Alfred E. (Alfred Edward) Pease.

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A'etjster Family Un^^.r; of •./eterinary Medicine
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All riy/ils teserveil


Fox-hunting in Cleveland has until late years been carried on
without the elaborate organisation that is usually found to be
necessary for conducting the affairs of a Hunt, and therefore
ancient official records which would have been so valuable
to any one desiring to publish the history of this Pack are
entirely wanting. Had they existed, it is not likely that I
should have considered it worth while to put th6 following pages
into print ; for my desire has been to rescue fi'om oblivion
before it is too late much that would otherwise be lost.

In placing this volume before the reader I apologise for the
imperfections of the work, which result as well from the incom-
pleteness of the material as the fallibility of the writer. I offer
no apology to the Cleveland sportsman for putting this book
in his hands, as I am confident that he will find in it a few facts
of interest and some entertainment. If the stranger to our
country and our ways should by any chance take it up, I should
wish him to know at the outset that this is simpl}^ a collection of
fragments by a lover of the chase, and not ' a work ' by a literary
author, and he will find it readable or not just in proportion to
the amount of enthusiasm he may possess for the sport aud the


curiosity he may have to discover how a rough country in
Yorkshire was hunted in the days of old.

To me it has been a pleasant task collecting and perusing
the letters and other MSS. from which this book is compiled,
and I have followed the hounds with many a good sportsman of
another day over the country I know so well. I have hunted
with many packs of hounds, but have always come back to
Cleveland more than ever satisfied that no country can give a
greater variety of sport than ours. One day you find yourself
flying over a perfect open country, alongside seventeen couple
of houuds, racing as if tied to the strong fox which has just
broken from Seamer Whin, and has his straight neck pointed
lor Roseberry Topping or some other refuge amongst the
Cleveland Hills — hills at the outset just discernible through the
haze, but which grow clearer as you race over each field and
throw fence after fence behind you, wondering all the time
whether you will have to breast them, or whether 'the beauties'
will roll him over ere he gains their base. The next day
listening to the music of twenty-seven couple working out
the line up the echoing ravines of Kilton, and later startled by
a soul-stirring 'View holloa' and ' Gone away ! ' that tells you
that you will have to sit down and ' ride ' to cross the enclosures
that lie between the coverts and the moors, if you wish to be
abreast of the merry pack as they flash on to the heather that
lies in limitless expanse in the distance before you. The de-
lights of a moor run are known to few. For my own part, it
seems to me the enjoyment of hunting depends not so much on
the country as the natural charm of pursuit, the delight of watch-
ing hounds, the pleasure of motion, and the sense of power that
a good horse under you imparts. I know nothing that requires


more decision aud determination than to live with the bhick,
white, and tan as they fly with heads up and sterns down over
the wild hills and vales of our purple moors. There is an
ecstasy in seeing the apparently limitless extent of the rolling-
moorlands laid out before you, and never is the glorious un-
certainty of the chase felt more keenly than when, attempting to
live up to the motto of * Be with them I will,' you race on the
sound ground, struggle through the boggy places, and take
your chance as to holes and rocks and walls. Another day
may find you in the country that lies spread out like a chess-
board below Eston Banks and Wilton Woods, where if you
find a fox in the whin covei-ts near the sea, and he goes
straight and leaves a holding scent, you will want a good
horse to take you safely over those big fences, and may count
yourself luck}^ if you get through twenty-five minutes without
finding out the depth of one of the numerous aud formidable
' stells ' that intersect the country ; or it may be that you spend
the greater part of the day in the beautiful woodlands of Wilton,
Upleatham, and Guisborough Banks ; but wherever it is, to me
there is some special charm about every portion of the Cleveland

I would take this opportunity of recording the obligations I
am under for much contained in the following pages to the late,
and much lamented, Mr. Henry Turner Newcomen, of Kirk-
leatham, who was Master of the Cleveland Hounds for some
3'ears ; the late Mr. Thomas Petch, of Liverton, one of the finest
specimens of an old Yorkshire sportsman aud yeoman which
you could have found in the land ; !Mr. Geoi'ge Andrew of White
House, Saltburn, brother to Tom Andrew the hero of Cleveland
ibx-hunters : and to Mr. Thomas Parriusfton. who for nianv vears


was secretary to the Cleveland Hunt. The last two have been
especially kind in placing all sorts of interesting documents and
private journals at my service.

