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Webster Family Library of Veterinary Medicine 

Cunnmings School of Veterinary Medicine at 

Tufts University 

200 Westboro Road 

North Grafton. MA 01536 

IN TllK KlELl) 

II ixtim; inaiiNiscENCES 














the Daughter of tmj old friends, Mr Merthyr 

and tlie Lady THEODORA GuEST, icho shares 

in the tastes that have inspired, and from her 

earliest years has been associated with the sports 

that are the theme of this booh. 

A. F. S. 































HUNT ........ 253 



THE master's pack, 1900 (MERTEYR GUEST, M.F, 

vale) .... 

T. C. GARTH, M.F.H. 















HOUNDS ...... 





MRS GUNDRY ...... 



"farewell to the hunt." MERTHYR GUEST, M.F.H. , AND THE 

MISS serrell's talesman 












The graphic stories of the hunting-field told me 
by my father, the Rev. H. Digby Serrell, are 
among my earliest recollections. Being a Dorset- 
shire man, my father hunted all the early part of 
his life with the Dorset packs, and the names of 
Mr Farquharson, the Kev. Harry Farr Yeatman, 
Mr Tudway, Mr Hall, and Mr Drax were house- 
hold words with the members of his family. As 
we listened to the tales of those early days, we 
learned to love the sport so dear to the heart of 
the narrator, and gained our own first knowledge 
of hunting from his lips. 

My father was a fine sportsman of the old school, 
and he had a remarkably quick eye and a wonderful 
knack of sticking to hounds. One of his favourite 



sayings was, that a man was no good in the hunt- 
ing-field if he could not finish as well as begin. 
Many a time also I have heard him say, " If you 
keep down wind of the hounds, they are sure to 
come to you," and when riding to hounds I have 
borne this in mind, and by my own experience 
have proved its truth. It was always a delight to 
listen to accounts of the runs of bygone days, for 
as my father had a very retentive memory, he 
would describe the incidents that happened in 
them, and thus bring the whole scene vividly 
before us. 

At the time when he was hunting in Dorset, 
some of the keenest men with hounds were clergy- 
men, and very remarkable characters they were. 

The Rev. Harry Farr Yeatman, of Stock House, 
owned a pack of hounds with which he hunted fox, 
hare, and roe-deer in the Stock coverts and parts 
of Somersetshire. These hounds were dwarf fox- 
hounds, and only stood twenty or twenty - one 
inches, but they had been drawn from all the best 
kennels in England by Mr George Templar of 
Devonshire, from whose possession they passed to 
that of Mr Yeatman in the year 1826. The roe- 
deer which this pack often hunted were brought 
into the country by Lord Dorchester, and from 
that time to the present they have lived in the 
woods and hills of the wilder districts. 

A good old yeoman of Stalbridge, named William 
Harris, was entered with Mr Yeatman's hounds, 
and was fond of telling the story of his first day in 

Thi: Rlv. HARkI I AkR 'i liATMAN, A\.F.H. 


the field. He was riding a pulling pony, and in 
the course of a run he came full tilt against a local 
magistrate, whom he ignominiously capsized. The 
sufferer was very indignant, and appealed to the 
Master to have the boy flogged. The Master, 
however, took a different view of the matter, and 
said slyly he thought he saw some good in the 
boy, as he had come off number one in his first 
brush against a justice of the peace. This in- 
cident, and the fact that on the same day young 
Harris dislodged a marten cat which the hounds 
had tree'd, made him from that time a favourite 
with Mr Yeatman. Harris became one of the 
hardest riding men in the Vale, and his sons after 
him were very keen men with hounds. When 
Harris was once asked who was the best sportsman 
he had ever known, he replied, " There have been 
so many of the right sort hereabouts, that I'm 
blest if I know. But one day I was sitting be- 
tween the two divines, Mr Yeatman and the Rev. 
Jack Kussell, and I says, ' Gentlemen, I feels 
mortal proud to find myself between the two best 
sportsmen in England.' " 

It was through his friend Mr Yeatman that 
my father made the acquaintance of the Rev. 
John Russell, of Devonshire fame, another choice 
spirit of the clerical circle whose interests were 
not bounded by their parochial duties. My father 
was staying at Stock House when he heard his 
host lamenting that, owing to his hunting estab- 
lishment being very short of hands, he did not 


know how to get some hounds to the Kev. Jack 
E/Ussell, which he had promised by a certain day. 
Being young and always eager where hounds were 
in question, my father volunteered to take the 
draft to Iddesleigh, in Devonshire, and to deliver 
them within the time specified. This meant a 
long and weary journey by road. But, nothing 
daunted, my father was off at daybreak with a 
large piece of cheese in his pocket, with which 
he coaxed the hounds along till they grew accus- 
tomed to him, and he accomplished the odd 
eighty miles on horseback in the stipulated time. 
This was the sort of thing to appeal to Mr 
Bussell. He was very pleased, and gave my 
father the warmest of welcomes. That night as 
the two men were sitting at dinner my father 
expressed his regret that the next day was not 
one of Mr Bussell's hunting days, as he had to 
go oflP early in the morning of the day after to 
enable him to keep his term at Oxford. He 
expressed so much disappointment at not seeing 
the famous hounds in the field, that at last Mr 
Bussell exclaimed, " Look here, my boy, you shall 
see them, if you don't mind turning out at day- 
break. There is a fox shut up in the saddle-room 
that was brought me to-day, and we will see if 
we can't dust his jacket for him." It was in the 
early spring, and a move was made to the stables 
the following morning before it was light. The 
men being roused, the horses were soon saddled, 
and all was ready for departure. The kennel lad 


was sent off on a rough pony with the fox in a 
bag, which he was ordered to let out at a certain 
spot, and then hounds were unkennelled and they 
started in pursuit. A glorious spin over a fine 
wild country followed, at the end of which the 
fox made good his escape, and the two sportsmen 
returned home in good time, as hounds had to 
Innit the next day. From that time Mr Russell 
and my father often met, both in Devon and in 

A remark of Mr Yeatman's, made in an after- 
dinner speech, respecting the boundaries of the 
Blackmore Vale Hunt in his days, is still remem- 
bered in Dorset. The hunt extended, he said — 

" From the woods at the back of Stock 
To the alpine heights of Mendip, 
From the Pillar of renowned Hood 
To the Tower of immortal Alfred," 

all of which are well-known landmarks in the 

In an old hunting journal kept by Mr Yeatman 
from the year 1826 to 1831, which has come to 
me through my father, all the entries are signed 
John Channing, and are written as if from his 
pen. With regard to the difficulties that con- 
fronted Mr Yeatman when he began to hunt the 
country, he says, writing in the usual way in the 
person of his huntsman, John Channing : " It 
must not be forgotten — 1st, that a very consider- 
able part of the country which their proprietor 
established in 1826 had not been hunted at all 


for nearly thirty years, that the foxes had been 
systematically destroyed, and even that their 
haunts and earths were known to few, if to any 
persons, except to those who dealt in their de- 
struction ; 2nd, that this small extent of country 
had never been hunted before by any gentleman 
as an entire country ; 3rd, that at its farthest 
north - eastern, Wiltshire, extremity the coverts 
are of enormous extent, and so full of earths 
as to baffle the vigilance of the most careful 
and active stopper ; 4th, that a large portion 
of the country lying between Compton Castle 
and Yeovil is nearly destitute of covert of any 
description capable of holding a fox during the 
winter months, consisting almost entirely of sandy 
arable land, intersected by roads and notorious 
as bad scenting ground ; and, lastly, that a system 
bordering on persecution in the county of Dorset 
was not wanting to superadd difficulties to the 
whole of no ordinary kind. 

Yet in spite of difficulties the hunt became 
very popular, and from the same old journal I 
find that at a fixture at Stock House in 1828 
there were " two hundred and eighty-five horse- 
men " present, a very large field for that period. 
On that occasion hounds were hunting fox, and 
finding immediately, " after a brilliant burst of 
forty minutes they killed their fox in superior 
style in the open, before he could reach Caundle 
Holt coverts." 

Another run chronicled in March 1831 deserves 



mention. The meet was " at Batcombe Wood, 
near Bruton, and the wind was in the south-west, 
with driving rain. We found immediately, and 
went away on only middling terms across the 
enclosure by Batcombe Lodge and on to Asham 
Wood " — the latter a covert of some 600 acres — 
" across the corner of Asham, hounds made for 
the * alpine heights of Mendip,' hunting their fox 
over the heather and furzes of this wild and 
romantic region to a place called Lye. Here, in 
heavy fog and rain, the fox was apparently lost, 
having been headed by the furze-cutters on the 
moor. By taking hounds on two miles, the line 
was recovered in masterly style in Lye Wood, 
the pack racing their fox through the fine coverts 
of Colonel Horner at Mells, and on to Vallis and 
Little Elm, near Frome. Here a curious sight 
presented itself In a rocky gorge in the valley 
at the base of a tree overhano-ino;' a mountain 
torrent, the hounds were at bay, and on the top 
of the tree, twenty feet above ground, and in 
a mass of ivy, the fox was at perch. From thence 
he made his leap into the stream below, a favourite 
hound and the fox sinking to the bottom together. 
Thus ended a run of four hours and forty-five 
minutes, over every variety of ground, a good 
twenty-five miles having been covered in this 
curious chase, w^iich extended through thirteen 
parishes." A peculiarity that marked Mr Yeatman's 
description of a run was that he always noted the 
number of parishes hounds had been through. 


Of the E/ev. William Butler, known familiarly as 
" Billy " Butler, who had the living of Frampton, 
in Dorset, the choicest stories of the time were 
told. Mr Butler was a great character, and though 
he was devoted to the pleasures of the chase, and 
always " knew where to rise a salmon or flush a 
woodcock," he was by no means inattentive to the 
duties of his profession, and was, I believe, a good 
reader and preacher. Mr Butler was, I think, one 
of those parsons who, " to encourage matrimony 
and early rising," as they put it, or, as it may 
seem to others, to give themselves a clear day for 
hunting, used to marry any of the labouring classes 
without fee, on condition that they came for the 
ceremony before eight o'clock in the morning. 

A story told of Mr Butler and Mr Yeatman is 
that one day when they were driving to the meet 
together, these two worthies disputed as to which 
of them could best preach a hunting sermon. The 
dispute waxed warm, and they settled they were 
to try on the following Sunday. When the time 
came, Mr Butler gave as the text of his dis- 
course, " We heard of it at Ephratah, and found 
it in the Avood," while Mr Yeatman chose the 
words, " This is the heir," — hare, — " come let us 
kill him." How the rival merits were decided I 
do not know. 

Mr Butler was a favourite with all, from the 
lowest to the highest, and many stories my father 
used to tell of the friendship of the eccentric parson 
with the Prince of Wales. The Prince, afterwards 


George IV., at that time kept a pack of foxhounds 
in Dorset, and hunted from Critchell, which place 
he had taken from Mr Sturt. Billy Butler's 
acquaintance with the Prince began in the field. 
The Prince, after a long and fruitless draw with 
his hounds, was told that the rector of Framp- 
ton could tell him where to find a fox if any one 
could, as he knew the home of every fox in the 
country. Inquiring if the gentleman was out, and 
hearing that he was, the Prince sent a messenger 
asking Mr Butler to come and speak to him. This 
of course Mr Butler did, and he told the Prince 
that a fox was generally to be found in a certain 
gorse at a little distance. Much pleased at the 
news, the Prince trotted off. Unfortunately 
for his informant, the covert was drawn blank. 
Mr Butler, however, was not one to sit quietly 
under defeat, so, getting off his horse, he went up 
to the huntsman and said — 

" Which do you consider your best hound to face 
a thick place ? I am sure the fox is at home, but 
the gorse is so dense the hounds have overdrawn 

" Well, sir," was the reply, as the huntsman 
pointed with his whip to an old hound, " Trojan 
there is as good as any." 

To the astonishment of every one present, Mr 
Butler went up to the hound indicated, and after 
stroking him down and making friends with him, 
picked him up in his arms and disappeared with 
him into the covert. Talking to the hound as he 


went, he at last released him, and induced him to 
put his nose down. After a few moments Trojan 
gave a whimper, and lashing his sides with his 
stern, started full cry through the gorse. The 
rest of the pack joined in, and pushing their fox 
out handsomely, a capital run followed. After 
this the Prince and Mr Butler became fast 
friends, and the latter was often invited to 

It is said, though for this I have not my father's 
authority, that one day when the Prince invited 
Mr Butler to dine with him on the following 
Sunday, he received the unceremonious rejoinder, 
" Well, your Boyal Highness, Sunday is a bad day 
to ask a parson to dine. If your Royal Highness 
will make it Monday, I will come with pleasure." 
The suggestion was taken in good part, and the 
dinner was fixed for Monday. 

Another story of the way in which Mr Butler 
came to the assistance of the Prince, my father 
was very fond of narrating. The Prince's hounds 
had many times found a fox in a particular 
covert, from which he always took the same 
line, and saved himself in the main earths some 
miles away. One night after they had had one 
of these runs Mr Butler was dining at Critchell, 
and he suggested that the next time hounds 
met for this covert he should take two couples 
of the fastest hounds in the pack, and go to 
a shepherd's hut he had noticed about half-way 
between the covert and the main earths. The 


Prince was delighted at the idea, so a few days 
afterwards a special fixture was made in order 
to carry it out. Mr Butler started off with the 
hounds coupled and fastened to the thong of 
his hunting-whip, and on reaching the hut he 
tied up his horse, and hid himself and the 
hounds inside. After waiting anxiously for some 
time, he heard the chase drawing near, and 
peeping out espied "Master Reynard" approach- 
ing. Waiting till the fox came up, he flung 
open the door, and with a cheer capped on the 
two couple of hounds in full view. Vaulting 
into the saddle, " Billy " rode his hardest in 
their wake, and the field came streaming be- 
hind. The fox, however, proved equal to the 
occasion, and after a desperate race for life, 
slipped into the earth and saved his brush, 
much to the chagrin of Mr Butler and the 

In return for the many services Mr Butler 
had done him, the Prince determined to give 
him a present. He told him he might go to 
the stable and choose any horse he liked, and Mr 
Butler picked out a fine chestnut, with which 
he was much delighted. His pleasure, however, 
was rudely checked a few days later when a 
message came to him that it was found the 
chestnut did not belong to the Prince, and was 
now wanted back by its owner. A cheque for 
£150 that accompanied the news did not make 
up for the disappointment, though not long 


afterwards the Prince made ample amends by 
saying, " I am sorry you lost your horse, Billy. 
Go into my stable and take another." 

Almost as much talked of as his master was 
a terrier named Pompey that belonged to Mr 
Butler. This dog was shaved like a poodle, 
and was as keen after a fox as any hound 
that hunted over the Vale. Mr Butler died 
at Okeford Fitzpaine, from which place he had 
hunted for many years. 

The Bev. C. Newbolt, the rector of Somerton, 
was another of the keen hunting parsons of 
Dorset, and he said of my father and his old 
horse Friar, that he was 

" A good 'un to follow when hounds are fast running, 
Though it must be confessed he rides somewhat cunning." 

Mr Newbolt was an inveterate punster, and 
among the riddles he liked to shower on his 
friends was one on a lady of his acquaintance 
who, after being engaged to a Mr Wood, event- 
ually married a Mr Stone. " Why," he would 
ask, " is Mrs Stone an idolatress ? " And the 
answer always came with the same fine relish, 
" Because she was first a worshipper of Wood 
and then of Stone." 

While Mr Hall was hunting a part of the 
Vale country my father was out with his hounds 
on a very stormy wet day, and he viewed a 
fox away from the down - wind side of a large 
covert. Giving a holloa, he brought up Mr 



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Hall and the pack at a gallop, but hounds, 
having their heads up, passed over the line. 
Mr Hall turned reproachfully to my father 
when he found hounds were at fault, saying, 
" If it had been any one but you, I should 
have said it was a false holloa." To this the 
reply came, " My dear Hall, if you will just 
walk hounds down the hedge, you will give 
them a chance of hitting off the line." This 
advice Mr Hall acted on, and a brilliant run 
of forty - five minutes, ending in a kill, was 
the result. Mr Hall was up at the finish but 
without his cap, and when Mr Newbolt arrived 
on the scene he was wearing the missing cap 
on the top of his own hat. 

In memory of this day's sport Mr Hall had 
the fox's head set up in a glass case and sent 
to my father, and it is still in my possession 
in a perfect state of preservation. 

But while Mr Yeatman, Mr Hall, Mr Portman, 
— the first Baron and first Viscount Portman, — 
and later Mr Drax were hunting over parts of 
Dorset and Somerset, the whole of the country of 
Dorset was nominally under the mastership of Mr 
T. J. Farquharson, whose hunt territory was no 
less than fifty-four miles in length. Before, how- 
ever, Mr Farquharson started his foxhounds in 
1806 the country had been hunted early in the 
eighteenth century. My friend Mr Charles Phelips 
tells me that his great-grandfather, Mr Phelips of 
Montacute, in Somerset, is said to have been the 


founder of the Cattistock Hunt, as he kept his 
hounds at Cattistock and hunted parts of Somer- 
set, Dorset, and Wilts. 

From the same source I have an old paper which 
tells of a huntsman named Isaac Kogers, who was 
born at Montacute and became known throug'hout 
the West of England as the " Doctor." Rogers 
seems to have been something of a character. 
On account of the great fondness he showed as 
a lad for horse and hound he was taken by Mr 
Phelips as under-strapper in his stables. Here 
the " Doctor " rose successively to be groom, pos- 
tilion, and whipper-in to the hounds, and on the 
death of the huntsman, Amos, he was promoted 
to the vacant post. 

Many are the anecdotes told of this worthy 
while he was hunting Mr Phelips's hounds. He 
was never afraid of speaking his mind, and always 
maintained there were no hounds in England that 
could beat his. The owner of a noble pack of fox- 
hounds, who had been on a visit to Mr Phelips, and, 
like all who knew the " Doctor," been attracted by 
him, asked him to come and see his hounds and 
taste his strong beer. As soon, therefore, as hay- 
making was over, at which the "Doctor" always 
took his share, the huntsman started off to inspect 
the rival pack. When the owner asked him his 
opinion of his hounds, Rogers answered, "Why, 
they be picturs to look at, but they hain't half so 
scratched in the face as our old measter's be down 
at Montacute." 


In his work the "Doctor" was indefatigable, 
and if, when he had run a fox to ground, he sus- 
pected that it might be dug out or a gin set during 
the night, he would start off as soon as his hounds 
had been tended, and whatever the distance from 
the kennels, he would make sure that all was right 
before he returned. 

One day, when the fixture was at Melbury, a 
member of the hunt, who overtook the "Doctor" 
and his hounds on the way to the meet, re- 
marked that he was tired from the long chase of 
the day before, to which the "Doctor" responded 
bluntly, " If you be tired with a four hours' ding 
yesterday, what must I be then, for this be the 
zeven-and-vortieth day vollying that I have hal- 
lied to a hound, save and except Sundays." On 
another occasion a party of riders met the " Doctor" 
when he was on the way to covert, and they asked 
him where hounds were going. " Why," was the 
answer, " we be going to try if we can't tackle thik 
Whitfield fox that have a-beat us vour times. I've 
drafted vourteen couple of sich rogues, that if he 
don't look pretty sharp, I count in about three- 
quarters of an hour they will be for sucking his 

The " Doctor," when drawing Prince's Wood one 
day, took no notice when some of the hounds chal- 
lenged, until at last he was asked why he did not 
cheer them. " Because," was the answer, with 
becoming scorn for the questioner, " we have a- 
many young hounds out, and I'm afraid it be 


nothing but some small varmint." Then he sat 
on listening anxiously for the voices of some of 
his old friends, till at last two or three of them 
began to give tongue. All animation in a moment, 
the " Doctor's " voice rang out, " Hark to ould 
Bowler, Vengeance, and Warwhoop ! Now the 
right bell have tolled." On another day, after 
running a fox hard, hounds had got him into a 
small coppice and were scoring at him, when he 
began to run short. " Ah," exclaimed the " Doctor," 
" it's pretty well up with him. Don't ye hear 
how angry ould Shark, the bandy-legged tarrier, 
be with him ? " 

The " Doctor " was always on his guard against 
what he considered chaff, no matter from whom it 
came. On a good scenting day, when hounds in a 
thick fog had run clean away from the field, the 
" Doctor " was an hour trying to get to them, and 
when at last he reached them he found them 
coming back by themselves. The " Doctor " was 
of opinion that they had killed their fox, and Mr 
Phelips remarked to him, " You had better get off 
and smell their breath. That will soon tell you." 
" No, no, Measter," returned the old man with a 
knowing look, "that will never do. A pretty 
story would be carried up along into the New 
Forest next April, that the ' Doctor ' did not 
know when his hounds had killed their fox without 
getting off to smell the breaths o' 'em." 

The " Doctor " died at the age of seventy-four, 
sixty years of which he had passed in the service 


of Mr Phellps. The epitaph his master had put 
on his tombstone was as follows : — 

" Now, the ' Doctor ' is laid, and over his head 

May the turf he as light as a feather ! 
And if not very warm, it will do him no harm, 

Who ne'er valued the wind nor the weather. 
He's no longer in view, but to give him his due, 

Though not born nor bred for a college, 
Death ne'er drove to the earth a man of more worth, 

More science, or practical knowledge. 
Isaac Rogers his name : a huntsman whose fame 

From the Yeo to the Avon resounded : 
At his musical voice Clift Wood would rejoice, 

Dev'rill Longwood its echo rebounded. 
As in life's busy burst he was never the first 

To hit off a fault in a neighbour, 
Now he's fairly stopt in, let us hope that he'll win 

The brush of reward for his labour." 

Another old-world hunt, of which Mr G. Chafyn- 
Grove ^ has been good enough to give me some par- 
ticulars, was that of the Cranborne Chase, over 
which one of his forebears ruled in the eighteenth 
century. Mr W. Chafyn-Grove, who was M.P. for 
Weymouth in 1768, and for Shaftesbury in 1774, 
kept a pack of foxhounds at his place at Waddon, 
which he kennelled at Yeals when he was hunting 
the country round there. " As he lived sometimes 
at one place and sometimes at the other," Mr G. 
Chafyn-Grove tells me, " he seems to have taken 
his hounds backwards and forwards whenever he 

' Formerly Mr Troyte-Bullock, who took the name of Chafyn- 
Grove when he succeeded to his relative's properties of Waddon 
and Zeals, in Wiltshire. 



changed his abode. I do not know whether he 
hunted all the country from Waddon to Zeals ; if 
he did, he must have had a very large territory ; 
but I suppose that, like Mr Farquharson, he hunted 
a part of the season at one place and part at the 
other. The kennels at Yeals were converted into 
a laundry and drying-ground, and those at Waddon 
into cottage and garden, shortly before I came into 
the property. 

" I have a very good miniature of Mr W. Chafyn- 
Grove in his hunt coat, which is scarlet, with silver 
buttons and a blue velvet collar ; very smart ! 
There are some curious memoranda in an old 
pocket-book of his at Yeals relating to his hunts- 
man's wages, horses, and general expenditure. 
One entry in the book is as follows : ' Paid Mr G. 
Komney for portrait of self and wife, 70 guineas.' " 

The Cranborne Chase Hunt had the distinction 
of being the first country in which hounds were 
kept to hunt fox to the exclusion of all other kinds 
of quarry. Mr Thomas Fownes, who purchased 
certain rights in the Chase, as well as the Manor 
of Stapleton — or Steepleton — in Dorset, in the 
middle of the seventeenth century, hunted his 
hounds from Stapleton, and built up a pack which 
was said to be the best in England. From the 
possession of Mr Fownes, Stapleton passed into the 
hands of Julines Beckford, father of the celebrated 
Peter Beckford, author of ' Thoughts on Hunting.' 
The future writer was accustomed to hunting in 
the Chase from his earliest years, and when he 



arrived at man's estate he became the Master of 
a pack of harriers. He soon, however, made fox- 
hunting his chief object, and set to work to revive 
the glories of the old Cranborne Chase Hunt. The 
country over which Beckford hunted adjoined the 
Blackmore Vale Hunt territory, on the northern 
side of its boundaries. 

The Purbeck was yet another old hunt, whose 
country, as well as that of the Cranborne Chase, 
belonged in part to Dorset. The former was under 
the mastership of Sir Granby Calcraft, who kept 
a pack of hounds at Rempstone in the early years 
of the last century, and at the close of the preced- 
ing one. 

In 1806 Mr Farquharson, after passing through 
Eton and Oxford, became a Master of Hounds as 
soon as he had attained his majority. He bought a 
})ack from Mr Wyndham of Dinton, and with Peter 
Beckford and " Billy " Butler as his guides, he 
determined to hunt the hounds himself In spite 
of the young Master's enthusiasm, however, he 
found his experience was not yet equal to the task, 
so he resigned the horn to Ben Jennings, who came 
from Essex to be his huntsman. 

At his home at Langton, which was situated in 
a beautiful park on the banks of the river Stour, 
Mr Farquharson built stables which were said to 
be the finest in the south of England. They were 
built of bath -stone, in oval form, were fitted with 
oak stalls for thirty-four horses, and had a covered 
ride round them. At Eastbury, a village a little 


distance off, kennels for seventy - five couple of 
hounds were erected, together with stabling for 
some fifty horses. The kennels were never very 
satisfactory, however, and there was constant ill- 
ness among the hounds. On the other side of his 
country Mr Farquharson had a hunting-box at 
Cattistock, and for over fifty years he hunted 
this large territory at his own expense six days 

With all classes Mr Farquharson was popular. 
Three times in the course of his hunting career he 
received practical proof of the good feeling existing 
with the landowners and farmers of the district. 
The first of these testimonials was presented to 
him in 1827, and took the form of a handsome 
Etruscan vase and shield, for which the substantial 
sum of £1150 had been raised. Again at the end 
of fifty years' mastership a magnificent pair of 
silver candelabra were subscribed for, and the 
balance of the £1800 collected was expended on 
a portrait of the Master painted by Mr — after- 
wards Sir — Francis Grant. In this picture Mr 
Farquharson is on his favourite horse Botanist, 
and has Rarity, one of the best hounds in his pack, 
at his side. Before the painting was ready for 
presentation Mr Farquharson had announced his 
intention of resigning, and it was therefore at a 
farewell meeting with the members of his hunt 
that he received it. 

Mr Farquharson married as his second wife Mrs 
John Phelips, widow of the Squire of Montacute, 


who had been a staunch friend and supporter of 
the hunt, and had lived up to the motto over the 
entrance to his house, " Through this wide opening 
gate none come too early, none return too late." 
Another prominent member of Mr Farquharson's 
hunt was Mr Williams, known to his friends as 
"The Bangalore." The nickname was given to 
him because on one occasion when the Master 
was rallying him upon his want of knowledge 
of hunting, he replied that he had once kept a 
fox on a chain for three years when he had been 
stationed at Bangalore. 

During the later years of his reign, Mr Far- 
quharson had the celebrated Jim Treadwell as 
his huntsman, Ben Jennings, who had been with 
him for thirty years, having become too old for 
his duties. It was when Mr Hall gave up the 
part of the Vale over which he had hunted, and 
sold his hounds, that half his pack, together with 
Treadwell, who had been hunting them, went 
to Mr Farquharson. The new huntsman was a 
brilliant rider and a judicious hound-breeder, and 
he remained with Mr Farquharson to the end 
of his reign. 

Of the long dispute between Mr Drax and Mr 
Farquharson, that dragged its weary length through 
so many years, every one has heard. The cause 
dated back to the time when Mr Drax Grosvenor, 
of Char borough, made over his country to Mr Far- 
quharson soon after the latter had started hunt- 
ing. An agreement was made between them that 


if at any future time either Mr Drax Grosvener 
or his son Kichard should wish to take back the 
Charborough country, Mr Farquharson should give 
it up. Neither of the Drax Grosvenors wished to 
do this. But Mr John Samuel Wanley Sawbridge, 
who married Mr Erie Drax Grosvenors daughter, 
and assumed the names of Erie Drax, started a 
pack of harriers at Char borough, and after a few 
years, wishing to exchange the hunting of the 
hare for that of the fox, he demanded his father- 
in-law's former country back from Mr Farquharson. 
This the latter declined, on the ground that Mr 
Drax had been no party to the original agreement ; 
and, moreover, the Master said he felt himself 
bound to keep the country in its integrity, as it 
had been handed over to him. A lengthy corre- 
spondence and a good deal of ill-feeling was the 
result ; and when Mr Drax bought a property in 
the very heart of Mr Farquharson's hunt country, 
matters became very strained, and Mr Farquharson 
was warned off all coverts belonging to his oppo- 
nent. After Mr Drax resigned in 1853, Mr Digby 
of Sherborne Castle, Lord Portman, and other 
landowners joined in putting pressure on Mr 
Farquharson to give up a portion of his immense 
territory, so the old Master, in 1858, determined 
to resign. 

As soon as the resignation had been effected 
and the hounds dispersed, the Blackmore Vale 
Hunt enlarged its borders. Lord Portman and 
his son took that part which is still known 


by their family name, and Lord Poltimore took 
Avhat has since been known as the Cattistock 

Mr Farquharson did much to encourage horse- 
breeding among the farmers of Dorset, and a pony 
of his own breeding, though standing only 14 '2, 
was a favourite mount of Jim Treadwell's. This 
animal, which was known as " The Pony," carried 
Treadwell for eight seasons, and it was on his 
back that the huntsman's well-known picture was 
taken. Mr Farquharson lived to see the division 
of his old country, for he only died at Langton 
in 1871, when he was in his eighty - seventh 

The hunt territory of these early days which 
most nearly coincided with the country of the 
Blackmore Vale of the present time, was that 
hunted by Mr Drax after he had closed his coverts 
to Mr Farquharson, Mr Drax then had the sup- 
port of those farmers and landowners who objected 
to the loner distances to be traversed to meet Mr 
Farquharson in the widely extended tract of 
country over which his fixtures were scattered. 
Mr Drax's foxhounds were started in 1833, and 
when in 1840 he bought Mr Portman's hounds, 
he became the Master of the whole of the Black- 
more Vale country. Mr Drax remained in office 
till 1853, when he sold his hounds to Mr G. 
Whieldon of Wyke Hall. 

The season foUowinof that in which Mr Drax's 
hunt was started, Mr Henry Hall, by arrangement 


with Mr Yeatman, undertook to hunt a portion 
of the latter Master's country ; but though he 
had a great deal to do with the management of 
matters for some years, he was only the recog- 
nised Master for one season. Mr Tudway of 
Wells, who bought some of Mr Hall's hounds 
when the latter gave up, and hunted in the 
neighbourhood of Wells, had some of the Black- 
more Vale coverts lent to him, and when Mr 
Theobald succeeded Mr Tudway, those coverts 
were still hunted by his hounds. 

An accident that my father had cause to re- 
member happened to him when he was out with 
Mr Tudway's hounds. They had run a fox very 
hard, and at last it took refuge under a hawthorn- 
tree, and setting up his back kept the hounds at 
bay. The first rider to reach them was my father, 
and he, springing from his horse, grasped the fox 
by the neck and brush and lifted him over his 
head. As he did so, the fox fixed his teeth into 
his wrist and held on tenaciously, giving him a 
very severe bite. It is a thing to remember that 
when a fox is handled he is never happy till he 
gets something tight between his teeth to which 
he can hang, and once he has this you can 
generally take hold of him safely. In Hampshire, 
where traps are constantly put down and left by 
poachers on the heath commons, I have often 
released both foxes and hounds by giving them 
my hunting crop to gnaw while I set them free. 
On one occasion I heard a hound near Bramshill 

J. S. \V. SA\VBRID(iE KRl.i; DRAX. M.T.H. 


in great distress, and suspecting what was the 
matter I turned back. I found the hound caught 
by the foreleg in an iron gin which was securely 
pegged down, and three strangers were doing 
their best to get hold of him. The hound, how- 
ever, was nearly frantic from pain, and was 
flying furiously at them, so I jumped down, 
and thrusting my crop well into his mouth, I 
put my foot on the trap and he was out in a 
minute. Happily, he was not much the worse 
for his adventure. 

The Vale was noted for its hard riders in Mr 
Drax's time, and one of those whom it was said 
nothing short of a haystack would stop was Mr 
Tatchell BuUen, who was " such a bruiser across 
country" that his friends suggested he should 
neither wear spurs nor carry a whip. Parson 
Place and the Rev. C. Newbolt of punning fame 
were also among the hardest, and few could beat 
the first Baron Portman when he was on his 
favourite chestnut Three-to-One. Mr Hall was 
also a fine horseman and a fearless and straight 

Mr Drax had a great eye for colour in his own 
and his servants' dress in the field. The latter 
were attired in canary-coloured plush coats, with 
blue collars bound with gold lace, and a gold fox 
with a silver brush on each side of the collar. 
For the rest they had red waistcoats, white 
breeches, white tops, black velvet caps, and 
white gloves. The members of the hunt sported 


scarlet, but the Master came out in a sky-blue 
coat, a cream - coloured waistcoat embroidered 
with gold, and a top-hat. On certain days Mr 
Drax would mount himself and his men on grey 
horses, though he did not by any means 
confine his establishment to horses of that 




My first days with hounds were in Hampshire 
and Berkshire, for my father bought Brooke 
House, in the former county, when I was still a 
child, and thither we removed for the benefit of 
my mother's health. How well I remember going 
with my father to a meet of Mr Garth's hounds 
for the first time. I was riding a cream-coloured 
cob that had a mouth of iron, and as I soon dis- 
covered I could not hold him, I decided that the 
best thing was to let him alone. As soon as 
hounds found away we went. I rather enjoyed 
it, but naturally we soon came to a standstill, 
and then my disgust was great. 

It was not long after this that my brother 
Campbell went to Oxford, and as he left a chest- 
nut mare of his in my charge, I was now able 
to hunt regularly. For several seasons I used 
to go out with Mr Garth, with the South Berks 
Hounds, of which pack Mr John Hargreaves was 
then the Master, with the H. H. in Mr Deacon's 
time, and occasionally with the Vine. The best 


fun of all, however, was when my brother was 
at home and he and I went for a gallop with 
the Queen's Staghounds. Those were days that 
rest in the memory, for the pure joy of living 
was ours, and we revelled in our youth and high 
spirits. My brother was a very hard rider, and 
used to jump everything that came in his way. 
Once he cleared the deer -fence into the little 
deer-park at Windsor, his horse making the wire 
ring with one hind hoof as he went over. My 
sister Geraldine, too, was fond of hunting, and 
went well and straight on a beautiful little bay 
mare of hers, known as The Queen. The three 
of us were a merry party, and if there was not 
always "lepping" enough to please us, we gener- 
ally contrived to make more by going out of our 
way to find something to lark over. 

It is to my brother Campbell that I owe what- 
ever skill in riding I possess, for as children we 
were never so happy as when we were trying 
tricks with our horses. Together we essayed most 
of the circus performances we had seen, though as 
our elders did not approve, and the grooms 
thought it their duty to report our exploits, we 
had to exercise great care to prevent our pleasures 
being put a stop to. I fear we shall put ourselves 
outside the pale of all "good children" when I 
confess that Sunday morning, when the stable- 
yard was deserted and our betters were engaged 
in their devotions, was a chosen time for our 
performances. How we managed to escape from 

T. C. GARTH, M.F-.H. 


the prayers that my father used to read to the 
assembled household in his library, I do not 
remember, but once free, Campbell and I would 
make for the stable, and leading our mare Bessie 
away to a field, we jumped and tumbled and 
tauofht Bessie and ourselves tricks to our hearts' 

Bessie, a clever chestnut mare, learnt her 
lessons very creditably, though it is a wonder 
we did not kill ourselves in our character of 
instructors. A favourite performance of ours 
was to take Bessie out in a snaffle-bridle, with 
the reins fastened only to a roller, and then 
start her cantering round the yard, whilst we 
ran by turns by her side and vaulted on to 
her back. This feat took some practice, and 
I found it very difficult at first to keep my 
balance. Campbell had a fearful fall one day, 
and I have often wondered since that he was 
not killed. He insisted on trying to balance 
himself on one leg, while he put his other foot 
on the mare's head between her eyes. This 
unusual treatment Bessie resented, and, duck- 
ing her head at the critical moment, away 
went my brother on to the hard ground. At 
last my father caught us in the act of some 
of our finest exploits, and pronouncing the 
amusement to be both ridiculous and dangerous, 
as undoubtedly it was, we had to give it up. 

A horse named Tom that carried me for nine 
seasons was given to me by my brother, and 


came to me in rather a curious way. He was 
bought by a farmer in the Blackmore Vale at 
Bristol out of an Irish drove, and his temper 
made him anything but a pleasant acquisition. 
On board ship he had been so unmanageable 
that he carried the mark of his struggles for 
the rest of his life. The farmer, however, was 
taken by his good action and his air of breed- 
ing, and determined to try his hand at break- 
ing him to harness. In this disappointment 
awaited him, for Tom invariably kicked him- 
self free as soon as he was put to. At last 
his owner thought the best plan would be to 
look for a purchaser who might be taken by 
his good points, and this he found in my 
brother. It was at a meet of the Blackmore 
Vale Hounds that the farmer appeared on Tom, 
and his first experience was one that caused 
general merriment to the rest of the field. 
As the horse caught sight of the hounds at 
close quarters he snorted with astonishment, 
and, ducking his head, shot his rider into the 
midst of the pack. After this Tom naturally 
came in for a good share of observation, and 
my brother fell in love with his big powerful 
hocks, and saw that if he could be tamed he 
would make a first - class fencer. In a short 
time Tom changed hands and became my 
brother's property, and before long he was 
handed over to me. We soon became ffood 
friends, though we often had battles, and he 


was never an easy horse to ride. However, 
he carried me well, and gave me very few falls 
during the nine years I hunted him, and never 
one that was his own fault. He proved to the 
full as good a fencer as my brother expected, 
and one day he cleared thirteen gates with me, 
without touching a bar. 

It was, however, often the unexpected that 
happened, for he might put up and refuse to 
go the way he was wanted to, for half an hour 
at a time. When Campbell and I were riding 
to meet one morning in Hampshire, Tom sud- 
denly stopped at a cross - road and refused to 
move a step, even to follow his stable com- 
panion. At last Campbell rode off laughing, 
saying he supposed we should meet again in 
time. After fighting Tom for some twenty 
minutes and getting very warm over it, I was 
thankful to hear the sound of the horn coming 
my way. Hounds were running from Bramshill, 
and no sooner had they appeared in sight than 
Tom pricked his ears and, jumping out of the 
road, joined in the chase as usual. He was 
a rare hand at bucking, and once burst his 
girths at the game, so that I had to jump oif 
to prevent the saddle going round. At times 
too he would rear, so that there was a pleasing 
variety about riding him. 

