Found reynard, a bad one, at Itc)iington Holt,
He was loth to shew play, but they forced him to bolt 3
A short respite in Chesterton Wood did obtain.
Being afraid to come out, tho' he could not remain.
What hound pull'd him down not the huntsman could tell,
But he soon lost his life â and ignobly he fell. 1
MEET WALTON WOOD, DECEMBER 17tH.
We met the Warwickshire, this morning, at Walton
Wood, near the seat of Sir J. Mordaunt, whex-e a fine
day's sport was shewn. There was a burning scent, and the
hounds ran away from every one for 20 minutes, the Field
being obliged to go round for a bridge over the ri\ er, which
We found again at Bowshot, at two o'clock, and after
three attempts to go, he put his head straight for the Edge
Hills, going over a fine country of about ten miles extent.
When the hounds got upon the hill, as is too often the case,
they got upon a fresh fox, and it being impossible to stop
them, away they went. Mr. Hay followed the line of the
hounds until it got quite dark, when not knowing the country
1 Mr. Hay had what he called his small pack, and those hounds
he brought from Wiltshire, out to-day.
Mrs. Shakerley, (lady of Mr. Shakerley, jun- of Somerford Hall,
Cheshire,) was upon her beautiful horse, ' The Golden Ball.' She is a
French lady of high birth, and the most graceful horsewoman I ever
176 WARWICKSHIRE HUNT.
he was obliged to give in ; and although Bill Boxall, the
whipper-in, succeeded in getting hold of some of them, a
part were out all night.
It so happened, that, from the several baffling attempts
this fox made to break from Bowshot Wood, the covert
where he was found, very few got well away w-ith the
hounds. All the Warwickshire old hands, to a man, were
thrown out ; and some of them, together with myself, never
knew which way the hounds were gone. Vexations like
these prove that it is better to go through a covert after the
hounds, at certain times, than keep outside it, with a hope
of a good start, which may never be realized.
Mr. F. Holland, and Mr. Patrick, on his famous
little mare, Mr. Cockbill, jun. and Mr. Dew^p:s, had the
best ; Mr. Holland and Mr. Meyrick, having the cream.
Mr. Meyrick went gallantly on his favourite old horse
Jack, but having over-marked him a little in crossing a deep
wheat field, declined at the last.
The horses were so distressed, that not one of them
would face a small fence, until a little puff was afforded
them, when Mr. Cockbill got over. Mr. H. Wyatt, Mr.
H. Campbell, Mr. Fellowes, and Mr. Sheldon, (the
flower of the Warwickshire riders,) were all imfortunate in
not getting away. All the hounds but one had arrived by
the next day.
Mr. Seagrave and Mr. Hay, were also well up to the
hounds. Major Bridgeman was thrown head-first into a
wide brook, but when he got out he remounted and occupied
a good place at the end. Mr. S. Bradshaw, on a little
grey horse, once the property of Mr. Hornihold, formerly
MR. HAY.â 1825. 177
master of the Worcestershire, likewise had a forward place
in the run. There were several other well-known and good
Sportsmen out on this capital day, many of whom were
unfortunately thrown out, and the horses of others so much
beaten that they were reluctantly obliged to turn their heads
homewards. â hark halloo.
THE SAME, BY VENATOR.
' Hark ! Dian, Hark ! the game is nigh,
The huntsman in view, and the hounds in full cry !'
At Walton, 1 where foxhunters often resort.
We assembled and met with some capital sport.
Pug found â at the speed of a racer he went,
The hounds at his brush on a fine burning scent.
For twenty-five minutes â the burst of the chase,
No horse could maintain at the best of his pace.
The flood from a river swoln over its bound,
Urg'd the Field to a bridge nearly half a mile round.
From this we infer, (for the writer don't tell us,)
The fox sav'd his life â and the horses their bellows.
Found at two, at Bowshot, â the lusty old varlet
For ten miles gave a breathing to brown coat and scarlet.
On starting, direct for Edge Hill he made way.