At some future time I shall liope to continue the history here
begun through the masterships of Squire Wharton, of Rkelton
Castle; of Mr. Henry Turner Newcomen, of Kirkleatham Hall ;
and of Mr. John Proud, of Yearby, under whose management
the hounds have been hunted since Tom Andrew's death, and
who have more than maintained the traditions and the character
of the sport in Cleveland.



1 S8fi,









Appendix I. FOXES KILLED DURING THE SEASONS 1835-1870 . 191

Appendix II. KENNEL BOOKS, 1845-1855 19:^






Tom Andrew ........ Frcndis^piere

Map of Cleveland ....... Tofaeo ]>. viii

Kao-simile of the Original Rules of the Roxby
AND Cleveland Hunt (1817), with Signatures
of Original Subscribers (Two Pages) . . „ I'l

Fac-simile of the Signatures in the Book of
the ilules and accounts of the cleveland
Friendly Society (Three Pages) ... ., •J.'.'A





It is a somewhat difficult task to discover any particulars of the
origin or formation of a pack of hounds when no records have
been kept, when the country hunted has lain for generations
out of the beaten track of the sporting world. But this much is
certain, that hunting of some sort was in vogue in the Cleveland
district at the commencement of last century, for while I write
there lies beside me on the table an old but handsomely bound
volume, entitled ' The Book of the Rules and Accounts of the
Cleveland Friendly Society, begun November the thirteenth in
the year 1722.' This society was started from the reasons stated
on the first page : ' Whereas the happiness of all Countrys does
chiefly consist in a Correspondence and friendship of one Neigh-
bour with another, and nothing contributing so much towards
it as the frequent conversing of the Gentlemen together, who
may thereby quash all Idle Stories that are too often spread
about the Country to the Disuniting of some Families and the
great prejudice of others. And we having our forefathers in
this Neighbourhood as a pattern, who did formerly Live in the
most Intimate and Amicable manner, open friendly, and oblio -
ing to each other, and being desirous to imitate so good an
Example, and Conceiving Visits at our private Houses not so
frequent as desirable besides being unavoidably subject to some-
thing of Ceremony they cannot be so conducible to that good end

B 2


as a free meeting at some publick-House would be under proper
Regulations to prevent disorders, Have therefore mutually agreed
to meet AVeekl y on Tuesdays at some publick-House, as shall be
agreed on from Time to Time And to conform our Selves to the
following Rules,' the first of which rules provides ' That no person
be admitted to be a Member of the Society but such as shall
first publickly lay his Right Hand upon a Hunting Horn and
declare himself no Enemy to Cocking, Smocking, Fox-hunting,
and Harriers And shall endeavour to discover all poachers,
and shall promise to the utmost of his power to promote the
Interest of the Society, and shall Subscribe his Name owning his
Consent to the Underwritten Rules, Clergymen to be Excused
of the word Smocking and laying their hand on the Hunting
Horn.' Here we see a reference to fox-hunting that demon-
strates clearly that it was a pursuit dear to the hearts of the
families of Cleveland at this date, though certainly fox-hunting
is not mentioned, according to the author's notions, in the proper
order of precedence. There is only one other rule (the eighth)
that refers to hunting : ' That the Dinner be set upon the Table
on all Seasonable Hunting Days at 2 o'Clock, and on those
that are not so at half an hour after Twelve.' ^

I believe that in the old leases of the property at Roxby
owned by the Turton family there was always a clause inserted
obliging the tenant to keep a fox-hound and to hunt him till
May Day, in order to destroy the moor foxes during that time
of year when they were likely to commit depredations among
the lambs on the moors. It was also customary on this and
other estates to provide each tenant that hunted, kept a hound,
or walked a puppy with a red coat every year — a custom which
could not fail to encourage the sport, and one that might be
imitated nowadays with great advantage.

' For the information of the curious the whole of the rules relating'to this
societ}' and regulating the drinking customs of it have been ;_added '^in the
Appendix, together with the names of the first signatories and further interest-
ing and amusing particulars.

MR. turner's hounds, 1 775. 5

Beyoud these there is little documentary evidence relating
to fox-hunting in Cleveland. There are two poems relating to
the chase in Cleveland which may interest the reader, which
not only exhibit the fact that fox-hunting was indulged in at
the time they were wi-itten, but that they had reached that
advanced stage when the hunt could boast some sporting bards.
The earliest of these songs is


A Ballad occasioned by a most remarkable Fox Chase with
Mb. Turnee's Hounds, on the 1st day of December, 1775.

