Hare Hunting by Frances E. Slaughter

This sport has a peculiar interest for women inasmuch as they are able to take a leading part in it. With foxhounds, the duties of the huntsman are too arduous, even though a woman M.F.H. has not been unknown in the past. But to the Lady Salisbury of venatic fame who hunted the fox manfully over Hertfordshire, we may refer as the exception that proves the rule, for few women would feel they had the physical strength for the task.

With harriers, however, the case is different, for in the first place the little hounds are very handy, and the hunting of the hare is a sport which should above all things be conducted quietly. The less holloaing and noise there is with them the better, for the hounds should be trusted to work out the puzzles set them by the hare, with as little interference as possible. Of course hare hunting may be turned into a poor imitation of fox-hunting, by racing a hare to death with 22-inch foxhound bitches, but this is not true sport in any sense, for it gives the quarry little chance of saving its life, and should be discountenanced by all lovers of the chase. Apropos of this subject, there was in a certain harrier country a great, flat-sided, long-legged hound which attracted the notice of a sport-loving stranger, as being evidently too fast for the pack. In all innocence this visitor remarked to the Master, "I suppose you will draft that hound?" To his astonishment the Master, with an expression of horror and indignation, exclaimed, "Draft him, why he is the best hound I have. He kills more hares than all the rest put together." The visitor said nothing, but he knew the kind of sport that lay before him.

To leave the travesty of honest hare hunting, let us turn to the more pleasing subject of how the chase should be carried on, and here at the threshold we may pause to recall the names of those women, who of late years have carried the horn and hunted their own hounds. Mrs. Cheape, the Squire of Bentley, has shown good sport for many a year, first with the Wellfield Beagles, and since 1892 with the Bentley Harriers with which her name is so intimately connected. Mrs. Pryse-Rice became M.H. only two years later, having started her pack in 1894, and last season a third name appeared in our hunting lists, when Lady Gifford took the field and carried the horn with her harriers. Great success has attended both the kennel and field management of these enterprising sportswomen, and when we come to consider the history of their efforts, we shall see that they have proved the fitness of women for the duties in which they themselves have excelled. Lady Ileene Campbell too, before her marriage, proved herself fully equal to the hunting of her brother Lord Huntingdon's celebrated pack in Ireland, the Duchess of Newcastle at the present time enjoys the pleasure of hunting her little pack in the neighbourhood of Clumber, while Mrs. Briscoe in Ireland whips in to her husband's hounds, and Miss Lloyd of Bronwydd does the same to her father Sir Marteine Lloyd's famous pack of beagles in South Wales.

As we have already said, there should be no fuss and bustle in the field with harriers. When hunting them you should never interfere with them unless they are entirely at fault, and then you should have some definite idea of where the hare is gone, and should know, or think you know, something the hounds do not. There is no cracking of whips wanted in this sport. A touch on the horn, or, better still, a low whistle—if you possess this accomplishment which to many good sportswomen is denied—should bring your pack round you, and you should then slowly trot off in the direction in which you think you will pick up the line. If you view the hare, as you often will, squatted close to your horse's feet, do your utmost to prevent the hounds getting a view, for it is the destruction of good sport with harriers for them to view the hare till within a few moments of the end. The hunting should be done fairly and honestly, inch by inch, till the quarry has been run down. Any hound, therefore, that is given to staring about for a view, I would draft, or make a present of to one of those packs which holloa, mob, and course hares to death.


Foot people who as a rule come out largely with harriers will of course holloa, and in some cases when they receive no encouragement to do so, but their too noisy zeal should be steadily discouraged, and while you show every willingness to let this part of the field see sport, you should let it be known that you wish for, and expect silence from them. If your wishes are not respected, I should then advise you either to take hounds home, or trot right away for two or three miles before you look for another hare. No woman should attempt to hunt hounds who has not the resolution to keep her field—both mounted and unmounted—in proper order. You may indeed—for it is very hard for some men to believe that a woman can understand hound-work—be troubled by suggestions from your field, which they would never dream of offering if a man were carrying the horn, but most women will know how to meet such cases with the courteous indifference which will protect them from further interference. An instance of this has lately come to my knowledge. A lady M.H.'s pack was drawing for a hare on some moorland, and it was evident to her that hounds were on a very stale line, but were slowly working it out foot by foot. This was not very amusing to her field, and at last the farmer who owned the land went up to her and said that hares never worked the way hounds were going, and asked if she would not cast them up the moor. The M.H., however, answered quietly that while she felt sure the farmer knew the run of his hares, she thought the hounds were close on their's, and that in another moment or two it would get up in front of them. The words were scarcely spoken when up got the hare, and the worthy mentor had to sit down and ride for all he was worth, for she ran as only a moorland hare can, and hounds had a fast forty-five minutes before they ran into her in the open.

