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ME. JAMES HERBY, H.P. ! !
(From Haily's Mayazine.) S i
Tho merchant princes of Jîngluud are a class of which she may well bo proud, seeing that it is from their rants that somo of our ablest statesmen have boon recruited, and by their ngoncy our commercial resources most widely dovelopod. In England, from whence their floating argosies aro wafted from polo to polo, they aro numerous and distinguished, but in Scotland they aro fow.and far between) and as a representative of their class, Mr James Morry stands out in bold relief, taking ns high a position in tho commoroiul, as ho does on this side of tho border in tho sporting world. Tho owner jof tito Derby winner of last j-car, and of tho first favourito for the forthcoming one, is naturally an'object of somo importance in the eyes of sportsmon of all classes j and nlthough his enreor on tho tnrf does not prosont- any very Btriking features, or is illustrated by any of thoso curious anecdotes with which wo have boon enabled to odom soveral of our recent biographies, still wo trust tho following sketch of his lifo, derived from authentic resources, may not provo unacceptable - to our readers. . ,.
Mr Storry is tho eon of Mr James Merry of -Glasgow, who for some years was ono of tho most extensivo coal masters in that district. He was bom in 1805, nt Kew Monkland in-Lanarkshire, and received his education at the University of Glasgow.' At his onsot in lifo, he de- voted himself to his father's mines, in which occupation ho quiokly showed himself tho possessor of those busi- ness qualifications, which havo since mado hint ono bf tho loading capitalists of Scotland ; for to tho coal mines of his father ho added tho iron mines of Lanarkshire, whioh lay adjacent ; and Mr Cunningham joining him in partnership, tho firm progressed so favourably, that ero long it took rank besido tho Bairds, and othor, great houses in tho trade, and at the present moment occupies almost tho leading position in tho iron world, giving em- ployment to no loss than sis thousand labourers. It is somewhat a strange circumstance that a country like Scotland, which has given to the world so many horoos, historians, divines, philosophers, and physicians, should scarcely ever have produced ono singlo racing man of any importance. . It is true somo of her noblest poors haye ran horses, mid not unsuccessfully, as witness Lords Eglinton and Glasgow; but with the exception of tho latter, they hare all trained olf when fortune de- clared against tbein ; and it has been reserved for tho wealthy commoner of Lanarkshire teréscue bis country- men from tho aspersion of want of gameness, and to provo to the world wliat may bo accomplished oh tho turf by the union of wealth, experienced management, and n moderato sharo of good luck. .. . i. : . j
; Mr Merry's first appearanco on tue turi' veas rn LtíótS, when lie came out with Florontia, whom ho sont ip George Dawson, fnthor of his prosont trainor, Mat Daw- son, anil who ivns contemporary with John Smith, James Croft, and other old Yorkshire trainers, and rosided at Gullano, which was then ns now tho Newmarket of Scot- land. He did not remain long with Mr Dawson, from o dislike to a public stable, and engaged Knight, who was Btud-gvoom to Lord Kelburno, now Lord Glasgow j mit ho failing to gire satisfaction, ho- substituted .William I'Anson for,him, who did agreat deni hotter, inasmuch os ho" swept off tho majority of .prizes in Scotland, had him tim first favourite for the Derby in The.-Peri colt, and laid tho foundation of his turf fame withHUo famous Chanticleer. This horso -Mr Merry purchased of Mr St Gcorgo at Liverpool ; and that ho did him good sorj> yico may bo imagined by his; winning for him in one year tho Goodwood Slakes, tho Northumberland Plato, and tho Newcastle and Doncaster Cups, besides getting for him Sunbeam, thu wiiiuor of Tho Doncaster St Leger. All who recollect tho Goodwood StakeB.'of that.year must admit that Chanticleer's winning it wns nn extra? ordinary piecó.of luck, as for weeks boforo ho hod been in " tho dead meat morket," although all concocted with him were most sanguino j and 1'Anson was in a dreadful state'of mind for what he could not account. But to