Attend ! jolly sportsmen, I'll sing you a song,
Which cannot fail pleasing the old and the young,
I'll sing of a famous old fox and his wiles,
And lead you a dance of at least fifty miles ;
I'll tell you a tale of such men and such hounds,
With what courage they bound o'er all sorts of grounds :
How dogs vie Avith dogs, and how men with men strive ;
Old Draper may rue that he was not alive.

At Hurworth fam'd village, as soon as 'twas light,

We feasted our eyes with a ravishing .'^iglit ;

Each sportsman had pleasure, and health in his face,

And horses and hounds were all ripe for the chase.

But first the Commander-in-Chief I should name

The lord of Kirkleatham of right honest fame,

A friend to good men, but profess'dly a foe

To villains of four legs as well as of two.

We had not tried long, before Rafter gave mouth

Esteem'd by the pack, as the standard of truth ;

They quickly fly to him, and instant declare

That Rafter was I'ight ! for a fox had been there.

' In this remarkable run Mr. Turner rode three horses ; he got his second
horse from ^Mr. Jennett at Ormesby. There is no evidence that they killed
their fox. Tide Note I. Addenda, p. 255.

Peter Beckford, in his Thoughts on TTunting, gives us an illustration of
fox-hunters regaling — the dining-room at Kirkleatham Hall, with portraits of
those who were out on this memorable occasion. Mr. Turner is at the head of
the table, and Wilkinson in his cap is one of the most prominent portraits.
Tiic original picture was by Luke Clennell.


And, trust me ! he proved a notorious blade.

His name was 'old Cesar,' and plunder his trade.

His namesake in all the great battles he won,

Spilled less blood by gallons than this rogue had done.

TJnlien'lling at Eryholme he first tried a round,

In which he might run about four miles of ground,

Then back to the earths, but the stopper took care

To baulk him from making his quarters good there ;

Disdaining such treatment, he flourished his brush,

And seemed to say ' sportsmen I care not a rush,'

I'll give you such proofs of my stoutness and speed

That Nimrod himself would have honovired the breed.

By Smeaton, and Hornby, he next took his way,

Resolved to make this a remarkable day.

Then wheel'd to the left for the banks of the Tees,

But there he could meet neither safety nor ease,

Now finding with what sort of hounds he'd to deal,

And that his pursuers were true men of steel.

He push'd to gain shelter in Craythorne wood.

The hounds at his brush all eager for blood.

The field all alive, now we smoaked him along.

So joyous the music, each note was a song.

All round us was melody, spirit and joy ;

And strong emulation enliven'd each eye.

Next passing by Marten and Ormesby Hall,

He seemed to say ' little I value you all ' ;

For many a stout horse v.'as now dropping his speed ;

And to see them tail oflfwas diverting indeed.

Now found to be thought no contemptible fox.

He dared us to follow vip qiountains and locks :

But th' ascent was so steep and so painfully won,

That few gained the Hall ' before he was gone ;

To Kirkleatham jiark he next points his career,

Hard pressed by the owner to spend his life there,

Assuring him he and his guests would not fail

All possible honour to render his tail ;

But Turner being now left alone on the field.

And finding old Cesar unwilling to yield,

At Kilton thought proper to finish the strife

So call'd ofi" the dogs to give Cesar his life,

' Eston HaU.


But Blue Bell and Bonny-lass would have a meal

Whose hearts are of oak, and whose loins are of steel,

So follow'd him up to his friends of the Mill,

Where triumphant they seized him and feasted their fill.

Then just like attraction twixt needle and pole,

All center'd that evening in Kirkleatham Hall,

Where the bottle of red, and the foxhunting bowl,

Not only refreshed but exalted the soul,

Then, may the kind host long continue to grace

His country, his mansion, and also the chace,

And long as old time shall be measured by clocks,

May a Turner for ever prevail o'er a Fox.'

Now this ballad concerns Mr. Turner s hounds, and lie finds
this ' no contemptible fox ' at Hurworth. I believe that Mr. Turner
hunted the low-lying portions of Cleveland, the neighbourhood
of Kirkleatham, and as far west as Hurworth. Packs were not
advertised in those days, and were designated sometimes by their
owner's name and sometimes by the name of the country they
hunted. There is little doubt that it was the same pack as Mr.
Turner's hounds that so distinguished themselves on the day
commemorated in the following verses; here, however, the hounds
are called the ' Cleveland Fox Hounds.'

composed by w. s. hendrick and j. burtell.

