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The History of the Linlithgow and Stirlingshire Hunt 1775-1910
Chapter II.
Lord Elphinstone, Mr George Ramsay of Barnton, Mr William Murray, Younger of Polmaise


1806-1814.

IN April 1806, the members of the Hunt were called together on particular business. This doubtless had reference to the change in the management, referred to at the close of the preceding chapter, which resulted in John, twelfth Lord Elphinstone, taking over the control in the following summer, and entering into an agreement with the Hunt, under which lie received a subscription of 500, afterwards slightly increased, towards the maintenance of the establishment.

Lord Elphinstone was then about thirty-six years of age. While Master of Elphinstone, he had entered the army, and by the year 1794 had risen to the rank of lieutenant-colonel of the Sixtieth Regiment of Foot. Soon afterwards he was transferred to the battalion of the Royal Americans in Canada, and when there, through the death of his father, the eleventh Lord, on the 19th of August 1794, he succeeded to the title. In 1795 he had returned to England and received the appointment of aide-de-camp to H.R. H. Frederick, Duke of York, then Commander-in-chief of the army; while in June 1801 he appears to have sailed for Egypt. The promotion in the army which he had hitherto received had been rapid, and his subsequent advancement was striking. He exchanged from the Royal Americans to the Sixty-First Regiment, and from that Regiment to the Twenty-Sixth Cameronians, prior to his being appointed a major-general on the 2nd of November 1805. In May 1806 he became colonel of the Twenty-Sixth Regiment, and in the December of the same year, in the midst of his military preferments, he was elected a representative peer. About that time he was given the second command in Scotland, and on the 30th of December 1811 he was appointed by the Prince - Regent to take rank by brevet as lieutenant-general in the army. In addition to his other appointments, Lord Elphinstone was lord-lieutenant for the county of Dumbarton.

The year 1806 was thus not an uneventful one in Lord Elphinstone's life, but his election as master of the Linlithgow and Stirlingshire Hounds, and as a representative peer were not the only incidents of note which occurred in it, since it was in that year also that his marriage took place. He married on the 31st of July, Janet Hyndford, youngest daughter of Mr Cornelius Elliot of Wolflee, and widow of Sir John Gibson Carmichael of Skirling; and soon afterwards removed from Ward Park, where he had previously lived, to Cumbernauld House.

Although the kennels at Linlithgow still continued to be occupied from time to time, others at Laurieston, near Falkirk, were also used, probably with the view of having the hounds nearer Cumbernauld; but as Laurieston is distant from Cumbernauld about eleven miles by road, the arrangement does not appear to have been a very convenient one for the master. Allusion has already been made to the fact that what was evidently the Linlithgow and Stirlingshire pack was advertised' to be disposed of by public sale at this period. Such a step had most likely been decided upon in connection with the change in the manage- merit, yet it would seem that eventually the pack was not disposed of in this way, but was parted with privately to Lord Elphinstone; for the only reference to any sale of hounds at this time is contained in an entry in the accounts, of date the 14th of February 1807, which shows that the Hunt received credit for the sum of 104, 7s. as the price of "Hounds and others" sold to his lordship. Such a sum could hardly have been a full price, even in those days, for a pack of fox-hounds consisting of from twenty to thirty couples, but as there would then almost certainly be considerable difficulty in effecting satisfactorily the sale of a pack whose kennel was situated so far north, the Hunt would no doubt be glad to accept a nominal sum as its value, more especially when it was known that the hounds were to remain in the country.