Quietness and trust in her hounds are the two qualities without which no woman can hunt a pack successfully. This brings me to the subject of the hounds themselves, and though it may seem rather like putting the cart before the horse, to speak of hunting them first, yet it is certain that no one will find the hounds of much use until she knows how to handle them. The first point of course to decide is the kind of hounds you mean to have, whether dwarf foxhounds, stud-book harriers, or the old pure harrier.

H. E. Coles. Redditch.
(Winner of Champion Cup, Peterborough. 1897.)

The pure harrier has undoubtedly the advantage in tongue, but though good music is a charm it is not so necessary with harriers as with foxhounds, as the former are generally in sight. As against this they have, unless very carefully bred, a lightness of bone and a tendency to splay feet and flat sides. Here again, however, we shall see presently what the experience of those who have taken the matter in hand has been.

Dwarf foxhounds are only to be recommended in countries where hares are bold and strong and go away like foxes, for most countries they have too much drive, and will be continually flashing over the line, and if you compare the hunting of one of these packs in an ordinary country with that of good stud-book harriers, the balance of sport in the long run is sure to be with the latter. What the foxhounds gain in speed they lose in the tendency to over-run the line. And now we must face the question of what a stud-book harrier is. A pure harrier, with an infusion of foxhound blood some generations back, so that now the hare-hunting instinct of the former, and the good feet and shoulders of the latter are combined in the shapely, compact, little harrier to be seen taking the prizes at Peterborough, is, I suppose, about as good a description as we can have. The nose and the patience characteristic of the good old-fashioned hare hunting hound are necessary to good sport, and that power of hunting a cold scent down a road, which they transmit to their descendants, is a most useful one. But the make and shape which will enable them to stay through a long day's hunting, and a certain amount of drive which adds greatly to the sport, come from an infusion of foxhound blood. Then, after at least three generations devoted exclusively to the chase of the hare, we may hope to get the happy mean between the drive forward on the one hand, and the pottering and towling on the other, in which lies the pleasure and success of hare-hunting.

When you have got over the preliminary difficulties of starting a pack you should draft down your hounds till you have as level a lot as possible, 18-19 inches being about the general standard. Larger hounds than these will smother the hare, and smaller ones cannot get over the fences of any ordinary country. The ultimate aim of everyone is, of course, to have a level pack, as otherwise, no matter how good the hounds may be, they can never have the smart appearance in the field so dear to the sportswoman's heart. I would always prefer to have even two or three couples short, than to spoil the look of the pack by having out hounds either too large or too small. It is not in any case desirable to have out a large pack to kill hares, from eight to fourteen couple being quite enough for any country. Some twenty couple of good stud-book harriers then in kennel, will be enough for you to have a smart workmanlike lot of the requisite number in the field, two days a week.

There are no hounds so full of faults, both of make and disposition, as harriers, and it is never an easy matter to buy a pack ready made. The best way, therefore, to begin is with unentered drafts from known kennels, such as the Boddington, the Aldenham, and the Bath and County, and then to breed and buy as opportunity offers.

I would remorselessly draft hounds that do not throw their tongues, and this in spite of the fact that mute hounds are often good in other ways, and the rest of the pack will fly to a trustworthy one directly it begins to feather on the line. This recalls the amusing hypothesis recently made by a brilliant writer on sport, that hounds have a system of signalling with their sterns, analogous to the "flag wagging" of our army. Did the original idea of signalling, this writer asks, come to some gallant officer while he was watching hounds feather on a scent? If not, many will agree that the system might have originated in this way.

But to return. Worse hound faults, even than muteness, are jealousy, skirting and babbling, any one of which should be at once met by drafting. The last—babbling—is incurable, but the other failings often appear in good hounds after they have lost their pace. As these habits are very catching, the only remedy is to draft the hounds directly they show symptoms of them, and you will find that you need to be constantly drafting from the head and tail of your pack, and you will be wise to keep few hounds over four seasons.

