which party has killed most pigeons at the
least number of shots. Exclusive of the
general betting upon the match, there is a
variety amongst individuals ; the shots of
some against others, and the field betting of
the bird against the gun, as fancy may prompt
or the reputation of the gunner dictate. He
that kills most pigeons in the match, at an
equal number of shots with the rest, is by
such pre-eminence the Captain of the day,
stands elected chairman for the meeting, and
does the offices of the table accordingly.
" Matches of an inferior description are
still more numerous, and generally come under
the denomination of an help-ale, or make-
feast, at the instigation of those industrious
liberal landlords who advertize ' three pieces
of plate to be given to the three best shots ;'
but at the moment of entering the lists, it
becomes a collateral part of the contract, that
each adventurer is to contribute his propor-
tion towards the gifts of plate ; to pay for his
pigpons, and to dine at the ordinary. These
mutters properly adjusted, the shooting is
carried on precisely in the manner before
described, with this exception only, that here
every individual shoots for himself alone,
without any connexion with party. The can-
didate killing most pigeons, at the least num-
ber of shots, becomes entitled to the piece of
plate highest in value, and so in proportion ;
but in so great a number of candidates there
is frequently an equality of success ; in such
cases they are called ties, and are shot off at
remaining pigeons till the superiority is ascer-
tained, and the victor proclaimed. This done,
the day concludes with the same degree of
festivity and superabundance before described,
but in a style of inferiority necessarily regu-
lated by the pecuniary sensations of parties
concerned. Looking however into its attrac-
tion as matter of sport, little or nothing can be
said in its favor, when put in competition
with the more noble and manly enjoyment of
the sports of the field. The liberal mind
feels a temporary repugnance at the idea of
first confining, and then liberating from that
confinement, hundreds of domestic animals
doomed to instant death, with a very slender
probability of life in their favor, when a
moderate shot will bring down fourteen or
fifteen, and some nineteen out of twenty.
This picture affords but an indifferent idea of
the sportsman's humanity who indulges
PIERCE EGAN'S BOOK OF SPORTS.
largely In this species of gratification. And
farther we presume to observe, for the infor-
mation of the inexperienced, that it is the
most infatuating and expensive amusement
the juvenile sportsman can possibly engage
in ; for one day very seldom terminates with-
out the appointment of a second ; one extra-
vagance as constantly engenders another, to
the utter exclusion of economy, which is,
upon all similar occasions, generally laughed
out of countenance. Experience has also
convinced us that eight, nine, or ten pounds
for pigeons, in addition to the bill of fashion-
able exorbitances for the day (amounting to
the inconsiderable reckoning of two and
three guineas each) has sent many a pigeon
shooter to his bed, and awakened him to the
pillow of reflection."
The Enclosure belonging to the Red House
affords considerable fun at times to the spec-
tators, at the eagerness displayed by the
Out Scouts, who will not be denied from
having a pop or two at these pigeons, who
have been lucky enough to escape the almost
deadly guns, and who fly out of the bounds.
Thus, it appears, the poor pigeons have ' to
run the gauntlet' as it were, to save their ex-
istence; and the bird who escapes from such
numerous shots, aimed at her life, must be
pronounced lucky indeed !
The Red House, at Battersea, during the
Summer months, is a source of great attrac-
tion to numerous persons connected with the
Sporting World, namely, in two points of
view, for PIGEON SHOOTING and ROWING
MATCHES ; it also possesses other advantages
from its remarkably pleasant situation, and
offering the choice to gentlemen, either going
by water, or land, to the Enclosure. The
above matches not only produce some excel-
lent dinners provided by '' Mine Host" in
first-rate style, but also some very capital con-
vivial evenings, which exhibit a very fine
feature of the Spirit and GAME which gen-
erally attaches to meetings of a sporting
description, and more especially over " the
gaily circling glass !"
THE DELIGHTFUL OLD CHORUS TO SPORTS-
MEN OF " HARK, HARK AWAY !"
Ye true British Sportsmen who always delight,
In the field ev'ry morn, o'er the bottle at night,
Come, rouse from your slumbers, and let us prepare
To chase away dullness in chasing the hare ;
For what can delight, o'er the fields as we stray,
lake the sound of the horn, and the words" Hark
Let dull stupid lovers their Phillidas prize,
And boast of the charms that enliven their eyes,
While we, after puss, on the footsteps of fate,
Despise a wide ditch, a broad fence, or a gate,
Sin-ing, as we fly over, so cheerful and gay,
Tho delightful old chorus of " Hark, hark away!"
