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Shooting Diary

November 1862 - January 1863

Contents

 

Transcription and explanatory  notes for Shooting Season Diary

 

Introduction 

     

The majority of the following diary and accounts for the "Shooting Season November 1862 - January 1863 took place  at the Egton Estate near Whitby in Yorkshire.

In 1862 - 1863 when the account for this  season happened, this estate  was owned by Cary Charles Elwes a member of the Elwes family, who was a half brother to the author of this ms. It had been in the family for over  100 years. It had initially cost £38,000.

Its size when initially purchased I do not know, but when it came to be sold by auction in 1869 it amounted to nearly 12,500 acres in total and most of the property in the 2 villages it encompassed.

 

There is a copy of the sale details within Northampton Archives which lists all properties , tenats and rental income. It also includes a map of the estate.  The estate was  sold for £155,000 plus the "Timber" which was sold separately for £25,000.

 

        The latter half of the diary took place mainly on an estate in Mildenhall Suffolk about which I know little but from reading the diary the shoot itself  would appear to be jointly owned.

With regard to Wisden it has special interest. Later in this diary is a list of who attended and when.  According to these  entries it would appear that Wisden along with his very good friend George Parr  were guests from the 18th of November until the 28th of November 1862.  Something in the dating however is not quite right because these diary entries below are for December and yet the Wisden and Parr entries are for November.  

Each day appears to have been spent rabbiting which according to the author is the  best sport. There is no record in the author's bank records held by Gosling's of either Wisden or George Parr paying for any of these days shooting and it would  therefore appear they were invited guests unlike"P"  a man by the name of Percival and for  whom there is a Gosling bank payment record into Elwes's account.

There is also an intriguing pencil sketch drawing  showing 3 gentleman at ease. 2 are sitting down while 1 stands by the fireplace. A servant is bringing drinks. One of the gentleman sitting down looks very much like Wisden. 

Names such as Tow Row. Big Earths. Glaizedale. Limber Woods etc are all locations within the Egton Estate recognizable at the time although maybe not today.    

    

  

DECEMBER 1862

EGTON-WOODS-EARTHS-

DEC. 5TH - TOW ROW WITH RALPH'S BUNNIES

Alec and "P" put in an early appearance but they seemed to have entertained a very loose idea of the RENDEVOUS Invert by the CAUSEWAY- the only true and right one -I screamed and discharged my gun to attract the attention of the equestrians riding slowly "forsooth"towards White's house!  I was flabbergasted, and ran as fast as legs would carry me. John Underwood's for "t" galloway - Thank God! I saw William and the men walking - down the causeway and we soon all got together - guns and men - but I did chaff Percival.

Commenced as usual at the "BIG EARTHS" but the bunnies tho' as yet innocent of the "TRAPS" were very little on the move - P and Alec on the Adjacent "HILLS"and I as an invalid took William as my nurse . Tried the hedgerow and other adjacent and likely places -

Found I had not altogether lost my shooting from want of practice or illness - altho I found myself at first wiping my eye- I got one and shot really very fairly - at the beck side I got 2 or three - and William and I destroyed 4 or 5 more - on the slopes in Ralph's Fields. We joined the other party at the quarry - Here I was a good deal out of the shooting - tho' I fancy I had a share in one or two ---

Luncheon and hospitality at Old Ralph's as usual.

Went on the same terms - as soon as Ralph would let us go - P and Alec got a lot of shooting at the "BIG HILLS" we could hear them blazing away. William took me to some hedgerows where Harneiss once had capital sport - but they were on the wrong side for me - I mean on William's side - This sort of thing lasted all the evening - & I got disgusted - and the extra exertion of running in the morning, did me a deal of temporary harm and I rode home. determined to return to town next day and see Malton which I did to Alec's intense disgust - which with so fine a fellow, at the time gave me a great  annoyance.

I believe 33 rabbits were killed - I only claimed 10 - Tho' I daresay I was instrumental in the death of one or two more , but I dont mark that way - old Ralph seemed disappointed 

rather I thought. he recollected the days, when Wm. and I (once Alec) killed 80 or 90.  I once in the innocent times of MUZZLE LOADERS - kept my two guns sometimes 20 minutes in action with rights and lefts and the fire irons so hot I could hardly hold them, possibly OLD RALPH thought the traps would wash out the slate. Even this year October 16th  - 78 being killed Dick, William, Hemo the performers - and I was so ill I could not see one hit. In Aarons Yeomans and Underwoods October 24th Dick, Drummond, William and I got 88  and we certainly thought sport was really killed - Rabbits DO SLIPAWAY rabbits   = 7th Tommies Wm's  (???) 50 were killed. I killed 16 alone on the same beat on the 31st - 9th - 40 rabbits - CHURCH CLIFFS

                                           

 

INTERVAL

                     

 

DECEMBER 12th - FRIDAY

 

FERRETTED - LIMBER - Alec William and I. - I returned to the gun with an instinctive keeness. The wind was decidedly too cold on Limber top. They would bolt  at all in their fine big earth. - DESCENDED wisely and did better-

 