The first thing in the training of hounds is to get them perfectly handy and under control, and to do this will mean time and trouble. You must win their affection, and consequently must spend much time with them, both in the kennel and on the road. In this way you will soon get to know the character of each hound, and you will take out the docile ones first in couples, and then when you can trust these, the wilder and more headstrong hounds. You should take notice of the hounds continually on the road, speaking to them of course by name, and your whipper-in should be ready with his thong whenever it is wanted. Not that the whip should be much used, this will not be necessary if you study your hounds' dispositions, and treat each one according to the peculiarities you have noted. But all the same, chastisement should be prompt for any attempt at rebellion after due warning given, and then you must harden your heart to the piteous cries that will follow. Always keep a watchful eye on the hounds when you have them out, and never let them break away if you can possibly help it. If, however, such a thing does happen, it will add greatly to your comfort it the ringleaders be transferred at once to another kennel. At the same time when on the road, or out for exercise, you should give hounds plenty of room, for it is bad for them and certainly does not look well, to have them packed close round your horse's heels.

Never under any circumstances take a pack into the field before you are sure that their discipline is perfect. Till the hounds know you thoroughly you should drill them whenever you go into the kennel. Let them greet you while you make much of them, for it is thus that you will win their hearts, but, this over, it is a good thing to make them "lie up," and not to let them venture to leave the bench till they are called by name. Then you will call first one and then the other, making much of the obedience and readiness shown, and rewarding the hounds with biscuit. If you mean to hunt the hounds yourself, you must go to the kennels daily, and in any case it is always well to see that the servants are sufficiently careful in preserving perfect cleanliness and sweetness, both with the hounds themselves and in the kennels. It cannot be too much insisted on that cleanliness rigorous, absolute and complete, must always prevail. This is quite practicable, and no excuse should be accepted as to its failure in any one particular. A good disinfectant such as Jeyes' Fluid, and constant vigilance on the part of the kennel-man, are all that are required.


(W. West, K.H., with Three Champion Winners.)

If you have a good kennel-man, it is not necessary for you to feed hounds yourself, but you should frequently inspect the food, as even the best servants are apt to be careless in this matter. If, however, you study economy and only have a lad in the kennels, then you or some member of your family should always see to the feeding of the hounds. The food may consist of horseflesh and old oatmeal, with a few biscuits and some bone-dust, and this diet I should say would be found the best and cheapest in the end. This, however, is a matter in which each hound owner will use her own judgment. There are of course various ways of cheapening the diet, but I cannot honestly recommend any of them. On the care in the kennel depends the sport in the field, and without health and condition in the hounds you can hope for no good days. Far better to have a less well-bred pack, or an inferior country, than hounds which are out of sorts and condition. This reminds me that whenever you go into the kennel you should have a watchful eye for the slightest symptoms of a dull or heavy look in any hound, and order such to be separated at once. A healthy hound should be clear of eye and bright of coat, as well as bright and cheery in manner. If you are in doubt about the health of one of your pack, remember that the pink of the mouth is a great sign of health, while paleness and yellowness about the gums is the reverse.

Quite the worst part about keeping harriers, in my opinion, is the constant drafting of the hounds. Perhaps in the case of some old favourite which you know has taken to skirting and hanging on the line, you overlook the faults and refuse to part with him. But what is the result? You find the younger hounds are becoming demoralised, and reluctantly are forced to recognise the truth of the verdict, that harriers should be drafted in their fifth season. It is only the few of exceptional constitution and strength to whom this does not apply, and so you have constantly to be hardening your heart to send some old favourite away.

There are only two points on which I need touch further, and these are your assistants in the field, and the treatment of the quarry. For the first you should have two whippers-in, one an amateur and one a professional, and though as long as things go right they will not be needed, they should always be ready in case of riot, or when hounds are nearing forbidden territory. For though harriers will do no harm in a country if they are properly managed, it is well to remember that M.F.H.'s are tenacious, and covert owners are ready to take alarm.

A question that has to be faced is, what to do with the hare when your little hounds have caught her, and my advice is to let hounds break her up themselves without any fuss, as the Badminton hounds do their foxes.

And now to turn to the interesting topic of the experience in kennel and field of our present lady M.H.'s, and all will doubtless like to know something of the methods in which each of these pioneer sportswomen has built up her pack.