Our^ sports in perusing, when weary we are,
All jocund, and merry, we homeward repair ;
Sit down at the table of friendship to dine,
And diown all our cares in a bumper of wine ;
Keep sound till Aurora brings on a new day,
Then aguin to the field, with a loud " Hark away !"
It might, perhaps, be deemed invidious on
our part, to select one gentleman more than
another, but in viewing GEORGE OSBALDESTON,
Esq., in the character of an out-and-outer, in
every thing that he undertakes in the Sporting
World, and that, nine times out of TEN, his ex-
ertions throughout most of his matches have
been crowned with success, we hope, we have
not trespassed in the slightest degree on the
path of any gentleman on the road to Sport-
ing celebrity. In truth, Mr. (). is always
ready " to keep the game alive," upon any
suit whatever :
When inclined for a shot, I am up with Aurora,
My jacket lies ready, my buskins are brief,
I speak not a word at the Manse to the snorers,
But whistle to Juno, and off like a thief !
I leave dykes and hedges, and up to the muirlands
That stretchout so tempting, so brown, and so wide,
To me they are rich lands that others think poor lands,
As I stalk o'er the heather in freedom and pride.
I grudge not my time, nor of powder am chary,
But roam, looking sharp after Juno's white back ;
'Mong the flowers and the rough bits she scuds like a
But when fixed, she's like marble to wait for the
It may shower it may shine or the big clouds may
And drift with longshadows o'er mountain, and fell,
But the main-cocks still find that I'm their F.UL-ME-
Nor will finish the day till I've tickled them well.
VARIOUS MATCHES OF PIGEON
AT THE RED HOUSE, BATTERSEA.
In May 1828, on Monday, Mr. Anderson
and Captain Bishop shot a match of six birds
each, twenty-one yards from the trap, for 5,
which the Captain lost.
Mr. Anderson then shot four matches with
Captain Ross, the former standing twenty-one
yards from the trap, and the latter thirty ;
Mr. Anderson betting Captain Ross 10 to
5 on each match. The Captain was the
winner of all.
On Tuesday a match was shot by Mr. Hyde,
of Cambridge, against a gentleman of the name
of Tuckett, for 50, twelve birds each. At
the commencement of the match the betting
was even; but, after the sixth shot, the supe-
rior style of Mr. Hyde's shooting, caused the
betting to be six to four in his favor. He
eventually won the match, having killed three
more than his opponent. The winner shot
with a gun made by Hall, of Mary-la-bonne.
The Red House Club met on Tuesday, May,
10, 1828. The first Sweepstakes was between
Captain Ross, Messrs. Osbaldeston and Barn-
bridge, at nine birds each, five traps, thirty
yards from the shooter, the stake fifteen sove-
reigns. Captain Ross was the winner, having
killed all his birds. The second was between
the same party, for the same stake and dis-
tance, which was Avon by Mr. Bambridgc.
PIERCE EGAN'S BOOK OF SPORTS.
The third was at forty yards, one trap, for 5.
It was contended for by Captains Ross and
Dixon, Messrs. Osbaldeston and Bambridge,
nine birds each. Mr. Osbaldeston was de-
clared the winner.
Two more followed at the same distance, on
the same terms, with the exception that five
traps were used instead of one. Captain
Ross won the first, and Mr. Bambridge the
Captain Ross and Mr. Osbaldeston shot a
match of fourteen double shots, each for 10,
which the Captain lost by one bird.
In January 1829, on Wednesday, there was
a very full attendance at the enclosure near
the Red House, Battersea, to witness the
shooting of Captain Ross and Mr. Osbaldes-
ton, it being their first appearance this season.
They commenced shooting at thirty yards,
with three traps, at ten birds each for 10,
which was won by the Captain, having killed
seven, and Mr. Osbaldeston four ; they then
shot three matches at double shots, six shots
each, at twenty-five yards distance, for ten
pounds a-side ; the two first were ties, and
the other was won by Mr. Osbaldeston.
They shot with double guns, made by Mr.
William Moore, of the Edgvvare Road. On
Thursday they commenced shooting about
one o'clock ; Mr. Osbaldeston and Mr. Bam-
bridge shot four matches one at thirty yards,
single birds, which was won by the former;
they shot at seven birds each, tor ten pounds ;
the others were at five double shots each, for
the same sum, which was won by Mr. Bam-
bridge. A sweepstakes of seven birds each,
fifteen pounds subscription, thirty yards.
Three traps were fixed by Captain Ross, and
Messrs. Osbaldeston and Bambridge, which
was won by the latter killing all his birds.
On Friday there were several matches be-
tween Captain Ross and Mr. Bambridge, at
double shots, twenty-five yards ; the Captain
was the winner. Eley's improved patent
cartridges were used, but in several instances
they balled, thereby causing them in their
present state not to be safe.
