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The Fitzwilliam (Milton) Hunt

General Information

 

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The Fitzwilliam (Milton) Hunt has a considerable history attached to it, going back over 250 years in its present form, and probably longer than that. The Kennel records of hound pedigrees goes right back to 1760, before which date there was a fire which destroyed earlier records, suggesting a date of formation in the 1740s when several of the Governing Packs of English Foxhounds, of which the Fitzwilliam was one, were formed. Prior to this period, the family would certainly have kept hounds to hunt the hare on their property at Milton, near Peterborough, which they had occupied since1502. Before the Fitzwilliam's own involvement in the area, the Abbots of Peterborough used the lands at Milton to hunt over, and it is therefore suggested that there have been hounds kenneled continuously at Milton since the reign of Richard II.

The pack is still kenneled at Milton Park today, and has never been out of the ownership of the Fitzwilliam family, the current representative of which is the senior Joint Master, Sir Philip Naylor-Leyland Bt. The other Joint-Masters are Mrs. Patricia Anderson and George Bowyer.

Huntsman George Adams has been in his post since 1984 and he is ably assisted in kennels and in the field by first whipper-in Bill Bishop, and amateur whipper-in, Rosemary Armstrong.

The Hunt goes out two days per week in the main season, which usually starts at the beginning of November and ends, depending on farming conditions, at about the end of March. Autumn hunting starts as soon as possible after harvest is in, usually at the beginning of September.

The country hunted by the Fitzwilliam is some 30 miles by 20 miles, from Stamford in the North to Higham Ferrers in the South, and covers an area of some 600 square miles. In this considerable expanse of country are over 800 farmers, over whose land the Fitzwilliam considers itself lucky to hunt, and is very grateful for the support that it enjoys.

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