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KING EDWARD VII. AS A
SPORTSMAN




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KING EDWARD VII.
AS A SPORTSMAN



BY

ALFRED E. T. WATSON



With an Introduction and a Chapter on " Yachting " by Captain

the Hon. Sir Seymour Fortescue, C.M.G., K.C.V.O.

Contributions by the Marquess of Ripon, G.C.V.O.

Lord Walsingham, Lord Ribblesdale, and Others



WITH 1 PHOTOGRAVURE PLATE, 10 PLATES IN COLOUR,

12 REMBRANDT-GRAVURE PLATES, AND

79 HALF-TONE ILLUSTRATIONS



LONGMANS, GREEN AND CO.

39 PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON

NEW YORK, BOMBAY, AND CALCUTTA

1911

All rights reserved



PREFACE

Most country gentlemen hunt or shoot — perhaps visit
Scotland and use the rifle as well as the gun ; some
keep racehorses or steeplechasers, others are yachts-
men, and a limited number have shot big game
in other continents. Very few have ever gained
distinction in all these sports alike : there is no
record of any one who has approached the wide
range and high degree of success achieved by King
Edward VII. Had His Majesty been a private
personage the account of his career as a sportsman
could scarcely have failed to arrest the attention of
those who are devoted to the various pursuits in
which he won renown ; but the "good man to
hounds," the neat and effective shot, the owner of
Derby winners and of victorious yachts, the marks-
man to whose rifle six tigers fell in a single day, sat
on the throne of the Empire ; and interest in what
he did is immeasurably increased for the reason that
his participation in these sports constantly brought
to light, as the following pages will show, the singular
amiability of His Majesty's character — his generosity,
unselfishness, his ever keen desire to give pleasure to
others, his unfailing readiness to recognise the efforts
of his faithful servants. Such value as the book



Preface

may have chiefly arises from the proofs of this which
it affords.

The natural idea of a volume on " King Edward
VII. as a Sportsman" occurred to Messrs. Longman
early in the year 1910. To obtain His Majesty's
gracious permission was, of course, the first step,
and this he was pleased to accord, condescending to
suggest where certain material might be obtained,
and to approve of the work being given into my
hands. Only a little progress had been made when
the King's deeply lamented death — how far this is
from any conventional expression of grief need not
be emphasised — threw his subjects into mourning
and caused heartfelt distress far beyond the limits
of his rule.

King George graciously sanctioned the continuance
of the book, and furthered it by allowing visits to
Sandringham and Windsor in quest of details, for
which great kindness this opportunity may be taken of
proffering humble thanks. Queen Alexandra has been
so very good as to aid the task, and to Her Majesty
an expression of sincere gratitude must be added.
Some of the most interesting illustrations are repro-
duced from the originals at Sandringham and elsewhere,
by Royal sanction. H.R.H. Prince Christian has also
been good enough to furnish information and advice.

I have, indeed, to express acknowledgments to
many who have most kindly helped me in various
ways. Captain Sir Seymour Fortescue, C.M.G.,
K.C.V.O., who was privileged to be much with King
Edward for several years, readily undertook to supply

vi



Preface

the Introduction, which gives such a vivid sketch of
His Majesty, and to write the chapter on "Yachting,"
he having sailed in many of the races described.
Lord Ribblesdale, a former Master of the Royal
Buck-Hounds, was to have contributed the chapter
on " The King in the Hunting Field," but, prevented
by a serious accident, most kindly gave me the matter
he had collected and has supervised the compilation.
The Marquess of Ripon, G.C.V.O., a frequent guest at
Sandringham, has laid me under a deep obligation by
giving his reminiscences of sport at the King's country
house, and, at my special request, writing some in-
valuable pages on the subject of shooting in general.
Lord Walsingham was persuaded to add to this
chapter his sympathetic recollections of visits to
Sandringham. To Lord Marcus Beresford I am par-
ticularly indebted, for he has looked carefully through
the chapters on " Racing " and on " Steeplechasing."
Lord Marcus always had entire control of the King's
stud, and is the one person acquainted with every
detail of its history. Mr. G. W. Lushington, who
trained the steeplechasers, spared no pains to furnish
me with all the information he could supply ; Mr.
John Porter and Mr. Richard Marsh have been un-
tiring in their efforts to help me with details of the
horses.

