" You love the hounds, but still refuse to race." 

" Look at him now ! " on all sides it is said, 

" I always knew it, damn him, he's afraid ! " 

These blame the system, master, hounds, and all, 

And swear the huntsman does not like a fall ; 

Not prone to cavil or to take offence, 

Some in good nature pardon want of sense ; 

And think a smiling and un?nea?iing face 

Can Ewart stop, or Willis, 1 when they race. 

On t'other tack some err, and make their boast, 

Hounds run the hardest when they're damned the most. 

Who to Southampton could in judgment yield ? 

With a light hand he ruled a stubborn field ; 

Now firm, now gentle, as occasion proved, 

And on all sides alike, both feared and loved. 

Come then again ! resume thy proper place ! 

Manage the kennel, and direct the chase ; 

An equal balance keep, the skirters chide, 

And check Spring Captains* when they try to ride. 

For want of practice all our talent's lost ; 

Hounds never run, but still the same they cost. 

What shall we do without thee ? for I hear 

The country's vacant in another year. 

Old times, old sport bring back ! and once again 

Melton shall flourish 'neath thy golden reign. 

It appears to have been generally understood from 
the first that Lord Southampton did not regard himself, 
nor was he regarded by the Quorn men, as likely to hunt 
the country for any great length of time. The giving 
up of Ouorndon Hall and the removal to the incon- 

1 Two gentlemen who occasioned more oaths to be uttered, one may 
safely say, than any two others in England. While they spoiled sport, 
they endangered future prospects. 

2 A well-known Leicestershire appellation at that time for military gentle- 
men who arrived late in the season. 



LORD SOUTHAMPTON 139 

venient premises in Leicester was thought by a good 
many to presage a change, and about midway in the 
season 1830-31 came the announcement that Lord South- 
ampton would give up the hounds at the end of the 
season. Accordingly, on Wednesday the 6th April 1831 
there was held, at the Three Crowns, Leicester, a meet- 
ing to take into consideration the future hunting of the 
country. The Marquis of Hastings presided, and there 
were present Lord Rancliffe, Sir G. H. Beaumont, the 
Reverends S. Vere Dashwood and C. J. Bewicke, 
Messrs. C. Loraine Smith, E. C. and E. B. Hartopp, 
E. H. Cheney, C. M. Phillipps, C. Nevill, H. Green, 
J. E. Wescomb, E. B. Farnham, H. and E. Dawson, 
J. B. Humfrey, C. G. Mundy, W. H. Wilson, C. \\ r . 
Packe, J. King, M. Babington, T. Walker, J. Cradock, 
W. Martin, and R. Hames ; while letters of apology 
were received from Lord Stamford, Sir R. Bromley, Sir 
John Palmer, Sir Justinian Isham, Sir F. G. Fowke, 
Messrs. Herrick, and several others, the writers intimat- 
ing their readiness to fall in with the views of the meeting. 
Sir Harry Goodricke, who had for some time hunted in 
Leicestershire, had previously been approached, and had 
signified his willingness to take over the country, stating 
that should it be offered to him "by the resident gentry 
and proprietors of land and coverts," he should "hold 
himself accountable to those gentlemen alone for his 
manner of hunting their country. - ' The unanimous resolu- 
tion of the meeting was that Sir Harry Goodricke's offer 
be accepted — he had intimated that he would hunt the 
country at his own cost — and on the Marquis of Hastings 
conveying to Sir Harry an intimation of what had taken 
place at the meeting, the master elect wrote a gracious 
letter saying that nothing could have given him greater 
pleasure than the knowledge that the country-side had 
been unanimous in offering him the mastership. He 
would be happy to accept it, and was determined to give 



140 



THE QUORN HUNT 



satisfaction by hunting the country in a regular and 
sportsmanlike manner. 

Some little while after giving up the Quorn country, 
Lord Southampton retired to his country seat, Whittle- 
bury, and eventually hunted the Grafton country till 
about 1862. Ten years later (July 1872) Lord South- 
ampton died in London at the age of sixty-nine, he 
having been born in 1803, an< ^ so was twenty-four years 
old when he elected to become master of the Ouorn. 




CHAPTER V 

SIR HARRY GOODRICKE (1831-1833) 
MR. HOLYOAKE GOODRICKE (1833-1835) 
MR. ROWLAND ERRINGTON (1835-1838) 



141 



CHAPTER V 

SIR HARRY GOODRICKE 
1831 1833 

WITH the resignation of Lord Southampton came 
the end of the Ouorn hounds under that name, 
as they were thenceforward known as Sir Harry Good- 
ricke's. Sir Harry of Ribston Hall, Knaresborouo-fi, 
Yorkshire, who was born on the 1 6th September 1797, 
was the seventh baronet and last male heir of his race, 
being the son of the sixth baronet, who died in 1802. 
His mother was Charlotte Fortescue, sister of Lord 
Clermont, and on the death of the latter Sir Harry 
came into possession of something like ,£60,000 a year, 
including the fine Irish demesnes of Ravensdale and 
Clermont in county Louth and Clermont Lodo-e in 
Norfolk. 

Sir Harry Goodricke's invincible passion for huntino- 
made him a very willing successor to Lord Southampton ; 
but, disliking the kennels provided by his predecessor at 
Humberstone Gate, he promptly set about building new 
ones at Thrussington, about five miles from Melton. No 
expense was spared in the undertaking, but the want of 
experience in matters connected with stable and kennel 
led to partial failure. There is no evidence on the point ; 
but the chances are that the design was entrusted to an 
architect who was not well versed in the details of stable 
and kennel requirements, with the result that while a 

tolerably imposing pile sprung up on the left of the road 

143 



i 4 4 THE QUORN HUNT 

from Leicester to Melton, and nearly midway between 
the two places, on the bank of the river, it was ill suited 
to the accommodation of a large hunting establishment. 
The stable was conceived upon a bad plan, while the 
lodging- rooms for hounds and the yards were "cribbed, 
cabined, and confined," and so there was no inducement 
for the next master, whose turn came all too soon, to 
take to them. 

The cub-hunting season of 1831 saw Sir Harry 
Goodricke duly installed as the M.F. H., a dinner in 
honour of the event being held at the George Hotel, 
Melton, on the 6th October. More than eighty guests 
were present; Mr. Inett, of Kettleby, presided over 
the festive gathering, and was supported by that old 
sportsman Mr. Marriott. The chairman proposed the 
health of Sir Harry in what is called " felicitous terms," 
and among the toasts of the evening was "The im- 
mortal memory of Meynell, the founder of the Quorn 
Hunt." After dinner Mr. G. Marriott, jun., gave the 
following song, written for the occasion by the author of 
one or two other hunting songs : — 

MELTONIAN SONG 

That Sire of the Chase — our crack Nimrod, old Meynell, 

Once said to a famed brother sportsman at Quorn, 
That " the fame and the fun of a Le'stershire kennel 

Should cease — when the sun ceased to gladden the morn." 
He's gone, but each year proves how true the prediction ; 

Unmarred is our sport — undiminished our fame, 
He's gone, and this day shows his words were no fiction, 

For " Hunting " and " Le'stershire " still mean the same. 

Chorus {after each verse). 

Then round with the bottle, and let it not tarry, 

While we hail, while we honour, the man of our choice ; 

In a bumper, come pledge me— the gallant Sir Harry, 
Whom we love in our hearts, as we hail with our voice. 



SIR HARRY GOODRICKE 145 

Other masters we've had, in the days of our glory — 

Osbaldeston, Sefton, Tom Smith, and " The Graeme," 
Southampton the last, not the least in our story, 

Giving Melton its mainspring and Le'stershire fame. 
And if for a season our joy has been clouded, 

A day like the present's too happy for pain ; 
In the prospect before us what pleasures are crowded, 

For oh, in our Goodricke we've Meynell again. 

The Coplow again shall be famous in story, 

And high be the deeds we shall do from Seg's Hill ; 
And Melton once more, in the blaze of its glory, 

Under Goodricke shall nourish — under Goodricke shall fill ; 
Again shall our coverts like Courts be attended; 

Again shall our " Field Days" boast many a Star, 
The friends shall return who have Melton befriended, 

Thynne, Forester, Kinnaird, Moore, Maxse, and Maher. 

And Alvanley too — shall Meltonia forget thee ? 

Oh never — while wit, and while wine, have a charm ; 
Thou too wilt return, blithe as ever we met thee, 

And with joke, fun, and glee, still old sorrow disarm ; 
And Chesterfield too, and our honoured De Wilton, 

With Plymouth and Stanley, shall come in the train, 
And the Lord of the Chase, and the Monarch of Melton, 

Shall be Harry of Ribston, success to his reign. 

Sir Harry Goodricke, the sixth baronet, father of 
him concerning whom this chapter is written, was also 
a master of hounds in an unpretentious way, having in 
conjunction with Colonel Wardle kept a pack in Flint- 
shire, with kennels at Colonel Wardle's residence, Harts- 
heath. Coming from Yorkshire, it is certain that the 
spirit of sport was strong in both father and son, and in 
the latter it showed itself at a tolerably early age. While 
at Eton, possibly on Montem Day, the young Goodricke 
had to don some kind of fancy dress and pass before 
the King. To the amazement of every one, the future 
M.F.H. made his appearance in a red hunting-coat 
reaching down to his heels. It was made for his father's 
whipper-in in Flintshire. This very fancy costume 

K 



146 THE QUORN HUNT 

attracted the King's attention, for he was no stranger to 
a scarlet coat, so he inquired who the youthful wearer 
might be, and on being told his name remarked that he 
was a sporting bred one. 

As a rider to hounds Sir Harry Gopdricke was quite 
first-rate, for not only could he ride a perfect horse over 
a difficult country, but it is said that he could also get 
along on a rough one. At any rate he figured as a pro- 
minent performer in several long and severe runs. 

In 1824, when Mr. Osbaldeston was master of the 
Quorn for the first time, the hounds met at Widmerpool 
and found in Walton Thorns a good fox— the best fox 
they came upon during the season — which stood before 
them for an hour and fifty-five minutes, there being a 
good scent all the time. Towards the close of the first 
thirty minutes many horses were standing still, but " the 
Squire," Sir Harry, and Mr. Holyoake continued in their 
places near the pack ; Sir Harry's horse, however, lasted 
the longest. No more than a few days later the hounds 
met at Owsthorpe and had an exceedingly fast run of an 
hour and a quarter, and at the end of it Sir Harry, the 
only one up, took the fox from the hounds ; but on that 
occasion he owed his position to the fact of having met 
his second horse near Six Hills ; while about a couple of 
years later he was a conspicuous figure in Lord Lons- 
dale's famous run from Launde Wood, in the bi^eest 
part of the Harborough country ; and when he became 
master of the Quorn he rode harder than ever. Then, 
on another day, when the Longford Brook came in the 
line — it had far overflowed its banks — he rode into the 
water, tumbled into the brook, and scrambled out on 
the other side. 

In the hands of Sir Harry Goodricke the Hunt was 
kept up in first-rate style. There were upwards of fifty 
hunters in the stables and about one hundred couples of 
hounds, and the maintenance of these, together with the 



SIR HARRY GOODRICKE 147 

payment of other expenses which he took upon his own 
shoulders, cost him something over six thousand pounds 
a year. That he was a good sportsman is clear from a 
story related of him to the effect that on one very wet 
evening he was seen at Melton with a lame hound in a 
lead, and he was taking it back to Thrussington, a task 
involving travelling- at a foot's pace over upwards of ten 
miles of road. 

With his Irish tenants Sir Harry was very popular, 
for he made it a point always to pass some part of the 
year on his Irish property. In Leicestershire, however, 
there was a rumour that at one time the master of the 
Quorn was not in high favour, because he had spoken in 
somewhat uncomplimentary terms of the horses bred by 
the farmers in his hunt. So far as can be discovered, the 
facts are that Sir Harry, who was always superexcellently 
mounted, was once approached by a Leicestershire farmer 
who had a hunter to sell. The horse was not up to the 
future master's high standard, and Sir Harry is said to 
have ventured the remark that for so good a country the 
horses bred therein were not up to the standard which 
might have been expected ; upon this was based the 
story of his unpopularity. 

If, however, there was any friction, it soon dis- 
appeared, for when he came to hunt the country no man 
could have stood higher in the farmers' estimation. 

Concerning Sir Harry Goodricke's kennel there 
appears to be some uncertainty. It has been generally 
supposed that Sir Harry took over and kept, as he found 
them, Lord Southampton's hounds. As before remarked, 
however, Lord Southampton had the nucleus of a very 
good pack in the hounds Mountford brought with him 
from Oakley (Lord Tavistock's), whereas Sir Harry 
Goodricke admitted the truth of the criticism passed on 
his kennel to the effect that his hounds were not worthy 
of Leicestershire ; but he declared that he would per- 



148 THE QUORN HUNT 

severe until his kennel was satisfactory, if not perfect 
and as Sir Harry was rather a judge of a horse and a 
riding man than a hound man, the confession would seem 
to imply that the standard of the hounds was not high. 
To reconcile these two statements is not easy ; but, from 
what can be made out, it would appear that Sir Harry 
Goodricke sold Lord Southampton's pack (including the 
Oakley division) to Mr. Russell of the Warwickshire, 
and bought the hounds of Lord Petre, who gave up his 
Essex country in 1831, and we find one sportsman com- 
plaining that " Lord Petre's hounds ill supply the place 
of those he parted with." At the end of his first season, 
however, Sir Harry was able to buy the hounds of Mr. 
Shaw, when he, in consequence of the extent to which 
foxes were killed, gave up the country he hunted from 
Lichfield to the outskirts of Birmingham ; while Sir 
Harry also bought Mr. Saville's draft and twenty couples 
out of Norfolk belonging either to Sir Jacob Astley or 
Mr. Hill. 

If, however, the hounds themselves left something to 
be desired, they managed in Mountford's hands to show 
some very good sport ; while, under so popular a master 
as Sir Harry Goodricke, rank and fashion set towards 
Leicestershire as much as ever. The Old Club at Melton 
claimed for its members Mr. T. Moore, Sir J. Musgrave, 
Mr. Val Maher, and Lord Forester. Sir Harry Good- 
ricke, Mr. Gilmour, and Lord Gardner kept house 
together ; Mr. Stanley and Mr. Errington, who were 
brothers, had a joint establishment, as also had Lords 
Rokeby and Alvanley ; while Melton Lodge held Lord 
Kinnaird, the Messrs. Maxwell, Mr. Fairfax, Mr. White, 
Mr. Ewart, and Lord Plymouth ; Lord and Lady Sarah 
Ingestre, Sir John Kaye, and Colonel Drummond housed 
themselves at Leicester, and most places within reach of 
hounds had their visitors. Over Melton itself a great 
change was in progress. Only a few years before it was 



SIR HARRY GOODRICKE 149 

rather a rackety place ; men left their womankind at 
home, and, like their grooms, came to Melton without 
what advertisements call encumbrances. The bottle 
circulated freely after dinner, and men gambled a good 
deal. 

A few years before Sir Harry Goodricke took the 
country, ladies, though they did not all hunt, began to 
come to Leicestershire, Lady Wilton being one of the 
first ; and as her position in society and her amiability 
rendered her a leader of women, others hastened to 
follow her example, and her husband at once set about 
enlarging his house. Lady Stormont, Lady Edward 
Thynne, Mrs. Drummond, and Mrs. Lloyd were of 
the number of those who wintered at Melton, and the 
magnetic influence of female society completely revo- 
lutionised Melton. 

Rather bad luck attended Sir Harry at the opening 
of his first season, for Mountford, his huntsman, was not 
able to take his place in the field, owing, it is said, to 
some affection of the throat, induced by constant holloa- 
ing and over-exertion ; so, in the absence of his chief, 
Will Derry, the first whipper-in (he had formerly dis- 
charged the same duty with Mr. Musters) carried the 
horn. But though a satisfactory lowim /enens,he was not 
thought to be Mountford's equal. On the 21st Novem- 
ber 1 83 1, Mountford being then laid up, the hounds 
met at Brooksby, a mile or two on the Leicester side of 
Kirby Gate, the familiar fixture selected by Henry 
Aiken to represent " The Meet " in his well-known 
picture. Some persons then travelled to the covert- side 
like the man described by " Nimrod " in his Quarterly 
Review article as " lolling in his chaise and four." More 
than one noble lord drove up with his four-in-hand ; 
while well-turned-out phaetons, buggys, and tilburys 
helped to swell the collection of vehicles, and hacks of 
the kind represented by Mr. Ackerman in " My Stud " 



150 THE QUORN HUNT 

carried not a few to Brooksby. The day's sport, how- 
ever, did not amount to much. A fox was soon found 
at Cream Gorse and as quickly lost, and a second fox 
was lost after a good thirty-five minutes, with only one 
check, via Great and Little Dalby, and then towards Lees- 
thorpe, beyond which place the fox ran the hounds out 
of scent. Thursday, February 25, 1832, saw the hounds 
at Norton-by-Galby. Glen Gorse gave a fox directly, 
and after running by Stretton Hall, Swadborough Lane, 
Bushby, and Scraptoft Gardens, the fox turned for 
Humberstone village ; and after going back to Thurnley 
and eventually to Glen Gorse, he was killed after a 
capital run of an hour and a quarter, with no check to 
speak of. Almost a twelvemonth later, that is to say 
on the 27th February 1833, the hounds met at Six 
Hills, always a favourite portion of the Ouorn country. 
Finding a fox at the Curate, hounds ran him by 
Willoughby village, near Wymeswold, Munday's Gorse, 
and Walton Thorns. Thence the line lay towards 
Thrussington Wolds, Ragdale, Schoby Scholes, and 
Lord Aylesford's Gorse ; Grimston was left on the 
right, and the fox, running by Old Dalby and Nether 
Broughton, was eventually rolled over near Stapleford, 
after a good run of two hours. 

A somewhat curious circumstance happened during 
Sir Harry Goodricke's mastership. Several times had 
he run foxes to ground near Widmerpool, and at last 
he determined at whatever trouble to get out another 
which had taken refuge in the same place. Spades and 
pickaxes were brought, and digging operations on an 
extended scale began. A large stone drain was broken 
into and the run fox duly driven out ; but in the same 
drain were the skeletons of nine other foxes. Up to that 
time it had been supposed that it was the same fox which 
had so often betaken himself to this favourite shelter. 

Another instance of man making the town is to be 



SIR HARRY GOODRICKE 151 

found in the extent to which Melton was at this time 
(^S) patronised. A contributor to the Leicester 
Journal took the trouble to make the round of the 
Melton stables, and found that no fewer than 450 horses 
were quartered in the district. Sir Harry Goodricke 
headed the list with 52 ; then came Lord Forester 38, 
Lord Thynne 26, Lord Wilton 24, Mr. Stanley 18, 
Lord Gardner 17, Lord Kinnaird and Mr. Etherington 
16 each, Sir F. Johnston and Mr. Stephens 14 apiece, 
and there were several owners of smaller studs. 

On one day on which there was but little scent, 
hounds found a fox but soon came to a check. One 
of the whippers-in, however, viewed him a field or two 
ahead, and cap in hand holloaed on the hounds, riding 
on meantime in the fox's wake. The hounds, however, 
were a long time in coming on. The sight of the gallop- 
ing whipper-in was quite sufficient to cause the field to 
begin to gallop too, and on they came, some before the 
hounds and some after them. In this fashion they went 
for about a mile, and then Will Derry, who was carrying 
the horn in the absence of Mountford, who was laid up, 
arrived with the hounds, giving some hearty curses to 
the men who had ridden on in advance of the pack ; 
whereupon Lord Alvanley is reported to have exclaimed, 
"Curse these infernal hounds! they always spoil sport ; 
what a capital hunt we should have had if it had not 
been for them." A historian of the time wrote that he 
saw the members of the Quorn field after a run, and 
that it would have puzzled a stranger to know the colour 
of their coats, they were so completely bedaubed from 
the number of falls; "but," continues the writer, "I 
never saw fellows mind them so little." 

That Sir Harry Goodricke did not mind riding a 
rough horse, the following anecdote proves : — 

" A friend of mine was standing one day in the yard 
at Melton when Sir Harry's horse came in with his 



152 THE QUORN HUNT 

groom on him. He was a great big thoroughbred one, 
but there was something sulky-looking about his head. 
Sir Harry had ridden him during the first part of the 
day, and his appearance was such as to make my friend 
inquire if he often came home in that state ? A person 
standing by said, ' Not often so bad as that, but I 
remember being in the yard on one day when Sir Harry 
rode in on the same horse and in much the same state, 
and on my remarking it he said, "Yes, old" (I forget 
the horse's name) "has been at his old tricks again; 
he has been eleven times on his head to-day.' ' The 
writer then moralised : " Now when you consider that 
this gallant horseman could have the pick of the best 
horses, money being no object, it does seem strange that 
he should ride such a vicious brute ; but he has nerve 
enough for anything. This horse was a capital hunter 
when he was in the humour." 

Sir Harry Goodricke, whose liberality and kindly 
manner endeared him to all, had, since his accession to 
the mastership, so completely thrown his whole heart 
and soul into hunting the country, and had expressed 
himself as desirous of making so many improvements, that 
the era of short masterships which had so prevailed since 
the death of Mr. Meynell was regarded as over. Had 
all been well, these expectations would doubtless have 
been verified ; but shortly after the close of the season 
1832-33 there came over the Quorn country what was 
rightly called "a thundering blow to fox-hunting," that 
thundering blow being nothing less than the unexpected 
death of Sir Harry Goodricke. He was one of those 
happy men for whom each season as it came round pre- 
sented an attraction. When the hounds had met for the 
last time in England, it was his custom to go to his estate 
in Ireland, where he indulged in otter-hunting (of which 
sport he was passionately fond), until the grouse-shooting 
in August called him to Scotland, where he remained 



SIR HARRY GOODRICKE 153 

until it was time to shoot partridges on his Yorkshire 
property, and after a short sojourn there he came south 
for hunting again. At the close of the season 1832-33 
Sir Harry went as usual to Ireland for otter-hunting, 
caught a bad cold, and was dead in forty-eight hours. 
His body was brought over to Yorkshire, and was 
interred in the family vault at Ribston on Wednesday 
the 4th of September 1833 ; while about the same time 
there died his great friend and fellow-sportsman, Lord 
Plymouth, a hard-riding follower of the Quorn, who, like 
Sir Harry, was cut off in the prime of life. 



154 THE QUORN HUNT 



MR. HOLYOAKE GOODRICKE 

i833- l8 35 

SOME of the estates were entailed in favour of the 
members of the Clermont family ; but nearly all 
the property over which Sir H. Goodricke had a 
power of disposal, including the horses, hounds, and 
all chattels, he left to his schoolfellow and life-long 
friend, Mr. Francis Lyttelton Holyoake, who was pro- 
bably as much surprised as was the rest of the world 
at the turn things had taken. Mr. Holyoake married 
Miss Payne, of Sulby Abbey, a sister of the late Mr. 
George Payne, of racing renown, and twice master of 
the Pytchley hounds. Mr. Holyoake at once made 
himself responsible for the carrying on of the hounds 
durino" the approaching season, but as his health did not 
then permit of his being out himself, the management 
was delegated to Mr. Greene, of Rolleston, and the 
pack was to be out four days a week. 

Mr. Holyoake, who was the eldest son of Mr. Francis 
Holyoake, of Tettenhall, was at one time about the 
hardest and fastest man over a country for a short time 
that Leicestershire had ever seen — in fact, the manner 
in which he would gallop and jump, especially when 
mounted on Baronet, his favourite horse, sometimes led 
him into the indiscretion of overriding hounds. 

The season 1833-34 necessarily opened amid some- 
what mournful surroundings, for there was no one who 
did not sincerely lament the death of the late master. 
There was, however, one ludicrous circumstance in con- 



MR. HOLYOAKE GOODRICKE 155 

nection with Mr. Holyoake's first season. Some one 
from Nottingham went out with the Ouorn from Bunny 
Park and went with the hounds when they drew Deep- 
dale, where they found a fox which was eventually lost. 
At Kinoulton stone pits the hounds flushed a woodcock, 
which was marked down by the gentleman in question, 
whose love for shooting was apparently greater than his 
keenness for hunting. Having marked down the bird, 
he remarked to some one near him, " That woodcock 
shall be mine in a short time," and he was as good as his 
word. He left the hounds, rode back a mile, put up his 
horse, borrowed a gun which had been loaded for a couple 
of months, returned on foot to the place where he had 
marked down the woodcock, flushed him, and with a mas- 
terly shot carried out his previously announced intention 
of making him his own. He then walked back for his 
horse, picked up the hounds again, and, as the Notting- 
ham Journal said, " finished the day's diversion like a 
true British sportsman." 

Monday the 17th February 1834 saw Mr. Holyoake 
Goodricke's hounds — he had by that time taken the name 
of Goodricke, and was subsequently made a baronet — at 
Brooksby, where a capital run came off from Cream 
Gorse. Hounds settled down at once, running very fast 
for Ashby Pasture and Thorpe Trussells, and then to the 
left to Burrough Hill, through Little Dalby plantation, 
and thence for Leesthorpe, running to Jericho Lodo-e, 
and to the right of Bury Gorse, and near to Stapleford. 
The fox then crossed the river Eye and the Oakham 
Canal, and leaving Brentingby on the left, passed Treeby 
Village and went on through Treeby Wood, Waltham 
Thorns, and Newman's Covert up to Garthorpe Spinneys 
to the left of Sproxton Thorns, and so to Buckminster 
Park, "where two gentlemen of the Hunt scaled the 
park wall and were up at the death of the gallant fox, 
after a run of two hours and a half." The distance was 



156 THE QUORN HUNT 

said to be twenty-two miles, and George Mountford, the 
huntsman, came in for great kudos for the manner in 
which he handled his hounds during what must have 
been a tolerably fast run ; for Lady Wilton, riding a 
thoroughbred horse, could get no further than within 
two miles of Buckminster Park, and the only members of 
the field up at the finish were Mr. Holyoake Goodricke, 
Lord Kinnaird, Lord Wilton, and Lord Macdonald — all 
Meltonians ; the last-named was riding his favourite grey 
Peruvian, whose turn generally came when a run longer 
than usual was brought off. 

During Mr. Holyoake's mastership — I ought perhaps 
to call him Mr. Holyoake Goodricke — the Quorn Hunt 
lost a good sportsman in Mr. James Ellar, of Wymes- 
wold, who, beginning his hunting career in the days of 
Mr. Meynell, strenuously preserved foxes and bred good 
hunters up to the day of his death, which occurred in 
August 1834, while his hospitality was extended to every 
hunting man whose road home lay by his house. Mr. 
Ellar was apparently very fortunate in his horse-breeding 
experience. Some of the best of the Quorn stud came 
from his stable ; Mr. Delme Radcliffe bought one or two 
for George IV., while he generally sold one a year for a 
large sum to Lord Clanwilliam. As a raconteur of the 
chase he was unrivalled, his wonderful memory enabling 
him to recall every famous run and every man, horse, 
and hound which figured in them. When he first beean 
to hunt there was scarcely a fence or drain in Leicester- 
shire ; and on one occasion he remarked to Lord Robert 
Grosvenor, in the course of a gallop, "My lord, you and 
I were both in the long run from this spot forty-eight 
years ago, when we had seven horses stone blind." In 
a very famous run of five hours and a quarter, for so long 
talked about, he was one of the three survivors. In 
Mr. Ellar's early days "blooding" the youngsters was a 
recognised custom, on the glories of which he would 



MR. HOLYOAKE GOODRICKE 157 

dilate freely at his own fireside. This rite was 
solemnised after a good run ending with a kill, "when," 
as he affirmed, "all the colts were obliged to offer up a 
bowl of punch as a libation to Diana, stirring it with the 
victim's pad " — a truly nasty operation. 

Like many another good sportsman who lived to a 
ripe old age — Mr. Ellar was seventy-two when he died — 
he was forced to exchange the saddle for wheels, and 
his intimate knowledge of the country enabled him to 
see a good deal of the sport. In the month of January 
before his death a fox was found in Munday's Gorse, and 
Mr. Ellar was the first to view him away. He stood up 
in his gig and gave a right good halloa, which quickly 
brought hounds on the line. At that moment up rode 
Colonel Cheney, a Waterloo man, and so delighted was 
he to see an old brother sportsman that he grasped Mr. 
Ellar's hand with considerable fervour. Whether it was 
owing to the warmth of handshaking, the restiveness of 
Colonel Cheney's horse, or the fact that Mr. Ellar forgot 
that he was not in the saddle is not known ; but at any 
rate the gig turned over, and Mr. Ellar was underneath. 
Although the fox had gone away, a number of men 
remained behind to extricate the veteran sportsman from 
his dangerous position, and one and all were delighted 
to hear him exclaim from under his vehicle, "Zounds, 
colonel, if you charge me so again, you will send me to 
Davy's locker, as you did those French Invincibles." 
The victim was happily unhurt, and when he again met 
the hounds a few days later he came in for quite a shower 
of congratulations. 

Mr. Ellar had, however, one foible. By virtue of 
being about the oldest member of the Hunt, he con- 
sidered that he always had the right to be noticed in the 
field, and if at any time he considered that he had been 
slighted in this respect by any one, he immediately 
turned his horse's head towards home, declaring that his 



158 THE QUORN HUNT 

coverts should be cut up, the foxes sent to Belvoir, and 
that no Meltonian should ever a^ain set foot in his 
house. Yet somehow or other the next fixture saw 
him in his accustomed place. Some fancied slight of 
this kind caused, after years of intimacy, an estrange- 
ment between Mr. Ellar and Lord Rancliffe ; but the 
latter, on hearing that the old sportsman was ill, stopped 
his carriage at his door, sent in a quantity of hothouse 
grapes, peaches, and other things, and begged once more 
to shake the old sportsman by the hand. Gladly did 
Mr. Ellar accede to the request, and the meeting affected 
him greatly. 

In the course of the season 1834-35 the rumour that 
Mr. Holyoake would resign the hounds was not long in 
receiving confirmation, and it was reported that Lord 
Kinnaird would take them, and give ^"3000 towards the 
expenses, provided the country made up the rest, but in 
this case there was a chance of the pack reverting to its 
old name — the Quorn. Indeed, during Mr. Holyoake 
Goodricke's last season he took a subscription, Lord 
Kinnaird being one of his greatest supporters. 

The first day of the season (1834-35) took place as 
usual at Kirby Gate, but the September and October 
had been so dry that it was scarcely safe to ride when 
the regular season began. The cub-hunting time had 
brought with it only moderate success, and at Kirby 
Gate the muster was unusually small, though just after- 
wards some welcome rain fell, when sport very mate- 
rially revived. 

When runners were invented we know not, but at 
this time they were well-known appendages to most 
hunts, and one contributor to a local newspaper, who 
had previously advocated the publication of accounts of 
good runs, wrote to that paper drawing attention to the 
fact that J. Buttress, of Skeffington, who was well known 
to old Meltonians on account of his having for many 



MR. HOLYOAKE GOODRICKE 159 

years done a good deal of the earth-stopping for the 
Ouorn and Cottesmore, and run with the hounds, was 
too deserving a character to be left out of notice while 
others were being mentioned. Buttress appears to have 
been one of the best as well as the most popular of his 
calling. It was said that he stopped more earths, opened 
more gates, directed more men on their way home than 
any other man in the county of Leicestershire ; and there 
is some reason to believe that he made a very tidy living 
out of it, although, at the same time, the amount of exer- 
tion of running four, five, and six days a week should 
have sufficed to gain more than a competence at any 
trade which he might have been capable of following. 

In April 1S35 the Meltonian hounds (as they were 
called), then still in the hands of Mr. Holyoake, met by 
invitation at Belvoir Castle, where an enormous field 
assembled. It was quite a function. At noon the Duke 
of Rutland's carriage, drawn by four horses with pos- 
tillions, drew up at the fixture, but the sport does not 
appear to have been very grand, as might be supposed 
from the time of year. It is true three hours' hunting 
resulted in the death of a couple of foxes, but the hounds 
were very little in the open, and the third fox found 
saved his brush. Among those present were Namick 
Pasha and his secretary, the pair appearing to enjoy the 
novel surroundings very much. They managed to be in 
at the death we are told, but, as already stated, this 
hardly involved any very great display of horsemanship. 
Lord and Lady Chesterfield, Lord E. Wortley, Lord 
Granby, Lord R. Manners, and Lord Rokeby were also 
present ; while among the spectators who were content to 
follow on wheels was Madame Cardoro, the cantatrice, 
who had broken her journey from York to stay at 
Belvoir Castle, where after dinner she "delighted all 
the large party of distinguished persons by singing." 
This was about the last of the season 1834-35, and 



i6o THE QUORN HUNT 

at its close Mr. Holyoake Goodricke resigned the 
hounds. 

During Mr. Holyoake Goodricke's last season the 
hounds had a good run from Lowesby Hall, where lived 
the Marquis of Waterford and some friends. A 
Russian fox, said to have been one of those imported 
by Mr. White, was found in John o' Gaunt covert, and 
he gave a capital run of thirty-nine minutes without a 
check ; and by great exaggeration the distance is said to 
have been ten miles, when the " Czar," as the Russian 
fox was called, squatted in a furrow, and the whole pack 
passed over him ; but he was killed just afterwards. 
Lord Waterford went from start to finish as hard as he 
could pelt, and killed his first horse Lancet at the end 
of a racing twenty minutes. For the first time in his life 
he refused a fence. Lord Waterford jumped off to see 
what was the matter, and in a few minutes the horse 
was in extremis. "It was not the value of the horse that 
I cared about," said the marquis, "but the loss of time." 
A critic of the time wrote that it was a pity there was 
not a little more discretion mixed up with his lordship's 
valour. 

Sir Holyoake Goodricke, as he then was, died at the 
close of 1865, and one of his biographers — one who did 
not always observe the precept De mortuis, &c. — wrote : 
" It must have been many years since Sir Francis 
Goodricke put on a red coat ; and ' blazer ' as he was 
for five-and-twenty minutes, there never was one atom 
of real sporting blood in him. How a cool hand like Sir 
Harry could ever have made him his heir, even in a huff, 
and expected him to carry on the Ouorn hounds, passes 
all belief. The most unfortunate part of the business 
was, that the gentleman to whom the estates were left 
by the first will was informed after Sir Harry's death 
that he was the heir, and then a second will turned up. 
For a calculating head, nothing beat Mr. Holyoake in 



MR. HOLYOAKE GOODRICKE 161 

his young days, and old Meltonians talk yet of seeing 
him come dashing up to the covert-side in his phaeton, 
when he had barely £Soo a year, and compare it with 
the humble style of Lord Plymouth, who had such 
abundance. That Mr. Holyoake was no sportsman 
unfortunately appears to be true. He owned an estate 
in Warwickshire, and when he went down there the 
first question he asked the old keeper was, "How many 
foxes have you killed?" adding, "I won't have them 
here ; " and the old man used to pull some pads out of his 
pocket and show them ; but it is to be hoped that the 
same trophies did duty on several occasions. This I have 
on the very best authority, and there is no doubt at all 
that Mr. Holyoake, though tremendously down upon 
any one in Leicestershire whose coverts were drawn 
blank, was not much of a sportsman at heart. Nor is 
his an isolated case, for I have known of a master of 
hounds who would not tolerate foxes in a neighbouring 
country where he had shooting ; while another well- 
known individual who wrote on sport would not preserve 
foxes because he said that his was not a hunting country, 
yet hounds regularly draw his coverts. 

Although Mr. Holyoake Goodricke was not esteemed 
much of a sportsman, he is said to have been courteous 
in the field, and to have "blown up" only one man, and 
that was a farmer for riding over wheat ; but he was 
soon set right by the farmer's reply, " I am sure Master 
Holyoake is the last person to be offended this year" 

(■835)- 



162 THE QUORN HUNT 



MR. ROWLAND ERRINGTON 

1835-1838 

AS already mentioned, the sudden and untimely death 
L of Sir Harry Goodricke was a sad blow to the 
Ouorn country, and as Mr. Francis Holyoake had suc- 
ceeded to so large a portion ol Sir Harry's fortune, he 
could do no less, unwell though he was, than keep 
up the Hunt, at least until things had settled down. 
After his two seasons had expired, he resigned the 
Ouorn country into the hands of Mr. Rowland Erring- 
ton, a good sportsman, and in every way an estimable 
gentleman. 

He was born a Stanley — at Hooton in Cheshire; 
and in his veins there flowed some of the bluest and 
oldest blood in that pleasant county. His father was 
Sir Thomas Massey Stanley, the ninth baronet. The 
subject of this chapter inherited when quite a boy the 
extensive estates of Mr. Henry Errington, his maternal 
a-rand-uncle, whose name he took. The father of Mr. 
(afterwards Sir) Rowland Errington was closely allied 
with the turf, and it may be remembered that such 
horses as Picaroon, Apothecary, and Gasparoni are 
found mentioned in connection with his name, when 
the Hooton colours were so often to the front. Mr. 
Rowland Errington, however, was by choice a hunt- 
ing man, and as master carried on the Quorn hounds 
up to their highest traditions, while in his younger days 
few could beat him over a country. 

He succeeded to the baronetcy in the year 1863, and 



MR. ROWLAND ERRINGTON 163 

was in his turn succeeded in the title by his brother, 
Mr. John Massey Stanley, who, in partnership with Sir 
Joseph Hawley, used to run a few racehorses in Italy 
during their visit to Florence. Sir William, the next 
baronet, however, sold the Hooton estate, and so severed 
the connection of centuries of the house of Stanley with 
the county of Cheshire. 

It was at the expiration of the season 1834-35 that 
Mr. Errington announced his willingness to hunt the 
country, and no sooner was his intention made known 
than he was invited to the inevitable dinner, which at 
that time was given to each master who undertook 
the onus of government. It is said that more than a 
hundred farmers were present at the function, many of 
them being considerable freeholders, as well as large 
occupiers of land. Mr. Burgess of Clipstone, Notting- 
hamshire, who hunted his own harriers when he was 
not out with the Ouorn, presided at the feast, and in 
very excellent fashion did he appear to discharge his 
duties, for a few days afterwards, on some one asking 
how the affair had passed off, the reply was, 'Capitally. 
Such a chairman ! Made nearly all the speeches ; gave 
all the cheers ; drank four bottles of wine, and walked 
away sober." What higher praise could be awarded to 
a chairman of the old school ? 

In connection with Mr. Errington's mastership of 
the Quorn, it should be mentioned that that gentleman 
was the means of bringing out the afterwards famous 
huntsman Charles Payne, whose first acquaintance with 
hounds was riding Mr. Errington's second horse ; but 
he entered that gentleman's service before he took the 
mastership. Through the good offices of George Beers 
he was made whip to the Oakley, where he stayed for 
ten years, after which he went as first whipper-in and 
kennel huntsman to the Pytchlcy, over which his 
namesake Mr. George Payne of Sulby presided. On 



164 THE QUORN HUNT 

Lord Althorpe succeeding Mr. Payne, Charles Payne 
was promoted to the huntsman's place, and began that 
brilliant career which never ceased until he resigned the 
post of huntsman to Sir Watkin Wynri in 1883. He 
left the Pytchley and went to Wynnstay in 1865, when 
"merry" John Walker retired from Sir Watkin's service. 

In Mr. Errington's time they must have begun cub- 
hunting pretty early, as we find it chronicled that the 
hounds were not out cub-hunting till August 31. During 
his first November sport was almost uniformly bad, but 
a little later on — that is to say, about the middle of 
December — the hounds met at Widmerpool, when a 
very small field joined them, not more than twenty, it is 
said. After a somewhat unsatisfactory morning, a fox 
was found in Ellar's Gorse ; he ran towards Wymes- 
wold, and after a check went as hard as he could to 
Ragdale House and Schoby Scholes ; passed at the 
bottom of Lord Aylesford's Gorse, and eventually ran 
to ground in the Belvoir country, after a capital 
hunting run of two hours, which showed that the 
hounds could work as well as the slowest pack in the 
kingdom. 

Mr. Errinpton had his hounds divided into three 
packs — the dogs, the bitches, and the mixed pack ; but 
the bitches were generally the favourites. Although the 
master might not have had the best of luck at the open- 
ing of his first season, he did better towards its close, 
some very excellent runs taking place in March and 
April. On one day in March they met at Lowesby, 
found at John o' Gaunt's, and ran on, making something- 
like a twelve-mile point, which was said to have been 
done in little more than one hour and thirty-five minutes ; 
while in April there took place from Botany Bay a run 
that knocked up almost every horse out ; Mountford, the 
huntsman, was unluckily injured by falling at a fence 
which scarcely anybody cleared. 



MR. ROWLAND ERRINGTON 165 

Before the season closed hounds had a slow hunting 
run from Mr. Cradock's Gorse, but except that they 
had a good forty minutes, the run was only remarkable 
for the fact that although the fox had half-an-hour's 
start of the hounds, Sir David Baird, one of the char- 
acters of the Hunt, jumped the Melton Brook, "by way 
of amusement," for there was a bridge less than a hun- 
dred yards off, and the hounds had checked. Lord 
Waterford and Mr. A, Paget got in, and the former, 
who was nothing if not thoroughgoing, had a second 
shot at the brook with the same result ; and he was 
in the water so long that people thought he would surely 
be drowned, for his horse had his feet on his chest. 
When he did reach the surface it was found that he had 
lost his hat and both his stirrups, and when at last his 
horse was recovered, his lordship trotted in a rather sad 
state of mind back to Melton. 

It was about this time (1836) that the Duke of Wel- 
lington paid a visit to Leicestershire, and is said to have 
given it the flattering appellation of the " nursery of 
valour," a phrase which would seem to be merely a 
replica of the statement that the battle of Waterloo was 
won in the Eton playing-fields, a saying which has 
often been contradicted. 

In Mr. Errington's time as now, Leicestershire was 
nothing if not sociable, and although previous masters 
may have done their best towards hunting the country, 
there was one matter which they all appeared to have 
neglected, and that was the Hunt ball. We learn that 
for years it had been a subject of complaint and dissatis- 
faction in the county that no such function had been 
established annually ; and Mr. Errington no sooner 
learned that there existed a feeling of discontent on this 
point than, with his usual promptitude and liberality, 
he began to devise means for organising a satisfactory 
dance. He saw that if the thing was to be done at 



166 THE QUORN HUNT 

all it should be done well; so in the year 1836, being 
assisted by a band of willing workers, a ball was brought 
off at the Assembly Rooms, Leicester. The arrange- 
ments were excellent ; the supper is said to have been 
splendid, and Weippert's full band was in attendance. 
So even in those days hunting men did not get all they 
wanted round about the neighbourhood. Lord Wilton, 
Messrs. E. B. Hartopp and E. B. Farnham lent valu- 
able assistance to the master of the Quorn ; and Lord 
Wilton, in proposing Mr. Errington's health after supper, 
spoke of him as "a friend, a gentleman, and a public 
character." 

The season of 1836-37 was an improvement on that 
which had preceded. Since Lord Southampton had 
bought the Oakley hounds, neither the pack nor the staff 
had undergone any alteration. George Mountford was 
still huntsman, Will Derry was first whipper-in, and 
George Beers second. The last-named left in 1836 to 
become huntsman to Mr. Musters in Nottinghamshire ; 
and he was replaced by Tom Ball, who had formerly 
whipped in under Mr. Grantley Berkeley, and with 
Mr. Wilkins in Northamptonshire when that gentle- 
man hunted the Pytchley country. 

The season of 1837-38 was somewhat brilliant, good 
runs, both in cub-hunting and during the season of 
regular hunting, coming thick and fast ; while there was 
an abundant supply of foxes, an improvement on matters 
in the previous years. Mr. Errington by this time had 
announced his intention of living at Melton, and it was 
during this season, probably early in 1838, that Mr. 
(afterwards Sir) Francis Grant was deputed by him to 
paint the picture of the "Melton Hunt Breakfast." 
Hunting pictures in the open air had been plentiful 
enough ; as one critic said, " there were few mansions 
whose walls were not adorned by 'hunting pieces,' in 
which sundry elderly gentlemen in grotesque-looking 



MR. ROWLAND ERRINGTON 167 

habiliments, jack-boots and ruffles, are seen quietly 
ambling up the hillside, preceded or followed by several 
hounds." It was not, perhaps, until the present century 
dawned that hunting pictures attracted the serious notice 
of painters, and perhaps the connecting-link between the 
old and newer schools was the painting of the celebrated 
Billesdon Coplow run, formerly in the possession of Sir 
Thomas Parkyns, of Bunny, and afterwards in that of 
Mr. Rowland Errington, of Hooton. It was said to have 
been a very life-like picture. Mr. Errington's picture, 
though, was something of a new departure, for it repre- 
sented no incident in the hunting field but a breakfast 
at Melton, and on the canvas were depicted eleven of 
the best sportsmen then known in Leicestershire. The 
artist was most successful in grouping his figures. The 
time is evidently not up for starting, and the fixture is 
at Billesdon. Mr. Arthur Stanley (the elder brother 
of Mr. Errington), Lord Wilton, Count Matuscewitz, 
Lord Gardner, Mr. Lyne Stephens, Sir Frederick John- 
stone, Lord Rokeby, Lord Forester, Lord Kinnaird, 
and Mr. Rowland Errington are the characters in the 
picture, while the waiter is he of the George Inn, 
Melton, and his was said to be the best likeness in 
the painting. 

One of the criticisms passed upon the painting at the 
time was that there was not a single Irishman in it, and 
this was thought to be an oversight, inasmuch as Mr. 
Errington enjoyed the friendship of a great many Irish- 
men. Nor, was it remarked, was there any fox-hunter 
of the old school, such men as Mr. Moore, Sir James 
Musgrave, and Val Maher being altogether passed 
over. 

In the April of 1 838, shortly before Mr. Errington gave 
up the hounds, there was given at Drury Lane an extrava- 
ganza called "The Meltonians," a production which the 
playbills termed "an original, good-humoured, and per- 



168 THE QUORN HUNT 

fectly illegitimate drama." It was written by Mr. Peake, 
and had long been in rehearsal, but owing to an accident 
to Mr. Anderson, one of the chief performers, and the 
superior attraction of Mr. Charles Kean, it was reserved 
for Easter, for at that time a novelty of some sort was pro- 
duced at Easter as regularly as was a pantomime at Christ- 
mas. It was said to illustrate the doings of a certain young 
nobleman, in whom the reader will recognise the high- 
spirited Lord Waterford, whose frolics and eccentricities 
gained so much notoriety, not only in Melton Mowbray 
but elsewhere. Most people had seen pictures of 
Melton, in which Lord Waterford was represented 
painting the toll-bar house a scarlet as bright as that of 
his own coat, while his collection of door-knockers from 
Melton and other places was said to be the largest in 
the world. The characters in the play chiefly consisted 
of about a dozen Meltonians, and it is said that their 
persons and characters and habits were brought into 
strong and striking contrast with those of a couple of 
Frenchmen and the family of a retired merchant-tailor. 
The success, however, of the piece depended upon some 
tableaux which were given, and which represented the 
exploits of Lord Waterford. The subjects there repre- 
sented were three : first, " Larking at the Toll-gate ; or, 
Comino- in for the Brush ; " second, " Taking a Five- 
barred Gate in the Drawing-room ; " third, " Quick Work 
without a Contract by Tip-top Sawyers." The second 
was said to be the best. The five-barred gate was put 
up in the stage drawing-room, and a horse, having more 
the appearance of a hunter than anything generally seen 
upon the stage, was brought in and made to take the 
leap very cleverly. This reminds one of a play pro- 
duced in London, representing some incidents in 
Shropshire, when the Salopians went up to London to 
show the theatrical people how a view halloa should be 
given ; while it is also rather suggestive of " Formosa," a 



MR. ROWLAND ERRINGTON 169 

play produced by Mr. Boucicault many years ago, and 
which was supposed to represent incidents in the training 
of an Oxford crew during their stay in town. 

In reference to the closing days of Mr. Errington's 
mastership, there appeared in one of the local papers an 
extract from Blackwood's Magazine from Mr. Gardiner's 
" Music and Friends." The author, Mr. William Gar- 
diner, was one of the house of Gardiner & Sons, hosiers 
and stocking-makers, and he wrote as follows : — 

Our time passed pleasantly enough, and from the description 
my friend gave of the delights of the chase in Leicestershire, 
they determined to pay a visit to our green fields during the 
following season. In November the champions arrived with 
horses, grooms, and lackeys. Finding that I was no hunter they 
expressed great surprise at my want of taste, and insisted upon 
mounting me upon one of their steeds, and that I should see for 
the first time in my life something of the sports of the field. I 
so far consented as to accompany them to covert, to witness the 
sight of throwing off; but I was cautious not to join in the chase. 
I was mounted on a delightful creature, who, with an elevated 
crest, was gazing round the country, like a giraffe, as we gently 
rode to Carlton Clump. On arriving there, the high-mettled 
steeds were walked about by spruce and cunning grooms waiting 
their masters' arrival. Soon as mounted, the phalanx of scarlet 
began to canter from covert to covert, surmounting the hedgerows 
by easy leaps. This mightily pleased me. The cry of the dogs 
and the agreeable motion made me forget the company I was in ; 
and just as I was about to return, up started a fox, when my 
resolution availed me nothing, for my horse, which had playfully 
scampered over the green turf just before, shot like an arrow from 
a bow and headlong we went — 

O'er hill and dale, 
O'er park and pale, 

till we came to Hallaton Wood. Here sly reynard concealed 
himself, and we were at fault. During the interval every eye 
was upon the covert. I was asked by Sir Thomas Clarges, on 
which side the wood I thought the fox would break ? I replied, 
" My dear sir, it is the first day I ever saw a pack of hounds." 



170 THE QUORN HUNT 

Upon which the celebrated Mr. Mellish exclaimed, "Where the 
h — 11, sir, were you born ? " However, just as my reason had 
returned and I was about to quit the field, up sprang another 
fox and we were off again like the wind. Near Uppingham we 
hurried down a declivity at full gallop, which I have since con- 
sidered the maddest action of my life. Helter-skelter we then 
rushed forward to Launde, where reynard met his death. The 
impetuous creature upon which I was, mad with heat and sport, 
by way of a finish, plunged over head and ears with me into a 
gravel pit filled with water. We swam out on the other side, 
and by the time I had ridden the eighteen miles back to Leicester 
my ardour for fox-hunting was completely cooled. 



It is perhaps as well to read accounts of hunting 
from all points of view, and in connection with another 
dictum of hunting, it may be said that it was Valentine 
Maher, a famous fox-hunter, who for twenty-five years 
passed his winters at Melton, who said that it was 
better fun to ride to and from covert in Leicestershire 
than to hunt in any other part of the kingdom. This 
saying, by the way, has been attributed to Whyte-Mel- 
ville, but inasmuch as it appeared in print in 1859, it is 
tolerably obvious that it became a saying before Whyte- 
Melville was given to the utterance of epigrams. 

The season of 1837-38 was Mr. Errington's last, 
and a farewell dinner was given to him at Leicester. 
About a hundred and twenty hunting men were present 
most of those at the chief table being in scarlet. Mr. 
E. C. Hartopp took the chair, and the company included 
the Duke of Beaufort, the Marquis of Hastings, the 
Earls of Wilton and Chesterfield, Count Batthyany, 
Lords Rancliffe, Gardner, Clanwilliam, Macdonald, 
Eglinton, Castlereagh, Joscelyn, Dunmore, and others. 
It seems to have been hoped that, when Mr. Errington 
determined to give up the country, the Duke of Beaufort 
would have taken it ; but as he hunted his own pack, 
which had been in that family for a good many years, it 



MR. ROWLAND ERRINGTON 



171 



was hardly likely that he would abandon it to take a 
strange country. Mr. Errington could not be induced 
to reconsider his decision, and eventually Lord Chester- 
field bought the Ouorn hounds, wherewith to hunt the 
Pytchley country, which he had just taken. 




CHAPTER VI 

LORD SUFFIELD (1838-1839) 

MR. THOMAS HODGSON (1839-1841) 



'73 



CHAPTER VI 

LORD SUFFIELD 

1838 1839 

LORD SUFFIELD, as soon as it was understood 
/ that he would succeed Mr. Errington in the master- 
ship of the Ouorn hounds, was described as " a noble- 
man unknown as a fox-hunter." This description is 
perhaps scarcely accurate ; for, although he was but five- 
and-twenty years of age (having been born in 181 3) when 
he entered upon the Quorn country, he had hunted with 
Mr. Errington, and had proved himself a bold horseman. 
Edward Vernon Harbord succeeded to the title in 1835, 
on the death of his father, who was killed in London by 
a fall from his hack, and the son came into an income 
of ,£14,000 a year. After leaving school he went up to 
Christ Church, Oxford, where he remained for a short 
time only, and then, like his predecessors Lord Foley 
and Mr. Osbaldeston, took to racing, which eventually 
ruined him, as it had been the cause of their downfall. 
A contemporary wrote of him : — 

His lordship since his debut on the turf has been fortunate 
in purchasing some good horses, among which we may mention 
Newlight, not particularly splendid ; Alfred, that is to be great ; 
and Caravan, which could not go quite fast enough for the Derby. 
Had Caravan won this race (1837) his lordship would have 
pocketed an immense sum. 

Passing mention must be made of the Derby of 1837, 

because it bore directly upon Lord Sufheld's lamentable 

failure as M.F.H. In Caravan he thought that he had a 

175 



176 THE QUORN HUNT 

smart horse, and backed him for pounds, shillings, and 
pence. Lord Berners x had a horse named Phosphorus, 
but he suffered so much from a disease in the feet that no 
one deemed his chance worth thinking about : he had not 
had a gallop for ten days, and on the eve of the race his 
trainer went to Lord Berners, and pointing out the 
horse's condition, asked what was to be done on the 
morrow ; was the horse to run ? Lord Berners, a quaint, 
strong-minded old man — he was seventy-seven years 
of age at the time — was not given to long speeches, 
so he merely said, "Run? I always run," adding that 
Phosphorus would have to go if he broke down in half- 
a-dozen strides from the start. There were a couple of 
breaks away before the flag fell, and after a punishing 
finish, Phosphorus beat Caravan by half a length, and 
the defeat of the latter cost Lord Suffield a pretty penny. 
It was not long after this crushing loss that Lord 
Suffield, undismayed by his liabilities, decided to offer 
himself as Mr. Errington's successor ; but perhaps he 
would not have been quite so readily accepted by the 
country, had there not been some idea that Lord Gardner, 
his brother-in-law, and a magnificent horseman, 2 was to be 
a sort of sleeping partner in the concern ; this idea, how- 
ever, turned out to be quite erroneous, as Lord Gardner, 
though a constant follower of the hounds, at no time 
had any share in the management, though Mr. Bernal 
Osborne, the author of the " Chaunt of Achilles," per- 
haps entertained a different idea, judging at least from the 
following extract from the above-named publication : — 

But lo ! where following on his chestnut dark, 
The grinning Gardner gallops down the Park ; 
Slow in the senate, tho' not wanting sense, 
Quick in retort, but quicker at a fence ; 



1 Lord Berners was much interested in the breeding of Hereford cattle 

2 It was said that Lord Suffield would have shown to greater advantage 
over a country had he not been eclipsed by his brother-in-law. 



