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Radnor Hunt Archives manuscripts collection


Held at: Radnor Hunt Archives [Contact Us]826 Providence Road, Malvern, PA, 19355

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Radnor Hunt Archives. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Founded in 1883 in Radnor, Pennsylvania, in suburban Philadelphia, Radnor Hunt is the oldest continuously active fox hunt in the United States, as recognized by the Masters of Foxhounds Association of America (MFHA). The original property on Bryn Mawr Road (now Darby-Paoli Road) and Roberts Road in Radnor Township, Delaware County, was purchased in 1883. James Rawle was installed as first President, with Horace B. Montgomery as Master of Foxhounds (MFH).

At first there were no scheduled hunts; each member was allowed to hunt the pack of hounds whenever he chose. Radnor Hunt was officially incorporated in September 1886, at which time hunting activities became more organized and regular hunts were scheduled. From its inception, the leading families of Philadelphia and the newly popular Main Line area of the Philadelphia suburbs enjoyed the Hunt. Prominent businessmen such as Pennsylvania Railroad President Alexander Cassatt and James Rawle of the J. G. Brill Company streetcar-manufacturing firm were among the founders of Radnor Hunt.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century the exploits of Radnor Hunt were regularly recounted in Philadelphia newspapers. The annual Thanksgiving Day Hunt and associated Hunter Trials and Races attracted large crowds of onlookers who would drive their carriages, and later their motorcars, to the Club to enjoy a day of sport. However, the encroachment of suburbia in the post-World War I period along with growth in club membership prompted the Hunt's leadership to consider new hunting country, farther west.

Radnor had been hunting regularly "up-country" in parts of Tredyffrin, Easttown, and Willistown Townships in Chester County. Led by members Benjamin Pew, Horace Hare, and Edward Beale, and joined by the newly affiliated M. Roy Jackson, who had become Master and Huntsman of Radnor in 1929, the Hunt purchased the old Gallagher Farm on Boot Road (now Providence Road) in Willistown Township, near Malvern, Pennsylvania, in 1930. Hunt member Arthur Meigs of the Philadelphia architectural firm of Mellor, Meigs, and Howe was commissioned to oversee renovations to the farmhouse and design and construction of new stables and kennels. Radnor Hunt moved to the new location in late August 1931, in time for the start of the 1931-1932 hunting season.

For over eighty years, fox chasing has been conducted three days a week from September through March in the countryside surrounding Radnor Hunt. Followers of the sport on any given day number from around twenty to nearly seventy-five people. In the late 1990s, two additional hunt countries in the region were added to the Club's recognized territory, increasing Radnor's hunting countryside for the first time since 1931: the "Big Bend" territory on the Brandywine River near Chadds Ford and the old Brandywine Hounds country near West Chester now appear on the fixture card and are hunted regularly by Radnor's hounds.

Although fox chasing has been the main activity throughout the years, Radnor Hunt has also been the focal point for numerous other activities related to horses and hounds, including the Radnor Races, the Bryn Mawr Hound Show, and the Radnor Hunt Hunter Trials. For automobile fanciers, the Club hosts the annual Radnor Concours d'Elegance, which includes a road rally through the surrounding countryside. Additionally, Radnor Hunt has a very active tennis and paddle tennis program and sponsors a wide range of social activities throughout the year. Among the latter are dinners, balls, parties, and other events that have become longtime traditions at the Club.

For more than 130 years, Radnor Hunt has been the focal point of an active sporting community carrying on not only its traditional activity of fox chasing, but also encouraging a great many other activities involving countryside pursuits, horses, hounds and good sportsmanship.


McNeil, Collin F. Bright Hunting Morn: The 125th Anniversary of Radnor Hunt. Lanham: Derrydale Press, 2008.

Radnor Hunt. "About Us." Accessed September 2014.

Radnor Hunt Directory. "History of Radnor Hunt." May 2012. Item viewed in collection January 2016.

Reeve, J. Stanley. Radnor Reminiscences: A Fox Hunting Journal. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1921.

The Radnor Hunt Archives manuscripts collection, 1887-2016, consists of personal papers or other private materials that were not originally generated or received by Radnor Hunt, but were deposited in the Archives because they relate to the Hunt, fox hunting, or other relevant subjects. The manuscripts collection is divided into three manuscript groups (MS-1, MS-2, and MS-3) according to the person(s) that created or assembled the materials, the format of the materials, or the activities to which they relate. Each manuscript group is further divided into series or sub-series according to the nature or type of materials. Following is an overview of the three manuscript groups and their series, if applicable:

MS-1. General printed and published matter Series I. Clippings and ephemera mentioning Radnor Hunt Series II. General clippings and ephemera

MS-2. Collin F. McNeil papers Series I: Research files Series II: Original documents and ephemera Series III: Photographs

MS-3. Henry and Elizabeth Jefferis fox hunting films

For additional information relating to the collection's arrangement, please see the inventory section of this finding aid.

Various artworks and artifacts are associated with this collection, but were not included as part of this survey. A more detailed finding aid is available on-site.

Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2014-2016 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.

In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact Radnor Hunt Archives directly for more information.

