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THERE is plenty of proof that Foxhounds were the very first of the canine races in Great Britain to come under the domination of scientific breeding. There had been hounds of more ancient origin, such as the Southern Hound and the Bloodhound ; but something different was wanted towards the end of the seventeenth century to hunt the wild deer that had become somewhat scattered after Cromwell's civil war. The demand was consequently for a quicker hound than those hitherto known, and people devoted to the chase began to breed it. Whether there were crosses at first remains in dispute, but there is more probability that the policy adopted was one of selection ; those exceptionally fast were bred with the same, until the slow, steady line hunter was improved out of his very character and shape. At any rate, there are proofs that in 171o hounds were to be found in packs, carefully bred, and that at that time some of the hunts in question devoted attention to the fox.

The first known kennel of all was at Wardour Castle, and was said to have been established in 1696; but more reliable is the date of the Brocklesby, commenced in 1713. The first record of a pack of hounds being sold was in 1730, when a Mr. Fownes sold his pack to a Mr. Bowles. The latter gentleman showed great sport with them in Yorkshire. At that time Lord Hertford began to hunt the Cotswold country, in Gloucestersni:e, and was the first to draw coverts for fox in the modern style. Very soon after this it became the fashion of the day to breed hounds. Many of the nobility and large


landowners devoted much of their time and money to it, and

would take long journeys to get fresh blood. It was the rule

to breed hounds on the most scientific principles, and by 1750

there were fifty such breeders, including the fifth Duke of

Beaufort, Lord Lincoln, Lord Stamford, Lord Percival, Lord

Granby, Lord Ludlow, Lord Vernon, Lord Carlisle, Lord Mex

bro, Sir Walter Vavasour, Sir Roland Winns, Mr. Noel, Mr. Stanhope, Mr. Meynell, Mr. Barry, and Mr. Charles Pelham. The last-named gentleman, afterward the first Lord Yarborough, was perhaps the most indefatigable of all, as he was the first to start the system of walking puppies amongst his tenantry, on the Brocklesby estates, and of keeping lists of hound pedigrees and ages. By 1760 all the above-named noblemen and gentlemen had been breeding from each other's kennels. The hounds were registered, as can be seen now in Lord Middleton's private kennel stud book, through which his lordship can trace the pedigrees of his present pack for a hundred and sixty years to hounds that were entered in 1760, got by Raytor, son of Merryman and grandson of Lord Granby's Ranter. Another pedigree was that of Ruby, who is credited with a numerous progeny, as she was by Raytor out of Mr. Stapleton's Cruel by Sailor, a son of Lord Granby's Sailor by Mr. Noel's Victor. This shows well how seriously Foxhound breeding was gone into before the middle of the eighteenth century. Portraits prove also that a hound approaching very closely to those of modern times had been produced at this early period. By such evidence the Foxhound had outstripped the Harrier in size by nearly five inches, as the latter does not appear to have been more than eighteen inches, and the early Foxhound would have been twenty-three inches. Then the heavy shoulder, the dewlap, and jowl of the Southern Hound had been got rid of, and the coat had been somewhat altered The old school of breeders had evidently determined upon great speed and the ability to stay, through the medium of deep ribs, heart room, wide loins, length of quarter, quality of bone, straightness of fore-leg, and round strong feet ; the slack loined,



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