The earliest records of hounds being kennelled at Badminton date back to 1640
when the then Marquis of Worcester hunted mainly deer, but hare and fox as
well. A detailed history can be accurately traced from 1728 but it was not
until 1762 that the 5th Duke of Beaufort, returning with his staghounds after
an unsuccessful day put his hounds onto Silk Wood - now part of the Westonbirt
Arboretum - and had such a fine run with a fox that henceforth he concentrated
on foxhunting; hunting the country around Badminton - now the Beaufort - as
well as a large area of country north of Cirencester now the Heythrop.
Dukes of Beaufort have either hunted hounds themselves or have been in the
Mastership since the title was created in 1682 and the hounds, kennels and
stables still belong to them. The 10th Duke was master from 1924 to 1984 and so
great was his contribution to foxhunting he became universally known as
"Master". The Beaufort is one of the few remaining private packs although
it is basically financed by subscription.
The hunt dress is peculiar to the country in that the Huntsman and Whippers-In
wear green and the subscribers a bluecoat with buff facings - the Beaufort
There is a film of the Beaufort Hunt in 1914 consisting of the meet at Chipping Sodbury and various places that you might recognise! Please click to view
This film is stored in the British Film Institute and was found by Tim Sage.