Such a nonplus before a fine Field never puzzled —
The nags were so thirsty they soon would haye guzzled
The rivulet dry, had they been permitted.
But then ev'ry rider the chase must have quitted.
1 A beautiful sheet of water, so called, in Warwick Park.
332 WARWICKSHIRE HUNT.
Some devilkin, spiteful, had sure been at work,
And pounded the stream in that place with his fork !
The' many Freemasons, of mysteries proud.
Were present, there was no P. G. M. in the crowd.
That an arch could erect on abutments astride
A brook only fifteen or sixteen yards wide.
Yet the Craft, it was said — ' Are all of them free
To swim thro' the water, or stop where they be.'
Here they craning remain'd for a moment, until
A. Berkeley rode up to a gate near the mill :
But here the grim goblin, his purpose to mar.
Had pitch'd the flood up to the very top bar.
To open the gate this bold effort was vain.
So the Sportsman return'd to his fellows again.
Two sovereigns now were ofFer'd a bumpkin
To open the gate — this bait Tony Lumpkin
Refus'd — for afraid of his life or his skin.
They could not entice the rude clodhopper in.
The fox and the hounds meantime cross'd the river.
So vexatious a check to a Field happen'd never ;
But in minutes a few, were all in a bustle
By watching the move of a trump nam'd C. Russell 5
Who, by turning his horse in a meadow below,
Charg'd the water, and fearless into it they go.
At a place where the brook was too wide to cover.
Being not less than fifteen or twenty yards over !
His mare jump'd right into the middle in view.
And they both disappeared for seconds a few.
Had fam'd Humphrey Clinker been there, at one tug.
He'd have fetch'd him ashore by the tip of his lug.
MR. THORNHILL.— 1835. 333
By a slip at the take up, or else by the force
Of the strong foaming current, the hard-struggling horse
Upon his right side was completely turn'd over.
When the rider slipp'd off — then each to recover
Tlic surface strove resolute — distress'd, out of breath —
A most desp'rate chance, now — for life or for death !
Both emerg'd — the mare swam to the opposite ground.
Where the bold daring rider was instantly found !
This wonderful enterprise having achiev'd, '
Of the danger, tho' not of the water, reliev'd.
He mounted again — whilst the whole of the party
The welkin made tremble with cheers loud and hearty !
Overtaking, at Cubbington Wood, the stanch hounds,
Hence they rattled the caitiff along o'er the grounds —
Thro' Weston and Waverley Woods, towards Ryton ;
Tho' only five left, they still press "d more tight on
Their game — old pug was dead beat, and forced to yield
To this prime little pack — and brave Russell — the Field !
Thus ended the season of 1834-35, and although this
day's sport was not to be compared to many that had taken
place during the season, yet the disappointment and delay
at the river most probably prevented a good run.
The hounds were appointed to hunt 106 days, and they
killed and accounted for 83 foxes. There was no meet for
several days in consequence of the frost, and at times the
sport was relinquished for want of scent. Many of those
meets, which may be called bloodless, produced good
hunting runs, and not a few of them tried severely both
man and horse.
334 WARWICKSHIRE HUNT.
The success of the Warwickshire last year, w as such
as to cause a great sensation among the Sporting Men, and
the assemblage at Leamington proves that it has not been
forgotten. The attendance of Ladies at several of those
fixtures which were within reasonable distances added much
to the beauty of the scene. — a leamingtonian. 1
1 Ladies, singly and in groups, have often graced tlie meet of the
Warwickshire Hounds, but we are not certain that any of them liave
ever made a practice of joining in tlie chase. ' I am not aware, (says
a correspondent to a Sporting Paper recently published,) of any picture
more beautiful than an elegant female on horseback ; Lady Grosvenor
is a striking exemplification, whom I have repeatedly seen at the
fixtures for the Cheshire hounds. I never observed her cross the
country. Her Ladyship's presence at the fixture was highly gratifying ;
it gave a degree of interest to the scene which w^ould not have been
derived from any other source. Amidst the busy jocularity of such
a meeting, there might indeed be seen the homage which high birth
and distinguished rank paid to loveliness and beauty. Lady Grosvenor
remains to witness the finding of the fox ; and when he goes away, if
he happens to take a direction that will enable her to see the run, she
rides along the lanes, crosses the enclosures, where gates or openings
happen to be convenient, and continues in this way as long as she can.
