Hunting Days of Yore
By Norman Fine
On the happy occasion of Mr. I. Tucker Burr, III’s one hundredth birthday on Thursday, July 27, 2017, we republish the story of his raucous escapade in 1936 when he and a schoolmate ran his mother’s Norfolk Hunt foxhounds on a drag hunt through Harvard Yard.
Mr. Burr, you and your friend Leverett Saltonstall, Jr. were a proper pair of rascals, and we all wish we could have been there for the fun. Happy birthday, sir.The Leverett Saltonstall Family in the Norfolk Hunt field, 1930. Leverett (top hat) was governor of Massachusetts and U.S. Senator, three terms each. Leverett, Jr is just left of his father.
In the dark of night on April 16, 1936, the atmosphere of refinement within the hallowed walls of Harvard Yard was suddenly shattered by foxhounds in full cry. A candid confession to the affair is buried in the pages of The Norfolk Hunt: One Hundred Years of Sport, published in 1995 to commemorate Norfolk’s centennial. The statute of limitations having long expired, we can confidentially out the two students who organized and carried out the caper: Leverett Saltonstall, Jr. and I. Tucker Burr, III.
Tuck’s mother, Mrs. I. Tucker (Evelyn Thayer) Burr, Jr. was MFH and huntsman of the Norfolk Hunt at the time of the incident. Whether she was a willing accessory we’ll leave to the reader to decide. Young Leverett whipped-in to her from time to time. Leverett’s father, who traced his roots directly to the Mayflower, was Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, soon to be governor for three terms, and finally U.S. Senator for three elected terms.