LORD SUFFIELD 177 

With him no hunter ever dare refuse ; 

His hand so perfect, damnable his muse ! x 

Strange, tho' for years I've listened to the crowd 

Who canvass character, the rich, and proud, 

Of him alone, as yet I never heard 

One kindly action or approving word ; 

Sparing of cash, he ne'er outruns his bounds, 

And Suffield keeps, whilst Gardner hunts the hounds. 

At the time of his taking the country, Lord Suffield 
had neither hounds nor huntsman. Mr. Ralph Lambton, 
who in his early days had hunted in Leicestershire 
before succeeding his brother in the mastership of the 
family pack, gave up his hounds just as Lord Suffield 
was in want of a pack, and then after some little diffi- 
culty the new master bought them for the consider- 
able sum of 3000 guineas. Sir Matthew White Ridley, 
master of the Blagdon Hunt in Northumberland, wanted 
the Lambton hounds for his country, but he gave way, 
and they became the property of Lord Suffield. 

It is worthy of note that not long before they left 
Durham " Nimrod " paid them a visit, and wrote of 
them in highly eulogistic terms, making especial mention 
of the fact that they were extremely steady from riot. 

Another circumstance occurred which created a smile. Whilst 
picking out a cold scent in the middle of a rough grass-field, all 
the pack being at work, a brace of hares jumped up in view; not 
a hound noticed them, on which I heard Mr. Lambton say : " I 
hope the Professor (' Nimrod ') saw that." I did see it, and I 
agree with Lord Kintore that any wild animal jumping up in view 
of hounds in a moment of disappointment and baffle, such as this 
was, puts their steadiness from riot to the test, and if unnoticed 
confirms it. 

Lord Suffield, together with his brother-in-law Lord 
Gardner, took Lowesby Hall, which had previously been 
occupied by the Marquis of Waterford and Lord Glen- 
dyne, and celebrated as the scene of the Marquis's res 

1 Vide his rhymes in the " Book of Beauty." 

M 



178 THE QUORN HUNT 

gestce, such as riding up and down the marble staircase, 
and leaping Cock Robin over chairs and tables in the 
drawing-room. 1 

When, however, the hounds arrived in Leicestershire 
they were " crabbed " by nearly every one, though Tread- 
well, the huntsman who brought them from the Sedgfield 
country into Leicestershire, declared that they wanted no 
hunting. In spite of a crippled purse, Lord Suffield 
began his career regardless of expense. His stables 
were filled with the best horses to be procured for money 
— or credit ; he built new kennels at Billesdon, at a cost 
of ^4500 ; he approached the farmers and landowners 
in a very conciliatory spirit, and to those who were 
unaware of his pecuniary embarrassments his term of 
mastership promised to be successful enough. 

Lord Suffield expressed himself as determined to 
show sport, 2 and, resolving that the farmers should be 
gainers rather than losers by the presence of the Ouorn 
Hunt, declared that he would pay all damage and spoil, 
and would buy his forage, &c, direct from the farmers 
instead of from the dealers. How far he was enabled 
to carry out his good intentions the following anecdote 
will show : — 

Upon one occasion his lordship complained to his stud-groom 
of the want of condition in his horses. 

" I can't help it," was the brief and somewhat surly reply. 

" Can't help it ? " repeated his lordship, surprise portrayed in 
every feature ; " and why not ? " 



1 During one of the meetings of the Royal Hunt Club at Aylesbury, the 
Marquis of Waterford had his horse brought upstairs to the dining-room at 
the White Hart ; and a grey of Charlie Symonds's is said there to have 
jumped the dinner-table ; he was ridden over it by Mr. Manning, a sporting 
farmer. See " Echoes of Old Country Life," by J. K. Fowler. 

2 When Lord Suffield first took the country, it was thought that he 
showed a tendency to baulking the people who came out on foot, so a 
foremost member of the Hunt begged him to do nothing of the kind, as 
if he did the disappointed pedestrians would be sure to kill foxes by way of 
retaliation. 



LORD SUFFIELD 179 

" Because I ain't got no corn," added the stud-groom. 

" Immediately apply to the steward, then," said his master 
angrily. 

" I did, my lord, this morning," replied the man ; " but he told 
me it was no use coming to him, as the corn-dealer would stand 
tick no longer." 

"That's an unpleasant circumstance," said his lordship reflec- 
tively. 

" Yes, and so I said at the time, my lord," returned the ser- 
vant; "but he said he couldn't help it — that none of the trades- 
people would give any more credit, except the pastry-cook." 

" D it ! if that's the case, feed your horses on jelly" replied 

his master, after a pause for the hatching of a remedy. 1 

Lord Suffield's fixture on the 5th November 1838 2 
was not productive of much sport, and is only mentioned 
on account of the following incident : — 

The first thing that they noticed was that the beautiful and 
well-known ash-tree, long standing in majestic solitude on an 
artificial tumulus — for half a century the trysting-place of the 
Hunt — had been victimised by the late storm. There it lay, once 
the admiration of all beholders — the pride of the park — the tree 
which Meynell had climbed to see the finale of a run, when his 
steed could travel no farther. 

Before leaving the year 1838, it may be as well to 
make reference to a letter written by "A Leicestershire 
Farmer and Fox-hunter " to the Leicester Journal, if only 
to show how history repeats itself. The writer of the letter 
suggested that, instead of the members of the Quorn 
Hunt giving ^60, as usual, to be run for at Leicester, 
it would be better to give it in one, two, or three prizes 
for the best young horses calculated to make hunters ; 
to be bond fide the property of farmers in the Ouorn 
country. The reasons given were that many non-hunt- 

1 The anecdote is in a book called " The Sporting Life of England," by 
John Mills, author of " The Flyers of the Hunt," " Life of a Foxhound," &c. 

2 In the year 1838 died Mr. John Cradock, who succeeded his father as 
secretary to the Hunt. More will be said about the Cradock family later on, 



180 THE QUORN HUNT 

ing farmers have their land crossed and breed horses ; 
those who did hunt liked to have a horse to carry them 
well, but did not care to encounter the trouble and ex- 
pense of putting the horse into training ; and that the 
stakes were, more often than not, won not by a hunter 
but by some thoroughbred screw worth not more than 
^25, and which could not get over a country at all. 
The writer further suggested that if the premiums he 
suggested were given, the non-hunting as well as the 
hunting farmer would stand the chance of being benefited. 
It is curious to find that the lines proposed sixty years ago 
by a farmer have been adopted by the Royal Agricultural 
and Hunters' Improvement Societies, as well as by most 
agricultural societies and promoters of horse shows. 

We learn very little about the sport of Lord Suffield's 
hounds during November and December 1838. His 
hounds were said to be slack drawers and as slow as a 
man in boots, until one fine day when there chanced to 
be something like a scent. 

A fox was found in Shearsby Gorse ; the hounds went away 
on good terms with him ; left the hard-riding field behind at every 
stride ; and, after having the fun all to themselves for three- 
quarters of an hour over the Gumley country, rolled over their 
fox and ate him up, "brush and all," without a man being within 
two fields of them. At Gumley the leading men were in absolute 
ignorance of their whereabouts, and had it not been for Mr. 
Tilbury (the well-known dealer in hunters), whose quick eye espied 
a couple of labourers running in the distance to the left, it is pos- 
sible that no one might have seen them again. Tilbury, however, 
making an excuse that he had lost a shoe, pulled up for a moment, 
and when the rest of the field had ridden aimlessly on for some 
distance, the astute old dealer turned away and galloped as hard 
as he could to the left, where he had seen the labourers running, 
followed by one person only, to whom he had given a hint of what 
was going to happen, and none but these two could give any 
account of what had taken place during the last ten minutes. 
" Hounds ran mute from start to finish, and old Tilbury made the 
most of what little he did see." 



LORD SUFFIELD 181 

Towards the close of Lord Suffield's first and only 
season (1838-39), that is to say, in the month of March 
1839, the hounds met at Kirby Gate and made ample 
atonement for any previous shortcomings, if they ever 
existed, by bringing off one of the best runs Leicester- 
shire had ever seen. 

Cream Gorse was the starting-point, and away went the fox 
towards Melton, afterwards bearing to the right to Great Dalby 
and pointing for Gartree, hounds running at a tremendous pace, 
again without any one with them. After the fox had run through 
the end of the covert and up the hill to Little Dalby, he went 
away over Burrough Hill to within a few fields of Somerby, and 
thence he ran almost straight to John o' Gaunt's, into which 
covert the fox ran in view of the racing pack; but, as may be 
supposed, the hounds were not in view of more than a very few 
of the large field of the morning. After dwelling a short time in 
covert, this good fox went away on the Tilton side for Lowesby 
Hall, which he succeeded in reaching just in time to find safety 
in a drain. Lords Gardner, Waterford, and Wilton, Mr. Stuart 
Wortley, Mr. Little Gilmour, and Sir James Musgrave, though 
some way from hounds, were the nearest to them, while Tread- 
well, the huntsman, was in a good position all through. 

The run was estimated at about fourteen miles, and 
the time a little over an hour ; but either time or dis- 
tance, or both, must certainly be wrong. Luck favoured 
the Quorn during the week in which the above run took 
place, as two other capital gallops were enjoyed, and then 
people began to think that there was something in the 
Lambton hounds after all. 

As the season was rapidly drawing to a close, Lord 
Suffield announced his intention of resigning the Quorn 
country at once, a statement which was regretted by a 
good many and caused surprise to some, while others 
wondered how it was that a man who was in such pecu- 
niary difficulties as was Lord Suffield could ever have 
dreamed of becoming master of so expensive a hunt. 

Mrs. Musters, in her most interesting little work, 



i82 THE QUORN HUNT 

entitled " Hunting Songs and Sport," says that the 
hounds and horses were seized by the bailiffs while on 
the way to meet at Lodge on the Wolds ; but the writer 
has been unable to verify this statement or to find it said 
elsewhere. There is also an account of how the hounds 
were sent to London by train and driven from the station 
to their town quarters in carts — two couples in a cart — a 
sight which caused great excitement among the cockneys, 
as well it might. The writer has not been able to verify 
this either. 

It has always been said that Mr. Robertson, who 
hunted a country in Northumberland, gave a thousand 
guineas for the hounds which cost Lord Suffield thrice 
that sum ; but in the Sporting Magazine for May 1839 
it is stated that on the 25th April Lord Suffield's hounds, 
carriages, and horses were sold at the "Corner" by 
Messrs. Tattersall and realised the sum of ^5859, 4s. 
The yard was crammed on that occasion. Some of the 
horses brought long prices — Grantham, 285 guineas ; 
Metternich, 275 guineas; Cigar, 225 guineas; Mount- 
eagle, 210 guineas; Bryan O'Lynn, 210 guineas. Then 
comes the statement that "the hounds for which Lord 
Suffield had given 3000 guineas were sold in eight lots, 
and produced 491 guineas," a very different story from 
the 1000 guineas Mr. Robertson was reported to have 
given for them. Nevertheless it appears tolerably cer- 
tain that the hounds did go north, though at what price 
it was impossible to say. No surprise need be felt, how- 
ever, if the true state of the case be that the pack 
brought only a comparatively small sum. The original 
amount of 3000 guineas was at the time thought to be 
somewhat extravagant, especially as there was quite a 
full complement of old hounds which could not be 
expected to last more than another season or two ; and 
as Lord Suffield, not much of a hound man, had them 
for a single season only, it stands pretty well to reason 



LORD SUFFIELD 183 

that he could have done nothing to bring about any 
improvement. Lord Suffield went abroad immediately 
after his resignation. 

Just before he went out of office, however, a meeting 
of the owners of coverts was held at the Three Crowns, 
Leicester, at which it was agreed by Lord Wilton, as 
representative of Melton, that Lord Hastings (master 
of the Donington hounds) should draw Prestwold. It 
was also agreed that the Quorn coverts should be 
managed by a county committee, who should pay the 
rent and charges for damage, an arrangement which was 
calculated to save the next master about ^2000 a year. 
Those who lived beyond the confines of Melton hoped 
very sincerely that the resolution would be carried, as 
during several previous masterships the idea had pre- 
vailed that the Melton clique had had too much to say 
to the conduct of affairs, and that the country had not 
been hunted quite fairly. With the retirement then of 
Lord Suffield, the thirteenth master of the Quorn, 
including Mr. Boothby, there came to an end a reign 
which can only be regarded as more or less of a failure. 



184 THE QUORN HUNT 



MR. THOMAS HODGSON 
1839-1841 

THE retirement of Lord Suffield was so sudden, and 
apparently so unexpected, that at the time of his 
withdrawal no provision whatever seems to have been 
made for the future hunting of the country. The names 
of sundry gentlemen who were likely to come forward 
were mentioned, but nothing was done ; and a good 
many of the farmers who were not excessively predis- 
posed to hunting took the opportunity of destroying a 
great number of foxes, the coverts on the Laughton 
Hills and some on Charnwood Forest being amongst 
those which suffered. After a long interval, however, it 
was announced that Mr. Thomas Hodgson, who had 
shown good sport in Yorkshire, when master of the 
Holderness, would come south and take the Quorn 
country. 

That the Hunt was not particularly well off for funds 
may be gathered from the fact that the Melton com- 
mittee at once, on Lord Suffield's retirement, gave Tom 
Ball, 1 the second whipper-in, notice to quit, as it was 

1 Ball, luckily for himself, left the Quorn with Treadwell and the 
hounds, when the latter were sold to Mr. Robertson. His first situation 
was in his native county of Bedfordshire, under Mr. Grantley Berkeley ; 
then he came to the Quorn under Lord Suffield ; and upon the hounds being 
sold he went for one season to the North. Then he took service with 
Baron Rothschild and whipped in to Bill Roffey, and afterwards for two 
seasons to William Berwick. He was somewhat of a failure as a huntsman, 
and it was in the duties of a whipper-in that he chiefly excelled. He was a 
consummate horseman, and no one could beat him over the Vale of Ayles- 
bury, while no horse appeared to pull with him. 



MR. THOMAS HODGSON 185 

suggested that his continued engagement would involve 
the payment of wages, and the authorities did not feel 
themselves rich enough to become liable for so serious a 
responsibility. 

Mr. Hodgson's advent was hailed with acclamation, 
for his reputation in Holderness had been very great, 
and no sooner was it known that he had consented to 
hunt the Ouorn country than the Holderness farmers at 
once announced their intention of presenting him with 
a testimonial ; and in 1840 he had to journey north to 
Driffield, where a dinner was given to him, at which 
many members of the Holderness Hunt attended, and 
a handsome though small service of plate was presented 
to Mr. Hodgson, the gift having been purchased by 
funds raised by the farmers alone. He took his Holder- 
ness hounds to Leicestershire, where in due course they 
gave a good deal of satisfaction. 

Between his establishment and Lord Suffield's, 
however, there was a most extraordinary difference. 
In Lord Suffield's time, says a writer of the period, 
there was lavish waste in every department, infinitely 
more attention being paid to a smart turn-out than to 
the sport which ensued. The morning's show was bril- 
liant, the performances afterwards were voted wretched. 
In Mr. Hodgson's establishment, however, everything 
was said to be business-like, without parade or nonsense, 
giving promise, which appears to have been kept, of 
famous runs equalling those of the olden times. 

Webb had been Mr. Hodgson's huntsman in Hol- 
derness for at least part of the time that the latter 
hunted the country, but learned a good deal of his 
business under Mr. Conyers, in Essex, with whom he 
remained thirteen years, and then went to the Pytchley 
under Mr. Payne. He was accounted a good man in 
Yorkshire, was a bold horseman, and the widest and 
deepest of Holderness dykes had no terrors for him, 



186 THE QUORN HUNT 

while he was also an excellent man in the kennel. But 
Yorkshire and Leicestershire differ widely in their re- 
quirements, and when Webb came into the shires, 
" Nimrod," who happened to be down there at the time, 
voted him slow, and other people taking up the cry, 
Mr. Hodgson drafted him and took on Tom Day in 
his stead. 

Mr. Hodgson's new huntsman (Day) had a long and varied 
career with hounds. He is said to have begun life with a sporting 
farmer who kept some harriers in Notts or Lincolnshire ; thence 
he went as second whipper-in to Mr. Foljambe and Lord Scar- 
borough, remaining with the latter master three years. He was 
born in 1798, and, as he went to Lord Scarborough when about 
eighteen years old, he would have left him about the year 18 19. 
It is then said that he went as wbipper-in to Mr. Osbaldeston, 
who was at that time at Quorn, and after a short stay with the 
Squire he was engaged to Sir George Sitwell as huntsman, and 
then when he gave up his pack Tom Day went to whip in to 
Assheton Smith in the Tedworth country, where he remained for 
about three seasons. His next place was as whipper-in under 
old Will Boxall with the Warwickshire, and on Boxall's retire- 
ment he was appointed huntsman, and from all accounts he 
hunted the Warwickshire for about five or six years. At the 
beginning of the season 1 840-41, we find Tom Day as huntsman 
to the Quorn under Mr. Hodgson, he being at that time forty-two 
years of age and "decidedly turning grey." In the Quorn 
country he remained for no fewer than eighteen seasons, acting 
as huntsman for Mr. Hodgson, Mr. Greene, and Sir Richard 
Sutton ; and then when the Quorn country was divided Mr. 
Tailby took him on, authorised him to get a pack of hounds 
together, which he did, and he hunted them for one season, at 
the expiration of which he quietly settled down in the village of 
Quorn, where he lived till he died at the beginning of 1878. 

Nature, it would seem, had built Tom Day on the lines of a 
jockey ; he is said to have ridden but a few pounds or so over eight 
stone ; he was a fine horseman with beautiful hands, thoroughly 
understood his business, was very popular, and was, as one of 
Mr. Hodgson's followers said, " very intelligent and the best- 
mannered person we have had here for some time." While Tom 
Day was huntsman to the Quorn he had his full share of falls, 
but escaped all injury ; yet his death was hastened by a fall 



MR. THOMAS HODGSON 187 

downstairs owing to failing eyesight, and it is a curious coinci- 
dence that on the day of his death the hounds were advertised to 
meet at Ratcliffe-on-the-Wreake, and they were due to meet at 
the same place on the day of Sir Richard Sutton's death. 



Webb, however, it is only fair to say, was badly 
mounted for Leicestershire, and this fact his master 
readily admitted, for no sooner had Webb left than 
Day found fault with the horses, and nearly all were 
sold to be replaced by others more suited to the country. 
Webb, however, in spite of his bad horses crossed the 
country in an extraordinary manner, and even "Nimrod" 
admitted that in his knowledge of the run of a fox he 
had no superior. On the whole, therefore, Webb seems 
to have been a little badly treated, and of course his 
premature departure from the Quorn annihilated his 
chance of a testimonial. 

When he hunted his Yorkshire pack, Mr. Hodgson 
was said to ride, but when he came to Leicestershire his 
critics said he never rode a yard, the reason given by 
one writer being that 

He was in love all the time he was master of the Quorn, and 
had special injunctions from his lady fair — if he was not under a 
vow — never to jeopardise those precious long limbs of his by riding 
at timber. Yet what glorious sport did he show us. With him 
hunting was indeed a science, and his lagging habit was often of 
more real service in the field than the go-ahead hard riding of 
masters who hunt for riding's sake and nothing else. 

Another critic said that Mr. Hodgson was a capital 
whipper-in, and was of far more use in keeping the field 
in order when somewhat near the rear rank, than he 
would have been in the front. But this, I fancy, may be 
something of a libel, for there seems every reason to 
believe that, although Mr. Hodgson had not the dash 
of Osbaldeston or Assheton Smith, he yet rode very 



188 THE QUORN HUNT 

fairly over a country. It is of course well known that he 
rode in a brown coat, and a pair of tanned leather knee- 
caps. The reason he is said to have given for the colour 
of his coat is, that as he had hunted his hounds before in 
Yorkshire, he should not like them to see him in scarlet 
when he was not hunting- them. This, however, is 
probably only a fable, because Webb certainly hunted 
his hounds for him in Holderness. 

During Mr. Hodgson's second season, when of course 
the Donington country was in existence, there appear 
to have been some neutral coverts, and one day Lord 
Hastings and Mr. Hodgson clashed in their appoint- 
ments, each having arranged to meet at Bunny Park. 
Mr. Hodgson met the marquis before the day appointed, 
when, each offering to withdraw, it was agreed instead 
that each should bring ten couples of hounds, which 
should hunt together, the merits of each pack to be 
decided upon by some disinterested party. This friendly 
trial, however, never came off, as a frost intervened, and 
put a stop to hunting altogether. 

As already mentioned, Mr. Hodgson was exceedingly 
successful during his short mastership in showing sport, 
and in January 1840, meeting at Bardon Hill, after a 
poorish morning, hounds found a good fox in the 
Outwoods. 

The fox was soon viewed away, going as though over the 
Beacon Hill, but then headed back, going on straight through 
the Outwoods, and crossing the Loughborough Road, as if for 
Garendon. He then changed his course, bearing to his right, as 
if he would go to Loughborough, and again turning to the right 
he crossed the road at Loughborough town end. Going on at a 
killing pace he crossed Beaumanor, through the coverts, not delay- 
ing a moment, but setting his head straight for Quorn Wood, with 
the pack close at his brush. Running in view for three or four 
fields the hounds eventually killed him on the road, within a few 
hundred yards of Quorn, after an exceedingly fast thirty-five 
minutes, during which the hounds ran away from the horses. 



MR. THOMAS HODGSON 189 

This run, it should be said, as well as some other 
good ones, took place before Webb left Mr. Hodgson. 

Lord Gardner was one of Mr. Hodgson's constant 
attendants, as he had been of his predecessor's, and was 
noted for the fineness of his hands, and the boldness 
of his horsemanship. On Thursday, December 3, 1840, 
however, when the hounds met at Keythorpe, Lord 
Gardner sustained a very bad fall at Knowsley Brook, 
and it might have been attended with very serious con- 
sequences. He rather liked water, and riding hard up 
to the brook, at one of the widest parts, his horse slipped 
back and fell on him. He was carried off in an insensible 
condition to Mr. Greene's house at Rolleston, but it was 
not for a day or two that he could be moved to his own 
residence. 

On another occasion hounds again met at Keythorpe, 
and after an uninteresting morning with a ring fox found 
about two o'clock at Shangton Holt. In the course of 
the run a particularly formidable stake-and-bound hedge 
came in the way, and the only two to face it were Jem 
Mason and Dick Webster, the latter of whom may be 
remembered as often riding horses at the London horse 
shows. Both landed up to their girths in a bog, but 
managed to get out, though Jem Mason afterwards came 
to grief at the Stanton Brook. Not more than half-a- 
dozen rode at it, but Jem picked out one of the worst 
places, where the banks were hollow, and being once 
immersed had to stay there till some men with spades dug 
an exit for him. It was on this occasion, when, find- 
ing at Shangton Holt, two foxes going away almost 
immediately, and the field being anxious to do the 
same, that Mr. Hodgson, being on the exact spot, just 
waved his hand, and said, " I beg and pray, gentle- 
men, you will stand still, or the hounds will never get 
away." " To keep a field in order like that," said 
one of those who were out, " was more than the 



190 THE QUORN HUNT 

1 Squire ' or Assheton Smith could do with all their 
bullyragging." 

It was early in 1840, that is to say, before the end of 
Mr. Hodgson's first season, that Dick Christian made 
his celebrated leap, mentioned by "The Druid," on Mr. 
Coke's chestnut mare Marigold, while out near Holwell 
Mouth. 

He rode at a thick cut hedge four feet six inches high, which 
he cleared easily enough, the mare alighting on a bank about a 
yard wide, with all her four feet nearly together. Directly below 
this bank was a steep declivity into an old quarry, called Sot's 
Hole. It was said to be about twelve yards deep. The failure 
of the bank where Dick had thus suddenly deposited his whole 
capital must have proved fatal. Luckily it stood firmly, and the 
mare bounded boldly forward, reaching the bottom in three 
springs. Dick found himself well fixed in the saddle when the 
mare reached terra firma, and both steed and rider were perfectly 
unscathed. Dick is now sixty. The first leap was 18 feet, the 
second 10 feet 6 inches, the third 10 feet, the fourth 14 feet 9 
inches; total, 53 feet 3 inches. 

It was probably owing to the interregnum which 
ensued between the resignation of Lord Suffield and the 
coming forward of Mr. Hodgson, that caused Melton to 
be so comparatively empty during the latter's first season. 
When the opening day came round and the hounds met 
at Kirby Gate, scarcely any old faces were present, but the 
master was subsequently well repaid when people came to 
know of the sport he was showing, though in some parts 
of the country he was rather short of foxes ; while Lord 
Harborough, whose father had kept hounds, closed 
Stapleford Park against hunting men, and not only that, 
but had dog-spears set all over the place, which would 
have played havoc with any pack that happened to find 
their way inside the demesne. 

It has been already mentioned how urbane Mr. 
Hodgson was ; but he had very decided views of his 



MR. THOMAS HODGSON 191 

own, and would stand no interference from anybody. 
On one occasion the hounds met at Kirby Gate, and 
after drawing Cream Gorse, 

Found at Ashby Pasture. Hounds crossed over a very strong 
country, by Kirby Gate, almost to Melton. Lord Wilton and Mr. 
Smith both had severe falls, and Lord Gardner, upon the hounds 
coming to a check, took upon himself the office of huntsman, and, 
cap in hand, proceeded to cast the hounds. As Day, the profes- 
sional huntsman, was well up, this was a little too much even for 
Mr. Hodgson's proverbial good nature, and he very quietly 
informed the noble peer that he could not allow any such inter- 
ference from anybody, greatly to the gratification of a very large 
field. Were Lord Gardner aware of his own unpopularity in 
Leicestershire, we think he would not get into so many scrapes, 
as nothing gives the people there more pleasure than seeing his 
lordship in a mess. 

It was during Mr. Hodgson's mastership that, Mr. 
Assheton Smith (who at that time hunted the Tedworth), 
after paying a visit with his hounds to Sir Richard Sutton 
in the Burton country, passed through the Midlands, 
and Mr. Hodgson accorded him a meet at Rolleston, 
where something like two thousand horsemen were 
gathered together. The old master of the Quorn 
accepted Mr. Hodgson's offer with the greatest delight, 
and Friday, April 20th, was appointed, Mr. Greene's 
house at Rolleston being the fixture. Among the large 
field was Prince Ernest of Saxe-Coburg, brother of the 
Prince Consort. The Leicestershire farmers at once 
spotted his hunting-whip, which had a gold stag for a 
handle, and which, after the buckhorns and the iron- 
hammered whips then in vogue, could not fail to arrest 
the attention of the spectators. 

A writer of the time says that his Serene Highness 
took umbrage at the fact of the farmers not paying him 
that deference to which he was accustomed in his 
Principality of Saxe-Coburg. He therefore made some 



192 THE QUORN HUNT 

rather unwise remarks about farmers beino- allowed to 
hunt, a remark which amused the Leicestershire people 
immensely, and is certainly not on all-fours with the cut- 
and-dried statements one hears at puppy shows and 
elsewhere, and the universally admitted fact that farmers 
are the backbone of hunting. The Rolleston meet, how- 
ever, more resembled a Derby Day than a hunting- 
fixture. Coaches and carriages came pouring in from all 
directions, and seventeen hundred people are said to 
have passed through one gate alone ; while another 
division, which in itself would have constituted a large 
field, took another route. About one-third of the whole 
field were in pink, and the majority of the horses were 
certainly entitled to be called hunters, though of course 
a good many rough specimens were pressed into service 
for the occasion. 

Dick Burton was on the lawn, surrounded by his 
hounds and a number of horsemen, and when Mr. Smith 
appeared he was most warmly greeted, none giving him 
a more hearty welcome than his old friends the farmers. 
The hounds, it was seen, had lost none of their high 
standard. They were very handsome, and possessed 
considerable family likeness. 

The unlucky Prince Ernest did not make his appear- 
ance until twelve o'clock, a circumstance which caused 
some delay, as Mr. Smith waited for him. His lateness, 
however, did not surprise those who had heard that on 
arriving at Lord Cardigan's house a few days before, 
four hours after the time fixed for dinner, he insisted 
upon having a warm bath before he joined the half- 
famished party awaiting his august presence. He is said 
first of all to have glanced at the hounds, expressed his 
astonishment at such a multitude of people coming to 
look at him, when, in point of fact, writes one of those 
who were present, not one-third knew he was there at all, 
and not one in twenty that he was expected. He then 



MR. THOMAS HODGSON 193 

retired to Mr. Greene's for a little needful refreshment. 
It was about half-past twelve when Mr. Smith 

Went to Shangton Holt, drawing the bottom of the covert only, 
and then trotted away to Norton Gorse, Mr. Greene's covert, 
which was also blank. Stanton Wood was tenantless, so were 
Gorleston Wood and Fallow Close ; Voysey's covert near Hallaton 
was apparently blank, and Mr. Hodgson was so disgusted at 
the bad luck which attended the day, that he dismounted, and 
walking into a part of the covert where there was some very good 
lying, flogged a fox out himself. Hounds showed plenty of dash; 
the fox was soon out of covert, and went away towards Homing- 
hold. Leaving it to the left, he went over some new rails, out of 
the road, into Mr. Ouseley's farm. This was rather an awkward 
sort of place. Mr. Smith cleared these rails, as he would have 
done in his younger days, and having landed on the other side, 
laughed heartily at some of the falls which took place there. 
Then the line lay across the Bradleys to Easton Park, where the 
fox was lost; but it was afterwards ascertained that he had 
crossed the Welland and gone by Rockingham Park. 

Prince Ernest, it appears, was mounted on a horse drafted from 
Mr. Hodgson's stud, and the rider, not being accustomed to go from 
covert to covert at the rate of something like ten miles an hour, got 
his horse across the road, and was nearly knocked over by some- 
body who was riding close behind him. " Do you know whom you 
rode against ? " asked a friend of the offender. " Not 1," was the 
reply, " but I wish the fellow would stay at home, for he has 
nearly broken my leg." Then, again, in the course of the run the 
Prince, going for a fence, crossed a farmer who meant taking it 
almost at the same place, but pulling up his horse the latter went 
a little to the right, saying very energetically, as he passed the 
Great Unknown, " D — n you, sir, why don't you keep your line ? " 
The Prince, rather upset by the farmer's energetic words, rode up 
to Lord Cardigan at the first check to inquire, and doubtless 
received a satisfactory explanation ; but the Prince must have 
gone away somewhat impressed with the curious deportment of 
the English farmer, the backbone of fox-hunting. This was a 
kind of festival week, as on the following day Lord Cardigan turned 
out a deer at Glooston Wood for the amusement of his visitors. 

The weather had become so hot that the foxhounds 
could do but little, so the Marquis of Waterford, who 



i 9 4 THE QUORN HUNT 

had in the meantime purchased the staghounds from 
Mr. Villebois out of Norfolk, showed a good deal of 
sport around Melton. They had a famous run just 
afterwards, of one hour and fifty minutes. The marquis 
was riding a horse called Dusty Bob, for whom he had 
a few days before given 350 guineas. He rode him on 
this occasion for the first time, with the result that Dusty 
Bob gave his master three rattling falls during the after- 
noon, and died the next day. The distance from Little 
Dalby to Sykes's Spinney, the two extreme points, was 
eleven miles as the crow flies. A few days later the 
staghounds ran a drag from Asfordby to the kennels at 
Melton, and some practical joker managed to gain pos- 
session of the drag, which he ran through the streets ; 
and great was the surprise of the inhabitants to see the 
hounds rushing along on a scent, when they had seen no 
animal go by ! 

During the last week in March the Ouorn met at 
Widmerpool, and in going from Parson's Thorns to the 
Curate's Gorse, a gate was found which could not be 
opened. Mr. White led over, and was followed by 
fifteen men in succession without a mistake. One of 
those who cleared it was a ponderous German baron, 
an attache in the suite of Prince Ernest, attired in scarlet 
coat and blue trousers. It was said that one of his 
friends had managed to find him a pair of leathers, but 
no boots were forthcoming into which the baron's legs 
could be forced, so he substituted his own blue trousers. 
He expressed himself very well satisfied with the country, 
and enjoyed his ride extremely. 

The season terminated with a week's hunting in 
Charnwood Forest, in which fair sport was enjoyed, 
and the Quornites were cheered by the intelligence that 
during the following season Mr. Hodgson would hunt 
five days a week ; his huntsman to go out on three days 
in the open country, he himself hunting another pack 



MR. THOMAS HODGSON 195 

two days a week in the forest and among the wood- 
lands. Mr. Little Gilmour at this period determined to 
retire from Leicestershire, and the Marquis of Waterford, 
after making Melton and other parts of Leicestershire 
ring with his exploits, announced his intention of hence- 
forward hunting in Ireland. 

Soon after the close of the season 1839-40, there 
died in Leicestershire Mr. Rowland, the veterinary sur- 
geon, who for something like half a century had enjoyed 
an enormous practice among the owners of the better 
class of steeds, and it was said that no man could better 
keep a "screw" sound, or cure a horse which had met 
with an accident. His memory was for many years affec- 
tionately cherished in Leicestershire, from the fact that 
he brought about, if not a revolution, at least a reform 
in the shoeing of horses. Before his time prickings in 
shoeing were so common that it came almost to be 
regarded as a matter of course in one horse out of about 
three. Mr. Rowland, however, insisting on greater 
caution, asked for a slightly improved rate of remunera- 
tion, and in due time induced all the local farriers to 
take more pains, with the result that pricking became 
almost as rare as it is now. 

Firing Mr. Rowland disliked, but when he used 
the irons, he used them, as Sir Harry Goodricke once 
said, "with such judgment and effect that rendered their 
application rather ornamental than otherwise." His zeal 
for his business appears to have been as great as his 
love for hunting, for it is said that he had been known 
to ride fifty miles to see patients, meet the Ouorn 
hounds, change his horse, and then take another long 
journey on professional rounds. The story goes that 
one day Lord Suffield despatched Mr. Rowland to see 
a lame horse of his which was lying out somewhere near 
Birmingham, and on seeing him at the covert-side, re- 
proached him for having neglected his professional duties 



196 THE QUORN HUNT 

for the sake of pleasure. Great, however, was his 
astonishment on being told, " I saw your horse at five 
o'clock this morning, got him on his legs again, and 
have since ridden nearly sixty miles, and I hope to ride 
as many more to-day with your lordship." He remem- 
bered Mr. Meynell and the Meynellites, and he had 
enjoyed the confidence of almost every master of the 
Quorn. 

Mr. Hodgson's hounds showed some excellent sport 
during the season of 1840-41, although frost put a 
stop to a good deal of hunting ; but this, on the whole, 
was a benefit, as for some reason or other there was a 
great deal of disease among horses in Leicestershire, 
especially in Melton, during the season, and the affection 
is said to have been analogous to pink-eye, which has 
ravaged stables in later times. The concluding months 
of the season were extremely favourable, and Mr. 
Hodgson closed his career as master of the Quorn on 
Wednesday, March 31st, by meeting at Kirby Gate. 

There were only a very few people out, not more than a dozen, 
among them being Mr. Assheton Smith, Lord Forester, and 
Goosey, the huntsman to the Belvoir. The first fox was found 
at Gartree Hill, and gave a very fast run to Stapleford Park, 
where they were stopped, the time being twenty-five minutes. 
Then crossing the Wreake a fox was found at Sir Harry's Gorse, 
near Sysonby, crossed the Melton and Nottingham road near 
Melton Lodge, and went north by Waltham. Eventually he ran 
to ground, and was killed one hour and forty minutes after the 
time of finding. 

Early in the year 1841 Mr. Hodgson decided to 
resign, a determination which surprised a good many 
of the Leicestershire hunting men, but the fact is that 
the country did not suit him. Among the dykes of the 
East Ridine he had been accustomed to see these 
hounds, of which he was so fond, hunt a fox by them- 
selves with scarcely any interference, while the Holderness 



MR. THOMAS HODGSON 197 

sportsmen gave them plenty of room on the occurrence 
of a check. He essayed something of the same style in 
Leicestershire, and great was his mortification on finding 
his hounds overridden day after day ; and it was with 
regret that he saw his huntsman, Tom Day, forced to 
adopt quicker tactics, more in accordance with the style 
of hunting; in vogoie in Leicestershire. It was said that 
his resignation was due to some action on the part of a 
section of the farmers, but that statement is incorrect, as 
with that body he was a great favourite. His departure 
from the country was partly due to the above-mentioned 
circumstances, and also to reasons of a private nature. 

He next went into the provincial countries again, and 
was made Registrar ; and in his office the son of many a 
huntsman found a fruitful berth. Before he left Leices- 
tershire he held a sale, which was freely attended, and 
both horses and hounds realised more than was expected. 
The bitch pack was bought for 1000 guineas by Lord 
Ducie, who was then hunting the Vale of White Horse 
country. The first lot, ten couples of dog hounds, pro- 
duced no more than 200 guineas, and were bought by 
Mr. Greene. The next lot were bought in by Mr. 
Hodgson at 490 guineas, while the outgoing master also 
bought in another lot and a few of the best bitches. The 
rest of the hounds were bought by Mr. Greene and 
Lord Waterford, the latter of whom came by train from 
London on the morning of the sale. The aggregate sum 
produced by the whole fifty-seven couples of working 
hounds, fifteen couples of young hounds, ready to enter, 
and six brood bitches, was 2201 guineas. This sum, of 
course, includes those bought in by Mr. Hodgson, but 
the hounds which changed hands produced something 
over 1700 guineas. Mr. Hodgson went away with a 
very good small pack in his possession ; but his buying-in 
of the hounds occasioned some little dissatisfaction, and 
when he offered the country for 650 guineas, the lot 



198 THE QUORN HUNT 

which he had bought in for 490 guineas, the irritation 
was scarcely allayed. The horses are said to have 
realised thrice the money they would have brought had 
they been sold at Hyde Park Corner, the total being 
1000 guineas, which, considering the amount of work 
they had performed, and that they had had no rest, must 
be considered as a very good return. The best were 
bought by Mr. Greene and Mr. Swan, of York, on 
behalf of the York and Ainsty Hunt ; while among 
the masters of hounds present were Lord Ducie, the 
Marquis of Waterford, Mr. Applethwaite, Tom Smith 
of the Pytchley, and the master of the York and Ainsty. 

In 1878 there was exhibited at the galleries of 
Messrs. Dickenson and Foster, New Bond Street, Lon- 
don, a collection of pictures entitled " Two Centuries of 
Hunting," among the collection being a portrait of Mr. 
Tom Hodgson. 

The subscription list, too, is said to have been rather 
a sore point with the retiring master, considering the 
number of people who came out with the hounds. It is 
believed that he received something like ^3000, which 
was more than was given to Lord Southampton, yet not 
so much as was received by Sir Bellingham Graham. It 
was estimated that no man could at that time hunt the 
Quorn country under ^4000 a year, while many of 
the previous masters, who went in for something like 
show, had to spend a good deal more than that. 

The year 1863 saw the death of three veteran sports- 
men in Yorkshire, viz., Sir Tatton Sykes, Mr. Gully, 
and Mr. Hodgson, at the respective ages of eighty, 
ninety, and seventy. Mr. Hodgson himself became 
master of the Badsworth Hunt at the age of twenty- 
four, when Sir Bellingham Graham resigned, and found, 
as he expressed it, "twelve couples of hounds and three 
horses as a nest-egg." After three seasons with the 
Badsworth, he became master of the Holderness for 



MR. THOMAS HODGSON 199 

sixteen, and of the Ouorn for two seasons. Then for 
about a season and a half he hunted his old Yorkshire 
country, which he finally quitted in 1843, and this 
brought him to about the age of fifty. 

As already mentioned, he was head of the poll by 
thirty-two for the West Riding Registrarship at Leeds, 
after a tremendous contest (in which 3393 people polled) 
with one of the Lascelles family, and, patronising hunting 
blood, huntsmen's sons found seats in his office. His 
friends used to ask him in chaff whether he chose them 
for their handwriting, or whether he merely looked to 
their backs, ribs, legs, and feet. 

After he returned to Yorkshire he seldom if ever 
spoke of the Ouorn, or if he did, he soon went back to 
Holderness and its foxes again. He occasionally went to 
the hound shows, and was always seen on the Doncaster 
stand or on the drag of some hunting friend beside the 
course at York. At the Doncaster meeting before his 
death he looked uncommonly well, but he told a friend 
of his of the death of his old brood-mare Eclogue, and 
added, " It is an omen for me" — and so it proved. 



CHAPTER VII 

MR. HENRY GREENE, OF ROLLESTON 

(1841-1847) 



CHAPTER VII 

MR. HENRY GREENE, OF ROLLESTON 

1841-1847 

THE accession of Mr. Greene, of Rolleston, to office 
as master of the Ouorn is remarkable from the 
fact that he was the only Leicestershire man since 
Mr. Boothby who had occupied that position. In many 
countries, a little prior to Mr. Greene's advent to power, 
hounds were kept by county men in many cases, and 
even now (1898), where there has been a change of 
mastership there has sometimes been a clamour for a 
county man instead of a stranger. 

No better choice could have been made than Mr. 
Greene, for he had been a constant follower of the 
hounds and could get over a country in good style, 
was popular with the farmers, and of course knew the 
district. There is some doubt, however, whether he 
was an actual master, or whether he was merely an 
acting master under a committee ; at any rate, his 
position was often referred to as though it were at the 
head of a committee, or its representative. It may be 
remembered that during Lord Suffield's mastership 
mention was made of a suggestion for a committee 
which should pay the rent of coverts and damages. 
This committee was no doubt elected, and one would 
rather be inclined to think that it existed in Mr. Greene's 
time, and that he was possibly more an acting than an 

irresponsible master accountable to no one. 

203 



2o 4 THE QUORN HUNT 

Mr. Greene, it will be remembered, was a large 
buyer of hounds at Mr. Hodgson's sale, and before the 
time for cub-hunting arrived he had in his kennel more 
than seventy couples of hounds, drawn from a variety 
of sources. In addition to those he bought from Mr. 
Hodgson, he had about fourteen couples from Mr. 
Drake ; twelve more from the Atherstone, and twenty 
from Mr. Foljambe, the remainder being made up from 
the kennels of Lord Yarborough, the Belvoir, the Vine, 
and some hounds of the Duke of Beaufort's blood, 
though whether they came direct from Badminton is a 
question which cannot be easily settled, nor is it perhaps 
important to do so. The Hunt servants had twenty 
horses between them, and Tom Day's opinion was that 
he had never been better mounted. Day remained on 
as huntsman, and certainly had all his work cut out to 
sort and discipline this huge scratch pack. The dog 
pack, which was perhaps the pick of the kennel, was 
told off to hunt the Harborough country, while a mixed 
pack, but consisting chiefly of bitches, was to hunt the 
remainder of the district. 

During the last days of August the hounds came 
from Ouorndon to the Billesdon kennels, built by Lord 
Suffield, and met for the first time for cub-hunting on 
Tuesday, August 24, 1841, Rolleston being the fixture. 
They soon found a fox, and by a curious coincidence he 
was killed in Mr. Greene's kitchen garden. 

The regular season opened on Monday, November 1, 
Kirby Gate being the fixture. Not for several years 
had there been so large a field assembled, among those 
present being Lord Gardner, Count Batthyany, the 
Hon. W. R. Wilson, Messrs. Hartopp, Farnham, Stirling 
Crawfurd, and many others, who were loud in their 
congratulations to Mr. Greene on the excellence of his 
establishment. With regard to the hounds, Lord Gardner 
thought them most promising, while Goosey (the Belvoir 



MR. HENRY GREENE 205 

huntsman), who came over to have a look at them, 
declared that he never saw a pack work better. A fox 
was found at Cream Gorse and gave a pretty good 
run for six miles, when he was lost. Barkby Holt was 
the next draw, but nothing else to speak of resulted 
during the day. 

Melton had filled up very well, but the frost in 
December sent most of the visitors up to town till 
hunting was again possible. Meantime a statistician 
had gone round the stables and discovered that Lord 
Wilton had seven horses, Lord A. St. Maur (the late 
Duke of Somerset) eleven, Colonel Wyndham seven, 
Count Batthyany eleven, Count Moseley twelve, Sir 
James Musgrave twelve, Mr. Crawfurd fifteen, Mr. 
Moore ten, Mr. Surtees ten, Mr. Oliver ten, Mr. White 
twelve, Mr. Gilmour twelve, and Mr. Cook nine. This 
was a great falling off from the number of horses kept 
in olden days, when the studs sometimes amounted to 
between twenty and thirty, as mentioned in previous 
chapters. Melton, too, was then hardly what it had 
been, as many of the followers of the Quorn preferred 
Leicester on account of its railway convenience. 

By judicious heading and tailing Mr. Greene had 
cut down his seventy couples of hounds to fifty couples 
of working hounds, and their excellence in drawing, 
hunting, and running was universally admitted. Mr. 
Greene rode well up to his hounds, and so of course 
did Lord Gardner ; and as a follower pointed out, it was 
wonderful how Mr. Greene managed to eet alone, 
seeing that he allowed himself five horses only for four 
days a week, while Lord Gardner had fifteen. Between 
the style of riding of the two men there was a vast 
difference, however. Mr. Greene rode with "Teat 
judgment, never taking a liberty with his horses, but 
always saving them as far as possible, while Lord 
Gardner, knowing that he had plenty to fall back upon, 



206 THE QJJORN HUNT 

delighted in riding to hounds in a line by himself and 
going at everything. Like Mr. Assheton Smith, he was 
quite unhappy if any one cut out the work for him ; but 
he rode the best of horses, and whether it was plough or 
pasture he galloped along at the same pace. Mr. Little 
Gilmour (the Gentle, as he was called), too, was well 
mounted, and second to no man of his weight ; and 
then there was Sir James Musgrave, who always held 
his place in a run ; while Lord Wilton, whose fame has 
been many times sung, was quite in the first class. But, 
perhaps, for a heavy man Colonel Wyndham was about 
the best in the Hunt, for he rode twenty stone, and though 
unable to cut down the light weights could hold his own. 
Of Day a contemporary writer spoke in highly compli- 
mentary terms. He was said to be always in his place. 

On December 9, 1841, the Quorn hounds placed an 
excellent run to their credit, of which the following is an 
abstract : — 

They met at Great Dalby, and found a fine dog fox at Thorpe 
Trussells, and from there he ran by Great Dalby, and swinging 
to the right went towards Burrough by Maresfield, and on to 
John o' Gaunt, where he bore to the left for Halstead, and with 
hounds running at a tremendous pace the line lay by Skeffington- 
highfield, at which point the field were tailing terribly. The fox 
ran to Tugby Spinney, where lie was headed, and a check took 
place, the time to this point being fifty-two minutes. On Day 
recovering the line it was found that the fox had turned to the 
right, in the direction of Rolleston, crossed the covert, round 
which he ran twice, while some fresh foxes rather complicated 
matters. Mr. Greene, however, was fortunate in keeping to the 
line, and as the fox was endeavouring to jump a small brook a 
hound pulled him down, after one hour and twenty minutes, over 
as fine a line of country as could be wished for. For the first fifty- 
two minutes, up to check, and during the last four miles, there 
was not a horseman within a quarter of a mile of the flying pack, 
and the run was considered to have been one of the best seen in 
Leicestershire since the days of Mr. Meynell. At the end of the run 
not a single hound was missing ; and during the whole day it is said 



MR. HENRY GREENE 207 

that the proverbial sheet might have covered them. Day was mute 
with exultation at what his hounds had done ; while Mr. Greene, 
who set very high store by his huntsman, in the evening sent 
Tom Day and the whippers-in a basket of some old wine, which 
had lain for twenty years in the cellars at Rolleston. The head 
of the fox was sent to a taxidermist's to be mounted in silver, with 
an appropriate inscription engraved, to commemorate a run which, 
it was said, would not be speedily forgotten by those who took 
part in it. 

The last day of the year ( 1841) was marked by 
another excellent run. 

Meeting at Widmerpool, hounds soon found in Howthorpe 
plantation, and after some delay in covert, a fox broke in the 
direction of Cotgrove Gorse, a favourite covert of Mr. Musters's. 
Skirting the gorse on the right, the fox ran a circle round by the 
brick-kilns to the Decoy, and after leaving Kinoulton went as 
though for Howthorpe, and then turned short to the left to 
Kinoulton Gorse, which he threaded, and went over the Fosse road. 
He next pointed for Bunny, thence to Kegworth, which he passed 
on the right, and turned towards Normanton village, leaving that 
also on the right, and then swung short to the left, as though he 
would go to Debdale Gorse, a covert which he passed one field to 
the right. Then he went to Plumtree village, close to the back 
of the houses, crossed the high-road, and went towards Tollerton 
Park, where he tried dodging, but the hounds were running at 
such a tremendous pace that he was not able to stay. In the 
pond there is a small island, and thither he swam, the pack 
following his example, and, before he could get away, they pulled 
him down. Day offered a labouring man half-a-guinea to fetch 
the fox, but the man, having the fear of cold water and the pack 
of baying hounds before his eyes, laconically replied, " I dussent." 
Presently the second whip arrived, and that worthy man made no 
bones about it, but went on to the island and brought back the 
fox,- his teeth (the whip's, not the fox's) chattering with cold. 
Colonel Wyndham, who, as usual, was up at the finish, handed 
the swimmer his flask, with directions to take as much as he liked. 
This run lasted for one hour and fifty-five minutes, and, consider- 
ing that these hounds, which were located at Quorn, had not been 
out for a fortnight, they must have had enough of it, to say nothing 
of the men who had ridden over thirty-three miles to covert, seen 



208 THE QUORN HUNT 

the run out, and had to ride more than thirty-three miles home. 
On the grass the pace was fast, but as a good deal of ploughed 
land lay in the way, the pace, of course, slackened at times. In 
the absence of Mr. Greene, Day went and found another fox at 
Round Hill Gorse, whence another very good run ensued for a 
short time, but scent died away, and the hounds were taken home. 

The master of the Ouorn be^an his second season 
(1842-43) by breaking a rib, the result of his horse 
having fallen upon him. He was one day hunting before 
the snow had completely vanished — in fact, in some 
places it was five feet deep — and while jumping over a 
set of posts and rails from a bridle-road leading from 
Holwell Mouth to Kettleby, the horse slipped off a frozen 
bank, and catching the top rail with his knees, fell and 
rolled heavily on Mr. Greene. Luckily this was only 
three miles from Melton, whither he was taken by a 
friend, and conveyed home in a post-chaise ; but the 
broken rib and the shock kept him out of the saddle 
for some little time. 

Mr. Greene's likeness, by the way, was painted by 
Mr. William Scott ; afterwards engraved in mezzotint, 
and had a large sale. 

How impossible it is to satisfy everybody is seen 
from a letter which appeared in Bell's Life in the year 
1842. The writer, apparently a hunting man, being, as 
he described himself, "upon the shelf," made up for 
active participation in hunting by reading all that was 
written on the sport. Bell's Life published a great deal 
of hunting news, amongst it letters from the Quorn 
country, and this writer took exception to the style of 
the communications addressed to that once all-powerful 
sporting paper : — 

I read with " satisfaction," certainly not " unmixed," the pro- 
ceedings of the Quorndon, as frequently detailed by a Leicester 
correspondent. If that contributor to your sporting intelligence 
would be less lavish of his fulsome panegyrics on Mr. Greene, and 



MR. HENRY GREENE 209 

on the members of the Melton Hunt (as it is called, and is too much 
so in reality), I should peruse his account of a day's sport with much 
more pleasure. For my own part, I never could see the merit of 
a parcel of young dandified Nimrods quartered at Melton, because 
it is the fashion, joining in an amusement about which they know 
nothing, and care less ; nor the fun of their trying to get a start 
before the hounds, and nine times out of ten pushing them over 
the scent, unless it be a burning one, and then not one in fifty of 
them seeing a yard of the run. Did it never occur to your corre- 
spondent that though Mr. Greene may be made for the Melton 
Hunt, and the Melton Hunt may be everything to Mr. Greene, 
that the country was not made for either, and will not submit 
much longer to be humbugged by both, as it has been. It may be 
all very well to confine the " meets " to the grass country imme- 
diately around Melton, or that part of it which is in favour with 
these aristocratic bucks, exclusively for their amusement, but 
unless a country is hunted regularly, both rough and smooth, I 
shall venture to predict, from long experience, that it will either 
soon cease to be hunted at all, or be subject to mutilation. I am 
now speaking particularly as to the Widmerpool side, which, 
in Osbaldeston's time, afforded the best runs of the season, and 
now is almost neglected. The murmurs are loud in that neigh- 
bourhood, and as the adjoining country, late Mr. Musters's, is 
without hounds, it will very soon be without foxes, unless some 
spirited individual takes the latter country, and begs for (which he 
would soon obtain) the Widmerpool side, away from the Quorn- 
don, which, in spite of the support it renders, in the shape of a 
weekly encomium from Leicester, is in truth going as fast as it 
can to the does. VENATOR. 



This somewhat bitter letter certainly had beneath it 
a substratum of truth, as for a long time, as mentioned 
on a former page, it was always said that the Melton 
clique was all-powerful, and that, so long as they had a 
sufficiency of fixtures within easy riding distance of their 
headquarters, they cared nothing about hunting on the 
rougher side ; and this was no doubt true, though 
perhaps Mr. Greene did his best to free himself from 
the trammels which had surrounded some of the earlier 
masters. 

o 



210 THE QUORN HUNT 

During the earlier part of 1843 there was nothing 
particular to chronicle in the sport, but for the conveni- 
ence of hunting men a new hunting map of Leicester- 
shire, together with such parts of the adjoining counties 
as are within easy reach of Leicestershire men, was 
published by Messrs. Brown & Hewitt, the Bible and 
Crown, Market Place, Leicester. The map contained 
all the new coverts, as well as all the bridle - roads ; 
while there was another map of the Quorn, bound in 
red silk, coloured, and folding up to fit the waistcoat 
pocket. 

If, however, there was no particularly grand sport early 
in 1843, there was a dastardly attempt to stop hunting 
in the early part of January, when the hounds met in the 
south of their country, not far from Lutterworth. Some 
man, half suspected to be the occupier of a small piece 
of land in the neighbourhood, caused a number of 
sharpened stakes to be driven at short intervals into 
a fence, over which he knew it was likely the field 
would jump. The sharpened ends were pointed out- 
wards, so that if a horse made a mistake or did not 
rise enough, it is more than likely that man or horse, or 
both, would have been impaled. 