The chapter on " The King as Guest " could only
have been written with the friendly assistance of those
who had enjoyed the honour of acting as His Majesty's
hosts. Sincere thanks are due to Lord and Lady
Savile, Lords Derby, Burnham, Farquhar, Tankerville,

vii b



Preface

Sir Frederick Johnstone and Lady Wilton, Messrs.
Arthur Sassoon and Sigismund Neumann. From the
tribute of thanks I must not omit Captain Sir Walter
Campbell, K.C.V.O., Deputy Ranger of Windsor
Park, and Lady Campbell, the Hon. Henry Stonor,
C.V.O., Colonel Sir Augustus Fitzgeorge, K.C.V.O.,
who attended the then Prince of Wales to India in
1876, and has been through the proofs of the chap-
ter which describes the tour. Lord Onslow, who has
supplied me with some amusing anecdotes, the
Hon. John Fortescue, Librarian of Windsor Castle,
Mr. George Cresswell, M.V.O., Sir William ffolkes,
M.V.O., Sir Somerville Gurney, M.V.O., Captain
Blair Oliphant of Blairgowrie Castle, in the Balmoral
district, Mr. Leopold de Rothschild, Lady Bess-
borough, who lent some interesting photographs for
reproduction, Mr. Beck, M.V.O., His Majesty's
Agent, and Mr. Jackson, the head keeper at Sand-
ringham. In the preparation of the pictures Mr. J. E.
Chandler has done excellent service as art-editor.

King Edward's sporting career was so far-reaching
that I am afraid a year's hard work has not sufficed to
gather in a full record. It is hoped, however, that some
idea will be furnished of how thoroughly His Majesty
merited the title under which the book is issued.



ALFRED E. T. WATSON.



II Albert Court,

Kensington Gore, S.W.,

April 191 1.



vni



CONTENTS

CHAP. PAGE

PREFACE V

INTRODUCTION xxi

By Captain the Hon. Sir Seymour Fortescue, K.C, V.O.

I. KINGS OF ENGLAND AS SPORTSMEN . i

II. SANDRINGHAM 8

III. WINDSOR 58

IV. BALMORAL loi

V. RACING 132

VI. THE KING'S STEEPLECHASE HORSES . 227

VII. THE KING IN THE HUNTING FIELD . 271

VIII. KING EDWARD AS A YACHTSMAN . . 295

By Captain the Hon. Sir Sey?nour Fortescue, K.C. V.O.

IX. THE KING AS GUEST 321

X. SPORT ABROAD: THE INDIAN TOUR . 342
APPENDIX: "Britannia's" Races . . -369



IX



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS



PHOTOGRAVURE PLATE

King Edward VII. when Prince of Wales . Frontispiece

From a Lithograph at Windsor Castle, dated July lo, 1858.



COLOURED PLATES

A Frosty Morning — Horse-Shoe, Dersing-

HAM Wood ...... To face p. 26

From a Painting by Archibald Thorhurn.

Wild Duck Pond, Sandringham — Mallards

coming in ...... . ,,30

From a Painting by Archibald Thorburn.

Partridge Drive — near Captain's Close,

Sandringham ...... ,, 46

From, a Painting by Archibald Thorburn.

Pheasant Shooting at Windsor ... „ 80

From a Painting by Archibald Thorburn.

Deer in Windsor Park ,, 84

Fro?n a Painting by Archibald Thorburn.

Grouse Moor at Balmoral . . . . „ 108

From a Painting by Archibald Thorburn.

Deer Drive at Balmoral .... ,, 124

From a Painting by Archibald Thorburn.

Persimmon winning the Derby (1896) , . ,, 160

From a Painting by Miss M. D. Hardy.



List of Illustrations



Ambush II. over the Last Fence in the

Liverpool Grand National (1900) . To face p. 250

From a Painting by Miss M. D. Hardy.

" Britannia " drawing through the lee of

HER TWO principal OPPONENTS, " AlLSA "

AND "SaTANITa" „ 316

From a Painting by Charles Pears.



REMBRANDT-GRAVURE PLATES

Sandringham House (West Front) . . To face p. 8

From a Photograph by F. Ralph, Dersingham.

Windsor Castle from the River ... „ 58

From a Photograph by " Topical Press."