I think I once observed her up at the death of a fox. Lady Grosvenor
is an excellent rider. Lady Helen Lowther is the boldest female rider
I ever saw. This lady appears in scarlet, completely equipped for the
chase. She meets the Earl of Lonsdale's foxhounds, mounted upon
steady superb steeds, and rides uncommonly well. Upon one occasion,
when the fixture was at Little Daulby, three miles from Melton, I saAV
Lady Lowther put her beautiful bay horse along with great spirit and
MR. THORNHILL.— 1835.
MR. THORNHILLS FOXHOUNDS,
Duke of Beaufort's \'anguard , .
Lord Segrave's Pagan
Mr. Horlock's Farmer
Duke of Beaufort's Workman
Duke of Rutland's Whipster
Duke of Rutland's Whipster
Mr. Horlock's Farmer
Sir H. Goodricke's Manager
Lord Scarborough's Justice
Mr. Moreton's Rocket
Duke of Rutland's Whipster
Duke of Rutland's Rummager. .
Lord Tavistock's Hazard
Mr. Osbaldeston's Boaster
Mr. Osbaldeston's Boaster
Mr. Drake's Vanquish
Duke of Rutland's Chanter
Duke of Rutland's Craftsman
Mr. Drake's Murmnrcr
MR. THORNHILL.— 1835.
Duke of Rutland's Lounger . .
Duke of Rutland's Chanter . .
Duke of Rutland's Chanter . .
Duke of Rutland's Lucifer
Mr. Drake's Murmurcr
Duke of Rutland's Rummager . .
Mr. Horlock's Farmer
Number of Hounds, 104.
338 WARWICKSHIRE HUNT.
Mr, Thornhill continued Master for this season,
1835-36, and as every care had been taken, and arrange-
ment made, to open the sporting campaign with eclat, and
pursue it with effect, another splendid succession of sport
was anticipated by the friends of the Hunt,
As Bill Boxall had left the hounds at the end of the
last season, Tom Day was appointed huntsman ; Jack
Ransom first whij) ; and Jack Day, son of the huntsman,
Those Sportsmen who had at times been present at the
cub-hunts, were of opinion that an improvement had taken
place in the foxes. They were stout and wild, and the
Master had been very anxious to have them well dispersed
through the covers.
The first meet this season was on Monday, the 2nd of
November, 1835, at Houndshill, the seat of the worthy
The weather was extremely unfavourable, and the scent
so bad that we had no sport, of any consequence, for some
weeks. On the 28th of November, the hounds found an
old dog fox on Brailes Hill, and after a very severe run, with
only one check, killed on Compton Hill. At the end the
Field was very select.
MR. THORNHILL.— 1835. 339
BY NECK OR NOTHING.
HALFORD BRIDGE, NOV. 28tH.
* For the chase now prepare,
See the hounds snuff the air,
Hark, liark ! to the huntsman's sweet halloo.*
We drew Honington Coppices, blank, and went from
thence to Brailes. On drawing Mr. Sheldon's covers,
near the village, an old dog fox was immediately hallood
away, and from the bold manner he came up the hill, and
faced a field of at least one hundred, there was no doubt of
his being a good one. For a few minutes he kept skirting
the gorses on the hill, but pointing to the valley ; at the last
bit of gorse he put his head straight for the open country.
No doubt now remained of a run, and to get to the hounds
immediately, or lose the enjoj^ment of it, was certain.
At the first check about 14 out of the Field were letups
this was about a mile from Brailes Hill, and the check, of
not more than a minute, was occasioned by our game
having run through a flock of sheep. Reynard then went
away over Weston Brook by the mill, across a stiff country
to Weston Open Field, leaving Weston House to the left,
across the London Road, over Wolford Heath, and then
straight for the Stour. The river was nothing more than a
full-sized brook in this place, but it was wide enough to stop
the career of many a good one.