On Monday, May, 1829, Mr. Gillmore shot
a match with Mr. Wauchap, at five double
shots, at twenty yards distance, with five
traps, for ten pounds a-side. At the fourth
shot they were even ; but Mr. Gillmore won
by a bird. They afterwards shot a match of
seven birds each, twenty-five yards distance,
which was also won by Mr. Gillmore ; the
match was for a pony.
On Tuesday a sweepstakes of six double
shots, twenty yards distance, with five traps,
ten pounds subscription, was contended for
by the following gentlemen of the Red House
Club : the Hon. G. Anson, Captain Ross,
and Mr. Gillmore ; the latter gentleman
having three dead birds given him ; the shoot-
ing was very good. Mr. Gillmore was de-
clared the winner. A sweepstakes of ten
pounds was then fired at thirty yards, five
traps ; Captain Ross was the winner.
Two others followed at the same distance
and on the same conditions, which were also
won by the Captain.
The shooting of the day was concluded by
along-contended sweepstakes of double shoot-
ing, which Mr. Gilmore won by a bird, aftei
having made six ties.
On Wednesday Captain Ross and Mr. Gill-
more shot a match of seven double shots each,
at twenty yards, with the live traps, the Cap-
tain giving his opponent two dead birds, for
ten pounds. The shooting was so even that
Captain Ross won only by a bird.
Two sweepstakes of eight double shots,
twenty yards from the shooter, five traps, were
then shot for by Captain Ross, Mr. Gillmore,
and Mr. Shoubridge. The latter gentleman
was the winner or both.
Mr. Gillmore and a gentleman then had two
matches of five birds each, for twenty pounds
a-side, match at thirty yards, with the five
traps. Mr. Gillmore beat his antagonist both
On Thursday Mr. Eastman and Mr. Thorn-
ton shot a match of twenty-one birds each,
twenty-one yards, for twenty pounds. At
the commencement Mr. Thornton was the fa-
vorite at five to two ; but there were very few
takers. At the ninth round he was four
a-head ; his friends then freely laid three to
one on him ; in some instances it was taken.
At the seventeenth shot Mr. Eastman was
even with him ; but the favorite was eventu-
ally beaten by his missing the last bird, and
his opponent killing.
On Friday Lord Ranelagh and Mr. Gill-
more shot a match of twelve birds each,
twenty-five yards from the trap, for twenty
pounds. They each killed ten birds. They
then shot the match off at eleven birds ; and
Mr. Gillmore was declared the winner.
A Handicap Sweepstakes of eleven birds, at
twenty-five yards, was then shot by Captain
Ross, Mr. Osbaldeston, Mr. Gillmore, and
Lord Ranelagh, the two last gentlemen having
a dead bird given them. At the termination
of the fourth round they were all even ; and
at the tenth shot Lord Ranelagh and Captain
Ross were even, but the Captain won by
killing his last bird, having scored nine out
of his eleven.
A Sweepstakes of Ten Pounds was then fired
by the same members, at three double-shots,
txventy yards distance from the shooter, which
Mr. Osbaldeston won. The same members
then fired sweepstakes of seven birds each, at
thirty yards distance from the shooter, for the
purpose of trying Eley's improved cartridges,
the effect of which gave great satisfaction.
Mr. Osbaldeston was declared the winner,
but it was a very close match be: ween him
and Captain Ross.
NOTHING ELSE BUT A GOOD SHOT.
Captain Ross, of sporting celebrity, arrived
at the Bell Inn, in Leicester, in July, 1828,
and in the evening kindly consented to give
the shots of that town and neighbourhood a
PIERCE EGAN'S BOOK OF SPORTS.
treat, which proved of no ordinary character.
Fray's newly-invented air detonating gun was
selected for the occasion, and a numerous
field of gentlemen assembled in a paddock
contiguous to the town to witness the exploit.
The Captain proposed to fire with a single
pellet, at a card eighty yards distant ; and to
the astonishment of all present, hit his mark
twice out of ten shots. He then took half
the distance, and, with the same number of
shots, only missed once ! A duck was next
placed at seventy-five yard's distance, which he
cleverly despatched by shooting it through the
neck; and a second shared a similar fate.
The Captain was on a tour to Scotland, to
join in the amusing sport of grouse shooting ;
and this certainly gave the gentlemen of
Leicester a fair specimen of the execution
likely to take place from the shots of this
celebrated, and we may add, unequalled
sportsman. Captain Ross was pleased to ex-
press his high approbation of Fray's improved
SHOOTING TO A NICETY.
