Staghounds are close derivatives of the bloodhound, and formerly occurred in England in two strains, known respectively as the northern and southern hounds.
In The Chase of the Wild Red Deer, Mr Collyns says that the earliest record of a pack of staghounds in the Exmoor district is in 1598, when Hugh Polland, Queen Elizabeth's ranger, kept one at Simonsbath.
The sport has never been so vigorously pursued as it was at the beginning of the 20th century, 19 packs of staghounds being kept in England and 4 in Ireland, over 170 packs of foxhounds in England, ro in Scotland and 23 in Ireland, with packs of harriers and beagles too numerous to be counted.
The Essex and the Essex Union, the Surrey and the Surrey Union, the Old Berkeley, the West Kent, the Burstow, the Hertfordshire, the Crawley and Horsham, the Puckeridge, as regards foxhounds; the Berkhampstead, the Enfield Chase, Lord Rothschild's, the Surrey, the West Surrey and the Warnham, as regards staghounds - as well as the Bucks and Berks, which was substituted for the Royal Buckhounds - are within easy reach of the capital.
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