In South Wales, where Mrs. Pryse-Rice has her kennels, the conditions of sport are very different to what they are in the southern counties of England. In the first place, the spare little black-backed mountain hares of Wales, have a turn of speed beyond the powers of their better fed English fellows, and are very hard to kill. Instead, too, of circling round and round when before hounds, they will generally go straight away and will often give a five mile point as bravely as any fox. The reason of this fitness is to be found in the fact that they are constantly being coursed by the farmers' cross-bred greyhounds and collie dogs, which are often scantily fed and badly in want of a dinner, and they have far to go themselves for food, as they have no nice fields of roots at hand like the more luxurious lowland hares.

It is evident then that the hounds to follow these speedy little hares must be quick in getting away and have plenty of drive, and I cannot do better than quote Mrs. Pryse-Rice's own words on the subject, as to how she has succeeded in building up such a pack.

"I started my harriers in 1894, being much helped in the first instance by gifts of hounds from my father-in-law, Mr. Vaughan Pryse, who hunted his harriers for forty seasons, and is one of the oldest Masters in the kingdom. To these I added a few couple of the Woodnorton pack when it was given up by the Comtesse de Paris, and some small foxhounds chosen from my husband's pack, which he had given up the season before.[2] The first year I ran a small pack of twelve couple, and though the hounds were perhaps not a very level lot, they gave us a very good season's sport. Now after four years of breeding, buying and drafting, they run up well together, and are a Stud-book pack of twenty couple of 19-20 inch hounds.

 Mr. Pryse-Rice was Master of the Tivyside Foxhounds.—Editor.

Elliott and Fry. 55, Baker Street.

"Although I am of course keen to breed a Peterborough winner, still my great ambition is to own a pack that will hunt and drive. I am not in favour of the slow, sure and persevering type of hound, for though these may hunt and constantly kill their hare, they will by giving her time, allow her to run round and round in the country she knows, instead of driving her out of her beaten track. I like hounds to get away on the back of their quarry and if they drive her into a strange country she will be almost certain to go straight. If hounds do this and possess plenty of drive without flashiness, they will often make a good scent, when otherwise they would find an indifferent one."

As an apt commentary on the remarks of this very successful M.H., we may note that Mrs. Pryse-Rice's hounds had some really extraordinary runs last season.[3] For instance early in December they found a hare in the heather, and after running her down wind for nearly two miles, they turned and went at a pace that tried their followers for a five-mile point dead up wind, killing her in forty-five minutes from the start. In the same month another mountain hare gave them a good five-mile point, and on January 12th the hounds were two hours and forty-five minutes going at a good pace, and travelling over a great extent of country, and they did not reach kennels after this, their best run of the season, till 7.40 p.m.


It is clear, therefore, that Mrs. Pryse-Rice is to be counted among those who have attained more or less to the ideal they have set before them in breeding, and she has beside scored high honours at Peterborough. The noted Harrier Stud-book bitch, Aldenham Restless, a veteran of pure foxhound blood, by the Whaddon Chase Tarquin—Oakley Sarah, is now in the Llandovery Kennels. This bitch won the Champion Cup at Peterborough in 1893, and three years later took the Silver Cup for the best brood bitch,[4] after which she became the property of Mrs. Pryse-Rice.

 I must express my regret that it has not been found possible to reproduce the photograph of this famous hound, though it was most kindly sent me by Mrs. Pryse-Rice.—Editor.

The stock of Restless are well to the fore, for last year—1897—no fewer than nine of her descendants were winners at the Peterborough Show.

Rigby, a fine upstanding hound, of pure harrier blood, by Eamont Barrister—their Russet was second for the Champion Cup in 1897, and as he was unentered and was shown against old dog-hounds, this was a remarkably good performance.

To quote once more from Mrs. Pryse-Rice's own words: "We have never," she says, "had a big count of hares killed. We—my husband acts as my first whip and A. Mandeville is K.H. and second whip—are quite content to come home having accounted for one hunted hare, or when we kill a brace in this way, it is quite a red-letter day for us. I do not see any fun in either chopping them, or in killing three or four hares that only run a few fields, though of course this does make up the count."

Touching on the subject of the introduction of the foxhound cross with harriers, Mrs. Pryse-Rice says that she is "in favour of an infusion of foxhound blood, in moderation, into the harrier kennel."

