Knightley William Horlock.

Practical lessons on hunting and sporting online

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Online LibraryKnightley William HorlockPractical lessons on hunting and sporting → online text (page 1 of 21)
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Preparatory Lessons for young Fox-hunters and young Fox-
hounds — Schoolhig and Cub-hunting — Piomantic method
mth the ancient Eomans of entering young Hounds to
Deer — Blood will tell, as well as vice, through succeeding
generations — Necessity of early training — Something about
the killing of Cubs — Not to eat too many at one time — Cubs
are not Foxes 1


Meus novitatus est avida — Is there anything new about Fox-
hunting ? — The era of Fox-hunting in Norfolk something of
a novelty — The Prince of Wales patronizing the Sport —
Stuffed Foxes not seasonable for Sport — Abunflance of this
animal in the old Warwickshire Hunt, notwithstanding a
day's Shooting in the old style — The first Woodcock — The
Sport of the MiUion — Some reasons why Foxes do not
always run straight — Fox-hunting peculiarly a British Sport
— Its recommendations in a social point of view ... 15


Masters of Fox-hounds — Their Privileges, Duties, and Re-
sponsibilities — The Hunting-field not to be turned into a
Bear-garden — Oi Polloi — Admitted on sufferance — Certain
characters must be excluded — A case in point —

" \\ hen poor, weak women go astray,
Their stars are more in fault than they."

Man triumphs over woman's fall — Punishment in all such
cases is inflicted on the weaker sex — The Author's difficul-
ties in forming a Fox-hunting country . . . . 26



Masters of Fox-liounds divided into three classes, Independent,
Partly Dependent, Wholly Dependent — Customs and Rules
of Fox-hunting — Different Breeds of Foxes — The Author of
" The Noble Science"— Mr. Del me Radcliffe's Opinion of the
responsibilities of Masters — Tom Fool pays for all . . 43



Description of Kennels — The Hounds — Extraordinary Produc-
tion of Whelps in a Week — Members of the Belvoir Hunt a
hundred years ago — The Castle, its Origin and Antiquity —
Magnificent View from it — Princely Hospitality of the late
Duke of Rutland — Family likeness in the Pack — Their late
Huntsman, Goodall . 62


Nothing derogatory in a Nobleman or Gentleman hunting his
own Pack of Hounds — Necessary Qualifications of a Hunts-
man — A Stentorian Voice not requisite — Vox et j^rceterea
nihil — A Good Eye and a Quick Ear — The First Check —
Large Fields of Horsemen antagonistic to Sport — Changing
Scents — Beckford's Opinion — Great Fault in handling
Hounds too soon — The best runs when Hounds beat the
Horses — Fox-hunting on a cheap scale — Killing heavy
Vixens — Number of Fox - hunting EstabUshments —
Osbaldeston and Assheton Smith — Jealousies between
Huntsmen and Whiijpers-in . ..... 72


Poultry Exhibitions — Increased value of the Farm-yard Stock
— Farmers of the Old and Modern School — The Grey Mare
often the Better Horse — Farmers' Wives and Foxes don't
agree — How to scare the latter from Poultry-pens — Reynard
deterred from breakfasting on Ducklings — Fox-hunting
friendly to Farmers — Melton and the Provinces — The re-
nowned " Star of the West," Jack Russell — Rabbits more
injurious than Foxes — Game-preserving on a large scale —
Tiie Old Squire and the Cotton Lord 91




Cheap Articles generally the reverse, except Cheap Literature
— The Adventures of Bill the Butcher-boy and the Spavined
Mare — Pheasants and Foxes — The Great Battue Man and
the Little Captain — A "Jack Careless" in every Fox-
hunting Field — The use of such men to a Master — Plough-
ing with the Heifer — The Fair Sex favourable to the Sport
— A Subscri])tion Master resembhng Pussy without Claws
in a certain Dark Piegion — The advantage of giving Balls to
other animals besides Horses 106


The first Hunting Countries — Winter quarters — Melton too
fast a place for any save fast men — Leamington, Chelten-
ham, Bath, Northampton, and Warwickshire — Division of
large Fox-hunting Countries productive of more Sport —
North and South — Mr. Baker's cross between Fox-hound
and Blood-hound — Rugby a Central Situation within easy
distances of many good Fixtures — The Dunchurch Country
— Knighton Cross — Large fields with the Pytchley — A
scene with the Pioyal Buck-hounds in the New Forest . 123