A note about processing that took place prior to HCI-PSAR's survey of the collection:

Sponsored by Collin F. McNeil, Joint Master of Foxhounds and longtime member of Radnor Hunt, a project to establish an archives at Radnor Hunt to acquire, preserve, and make available for research the archival records of the Hunt was undertaken in March 2013. Consulting Archivists Jack McCarthy and Tracy Ulmer compiled a guide to the Radnor Hunt Archives, which includes records from Radnor Hunt, a manuscript collection, and artworks and artifacts. The current version of the guide describes the cataloged holdings of the Archives as of January 2016. The guide is available on-site.

Information from the Guide to the Radnor Hunt Archives about the Radnor Hunt records was incorporated into this finding aid.

Radnor Hunt Archives
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Jack McCarthy and Tracy Ulmer and encoded through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Access Restrictions

Contact Radnor Hunt Archives for information about accessing this collection.

Collection Inventory

Scope and Contents Note

This manuscript group contains materials that were not produced by Radnor Hunt, but that mention the Hunt or relate to local history and fox hunting in general. Types of materials include clippings, articles, and pamphlets. (For published materials produced by Radnor Hunt, see Radnor Hunt records RG-8. Publications.)

The manuscript group has been organized into two series:

Series I. Clippings and ephemera mentioning Radnor Hunt

This series contains materials that are about or that reference Radnor Hunt. It includes news clippings about Radnor Hunt, equestrian issues of County Lines magazine, and issues of Covertside, the official publication of the Masters of Foxhounds Association.

Series II. General clippings and ephemera

This series contains materials that do not mention Radnor Hunt directly, but which relate to local history and fox hunting in general. Included are copies of Covertside, the official publication of the Masters of Foxhounds Association, news clippings about Chester County, and a booklet on the history of White Horse.

Physical Description

0.4 Linear feet

Series I.. Clippings and ephemera mentioning Radnor Hunt, 2014-2015.
Series II.. General clippings and ephemera, 1982, 2014-2015.

Scope and Contents Note

Manuscript group 2, the Collin F. McNeil papers, consists of materials collected or created by Collin McNeil in the course of researching and writing his 2009 book Bright Hunting Morn: The 125th Anniversary of Radnor Hunt and/or in the course of his ongoing research and collecting on Radnor Hunt and fox hunting.

Physical Description

1.8 Linear feet

Series I.. Research files, 1960-2016, undated.
Scope and Contents Note

The Research files consist of secondary sources such as articles, research notes, and photocopies and scans of original documents. There are folders of materials on various organizations, magazines, and individuals (Club members and others), scans of pages from The Chronicle of the Horse, and other publications, news clippings, and correspondence.

Series II.. Original documents and ephemera, 1887-2014.
Scope and Contents Note

This series includes fixture cards, late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Radnor Hunt annual directories, event flyers, contracts, committee reports, building plans, magazines, and other primary source Radnor Hunt materials acquired by Collin McNeil and deposited in the Archives.

Magazines in this series include entire issues as well as individual pages, with articles about Radnor Hunt or foxhunting, as well as articles written by Radnor Hunt members. Relevant articles that are contained in whole issues of publications have been bookmarked in order to locate the articles more easily. Publications represented include: The Chronicle of the Horse, Country Life, Holiday, and Hounds.

Scope and Contents Note

This series contains photographs collected by Collin McNeil. Photographs date from the early twentieth to the early twenty-first century, and are arranged into sub-series based on content. Included are black and white, sepia, and color photographs. Dimensions vary in size from 3.5" x 5" to 11" x 14". Photographs include originals, scans, copies, and cropped images. Some photographs have detailed captions on the back, other have no information at all. Individuals represented in the images include Club members and others.

Photographers and photography companies used include: Freudy Photos Inc., ACME Newspictures, Carl Klein Photo, Photo-Associates, Ernest L. Mauger, and Alix Coleman.

See the guide to the collection and folder titles, available on-site, for more detail.

This series has been arranged into six sub-series: Radnor Hunt presidents; Masters of Foxhounds; Fox hunting; Events; Athenaeum of Philadelphia: Mellor, Meigs & Howe collection; and Other.

Sub-series: Radnor Hunt presidents, circa 1933, undated

Photographs of the following Radnor Hunt presidents are currently included in this sub-series: A. J. Cassatt (1889-1907), Rudolph Ellis (1907-1914), Edward F. Beale (1914-1929), Thomas Stokes (1930-1946), and Morris Cheston (and wife) (1946-1956).

Sub-series: Masters of Foxhounds, 1907, 1913, circa 1943, undated

Photographs of the following Masters are currently included in this sub-series: John R. Valentine (1901-1907), W. Hinckle Smith (1907-1909), and Horace B. Hare (1909-1914, 1921-1929).

Sub-series: Fox Hunting, 1930s, 1960s-1970s, 2003, undated

This sub-series includes all mounted photographs that are not of individual presidents, masters, or do not relate to a specific event. Fox hunting as well as jumping photographs are included.

