We desire to preface this book with some words of acknowledgment - brief, but sincere - to the kind friends who have aided in its compilation.
We are greatly indebted to Lord Rookwood for his recollections of hunting, and to Mr. Loftus Arkwright and Mr. Sheffield Neave for diaries kept by their fathers, each of whom held a Mastership of hounds, which has now passed to his son.
Accounts of notable runs in the last quarter of a century have been furnished bv Stephen Dobson, the former huntsman of the Essex Hounds, and James Bailey, his successor; and much valued help has been given by Mr. R. Y. Bevan, who has added some finishing touches to his spirited hunting poems on their reappearance in our pages.
Amongst many other contributors, special mention is due to Mr. H. R. G. Marriott, Mr. George R. Greaves, Mr. E. T. Helme, Lt.-Colonel S. L. Howard, Mr. Frederick Green, Mr. Todhunter, Mr. Leonard Pelly, Mr. Harding Newman, Mr. George Hart, and Dr. Clegg. Messrs. John Ridley, C. E. Ridley, and E. A. Ball have furnished information from diaries kept by the late Mr. T. D. Ridley and R. C. Ball, and other sources.