Coats of many colours: the history of hunt liveries *H&H Plus*

  • Why are some hunting coats red, some yellow, some blue? Andrew Sallis MFH explains the history of hunt liveries

    WHEN at a masters’ meeting some years ago, the topic of the kennel-huntsman’s frequent “visits” to see a married lady subscriber was misguidedly attributed to “scarlet fever”. My joint-master, deep into his seventies and south of a barrel of liqueur, retorted forlornly that despite trying, he had failed to have that “feverish” effect, but hadn’t given up hope.

    Whether it is at school, on the parade ground, football pitch or hunting field, uniforms are worn with pride. School uniforms are considered a great leveller among peers. Hunt liveries try to raise the bar universally out of respect for the office or privilege held, the farmers and the landowners.

    The histories behind individual hunt liveries tell an important narrative of British country life stretching back centuries, taking in some of the great families and events en route.

    This feature is also available to read in Horse & Hound magazine, on sale Thursday 3 June 2021

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