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In the town are excellent Livery Stables, kept by Mr Morton, Mr M' Carty, and Mr Parnham; a circumstance productive of great convenience to the numerous gentlemen who attend the field, and affording the utmost facility to this pleasurable pursuit.
The Sporting Magazine of January, 1793, gives the following account of an economical Sportsman, then, or lately before, resident at Croydon. This was Mr Osbaldeston, who was the youngest son of a gentleman of good family but small fortune in the North of England, who having imprudently married one of his Father's servants, was turned out of doors with no other fortune than a favorite hound, big with pup, whose offspring have since been a source of profit and amusement to him.
This Mr. Osbaldeston went to London, where he officiated as an attorney's clerk, and in spite of popular prejudices against the profession, is said to have been an honest man. This honest limb of the law, being married, has at least half-a-dozen children, whom, with as many couples of hounds, and a brace of hunters, he maintains. out of what? To support himself, a wife, six children, twelve dogs, and two horses, he has not a penny more than Sixty Pounds per annum ; and, if possible,
to increase the miracle, he did this in London for many years, paying every body their own, and keeping a tight coat for Sundays and Holidays.
But to explain this seeming paradox, after the expiration of the time which Mr. Osbaldeston, owed his master, he acted as an accountant for the butchers in Clare market, who paid him in offal; the choicest morcels of this he selected for himself and family, and with the rest he fed his hounds; his horses were lodged in his cellar, and fed with grains which he had from a neighbouring brew-house, and on damaged corn, with which he was supplied by a corn chandler whose books he kept in order.
Once or twice a week he hunted during the season, and by giving a hare now and then to the farmers over whose grounds he sported, secured their good will and permission: besides which, several gentlemen, struck with his extraordinary economy, winked at his going over their manors with his moderate pack.
Accident, however, removed this uncommon character to Lewes, in Sussex, where on the same stipend he maintained the same family: "Curiosity," says a gentleman who paid him
a visit there, "led me to visit this extraordinary party; about their dinner time the twolegged part of it were clean, though not superfluously clothed, and seemed to live like brothers with the surrounding animals-it looked in short like the golden age: Mr. Osbaldeston seemed and acted like the father of the quadrupeds as well as of the bipeds, and as such decided with the utmost impartiality— For Master Jackey having taken a bone from Jowler, he commanded instant restitution,and on the other hand, Doxy, having snatched a piece of liver from Miss Dorothea, obliged on the spot, to restore it to the young lady."
"The family afterwards removed to Croydon, Surrey. His residence at Croydon, was in Pound-street, next to the chapel, where he still continued to keep his hounds in his garret, and to hunt with them as before. He had a small stable for his two horses, which he used to drive in a phaton. He continued in this situation till he died. One of his daughters is still living in the town, supporting herself by her own industry.
He is well remembered by several persons now living in Croydon, for his singularity;
was much reduced before his death, and entirely supported by his charitable friends.
In the magazine before-mentioned, (for November, 1792) upon the subject of horseracing, it is said, that in the reign of James I. public Races were established; and such horses as had given proofs of superior abilities, became known and celebrated. Their breed was cultivated, and their pedigrees, as well as those of their posterity (in imitation, perhaps, of the Arabian manner) were preserved and recorded with the most minute exactness.Gateley, in Yorkshire, Theobalds, on Enfield chase, and Croydon, near London, were then the usual places for exhibitions allotted for the fleetest racers.
IN or about the year 1794, when sedition and treason were actively employed in attempting to overthrow the Constitution of
the country, we were indebted to that illustrious Statesman, The Right Honorable William Pitt, for his introduction of the barrack system. And accordingly at the West end of the town of Croydon, buildings were erected for the reception of five troops of horse; they have since been enlarged, and are at present the depot and head quarters of the Royal Waggon Train, commanded by Major General Hamilton, who generally resides there.
Volunteer Infantry, and Cavalry.
During the late war, when those magnanimous ebullitions of zeal and patriotism, which we hope will ever characterize our countrymen, displayed their salutary influence throughout England; Croydon was not back. ward in evincing her participation in the virtuous flame. In the year 1803, a body of four companies of Infantry, voluntarily enrolled themselves under the command of Major Warington, and one troop of volunteer cavalry served under the command of John Brickwood, Esq. They all conducted themselves with perseverance and honour, by maintaining a strict attention to discipline, and other departments of duty, till their country no longer required their services; when, in common with