Shooting Party at Windsor (1907) . . „ 70

From a Photograph by Hills b' Saunders, Eton.

Balmoral Castle . . . . . . ,, loi

From a Photograph by J. &" J. Bisset, Ballater.

H.R.H. The Prince of Wales (King Edward
VII.) with Richard Marsh and Persim-
mon (J. Watts) ..... ,,164

Photographed by Royal Command by W. A. Rouch.

MiNORU . . . . . . . . ,, 212

From a Painting by Lynwood Palmer.

Diamond Jubilee at Thirteen Years Old . „ 226

From a Photograph by Clarence Hailey, taken in the
Argentine, 1910.

H.R.H. The Prince of Wales (King Edward
VII.) as Commodore of the Royal Yacht
Squadron (1900) ..... „ 295

From the Painting by W. W. Ouless, R.A., at the
Royal Yacht Squadron Club House, Cowes.

"Meteor II." and "Britannia" Racing . „ 318

Fro7n a Photograph by IV. 17. Kirk &' Sons, Cowes.



List of Illustrations

King Edward VII. Shooting at Hall Barn To face p. 324

From a Photograph.

H.R.H. The Prince of Wales (King Edward
VII.) AS Colonel of the ioth Hussars
(1868) ,,340

From the Painting by L. C. Dickinson, at Sandring-
ham, by gracious permission of H.M. Queen
Alexandra.

Tiger Shooting in the Terai (Feb. 1876) . „ 356

From the Painting by Herbert Johnson, at Sandring-
ham, by gracious permission of H.M. Queen
Alexandra.



HALF-TONE PLATES

The Golf Course, Sandringham . . . Tofacep. xxviii

From a Photograph by W. A. Rouch.

King Edward VII. arriving for the Shern-

bourne Drive ...... „ 22

From a Photograph by W. J. Edwards.

Listening for the Beaters .... ,, 24

From a Photograph by Mr. Montague Guest, kindly
lent by Lady Bessborough.

King Edward VII. Shooting at Shernbourne „ 28

From a Photograph by IV. J. Edwards.

Grouse Nest, Wolferton Heath ... „ 33

From a Photograph by E. M. Beloc.

King Edward VII. talking to the Prince
OF Wales after the Commodore Wood
Drive ,, 38

- From a Photograph by W. J. Edwards.

The Kennels, Sandringham .... „ 41

Reproduced by special permission of H.M. Queen
Alexandra, from a Photograph by F. Ralph,
Dersingham.

The Entrance to Sandringham Stud . . „ 41

From a Photograph by W. A. Rouch.

xiii



List of Illustrations



Billiard Room, Sandringham . . . To face p. 43

From a Photograph by F. Ralph, Dersingham.

The Gun Room, Sandringham ... ,, 43

From a Photograph by F. Ralph, Dersingham.

Leaving Sandringham for a Shoot . . ,> 45

From a Photograph by W. J. Edwards.

Beaters at Shernbourne .... „ 48

From a Photograph by IV. J. Edwards.

Shooting Party crossing Mangolds. King

Edward VII. mounted .... ,, 48

From a Photograph by W. J. Edwards.

" Diver," the King's Favourite Retriever . „ 50

From a Photograph by W. A. Rouch.

The Rabbit Warren at Sandringham . . ,, 50

From a Photograph by F. Ralph, Dersinghain.

To the next Drive „ 56

From a Photograph by W. J. Edwards.

Shooting Party at Windsor about Forty

Years ago „ 60

From a Photograph by Hills b' Saunders, Eton.

View over the Coverts from Cranbourne

Tower, Windsor Park .... „ 62

From a Photograph by W. A. Rouch.

Rush Pond Pheasantry in Windsor Great

Park ........ „ 64

From a Photograph by IV. A. Rouch.

Shooting Party at Windsor 1905 . . „ 66

Frovi a Photograph by Hills df Saunders, Eton.

Shooting Party at Windsor 1906 . . „ 68

From a Photograph by Hills cf Saunders, Eton.



List of Illustrations

Shooting Party at Windsor 1908 . . To face p. 72

From a Photograph by Hills b" Saunders, Eton,



Keepers with Borzois and Deerhound at
Windsor

From a Photograph by W. A. Rouch.