The Chace rux by the Cleveland Fox Hounds on Saturday the
29th day of January, 1785.

Ye hardy sons of Chace give ear,

All listen to my Song ;
'Tis of a Hunt performed this Year,
That will be talk'd of long.
When a hunting we do go, oho, oho, oho.
And a hunting we will go, oho, oho, oho,
And a hunting we will go, oho, oho, oho,
With the Huntsman Tally ho.

' Mr. Chas. Turner and Lord John Cavendish represented York City from
1768-74-80, Mr. Geo. Lane Fox, a Tory, having formerly been one of the


On Weanj Bank ye know the same,

Unkennell'd was the Fox •
Who led us, and our Hounds of Fame,

O'er Mountains, Moors and Rocks.
When a Hunting we do go, &c.

'Twas Craytkorn first swift Reynard made.

To Limton then did fly ;
Full speed pursu'd each hearty blade,

And join'd in jovial cry.

With the Huntsman Tally ho.

To Worsal next he took his flight,

Escape us he wou'd fain ;
To Picton next with all his might,

To CraytJiorn back again,

With the Huntsman Tally ho.

To Weary Bank then takes his course,

Thro' Fanny Bell's gill flies ;
In Seymour Car strains all his force,

His utmost vigour tries,

With the Huntsman Tally ho.

To T anion, NuntJiorp, next he flies.
O'er Langhrough Rig goes he ;

He scours like Light'ning o'er the meads.
More swift Fox could not be,

Nor with a Huntsman better matched, &c.

To Newton, then to Roseherry,

To Hutton Locherass gill ;
To Lownsdale, o'er Court Moor go we,

From thence to Kildale Mill,

With the Huntsman Tally ho, &c.

By this our Zeal was not subdu'd,

All crosses were in vain ;
To Kildale Reynard we pursu'd,

To Lovmsdale back again,

With the Huntsman Tally ho, itc.


By Percy Cross and Sleddale too,

And nily Riy full fast,
As Fox could run to ShjlderskeiVy

And Lockicood Beck he past,

With the Huntsman Tally ho, ifec.

By Freehrourfh Hill he takes his way.

By Danhy Lodge also ;
With ardour we pursue our prey,

As swift as Hounds could go.

With the Himtsman Tally ho, kc.

By Coal Pits and o'er Stonecjate Moor,

To Scaling Reynard ran ;
Was such a Fox e'er seen before ?

His equal shew who can !

When a Hunting we do go, (fee.

To Barnhy now by Ugthorp Mill,

And Micklehy likewise;
To Ellerhy, to Uinderwell,

Still stubborn "Reynard flies.

With the Huntsman Tally ho, kc.

The Huntsman now with other three,^

And Reynard you'll suppose ;
Ten couple of Hounds of high degree,

One field now did inclose,

With the Huntsman Tally ho, ko..

But now our Chace draws near an end.

No longer we'll intrude ;
For on the Cliff", rejoice my Friend,

Swift Reynard there we view'd,

With the Huntsman Tally ho, etc.

Sure such a Chace must wonder raise,

And had I time to sing,
The Huntsman's deeds who merits praise,

Would make the valleys ring,

When a Hunting we did go, kc.

' Thomas Cole, Huntsman; Eev. George Davison j ChristoiDher Rowntree,
junr. ; William Stockdale.


Come sportsmen all your Glasses fill,

And let the toast go round ;
May each Foxhunter flourish still,

In Health and Sti-ength abound,

When a Hunting we did go, (to.'

I give a less polished ballad descriptive of tliis run : —


You True Sons of Nimrod lend a ear to my Song,
While I sing of a Chase above sixty miles long,
With a Cleveland Staunch Pack and a set of such men
As will seldom, if ever, be met with again.

Chorus — Holla ! ark, ark away ! tallio, ark away !
And a follow was there — tallio, ark away !

On the 29tli of January, as Alura woke the day,
All prepared in the field to join, hark, hai-k away !
First in Rudby far bank in vain we did try,
Then to Crathorne strong Cover so eagerly did try.
Holla ! ark, ark away, kc.

Our hounds when thrown off did maloudislely sing;
Sweet Echo makes woods, dales, and valleys to ring.
The noise, close in cover, soon alarmed Rennard's ear.
For he heard that his persures was drawing too near.
Holla ! ark, ark away, ttc.