The shooting was particularly good and very little escaped - On the way near White's house - Murray dropped a partridge 50 yards only pinioned of course but old DIEGO made a capital retrieve in an area of long grass- Alec was more with Diego than a lucky shot being a real sportsman

BAG - 19 RABBITS - 1PARTRIDGE - 20HEAD - F.C.E.  8 RABBITS - NOT BY ANY MEANS - SUCH A BAD DAY - FOR DEC 12TH

SATURDAY - DEC 13TH - TOMMIES EARTH'S ETC. -

 

Rained all the morning and no one really once gave up all thoughts of shooting and I wish to heavens from what followed we HAD DONE SO -  I killed my fire two shots clipping well 1 Tommies - Round Fir Wood I got such difficult and so few good ones that like an invalid and a fool which is always the way I lost my temper and could not shoot one farthing and made Alec as bad as myself - at last I got helpless & could hit nothing - not even sitting - a fact - as I write this- I am delighted so I made a chaff of it - offered to auction my gun to Wm George and Co. - CAUSE Impatience - dreadful - headache ditto rage ditto Had better staid at home - far ! 10 Rabbits only killed I got 5!  ought to have been 12 ! Did not go out till 12 o'clock  

EGTON  DECEMBER 62

COOMBES.  15 . 

FINE FROSTY MORNING Alec and I rode to the rendezvous and a cold ride but nice and cheery for all that. Percival and the beaters (BLACK DICK among them ) soon met us - Jacky Pierson and his tow of terriers never get on without him-

COMMENCED at our usual Point - THE SLIP -   I got 3 bunnies directly & lost another  - felt keen and able to wipe out the disgrace odf Saturday - and the chances  I had - were the most of -  AT THE PRECIPICE  - William went below and killed some stuff but he told me afterwards , that he often had to go upon his knees - and then could not kill more than one shot out of three, such was the difficulty of walking or even raising his gun. I went ahead to likely places - knowing the ground but got nothing for it - Murray and P had done very little onthe TOP.

 

On returning to what I call TERRA FIRMA again we found very little food for the gun indeed - a woodcock had been seen below but nobody got a shot - ON THE HIGHEST BEAT We got a few bunnies by quick clever shooting. I felt very  keen and rather distinguishing myself - Indeed I shot well the whole day - walked and worked hard - very - keeping the men in line and the dogs from running in too far - by no means a business at Egton of ease as must now be pretty well known . -

 

Having brought back the straggling pieces on top of the the hill - we had luncheon at the Pierson's house  - where the pretty daughters were one however had died last year - Very little in the gill

 

On RESUMING - I soon downed a few rabbits , I must break off here to say - that Murray had the only luck with the hares - on the high side before luncheon - near Sleightholmes - Gill ( the place you often meet hares) - but scarcely anywhere else now - Murray had the luck to kill three- I should have killed 1 perhaps 2 - but for a stupid good for nothing beater - a loaned man of White's - Finding he was always getting in the way or doing something stupid - I desired that he that he might be used to carry the game and that sort of thing , but nothing  else. - He really seemed anxious to get shot - the fool-

Percival then killed a woodcock a snipe a snipe of me - I ought to have downed but I had my eye on a rabbit at the same time -- In fact I was too grteedy but I did get the bunny - and congratulated P on the woodcock-

 

The woodcock was my only mistake in the day - for I never killed rabbits better. We took after luncheon the MIDDLE BEAT I got several rabbitsd at first  - and then nothing

whatever to shoot - the dogs were getting down and well they might. Coombes though certainly no more than usual was always a terrible place for man or beast - Alec had the keenest recollection of Coombes, from the fact of my once putting a corn into him in 1857 - a nasty ricochetting shot - single corn round the corner. The frost on this occasion  had rendered the walking quite passable -

 Only two pheasants were seen and at impossible distances - I saluted one hen at 8 yards ceremonially - I believe another woodcock  was seen - but nobody got a shot -

Nothing almost was done on the last beat the BECK-SIDE. We all then repaired to Black Dick's caravansarey and regaled ourselves with egg flip and baccy- P waited for the down mail  ( I never shot with him again this Chasse at Egton  (He was brought low with gout - liver - one of his old tormentors at all events. I felt the loss of him dreadfully Alec and I rode home - that fool Scott forgot to get my cloak at Pierson's and I felt very cold all the way - and suffered for it next day

49 RABBITS - 3 HARES - 1 WOODCOCK - 53 HEAD- F.C.E. 14 RABBITS and lost two or three more 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TUESDAY - 16 - DALES - ORCHARDS

 

Began at the WHITE HOUSE-

The usual beat - then the Orchards- William and the guns - George, Jacky Pierson, and Willey Smith beaters , and the usual tow - Dash one among much improved by age - and more flesh on him. Crab a little red terrier - Rally a pet dog almost & Wallace (by Diego) out of Liz and whom I began to have some idea of purchasing cheap - from Willey - The ORCHARDS yielded several rabbits - 9 pheasants 1 hare - I missed a hare from having that heavy coat (Kill M. Thomas ) & could not get my gun to the shoulder   and exchanged raiment with Smith - feeling much more comfortable. I here supposed I had lost my knife and flask but they turned up.  There was some grief about luncheon in Grasmont Lane but that came right also- the new boy did not know his way as yet - Very well but he improved every  day, and I enjoyed myself taking the cheek out of him which at first had been tremendous-

 

 

EGTON  DECEMBER 13 1862

GREEN DALE   having been run through three times before was not expecting to yield much. 7 or 8 bunnies however found their way to the bag and another pheasant - I let off one or two rather carelessly and a hare dodged Wm and I in the most amusing and curious way.