Prince Rupert's skill in firing at a mark we
have recorded on the evidence of eye-wit-
nesses, of whom King Charles the First was
one. Prince Rupert being at Stafford in the
time of the Civil War, while standing in the
garden of Capt. Richard Ineyd, who had
taken up arms for the King, and at about
sixty yards distance, made a shot at a weather-
cock upon the steeple of the collegiate church
of St. Mary, with a screwed horseman's pis-
tol and single bullet, which pierced the tail ;
the bullet-hole plainly appearing to all that
were below ; which the King presently judged
to be casualty only. Prince Rupert, how-
ever, immediately proved the contrary, by a
second shot to the same effect.
SINGULAR GREAT SHOOTING AND WALKING
MATCH FOR ONE THOUSAND GUINEAS.
The above novel and interesting match for
1000 guineas, between the Hon. G. Anson,
and Mr. Ross, which of them killed the most
partridges between sun-rise and sun-set, and
which perhaps excited more interest in the
Sporting World than any thing of the kind
on any former occasion, took place at Milden
Hall, Suffolk, on the manor belonging to the
Hon. Henry De Roos, on Monday, in Novem-
ber, 1828. It was originally fixed for the pre-
vious Saturday ; but one of the parties not
knowing whether it was to be shot with or-
dinary shot or with Eley's patent cartridges
(no previous arrangement having been made),
was not provided with the latter ; and as the
birds were very wild, and it was determined
to shoot with them, a messenger was dispatched
to London for a supply ; he returned on Sun-
day night, and it was then agreed to com-
mence shooting at a quarter past seven o'clock
on Monday morning, and to leave off at a
quarter past four o'clock in the afternoon.
Many gentlemen, friends of Mr. Ross, came
to witness his performance, some from Scot-
land ; and a number of gentlemen, friends of
the Hon. G. Anson's, were assembled at the
Hon. H. De Roos's, Milden Hall, for the same
purpose. The Hon. H. De Roos, the Hon. C.
Greville, the Hon. Col. Russell, Sir John
Shelley, Mr. H. Baring, and many other gen-
tlemen and amateurs of the sport were present.
Many horses were ready to assist the various
persons in attendance on the match ; each
party was allowed three guns, three loaders,
&c., that no delay might take place ; large
sums of money were betted, and both parties
came to the post in excellent condition, spirits,
and confidence. The morning, at break of
day, was unfavorable, it being very foggy, and
indeed continuing so the whole of the day.
In the first hour, the birds being excessively
wild, only four were shot ; and those getting
up most favorably for Colonel Anson, he shot
three out of the four. Both parties possessing
great pedestrian powers, and thinking to out-
walk each other, commenced walking at five
miles an hour, and continued that pace for the
first two hours, and the remainder of the day
at four and a half miles an hour, without halt-
ing for five minutes, and the whole of the day
bare-headed. This pace kept those who accom-
panied them in a trot, as long as they could
last, which but few, if any, did to the end of
the day, without the assistance of a horse.
At three o'clock the match was even, both
having killed ten brace of birds, and it was
even again at four o'clock. Nothing could
now exceed the interest felt by all parties, a
quarter of an hour only being all the remain-
ing time for deciding the contest. It was
observed about this time that Col. Anson was
growing weak, the parties having walked
about thirty-five miles, and a great part of the
distance through heavy, wet turnips ; but Mr.
Ross went on with a gallant stride, to the
admiration of all, beating keepers and every
other person present. At this juncture Col.
Anson killed another bird, which made him
one a-head, but he became so weak that
he could no longer follow Mr. Ross, who kept
as fresh as ever; and although only ten
minutes remained, Col. Anson's friends ad-
vised him to propose a draw match, as Mr.
Ross would, in all probability, either tie or
beat him, which he did, and Mr. Ross very
handsomely accepted the proposal. Thus
concluded a match with which every lover of
the trigger present was highly delighted.
The number cf birds actually scored was 23
brace ; many others were killed, but it could
not be decided by the umpires (Mr. Osbaldes-
ton and others) to which party they belonged.
If the match had taken place in September, it
was supposed they would have killed a hun-
dred brace each. The superiority of the
patent cartridge over shot at long distances
was very apparent most of the birds being
killed between fifty and seventy yards. Mr.
Ross offered at the conclusion of the match to
start immediately, and walk any person pre-
PIERCE EGAN'S BOOK OF SPORTS
sent to London, being seventy miles, for 500
guineas. We ought to state, that according
to the terms of the match, Colonel Anson and
Mr. Ross were to shoot side by side, so that
if the Colonel did not keep pace with Mr.
