Credit:- WOVEN IN SILK BY THOMAS STEVENS, STEVENGRAPH WORKS,COVENTRY.
Foxhunting has only existed for the last 250 years and was developed as entertainment for the aristocracy and landed gentry. Previously foxes were much persecuted as 'vermin' but not considered worthy of the 'chase' which hitherto had been restricted to deer, hares, boar and wolves. As the wolf and boar became extinct, and the forests and the deer herds declined, hunters sought a new quarry. It was found that by blocking up fox earths and badger setts, thus denying foxes a natural escape, a fox could run fast and far enough to provide a good chase for dogs and riders before it succumbed to exhaustion. It also became necessary for hunts to carry small terriers to evict any fox which managed to find an unblocked hole. If a fox refused to 'bolt' from its refuge it would remain under attack by the terriers until it could be dug out.
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