The late Sir Watkin Wynn made his dStit in Lei- 
cestershire towards the close of the year 1842, and his 
second appearance with the Quorn was on November 18, 
when hounds met at Widmerpool. The runs enjoyed 
that day were of no particular excellence, but it is a 
curious coincidence that on the occasion of Sir Watkin's 
appearance with the Quorn a second time, the hounds 
should have run through Wynnstay Gorse, which had 
been planted forty years before by Sir Watkin's father. 

In February 1843 the Quorn had some fair sport. 
On the 22nd they had a long hunting run of something 
like three hours from Steward's Hay, while on the 
following day they had a brilliant burst of twenty 



MR. HENRY GREENE 211 

minutes and another of twenty-five minutes ; and on 
the 27th the hounds ran for fifty-five minutes at a great 
pace. On March 6, Prince George, the present Duke 
of Cambridge, was out, while on March 21a capital run 
from Gartree Hill came to a summary end by the hounds 
having to stop at Stapleford Park, in which, by the 
desire of Lord Harborough, were traps innumerable. 
Lord Harborough, however, does not appear to have 
been the only person who did not favour fox-hunting, 
for the story goes that a gentleman in the county made 
rather extensive plantations on his estate, and was 
showing them with some pride to a man who happened 
to have once on a time been a hunt servant. "Them's 
no good, sir," said the old man. " How do you mean ? " 
asked the owner of the estate. "Why, they won't hold 
a fox ; they are too hollow," rejoined the huntsman. " I 
did not make them to hold foxes," said the proprietor. 
"Then what the devil did you make them for?" mur- 
mured the old huntsman, turning away with a con- 
temptuous smile. So even at that time fox-hunting 
had sundry enemies. 

Towards the close of the season 1842, the Due de 
Nemours and suite came out, and with the second fox 
they had a run of twenty minutes, which was only just 
fast enough to give the royal visitor a taste of Leicester- 
shire ; and he appears to have enjoyed his run very 
much, while accounts say that he went very well. In 
fact, whenever a distinguished foreigner who could 
boast of any powers of horsemanship at all came to 
England, he was generally taken into Leicestershire, 
just as visitors of distinction are now trotted down to 
the Crystal Palace. A still more enjoyable royal visit, 
however, was that paid by the Queen to Belvoir and 
Melton Mowbray in 1843. At the entrance to the 
latter place a handsome triumphal arch was erected, 
covered with evergreens and hung with flags, while the 



212 THE QUORN HUNT 

artist into whose hands the decorations were entrusted 
evidently thought fit to impress upon her Majesty the 
staple trade of Melton ; for standing out against the 
sky, above the arch, were two stuffed foxes, emblems of 
Melton as the mainstay of hunting, and on the front was 
the inscription, " Albert, Prince of Wales, England's 
hope " — the prince being at that period about two years 
old ; for the time had not arrived for him to don tops 
and leathers, as he afterwards did in Leicestershire. 

The season of 1844-45 was marked by a certain 
number of accidents, though the number might not per- 
haps have been very much above the average. Still, 
among those recorded we find that Lord Canteloupe, 
who had been staying with Lord Wilton, at Egerton 
Lodge, Melton Mowbray, was following the Ouorn 
when his horse fell, and his lordship so injured his eye 
that when he arrived home fears were entertained that 
the sight was irretrievably gone ; but such, however, 
fortunately did not appear to be the case. A little later 
on Mr. Knight, one of the old yeomen farmers, and one 
of the best friends fox-hunting ever had, was sitting at 
dinner when he heard the hounds in full cry passing his 
house. He at once started up to follow on foot, but the 
exertion was too much for him, and he dropped down 
dead a few yards from his own house. 

It will have been seen that the Ouorn almost 
invariably opened their season at Kirby Gate, where 
was the residence of Sir Francis Burdett, for a com- 
paratively short time one of the most regular followers 
of the Quorn. Sir Francis's history as a sportsman is 
rather singular, for as a matter of fact he was almost 
fifty years of age before he took to hunting. He always 
mounted himself on the best of cattle, and being ardently 
fond of the sport and having plenty of courage, got along 
pretty well. It is related of him that on his return from 
his first day's hunting he was so charmed with the 



MR. HENRY GREENE 213 

amusement that he expressed in the very strongest 
terms his regret that he should have allowed so many 
years of his life to have passed by without having, until 
that very day, had the most distant notion of the plea- 
sures of the chase. He was, in fact, so completely 
wrapped up in hunting that he went out with the 
hounds every season, and long after he became feeble 
he still kept a few hunters. That he, at any rate, 
acquired some proficiency in the saddle may be inferred 
from the fact that he was one of those who, after a poor 
day's sport, preferred to "lark" home across country, 
instead of taking bridle-roads and lanes. This, if 
somewhat unsportsmanlike, according to our modern 
notions, was at any rate a test of pluck. He died on 
January 23, 1844, at his town residence in St. James's 
Place, at the age of seventy-four ; and it was said that on 
one occasion, when the hounds met at some favourite 
fixture, he left London, had a day's hunting, and returned 
on the day following to town to his Parliamentary 
duties. 

The same year saw the death of another prominent 
member of the Quorn Hunt, Mr. John Moore, who, 
together with Mr. Maxse, Mr. Maher, and Sir James 
Musgrave, made up the four " M's " of the Old Club. 
Mr. Moore, although not an old man, was almost 
regarded as the patriarch of Melton and the father of 
the Quorn, from the number of years he had spent in 
the county. He first went there in 181 1, and missed 
scarcely a season until the time of his death. When he 
left, Sir James Musgrave was the only surviving member 
of the Old Club ; while shortly afterwards the Hon. 
Ottway Cave, who was a member of the Old Club and 
very popular at Melton, also died. 

Considering his bold style of riding, Lord Gardner 
met with singularly few accidents. On November 22, 
1844, after the Quorn had met at Widmerpool Inn. 



2i 4 THE QUORN HUNT 

they found at Parson's Gorse and had a capital forty- 
five minutes ; but presently changing foxes, they lost. A 
second fox was found at Ellar's Gorse, and he gave a 
very fast thirty-five minutes to Cripple's Gorse, where he 
was also lost ; and it was during this scurry that Lord 
Gardner had a somewhat serious fall. He was taking a 
line of his own, and, in his usual style, galloping at a 
great pace between the fences, when his horse put his 
foot in a hole and rolled completely over his rider ; but 
luckily he was not so badly hurt as was at first imagined, 
for another week or ten days saw him in the saddle 
ag-ain, oroino; as well as ever. 

It was somewhere about this time, though the exact 
date cannot be ascertained, but it was probably either 
1844 or 1845, during the mastership of Mr. Greene, 
that Tom Day, hunting the Ouorn hounds, found a fox 
at Bunny and ran him by Reddington and Plumptree to 
Tollerton ; and on the same day Mr. Musters found a 
fox at Edwalton and was running him towards Cotgrove, 
when either his hounds got on the line of the Quorn 
run fox, or vice versa. 

Both packs, however, immediately joined, and with sterns 
down and up wind ran well together by Clipstone and Nor- 
manton, and pulled the fox down in less than ten minutes from 
the fusion of the two packs, near the Melton turnpike road. It 
was a curious scene ; the old Squire and Tom Day, of course, 
each claimed the run fox. They rode side by side, taking their 
fences almost together, with all the keen ardour which had always 
possessed them, each recognising and pointing to his favourite 
hounds ; each riding for the fox as if it was his own, and cheering 
on his hounds. The finish came soon afterwards. Day jumped 
off his horse, and went quickly after the fox into the plantation, 
the Squire keeping as close as he could to Day. The latter 
seized the fox and exclaimed, " It is my fox, Squire ; I will 
swear it at the Day of Judgment " — and he strutted along holding 
it in his hand, the Squire walking at his side, and there was no 
further wrangling, except by the hounds eating him. Then came 
another pleasant scene, the Squire and Day drawing, by alternate 



MR. HENRY GREENE 215 

calls, their respective hounds, each hound answering to his name 
directly. All feelings of jealousy were banished, courtesies were 
exchanged, and each pack departed on its way home. 

All hunts have their characters, and the Ouorn 
included one, by name Benjamin Fouldes, a frame-work 
knitter. In his native village of Woodhouse Eaves, 
near Loughborough, and indeed beyond the confines of 
that small place, he had quite a reputation on account of 
his remarkable zeal for fox-hunting. Whether it was 
that the propinquity to the kennels gave a sporting 
turn to the inhabitants of Woodhouse Eaves, or whether 
they were affected with the sporting proclivities of 
Leicestershire in Qeneral, matters not, but no sooner 
was it known that the hounds were to meet anywhere 
near at hand than the whole village turned out in great 
number, the stockingers leaving their dusty frames for 
the purer air of Charnwood Forest and its heights. 
Foremost ever amongst these was Fouldes, who always 
"hunted in scarlet," and for many years none of the 
pedestrian followers could beat him. He was well 
known to nearly all the members of the Hunt, who 
had a kindly word for him, and often expressed their 
esteem for him in more tangible form. He had a good 
deal of ready wit about him, and was a general favourite. 
He died on March 15, 1846, at the age of seventy-nine. 
For some reason or other he had always taken a great 
interest in the future of the Hunt, and when it was 
rumoured that the country was offered to Sir Richard 
Sutton, he heard the intelligence with the greatest 
possible satisfaction, although it was by no means 
certain that he had ever seen Sir Richard, who was 
then hunting the Cottesmore country. Be that as it 
may, however, he to the last expressed his hope that 
Sir Richard Sutton would hunt the Quorn in succession 
to Mr. Greene. 



216 THE QUORN HUNT 

In due course old Benjamin Fouldes's wish came 
to pass ; the country was offered to Sir Richard and 
accepted by him. The hounds and horses belonging 
to the Quorn were sold at the Billesdon kennels by 
Mr. Tattersall on March 31, 1847. The kennel com- 
prised about eighty couples of hounds and thirty horses, 
but the stock did not, however, fetch any very great 
amount of money. The working hounds brought 
,£479, 1 7s. ; the unentered hounds, £49, 9s. ; while the 
horses realised ^1083, 3s.; the total for hounds and 
horses being ^1612, 9s., a very moderate price for a 
complete Quorn establishment. 

Mr. Greene lived till November 7, 1861, when he 
died somewhat suddenly, his death being a great shock 
to the neighbourhood. The hounds had met at Rolles- 
ton, his residence, for the first time during the season, on 
the day of his death, and he had, as was his custom, 
provided a breakfast for any who chose to come, and he 
appeared to be in good health and spirits. The hounds 
drew his gorse, about a quarter of a mile from his own 
house, and found a good fox ; he went away in the direc- 
tion of Skeffington. Mr. Greene had not ridden very 
much of late, so he quietly galloped on the road towards 
Skeffington, and on reaching that place he felt ill, and 
was recommended to take some brandy, which he did, 
but finding himself no better, turned his horse's head 
towards home, luckily not more than two miles distant, 
and dismounted in his own yard, ordering his servant 
to fetch the doctor. He walked into his dining-room, 
and in less than ten minutes was dead, the cause being 
angina pectoris. He was about sixty-six years old 
at the time of his death. Mention has already been 
made of his riding, which was spoken of in terms of 
encomium by such thrusters as Assheton Smith and 
Dick Christian, both of whom admired the manner in 
which he crossed the country ; while Lord Gardner, 



MR. HENRY GREENE 



217 



who was no flatterer, declared that Mr. Greene was the 
best master the Ouorn ever had. Towards the end of 
his life he lived a great deal in London, and was very 
constant in his attendance at Boodle's, where he was 
one of the foremost authorities on fox-hunting laws, he 
being one of the Fox-hunting Committee of that club. 
A very few weeks after his death came the severing 
of the last link which connected Mr. Greene with the 
Ouorn, except that his memory was long cherished by 
those who had known him. Rolleston Hall passed into 
new hands, and just about Christmastide the contents of 
the house were put up to auction. The natural desire to 
obtain some memento of so good a sportsman no doubt 
accounted in part for the good prices realised, while a 
considerable amount of amusement was caused when a 
" portrait of a neighbouring nobleman " (probably a 
former Lord Harborough) was put in at tenpence. 



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CHAPTER VIII 

SIR RICHARD SUTTON (1847-1856) 



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CHAPTER VIII 

SIR RICHARD SUTTON 

1847-1856 

TRUE indeed is the saying that "when one door 
shuts another opens." The Quorn men were in 
mourning for Mr. Greene, the like of whom many of 
them thought that they would never see again, and the 
majority were quite unprepared for the good fortune 
which was in store for them. Sir Richard Sutton, an 
excellent all-round sportsman and a man of great wealth, 
had for five years hunted the adjoining Cottesmore 
country, having taken it after the venerable Earl of 
Lonsdale ; and, on the resignation of Mr. Greene, 
thinking that he would prefer the Quorn country, 
signified his willingness to fill the position previously 
occupied by Mr. Greene. Needless to say the offer 
was accepted with alacrity, and at the close of the season 
1846-47, Sir Richard transferred his establishment to 
Quorn. 

Here at least was no scratch pack, such as had, 
with very few exceptions, hunted the Quorn country 
since Lord Foley's time (1807). The foundation of Sir 
Richard Sutton's pack had been laid many years before. 
He succeeded Mr. Assheton Smith in the Burton country 
in 1824, buying from him very many of his hounds, and, by 
careful and judicious breeding, raised the pack to a hioh 
standard, for his interest in his kennel was very oreat, 



222 THE QUORN HUNT 

Sir Richard had something like eighteen years in Lin- 
colnshire in which to get his kennel into order, and when 
he appeared in the Cottesmore country in 1842 he 
showed the men of the Midlands a pack of hounds which 
for symmetry and working qualities could scarcely be 
excelled ; and these were the hounds he took into the 
Quorn country. It may be mentioned en passant that 
Sir Richard Sutton estimated that in thirty-two years 
or thereabouts, during which he had been a master of 
hounds, he had expended no less a sum than ^"300,000 
on fox-hunting. 

In accordance with precedent, a dinner was orga- 
nised, and took place on the 17th November, to welcome 
Sir Richard Sutton to the Quorn country ; while it was 
made to serve a twofold purpose by celebrating the 
advent of Mr. Henley Greaves to the Cottesmore, in 
succession to Sir Richard Sutton. This dinner, which 
took place at the George Hotel, Melton, does not 
appear to have been very well attended ; but under 
the chairmanship of Colonel Wyndham --he rode 
over twenty stone, and invariably held a good place — 
things passed off pleasantly enough. In proposing the 
health of the new master, the colonel remarked that 
he had brought with him into the country a pack 
of hounds second to none, and a large family which 
were treading in their father's footsteps. Mr. Greaves' 
health was of course proposed, he being a sort of joint 
guest, and so was that of Mr. Greene, the ex-master of 
the Quorn. 

Sir Richard Sutton and his hounds were not long- in 
settling down in their new country ; but Melton Mow- 
bray itself was not so full as might have been expected, 
considering the prestige of the new master. Some careful 
statistician, who for some years appears to have made 
the round of the different stables, estimates that there 
were seventy fewer horses than in the previous season, 



SIR RICHARD SUTTON 223 

and many fewer than there were in Sir Harry Good- 
ricke's day, when he himself headed the list with 
upwards of half a hundred, and Lord Forester owned 
thirty-eight. 

For many years previous to Sir Richard Sutton 
taking the Quorn, the first Sunday in November was 
always a noted date for arrivals at Melton. On that day 
the first dinner of the season was held at the Old Club, 
and the older members of the Ouorn Hunt made it a 
point of conscience to be present. 

The rumbling of wheels and the measured trot of 
post-horses along the Melton streets had been aforetime 
a sign of the times ; but in Sir Richard Sutton's day the 
train did duty instead, and so the excitement of awaiting 
fresh arrivals was necessarily discounted. 

Some lines in connection with "the four Ms" have 
already been quoted, and of Sir James Musgrave it is 
related that he once came to grief over a fence, and 
broke his collar-bone. Finding himself unable to ride 
any of his tolerably numerous steeds, he, like the good 
sportsman he was, wrote to a friend in London to come 
down to ride his horses while he was on the shelf; and the 
friend promptly responded, only too glad to shake from 
his feet the smut and dust of the metropolis. He arrived, 
provided with an equipment fitting him to take the field 
with such a fashionable pack as the Ouorn, and one 
morning started for the covert-side, two of Sir James 
Musgrave's best horses having been sent on for him. 
He had a fall at the first fence, and broke his collar-bone, 
and so the two friends, in fine hunting weather, sat and 
nodded at each other from easy-chairs placed at opposite 
sides of the hearth in the hospitable mansion of Sir 
James at Melton. 

The season 1847-48 was exceptionally mild, and 
so, after Christmas, foxes took to forsaking their usual 
haunts in favour of the open, when, of course, it was. 



224 THE QUORN HUNT 

not always easy for a huntsman to put his hand upon 
one just when he was wanted. Early in January 1848 
" Sir Richard Sutton and his chopfallen breed were 
retiring from one of these scenes of disappointment," 
when a holloa back was heard, and every one thought 
that the pack had overdrawn a fox. The hounds 
were taken back in hot haste to the covert, and the 
master found some grinning yokels, who had given a 
false alarm, and to see the hounds and the field come 
rushing back amused them mightily. Some of the field, 
however, regarding this as a rather poor joke, somewhat 
unwisely proceeded to thrash the countrymen with their 
whips, and a regular scrimmage ensued, one gallant cap- 
tain, who was riding with a cutting-whip, using it with 
such effect that he was reported to have nearly flayed 
the unlucky individual whom he selected for punishment. 
This was the substance of the first report, but a " Lei- 
cestershire farmer" in the Harborough country put a 
somewhat different complexion on the business. He 
explained that after the hounds had drawn a certain 
covert blank, the foot people began to holloa, and were 
civilly requested by Sir Richard Sutton and others to 
discontinue their noise. When the hounds were about 
three or four fields from the covert, the holloaing began 
again, and so sundry farmers, and not the " pinks," 
turned back and administered condign punishment to 
the natives who gave tongue all too freely. The 
farmers considered the hoax an insult to the master, 
and dealt with it accordingly. 

Of Sir Richard Sutton the story has been told by 
Mr. Bromley Davenport how, during his early days of 
mastership of the Ouorn, on being asked whether So- 
and-so, a new arrival, could ride, he replied, " I don't 
know ; I have not seen him go ; but I should think he 
could, for he hangs a very good boot." 

Sir Richard, too, was once heard, on arriving at a 



SIR RICHARD SUTTON 225 

fixture, to put the following questions to his second 
horseman : — 

" Many people out ? " 

"A great many, Sir Richard." 

" Ugh ! Is Colonel F out ? " 

"Yes, Sir Richard." 

" Ugh ! Ugh ! ! Is Mrs. B out ? " 

" Yes, Sir Richard." 

" Ugh ! Ugh ! ! Ugh ! ! ! Then couple up Valiant and Daunt- 
less, and send them home in the brougham." 

Another old story is fathered on Sir Richard Sutton. 
A writer, who vouches for the truth of the statement, 
declared that Sir Richard Sutton in his hearing called 
aside a certain gentleman who was not very particular 
as to how close he rode to hounds, and warned him that 
he must be very careful not to ride over a particular 
hound, which he pointed out, adding : "I would not 
have him ridden over for anything." 

The gentleman promptly and courteously replied : " I 
will do anything I can to oblige you, Sir Richard, but I 
have a wretched memory for hounds, and I am afraid 
that he will have to take his chance with the rest." 

Sir Richard Sutton entered to hounds Ben Morgan, 
one of a famous family of huntsmen, and his portrait is 
to be seen in Sir Francis Grant's picture of the Quorn. 
Whyte-Melville says that Ben Morgan was with Sir 
Richard Sutton in the Cottesmore country, and tells the 
following- anecdote about him there : — 

Many years ago, when he hunted the Cottesmore country, Sir 
Richard Sutton's hounds had been running hard from Glooston 
Wood along the valley under Cranehal by Stourton to Holt. 
After thirty minutes or so over this beautiful, but exceedingly 
stiff line, their heads went up and they came to a check, possibly 
from their own dash and eagerness, certainly at that pace and 
amongst those fields not from being overridden. 

"Turn 'em, Ben!" exclaimed Sir Richard, with a dirty coat 
and Hotspur in a lather, but determined not to lose a moment in 
getting after his fox. 

P 



226 THE QUORN HUNT 

"Yes, Sir Richard," answered Morgan, running his horse 
without a moment's hesitation at a flight of double posts and 
rails, with a ditch in the middle and one on each side ! The good 
grey having gone in front from the find was perhaps a little 
blown, and dropping his hind legs in the farthest ditch rolled 
very handsomely into the next field. 

" It's not your fault, old man ! " said Ben, patting his favourite 
on the neck as they rose together in mutual goodwill, adding 
in the same breath, while he leapt to the saddle, and Tranby 
acknowledged the line — 

" Forrard on, Sir Richard ! — Hoic, together. Hoic. He's a 
Quorn fox and he'll do you good." 

I had always considered Ben Morgan an unusually fine rider. 
For the first time I began to understand why his horse never 
failed to carry him so willingly and so well. 

Subsequently Ben Morgan became huntsman to 
the then Lord Middleton, and showed excellent sport. 
He hunted Lord Middleton's hounds until 1869, when, 
on being succeeded by George Orvis, he went to the 
Essex and Suffolk under Mr. Carrington Nunn. ' 

Ben Moreen died in 1880 at the house of his brother 
Goddard, who at one time hunted the Old Berkeley. 

Whyte-Melville, in a passage following that quoted 
above, makes reference to Dick Webster, a very famous 
horseman, well known in the Quorn country. Speaking 
of the run in which Ben Morgan's horse fell with him at 
the double posts and rails, the famous novelist writes : — 

I do not remember whether Dick Webster was out with us 
that day, but I am sure that if he was he has not forgotten it, 
and I mention him as another example of daring horsemanship, 
combined with an imperturbable good-humour, almost verging on 
buffoonery, which seems to accept the most dangerous falls as 
enhancing the fun afforded to a delightful game at romps. 



1 Ben Morgan was one of the four sons of old Jem Morgan, who for a 
long time hunted Mr. Conyer's hounds in Essex. Jem Morgan was the son 
of a Suffolk yeoman, a circumstance which may suffice to explain why the 
family gravitated towards the east country. 



SIR RICHARD SUTTON 227 

Even so good a sportsman as Sir Richard Sutton 
found himself unable to please everybody. On the 
29th December 1847, in Sir Richard's first season, the 
hounds were due to meet at the Shearsby Sun, a fixture 
attended by a good many Atherstone and Pytchley men, 
among the visitors being a sportsman who subsequently 
figured in print as an "Impartial Observer." He admitted 
that a dense fog hung over the country, and because Sir 
Richard Sutton, deeming the weather too thick for hunt- 
ing, trotted back to his supplementary kennel at Oadby, 
the itinerant hunting-man waxed exceeding wroth, and 
declared how different would have been the action of 
Mr. Osbaldeston or Sir Harry Goodricke in like circum- 
stances. There was a P.S. to the letter to the effect 
that the Pytchley, Atherstone, and Warwickshire had 
good runs on the day in question. This letter was 
answered by another, the writer stating that on account 
of the fog the Pytchley never drew a covert all day ; 
while this was followed by another communication, from 
a farmer who was out with the Pytchley, giving the 
details of a very good run which took place on the 
Friday in question ! 

Scarcely had the season 1848-49 begun than a some- 
what unusual circumstance occurred with Sir Richard 
Sutton's hounds — they were no longer called the Ouorn. 
They met at Ratcliffe. After a good thirty minutes 
with the first fox, another was found at Hoi well Mouth, 
whence hounds ran at a good pace up Broughton Hill 
Side and over Wartnarbey Stone Pits to a small planta- 
tion in which the discharge of a double-barrelled gun 
was heard, and it was then found that a farmer had shot 
the fox. Lord Forester, who was out, " named " another 
delinquent who lived close to Melton Mowbray, and 
stated that not only had he been guilty of the same act 
before, but had publicly boasted of his success as a 
vulpicide. This man chanced to be out on the occasion 



228 THE QUORN HUNT 

of the fox being shot, and was pointed out by Ben 
Morgan as well in a fit of righteous indignation. Not 
far off a brace of dead foxes were found hanofinpf on a 
tree. Several other cases of fox-kill insf having taken 
place, several people turned their backs on Melton, 
among them being Mr. Palk, Mr. Surtees, Lord New- 
port, Sir Walter Carew, Mr. Coke, Mr. Leslie, Mr. 
Stirling Crawford, Mr. Oliver Massey, Captain Forester, 
and some others. The mania for killing foxes was not 
at this period confined to the Quorn country, for the 
masters of the Pytchley, Atherstone, and Warwickshire 
Hunts complained of the same thing, and this while old 
oats were realising from 28s. to 32s. a quarter, beans, 
hay, and straw also bringing remunerative prices. Esti- 
mates of expenditure are not perhaps to be depended upon 
for strict accuracy, but some one in Leicester who took 
the trouble to make inquiries stated that the Pytchley, 
Warwickshire, and Atherstone Hunts caused the circu- 
lation of no less a sum than ,£90,000 in each country, 
whilst the money spent in connection with the Quorn 
involved the circulation of ,£120,000 a year, making an 
estimated total of ^"390,000 for the four hunts. 

Meantime Sir Richard Sutton's hounds enjoyed 
excellent sport, the season 1849-50 being especially 
prolific in good runs. 

On Friday, 1 6th November 1849, hounds met at Houghton, 
and finding a fox at Shangton Holt ran once or twice round the 
covert, the fox next making for Hardwickes, and then, turning 
to the right for Staunton Lodge, crossed the brook for Tur 
Langton, but left that place on the right of Church Langton, and 
after leaving Kibworth crossed a turnpike road between that place 
and Glen, and passing in succession Lower Kibworth, Kibworth 
Harcourt Church, and Carlton Clump, went to ground in a drain 
at Smeaton, an hour and twenty-five minutes from the time of 
finding. The first fifteen minutes, however, were occupied in 
running rings ; but for the last hour and ten minutes hounds ran 
as hard as they could go ; drew away from the field and had all 
the fun to themselves, there being no one near them when the 



SIR RICHARD SUTTON 229 

fox was marked to ground. The only person who was within 
half-a-dozen fields of the pack after the first ten minutes was 
Mr. Edward Cheney, who was " warmly congratulated by Sir 
Richard on his attempt to catch the hounds." 

The close of December 1849 brought with it more 
good sport, as among others the hounds had a run of 
over two hours, and it was fast, time and distance being 
taken into account. The season 1S49 50 was brought 
to an end with a good run of about an hour and ten 
minutes ; and an informal dinner, at which about fifty or 
sixty members of the Hunt attended, took place at the 
King's Head, Loughborough. 

During the season 1849-50, when the hounds met 
at Ratcliffe, "two moustached and military-looking 
men " were seen at Cossington Gorse, and were at first 
thought to be a couple of officers from Weedon. They 
went fairly well through the not very long or fast runs 
which comprised the day's sport, and then repaired to 
Syston Station, ordered brandy and water and some- 
thing to eat, wrapped themselves in fur coats, and 
departed by train. The landlord, struck by their foreign 
accent and appearance, was curious as to their identity, 
and one of them proved to be Louis Napoleon, two 
years later Prince President of the Republic, and sub- 
sequently Emperor. 

The season of 1850-51, besides being enlivened with 
much good sport, is noteworthy for a run with a point 
of twenty miles. 

Hounds met at Ratcliffe on Friday 27th December 1850, that 
being their first day out since the frost which had kept hounds in 
kennel for a week or more. Cossington Gorse held " the best 
and gamest fox that ever crossed Leicestershire." After going over 
the Foss road the hounds overran the scent, and a slight check 
ensued. On the line being recovered away went the hounds 
towards Thrussington village, and then away for Ragdalc. 
Turning a little to the right the fox headed for Hoby, and Six 
Hills was soon sighted ; and then the line la}' away for Schoby 



230 THE QJJORN HUNT 

Scholes, Saxelby, and Welby Fishponds. Just thirty minutes from 
the start the Nottingham road was crossed, and by this time 
some of the horses and riders had had enough, the field having 
tailed terribly ; but this was merely the introduction to the run, 
and twenty-two minutes after crossing the Nottingham road 
hounds were close to Holwell village. Sir Richard Sutton, Lord 
Granby, Lord Wilton, and Mr. Little Gilmour 1 were in the front 
rank, but no one else appears to have been very near them at 
that moment. From Holwell to Scalford the pace moderated to 
some extent ; another ten minutes at the previous rate would have 
left the hounds all to themselves. Hounds, however, again ran 
faster as they swept into the valley towards Brentingby, and 
were travelling quickly as the line lay in the direction of Freeby 
Wood, which the fox did not enter ; and then leaving Sproxton 
Thorns to the left he went away towards Owston, where, bending 
to the left, he made for Sproxton Church. In a farmyard through 
which the fox ran was the carcass of a dead sheep, and the fox 
actually stopped to have a bite as he went along. Passing through 
Saltby village and going on till within a couple of miles of 
Bescoby Oaks the fox swung short to the right, and running to 
the right of Swallow Hole crossed Saltby Heath, ran between 
Humberstone Gorse and Tipping to the Three Queens, and was 
eventually pulled down in a field adjoining the road leading from 
Denton to Hungerton Old Hall, Harlaxton perhaps being the 
place at which the run may be said to have finished. At Denton 
Park it was said that the fox was on one side of a fence and the 
hounds on the other, but the pack were so beat that they could 
not get over the fence. It must not be left unsaid that " Master 
Egerton, youngest son of the Earl of Wilton, was able to ride 
through the entire run." Horses and hounds were dead beat and 
could not possibly travel back to kennel that night, so the whole 
establishment, as well as the few who had struggled to the end, 
were hospitably entertained at Belvoir, departing for their homes 
next morning. 

1 Mr. Gilmour was a Scotchman, but early betook himself to Leicester- 
shire, where he belonged to Lord Rokeby's Club at Melton Mowbray. He 
was only a young man of about twenty-three or twenty-four when " Nimrod" 
introduced him into the famous <2uarterly Review run, but as a matter of 
fact Mr. Gilmour never hunted with the Quoin during the mastership of 
Mr. Osbaldeston. The sketch, altogether a fancy one, was not written at 
the time, a circumstance which accounts for a mistake or two. Mr. Gilmour 
was one of Leicestershire's heavy weights, riding nearly seventeen stone, yet 
he was almost invariably in the front rank. He died at St. John's Wood on 
30th September 1887, and was buried in Greyfriars churchyard, Edinburgh. 



SIR RICHARD SUTTON 231 

Twenty miles is said to have been the distance 
between the two furthest points of this great run, but, 
according to experts, hounds ran a distance of thirty- 
seven miles, while a timekeeper declared that it lasted 
for four hours and a quarter ; so there must have been a 
little mistake somewhere, as hunters would be unlikely to 
gallop nearly forty miles at a pace not far short of ten 
miles an hour. 

In January 1851 Sir Richard Sutton narrowly escaped 
a bad accident, through a boy riding hard against him 
at a gateway and driving his leg against the post. Sir 
Richard did not feel any ill effects at the moment, but 
by the time he reached Lincoln, whither he had gone to 
spend a few days, considerable inflammation had set in, 
so a surgeon was sent for from London, but some time 
elapsed before Sir Richard Sutton could ride again. 

Almost before he was convalescent, a charge was 
made against him of buying foxes from a London dealer 
and turning them down in his own country. In a letter 
which was printed in the Leicester Journal, and which 
was headed " Scarcity of foxes in the North Riding of 
Yorkshire," an anecdote was related of a young man who 
was desirous of having a fox. To satisfy his ambition, 
he entered into negotiations with " an eminent dealer in 
animals." living in London. The dealer wrote back to 
say that he had "an unlimited order for all the foxes 
he could ofet from Sir Richard Sutton." Sir Richard's 
solicitors, on the matter being placed in their hands, at 
once wrote to the Leicester Journal to give the most 
unqualified denial to the statement of the ''eminent 
dealer in animals." They declared in explicit terms that 
Sir Richard Sutton had never given an order for a fox 
to any one, and that he had never bought any. 1 That, 

1 In connection with this subject it may be interesting to point out that 
for some years prior to the establishment of the Fox-hunting Committee at 
Boodle's Club, some masters of hounds were in the habit of dining together 



232 THE QUORN HUNT 

however, was neither the first occasion nor the last on 
which charges of purchasing foxes for Leicestershire 
were preferred. 

St. Valentine's Day 1851 saw another good run after 
meeting at Kirby Gate. A fox was soon found in Sir 
Francis Burdett's Gorse, and while hounds were run- 
ning him another fox jumped up and was snapped up at 
once ; but he spoiled the run. Hounds were then taken 
on to Ashby Pastures, where they came across what was 
thought to be their first fox, and away he went ; but it 
was not until the expiration of two hours and twenty 
minutes, the pace having been fast all the way, that he 
"was forced to yield to the superior prowess and force of 
Sir Richard's pack in a field near Burley Wood." This 
run was long enough and fast enough to knock up most 
of the horses, if at least we may trust the writer of an 
account of what took place afterwards. 

One noble lord from Leicester, rather celebrated for his red 
face, actually rode his horse to death by the time they reached 
Cold Overton Wood, a most cruel act in any circumstance. In a 
few moments another, the property of a gallant captain from the 
same town, dropped and died; while several others were so much 
exhausted as to be obliged to be left at barns or farmhouses for 
the night. The scene on the road home between Oakham and 
Melton will not soon be forgotten, for here was a game squire 
flogging his noble animal before him ; next was a noble lord riding 
behind Mr. L. (i.e. on Mr. L.'s horse), because he had blown his 
own horse, left him behind, and, worse than all, got his leather 
breeches so wet that he could not move one leg before the other. 



in London during the season, and at one of these dinners Mr. Maberley, a 
M.F.H. of the time, was "sat upon" by some of his brother masters for 
having turned down bought foxes in his country. In no wise abashed, 
Mr. Maberley, quietly rising to his feet, said, " If all the masters of hounds 
will agree not to purchase a fox, I will gladly put my name at the top of the 
list ; but so long as it is the universal practice to purchase foxes, I am neces- 
sarily compelled to do the same, and I do not hesitate to declare that I will 
purchase in the best market I possibly can, whatever may be the part of the 
island.^ Neither then nor at any subsequent period does any attempt 
appear to have been made to confute the speaker's statements. 



SIR RICHARD SUTTON 233 

After them came another fagging along, carrying his saddle on his 
back, and entreating every one who passed him to send Brown, 
the veterinary surgeon. At the station end of the town, no sooner 
did a horse appear coming down the Burton Hill than there were 

cries of " Have you seen my servant ? " " D your servant, 

have you seen mine?" " Do you know anything of my master?" 
" Yes, he's just coming along." " How's the horses ? " " Bunged 
up and left at Oakham." " Where's the hounds ? " " Gone home 
by a special they telegraphed for from Stamford." And so the 
game went on until after nine o'clock at night ! 

The year 1851 saw the death of a good sporting 
farmer, Mr. Glossop, who, though a Yorkshireman, was 
accustomed to pay an annual visit to Leicestershire, 
when he always went out with the Ouorn as often as 
possible. He was born at Slade Haston in Yorkshire, 
and though he had to work on his father's farm, he was 
always keen on hunting. In his own county he was 
regarded as a remarkably hard man to hounds, and in 
Leicestershire he well maintained his reputation ; and on 
one occasion he pounded a large field over a big gate, 
thereby putting a hundred-pound note into the pocket of 
Mr. Bennet Martin, who accepted the bet offered by 
some one else that the "old Yorkshireman" would not 
have the gate. Mr. Glossop was a capital judge of a 
horse, and as he indulged in dealing to a certain extent, 
he enjoyed his hunting at a tolerably cheap rate. He 
died at the age of seventy-nine, and hunted almost up to 
the last. 

It will be remembered that mention was made of a 
committee in the time of Mr. Hodgson and Mr. Greene, 
and this body would appear to have existed in Sir 
Richard Sutton's time ; though their ostensible duty 
was merely to pay covert rents and see after them 
generally. In a year or two, however, after his accession 
to the mastership, he dispensed with all subscriptions — 
became " independent master," which probably meant 
that the committee dissolved itself, and handed over the 



234 THE QUORN HUNT 

care of the coverts to Sir Richard Sutton, who thereupon 
bought and restored Ouorndon Hall, of which he had 
previously been tenant only. 

By this time (1852) railways had made their mark, 
and so far as Leicestershire is concerned it was feared 
that they would deal a heavy blow to fox-hunting, and 
when the Midland line first intersected the country from 
north to south the gravest fears for hunting were enter- 
tained. Afterwards the System and Peterborough line 
was opened to cut through the eastern portion of the 
country, and then came the Leicester and Ashby section 
to more or less interfere with the western part. The rail- 
ways no doubt changed the run of foxes, and were the 
cause of several inconveniences ; but the verdict in the 
Ouorn country was that the advantages they offered in 
the way of transit and the saving of fatigue to both horse 
and man, in addition to enabling the Ouorn men to 
make their way to the Donington country if they wished, 
and to the fixtures of other hunts, counterbalanced the 
injury to hunting which they were supposed to inflict. 

Mr. Thomas Craddock, the third of his family to 
be secretary of the Ouorn Hunt, was by profession a 
solicitor; and though he was courteous to all the farmers 
and kept them in good humour, there was one who 
refused to become friendly, and he one day sued Sir 
Richard Sutton for damages for riding over his land, 
so Mr. Craddock was engaged for the defence. Sir 
Richard, through his solicitor, offered the man a liberal 
sum, which was refused with the remark that he " in- 
tended to strangle fox-hunting altogether." The farmer, 
however, appears to have got up his case very badly, for 
he souo-ht to identify Sir Richard Sutton by stating that 
he wore a hunting cap and a scarlet cloak, a dress which, 
Mr. Craddock pointed out, was worn by many members 
of the Hunt ; and as the farmer could carry his case no 
further he was nonsuited, or, in the words of some of 



SIR RICHARD SUTTON 235 

the hunting men in court, was "grassed/' and "saddled" 
with the costs. 

In 1852, too, Leicestershire lost another of its 
notable riders, Lord Rancliffe, who for many seasons 
had hunted with the Ouorn ; in fact, for a generation he 
had been a notable figure at all the Ouorn fixtures. He 
lived at Bunny Park, and being a very light weight, is 
reported to have always ridden Arabs ; he possessed a 
strong seat, beautiful hands, and he knew every fence in 
the country, while after dinner he was a capital racon- 
teur. On one* occasion when a storm of unusual severity 
had driven the field to seek the shelter of a farm-house, 
and the farmer's wife was busying herself about her 
unbidden guests to the detriment of her own dinner, 
which was in course of cooking, Lord Rancliffe proffered 
his services to see to the piece of bacon and to mull the 
ale, both of which duties he accomplished to the complete 
satisfaction of the good-wife, who had not the slightest 
idea of the identity of the amateur chef. He was popu- 
lar everywhere, but dignified withal, and a local worthy 
once summed him up by saying, " He's a little 'un ; but 
he's every inch a lord." Close by the side of Bunny 
Hall stood a curious sort of tower, built by Sir Thomas 
Parkyns, Lord Rancliffe' s great-grandfather, for the pur- 
pose of seeing as much of the hounds as he could when 
they were out in that district, and on the summit of this 
tower the old baronet and his wife often enjoyed what 
they called a day's hunting. Lord Rancliffe himself, 
too, when no longer able to mount his hunters, used to 
mount the tower, and it was from its battlements that he 
gave his last tally-ho ! 

Ratcliffe, all through Sir Richard Sutton's master- 
ship, appears to have been a lucky fixture, and after 
meeting there about the middle of January 1852. a first- 
rate run began at E liar's Gorse. It was late in the after- 
noon when hounds found after several blank draws, and 



236 THE QUORN HUNT 

chopping- a fox in Sir Archibald Seymour's Gorse, which, 
so far as can be made out, was planted to take the place 
of Munday's Gorse, which had been grubbed up. 

The Ellar's Gorse fox went away over the wolds as fast as his 
legs could carry him, and there being a burning scent, hounds 
raced away at a pace which a few only of the field could maintain. 
The fox presently went down into the vale, and was handsomely 
rolled over after a run of an hour and seventeen minutes, the 
distance being given as seventeen miles. 

Hunting" men of a former generation may have been 
bold riders and very excellent sportsmen ; but many of 
them were desperately bad timekeepers or judges of 
distance. Fancy seventeen miles covered in seventy- 
seven minutes — each mile in about four minutes and a 
half! Just afterwards the hounds met at Wymeswold, 
a fixture which always drew a large field, being almost 
central between Nottingham, Derby, Leicester, and Mel- 
ton, and on the occasion in question the officers of Lord 
Cardigan's regiment mustered in force. The day was 
remarkable, not only for the afternoon run, but for the 
fact that Sir Richard Sutton, who was punctuality itself, 
was fifteen minutes late. He, together with Lord Car- 
digan, had been to his seat in Norfolk for shooting, and 
had posted across country after some hard work on the 
previous day. 

The fact that Willoughby Gorse was blank was less of a sur- 
prise than a disappointment. The covert was situate on the 
Wymeswold estate, and the shooting was in the hands of a 
sporting baker who does not appear to have been even a good 
o-ame-preserver, for his coverts were not half watched, with the 
result that they were the happy hunting-grounds of poachers who, 
while they made free with the game, and perhaps with the foxes, 
at any rate so disturbed the latter that they were seldom in covert 
when wanted. The Curate, however, provided a good fox; Kinoul- 
ton and Hickling were soon left behind, and the racing pack ran 
into the vale ; but daylight was waning, and it was about dusk 



SIR RICHARD SUTTON 237 

when a very few of the morning's field found themselves at 
Red mile, beyond Belvoir Castle. Several of those who were 
up at the finish were fifteen or seventeen miles from home ; but 
the general verdict was that no one would have grudged a journey 
of a hundred miles home after such an excellent run. 

A noted horseman, Captain Campbell, was on a visit 
to Beaumanor, and went out with Sir Richard Sutton's 
hounds as often as possible. Towards the close of De- 
cember 1852, when the floods were out, the captain had 
gone to some fixture on the eastern side of the country, 
and had not arrived at his host's house at seven o'clock, 
the dinner-hour. The host, anxious for the welfare of 
his guest, sent a groom over to Ouorn Hall to make 
inquiries. The master's reply was :— 

I can give a good account of the fox, but as to accounting for 
men, especially when the run is in the water instead of on land, 
it is quite out of the question. However, now I think of it, I did 
see Campbell plashing down the Whissendine Brook, and his 
horse water-logged in mid-channel, but further deponent knoweth 
not, for the hounds were in full cry ; but no doubt Campbell 
reached the shore in safety, or I should have heard of it. His 
dead horse I saw lying on the bank on our return. Tell the ladies 
at Beaumanor to play " The Campbells are Coming," and no 
doubt he will soon reach the Hall. 

Soon after eight o'clock the captain appeared safe 
and sound at Beaumanor. The rains above, however, 
and the floods below, never once deterred the master 
of the Quorn from keeping his fixture. When the 
meadows and roads between Barrow and Ouorn were 
impassable, the Soar was crossed at Cotes, the van con- 
veying the pack, his carriage Sir Richard and the Misses 
Sutton ; old Day and " young-eyed Day," the whips, 
swam the torrent ; while the carriage doors were opened 
to give the water free course and avoid the chance 
of an overturn. 

Quite early in his mastership, Sir Richard Sutton 



238 THE QUORN HUNT 

announced his intention of hunting, if he could, six 
days a week, and this intention he carried out, hunting 
the Donington as well as the Ouorn country ; but he 
presently announced that he would hunt eight days a 
week, and this he accomplished by handing over to 
his son, Mr. Richard Sutton, the Harborough country, 
which he hunted two days a week, he himself carrying 
the horn, and having Ben Boothroyd as first whipper-in. 1 
It was just about the time when Sir Richard delegated 
the Harborough country to his eldest son Richard that 
Mr. Farnham, member of Parliament for North Leices- 
tershire, lost his horse and narrowly escaped a very 
serious accident. Riding a valuable hunter over an old 
and rickety bridge which spanned a brook, the structure 
o-ave way. Mr. Farnham escaped with a shaking, but 
the horse broke its back, and was shot. 

A very famous run, which happily involved no serious 
accident to man or horse, came off on the 21st March 
1854. The ground was so dry that a small number only 
wended their way to Launde Abbey. 

Tilton Wood was drawn, and therefrom a stout fox went away 
at once in the direction of Halstead, running to the left of Tilton 
village, and then headed straight for Skeffington Hall, leaving that 
on the right; and making his way through the Rolleston planta- 
tions at first, headed for Alexton, but changing his mind turned 
over the best of the country for Shangton Holt, which he did not 
enter. At a pace which left most of the field behind, hounds 
skirted Shangton Holt, ran by Illston-on-the-Hill by Newton 
Gorse, the nearest man to them being Mr. Lloyd on The Felon, 
this good horse carrying his rider as straight as an arrow by Burton 
Abbey and on to Glenn Gorse, through which the fox ran, and, 
passing to the left of Westow House, went on to Fleckney and 
Counterthorpe, but only to double and bear for Shearsby Inn, 
where he was lost, for the simple reason that hounds could go no 
further. For the last four miles their huntsman, like every one 



1 For further particulars see chapter i., " The Quorn Country : Its 
Hounds, &c.,' p. 3. 



SIR RICHARD SUTTON 239 

else, was nowhere near them, and as in a former run the fox was for 
some time on one side of the fence while the hounds were running 
hard on the other, and the pack had not the strength to get either 
through or over the fence. The whole distance was said to be 
twenty-five miles, and the time an hour and a half. Here, there- 
fore, is another instance of the absolute untrustworthiness of either 
the time or distance, if not both, of some of the other runs read 
about in comparatively olden, as well as in modern times. The 
first flight, such as it was, consisted of Mr. Lloyd, Mr. Ainsworth, 
Mr. Wood, Mr. Campbell, Mr. Heycock, Captain Hawksley, the 
Hon. H. Coventry, Lord Gardner, &c. All the horses were com- 
pletely settled, and it was with the greatest difficulty that the 
hounds were taken to Leicester, where a special train was char- 
tered, and the hounds, horses, and some of the field were carried 
along the Syston and Peterborough line, the Meltonians being 
dropped en route, and the rest taken on to Oakham. 

In the year 1855 a fillip was given to the social life 
of Melton Mowbray by a lengthy visit of the Duchess 
of Cambridge and the Princess Mary (Duchess of Teck) 
to the Earl and Countess of Wilton at Egerton Lodge ; 
but at the same time the pleasure of hunting men was 
somewhat marred by the discovery that a dog fox and a 
brace of vixens had been poisoned in Sir Harry Good- 
ricke's Gorse. The two vixens were buried, but the doe 
was sent for examination to Mr. Brown, the noted 
veterinary surgeon of Melton. He found in the stomach 
of the fox, which weighed 16 lbs., 1 the remains of a 
poisoned " crow" ; but as some of the local farmers had 
taken to the practice of setting poison for rooks, it was 
thought, after due consideration, that the foxes were 
killed, not by poison set for them, but because they had 
eaten the rooks which had partaken of the poisoned food. 

Early in the year 1855, Sir Richard Sutton had 
made casual mention of his desire to resign the master- 

1 The average weight of a dog fox is about 13 lbs. They have weighed 
as little as 1 1 lbs. and as much as 20 lbs. ; but these more gigantic speci- 
mens have been killed in the Fell countries. Vixens scale about 2 lbs. less 
than dogs. 



2 4 o THE QUORN HUNT 

ship of the Ouorn Hunt, a position which had entailed 
a considerable amount of anxiety, but his friends kept 
urging him to remain at the post he so well adorned. 
So popular was he that in the year 1852 the members 
of the Hunt commissioned Sir Francis (then Mr. F.) 
Grant to paint Sir Richard's portrait, which he did 
with the greatest success, the picture including likenesses 
of Tom Day, Ben and Jack Morgan the whippers-in, 
and also the Duke of Rutland, the Marquis of Granby, 
the Hon. Colonel Lowther, Mr. Assheton Smith, Mr. 
Greene, Mr. H. Heathcote, Mr. Banks Wright, Messrs. 
Frank, Charles, and Richard Sutton, and Mr. John 
Wood. 

Just about this time it was noted that some of the 
best horsewomen in England were hunting in Leicester- 
shire, ladies who could and did go perfectly straight ; but it 
was remarked that in no case did ladies wear spurs, while 
a further item of gossip was that Mr. Rowland Smith, a 
member of an unlucky family, had sustained a somewhat 
severe accident. While riding a hard puller near Ashby- 
de-la-Zouch his horse ran him against a tree and broke 
his arm. Only a few days before Mr. Smith's brother, 
while following the Hertfordshire hounds, met with a 
very similar mishap. His horse bolted, and running 
against a tree, severely injured his rider's knee-cap ; and 
to make the story complete, the father of the two sons, 
when hunting in Hertfordshire, sustained a fall and had 
his shoulder very much injured. 

A rhymester, too, paid his tribute to the excellence of 

Sir Richard's rule, one of the verses of his hunting song 

being — 

Then long may good Sir Richard live to grace his honoured name, 
And long, too, may his gallant sons uphold their father's fame ; 
And distant be the day when we shall see him quit the field, 
And leave to hand less gracefully the hunter's horn to wield. 
Then join with me right heartily, and a chorus loud we'll chime 
For this fine old English gentleman, the pride of modern time. 



SIR RICHARD SUTTON 241 

The good wishes contained in this stanza were, it 
need not be said, heartily re-echoed by all the followers 
of Sir Richard Sutton's hounds ; but unhappily the time 
was fast drawing near when the popular master was to be 
cut off almost in the prime of life, at the comparatively 
early age of fifty-seven. His hounds had enjoyed many 
good runs ; but seeing that he had a stud of about eighty 
horses, a monster pack of hounds, and paid all expenses 
himself, he came to the conclusion that the game was 
not worth the candle, and that, owing to one thing and 
another, the average sport was not good enough to war- 
rant his expenditure. On this account it was that he 
determined to resign at the end of the season 1855-56. 

The end, however, came before that, as on the 14th 
November 1855 the hunting world of Leicestershire was 
greatly shocked at learning that Sir Richard Sutton 
had died suddenly at his London residence, Cambridge 
House, Piccadilly. On the previous Monday he had 
gone to London on business. On Wednesday he rose 
in his usual health, ate a good breakfast, wrote some 
letters, and was shortly afterwards found dead in the 
lavatory. The sad news of Sir Richard Sutton's de- 
cease reached Ouorndon Hall soon after the hounds had 
started for Ratcliffe, 1 and a mounted messenger being 
despatched, the hounds were of course recalled, and the 
utmost sorrow prevailed in Leicestershire. Men on 
arriving at the fixture would scarcely credit the news ; 
but it proved to be only too true. 

Sir Richard Sutton came of a good old family, tracing 
back to the Normans, the late master being eighteenth 
in descent from Richard or Roland de Sutton (upon 
Trent), who is mentioned in Thornton's "Antiquities of 
Nottingham," so that, although Sir Richard was not a 
Leicestershire man, he was very near being one. Sir 
William Sutton, who lived in the time of Charles I., was, 
1 See note, page 336. 

Q 



242 THE QUORN HUNT 

for his devoted allegiance to his sovereign, raised to 
the peerage as Lord Lexington; but the title became 
extinct, though it is by no means certain that it could 
not have been successfully claimed by later members 
of the family. Sir Richard, who was the eldest son of 
Mr. John Sutton, son of Sir Richard Sutton, formerly 
Under-Secretary of State, was born on the 16th Decem- 
ber 1798, and when in his fourth year succeeded to 
the baronetcy, on the death of his grandfather, the first 
holder of the title. As a most courteous gentleman and 
a keen all-round sportsman he had scarcely any equal. 
Possibly Assheton Smith was rather the bolder horseman 
of the two, and both had their fields under command ; 
but Sir Richard was the more careful man ; he had more 
consideration for his horses than had Mr. Smith. As a 
shot, Sir Richard Sutton shone supremely. 

General Anson, then accounted one of the best rabbit 
shots of the day, was once backed against Sir Richard 
Sutton for a day's rabbit-shooting at Colonel Peel's. Sir 
Richard arrived rather late — a most unusual circumstance 
for him, who was the essence of punctuality. He was 
informed that a wa^er had been made as to his score 
compared with that of Colonel Anson, but he merely 
replied, "Never mind; I shall be with him presently;" 
and so he was, as before three o'clock in the afternoon 
he was several couples to the good, and eventually won. 

Like many another good sportsman, Sir Richard had 
strong likes and dislikes. Differing from Mr. Osbaldeston, 
he could not endure pigeon-shooting, and he compared 
carrying a bird to a trap and shooting it to turning a stag 
out of a cart ; but his experience of stag-hunting appears 
to have been confined to an unlucky day with Mr. Robert 
Hamond's staghounds when he was down in Norfolk for 
shooting. The hounds met on the confines of Swaffham 
Heath, about seven miles from Lindford ; but on this par- 
ticular occasion the stag, by his " cussedness," enabled 



SIR RICHARD SUTTON 243 

Sir Richard, who was no admirer of staof-huntino- at the 
best of times, to turn the whole matter into ridicule. 
When the deer was uncarted, he kept trotting up and 
down among the horses, and more than once had a good 
stare at the master of the Burton (Sir Richard Sutton 
was hunting that country at the time). The deer would 
not run, so was put back in his cart, Sir Richard Sutton's 
comment being that it was better than Pzmck. For 
several years he rented Mrs. Farquharson's moor in 
Aberdeenshire, and often killed a hundred brace of 
grouse in a day, while, until he broke his thigh in the 
Burton country, he achieved no little fame as a deer- 
stalker. On coming south for hunting, he shot every 
day on which hounds were not out. 

It speaks well for Sir Richard, too, that all his hunt servants 
were so much attached to him. When he took over the Burton 
country he engaged Jem Shirley, an " owdacious man with a big 
voice," and Jem Wilson, who had formerly lived with Mr. Assheton 
Smith. When Sir Richard Sutton broke his thigh, as already men- 
tioned, 1 and there was some chance of the hounds being given up, 
Shirley was told that he would have to go, but he replied that he 
would not; and when informed that he would have no wages, he 
promptly answered that he would stop without any pay. 

He then went into Norfolk with Sir Richard, where he lived 
in the house, walked, as fast as his increasing waistcoat would 
let him, with the gentlemen out shooting, and fancied himself a 
gamekeeper. He was reinstated in his berth as soon as his 
master got well again, and Jem Wilson remained on as whip. 

Sir Richard Sutton dying in mid-season, some 
arrangement was necessary for the carrying on of the 
Ouorn Hunt ; and for this purpose his two sons, Messrs. 
Richard and Frank Sutton, managed affairs, the former 

1 This is said to have happened owing to the fancy Sir Richard had for 
riding bad horses. He knew this, however, and would ride almost anything 
that would jump. The horse which gave him this fall refused several times, 
and then went crashing through the fence, fell on the edge of the ditch on 
the other side, with his rider's thigh underneath him, and this lamed Sir 
Richard Sutton for life. 