Lord Frederick, who was then Mr Morry's commissioner,' and had not ut that tinto boon raised to tho poorago, the victory has been in a great mcasuro nttributod, for by Iiis advice tho joçkoy. was .changed-whether -rightfully or not we do not presumo to say. . BTowevor, no sooner lind Marlow's naino been affixed to the telegraph for Chanticleer, than it seemed liko tho writing on tho wall to tho Assyrian monarch ; the logs fell out in groups, and he was first favourito beforo tho weigher hod com- pleted his duties j and the result was that an ex member of tho Jockey Club, now an exilo, has never "since re-' coverodtho bio wi. The claims of other contributors will not permit us to dwell seriatim on nil of Mr Morry's horses, but tho next crack that ho possessed was tho famous-Hobbio Rabis, for whom ho gave Lord John' Scott, who bred him, the. unprecedented sum of 6500 guineas after ho had won the Now Stakes at Ascot, and: .Tho July nt Nowmarkot in a cantor. Many offors liad, .beforo been mada to Lord John for his colt, by partios whom ho fancied had betted against him for tho Derby,; and wera desirous of not making him a loser, but ho re-, fused! them "hil. Hearing, however, that Mr Morry: -was very anxious for him, and had a great stake on for! Epsom, ho 'waived his objection, but on terms which) rando tho purchase anything but a desirable ono. Hobbioj was trained by 'Saunders at Hedncsford, and, it. will bo recollected, was for a long, whilo flrsV- favourito for tho; Derby of 1852 j hut within tho Inst few days was pnsspd1
by'? Little Harry, who had been wonderfully tried at; home.''.'Tho"Darby day. af that year was perhaps thc, .'wettest oh rocord, and tho course so deep, that tho Dane- bury -¿orso, and several othor animals who had boen heavily backed, could not movoj while Dnniel O'liourW positively 'ravelled in it, and under Frank.Butler's ublo, Btberog'e, ho BÍiatohcd tho raeo from Hobbio within a fow strides of home, when it really Oppenrod to have been at his disposal | ; lind in tho final rush for places, Barba-! rinii'and Tho'Chief Baron Nioholson also got beforo him.' It "was on this occasion Ihut Frank Butler&Iiad the rare compliment paid lo him of having it said he might havo' won on any of tho first four; and so pleased was Lord Glasgow with his riding that ho inado him a präsent of a chequo for.'thrço hundred pounds immediately after tho' race, arid'which, he put into his pocket in utter ignorancej of its valuo until tho following morning, whoii 'ho; thanked.his Lordship in tornit more) becoming ' than ho
.lind, done,whoa he íír.trcoeívetV'it. »H'Uoklefuat öf llob
bio.was .«'great. snving_to Üie. ring,-wlio\.hud-poppered .hiii^.troiueiidóusiy Tor ituuiy months beforehand, fruin n belief that ka'could not stuy¡ " aiíd liad 'be'en only hnlf propared. That. Mr Morry thought very littlo the worse of him for his hoing beuten, wa« provod bj- th« inaunor ho lumped it on him for Tho Cambridgeshire at tho bnok cud, in which race, to lise tho expressive phrase of Old John Day, ho ran "a cruel qood horse," being only beuton hulf a longth from Knight of tim Shire, to whom ho givo threo-iiiid-twenly pounds ; und lind not Tho Pieman laid six.lengths in front with'him from tho Duko's stund, which ho declared ho was not uwnro of and which drove Honest John almost mad, it was just on Hie card Tho Knight would havo been " unseated." IHobbio Ii oblo having been tried at Woodycntes by AVil littin Day, lio returned there after tho Houghton, and was shortly followed by tho rest of Mr Merry's team. Thu first of tho lot that distinguished tho new. adminis-
tration wns Lord-of tho Isles, tho siro of Dundee, and I who won tho Lavant and Buciiig Stakes nt Goodwood in snell a way os to make him a prominent'favourite for tho Derby, and all tho best books wore lind about him'. In tho following spring The Lord still further ennobled him- self by winning tho Two Thousand, and beating St. Hubert, who was trained by Old John Day. lt has
seldom occurred that futhcr mid Bon have ever been so
