Not long after my wife and I moved to Clarke County, Virginia, a new rector was hired by the Episcopal Church in Millwood. He was taken aside by one of the old, established landowners who wanted to help him acclimate to his new surroundings.
"You are a very important personage in the community," said the landowner helpfully, "but do you know who is the most important?"
"No, who?" asked the rector.
"The Master of Foxhounds," said the landowner.
In the light of the importance of rank and the start of a new social season, FHL thought that we should provide hosts and hostesses with some helpful advice on correct seating arrangements for your next dinner party.
Lord Willoughby de Broke, a nineteenth-century MFH, solved that problem. He compiled a list of county personages in order of rank, so that hostesses would know who to seat to her right at the table. In the absence of royalty or aristocracy, here is the essential information you should know:
The Lord Lieutenant
The Master of Foxhounds
The Agricultural Landlords
The Colonel of the Yeomanry
The Member of Parliament
The Justices of the Peace
The lesser clergy
The large farmers
(From The Keen Foxhunter’s Miscellany by Peter Holt, Quiller Publishing, England)
November 1, 2010