244 THE QUORN HUNT 

confining himself chiefly to the Harborough country, 
which he hunted ; but on his father's death he notified 
his intention of giving up the country. Mr. F. Sutton, 
with a scratch pack, hunted the country south of the 
Wreake, occupying the Ouorn kennels. 

Soon after Sir Richard Sutton's death, his hounds 
and horses were sold by Messrs. Tattersall, and they 
realised good prices. 1 

At the conclusion of the season 1855-56, Mr. Richard 
Sutton disposed of his pack of forty couples, besides 
sundry young hounds. 

Within a week or two of Sir Richard Sutton's 
death, a meeting was held at the Bell Hotel, Leicester, 
to consider what course should be taken to secure the 
hunting of the Ouorn country. Lord Berners, who 
presided, said that there had been a preliminary gather- 
ing- at Mr. Farnham's house, and it was then agreed 
that the present meeting should be arranged. He 
announced that no one had come forward to hunt the 
country north of the Wreake ; but that for the remainder 
of the season Mr. Richard Sutton (Sir Richard after his 
father's death) had consented to hunt three days a week 
south of the W 7 reake for whatever subscriptions could 
be collected. In the absence of any offer for the re- 
mainder of the country, Lord Berners suggested that 
a communication should be made to Lord Forester, 
inquiring whether he would be willing to hunt the 

1 The prices were : five couples, Lord Stamford, 59 guineas ; five couples, 
Mr. Drake, 52 guineas ; five couples, Mr. Morrell, 210 guineas ; five couples, 
Mr. R. Sutton, 200 guineas ; five couples, Lord Stamford, 61 guineas ; five 
couples, Lord Stamford, 46 guineas ; five couples, Mr. R. Sutton, 100 
guineas ; five couples, Mr. Mainwaring, 170 guineas ; five couples, Mr. 
Collier, 39 guineas ; five couples, Mr. Mainwaring, 13 guineas ; five couples, 
Mr. R. Sutton, 300 guineas ; five couples, Lord Stamford, 74 guineas ; five 
couples, Mr. R. Sutton, 260 guineas; five couples, Mr. Collier, 105 guineas. 
Total for the hounds, 1806 guineas. Thirty-two hunters realised 581c 
guineas, and the others about 400 guineas. Six cub-hunters were sold for 
466 guineas ; three hacks for 242 guineas ; the ponies brought 1068 guineas ; 
the whole total, including the hound-van, saddlery, &c, being ^8664. 



SIR RICHARD SUTTON 



245 



country north of the Wreake for the remainder of the 
season. It was agreed that Mr. Sutton's offer should 
be accepted, and that the offer should be made to Lord 
Forester. Mr. Dawson, a well-known member of the 
Hunt, did not like the idea of the Donington country 
being left open, and suggested that for the future it 
should be separated from the Ouorn, as it was very 
improbable that any one else would be found to hunt 
the Ouorn country as the late master had hunted it. It 
was then agreed that a letter, similar to that indited to 
Lord Forester, should be forwarded to Lord Chester- 
field, expressing a hope that he might see his way to 
hunting the Donington country. During the remain- 
der of the season the Messrs. Sutton carried on the 
thread of fox-hunting, and amid a general lamentation 
Sir Richard's Sutton's rule came to an end as already 
described. 




m 



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: 



CHAPTER IX 

EARL OF STAMFORD AND WARRINGTON 

(1856-1863) 



247 



CHAPTER IX 

EARL OF STAMFORD AND WARRINGTON 

1856-1863 

SIR RICHARD SUTTON having died November 
1855, and the negotiations with Lord Forester, 
Lord Chesterfield, and Sir Richard Sutton's sons having 
fallen through, it became necessary to lose no time in 
looking about for a fresh master, especially as it was not 
considered likely that a second Sir Richard Sutton would 
be easily found. The Donington country, too, was 
something of a trouble, as it was literally swarming 
with foxes, and sundry occupiers of land were heard to 
declare that they must be killed somehow. 

At this juncture the Quorn committee determined 
to approach Lord Stamford, who was then hunting the 
Albrighton country, and they selected as their plenipo- 
tentiary Mr. John Storey, who had been hunting the 
Donington country, and who appears to have been a 
born diplomatist. By rail and post-chaise he went 
straight away to Enville Hall, where he learned that 
the noble lord of whom he was in quest was out shooting. 
Mr. Storey, with the interest of the Ouorn Hunt at his 
heart, went in pursuit of the shooters, and gained courage 
when he learned that Lord Strathmore, whom he knew, 
was one of the party. By Lord Strathmore Mr. Storey 
was introduced to Lord Stamford, to whom he was 
personally unknown ; shooting was suspended, and the 

trio returned to Enville Hall. Once under Lord Stam- 

249 



250 THE QUORN HUNT 

ford's hospitable roof, Mr. Storey lost no time in making 
his mission known. "Well, my lord," he said, " I come 
with full powers to offer you the first hunting country 
in the world. Leicestershire wants a master, and it is 
determined, with your permission, to have Lord Stam- 
ford." 

The earl replied that he was very much flattered by 
the offer which had been made to him, and that it was 
the height of his ambition to hunt what he might almost 
call his native country ; but that he could not cast off 
the Albrighton "like an old shoe." 1 

No man, we are told, is as good as his principles, 
and subsequently Lord Stamford gave in to Mr. John 
Storey's persuasive eloquence ; he did give up the 
Albrighton, and when Mr. Storey set out on his home- 
ward journey, he had in his pocket Lord Stamford's 
written promise to become the seventeenth master of 
the Quorn, that is to say, of the country north of the 
Wreake, Mr. Sutton having the country south of that 
river. It was further understood that Lord Stamford 
would decline all subscriptions save in the shape of a 
covert fund. 

Lord and Lady Stamford took up their residence 
at Bradgate Park ; but the new master rented the 
Quorn stables and kennels from Mr. E. Warner (of the 
firm of Cartwright & Warner), who had purchased the 
Quorndon Hall estate from the representatives of Sir 
Richard Sutton at a large price, exclusive of the valuable 
furniture, which was to be taken at a valuation. 

George Harry Grey, the seventh Earl of Stamford 
and Warrington, was the son of Lord Grey of Groby, 
and on the latter's death, the son was but ten years old 
on succeeding to the barony ; while on the decease of 

1 Another story is that Lord Stamford was only too glad to shake from 
his feet the Albrighton dust, as not only did he have some sort of dispute 
with the Hunt, but he found foxes very short. 



EARL OF STAMFORD 251 

his grandfather the sixth earl, the master of the Quorn 
came into the great fortune which enabled him to hunt 
the country in such magnificent style. Lord Stamford 
was educated at Eton and Cambridge — what a number 
of masters of hounds those two seats of learning have 
turned out — and quite in his early years he showed a 
remarkable aptitude for all athletic exercises, especially 
cricket ; and when at Cambridge he kept his horses at 
Huntingdon, the packs which he chiefly followed being 
the Oakley and the Fitz-William, though he sometimes 
travelled as far as the Quorn. But it was rarely that 
he went out with Squire Barnett (then master of the 
Cambridgeshire), though he entertained the greatest 
respect for that excellent sportsman ; but he did not 
deem his country sufficiently tempting. As a master 
of hounds Lord Stamford began with the Albrighton, 
which country he hunted for a season or two from 1848, 
he being succeeded by the Hon. Arthur Wrottesley ; 
but came again to the rescue of the country in 1855, 
giving it up for the Quorn, as already mentioned, 
in 1856. 

Lord Stamford bought several lots of hounds at the 
sales of Sir Richard and Mr. Sutton, and also drew 
on the stock of Captain Anstruther Thomson ; but in 
addition he bought the entire Bedale pack from Mr. 
Milbank, and also Mr. Shaw Hellier's hounds. 1 When 
he became master of the Quorn, therefore, he had about 
eighty couples of good hounds, and a stud of something 
like eighty-seven hunters and hacks. Ben Boothroyd, 
who had been with Mr. Storey in the Donington country, 
was installed in the huntsman's berth, Sam Bacon and 
James Maiden being the whippers-in. 

The cub-hunting season was successful enough, and 
late in October, after meeting at Thornton Roughs, the 
hounds had a run of two hours and forty minutes. On 

1 See page 29. 



252 THE QUORN HUNT 

the first day of the regular season, the fixture was 
changed from the time-honoured Kirby Gate to Ash- 
fordby ; but there appears to have been some misunder- 
standing as to the opening day, as not a few hunting 
men made their way to Kirby Gate. 

Ashfordby, by the way, was the residence of two 
gentlemen who both died since the previous season had 
opened at Kirby Gate, one of them a few days only 
before the Ashfordby fixture. They were Mr. John 
Dick Burnaby of the Hall, and the Reverend Andrew 
Burnaby, the rector. The latter was a "character." 
He at one time kept a large private school at Louth, 
in Lincolnshire, and enjoyed great fame as a scholar. 
He published, in addition to some Latin poems, a good 
many in English, some of both being in praise of the 
chase ; while a book called Horce Scholastics was also 
from his pen. In due course the rich family living of 
Ashfordby fell vacant, and on his induction thereto, 
he shut himself up in the big rectory house without a 
single attendant, and lived the life of an anchorite. His 
benevolence, however, was only bounded by his means, 
for nearly every shilling of his income was expended in 
works of charity. Possessed, however, of strange sport- 
ing instincts, he permitted himself the luxury of a horse 
and a gig, and whenever the hounds were anywhere at 
hand he used to hunt on wheels — for he was gouty ; but 
he must have suffered from "poor man's gout" — and 
generally contrived to see a good deal of the run ; while 
his enthusiasm was as great as that of the best-mounted 
follower of Lord Stamford's hounds. 

In the early weeks of 1857 Ben Boothroyd had a 
bad fall, so in his absence Lord Stamford carried the 
horn himself ; and on his first day, although he lost his 
fox, he succeeded in having a good run, and on sub- 
sequent occasions he proved conclusively that he knew 
how to handle hounds. The veteran Mr. Little Gilmour 



EARL OF STAMFORD 253 

still remained faithful in his allegiance to the Ouorn 
pack, and in following them during the season he broke 
his collar-bone — not the first accident he sustained in his 
prolonged career of riding over Leicestershire. 

Ben Boothroyd hunted the hounds for one season 
only under Lord Stamford, for his appointment to the 
post of huntsman was never popular in Leicestershire. 
He was voted slow with the Donington, and a man 
must be very quick who attempts to hunt the Ouorn. 
His place was taken at the beginning of the season 
1857-58 by John Treadwell, 1 a first-class man in all 
departments, and so long as the horn was at his saddle- 
bow good sport was enjoyed, sometimes even against 
long odds ; and a good Midland sportsman, who met the 
Quorn at Great Dalby in November 1857, declared that 
nothing during the day gave him greater pleasure than 
on arriving at the fixture to find old Tom Day, for- 
merly huntsman to the Ouorn, with Goodall, of the 
Belvoir, and John Treadwell engaged in careful criticism 
of the Quorn pack. " It was indeed a famous trio," 
he wrote. 

At this time Ferneley, the famous painter of animals 
and hunting scenes — he painted the picture of Assheton 
Smith on Ayston, with Dick Burton and some favourite 
hounds— was, as he had been for some time, settled 
down in Melton. In the February of 1857 he was 
engaged on a picture representing a horse show, and 

1 John Treadwell, the son of James Treadwell, Mr. Farquharson's hunts- 
man in Dorsetshire, began his hunting career in Scotland under Mr. Robert- 
son, whipping in to his uncle, Charles Treadwell, who subsequently hunted 
the Bramham Moor hounds. His next place was with Major Stretton in 
Monmouthshire, and a year or two afterwards he went to the Hambledon, 
then under the mastership of Mr. Walter Long, with whom he remained for 
about four years before removing to the Vine, then under a committee, with 
Sir Richard Pycroft as field master. In 1847 he took service under Mr. 
Henley Greaves, first in the Cottesmore, then in the Essex country, and in 
1857 became huntsman of the Quorn. On Lord Stamford giving up the 
country in 1863 he rejoined Mr. Henley Greaves in the Old Berks country, 
which he hunted until his resignation in 1882. He died in March 1895. 






254 THE QUORN HUNT 

among the lookers-on were several Leicestershire celeb- 
rities ; while Idas and the Prior, brother to Alice Haw- 
thorne, were among the horses. " The Squire " on 
Assheton jumping a gate, Sir Harry Goodricke on Dr. 
Russell, and Mr. Holyoake on Crossbow were prominent 
characters in one hunting picture, while in another Sir 
Harry was represented on foot, while Mountford was 
holding his fox aloft. 

" And what a fox it was," writes a critic who examined the 
picture. " None of those bullet-headed animals, which town 
artists will persist in drawing on the look-out for rabbits, but a 
regular racing greyhound, with a true Cream Gorse or Billesdon 
Coplow birthright." 

A third picture was " A Scurry." It was a very long canvas of 
about seven feet, representing all the principal Melton men going 
away. Lord Wilton was leading, as he generally did, with Mr. 
Little Gilmour in close attendance, behind these being Captain 
Lloyd, Mr. Coke, and a hard-riding Russian merchant. 1 Five 
were represented as going over a gate and a hedge at one time, 
amongst them being the then Duke of Rutland, who was followed 
by Mr. (afterwards Sir Francis) Grant. This picture was to 
be raffled for. In the following year (1858), when Ferneley was 
close upon eighty years of age, he was hard at work upon a 
sketch of the Quorn hounds crossing the Nottingham turnpike 
road en route from Melton Spinney to Sir Harry Goodricke's 
Gorse ; while one of his largest works was the meet of the Quorn 
under Assheton Smith at Shangton Holt, with Lord Plymouth 
and other well - known Meltonians of Assheton Smith's time 
(1806-17). Full of years, and by no means without honours, 
Mr. John E. Ferneley passed away at Melton on the 4th June 
i860. His father had been a wheelwright at Thrussington, and 
tried to bring up his son to his trade, but the son had other 
aspirations. 2 



1 In the early eighties, a Russian merchant, Mr. Matvief, was a regular 
follower of the Surrey staghounds, and sometimes of the Burstow. He did 
not begin to ride until late in life, but he went well, and the writer saw him 
once jump a very awkward gate in a corner. 

* For a detailed notice of Ferneley, see Sir Walter Gilbey's article in 
Baity s Magazine for September 1897. 



EARL OF STAMFORD 255 

On Saturday, 27th September, Ferneley's paintings and sketches 
were disposed of on the late owner's premises. The catalogue 
contained eighty lots, consisting of sketches of hunting, shooting, 
deerstalking, &c. ; portraits of Bay Middleton, Riddlesworth, 
Rowton, Attila, &c. ; portraits of famous jockeys, and numerous 
sketches in oils made for Mr. Osbaldeston. 

In September 1857 Lord Stamford lost a horse in 
a somewhat curious manner. Treadwell, the huntsman, 
was one day riding it out at exercise with the hounds, 
when a violent thunderstorm came on. The horse, 
which was much frightened, became very ill, so Tread- 
well dismounted and bled it ; but, as it became worse 
instead of better, it was left at the roadside in charge of 
one of the whippers-in, and there it died before a veteri- 
nary surgeon could arrive. The death was attributed 
to palpitation of the heart, induced by the fright at the 
thunder and liorhtninQf. 

At the opening of the season 1857-58 Melton was 
tolerably full, as early in November the principal studs 
were — Lord Wilton, 23 ; Mr. Coventry, 20 ; Mr. Lester, 
13; Mr. Read, 13; Sir George Wombwell, a dozen; 
besides many others which did not reach double figures. 
" As many horses as they have at Newmarket," as an 
enthusiastic sportsman wrote. 

As had been the case with Sir Richard Sutton and 
other popular masters, the course of hunting did not 
run quite smoothly with Lord Stamford, as we find him 
being warned off by a Mr. Allen, though the details 
are somewhat shrouded in obscurity. It seems, how- 
ever, that the tenant, whoever his landlord might be, 
had raised some question in connection with unexhausted 
improvements ; but as his term had yet six months more 
to run, it was rather premature to ask other farmers to 
subscribe to enforcing compensation. It would have 
been quite soon enough to agitate when compensation 
was refused. 



256 THE QUORN HUNT 

Most racing people have heard of old Mr. Richards, 
who in early life (he was born at Barbers' Mill, near 
Nottingham, in 1776) worked at the stocking-frame. 
He was one of the earl's chosen bookmakers, and was 
first attracted to betting by winning a small sum on a 
horse-race. Richards was a Leicestershire man. The 
story goes that when resting at a village inn, while hawk- 
ing stockings, he was induced to play at cards, rising 
the winner of a small sum, with which he next day 
backed a horse, with the result already mentioned. He 
soon attended Doncaster and Newmarket ; and as the 
Meltonians, a good many of them at least, were much 
addicted to betting, Richards drove a very good business 
in laying them the odds to any extent. He was a curious 
combination, for, in addition to being wrapped up in 
racing, he studied standard works as seriously as though 
he were about to undergo an examination in them. He 
declared that he would never keep a servant until he 
was worth ^500 a year. He kept his word, and in due 
course became so rich that he took Ragdale Hall, the 
beautiful residence of the seventh Earl Ferrers, and it 
was said that one of his motives in renting the mansion 
was, that he should be better in touch with the Mel- 
tonians than he could be in his native village. He died a 
wealthy man ; left three sons in affluent circumstances ; 
while his daughter became the wife of a clergyman, who 
was afterwards incumbent of the parish adjoining Rag- 
dale. Richards is mentioned here because he was a 
supporter of the Quorn Hunt ; and though never a hard 
rider, he used, when he had risen to comparatively 
good circumstances, to meet hounds as often as possible. 
He died in November 1856, when about eighty years 
of age. 

Most of the runs which took place during the begin- 
ning of the season 1857-58 were noted rather for pace 
than for length, brilliant bursts being the rule. 



EARL OF STAMFORD 257 

In a sharp run from Baggrave Spinney to Whetstone, Lord 
Wilton, who was riding well to the fore as usual, had an ugly 
fall, which caused serious injury to his thigh ; but no bones being 
broken, he was in the saddle again in a few weeks ; and in a run 
which took place on the 4th December from Parson's Gorse in the 
Widmerpool country, Treadwell's bold riding was much approved, 
as for the forty-five minutes during which the run lasted he was 
always in the same field with his hounds, and was close to them 
to pick up his fox when they rolled him over. On Friday Decem- 
ber 1 8th, and Saturday, December 19th, Lord Stamford's hounds 
enjoyed some very quick runs ; and on the latter day Mr. Little 
Gilmour had a bad fall through some one crossing him at a fence, 
that being the third he had had during the season from the 
same cause. 

The year 1858 opened with a good run or two, but 
on the whole the season 1857-58 was voted a bad one. 
On January 1 1 the hounds found one fox only, but they 
simply raced him for about five-and-twenty minutes. On 
that day Treadwell was riding a horse of Lady Stamford's, 
his orders being- to stop at no fence whatever ; and so 
well did Treadwell obey his instructions that he pounded 
even Lord Gardner, not to mention others, at a flight of 
double posts and rails. Lady Stamford was a fine and 
bold horsewoman, and in 1859 a paragraph was published 
in some of the newspapers which purported to be a 
challenge from Lady Stamford to any other lady to ride 
across country for ^"500 a side. This piece of absurdity 
Lord Stamford at once contradicted in the press. 

There may possibly be some who hunted from Melton 
in the fifties who remember Mary Anne Hinman, known 
as the " Female Blacksmith." Of her own free will she 
elected to follow her father's trade, and while she assisted 
generally in the business, she was greatly in request for 
shoeing, in which art she was an adept ; and it is said 
that she shod half the best hunters in Melton. After a 
short illness she died, early in April 1858, and was 
buried in Melton churchyard, where can be seen (or 



258 THE QUORN HUNT 

could be seen) a gravestone to a male blacksmith, with 
the following epitaph : — 

My sledge and hammer lie reclined, 
My bellows, too, have lost their wind ; 
My fire's extinguished — forge decayed, 
And in the dust my vice is laid ; 
My coal is spent, my iron gone ; 
The last nail's drove, and work is done. 

If the season 1857-58 was not a particularly good 
one, there were at any rate some good runs in that which 
followed. On the 18th December 1858, Lord Stamford's 
hounds had a somewhat remarkable hunt of four hours 
and ten minutes. 

They met at Bardon Hill, and no sooner were hounds in covert 
than a fox jumped up in view. He ran a fast ring round the 
covert, and then went away in the direction of Greenhill, pointing 
for the monastery. So quickly did he go away from the covert 
that many of the field did not have a good start. He soon turned 
to the right over some rough ground, skirted Gisborne's Gorse, 
left the Oaks on his right, and made his way to Garendon Park. 
There he was unluckily headed, so turned short to the right up 
to the privets, and turning equally short to the left, passed Whittle 
Hill and Chartley Knoll on the right, and running through Chartley 
Wood, reached the racks, where the fox turned to the right and 
this time ran through Gisborne's Gorse, and thence straight back 
to Bardon Hill, the return journey allowing many of those thrown 
out to nick in. Round Bardon Hill the fox ran a couple of rings 
and then he made for Green Hill, running the road for a distance ; 
but, on being headed, made his way back again to Bardon Hill, 
around which he travelled once ; then went off for the monastery, 
but turning to the left through Holly Knoll Wood, very nearly up to 
Coleville ; again bent to the left, leaving Bardon Station and the 
railway on the right, returning thence to his old quarters at Bardon 
Hill, where, thoroughly exhausted, he was run into ; the pace 
having been very good considering that the run lasted four hours 
and ten minutes with no check to speak of. 

Only a few days later (23rd December 1858) the hounds met 
at Barrow Lodge, where foxes were so carefully tended by Mr. 
Shield. Finding in a covert near at hand, away went the fox as 



EARL OF STAMFORD 259 

hard as he could race to Grace Dieu, and after running by Belton 
village the fox was headed, and so ran along the brook for about 
a mile, over the road as if for Breedon Clouds, and then to the 
right as if for Donington Park, which place he reached after 
several turns. The time to that point was an hour and twenty 
minutes. There had been no previous check, but one occurred 
then. Presently Treadwell hit off the line, and eventually the 
hounds ran into their fox in Mr. Storey's stack-yard at Lockington 
village, after a hunt of two hours and twenty minutes from the 
start. Then on the 30th December the hounds met at Doning- 
ton Park. Among those out were Lord Stanhope, Mr. Storey, 
Mr. Phillips, and Lord Stamford. The last-named is especially 
mentioned because it would appear that he was very seldom seen 
in the hunting field about this period, which is rather curious, 
seeing that he had been master of hounds before, and hunted the 
country at his own cost, save for the covert fund. On this 
occasion hounds ran for upwards of two hours and a half. Lord 
Stamford did not see the finish of the run, for he rode his third 
horse to a standstill in Robin Wood. At the invitation of Lord 
Stanhope, Treadwell, the whippers-in, and the hounds remained 
for the night at Bretby. 

The records of the season 1858-59 were that with 71 
couples of hounds Lord Stamford hunted 136 days (no 
blank days), killed 15 brace of cubs, 23! brace of foxes, 
and ran 2,7 brace to ground. 

Almost from the very first there appears to have 
been a kind of misunderstanding between Lord Stamford 
and some people in the country, and during the season 
1858-59 there was a rumour, which certainly appears to 
have been to a certain extent well founded, that Lord 
Stamford would give up the country ; then he agreed to 
continue in office, and so the country's mind was set at 
ease again. Another rumour was that the Old Club, 
which had been unoccupied for a short time, would be 
taken by Sir George Wombwell and some of his friends, 
an arrangement which does not appear to have been 
carried out. 

The year 1859 saw the death of two men who in 



260 THE QUORN HUNT 

their time played a prominent part in the history of the 
chase — within a twelvemonth the fifth Earl of Jersey 
and the Marquis of Waterford joined the great majority. 
Mention has already been made of Lord Jersey, who 
was a notability both in the hunting field and on the 
turf. Time had been when the Marquis of Waterford 
was as well known at Melton as any one who ever made 
the place his hunting headquarters. Clothed in his blue 
jacket and black cap, and mounted on Yellow Dwarf, he 
was a prominent figure at the first few steeplechases held 
in the vale of Aylesbury. According to all accounts he 
rode "anyhow," and except there was some indication 
of the line to be taken, his idea of steeplechase riding 
appeared to be to jump over as many fences as possible. 
Once, when he was riding in a steeplechase at Dunchurch 
against Dick Christian, he went so wide at a turning-flag 
to get a run at a tempting-looking fence that Dick called 
out, "My lord! where are you going to?" He was 
then riding Columbine. How he put the Melton toll- 
bar into the not altogether appropriate scarlet, how he 
aniseeded the heels of a clergyman's horse and then 
hunted him home with bloodhounds, are stories which 
have been told over and over again. Then, in con- 
sequence of a practical joke on a Norwegian peasant- 
girl, the marquis was so much knocked about by the 
Norwegian watchmen that he had to wear a wig for 
some time, and in a fast run with the Ouorn from Bur- 
rough Hill he lost this same headpiece. The marquis 
was a great ally of deaf Burke, by whom he was taught 
boxing. He won three four-mile steeplechases in one 
day at Eglinton Park, entered heart and soul into the 
tournament, and did many other things which amused 
England at the time. For the last seventeen years or 
so of his life he lived at home in Ireland, where he kept 
the Curraghmore hounds, which were a capital hunting- 
pack, if not very much to look at. He and his men, 



EARL OF STAMFORD 261 

however, were wonderfully well mounted, and they had 
plenty of horses apiece, so that his great sales came to 
be regarded as an annual function. He seldom ran a 
horse in England unless he had something he deemed 
good enough to have a chance for a great race, but 
on the Irish turf he was a prominent character. The 
Marquis of Waterford met his death out hunting 
in March 1859. According to some accounts he was 
riding his best horse ; according to others he was on a 
middling hunter. At any rate, the fence which proved 
fatal to him was a very small one into a road. The 
horse made a mistake at it, and the marquis came with 
such violence to the ground that he broke his neck. He 
was wearing a hunting cap at the time, and it was said 
that this stiff headgear saved his head at the expense of 
his neck ; and the story goes that this doctrine had a 
good deal to do with sending caps out of fashion, just as 
black satin ceased to be worn after Mrs. Manning elected 
to wear that material at her execution. 

The latter end of 1859 saw the publication of an 
engraving (by Hacker) of Dick Christian mounted on 
Mr. Little Gilmour's Lord Grey, which was lent to Dick 
in order that he might sit to the artist. No sooner was 
the engraving published and Lord Grey talked about 
than several people claimed to have bred him ; indeed, 
like two distinguished persons of our own time, he 
appears to have had several birthplaces. As Dick 
Christian himself observed, Lord Grey, like his master, 
was very bad to beat over Leicestershire. Whatever 
may be the history of his breeding, the story of his 
later years appears to be plain enough. Mr. Garratt, of 
Knossinaton, bought him out of a drove at Harborouodi 
— a fact which would have entitled him to be described 
in a horse-show catalogue as " breeder unknown." Mr. 
Garratt "played with him for a season," and then sold 
him to Mr. Gattring of Orton, near Newark, from whom 



262 THE QUORN HUNT 

he passed into the hands of Mr. Hunter of Thorpe 
Arnolds. One day Mr. Gilmour did not like the brown 
horse which had been sent on to Six Hills for his riding, 
and seeing the grey, he asked to get on him, and, having 
had a ride, liked him so much that he bought him for, it 
is said, ^170; " the pair," as Dick Christian remarked, 
" have never been out of flying things since I've known 
'em." Dick was at that time rising eighty-one, and had 
nothing to depend upon except the kindness of his 
friends ; and the picture appears to have been brought 
out in order that the old man might reap some advantage 
from the sale thereof. 

The year 1 860 opened with a piece of good news for 
Leicestershire fox-hunters. The antipathy to fox-hunt- 
ing of the late Lord Harborough was well known, and 
whenever hounds found themselves on the outskirts of 
Stapleford Park, they had to be whipped off. Lord 
Harborough's coverts were swarming with game, which 
of late years he never shot himself, and his plantations 
were defended by quite a ckevazcx de /rise of dog-spears, 
which would have sufficed to destroy a whole pack, had 
they entered the coverts. Soon after Lord Harborough's 
death, Lady Harborough earned the gratitude of Leices- 
tershire hunting men by abolishing the dog-spears and 
throwing open Stapleford and its coverts to any hounds 
which might run thither. 

Since November 1859 scent had been catchy, and 
with the exception of a few short and sharp runs, not 
very much sport had been enjoyed; but on the 27th 
January i860 hounds ran for two hours and killed; while 
a little later Mr. Bullen of Eastwell, a fine specimen of a 
sporting parson, when riding in a foremost position in a 
run from Six Hills, sustained a bad fall and broke his 
collar-bone. 

The chief residents in and around Melton determined 
at once to make social life as pleasurable as possible, and 



EARL OF STAMFORD 263 

also to benefit the local charities as some acknowledg- 
ment of favours received from the farmers. So far as 
can be discovered, the month of March i860 saw the 
inauguration of the first amateur theatricals in Melton, 
and they were continued for several years. In the last 
week in March there took place in the Corn Exchange 
an "essentially sporting entertainment provided for and 
by the lovers of the chase." 

With a view to increase the funds of the local charities, the 
Hon. Seymour Egerton, himself an accomplished musician, 1 had 
at his resource the best talent. Mr. Clarke, stage manager at 
Windsor, had the management of the theatricals, while the 
scenery, decorations, &c, were produced under his directions by 
native talent. Lord and Lady Grey de Wilton, Mr. and Lady 
Mary Craven, the Ladies Catherine and Alice Egerton, Mr. E. B. 
Hartopp, M.P., Captain Hartopp, and Mr. Evans Hartopp were 
the principal performers. The prologue, written by Captain 
Hartopp and spoken by Lord Grey de Wilton, is so good that no 
apology is needed for its reproduction here. 

" Kind auditors, bear with me while I say 
A few words on the subject of our play. 
In metaphoric strain, 'tis known full well 
By all who in this sporting country dwell, 
How oftentimes, when riding at a brook, 
Upon the ghastly chasm as you look, 
Whose banks are rotten, and whose waters deep 
(Although you quail not at the desperate leap), 
This anxious thought will rise your breast within, 
' I may get over — but I may get in,' 
Such are our feelings, coming within sight 
Of such an audience as is here to-night. 
This night's performance is the brook we near — 
Our own deficiencies the fall we fear ; 
Success the banks, towards which our efforts tend ; 
Failure the waters that our hopes may end. 
So ere we leap, we earnestly appeal 
To you bystanders, hoping that you'll feel 



1 He was at the head of the Wandering Minstrels, a society which often 
delighted London audiences. 



264 THE QUORN HUNT 

Some pity for our fate, if we fall short, 
Failing to reach the eminence we sought. 
Then, if we falter as we near the brink, 
Let friendly hands support us, or we sink, 
Let friendly cheers our energies sustain, 
And if we flounder, help us out again. 
Then by your aid ' Still Waters ' we'll get through, 
Our ' Dreams then of the Future ' be of you, 
For you shall ' Pillicoddy ' play his pranks, 
While ' Betsy Baker ' tenders you her thanks. 
Strong with knowledge that we've friends at hand, 
Boldly we'll leap— and safely we shall land." 

The applause was great when Lord Grey de Wilton retired, 
and then came the overture. "Still Waters Run Deep" and 
"Betsy Baker" were the pieces played, while the music included 
a violin solo by the Hon. Seymour Egerton and a cornet solo by 
Mr. A. B. Mitford. On the following evening (Thursday) the 
programme included " A Dream of the Future " and " Poor Pilli- 
coddy," while the instrumental soloists were the Hon. Catherine 
Egerton (pianoforte), Mr. Robley (violoncello), and Mr. Le Patourel 
(flute). In "The Dream of the Future" a sporting turn was 
given to the proceedings by the introduction of the names, in 
connection with the evening party in the play, of Dr. Scraptoft, 
Lord Ranksboro', Mr. Thrussington Gorse, Sir Bescoby and Lady 
Oaks, Mr. B. Coplow, and Mr. and Mrs. Tilton Wood. Lord 
Grey de Wilton, Lord Gerald Fitzgerald, and Hon. H. Coke were 
among those who were members of the orchestra; the musical 
programme included Mendelssohn's Symphony in A minor and 
Concerto in G minor, overtures to "Zanetta," "William Tell," 
aud " Oberon," while the incidental music was composed by the 
Hon. Seymour Egerton. Amongst those present were the Duke 
of Rutland, Lord and Lady Forester, Hon. G. Fitzwilliam, Earl 
and Countess of Westmorland, Countess of Sefton and the Ladies 
Molyneaux, Lord Stanhope, the Hon. Mrs. Villiers, Lady Hamp- 
ton, Sir Henry Edwards, Sir Frederick and Lady Fowke, Countess 
of Craven, Marquis of Hartingdon, Countess of Chesterfield, Sir 
Walter and Lady Carew, Lord and Lady Newport, Lord and Lady 
Colville, Lady E. Stanhope, Lady Wallace, Hon. F. Morgan, 
Captain Morgan, Mr. Cheeney (High Sheriff), &c. 

In the following year (1861) there were more private 
theatricals, but the festival extended to three days instead of 
two. "A Sheep in Wolf's Clothing," "The Mummy," and "The 



EARL OF STAMFORD 265 

Critic " were played on the first night ; there was a promenade 
concert on the second day ; while "Prison and Palace," " Shocking 
Events," and "Whitebait at Greenwich" were in the bill for the 
concluding day; and in the last act of the first piece Lady 
Catherine Egerton appeared on the stage on horseback in the 
character of the Empress of Russia. On each day of these enter- 
tainments hounds hunted, the fields were large by reason of the 
number of visitors staying in and around Melton, and the festival 
week wound up with a very good performance of the Messiah ! 

To return, however, to hunting, Count Batthyany, 
after being an absentee for several years, reappeared at 
Melton and lost no time in building a Turkish bath 
(erected under the supervision of Mr. Johnson, architect, 
of Melton Mowbray) as an aid to conditioning his horses. 
By-and-by he succeeded to the title of Prince, and died 
at Newmarket towards the close of April 1883. Like 
most of his countrymen, Prince Batthyany was greatly 
attached to horses and field sports generally ; and when 
he first joined the Melton contingent he set himself the 
task of emulating the feats of the Marquis of Waterford, 
Lord Macdonald, Colonel Charetie, Squire Osbaldeston, 
Mr. Powell, and other first flight men. He rode boldly 
and well, but was unable to beat those just mentioned, 
though he always took a good place. Of his riding on 
the turf a good deal might be said, but that would be to 
branch out too far. 

The month of April i860 saw the decease of the 
wealthy Mr. Lyne Stephens, formerly a well-known 
Meltonian. He was said to be the richest commoner 
in England, and when he hunted from Melton, from 
about 1832 to 1836, his stud was second to none, for no 
price ever stopped him. From all accounts, however, 
he was a wretched horseman, and could never show to 
advantage in a run. 

In i860 Lord Stamford again threatened to resign 
at the end of the season 1860-61, being taken so 
seriously ill as to cause Lord Berners, Lord Cardigan, 



266 THE QUORN HUNT 

and some others to call a meeting of owners of coverts 
and others interested in hunting the two divisions of the 
country, to consider whether it was expedient to make 
any, and if so what, alterations in the boundaries of 
the two countries hunted by Lord Stamford and Mr. 
Tailby. This brought forth an explanation from Lord 
Stamford. 

As the circumstances relating to my giving up the hounds 
have met with various interpretations, I will briefly state the facts, 
in order that those gentlemen connected with the Hunt may see 
how I have been situated. About two years since I was informed 
that the covert fund could not be raised ; and at that time I hinted 
if such were the case another season I should be obliged to 
relinquish the mastership of the Ouorn hounds. This year the 
committee made known to me, through one of its members, that 
they would be obliged to give notice to the owners of coverts of 
their intention of giving them up, owing to the lack of funds and 
the unwillingness of the gentlemen of the Hunt to subscribe. I 
felt that I could no longer act as master of the Quorn hounds, and 
gave notice to that effect. Within the last fortnight, however, a 
deputation from the committee, consisting of Messrs. Farnham, 
Herrick, and Clowes, came to me and entered into an explanation 
showing satisfactorily that the whole difficulty arose from a want 
of exertion on the part of the committee in not applying for 
subscriptions at the right time, and exonerating the gentlemen of 
the Hunt from any sordid motives. On hearing this, and being 
assured by them that in future no such obstacle should occur, I 
considered I could not do less than continue to hunt the country 
as before, and I feel happy to think that the differences be- 
tween myself and the committee have come to such a favourable 
termination. 

There is not much else to record in connection with 
the closing days of the season 1 860-6 1, except that 
in March 1861 the Hon. A. Coventry, while riding to 
covert in company with Miss and Mr. Arthur Coventry, 
broke his leg by coming in contact with a stout stake 
in a small fence over which the party were making 
a short cut. After meeting at Beeby on All Fools' 



EARL OF STAMFORD 267 

Day, hounds found a fox at Billesdon Coplow and ran 
him with scarcely a check almost to Shangton Holt, 
when Treadwell hit off the line again and the pack 
pulled down their fox near Kibworth, after a run of two 
hours and twenty minutes. 

It was in the year i860 that the Bradgate Park testi- 
monial was proposed and carried out. As the inscription 
explained, it was " presented to the Earl and Countess 
of Stamford and Warrington by the inhabitants of 
Leicester." The gift took the form of a silver rosewater 
dish of elaborate design — so elaborate, indeed, that an 
official description is perhaps worth reproducing. 

The body of the dish or salver is divided into four compart- 
ments or panels, which are tastefully separated one from the 
other by groups of dead fish and game, and by cricketing and 
sporting trophies. These are cleverly looped to foxes' heads by 
graceful festoons of fruits and flowers. The first compartment or 
panel is allegorical, or Britannia offering the benefit of commerce 
to the four quarters of the globe. In the background is a correct 
view of Leicester Corn Exchange, smoking factories, &c, thereby 
identifying the various trades of the town with the testimonial. 
The second compartment represents a picture of the far-famed old 
oak-tree in Bradgate Park, under the delightful shade of which is 
seen a happy picnic party, the ruins of the old castle forming a 
picturesque background. The third panel suggests hunting, a 
sport famous to the county. The Quorn foxhounds are in full 
cry ; the earl and countess, enjoying the invigorating pastime, 
are riding side by side. The fourth and remaining compartment 
is a faithful representation of Bradgate House. The whole is 
surrounded by a very rich and beautiful border in which is 
represented a fox-hunt — the horsemen, hounds, fox, &c, being 
exquisitely chiselled ; while to prevent the eye from tiring and to 
relieve the composition, it is divided by shields upon which are 
prominently chased the arms of the town of Leicester and the 
crest and coronet of the Earl and Countess. 

The designer of this dish certainly deserves all credit 
for his ingenuity, for a more inclusive specimen of the 
silversmith's craft can hardly be imagined. 



268 THE QUORN HUNT 

In preparation for the next season Captain Callander 
bought the Toy House ; and the Old Club, which had 
been occupied by the Hon. Major Morgan, was taken 
by Count Batthyany. The gorse planted by Sir Harry 
Goodricke had been burned and grubbed up, and though 
in some quarters there were laments over the destruction 
of the once favourite covert, Lord Stamford was held to 
have acted rightly, as the unsportsmanlike conduct of a 
neighbouring occupier had for some years prevented its 
ever holding a fox. Who this unneighbourly person 
was we are not told ; but to supply the place of Sir 
Harry's Gorse, a new covert was made about a mile 
further on. A Mr. Day appears to have taken the 
coverts in hand ; those requiring it were fresh drained, 
and other steps were taken to make the different coverts 
attractive to foxes. The season was on the whole a 
good one, the Ouorn having killed 6gh brace of foxes in 
101 days, and there were no blank days. 

In August 1 86 1 there was a foxhound show at Yarm 
in connection with the show of the Cleveland Agricultural 
Society. There had been a previous show at Leeds, 
but it appeared that masters of foxhounds had declined 
to show there because, as a chronicler said, they did not 
like "to allow their favourites to be mixed up with the 
canine canaille. Perhaps, also, they may have had an 
idea that flags were essential to fair judging." The 
arrangements at Yarm, however, met with general 
approval, and of fourteen entries in class two, for the 
best couple of foxhounds not younger than one season 
nor older than two season hunters, the Ouorn were 
highly commended ; but in class four, for the best puppy 
of i860, Lord Stamford's Blue Bell, by Statesman- 
Blissful, was first. 

In the autumn of 1861 the railway companies appear 
to have turned their attention to the accommodation of 
hunting men, but members of Parliament were their first 



EARL OF STAMFORD 269 

care, as in their interest they started a train from 
London to Melton Mowbray, which reached the latter 
place at ten o'clock ; now it is possible to reach there at 
ii few minutes before eight, travelling by the newspaper 
train. The Ouorn hounds appear to have had a run of 
sport in December 1861, and on the 14th of that month 
it will be remembered that the Prince Consort died. 
The news reached Leicestershire on Sunday night, but 
it was not generally known until the arrival of the 
Monday's papers ; meantime a great number of horses 
had been sent on to Thornley, where, instead of the 
hounds, those who had ridden to the covert-side found 
a mounted messenger from Lord Stamford, who stated 
that, owing to the death of the prince, no hunting would 
take place. The sad event threw a general gloom over 
the Midlands, as over the rest of England ; for the 
prince, if not an enthusiastic fox-hunter, had on occa- 
sions been seen at the covert-side in Leicestershire, 
and as a master of harriers had played his part as a 
sportsman. 

The threatened resignation of Lord Stamford appears 
to have given the covert-fund question the impetus it so 
much needed ; but the country at large sadly wished 
that Mr. John Moore were back again. When that able 
hunting tactician was a power in Melton, he collected 
within a very small radius of that town nearly ,£3000, 
and, on one occasion, nearly ,£3500, for Mr. Assheton 
Smith ; but Mr. Moore took very good care to produce 
his note-book on the opening day at Kirby Gate, and 
his importunities never ceased until he had made up 
his amount. However, at the time of which we are 
speaking matters appear to have been in a hopeless 
muddle, until at last, owing to Lord Stamford's strono- 
representations, something had to be done ; so Sir Henry 
Edwards (on behalf of the Meltonian division), Mr. 
Clowes, Mr. Bruce Campbell, and Mr. John Day formed 



270 THE QUORN HUNT 

themselves into a committee to place things on a better 
footing. In Mr. Day the committee had a valuable 
coadjutor, as he had previously for many years looked 
after the coverts. Cream Gorse and Barkby Holt 
needed money to be expended upon them ; and it was 
agreed that sundry alterations should be made, including 
the planting of a gorse of ten acres ; while some coverts 
were doomed, including Munday's Gorse, which was done 
away with, as in some places coverts were thought to be 
too near together to improve the chance of enjoying a 
straight-away run. This new broom promised to sweep 
very clean, but it was not effectual in keeping Lord 
Stamford at the head of the hounds for more than a 
short time longer. 

In February 1862 the master appears to have been 
again troubled with unruly fields, and on one occasion 
took his hounds home ; but the sting was somewhat 
taken out of the rebuke by the fact that the day was far 
advanced. The hounds had met at Beeby, and after a 
disappointing day they drew John o' Gaunt late in the 
afternoon ; found a fox, and from the manner in which 
hounds ran in covert and in a short ring in the open, it 
appeared as though scent had improved and a gallop 
might take place after all. Unluckily, however, the 
field were so elated that they greatly interfered with the 
hounds ; so Lord Stamford ordered the hounds back to 
kennel, and declared that he would not hunt that side 
of the country any more during the season. In this 
particular, however, he relented, and did go there again. 
When meeting at Barkby they had a good run from 
Thorpe Trussels, the fox leading them over the swollen 
Wreake. Following the example of the fox, Lord Grey 
de Wilton plunged in and emerged safely on the other 
side. He was followed by Captain Williams, who, before 
makinor the crossing, handed his watch to a friend, 
thereby taking it for granted that the friend intended 



EARL OF STAMFORD 271 

going for a bridge or a ford. The field was regularly 
spread-eagled. 

The fox made his way by the right of Kettleby, as if for 
Holwell Mouth, and sunset was taking place by the time the 
hounds reached Piper Hole in the Belvoir country. There the 
fox might have saved himself, had it not been that a sheep-dog 
saw him taking refuge under a hedge and at once made for him. 
The fox was fairly blown, and setting his back against the hedge 
prepared for battle with the sheep-dog, and while the pair were 
engaged in a hand-to-hand encounter the hounds came up and 
finished off the fox. 

No more than a few days later Lord Stamford's 
hounds were in danger of being run into whilst huntino- 
on the Midland line, near Ashfordby Station. The 
master, on seeing an approaching train, made signals 
to the driver to stop, which he did at remarkably short 
notice, seeing that neither Westinghouse nor Vacuum 
brakes were then invented. Lord Stamford at once 
put his hand in his pocket and liberally acknowledged 
the good offices of driver and fireman; but, in extracting 
the necessary amount, the master also pulled out a five- 
pound note, which fluttered unobserved to the ground. 
Charles Wells, stud-groom to Mr. Little Gilmour, passed 
over the crossing and, seeing the paper on the ground, 
dismounted, picked it up and put it in his pocket, telling 
Mr. Gilmour, on his return home, what he had found. 
Through Mr. Gilmour's inquiries the owner of the note 
was discovered ; but Lord Stamford would not take it 
back, his directions to Mr. Little Gilmour being to o-ive 
a couple of sovereigns to his groom, and the balance to 
the clergyman of the parish for the benefit of the poor. 

During the season 1861-62 Lord Stamford came out 
oftener, is said to have ridden better, and to have taken 
more interest in the Hunt than before, and a writer of 
the period says he was so popular that " farmers rejoice 
to see him cross their land, and villagers send forth 



272 THE QUORN HUNT 

merry peals from the church bells when he honours 
them with a meet." 

This custom of bell-ringing when the hounds met 
at any particular village gave rise to a law case at the 
County Public Office, Leicester, early in April 1862. 

Mr. D. Waite, a farmer of Thurnby, appeared to answer a 
charge preferred against him by the Rev. J. C. K. Redhead, vicar 
of the parish, for having on the 27th February been guilty of 
violent and indecent behaviour in breaking open the belfry door 
of the parish church. According to the evidence it appeared that 
ever since the year 1857 it had been the custom of the church- 
wardens of the parish, on the occasion of Lord Stamford's hounds 
meeting there, to ring the church bells in honour of his lordship. 
When, however, the hounds met on this particular 27th February, 
the vicar gave directions that the bells should not be rung, adding 
that if his orders were disobeyed he should take legal proceedings 
against the offending parties. The hounds were to meet on the 
Monday, so on the evening of the preceding Sunday the reverend 
gentleman nailed down the latch of the belfry door, and took the 
precaution of locking the door and tying the key in it. At seven 
o'clock on Monday morning the sporting farmer ordered the 
parish constable, who chanced to be a wheelwright, to open the 
door, which was accomplished by lifting it off its hinges; the 
ringers then went into the belfry and for two hours or more rang 
a merry peal in honour of Lord Stamford and his hounds. The 
vicar, as may be supposed, was in a great state of rage during the 
proceedings ; but the magistrates dismissed the case, greatly to 
the satisfaction of the fox-hunting fraternity, though the ecclesi- 
astical lawyer may perhaps be puzzled to account for the decision. 

The season 1861-62, though not productive of so 
much sport as the previous season, was fairly good, and 
there was a plentiful supply of foxes. 

One curious incident of the season 1861-62 deserves 
mention. A fox was found in Donington Park, or 
rather he stole away before the hounds entered the 
covert, and in the course of the run which ensued he 
picked up a rabbit, and actually carried it for some 
distance, but finding the hounds too close and the burden 



EARL OF STAMFORD 273 

too heavy, he wisely dropped his prize and continued 
on his way. The incident was vouched for by several 
people. 

In the summer of 1862, that is to say, on the 
Thursday between the Derby and Oaks days, there died 
a very notable Leicestershire character — none other 
than Dick Christian, who, in the words of " The Druid," 
had practically sounded the depth of every ditch and 
brook in Leicestershire. On Christmas Day i860 he 
was seized with a fit, with no one near him but his little 
grandchild, and since that time he had been quite help- 
less and bedridden, and lay supported by a frame on 
his bed, with a pulley by which he moved himself. His 
last three days were attended by intense pain, and he 
was buried in the little Dissenters' burial-ground nearly 
opposite his house. What his age was is somewhat 
uncertain, but at the time of his death he was probably 
eighty-five. He rode a good many steeplechases, though 
perhaps he was not at his best in that department. To 
give Dick Christian his due, he never laid claim to 
qualities he did not possess. He whipped in to Sir 
Gilbert Heathcote of the Cottesmore for some time, and 
occasionally, when Abbey, the huntsman, was unable to 
go out, he hunted the hounds. He admitted that he 
could not blow a horn well and had " only a middling 
voice." In one of his conversations with " The Druid " 1 
he said : — 

" I once made a bit of a hit when I had hold of the hounds, 
just over a road. Lord Lonsdale was out. ' Richard,' he says 
(he always spoke that way), ' Richard, that's as fine a cast as I 
ever saw made ; you quite deceived me.' We brought the fox 
from Mankrie Wood close to the Bull at Witham Common, seven 
or eight miles, slap through Woodwell Head right away to 
Melton Spinney. My horse was so beat he could just trot — that 
was all he could do." 



1 "Silk and Scarlet," p. 16. 



274 THE QUORN HUNT 

Dick Christian's forte was making hunters. From 
all accounts he was not a first-class steeplechase rider ; 
but up to a certain point in his life he had a wonderfully 
good nerve, and he was constantly put on rough horses 
with orders to turn aside from nothing, and he certainly 
carried out his directions. He jumped over a whole 
flock of sheep, and rode the mare Marigold over a most 
extraordinary drop fence, Marigold l being a mare which 
had given a succession of breakers no little trouble. 
He always maintained that he had never ridden a 
better horse than Corringham ; but no valid reason was 
ever forthcoming for this preference, seeing that for 
about twenty years at Melton he rode the best horses 
that a farmer could breed or a dealer could buy. For 
about eighteen years he was in the employ of Lord Scar- 
borough, and he made all his horses ; but from various 
accounts Dick Christian never rode in either the Rufford 
or the Grove countries as he rode in Leicestershire. In 
the Ouorn country he once killed a horse belonging to 
Mr. Frank Foljambe, an occurrence which long haunted 
him ; " It was the only horse that ever died in my hands," 
he used to say. On the opening day of the season 
1857-58 Dick made his appearance at Kirby Gate, where 
he held quite a levee. Mr. Leslie, to whom his son was 
groom, gave him an occasional mount afterwards, but 
otherwise he was never at the covert-side ; when he did 
come out he never attempted to ride, so it seems quite a 
mistake to suppose that he rode boldly up to the last. 
One of his biographers says that he was extravagant, 
but a man in his position, with twenty children "all born 
alive and christened," could not have saved much. His 
language is said to have been particularly free from any- 
thing like coarseness, and in his way he was a decided 
humorist. Before his death, more than one appeal wa9 
made for funds to enable him to end his days in com- 

1 See p. 190. 



EARL OF STAMFORD 275 

parative comfort, and they met with a generous response ; 
but his wife died at an advanced age in the workhouse, 
some years after her husband's decease. 

In the November of 1862 it was quite well under- 
stood that Lord Stamford would vacate the Ouorn 
country at the end of the season, and it was said that 
John Treadwell would remain on as huntsman with Lord 
Stamford's successor ; but this rumour proved to be un- 
true, as when Lord Stamford finally gave up the Quorn 
country Treadwell left and took service under his old 
master, Mr. Henley Greaves, who was then hunting the 
old Berkshire country ; and there he remained from 1863 
until 1882, when he resigned, having hunted under seve- 
ral masters, including the Messrs. Charles and Thomas 
Duffield, and Lord Craven. Treadwell died in 1895, 
and was buried at Kingston Bagpuze, Berkshire, in a 
grave not far from that of his old master, Mr. Thomas 
Duffield, under whom he worked for about nine seasons. 
At every Hunt dinner in the old Berkshire country, one 
or other of the speakers paid a tribute of praise to 
Treadwell's skill as a huntsman, and expressed himself 
grateful for the sport shown. In 1878 he was presented 
with a silver teapot, a hunting watch, and a purse of 600 
guineas. At the time of his death he was seventy-three 
years of age. 

As Lord Stamford's last season drew to a close 
some very fair sport was enjoyed. During the month 
of March 1863 a goodly number of afternoon runs took 
place, and about the middle of the month they had a 
very fast thing from Lord Aylesford's covert down to 
the river below Hoby. They crossed the water close 
to the spot where on a former occasion Lords Gardner 
and Brudenell swam their horses across. On this occa- 
sion no one attempted the passage by water, so by 
common assent the whole of the large field galloped up 
towards the Old Mill to a footbridge. It appeared, as 



276 THE QUORN HUNT 

an eye-witness wrote, almost as great a risk to cross by 
this bridge as to swim the river ; but all went safely 
over, and as the hounds luckily came to a check above 
Rotherby, the foremost of the field were enabled to catch 
them up before they killed their fox near the Leicester 
turnpike road. 

Lord Stamford had for seven years hunted the 
country in such liberal style and so efficiently that it 
struck " A Notts Fox-hunter " his lordship's retirement 
should be marked by the presentation of a testimonial. 
Whether the suggestion did not emanate from the proper 
quarter, or whether there was some other reason for the 
apathy which prevailed, the writer has not been able to 
discover ; but the idea does not appear to have been 
taken up, and no presentation was then made. 

Lord Stamford's last advertised day was Friday the 
27th of March, Garenden Park being the fixture. The 
ground was as hard as a paving-stone, but the wind had 
veered round to the north ; there was no bright sun, so 
people hoped that the end of the season might be marked 
with a run. 

An old dog fox went away directly and, at a good pace, ran 
as if for Charnwood Forest, by Chartley and the rocky steeps of 
Beacon Hill, through Ratcliffe, Bradgate Park, under the old 
ruins and over the brook by Grooby Lake, his point apparently 
being Enderby. Turning to the left the fox crossed some hard 
and dusty fallows, over which hounds had to hunt so slowly 
that every one began to think sport was over for the day. A 
capital sportsman, however, who lived at Charnwood, viewed the 
fox ; Lord Stamford blew his horn, and hounds again began to 
run, the line being through the Sandhills, Bradgate Park, up to 
Swithland, where, after a run of two hours and twenty minutes, 
the fox was pulled down near the brook. At the suggestion of 
Mr. Heygate, M.P., three cheers were given for the master and 
another cheer was added for Treadwell. Then Mr. Clowes, in a 
few well-chosen words, thanked the master for the munificent and 
noble manner in which he had hunted the country for the last 
seven seasons, and for the sport he had afforded. 



