The Master of the Buckhounds (or Master of the Hounds) was an officer in the Master of the Horse's department of the British Royal Household. The holder was also His/Her Majesty's Representative at Ascot. The role was to oversee a hunting pack; a buckhound is smaller than a staghound and used for coursing the smaller breeds of deer, especially fallow deer. The position was abolished by the Civil List Act 1901.


Hunting had played a role among England's royalty. The specific role of master of the hounds was first mentioned during the reign of Edward III. At this time it was a hereditary position held by the Brocas family. This tradition faded in the 17th century along with the feudal system, and the monarch instead selected the master of the hounds.[1]

In later years, it was a political office and appointed by the Prime Minister, so the holder changed with every new government. In later years the position was always held by a nobleman who had rendered service to the party in control.[2]

Hereditary Masters of the Buckhounds

The "hereditary" mastership was a serjeanty associated with the Manor of Little Weldon. It was held in the Brocas family until 1633, when it was sold to the Watson family.

The pack of the Hereditary Master was merged with that of the Privy Master in 1706 and the office ceased.

Masters of the (Privy) Buckhounds

The Privy Buckhounds were created in 1528 by King Henry VIII to provide for a hunting pack overseen by a Royal appointee rather than a hereditary officer.


  1. ^ "The Royal Buckhounds and their Masters". Baily's Magazine of Sports & Pastimes. Baily Brothers. 46: 95–103. 1 January 1886.
  2. ^ "The Earl of Bessborough". Baily's Magazine of Sports & Pastimes. Baily bros.: 163 1 January 1863. Retrieved 8 December 2016.