pitted against each other as they were on this occasion. Both were sanguino, but from a latent feeling among tho hackers of St. Hubert, that tho old man was favour- ing his horso for tho snko of Isles, an inspector in tho shape of Mr Gunnan, tho colobrntod pigeon-shooter, was despatched to lindon to watch ovor him ¡ with what uso may bo readily imagined; Tho old man's friends natu- rally inflamed his sensitivo mind upon tho outrage on his dignity, which was something liko appointing tho Chancellor's robo-boarcr to criticiso his jugnients r- but as Mr Howard had backed St. JUtibort for a very largo stake, lie was of courso at liberty to adopt-tho-measurcs ho thought most likely to insuro thohindiiuj ot it;1; Tho raoo, from tho party feeling to which it gavo rise, created extrordhuiry interest, and vast sums depended upon it. -St. Htibort; who arrived on tho Saturday afternoon in a van with faur horses, was tho fashionable favourite, and Isles, who followed without show or pretension on tho following day, had only Mr Merry and tho stable for his supporters. Tho morning was cold mid cheerless, but tho fumo of tho pair caused tho Heath to bo crowded and in tho interest occasioned by tho strugglo, the tom Íjorature was forgotten. 'Wells,' thon in tho zenith of
lis luck, evorv ono know would bo on St. Hubort ; and
Alclcroft, -who might be Baid to lmvo just " tukon silk," was retained for Lord of tho Isles, Tho betting wus almost OTen between them, and Old John who woro' n green verandah ovor his eyes, and looked tho picture ol misery, from tho system of cspionago that ho conceived had boon practised on him, could only vouch "for tho comfort tho truth afforded to ono placed in his position," and his inability to say which of the two would win. To Lord Derby, who inquired in tho kindest way nftor his health, and his opinion as to tho result, ho could only reply, that it would bo a " great race," and that ho had got a good horse, ono, in fact, osgood os Harry at oven weights, but William had said to him, " Father, I shall win a neck.*'.. Tho truth of this latter nssortion wus verified within half an hour aftorwârds, for Lord of tho Isles, who had been highly tried with Nabob, waited'on St. Hubert in the raco, until within a fow strides of tho chair, when Aldcroft, taking up his whip, broko it across him, and with ono terrific rusli just beat tho Fin- don crack by half a length, and saw his horso nt tho usual Two Thousand price for tho Derby. But cloverly as Tho Lord won, it is but fair to Btato, that in tho opinion of both Frank Butler and John Scott, had Wells been ordered to wait instead of to como through with St. Hubert, tho rosult would liavo been different ; and could thoy have procured tho horse, they would have matched him for any sum in reason against his opponent. Lord of the Islos .continued tho favourito for tho Derby until tho very morning of tho race, when he slightly recoded in favour of "Wild Dayrell, who, as well as Kingstown, dofcatod him. The cause of his boing beaten has boen attributed to Ids nover having got over his punishment in the Two Thousand, and to his disliko to como down hill with his.peculiar shoulders; but his party never would listen to these suppositions, and imngincd his un- equal performance to DO occasioned by other circum- stances wliioh are not worth while entering upon now. With 'William Day wo find Hr Merry enjoying n mo- derato shara of luck ; but his stud boing too largo for a public stublo he left Woodyoates, and engaged Brinco, who trained for him ut Lambourne Determined to loso no opportunity of improving his blood, he in 1857 pur- chased in ono lot Lord John Scott's stud, which consisted of Windhound, Thryno, Phony, Lady LurowcU, Valon tinia, and Bumbling Katie. Tho price, which was six thousand pounds, was undoubtedly a great one ; but thu returns, undor tho able management of Mat Dawson, by whoso advieo thoy were purchased, and to whoso caro they word consigned at Barnsley, have been such as to render tho purchaso a bargain inevory sense of the word. With Prince and Dawson combined, tho yellow jacket bocame moro formidable ; tho South followed it, as tho North was wont to do the tartan ; and wo don't imagino wo could pay it a higher compliment. Tho Colendars