Allow me to introduce James Barclay, a retired Master of Foxhounds in England and descendant of a distinguished foxhunting family. I am pleased and honored to announce that Foxhunting Life will be publishing James’s informative and thoughtful essays in future issues.
James’s family roots are with the Puckeridge Foxhounds, a hunt in Hertfordshire dating back to 1725. His sister has served as Master since 1987. Two brothers, his mother, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather also served as Masters of the Puckeridge, that dynasty starting in 1896.
James’s first day of hunting was with the Puckeridge back in the 1960s. He was astride a donkey, and, by tradition, he wore a small version of the family scarlet coat which each family member going back at least three generations had worn on their first hunt!
Since then, James has served as Master of the Essex and Suffolk (1983–1987), Fitzwilliam (1987–1999), Cottesmore (1999–2002), South Wold (2002–2003), and Grove and Rufford (2010–2012). At one time or another he has been personally involved with hunts situated in sixteen counties: Somerset, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Northamptonshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, Rutland, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, and South Yorkshire.
It has been FHL’s constant mission to bring substantive and authoritative foxhunting material to our readers. With his family heritage and breadth of experience, no one can doubt that James Barclay will provide exactly that.
Whether we hunt in North America, England, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand, there exists amongst all mounted foxhunters bonds of kinship and mutual respect for the special attributes that the geography, history, and people of each nation bring to our sport. Foxhunting Life looks forward with great pleasure to bringing you James Barclay’s perspectives from England.
Posted March 26, 2013