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of three different marriages, so the glories come, as Garter would say, from the Baron, not the Femme. We are sorry to say Samuel Barnard has lost his eyesight. He was a steady, good jockey, and rode for the Duke of Rutland, Lord Henry Fitzroy, and several of the best sportsmen on Newmarket heath. But we must not conclude without mentioning old Forth, as he is called, who won the Derby in 1829, at the age of sixty, with a horse very little thought of before starting. He also won a very large sum of money on the event, and has now a string of horses in training.
Every trade, profession, or pursuit, opens, in its own peculiar circle of habits, a distinct subject of study; and perhaps the exist
* It is said of the Yorkshire jockeys that they should come to Newmarket for a seat. It is true they do not appear to such advantage in the saddle as their brethren of the south, nor, speaking generally, are they equal to them in their calling; but many very excellent jockeys have always been to be found in the north. At the head of those now alive is the noted Billy Pierse, who used to ride Haphazard for the Duke of Cleveland. Having feathered his nest well, he has retired, but is remarkable for the hospitality of his house, situated in the town of Richmond. Robert Johnson is likewise one of the oldest, best, and we may add, most successful of the northern jockeys, having ridden Doctor Syntax throughout his glorious career, and been four times winner of the St. Leger stakes; but John Jackson eclipsed him, having experienced that honour no less than as often again-a circumstance unparalleled among jockeys; and he very nearly won it the ninth time, on Blacklock. Johnson trained and rode Gallopade for Mr. Riddell, the winner of the Doncaster cup last year. John Shepherd, an old jockey, is still alive, keeping a public-house at Malton. Shepherd was supposed to be the best judge of pace in a four-mile race of any man of his time. We are sorry to hear that John Mangle, another eminent Yorkshire jockey, is blind. He won the St. Leger five times-three in succession-for the Duke of Hamilton, and in all four times for his Grace. Ben Smith has retired, rich; but the renowned John Singleton, one of the riders of Eclipse, and the first winner of the Doncaster St. Leger, 1776, for the late Lord Rockingham, died a pauper in Chester workhouse.
George Nelson is a very conspicuous man among the northern jockeys, and the more so, as having been thought worthy of being transplanted to the south to ride for his late majesty, in the room of the second best jockey at Newmarket, viz. Robinson. Nelson was brought up by the late Earl of Scarborough, in whose opinion he stood high, and his lordship confirmed it by a pension. He won the St. Leger for the Earl on Tarrare, a very unexpected event. He was likewise very successful in his exertions for his late majesty, from whom he also had his reward; but his great performances were upon Lottery, Fleur de Lis, and Minna, having never been beaten on the first two, and winning no less than eight times in one year on the latter. He first distinguished himself in a race at York, when riding only 5st. 4lbs. Tommy Lye, as he is called, is a very celebrated northern jockey, a great winner for the Duke of Cleveland and others, and rides very light, and very well. Templeman, the Duke of Leeds' rider, and Thomas Nicholson, also stand high. But the Chifney of the north is William Scott, and perhaps for hand, seat, and science in a race he is very little inferior to any one. He rode St. Giles, the winner of last year's Derby, for Mr. Ridsdale, and won the Leger for Mr. Watt, once (on Memnon), and for Mr. Petre, twice, viz. with the Colonel and Rowton. A very excellent print of the latter horse and himself has been published by Ackerman, from a painting by Herring. But such men as Scott, Chifney, and Robinson, generally appear to advantage-they are in great request, and consequently are put on the best horses in the race, and have the best chance to distinguish themselves. William Scott is possessed of considerable property (part in right of his wife), and is brother to the well-known Yorkshire trainer of his name.
ence of the Newmarket stable-boy, a thing on which the majority of our readers have never spent a thought, might, as painted by Holcroft, interest them more than the most accurate delineation of many higher modes and aspects of life. In that able writer's Memoirs-the genuine and really valuable part of them -all this is capitally described, from his first arrival at Newmarket to his final departure, at the age of sixteen; from his fall off Mr. Woodcock's iron-grey filly, in his novitiate, to his being one of the best exercise-riding boys in the town-until all his equestrian hopes were ruined by idling away his time in reading,' as he was emphatically told by his master; by his spelling a word of six syllables, to the surprise of his drunken schoolmaster; by his being detected in studying Arnold's Psalmody, under the guidance of the journeyman leather-breeches maker; and, lastly, in casting up figures on the stable-doors with a nail, from which the other boys, and the old housekeeper to boot, augured his very soon running mad.