75



Carriage used by King Edward to shoot

FROM, after his ACCIDENT IN WINDSOR

Park

From a Photograph by Mr. Montague Guest, kindly
lent by Lady Bessborough.

The King's Clumber Spaniels ... „ 75

From a Photograph by IV. A. Rouch.

Cranbourne Tower, where the Shooting

Party Lunch „ 76

From a Photograph by W. A. Pouch.

Shooting Party at Windsor 1909 . . ,, 79

From a Photograph by Hills dr* Saunders, Eton.

Sandpit Gate. The Head Keeper's House

in Windsor Park „ 86

From a Photograph by W. A. Rouch.



90



Hunting Swords, &c „ 94

From " The Armoury of Windsor Castle," by Guy
Francis Laking, M.V.O., F.S.A. {Bradbury,
Agnew b' Co. , Ltd. ). By kind permission of
Author and Publishers,

Specimens of Early Firearms ... „ 98

From " The Armoury of Windsor Castle," by Guy
Francis Laking, M.V.O., F.S.A. (Bradbury,
Agnew b' Co., Ltd.). By kind permission of
Author and Publishers.

Deer Forest, Balmoral . . . . „ 113

From a Photograph by J. b' J. Bisset, Ballaler,

The Prince of Wales at a Deer Drive in

the Highlands (1888) . . . . „ 116

Reproduced by kind permission of the Proprietors of
" The Illustrated London News."



List of Illustrations

The Prince of Wales Deer Stalking on

LocHNAGAR (1881) To face p. 122

Reproduced by kind permission of the Proprietors of
" The Illustrated London News."

Deer Forest, Balmoral, showing Box from

WHICH King P2dward shot . . . „ 126

From a Photograph by J. b' J. Bisset, Ballater.

Perdita II., Dam of Florizel II., Persimmon,

and Diamond Jubilee . . . . ,, 140

From a Photograph by Clarence Hailey, Newmarket.

Florizel II., with his Trainer, Richard

Marsh. J. Watts riding ... „ 148

From a Photograph by Clarence Hailey, Newmarket.

THAJis, Winner of the One Thousand

Guineas (1896) ,, 154

From a Photograph by W. A. Rouch.

Laodamia, with Edmund Walker, the Stud

Groom at Sandringham . . . , ,, 168

From a Photograph by W. A. Rouch.

King Edward VII. and Queen Alexandra
arriving at Ascot Grand Stand on
Gold Cup Day ,,170

From a Photograph by W. A. Rouch.

Sandringham as a Yearling . . . . ,, 172

Froin a Photograph by W. A. Rouch.

Egerton House and Stables, where the

King's Horses were Trained . . „ 178

From a Photograph by Clarence Hailey, Newmarket.

Frontignan and Diamond Jubilee coming

out for the St. Leger (1900) . . „ 184

From a Photograph by W. A. Rouch.

Persimmon, 1898 — First Year at Sandring-
ham Stud „ 186

From a Photograph by W. A. Rouch.

xvi



List of Illustrations

Nadejda, own Sister to Persimmon and
Diamond Jubilee, King Edward VII.'s
two Sandringham-bred Derby Winners To face p. 192

From a Photograph by W. A. Kouch.

Perrier ,, 204

From a Photograph by IV. A. Kouch.

The Royal Procession coming up the New

Mile, Ascot „ 206

From a Photograph by W. A. Pouch.

Minoru, with H.M. King Edward VII., Lord
Marcus Beresford, and Richard Marsh
— Herbert Jones riding. . . . „ 214

Photographed by Royal Command by W. A. Rouch.

Witch of the Air „ 222

From a Painting by G. D. Giles.

Ambush II. after Winning the Grand

National „ 252

From a Photograph by W. A. Rouch.

Ambush II., Winner of the Grand National,
1900, with Anthony, and Mr. G. W.
Lushington, his Trainer ... ,, 254

From a Photograph by IV. A. Rouch.

The Parade at Liverpool, Moifaa leading „ 259

From a Photograph by W. A. Rouch.

Moifaa in the Paddock at Aintree . . „ 261

From a Photograph by W. A. Rouch.

Norwich Gates Entrance to Sandringham . ,, 277

From a Photograph by F. Ralph, Dersingham.

