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The Earl of Eglinton and Winton 'A Good Sportsman'

Spy (Sir Leslie Ward) (1851-1922)



Watercolour and bodycolour on tinted paper on board

13 ¼ x 8 inches

Thomas Gibson Bowles;
Stanley Jackson;
The John Franks Collection

Vanity Fair, 16 January 1896, Statesmen no 663, 'A Good Sportsman'

Chris Beetles & Alexander Beetles (eds.) Portraits of Vanity Fair: The Charles Sigety Collection, London: Chris Beetles Ltd, 2023, page 117

'Vanity Fair 1869-1914', Church Farm House Museum, Hendon, September-December 1983;
'Portraits of Vanity Fair: The Charles Sigety Collection', Chris Beetles Gallery, London, October-November 2023, no 56

George Arnulph Montgomerie (1848-1919) was the 15th Earl of Eglinton and 3rd Earl of Winton. His father, Archibald William Montgomerie, had been a passionate devotee of racing and his creation of the Eglinton Tournament, a vast medieval tournament and banquet held in 1839, had made him one of the most popular noblemen in Scotland. George Arnulph Montgomerie also became a keen sportsman and regularly participated at the Wimbledon Championships between 1878 and 1887, even advancing to the semi-finals in 1880.

“George Arnulph Montgomerie, the fifteenth Earl of his house, who was born seven-and-forty years ago, comes of a family so ancient that he can trace his lineage back to Robert of Montgomery; who is believed to have been descended from Roger of Mundegumbri, one of the Conqueror's Norman nobles, who was made Earl of Shrewsbury. Quite naturally, therefore, he went to Eton; but he did so unusually, at the early age of seven. There he became Captain of the Lower School Football; and at thirteen, on the death of his father, he left school; though he did not succeed his brother, the late Earl, until he was four-and-forty. He is a capital rider who began early; for he hunted by himself at the age of nine with the Ward Union Staghounds; his father being then Lord-Lieutenant. After Eton, he quite properly took up the profession of killing and joined the Grenadier Guards; so that he was in Dublin at the time of the Fenian riots. Altogether an accomplished sportsman, he won the garrison Hundred Yards race in Dublin; rode much, chiefly in steeplechases; and did it so well that he once beat H. Grimshaw in a six-furlong welter at Liverpool - by a short head. He is one of the best hunting men in the kingdom; who, on his brother's death, kept the Earl of Eglinton's Hounds; which he still hunts in Ayrshire. He is also a good shot, who once hit two-and-thirty driven grouse in three-and-thirty shots. More seriously, he is Hereditary Sheriff of Renfrew, and Deputy-Lieutenant for Ayrshire; and so he commands general respect.

He has a cheerful, genial manner; he is a gentleman as well as a good sportsman and a kindly man; and he is generally liked.”

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