Quorn Hunt

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For other uses, see Quorn (disambiguation).

The Quorn Hunt, usually called the Quorn, established in 1696, is one of the world's oldest fox hunting packs and claims to be the United Kingdom's most famous hunt. Its country is mostly in Leicestershire, together with some smaller areas of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

Despite the abolition of fox hunting intended by the Hunting Act 2004, the Quorn continues to go out on four days of the week during the autumn and winter months.


The hunt traces its origins to a pack of foxhounds established in 1696 at Tooley Park, Leicestershire, by the youthful Thomas Boothby (1677–1752). Its present name comes from the village of Quorn (also known as Quorndon), where the hounds were kennelled between 1753 and 1904,[1] having been established there as a result of the hunt's second master, Hugo Meynell, buying Quorndon Hall from the 4th Earl Ferrers.[2] Following more than half a century under Boothby, Meynell was Master for forty-seven years, and such was his innovative mastery of fox hunting that he has been called 'The Primate of the Science'.[3]

In 1905 new kennels and stables were built at Paudy Lane, Seagrave, and are now listed buildings.[4] The hunt's present-day kennels are at Gaddesby Lane, Kirby Bellars, near Melton Mowbray.[5]

Before gaining its present title in the mid 19th century, the hunt was often known by the name of its Master: for instance, from 1827 to 1831 it was called 'Lord Southampton's Hounds'. Until 1884, the hounds were owned by the Master and a change of mastership was either by purchase or inheritance.[6] The hounds are now said to be "owned by the country", that is, by the hunt organization.[7]

Among many notable Masters was George Osbaldeston, who in 1823 became the first to return to the Mastership after having previously retired.[8]

Three Hunt-class warships of the Royal Navy have been called HMS Quorn, after the Hunt.[9]


Frank Hall Standish with the Quorn Hunt by John Ferneley, Snr, 1819

The Quorn hunts a wide area of Leicestershire, plus some coverts in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, stretching from just south of Nottingham to the edge of the city of Leicester and from Melton Mowbray westwards to Ashby de la Zouch. On the eastern side of the country lies a rolling open landscape, with good fences to jump, while to the west are the wooded uplands of Charnwood Forest and the Pennine Chain. The best centres are around Melton Mowbray, Leicester and Loughborough.[1][7]

In 1853, the southern part of its country was separated off to form the Fernie.

The adjoining hunts are the Meynell and South Staffs (to the north west), the South Notts (to the north), the Belvoir (to the north east), the Cottesmore (to the south east), the Fernie (to the south), and the Atherstone (to the south west).[7]

Season and supporters[edit]

Hunting takes place on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, in the autumn and winter months only. More open country is hunted on Mondays and Fridays, the most popular days, with usually between one hundred and one hundred and fifty mounted followers, plus about twice as many who follow hounds on foot and with cars and bicycles. The smallest number of followers is on Tuesdays. Over eight hundred farmers in the country of the Quorn allow the hunt to use their land.[1] There is a Supporters' Association.[10]

The hunt's 'Saturday Country' is around Belton, Staunton Harold and Kingston and has its own 'Saturday Country Wire and Damage Fund'.[11]

List of Masters[edit]

