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THE DUKE OF BEAUFORT, HIS FAMILY, HIS HALL, AND HIS HOUNDS. Among the ancestral country homes of England, there are few more delightfully situated than Bad- minton, the seat of the Duke of Beaufort. The house is handsome and spacious, the rooms lofty, the gardens well stocked, and the park picturesque and extensive. The drive from Worcester-lodge to the house, through a splendid avenue of fine old forest trees, placed in clumps, and not in the usual formal line, reminding the spectator of a body of soldiers at open order," is magnificent. Upon the walls of the principal rooms may be seen some choice pictures, representing many distinguished members of the Somerset family (and what family has been more distinguished F), intermixed with landscapes and sea views by the best masters, ancient and modern. In the drawing-room is a very faithful likeness of the late duke, than whom a more popular nobleman never existed, and whose mantle has descended to the present head of the family; but it would exceed our limits to give a catalogue raisonn6 of all the works of art. There is one thing that strikes the visitor upon entering the house, which is, that it is evidently the mansion of a British sportsman. Although the furniture of the drawing-rooms and library shows that female taste has been called into requisition, there is a look throughout that stamps it as being connected with the chase. The sporting pictures in the old billiard-room, the stuffed wolf that succumbed to the Duke's pack last winter in France, the riding-whips in the hall, the deers' horns, all give unmistakable proofs that the Beauforts have been firm supporters of the "noble science." When we add to the above that dogs are such especial favourites with the family that they are freely permitted to roam throughout the house, little more need be added to prove the correctness of our views. Let us for a moment hark back to bygone days and bygone heroes. Badminton, in the hundred of Grumbald's Ash, lies six miles distant south from Tetbury, four miles north- east from Sodbury, and twenty miles south from Gloucester. The manor continued four hundred years in the family of the Botelers, and was sold by Nicholas Boteler to Thomas Somerset, third son of Edward, Earl of Worcester, afterwards created Viscount Somerset of Capel, in Ireland. This nobleman left an only daughter, Elizabeth Somerset, who, dying un- married, gave the estate to Henry Somerset, Lord Herbert, afterwards Duke of Beaufort. This family is descended from John of Gaunt, fourth son of King Edward III. John, surnamed of Gaunt, being born in that city, was progenitor of the Duke of Beaufort. "This family, since the destruction of Ragland Castle in the Great Rebellion, have here fixed their residence, which, in respect of stately buildings, beau- tiful gardens, large parks, and whatever can make a place delightful, is esteemed one of the noblest seats in England." So wrote a chronicler of olden times, and if that eulogium were then just, how much more would it be at the present day, when modern refine- ment and comfort have lent their aid to beautify the mansion! According to Burke's "Peerage," com- monly called the Human Stud-book," we find the Duke thus described:—" Baron of Bottecourt, by writ, 1308 Baron Herbert, by writ, 1461; and Baron Her- bert of Ragland, Chepstow, and Gower, 1503; Earl of Worcester, 1514; Marquis of Worcester, 1642; Earl of Glamorgan, Viscount Grosmont, and Baron Beau- fort, 1644; Duke of Beaufort, 1682." The Duke's foxhounds and kennels are second to none in the United Kingdom. All the best blood may be found is the Badminton hounds, as the sires and dams have been carefully selected from the packs of the Duke of Rutland, Lords Fitzhardinge, Portsmouth, Henry Bentinck, Yarborough, Sir Richard Sutton, Hon. George Fitzwilliam, Sir W. Wynn, Messrs. Morrell, and A. Smith. Among the best sires may be mentioned Hector, Warwickshire, Saffron, Comrade, Contest, Trojan, Bajazet, Belvoir, Comus, Actor, and Banker among the dams, Helen, Handmaid, Spangle, and Vaultressor. In November, 1862, there were 65 couples of old, and 16t couples of young, hounds. This year's entry includes some splendid hounds by Sir W. Wynn's Royal, dam Woeful, by Roderick, dam Waspish, Ranter, dam Welcome, Whynot, dam Melody, Brutus, dam Rosemary — who was pur- chased at the sale of the late James Morrell, Esq.'s, hounds at Putney, April 14th, 185S-Marplot, dam Flourish, another of Mr. Morrell's favourite hounds. The kennels are very spacious and airy, and every attention is paid to the hounds by that first-rate huntsman Clarke, who excels as much in the field as he does in the kennel. The Duke is admirably mounted, and as he is usually in the first flight, it requires a good hunter to carry him; the huntsman and whippers-in are equally well provided for. In con- clusion, there are few men more deservedly popular than the present Duke of Beaufort, and his amiable Duchess is equally so. They both feel the truth of the Scotch poet's lines- The rank is but the guinea stamp; The man's the gold for all that; and by relieving the distresses of their poorer brethren, by encouraging the manly sports of "Merrie Eng- land," by mixing in friendly intercourse with their neighbours, they have earned a reputation brighter than the most sparkling gems that glitter in their ducal coronets—the affection of those around them.- Court Journal.


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