Lord Elphinstone had been in office but a year when he was joined in the management by Mr George Ramsay of Barnton, the only surviving son of Mr William Ramsay of Barnton, banker in Edinburgh, one of the directors of the Royal Bank of Scotland. Mr George Ramsay, who was born on the 10th of August 1767, began to hunt almost immediately after his return to this country from Paris in the end of the year 1789. His miniature in the Caledonian Hunt coat of the period, painted by Inglehart about three years later, is reproduced as a frontispiece to this history, hut, unfortunately, the reproduction conveys no idea of the beautiful colouring of the original, which, worthy of the artist's work, is set in gold and diamonds. Mr Ramsay had married, in 1791, the Hon. Jean Hamilton, sister of William, seventh Lord Belhaven; and after occupying Drylaw House, near Edinburgh, for a year or two, adopted as his residence what is now Barnton House, but what was then King's Cramond or Cramond Regis—the Barn- ton House of those days standing almost midway between King's Cramond and the village of Davidson's Mains. To the north - west of Barntoun House, at the distance of about half a mile, is King's Cramond, also belonging to Mr Ramsay. . . . Very large additions and considerable alterations are now making to this house, which is destined for the residence of George Ramsay, Esq., banker in Edinburgh, eldest son of William Ramsay of Barntoun."

In joining Lord Elphinstone in the management, Mr Ramsay formed that connection between his family and the Hunt which was to last so long, and to prove so satisfactory. He and Lord Elphinstone were nearly the same age. They had met one another in the hunting-field as well as on other occasions,—they were both members of the Caledonian Hunt and were at this time on terms of considerable intimacy, fostered no doubt by a mutual love of the chase. The picture of "The Death of the Fox," painted by Alexander Nasmyth, probably about the year 1795, portrays both of them. Mr Ramsay has jumped from his horse and has taken the fox from the hounds, while Lord Elphinstone is pointing backwards, possibly explaining that the huntsman is just coming up, or that another fox has been viewed stealing away. The figures of the men, the landscape, and the trees, are beautifully painted; the fox and the hounds also are natural, but the horses seem to have been the victims of a fashion, which, although now and for long departed from, was common at one time,—they appear to have been crop-eared.

Although Lord Elphinstone and Mr Ramsay were associated in the management, it is clear that the latter undertook the more active part, and early in the summer of 1807 he began to defray much of the current expense of the Hunt, the huntsman receiving from him the funds which were required to meet his disbursements. Burton had left, and was succeeded by Thomas Granger, previously Mr Ramsay's groom, who was born oil 12th of Mardi 1765, and was therefore at this time in his forty-third year. A granddaughter of his states that he was a very shy, retiring man; nevertheless he pleased every one by his civility and good-humour, gave great satisfaction as huntsrnan, and in course of time received clue recognition of his ability in that capacity. The whippers-in were John Hislop, who remained in the service of the Hunt for three seasons (1806 - 1808), and James Carter. The latter, who stayed one season only, was Granger's nephew, and son and brother respectively of the Thomas and William Carter, who are represented as huntsman and whipper-in in the picture of Sir Mark Masterman Sykes' Fox-Hounds breaking covert, painted by H. B. Chalon, in 1821.

The area hunted at this time was an extensive one, and from Barnton and Corstorphine in Mid- Lothian on the east, the country proper stretched away through the counties of Linlithgow and Stirling to Cumbernauld in Dumbartonshire on the west, and almost to Dunblane in Perthshire on the north-west; besides which the district around Hamilton and Wishaw, reaching from Lanark on the south-east to Coatbridge on north-west, was hunted for a short period in the spring of the year, from Hamilton. The Druid relates that Mr Ramsay was wont to ride from Barnton to Hamilton, hunt all clay and be back again at night by changing hacks at Cumbernauld. In order to have done so he must have risen early and retired to rest late, and when, from a measurement of the Ordnance Survey map, it is ascertained that the distance as the crow flies from Barnton to Cumbernauld and thence to Hamilton is all but forty miles, it is obvious that he must have traversed at least eighty miles besides hunting,—a performance which can only be described as wonderful. But Mr Ramsay, who loved hunting with his whole heart, would no doubt consider such a journey and the consequent bodily fatigue merely as the means to an end, and reckon these lightly so long as that end was attained.