will show what racos wore credited to tho respectivo trainers, BO there is no need to allude to any but the St Leger, for which they ran first and third with Snfiboam and Blanche of .Middlebio. Both marcs, from being closo together in their trials, were equally closo in tho betting, Prince, ns was natural, giving tho prcforonco to Sunbeam, which was his.roproscntative, whilo Hat, on tho othor hand, was equally sweet upon Blanche ? As will bo recoUccted, Tho Hadji only divided tho pair by a neck, so the honours may,bo said to have bcoii divided. In tho folio wing Cra- ven Mooting, Prince, dissatisfiod .with somo roninrks raado upon tho condition of Sunbcnm, when sho was defeated by Toxopholite for Tho Port, resigned his situation, and tho wholo lot was confided to tho sole care of Mat Dawson, whoso return lust year of jB21,O0O'in stakoB will spare us tho trouble, of doing further just ico to his abilities. Tho
first good turn which this well known trainor may bo said j
to have dono his oinulover whon he canto into ofllco was
tho purohaso of Saunterer, for whom he gavo Air Jock son two thousand guineas, after ho lind run third iu tho Cmnbridgshirc with Sst 121b on his back. With this horso ho won tho Goodwood Cup for him in 18S8, nitor ono of those Uno old fashioned races with Fishornian, which rq minded ono of thc struggles hotweoii Priam and lloiram, and Chorlos tho Twelfth and Hyllus. Tho renown acquired by both owner nnd trainor, ns well-ns tho pecuniary ro suits of tho victory, wcro much diminished, or rather clouded, by tho sudden death of tho Marquis of Quoons borry, who, never bclioving that Säuntorbr could stay.tho distanco, stood several thousands against hun, notwitli standing tho ropeatcd warnings and entreaties of Mc Morry and Mat Dawson. And although ovory facility in the shapo of tinto for payment was freely granted to hirii by Mr Merry, there is Uttlc reason to doubt' that his or . citablo feelings wero unable to brook the position in which ho unexpectedly found himself placed. Thorninnby was tho noxt " crack " .that Mr Morry: possessed, and tho ono with which ho will bo identified throughout all ages, as is tho caso with tho ownor of ovory other. Derby ? whinor. Strange to relato, it was by a more accident that Mr Morry soourod him, for ho had hcon hawked about as u Íearling during tho Doncaster week, without getting ti
iddor, when Mr Mummer in despair sent for Mat Daw
son to come and look nt him. The momont Mat saw him ho was in love with him, and " put him down to Mr Morrywas tho only reply he mado to tho breeder whon he named 850 guineas as Iiis figuro. Thormanby then! mitered on a career which for. its laboriousness has had fo w parallels in modern times, for he ran fourteen races as a two year old, begining with a victory over Mainstono at Northampton: His speed was very groat, and equal to his staying powers ; but ho could not, as trainers say, " begin," and tho few defeats ho sustained-may fairly bo attributed to his hoing " ohopped " at starting.. Yielding to tho roconimondution of Mat Dawson, who, whon ho. took him home from Newmarket, resolved to devote him-' -self to preparing him for tho Derby, Mr Morry did not bring Xhorniaiiby out until tho " day of days at Epsom, but ho substituted Northam Light for hun, and-either directly or collaterally mcasurod -most of his oppononte. A trial shortly beforo tho raco proving him to .bo.a stono' arid a half bettor than tho grey, his ownor was not slow, to " improve the occasion," and 'Thormanby bocamo daily, a groater. favourite, causing John Scott to fear him for Tho: Wizard, mid making thoso who. stood " a little o vor" ' to', tremble, in their slides.' , .', ? , j