EARL OF STAMFORD 277 

It was said at the time that Leicestershire had never 
known a more popular master of hounds than Lord 
Stamford, and there was every reason, it was stated, to 
think that his lordship would have continued to hunt the 
country but from a feeling of annoyance or disappoint- 
ment with certain nameless owmers of coverts who had 
promised to preserve foxes for him, but had failed to 
carry out what they had professed themselves ready to do. 

Lord Stamford's sale took place at Ouorn on Satur- 
day the 9th May 1863. Messrs Tattersall, who con- 
ducted the proceedings, expected no more than about a 
couple of thousand persons, and made arrangements for 
that number. 

They found, however, that a great many more would be 
present, and so set about putting up some substantial posts and 
rails, around which about seven thousand persons assembled. 
Colonel Thomas, well known in the Heythrop country, had run 
down to Quorn during the previous week to see if there was any- 
thing likely to suit the Prince of Wales, and as the result of his 
report General Hood gave 500 guineas for Bentinck, and 310 
guineas for the Right Man. Trumpeter's reserve price was 600 
guineas. With one or two exceptions all the horses brought as 
much as, or more than, they originally cost, and the total sum 
realised by seventy-nine horses was 14,350 guineas, giving an 
average of nearly 182 guineas each. The Prince of Orange in- 
tended being present, but he missed his train. Special trains 
were run from Derby, Leicester, and other places, while there 
was a great collection of horse-boxes at Barrow Station for the 
convenience of purchasers. The late Mr. Edmund Tattersall 
conducted the sale. The Emperor of the French sent over Mr. 
Gamble, the superintendent of the Royal stables at the Louvre ; 
but it is believed that he went home without buying anything. 
Among those present were the Duke of Buccleuch, Lords Henry 
Bentinck, Middleton, Galway, Dacre, and Eglinton ; the Marquis 
of Hastings, Lord Algernon St. Maur (afterwards Duke of Somer- 
set), Lords Ingestre, Gardner, Harrington, Hopetoun, Sir F. 
Johnstone, Mr. Clowes, Mr. George Lane Fox, Mr. Hall, Mr. 
W. G. Craven, &c. 



278 THE QUORN HUNT 

This was a very remarkable sale of hunters, the horses 
being all of the very highest class. That Lord Stamford 
meant to do well by the Quorn Hunt is apparent from 
the fact that he gave ^"500 a year towards the mainte- 
nance of the hounds when Mr. Clowes took them over. 

Lord Stamford, who died early in 1883, was born at 
Enville Hall, in Staffordshire, in 1827, so that he was 
only just thirty years old when he took the Quorn country 
in 1858 under the circumstances already noted. 

George Harry Grey was the eldest of five children, three of 
whom predeceased him. In early years he was sent to the 
famous school near Hatfield of the Rev. B. Peile, under whose 
care many young noblemen and men of good family were placed. 
At Mr. Peile's he had for companions the present Duke of West- 
minster, Lord Derby, Lord Lichfield, Lord Harewood, Lord 
Howe, and many other well-known men, sportsmen and other- 
wise. Lord Stamford was never at a public school, going direct 
from Mr. Peile's to Cambridge. His ancestor, Henry de Grey, is 
said 1 to have carried the horn in the time of Richard I., and 
following in the steps of his ancestor, Lord Stamford had in him 
the interest of an ardent fox-hunter, and soon after attaining his 
majority he hunted the Albrighton country for a time from Enville 
Hall, and then he took the Quorn country in the circumstances 
mentioned above. 

Lord Stamford was a great cricketer, and played a 
good deal at Lords, while at Enville Hall he laid out a 
private ground which was considered quite equal to any 
in England. 

Shooting, too, was another of Lord Stamford's 
favourite pursuits. At both Enville Hall and Brad- 
gate Park much excellent sport was enjoyed, though at 
neither place was game ever sacrificed to foxes, and his 
lordship's records 2 show that foxes and pheasants can 
live together if it be intended that they should do so. It 

1 See Field, January 6, 1883. 

2 On the 15th December 1856, and four following days, shooting parties 
varying from eight to eleven guns shot 3666 head, of which 1388 were 
pheasants, 1164 hares, 1010 rabbits, 47 partridges, and 35 woodcock. In 



EARL OF STAMFORD 



279 



was owing to his shooting in Scotland that his death was 
attributed. He rented the deer forest of Aviemore, near 
Glenmore, and having built a new wing to the lodge, he 
proceeded to live in the lately erected portion before the 
place was dry ; he contracted a chill, and a bad attack of 
typhoid fever supervened ; but he recovered from that. 
His constitution, however, was greatly weakened by 
what he had gone through, and at Newmarket, whither 
he went on his return from the North, he was quite a 
wreck. Thus passed away a great sportsman, a kind 
landlord, and an extremely popular master of hounds. 

January 1857 there was a shooting party at Bradgate Park, when on some 
days nine guns, on others eleven, killed in seven days no fewer than 71 19 
head, 2087 being pheasants, 523 hares, and 4394 rabbits. From November 
1 1 to 20, both dates inclusive, Lord Stamford and party killed 889 partridges, 
1076 pheasants, 1403 hares, and 593 rabbits. 



1 






>-.*$ 



^ffiil 




CHAPTER X 

MR. CLOWES (1863-1866) 

MARQUIS OF HASTINGS (1866-1868) 

MR. JOHN CHAWORTH MUSTERS (1868-1870) 



z8x 



CHAPTER X 

MR. CLOWES 
1863-1866 

THE successor to Lord Stamford was Mr. Clowes, 
and at the outset one may be permitted to say that 
never did a good sportsman have more wretched luck to 
contend against. It may rather be taking the end of the 
story first, but perhaps a summary of his mastership will 
in a manner explain what follows. 

So far as horses, hounds, and foxes were concerned, 
chance favoured him. Very few horses were killed; one 
of them, however, was Goddard's favourite hunter, which 
met its end in the Widmerpool country, and the other 
two were less important animals. But the weather was 
absolutely against Mr. Clowes from first to last. He 
bought Lord Stamford's pack for 7*2000, collected to- 
gether a capital stud of horses, and started with every 
prospect of success. In his very first season, however, 
that is to say, 1863-64, after Christmas, frost and snow 
spoiled all the fun and neutralised all the master's exer- 
tions ; and this bad weather lasted into March, for even 
his last day was postponed through a heavy fall of snow. 

In the next season the exceptionally dry summer and 

autumn reduced cub-hunting almost to a farce, for the 

hounds could hunt a cub no further than they could see 

him, and when November came round the land was as 

hard as it could well be. There was not a scrap of 

scent, and then when rain did come in December, it was 

283 



284 THE QUORN HUNT 

accompanied by such hurricanes of wind that sport was 
out of the question. Frost and snow held sway in 
January and February, and then the country rapidly 
dried up after the beginning of March. Mr. Clowes's 
last season was a decided improvement on the other two 
in many respects, but instead of hard, they had to put up 
with deep, ground, for horses went up to their hocks in 
mud from the beginning of November, and hunting was 
scarcely stopped at all by reason of frost. 

To a certain extent the deep ground was an advan- 
tage, as the greatest " thrusters " in Leicestershire could 
not manage to override the hounds ; and, like a good 
sportsman, Mr. Clowes took advantage of the open 
season to hunt the country very fairly from one end to 
the other. The master hunted four days a week, but 
that was thought scarcely sufficient for so wide a country, 
in order that the owners of coverts from Staunton 
Harold to John o' Gaunt might be satisfied. 

Towards the end of Ins last season several coverts 
on the Donington side were blank, especially Breedon 
Clouds and the Aspinalls ; Scraptoft Gorse, too, failed 
to hold as a rule, and that was rather a serious matter, 
as several little coverts round about drew their supplies 
from that famous stronghold. Many people thought 
that the vulpicide had been at his unwelcome work, but 
from several accounts it seems that the foxes had for- 
saken many of their usual haunts, and no one knew 
where to find them. Sometimes they were kicked up 
out of the open fields, at others they were started out of 
the hedgerows. All the Leicestershire men sympathised 
most sincerely with Mr. Clowes in his run of ill-luck. 

Before the resignation of Lord Stamford (as will 
presently appear), Mr. Clowes had worked hard in the 
interests of the Quorn Hunt, taking upon his shoulders 
sundry burdens ; and when he agreed to succeed Lord 
Stamford he knew how much trouble he would have to 



MR. CLOWES 285 

face, but like the good sportsman that he was, he ran all 
the risks and met with a very poor return, owing to the 
weather. 

Not for the first time during Mr. Clowes's mastership 
did the question of wire-fencing come up for argument, 
and in the autumn of the new master's first season 
(1863-64) a manifesto was put forth by sundry land- 
owners and sportsmen in the counties of Leicestershire 
and Northamptonshire stating that they had observed 
with deep regret the increasing practice of fencing with 
wire as a substitute for rails, as well as for stopping gaps. 
They pointed out that this new kind of fencing was 
dangerous both to men and horses, and that, if persisted 
in, it would entirely put a stop to hunting. The signa- 
tories to the document could not for a moment imagine 
that the farmers in general would desire such an 
eventuality, and they hoped that the tenant-farmers 
would consider whether it would not be advisable to 
discontinue the use of wire, at least from November to 
April. Shortly after, however, in the columns of the 
Field, that is to say, in the issue of November 7, 1863, 
there appeared a letter in favour of wire-fencing, penned 
by Mr. E. A. Paget. 1 

Before Mr. Clowes's first season opened, the fine 
stables built by Mr. Lyne Stephens found a new tenant 
in Mr. Chaplin, who therein housed eighteen fine hunters. 
For some reason or other a prejudice had existed against 
these stables, which, until Mr. Chaplin took them, were 
unoccupied for many years. 

Owing to various circumstances, bad weather in- 
cluded, Mr. Clowes's opening day with the Ouorn at 
Kirby Gate (1863) was not quite such a brilliant function 

1 The question of wire-fencing appears to have first cropped up in 
Leicestershire about 1858, though I fancy something was said about it in 
the time of Sir Richard Sutton, and towards the close of Lord Stamford's 
mastership it became something of a burning question. During more recent 
years wire has been taken down and replaced at the expense of the Hunt. 



286 THE QUORN HUNT 

as usual. Atmospheric conditions were adverse, and 
rather poor sport was experienced, but the Leicestershire 
ranks were at this time recruited by Mr. Bromley Daven- 
port, whose essays on sport, and hunting poems, have been 
so much appreciated. He took the house of the welter- 
weight Colonel Wyndham, put it into repair, and hunted 
for a season or two more with the Quorn, with which 
pack he had always appeared in the first flight. Early 
in the season the Quorn had a very fair run from 
Wartnaby Stone-pits. 

They found a fox at Welby Fishponds, hounds running at a 
great rate towards Ashfordby, most of the field being left behind. 
The fox ran up wind, crossed the river Wreake, but luckily within 
convenient distance of a bridge, over which the few men who 
secured a good start passed, and managed to keep somewhere near 
hounds. Then the fox went over the railway, turned to the left, 
and eventually made his way into Melton parish, and from there 
went tolerably straight for Mr. Burbage's new covert, hounds 
running fast all the time, and when they reached the last-men- 
tioned covert fifty minutes had elapsed from the start. The good 
sportsman who owned the place was first up, with Lord Wilton 
not very far behind him, and then either the run fox or a substi- 
tute went across the river to Stapleford, and getting into the park 
among the deer hounds had to give up, after a capital run of 
something over an hour. 

We next come to rather a curious complaint as to Mr. Clowes's 
hounds. It was said that instead of working slowly and following 
the scent quietly, as they used to do, hounds ran very much faster, 
and nine-tenths of the runs resolved themselves into a race, con- 
sequently the bulk of the field saw little or nothing of what took 
place, unless by short cuts or dodging they happened to drop in 
when the hounds took a turn. 

This, it must be remembered, was not in the olden 
days of hunting — though even then, at any rate in the 
time of Mr. Warde and Mr. Meynell, hounds were not 
slow — but no longer ago than 1863, so one can hardly 
understand the meaning of the criticism. The letter, 



MR. CLOWES 287 

however, wound up with the intimation that Mr. Clowes 
had just gone away to be married. 

The excitement in connection with the wire-fencing 
appears to have soon subsided, several farmers having 
agreed to take it down during the hunting season, while 
in Mr. Tailby's country they, almost to a man, readily 
freed the fields from that scourge, so in acknowledg- 
ment a considerable sum of money was subscribed to 
increase the prizes at the farmers' races. There was one 
farmer, however, in the Ouorn country who, although he 
did not employ wire as a means of fencing, was a very 
fine hand at preserving some strong and high posts and 
rails and ox fences. He lived in a favourite district, and, 
in years gone by, was accustomed to say that he saw two 
men only fit to go out hunting. One was Mr. Gressley 
Wilson and the other Lord Alvanley, who, in their 
hardest riding days, were the only pair, he averred, he 
ever saw go straight across his farm. This certainly 
speaks volumes for the strength of his fences and the 
nerve of the two horsemen in question. 

As soon as the year 1864 dawned sport was greatly 
interfered with by frost and fog, and it was not till the 
end of the month, when the hounds met at Great Dalby, 
that there was an appearance of anything like decent 
hunting weather. The hounds drew Gartree Hill blank, 
and then down came the fog so thickly that although 
they found a fox in Thorpe Trussells they might as 
well have run him in the middle of the night. The 
field nearly lost the pack, and the foremost could only 
ride to them by strongly putting to the test their sense of 
hearing. On the following Saturday, when they met at 
Beaumanor, Lord Stamford came out for the first time 
in that year. 

As the season 1863-64 neared its end, Mr. Bromley 
Davenport sustained a bad fall early in March. The 
hounds were running very fast from Cream Gorse 



288 THE QUORN HUNT 

towards Frisby, and when near the Leicester road 
Mr. Davenport's horse — he was then, by the way, Mr. 
Davenport Bromley — galloped into a "grip," turned a 
complete somersault, and threw its rider very heavily upon 
his head. He was picked up in an insensible condition, 
but afterwards came round and was taken home. 

The readers of a well-known sporting paper were also 
horrified about this time to hear of a fatal accident which 
was stated to have occurred while the Quorn were hunt- 
ing near Willoughby, to a certain Sir B. Hichens, who 
was said to have been well known for many years with the 
Quorn hounds. With great attention to detail, it was stated 
that his horse, a young thoroughbred chestnut, became 
unmanageable when the hounds found, and eventually 
running away with his rider, took a five-barred gate, and 
then collided with a plough which lay in his track. The 
horse, the account went on, did not perceive it ; a fearful 
fall resulted, and the unfortunate gentleman, after being 
picked up in an insensible condition, was taken to a farm- 
house, never rallied, and died in a few hours. The horse 
was killed on the spot by one of the iron handles of the 
plough entering his body. Meantime everybody was 
asking who Sir B. Hichens was. Nobody in the Quorn 
country had ever heard his name, and as a matter of fact 
no such person existed, the whole thing being a stupid 
hoax. 

The spring of 1864 was memorable from the fact that 
the first Grand National Hunt Steeplechase was run 
over the Melton Mowbray country, the stewards being 
the Duke of Beaufort, the Marquis of Hastings, Lord 
Coventry, Lord Grosvenor, Lord Grey de Wilton, Lord 
Walter Scott, the Hon. G. Fitzwilliam, Mr. George Lane 
Fox, Mr. Clowes, Mr. W. W. Tailby, Mr. B. J. Angell, 
and Mr. G. Craven ; while the judge was Mr. R. Johnson. 
Four years previously " Fog " Rowlands, as Mr. Fother- 
gill Rowlands, of turf celebrity, was commonly called, 



MR. CLOWES 289 

tried to inaugurate a similar contest in the Market Har- 
borough country, but met with scant support, chiefly, it 
is supposed, because of the objection entertained to the 
ridge and furrow which abounded in that district. On 
this occasion, however, the matter came off. A horse 
called Cooksboro' was first past the post, but there 
was an objection (entertained at Epsom) on account of 
Mr. Loton, the rider, not being qualified either as a 
farmer or a gentleman rider, and the race was eventu- 
ally awarded to the Game Chicken, ridden by Captain 
Smith. Cooksboro' came in first by five lengths, Game 
Chicken was a length in advance of Sir Stephen, who 
in turn was four lengths in advance of Crusade ; Tri- 
angle was fifth, and The Miller sixth ; and these were 
all which passed the post out of twenty-eight starters. 
It cannot be said that the Grand National Hunt race 
has maintained its character ; but this is by the way. 

About the same time (April) was recorded the death 
of the last of the four M's — Mr. Maxse — who, together 
with Mr. Moore, Mr. Valentine Maher, and Sir James 
Musgrave, were so long familiar figures with the Ouorn. 
Mr Maxse hunted in the days of Assheton Smith, and 
they were said to be an uncommonly silent pair ; and 
Mr. Maxse, it may be remembered, was limited to a 
pint of port a day by Mr. Smith, the Squire saying that 
if he drank more he would get too fat to ride. 

The results of the season 1863-64 were that the 
Quorn were out eighty days, killed thirty-three brace 
of foxes, and had only one blank clay, which was from 
Bunny, when the weather was something awful. There 
were fifty-six couples of working hounds in kennel, 
and perhaps their best run was one of two hours in 
December, from Grace Dieu, the fox being killed near 
Leake Pit House ; while there was another very good 
forty-five minutes from Walton Thorns to Willoughby 
Gorse. One fox was killed, and the same alternoon 

T 



290 THE QUORN HUNT 

there was a good run from Grimston Gorse to Melton 
Spinney. 

Nothing of much importance appears to have hap- 
pened at the opening of the season 1864-65, but with 
December sport improved, and under Mr. Clowes the 
Ouorn enjoyed a series of good runs in the last month 
of the year. Early in December they had a capital hour 
and twenty minutes from Scraptoft Spinneys, across by 
Glen Gorse, and round by Wigston, hounds killing 
their fox on the Harborough turnpike road ; but this 
run was eclipsed by one which took place a few days 
afterwards from Bunny Woods. Hounds simply raced 
for six miles as far as Hicklin, and then, at a somewhat 
slower pace, hunted their fox on to Clawson Thorns, 
where he managed to get away. In this run Mr. 
Gilmour's horse put its foot in a rabbit-hole, and gave 
its rider a heavy fall, which kept that excellent sports- 
man out of the saddle for some little time. 

Early in the new year frost set in, and what was 
hoped would have been one of the best seasons Leices- 
tershire had known for some time was quite marred by 
the hard ground. 

It was in the year 1865 that the Grand National was 
won by Alcibiade, belonging to Mr. B. J. Angell, con- 
sequently all Leicestershire was in a state of rejoicing. 
Mr. Coventry rode the horse, and it was said that he, 
Mr. Angell, Captain Coventry, and two others divided 
something like ,£30,000 between them over the event ; 
the sporting Leicestershire folk were additionally glad of 
the victory, because the rider of Alcibiade took his first 
lessons in horsemanship in the neighbourhood of Melton. 

In January 1866 Mr. Clowes had a somewhat novel 
experience. The hounds were hunting in the neighbour- 
hood of Nether Broughton, and on reaching a wheat 
field belonging to a farmer named Brett, the master 
and his followers were somewhat astonished to find 



MR. CLOWES 291 

their progress barred. A body of labourers armed with 
sticks were drawn up in front of the field, while the 
farmer briefly explained that he did not mean to have 
his crops destroyed. The impromptu army under Mr. 
Brett's command brandished their sticks, and effectu- 
ally kept both the hounds and field from crossing his 
property. So Mr. Clowes accepted the situation, and 
went home. 

At the beginning of the season 1865-66 the master 
expressed his intention of resigning, and in January 
1866 the sale of the hounds in April was announced. 
Then people began to wonder how they could keep Mr. 
Clowes in office, and on being approached, he was half 
inclined to say that he would continue to hunt, provided 
the subscriptions were paid, and a reasonable sum was 
given to him to carry on the hounds. Early in March a 
meeting, however, was held at the Bell Hotel, Leicester- 
shire, to make some arrangements for the future hunting 
of the country, in consequence of Mr. Clowes's announced 
intention of giving up the hounds. Mr. Herrick was in 
the chair, while Lord Wilton, Sir Frederick Fowke, 
Mr Little Gilmour, Mr. Heygate, Mr. Clowes, Mr. 
Charlton, and Mr. Ernest Chaplin were among those 
present. Not for the first time was the proposal made 
(on this occasion by Lord Wilton) that a committee 
should be appointed for managing the rented coverts ; 
but perhaps the best history of Mr. Clowes's resignation 
comes from his own lips. Early in July the ex-master 
was entertained at dinner, and was presented with a 
testimonial, and in returning thanks for the toast of his 
health, he gave a succinct account of what had led up to 
the crisis : — 

Before Lord Stamford gave up the country, the then committee 
had ceased to pay any attention to business ; they were in debt, 
and not being able to obtain subscriptions to pay for the coverts, 
they were obliged to represent the actual condition of things to 



292 THE QUORN HUNT 

Lord Stamford, and it was no wonder his lordship said he should 
retire at the termination of the season. He (Mr. Clowes) then 
tried hard all the winter, and became tired of making the neces- 
sary efforts ; he could not obtain a committee ; so he took upon 
himself to rent the coverts. The season being over, he inquired 
of Lord Stamford if he were going on again, and on receiving an 
affirmative reply, Mr. Clowes again undertook the coverts. The 
next season saw the actual retirement of Lord Stamford, the 
committee were again placed in their old position, and then Mr. 
Clowes offered to get a pack of hounds, and hunt the country in 
the best manner he could, if ^1600 a year could be raised. The 
ex-master then went on to say that he had carried on the country 
for the last three years, but now they were in a mess again, and 
he proceeded to explain why he relinquished the mastership. He 
had thought that if he had so much in the shape of a subscription, 
he could manage the remainder without its proving detrimental to 
his private property, or without its taking more of his income than 
he ought to spend on any one amusement ; but, on looking closely 
into matters, he discovered that the mastership was costing him 
more than he should expend on such an object, and he determined 
to resign. It was, however, a mistake to suppose he had not been 
properly supported. In the first year he received nearly -£2000, 
and in the next he found himself a little short; but then it 
must be understood that there was no one to collect the subscrip- 
tions, and, independently of taking charge of the hounds, he had 
had all the business of the management of the country thrown 
upon him. He, however, had a full knowledge of the difficulties 
to be gone through to obtain subscriptions when he took office ; 
but the expense had become too much for him, and the bother 
of the country and the coverts was too much for any one man 
to cope with. No blame attached to anybody, for he took 
the country as he found it, but discovered it was too much for 
him. It had been insinuated in some quarters that he had been 
badly used; but, with the single exception of a half-witted fellow 
who lived in the forest, he had always been treated well by 
everybody. 1 

1 In January of 1803, just before Lord Stamford's period of mastership 
came to an end, and about the time that Mr. Clowes made his offer to hunt 
the country, Mr. W. U. Heygate, M.P., offered to issue some circulars with 
the idea of urging hunting men to contribute to the Hunt funds, so as to 
satisfy Mr. Clowes's remarkably modest requirements. Thereupon "An Old 
Fox-hunter" wrote to the Leicester Journal (16th January 1863) to "plead 



MR. CLOWES 



293 



Mr. Clowes's hounds were sold at the Quorn kennels, 
early in April 1866, by Messrs. Tattersall, and fifty- 
seven couples were put up. Lots 1-14 consisted of 
four couples each, and lot 15 of three couples; while 
there were six lots of young hounds ; and the total sum 
realised was 1401 guineas. 

the cause of the old Quorn hounds." In his most sensible letter he remarked : 
" It is well known that the strangers to the country, who annually fill Melton) 
&c, would, regardless of past traditions, gladly see the old Quorn country 
broken up in a manner more convenient for themselves ; and it is said that 
this district, spoilt by the liberality of the present and past masters of the 
Quorn, is actually unable to raise an adequate subscription for itself. . . . 
There are many whose hands the circular (Mr. Heygate's) will never reach, 
and who are yet most interested in the maintenance, not only of hounds, but 
of the present mode of hunting the old Quorn country. Let me appeal to 
these, and to all who cling to past associations, to lose no time in announcing 
their wishes, and, let me also add, their contributions." 




294 THE QUORN HUNT 



MARQUIS OF HASTINGS 

1866-1868 

WHAT the country intended to do with respect to 
a new master does not appear to be very clear. 
Nobody appears to have offered himself for the post, nor 
do the committee seem to have made any effort to dis- 
cover any one who would be willing to fill the vacancy 
caused by the retirement of Mr. Clowes, but at the sale 
of that gentleman's hounds it was discovered that the 
Marquis of Hastings, whose name was well known in 
connection with the turf, had bought something like 
twenty-eight couples of the best hounds. It was said 
that he bought the nucleus of his pack a good deal better 
than he expected, as it was reported that he had given 
Mr. Storey, who was present at the sale on his behalf, a 
commission not to go over a hundred guineas a couple. 
But it appears that he was not called upon to pay anything 
like that sum. Lord Curzon and Captain Anstruther 
Thomson bought a lot apiece. The late Lord (then 
the Hon. R. C.) Hill bought some for Shropshire, and 
some went to the Albrighton country. The Marquis of 
Hastings at any rate secured a sufficient number to start 
hunting with ; and so eager was he to begin his duties as 
M.F. H. that he had Macbride and the hounds out at 
Grace Dieu on the Forest on the morning after the sale, 
and finding a fox had a capital twenty-five minutes with 
him, eventually rolling over the fox in the open. The 
new master was also a purchaser of some of Mr. Drake's 
hounds, while he drew as well upon the Bedale and South 



MARQUIS OF HASTINGS 295 

and West Wilts kennels. Between the Marquis of Hast- 
ings and Mr. Tailby the arrangement was that the former 
should hunt the country west of the river Wreake, 
and that he should also include the old Donington 
country. For some time there had been a difficulty in 
connection with Walton Thorns, a covert which, since 
the doing away with Munday's Gorse, had never main- 
tained its previous reputation. It would appear that 
Lord Archibald St. Maur, having some shooting in the 
vicinity of Walton Thorns, was desirous of renting 
that covert and some land near it. Lord Archibald 
declared that if he obtained the shooting he would pre- 
serve loxes ; but that if he were denied he would kill 
every fox coming on to his land adjoining the covert. 
Meantime the owner of the covert declined to let the 
right of shooting, and so the matter stood for a long 
time. Who the owner or occupier of Walton Thorns 
was at this time I do not know, but it is on record that 

At Walton Thorns there were plenty of foxes, and the farmer's 
wife informed the gentlemen who partook of her bread and cheese 
that she had been a fox-hunter for four-and-forty years, and had 
given luncheon to fifteen masters of the Quorn. 1 As for the cubs, 
she said they might eat everything off the farm rather than she 
would have them touched, and she dashed into the rides with her 
gown up to her armpits when the hounds were drawing to watch 
the " new man " (presumably Charles Pike, a good man in all 
respects, who remained one season only with the Marquis of 
Hastings), and to see that her darlings enjoyed fair play at his 
hands. 

Hunting runs rather than brilliant bursts appear to 
have characterised the Marquis of Hastings' first season. 

1 Ranking the Marquis of Hastings as one of the fifteen, the old lady's 
hospitality must have extended back to Mr. Assheton Smith, if we regard 
Mr. Osbaldeston as two masters by virtue of his having been master twice. 
If he be regarded as one master only, the fifteenth would be Lord Foley, 
who gave up in 1807. Forty-four years back from 1867, however, would 
only carry us back to 1823, the year in which the Squire entered upon his 
second mastership of the Quorn. 



296 THE QUORN HUNT 

In December 1866 the hounds were sometimes out five 
days a week, and in one week three of the days were on 
the Donington side. 

On Monday the 24th December there was found a fox which ran 
to Belvoir; on Tuesday they were running "all day and part of 
the night " in the Donington country ; on the Wednesday they had 
what was up to that date the run of the season. An outlying fox 
found in a field near Breedon Clouds ran thence to Congerston 
Gorse, near Gopsall, the line being over the Atherstone country. 
On Thursday Lord Stamford's woods near Bradgate gave the 
hounds a fox which was not pulled down till he had stood before 
them for upwards of two hours ; then came an evening gallop, and 
there was at any rate decent sport on the Friday. On the nth 
January (Friday) 1867 a hard frost threatened to stop hunting, 
but after waiting for some time a beginning was made, and after 
Gartree Hill had been drawn blank some one turned down a bag 
fox near Sir F. Burdett's covert, so the master caused the hounds 
to be stopped and taken away to Thorpe Trussells. A fox was 
soon found near the road, and hounds ran him at quite a fair pace 
towards Great Dalby, and then to the right undei Burrough Hill, 
leaving the village on the left. A second fox which was viewed 
running parallel to the line of the first might have complicated 
matters somewhat, but the pack stuck to the line of the hunted 
fox. Leaving Twyford on the right the brook came in sight, and 
as hounds were then running at a good pace, a few only cared to 
turn away for the bridge ; but the water claimed several victims, 
while those who did get across were not very well pleased at dis- 
covering that the fox had gone back, so that the brook had to be 
jumped again. Eventually, after running near Lowesby (Mr. Tailby 
leading the way), up the Newton Hills, to the left of the Coplow 
and Billesdon, hounds ran tolerably fast to Skeffington, nearly up 
to Mr. Tailby 's house; the fox was killed in the kitchen garden at 
Loddington Hall, after a run of an hour and forty minutes. 

In February 1867 the first whipper-in (Philip Tocock) 
had to go home in consequence of a bad fall, and was 
not out again for a week. On the first day on which 
he was able to appear, Stephen Winkworth, the second 
whipper-in, broke his collar-bone, and then during March 



MARQUIS OF HASTINGS 297 

there was so much frost, accompanied by easterly winds, 
that hunting was a orood deal interfered with. 

On February 4th the Belvoir met at Hose Grange, 
and finding in the gorse, enjoyed a capital twenty 
minutes' gallop wherewith to begin the day. Near 
to the New Covert the Ouorn, who had brought a 
fox from Lodge-on-the- Wolds, were in sight, but they, 
on seeing the Belvoir, retired within their own boun- 
daries. The Belvoir found their next fox at the Old 
Hills, and getting well away drove him past Scalford ; 
but after running for about a quarter of an hour they 
again met the Ouorn, who had run a fox from Grimston 
Gorse, and by some accident the two lines crossed, both 
packs getting on to the same fox, and for ten minutes 
they ran hard in the direction of Piper Hole, killing their 
fox by Goadby Fishpond. Both huntsmen of course 
claimed the fox, but one of the Belvoir whippers-in was 
the first to handle him ; the joint packs then broke him 
up, and separated for home. 

On the 1 6th of that month the Belvoir and Mr. 
Tailby's were close to one another, but did not clash ; 
on this occasion neither huntsman brought his fox to 
hand. 

The run of the season 1866-67, however, may be 
said to have taken place on the 6th April, when the 
Ouorn met at Wimeswold. 

Willoughby Gorse and some of the Widmerpool coverts were 
blank, and it was not until the afternoon that the field found them- 
selves at Walton Thorns (a covert above alluded to in connection 
with Lord Archibald St. Maur's shooting). In the Thorns, how- 
ever, they found a bob-tailed fox which had already twice tried 
conclusions with Pike, the huntsman, and his hounds, and away 
this fox went in the direction of Seagrave. At a merry pace the 
hounds ran on nearly to Cossington Gorse ; then turning to the 
left and running by Thrussington, Hoby, Asfordby, and then 
some distance further on, the fox was rolled over close to Old 
Hills in the Belvoir country. The distance from point to point 



298 THE QUORN HUNT 

was called over nine miles, while hounds are said to have run 
about fourteen ; but there is probably a mistake somewhere, 
seeing that the time is given as an hour and ten minutes only. 
From start to finish the hounds were never once cast or interfered 
with, and as the run lay over a stiff line, falls were numerous ; 
but happily there was but one accident, and that happened to 
Captain King, who broke his collar-bone. 

Towards the close of the season 1866-67, while the 
weather was very wet, the Quorn had a somewhat 
notable run. On Monday the nth February 1867 tne 
hounds met at Six Hills. 

They first drew Cossington Gorse, where they found at once, 
the fox, after showing himself once or twice, going away in view 
of most of the field. The hounds were not far behind him ; and 
in the direction of Thrussington and Hoby they ran nicely for 
about fifteen minutes, when they checked ; but, hitting off the line 
by themselves, ran rather slower than at first almost to Schoby 
Scholes, where they checked again. A countryman, however, had 
viewed the fox into the gorse, whence the hounds soon forced him, 
but whether he was the hunted fox is uncertain. At any rate 
hounds drove along to Grimston Gorse, through it, and then over 
the well-known line by Wartnaby Stone-pits and Little Belvoir. 
On more than one occasion the chances of a run were in danger 
of being spoiled through fresh foxes jumping up ; but Pike held 
his hounds to the hunted fox past Holwell Mouth and Clawson 
Thorns, along the hillside through the Piper Hole Gorses nearly 
to Strattern Point. There the fox, quite beat, lay down, and was 
run into after a good hunting run of about a couple of hours. It 
was tolerably straight, and perhaps about fourteen miles from 
point to point. 1 

In June 1867, and consequently during the master- 
ship of the Marquis of Hastings, a horse and hound 
show was held at Bingley Hall, Birmingham. Some 
roomy temporary kennels had been put up for the 
hounds, and the judging-ring, about 40 by 30 feet, was 
boarded instead of flagged. The judges were Mr. 

1 Sir Richard Sutton had a somewhat similar run ; but his fox, which was 
killed at Denton, took him rather more to the right. 



MARQUIS OF HASTINGS 299 

Cornelius Tongue, who wrote as " Cecil," and John 
Walker, who had left Sir Watkin Wynn two years 
previously ; and they gave first prize to three couples 
of the Ouorn bitches — 

Dainty, 5 years, by Quorn Albert — Ouorn Dainty ; Harriet 
and Heroine, 4 years, by Worcestershire Sportsman — Quorn 
Honesty ; Needful, 3 years, by Drake's Castor — his Needful ; 
Music, 3 years, by Quorn Marmion — Quorn Niobe ; Violet, by 
Lord Yarborough's Freeman — his Violet. 

I have found a note about this show to the effect 
that the Quorn three couples were " a nice level lot, 
without any pretensions to extraordinary symmetry." 
To-day they would perhaps hardly be up to Peter- 
borough form. 

This Birmingham hound-show appears to have been 
conducted upon altogether new lines. Some clever 
person took it into his head that the public would be 
attracted and amused if all the hounds were mixed up 
together into one big pack, and paraded in the ring by 
a huntsman and two whippers-in, mounted on horses 
which had taken prizes ; and, strangely enough, this 
queer suggestion commended itself to the executive. To 
the huntsman of the Quorn fell the dubious honour of 
playing the principal part in this comedy. He by no 
means appreciated the distinction, for he was perfectly 
well aware that a show-hunter was not synonymous with 
a hunter warranted not to kick hounds, and knew that in 
the event of his mount kicking, one of his own hounds 
would be the probable victim, as they would actually be 
nearest to him. Shortly before the parade the hounds 
were fed to order of the authorities — the reader may 
guess the sequel : the arena was promptly cleared. 

The Marquis of Hastings' second and last season 
was not productive of good sport. Pike, who had 
proved himself a very capable huntsman in 1866-67, 



300 THE QUORN HUNT 

left, and was replaced by Thomas Wilson ; while both 
whippers-in were changed. In the autumn of 1867 the 
Marquis of Hastings removed the kennels to Donington 
for reasons which no doubt seemed good to him, but 
which were not quite understood by the Quorn hunting- 
men. 

In December 1867, after some bad weather, the 
hounds met at Barkby, and found in the Holt after 
being for a long time in covert. The fox went away at 
the lower side, and after the hounds had been running 
for about five minutes, Lord Charles Ker broke his leg 
through his horse falling in a lane ; while only a little 
further on the second whipper-in was considerably in- 
jured by his horse falling with him, neither accident 
having occurred at a fence. Barkby Holt, indeed, es- 
tablished a character for being unlucky, as during the 
season two more good sportsmen broke their legs near 
this covert. 

About Christmas time it became known that the 
Marquis of Hastings would give up the country at the 
end of the season. So many lives of the marquis have 
been written at different times, and he has been the 
subject of so much blame and obloquy, that one naturally 
is unwilling to add to the disparaging remarks already 
made ; but in attempting an outline history of the 
famous Ouorn Hunt it is impossible to avoid saying 
that as a master he was not a success. He had no real 
love for hunting, and he was busied with racing- matters. 
Punctuality, alas ! he never thought of, and it was no 
uncommon occurrence for him to keep the field waiting 
an unconscionable time before he arrived, and then 
he would often leave the hounds early to go off to some 
race-meeting. 

On one occasion Mr. Sothern, the actor, who when 
playing at Birmingham never missed an opportunity of 
hunting with any pack within reach, once took a horse 



MARQUIS OF HASTINGS 301 

down from London to have a day with the Marquis of 
Hastings. The advertised time (it was late in March) was 
twelve o'clock, but the master did not reach the covert- 
side until after one o'clock ; and then he and some friends 
went inside Barkby Hall, where they remained until half- 
past. This delay of course cut the day very short, and 
after a fox had been found at Barkby Holt, and had run 
by South Croxton to Baggrave, Mr. Sothern had to 
leave the hounds in order to catch the train at Leicester, 
to reach London in time to appear the same evening at 
the Haymarket. He was greatly annoyed at obtaining 
so little fun for his money ; but these long waits were 
unfortunately too common. 

On the Marquis of Hastings giving up the country, 
the hounds and horses were sold at the kennels on the 
2nd May 1868. Masters of hounds were well repre- 
sented, Lord Coventry, Lord Rendlesham, Lord Henry 
Bentinck, Lord Macclesfield, Colonel Anstruther Thom- 
son, Mr. Hugo Meynell Ingram, Mr. Harvey Bayly, 
Mr. Drake, Colonel Jardine (from Forfarshire), Messrs. 
Vernon, Allsopp, Mr. Francklin (who laid the foundation 
of his new pack), the Hon. R. Nevill, and Mr. Henley 
Greaves being among those present, and some of them 
bought either hounds or horses. Among the assembly 
of huntsmen was old Tom Day, who was still living at 
Quorn, and who informed his friends that this was the 
seventh sale of the Ouorn hounds at which he had 
been present ; so often had they been dispersed. In the 
paddock adjoining the kennels a rostrum was erected for 
Mr. Pain of Tattersall's, who conducted the sale. The 
Marquis and Marchioness of Hastings were present, and 
the hounds, which were sold in thirty lots, realised 1057 
guineas, twenty-nine hunters bringing 3098 guineas. 



302 THE QUORN HUNT 



MR. JOHN CHAWORTH MUSTERS 

1868-1870 

AT the time of the Marquis of Hastings giving up 
the Ouorn hounds, which was by no means an 
unexpected event, Mr. J. C. Musters (grandson of the 
famous Jack Musters) was hunting the South Notts 
country, of which two members of his family had already 
been masters. He in fact resuscitated the old South 
Notts country, and laid the foundation of his pack with 
four couples of Mr. Drake's hounds, for which he gave 
220 guineas. He obtained some other drafts from other 
good kennels, and appointed Ben Boothroyd as kennel 
huntsman. Then in 1868 he handed over the South 
Notts country to Mr. Francklin, and when the Ouorn 
were in rather a difficulty for a new master, he stepped 
forward and became the Marquis of Hastings' successor, 
bringing with him a very excellent and clever pack of 
hounds ; and, what is more, he took the expensive 
Leicestershire country without a subscription. 

Mr. Musters was born in 1838, and on leaving Eton 
went to Christ Church, Oxford, where in 1857 he began 
to keep a pack of beagles and hunted with the Bicester. 
He left Oxford early and then took to hunting his own 
country, his first hounds being bought of Mr. Ambrose 
Philips. He killed his first fox on November 30, 1861, 
after a good forty minutes' run, near his own residence, 
Annesley Park. 

Mr. Musters had scarcely settled down in his new 
position ere he lost his first whipper-in through a some- 



MR. JOHN CHAWORTH MUSTERS 303 

what curious accident. He and Frank Gillard, who came 
with him from South Notts, divided the hunting between 
them at Ouorn, and on one day Gillard took the young 
hounds into Garendon Park for the purpose of making 
them steady from deer. When returning over the park 
on the way home, Roger Onions, the first whipper-in, 
saw a lame deer, towards which the hounds were trotted. 
When the pack approached it, Onions started at a canter 
in order to turn the deer in front of the hounds. Un- 
luckily, however, his horse and the deer came into 
collision, and he thereupon fell to the ground. He was 
rescued as soon as possible, but died within ten hours of 
the accident, without ever again becomina- conscious, and 
what made matters all the worse was that he left a young 
widow and three children totally unprovided for. A 
subscription was at once set on foot for the benefit of 
his family, and Mr. Musters headed the list with a ten- 
pound donation. At the inquest Gillard stated that, 
seeing the deer and the horse were likely to collide, he 
called to Onions to stop, but the deceased did not appear 
to hear him. After the fall the deer got up and ran 
away, but the whipper-in was left on the ground with 
his left leg under the horse for a few seconds. On the 
horse getting up, the unfortunate man's foot remaining 
in the stirrup, he was dragged, but only for a few yards. 
On being liberated he was raised up, but was insensible, 
and he died about six o'clock in the evening. A verdict 
of accidental death was returned. John Goddard, jun., 
was second whipper-in at the time. 

It cannot be said that Mr. Musters's first season 
opened very joyously, for in November his predecessor, 
the Marquis of Hastings, died, and about the same time 
Lord Somerville was killed while hunting with Mr. 
Tailby. 

Contrary to general custom, politics about this time 
found their way into the hunting-field. Mr. Clowes, 



304 THE QUORN HUNT 

who had been master before Lord Hastings, courted the 
suffrages of the voters of North Leicestershire as their 
member, whereupon his opponent, Mr. C. H. Frewen, 
wrote a letter to the Duke of Rutland to the effect that it 
was always best to be straightforward in all matters, and 
he added : — 

I do not think that Mr. Clowes's prospects of success in North 
Leicestershire are very encouraging, but there is a decided feeling 
with many that if he should be dragged in to represent the fox- 
hunting interest, why, then the sooner fox-hunting is put an end 
to the better ; and if it should so happen that he gets in, some of 
us intend to do our best to clear the country of foxes, which can 
very easily be done. When poor men have been turned out of 
their land because they dared to vote for me in 1865, we shall be 
quite justified in taking this course. A gentleman of large landed 
property in the county said to me only on Saturday "that it was 
monstrous bringing forward a man who had no property in the 
county, and who had only been here a few years as a fox-hunter, 
and who was shortly going to leave the county." 

I have written in the same tone to Mr. Tailby and Colonel 
Lowther, in order that they may know what our intentions are ; 
and if such a state of things should be brought about, the fox- 
hunters will then have nothing to complain of, as they will have 
been informed beforehand what our intentions were. 

(Signed) C. H. FREWEN. 

If there was any great difference in our political opinions, or if 
Mr. Clowes was an owner of property in the county, things would 
be very different. The Conservatives in this county have lost 
two seats through their own foolish conduct — the Borough of 
Leicester and South Leicestershire — both of which they had pre- 
vious to the election in 1865, and if they lose any more seats they 
will onlv have to thank themselves for it. 

To this the duke returned an answer that he failed 
to see what possible bearing the return of either Mr. 
Frewen or Mr. Clowes would have on the subject of 
hunting, while he further challenged Mr. Frewen's state- 
ment that poor men had been turned out of their homes 




THE MEETING. — KIRBY GATE. DRAWN BY H. ALKEN. 




Holt. Quonhv H.itl. 



BREAKING COVER. — BILLESDON COPLOW. DRAWN BY H. ALKEN. 



MR. JOHN CHAWORTH MUSTERS 305 

because on a previous occasion they had voted for him 
(Mr. Frewen). The duke added that he should very- 
much like to have the name and address of any person 
who had been so treated. 

Frank Gillard, who hunted for him (Mr. Musters) in 
Leicestershire, and afterwards became the famous hunts- 
man of the Belvoir, had a long career with hounds. 1 

Mr. Musters's first season chanced to be a very good 
scenting one, consequently a great deal of excellent sport 
was enjoyed. 

Mr. Storey of Lockington, when the subject of the 
Quorn sport was raised, used chaffingly to say that if 
Mr. Musters could not show sport he did not know who 
could, seeing that he had three huntsmen on his establish- 
ment ; he himself was one, Frank Gillard was another, 
and John Machin, 2 who had formerly hunted the Rufford, 

1 In 1857 he was huntsman and whipper-in to Captain Willett's harriers, 
the captain hunting a country round Monkleigh, in North Devon ; but after 
two years' experience of hare-hunting (that is to say, in 1859) he became 
second whip to the Hon. Mark Rolle, and then came to the Belvoir as second 
whipper-in. In 1863 he became first whipper-in, James Cooper being the 
huntsman, and in 1867 Gillard left Rutlandshire to go to Mr. Musters, who 
was then hunting the South Notts country, succeeding Ben Boothroyd as 
first whipper-in and kennel huntsman. When Mr. Musters took the Quorn 
in 1868, Gillard went with him, and hunted the bitch pack two days a week 
on the Melton side, the master taking the forest side on the other two days 
with the dog hounds. Gillard then hunted for a short time under Mr. Coup- 
land, but almost before he had settled down the Belvoir were in want of a 
huntsman, so the Duke of Rutland offered him the place, as he had made 
his mark when whipping-in to that pack. There was necessarily some 
difficulty about terminating his engagement with Mr. Coupland, but that 
gentleman, on being appealed to by the duke, at once released Gillard, who 
hunted the pack from that time down to 1896, when Sir Gilbert Greenall 
became master, and engaged Ben Capell, from the Blankney, as huntsman. 

2 John Machin, in his best days a first-class horseman, went in 1861 to 
the Rufford as first whipper-in, and he subsequently became huntsman ; 
but leaving there in 1868 he was first whipper-in to the Quorn under Mr. 
Musters, and there he stayed two seasons, his successor being Thomas 
Wiggins. His next place was as huntsman to the Ticklam foxhounds up 
to 1872, from which date he discharged the same duty in connection with 
the Pytchley for three years. Machin then set up as a horse-breaker, and 
for a time was very successful, for he had a good stock of patience and fine 
hands. The year 1878 saw him again with hounds — as huntsman to the 

U 



306 THE QUORN HUNT 

was first whipper-in, while John Goddard, after hunting 
the Ouorn and Mr. Tailby's hounds, engaged himself 
to Mr. Musters as stud-groom ; so there was certainly 
plenty of science and talent in the kennel. 1 

At that time there was no better hunting man in 
Leicestershire than Lord Wilton, and towards the end 
of Mr. Musters's first season, that is to say, in March 
1869, Lord Wilton, while hunting with the Belvoir, 
rode at a small fence, and his horse overjumping himself 
came down, and rising at once ran down a steep bank. 
His rider, who had not lost his seat, though he was 
minus a stirrup, did his best to steady his hunter, but 
he overbalanced himself and came down very heavily 
upon the ground, breaking his left arm, and also a 
rib. This unfortunate contretemps to one of the best 
horsemen in Leicestershire naturally cast something 
of a gloom over Melton Mowbray and its neighbour- 
hood. 

Taking the season through, it was felt that in the 
hands of Mr. Musters much had been accomplished to 

Lamerton hounds. On a change of mastership taking place Machin left, 
and once more devoted himself to horse-breaking until 1885, when he was 
made huntsman to the Anglesey harriers ; but sustaining a bad fall in his 
third season, he injured his spine ; his brain became affected, and he died 
in an asylum after a year's confinement therein. 

1 John Goddard began his hunting career as second whipper-in to the 
Heythrop under Jem Hills when Lord Redesdale was the ruling spirit of 
the Hunt, which has for so many years been in the able hands of Mr. Albert 
Brassey. In 185 1 he became landlord of the White Hart, Chipping Norton, 
but after a five years' tenure he left that house, and went to hunt the Shrop- 
shire for one season under Mr. Morris, and then he was engaged by Mr. 
Tailby, whom he served for seven seasons. Leaving that gentleman in 1863, 
he hunted the Quorn for three years under Mr. Clowes, and after one season 
with the Hon. W. H. J. North (afterwards Lord North), of the Bicester, he 
gave up hunting in consequence of the hold rheumatism had of him. He 
then, as above mentioned, became stud-groom to Mr. Musters, and no man 
could have been better fitted for the post, as he was a brilliant horse- 
man, a capital stableman, and was possessed of a good deal of veterinary 
knowledge. When Mr. Musters gave up his hounds, John Goddard, who 
had three sons who served with hounds, went into retirement, living at 
Lowdham, near Nottingham, where he died rather suddenly on the 14th 
August 1880. 



MR. JOHN CHAWORTH MUSTERS 307 

efface the memory of the past two seasons. Mr. Musters 
was nothing if not thorough, and in place of the very 
casual system which had been in vogue in the late 
marquis's time, punctuality, order, and strict attention 
to detail reigned supreme ; while those who had been 
accustomed to ride rough-shod over the hounds, and 
do all manner of things that they ought not to do, 
were very much kept in order by Mr. Musters, who 
never hesitated when necessary to strongly enforce his 
claims. 

Mr. Ernest Chaplin, of Brooksby Hall, assisted by 
a practical farmer, Mr. Thomas Wright, managed the 
coverts, so it was no wonder that matters in connection 
with the Ouorn Hunt showed a great improvement. 
There were, of course, some bad days ; but as a kind 
of foretaste of what was to come, the Ouorn had a really 
brilliant run during cub-hunting from Crosley Spinneys, 
a place not far from Leicester. Hounds ran hard by 
the town, and killed near Glenfield. The first twenty 
minutes was at racing pace, and then came rather steady 
hunting to the finish of the run. Since then many good 
runs were brought off, and the Melton brigade made 
no complaint, while the Market Harborough division 
took every opportunity of joining Mr. Musters, to par- 
ticipate in the many good things which came off. The 
November of 1868 brought with it a lack of scent, but 
in December things improved, and several good runs 
came off. 

Although Mr. Musters rode between seventeen and 
eighteen stone, his weight never stopped him, for he 
rode well up to his hounds, while Lord Wilton (then 
nearly seventy years of age) went most brilliantly all the 
season through up to the time of his accident. Mr. 
Burbidge, too, another veteran, was always prominent 
in every good run, and Lord Calthorpe, Lord Royston, 
Sir Frederick Johnstone, and Mr. Chaplin, one and all 



308 THE QUORN HUNT 

served to keep up the reputation of Leicestershire as 
the home of hard riders. 

Melton itself was extremely full of visitors, and the 
principal studs were very strong ; but, as a chronicler 
of the time wrote — 

A swell of the first water at Melton is not supposed to know 
how many horses he possesses. There were, however, about 
twenty-five to the credit of Lord Wilton, Mr. Little Gilmour 
owned half a score, Mr. Crawfurd sixteen, Messrs. Behrens 
thirty-five, Messrs. Coupland twenty-five, Major Paynter ten, Mr. 
Westley Richards thirty, Sir Frederick Johnstone twenty, Lord 
Calthorpe sixteen, and Lord Royston thirteen, besides many 
others which fall just short of double figures. 

But in spite of all this preparation for the chase 
there was a scarcity of foxes in some places. 

A pleasant incident of the opening day of Mr. 
Musters 's second season at Kirby Gate was the presenta- 
tion to him of a whip, on the part of the earth-stoppers 
of his country, in acknowledgment of his liberal treat- 
ment of them. Sport was rather poor, but the good- 
will of the earth-stoppers was worth a great deal. The 
reason given for the scarcity of foxes was the increase 
of game-preserving in the country, and on Charnwood 
Forest especially. The fox-preserving question was 
evidently a serious one, for in December 1869 a meet- 
ing of the members of the Ouorn Hunt was held at 
the County Club at Leicester, Mr. Clowes (then M.P.) 
in the chair. After passing a cordial vote of thanks to 
Mr. Musters for the manner in which he hunted the 
country, it was determined that every effort should be 
made to induce the owners and occupiers of land and 
coverts to preserve foxes, and, while they were about 
it, to take down the wire which in some parts of the 
country was such an annoyance. 

Among the May meetings which took place in 1869 



MR. JOHN CHAWORTH MUSTERS 309 

Was one of the London Farmers' Club, when a paper 
Was read on the use and abuse of fox-hunting, by the 
Rev. E. Smithies, of Hathern Rectory. 

He occupied, he said, about three hundred acres of land, a 
large portion of which ran by one of the best coverts of the Quorn 
Hunt. Hounds often met at this place, found a fox three times 
out of four, and invariably crossed his land. He frequently, 
therefore, had the pleasure of seeing three hundred or six hundred 
persons ride across the ploughed fields, and no matter whether 
the crops were wheat, clover, or peas, away they went, all up 
wind, and he confessed that he frequently stood by with very 
mixed feelings on the national pastime. The country gentleman 
who had a stake in the country went over the grass ; he was gene- 
rally a good sportsman, and did comparatively little injury; but 
the rich brewer from Melton, the cotton lord from Manchester, 
the cloth lord from Leeds, and the iron lord from Wolverhampton, 
these were the men who did not care what injury they did. He 
said he knew opinions were divided as to whether crops suffered 
from being ridden over, but he was inclined to think that those 
who were of opinion that no harm was done farmed light land, 
and those who came to the opposite conclusion farmed heavy clay 
land. He said that he was able to show in two or three of his 
fields of wheat at least a thousand prints of horses' hoofs, and 
he would almost go so far as to say he would offer any gentleman 
who thought no injury was done thereby a sovereign for every 
blade he could find in the footprints. If, however, it was really 
a good thing to have one's crops ridden over he would rather ride 
over his own, so that he could do it regularly. 

There is nothing new under the sun ; for the argu- 
ments which are advanced against hunting to-day were 
used upwards of a hundred years ago. 

The mastership, however, which began amidst such 
pleasant promises was soon destined to come to an end. 
Towards the close of his second season Mr. Musters's 
health showed signs of giving way, while at the same 
time the strain upon his purse was greater than he could 
afford. Like the good sportsman he was, he could never 
bring himself to hunt the Quorn country in parsimonious 



310 THE QUORN HUNT 

fashion, and so when he found that his health and his 
purse were alike unequal to the demands made upon 
them respectively, he had no alternative but to announce 
his determination to resign, intelligence, it is needless 
to say, which was received with extreme regret, and 
the country at once hoped that he would reconsider 
his decision and accept a subscription. This, however, 
he did not see his way to do, at least not to the full 
extent to which his followers wished, but he made a 
proposal to which reference will be made in the next 
chapter. 