There has been preserved a slim little volume, which, although unpretentious in appearance, possesses much that is of interest, since it contains the first records of sport. It is Mr Ramsay's hunting diary, and in its pages are to be found a brief account of each day's doings in the field, the names of his hunters, and frequent notes of his weight. The diary, which is forcibly expressed —the present tense being used almost throughout in describing the events which occurred-is so early in date and gives so much information in regard to the country hunted, that it has been thought desirable to reproduce it. Those therefore who care to read it will find it printed as an Appendix' to these pages. The following are among the entries :-

1807. Dec. 14. Drumshoreland muir. Fox went away (while Tom and the hounds were in the large whin) as hard as possible, through Houston wood, over Dechmont, Bangour, cross the Glasgow road three miles west Uphall, kill him about a mile to the north of the road. Restless, Whalebone, Paddy, B. mare. George Ramsay's horse nearly dead in the field.

Dec. 17. Find a brace at Duntarvie, run through Hopeton wood, by Mid-up, Hopeton House, Dalmeny toun, Munch hill, to the sea east of Luchold, along the sea shore to the Halls, cross the road top of Halls brae, and right away back, kill near the garden at Hopeton House, cold hunting, hounds remarkably steady. Restless, Goldfinder, Mr B.—grey horse.

Dec. 26. Saturday. Meet at 12 mile stone, find opposite Sir James Daiziel's, run to the 12 mile stone covers, west by Phillipstone loch, and south over Binnie Craig where he was headed and turned north, kill him a little south of Dolphiiiton. Ploughboy, Whalebone, Mr B.—grey horse.

1808. Jan. 2. Find at Torphichen bridge—a brace,—instantly get hounds together, run south of Wall- house, turn north to Bowden, much running in the cover, run a fox towards Muiravonside, cross the water, bothered with Livingstone's barriers, return to Bowden, find again, run towards Geul. Ferrier's, through Dr Seton's3 near the new manse south of Litligow, turn over the hill west of lie- carton, down through the cover over Binnie craig, kill south of Binnie House. Murray I and myself only up with the hounds, having gone round south side of Cockle Roy; famous run. Whalebone, Murray his old horse. Cavendish at a standstill, old Paddy, grey horse.

1808. Jan. 19, Torphichen bridge. Find outside of the cover, run west and back again! to Torphichen town by Walihouse, thro' the cover again to Bowden,—three foxes at least on foot—one goes away from east end of Bowderi over Cockle Roy, south towards Bathgate, hounds split, Elphinstone and I follow some hounds east as far as TJphall, - he goes home, and I come to K. Cd. P. Boy, Goldfiuder, Mr B.—grey. Lord E.—chestnut Star.

Mar. 5. Find at Drumshoreland muir, run north to Winchburgh,—hounds streaming alon(,,—lose hinii. Try at Sir James DalzielI Phillipstone mill, &c. Find in a small covert south of three mile town, run east and then north to near 12 mile stone covers, turn short south, cross the Riccarton road, by Binny House, south of the craig to iliccarton cover, through the south side of it, over the hill west and south, kill at Silver Craigs lime works. Restless, Whalebone, Paddy, B. mare, Ld. E.—Star, not up. A famous run, Murray, Louis Ferrier, farmer Duncan, come up immediately. Hislop and myself first.. Granger not far behind. Horses all tired.

1808. Mar. 14. Cockle Roy, Bowden, Mr Ferrier's. Find south of Bowden, run through Bowden, by Muiravonside, west, and kill near the west end of Mr Livingstone's young cover in the gill. Ploughboy, Major, Mr B.— mare. A famous run—the fox got up at view and ran through several fields without ever breaking view.

Oct. 1. Find at Bonny Hill two foxes. A number of [hounds] tumble into an iron-stone pit. Lamb- ton, Cruiser, Herdsman, and Strenuous killed. No sport, not out.

1809. Feb. 23. Try Ravelrig—round cover under it, find at Druinshoreland, fox stole away from north-east corner large field, run across main lane to the House of Ainondell, by Illiston, Kilpunt, west of Newliston and Humbie, to Dnddingstone wood, Duntarvie, and to ground Hopeton wood—famous run. Large field,—Huutly, Dalhousie, MI'Lean, Wallace," Murray, Binning, Davie M'Dowall, Hounds behave uncommonly well.