The Old Warwickshire Fox-hounds — A few more words about
Distemper, and the management of young Hounds — Former
Masters— Lord Middlcton and Mr. Corbet — The late Sir
Tatton Sykes' Pack — Visit to his Kennel — The old Northern
Hound— A Scion of that Stock engrafted into the South —
My Performances — A long Day's hunting at the beginning
of the Season, with an old Fox — Finis coronat opus —
Drawbacks on Subscri]ition Packs from the too frequent
change of Masters and liuntsmen .... 136


The Pytchley Country second only to Leicestershire — Fre-
quent change of INIastcrs — The Earl of Chesterfield's Premier-
ship difficult to be surpassed — An Interregnum — Hambledon
Tom Smith succeeds to Office — George Payne — Lords
Alford and Hopetoun — The Hon. F. Villiers and Lord
Spencer — The Huntsman Charles Payne — Remarks on the
Pack — Trojan, and a Tale about his Welsh namesake . 146




The Fox-hunter's Opening Day — Ancient and modern iS'im-
rods — Mr. Meynell and his Establishment — The Golden
Age of Fox-hunting — Talented Masters of that period —
Contrast between the past and present Generation — Pace
everything — Second Horse in the Field — Letters li'om Will
Long — What Whippers-in had to do in his early Days
— A fast Huntsman — Fox and Firefly — Increase of Piaih'oads
detrimental to sport — Aeronautic Age — Fox-chase in the Air
— " Hunting FoUyes," in verse, by a Dissenter . . . 154


Hare-hunting a good Preparation for the more noble Science —
Harriers of the present Fashion too fast for their Game —
Beckford and the traveller — ' J^sop's' Opinion on Hare-
hunting — Severe Chase after a wild Fallow-deer — Encounter
with a Red Stag — Jolly Green, his blue Mottles and the
Bagman — A Sawbones rightly served for attempted Vivisec-
tion — Jolly Green takes to Calf-hunting — His Finale — The
Author does not indorse all Beckford's Dicta . . .177


A Visit to the Hon. G. Fitzwilliam's Kennels — Style of Hounds
— Old Tom Sebright — Courtesy of Hon. C. Fitzwilliam —
Milton Abbey — A short Notice of it — Picture of Mary Queen
of Scots, presented by herself to Sir William Fitzwilliam
on the morning of her Execution — Stained Glass from
Fotheringay Castle — Parks and Pleasure-grounds surround-
ing the Abbey — The Milton Country — Fine Woodlands and
stout Foxes — A severe one for Hounds and Horses . . 189



Its Origin and Antiquity — Enduring cjuality of the Hounds —
Huntsmen from the time of Will Crane — Whip|)ers-in don't
always succeed on promotion — Philip Payne and Couplings
—A new Order of things — The present Duke handling the
Horn — Wide extent of the Badminton Country — Scrutator
as M. F. H 200



The Equine Eace — Difference in iLe Treatment of the English
and Arab Horses — Attaclimenttotheir Masters when kindly
used — The general neglect of this most noble Animal a re-
flection upon Christian] Countries — Colt-breaking — Eough
Usage productive of rough Tempers — Training for the
Hunting-field — The old System. — Voice versus Whip — How
to keep a Hunter — Lord Stamford's late Stud — \Yhitehairs
management — Natural and Artificial State — Feeding to be
regulated by work — General ignorance of Grooms — Walking
Exercise preparatory to Hunting — Ventilation of Stables —
How a thirsty Horse was cured of his craving for Water —
Stable Statistics


What to do with Hunters in the Summer — Different ]\Ien
have different Opinions — The too common practice of Firing
and Blistering condemned as cruel and unnecessary — Pest
and Cooling Diet after the Hunting Season — Lucerne — All
Green Food given fresh from the Scythe — The effect of early
Spring Grass — Ditto of Dew and Moisture upon the Feet —
Big Ben of Oxford without a Hoof — Objections to turning
Hunters out in the Summer Months discussed — The
Author's System — Clii>ping and Singeing — The late Henry
Hunt's method of Treating his Horses 231


A few Words on the Game Laws — Rearing and selling Game
—No Law to preserve Foxes — Scene between Old John and
Old Reynard — Wanton Destraction of any Animals re-
probated — The Acclimatization Society — Pet Partridges —
The Bustard — Cross between the Bison and our Domestic
Cattle— The Hon. Grantley Berkeley's Opinion — Taymouth
Castle 247