The country hunted by Mrs. Cheape lies round Redditch, and extends into Warwickshire and Gloucestershire. In 1892, when "The Squire" inherited the Bentley estates from her father, she bought the well-known pack of harriers belonging to Captain Spicer, of Spye Park, and several couple of the Herondon Hall harriers. The Bentley pack of the present day includes many Peterborough winners, and deservedly ranks very high among the harrier packs of the land. The hounds, however, have not been bred for show purposes only, but for nose and tongue, and to show sport. At the Peterborough show of last year (1897) the first prize for dog hounds, under 19 inches, was taken by Mrs. Cheape's Wellfield and Gainer. The former of these is by Lord E. Somerset's Dancer—Woodbine, and through his dam, which was the winner of the champion cup for bitch hounds not exceeding 19 inches, at Peterborough in 1893, strains back to the Aldenham Restless. Gainer, on the other hand, is a home-bred hound. A grand three couple, which took the silver cup in 1897, are Buxom (Wellfield—Bracelet, dam by Boddington Borderer—Breconshire Lightstone) also winner of the champion cup; Gadfly, home-bred; Verity (Aldenham Valiant—Their Restless); Waterwitch, home-bred (Waggoner—Woodbine); Warlike, also a son of Wellfield; and Dahlia, home bred (Druid—Worry); the sire of the last (Ashford Valley Pillager—H. H. Dewdrop) being one of the winners of the first prize for best couple of entered hounds, not exceeding 19 inches, in 1894, at Peterborough.

Truly a triumph of breeding and selection of which any woman may be proud.

(Best Three Couple under 19 inches, Peterborough, 1896.)

(Property of Lady Gifford.)

Lady Gifford began by having a small pack of beagles, but as she found it impossible to keep with these hounds on foot, she gradually changed to harriers. The ideal she then placed before herself was to get a level pack of 17 inch hounds of pure harrier blood. In colour, too, Lady Gifford is particular, her fancy being to get her hounds as dark as possible, with golden-red tan on their heads, but, as she truly says, though a smart appearance is much—and such hounds are very smart—"when you get a good-shaped hound it does not do to quarrel as to colour." In starting her pack Lady Gifford has gone a good deal to Mr. Allgood's kennels, and Dulcima, a very beautiful bitch by his Durable—Darkeye, has perfect colouring and good bone, and, moreover, an excellent nose, and will gallop all day without tiring. Her owner naturally regrets that owing to the fact of Mr. Allgood not being a member of the Association of Masters of Harriers, she is not able to show hounds bred by him, although Lady Gifford herself has joined the association.

The country over which Lady Gifford hunts is the moorland near her home in Northumberland, and she finds the little hounds of 17-18 inches beautiful to ride to over the open grass land, and very quick to get over the stone walls and the heather. That they need to be speedy after a heather-fed hare there is no doubt, for such an one is stronger than most of her kind, and will usually go straight as a good fox, after a ring or two to start with. The open land, too, generally carries a fine scent, and even though you have harriers before you, you will find you need to be riding a horse with a good turn of speed to enable you to live with them.

In kennel management Lady Gifford takes the keenest interest, and her system appears so excellent, that all engaged in hound breeding may find something to learn from it. "I always think," writes Lady Gifford, "that when hounds are in work, they are often given their food too wet. This, I am sure, is a mistake. I give my hounds the best oatmeal that can be got, and too much care cannot be given to the making of the porridge. It must be boiled just right, or it is worse than useless. There is a biscuit known as bread biscuit, which I find extremely good for hounds, though it is a little difficult to get. It is made, I understand, from the dinner rolls and bread left at London parties, and so you may be sure it is made of the best meal. I always find, however, that my meal merchant is anxious for me to have any kind of biscuit except this. The washing and grooming of hounds is, I think, a point in the kennel not sufficiently thought of. All the summer months I have my hounds thoroughly washed with soap and warm water, and of course thoroughly dried, and though no doubt this takes a long time, the result well repays you. If hounds are well groomed every day, they will keep twice as healthy, and their coats will have a shine like satin, exactly like a well-groomed horse. As to exercising, I take them out on the road every morning about six o'clock, for two hours, and in consequence they never really get out of condition, but by the time August comes round they are quite ready for 'cubbing' so to speak."