O'er a country as fine as in turf ever lay ;
The hounds these fam'd hills had no sooner reach' d â when,
What had happen'd to others, now happen'd again ;
On the scent of a fox, a fresh one, they dropp'd,
And dash'd off so quickly they could not be stopp'd.
1 The seat of Sir John Mordaunt, Baronet, one of the Members
for the Southern Division of the county.
178 WARWICKSHIRE HUNT.
The Master still t"olkÂ»\v'd, till day's waning liglit
Was nearly obscur'd by the mantle of night ;
Some hounds Boxall gain'd by his halloo and horn.
The rest remain'd out till the break of the morn.
Ere driven from Bowshot, his favourite bounds.
Old reynard so baffled the Sportsmen and hounds.
By doubling and twisting the covert about.
The old Warwickshire hands to a man were thrown out ;
E'en NiMROD, (that excellent Sportsman,) for one.
Knew no more than a novice which way they had gone.
Vexatious, 'tis true â but it shews that to ride
Thro' a covert, is safer than keeping outside.
From whence you may never obtain a good start,
Nor e'er see the whole of the run â nor a part.
F. Holland, I and Patrick, a bold and good rider,
(A pippin of spunk from" the land of old cider,)
On his fam'd little mare, ^ Cockbill, junior, and Dewes,3
Had each a good place, which is rather old news ;
The best in the field, so to some it might seem.
Still Holland and Meyrick, prime souls, had the cream ;
How gallant the last dash'd along on the back
Of his fav'rite horse so well known as Old Jack :
In crossing a deep field of wheat push'd too fast.
The honest old fellow was beaten at last.
1 Mr. F. Holland, then well known in the Hunt, now keeps a pack
of harriers, near Evesham.
2 Lazy Bet, well known to the Warwickshire Sportsmen.
3 Mr. Dewes, of Wellesbourne.
MR. HAY.â 1826. 179
So killing the pace, and so heavy the ground.
That of all the best horses, not one could be found
E'en to face a small fence â a run more severe
Had never been witness'd by any one there ;
As trembling they stood lost breath to recover.
Young CocKBiLL, at last, by an effort got over.
WvATT, Campbell, and Fellowes, with Sheldon
(The flowV of the Warwickshire riders, we're told,)
Had not the good fortune to meet with a place
In this capital run â not excell'd in the chace !
MEET LIGirniORNE ROUGH, 1826.
We met a very good Field one morning at Lighthorne
Rough, and the weather favoured our expectations of a fine
day's sport. The worthy Master of the hounds had no
sooner thrown the pack into the cover, than away burst one
of the fastest foxes I ever saw lead a field. The hounds
were immediately halloo'd to their game, and pursued him
with an eagerness and swiftness rarely equalled. They ran
him into a drain near Gaydon town, and the distance,
near eight miles, was done in about half an hour. It
happened that Mr. Whitwick, a good sportsman of the
right sort, dined with Mr. Hay the day before the meet I
have been speaking of, and complained of the slowness of
his hounds, observing, â ' Your hounds do not go half fast
enough for me, I can ride over them.' When the fox had
broke cover, and the pack was well settled to him, Mr. Hay
said to Mr. Whitwick, ' Now ride over them if you can.'
That gentleman certainly rode uncommonly hard and well,
but he could not sail fast enough to occupy the first station,
180 WARWICKSHIRE HUNT.
being beaten by Mr. R. Greavks and Mr. Patrick. Mr.
Hay and Mr. F. Holland came up shortly after the fox
took the drain. We put the tei*rier in, and reynard was
killed as soon as he bolted.
Shortly before pug ran to ground. Dalliance and Curious,
two of the fleetest hounds in the pack, headed the others by
about 1.5 yards, shewing their great superiority over the
rest in speed ; and Mr. Hay said he would back them
against any two hounds in the kingdom.
Mr. Hay complimented Patrick on the superior man-
ner in which he led the whole Field, following, near as he
ovight, the exact line of the hounds.
