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Full text of "The Russell album : a memorial of the late Rev. John Russell containing a series of twelve hunting sketches"

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JOHNA.SEAVERNS 



The Russell Album 



E ^cmoiial 



OF THE LATE 



REV. JOHN RUSSELL 



CONTAINING 



A Series of Twelve Hunting Sketches 

By T. M. B. MARSHALL 
asaitfi an Introiiuction bjj CD. SL. iWof)un«|^avris 

DEDICATED BY PERMISSION TO H.R.H. THE PRINCE OF WALES 



LONDON 

BICKERS AND SON, i LEICESTER SQUARE 

1885 



The Russell D'Oyly Napkins. 



^^^^^HE material reminiscences of one of mark, who has passed away to his long 
home, to the sorrow of his family and to the regret— it might be truly said to 
the grief^of all with whom he was acquainted, are affectionately treasured by 



the surviving associates of his many pleasures in life, in response to the sentiment of the poet 



" As looks a father on the things 
Of his dead son, I look on these." — Maud. 



Not less have these memorials an interest to those who value the relic of a departed celebrity, 
in the light of an historic record that unites the present with the past, free from aught 
save the remembrance and the admiration of departed worth. 

The dispersion of the Russell relics at the Rector}^ at Black Torrington brought together 
a large concourse of persons, both far and near, of every grade and quality, all anxious to 
possess themselves of a memorial of one whom in life they delighted to cherish and to honour. 



( 4 ) 

and, from H.R.H. the Prince of Wales to the Romany of the Wild Moor, the same anxiety- 
prevailed to possess themselves of a treasured token, of something that had once been familiarly 
used by this distinguished gentleman, the recipient of many a blessing of the poor and needy 
to whom he was ever a generous benefactor and friend in the hour of need, and the hero of 
many a sporting tale. " Relics," writes that brilliant authoress, Ouida, " are like the casket of silver 
that held the ashes of death." 

On the dispersion of these relics at Black Torrington, no article attracted more attention 
and caused greater competition than the famed D'Oyly Napkins. They were the clever work 
of the late Mr. Thomas Bourchier Marshall, a cousin of the late Mr. Mervyn Marshall. The 
latter kept hounds at Blagdon, and hunted a portion of the Broadbury country. Like the late 
Mr. Edward Duppa, the friend of Sir William Molesworth and Mr. Collier, Mr. Bourchier. 
Marshall adopted the profession of a painter, and was the only pupil of Mr. S. A. Hart, 
Professor of Painting in the Royal Academy. Mr. Russell had often admired the dessert nap- 
kins of the Mess of the North Devon Yeomanry Hussars, and, being an old friend and associate 
in many a long run, Mr. Marshall painted, in the D'Oyly mode, in Indian ink, a set on the 
subject in which both delighted. The set passed into the hands of 'Mr. Russell's old friend 
Mr. Linnington Ash. Such is the brief outline of the history of these D'Oyly Napkins, the 
origin or qualifying cause of which name has caused no little trouble to elucidate. Thus much 
is certain. 

The origin of the name would appear to be as follows : — Some ladies belonging to a family 
of eminence, of the name of D'Oyly — accomplished artists — painted in Indian ink, on some 
dessert napkins, various clever and graceful subjects, and made them presents to their friends. 
They attracted much notice, and were generally admired. The process of the painting being 
made known, it was generally adopted, still reserving the name of the first proficients, D'Oyly. 
A lady residing at the time in Devonshire, and an acquaintance of the Misses D'Oyly, painted 



( 5 ) 

several, together with some vignettes, at the end of the first edition of " The Lay of the 
Last Minstrel," and a drawing of an unfinished vignette, giving a clarion scene in " Marmion," 
was sent to that lady by Miss D'Oyly herself. This is not conjecture, but fact, and " The 
Lay of the Last Minstrel" and "Marmion," with the vignettes, may be seen in a private library 
in this county. It was said that Miss D'Oyly had been instructed in the art by a French 
refugee. Certain it is that, until the beginning of the century, the name of D'Oyly had never 
been heard in reference to the dessert napkins. 

The Russell D'Oylies are now reproduced by the aid of photography, and brought out 
in the shape of an Album, dedicated, by permission, to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, the 
ever true and kind friend of the distinguished gentleman and sportsman. 

The ancestors of Mr. Russell came into Devonshire in the year 1551 — temp. Edw. VL They 
belonged to the family of Russell of Kingston Russell, bearing the same arms, with the well- 
known motto, " Che sara sara," and accompanied their kinsman Lord Russell into the West at 
the time of the Roman Catholic riots at Sampford Courtenay. Mr. Russell, being a clergyman, 
was sent to Crediton to preach and to uphold Protestantism against the attacks of Rome, for 
which he suff'ered in the ensuing reign of Mary, but was restored to his Protestant cure at the 
accession of Elizabeth. Since that time the Russell family remained in the north of Devon, 
having allied themselves to many families of local distinction. They have been noted for 
ability and personal advantages. It has been stated in the Russell memoirs (Davies, p. 2) 
that Mr. Russell, senior, took pupils when residing in the neighbourhood of Dartmouth, 
and, having a pack of harriers, kept a pony-hunter, on which the boy who had made most 
marks during the week had a privileged mount for the next meet. Mr. Russell, senior, had 
a reputation for talent, both in the pulpit and in the reading desk — a distinction that de- 
scended to his late son ; and he was also not less known for the aptitude of his classical quo- 
tations and conversational wit. His passages of arms with the late Sir John Rogers — both 



( 6 ) 

skilled combatants — at the after-dinner parties of the Chumleigh Club, which have been re- 
corded in the racy lyrics of the late George Templer of Stover, formed one of the most 
lively features of that sporting meeting. 