Another point on which Lady Gifford gives information which others may find valuable, is concerning a cure for that "kennel dread," distemper, which she learnt from the great veterinary surgeon, Professor Pritchard. She advises a preparation of coffee and milk in equal parts, exactly as you would have it made for your own consumption, then to drench the puppy continually with it, allowing him to touch nothing else, and while the treatment lasts to keep the puppy in an even temperature. The results of this treatment, in Lady Gifford's kennel, has been all that could be wished, and though previously she had had heavy losses from this cause, she has never since lost one that she has tried it on. Is it possible that as this simple remedy becomes better known, we may find that cruel scourge, distemper, disarmed of its terrors?


Beagles. Beside the harrier, there is sport and good sport too, to be had with the beagle after hare, and those who are young and active and to whom the merry cry of hounds is a delight, will find a never-ending source of interest in hunting with these little hounds. This sport has too the advantage of being inexpensive, for it not only requires but a small outlay to start with, but necessitates a very moderate sum for the keeping up of the pack. Of course there are degrees of expenditure both in the management and hunting of beagles, to be determined by the means at your command, but a sportswoman can have a good and efficient pack of beagles in the field for very much less than she could have other hounds.

The first necessity, if you wish to hunt your own beagles, is to have a country to hunt over, and you must get leave to pursue your quarry over a farm or farms where there is a fair proportion of hares. The number of hares, indeed, need not be very great, as not very many will fall before beagles. Neither do you require a large extent of country to hunt over, as a hare is not likely to be driven right away, but in a majority of cases will circle round the place where she is found. Yet there is a charm in beagling, which lies in the open air, the active exercise, the music of the hounds, and the working out by them of the puzzles set by the hare.

When you have secured a country—or before, if you are so inclined—you will need to get together your pack. If a good pack of beagles should come into the market, you would do well to buy them, provided you do not mind the expense to start with. If, however, you do not object to trouble, and do mind the outlay, then, even before you think about country, you will buy some well-bred bitches and set to work to build up a pack. In any case, if you mean to have beagles, have them, and do not have dwarf harriers. The Beagle Stud-book will help you in your choice of strains. Go to good beagle kennels such as those of Sir Marteine Lloyd, or the Caledon, and having decided on the type for which you intend to breed, keep true to it.

Having succeeded, either by buying or breeding, in getting a pack, you will then have to keep your hounds up to a certain number. From about six to twelve couple will be all that you will want to take out, but this of course will mean that you want at least two couple more in reserve. You should breed a certain number of puppies every year, and in this you must be regulated to a great extent by the walks at your command. You might keep one couple at home, giving them a free run of the stables, yards and paddocks, and though you will find them troublesome and as mischievous as monkeys, their small size will prevent them being the unmitigated trouble that foxhound puppies undoubtedly are. Still, the infant beagle has a marvellous appetite for sponges, brushes, and all sorts of indigestible household requisites, and he will besides be credited by the servants with even more mischief than he really works. You will find some, or perhaps most of your field, ready to undertake the charge of a few couple—and those who come out regularly ought to look upon this as a duty—and for a small payment you can secure homes in cottages, with those who will look after the puppies carefully and intelligently, and who will, indeed, treat them so well that you will not improbably have a very sulky lot of little dogs to deal with, when they first come under kennel discipline.

Perhaps it may be thought that I have touched too lightly on the very difficult question of breeding beagles true to a type, for except it be the Clumber Spaniel there is no dog more likely to give you trouble than the beagle. Still it can be done successfully, and if you choose your bitches in the first instance and are careful in you selection of the sires, constant care, scrupulous cleanliness, careful feeding and regular exercise will do the rest.

The most charming and graceful type of hound, as well as the most likely to be useful in hunting, is one that corresponds in miniature to that of the foxhound. There should be the same alertness and good carriage, the good shoulders and straight legs of the larger hound, and any puppies that fall below the standard in any particular should be immediately drafted. To a certain extent you must be guided by the sort of country over which you are to hunt, for if this be fairly open, without thick coverts, stout fences or wide drains, then you will find a small lightly-built hound, of some fourteen or fifteen inches, the best, but if on the other hand, you have much plough and strong fences, you will require a beagle of the heavier and larger type, standing about sixteen or seventeen inches. With beagles as with other hounds, muteness is a fault which should immediately be met by drafting, and I would strongly advise the same even for great economy of tongue. Skirting or any suspicion of falsehood will meet with the same fate, as well as the very slightest symptom of jealousy, for the little hounds should score to cry at once.