One of the falls I had with him was in the Black- 
more Vale during a run from Mudford Bridge, 
when I was following Sir Richard Glyn. Tom 


flew the post and rails on to the railroad in capital 
style. But in attempting the rails out again 
he put a hind-foot under the single wire by the 
side of the line just as he rose, and though he made 
a gallant effort to save himself, he turned a com- 
plete somersault on to the other side. Sir Richard, 
who had met with better success, kindly stopped 
to pick me up ; but though I was really not hurt, 
I had come down with such a crash that all the 
buttons of my habit flew ofl*, and I had to beat a 
hasty retreat to a neighbouring farmhouse. Here, 
with a wrap round my shoulders, I waited by the 
kitchen- tire while the farmer's wife sewed the 
buttons on for me. The news of the mishap and 
my precipitate disappearance, however, made every 
one think I must be badly hurt, and one after 
another of the members of the hunt dropped in to 
see how I was faring. At last we had to lock the 
kitchen door, while we shouted assurances to the 
too kindly inquirers outside. 

Another fall Tom gave me was in Berkshire, 
when Mr Garth's hounds met at Farley Hill on a 
sharp frosty morning. The Master announced his 
intention of sending the hounds home, as the whole 
country-side was frost-bound. When he found 
how great was the disappointment among the large 
field, he good - naturedly consented to draw one 
covert, saying, " If we don't find there, I shall draw 
no more." To the no small delight of many of us 
we did find, and throwing caution to the winds, 
away we went. As I was galloping through an 



open gateway where the ground was covered with 
ice, Tom lost his footing, and coming down, he 
rolled completely over me, and cut his side rather 
badly as he did so. Hounds checking soon after 
this, Mr Garth ordered them home, for, as he 
said, his huntsman's horse had been skating all 
the way. 

It was in one of my very early appearances 
with Mr Garth's hounds that I disgraced myself, 
and drew from my father a threat to leave me at 
home until I knew better than to correct a Master of 
Hounds in the field. In Mr Garth's pack were two 
light - coloured hounds, sisters, by name Captious 
and Captive. These hounds I knew well, as indeed 
I did the others, for when they were in our part 
of the country, the huntsman and whipper-in used 
to come into our yard for refreshment on their 
way home to the kennels at Haines Hill, some 
sixteen miles away. While Sweetman was sitting 
in the yard he would tell me the names of the 
hounds, and delighted in recounting anecdotes of 
his favourites, which helped me to fix the different 
hounds in my mind. Thus the peculiarities of 
Captious and Captive were familiar to me, though 
they resembled one another so closely that even 
those who knew them well not infrequently mis- 
took one for the other. 

One day at the covert-side Mr Garth was point- 
ing out some of his hounds to a stranger in the 
field, when, just as he was on the point of moving 
off", one of the light-coloured sisters trotted up. 



" There," exclaimed the Master, with a wave of the 
hand, as he set his horse in motion, " that is 
Captious, a first-prize puppy of the entry." My 
sharp childish eyes, however, saw that the hound 
in question was Captive, so without realising the 
enormity of my behaviour, I piped up reproach- 
fully in a shrill treble, " Oh, Mr Garth, that is not 
Captious ; it is Captive." There was a pause, and 
a glimpse of my father's face filled me with dread, 
while Mr Garth in sheer astonishment pulled up 
short and looked at me. Then his good-tempered 
face broadened into a smile, and with a closer look 
at the hound than he had given before, he ex- 
claimed, " By Jove ! little girl, and you are right, 
too." The incident thus ended in a hearty laugh 
all round, though my father did not forget to press 
home to my mind the greatness of the solecism I 
had committed. 

Mr Garth was a good sportsman, and no day was 
ever too long for him. He had a splendid pack of 
hounds, and the way his big dog-hounds let them- 
selves out over the E-eading side of the country was 
a sight not to be forgotten. He succeeded in 1852 
to the Twyford side of the large country that had 
been hunted by Sir John Cope for over thirty 
years, Mr Wheble having held the mastership for 
the two preceding seasons. Mr Garth bought Sir 
John Cope's dog pack, which consisted of about 
twenty-five couple of hounds. He liked a big dog- 
hound, and the standard of his pack was 24|- 
inches, a large hound being a necessity across the 


open moorland, of which there was a great deal in 
his country. This pack had that family likeness 
and distinctive character which so often mark 
private packs, the individual hounds having plenty 
of bone and an unmistakable look of stamina and 
resolution. Though Mr Garth bred many good 
hounds himself, he had a great many first-class 
ones that came to him in drafts as being oversize 
for their home pack. An unentered hound named 
Bluster, that came to Mr Garth from the Ted- 
worth in the early days of his mastership, was one 
of the foundations on which he built up his pack. 
Bluster was by Mr Assheton Smith's Bertram ex 
Mr Garth's Birdlime, and among his numerous 
descendants Bingwood was so good that he was 
begged as a loan by the Marquis of Worcester for 
use in the Badminton kennels. Bingwood was 
said by Charles Brackley, who at a later period 
carried the horn for so many years with Mr Garth, 
to be the best hound he had ever hunted. 

Tom Sweetman, who was Mr Garth's huntsman 
in my early days, was well known in the country 
before he held the post. He was a wonderful 
horseman, and was always with his hounds, and on 
a flying fox he was one of the best huntsmen I 
have ever seen. He also had a wonderful ear, and 
could always tell which of his hounds spoke in 
covert. Poor Sweetman dropped out of his saddle 
at the meet at Grey well on Friday, the 12 th of 
November 1869, and died the same day of apoplexy. 
The last time he hunted hounds was on the pre- 


vious Wednesday, when we had had a lawn meet 
at Brooke House. 

Sweetman was born at Eversley, in Hampshire, 
and as his father was in Sir John Cope's hunting 
stables, Tom was accustomed to hounds and horses 
from his earliest years, and soon showed his know- 
ledge of and love for them. At the early age of 
eleven he was promoted to the post of second 
whipper-in to Sir John Cope's hounds, and ap- 
peared in all the glory of his first red coat and 
boots and spurs. He was so small that he had 
literally to be lifted on to his horse, but once up he 
went well, and soon showed that his promotion 
was not misplaced. As Sir John, though keen 
as ever, was now a very old man, Tom's duties, 
besides those of whipping-in to hounds, were to 
open gates for his master and pilot him across 
country. In this double capacity he did well, and 
it was said that many a fox which would otherwise 
have beaten hounds, was run into from a view- 
holloa of the youthful whipper-in. One of the 
first horses he ever rode was long remembered in 
the hunt. This was a gallant but buck-jumping 
little roan mare, which no one but Tom could sit 
on her worst days. Tom showed he had a steady 
hand and a good seat, as well as a clear head and 
a quick eye, all most desirable gifts in a huntsman. 

Sweetman was still acting as second whipper-in 
when Sir John Cope resigned the mastership in 
1850, and Mr Wheble succeeded for a short time. 
Tom was now so devoted to his old master that he 


resigned his position in the kennels, and remained 
in Sir John's service till the time of the latter's 
death, which occurred about two years later. His 
business was to drive his master to the meets 
whenever they were in the neighbourhood of 
Bramshill, and show him as much of the sport as 
he could, a task for which Tom's knowledge of the 
country peculiarly fitted him. For his attention 
and good conduct, Sir John left him at his death 
an annuity of £20 a-year, and as Mr Garth had 
just succeeded to the mastership, Tom now asked 
to be taken back in the kennels. He was con- 
sequently appointed first whipper-in, and soon 
showed that the promise of his early years was to 
be well fulfilled. He was very quiet in the field, 
and ruled his hounds more by his voice than by 
the whip. It was clear that his heart was in his 
work, and indeed all through his life he was wont 
to declare that " his business was his pleasure." 

In 1865, when increasing age and infirmities 
caused Robert Tocock to resign the horn, Tom 
Sweetman was appointed to the vacant post, and 
though it was only four years later when he was so 
suddenly struck down at the early age of forty- 
seven, he had made his mark as a successful hunts- 
man and a most accomplished rider. When hounds 
ran hard, Sweetman and George Fordham often 
had a set-to cross country, and Sweetman was 
always able to hold his own. 

I have a brush before me as I write which re- 
minds me of a very fast twenty minutes with Mr 


Garth, without a check of any sort, when we killed 
our fox at Eversley. Tom Sweetman and I jumped 
into the road at the same time only a few yards 
apart, just in time to see hounds catch their fox as 
he was trying to gain the opposite bank. Eversley 
is of course for ever associated with the memory of 
Charles Kingsley, whose greatest delight was a 
day with hounds, when his neighbour Sir John 
Cope was Master. 

With one large covert in Mr Garth's country 
there lingers a tradition of the terrible delinquency 
of an old gamekeeper. This man was determined 
that fox-hunters should pay well for their sport in 
his coverts, so one day he arrived at the covert- 
side with a fox in a sack, which he invited the 
Master to buy. Such an unusual proceeding 
naturally not commending itself to the hunting 
mind, the man threatened that if the fox was not 
bought he would shoot it then and there. Finding 
that his demands were not likely to be complied 
with by the irate Master, he consequently threw 
the sack on the ground and shot the fox. It is 
satisfactory to know that the wretched man reaped 
the reward of his evil deed in a sound horse- 
whipping at the hands of the enraged members 
of the hunt, and the loss of his situation. This 
story dates back, I believe, to the early years of 
Sir John Cope's mastership, and probably has lost 
nothing in the repetition during the best part of 
a century. 

With Mr Garth's hounds there was generally 


a hard-riding contingent out from Aldershot and 
the Staff College. I remember seeing Field- 
Marshal Sir Evelyn Wood well to the front in a 
fast run from Greywell ; and the late Sir Edward 
Hamley, then Commandant of the Staff College, 
was another very good man with hounds. Colonel 
Hughes from the North Country went well and 
straight, and so did Colonel Chadwick from the 
Blackmore Vale. Mr John Symonds, too, of New- 
lands, whose father did so much for the hunt, was 
a very straight, good performer. The Hon. Mrs 
Pigott Carleton, now Lady Dorchester, was always 
well to the front on her handsome thoroughbred 
Burlington, and her sister, the Hon. Mrs Fetherston- 
haugh, was never far away. Their father. Lord 
Dorchester, was the best fox-preserver Mr Garth 
had on that side of the country. On the Windsor 
side the country was kept well stocked with foxes 
by the Countess de Morella, who was a bold good 
rider to hounds. Miss Gertrude Pigott, on Peter, 
was another rider who was always well with hounds ; 
and the Hon. Robert Jocelyn was distinguished in 
the field by his love of jumping timber, and so was 
the late Colonel Shiffner. Mr Kingsley also hunted 
with Mr Garth as well as with Sir John Cope. The 
veteran sportsman John Cordrey, in his green coat 
and brass buttons, was a familiar figure at the 
covert-side, and no man knew the country better 
or went straighter than he. He was always well 
mounted, and though a heavy weight, his horses 
knew they had to go. 


With the Staff College Drag, when General 
Leir — now Leir-Carleton — was the Master, I have 
had some capital spins. General Leir was a bold 
rider, and was well known with the Blackmore 
Vale Hounds. The young and ardent spirits who 
chiefly composed his field were stopped by nothing, 
and when they could get a good bit of country 
over which to run the drag, the pace was a thing 
to be remembered. 

With Mr Deacon, who was showing grand sport 
in Hampshire, I was often out on Saturday, this 
being his day for our side of the country. My 
father was a great admirer of Mr Deacon, who 
was a beautiful rider and a first-rate sportsman. 
It was a stony, cold scenting country over which 
he hunted, with a good deal of plough and strong 
woodlands that lay close together. Mr Deacon, 
nevertheless, conquered all difiiculties, for he under- 
stood the business of hunting hounds so well that 
he knew when the road to success lay in breaking 
through rules, as well as when the carrying- out of 
time-honoured maxims would bring the best result. 
Few men have been more noted for their bold and 
successful casts, and he had the reputation of being 
one of the best gentlemen huntsmen of his day. 
Mr Deacon was also a successful hound -breeder. 
For a difficult country like his he believed in having 
young hounds, and directly a hound began to potter 
he drafted him. His pack was in consequence 
remarkably fast and handy, and as the Master 
himself was so persevering that he would never 


leave off while daylight lasted, he had a wonderful 
record of good days to his credit. 

A favourite terrier of Mr Deacon's that generally 
ran with the pack was quite a feature of the hunt. 
The terrier M'-as a smooth one, with a lemon-marked 
head of the old stamp, and he could stay with the 
best. When hounds ran to ground in one of the 
numerous drains of the country, Mr Deacon would 
wait till the terrier came up, which he generally 
did in an incredibly short space of time. The 
whipper-in would then stand with his foot over the 
mouth of the drain till the terrier had got his 
wind, and no sooner was the game little fellow put 
in than it was made too hot for the fox, who would 
reappear at the other end, and away we would go 
ap-ain. So much did Mr Deacon think of this 
terrier that I have heard him shout to some thrust- 
ins- members of his field, " Take care of the terrier. 
I would rather you killed the best hound in the 
pack than injure him." 

I remember a very fast burst with the H. H. 
over Herriard Park, when I was riding a strange 
horse that was somewhat of a handful to manage. 
It was a nutmeg grey, a steeplechaser, and he 
began by flinging his head about a good deal. 
Then directly hounds found, he jumped into his 
bridle, and had things entirely his own way. 
Luckily for me the hounds were going at racing 
speed, or we should certainly have been on them. 
We crossed the park at break-neck pace, and when 
the park fence loomed full in view he was still com- 


pletely out of hand. There was nothing for it 
but to steer for the only practicable place I could 
see. To my relief, as soon as he saw it the grey 
pricked his ears and, jumping well in his stride, 
cleared it handsomely. After this he gradually 
settled down, and we became good friends for the 
rest of the day. 

On the hunt buttons of the H. H. appear the 
Prince of Wales's feathers, a distinction which 
dates from the time when the Prince, who after- 
wards became George IV., was a member of the 
H. H. Club, and hunted his own hounds in the 
north of Hampshire from Kempshott and Drum- 
mond Grange. 

A very quick thing I had one spring with Mr 
Hargreaves when he was hunting the South Berks 
country. A late and last meet of the season had 
been fixed to look for a poultry -killer that was 
reported to have a perfectly white brush. We had 
a long way to go to the fixture, and it was a very 
hot day, but we were not inclined to complain 
when we found our fox, and he broke from a hedge- 
row in full view of the hounds. He was a very 
fine fellow, with a beautiful white brush and a 
light-coloured body. Stout and strong though he 
was, he never had a chance, for hounds were on 
his back the whole way, and they rolled him over 
handsomely in the open at the end of a capital 
fifteen minutes. His brush the master very kindly 
gave to me, and I took it home with great care, in- 
tending to have it mounted. On reaching home I 


put it on the dining-room table, and shortly after, 
hearing a great scuffle in the room, I opened the 
door to see what was going on. A tug-of-war over 
the brush was in progress between my two favourite 
terriers, who had sniffed the trophy on the table 
and managed to pull it down. Needless to say, 
there was not much of it left for the stuffer, and I 
was very much vexed at losing my prize. 

With the Queen's Hounds I was out during the 
mastership of Lord Cork, and when Harry King 
was huntsman. Lord Cork received the appoint- 
ment in Mr Gladstone's Government in 1866, 
having previously been in office for one month 
before Lord Russell's last Government made way 
for that of Lord Derby. Harry King, who was the 
son of Charles King, of Py tchley fame, was brought 
up in the surroundings that have fostered the love 
of horse and hound in the early years of so many 
of our best huntsmen. As a lad he went into the 
Warwickshire kennels, where Charles Cox was 
then one of the whippers-in, and in 1836 he first took 
service with the Royal Hounds. Gradually work- 
ing his way up, he held the responsible post of 
first whipper-in and acting huntsman during the 
last years of Charles Davis's long service, when the 
latter was too infirm for the more active duties in 
the field. In this very difficult position King 
acquitted himself well, and at last, after thirty 
years in the kennels, he was appointed to succeed 

Of the days which were known as the " London 


Brigade" days I know nothing, for when the 
enormous crowd of London sportsmen came down 
by special trains, the regular followers, and those 
who like myself came occasionally from one of the 
neighbouring hunts, generally elected to go else- 
where. I was fortunate, however, in having more 
than one good gallop in the Harrow Vale before 
hunting was put a stop to over that wonderful bit 
of country. On one of these days my brother and 
I encountered our first strand of wire. We neither 
of us saw it, but as we took the fence I felt my 
horse catch his leg in something and blunder 
badly, while I heard a shout of, " 'Ware wire ! " 
from Lord Cork behind me. As we neither of us 
came to grief, we had a good start in a gallop over 
those rare pastures, that can never be forgotten, 
where the fences tested our powers to the utmost, 
and the hounds raced like the wind. I was rid- 
ing my old horse Tom, and my brother was on 
his white - legged Warwick, and we thoroughly 
enjoyed it. 

At the finish, with tired horses, we found to our 
dismay that we were more than twenty miles from 
home, so the first thing to be done was to get some 
gruel for the horses. We rode up to the nearest 
inn, and while Campbell got down to see about 
things, I remained in the saddle. When the ostler 
came to give Tom his drink, he pulled the bridle 
over the horse's head before I could prevent him. 
Tom, finding himself free, took no notice of the 
offered food, but, turning round, walked out of the Cl.RALDlNl: SbRkHLL. 


yard, while the man stood holding the pail and 
looking after us helplessly. Happily my brother 
saw what had happened, and, snatching the bucket, 
came quietly after us down the road, calling the 
horse by name. At last to my great relief Tom 
turned and went back for his gruel, when he 
was speedily secured, but the sensation of being 
carried off by a bridleless animal was by no means 

It was past eight o'clock that night when we 
reached home, and we had started at nine in the 
morning and ridden the whole way. 




As a companion In the house and a comrade in 
the field, the fox-terrier holds a high, if not indeed 
the highest, place among his peers. Though not 
without faults of disposition, he is charming by- 
reason of the versatility that enables him to adapt 
himself to our moods and our occupations, with 
instant comprehension of our wishes. There is no 
sport he cannot be taught to help in, and it is 
scarcely too much to say that there is nothing 
a dog can do that the fox-terrier is not capable of. 
It is unfortunately true that we have tried 
hard to spoil him. On the one hand he has been 
treated as a mere household pet, and thus become 
so soft that he has lost all taste for sport ; and 
on the other hand he has been made an instru- 
ment of show - bench extravagance. There are 
fox-terriers with heads so long and narrow as to 
leave no room for brains ; so high on the leg they 
cannot go into a fox or badger earth without 
being crippled with cramp ; or again so flat-sided 
as to have no stamina. 


But apart from the extravagances of fashion, 
the terrier is a bright, clever, and affectionate 
dog, strong and enduring, and with his mercurial 
temperament kept in check by the kindly dis- 
cipline of kennel life, and a natural outlet for his 
high spirits in the field. It is of the kennel 
terrier, then, as I have had him, keen and eager 
for sport and ready to hunt the rabbit, swim after 
the otter, or drive the fox or badger from his 
earth, that I shall speak. 

The working terrier is no exception to the rule 
that careful training is necessary to enable him 
to exercise in the most efficient way his natural 
powers of body and mind, and only those dogs 
whose natural powers have not been deteriorated 
by want of care in the mating of their parents, 
or in the surroundings of their own early days, 
can give the best response to their preparation 
for their work in the field. A dog that should 
give the best results to the care bestowed upon 
him should not be much over 14 inches or weigh 
more than 18 lb. A size even smaller than this 
is better, but on no account must he be light 
and weedy, or in any degree toyish - looking in 
appearance. On the other hand, there is no 
reason why a working terrier should not be as 
good - looking as he is useful, for with a little 
care in breeding, a smart, handsome, and intelli- 
gent-looking little fellow can soon be arrived at. 

A terrier's head should be of medium length, 
with plenty of room for brains, or he will fail to 


respond to his training. He should have a strong 
square jaw, with good big level teeth, black nose, 
small drop ears, and dark eyes. These last should 
not be too prominent, but should have plenty of 
fire, and have a keen intelligent look. A deep 
chest, not too narrow, with a neck of fair length, 
nice sloping shoulders, and strong quarters, with 
plenty of propelling power, are desirable points. 
Then, too, he should be well ribbed up, and his 
stern should be carried up, though not too high ; 
his legs must be short and straight, with plenty 
of bone, and the feet compact, with a good hard 
pad, of which, however, there should not be too 
much. His toes must be not only of fair length, 
but armed with strong nails, as these are of the 
greatest assistance to him in digging. When in 
working condition, too, the dog should have plenty 
of hard, well-defined muscle. 

A leggy dog is of little or no use for under- 
ground work, as, though he may manage to crawl 
into the earth or drain, he will speedily become 
so cramped that he can do nothing, and I have 
seen more than one terrier dug out quite unable 
to stand. I like a terrier to be straight in the 
back, a dip in the shoulders being, to my eyes, a 
serious blemish. In coat the smooth dog cannot 
be too thick and dense, the slightest appearance 
of softness being against him, and both smooth 
and rough should have a good undergrowth, the 
outer growth of the latter being crisp and hard. 
Without the undergrowth the terrier will soon 


become chilled with wet, as the water will run 
through his coat and interfere seriously with his 
power of work. 

A good terrier, like a good horse, cannot be of 
a bad colour, but blue on a rough dog generally 
means a long silky coat, the mark being derived 
originally from the blue shag sheep-dog, an animal 
verv common in the counties of both Dorset and 
Devon. This dog has been constantly crossed with 
the smooth fox-terrier, and it is from this cross 
that I believe the rough terriers have sprung, the 
blue marking so often cropping up with the wire 
haired telling its own tale. The cross with the 
blue shag dog makes a capital rabbiter, and but for 
his size might be taken for a rough terrier. 

The tap-root of my own kennel was Redcap, 
a smooth terrier born in 1880, of whose pedi- 
gree there w^as sufficient doubt for me to enter it 
in the Stud-Book as "unascertained." He took 
first -prize at Barnstaple In 1883. Bedcap had 
a beautiful bright tan head, with a black mark 
under the right ear which was constantly trans- 
mitted to his descendants, and his head was of 
medium length, with not a trace of the grey- 
hound about it. His ears were small and well- 
carried, and his jaw long and punishing, with big 
strong teeth, and at eleven years of age he had only 
lost one small front tooth. His legs were straight, 
and he had good feet, with a pad like leather. 
In size he was, I consider, perfect for underground 
work, his weight being IG lb. He was short and 



compact everywhere, with the very best coat that 
could be, — short, hard, and dense, — with plenty of 
undergrowth and a thick skin. He was a great 
favourite with John Press, who had the care of 
some of my terriers after he retired from his post 
as huntsman to the Blackmore Vale Hounds, and 
when Press was speaking of Redcap's exploits, 
he said to me, " I have seen and owned a great 
many good terriers, but have never had but one 
Redcap." This testimony I valued as coming from 
a man who had so much experience with the work- 
ing terrier for the greater part of a long life. 

The training: of a terrier begins as soon as he 
returns from walk, for it is always well to put 
your puppies out, if you can find good walks for 
them. You should, however, exercise great care 
in choosing these, and satisfy yourself that the 
puppies will not be knocked about, for a puppy 
once cowed is seldom of much use again. 

Kennels should be built of stone or brick, and 
they should consist of a railed outer yard and an 
inner room with a wooden floor. Leading down 
from one to the other should be a door with a 
square window at the top with open bars, so that 
air and light can be admitted freely. Except in 
very cold or windy weather, however, I always 
have my doors open. All dogs should be taught 
to go in and out at word of command, and this 
is easily done by throwing a piece of meat or biscuit 
into the yard, and calling to the dog by name. 
Each will soon learn to answer to his own name. 


and he will then no longer need an inducement 
in the shape of a bribe. It is better not to change 
the kennel ofteuer than can be helped, and never 
in the first days of kennel life, as any change is 
apt to confuse the dog and interfere with his 

The most important factor in the training of the 
young terrier is, I believe, your own daily inter- 
course with him. You must devote time to study 
his disposition and peculiarities, and he must learn 
to know and understand you, or there will be no 
basis for the goodwill and friendship without which 
you can never hope to make the best of him. The 
most important step will have been taken when 
you have gained his confidence, for a dog ruled 
by fear seldom shows intelligence, and is nearly 
always a miserable nervous creature who vents his 
misery in quarrelling with his fellows. 

It is important to remember what an excitable 
animal a terrier is, and to be very quiet in voice 
and manner with him. Excitement will soon 
spread from one dog to another, and once they 
are thoroughly roused it will be no easy matter 
to quiet them. Yet the terrier is credited with 
being a very much more quarrelsome animal than 
he is when judiciously treated. I was much 
amused once when showing my kennels to the 
late Tom Whitemore, then huntsman to the Oakley, 
to see that he considered a fight a foregone con- 
clusion when many terriers were together. As we 
passed from yard to yard I threw open the doors, 


till Whitemore suddenly held up his hand and ex- 
claimed in a voice of dismay, " Pray, don't let any 
more out. We shall have a fight." " Not a bit 
of it," was my reply ; and waving my handkerchief, 
which I happened to have in my hand, " If there 
is any trouble I will soon stop it with this." 
Whitemore was much amused at the idea, and as 
there was no occasion to use even the light weapon 
I proposed, he said he had never known terriers 
under such command, nor had he ever seen so 
many together before. 

A much more wonderful instance of perfect 
kennel discipline was that I once witnessed with 
terriers and foxhounds in the Blackmore Vale 
kennels. One day not long before Press retired 
I rode over to the kennels, and being told by 
the kennelman that Press was in the orchard 
with the hounds, I dismounted and went in 
search of him. The sight that met my eyes 
as I opened the gate I shall never forget. 
There was Press in his kennel-coat, with only 
a slim white willow in his hand, surrounded 
by both packs of hounds, and seated on a low 
stool with his favourite little hound, Miranda, 
on his knees, while he was encouraging some 
nine or ten terriers to scratch at the rat-holes 
round an old apple-tree. Not one of the hounds 
ventured to interfere as they stood round watch- 
ing the terriers' efforts, and it was enough for 
Press to lift his little stick if one essayed to 
go too near them. Seating myself on a handy 


stump, I watched the performance, while the 
old man related anecdotes of his favourites, and 
assured me he could never have done what he 
did with them except for their home-training. 
It was a common saying of his that you could 
teach more in kennel than out^ and with this 
opinion I cordially agree. 

Perhaps the most curious part of that orchard 
scene was to come, for Press after a time rose 
and passed slowly back to the kennels, with the 
hounds following. Throwing open one of the 
doors, he turned, and eyeing the hounds sternly, 
he raised his hand, and to my great amuse- 
ment exclaimed in his gruff voice, " Ladies first." 
At this signal every " lady " with a little wave 
of her stern trotted forward and went in, and 
as soon as all had disappeared the door was 
shut, not a dog-hound in the meantime offer- 
ing to follow. As he threw open the other 
door Press called out, " Now then, gentlemen," 
and the dog-hounds marched majestically in. 

This incident recalled to my mind a day in 
the previous season when I had also been struck 
with Press's perfect control over his hounds. 
We had run a fox to ground in a trip ^ by 
the side of the road near Bishop's Caundle, and 
when the whipper-in put the terrier in at one 
end. Press took up his position some little 
distance down the road at the other. He sat 
quietly with the pack grouped round him, and 

' A drain under a gate. 


not a hound moved or spoke. With a rush the 
fox, closely followed by the terrier, darted down 
the road into the midst of hounds, and so 
sudden was the onslaught that it carried him 
clean through them. Press and the hounds 
were galvanised into instant life, and the fox 
was pulled down as he was scrambling up the 
high bank by the side of the road. 

To return, however, to the home-life of the 
terrier. It is best not to kennel terriers to- 
gether except in pairs, and then only when you 
know them to be good friends. In any case 
they should have separate beds, as many dogs 
object strongly to having their own bed touched. 
My dog Sharper, whom I bought for a cross 
with the Redcaps, was an instance of this. 
He would never allow another dog near his 
bed, and once when I was pressed for room 
and had given him Floret (Racer's dam) for a 
kennel companion, he growled savagely when- 
ever she ventured too near his own corner. 
At last she had the temerity to go into his 
barrel, and he promptly rushed to her and 
dragged her out, with a noise that roused the 
whole kennel. 

Instead of benches for my terriers I prefer 
to give each one a barrel, which is turned on 
its side and placed on blocks to prevent it from 
rolling, and is filled with clean oat-straw. The 
barrels are placed on opposite sides of the lodg- 
ing-room, so that each dog — if there are two 

(.)i n 




— has its own little territory. In cold weather 
the terriers like the shelter of the barrel, and 
will bury themselves in the straw so as to 
keep warm, a most important thing to their 
wellbeing. Some dry sawdust and a little sanitas 
powder should be sprinkled over the floor, and 
the room will of course be swept out every 

After the young dog has made friends by degrees 
with the other members of the kennel party, he 
may be taken out with two or three that are in- 
clined to be friendly with him. I find it a good 
plan to let him run about with you in the kennel, 
as this accustoms him to kennel usage. As soon 
as he has learned to come readily when called by 
name, and to answer quickly to a whistle, he should 
be taken out and taught to follow, and his educa- 
tion in the field will begin. 

If outside blood is to be brought into the kennel, 
I advise that a puppy should be bought rather than 
an older dog. The young one then comes under 
the same kennel management as those with whom 
he will run later, and soon becomes accustomed 
to his new surroundings. A conceited old dog, on 
the contrary, when brought into a strange kennel, 
and especially if he is not used to being with 
others, will almost certainly give trouble, and may 
rouse a big fight, which will demoralise the whole 
kennel for a lonof time. 

The difi'erence in the behaviour of a new un- 
trained inmate, who will fight lustily on small or no 


provocation, and the self-restraint — if such a word 
may be permitted — of a dog under control, was 
exemplified in my own Sharper. This dog took 
great likes and dislikes to people and dogs, and 
never forgave what he considered an insult. At 
the time of which I am now speaking I had just 
bought a white terrier that I had named Vixen, 
who came to me with a high character, and was 
a very good-looking smooth one. Sharper at first 
was very civil to her ; but one day when out 
otter-hunting he was having a tussle with an otter 
under a stump, when Vixen ran up to his assistance. 
She was immediately seized by the otter by the 
nose, and uttering a yelp of dismay she turned and 
fled, leaving poor Sharper to do battle by himself. 
This he did gallantly, and dragging the varmint 
from his holt, rolled with him into the water. He 
never forgave Vixen for forsaking him, and from 
that time he would set up his back and growl 
whenever she came near him. As I was rather of 
his mind about Vixen, she soon found a home else- 
where, where her sporting talents were not likely 
to be called in question. 

Sharper, a handsome white dog with a beautiful 
black-and-tan head, was bought from Mr Wootton 
of Nottingham, and was a grandson of the cele- 
brated Old Foiler, being b}^ Troilus by Old Foiler 
ex Nectar, by Old Jock ex Grove Nettle, and his 
dam Twile was by Little Jim ex Wasp. He was 
a big powerful terrier, weighing 18 lb., and though 
he was very quarrelsome when he first came to me, 


he soon gave it up when he had plenty of work. 
He ran in my pack for ten years, and died in 1899, 
full of years and honours, at the age of fourteen. 
He was a grand dog underground, and was a rare 
stayer. I never knew him, indeed, to be knocked 
up, and when he was going otter-hunting he would 
never go in the cart, but always ran to the meet, 
generally some five or six miles, and after working 
all day he followed the dog-cart home at night. 
When he ran with hounds he would never look at 
a rabbit, though at other times one of his greatest 
delights was to hunt them. I often used to come 
home for him when hounds had run to ground in 
the neighbourhood, and directly he saw me he 
seemed to know what he was wanted for. As soon 
as he was let out he would spring at my horse's 
nose, barking with excitement, and then run on in 
front, up one road and down another, looking back 
every instant to see if I was following. 

On one occasion when Lord Roberts was out our 
fox went to ground at Stourton Caundle, and I 
went home for Sharper. As usual the keeper met 
me just before I reached the field and put a lead on 
the old dog, as without this he was rather apt to 
anticipate matters. He was not wanted for a few 
minutes, and while he was being held Lord Roberts 
rode by, and as he evidently had an eye for a 
terrier he stopped and looked at Sharper. Then 
he rode up to me and said — 

" Now that is a terrier I do admire. He looks 
as if he could do anything." 


" I admire your taste," was my reply, " for I 
think just the same," and then of course I told 
him the dog was mine. 

Among the house servants Sharper went by the 
name of Suet, as, alas ! for doggy weakness, he 
would always steal the suet from the larder when 
he had the chance. Whenever he found the larder 
door open he would rush in and seize the suet, 
and then march majestically down to the 
kennels, growling furiously all the way to warn 
off meddlers. 

In the event of terriers showing a great dislike 
to one particular dog, I should always draft the 
unwelcome one, as sooner or later he will be sure 
to come to grief. The older dogs, however, will 
never fall on their own progeny when brought 
back from walk, though there may be a little 
snarling and grumbling at first at the liberties 
the young ones will take with them. Such signs 
of discontent must not, of course, be encouraged ; 
but I should never strike a dog for it, as in that 
case he would be apt to associate the puppy with 
his discomfiture, and might resent it. 

Two very important points to be considered in 
bringing terriers into condition for work are food 
and exercise. Of the latter they should have 
plenty at regular intervals ; and I give mine a 
good run every morning and a shorter one at 
night before feeding. In the case of terriers that 
are to work with foxhounds, they may be exer- 
cised with the pack, but they should never be 


kennelled together, or there will inevitably be 
disaster. On returning from their morning run, 
each of my terriers has a piece of Spratt's dog- 
biscuit, one of these between four being generally 
sufficient. At night they have a good meal, con- 
sisting of one part boiled flesh and the other 
soaked ship-biscuit or bread, the latter for prefer- 
ence. In very hot weather, however, when work 
is short and flesh is scarce, a little scalded melox, 
mixed with the bread and biscuit, is a good 
thing for them, or a small portion of good sound 
barley -meal, boiled and mixed with bread and 
milk, will make a good change ; but care should 
be taken that this food is not given to them too 
thick. Raw meat I find an excellent thing for 
dogs recovering from illness, but it should always 
be given alone. Green food the dogs should be 
allowed to pick for themselves, and they will 
generally find as much grass as they need in the 
hedgerows. It is a good thing to take them in 
the spring to a wheat-field, and let them have a 
feast on the young stalks. Large bones are 
excellent for them to gnaw, but they should 
never be given when two or more dogs are to- 
gether, as nothing is so likely to make them 
fight. The bone will then become a bone of con- 
tention too literally for the good of dogs or owner. 
Terriers must always have access to water, which 
must be kept fresh and clean. 

All dogs should, of course, be brushed and kept 
free from vermin, and care should be taken that 


they do not suffer from internal parasites. An 
occasional dose of castor-oil, and a little sulphur 
sprinkled sometimes in their food, will generally 
keep them healthy. As a pick-me-up I have 
found Astley's Cure All wonderfully good, and I 
have administered it to puppies when only a week 
old, carefully dropping one drop down their throats, 
and it has generally put them to rights. If a 
dog shows any symptoms of cold he should be 
looked to at once, be kept warm, and nursed up 
for fear of distemper, and by such means you will 
save much trouble to yourself and suffering to the 
animal. I have never lost but two dogs from 
distemper, and attribute the freedom of my kennels 
from the scourge to the fact that I never lose any 
time in taking a case in hand. 

For cuts and wounds I find homocea most useful, 
and it heals quickly. A little izal, diluted accord- 
ing to the directions on the bottle, will destroy 
all vermin, if it is sponged all over the dog and 
the skin is wetted thoroughly. The same treat- 
ment will also take away any skin irritation, 
while for scratches from thorns, &c., about the 
eye, a little pure vaseline smeared well over the 
part affected at night will be found very soothing. 

In handling a dog always be firm and decided 
with him, though never rough, for if you speak 
gently to him and reassure him, he will soon allow 
you to do anything with him. It is possible even 
to correct grave faults in older dogs if you will 
give sufficient time and patience to the work. A 


rather striking instance of what may be done 
with a full-grown dog who has been allowed to 
contract a bad habit was shown in a wire-haired 
terrier I bought from a sporting saddler. I M^as 
very much struck with the dog when I was in the 
shop, and asked his master if he would sell him. 
This I found the man quite willing to do, and he 
asked me a price that I considered very small for 
such a good-looking one. I asked therefore why 
he was selling the dog, and he told me frankly he 
did not care to keep him as he was an inveterate 
sheep-chaser, and though he had done all he knew 
to break him of the habit, he had not been 
successful. " Have you tried him at hunting or 
ratting ? " I asked. " No," was the reply, " I have 
not had the chance." This made me hopeful about 
my bargain, and I set off homewards with my new 

It was mid-winter, and a hard frost having set 
in, I found the roads all but impassable by the 
time I reached the hill below my home. At last 
I had to get out of the dogcart and let the man 
lead the horse, while I made the best of my way 
up on foot. It was in memory of this drive that 
I christened my new terrier Frosty. Remembering 
the character with which he had come to me, I took 
Frosty out for the first time into the fields with 
a long line attached to his collar. As we came 
where the sheep were grazing. Frosty pricked up 
his ears and looked all attention, but he did not 
offer to touch them. We then started for a rabbit- 


hunt with two or three couple of terriers, and for 
a time all went merrily. Suddenly I heard an 
exclamation from the keeper, and as I turned, five 
sheep, with Frosty at their heels, rushed past me 
into a gateway. In a second Frosty had one of 
them by the hind-leg, and giving him a sudden 
jerk had him on his back, when he flew at his 
throat. Unfortunately, before I could get hold 
of him, the man shouted at the dog and waved a 
stick threateningly, at which Frosty let go his 
hold and bolted into a hedge, from which it took 
me an hour to coax him out and get his lead on. 
If he had not been frightened I should not have 
had so much trouble with him, though I should, 
of course, have made him understand his fault. 

After this little performance I gave Frosty 
plenty of rabbiting and ratting, to which he took 
very kindly, and in the meantime he was kept 
away from sheep until he had been thoroughly 
entered. After a little time the keeper told me 
one morning that there was a rabbit sitting in the 
middle of a field in which the sheep were, so taking 
Frosty in a lead, I had out another terrier, and we 
started to course the rabbit. As soon as the latter 
was put up I slipped Frosty, and away the two 
terriers went, the sheep crossing them at every 
turn. As there was no hedge handy and the ter- 
riers were very fast, they ran into the rabbit 
handsomely. Frosty was very pleased with him- 
self and carried his game home in his mouth, 
without taking the least notice of the sheep, which 


were running all round him, and from that time I 
had no further trouble with him. He found his 
natural enemies, rabbits and rats, more to his taste 
than the forbidden sheep. I do not believe, indeed, 
that terriers will ever look at sheep if they are 
entered early and given plenty to do, idleness 
beinof at the root of the evil. Out of the number 
of terriers I have had I have never had either a 
sheep-runner or a poultry-killer, and my old Eng- 
lish game fowls have the run of the yard and the 
dogs are constantly with them. 