Feb. 25. Riccarton. Find at upper end, run east and down the road to north end of cover, right over the hill, west of cover, along the belt north to lime quarries, over Cockle Roy, Bowden, down to Bo'ness road, kill in belt west of Beilside, right-hand side of lane to Bowden.—Famous run.

Besides Mr Ramsay's diary there exists another relic of this period in the shape of Granger's disbursement book,' and it is fortunate that this has been cared for, because, with the information which it affords, it is possible to form an almost accurate idea of the cost of the establishment a hundred years ago. It shows that through Granger's hands passed considerable sums of money - the whole expenses connected with the kennel and stable, as well as the wages and board-wages of the Hunt servants,—and from it the statement on the three following pages has been compiled.

Apparently the only items connected with the maintenance of the establishment which were not paid through Granger were the rent of the kennels at Linlithgow,—there is no evidence of any rent having been paid for those at Laurieston,the taxes on the servants, hounds and horses, and the cost of the servants' clothes. The rent of the kennels at Linlithgow was 3, 3s., the taxes amounted in the year 1806 to 33, 8s. 8d., and the cost of the servants' clothes may be reasonably estimated at 30. By halving the total of the disbursements and adding these figures to the result, it would seem that the annual cost slightly exceeded 800, which, having regard to the high

prices prevalent at that time, was not extravagant for the maintenance of a pack of fox-hounds hunting three and occasionally four days a-week. But the expense of the short visit to Lanarkshire was comparatively great; and had the hounds been able to hunt that district from their own kennel, or had they remained in the home country instead, a considerable saving would have been effected.

The Hunt had now reached the zenith of its fame, and many sportsmen besides those immediately connected with the counties of Linlithgow and Stirling were either hunting with or subscribing to the hounds. In addition to Lord Elphinstone and Mr Ramsay, there were the Earl of Hopetoun and his brothers the Hon. John Hope and the Hon. Alexander Hope, the Duke of Montrose, Lord Primrose and his brother the lion. F. W. Primrose, the Marquis of Douglas, afterwards Duke of Hamilton, and his brother Lord Archibald Hamilton, Lord Keith and Captain, afterwards Admiral, the Hon. Charles Elphinstone Fleeining—uncle and brother respectively of Lord Elphinstone—Mr John Smellie, Mr James Graham of Underwood, Mr Thomas Graham of Airth, the Earl of Dalhousie, Mr James Watson of Saughton, Major G. Hamilton Dundas of Duddingston, Mr William Macdowall of Castle Semple and his son Captain David Macclowall, R.N., Sir John Hope of Craighall, Mr James J. Cadell of Grange, Colonel F. Simpson of Plean, M James M. Wallace of Kelly, Mr H. D. Erskine, afterwards Earl of Buchan, son of the Hon. Henry Erskine of Amondell Dean of the Faculty of Advocates, and nephew of the Lord Chancellor, Mr James Bruce of Kinnaird, Mr Louis H. Ferrier, younger of Belsyde, Mr D. Monro Binning of Auchenbowie, the Hon. George Abercromby, afterwards Lord Abercromby, Mr William Murray, younger of Polmaise, Sir James Dalyell of The Binns, and Captain Robert Dalyell, Mr Michael Nicolson of Carnock, Mr James Russel of Woodside, the Marquis of Huntly, Major Maclean of Ardgour, Captain the Hon. A. Murray, Mr William Maxwell of Carriden, General Maxwell, Colonel Maxwell, Mr Thomas Livingstone of Park- hall, and Mr James Wilkie of Foulden; also, within the next few years, Sir James Riddell of Mountriddell, Captain, afterwards Admiral, William Johnstone Hope, R.N., Sir Charles Edmonstone of Duntreath, Mr James J. Elope Vere of Blackwood and Craigiehall, and Sir Michael Shaw Stewart of Greenock.