Took the STUBELES for birds - and likely hedgerows for pheasants on the way home but had no success. Still it was a useful day 

BAG 15 RABBITS (DOGS CAUGHT 3 OR 4) 4 pheasants 1 hare - 20 HEAD - F.C.E. 3 PHEASANTS   F.C.E. 3 Pheasants 1 hare 3 rabbits 7 HEAD. Weather beautiful.

 

DIEGO-OLD GAME . MUTTON-! GEORGE ADMINISTERING. DIEGO INFLAMED WITH RAGE AND MAD WITH PAIN DESERVED Mr. F. ELWES LOOKING ON .TO MAKE SURE THAT PROPER CASTIGATION IS GIVEN.- A WOODCOCK FLIES OVER HIS HEAD BUT HE DOES NOT OBSERVE IT TILL IT IS NOT MUCH USE FIRING. DOGS LOOKING ON REFLECTIVELY- SHEEP IN THE BRAMBLES. RATHER SICK  - DIEGO HAVING MADE a rough Abraham  Scene outside the wall GLAIZEDALE 

 

 

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY 17 GLAIZEDALE

I believe this was the third time that GLAIZEDALE this season had been called upon for sport. And it certainly  showed a fine allowance of stuff - had it been taken proper advantage of. Richard Smith brought his gun as an aid - you can hardly shoot GLAIZEDALE with less than four guns - and they must know the ground  - I think I never did under a day in my life - I was particularly anxious  that Alec should  get some shooting- but today he could not hit a haystack - this after a time  - vexed me so 

DECEMBER 18  1862 

Nearly home - Diego making friends the Galloways in front the cheeky boy very much afraid of the old Grey - December 17th

dreadfully that my own pleasure and consequently shooting was equally destroyed - To explain this thoroughly I should say that being a great invalid the least thing irked me and very likely ultimately ruined my own sport.

We commenced very nicely. I downed a fine ring necked cock  in that (????)at the end of West Arnecliffe- which generally holds a pheasant or hare the sun was slap in my eyes - and I hoped Alec would bring down down the bird- but he did not & I wiped him. Not much was done in the way of rabbits on West Arnecliffe, I downed a woodcock - another two flushed out looked for in vain.

Two or three woodcocks were flushed in the LONGBANK William and I could have killed one in the lane - but if we had it would have been blown to atoms - a little way further Smith  killed a woodcock which Murray ought to have done Smith missed one himself - disgracefully - all this bad luck - and shooting told badly - another I let off a cock pheasant in disgust. I then killed a woodcock - touched by someone else - I believe Murray We saw very few rabbits out today - our great fun at Egton is the rabbit shooting shooting and we miss them greatly.

IN THE BLACK WOOD - where Dick once distinguished himself - the mud and walking was something to be believed - and then there were no rabbits out at all a woodcock went out on the moor edge. We went after him and William killed him - he rose I believe out of that thick gully of (????) at the ditch or drains, No rabbits  to keep us alive.    The traps had not been done - it was the INFERNAL WET which kept them underground . I lost 2 or 3 unluckily - all but  killed they managed to crawl under stones. - my temper and happiness was not improved thereby - and I missed 3 or 4

LUNCHEON at Piersons ( where those fine girls are - sisters to those at Coombes Wood formerly Lydsters Farm. 

Took a turn higher up. - but found nothing - finished the Black Wood as we generally do - after luncheon. I was 2 or 3 times on hands and knees in mud - my comrades. With good luck - which generally makes good handling - the rabbits above ground and the woodcocks we saw we ought to have made a capital day-

THE INCIDENT most worth remarking - a disgraceful business took place on the top of the Black Wood outside the Wall which I have named the Clags from the mixture of rocks and cut timber etc. The incident is depicted over the page .

 

I need not dwell on the pleasure it gave us all - It was 20 minutes before George could get as much a a whimper out of the old devil- such was his rage and pluck - at last he did. to my great delight - It cost me a woodcock however - which flew over my head - one an easy shot but a very difficult one when just my gun up. Diego had the sulks all rest of the evening - and refused to look for the cock pheasant which 

I missed in the morning ( I am certain it was because he rose badly. I missed him almost purposely to give Alec the shot - and he only mortally wounded him - and as Diego would not condescend to look for him and Taylorson's bitch is not of much use we lost him- another sweet bit of luck.

