The Natural History of Wiltshire eBook

John Aubrey
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 257 pages of information about The Natural History of Wiltshire.

Thomas, Earle of Pembroke, told me that his sister-in-law’s priest, a Frenchman, made a pretty poem or poemation on Wilton House and Garden, in Latin verse, which Mr. Berford, his Lordship’s Chaplain, can procure.

The stables, of Roman architecture, built by Mons. de Caus, have a noble avenu to them, a square court in the middle; and on the four sides of this court were the pictures of the best horses as big as the life, painted in severall postures, by a Frenchman.  Among others was the great black crop-eared stone horse on which Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, was killed at the battle of Lutzen, two miles from Leipzig.  Upon the comeing of the Scotts, in 1639, Sir. ..  Fenwyck and. .. fearing their breeds of horses would be taken away by the Scotts, did sell their breeds of horses and mares to Philip (first) Earle of Pembroke.  His Lordship had also Morocco horses, and for race horses, besides Peacock and Delavill, he had a great many more kept at the parke at Ramesbury and at Rowlinton.  Then for his stagge-hunting, fox-hunting, brooke-hawking, and land-hawking, what number of horses were kept to bee fitt at all seasons for it, I leave the reader to guesse, besides his horses for at least halfe a dozen coaches.  Mr. Chr.  Wroughton guesses not lesse than an hundred horses. [In the notice of William, first Earl of Pembroke, in Aubrey’s “Lives of Eminent Men,” he says, “This present Earl (1680) has at Wilton 52 mastives and 30 greyhounds, some beares, and a lyon, and a matter of 60 fellowes more bestiall than they.” — J. B.]

Of his lordship’s hounds, greyhounds, and hawkes.  His Lordship had all sorts of hounds, for severall disports:  sc. harbourers (great hounds) to harbour the stagges, and also small bull-dogges to break the bayes of the stagge; fox-hounds, finders, harriers, and others.  His Lordship had the choicest tumblers that were in England, and the same tumblers that rode behind him he made use of to retrieve the partridges.  The setting-doggs for supper-flights for his hawkes.  Grayhounds for his hare warren, as good as any were in England.  When they returned from hawking the ladies would come out to see the hawkes at the highest flying, and then they made use of their setting dogges to be sure of a flight.  His Lordship had two hawkes, one a falcon called Shrewsbury, which he had of the Earle of Shrewsbury, and another called the little tercel, which would fly quite out of sight, that they knew not how to shew the fowler till they found the head stood right.  They had not little telescopes in those dayes; those would have been of great use for the discovery which way the hawke’s head stood.

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The Natural History of Wiltshire from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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