Hugo Meynell (June 1735 – 14 December 1808) is generally seen as the father of modern fox hunting, became Master of Fox Hounds for the Quorn Hunt in Leicestershire in 1753 and continued in that role for another forty-seven years (the hunt is so called after Meynell's home, Quorn Hall in Quorndon, North Leicestershire).
Meynell pioneered an extended chase at high speeds through open grassland. Borrowing the pioneering breeding techniques of his neighbour, the sheep farmer Robert Bakewell, Meynell bred a new form of hound, with greater pace and stamina and a better sense of scent.
In 1762 Meynell was elected as one of the two members of parliament for Lichfield, after filing an election petition challenging the election of John Levett of Wychnor, Staffordshire. Meynell took the seat of Levett, a Tory. But apparently the Levett family held no grudge, because successive generations of Levetts were included in the Meynell hunts and became close family friends.
He represented three constituencies as Member of Parliament in the House of Commons between 1762 and 1780 (Lichfield 1762-1768, Lymington 1769-1774 and Stafford 1774-178) and served as High Sheriff of Derbyshire in 1758-1759.
He was succeeded as occupant of Quorn Hall and Master of the Quorn Hunt by his son Hugo, who died two years later after a hunting fall.
- Lewis Namier & John Brooke, The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1754-1790 (London: HMSO, 1964)
- Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages [self-published source][better source needed]
- The Quorn Hunt and its masters
|Parliament of Great Britain|
|Member of Parliament for Lichfield
With: Thomas Anson
Sir Harry Burrard
|Member of Parliament for Lymington
With: Sir Harry Burrard
Sir Harry Burrard
William Neville Hart
|Member of Parliament for Stafford
With: Richard Whitworth
Richard Brinsley Sheridan