The Duke of Beaufort’s wolf-hunting expedition
Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser 18 April 1863
The aristocracy have always lived eccentric lives, and in 1863 the Duke of Beaufort was no different. While most rich men went to France to enjoy the fashion and food of Paris, the duke had a different idea. He wanted to hunt wolves. However, taking a pack of 44 foxhounds to Poitou turned out to be a failure, for the “simple and rather-to-be-expected reason that his well-trained foxhounds took no more notice of a wolf than they would of a donkey”, and refused to run after it.
Local journalists reported that 250 to 400 people had turned out on Easter Tuesday to see the English duke’s pack perform. After hunting for two hours, a wolf ’s scent was found by a competing French pack, but the English dogs ignored it “and no hallooing could arouse them from their indifference”. Quick to try to turn embarrassment into success, the duke announced that he was “going to try what can be done in the way of educating the hounds for the new work required of them”.
News story sourced from britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk and rediscovered by
Fern Riddell. Fern regularly appears on BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking