The Tickham Hunt is in Kent and extends from Whitstable and the Swale south to the ridge of the North Downs. The Tickham Country has been hunted from at least 1735. A local pack was kept in the area by Thomas Gibb Hilton at Norham, Selling. A pack of foxhounds was also kept from about 1870 at Provender by Sir Edward Knatchbull and, later, Earl Sondes kept hounds at Lees Court, Sheldwich.
The next pack was formed by the Rt. Hon. Stephen Rumbold Lushington, who lived at Norton Court, near Faversham. He formed the nucleus of this new pack with Meath Hounds from Ireland. In 1831, Mr. William Rigden took over the hounds and built kennels at Tickham, from which the hunt derives its name. In 1874, Mr W.E. Rigden, son of the former Master, took over the hounds and, in 1877, moved the kennels to Wren's Hill, where they are still housed today. Loss of country, mainly due to expanding road links and developments, eventually led to the amalgamation of the Tickham and West Street Hunts in 1990.
Heywood Hardy was the youngest son of the artist James Hardy Senior, and hence the brother of James Hardy Junior (see lot 82). He started his career as an animal painter in Keynsham, but in 1864 entered the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, where he studied under the battle painter Pielse. He remained on the continent for four years, and lived in Antwerp for a short while, before returning to England in 1868.
By 1870 Hardy had settled in London, and was sharing a studio with the celebrated animal painter Briton Riviere. His career flourished and he was elected a member of several societies including the Royal Society of Painters and Etchers, the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and The Royal Watercolor Society. He also worked as an illustrator, and contributed to THe Illustrated London News and The Graphic Magazine. Amongst Hardy's many patrons were Colonel Wyndham Murray, the Marquess of Zetland and the Sitwells of Renishaw.