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.
The Carlisle hounds are another noted lot, and, with a slight interval, during which Mr. James Steel was the master, that position was occupied by Mr. J. C. Carrick for over a quarter of a century, viz , until 1894, when Mr. G. A. Mounsey Heysham became master, and now, in 1897, he has the assistance of Mr. Carrick as secretary. For some time the Carlisle hounds were as invincible on the show-bench as by the river. Then "the Kendal" sprang up in the sister county, and, with the late Mr. Wilson, of Dallam Tower, as master, Troughton as huntsman, and having extraordinary success in breeding young hounds, they won all before them in the ring. Afterwards the late Mr. W. Tattersall took these hounds in hand, hunting them until 1891, when they were sold as stated below. However, Sir Henry Bromley, who in 1895 came into the Dallam Tower estates, resuscitated the Kendal pack, and is hunting them at the present time, there being about twenty couples of hounds in the kennels.
The Kendal Ragman was particularly successful at stud - no one ever had a better hound at work, and he lasted eight seasons. He was a black and tan, rather short in coat to be quite right, but what there was had an extraordinary texture, so hard and close and crisp that I have seen the water standing in drops thereon, quite unable to penetrate the dense covering. This hound it was I saw take the head of an otter right in its jaws as the game came up for a breather close to the bank upon which Ragman was standing. The otter was very nearly finished outright; it would have quite killed any other animal, for the fangs of the hound had gone deeply through the bone of the skull, perhaps just missing what might have been a vital part. These Kendal hounds were sold for something like £200 to Mr. Carnaby Forster, of Tarporley, Cheshire, at the commencement of 1891, who incorporated them with the Hawkstone already alluded to. This was, perhaps, the cheapest pack of hounds ever sold; there were about twelve couples, with some terriers, and I am pretty certain that, placed publicly in the market, £1000 would have been obtained for the lot.
Another old master of otter hounds is Mr. John Benson, of Cockermouth; but half a dozen years ago his hounds were discontinued, and in their place came a subscription pack, of which Mr. Harry Clift, who has served a very long apprenticeship to the sport, was at the head. But more changes were brewing here, and at the present time Mr. H. P. Senhouse is master, and Mr. J. H. Jefferson is working and hunting secretary. Mr. F. Collier now hunts his late uncle's hounds, which are perhaps better known as the Culmstock. Mr. W. Collier, down Devonshire way, hunted the otter for over fifty years, and Mr. Cheriton in the west likewise, but both appear to have preferred the dash and go of the foxhound to the sedateness and care of the pure variety. Mr. W. C. Yates has had some good hounds in his time. I once saw the latter - Mr. T. Wilkinson, of Neasham Abbey, hunting the pack during an off season, when he had not one of his own - kill three otters in one day, in Lancashire. Mr. Yates latterly hunted in Ireland, but in 1896 he sold the whole of his pack to Sir Henry Bromley. The Squire of Neasham, after an idle season or two, again got together his favourite hounds, and is still hunting in the neighbourhood of Durham, and goes into Northumberland occasionally. The latter county once had a pack of its own, the property of Major Brown. In Scotland, Captain Clarke Kennedy, some years ago, kept otter hounds; so did Dr. Grant, of Knockgray; and the Duke of Athol and others, nor can the west country hounds of Mr. Trelawny's be omitted.
Of more recently established packs, there are the Dumfriesshire, with a popular master in Mr. J. Bell-Irving, and an equally popular huntsman in Mr. W. Davidson; Mr. Edmund Buckley's (Wales); The Rug, the Hon. C. H. Wynne, master; The Pembroke and Carmarthen, Mr John Evans, master; and the Bucks, Mr. W. F. E. Uthwatt, master; may be specially mentioned. There are also other otter hounds hunting in Devonshire, Somersetshire, Hampshire, Yorkshire, Carmarthenshire, Merionethshire, Brecknockshire, in county Wexford, and near Dublin. Captain Dawson (Otley, Yorkshire) kept a pack of otter hounds for some years, but sold them to Sir Henry Bromley, in 1894, because of the scarcity of otters in his locality. Then Sir Cecil Legard had a pack in Yorkshire, which he gave up about the same time for a similar reason, and his hounds went to Mr. Assheton Smith, of Vaynol Park, who only kept them a couple of seasons, when they were sold to Mr. John Evans, master of the Pembroke and Carmarthen Otter Hounds.
The dog otter hound should stand about 25 inches at shoulder, the bitch about 23 inches. The best and most favourite colours are the blue and white, though not so much mottled as the beagle, and a hard looking pepper and salt colour. Yellow and fawn, and yellow or fawn and white hounds are likewise good old colours, and, as I have said, black and tan is not amiss, with, maybe, white on the breast and feet; but black tan and white in patches is not nice on an otter hound, however gaudy it may be on others of the race. I have also seen one or two almost white hounds, but never one of the latter with the correct coat, which should be hard and crisp and close, as water and weather resisting as possible, and not too long. Often the long coats incline to an indication of silkiness in texture, which, however, is preferable to a soft, woolly jacket. In build an otter hound should be like a foxhound, strong, level, and well put together, stern carried gaily, feet close and particularly hard, and this is even more desirable than in a foxhound, as being one minute in the water and another on the hard rocks and stones tries the pads very much. A big foot is likely to increase the pace in swimming. The head must be long, jaws strong and powerful, eyes giving a certain sedate and intellectual appearance; they sometimes show the haw, which is no defect. Ears long and pendulous, close set, in order that the water may be kept from penetrating into some of the delicate internal parts. However, what an otter hound ought to be the illustration preceding this article will best inform the reader searching after information. A nice weight for a dog hound is from 60lb., to 75 1b., and for a bitch about 10 lb. less.
Legs and feet............
Hind quarters and stern
Neck and chest.........
Head and ears ............
Back and loins ...........
Symmetry and colour ....
Grand Total 100.