 

I forgot to mention that Smith and I knocked up another woodcock in the Black Wood. which went below - which was picked up 2 or 3 days afterwards. I have always looked upon Glaizedale as a cemetry of woodcocks - William and I so often lost them before - to be wasted a most hateful thing= both cocks and pheasants when they take a downward flight at Glaizedale are lost 5 or 6 times out of 8 - I lost 2 or 3 more rabbits - we followed a woodcock out on the moor and I killed it. I believe I ought to have killed another but I am not sure that I did not kill him afterwards.

 

The light fading - Alec and I took our weary road home - he disgusted. I the same - tired and ill - mounted the Galloways at the gate with pleasure William and Smith   ( who shot under his usual form) Shot home below - after ineffectually looking for the mashed woodcock.  They saw very little - Had things gone well - I felt like shooting at starlings- it should have been an a pleasant day-

BAG- 20 RABBITS - 6 WOODCOCK - 2 PARTRIDGES - 1 PHEASANT - 29 HEAD- I killed 3 woodcocks - 1 pheasant - 1 rabbit - lost several & missed two or three  - did not care how I shot - The partridges were killed at luncheon - they were scattered in the rough stuff by the roadside - and as Alec, William, Smith & I refused to mount the hill - George and Taylorson taking our guns went up and floored a brace causing some chaff - On the way home poor old Diego made offers of reconciliation - carrying my hand - so I gave way. The dogs one and all seemed as tired as we were.

 

 

FRIDAY - 19.  RIVER-SIDE. CHAPMAN WD etc

 

Tremendously windy- Commenced in John White's Woods - Found plenty of rabbits which were welll accounted for - I am glad to say that Alec recovered his shooting - He was foolish enough to refuse to shoot at a pheasant in the gill on the way to the high road because he had let one off in the morning and missed one yesterday - IN WILSON'S ENCLOSURE he floored a woodcock in fine style and then doubled up a hare - to my intense delight he was death on his rabbits too.

TRIED CHAPMAN'S WOOD pretty closely - had luncheon at Simpson's old HUT - In the afternoon we took the ground as far as the beginning of long bracken Bank - and then shot homewards trying any good bush - hedge - copse on the road. Dogs behaved very badly - and I very judiciously put a little lead into "Lady" a bitch with a famous nose -  but too ambitious -    

Wallace disgraced himself - they let him hunt - I placed him in George's hands to be worked in a string - I shot well and worked hard as usual - keeping the men in their places etc. - but I was unlucky in shots - Could not find a woodcock - much pleasure at Alec's recovering his  shooting.

30 RABBITS - 5 HARES - 1 WOODCOCK - 1 PARTRIDGE - 1 PHEASANT - 38 HEAD  -  F.C.E. 7 RABBITS -  2 HARES - 1 PARTRIDGE - 10 HEAD          

                     

 

SATURDAY -. 20     PARK HALL

 

Pheasants and hares barred- - no rabbits out at all - 2 or 3 - Jackie and Willie and ourselves Alec and William and I to shoot and a few dogs - was the turn out today - Saw about 7 or 8 pheasants and 3 hares - devil a woodcock - George had Wallace in a line -  11 RABBITS - were killed I shot about 3 - miserable day.

 

 

TUESDAY - 23.  GLAIZEDALE

Very wet underfoot - would have been wiser to have staid at home - got my breakfast at Perry's and rode to Tommies. We tried Arnecliffe and the long Bank - but not a sign of a woodcock - Wm. killed 2 pheasants and another got away - no rabbits lying out at all - everything being saturated - no hare this season - for the fourth time - got exhausted - did not shoot well 

BAG - 16 RABBITS - 2 PHEASANTS - 18 HEAD not a sign of a woodcock - I killed 5 rabbits.

   

WEDNESDAY - 24.   LIMBER

 

Ferretted Limber with George wanting a quiet day - wind very cold - Did but little at the Big Earth'.- It was just the same when Alec was there - fine big burrows - but late in the season- of no use for anything but the TRAPS - George carried a gun - I remarked to William afterwards how nicely he shot but Wm. said he was very uncertain - however I was much pleased - and thought what a capital quiet steady clever fellow George was - 

The underground natives declining to show themselves to any purpose. I declare this earth demands four guns to shoot it properly. We went up two or three hedge rows - but the holes were blown up as it were - but I killed a hare - Wm got on better at old places below and finished with 15 HEAD - I got 7 rabbits and 1 hare 8 HEAD George got the rest.

William was most actively engaged at WHEELDALE with arriving woodcocks - killed 2 and saw 2 more. On the way home in the fields and hedge rows. he added to his bag 3 partridges 8 rabbits and 1 hare THE WHOLE BAG -therefore was 22 rabbits - 3 partridges - 2 woodcocks - 2 hares - a most useful little day to the firm.

       

FRIDAY -26.   COOMBES .11

 

No rabbits at all. Richard Smith William and I the guns. Wind terriffic - I wasted a woodcock I am afraid out of a hedge row. THe wind carried him away under a cloud of feathers - we followed him and sought carefully in a good ring around him but to no purpose however. I then killed one whom the wind (???) quite motionless in the air. - later another a very pretty good shot - I killed my rabbits very well too - but made mistake at an easy go get a partridge from actual exhaustion - from tugging up the hill

BAG 20 RABBITS - 2 WOODCOCKS - I got 5 rabbits and 2 woodcocks - I never saw so few rabbits. I opine the hurricane for it was nothing less - kept them underground - not a hare.

