Kilruddery Hunt


In seventeen hundred and forty-four
The fifth of December, I think ’twas no more
At five in the morning, by most of the clocks
We rode from Kilruddery in search of a fox
The Loughlinstown landlord, the brave Owen Bray
And Johnny Adair, too, were with us that day
Joe Debil, Hal Preston, those huntsmen so stout
Dick Holmes, some few others, and so we set out

We cast off our hounds for an hour or more
When Wanton set up a most tuneable roar
‘Hark, Wanton,’ cried Joe, and the rest were not slack
For Wanton’s no trifler esteemed by the pack
Old Bounty and Collier came readily in
And every hound joined in the musical din
Had Diana been there, she’d been pleased to the life
And one of the lads got a goddess to wife

Ten minutes past nine was the time of the day
When Reynard broke cover and this was his way
As strong from Killegar, as if he could fear none
Away he brushed round by the house of Kilternan
To Carrickmines thence and to Cherrywood then
Steep Shankhill, he climbed and to Ballyman glen
Bray Common, he crossed, leaped Lord Anglesey’s wall
And seemed to say, ‘Little I care for you all’

He ran Bushes Grove up to Carbury Byrnes
Joe Debil, Hal Preston, kept leading by turns
The earth, it was open, yet he was so stout
Tho’ he might have got in, still he chose to keep out
To Malpas high hills was the way that he knew
At Dalkey’s stone common we had him in view
He drove on to Bullock, he slunk Glenageary
And so on to Monkstown, where Larry grew weary

Thro’ Rochestown wood like an arrow he passed
And came to the steep hills of Dalkey at last
There gallantly plunged himself into the sea
And said in his heart, ‘None can now follow me’
But soon, to his cost, he perceived that no bounds
Could stop the pursuit of the staunch-mettled hounds
His policy here did not serve him a rush
Five couple of Tartars were hard at his brush

To recover the shore then again was his chift
But ere he could reach to the cop of the clift
He found both of speed and of daring a lack
Being waylaid and killed by the rest of the pack
At his death there were present the lads I have sung
Save Larry who, riding a garron, was flung
Thus ended at length, a most delicate chase
That held us five hours and ten minutes space


The Kilruddery Hunt was jointly written by actor Thomas Mozeen (1720 – 1768) and Owen Bray, of Loughlinstown, County Dublin, who set it to the old Irish tune of “Sighile ni Ghadharadh,” or Celia O’Gara. It was published in a volume called The Lyric Pacquet by Mozeen, in 1764, and soon became enormously popular. The ballad was a prime favourite with Theobald Wolfe Tone, who in a letter dated 25th April 1797, quoted a line of it: ‘Set out from Cologne ‘at five in the morning by most of the clocks,‘ on my way,’ etc.

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