“KILLING KILDARES.” THE OPENING MEET

by jdurney on November 7, 2013

Leinster Leader 5 November 1898

“KILLING KILDARES.”
THE OPENING MEET

The opening meet of the “Killing Kildares” took place on last Tuesday. The rendezvous was the historic trysting place – Johnstown Cross. During the night a slight frost fell, with the result that Tuesday morning opened fresh and crisp. The weather was well indeed adapted for hunting purposes. The sun shone out with midsummer brightness, and a not too keen breeze was the only reminder of the approach of winter. The genial mildness of the morning attracted a large muster. During the early hours great activity was displayed in the stables of gentlemen of venatorial tastes, and all this bore fruit in the many excellent mounts and turnouts subsequently in evidence. From nine o’clock to eleven the gathering at the cross at Johnstown was being gradually augmented until it had developed into one of the largest opening meets seen for a number of years. Old sportsmen who viewed the scene with evident delight, said that it reminded them of the halcyon days, when such sights were a common occurrence. The road from Naas to Johnstown was crowded with horsemen and vehicles of all descriptions, the cyclist being in evidence as well as the equestrian. At eleven o’clock the village of Johnstown presented a very lively and animated appearance. Every class of conveyance was represented there, from the dazzling four-in-hand to the modest side-car. All the brawn and beauty of the country were there assembled, and the scene was picturesque and extremely striking. The bright hue of the gentlemen’s costumes formed a pleasing contrast to the more sober black of the lady’s attire. One of the most warmly greeted of those present was the Baron de Robeck, the veteran of the chase, who, despite his age, attended the meet with the same zest as of yore. The Master too was early at the rendezvous, and took matters in hand with his usual capability. Sharp to time Mr. Frank Goodall appeared with his “pack of beauties.” After a little delay a start was made through Palmerstown demesne, where the chase was commenced.

A special train was run from Kingsbridge during the morning, and conveyed a large number of ardent sportsmen, and a long string or horse boxes, from the metropolis to Sallins. The Railway Company gave very favourable opportunities to metropolitans of venatic tastes who longed for a spin with the “Killing Kildares” over as fine a patch of country as is anywhere to be found, and consequently it was not in the slightest degree surprising-indeed, quite the contrary-to see the generosity of the Company so well taken advantage of. The routes from Sallins and Naas to Johnstown were accordingly in a very heavy state during the early hours of the day. One member of the Viceregal House-the Hon. Gerald Cadogan – travelled down. Frank Goodall had the pack of 18 couples of bitches in choice condition at the appointed time, and never was huntsman and his hounds in more perfect trim. Colonel de Robeck was heartily congratulated on the splendid success of the opening meet. Frank Goodall was seated on a charming sort of brown mare, which was replaced in the evening by a bay gelding. The master was also splendidly mounted, and in fact the quality of the animals to be seen was of a superior character. Some nice animals were brought out by Messrs. O’Hanlon of Prosperous, while a brace of excellent breeding came from Athgarvan Lodge to carry Mr. and Mrs. Pallin. Mr. Ritchie and Mr. R. I. Love were mounted on steeds which would have kept up the longest day’s run. Mr. W. P. Cullen also sported a choice looking animal. A lot of nice young horses were also to be found, and Tom Mc Allister, a former hunts man of the Kildares, was the possessor of one which will turn out to be of the right sort. Craddockstown, a former winner at Punchestown, certainly looked as if fit for some more before being taken off the turf. From all sides it was learned that foxes were in abundance in Colonel de Robeck’s territory.