 

 

SATURDAY -  27.    HAZEL HEAD

 

ON my favourite beat where Wm and I have had so many a good day. - Began on the right side at Rendesmar- thinking it certain that we should pick up a woodcock - snipe - grouse or something - nothing seemed more likely - I never worked harder - after one most careful stalk for grouse - I killed one a little further on - and knocked a hen all to bits - which I hoped Wm would put out of its misery - but he foolishly not seeing how hard she was hit - let her go away to die to my disgust - after another look round - and hit a bird very hard - but could not get him - my temper I am ashamed to say was now quite gone - and consequently my shooting - the woodcocks of which there were 3 at the wood - I tailored- I certainly lost my temper and shouting after the ill luck in the morning - I missed the same bird twice - on the gill , going to Burnett's - I did get one woodcock in a curious way.  I knocked him over before on the wall at the Hazel Head road - covered the ground with  feathers did the beast - I was insane - some of the men staid behind to look for him and they flushed him again - and I had the revenge - (how sweet ) of downing him in the sloppy cover near Burnett's - Very little was seen at all - William only got 2 partridges and a hare. 

WHOLE BAG - 2 PARTRIDGES - 1 GROUSE - 1 WOODCOCK - 1 HARE     F.C.e. 1 GROUSE - 1 WOODCOCK  !!----

MONDAY  29 SLEIGHTHOLME'S GILL - RAILWAY-SIDE

 

Nice day  Threw? off opposite the little farm. I was too merciful to an old cock grouse. I could have floored him where he was - but - I would not until I knew where I was - he had got some 40 or 50 yards. I parted without effect - Tried Sleightholme's - a great deal of it is always left in a Coombes Day. Three hares beat us in Bullers Wood - Very little to shoot anywhere - Jacky Pierson thinking he was worthy of a shot - cast down at a "hot un"(???? by the dogs) which   ????ever to p-lease him.  IN the Long Bank William polished off 2 woodcocks and I got one. ????? so hard to find him but it was no use - Beat Chapman's wood pretty well - and then turned homewards taking out the likely hedges copses etc. There not being enough light - we ran the dogs through the last woods in the river side and the move paid well. I used entirely old cartridges to day    and shot very well but wasted a good deal of powder ???? at easy and difficult shots

BAG - 15 RABBITS - 2 WOODCOCKS - 1 HARE - 18 HEAD  F.C. E> 8 RABBITS - 1 HARE  - 9 HEAD

 

 

TUESDAY 30  LIMBER CAUSE-WAY

 

Tried Limber- Causeway and White's Wood - Hares and cock pheasants - allowed in Limber but we did not get the chance of slaughter. I worked very hard indeed for 5 rabbits in Limber - luncheon at Mr. White's - causeway - pheasants and hares totally barred- saw several - but let them alone - perhaps 6 or 8 pheasants and 6 hares - In Limber we saw out of reach 3 or 4 cocks - I killed a hare and 1 or 2 I believe got away - unlucky with rabbits - on the Beck side and White's wood - a woodcock beat us in Arnecliffe on the way home. 

BAG   15 RABBITS - 2 HARES Rura pounced on one - in his peculiar  way- 1 PHEASANT the old white hen fell also into the dogs maws 18 HEAD - F.C. E> 8 RABBITS - 1 HARE - 9 HEAD 

This was an invite from the Smiths the object of which was to kill the game down on their manor so that the many temptations might not be offered to to the navvies. Tho' I must do them the justice to say that they had behaved extremely well - both to the Smith's and EGTON - Hens were barred - Richard Smith John Smith and I were the guns . William was a guide - but did not carry a gun. Of course I did not interfere with the arrangements. I confess I was ever keen to have a day at NABOTH'S VINEYARD. The name I had always applied to Smith. The ground being so good cover excellent breeding places the same, with every advantage for getting game, pheasants excepted of course from Limber .

It was a most pleasant day and I regret to say I did not shoot in my best form. I was the more sorry, as I could see that Richard endeavoured to get me shooting. I shot my hares very slovenly - the dogs recovered one or two and one or two got away. - In the morning I got - two hares both of which I had wounded before - but they ran in a ring as hares do - and being in the dogs mouths sometimes - you had hardly time to shoot - I never laughed more in my life.

 

Luncheon took place in a most comfortable barn. We were soon off again - and I believe over more to the best of the ground - altho' not in good shooting form I did now and then distinguish myself particularly in the case of a cock pheasant - which I was forced to shoot holding the barrel against the stock as the lever had not been turned?

There were one or two more hares  I ought to  have killed in the afternoon - I finished off at the last cover just over the road - better with a few rabbits.

George and Diego attended- altho' my shooting had annoyed me I enjoyed and felt grateful for the same - No woodcocks seen.