Although, to use his own words, Holcroft scarcely saw a biped at Newmarket in whom he could find anything to admire, and despised his companions for the grossness of all their ideas, he had no reason to complain of his treatment by the several masters whom he served, and especially by Mr. Woodcock.
'He discovered a little too late, that the dark-grey filly and I could not be trusted safely together. But though he turned me away, he did not desert me. He recommended me to the service of a little deformed groom, remarkably long in the fork, I think by the name of Johnstone, who was esteemed an excellent rider, and had a string of no less than thirteen famous horses, the property of the Duke of Grafton, under his care. This was acknowledged to be a service of great repute; but the shrewd little groom soon discovered that I had all my trade to learn, and I was again dismissed.'
After bewailing his misfortune of being out of place, and so far from home, in formâ pauperis, he thus proceeds :
I know not where I got the information, nor how, but in the very height of my distress I heard that Mr. John Watson, training and riding-groom to Captain Vernon, a gentleman of acute notoriety on the turf, and in partnership with Lord March, now Duke of Queensberry, was in want of, but just then found it difficult to procure, a stable-boy. To make this pleasing intelligence more welcome, the general character of John Watson was, that, though he was one of the first grooms in Newmarket, he was remarkable for being good-tempered; yet the manner in which he disciplined his boys, though mild, was effectual, and few were in better repute. One consequence of this, however, was, that if any lad was dismissed by
John Watson, it was not easy for him to find a place. With him Jack Clarke lived, the lad with whom I came from Nottingham; this was another fortunate circumstance, and contributed to inspire me with confidence. My present hopes were so strongly contrasted with my late fears, that they were indeed enviable. To speak for once in metaphor, I had been as one of those who walk in the shadow of the valley of death; an accidental beam of the sun broke forth, and I had a beatific view of heaven.
It was no difficult matter to meet with John Watson; he was so attentive to stable-hours, that, except on extraordinary occasions, he was always to be found. Being first careful to make myself look as much like a stable-boy as I could, I came at the hour of four, (the summer hour for opening the afternoon stables, giving a slight feed of oats, and going out to evening exercise,) and ventured to ask if I could see John Watson. The immediate answer was in the affirmative. John Watson came, looked at me with a serious but goodnatured countenance, and accosted me with, "Well, my lad, what is your business? I suppose I can guess; you want a place?" "Yes, Sir." "Who have you lived with?" "Mr. Woodcock, on the forest. One of your boys, Jack Clarke, brought me with him from Nottingham." "How came you to leave Mr. Woodcock?" "I had a sad fall from an iron grey filly, that almost killed me." "That's bad, indeed! and so you left him?" "He turned me away, Sir." "That's honest. I like your speaking the truth. So you are come from him to me?" At this question I cast my eyes down, and hesitated, then fearfully answered, No, Sir."-"No! what, change masters twice in so short a time?" "I can't help it, Sir, if I am turned away." This last answer made him smile. "Where are you now, then?" "Mr. Johnstone gave me leave to stay with the boys a few days." "That's a good sign. I suppose you mean little Mr. Johnstone at the other end of the town?" "Yes, Sir." "Well, as you have been so short a time in the stables, I am not surprised he should turn you away; he would have everybody about him as clever as himself; they must all know their business thoroughly; however, they must learn it somewhere. I will venture to give you a trial, but I must first inquire your character of my good friends Woodcock and Johnstone. Come to-morrow morning at nine, and you shall have an answer." It may well be supposed I did not forget the appointment, and a fortunate one I found it, for I was accepted on trial, at four pounds or guineas a year, with the usual livery clothing.'
It was in the service of John Watson that Holcroft became a horseman, and the exercise of his skill, in his contest with a certain strapping dun horse, is very amusingly told :—
'It was John Watson's general practice to exercise his horses over the flat, and up Cowbridge hill; but the rule was not invariable. One
This is still the case at Newmarket. No trainer will take a boy that offers himself, until his late master has been consulted.
