Home Sports and Recreation The vital role played by the gamekeeper’s partner

The vital role played by the gamekeeper’s partner


A gamekeeper’s partner has always been a linchpin behind the scenes, but today they are more significant than ever, writes Lindsay Waddell

Many partners play an active role in the management and upkeep of shoots

It’s fair to say that the fairer sex, if I dare use that term these days, have often had a hard life in rural Britain — from domestic service to gutting fish that came off the herring boats, the hours could be long and the pay was poor. 

Interestingly, it is often imagined that keepers in the past were all men, which isn’t entirely accurate. Some readers may have heard of Mary Fishburne, who worked on the Holkham Estate in the 1800s as a gamekeeper and went on to live until the ripe old age of 80. These days there are quite a few female gamekeepers, which is great to see, but Mary was certainly an exception. In decades past, gamekeepers tended to be men, and in the Victorian period when shooting and game management became a far more organised thing, keepers’ wives had a very important role. 

In the 1800s, day-to-day life would have primarily involved domestic chores

So just how did Mary’s counterparts who were married to gamekeepers play their part in their husband’s lives? 

That seems to have…

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