We found two other foxes in the same drain, and
having turned one out, ran him a ring of 25 minutes, and
killed him near Edge Hill, after a capital run. This was
the fastest thing I ever saw with the Warwickshire, and it
proves that bone and blood are both necessary to carry a
man to the end of a good run over this country.
A Sportsman of long practice has observed, â The moment leading'
hounds are at fault, every judicious liorseman invariably moves to a
proper distance, that the body of the liounds may not be interrupted in
making tlieir casts, or get interspersed amidst the legs of the horses.
Whenever a lucky hit is made, he instantly attends to tlie hound who
made it, and upon a general recovery of the scent, goes immediately on
with the chase, for the loss of ground, at so critical a moment, it may
be sometimes veiy difficult to regain. In tlie midst of his entliusiastic
attachment to the sport before him, the safety, ease, and preservation
of his horse preponderates over eveiy other consideration. Equally a
stranger to the furor of folly, and juvenile indiscretion, a sportsman of
this description never embarks in any scheme of imprudence or unne-
cessarj- danger ; he never enters into the spirit of racing competition
during the chase, thereby distressing his horse, nor Avantonly wasting
the strength that may be so much wanted at the conclusion of a long
and very severe day.
MR. HAY.â 1826. 181
THE SAME, BY VENATOR.
Befriended by the goodly nine.
Thy muse, sweet bard, (almost divine,)
Has erst describ'd in matchless lay.
The pleasures of a sporting day. 1
Had we thy pow'rfril classic pen
Wed sing their praises o'er again j
And call in wit to aid the laws
Of learning, in the noble cause.
Invoke arch Tristram's subtle shade,
Who once the widow Wadman made
Rise on one leg, in am'rous whim.
To hear the voice of corp'ral Trim,
When he, brave fellow, did expound
My Uncle Toby's secret wound ; 2
The fire of Swift, the ease of Gay,
The wit that in the pages play
OfSHAKSPEAREj with the Theban lore
Of Walter Scott, and Tommy Moore ; 3
The flow of Burns' rich playful thought,
When he his Tam O'Shanter wrote ;
Gleaning, en passant, by the way,
The flame of Pindar, whom they say.
His pen employ' d on themes unfit,
Pindar the prince of caustic wit. 4
And magic humour freely draw
From Butler's pungent Hudibras.
1 Somerville, author of ' The Chase.'
2 Sterne's Tristram Shandy.
3 Mr. Thomas Moore, author of the Melodies, &c. &r.
4 Peter Pindarâ Dr. AVolcot.
182 WARWICKSHIRE HUNT.
Those, and a hundred poets more.
Whose works delighted we explore.
Should grace, could we their charms inspire,
Venator's Hunt of Warwickshire !
Met at Lighthorne to-day, and a mild cloudy sky
Gave us gay expectations of pleasure and joy.
The pack into cover no sooner was thrown
By the Master, than off, our best wishes to crown.
Went a fox that disdain' d in the covert to yield.
The fastest and stoutest that e'er led a field.
The moment bold reynard began to make play.
The hounds, swift and eager, were halloo'd away,
They press'd him so hard, whether up hill or down.
He took into a drain near to old Gaydon town.
The distance was nearly eight miles, if not more.
And we gallop'd the ground in about half an hour.
Whitwick, a good fellow, so all sportsmen say.
Who din'd with the Master the preceding day,
Of the speed of his pack said, ' Sir, I can see,
I could ride o'er your hounds, they're too tardy for me.'
Tis the zeal, not the fault, of good sportsmen who dine
With a friend, to ride fastest when over their wine.
When the fox had broke cover, and every hound
Was well settled down to the game they had found.
The Master, first smiling at Whitwick, his man.
Said, ' Friend, now ride over my hounds if you can 3'
And tho' he rode hard to the drain from the burst.
He never could occupy station the first ;
For R. Greaves, and Patrick, to no one gave place
In this run, which for speed much resembl'd a race.