The Russell brothers, John, William, and Michael — each standing six feet — were well favoured 
and of goodly presence, and their only sister, Leonora (afterwards Mrs. Riccard, of South Molton), 
had more than an ordinary share of beauty, wit, and sparkling repartee. Many specimens 
of her wit and pungent satire might be recorded, but upon the Papal principle of " Pax urbi et 
orbi," — not without regret, — they are withheld. Suffice to say, that of the brilliant sallies, one especially 
was keenly relished by the celebrated wit Jekyl, and raised a smile on the sardonic countenance of 
Sir Samuel Romilly, who was on a visit at the time in the neighbourhood of the accomplished lady. 

Never was the apothegm — " noscitur a sociis " — more aptly illustrated than in the case of 
Russell, and he never belonged to that squadron of western bucolics known in the central shires by 
the designation of " sink the wind." His earliest friends by whom he was initiated in the science 
of fox-hunting were the late George Templer of Stover, the Rev. Harry Templer, most 
accomplished gentlemen, and the Hon. Newton Fellowes. These may be said to have been his 
sporting godfathers, and in after-years his social allies were J. Bulteel, Charles Trelawny, Sir 
Walter Carew, Sir John Duntze, Rev. Harry Farr Yeatman, Sir Arthur Chichester, Sir Henry 
B. Wrey, W. Coryton, Paul Treby, Arthur Mohun-Harris, styled in the Davies Memoirs 
"the Coadjutor," F. Glanville, T. J. PhilHpps, Admiral Parker, W. Harris, Moore Stevens, 
R. Sleeman, J. Morth Woolcombe, Sir W. Raleigh Gilbert, Rev. Pomeroy Gilbert, J. Clode 
Braddon, George Williams (Scorrier House), Walter Radclyffi?, Burlton Bennett, Pryce Mitchell, 
E. Scobell, H. and J. Deacon, J. Whidborne, Gage Hodge, A. Lock, Froude Bellew, L. Bencraft, 
and J. L. Davies, and, later in life, the Duke of Beaufort, Earl of Portsmouth, Lord 
Poltimore, Sir W. Molesworth, Whyte Melville, Anstruther Thompson, and Henry Villebois. 
He never varied in temper nor in character, and to one and all he was ever the same simple, kind- 



( 7 ) 

hearted, and brilliant associate. " His readiness and ability to help ladies in the stag-hunting 
field have been already alluded to, and from the eulogistic terms in which he never failed to 
speak of a few as 'elegant and accomplished horse-women ' who, whatever the pace, were wont 
to take a brilliant lead, and look to no one for help, so long as their horses could gallop, and 
they could help themselves." First and foremost come Miss Kinglake, now the Hon. Mrs. 
T. Fitz-William, "one of the best," as Russell writes, "I ever saw from find to finish on 
Exmoor," her sister Miss Beata Kinglake, Lady Lovelace, Mrs. Henry Deane, Mrs. Pulsford 
Browne, a very fine rider, who went as straight over a country as a bird on the wing. Then 
there were Miss Clara Jekyll, Mrs. Wynch, Mrs. John Luttrell, Miss Leslie, the three Miss 
Taylors of Dulverton, Miss Julia Carwithen, now Mrs. Pyne Cofhn, Miss Luttrell, Miss Whidborne, 
Mrs. Louis and Mrs. Russell Riccard, Mrs. James Turner, Miss Vibart, Lady Lindsay, Mrs. 
Procter Baker, Miss Constance Baxendale, and Mrs. Lock Roe. Then, last in the list, but rarely 
so in the chase, come Mrs. Granville Somerset, and her sister, Mrs. Cholmondeley, two ladies 
whom Russell described as worthy of niches in the grandest temple ever dedicated to the 
Forest Queen."— (Davies, p. 351.) To this Russell list might have been added the Misses Carew 
of Marley, the Misses Parker and Stuart Hawkins, ever in the front rank with the Dartmoor hounds. 

Russell never recovered the change from his own happy Tordown, at Swymbridge, to the 
more lucrative Rectory at Black Torrington. He had, however, a pack of fox-hound harriers that 
were simply perfection, and on his last birthday, being incapable of field exertion, and upon 
the advice of his medical friend and physician, Mr. Linnington Ash, the hounds took their depar- 
ture for the kennel of Mr. Baring, at Membland, near Plymouth. His old friend and ally 
Mohun-Harris came to visit him on that day, and, in lamenting the departure of his favourites, 
the tears trickled down his cheeks, especially in speaking of one " Henbane," whom he said 
" could see scent," and who had been reserved with another couple, and, had life been spared 
him with an accession of health, they would, without doubt, have formed the nucleus of another 
pack. He was much aftected at seeing his old friend and ally of over half a century on this which 



( 8 ) 

was his last birthday, but after dinner with Mr. Linnington Ash, he recovered his spirits, and 
talked over the runs over Broadbury, with accompanying anecdotes, in his wonted and cheery way. 
" Mindj Arthur," were his last words, " that you give an especial account in Baily of my dear, 
dear hounds, and remember 'Henbane.'" He expatiated with affectionate gratitude on the many 
acts of kindness that he had received at Sandringham from their Royal Highnesses the Prince 
and Princess of Wales, and of the latter he ever delighted to speak in terms of unbounded 
admiration. Mr. Henry Villebois came from Norfolk, at the desire of H.R.H., in the hope of 
being able to convey favourable intelligence. Russell subsequently went to Bude for change 
of air, without any good effects, and, returning home, passed away rapidly, but without pain, 
and in peace and love with all, "in spe beatfe resurrectionis." 

M. H. 




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