From this point the Field was very select, and none but
a good horse, in superior condition, could go the pace over
this stiff and hilly country. Our fox then made his point,
apparently, for Barton Grove, but leaving that to the right
he went on for Chesterton. Being viewed every now and
then, the last struggle, from its severity, became an object
340 WARWICKSHIRE HUNT.
of great anxiety to the Sportsmen who were fortunate
enough to keep their places to the end of the run, and the
fox was at length killed by the gallant bitch-pack, in the
The distance, from point to point, was not less than
nine miles, which we ran, with but one check, in the space
of 41 minutes. Very few were near the hounds at the death,
viz. : Mr. John Lucy, Mr. R. Greaves, Mr. Horridge,
Mr. Hues, of Cherrington, Mr. Hurlstone, and Mr.
Smith, of Pebworth, on his famous little chesnut mare.
The huntsman on Shamrock was well up to the heel of
THE SAME, BY NEAR-PAD.
The field, this morning, was not very numerous, but
many of those who were present were known to be of the
right stamp. We drew Honnington coppices, blank ; and
went to Brailes, where we found directly, hallooing our fox
away in good style. He went off to Sutton North, by Sir
G. Phiups's, of Weston, over Little Wolford Heath, and
then turned to the left, over the brook up Long Compton
Hill, and he was killed in a barn yard at the top.
The distance was not very great, but the pace was
tremendous, and many of the field were thrown out by the
brook we had to cross. Amongst those who had the good
luck to witness the whole of the run, were — Mr. J. Lucy,
on a bay horse, Mr. R. Greaves, Mr. W. Hurlstone,
Mr. Horridge, Mr. Smith, of Pebworth, Mr. Bicknell,
Mr. Wallington, jun. Mr. Waddams, on Red Rose, and
a few others. This was as fine a run as any one could wish
MR. THORNHILL.— 1636. 341
DUNCHURCH, JAN. 7. 1
We found, this morning, at Bunker's Hill, and reynard
leaving Dunchurch on the right, passed Birdingbury, and
then ran through Frankton Wood. Turning short back at
this point, he made direct for Birdingbury again, and we
killed him on the earths at that place. The run lasted 45
minutes, and the pace was very sharp. 2
I In this, as well as in tlie more northern parts of tlie county,
there are several gentlemen who often join the Warwickshire, and who
are ardent supporters of the chase.
The Earl of Craven is a spirited and zealous friend of the chase.,
and in the extensive woods on his Lordship's domain about Combe,
the foxes are well preserved. His Lordship, in 1834 and 1835, hunted
a pack of stag-hounds, which were then given up for the more cheerful
and exhilirating amusement of dashing after the fox.
The chase has also a warm and able supporter in that gallant
Sportsman, Lord John Scott. The great Northern Novellist relates a
singular anecdote of the strength and courage of one of his liordship's
ancestors, from whence the title of Buccleugh, since retained by that
ancient and honorable house, was derived.
Captain Ibbert is an ardent friend of the sport, and a bold and
good rider. Not to start a fox from one of the gallant Captain's covers,
would create nearly as much disappointment in the Field, as to meet
with an inhospitable reception at the threshold of a Warwickshire
Mr. Applethwaite is a Sportsman of gi-eat talent and experience ;
he succeeded Sir John Gerard in the management of the Atherstone
hounds in 1831, and continues to hunt them, with equal credit to
himself, and gratification to the surrounding country, down to the
2 Mr. Thornhill, on Creeper, met with an accident in- the course
of this run, which confined him to his house for a few days.
342 WARWICKSHIRE HUNT.
Jan. 9. — A very fair day's sport was afforded by the
Warwickshire on this day, when the meet was at Epwell
White House. There was a very good field out, and the
hounds having been thrown into the coverts at Lord Nor-
thampton's, soon unkenneled a prime fox, which led us
gallantly away direct to Mr. Thornhill's gorse, passed
Hell Brake, and then pointed for Brailes. Leaving that
village to the right, he led us on at a good hunting pace to
Sibbard, where we killed him, after a run of one hour and
BY A LOVER OF THE CHASE.