BAG= 7 PHEASANTS _ (COCKS) - 14 HARES - 21 RABBITS - 42 HEAD

F.C.E. 8 RABBITS-7 HARES - 2 PHEASANTS - 17 HEAD There seemed lots of stuff left for next season particularly pheasants and hares - - -    

    

EGTON SUMMARY. DEC 62

 

 5 GROUSE - 4 1/2 BRACE OF PARTRIDGES  16 PHEASANTS -280 RABBITS - 20 HARES

16 WOODCOCKS- 2 SNIPES

       ___353 HEAD___

             

EGTON

F.C.E.- SUMMARY - DECEMBER - 1862

 

84 RABBITS - 6 HARES- 6 WOODCOCKS -   4 PHEASANTS- 1 GROUSE - 1 PARTRIDGE-102 HEAD   

 

 

JANUARY 1863

 

THURSDAY 1- NORTH MOOR

 

Shot all about to BARTON HOLE Did a deal of ground. Stonegate Gill Fletchers & - I shot badly and felt ill. Richard Smith helped us and handled his iron efficiently. A tremendous storm - sleet - hail and rain drove us back and a most miserable return it was - at fox run Kemans and the Causeway.

BAG 17 RABBITS _5 HARES - 4 PARTRIDGES - 1 PHEASANT - 27 HEAD. F.C.E. 2 RABBITS -1 PARTRIDGE 3 HEAD

 

 

SATURDAY - 3

 

A ridiculous day at Hazel - Head - Not a thing to be found - no wooodcock on the whole beat - this storm must have driven them away- I shot a grouse at the commencement - as I did on the other (????) day on this beat. Never saw such a bare beat Wm lost a pot of beer out of me getting a brace - on the way home - BAG 4 RABBITS ( dogs killed 2 ) 2 PARTRIDGES 1 GROUSE - 7 HEAD - F.C.E. 1 GROUSE 1 RABBIT - I felt I could have shot this day had I had the chance and I was particularly anxious to revenge the last day - 

 

 

TUESDAY 6 - PARK HALL

 

Ferretted the place Wm carrying a gun of course after killing a partridge. Went among the rocks but things were to no avail to kill these _ Thank God the traps are always carried. The day was curious - a thick steam dwelt on the ground from the exhalations of the great storm, just over at the second earth - a sandy one. I did better but missed an easy shot. not then   did pretty well but they would not bolt well out of the sandy earth - We then crossed the beck and tried the burrows of the hedge rows on the opposite side of Park hall - these however seemed most up - and we finished at these holes where Dick got a lot at once - near Gibb's old house

 Diego very nearly made a capital retrieve of a rabbit close at home - he did not see at first

17 RABBITS KILLED -  I got 9 - 

 

 

WEDNESDAY - 7 LIMBER

 

Ferreting William and I shooting - George and Willey Smith attendants. commenced in a very lively  - shooting good - practice capital  - at the precipice - William and I wasted 4 barrels at 2 rabbits - they beat all creation - Not one earth in four shewed a rabbit - tho' - the traps having been there - however we enjoyed the day very much  Talked to the railway (people) Percival and I looked at their plans - they were there quarrying both sides of the Esk - 16 RABBITS F.E. 8  George I with my gun while I was talking to a foreman - Wm the rest-

 

 

 

THURSDAY - 8 

 

Too the dogs up GLAIZEDALE  Short of guns - could not find Richard Smith - Fine hard frosty morning - but I never saw fewer rabbits on the move. Found a woodcock in the West Arnecliffe and coming- but never got a shot -  A catastrophe occurred Tommies -  old grey galloway - not thinking the boy his master got him off - and ran away with the saddlebags - and he was the devil to catch - boy got a blacking. The pheasants were brought to bag - I got them both 1 in the morning - the other on the way back - it rose just outside W. Arnecliffe- and I dropped and tumbled  a regular cropper - down into the road luckily not rocks - took Arnecliffe on the way home and it contributed a couple of rabbits just making up a nice little bag - No hares again 

BAG 17 RABBITS - 2 PHEASANTS - 19 HEAD - F.C.E. 8 RABBITS 2 PHEASANTS - 10 HEAD

 

EGTON SUMMARY - JAN - 1863

 

3 GROUSE - 41/2 BRACE OF PARETRIDGES 5 PHEASANTS - 72 RABBITS - 6 HARES - 1 WOODCOCK - 2 SNIPES 

                             98 HEAD-

EDITOR'S NOTE

There will be no transcription of the statistical breakdown  for the next 4 pages.  This is because it seems to me to be easy enough to read 

 

There are no doubt many diaries similar in content and from a similar time to this one but few I think have such a comprehensive  financial and statistical breakdown to accompany them.  Could this be the original source from which Wisden and or his editor  developed the idea for the use of Statistics.

