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than the farmers are in the hunts which surround Cheltenham; this is a consideration that must add vastly to the pleasure of strangers. If a gentleman from a distant hunt is apprehensive that he will be uncivilly and uncourteously received, or rather his amusement obstructed by the first agriculturists, over whose land he may happen to ride, it must naturally have a great tendency to keep him away, or to induce him to select a district where he will be more politely treated; but the farmers are sportsmen to a man, and most sincerely is it to be hoped that times will improve, and that those who keep one horse will find themselves in a condition to be able to afford the kecp of
In the immediate neighbourhood of Cheltenham the country is not what can be fairly denominated good, but at a distance of ten miles or so he must be fastidious who wishes for a better. The Heythrope country, in the neighbourhood of Stow, is particularly good —it is partly vale and partly intersected by stone walls; the neighbourhood of Beadwell Grove is also excellent, in fact it is acknowledged to be the best stone wall country in England; Northleach is a centrical situation for those who wish to meet Lord Redesdale and Lord Gifford, and is the usual place for the Cheltenham men to send to on the over night.
Lord Gifford's country, in the neighbourhood of Ampney, Williamstrip, and Barnesley, is mostly a wall country; that beyond Cirencester is a heavy vale, requiring both horse and man to have condition and experience; the Beadon country is uncommonly severe.
The whole of Worcestershire, with the exception of Breedon Hill, is vale; that in the neighbourhood of Pershore is good, and also about Grafton and Goosehill; Omburley, Bishop's Wood, and Westwood, beyond Worcester, are very popular places of mecting, and from whence
excellent runs have been seen.
ROYAL SPORTS MEN,
ON THE TURF AND IN THE FIELD.
BY LORD WILLIAM LENNOX.
“ Here is a card, and a shect-list of the running horses, names of the royal and noble sportsmen."-VENDERS OF DORLING's Lists.
“By chase our long-liv'd fathers earn'd their food,
The origin of horse-racing in England is difficult to ascertain ; Henry the Second, who was fond of hunting, is recorded to have been a patron of the turf, as some races took place at Epsom during this accomplished monarch's reign. From "1189 to the days of Henry the Eighth no mention is made of racing. We, however, find this royal Giovanni patronising the meetings at Chester and Stamford, where the prizes were valueless, excepting for the honour of the affair, being merely small wooden bells ornamented with flowers.
James the First, despite of liis feeble temper and overwhelming vanity, so far gave his sanction to the turf, that race-courses were laid out at Newmarket, Croydon, and Enfield chase, and silver bells were substituted for the former wooden ones.
Jesse tells us that the king's “principal source of amusement was in the chase, from which he ever derived the keenest gratification." He also gives two amusing anecdotes of his Majesty's indifferent horsemanship: upon one occasion he was thrown headlong into a pond; and upon another, cast through the ice into the New River, where nothing but the royal boots were visible, and from which awful situation he was saved by Sir Richard Young. The cock-pit too was a favourite haunt of Queen Jamie, as the lampooners of that day styled him.
The civil wars, during the reign of the unfortunate Charles the First, occupied too much of that monarch's time to enable him to devote himself to the sports of the turf. Nevertheless we find that ill-fated sovereign devoted to hunting, and it was to enjoy that sport in perfection that he extended the New Park at Richmond to its
“ Ir the month of June, Richmond Palace was prepared for the king's reception, but he refused to go thither.” In August, however, of that year, the Prince Elector and the Duke of York hunted with his majesty in the New Park, and killed a stag and a buck; and the chronicler adds, “his majesty was very cheerful, and afterwards dined with his children at Syon."
The fanatic Cromwell,* during his protectorship—which was anything but a bed of roses—encouraged the breed of horses. The fame of his equery's flyer, “ Place's White Turk,” is well known in the annals of ancient sporting. The Protector too was fond of hunting, and frequently followed the diversion at Hampton Court, surrounded by his body-guard.
After Cromwell came Charles the Second, and from this period horse-racing may date the importance which it has ever since maintained in England. The merry monarchi re-established the races at
Some of our readers may not be aware of the extent to which fanaticism was carried in those days. So wild and irrational were the pretended saints, that they were wont to substitute scriptural names in place of their Christian names. The Henrys, Willianis, Charleses, &c., gave way to Ezekiel, Zacharialı, and Obadiah. And Broome, in his “ Travels in England,” states that “sometimes a whole Godly sentence was adopted as a name.” He gives the names of a jury in the county of Sussex about that time, which run as follow:
“ Faint-not Hewit, of Heathfield.