At this time a race meeting was held at Stirling annually in the autumn of the year, and with such stewards as the Duke of Montrose, Lord Primrose, Lord Kinnoull, Lord Doune, the Hon. George Abercromby, Lord Elphinstone, and Mr Ramsay, and with the hounds, by arrangement, hunting the surrounding country, the meeting was no doubt a popular one. The Linlithgow and Stirlingshire Hunt Stakes of five guineas each for hunters bond fide the property of the members qualified in terms of the articles" formed a prominent event, and with ordinaries daily, and balls in the evening, the county town was probably created a centre of attraction, full, to overflowing, of the beauty, sportsmen, and fashion of the day. In the year 1808, the hunt Stakes being run for on the 12th of October, the hounds were at Stirling for a fortnight, meeting at Sauchie, Dunmore Park, Hunters' Folly, Denovan, Keir, &c. The Hunt staff remained the same as in the previous season, except that Christopher Scott had succeeded Carter as second whipper-in. Scott, who at a later period became huntsman under Mr Ramsay's son, Mr W. R. Ramsay, had been, as a lad, in the stables of Colonel Hamilton of Pencaitland in East Lothian. Wishing to get into hunt service, he obtained permission to see Mr Baird of Newbyth, who was in want of a whipper-in; but it turned out that the day before he did so the place was promised to Will Williamson, afterwards huntsman to the Duke of Buecleuch, and all that Mr Baird could do for him was to send him on to Lord Elphinstone, who was then looking out for a whipper-in for Lord Kintore. Scott accordingly proceeded to Ward Park, Cumnbernauld, and there saw Lord Elphinstone, who had with him Mr Ramsay. "Can you holloa?" said Lord Elphinstone; and on Scott doing so to some purpose, "That will do; go to Keith Hall and give this letter to Lord Kintore." Scott's further journey had a successful issue, for shortly after his arrival at Keith Hall he was engaged by Lord Kintore - he and Will Williamson thus being entered to hounds in the same year.

The commencement of the season of 1809 saw Lord Elphinstone and Mr Ramsay still at the head of affairs, with Granger as huntsman. Hislop, however, had left, Scott had been promoted to fill his place, and Thomas Luck had been engaged as second whipper-in. Although the subscriptions had slightly fallen off, the Hunt was still popular, and consequently prosperous, and its horizon was as yet bright and unclouded; but trouble was in store, and a storm was gathering, which was destined to shake the old Flunt to its foundations. The most interesting part of Mr Ramsay's diary ends on the 4th of March 1809, for the later entries contain little more than the dates of the hunting days, the fixtures, and the number of foxes killed and run to ground. These, however, show that hunting began on the 7th of October (1809), and that up to the 6th of January following there had been thirty-six hunting days in which tell of foxes were killed, and fourteen and a half brace run to ground. The notes of Mr Ramsay's weight, already referred to, form a sad record of failing health, seeing that between the 5th of February 1806 and the 22nd of January 1810, two days before his death, his weight had steadily dropped from 17 st. to 12 st. 5 lb. In the frequency of these weighings too—they seem to have taken place at intervals of about a week—and from the fact that they were made under a variety of circumstances,—some of them with " hunting cap, whip, &c" others in "boots and thick before breakfast.," and others again in "flannel gown, &c.," —may be read no little anxiety as to the story which the scales would tell, and a consciousness of the approaching end,—an event which may have been hastened by those long rides to and from hunting, and by the overtaxing of a constitution not naturally of the strongest. On the 24th of January 1810 within a few days of the last entry in his diary, and within two of the last weighing, Mr Ramsay's death occurred. The storm had gathered and burst, and the Hunt had sustained an irreparable loss, not only of a master, but also of a liberal and steady supporter, who had spared neither money nor time in bringing it to the acme of perfection.