In particular attention should be paid to the entries from the 18th of November until the 28th November 

"Wisden - George Parr - Wm " It would appear from the entries that these 3 sportsman were together at various places over the next 10 days. The names Wisden and George Parr are likely to be Wisden and George Parr cricketers. George Parr was a very good friend of Wisden. These entries over 10 days indicating  Wisden as a guest and  if 10 days duration is anything to go by,  very welcome guests    

   

It has as such a certain interest if not importance solely as a social history document  

   

MILDENHALL.   TUESDAY .   JANUARY  XXVII

THE DEPUTATION ALEC MURRAY AND I arrived in a great state of keeness - limited to a certain amount of game - Day fine but there was so little cover  - that I began to fear that some of the birds might be wasted, a difficulty of judging distance, with a great number of pheasants on the wing at once is knowing this to be our last shoot (I at all events   made us rather too excited.

 

We shot right through the COVERS ONCE. Murray and I both made some capital rights and left. I once stopped  Alec  - trying too long shots - as I found  I was doing it myself - indeed there was every temptation- after a time I found that that LOFLEY was getting quite hot and foul- Alec was using his own iron - the BOSS muzzle £12 worth I made it for him - ( once Dick's  sold to me for £15 and a Boss breech loader lent to him for the occasion. 

 

I was compelled to ask for the breech loader - the heat of the thing was now over - Thank God!  says I to myself -  Four guns as we had on the first occasion was scarcely enough to do the thing neatly - that number was really wanted here - Our number was obtained. 

We then like good sportsmen  went round again over the same ground  to pick up the wounded - a FATIGUE PARTY - We were very lucky in this - and under the circumstances - I dont think much was wasted. - Talbot thought not too - I shot one or two cocks runners and several hares.

 

A GOOD luncheon at the keepers  and a count out - After refreshing ourselves - Talbot took us down the road and one or two pheasants were tailored - my head was begining to go and Murray's too the old warrior wanted however a go at the snipe so down we went to some most likely ground , bad enough unless you knew it for walking - which I luckily did - from previous experience - found several very wild snipes- Murray ought to have got three or four - I got the only one I had a chance of ----

BAG - 20 COCK PHEASANTS  25 HENS - 10 HARES  -      1 SNIPE =

56 HEAD - No woodcock seen.

F.C.E. (about) 8 PHEASANTS 8 hares 1 snipe - 27 HEAD one or two head of game were picked up the next day F.C. E. The four days 18 PHEASANTS - 8 HARES - 6 RABBITS - 4 PARTRIDGES - 2 SNIPE - 38 HEAD -

WEDNESDAY - XXVIII

 

TRIED THE FIELDS FOR WILD BIRDS - and wild enough God knows - where they went to and no man mote tell - I made a couple of longish shots in the morning _ driving was fine then resorted to - Alec was unlucky in getting some easy shots - when he was loading - but he ought to have got three birds more at least _ I killed another brace to one drive  - and but that Taylorson had lost me somehow - and I was scant of cartridges- I might have got another brace - I got very tired tonight and ought to have downed a bird if not a brace at the last drive - Had I got many shots in the morning I could have shot well -  saw a good many of the varmint red legs- BAG 3 BRACE OF PARTRIDGE - F.C.E. 2 BRACE. ALEC 1 BIRD- 1 picked up

 

THURSDAY - XXVIX

 

A DAY IN THE EARTHS - You may say without much want of truth that Mildenhall Estate is one great warren. Murray to my sorrow returned to town today - so I carried the gun alone - I was rather too [polite to the rabbits I saw- but I soon gave up that game - some of the places were very difficult - but there was not a rabbit in one earth in six - at last we got stuck with all the ferrets - and Talbot actually dug out 2 and a dead rabbit of mine - which the ferret actually took into the hole under Taylorson's nose - but we chaffed him - it was quite excusable however- Began to talk and enquire about the manor - possibility od getting Sir Charles's private manor the rabbits etc. I might have saved some money and time - If I had known it was absolutely neccessary for me to give up my share in the firm - the instant I returned to town - I shot 5 rabbits-

 

FRIDAY - XXX  

 

Tried the snipe ground again - saw more than usual Talbot carrying a gun and killed one snipe and a partridge - I one snipe- infernally wild they were - missed a hare - determined to leave tomorrow - found that no end of harm had been by shooting in the cover - the first day was bad enough - But the rabbiting day was worse - the pheasants flying into the town - the keepers were employed looking for the poor frightened things - many doubtless were stolen by the natives -

BAG 45 PHEASANTS - 10 HARES - 7 PARTRIDGES - 6 RABBITS - 3 SNIPES - 78 HEAD

The above illustration may have in part been a modified version of the example of the shooting cards pertaining to the Egton Estate held by Northampton Archives. Egton, Mildfenhall Manor Bigby and Roxby are all estates held by the Elwes family.   

  

      In this section can with a modest amount of research be discovered the authors identity Francis Emilius Cary Elwes, more references and connections to the 1864 Almanack, an interesting drawing room illustration, an early tabulation table and other statistical information  that Wisden must have seen and been influenced by  because as will be shown later he had access to this ms.  The diary's dating is a little confusing. Most of the people within this diary are unknown, but at least 2 are very recognizable to anyone who knows early cricket  (John Wisden and George Parr) and of course for those who are interested in the shooting much more.  *  Some of the names are tenants of property etc on the Egton estate and details  for some of them of the property they tenanted are in the sale details of the Egton Estate 1869  

In this section I have only added explanatary notes  generally for the author/cricket/Wisden related material and  therefore pages that might be expected to have some notes appear blank .