Amongst those in attendance were – The Master and Mrs. de Robeck, Baron and Baroness de Robeck, and Miss de Robeck, the Earl of Mayo, Hon. Gerald Cadogan, A.D.C.; Sir Kildare and Lady Burrowes, Sir John Kennedy, Colonel the Hon. C. Crichton, Miss Crichton, General Coombe, General and Mrs. Weldon, Col. Lindsay, Col. Legger, Col. and Mrs. Wilson, Col. Knox, Col. Bond and Miss Bond, Mr. J. L. Carew, M.P.; Mrs. Carew, and Sir Coleridge Kennard; Col. F. J. Tynte, Major and Mrs. Wm. Blacker, Major and Mrs. Rynd, Major St. Leger Moore, Major Mansfield, Captain Burns Lindow, Captain and Mrs. Loveband, Captain Towers Clarke, Mr. H. H. Aylmer, J. P., Kerdiffstown; Mr. T. J. and Mrs. De Burgh, Miss de Burgh, Hon. Charles Bourke, Lady Alfreda Bourke, Captain Colville, Mr. and Mrs. E. J. Burgh, Captain and Mrs. Steeds, Captain and Mrs. Hinkson, Captain and Mrs Maude, Mr. W. J. Goulding, Mr. David Mahony, the Misses O’Brien (Castletown); Mr. Peel, R.H.A.; Mr. R. J. Lone, Mr. E. B. Ashmore, Officers of the 14th Hussars, Newbridge; Mr. W. Pallin, Mr. and Mrs. Young, Mr. J. Lecky, Mrs. Drake, Miss Culshaw, Mr and Miss Stewart, Miss Edwards, Miss Kennedy, Mr. Lockett, Mr. and Mrs. Cramer Roberts, Mr. and Mrs. A. Aylmer, Mr. and Mrs. T. R. Gibson and party, Mr. and Mrs. Callaghan, Mr. R. J. and Miss Goff, the Misses Gough, Mr. and Mrs. W. K. Young, Mr. Loch, C. I., Mrs and Miss Loch, Mr. Rickard, R. D. F.; Rev. Fr. Devitt, S. J.; Canon Sherlock, Sallins; Mr. Carter, D. I.; Mr. R. West Manders, Mr. and Mrs. Lambert Carson, Mr. and Mrs. G. Mansfield, Mr. H. Fox Goodman, Dr. and Mrs. Falconer, Mr. Ussher Roberts, Mr. Stephen J. Brown, Mr. W. J. Dease, Mrs. Claude Cane, Mr. T. Ritchie, Mr. C. Black, Mrs. Jordan, Mrs. Hamilton and Miss Law, Mr. Dibley, R.D.F.; Mr. Penrhyn, Mr. W.P. Cullen, Mr. Kerry Supple, D.I.; Dr. Crean, the Misses O’Grady, Mr. Essie, Mr. Pack Boreford, Mr. England, Mrs. Carter, Miss Anderson, Miss M. Manders, Mr. and Mrs. Cantwell, Mr. and Mrs. John Gardener, Mr. and Mrs. Jackson, Mr. and Mrs. Kearney, Mr. F. Burke, Mr. and Mrs. G. Wolfe, Mr. J. D. White, Mr. J. R. Sutcliffe. Mr. E. Love, Mr. J. Simpson, Mr. Hickey, Mr. and Mrs. P. J. Doyle, Rev. H. Cullen, C.C.; Mr. J.H. Tracey, Mr. Hoystead, Mr. J. H. Dowling, the Misses Malone, Rev. Lionel and Mrs Fletcher, the Misses Tuthill, Mr. and Mrs. Rowantree, Mr. R. and Mrs. Coffey, Mrs. Moore, Mr. and Mrs. Maguire, Mr. W.P. Curran, Rev. W. Elliot, Mr. B. Reeves, Mr. R. and Mrs. Newcomen, Miss Walker-Leigh, Miss Eileen Hudson (Kinahan), Mr. and Mrs. R. S. Lambe, Mr. S. Donnelly, Mrs. Kenyon Slaney, Miss O’Farrell, Mr. R. and Mrs Hornidge, Mr. D. Lynch, Mr. C.P. Treacy, Mr. J.H. Tracey, Mr. R. and the Misses Cornwall, Dr. and Mrs. Kelly, Mrs. and Miss Moore, (Raheny); Miss Adams, Mrs. R. Rynd, Mr. Wright, Mr. Hanlon, Major Shadfoot, the Misses Sherlock, Mr. and Mrs. Tottenham, Mr. Sutcliffe, Mr. Maguire and party, Mr. O’Connor Morris, Mrs. Loch, Mr. Kirkpatrick, the Misses O’Brien, Mr. O’Mahony, the Misses Farrell, Mr. Joseph Healy, Mr. J. Kealy, Mr. M. Mc Guirke, &c.

It was not long after the appointed time when the order was given for Kerdiffstown, and as the huge assemblage passed through the demesne gate, a pretty and picturesque sight was witnessed. Eighteen and a half couples of a mixed lot of hounds formed the pack, and the horses were a team of bays. Sad to say, the covert and adjoining plantations were drawn with the verdict of blank. A very brief canter sufficed to reach Palmerstown, the beautiful seat of the Earl of Mayo. In a small gorse covert adjoining what is known as “Lord Mayo’s Sticks,” the welcome notes announcing the presence of Reynard were heard, and here the first fox was routed. After a small ring in the direction of Kill village, he turned into Palmerstown, and half-an-hour’s work from cover to cover sufficed to kill him. Another fox was also scented, but as in such close quarters it was not an easy to make a hand of two, pug in this instance was let go. Some very pretty woodland hunting was enjoyed prior to the killing of Reynard in the first instance. The field then jogged on to Bishopscourt, the residence of the Earl of Clonmel, where the laurels provided a brace. Neither however seemed inclined to leave their home, and no good result followed. Up to this time there was no diminution in the strength of the field, and at least 300 horsemen and 45 equestrians were in the wake of the pack when passing Bishopscourt demesne entrance. Boston also provided a fox but he was one of a cowardly sort, and after some running struck away to the old covert, where a weak scent left it impossible to do much. This concluded the sport for the day, which was not so bad for an opening day. The staff of the establishment remains the same as last season, and every available space in Jigginstown is tenanted by horse-flesh, while 55 couples of dogs occupy the benches. If foxes be only forthcoming, a good season’s sport may be anticipated.

The opening hunt meet of the Killing Kildares from the Leinster Leader 5 November 1898

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