George Osbaldeston, Master 1817–1821 and 1823–1827
  • 1919 to 1928: W. E. Paget
  • 1930 to 1940: Lt-Col. Sir Harold Nutting
  • 1940 to 1947: Major P. Cantrell-Hubbersty (Acting)
  • 1948 to 1951: Mrs P Cantrell-Hubbersty
  • 1948 to 1951: Mr F.S. Mee
  • 1948 to 1954: Alexander Ronald George Strutt, 4th Baron Belper
  • 1954 to 1960: Lt-Col. G. A. Murray-Smith
  • 1959 to 1962: Mrs G. A. Murray-Smith
  • 1959 to 1985: Mrs Ulrica Murray-Smith
  • 1960 to 1962: Lt-Col. T. C. Llewellen Palmer
  • 1960 to 1962: Captain E. O. Corsfield
  • 1962 to 1965: Brigadier R. G. Tilney
  • 1965 to 1972: Captain J. D. A. Keith
  • 1972 to 1985: Captain F. G. Barker
  • 1975 to 1983: Mr A. J. M. Teacher
  • 1985 to 1991: Mr J. Bealby
  • 1985 to 1991: Mr E. R. Hanbury
  • 1985 to 1991: Mr W. B. Hercock
  • 1991 to 1994: Captain Fred. G. Barker (again)
  • 1992 to 1994: Mr A. R. Macdonald Buchanan
  • 1992 to 1995: Mrs D. E. H. Turner
  • 1992 to 2000: Mr C. H. Geary
  • 1994 to 1995: Mr R. G. Henson
  • 1995 to 1996: Mr R. S. Morely
  • 1995 to 1996: Mr R. Carden
  • 1996 to 1997: Mr Robin C. Smith-Ryland
  • 1992 to 2000: Mr Rad T. Thomas
  • 1998 to 2000: Mr A. W. R. Dangar
  • 1997 to 2003: Mr A. R. P. Carden
  • 2000 to 2004: Mr R. Hunnisett
  • 2002 to 2005: Mr W. Cursham


Although "hunting wild mammals with a dog" was made unlawful in England and Wales by the Hunting Act 2004, which came into effect in 2005,[12] the Quorn Hunt says that it continues to operate within the law.[13] A number of exemptions stated in Schedule 1 of the 2004 Act permit some previously unusual forms of hunting wild mammals with dogs to continue, such as "hunting... for the purpose of enabling a bird of prey to hunt the wild mammal".[14]

Quorn Hunt Ball[edit]

There is also an annual Quorn Hunt Ball. In 2015, it took place at Two Temple Place in London.[15]


  • William Charles Arlington Blew, The Quorn hunt and its masters (London: John C. Nimmo, 1899, with illustrations by Henry Alken)
  • William Scarth Dixon, The Quorn Hunt
  • Lady Augusta Fane, Chit-Chat (London: Thornton Butterworth, 1926)
  • Daphne Machin Goodall, Huntsmen of the Golden Age (London: H.F. & G. Witherby, 1956)
  • Roy Heron, Tom Firr of the Quorn, Huntsman Extraordinary (Liss: Nimrod Book Services, 1984)
  • Ulrica Murray Smith, Magic of the Quorn (London: J. A. Allen & Co., 1980)
  • J. Otho Paget, Memories of the Shires (Methuen, 1920, republ. 2012)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c About the Hunt page at quornhunt.co.uk
  2. ^ William C. A. Blew, The Quorn hunt and its masters (1899), p. 23
  3. ^ Blew, op. cit., p. 47
  4. ^ Quorn Hunt Kennels and Stabling, Quorn Park, Seagrave (Grade II) at charnwood.gov.uk
  5. ^ Quorn Hunt Kennels at yell.com
  6. ^ Blew, op. cit., passim
  7. ^ a b c Quorn Hunt at mfha.org.uk
  8. ^ Blew, op. cit., Chapter IV at archive.org: 'Mr George Osbaldeston 1817–1821, 1823–1827'
  9. ^ HMS Quorn at royalnavy.mod.uk
  10. ^ QH Supporters Association at quornhunt.co.uk
  11. ^ Saturday Wire Fund Club at quornhunt.co.uk
  12. ^ Hunting Act 2004, text online at opsi.gov.uk
  13. ^ Home page at quornhunt.co.uk
  14. ^ Stephen Moss, The banned rode on: Eighteen months ago hunting was banned. Or was it? from The Guardian dated 7 November 2006, at guardian.co.uk, accessed 29 April 2013
  15. ^ The Quorn Hunt Ball, Tatler, 22nd April 2015

External links[edit]