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Hugo Meynell (June 1735 – 14 December, 1808) is generally seen as the father of modern fox hunting, became Master of Fox Hounds for the Quorn Hunt in Leicestershiremarker in 1753 and continued in that role for another forty-seven years (the hunt is so called after Meynell's home, Quorndon Hall in North Leicestershire). Meynell pioneered an extended chase at high speeds through open grassland. Borrowing the pioneering breeding techniques of his neighbour, the sheep farmer Robert Bakewell, Meynell bred a new form of hound, with greater pace and stamina and a better sense of scent.

In 1762 Meynell was seated as MP after circulating a petition challenging the election of John Levett of Wychnormarker, Staffordshire. Meynell took the seat of Levett, a Tory. But apparently the Levett family held no grudge, because successive generations of Levetts were included in the Meynell hunts and became close family friends.

He represented three constituencies as Member of Parliament in the House of Commonsmarker between 1762 and 1780, and served as High Sheriff of Derbyshire in 1758-1759.


  1. A Chronological Register of Both Houses of the British Parliament, Robert Beatson, London, 1807
  2. A History of the Meynell Hounds and Country, 1780-1901, James Lowndes Randall, 1901

Further reading

  • Lewis Namier & John Brooke, The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1754-1790 (London: HMSO, 1964)

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