Ross, he must have lost ; thus the match
assumed the double character of a pedestrian
and a shooting match.
THERE'S NOTHING GIVES HEALTH LIKE
THE SPORTS OF THE FIELD I
Come I come, my good fellows, attend to my song,
And I'll learn you the way to live happy and long ;
Throw ! throw off the tricks of the dull smoky town,
To rise with the lark, and lie down with the clown.
With your pointers and gun, to the stubbles repair,
To bring down the partridge, or fleet scudding hare ;
To start the gay pheasant, in woodland conceal'd,
For there's nothing gives health like the sports of the
The doctor to this, boys, will never agree,
It deprives him of practice, and lessens his fee :
To his skill and his prattle no credit bestow,
But leave him to botch up the musty old beau ;
Or to wait on my lady, who fancies she's ill,
And always in search of a medical pill :
For the whole of my life I ne'er valued his lore,
But rejected his drugs, and can hunt at fourscore.
The merchant may toil from morning till night,
And all turn to profit, that turns to his sight ;
But what are his profits when health is no more,
E'en though they amount to old Croesus's store 1
When pang'd with the gout, he sits down to repent,
And wishes his youth in the fields had been spent.
Looks up to the sportsman with health in his face,
And thinks with a sigh on the charms ot the chase.
Thus you see, my good fellows, my thesis is true,
A sedentary life is the worst to pursue ;
It brings on infirmities, sorrows, and strife,
And is sure to effect an abridgment of life ;
Then >vho'd spend his days, who is favor'd with sense
In hoarding up nought but pounds, shillings, and
Then fly from the town to the lawns and the farm,
Where the beauties of nature have plenty to charm.
Then mount your brisk coursers, and fly to the fields,
And partake of the bliss that activity yields ;
Leave the dull plodding drudge to his ledger behind,
And the prig of the law courts to trouble mankind,
When winter approaches to drench from his urn,
And the finger of time shews the way to return,
You'll own that our sports leave no stings to annoy,
And the charms of your Chloe with raptures enjoy.
GREAT PARTRIDGE MATCH BETWEEN LORD
KENNEDY AND MR. W. COKE.
The bet between Mr. William Coke and
Lord Kennedy was for 200 sovereigns a-side,
play or pay, who shot and bagged the greatest
number of partridges in two days' sporting ;
both parties to shoot on the same days, the
26th of September, and the 4th of October, in
the season of 1823. Mr. William Coke to
sport upon his uncle's manors in Norfolk ;
and Lord Kennedy in any part of Scotland he
pleased. The result of Mr. Coke's first day's
shooting was 80| brace of birds bagged. On
Saturday, October 4, Mr. W. Coke took the
field soon after six o'clock in the morning ;
he was accompanied by his uncle, T. W.
Coke, Esq., M. P., and by two umpires, Col.
Dixon for Mr. Coke, and F. S. Blunt, Esq.
for Lord Kennedy ; also by two of his friends,
Sir H. Godericli, Bart, and F. Hollyhocke,
Esq. He was attended by several game-
keepers, and by one dog only, to pick up the
game. Several respectable neighbouring yeo-
men volunteered their services in assisting to
beat for game, and rendered essential service
throughout the day. Mr. Coke sported over
part of the Wigton and Egmere manors. The
morning was foggy, and the turnips were so
wet that the birds would not lie amongst
them. Very little execution was done in
consequence in the early part of the day ; in
the two first hours only six brace of birds
were bagged. The day cleared up after eight
o'clock, and the sportsmen amply made up
for his previous lost time. He found birds
plentiful among Mr. Denny's fine crops of
turnips on the Egmere Farm, and in one
twenty-acre breck of swedes, he bagged 35 J
brace of birds. He concluded his day's sport
soon after six in the evening, and had then
bagged 88 brace of birds, and five pheasants ;
but a dispute having arisen among the umpires
about one bird, Colonel Dixon gave the point
up, and the number was ultimately declared
to be 87$ brace of birds bagged ; pheasants
and other game not counted in the match.
So that Mr. W. Coke's number of birds bagged
in the two days' shooting, stands 173 brace.
He had much fewer shots in the second than
in the first day, but he shot better, as will be
seen from the comparative number of birds
bagged. On Saturday he bagged 180 birds
from 327 shots, which was considered good
shooting in a match of this nature, when a
chance, however desperate it may appear, is
not to be thrown away. His uncle, T. W.
Coke, Esq., loaded a great part of the gun on
Saturday, and, as a finale to the day's sport,
shot at and killed the last bird, which his
nephevt had previously missed. Lady Anne
Coke was in the field a great part of the day ;