The Prince and Princess of Wales ready

to Hunt „ 279

From a Photograph by Hills 6» Saunders, Eton.
xvii



List of Illustrations

The Prince Mounted To face p. 279

From a Photograph by Hills fr' Saunders, Eton.

His Royal Highness ready to Hunt, 1866 . ,, 280

From a Photograph by Hills b" Saunders, Eton.

The Prince of Wales with one of his

Hunters, 1866 „ 280

From a Photograph by Hills dr" Saunders, Eton.

The Prince of Wales at the Meet of the
Burton Hounds, " Green Man," Lincoln
Heath (1870) „ 282

Reproduced by kind permission of the Proprietors of
" The Illustrated London News."

"Satellite" and "Aline" (King Ednvard's
Yacht when Prince of Wales) Racing
AT Cowes ....... „ 297

From a Photograph by W. U. Kirk b' Sons, Cowes.

" Britannia " „ 308

From a Photograph by W. U. Kir-k b" Sons, Cowes.

V Britannia" Racing at Cowes ... ,, 310

From a Photograph by W. U. Kirk dr" Sons, Cowes.

*' Vigilant " and " Britannia " on a broad

reach in the Solent . . . . „ 312

From a Photograph by G. West df Son, Southsea.

King Edward VH. and Queen Alexandra

ON THE "Britannia" at Cowes . . „ 314

From a Photograph by W. U. Kirk b' Sons, Cowes.

A Dead Beat — "Vigilant" and " Britannia"

IN the Solent ,, 320

From a Photograph by G. West b' Son, Southsea.

King Edward VII. and Lord Burnham . ,, 321

From a Photograph.

Shooting Party at Hall Barn . . . ,, 322

From a Photograph.



List of Illustrations

Changing Guns To face p. 323

From a Photograph.

Through the Woods at Hall Barn . . ,, 325

From a Photograph.

A Shoot at Hall Barn — His Majesty King
George, Lord Burnham, the Hon.
Henry Stonor, &:c „ 326

From a Photograph.

Castle Rising Hall, the Residence of

Lord Farquhar ,, 327

From a Photograph by F. Ralph, Dersinghaiu.



335



H.R.H. the Prince of Wales and the Wild

White Bull at Chillingham ... „

From a Photograph in Lord Tankerville' s private
album.

The Wild White Bull shot by H.R.H. the

Prince of Wales at Chillingham . . „ 335

From a Photograph in Lord Tankerville s private \

alburn.

King Edward VH. when Prince of Wales. ,, 336

From a Photograph in Lord Tankerville' s private
album.

Queen Alexandra when Princess of Wales ,, 336

From a Photograph in Lord Tankerville' s private
album.

Card showing Result of Shooting at
Konigs-Wusterhausen on January 13,
1874 ..337

Reproduced by the courteous perrnission of Baron von
Heintze, Master of the Royal Hunt.

The Prince of Wales in the Terai — Shoot-
ing A Bear (1876) „ 358

Reproduced by kind permission of the Proprietors of
" The Illustrated London News."



List of Illustrations

The Prince of Wales Tiger Shooting with
Sir Jung Bahadoor (1876) : The Critical
Moment To face p. 360

Reproduced by kind permission of the Proprietors of
" The Illustrated London News."

The Prince of Wales in the Nepal Terai

(1876) — Chased by a Wild Elephant . „ 364

Reproduced by kind permission of the Proprietors of
" The Illustrated London News."

The Prince of Wales' Elephant Charged

BY A Tiger (1876) ,, 368

Reproduced by kind permission of the Proprietors of
" The Illustrated London Nnvs."



XX



INTRODUCTION

By Captain the Hon. Sir SEYMOUR FORTESCUE,
K.C.V.O.

I HAVE been asked by my friend, Mr. Alfred Watson,
to write a brief introduction to this book, which is
being produced under his auspices. My only quali-
fications for this task consist in the fact that during the
last seventeen years it was constantly my privilege and
duty, as Equerry-in-Waiting, to attend His Majesty
when he shared in the various sports indulged in by
many of our countrymen.