EATINGTON VILLAGE, JAN. 10.
We met, this morning, at Eatington Village, and drew
Eatington Gorse, where we found a fox, ran him for ten
minutes about the grove, and then lost him. We next drew
Alveston Pastures, where we quickly unkenneled, and ran
our game through Fir Grove, and across Mr. West's New
Plantations. Here turned to the right and went straight
nearly to Alderminster, but ran to ground in a drain under
Churchill Farm ; we got him out and killed him.
We returned to Alveston Pastures, and were not dis-
appointed in our hopes that this favorite cover would afford
us a good finale to the day's sport. The pack very soon
unkenneled the third fox, and he led us gallantly away
through Fir Grove, on to Houndshill, then nearly to Oakum
Farm, where he turned to the left, leaving Loxley Village
to the right, and again took shelter in the Pastures. W^e
did not suffer him to remain here long, and had no sooner
driven him out than he again dashed off by the Heath Farm,
where he turned short to the left, and brushed, at a good
pace, through Fir Grove.
MR. THORNHILL.— 1836. 343
Pug led lis bravely over part of JNIr. West's estate to
Foxhill Bank, where he crossed the Stoiir, and the hounds
were whipped off, as it became too dark to continue, near
to Preston-iipon-Stour. Had the hght permitted us to
have gone on, we must speedily have turned poor reynard
up, who was seen by the himtsman in the next field trailing
his brush at a pace not faster than a man could walk, and
quite done up.
The first fox from the Pastures led us a ring of 3.5
minutes j and the last had taken the mettle out of the best
nags after a run of an hour and fifty-five miimtes, at the
best pace, over a stiff country, and, in my opinion, decidedly
the worst part of Warwickshire.
The following gentlemen were amongst the best in this
day's sport : Mr. Bolton King, on a thorough-bred bay
mare ; Mr. T. Cumines, on a grey mare j Mr. J. Wadhams,
of Grafton, on a chestnut ; Mr. John Dadley, on a bay
horse of Mr. E. Cockbtll's ; and the Huntsman, on the
bay. Most of the horses that went to the end were led
home, and this was decidedly the best day's sport with the
Warwickshire this season.
BY SPANK- A WAY.
Jan. 23. — Met at Upton House, and found in the New
Gorse, ran our fox a ringing chase of an hour and ten
minutes, and killed him.
Feb. 6. — Met at Wellesbourne, found in the Wood,
and after running pug for 50 minutes, he went to groimd
at Walton. Unkenneled a second fox at Brickhill Gorse,
whicli on getting away left Lord Northampton's to the
344 WARWICKSHIRE HUNT.
right, Pillerton to the left, and bore away for Edge Hill,
where we killed him after a good hunting run of one hour
and ten minutes with a fair holding scent.
The last meet of the Warwickshire, this season, was
on Saturday, March 26th, at Eatington Village.
THE LAST TIME FOR THE SEASON.
' The last time for the season,' I shudder to hear !
It is the knell of the past, and mingles with fear,
With our hopes of the future ; it draws forth a sigh
As we think of the seasons how quickly they fly ;
By inquisitive looks the last meet you will know,
And the answers to questions of, where do you go ?
I'm for London this spring — and I'm off for the Rhine —
At Ascot and Epsom I'm determined to shine —
To France says another — then Geneva's the word,
And every place under the heavens is heard.
As to summering the horse queries are raised,
And both Nebuchadnezzar and Nimrod are praised.
Some studs like the former are predestined to range,
And cull their own sallad by the side of a grange ;
While others are doomed to be immured in a shed,
And as Nimrod prescribes, on good oats to be fed ;
Each system has merits with propriety used,
Its ills in abundance, if discretion's abused.
The young horse of full habit, to fever inclined.
Let him live upon grasses, and breathe in the wind ;
But the old one, whose blood has been temper'd by age.
You may feed like a turkey and keep in a cage.
A foot that is brittle should be placed in the dew,
Whilst the soft and the pliant on litter may do.
One leg without injury may traverse the ground.
But its hardness another will render unsound.