Huntsmen and Game-keepers — In 'what respect they assimi-
late — Big Bill and Big Tom — Attacks upon Keepers by the
Poaching Fraternity - -Pheasants versus Cochin China Fowls
— Quality and Quantity —Directions for raising young


Pheasants and Poultry — Enemies to Game — How to trap
them — Servants' Perquisites — James Jehu and his Master's
Ideas about Chicken — Foxes fascinating Pheasants — Break-
ing Pointers and Setters — Instinct prevails when Phi-
losophy fails — Truffle-hunters and Turnspits — So-ho and
To-ho, a puzzle to young Pointers — Down Charge . . 258


Hares and Rabbits without the Pale of the Protective Law
during the Breeding Season — The injuries inflicted by the
latter on the Farmers' Crops — Rabbit's as Food when in
Season — A learned D.D.'s poetical Grace over Coney Meat
— " As mad as a March Hare " — Its interpretaiton — Coursing
the most ancient of old Field-sports — Nimrod, the mighty
Hunter — The Gazehound — The Scotch and Welsh Deer-
hounds — Something in favour of Cambrian Hospitality,
although the Goddess of Chastity not overmuch regarded by
this People — Welsh Rabbits — Ferreting and its Concomi-
tants — Scene with a Ferret, Retriever, and Terrier — Rivers in
North Wales — Salmon-poaching — Supposed Origin of the
Welsh Language 27G


AN M. F. H.

Wielding the Sword instead of the Horn — Troublesome Times
— Incendiary Fires — Smashing Machinery — Formation of a
Yeomanry Corps — Scrutator heading the Mob — Bristol
Riots — Bonfire on a large scale — Jem, the Head Whip,
turned Soldier — Sacking the Bishop's Palace — Missing
Magistrates — In vino Veritas — Parley with leader of the
Mob — Charge of the 14th Light Dragoons, led by Captain
Musgrave, up a flight of Stone Steps — One of the Mob
decapitated — Miserable fate of the Rioters — Horrible Scene
among the Ruins — A Cornet's Duties — Patrolling at Night
— Pickwickian Adventure — Troops dismissed — lo tri-
umphel Dulce Domum 290




Preparatory Lessons for young Fox-hunters and young Fox-hounds —
Schooling and Cub-hunting — Eomantic metliod with the ancient
Romans of entering young Hounds to Deer — Blood will tell, as well
as vice, through succeeding generations — Necessity of early training
— Something about the killing of Cubs — Not to eat too many at one
time — Cubs are not Foxes.

We should have supposed in these enlightened and utili-
tarian times, when every individual appears anxious to
obtain the sohriquet of a sportsman, that no one ^YOuld
have confessed himself so innocent and green as to ask the
question, " What's the use of cub-hunting ?" Did. he ever
ask himself another, " What's the use of sending boys to
school ?" Little enough to some, I suspect, who require
hammering at both ends — top and. bottom — to force any
knowledge into them at all. Xow-a-days every nincom-
poop rushes into print, voluntarily — eagerly — (I wish I
could get out of it, wielding the horn instead of the pen) —
no matter how ridiculous the figure he cuts there ; and the
questions we see asked in sporting papers, a fiftieth part
of which are perhaps only noticed, do not suggest to ns ■



the idea of the schoolmaster being very much abroad.
To follow up the inquiry however, we may say that
cub-hunting is as necessary for young fox-hounds as
schooling is for young gentlemen. We ought perhaps to
have added, for young ladies also ; but not being an advo-
cate or an upholder of '' Seminaries for young ladies," where
they acquire a knowledge of some things by no means
desirable, my forbearing to make any further allusion to
such establishments must not be construed into any
intentional disrespect or disregard for young ladies indi-
vidually, my objection being only to the course of tuition
or cub-hunting adopted in such places. Boys at school
exhibit as great a variety of character and capacity as
young puppy-dogs when taken into their school of learning
— the woodlands. Some boys enter freely and con amove
to Latin and Greek ; so do some young hounds to a fox-
scent — some gradually, others slowly, but willingly, who
require encouragement ; and many boys won't enter at all
willingly to their proper game, preferring a game at
marbles instead, like young wild puppies breaking away
to riot, and doing the reverse of what they are instructed
to do. Such boys, I need scarcely observe, require a
certain quantum of birch twigs to keep them to the true
line, as wild mischievous puppies call down upon their
delinquent carcases Jack's anathemas and whipcord. Some
are so obtuse that they won't enter at all : and I remember
an instance of a boy at our school who could not compre-
hend how Hector was dragged round the walls of Troy
until the master seized him by the heels, and pulled him
on hLs beam-ends round the school-room.