The Master and Holland the hounds join'd again,
Soon after the fox had ran into the drain.
MR. HAY.â 1826. 183
By a terrier bolted, poor reynard was killed
By the pack in an instant, in face of the Field.
Patrick led the whole Field with great judgment to-day.
And the Master prais'd highly the manner and way.
As two other foxes remain'd in the drain,
One was quickly turn'd out â now we're at him again ;
For twenty -five minutes he led us a ring.
We kill'd near Edge Hill â 'twas a capital thing.
A horse o'er this country, by this we can tell.
Must have blood and bone, or he cannot go well.
We cannot conceive any thing more mortifying to the Master of
the hounds, the good Sportsman, or to the huntsman, than for them
to see the heedless and injudicious horsemen in the field ride amongst
the hounds at any time, or to press upon them on a cold scent, or when
they have come to a check. By the former, many a valuable hound has
been struck by a horse, and disabled or killed ; and by the two latter,
the fox has often been lost, and the sport spoiled for the day. Mr.
Corbet, mild and forbearing in his manners as he was, sometimes lost
his temper, when he could not repress the eagerness, or rather impru-
dence, of some men of this description ; but he had a singular way of
retaliating upon them for their indiscretion. When a fox had broke
cover and gone off at a rapid rate, or when the pack, after a check, had
hit him off, on an improved scent, and were following him at their best
pace, especially if up hill, he would cry out, â ' Now, gentlemen, ride
over my hounds ! Ride over them now, gentlemen ! Now, bran and
chaff ! Go along, bran and chaff, and ride over my hoimds now, if you
can !' â Then away he went, and although he seldom took even a
moderate fence, at the latter part of his time, as he rode capital horses,
he was seldom far behind at the end of a run, however long and severe,
except thrown out by one of those incidents which sometimes occur to
the boldest and best men in the field. â Bill Barrow used less ceremony
than his master in speaking of these irregularities, and the offenders
who knew him, took pretty good care to keep out of his \\'ay for a time.
Bill freqtiently gave them what is termed â a blessing !
R. Fellowes, Esq. of Talton, near Eatington, in this
county, (now of Shotesham Park, Norfolk,) succeeded Mr.
Hay in the mastership of the hounds, on receiving a gua-
rantee from the Members of the Hunt, that a sum should
be raised, by subscription, to defray the expences of the
establishment. Jack Wood was appointed huntsman.
At the commencement of this season, (1827,) the Duke
of St. Albans joined the Warwickshire, making Leamington
his head quarters. The Duchess highly approved of the
arrangement, and said, ' Well, your Grace, if you can find
amusement in the field for the day, I will endeavour to
provide for the evening ; and we will see if we cannot make
Leamington as pleasant in the winter, as it is gay in the
186 WARWICKSHIRE HUNT.
BY ACT.f:ON. 1
MEET â OLD PARK, OCTOBER 27tH, 1827.
This was what should be called a fine morning for
hunting ; the wind not too high, the weather soft and kind.
We had no sooner thrown the hounds into cover, than a fox
was away. The hounds were so close at his brush, that it
might truly be said, the fox and the hounds broke away
close together. The pack was nearly silent, they hardly
opened at first ; there was scarcely ever seen a more brilliant
burst. Away we all went, at the very best pace, to Fern-
hill, and then off to Kcuilvvorth Chace, In a few minutes
they had made that well-known preserve, called Long
Meadow Wood ; then to Tilehill, after taking in the whole
round of the woodlands which abound in that fine country.
The sound of the horn, combined with the musical voice of
the pack, were thrown into the distance, retiring from the
ear in concert of sweetest harmony. Our fox was now
â¢sinking so fast, that not a royal reprieve could have saved
him ; but luckily for him, we came upon a fresh fox, and
that incident saved his life. During the chase, some of the
old ones exclaimed, ' This day a fox must die ;' but their
predictions failed ; and it was a bloodless day.
This was an excellent run of an hour and 40 minutes.