Adopt then the system your own horse may require,
Or you'll live to become a perpetual buyer.
' The last time for the season,' reminds me to say
Farewell to our friends who are hastening away;
May pleasures attend them wheresoever they roam,
And pleasures more exquisite then Avelcome them home I
MR. THORNHILL.— 1836. 345
Scent lay very bad for nearly the whole of the season.
This complaint was not confined to this district, only, but
prevailed, more or less, throughout the whole country.
A more serious drawback to the wind-up of the season
arose from another source. At the beginning of January it
became evident that the hounds were afflicted with some
disease. The bitches suffered most severely from this
attack, and by March nine couple and a half of the best of
them, and five couple of the best of the dog hounds died.
A similar disorder attacked one or two other kennels.
This misfortune reduced the hunting from four to three
days a week. Yet, the Warwickshire hounds had a few
excellent days ; and a full share of sport, when compared
with any of the neighbouring hunts.
Mr. Thornhill gave up the hounds at the end of this
season ; and, as the lease of the kennel at Butler's Marston
had expired, they were taken to Wellesbourne. 1
1 In the course of tlii.s season, new and commodious stables and
kennels were erected at Sliottery, within one mile of Stratford-upon-
Avon, to which place the establisliment is now removed.
Mr. R. Barnard is esteemed in the Hunt as a bold and sliilful
rider ; and no fence is too high or too wide for him, that his horse can
cover. No Sportsman measures liis ground better, or rides with more
judgment than this Gentleman.
Captain Shirley, son of Mr. E.J.Shirley, of Eatington, when in
this neighbourhood, regularly hunts witli the Warwickshire, and is a
bold rider, and good Sportsman.
Mr. Holyoake, of Studley Castle, now Sir F. L. H. Goodricke,
Bart, used frequently to be seen in the field with the Warwickshire.
The Wamvickshire hounds remained at Wellesbonrne
during the next season, 1836-7, xmder the management of
Mr. Shirley, Mr. Townsend, Mr. B. Granville,
Mr. HoLDEN, and Mr. Barnard.
Tlie Warwickshire Hunt Ball, for 1836, was held in the Shakspeare
Hall, at Stratford-upon-Avon, on Tuesday Evening, the 12th of January.
The Meeting- was one of unusual splendour and mag'nificence, heinsc
composed of nuist of the noble and distinguished families in this part of
the ("(Huity. Not less than l^SO personages «ere present. Tlie Members
were dressed in the uniform of the Warwickshire Hunt. Officiating
Stewards — Joseph Townsend, Ksq., Captain Cunynghanie, R. Barnard,
Ksq., and Arthur Sliirlev, Esq.
MR. THORNHILL.— 1836.
MR. THORNHILLS STUD.
Mr. Thornhill sold his stud of twenty-three hunters,
at Tattersall's, on the 23rd of May, 1836. They brought
the following sums : —
Mr. lielchwald . .
. . Mr. Alexander Spiers
The Tartar . .
Bought in at
Lord Gardiner . .
Mr. Massey Stanley
. . Ivord Lilford
Sir Francis Goodricke .
Latitat ^. .
. . Mr. Yates
Gainsborougli . .
Lord Dorchester. .
Lord Darlington . .
The Architect . .
Miss Preston . .
Mr. George Payne
Mr. Thornhill sold every horse from his stable btit
348 WARWICKSHIRE HUNT.
This place, which thirty years ago was nothing more
than a httle irregular village, is now become a large and
populous town. Macbeth was not more astonished at the
mysterious approach of Birnam Wood towards Dunsinane,
than an absentee for that period would be on his sudden
return to this delightful watering-place.
The Spa had not long emerged from its primitive
rusticity, than it presented to visitors a happy combination
of comfort and amusement. Gentlemen, who came into
the country to join the Warwickshire Hunt, made it their
head-quarters during the Season ; the progress of improve-
ment was rapid and successful ; and in the course of a short
time, few localities could turn out a more gay assemblage
of red-coats than Leamington.
The Sportsman, when here, may be said to reside in
the very centre of his favovirite amusement. The Warwick-