As long ago as the autumn of 1879, years before
entering King Edward's personal service, I remember
being one of the field hunting with the Devon and
Somerset Staghounds, under the Mastership of the late
Mr. Fenwick Bissett, when the then Prince of Wales,
for the first and only time in his life, took part in the
chase of the wild red-deer on Exmoor, and, after a fine
forest run, saw the stag brought to bay and killed in
Badgeworthy Water. In later days it has been my
duty and good fortune to be in attendance on him
during many a race on board his famous yacht
Britannia ; at nearly all the best shoots of England and

Scotland, whether in stubble or covert, on moor or on

xxi



Introduction

forest ; and lastly, to be frequently with him at New-
market and all the other important race meetings.

If ever a man deserved the name of " sportsman,"
in the best sense of that much abused term, King
Edward did. In my humble opinion, the perfect
"sportsman" is the man whose principal pleasure it is
to see that the other participators in the sport of the
day are enjoying themselves, the man who can win a
great race without undue elation and who can lose
without being depressed, who can be cheerful when
the birds "go wrong," shows no impatience when his
yacht, after leading handsomely, gets into the doldrums
and is vanquished by the fluky victory of a rival boat,
and, perhaps the most difficult part of all, can be ready
with a charming smile and a word of congratulation to
the owner whose horse has just beaten his own by a
short head in an important race.

All these qualifications King Edward possessed in
a superlative degree, and moreover, if I may so express
myself, he took the right view of sport. Instead of
being a slave to it and making a business of it, to him
it was always a relaxation, and often a much needed
one. The work of the Sovereign of this Empire never
ceases. Wherever he goes, he is followed by telegrams
and despatch-boxes ; and anything that can divert his
mind for a few hours from the never-ceasing cares of
State is of real profit and use to him. Perhaps, there-
fore, he valued sport more for what it gave him than
for the actual thing itself. He enjoyed seeing all

xxii



Introduction

classes fused together in the hunting-field. He loved
his yacht, not only because she could win races, but
because she was his home for the time being (he some-
times lived for weeks together on board the Britannia
in spring time on the Riviera), and because he delighted
in the freedom of the sea, the salt breeze, and the
beauty of the scene around him.

The same may be said of his racing. Like any
other man, he could take intense pleasure in seeing a
close finish and the victory of his own colours, but he
also liked to stroll about the enclosure and bird-cage
at Newmarket, to look at the horses, and to talk to his
friends : and, above all, he enjoyed the excuse for
being in the open air. Moreover he, most of all
men, could not but be sensible of the intense joy
that it gave his subjects to see a horse of his win the
Derby. Those who were amongst the tens of thou-
sands present at Epsom when he won his first Derby
(as Prince of Wales) with Persimmon, and his first,
and, alas ! his last, as King with Minoru, will not
readily forget the wild scene of enthusiasm and genuine
loyalty that was displayed by the huge crowd on those
two occasions. Nor will they forget how an Epsom
crowd shouted and cheered on another occasion, namely,
when the King sent for the Chevalier Ginistrelli, after
Signorinetta had won the Oaks, and placed that most
sporting of foreigners between himself and the Queen
to bow from the Royal Box his acknowledgment of
the ovation that greeted him on the occasion of his

xxiii d



Introduction

mare's dual victory — for she had previously won the
Derby. The King's life was made up of graceful acts,
but few, I think, were more graceful than this.

So also when shooting. He could feel a boy's
pleasure when the grouse came well to his butt, when
he felt that he was shooting his best, and, in fact, when
everything was going right ; but he was equally happy
and contented when, as must often happen in Scotland,
the grouse were few and did not come his way — happy
in his enjoyment of the " moor," and perfectly con-
tented to hear of the success of the man two butts off
who had been having all the best of the luck. De-
lighting as he did in the beauties of Nature, probably
the sport that he liked best of all was grouse-shooting
in various parts of Scotland, and deer-driving at Bal-
moral, where Nature has arranged such a magnificent
setting for the sportsman ; but, as a matter of fact, no
shooting came amiss to him, and he took the keenest
pleasure in that sport in all its branches.

As an amusing specimen of a somewhat peculiar
" branch " of the sport in question, I remember well
King Edward accepting an invitation from the Abbot
of Tepl to a partridge-drive on the Tepl estates, which
surround the famous old Monastery of that name.
For those who have never " made a cure " at Marien-
bad, I must explain that the Religious Order in question
owns not only the Springs and Baths of Marienbad,
but also a vast tract of agricultural land, which is
farmed by the monks and their tenants. The Abbot



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