But, to be brief, no pack in the world could hunt better ;
and although Jack Wood may not be the most brilliant
huntsman in England, yet we venture to predict, that from
his old-fashioned tactics, and admirable science, he will
shew some excellent sport, and make some of the Warwick-
shire nags cry out, ' Hold hard ! Enough !"
1 Sp. Mag-. Nov. lOtli, 1827.
MR. FELLOWES.â 1827. 187
My neighbour Fellowes has killed a good nmnber of
cubs ; the hounds are in rare order ; his men are pleased
with the manner in which he has mounted them ; and
every thing promises favourably for sport with the pack,
THE SAME, BY VENATOR.
' Arise, now, ye shiggards, and join in the chase,
Nor squander your moments away ;
The morning's the time to invififorate health.
And health makes us cheerful and f^ay.'
Into cover the hounds had no sooner been thrown.
Than old reynard, who should better manners have known.
Abruptly went oft' without waiting to say,
* Pray, gentlemen, how d'ye do r' in his way.
But rous'd as he was, he'd no time, p'rhaps, to do't.
Or no doubt he'd have giv'n us a morning salute.
The wind not too high, soft and mild too the weather,
' Away broke the fox and the hounds close together 3'
Nearly silent â the hounds hardly open'd at first.
You scarce ever saw a more brilliant burst.
Away we all went, ' at the very best pace,'
To Fernhill, and then off to Kenilworth Chace.
But a few minutes pass'd ere the Field had made good
That cover well known as the Long Meadow Wood.
To Tilehill away, taking in the whole round
Of the woodlands which in that fine country abound ;
While the sound of the horn, and the voice of the pack.
In harmony sweet grateful echo sent back ;
Sensations so pleasant don't often conspire
To heighten our joys and our bosoms to fire.
The Old Park, the prnperty of the Earl of Warwick, lies about
two miles west of the town.
188 WARWICKSHIRE HUNT.
The strength of our fox we found sinking so fast.
That a royal reprieve could not save him at last ;
But soon a fresh fox for the old one we chang'd,
And so the fine fellow again freely rangd.
The wisest, at times, may anticipate fictions.
And thus it was prov'd by the joyful predictions
Of two or three old ones, who said in the chase,
' A fox this day must die' â but it was not the case.
' Hark ! hark ag^ain ! the horn so guy,
The Tallyho ! and ' Gone away!'
The hoiinds in full melodious cry,
And horsemen o'er the fences fly.'
MEET WOLFORD WOOD, NOV. 20tH, 1827.
We found a good fox the moment the hounds entered
the wood. After taking one ring in the covert, he went
away at his best pace. Leaving Bourton on the left, he
then took through Little Compton, by Chasselton, and over
Kingham Field. We killed him at Sasden House, after a
run of an hour and ten minutes.
This was as fine a run as any sportsman could wish to
see. When we got upon Chasselton Hill, the fog rather
suddenly became so dense, that we could not see ten yards
before us, and the hounds went at such a pace, as to give
the slip to all the Field, with the exception of about eight
or ten. Mr. Fellowes, knowing well the Oxfordshire
country, made the best of his way, leading the others, to
Kingham Field, where they saw the hounds again, carrying
a most beautiful head ; they were sweeping along as close
together as a flock of pigeons.
MR, FELLOWES.â 1828. 189
MEET OXHILL VILLAGE, MARCH 4tH, 1828.
Ou drawing the coverts, this morning, we fonnd a fine
sporting fox in Hell Brake. Away he went at a rare pace
up to Brailes Hill, by Sutton North, and then turned to
the left by Brailes. Leaving Comptou Wynniatt on the
left, he made for Shutford Hill ; still bearing to the left, he
passed thi'ough Swacliff, and the hounds turned him uj) in
prime style, at Tadmarton.
This was a capital thing of an hour and 12 minutes ;
and only a select few saw the death.
Last meet this season, on Saturday, March 27th, 182S,
at Oversley Wood.
