A gentleman knows how to shoot.
A rake is a damn fine shot.
According to one eyewitness account, John Mytton was known to take a cork (“not above an inch and a half in diameter”) used in pike fishing and afix a white piece of paper to it. This he placed on top of a kennel he kept for tame foxes and their cubs. From fifty-five yards or more, he would shoot the cork for the amusement of his guests:
“..this he would do over and over to the amazement of all who witnessed it, and with his rifle to his shoulder, and not on a rest, as might be imagined by some. Talk of Americans, for their precision in shooting, after this! It cannot be surpassed, if equalled.” — Memoirs, Nimrod
To be compared to the Americans was something rather distinctive, indeed.
To such feats may be added the spectacular exhibit of Mytton shooting rats from atop the roof at Halston.
Halston, his country estate, afforded every kind of game to suit a hunter’s fancy. Twelve hundred brace of pheasants could be harvested there in a year. A brace equals a male and a female.
Multiply Halston’s yield in a year and that would be 2400 birds!
Great post, Angelyn. That number of birds is amazing. Tweeted.
It seems incredible that an English country estate could support such a great number of birds. No wonder one must employ folks just to keep watch over the game.
Can you imagine how overrun the estate would seem with birds in the meantime? 2400+?!
Yes–like a Hitchcock film, I imagine!
When I think of 2400+ birds being shot, I am immediately reminded of Austrian Emperor Franz Josef’s lodge with stuffed birds mounted on all the walls. Interesting post, Angelyn.
Oh–yes! I believe that was Bad Ischl. Will have to dig up photos for Facebook. Antlers on those walls, too…
I was trying to remember where it was. All those tiny little birds in all the rooms just made me sick.
I actually went there twice! What was I thinking???
It’s history. We all lose our minds every now and then.