This section is from the book "A History And Description Of The Modern Dogs Of Great Britain And Ireland. (Sporting Division)", by Rawdon Briggs Lee. Also available from Amazon: A History and Description of the Modern Dogs of Great Britain and Ireland: Sporting Division.
"There have been hounds in considerable numbers that could boast of temporary reputations, but they have not secured lasting fame; and I should be inclined to limit what might be called the standard favourites to a dozen since the days of the Osbaldeston Furrier. Others may be inclined to differ from my selections, but they will catch my meaning if they will trace recent pedigrees to their sources, and will regard such hounds as are seen at the Peterborough show. It is seen that during years of breeding there has been no loss of size and bone, to begin with - no loss of quality, as shown in clean necks and shoulders, and general carriage; and, if looks can be taken for anything, there can have been no loss in pace, or in such qualities of shape that suggest power and stamina. Hunting men of various countries can decide whether foxhounds are not as good or better than they have ever been; but a very strong feature in maintaining the qualities and characteristics of the foxhound has been the system of keeping several celebrated foxhounds in view when going in for high breeding. Mr. Parry, so long associated with the Puckeridge, had two hounds called Pilgrim and Rummager, both entered in 1840, and the latter was a great-grandson of the famous Furrier, whilst Pilgrim was descended from another celebrity known as the Belvoir Topper. With this couple of hounds Mr. Parry stamped his pack, as they were always kept in view, as it were, and before Mr. Parry left off hound-keeping his kennel had a very high reputation for blood. Of late years whole packs have been established from the Belvoir Senator, and others have been benefited in a similar degree, through holding to the Burton Dorimont line, the Drake Duster, the Wynnstay Royal, the Grove Furrier, or the Berkeley Castle Cromwell.
"To come to the notable twelve that have been, and may still be, esteemed as 'landmarks' of hound breeding, I should, of course, name the Osbaldeston Furrier, a Belvoir-bred hound, as he came in a draft from the ducal kennels, and was by their Saladin out of their Fallacy, and thence going back to Mr. Meynell's hounds of 1790. It has been stated that Furrier was not so much a perfect working hound as a hard runner, as he was inclined to be jealous and impatient on a cold scent; but he was the leading hound in every fast thing, and he never did wrong when holding that important post of honour. He was the sire of Ranter, and to that hound Mr. Foljambe was principally indebted for the Furrier blood, as his Herald and Harbinger, entered in 1835, were by Ranter. Herald was the sire of Wildair, sire of Wild Boy, sire of Modish, the dam of The Grove Guider. Harbinger and Herald appear several times in Barrister's pedigree, as, for instance, he was by Rambler, son of Roister, son of Captive, a daughter of Herald's; and the dam of Rambler again was Dorothy, her dam Dowager, by Songster, a son of Sybil by the Osbaldeston Ranter. The sire of Roister again was Render, son of Riot, by Ranter, and it is therefore not difficult to trace several lines of Furrier in the Grove Barrister, a hound well in the memory of all breeders of the present day. The Fitzwilliam claim a line to Furrier, chiefly through Hardwick, a hound entered in the Milton kennels in 1843, by Mr. Drake's Hector out of Goldfinch, her dam Frenzy, by Fatal, son of Ferryman, son of Furrier. Hardwick was the sire of Handmaid, the dam of Hardwick of 1851, and the latter sire in turn of Hercules and Harbinger. There was another double Furrier cross in the Fitzwilliams, as their Hero and Hotspur were by the second Hardwick out of Ransom, by Mr. Foljambe's Roister.
"Another famous line from Furrier, and through the same kennels as the above, is traced to the Burton Dorimont, a hound spoken of in Lord Henry Bentinck's diary as a thoroughly good foxhound. He was got by Roderick by Mr. Foljambe's Roister, named above as out of a Herald bitch. There was a double cross of this sort in Dorimont, as his dam Daffodil was out of Dairymaid by Driver, son of Harbinger, brother to Herald, and a third cross to Furrier might even be traced through the Belvoir Chaser. There is Dorimont blood in the Fitzwilliam kennel, as Dagmar and Daphne were by him; and their Selim of 1869 was out of Dagmar, and Selim is the sire of Balmy, Bloomer, Remedy, and others on the Milton benches, that have been bred from. Dorimont is largely represented also in the Oakley kennels, and, if I am not much mistaken, Sailor, a sire of note at the present time, from Lord Portsmouth's kennels, traces directly to him. At any rate, I know there was a good deal of the blood in Mr. Lane-Fox's kennel through a hound called Damper; and very few kennels, I expect, are without the strain. Dorimont was a branch from Furrier, but I should accept him as one of the corner stones of the stud book amongst my twelve selections.
"The Drake Duster is another not to be forgotten by anyone who has ever thought of breeding hounds. He was entered in 1844 by the late Mr. Drake, so long associated with the Bicester, and he was got by Bachelor out of Destitute, the former running into Mr. Warde's sort, and the latter to the Belvoir. The last named famous kennel got many good returns of their own blood from Duster, as Siren, the dam of Singer, was a daughter of his, and Singer was the sire of Senator. The most important line of the day is therefore due in a measure to the Drake Duster, as it can well be said that every kennel in England has gone in more or less for the Senator strain, and if there was anything to complain about, it was a fear that too much of it might be infused into some channels by way of in-breeding.
However, the oldest huntsmen, the late Jack Morgan amongst others, have assured me that for dash and drive there has been nothing like them, and it was a characteristic with all hounds straining from the Belvoir Singer that they were veritable tyrants on the line of a sinking fox, and savages at a death. There was a hound in Lord Poltimore's called Woldsman, by Comus, out of a bitch nearly sister in blood to Siren, and he had to be coupled up as soon as possible at a kill, as he was not particular about mouthing another hound in his fury; and two sons of his, afterwards with the Bicester, and their descendants again, were just like him. Another great descendant from the Drake Duster was the Belvoir Guider, a son of the former, out of Gamesome, by General. To Guider must be credited the foundation of Lord Portsmouth's pack, as his Lincoln and a host of valuable bitches, bred from in due course, gave to the Eggesford pack its high reputation. Guider also left his mark with the Bramham Moor and Sir Watkin Wynn's; but his stock has not been so widely distributed as the Senator's. Senator was entered in 1862, and, like Duster, he was out of a bitch called Destitute, the dam also of Render, and she was by Sir Richard Sutton's Dryden, by Lord Henry Bentinck's Contest. Besides the field qualities noticed above as belonging to the Senators, all are very beautiful hounds that strain from that line. Very perfect necks and shoulders I have ascribed to them, and they are invariably full of quality, whilst their colours are, as a rule, perfection - the Belvoir tan, and hare-pied hue blended.