When Eennard got up he ' my Lads ' seemed to say,
* I will warrant you have met with your match here to-day ;
Your hounds' threatening notes, and ye sportsmen so stout,
Will find me such a game one as will scorn to give out.'
Holla I ark, ark away, kc.

Now a circle of ten miles he the country tripped o'er.
Resolved to see his old Lodgings once more ;
From thence did he pass into Fanny Bell Gill,
For his hardy persuers seemed to care not a pin.
Holla I ark, ark away, &c.

Through Seymour ward Cars and over Nunthorp deep stell.
Then ascended the top of Great Roseberry Hill —

' Vide Addenda, p. 256.


A place of known safety — he scorned for to stay,
So he chose the wild moore for to show them fair play.
Holla ! ark, ark away, etc.

Some one of our Chiefs got up Roseberry Hill ;
Sir William took water in Niinthorp deep stell;
Sir John, with some more of the Nimrod's true race,
Was resolved to follow and see this fine chace.
Holla ! ark, ark away, &c.

Through Lowsdale, over Court Moor, and past Kildale Mill,
The Huntsman began for to use all his skill ;
Finding horses and hounds of their speed quite forsaken,
And afraid this sly Creature would not be o'ertaken.
Holla ! ark, ark away, &c.

Then struggling for Honner, and had cause to maintain,
In persuit of this fox, so speedy and brave.
Past West House and Thunderbush he lead with pleasure ;
Then he jodged along to Scaling Dam all at his own leisure.
Holla ! ark, ark away, &c.

Over hills, dales, and moors each strove for to follow
The hounds cheerful notes, and the huntsmen did hollo;
Till arriving with difficulty at Ellerby town,
Some walked, some stood still, some were forst to lay down.
Holla ! ark, ark away, &c.

Sly Rennard, now finding himself free from danger.
Would see more of the country, being a stranger ;
Then looking around him a mile or two more,
Came to Hinderwell Clifis and Runswick's wild shore.
Holla ! ark, ark away, &c.

The Rocks, for his safety, they found him a place,
So triumphant we finished a six-hours chace.
When he was bid a good night by three lads of best blood,
And the rest stopt here and there and got home as they could.
Holla I ark, ark away, &c.

Here we see again that they find their fox beyond what are
now considered the confines of the Cleveland Hunt, but this
may be easily explained. In those days Masters of Hounds


were not limited in tlie North to any exact boundary in hunt-
ing, but it became customary not to encroach on the hunting
grounds of those who were in the habit of drawing the country ;
and in Yorkshire at this early date, although the Earl of
Darlington hunted the country pretty much where he liked, Mr.
Turner's, alias 'The Cleveland,' Hounds would find a large tract
of country, now divided between the Hurworth and Cleveland,
in which he could hunt without any interference from others.
Then the higher grounds of Cleveland, the Cleveland Hills, and
the country south and east of Guisbrough, were hunted by the
trencher-fed packs in farmers' hands ; the Roxby Hounds
hunting the country between Guisbrough and Whitby; the
Bilsdale hunting Bilsdale and the southern range of the Cleve-
land Hills with their intersecting valleys ; while the Farndale
luinted in Farndale and Rosedale, and the Sinnington in the
Helmsley district.

The Roxby Hounds are then the ones with which we have
to deal chiefly, as forming the foundation of the present pack ;
for in 1817, fox-hunting being at low ebb, the hunting gentry
and farmers met together and discussed how Cleveland should
be properly hunted, and they christened the Roxby Hounds
the ' Roxby and Cleveland Hounds ' ; but of this important epoch
in the history of the hunt more anon.

The ' Roxby Hounds,' prior to 1817, hunted fox and hare on
alternate days ; and hounds always knew, so it is said, which
they had to hunt, for being thrown into covert meant fox, rang-
ing the fallows meant hare ; besides, they always cheered the
hounds by naming the quarry, and there are a few old men still
hunting with the Cleveland Hounds who remember old Tommy
Page, long after hare-hunting had been discontinued, crying
out as hounds were drawing, ' Dancer, a fox ! ' ' Slylad, a fox ! '
I believe this practice of hunting hares with fox-hounds, and of
hunting fox with harriers, was common enough (^vide p. 4, ' de-
clare himself no enemy to fox-hunting and harriers '), although


neither Slylacl nor Dancer, nor any other lionnd in the pack,
dreamt of finding anything but fox when drawing coverts. In

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Online LibraryAlfred E. (Alfred Edward) PeaseThe Cleveland hounds as a trencher-fed pack → online text (page 1 of 19)