Individuals found in the photographs include: Tony Gammel, George Hawke, Christian Hueber, George Hundt, Rad Hundt, Katy Illoway, Jane Mangrum, Whitney Mason, Cathy McCoy, Gwynn McDevitt, Frederick Nicholas, Frank Rhodes, Hugh Robards, Noel Ryan, Gwynne Severance, and Peter Somers.

Sub-series: Events, 1935-1975, undated

This sub-series contains photographs from various events. The images in this sub-series have been further organized into sub-sub-series based on the event. There are currently three sub-sub-series: Radnor Races, Bryn Mawr Hound Show, and Essex Foxhound Race Meeting.

The Radnor Races sub-sub-series, 1935, 1938, undated, contains photographs of a Radnor Hunt Meet at Chesterbrook Farm, Pennsylvania (unknown date) and Radnor Hunt Races in 1935 and 1938. In addition to images of the racing events, various individuals are represented in the photographs. Identified individuals include: Mrs. Theodore Bailey, Mrs. David D. Odell, Mrs. Geraldyn L. Redmond and her brother Samuel Register (?), and Marie L. Baird at the Radnor Hunt Meet, undated; Mrs. Tristam Colket and Mrs. Richard McNeely at the Radnor Hunt Race, 1935; and Gardener Cassatt, Mrs. Richard Mellon, and William C. Hunneman, Jr. at the Radnor Hunt Race, 1938.

The Bryn Mawr Hound Show sub-sub-series, 1950-1952, 1954-1956, 1958, 1959, 1975, contains 18 photographs from the Bryn Mawr Hound Show. The Hound Show was held at Rose Tree Hunt Club in Media, Pennsylvania from 1948-1956, at which point it moved to the Radnor Hunt grounds. Individuals in the photographs include: Mrs. Bassett, John B. H. Carter, Henry L. Collins, Algernon A. Craven, James Deleuge?, William DuPont, Jr., J. Mason Houghland, Lester T. Hundt, Jr. (Rad), Lawrence E. Jones, Gilbert Mather, J. Stanley Reeve, Gwynne Severance, John K. Shaw, Walter Stokes, Robert Strawbridge, Jr., Frank Voss, Edward Voss, and others. Hounds in the images include: "Bantam '47," "Barmaid '55," "Beautiful '55," and "Midget '54."

The Essex Foxhound Race Meeting sub-sub-series, 1939, contains one photograph of the 24th annual Essex Fox Hounds race meeting held at Fron-heim, Far Hills, New Jersey, Individuals depicted include: Richard V. N. Gambrill and Arthur I. Meigs, a member of Radnor Hunt and one of the architects who designed the Hunt's stables and kennels in 1930.

Sub-series: Athenaeum of Philadelphia: Mellor, Meigs & Howe collection, circa 1932

This sub-series contains 17 photographs of the exteriors and some of the interiors of the Radnor Hunt clubhouse, the kennels, and the stables. Walter Mellor and Arthur I. Meigs were the architects who designed and built the Radnor Hunt stables and kennels in 1930. (George Howe had left the firm by this time.) Meigs was a member of Radnor Hunt.

Sub-series: Other, circa 1920s, 2002

This sub-series contains a few negatives and a couple of photographs that do not relate to Radnor Hunt directly. Dimensions are included in the folder list.

Note: Some of the images were taken by Freudy Photos, Inc. In the 1920s, Harry Freudy, society photographer for the New York Journal-American newspaper, founded Freudy Photos, Inc., with studios in New York City and Aiken, South Carolina. He covered high-society's equestrian and social events.

Sub-series:. Radnor Hunt presidents, circa 1933, undated.
Sub-series:. Masters of Foxhounds, 1907, 1913, circa 1943, undated.
Sub-series:. Fox hunting, 1930s, 1960s-1970s, 2003, undated.
Sub-sub-series:. Radnor Races, 1935, 1938, undated.
Sub-sub-series:. Bryn Mawr Hound Show, 1950s, 1975, undated.
Sub-sub-series:. Essex Foxhound Race Meeting, 1939.
Sub-series:. Athenaeum of Philadelphia: Mellor, Meigs & Howe collection, circa 1932.
Sub-series:. Other, circa 1920s, 2002.
MS-3.. Henry and Elizabeth Jefferis fox hunting films, 1959-1965. 1 Linear feet.
Scope and Contents Note

The Henry and Elizabeth Jefferis fox hunting films consist of 18 reels of 8MM film of fox hunting activities in central and southern Chester County, Pennsylvania, from 1959 to 1965. Henry and Elizabeth Jefferis were proprietors of the Marshallton Inn, a historic inn four miles west of the Borough of West Chester.

The films are organized in two groups: 1) a group of 12 films, 1959-1965, on their original 7" metal reels in metal canisters, and 2) a group of 38 films, 1959-1962, originally on 3" plastic reels in 3" cardboard Kodak boxes, but later removed from these reels and spliced together onto 6, 7" plastic reels. All of the original film containers – both the 12, 7" metal canisters and the 38, 3" cardboard Kodak boxes – contain handwritten labeling information of the film contents that appears to be the Jefferis' original notes. All of the films were apparently digitized in 2008.

Physical Description

1.0 Linear feet

Print, Suggest