Throughout the 20th Century, if you looked on any foxhunter’s bookshelf, you would find at least a few volumes of Baily’s Hunting Directory. Baily’s has been pervasive and influential in the foxhunting world, and is widely heralded as the “Foxhunter’s Bible.” NSLM has a complete run of Baily’s print editions, and I plucked one to highlight for you.

Baily's Hunting Directory, covering the 1904-1905 hunting season. Baily's print editions were distinctive for their red hard-bound covers.
Baily’s Hunting Directory, covering the 1904-1905 hunting season. Baily’s print editions were distinctive for their red hard-bound covers.
Baily's is a treasure trove of information. Hunt attire (including official formal wear), territory, terrain, and even recommendations for type of horse are found for each hunt.
Baily’s is a treasure trove of information. Hunt attire (including official formal wear), territory, terrain, and even recommendations for type of horse are found for each hunt.
Baily's began printing the directory in 1897. Hundreds of hunts are detailed, including less common hunts that feature stag hounds.
Baily’s began printing the directory in 1897. Hundreds of hunts are detailed, including less common hunts that feature stag hounds.
The volume I pulled (1904-1905) features a directory of hotels for sporting gentlemen. Hotels advertise with phrases such as: "Centrally situated for Hunting with Belvoir, Cottesmore and Quorn; easy rail distance Blankney and South Notts. Best Boxes in the Town. Every accommodation for Hunting Gentlemen." This is reflective of a time period where much greater mobility allows much more variety in the hunts that could be reached.
The volume I pulled (1904-1905) features a directory of hotels for sporting gentlemen. Hotels advertise with phrases such as:
“Centrally situated for Hunting with Belvoir, Cottesmore and Quorn; easy rail distance Blankney and South Notts. Best Boxes in the Town. Every accommodation for Hunting Gentlemen.”The development of Baily’s is reflective of a time period where much greater mobility was the order of the day. Strangers to the hunt from far away needed as much information as possible to plan a hunting excursion.

Two large fold-out maps are included. I think it's amazing to see what a huge portion of England was hunting territory during this era!
Two large fold-out maps are included. I think it’s amazing to see what a huge portion of England was hunting territory during this era!

Unfortunately, due to cost constraints, Baily’s ceased print publication of the directory after 2008. It does, however, continue to publish online at www.bailyshuntingdirectory.com. Baily’s was such a thorough, year-by-year look at hunting with hounds, that it’s hugely valuable for research.

Last summer, Daniels Fellow Erica Munkwitz used Baily’s to gauge the influence of women on foxhunting prior to World War I. Erica will be returning to NSLM this Saturday at 2:00 p.m. to discuss what she found. You are invited to attend; no RSVP is required.

bailys6
Erica Munkwitz will visit NSLM Saturday, June 20 at 2:00 p.m. to discuss her research as a 2014 John H. Daniels Fellow. Erica’s research drew upon Baily’s to discern how much authority hunting women enjoyed before World War I.
Advertisements