wintry day he ordered us up to the Bury hills. It mizzled a very sharp sleet; the wind became uncommonly cutting, and Dun, being remarkable for a tender skin, found the wind and sleet, which blew directly up his nostrils, so very painful, that it suddenly made him outrageous. He started from the rank in which he was walking, tried to unseat me, endeavoured to set off full speed, and when he found he could not master me so as to get head, began to rear, snorting most violently, threw out behind, plunged, and used every mischievous exertion of which the muscular powers of a blood-horse are capable. I, who felt the uneasiness he suffered, before his violence began, being luckily prepared, sat firm, and as steady and upright as if this had been his usual exercise. John Watson was riding beside his horses, and a groomI believe it was old Cheevers-broke out into an exclamation-" By G-d, John, that's a fine lad!" "Aye, aye," replied Watson, highly satisfied; 66 you will find some time or other there are few in Newmarket that will match him." It will not be amiss here to remark, that boys with straight legs, small calves, and knees that project but little, seldom become excellent riders. I, on the other hand, was somewhat bow-legged; I had then the custom of turning in my toes, and my knees were protuberant. I soon learned that the safe hold for sitting steady, was to keep the knee and the calf of the leg strongly pressed against the side of the animal that endeavours to unhorse you; and as little accidents afford frequent occasions to remind boys of this rule, it be comes so rooted in the memory of the intelligent, that their danger is comparatively trifling.'
Of the comparative good and bad temper of race-horses, the dramatist thus speaks :
The majority of them are playful, but their gambols are dangerous to the timid or unskilful. They are all easily and suddenly alarmed, when anything they do not understand forcibly catches their attention; and they are then to be feared by the bad horseman, and carefully guarded against by the good. Very serious accidents have happened to the best. But, besides their general disposition to playfulness, there is a great propensity in them to become what the jockeys call vicious. Tom, the brother of Jack Clarke, after sweating a grey horse that belonged to Lord March, with whom he lived, while he was either scraping or dressing him, was seized by the animal by the shoulder, lifted from the ground, and carried two or three hundred yards before the horse loosened his hold. Old Forester, a horse that belonged to Captain Vernon, all the while I remained at Newmarket, was obliged to be kept apart, and to live at grass, where he was confined to a close paddock. Except Tom Watson, a younger brother of John, he would suffer no lad to come near him. If in his paddock, he would run furiously at the first person that approached, and if in the stable, would kick and assault every one within his reach. When I had been about a year and a half at Newmarket, Captain Vernon thought proper to match Forester against Elephant, a horse belonging to Sir Jen
nison Shaftoe, whom by-the-bye I saw ride this famous match. It was a four-mile heat over the straight course; and the abilities of Forester were such, that he passed the flat, ascended the hill, as far as the distance-post, nose to nose with Elephant, so that John Watson, who rode him, began to conceive hopes. Between this and the chair, Elephant, in consequence of hard whipping, got some little way before him, while Forester exerted every possible power to recover at least his lost equality; till finding all his efforts ineffectual, he made one sudden spring, and caught Elephant by the under jaw, which he griped so violently as to hold him back; nor was it without the utmost difficulty that he could be forced to quit his hold! Poor Forester, he lost, but he lost most honourably! Every experienced groom thought it a most extraordinary circumstance.'
Of the stable discipline among the boys, Holcroft gives the following little specimen :
'I remember to have been so punished once, with an ashen stick, for falling asleep in my horse's stall, that the blow, I concluded, was given by Tom Watson, as I thought no other boy in the stable could have made so large a wale; it reached from the knee to the instep, and was of a finger's breadth.'
We conclude our extracts from this amusing history of a stableboy's progress, with something like a shot at the march of the present very refined times :—
'I ought to mention, that though I have spoken of Mr. Johnstone, and may do of more Misters, it is only because I have forgotten their Christian names; for, to the best of my recollection, when I was at Newmarket, it was the invariable practice to denominate each groom by his Christian and surname, unless any one happened to possess some peculiarities that marked him. I know not what appellations are given to grooms at Newmarket at the present day, but at the time I speak of, if any grooms had been called Misters, my master would have been among the number; and his appellation by everybody, except his own boys, who called him John, was John Watson.'
We have reason to believe there are no 'Johns' among the Newmarket trainers of these times, though we much doubt the benefit of the change to Mister, and all the appliances to boot. If we mistake not, Sir Charles Bunbury's training-groom wore livery to the last. At all events, Newmarket jockies and their Jennys were not then to be seen in an Opera-box, which we find is no uncommon occurrence now. A cow at the Opera' would have been considered equally in her element.
Those who have only seen race-horses on a race-course would be surprised to witness what diminutive urchins ride many of them in their training, and the perfect command they obtain over them. In the neighbourhood of large racing establishments, the parents of poor children are glad to embrace an opportunity of putting