Taking the rough with the smooth
Although Holkham in north Norfolk is believed to be the birthplace of driven game shooting, the Earls of Leicester were fond of going out on regular sorties with their keepers in pursuit of all sorts of quarry, from pigeon to wild duck, as the estate’s game books (dating back to 1793) attest.
But one aristocrat you might not have wanted to shoot with in Edwardian times was that fabled shot the Marquess of Ripon. One of his favourite pastimes was to shoot round his estate boundaries accompanied by a young gamekeeper. Being a competitive soul, Ripon insisted each man carry what the other had shot.
One day, irritated that a young keeper, a crack shot, was shooting so well that his own game bag was filling quicker than the keeper’s, Ripon lost his temper, shot a nearby grazing sheep and shouted: ‘All right you bugger—now, you carry that!’