  

The current owners of the estate are descendants of the people who bought the estate from the Elwes owner inn 1866. I did contact the Egton Estate to inquire whether they had any shooting records etc dating from say 1855 but regrettably  no reply. 

 

P is probably Captain Percival. His full name will appear on page 25 in the accounts. There is both a diary entry and a Gosling bank entry for Captain Percival. In the Almanack there is an entry for the Assassination of Spencer Perceval (different spelling). It is an entry for May 11 and reads Perceval assassinated by Bellingham 1812. It may well not be a related Percival but interestingly Spencer Perceval had several sons 2 of whom were captains. 1 of these sons also had a son who was a captain and fought in the Crimea. It is relevant to mention the Crimea because this is one of the connections that may have provided some of the  impetus for the inclusion of several entries for the Crimea in the Almanack section of the 1864 First Edition of Wisden.  The other  captain was a patient in amongst other places Ticehurst Lunatic Asylum and wrote and campaigned for improvements in mental health treatment. The authors mother appears to have been a patient at some time in her life also there also. Interestingly the author died there in 1867 (More Later)

Alec is almost certainly the author's father in law.

 

Most of the names are people unknown but there names will generally be found in the accounts. Probably Egton Estate workers. 

F.C.E. is the author of this ms. He appears to have missed out an initial.

Page 13  No comment is necessary for the illustration 

"Mr F. Elwes looking on"

Mr F. Elwes is the author of this ms. His Full name is Francis Emilius Cary Elwes.

An interesting drawing room scene. Who are the 3 men. I believe the one by the fireplace is the author. On page 22 will be found a summary. 2 names stand out for anyone with an interest in cricket J.Wisden and G.Parr.​ I think the 2 gentleman sitting down maybe Wisden and Parr. If so both are very much "at home"so to speak.  G.Parr is surely George Parr cricketer and friend of Wisden

 

Page 22

The author. A self portrait  Dreaming of a bad season

Page 22  Rather an important page. It appears to suggest that John Wisden and George Parr were guests for 10 days. I say guests because there is no mention of monies received from either John Wisden or George Parr in Elwes's bank account, and given the very friendly relations between Elwes and Wisden evident so far and those to  come this must have been a very good if unusual friendship.  

   

But there is more to ponder  here. It seems to me that this was quite possibly not the first time that Wisden had been on an Elwes estate during the winter shooting season.  Nor perhaps the last time.  Wisden  in later life is known to have enjoyed shooting. Could it have been that he initially learnt courtesy of Elwes.

 

     That is not all to ponder though. Given that Wisden operated out of London  it has surely been a mystery as to why  Wisden should choose Bradford to announce for the first time the forthcoming publication of  the Cricketers Handbook.  Up until now  that is. Bradford is a relatively short distance from Egton  just 11 miles. I propose the idea that Wisden was again a guest at the Egton Estate and that its publication and sale may to some extent have been organised from the Egton Estate. At this time December/January 1864 Elwes was   almost certainly   properly ill with what he would die from; an illness from which there was no chance of recovery, 

      Finally the bank records for Dick, F.E.C. Elwes's brother show an entry for March that reads "postage book 1863" and a charge of 2 shillings and 4 pence. It seems entirely posssible that this is postage in part perhaps for this book although 2 shillings and 4 pence is a very high price to have paid. However it may perhaps have included the print run of the 1864 1st Edition of

Wisden's Almanack   

 

The following entries in  the 1864 Almanack  all relate to rural life and sports.  

 January  11  Plough Monday

 February 27  Hare Hunting Ends 

 March  14  Fly Fishing begins 

August 1   Lammas Day

August 12   Grouse Shooting Begins

September 1   Partridge Shooting Begins 

October  1  Pheasant Shooting Begins

October  16  Fox Hunting Begins

October  25  Hare Hunting Begins

December  10  Grouse and Blackcock Shooting Ends

December  15  Isaac walton dies 1683

 

At the foot of the December Entries we are informed that the

"1st game laws introduced  1496"

 

A couple of these entries are noted in the day to day diary in the months of January and February.

I ask the reader who has read this shooting diary.  Is it likely that the shooting related  entries all came from Wisden's pen.

I think not.  F.E.C.Elwes  definitely knew his shooting  and as will appear later was also a "sports fisherman" and thus provides a far more likely source of the game and angling entries. Wisden who so far as is known knew or had little or no interest in angling.

Finally Elwes's father with all his estates owned considerable amounts of land and the agricultural references would have meant something to him. What did Wisden know of rural life. 

The title page of the sale catalogue for the Egton Estate June 1869. On the back page a later hand has written that the sale price was 155,000 plus a further 25,000 for the timber 

A page of detailed information showing the names of tenants, land and property  holdings, and rental income from some of the estate.

Sir

Part of a very detailed map of the Egton Estate 

The End of this section apart from the Correction of Typos unless Significant and Relevant information is discovered. 

 

Click Here for Part c  Manuscript Diary March 

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