During the season 1869-70 the Ouorn hunted 105 
days, and managed to kill 43 brace of foxes and run 18A 
brace to ground, the kennels' strength being 37 i couples 
of working hounds. The sport on the opening day was 
not of much account, and it was not until the end of 
November that a really good day fell to their lot. On 
the 22nd of that month hounds had a good run in the 
morning from Ashby Pasture, and a second fox from 
Thorpe Trussels, after running a ring nearly to Gaddesby, 
turned to the left and ran in a straight line until hounds 
were whipped off in the dark. They had previously 
enjoyed a very good day in Donington Park, finding 
in the home coverts, and killing their fox, after a very 
fast thirty-five minutes, in the open near Kegworth, 
while other good runs came with tolerable frequency 
afterwards. 

Mr. Musters was a most popular master. A staunch 
follower of the Ouorn has left it on record that his 
covert-side greeting was quite sufficient to put a man 
in good humour for the rest of the day, even if no sport 
resulted. Springing, as he did, from a family of sports- 
men, it is but natural that he should have imbibed the 
best traditions, and approached as nearly as any human 
being' could to an ideal master of foxhounds. Nor must 
it be left unsaid that Mrs. Musters in no small degree 



MR. JOHN CHAWORTH MUSTERS 311 

helped to add to the success of her husband's all too 
short reign. Kindly and genial to every one, social life 
flourished under her patronage, and it was with genuine 
regret that the Quorn men bade adieu to Mr. and Mrs. 
Musters. Mrs. Musters, it will be remembered, was the 
compiler of two interesting little volumes of items in 
prose and verse connected with hunting - . 




^#4' 



#•' 






: ^f- jjZ 




CHAPTER XI 

MR. J. COUPLAND (1870-1884) 



3'3 



CHAPTER XI 

MR. J. COUPLAND 

1870-1884 

WHEN Mr. Musters found himself unable any 
longer to carry on the Ouorn Hunt, he made 
overtures to Mr. Coupland that the latter should join 
him as a kind of partner, and see to the hunting of 
the hounds, Mr. Musters, at the same time, agreeing to 
lend his pack to the country. This arrangement was 
virtually carried out during the season of 1870-71, but 
Mr. Coupland was during that time the acknowledged 
master. 

Mr. Coupland came of a Cheshire family, and was 
born in 1834. Eor about eight years in early life he 
was in India, and while there he established a pack 
of hounds at Bombay. On returning to England he 
hunted from Liverpool with the Cheshire hounds, occa- 
sionally going out with Sir Watkin Wynn's, and this 
strengthened the love for hunting which was always in 
him. John Walker, then Sir Watkin's huntsman, was 
a favourite companion of Mr. Coupland's, and from 
the professional the future master of the Ouorn learned 
many precepts of the chase. 

After having used Mr. Musters's hounds for a year, 
Mr. Coupland bought the Craven pack from Mr. George 
Willes, who had just given up the Berkshire country, 
and concerning the first appearance of these hounds in 

Leicestershire there are two versions. Some aver they 

315 



316 THE QUORN HUNT 

were quite upset by the rush of mounted men when the 
fox was found ; others deny the story. They were well- 
bred and excellent workers, but had been accustomed to 
hunt in a rather cold-scenting plough country, where over- 
riding was not practised. When they came to Leicester- 
shire it took them some time, according to the best 
accounts, to become accustomed to the new surround- 
ings. However, be that as it may, the purchase is a 
notable one, since the hounds which Mr. Coupland then 
bought are really the foundation of those in the Quorn 
kennels at the present day, as never since that time 
has the Quorn pack been dispersed. 

Mr. Coupland, besides being a fine horseman, was 
one of the early members of the Coaching Club, and 
at one time his well-appointed drag was familiar to all 
the habituds of Hyde Park. He was also known in 
connection with steeplechasing : he himself had been 
seen in the saddle at Hoylake, and among other horses 
he owned Staunton, Bannockburn (who beat Brick at 
Birmingham), Round Text, and some others. About 
the year 1867 Mr. Coupland married Mrs. Webster, 
daughter of Sir Henry Calder, and grand-daughter of 
the first Earl of Limerick, and though Mrs. Coupland 
did not ride to hounds very much, she hunted a good 
deal on wheels. 

As already mentioned, Frank Gillard began as 
huntsman, but Mr. Coupland released him in conse- 
quence of the representations of the Duke of Rutland, 
and in his place arrived James Macbride, who came 
from Lord Fitzhardinge. 1 

1 James Macbride, who died in 1886, at the age of fifty-five, whipped in 
to the Quorn from 1863 to 1866, when Mr. Clowes was master ; John Goddard 
was huntsman, and Tom Firr second whip. He was next huntsman to the 
Shropshire, then under Mr. Hill, in 1866, and after three years there he 
went to the Berkeley, on the retirement of Harry Ayris ; and then, after 
one season with Lord Fitzhardinge, came to the Quorn for two seasons in 
succession to Frank Gillard. Leaving the Quorn, he went to the Meath, 



MR. J. COUPLAND 317 

Mr. Musters's horses were brought to the hammer, 
being sold by Messrs. Tattersall in May 1870 ; and thirty- 
one horses fetched 3300 guineas, and four hacks 187 
guineas. The highest price realised was 300 guineas. 

Though in many ways the Ouorn led the fashion 
in hunting, no puppy show was held in connection with 
the pack until the summer of 1870, when, under the 
auspices of Mr. Coupland, the then growing custom 
was followed, and the master presented prizes to the 
farmers who walked the best puppies, and it led to 
very good results. The proposal, however, originally 
came from Mr. Musters. Curiously enough (this is 
stated on the authority of the Leicester Journal, Friday, 
August 12, 1870), from the days of Osbaldeston to 
the date just mentioned, the farmers of Leicestershire 
had never expressed any strong desire to promote the 
sport so many liked by walking puppies, but the hope 
was expressed that they would then be induced to do 
so. The judges on the occasion of the first puppy show 
were John Walker, Frank Goodall, and Tom Firr (the 
present huntsman). Fifteen couples of hounds were put 
forward, and Mr. Peats, of Edwalton, took a cup with 
Flurrier, and Mr. Farthing another with Transit, and 
these puppy shows were held in succeeding years ; while 
in 1873 Mr. Coupland gave the winners the option of 
taking either a cup or a ,£10 note, and the master 
notified that any one who wished to walk a puppy could 
have one by making application to the huntsman at the 
Quorn kennels, but it scarcely appears that he was over- 
whelmed with offers. 

and hunted that pack for four seasons. He next returned to the Shrop- 
shire country, the then master of which was Mr. Hulton Harrop, where he 
remained till that gentleman gave up the country. He was then the reci- 
pient of a testimonial, as well as of a gold watch and a chain, given by the 
master and his wife. Thence he moved into Cheshire, and took service 
with Mr. Corbet as first whip and kennel huntsman ; with him he remained 
till the time of his death. He was a light weight, and a capital horseman. 



3 i8 THE QUORN HUNT 

Leaving the flags for the field, a chronicler of former 
years wrote : — 

To swim the Wreake, where it is no more than twenty or 
thirty feet wide, at the end of a fine run, was sufficient to give 
Lords Brudenell and Gardner a place in the hunting history of 
Leicestershire, which will never be forgotten. In fact, crossing 
a river is so seldom attempted that, with the exception of the 
instance just mentioned, and the occasion when Lord Grey de 
Wilton and Captain Williams swam the Wreake near Asfordby, 
in the days of John Treadwell, who contented himself with 
keeping to dry land, and seeing how they did it, I cannot call 
to mind an instance of crossing deep water. However, some 
days since, when the Quorn met at Lockington, the hounds went 
away with their fox from Bottoms Gorse, and ran across the 
meadows to the Soar, which, always very wide, was swollen 
with recent rains into such a state of flood that many ideas will 
present themselves before that of plunging into it. The hounds, 
however, pressed their fox closely, and with no chance of turning 
he was obliged to take to the water, followed by the pack, who, 
to the astonishment of all, were quickly followed by the young 
Lord Panmure, who plunged boldly in, with a strong stream and 
a good long straight swim before him. Few thought that he would 
survive it, but he did, and landed in safety on the other side, 
after which, as the remainder of the field had to work two miles 
round to a bridge, he had the hounds all to himself, having 
fully deserved the honour, by the almost unexampled pluck he 
displayed. 

Another paper, however, disputes the identity of the 
swimmer, and says that it was the Hon. William E. C. 
Stanhope, son of the Earl of Harrington, who crossed 
the river. Anyhow, history repeats itself, for in Captain 
Pennell-Elmhirst's "Cream of Leicestershire" there is 
an account of how, in 1871, the Quorn hounds met at 
Cossington, and after an hour's run came down to the 
banks of the Wreake, near Thrussington Mill. A great 
deal of rain had fallen, and the river was as yellow as 
the Tiber is supposed to be. Captain Elmhirst says 
that a rider in black plunged into the river, off a perpen- 



MR. J. COUPLAND 319 

dicular bank, and gratefully shook himself on the other 
side ; but the author of the " Cream of Leicestershire " 
does not say who the "gentleman in black" was. It 
may be stated here, however, that this adventurous 
horseman was none other than the gallant captain him- 
self. He, like Lord Panmure or Mr. Stanhope, which- 
ever it was, had the hounds all to himself, while the field 
went to seek for a bridge. The captain swam the river 
by the mill, and terribly frightened the miller, who, 
when asked by some one else, "What did you think of 
the feat, my good miller?" replied, "Why, I just stood 
stock still and never said a word, thinking he would be 
drowned." In the Shropshire country the Severn has 
been swum by more than one person, one of the ad- 
venturous spirits being Sir Richard Green Price, who, 
under the name of " Borderer," is well known to many 
hunting men outside his own country — Shropshire. 

At the end of Mr. Coupland's first season he began 
the practice, which he subsequently continued, of selling 
his horses at the end of each season. His first sale 
took place in May 1871, and the horses were voted an 
exceedingly workmanlike lot. Indeed, Mr. Coupland 
said that half of the stud was too good for the forest 
work. Some of the horses went cheaply enough, but 
the highest price was 300 guineas, thirty-five hunters 
and four hacks being sold for a total of 4300 guineas. 

Just before the sale took place the Ouorn had a very 
oood run with a fox, which led them into the Belvoir 
country, and when the Duke of Rutland next greeted 
the Ouorn contingent at Denton, his remark on the 
previous day's sport was, "So I hear you rode over 
all my best country yesterday morning, went back to 
Melton to luncheon, and rode over the hounds all the 
afternoon." The chronicler stated that the duke was 
not far wrong. 

The Prince of Wales had, a year or two before, 



3 2o THE QUORN HUNT 

enjoyed a capital run with the Belvoir from Hose Gorse, 
but in the March of 1871 he came to Melton to stay 
with Sir Frederick Johnstone, and have a few days' 
sport with the Ouorn. It was his Royal Highness's 
desire to have a quiet day, and to dispense with the 
crowd of an advertised meet, at which it would be 
known he would be present, so Mr. Coupland arranged 
a bye-day from Ragdale, on Thursday, March 16, the 
fixture being kept so close a secret, that very few only 
were aware of what was going on. The day, however, 
was not by any means suitable for hunting, as plenty 
of snow was about, and it was not till somewhere near 
three o'clock that hunting really began. A fox was 
found at Thrussington Wolds, but was soon lost, when 
the hounds were taken to Cossington Gorse, some three 
miles distant, and from there a merry little run took 
place, the details of which are told in the " Cream of 
Leicestershire" at page 21. On Friday, March 17, 
Baggrave Hall was the fixture, when Colonel Burnaby 
gave a breakfast, the magnificence of which has perhaps 
never been exceeded. At the entrance to the park was 
a triumphal arch, on which were inscribed the names 
of every master who had hunted the Quorn country for 
the previous hundred years. The hounds were in front 
of the house ; the Prince of Wales drove up punctually 
at twelve o'clock, and after he had spent something like 
ten minutes or a quarter of an hour at Baggrave Hall, 
he came forth to sow the first seeds of a new covert, 
which Colonel Burnaby had resolved to present to the 
Hunt in commemoration of the occasion. The initials 
"A. E." were cut in the turf, and the Prince laid what 
was virtually the foundation-stone of what is known as 
the " Prince of Wales's Covert." Colonel Burnaby had 
a fox in waiting in one of his own coverts, and a very 
good run ensued. 

When hunting was over Mr. Coupland went to 



.-3 



MR. J. COUPLAND 321 

London for the season, and in the month of August found 
himself before Mr. Dayman, at the Hammersmith Police 
Court, on a charge of cruelty to a horse, the prosecution 
being, it is said, instituted by his next-door neighbour, 
Mr. Milbank, M.P. It appears that Mr. Coupland had 
bought a cob from Mr. Sheward, the dealer, of Green 
Street (who did such an enormous business with the 
late Mr. John Gerard Leigh, master of the Hertford- 
shire), as a match for another, the pair being for the use 
of Mrs. Coupland. They were taken into the Park, and 
the new purchase was found to be so inveterate a jibber 
that Mrs. Coupland was obliged to go home in a cab. 
The cob was at length induced to proceed, but instead 
of being taken to Sheward's yard in Green Street, the 
vehicle was driven to Mr. Coupland's house in Crom- 
well Gardens ; and when the time came to drive from 
there the animal refused to budge an inch. Thereupon 
Mr. Coupland brought a hunting-whip to bear upon 
the recusant cob, and of the use of it Mr. Milbank 
complained. The evidence of Sheward's men, however, 
was in contradiction to that of Mr. Milbank. The 
R.S.P.C.A. had also a hand in the affair, and Mr. 
Dayman's remarks are not undeserving of notice even 
at this day. In dismissing the summons he said that 
lately the Society seemed to have lost sight of, and 
misconceived, the principles of the Act under which 
they were enrolled, and had on several occasions sought 
to strain it, and he feared that in consequence the Act 
was getting into disrepute. 

With the arrival of cub-hunting time 1871-72 Mr. 
Coupland returned to Leicestershire, and in Septem- 
ber the fatal accident occurred which cast a gloom over 
the commencement of the hunting season at Melton 
Mowbray. Master Charles Claud Henry Webster, the 
eldest son of the late Mr. Fox Webster and Mrs. 
Coupland, and who was therefore stepson to Mr. John 



322 THE QUORN HUNT 

Coupland, was out cub-hunting when the hounds went 
to Gartree Hill, .and while at the covert-side the pony 
Master Webster was riding, on hearing the hounds, 
became somewhat intractable. He reared up and fell 
back upon the youthful sportsman, who received such 
severe injuries that he died on the following morning, 
at the age of ten years, while just afterwards a very 
well-known horseman, Joseph Hobson, landlord of the 
Railway Inn, Loughborough, was also killed while cub- 
hunting with the Quorn. He endeavoured to jump a 
gate ; his mare caught the top bar with her knees, and 
falling, rolled right over her rider, who was put into a 
dogcart in an insensible condition, and died on the way 
to the hospital. 

It was just about this period that there commenced 
that long dispute in connection with the Quorn country 
and Mr. Tailby's. As the subject is mentioned else- 
where, it is not here necessary to go into the pros and 
cons of the incident, which gave rise to a long corre- 
spondence and not a little trouble. 

A contemporary writer stated that amongst the 
notices of applications to Parliament for the next ses- 
sion there figured one from " the already twice accursed 
Midland Railway Company," which had thrust itself 
rudely over the land stretching from Leicester to Mel- 
ton and Harborough. " To look at the list of names 
mentioned," says the above-mentioned writer, "one 
would gather that the whole of the south-east of Lei- 
cestershire is shortly to be transformed into a kind of 
Clapham Junction," and he stated that the line might 
possibly involve the destruction of several famous and 
valuable coverts. The company stated in their appli- 
cation that they would vary or extinguish all existing 
rights and privileges which would interfere with their 
projects, but like many other matters, the threat was 
scarcely carried out, and the institution of railways has 



MR. J. COUPLAND 323 

not been such a bugbear to hunting as was once 
thought it would be. 

In the December of 1871 the untimely death of 
Lord Chesterfield was announced, and caused much 
regret in Leicestershire. Some years previously he 
spent much of his time at Melton, and was known as 
a bold and hard rider. In those " larkings " which 
often took place after hunting back to Melton he was 
frequently a leader, and he amused himself when hounds 
were not running very fast by jumping some of the most 
awkward stiles to be found in the Midlands. As years 
went on, however, he, like Mr. Richard Sutton, rather 
forsook hunting and took to shooting, while later still he 
interested himself before everything else in the working 
of his coal-mines. On one occasion, when he and some 
companions larked home, he jumped a very formidable 
stile for a bet, and having won the wager he jumped the 
obstacle each way again, and dared any of his friends to 
follow him. On another occasion, after a nearly blank 
day, some of the Meltonian division started to lark 
home. From Thrussington they went, as straight as 
they could make their way, over some of the stiffest 
parts in the Ouorn country, taking a line nearly parallel 
with the river up towards Asfordby, then, going between 
the village of Thrussington and the bridge, the little 
party rode all together at the brook, close to where it 
joins the larger stream — a decidedly big jump. Three 
got in, but the remainder of the band landed safely on 
the other side, and all of them had to follow the lead of 
Lord Chesterfield, who took them over the big Hoby 
enclosures with a clear lead, and reached Asfordby nearly 
two fields before anybody else. 

Several instances of two packs clashing are on record, 
and in February 1872 Mr. Musters, who had gone back 
to his own country in Notts, clashed with the Ouorn. 
When the latter were within two fields of Cotgrave Gorse, 



324 THE QUORN HUNT 

Mr. Musters and his fine pack of hounds, together with 
what the chronicler calls "his motley crew," appeared on 
the scene. Mr. Musters was the quicker to the holloa, 
and the two packs of hounds ran the same line. 
Macbride of the Quorn, then in his second and last 
season, was only five yards behind the Squire, and the 
whole forty couples went along as hard as they could go. 
Some little fun was poked at Mr. Musters's followers, 
who are described as wearing caps and brown breeches, 
but the hounds kept well out of the way of the crowd, 
and eventually ran their fox to ground close to Colston 
Basset. 

Just about the same time came the announcement 
of the death of Will Derry, a well-known and highly 
respected hunt servant. 1 

On the beginning of the season 1872-73, a London 
daily paper contained an article headed, "The Quorn at 
Kirby Gate." Therein the writer made mention of the 
"specially succulent pork pies" of Melton Mowbray, and 
he proceeded to state that the trade in them was in a 
great measure provoked by the presence of hunting men, 
who find that "particular edible, when cut into slices, to 
be about the most convenient, not to say filling, luncheon 
which they can carry about with them ! " 

The opening of the year 1873 saw a sa -d accident 
occur to Lady Ida Hope, of Park House, Melton Mow- 
bray, who broke her arm while hunting with the Quorn 
hounds. They met at Brooksby Hall, and in the course 

1 He was second whipper-in to Mr. Musters in Northamptonshire, the 
first being Tom Smith, afterwards huntsman to the Brocklesby, and it is 
supposed that the portraits of these two appeared in Aiken's sketch of " The 
Squire Hunted by his Hounds," as given in Mr. Vyner's Notttia Venatica. 
From the Pytchley Derry went on to the Quorn, of which pack he was first 
whip under George Mountford in Mr. Rowland Errington's time. Then, 
when Lord Chesterfield became master of the Pytchley, Derry went to that 
country as huntsman, and during that brief but brilliant dynasty he was 
magnificently horsed, while master and man rode as hard against each other 
as did "Ginger" Stubbs and Tom Crommelin. When, however, "Gentle- 
man " Smith took the Pytchley, Derry declined to stop with him. 



MR. J. COUPLAND 325 

of a slow hunting run Lady Ida Hope's horse fell at a 
fence. On the same day Lord Grey de Wilton's horse 
was caught in a sheep net, and falling heavily rolled two 
or three times over his rider, hurting him so much that 
at one time it was supposed the injury would prove fatal. 
However, the hurt turned out, fortunately, to be not so 
bad as was at first imagined ; but the muscles of one 
shoulder were very much lacerated, and he was kept out 
of the saddle for some time. 

The season 1872-73 opened as usual at Kirby Gate, 
but as a matter of fact there was no Kirby Gate, for the 
day for abolishing the time-honoured toll-bar came on 
the date on which the Quorn were to meet there. On 
November 1 the Turnpike Trust, with which it had its 
being, breathed its last, and from that time to the 
present Kirby Gate has really had no local habitation, 
though of course its name survives. 

In connection with the now popular amusement of 
hunting on wheels, some of the inhabitants of Leices- 
ter set forth early in January 1873 to see what sport 
they could from a wagonette, and drove to Charnwood 
Forest, prepared to take part in a sort of picnic, judging 
from the hampers and boxes with which all the spare 
room was occupied. The driver was one who knew 
every inch of the country, and had promised to drive 
from point to point so that his passengers should see 
almost as much of the run as those who were on horse- 
back. In order to be as good as his word, he at one 
point left the hard high-road for a green lane, and had 
the vehicle been in good condition all might have gone 
well. The party, however, was a heavy one, while the 
road was not too good ; and so, before they had gone 
very far the vehicle parted in the middle, the horse and 
the fore wheels trotting on, while the hind wheels and 
the party remained behind, the passengers, it need hardly 
be said, being pitched into the mud. The horse, like 



326 THE QUORN HUNT 

that ridden by the famous John Gilpin, when freed irom 
his encumbrance careered merrily along, with the two 
wheels dano-line a t his heels, and rushed in among a 
batch of the field, causing them to scatter in all direc- 
tions. The next contingent were up wind, and did not 
hear the shouts of those who had been first attacked, 
but, as a correspondent said, ''each wheel did its duty," 
and scars innumerable on the hocks of the horses were 
visible for some time after. 

The February of 1873 saw quite a throng of nota- 
bilities at the Harborough Hotel, Melton Mowbray. 
There is a story to the effect that one staunch member 
of the Quorn Hunt, hearing that Prince Lichtenstein, 
Prince Grisky, Prince Rohan, and Count Erdody were 
amongst those present, declared that going out with the 
Ouorn reminded him of hunting from Rome. On Mon- 
day, February 9, their Highnesses went to meet the 
Quorn hounds at Widmerpool Inn. They enjoyed a 
very good day's sport, and it was expected that the 
Prince of Wales would have come down to the Har- 
borough Hotel at the same time, but for some reason or 
other his visit was postponed. 

Mr. Coupland, having sold his stud at the end of the 
season of 1871-72, was not long in getting together a 
fresh supply for the following season, and it is said that 
the fifty horses and more which were then housed in the 
famous long stable at Ouorn and in other buildings were 
an exceedingly good lot, showing more quality than 
those he had possessed before, regard being had to their 
character as well as their appearance. In a run, however, 
which took place in February horses were at a discount, 
as the pack had the fun all to themselves. When hunting 
in the vicinity of Grace Dieu, the pack found a fox in a 
small plantation near One Barrow Lodge, and ran him 
at a pretty good pace up Timber Wood Hill. The field 
were a little bit behind, and when Tom Firr and a few 



MR. J. COUPLAND 327 

others reached the wood, they saw a leash of hounds 
running as hard as they could go some fields away, 
apparently with a breast-high scent. Every one sup- 
posed that these were the tail hounds of the pack, so on 
they went, and had a capital run towards Bardon Hill, 
but failed to find any more than the leash of hounds in 
front of them, for the all-sufficient reason that no other 
hounds were on the line. In the meantime the main 
body of the pack had started another fox and turned 
short to the left out of Timber Wood, and him they ran 
to ground without a single horseman being with them. 
Some of Lord Stamford's keepers viewed the pack 
racing along, and of course were surprised to see no one 
with them, and then assuming that the field had some- 
how or other been left behind, they managed to entice 
the hounds to Newtown Linford, where they shut them 
up in a stable, and a messenger was sent to Quorn to say 
what had become of them. Meantime the huntsman 
and his attendants were scouring the neighbourhood on 
horseback to find the missing pack, but of course without 
success. 

Mention has already been made of Tom Firr, and as 
the end of the season 1871-72 saw the departure of 
Macbride, a halt may here be made to note the arrival 
of Firr as huntsman ; and at the present moment (1898) 
he still occupies that proud position, which he has thus 
held for twenty-six years. A love for hunting, like 
wooden legs, is said to run in families, and it is only 
perhaps right that a short sketch of the worthy hunts- 
man's life should be given. 

Tom Firr, after being with sundry packs, went to the Cam- 
bridgeshire, then under the mastership of Mr. Barnett, and on 
leaving there he went to another plough country, the Craven, then 
under Mr. Theobald, after which he joined the Tedworth, when 
old George Carter hunted the hounds, and Jack Fricker was first 
whip. After one season there, he whipped in to the Quorn, under 



328 THE QUORN HUNT 

John Goddard — that was in the first season of Mr. Clowes's 
mastership — and after one year there he left to join Lord Eglin- 
ton in Scotland, under George Cox. His next step was to go 
to Colonel Anstruther Thomson as second whipper-in to the 
Pytchley, but at that time he could have had first whip's place 
in Norfolk ; in fact he was apparently engaged, but having once 
tasted the sweets of the grass, he scarcely cared to continue to 
carry on in a plough country. While with Colonel Anstruther 
Thomson he gave so much satisfaction that when Mr. Lant, the 
master of the North Warwickshire, wanted a huntsman Colonel 
Thomson recommended Firr for the berth, which he obtained, and 
so stepped from the post of second whipper-in to that of huntsman, 
without ever having been first whip. In Warwickshire Tom Firr 
stayed three years, and gave great satisfaction to everybody, and 
showed capital sport. Then, when Macbride left the Quorn, Mr. 
Lant very kindly said he would not stand in Firr's way, so in 1872 
he went to Mr. Coupland, and is now entering upon his twenty- 
seventh season as huntsman in the Quorn country, his period 
of office exceeding that of any other huntsman with the pack, unless 
perhaps it be that of old Jack Raven; and how many years he 
served under Mr. Meynell and Lord Sefton, nobody knows. 

The Prince of Wales again paid a visit to Leicester- 
shire, attending the Melton Steeplechases. His Royal 
Highness made a very short stay in the Midlands, how- 
ever, and the only time on which he hunted was when 
the Quorn had a by-day at Gaddesby. They had a very 
good run by Billesdon Coplow, and the next run was 
also good, the second fox being really killed as soon as 
the pack reached Thurnby Spinney ; but as a fresh one 
went away at the same moment, with the body of the 
pack at his brush, the huntsman, who did not know of 
the second fox being killed, brought his hounds quickly 
on the line of the fresh one, and this third fox was even- 
tually run to ground. On this day the Prince of Wales 
met with a fall at a boggy place near Foxholes, but for- 
tunately was not hurt. With him were Lord Wilton, Lord 
Gardner, Sir Frederick Johnstone, Sir Watkin Wynn, 
Lord Royston, and Colonel (now Sir) Dighton Probyn. 



MR. J. COUPLAND 329 

About the same time, too, were announced the deaths 
of two good sportsmen, well known in Leicestershire. 
Lord Hopetoun, once master of the Pytchley, died at 
Rome from heart disease, from which it is said he suf- 
fered for a long time, although for several years he had 
been accustomed to hunt six days a week, and rode 
long distances to covert and home. The second death 
was that of the Hon. H. Coventry, who succumbed to 
a paralytic stroke at his residence at Pickwell. 

Towards the end of May 1873 the Ouorn stud was 
sold at Tattersall's, when forty-six hunters realised 5836 
guineas, giving an average of something like 127 guineas 
each ; and the next event to notice is the gathering of 
the keepers and earth-stoppers of the Quorn Hunt at 
Willoughby, Loughborough, and Gaddesby, where every 
man announced that his particular district was full of 
foxes. What scheme of remuneration was formerly in 
vogue is not quite clear, but it appears that Mr. Coup- 
land was the first to start the system of rewarding 
keepers by results, and to this no doubt was due the 
increased stock of foxes, for the country was very badly 
off when Mr. Coupland first entered upon his master- 
ship. For the preceding three seasons the keepers had 
received the sum of ten shillings for each find which 
took place in coverts under their respective super- 
vision, 1 and the season 1872-73 was perhaps, on the 
whole, one of the most successful the Ouorn ever saw 
up to that time. It subsequently transpired that no 
fewer than 500 finds had been paid for at ten shillings 
apiece, which meant that the sum of ^250 was distri- 
buted in gratuities to keepers, so perhaps it is no wonder 
that, on the new plan being started, the keepers saw 
that to preserve foxes was to do something to their own 

1 The usual condition is, that if a fox runs to ground in some hole in the 
coverts, which should have been stopped by the keeper on whose beat the 
fox was found, the keeper forfeits the money he would otherwise have 
received. 



33o THE QUORN HUNT 

advantage. The superintendents, however, though they 
did their parts well, were energetically backed by the 
landowners, farmers, and occupiers of land in all direc- 
tions, and perhaps the feeling towards fox-hunting was as 
good at that time as it had been before or has been since. 

For some years it had been the custom at the time 
of the earth-stoppers' and keepers' dinner for those who 
had any claim for damages, loss of poultry, &c, to appear 
at the same time, and as many of the aggrieved tramped 
a good many miles to the rendezvous, they were also 
invited to partake of the feast after their claims had 
been fully investigated, and, if correct, paid. The total 
number present at the three places above mentioned 
was over 500, and the local committees to whom the 
claims were submitted attended, the master presiding 
upon each occasion, supported by a good many of the 
chief farmers in the district. In connection with the 
gathering at Gaddesby the business of investigating 
claims began at ten, and from that time until three 
o'clock, when the dinner took place, Mr. Coupland and 
the committee were working hard at investigations and 
the discharge of liabilities. 

When Auofust came round there was a hound show 
at Harrogate, where Lord Kesteven, Captain Percy 
Williams, and John Walker were the judges, while a 
dozen different kennels were represented. The Ouorn 
were a^ain successful, as in the class for unentered doo- 
hounds the first prize went to Mr. Coupland's Rattler, 

by Factor Rival, the latter a daughter of the old 

favourite, the Craven Albion. The champion cup for 
the best unentered hound in the yard was awarded to 
the same dog. 

Like Mr. Musters, Mr. Coupland became so popular 
with the earth-stoppers that, on the opening day of the 
season 1873-74, they made him a present of a hunting- 
horn, the presentation being made, as a correspondent 



MR. J. COUPLAND 331 

wrote, in a speech of good honest Leicestershire by a 
patriarchal earth-stopper. In accepting it, the master 
of the Ouorn returned thanks for the very handsome 
testimonial presented to him by keepers and earth- 
stoppers of the Ouorn Hunt in the following words : — 

I beg most sincerely to thank you, and I appreciate your 
gift far more than I can express, especially as I am told how 
great a number have subscribed to it. If we look back to three 
years ago, when there was scarcely a fox on this side of the 
country, I think we may certainly congratulate ourselves that 
your efforts to assist the fine sport of fox-hunting have been a 
complete success, and that this is the finest country in England. 
It has been said, I believe, that I have turned down foxes this 
year, but I appeal to the keepers and earth-stoppers now present 
if that is the case. I am not aware that a single fox has been 
turned down this year in this country, and the fine show we 
now have to go on with is the result of your exertions, coupled 
with the assistance the farmers have kindly afforded, and I ven- 
ture to take this opportunity of thanking them most sincerely for 
all that they have done on my behalf to assist our sport. 

In the February of 1874 the huntsman of the Ouorn 
met with an accident, as in jumping a brook he strained 
the muscles of his back, reviving an injury he received 
in the previous year. In the same month hounds were 
running hard after their fox on the flat near Hoby, when 
they suddenly came to a full stop at what was once 
Hoby Mill. Like otter-hounds, the pack took to the 
water and swam to the other side of the river, while 
at the same time Mr. Tomkinson and Captain Smith, 
seeing no better way across, led their horses over a 
plank bridge, reaching the other side in safety. After 
them came Lord Grey de Wilton, Mr. G. Moore, and 
a hard-riding clergyman. They followed one another 
pretty closely, and their united weight proving too heavy 
for the fragile bridge it gave way beneath them ; the side 
railing broke away, and Lord Wilton was knocked over, 



332 THE QUORN HUNT 

with his horse apparently on the top of him, the other 
two steeds speedily following their leader into the water, 
and there they were, all swimming and struggling to- 
gether. Lord Wilton was knocked down a second 
time, and then his horse jumped over him, but luckily 
without inflicting an injury, and next the three horses 
swam out into the main stream, one of them not being 
captured until he had gone pretty nearly half a mile to- 
wards Leicester. Happily, however, neither of the three 
horses nor the three riders were one whit the worse. 

No trace of the fox could be found after the water 
adventure, so Firr brought the hounds back again to the 
mill-dam, and there he found his fox comfortably hidden 
on the head of a willow tree. The pack was so eager to 
get at him that the fox thought it best to make a move, 
so he jumped into the water, and therein was killed. 

This day, indeed, was by no means devoid of inci- 
dent, for earlier in the day a fox led the hounds over 
the grass between Shoby and Asfordby. They then 
ran to the railway, reaching it at the level crossing 
near Frisby, where some score of the field took to 
riding along the line. Presently a coal train came in 
view, and those who had elected to ride on the line 
had to hurry off the best way they could, and were next 
compelled to cross under the line by a narrow wooden 
bridge, where the towing path of the Wreake runs 
beneath, and slippery paths had here to be encountered, 
while the archway of the bridge was scarcely higher 
than the horses' heads ; and as the train drew near the 
last of the batch of horsemen grew extremely anxious, 
for those in front could only move at a slow foot-pace, 
and had one horse been frightened he might have 
brought griefs libitum to all the others. This obstacle, 
however, was successfully surmounted, as also was that 
of a bridge over the railway with a hole in it ; so all 
ended well. 



MR. J. COUPLAND 333 

About this time the covert fund question cropped up 
again, as Thursday, February 19th, the business pre- 
ceding a by-day, saw a meeting convened to discuss 
the state of the covert fund. It then transpired that the 
country was indebted to Mr. Coupland to the extent of 
about ,£950, which sum it had cost him, over and above 
the covert subscriptions, to bring neglected gorses and 
spinneys into a state of proper efficiency. Lord Wilton 
was in the chair, explained the situation, and proposed 
an immediate payment to the master. No one, of 
course, could disagree with this, nor could any one deny 
the good run of continuous sport, so accordingly names 
were put down in the room for ^450, while subse- 
quently a further sum, and no doubt the whole of the 
amount required, was collected. 

The spring of this year (1874) brought with it the 
death of Lord Rossmore, who hunted in Leicestershire, 
and who was killed at the Windsor Steeplechases while 
riding Lord Downshire's Harlequin in the 1st Life 
Guards' Challenge Cup. It was a singular coincidence 
that two or three years previously Lord Rossmore met 
with an accident in the same race, at the very same 
fence at which he was killed. On the first occasion he 
broke his collar-bone, and again, curiously enough, he 
was taken, on the occasion of his first accident, to the 
same room in the officers' quarters in which he after- 
wards died. 

In connection with the close of the season 1873-74 
a rather amusing story was current. The hounds, as 
usual, hunted during Holy Week, and among the regular 
followers was a gentleman extremely fond of hunting. 
and a constant attendant at as many of the fixtures as 
possible. He was, besides, a staunch High Churchman 
and ritualist. Before Lent had run its course, a friend 
asked him whether he intended to hunt during Holy 
Week. His companion, whose love of sport evidently 



334 THE QUORN HUNT 

struggled with his scruples, replied, " Well, I don't 
know ; I do not think it is right." " But where is the 
harm ? " said the friend. " Well, I think there is a 
certain amount of harm," replied the other ; " but if I 
do any hunting in Holy Week, I shall certainly come 
out in trousers." 

The first week in August 1874 saw the holding of 
the Great Yorkshire Hound Show— one of those over 
which Mr. Thomas Parrington exercised so great an 
influence. The Quorn pack rather came to the fore, 
winning in the unentered class ; but the year is memor- 
able from the fact that Quorn Alfred (he came in a 
draft), by Mr. Garth's Painter, out of Affable, won in the 
stallion hound class; while Quorn Watchman, by Belvoir 
Rally wood, out of Belvoir Wanton ; Alfred ; Clasper, 
by Belvoir Charon, out of Royalty ; and Rattler, by 
Factor, out of Rival, gained the first prize for the best 
two couples of entered hounds. Of Quorn Alfred it 
is needless to say much ; he proved himself the main- 
stay of the kennel, and his name is venerated to the 
present day. 

During cub-hunting in the season of 1874-75 the 
late Empress of Austria, with a suite described by a 
local chronicler as " consisting of seventeen attendants 
and four horses," went down to the Harborough Hotel, 
Melton Mowbray, to have a day's cub-hunting with the 
Belvoir, returning to London the next day, after inspect- 
ing the Belvoir kennels and stables. Four years later, 
while hunting in the Pytchley country, the Empress 
ao-ain visited Leicestershire, arriving at Kibworth station 
one morning at ten o'clock to meet Mr. Tailby's hounds 
at Burton Overy. The Empress was on this occasion, 
as usual, piloted by the late Captain Middleton, and 
there was an enormous field out. 

On October 17, 1874, the hunting world was robbed 
of one of its best known characters in the person of Lord 



MR. J. COUPLAND 335 

Forester, who died at his seat, Willey Park, Shropshire, 
in the seventy-fourth year of his age, after having lived 
for some time in comparative retirement. 

Lord Forester was a son of the first lord, who was better 
known as Cecil Forester, one of the thorns in the side of Mr. 
Meynell, who was accustomed to say, " First conies the fox out 
of a covert, then Cecil Forester, and then my hounds." He was 
born and lived a sportsman, and particularly a hunting man. 
During his undergraduate days at Oxford he was well known 
with Sir Thomas Mostyn's hounds, the Duke of Beaufort's, and 
the Duke of Grafton's. After hunting in Leicestershire for a short 
time on his own account he became master of the Belvoir in 1830, 
during the minority of the eldest son of the Duke of Rutland, 
and he remained at the head of that famous pack for something 
like twenty-eight seasons. About 1858 he married the widow of 
Lord Melbourne, and was presented at Syston with a testimonial, 
which represented in silver a scene with his hounds. Goodall 
was depicted in the act of dislodging a fox from a chestnut tree 
in Croxton Park, the Duke of Rutland, Lord Forester, Sir 
Thomas Whichcote, and Mr. Lickford (the last named the 
" Father of the Hunt ") being grouped around, while a few 
couples of favourite hounds were also brought in. Lord Forester, 
who was an exceedingly handsome man, was, it may be remem- 
bered, introduced by Sir Francis Grant into the picture of 
"The Melton Breakfast." He at one time held some appoint- 
ment in the Royal Household, but was never so well known in 
London as his brother, and successor to the title, General, 
or more familiarly known as Colonel Forester, Member for 
Wenlock, and who was for some time Father of the House of 
Commons. 

Only a little later the Ouorn men were grieved to 
hear of the death of Mrs. Coupland, the wife of the 
master, and on receipt of the mournful intelligence the 
hounds, which were to have met at Radcliffe-on-the 
Wreake, 1 were kept in kennel. 

1 From what has been said before in connection with the decease of Tom 
Day and Sir Richard Sutton, this fixture had a curious connection with 
deaths in the Quorn country. 



336 THE QUORN HUNT 

In December 1874 Lord Grey de Wilton, the well- 
known follower of the Quorn hounds, found himself in 
the County Court at the instance of the Melton Canal 
Company. One day, while following the Quorn, he 
rode his horse on to a foot-bridge belonging to the 
Canal Company, but the structure, which was really 
designed for foot passengers only, and was in a very 
shaky condition, gave way under his lordship and his 
horse, both being precipitated into the water. In the 
spirit of a sportsman Lord Wilton sent a man to esti- 
mate the damage, and his answer was that the job could 
be done for £5. Thereupon his lordship wrote to the 
Canal Company offering to pay the sum. Meantime 
the Highway Board appeared upon the scene, and com- 
pelling the Canal Company to make good the bridge, 
they spent over ^20 on the work, applying to his lord- 
ship to pay ^15 towards the expenses. Fortified by the 
decision of his expert, Lord Grey de Wilton declined 
to pay this sum, hence the action. When, however, 
it came on for hearing, the Canal Company's solicitor 
suggested that the matter should be referred to an 
arbitrator, and the facts were laid before Mr. William 
Garner, one of the town wardens, whose decision was 
that the ^5 his lordship had previously offered amply 
sufficed to make sfood the damage. 

About this time we find a writer lamenting the 
crowds that used to come out with the Quorn on Fridays, 
and the story is told of a hard-riding visitor from 
another Hunt who had been on the hounds' backs 
pretty well all day, and the huntsman was gradually 
losing his patience. There was also another follower 
who was somewhat given to overriding the hounds. 
The last-named gentleman measured his length over a 
somewhat formidable fence, while the visitor from another 
country was in the act of riding at a place just as the 
hounds were feeling their way to it. The huntsman 




FULL CRY. — WISSENDINB PASTURE. PRAWN BY H. ALKKN. 




Gnat H«m, Clo„. KttUthy Clmnh 

THE DEATH. — VIEW OF KETTLEBY. DRAWN BY H. ALKEN 



M,Um. Bilidtm Cop/oi 



MR. J. COUPLAND 337 

was heard to make some remark as to the direction the 
fox might probably have taken, whereupon the visitor 
promptly charged a tremendous great place, and came 
an "imperial crowner " into the next field. Then the 
huntsman, much relieved in his mind, gently blew his 
horn, and followed up his fox, free from what advertise- 
ments call "encumbrances." 

Lord Stamford still kept up his interest in the Hunt, 
and was occasionally out with them, and in the February 
of 1875 sustained a somewhat bad fall, lacerating the 
muscles of his back, a mishap which necessitated keeping 
his bed for some days, while at the same time the 
attention of the landed proprietors and members of the 
Ouorn Hunt was drawn to the annual report, just then 
circulated by the Hunt Covert Fund Committee, which 
showed a deficit of ^400. Thereupon some resolutions 
were come to, among them being one to the effect that, 
havinor regard to the excellent manner in which Mr. 
Coupland hunted the Ouorn country, and with a view 
to relieve him of additional burden, all strangers should 
be called upon to subscribe to the current expenses 
of the pack, and a local committee was thereupon ap- 
pointed to aid in carrying this resolution into effect. 
The document embodying the proposal was signed by 
Lord Wilton, Sir Frederick Fowke, Mr. Little Gilmour, 
Mr. P. Herrick, and other influential members of the 
Hunt. 

Mr. Coupland had all along been very deservedly 
popular, not only with the followers of the Ouorn, for 
whom he catered so well, but also with the farmers for 
having such a keen regard to their interests ; while he 
subsequently put another laurel leaf in his crown by plac- 
ing at the disposal of the farmers, free of all charge, a 
thoroughbred stallion, for the convenience of those who 
might be desirous of breeding hunters. Though for 
family reasons he was unable to be present at the 

y 



338 THE QUORN HUNT 

Croxton Park and Burrough Hill Races, he nevertheless 
gave the Quorn Cup, which he instituted when he first 
took the pack. 

Mr. Herrick, above mentioned, a well-known 
Leicestershire sportsman, did not long survive, as in 
February 1876, being then in his eighty-first year, he 
joined the great majority. On the morning of his death 
he was apparently quite well, in spite of his years, and as 
the hounds met at Woodhouse Eaves, close to his seat, 
Beaumanor Park, he went out on horseback, attended 
by his groom. A fox being found, Mr. Herrick took 
part in the run, and when they had finished with the 
fox, the hounds went on to Bradgate Park ; but Mr. 
Herrick, not feeling quite strong enough, rode home, 
and died very shortly after his return. 

Yet another hound show took place in July 1875, 
this time at Alexandra Park. Hitherto hound shows, 
as will have been seen in the foregoing pages, had been 
confined almost exclusively to Yorkshire. Nevertheless 
a few attempts had been made to bring foxhound shows 
into the South. The first was at Islington in 1866, and 
the second at the Crystal Palace in 1874. At Islington, 
it is true, the Duke of Beaufort, and Mr. Nevill, ol 
Chilland, in Hampshire, sent some hounds, but at the 
Crystal Palace not a single foxhound was there, though 
their absence was no doubt owing to the fear of hydro- 
phobia, which was at that time very rife. Mr. Martin, 
however, who organised the Alexandra Park Show, had 
special advantages, and he managed to make a success 
where others had failed. In fact, it was said that the 
entries of foxhounds exceeded those seen at any other 
show, not excepting the Yorkshire gatherings. The 
management, however, had not the experience of the 
present Peterborough executive, so the accommodation 
for the hounds was by no means all that could be desired ; 
and as the hinges of the doors were tacked on very 



MR. J. COUPLAND 339 

lightly, hounds were constantly forcing gates away and 
running about all over the place. A boarded stage 
on the grass did duty for flagstones, while a covered 
pavilion was spacious enough to protect any reasonable 
number of people from sun or rain. The day was 
certainly unfavourable, for rain fell intermittently ; but 
the capacity of the pavilion was not put to a very severe 
test, for the spectators numbered no more than about 
a hundred. Mr. Henry Villebois, Mr. Hope Barton, 
and Mr. Leicester Hibbert were the judges, and in 
Class II., for the best two couples of entered dog 
hounds, the Quorn were successful with Watchman, 
Alfred, Comrade, and Rattler ; while in another class, 
for the best two couples of entered hounds under 
twenty-three inches, the Quorn were again to the fore. 
The Quorn Alfred gained the championship for entered 
hounds, and the same famous hound brought to Tom 
Firr a cup given by Messrs. Spratt, for the huntsman 
of the pack showing the best hound in the show. 
Among the other competing packs were the Queen's 
stacrhounds, the Duke of Beaufort's, the Old Berkshire, 
the Blackmore Vale, Brocklesby, Essex, North Here- 
fordshire, Lord Portsmouth's, East Essex, West Kent, 
and the West Norfolk. 

Only a week or two later there was another hound 
show at Driffield, on which occasion the rival kennels 
were the Burton, the North Shropshire, Quorn, 
Brocklesby, the Fitzwilliam, Mr. Cradock's (now the 
Marquis of Zetland's), the Tynedale, Sir Harcourt 
Johnston's, the York and Ainsty, Rufford, and Bramham 
Moor. Parson Russell, from Devonshire, Sir Reginald 
Graham, and Mr. John Hill were the judges ; and here 
the Quorn were again successful in the two-couple class 
with Watchman, Alfred, Rattler and Comrade, while 
Alfred showed his merit by again obtaining honours as 
the best hound in the show, 



34 o THE QUORN HUNT 

The repository of Messrs. Warner, Shephard, and 
Wade is now well enough known, but for something 
like twenty years prior to 1875 the firm sold horses 
in the Bell Paddock. In the above-mentioned year, 
however, the new repository was opened, proceedings 
beginning with a luncheon, at which Mr. Coupland pre- 
sided, supported by Lord Combermere, Sir Frederick 
Fowke, and the Mayor of Leicester. On this occasion 
the Ouorn cub-hunters were sold, and the thirteen put 
up for auction realised 1 1 50 guineas. 

In February 1876 Firr again came to grief, this 
time through a wire fence. He was in a carriage drive, 
flanked by wire on both sides, and while he was cheer- 
ing his hounds, his horse sidled up to the wire fence and 
one of his legs caught between the strands; becoming 
frightened at the entanglement he set to work to plunge, 
and eventually fell over the huntsman, giving him a 
very severe fall. He was taken to a house at Thurnby, 
where on examination it was found that, though much 
bruised and shaken, no bones were broken. 

Towards the close of the season 1875-76 the Prince 
of Wales visited Colonel (now General) Owen Williams 
at the Old Club, Melton. It was the Prince's wish that 
no demonstration should be made, and his request was 
of course complied with. He dined at the Old Club 
with Colonel Owen Williams, Captain Montague, Mr. 
Sloane Stanley, Captain Owen Young, Lord Carrington, 
Captain Glynn (of H.M.S. SeTapis, in which vessel the 
Prince of Wales went to India), the Marquis of Huntly, 
Sir Lister Kaye, the Hon. Hugh Lowther (now Earl of 
Lonsdale), Captain Wingfield, and a few others ; and 
he afterwards enjoyed a day or two's hunting in the 
neighbourhood. In the spring of 1877 the Prince paid 
another visit to Leicestershire, and had a quiet day from 
Lowesby with the Ouorn. 

The summer of 1876 once more saw the Ouorn com- 



MR. J. COUPLAND 341 

peting at a hound show, this time at Skipwirth-in- 
Craven, under the auspices of the Yorkshire Agricultural 
Society. The kennels represented were the Atherstone, 
Bedale, Brocklesby, Burton, South Durham, Quorn, and 
Lord Zetland's, but some of them scratched at the last 
moment. The entries were smaller than usual ; but the 
judges, Mr. John Hill of Thornton, and John Walker 
(Sir Watkin Wynn's huntsman), awarded sundry prizes 
to the Quorn — Governor, Woodman, Watchman, and 
Wild Boy winning in the two couples of entered hounds 
class. The Quorn Alice was the best unentered hound, 
and the Quorn Rapid the best brood bitch. The cham- 
pionship cup was given to Atherstone Somerset, but 
many were of opinion that it should have been given to 
Alice, who, by the way, was by the famous Alfred, out of 
Dewdrop. 

In the spring of 1877 there was recorded from Melton 
an instance of how ill-advisable it is to act upon impulse. 
A noble lord who was hunting in the neighbourhood 
came down at a bullfinch, but was luckily unhurt. His 
horse, however, remained motionless, and was to all 
appearance dead. The rider thought the animal had 
broken its back, so a gun was sent for, and the horse 
was shot. On a post-mortem examination being made, 
however, it was discovered that he had sustained no 
injury whatever, but was merely knocked out of time, 
as the saying goes, and had the pin test been applied 
the life of a valuable horse might have been saved. 

From a dead horse to a dyed one is but a step, and 
another story was current in Melton. A lady was staying 
at a house a few miles off, and discovered that her bottle 
of aureoline, of which she made frequent use, had been 
left behind by her maid. A groom was despatched to 
fetch it, but unluckily he put it into his pocket, and 
while riding home the bottle was broken; the "gilded 
essence " flowed down one side of the mare he was 



342 THE QUORN HUNT 

riding, which was really a dark brown, but for several 
days afterwards her appearance was a curious mixture of 
gold streaks on one side, and in the Hunt the mare was 
promptly christened " Aureoline." 

In the April of 1877 the Queen's staghounds paid a 
visit to the Cottesmore country, meeting at Barleythorpe, 
Lord Hard wick being then the master. 1 

There was, it need hardly be said, an enormous field, 
and there was a breakfast at the hall, where Lord Lons- 
dale entertained a great many people ; and at ten minutes 
past twelve the deer-van drove into the park, and a deer 
called the Baron was uncarted, making his way towards 
Langholm. Then turning to his left, he took a capital 
line, so far as the spectators were concerned, as the deer 
could be seen going on leisurely for more than a mile. 
After fifteen minutes' law, Frank Goodall (who had 
formerly been huntsman to Mr. Tailby) laid on the pack, 
and a capital run succeeded, though most of it took place 
in Rutlandshire and not in Leicestershire. Lady Dixie 
was not then so averse to stag-hunting as she has subse- 
quently shown herself to be, for we read that she was 
present, and that none went better until Launde Brook 
brought her to grief. 

The August of 1877 saw another hound show at 
York, on the Knavesmire, but on this occasion the 
Quorn only succeeded in taking one prize, for entered 
bitches, with the badger pied Comely. 

So well had Mr. Coupland worked as head of the 

1 In olden times the Queen's staghounds used to go to Aylesbury for a 
week or two, and also to the New Forest, while in addition they have made 
sundry excursions out of their country. About the year 1849 they had a day 
in Berkshire, meeting at Buckland ; in 1868 the Duke of Beaufort invited 
them to meet at Troy House, in the Badminton country ; in 1869 they again 
met in the old Berkshire country, at Goosey Green, where a field of about a 
thousand people were present ; and in November 1882, during the master- 
ship of Lord Cork, the Royal hounds were taken to the town of Frome, 
at the coming of age of Lord Dungarvan, Lord Cork's son ; while later still 
they met on the downs near Winchester. 



MR. J. COUPLAND 343 

Hunt, that it was noticed in the year 1877 that the pack 
had very much improved in quality. It was said that 
they had been rather mute before, but Mr. Coupland 
bred far more for music, and altogether the pack rose in 
every one's estimation. 

In the summer a rather curious function took place at 
the instigation of Colonel Burnaby. It had occurred to 
him that a dinner should be given to old soldiers of the 
county of Leicestershire who were medal-holders, the 
dinner to be given on the anniversary of the battle of 
Inkerman ; so under the gallant gentleman's superin- 
tendence a banquet first took place, and afterwards an 
assault-at-arms was arranged. Officers, hunting men, 
and many others subscribed freely in support of the 
project, while the Duke of Cambridge and the Prince of 
Wales signified their approval of the movement by 
joining the list of subscribers. Venison was roasted in 
the market-place, and soup was cooked in a brazen 
vessel presented to the town of Leicester by John of 
Gaunt. All the old soldiers enjoyed themselves im- 
mensely. There were some hundreds of them, the 
report said, and the medals displayed showed a record, 
as the chairman happily stated, from Corunna to Coo- 
massie. One old fellow was carried to the dais to tell 
how he entered the army in 1803, and it is mentioned as 
a somewhat unusual circumstance that every man kept 
as sober as though he had been on parade. 

In Leicestershire, we are told, every man, woman, 
and child is taught to venerate and preserve the fox ; but 
unluckily there have been a good many exceptions, and 
one of them came to light in 1878. A third of the 
country was said to be exceedingly short of foxes, and 
one gentleman was hinted at who, though a hunting 
man, allowed his keepers to kill foxes ; while it was said 
that a landed proprietor, whose father was a staunch 
preserver of foxes, did not take after him, that his 



344 THE QUORN HUNT 

coverts were always drawn blank, and once when hounds 
ran through, pheasants rose in hundreds, while after this 
five hundred were shot in two days. It was thought 
that the gentleman in question would very likely before 
lone solicit the suffrages of the electors, and a follower of 
the Ouorn pointed out that it would be well to remember 
his indifference to the fox-hunting interest. Whether he 
ever did come forward as a candidate for Parliamentary 
honours I am unable to say. 

The Empress of Austria paid another visit to Leices- 
tershire in 1878, and just afterwards Lord James Douglas 
sustained a very nasty fall. His horse put his foot in a 
newly-made drain while galloping across an open field. 
He was riding wide of the hounds, and so no one 
observed the fall. When Lord James came down the 
sun was shining brightly, but when he returned to con- 
sciousness he found a labourer standing over him by the 
light of the moon. Thanks to the labourer's orood offices 
he was taken to a house, and in due time recovered. 

A further proof of Mr. Coupland's popularity is 
shown from the fact that in 1879 the members of the 
Quorn Hunt made up their minds to present the master 
with a fitting gift in commemoration of his approaching 
marriage, while the tenant-farmers on the Billesdon side 
gave him two handsome silver soup-tureens. 

