A Few Welsh Wonders

Following on from my recent post on rare Irish buttons, I turn now to Wales and offer a few rarities for your information and (hopefully) interest and enjoyment.  Many of you will know that a small but important, annotated collection of Welsh buttons was put together between the mid-1800’s and early 1900’s, and that returned ‘home’ from Australia very recently.  Without these annotations many of the buttons below would still be unidentified.

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No. 1 The Belmount (or Belmont) Hunt. Denbighshire. 

This pack operated in the 1830’s in Denbighshire and Flintshire, owned, mastered and hunted by Mr Nanney-Wynne of Belmont.  Given that the crossed foxes are a feature of the Wynne family’s hunting tradition, it’s fairly safe to assume that there is a connection with the Williams Wynnes of Wynnstay.  This pack should not be confused with the Belmount beagles in Ireland.

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No. 2 The Bronwydd Beagles.  Carmarthen.  

Originally founded by Sir Thomas Lloyd in 1864, second to the Royal Rock beagles this pack was the oldest in the country.  Better known as being hunted by Sir Marteine Lloyd they were pure bred beagles – dwarf harriers being ‘banned’ from the pack.

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No. 3 The (original) Cresselly Hunt.  Pembrokeshire.  

Later to become sequentially Mr Seymour Allen’s and Capt. Allen’s, this button is from the original iteration created by Mr Allen’s great-grandfather, when hunt staff wore the family livery button, as was so frequently the case in the early years of hunt livery.  The crest features within a belt on both later buttons, with the legend ‘Cresselly Hunt’.  As a number of families use this crest, Cresselly provenance is vital.

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No. 4  The Dunraven Harriers. Glamorganshire.  

The Dunraven were fox and hare-hunting Harriers based at Dunraven Castle in Southerndown near Bridgend and were sometimes known as ‘Mr Wyndham’s’.  The pack folded when the Earl of Dunraven and the Wyndham-Quin family returned ‘lock stock and barrel’ to their Irish estates. This is a hand-chased copper button.

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No. 5 The Llwynteague – or more correctly Llwyn Teg.  Carmarthenshire.  

Charles Morgan of Llwyn Teg may have been a relation of the Morgans that became the Viscounts Tredegar, or this may be an ‘estate button’ for the Viscount’s pack when hunting in his relations estates.  The latin motto may be in relation to his association with the Coldstream Guards (both Charles and Lord Tredegar were guards officers) or it could be a little self promotion that his hounds were indeed ‘second to none’.

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No. 6 The Pembroke Otter Hounds.  Pembrokeshire. 

One of only two known examples, and sometimes referred to as the Pembrokeshire,  my personal feeling is that this not a county pack, but more specific to the town of Pembroke, there being several other otter hunting packs in operation in Pembrokeshire at the time.

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No. 7.  Thomas Mostyn’s Hounds. 

This very early button with its archaic spelling was found in the banks of a Welsh river.  It may be the same Thomas Mostyn that had the Bicester around 1800, but it’s more likely to be another member of the huge hunting family that was the Mostyns.

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No. 8 Possibly the Rhandermwyn.  Carmarthenshire.

I think this ‘stock pattern’ button has been later engraved with the initials.  This is not uncommon for smaller packs, and Rh in Welsh being one letter (not two) my best guess – and that’s all it is…..a guess, is that this could be a Rhandermwyn hunt button.

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No. 9 The Ty Newydd.  Glamorganshire.

Without the annotations that accompanied the buttons on their return from Australia, this button would have probably been un-noticed and unidentified as an important part of Welsh hunting history.

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No. 10  The Cowbridge Harriers.  Glamorganshire.

The Cowbridge was a true multi-purpose pack, hunting fox, hare, otter and marten in the Vale of Glamorgan.

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No. 11 The Tregib Foxhounds.  Glamorganshire.

Other than a note in a pattern book, nothing is known of this pack from near Ynysybwl.  Any information would be appreciated.

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No. 12  The Holywell Hunt.  Flintshire.

Later to become a purely ‘sporting’ and horse racing club, the original Holywell Hunt of the 1750’s and 60’s were a real fox hunting pack, probably entered to fox after stag hunting for years before.

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No. 13  The Ystrad & Llanwynno.  Glamorganshire.

For years this button was thought to be that of the York and Lancaster Hunt club.  Then copies of engraver’s plates were found for the York and Lancaster HC that showed their button to be a regimental design, affectionately known as ‘the cat and cabbage’ .  This spurred a two-pronged research where the Y&L regimental museum categorically said the button was nothing to do with the regiment, and a renowned Welsh huntsman (then in his 102nd year, now passed on) described the button as seen above.  Given that information, I’m 99.99% happy to list this as being for the Ystrad & Llanwynno.

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No. 14  Viscount Tredegar’s Hunt servant’s button.  Monmouthshire & Glamorganshire.

The well-known black ‘TH’ button of Lord Tredegar’s pack comes from his desire to note that his fortune came from coal.  This lesser known button was worn by Lord Tredegar and by hunt staff.

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No. 15  Stackpole Court.  Pembrokeshire.

This is the only known example of this beautiful button, and nothing is known of the pack of hounds that must have hunted out of this estate.  Grateful thanks to The Wolsey Collection for permission to use this image.

 

‘Firebrand’

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