Whon b'rouglit out for tho Derby, tho fruits bf Mat's! temporary seclusion from tho world-for-fiko-a Univor-j sity man reading for honours, ho had goiio into tho strict-: est retirement-woro visible, for nover was a horse strip-, ped in flnor condition than»Thormauby. - His coat was like a mirror, his muscio as'tlovolopod as that of Hecnan's ut tho - battlo of Farnborough ; and whon ho galloped past tho Stand, ho hardly Boomed to touch tho ground.; Umpire looking like a; dog horse from'- tho; murderous! treatment of his trainor, gradually gavo way : to . hun in ? tho hotting ;- and had timo permitted, he would hnvo had; tho dill of Tho .Wizard, whoso preparation was stamped; with tho Langton Wold mark. : How ho won, and-how, j after-'a career of twority-ono years,-Mr Morry nttainod: tho'honoiir ho had boon struggling for,'is too fresh'iii tho! recollection of our roadors to need recalling. - Nono that : day grudged him his distinction, for it hud been fairly1 earned iii a career in which>'moiioy was the lost consider- ation.' All genuino sportsinen; felt that if he had won largely, ho had incurred large risks, that ho had nover
sacrificed Iiis horses to temporary obul ¡tiona of toinpor, ;
.aud liaÜ'tot au exàinple td persons, ofSnore exalted rank, ?whioh-if pursued-wonld J-ôirdûp"tliêïiï^fa'r~ïndro populär' with tho people, of thia' country.- 'Tlioruiunby'a ' riotory was celebrated with bocoming, rejoicings at Russley, the poor . of tho parish hoing regaled with a dinner, und amused with rustió games ¡ und every poor mun iii the three adjoining villages hud half a crown given to him to drink the health of horse und owner. In ' tho distribu-
tion of the rewards, Mat Dawson, us may tie expected, wan not forgotton for his ability and fidelity; and . Cus tunee was liberally, but not foolishly remunerated. Shortly after tho Derby, Thormunby lind such a severe ult nek of the strangles, that he wits unable to go for tho Ascot Cup; mid although he soon recovered, «there cimba no doubt it loft its effects behind for a long, while ; for when ho como out for the lieger, although he was very well, mid his trainer us sanguine as over, his elasticity of action; was gone, and tho firo he displayed at Epsom wns wanting. Suffering from thu severity of tho paco at starting, he nevor fairly recovered himself; but in the Cup two days afterwards, when tho distance was further, and a grenier opportunity given him of catching his horses, ho distin- guished himself much moro ; and hud not Fordham's Baddie slipped round, without going so far as to say ho would havo beaten Sabrour, it would have been a very fine touch between thom. At . Newmarket over Tho Wizard's own length, ho was again defeated hy the Champion of Whitewall for Tho Grand Duke Michael Stnkcs; und the following week, without having had n gallop, ho ran Tom Do » lino to a head for a sweepstakes, aftor one of tho most terrific races over seon on tho Heath, proving that although stule, if he was to fall, it should bo as became tho winner of the Derby. At tho present moment Mr Merry's prospect of having a second Thormanby in Dundee is as promising as any man could desiro ; but whothor ho succoods with him or not, the reputation of his othor horses, ns well ns his general chu- ter us a sportsman, will porpetuato Iiis numo both tis a racing man and a brooder, as long as our national pastime kbops.its placo iii the affections of. tho people. : Mr Merry's mnres and cntiro horses aro distributed between Croft and Eusslcy, and ns a lot aro not to bo surpussed by any breeding Btud in tho country. And wo may as well remark that, us ono proof of his enterprise, ho has not hesitated to incur tho" risk and cxponso of sending somo of his best marea to Franco, in order to got the al- lowance for Tho Goodwood Cup, and to cnablo the pro duco to run in continental races. As a-politician, Mr Morry, who has sat for tho Falkirk Burghs sineo tho lost gonoral election, has not yet distinguished himself, per- haps from tho idea thoro aro already too many talkers in tho Houso of Commons ; but in a discussion on cominor cial and financial matters, tho sumo clear sightedness which enabled him to " weather without tho loss of a
singlo spar," tho crisis produced by the failure of tho Western Bank of Scotland, would mako him o valuable adviser to any Chancellor of tho Exchequer.
. Mr Morry married, in 181-7, Miss M'Hardy, oldest daughter of tho Into James M'ilardy of Glenholt ; and her portrait, taken with that ¿flier Bistor, Mrs Cunning- ham, it will bo recollected, was ono of tho most admired pictures at the lato exhibition of tho Royal Acndonvy. Two children have been tho result of this union.