There was in a pack I used to know well, a certain very handsome little bitch, aptly enough named "Fallible," which, when she found the hare, or touched the line first after a check, would hunt with the best, but if another hound was before her, she would scour away at right angles to the line, throwing her tongue vigorously when she had nothing whatever before her. So good was this hound when she pleased, and "such a pictur'" to look at, that it was a great wrench for the Master to part with her. It was found, however, that it was a choice between letting her go and having the whole pack demoralised, so "Fallible" carried her gifts and her failings elsewhere. This instance will also serve to remind you, that good hounds are not easily parted with from any kennel, and, therefore, it behoves you to be very careful in the choice of those you take into your own.

The kennelling and feeding of beagles is a comparatively simple matter, cleanliness, warmth and wholesome food being the great requisites. On the building of kennels you need not expend any great amount of money, as almost any out-buildings you may have can be adapted for the purpose. The cardinal points to be considered are:

(a) Freedom from damp.
(b) Freedom from draughts.
(c) Good ventilation overhead.

Then the hounds must on no account sleep on the floor, but have the usual benches provided, and there should be a palisaded or walled-in run, into which they can go from their sleeping room. If these points are attended to, the workmanship of the buildings may be almost as rough as you please, but above all things you must not let the use of the limewash brush be spared.

The scraps from the house boiled up with vegetables—with care that everything is perfectly sweet and fresh—and any good dog biscuit, will be found to answer for their food. No hounds will do well on biscuit only, and it should be remembered that rice is not nourishing food. Meat and vegetables are needed, and of the latter I should advise a certain amount of cabbage to be given. The amount of food, and this specially applies to meat, should be carefully proportioned to the number of days you hunt in the week, and the length of days you make.

It is a great mistake to feed hounds either too high, or too low. If you have not an experienced and trustworthy kennel-man, you should see the hounds fed yourself, and then observe the appetite and needs of each hound in the pack.

Hounds should have plenty of exercise before hunting, and as much on the road as you can give them when they are not hunting. They should be trotted out with horses if possible, and out of the season eight miles a day or even ten, will be found necessary to keep them in condition.

Since the establishment of the Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles—which body I would strongly advise any woman interested in hound-breeding to join—and the foundation of Stud Books for both classes of hounds, immense strides have been made towards the perfection of the respective types. The competition for the prizes at Peterborough consequently becomes keener every year, and the glory of success is proportionately greater.

No one has done more for the improvement of the Beagle than Sir Marteine Lloyd, whose pack known as the Bronwydd Beagles, is the best, as it is one of the oldest packs in the land. A feature of this hunt, specially interesting to women, is that Miss Lloyd, Sir Marteine's daughter, takes an active part in the management of the hounds, and in the field acts as whipper in to her father. Miss Lloyd has been kind enough to write the following short account of her father's hounds, in which all beagle lovers will be interested.

Elliott and Fry. 55, Baker Street.


This pack was started in 1864 by my grandfather, the late Sir Thomas Lloyd. Next to the Royal Rock (started by Colonel Anstruther Thomson in 1845) they are the oldest pack of beagles in the kingdom. They measure 15-1/2 inches, and we generally have fifteen couples. They are pure bred; dwarf harriers never being admitted. In 1892, the Bronwydd "Nigel" won the Champion Cup at Peterborough, for the best dog-hound, and in 1894, the Cup was won by our "Merryboy." The Harrier and Beagle Show was started at Peterborough in 1889, as though before this there were rules laid down for foxhounds on the show bench, beagles had not been given similar attention, and it was suggested by my father and a few kindred spirits, that it was time to stop the continual drafting of dwarf harriers into beagle packs, regardless of rule or standard. My father consequently appealed to the Peterborough Committee, asking them to form a show for Harriers and Beagles upon the same principle as that on which the Fox-hound Show was based. In 1896, the Bronwydd Beagles celebrated their Jubilee. They have not been hunting this season.


"Sir Marteine succeeded to the Mastership in 1877, but he had begun to hunt the hounds himself in 1867 at the age of sixteen, when the old huntsman, John Walters, retired. George Davies commenced his career as whip at the same time and I was added to the staff as whip a year ago."

I have only to add to this that the photograph of Sir Marteine Lloyd is taken on his mare "Grand Duchess," and that four of the hounds with him, named "Liberal," "Favourite," "Comical," and "Comely," are special favourites and excellent workers in the field.