Poor Frosty came to a sad end. I gave him to 
Sir Godfrey Lagden, who was at the time Govern- 
ment Secretary in Basutoland, and who had taken 
a great fancy to him. When Sir Godfrey was 
leaving Southampton, taking the terrier with him, 
Frosty managed to slip his collar as he was being 
taken on board, and made off. His master there- 
fore had to sail without him ; but he left orders 
that the dog was to be sent on by the next ship, 
and Frosty having been recovered, this was done, 
and he was landed safely at Cape Town. Then he 
was forwarded by rail as far as the line went 
towards his new home, but the last eighty miles 
of the journey had to be done in the mail-cart. 
On the way a violent thunderstorm came on, and 
the horses getting frightened became unmanage- 
able and started off at full gallop. Poor Frosty 
was swung from his place and hung out suspended 
by his collar, when he was attacked by two huge 
boarhounds belonofinf: to a man who had come to 


the driver's assistance. The hounds were called 
off by their owner, and Frosty was rescued from 
his perilous position ; but though everything was 
done for him, he died from his wounds in a few 

I had several of his sons and daughters in my 
kennel. Charmer was a very beautiful little dog, 
and ran in my pack till she died, and her brother 
Crack worked well with the Blackmore Vale 
Hounds. Freezer and Fizz, two sons of his, of 
which Amber was the dam, were also good ones, 
and Fizz, though only a 14-lb. terrier, was an 
extraordinarily game little fellow, and would drive 
a fox from any earth. Mr John Corry, who had 
Fizz for some time at Milborne Port, used to tell 
many stories of his prowess, and always had him 
out whenever hounds ran to ground near. 

I showed Frosty once and took two second 
prizes with him, the judge only putting him back 
from first honours because of a scar on his nose. 
This the dog had got in trying to pick up a lighted 
fusee, which stuck to his nose and burnt a deep 
hole. The dent, which was the result of the acci- 
dent, had a greyish appearance, just in the middle 
of an otherwise perfectly black little snout, and as 
the blemish was so entirely the result of a mis- 
chance, I thought his loss of place rather hard 

There are terriers so timid that they will 
resent being touched by some people, though 
they will allow others to handle them freely. 


Sharper, for instance, when in pain would never 
allow any one to put a hand on him but me. 
I mio^ht do anything I liked with him ; and on 
one occasion I took out a large double tooth 
which had an abscess at the root, and was 
nearly driving him mad with pain. The dog 
was perfectly loose, and I had to give a good 
pull to get the tooth out ; but Sharper only 
growled and gave a snap, without attempting 
to bite me. 

In the case of puppies that are at all wild, 
I advise their being exercised for a time with 
a long line attached to their collar, as the other 
terriers are likely to be unsettled if the young 
ones are constantly being called to. In this, 
as in all other parts of their training, you 
must be prepared to give time and patience 
to the work, for it is no use trying to hurry 
it. During the summer months it is a good 
thing to take the dogs out without letting 
them hunt, for in this way they learn to 
attend better to what you say. 

When breaking a terrier to ferrets let him 
constantly see the ferrets and watch them being 
handled and fed. He will get accustomed to 
the scent, and you may let the dog run about ; 
but speak sharply to him if he attempts 
to touch them, and he will soon understand 
they are forbidden fruit. When indeed he finds 
that "Puggy" will bolt rats for him, he will 
look upon him as a friend, and you will have 



no further trouble. I had a number of ferrets 
at one time, and made them very tame, two 
being special favourites, — a white that rejoiced 
in the name of Fell, and a darkie called Pug. 
These two grew to an enormous size, and were 
on the most friendly terms with the dogs, 
even indulging in an occasional game with 
them. Fell would run after my brother's re- 
triever, and playfully catch hold of the dog's 
hind-leg, arching his back and jumping in the 
air in the most sprightly manner as he did 
so. The retriever, however, did not respond, 
but with every appearance of disgust would 
growl and retire behind his master, looking 
unutterable things. 

Poor Pug's little life ended sadly. Getting 
out of his box one day, he went for a walk 
on his own account, and going beyond the 
district where he was known he found his way 
into a millhouse. The miller's wife was so scared 
by his appearance that she sprang on the table 
screaming loudly for help, and her gudeman 
coming to the rescue, mistook poor Pug for a 
polecat, and j^romptly brained him with a poker. 

Ferrets ought to be exercised every day for 
a few minutes, and it is a good plan to let 
them run about the yard in the morning while 
their hutches are being cleaned out. This will 
keep them healthy, and a little sweet-oil poured 
on their bites after ratting will prevent their 
going wrong. I have never lost a ferret that 


was treated in this way. On the other hand, 
if ferrets are not allowed exercise, they knock 
up when they are taken out to work. They 
will soon become handy when they are used 
to you, and will learn to come when called. 
Mine would even leave a corn - stack when they 
were whistled for. 



TERRIERS AT WORK — Continued. 

If patience is needed in the early training of 
terriers, it is more than ever wanted in teaching 
them to run in a pack, though if you have made 
yourself acquainted with the dispositions and 
tempers you have to deal with, there is an ever- 
increasing pleasure in watching them come under 
control. Terriers will indeed soon learn what you 
want them to do above-ground, and the great 
thing to aim at in getting them to run in a pack is 
to keep them together. If indeed you have a gun 
out, this is essential to their safety, as a dog 
suddenly appearing from an unlooked-for quarter 
is very likely to receive what was meant for 

If the terriers are to run down their own game, 
it is best to begin by taking out a few couple at 
a time. Then, as they gain confidence in one 
another, you may gradually increase the number 
till you have as many as you require. Seven or 
eight couple are enough for any kind of sport, 
and although I have sometimes taken the field 


with as many as twelve couple, I do not think 
they ever showed the sport the lesser number did, 
as they got in one another's way and were much 
more apt to divide. An important point to decide 
is that of pace, and you will naturally draft those 
dogs that are either too fast or too slow for your 
purpose. A good cry is as necessary for terriers 
as for hounds, as it keeps the pack together, and 
is, moreover, delightful to listen to. I remember 
seven couple of my terriers starting with a hare 
from Woodrow Farm and running the whole 
length of Plumly Wood, a covert of some eighty 
or ninety acres. On reaching the lane that runs 
down to Purse Caundle the hare came upon a 
brewer's dray, and the man shouting at her, 
she turned sharp, and giving the little pack a 
view they raced her the whole way back, this time 
going outside the covert, and they ran into her in 
the field in which they had found her, every terrier 
up. A very fast dog named Arno led the whole 
way, and as he threw his tongue freely he kept 
them together. 

Redcap was a dog that would carry a line for 
miles, and more than once he travelled so far from 
home that he was given up for lost. One morning 
when I went down to my poultry-house, I had 
Redcap and a collie puppy with me, and to my dis- 
may I found dead hens scattered about all over 
the yard. As I came up a large fox bounded out 
of the cart-shed and made off, with Redcap and 
the collie at his heels. The latter soon returned. 


but not so the terrier, which was no more seen till 
evening, when he came back very muddy and with 
blood about his head. From that time I had no 
more raids on my hens. 

Redcap was a very fast dog, and I have seen him 
run close up to a hare for a long distance. He 
was, too, a rare hand at water-rats, and would dive 
or swim anywhere. A keeper once brought me a 
badger that he had found in an earth, and I 
thought I should like to keep it. I had it there- 
fore put into an outhouse, where it remained for 
several days ; but one night it dug its wa^^- out, and 
made good its escape to the woods. It was marked 
to ground in a covert near at hand, and I had 
Redcap out to try to recover it. As soon as the 
terrier was in, we dug down to them, and choking 
the terrier off, I tied him to a tree while we set to 
work to bag the brock, as we thought. He was, 
however, too quick for us, and bolting out, started 
off across the open field. As soon as Redcap 
caught sight of him, he made such a spring at his 
chain that it snapped, and with about three feet of 
it dangling behind him the terrier started in pur- 
suit. As he came up to the badger he seized him 
by the head, and a desperate fight ensued, till at 
last the badger got his foreleg through the dog's 
collar, choked him off, and made another run for 
life. Once again the terrier overtook and pressed 
him severely, and then, turning suddenly, seized 
the badger just behind the jaw, and hanging tight 
to his windpipe, choked him. This badger pulled 


the scales at 26 lb., and I now have him stuffed 
in a glass case. 

Redcap was indeed one of the hardest and 
gamest of terriers I have ever known, and except 
for an occasional growl, he was a silent and deadly 
worker undero-round. There was no drain too 
long for him, no earth too deep, — get to the end he 
would, and woe betide the inmate when he got up 
to him. He would close instantly, without hesita- 
tion, yelping, or snapping, and he thus took his foe 
at a disadvantage, nor would he ever lose his hold. 
His homing instincts were wonderful. He was 
once borrowed by Press, and taken by him in a 
dogcart to Creech Hill, some sixteen miles away, 
where he was put into a drain that was said to 
be nearly a mile long, and through which no terrier 
had been known to go. The instant Redcap was 
released in he went. It was not long before a 
brace of foxes bolted, closely followed by the dog, 
and, to Press's great dismay, he saw no more of 
the latter. I was not a little astonished the next 
morning, when I went to the kennels, to see Red- 
cap march out of his box in the orchard, very stiif 
and dirty, and with marks of the fray about him. 
Not lonof afterwards Press arrived to tell me of his 
loss, and knowing that I should be distressed, the 
poor man was very much concerned. As he was 
sitting: on his horse at the bottom of the kennel 
steps, sadly telling his history, Redcap suddenly 
looked at him out of his box, and I shall never 
forget the change in Press's face as he saw him. 


A great dislike to strangers Redcap always had, 
but he was very good-tempered, and never fought 
unless he was attacked or set on. This trait he 
transmitted, and I never remember having to check 
a Redcap for fighting, though when once up they 
were full of fire and dash. They all, too, inherited 
their sire's wonderful scenting power. 

Among his sons who distinguished themselves 
were Royal, Racer, and Redtop, and of his 
daughters. Nettle and Rosa were extraordinarily 
good. Racer, by Redcap ex a granddaughter of 
Old Foiler, was very like his sire in make and 
shape, and he had a wonderful voice. He would 
go in face to face with either fox or badger, and 
on several occasions I have known him back his 
fox clean out of a drain. Nettle, a pure white 
terrier weighing only 12 lb., was a perfect marvel 
underground, and she once fought and bolted a 
badger out of an earth, and following him across a 
field, hung on to him for a considerable distance. 
At last the badger turned, and pulling her off with 
his paws, seized her, and threw her right up in the 
air. Nettle, scrambling to her legs, made for him 
again, and hung persistently to his head till he was 
collared and bagged. Redtop and Rosa were 
Amber's puppies, and were rare good ones, nothing 
coming amiss to them. They both had the rich 
tan head of their sire. 

Redstart, a son of Redtop and Spangle, was 
another red-headed one, and he was so hard that 
one day, when a cat crossed him as he was running, 


he snatched it up and followed the chase with it in 
his mouth, shaking- it as he went, till he threw it 
down dead. He was one of the most reckless dogs 
I ever knew in the way he took hold of anything, 
but his pluck ahvays carried him through. 

When terriers are rabbiting in a gorse they 
should all disappear in it instantly, and for this 
work a good smooth dog with a proper jacket and 
thick skin is as good as any wire-haired. In 
hedgerows the dogs should not be allowed to skirt, 
and they should be made to come away and follow 
on when a rabbit goes to ground. 

The great thing in entering terriers underground 
is never to try to force them in. The dog should be 
allowed to sniff about the earth and watch a kennel 
companion at work, and his curiosity will then lead 
him to enter himself. On no account, however, 
should he begin this part of his education too 
young — never before he is a year old, and then 
only in company. By the time he is two years 
old he may try single-handed, as he will then have 
confidence in himself I have seen unfortunate 
little animals shoved into a drain, and a stone put 
up at the mouth to prevent them from coming out. 
The poor things are, of course, frightened out of 
their wits, and are given a distaste for their work 
which they never lose. If instead of treating them 
so they had been gently pulled back and prevented 
from going in, their curiosity would have been 
excited, and they would have been wild to know 
what was happening inside. 


Amber, a wire - haired terrier, bred from Mr 
Kussell's celebrated old Devonshire strain, and a 
great-granddaughter of his famous old Tip, would 
face any wet drain, and would swim for miles. She 
would go for anything that moved, and once even 
pinned a ploughshare that squeaked, though she 
had a narrow escape of having her jaw broken 
before the thing could be stopped. One season 
she bolted a large fox from a drain under the road 
near Thornhill, and hanging tight to his brush, 
she was dragged over a field and to ground in a 
rabbit-earth before the hounds could get up. She 
quickly had the fox out again, and he made a meal 
for the eager pack outside. 

On another occasion she came out of a drain 
near Holtham so close to her quarry that she 
collared him in a ditch, and hounds dashing in on 
the top of them, poor Amber lost half of one of her 
ears in the fray. This, however, did not make her 
release her hold of the fox's head, to which she 
clung so persistently that the huntsman at last 
cut it off and let her have it. 

Amber weighed 16 lb., and had a tan head and 
hard broken coat, and a very keen varmint ex- 
pression. She paid great attention to everything 
that was said to her, and used to turn her head 
from side to side as she listened, evidently trying 
to understand. She would get very angry at any 
restraint when game was on foot, and any one 
holding her would generally get a sharp nip for 
his pains, which mostly had the desired eifect of 


setting her free. This terrier bred a number of 
good ones, but she would never allow her puppies 
to be looked at until they were a week old, putting 
her head out of her box and growling savagely 
if any one approached ; but after that time she 
would come running to meet you and invite 

Of her puppies, Redtop and Rosa I have already 
mentioned, and among others of her progeny were 
Arno, Antic, and Amora by King Pan, the last 
being as good as her mother. With King Pan, 
a heavily marked little dog, I took first prize at 
Sherborne in 1885, and he being claimed by Mr 
Guest, ran with the B. V.H. for some years. Amber 
also bred Trojan, familiarly called Johnnie, by the 
Sealeyham Tartar (late Kanter), a big white dog 
that always gives a good account of himself, and 
will crunch up a hedgehog as though it was 
a rabbit. 

Two terriers should never be allowed to go into 
an earth at the same time, as if they do they are 
very likely to mistake one another for the enemy, 
and a desperate fight between them may be the 
consequence. I have known a dog, slipped in be- 
hind another, inflict shocking injury to the back of 
the first one, in his endeavour to get past him and 
reach the foe. After a terrier has been to earth 
he should be rubbed over if wet, and be allowed to 
run about to warm himself A little sweet-oil 
poured over any bites he may have will prevent 
blood-poisoning ; but on no account should he go 


in a second time in the day if he has been at all 
punished. It is brutal to use a terrier when he is 
stiff, or his head is swollen, and such an abuse of a 
good animal should never be permitted. To carry 
a dog all day on horseback is also cruel, for he will 
become so cramped from being jolted for so many 
hours in one position that he will very likely not 
be able to stand when he is released. It is far 
better to let terriers run to covert with hounds, 
and then for them to be left under shelter at some 
farm or stables till they are wanted. It will be 
easy for a whipper-in or second horseman to ride 
back for them, or during cub -hunting they may 
be given to a foot -runner to lead. 

It is often amusing in the hunting-field to see 
how anxious people are to try their terriers, and 
how little they know whether the dogs are good 
at their work or not. I remember one instance 
of this that struck me a good deal at the time. 
Hounds had run their fox to ground in a drain 
under a road, and while the huntsman was waiting 
for his terrier, a young man appeared with a large 
leggy dog that he hastened to inform us was good 
for anything. He was therefore allowed to try his 
hand, and after a great deal of " loo, looing," and 
cries of " Cats ! cats ! " from the excited owner, the 
terrier ventured into the drain. As we lost sight 
of him he was barking loudly, but he reappeared 
almost instantly, wriggling himself out backwards, 
with his nose bitten. After this he was very 
cautious about venturing to close quarters, though 


his master lay flat down with his head to the 
mouth of the drain, shouting himself hoarse to 
give the dog encouragement. From time to time 
the man raised himself to call attention to his 
terrier's gameness, but he Avas rather crestfallen 
when the kennel terrier came up and speedily 
made it so hot for the fox that out he came and 
the hunt went on. The strange terrier had been 
twenty minutes at work without success, but as 
we rode off we heard a plaintive voice call after us, 
" My dog would have done it had he had more 

Not such was the work done by a wire-haired 
named Dick, which came from Devonshire from 
the old breeds of Mr Kussell and Mr Treby. This 
dog was a clinker underground, and did some big 
things while in the possession of Mr J. Sharp, who 
loved driving after the hounds on a Saturday. Mr 
Sharp used to take a couple of terriers with him, 
and as he knew the country well round Marnhull, 
he always contrived to be at hand when wanted, 
although the district is noted for the number of 
its drains. A daughter of Dick's named Dinah 
is a very good one, and is a great water-dog ; but 
she is not nearly so smartly marked as her sire, 
as she has but one black-and-tan patch over the 
eye, while Dick had two. 

A very pretty trio of hound-marked terriers were 
Sparkle and his sisters Gipsy and Venus, all of 
which were small and compact with very small 
ears, and they were good workers, throwing their 


tongues freely. The three were sired by a dog 
called Satan, winner of a first prize and gold cup 
at Brentwood in 1876, and their dam was Vixen 
by old Pantaloon, the last named said to have been 
a very dark-coloured one, and from whom I sup- 
pose my dogs inherited their pretty black-and-tan 
markings. Sparkle was a capital dog underground, 
and he was also very intelligent. He was not, 
however, able latterly to run with the pack, as he 
lamed himself through catching his leg in the 
chain when jumping out of a manger, and he con- 
sequently spent most of his time digging out mice 
in the orchard. We always fed him at luncheon- 
time, and used to send him a message by any one 
who happened to be going past the orchard. They 
only had to call out, " Sparkle, you are wanted," 
and he immediately toddled up to the house. 

A good prick-eared dog I had, named Specs, 
because the markings round his eyes resembled a 
pair of spectacles, was a granddaughter of Sparkle's, 
her dam being Mr Dendy's Jill, by Redcap ex Kitty 
Fisher. Specs had a Redcap jacket and a won- 
derful nose, and would hunt and work from morn- 
ing to night. She would also find and work a 
drain under water. Specs had a very good litter 
to Sharper, one of which was Spangle, the dam 
of Redstart by Redtop. It was curious that all 
Specs' puppies had drop ears, and I always con- 
sidered that her own prick ears came from Kitty 

Another of old Sparkle's descendants was Ju- 


bilee, which was given me by Mr Guest. Her sire 
was Jock by Mr Vicary's Victor Chief, and her 
dam Vic by Sparkle ex John Press's Fury. Jubilee 
was a great favourite in the house, and latterly 
spent most of her time by the kitchen-fire, where 
she ended her days, being carried off by dropsy 
when in her fourteenth year. In her working days 
she was a capital water-dog and very game, though 
always very excitable. She had a pleasant, good- 
tempered expression. 

Jubilee was grand at rats, and the time she 
killed the burglar will always be remembered. At 
one o'clock in the morning I was disturbed by one 
of the maids knocking at my door and informing 
me there was some one trying to get in by the 
boot-room window, I accordingly got up, and, 
followed by the trembling household, — the man- 
servant being away that night, — went round the 
house ; but finding everything as it should be, I 
dismissed the maids to their rooms. No sooner 
had I fallen asleep than another messenger came 
to say that this time the cellar door was being 
tried. So down I went again, but with the same 
result. In the morning Jubilee cleared up the 
mystery. She showed great anxiety to go down 
into the cellar, and no sooner had she done so than 
there was a rush and a squeak, and out she trotted 
with a large rat in her mouth, the burglar of the 
previous night. 

To get together a kennel of '* hard ones " you 
must breed from a good strain, and one that you 


know has been such for some generations. It has 
very often been said to me, " So-and-so has such a 
good terrier, why don't you ask him for a puppy ? " 
but I always decUne unless I know the dog's an- 
cestors, as otherwise I conclude he is only a throw- 
back to one of the old sporting strains. In con- 
sequence my terriers can generally be depended 
on for pluck, and I have indeed had several of 
them returned to me after I had parted with 
them, because their new owners found them " such 

A few years back I was a little uneasy about one 
litter, as I could not ascertain with certainty the 
breeding of the mother's dam. However, just at 
the time Prince Galitzin applied to me through a 
friend for a puppy, and having no others to part 
with, I sent him one of these. My mind was set 
at rest when I heard that the Prince had written 
concerning the puppy, " I am extremely pleased 
with the fox-terrier that I got through your kind 
intervention. He has shown himself wonderfully 
well both with fox and badger, although still only 
a puppy." The rest of the litter turned out as 
well as the one that went to Hussia. The most 
deserving of mention is Poy, a white dog, which is 
one of my best at the present time, and works 
very like his sire Racer. 

A famous pack of sporting terriers that has 
been bred on the best lines is owned by Miss 
Guest at In wood, and no one knows better than 
their mistress how to handle and work them. 


They are a pack of rough and smooth mixed, and 
are all bred for gameness. A striking proof of 
their mettle was given when five and a half couple 
of them found and killed a badger of nearly 23 
lb. -weight in a dense black-thorn covert before any 
one could get to them, not one of the terriers 
having ever seen a badger before. A grand couple 
of Miss Guest's workers are Redskin and Rachel, 
by my own Redtop ex Pixie ; and Rachel's son 
Ruler, by Monarch, by the old Devonshire Teaser, 
is considered by his mistress to be the best terrier 
she has. Lydia, a granddaughter of old Dick's, is 
another as keen as a razor, whilst Merrilies is famed 
for her cleverness in marking ferrets when laid up, 
for where she marks you are safe to find them. 
Old Meg, her dam, is another good one, and she 
has grown very cunning now that she is in the 
sere and yellow leaf. As Meg finds some difficulty 
in keeping pace with the younger members of the 
pack, she makes for the large earths as soon as the 
running begins. Backing in, she waits with her 
head out to receive poor Bunny, who literally puts 
his head into the lion's mouth and gets quickly 
despatched. Among the puppies. Playmate and 
Passion are two promising ones, and the smartly 
coloured Vagabond, although a big one, is a rare 
dog to drive, and never lets go of anything he 
once gets hold of. 

A mark of Miss Guest's terriers is that all she 
has bred have their natural length of tail, for she 



never allows any docking, as she thinks that 
Nature cannot be improved on. 

To have strong puppies you must give the 
requisite care both to the mother and the young 
ones. A terrier in whelp may run with the pack 
for the first month ; but after that time it is not 
desirable to let her run hard, and on no account 
should she be allowed to go to ground. She 
should, however, be taken out for gentle exercise 
every day, and be fed as usual. With this simple 
treatment I have never lost a terrier, and the pups 
are always healthy and strong. An ordinary dog- 
box made with the top to take off is a capital thing 
for the mother to whelp in, as you can readily look 
in at the little family without disturbing her. At 
three weeks old the puppies may be taught to lap 
by dipping their noses gently into warm milk, and 
when they are five weeks old they should be fed 
on lukewarm bread -and -milk with a little finely 
chopped lean meat sprinkled over it. In the matter 
of medicine castrique is good, if the puppies re- 
quire anything of the kind, and it should be given 
according to the directions. 

From my own experience with a considerable 
number of fox-terriers, most of which I have bred 
myself, I can say with confidence that the com- 
plaint so often made, that the terrier has no perse- 
verance, but will leave a chase as soon as it becomes 
difficult, is unfounded. Terriers judiciously entered 
and properly treated will show themselves to be 
intelligent, docile, and game to the backbone, and 


while always alert and eager for sport, they will 
persevere to the end with whatever work they 
have in hand. But — and the condition should 
be noted — in order to train and keep a pack of 
terriers well in hand in the field, you must have 
almost boundless patience, and must give freely of 
your time and sympathy to the work you would 
bring to perfection. 




It was soon after Mr George Wingfield Digby 
had resigned the mastership of the Blackmore 
Vale that I began to hunt regularly with these 
hounds. Between the time when Mr Drax hunted 
the country most nearly coinciding with the 
boundaries of the modern hunt, and that when 
Mr Digby took the mastership in 1853, Mr G. 
Whieldon of Wyke, Captain Stanley, and Viscount 
Dungarvan shared the responsibilities of office 
from 1853 to 1855, and Lord Harry Thynne, 
Mr E,. Strachey, and Captain Stanley were each 
in turn at the head of affairs for a short time. 
Then the "Squire of Sherborne Castle" took the 
reins, and held them till the year 1865. 

Mr Digby was the owner of an immense pro- 
perty, and he was popular with all classes. His 
tenants were devoted to him, his genial manners 
and kindly actions endearing him to them. When 
I first hunted in the Vale, Mr Digby was still 
going in the first flight, and never better than 
when he was on the back of his beautiful chestnut 



Magic. He delighted in a gallop, and was never 
tired of jumping. His favourite country was the 
Sparkford Vale, which is all grass and flying 
fences ; and after a day with hounds he would 
constantly ride home across country attended by 
his faithful henchman, Dick Anderson. With Mr 
Digby came in the fast system of riding over the 
Vale ; and as he valued and bred his hounds for 
pace, he changed the character of the pack from 
steady line-hunters to those that could race and 
stay over the pastures where the Master himself 
went so well. 

Tradition says that Mr Digby was so unwilling 
to be baulked of his gallop in the Sparkford Vale 
that a fox would sometimes travel with him to 
covert in a basket under the seat of his brougham. 
This reminds me of a story told by a friend who, 
when jogging to covert with hounds in a neigh- 
bouring country, overtook a suspicious - looking 
donkey - cart that was being led by a keeper. 
The eager sniffing of the hounds round the cart 
led her and her companions to guess at its living 
freight, and they found afterwards that their 
suspicions were correct. It was about Christmas- 
time, so probably late hours the night before had 
led the keeper to oversleep himself, and a donkey 
was not the animal to make up for lost time. 

Mr Digby's house at Sherborne Castle is one 
of the great historic houses of Dorset. Of the 
town of Sherborne, near to which the castle stands, 
a somewhat terrifying anecdote was told many 


years ago by a clergyman who had lived there 
over twelve years. " I think it rather extra- 
ordinary," he remarks in an old county record, 
" that during my residence here I never remember 
to have met with a single frog and only one toad ; " 
then hastening to present the reverse side of the 
shield, he goes on to say that he does not " attrib- 
ute the scarcity of these reptiles to anything in 
the nature of the air or the soil, but to the vast 
quantity of rats with which the town is infested." 

Sherborne Castle was at one time owned by 
that brilliant courtier and soldier of fortune. Sir 
Walter Raleigh, who received it from Elizabeth. 
It is said that Sir Walter's first view of the place 
was while he was travelling from Devon to London, 
the lovely view of the park that is still to be had 
from the highroad attracting his attention. While 
Sir Walter was expressing his admiration his 
horse stumbled and fell, thus causing his rider, 
in the picturesque language of the narrator, to 
"take seisin of the soil in roughest fashion." 
After Sir Walter had received the castle from the 
hand of the Queen, he settled it on his wife and 
children ; but the settlement was set aside by 
King James, who wished to reward his favourite, 
Sir Robert Carr, with a gift of the place. It was 
on Sir Robert's disgrace that the property went 
to the first Baron Digby. 

The well-worn anecdote about Sir Walter and 
the newly introduced fashion of tobacco-smoking 
is connected with this neighbourhood. The story 


runs that on a journey from London to his newly- 
acquired possession of Sherborne Castle, Sir Walter 
stopped to change horses at the Old Ash Inn at 
Henstridge, and while this was being done he 
lighted a pipe and strolled into the inn-yard with 
it in his mouth. The ostler never having seen 
such a thing before, and concluding from the 
smoke issuing from his mouth that the strange 
gentleman was on fire, promptly discharged a 
bucket of water over him. It is probable that 
for the future the ostler was a wiser man. 

Two years before Mr Digby gave up the master- 
ship of the hounds, the celebrated John Press 
came from the Cambridgeshire to be his huntsman. 
Press's immediate predecessor as huntsman in the 
Vale was Wilson, who was promoted from the post 
of first whipper-in when Turner, who had hunted 
the hounds for five years, left the country. Press 
came with a good record. As whipper-in he had 
been with Mr J. J. Farquharson's hounds under 
Jim Treadwell, and just before Mr Farquharson 
died he gave Press a horn as a souvenir of his 
service with him. 

Press first carried the horn as huntsman with 
the Crawley and Horsham, in which country he 
remained eiofht seasons. From there he went to 
the Cambridgeshire, and during the five seasons 
he was with these hounds King Edward VII., 
then Prince of Wales, was for a time at the 
university, and often had a day with them. On 
one memorable occasion, of which Press was never 


tired of talking, the Prince was out when they had 
a great run, and to mark his appreciation of the 
sport, he presented his photograph and a £5 -note 
to Press. Both these gifts Press had framed, 
and he has often pointed them out to me as they 
hung over the mantelpiece in the place of honour 
in his sitting-room. The celebrated Tom Firr, of 
Quorn fame, and George Castleman, afterwards 
of the Atherstone, both whipped-in to Press in 
Cambridgeshire, and he used to speak very highly 
of their ability before they had either of them 
made their name. When he left the country 
Press was presented with a purse of sovereigns 
as a mark of appreciation of his skill and excellent 
conduct in the field. After a season with the 
Craven, at the end of which time Press again 
received a testimonial, his services were engaged 
by Mr Digby, and he came to the Blackmore 
Vale. When he arrived in the country he was 
suffering from a severe accident, and was still 
going on crutches. He began his first season's 
hunting wearing one boot and a slipper. 

At this time, when Mr Digby, in spite of his 
age, was still going well to the front, the land- 
owners and resident gentlemen were not by any 
means the only keen spirits who rode well and 
had the fortunes of the hunt at heart. There 
was a fine body of sporting farmers, who lived 
up to the traditions of their forefathers, and 
gave place to none in their love of sport. 
Among these were Messrs Pouting, Sealey, 



Symes, Spicer, the four brothers Harrington, 
one of whom did as much with his one arm 
as most men could do with two ; Osmond, 
Milox, Harris, Tabor, Claremont, and Stone. 

Mr Digby gave up the mastership of the 
hounds owing to failing health in 1865, and 
he made over his whole establishment of horses, 
hounds, and hunt servants, together with the 
kennels at Charlton, to his successor. Sir 
Richard G. Glyn, Bart., of Gaunts House. 
In the latter years of Mr Digby 's reign foxes 
were not so plentiful in the country as they 
are now, and, sooner than disappoint the Master 
of his loved gallop in the Sparkford Vale, Press 
has been known to go to a pretended holloa. 
He would slip off without blowing his horn till 
he was out of sight of the field, and gallop on 
for four or five miles, without any one having 
an idea that his fox was not in front. When 
Mr Digby could no longer ride he used to drive 
a team of greys to the meet, and he managed 
to see most of what was going on. At the 
age of eighty-five he was still a keen critic of 
horse and hound, and nothing delighted him 
more than for a friend to bring his latest 
purchase to the door of Sherborne Castle, there 
to be examined, picked to pieces, and admired. 

Sir Richard Glyn, who retained the master- 
ship from 1865 to the year 1884, was a bold 
and straight rider to hounds, and he showed 
most excellent sport. He was presented with 


a testimonial from the members of the hunt, 
which took the form of a painting by Pierce 
of himself and Lady Olyn on horseback, the 
latter mounted on her favourite Halsey, and 
some of the best hounds of the pack round 

Press remained on with Sir Pichard for eleven 
years, and was soon recognised as one of the 
first huntsmen of his time. He was also a 
first - class hound - man, and of his marvellous 
influence over his hounds I have already spoken. 
An amusing story of his resources in the field 
is told by one who often enjoyed a gallop in 
the Yale. It was early in the year, when Sir 
Pichard met at Henstridge Ash. The first 
coverts to be drawn were those of Inwood, 
and Press, finding that there was no scent 
and no chance of sport, took his precautions 
to have a good day to his credit in spite of 
difiiculties. In the first covert into which 
hounds were thrown they chopped a fox 
almost under the nose of the horse of the 
only member of the field who happened to be 
within sight. Press was down in a moment, 
and as he took the fox from hounds he looked 
round, and seeing but the one man near, he 
exclaimed, " Not a word, sir, if you please," 
and springing back into the saddle, he put the 
fox up on the highest branch of a fir-tree he 
could reach. Then with a touch on his horn 
he gathered and lifted hounds cleverly out of 


covert, and riding almost in a line with them, 
cheered and encouraged them on in the direction 
of the village. A good thirty minutes' gallop 
followed, by Templecombe and Stowell back to 
Henstridge Ash and up to the covert whence 
it had started. Here Press, well in front of 
the field, threw down the fox, and with a loud 
who-whoop celebrated the obsequies in due form, 
and received the congratulations of the field on 
a good day. The one somewhat mystified fol- 
lower of the huntsman's tactics obeyed Press's 
injunction to keep the secret, and it was not 
till sometime afterwards that a rumour of the 
day's proceedings came to be noised abroad. 
As Press explained the reasons for his man- 
oeuvre, " You see, sir, I knew 'twas our only 
chance to-day, so I took it." 

A run that was considered by many to be 
the best of the season took place on Thursday, 
March 25, 1875, the last year that Press carried 
the horn. Hounds met at the kennels, and after 
a long draw they found in North Side Wood 
near Templecombe, and settled down to run at 
a great pace over a fine bit of country towards 
Gillingham and Cucklington, and on to Shanks 
House, where Mr Grant Dalton lived. Here 
they checked, the time up to this point having 
been fifty-five minutes. Press cast round the 
house in the most persevering manner for some 
time without success, but at last succeeded in 
hitting off the line, and the hunted fox jump- 


ing up in view gave another fast fifteen minutes 
before he was rolled over in the open. The 
old huntsman deserved great credit for account- 
ing for his fox, for had it not been for the 
patience and skill he showed at the check, there 
is no doubt the quarry would have been num- 
bered with the lost. Among those who went 
well in this glorious gallop were the Master, 
Sir R. Glyn, Mr Arthur Dendy, Captain John 
Luttrell, Captain Harry Farr Yeatman, R.N., 
Mr Pepys, and Mr H. Poole, though there were 
others who by the aid of gates and friendly gaps 
caught a glimpse of the proceedings from time to 

Press could, I think, do anything he liked 
with his hounds, for they always obeyed the 
least word he said to them in his deep gruff 
voice. He preferred dark- coloured hounds, as 
he used to say that in a muddy country 
like that of the Blackmore Vale the mud did 
not show up on them so much as it did on 
those of lighter colour. He also thought dark 
hounds had a hardier constitution, and from one 
or two instances that I have come across, I 
think there may be something in this. I re- 
member one day when I was out with the 
Vine Hounds I noticed a light blue-and-white 
hound, with a very peculiar voice, that took the 
lead all day ; but when the fox was killed she 
was quite done up, and, lying down, refused to 
touch it. The following season with the Cat- 



tistock I was not a little surprised to see a 
similar thing happen, and when I asked Mr 
Codrington, the Master, about the hound, he 
told me that she and another blue-and-white 
one had come to him in a draft from the Vine, 
and that, though excellent in their work, they 
were both very delicate. He supposed that this 
was the reason they had been parted with. 

After Press's resignation some of the best 
hounds in the pack w^ould not take to any one 
else, and George Orbell's first days in the 
country were in consequence beset with difficul- 
ties. One hound in particular, named Russian, 
gave a great deal of trouble. He had to be 
coupled to get him to the meet at all, and then 
spent his time wandering about looking for the 
old huntsman. On one occasion, after searching 
through the field, Russian trotted resolutely home ; 
and another day, when Sir Julius Glyn was riding 
a horse that had formerly been ridden by Press, 
the hound found him out, and attached himself 
to him for the remainder of the day. 

A strano-e encounter with Russian once took 
place in our dining - room at Haddon. When 
Orbell was on his way to a meet at Warr Bridge, 
he called at the house to leave a lame hound. 
Thinking that Russian was now far enough away 
from home to gro on without further trouble, Orbell 
uncoupled him while I was in the yard looking at 
the hounds. Then I went back to the house to get 
my hat before I mounted, and while I was upstairs 


I heard a hound's voice and a great commotion 
going on below. E-unning down, I found my uncle 
in the hall, and the butler in a great state of per- 
turbation holding on to the dining-room door. It 
seemed that my uncle had gone into the room and 
discovered poor Russian lying under the table, and 
the man on being called had stupidly armed him- 
self with a whip to try and drive him out. At 
this insult the old dog had promptly shown fight, 
and with hackles up and gleaming eyes bade de- 
fiance to his enemies, so that when I arrived on the 
scene he was in undisputed possession of the room. 
His absence, however, had by this time been dis- 
covered, and one of the whippers - in appearing, 
Russian was ignominiously coupled up and led off. 

After Press's retirement he always used to walk 
out to see his old favourites when they were near 
his home, and once on Poyntingdon Down he saw 
the hunted fox dead-beat crawl into a gorse. 
Instantly he gave one of his peculiar holloas, and 
two or three of his old hounds, recognising his 
voice, raced up to him and killed their fox. 

Up to a short time before he gave up. Press had 
what one who hunted with him constantly main- 
tains was " a genius about foxes." He certainly 
had a marvellous way of picking up a cold line, and 
when hounds could make nothing of it. Press would 
catch them up, gallop off straight as an arrow to 
some point a mile distant, perhaps, and recover his 
hunted fox and kill him. On such occasions half 
the field probably had no idea that he had not been 


on the line all the time. As his health failed 
rapidly during his last season, Press got into the 
way of always waiting for the last fox from covert, 
and he was known to wait a point too long even 
for this, so that the last fox had gone before he 

Press was a bold rider, though he had bad 
hands, and he always liked to ride slowly at his 
fences. One of his sayings was, that " you can 
squeeze through anywhere." Once when he had 
"squeezed through" a very high thick fence, a 
well-known member of the hunt shouted to him, 
" What is the other side ? " " Come over and you 
will see," was the only answer Press vouchsafed as 
he galloped after his hounds. He was well aware 
of his bad hands, and one day when he had had a 
nasty fall in a cramped corner and I was holding 
his horse for him to remount, he said ruefully, 
while he cast a look after the fast- vanishing pack, 
** Ah, if I had your hands I should be with them 
now." When any one remarked to Press that he 
was unlucky not to have killed his fox, he always 
made the same answer, while he slowly shook his 
head. "Yes," he would say — "Yes, the glorious 
uncertainty of foxhunting." 

After Press's retirement in 1876 his health gave 
way rapidly. He had married a second time not 
long before, and with his wife and young children, 
two of whom were named appropriately Nimrod 
and Diana, he lived close to Milborne Station in a 
house that had once been the Bugle Inn. On the 


day of his second wedding he was seen with his 
bride driving out a favourite hound that was 
recovering from an accident. 

Another story that Sir Richard Glyn tells me of 
his old huntsman is very characteristic. Press 
wished to celebrate the anniversary of his wedding- 
day, so he determined to take his wife and baby 
for a drive, and at the same time to do a little 
hunting business. The party consequently set out 
for Compton Castle, taking with them two hound 
pu^Dpies. Into the box of the cart Press put the 
puppies and the baby, and then mounted in front 
with his wife. (Of the latter's view of the arrange- 
ment I hear nothing.) In due course they arrived 
at the castle, but the key of the box had been lost 
on the way, and the inmates seemed to be having 
a genial scrimmage. When at last the box was 
opened, the inmates were all discovered in good 

At last the epileptic fits from which Press 
suffered brought on insanity, and his condition 
became such that he had to be removed to the 
county asylum, where he died at the age of sixty- 
seven on December 27, 1885. On the memorial 
card sent out to his friends was inscribed — 

" Alas ! he's gone to Earth at last, 
Waiting for the Trumpet's Blast." 