First meet this season, October 30th, 1828, at Uftou
' See my brave pack, lutw to the liead they press,
Justling in close array ; then more diffuse
Obliquely wheel, while from their op'ninf? mouths
The volley'd thunder breaks.'
MEET â CHESTEUTON WOOD, NOV. 3rD.
We first drew Itchington Heath, where we found a
brace of foxes. Took one away to Hai^bury Heath, when
he was headed short back. He then led us through Ches-
terton, Gaydon, and Chadshunt ; and the hounds ran into
him at Kineton, after a good run of an hour.
We then went to Bowshot, where we foxmd a Ijrace of
foxes ; but the weather was so hot that the hounds could
not hit off the scent.
190 WARWICKSHIRE HUNT.
MEET â MITFORD BRIDGE, DEC. !)TH.
Wc" found this morning at Barton Grove. Our fox
first took a ring in the covert, and then dashed off at his
best speed, for Long Compton. Here he turned to the
right, through Chaford Oaks ; on to Heythorpe Park 3 ran
near to Great Tew, when he turned again to the right, and
we killed him near to Ditchley.
This was a fine run of one hour and 58 minutes ; the
hounds hunted amazingly well the whole tiiue, and gave
great satisfaction to every gentleman present.
MEET FARNBOROUGH, DEC. IGtII.
Having unkennelled a fox in a gorse-brake near the
earths, he brushed off, taking a ring round Farnborough,
and then went away, at a famous split, ])y Wormleighton 5
across the country, over Boddington Hill, and through
Prior's Hardwick. He left Prior's Marston to the right,
and when he got near to Shuckborough Hill he turned
short to the right, by Catesby, where we came to cold
hunting ; wc beat our fox near to Staverton Wood, after a
good run of one hour and a half.
MEET MITFORD BRIDGE, DEC. 29tH.
We found a stanch fox, this morning, close under
Barton village, which quickly made away, at a speedy pace,
to the other side of Barton Grove, He then faced the open
fields, and ran up to the farther end of Long Compton,
without being headed, or having had a single check. We
spanked after him in good style, and the hounds, by their
speed, gradually gained ground upon their game. After
crossing the Rollright road, our fox still kept on through
the village of Over Norton, until we came within sight of
Chapel House. Lea\ing that place to the right, he swept
MR. FELLOWES.â 1828. 191
gallantly over the open grounds to Heythorpe Park. The
pack still pressed him along until he headed and took for
Sandford Park ; but how he kept his rate so long and
well before the hounds, which never once fell into cold
hunting, as the scent grew stronger the faster they went,
astonished all who kept their place in this severe and almost
matchless run. When near to Sandford village, he turned
again to the right, and shortly after, for the first time, he
was viewed by the gentlemen at the head of the field ; and
we killed, near Kiddington, as stout a fox as ever broke
away across a country.
THE SAME, BY VENATOR.
Close under Barton \ illage, pug
In kennel lay, both warm and snug,
When his gay horn the huntsman sounds
To call up a few straggling hounds,
Alarm'd, away at speed he goes.
Ere nearer came his dreaded foes.
To Barton Grove he bore away
O'er tawny tilth and pastures grey.
And soon, without a halt, made good,
Through paths well known of underwood.
The other side. Facing once more
The open fields to try his pow'r.
To Long Compton, the further end.
Our fox his rapid course did wend ;
No head from busy clown to throw
Him back upon his desp'rate foe.
Uncheck'd, the hounds their speed maintain'd.
And on their gallant leader gain'd.
Crossing the Rollright road, he still
Kept on thro' Over Norton vill ;
192 WARWICKSHIRE HUNT.
Of Chapel House we caught a sights
Then left it bearing to the right.
Sweeping across the open grounds,
He led, in style, the willing hounds
To Heythorpe Park ; but even here
No friendly refuge did appear.
Still press'd along â he headed now.
And took for Sandford Park â but how
He kept his rate so long and well
Before the pack, which never fell
Into cold hunting â the fav'ring scent
Grew stronger as they faster went,
Astonish'd all who kept their place