"Oh breathe not his name! the initials are enough to call tears into the eyes, and sighs from the feeling bosoms of those that still live, who knew him ; in whose memories he still lives, and who followed him to an untimely grave. At the I)erforluallce of these last sorrowful duties to that highly respected and valued friend and brother sportsman, those wept like children, who were 'albeit unused to the melting mood,' and their honest and unfeigned grief spoke more strongly the value of him they had lost, than could 'storied urns or animated busts"' . . . " His honest blunt kindness - his unsophisticated liberality of sentiment, endeared him equally to his co-temporary friends, and to the hearts of the youthful sportsmen whom he cheered on to the chase 'with hand and voice to point the winding way' " . . . " As an honest man, as a steady friend, as a liberal and generous sportsman—' take him for all in all, we shall not soon look upon his like again.' "

That Mr Ramsay was a sportsman of the best type, and loved hunting for its own sake, cannot be doubted, and the frequent allusions to the hounds which his diary contains, and the use of such expressions as "hounds remarkably steady," "instantly get hounds together," "hounds streaming along," "hounds behave uncommonly well," &c., show the lively interest which he displayed in them and their work. His strong attachment to the Hunt, and his sincere desire for its wellbeing, also, are patent in the fact that in the year of his death, and in those which followed until hunting in the country was temporarily discontinued, his representatives contributed to its funds a sum of no less than 300 annually, in consequence of which he may be said to have been the mainstay of its existence even after his death had taken place. His remains having been laid to rest in the family vault under the old church at Cramond, it behoved the members of the Hunt to consider how affairs were to be carried on; for Lord Elphinstone had not latterly taken an active part in the management. Therefore were they summoned to an extra-ordinary meeting at Linlithgow on Monday the 19th of February. No record of what took place on that occasion has been preserved, but it would seem that Lord Elphinstone agreed to continue to act as master, either alone or in conjunction with Mr William Murray, younger of Polmaise, until the close of the season, when he should be relieved by Mr Murray. A few days after this meeting, Mr Ramsay's hunters were sold, and Ploughboy and Restless, who had carried their owner through many a "famous run," Cato, Charmer, Star, Bempton, Catchem, Honest Harry, Archer, Star- gazer and Jenny Nettles all mentioned in his diary - besides a number of young ones, brood mares, foals, and hacks were disposed of at the hammer: and to have seen the string wending its way from King's Cramond to the place of sale Wordsworth's Repository, Nottingham Place, Edinburgh—must have been an imposing and to his friends a sorrowful spectacle.

Although Lord Elphinstone severed his official connection with the Hunt at the end of the season of 1809, a settlement of his claims upon it was not eflected until the 30th of January 1811, when Mr Boyd, the secretary and treasurer, travelled to Edinburgh for the purpose, and paid over to him the sum of 307, 18s. as the value of the horses. No mention, however, is made of the hounds, and it is possible that his lordship either formally presented them to the Hunt on his resignation, or eventually waived his claim to them. Notwithstanding his retirement he continued to subscribe to the Hunt funds up to the time of his death, although it would seem that he now began to keep hounds of his own, and engaged Christopher Scott as his whipper-in, since Scott is referred to in the 'Sporting Magazine' as "a veteran, who has whipped to or hunted every pack in Scotland, but the Duke's, in his day, and some that are not now in force,—Lord Elphinstone's for one," and since he, Scott, is represented as whipper-in in a picture of Lord Elphinstone and his hounds, painted by Douglas about this time.' This picture, fi'om which the portrait of Lord Elphinstoiie has been repro- duced, was executed in duplicate, one copy being in the possession of the present Lord Elphinstone at Carberry Tower, Mid-Lothian, and the other in that of Colonel Anstruther at Charleton, Fife.3 Lord Elphinstone died at Bath in May 1813, and was buried at the Abbey there. He was succeeded in the title by his only son.