For the month or six weeks that remained of 
the season after Press gave up, Tom Jordan, the 
first whipper-in, hunted the hounds. Jordan had 


come to the country from the Vale of White 
Horse not long before, and at first he used to 
astonish us all by his seat. At every fence he 
leaned right back on his horse, and at a very high 
bank this looked extremely uncomfortable, to say 
the least. He rode, however, very well, and the 
quickness with which he learned the country was 
remarkable. Not one of the least of the difficulties 
he had to contend w^ith was the fondness of the 
hounds for their old huntsman. The followinef 
season G. Orbell was appointed to Press's place, 
and every one hailed with delight his method of 
getting away from covert with his first fox. 
Orbell remained in office till the year 1885, the 
season after Sir Richard Glyn had retired. 

During the time that Orbell carried the horn 
I was living with my uncle at Haddon, and hunted 
regularly in the Vale. Among my recollections 
of the followers of the hunt at this period there 
stands out the figure of Mr Wingfield Baker, 
who still took the gates as they came when 
upwards of eighty years of age. This veteran 
met with his death in the hunting- field, and he 
was universally regretted. Another first-class 
rider was Mr Wadham KnatchbuU, whose seat 
and hands were so incomparably good that it 
was a pleasure to watch him. Always there and 
in the right place, he was one of the quietest of 
riders, and nothing ever came amiss to him. At 
a real hairy Vale double, however, Mr Marwood 
Yeatman was the best man I ever knew. He 



had a wonderfully quick eye to hounds, and was 
so clever in picking them up that although he 
often did not start from home till midday, he 
generally came in for the afternoon's sport. I 
have known him, though, so late in coming out 
that hounds had gone home before he appeared. 
He would then have his gallop without them, 
and many is the steeplechase across country I 
have had with him. General Astell on Rat-tail 
was at one time almost invincible ; and the Hon. 
Mrs Bertie on her beautiful Robin, and Lady 
Theodora Grosvenor, were hard to beat anywhere. 
Mr Digby Collins with his rare hands and seat 
was another whom it was a pleasure to watch. 
He was, and still is, in great requisition as a 
judge, for few men know more about a horse 
than he does. Lord Howth, also a hard rider, 
stopped at nothing ; and when he was mounted 
on his favourite, the Ghost, he was as difficult 
to catch a glimpse of as if the phantom name 
applied to him. 

Captain Fife, the founder of the Compton 
Stud, was equally good over a country or between 
the flags. It was 1884, the year in which Sir 
Richard Glyn gave up the B. V. Hounds, that saw 
the birth of the Compton Stud. It was started at 
Sherborne, but was afterwards removed to Sandley, 
near Gillingham, in Dorset. The two well-known 
hunter sires, King Crafty and Master Ned, with 
which the Compton Stud started, were on the 
second year joined by the good horse Huguenot, 


the winner of several royal and Queen's premiums. 
A two-year-old son of Huguenot took the Queen's 
gold medal at the Royal Show at Windsor, and 
later realised 180 guineas when sold by auction. 
Scot Guard joined the stud later, and a yearling 
of his changed hands at 130 guineas. Amongst 
other horses standing at Sandley was Yard- Arm, 
by Privateer ex Conviction, a fine chestnut with 
enormous bone, and said to be the most power- 
ful thorouo-hbred horse at the stud in England. 
Yard -Arm's stock have won prizes to the value 
of several thousand pounds. In 1892 Captain Fife 
left Sandley for Yorkshire, and Captain Phipps 
Hornby succeeded him. 

Major Ness was another steeplechase rider who 
won the first Blackmore Yale point-to-point, and 
Sir Walter Grove won the same point-to-point 
three years in succession with his old chestnut 
horse Harborough. This horse broke its back in 
the hunting-field when jumping Bow Brook. 

Mr Merthyr Guest, who succeeded Sir Bichard 
Glyn as Master of the Blackmore Yale, was 
always well to the front. In his opinion it is 
safer to be first at a fence than to come even 
second, as he believes that a horse is more 
likely to use his eyes well when he has only 
himself to rely on than when he is following 
another. The late Lord Digby was one of the 
veterans of the field, and with his daughter 
and two or three of his sons was generally at 
the meets on the Pulham side of the country, 


though he lived within the borders of the 
Cattistock Hunt. 

Of the Cattistock Lord Guilford was then the 
Master, and he met with his death in a tragic 
manner in the field in December 1885. He was 
thrown twice from his horse at the beginning 
of a run, the second fall being over a big double, 
at which his horse rushed violently, blundered, 
and fell. Lord Guilford was picked up with a 
broken leg, and was found to be suffering from 
severe internal injuries. He was carried on a 
gate to Castle Hill and thence driven to Sydling, 
where he died on the following day at the age of 
thirty-three. It was afterwards discovered that 
the horse he was riding at the time of the acci- 
dent had cataract in both eyes. 

Other followers of the Blackmore Vale were 
Mr N. Surtees, whose cousin was the creator of 
the immortal Jorrocks, and his daughter, now Mrs 
Charles Phelips, and Mr Charles Phelips. Major 
Dugdale was generally out during his visits to 
his uncle at Sherborne Castle when he could get 
away from the Staff College. Others whose names 
occur to me were Sir Julius Glyn, Colonel Good- 
den of Compton, Colonel Chadwick, Mr and Mrs 
Clayton, Captain and Mrs Carr Glyn, Captain 
and Mrs Luttrell, Captain Scobell, Mr Bradney, 
the Rev. W. Leir and his sons from Ditcheat, 
Major Harbin, Mr W. Brymer, M.P., and his 
brother, the Rev. J. Brymer, Colonel Paget, Dr 
M'Enery, Captain Grissell, Major Orred and his 


brother, Captain Stanley Orred, the late Mr 
Charles Chichester, Mr Robertson, Major and Mrs 
M'Adam, Colonel Mount Batten, Mr Cavendish 
Bentinck and his sons from Branksea Island, the 
Rev. F. Tyrwhitt-Drake, Major Forbes, Mr Rogers 
of Yarlington, Mr Giles Hussey, and the late Mr 
Wills Sandford from Compton Castle. Mr (now 
Sir) Godfrey Lagden used to hunt from Stock 
Rectory when he was home from Africa ; and the 
late Mr Connop, though a heavy-weight, con- 
scientiously jumped every fence on his big black 
horse. Another heavy-weight who was always 
there was Mr George Allen, whose brown mare 
Stella was worthy of her master's prowess. 

I remember a curious accident that happened 
to a black horse which belonged to General Waller 
when he was hunting in the Vale. The horse had 
been lame from a kick on the shoulder, and almost 
the first time he came out after the accident he 
caught his toe in a tuft of grass while he was 
cantering over a field and broke his foreleg. As 
examination showed a distinct oscillation in the 
shoulder-bone above the elbow, it was decided to 
shoot him. While a gun was being brought the 
poor thing lay down several times and rolled, but 
managed to get to his feet again. After he had 
been put out of his pain, it was discovered that 
the place of the old kick had starred and broken 
the bone almost across, so that the little catch at 
the toe had completed the fracture. 




Of my early circus-riding performances, in which 
I was my brother Campbell's pupil and assistant, I 
have already written, and to the skill with horses 
gained in them I believe 1 have more than once 
owed my life in the field. Another favourite 
amusement of my brother's in his young days was 
breaking young horses, and whenever he was doing 
this he not only fed and exercised them himself, 
but always saddled and bridled them, so that they 
should become thoroughly accustomed to him. He 
never lunged a young one, for he maintained that 
a colt taught in this way was apt to jump short 
when he had a rider up, as he would not make 
allowance for the weight on his back. Another 
reason Campbell gave for his dislike to the practice 
of lunging was, that if in a fall the horse got loose 
he would almost invariably follow hounds if used 
to taking his fences by himself If, on the other 
hand, he had always been ridden at his fences, 
he would seldom or never attempt them. Certain 
it is that the horses my brother broke were almost 


always in the field in which the fall had occurred, 
and consequently were very easily caught. 

I remember my brother buying a young grey 
that he christened Charlie, and the first day he 
had the new purchase out he picked out a nice line 
of fences and asked me to give him a lead. The 
young one came down at each of the first five 
fences, the last of which was a post and rails, 
which he went through instead of over. He had, 
however, had his lesson, and the following week 
Campbell took him out with hounds, when the 
horse behaved very creditably, only once blunder- 
ing slightly at a very nasty blind fence. There is 
no doubt that horses have wonderful memories, 
and if they are not fretted but are ridden boldly 
and fearlessly from the first, will hardly ever come 
to pfrief from the same cause a second time. When 
a horse refuses it is generally the fault of the 
breaker, who by his own want of nerve or skill has 
made the animal frightened, and then he is almost 
sure to become a miserable hesitating beast, and 
will require a long course of careful treatment to 
cure him. I have had many such instances pass 
through my hands. 

My grey mare Brilliant, which carried me eight- 
een years to hounds, had been badly broken and 
roughly handled, and she came to me Avith any- 
thing but a promising record. She was a very 
nervous animal, and had such a dislike to strangers 
that she could not bear to be touched by any one 
she did not know. Unlike my horse Tom, which 


had a very hard mouth and pulled frightfully at 
times, she could only be ridden In a snaffle-bridle. 
When I went with my uncle, Mr Dalton Serrell, 
and my brother Campbell to buy her, she had been 
in her box for a week, as no one could get her out. 
At the end of half an hour Campbell and our man 
succeeded in getting her Into the yard, and as I 
wished to try my hand on her, my uncle bought 
her for me. As soon as the bargain had been 
struck I prepared to mount the mare, but here I 
had to reckon with the farmer, who said he could 
not allow me to mount her, as she would not stand 
a habit, and he assured me I should be killed. I 
represented to him, however, that the mare was 
now my property, and that if he objected to my 
doing as I liked with her he must return the cheque. 
This brought him to reason, and I proceeded to 
ride her home. The mare was very much afraid 
of my habit at first, and for a long time she would 
kick at it on a windy day ; but we soon became 
friends, and she gave me very few falls. 

One fall at Holnest I remember, when Brilliant 
landed on a bank that gave way with her, and, 
rolling backward, she fell into the ditch. Scrambling 
out without me, she galloped off, and several people 
good-naturedly trying to stop her, she became very 
wild, and would not let any one come near her. As 
soon as I had picked myself up I called to her by 
name, and then she trotted quietly up and stood 
by my side. Another nasty tumble we had with 
the Blackmore Vale Hounds, In a flooded ditch 


coming away from Nylands, when that part of the 
country was under water. She went too near 
before taking off, and just as she rose her hind-leg 
shpped in, and we both disappeared under water. 
She was soon out again, and galloped off, dragging 
me with her, as my habit had caught over the 
pommel. Luckily for me, Mr Merthyr Guest ran 
his whip cleverly through her bridle as she passed 
him, and stopped her just as my habit gave way, 
and let me down. 

Across the Vale — the greater part of my hunt- 
ing having been done in the Blackmore Vale — I 
think the best all-round horse I ever had was the 
brown mare Countess, and I do not believe there 
was ever a double made that could stop her. Here 
I may say a word about my experience in riding 
over this country. It is well to take a pull at your 
horse when you approach a fence, as if you collect 
him and get him well together he can jump better 
on to the top of a bank, and is more likely to re- 
cover himself should he make a mistake. Some 
riders I know prefer to take their fences almost 
standing ; but to me there is always a dash of 
tameness about this, and I confess to like riding 
fast and just steadying my horse as he nears the 
fence. In taking timber you must be sure to get 
your horse's legs well under him, as if he comes at 
it all abroad, you will ver}'' likely experience dis- 
astrous results. Some horses like jumping a gate 
in their stride, while others will pull themselves 
up if ridden too fast, and will buck over. My old 


horse Tom could do either, and I have known him 
when in a cramped corner rear up and throw him- 
self over. When you are riding at a fence where 
you think it likely the horse may come down, you 
should slip your foot out of the stirrup, as you are 
thus saved from the danger of being dragged. It 
is easy to regain the stirrup as you gallop on, and 
you ought, indeed, to be able to ride without it. 
To break the pommel is a much more serious busi- 
ness. Mine once snapped when we were flying a 
big water-jump, and I only saved myself with the 
greatest dijSiculty from what must have been a 
nasty toss. 

To return, however, to Countess. This mare 
came to me from Elihu Harris, a man who rode 
at everything that came in his way, and who 
had swum the river with her. Once with me 
in a quick thing from Stock we found the ford 
flooded when we came down to the Caundle 
Stream near Waterloo Gorse. The water was 
out half across the meadows, and the gate had 
quite disappeared from view. As we waded in, 
trying to find the gate. Countess got out of 
her depth and had to swim. Striking out 
immediately for the opposite side, she gained 
the bank, and after a great struggle succeeded 
in landing. Strangely enough, nearly the same 
thing had happened to my father many years 
before, a little lower down, where Mr Guest 
has now put up a hunting - bridge ; but my 
father was not so fortunate, as he was knocked 


from the saddle by a branch, and his horse was 
washed down-stream without him. 

It is not often you see a horse double timber, 
but Countess once doubled a stile by Bagber 
when my brother was riding her. I also saw 
a horse, ridden by Captain Macfarlane in Mr 
Garth's country, drop his hind-legs on a gate, 
and as he went on Captain Macfarlane turned 
to me and said, "Didn't he double itl" He 
was a rattling rider, and nearly always rode 
chestnuts, which were so much alike that it 
was very difficult to tell them apart. I re- 
member his delight one day when a farmer said 
to him, " Well, sir, that's a wonderful horse 
you're on. I've seen you on it every day this 

A remarkable jump Countess once made with 
me was when the Blackmore Vale Hounds had 
run into the Cattistock country and were coming 
away from Short Wood. She was taking a big 
double when, as she was poised on the bank, 
she saw a farm - waggon immediately beneath 
her on the far side. The waggon had happily 
been drawn close in to the hedge, and to my 
no small relief Countess cleared it, though she 
made it rattle with her hoofs as we came down. 

I was riding Countess the only time I 
attempted the Buckshaw Brook, a well-known 
feature of the Vale country. There was quite 
a little history about this, for when Mr Drax 
bought a farm on one side of the brook he 


wished to take down the bridge that had been 
over it for years, but the landowner on the 
other side objected. Mr Drax, however, was 
not easily turned when once he had made up 
his mind to a thing, so he had the bridge 
sawn in half, much to the consternation of the 
members of the hunt, for the brook, besides 
being very wide, was peculiarly dangerous on 
account of the big holes in its bed. At this 
time Mr Drax was living the life of a recluse 
at Holnest, and as he had been an old friend 
of my father's I was asked to go and re- 
monstrate with him. I accordingly rode over, 
and before long brought up the subject of the 
bridge. "Oh yes," he answered, "I knew at 
once what you had come for, but it is no 
use. In my time we always got over the 
Buckshaw Brook, and if you are such duffers 
now you can't do it, you do not deserve to 
have a bridge." I remember feeling very small 
at this view of the question, and I said no 
more, though Mr Drax's memory certainly 
played him false as to his ever having jumped 
the brook. Mr Drax had indeed a great 
memory for gaps, as a fence in any form did 
not appeal to him. When he had his hounds, 
he never allowed the farmers to fill the gaps 
till the end of the hunting season. Once, how- 
ever, in the course of a run he came to a place 
where the gap that should have been there 
had been replaced by a stile, and as he could 


not get out of the field any other way he at 
last put his horse at it. The horse fell and 
parted company with his rider, who remained 
seated on the ground till the farmer ran up 
to see what had happened. Mr Drax then 
shook his fist at him with considerable energy, 
and remarked, " I tell you what, sir, you need 
a fresh landlord. How dare you put up a thing 
like that?" 

The remark about funking the brook, how- 
ever, rankled, and it was not very long before 
I had a try at it. I had been out on Countess 
with the Cattistock, but we had done nothing, 
and hounds had gone home early. On my way 
home I met Mr Marwood Yeatman, who in his 
usual way was sallying forth just after luncheon 
to pick up hounds. " You don't mean to say 
you are going home ! " he exclaimed in surprise. 
" How is your horse ? Have you done any- 
thing ? " and on my telling him, he rejoined, 
" Then let us take a bee-line home." To this 
I agreed. " Now, don't speak to me for five 
minutes," he went on. "Let me consider the 
best line." So he sat perfectly still on his 
horse, with his nose in the air, while I waited. 
He had a perfectly marvellous memory for a 
country he had ridden over, and knew every 
fence and every inch of country in the Vale. 
When riding with him he could always tell 
you what sort of fence you were coming to. 
" I have it," he said presently ; " we will go 


for the Buckshaw Brook." " Nothing could be 
better," and away we went straight for the 
brook, having a good gallop of twenty - five 
minutes over a fine bit of country. Mr Mar- 
wood Yeatman was riding his celebrated Grand 
Duke, a low dark-brown horse, with white legs 
and face, a high-bred little head, and a long 
bang tail. 

When we came to the brook Marwood rode 
some little distance down the bank to choose 
a spot, for as a matter of fact no horse could 
clear it. As soon as he reached the wattle 
fence he made Grand Duke buck over, and he 
landed in the water up to his saddle - girths. 
Then slowly, for fear of the holes, he paddled 
through, and succeeded in scrambling up the 
bank. Then came my turn, and Countess, 
frightened at the wattle, reared and refused. 
At last she bucked over, and landing on her 
head and knees in the water, she wetted me 
up to the neck. However, being a larger and 
more powerful horse than Grand Duke, she got 
up the bank more easily. The next time I saw 
Mr Drax he remarked, " I have heard, — I have 
heard, you and Marwood have been over the 
brook. Ah, what I always had to do." 

A point in Mr Drax's history which I should 
think is unique is that some years before his death, 
and when he had shut himself ofi" from all society, 
he built a large and handsome mausoleum in his 
own grounds, which he had heated with hot-water 


pipes. Here he used to sit for hours at a time, 
and at his death he made provision for the warm- 
ing apparatus to be kept in working order. 

When Countess's hunting days were over Mr 
Merthyr Guest had her for a brood mare, and she 
bred Damon by Wild CharHe. Damon became 
the property of Sir Elliott Lees, who won the 
Blackmore Vale point-to-point on him in 1888, and 
in the following year was first in the House of 
Commons point-to-point in the Vale of Aylesbury. 

Speaking of Sir Elliott Lees reminds me of one 
or two good days I had with the South Dorset 
Hounds, the season he had them. His reign was 
all too short, and when he resigned he presented 
the hounds to the country. At the present time 
(1903-4) Mr Ashton EadclyfFe has them, and a 
very good gallop with him from Castle Hill, when 
hounds ran both fast and well, lives in my 

It was an ambition of mine, which for many 
years was never fulfilled, to see the monarch of 
the glen in his native heather. I had often heard 
my father describe the hunting in the New Forest 
with the Queen's Hounds, which at one time 
always finished up the season there. At last came 
my chance, and I was ofiered a day with the New 
Forest Deerhounds at Boden Wood. On a warm 
day in April we trained down, and after a very 
pretty drive from the station reached the fixture, 
to find the tufters already hard at work. Miss 
Lovell carried the horn in the absence of her 


father, and she hunted the pack most beautifully. 
Shortly after we drove up word was brought 
that a stag had been singled out, so horses were 
mounted hastily and we started in pursuit. Miss 
Lovell ran into her quarry after a good run of two 
hours, and she was good enough to give me a slot, 
which I now have hanging up among other trophies 
of the chase as a reminder of a very pleasant day. 
We crossed both woodland and moorland in the 
course of the run, and we had both banks and bogs 
to negotiate. The worst feature of the country, 
however, and the one that brought most of the 
strangers to grief, was the old cart-ruts overgrown 
with heather, which were bad for horses not accus- 
tomed to them. Fortunately my experience of the 
Bagshot side of Mr Garth's country here stood 
me in good stead, as I had had almost every 
experience of riding over heathland. 

In the days when I was hunting with Mr Garth's 
hounds, Campbell and I were coming home from 
hunting, and our way lay over Odiham Common, 
into which there was a very big fence. I was on 
Tom and took it first. When we were on the bank 
I saw a saw-pit immediately in front of us, and I 
felt Tom make a tremendous effort, and he doubled 
himself over. He must have dropped his hind- 
legs on the bar of the saw-pit, for on looking at it 
afterwards I found the mark of his hoof and a 
piece of the wood broken out, so it was a near 

As we often had long rides home to Brooke 


House after we had been out with Mr Garth, 
Campbell and I were very fond of cutting off 
corners when we were crossing Heath Commons, 
though the fences were so stiff that most people 
preferred to keep to the beaten track. There were 
also some large banks with post and rails on top, 
but it took a good deal to stop us in those days. 
We were once going back so late that the moon 
was up, when we came to an unexpected obstacle 
in the shape of a high stile with which the path 
had been blocked, and to make matters worse a 
hurdle had been laid across the ditch on the far 
side for the use of foot-people. Campbell decided 
that it was too late to think of turning back, and 
said he would go over first. He was riding a black 
horse named Warwick, that had a white face and 
legs, and was a wonderful timber-jumper, though 
when Campbell bought him he could not lift his 
legs over timber. Warwick was afterwards taken 
into the Blackmore Vale, where he carried his 
master well. He took the stile in good form, but 
did not clear the hurdle, and Campbell, slipping 
from the saddle, pulled him out by the head. He 
then tied his horse to a tree and called to me to 
ride for a fall. The ditch was some seven feet in 
depth, so the prospect of a fall was not alluring. 
Tom, however, jumped well, but got his hind-feet 
down, and had it not been for Campbell being 
ready for him and pulling him out, the conse- 
quences might not have been pleasant. Horses 
indeed need some training to judge their distances 



well by moonlight, and the first time I tried Tom 
over rails under a bright moon, he struck the rails 
heavily. I have found that horses kept in a dark 
stable at night need more training to accustom 
them to the heavy shadows of a moonlight night 
than those that are not allowed to stand in the 

Another ride with my brother I remember, when 
we had a narrow escape of coming to grief in a 
bog. We were crossing Fleet Meadows, and we 
both knew that on the far side of one of the fences 
was a big bog. This fact, however, we had for- 
gotten in the excitement of the run, for hounds 
had found in Fleet Gorse and were running straight 
and fast. As we came to the fence we both re- 
membered the bog, but in our usual way deciding 
that to go back was not good enough, Campbell 
gave me a lead over. His horse came down, but 
he managed to get him out, and then he called 
that he would be ready to catch mine if needed. 
My mare, however, had seen the plight of her 
stable companion, and, profiting by it, she jumped 
almost clear and struggled out by herself 

After I went to the Blackmore Vale country 
I used to have an occasional day with the Cat- 
tistock Hounds, the first time I was out with 
them being in the last season of Lord Poltimore's 
mastership. I much admired the beautiful level 
pack, which in the following year fetched a record 
price when they changed hands. The Cattistock 
country being very open, hounds run fast over 

Mrs HtJLl ORD. 


it, and you need a galloper if you would be near 
them. I had some good days with this pack 
in the time of the late Mr Codrington, who was 
a good sportsman and very fond of his hounds. 
I remember finding him one afternoon at John 
Press's house, and was much amused by hearing 
the two men relate runs against each other, and 
expatiate on the excellence of their respective 
packs. Again, in Mr Chandos Pole's time I 
enjo3^ed many a good gallop ; and one very good 
hunting run I can recall, when hounds ran from 
Glanville's Wootton and killed their fox hand- 
somely at the end of an hour and forty -five 
minutes. Mr Chandos Pole was a capital hunts- 
man and showed excellent sport, and he M^as a 
wonderful rider in spite of his weight. I do not 
think I ever rode over so many trappy places 
as in the run from Glanville's Wootton, but 
my good Valesman never put a foot wrong the 
whole day. 

Valesman was a horse with a history. He was 
bred at Langport, and bought by Mr Guest as a 
three-year-old on account of his good looks. He 
was a big powerful brown, standing 16*3, and he 
eventually became a vdry fine fencer. As Vales- 
man could not be persuaded to open gates, he was 
sent up to Tattersall's with some other of the 
hunt horses, and my uncle bought him for me. 

On the day of the sale a stranger bid against 
my uncle, and ran the price up to the limit the 
latter had set. Happily, however, at that point 


he retired, and Valesman became mine. After 
the sale, my uncle told me, the stranger came to 
him and asked him if he knew the horse, and on 
his answering in the affirmative, the would-be pur- 
chaser replied, " If I had known that, you should 
never have had him." Valesman carried me for 
ten years, and a pleasanter horse to ride home 
after a day with hounds I have never known. 

The first day I rode him was to a meet at 
Holnest, but owing to a sharp frost on the pre- 
vious night hounds did not put in an appearance, 
and remembering Valesman's dislike to a gate, I 
resolved to have it out with him. I chose a gate 
that led from a lane and tried to get him up to 
it, but he refused to go anywhere near it. After 
we had been busy for some minutes, out trotted 
an old woman from a cottage at a little distance, 
and in spite of all I could say to her, she flung 
open the gate and stood curtseying beside it for 
me to pass through. When I asked her to be 
good enough to shut the gate and leave it, she 
looked at me as if she thought me an escaped 
lunatic, and with more curtseys stood her ground. 
At last in desperation I said to her, " My good 
woman, if I give you sixpence will you shut the 
gate and go home ? " She then thought things 
were serious, and taking the coin, she retreated, 
giving me some very doubtful looks as she went 

Then I set to work again, and as nothing would 
induce Valesman to face the gate, I tried to back 


him up to it while I opened it. When my whip 
was down and I was in the act of unlatching it, 
he wrenched himself round so suddenly that the 
whip was pulled out of m}^ hand and remained 
hanging on the gate. All my efforts were now 
directed to recovering the whip, and this took 
some time, though at last I accomplished it. It 
was only at the end of a good half- hour that I 
succeeded in opening the gate and getting Vales- 
man through. Whether the old lady saw my 
departure and realised that there had been some 
method in my madness, I cannot say ; but from 
that time Valesman never refused to go through 
a gate, and gradually lost his fear of one. There 
is no doubt that at some time he had had a gate 
swing on him, and the terror it had occasioned 
remained with him. 

Last, but by no means least, — at any rate in 
the sense of proportion, — among the horses asso- 
ciated with the sport of former years, was Tip- 
perary Joe. This horse was, I think, one of the 
ugliest animals I ever saw. He stood seventeen 
hands, and had an enormous head with a Roman 
nose, and a long thin tail, and to add to his 
merits he w^as a whistler. Joe, like Tom, came 
out of an Irish drove, and though we all despised 
him, we were glad to fall back on him in stable 
emergencies. My uncle bought him ; but as Joe 
had a mouth of iron and was a hard puller, he 
could not ride him, and in course of time made 
him over to Campbell. Then my father had him 


for some years, and when he left Brooke House, 
Joe was sent to me at Haddon Lodge, where I 
was living with my uncle. 

Joe was an extraordinary fencer, and what he 
could not get over he could always get through. 
An instance of the latter that occurs to me hap- 
pened in Mr Garth's country, where, in the course 
of a run near Farley Hill, two members of the 
field were brought up by a big gate straight up- 
hill. The disconcerted riders were Colonel Pearson, 
who became one of the heads of the London police, 
and Dr Willet. They tried in vain to get the 
gate open, and hailed me when I came in sight 
on Tipperary Joe, " Here you are. Even you 
can't get over this." " No, but Joe can break it," 
was my answer, and turning back to the end of 
the lane, I brought him down to the gate at a 
tremendous pace and crashed through it. The 
gate was broken into splinters, and Joe, after 
blundering on to his head, recovered himself, and 
on we went. Colonel Pearson and Dr Willet 
followed, and the former, as he raced after us, 
shouted, " Seventeen-and-six ! seventeen-and-six ! " 
this being the price of a new gate. 

Some years later I was the unwitting cause of 
putting Colonel Pearson's good-nature to a severe 
test. There was to be a grand review at Alder- 
shot, at which her late Majesty, Queen Victoria, 
was to be present, and Colonel Pearson, being in 
charge of the police arrangements, offered my 
sister and myself standing room in the Queen's 


enclosure. Geraldine was riding her favourite, 
The Queen, and I was on Tom. We were just 
behind her Majesty's carriage and close beside 
one in which were seated the ladies-in-waiting. 
All went well until a big drum was started just 
under Tom's nose, when he reared straight up, 
swung round, and came down with a terrified 
snort. The performance, I have no doubt, looked 
sufficiently alarming, and one of the ladies in the 
carriage close beside us screamed and showed signs 
of fainting. Fortunately, the band struck up at 
the moment and diverted attention from us, but 
Tom was now in no mood to remain quiet. I was, 
however, hemmed tightly in, and great was my 
relief on catching Colonel Pearson's eye to see him 
rush to let down the cord that marked off the 
enclosure. It was the act of a moment to get 
Tom outside, where he could work off his excite- 
ment at his will. My sister's mare was in no way 
disturbed by the incident, as she had often been 
ridden over to the field-days at the camp, and her 
nerves were hardened even to a close performance 
on the biof drum. 

Tipperary Joe once played me a similar trick 
when we were out with the Queen's Hounds. The 
meet was at Wokingham, and I was very anxious 
to see the deer uncarted. Campbell, who was 
with me, tried at first to dissuade me ; but at last, 
with an amused look, which I remembered after- 
wards, told me where I had better go. I rode up 
close to the cart, and as the big red-deer bounded 


out, Joe reared, swung round, and bolted in the 
opposite direction to that in which the deer made 
off. I learned afterwards that he had already 
done this with my brother, who told me he knew 
there would be fun if I insisted on satisfying my 

Tipperary Joe ended his days at a ripe old age 
at Holwell, where Mr Marwood Yeatman lived after 
his marriage. Joe had previously been allowed the 
run of Stock Park for some years, and he carried 
two of Mrs Yeatman's granddaughters, Miss Hext 
and Miss Meech, to hounds, for several seasons. 
Mrs Yeatman, the widow of the Rev. H. Farr 
Yeatman, founder of the Blackmore Vale country, 
died at Stock at the age of ninety -four in the 
year 1884. 

After I had been living with my uncle for some 
years, he allowed me to try my hand at farming on 
a small farm of his that became vacant, and of course 
I started horses. From Mr Surtees, who was a 
near neighbour of ours, I had the present of a 
chestnut mare named Zulu, which had won the 
Farmers' point-to-point the year he bought her. 
Zulu bred me two beautiful fillies by Mr Guest's 
Colonel Ryan, which grew into big strong mares 
and were natural jumpers, as all the Colonel Ryan 
stock were. One of these mares, a dark brown, 
was very like her sire, and carried me safely for 
several seasons ; and the second, a bright bay, also 
turned out a good performer and was very fast. 
Zulu also bred a very nice bay colt by Scot Guard, 



which took a first prize at the Compton Stud Show 
at Horsington. The brown mare, Comedy, that I 
had from Mr Clayton, had a nice little filly by 
Huguenot, which also took a first prize in the class 
for liofht-welirht hunters at Sherborne. 

My farming, and for a time my riding, were put 
a stop to by a severe attack of neuralgia in the 
spine, which for nearly a whole winter kept me a 
prisoner to my room. For some years afterwards 
I was forbidden to jump, and although I could not 
always resist doing so in the excitement of a run, 
I paid dearly for it, especially after a drop leap. 

As most of my old favourites, large and small, 
have been mentioned in these pages, I cannot resist 
giving a place to a strange pet that came to me, 
though he certainly has no connection with hunting. 
At a time when some very severe gales were blow- 
ing, our churchwarden, Mr Rice, one day brought 
me a largfe bird which he had found in a field near 
Haddon. The bird was unable to fly, and it had 
struggled desperately before he and his shepherd 
had been able to secure it. It turned out to be a 
gannet or solan goose, and it must have been 
driven so far inland by the unusually boisterous 
w^eather. It proved to be a most amusing pet, 
though it was very wild at first, and would attack 
me with its great beak wide open, and fasten in 
the most tenacious way upon my dress or anything 
that came first, while it flopped me with its wings. 
I soon discovered an easy method of managing 
Master Ganny, as he was called, for by catching 


him firmly by the beak and closing it gently in 
your hand you were mistress of the situation, and 
could lead him about where you liked. He soon 
became used to this treatment, and seemed to like 
to be caressed and talked to. He was very fond 
of small fish, which he would devour greedily, and 
when I appeared at feeding -time he would waddle 
after me in the most comical manner. The diffi- 
culty, however, of procuring him proper food became 
so great that I was obliged at last to part with him. 
I sent the quaint little fellow to the Zoological 
Gardens, and for a long time missed him sadly. 

Another favourite that is still with me is a 
piebald Russian pony, named Houp la. This pony 
was born in a circus, where her dam, also a piebald, 
was a noted performer. Houp la when very young 
was given to a member of the circus company who 
was anxious to set up on his own account. This 
man, harnessing the pony to a barrel-organ, set out 
to travel over the country with his new possessions. 
As he was going down West Hill, near Sherborne, 
the organ ran on to the pony's hocks, and Houp la, 
objecting to the treatment, started off down the 
long hill at break-neck pace, and collapsing into a 
ditch at the bottom, smashed the organ to pieces. 
While the disconsolate owner was regarding the 
wreck, he was accosted by a farmer who lived near, 
and who, after a little bargaining, became the 
owner of the pony. He turned her out on his 
farm, and when she was of maturer years he took 
her up and broke her in. The farmer thought he 


was going to make his fortune by breeding pie- 
balds, and when I caught sight of the pony one 
day in the fields and asked her owner to sell her to 
me, he told me he could not think of parting with 
her, as she was in foal to a piebald sire. I laughed 
at him, and told him the foal would be sure to be 
a whole-coloured one; so he promised that if I 
should prove to be right he would let me have the 
mother. As the foal when it came was a dark- 
brown filly without a white hair in her, Houp la 
came into my possession. 

Like all Kussian ponies, Houp la grows an extra- 
ordinary coat in the winter, and this she much 
resents having taken off. She generally has to be 
clipped four or five times during the winter months, 
and though she is usually quiet and gentle to a 
degree, she always plays tricks the first time she 
is driven after the operation. She has been with 
me many years, and is not likely to leave me 
while she and I are both alive. 




In the early summer of 1888 an amusing scene was 
enacted on the banks of the small stream that 
runs into the mill-pond at Fifehead Neville. The 
presence of an otter in the waters had been re- 
ported, and to leave him without making a try for 
his capture was too much for those keen sportsmen, 
Mr Connop and Mr Surtees. Collecting a scratch 
pack of two of their own terriers, some contribu- 
tions from the neighbouring farmers, and the 
lurcher and terrier from the mill, the two gentle- 
men set to work. The lurcher, however, had to be 
reckoned with, and he resented the intrusion of the 
party on his home domains. He consequently 
attacked one of the terriers, who was not slow in 
responding to the hostile demonstration ; the other 
terriers joined in, and a free fight was soon in pro- 
gress. The would-be huntsmen saw their hopes 
dashed to the ground, and had to turn their atten- 
tion to restoring order in their pack, a task they 
found by no means easy. 

In the meantime the otter, feeling no security in 


the low water of the stream, was quietly making 
good his escape by land to the shelter of the mill- 
pond, when Mr Surtees espied him, and forgetting 
all else in his excitement, pursued him armed with 
his walking-stick. The fray among the dogs was 
not stopped till one of the unfortunate little terriers 
had been killed, and the proceedings ended prema- 
turely and sadly, the two sportsmen declaring their 
conviction that terriers were too quarrelsome to 
work together. 

In spite of this, however, it was not long before 
my two old friends Mr Connop and Mr Surtees 
suggested that I should try my terriers at otter- 
hunting, and the scene I have described was there- 
fore the cause of my first taking to this branch 
of sport with my pack. None of my terriers had 
been entered to otter, but the waters had not been 
hunted for a good many years, and I determined 
to try what we could do. The great dread that 
the originators of the idea had was that the 
terriers would fight, but of this I assured them 
there was no danger. It seemed, however, that 
their fears were to be realised, for among the seven 
and a half couple I took out was a new dog, a 
black -and-tan called Tim, who immediately fell on 
another terrier as they were leaving the cart. 
** There," exclaimed the former sufferers in chorus, 
"at it again ! I told you so." But Tim was soon 
caught and quieted, and the rest of the pack 
showed that my confidence in them had not been 


It was the 12th of May 1888 that I made a 
start, and from that time — with the exception of 
the season of 1890 — I hunted the tributaries of 
the Lyd till the end of the season of 1892, when 
Mr Courtenay Tracy took possession of the country. 
The first year I was out four times, but we never 
succeeded in findinsf an otter, thoucrh the terriers 
had great fun with the rats and moor-hens, and we 
were all getting to know the waters, and laying 
up experience that was to be useful to us in the 
future. The terriers took to the water like ducks, 
with the exception of Sharper, who on the first day 
nearly paid with his life for his first plunge into 
the new element. He spied a large rat swimming 
across the Hazlebury mill - pond, and plunged 
after it from the bank into the very middle of the 
deep water. I was soon attracted to the perform- 
ance which followed by excited cries that Sharper 
was drowning. When he came to the surface, 
instead of striking out, the dog began splashing 
violently with his forelegs in the air, till he fell 
backwards and disappeared. This he repeated 
over and over ao;ain till he became so exhausted 
that we thought each time he went under we 
should not see him again. It was impossible to 
reach him, but at last, by the aid of a long pole 
which we managed to push out to him so that 
he might support himself by it, we succeeded in 
drawing him to the bank and landing him. 

After this I tested every dog at swimming, and 
found that all, even the puppies, could do it easily. 


and some were remarkably good at it, and would 
go great distances and enjoy it immensely, so that 
the disability was peculiar to Sharper. 

Rhino, the dam of my good dog Royal, one of 
the terriers I had out this year, had a great 
antipathy to snakes, and never lost an oppor- 
tunity of killing one. She created quite a panic 
among the field one day by appearing amongst us 
with a large green snake coiled round her neck and 
wrio^crlinof with all its mio^ht. Rhino had the head 
grasped tight in her mouth, and she never relaxed 
her hold till she had killed it. She paid dearly for 
her fancy this season, for she had the misfortune to 
attack an adder, pulling it back by the tail as 
it was gliding into a hole. It fastened on her 
face, but as she had it off in an instant and killed 
it, we hoped no harm had been done. A short 
time after, as we were crossing the river by a foot- 
bridge. Rhino staggered for a moment and then fell 
into the water. We soon had her out, but she 
became perfectly rigid, and was to all appearance 
dead. Fortunately, just at this moment Mr Mar- 
wood Yeatman joined us, and acting on his advice 
we poured whisky down her throat. After a few 
minutes the muscles relaxed, and she struggled to 
her feet, only, however, to fall again. Accord- 
ingly, I had her sent to a farm and shut up in the 
stables, and when I called for her later I found her 
with a very swollen head, and very much under 
the influence of the whisky she had imbibed. As 
soon as we reached home, I smothered her face in 


sweet-oil and poured a little down her throat, as 
Mr Yeatman told me this was a better remedy than 
spirits, and would have cured her at once had it 
been possible to get some at the time of the 
accident. He said that Channing, his father's 
huntsman, always used it when any of his hounds 
were bitten by adders, which abounded in the 
Stock coverts. In the case of Khino, the oil un- 
doubtedly saved her life. 

