Herbert Art Gallery visit, Coventry
The Herbert Art Gallery in Coventry has a really useful history room/library/archive of History in the local area. I found a couple of books which have suggestions of horses and hunting at Coombe Abbey and local:
HISTORY OF COOMBE ABBEY- MOORE KX 728.8
Published by Jones- Sands publishing c/o Exhale Green, Exhale, Coventry, England
“As we know today these plans went disastrously wrong. Guy Fawkes was apprehended shortly before midnight on November 4th and, upon realizing this, his fellow conspirators fled in panic towards Warwickshire. One of their number, Ambrose Rokewode, using a relay of horses, rode non-stop through the night to inform his colleagues at the hunting match that their plans had failed. On hearing Rokewode’s new the majority lost heart and broke off, but a group of about forty, still believing that they could in some way succeed, decided to try and raise country in open rebellion and rode off in the direction of Warick.”
-It seems that horses may have been used more as a means of transport rather than as a hobby or hunting as a sport in this time period. Although “hunting match” is mentioned, I am not sure what this means.
“Lord Harington received a letter from Mr. Benock the Horse Trainer at Warwick, informing him that…. “
“He also bred horses and his stables at Combe boasted some excellent blood and stock” GREAT, EVIDENCE FOR THERE BEING STABLES AT COOMBE ONCE UPON A TIME. The Earl was a lover of all equestrian sports, this may have included hunting although we cannot be sure, he was more interested in horse racing.
Here are a couple of portraits of Lord Craven and Lady Craven, showing their fashion attire at this time. The attire of Lord Craven in particular is similar to that of the traditional hunting attire, I see links between the long collared coat, the buttons and his general smart/formal appearance.
It’s History and antiquities
-Ancient House, Little Park Street. W.FRED. TAUNTON, COVENTRY. 1863
-Paint Thomas’s Church. W.FRED. TAUNTON, COVENTRY. 1865
Section in the book on rental estates belonging to the Free Grammar School 1862:
-New Street Livery Stables on lease to Mr. Welton
These books have been great use in finding the evidence I needed to suggest of the equestrian world in and around Coombe Abbey.
During my visit to the Herbert, I also spoke to a Lady who works at the centre and have organized another visit for Wednesday 27th January to be able to see some archives I found on their computer (which searches all available archives) which will hopefully be more help to me.
I saw 4 articles which may be of interest:
-‘Survey of Coombe Abbey Estate’ transcript of abstract survey of the Coombe Abbey estate taken in 1652. CCE/8/1/1/103
-‘Farm accounts’ transcript of Mr Cure’s farm accounts. CCE/8/1/1/641
-‘Life in 1642’ booklet by the Coombe Abbey Project. CCE/8/1/1/247
-Reconstruction of Coombe Abbey 1680-83. PA689
(Research room open by appointment only, so made an appointment for wed 27th Jan am to see above) Hoping to find some more research on the fashion of those royalties, for example Lord and Lady Craven who lived at Coombe Abbey, involved with the equestrian world.