Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Hunting with Daniel O’Connell, The Liberator

mullins.Daniel OConnell and Kerry BeaglesPortrait of Daniel O’Connell and one of his Kerry Beagles /  Noel Mullins photo

Researching the history of one’s sport can be very rewarding, as little did I know during my history classes in school that the Irish politician Daniel O’Connell (1775-1847), known as The Liberator, was a hunting man. Maybe I would have paid more attention had I known!

I explored Daniel O’Connell’s hunting life further when I was given a seventy-year-old unfinished manuscript on the Kerry Beagle written by the great Irish writer, poet, broadcaster, and hunting correspondent, Stanislaus Lynch (1907–1983). I since edited Lynch’s manuscript and published his book in 2017 titled, In Search of the Kerry Beagle.

Which Is the Real John Peel Horn?

john peels hornJohn Peel's hunting horn for auction

Mitchell’s, a Cockermouth auction house near Carlisle in Cumbria will hold its Country Sporting Sale from July 22 to July 24, 2020. Cumbria, of course, is where John Peel (1776-1854) hunted hounds. Peel, subject of the well known hunting song, “D’ye ken John Peel?” remains, arguably, the world’s most famous huntsman.

One highlight of the sale includes a hunting horn believed to have belonged to John Peel. The horn is described in the catalog as:

A Thanksgiving Day Hunt with the Brandywine

stuart roseStuart Rose: foxhunter, race rider, publisher, author

This tale of a Thanksgiving hunt in Pennsylvania around the middle of the twentieth century is from Stuart Rose’s excellent book, There’s a Fox in the Spinney: Memories of Fox-hunting, Racing and Publishing (Doubleday, 1967).

Rose’s father intended to send his son to Harvard, but upon completing secondary school the young man joined the U.S. Calvary instead, by lying about his age. He wanted to ride horses.

Squire Osbaldeston: A Sporting Prodigy

squire osbaldeston.Sir Frances Holyoake Goodricke.1830.John FERNELEYSquire Osbaldeston, MFH (foreground) on Ashton, with Sir Frances Holyoake-Goodricke on Crossbow, 1830, hunting the Pytchley in Melton Mobray, Leicestershire, England. Oil painting  by John Ferneley

London-born in 1786, George Osbaldeston was a natural athlete. He rowed for various schools that he attended, including Eton and Oxford, neither of which he matriculated. He assiduously avoided academic work, but set high standards for rowdy behavior and was expelled from most of these fine institutions.

He was an outstanding cricketeer, bowling and batting as an amateur in numerous important matches. In 1818, however, he was barred for life from membership in a club as the result of an intemperate outburst, effectively finishing his career in important cricket matches.

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