Breeding Foxhounds is one of the most fascinating of all the pleasures of animal culture, as the above list, so full of extreme merit, can be traced for nearly a hundred and thirty years.
It cannot be said that the prices paid for Foxhounds in very recent times have greatly exceeded those of the past. In 1790 Colonel Thornton sold Merkin for four hogsheads of claret, and the seller to have two couples of the whelps. Then in 18o8 Mr. John Warde sold a pack of hounds to Lord Althorpe for 1,000 guineas, and the same gentleman sold another pack for the same sum a few years later. In 1838 Lord Suffield offered 3,000 guineas for Mr. Lambton's pack, and afterwads sold it to Sir Matthew White Ridley for 2,500. In 1834 Osbaldeston sold ten couples of bitches, all descendants of Furrier, for 2,000 sovereigns, or (100 a hound-a record that was almost eclipsed at the sale of Lord Politmore's hounds in 1870, when twentytwo couples of dog-hounds sold for 3,365 guineas.
Of late years there has been the sale of the Quorn for, it was said, £3,000, and the late Lord Willoughby de Broke valued the North Warwickshire for the county to purchase at (2,500. In 1903 the Atherstone was valued by Mr. Rawlence, the well-known representative of Tattersall's, at £3,500, or something like £5o a hound, and that has been considered very cheap. If, therefore, modern prices have not greatly exceeded those of the far past, there has not been any particular diminution, and there is no doubt about it that if certain packs could be purchased the prices would far exceed anything ever reached before.
Foxhounds have very much improved in looks during the past five-and-twenty years, and unquestionably they are quite as good in the field or better. Whenever hounds have good foxes in front of them, and good huntsmen to assist or watch over them, they are as able as ever, notwithstanding that the drawbacks to good sport are more numerous now than they used to be. The noble hound will always be good enough, and ever and anon this is shown by a run of the Great Wood order, to hunt over five-and-twenty to thirty miles at a pace