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History of hunting in the New Forest

1066 William the Conqueror lands and defeats Harold at Hastings

1089 William establishes New Forest as Royal Hunting Forest. Strict laws laid down which shape the Forest as it is today.

1675 First records of Fox Hunting in the New Forest

1781 New Forest Hounds formed - known as Mr Gilbert’s Hounds, kennelled at Lamb’s Corner, Bartley

1789 New Forest Hounds Hunt Club formed.

French Revolution

George Washington becomes first President of USA

1808 John Warde becomes Master and keeps his hounds at Kings House (now Queens House)

1814 Rabies outbreak. 40 couple of hounds die. Sam Nicolls takes over as Master and moves kennels to Boltons Bench

1819 The first New Forest Hounds Hunt Ball.

Sir Standford Raffles founds Singapore.

1828 Mr Wyndham moves kennels to Furzey Lawn (their present location).

1829 Stephenson’s Rocket invented

1836 Visit to the Forest by the Royal Buckhounds. Over 2000 visitors, including 14 Masters of Hounds

1840 Penny Post starts

1850 Railways come to the New Forest.

1878 Sir George Meryick becomes Master. The hey day of Hunting in the New Forest. The railway transported horses to the New Forest in the spring when other packs had to stop because of growing crops.

1885 The Forest is divided into the Eastern and Western Packs for 10 years

Petrol driven car invented by Carl Benz. Goes on sale in 1888.

1895 The country is reunited under Mr Powell. Fox mange reaches the Forest after sweeping the rest of the country for three years.

Wireless invented by Marconi. First public film show in Paris.

1901 Admiral Murray is killed whilst out hunting. With monies donated a track is built through Withybed Bottom, south of Stoney Cross. The stone marking Murrays Passage is still visible today.

1909 Henry Ford starts production of the Model T in Britain

1914 First World War. Hunting continues, but only just, as horses were commandeered by the Army and only veteran horses were left to hunt. War was declared on 4th August 1914, just as cub hunting started. Horses were asked for by the War Office for the Cavalry. Within 10 days 15,000 hunters were ready for departure. All lawn meets were cancelled, nobody wore scarlet. The biggest field seen anywhere in Britain during the 1914/15 season was 20, which included the Master and Hunt Servants.

1918 First World War ends. Women over 30 get the vote.

1919 Major George Meyrick becomes master. There is an outbreak of rabies and all dogs have to be muzzled. Hounds are exempt.

1939 Second World War starts. Hunting in the Forest is reduced from 3 to 2 days a week.

1942 Hunting is reduced to one day a week. Old timers keep the NFH going, plus service men on leave. The airfields at Beaulieu, Holmsley and Stoney Cross, along with the bombing range at Ashley Walk, severely restrict the hunting.

1945 War ends. Hunting 2 days a week.

1947 Ladies are admitted to the Hunt Club. At first many are reluctant to put their names forward.

1956 Sir George Meryrick retires.

1962 Sir Newton Ryecroft becomes joint master.  He is arguably one of the finest hound breeders ever and outraged the traditionalists by using the woolly Welsh foxhound cross.

1969 New Forest Medyg born. An outstanding hound who was used extensively as a stud hound and whose line can be seen in many kennels today.

1984 Sir Newton retires from the Mastership.

1992 Captain Simon Clarke become joint master, hunting hounds himself.

1993 Mrs Anne Millar joins Capt Clarke in the mastership. Mrs Millar is only the second person to have been master of Buckhounds and Foxhounds.

1996 Capt Clarke retires from mastership. New mastership of Adam Waugh,

George Biddle and Bob Everest, with Adam Waugh hunting hounds, starts. Adam is the youngest Master of Foxhounds in the country at the time.

1997 Adam Waugh and Roderick Moore become Joint Masters.

Countryside Rally, the biggest ever rally (120,000 people) held in Hyde Park on July 10th

Labour win general election. Michael Foster intoduces private members bill.

1998 The Countryside March (280,000 people) goes to London on March 1st.

Roderick Moore, Jeremy Scott-Bolton and Christopher Lawrence-Price become Joint Masters, with Paul Woodhouse hunting hounds.

Mike Foster's private members bill withdrawn

1999 Jeremy Scott-Bolton is joined by John Prideaux and Derek Laud as Masters.

Derek Laud is the first black MFH in Britain.

2000 The New Forest Hounds become a committee run pack for 2nd time in its history. 

The Burns report is published. This is an independent report commissioned by the government, which sees no reason to ban hunting as it is no more cruel than any other form of fox control. Parliament is to be allowed a vote on hunting …..

2001 17th January. Parliament takes the vote to start the procedure to introduce legislation to ban hunting.

Foot and Mouth disease erupts in Britain for the first time since 1967. The Hunting season finishes in February. Huge impact on outdoor activities.

The House of Lords vote that Hunting should continue with self regulation.

The New Forest Hounds create their own web site.


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