Hundreds of people turned out to see the traditional Boxing Day meet of the Fitzwilliam (Milton) Hunt at Stilton near Peterborough.
Fitzwilliam (Milton) Hunt Assistant Master Lizzie Thomas said: “It was fantastic to see the crowds that turned out in Stilton. It shows that there is still great support for the tradition.”
“It’s a beautiful day and it’s great to see so many people out watching and supporting the hunt.”
The next meeting of the Fitzwilliam Hunt will be at noon on New Year’s Day outside the Haycock Hotel in Wansford, near Peterborough.
The Fitzwilliam (Milton) Hunt dates back over 250 years in its present form, and probably longer than that. The Kennel records of hound pedigrees goes back to 1760, before which date there was a fire which destroyed earlier records, suggesting a date of formation in the 1740s when several of the Governing Packs of English Foxhounds, of which the Fitzwilliam was one, were formed.
Prior to this period, the family would certainly have kept hounds to hunt the hare on their property at Milton, near Peterborough, which they had occupied since 1502. Before the Fitzwilliam’s own involvement in the area, the Abbots of Peterborough used the lands at Milton to hunt over, and it is therefore suggested that there have been hounds kenneled continuously at Milton since the reign of Richard II.
The pack is still kenneled at Milton Park today, and has never been out of the ownership of the Fitzwilliam family, the current representative of which is the senior Joint Master, Sir Philip Naylor-Leyland Bt. The other Joint-Masters are Mrs. Patricia Anderson and George Bowyer.