I have also found sweet -oil a cure for wasp- 
stings. By it I saved two terrier pups that had 
attacked a wasp's nest, and were simply covered 
with the wasps. They swelled all over the head 
and body, and had it not been for the prompt use of 
the oil, must have died. When I found the little 
things they were still attacking the nest, though 
nearly blinded by the stings, and I had the 
greatest difficulty in stopping them and getting 
them away. 

Before I took the terriers out the following year 
I entered them all regularly to their new game. 
In this I was helped by the present of a young 
otter that weighed 12 lb., and which was brought 
to me after his capture in a drain near the Stour. 
Here was an opportunity not to be lost, so the 
otter was provided with a box, and I determined 
to make use of him in the education of the 
terriers. I had no wish to follow Mr " Jack " 
Russell's example and walk 3000 miles to enter 
my pack, so I had the otter, with a string on, 
taken to a small pond close by, where he was 


allowed to run about the edges and go into the 
water. Then he was brought back to his box, and 
I unkennelled the terriers and cheered them on 
the line. One day I showed the otter to old 
Amber, and she went nearly wild as soon as she 
saw him, and, taking me by surprise, dashed from 
me and scrambled into his box, from which she was 
with difficulty removed. After this you had only 
to take Amber over the line and she would own it 
and throw her tongue freely, and the rest would 
join in instantly. As soon as I found all the 
terriers understood that the otter was something: 
to be hunted, I had the little fellow taken down to 
the stream and set at liberty. Whether he went 
back to the deep waters of the Stour, or we ever 
found him again, I never knew. 

The first otter my terriers accounted for was on 
May 7, 1889, when we met at Lydlinch. We drew 
up to Berry Farm, where Nettle found an otter in 
a drain that opened low down into the water. 
When the otter tried to bolt into the water the 
crowd on the opposite bank shouted and sent him 
back on the terrier. At last the keeper succeeded 
in pulling out Nettle, and I let in Racer. As the 
otter was now facing the entrance, the two 
collared one another instantly, and Kacer came 
backwards out of the drain drawing the otter 
after him. The pack was then let up and the 
death-knell rung, every terrier going in with a 
will, and from this time I do not think they ever 
passed an otter over. 



About a week later we had a red-letter day, in 
which we accounted for two otters — one a vixen 
that turned the scales at 18 lb., and the other a 
fine dogf-otter. The former I now have stuffed in 
a glass case. Starting from King Stag, we found 
a brace of otters at Hazlebury Mill, and the 
terriers divided, two couple following the vixen 
up-stream, and the rest turning down - stream 
after the other. The terriers that were after the 
vixen were Sharper, Amber, Nettle, and Jubilee, 
and as they were well on their game and I knew 
that nothing would stop them, I blew my whistle, 
and with some half-dozen followers started in 
pursuit. Forcing their quarry up - stream, the 
terriers drove like foxhounds, and we had to run 
hard to keep up with them. Several times we 
viewed the otter trying to land, which she at last 
succeeded in doing" about a mile from the start. 
She then made a dash for the open back towards 
the mill, but Sharper was close on her, and catch- 
ing a view, he soon rolled her over. The other 
three terriers were on his heels, so they had her, 
and I don't think I have ever seen a closer fight. 
Every terrier showed itself game to the backbone, 
and they killed their otter handsomely without 
any assistance, as they were all so locked together 
it was impossible to do anything for them. Amber 
was quite liors de combat at the finish, as she had 
been bitten severely through the throat, and she 
had to be sent back to the mill. 

Hurrying back, I found the rest of the terriers, 


with a very excited field, still hunting the other 
otter, though the little dogs were getting sadly 
demoralised from the incessant shouting that 
greeted their efforts and marked every appear- 
ance of the otter. Rallying them, I went on with 
the hunt, and at the end of an hour brought our 
game to book ; and here I may remark that in 
otter-hunting with my terriers we never made use 
of nets. After this the rivers were in flood, and 
though I took the terriers out several times, we 
were not able to do anything. One day when we 
tried the large stream by the mill at Stalbridge, 
the mud was so thick that the poor little dogs 
were nearly smothered and had to be helped out, 
lookins: like blackamoors. 

The following season of 1890 Mr Courtenay 
Tracy brought his otter - hound pack down ; but 
again, owing to the heavy rains, the waters 
were too deep for the hounds to do anything. 

In 1891 I had my terriers out again, and the 
first week in May we secured our first otter. I 
had out seven and a half couple. They got on 
the trail of an otter near Hyde's Farm. After 
running their quarry backwards and forwards 
for some time, they suddenly went away towards 
Brickies, one of the Stock coverts, and every 
one of course declared they were on the line of 
a fox. In consequence we tried to stop them ; 
but Sharper and a young terrier named Antic — 
the latter only a twelvemonth old — would not 
be denied, and disappeared over the brow of 


the hill. I turned back to the water ; but the 
terriers could make nothing of it, and as I 
watched them I felt more than ever convinced 
that the missing terriers were on the right track. 
After a lono^ search I found the truants in a 
ditch at the mouth of a trip, both severely 
marked but triumphant. Their otter was dead. 
They had carried the line correctly for more than 
a mile, till he had taken refuge in the trip, where 
the final struggle had come off, and from which 
he had been dragged before any one came up. 
The otter weighed 14 lb., and had evidently 
fought hard. 

A day or two later all the terriers were out 
again with the exception of Antic, who had a 
swollen head, and was in consequence left in 
kennel. We found a very fine otter near Hazle- 
bury, and killed him after a good two hours' 
hunt. Several of the terriers caught him single- 
handed ; but in every case they were dragged 
under the water, and had to release their hold. 
Jubilee distinguished herself by holding on to 
the otter's tail and being towed down-stream for 
a considerable distance ; but at last she too dis- 
appeared under water, and came up gasping. 

This proved a very exciting day, as in addition 
to the otter we also accounted for a hare and a 
polecat. The former jumped up in full view when 
we were on our way to the stream close by Hazle- 
bury mill-pond, and the seven couple getting well 
away and led by Arno, the fastest terrier in the 


pack, fairly raced to Humber Wood. Here the 
hare, finding her enemies unpleasantly near, made 
a sharp turn back without entering the covert, 
and the terriers ran Into her In the same field 
from which she had started. So fast had been 
the pace that all the field were distanced, only 
one young man surviving to the end. Most of 
the followers, Indeed, had found their way back, 
and had settled themselves down to luncheon, 
when straight into their midst came the hare 
and her pursuers, sadly to the detriment of the 
eatables, and in consequence more than one hungry 
sportsman lost his well-earned meal. The gallant 
survivor of the chase was presented with puss's 
remains, and these he carefully tied up In his 
handkerchief and started for home. 

Then came the excitement of the polecat, which 
gave us some very good sport. At last he took 
refuge at the top of some of the high wood of 
the hedges, up which he climbed with great 
agility, and when an adventurous sportsman tried 
to destroy him, the beast sprang straight at his 
head. Charmer, a small rough terrier celebrated 
for her stoat-hunting propensities, at last gripped 
the polecat ; but she paid dearly for her laurels, 
and carried his hall-mark over her eye for the 
rest of her life. 1 should like to have had the 
polecat set up, as I believe he was the last of 
his race in the Vale ; but I only succeeded In 
saving his head from the rapacious little pack. 
This I gave to a man to carry for me ; but he. 


not understanding that I wanted it, unfortunately 
threw it away. 

That month I went out again with ten couple 
of terriers, but drew the river blank as regards 
otters, though the little pack consoled themselves 
with the rats and moor - hens, and had a good 
deal of fun. 

Early in February the following year (1892) 
Mr Connop sent to me to say that there was 
an otter at Fifehead Neville Mill near his house, 
and he asked me to bring the terriers over and 
try for him. This I did ; but the otter was not 
at home, and, the water being bitterly cold, we 
soon gave up the hunt. Again, in March that 
year, I took nine couple of terriers and drew 
up to the Fifehead drain ; but the otter was still 
paying visits, and though we followed the stream 
to Ibbertson, I could gain no tidings of him. 

On the 14th April we met at Buckshaw, and 
with eight and a half couple drew the mill-pond. 
Sharper soon marked one to ground, and hardly 
had the spade been put in when out bolted a 
large otter, and the fun soon became fast and 
furious. The terriers forcing him through the 
pond, he gave us a fine hunt, till finding it 
getting too hot for him, though it was un- 
pleasantly cold for us, as we waded backwards 
and forwards, he took refuge under the stump 
of a tree half- way down the steep high bank. 
Little Floss, my house pet, letting herself cleverly 
down from the top, was the first to reach him. 


and a deadly tight ensued ; while the rest of 
the pack, mad with excitement, clambered over 
one another in their efforts to reach them 
from the water. Just as we were fearing the 
worst for Floss, Sharper got up, and, directing 
the attention of the otter to himself, saved the 
gallant little thing. Floss would undoubtedly 
have been killed before this but for her orame- 
ness in hanging to the otter's head. Amber 
and several more now reached the combatants, 
but no one could get at them. At last the 
keeper lay flat down on the top of the bank, 
and with his legs held by willing volunteers 
among the field, he let himself down, and, amid 
a scene of the greatest excitement, succeeded in 
tailing the otter. He was then hauled up, with 
the whole pack swarming round him, and the 
who-whoop was sounded. The otter was a fine 
fellow of 24 lb. 

I was told that this was the first otter that 
had been killed in Buckshaw mill-pond, though 
there is an amusing story of an attempt Mr 
Collier had made some years before in this 
water. Having heard of an otter being in the 
pond, he took his hounds and tried unsuccess- 
fully till darkness set in. Determined not to be 
beaten, he then kennelled his pack at the farm, 
and sat up in the kitchen all night. At break 
of day he started again ; but in the end had 
to acknowledge himself beaten, as the otter had 


Later in the month we made a start at Pulham 
with seven and a half couple, and found an otter 
in the stream above Hazlebury, which gave us an 
hour's good hunt. Three terriers — namely, Royal, 
Amber, and Nettle — eventually nailed the otter 
under a stump and killed him in the water, the 
whole pack going in for a grand worry. When 
we pulled out the dead otter the half-drowned 
terriers were still clinging to him, and it was no 
easy matter to land him. 

Floss and Bugle found this otter under a large 
oak-tree, and Floss, getting up to him, bolted him 
after a hard tussle, and he made for the top of the 
bank. Here, finding himself confronted by so many 
enemies, he ran along a branch of the tree over- 
hanging the water, and perching himself on the 
extreme end, surveyed the company. Bugle, the 
little black -and -tan, immediately followed, and 
balancing herself as best she could, tried to reach 
him. Just as she got up, the otter turned, and 
taking a header into deep water, disappeared. 
Bugle lost her footing from the jerk, and fell after 
him. Coming up half-drowned, she made for land, 
but nearly lost her life through the mistaken zeal 
of people on the bank, who, mistaking her dark 
head for that of the otter, hit at her with sticks. 
Mr Connop happily rushed to her rescue, waving 
his stick at the discomfited sportsmen, with the 
curt exclamation, "It is the dog, you fools ! " 

In May the waters were so low that the otters 
all retired to the larger rivers, and though I had 

N. SURTtES. Hsg. 


the terriers out four days during the month, there 
was no quarry left in the streams. I then said 
good-bye to the old country, for that fine sports- 
man, Mr Courtenay Tracy, took possession of it 
the following year. He has hunted it ever since 
with a pack of hounds, consisting of a few couple 
of pure otter-hounds, some foxhounds, and others 
a cross between the two, which he prefers to 
the pure -bred ones for the sport. The hounds 
work well together and have a grand cry, and it 
is very pretty to watch them running the trail by 
the side of the river on a bright spring morning, 
while the banks resound with their music as they 
throw their tongues the whole time. Mr Tracy 
shows capital sport, and is ably assisted by Mr 
Twynam. No day seems too long for them, and 
the distances they cover are often quite astounding. 
I have had some rare fun with them ; and when 
in this neighbourhood they have many people 
out, those two enthusiastic otter-hunters, the Rev. 
J. Brymer and Mr C. Phelips, being seldom absent 
from the field. 




The second Baron Wolverton, Master of the 
Ranston Bloodhounds, that for eight seasons 
hunted the carted deer over the Blackmore Vale, 
used to say humorously that " the worst of 
hunting a deer is, you cannot leave off when 
you like. Nobody will believe you if you swear 
it went to ground." Yet few were keener in the 
field than Lord Wolverton, who had, as Whyte- 
Melville tells us, "a holy horror of going home 
without his game," and would persevere when at 
a loss " through many a long hour of cold hunting, 
slotting, scouring the country for information, and 
other drawbacks to the enjoyment of his chase." 
Such experience, however, was but the reverse 
side of the shield, for the noble black -and -tan 
hounds could show extraordinary sport, and sus- 
tain such sjDeed over the open that they would 
leave behind many a good horseman who knew 
every inch of the country, and could hold his own 
against any followers of the chase in the kingdom. 
The foundation of Lord Wolverton's pack was 

Master of the Ranston Bloodhounds. 


a draft of eight couple of bloodhounds bred by 
Captam Eoden of Kells, in County Meath, who 
for the blood in his own kennels had gone to Mr 
Jennings in Yorkshire and Mr Cowen of Blay- 
don Burns, near Newcastle. The young hounds 
were bought by Lord Wolverton in 1871, and in 
1875 his pack consisted of sixteen and a half 
couple, of which ten couple were of his own 
breeding. These hounds had all the distinguishing 
marks of the old black St Huberts, of which they 
w^ere the direct descendants. Whether this breed 
had been known in Engfland before the time of 
the Norman Conquest is an open question, but at 
least from the latter part of the eleventh century 
the bloodhound was in this country. Though 
more generally used singly for tracking wounded 
deer, and for this purpose kept in our larger country 
houses, there are instances of whole packs having 
been brought over from France, and in both coun- 
tries care seems to have been taken to keep the 
breed pure, so that our own name for them of 
bloodhound — i.e., hound of pure blood — is not a 

The St Hubert hound must be for ever asso- 
ciated with the old Flemish monastery of St 
Hubert, where both the black and the white variety 
of this noble breed were kept by succeeding races 
of the monastic house. The old records of the 
abbey tell us that for suspected cases of hydro- 
phobia St Hubert's was a great centre for pilgrim- 
ages in the Middle Ages, the sufferers being re- 


commended to the intercession of St Hubert for 
their cure. Every year three couple of the hounds 
were sent by the abbot as a present to the King 
of France, and the custom only ceased towards the 
close of the eighteenth century, A great admirer 
of the breed, and one who has owned and bred 
more than 300 of them, is M. le Comte le Conteulx 
de Canteleu, who has told us much about their 
history. In prehistoric times the St Hubert 
hounds came from the country of the Ardennes, 
where they were used to hunt the wild boar and 
the wolf, that existed in great number in the large 
forests. Here their descendants are still to be 
found, though in the course of time they have 
been so much crossed with other breeds that they 
have lost the distinctive features of the race. 
They have become light and fast, and in this 
respect are, as M. le Comte le Conteulx le Can- 
teleu tells us, exactly the reverse of what they 
were in the time of King Charles IX. That 
monarch, who loved a gallop in the field, made 
the well-known reproach to the bloodhounds of 
his day, that " they were more suited for men who 
had the gout than for those who wanted to kill 
their stag." 

Yet the bloodhound as we have it in England 
can go a great pace, and one of the best forty-five 
minutes I have ever had in the Vale was with 
Lord Wolverton's pack. It was in the early 
'Seventies, when we met at Hayes on the 8th of 
April, that this glorious gallop took place. In 


the following account many of the incidents come 
from the pen of Lady Theodora Guest, who has 
kindly given me her memories of the day in 

The meet was at twelve o'clock, and Lord 
Wolverton and his hounds did not keep us 
waiting. It was a lovely spring day, and never 
did the smart hunt - dress of Master and men 
show to greater advantage. The uniform was a 
green coat with gilt buttons, and on the latter 
a coronet and the letter " W." For the lady 
members of the hunt the costume was a green 
habit, with the same buttons as those worn 
by the Master. The hounds were magnificent 
creatures, standing seven- or eight -and -twenty 
inches; and as Major Whyte- Melville, who was 
often out with them, has recorded, " their limbs 
and frame were proportioned to so gigantic a 
stature," and, thanks to the Master's "care in 
breeding and the freedom with which he has 
drafted, their feet are round and their powerful 
legs symmetrically straight." No slight praise from 
such a judge, yet well did the hounds deserve it. 

And presently we were to see them as they 
are depicted in Mr Goddard's picture, " sweeping 
along like a whirlwind," and putting horse and 
rider to the test to keep in touch with them. 
It was, indeed, a sight worth seeing as the big 
hounds let themselves out, their deep-toned music 
pealing forth again and again and ringing far 
over the land. 


The good deer Lady Wolverton was uncarted, 
and we waited about the yard at Kossiter's Farm 
while she had a start. Among the field, beside 
the Master and Major Whyte-Melville, there were 
Lady Theodora Grosvenor, Captain Paget and 
Captain the Hon. Alfred Byng, both of the 7th 
Hussars, Major Ness, Mr Digby Collins, H. Harris, 
who acted as pilot to Lady Theodora, and a 
goodly gathering of farmers and others. Then 
hounds were let out, and we followed them at a 
canter till they reached the deer-cart, where the 
fun began. Lady Theodora that day was riding a 
horse named Mars, and I was on Countess. We 
now had to gallop our best over two or three 
fields in the direction of the Marnhull road. 
Suddenly hounds swung round to the right, and 
the six of us who were together found ourselves 
faced by a big double, which more than one good 
horse refused. Countess, happily for me, was not 
among them, and Lady Theodora, Major Ness, Mr 
Digby Collins, H. Harris, and E. Harris all came 
over in turn, and keeping the hounds in view, we 
raced over one of the stiffest lines in the Vale. 
But we had no time to look at the big fences as 
they came, or to choose a place ; over we must go 
if we would not lose the fortune that was ours, 
for the Master and the rest of the field had been 
thrown out by the sharp turn hounds had made 
by Andrew's Farm, and we knew the good things 
of the day were for us alone. 

By Margaret's Marsh hounds swung round once 


again to the right, and with scarcely a moment's 
check went on. We jumped into the lane, and 
then as hounds took up the line we jumped back 
into the fields, where Major Ness was rolled over 
by an open trench, but happily without being 
hurt. After this the fences came thick and fast, 
and horses flew them in the wake of hounds, the 
pack running mute with the deer only twenty 
yards in front. She had got up out of a ditch 
close to them just after we crossed the lane, and 
we rode for our lives, fearing every moment they 
would have her down. She managed, however, 
to keep about the same distance from them, and 
still the steeplechase went on. Over the road 
from Todber to Marnhull, and then fields and 
fences again, till we passed Nash covert on our 
left, and came down to the New Bridge at the 
spot where we used to have to ford the river. 

From this point the pace was slower, and I will 
give Lady Theodora's description, as she and her 
pilot had the good fortune to be at the river just 
as the hounds and deer appeared on the side from 
which the riders had crossed by the bridge, and 
for a time they galloped level with the pack, only 
the water between. 

" Seeing the white posts," she sa^^s, " we went 
for the ford, and Harris splashed in, saying as he 
did so, ' Wait till I am over, please.' This I did 
impatiently enough, till, just as I was going to 
follow, down w^ent his horse in the mud on 
landing. Harris jumped off and got clear, but 


implored me as he did so not to attempt it. 
As I hesitated, Mr Digby Collins arrived with his 
horse half- blown, and going straight in, he had 
just the same experience as Harris, only with a 
worse roll. Then I turned away in despair, and 
coming upon E. Harris, I made him pilot me. The 
deer now crossed almost directly in front of us, 
but E. Harris's horse was so pumped I had to 
pull Mars into a trot to keep with him. When 
we had jumped three more fences and crossed the 
road under Fifehead, heading for the lower Fife- 
head coverts, Harris's mount came to a standstill, 
and as I had not the courage to go on quite alone, 
I turned back to the road, where I soon came up 
with H. Harris and the tail hounds." 

At Five Bridges Lady Theodora from one point, 
and I from another, came up with the hounds, 
which were now entirely at a loss and had thrown 
up. Boreham, the kennel huntsman, who had just 
arrived, tried to make a cast, but did no good, and 
at Nyland Lord Wolverton joined us. He had 
been riding the roads savagely all day to try and 
find hounds, and had come across the two hussars, 
who with Captain Broun arrived on the scene ; 
but Major Whyte-Melville and Mr Walter Grove, 
both usually so good, we never saw again. 

The Master took hounds back to Five Bridges 
to try and find the deer ; but though he heard 
news of her at Kington Magna, he tried to hit off 
the line for two hours without success. For the 
first time in her wonderful career Lady Wolverton 


was lost, and no trace of her could be found. At 
last the Master was left almost alone, while he 
still tried to pick up some clue to her disappear- 
ance. Going once more to Kington, he found the 
deer about 4.30, and she then gave him a run 
of forty minutes before she was taken in an out- 
house near Wincanton. It was nine o'clock that 
niofht before Lord Wolverton reached home. 

It was, I think, always either a very good or a 
very bad day with the bloodhounds. When they 
ran as they did on the day I have described, you 
felt that nothing could surpass them in the field ; 
but there were times when they would not show 
any sport, and you had nothing to relieve the 
tedium of a long day of waiting for the run that 
never came. Of course on all good days we did 
not get the superlative gallop that marked our 
meeting at Hayes, but the following instances may 
be taken as typical of the ordinary sport enjoyed 
with the pack. 

On March 7, 1874, Lord Wolverton's fixture was 
at Fifehead Magdalen, as he had settled to look 
for a hind that had been seen for some days 
feedinof with the cows on Loder's Farm, at Buck- 
horn Weston. This hind had given a capital forty 
minutes from Manston the week before, and had 
been lost at the end of the day near Rodgrove. 

The hounds and the field — the latter numbering 
about one hundred — were shut into the yard for 
twenty minutes, and then the chase started over 
the open -trenched fields and their stifi" fences in 



the direction of Rodgrove. Thence towards 
Shanks, and at a gallop down the lane till there 
was a short check close by Langham. Hounds 
soon recovered the line, and crossing a ploughed 
field, bore down to the South-Western Railway, 
and passing under the arch, went round towards 
Eccliffe Mill till the river lay in front. A some- 
what deep ford here let both hounds and field 
through, and going fairly straight for Stour 
Provost, the pack crossed the Todber Road, and 
leaving Nash covert on their right, came down 
once more to the river. For a while they ran 
along the bank till they came to City Mill, where 
they crossed, the narrow plank bridge at this 
point allowing the field to get over in single 
file. At Pentridge the Somerset and Dorset 
Railway had to be crossed, and now the pace, 
which up to this point had been good, grew 
slower. The hounds, however, never left the line, 
and the big doubles that lay in their path, and 
which they could cross but slowly, brought out 
their deeper and more angry tones. In a branch, 
of the Develish river near Bagber, known in the 
neighbourhood as the Blackwater, the hind was 
viewed, but before hounds came up she was ofi", 
and the field, now reduced to fifteen in number, 
went on by the Bagber Brickfields and over 
Haydon Common to Stoke Wake. Here the 
gallant hind was taken, after a run of two and 
a half hours, the earlier part of which had been at 
racing pace. The Lady Theodora Grosvenor and 


Mrs Clay Ker Seymer were well up till near the 
end, the only members of the field who were 
actually up when the deer was taken being Mr 
Merthyr Guest, Mr Clay Ker Seymer, and one 
of the whippers-in. There was a good deal of 
grief on the way, and it was rumoured that a tree 
had been cut down to free the present Sir Walter 
Grove from some strange predicament, various 
explanations of which were afloat. 

Now from the bright to the sombre, and we will 
see what befell those who met Lord Wolverton at 
Manston in the same month of March 1874. The 
Master had out nine couple of hounds, and there 
was a fair -sized field to meet him, among the 
latter being Major Whyte-Melville, Mr and Mrs 
Clay Ker Seymer, Lady Theodora Grosvenor, 
Captain Coote, and Captain Bridges of Fifehead. 
As soon as the deer had been uncarted. Major 
Whyte-Melville mounted guard over the gate of 
the field where the followers were assembled, 
announcing in magisterial tones that no one on 
horse or foot was to pass that way. " But first," 
he remarked presently with a twinkle in his eye, 
" we will make sure the gate will open — just for 
you and me." 

There was, however, no need for hurry, for the 
deer trotted off in a very lackadaisical manner, and 
when hounds were laid on they were very head- 
strong and dijBBcult to manage, though they soon 
came upon her in a little covert in \\ hich she had 
taken refuge. When the deer was at last per- 


suaded to leave her shelter, she trotted back froni 
whence she came, and in a very few minutes 
hounds were close upon her again. After this the 
hind was secured and re-carted, and another was 
released. This second act of the drama opened 
better, the hounds making magnificent music as 
they set off at a pace that kept the field galloping 
behind them ; but after some half-dozen fields the 
followers dashed up to find the deer in the midst 
of hounds. She was separated and again given a 
chance, but she very soon took soil in a pond, and 
as she did not mean leaving it or playing the game 
any more, the day of failures came to an end. 

Mr G. B. Starkey, who used to hunt in the 
Blackmore Vale country before he went to New 
Zealand, and who has recently been paying a visit 
to some old friends in Dorset, tells of an amusing 
scene he once witnessed in connection with a meet 
of Lord Wolverton's bloodhounds, which may be 
taken as a good receipt for making a deer run. He 
was driving to the fixture, and on the way he 
passed the deer-cart at the Ship at Stour, the 
horse, with his bit off, busy eating from a nose- 
bag, while the driver was nowhere to be seen. As 
Mr Starkey was driving quietly along he presently 
heard a great rattle, and on looking round saw the 
deer -cart coming after him at about a hundred 
miles an hour. He promptly drew to the side of 
the road and held up his hands, but the runaway 
paid no attention, and swept past him. The cart 
was eventually secured and brought up to the 


meet, and when the deer was uncarted he needed 
no hustHng but went off straight as a die, and no 
sign or trace of him was discovered till some days 
after, when he was found in the Wells harrier 
country. The poor beast had no doubt been 
frightened to death by the unaccustomed jolting 
of his conveyance. 

Among those who were usually to be seen with 
the bloodhounds at this time, beside those I have 
already mentioned, were the Hon. Mrs Bertie, 
old Lord Digby, the Hon. Theresa Digby, Mr 
Cavendish Bentinck, the Hon. G. Arundell, Mr 
Kyrle Chapman, who was killed under Doncliffe 
some years later when out with Lord Portman's 
hounds, Mr Grant Dalton, Mr and Miss Surtees, 
Captain Mervyn Medlycott, known as " The Com- 
modore," General Glyn, Mr T. Bullock — now 
Chafyn - Grove — Mr Barton, Colonel Everett, 
M.F.H. (South Wilts), Mr George Gordon, Mr 
Sands, who was killed in Botten Bow, Major 
Bogle, Mr Porteous, Mr O'Kelly, Mr Percy 
Wyndham, the Comte de Montagnac, the Bev. 
W. Portman, Mr Dendy, Major Borthwick, Major 
Astell, Major Fryer (Carabineers), Sir W. Clay, 
Mr Carr Glyn, Lord Howth, Mr Knatchbull, 
and among the farmers Parry of Fisherton, 
Worthy, Chisman, and Wiltshire. Old Mr Digby 
used to come out driving, and managed to see 
most of what was going on. It was in 1876 
that a black horse, ridden by Mr Surtees till 
it was more than twenty years old, dropped 


dead in the course of a run, as his master was 
in the act of opening a gate for Lady Theodora 

Lord Wolverton kept the mastership of the 
bloodhound pack till the year 1880, and he showed 
good sport, though, as I have said, there was even 
more uncertainty about the quality of the hunt- 
ing than with foxhounds. Like other members of 
his family, Lord Wolverton was devoted to sport. 
He had been entered early with the V.W.H, and 
the Old Berkshire Hounds, and later he was well 
known with Baron Bothschild and in Essex. After 
he sold the bloodhounds to Lord Carrington, he 
hunted the country round Iwerne with harriers. 
The bloodhounds were not a success with Lord 
Carrington, and he parted with them after one 
season to the Comte le Conteulx le Canteleu, who 
used them for hunting the deer and the wild boar. 
At the latter sport I believe they were hardly 
courageous enough to be successful. 

It was evident in the days when the bloodhounds 
were in the Vale that they required the most 
careful handling. As the bloodhound does not 
"pack" naturally, he is inclined to trust too much 
to himself, and to take no notice of what his 
fellows are doing. He is shy and nervous, and if 
rated or struck will turn sulky and refuse to work. 
It was therefore by his study of the character of 
his hounds and his individual knowledge of each, 
as well as by his unfailing patience, that Lord 
Wolverton showed the sport he did. A character- 


istic of the hounds was that they hunted entirely 
by scent, never raising their heads for a view, 
this trait doubtless coming from their ancestors 
the black St Huberts, which were used for 
hunting the dense forests of the Ardennes, in 
which they could only run by scent. 

Some twenty years before Lord Wolverton was 
hunting in Dorset, Mr Thomas Nevill of Chilland 
had a pack of bloodhounds, with which he hunted 
the carted deer in the country round Winchester. 
This pack was built up from a couple of the so- 
called Talbots, that were kept by the keepers 
of the New Forest for the purpose of recovering 
wounded deer. Mr Nevill took the greatest pains 
to breed his hounds true to type, though he did 
not by any means confine their hunting to deer. 
A story is told by Mr Nevill Fitt which shows on 
what good terms the hounds and their quarry 
were, and what a wonderful power over animals 
Mr Nevill had. A fallow -doe was so entirely 
without fear of the hounds that she would go into 
the kennels with the Master, and eat from the 
trough at which the bloodhounds were fed. On a 
hunting day the doe would trot out by the Master's 
side with the hounds all round her, being perfectly 
fearless in their midst. Then when the spot 
determined on had been reached, the doe was 
started off, and the hounds laid on after a few 
minutes' delay. The line was generally a straight 
one for home, and the doe, finding the door of her 
pen open, took refuge, and had the door closed 


upon her before the hounds came up. The Master, 
however, would often open the door and let the 
hounds bay her face to face, a proceeding which 
in no way disturbed her, and she was always 
ready to repeat the performance. 

From Mr Nevill's kennel a bitch named Countess 
was bought by Mr Nichols, and her daughter 
Eestless, by Mr G. Eeynald's Ray's Victor, was 
the mother of no less than four future champions, 
whose blood is to be found in all the best blood- 
hounds of the present day. 

The fame of these packs and the writings of 
Whyte-Melville did much to bring the bloodhound 
into notice. Classes for these beautiful hounds 
became one of the greatest attractions at dog- 
shows, and within certain limits there is no doubt 
that the effect of these exhibitions has been 
beneficial to the breed. For one thing, they have 
dissipated much popular prejudice against the 
bloodhound. It was found that he is by no 
means the fierce and untractable animal he had 
been represented to be, though he is a dog of a 
highly nervous disposition and is easily spoiled 
by harsh and injudicious treatment. His beauty 
had never been in question, and once his tract- 
ability was established, he soon found eager 
supporters, and the bloodhound classes filled with 
fine specimens of the breed. Colonel Cowen 
was a most successful breeder, and he crossed 
the Braes of Derwent Foxhounds with his 
bloodhounds, a cross which for the hunting of 


that rough country Is said to have answered 

Mr Holford's hounds were well known, and his 
Diligent and Matchless were among the best 
specimens of their day. Another famous breeder 
was Mr Brough, whose kennel has had a long 
series of show successes. 

Unfortunately the bloodhound has not been 
exempt from the dangers of a show career. When- 
ever the competition in a breed becomes close, 
there is a tendency for small and unimportant 
points to turn the scale. In process of time some 
of the show-bench hounds became a sort of canine 
tadpole — all head. Legs and feet, back and loins, 
and all that propelling power without which a 
hound is not worthy of the name, were neglected 
as matters of small importance compared to an 
exaggerated wrinkle, a narrow high-peaked head, 
a deeply sunken eye, and a disproportionate length 
of ear. The bloodhound indeed was apparently 
doomed, because the extreme views of the fanciers 
would leave him neither the power to hunt nor 
the brains to be a companion. 

Then came the happy idea of making him again 
an instrument of sport, in the direction to which 
his hereditary qualities seemed to point. The 
leading bloodhound -owners trained their hounds 
to hunt the clean boot, Mrs Oliphant of Shrewton 
being, I believe, the first to do so, and when the 
first trials were arranged, very general interest 
was excited. There is now every chance that 


hunting the clean boot will become a favourite 
sport in those open countries where the working 
of the hounds can be followed. 

Very remarkable stories are told of the blood- 
hound's power of working on a cold scent, not the 
least remarkable among those I have heard being 
one in which the hounds are said to have followed 
the trail of a man who, after running five miles, 
performed the rest of his journey in a cart. The 
hounds, nevertheless, ran up to their man as he 
was solacing himself with bread -and -cheese and 
beer in a public-house, though they had not been 
put on his line till five hours after he had gone 
away. This story recalls to my mind the well- 
known print by Aiken of Mr Musters being hunted 
by his own foxhounds, concerning which a marvel- 
lous instance of picking up a line is told. The 
hounds were to sleep out before the next day's 
hunting, and were being taken to their destination 
in the charge of the first whipper-in. Mr Musters, 
who hunted the hounds himself, was also to sleep 
at a friend's house, which was some four miles 
distant from the kennels. For the first part of 
the way his road was not that taken by the 
hounds, though he came on to it later, and pushed 
on as fast as his hack would carry him to get well 
in front of them. Directly the hounds came to 
the point in the road at which Mr Musters had 
joined it, every hound in the pack started off in 
pursuit of him in spite of all that could be done to 
stop them, and in less than a mile came up with 


him. In Aiken's print the hounds are depicted 
jumping up at their huntsman, and one is getting 
on his horse and greeting him with what must 
have been rather embarrassing warmth. 

In the season 1902-3 the hound list for the first 
time contained the Holmleigh Bloodhounds, a pack 
with which Mr East tracks the clean boot over the 
open downs round Andover. The work of such a 
pack can scarcely fail to improve the standard of 
the working bloodhound, and it is in this direction 
that the future of the hound probably lies. It is 
noteworthy that Mr East has found it necessary 
to cross his hounds with the foxhound in order to 
improve their legs and feet. Two Belvoir hounds 
have been introduced into the Holmleigh kennels, 
as well as a Cuban hound. The latter, though by 
no means so handsome and imposing-looking a dog 
as the English bloodhound, has good feet and legs, 
and has proved to be a most excellent worker in 
the field and an indefatio^able tracker. 

It is in tracking that the bloodhound's natural 
gifts of scent are shown at their best, and this 
offers a delightful sport to those who love to watch 
the working of a good hound on a difficult line. 




Mr Merthyr Guest's mastership of the Black- 
more Vale began in 1884, when he was already a 
well-known follower of the hounds. He had come 
into the country in 1864, and lived for some time 
at Fifehead Magdalen, from which place he moved 
to Inwood after his marriage. The autumn 
generally saw him following the fox in Leicester- 
shire, but after Christmas he used to hunt six days 
a-week with the Blackmore Vale and one or other 
of the neighbouring packs. After he took com- 
mand of the B. V. Hunt he was out four days 
a-week in his own country, and generally had two 
more with Lord Portman or the South and West 
"Wilts. When Mr Guest started his private pack 
in 1885 his own hounds gave him the two extra 
days in the Vale. 

During the sixteen years that Mr Guest hunted 
the country at his own expense I was a follower 
of his hounds. Two days in the week the Master 
used to carry the horn himself, the huntsman 
carrying it on the other four days. The hunt 


servants as well as the Master were always 
mounted on grey horses, and the general effect of 
the grey and scarlet was decidedly smart. An 
exchange of views as to the Master's love of sport, 
which was overheard by chance between two 
farmers of the Vale, tells its own story. " I 
believe Mr Guest is a religious man," remarked 
one, who had all the Dorset yeoman's love of 
hunting. " Yes," agreed the other, also a well- 
known figure at the covert-side, "so he is, and 
always goes to church of a Sunday. But," with 
a shrewd look, " if a pack of hounds did hunt 
anywhere that day, I'm blowed if he M''ould not 
be with them." 

Mr Guest's own hounds were a mixed pack, 
and they were devotedly attached to him. The 
welcome they gave him when he drove up to the 
meet on a hunting morning was very pretty to see, 
and at Tripps Limekiln I once saw them break 
away from the whipper-in and scramble all over 
the Master's carriage, to the great alarm of the 
handsome pair of greys attached to it. Mr Guest 
had a fancy for light-coloured hounds, especially 
those with tan markings, as he thought that when 
they were running they caught the eye better than 
any others. He bred them for nose and voice, and 
on a cub-hunting morning I have often sat outside 
the covert listening with delight to the hounds' 
deep notes, which I have never heard equalled in 
any other pack. It was a treat also to see the 
patience with which they would work out a line on 


a bad-scenting day. Mr Guest had a great know- 
ledge of the run of a fox, and when he was hunting 
his own pack very few foxes escaped him. A 
keener, harder pack to break up their quarry there 
could not be ; and I remember a man who had just 
been appointed whipper-in telling me that he felt 
quite nervous when taking a fox from the hounds, 
as they fought so hard to keep it. 

Mr Guest, though a heavy weight, was always 
with his hounds, but he never gave them help 
unless they really needed it, as he loved to see 
them puzzle out the line for themselves. The 
hounds could run, however, as well as hunt, and 
when there was a scent you had to ride your 
hardest to keep in touch with them. I know no 
one who was better to follow in a quick thing than 
the Master, for he knew the country and how to 
get over it, and you might trust him to find out 
the weak place in even the most impossible-looking 

Lady Theodora Guest, who before her marriage 
hunted regularly from Motcombe, where she was 
living with her mother, the late Marchioness of 
Westminster, is a rare judge of hunting, and 
always knows what hounds are doing. She could 
tell the name and history of every hound in the 
pack, and no one rode straighter or more thor- 
oughly understood how to get over a big Dorset- 
shire double than she did. I only speak of her 
performances in the past tense, because she has 
been but seldom seen at the covert-side since Mr 


Guest gave up the hounds. Miss Guest, too, is an 
ardent follower of the chase, and is devoted to 
hounds. She rides very straight, nothing coming 
amiss to her, and she bids fair to rival her mother's 
prowess in the field. 