Newmarket, which had first been instituted by his grandfather, and which had been interrupted by the Roundhead Cromwell.* Charles also established the system of giving prizes of value, and was the donor of the first cup on record—a silver one, of the value of 100 guineas. The era of thorough-bred horses may be said to have commenced under the reign of this “ laughter-loving king." His stud contained some magnificent Arabian stallions; and the master of the horse, Sir Christopher Wyvill, was despatched abroad in search of some thorough-bred mares, which upon their arrival in England were called the “royal mares." Reresby gives a brief notice of the manner in which Charles occupied his time at Newmarket. “He went to the cock-pit from ten till dinner-time, about three he went to the horse-races, at six he returned to the cock-pit.' Pepys gives an account of one of the easiest princes, and best bred man alive" debauches after a Hunting Party in 1667. In this reign we find Charles's eldest son, the ill-fated Duke of Monmouth, a distinguished member of the turf, and a most sporting character. In Dalrymple's memoirs, giving the progress of the Duke (then in the height of his popularity) through the disturbed districts, we read the following account of this extraordinary and wayward man:“ He entered into all country diversions, and, as he was of wonderful agility, even ran races himself upon foot; and when he had outstrippel thic swistest of the racers, he ran again in his boots, and beat them though running in their shoes. The prizes which he gained during the day, he gave away at christenings in the evening.
" Jesse too, in his “Memoirs of the Court of England during the Reign of the Stuarts," gives the following account of the gallant Duke's exploits on the turt':-" In 1683 we find Monmouth distinguishing himself on a different field. On the 25th of February, in that year, was contested, in the neighbourhood of the French capital, perhaps the most famous horse-race of modern tinies. Louis the Fourteenth had sent to different countries, inviting the owners of the swiftest horses to try their fortune upon that day. The plate, which he limself presented, was valued at a thousand pistoles, and the race-course was the plain d'Echèr, near St. Germain en Lai. The honour of England was sustained by the Duke of Monmouth, who carried away the prize in the presence of Louis and the French court.”
James II., during his reign of bigotry and despotisin, devoted a considerable portion of his time to the sports of the field, although he took little or no interest in the turf. In the “ Court of the Stuarts,” we find the following letter, written about two years before his flight :“ His Majesty to-day (God bless him !) underwent the fatigue of a
+ While on the subject of the Roundheads, I cannot refrain from giving an anecdote, which occurred to ine. “In the days when I went 'plating' a long time ago," I had a horse by Hampden, which had not inappropriately been named “ Roundhead.” This same steed was claimed at Hampton Races, by a country trainer. In less than a month I happened to meet the then owner, who, in talking of the horse, said, “Oh, I've changed his name." "Surely," I replied, " Roundhead was a good name for a son of Hampden.” “Good !" rejoined my friend, “ Round-'ed! Vy, I never in all my life seed an 'orse vith an 'andsomer 'ed. Lean and small, vithout being too long; for'ed narry, and a little conwex. Nothingwotsumever round about it.”
long fox-chase. I saw him and his followers return, as like drowned rats as ever appendices to royalty did.” And in Ellis's “ Correspondence," we read—“ The king visits Richmond often, makes it lis hunting quarter twice a week, and most commonly attends the queen thither with great civility." Putney Heath and other places not far distant from London were the usual“ meets."
In the reign of Queen Anne, an Arabian stallion, bought by the Duke of Berwick at the siege of Buda, and a bay barb, presented by the Emperor of Morocco to Louis XIV., were sent to England,
and obtained great celebrity. At this period the breeding of horses was apparently not so dear as it is in our days, for, according to the Spectator," we find in 1711 the following notice :
“ A chestnut horse called Cæsar, bred by James Darcey, Esq., at Scrbury, ncar Richmoul, in the County of York ; his grandam was his old royal mare, and got by Blunderbuss, which was got by Helmsly Turk, and he got Mr. Courant's srabian, which got Mr. Minshul's Jow's-trump. Mr. Darcey sold Ciesar to a nobleman (coming five years old, when he had but one sweat) for three hundred guincas. A guinea a leap and trial, and a shilling the man.” Anne was devoted to the chase; and in a letter from Swift to Stella, dated 31st July, 1711, the following appears-“The queen was abroad to-day in order to hunt; but finding it disposed to rain, sue kept in her coach. She hunts in a chaise with one horse, which she drives berself, and drives furiously like Jehu, and is a mighty hunter like Nimrod.” Again, in another letter, the dean writes :-“ I dined to-day with the gentlemen ushers, among scurvy company; but the Queen was hunting the stag till four this afternoon, and she drove in her chaise above forty miles, and it was five before we went to dinner."
