Will Goodall (1812? — 1859?), renowned huntsman to the Belvoir (pronounced “beaver”), the Duke of Rutland’s, was famous for his devotion to his hounds, whom Lord Bentinck reports he contended required to be treated like women, as “they could not bear to be bullied, deceived, nor neglected with impunity.”
Lionel Edwards (Huntsmen Past and Present, 1929) tells us that Goodall’s illustrious career was curtailed by an unfortunate accident.
Will died as the result of falling on his horn, which he carried in his breast, on the last day of the season, after Croxton Races. The meet was at Belvoir. The day was the third anniversary of the Hunt presentation to him — a day on which the inn at Grantham had rung again to the tune of “Will Goodall’s the boy!” The year was probably 1859, the last year of Lord Forrester’s Mastership, as the sixth Duke of Rutland’s first season as Master appears to have been 1859-1860. Will was only ill ten days, during which time he rose from his bed but once, to show Lord Henry Bentinck his young Rallywoods of the third generation. It was with a strange fitness that as the hearse moved away the hinds began to “sing” a strange and mournful requiem, which the “Druid” tells us, fairly thrilled the mourners.
A Guest Blogger at Lilla Mason’s (huntsman of the Iroquois Hounds) Full Cry blog last summer wrote a tribute to Goodall last July.
A few days ago the article prompted an inquiry from a distant reader inquiring about a recent auction purchase.
James and Denise Davies… decided to bid on the copper horn at a local auction near their home in Zimbabwe. The couple have a restaurant in the African nation and also have been collecting antiques for about six years.
â€œNobody bid on it, so we got it more next to nothing,â€ said James, whose usual auction picks are more in the line of figurines and military memorabilia. â€œWe were the only bidders.â€
It would seem that Mr. and Mrs. Davies had acquired Will Goodall’s famous (and fatal) horn.