A wonderful instance of nerve and pluck shown 
by Lady Theodora at the time when she had her 
leg broken by the swinging-to of a gate, will show 
that she is not to be ranked amongst fair-weather 
sportswomen. She was riding a horse named 
Falconer, a -well-bred animal, very impetuous, and 
a brilliant fencer. Almost at the end of a good 
run Lady Theodora was following her pilot through 
a gateway, when the gate, which had been fixed 
open, left its fastening and swayed back. She 
took a pull at her horse to get room, but he saw 
the gate closing, and swerved so suddenly towards 
the post that his rider's leg was brought against it 
with a tremendous crash. As Lady Theodora 
remarked afterwards, she thought it was the only 
gate-post in all Dorset that was not rotten. It 
was firm and strong, however, and as the sufferer 
said, she felt her leg grince as it came against it. 
Calling to her pilot to stop, she told him her leg 
was broken, and said that she would ride home, 
though the accident had happened some nine miles 
from Inwood. 

Strangely enough, the horse, which had been 
ramping and worrying all day, understood that 
there was something wrong, and never went out of 
an even walk the whole way home. On the road 


Lady Theodora was overtaken by Mr Digby 
Collins, who had heard of the accident, and came 
to see if anything could be done. Some one else 
had sent to Inwood for the carriage, but as this only 
met the sufferer when she was within a mile of 
home, she preferred not to leave the saddle. When 
passing through Stalbridge she called at Dr Long's 
house, and without giving the doctor any particu- 
lars, she told him that he had better get some 
splints and bring them to Inwood as quickly as 
miofht be, as his services would be wanted. Much 
mystified, the doctor obeyed, and in the meantime 
Mr Guest had heard the bad tidings and was at 
the door to lift his wife out of the saddle when her 
long ride came to an end. 

It was in April, nine years after Mr Guest had 
taken up the duties of Master, that he received a 
presentation from the farmers and puppy -walkers 
of the hunt. The presentation took place at 
Sherborne Castle, when Mr K. Wingfield Digby, 
M.P., on behalf of the subscribers, asked the 
Master's acceptance of a handsome silver hunting- 
horn. The horn bore the inscription, " To Merthyr 
Guest, M.F.H., as a mark of esteem from the 
farmers and puppy- walkers of the Blackmore Vale, 
1893." Mr G. D. Dampney, of Hinton Farm, 
then presented a massive silver salver to Lady 
Theodora Guest, this being a joint-offering to her 
and Mr Guest. Inscribed on the salver were the 
words, " Presented to the Master and the Lady 
Theodora Guest, by the farmers and puppy- 


walkers of the Blackmore Vale, as a mark of their 
esteem, and as a token of their high appreciation 
of Mr Guest's untiring efforts to show sport during 
his mastership of the Blackmore Vale Hounds, 
from 1884 to 1893." 

The scene was a very animated one as we all 
stood in the court at the castle, the subscribers 
who had arrived some time before having in the 
meantime been entertained hospitably in the 
dining-room. The speech in which the Master 
expressed his appreciation of the honour done to 
him and his wife was a very happy one. He 
alluded feelingly to the agricultural depression 
that was trying the farmers so severely, and while 
wishing his friends a better time in the future, 
he said that both he and Lady Theodora would 
value their gift even more highly than they must 
have done in any case, from the fact that Mr 
Dampney had told them that the subscriptions to 
it had been limited to a small sum in each case. 
He spoke of his friendship for the late Mr John 
Wingfield Digby, who nine years previously had 
proposed that he should take the hounds when his 
old friend Sir Eichard Glyn retired from office. 
It was a source of great gratification to him that 
Mr Digby's son should offer him a token which 
told him that he had fulfilled the trust his father 
had reposed in him. Mr Guest said that the good 
feeling existing among all classes in the hunt, of 
which their meeting that morning was a sign, was 
at once a source of joy to himself personally and 



an augury of good to the great cause of fox- 
hunting which they all had at heart. 

A humorous suggestion as to the possible means 
of avoiding the danger of hounds being ridden 
over, Mr Guest made. As the danger arose from 
the action of the strano^ers who came to ride with 
them, and not from the residents in the country, 
he thought it might lead to good results if each 
stranger made himself responsible for the walking 
of one of their puppies. He knew from experience 
that every puppy-walker was most careful not to 
hurt a hound in the field, and he thought that 
in the same circumstances a stranger would be 
afraid of over-riding the hound he had walked, 
or he would be restrained by the fear of harming 
a hound which his wife had taken care of in its 
young days. He feared that as it was, strangers 
were apt to view the hound in much the same 
way as the celebrated Lord Alvanley, who is 
credited with the remark, "If it were not for 
these blessed hounds, what fun we could have ! " 

Mr Guest then assured his friends who were 
present that the only way in which he could 
show his appreciation of their marks of regard 
worthily, w^as by promising them that as long 
as he had the power and as long as he had 
the means, so long would it be with him, fox et 
jprcBterea nihil. 

There is plenty of variety in the country hunted 
over by the Blackmore Vale Hounds. In the 
Sparkford and Lydford districts it is a flying 



country, with large grass -fields, an occasional 
brook, and fences that can be jumped in a horse's 
stride almost anywhere. 

Of the runs that live in my memory is one 
when the dog pack met at the Cross Keys, 
Lydford, on December 7, 1889. We found in 
West Wood, and ran over the road to Horn- 
blot torn as if for Pennard, and on nearly to 
Alhampton. Crossing the river to Ditcheat, we 
went close to Evercreech, and then swinging 
round came back to Alhampton, where the fox 
was run into fifty minutes from the start. This 
was a regular steeplechase, as, with the exception 
of one short check in the last ten minutes, hounds 
raced the whole way. The line was over a fine 
grass country without a single ploughed field, and 
the flying fences were interspersed now and again 
with timber or a possible water jump. 

Another grand day's sport over a lovely country 
was when we met at Sparkford, early in the month 
of February in the year 1894. A sharp frost had 
made the roads very slippery, and the going was 
so bad that it was twelve o'clock before a start 
w^as made. At midday the Master gave the word 
for Sturt Copse, and here we found a brace of 
foxes at home. Hounds settled down to one of 
them, which broke in the direction of Annis Hill, 
and just touching the hill covert, he went on for 
Podymore. Swinging round to the right, he raced 
on to Yarcombe Copse, where he was viewed dead- 
beat, the time up to this point being an hour and 


forty minutes. The pace throughout had been fast, 
and the country being very deep, grief had been 
rife among the field. After a ring round Yarcombe 
the fox broke again and led us to Hazelgrove, 
across the park and out over the big drop fence, 
leaving South Barrow village on the left, till he 
reached Wearyall and made for the Hadspen 
coverts. The last part of the way was not so fast, 
and as by the time we came to Hadspen it was 
four o'clock and fresh foxes were likely to be on 
foot, hounds were stopped. They had then been 
running three hours, and those of us who had 
escaped disaster by the way had a good day's 
record to our credit. 

Among the humours of the hunting -field that 
occur to me, I remember having a good laugh one 
day over an incident that tried the Master's 
patience sorely. We had found a fox in Sherborne 
Park, which broke towards Crackmore Lodge, and 
while we were going across the fallow in the 
direction of Ven, where there were some sheep, 
hounds threw up. Seeing a boy holding on to a 
half-frantic, yapping sheep-dog, the Master asked 
him if he had seen the fox. " Yah, sir," was the 
answer ; " he be gone across the ground." " Which 
way, my boy ? " " Across ground, sir," was again 
the luminous response, as the urchin held on 
valiantly to his struggling dog. " Which way, my 
lad ? Where was his head ? " came from the now 
angry Master. " Straight in front of him, sir," 
replied young hopeful ; and while we were enjoying 


the humour of the situation from behind, an ex- 
pressive " Ugh ! " came from the Master's lips. 
At this moment hounds hit off the line, and the 
boy's assistance was no longer wanted. 

The far-famed Pulham country is very deep and 
holding, and its big blackthorn fences require some 
jumping. If in this part of the Vale the fox 
should take a line for Bagber, there will be some 
real Dorset doubles to give variety to the day's 
sport. Of the many runs I have enjoyed here, 
two stand out as being superlatively good. They 
were both in the year 1894 — the earlier one in 
February, and the other at the beginning of the 
following season. 

When the dog pack met at Pulham on February 
3, we had a curious experience with a leash of 
foxes from Ponting's Gorse, the Ranksboro' of 
Dorset, as Mr Digby used to call it. The foxes 
kept together and headed for Humber Wood, 
at which point they divided, and hounds separat- 
ing on the line of each of them, the hunt went on 
in three divisions. The body of the pack ran 
down to Short Wood, and making the circuit of 
the covert returned to Humber Wood, thence to 
Deadmoor and Rocksmoor, and on to the Stock 
coverts. Crossing the Caundle Brook, they raced 
on to Holtham Plantation and in a straight line 
to Stalbridge Park, where the good gallop of one 
hour and twenty minutes came to an end. In the 
meantime five and a half couple of hounds had 
followed another of the foxes from Humber to 


Stoke Common, and crossing Melcombe Park had 
gone on as if for Wrenswell. Being headed, 
hounds swung round and made for Short Wood, 
where the whipper-in succeeded in stopping them 
after forty minutes' hard running. With the 
third fox three and a half couple of hounds ran 
to Armswell, and were stopped at Plush at the 
end of a fast thirty minutes. 

On November 28, in the same year of 1894, we 
met at Warr Bridge, and late in the afternoon 
went away with our second fox from Cook's 
Plantation, and crossing the road to Thornhill 
Obelisk, swept past the front of Thornhill House 
and across the river Lyd to Lydlinch Common. 
Passing through the corner of Brickies Wood, and 
leaving Hyde's Withybed on our left, we went 
down over the meadows for Bodmoor, and then 
turning short to the left and running past New 
Gorse, we came to the turnpike at the back of the 
Green Man Inn, and going over it, went up to 
Pulham Bectory, leaving Holwell Gorse on our 
right. A straight line from here took us to 
Humber Wood, where a brace of fresh foxes were 
soon on foot, and as night was fast closing in, the 
Master reluctantly blew his horn and called hounds 
off. This was a fine sporting run of just over an 
hour, and it covered a large extent of country. 

The Cheriton Vale is another part of the hunt 
territory that it is delightful to ride over. You 
can stride over its fine grass enclosures, and jump 
well on to the top of its wide banked doubles, and 



if you have a bold and clever horse under you you 
will do it with ease. 

The first run that stands out from many others 
over this country was with the Master's pack, 
when the fixture was at the Red Lion, Cheriton, 
early in February 1891. Our fox was found in a 
double behind Hatherleigh Farm, and hounds 
streamed away uphill, just short of Holbrook, turn- 
ing left-handed down the gully, and then swinging 
to the right, ran on to Lattiford. Maperton and 
Blundas were the next points, then back to Gale's 
Plantation, and just touching Little Cheriton 
Wood, a left-hand turn down the road brought 
them to South Cheriton, where hounds checked 
after a very fast thirty minutes. Hitting the 
line again below the village, the pack ran into 
their fox close to the spot from which they had 
roused him. Our second fox was from the double 
near Stoke Trister, and led us to Stileway and 
on as if for Hunter's Lodge, but bearing to the 
left, we ran hard to Higher Hornwood, where 
the fox went to ground after a good twenty 

A scene that took place in the grounds at Inwood 
one day when the Master's hounds had killed their 
fox just outside was a remarkable one. The late 
Marchioness of Westminster, who was then living 
at Inwood, and in her ninety-fourth year, took a 
great interest in the hounds and their perform- 
ances in the field. The Master therefore ordered 
the fox to be brouijjht in view of the windows, and 


had it " tree'd," so that she might watch the final 
scene. For some time the hounds bayed their fox 
beautifully, vying with each other in their efforts 
to dislodge it, and when at last they succeeded, 
there was much excitement, in which Lady West- 
minster took her full share. 

The spectacle was certainly unique, and a friend 
in speaking of it says, " Here was the oldest sports- 
woman in the world sharing the interest with her 
son-in-law, who was himself owner of one of the 
biggest packs in the world, ^ and who was probably 
the only man who had hunted six days a- week for 
a period of nearly thirty years." Lady West- 
minster said it recalled the memories of her youth 
to her, when in the second and third decades of 
the century, while George IV. and William IV. 
were on the throne, she had hunted with the 
Belvoir and Quorn Hounds. 

Another scene which I remember in connection 
with the latter years of Lady Westminster's life 
was when a ball was given at Tnwood in honour 
of her ninetieth birthday. Letters and telegrams 
had poured in upon her during the earlier part 
of the day. She had shown the keenest interest 
in all, and was specially pleased with a very 
gracious message sent by King Edward VIL, 
then Prince of Wales. In all the arrangements 
for the ball Lady Westminster also interested 
herself, and when the company assembled in the 
ballroom she was present and received the con- 

^ Mr Guest never had less than a hundred couple in kennel. 


gratulations of the guests. Each of the ladies 
offered her a magnificent bouquet, and the im- 
mense pile of choice flowers, that made a bank 
behind her as she stood with Mr Guest at the 
top of the long room, made a lovely frame to a 
very pretty picture. The company present signed 
an address of congratulation, in the getting up 
of which I had been helped by Mr Clayton, and 
this was presented to Lady Westminster as she 
was leaving the ballroom about midnight. 

Before she left us she said a few words of 
thanks, and assured us our offerings were most 
highly prized by her. The dancing, which had 
begun at 10.30, went on with great vigour till 
two o'clock, the pink dress - coats of the hunt 
worn by most of the men adding greatly to the 
brilliancy of the scene. 

Now to return to the hunting-field and to the 
sport in the Cheriton Vale. It was on January 31, 
1893, that the lady pack met at Lattiford House, 
where the Rev. S. Dendy had his usual hearty 
welcome ready for us. Finding at once in Grove 
Withybed, we raced for eighteen minutes in the 
direction of Rodgrove, just short of which our 
quarry bore to the left under Buckhorn Weston, 
and rose the hill for Quarr. Still keeping to the 
left, he led us past Shanks House and Cucklington 
Rectory, and on for Deply Withybed. From this 
point he headed for Silton, and hounds checked 
in some plough, but the fox, jumping up in view, 
was bowled over by a single hound named Clytie. 


It was now forty minutes from the find, and the 
first part of the way had been quite a steeplechase. 
Of the Stalbridge Vale I have not yet spoken, 
though in my opinion it is quite the cream of the 
country. Jumps of every sort are there, — timber, 
water, doubles, and flying fences, — and hounds 
seldom fail to find a serving scent over its grand 
pastures. The sport we had on April 4, 1888, 
came near to being a record day. As the point-to- 
point races were to take place at Sparkford, the 
meet was at eight o'clock, so that it might be 
possible for those who wished to go to the latter 
after the hunting was over. We found in Nylands 
and went away over the river by Pelsham Farm to 
Kington Magna, and up to the brickfields at Buck- 
horn Weston. Here there was a slight check, as 
our fox had made an awkward double ; but we were 
soon on him again, and heading back to Pelsham, 
he recrossed the river and made for Nylands. 
Going straight through the covert in the direction 
of Bow Brook, he turned before reaching it and 
once again crossed the river Gale ; the good hound 
Paramount, the handsomest dog - hound in the 
pack, holding the line and the others flying to 
him, they went on without a check. Garrying a 
good head, they drove over Temple Lane to Moor 
Withybed and on to Baslem's Hill, where the fox 
lay down in a double. Jumping out in view, he 
then crossed the Sherborne road and headed three 
fields towards Prior's Down ; but bearing down to 
Hackthorne Lane, he crossed the road once more, 

\ l^CUl N 1 I'ORTMAN. ,\\.F.H. 


and hounds ran into him one mile from the brook. 
The run had lasted one hour and twenty-three 
minutes, and had it been straight, it would have 
been a record one. Although it was somewhat 
twisting, it was yet one that those who shared 
in it can never forget. The pace was good 
throughout, the working of the hounds marvellous, 
and every hound was up at the finish. 

The great run in the Blackmore Vale country, 
however, was earlier than this, and had taken 
place on December 30, 1884. This hunt has often 
been described,^ and I will not dwell on it here. 
Hounds met at Jack White's Gibbet, and finding 
their fox in Mr Hobhouse's coverts at Hadspen at 
twenty minutes before noon, they ran into him 
between North Wootton and Barrow at twelve 
minutes to four, after a real old-fashioned run of 
four hours and eight minutes. The first check 
took place at Evercreech, to which point the time 
was fifty - eight minutes ; the next was under 
Pennard House, two hours and thirty-five minutes 
from Evercreech ; and from West Pennard Church, 
where hounds checked for the last time before the 
end, was a race of about twenty minutes. The 
last scene was a strange one, for the fox jumped 
into the apron of an old woman who was guarding 
the door of her cottage, and hounds killed him 
at the woman's feet as he fell back out of her 

For lovers of hound-work there is attraction in 

* See "Record Runs" in 'Baily's Magazine.' 


the big Wiltshire woodlands that lie on one side of 
the B. y. Hunt country, and the Grange Woods at 
Middlemarsh, which touch the Cattistock territory, 
are pleasant riding in the spring. They give us 
a few extra days before the close of the season, 
when it is too late to ride over the open country, 
where the chain-harrow is at work and the gaps 
in the fences are being filled up. 

There still remains the Pylle country, which 
was formed by Mr Guest, and has given us many 
a good day's sport. It was here that Mr Guest 
had what he considered the best day he ever en- 
joyed with any hounds. 

It was on April 13, 1889, that Mr Guest's 
private pack met at Pylle Station. Scent in the 
early part of the day was very bad, and when, 
after drawing Popplar Lane Wood blank, the 
whipper-in viewed a fox in Folly Wood, hounds 
could scarcely acknowledge the line. Bajazet, 
however, caught a view, and with a fine chorus 
hounds forced the fox out and over the road to- 
wards the railway. At the third fence from the 
road there was some grief over wire, one member 
of the field being put down by it and another 
getting it at his horse's breast, while Charley, the 
whipper-in, had his horse's knees cut. Happily 
the Master saw the wire in time and got over 
safely. Hounds ran on over Cockmill Farm into 
the wood, and at the top of the hill went along 
the lane as if for Pilton Park Farm. Bearing out 
of the lane, however, short of Pilton, they flashed 


over the Middleway road and ran down to the 
lower end of Goosefurlong. From this point they 
crossed the Hambridge Lane, and going over 
Withial, they passed Stone Farm, and just short 
of Purbrook Chapel they took a line beside the 
road through Lottisham and Rookery Farm, and 
over Lower Farm towards Stone House. Swing- 
ing to the left at the brook, hounds then headed 
for Park Wood, and once more crossing Lower 
Farm and running down to the brook, they 
crossed, and going through West Wood, reached 
Wrangles, where the covert was being cut. Head- 
ing for Naydens, there was a momentary check, 
but a hound named Drosky recovered the line 
silently, and as the Master luckily saw her and 
put the pack on to her, we went on without loss 
of time towards New Inn Corner. We were now 
once more running the road, but hounds swinging 
off it to the right, ran down to Bridgend Farm, 
and with a good head swung along by the side of 
the river to Mendip Farm. Here just behind the 
farmhouse they came up to their quarry, and 
puUed down a fine dog-fox in a thick brambly 
fence. The time was one hour and seven minutes, 
and we had never seen our fox from the start. 
The measured distance was ten miles, and except 
for the one check when Drosky hit off the line so 
curiously, there had been no time for any one to 
get up. There were only three people really in 
this run from find to finish, though a handy road 
enabled some to be there to see hounds break up 


their fox. The brush was given to Mr Dowding, 
of Hedge Farm, and the mask to Mr Tilley, of 
Pilton, but the fox had not enough pads to satisfy 
those who wanted them. 

Once when we were running a fox of a peculiar 
colour, hounds were at fault in a road after a quick 
burst, and the whipper-in, seeing an old woman in 
a red shawl crossing the road, said to her, " Please, 
ma'am, have you seen the fox ? " " Oh yes," was 
the reply, " he went over just there," indicating 
the spot with her hand. " What colour was he, 
my good woman ? " here inquired the Master. 
But for the reply he had to wait. Then slowly 
and hesitatingly she answered, " Brown," to 
the obvious annoyance of some among the 
expectant throng, and the amusement of those 
who w^ere not responsible for the day's pro- 

A run we once had with a black fox I must not 
omit to mention. This fox was one of a litter 
bred in the shrubbery at Haddon, and we con- 
stantly saw him running about in the dusk on the 
far side of the drive. For some time it was 
believed that he was a black cat. As the autumn 
approached he and the rest of the family retired 
to Plumley Wood, where he was often seen, though 
he escaped being hunted, as he was very clever in 
substituting one of his brothers or sisters when 
hounds came to the covert. At last, however, his 
time came, and on the 13th of April 1887, the day 
on which the hunt steeplechases were to be run, 


we met on Toomer Hill at eight o'clock, and after 
spending some time over a short-running fox, we 
trotted to Haddon and found the black fox in 
Biddlecombe covert. Getting away at once, 
hounds ran nicely to the Holts, and going 
through, headed for Marsh Copse, near to which 
they checked. The Master fortunately caught 
sight of his fox sitting up in a corner of a field, 
and clapped hounds on to the line. It was 
beautiful to see them fly to his rarely blown 
horn, and away we went down wind over the 
road to the right, and then we had a really fine 
line at best pace beside the river, going as if for 
Holwell Church. Bearing to the left, hounds ran 
to Pulham Gorse and up to Pulham Rectory, 
where Mr Tyrwhitt- Drake ran out to see what 
was going on. Another slight check occurred 
here, but Bribery and Picture soon picked up 
the line, and we went on for Brockhampton and 
Duntish Common. Scent was now failing and 
we were still going down wind, but we kept on 
nearly to Buckland Newton, where Painter made 
a remarkable cast. With his head in the air he 
apparently winded the fox, and running back two 
fields he hit ofi" the line. Picture followed him 
and also spoke to the line, but they could not 
hold it for more than a field or two, and the 
Master had to give up the fox after a splendid 
gallop of forty-five minutes. As it was now two 
o'clock, there was no chance of getting back in 
time for the point-to-point races. 


The following autumn the black fox was chopped 
on an early cub-hunting morning in Plumley Wood. 
He proved to be a very large dog-fox, entirely 
black with the exception of a few white hairs at 
the end of his brush. This brush now hangs in 
the dining-room at Inwood. 




That the black -and -tan was the fox-terrier of 
olden times I have no doubt, and I think the 
belief is justified by the testimony of old sporting 
pictures and the many references in books and 
magazine articles to the tan - marked terrier of 
the day. A strong evidence in favour of the 
theory is found in the pictures of Sartorius, the 
well - known painter of sporting subjects in the 
eighteenth century, who in most of his repre- 
sentations of hounds gives one or more of the 
back-and-tan terriers. These little dogs are either 
rough or smooth, so that both varieties were 
evidently known, the smooth ones as painted by 
Sartorius generally having prick ears. 

At Stapleton, or Steepleton, once the home of 
Peter Beckford, there is, or was, a picture by 
Sartorius of two couples of Beckford's hounds 
with two terriers, one of the latter of which is 
black and tan and the other all tan, both 
apparently being wire-haired. Another of this 
artist's works is at Inwood ; and in this picture 



of hounds in full cry a smooth black-and-tan is 
represented following them as fast as he can 
put legs to the ground. A portrait of this 
terrier I am able to give, as Miss Guest has 
been good enough to make a sketch of him 
for me. 

The black-and-tan terrier also appears in an old 
picture at Badminton of a lawn meet in front of 
the house ; and we know that the Dukes of Beau- 
fort had these terriers preserved carefully for 
many years. In ' The British Sportsman ' also, 
published in 1812, a black-and-tan terrier by 
Samuel Howitt is shown with prick ears and 
with a rat in his mouth. 

We know, too, that in the early days of dog- 
shows some of our fox-terriers had black-and-tan 
blood in their veins. Old Jock's sire, for instance, 
was a black-and-tan, and Old Trap was said to 
have a similar pedigree ; while I have heard the 
Rev. J. Russell say that the foundation of his 
kennel was a black-and-tan dog and a little 
white terrier named Trump. 

My own earliest recollection of the breed is 
of one Gyp, which was brought to us when 
children by a keeper, who had found her in a 
trap on one of the heath commons in Hampshire. 
Gyp was a rich black-and-tan, with a little white 
on her chest, and she had a smooth thick coat, 
prick ears, and a long bushy tail, which she always 
carried down. She was a very shy dog, but from 
the fact of my having nursed her and cured her 


swollen foot when she first came to us, she be- 
came perfectly fearless with me. 

Gyp so strongly resembled the terrier in 
Sartorius's picture at Inwood, that though it 
was many years after her death when I first saw 
the latter, it immediately brought our old favourite 
to my mind. 

One of Gyp's puppies was a tan-coloured one 
which, like her mother, had a very thick bushy 
tail, always carried down, and this led to her 
beinof mistaken more than once for a fox when she 
was running fast under a hedge. Speaking of this 
dog reminds me of a curious instance of a litter of 
puppies by a fox that was bred not far from our 
home in Hampshire. The mother was a little 
mongrel terrier that was very friendly with a tame 
fox, and she had, if I remember rightly, two 
puppies, one of which grew to maturity. This 
puppy was about the size and just the colour of 
a fox. He had prick ears, and carried his bushy 
tail in orthodox vulpine fashion. Although quite 
friendly with people he knew, he was very shy 
with strangers and disliked passing them. On one 
occasion when I was returning home with the 
hounds we met this little fellow, who immediately 
turned and set off at best pace for home. No 
sooner did the hounds cross his line than down 
went their heads, and away they raced after him. 
They were, of course, soon stopped, but great was 
the huntsman's astonishment when I told him 
what they had been running. 


Soon after Gyp came into our possession we had 
another black -and -tan. This was a wire-haired 
dog with a hard grizzly coat which had some grey 
hairs in it, and he rejoiced in the name of Ben. 
He was a wonderfully sagacious old gentleman, 
and had seen a good deal of the world. Though 
he had lost one eye, he still saw more with the 
remaining one than most dogs do with two. Ben 
grew to be very cunning, and after a day's rabbit- 
ing he would limp up to me on three legs, and 
sitting down, positively refuse to walk home. In 
consequence I generally carried him ; but when he 
tried the same manoeuvre with my brother he met 
with no response, so he would then throw away his 
lame leg and march sulkily home. He and Gyp 
had a large family of black-and-tans, some of which 
we had for a great many years. 

The present name of the black-and-tan wire- 
haired or rough terrier known as Welsh is a 
misnomer, as the breed was never confined to 
any one part of the United Kingdom. At one 
time, too, there were terriers of quite a different 
stamp from the so-called Welsh that were shown 
under this name. The first title by which the 
black-and-tans were known, that of Old English, 
is a much better one. These were long and low 
dogs, jet - black, without any grizzle, and with 
tan legs and cheeks. I had a very good 
specimen named Peter that was a capital 
worker ; and the late Dr Edwardes Kerr 
owned some of this sort. One named Ferny- 


hurst Jim I much admired, and I had one of 
his daughters that was very like him. They 
were not so fast or active, however, as dogs 
built more on fox-terrier lines. 

A peculiarity of the black-and-tans is the way 
in which they transmit their colour. I have on 
several occasions seen whole litters, sired by a 
black-and-tan, all of the same colour, though the 
mother was white ; and I have also seen the same 
thing happen when the dam was a black-and-tan 
and the sire a white dog. I believe that some of 
the first Welsh terriers that were shown were by 
a fox-terrier, or at least they were said to have 
been so sired. Unfortunately the so-called Welsh, 
like the fox-terrier, is getting too big for the 
work he was originally bred for. 

The first time I showed a black-and-tan wire- 
haired terrier was at Sherborne in 1885. This 
was also the first time that the breed had been 
recognised at any show by having a class to 
itself, and it was, thanks to Mr Merthyr Guest, 
that one was now given. My little terrier Briton 
was a very handsome dog, but unfortunately just 
before the show came on he had been indulging 
in sea-bathing, and he was in consequence en- 
tirely out of coat. He was fortunate, therefore, 
in taking second prize, and though he afterwards 
grew a splendid jacket he was never shown again. 

The best all-round terrier of this breed was my 
beautiful little Whankey, and of all the dogs I 
have ever owned I think she was the cleverest. 


Whankey was about 14 lb. in weight, and was 
quite faultless in make and shape. She was 
also very fast, and for a little way could run 
up with a rabbit on his own ground. Her nose 
was so good that I have never known her pass 
over game of any sort. From ray general ex- 
perience of the breed I should say that the 
black-and-tan are quite as good as fox-terriers 
above ground, but that they are not so fond of 
going to earth, and they are decidedly more 
quarrelsome. Whankey had a standing feud 
with my fox-terrier Amora, and whenever there 
was a fight she always singled Amora out. 
Once when all the pack were fighting an otter, 
I saw Whankey scramble over the backs of the 
other terriers till she reached Amora, whom she 
immediately collared. Luckily Amora seldom re- 
sented Whankey's conduct, as she was too hard 
at work fighting her natural foe to have time or 
attention to spare. As soon as the scrimmage 
was over the two would run about for a few 
minutes with their bristles up, but then forget 
all about it. 

Whankey was of a very jealous disposition, 
and could never tolerate anything for which I 
showed affection. At one time I kept a large 
head of poultry which Whankey looked on with 
great disdain. She would never go near them ; 
and her anger knew no bounds when once, being 
pressed for room, I had a trip of young game 
chicks brought up and cooped on the lawn. All 


went well for a time, Whankey affecting to 
ignore their presence. One very precocious 
young cockerel, however, soon took to leaving 
the others and marching up the steps of the 
verandah in front of the drawing-room windows. 
One day he ventured to come close and look 
into the room, when Whankey was instantly on 
the alert and growled angrily at the intrusion. 
Growing bolder as he came to know the verandah 
better, the cockerel at last walked through the 
window into the room where I was sitting at 
the time. Whankey showed such anger at his 
audacity that I was glad to throw the bird 
some crumbs and get him back on to the lawn, 
and as Whankey then quieted down no more 
was thought about the matter. 

The following day, when I returned from a drive, 
I found Whankey in her usual place in the drawing- 
room with the window open, and noticing some 
earth on her nose and paws, I said to her, " What 
have you been burying, Whankey ? " On this, 
instead of greeting me, she got up and walked out 
of the room. In the evening when the chicks were 
penned in their coop there was a hue and cry, one 
was missing, and this turned out to be the little 
pert cockerel. A few days afterwards his body 
was found buried under the shrubs at the far end 
of the garden, and of course there were all sorts of 
conjectures as to the manner of his death. Some 
were of the opinion that a stray cat had done it, 
but the mystery was not cleared up till many 


months later. The rest of the chicks were care- 
fully watched, and nothing happened to them till 
they were old and strong enough to be sent to 
the poultry-yard. 

The following spring I had seven dark -coloured 
ducklings brought up from the farm and put on 
the lawn, together with five very nice white ones 
which, as they were about the same age as mine, I 
bou^'ht to o^o with them. I had the white ones 
wired in when they were first brought home till 
they should get accustomed to their quarters, and 
every day after luncheon I used to take some scraps 
out and feed them. This proceeding excited 
Whankey's jealousy to the highest pitch, and she 
used to walk round the wire with her bristles up 
and growling savagely. One Sunday morning 
before I started for church I opened the wire and 
left all the ducks to run about together, and 
Whankey was as usual in the drawing-room with 
the window open. On my return a tragic tale was 
unfolded. The gardener had met Whankey carry- 
ing a dead white duckling in her mouth, and he 
had watched her go with it to the asparagus-bed, 
lay it down, and proceed to dig a hole. The 
gardener picked up the duck and brought it into 
the house, and Whankey immediately went in and 
ensconced herself in my bedroom. I went to the 
lawn to see what had happened, and there found 
the seven dark ducklings all huddled together and 
looking very frightened, but not a white one to be 
seen. Further search showed that all the latter 


had been killed and buried in different parts of the 
asparagus-bed, and there was no doubt but that 
Whankey was the culprit, not only in the matter 
of the ducklings but in that of the cockerel the 
year before. The extraordinary thing was that 
she should have picked out all the white ducks — 
those I had fed and cared for in order to accustom 
them to their change of home — and not touched 
the others. She must have run each duckling 
down separately and carried it off and buried it, 
and then returned to go through the same process 
again. Poor Whankey was soon ashamed of her 
exploit, and whenever the story of her misdeeds 
was told before her, and any one said to her, 
" Whankey, where are the white ducks ? " she 
would always get up and walk away growling. 

I have many tales to tell of my little favourite, 
and in the field, as I have said, she was the best 
worker I had. One day I had the terrier pack 
out, and they were hunting a rabbit in a hedge 
where there were no earths. They were running 
gaily, when suddenly they threw up. Backwards 
and forwards they cast, but they could make 
nothing of it. At last Whankey, who had re- 
fused, as she always did, to go a yard without 
the line, suddenly put her head in the air, and 
staring up into an ivy -covered tree, gave a suc- 
cession of sharp barks. The others hunted back 
to her, but still they could make nothing of it. 
Whankey, however, persisted in standing on her 
hind-legs and sniffing at the tree till old Nettle 


began sniffing too, and then tried to climb up the 
tree. I gave Nettle a helping hand and up she 
went, and there, hidden in the ivy some six feet 
from the top of the bank, was bunny. Down he 
and Nettle tumbled together, and the eager little 
pack, who were now swarming round the foot of 
the tree, soon made short work of the former. But 
for Whankey's cleverness we should never have had 
this rabbit, and it is the only instance I have ever 
known of a rabbit taking refuge in a tree. 

Whankey was a great traveller, and for ten 
years she went everywhere with me except when 
I went to London. Then she was left at home, 
and as soon as she found I had gone without her 
she would go to my bedroom and never leave it 
except when she was taken out by force. Her joy 
when she heard my voice on my return was so 
great, poor little thing, that on one occasion she 
nearly had a fit. One journey with her I shall 
never forget. She used to lie under my cloak in 
the train and never stirred till I told her it was 
time to get out. On this day the carriage was 
very full, but Whankey, hidden under the cloak, 
had the seat opposite to mine. Presently I was 
horrified to see a very stout man in the act of 
sitting down on her, and I seized him by the arm 
with such energy that he was quite as much 
alarmed as I was. A few words, of course, ex- 
plained matters, and while Whankey found a 
resting-place on my lap, the new-comer, though 
rather resentful of the fright he said I had given 


him, was relieved to think M'liat he had escaped. 
Whankey was duly covered up with my cloak and 
lay as usual perfectly quiet till there was a change 
in the occupants of the far corner of the carriage, 
where a lady took her place and was soon buried 
in a book. Whankey now became very restless 
and at last began growling angrily, till my op- 
posite neighbour asked anxiously if she was 
savage. I was quite at a loss to know what was 
the matter, and tried in vain to quiet Whankey. 
She became more and more excited, and I found 
she was directing her attentions to the lady in 
the far corner. When at last Whankey began 
struggling to get off my lap every one became 
alarmed, and the lady, putting down her book 
and lifting her wrap, showed me a small toy 
terrier curled up beneath it. "I think," she said, 
"your dog must have discovered mine." I was 
relieved to find that Whankey, feeling she had 
done her duty in telling me of the presence of the 
other dog, immediately settled down quietly for 
the rest of the journey, and to judge from the 
looks of the other passengers, they were no less 
relieved to find that she was not going mad. 

Bugle, a daughter of Whankey's, was a tiny 
terrier which, though only weighing 12 lb., was 
very strongly built. Like her mother, she was 
a rare water-dog, and I have seen them both dive 
and swim like otters. The mother and daughter 
were very clever at mouse-hunting by lamplight ; 
and at a time when the barn was overrun by mice. 


they would often on a winter's evening seat them- 
selves by the barn door waiting for some one to 
bring a lamp and let them in. When this was 
done, and the mice, confused by the sudden light, 
were running helplessly about, the little terriers 
would snap them up, and I have known them 
catch as many as twenty in an evening. Bugle 
was very amusing with a large fox that at one 
time I had chained to a kennel. When any one 
wished to see the fox I used to tell Bugle to pull 
Charlie out of his house, and the little thing would 
dash in and after a scrimmage come out backwards, 
dragging the fox after her by one side of his head. 
The fox would lie quite still on his back with his 
mouth wide open till she released him, and then 
with an angry snap he would spring to his legs 
and dash back into his box. 

Bugle once had an amusing- scrimmage with 
some monkeys. I was making my usual morning 
visit to the kennels for the purpose of letting the 
terriers out for their run, when my ears were sud- 
denly saluted by the lively sound of an organ. 
Looking out, I saw to my horror two Italians with 
a barrel-organ on which were perched two monkeys. 
The terriers I had already released had scampered 
off, but Bugle, who had been attracted by the 
noise, no sooner saw the monkeys than she seized 
one by the tail, which was hanging low enough 
for her to reach, and tried to pull him down. 
Happily the monkey held tight to the organ, 
screaming loudly, and his companion, being fright- 


ened at his cries, sprang on to one of the men's 
shoulders and clasped him round the neck. The 
situation was comic in the extreme, and just then 
the other terriers came back to see what was going 
on. They of course promptly did their best to 
make matters worse, and the organ - grinders 
shouted with rage, their remarks luckily being 
in their native tongue or my ears might have had 
a shock. As the little dogs continued their at- 
tentions, the men at last took to their heels and 
disappeared down the drive with all the terriers 
in pursuit. When the dogs came back they 
seemed very pleased with themselves, and I was 
not sorry that the men did not repeat their 

A terrier I had some years ago, named The 
Dragon from his having come into my possession 
on St George's Day, had the grizzled tan head of 
the black -and -tan. The Dragon was bred from 
the Rev. J. Bussell's Tip, a dog given by his 
owner to the late Captain Harry Farr Yeatman, 
R.N. Tip was a son of Mr Russell's celebrated 
Old Tip, Dragon's mother Spot being also bred 
by Mr Russell. The Dragon was a big wire- 
haired dog with rather fly-away ears, but he 
was bold and resolute, and all there when he 
was wanted. 

Some years ago Mr Wootton sent me a black- 
and - tan wire - haired terrier which very much 
resembled our old one-eyed Ben. This was said 
to have been bred from the old Badminton 


strain, and was also a descendant of a mighty 
dog named Ajax, which had been given to Mr 
Wootton by the late Hon. Grantley Berkeley. 
Tim was a good terrier, and very sensible. He 
was a wonderful worker with ferrets, and would 
tell you where they were by barking. He was 
also good at marking rabbits and rats to ground, 
stopping and giving a short yap when he found 
one in an earth ; and I have never known him 
to be wroncr. 

Tim had an inveterate dislike to donkeys, and 
his ire was always roused by the sight of one 
tethered to the roadside. He would fly at the 
donkey's head, barking violently, but taking care 
to spring back whenever his victim made for him. 

My old brindled bulldog Jack had the same 
antipathy, and once created quite a sensation in 
Stalbridge with a donkey. A friend had taken 
the dog for a walk with him to the town, and 
while he went into the post-office he left Jack 
outside. Just then an old woman in a donkey- 
cart drove up and stopped at the door, and her 
donkey, seeing Jack sniffing about in the gutter, 
unwisely caught hold of him by the middle of 
the back. Jack, who was an old Pottery fight- 
ing dog, was always ready for a fray ; so, 
wrenching himself free, he had Neddy firml}?" by 
the nose in an instant. The startled animal 
reared straight up, lifting the cart with him, 
and the old woman rolled out behind. The 
latter's language as she picked herself up was 


not exactly parliamentary, and my friend on hear- 
ing the commotion rushed out of the post-office, 
and seizing Jack by the collar dragged him off, 
and beat an ignominious retreat. 

