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Hugo Meynell The Father Of Modern Foxhunting

Hugo Meynell The Father Of Modern Foxhunting

Hugo Meynell’s is the father of modern fox hunting: his dedication to the sport shaped the hounds we still see in the field today, and his influence arguably remains unparalleled

Dig into the history of hunting and one of the names most commonly unearthed is that of Hugo Meynell, widely regarded as the father of modern foxhunting. Deciphering the tale of his influence on the sport has not been dissimilar to what he so carefully bred his hounds for: seeking out the correct focus, checking to ensure confusion doesn’t spoil the pursuit and, at the end of it all, tracing back through events to marvel at the outcome of the hunt. Before delving into the details of how Meynell changed hunting, there’s a family tree full of parallels to unravel.

Thought to be born in June 1735, Meynell inherited his father’s estates in Derbyshire and Staffordshire aged 16. A couple of years later, Meynell moved to Quorndon (otherwise known as Quorn) Hall in Leicestershire. Then, he wed Ann Gell in June 1754 and their son Godfrey was born the following year. However, Ann died soon after and Meynell then married again, another Ann  in June 1758. The second Ann was the daughter of Thomas Boothby, Meynell’s predecessor as Master of…

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