Mr Murray, who assumed the control in 1810, was the eldest son of Mr William Murray of Touchadam and Polmaise in Stirlingshire, and was born on the 6th of July 1773. In 1799 he married Miss Anne Maxwell, daughter of Sir William Maxwell of Monreith, and went to live at Muiravonside, at that time called "The Neuk." He was a member of the Caledonian Hunt, a deputy lieutenant for the county of Stirling, and a lieutenant-colonel of yeomanry, in consequence of which he is often alluded to, and was perhaps better known, as Colonel Murray. At the end of his first season, Granger, whose services as huntsman had been retained, had been in office for four years. Having shown much good sport, and proved himself worthy of the trust reposed in him, he was presented with a testimonial in the shape of a silver cup, suitably inscribed ' while two years later (1813) his portrait with a few of his favourite hounds Frampton, Racer, Ferryman, Damper, and Lifter - was painted by Douglas, the picture being afterwards engraved.

As time passed, the cost of the establishment yearly became greater, added to which various other sources of expense presented themselves. The renting of coverts was not unusual or at least unknown, while the repairing of fences damaged and the compensating of farmers and tenants for loss sustained by and trouble caused to them, were matters which, then as now, required attention. To make ends meet was therefore no easy matter, and in the year 1810, in response to an appeal, many of the members contributed additional sums, so that the total subscription received amounted to no less than 1250, and that at a time when, although rents were high, taxes were high also, and war prices prevailed. During nearly the whole of the period embraced in this chapter the Continent had been in a state of considerable commotion, and while the Hunt was pursuing the more or less even tenor of its way at home, the attention of all men was directed to the Spanish Peninsula. Thither a large number of British troops had been sent in 1808 under the command of Sir Arthur Wellesley for the purpose of thwarting the movements of Napoleon, who had found a pretext for interfering in the affairs of Spain. The battles of Vimiera, Corunna, and Talavera had been fought and won, and now, in the year 1810, came a temporary cessation of hostilities, and the troops were retired within the lines of Torres Vedras. Great matters and small are not infrequently interwoven, and during this period of inactivity, a pack of British foxhounds, hunted by a British huntsman, pursued its quarry on Spanish soil. Through the sport shown by this pack and its huntsman—the famous Tom Crane, who had been appointed to the post by the "Iron Duke" himself—many clays, which would otherwise have proved almost unendurable, were passed pleasantly by the soldiers who joined ill chase, hardships were made to appear less hard, and man and horse were braced and fitted for the important work yet to be accomplished.

But before the campaign had been brought to a conclusion, before the season of 1813 had drawn to a close at home, it was foreseen that it would be impossible to maintain the old Hunt much longer. Foxes had become scarce, and although this was the only reason assigned for the breaking- up of the establishment, others may be found in the death of Mr Ramsay, with whom, it is stated, expired the spirit and the sinews of the Hunt, and in the war in the Peninsula, owing to which probably many of those who might otherwise have been following the chase at home, were serving their country abroad.

The accounts end on the 31st of December 1813, when, after having been "carefully gone over and examined," and "narrowly compared with the vouchers thereof," they are docqueted and signed as in previous years by Mr Louis Ferrier. They close with a balance of 136, 2s. 11d. due to the treasurer, Mr Boyd, but from an examination of them it appears that there was then at the credit of the Hunt with "the Falkirk Bank," a sum more than sufficient to meet this deficiency. Hunting, however, seems to have been continued well into the spring of the following year, for the sale of the bounds and horses was not advertised to take place until the month of April (1814).

Although the Hunt had now ceased to exist except as a club, it was destined to be resurrected at no very distant date, a circumstance which, could he have survived to see it, would doubtless have rejoiced Mr Ramsay, in whose thoughts the hunting of the country had filled so large a place. Meantime, he was not forgotten, and the members, still meeting at Linlithgow and at Stirling, did drink in solemn silence the memory of him whose loss was a serious one for all who had the pleasure of knowing him." Meantime also—between the temporary cessation of the Hunt and its revival— the country did not long remain vacant, and after the lapse of a short interval, it was wakened by the music of a pack of fox-hounds, which at that time was, as it is at the present day, second to none in Scotland, controlled by a sportsman of renown, and guided by a huntsman of considerable celebrity.


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