From Tim's former master I had an interesting 
account of a black-and-tan terrier that was only 
too well known in the Hursley Hunt country. 
The dog was named Trimmer, and was believed to 
have come from Lord Southampton's kennels. He 
weighed about 13 lb., and was very strongly built, 
though a little high on the leg, which probably 
gave him pace to keep up with hounds. After 
running with the Hursley Hounds for about a 
month before his services were required, he was 
sent in to bolt a fox, and distinguished himself 
by not only killing the hunted fox, but another 
which was in the hole at the time. This was 
not a good beginning, but the dog was given 
another chance when a fox went to ground near 
the Winchester racecourse. Here Trimmer nearly 
found his match in a big dog-fox, which fought 
him for an hour and a half before they could be 
dug out. The terrier paid dearly for the experi- 
ence, for he was in a dreadful condition when 
he was rescued. He recovered, however, but was 
never allowed to run with hounds again. His 
fighting qualities he transmitted to his offspring, 
and some of the latter fallino* into the hands of 
poachers, such depredations took place in the 
country that at the request of the Hunt officials 
Trimmer was sent out of the neighbourhood. 


And here among her friends the terriers I must 
find a place for Bobbins, the greatest favourite 
among my household pets at the present time. 
Bobbins came to me from Lundy Island, where 
she was bred by Mr Dickenson. She Is one of 
the old Scotch bobtail sheep - or cattle - dogs, 
which breed has been established on Lundy for 
some years. She is a blue-grey with tan mark- 
ings, as are all the rest of her family, and she 
has a thick weather-resisting coat. Wonderfully 
fast and active. Bobbins is the most flexible 
animal I have ever known. She can curl her- 
self into a ball, making herself look no bigger 
than a terrier. Bobbins is evidently proud of 
her jumping powers, and delights in showing 
herself off as she clears a big gate with the 
greatest ease. She has a good nose, and is 
devoted to hunting, and she runs her game full 
cry. She is often allowed to go rabbiting with 
the terriers, with all of whom she Is on the 
most friendly terms. I find her a capital 
whipper - in ; for directly one of the terriers is 
called, Bobbins will run to his head barking to 
turn him back. She seldom uses her teeth on 
bunny, but holds him down with her paws, and 
she will retrieve to any distance if no one goes 
to her assistance. 

What excites Bobbins more than anything else 
is when her help is required If the cattle get out of 
bounds. You have only to call to her, and she 
sets about the work of driving them back In the 


most businesslike way. Once when a refractory 
bull refused to mind her, and she had been jump- 
ing and barking at his head for some minutes 
without the desired effect, she suddenly changed 
her tactics. Eunning behind him, she seized him 
by the tail, and hung on so persistently that she 
was swuns: in the air as the bull whirled round in 
his efforts to get at her. Failing to dislodge her, 
the animal at last took fright and beat a precipi- 
tate retreat. Whether the bull laid up the remem- 
brance of this exploit against her I cannot say, but 
Bobbins was nearly caught by him one day when 
he charged her unexpectedly. She only escaped 
by turning head over heels and rolling cleverly to 
one side. Then before he could turn she was on 
her legs again and snapping at his heels, and this 
so disconcerted him that he made off" and never 
seemed to care to try conclusions with her again. 

Bobbins and my Russian pony Houp-la are great 
friends, and if the former is not with me when I 
go out driving, the pony will keep looking back 
and neighing for her. Once when I did not wish 
to take Bobbins, I had her shut up just before I 
started, but before long she made her escape and 
set off' in search of the pony. Thinking I had 
driven to Sherborne, a distance of five miles, 
Bobbins ran there and went straight to the inn 
stables, where I sometimes put up. Not finding 
us, she returned home, very hot after her ten-mile 
run, but very pleased to find her friends again. 

I had a very amusing experience with Bobbins 



once at a show, where she was exhibited in a 
variety class, as of course there was not one for 
her breed. I saw by the puzzled look of the judge 
that he did not quite know what to do with her, 
so after a time I asked him to what breed she 
belonged. " Oh, she is a bearded collie," was the 
reply. " But," I ventured to suggest, " how is it 
that she has no tail ? " Glancing down at her 
with surprise, the judge made answer, "If she has 
not a tail, she ought to have one ! " After this 
I did not show Bobbins again. 




It was a dark and trying- time for many of us 
when the last of the line of Masters of the old 
Blackmore Vale Hunt gave up the hounds at the 
close of the season of 1899-1900, and the man- 
agement of affairs passed into the hands of the 
Blackmore Vale Hunt Committee. The historic 
glories of the old hunt were ended, and the 
snapping of the link that bound us to them 
was not to be effected without pain. 

By arrangement with the late Master, Sir 
Richard Glyn, Mr Guest on his retirement offered 
the hounds to Mr K. Wingfield Digby, M.P., 
the present owner of Sherborne Castle. Mr 
Digby, however, did not see his way to accept 
them, and when the Hunt Committee had been 
formed Mr Guest offered the pack as a free gift 
to the country. This offer the members of the 
Committee declined, and Mr Guest had no alter- 
native but to sell them. The grand old Black- 
more Vale pack was consequently dispersed — 


the hounds finding homes in differents parts of 
England, America, and France. 

The Master, who had shown such good sport 
and kept up the country so munificently for 
sixteen years, was not to be allowed to give 
up his office without some expression of the 
goodwill and gratitude felt towards him by those 
who had benefited by his liberality and love of 
sport. The members of the newly formed Hunt 
Committee wished to give suitable expression 
to the obligation under which all felt them- 
selves to the retiring Master, and the following 
letters will show the reason why Mr Guest did 
not think the moment a fitting one for such a 

The late Hon. and Rev, Walter Portman, of 
Gorton Denham, wrote on the matter as follows, 
on March 19, 1900:— 

Dear Merthyr, — At the Blackmore Vale Committee 
meeting, held at Sherborne on Saturday last (17th March), 
it was unanimously resolved, on the motion of Lord Digby, 
that steps should be taken towards offering you a testi- 
monial in recognition of your generous services to the 
country as M.F.H. during the last sixteen years. 

A small committee was at once nominated for this 
purpose. It consists of Lord Digby, Major Dugdale, 
Major M'Adam, Mr Clayton (secretary), and myself; and 
I am deputed to acquaint you with the proposal, and — 
what is very essential — to ask you what form you would 
like the country's thank-offering to take. 

It seems to be a choice between plate and picture, and 
this we leave to you. 


To this letter Mr Guest replied in a letter 
dated March 20 : — 

Dear Wattie, — Please convey to your Committee that, 
whilst grateful for the offer of the proffered testimonial, I 
have no wish to accept it. I am already the proud pos- 
sessor of a testimonial from the farmers of the Blackmore 
Vale, which I value most highly, and I do not think it 
would be fitting that I should receive any testimonial 
in the present inauspicious moment, when every man's 
purse is being called upon to assist the resources of the 

The allusion is, of course, to the war in South 
Africa, which was then running its weary length. 

The question of some form of expression of the 
lively feelings of gratitude to Mr Guest felt by 
the large body of landowners and farmers of the 
country, was not to be so easily dismissed. The 
farmers expressed a determination that the Master 
who had striven so hard in the field to prevent 
needless damage being done to their property, 
and who had so consistently looked after their 
interests, should not be allowed to retire without 
receiving a mark of their affection and goodwill. 
To the strongly worded request that reached 
him Mr Guest yielded assent, only making the 
proviso that in anything that was done the 
subscription should be limited to half-a- crown 

Acting in what was felt to be in accordance 
with Mr Guest's wishes, it was resolved that an 
address of thanks should be given to him by his 


devoted adherents, while gifts, such as the limited 
subscriptions would allow, should be offered to 
Lady Theodora and her daughter, both of whom 
had identified themselves so closely with the 
interests of the Master in the field. The time 
was short, for the resolve was general that the 
presentation should take place before Mr Guest 
resigned the reins of office. Subscriptions, how- 
ever, flowed in quickly, and the list of subscribers 
soon assumed gigantic proportions — no less than 
830 names being inscribed on the address when 

The scene on the morning of the presentation 
■ — Thursday, April 26, 1900, when no less than 
800 of the subscribers mustered at the Master's 
house at Inwood — was such as I suppose has 
rarely if ever been equalled on a similar occasion. 
The meet, which was fixed for twelve o'clock, 
was certainly the largest that has ever been 
seen in the Blackmore Vale, there being upwards 
of 1000 people present. The weather was de- 
lightful, and by eleven o'clock the crowd began 
to gather in the grounds, many besides the sub- 
scribers cominpf to witness an event in which we 
were all so keenly interested. From our position 
on the terrace we looked over the sea of faces 
gathered on the lawn, where the presentation 
was to take place. In front of us the Master, 
Lady Theodora, and Miss Guest, all equipped 
for the hunt that was to follow, faced the many 
friends who had come to do them honour. Close 


at hand was the easel which supported the 
large illuminated address, and was the centre of 
interest to all. 

No pains had been spared in making the 
address worthy of the occasion, and it was 
delightful to see the pride in the result felt by 
those to whose enterprise it was due. It was 
beautifully illuminated, and appropriate hunting 
emblems were introduced into the wide border 
that surrounded the signatures. Not the least 
interesting among these were the paintings of 
Raleigh and Trefusis, two of the Master's favour- 
ite hounds, and of Redskin, a terrier belonging 
to Miss Guest, from whose sketches they were 

Again, as on a former occasion, Mr G. D. 
Dampney was the spokesman for his brother 
farmers, and when he stepped forward a sudden 
hush fell over the assembly. Mr Dampney began 
by saying that he had received permission from 
the Master and Lady Theodora to say a few 
words as to the way in which the testimonial 
before them had been so hurriedly prepared, be- 
fore he went to the great business of the day. 
He hoped that no one would think he had taken 
an unduly prominent position in working up the 
testimonial, but as they were all agreed that the 
presentation must be made before the lamentable 
change took place to which they had to look 
forward in the Hunt, there had not been time to 
work on the lines usual in such a case. He had 


therefore done his best to act In the interests and 
according to the wishes of all who had so eagerly 
responded to the opportunity of showing their 
appreciation of the good sport and the kindly 
feeling that had been distinguishing marks of their 
country while Mr Guest had been the Master. 

Mr Dampney then proceeded to ask Mr Guest's 
acceptance of the offering, and read the following 
address, which I will give in full, as I am con- 
vinced that only those who share in our interest in 
these closing scenes of a long reign, will let them- 
selves be detained by details that must appear to 
them wanting in the distinctive colour, which to 
ourselves appears to be of very attractive hue : — 

Blackmore Vale Hunt, April 26, 1900. 
To Merthyr Guest, Esq., M.F.H. 

We whose names appear below, being farmers residing 
within the limits of the Blackmore Vale Hunt, beg most 
respectfully to thank you for the kindness and consideration 
you have invariably shown towards us during the sixteen 
years that you have, at your own expense, so liberally 
hunted this country. In your kind and generous interest 
for the good of sport in this Hunt, you have built bridges, 
made fords, effected and brought about many improvements 
that will live after you. We believe that never in the 
history of this Hunt has there been such a good show of 
foxes, nor ever was the Hunt in such good condition, in all 
respects, as you have left it, and we feel assured that the 
last sixteen years will long be remembered as a most 
pleasant and brilliant period in its history. 

We deeply regret that you have decided to resign the 
mastership of our highly favoured Vale, where your uniform 
courtesy and thoughtful regard for us have so endeared you 


to all. We sincerely hope that both you and Lady Theo- 
dora may be long spared to reside amongst us, and we 
earnestly trust that you and her Ladyship may enjoy 
the pleasures of hunting in this Vale for many years to 

The reading of the speech was greeted with 
much applause, and Mr Dampney continued : "I 
had no idea until this most pleasant duty was 
started that there was such a unanimous feeling 
of goodwill towards you, and it speaks volumes 
for your kind consideration towards us when we 
find that after having hunted this country for so 
long a period as sixteen years, during which time 
a2:riculture has been under the heaviest cloud that 
has been known during the past century, that you 
have during the whole of that time held the good- 
will of the farmers generally. 

" In times of agricultural prosperity," continued 
Mr Dampney, " it is comparatively easy to hold 
the goodwill of the farmers, but in times of 
adversity it is not so easy, and I believe there is 
scarcely to be found another Master of Hounds 
who has done so well in that direction." Every 
word as it was spoken found an echo in the hearts 
of the listeners, and the throng of eager upturned 
faces, by nods and smiles and occasional words of 
confirmation, showed how entirely the subscribers 
agreed with their spokesman. 

Then came the presentation of a handsome 
silver bowl to Lady Theodora, the cover of which 
bore as its emblem a capital model of a foxhound. 


Mr Martin E-ichards had been chosen to ask Lady 
Theodora's acceptance of the gift, and on behalf 
of himself and his fellow-subscribers he said they 
only regretted that the limit fixed for their 
several offerings had prevented them from getting 
something more worthy of her acceptance. 

One side of the bowl bore the inscription : 
" Presented to the Lady Theodora Guest by the 
farmers in this Hunt as a remembrance of the 
great kindness her Ladyship has invariably shown 
during her long residence amongst them, and of 
their appreciation of the lively interest her Lady- 
ship has always manifested in everything apper- 
taining to the welfare of the Hunt. 20th April 

Miss Guest was then asked to accept a hunting- 
whip, which bore a suitable inscription. This was 
presented to her by Mr Charles Spicer, who ex- 
pressed a hope that she might live to use the 
whip till she was as old as himself; and as at the 
moment of presentation the two figures, which 
were the attraction of all eyes, represented the 
early spring and late autumn of life, the remark 
was much appreciated. 

The Master then stepped forward to address 
his many friends, and received an enthusiastic 
greeting. In well -chosen words Mr Guest told 
them of the pleasure their presence gave him, and 
addressing Mr Dampney, Mr Martin, and Mr 
Spicer as their chosen representatives, he said that 
" he put the names in one cluster, remembering 


that all good things came in threes. As such the 
triple alliance seemed like the noble shamrock 
which they had heard was worn by her Majesty 
in her bonnet." He then spoke in detail of the 
beautiful workmanship of the address, and said 
that he noted with great appreciation the intro- 
duction of the hounds and terrier, and last, but 
not least, the joining link between them — the fox. 
" The fox was a noble fellow. He had done them 
all good, and they might depend upon it that 
there was no animal in England which did more 
good in his little generation than their noble 
friend the fox. He was the gentleman they took 
such care to preserve, and he was the gentleman 
that he himself as M.F.H. had done his very best 
to destroy, and it was through the help of those 
present that he had been in a measure successful." 
Mr Guest assured them that he valued the address 
as a work of art, but he valued it yet more as a 
proof of the good feeling and friendship that ex- 
isted towards him. It showed him that he had at 
least secured more friends than enemies during 
the time that he had hunted the country. He 
looked back upon the past sixteen years with the 
greatest possible satisfaction, for he might say — 
and he defied any one to contradict him — that he 
had not made a single enemy among the farming 
class. It was unfortunately impossible for any 
man to be in his position without unintentionally 
treading on some one's toes occasionally, but he 
had tried to rub along in the straightest and most 


friendly way to all that he possibly could. He 
had done his best to act on the old lines — 

" Still in thy right hand carry gentle peace, 
To silence envious tongues : be just, and fear not." 

Mr Guest's first acquaintance with their country, 
he told his hearers, dated back to 1862, and a 
thing that remained stamped on his memory 
happened when he was going to a meet at the 
Five Bridges. Near Bow Bridge turnpike a groom 
met him, and to his surprise he heard the man 
say, " Good morning, Sir John," as he passed. 
Mr Guest's own impression was that he was being 
saluted by a title to which he could lay no claim, 
but it afterwards appeared that the groom had 
recognised the horse he was riding, which was one 
known as Sir John Barleycorn, and had formerly 
belonged to Mr Digby of Sherborne Castle. That 
groom, the Master said, was Bichard Anderson, 
who was now his stud -groom at the kennels, 
and the very best groom any man could wish 
to have. 

Beferring to his predecessors in the office of 
Master of the Blackmore Vale, Mr Guest said 
that when he was selected in 1884 to fill that 
post, he felt that to keep the lustre of the Hunt 
up to its former standard could be no easy task. 
He had, however, done his best, and with the help 
of hounds and scent, and their own unwavering 
support, he hoped that he had in some measure 
succeeded. During his term of office they had 



killed on an average eighty -two brace of foxes 
yearly. While he had been hunting six days 
a- week, his best season's bag had been 109 brace, 
and his next 102 brace. The whole of this he 
owed to the preservation by the Blackmore Vale 
farmers, for without their help he could not 
possibly have shown the sport he had. 

As soon as the rounds of applause had died 
away, Lady Theodora made a neat little speech 
of thanks for herself and her daug-hter, and her 
reception, when she came forward, was as hearty 
as that already given to the Master. Both she 
and her daughter, she said, regarded that day as a 
record one in their lives, and they wished to give 
their friends their heartiest thanks for the honour 
they had done them. When Mr Guest had spoken 
of his pleasure in destroying foxes, she had been 
reminded of the look of stern determination which 
generally marked his face on Wednesdays and 
Saturdays. If her friends now present could have 
seen that look, Lady Theodora was sure they 
would have felt sorry for the fox. They would 
also understand the Master's feelings when, after 
a bad scenting day, he could not eat his dinner 
because "that fox was still alive." That the 
Master had fully appreciated the support he had 
received from the tenant farmers of the country 
she could assure them, for he had often spoken of 
it to her. 

After Lady Theodora's words had been heartily 
cheered, all the many visitors were invited to the 


house to breakfast, 200 at a time being accom- 
modated in the dining - hall and morning - room. 
Before this necessarily rather lengthy proceeding 
had come to an end a start was made with hounds, 
and we went out for our last day in the country 
under the old regime. 

Two days later the annual puppy show was held 
at the kennels at Charlton Horethorne, and at the 
luncheon o-iven on the occasion the Master took 
his formal leave of the country. As on so many 
previous occasions, the judge was Charles Little- 
worth, formerly huntsman to the late Lord Ports- 
mouth. The puppies winning distinctions were 
mostly by Brocklesby sires, Mr Guest having 
bought the grand Brocklesby dog pack in 1896, 
and since that time he had introduced some of 
their best blood into his kennels. It was sad, 
indeed, that such a pack as had been built up by 
Mr Guest and his predecessor, Sir Bichard Glyn, 
and on which John Press had left the mark of his 
incomparable skill, was to go from the old country, 
but, as I have already said, this was inevitable 
under the circumstances. At luncheon Mr Guest 
was well supported by his friends and neighbours, 
and the tenant farmers once again mustered in 
force. After the usual speeches we severally took 
our farewell of the Master, and the moment was 
fraught with feeling for us all which leaves its 
indelible mark upon our lives. 

W. Spiller, who had been Mr Guest's huntsman 
since 1895, retired at the same time as the Master. 


Spiller was a good man in the field, and during 
the time he carried the horn he showed capital 
sport. His hounds did him the utmost credit, for 
they were always turned out in first-class style. 

One of the many subjects that demand tact and 
judgment in a hunt country, and on the successful 
carrying out of which the Master's success in the 
field may depend, is the organisation of the poultry 
fund. Many a fox has been done to death because 
some man's just claim to compensation has not 
received the consideration it deserved, and those 
who in the interest of sport undertake the thank- 
less task of certifying for loss of poultry, &c,, 
should bring discrimination and tact to bear on 
their self-imposed duties. If on the one hand you 
are careless and let things slide, you are sure to 
be imposed on ; but on the other hand you cannot 
be too careful to satisfy all just claims, and to give 
as little trouble as possible to those who have 
suftered loss. The latter duty is, I think, often 
lost sight of by people whose time is entirely at 
their own disposal. With the working farmer 
and others of his class " time is money," and it is 
a serious thing for him to waste hours in setting 
forth a claim, which in the end may be viewed 
with suspicion from the fact that some of his 
neighbours are not sufficiently scrupulous as to 
the means by which they get payments from the 
hunt funds. 

That there are difficulties on both sides to be 
met in this delicate matter I know from experi- 


ence, as I certified at one time for Stalbridge. 
I remember being sent for one morning to see a 
lot of dead poultry, the owner of course wishing 
to be compensated for their loss. I rode over 
consequently, and was shown a number of dead 
chickens scattered about an outhouse of which 
the door was fastened when I arrived. A glance 
at the dead birds was sufficient. " These have 
not been killed by a fox," I said to the man. " Oh 
no," was the calm reply. "The fact is, my son's 
ferret got loose last night and killed them, but 
I thought, as you paid for foxes, you might give 
me a little. The loss is a serious one to me." 

I strongly advised the sanguine person to 
prevent his son from keeping ferrets in future, 
as he could only want them for poaching purposes, 
and they would be sure to get him into trouble 
sooner or later. 

Mr Dendy, who was our indefatigable hunt 
secretary for so many years, had a somewhat 
similar experience when he was asked to pay for 
several pounds of bacon. On inquiry it turned 
out that the owner was in the habit of keeping 
his bacon in an outhouse, and that one night he 
had omitted to shut the door. It was therefore 
pointed out to him that a stray dog, or possibly 
even a two-legged thief, might have carried off 
the missing portion. 

The Kev. S. Dendy, of Lattiford House, decided 
to retire from the post of Hon. Secretary to the 
Blackmore Vale Hunt in the spring of 1896, as, 



with increasing years, he found the duties more 
than he could manage. He had taken office in 
1853, during the time of Mr George Wingfield 
Digby's mastership, so that his work for the hunt 
extended over a period of thirty - eight years. 
During this time Mr Dendy's tact and courtesy 
and his genial manners had endeared him to all 
classes, and his retirement was very generally 
regretted. His successful management of the 
poultry fund, and the time and labour he devoted 
to it, will not soon be forgotten in the country. 
He was a thorough sportsman, and was seldom 
absent from a meet on his side of the country. 
He could always tell where a fox was to be found, 
and he was sadly missed when ill -health obliged 
him to give up his favourite sport. 

Mr Dendy received several testimonials during 
his long term of office, the last of these, which 
was presented on his retirement, being a portrait 
of himself, painted by Mr Cotman, in the style of 
an old Master. At Mr Dendy's own request the 
picture was sent to him privately. In the follow- 
ing autumn, when the hounds met at his house 
on November 20, 1896, he gave a hunt breakfast, 
and had the picture on view, and this was much 
admired by the large party of subscribers and 
friends who had assembled to greet him. 

Among the fox - preservers and riders with 
hounds during Mr Guest's mastership, Mr J. K. 
Wingfield Digby, M.P., of Sherborne Castle, stands 
out prominently, for he was, and is, perhaps, the 



largest landowner and fox-preserver in the Black- 
more Vale Hunt country. So great, indeed, is 
Mr Digby's local influence, that fox-hunting would 
soon cease to exist in this part of Dorset without 
his help. Being such a good friend to fox-hunting, 
and so popular a landlord, it is a pity he is not 
oftener to be seen at the covert -side to share in 
the sport that he provides so liberally for others. 
The late General Sir William Parke, K.C.B., of 
Thornhill, was also a good preserver, and it was 
a great loss to the country when he died in 1897. 
At one time the largely attended hunt breakfasts 
during Christmas week at Thornhill were quite a 
feature of the hunt. 

Others whose names I can recall, and who were 
generally to be seen at the fixtures, were Major 
Sherston of Evercreech, a nephew of Lord Boberts, 
with whom the Commander-in-Chief was often out 
when he was staying in the neighbourhood, Mr 
Chafyn - Grove and his son and daughter from 
Coker, Colonel the Hon. E. Digby of Buckshaw, 
Mrs Holford, than whom there is no better judge 
of hounds and hunting, and who with her daughter 
was always in the first flight, Mr Percy Brown, 
Mrs M'Call, Mr and Mrs Jack Martin, both such 
straight riders, Mrs Gundry, who went so well 
on her beautiful Irish mare, Mr Berkeley Napier, 
Miss Dendy, Mr and the Hon. Mrs M'Lean, Miss 
Mildmay, Mrs George Gordon, Mr Marker from 
Devon, Mr Mansell Pleydell, Mr H. Cross, Mr 
A. Sutton, Mr and Mrs Gadesden, Mr Hambro, 


Colonel Stack, Mr A. Dickenson, Mr Hugh Neville, 
the two last being well known over the flying 
country, Miss Parke, and Mr and Mrs Wilson. 

Among the farmers who not only enjoyed the 
sport but had the interests of the hunt thoroughly 
at heart, were Messrs G. Dampney, Martin Rich- 
ards, R. Conway, W. Corry, H. Bugg, W. Field, 
Phippen, Adams, J. Ryall, Whateley, H. Miller, 
Young, Wadman, Brain, Shute, White, Warren, 
Howe, Sawtell, Day, Holloway, Curtis, Bull, 
Clarke, Shingleton, Brake, Ayles, Courtney, Dun- 
ford, Marsh, Whittle, Edwards, Hoddinott, Francis, 
Hayter, Penny, Tabor, Harris, Fifett, J. Roberts, 
Andrews, and the late Mr C. Spicer, who was a 
host in himself. 

An association in which every hunting man and 
woman in the country ought to take the warmest 
interest is the Hunt Servants' Benefit Society, 
and as the idea of the Society originated in the 
Blackmore Vale country, I cannot close my remi- 
niscences better than by giving the history of its 
inception. To Lady Theodora Guest belongs the 
lasting honour of having evolved the idea of a 
society which would make provision in time of 
sickness, and at death keep from want the families 
of those who risk life and limb in our service in 
the field. 

When Lady Theodora first thought of the 
scheme she wrote to enlist the sympathy and help 
of her friend Colonel Anstruther Thomson, then 
Master of the East Fife Foxhounds. Strangely 


enough, a similar idea had come to the late Hon. 
Francis Scott, who a little later also wrote to put 
the project before Colonel Anstruther Thomson. 
This veteran sportsman immediately saw the value 
of the suggestion which thus reached him from 
two different sources, and from people who were 
strangers to one another. He took up the matter 
warmly, and soon enlisted the sympathy of many 
well-known sportsmen and Masters of Hounds, 
and the Hunt Servants' Benefit Society began its 
noble work in the year 1872. Among those who 
helped in founding the Society, and was to the 
end of her life one of its keenest supporters, was 
the late Marchioness of Westminster, who gave a 
large sum of money towards starting it, and whose 
example was so generously followed by many 

That the Society will continue to flourish as 
long as fox-hunting remains a national sport of 
England we may be sure, and the day will indeed 
be an evil one when our friend the fox is no longer 
the bond of union between all classes in the hunt- 




From the time when the Kev. Harry Farr Yeat- 
man, of Stock House, hunted a part of the 
Blackmore Vale country, there has been a succes- 
sion of keen sportsmen to rule over the hunt. 
Some, like Mr George Wingfield Digby, were 
more of horsemen than lovers of hounds, but in the 
last two masters of the old hunt these characteris- 
tics were combined. Both Sir Richard Glyn and 
Mr Merthyr Guest did much to improve the pack, 
and gave time and thought freely to the subject of 
hound-breeding, while they were good horsemen 
and straight riders, and may be said to have 
enjoyed thoroughly the many-sided sport, in the 
annals of which their names will live. 

Of the dwarf foxhounds with which Mr Yeatman 
hunted fox, hare, and roedeer impartially, there are 
no lists extant, but from the entries of sport in old 
journals we know that the hounds were fast and 
showed great sport. Indeed had they not been 
good in the field they would not have satisfied the 
Master. At a time when the little hounds were 


supposed to be hunting hare, they were said to 
have shown an occasional partiaHty for fox, to 
which the accounts of the runs they had certainly 
lent credence. It is said that a neighbouring 
Master of Hounds, when he was told of a remark- 
able run with Mr Yeatman's harriers, remarked 
meaningly, " Well, I should like to make him eat 
his hare." 

Of Mr Yeatman's mastership there is a record 
in the old hunting diary from which I have 
already quoted,^ and which covers the time from 
1826 to 1831. Three years later Mr Hall be- 
came Master, and by arrangement with him Mr 
Portman, who was afterwards the first Viscount 
Portman, hunted a part of the country from 1831 
to the year 1840. From 1833, however, Mr Drax 
had been hunting over his own property near 
Sherborne, and when on the retirement of Mr 
Portman he bought the latter's hounds, Mr Drax 
succeeded to the whole of the Yale Hunt country, 
of which he retained the mastership until 1853. 

During the whole of this time all the county of 
Dorset, as well as parts of Somerset and Wiltshire, 
was nominally under the command of Mr J. J. 
Farquharson, who from 1806 to 1858 hunted over 
this immense tract of country. With the accession 
to office of Mr G. Wingfield Digby, in the year 
that saw the retirement of Mr J. J. Farquharson, 
the Blackmore Yale Hounds only hunted over 
the modern hunt territory. 

1 See p. 5. 


In Mr Farquharson's time lived the celebrated 
Butterwick Jack, a fox that was always found in 
one of the Holnest coverts known by the name 
of Butterwick. I have often heard my father 
speak of the wonderful runs he had enjoyed after 
this fox. Jack indeed became so knowing that the 
slamming of a gate or a rate to a hound in the 
neighbourhood of his home covert was enough to 
set him off, and he invariably took a straight 
line to Dorchester. Near this town he was always 
lost, his refuge being in some large meadows a 
great many miles from Holnest. After an un- 
usually good run, Butterwick Jack was one day 
lost as usual in the Dorchester meadows when 
these were under water. As soon as the floods 
subsided Jack's lifeless body was found, but 
whether he had been drowned in trying to cross 
the submerged land, or whether he had been 
flooded out from some accustomed shelter in a 
drain, those who regretted his loss never knew. 

In the early years of Mr Drax's mastership his 
hounds were known as the Charborough Pack, 
from Charborough, near Wareham, one of the 
Master's estates. Thanks to Mr Merthyr Guest, 
who by his patient research has done much to clear 
up the somewhat involved history of the various 
packs that hunted over different parts of the 
country in the early years of the last century, 
Mr Drax's hound lists have been put into clear 
and useful form. These lists are, however, shorn 
of some of their interest by the fact that from 


1853, three years before Mr Drax resigned, down 
to 1858, when Mr George Wingfield Digby suc- 
ceeded to the mastership, there were no kennel 
records kept. During this time a succession of 
Masters ruled for a short time over the hunt, and 
the huntsman changed with the advent of each 
Master, so that it is impossible to say on what 
lines the hounds were bred. The pack was sold 
by Mr Drax to Mr G. Whieldon, one of the three 
men — Captain Stanley and Viscount Dungarvan 
being the others of the trio — who divided the 
responsibilities of office between them for the two 
seasons following Mr Drax's resignation. 

The entries in the first years of Mr George 
Wingfield Digby's reign show that in a few cases 
Mr Drax's hounds were bred from, so it is clear 
that some at least of the old sort had been kept in 
the country. Mr Drax had started with drafts 
from the Badminton, Belvoir, and Brocklesby 
kennels, and he had also drawn largely from the 
packs of Mr Assheton Smith and Mr Foljambe. 
A hound named Saucebox (1846), grandson of 
Lord Portman's Sparkler, and on the dam's side 
descended from Lord Portman's Spitfire, was much 
used as a sire by Mr Drax in the closing years 
of his mastership. Among the seven -year -old 
hounds in Mr Wingfield Digby's kennels in 1858 
was Solomon, a son of Saucebox. 

Mr Wingfield Digby depended greatly on drafts, 
and put on but comparatively few home-bred 
hounds during his seven years' term of office. To 


him is due the introduction of the Belvoir Guider 
(1851) blood into the Blackmore Vale kennels, and 
in the year 1860 no less than six and a half couples 
of Guider's offspring appeared among the entry. 
Of these, three and a half couples were bred by 
Lord Portsmouth and came to Mr Digby in a 
draft. Belvoir Guider, which had been much used 
in the home kennels, was by Mr Drake's Duster, 
and through his dam Gamesome (1845) strained 
back through Rasselas (1831) and Saladin (1813), 
both of which hounds were much used at Belvoir, 
to Dancer, which sired every hound entered in the 
old Belvoir kennels in the year 1796. 

To Mr Digby also is due the introduction of a 
hound named Buby (1864), which appears to have 
come to him in a draft from Sir W. W. Wynn, though 
the kennel register is not very clear on this point. 
Buby proved to be the mother of the modern pack, 
nearly every hound that has made its mark in the 
kennel going back in one or more strains to her. 
Unfortunately of this hound there is no description, 
but she appears among the entry in Mr Digby 's 
kennel register of 1864, the year in which the 
celebrated John Press came to him as huntsman, 
and the season before his own resignation. 

It was in 1867, when Sir Bichard Glyn was 
hunting the country with Press as his huntsman, 
that Buby was mated with Lord Poltimore's 
Voyager,^ son of the Duke of Beaufort's Voyager. 

^ As the descendants of Voyager appear so constantly throughout 
the history of the Blackmore Vale pack, it is interesting to note that 


From this union no less than four couples were 
entered in 1868, and the litter, which seems to 
have been an extraordinarily good one, may be said 
to have laid the foundation of the modern pack. 
Another litter of Sir K Glyn's entry in 1867 left 
its lasting influence in the kennel. This was one 
of two couples by Lord Portsmouth's Commodore 
ex Mr Villebois' Matchless (1863), to which many 
of the best hounds of later date strain back. In 
1866 yet another good litter of two and a half 
couples had been put on by Lord Poltimore's 
Warrior ex Mr Yillebois' Matchless, and from 
one or other of these unions sprang some of the 
most noted families of the kennel. Matchless 
had come to Sir Richard Glyn in 1865 among 
four and a half couples that he had bought at 
Mr Villebois' sale. She was by Mr Villebois' 
Marmion ex his Willing, and was only second 
to Ruby in the influence she had on the pack. 

On his retirement in 1865 Mr Digby presented 
his hounds and the whole of his hunting establish- 
ment to Sir Richard Glyn, and, as I have said, his 
incomparable huntsman, John Press, remained on 
when the new Master took up the reins. Mr 
Digby liked big hounds, and only those that had 
pace and stamina could satisfy his love of a gallop 
over the Vale. Sir Richard Glyn kept to the same 
standard, but he and his huntsman went in more 

Vauban, a son of his out of a home-bred hound, was one of a lot of 
three couples purchased from Lord Poltimore's kennels by Major 
Brown in 1870 for four hundred guineas. 


for quality, and beside the wonderfully successful 
crosses I have mentioned, they went to the Belvoir, 
Warwickshire, and Grove kennels for new blood. 
In the years 1871-72 nearly all the entries were by 
home-bred hounds, only one litter in the latter 
year and two in the former showing an outcross. 

A dog-hound that was a good deal used in the 
years 1870-71, and was a great favourite with 
Press, was one named Lasher (1866) that came in 
a draft from Lord Portman. Lasher was a big 
hound with immense bone, and was one of a capital 
litter by Lord Poltimore's Lifter ex Lord Portman's 
Rapid, his size causing him to be drafted from 
the home kennel. Press was very proud of this 
hound, and used to draw any visitor's attention to 
his girth of forearm, remarking that the bone was 
like that of a horse. 

In 1870 there were three couples of hounds 
entered sired by Lasher of which Melody (1867) 
was the dam. Through Melody these hounds 
had the blood of Mr Villebois' Satirist and 
Lord Portsmouth's Royalist. They were all 
good, one of the dog - hounds named Melborne 
being a successful sire, and his sisters Madrigal, 
Musical, and Muriel exceptionally well - formed 
hounds. Muriel was the best of the three, and 
took second prize at the puppy-show of her year. 
The puppy that beat her in the opinion of the 
judges was one named Governess (1870), daughter 
of Lord Portsmouth's Major, and granddaughter 
on the dam's side of Belvoir Guider. 


Waverley (1858), one of the drafts that came to 
Mr Digby, and proved a success both m his own 
work and in the descendants he left to carry on 
his line, was noted for his fine voice, which gift 
he transmitted. He was by Lord Portsmouth's 
Wonder ex Mr Assheton Smith's Favourite. His 
son Solomon (1863) was a successful sire, and in 
his grandson Waverley (1869) Sir Richard Glyn 
had a dog that showed all the excellence of the 
first of the name. 

Rambler (1865), another hound of the Belvoir 
Guider family, his dam Matchless (1860) having 
been bred by Mr Digby, was a favourite of Press's. 
Rambler was a remarkably low-scenting hound, and 
would, Press said, pick out a line when no other 
hound in the pack could acknowledge it. 

There is a curious story of Senator, a hound lent 
by Mr Garth to the Blackmore Vale kennels in 
Sir Richard Glyn's time, and whose descendants 
can be traced through the later history of the 
pack. Senator was a tan-marked hound, and so 
good-looking that one day when there was to be 
a lawn meet at Leweston, Press could not resist 
taking him out. The hound, not knowing either 
the country or the hunt servants, was lost in the 
course of the day's proceedings, and great was the 
tribulation when his absence was discovered. No 
tidings could be heard of him, and days passed 
into weeks without the mystery of his disappear- 
ance being cleared up. I was hunting with Mr 
Garth at the time, and I remember his riding up 

Portrait of thk Hound "Co.wrade" over it. 


to my father and saying abruptly, " They have 
lost Senator." My father was talking to Mr 
Simonds at the moment, and the latter, who had 
walked Senator, was as much put out as the Master 
at the thought of his loss. Some months later, 
when Press was at the kennels of the South and 
West Wilts, to his great delight and no small 
astonishment he found Senator there. The hound, 
it seemed, had joined the pack one day while 
they were hunting, and as no one knew his 
history he had stayed on in kennel. The 
huntsman was naturally sorry to part with 
such a good one, but the transfer was soon 
effected and Senator was returned to his rightful 

Another hound whose influence is very marked 
in the modern Blackmore Vale pack is Mr Muster's 
Rufus, which was bought by Sir Kichard Glyn 
in 1876 when four years old. Rufus was by 
Brocklesby Royal ex Mr Muster's Singwell, and 
though not a large hound was of the very 
highest quality. Among the best workers in the 
pack in 1885 was a grandson of Rufus named 
Renown, whose sire was Lord Portsmouth's 
Render, to which source both Sir Richard Glyn 
and Mr Merthyr Guest so often went for new 
blood. Renown, through his grandam Luxury 
(1873), went back to Romulus (1864), of which 
hound Press was wont to declare enthusiastically 
that " he knew enough to take honours at a 


Picture (1864), of whose performance In the 
field 1 have spoken,^ was a granddaughter of 
Rufus, and a daughter of Lord Portsmouth's 
Pender. Through her grandam Margaret (1875) 
she united the best blood in the Blackmore Vale 
pack, going back to Kama (1868), one of the 
marvellous litter by Lord Poltimore's Voyager 
ex Puby (1864), and to Milkmaid (1867), who 
was by Lord Portsmouth's Commodore ex Mr 
Villebois' Matchless. The same strains of blood 
were seen in Pussian (1871), a hound much fav- 
oured as a sire by Sir Pichard Glyn, and among 
whose sons were Spartan (1874) and Falmouth 
(1878), the latter of whom was one of the best 
sires in the kennels when Mr Merthyr Guest 
succeeded to the mastership in 1884, three and 
a half couples of his being entered in that year. 
Famous (1878) was a grandson of Pussian, and 
many of his sons and daughters appear among 
the entry in the latter years of Sir Pichard 
Glyn's reign and the early ones of Mr Guest. 
Through his dam Fatima (1874) Famous goes 
back to the Belvoir Guider. Bribery (1881), who 
has also been mentioned in the earlier part of 
the book,^ was a great-granddaughter of Pussian, 
and her pedigree strains back in three lines to 
the Voyager -Puby litter, and both on the sire 
and dam's side to the Commodore-Matchless union, 
the sire also going back to the Belvoir Guider 
and Mr Drake's Duster, and through the mating 

1 See p. 175. 2 gee p. 175. 


of the latter with Belvoir Gamesome (1845) to 
the old Belvoir Dancer (1796). 