George I., although averse to England and the English, and surrounded by a set of rapacious Germans, one of whom was appointed master of the buck-hounds, encouraged the breed of horses. When the “ proud” Duke of Somerset resigned the post of master of the horse, which he had held under the reign of Queen Anne, the king, instead of nominating a successor, kept the place vacant, conferring the salary upon his uninteresting and antiquated sultana, the Duchess of Kendal,
Gcorge II. was fond of hunting, and during his reign races were patronised, and the breed of horses attended to.
We pass over the days of George III., who personally cared little for the turf, and bring our readers to the time of his son, George IV., who from an early period of his life up to that of his death, took the deepest interest in it.
From the year 1784 to 1792, inclusive, the king, then Prince of Wales, was a winner to a large extent. To the sporting reader it is unnecessary to mention that the stakes in those times were nothing to be compared with those of the present day, and therefore the produce of the above-mentioned nine ycars will be deemed considerable. The Prince's winnings, prizes included, were as follow :—His Royal Higliness won 185 races, including 18 King's Plates, 1 Derby, 2 Cups, 1 Claret, an Oatlands (worth nearly 3,000 gs.), 1 July Stakes, a Lady's Plate, and sundry Jockey Club, Prince's, and
Macaroni plates and stakes. Amount of winning, exclusive of the above-mentioned stakes and plates, 32,688gs. Of this period the years 1788 and 1792 were the most propitious; in the former the Prince won £4,000 and a Derby, in the latter £7,700-out of which Whiskey, by Saltram, won 4,650 gs.; Cleopatra, by Saltram, won 1,550 gs.; and Queen of Sheba, by Saltram, won 900 gs.
1791 was the celebrated “ Escape” year, and it is strange that both the horse and its royal master should have had such narrow escapes, and if we were to carry the metaphor further, from the same cause
Some of our readers may not be aware that this horse was bred by the Prince of Wales, and was purchased, when a yearling, at the first sale of his stud in 1786 by Mr. Franco. One night his trainer went into the stable, and found that he had kicked through the stall, and had entangled one of his legs between the boards; by good care and management he was released without sustaining any injury; the trainer hastened to inform Mr. Franco of the circumstance, exclaiming, “ What a wonderful escape !" After listening to all the particulars, the owner named him " Escape.” In 1789, the Prince repurchased the horse from Mr. Franco for £1,500, and two years afterwards “ the event," which created a considerable excitement at the time came off. We pass over the second escapade, and Chifney's explanatory pamphlet, not wishing to rake up by-gone deeds: thus much we may say that there certainly can be no doubt that there are many instances on record of different horses beating each other alternately over the same course; with this remark we leave the affair (as the players say) to the discrimination of an enlightened British public.
After a lapse of seven years, his Royal Highness again appeared on the turf; "the ruling passion" was as strong as ever, although he still refrained from visiting Newmarket, indignant at the treatment he had there received. In 1805 a numerous meeting of the members of the Jockey Club was held at Brighton during the races, and the circumstances attending the Prince's secession from Newmarket were fully entered into. The result was the following resolution, which was carried unanimously.
“ May it please your Royal Highness,—The members of the Jockey Club, deeply regretting your absence from Newmarket, earnestly entreat the affair may be buried in oblivion; and sincerely hope that the different meetings may again be honoured by your Royal Highness's condescending attendance."
This document was signed by the members present, and submitted to the Prince, who received it most graciously, and in his Royal Highness's reply signified his intention of assenting to it. From that time, however, we believe the Prince never carried his intentions into effect.
During this period of seven years, from 1800 to 1807, inclusive, his Royal Highness won 107 races, including 9 King's plates, 2 cups, 4 Oatlands, 3 Cravens, besides the Woburn, Petworth, Pavillion, Somerset, Egremont, and Smoker stakes. Amount of winning, exclusive of the above stakes and plates, 10,295 guineas. Of this period, 1807 seems to have been the Prince's most fortunate year, as far as public money was concerned. For we