One event which happened towards the close of the 
season 1878-79 deserves to be mentioned, and that is the 
death of that famous steeplechase horse, the Doctor. 
He ran second in the Grand National of 1870, and 
when a turn in his temper rendered him useless for 
steeplechasing, he was made over to Mr. Custance as 
a hunter, and carried him brilliantly for several seasons. 
As that famous ex-jockey writes in his book, published 
not long- ago : " The club-footed horse was well known 
in Leicestershire ; no fence was big enough to stop him, 
and no hounds ran too fast for him. His end came 



MR. J. COUPLAND 345 

through his breaking his shoulder in jumping on to the 
stump where a tree had been cut down." 

The opening day of 1879-80 saw the Rev. John 
Russell at Kirby Gate. He was then something like 
eighty-four years old, and had journeyed all the way 
from Devonshire to obtain an insight into the hunting 
countries comprised in Leicestershire. The season was 
only a few days old when a well-known Meltonian 
emulated the feat of Mr. Thornton, when mounted on 
the famous Hercules (who, as John Leech showed us in 
"Mr. Sponge's Sporting Tour," took a draper's shop), by 
his horse jumping into a tobacconist's. Although much 
damage was done to the stock-in-trade, both horse and 
rider escaped injury. 

For some time Mr. Coupland's health had been none 
of the best, and he had been out of the saddle for some 
time, but in January 1880 the master had so far recovered 
as to be able to take the field again, which he did amidst 
the congratulations of his followers. 

By the year 1880 a good many Leicestershire hunt- 
ing men had probably forgotten the existence of John 
Goddard, whose death was announced in September of 
the above-mentioned year. 

In the following year the Ouorn Hunt lost a very 
good friend in Mr. Andrew Heseltine, who for so many 
years lived at the farmhouse adjoining the famous covert 
at Gartree Hill, Little Dalby. Up to within a few years 
of his death, no farmer in the country followed hounds 
with more zest than he did, and for a generation he was 
known to be one of the foremost hunting men. He 
farmed under Mr. E. B. Hartopp, and to that gentle- 
man's honour be it said, when the tide of fortune turned 
against his old tenant with his increasing years, he gave 
him a good pension. " Old Andrew," as he was fami- 
liarly called, was one of the staunchest preservers of 
foxes in the covert that lay almost at his own door, and 



346 THE QUORN HUNT 

was no more zealous about stock than he was about 
the foxes ; and if ever his covert was drawn blank the 
old man was terribly upset. For many years his house 
was always open to any hunting man who called, and 
when, through failing health, he was no longer able to 
hunt, he still entertained the same interest for the sport 
as in the days when he was capable of holding his own 
in the best of company. 

The February of 1 88 1 brought with it the announce- 
ment that Mr. Coupland would give up the country at 
the end of the season owing to the insufficient amount 
of subscriptions, and then the rumour gained ground that 
the Duke of Portland would be his successor. This was 
stated in the Times, but at a meeting held shortly after- 
wards it was authoritatively stated that the statement was 
a fabrication. At the aforesaid meeting Sir Frederick 
Fowke took the chair, and stated that the object of the 
meeting was to see if sufficient funds could not be raised 
to obviate the necessity of so popular a master resigning. 
This, by the way, was an adjourned meeting. A heavy 
debt was owing to Mr. Coupland for the covert fund, 
and it was said that if ,£4500 a year could be raised 
Mr. Coupland would continue to hunt the country. 
Among various suggestions made was one that the 
fixtures should not be advertised, and this view appa- 
rently was adopted ; for, through the remainder of 
Mr. Coupland's reign, no announcement of the fixtures 
appeared in the Leicester Journal. A tenant farmer said 
that he and his friends were full against advertising; 
but it may very much be doubted whether the suppres- 
sion of the announcement of fixtures diminishes the field 
by half-a-dozen. If any one happens to be staying in 
a hunting country, it is not difficult to find out where 
unadvertised hounds meet, for perhaps the worst kept 
secret is the names of the places at which a pack is 
due during the week. 



MR. J. COUPLAND 347 

On Tuesday the 7th of March 18S2, there passed 
away one of Melton's brightest stars, one of Leicester- 
shire's best sportsmen, the Earl of Wilton, of Egerton 
Lodge, Melton Mowbray, where he died. 

His career in the world of sport was somewhat unique in 
its way. It was about fifty years before his death that he pur- 
chased Egerton Lodge from Lord Darlington ; but for nearly ten 
years before that the earl was hunting in Leicestershire, and was 
still a bold rider to hounds when his eighty-second birthday 
had come and gone. He was hunting when George III. ruled 
England, and he was hunting during the season 1881-82. The 
Earl of Wilton was born on the 30th December 1799, and on the 
turf his colours were registered so long ago as 1828, though they 
underwent several changes down to the year 1861. 

When Lord Wilton first began to make his mark in Leicester- 
shire, Sir Henry Peyton, who, together with his son, were said 
to be the equals of Mr. Smith, senior, and his son Assheton, was 
a well-known performer with hounds ; while Lord Forester, the 
fifth Earl of Jersey, Lord Delamere, Mr. Edge, the great friend 
of Assheton Smith, and Sir Francis Burdett were hunting with 
the Quorn, and perhaps not one of them was Lord Wilton's 
superior over a country. He was built for a horseman — 
" attenuated Wilton," Mr. Bernal Osborne called him in the 
" Chaunt of Achilles"; his hands were of the best, and not 
being a heavy weight he had a great predilection for thorough- 
bred horses, and for some seasons he rode the thoroughbred 
stallion Thyrsis, on which he once pounded the whole of the 
Belvoir field in a famous run from Sproxton Thorns. His 
manner of riding to hounds was perfect ; he was never in a 
hurry, and as Dick Christian used to say, when other first flight 
men found their horses beaten, Lord Wilton would apparently 
just begin to ride. But then he had a wonderful eye for country; 
he knew every fence in Leicestershire, and could pick out the 
most practicable place in each. The story has been told how, on 
hearing, after a good day, some of those who had taken part 
in it describing the double oxers and all kinds of yawners they 
had jumped, he would say, " Oh, dear, where do they find these 
terrible places ? / never come across them." The fact, how- 
ever, that he set the Belvoir, as just now mentioned, would serve 
to show that he did sometimes come across a big place — a place 
big enough, at all events, to stop everybody else. At the same 



348 THE QUORN HUNT 

time it must be remembered that Lord Wilton never rode bad 
horses ; he never professed to lead the field or hold a good place 
on a raw four-year-old or a poor fencer. In his best stud-groom, 
Thomas Godwin, he had a most valuable servant, for not only 
did he turn out his horses in excellent condition, but he saw to 
the schooling of as many as did not quite know their business. 
Godwin was born in 1 786, and when he was past work, was 
pensioned off at Heaton Park, where for some time, during the 
era of the Heaton Park Races, he had cleared the course and 
acted as starter. Lord Wilton sent for him to stay at Egerton 
Lodge, and there the old man breathed his last. The Heaton 
Park Meeting Lord W T ilton established in his own domain in 1827 ; 
and he was himself a most capable jockey, equal to holding his 
own against most of those so-called amateur riders of that day, 
when rules were less stringent than it has since been found 
necessary to make them. As an instance of Lord Wilton's 
prowess in the saddle, it may be mentioned that between the 
years 1843 and 1861 he won the Granby Handicap at Croxton 
Park on seven occasions. 

On the death of Lord Yarborough the Earl of Wilton was 
elected Commodore of the Royal Yacht Squadron. His first 
yacht was the Zarifa, originally a slave schooner ; Lord Wilton, 
after using her for some seasons, sold her to go to Russia, and 
she was wrecked at Sebastopol. His next yacht bore the same 
name as the first, and selling her to a Liverpool merchant, he 
built the Zara on the lines of the America, and then, like many 
another yachtsman, he abandoned sail power for steam, his last 
ship being the steam yacht Palatine. The "Chaunt of Achilles" 
noted the many-sidedness of this great sportsman, and makes 
mention of the fact that he was among other things an organist. 
The Chaunt was written about the year 1836, and whether Lord 
Wilton was accustomed then, as he did in the late fifties and 
early sixties, to play the anthem at the Chapel Royal, St. James's, 
during the London season, I do not know. Under Lord Derby's 
administration, Lord Wilton twice held the post of State Steward 
to the Queen. Thomas Grosvenor, second Earl of Wilton, was 
the second son of Robert, second Earl Grosvenor, and first 
Marquis of Westminster, and of his wife Lady Eleanor, only 
daughter of Thomas, first Earl of Wilton. Upon the death of 
his maternal grandfather in 1814, the Hon. Thomas Grosvenor 
succeeded to the title of Earl of Wilton, and he enjoyed the 
possession of the estates for a period of sixty-eight years. In 



MR. J. COUPLAND 349 

1 82 1, on attaining his majority, he took the surname and arms 
of Egerton. When the first Lord Wilton died, his grandson and 
successor was at Westminster School, and on leaving there he 
went to Christ Church, Oxford. 

Shortly after the date of the February meeting, Mr. 
Musters, who had been Mr. Coupland's predecessor, 
came out for a day with the Quorn near Gaddesby, and 
while hounds were running hard held a foremost place. 
After landing over a fence his horse fell, but though Mr. 
Musters sustained no injury from the downfall, before he 
could regain his feet he was jumped on by somebody 
else, and left insensible. As soon as he came to himself 
he made his way to Gaddesby, whence he was driven to 
Syston station, and though no bones were broken, he 
was much bruised and shaken, and had to keep to his 
room for some time. 

For many years there had been few more venerated 
names than that of Sir Arthur Grey Hazelrigg, and the 
men of South Leicestershire so fully realised their in- 
debtedness to so good a sportsman, who, though not at 
that time a follower of the hounds, was most enthusiastic 
in the cause of hunting, that they determined to present 
him with a testimonial. The subscription was limited 
to a couple of guineas, and money came in so plenti- 
fully that two very handsome silver bowls were pur- 
chased, the Hazelrigg arms being engraven upon the 
shields, while the bowls themselves bore the inscription : 
" Presented to Sir Arthur Grey Hazelrigg, Bart., by 
friends hunting in South Leicestershire." One might 
have thought that the presentation would have been 
made in strictly orthodox form, but such was not the 
case, as the testimonial, for good and sufficient reasons, 
was forwarded to Moseley Hall, the seat of the recipient. 

About the same time, too, Mr. Adam Arnst painted 
a portrait of Tom Firr, from which a lithograph portrait 
was published by Messrs. Benyon & Co. of Cheltenham. 



350 THE QUORN HUNT 

It was said to be very good, and was eagerly bought 
up. As already mentioned, Tom Firr was never a first 
whip, having given up the second whip's place with 
Colonel Anstruther Thomson to become huntsman to 
the North Warwickshire. 

Some of the quarry people in Leicestershire had 
many years before proved themselves somewhat inimical 
to fox-hunting, and at odd times they do not appear to 
have improved. In the spring of 1883 a number of men 
were at work, and as a Mr. Leatham was trying to make 
his way out of a spinney, he asked a group of the quarry- 
men where he could find the best place. They pointed 
out a spot, which they said would be all right ; so taking 
their advice, he sent his horse at a somewhat formidable 
fence, and landed in a stone-pit about twenty feet deep, 
though fortunately neither his horse nor himself suffered 
any injury ; but the accident might have been a very 
serious one. The perpetrators of this little joke gathered 
on the bank at the top, and laughed heartily at the result 
of taking their advice. 1 

The spring of 1883 saw the completion of the picture 
painted to the order of Messrs. Dickinson, of New Bond 
Street, " A Meet of the Ouorn Hounds at Baggrave 
Hall " (1881-82), the portraits in which were painted by 
Mr. J. B. Gibson, who just before had been responsible 
for the portraits in the picture of " A Meet of the Four- 
in-Hand Driving Club." 

Not long afterwards, however, the Ouorn Hunt had 
to lament the death of General Burnaby, whose residence 
was in the best part of the country, and who was instru- 
mental in getting the Prince of Wales to plant the gorse 

1 In strong contrast to this unsportsman-like conduct is that of the quarry- 
men and miners in Lord Fitzwilliam's Hunt, who, in the summer of 1898, 
subscribed to purchase for Frank Bartlett, Lord Fitzwilliam's huntsman, a 
case of the best Sheffield cutlery, which they presented to him in token o 
the esteem in which he was held, for both the master and his huntsman are 
scrupulously careful in showing the quarrymen as much sport as possible. 



MR. J. COUPLAND 351 

which bore his name ; while all the Baggrave coverts 
were regarded as sure finds, and had over and over again 
been the starting-points of good gallops. It was to the 
Baggrave coverts that most masters returned if sport 
failed elsewhere. General Burnaby, however, never did 
things by halves, and when his Parliamentary duties 
became absorbing Baggrave saw but little of him ; while 
his coverts were not so well tended in his absence as 
they had been when he was there to look after them. It 
was a somewhat curious coincidence that the general, 
who was such a strong partisan of the Quorn Hunt, was 
one of the most enthusiastic in voting for the severance 
of the Billesdon side from the parent country. This by 
no means suggests that he was wrong, but it is curious 
that such a staunch friend of the Quorn should have 
been in favour of the country being cut in two. In his 
younger days the general rode well to hounds, while 
there was no more hospitable house in the country than 
Baggrave Hall. 

Mention, by the way, of the Prince of Wales' Gorse 
reminds one that after General Burnaby's death, Mr. 
Trew, who rented Baggrave, offered to replant the gorse, 
which had failed, at his own cost. The guardians of 
the Baggrave property were naturally extremely grateful 
to Mr. Trew for his generous offer, but knowing the 
interest that the late General Burnaby had always taken 
in that covert, thought that the whole recuperation should 
be undertaken by the estate in as efficient a manner as 
possible, the trustees being quite sure that they would 
be acting in accordance with what would have been the 
wishes of the late occupant ; and it is needless to say 
that both the master and the members of the Hunt 
thanked Mr. Trew very heartily for his most sporting 
offer. 

If the end of the year 1883 and the first few clays of 
1884 were not marked by the very best of luck, ample 



352 THE QUORN HUNT 

amends were made just afterwards by an excellent day's 
sport on Monday, January 7. In the morning hounds 
ran fast for fifty-three minutes, making what was esti- 
mated a six-mile point ; while in the afternoon they ran 
hard for half-an-hour without anything worthy of really 
being called a check. Nearly every horse was knocked 
up, or the pursuit might have been continued. Both 
runs took the hounds into the Belvoir territory, and both 
were run over a splendid country. The hounds met in 
the morning at Old Dalby, among those present being 
Mr. Coupland, Lady Wilton, Lady Cardigan, Lord 
Belper, the Messrs. and Miss Chaplin, the Duke of 
Portland, Lord Manners, &c. Neither run, however, 
ended with a kill. 

Only a few days afterwards Mr. Hed worth Barclay 
met with a somewhat severe accident, his horse falling 
at a big fence, and rolling over its rider, who clung to 
the reins, while the horse, in his endeavours to regain 
his feet, kicked Mr. Barclay twice on the head, render- 
ing him unconscious ; but the Ouorn men were glad to 
hear, on inquiry the next day, that he was progressing 
favourably. 

At this time (1884) Lord Lonsdale, who had been 
for a short time master of the Blankney, met by invita- 
tion at Scraptoft Hall, in the Quorn country, the hounds, 
men, and horses travelling by special train to Leicester. 
The Blankney hounds had been bought by Lord Lons- 
dale from Mr. Chaplin, and represented what careful 
breeding had done for the pack handed over by Lord 
Henry Bentinck. The first item of the day was a run 
with a ringing fox from Scraptoft Gorse, and he went 
to ground between Scraptoft and Billesdon Coplow. 
Another fox found at the Coplow gave a gallop to the 
Cottesmore Woods. The pack had a good deal of the 
fun to themselves ; but near Tilton Wood a fresh fox 
jumped up in a fallow, and him they drove through the 



MR. J. COUPLAND 353 

chain of coverts as far as Launde Wood, which was 
reached in about fifty minutes. Forcing him out of the 
covert, they swung to the right, and bearing round by 
Loddington, clashed with Sir Bache Cunard's hounds, 
which were also running hard, the two packs going on 
for some distance under the leadership of Lord Lons- 
dale ; but so many foxes were on foot that presently 
hounds were whipped off. 

The close of the season 1883-84 saw the end of the 
successful mastership of Mr. Coupland, and so much had 
his efforts to show sport been appreciated, that it was at 
once resolved to present him with a testimonial. The 
subscription was limited to £$, and the circular was 
signed by the Duke of Portland, Lord Wilton, and the 
Hon. Mr. Curzon, M.P. ; and when the Ouorn met at 
Mr. Ernest Chaplin's house, Brooksby Hall, on Friday, 
January 30, advantage was taken of the occasion to 
present Mr. Coupland with a silver dinner-service. 

In April 1884 a meeting of the Hunt was held at the 
Bell Hotel, Leicester, to consider what was to be done 
in the way of finding a successor. It appeared that one 
offer only had been received, and that was from Lord 
Manners. His lordship's terms were that the kennels at 
Quorn should be put into proper repair ; that he should 
have a subscription of ^2500 a year; and that there 
should be a covert fund of ^"1500 a year, under the 
control of a committee appointed for that purpose, 
who would pay covert rents, damages, poultry bill, &c. 
Lord Manners confessed that he would rather have 
the disbursing of the covert fund in his own hands, 
but, understanding that the feeling of the committee 
ran in an opposite direction, he would not press it, 
and, on the proposition of Lord Wilton, the offer was 
accepted. 

Mr. Knight made a somewhat practical suggestion, 
that there should be a special fund to provide for 

z 



354 



THE QUORN HUNT 



compensating small farmers for the damage sustained 
by them. He said he knew certain men who were 
occupying from thirty to forty acres apiece to suffer 
annually to the extent of about ^10. They received 
nothing in return, and he rather feared that unless 
something were done for them they would not feel 
inclined to put up with the loss for very much longer, 
in which event wire might be found throughout the 
district. 

At this same meeting Mr. Praed proposed a vote of 
thanks to Mr. Coupland for his long and valuable ser- 
vices as master of the Ouorn, a proposition which, it is 
needless to say, was carried unanimously, for Mr. Coup- 
land had shown excellent sport, and was most popular 
with all classes. In the spring of this same year (1884) 
the ex-master's horses were sold by Messrs. Warner, 
Shephard, & Wade at Leicester, when twenty-five were 
sold at an average of £80, 14s. 




CHAPTER XII 

LORD MANNERS (1884-1886) 
CAPTAIN WARNER (1886-1890) 
EARL OF LONSDALE 



355 



CHAPTER XII 

LORD MANNERS 

1884-1886 

AS already mentioned, Lord Manners, who won the 
L Grand National in 1882 on his own horse Seaman, 
succeeded Mr. Coupland, and about his first official duty 
was to preside at the puppy show held at the end of 
August 1884. There had been some talk of removing 
the kennels to another spot, but eventually it was deter- 
mined they should remain at Quorn, and, in accordance 
with Lord Manners's wish, the committee spent about 
^1600 in repairing damages, &c, and when the puppy 
show was held the work was hardly completed. Lord 
Ferrers, Frank Gillard of the Belvoir, and G. Shepherd 
of the South Notts, were the judges, the young entry 
consisting of six and a half couples of dogs and eight 
and a half couples of bitches. Lord Manners gave the 
usual luncheon, and a very pleasant afternoon was spent. 

It was just about this time that the wise deter- 
mination was arrived at of securing the hounds for the 
country. 1 

Mention has been made more than once of the 
clashing of packs, and towards the end of December 
1884 the Quorn and the Belvoir had a run together which 
has probably not yet been forgotten by those who 
happened to take part in it. The Quorn hounds met 
at Ellar's Gorse, and the Belvoir at Harby ; both packs 

1 See page 30. 
357 



358 THE QUORN HUNT 

ran fast, the Ouorn via Sherbroke Covert, and the Bel- 
voir in the vale by the Curate's Gorse. At Flint Hill 
Spinney it was that both packs met, there being two 
foxes in covert. Whether a fresh fox jumped up, or 
whether both packs went away with one of the hunted 
foxes, is not certain ; but a rattling good gallop took 
place from a spinney to Dalby Osier-bed, where the fox 
was pulled down, the two packs having run together for 
about forty minutes, and each having made something 
like a seven-mile point. 

Lord Manners's short mastership was unfortunately 
marked on the whole by a bad scenting-time. Some 
good runs, of course, took place, but as a rule scent was 
indifferent ; while he was confronted by another diffi- 
culty, as for a year or two before he took the hounds 
scent had lain so well that nearly all the old foxes had 
been killed off. As every one knows, without a certain 
proportion of elders really good sport is next to im- 
possible, young foxes never running, as a rule, quite so 
boldly as the older ones, especially on good scenting- 
days ; and it is stated that the bulk of those in the 
country when Lord Manners took the hounds simply 
ran about in circles, after the manner of hares. 

It should have been mentioned before that when 
Lord Manners became master it was resolved to ad- 
vertise on no more than three days a week, the Friday 
fixture being kept a secret, in order to try to avoid the 
crowd ; though, as already remarked, it may be doubted 
whether the new departure appreciably diminished the 
fields. 

In 1884 Tom Firr had the misfortune to break his 
collar-bone ; while in the summer of the next year Lei- 
cestershire had to lament the death of Major Clagett, 
who was well known with the Quorn, although perhaps 
he was more often out with the Cottesmore. He re- 
turned from India in 1864, married the widow of Lord 



LORD MANNERS 359 

Harborough, and took up his residence at Stapleford 
Park, near Melton Mowbray, a place which for many 
years, it may be remembered, had been not only rigo- 
rously closed against foxhounds, but had its coverts 
studded with dog-spears. Lady Harborough, however, 
removed these engines, and gave the hounds free access 
to the coverts. 

In the first year of Lord Manners's mastership 
there died, at Eastwell Rectory, a sporting clergyman 
who was reverenced throughout the length and breadth 
of Leicestershire, the Rev. Edward Bullen, who was 
in his eighty-ninth year at the time of his death. At 
the age of five years he followed his father's harriers 
on a pony, and then for more than eighty years he was 
an ardent follower of the Quorn. In his heaviest 
days he never scaled more than nine stone, so he had 
no difficulty in mounting himself, and being a super- 
lative horseman, whatever he rode carried him to the 
front. One of his horses was a chestnut, which roared 
like a bull, but carried him through deep ground and 
over any fence which intervened. In fact he was really 
a horse whose noise did not stop him. 

It should not be left unsaid that Lord Manners, in 
his last year of mastership, came to the front in making 
Adam's Gorse a better covert than perhaps it had ever 
been before. When Sir Richard Sutton guided the 
fortunes of the Ouorn there were several unconnected 
patches of gorse, at no great distance, surrounding a 
spinney near Ashby Folville, and hence it was that the 
covert was called a gorse. These patches, however, 
being unfenced, the cattle exterminated them, and even- 
tually only a few straggling plants were to be seen. 
For several years, therefore, there was no shelter for a 
fox, except in a somewhat hollow spinney, and the term 
" gorse," when that gorse was broken down, was certainly 
a misnomer. Then Lord Manners came forward, and 



360 THE QUORN HUNT 

with the consent of Mr. Parry, who owned the place, had 
enclosed at his own expense three or four acres of 
ground and sowed them with gorse. The enclosure was 
away from the road, sheltered and surrounded on every 
side, and it seemed a most desirable covert for foxes to 
take up their abode in. 

On New Year's Day, in Lord Manners's last year of 
mastership, a somewhat peculiar accident occurred at 
Syston, which happily was not attended with the fatal 
results which might very easily have been its accompani- 
ment. A couple of hunting men were returning home 
after a good run, and were jogging along at the rate of 
about six miles an hour, the one on the road, the other 
on the footpath, a crime for which he might now be 
severely punished by the authorities. A vehicle drawn 
by one horse passed the two riders and shortly after- 
wards came into collision with a carriage, the evening 
being very dark. One wheel of the carriage was knocked 
completely off, the occupants being thrown out, and the 
horse then rushed off with the shafts dangling at its 
hocks. A little further on it came into collision with the 
horse of the man who was riding in the road, and the 
shock was so great — it being what the Americans would 
term a " head-end collision " — that the necks of both 
horses were broken, both falling dead together in the 
middle of the road. Neither the rider nor driver, 
however, was too much hurt to be taken to his respective 
home in a cab. 



CAPTAIN WARNER 361 



CAPTAIN WARNER 

1886-1890 

ON the retirement of his predecessor it was certainly 
in the fitness of things that Captain Warner 
should be Lord Manners's successor, as his father had 
sometime previously purchased the historic Ouorndon 
Hall. The customary meeting of members was held at 
the Bell Hotel, Leicester, during April, for the purpose 
of appointing Lord Manners's successor, Sir Fre- 
derick Fowke again finding himself in the presidential 
chair, when the announcement he had to make was that 
Captain Warner had offered to take over the Ouorn 
hounds on the same terms as the late master had done, 
that is to say, on a subscription of ^"4000 a year, ,£2500 
to be paid to the master, and ^1500 for the poultry 
claims and covert fund, &c. The committee recom- 
mended that Captain Warner's offer should be accepted, 
and the motion was carried with only one dissentient. 

Then it was that Mr. W. F. Miles rose to his feet 
and, alluding to a meeting of farmers which had been 
held a day or two before, asked if Captain Warner 
was aware of what had been done. Some discussion 
followed, and then a letter, written by Mr. Thomas 
Nuttall, one of the farmers in question, was read by 
the chairman. The material parts of the letter were as 
follows : — 

That this meeting, whilst desirous of promoting the best 
interests of fox-hunting, protests against the appointment of any 
master, until they are in possession of the balance-sheet for the 



362 THE QUORN HUNT 

last two years, to guide them in the conditions necessary to such 
appointment ; and they also insist that in future at least one-third 
of the Hunt Committee shall consist of occupiers, whose support 
to fox-hunting is far greater than that from any other class, 
entitling them to a share in the management of matters belonging 
to the Hunt. A list of proposed names is attached for selection. 
I am requested to ask you to lay this before the meeting, and also 
to urge the desirability of adjourning the appointment until these 
matters are settled, and so preventing any unpleasantness to the 
new master. 

On January 5 following the farmers of the Ouorn 
country again held a meeting to consider their position 
in reference to the new management, the gathering taking 
place at the Bell Hotel, Leicester, Mr. Nuttall aforesaid 
beino; i n the chair. 

He said he was perfectly aware that the subject required very 
delicate handling, as some of them knew that the steps which had 
been taken in the movement had been represented as antagonistic 
to the interests of fox-hunting ; but, in order to show that such 
was not the case, he would move " That this meeting begs first to 
record its strong desire to promote the best interests of fox- 
hunting, and to take such steps as to insure its long-continued 
popularity with all classes." His argument was that the occupiers 
of land contributed their share to the funds of the Hunt, and they 
had a right to know how the money was expended. He contended 
further that their contributions as occupiers were equal to that of 
the largest subscriber, who enjoyed four or five months' hunting in 
return for his money. If, therefore, they contributed equally to 
the funds, they were equally entitled to the privileges of the sub- 
scribers, and they only asked the committee, in the most friendly 
spirit, that their interests should be represented on that com- 
mittee. He was glad to see Mr. Paget present, and hoped he 
would tell them that the movement had been met in a friendly 
spirit. No one, he said, was so much interested in fox-hunting as 
the farmers, and who ought to know better than the farmer when 
the sport ought to commence and when it should finish ? and who 
was more competent than the farmer to meet his brother occupier 
to discuss vexatious claims ? He thought that if the occupiers of 
land had some standing they would be able to deal with many of 



CAPTAIN WARNER 363 

the claim questions which would otherwise have to come before 
the committee. 

Mr. W. B. Paget, as representative of the Quorn Hunt Com- 
mittee, said that every claim which had been sent to the committee 
had been settled, and he could assure the meeting that it was the 
wish of the committee to give every attention to the claims, both 
for poultry and damage; while the Hunt Committee was anxious 
that the old committee, which consisted of tenant farmers, should 
be revived, as they agreed with Mr. Nuttall that it would be of 
immense assistance in the settlement of claims. 

Mr. Nuttall's motion was then carried unanimously. 

Mr. Bonnell then moved that, in consequence of the large 
numbers hunting in Leicestershire, it was desirable that the 
occupiers of land should have a share in the general manage- 
ment of the Hunt through representatives on the committee, 
and that was also agreed to. 

Meanwhile Captain Warner had purchased the best 
of Lord Manners's horses, while the stable was strength- 
ened with a good many new purchases, several of them 
coming from Ireland. 

Before cub-hunting was fairly in swing, an alteration 
in the days of hunting was put on its trial. The custom 
had been for some time to hunt the country south of the 
Wreake on Friday and that on the north on Monday, 
but it was then proposed to reverse that order of things. 
This, however, was not altogether a novelty, but merely 
a return to an arrangement which had been in vogue 
fourteen or fifteen years before. 

In December 1886 the death was announced of that 
well-known sportsman, Captain Horatio Ross, who was 
born at Rossie Castle, in Forfarshire, in 1801, and 
died at his home, Rossie Lodge, Inverness, early in 
December. 

Lord Nelson was his godfather, hence his name Horatio. He 
was gazetted to a dragoon regiment, but left the army before he 
was twenty-five, and took up his residence at Melton Mowbray, 
then in the zenith of its fame when Captain Ross saw it for the 



364 THE QUORN HUNT 

first time. His friend and frequent rival, Squire Osbaldeston, was 
then master of the Quorn. His doings on horseback are well 
known, and he was one of the first to encourage steeplechasing. 
As a deerstalker and rifle-shot it is unnecessary to say more of 
Captain Ross, and for several years he was a well-known atten- 
dant in Leicestershire, was exceedingly keen on hunting, and was 
bad to beat over any country. 

The year 1886 went out with a frost which lasted 
for something like six weeks, and when hunting again 
became possible, that is to say on Monday, January 24, 
when the hounds met at Baggrave, the huntsman broke 
his collar-bone, and for some little time, until he was 
ready to take the saddle again, the first whipper-in 
hunted the pack, and with considerable success. 

On Friday, January 28, the hounds met at Ratcliffe-on-the- 
Wreake, and after a short ring from Cossington Gorse, found 
another fox at Thrussington Gorse. A third one went away from 
Ragdale Wood, and for forty-five minutes he ran in a circle 
by Schoby Scholes. The first whipper-in, who was still acting as 
huntsman, viewed his fox, when a fresh one jumped up out of a 
patch of gorse, but soon afterwards the pack was taken home. 
Two hounds, evidently making a short cut, dashed through a 
hollow in the woods on to a frozen piece of water, but the ice 
proved to be thin in the middle, and one of the hounds was 
unfortunately drowned. 

Just as the cub-hunting season (1887-88) was getting 
towards its last, the death was announced of an old 
follower of the Quorn, whose name was once a house- 
hold word in the country, but who might have been 
forgotten by many who were with the hounds in 1887. 

This was Mr. Walter James Little Gilmour, who was born so 
long ago as 1806, and who died on Friday, December 3, 1887. 
He was a Scotchman, and early in life came into a clear income of 
about .£12,000 a year, of which he spent comparatively little, and 
when he gave up hunting retired to his house in North Bank, 
St. John's Wood, London, where he spent still less ; and during 



CAPTAIN WARNER 365 

this time his savings must have been immense. "Nimrod's" 
Quarterly Review run brings in Mr. Little Gilmour, who was only 
twenty years of age in 1826, a year before Mr. Osbaldeston gave 
up his second period of mastership with the Quorn. The account 
of that famous run, however, is purely a fancy composition, and, 
as a matter of fact, Mr. Gilmour did not hunt in Leicestershire 
when Mr. Osbaldeston was master; he did not visit the shires 
until Lord Southampton's time, and then in 1829 he was a member 
of Lord Rokeby's Club at Melton Mowbray, one of his colleagues 
being Lord Eglinton, the owner of the Flying Dutchman and the 
organiser of the famous Eglinton tournament. 

In Sir Francis Grant's Quorn picture, painted about 1840, he 
figures too. In the centre is Lady Wilton, sister of a former Earl 
of Derby, seated in her phaeton, while Lord Wilton, Count 
d'Orsay, the Duke of Beaufort, the then Duke of Rutland (at that 
time Marquis of Granby), Lords Chesterfield, Plymouth, Cardigan, 
Alvanley, Adolphus Fitzclarence, Sir Francis Burdett, Sir David 
Baird, Sir Harry Goodricke, and many others are also depicted. 
Of all this brilliant band of horsemen, except the Duke of 
Rutland, Mr. Little Gilmour was the last survivor. 

It may be remembered that Mr. Gilmour and Captain Ross 
once opposed each other in a curious kind of steeplechase. By 
the terms of the match each of the antagonists was to touch the 
other with his hunting-whip, and with the one who succeeded in 
touching the other first victory was to rest. They dodged about 
for some distance, and then Mr. Gilmour, who was eventually the 
winner, managed to touch Captain Ross's hat. In the evening a 
great dinner was given to celebrate the event. 

Three of Mr. Gilmour's best horses, named Vingt-et-Un, 
Plunder, and Lord Grey, were said by Dick Christian to be 
amongst the best horses he had ever seen cross Leicestershire, 
and, said the famous rough-rider, "upon Lord Grey, Mr. Little 
Gilmour, with sixteen stone of top hamper in the saddle, beat 
every one last season (1856) in a hot thing from Sproxton to 
Harby." 

Mr. Gilmour was a contemporary, amongst others, of 
Mr. Stirling Crawford, and that gentleman, with whom 
Mr. Gilmour was on terms of the deepest affection, paid 
him the compliment of naming one of his best horses 
Craigmillar, which, it may be remembered, was one of 
the sires at the late Mr. Hume Webster's Marden Park 



366 THE QUORN HUNT 

Stud. Craigmillar Castle was part of the Gilmour 
property. 

The season of 1887-88 opened as usual at Kirby 
Gate, when, in spite of the crowd, a very decent run 
ensued, the pack making a point of something like eight 
miles, while for the first thirty minutes hounds ran hard. 
The best part of the gallop, however, was really seen by 
three only, and for that piece of good luck they ought to 
have been, and undoubtedly were, thankful. Several 
foxes were found at Gartree Hill, but the one to which 
the hounds were "engaged" was not long in going to 
ground. Then they drew Burrough Hill Spinney, a 
covert from which nobody perhaps remembered a run 
taking place ; but on this occasion there was a fox at 
home, and he showed the run of the day. 

On the whole, the season of 1887-88 was about 
the worst on record, but in March a good run or two 
took place by way of redemption. The season, how- 
ever, was not destined to come to an end without some 
accidents, and in February, when the Quorn hounds 
were running between Bunny and Clifton, while cross- 
ing the farm of Mr. Gunn, near Ruddington, Mr. 
Barker, who was riding a little way behind Tom Firr, 
rode at a dead fence through which a wire ran ; the 
huntsman, taught by previous experience, and blessed 
with a keen eye, had the good luck, it was said, to see 
the wire, and called to two others to pull up. Mr. 
Barker, however, unfortunately did not hear the timely 
warning, as, when two other members of the field 
galloped up, they found him lying on the ground in an 
insensible condition. Another accident occurred to Mrs. 
Murray Smith, sister of Lord Belper, whose shoulder 
was put out. 

The following June saw Lord Combermere, Captain 
the Hon. F. Johnston, and Mr. E. P. Rawnsley the 
judges at Peterborough Show, at which the Ouorn were 



CAPTAIN WARNER 367 

represented ; nor did they go empty away. They took 
second prize for the best couple of entered hounds, and 
their Warrior gained the stallion hound prize. They 
then scored, perhaps rather fortunately, another victory, 
when the first prize was given to two couples of their 
young bitches, while the Quorn Fragrance won in the 
single puppy class. The Quorn rather easily beat the 
Fitzwilliam in the class for older bitches with Gladness 
by Grasper, Gambol by Rufford Galliard, Graceless by 
Galliard, and Paragon by Grasper. There were two 
more cups to be won, and the Quorn carried off both; 
so altogether Tom Firr and the master did very well 
at Peterborough in 188S. Nor must it be left unsaid 
that the Quorn Warrior won the champion cup given 
by the Mayor of Peterborough. 

In the following December (1888) the Quorn enjoyed a run 
from Burrough Hill Wood, which was said to be about the best 
day's sport that the Quorn had seen since the season of 1883-84. 
Three or four couples of hounds hit off the line at once, forcing 
the fox into the road, and up the opposite hill, bending slowly to 
the left and then to the right, after which they ran down the 
valley over a good country. There was a momentary check in 
the lane above Thorpe Satchville, which gave those in the second 
rank time to improve their position, and then away went the 
hounds on the lower side of Adam's Gorse. They were out of 
sight for a moment or two, and then they were viewed racing 
up the hill. In another half mile the Burrough and Twyford 
road was reached, just where the line branches oft" to Tilton. 
About a dozen men were there with the hounds, and a little way 
beyond Newbold the huntsman viewed the fox in the next field. 
Hounds were soon after him, but the fox was coursed by a sheep- 
dog, and a check took place for something like twenty minutes. 
Hounds had been going at their best pace over a big country, 
but when the collie joined in the hunt the fox made a curve 
towards Somerby, but he again reached the valley, and when on 
his original line he kept steadily on for his point, which proved 
to be the spinney at Knossington. After the check, however, 
hounds never ran very hard, but made the most of a failing scent, 
and whenever occasion served drove him forward at a good pace. 



368 THE QUORN HUNT 

At Knossington another fox turned to the right, and shortly after- 
wards the end of the run came in Little Owston Wood, where so 
many fresh foxes were on foot that it was impossible to pick out 
the hunted one. 

The Quorn finished the year 1888 with a hunting run 
of an hour and forty minutes after meeting at Great 
Dalby. Gartree Hill, the starting-point of the run, had 
not been drawn since the hounds met at Kirby Gate, and 
as plenty of rain had fallen overnight, there appeared to 
be every chance of a good scent ; but the expectation 
was not more than half realised, for hounds could hunt 
their fox steadily and no more, except during those few 
minutes which enter into nearly all hunting runs, when 
hounds do manage a short burst now and then. Friday 
the 25th January brought with it a good day's sport. 
Meeting at Rearsby, there were two short spins, one from 
Cream Gorse and the other from Ashby Pastures, both 
ending at the same drain. Thorpe Trussels was then 
drawn, and a fox found there gave a good run of an hour 
and fifty minutes. During the remainder of the season 
several more good runs took place ; and a gallop which 
came off on Friday, February 7, 1890, from Barkly Holt 
to Hoby Rectory, is only mentioned because hounds had 
not run that line for several years. 

On the 21st March 1890, while hounds were running 
from Great Dalby, a fatal accident occurred which cast 
a gloom over the whole of Leicestershire, as Captain 
Barclay, of Scraptoft Hall, the "Toots" Barclay of many 
friends, was the victim. In the course of the run a high 
fence into a road was encountered, and the Captain's 
horse cleared the fence fairly well, but stumbling on 
landing through his forefeet getting on to an awkward 
bank, threw his rider with such violence on his head that 
Captain Barclay's neck was broken, and he was found 
to be quite dead on some of the field at once going to 
the immediate assistance of the unfortunate gentleman. 



CAPTAIN WARNKR 369 

Captain Barclay was brother to Mr. H. T. Barclay, the 
owner of that grand horse Bendigo. 

•When the Ouorn met at Brooksby Hall on the 14th 
March 1890, they bade adieu to Mr. Ernest Chaplin, 
who was about to leave the country. Until about the 
year 1896 he was one of the hardest men with the Ouorn, 
but at that time a bad accident put a stop to his riding, 
at any rate for a time, and both the accident and Mr. 
Chaplin's departure from Brooksby were keenly re- 
gretted. Not many days later Firr's stud was weakened 
by the death of a horse well known in Leicestershire, an 
own brother to Gamecock, the famous steeplechaser. 
The Quorn huntsman rode him for four seasons, and 
found him one of the most brilliant hunters that ever 
crossed a country. 

The judges at the Peterborough Show, held on the 
2nd July 1890, were Captain Carnegy, Mr. Chandos 
Pole, and Mr. T. Parrington, the last-named having 
officiated at the first Peterborough Show thirteen years 
before. In the class for unentered dog hounds, Ouorn 
Coronet, by Belvoir Gambler — Charmer, and Sampson, 
by Belvoir Gordon — Shapely, won first prize from the 
representatives sent on by the Atherstone, Bicester, 
Oakley, Tynedale, and Warwickshire ; Ouorn Dreamer, 
by Rufford — Galliard, was the prize stallion hound, the 
only thing against him being his colour, which was a 
cream tan, but in all other respects he was well-nigh 
perfect. It was in 1890 that Mr. B. Paget, whose name 
has been mentioned before, joined Captain Warner as 
colleague in the mastership, and on the 13th February 
1 89 1, what had so far been the run of the season took 
place, the fixture being Great Dalby ; and when the 
hounds wound up the season on the 8th April 1891, 
after meeting at the Kennels, a couple of hounds picked 
up a piece of poisoned meat and died. 

On reading accounts of the Ouorn and Belvoir runs, 

2 A 



370 THE QUORN HUNT 

those who knew the country but slightly may have been 
puzzled at the constant mention of Holwell Mouth covert. 
The explanation is that for time out of mind it was a 
covert common to both the above packs, and, like most 
compromises, this arrangement did not work quite 
smoothly ; so before the season 1891-92 opened, Holwell 
Mouth was made over to the Belvoir, that hunt giving 
up its claim to draw a string of coverts on a border line 
which up to that time had never been clearly laid down. 
After this new arrangement, however, a boundary line 
between the two hunts was agreed upon, to the intense 
satisfaction of all concerned. 

There is an old saying, " The more splash the more 
sport," but it was not verified at any rate during the 
first two months of the season 1891-92. The ground 
was deep enough in all conscience, and was the cause 
of a good many tumbles. Mr. Sidney Paget's horse, 
on landing in a soft place, fell and broke its back, while 
a lady riding in that gentleman's wake rode over him, 
though luckily without doing any injury to the prostrate 
sportsman. About the same time (November 1891) a 
sad fatality overtook Mr. Hedworth Barclay's stud- 
oroom, Levi Simpkin, who was widely known and re- 
spected in Melton Mowbray. Together with a couple 
of stablemen, Simpkin was clipping and singeing a 
somewhat fretful hunter. The clipping process had 
been completed, and soon after the lamp was brought 
into use, the horse reared, knocked down the stud- 
oroorn, who subsequently succumbed to the injuries in- 
flicted by the horse trampling on him. Nor did the 
mischief stop here, for, on rearing a second time, he 
knocked down one of the helpers and broke his arm. 

A frost in January 1892 suggested to some Leicester- 
shire sportsmen that time might be killed more or less 
effectively by having a man-hunt with bloodhounds ; so, 
a youth having been induced to enact the part of a 



CAPTAIN WARNER 371 

fugitive, two bloodhounds were put on his line half-an- 
hour later. They somehow or other hit on the trail of 
an unsuspecting traveller along the highroad ; him they 
greatly frightened, and were with some difficulty stopped. 
Eventually they were put on the track of the original 
fugitive, and went away at a great pace, throwing their 
tongues to an extent which almost rivalled in volume the 
music of the whole of the Quorn pack. In spite of the 
hard ground and snowdrifts, the owner of the bloodhounds 
took the fences as they came. In due course they drew 
up with their quarry, and then the peaceable character 
of the bloodhound was shown by the fact of their jump- 
ing up at the fugitive and trying to lick his face. 

The question of unnecessary damage had cropped 
up in various countries, and of course in the Ouorn dis- 
trict, so a circular was issued by the masters, asking their 
followers to abstain from doing anything which might 
irritate the farmer " in this unusually wet season," and 
putting forth a few suggestions for their guidance, among 
them being, that when hounds were not running the 
field should keep as much as possible to the roads and 
headlands, instead of galloping over the grass ; that they 
should not ride over seeds or sown land ; and that they 
should keep quiet, and not follow the huntsman when 
casting the hounds. These hints, though attended to 
by a certain number, were disregarded by many, as most 
hunting directions are. 

In a season which had been very middling up to 
that point, the best day the Ouorn experienced was on 
Saturday the 30th of January, when the hounds ran 
hard for about three-quarters of an hour from Bunny 
Old Wood, and finally pulled down their fox near Mr. 
Martin's new farmhouse, the distance being reckoned 
at seven miles as hounds ran, and five from point to 
point. The worst fall a man can get is when a horse 
puts his foot in a rabbit-hole, and this was the hunts- 



372 THE QUORN HUNT 

man's lot early in February 1892 ; the horse trod upon 
him, but Firr stru^led to his feet and finished the 
run somehow, though on the morrow, Earp, 1 the first 
whipper-in, had to take his place. Leicestershire also 
had to mourn the loss of a good sportsman through an 
accident, which was unhappily attended with fatal results, 
befalling Mr. George Harvey, of the Curate's Gorse Farm. 
He was thrown from his dog-cart, lockjaw eventually set 
in, and this worthy upholder of hunting succumbed at the 
early age of forty-one, on Sunday the 8th January 1893. 
Mr. Harvey was a capital horseman, and would have 
scored an easy win in the point-to-point race in the 
previous spring had not his horse fallen at the last 
fence ; but he had his revenge at the following Melton 
Hunt Steeplechases, when he was on the same horse. 

Count Metternich, too, was among those who fell 
victims to accidents, he sustaining so bad a fall that 
it was some time before he could be removed from the 
Bell Hotel, Melton Mowbray, to Belvoir Castle, while 
Mrs. A. Brocklehurst was much shaken through her 
horse putting its foot in a rabbit-hole and falling heavily. 
Then, on the 26th June 1893, Captain Henry Mont- 
gomery Campbell died at his place, Thurmaston Hall, 
Leicester, after a short illness. The Captain, who was 
formerly in the Royal Artillery, had hunted with the 
Quorn for many years, was a keen supporter of the 
Hunt, saw a good deal of fun, and turned up at the end 
of most long runs, though the inmates of his stable 
were scarcely up to Leicestershire form. He seldom 
missed the more important race meetings, and went 
simply for the love of the thing, for he never betted 
even in small sums. 

To go back a few months, the Quorn men heard 
with unfeigned regret of the determination of Captain 

1 He left the Quorn, after seventeen years' service, at the end of the season 
1897-98, and went to Mr. Fernie. 



CAPTAIN WARNER 373 

Warner and Mr. Paget to resign the country at the 
end of the season 1892-93. Captain Warner had shown 
himself in all respects an excellent master ; he did the 
best he could for everybody, kept up the best tradi- 
tions of the Hunt, and found a valuable coadjutor in 
Mr. Paget. After Captain Warner's seven years' service 
to the Ouorn, it was only in the fitness of things that 
the question of presenting him with a testimonial should 
be mooted. The suggestion was adopted, and when 
the hounds met at Lowesby Hall on the 1st March 
1894, the opportunity was taken to present the ex- 
master with an English silver punch-bowl of the year 
1725, and which weighed 108 ounces. The presenta- 
tion was made by Sir Frederick Fowke, and amongst 
those present were Lord Lonsdale (who had succeeded 
to the mastership), the Duchess of Marlborough, the 
Countess of Wilton, Lady Gerard, Lady Carlyon, Lord 
Essex, Colonel Forester, Lord Henry Bentinck, Lord 
Manners, &c. 

About four months later, that is to say, in July 
1894, Captain Warner appeared as defendant at the 
Nottingham Assizes in an action brought against him, 
the huntsman, and Mr. Marshall, a member of the 
Hunt, by Mr. Willoughby, a farmer, who, until shortly 
before the action, had occupied land at Great Dalby. 
The alleged damage was loss of cattle caused by cows 
in calf picking their calves owing to their being driven 
by the hounds, also for breaking a gate and lock. The 
sum claimed for damage was altogether set down at 
^500, a preposterous amount, which was very properly 
disputed. After Mr. Justice Wills had summed up, 
the jury gave a verdict for five shillings against Mr. 
Marshall, and ^51 against Captain Warner and Firr. 

Some of the evidence was rather amusing. The 
plaintiff first of all fixed the day on which the alleged 
damage was committed as the 1 6th of January, but 



374 



THE QUORN HUNT 



Captain Warner produced evidence to show that a 
frost set in on the 23rd of December 1892, and lasted 
until the 23rd January 1893, during which period 
hounds were in kennel. The story as told by the 
plaintiff and his witnesses was that, when the hounds 
entered the field they ran after the cows, and, jumping 
up, snapped at their heads and drove them before them, 
causing them to pick their calves. Captain Warner, 
however, admitted that the hounds did cross the field 
in question about the 23rd of January, but he saw no 
cows. Tom Firr gave evidence to the same effect, and 
was sure that no cows went in front of hounds ; he 
never heard of any hounds jumping up at cattle, and, 
with pardonable pride in the behaviour of his own 
pack, expressed a hope that no hounds of which he 
had charge would ever be guilty of such unfoxhound- 
like conduct. 

Captain Warner was as good as his word, and retired 
at the end of the season 1892-93. The horses were sold 
at the Leicester Repository on the 13th May 1893, by 
Messrs. Warner, Sheppard, and Wade, twenty-five 
hunters selling for 1944 guineas, the highest price being 
270 guineas. 









gPPfea»2ri!>». — - ^. 



EARL OF LONSDALE 375 



THE EARL OF LONSDALE 

THE next master of the Quorn was the Earl of 
Lonsdale, to whom the farmers presented a peti- 
tion begging him to take the country in the interests of 
fox-hunting. Lord Lonsdale became master, and at the 
Puppy Show held in September 1893 spoke pretty plainly 
about the finance department of hunting. Scarcely had 
the season 1893-94 opened before the master issued a 
circular-letter on the subject of second horsemen. He 
requested those who had second horses out to give 
orders to their servants to ride with his own second 
horseman, to jump no fences, and that the last through 
a gate should shut and hasp it. It was his further wish 
that second horsemen should confine themselves entirely 
to roads, lanes, and bye-paths over which there was a 
right-of-way. The opening fixture of the season, by the 
way, was Kirby Gate, whence the first draw has for a 
long time been Gartree Hill, whither a goodly number of 
people thoughtlessly made their way, oblivious of the 
fact that there had recently been a death in the family 
of the owner of the covert. Lord Lonsdale therefore 
drew Welby Osier Beds first, hut only moderate sport 
followed. 

Lord Lonsdale apparently intended to show the 
farmers of the hunt that they were not forgotten, and he 
at the same time reminded his followers that they were 
in duty bound to buy their forage, &c, from the farmers 
over whose land they rode. In his endeavour to bring 
producer and consumer together the new master caused 



376 THE QUORN HUNT 

to be compiled a document extending to fourteen pages. 
The ruler had gone in a business-like way over the 
sheets, and while the first column contained the names 
and addresses of the farmers who had forage for sale, the 
second described the provender, &c, the third stated the 
quantity to be disposed of, and the fourth was reserved 
for remarks as to quality, &C. 1 The list was to be revised 
frequently. Then, before the shooting v season closed, 
Lord Lonsdale placed with Mr. Warner, of Leicester, a 
huo-e orame order. The tenant farmers, to the number 
of about 1 200, each received a brace of pheasants and a 
hare; while in October 1894 venison was presented to 
the puppy walkers. 

In previous pages it has been noted how well-known 
followers of the Quorn had dropped out of the running 
and joined the great majority, and January 1894 saw the 
death of one who aforetime had been one of its best 
known visitors — Sir Henry Dalrymple des Voeux, who 
died in London at the age of seventy-two. For many 
seasons in succession had Sir Henry taken up his winter 
abode at Melton, where he was not long in gaining 
universal respect. He was a keen follower of the 
hounds, and rode to them fearlessly in his younger days. 
In 1863 he married the youngest daughter of the Earl 
of Wilton. 

During March 1894 Lord Lonsdale invited Mr. 
Austin Mackenzie, master of the Woodland Pytchley, 
to meet at Keyham, and have a day in the Quorn 
country. The hounds were sent by train to Ingarsby, 
and were met by a large field. A fox was found at 
Scraptoft, and he ran by Humberstone to Thurmaston, 
near to which place he contrived to crawl into a faggot 

1 In January 1889 Mr. Robert Lockwood, then Secretary to the Essex 
Hunt, invited farmers in the county who had either forage or horses for sale 
to send him a description, which he would register. He also invited hunting 
men to communicate with him, and in that way he hoped to bring buyer and 
seller together for their mutual benefit. 



EARL OF LONSDALE 377 

heap; whence, on being dislodged, he made his way back 
to Scraptoft. From there he was hunted at a good pace 
over the valley to Hungarton and on by Ouenby past 
Lowesby Hall to the railway, where scent failed. 

Mention of Lowesby Hall reminds one that the late 
Mr. Bromley Davenport wrote a poem bearing that 
name, on the lines of Lord Tennyson's "Locksley Hall," 
of which the jpllowing is a copy. It is believed that 
" Lowesby Hall" first appeared in 1866 in a book called 
" Lays of the Belvoir Hunt," a work of which a few 
copies only were printed, and which is now seldom if ever 
met with. 



LOWESBY HALL. 

BY W. BROMLEY-DAVENPORT. 

Gilmour, leave me here a little, until John o' Gaunt be drawn, 
And if you find the raw material, let Jack Morgan blow his horn ; 

'Tis the place, and all about it, as of old the magpies call, 
Drawing curses from The Lad, and flying over Lowesby Hall. 

Lowesby Hall, that in the distance overlooks those grassy plains, 
Swamped from Twyford to the Coplow by the everlasting rains. 

Many a morn from yonder spinney, in November drear and chill, 
Have I seen the wily creature slowly creeping up the hill. 

And at eve I've watched the vapour of my last remaining weed, 
When my spurs had ceased to animate my apathetic Steed. 

How in search of sport I've wandered, nourishing a verdant youth 
With the fairy tales of Gallops, ancient runs devoid of truth. 

When I looked into my prospects far as ever I could get, 
And felt the wild, delirious joy of getting deeply into debt. 

In the Spring the pink no longer clothes the sad Meltonian's breast, 
In the Spring the stump't-up horses are allowed a little rest. 

In the Spring, too, he must settle for the cursed corn and hay, 
In the Spring the dire conviction comes upon him he must pay. 



378 THE QUORN HUNT 

Then my tradesmen all around my door most obstinately clung ; 
And their eyes on all my motions with a mute observance hung. 

So I said, " My faithful tailor, do a bit of stiff for me ; 

Trust me yet ; my Uncle's shaky, all his coin shall flow to thee." 

O'er his greasy cheek and forehead rushed a colour and a light, 
As I've seen the quick lamplighter turning on the gas at night. 

And he said, " I'm proud to serve thee, Sir, as any gent in town ; 
If so shaky be thine Uncle thou shalt have the money down." 

Credit seized the glass of time, and dribbled out the golden sand ; 
.Every day became more valueless my frequent notes of hand. 

Many a morning have I waited, with my hopes upon the rack, 
For the long-expected postman with the letter edged with black. 

Health revived my hardy Uncle, now, alas ! he coughs no more, 
And the day of his decease seems more distant than before. 

