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PAGE UPDATED: 21/10/2012
The earliest record of hunting in the country goes back to 1670, when Captain Robert Hutton hunted his Houghton-le-Spring hounds. He must have been a remarkable person, for he conceived the unusual idea of being buried with all his horses and hounds, and when the time came all were duly slaughtered and buried with him among the fruit trees in the gardens of Houghton Hall, which he had built. By 1770 there was a pack of hounds kept in Sunderland whose achievement also claims attention. One day a bag fox was turned out at Newbottle and was, as is customary, killed fairly soon. After a few minutes another fox jumped up, and provided a wonderful hunt of twenty-six miles as hounds ran. Nor was the end less remarkable than the duration, for the fox ultimately found safety on board a ship lying by the quayside at Sunderland.
Captain Robert Hutton, (who is said to have built Houghton Hall with the gold taken at the sacking of Dundee) a brave officer under Monk, was a mighty hunter, and sleeps in his own orchard, surrounded by his favourite hounds and