In Bridegroom (1881), a son of Famous ex 
Britannia (1878), Sir Bichard Glyn bred a Peter- 
borough prize-winner — this hound when in his 
third season taking first honours in the stallion 
class. Through his dam Bridegroom goes back 
to the two famous litters of Commodore-Matchless 
and Voyager -Bu by that we have seen on his 
sire's side. Bridegroom was a big hound of re- 
markably true make, and was a good deal used 
both in the Badminton and Oakley kennels. 

In 1884, when Sir Richard Glyn resigned, 
George Orbell, the huntsman who had succeeded 
John Press in 1876, passed into Mr Merthyr 
Guest's service together with the hounds. From 
this time the work of improving the pack was 
carried on w^ith vigour. No less than eight and 
a half couples sired by Lord Portsmouth's Render 
were among the entry of 1884, and three and a 
half couples of one litter by Falmouth ex Savory 
(1879), this showing Sir Richard Glyn's preference 
for these sires. The latter's partiality for the 
Render family was shared by Mr Guest and his 
huntsman G. Brown, who came to him from 
Ireland two years after his accession to office ; 
and in Rufus (1887), who had the beautiful voice 
that distinguished the Render clan, there were 
united two strains of the Render blood. 

Another outcross favoured by Mr Guest was 
that of the Oakley Newsman, a hound bought by 


him in 1884. Newsman was a well-shaped hound 
and had some of the best of foxhound blood in him. 
Two dog-hounds, Mexico and Mentor, sired by him 
in 1885, took the first and third prizes respectively 
of their year, and became two of the best workers 
in the pack. Mexico, a 24 -inch hound, was the 
handsomer of the two, and in the markings of his 
face the rich Belvoir tan was seen to perfection. 
He had excellent legs and feet, well set-on neck 
and good shoulders, and great depth through the 
heart. Mentor was a black-and-white hound, but 
was an even better worker than his brother, and 
when the pack were racing heads up and sterns 
down over the Vale, he was sure to be running at 
their head. The dam of this couple was Mecca 
(1878), a daughter of Mr Muster's Rufus. 

In the same year, 1885, Mr Guest brought new 
blood into the kennel with hounds that he bought 
at the sale of the New Forest pack when Mr 
Meyrick gave up that country. From these 
hounds Mr Guest bred successfully, and Warspite 
(1887), a grandson of Lord Portsmouth's Render 
and great-grandson of Mr Muster's Rufus, was 
the son of the New Forest Wakeful (1881). 
Warspite was a square-built hound of good colour 
and with excellent neck and shoulders. A very 
good litter, of which four couples were entered in 
1886, were by the New Forest Striver, son of 
the Grafton Silence, their dam being Romance 
(1883), a granddaughter of Mr Muster's Rufus, 
and through her grandam going back to the old 


Blackmore Vale Euby (1864). Of this litter 
Romulus was the second-prize puppy of his year, 
and he, with Koman, E-odmore, and Rover his 
brothers, was sent to the Peterborough Show. 

A mark that soon became a distinguishing one 
of the Blackmore Vale pack under Mr Guest's 
rule was that the hounds had their ears unrounded. 
In spite of the verdict of fashion at that time to 
the contrary, Mr Guest was a staunch advocate of 
the non- rounding of hounds' ears, and in the 
management of his large pack the Master had the 
courage of his opinions. The grey hunt horses on 
which Master and men were mounted was an- 
other disting-uishinof and attractive feature of the 
hunt. Mr Guest always discouraged the practice 
of holloaing. His own men he never allowed to 
holloa, as he said that "you can always get 
hounds' heads up, but you cannot depend on 
getting them down again on the spot you want." 
The Master never kept a mute hound, and I well 
remember his reg-ret when a beautiful hound named 
Lexicon, that came to him in a draft in 1886, ran 
mute from Hoi well Gorse, for he never took him 
out again. 

In 1885, when Mr T. Harvey Bayly was Master 
of the Bufford, one of the outcrosses introduced by 
Mr Guest was Bufford Denmark, this hound siring 
no less than six couples of the entry of the following 
year. Among these was Druid (1886), whose dam 
was Woodbine (1882), a daughter of Mr Garth's 
Wildfire, and through her dam going back to 



Ruby (1864). Druid was a most reliable hound 
and had a curious way of catching a scent. He 
would stand on his hind-legs with his nose high 
in the air, and sometimes even jump from the 
ground in his eagerness to catch it. Another 
outcross to which the pack owed much was the 
Hon. Mark Rolle's Bajazet (1881) by his Bondsman 
ex his Festive, bought by Mr Guest from the New 
Forest when four years old. The hound was a 
lemon pie and was a marvellous worker. 

A wonderfully true, staunch little hound, and a 
great favourite of the Master, was Comrade (1891), 
which was descended from the celebrated John 
Peel's pack, and had been used as a trailer before 
he took to fox-hunting. He had a nose so fine 
that he could carry a line on the road when no 
other hound would own it ; and his voice was a 
deep mellow one, very much resembling that of a 
bloodhound. One of Comrade's sons, Crichton 
(1896), had his sire's voice and was a very good 

Watchman (1890) was another hound who was 
never at fault. He was bred in the Blackmore 
Vale kennels, but went in a draft to Mr C. D. 
Seymour, Master of the West Norfolk Hounds, 
from whom he was bought back by Mr Guest at 
two years old. Watchman was a most independ- 
ent hound in his work, and would make his own 
cast right round a field, then as soon as he touched 
the line speaking with such confidence that the 
whole pack flew to him. This hound was by An- 


caster (1887) ex Wrekin (1885), Ancaster being 
son of the Oakley Newsman, and through his 
dam Amabel (1881) straining back through Russian 
(1871) to Bel voir Guider and the Commodore- 
Matchless family. Wrekin was the daughter of 
Bajah (1879), the only white hound in the pack 
when Mr Guest took over the mastership, and kept 
on account of his being such a good worker. In 
her pedigree appear two strains of the Voyager- 
Ruby blood and one of Mr Villebois' Matchless. 

In consequence of Rajah's colour every one in the 
field knew him, and long after his death a grand- 
daughter of his that inherited his colouring used 
to be pointed out as " Rajah " by those who were 
evidently proud of their knowledge. 

Watchman inherited his staunchness on the line 
from his grandam Wondrous (1883), a daughter 
of Mr Garth's Wonder, who would never leave 
the line of the hunted fox. Where Wondrous 
stayed Mr Guest would stay too, even though all 
the rest of the pack should go to a fresh cry. I 
remember once in Westwood when the fox was 
dead-beat it crawled under a stump where the 
clamorous pack could not get at it owing to the 
thick undergrowth. Suddenly at a fresh cry they 
all raced away with the exception of Wondrous, 
who worked on until she turned out and killed the 
fox single-handed, the Master not leaving the spot 
before it was all over. 

Auditor (1890) also accounted for a fox single- 
handed, and what in this case made the perform- 


ance a really wonderful one was that at the time 
he was only a puppy and had been out but some 
half-dozen times. It was while hounds were cub- 
hunting in Stalbridge Park that Auditor got 
away by himself on a fox and killed it at Inwood. 
Auditor through his sire Warrior (1888) went 
back to the New Forest Striver, son of Grafton 
Silence ; and his dam Amabel (1881) was the grand- 
daughter of Kussian, of whose descent from the 
two great litters on which the modern pack has 
been built up I have spoken so often. Another 
puppy which distinguished itself by a single-handed 
encounter with a cub was Sapient (1889) by the 
Hon. Mark Kolle's Bajazet. Sapient met a cub 
face to face on the ride in Holtham, and as the 
fox jumped to one side to avoid her, she jumped 
and caught it by the under part of the body. 
They both rolled over together, but the hound 
would not release her hold. Sapient's brother 
Saracen came to grief in a rush of hounds as they 
were killing their fox, and broke his shoulder in 
jumping off one of the big banks under Fifehead. 

A curious incident happened during cub-hunting 
at Inwood. In the field just outside the wood 
a young hound named Mayfly, a draft from the 
Ludlow kennels, got hold of an old dog-fox and 
was viewed having a desperate fight. Hound 
and fox stood up on their hind-legs snapping and 
biting at one another, but with very little noise. 
At last Mayfly got a firm hold of the fox's nose, 
and rolling him over, stood shaking him until 


some more hounds came to her help and he was 

Earity (1890), a hound bred by Mr Merthyr 
Guest, was the mother of many good litters in the 
latter years of his mastership. She was a daughter 
of the Hon. Mark Rolle's Bajazet (1881), and 
through her dam Rosemary (1885), daughter of 
the Oakley Newsman (1877), she strained back 
in two lines to Kuby (1864), to the Bel voir Guider, 
and to Lord Portsmouth's Commodore and Mr 
Villebois' Matchless. In 1893 three and a half 
couples of Rarity's sons and daughters by Mr 
Bayer's-^ Templar appear among the entry, and in 
the following year one and a half couples of hers 
by the Crawley and Horsham Senator were entered. 
Of the latter family Bama and her brother Baleigh 
were hounds of very marked character. 

Bama, a bright tan-and-white with a very in- 
telligent head, was a useful hound in the field, 
but she had a curious characteristic that was 
not so much to her credit. No power and no 
persuasion would induce her to come home with 
the pack after a day's hunting. She would go 
to covert in the morning demurely enough, and 
she hunted in a most businesslike manner, but 
directly the day's sport was over her good conduct 
came to an end. The moment the hounds and 
whippers-in grouped together and the Master 
gave the word for " home," Bama would set off 
by herself and race up hill and down dale till she 

1 Mr Rayer hunted the Tiverton country from 1873 to 1892. 


was out of sight. No whipper-in could turn her, 
no horn recall her ; and it was not till some tw^o 
hours after the Master had reached home that 
she generally made her appearance at Inwood. 
Sometimes, however, she would make her way 
leisurely back to the kennels and sneak in during 
the evening. 

Such unhound - like conduct was not to be 
tolerated, so the order was given for her to be 
caught and coupled to another hound. She was 
then forced to trot home with the rest of the 
pack, but she did so with her stern down and an 
expression of unspeakable sadness upon her face. 
She soon showed that she had a soul above such 
tyranny, for after she had been captured once 
or twice, it was enough for a whipper-in to dis- 
mount and begin unbuckling the couples for her 
to make off. Indeed so sharp did she become that 
at last the Master did not dare to give the order 
for her to be caught, or to allow the jingling of 
the couples, but he arranged beforehand that she 
should be secured before the end of the day's 
sport. It was not long before Rama was on her 
guard even against this early capture, and with 
a look at the hunt servants she would turn and 
gallop off before the last covert was drawn. 

Raleigh, a brother of Rama, was also a peculiar 
hound, and in his first cub-hunting season showed 
an extraordinary objection to coming out of covert 
with the other hounds. He would follow to the 
side of the covert, and it was very funny to see 


him peeping out and disappearing again if he saw 
he was being waited for. Again and again he 
would do this, until at last when the coast was 
clear he would jump out and go on with the pack 
as if nothing had happened. Raleigh was very- 
fond of looking into every cottage garden, but he 
was not such an inveterate cat-hunter as Rama, 
who would dash into and through every garden 
before she could be stopped, and woe betide the 
cat who was not quick enough to save herself in 
the nearest apple-tree. 

Raleigh and Comrade always welcomed the 
Master with a peculiar short sharp bark when 
he joined hounds at the meet. On the way home 
Comrade used to run close to his near stirrup, 
while Armiger, by the South Devon Armourer, 
another favourite bred by Mr Guest, stuck to his 
horse's off- heel. It was a strange thing that 
neither of these hounds ever varied in the manner 
of their return. 

A remarkable instance of the homing instinct 
was displayed by a hound named Rakish, with 
whose wonderful feet and legs Mr Guest was 
so much struck that he bought her. She came 
from the South Dorset kennels, of which hunt 
Mr Featherstonhaugh Frampton was then the 
Master. At Moreton station Rakish was put 
into the guard's van with a collar and chain on, 
and she travelled twenty miles in a north-eastern 
direction to Wimborne, and thence twenty-eight 
miles towards the north-west to Templecombe, 


her journey ending two and a half miles farther 
on, at Milborne Port. She was taken out at 
Milborne Port station, but no sooner was she 
on the platform than she snapped her chain 
and made off. For a day or two she was seen 
occasionally near the place, but after that was 
neither seen nor heard of until Mr Guest re- 
ceived a letter from Mr Frampton saying that 
Rakish had reappeared at her old kennels. 
Nothing was ever known of the manner in 
which she found her way home, a distance of 
twenty-two miles as the crow flies. 

While hounds often surprise us by their sagacity, 
we are sometimes astonished at the want of know- 
ledge of the most rudimentary ideas of sport in 
those who follow them. An incident that occurred 
in the Blackmore Yale is an example of this. 
On a day when scent was catchy a friend of 
mine saw the hunted fox slip through a gateway. 
He had scarcely gone when a lady rode up and 
stopped her horse just in the gateway. My friend 
consequently went up to the latter and asked her 
if she would mind moving on into the next fi.eld 
as she was just on the line. " Oh no," was the 
sublimely unconscious answer, as the lady looked 
down first on one side and then on the other of 
her horse. " I assure you, you are mistaken. I 
cannot see anything." 

In 1896 the celebrated Brocklesby dog pack 
was bought by Mr Guest from Lord Lonsdale, and 
with this blood, which united nearly all the best 


known strains of foxhound blood, grafted on to the 
old Blackmore Vale pack some remarkable results 
might have been anticipated. Unfortunately, 
however, Mr Guest's resignation took place before 
the full effect of this introduction could be ap- 
preciated, and, to the lasting sorrow of all lovers of 
hounds, the grand old pack was lost to the country 
and dispersed under the hammer of the auc- 
tioneer. Such an event seemed the last indignity 
that could be offered to fox-hunting in the Vale, 
and will certainly never be forgotten by the fol- 
lowers and supporters of the old hunt. Few, if 
any. Masters of Hounds of modern time have been 
more staunchly supported by the entire farming 
and landed interest of a hunt country than were 
those of the old regime, and it will be long before 
regret for the lost associations and glories of the 
past dies out in the minds of those who shared in 




From beyond those hunting -fields in which my 
own experience has been gained echoes of the 
chase in other countries and other times have 
reached me at all periods of my life. From my 
father and his friends came those of the old-time 
worthies, of many of whom I have spoken in the 
earlier part of this book, but from farther afield 
stray echoes have floated down, some of M^hich by 
very reason of their antiquity may be new to many 
of the present day. 

Nowhere do these memories, old and new, crowd 
more upon me than when I am surrounded by the 
wonderful collection of hunting-horns that belong 
to Mr Merthyr Guest of Inwood, who has over 160 
of these trophies of the chase. To Masters and 
huntsmen whose fame in most cases has spread far 
and wide wherever the chase of fox and hare is 
followed, these horns have been presented by those 
whose keenness in the field has been no less than 
that of the men whose duty it was to show them 
sport. Most of these horns are but the ordinary 



copper ones, yet what a history of our national 
sport might be compiled from tales they could 
tell us of daring in the field. Among them all a 
handsome silver horn, ornamented with a coat of 
arms, stands out resplendent ; and this takes us 
back to the year 1839, when, as we see by the 
inscription, it was presented by J. S. W. Saw- 
bridge Erie Drax, Esq., who never abated one iota 
of his length of title, to his huntsman John Last. 
Here, too, though of a more ordinary make, we 
have the horn given to Jim Treadwell by Mr J. J. 
Farquharson, whose faithful servant the old hunts- 
man had been for twenty -one years before Mr 
Farquharson's resignation in 1858. John Press's 
horn, that he also received from Mr Farquharson 
in 1871, long after the latter had retired from 
office, jostles another which he used in the Black- 
more Vale from the year 1864 ; and near at hand 
are those of George Orbell of the B.V.H. and of 
John Press the younger, who was huntsman 
successively to the North Warwickshire, the 
Meath, the Galway, and the Old Berkshire 

A story of old John Press which I have not 
mentioned before may find a place here. That 
good sportsman and fox-preserver. Major Dugdale, 
w^ho knew that Press had buried his wife only a 
couple of days before, went up to him while he 
was drawing a gorse and expressed his sorrow at 
the sad event. "Yes, sir," was Press's answer, 
" but these sort of things must happen. Go in, my 


beauties, push him out," he went on to some 
hounds that were feathering on a Kne. Then 
turning again to the now amused sympathiser, 
" Very sad, sir, but we must all expect it," and 
pulling out his horn, he exclaimed, " They have 
found," and galloped away. 

While a good method of using a horn is the 
greatest possible assistance to those who follow 
hounds, the indiscriminate way in which some 
huntsmen make use of the same blast on every 
occasion gives you no help whatever. You cannot 
tell whether the huntsman is making a cast or 
wants hounds stopped or put to him ; in fact, 
unless you actually see for yourself, there is 
nothing in the monotonous note to tell you 
what is going on. Happily this want of method 
is the exception rather than the rule, and when- 
ever I go into a new country the first thing I 
try to master is the huntsman's manner of using 
his horn. 

One of the most curious methods with the horn 
I ever heard was with a pack of harriers with 
which I was once out. As I came to the meeting- 
place I heard the horn being blown vociferously, 
and consequently hurried on, thinking the hounds 
were already running. Following the sound, I 
came upon the Master — who was also the hunts- 
man — sitting quietly on the top of a hill, with his 
pack grouped carelessly round him and paying not 
the slightest attention to the noise he was making. 
I was quite taken aback and inquired what was 


going on. The answer was that this was the 
method of finding a hare, and that I should 
presently see one going away either from a turnip- 
field just below us or off the fallow a little farther 
away. Much interested, I sat and watched with 
the rest of the field, and it was not long before 
puss was viewed from the turnips, when hounds 
were immediately trotted down to the spot and 
laid on. 

Old Ben Jennings, who was with Mr Farquhar- 
son during the earlier years of his mastership, 
had a very effective manner of using his horn. 
I have often heard my father speak of this, and 
from the latter I had an amusing story of the 
old huntsman's outspoken criticism of his Master. 
At the end of a good run, hounds coming out 
of a large covert flashed away on a fresh fox. 
Solomon Baker, the whipper-in, galloped off after 
them while Ben sat still waiting for the truants' 
return. The Master also waited, but when he 
viewed the hunted fox cross one of the ridings 
he seized his horn and blew frantically for some 
minutes. Ben, who knew the hounds were out 
of hearing, sat and watched him with great 
contempt until at last his feelings got the better 
of him, and he exclaimed, " Lor' bless the man, 
how he is a-blowing the wind out of his precious 
sides 1 " 

The horn of Mr Kobert Arkwright, Master of 
the Oakley from 1850 to 1896, and joint Master 
with Mr Turner Macan for the nine following 


years, reminds me of the building up of the 
grand Oakley pack and of his indefatigable 
helper in the work, Tom Whitemore. The old 
black-and-white hounds of the Oakley country, 
which were known as the Oakley magpies in the 
early days of the Peterborough Hound Show, 
were chanofed both in colour and character under 
Mr Arkwright's reign, until year after year they 
beat all competitors at the show. Tom White- 
more was always very strong on the point of the 
excellent working of their prize hounds in the 
field, and on one occasion pointed out with pride 
to a hard-ridinof member of the field who had 
been " crabbing the show hounds," that the win- 
ners of the first, second, third, and fourth prizes 
were leading the pack. 

A name I have mentioned in connection with 
my own experiences with the Queen's Hounds is 
that of the ninth Earl of Cork, and he, when 
Lord Dungarvan, was for a time joint Master 
of the Blackmore Vale country. It was while 
he was associated w4th Major Stanley and Mr G. 
Whieldon in the management of the latter hunt 
that Lord Dungarvan had a narrow escape. He 
was staying with Mr Whieldon at Wyke House 
when during the night a fire broke out which 
completely destroyed the house, and from which 
the host and his visitor only escaped with 

Back into the old hunting world we are carried 
by Mr Osbaldeston's horn, which was presented 


to him by his great friend Sir Richard Sutton, 
and before the time of the present generation 
was J. Smith, who was huntsman to Lord Port- 
man's hounds from 1859 to 1893. Smith one 
day had a curious experience in the hunting- 
field. Lord Portman had given him a pocketful 
of silver when he started in the morning, with 
directions to settle a few poultry claims on his 
way back to kennels. When Smith arrived at 
the first cottage where a settlement was to be 
made he found he had not a single shilling in 
his pocket. Instantly connecting the loss of the 
money with a fall he had had in the course of 
the day, he described the spot where this had 
happened to one of the whippers - in and de- 
spatched him to look for it. Smith had been 
thrown heavily on his head, and had got up 
quite dazed from the blow. His memory of the 
place where the fall had happened was so good, 
however, that the messenger found the exact 
spot at the fence, and from a dent in the 
ground where Smith's head had landed in the 
field he recovered the whole of the missing 

A horn that George Carter carried for many 
years with the Fitzwilliam Hounds bears signs 
of hard usage, and is, as the owner remarked 
when he parted with it, " mended all over." 
Another veteran of the field, and one who 
whipped-in to Carter in the Tedworth country, 
is Fred Cox, who for so many years was hunts- 


man to Lord Rothschild's staghounds, and was 
perhaps the best huntsman of the carted deer 
ever known. With the farmers in the Vale of 
Aylesbury Cox was always on the best of terms, 
and he received several testimonials from them. 
One of these was a horn which they gave him 
in 1879, together with a purse containing 134 
sovereigns. Cox was another of those who be- 
lieved in hound-shows, for he said that " they 
encourage huntsmen to breed for shape and quality, 
and a hound is as much better for being true 
made and well looking as is a horse." On a 
favourite horse named Gay Lad, Cox once cleared 
thirty feet over the Wing Brook, a place that is 
still pointed out in the Vale as the scene of the 

The horns of two Masters who hunted over 
parts of Somerset and Dorset are near together. 
One of them belonged to Mr Churchill Langdon, 
who hunted the Seavington Harriers for some 
years and showed capital sport. I remember 
once being much amused with a very good speech 
Mr Langdon made after the luncheon at one of 
the B.V.H. puppy-shows. He had, he said, been 
struck with the knowledge of hounds shown by 
Lady Theodora Guest, for his experience was that 
ladies found it very difficult to distinguish one 
hound from another. That failing at least had 
been exemplified in his own family, though in 
the most charming manner. In his harrier pack 
he had one hound that was a black-and-tan, and 


the ladies, who were anxious to show their interest 
in the hounds, were always constant in their 
inquiries after this one. No other hound in the 
pack was ever honoured in the same way, and 
he could not help thinking that the distinctive 
colouring of the hound had something to do with 
the solicitude shown for him. At any rate when 
this hound was no more, the inquiries made about 
the pack became of a most general nature, and 
he did not think that another hound was ever 
asked after by name. 

The horn used by Mr T. Crane is as distinctive 
in make as that which was given by Captain 
Stevens to the huntsman M'Neill. Mr Crane's 
horn, however, is smaller than M'Neill's, as was 
suitable for a man who ran with pocket-beagles 
over the Downs near Dorchester. 

Another historic instrument is the horn used 
by Charles Davis when he took the Royal Buck- 
hounds into the New Forest for their annual 
visit at the close of the season. This horn was 
lost in the Forest on the last day the Royal 
Hounds hunted there, and was not recovered 
for a long time. 

Colonel Luttrell of Kilve Court, who was Master 
of the West Somerset Foxhounds, during a part 
of the time when this hunt was known as Mr 
Luttrell's, used a very long wooden horn with 
an ivory mouthpiece, and a similar one, though 
not of such great length, was used by the 
seventh Duke of Beaufort. Near by is the horn 



of a more usual shape that belonged to the 
eighth Duke of Beaufort, and with it is one 
used by Will Dale, a huntsman who has left 
his mark in the Brocklesby kennels, where he 
served under the present Earl of Yarborough 
from the year 1884 to 1896. In the latter year, 
when the Brocklesby dog pack was sold, Dale 
went to the Beaufort country, where Mr Wemyss 
was that season acting as joint Master with the 
then Marquis of Worcester. Dale began his 
hunting career by whipping-in to his father, who 
was at that time huntsman to the Surrey Union, 
and whose horn used by him in that country 
and another used earlier with the Vine Hounds 
are with that of his son. 

Another horn has a distinction of its own in 
that it belonged to a woman who came forward 
in a moment of emergency and saved the Brock- 
lesby Hunt from disaster. Victoria, Countess of 
Yarborough, not only took the management of 
the Brocklesby Hunt country after the death of 
her husband, the third Earl, in 1875, during the 
minority of her son, but she succeeded in that 
most difficult part of a Master's duties, keeping 
the field in order without losing her popularity. 
Lady Yarborough was assisted in her duties by 
Mr J. Maunsell Bichardson, whom she married 
in 1881, who twice rode the winner of the Grand 
National. She was a very fine horsewoman and 
able to take her own line over a country. 

The horns of Mr Fenwick Bisset and Arthur 


Heal take our thoughts to the hunt of the wild 
red-deer on Exmoor, where both Master and hunts- 
man did so much for the sport. Of Mr Fenwick 
Bisset even that good judge of hunting, the Rev. 
John llussell, could find nothing to say but that 
the sport he showed was equal to anything he 
himself could remember " in the palmy days of 
old, when ' the halls of Castle Hill rang merrily 
wnth the w^assail of the hunters.' " Into the 
quieter joys of the angler Mr Bisset seems not 
to have entered. An all-round sportsman who 
was once staying at a country house in Devon 
with the Master of the staghounds, tells of some 
rather characteristic work with the rod by the 
latter. To some excellent trout-fishing owned by 
their host the guests were invited, and Mr Bisset 
took his place by the stream. Each trout that 
came to the M.F.H.'s fly w^as summarily swung 
out of the water over the impatient angler's 
shoulder. At last his host could bear the sight 
no longer and expostulated at a proceeding which 
broke through all the sacred canons of the craft. 
The only answer vouchsafed by the uninterested 
sportsman in his deep voice was, " No time to 
waste on these little beggars." 

Tom Firr's horn reminds us of a fine horseman, 
and one who was so good in all phases of his work 
that he may fairly be called the greatest huntsman 
of modern times. Firr had a marvellous control 
over his hounds and was always with them in the 
field. But though no one made more brilliant casts 


than he did when he had an impatient Quorn field 
behind him, he loved to hunt a fox as carefully 
and patiently as any man when this was possible. 
Closely connected with Tom Firr is that keenest 
of keen fox-hunters, Colonel Anstruther Thomson, 
to whom Firr was second whipper-in in the Pytchley 
country, and on whose recommendation he was 
appointed huntsman to the North Warwickshire 
Hunt, where he first made his name. 

It was during Mr Sant's mastership of the North 
Warwickshire that a certain M.F.H. of a neigh- 
bouring country had an unenviable ex^Derience. 
He was on a visit to a big house in the neigh- 
bourhood, and being very anxious to see Mr 
Sant's hounds, he asked his host if he would 
lend him a mount for a morning's cub -hunting. 
This was easily arranged, and one of the sons 
of the house was told off to act as his guide to 
the meet on the following morning. 

With the punctuality born of long habit, the 
M.F.H. timed the pace so that the fixture should 
be reached by six o'clock, and great was his dis- 
appointment to see nothing of the hounds. His 
young companion, when appealed to, said from 
which quarter they might be expected to arrive, 
and there was nothing for it but to wait. At last 
misgiving seized the Master, and he inquired if his 
guide was quite sure of his facts. " Was the meet 
at the cross-roads ? " he inquired, "or at the farm 
yonder ? " The youth did not know. " Haven't 
you been here before, then?" "I don't think I 


ever have," was the unsatisfactory reply. " Well, 
it's time we should be finding out where they 
are." In reply to questioning, some drowsy farm 
labourers did not know where hounds were to 
meet, but they were quite sure it was not there. 
" What on earth, then, did you bring me here 
for?" demanded the now furious M.F.H. of his 
apathetic cicerone. " Don't they meet here every 
Thursday ? " was the answer that greeted his 
astonished ears. " I thought they did. I know 
they were here last week." 

Words failed the older man and he trotted back 
in savage mood, his companion trailing behind him. 
The comfortable old coachman who had charge of 
the stables was not used to seeing his horses 
brought back in a state denoting hard exercise, 
and the cheery inquiry with which he greeted 
the M.F.H., "Had a run then, my Lord?" did 
not soften the sufferer's feelings, as he dis- 
mounted in a frame of mind better imagined 
than described. 

Few more plucky men have ever ridden across 
Leicestershire than Mr W. W. Tailby, who for 
twenty-two years ruled over the Billesdon country, 
now known as Mr Fernie's. A small light man, 
Mr Tailby rode big horses, and never turned his 
head from anything. He had a curious habit of 
catching hold of the pommel of his saddle when 
taking a fence. On one occasion when his hunts- 
man, Frank Goodall, was laid up and Mr Tailby was 
hunting his hounds himself, he gave an instance of 


the cool determination and unshaken nerve that 
distinofuished him. In the course of a run Mr 
Tailby put his horse at a gate between Skeffington 
and Loddington, and the horse, catching the top 
rail between his knees, turned right over and gave 
his rider a tremendous fall. Nothing beyond a 
severe shaking being the result, Mr Tailby was 
soon back in the saddle and going again, and 
some ten minutes later, hounds having turned 
and come back the same line, he put his horse 
a second time at the gate, and this time got 
over safely. 

With the Belvoir country Frank Gillard's name 
must always be associated, and it is a curious fact 
that Gillard began his first cub-hunting season as 
huntsman to these hounds on foot. The season 
was so dry and the ground in consequence so 
cracked by the action of the sun that it was im- 
possible to ride. Stress of weather of another 
kind, high winds being in the ascendant, led to a 
curious innovation on the ordinary hunting dress 
by the Marquis of Tweeddale, who was determined 
not to have his way across country hampered by 
a fly-away head-gear. He therefore adopted the 
expedient of having broad ribbon strings attached 
to either side of his hat, and these he tied securely 
in a bow under the chin. The result I never saw, 
but it must have been sufficiently funny, and 
was a matter of talk in the Belvoir country at 
the time, though for this Lord Tweeddale cared 
not a jot. 



Of old Goosey, another celebrated huntsman of 
the Belvoir, many tales are told. He was fond of 
long words, and once when Lord Forester, who was 
then acting as Master, asked him about a fall 
Goosey had had the previous day, the old man 
replied, " Well, my Lord, I was going along quite 
collectively, and the horse came down promiscuous, 
and I was bamboozled." The late Duke of Butland 
was very fond of telling this story, and he would 
also tell another, which seems to show that Goosey 
took the ills of life with as much philosophy as old 
Press. In a letter to Lord Forester Goosey says : 
" My Lord, will you please allow me not to go out 
to-morrow ? I am going to bury my wife, and on 
so dull an occasion I thought your lordship would 
let me off." 

Of Mr K Chandos Pole, Master of the Meynell 
and later of the Cattistock Hunt, I have already 
spoken. In the ' Meynell Hunt Alphabet ' a 
tribute is paid to his riding, which he certainly 
deserved in his Dorset country : — 

" P is for Pole too ; though welter his weight, 
He's a beautiful horseman and always goes straight." 

A story of a different sort is told of Mr J. Cod- 
rington, an earlier Master of the Cattistock, who 
was said never to jump a stick. He, too, was a 
heavy weight, and a friend, when congratulating 
the Master upon having bought a very good 
hunter, wound up the enumerations of the horse's 
merits by saying he was a perfect fencer. At last 


the Master was roused, and with an expressive 
" Ugh 1 " observed, " We shall soon get him out of 

Frank Beers, whose horn jostles that of Dick 
Stovin, began his hunting experience in a curious 
way. When he was only twenty-one years of age 
he was engaged to go to Poland with a pack of 
English hounds to hunt the wolf. He succeeded 
very well in his task, but when on the outbreak of 
war in Poland he returned home and hunted a 
pack of foxhounds in the Grafton country, he was 
a good deal troubled by the change of quarry, and 
it took him some time to show his capacity for 
hunting the wily fox as well as the straight- 
running wolf. Beers himself always used to say 
that in fox - hunting a certain hound named 
Destitute had been the making of him. This 
hound had been bred at Bel voir and was descended 
on the dam's side from Mr Drake's Duster. When 
on his deathbed Beers asked his wife never to part 
with Destitute's head, which he had stuffed and 
kept by him from the time when the hound no 
longer led the pack in the field. A curious acci- 
dent once happened to Beers when he was hunts- 
man to the Grafton. Durino- a fast run he g^ot into 
a pond, and one of the field jumping in after him 
knocked him head over heels under water. Beers, 
however, swam across and went on and killed 
his fox. George Beers, Frank's father, was also 
huntsman to the Grafton, and the story is told 
that when the third Lord Southampton engaged 


him he said that he heard Beers when with the 
Oakley had been free with his tongue to the 
field. " I wish you to bear in mind," said Lord 
Southampton, " that I shall not allow that here. 
I reserve that privilege to myself." 

The reputation of Dick Stovin was made when 
he was huntsman to Lord Valentia in the Bicester 
country. So good was the sport Master and 
huntsman then showed that the time may be 
looked on as the golden age of the Bicester. 
From the Bicester Stovin went to the Heythrop, 
after a short time with Lord Pembroke. So 
popular was he with all classes in the country 
where he had been nine seasons that he received 
quite a splendid testimonial on his departure. 
From the ladies of the hunt this took the form 
of an exquisitely chased horn, together with a 
handsome offering from the Master. Another 
from the keepers and earth-stoppers was given 
him, with a purse containing 800 sovereigns. 
Among the long list of names of the subscribers 
to the gifts is that of Prince Albert Victor. 
With the Heythrop hounds Stovin again had a 
long run of good sport. It was while he was in 
this country that a large dog-fox covered with 
mange was once brought to him. Stovin took 
care of the fox and treated him like a dog, and 
when the time came to turn him down he was 
as sleek and clean in coat as any fox in the 
land. A wonderful black mare named Violet 
carried Stovin for many years, and on her back 


he once jumped the Chearsley Brook when there 
were no less than eleven members of the field 
and their horses in it. 

Of Mr Francis Lovell, at one time Master of the 
New Forest Deerhounds, T have heard much from 
a friend who used to hunt with him in the 'Sixties. 
Although a one-armed man, Mr Lovell was, this 
friend tells me, the most beautiful rider in the 
Forest. He had a wonderfully strong elastic seat, 
his body swaying like indiarubber to the action of 
his horse. He was, too, exceedingly graceful, and 
a quite marvellous huntsman. His knowledge of 
hound-work and deer-trickery was unsurpassed, 
and the sport he showed was first-class. As there 
were but few deer in the forest at one time, Mr 
Lovell used to whip hounds ofi* when he ran into 
his stag, and if the latter was unhurt, he sent him 
home in a cart, and after feeding him let him go 
free on his lawn. 

One more horn I must mention, because it recalls 
to my mind my first day in the New Forest with 
the deerhounds, when Miss Alma Lovell hunted 
hounds. When Miss Lovell took her fathers 
place in the field she showed excellent sport, and 
on the horn she used is inscribed her maiden name 
with the date 1870, also her name after marriage 
— Mrs Francis — and the date 1882. It was an 
added pleasure when hunting with Miss Lovell in 
the Forest to hear her splendid voice echoing 
through the glades. She had an incomparable 


view - halloo, and I remember Mr Surtees ex- 
claiming when he first heard her, " She ought 
to be in the opera. She would bring down the 

With this echo, then, that comes to me from 
one of my own sex, I will bring these scattered 
memories to a close. 








J. S. W. Sawbridge Erie Drax. 

J. Last. 


G. Whieldon of Wyke. 

H. Honey. 

Captain Stanley. 

J. Mitchell. 

Viscount Dungai'van. 


Lord Harry Thynne. 

W. Stansby. 


R. Strachey. 



Captain Stanley. 

J. Dinnicombe. 


G. Wingfield Digby. 

Turner, 1858-63. 
Wilson, 1863-64. 
John Press, 1863-76. 


Sir R. G. Glyn, Bart. 

G. Orbell, 1876-85. 


Merthyr Guest. 

Haines, 1885-86. 
G. Brown, 1886-90. 
C. Fox, 1890-96. 
W. Spiller, 1896-1900. 



I HEAR the echoing sound, 
That stirred my blood in the bygone years, 
When the ringing music filled my ears, 

And made my pulses bound. 

In a grey November's morn, 
When the mists rolled up the hills, 
One cheery note my memory fills — 

The note of my own old horn. 

And there it hangs on the wall ; 
Fetch it right down to my hand, my boy ; 
You think it is but an old man's toy — 

As good as your bat and ball. 

The sport it brings to my mind ! 
I'll wind it now with my failing breath, — 
As I used to wind it at the Death, 

When the field were far behind ! 

How often we drew that gorse ! 
And we used to watch to see him break. 
And stand to mark the line he'd take, 

I, and the old black horse. 

What a rattling run we had. 
When we found in the covert by the down ; 
And then ran him through the market town, 

Till the folks all thought us mad. 


And then, again, in the Vale, 
When we galloped away from Holnest Pound 
To Forest Oaks, where he went to ground, 

Just under the broken rail. 

Hark, hollo ! I hear them now — 
They have headed him down by the brook ; 
Lucky for those that went to look, — 

There he goes over the brow ! 

Tally-ho ! For'ard ! Away ! 
Over the double, and over the plough ; 
Steady, my beauties ! You'll have him now — 

We're sure of his brush to-day. 

But it rouses me up too much, — 
Come hither, my boy, and hang up the horn 
By the spurs ; that I ever was born 

To hobble about with a crutch ! 

'Tis something to sit and to think ; 
To be thankful for joys that are past ; 
To look forward to those that will last ; 

And the present is only a link. 

I shall hear the who-whoop ! some day, 
And I must then be in at the Death ; 
Once more " Tally-ho ! " with my feeble breath, 

And I shall be " Gone away ! " 

T. G. 



ebster Family Library of Veterinary Medicine 

yummings School of Veterinary Medicine at 

Tufts University 

200 Westboro Road 

North Grafton, MA 01536