The use of cub-tiunting is to make young hounds steady,
respectable members of the pack, as that of schooling is to
render boys intelKgent, clever, well-informed members of
society in after-life, when their cub-hunting is over. The
ancients commenced their hunting in a very different style
to ours. They did not, however, fancy fox-hunting : to
them it would have been merely an idle, unremunerating
occupation. They were ijot-hunters, fond of venison and
hare soup, the chase of the stag and hare having been
their favourite amusement : and we find old Horace or
Juvenal (I forget which, for to the latter I bade adieu with my
gown at Oxford, a precious number of years agone, so that
I trust to memory only) giving us certain information on
this matter, thus : — ^' Eji^ quo cervinam jpellain latravit in
aula militat in sylvis eatuhts.'' They had a queer notion of
entering young hoimds to a deer scent in those times ; and I
should like to see Charles Payne's face, if directed to halloa
on a couple or two at a time of his young entry at a stuffed
fox, set up in a corner of the kennel yard as a preliminary
introduction to the i:)ersonale of the animal before pro-
ceeding to extremities with him in Kockingham Forest.

There is, however, another account of the chase by one
of these heathen chroniclers of sports and pastimes in the
dark ages, by no means inapplicable to our 'chase of the
fox in more civilized times — " Ingenti damore virum ^c,"
which will not sound very unfamiliar to some of our
modern Nimrods, when translated thus : — ' With horn and
hound and thundering shouts they drive the flying stag —
many of our hunting men doing a pretty good business in
the halloaing and screeching line, when a fox breaks


covert. In cub-liunting, however, we say — " Proeid, oh,
procul est p^ofani /" "Worshippers of Discord instead of
Diana — screechers and screamers, we don't want you here.
Better, far better were it for us were you "nid nid nodding
in your beds at hame," when early morning purples the
east, and we sally forth at peep of day to wake the wood-
lands with the cry of our spangled pack.

Cub-hunting is a quiet, tame amusement in comparison
with fox-hunting. " Weil," our novice may exclaim, " are
they not one and the same thing ? a cub is a fox, and a fox
is a cub." Is a cow, then, a calf ? Once in his life the fox
was a cub, as every cow has been a calf ; and I suppose he
knows the difference between beef and veal. So cub-
hunting is not exactly fox-hunting ; and we pm-sue the one
in a very different spirit to that of following a full-grown
dog-fox over the open, when regular hunting has com-
menced. We want no noise, no excitement, no cracking
of whips, no halloaing or screeching in cub-hunting. Our
business then is, to instruct the young hounds in the first
lesson of hunting, with patience and encouragement.
They are to be led, not driven, into the pursuit of an
animal, which will be the sole business of their future lives
to stick to, and follow through gorse, bush, or tangled
covert ; over pastures green, or barren moor ; through
evil report or good report ; amid pelting storms and
cutting wmds ; o'er dusty or greasy fallow fields ; until, by
patience and perseverance, they have him at last. It is an
observation of Beckford's, *' that a good pack of harriers
would hunt a cub quite as well as the highest bred fox-
hounds." But I think he adds — not having read liis book


for many years — that they could not finisli an old fox in
the same style, and in this opinion I quite coincide with
him ; but in cubbing, an old thistle whipper would do quite
as well with young hounds as the cleverest professor of
" The Noble Science," for, in fact, he has little or nothing to
do but to sit quietly on horseback and let the young hounds
alone. It will be time enough when they know what a
scent is, and to discriminate between the right and the
wrong, to interfere with the rating of whippers-in. The
first business is, to get their heads down, their noses on
the ground, to induce them to stoop to a scent — to any
scent, rather than not try to hunt at all. They must be
taught the use of their noses first — that is the primary

It was a custom in some fox-hunting establishments
many years ago to commence hunting hares with the
young hounds, merely to teach them to stoop and work
upon a scent, and see in what manner they would conduct
themselves in the open country, by which it was supposed
their characters and dispositions would be more readily
and clearly developed, before being added to the pack.
But irrespective of this objectionable mode of teaching
vouns: hounds to hunt a scent durin

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Online LibraryKnightley William HorlockPractical lessons on hunting and sporting → online text (page 1 of 21)