Oh, my tailor shallow-hearted ; oh, my tailor — mine no more ; 

Oh, the dreary, dreary Bond Street ; oh, that Strand's unhappy shore ! 

I could practise, oh ! how gladly, in the fulness of my hate, 
All the Slasher's last instructions on thine ugly dial plate. 

Is it well to use me thus, Sir, having known me, to decline 
Any further cash advances with security like mine ? 

But it may be ! thou shalt lower, to the level of a dun, 
Seeking custom with acrostics, like the Moseses and Son. 

As the tradesmen, so the customer, and thou shalt measure clowns ; 
They shall pay thee for thy corduroys in ignominious browns. 

I would use thee, if my passion might expend its real force, 
Little better than my dog, and something worser than my horse. 

What is that which I can turn to? Can a gentleman descend 
To dig the very gold which nature had intended him to spend ? 

I had been content to perish on the sandy Sussex shore, 
Where Militia-men are marshall'd and Minie rifles roar. 

But the gentle voice of Cobden drowns the fierce invader's drum ; 
And Napoleon does but bluster, and Frenchmen funk to come. 

Could I but relieve in fancy ? But recall the past again ? 

Canst thou ease my wild emotions, oh thou wonderful champagne ? 

Give me back the quick pulsations I have often felt before, 
When my horse was on before me, and my hack was at the door. 



EARL OF LONSDALE 379 

Yearning for the large excitement that the coming sport would yield, 
And rejoicing at the cropper that I got the second field. 

And at night along the highway, in November dark-and chill, 
Saw the fcghts of Melton shining from the top of Burton Hill. 

Then my spirit rushed before me, and I felt the "thirty-four" 
Percolating through my system — noble vintage ! now no more. 

Brother sportsmen and protectionists rejecting all things new, 
Oh, the future that's impending is a queerish one for you ; 

For I've dipped into that future, reading out the book of fate, 
And saw Fox Hunting there abolished by an order of the State. 

Saw the heavens filled with guano, raining forth at man's command, 
Showers of unsavoury mixture for the benefit of land. 

Saw the airy Navies earthward bear the planetary swell, 
Saw the long-projected railway made from Hanover to H — 1. 

Saw the landlords yield their acres, after centuries of wrongs, 
To the cotton Lords, to whom, it's proved, all property belongs. 

Queen, Religion, State abandoned, and all flags of party furl'd, 
In the Government of Cobden and the dotage of the world. 

Then shall outraged common sense espouse some other planet's cause, 
Then shall rogues abound in England, bonneting the slumbering laws. 

Here at least I'll stay no longer ; let me seek for some abode, 
Deep in some provincial country far from rail and turnpike road ; 

There to break all links of habit, and to find a secret charm 
In the mysteries of manuring and the produce of a farm. 

There deplore the fall of barley, there discuss the rise in peas, 
Over flagons of October, giant mounds of bread and cheese ; 

Never company to dinner, never visitors from town, 

Except the Parson and the Doctor (Mr. Smith and Mr. Brown). 

Droops the heavy conversation to an after-dinner snort, 
And articulation dwindles with the second flask of port. 

Here methinks would be enjoyment more than at the festive board, 
At the hunger-mocking, kickshaw-covered table of a Lord. 

There my heart shall beat no longer with my passion's foolish throbs — 
I will wed some vulgar woman, she shall rear my race of snobs ; 

Double-jointed, mutton-fisted, they shall run, for they shan't ride, 
Hunting with the York and Ainsty, or the Harriers of Brookside. 



380 THE QUORN HUNT 

Fool, again the dream, the fancy ! but I know my words are stuff, 
I who hold the swell provincial lower than the Melton Muff. 

I to hunt with fustian jackets ! my remaining years to pass — 
With the refuse of Protection, in a land devoid of grass. ^ 

Tied to one perpetual woman, what to me were soil or clime? 
I who never could endure the same for ten days at a time. 

I who held it better to pursue the patriarchal plan 
Than tamely to submit to a monopoly of man ? 

Hark ! my merry comrades call me, and Jack Morgan blows his horn, 
I to whom their foolish pastime is an object of my scorn. 

Can a sight be more disgusting, more absurd a paradox, 
Than two hundred people riding madly at one fox ? 

Will his capture on the morrow any satisfaction bring ? 

I am sham'd thro' all my nature to have done so flat a thing. 

Weakness, to be wroth with weakness, I'm an idiot for my pains ; 
Nature made for every sportsman an inferior set of brains. 

Not in vain the distance beckons — what's that skirting the hill side ? 
Tis THE FOX ! I'll bet a hundred— forward ! forward! let me ride. 

I'm before them and they curse me, but no matter, go along; 
Better fifty yards before the hounds than ten behind the throng. 

Oh, I hear you ! you may holloa ! but my spirit knows no bounds ; 
Curse the scent and blast the master, rot the huntsman, d — n the 
hounds. 

Ha ! ha ! ha ! was that an oxer? What ? old Rambler? is he dead ? 
Never mind ! Pick up the pieces ; he was mortal ; go ahead ! 

They've lost him, and I did it ! Oh, of course, I always do ! 
Here's Sir Richard — black as thunder ; I'll evaporate, adieu ! 

Plough the grass ; erect wire fences ; shoot the foxes ; freeze and snow ; 
Yes, I can catch the train at Leicester : so to Euston Square I go. 



When hounds meet in towns the occasion is always 
popular, and though the kennel address is " Quorn, 
Louo-hboroueh," the inhabitants of the town see as 
a rule little or nothing of hounds. Councillor Mayo, 
however, came to the conclusion that it would not be 
a bad idea if Lord Lonsdale could be induced to meet 



EARL OF LONSDALE 381 

one day in the Market Place, Loughborough, and the 
master consented to do so, fixing Tuesday the 26th 
March 1894 for the gathering, the hour being noon. 
The weather was most propitious, and long before the 
appointed hour the square began to fill, while the fore- 
noon trains landed a large contingent : it was estimated 
that about ten thousand people were present. From 
the town hall to the other side of the street an arch- 
way had been erected, on which was to be seen the 
legend, " Success to Fox-hunting." Lord Lonsdale, 
Lady Gerard, Mr. Atherley, and Mr. Barclay drove up 
in an open carriage, and came in for much cheering, as 
also did the huntsman and whippers-in on arriving with 
the pack. The Mayor's parlour was the scene of much 
hospitality, and when the hounds moved off for the 
first draw they were followed, as a spectator remarked, 
by a curious collection of "mounts and machines." The 
meeting was a great success, and perhaps nothing more 
enthusiastic had been witnessed since Mr. Baker, then 
master of the North Warwickshire, met for the edifi- 
cation of the distressed weavers at Coventry railway 
station on the 25th February 1861, on which occasion 
a military officer estimated the attendance at between 
thirty and forty thousand people. 

On an earlier page mention was made of the Melton 
Hunt balls, but those entertainments appear to have 
dropped out of fashion until they were revived in Feb- 
ruary 1895. F'or the preceding decade the members 
of the Hunt had joined with the townspeople in attend- 
ing what had been known as the Primrose League ball, 
but it lost its attraction, so it was determined to drop it 
and revive the Melton Hunt ball, which took place in 
the Corn Exchange and proved a great success, many 
of those who had been driven from Leicestershire by 
frost making a special pilgrimage back again in order to 
be present. In the summer of 1895 there were on view 



382 THE QUORN HUNT 

eight pictures of the Ouorn Hunt painted by Mr. G. D. 
Giles, which were very generally approved of ; but as 
they are of tolerably recent execution, and as most 
Leicestershire men have seen them, it is unnecessary 
here to review them again. 

It was in 1891, during the mastership of Captain 
Warner and Mr. Paget, that Lord Lonsdale covered 
twenty miles in 56 minutes 55*- seconds, including the 
time in changing, a feat which would have immensely 
delighted Squire Osbaldeston. The story runs that 
while Lord Lonsdale was staying at Ingestre with 
Lord Shrewsbury conversation turned upon driving and 
speed. Lord Lonsdale ventured to remark, or is said to 
have done so, that first-class trotters would always beat 
gallopers. Eventually a match was made for ^iooa 
side to cover twenty miles in four styles of driving, 
either competitor to trot or gallop as he pleased. Lord 
Shrewsbury eventually paid forfeit ; but Lord Lonsdale, 
determined to show what could be done, went through 
the programme. He first started with a single horse in 
a buggy and drove the five miles in 13 minutes 39J 
seconds ; the return journey was accomplished with a 
pair of horses in 12 minutes 5 if seconds. A coach and 
four was driven for the third five miles, which occupied ' 
1 5 minutes 9! seconds, and for the final five miles Lord 
Lonsdale drove postillion fashion, the journey taking 13 
minutes 55^ seconds. There were two short delays — 
one caused by a waggon, the other by the police. The 
performance took place on the nth March 1891, not far 
from Reigate. 

On Monday the 28th of March 1898, Mr. J. D. 
Cradock, who for more than a dozen years had been 
secretary to the Quorn Hunt, was presented with a 
richly deserved testimonial, consisting of a silver cup 
and a cheque. As Lord Belper mentioned, in making 
the presentation, his father and grandfather before him 



EARL OF LONSDALE 383 

had befriended the Quorn ; so a short notice of the 
family's connection with the Quorn Hunt may not prove 
uninteresting. 

For how long the Cradocks had been settled in Leicester- 
shire we do not know, but at any rate a Mr. John Cradock 
was one of the most prominent leaders and supporters of the 
Quorn Hunt from the time of Mr. Meynell down to that of Sir 
Harry Goodricke ; and in consideration of the valuable honorary 
services he rendered to the Quorn, a handsome piece of plate 
was presented to him by the members of the Hunt. He was 
about the oldest fox-hunter in Leicestershire at the time of his 
death, which event took place in 1833, Sir Harry Goodricke, Lord 
Plymouth, and Mr. Cradock all dying at about the same time, 
so that within a very few weeks Leicestershire had to mourn 
the loss of three of her best known sportsmen. Mr. Cradock 
had the management of the coverts in Lord Foley's time (1802), 
while during the reign of succeeding masters he was " the Metter- 
nich of the hunt " ; he was an out and out sportsman, and did 
more than all others put together to conciliate the farmers, and, 
when he departed this life, no man was more sincerely mourned. 

Mr. Cradock's son John was born about 1792, and was, if 
anything, even a more enthusiastic fox-hunter than his father 
had been. He went to school first at Ashbourne, and then to 
Rugby ; he afterwards became a solicitor, and in partnership 
with his brother, Mr. Thomas Cradock, maintained the reputa- 
tion which had long attached to the firm. Year in, year out, 
every day that he could spare from professional duties — it has 
been whispered that he induced his brother to do a fair share 
of his work — was spent either in hunting or furthering the 
cause of the sport. From November to April he was in the 
field as often as possible, and from April to November scarcely 
a day passed on which some scheme for the benefit of the 
Hunt did not receive his serious attention. He was, too, a 
capital judge of a horse, and no one ever saw him badly 
mounted. When Mr. Errington (master from 1835 to 1838) was 
absent Mr. John Cradock invariably acted as field master, and 
on one occasion, after a fox had been found near Six Hills, 
a gentleman, mounted on a headstrong grey horse, was seen 
riding on the very backs of the hounds, a fog prevailing at the 
time. Mr. Cradock on that occasion dispensed with his usual 
easy and persuasive manner, and rated the offender in no 



384 THE QUORN HUNT 

measured speech. " I could not hold my stupid horse," was 
the offender's explanation. "Those that can't should stay at 
home," retorted Mr. Cradock. "Let me know the days on 
which you are master, and I will," replied the transgressor ; 
but ere the sun had set Mr. Cradock went up to the rider of 
the grey and begged that his " transient ebullition might be 
earthed, for it was earthy." Mr. John Cradock married a 
daughter of Mr. Robert Piper, of Yorkshire, and died in 1838 
from influenza — so the fiend was about even then. 

The next of the family to become prominently connected 
with the Quorn was Mr. Thomas Cradock, presumably his 
brother, as Mr. John Cradock left no issue. He appears to 
have been secretary during the mastership of Sir Richard 
Sutton, for he defended the baronet when he was sued for 
trespass in the county court by a tenant farmer for damage 
committed by riding over his land. Mr. Thomas Cradock, 
" the assessor of damages " — for he it was who held the balance 
at the season's end, and listened to the wail of the complaining 
farmer — while denying that any damage had been committed, 
offered the farmer a reasonable sum, but the offer was refused, 
the farmer hoping to " strangle fox-hunting altogether." Into 
the box went the plaintiff, and swore to a man wearing a velvet 
cap riding over his land. Mr. Cradock thereupon proved that 
many followers of the Quorn wore black velvet caps — " dashers " 
they were called in the time of Mr. Meynell. The offender wore 
a red coat, urged the farmer, and Mr. Cradock, in his blandest 
tones, pointed out that more than half of the followers of Sir 
Richard's hounds were similarly arrayed, so as the farmer 
could not swear that Sir Richard Sutton was the trespasser, 
he was " grassed and saddled with costs," as the hunting people 
phrased it. 

Sir Richard Sutton was master from 1847 to 1856, in which 
year he died, and shortly before his decease he decided that 
" some lasting token of his appreciation of the services rendered " 
by Mr. Thomas Cradock should be presented to him ; but he did 
not live to carry out his intention. But the expressed wish of the 
late baronet was not forgotten by his family, so after some little 
delay there was a small dinner-party at Quorndon Hall, at which 
Mr. Cradock, the members of Sir Richard Sutton's family, and a 
few friends, were present. Mr. Tidd Pratt, one of Sir Richard 
Sutton's executors, was deputed to offer Mr. Cradock the testi- 
monial, which consisted of a silver candelabrum with six branches, 



EARL OF LONSDALE 385 

with a flower vase in the centre. On the pedestal were engraven 
Mr. Cradock's crest and an inscription, while at intervals round 
the base were frosted silver figures — a fox and cub, a fox 
breaking covert, and a hound in hot pursuit. 

So far as I can understand, the above appears to have been 
a private testimonial from the Sutton family, but seven years 
later, that is to say, in 1863, Mr. Cradock's good offices to the 
Hunt were recognised by the members at large. On April 10, 
1863, about thirty of the subscribers to the testimonial dined at 
the King's Head, Loughborough, Mr. W. P. Herrick being in 
the chair. The chairman spoke in terms of the highest respect 
of Mr. Cradock's father and brother, and duly made the presen- 
tation. The testimonial, which consisted of plate of the value of 
200 guineas, comprised a large silver salver, two pairs of candle- 
sticks, and a pair of fruit and flower stands, an inscription stating 
that the testimonial was offered by members of the Hunt in 
testimony of their appreciation of his zealous and gratuitous 
services as secretary and treasurer of the Hunt for a period of 
upwards of twenty-three years. 

The official connection of one family with a Hunt for so long 
a time, save in the case of the mastership of family packs, is, we 
should say, almost unique. For upwards of a hundred years — 
there may have been an interval — has the Cradock family per- 
formed yeoman service to the Quorn Hunt, and the function 
of 1898 is remarkable for the fact that it made the fourth testi- 
monial presented to the family, while had Mr. John Cradock the 
second lived a little longer his merits would certainly have been 
recognised in similar fashion. 

In the autumn of 1896 Lord Lonsdale threatened to 
resign the country, but ultimately consented to continue 
in office. In 1898, however, the end came, and Captain 
E. Burns Hartopp was appointed his successor. 



2 B 



INDEX 



INDEX 



Accident. — Barclay, Capt. (fatal), 36S ; 
Barclay, Mr. Hedworth, 353 ; Barker, 
Mr., 366; Boothroyd, Ben, 253 ; Bullen, 
Rev. Mr., 262; Burton, Dick, 1 i4;Cante- 
loupe, Lord, 212 ; Coventry, Hon. A., 
266; curious collision, a, 360; Daven- 
port, Mr. Bromley, 2S7, 2S8 ; Douglas, 
Lord James, 344 ; Firr, Tom, 331, 340, 
358, 372 ; Foley, Lord, 82 ; Gardner, 
Lord, 189, 213; Graham, Sir Belling- 
ham, 117, 120; Greene, Mr. Henry, 
208 ; Gilmour, Mr. Little, 253; Harvey, 
Mr. George (fatal), 372 ; Hope, Lady 
Ida, 324 ; Ker, Lord Charles, 300 ; 
Metternich, Count, 372 ; Musgrave, Sir 
James, 223 ; Musters, Mr., 349 ; Onions, 
Roger (fatal), 303 ; Osbaldeston, Mr. 
George, 112; Rossmore, Lord (fatal), 
333 ; Simpkin, Levi (fatal), 370 ; Smith, 
Mr. Rowland, 240 ; Sutton, Sir Richard, 
231; Stamford, Lord, 337; Varnam, 
Thomas (fatal), 89 ; Webster, Master 
C. C. H. (fatal), 321; Wilton, Lord, 
232, 306, 325 

Alcibiade wins the Grand National, Mr. 
Angell's, 290 

Alvanley, Lord, and his top-boots, 12 

Alvanley's, Lord, retort on Lord 
Foley, 12 

Anecdote. — Alvanley, Lord, 12, 151 ; 
Alvanley and Foley, Lords, 12; Baird, 
Sir David, no; Berners, Lord, 176; 
blacksmith, the female, 257; Burgess, 
Mr., 163; Campbell, Capt., 237; 
Campbell, "Saddle," and Mr. Maxse, 
no; Carter, George, 88; Charlton 
Run, the, 77 ; Christian, Dick, 190 ; 
Combers, Mr. Charles ("The Flying 
Cucumber"), 64; cruel joke, a, 350; 
curious coincidence, a, 223 ; Duke of 
Rutland and the Quorn, 319; Ernest 
of Saxe-Coburg, Prince, 191, 193 ; 
Filar, Mr. James, 156, 157 ; farmer's 
wife, a sporting, 295 ; Ford, Dr., 47 ; 



Forester, Cecil, 48 ; Gardner, Lord, 
176 ; Gardiner, Mr., 169 ; Glossop, 
Mr., 233; Goodricke, Mr. Holyoake, 
160, 161 ; Goodricke, Sir Harry, 145, 
147, 151 ; groom, an honest, 271 ; 
Heycock, Tom, 93 ; Hodgson, Mr., 
and Lord Gardner, 191 ; Hodgson, 
Mr., and Lord Hastings, 18S ; horses, 
109, no, in, 152, 190, 341, 342; 
hounds, 49; hounds, Mr. W. Gardiner 
and the Melton, 26 ; hunting costume 
and religious principles, 333 ; hunting 
on wheels, 325; huntsman, a, 211 : 
huntsman and the hard rider, the, 
336 ; huntsmen on Mr. Musters's staff. 
305 ; Johnstone's red coat and scarlet 
leggings, Jamie, 14 ; larking at Melton, 
18; Maberley, Mr., 232; Maher, Mr. 
Val., 109; Maxse and A. Smith, Messrs., 
91 ; Meltonians — a play, the, 167; 
Meynell, Mr. Hugo, 47, 48, 64 ; Mor- 
gan, Ben, 225 ; Osbaldeston, Mr. 
George, 106, 107 : Rancliffe, Lord, 235 ; 
Rancliffe, Lord, and Mr. James Ellar, 
158; rider jumps into a tobacconist's 
shop, 345 ; ringing church bells, 272 ; 
St. Maur, Lord A., and Walton Thorns, 
295 ; Sefton, Lord, and Meynell, Mr., 
64; Smith, Mr. Assheton, 86,87,91,93 ; 
Sothern, Mr., and the Quorn, 300-301 ; 
stable fittings, eccentric, 16; stag- 
hunt in Melton, a, 194; stud-groom, 
a peremptory, 17 ; Suffield, Lord, 17S, 
179 ; Sutton, Sir Richard, 224, 225, 
237, 242; Waterford, Lord, 160, 165, 
168, 177, 260; Wingfield, Tom, 71, 
76,91 

Atherstone absorbs part of the Quorn 
country, the, 4 

Attempt to slake hounds and horses, 210 

Bailiffs take Lord Suffield's hounds 

and horses, 182 
Belgrave Hall, description of, 129 



389 



39° 



INDEX 



Bells rung in honour of Lord Stamford's 

hounds, 272 
Bells to resemble cry of hounds, tuning, 

39 

Belvoir and Holwell Mouth Covert, the, 
37o 

Belvoir Castle, Quorn meet at, 159 

Billesdon Coplow Run, the, 54 

Blankney hounds, invited to hunt in the 
Quorn country, 352 

Bloodhounds, run with, .370 

Boodle's, the Masters of Foxhounds' 
Association, 8 

Books. — Belvoir Hounds, Memoirs of 
the, 45 ; Derbyshire and Yorks, 
Sketch of a Tourist into, 48 ; Eraser's 
Magazine, 13 ; Gent/e/iiaiis Maga- 
zine, the, 41, 44 ; Hunting Songs 
and Sport, 39, 182; Hunting Tours 
and Reminiscences (Nimrod), 85 ; 
Jones, Tom, 42 ; Leicester, History 
of, 36 ; Leicestershire, Excursions 
into, 53 ; Leicestershire, History of, 
36, 40 ; Leicestershire, Select Views 
in, 48 ; Literary and Miscellaneous 
Memoirs (Cradock, jun.), 41, 81 ; 
Meynellian Science, the, 46 ; Music 
and Friends, 25, 169 ; Newmarket, 
History of, 41 ; Scott and Sebright, 1 1 ; 
Smith, Life of Mr. Assheton, 85 ; 
Sportascrapiana, 1 15; Sussex Archaeo- 
logical Collection, 79 

Boots, top, 12 

Boundaries of the Quorn country, the, 3 

Bowden, Tom, 23 

Bradgate Park, 250 

Burdett, account of Sir Francis, 212 

Characters. — Barnaby, Rev. A., 252 ; 
Ellar, Mr. James, 156 ; Fouldes, Ben- 
jamin, 215; Heseltine, Mr. Andrew, 
345 ; Hinman, Mary Anne (the 
" female blacksmith "), 257 ; Inchley, 
Tot, the horse-dealer, 118; Lambert, 
Mr. Daniel, 80 ; Richards, Mr., 256 

Charlton hounds, run with, 77 

Charnwood Forest, 37, 38 

Christian, Dick, as huntsman, 273 ; his 
great leap, 190 ; life and death, 273, 
274 

Circulars, 371, 375 

Clashing of packs of hounds, Belvoir and 
Quorn, 297 ; Mr. Musters's and Quorn, 

214, 323 
Club, Lord Rokehy's, 11 ; the new, n ; 
the old, 1 48 



Comber, Mr. Chas. ("The Flying Cu- 
cumber "), 64 ; and Harvey's Sauce, 65 

Costume, hunting, 14, 129 

Cottesmore, the Queen's staghounds visit 
the, 342 

Country, alteration of, 50, 51 

Coventry, Mr., rides Alcibiade, winner 
of Grand National (1865), 290 

Coverts, improving, 270 ; management 

of, 307 
Cradock, Mr. Thos., secretary of the 
Quorn Hunt, 234 ; presentation to 
Mr. J. D. Cradock, and account of 
the family, 382 

Damage, hunting, 309 

Derby winner, riding a, 79 

Dinner to Errington, Mr. R., 163, 170; 
Goodricke, Sir Harry, 144 ; Hodgson, 
Mr., 185 ; old soldiers in Leicester, 
343 ; Sutton, Sir R., 222 

Dispute, the Quorn, S 

Donington. — Country absorbed by 
the Quorn, 6 ; country given up by 
the Marquis of Hastings, 5 ; draw 
Prestwold Covert, 183 ; proposed 
mutual draw with the Quorn, 188 ; 
Story, Mr. G. B., as master, 5 

Drag-hunt in Leicester, a, 36 

Drury Lane Theatre, "The Meltonians," 
167 

Earth-stopper, Arnold, 158; claims, 
121 ; dinner and payments, 329; pre- 
sentation to Mr. Musters by, 308 ; to 
Mr. Coupland, 330 

Egerton Lodge, 15 

Expenditure, hunting, 125 

Extravagance of the Quorndon Hunt, 
alleged, 48 

Farmers and fox-hunting, 361 
Ferneley's pictures, Mr., 254 
Fixtures, non-advertisement of, 346 
Floods, 237 
Fox's adventures, a, 332 ; poisoned, 239 ; 

run by pack alone, 326 ; Russian, 160 ; 

Sir R. Sutton accused of buying, 231 
Fracas in the hunting-field, a, 224 
Frewen, Mr., the representation of North 

Leicestershire in Parliament, 304 

Gardiner's experiences in the hunting- 
field, Mr., 169 

Gardner (Lord), alleged unpopularity of, 
191 



INDEX 



39 1 



Gorse, Sir Harry Goodricke's, 26S ; 

Prince of Wales's, 320, 351 
Grand National Hunt Steeplechase, the 

first, 2S8, 289 

Harborough, country taken by Mr. 
Richard Sutton, 238 

Harborough, Lord, sets dog - spears in 
Stapleford Park, 190 ; Harborough, 
Lady, throws open Stapleford Park 
to the hounds, 262 

Hard riding, 48 

Heycock, Tom, his riding, 93 

Heygate, Mr., offers to issue circulars, 292 

" Hichens," Sir B., hoax concerning this 
fabled person, 288 

Hoax, supposed fatal accident to " Sir 
B. Hichens," 2S8 

Holwell Mouth Covert question, the, 
37o 

Horn, Squire Boothby's hunting, 38 

Horses. — Anecdotes of, 109, no, in, 
152, 190, 341, 342 ; attempt to stake, 
210; breeding, 179; dealer, acelebrated, 
118; disease, 196; "Doctor, the," 
344; dyeing, 341 ; first introduction 
of second, 77 '■> "Game Chicken," 
winner of first G.N.H. Steeplechase, 
289; height of, 124; hunting on a 
Derby winner, 79 ; killed in a thun- 
derstorm, 255 ; " Lord Grey," Dick 
Christian's favourite, 261 ; prices of, 
73, 109 ; putting up horses for sale 
after dinner, 11 ; studs, 17, 151, 205, 
2 55> 3°8 5 Turkish bath, a, 265 

Hounds. — Anecdotes of the Lambton, 
179 ; Atherstone pack brought in, the, 
104; attempt to stake, 210; Bedale, 
bought by Lord Stamford, the, 251 ; 
Belvoir draft, a, 127 ; bought for the 
country, 359 ; breeding, 49 ; drafts, 
89; Greene's drafts, Mr., 204; Greene's, 
sold, Mr., 216; Hodgson's, sold, Mr., 
197 ; Lambton's bought by Lord 
Suftield, Mr., 177; Musters's, sold to 
Mr. A. Smith, Mr., 92 ; names : Alfred, 
334> 339 ; Furrier, 105, 106 ; Rattler, 
49) 33° > Vaulter, 107 : narrow escape 
■ m the railway, 271 ; New Forest, Lord 
Southampton's draft from the, 122; 
Norfolk draft bought by Sir II. 
Goodricke, 148 ; Oakley, bought by 
Lord Southampton, the, 126 ; Os- 
baldeston's, Mr. G., 104 et set/. ; 
poisoned, 369 ; Quorn hounds, account 
of the, 27 et seq. ; run fox by them- 



selves, 327 ; sale of Mr. Clowes's, 
293 ; Saville's draft bought by Sir 
H. Goodricke, Mr., 148 ; Shaw's 
hounds bought by Sir H. Goodricke, 
Mr,, 148; Shaw Hellier'shounds bought 
by Lord Stamford, Mr., 251 ; Shows: 
Alexandra Park, 338 ; Birmingham, 
298, 299; Driffield, 339; Great York- 
shire, 334 ; Harrogate, 330 ; Knaves- 
mire, 342 ; Peterborough, 366, 369 ; 
Skipworth- in- Craven, 341 ; Yarm, 
269: sold to Lord Chesterfield, 171 : 
Southampton's, sold, Lord, 148; Stam- 
ford's drafts, Lord, 251 ; Sutton's, Sir 
Richard, 221 ; Sutton's, sold, Sir R., 
244; van, Lord Southampton's, 124, 
125 ; Willes sells hounds to Mr. Coup- 
land, Mr. Craven, 315 

Hunt Ball, the first, 165 ; revival of, 
3Sl 

Hunt Servants (see also Anecdotes 
and Accidents). — Bacon, Sam, 251 ; 
Ball, Tom, 166, 184 ; Beers, George, 

126, 127, 163, 166; Boothroyd, Ben, 
7, 238, 251, 252, 253, 302; Burton, 
Dick, 113, 114, 123; Buttress, J., 
158 ; Carter, Geo., 87, SS ; Christian, 
Dick, 190, 273, 274 ; Day, Tom, 186, 
204; Derry, Will, 126, 127, 149, 151, 
166, 324 ; Firr, Tom, 327, 331 ; Gil- 
lard, F., 303, 305 ; Goddard, John, 
306, 345; Goodall, Stephen, 71, 124; 
Harrison, Joe, 75 ; Jones, Joseph, 46, 
51; Macbride, J., 316; Machin, J., 
305, 316; Maiden, James, 251 ; Mor- 
gan, Ben, 225 ; Mountford, Geo., 126, 

127, 148, 149, 151, 166; Onions, 
Roger, 303 ; Payne, Chas. 163, 164 ; 
Pike, C, 299; Raven, John, 51, 71, 
72 ; Shirley, Jem, 243 ; Treadwell, 
178, 253, 275; Walker, John, 315; 
Webb, 185, 186, 187 ; Wilson, 
Thomas, 300; Wingfield, Tom, 71, 
75. 9i 

Jersey, hunting on a Derby winner, 

Lord, 79 
Jones (Joseph), "Cork-legged," 46, 51,75 

Kennels. — Billesdon, 24, 178, 204; 
Bowden Inn, 23 ; Oadby, 25 ; Don- 
ington, 26 ; Gardiner's account of the 
Melton kennels, Mr. Wm., 25 ; Hum- 
berstone Gate, 24, 129; Quorn, 23 et 
seq.) 250 ; Quorndon Hall, 23, 24, 129 ; 
Thrussington, 24, 143 



392 



INDEX 



Kirby Gate, the last of, 325 
Knight, sudden death of Mr., 212 
Knockers, collection of door, 13 

LANGTON Hall, 23 

Larking at Melton, 18, 323 

Leaps, big, 125, 190 

Leicester, early hunting in, 36 

London Farmers' Club, meeting of, 309 

Loton, unqualified rider of winner of first 

G.N.H. Steeplechase, Mr., 289 
Loughborough Meet, the, 381 
Lowesby Hall, 177 

M's, the four, 1 1 

Map, hunting, 210 

Masters (other than Quorn). — Al- 
thorpe, Lord, 164 ; Chatham, Lord, 
52; Chesterfield, Lord, 171; Corbet, 
Mr. Reginald, 38 ; Darlington, Lord, 
15 ; Ferrers, Earl, 43 ; Greaves, 
Mr. Henley, 222 ; Haggerstone, Sir 
Carnaby, 52 ; Lambton, Mr. Ralph, 
10, 177; Maberley, Mr., 232; Mac- 
kenzie, Mr. Austen, 376 ; Mostyn, 
Sir Thomas, 107 ; Musters, Mr. J. C, 
28, 92, 214, 323, 349 ; Nicholls, 
Mr., 122; Noel, Mr., 45; Payne, 
Mr. George, 163 ; Petre, Lord, 148 ; 
Russell, Mr., 148; Shaw, Mr., 148; 
Standish, Mr., 6; Story, Mr. G. B., 
5 ; Sutton, Mr. Richard, 7, 238 ; 
Tailby, Mr., 8, 275, 295 ; Talbot, Mr. 
Theo. Mansel, 6 ; Tavistock, Mar- 
quis of, 126; Villebois, Mr., 194; 
Walker, Mr., 96; Wynn, Sir Wat- 
kin, 164 

Meet, a great, 191, 192 

Meetings, business, 139, 183, 244, 266, 

337, 346, 353, 36i 
Melton. — Austria, Empress of, at, 334, 
344; clique at, 123; clubs at, 10, 
II; fashions at, 14; four M's, the, 
II; hotels at, 13; Hunt Ball, the, 
165, 381 ; improvements at, 148, 149 ; 
jumping into a tobacconist's shop on 
horseback, 345 ; kennels, Mr. Wm. 
Gardiner's account of the, 25 ; lark- 
ing at, 18, 323; manners and customs, 
10 ; Mowbray, 10 et seq. ; Old Club, 
the, 148 ; pies, 324 ; practical joking 
at, 13; Prince of Wales at, 320, 32S, 
340 ; putting up horses for sale after 
dinner, 11 ; the Queen at, 211; 
society at, 148 ; staghounds, 194 ; 
Steeplechase, the midnight, 15 ; studs 



at, 17, 151, 205, 255, 308; Sunday 
stable parades, 16 ; vehicles, 149 
Moore, account of Mr. John, 213 
Musters's, Mr., hounds clash with the 
Quorn, 214, 323 

Names. — Alvanley, Lord, 12, 124; 
Anson, General, 242 ; Austria, Em- 
press of, 334, 344; Baird, Sir David, 
no, 165; Batthyany, Count, 265; 
Berkeley, Mr. Grantley, 104, 105, 
107; Boothby, "Prince," 42; Brude- 
nell, Lord, 119 ; Bullen, Rev. Edward, 
359; Burdett, Sir Francis, 92, 212; 
Burgess, Mr., 163; Burnaby, Col., 
343; Burnaby, * Gen., 350; Burnaby, 
Mr. Y. D., 252; Burnaby, Rev. A., 
252 ; Cambridge, Duchess of, 239 ; 
Cambridge, Duke of, 211 ; Campbell, 
Captain, 237, 372 ; Campbell, "Saddle," 
no; Cardoro, Madame, 159; Cave, 
Hon. Ottway, 213; Chaplin, Mr. Ernest, 
369 ; Chesterfield, Lord, 323 ; Childe, 
Mr., 48; Christian, Dick, 109, 260, 
261; Comber, Mr. Charles ("The 
Flying Cucumber"), 64, 65 ; Corbett, 
Lady, 40; Cotton, Sir Lynch, 43; 
Coupland, Mrs., 335 ; Coventry, Hon. 
H., 329; Coventry, Mr., 290; Cra- 
dock, Mr., 95, 234, 382 ; Delamere, 
Lord, 1 1 ; Edward of Saxe-Coburg, 
Prince, 191, 193; Ellar, Mr. James, 
156; Empson, Parson, 115; Farnham, 
Mr., 238; Ferneley, Mr. J- E., 96, 
254 ; Ford, Dr. (Melton Parson), 47, 
96 ; Forester, Cecil, 48 ; Forester, 
Lord, 10, 335 ; Fouldes, Benjamin, 
215; Frewen, Mr., 304; Gardner, 
Lord, 18, 176, 191, 213; George 
IV., 53, 54, 156; Gilmour, Mr. 
Little, 195, 230; Glossop, Mr., 
233; Grant, Sir Francis, 166; Gros- 
venor, Lord Robert, 156; Gully, Mr. 
John, III; Harborough, Lord, 190; 
Hazelrigg, Sir Arthur Grey, 350 ; 
Henry VIII., 77 ; Herrick, Mr., 338 ; 
Heseltine, Mr. Andrew, 345 ; Hey- 
cock, Tom, 93 ; Hopetoun, Lord, 
329; Inchley, Tot, 118; Jersey, Lord, 
48, 79, 124, 260; Johnstone, Jamie, 
14; Lambert, Daniel, 80; Maher, 
Mr. Valentine, n, 109, 170; Manners, 
Lord, 89 ; Mason, Jem, 189 ; Maxse, 
Mr., 11, no, 289; Mellish, Col., 83; 
Meynell, jun., Mr., 66; Moore, Mr. 
John, II, 213; Musgrave, Sir James, 



INDEX 



393 



II, 17, 109; Namick Pasha, 159; 
Napoleon, Louis, 229 ; Neal, Mr., 43 ; 
Nemours, Due de, 211; "Nimrod," 
177; Osborne, Mr. Bernal, 133, 176; 
Owen, Mr. Smythe, 11 ; Plymouth, 
Lord, 17, 108 ; Prince Consort, 269 ; 
Prince of Wales, 320, 328, 340 ; Rad- 
cliffe, Mr. Delme, 156; Rancliffe, Lord, 
123, 158, 235; Richards, Mr., 256; 
Ridley, Sir Matthew White, 177; 
Ross, Captain Horatio, 363 ; Row- 
land, Mr., V.S., 195; Russell, Colonel, 
125; Russell, Rev. John, 345; Rut- 
land, the Duke of, 12, 89, 159; St. 
Leger, Major-Gen., 49 ; Sealey, Sir 
Charles, 43 ; Smith, Captain, 289 ; 
Smith, Mr. Loraine, 73 ; Smithies, 
Rev. E., 309; Stamford, Lady, 257; 
Stanley, Sir J. Massey, 162; Stephens, 
Mr. Lyne, 16, 265 ; Sutton, Messrs. F. 
and R., 244 ; Tavistock, Marquis of, 
92 ; Teck, Duchess of, 239 ; Tweed- 
dale, Marquis of, no; Voeux, Sir H. 
Dalrymple, 376 ; Waterford, Lord, 13, 
160, 165, 168, 177, 260; Webster, 
Dick, 189, 226 ; Wellington, Duke of, 
no, 165 ; White, Captain, 94 ; Wilton, 
Lord, 15, 18, 347; Wombwell, Sir 
George, 259 ; Wyndham, Col., 206 ; 
York, Duke of, 53, 54 

Objection to winner of the first G.N.H. 

Steeplechase, 289 
Old Club, the, 10 
Opposition to the Quorn Hunt, 121 
Over-riding hounds, 48 

Pictures. — Christian, Dick, 261 ; Firr, 
Tom, 349 ; Greene, Mr. Henry, 208 ; 
Hodgson, Mr. Tom, 19S ; Inchley, the 
horse-dealer, 118; Meet, the, 149: 
Meet of the Quorn Hounds at Baggrave 
Hall, 350; Melton Hunt Breakfast, 
the, 166; "My Stud," 149; Osbalde- 
ston, Mr. George, 115; Sutton, Sir 
Richard, 240 

Poetry. — Billesdon Coplow Run, the, 
55 ; Chaunt of Achilles, 176 ; Day with 
Lord Southampton's Hounds, a, 133 ; 
Dream of an old Meltonian, the, 18 ; 
Epwell Hunt, the, 74 ; Lays of the 
Belvoir Hunt, 377 ; Lowesby Hall, 
377; Melton Hunt, the, 96; Meltonian 
Song, 144 

Politics in the hunting-field, 303, 305 

Practical joking at Melton, 13 



Prestwold Covert allowed to be drawn by 

the Donington, 1S3 
Prince of Wales' Gorse, the, 320, 351 
Puppy Show, first at Quorn, 317 
Putting up horses for sale after dinner, 1 1 

Queen at Melton, the, 211 

Queen's staghounds visit the Cottesmore 
country, 342 

Quorn country, account of the, 3 et seq. ; 
boundaries of the, 3 ; part absorbed by 
the Atherstone, 4 

Quorn kennels, the, 23 et seq. 

Quorn Masters (see also Anecdotes). 
— Booth by, Mr. Thomas, 35 et seq. ; 
hunting-horn, 38 ; lineage, 40, 41 ; 
original pack, 27 ; racing, 41 ; tuning 
bells to resemble the cry of hounds, 39. 
Clowe.-;, Mr., 283 et seq. ; bad luck, 
283 ; buys Lord Stamford's hounds, 
283 ; dinner and testimonial to, 291 ; 
gives history of his mastership, 291-2 ; 
his work for the hunt, 2S4 ; reported 
complaintabout the speed of his hounds, 
286; resignation, 291 ; sells his hounds, 
293-4 ; sport in his second season, 290 ; 
stopped by a farmer, 290-1 ; succeeds 
Lord Stamford, 283. COUPLAND, Mr., 
315 et seq. ; buys the Craven hounds, 
315 ; death of his stepson, 321 ; death 
of Mrs. Coupland, 335 ; dinner and 
payments to keepers and earth-stoppers, 
330 ; Empress of Austria's visit, the, 
334- 344 : hound shows, 330, 334, 338, 
339> 341, 342 ; ill health, 345 ; invites 
the Blankney hounds, 352 ; member 
of Coaching Club and steeplechase 
rider, 316 ; mutual hunt with Mr. 
Musters's, -323 ; opens the Leicester 
Horse Repository, 340 ; pack run a fox 
by themselves, 327 ; places thorough- 
bred stallion at the farmers' disposal, 
337 ; Prince of Wales's visit, 328, 340 ; 
presentation to, 330, 353 ; resigns, 346 ; 
runs, 332, 352; sells horses, 319, 326, 
329, 354 : subscriptions, 333, 337 ; 
summoned for alleged cruelty to a 
horse, 321 ; vulpicide, 343 ; wedding 
present, 344. ERRINGTON, Mr. Row- 
land, 162 et seq. ; an amateur's experi- 
ence at Quorn, 169; dinner to, 163, 

170 ; family, 162; hounds, 164; resigns, 

171 ; runs, 164, 165 ; sells hounds to 
Lord Chesterfield, 1 7 1 ; starts the Hunt 
Ball, 165 : succeeds Mr. Holyoake 
Errington, 162; "The Mellon Hunt 



394 



INDEX 



Breakfast," 166; "The Meltonians," 
play produced at Drury Lane Theatre, 
167 ; visit of the Duke of Wellington, 
165. Foley, Lord, 82 et seq. ; accident 
to, 82 ; advertising fixtures, 83 ; death 
of, 84 ; diceing, 83 .; succeeds Lord 
Sefton, 82. Goodricke, Sir Harry, 
143 et seq. ; buys draft from Norfolk, 
148 ; buys Lord Petre's hounds, 148 ; 
buys Mr. Saville's hounds, 148 ; death 
of, 152; digging out foxes, 1 50; dinner 
to, 144; Eton days, 145 ; horses, 147 ; 
hounds, 148 ; hunts at his own expense, 
146 ; kennels, 143 ; members' studs, 
151 ; munificence of, 146 ; over-riding, 
151 ; popularity of, 147 ; riding, 146, 
151 ; runs, 150; sells Lord South- 
ampton's hounds, 148 ; succeeds Lord 
Southampton, 139, 143. Goodricke, 
Mr. Holyoake, 154 et seq. ; meet 
at Belvoir Castle, 159 ; resigns, 
160; rumoured resignation, 158; 
runs, 155; Russian forces, 160; 
shooting, 155 ; succeeds Sir Harry 
Goodricke, 154. Graham, Sir Bel- 
lingham, 116 et seq.; accident, 117, 
120; exchanges with Mr. Osbal- 
deston, 112; his horses, nS; his 
many masterships, 116; resigns, 
120; runs, 119, 120; subscription, 
117; succeeds Mr. Osbaldeston, 116. 
Greene, Mr. Henry, 203 et seq. ; a 
bitter letter, 208 ; accident to, 208 ; 
attempt to stake hounds and horses, 
2IO; death of, 216; his drafts, 204; 
hounds, 204, 205 ; mutual run with 
Mr. Musters's, 214; resigns, 216; rid- 
ing, 205 ; royal visits, 211; runs, 206, 
207 ; sells hounds and horses, 216 ; 
succeeds Mr. Hodgson, 203. Hartopp, 
Captain E. Burns, 3S7. Hastings, 
Marquis of, 295 et seq. ; buys some 
of Mr. Clowes's hounds, 295 ; cedes 
some country to Mr. Tailby, 295 ; 
death of, 303 ; retirement of, 300 ; 
sale, 301. Hodgson, Mr. Thomas, 184 
et seq. ; alleged lagging in the field, 
187; Mr. Assheton Smith's visit, 191 ; 
authority in the field, 1S9 ; business- 
like establishment, 185 ; death of, 199; 
dinner, 185 ; Lord Gardner's inter- 
ference, 191 ; opposition to, 190 ; op- 
position to Webb, 186, 1 87 ; proposed 
mutual draw with the Quorn, 188 ; 
resigns, 196; riding, 187; Rowland, 
V.S., 195; runs, 188, 193, 196; sells 



hounds and horses, 197 ; subscriptions, 
198 ; succeeds Lord Suffield, 184. 
Lonsdale, Lord, 375 et seq. ; circulars, 
375 ; famous driving feat, 382 ; his 
interest for the farmers, 375 ; invites 
the Woodland Pytchley, 376 ; meet 
in the Market-place, Loughborough, 
380 ; resigns, 385 ; revives the Hunt 
Ball, 381 ; rules as to second horse- 
men, 375 ; succeeds Captain Warner, 
375. Manners, Lord, 357 et seq. ; 
bad luck, 358 ; hounds bought for the 
country, 357 ; resigns, 360 ; run, 35S ; 
subscription, 354 ; succeeds Mr. Coup- 
land, 357. Meynell, Mr. Hugo, 43 
et seq. ; accomplishments, 44 ; Billes- 
don Coplow run, the, 54 ; boundary 
disputes, 45 ; cock-fighting, 43 ; cor- 
rectness of ear, 64 ; courtesy, 66 ; 
death of, 66 ; entering hounds to hare, 
49 ; entertaining, 48 ; entertaining 
royalty, 53 ; extravagance, 48 ; former 
history of his country, 37 ; High Sheriff, 
44 ; hospitality of, 44 ; hound-breed- 
ing, 49 ; hound Rattler, 49 ; hounds, 
46; liberality, 47,48 ; management of 
fields, 47 ; marriage of, 45 ; master of 
the Royal buckhounds, 44 ; over- 
riding, 47 ; rabies, 53 ; reported de- 
sertion of Leicestershire, 52 ; riding, 
50 ; runs, 48 ; sells hounds to Lord 
Sefton, 63 ; subscribers, 47, 53. 
Musters, Mr. J. C, 302 et seq. ; his 
command of field, 306, 307 ; his riding, 
307 ; presentation to, by earth-stoppers, 
308; resignation of, 309,310; retire- 
ment of, 310, 31 1 ; sale, 317. Osbald- 
eston, Mr. George, 103 et seq. ; acci- 
dent to, 112; an all-round sportsman 
and athlete, 115 ; Belvoir hound, 
Furrier, 105, 106; Grantley Berkeley 
and, 104 ; brings Atherstone pack with 
him, 104; celebrated riders, 109, no, 
III; criticisms on, 104; death of, 
115; dislike to timber, III; drafts 
from the Belvoir, 105 ; exchanges with 
Sir Bellingham Graham, 1 12; famous 
ride, 115; field management, 105; 
former masterships, 103, 104 ; good 
terms with farmers, 108 ; his horses, 
114, 115; hound - breeding, 103; 
hounds, 104 ; hounds, mute and im- 
patient, 107 ; hunts six days a week, 
105; riding, 114, 115 ; run, 10S, 112, 
113, 114; succeeds Assheton Smith, 
103. Paget (&e Warner). Sefton, 



INDEX 



395 



Lord, 71 et seq. ; buys Mr. Meynell's 
hounds, 71 ; carriages, 75 ; description 
of, 74 ; driving, 74 ; Greville's descrip- 
tion of, 75 ; magnificent establishment, 
73 ; Parisian sportsmen, 80 ; poor 
sport, 78 ; resigns, 81 ; riding, 74 ; 
second horses, 77 ; stable lamps, 75 5 
two packs and two huntsmen, 71. 
Smith, Mr. Assheton, 85 et seq. ; buys 
hounds from Mr. Musters and the 
Belvoir, 89 ; buys Mr. Musters's hounds, 
92 ; Gumley coverts and Mr. Cra- 
dock, 95 ; language, 91 : resigns, 96 ; 
return visit in Mr. Hodgson's master- 
ship, 191 ; riding, 86, 91, 93 ; sub- 
scriptions, 92 ; succeeds Lord Foley, 
85. Southampton, Lord, 121 et seq. ; 
accident to whippers-in, 126 ; Belgrave 
Hall, 129 ; buys a draft of hounds 
from Mr. Nicholls, 122 ; buys the 
Oakley hounds, 126 ; costume, 129 ; 
death of 140; hound-van, 124, 125; 
hounds, 122, 126 ; hounds, the Belvoir 
draft, 127 ; kennels, 129 ; Melton 
clique, the, 123; resigns, 139; runs, 
123, 124, 128, 131 ; trouble in the 
country, 121, 122. Stamford, Earl of, 
249 et seq. ; allowed to hunt in Staple- 
ford Park, 262 ; as a cricketer, 278 ; 
as a shot, 278; Boothroyd, 251, 252, 
253 ; Bradgate Park, 250 ; buys the 
Bedaleand Mr. Shaw Hellier's hounds, 
251 ; church bells rung in honour of 
the hounds, 272 ; covert improve- 
ments, 270 ; family of, 250 ; his sub- 
scription to Mr. Clowes, 27S ; hound 
show, 268; hounds, 251 ; Lady Stam- 
ford, 257; last advertised day, 276 ; 
life and death, 278 ; narrow escape 
of the hounds, 271 ; presentation to, 

267 ; proposed presentation to, 276 ; 
rumoured resignation, 259, 265 ; runs, 
257, 258, 267, 270 ; sale of hunters, 
277 ; Sir Harry Goodricke's Gorse, 

268 ; subscriptions, 269 ; succeeds Sir 
R. Sutton, 249 ; Treadwell, 253 ; 
warned off, 255. Suffield, Lord, 175 
et seq. ; bailiffs take the hounds and 
horses, 182; buys the Lambton hounds, 
177 ; extravagance, 178 ; kennels, 178 ; 
Lowesby Hall, 177 ; reins, 180, 181 ; 
sells hounds and horses, 182 ; succeeds 
Mr. Errington, 175; turf career, 175. 
Sutton, Sir Richard, 221 et seq. ; 
accident to, 231 ; accused of buying 
foxes, 231; buys Quorndon Hall, 



234; death of, 241 ; dispenses with 
subscriptions, 234 ; family of, 241 ; 
floods, 237 ; foxes poisoned, 239 ; 
fracas, a, 224 ; gives up the Har- 
borough country to his son, 238 ; good 
shot, a, 242 ; horses and hounds sold, 
244; hounds, 221; hunt carried on 
by his sons, 243 ; hunting expenditure, 
222 ; hunts six days a week, 238 ; 
Morgan, Ben, 225 ; opposition to, 227 ; 
royal visitors, 229, 239 ; runs, 228, 
229, 232, 236, 238 ; shooting -match 
with General Anson, 242 ; succeeds 
Mr. Greene, 221 ; vulpicide, 227 ; 
wishes to resign, 240. Warner, Cap- 
tain, 361 et seq. ; action against, 373 ; 
hound-poisoning, 369 ; hound show, 
366, 369; issues circular for guidance 
of the field, 371 ; joined by Mr. B. 
Paget, 369 ; presentation to, 373 ; 
resigns, 373 ; runs, 364, 367, 368, 371 ; 
sells horses, 374 ; subscriptions, 361 ; 
succeeds Lord Manners, 361 ; the 
farmers' protest, 361 

Quorndon Club, the, 10 

Quomdon Hall, 45, 234 

Rabies, Mr. Meynell on, 53 

Railways, 234, 322 

Rider, a heavy, 194 

Rowland, Mr., the veterinary surgeon, 

195 

Run, an adventurous, 331 

Runs, 46, 54, 76, 77, 89, 90, 108, 112, 
113, 114, 119, 120, 123, 124, 128, 131, 
150> 155, 180, 181, 188, 193, 196, 206, 
207, 214, 228, 229, 232, 236, 238,257, 
258, 267, 270, 276, 286, 290, 297, 298, 
300, 319. 323, 352, 358, 364, 367, 368, 

37i 
Rutland. Duke of, and representation of 
North Leicestershire, 303, 304 

Scarlet coats, when first used, 14 
Second horsemen and Lord Lonsdale, 

375 ; first introduction of, 77 
Smith, Captain, rides winner of first 

G.N. II. Steeplechase, 289 
Smithies, Rev. E. , on hunting damage, 

309 

Stable lamps. 75 

Staghounds, bought by Lord Waterford 
from Mr. Villebois to hunt round Mel- 
ton, 194; proposed pack, 119; visit 
of the Queen's to the Cottesmore 
country, 342 



39 6 



INDEX 



Steeplechase, first Grand National Hunt, 

288,289; midnight, 15 
Subscriptions, 47, 53, 92, 117, 158, 198,. 

269, 333- 337. 353, 361 
Sundays in the Melton stables, 16 
Swimming the Severn, 319 ; the Wreake, 

3i8 

Tailby, Mr., takes some country from 
Marquis of Hastings, 295 ; see also 
Masters 

Theatricals, 44, 167 ; private, 44, 263, 
264, 265 

Tooley Park, 39 

Vulpicide, 227, 343 



Warner, Sheppard, and Wade's Horse 
Repository, opening of Messrs., 340 

Waterford, Lord, starts a pack of stag- 
hounds, 194; see also Names 

Weight riders, 124 

Wellington. Duke of, visits Leicestershire, 

165 
Wheat, prices of, 51 
White, Captain (" Leicestershire White "), 

riding, 94 
Wilton, Lord, improves the society at 

Melton, 1 5 ; larking at Melton, 1 8 ; Lord 

Grey de, summoned for damage, 33^ 
Wire fencing, 285, 287 
Woodland Pytchley, the, visit the Quorn 

Country, 376 



ERRATA 



Page 6, 

,, 25, 

„ 28, 

„ 36, 

»» 39, 

„ 47, 

„ 9i, 



,, 127, 
,, 129, 
,, 148, 
., 234, 
„ 238, 
,, 249, 
,, 252, 
,, 296, 
,, 331, 
„ 354, 
„ 366, 



line 10, for ' Healey ' read ' Henley.' 
19, for ' Gadsby ' read ' Gaddesby.' 

4 from bottom, for 'Nicholls' read ' Nicoll.' 
11, for 'Throsley' read 'Throsby.' 
10 from bottom, for ' Muster's ' read ' Musters's.' 

2 ,, for ' head ' read ' lead.' 
8 ,, for 'cannon ' read 'canon.' 

5 ,, for ' Brawnston ' read ' Braunstone.' 
17, for ' Cleaves ' read ' Eaves.' 
13, for ' rigueur ' read ' rigeur.' 
12 from bottom, yfrr 'T. Moore' read 'J. Moore.' 

3 and 10 from bottom, for 'Craddock ' read ' Cradock.' 
3 from bottom, for ' Counterthorpe ' read ' Countesthorpe. 

250, 251, 294, 305, for 'Storey' read 'Story.' 
286, for 'Ashfordby' read ' Asfordby. ' 
line 19, for 'Trussells' read 'Trussels.' 
332, 336, for 'Lord W 7 ilton ' read ' Lord Grey de Wilton.' 
line 2 from bottom,/^- ' Shephard ' read ' Sheppard.' 
,, 2 ,, for 'Johnston' read 'Johnstone. ' 



Printed by Ballantyne, Hanson if Co. 
Edinburgh 6 s London 



iter Family Library of Veterinary Medicine 
nings School of Veterinary Medicine at 
rsity 



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5